ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate November 22, 2010

Scott Pearce, Faculty Senate President, called the 2010-2011 Faculty Senate to order at 4:05pm.  Senators accepted Senate minutes of November 8, 2010 and Standing Committee minutes.

·         Pearce reported that 1) Senators who wish to receive Senate packets via campus mail will have to request that since there will no longer be delivery By Hand.  Senators will be asked to print out their own materials for meetings;  2) Forums on the International Studies White Paper will be held January 11 and 13 in SMATE 150; 3) a broad review of the Faculty Handbook will be considered for its support of academic freedom, as well as greater transparency in budget processes.  Pearce referred Senators to a free speech case, Garcetti v. Ceballos, cited in relation to freedom in academia.

·         Pearce responded to former constituent concerns:  1) Marie Raney will discuss Blackboard (Bb) and its pricey licensing fee in the Senate in January;  2) enforcement will begin following the distribution of fliers announcing new bicycle regulations. Senators are concerned that irresponsible bikers are impacting everyone; 3) rubber bumpers will be attached to low hanging bike racks; 4) Departments can purchase their own Scantrons or distribution can remain centralized.

·         Constituent Concerns:  1) Access buttons for handicapped people do not seem to work on some buildings; 2) certain athletes seem to get priority registration for classes; 3) faculty should be alert to scams such as a student who asked to be excused from exams with a false note signed by the health center; and a student who never took the exam but claimed the professor did not return it.

·         Steven Garfinkle, UFWW President, reported a concern from Woodring College about the appointment of an assistant dean without support of the faculty in the college. Garfinkle suggested that the position of assistant dean is not clearly defined, unlike Dean and Associate Dean, and may include promoted staff. 

·         Motion on the Strategic Plan.  After hearing Jeff Newcomer, UPRC Chair, explain how feedback from the campus was incorporated into the latest draft of the Strategic Plan, Senators moved to unanimously approve the new draft which will be forwarded to the University President and the Board of Trustees.  The approved draft can be viewed centrally on the Senate website at http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/senate .

·         Professional Science Masters’ Degree – Deans Bradley Smith and Moheb Ghali discussed a preproposal approved by the HEC Bd to create a new non-thesis PSM in Environmental Science that would provide an internship opportunity with a company or government organization.  The preproposal was developed by faculty at Port Angeles where a program similar to Huxley’s is taught.  Senators are concerned 1) that the idea was not initiated by faculty in the department; 2) faculty time will be required to negotiate setting up internships; 3) Graduate Council discussed the preproposal without input from Huxley faculty; 4) such a program has to be first developed on campus to work out any irregularities before being offered off campus; 5) lack of shared information on how the program will sustain itself.  Any new degree program is inherently a curricular matter and faculty need to more reinforce the need for campus oversight.  Western cannot offer a degree that did not initiate with the departmental faculty so Senators plan to work out guidelines along with the ACC as part of a continuing need to evolve protocols.

·         Campus Consolidation – Francis Halle.  Senators reviewed proposals to consolidate leased spaces back onto campus, with the end goal of saving about $600,000 a year.  Halle emphasized this as an opportune moment to take advantage of contraction and make good use of pockets of space to be found on campus.

·          Shared Governance Guidelines.  Senators reviewed a draft of guidelines for implementing shared governance in the colleges, particularly in those colleges where faculty governance does not have an embodied form.  Such a college governing body would not affect curricular or other committees already in existence.  Smaller colleges could function as a committee of the whole if they choose.  Senators suggested there should be a statement about the relationship of the college governance body to the Dean of the college. The governance bodies would provide support to Deans and be advisory to Deans.  Deans would be encouraged to seek the advice of their faculty governance bodies, with constant and ongoing dialogue in both directions.  CHSS was cited as an example where this idea functions well.

·         Senators adjourned at 6:01 pm.