Faculty Senate Minutes

November 8, 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, Camila Gabaldón, Terry Gingrich, Scott Grim, Mary Harden, Jessica Henderson, Gudrun Hoobler, Klay Kruzchek, Peggy Pederson, John Rector (president), William Schoenfeld (for Maria Fung), Doug Smith, Julia Smith, Mark Van Steeter, John Minahan, Jem Spectar, Gerry Blakney, Teresa Bybee

III.          Reports of Presidents

A.            President of Faculty Senate, John Rector

1.             Senate Executive Committee met and discussed Academic Excellence Showcase

2.             Textbook Committee from a few years ago was headed by Zenon Zygmont

a)             President Minahan will send the report to the Senate

3.             OTM has passed Senate Curriculum Committee, with some discussion of the math

4.             Problem of previously “lost” curriculum proposals will be addressed by change in Executive Council procedures

a)             Contact John Rector if you know of any such “lost” proposals

B.            President of Western Oregon University, John Minahan

1.             At last week’s University President Council meeting

a)             In construction budget for biennium one approved project--$14 million to renovate Police Academy for Math/Computer Science/Business Building

b)             Another building tentatively on the building list—HSS for remodeling

Ž            $3 million 4 thousand from state, an additional $1 million from federal (possibly FEMA)

2.             Goals for enrollment

a)             First generation students:  increase percentage graduating from current 50%, next year to 60%, following year to 68%

b)             Community college students: increase graduating percentage from current 58% to 65% by 2006-7

c)             These are manageable strategies that would indicate health of institutions, and also speak to who we are as an institution, particularly for first generation students.

d)             Question from Kristina Frankenberger:  Is increasing the Community College student retention also increasing graduation time?

Ž            President Minahan: No, the goal is within four years.

3.             Currently working on WOU financial problems

a)             Tuition freeze at WOU but not at other Oregon universities

Ž            The Governor (then chair of Board) thought that a tuition increase would look bad with the high fund balance

Ž            Then the legislature froze tuition increases at 3%

Ž            Other universities were able to increase their tuitions prior to the freeze, so we are currently stuck

b)             Something has to happen or we will be in red in the next biennium (2007-9)

Ž            Change has to come through a reduction in expenses and an increase in tuition

Ž            Currently we are fundraising considerably, but not in large pieces

4.             Faculty Development Fund

a)             $300,000 [ammended] was put into faculty development fund was put into faculty development fund due to salary freeze a few years ago

b)             Administration policy to operate off of previous contract until new one is settled, so administration will make good on Faculty Development commitments even though this is still in negotiation; this means the money will be there as it was in the last contract (until the next is settled)

Ž            This includes commitments for future terms

5.             Questions:

a)             Gudrun Hoobler: What is the benefit to other universities of keeping WOU in this position?

Ž            President Minahan: An increase to us would impact their funding; everyone is stuck at 3%, but we need to go farther than that.  We’ve been pushing, and will succeed in the long run (18 months), but not next week.

C.            President of ASWOU, Gary Blakney

a)              Retreat is this weekend:

Ž            Fundraising is done, coming from a variety of sources

Ž            Taking 150 students

Ž            WOU the only campus that does this

b)             Stonewall Center (career center) opens December 1

Ž            Also World Aids day; many activities planned

c)             Elections are coming

d)             Student Senate President is resigning; her pro-tem will take over and create cabinet

e)             This year already received 4 student concern reports (last year 4 total)

f)              Question from Kristina Frankenberger: Who attends the leadership conference?

Ž            President Blakney: Students who want to; they have a contract to make sure they come.

D.            President of Staff Senate, Teresa Bybee

1.             Staff Senate is currently:

a)             Reviewing the Public Relations Policy

b)             Working on updates for department resource guide which will be on website

c)             Working on questionnaires for concerns about campus

d)             Looking at adding benches on campus in quieter areas

IV.          Consideration of Old Business

A.            Public Relations Policy and Procedures

1.             Camila Gabaldón reported that library concerns include the definition of what constitutes a “crisis” and whether this policy covers personal comments or only those made in a professional capacity.

