Index of Topics – November 9, 2009

            Exhibit A:  Approved 11/23/09

  Office of Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education:  Steve VanderStaay

 

 

WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Regular Meeting – November 9, 2009

 

Call to Order

Daniel Larner, Faculty Senate President, called the 2009-2010 Senate to order at 4:04 pm.  Larner welcomed twenty-four (24) Senators, three (3) ex officio members, four (4) guests 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 26, 2009 with the addition of the word “hundreds” to the sentence “We have ‘hundreds’ of people” found on page 3.

 

 President Larner reported that:

·         The Executive Council is working on a charge and possible membership for a potential graduate advisory committee which will come to the Senate for debate.  Senators have pointed out that the very creation of such a committee is debatable as well as whether it should be part of a present committee or a separate advisory committee.  A draft charge and membership will help facilitate concrete debate on the topic.  Larner observed that whatever is proposed will be subject to existing university governing structures and approval mechanisms.

Items from the Administration

President Shepard reported:

·         Shepard suggested that voters saw drastic consequences and therefore soundly defeated initiative 1033.

·       Shepard is making the argument to legislators that even a best case scenario cut of 2% is ridiculous; yet such a 2% reduction remains the best case scenario of what the actual shortfall will be.  At the same time there is no information available and we won’t know more until the legislature debates.  Shepard added that we are trying to protect all our resources, and to figure out through our budget processes how we are going to respond.

·         Shepard’s offer of space and student volunteers to the Whatcom Middle School in light of the recent fire at the school was appreciated by the community.

·         Shepard plans to move forward with the search to fill Buff Schoenfeld’s position; Schoenfeld will be leaving the university in the middle of the month.  Shepard reported that this is the 4th basic open position in his office, and the Trustees want it filled. 

·         Shepard will ask Sherry Burkey why the State of Washington still assesses sales tax on the university, including our instate travel following a Senator’s question and note that every special private interest has an exemption in the code. 

·         Shepard reported that there is no hiring freeze per se, but that he has said we have to be prepared for gloomy budget news and be flexible in getting through the second year of the biennium.  Each Dean has been asked to think in terms of priorities.

·         Shepard will attend Veterans’ Day ceremonies with the Vice Presidents.

 

Provost Riordan

·      Provost Riordan caught the attention of the legislature with the argument that we normally hire 30 faculty but this year we hired only three. While there is no hiring freeze, Deans are urged to be cautious.  Deans are also asked to think about potential projects that might reflect the 13 proposed themes that might be part of next year’s fundraising campaign.  Riordan plans to move ahead in seeing how we can hire Limited Term Faculty in order to preserve the early spring registration which was a big success last year. 

·      Riordan is working with the Deans to think about our future and our next fundraising campaign, and if we did have money, where would we want to spend it?  Riordan reported on 13 themes that might be the themes for the next campaign.

·    Riordan is bringing in advisory boards and others from off campus to ensure they continue their friendship with us, continue  partnering to donate dollars and provide internships for our students, and to dispel any notion that we are an isolated entity “up on the hill”.

Other Report Items:

·         Marsha Riddle Buly, Senate Legislative Liaison, urged faculty to publicize data that shows that while other aspects of education get legislative funding the public baccalaureates are down 7.3%.  Washington State ranks 48th in the country in the public’s participation in 4-year college degrees, but leads the nation in the percentage of our students who graduate.  Riddle Buly suggested each college choose a month and ensure that several of their faculty show up at local town hall meetings.  Students too need to learn about higher education issues.

·         Ramon Rinonos-Diaz, Associated Students Vice President, Academics, reported the following: 1) students are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Viking Union; 2) 300 students voted in the Bellingham elections using campus ballot boxes; 3) the AS is writing a specific charter to reflect student partnership with the university.

