Index of Topics –  March 10, 2008

 EXHIBIT A:  For Approval 4/07/08

Candidates for Faculty Senate – Report

 

Union’s position on Faculty Issues – Unanimous Resolution

 

DCA and Appointments of Opportunity – Discussion and Edits

 

  

WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Regular Meeting – March 10, 2008

 

Call to Order

Jeff Newcomer, 2007-2008 Faculty Senate President, called the Senate meeting to order at 4:02 p.m.  Newcomer welcomed twenty-five (25) Senators, two (2) ex officio members, and the recorder (1) for a total of twenty-eight (28).  (See attached roster).

 

Items from the Senate President

Approval of Senate Minutes.   Senators approved the minutes of February 25, 2008, as written.

Reports Newcomer reported that:

§    Gayle Shipley, Director of Environmental Health & Safety, is preparing a report regarding the bike lane on East Campus Way.  The report will include recommendations which will be forwarded to George Pierce.  Faculty should forward comments to Shipley.

§    At Newcomer’s request, Business and Financial Affairs is preparing a list of BFA policies that were enacted last year prior to the formation of the Policy Committee.  Newcomer will review and bring appropriate issues to the Senate.

§    Newcomer reported on the Legislative Bills that made it to the Governor’s desk at the session’s conclusion:

1) HB 2582 - student childcare,

2) HB 2641 - performance agreements;

3) HB 2783 - transfer & articulation without common course numbers;

4) HB 2962 - student unions relating to graduate students at WSU; and

5) SB 6328 - campus safety.  SB 6295 workplace e-learning still needs legislative                                     reconciliation.

 

Items from the Administration

§         Provost Murphy announced that President Morse was away from the campus today as she was involved in fundraising.

§         Murphy announced that there will be training for chairs and administrative assistants on a prioritized list based on topics raised at the recent Academic Leadership Conference.

§         Murphy reported that the final Accreditation report is now available.  (see the Senate website at http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu/senate

§         AIC Building.  Senators asked about the equipment budget -- whether recovered dollars are available to departments moving into the Academic Instruction Center.  Senators asked for clarification of the building’s completion date, and requested a better definition of the “phased move” to the new building and which stages may be completed at the end of 2008 and through 2009.  Murphy suggested that the readiness of general university classrooms, office spaces, and specialized spaces for Communication Sciences and Disorders, and certain Psychology spaces depends on construction schedules and equipment availability.  Murphy added that a safe date for considering full occupancy is the start of Winter quarter.  

§         One Senator pointed out that since faculty have to do their own packing, it would be better to be able to do so at the end of summer rather than during Winter quarter.

§         Another Senator reported that between 2 and 5 pm on a sunny day in the Communications Building the temperature in the teaching classrooms on the west side of the building approaches 90 degrees and there appears to be no way to control that.  The Senator asked the Provost “to use his considerable influence in area of Facilities Management to have no construction certified as completed until it is demonstrated that the temperatures on the west side of the AIC building are kept below a reasonable temperature, 72 degrees, for example, on a hot sunny afternoon.

 

Items from UFWW

§    Bill Lyne, UFWW President, reported that the Union and the Administration, with Mediator Claire Nickleberry of the Employee Relations Commission, are conducting negotiating efforts all day Tuesday and Wednesday this week, with four days scheduled during Spring break, and early April.

§    Senators remarked that the constraints of scheduling will coincide with the accreditation visit, and requested an interim provision between the bargaining parties to allow the immediate 3.2% salary increase allocated by the legislature.  Newcomer pointed to RCW 41.76 to answer questions regarding final outcomes. 

 

Agenda Items

Standing Committee Minutes – Reading and Acceptance  (Exhibit B)

Committee                                                              Date                           Action and Topics

o        Academic Coordinating Commission

2/19/08

Accepted.  Curricular minutes

o        Academic Technology Committee

2/13/08 and

2/20/08

Accepted.    STF proposals; comments v. rankings

 

Comments on Minutes

Academic Coordinating Commission

§    Newcomer reported that ACC is attempting to set an agenda for their last five meetings, to move toward clarifying certain larger policies.  In response to a question about prerequisites, Roger Thompson reported that ACC is looking into the issue of prerequisites in order to understand the issue better, and to review how prohibitive prerequisites might be to filling upper level courses.  This may revolve around some lingering issues about major requirements, and the possibility that a student can be in good standing and still not be eligible or able to get into a major.

