Faculty Senate


September 13, 2007                                                                                                                                                                           325 Graff Main Hall

Vol. 42, No. 2                                                                                                                                                                                   3:30 p.m.


I.       Roll Call.

Present:  R. Ahmed, J. Anderson, S. Brokaw, V. Crank, S. Crutchfield, L. Dickmeyer, J. Heim, K. Hoar, D. Hoskins, K. Hunt, S. Kelly, R. Knox, A. Loh, C. Miller, P. Miller, J. Miskowski, A. Olson, S. Senger, S. Smith, G. Straker, R. Sullivan, B. Udermann, C. Wilson

Excused:  M. Abler


II.         Replacement for Senator Jackson.

Dick Sulllivan joined the senate as a permanent replacement for Michael Jackson who has left UW – La Crosse.


III.       Reports.

A.  Chair’s ReportFor the last two years, I have started the first meeting with “what I learned on my 2005 summer vacation.”  I was planning to say something else, but I am all about tradition, and more importantly, I still think these ideas are important and set the tone for what I hope will be a productive and fun year.  So, once again . . .


What I learned two summers ago summer on my summer vacation . .


Robert’s Rules of Order

      Basic Principles:

o        Take up business one item at a time

o        Promote courtesy, justice, impartiality, and equality

o        The majority rules, but the rights of individual, minority, and absent members are protected


      The “Spirit”:

o        “Where there is radical difference of opinion in an organization, one side must yield.  The great lesson for democracies to learn is for the majority to give the minority a full, free opportunity to present their side of the case and then for the minority, having failed to win a majority to their views, gracefully to submit and to recognize the action as that of the entire organization, and cheerfully to assist in carrying it out, until they can secure its repeal.” (Henry Robert, Parliamentary Law)

o        When debating motions:

§         Each member may speak two times on a motion

§         A member may only speak the second time after everyone else has had the opportunity to speak one time

§         The chair is responsible for keeping the debate as balanced as possible (e.g. If several have spoken “for” a motion, the chair should ask if anyone wants to speak “against” the motion.)


o        A “majority vote” means the majority of those voting.  If ten people are at a meeting, and five abstain, only three votes are needed to pass a motion.  In this case, the abstentions work in favor of the motion. 

o        Abstentions work against a motion when a “majority of those present” or a “majority of members” is required to pass a motion. 

o        Abstentions are not counted or recorded.


Responsibilities of Senate

The Faculty Senate shall be free to investigate, to study, to debate, and to deliberate on all matters of general faculty concern and may exercise review authority in these matters if it deems such exercise is in the best interests of the University.  Specifically, the senate directly, or through committees, is empowered to:

  1. Determine all curricula of the institution, graduate and undergraduate.
  2. Determine academic standards and requirements for graduation.
  3. Advise the chancellor on the appointment of administrative officials.
  4. Participate in determining policies with respect to the annual budget.
  5. Participate in planning the physical facilities of the campus.
  6. Participate in formulating regulations pertaining to student activities.
  7. Participate in the award of promotions and salary adjustments.
  8. Participate in investigating cases and determining policies with respect to academic freedom, tenure, appointments, reappointments, leaves, dismissals and teaching loads.
  9. Prepare the agenda for meetings of the general faculty and distribute copies of the agenda to faculty members one week prior to such faculty meetings.
  10. Establish and terminate all faculty committees and determine their membership and functions.
  11. Receive and disseminate minutes and reports of all committees.
  12. Conduct nominations and elections of members of the senate.
  13. Hear any faculty member on matters of concern to the member or the general faculty.
  14. Hear the authorized agent of the organ of student government on matters of concern to the student body.
  15. Inform the general faculty, the administration, and the student body of all senate actions affecting the areas of their respective concerns.
  16. Provide for the election and instruction of representatives to extramural councils or committees which seek to communicate or consult directly with University faculty governance.


The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) had a most productive summer.  We completed our usual work of assigning people to committees and creating charges for various committees.  We also discussed how we might facilitate the transition between last year’s committees and this year’s in hopes of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of committee work.  There is little more frustrating than losing track of valuable committee work as committee membership changes.  We also noted that at times the work of different committees overlaps, and thought it might be useful to share the charges of the committees with each other.  To attempt to address these concerns we first recommended that the new committees invite members of last year’s committees to the first meeting to review last year’s work.  We also included the end-of-year report with the charge letter, sending those documents to all committee member, not just the convener.  Finally, we convened a convener’s meeting (kind of like the committee on committees) where convener’s shared their committee’s charges and asked any clarifying questions.  We also briefly discussed possible methods of increasing the effectiveness of committee work.  We will be holding a similar meeting in January (of chairs) to review the work to date and talk about any problems. 