·         Steven Garfinkle, UFWW President, reported on 1) combined efforts of the four regionals to leverage as many contacts as possible with legislators; 2) Bill Lyne’s blog site has useful information and many hits at http://www.ufws.org/blog ; 3) bargaining units will be working to get a seat at the table of state bodies that determine medical fees.

Constituent Concerns

Senators brought the following Constituent Concerns: 

·         The Seattle Opera young artists will perform at the PAC on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.

·         A campus safety officer is not allowing faculty who teach in Humanities to be dropped off near the building;

·         WTA is holding a board meeting 11/19 to discuss loss of certain bus routes;

·         The “Course Reaction Survey” ordering process ought to be automated and the question of class evaluations brought to the bargaining table.  Shepard commented that students have the right to evaluate their classes, but that these surveys are used improperly to evaluate teaching when there is a lack of more meaningful alternatives such as peer review.

Agenda Items: 

Standing Committee Minutes – Reading and Acceptance

Senators reviewed the following minutes from Senate Standing Committees:

 


 

Senate Standing Committee

Date

Senate Action

Academic Coordinating Commission

10/20/09

ACCEPTED

University Planning & Resources Council

10/14/09

ACCEPTED

Academic Technology Committee

10/23/09

Postponed.  Senators ask if the University is considering email outsourcing.  Senators would like further explanations of the “Elluminate” program.

APPOINTMENTS AND ELECTIONS – Chuck Lambert, Appointments Officer

Senators approved the continued service of Jennifer Devenport on the Parking Appeals Board. 

VacanciesCold Beverage Awards committee (2-3 faculty).  This committee is involved in negotiating the contract for cold beverages for the university and is different from the committee that awards beverage funds for campus speakers.   

Vacancies also exist on the Student Judicial Appeals Board.

 


 

DISCUSSION:

Steven VanderStaay, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education – Report on Initiatives

First Year Programs

o  VanderStaay has assumed review of all First Year programs, with a savings of about $40,000.  Student Affairs also has First Year programs and plans are underway to find commonality in assessment and mission. The First-Year Planning Group, a joint Academic Affairs and Student Affairs working group with several faculty members, has written an organizing mission for programs designed to help students successfully transition to Western. This mission will be the basis of the assessment of the programs.  Data exists that shows that the FIGs routinely improve graduation rates.  FYE are successful but more difficult to fund.

o  A current first-year pilot of  the Physics Department puts learning assistants, not TAs, into classes with the goal of improving student success rate and providing more  support and peer interaction for freshmen.  Such a program may lead to more funding, including from NSF.  Other ideas include a 10-day early fall start session for small groups of freshmen to prepare them for their calculus or math.  Such a program is successful at U of W, but will have to include investigation of the rates paid to faculty. Continuing to be told how valuable and efficient we are requires care that we get paid well for the work we already do.

o  VanderStaay’s office is aggressively pursuing a program of grant funding for low income students, which may pilot next year.  He is also seeking ways to get additional students into STEM programs.  STEM graduate rates are flat.  We need to provide support so faculty apply for awards because the money is there

Accreditation

o  VanderStaay has a draft response to the four concerns expressed by the accreditors. The CUE committee, under the chairmanship of Kathleen Kennedy, is working hard on the general education response which is due next Fall.  At that time we will enter a brand new process, with a new report due a year from this spring.

o  There are many opportunities under the new standards because there is less intervention and shorter reports, but there are more of them. VanderStaay is looking at minimalistic assessment procedures, and with the revamping of the assessment office he will bring a draft reporting structure to the Senate for comment.

