ABSTRACT of Faculty Senate April 4, 2011

Scott Pearce, Faculty Senate President, called the 2010-2011 Faculty Senate to order at 4:06 pm.  Senators accepted Senate minutes of February 28, 2011 adding the following: “we devalue the GURs by accepting a D- in a GUR course as a passing grade” on page 2.  The Senate accepted Standing Committee minutes.

·         Pearce reported that 1) low turnout to the General Faculty Assembly on college shared governance guidelines may indicate few problems; Pearce suggested that the UEP should include the guidelines; 2) the Senate will be the default stakeholder in policies developed in the academic affairs policy committee (Debra Jusak, Barbara Lechtanski and Francis Halle); 3) the confidential process outlined in the Elimination and Merger policy passed by the Senate is being partially implemented; President Shepard asks for time to consider it further after the current budget issues are resolved; and 4) the new East College Way may provide for a speed limit of 10 mph and bicyclists will share the road.

·         President Shepard reported that the message to Olympia has been that Western is badly underfunded – by $18M biennially when compared to the average of Eastern, Central, and Evergreen.  Shepard thinks the House heard the message and may address part of the historical underfunding: with a 13% tuition increase, the net result would be a cut of 3.3% to Western’s operating budget.  However, the Senate budget and conference budget could be more punitive.  Shepard added that there is evidence that legislators are beginning to understand how devastating deeper cuts could be to public higher education in Washington thanks to faculty and others who have been actively engaged; however, we will all need to redouble our efforts in the coming weeks as we compete with social service organizations for limited resources.

·         Provost Riordan reported that candidates may be expected on campus in April for the deans’ searches for Woodring and CST.  The search for Director for International Studies seeks a candidate able to advance curricular integration and innovation in International issues.

·         Ramon Rinonos-Diaz, ASVP-Academics, reported 1) on the need for faculty to continue to contact legislators and work with students in a collaboration which has already shown significant impact.  Please email him to obtain district cards and sample letters; 2) Student trustee applications close Tuesday April 12; and 3) faculty can submit Green Energy Fee proposals which close April 18. 

·         Steve Garfinkle, UFWW Chair reported 1) that direct political action by Western faculty is effective and we must continue to ensure that legislators hear from us; 2)  At 4:15 pm Tuesday in Fraser 3 there will be updates on collective bargaining following Provost Riordan’s budget presentation.

·         Paul Dunn, Special Assistant to the President, reviewed the newly instituted procedure for nominating a candidate for an honorary doctoral degree.  The Senate Executive will forward its recommendation from among the six current nominees to the President next week who will then forward to the Board of Trustees. 

·         MOTION The Senate moved to approve Jeff Newcomer to serve as Chair of the University Planning and Resources Council through 2013.

·         Constituent Concerns included issues that: 1) using differential tuition such as higher tuition for expensive programs is against the mission of the university and could set a dangerous precedent;  2) the return date for the Provost’s review via the survey may be extended; 3) language in Policy U3000.02, Using Electronic Methods for University Communication needs clarification and John Lawson is invited to explain the IT Security Audit; 4) not all faculty are aware of the process for developing Western’s logo; 5)  discrepancy exists between catalog language which prohibits the early scheduling of final exams and actual practice.

·         Senators discussed development of EESP according to principles that make sure what we do off campus is consistent with Western’s high standards.  Provost Riordan noted that the major hurdles are logistics and policies, but doors are wide open for entrepreneurial efforts by faculty using regular ACC processes.

·         Garfinkle raised the question of defining “overload” and will report on labor issues at the next meeting.

·         Adjournment:  6 pm


Appointments and Elections:   Chuck Lambert, Officer


One Faculty Legislative Representative 2011-2012 (travel stipend and release time provided).

One faculty for:  Search Committee for Director for International Studies