Abstract of May 16, 2011, Faculty Senate meeting

Western Today staff

Scott Pearce, Western Washington University Faculty Senate president, called the 2010-2011 Faculty Senate to order at 4:06 p.m. after orientation for new senators conducted by Senate Vice President and Parliamentarian Karen Stout. Senators accepted the minutes of May 2, 2011, along with the standing committee minutes. Pearce thanked the senators for their hard work during the past year; that sentiment was echoed by Provost Catherine Riordan, who thanked Scott Pearce for his leadership.

Senate President Pearce reported:

  • A faculty volunteer is still needed for Senate Legislative Representative, a position of vital service to the university.
  • The Provost/Senate Awards ceremony for faculty will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, May 23, in the Western Gallery.
  • A joint meeting of the University Planning and Resources Council with the senate is scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, in Old Main Room 340.

Provost Riordan reported that the candidates for dean of the College of Sciences and Technology are being interviewed on campus and that the long-term view on rebasing includes investment in tenure-track hiring.

Marsha Riddle Buly reported that passage of House Bill 1795 means negotiating four areas of performance standards with the state Office of Financial Management: time to degree; success from among low income, diverse, or underrepresented students; minimum numbers required for instate BA degrees; and meeting critical state needs in high demand areas and the sciences.

Senators emphasized that the university should not be penalized because rising tuition pressures students to work many more hours outside of school with consequences to their GPA, credit load and debt load.

Presentation: The Future of Sustainability in the Curriculum at Western, from George Pierce, special assistant for sustainability. Pierce and Sustainability Committee members Craig Dunn, Seth Vidana, Nick Zaferatos, Nicole Brown and Victor Nolet answered questions on the Sustainability Initiative, a recent white paper, and the completion of phase one of the project. Phase two seeks a director of undergraduate projects and the creation of a general education sequence in sustainability literacy. Phase three seeks establishment of a fully developed institute with majors and minors and support of faculty and student research. Information is available on the provost’s website or at http://www.wwu.edu/sii. Senators discussed various definitions of "sustainability" that tend to be broad in scope, transdisciplinary by nature and must be applicable across curriculum and applied research both regionally and globally.

Constituent concerns:

  • Minutes of faculty governance committees in the colleges should not be publicly posted but made available through an intercollegiate Blackboard site only.
  • ResNet may be hosting a student site of papers and keys to exams that cannot be accessed by faculty; other issues may surround the autonomous realms created by separate divisions on campus.
  • Faculty service workload creep can be unquantifiable. Faculty should contact Steve Garfinkle if they are asked to increase workload as a result of rebasing.

Action Item: Senators voted to apportion two additional seats on the University Planning and Resources Council to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Sciences and Technology.

Senators heard that future senate meetings will include review of a policy on consensual relationships with students and discussed ways in which the senate could be more assertive in formulating shared governance policies to allow faculty to be more involved in decision-making.

The senate adjourned at 6:14 p.m.

Appointments and Elections: Chuck Lambert, Officer

Appointed to the Faculty Senate thru 2012: Don Burgess, SMATE for Chuck Lambert

Appointed to the ACC through 2013: Roger Anderson, Biology; Mark Kuntz, Theater and Dance; Robin Matthews, Huxley; Tracy Thorndike-Christ, Special Education; Yvonne Durham, Econ (thru 2012).

CUE representative to ACC: Jeff Grimm, Psychology (thru 2012).

As Senators to ACC (1 yr term): Deb Currier, Theater and Dance; Dave Gilbertson, Accounting

Confirmation of appointments to UPRC through 2013:

  • Bob Thomas, Libraries; Paul Stangl, Huxley; Barbara Mathers-Schmidt, CHSS; Hart Hodges, CBE.
  • Lesley Sommer, CFPA; Brad Johnson, CST; As Senator (1 yr term): Karen Stout

Vacancies: One Faculty Legislative Representative 2011-2012 (travel stipend and release time provided).