§    Chris Suczek commented that it understandable for ACC to discuss requirements to enter a major, but hard to figure why ACC would want to discuss prerequisites, when the departments are the ones who are best suited to decide what needs to be required before a student can take a class.

 

APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS – Mick Cunningham, Officer

The following faculty are candidates for the 2008-2010 Faculty Senate from their Area:

A:  Roger Anderson, Biology

B:  Robert Marshall, Anthropology

C:  Scott Pearce, Liberal Studies; Karen Stout, Communication;  Diana Wright, History

D:  David Meyer, Music

E:   David Gilbertson, Accounting, Mark Springer, Decision Sciences

H:   Chuck Lambert, Special Education

I:   Stefanie Buck, Libraries; Cecilia Poon, Libraries

Additional faculty are needed from Natural Sciences (1), Fine and Performing Arts (1), Huxley College (1), and Woodring College (1).  

 

Following Senators’ recommendations, all nominees will be posted immediately on the Senate website at http://www.acadweb.wwu.edu.  Faculty may continue to nominate colleagues until ballots are prepared (week of Spring Break).

RESOLUTION ON COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Senators had reviewed via email the text of a resolution from the Senate Executive Council that expressed the faculty’s support for certain positions of the UFWW as outlined at the all-faculty meeting of January 31st.  Senators voiced the points of view of their constituents whom they had polled and discovered that there is overwhelming support around campus for the ideas expressed in the resolution.

§    David Fewings narrated some history related to his college and admitted that he had been one of the most vehemently opposed to the formation of a union in the past, along with a lot of other people in CBE, and when he surveyed his constituents many if not most still feel that way, and that a union was formed despite their objections.  Fewings added, however, that most of these now understand the reality that a union exists and that it was officially elected, but are greatly disappointed that negotiations have not preceded apace.  He reported that it is the viewpoint of the CBE faculty that the administration has been unduly hardnosed about their bargaining position.  Most people also realize that if the union had not been formed faculty would be enjoying a salary increase in excess of 5% since September, now held up by the negotiations.  David reiterated an earlier request that an interim MOU be created to allow the legislatively funded portion of the salary increase to take effect immediately.

§    Fewings went on to say that he thought it was unfortunate that the president of this university has taken the stance she has. Two years ago Fewings noted that she had said she wanted to punish the faculty for forming a union, and he felt that she has succeeded in doing this through her negotiating team, and that this was patently pathetic in all respects.  Fewings believes that every week that goes by this administration is succeeding in turning the opinion of another twenty or so faculty members toward joining and supporting the union, and to declaring their solidarity with the union.  He opined that today at least 70 to 80 percent of the faculty would vote in the union.  Fewings added that the faculty are increasingly embittered by the failure of the administration to bargain in a real way.  Fewings repeated that this was the position of his college. 

§    Fewings said he had seen the bargaining positions, and he felt that the Deans and the Provost had not even been told the entire truth about the position of the Union’s negotiating team.  Fewings concluded that this was “a reprehensible situation, a terrible mess, and the administration has to wise up, come to their senses, and at least try to negotiate in a meaningful way”.   Fewings reported that many faculty in his college would like to see the administration and their negotiating team at least hold a faculty forum where they present their position in a manner similar to the forum held by UFWW.  Fewings believes there is nothing illegal or wrong about this, and management does this all the time, communicates its position.  The administration should appear before the Senate and before the faculty to explain its position. “This pathetic failure of the administration is damaging to the mission of this university, to its teaching mission, and to its students.” 

§    Ira Hyman pointed out that this resolution is an important statement abut the union’s work in support of all faculty; this is about the welfare of the faculty and the welfare of this university, and we need this for an effective functioning institution. The longer it goes without an agreement the more animosity builds.  Also, Hyman pointed to increasing inflationary pressure. 

§    John Friesen reported that he echoed Fewings comments and reported CFPA’s surprise at the administration’s apparent failure to move forward in good faith, and their protraction of this negotiation.  Friesen was not initially a union member, but feels it is a reality and the administration has to acknowledge and move forward and deal fairly and equitably rather than from what appears to be a grudge position.  Friesen expressed frustration that the longer this goes on, the more people who may not have been union promoters originally have now joined.  “It does the entire university harm, and where this goes can only be more negative.  Friesen asked what does the president want.  If she wants to take this negotiation past her term so it is not on her record, then it is very sad, and she is not thinking of the university.  Friesen hopes this is not the case.

