Faculty Senate Minutes

January 24, 2006


  1. Meeting called to order at 3:40 PM

  2. Call of roll: Senate members present: Kit Andrews, Robert Broeg (for Charles Anderson), Mary Bucy, Camila Gabaldón, Scott Grim, Kristina Frankenberger, Irja Galvan (for Sarah Boomer), Terry Gingrich, Mary Harden, Jessica Henderson, Klay Kruzchek, Chloe Myers, Peggy Pederson, Emily Plec, John Rector (president), Uma Shrestha, Doug Smith, Julia Smith, Justin Tomlin (for Gerry Blakney), Jem Spectar, John Minahan

  3. Reports of Presidents

    1. President of Faculty Senate, John Rector

      1. Founders Day

        1. Great turnout with good coverage by the Statesman Journal

        2. Chet Orloff’s lecture of WOU’s history emphasized that the college has survived for so long by adapting to changes

      2. Academic Excellence Showcase

        1. Will be held May 31, 2006, as part of WOU’s Sesquicentennial celebration, sponsored by Phi Kappa Phi (the honor society) and the Program for Undergraduate Research Experiences (PURE).

        2. Entire day will be dedicated to the presentation of student scholarly activities.

        3. Faculty are encouraged to cancel classes, while requiring students to attend their peers’ presentations.

        4. Faculty volunteers will serve as session chairs.

        5. Contact Bryan Dutton or Rob Winningham if there are questions.

          • Camila Gabaldón added that volunteers from the College of Education were still needed to help in planning.

    2. President of WOU, John Minahan

      1. Retention

        1. No improvement yet from last year, still about 61-65%

        2. Will return to an earlier strategy of identifying and working with at-risk students

          • Students will be identified through scores in math, science, and English

          • Special courses and other ways will be used to help these students succeed

        3. With the current retention rate, for every 10 students admitted last year, 14 students must be admitted this year to stay even.

        4. “We’re going to turn this [retention] number.”

      2. China Initiative

        1. Neng Yang, WOU Director of International Students and Scholars, has signed about 9 agreements with Universities in China for international students to study at WOU.

        2. March 30, President Minahan will be visiting China in hopes of making a deal to have a WOU extension program at a Chinese University with WOU faculty teaching Chinese students

      3. The Administration is crafting legislative language for the Board of Higher Education needed to raise WOU’s tuition.

        1. We currently have a verbal promise, but the Board and the Legislature must act on this.

      4. WOU Child Care Center

        1. Previously the Child Care Center had a required minimum number of hours for each child each week; dropping this requirement has led to problems. Recently there have been more children, but fewer hours overall, contributing to a $67,000 loss this year.

        2. WOU will keep the childcare program, but is working with student government for ways to fund this loss, and to tighten up the budget in the future.

        3. This will be successfully addressed.

      5. WOU Scholarship Campaign has a goal to raise $1.5 million, and has already raised $500,000.

      6. WOU is considering naming some buildings for worthy donors.

      7. The President’s House

        1. Since President Minahan doesn’t occupy it much, the house remains largely unused.

        2. He is asking that the downstairs, in particular, be developed for use by faculty: painting the walls for a gallery for fine arts, possibly adding a piano. It could also be used as a meeting place—or other uses--for faculty.

      8. In response to questions by Emily Plec concerning enrollment and retention, President Minahan stated that enrollment for Fall 2006 is up 23%—the best in the state—and concerted efforts are being made to improve retention the remainder of this year.

      9. In response to questions by Kit Andrews, Terry Gingrich, and Mary Bucy concerning the China Initiative, President Minahan added that:

          • This program (still under negotiation) is proposed to cover the final year of the degree program for Chinese students who would take their first two years of college at their home institution in China, the next two years at WOU, then return for their final year at their home institution in China.

          • Courses for these students during the final year would be taught by visiting WOU faculty on site in China.

          • Teacher education programs are under consideration along with others.