2.             Gudrun Hoobler:  We would like to be informed at public meetings when press is present.

a)             President Minahan:  A point well taken.

3.             Keller Coker noted that he was contacted several times last year as Senate President and made several calls to determine who to ask, what capacity to speak in.  John Rector will probably have the same issues.  Is that in a professional capacity or personal?

a)             President Minahan: That situation is professional.

4.             Mark Van Steeter: Is a strike a “crisis”?

a)             President Minahan: No.  It is very serious, newsworthy, but in no way abridges any rights.  It is not an emergency.

5.             Following up on Keller Coker’s remarks, John Rector commented on how he received a call last year when a reporter couldn’t get a hold of Keller, and found dealing with the press a difficult experience

6.             Suggestions from Vice President Weiss for dealing with reporters: 

a)             You are under no obligation to respond

b)             Take down questions to get back to the reporter

c)             Seek advice before replying

B.            Tuition Equity Proposal (presented by Gerry Blakney)

1.             Students are asking for a decree of support for the proposal from the Faculty Senate

2.             Question from Gudrun Hoobler: Is this unfair to out-of-state students?

a)             Gerry Blakney: Since students would only be eligible if they have attended an Oregon high school for 3 years, this is more stringent than students from out of state who can establish residency in considerably less time.

3.             Question from Sarah Boomer: Natural Sciences asked where this proposal was going.

a)             Gerry Blakney: Currently through OUS as a policy statement.  This is a last-ditch effort.

4.             Motion to endorse sending proposal moved and passed unanimously.

C.            IFS Replacement

1.             John Rector reported that there were three candidates for the IFS senator position to be vacated by Robert Turner in January: Cornelia Paraskevas, Joel Alexander, and Irja Galvan.

2.             Given the number of candidates, the election was postponed to the next meeting, and candidates will be asked to submit a written statement prior to the meeting.

3.             Dean Turner noted that qualities helpful for IFS Senators include the ability to speak loudly and to exercise restraint.  The position will include release time, and calls for a two-year commitment.

4.             Question from Gudrun Hoobler:  Does the IFS senator primarily represent WOU or Oregon faculty in general?

a)             Dean Turner: The IFS senator position requires:

Ž            Keeping the IFS aware of the regional institutions

Ž            Advocating for WOU (and interacting effectively) with other faculty and administrators

Ž            Devoting much energy

Ž            Having the ability to be effective publicly

D.            Report on Reducing Textbook Costs

1.             The Report will be distributed to faculty.

V.            Consideration of  New Business

A.            Student Proposal for Sexual Harrassment Statement on Syllabi

1.             Kit Andrews reported that the Humanities Division supported putting on the syllabi a website address where the information would be available rather than including the statement itself.

2.             Julia Smith reported that the Special Education Division concurred that a reference to a website would be more acceptable to faculty than a full statement on the syllabus itself.

3.             Gerry Blakney responded that the students were hoping there could be some reference to it, though certainly not the entire policy.

4.             A discussion followed of other sources that included the statement such as Planet Wolf, Freshman orientation, and the Academic Handbook.

5.             Gerry Blakney pointed out that unlike these other sources the syllabi were something every student receives.

6.             John Rector suggested that a succinct version of that statement might help.

7.             Gerry Blakney said he would have such a version ready for the next meeting, and he would ask the Student Senate what they think about the reference to a website.

VI.          IFS Report (presented by Dean Turner)

A.            From the most recent meeting (last weekend)

1.             University of Oregon is divesting itself of the property where its married student housing is

2.             OUS to report by January 2007 on progress to legislature on items A-G in SB 342

3.             President reported on the movement to have an integrated data bank for students as they move from k-12 to 13-16.

4.             Bill 853 would supply tax credits to people who donate to a university venture development fund for the purpose of facilitating the commercialization of university research and  development.

VII.       Meeting adjourned