Faculty Senate Minutes
Monday, April 10, 2017
Clinton Hall 126, 3:30PM-5:00PM
Senators Present: Ahned, Anderson, Asaduzzaman, Babnich, Birzer, Bolin, Bryant, Castro, Chand, Chopra, Close, Cramer, Decker, Dehner, English, Ewing, Hendry, Hull, Keene Woods, Koehn, Kreinath, Johnson, Muthiaharenon, Price, Pulaski, Rillema, Rokosz, Shukev, Walker, Wehebe, Willis, Yildirim
Senators Absent: Deibel, Lancaster, Moore-Jansen, Myose, Rife, Ross, Solomey, Taher
Senators Excused: Barut, Mosack, Shaw
Summary of Action:
1. Accepted appointment of Health Professions representative Betty Elder to serve on the Faculty Senate
2. Accepted appointment of LAS Math representative Jim Bann to the University Admissions and Exceptions Committee
3. Accepted - Faculty Senate endorsement of the document (change of control) being sent to HLC by a vote of 21 yes - 5 no
4. Accepted - Faculty Senate support for the concept of WSU/WATC affiliation by a vote os 13 yes - 11 no
II. Call to Order – Meeting called to order at 3:31PM by President Yildirim
III. Informal Statements and Proposals – None
IV. Approval of Minutes
1. Minutes of the March 27, 2017 meeting were accepted as presented.
V. President’s Report
1. Faculty Senate documents - All faculty senate documents, from 1960 onward, will be digitized before the end of the summer. The process will allow documents to be searchable.
2. Senate web page – The executive committee is forwarding the questions/concerns submitted through the Faculty Senate page to the individuals who can answer them. The responses will be communicated back to the individuals who submitted questions/concerns.
3. Legislative update – We still do not know anything about the budget; the WSU/WATC affiliation is on the governor’s desk; and the gun issue did not get to the floor, but there is still a chance that it may.
VI. Committee Reports
1. Rules Committee:
i. Senator Koehn is retiring and Betty Elder has been nominated to fill her one-year unexpired term. Nomination accepted.
ii. Jim Bann, LAS Math has been nominated to serve on the University Admissions and Exceptions Committee. Nomination accepted.
VII. Old Business - None
VIII. New Business
1. University Update – President John Bardo – President Bardo addressed the members of the senate, shared updates and responded to the following questions/concerns.
i. American Athletic Conference - President Bardo announced last week that WSU is moving to the American Athletic Conference. The conference is made up of research universities and we are about in the middle. The institutions in the conference are in urban areas and are doing things similar to what we are doing. There is an academic consortium that President Bardo will be finding out about. This move is not a slap at the other schools in the MVC, but their approach is different than ours.
ii. YMCA - President Bardo said that the state has stopped funding academic buildings. We have done about what we can to provide support services. Anything we do from here will be upgrades for our academic buildings, they are our priority. So it means that for support buildings we will need to have partners. If the Y is the right thing then it is, if it is not it is not. Nothing is finalized but that is why we are looking at other means of funding.
iii. WATC – President Bardo stated that we are going to talk a lot about it, and I am sure you have questions. It is an evolving conversation. It is creating a branch campus; they are not a college within the university. It has different accreditation, different hiring processes and they don’t use our marketing. It is very similar to what has happened in Topeka at Washburn. It is not a college and not using our curriculum.
iv. Student concerns – President Bardo noted that there are student concerns that we are trying to address and move forward. The administration is setting up a meet and greet with the new SGA members.
v. Comments/Questions from the Faculty
• Comment: On the Y, my understanding is that no one has an issue with the public-private partnership, the issues is raising the base cost for students. Even when you don’t have to by law you don’t have a competitive bidding process. Response: If there are others that want to submit a proposal we are open, one of the issues that we are looking at would be a flat rate.
• Question: Will this be optional? Response: Since I came back home, I have heard about wellness, day care and how do we get to that. I want to hear about it after a real discussion
• Comment: When you are talking about child care, you find your own. Response: Child care would be a pay-by-use.
• Question: There is no termination or end date for the fee? Response: It is a weird conversation to have we are still playing for the Heskett Center; we still need to figure out what would be in the Y. If you look at it there are not really facilities in this area.
• Comment: When you talk about the Y it is not cheap. Response: My understanding it is a sliding scale.
• Question: Isn’t the Heskett free? Response: It is not free.
• Question: If we have low income students, would they have a sliding scale. Response: This is not a done deal.
