Faculty Senate Minutes

October 25, 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, Camilla Gabaldón, Terry Gingrich, Scott Grim, Mary Harden, Jessica Henderson, 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 Faculty Senate, John Rector

1.             Senate Executive Committee met and discussed

a)             Retreat ideas, including improvement of student life; one idea for this, to invite the mayors of Monmouth and Independence to a Senate meeting

b)             Review of Academic Honesty issues

c)             The new Interim Dean for Enrollment and Retention, David McDonald will come to the next Faculty Senate Meeting

B.            President of Western Oregon University, John Minahan

1.             New enrollment statistics: 

a)             Up 2% in head count

b)             A little ahead in “all parts of term” projections

c)             Income may be up as much as $200,000

d)             This looks good, especially compared to sister institutions, some of whom were down.

2.             An administrative position freeze at WOU has been announced (except for retention, admission, recruitment).

3.             Stretch goals have been set for soft monies by administration.

4.             WOU Foundation Board looked at portfolio and has released approximately an additional $100,000 for scholarships.

a)             Many funds had lost value since the original gift date, but law allows taking from those that haven’t.  Also, having donors sign waivers to OK use of monies in funds that lost due to stock market.

5.             Visitors have come to campus to look at tuition impacts with Mark Weiss; not much progress yet, but we are hopeful.

6.             A committee has been formed to consider a recreation center for WOU, using outside funding.

7.             Division 2 Athletic Situation:

a)             At Division 2 meeting clear that other many other schools have soft money supporting athletic programs; WOU is the lowest in this regard  (especially for women’s sports).

b)             A committee has been formed to look at how to be competitive in Division 2.

c)             For now WOU will stay in Division 2; there is no one to compete against in Division 3, and costs would be the same in Division 3                                                        

d)             Considering ways to improve scholarships: other schools offer 30-40 scholarships for men and women (each); WOU offers 7 and 9 scholarships respectively.

e)             Question from Mark Van Steeter: Are these other schools similarly sized?

Þ            President Minahan:  Yes,  many are smaller.

8.             Textbook costs:  John Rector will be given a list of the textbooks that the WOU bookstore has ordered and their costs in hopes that we can work on lowering textbook costs for students come to campus to look at tuition.  

C.            President of ASWOU, Gary Blakney

1.             New Student Week was a success. 

a)             ASWOU had a sleepover in their office; 30 students signed up within an hour.

b)             600 students attended free barbeque.

c)             Voter registration drive resulted in 150 students registered in less than a week.

d)             Triangle Alliance had a coming out door with cell phones to call.

e)             Equal Rights material now available in downstairs of Werner Center. 

2.             Homecoming a success.

3.             National Affirmative Action—WOU collected 400 surveys.

4.             Issue of students serving on Faculty Senate Committees—ASWOU hired a director of committees to follow up on students appointed, to be sure student representatives attend committee meetings.

5.             ASWOU supports President Minahan in his efforts to cut textbook costs

6.             Last year students passed resolutions

a)             To have the sexual harassment policy on course syllabi,

b)             To have course evaluations done every term.

7.             November 13-15 ASWOU will have a leadership retreat for between 130 and 150 students.

8.             ASWOU is working on the reauthorization of the Federal Financial Aid.

9.             ASWOU is asking the Faculty Senate to support Tuition Equity (clarification and further discussion of this issue later in the meeting).

10.          Questions:

a)             Dean Rosselli: Why was there a concern about evaluations?

Þ            Gary Blakney:  ASWOU had been misinformed that no course evaluations were going to be done last year, so a resolution was made to have them done every year.

IV.          Consideration of Old Business

A.            Election of 2 at-large members for Faculty Senate Executive Committee

1.             Robert Hautala and Mary Bucy nominated and unanimously elected.

B.            Update from Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (presented by Vice President Mark Weiss)

1.             The committee will be reviewing the new OUS policy in order to bring forward a recommended WOU policy change to have the two in line; this should come to the Faculty Senate in the next month or so.

2.             John Rector added that part of the process being developed is to have advocates for students.

3.             Questions:

a)             Mark Van Steeter: Could we have faculty sign the policy as a way of demonstrating that we take the issue seriously?

Þ            Vice President Weiss:  Yes, it is good to document this.  The suggestion will be discussed at the next committee meeting.

C.            Discussion  of Faculty Senate Letter on Academic Excellence Day (postponed to later in the meeting)

D.            Statement of Public Relations Policy and Procedures Discussion

1.             David Foster suggested that what constitutes a crisis needs to be clarified.  For instance whether this includes a world crisis or is limited to a local crisis needs to be precisely stated.

2.             John Rector asked that Faculty Senators have this issue put on division meeting agendas.

3.             Mark Van Steeter commented that in his reading the document does not constitute a “literal ban” on communicating about an issue, but counsels to “be smart” and talk to the Public Relations Director in such cases.

