Faculty Senate Minutes

October 12, 2005


I.              Meeting called to order at 3:40 PM

II.            Call of roll:  Senate members present: Kit Andrews, Sarah Boomer, Robert Broeg (for Charles Anderson), Mary Bucy, Keller Coker, David Foster, Kristina Frankenberger, Maria Fung, Camilla Gabaldón, Scott Grim, Mary Hardin, Jessica Henderson, Gudrun Hoobler (for Uma Shrestha), Klay Kruzchek, Chloe Myers, Mark Perlman, Peggy Pederson, Emily Plec, John Rector (president), William Schoenfeld (for Maria Fung), Doug Smith, Julia Smith, Mark Van Steeter, John Minahan, Jem Spectar

III.          Reports of Presidents

A.            President of Western Oregon University, John Minahan

1.             Budget Deficit:  Where we are and plans to get out

2.             Daily count of all enrolled revenue (including continuing ed.) shows:

a)             enrolled revenue 1.6% greater than last year
(total enrolled: 2004-4497; 2005-4571)

b)             Other schools are down 2%-6%

c)             WOU currently still 300-400 students lower than 2003-2004

d)             Important to do our own math--these are state’s statistics and not always favorable

3.             Other factors concerning where we are:

a)             WOU alone of the 7 OUS universities has tuition frozen this year

b)             WOU lost $3 million in the biennium

c)             By 2007 WOU projected $1.3 million over budget

d)             A recruitment person has been hired

4.             Scenarios for where we will be next fall:

a)             Option 1--a “private school” with tuition funds covering “full cost”--    This will not happen.

b)             Option 2--all students at in-state rates--                                             This would barely balance budget in 2 years.

c)             Option 3—out-of-state students and international students at WUE rates [150% of in-state tuition]--                                                       This is realistic, and what we do now to some extent.

d)             Option 4--Option 3 with over summer budget “holds” and freezes     

e)             Admissions thinks projected enrollment numbers are reasonable; Numbers are not “too far off” past numbers.

f)              Probably something between Option 2 and 4 will happen.                                 

5.             Further comments concerning these projections:

a)             These figures include what the administration projects they will settle on as a “fair” contract.

b)             The faculty contract will not be used to balance this budget.

c)             All of these assumptions are based on the tuition rates for this year--  These tuition rates may not be accurate, and there is hope that we will be able to do something about it.

6.             Request for Faculty Senate: Continue work on cutting textbook costs

a)             Zenon Zygmont lead a committee on this issue.

b)             Reducing what students pay for textbooks would help students as tuition increases; this may be particularly important for retaining1st generation students.

c)             It is time to go from the principles of cost cutting to actual cost cutting.

7.             Questions:

a)             Mark Van Steeter: Can we get a handout broken down by class and major?

Ž            President Minahan:  Yes, email me for this information.

b)             Julia Smith: Has there been any thought to the numbers of graduate students?

Ž            President Minahan:  The state has capped the amount it will pay for graduate students.  We were under the cap, but have filled to that level.  We would get no more revenue per student at this point. 

c)             What about out-of-state students?

Ž            President Minahan:  We could replace in-state with out-of-state students, but we’d have to make that choice.

d)             Emily Plec: Are these numbers different than those that Mark Weiss previously showed us at the July Senate meeting?

Ž            President Minahan:  No, this is the one he has seen since he came to the campus.

e)             Mark Van Steeter: Is this related to the issue of cutting some low enrollment courses?

Ž            President Minahan:  The deans and chairs have been asked to look over such courses as part of this general strategy.

f)              David Foster: Are these cuts across the board?  What if the courses proposed for cutting are not low enrollment?

Ž            President Minahan:  To my knowledge, the cuts are not across the board.  You should make the argument to your Dean if you feel the cuts in your department are not justified by low enrollment.  There may be ragged edges in this process.  There may be places not to cut.  We should not make cuts that harm the curriculum.

g)             Mark Van Steeter: The low enrollment courses in our department are by arrangement courses that we take as an overload.  Cutting them will not affect revenue.

Ž            President Minahan: This doesn’t cover those courses.  This hasn’t happened on this campus since 1988, so we are not well practiced in the process.  It needs to be decided on a case by case basis.

h)             Scott Grim: In Creative Arts cutting 2 credits over 2 years would be about 1 class for each department.

i)              President Minahan:  If you see that the process is not working, you have to make the case.  This is a messy business.

IV.          Consideration of Old Business

A.            Institutional Aspirations for Learning

1.             Background on how faculty were included in process (presented by Shaun Huston)

a)             First the Provost’s task force developed the document responding to the question, What do we want graduates to know?  The response was developed holistically, articulating what all faculty contribute something to.

b)             Second, Provost Spectar sent the document to the divisions for commentary.

c)             Third, the task force worked to incorporate suggestions, wordsmithing the document.

