ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate October 25, 2010

Scott Pearce, Faculty Senate President, called the 2010-2011 Faculty Senate to order at 4:03pm.  Senators accepted Senate minutes of October 11, 2010 and Standing Committee minutes.

         Pearce responded to previous Constituent Concerns:  1) New wait listing policy -- Faculty have the same control as before and can accept the order or change it if they publicize criteria. The Registrarís office will provide a staff who will provide hands on instruction to any department that asks for it; 2) Signs will soon be posted to regarding skateboard and bicycle regulations; 3) Francis Halle is seeking ways to provide sites on campus for breastfeeding mothers; 4) The bookstore reports that although departments currently purchase Scantrons through the Testing Center an alternate source for student purchase might be provided.

         Pearce announced that faculty and staff would welcome 1000 5th graders to campus Tuesday to learn to envision what it might be like for them to attend college in the future. 

         President Shepard reported that Westernís budget presentation to the HEC Board emphasized what the State will miss out on if it does not fund us, and the Boardís role in advocating on behalf of Higher Education.  Shepard added that budgeting issues are hooked to the new Strategic Plan.

         Provost Riordan reported that Western had been seen as vastly improved in areas of transparency and budget processes since the 2008 visit by the accreditor, and only assessment remains in initial improvement stages.

         Riordan reported that Western was listed in the Chronicle of Higher Education among the top 14 graduate level campuses in the country receiving Fulbright scholarships, due to talented students writing excellent applications and involved faculty writing good letters of recommendations.

         Steve Garfinkle announced that responses to the UFWW survey regarding wages, benefits, and working conditions, were critical to developing the contract issues upon which bargaining will take place.  A faculty forum will be held to solicit feedback at 4 pm: the first November 3 in AW204, and the second on November 4 in Fraser 3. 

         Senators will remind constituents to respond to the HERI Survey on climate and workplace conditions to be sent out tomorrow.  The 2008 HERI survey is available for review on the Senate website at http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/senate

         Senators learned that Associated Students will provide a ballot box for dropping off voted ballots in VU714 on Election Day from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm.

         Constituent Concerns included 1) problems with spam filtering that cause messages to be posted to junk mail despite saving the senderís email address. 

         Presentation:  Senators heard John Krieg, Economics, present results of a pilot study on using electronic Student Course Reaction Surveys.  Senators suggested that faculty should have the option of choosing either paper or electronic surveys, and recommended that survey data be delivered in a way to allow easy downloading to an Excel or CSD file.

         Draft Strategic Plan  Senators reviewed faculty comments from the General Faculty Forum on the Strategic Plan and recommended 1) that a Preamble to the Plan could state core values and be more assertive in how the liberal arts and intellectual rigor can have a real impact on the State; 2) a way to point out that the creation of knowledge is important and the education of individuals is a by-product; 3) that the Strategic Plan should state what we want to really say about ourselves, our liberal arts, excellence in scholarship and teaching. It should include a statement that supports the research done by undergraduates in collaboration with faculty which is unique to Western; 4) that the Senate also draft a resolution that interpolated faculty statements about Westernís future that is separate from the Strategic Plan.

         Senators adjourned at 5:49 pm.


APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS Ė Chuck Lambert, Appointments Officer

         Senators reviewed a FAQs on the Committee Appointment Process and will bring recommendations to the next Senate meeting.