Þ            Cheryl Gaston:  Yes, just let us know if you are talking to the media.  If there is an official position (in a health crisis or other hazardous situation), someone appointed for that purpose should communicate with the media.  The effort here is to manage well, to facilitate the process.

V.            Consideration of  New Business

A.            Cutting Book Costs—Discussion of how to effectively achieve this goal

1.             Mark Van Steeter: Students now often buy texts more cheaply on line, but if they only find out the texts on the first day of classes, they don’t have them in time for the first weeks of courses.  The earlier book lists can be communicated the better.

2.             Emily Plec: The Speech department posts book orders for its courses on the department web page, but without the prices of the texts posted students lack necessary information for making purchase decisions.

3.             Chris Rupp: The WOU bookstore now has a website with all the needed information, and now the bookstore allows students to buy books 2 weeks before the beginning of the term, so they can also browse and shop comparatively.

4.             Klay Kruzchek: Some campuses rent the textbooks for courses, similar to the process in an elementary school.

5.             Sarah Boomer:  One WOU professor tried renting texts with a $10 charge per book, but students accused him of attempting to make a profit.  Any such attempt would need to have clear legal guidelines.

6.             Camilla Gabaldón:  In one case a division has made available to students a class set of texts on reserve.

7.             Sarah Boomer:  One problem for this solution is start-up costs.

8.             Mark Van Steeter: Faculty could donate free examination and teaching copies to help students in some way.

9.             Doug Smith: Students often complain they don’t use enough of a textbook to justify buying it.  Some companies allow excerpting from texts—this provides another option.

10.          Chris Rupp: Custom books have the drawback that they can’t be sold back.  For normal texts, students can get half the price back.

11.          Gary Blakney: Student Exchange would take the excerpted editions for resale.  The book exchange has worked well for 100 level courses, but not as well in upper division courses.  The process takes longer than the bookstore buyback.  Rather than receiving the money immediately, the student must wait 2 weeks, but they receive more money back.

12.          Emily Plec: The Speech department has put some readings from textbooks on reserve rather than requiring students to buy them.

13.          Camilla Gabaldón:  There are copyright limitations on repeat use.

14.          Sarah Boomer:  Some texts are available through publishers outside the US at considerable savings ($90 rather than $150 in one case).

15.          Chris Rupp:  The WOU bookstore has no access to such publishers, and these textbooks cannot be sold back.

B.            Discussion  of Faculty Senate Letter on Academic Excellence Day

1.             Julia Smith: For purpose of daylong presentations graduate students would feel welcome if letter specifically includes graduate presentations. 

2.             This suggestion accepted.

3.             Scott Grim:  Was a driving purpose of the committee to emphasize undergraduate research?  If we change the this, will that emphasis be lost?

4.             Camilla Gabaldón: The committee itself is committed to undergraduate research, but this particular presentation day, in the way it has developed is not limited it.

5.             Motion to endorse sending letter moved and passed.

C.            Tuition Equity (presented by Gary Blakney)

1.             ASWOU is asking the Faculty Senate to support a recommendation for tuition equity in Oregon, making possible in-state tuition for “undocumented Oregonians” under the following conditions:

a)             The student would have to have graduated from an Oregon High School.

b)             The student has spent at least 3 years at an Oregon High School.

c)             The student has been accepted to an Oregon public university.

d)             The student must be working towards residency.

2.             ASWOU is open to wording changes.

3.             Currently students this would cover have been “priced out of tuition.”

4.             Keller Coker added that the target audience for the recommendation would be the OUS board.

5.             Questions:

a)             Mark Perlman: How many students at WOU would be affected by this change?

Þ            Gary Blakney:  60-100 estimated

b)             Mark Perlman: This wouldn’t “break the bank.”

Þ            Gary Blakney:  Not only will it not hurt, it would probably help revenue through enrollment.

c)             Mark Perlman: Isn’t “working towards residence” vague?

Þ            Gary Blakney:  The state resolution is also vague.  The process itself of attaining residence status takes a long time.

6.             John Rector:  This will be on next meeting’s agenda, so take it to the division meetings to discuss.                 

VI.          IFS Report (presented by Dean Turner)

1.             WOU will soon need a new IFS representative to replace Robert Turner.  The new senator will need to be in office for the December 1 meeting.  Send nominations to John Rector for the next senate meeting.

2.             Senate Bill 342 Section 1, part 2 needs discussion.  This is part of effort to ease transfer within the state system of higher education, and includes:

a)             OTM Module

b)             Proposal for uniform AP course credit standards across OUS, currently in early draft form; departments should discuss the examination equivalencies that will affect granting credit in their areas, then email Dean Turner with their decisions.  At this stage, each campus will have the possibility of making suggestions.

3.             John Rector added that although such legislation may facilitate students transferring within the system, it does not address the need to help them succeed once they have transferred to a new campus.

VII.       Meeting adjourned