Index of Topics –  February 5, 2007

                   EXHIBIT A:  For Approval 2/12/07

Public Policy Issues supported by faculty unions in the State

 

Senate Standing Committees:  Discussion on ACC, UPC, Library Ctes

 

 

WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Regular Meeting – February 5, 2007

Call to Order

Ira Hyman, 2006-2007 Faculty Senate President, called the Senate meeting to order at 4:03 p.m.  Hyman welcomed twenty-six (26) Senators, two (2) ex officio members, the Past President (1), the recorder (1), and one (1) guest for a total of thirty-one (31).  (See attached roster).

 

Approval of Minutes

§    Senators accepted the minutes of the January 22d meeting as written.  

Items from the Chair

§    Hyman reported that he looks forward to input from the Senate on its standing committees, and he will provide a draft of changes to the Handbook’s Constitution of the Faculty for next meeting.

 

Items from the Administration

§    Morse congratulated the Council of Faculty Representatives, and Sara Singleton, for their excellent all-day presentation to state legislators on activities of faculty and students in higher education.

§    Morse reported she received endorsement from the Economic Development Council in Bellingham and the Whatcom County Council supporting WWU’s budget requests for further Waterfront planning.

§    Provost Bodman reported on HB1385, which would restrict information that could be included on recorded documents, and HB1091, promoting innovative partnership zones.  Several of the bills have significant dollar commitments to faculty, but come with restrictions as well.

§    Bodman reported on searches currently underway for Dean of CBE, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, and Director for Academic Technology and User Services.

§    Bodman distributed a report to the Senate on professional leave requests granted this year.

 

Items from the Faculty Union (UFWW)

§    Bill Lyne, United Faculty of Western President, provided information on five public policy issues adopted by the Washington faculty unions, including strengthening competitive salaries and increasing tenure track faculty; including faculty on higher education governing bodies; public tuition support for first generation college students; the need to attract the public’s attention to higher education issues in light of Washington’s rank as 49th in the nation in the percentage of eligible students attending 4-year college.

§    Lyne directed faculty to WEA’s www.TakeTheLeadWashington.org for further information on faculty union initiatives.

§    Lyne reported that UFWW had delivered an initial contract to the administration which has begun its review. Lyne noted that this document represents thousands of hours of work on the part of the bargaining team.

 

AGENDA - ACTION ITEMS

Reading of Standing Committee Minutes (Exhibit B):   

The following minutes were reviewed and accepted by the Senate.


 

 

 

Committee

Date

 

 

Minutes from 11/27   (meeting cancelled due to snow)

Action Today

o        Academic  Coordinating Commission

1/16/07

Defining Passing Grade; University standards

Accepted

o        University Planning Council

1/10/07

Admissions; Waterfront; UPC Charge; AIC Building

Accepted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion on Minutes – Academic Coordinating Commission

Senators reviewed the ACC’s Discussion of a Passing Grade:

§    Senators noticed lots of issues with existing policies and asked if we are moving toward one general statement or policy.  An ACC Senator clarified that ACC is unwilling to further approve any standards from academic depts. which would require a student to have a 2.5GPA to maintain standing in the major.  Those departments who have been grandfathered in are momentarily secure, while others are being held to the 2.0 General University standard.  Another ACC Senator pointed out the issue of a catalog statement that passing grade is 2.0.   However, there is a requirement that every course in the major or minor, or affiliated course be passed with a C-, and there is dichotomy here. Individual majors are also reinventing the wheel by defining exceptions for admission to their major and minor, as well as retention in the major.  The registrar has to code all these exceptions in the system. 

§    Is it better to agree on the meaning of the letters rather than re-defining all these majors?  The one exception is the teachers’ requirements with many different endorsements; a C or better is required to get a teaching certificate, even though this is not required in the major.

§    Senators recommended alignment as the way to go.  Leave advising to the departments but agree on the passing grade across the spectrum.  What is on paper should be rock solid.

§    We can have a D in an elective, and that grade might also be related to financial aid.  What percentage of grade is D?  Overall the Fs and Ds ballpark at 5%, a really small number.

Senators reviewed the UPC’s Waterfront Discussion

Senators commented that the Chair’s comments were in many cases were close to the mark, and Bob Frazier has been invited and will update the members further.  President Morse commented that UPC is catching up on the work of the waterfront committee which has been together for 2-1/2 years, and it is good to bring a new perspective and continue asking questions..

