Faculty Senate Minutes

April 25, 2006


  1. Meeting called to order at 3:35 PM

    1. Call of roll: Senate members present: Kit Andrews, Charles Anderson, Mary Bucy, Sarah Boomer, Keller Coker, Kristina Frankenberger, Camila Gabaldón, Scott Grim, Klay Kruzchek, Chloe Meyer, Peggy Pederson, Mark Perlman, Emily Plec, John Rector (president), Doug Smith, Julia Smith, Jem Spectar, John Minahan

  2. Minutes for previous meeting approved

  3. Reports of Presidents

    1. President of Faculty Senate, John Rector

      1. The campus of WOU is particularly beautiful this time of year. In contrast to our attractive campus, though, the town of Monmouth appears in need of urban renewal.

      2. In Memorandum from the Academic Infrastructure Committee to the Student Technology Fee Committee, the AIC suggests that:

        1. A STFC representative attend monthly AIC meetings

        2. The STFC consider appointing two AIC faculty members (one from each college) to serve as Ex-Officio faculty advisers to STFC.

        3. The STFC consider including a minimum of one student from each academic discipline on campus in order to better represent the student body as a whole.

    2. John Minahan, President of WOU

      1. Enrollment for next year

        1. 2% up in applicants, but not in Oregonians

        2. Of those admitted, in the past some have been admitted even though they were below academic standards, now we are holding to standards in order to help retention.

        3. In the past, retention has generally been about 60%

        4. If this holds, enrollment would be down about 5% for next fall

        5. Others in the OUS system experiencing similar problems, but no one knows exactly why.

        6. Currently 36% of applicants have incomplete files, which suggests greater uncertainty about attending WOU.

        7. Effort now to increase admissions by meeting prospective students

        8. Elsewhere in the state the projected decrease in admissions is leading to further budget cuts, but WOU can’t do this.

        9. In response to questions, President Minahan mentioned that there was a list of recruiting nights and WOU would try to increase tuition, but this could not happen until the next legislative session. Currently WOU’s tuition is 17% below other OUS campuses, and the effort will be not only to increase it but, eventually (in 2 or 3 leaps) to have it equivalent to other OUS campuses rather than remaining behind.

      2. Budget and Goals

        1. In cuts, constraints due to national standards for programs will be recognized.

        2. Currently 169,000 student credit hours at WOU—the university receives $90 a credit hour.

        3. We are now generating what we did in 2001.

        4. Not a balanced budget now because we are burning reserve money each year; would like to keep as much reserve as possible.

        5. If no changes in how we operate, no reserves will remain in 2007.

        6. In order to change this trend we need:

          • 250 more students enrolled than before

          • $500,000 in instructional reductions

          • $500,000 in non-instructional reductions

        7. With these changes, 7% to 8% of reserves will remain.

        8. Of OUS campuses, 6 are burning reserves; EOU and SOU are burning them faster than WOU.

        9. In recruitment of international students, we are signing agreements for Informational Technology for cohorts of 20 students.

        10. In athletics, dropping back to level 3 would have the same costs.

        11. In cuts, there will be no second-guessing of decisions in units.

        12. Question from David Foster: What are the basic expenses through 2007?

          • President Minahan: Salaries, supplies and services, energy, and travel are 90% fixed.

        13. Question from Emily Plec: Are there operational expenses that could be reduced through conservation?

          • Mark Weiss: Tier 1 money has been targeted for replacing inefficient areas. Money will be available in spring 2007, but none yet.

        14. Question from Emily Plec: What areas are included in the $500,000 reduction in non-instructional expenses?

          • President Minahan: Non-essential travel is frozen for administration; positions are being held vacant; no upper administration positions are being filled; the Directior of Graduate Studies is being left vacant.

  4. Old Business

    1. Class Reductions in the College of Education (presented by Dean Rosselli)

      1. Process of Deciding How to Reduce Courses

        1. Chairs and Dean met each term during 2005-2006 year to review COE classes scheduled, paying particular attention to those with low enrollment.

        2. Data from the previous 3 years used to analyze enrollment trends.

        3. Chairs also engaged in finding new sources of revenue and faculty encouraged to remind students to enroll, and to recruit new students.

      2. Reduction of Low Enrollment in the Following Ways:

        1. Courses dropped completely from 05-06 offerings

        2. Reduced number of times courses offered in 05-06

        3. Reduced number of sections of a class offered

        4. Moved a class to a summer offering

        5. Combined cohorts

      3. Impact:

        1. Fall 2005--$8,116 in estimated savings

        2. Winter 2006--26,298 in estimated savings

        3. Spring 2006—21,211 in estimated savings

      4. Change in credit hours for PE activity courses

        1. Previously PE faculty were paid for 2 credit PE activity courses, but students were only charged for 1 credit.

        2. Beginning Spring 2006, students pay for 2 credits, resulting in estimated new revenue of $90,000 (based on 60% enrollment)

      5. Change in Head Coaches’ Salaries

        1. Previously Head Coaches were paid partial FTE for coaching with the remainder coming from teaching at the same level as the coaching salary. Since the same courses could be taught for much less money by adjuncts or other regular faculty, this practice effectively used the academic budget to subsidize coaching salaries.

        2. As of Fall 2006, Head Coaches will be coaching 100% for an estimated savings of $82,669.

      6. Health Program changes of many courses from 3 to 4 credits resulted in a savings because of the change of course offerings.

