October 14th, 2003 –Faculty Senate Minutes

 

I. At 3:36 p.m. the meeting was called to order.

 

II. Senate Members Present: Kit Andrews, Roy Bennett, Brian Caster, Keller Coker, Maria Fung, Scott Grim, Gudrun Hoobler, Solveig Holmquist, Sriram Khe, Judie Rhoads, William Schoenfeld, Tamina Toray, Dovie Trevino, Bob Turner (for Haberman), Mark Van Steeter, Zenon Zygmont 

 

Ex-Officio Member: President Conn

 

III. Minutes from last meeting were approved without any corrections.

 

IV. Reports from the Presidents

 

A. Senate President Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon urged all the Divisions to discuss the Teacher Education Majors proposal and to report with feedback at the next meeting. She also read a letter from ASWOU concerning the recent shared governance victory won by the student leadership in the OUS. ASWOU plan to present their draft on this policy to President Conn by the end of the fall term and this letter's intention is to encourage the faculty to submit feedback and ideas regarding this document. The Executive Committee is requesting that two of the Senate Committees give reports at the regular Faculty Senate Meetings. This will happen in response to the sense of apathy or over-commitment in some committees and the Senate needs to address the need to re-structure some of the committees and revise their charges. Rockwell-Kincanon also addressed the need for one of the Senators to volunteer to become the representative to the WOU Foundation Board and asked interested parties to contact her.

 

B. President Conn addressed two areas of continuous interest: enrollment and budget. He reported that as of October 14th, WOU has 4953 enrolled students, with our hope being around 5030. In spite of a sizable raise in the tuition relative to 2002-2003, the freshmen class has 120 students more than the class from last year. Also, another positive development is the increase of Hispanic and Native American students on campus this academic year.

Given the overall budgetary shortfall, WOU has had to rely heavily on reserves to balance its budget. The reserve funds are down by about 4 million dollars, and the projection is that by the end of the fiscal year the reserve will be down to 1 million dollars. In the worst case scenario (if the Oregonians do not pass the tax increases early next year) by the end of the biennium we will be about 0.5 million dollars in the red. We will continue to get money to the reserve fund because there are vacancies. 15 faculty searches are under way, with 11 in LAS.

 

C. The ASWOU president Jeremy Quintanilla distributed copies of the draft of the declaration on shared governance and urged the Senators to share this document with their colleagues and get input from faculty on a large scale. This draft was built on a template developed at Southern Oregon University. Quintanilla clarified that the point of this document was to ensure that the lines of communication between students and administrators are open. There was a discussion about the appropriateness of the name "shared governance" given that the primary role of the document is communication. There was a motion to put the item of discussing the proposed draft on the agenda of a following meeting. The motion was carried unanimously.

 

V. Consideration of Old Business

 

A.  The report of the Ad Hoc Committee on professional programs from the spring term of 2003 session was distributed again. It was emphasized to the new senators that any new program under a consideration should have a solid LACC base.

 

B. The motion to notify the appropriate dean on curriculum proposal routing sheet was carried unanimously.

 

VI. Consideration of New Business

 

A. Dr. McFarland was an invited guest to speak about Strategic Planning. He distributed the slides from his presentation earlier that day, and assured everyone that he is in the early pre-planning and assessment days of the project. He was asked to address some of the concerns that faculty throughout campus had expressed. Dr. McFarland said that he was not a member of the one-person company charged with the previous strategic planning and it is his absolute intention to involve the faculty in all the stages of this project. He stated he cares deeply about public higher education and has no bottom line agenda other than the importance of the work done by WOU faculty. Dr. McFarland said that he felt a faculty member should chair the Strategic Planning Committee and real accountability is crucial to the success of its mission. His belief is that strategic planning consists of assigning concrete tasks to different groups and reporting back to the entire community.

 

B. A discussion about improving the effectiveness of the Senate was started. Are we a huge rubber-stamping machine? Are there ways to make our work more efficient and beneficial to the entire faculty body? Should we be simply reactive, or should we engage in larger discussions about academia? Since curriculum is so paramount, should we spend a bit more time thinking about all the ramifications of our approvals?

There was a motion to move this discussion up in the agenda between the reports of the presidents and the consideration of old business. It was unanimously approved with the amendment that these discussions take place until the end of fall term.

 

VII. Report of the IFS

There was a motion to move this report to the following meeting under Old Business which was approved unanimously.

 

It was announced that the Governor wants to appoint a faculty member to the Board of Higher Ed, a person with an international reputation in their field of study who will represent faculty well.

 

VIII. Reports of Committees

There was a motion to move the reports to the following meeting, which was approved unanimously.

 

IX. A motion to adjourn was approved around 5:07 p.m.