Comments and Questions from Listening Session with Bruce

Psychology Department

Our clinic opens today and we can see that there is designated parking.  We are grateful to whoever made it happen. 

Will we have to do a reduction in force for faculty?   

The HECB plans for expanding enrollment and the idea of building a university in Everett don’t seem to make much sense in current environment.

The Provost search didn’t work out yet.  How long will Dennis stay?

What was the role of affirmative action in dean searches?    I’ve worked under eight presidents, and none of the AA programs have advanced the ball.  Perhaps we don’t have people effectively recruiting. 

We don’t want to tell people we recruit that we are taking a risk on them.  Came from a southern university that was slow to integrate.  Dean chose to allocate an extra position in order to ensure that a well qualified black candidate was hired.  If you establish a collaborative culture to mentor new faculty – helping them to publish and succeed, we’ll be further ahead. 

We haven’t had the resources to make it happen at the dept level.  Sometimes it’s too expensive to compete. 

How much is spent to recruit administrators? If we spent that on faculty positions, it might make a difference.  

Going to national meetings is a very effective way to recruit. We could reach out to people who don’t have exactly the right mix of specialties if we are allowed to plan ahead for retirements. But we are asked up the line whether we can guarantee the retirement, etc

If you have discussions with deans about the balance of faculty of the future – and not just about retirement status of current faculty – it would be useful.   The planning and leadership need to be top down AND bottom up. 

Do you know what will happen with the BRAIN positions? 

This department engages students in research very well.  We have structured curriculum to hold the line on class size at upper level to ensure that students have opportunities to engage.  We’re Worried about impact of the budget on NTT faculty.  Cutting NTT would impact departments differently.  Psych relies quite a bit – because we haven’t gotten TT positions to keep up with demand.

We appreciate having heard immediately when you got the news about the budget.

How will we participate in future planning?  Will we ever give a PhD? 

For a number of years, the University, College, and Department’s position on federal grant proposals was that faculty could not include in their proposal a budget line that would allow them to “buy out” any portion of their teaching schedule during the academic year to devote to conducting the research associated with their proposals. At most, the policy was that if salary for the investigator was included it could only be used for summer salary. This policy was consistent with a vision of Western as an undergraduate teaching institution.  This is difficult as we define ourselves more in terms of scholarly productivity, especially for larger grants since the scope of the research would have required some teaching release time.  This is a disincentive to faculty to pursuing larger grants.

The university should also address our current distribution formula for indirect cost funds generated from funded grant proposals. The College and the Department receive relatively small proportions and the investigator receives none of it.


Page Updated 11.27.2013