• Question: What is the procedure for looking into the Y, who will do this, will there be a committee? Response: Yes, there will be a committee. We are not going to move fast on this. We have to put a fee proposal together. We want to have a conversation with SGA.
• Question: When you say other options are they other public- private options. Response: We will not take out a bond to expand the Heskett Center. I wish that 75% of the cost of education was paid by the legislature. How do we ensure that we are doing the best for students? A lot of different things that we are attempting to do, but issue isn’t that we will bond the Heskett, we won’t. The next building, we bond will be this building (Clinton Hall).
• Comment: I had three children go here, we had great teachers, we had great scholars, we didn’t rely on adjuncts. We are getting more and more tied to adjuncts. I have nine grandchildren and because the university has been hollowed out by the state, it worries me that we are going backwards. Response: We are trying to balance cost and benefits. It is always a balancing act; how do we enhance the overall student experience? None of us love where we are nationally or statewide. Over the last 25 years, education has gone from being a public good to being a private good. What I am hearing from the Regents, the legislature is the days of saying that WSU shouldn’t be very good is not there, they want us to be our own thing. That is an important psychological position for the state. What higher education looks like in 25 years isn’t what it will be today. We are trying to position the university, city and region for the future.
• Comment: I don’t want to see us move to a Votech institution and lose the mission of the institution. Response: I have the same concerns. The biggest issue is when I hear students say, I have got my gen eds out of the way. It bothers me, are we explaining it in a way the speaks to the interest of today and tomorrow? I worry about that as well. The world has shifted and technical education is going to be with us and expand. Technology and entrepreneurship are driving things. How do we take the things they need and make it meaningful to them? We are not doing a job explaining general education to students.
• Comment: There is quite a bit of literature about liberal arts training, and wanting
people who are lifelong learners, with the ability to read, speak, and synthesize
information. Where is the space for faculty involvement in this discussion and faculty
having a say? Response: Faculty control the degree programs, the curriculum, and general
education. Students need both skill sets, the liberal arts as well as technology.
There are really big issues that need to be wrestled with in the department and colleges,
these are huge faculty issues and are going to take time and effort. Can we say it
is working for the average student?
• Comment: I am not disagreeing. The university is set off in a direction and what is the faculty’s involvement in it? Response: If you look at the strategic plan there is faculty involvement, you may agree or disagree with the plan, but there is faculty involvement. I had little input in the strategic plan initially. We had a number of open meetings and we are going to continue to do that.
• Comment: I see the Y coming to campus, they are very inflexible about going out of the norm and what they should provide. Has there been any survey of the Heskett users and what they feel should be done? Response: There was a survey. We can live with Heskett a little while longer and then what is different? If this is not what people want, we will move forward in a different way. The next thing will be bond will be this building.
• Comment: One of the complaints I have heard is that things are just done. There needs to be a survey before we move forward. Response: I am not familiar with that as standard operating procedure at universities. Comment: I think that on controversial issues a vote of the whole faculty would be appropriate.
• Comment: The perception is that the university is very heavy handed when it comes to getting things done. A more skillful PR would bring people in and looking at it again would be helpful. Response: I wouldn’t mind if you talk to Lou Heldman and figure out what would be workable. The world is changing rapidly. We now have a budget advisory committee (include representatives from the colleges) and we are trying to get information forward. Once a month I bring the Executive team together and try to get information flowing out. If you have some suggestions, please let me know.
• Comment: In your recent statements about doing things differently, maybe in these situations more transparency is needed. Response: I am open to hearing things and talking through what are the right ways, where is the governance, and how to make things work.
• Comment: At the last senate meeting the WATC President addressed the senate. Are we supposed to approve it? vet it? It was one of those situations where we feel we have been told things after the deal has been done. Response: We have had open meetings about it, and a committee made up of members of the faculty senate were involved, and Rick Muma shares information with the Faculty Senate. I don’t feel like that characterization that it is a done deal is accurate, until HLC approves it, it is not a done deal.
• Comment: If they are still so independent from us why do we need to do it? Response: WATC is an access point for many first generation students, collaboration and cooperation with the WATC president is built in, it allows us to look at degree programs, it opens up some of their resources to our students. A number of things that make a difference to us – much better coordination, co-planning, faculties can have joint meetings, coordination, separate accreditation, and funding streams.
• Comment: They are going to do gen ed over there? Response: There are some things that are not part of us. Comment: If they charge different tuition, that is not going to be any different.
• Comment: Everyone has their own ideas about how organizations should be run and managed. At two of the other universities I have been at, you never saw the president. We are lucky to have a president who is willing to come and explain. Response: We are trying to figure it out.
