February 11, 2003 –Faculty Senate minutes



Senate Members Present:  Anderson, Caster, Ferraris, Fung, Hoobler, Leadley, Lincicium, Muscato, Perlman, Schonfeld (for Poston), Shay, Tarter (for McConnell), Trevino, Turner (for Haberman), VanSteeter, Winningham, Zygmont, Jensen, Conn


At 3:37 p.m. the meeting was called to order.


Minutes from last meeting were approved. Maria Fung volunteered to fill in for Scot Morse.


The issue of the possible war in Iraq was brought up by the representatives of the Social Science Division. There was a short discussion whether it is the place of Faculty Senate to come up with a position on the war. Since lack of deliberation and representation were conceived as possible problems, it was decided that opinions from various divisions throughout campus will be solicited.


President Conn spoke of his continuing analyzing and agonizing over the budget shortfall. He mentioned two possibilities for conserving funds. The first one is a transition from quarter to semester system within the OUS. It is more cost efficient to do registration, billing, advising, etc.  only twice a year. Also, this move makes sense in terms of saving students money for textbooks and in terms of athletics (e.g. there are football games in early September). Moreover, it would be easier for students to find summer jobs if they start looking in May versus June. The community colleges throughout the state would have to be in agreement for this to work out in terms of articulation.  The second possibility has to do with converting tuition to the cost per credit hour model. The second option is at work at UO together with discounts for afternoon classes, but it is quite controversial in terms of affordability of full loads or overloads.


The inauguration ceremony plan was questioned by members of Faculty Senate given the defeat of Measure 28. President Conn clarified the situation by explaining that only private funds were to be used in this traditional event that could be used as an opportunity to promote WOU and fundraise.  He would like to solicit the opinions of the faculty body. After a brief discussion about the work of the Inauguration Planning Committee, it was decided that Brian Caster would send a message to all faculty asking for input, after he consults with the Planning Committee.


Darin Silbernagel presented a financial report of the workings of the WOU Bookstore for the period of July 1, 2001 to June 30th 2002. The total revenues were about 2.7 million dollars, with textbook sales about 2.2 million of the total amount. The total labor and other expenses amounted to about 2.6 million dollars, and thus the total profit was 110, 264.72. These figures include 30% mark-up on new textbooks and 35% on used books. Part of the reason why these percentages are so high has to do with a loan the Bookstore is trying to pay, with a remaining balance of $125, 634.44. It became clear these markups will go down as soon as this loan is paid off. It was discussed that a lot of money can be saved by ensuring that a smaller number of books have to be returned. Problems with textbook orders being late and faculty changing texts from required to optional were mentioned as exacerbating the situation. Some ideas coming from the discussion after the presentation included using bundled up chapters from whole textbooks, and the bookstore developing a plan to seek discounts from publishers on behalf of the faculty.


Zenon Zygmont (Chair) said that the Textbook Committee will present their recommendations before the beginning of Spring Quarter.


ASWOU president Gregg Magnus spoke of the pending hearing for the increase of the incidental student fee. He also mentioned the campus-wide Food Drive and encouraged faculty to take part in the competition on campus


Bob Turner and Solveig Holmquist, IFS representatives, are going to give the report from the IFS meeting at WOU at the next Faculty Senate Meeting. Mark Perlman and Brian Caster addressed the whole group with a call to educate the general public about public higher education.


A motion to adjourn was approved at 5:10 p.m.