April 8, 2003 –Faculty Senate minutes



Senate Members Present:  Brazd (for Muscato), Broeg (for Anderson), Brownbridge, Caster, Ferraris, Fung, Grim, Haberman, Holmquist, Hoobler, Perlman, Poston, Shay, Trevino, Van Steeter, Winningham, Zygmont, Conn


At 3:38 p.m. the meeting was called to order.


Minutes from last meeting were approved.


Senate President's Report: President Caster announced that this month elections for the 2003-2004 Faculty Senate are taking place at the Division level, so that we can proceed with the formation of the Nominating Committee first and then the Committee on Committees by the end of May.


President Conn's report began his report by informing the Senators of his testimonial in front of the Ways and Means Committee in Salem where he discussed the negative impact of the budget cuts on the student support services. For Western Oregon University these cuts have meant reductions of approximately 50% of workforce in the Offices of Public Safety, Career Services, Multicultural Services, International Admissions and Advising. Additionally, Office of Financial Aid staff was reduced by 1.5 positions and there are reductions for Office of Admissions and Office of Disability Services. Some other actual and possible reductions include 10 FTEs in academic support services, 2.5 positions in Business operations, 6.5 positions in Physical Plant, and 2.5 in President's Office and University Advancement. Then President Conn proceeded to distribute a couple of handouts. The first one placed Oregon at the bottom nationally at a change of negative 11% in state appropriations for higher education; the second one placed Western Oregon University in 10th position out of 13 peer universities in terms of average faculty total compensation.


ASWOU president Gregg Magnus was not present.


Old Business: After a long discussion where the voices of each of the divisions were heard, with the main argument against the resolution on the war in Iraq being that Faculty Senate was not the right forum for such a resolution, this resolution was voted down by 10 to 6. In addition, since the majority of Senators expressed support for the idea of signing the content of the proposed resolution, it was decided that this would be done at the Division level.


New Business: The Geography Curriculum proposal seeks to change all courses offered from 3 to 4 credits per course. This change entails the deletion of nine existing courses and the addition of five courses, The current LACC geography sub-component is to change from 3 required courses to a choice of either 2 or 3 course in geography. The geography courses are to be scheduled later in the day (after 3 p.m.) or possibly early morning in order to create minimal scheduling conflicts. A discussion of this proposal and its ramification was just starting when it became clear that time was up.


It was decided that the discussion will continue and the rest of the items on the agenda will be postponed until the next meeting, with one major exception. The Professional Programs Proposal for establishment of a subcommittee to examine related campus wide issues was approved with a unanimous vote. It was decided that this Ad Hoc Committee, whose main goal will be to establish a set of criteria and general requirements for proposed professional programs, will consist of 11 members (one representative from each division, the Deans of the Colleges of LAS and Ed, and the Provost).


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