Index of Topics –  October 29, 2007

                   EXHIBIT A: Approved 11/19/07

HECB discussions.  Proposed new North Puget Sound campus

 

Appointments of Opportunity – Policy approved to go forward to EPG

 

Ombuds language – proposal for panel

 

 

                                                                         WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

                                                                                   FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Regular Meeting –October 29, 2007

 

Call to Order

Jeff Newcomer, 2007-2008 Faculty Senate President, called the Senate meeting to order at 4:03 p.m.   Newcomer welcomed twenty-four (24) Senators, two (2) ex officio members, the Past President (1) the Vice Provost for Faculty Relations (1), and the recorder (1) for a total of twenty-nine (29).  (See attached roster).

 

Items from the Senate President

Approval of Minutes Senators accepted the minutes of October 15, 2007, with minor typos.

§    Higher Education Coordinating Board.  Newcomer reported on the recent HEC Board meeting held in Bellingham. He noted that the majority of attendees were associated with colleges, and that they suggested to the Higher Education Coordinating Board that its strategic plan needs to focus on quality as well as access, and that students must be prepared as critical thinkers with broad foundations in the liberal arts as well as preparation in business and the sciences. The Board will prepare the full strategic plan for the legislative session at which time the input from the various hearings will become apparent.  The Senate will formulate a response to the final plan which John Purdy, the Senate Legislative Liaison will bring to Olympia.

§    Faculty Candidates for PSAC.  Newcomer reported on eight faculty whose names will be submitted to the Board of Trustees as candidates on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.  The Board will select three.  Newcomer reported that the Executive had nominees from almost every college but that its final determinations sought a group from whom a subset of any three would be strong candidates.

 

Items from the Administration

§    President Morse described the role of the Executive Policy Group (EPG) to formalize and make recommendations on policy that will be forwarded to the President.  Morse added that the group is composed of a broad spectrum of the campus and explained further that there is a “policy on policies”, which has gone through the process for approving and there is 100% support for the policies that will now be sent out to the stakeholders.

§    Jeff Newcomer reported that he is the one faculty member on the EPG and that he found the current policy impact form to be in need of some review.  Morse agreed that will probably happen in time.  Newcomer requested a copy of the administrative flowchart and Morse promised to make it available.

§    Newcomer reported that the Appointments of Opportunity Policy will be the first Senate policy to go to the EPG, and he is the first conduit for feedback if there are issues with policies or processes under consideration. 

§    Provost Murphy reported that he passed on to the HEC Board the two items on the supplemental budget request which were well received, but the Board does not have any money.

§    Murphy reported further on HEC Board’s discussions regarding development of the North Puget Sound campus of the University of Washington.  Plans now include a residential experience and graduate programs, and focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), business and education programs. Four proposed sites for the campus include Smoky Point-Arlington, Lake Stevens, and two Everett sites, all less than an hour from our campus.  Murphy added that this is competitive with Western, the University of Washington is responding to clear legislative direction, but that over time we will have to have a lot of hard thinking about how to respond to an environment only 45 to 60 minutes from our campus.  Murphy added that there are plans to take freshmen right away, and that some programs may actually start early at the Everett station, so they have a pipeline and when the buildings are completed they will move people.  Murphy reiterated that this is a development in which Western will want to be materially engaged.  There is also some public discussion of a merger of the Bothell campus. 

§    President Morse explained that Everett wanted the University of Washington there, and that there was hesitation on Western’s part to overextend ourselves south, since we do not have the resources to do so.  In Morse’s experience taking resources into the second campus affects the quality of the first campus. She added that the decision of University of Washington to add dormitories and to focus on business and education was never discussed, and there are no specifics regarding Ph.D. programs.

§    Senator Downing asked if this new campus would have all the authority of University of Washington, or would everything have to go through the HEC Board.  Murphy responded that they are tasked by all kinds of “umbilicals” to the Seattle campus.  Those at the Seattle campus would appear to be able to migrate to Everett and programs can be replicated with ease. Murphy emphasized, however, that all of this is under discussion only.