      7. Teacher Education Program change from 3 cohorts to 2 cohorts per year resulted in $18,096 estimated savings for 05-06, and $43,337 estimated savings for 06-07.

      8. The Special Education Department has been working on a variety of recruitment efforts and changes in scheduling to encourage higher enrollment of courses.

      9. Dean Rosselli ended her presentation by stressing that this has been a collaborative process involving all, and took the occasion to publicly thank everyone involved.

    2. Class Reductions in the College of LAS (presented by Dean Scheck)

      1. Cautious but optimistic—an example to help illustrate this combination, the case of a small-town restaurant popular for many years and from many miles away.

        1. The restaurant’s success was a result of vision, common sense, hard work (and great cooking).

        2. Simply furnished, this local landmark flourished until the owner decided to upgrade, raising prices.

        3. This example shows that “honing in on a good thing” can at times be more important than “growing with the times,” and this may apply to WOU to some degree.

      2. LAS Budget Reductions History

        1. In July 2005, acting Dean Turner was instructed to reduce the LAS adjunct budget by $200,000. Other than cancellation of low enrollment courses, no reductions were made Fall term 2005.

        2. Winter term 2006, LAS budget reductions had reached $45,000 out of the $200,000 target, with an additional $50,000 credited for adjunct replacements hired to cover contracted faculty development reassignments. $105,000 remained to reduce.

        3. Spring term 2006, courses to be cut were identified in consultation with each division chair.

          • Some courses with reasonable enrollments were cancelled on the assumption that students would migrate to other LACC or major courses with seats available.

          • Other courses were combined into cross-listed offerings.

          • This effort still left LAS $50,000 over budget, but through discussions with the Provost and President, further reductions were decided to be too disruptive to students and faculty to pursue the last 25% of the mandated reduction.

          • Currently the administration is requesting all LAS divisions be extremely conservative in spending in an effort to cover the remaining amount.

        4. LAS must reduce its operating budget by $300,000 during the upcoming fiscal year—through Service and Supplies budgets and through adjunct faculty budgets.

          • In order to provide a cushion for unforeseen scheduling and operational needs, Dean Scheck has actually set the goal for reductions at $350,000.

          • Also he believes we need a reserve for increased compensation for adjunct faculty below .5 FTE (those not covered by the recently ratified contract).

          • In a related decision, LAS division chairs unanimously agreed we need to support our long-term adjunct faculty with some pay increase, even if it means reducing more class sections.

          • Currently LAS is within $120,000 of the target.

          • Dean Scheck emphasized he is not micromanaging the course reductions, and is leaving the specific decisions to division chairs and faculty in those programs.

          • He is challenging division chairs to examine upper division courses, to reduce selections, substitute courses for required courses that have lower enrollment, and to be aware of how new undergraduate and graduate programs may have a ripple effect on the budget.

          • Dean Scheck ended his presentation, stressing that he remains an optimist and he feels privileged to be at WOU.

        5. Question from David Foster: Will there be deeper cuts in fall, and is this wise given potential problems with recruitment and retention?

          • Dean Scheck: We will use SOAR to predict enrollment and make further decisions. In the Fall, students will not be in a position to say “I don’t want an 8:00 AM class.”

    3. Registrar’s Proposals: GPA policy and Pass-No Credit Grading

      1. Tabled to next meeting

    4. Update on Academic Showcase (presented by Bryan Dutton)

      1. Next stage is to continue to advertise and invitations have recently been sent out.

  5. New Business

    1. Music Department Program Proposals

      1. Due to the large number of music ensemble course listings the Music program has run out of numbers with the MUS prefix. Because of this the Music Department is proposing

        1. Renumbering all existing music ensemble courses with the new prefix MUEN

        2. Adding 3 new ensembles at the lower division level and 3 new ensembles at the upper division

        3. Deleting the current 10 MUS ensembles

        4. Approving 5 graduate level courses to augment MM course offerings.

      2. These changes will not result in any increases in FTE, faculty, or facility needs.

      3. Students are required to take a specified amount of lower and upper division ensemble courses as part of the Music major and minor.

    2. ASL Course Changes and Minor Proposals

      1. Course Changes

        1. Change first through third year ASL from 3 credits to 4 credits, and add a third term course of third year ASL.

          • These changes will align ASL with other language programs at WOU as well as ASL programs at nearby community colleges.

      2. ASL Minor Proposal

        1. Offering an ASL minor would be consistent with the minors offered for other modern languages on campus (Spanish, German, and French). Similarly, students interested in satisfying their second language requirement for the BA with ASL may also then have the option of an ASL minor.

        2. Students initially pursuing an ASL major who decide not to continue in the major program would be able to use the credits they have already earned towards a minor.

        3. Students interested in pursing Masters Degrees in ASL-related fields could complete the ASL minor while pursuing the major in their chosen field.

        4. The proposed minor will consist of 15 approved upper-division courses in ASL Studies, Interpreting, or Teacher Preparation: Deaf Education.

        5. No additional FTE would be required.

    3. Teacher Education Program Proposal (presented by Gwenda Rice)

      1. Courses are being deleted, changed in title, changed in contact hours, and one new course is being added.

      2. Changes are required to deal with accreditation, to prepare teachers for NCLB, in ways that current research shows are best practices. Essentially this comprises a major housecleaning.

      3. No FTE increase required; in fact, total FTE actually less, so there will be a savings.

  6. Meeting adjourned