Index of Topics – October 26, 2009

Exhibit A: Approved 11/18/09

“University Branding Initiative” – Steve Swan, VP University Relations

 

 

WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Regular Meeting – October 26, 2009

 

Call to Order

Daniel Larner, Faculty Senate President, called the 2009-2010 Senate to order at 4:03 pm.  Larner welcomed

twenty-seven (27) Senators, three (3) ex officio members, one (1) guest and the recorder (1) for a total of thirty-two (32) people.  (See attached roster). 

 

Items from the Faculty Senate President:

Approval of Senate Minutes - Senators accepted Senate minutes of October 12, 2009 with one correction.

President Larner reported that:

·         Continued efforts are underway to define issues and coordinate action around enrollment planning and graduate studies. 

·         The ACC passed a motion to create an Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Policy to work with the Registrar to clarify catalog language for students.  Future minutes from the ACC meeting will include the motions and additional information.

·         Scott Pearce, Senate representative to UPRC, reported that the UPRC had passed motions to approve the new capital planning process and the operating budget timeline process.  Both help increase transparency and provide more developed ways of moving the decision-making process forward.  Future minutes from the UPRC meeting will include the motions and additional information.

·         Larner mentioned the loss of faculty member Michael Grimes, stated that the President and the Executive Council had sent cards to the family, and that a card was available at the meeting for senators to sign.

Items from the Administration

President Shepard reflected on the loss of colleague Michael Grimes and the immediate caring response of those connected such as Brent Carbajal, Viva Barnes, Dan Boxberger, and others. 

·         Shepard reported that it is not Western policy to censor student writing in the Western Front even if we might not agree with the point of view.

·          Shepard responded to questions from Senators about federal funding with the comment that although there are supposedly no earmarks around there are still the same opportunities.  The federal government funds various programs at different times; before it was homeland defense, now it is economic recovery and job creation.  With federal funds you don’t get a lot of latitude for what you will use the money.  We have not diversified our sources of revenues, and we have to spend more time monitoring what is happening in federal agencies as well as the halls of Congress.

·         Shepard reported he had met with a number of federal legislators, alums and friends of the university which reinforced for him the idea that we need a strategic focus and that we ought to take advantage of federal funding.

 

Provost Riordan suggested that funding opportunities might exist in partnerships with community colleges.  Program-based initiatives are also a way to respond to state needs and approach financial institutions.  Riordan recommended bringing ideas forward to Chairs who can move them forward up the administrative chain.

Riordan is arguing for increased tuition flexibility.

 

Constituent Concerns

Senators brought the following Constituent Concerns: 

§  The question of using “Expedia” or other sources as a less costly alternative to Bellingham Travel was raised.  Senators were encouraged to use departmental corporate credit cards and learned that reimbursement will be immediate as long as the TA and other paperwork is done properly. 

§  The sudden doubling of health insurance premiums and deductibles in the State appear to be a huge back-door salary cut.  Constituents will bring the topic forward to Steve Garfinkle, President of UFWW.

 

Agenda Items: 

Standing Committee Minutes – Reading and Acceptance

Senators reviewed the following minutes from Senate Standing Committees:

 


 

Committee

Date

Topic

Action

 

 

 

 

Academic Coordinating Commission

10/6/09

2009-2010 topics; Report on Accreditation standards; Honors review; Ad Hoc Cte on Academic Policy

Accepted

University Planning & Resources Council

9/30/09

Election of Keith Hyatt, Vice Chair; New Capital Budget Process (Benner, Halle); Operating budget process (Gilman)

Accepted

Academic Technology Committee

9/23/09

Election of officers; meeting calendar, report from CIO, other issues

Accepted

APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS – Chuck Lambert, Appointments Officer

Senators approved the following roster of appointments to various university committees:

UPRC (Appointed by Graduate Council members):  Steve Sulkin, SPMC

Faculty Awards Committee:    Deb Currier (Wtr Qtr), Theater, Babafemi Akinrinade, Fairhaven,

                                                     Frances Howard-Snyder, Philosophy; Trula Nicholas, Human Services;

                                                     Ozan Sula, Economics; Joe Garcia, Bowman Chair        

Student Publications Council:  Kent Smith, Art; Perry Fizzano, CS; Ee Lin Lee, Communication;

                                                     Gail Coulter, Special Education (to be appointed Nov. 9); Sheila Webb

will continue on the committee.

