ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate December 3, 2007


Jeff Newcomer, 2007-08 Senate President called the Senate to order at 4:03 pm. Senators accepted Senate minutes of November 19, 2007 and Standing Committee minutes.

§    Senators heard Newcomer announce a Faculty Forum to meet with consultants from the Presidential Search Advisory committee, as well as a report on mediated level 4 classrooms.

§    Provost Murphy expressed regrets at having to announce the resignation of Rhonda Allen, Vice Provost for Faculty Relations who had begun her service to Western in September.  Allen was unable to successfully complete a move from the East Coast.  Murphy is trying to decide how to best use the resources allocated to the provost’s office.

§    UFWW President Bill Lyne fully endorses the faculty selected for the Presidential Search Advisory committee and reported he was part of the initial selection process.

§    Senators heard a report from Jim Hearne, Chair of Academic Coordinating Commission, on the history of writing proficiency (WP) points.  Guests Carmen Werder, Donna Qualley and Roberta Kjesrud were present.  Senators endorsed a proposal to fractionalize the WP requirements in the major and suggested discussion on issues such as requirement for additional resources, the need for an instructional component, percentages of writing per credit hour and its effect on learning course content, rewriting of drafts, writing style requirements across disciplines, and the overall effect of the WP requirement on student writing ability.

§    John Purdy continues to propose to the Higher Education Coordinating Board (HEC Bd) that the Council of Faculty Representatives have a voice.  The new HEC Bd draft of its Strategic Plan is available (on the Senate website) and Purdy endorsed the Senate’s plan to create a committee on Diversity as recommended in the Plan.

§    Senators discussed the allocation of faculty lines in the biennial budget and heard Provost Murphy discuss the challenges of providing a rich menu of options for students, student/faculty ratios, and Admissions concerns when large freshman classes are expected to compensate for a decline in transfer students.

Senators adjourned at 5:50 p.m.



Faculty are requested to volunteer for the following:

Work Group to review catalog program with Student Affairs – 3 faculty

Work Group to review graduation priorities with Student Affairs – 3 faculty

Contact Mick Cunningham or the Faculty Senate Office if you or a colleague is available to serve