Motions (from minutes) passed by the Faculty Senate 2005-2006

Bill Lyne, President





Bicycles on campus


Matthew Liao-Troth and Jim Stewart had followed up on the bicycle and pedestrian policy following a motion of the Senate last Spring.  Jim Stewart found that the Central Health and Safety Committee (CHSC) adopted a policy in 1997 (which was amended in 1998 to allow bicycles on campus 15 minutes AFTER the start of classes until 15 minutes BEFORE the start of classes), but the policy had not been reviewed after the first three years.   The CHSC will review the bicycle policy this year and seeks faculty representation on the committee. 

A motion was then made by Matthew Liao-Troth, seconded by Laura Laffrado, and passed by the Senate to delete the first part of the language of the motion of May 23, 2005 that requested a Senate committee to review the comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle safety plan, in light of the role of CHSC.  The second part of the motion remains, and asks that the Senate �request public safety to enforce current bicycle dismount and safety policies, including skateboarding and roller blading prohibitions.�  (See Senate minutes of May 23, 2005)


Satisfactory performance


Motion from Executive Council:   (revisions to Faculty Handbook, page 9): 

The Senate Executive Council moved to amend page 9 of the Faculty Handbook, V. D. 5a. to delete a phrase regarding satisfactory performance.  Senators discussed the rationale for the change which is to eliminate some present confusion in interpreting performance development review. Senators voted unanimously to approve the amendment which will be published to the faculty in FAST and posted on the Senate website.  (deletions struck-through).


D.          Evaluation of Tenured Faculty Members

5.   Procedures for Professional Performance / Development Review

a.         Faculty undergoing a Professional Performance / Development Review shall provide to the chair and other colleagues in the department evidence of satisfactory performance and professional growth and development with regard to teaching effectiveness, scholarly/creative/artistic endeavor, and service to the institution and profession.  The materials required for this evidence is specified in the unit evaluation plan.  It is suggested that the materials include a comprehensive vita, the annual reports for the review period, students� evaluations of the instructional quality of most classes taught, peer evaluations of teaching, syllabi for courses taught, examples of students� work, distributions of assigned grades, a comprehensive listing of publications or creative/artistic activities during the review period, and examples of the most significant scholarly or creative artistic accomplishments. 




Senators postponed action on two additional items, pending review of the language by the Executive Council.  The first of these items included revisions to Faculty Handbook, page 16 X.E.1.(d) to revise phrasing regarding eligibility for General Merit.  The second item, page 3, III. A. E. 2. and 3 was submitted as a discussion item for the Senate to reconsider which areas in which evidence of a satisfactory record may be sufficient. 


Criteria for General Merit Step increase


Motion from Executive Council:   (revisions to Faculty Handbook, page 9): 

The Senate Executive Council moved to amend pages 15 and 16 of the Faculty Handbook, X.E., to revise phrasing to eliminate confusion regarding General Merit (deletions struck-through, new material underlined):

�E.    Criteria and  Administration of Funds

                1.    Criteria for General Merit Step Increase

                (a)   Tenured Faculty

                              (1)   no change

                              (2)   A faculty member having been tenured or promoted from assistant to associate or associate to full professor will be deemed as having satisfied the requirements for general merit step increase for increases occurring in the five years during the review period subsequent to the promotion.  Review of the faculty member in the fifth year in the final year of the review period will be necessary to qualify for any general merit increase in the subsequent year.

