Faculty Senate Minutes

January 10, 2006


I.              Meeting called to order at 3:40 PM

II.            Call of roll:  Senate members present: Joel Alexander, Kit Andrews, Robert Broeg (for Charles Anderson), Mary Bucy, Keller Coker, Kristina Frankenberger, Camila Gabaldón, Irja Galvan (for Sarah Boomer), Terry Gingrich, Mary Harden, Jessica Henderson, Klay Kruzchek, Peggy Pederson, Emily Plec, John Rector (president), Doug Smith, Justin Tomlin (for Gerry Blakney), Jem Spectar, John Minahan

III.          Reports of Presidents

A.            President of Faculty Senate, John Rector                            

1.             Introduction of new LAS Dean Stephen Scheck

2.             Items from Executive Committee meeting last week:

a)             The Executive Committee is interested in collecting information on tenure-track positions that are open and not filled--in particular, where tenure-track lines have been closed and a greater reliance on adjunct faculty has been created.

b)             The issue of academic honesty and the processes for dealing with it were raised.  If faculty have comments or suggestions about this, they should contact John Rector.

B.            President of WOU, John Minahan

1.             Budget Status--Revenue

a)             Admitted students currently up 23.13%—a fairly good position.

b)             International students number admitted extremely strong--for fall 50-70 students.

c)             Tuition will not be raised before next session of legislature.

d)             Still some concern about transfer students, but out-of-state and international student numbers are strong.

2.             Budget Status—Savings (presented by Vice President Weiss)

a)             Data through December 31, 2005, not yet available; report based on data through November 30.

b)             Goal of 10% fund balance at end of biennium.

c)             With 14.1% fund balance at beginning of biennium and use of 5.2% (projected in 06 budget) plan to have 9% fund balance (06 goal).

d)             So far some specific budget goals have been achieved.

e)             For 2nd year of biennium anticipate increased revenue through enrollment and retention

f)              Question from Joel Alexander:  How was retention?

Ţ            President Minahan: We don’t know yet, but probably not acceptable.  One thing is clear, though, now not admitting everyone (not true last year), and retention should improve.  Other institutions in the system are also spending their fund balance; by next fall it should be good.

g)             Question from Klay Kruzchek: Even though percentage of enrollees is higher, is quality also higher?

Ţ            President Minahan: Currently not recruiting randomly and quality of enrollees should also be improving

h)             Question from Joel Alexander:  Any movement in having tuition freeze changed?

Ţ            President Minahan:  Yes, assurances from the legislature that it will change at the beginning of the next session, but haven’t factored those into projections because those assurances are not guaranteed.  Other areas in the state also have not been funded.  We must count on our own efforts; David McDonald is doing everything possible.

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

1.             Two new personnel have been hired:  director of committees and director of Stonewall.

2.             “Save Western Dinner” currently being planned.

3.             Student Senate working on fostering strong relationships with communities outside WOU.

a)             Camila Gabaldón requested and Justin Tomlin agreed to present how ASWOU and the Student Senate work together (in a future meeting).

IV.          Consideration of Old Business

A.            Proposals for Sexual Harassment Statement on Syllabi and Voter Registration Drive postponed until February meeting (so senators can have chance to discuss these issues at division meetings)

B.            Update on Institutional Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (presented by Committee Chair, Vice President Mark Weiss)

1.             University staff has drafted a new campus policy that will be reviewed by the committee, then circulated to the three senates.

a)             This revision a result of new requirements by OUS policy.

2.             Last round of training for faculty and staff has been completed with a good turnout.

3.             Committee has notified those nominated as advocates for the Advocacy Program (faculty and staff members who will be identified and trained to discuss informally with any member of the campus community who has concerns about potential instances of sexual harassment).

a)             John Rector added that the advocates’ role will be basically giving directions for resources.  The advocates are not there to be a counselor.

4.             Doug Smith speaking for the Social Sciences Division stated that their division has posted the OUS policy inviting all Social Science faculty to review and sign that they have done so.  Furthermore, the Social Sciences Division encourages all other faculty to do this.

a)             John Rector added that all faculty and staff should sign that they have reviewed the policy (even if they were not able to attend the training sessions).

C.            Proposal for Honorary Doctorate Degree for Dr. Woodcock

1.             Proposal moved and passed.

D.            Proposal for Freshman Academy Committee (presented by Joel Alexander)

1.             Clarifying proposal from previous meeting, the Psychology Division recommends that each division should have the opportunity to have representation on this committee, but not that each division should be required to—this is a recommendation only.

2.             Joe Sendelbaugh added that there should be only 1 representative for each division, and that he is the person to contact once a division representative has been chosen. 

a)             At the next meeting the committee will analyze data from the fall.

b)             There should not be more than three meetings for the rest of the year.

