ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate May 4, 2009

Matthew Liao-Troth, 2008-09 Senate President, called the Senate to order at 4:05 pm. Senators accepted Standing Committee minutes as well as amended Senate minutes of April 20, 2009 with a clarification that faculty receiving special merit were not involved in the decision to delay implementation of the salary adjustment to 2010. 

·   Liao-Troth announced that the Faculty Handbook and the WWU Catalog will be available only online this coming academic year.

·   President Shepard reported: 1) a slight up tick in flu cases after the spring break may indicate that the swine flu has come and gone; 2) a draft budget to be made available shortly on the web protects core commitments to academic programs while spending down reserves.  Shepard emphasized our future challenge will be to strengthen our political base in the State. 

·   Bill Lyne, President UFWW, suggested that Western is the State’s model for a thoughtful response to the budget crisis.  Lyne announced the UFWW election results as follows:  Steve Garfinkle, President; Vicki Hamblin, Vice President; Kristi Lemm, Chief Steward.  Bill Lay, At Large.  Lyne reported that limited bargaining is postponed until June 15. 

·   Andrea Goddard, Associated Students Vice President-Academics, introduced Ramos Rinonos-Dias as ASVP-elect.  Goddard reported that 88.3% of the students voted for the tech fee increase.

·   Cyndie Shepard presented the Washington Pilot Mentoring Program she will lead at Western in Whatcom and Skagit counties. The program is similar to her award-winning program in Green Bay which prompted the HEC Board to ask for one here. The program ensures that 5th Graders at underrepresented Title One schools are paired with college student mentors through their school years in order to change their minds about going to college. College students also get to develop mentoring, leadership and teaching skills. Shepard hopes to generate business collaboration in the low cost project. Faculty interested in participating are invited to email her.

·   Constituent concerns include: 1) a lack of a comprehensive process to evaluate the start of off-campus programs; 2) a 3-hour warning is insufficient notice to Deans and college departments that SWAT exercises will take place in college buildings at night; 3) the fear that the tradition of a faculty mentor accompanying an outstanding graduate might be eliminated from commencement; 4) large diesel trucks are still traveling the walkways during times of high student traffic; 5) doors in Arntzen have locks that need adjustment because of recent break-ins, and a door to the chemistry building is improperly secured.

·    MOTION TO PARTICIPATE IN HERI.  Senators voted to participate in the 2010-2011 Higher Education Resource Institution survey of faculty satisfaction as long as the Senate encourages faculty participation, summary results are made available to the faculty, and the Faculty Senate and administration will review the final reports to make plans for improvement.

·    Senators adjourned at 5:39 pm.

APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS –Tracy Coskie, Appointments Officer

Senators elected Jeff Newcomer, Engineering Technology, as the Chair of the University Planning and Resources Council Coskie reported that an email will go out to faculty to explain the meaning of the Area designations, and that vacancies still remain on some committees.