                 (b) (c)  no change

                 (d)   Review Procedures:

                               Peer evaluations, departmental summaries, and chair's evaluation, along with the candidate's file, are forwarded to a college-wide committee for review, evaluation, and recommendation to the Dean.  In units without departments (Fairhaven and Huxley College and the Library), peer evaluations and the candidate's file are sent directly to the unit committee for review, evaluation, and recommendation to the Dean or University Librarian.  This process shall evaluate the performance of the faculty member in three areas for the three previous years review period:  teaching effectiveness, scholarly/creative/artistic endeavor, and service to the institution and profession.  Standards for evaluation in these areas are determined by the descriptions of various academic ranks as established in the Faculty Handbook, Section I.III.E., "Qualifications and Characteristics of Faculty Ranks."  The faculty member's performance shall be classified as unsatisfactory, satisfactory, or superior for each area.  These review results shall form the basis for receiving salary increases.  A faculty member shall be eligible for a General Merit increase in each of the next three years  year until the next review if that faculty member receives satisfactory evaluations or better in at least two areas, one of which must be at least a satisfactory evaluation in teaching effectiveness.  The review period shall include all evidence accumulated since the last successful review for general merit.�



Senators postponed action on another item from page 16, pending review of the language by the Executive Council.   The main concerns center on language recommending assistance in the unique situation when a faculty member might fail the teaching review.  The item, which reconsiders those areas which require evidence of a satisfactory record, and the timeline of a review period when probation is extended, will be referred to the ad hoc committee chaired by Kyle Crowder.


Retirement age


The Faculty Senate unanimously passed a motion from the Executive Council to revise pages  28 of the Faculty Handbook, XIV. D. to eliminate phrasing defining retirement age (deletions struck-through, new material underlined):

XIV.    Retirement  (Faculty Handbook, page 28)  

          A.    , B., C. (no change)

          D.    A faculty member retires at the end of the academic year in which he/she reaches the age of 70.  However, aA faculty member may elect to retire at the earliest age specified for retirement by Federal Social Security Law.  Likewise, a faculty member may be retired for reasons of health and/or disability at an earlier age.  Before making a decision to retire or to retire early, before age 65, a faculty member should check what benefits he/she will receive.

          (remainder unchanged)


Vision and mission statement Provost Bodman distributed a preliminary draft of a vision and mission statement currently developed by the Strategic Planning Task Force with co-chair Jeff Newcomer. 


UPC planning for construction

Charge to University Planning Council

Senators agreed to charge UPC to come up with guidelines to address construction issues.  A motion was introduced by Ira Hyman, and seconded by Jim Stewart as follows:  �The Faculty Senate charges UPC to review the processes involved in planning major construction projects and set forth guidelines for future construction projects.�  The motion passed unanimously. 

Process for evaluating administers

Motion from the Executive Council - Process for Evaluating Administrators

Lyne reiterated that the document distributed to Senators reflects input by faculty over many months.  One significant change from the original document is the makeup of the evaluation committee.  In 2006-07 the Faculty Senate will appoint an Ad Hoc Committee at first, to get the process up and running; after seeing how this works out, the more formal process required in doing a Bylaw change to the handbook could then progress to a more formal Standing Committee.


Laura Laffrado made a slight amendment to reverse the order of �her� and �his� in the last paragraph, and then made a motion to approve the Process for Evaluating Administrators which came forward from the Executive Council (already seconded).  Jeff Newcomer seconded Laura�s amendment, which was then passed.  The Senate then passed the Motion to approve the process, with 1 opposed.




Following discussion Jeff Newcomer made a motion, seconded by Jim Stewart, which passed, in which the Senate supports �that funding to purchase the Old Drive-In for the State of Washington should not come from the pockets of Faculty, Staff and Students.�


Academic Freedom Task Force concerning monitoring internet useage


    Senators discussed a MOTION from the Executive Council charging an Academic Freedom Task Force.

    The discussion brought up concerns regarding monitoring email usage, research about terrorist groups, and concerns that faculty research online can seemed suspicious in light of recent attacks.

    Senators clarified that this is more of an informational task force, especially regarding implications of the Patriot Act, and anticipate that the legislature may be taking on the topic.

    Following discussions of the broadness or narrowness of the charge, and some requests to modify the current document, including concerns about the Ethics Code restraining employees of public universities, Senators MOVED TO TABLE, which failed, 14 to 9

    Senators agreed that the Task Force should look at all the information, gather it and provide the Senate with a total picture of what is happening, and then have a more thorough discussion.

