5/25/2011  Index (audiocast)

UPRC and Faculty Senate – Joint Meeting

                        For Approval 6/6/2011by Faculty Senate

 

 

 Western Washington University

University Planning and Resources Council and Faculty Senate

May 25, 2011 – Joint Meeting Minutes

 

CALL TO ORDER – Jeff Newcomer called the UPRC meeting to order in Old Main 340 at 4:01 pm and welcomed Faculty Senators for a joint meeting with UPRC.  There were forty-three (43) people present. (See roster). 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES.  The UPRC meeting minutes of May 18, 2011 were approved with one change indicating that Dean Ghali had managed to preserve health insurance for TAs in recent budget cuts (p. 3).   

Conclusion of UPRC portion of the meeting.

 

Faculty Senate Portion of the Meeting led by Senate President Scott Pearce

Following approval of the UPRC minutes Senate President Scott Pearce gave special thanks to the work of UPRC and welcomed Senators to hear and discuss recent ideas and motions forwarded from UPRC.

University President Bruce Shepard

President Shepard expressed appreciation for the hard work of all those present in the past year; people sitting around the table face to face provide better decisions in the long run.

Shepard then briefed those present on the challenges of the past year with regard to the anticipated budget cuts.  A final budget will not be sent to the Board of Trustees in June since the figures have not yet come out and Western has not had time to finalize its own budget.  However, Shepard has worked for the following all year:

1)      To make sure that cuts to Higher Education do not get any larger, and that a smaller budget cut is not offset by a larger tuition hike;

2)      To partially address the historically unfair treatment of Western in past legislative budget allocations;

3)      Convince legislators not to cut $10M the first year and $30M the second year of the biennium which would open a deep hole for Western going into the next biennium, but to at least balance such a cut by $15M and $15M, thus actually allowing commitments of $5M in the second half of the biennium.

Shepard added that people stood up and stood together and the legislature heard that it could not cut further.  This was a result of telling the issues as they are, regardless of the panic, and this united faculty, staff, students, alumni, unions all of whom organized like never before.

Now there is lots of rebasing to be done, and opportunities to put efforts to good effect.  We have to wait until the Governor signs the bill, and Shepard will share with UPRC as soon as he can.  But then we cannot just go on “business as usual”.  If we do that we miss a great opportunity to keep pressure on him and on ourselves at the department level to deal with nuances and curricular issues.  Shepard trusts faculty commitment and the excellence of the university.

 

Immediate Cuts and Long-Term Rebasing -- the Same or Different? 

Spencer Anthony-Cahill asked for clarification between immediate cuts and long-term rebasing.  Shepard responded that the way the budget broke forced our attention on areas we have to cut.  But long-term rebasing issues are for the faculty to consult on, and to originate ideas about.  For example, what distinguishes Huxley College from our entire university of the environment?  What about the Fairhaven cost structure which provides a fabulous but costly education? 

Shepard’s job is to ask tough questions and have faculty come back with the answers.  Same thing with computer science; tough questions, but they will come up with the answers.  There is thoughtful rebasing going on in CST, with ideas coming forward.  However, Shepard has to protect tenure track faculty in all of this, which is a constraint he firmly accepts.  Shepard acknowledged everyone in this room as a leader, and we ought to treat every program the way we would like to be treated.  At present we cannot show numbers until the Governor signs.  If those numbers hold by September we will be able to think how to build this university and budget the flexibility to do important things in the future.

It is important for our students to understand the budget, for us to maintain access to quality, to expand courses in high demand and costly areas, to solve bottlenecks, and to bring back tenure lines.  All the time I have been here students are paying more and more for less and less. With this we want them for the first time paying more for more.

Shepard answered questions from guests and further explained the budget as divided into instruction 50% and auxiliary 50%.  The State used to pick up 60% of the instructional budget while students picked up 30% of that.  Now it has shifted so that students are picking up 70% and the State is picking up 30%.  The instructional budget is what the State actually gives us to teach. The auxiliary budget is different and covers housing, dining, grants, etc.   You could say that state taxpayers provide 14% of our overall budget.  All of these statistics reflect the same contribution from the State, but are produced using different denominators. 

Shepard offered to provide a 1-pager explaining budget terms and a breakdown of various denominators.

 

Capital Budget. 

Rich Van Den Hul provided some capital budget figures just released in the earlier afternoon.  Van Den Hul reported that the conference committee had been informed of the UPRC priorities.  As a result Western is proposed to receive $8.2M for preservation; $6.8M for Carver design; $4.8M for classroom and lab upgrades; $4.5M for Fraser Hall and $350,000 for the Academic Service and Performing Arts facility predesign.  The 6 year planning process in the State of Washington means that Carver will be eligible for its funding in the next biennium.  The process is “predesign”, “design” and “construction”.  Once the State approves predesign it more than likely funds the design in the following biennium, so all of this is potentially good news.

