WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
Date: December 4, 2002
Taft Botner Room (Killian 104)
The meeting was called to order by Newt Smith.
A. Minutes of the November meeting were approved with minor changes. Comment made about scandal of low pay of English faculty.
B. Dr. Bardo, Chancellor. Dr. Collings expressed the Chancellors concerns that the Senate Restructuring Task Forces proposal had not been widely disseminated and discussed. [some discussion of whether or not this was true; who got the emails, etc.]
C. Mary Adams, Sr. Faculty Assembly Delegate. No report.
D. Lex Davis, SGA President. No report.
E. Keith Stiles, Staff Forum chair. No report.
F. Nancy Dillard, UAC chair. No report.
G. Newt Smith, Chair of the Faculty. No report.
H. Roll Call
Present: Abel, Collings, Graham, Hale, Kneller, Lunnen, Mercer, Pennington, Philyaw, Proffit, Spencer, Smith, Starr, Tholkes, Wallace, Beam, Oren, Henderson.
II. COUNCIL REPORTS
A. Faculty Affairs. (Graham)
The Council is currently discussing the thorny issue of faculty work loads.
B. Instruction and Curriculum (Philyaw)
C. Student Affairs (Bannerjee)
Proposed wording change in the Probation and Suspension policy from:
"Students are placed on academic probation the first time their cumulative WCU grade point average falls below 2.00."
"Students are placed on academic probation when their cumulative WCU grade point average falls below 2.00."
Motion made, seconded, passed.
III. OTHER BUSINESS
A. Athletic Committee (A.J. Grube)
Committee is developing a Strategic Plan. Senators have copy in folders passed out in advance. Called attention to average GPA of 2.97 of WCU student athletes, and fact that 65% graduated (though this doesnt take into account those who transfer before graduating). Grube encouraged Senators to read the Strategic Plan and other statistics in the folders and contact her with any questions.
B. Restructuring Task Force Report
Newt Smith introduced this by making some general comments about the proposed changes: Each department would have its own Senator so that information about important issues could be better disseminated; the councils emphasize the faculty domains laid out in the Code; the number of councils and standing committees would be limited; the administrative presence would be reduced, allowing a "clear faculty voice;" the aforementioned doesnt eliminate full consultation with administrators.
Senators then voiced their concerns; bracketed material indicates someone answering a question or concern raised by a Senator:
--Limiting Senate work solely to faculty domains seems too restrictive. The Senate might well want to discuss matters relating to the University that fall outside these domains. [The Senate still may discuss things outside of these domains.] Perhaps that point should be made explicit?
--Question about how it will be determined which departments have more than one representative. [Already know this.] Wont the one-department, one-Senator place a burden on small departments? [Yes.]
--Question about the Chair and chair-elect which went by too fast for this secretary. Anyone who got this please relay info.
--How many other Universities did the Task Force look at? Does this proposal follow what others are doing, or is WCU striking out on its own? [Not a systematic study of other universities. The proposal is essentially WCUs.]
--Concern about part-time faculty, who will be represented on Senate if this proposal is accepted. They are already underpaid and overworked; if some will be required to serve on Senate, shouldnt they be paid more? Maybe this could be considered an "overload" and the part-time Senate representative could get a course reduction? [General rejection of this idea, though sympathy for extra burden on part-time Senator.]
--Whos going to vote for the part-time and non-tenure track representatives? [Part-time and non-tenure track faculty.] How will they vote in a knowledgeable way?
--Under the councils, none seem to address Graduate Curriculum. Where will that happen? [Still be in the Graduate Council, which is separate from the Senate.]
--Concern about statement that only tenure-track faculty can be elected to represent their department. Some non-TT faculty already serve on the Senate; how would removing them provide a "clear faculty voice?" [Non-TT faculty will have a representative; thats written into the proposal.] But why shouldnt a non-TT faculty be allowed to represent a department? Question about whether Senators will represent their department or the university more broadly. Maybe it should be stated that Senators will be elected from a department but represent the university. Another point of view: maybe departmental representation is what were after.
--Concern about administrative membership on the proposed Leadership Council. If administrator came in for one meeting, would that make them a member? Would they vote? [Maybe this would be considered a "rolling membership." In any case, the LC sets the agenda, it doesnt vote on anything.]
--Objection to proposal in toto and philosophy behind it: dont like emphasis on departmental representation; dont like having departmental representatives, and somewhat concerned about cascading duties outlined in proposal. Would make being on Senate less attractive. Fear about potential for great concentration of power in the LC. Denies that theres any such thing as a "clear faculty voice." Feels entire proposal is driven by misguided paranoia about administrators and fear about speaking up in their presence. Wants administrators present at Senate to hear faculty voice.
--Concern that numerous amendments to the proposal have been suggested but none acted on.
--Response to above objection: faculty dont like administrators voting on Senate issues. [One administrator would like to attend Senate; okay if not a voting member.]
--Senators should represent the university, but some are afraid to speak out. Theres a culture of silence. More dislike of idea of LC. Objection to administrators being on Senate if point of Senate is to advise administration.
--Concern that full Senate not present for discussion. Should continue to discuss even if this postpones faculty vote and subsequent action. Should be discussed in the colleges. Faculty Assembly could be rescheduled if necessary to permit this.
Motion: To table this discussion and take to colleges. Unanimously passed.
C. Proposal of Intent to Plan a B.S. in Athletic Training Sports Medicine
Presented by Noel Kehrberg and Michael Dougherty. Previously attempted similar degree in Health and Human Performance but didnt work. Now coming from Health Science. The program will need two new faculty members. The program will probably have close relationship with Physical Therapy, especially in content. Theres great student demand for this major. Cant be just a track in a major because students cant pass a test and get their credentials.
Gael Graham, Temporary Interim Secretary