§    Spencer Anthony-Cahill suggested that we ought to be careful in making prejudgment of motivation, and believes there is no evidence that this is grudge bearing.  Anthony-Cahill reported that his department had no union members but now they are joining.  His faculty constituents supported this resolution wholeheartedly and asked why he had even been hesitant at all to ask them to support this.

§    Joan Stevenson countered that the corporate lawyer the administration hired is a classic union-buster, and the team itself has not clue about faculty’s day-to-day lives, and this carries little respect for faculty. The team is ignorant about our jobs so they can at minimal stall.  Stevenson added that as a behavioral scientist perhaps this is more apparent, but it seems to her pretty obvious that there is clearly punishment going on here.  We went from a collegial tension and being on the same team, to now being seriously oppositional.  We are now being treated as a corporation would treat its lackeys on the bottom of the pile; but Stevenson added that treatment of faculty as a business rather than a university is an unfortunate national trend. 

§    Tom Downing commented that we are now searching for a new president and that by the way there appear to be no visits of candidates to the campus.  But, he added, the conversation is going to be monopolized by the specter before us.  The new president will face a hostile faculty -- that is a bad legacy for the current president to leave.  He hopes people realize that things now have to move fairly quickly.  The list of things for which they can fire faculty can only be seen as punitive, and childish.  The whole issue of the presidential search has to be considered.  Jeanne Armstrong offered a second to Downing’s comments, and confirmed that her constituents feel that this is damaging our position in searching for a new president.  Why would someone be eager to accept a position with this conflict and unresolved bargaining position facing them?

§    Rich Brown mentioned the Accreditation visit. Accreditors can only be looking at this unresolved negotiation as a festering sore that needs to be healed.  Roger Thompson added that the History Department faculty are overwhelmingly in support of this resolution.  Roger Anderson added the support of his department.  Chris Suczek added that her department is also overwhelmingly supportive, but added the proviso that saying we support these issues does not imply a lack of support on other issues.  Ira Hyman called the question and the Senate unanimously and overwhelmingly passed the following RESOLUTION:

 

“RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate of Western Washington University supports the United Faculty of Western Washington's positions on wages, workload, grievance and arbitration, hiring limited-term faculty, and the existence of the Faculty Senate, as outlined at the all-faculty meeting of January 31, 2008”.

 

Following the passage of the resolution Provost Murphy reported that he would refrain from commenting, but noted that scissors have “two blades”.

 

DCA Procedure and Appointments of Opportunity Policy

Senators proposed additional edits to the draft Appointments of Opportunity policy following discussion of various points.  Newcomer reported that the Policy itself is still in review and has not yet been put forward for the full open 30-day comment period.  Appendix K of the Handbook, and HR Policy 5400.10 are the official policies currently in effect.  In attempting to clarify the new policy various problems have surfaced.  In both the procedure and the policy, once a candidate enters the candidate pool no special treatment can be given.  Some questions arose surrounding this concept:

§    If a person applies for a DCA does this stop the search? Jeff responded that there are windows of opportunity…. If there is no candidate pool, or if the search has not been successful.  Once there are applications, there is hesitancy about stopping the search. 

§    Are we are talking abut a person coming through an alternative pathway, and is that a reason to stop the search?  That doesn’t sound legal, but there is a possible way this could happen, including stopping the search before the other candidates come?

§    When does the competitive candidacy begin?  Is it the date of the ad, the date the whole thing is closed?  Apparently it is the date the person puts his or her application into the pool.  So candidates don’t really exist before the actual date of first review.  But does this really acknowledge that somebody might stop a tenure track search in order to hire somebody who is non-tenure track?  Of course, the accommodation could be a tenure track appointment. 

§    The Department always has the chance to say no, but when can they say yes?  There is a presumption that a person might not know about a vacancy, or might be a person on campus.  If this is not dealt with at recruitment they can become a potential retention issue.  There is a chance that a “trailing” spouse partner becomes qualified later on and gets the degree, for example.

§    In one application letter each year, a spouse is looking for a position somewhere else on campus.  How do we accommodate these people?  There is an example of a spousal accommodation where a department took it against their better judgment.  The person was second rate, the first partner divorced and left, and now the department is stuck with this second rate position. 