Voluntary System of Accountability

o  VanderStaay is responsible for coordinating the university’s Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), an initiative by public 4-year universities to supply basic, comparable information on the undergraduate student experience to important constituencies through a common web report – the College Portrait.  The VSA was developed by university leaders and is sponsored by two higher education associations - the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

o  The data looks wonderful for Western and is very useful to parents who are deciding on a college.  For example, parents need to know that almost all of the freshmen come back to Western after completing their first year here. 

o  Bruce Shepard added that assessment is there to help us to do the job we want to do.  We care about teaching and learning, and should know what we really want to attend to, department by department, and course by course.  These processes work best when they are real processes. Some work very well and we want to know why, some do not and we also want to know why.  The things we care most about are not always amenable to clear precise measures.  But we can still think and talk and do well about all of this in the departments, and thus come up with an assessment that is more qualitative:  why are students doing well here and not so well here, for example.  Accrediting agencies want us to show how we make a difference.  

o  The VSA is a system enabling us to avoid a stronger federal hand.  We put out on the web a variety of methods in which we do look good, and forestall federal involvement.  People do shop institutions and look at those things, but it is unknown how much this information influences student perspectives.  For example, our most recent IPED comparison data shows we are much more successful graduating Latino students and not as successful with African American students.  What can we do to be more successful in this area?

Positions

o  VanderStaay is working with the Provost to make the provost position sustainable despite eight hours of meetings a day.  VanderStaay is pro active in supporting faculty initiatives.  For example a group of young faculty in various departments meet monthly and present each other information on their particular GURs

o  VanderStaay is reviewing directors that report to him.  These directors have not received annual reviews in many years.  He is setting clear goal metrics and establishing 5-year reviews for all programs.  Directors qualified to teach also do that.  VanderStaay teaches halftime for the English department.


 

Honors Program

o  Analysis of Honors Program showed that it is greatly underutilized despite very good results. Students in Honors Program are more apt to graduate in 4 years; the program also brings in nonresident tuition so we expanded this year by 25 additional students.  There are two sources of support for Honors, one of which sponsors seminars, and one offered through a college such as Honors in General Chemistry.
VanderStaay plans to direct some of the savings mentioned earlier towards Honors, and the Honors Chemistry.  While our Honors is basically a GUR program, we can ask what kind of Honors would best serve us? A larger program review of Honors is planned for later in the year. Some schools have an Honors College.

o  We need processes to bring the high achieving students aboard.  We need a sustainable system of support for Honors in general.  With so much on the table this year we thought Honors might not get the attention it needs and that the program review should wait.  Faculty asked why we are losing high academic students and learned that we are not offering many small scholarships.  Other universities are working harder at this.

 

Adjournment: 

Senators adjourned at 5:40 pm.

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder, 11-09-09

                                                                                                __________________________

                                                                                                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

P

 

Ex Officio

 

6

Vicki Hsueh

Political Sci

B

P

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

--

 

Past Pres, Legislative Liaison,  UFWW, ASVP

 

11

Michiko Yusa   At-Large Exec

M&CL

C

--

1

Matthew Liao-Troth, Senate Pres 2008-09

--

12

Erin Hazard

Art

D

--

2

Marsha Riddle Buly, Legislative Liaison 09-10

P

13

Shawn Knabb   Sen Libraries

Economics

E

P

3

Steven Garfinkle, President, UFWW

P

14

John Feodorov

Fairhaven

F

P

4

Ramon Rinonos-Diaz, ASVP-Academics

P

15

Joanne Carney

Elem Ed

H

--

 

 

 

 

Faculty Senators whose terms will end in 2010

 

 

Guests, Recorder

 

16

Roger Anderson  ACC to UPRC

Biology

A

P

1

Steven VanderStaay, VPUE

P

17

James Hearne   VChair ACC

Comp Sci

A

P

 

 

 

18

Robert Marshall

Anthropology

B

--

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

24

24

David Gilbertson

Accounting

E

P

 

Absent or Excused

(6)

25

Mark Springer

Decision Sci

E

P

 

Ex Officio

  4

26

Daniel Larner   Sen President

Fairhaven

F

P

 

Past Pres, Leg Liaison, UFWW, ASVP, Guests

  3

27

Grace Wang

Env S

G

--

 

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

--

 

Date:  November 9, 2009