 

APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS – Matthew Liao-Troth, Officer

Senators appointed faculty to the following committees through 2008:

University Planning Council:  Andrea Voorhees, Liberal Studies, 1-yr term thru 2008

Parking Appeals Board Steve Dillman, Engineering Technology

Academic Technology Committee: Mark Sherman, Computer Systems, English, replacing Michael Karlberg

 

DISCUSSION – Senate Standing Committees

Senators reviewed a chart summarizing the charges to Senate Standing Committees, and focused on three, namely Academic Coordinating Commission, University Planning Council, and Senate Library Committee.

Academic Coordinating Commission

§    Senators concluded that “teaching load” is within the purview of collective bargaining, and can be removed from the charge of ACC.  The topic apparently had not been dealt with for some time in ACC anyway. 

§    The discussion focused on what curriculum includes, and whether or not the simple but all-inclusive charge to ACC should be more specific, and include a phrase such as “including, but not limited to”, for example, content, grading, changes to majors, minors, admission and assessment issues, graduate issues, plagiarism and academic honesty, creation of departments, programs, and centers as well as the elimination and merger of the same, assessment of quality and productivity of programs, passing grades and grade inflation, accuracy and reliability of the bulletin, catalog, classfinder and other means of informing students of curricular matters, etc.

§    Since at present ACC is itself discussing some of these matters, such as grade inflation, and the definition of a passing grade, along with the use of alpha suffices, and is very busy with curricular changes prior to the March 1st catalog deadline, Ira asked for a better sense from the Senate of what it wants the ACC to be doing, and what it wants its own standing committees to be doing.

§    (The Standing Committees of ACC include the very important General Education Requirements Committee, a Committee on the Assessment of Teaching and Learning, the Admissions Committee, the General Education Requirements Committee, the Honors Board, the Graduate Council, and the International Programs Advisory Committee.)  The ACC might wish to consider if its committees are covering important areas.  Senators agreed it would be useful to clarify the written description, without changing its meaning or intent.

Commentary:

§    Roger Thompson supports the idea of the current committee structure, which he commented “allows a good dialogue between those who are teaching, and those who are trying to make sure we have the resources.

§    We have a way to make sure that the administration is attuned to our interests.  We have an opportunity to assess the impact of a particular idea across the university.  Others agreed that most of the Senate committees are working rather well, let them continue.  There should not be substantial changes, but tweaking the language only.

 

University Planning Council

§    Senators noted that faculty are not particularly involved up front in assessing priorities and capital budget requests.  One Senator pointed out that even if the UPC never met, the planning and execution of ideas would continue and what is necessary is interconnection between planning, approval of the processes, and review of the results.  The UPC has made some serious effort to have input on new buildings, and to address concerns of people in those buildings.  There was a timeline with Facilities on a way to make recommendations, but it had no teeth and seems to have disappeared, thus raising the issue of UPC effectiveness.

§    Councilors from UPC on the Senate noted that the UPC is attempting to define itself at the request of the Senate Executive Council, and that further Senate discussion might be premature until this discussion takes place at UPC.  UPC will continue in the loop as the budgetary review committee from the Senate, however.

 

Senate Library Committee

Chair Steven Emory and other Senators on the Library committee agreed it was frustrating to serve on the committee when all the initial formulae on allocations have been tweaked, and the rationale for the current setup isn’t really there.  The ratios are unequal for allocating percentages of resources, but the greatest problem of all is that there is insufficient funding for the library to maintain itself.  The issue of the formula which is skewed, and the bigger problem is that the library budget isn’t increasing, and as a result everybody is kind of losing out.

Provost Bodman that he does have an assessment of how well policies support academic programs in the form of a survey which looks at library by faculty, graduates and undergraduates. 

The Senate Library Committee will bring that forward, and the Senate office will attempt to put it online.

Senators suggested switching the language of the committee charge to include making recommendations, which would put faculty in the position of providing advice to the university librarian.  The Senate would like a closer look at what the formula is, and the rationale behind it.   Faculty on the Senate Library Committee reported that the information is very complex, there is much to learn, and asked how faculty can possible tell the librarians how to do their business? The idea of a dialogue between the Library Committee and the Senate is a good thing.

 

CONCLUSIONS

§    Faculty agreed that there is clarity around ACC, since it has substantive control over curricular matters.  But the other two committees need greater clarity in articulating what the role of faculty is in how this part of the university is run.

§    The idea that we have some sort of dialogue between library committee and the Senate is a good thing.