We also reviewed the results of the first phase in our evaluation of administrative offices.  You will remember that last spring, we asked faculty to respond to three open-ended questions about any administrative offices they might choose – what would you like to see more of?  What would you like to see less of?  What should stay the same?  Our proposed second phase was to create a rating scale based on themes identified in the responses to those questions.  For many offices, no themes were identified.  Even so, there were too many offices to try to evaluate in one fell swoop.  So, the sec decided to focus on the offices that had the highest number of responses and had permanent leadership with some longevity.  I.e., the Chancellor Office has one of the most responses, however, given the recent change in leadership and the potential changes that might bring, it seemed not relevant at best and unfair at worst to create a survey based on those comments.  So, we will be sending out a survey with a few questions on each of the following offices:  Affirmative Action and Diversity, Grants and Contracts, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, International Education, and last, but certainly not least, Faculty Senate.  I have sent the questions we proposed to the offices for their review and feedback (with the option of adding questions), and we will be disseminating the survey soon. 


Speaking of the evaluation, one of the comments to senate last year encouraged the senate to assure that voices from across campus are heard when deliberating and voting on agenda items.  So, I continue to encourage you to talk with your constituents, just as I will encourage them to talk to you.  But, the SEC also had scheduled four listening sessions throughout the year.  They will be held on non-senate Thursdays at 3:30.  The dates are:  September 20, November 8, February 28, and April 10.  I strongly encourage each of you to attend to listen to and talk with faculty and staff.  These sessions will be an opportunity for faculty to introduce items that senate might want to address, for example, during the conveners meeting, we briefly discussed the benefits of having a common hour on campus - one or two hours per week when no classes are scheduled that could be used for scheduling events or meetings.  Faculty and staff also will be encouraged to come to discuss items on which the senate will be voting, perhaps, say general education? 


The SEC also reviewed the decisions made by the General Education Committee to date.  We have created an executive summary and more detailed summary of their work.  We have shared the documents with the general education committee, and have received confirmation that our interpretation is correct.  The sec will be sending these documents to all faculty and staff, followed by a very brief, and very global survey, asking three questions:

  1. Do you support the current general education/university core program?
  2. Do you support the proposed revisions to the program?
  3. Do you support the continued investigation of the Core III (which includes a required civic engagement type of experience)?

Our intent is to get a very basic, global sense of where the faculty and staff are at this point.  Once we have the results, we will share them with senate and discuss where we should go from here.

Finally, based on the pilot data, the sec revised the Student Evaluation of Instruction Handbook.  We will discuss those revisions a bit later today.


Like every other year, this proves to be another full, rich year.  I expect we will not be looking for ways to fill up copious amounts of free time.  Let it end without an extra meeting in May. 


Of course, my door is always open, I constantly check my email, and I (or Sibbie) usually answer the phone!  I look forward to working with all of you this year.



B.  Chancellor’s Report – Chancellor Gow expressed the privilege he feels to be Chancellor of UW-La Crosse.


Little is known about the State budget, but pressure is mounting for a budget.  The issue of student/faculty ratios is being brought to the attention of people in Madison.


The alcohol issue is again in the news with another tragic death of a student at Western.


Chancellor Gow encouraged committees to look for ways to work best.  Work should not simply be done as it always has in the past.  We all must look for ways to work together.


The Chancellor expressed his enjoyment over being in a classroom this semester and said that he would be delighted to be invited to come to other classes.


C.  Faculty Representative’s Report – Faculty Representative Joe Heim talked about the status of the state budget process and prospects for the UW System. He also indicated that the UW-La Crosse building projects –specifically the Academic building was included in both the State Assembly and State Senate versions passed by each house (unlike some other UW campus building projects). The UWL growth and access proposal also was in both budgets, with the Senate including about 900,000 for it and the Assembly providing 4.3million –both 100% from state tax monies (known as GPR funding.)  No word on faculty and academic salary increases for this year. This past summer, the Wisc Policy Institute, a state private think tank, proposed that the state look at breaking up the UW System into two separate parts, each with their own Board of Regents. Finally, State Senator Dan Kapanke recently met with UWL campus members of TAUWP and indicated that he supports the right of faculty and academic staff to determine if they did or did not wish to collectively bargain.


D.   Student Association Representative’s Report - Student Association Vice-President Bjorn Bergman spoke.  No one has yet been appointed as the Student Representative to the Faculty Senate. 


The Student Senate is discussing how to distribute the $70,000 from the seven-year Pepsi contract. The Student Senate hopes to get strong participation of student members on faculty committees. 


IV.       Introductions.

A.   Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance – Bob Hetzel thanked everyone for a warm Wisconsin welcome during his first 8 days at La Crosse.  He stated how students value the commitment and experience of the faculty.  He expressed his belief in a transparent system for the budget and asked people to hold him accountable to that commitment.  Hetzel said he plans to visit with the Faculty Senate on a regular basis. 


B   SAH Associate Dean  - Ray Abhold was unable to attend the meeting.  He will be invited to attend a future Senate meeting.