LGBTConcerns Committee:    Garth Amundson,  Art

 

CAUCUS

·         Following a short break Senators moved to a Caucus at 4:47 pm.  At 5 pm Senators returned to regular meeting in order to host a discussion with Vice President Swan

 

DISCUSSION:

“University Branding Initiative” – Steve Swan, Vice President University Relations

Senators heard Steve Swan, Vice President University Relations, present a branding initiative underway to discover and to market Western’s “promise”. Senators commented extensively on the importance of being able to convey Western’s story of excellence to legislators; students past, present and future; and to parents and community members.  Among some important points that were mentioned were: 

o   “Western Today” is now doing a very good job of telling the university story, and Swan welcomes ideas on what we can do even better.  Story ideas are excellent, and Swan has used them in a new style “Annual Report” which is intended to promote what is happening at Western through the use of stories, reports and research projects that highlight faculty and student work.  Ideas for stories can be submitted to the University Communications office.  Swan added that he frequently hears in Olympia that Western is a “hidden gem” and he would like to change the “hidden” part. 

o   Swan described Western’s partnership with “Lyric”  which is doing personal interviews with a cross section of current and prospective faculty, students, staff,  and board members, high school counselors, junior college counselors, etc.   Lyric asks an hour of questions to determine what interviewees believe are Western’s strengths and weaknesses, why people come here, what are some grassroots definitions.  Swan hopes these will help determine the “brand promise” which will enable Western to tell its story.

o   Swan has compiled three working groups, the first of which is the group of representatives from the president’s cabinet and the deans.  The second group is the branding leadership team comprised of  15 people from a cross section of the university to work with Lyric and analyze its results.  The third group is a group of 35-50 people who will roll out the branding promise and provide tools for people to relate the message. 

o   Swan emphasized this is a two-part initiative and has nothing to do with “logos” or  “word marks”, and that this branding effort has been purposely separated from a branding logo or design lest that might distract from a deeper level of purpose.  The branding initiative is a “branding promise” – what Western can promise to deliver, and Swan emphasized that it is incredibly important to believe that promise.

 

Senators Q & A:

o   One Senator commented on a survey that asked more about recreation than about academics, despite the fact that we know that academics is the major reason why people come to Western.

o   Funding for the survey and partnership with Lyric is allocated from the President’s office and none from the operating budget. 

o   We are challenged to recruit students in the future when application numbers start shrinking and competition becomes intense.  We need to put money into marketing because if our funding drops further we will have greater challenges.

o   Lyric was chosen because of its good understanding of higher education.  We do not have the budget to get the top companies and we delayed the project a long time to make sure we got the best possible company that was available to us.  We felt Lyric was best at understanding Western culture.

o   One Senator objected to marketing Western as a product.  In his experience the market does not value imagination, but rather a return on investment and this is difficult to reconcile.  He asked whether we should we use the language of economics and marketing at all around education. 

o   Another Senator questioned the idea of students as consumers, while yet another thought a “catchy logo” could be a good idea because we can never package what we do here anyway.

o   Swan noted that each person in the room will have a unique way of delivering the message of what Western does; Admissions people will have one message, faculty another.  We can reach people by redoing our website which is long overdue. We also have to get alumni talking.  At present we do not have a consistent message or a universal message and Swan thinks this is not only bad, but also confusing.  Swan would like legislators to truly understand what Western is about.

o   One Senator suggested using faculty members from our marketing department and to get academics on the leadership team.  In response Senators heard that we are confusing  use of a marketing academic and a marketing professional. An internal marketing person will come with experience from their own area.  But we need someone with a view of the entire university, so there is considerable advantage from having a marketing professional from the outside do this.  To have our own faculty do this is way too insular. 

o   Another Senator agreed this project is like creating a strategic plan and mission statement.   This Senator recalled experience at the University of Mississippi which had a big challenge to battle back after some negative experiences in its history.  U of M has come back in ten years after building a brand for themselves.

o   Another Senator pointed out the data from Karen Copetas that suggests we are losing top students and wondered how to influence a top student to come here.  He agreed that there is room for Western to do some self-defining. 

o   Another major concern is that the “branding” will turn out to be the driver of our internal decisions. 

o   Senators pointed out that if Swan is successful the effort will be supported by the faculty as well as the rest of  the campus.  The challenge is Olympia where the language about higher education expresses ideas about what is imperative and dispensable but virtually removes any possible consideration of quality.  How do we achieve a brand name that allows us to talk to people who don’t think about these things and desperately need some phrase to go on that they can sell to some person in their neighborhood?  Not everybody is equipped or inclined to think this through.  We need to talk the language that conveys significant information about this university so we can talk about it to those who don’t engage in what we do.