2.             Questions:

a)             Kristina Frankenburger: What will this document be used for?

Ž            Provost Spectar:  It will guide us for our graduates.

b)             Kristina Frankenburger: How is this related to the strategic plan?

Ž            Provost Spectar:  This is a subset of what the strategic plan covers, one small part.

c)             Emily Plec:  Should this be appended to the strategic plan?

Ž            Kristina Frankenburger:  Yes.

Ž            Provost Spectar:  That is acceptable.

3.             Motion to endorse the document seconded and passed.

B.            MS in Education, Comprehensive requirement change for English exam

1.             Proposal would replace current examination for English portion of requirement with a written project developed by student with English faculty

2.             Motion to accept the proposal seconded and passed.

C.            Sesquicentennial Celebration day to showcase undergraduate student research--Proposal to have Faculty Senate President send all faculty a letter encouraging them to send students from their courses to the presentations  (presented by Bryan Dutton and Rob Winningham)

1.             Effort to bring together the different presentations of undergraduate research on one day (May 31), but need cooperation of faculty to have a sufficient audience to make this day a success

2.             This day will allow students and faculty to share in the enthusiasm of student research that often remains largely unnoticed “down in the trenches.”  Many liberal arts colleges already have a day like this.

3.             There will be flexibility for different types of “research” presentations in different disciplines.

4.             Currently need volunteers to chair sessions

5.             Other schools cancel classes, then require students to attend 2 sessions (1 in their discipline, 1 out of it).  We are leaving it up to individual faculty to decide here.

6.             Questions:

a)             Concerning flexibility of presentations (poster sessions, graduate students):

Ž            Rob Winningham:  Types of presentations are flexible, and presentation chairs can make such determinations.

b)             Concerning accountability of students attending:

Ž            Rob Winningham:  AWednesday chosen for this reason

Ž            John Rector:  Committee still working on accountability

7.             Wording of letter discussed; unable to achieve consensus on wording, Endorsement of letter tabled to next meeting pending revision by John Rector to be circulated by email prior to the meeting.

D.            Endorsement of naming a WOU building after Roy E. Lieuallen

1.             John Rector clarifies that the Faculty Senate does not officially have power as part of a process to name a building, but the Senate has been asked to consider recommending this naming to the president.

2.             Motion to endorse the proposal seconded and passed.

E.             Institutional Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Harrassment (presented by Committee Chair, Vice President Mark Weiss)

1.             Reminder that an action item for the Faculty Senate will be a reconsideration of the policy on Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships as it is adjusted in relation to the new OUS policy

2.             No workshops are currently scheduled.

3.             Questions:

a)             Have any other OUS campuses adjusted their policies yet?

Ž            Vice President Weiss: Not to my knowledge.

V.            Consideration of  New Business

A.            Agreements with Foreign Universities (presented by Neng Yang)

1.             Need to develop new agreements with foreign universities because of dramatic fall in international student enrollment from 2000-2005

2.             Have currently new proposals with 20 foreign universities

a)             These will not involve any curriculum change.

b)             Students will come to WOU with 2 years of credit.

c)             Anticipating by fall 2006 large numbers of new international students due to new agreements

Ž            This will help overall enrollment (and thus also help the current financial situation)

3.             John Rector adds that international students under this agreement will return to their home universities after 2 years at WOU to complete their undergraduate degree with a practicum there.

Ž            This will facilitate obtaining visas for these students, increasing the possibility for students to study here.

Ž            The new form of agreement also aids retention of international student enrollment.  Unlike the current agreements, this one would not allow students to transfer to other colleges.

B.            Public Relations and Procedures Policy (presented by Cheryl Gaston)

1.             Proposal of a policy that is standard practice for public institutions

2.             Primary purpose is for handling a crisis: to communicate clearly, quickly, and consistently (not censoring or controlling, but working towards consistency)

3.             Comments invited by faculty after they have reviewed the document

C.            Sesquicentennial Celebration (presented by Leta Edwards)

1.             2006 is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the college.  The committee is developing plans for how to celebrate.

2.             Calendar of activities shows academic work at the center.

3.             Committee welcomes suggestions for activities (which will start in January).

D.            IFS Report

1.             Dean Turner:  IFS is

a)             Looking at textbook costs

b)             Working on background check policy statement that WOU should look at

c)             Planning working sessions before meetings for retreat December 1 & 2, to consider policy statements projected to 2025.

2.             Solveig Holmquist:  Dr. Turner has represented us well throughout his terms on IFS, particularly as IFS President, and should be congratulated.               

VI.          Meeting adjourned