ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate January 24, 2011

Scott Pearce, Faculty Senate President, called the 2010-2011 Faculty Senate to order at 4:02 pm.  Senators accepted Senate minutes of January 10, 2011 and Standing Committee minutes.

·         Pearce drew attention to recent comments from President Shepard about the severity of budget cuts expected to reach between 5-7%.  State support is dropping to 30% with only $2900 per student provided from the legislature. 

·         In other matters Pearce plans:  1)  To form a subcommittee to revise the Code of Faculty Ethics to reflect high standards of behavior regarding sexual relations between faculty members and students; 2) To address the issue of constricted majors which drive students into General Studies; 3) To propose solutions such as deducting points on a test if students do not fill out Scantrons properly.

·         Provost Riordan asked for ideas on how the units can be more effective in light of expected cuts to the academic budget and the consequent reshaping of the university. Riordan is looking at issues such as why a major at Western is 30% bigger than at other schools; efficiencies in student printing and printing costs generally; how to quickly generate revenue through EESP; and plugging staff ideas into the conversation loop.  Riordan emphasized that despite budget tightening there is no talk about abandoning our core mission; Riordan appreciates the work of the UPRC and the ACC in conversations related to budget priorities.

·         Steve Garfinkle, UFWW President, reminded Senators that despite budget bad news there is a long way to April, and faculty should not believe the worst is going to happen.  Garfinkle asks that faculty get in touch with him if workload issues arise.  The UFWW plans to hold information fora with representatives from Olympia in the coming months.

·         Senate Library Committee - Presentation:  Jeanne Freeman, PEHR¸ Vice Chair of the Senate Library Committee, proposed points to be incorporated into a new charge for the Senate Library Committee which as a paradigm of shared governance will introduce the Dean of Libraries to the opinions and sentiments of students and the faculty at large.  The committee will review documents, polls, budgets, policies related to collections, services and facilities, and by way of recommendations assist the Dean in serving many entities with complex perspectives across the campus.  A formal document will be brought to the Senate for approval.

·         Center for Instructional Innovation - Presentation:  Steve VanderStaay, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, described the multiple functions of the Center for Instructional Innovation (CII), along with Justina Brown, Technology Specialist. The CII serves faculty as a resource, library, web depository, and provides instructional assistance and advice, including workshops on teaching and assessment, methodology and instructional initiatives, and provides a nationally known showcase and archive of teachers who excel at what they do.  Faculty who wish to have an anonymous midterm assessment of their teaching and students’ response can call X7210 for an appointment.

·         Constituent Concerns:  Only General Studies' advisors can approve students who choose to declare General Studies as a major.  Students can now research General Studies through Bb.

·         Faculty Handbook: Article V, Elimination and Merger.  Faculty provided feedback to the Executive Council on a draft document which will come to the Senate for a vote in the near future.  Senators expressed concern about the specifics of ranking priorities within the strategic mission.

·         Guidelines on Faculty Governance in Colleges.  The Senate will consider the guidelines in spring quarter when colleges have had a chance to test current models of governance.

·         Senators adjourned at 5:50 pm.


Appointments and Elections:   Chuck Lambert, Officer

Senators voted to approve the 2011 Election Schedule for the Senate.