o   We are one of the last universities to engage in this.  Many institutions get very little funding from their states and have been funded largely through alumni by which they grow their endowments.  This is the result of the brand and the loyalty engendered in students and community.  In this area we are actually floundering and take many pages to say what might be said in two sentences.  We have hundreds of people who are engaged and bright, doing brilliant work, and we are not taking advantage of what branding can do for us.  We need to create this  from the bottom up.

o   Another Senator pointed out our main competition as “the elephant down south”.  For example math is taught very differently here than at U of W, and it is better here.  Another example is the fact that we do not have a school of engineering here, yet a former student who went off to U of W writes back to say that all the mechanical engineering he knows he learned at Western, where there were just 20 students in a group and hands-on use of equipment.  At U of W he was one among 300, and all the experiments were run on computers.  He got a degree but no hands-on experience.

o   Larner stated that he has endorsed the branding effort because it will provide us with the means to speak about Western to those who presently don’t understand what we’re about and why what we do is valuable, including to legislators and their supporters.

o   Senators agreed that it was important to find out why students come to Western rather than to U of W.

 

Senators thanked Vice President Swan and are interested to hear further efforts regarding the branding initiative.

 

Adjournment: 

Senators adjourned at 5:54 pm.

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, 10-26-09

 

                                                                                                __________________________

                                                                                                Karen Stout, Secretary 2009-10

 

FACULTY SENATE ROSTER 2009-2011

 

Faculty Senators whose terms end in 2011

 

 

Senate President 2009-2010

 

1

Spencer Anthony-Cahill  SenACC

Chemistry

A

P

 

Daniel Larner, Fairhaven

 

2

Branko Curgus

Math

A

P

 

Past President

 

3

Chris Suczek   ATC

Geology

A

P

 

Matthew Liao-Troth

 

4

David Hartenstine

Math

A

P

 

 

 

5

Michael J Mana

Psychology

B

Exc

 

Ex Officio

 

6

Vicki Hsueh

Political Sci

B

Exc

1

Bruce Shepard, University President

P

7

Mick Cunningham

Sociology      

B

P

2

Catherine Riordan, Provost

P

8

Ryan Wasserman

Philosophy

C

P

3

Roger Gilman, Provost’s Council

P

9

Daniel Rangel-Guerrero

M&CL

C

P

 

 

 

10

Kristin E Denham

English

C

P

 

Past Pres, Legislative Liaison,  ASVP, UFWW

 

11

Michiko Yusa   At-Large Exec

M&CL

C

P

1

Matthew Liao-Troth, Senate Pres 2008-09

--

12

Erin Hazard

Art

D

P

2

Marsha Riddle Buly, Legislative Liaison 09-10

--

13

Shawn Knabb   Sen Libraries

Economics

E

P

3

Steven Garfinkle, President, UFWW

--

14

John Feodorov

Fairhaven

F

P

4

Ramon Rinonos-Diaz, ASVP-Academics

--

15

Joanne Carney

Elem Ed

H

P

 

 

 

 

Faculty Senators whose terms will end in 2010

 

 

Guests, Recorder

 

16

Roger Anderson  ACC to UPRC

Biology

A

P

1

Steve Swan, Vice President University Relations

P

17

James Hearne   VChair ACC

Comp Sci

A

--

 

 

 

18

Robert Marshall

Anthropology

B

P

2

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder

P

19

Scott Pearce  VP & Parl, UPRC

Lib  Studies

C

P

 

 

 

20

Karen Stout   Secretary Exec

Comm

C

P

 

 

 

21

Diana Wright

History

C

P

 

 

 

22

David Meyer

Music

D

P

 

 

 

23

Madge Gleeson  UPRC mem

Art

D

P

 

Senators Present

27

24

David Gilbertson

Accounting

E

P

 

Absent or Excused

(3)

25

Mark Springer

Decision Sci

E

P

 

Ex Officio

  3

26

Daniel Larner   Sen President

Fairhaven

F

P

 

Past President, Leg Liaison, UFWW, Guests

  1

27

Grace Wang

Env S

G

P

 

Recorder

  1

28

Mary Lynne Derrington

Ed. Admin.

H

P

 

 

 

29

Chuck Lambert  Appt &E Exec

Spec. Educ

H

P

 

TOTAL PRESENT

32

30

Elizabeth Stephen

Libraries

 I

P

 

Date:  October 26, 2009