    Roger Thompson reminded Senators that we have Asp�s entire 1940 Statement on Academic Freedom, and other Senators reinforced the idea that there is a tremendous amount of information readily available.  Dan Larner admonished Senators that since many challenges to academic freedom took place in the 40�s and 50�s before we arrived; we need to refresh ourselves on academic freedom.  What is its status before the law, how involved is it in constitutional matters, etc.?  Thompson recommended that George Mariz be part of the committee, since he has a great deal of information on the history of academic freedom.

    Other Senators would like to have security concerns regarding research better clarified.

    Kristen Parris suggested that Senators amend the first word of each of the bulleted paragraphs to read �examine�, and simplified the first paragraph.  The Executive Council accepted the changes, and re-entered a MOTION to accept the amended charge, seconded by Roger Thompson. 


The amended charge was passed unanimously, and reads as follows:


�WHEREAS, A University thrives on the free flow of information and the liberty to pursue and disseminate knowledge;

�THEREFORE, The Faculty Senate, in collaboration with the Student Senate, establishes an Academic Freedom Task Force comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives to work with administrative representatives to view the status of academic freedom;


1. Examine appropriate avenues for discourse on rights and responsibilities; associated with academic freedom, open scholarship, and democratic structures;

            2. Examine internal and external surveillance pressures including both existing and potential means for monitoring forms of communications;

            3. Examine security concerns associated with research;

            4. Examine accessible means for ongoing dissemination of information around sensitive issues;

            5. Issue a preliminary report on finding in Winter 2007, and a final report, including recommendations for possible action, in Spring 2007.�




Revision of text regarding the Revised Strategic Plan

Revised Strategic Plan

Senators reviewed the Revised Strategic Plan brought forward in the University Planning Council minutes of May 17, 2006.  One Senator asked for clarification of text on page 5, especially in using words such as �diversity, �difference�, �cultural�, and �international.�  Roger Thompson addressed the issue as follows: 

"Many goals are being addressed in this section.  One aspect is the way in which international studies is being folded into a section that is primarily concerned with diversity issues, one of the three main sections in the 1997 Strategic Plan.  "Diversity," as I understand the use of the term, has connotations that connect it to the American experience and topics like multi-culturalism. 

�Those of us who do international studies are concerned that people outside the university who will be using this document--Olympia, HEC Board, etc.--might think that this section of the Strategic Plan is concerned only with domestic American concerns.  I'm proposing to use "different" in place of "diverse" to underscore the importance of studying other cultures. 

�It would be more transparent if we could call for the study of "foreign" countries, but that language, for reasons I'm not entirely sure about, is unacceptable.  Even if obliquely, I think it is important for the new Strategic Plan to contain language that commits the University to ensuring that Western's students will become familiar and comfortable, through study about and travel in, the world outside the boundaries of the United States."



Senators moved to approve the following text on page 5 (moved by Thompson, seconded by Jim Stewart):

    �Become more diverse and enhance opportunities for students to understand and participate in culturally different cultures and diverse societies.  Diversity remains one of the central values of the Western Experience. Therefore:

   The University should strive to become more diverse through recruitment, hiring, and            exchange efforts.

   The University should develop more avenues for campus community members to participate in diverse communities experience different communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

   Units should integrate issues of culture and diversity the study of different and diverse societies more fully across the curriculum.�

 Senators also changed �campus� to �University� on page 5 following a motion by Ira Hyman, seconded by Laura Laffrado, and included the removal of repeated text on the first page under �Vision�.  Text changes follow:

�Improve communication throughout the University. campus. As Western has grown in size, scope and complexity, effective communication among its units and members has emerged as an important challenge�. � (remainder unchanged)

Repeated text deleted:

VISION: Western Washington University Washington University will become the premier public comprehensive university in the country through engaged excellence.

Following these amendments, Senators moved that the Plan go forward as amended, which passed unanimously. (moved by Hyman, seconded by Laffrado).