Faculty Senate
Vol. 37, No. 17
May 8, 2003


I.          Roll Call.


Present:  Barmore, Barnd, Beck, Bigel, Brooks, Cravins, Dixon, Gendreau, Gibson, Hoar, Hollenback, Kernozek, Krajewski, Majak, Nelson, Poulton, Ragan, Senger, Taylor, Tyser, Vandenberg-Daves, Wingate, Zellmer.


Excused:  Wilson.


II.          Approval of Minutes.

There were no minutes to approve.


III.         Reports.


A.  Chief Information Officer, John Tillman, announced that the current Blackboard courseware would be replaced next June 2004, by Desire2Learn (D2L), a Canadian based firm.  Following a yearlong review, D2L received overwhelming support for functionality from faculty and IT support staff that participated in a series of demonstrations.  In addition to being the preferred course management tool, D2L is also the least expensive of the four product finalists.  Tillman reported that a five-year contract between UW-System and D2L has been signed.  Training will begin over the summer months with a question/answer demonstration scheduled for next week. 


B.  There were no reports from Chancellor Hastad and Provost/Vice-Chancellor Hitch who are attending a BOR meeting at UW-Stevens Point.


C.  Vice-Chancellor for Administration & Finance, Ron Lostetter confirmed that yesterday, Governor Doyle signed the 2001-2003 classified employees contract into law.


D.  Faculty Representative, Georges Cravins has distributed his report via email.


IV.        Academic Planning Committee By-law Change – 2nd Reading.

M/S/P to approve the recommendation to change the by-laws for the Academic Planning Committee: under section 4, amend to read:  Receiving and reviewing proposals to eliminate or suspend academic programs and forwarding its recommendations to the Faculty Senate.

(voice vote)


V.         Proposed Budget Review Committee – 2nd Reading.

At its last meeting, the faculty senate received a recommendation from the SEC on the formation of a faculty budget review committee.  While the Joint Budget and Planning committee has related duties, the intent of this new committee is not the same. The senate needs a group of faculty that it can charge to review past budgetary actions and the impact of those actions on instruction. The findings of this group would provide data that would be useful to the joint committee, but these are not activities that the joint committee would normally be charged to look into. We initially thought it should be faculty members of budget committee, but later realized that there are individuals on the joint committee that may have more interest in planning

than in budgets and to increase the workload in the budget area may cause individuals to choose other committee assignments. We have decided that it is in the best interests of the Senate to select the members of this committee with the expectation that they would have a close working relationship with the joint committee. 

M/S/P to approve the following by-law for the Budget Review Committee. (voice vote)


Budget Review Committee

Duties and responsibilities of the committee shall include


  1. Study and report to the Senate on university budget decisions that affect instruction and research.
  2. Review annual budgets and report to the Senate on trends in support for instruction.


Membership of the committee will consist of five faculty members, one of whom will be the Vice-Chair of the Faculty Senate, to be appointed by the Senate. Consecutive appointments may be allowed for up to five years. The committee will respond to direct charges from the Faculty Senate but will also be free to determine its own scope of study and review.  The committee will aim for maximum coordination with the University Planning & Budget Committee. The committee shall elect its chairperson.


VI.        Proposed Ad Hoc Advising Committee.

The Differential Tuition Program recently approved by student governance proposes funding programs in the area of Academic Advising, International Education, Undergraduate Research, and Diversity.  The Academic Advising proposal would fund the creation of an Advising Center at the cost of $350K.  The university has agreed to match differential tuition funds with new resources.


M/S/P to approve the SEC recommendation of an ad hoc faculty committee to work with the student government leadership and the Provost on the development for an Advising Center as proposed under the recently approved differential tuition plan.  The committee will consist of four faculty with representation from each college.  The committee will report to the senate.  (voice vote)


VII.       Proposed Ad Hoc Committee to Study Methods for Conducting a UW-L Program Array Review.

The SEC recommends forming an ad hoc committee to study program array review.  This recommendation arises from discussions with the Provost and activity occurring at UW-System and other campuses.  While review responsibilities may subsequently be taken on by a standing committee, an ad hoc group to begin study this summer on issues related to program array review seems appropriate.  In addition to the Provost, the committee will consist of 7 faculty (2 from CLS, 2 from SAH, 1 from CBA, 1 from HPER and 1 from TE).  The initial charge of the committee will be:


The ad hoc committee on Program Array Review, working with the Provost, will

  • Monitor and participate in UW-System activities related to a system-wide review of program arrays across the system
  • Discuss methods and criteria for a review of the UW – La Crosse program array
  • Develop recommendations for consideration by the Faculty Senate


The committee will provide a status report to the Faculty Senate in the fall of 2003.  Continuation of the committee and follow-on charges will be determined at that time by the SEC as appropriate.


