ABSTRACT of the Faculty Senate Meeting March 5, 2012



Karen Stout, Faculty Senate President, called the meeting of the 2011-2012 Faculty Senate to order at 4:05 pm.

Senators accepted the Senate minutes of February 13, 2012 and Standing Committee minutes.  From UPRC minutes Senators asked to what extent builders or designers are held accountable for costly problems such as in the Communications building.  From ATC minutes questions arose about the voting membership.

  President Stout reported that 1) The final report on the review of administrators will be provided to Provost Riordan shortly; 2) The main critique of online teaching evaluations was the loss of connection with students once the process is removed from the classroom.  Review of the possible integration of new technology such as e-tablets with our academic services on campus is planned; 3) Appreciation is expressed to Joe Myers, AS legislative representative in Olympia who has also received kudos from the EWU faculty representative for his work on our behalf.

  President Shepard reported working the weekend with people in Admissions and Financial Aid to find solutions to the current budget snafu which may still require some patience to unravel. President Stout mentioned that an email reporting the same had come from Dan Boxberger, our FLR.

  Provost Riordan reported that the searches for tenure track faculty are going well.  Riordan complemented the Arts & Crafts Fair displaying the work of talented staff and encouraged faculty to attend.

  Steve Garfinkle, UFWW President, encouraged continued involvement with legislative issues (Western Advocates is one avenue) and reported that collective bargaining is proceeding well.

  Fabiola Arvizu, ASVP Academics, reported that the AS is considering a 5% increase of the alternative transportation fee which currently costs students $25 per academic quarter.

  Report on Elimination and Merger Policy (http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/Senate ):  Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Senate Vice President, reported on the Executive subcommittee work on the policy supporting the principles of open and transparent decision making subject to early scrutiny by the faculty.  Anthony-Cahill asked 1) Are the issues adapted from policies at several other public universities appropriate to Western; 2)  Are faculty willing to commit to a culture change that would involve decision-making with faculty-developed criteria and reliance on complete and accurate data?  Such a policy would provide early faculty collaboration with administration and deans to shine a parallel light on successful programs that could profit from further enhancement as well as on those which might be undervalued or in need of improvement.  Senators commented that 1) An ideal policy could incorporate input from employers to create new state of the art programs; 2) A healthy policy would provide continuous assessment in a feedback loop; 3) Criteria proposed by one university such as Indiana State could also be merged with the model from another such as Humboldt State; 4) The strength of faculty developed criteria would provide a horizontal model of assessment rather than top-down.  Anthony-Cahill will announce future plans for the policy.

  MOTION from Senate Executive:  Code of Faculty Ethics, Section 7 and 8.  In a unanimous second vote, Senators approved Sections 7 and 8 of the Code of Faculty Ethics (Appendix 5 to the Faculty Handbook).

  Constituent Concerns:  Anthony-Cahill reported that Sandra Alfers and Babafemi Akinrinade agreed to work with him on reviewing the Faculty Handbook to harmonize with the collective bargaining agreement.

Senators adjourned at 5:39 pm without caucus. 


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

Auerbach asked faculty to encourage colleagues to complete Senate nominating petitions.  Candidates will be sought to fill the preliminary list of 2012-2014 faculty vacancies on committees once the Senate elections are complete.   Vacancies on the 2012-14 Faculty Senate:  Area A-2; Area B-2 (Candidate:  Kathleen Saunders, Anthropology) Area C-2 (Candidates: Sheila Webb, Journalism, Sandra Alfers, M&CL); Area D 2, Area E 2, Area G -1; Area H -2; Libraries 1.  In addition, one replacement for Area A, 1-year term (Candidate: Jackie Caplan-Auerbach) 1 replacement for Area C (1 year term).