§    In all of this the department has the final decision, especially since they have to be able to teach the appropriate courses.

§    If one person is the top candidate, and the other person is applying in a process that is not finished you would have to tell your candidate to have that spouse withdraw from the search so they could be considered as a DCA appointment for that or for any other position.  It seems like the Provost would be more likely to make a DCA appointment where there already is a line.

§    Provost Murphy spoke about an “expedited review” for the candidate. Partner A is to be hired, and Partner B is extraordinarily qualified for the second search.  Murphy or the department would like to make an offer, and do this through an expedited review, rather than parsing it so finely that they have to withdraw and apply again, etc.  Where the candidate is clearly qualified -- not minimally qualified, some sort of expedited review should take place.  Murphy is not convinced that this policy reads like an expedited review, but rather just indicates extra steps. 

§    Newcomer suggested that this is the challenge of having or not having a procedure.  The purpose of the policy is to make a rapid and kindly offer to the principle candidate, and the attempt is to get at having the partner of that candidate have an expedited review. The language suggests the person has to apply for DCA in order for search to be suspended.  With a suspended search everyone is vested in having an expedited action.

§    Murphy then mentioned retention issues that can also arise, where the policy is both a recruitment and a retention tool. Others added that it is important to forestall searches by existing faculty that we value.  This is always an important issue, considering current salary issues.

§     At the conclusion of this discussion, Senators supported new language proposed by Rich Brown for section 3.A.#4.  The new sentence reads as follows:

 

  “In order to not be simultaneously considered as a DCA appointment and a competitive candidate for the same position, the spousal partner may withdraw her/his application and request a DCA for that position in order to expedite a review of her/his materials; or, request a DCA for another position.” 

 

Newcomer will review this revision with the Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, Equal Opportunity.

 

Constituent Concerns

§    Newcomer announced that newly appointed police chief Randy Stegmeier would pay the Senate a welcoming visit next meeting.

§    Senators were encouraged to attend the opera “Ballad of Baby Doe” on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at the Performing Arts Center Mainstage.  The Opera includes faculty and student performers.

 

ADJOURNMENT  

Adjourned at 5:36 pm.

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, 2-25-08

                                   

                                                                                                            _______________________

                                                                                                            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

P

 

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

Exc

09

8

  Fewings, David, UPC Senator

E

    P

2

Dennis Murphy,  Provost

P

09

9

  Friesen, John

D

    Exc

3

Roger Gilman, Rep., Provost’s Council

P

09

10

  Gilbertson, David

E

P

 

 

 

09

11

  Gogrof-Voorhees, Andrea (see Guests)

C

P

 

Permanent Guests:

 

09

12

  Helms, Ron, Library Senator (2 yr)

B

P

4

  Ira Hyman, Past President, Exec,

--

08

13

  Johnson, Diane

C

P

5

John Purdy, Legislative Liaison, 07-08, Exec

--

09

14

  Larson, Nikki

A

P

 

 

 

09

15

  Larner, Daniel, At-Large, Exec

F

    P

 

Recorder:  Rose Marie Norton-Nader

P

08

16

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

E

Exc

 

Guests:

 

09

17

  Lyne, William, UFWW Pres., Exec nv

C

P

 

 

 

08

18

  Meyer, David

D

    P

 

 

 

08

19

  Newcomer, Jeff , President Sen., Exec

A

P

 

 

 

08

20

  Ohana, Chris

H

    P

 

 

 

09

21

  Reedy, Christopher

A

    P

 

 

 

08

22

  Simone, Genet

H

Exc

 

 

 

08

23

  Stevenson, Joan, Secretary, Exec

C

P

 

Senators Present

25

09

24

  Suczek, Chris

A

P

 

Absent or Excused

(5)

09

25

  Symons, Lawrence

B

P

 

Ex Officio

2

08

26

  Thompson, Roger, ACC Senator

C

P

 

Legislative Liaison, Past President

-

09

27

  Vulic, Kathryn

C

Exc

 

Recorder

1

08

28

  Wang, Grace

G

P

 

Guests

 

08

29

  Lambert, Chuck, (for Ray Wolpow)

H

P

 

   TOTAL PRESENT:

28

08

30

  Yusa, Michiko

C

Exc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              DATE:  March 12, 2008

 

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)