 

Provost Riordan – Academic Affairs Overview

Provost Riordan reported important feedback from UPRC on the items brought forward from Academic Affairs; however the two or three bullet points presented in an attempt to be simple and clear for each item belied the immense effort that went into them.

Riordan added that suggestions were presented to look at certain areas, but the consultation is needed to get those changes and no changes can be made without faculty.  Faculty have to make any of the changes that might have been proposed because they come up with the best ideas; they are the people engaged in the analysis and are the only ones who can sustain changes going forward.

Riordan confirmed that in every instance, except with regard to NTT faculty, the discussed changes imply multi-year implementation.  Fall quarter is already set and we have obligations to teach out our curriculum. Cuts will occur, but not necessarily effective in the next academic year.

Rebasing might also be the effect of a department reexamining its curriculum and discovering that it can achieve the same outcome with a different constellation of courses.  For example we can offer a major with 5 specialties instead of the 8 we would like to offer, but we can guarantee and students can expect that all of the 5 we have settled on are going to be high quality.  Huxley for example, examined its curriculum last year, made some eliminations and concentrated other parts of their programs.  Fairhaven is considering a lot more engagement with GURs, especially since they do a fabulous job in engaging people from diverse backgrounds.  We need to do this, and yet carry the essence of Fairhaven forward into the future.  CFPA too is thinking of compressing programs to provide future options that are more solid.  And we have a lot of work to in Humanities and Social Sciences to leverage our GUR program going forward.  By December we need to have some things worked out to move strongly toward quality in the future of those disciplines.  Those students paying significantly more tuition will have access to higher quality classes.

Riordan continued that we have to address enrollment issues because there is differential growth across colleges in terms of majors, and then most importantly to return to tenure track hiring through the funds preserved in the colleges to be provided by Deans and departments for that purpose.  We have to manage the need for seats and deliver on these in our classes.

 

Early Faculty Participation

Scott Pearce added that some had just been brainstorming on how various leadership groups can digest this information and formulate ways to enable faculty to participate early in discussions in the future.  Anthony-Cahill added that Riordan’s clear explanation addressed a lot of anxiety that had been expressed by constituents.

Riordan is chary of two different processes:  budget cutting vs. rebasing.  To her strategic budget cuts now will enable money to go back to other areas strategically later. 

Newcomer added that listing the cuts, for example in the way BFA did, meant that UPRC just had to go down the list to see how the obligated cut could be met.  But Academic Affairs was not ready to be analyzed in this way so we will not know what a potential list would look like.  Riordan acknowledged that going into this process with the idea of eliminating T and TT faculty would provide crisp numbers right away, but when you have to teach out for three years and only have opportunistic choices with personnel it is a much more complicated problem.

 

Maintaining Seats. 

Mike Mana mentioned that with the fuzzy numbers of dwindling NTT and other budget cuts nobody is talking about how to maintain seats.  Riordan asked if we can strategically provide a ton of support for a few mega session courses as a stop gap – realizing that for such a section we need technology and TA support.  ACC would come in to oversee curricular revisions and be involved before the decisions are made.  But do we have a nimble and flexible process for this?  We need a set of guidelines for what a larger class size actually means.  Workload is a complex animal when it comes to increasing it with no support, no technology, etc.  The disciplines have to weigh in on this.

Roger Anderson suggested that at some universities a class size of 1000 means learning can actually be higher but it depends on effort and support.  Keith Hyatt suggested there are very small classes that need a lot of support and technology also.

 

A Different Future

UFWW has been involved in a lot of these discussions but Riordan added we have to live by our obligations in the contract no matter what different interpretations might be suggested.

As far as the future, this is unknown, but Bill Lyne suggested that we might still get some more supplemental cuts.  Others agreed that we are in a paradigm shift.  We have to put away the idea that things will go back to the way they were.  Thinking along new lines will enable us to see and look at new opportunities.

 

Data Gathering in the Trenches. 

Spencer Anthony-Cahill expressed concern that as a procedural issue discussions have not occurred among faculty at lower levels but with deans and select members of the Senate.  Also many criteria are out there but none are particularly compelling.  A few criteria would be a good basis for this discussion of rebasing and should occur at the faculty level, and then at some higher levels.  Riordan has used the Mission Statement for the use of institutional resources to address access and build on our strengths.