M/S/P to approve the formation of an ad hoc faculty committee to study methods for conducting a UW-L Program Array Review.  (voice vote)


VIII.       Approval of Graduates.

M/S/P to approve the list of May 2003 graduates contingent upon the successful completion of the requirements for their respective degrees.  (voice vote)


IX.        Committee on Faculty Committees Report.

Senator Hoar, representing committee chair Carmen Wilson, presented the final report from the Committee on Faculty Committees.  Where possible, faculty members were assigned to committees according to continuity, workload, and requests.


M/S/P to approve. (voice vote)


X.         Proposal to Implement Certificate Program in Medical Dosimetry.

Kris Saeger, Program Director of the Radiation Therapy Program, and Martin Venneman, were present to answer questions.  The senate had previously discussed (4-10-03) the proposal and delayed approval of the program until review by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.  At its April 22nd meeting, the UCC approved the courses listed under the Medical Dosimetry Certificate Program.


M/S/P to approve the certificate program in Dosimetry as proposed subject to the review requirements described in the Draft Guidelines for Certificate Programs.  (voice vote)


XI.        Authorization to Implement M.S. Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.

Mark Zellmer, Program Director for the PA program, presented the proposal to implement the transition from a B.S. degree to a MS in Physician Assistant Studies.  He cited the following reasons:


  • The trend for the MS to become the entry-level degree for Pas is well established and supported by the profession.
  • The rigor and quality of the current program is at a par with professional graduate education.
  • Workforce predictions support the need for additional qualified PAs.
  • Demand is high – in fact he anticipates an excess of 150 applicants next year.
  • The financial impact to students is modest and is offset with increased eligibility for financial aid.
  • Existing program resources are sufficient to support the proposed change.


Zellmer confirmed that UWL students will have an admission advantage – probably 1/3 are presently in program.  The college committee hopes that under the enrollment management process, there will be a target enrollment correlation for this program.


One senator’s comment prior to approval of the program was that perhaps its time for the university to have a conversation about what the mix of undergraduate vs graduate students will be.


M/S/P to approve the request to implement a new program: Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies.  (voice vote)


At this point in the meeting, some of the Senators wanted to attend the retirement bash for former faculty senate chairs Bange, Barkauskas, and Host, so they agreed to reconvene the meeting on May 12th at 10:00 a.m.  The meeting reconvened on 5-12-03 and the minutes of the April 24, 2003, meeting were approved as distributed.


XII.       Discussion of the Strategic Plan.

Billy Clow, Chair, and Tom Hench, Consultant, of the Strategic Planning Committee reviewed the updated version of the 2003 Strategic Plan.  The draft document contains some new photographs, and a stronger emphasis on academics and the value of a liberal arts education.


M/S/P to endorse in principle the Values, Key Areas of Focus, and the Vision and Goals statement of the UW–La Crosse Strategic Plan 2003 (pgs 6,7,8).  (show of hands: 19-yes, 2-no, 1-abstain)


Q. and A. continued with the following comments/concerns:  Goals that are not measurable are problematic – how show we are accomplishing the plan.  Many of the goals are not concrete and left open to interpretation.  Where does it go from here?  Hope is that between fs and budget will start looking at this as a way to go.  What does culturally relevant mean?  In the document several times – should be concerned about how it plays in the wider public.  The idea is that we have a broad sense of what is happening.    Taking a look at the human impact of this document.


M/S/P that the faculty senate review the existing strategic plan no later than Spring 2005.  (show of hands: 17-yes, 2- no, 3-abstaining)


M/S/P that the faculty senate initiate a new process of strategic planning, if necessary, no later than Fall 2005.  (show of hands: 12-yes, 7-no, 3-abstain)


XIII.       Report from the ad hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrative Offices.

Last fall, the ad hoc committee was created and charged to collect, analyze and report on faculty concerns relative to those administrative offices that directly affect the teaching and research environment of the university.  Specifically, the four tasks were to:


  • Meet with the deans and the provost to discus current administrative review procedures and formulate a review process that will improve university operation.
  • Determine a mechanism to collect faculty input concerning the college offices, provost office and other units as seen appropriate to the committee.
  • Review faculty input and produce an analysis of concerns.
  • Recommend whether the faculty senate should form a standing committee for audit and review of administrative offices, and if so, the structure, scope and operation of such a committee.


