Faculty Senate April 13, 2007
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 12:15 PM, Vice President Harry Hueston, presiding.
Members present Bill Ambrose, Syed Anwar, Sandy Babitzke, Gerald Chen, Kris Drumheller (for Jessica Mallard), Jeanette Embry, Robert Hansen, Harry Hueston, Mary Jarvis, Marty Kuhlman (for Keith Price), Frank Landram, Joshua Lewer, Amy Newman, Bonnie Pendleton, Helen Reyes, Libby Rhodes (for Mo Cuevas), Duane Rosa, Steve Severn (for Doug Werden), Nagalapura Viswanath.
I. President O’Brien’s comments
- Commended full university community for the chancellor’s visit, with apologies for the shortened session with the senate. Highlighted successes from the meeting including possible equestrian program presence in Qatar, and the broadcasting facility in the FAC.
- Town Hall May 2 intent to explain the future life of Strategic Plan ; always a document open to revision
- Marketing committee: summarized the work of the committee, assessing the “branding” of the University; perception is affordable and accessible. Marketing research will lead to new branding statements; studied demographics that suggested not only need to market strongly in the area and to reach outside our area where population growth isn't flat. Web to be primary portal to university; discussed candidly the shortcomings of our website. Contract negotiations underway with an ad agency, planning to begin June 1. Web communications manager to be hired to convert emphasis of site to marketing impact, with web designers to work with the units with templates, and use the current IT side to manage security issues. Goal will be consistency of information from unit to unit.
- Revision of committees: wholesale revision wanted—they are too big, and some composition of committees that the president doesn't understand: e.g., why does the provost sit on the university T & P committee. Faculty Handbook Committee has been named (Hansen, Rosa, Werden, Hallmark, Henderson, Petty)—recommendations for revisions will go from committee to senate to president. Two Scholarship committees to be formed—one for policy, one for determining the major honors scholarships. Handbook committee will review the committee structure as part of its work.
- Performance merit: the push to develop new standards for tenure, promotion and annual performance is an outgrowth of the need for objective measures to substantiate recommendations for merit increases—this has been haphazardly handled. The criteria must be clear, consistent, and in writing. Merit pool system allocates funds for raises; no across the board raises. 3% is goal to keep ahead of inflation. Analysis of faculty salaries vis-à-vis comparable institutions shows we are about $2500 below across all ranks. In addition to merit pool, there will be market adjustments to address the issue; cost will be $600,000, which can’t be accomplished in one year. Adjustments will be made over and above merit; market adjustments will be allocated based on market expectations as opposed to merit. Performance measures needed to objectify the decisions.
- Designated tuition increase will generate about $2.2 million. Increase in the current version of the budget from the state is $375,000. This amount plus funds generated by increased enrollments will bring total to $2.8. Adjustments to existing positions, 6 new faculty positions, commitment to other projects and staff will close in on the $2.8 million, leaving about $200,000- $300,000 for market adjustments.
- Some discussion regarding pre-tenure review process and the differing standards and accountability among the academic units. Claims of professional service criteria should include verification of the service. Comments on collegiality/professionalism as fourth area for tenure/annual review. Problem with collegiality is lack of possibility for objective measure. President doesn't see how it can go into the annual evaluation; though it may be an intangible consideration in the tenure process.
- Full budget will be available on WTAccess. President feels that course fees should only be on courses that have cost associated with them—would like to do away with course fees on courses like history, English, etc.
III. Minutes of March 23 meeting were approved on motion by Rosa, second by Anwar.
IV. No free use of AC possible because of state regulation: what students pay for faculty must also pay for.
V. Next meeting April 27. Election of officers on May 3. Meeting adjourned at 1:56 PM.
Robert Hansen (for Secretary Mallard)