Abstract of April 16, 2012, Faculty Senate meeting

Karen Stout, Western Washington University Faculty Senate president, called the meeting of the 2011-2012 Faculty Senate to order at 4:02 p.m.

Senators accepted the senate minutes of April 2, 2012, and the standing committee minutes. In response to a question on the Yom Kippur Resolution, faculty learned that students are to contact the Dean of Students Office for a memo if they have to miss class for religious reasons.

President Stout’s report:

  • Suggested that faculty take a FERPA tutorial as a way of avoiding accidentally disclosing students’ personal information, including to parents.
  • Mentioned that there were four nominees for the Olscamp and Excellence in Research awards but only two nominees were willing to submit packets.
  • Mentioned that teaching awards were opened up last year to students resulting in a higher number of nominations. Faculty opinion is sought on the possibility of opening up other faculty awards this way.

WWU President Bruce Shepard reported:

  • The cause of the tragic death of a student on campus was still being investigated.
  • The Board of Trustees had appreciated the presentation and discussion of a revised Code of Faculty Ethics by the senate president as well as the six academically related decision packages recommended by the University Planning and Resources Council. Shepard will present formal recommendations on the decision packages in August.
  • No additional cuts for the university instead of the expected $7 million cut represents a great achievement and a turnaround in the state.
  • He supports the unions on campus as key components for sustaining excellence and the respectful treatment of all members of the Western community.
  • His off-campus activities include meetings with Washington State and Northwest University presidents, trips to Washington, D.C., and to Indianapolis (Division II athletics), and ongoing preparations for the Seattle Business Forum.

WWU Vice Provost Steven VanderStaay reported that a key item from the provost is nominating faculty for national awards and that Gary McKinney, university technical writer, was available to assist in this, including the year-long preparation required for a nomination for the US Professor of the Year Award.

Dan Boxberger, faculty legislative representative, asked faculty to think about the future of the FLR and to find a deputy FLR as soon as possible (course release available) to provide overlap in this important work in Olympia and to get a head start on the FLR’s steep learning curve.

Steve Garfinkle, United Faculty of Western Washington president, announced a meeting for all faculty at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in Miller Hall Room 152. Nominations will close for chief steward, treasurer, director of communications and two at-large representatives, representing an expansion of the leadership to be more inclusive of the community. Garfinkle expressed thanks to the university bargaining team and the UFWW team for their work on behalf of faculty.

Presentation on Enrollment and Student Services: Eileen Coughlin, senior vice president, discussed enrollment, reporting:

  • This year is the largest applicant pool ever, meaning the largest group of incoming freshmen, including an increase in high-end applicants.
  • About 22 percent of the high-end students actually come to Western because they have more options, including scholarships from other schools. Coughlin seeks the help of interested faculty to increase the yield of high-bar students through individual contact. Faculty expressed disappointment in the lack of support for a chemistry honors program and suggested that a personal touch such as phone calls to students, not tuition, could influence students’ decision to come here. VanderStaay added that the only category in which Western falls below other schools is retaining and graduating Pell-grant eligible students. Faculty proposed packaging outreach efforts more effectively through website, videos, YouTube and ways that don’t overburden faculty. One senator suggested that departmental outreach could counter our position as a liberal arts school where we prefer students to experience the broadening effect of general education before focusing on a major.


  • Senators discussed the process of selecting two additional representatives to UPRC from areas of potential concern in the coming year and will vote on their choices at the next meeting.
  • Senators are invited to join the Executive Council for next year and have time to think about nominees for senate president and vice president.

Constituent concerns:

  • Spencer Anthony-Cahill reported that an interim committee of involved faculty will review programs proposed for elimination as an experimental process while the final merger and elimination policy is crafted.
  • The Olscamp decision could be made regardless of how many nominations came forward.

Senators moved to a faculty caucus at 5:35 p.m. and adjourned at 5:51 p.m.

Appointments and elections:

  • Vacancy: One faculty member to serve on the new Parking and Transportation Advisory Committee (charge available)
  • Elected to the Faculty Senate through 2014:
    • Area A:(2) Craig Moyer, Biology; Clint Spiegel, Chemistry
    • Area B:(1) Kathleen Saunders, Anthropology
    • Area C:(4) Sandra Alfers, M&CL; Karen Stout, Communication;
    • Sheila Webb, Journalism; Michiko Yusa, MC&L
    • Area D:(2) Milica Jelaca Jovanovich, Music; J Wiese, Theatre and Dance;
    • Area E:(2) Steve Henson, Economics; Jason Kanov, Management
    • Area G:(1) David Wallin, Huxley College
    • Area H (2) Donald Larsen, Educational Admin, Molly Lawrence, Secondary Education
    • Area I: (1) Rebecca Marrall, Libraries
  • Orientation for new senators will take place at 3 p.m. Monday, May 14, in Old Main Room 340, preceding the regular senate meeting at 4 p.m.