Matthew Liao-Troth, 2008-09 Senate President, called the Senate to order at 4:02 pm. Senators accepted Senate minutes of November 24, 2008 with minor corrections, as well as Standing Committee minutes.
§ In Liao-Troth’s report on constituent concerns Senators learned that the bricks had been repaired in front of the Communications oval, and that SWOT language includes the importance of the liberal arts.
§ President Shepard welcomed the Senate back and introduced Steve Swan, newly appointed Vice President for External Affairs. Shepard reported that the appointment process included discussions with the Senate President and the President of the UFWW. Shepard announced that he would be taking a more active role in the Deans’ searches while the Provost search is continuing..
§ Shepard discussed the challenges in avoiding misinformation in the elimination of the football program, and emphasized that there are no other proposed eliminations. Shepard plans a mid-year report to the campus on February 12th.
§ Provost Murphy reported that special merit increases will be distributed, and a process for identifying senior lecturers is going forward in the colleges.
§ Bill Lyne, President UFWW, reported that close to 200 letters had been sent to the governor prior to the budget release and that the six baccalaureates got treated equally in a call for a 13% budget cut.
§ Lyne reassured Senators that rumors regarding loss of positions of non tenure track faculty, as well as rumored increases in teaching load are false; Lyne asked faculty to contact him or other union board members with concerns in this regard.
§ Constituent Concerns: 1) an apparent bookstore failure to order books for certain classes may be weather related; 2) a clear policy in each college on how spending cuts will take place is requested along with transparency in administrative plans for its own budget cuts; 3) a request to address high stress levels engendered by the possible need to reduce programs that use adjunct faculty, especially in Music; 4) serious safety improvements are needed on East College Way.
§ Senators heard Randy Stegmeier, Director of Public Safety report that: 1) the success of sustainable transportation has resulted in a significant loss of parking revenue from reduced permit sales; 2) renovation pending for Miller Hall will result in the loss of about 40 spaces which may be relocated to Lot 3R; 3) the Parking and Transportation Advisory Committee will be reestablished with representatives from unions and administration. Senators suggested that the committee should be given authority to look at the parking budget and to consider how to reduce costs.
§ Senators reviewed a proposed Table of Contents for the 2009-2011 Faculty Handbook and then voted to adjourn at 5:38 p.m.
APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS –Tracy Coskie, Appointments Officer
To the University Planning Council: John Bower, Fairhaven, to replace Larry Estrada through Spr Qtr.
VACANCY: Academic Technology Committee: One Senator through 2009.