Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
Monday September 25, 2017
3:30 - 5:00 CH 126
Senators Present: Ahmed, Anderson, Babnich, Bailey, Barut, Bolin, Bryant, Bukonda, Castro, Celestin, Close, Decker, Dehner, Dowling, Elder, English, He, Jameson, Jarman, Johnson,Keene Woods, Mahapatro, Markova, Muthiachareon, Moore-Jansen, Myose, Price, Pulaski, Rife, Rokosz, Ross, Shaw, Schwartz, Smith-Campbell, Sternfeld-Dunn, Weheba, Willis, Yildirim
Members Absent: Asaduzzaman, Brown, Hull, Jeffres, Taher,Tamtam
Members Excused: Cramer, Dusenbury, Kreinath
Summary of Action
• Voted and approved recommendation from rules committee to change rules regarding the number of candidates on a ballot during senate elections.
• Voted and approved nominations for Planning and Budget and Scholarship Committees.
I. Call to Order President Shaw called the meeting to order at 3:30
Informal Statements and Proposals
Dean Livesay addressed the senate to remind members that voting was still open regarding the change to Graduate Faculty Bylaws.
II. Approval of the Minutes - The minutes from Monday, September 11. 2017
were approved after correcting the attendance to show that Senators Jarman, Bolin and Bryant were present at the September 11 meeting.
III. President Bardo answered previously-submitted questions for the senate.
Bardo made some opening statements – Reported that at the recent KBOR meeting Moody’s head of higher education spoke about bond rates for universities. The representative was complementary of WSU. Bardo relayed that the Moody’s representative had looked at WSU’s list of badges online and was impressed that she then received an e-mail from WSU to see if she was interested in a badge. Her comments reflected that higher education has entered a new phase. It was thought that state funding for public universities nationally isn’t going to improve. Tuition increases are going to continue but will likely be smaller in size. Raised the question of how o you develop and maintain competitive salaries and infrastructure in a world where traditional funding isn’t going to improve? The Moody’s rep. was bearish on higher ed. in the short term, but bullish in the long term because of the innovative nature of university personnel which will help to figure out how to stay in the black in this climate.
Bardo stated that currently we don’t know our enrollment numbers yet, but we are up a fair amount. Largest freshman class in WSU history. WSU lost some in the area of international enrollment, and this hurts because they are the highest paying students. As a result, expect a flat budget due to increased enrollment but decrease in higher-tuition international students. Badges are received well and we have stationed people from the admissions office in Dallas and K.C. to help with enrolment along I-35 corridor. We have a billboard just off of SMU campus. Retention is still our big challenge. Salaries – “I’m committed to trying to move our salary structure up.” We will have to reallocate funds (or grow enrollment really fast). 80% of budget is in academic affairs and infrastructure. We will continue to look at areas to reallocate g.u. money to create a salary pool to increase salaries. This is my top issue. Infrastructure investments are going to be shared or partnered with private partners. A lot of infrastructure on innovation campus is available for faculty, but is being underutilized. We will continue to make investments, but in the new world, most of that will be made by private entities.
SGA- doing much better and focusing on needs of students. We can expect to continue to see some political contention.
YMCA- We are now working on our part of it - wellness center. In spring we will put together a group that includes students to see how this will look in the future. Another outside group is interested in getting involved and this will be for extended health coverage.
Buildings on innovation campus – These are mainly partnerships with private groups. Engineering dean’s office will move over to innovation campus building. Super structure for restaurant is going up. Law enforcement training facility will be finished around winter break. A crash test training facility for NIAR will also be built there using contract funds.
Flats – price will go up on the flats. We are honoring previous price for Fairmount. Looking to see if there is a need to add on to flats with smaller, lower cost units.
Centers and institutes – in future will focus on those needed by third parties that are willing to pay for them. If current centers cost money and don’t generate funds, we are going to look closely at them.
Q: Will there be a bid for the third party about expanded health coverage? A- we have a standing call for bids so other entities should know about it.
Q: where do you see self-funded programs like accelerated nursing in the future? A- anytime a university can create a program that funds itself this says there is demand and they should be supported. A real challenge will be to make sure we are covering the market demand.
Q: Fairmount towers – has five more years of debt. Now that money is redirected to flats how will this be handled? A: It was a general obligation loan and the trustees have worked with us to move money to cover those obligations. Fairmount will be torn down. We know that the denser we can make students, the more they know about what is going on around campus and their experience improves. Fairmount was built during Vietnam and hasn’t aged well. That is a big part of why we are taking it down, too expensive to upkeep. It will become a parking lot. Q is the low cost option going to be available next spring? A- Yes.
Q: Regarding dorms – did the university overbook rooms? A- yes we overbooked shocker hall. We haven’t grown in residential students for a while so we were overbuilt. We think next year we won’t have to pair up students with more than one roommate, like this year. This is something that happens from time to time. It may happen again. Comment – our student experienced this and it was not communicated well. Comment-parents are probably upset about this.
Q: Concerned about computer infrastructure and classroom support on this side of campus. A: we are not using our bonding capacity for traditional campus. Some of the older buildings need to be pushed forward. HVAC etc. in older buildings will take some bonding. Trying to get enrollment up enough to allow us bonding opportunities for focusing on older part of campus. Comment from Muma- you can reach out to MRC. Also classrooms are on a rotating basis for improvements.