Riordan reported that GURs were one area talked about; another is the Graduate School and asking what is the appropriate portfolio of graduate programs for this institution.

Anthony-Cahill addressed the question of the STS decision made over the summer, to cut a unit that provides services all across the university, and discussions just within a college would not address all that this unit does.  Fact-finding that goes into decision making is made in the trenches.  Pearce and Newcomer will work on a confidential process report this summer.

 

Marketplace and Comparison to Peers. 

David Wallin pointed out that aside from the focus on how the budget affects us internally we ought to ask how the continued tuition increases position us in relation to other institutions and to our peers.  Are we still a bargain, an average, or are we now overpriced.  Eileen Coughlin suggested we have to wait to find out what other institutions are doing, probably over the summer.  Paula Gilman confirmed that the HEC Board does these comparisons but has not been able to provide data for 2009-10, possibly because of its elimination shortly.  Because the economy is bad across the country Gilman predicted that the 17% gap that has been our lag may stay constant. Coughlin emphasized the need to position ourselves in the marketplace and for that reason a consultant will come on board in June to see how we can better use the dollars we have to compete in the market we are in, and to see what kind of scholarship dollars we have.

 

Library Acquisitions Budget Cut. 

Anthony-Cahill could see no benefit in decentralizing the Graduate School so that decision is a good one, but the other pressing issue for his constituency is the acquisitions budget in the library which is affecting potential scholarship at Western and is a matter of deep concern regarding cutting journals and subscriptions.

 

Joint Meetings Helpful. 

Mike Mana proposed continuing joint meetings occasionally in the future because of all the “horsepower and creativity in the room”. 

Janet Finlay added that Senate and UPRC provide important areas of overlap and redundancy that allow people to let their feelings be known.

April Markiewicz, PSO and Susan Banton, Classified Staff representatives appreciated the opportunity UPRC provides for their constituencies on campus.

 


 

 

ADJOURNMENT

5/25/2011 – Faculty Senate and UPRC adjourned at 5:22  pm – Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Recorder

 

UNIVERSITY PLANNING AND RESOURCES COUNCIL 2010-2011 – ROSTER

1

Jeff Newcomer, CHAIR

P

18

VP Catherine Riordan, Provost

P

2

Barbara Mathers-Schmidt, CSD, CHSS

P

19

VP Stephanie Bowers, UnivAdv

P

3

Brad Johnson, Physics/Astron, CST

P

20

VP Eileen Coughlin, StudAff’

P

4

Hart Hodges, Economics, CBE

P

21

VP Steve Swan, University Relations

P

5

Lesley Sommer, Music

P

22

VP Rich Van Den Hul, Bus& Financial Affairs

P

6

Lawrence Estrada, Fairhaven

P

23

Paula Gilman, ExecDirector, Plan&Budget, NV

P

7

Paul Stangl, Environ Studies, Huxley

P

24

Rose Marie Norton-Nader, Sen Recorder, nv

P

8

Keith Hyatt, Special Ed., Woodring, Vice Chair

P

 

Guests:

 

9

Robert  Lopresti, Libraries

P

25

Bruce Shepard, University President

P

10

Scott Pearce, Liberal Studies, Senator (SenPres)

P

26

Moheb Ghali, Dean, Graduate School

P

11

Roger Anderson, Biology, ACC Rep

P

27

Debra Jusak, Special Assistant to Provost

P

12

Steve Sulkin, SPMC, Graduate Council Rep

--

28

Bill Lyne, UFWS President

 

13

Janet Finlay, Psychology, CHSS Rep

P

 

SENATORS:

 

14

Ramon Rinonos-Diaz, ASVP 2009-2011

P

7

Karen Stout, Faculty Senate President 2011-12

P

15

Michael Renne, AS representative

--

8

Mick Cunningham, Sociology

P

16

April Markiewicz, PSO

P

9

Chuck Lambert, Special Education

P

17

Susan Banton, Pres. PSE, Classified Staff BargUnit

P

10

Spencer Anthony-Cahill, Chemistry

P

 

SENATORS:

 

11

Daniel Larner, Fairhaven

P

1

Babafemi Akinrinade, Fairhaven

P

12

David O Wallin, Huxley College

P

2

Kathleen Saunders, Anthropology

P

13

David Hartenstine, Mathematics

P

3

Paul Piper, Libraries

P

14

Branko Curgus, Mathematics

P

4

Cynthia Camlin, Art

P

15

Kate Wayne, Elementary Education

P

5

Steve Henson, CBE

P

16

David Bover, Computer Science

P

6

Mike Mana, Psychology

P

17

Donald Larsen, Woodring

P

 

 

 

 

May 25, 2011     TOTAL

43