April 13th, 2004 –Faculty Senate Minutes


I. At 3:31 p.m. the meeting was called to order.


II. Roll Call: Senators absent: Robert Brownbridge, Claire Ferraris, Tom Kelly, Judie Rhoads, Bob Turner:


Ex-Officio Members: WOU President Conn, ASWOU President Rebekah Wilcox


III. Minutes from last meeting were approved at 3:35 p.m. with no corrections.


IV. Reports of the Presidents


A. President of the Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate President Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon expressed hope that the elections for the new senators had happened at the April division meetings. Both the old and the new senators need to attend both May meetings. John Rector has been appointed Vice President of Faculty Senate for the remainder of the year and Curtis Yehnert sits in for Gudrun Hoobler for spring term. The nomination committee is headed by Brian Caster. Volunteers are needed to serve on it, so interested Senators need to contact Brian.


Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon reported that she was present at the meeting regarding WOU's partnership with Chemeketa College on March 15. All division chairs were present and three working groups were formed. If you are interested, Janeanne can send you the minutes from this meeting.


B. President of WOU

President Conn distributed a handout entitled "Executive Committee-Chancellor's Office Review: Progress Report". It addresses the composition and mission of four working groups: Access and Affordability, Excellence in Delivery and Productivity, Academic Excellence/Economic Development, and Chancellor's Office Review. Three of the groups have community college presidents as leaders, so the level of involvement of community colleges seems to be increasing in OUS.


Another piece of news is that the Academic Affairs Office of the OUS has been overhauled and reduced.


President Conn also talked about the Eastern Oregon University State Board meeting in May, where he is to give a presentation about Western Oregon University. This presentation will focus on our demographics, accomplishments, strategic planning goals (to the extent known), strengths, and interests. President Conn will promote the distinctive nature of our University and suggestions are welcomed.


A. President of ASWOU

The new ASWOU president Rebekah Wilcox is trying to resolve the problem of students not showing up for committee meetings, and asked the senators to provide her with a list of committees so that she could ensure that student representatives sit on these committees. She also mentioned ASWOU's efforts in recruitment and their voter registration drive, with a total goal of approximately 1300 new voter registration cards by fall.


V. Consideration of Old Business


A. Academic Information Services Discussion

The Director of University Computing Services Bill Kernan was present at the meeting. He presented the senators with the STFC budget for the academic year 2004-2005, and a handout on "What is the Student Technology Fee Committee". He also updated the committee on the status of the spam filter, and a presentation on the University Computing Services project update from October 2003. Finally, he also presented the senators with a document containing a response from the Student Technology Fee Committee to the events from the last Faculty Senate meeting.


Note from the Faculty Senate Secretary: for purposes of clarification of the previous Faculty Senate minutes, Justin Hoeckle attended the previous meeting as a concerned student and NOT as a representative of the Student Technology Fee Committee. Thus the opinions stated by him were his own and were not meant to be taken as indicative of the position of the committee as a whole.


The senators expressed interest in knowing whether the Director of UCS Bill Kernan saw the old AIS committee as an effective and functional group. He responded that it was as effective as it could have been.


Steve Taylor gave a presentation entitled "Recommendations for Reconstitution of the Academic Information Services Committee at Western Oregon University". He started with the purpose of the present committee, and then gave the draft vision statement for WOU. Then he proposed that the committee's mission be expanded to encompass the broader academic infrastructure, and be renamed the "Academic Infrastructure Committee". He outlined the structure of the academic infrastructure, noting organizational impediments in the current situation, and then indicated how the proposed AIC would connect University Computing, Library and Media Services, the WOU faculty, and the Deans of LAS and Education. He also proposed that the committee participate actively in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and improvement of academic infrastructure, and that committee membership and meetings be limited to faculty and related student representatives, while meetings with administrators and service directors are convened as needed. Finally he summarized the proposed AIC committee duties.

It was decided that this proposal would be taken to the Divisions for discussion, and there will be further action on it at the next Faculty Senate Meeting.


B. Procedure for Faculty Searches

The Social Sciences Division initiated the discussion of the procedure for faculty searches. Traditionally, the candidates' files were kept at the division level. More recently, files have been relocated to Human Resources, resulting in a back-and-forth problem, which has been inefficient and frustrating at times. Similarly, the travel authorization process has become extremely cumbersome, resulting in inflated fares. Moreover, there have been reports of lack of administrative support for candidates and of undermining of search committee authority. These problems were opened up for discussion.


The Humanities Division reported identical problems to those reported by their social science colleagues, including the case of 10 files that were completed in December but not released from HR until March. Mathematics and Computer Science also reported problems getting files from HR.


Several members voiced the opinion that the search process, when run by the division, is more coherent and fair. The HR Director Judy Vanderburg responded that centralizing all files and the search process provides a level playing field, so that searches across campus are similar. HR works to ensure compliance with equal opportunity employment regulations. Also, their policy was to give committees complete files, and Judy apologizes for any mistakes. President Conn responded that the goal for the search process is to be legal (especially with respect to EO/AA), orderly, and consistent; and that 100% of travel be paid out of a common fund. He indicated that he was not opposed to the files reaching the Divisions at the beginning of the process as long as all the legal regulations are met.


There was a move to form an Ad Hoc committee on Faculty Searches that is to meet with HR and the Division chairs. There was one opposed vote and no abstentions, and the motion was carried. The members of the committee are John Rector, Mark Perlman, Laurie Burton, Kit Andrews and a representative from the School of Education.


VII. Reports of IFS

There was no formal report from IFS at this meeting. IFS Senator Solveig Holmquist urged the Senators to read the essay by Stanley Fish in the April 2nd issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.


VIII. These items were postponed for the next meeting of Faculty Senate.


IX. A motion to adjourn was approved around 5:20 p.m. after a 20-minute time extension had been approved and used up.