IV. Senate President's Report
• Service Standards update - we are consolidating results and putting together a proposal for the executive committee.
• Accessibility survey sent out 9/13 – still available if you want to contribute to this.
• Shocker Start > MyWSU Fac/Staff (left window) – Useful resource online. Linked to senate web page.
• Association of Governing Boards of College and Universities > Report on Freedom of Speech on Campus – You are welcome to share with your faculty.
• Revisions to the Chairs policy (2.15) are being discussed by Executive Committee- continuing revisions. E.C. is currently looking at it and then will send to Faculty Affairs committee.
• 8.09 Military leave policy - authorization form - this is the form students use to coordinate with faculty when on military leave.
• KBOR update (9/20) – Met with faculty senate presidents. KBOR is putting all programs on a 120 hour path. Chairs and deans received an alert about it this week. The timeline is 120 credits for next academic year. Changes will require a curriculum change form by end of October for non-problematic cases. Request for exceptions should be submitted by end of semester. The goal is to move students to degree completion quicker. “Math Pathway” – do degree programs need to have more latitude with respect to what math is minimally required? Open Source textbook initiative – a student will pay $10 fee and 9 of 10 will come back to the unit.
V. Committee Reports
• Rules --- Betty Smith-Campbell, Chair
Gina Riggs nominated for Scholarship Committee
Peere Moore Jensen for Planning and Budget Committee
Both voted on and approved unanimously.
Still need to fill two vacant senate seats Natural sciences and social sciences.
• Janice Ewing – faculty rep on time keeping committee. They are putting together specs for new timekeeping software from vendors.
• Committee Report – advancement for non-tenurable faculty.
• Are circulating draft for input and will hold town hall meetings in each college with a committee member.
Hope to bring for senate vote in November.
VI. Old Business
VII. New Business
• Vote on Rules recommendation V.2.d (# of nominees) rules committee recommends to change rules for number of nominees to be put on a ballot. Voted on and approved unanimously.
• Judy Espinoza - HR Policy updates – Summary Sheet
o internal dispute resolution (UP/USS only) – doesn’t affect faculty
o Investigative leave – new procedure
o Separation policy - also new policy.
Judy Espinoza’s Comments:
You will see a lot of policy and policy revisions coming from HR. These are policies that need to be updated to reflect how we operate today. We will continue to share with you and allow input before policies are finalized. You may see policies that don’t affect faculty but we want you to see these so you know what is going on with all constituents. The process will be -prioritization, then grouping of policies to facilitate training, followed by sharing initial draft with HR input team and then sharing with EEO. After this the documents will go to presidents of senates. Senate president will decide what needs to be shared with broader senate members. Will leave it up to senate president on how they want to consolidate the feedback.
Corrective actions and Social media policy are currently being reviewed by executive committee.
Comment from Shaw - my intention is to provide agenda with links ahead of time. A three week window will be provided to review and feedback will be sent back to me and then forwarded.
Separation policy – puts a process in place. Comments – the new policy doesn’t give a process such as due process and also contradicts our current policy.
Concerns were raised about consistency in policy between faculty and other U. employments. Situations vary greatly and policies should be specific for type of employee.
Separation of employment policy – comment from floor - it reads like internal document for HR.
Jane Link - EEO
Policy updates: Chapters 4 and 5 - At Final revisions on these chapters that deal with faculty senate. Two chapters combined into single chapter. Jane Link and Shaw worked together on revisions. There were few substantive changes. Items have moved but are still present in the document. J.L – please take a look at the document and send comments and input to J.L. and Shaw. Then will go to general counsel and provost and finally to PET. After that they will be posted.
These documents will not be approved by senate but we will consider input from faculty senate and the senate can endorse when appropriate.
Q: this doesn’t have to be voted on by the faculty? In past the faculty senate has worked on these policies shouldn’t we have more than just input? When do we have a role in this procedure? Answer from Shaw: We can vote to endorse or not. We can raise our concerns.
Q: Do we have shared governance? A: We have input and it can be acted on.
J. Espinoza. – I don’t want this to be contentious. If you have issues, we can talk about it. They will not be voted on but input will be taken. We will address all valid concerns. We don’t vote on policy.
Desire was expressed on the floor to have first and second readings and votes on the proposed policy changes.
Post meeting addition: Clarification was provided by Shaw regarding the senate’s role and process in reviewing HR policy changes. It is included below.
1. HR will share the policy with our Executive Committee who will offer preliminary thoughts and feedback. If no major concerns are raised, the items will be put on the Senate agenda with links to the full documents available before our scheduled meeting.
2. HR will present the changes to the Senate and be available to answer questions and take feedback.
3. Senators will have two more weeks to review the documents and seek constituent feedback if appropriate. Concerns should be provided in writing to the Senate President. These will be shared with the Executive Committee.
4. At the next Senate meeting, if there have been substantive concerns raised, time will be allocated for discussion. Judy Espinoza will try to be present for these discussions. Following discussions, we will have a vote of endorsement on these policies. All written feedback, a summary of the discussion, and the vote will be provided to HR to consider as they finalize their revisions.
5. I have asked Judy to communicate to the Senate regarding any final modifications that are made.
• Submit comments/suggestions to Carolyn Shaw by Oct 9 to be shared with HR.
As May Arise
Doug English, secretary