 

Items from the Faculty Union (UFWW)

UFWW President Bill Lyne reported that there will negotiations all day on Thursday and Friday this week and for four days in a row in the beginning of December.  Lyne expressed the hope that this extensive investment of time will result in a good tentative contract.

 

AGENDA ITEMS

 

The Senate considered the following Standing Committee Minutes:

Committee                                       Date                  Topic – Action

 

o         Academic Coordinating Commission

10/9/07

Accepted. Review of ACC Charge; Missing class for sporting event; catalog copy deadline revised (MOTION)

o         University Planning Council

10/17/07

Accepted.  Supplemental budget request 2008; UPC charge

o         Academic Technology Committee

10/10/07

Accepted.  Steve Ross elected chair; committee structure; card keys for buildings; Office 2007

 

 

 

 

Comments on Minutes:

Senators noted that frequently the copy deadlines drive the way we make course changes.  Newcomer asked if it might be the time to look at a more continuous process.  Provost Murphy reported that he has formed a committee to implement early registration for Fall Quarter, and some dates are going to have to be altered so students are informed.  Murphy would like flexibility to recommend some other dates as the committee begins to implement its changes.

 

Appointments & Elections – Mick Cunningham, Officer

Cunningham reported:  Vacancy:  1 Senator to replace Grace Wang, Huxley, Fall Qtr

 

DISCUSSION

Appointments of Opportunity Policy – MOTION to approve

Newcomer reminded Senators that the discussion at the last meeting focused primarily on the Procedures for Dual Career Assistance (DCA), and no issues were raised with the actual Appointments of Opportunity Policy.  Provost Murphy met with the Deans regarding the DCA procedure, and a process is being formulated by a subgroup that will be acceptable to both the Deans and the Senate.  Senators, as chief stakeholders, will review the policy today, which will be further reviewed by the EPG.  Senators’ comments follow:

§    Ira Hyman pointed out the policy covers both exempt and professional staff but that hiring into an exempt position is not explicitly mentioned as an option for faculty, and he recommended adding a sentence to section 1.1.

§    David Fewings asked where the allocation money comes for an opportunity hire when a certain number of positions have already been allocated.  Murphy responded that while the policy provides for an appointment of a tenure track faculty that would consume a position, in reality, the appointment would most likely be a temporary non tenure track, which could be for less than three years.  Murphy added that sometimes you know there is a retirement coming and you bridge the appointment.  You try to work out ways for departments to work out offers.

§    The Senate requested statistics on the approximate number of annual appointments of opportunity and allocation of funding for this purpose.  Senators suggested that the second paragraph of Section 1.1a, which is currently marked for consideration by the President and Provost, be included in the policy.

§    Dan Larner suggested that the first sentence of section 1.1b should be struck, since it inappropriately tries to speak for the President and Provost. 

Dan Larner made a motion, seconded by Joan Hoffman, and Senators unanimously passed, to amend and accept the Appointments of Opportunity Policy draft which Newcomer will now bring to the Executive Policy Group. 

 

OMBUDS

Newcomer reported that the Ombuds language in the handbook is not compatible with certain required issues of bargaining, and, along with the charge to the Committee on Grievance and Sanctions, will have to be amended and revised if not completely removed.  Newcomer suggested that this is an opportunity to give serious thought to our committee structure and in the next three weeks to decide if we want to make some relatively conservative changes, or if there are other options.  Newcomer would like some revised language drafted and put on the back burner until there is a contract that proceeds to the Board for approval.  Newcomer explained that the Ombuds has worked very well and served a general role as an advisor to help people with complaints to navigate the system; the Ombuds also assists in attempts to reach an informal resolution before conflict proceeds to a formal grievance. 

