ABSTRACT of the Faculty Senate Meeting – January 9, 2012


Karen Stout, Faculty Senate President, called the meeting of the 2011-2012 Faculty Senate to order at 4:02 pm.

Senators accepted the Senate minutes of November 21, 2011 and Standing Committee minutes.

§  President Stout announced: 1) The consensual relationship policy will be discussed at the next Senate meeting; 2) Editing is proceeding on the survey  that is part of administrative review; 3) Stout will meet this week with the Chairs of the College Governance Committees.

§  President Shepard reported that a key part of fundraising is to understand donor’s values and desire to add excellence, as well as to build personal relationships.  Shepard emphasized keeping a perspective on campaign achievement since Western has not had a major campaign in 15 years. 

§  Shepard announced the first honorary doctorate awards:  to nationally renowned marine ecologist Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator of NOAA, as well as to Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano, and a Western graduate.  The Senate Executive had an important role in the selections.

§  Provost Riordan reported 1) that the University of Phoenix is now advertising and recruiting in Washing State for degree programs in the Arts, English, Sciences and Environmental Science Education, Philosophy, and a Nursing Ph.D.  Senators discussed the competitiveness, lack of quality, and the accreditation of online universities; 2) Riordan announced opportunities for awards for pre-tenure faculty involved in the community; 3) Riordan plans to award 14 summer research and 9 teaching grants as a result of last year’s careful budgeting.

§  Fabiola Arvizu, ASVP-Academics, sent notice that the AS official 2011-12 legislative agenda has been passed and can be found on the AS website.  Faculty are invited to join students for Viking Lobby Day, Monday, January 16, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Legislative Conference and Discussion (Skype) Sherry Burkey, Associate Vice President for University Relations, Dan Boxberger, Faculty Legislative Representative, and Joe Meyer, AS Legislative Liaison, were available (via Skype) from Olympia to update Senators on the status of Higher Education this first day of the legislative session.  Western’s budget will continue to be cut approximately $5 million but no deeper because of the work to maintain a larger profile in Olympia. President Shepard encouraged continued engagement with students and alumni to put pressure on legislators. Lyne will provide faculty with information and opportunities to get engaged from home.

Sherry Burkey will speak at the higher education committee about regulatory reform proposals between the institutions in the three areas of capital, business, and excess reporting, along with the function of career services in assisting students to enter the workforce after graduation.

Dan Boxberger, Burkey and Lyne mentioned that there will be many proposals from legislators on ways to increase revenue through various tax plans, but that higher education should not be on the same  ballot in which the public votes on a tax increase. 

Lyne reported that a bill proposing that classroom materials created with public dollars should remain accessible to the public is currently being rewritten.

Lyne is also seeking individual stories from faculty and students which can be publicized on U-Tube.  Please email him at William.Lyne@wwu.edu.

Constituent Concerns:  Senators asked about future plans for Canada House as discussions surrounding the pre-design phase for the College of Fine & Performing Arts begin.


Senators adjourned at 5:37 pm, and remained in informal caucus until 6:02 pm.


Appointments and Elections:   Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, 2011-12 Officer

Elected to the Faculty Senate through Spring 2012:  Craig Moyer, Biology

Vacancy on the Faculty Senate:  1 faculty from CFPA (Area D) through Spring 2012 (replacing Cynthia Camlin who will serve on the Bargaining Team)

Other Vacancies:  1 Senator to serve on Academic Technology Committee; and 1 Senator to serve on Senate Library Committee; 2 faculty to serve on the Student Publications Council; 1 faculty member on the Service & Activities Fee.

Election Calendar:   Senators reviewed the 2012 Senate election calendar and will vote approval at the next meeting.