Faculty Senate Minutes

July 12, 2005


I.              Meeting called to order at 3:40 PM

II.            Call of roll:  Senate members present included Kit Andrews, David Foster, Maria Fung, Camila Gabaldón, Mary Hardon, Gudrun Hoobler (for Uma Shrestha), Chloe Myers, Emily Plec, John Rector (president)

III.          Quorum not present, so motion to approve minutes from the July 12 meeting were postponed to the October meeting.

IV.          Reports of Presidents

A.            President of the Faculty Senate, John Rector

1.             During summer it is hard for WOU faculty to come to campus with so many doing research.  This may explain the lack of a quorum.

2.             Fortunately President Conn is here for his report

B.            President of Western Oregon University, Philip Conn

1.             Fall student applications

a)             Applications are up 8%--in total 2420 applications to date.

b)             We have admitted 1705 applicants who are still considering attending WOU.

c)             Many nuances in numbers: Out of state applications are way up (from 301 last year to 485 this year); Oregon applications about the same (1909 last year, 1905 this year).

d)             More out of state students diversifies the campus and adds additional tuition funds,

e)             But out of state student applicants tend to fade when it comes to actually attending.

2.             Interim president

a)             No news yet about the interim president appointment.  The Chancellor hopes to wait until the end of the legislative session. 

b)             President Conn will be here during the month of August.

3.             Question:  Has Southern Oregon University agreed on a contract?

a)             Not to the president’s knowledge

C.            President of Staff Senate, Theresa Bybee

1.             Staff senate has revised bylaws and examined building issues.

2.             Currently they are working on a departmental reference guide (in binder format).

3.             Next meeting they plan to continue working on guide, and will probably have it ready by fall.

V.            Consideration of New Business (change in order of business due to lack of quorum)

A.            Proposal for Finance Information Committee and Finance Presentation: (Presented by Mark Weiss)

1.             Budget Problems:

a)             2005 fiscal budget: WOU had $34 million in revenues (projected), $40,2 million in expenses (projected).  Reserve funds use necessary for making up the difference.

b)             2006 fiscal budget: revenues are projected at $34.8 million and expenses at $38 million.  We anticipate that if a tuition cap occurs WOU will be funded for the difference between 3% and 7.5%.  These expenses assume a salary increase of 2% and a medical benefits increase of 9%.  The difference between revenues and expenses will again be made up by reserve funds.

c)             2006 budgetary risks: salary increases, enrollment decreases, tuition rates, state funding levels to cover tuition caps, DPSST departure for 2006-2007 (the last mostly impacts housing/dining/auxiliary budget.

d)             The challenge: unrestricted (undesignated) fund balance.  Projected losses: 2005-$5.3 million, 2006-$3.2 million, 2007-$3.2 million; Projected fund balances: (from 2004 $9.4 million) 2005 4.1 million, 2006 $0.9 million to deficit in 2007 of $2.3 million.

e)             Contributing to revenue imbalance: lack of enrollment growth and lack of tuition increases

2.             4 keys for addressing the problems:

a)             Accurate assessment of “GAP” between revenues and expenses

b)             Recognition that change is constant

c)             New ideas from stakeholders (“lots of ideas from lots of people”)

d)             Encouragement of a sense of urgency. Continuous improvement at WOU needed in order to avoid consolidation with another OUS campus or closure.

3.             Proposal: Establish a Finance Information Committee as part of a “Change Management Process” with the committee comprised of:

a)             The Provost (presiding)

b)             3 faculty members (2 faculty senators—one from each college—and the 3rd from WOUFT)

c)             2 staff members (suggested to be 1 staff senator and 1 administrative support council member)

d)             2 students (suggested to be from student government)

e)             1 alumnus

f)              The Vice President of Finance and Administration

4.             Ground rules for the change management process: :

a)             No “sacred cows”,

b)             Funding must be provided if investment required

c)             Brainstorming with all ideas welcome

d)             Honesty and open communication among all stakeholders

e)             Accountability for teams to generate new ideas for non-implemented ideas

5.             Questions

a)             David Foster: How were we able to achieve a $29 million fund balance when we had no increased tuition or appropriations, though we project a deficit when we will have both?

