Faculty Senate
Vol. 38, No. 4
October 9, 2003


I.          Roll Call.

Present:  Beck, Bigel, Brooks, Dixon, Gendreau, Gibson, Gongaware, Hoar, Kernozek, Kraemer, Maher, Majak, Poulton, Ragan, B. Riley, D. Riley, Shanks, Shillinger, Sullivan, Taylor, Wilson, Wingate.

Excused:  Heim, Vandenberg-Daves.


II.          Approval of Minutes.

The minutes of the September 25, 2003, meeting were approved as distributed.


III.         Reports.

Chair Hoar reported that the Position Task Force is putting together recommendations to be submitted to the Provost and the Chancellor in the near future.  The work is largely done and it is likely that the report will be on the next senate agenda.


The Planning & Budget Committee has met and it appears that budget problems will continue on this year.  System Administration has mentioned that budget problems might be severe enough to consider programs being cancelled.  As you recall, the local administration recommended (and subsequently enacted) base cuts that were 35% more than what the governors “best-case” scenario. An additional $800,000 were cut (largely from academics) to make up for the shortfall in non-resident student targets.


On a related note, The Chancellor distributed an email yesterday that points out the University is still failing to fulfill its EM21 agreement. The emails states that:  “Our campus was forced to absorb a deficit of approximately $2 million due to its failure to attract the targeted number of out-of-state students”  and goes on to add  “To that end, I am pleased to announce that I have appointed a Task Force on Attaining Enrollment Targets/Mix. Members of this group include Liz Hitch, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Kenna Christians, Assistant Chancellor for Advancement; Ron Lostetter, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance; and Al Thompson, Assistant to the Chancellor for Affirmative Action and Diversity. Their mission is complex and ambitious: to maintain an enrollment mix that enhances campus diversity while maintaining tuition revenue streams. This group is necessarily small to facilitate rapid action but will seek assistance from relevant campus constituencies to complete its work. I hope that if called upon you are willing to “step up to the plate”.


            Chair Hoar indicated that this raises a few questions:  Why is the Senate hearing about the formation of the task force after it has been created?  What “rapid action” could be undertaken at this point. If rapid action can be taken, why was it not undertaken three years ago when the problem first arose?  Hoar will look into it and report back to the senate.


The administrators are out of town, therefore not available to give a report.  The faculty representative is also at the BOR meeting, but Chair Hoar presented the following information for Dr. Heim:


The first is a news release that explains President Lyall’s position on a pay package.

  • She will be asking for 4% in each year
  • Note that she is also requesting that the raises be made “across the board” if the raises are less than 2%


There is also a memo that Dr. Hoar received from the Chancellor that explains the System pay plan proposal in more detail. The last page contains the resolution that will be considered by the BOR.


The third item is a “Legislative Update” that describes current UW-System related legislation that is being proposed and discussed.

  • transfer credits (on today’s agenda)
  • funding of sabbaticals
  • senior executive salary ranges.


Lastly, the senate office has received a number of inquiries related to changes in health care coverage.  Dr. Jennifer Wilson, Executive Director of Human Resources, has agreed to update us on these changes and to provide the Senate an opportunity to ask questions.


Dr. Wilson reviewed the big changes.  Insurance premiums for non-represented, and classified staff of $25 (single) and $62.50 (family) have already been approved.  Premiums are monthly – paid two months in advance.  There will be a pharmacy benefit manager – Navitus – will picking it up.  The cost is included in payment.  There will be a prescription card that will need to be presented under the new three-level system.  More information can be found at the web site.  Monthly premiums cannot be paid by the employee reimbursement account.  Critical information will be distributed as her office receives it.


Chair Hoar introduced the new Director of University Relations — Kerry Hire.


Student Association Representative Larry Golba, reported that the students continue to work together on student initiatives.


IV.        Discussion of Criteria for Reviewing New Courses in General Education.

Emily Johnson, Director of the General Education Program reported that the General Education Committee has been working on criteria that could be used to lift the year-long moratorium on new proposals for the general education curriculum.  Dr. Johnson reviewed the proposal.


In this transition period between our current program and possible structural revisions in a General Education program based on student learning outcomes, we will be using modified criteria to review course proposals.  This modified set of criteria, with possible revisions as we test it out, asks departments/instructors to carefully consider the learning outcomes that the course will address.  These criteria are for new courses only and are not intended for review of current courses.  Should the structure of the program change, any of these new courses would need to be reviewed along with our current courses.  That process is not yet in place and is one of the many tasks before the General Education Committee.

The Review Criteria document includes an example that we hope you will find helpful.  However, since we have not yet reviewed any courses with these criteria, we will happily work with departments/instructors interested in putting forth a course at this time. This could take the form of an informal meeting in which you discuss your ideas about the course, the outcomes you think it addresses, the learning activities you will use, etc.  Or you could develop a written draft of the proposal and ask to meet with us prior to the first official reading.  Or, perhaps, a combination of these approaches. 