§    David Fewings made the point that the hearing of evidence by faculty peers is an essential part of resolving disputes and should not be left up to a union hearing.  Fewings suggested that rewriting the Committee’s and the Ombud’s roles will create a gap in which there will be little hearing of evidence and testimony, findings of fact, or conclusions and recommendations that only faculty peers can bring, and is in favor of a standing committee.  Newcomer commented that the Ombuds is neither a hearing officer nor an adjudicator and does not consider evidence.  The Ombuds serves a neutral party.  Chris Reedy asked whether the union contract will contain such a procedure, and will a faculty committee to hear issues be wrapped up in the union contract.

§    Provost Murphy invited Senators to consider the relationship between the Ombuds and the newly created position of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, currently filled by Dr. Rhonda Allen.  Murphy reported that her role is to deal with all matters affecting faculty affairs, including interpretations of collective bargaining agreements.

§    Ira Hyman pointed out that the key here is that the Ombuds is and must continue to be a faculty member, not a member of the administration, especially if the goal is to affect a collaborative approach before a complaint reaches a grievance.  With an administrator, the process automatically shifts over to the union contract.  It is essential that this be dealt with by a peer.  The Ombuds can certainly have conversations with the Vice Provost for Faculty Relations.  Larry Symons asked about confidentiality in administrator – Ombuds discussions.

§    Newcomer recalled that Lyne has reported the Union hopes to maintain informal resolution that does not go through a formal grievance process.  In order to be informal, it needs to be led by a member of the faculty, not a member of the administration.  Rich Brown added that the role of a single Ombuds seemed like a full-time job and not just a .333 release time, and perhaps a three-person committee with “backup Ombudspersons” could help objectify a response.

§    Fewings reiterated concern about Union involvement, in that union processes by nature are adversarial (speaking about management and union traditionally).  Fewings asked how that could work, how does that fit into an objective and fair hearing?  Fewings added that a faculty member who has a legitimate grievance that has no bearing on the union contract would have a hard time being heard by the union at all, especially with regard to issues such as academic freedom, and other issues that need to be heard by faculty colleagues. 

§    Senators agreed that the Ombuds position currently seems to be working, so we ought to stick with it.  We also ought to find out what the law requires, and what kinds of grievance should stay with faculty alone.

§    Hyman reported that he believed the union position would prefer informal resolution.  If that does not happen, the complaint starts bumping up the chain of administrators. The union grieves on behalf of the faculty member against the administrator.  Once they are in discussion about a complaint with the administrator, the union contract will provide for a grievance procedure.  Amanda Eurich supported the idea of a 3-member panel that might achieve a broadening of the discussion and a hearing of the facts. 

Comments from Vice Provost Allen

Vice Provost Rhonda Allen reported that all of the issues at her previous institutions were addressed outside of collective bargaining, and she agreed that all complaints should be resolved prior to going to the union.  However, the conversation may be premature until a collective bargaining agreement is in place.  Fewings commented on the need for a panel, since it involves a lot of work to read and hear testimony.  Matthew Liao-Troth encouraged the Senate to seek to enact changes now, when we know pretty clearly the purview of the Senate and the UFWW.  We cannot be in a game of “catch-up” once a contract is in a place.

 

Straw Vote

Newcomer conducted a straw vote in which a Senate majority suggested retaining the Ombuds position as well as an additional panel of four disinterested faculty who will provide a venue for resolving differences before they require union involvement.  The vote was 6 in favor of an individual Ombuds, and 9 in favor of a panel of five people.  Further discussion indicated the preferred solution is a panel of five people with one person having release time as Ombuds, the other four as “brains”. 

 

Additional Comments

Ron Helms mentioned the issue of bearing witness, if a serious problem arose that could undermine and poison the environment.  He added it was essential to have a group of people who are not specific to the affected department but are disinterested; such a group can encourage people to be more civilized with each other.  A lot of issues come down to small grudges that escalate over time because they just don’t get dealt with.  Joan Stevenson concurred that such a panel sometimes just provides a reality check, and Senators said it could provide a venue for finding out about other universities’ processes.