Þ            Mark Weiss:  The balance has survived 3-5 years.  The one-time impact of not having a tuition increase will impact every year going forward.

Þ            President Conn: Raising tuition has not been possible with legislative caps in terms of the percentage of increases only.  Now it is difficult “to join the pack.”  If we were doing this year even what we asked for last year, we would be in good shape.

VI.          Consideration of  Old business

A.            Institutional Aspirations for Learning

1.             Voting on acceptance postponed to October meeting due to lack of quorom

2.             Questions:

a)             David Foster:  How would accepting this document impact us?

Þ            Provost Spectar:  Divisions have ratified or made suggestions.  The input from the different divisions has been reconciled, and now with this broad consensus on that level the document has been brought to allow Faculty Senate a chance to revise, modify, or reject it.

b)             David Foster: Does the document supercede strategic planning?

Þ            Provost Spectar:  Strategic planning has many aspects and many contributors from different positions on the campus.  This document is more specific than strategic planning—limited to the faculty “shared dreams” for the university.  For instance, on a practical level,  this can be a way to assess if we are pursuing excellence, a way to consider our different programs.  Specifically, this can help make a case for developing new programs such as the new German BA and justifying them to the OUS board.

c)             Emily Plec: Will this become a mandate, an imposition on internal agents rather than a way of justifying our work to external agents?

Þ            Provost Spectar:  This is a collective document, like a constitution, not an imposition.

Þ            Gudrun Hoobler:  The document could serve as a way of putting pressure on administration for our shared institutional values.

d)             Chloe Meyer:  The language could be made more accessible for a wider audience.

Þ            Provost Spectar:  Yes, as soon as ratified, it could be distributed to students and others in a more accessible form (John Rector suggested a bullet form outline).

B.            Proposed Roy E. Lieuallen Building (Presented by Gary Huxford)

1.             Staff Senate has given its support for the proposal.  The support from the Faculty Senate is still to come.

2.             The Lieuallen family still needs to be contacted.

3.             October will not be too late for the Senate’s support, but given the January Founder’s day celebration, a later recommendation may not be as helpful

4.             Questions:

a)             David Foster:  What will be the process for the proposal?

Þ            Gary Huxford:  The campus makes its recommendation, then the President can act on it

President Conn:  For the President to act, he needs the support of the governing bodies.  Student Senate still needs to make a recommendation.  It would be good to have it done in time to include the naming as part of WOU’s sesquecentenial celebration.  In this way the ceremony could receive more media attention.

VII.       Consideration of New Business (continued)

A.            Faculty Senate Retreat

1.             Purpose of retreat to have the possibility at the beginning of the year for the  Faculty Senate to discuss “what we would like to do,” in an effort to be more purposeful as a body. Tentative date set for the retreat--September 16.

VIII.     IFS Report (Dean Turner)

A.            IFS President Position

1.             IFS has no objection to Dr. Turner serving as both IFS president and Dean of WOU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

B.            IFS and OUS

1.             IFS developing a clear charge letting OUS board know what faculty define as academic quality

2.             OUS has continued interest in the system universities’ harassment policies.  A summary of the OUS findings at www.ous.edu under meetings.

3.             A Joints Board Committee (including state board of education and OUS board members) is developing the governor’s vision of “packaging education” in a pre-K to 20 model of “seamless education”.  The vision will be constructed by January 2006, including four parts:

a)             Vision

b)             Structure

c)             Funding (a seamless and transparent budget)

d)             Data system (a seamless and transparent data system that tracks students)

4.             The IFS will be monitoring the development of the pre-K to 20 model and is interested in having faculty involved.            

IX.          Meeting adjourned