January 13th, 2004 –Faculty Senate Minutes

 

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

 

II. Roll Call: All present with one absence (John Rector)

 

Ex-Officio Member:  WOU President Conn

 

III. Minutes from last meeting were approved at 3:39 p.m. with the two corrections introduced by Fung.

 

IV. Reports from the Presidents

 

A. Senate President Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon read a letter by Provost John Minahan addressing the Senators concerning the absence of some student athletes during Finals Week and the adverse effects of the academic standing to these athletes.  It was decided that this would be brought up in the different academic divisions and then further action will be taken depending on the received feedback.

 

B. President Conn reminded the Senators that the Strategic Planning process is on its way and some of the sub-committees are busy meeting. The campus is kept informed about the progress of this crucial process, via e-mail and a web-site. The second point the President made concerned the VPA search. He announced that now all divisions are represented in the search process and we have the largest number of faculty involved in a search process at WOU. Then President Conn addressed budgetary issues. If Measure 30 fails, WOU would lose approximately $600,000 and our reserves will dwindle even further. It was suggested that we focus on fundraising (contingent upon getting the position of Alumni Director filled). Finally, President Conn shared Judy J. Vanderburg's Memorandum to the Administrative Bargaining Team regarding teaching loads. He urged the Senators to keep in mind that a three-hour reduction would create an 8 and 1/3 percent reduction in WOU's instructional capacity.

 

C. The ASWOU president Jeremy Quintanilla was ill but he will present the updated version on the document on shared communication at the next meeting. He also passed along his thanks to the faculty for announcing the books for the winter courses at the end of fall term.

 

V. Consideration of Old Business

 

A. The student presentation on shared communication was tabled for the next meeting.

 

B. The content of the Ad Hoc Professional Programs committee was reviewed. There was a motion to adopting the guidelines in this document and charge the Curriculum Committee with following these guidelines. The motion was carried with one abstention.

 

C. The Senators reviewed the proposal by the Graduate Committee that changes the process of admission to candidacy slightly for some of the graduate students. If the graduate program requires professional recommendation letters as a part of the admissions process (and only a small number of programs do have this requirement), it was proposed that after a student in such a program completes 12 credit hours of graduate level work, he or she can be admitted to candidacy based on the admissions letters and the opinion of the student's advisor. The motion to modify the general policy for admission to candidacy was carried unanimously.

 

D. Next the Senators turned their attention to two outstanding curricular issues.

 

a)     The Economics Proposal to change all their offerings from 3-to 4-credit classes was discussed. The question of the impact of this change on other majors and programs was brought up. It was explained that the switch should create at most a 1-credit difference, and it will not affect most programs of study. This proposal was carried with one abstention.

 

b)  The BFA in Theatre proposal was introduced as a response to the need       for another program of this type in Oregon. Currently, only SOU has such a program and they have to turn students down for space considerations. WOU's BFA program is to be a conservatory-style professional program, similar in spirit to the B. Music degree, with the initial goal of graduating about 7-10 students per year. This program will not require a budget expansion and it is to grow in size and hopefully get accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. This extensive proposal was tabled for the next meeting.

 

VI. Consideration of New Business

 

A. The Dean of the School of Education Dr. Hilda Rosselli gave an update on the Provost's search process. She said that as of January 13th there were 20 files cleared for review by the Search Committee and some candidates had been eliminated on the basis of 3 important criteria: Ph. D. in an area that correlates to WOU's faculty; evidence of extensive teaching and scholarship experience; significant administrative experience. Six candidates were removed from the first round and it is the hope of the committee that the list will be narrowed down to 10-12 candidates. These candidates will then be team-interviewed by phone, and their references will be checked. Then the Advisory Panel is going to provide input on the best 3-5 candidates by the third or fourth week in February. Three candidates will be invited to campus for a two-day visit. The Advisory Panel will interview each of these finalists. Information on each candidate will be shared with the faculty and insight from the whole WOU community will be appreciated. The hope is that the Search Committee will have a recommendation on the finalist to President Conn by the end of April.

 

 

VII. Report of IFS

 

The latest meeting of IFS happened on December 5th and 6th at PSU. The new Board of Higher Education was yet to be appointed and the IFS President expressed his uncertainty as what the new members will contribute to the debate of accessibility, quality, and integration of education provided by the OUS system with community colleges. Most of the latest meeting was occupied with the discussion of the reduction of the contributions to the Optional Retirement Plan. There is a strong interest in having the ORP reduction reversed and an immediate administrative solution was demanded from the Chancellor and his staff. There was also a proposal to de-couple ORP into PERS employer contribution rates. The IFS website will have reports on updates of this process.

 

Our very own Dr. Bob Turner is the President Elect of IFS!

 

VIII. This report was tabled for the next meeting.

 

IX. A motion to extend time by 15 minutes was approved and the extra time was used up. A motion to adjourn was approved around 5:15 p.m.