ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate February 28, 2011

Scott Pearce, Faculty Senate President, called the 2010-2011 Faculty Senate to order at 4:06 pm.  Senators accepted Senate minutes of February 7, 2011 and Standing Committee minutes.

·         Pearce reminded Senators that 1) a General Faculty Assembly will be held on shared governance guidelines in the Colleges on March 3, at 4 pm in AW210; 2) nominations for the 2011-2013 Senate are due in the Senate office this Friday, March 4th; Senators planning to serve a second or third term should contact the office.

·         Pearce announced 1) that Rich Van Den Hul will involve faculty in any discussion of redoing East College Way upon Miller Hall’s completion.

·         Senators unanimously passed a Resolution to join Academic Impact, a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in actively supporting ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution.  The no cost affiliation helps to expand WWU’s visibility of its existing missions, programs, and initiatives that align with UN principles.

·         President Shepard reported 1) that the budget situation is still up in the air as legislators look for solutions, and that Western is no longer using a cautious approach in directly reporting the dire impact that additional cuts will have on the university.  Shepard welcomes communications that sharpen the message; 2) Shepard wants to ensure that the quality of Western’s main academic programs are maintained and to dispel any rumor that EESP would offer quality courses at an additional cost to students paying university tuition.

·         Provost Riordan in conversation with the Senate, ACC, and CUE will review policies impacting numbers of courses and time to degree for students with repeat courses.  The conversation will include a look at all graduate programs with the purpose of investing in some and eliminating others using criteria provided by the Graduate Strategic Advisory Group with advice from the Graduate Council.  Riordan emphasized that we have a good process review at present but when looking seriously at programs it is important to include accreditation feedback and review all at the same time with the same criteria.

·         Marsha Riddle Buly introduced Iris Maute-Gibson, AS legislative liaison who encouraged faculty to attend the Statewide Rally from 11 to 1 pm Tuesday on the PAC plaza.  Maute-Gibson praised Western’s uniqueness where faculty and students work closely together to align interests, sending a powerful message to the State.  Riddle Buly encouraged faculty to go to the following sites for tracking bills:  http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/  and the Council of Presidents site:  http://www.councilofpresidents.org/  

·         Steve Garfinkle suggested http://www.fyi-pac.org/ and http://www.wwuadvocates.org/  and that faculty should send links to friends in other parts of the State where stronger voice is needed for higher education.  Garfinkle reported that at 4 pm Tuesday in Fraser 3 the UFWW will hosting an all faculty forum about efforts in Olympia as well as perspectives on the local situation.  Immediately after the City Council Chamber at Bellingham City Hall will host a college promise coalition event at 5 pm to support all forms of higher education in the state in their various iterations.

·         Ramon Rinonos-Diaz reported 1) student trustee applications are open until April 12; and AS election packets are available to students starting Monday; 2) an AS Job Fair held Wednesday from 10 to 2 pm in the multipurpose room of the VU will explain over 200 student jobs available in AS, as well as the 14 AS scholarships available based on merit and need.

·         Senators approved the charge to an Ad Hoc Faculty Ethics Code committee and approved the membership.

·         Interested Senators will review policies and data connected with page costs for student-faculty authored research papers jointly with the Senate Executive council at its next meeting.  Senators heard Dean Moheb Ghali explain the present practice.

Presentation and Discussion: Update on Undergraduate Education – Roger Anderson, Chair, ACC, and Members of the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) .  Roger presented perspectives from peer institutions as a preliminary to understanding the context for liberal education for our students which appears to have a high proportion of minors, a good thing, but is less coherent or efficient in time to degree. Roger attested to the work of CUE which advises ACC on matters related to general education, and introduced Matt Miller, Interim Chair of CUE.  Miller explained the trifecta of CUE’s roles, including the time-consuming review of GUR proposals, and the important assessment function with recommendation for improvement, as well as GUR review.  Miller proposed that strand learning through conceptual strands seemed to provide a successful model and stated that CUE would like to meet with GUR faculty willing to pilot strands with CUE.   CUE encourages 1) further discussion about what understandings, skills and attributes departments want in their majors, not just what courses; 2) more concentrated effort to educate both faculty and students as to the 11 core competencies; 3) development of an efficient functioning committee structure that also includes writing proficiency and that charge.

Steve VanderStaay added that the FIGs work because we package a schedule for freshmen and that students want fewer choices in the GURs.

Faculty Handbook Revisions approved Senators in a second vote approved ByLaw 7.2, Faculty Legislative Representative clarifies the role of the faculty legislative and deputy legislative representative; and ByLaw 7.7 Senate Library Committee. 

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MOTION:  Senators voted to approve Faculty Handbook: Article V, Elimination and Merger, a document already published to the Faculty.  The document will go to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Adjournment at 5:46 pm.


Appointments and Elections:   Chuck Lambert, Officer

Ad Hoc Ethics Code Committee:  Steve Garfinkle, History; Karen Stout, Communication; Barbara Mathers-Schmidt, Communication Science and Disorders; Roger Anderson, Biology.