V.            Consideration of New Business

A.            Report on Freshman Academy (presented by Provost Spectar)

a)              In comparing GPA of freshmen as a whole and those in the Freshman Academy, slight increases in GPA for those in Freshman Academy overall—greater increases for those in the integrated seminars

b)             Satisfaction of students remaining in the program very good

c)             60% dropped out before the drop date; the ones who stayed in the program (214) have reported tremendous progress.

d)             At this point, tentatively achieving some of the goals.

Ţ            Student evaluations have shown this success.

e)             The goal is to have one of the best freshman experiences of any college or university.

f)              Faculty from the Social Science Division will be presenting a paper related to teaching in the Freshman Academy at the Western Social Sciences Association Meeting.

g)             Provost Spectar and Katherine Schmidt will also be presenting a paper about the Freshman Academy at the meeting of the American Association of Colleges.

h)             Question from Kristina Frankenberger:  How many students in the integrated seminars?

Ţ            Provost Spectar:  149

B.            Faculty Candidates for State Board of Higher Education (presented by John Rector)

1.             State Board needs a faculty member from 1 of the 7 campuses.

a)             WOU can submit a candidate; the election will not be not held until March.

2.             Dean Rosselli commented that potential candidates will need to know the times and dates of meetings in order to decide if they are able to attend.

a)             President Minahan stated that the Board meets once a month, 10 months a year, has 10-12 subcommittees; meeting locations rotate through the 7 campuses.  There should also be some release time for the faculty representative.  All travel expenses are paid by the state.

3.             Potential candidates to be discussed at division meetings.  A statement of duties will be circulated.

C.            Founder’s Day (presented by John Rector)

1.             Chet Orloff, director emeritus of the Oregon Historical Society, will give a lecture on WOU’s history Thursday, January 19, at 7:30 PM in Rice Auditorium.  Contact Carole Orloff for more information.

2.             The State Capitol has an exhibit from WOU celebrating the 150th anniversary.

3.             Education students in fall collected artifacts for an exhibition on the second for of Hamersly Library.

4.             Education students under the supervision of Dana Ulveland and Mary Bucy also collected an oral history and made a timeline for a permanent installation in the Education Building. (The timeline also can be seen on the WOU Public Relations Website.)

D.            Scholarships at WOU (presented by Shondra Russell-Wynings)

1.             Most data for scholarships comes from Admissions Applications.

2.             Data also comes from General Scholarship and Award Applications.

3.             The Financial Aid Office administers most scholarships.

4.             Individual departments also have their own scholarships.

a)             Information for these scholarships is on the Financial Aid website, but these are not administered by the Financial Aid Office

5.             Thursday, January 26, 2 sessions for students will be offered on scholarship applications, at noon and at 3 PM, about an hour long each.

E.            Representative for WOU Foundation Board

1.             Need a faculty senator as representative on WOU Foundation Board

a)             Board meets 4 times a year, one half day on Saturdays with breakfast included.  Next meeting is March 11, breakfast at 8:30 AM.

b)             Representative serves ex officio on the Board; duties include making a report at each meeting about the WOU faculty.

c)             If anyone is interested, he or she should contact John Rector (representative must be a faculty senator).

F.             Academic Infrastructure Committee Report (presented by Steve Taylor)

1.             Prioritized List of Action Items:

a)             Promotion of formalized faculty representation on the Student Technology Fee Committee

b)             Promotion of free or low-cost wireless access for faculty, staff, and students

c)             Promotion of centralized purchase and distribution of standardized software tool kit for faculty, staff, and students

d)             Development of a faculty advisory board for decisions regarding hardware and software content in the student computer labs

e)             Planning and advisement on smart-room installations across campus

f)              Development of a formalized faculty communication procedure related to changes in academic/technology infrastructure

g)             Promotion of increased financial resources for technology support staff and training programs

h)             Miscellaneous issues:  WebCT licensing/software alternatives, discussion of ethical issues related to web-based surveys and use of human subjects, faculty privacy/security issues on desk and lab computers, pending web server migration process

G.           IFS Report (presented by Joel Alexander)

1.             December IFS meeting included many presentations including ones by the PSU Provost, PSU Faculty Senate President, representative of the Chancellor’s Office, and others.

2.             Much discussion focused on SB 342 (Senate Bill on the alignment of K-12 with 13-20)

a)             The State Legislature continues to push for “a seamless transition”

b)             The Oregon Transfer Module has been a way to mediate this push

c)             Advice for faculty lobbying the legislature:

Ţ            Don’t be too academic.

Ţ            Be data based, but also personal.

Ţ            Email campaigns with form letters don’t work.

Ţ            Personalized letters do work.

3.             A recent report showed that in Eastern Oregon the number of students wanting to go to college was lower for the current generation of prospective students than for their parents’ generation.

4.             Lobbying for buildings and student benefits has been good.

VI.          Meeting adjourned