          • In a related development, plans are underway for beginning Mandarin to be taught at WOU in Fall 2006.

    3. President of Student Senate, Justin Tomlin (for Gerry Blakney)

      1. ASWOU President Gerry Blakney has been appointed to the State Board of Higher Education, and will serve a two-year term beginning at the February board meeting.

      2. As requested, Justin Tomlin presented an outline of the functioning of the four branches of ASWOU.

      3. The Canned Food Drive collected 20,000 lbs.—up 4,000 lbs. from last year.

      4. Student Senate Health Care committee is looking at the budget for the Health Center, and considering student representation on the Health Center Board.

  4. Consideration of Old Business

    1. Representative from Faculty Senate for the WOU Foundation Board

      1. No volunteers yet, this will be raised again at the next meeting.

    2. Study Abroad possibilities for Students and Faculty (presented by Michele Price, Director of Study Abroad & International Exchanges)

      1. This year has been designated the “Year of Study Abroad” by the US Senate.

        1. With this designation the US Senate encourages schools, businesses, and government agencies to expand study abroad opportunities.

      2. WOU students abroad:

        1. 80 WOU students this year studying abroad (up from as low as 40 in 1996).

        2. Financial aid now covers study abroad.

        3. Many more high school students now want to study abroad.

      3. Faculty Opportunities:

        1. Northwest Council on Study Abroad (NCSA)

          • Faculty member proposes a course or courses for one of the NCSA sites.

          • NCSA Committee selects faculty member for 1 term.

          • Program provides travel to site and apartment at site.

          • Faculty member continues on regular salary from home institution (NCSA reimburses WOU for faculty while teaching abroad—no sabbatical leave necessary).

        2. Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA)

          • Mostly offers summer and intersession terms of 2-4 weeks.

          • Member schools compensate differently—to date no fund at WOU for salary stipend.

        3. OUS Study Abroad Programs

          • Fewer faculty participating than in other 2 programs.

          • Periodically a position for the site director for a program

          • A good way to find out more is to become a board member for a specific country program. Each board meets once per term.

        4. WOU Faculty Led Programs

          • Faculty can propose an independent program through WOU international education.

          • The process for approval and implementation typically takes 12-18 months.

          • Jerry Braza, Karen Haberman, and others have led such programs.

    3. Academic Infrastructure (presentation by Bill Kernan and the University Computing Center Staff)

      1. 365 service requests received in January.

      2. Wireless (Telcom)

        1. UCS doesn’t collect money on wireless, but does manage the service.

        2. Currently about 180 wireless access nodes have been received (about 120 are still in boxes).

        3. ITC, APS, Hamersly, Werner, and HSS have service—the goal is to complete campus coverage.

      3. Question from Mary Bucy concerning the decision to make available Star Office applications available on WOU computers:

        1. Bill Kernan: At AIC meeting the decision to make available open source applications led to the introduction of Star Office. Initially there was some confusion because the icons for Microsoft applications did not appear on computer screens. Now both Microsoft and Star Office icons appear. The advantage of Star Office is that it has open document format that is good for 15 years, as opposed to Microsoft applications that have only an uncertain duration depending on new versions.

      4. Bill Kernan explained in response to questions from Jessica Henderson, Terry Gingrich, Emily Plec, Mary Bucy, and Camila Gabaldón :

        1. Star Office has been introduced because it is free; Microsoft costs $20,000 for each upgrade. A discussion has begun of whether we need both, and whether the upgrade will be worth it.

        2. Part of the purpose of introducing Star Office is to “decolonize” Microsoft’s corner.

        3. Microsoft is the default for saving documents in order to make them more accessible off campus.

        4. Faculty computer replacement was put on a four-year cycle last year, but that schedule depends on the budget (which was the worst ever this year). Future replacements will thus depend on future budgets.

        5. John Minahan added that next fall’s budget would have a new line for students and faculty computers.

  5. Meeting adjourned