The General Education Committee has reserved the following dates for review of course and Writing-in-the-Major proposals.  Special meetings for reviews allow the committee to continue their work on other important matters related to General Education. The fall review dates are: November 17 - First Readings,  December 1 - Second Reading.  In the spring semester, the dates are February 2 -- First Reading and February 16 - Second Reading.


Senators expressed a desire to see a discussion of the new criteria; would like to see an example of an existing general education course; and would like to see an evaluation of the process.


Senator Shanks applauded the committee for their fine work.


Motion: The Senate encourages the GEC to begin to review new courses, using criteria similar to the one being presented for the fall and report back on the results.


M/S/P the faculty senate encourages the general education committee to begin to use the newly developed set of criteria and report back to the senate.  (unanimous voice vote)


V.         Transfer Credit Within UW-System and Technical Colleges.


Chair Hoar discussed a current bill to require all higher education coursework to transfer within the UW System.  The senate then considered President Lyall’s memorandum on the issue that discusses UW System efforts to facilitate the transfer of courses.  In connection with Lyle’s memorandum, the Senate considered a suggestion from Provost Hitch on how to deal with the transfer matter.  Hitch is concerned that UW-L adopt proactive strategies (listed below) to deal with the situation. 


University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

Proactive Strategies for Responding to Transfer Credit Initiatives


1.                  Alert faculty/advising staff to transfer issues:  drafted legislation and System initiatives.  Possibilities:  e-mail, public forum, announced topic at a Faculty Senate meeting…but with advising staff invited.


2.                  Liz will meet with Diane Schumacher, Emily Johnson, Kathy Kiefer and a representative of WWTC to identify classes that students most frequently want to transfer from WWTC to UW-L (and that are not currently identified for transfer).  Once that list of classes is developed, we will ask WWTC for the appropriate contacts to discuss transfer issues.  Deans will then work with Diane Schumacher and UW-L departments to determine which courses will be targeted for discussion and set up opportunities for dialog on those classes with WWTC faculty.  “Core” courses (UW-L general education courses presently in the “Skills” category are likely to be targeted).  At a minimum, I would expect that departments with targeted courses:


a.                  Meet with the WWTC identified contacts/departments to examine currently approved course equivalencies (to see how well students are doing who make the transfer with those course equivalencies) and to visit about the consistencies between the courses.

b.                  Explore the possibilities for any additional course equivalencies (if appropriate).

c.                  Discuss the possibilities for using local placement tests or standardized tests for determining student competencies in courses for transferring students.


3.                  Identify any courses/majors/minors where collaborations with WWTC might be valuable.  Ask departments who see these possibilities for collaboration to make an appointment with the analogous department at WWTC to explore collaborations that would contribute to successful student transfer from WWTC to UW-L.


4.                  Identify any other possible collaborations with technical colleges other than WWTC where there are entry level programs at the technical colleges that might segue into professional programs at UW-L.  We have several examples of such collaborations right now. There may be others that could successfully follow this model.


Goals of Transfer Credit Initiatives


1.                  Enhanced student success in transferring and ultimately in achieving baccalaureate degrees.

2.                  Effective utilization of student tuition dollars and state resources applied to serving students in both the technical college system and the UW System universities.

3.                  Maintenance of program standards and educational quality.



Bill 366 states that all credits will transfer in all directions which would allow students to flow within the system easier.  Presently 15 credits plus up to two science and math courses are transferable between WWTC and UWL.  Looking at something called credit transfer contract, however there is a danger that this might take control of general education and control of the curriculum out of our hands.  UW faculty would set the standard on deciding whether or not a course would transfer.  We would make a decision on a course by course basis.  Provost seeking feed-back on document


M/S/P that the faculty senate has looked at this matter and approves of the general procedure put forward by the provost.  (voice vote)


VI.        Approval of the 2005-06 Academic Year Calendar.

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


VII.       Old Business.


VIII.       New Business.


CLS Dean, John Magerus has announced his retirement at the end of the academic year.  The search for his replacement had been delayed to provide the Positioning Task Force time to look at possible structures and recommendations.  However, the Provost has learned that any recommendation which will be forthcoming does not involve the structure of the College of Liberal Studies.  Consequently, the faculty senate has received notification of a request for search and screen committee members, to be forwarded to Provost Hitch not later than October 17th.  Therefore, the faculty senate will meet in a special session next Thursday, October 16th for the purpose of approving a list of five faculty to serve on the search and screen committee.


IX.        Adjournment.


The meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.


Submitted by

Eric R. Kraemer, Secretary