 

Constituent Concerns

Senators heard the following constituent concerns: 

a)  Deadlines for Fall Quarter all fall on the same day, can that be addressed?

b)  There appears to be a growing shortage of level four classrooms, although the scheduling of classes at a favored time may be part of the problem;

c)  Sport sirens in Red Square interrupt teaching;

d)  Some students secure a place in class the first day then do not show up again[j1] .

 

ADJOURNMENT  

Senators adjourned at 5:40 and moved to a Faculty Caucus which adjourned at 6:11 pm.

Written by Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, 10/29/2007                                     

                                                                                                            _______________________

                                                                                                            Joan Stevenson, Secretary

Roster of the 2007-2008 Faculty Senate

 

 

Senators

 

 

 

 

 

08

1

Anderson, Roger, ACC Senator

  A

P

 

Senate President 2007-2008

 

09

2

Anthony-Cahill, Spencer

  A

Exc

 

Jeff Newcomer

 

08

3

Armstrong, Jeanne

G

P

 

Vice President and Parliamentarian

 

08

4

Brown, Rich  (for Deb Currier)

D

P
 

Matthew Liao-Troth

 

09

5

Coskie, Tracy

H

P
 

 

 

09

6

  Cunningham, Mick, Appts & Elects, Exec

  B

P
 

Ex Officio

 

09

7

  Downing, Thomas, UPC Chair, Exec nv

C

P

1

Karen Morse, University President

P

09

8

  Fewings, David, UPC Senator

E

    P

2

Dennis Murphy, Provost

P

09

9

  Friesen, John

D

    P

3

Roger Gilman, Rep., Provost’s Council

--

09

10

  Gogrof-Voorhees, Andrea

C

    P

 

 

 

09

11

  Helms, Ron, Library Senator (2 yr)

B

P

4

Rhonda Allen, VProvost Faculty Relations

P

08

12

  Hoffman, Joan

C

    P

5

  Ira Hyman, Past President, Exec,

P

09

13

 Larson, Nikki

A

P

6

John Purdy, Legislative Liaison, 07-08, Exec

--

09

14

 Larner, Daniel, At-Large, Exec

F

    P

 

Recorder:  Rose Marie Norton-Nader

P

08

15

 Liao-Troth, Matthew, VP & Parliam., Exec

E

P

 

 

 

09

16

Lyne, William, UFWW Pres., Exec nv

C

P

 

Guests:

 

08

17

 Meyer, David

D

    P

 

 

 

08

18

 Newcomer, Jeff , President Sen., Exec

A

P

 

 

 

08

19

 Ohana, Chris

H

    P

 

 

 

09

20

 Reedy, Christopher

A

    P

 

 

 

08

21

 Reynolds, MaryAnn

E

Exc

 

 

 

08

22

 Simone, Genet

H

Exc

 

 

 

08

23

 Stevenson, Joan, Secretary, Exec

C

P

 

Senators Present

24

09

24

 Suczek, Chris

A

Exc

 

Absent or Excused

(6)

09

25

 Symons, Lawrence

B

P

 

Ex Officio

2

08

26

 Eurich, Amanda, History, for Thompson, Roger, ACC Senator – 2 meetings

C

    P

 

Leg.Liaison, Past Pres., VProvost Fac Rel.

2

09

27

 Vulic, Kathryn

C

P

 

Recorder

1

08

28

 Wang, Grace

G

Exc

 

Guests

--

08

29

 Lambert, Chuck, (for Ray Wolpow)

H

P

 

   TOTAL PRESENT:

29

08

30

 Yusa, Michiko

C

Exc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              DATE:  October 29, 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)


 [j1]Ron contacted me later, and corrected himself; this had nothing to do with student-athletes.