• Comment: Looking at the enrollment growth chart, the best case scenario is 22,500, what role does this play? Response: The more we can do to be close to advising students while they are at WATC the more likely they are to become part of us. WATC has a great president now, she is really easy to work with, the next one might not be. If you look at the James Chung information from last year, the typical person leaving Wichita has a college degree and a high salary, the typical person coming to Wichita does not have a college degree or a high salary. One of the things that I would like to do is get Spanish speakers from the community to help students fill out FASFA. If we are looking at low income African Americans – can we work with the churches to make connections with those students. One of the advantages of the American Athletic Conference is Dallas, Houston, and Tulsa. We are trying to find different ways to communicate with students, we need to offer academics, but also services they want. Although some students make judgments based on price/cost, many make judgments based on what they experience.
• Comment: If you have a new student government association to deal with, it might be worth looking at again. Have you looked at Genesis? What are the alternatives? Response: I will talk to you about it.
• Comment: The issue of whether faculty would go forward should have been brought up last fall. The major university changes have involved the faculty. Along the way, this has never come before the faculty for a vote. It has to be part of the process. Response: I think we followed the processes as I know them on this campus.
• Comment: Part of the challenges there was a sense that this was a course that was
underway and the committee was asked to figure it out. We had concerns.
We need to have a better understanding of how different components of the university communicate.
• Comment: Everyone has their own idea of how things should be done and not everyone will be satisfied. You were hired to be our president and direct us in ways that are appropriate and good, we can trust you are the person who is leading us in good directions. Response: Presidents set directions for vision, looking at the future, what are the trend lines, and that is not where we live every day. Where is this thing going, what is happening in higher ed, how do we position ourselves to be successful (mange in a changing world)? We know competitors are doing things differently. Thank you for the conversation, this is an important time for the city and state, and we are in a time a change that we are all trying to grapple with.
2. Endorsement of WSU/WATC Affiliation HLC Change of Control Application document, 2nd Reading, Senior Associate Vice President Muma and Provost Vizzini - There is a change of language on page 7 and page 20. The executive committee thought this language addressed some of the concerns raised in the senate last time. Question: Will the committees and senates meet separately? President Yildirim responded that separately seemed more practical. After some confusion, discussion, and clarification the faculty senate voted on the following question: Do we as a Faculty Senate want to endorse the document (change of control application) being sent to HLC with the language additions made by the Executive Committee? Motion accepted. A secret ballot was conducted, the vote 21 yes - 5 no
3. Endorsement of WSU/WATC Affiliation – The second question voted on was as follows: Does the Faculty Senate support the concept of affiliation which will then be presented at the General Faculty meeting? Motion accepted. A secret ballot was conduceted, the vote 13 yes - 11 no. The item will now go to full faculty for a vote at the General Faculty meeting on May 5th.
4. University Promotion Guidelines for Teaching Faculty – President Yildirim shared the work of the committee members. The discussion focused
on the document which described the general outline and ranks for teaching faculty.
Members of the senate reviewed the document and discussed the following:
i. Use of the term educator (for individuals without a terminal degree) – The initial question was whether the ranks should be assistant educator, associate educator, and senior educator, instead of educator, associate educator, and senior educator. There was quite a bit of discussion of whether educator is an appropriate term, and whether lecturer or instructor would be a better choice as the term educator is not used by other universities and might not be recognized.
ii. The second major topic of discussion was the inclusion of “scholarship of teaching and creative activities” and the dissemination of “scholarship of teaching and creative activities” at the local, state, regional and national levels for promotion. The document states that research is not a requirement for teaching faculty; however, several senators argued that “scholarship of teaching and creative activities” and dissemination is research. As one senator pointed out the job of teaching faculty is to teach.
iii. General consensus that the language needs to be clarified/changed and that promotion is not automatic. It was suggested that the document be sent back to the committee.
iv. Provost Vizzini suggested that the language regarding dissemination should be looked at.
v. It was suggested that the policy be clear and uniform across the university, as
the concern was that department and colleges might start adding requirements. There
were senators; who felt departments and colleges should decide the specifics.
vi. It was noted that no changes were being made to the tenure track faculty requirements in this document and that it does not impact anyone who is currently tenured or on a tenure track.
vii. Questions raised: Is this a way to hire PhD’s on the cheap? How do we guarantee them academic freedom?
viii. The document in grid form will be on the Faculty Senate documents page.
5. Department Chair versus Department Head Discussion – Not Discussed
IX. As May Arise - None
X. Adjournment – at 5:43PM