Faculty Senate

3:30 p.m. – May 14, 2009

Robert C. Voight Faculty Senate Chambers

325 Graff Main Hall



I. Roll Call.

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

Excused: V. Crank, L. Dickmeyer, J. Miskowski

Absent: C. Miller


II. Minutes of the Senate meeting of May 7 will be considered at the next Senate meeting. 


III. Reports.


                        A. Chair’s Report

            Summary of Semester:  A more complete report on the year will be written later.  The semester was dominated by budget issues.  Centennial Hall will b outfitted with a full technologiy package as planned; we are still fundraising for this building.  Shifting to People Soft has been smooth;  the Textbook Rental issue is on its way to resolution;  budget issues on campus are notably improved.  The budget committee has been very transparent, for which we thank Bob Hetzel. 

            The state Joint Finance Committee voted to support bargaining rights.  This may affect shared governance.

            SEC goals for year were reviewed. 

            Four concerns were noted: 

1)  level of faculty participation in faculty governance:  our merit/reward structure does not fully reward service—for Senate and committee work

2) need for more formal orientation for faculty, administration and other bodies on shared governance

3) slow shift towards increased use of instructional academic staff:  this means fewer tenure-track faculty;  this erodes faculty and shared governance

4) workload:  we need to be more politically involved in order to have a voice in the system

            WI is the only state (among our comparables) not giving economic stimulus money to higher education. K-12 is going to get a portion.

            Thank you to the SEC.  Thank you to the Provost and Bob Hoar for their participation in SEC.  Thank you to Carmen Wilson for her advice over the year.  Thank you to the Chancellor for his support of faculty and shared governance.  Thank you, thank you to Sibbie Weathers!


            B. Chancellor’s Report.

            Summary of the year:  NCUR was a success; regarding budget, we should keep an eye on the across-the-board cut to the UW-System, which is more significant than furloughs.  The furloughs mean that the students are short-changed because they pay most of the money into this institution.  Rescinding our 2% raise is also difficult.  The Regents meeting in June will explore a lot of these issues;  there must be long-range planning. Various scenarios are being considered:  we could take furloughs during X-mas/New Years and close entirely;  or we will just have a pay deduction for the whole year with a bank of furlough days to be used as most appropriate;  the nine-month contracts may be furloughed only six days/year.  The Administration is committed to UW-L’s academic core, and it will receive criticism for this. 

The system is committed to the ‘gift” on the building coming down to $3 million.

            Shared governance.  The online Chronicle had an article arguing that strong faculty governance is an asset in this budget climate.

The word from Madison is that there is no chance the Recruitment and Retention Fund will be used for budget holes.

The Chronicle of Higher Education called to talk about the mascot’s name:  Colbert.



            Student housing:  Where will the students be housed while the residence halls are demolished?  Half of the incoming freshmen will be in overflow housing, bunking three to a room in campus dorms. Students in overflow housing get a reduced rate on their room.  A lot of international students and others will be housed in apartment complexes off campus with RAs, through contracts with those complex’s owners.  This arrangement has been shown to have no impact on student grades or satisfaction. Parents with questions should be referred to Paula Knudson. 

Furloughs:  The plan would be to distribute the pay cut all across the year rather than in a lump during period when the furlough is taken. 

Possible options/recommendations from Senate members:

•          Allowing choices would be best for employees. 

•          Create a Fall break by shutting down during fall semester.

•          This is the opportunity for some resistance.  It would be best to shut down the whole school for four days a semester with certain tasks not being done because of the furlough.  This would send a message about what furloughs really mean.


                        C. Provost/Vice-Chancellor’s Report

            Thank you to the SEC and Bob Hoar.  Apologies for missing meetings due to BOR meeting conflicts. 


            We’re in good shape to start the new year.  We completed the Mission Statement project;  it will be sent to the BOR.  CATL will be up and running in the fall, pending renovations to an unnamed space.  The Instructional Designer is hired;  the Assessment Coordinator will be hired as soon as feasible.  We have hired 60-70 new faculty for the fall. 

            Personnel processes have been worked on a lot this year;  IAS policies/contracts and appointment letters have been revised to be more employee-friendly.

            We are beginning to work on plans for the upcoming year’s agenda so that progress can be made even within the budget constraints.

            Thank you to the deans for their work.


D. Faculty Representative’s Report

            No report.


                        E. Student Representative’s Report

            Nick Herro introduced himself as the new Shared Governance Director for the Student Association. 


IV.       Ad Hoc Textbook Rental Usage Committee Report.

            Thank you to Dick Sullivan for serving on the committee.  SEC endorsed the policy and thus there is a motion on the floor to support the policy.

            We have been assured that whatever contract is issued with vendors, our policies, as outlined in this document, will be used. 

            The committee investigated several different types of services that could be offered, as well as some of the current systems used at other UW institutions (Eau Claire, for example). 

            The system will struggle for a year or two to break even.

            There is a textbook rental oversight committee whose purview will be to administer and adjust these guidelines as necessary.  The committee will be able to tweak the guidelines with the new vendor. 

            There are upper and lower limit caps on purchases for new inventory.  Reorders are not affected by these caps.  There is a $200 upper limit cap on any single textbook order for a class for a semester (see the policy’s definition of “class”).  This was based on an estimate of what the routine upper limit requests have been in the past.   Anything over $200 is subject to review.  The $35 lower cap means texts under that price but not in a “text intensive class” (see policy definitions) would be required for student purchase.  Electronic text resources and clickers are included as textbook resources in the policy.

            This will institute fairly strict ordering cycle deadlines.

            The fee schedule for students is set separately from the oversight committee.  It is rising next year to $180, leaving an operating budget for Textbook Rental of $1.5-1.6 million.


Motion: to support and endorse the Textbook Rental policy and guidelines as submitted by the ad hoc committee.


Motion passed.



V.        Budget Update.

[Discussed during Chancellor’s Report.]


VI.       Old Business.



VII.      New Business.

A.  Academic Program Review Committee

Motion:  SEC recommends suspending the bylaws of the APR committee for one year to increase the APR committee membership by three to deal with the backlog of this year’s reports. 

            Note that this will involve using the alternates for that committee.

Motion passed.


B. Thank you to Senate members whose terms are ending this year.



VIII.     Adjournment at 4:50 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Susan Crutchfield