Faculty Senate

February 5, 2009

Robert C. Voight Faculty Senate Chambers

3:30 p.m. – 325 Graff Main Hall



I. Roll Call.

Present: M. Abler, J. Anderson, S. Brokaw, V. Crank, G. Cravins, S. Crutchfield, L. Dickmeyer, T. Gendreau, J. Heim, J. Holman, D. Hoskins, R. LeDocq, A. Loh, C. Miller, P. Miller, A. Olson, B. Riley, S. Shillinger, D. Sullivan, B. Udermann, B. Van Voorhis

Excused: R. Ahmed, D. Buffton, J. Miskowski


II. Minutes from the Senate’s Dec. 4, 2009 meeting were approved.   


III. Reports.

         A. Chair’s Report

         The State House of Representatives passed a stimulus package that includes increases in programs related to higher education, such as Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study programs, and construction and renovation projects.  The projected WI budget deficit is $5.7 billion dollars.      There have been concerns about the Affirmative Action Officer position search being put on hold when other positions are moving forward.

         A Senate ad hoc committee on online SEIs has been created.  A supplemental charge has been given to the PTS committee to make a recommendation on whether we should support student access to online SEI scores.

         The SEC met with Senate Committee chairs in Jan.

         The CATL proposal will be on the agenda in Feb. or March.  The Assessment Coordinator position has been put on hold, and applicants for the Inclusive Excellence Coordinator position are being accepted.

         Upcoming state business that may affect UW-L includes a consideration of partner benefits and collective bargaining.

         At the next Senate meeting we will discuss the Student Association’s proposal to require each course have a D2L site.


         [New Report]  JPB Committee Report (LeDocq)

         The Budget Council (BC) has been the primary committee working on budget concerns.  To offset our budget deficit, BC has investigated budget reductions, budget offsets, and revenue increases. Anyone can submit cost saving ideas through the Administration and Finance website (http://www.uwlax.edu/af/).


         C.  Provost/Vice Chancellor’s Report

         No report.


         D. Faculty Representative’s Report

         The next FR meeting will be Feb. 27.  There has been no movement on the idea of auditing faculty salaries. Collective bargaining got heated discussion at the last meeting. Domestic partner benefits was discussed at the Dec. BOR meeting.  Rep. Kim Hixson will host a meeting on the budget and the UW-System on Feb. 18. 


         B. Chancellor’s Report [out of order]

         Our budget cut estimates are on target.  A letter of credit has been secured for the academic building. The governor will announce his budget next week, pending the federal budget package, but UW-System concerns do not seem to be a high priority at the state level.

         UW-L moved up to number 23 on the “Open Doors” 2008 list of top national Masters degree-granting institutions for international student exchange.

         Textbook Rental is a major concern for students.  The Chancellor’s quoted remarks in the Feb. 4 Racquet were taken out of context.  The student TR fee is below market value.  Any changes to the system will be made in an open manner.


         E. Student Representative’s Report

         No report.


IV.       Briefing: NCUR, April 16-18, 2009 – UW-La Crosse, Gubbi Sudhakaran.

            2,300 abstracts were accepted. 84 UW-L students will be presenting.   NCUR will host a grad school fair.   Registration is currently open.  Faculty are needed to moderate panels;  volunteers should contact Bill Schwan by e-mail.  The UW-L community is invited to the reception for the NCUR governors’ board.   All UW-L personnel are invited to attend sessions and plenary speaker talks for free.


V.        Briefing: Textbook Rental Service – Bob Hetzel and Larry Ringgenberg

            Hetzel:  The Textbook Rental (TR) budget is overspent.  In March, UW-L will be issuing two Requests for Proposals (RFP) to vendors who may want to help us manage the TR and the Bookstore.   A selection committee with representation from the various campus constituent groups will review the proposals and decide whether to award a contract for a June/July transition.  There are no plans to move away from a TR service.

            Ringgenberg:  A clear statement of our desired TR policy should be a part of the RFP.  Ringgenberg will convene an ad hoc committee to review and revise TR policy; faculty will be appointed to the committee by the Senate.  There will also be a separate, ongoing TR advisory committee.

            Discussion continued on topics including the following: electronic books; current policy and upcoming deadlines for book orders; communications between instructors, departments, and TR regarding unordered books; raising the student fee for TR; the need to create a discipline-sensitive TR policy.


VI.       PTS Committee Recommendation on FY 2009-11 Pay Plan.

This comes as a motion from PTS.  See below.




The PTS Committee met on January 29 to develop a recommendation regarding the UW-L distribution to faculty/staff of the 2009-2011 pay plan.  The Board of Regents has recommended increases of 2.5% in each year of the biennium.  However, in light of the very serious state budget shortfall, the actual amounts could be significantly less.


Given these conditions, the PTS Committee recommendations for the 2009-2011 pay plan follow:


1.  UW-L should continue the practice of distributing the pay plan based on two-thirds for solid performance and one-third for merit/market.


2.  The UW-L Chancellor should continue to refrain from exercising the “Chancellor’s Discretionary Option” of taking up to 10% off the top of the pay plan to address any other faculty/staff compensation issues.  Further, due to the cumulative effects of several consecutive years of inadequate pay plans, the UW-L Chancellor should begin to exercise this option only when the pay plan provides an increase which exceeds the cost of living increase or some similar measure.


                               D. W. Koster, Chair, 2008-2009 PTS Committee



VIII.     Old Business.



IX.       New Business.


Motion: to commend the Chancellor for the excellent BOR meeting at UW-L in December.




X.        Adjournment at 5 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,


Susan Crutchfield