V.        Briefings.

A.  Al Trapp, Comprehensive Campaign - The Centennial Campaign for UW-L has raised $7.1 million for the sports complex as of August 31 ($12.5 million goal with additional funds of $0.6 million from the State and $2.5 million from student fees).  The goal is to raise an additional quarter of a million per month for this project. As of August 31, $1.2 million has been raised for the new academic building ($6 million goal with the remaining $38 million coming from the State). For this project, the goal is to raise an additional $200,000 per month.  Other goals for funds include undergraduate research ($0.1 million), faculty/staff awards ($0.1 million), scholarships ($1.9 million) and the annual fund for UW-L ($4.2 million).


Seven banks have signed lines of credit for the sports complex.  The question was asked if we would be able to get a line of credit for the academic building.  That would be difficult today, but we do not need to have it until November of 2008.  It is hoped that additional funds raised for both projects will help.


Trapp expressed the importance of person-to-person contacts when asking for large gifts.  At this time about 13% of alumni donate on a regular basis.  This is low compared to other comparable campuses.  It is hoped that this campaign may reinvigorate the base support for the future.


Chair Wilson expressed the desire that faculty be more involved in setting priorities in the future and also expressed thanks for the information received for this meeting.


VI.       Graduate Council - V. J. Agarwal briefly discussed changes made to the Graduate Faculty Membership Criteria and Graduate Faculty Membership Policy (documents posted).  The main points related to the requests for membership and term of membership.


M/S/P to approve the changes.


VII.      SEI Policies and Procedures – The central point of the proposed changes would be that the six items below would be included on all Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI) forms. Results from these six items would be reported for all personnel decisions in which SEI results are used.  (These questions replace the single question used for such purposes in the past.)  These questions would be the following:

1.  I was motivated to take this course based on its content.a

2.  The instructor was helpful to students

3.  The instructor was well prepared.

4.  The instructor communicated the subject matter clearly.

5.  I learned a great deal from this instructor.

6.  Overall, this instructor was excellent.

a       Item #1 is used as a measure of a student’s interest in taking the course.  Student motivation has been shown to have some impact on student evaluations.

All results from question 2-6 would be collapsed into a single score for each class.


  • Senators felt the need to reword question one to better measure motivation. One suggestion was to have the question “I was strongly interested in the content of this class.”
  • Some felt question 4 might undermine non-lecture style teaching.
  • Comments were made on possible strengthening of wording in the documents to more firmly state requirements.  There may be a need for more systematic and firm guidelines for procedures.  The suggestion was also made to require that SEI’s given in all classes each semester.
  • Clearly state that SEI’s should not be used for a single course at a single time.  We want patterns over years.  A person may teach the same course year after year.
  • This should be for both undergraduate and graduate courses.
  • There was a question about the value of anonymous SEI surveys.
  • We may want to start using this survey for on-line courses. 
  • It may be helpful to know why some departments do not use the current commonly used single question in their SEI’s.


Since there was no set timeline for changes, it was suggested that these suggestions be sent to the PTS Committee.  This gives a universal from for everyone. 


VIII.          Senate Executive Committee Nominations – M/S/P as distributed


A.  Joint Promotion Committee

Appointed to 3-yr terms

Sharon Jessee  

Roger Haro                             

Aaron Monte                           

Jodi Vandenberg-Daves 


1-yr replacements

Carol Oyster (replaces Pandit who has 2-year continuing term)

Jim Theler (replaces Bigel who had 1-year continuing term)

Gary Walth (replaces Heim who had 2-year continuing term)


                        2-yr continuing terms

                        Rick Mikat

                        Bob Hoar


                        1-yr continuing terms

                        Gerry Cox

                        Gary Gilmore

                        Peg Maher


B.  Consultative Layoff Committee

Appointed to 3-yr terms

Paul Keaton (CBA) - Associate

Sandy Krajewski (CLS) - Professor

Gwyn Straker (SAH) - Assistant


2-year continuing term

Joe Heim, convener (CLS) – Professor            

Keith Sherony (CBA) – Professor       

Mary Tollefson (CLS) – Associate  


1-year continuing term                                                          

Bradley Butterfield (CLS) - Associate

Mark Gibson (SAH) - Assistant

Bruce Osterby (SAH) - Professor


C.  Committee on Faculty Committees

Steve Brokaw

Kerrie Hoar

Carol Miller

Brian Udermann

Carmen Wilson, Convener


D.  Articles & By-laws

Suzanne Anglehart

Paul Beck

Ronda Knox

Keith Sherony, Convener

Sarah Shillinger


E.  Elections

Joe Anderson

Susan Kelly

Ronda Knox, Convener


F.  Faculty Ombudspersons

Mike Haupert

Steve Senger

Kim Vogt



IX.       Adjournment.

            The meeting adjourned at 5:08 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Susan Kelly, Secretary