M/S/P to accept the report of the committee.  (voice vote)


M/S/P to approve the formation of a standing faculty committee to evaluate administrative offices and charge the Articles & Bylaws Committee with developing appropriate bylaw language to be reviewed by the senate during the fall of 2003.  (show of hands:  19-yes, 2-no, 1-abstain)


Who does evaluation go to and for what purpose?  For the fs – fs may take action appropriate to the report.  Attempted to structure this process in a way that does not provoke contention.


M/S/P to continue the committee in ad hoc form for the 2003-04 academic year with vacancies to be filled as necessary by the SEC.  (unanimous show of hands)


XIV.      Discussion of General Education Outcomes.

Emily Johnson, Director of the General Education Program, explained the process that the General Education Committee utilized this year with respect to learning outcomes.   She reviewed the Student Learning Outcomes draft document, which lists six areas of competencies for students who complete the general education program.  They are: effective communication, critical thinking skills, content knowledge and the ability to integrate knowledge, aesthetic perspective, global perspective and an understanding of diversity, responsible citizenship and ethical decision making.


Johnson described the document as living, dynamic, a starting point.  The language can still be clarified and simplified.  It is a challenging task.  She will develop possible scenarios for consideration next Fall.  Goal is to look at a program that spans over the four years of a student’s college career.   It doesn’t mean we will be developing upper level classes, but departments can say this particular course is appropriate for our students.  She reminded senators that UW System has a policy that students, who have received associate degrees from other UW institutions, will have completed the general education requirements.


Senator Hollenbach, who is also a member of the General Education Committee, explained that the whole program is designed to encourage intellectual coherence.  The committee tried to think about what we want the program to look like.


Q. & A.  Do we have the curriculum to support the outcomes?  For some yes, others not sure.

What is the incentive for students to participate in assessment?  Not much on this campus but could be structured.  How do we know whether or not the current general education program is working?  Starting with broad concepts – will begin next fall with critical thinking and communication.  Agrees that assessment needs to start taking place.  Some reluctance on campus.   Which outcomes aren’t being satisfied?  Integrating knowledge, global perspectives, understanding diversity – anecdotal evidence, hearing students, writings – students not as strong in communication – these are just hunches.  Need to benchmark data so that you can assess.


Doubt that we would ever agree that our students can satisfy any of these areas – rather than within the constraints of our time here – general education should provide foundation.  In creating assessment tools we need to make goals more specific. 


Would like to see general education raise the bar – set high standards.  Is list under each area exhaustive?  No.  Has the committee spent time about what specific applications could be used to analyze these outcomes?  Generally yes – specifically no.  Discussed standardized tests, writing papers.  Would suggest it would be worth your while to more precisely delineate what type of assessment could be performed.  Way too theoretical at this point.  Doesn’t assessment come in passing courses?  Why not collect up a series of final exams/papers?  Course specific but not program specific.


Open-ended process – how integrate comments?

Applaud committee in taking on a daunting task.

Suggest to look at survey of alumni – how they feel about general education program.


XV.       Old Business.


XVI.      New Business.


Prior to adjournment, Senator Hoar read the following resolution in honor of Chair Senger:


Whereas, Steven Senger served as Chair of the 37th faculty senate during the 2002-03 academic year; and

Whereas, Steven Senger skillfully guided the Faculty Senate through two semester of meetings, some of which were long and difficult, always ensuring a fair and thorough process for all; and

Whereas, Steven Senger is currently serving his third year on the Faculty Senate and will not be eligible for Senate next year; and

Whereas, Steven Senger has many wonderful pastimes and hobbies that have been neglected due to the time he has chosen to devote to the Senate,

Now, therefore be it resolved that the members of the 37th Faculty Senate of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse hereby recognizes and thanks Steven Senger for all of his service to this University, his leadership as chair of the Senate, and his commitment to faculty governance.


Passed and adopted this 8th day of May 2003.


XVII.     Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.



Submitted by

Robert Hoar, Secretary