October 28th, 2003 –Faculty Senate Minutes

 

I. At 3:35 p.m. the meeting was called to order.

 

II. Senate Members Present: Kit Andrews, Roy Bennett, Bob Brownbridge, Brian Caster, Keller Coker, Claire Ferraris, Maria Fung, Scott Grim, Karen Haberman, Gudrun Hoobler, Solveig Holmquist, Sriram Khe, John Leadley (for Zygmont), Scot Morse, Erik Peterson, John Rector, Judie Rhoads, Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon, William Schoenfeld, Tamina Toray, Dovie Trevino, Mark Van Steeter

 

Ex-Officio Member: President Conn

 

III. Minutes from last meeting were approved with two corrections: both Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon and Bob Brownbridge were present at the previous meeting.

 

IV. Reports from the Presidents

 

A. Senate President Janeanne Rockwell reminded the Senators that the next meeting would not be held on November 11th since this date is a university holiday. Thus the next meeting of the Faculty Senate is on 25th of November.

 

B. President Conn shared with the senators the 4th week of the fall quarter enrollment statistics. The best news for WOU is the robust freshmen class of 925 students. This number is the highest one in Western Oregon University's history. From the data sheet it seemed that the total number of students is down a bit from last fall (4970 versus 5030) but the newest figures suggest that in fact there are 5032 total students this fall.

 

The second topic that President Conn discussed concerned the strategic planning efforts. He announced that the next visit by Dr. McFarland was scheduled for November 17th and 18th. The key event is the Stakeholders' Meeting with a panel of 4-5 key observers from the legislature, the OUS system, and the region. The Strategic Planning Council is to begin its work at this meeting. This Council is to be comprised of 8 faculty members, 7 staff members, and 6 members chosen from students, alumni, and the community.

The Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee is Dr. Kristina Frankenberger who teaches a class on strategic planning.

 

C. The ASWOU president Jeremy Quintanilla was not present at this meeting.

 

V. Discussion of the Effectiveness of the Senate

The discussion opened with the concern of the Humanities Division about the lack of consultation of the faculty and information made known to the faculty by the administration, especially in some hiring and promotion decisions. Some senators objected that this is not an issue of the Senate per se, while others defended this position by saying that if our role is to empower faculty and to enhance faculty governance, then certainly these issues fit with the discussion.

 

Another point of discussion centered on the lack of being systematic and carrying through with reports. Two examples of incomplete action were given: the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Professional Programs was never adopted formally and the document on shared governance presented by ASWOU has not been brought up for discussion.

 

A senator brought up a concern that the Senate should first be aware of how effective it ought to be, and then make adjustments to get to the desired level of efficiency. However, it seemed that this early in the discussion, being systematic about the issues was not to be expected.

 

 

A.  The Inter-institutional Senate met in Ashland at the beginning of the month. Allen Bates gave a fabulous presentation about what is wrong with the legislature. In his presentation he explained that the lack of belief in public higher education could be illuminated by the extreme right-wing views of a number of legislators. ChancellorJarviss addressed the Senate with his concerns about the OUS remaining affordable; the low compensation level for faculty; the deferred maintenance of infrastructure; the enrollment management (when we can only accept a fixed number of students); and the idea of public responsibility for P-16 education.

The Executive Committee was to nominate one of WOU's renowned faculty members for a position on the OUS board.

 

 

B.  The Committee on Committees' Chair Judie Rhoads distributed a list of current committees and urged the senators to check with colleagues in their divisions about the accuracy of this list. Once this work is completed, the questions of how vacancies are filled and length of terms (typically 2 or 3 years) determined can be addressed. A motion to put the committee structure issues under Old Business for upcoming meeting was proposed and carried unanimously.

 

C.  The Curriculum Committee's Chair Camila Gabaldón reported on a new BFA in Theater program proposal which was extensive (30 new classes) and well-documented. She also mentioned there were proposals from Music (course title changes), Art (variable credits for study abroad students), and Math (a change in one course). She also reported on an upcoming proposal from Economics about changing from 3 to 4 credit classes and several smaller social science proposals.

 

VI. Consideration of New Business: It was decided that one committee will report at the next meeting.

VII. A motion to adjourn was approved around 5:06 p.m.