ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate February 22, 2010

Daniel Larner, Faculty Senate President, called the 2009-2010 Senate to order at 4:04 pm.  Senators accepted Senate minutes of February 8, 2010 and Standing Committee minutes.  President Shepard is in Washington D.C.

·         President Larner reported the following: 1) John Lawson will be coming to the Senate to explain the recent computer upgrades; 2) Larner is awaiting a response to Senators’ questions about a lapse in adherence to block scheduling rules; 3) Senators will vote whether to approve the Honorary Degree policy at the next meeting.

·         Provost Riordan gave background on the Honorary Degree policy which confers an honorary doctorate on recipients such as major contributors, accomplished graduates or respected scholars.  The conferring of the degree will bring honor to the University as well as to the recipient.

·         Riordan read into the record the names of newly promoted faculty who were then acclaimed by the Senate.

·         Riordan presented Power Point synthesis of the white paper on graduate programs that included a timeline that plans a declaration on the role of graduate education this quarter and in the Spring plans to analyze the decline in graduate students, identify means of recruiting, allocate 5 or 6 new graduate assistantships according to recommendations from the Graduate Council, and initiate a faculty review of the professional science master’s degree.  Through Fall 2011 it is expected proposals for other graduate programs will emerge.

·         Riordan saluted the graduate dean, budget officers, deans, faculty and others who contributed to the graduate programs analyses.  She acknowledged the centrality of graduate students as mentors who enhance the core mission and contribute to the intellectual climate of the University.  Riordan expects to realistically manage limited growth of graduate programs driven by Western’s existing niches and evidence of service to the region. Additional expenses will go through the normal budget processes.  Riordan recommends that advisory boards of departments and colleges pay close attention to their own graduate programs.

·         William Lyne, UFWS President, reported to the Senate in place of Steven Garfinkle:  a lot of work still needs to be done to organize alumni, students, and friends to make higher education more of a voting issue.  Lyne added that the third version of the governor’s budget has been released and the Senate and House budgets are expected Tuesday.  State need grant has been restored but cuts to the operating budgets of the state universities remain.  A bill granting limited tuition setting authority passed and once again seems to relieve the legislature of the obligation to fund higher education.

·         Ramon Rinonos-Diaz reported 1)  AS is discussing renewable energy and the use of the student fee; 2) Student trustee applications open today and faculty are asked to send recommendation to “ASVP-Academics@wwu.edu “ and 3) AS elections filing period begins next Monday. 

·         Senators discussed with Provost Riordan a Process for Considering Proposals for Elimination of - or Major Reductions in Programs and made suggestions for defining “centrality” and other terms.  Senators suggested comparing the process to language already approved in the Faculty Handbook. Larner agreed to investigate and email findings to the Senate, Provost, and President. 

Senators moved to a faculty caucus at 5:45 and voted to adjourn at 6:06 pm.


APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS – Chuck Lambert, Appointments Officer

Senators voted to approve the following faculty appointed as members of the Graduate Strategic Advisory Committee from their college governance bodies:

College of Business and Economics: Pamela Hall, Finance Marketing

College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Janet Finlay, Psychology

College of Sciences and Technology:  David Hooper, Biology

College of Fine and Performing Arts:  Bertil Van Boer, Music

Woodring College: Susan Mancuso,  Educational Lead

Huxley College of the Environment: Wayne Landis

Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies: Niall O Murchu;

The Libraries: Gabe Gossett