§    With regard to the other committees we can provide all the advice and good counsel possible, but we rely entirely upon folks to give us the information about what they are actually doing.

§    Again, we may have the plans of what they are doing, but no reports on what has been done.

§    One Senator suggested the creation of variance reports indicating what was budgeted, and what actually happened.  Does such a thing actually exist?

§    Senate President Hyman thanked the Senate and reminded them that next week he would bring the Constitution with some drafted changes for consideration.

 

Constituent Concerns. 

Senators reported that:

1)      ACC will ask the Senate for policy on “email meetings” and “online voting” for its standing committees;

2)      There is concern about health plans dropping or reducing prescription drug coverage after the open-enrollment period, and the lack of timely disclosure about this. 

3)      There is concern that we ought to offer greater support to local food vendors at our campus eateries;

4)      There is continued interest in knowing more about whether preferred parking is still provided for assistant coaches.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Senators adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

Written by Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, 2/5/2007

                                                                       

                                                                                                            _______________________

                                                                                                            Lorraine Kasprisin, Secretary

 

Roster of the 2006-2007 Faculty Senate

Term

 

Senators

Area

Roll

 

Senate President

Ira Hyman

 

08

1

Anderson, Roger

A

P

 

Vice President and Parliamentarian

 

08

2

Armstrong, Jeanne (Leza Madsen sitting in)

G

P

 

Jeff Newcomer

 

07

3

Crowder, Kyle, Library Senator

B

P
 

 

 

08

4

  Currier, Deb

D

P
 

Ex Officio

 

07

5

  Daley, Chris

A

P

1

Karen Morse, University President

    P

08

6

  Emory, Steven

A

    P

2

Andrew Bodman, Provost

   P

07

7

  Fewings, David, UPC Senator

E

    P

3

Roger Gilman,  Rep., Provost’s Council

--

08

8

  Henson, Steve

E

P

 

 

 

08

9

  Hoffman, Joan

C

P

4

Legislative Liaison: Sara Singleton

--

08

10

  Hyman, Ira, Senate President (EC)

C

P

5

   Past President:  William Lyne (Exec), UFWW           

P

07

11

  Kasprisin, Lorraine, Secretary (EC)

H

--

6

Recorder:  Rose Marie Norton-Nader

P

07

12

 Laffrado, Laura, At Large(EC)

C

P

 

 

 

07

13

 Larner, Daniel

F

    P

 

 

 

07

14

 Liao-Troth, Matthew, Appts & Elects (EC)

E

P

 

Guests:

 

07

15

 Meehan, Michael, ACC, ATC Senator

A

P

1

 

 

08

16

 Meyer, David

D

    __

2

 

 

07

17

 Miller, Brenda (1-yr term for W. Lyne)

C

   Exc

3

Katie Altrops, Western Front

P

08

18

 Newcomer, Jeff Vpres & Parliamt. (EC)

A

P

 

 

 

08

19

 Ohana, Chris, UPC

H

P

 

 

 

07

20

 Parris, Kristen (Amir Abedi sitting in)

B

--

 

 

 

07

21

 Partsch, Cornelius (1-yr for E.Ousselin)

H

P

 

 

 

08

22

 Reynolds, MaryAnn

E

P

 

 

 

08

23

 Simone, Genet

H

P

 

Senators Present

26

07

24

 Stevenson, Joan

C

P

 

Absent or Excused

(5)

07

25

 Stewart, James, ACC

A

P

 

Ex Officio

2

07

26

 Symons, Lawrence

B

--

 

Legislative Liaison, Past President

1

08

27

 Thompson, Roger, ACC

C

P

 

Recorder

1

07

28

 Van Boer, Bertil, UPC

D

P

 

Guests

1

08

29

 Wang, Grace

G

P

 

   TOTAL PRESENT:

31

08

30

 Wolpow, Ray

H

P

 

 

 

08

31

 Yusa, Michiko

C

P

 

              DATE:  February 5, 2007

 

Article III.  Faculty Senate:  The Faculty Senate is empowered to speak and act for the Faculty in University affairs with particular responsibility in the areas of curriculum, academic programs, Faculty salary, Faculty status, scholarly activities, and all matters relating to the welfare of Faculty, the education of students, and the academic mission of the University. The Faculty Senate is limited to 30 voting members elected by the Faculty, and the President of the University, the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University, and a college dean appointed by the Provost serving as Provost's Council representative as ex officio non-voting members.    (Faculty Handbook, page 55)