36th Faculty Senate

Vol. 36, No. 5

November 1, 2001


I.  Roll Call.

Present: Barmore, Barnd, Bigel, Cravins, M. Gibson, Heim, Hench, R. Hoar, Hollenback, S. Kelly, S. Krajewski, Monte, Senger, R. Sullivan, P. Taylor, Tyser, Vandenberg-Daves, Vogt, Weaver, C. Wilson, Wingate, Zellmer.

Excused:  Brooks and he has promised to bring treats to the next meeting.J

II. Approval of Minutes.

The minutes of the October 18, 2001 meeting were approved as distributed.

III. Reports.

A.  Interim Provost/Vice-Chancellor Rada confirmed that the Governor has announced a hiring freeze in state government.  The UW-System will receive flexibility in the form of a budget lapse, which means that System will be required to return approximately $2-3 million (UW-L's share of the lapse would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 115K) for this fiscal year.  For now we are proceeding with normal hiring plans.

B.  Chair's Report

  • Chair Heim reminded Senators that the proposed hiring freeze is an example of why it is important to be in touch with legislators – budget outlook is very grim.
  • Heim congratulated Senator Carmen Wilson for her presentation on the psychological responses to crises at UW-L's continuing series on terrorism.
  • The Senate Executive Committee is drafting the wording on a resolution for the "just cause" issue.
  • Chair Heim reported that he has been receiving correspondence regarding the field naming matter.  He is not convinced that it is an appropriate topic to deal with at the Faculty Senate.  Chancellor Hastad will meet with SEC next week to discuss the topic.
  • Candidates for the Provost/Vice-Chancellor will begin to visit campus next week.  Senators are encouraged to attend as many events as possible but most especially at the 3:30 p.m. hour dedicated for members of the three governance groups to meet with each candidate.
  • Senator Kelly distributed copies of the Red Cross posters announcing the UW-L campus-wide fundraiser for victims of the September 11th attack.  The drive continues through November 16th when a tree planting service and dedication will take place at 12:15 p.m.
  • Heim reviewed the UW-L Economic Impact on the Coulee Region 2000-2001 Report, which is compiled annually by the Foundation.  He reminded Senators that UWL gives the City of La Crosse about $1 million for local services in addition to the estimated $46 million annually in payroll benefits; the letter from faculty representatives to President Lyall thanking her for her support of the pay package, was distributed; Legislative Update, October 26, 2001, was also distributed.
C.  David Glisch, Student Senate Liaison, thanked the Faculty Senate on its well thought out discussion on the Marder issue.  He noted that there is a new bill to add another student regent (presently one student is added by governor).  This bill would allow students to appoint a student – at least 24 years of age.  Tommy Jones, Jr. (student regent) was on campus yesterday and plans to come frequently.  A social justice director has been instituted as well as women’s issues committee.  David distributed a green sheet listing student budget initiatives to be sent to UW System.

IV.  Discussion of the Strategic Planning Process.

The Faculty Senate next discussed Strategic Planning.  The Senate could approve items by consensus if they wished.  Senator Cravins had sent an email to senators inviting ideas.  Senator Hench reviewed PowerPoint presentation – Our University, Our Voices, Our Future. The committee wants many people involved in the January conference scheduled for January 23-25, 2002.  We believe people should be genuinely engaged in the process- commonly shared goals.  Participant criteria – critical knowledge of institution, have a stake in the institution, parents, legislatures, regents, community members, alumni, area teachers.  Key constituencies represented.  How to select participants?  The Strategic Planning Committee doesn’t yet know – will solicit input.

It was asked if the committee would go back to old strategic plan –did it succeed or fail?  The committee has not done that yet (stressing a fresh approach is good, but there is a concrete process we can refer to).  Committee meetings are very accessible, inclusive.  Consensus is that follow-up reports at least once a year would be very important.

Items that the Senate brought up are listed below.  (These items were organized by Georges Cravins after the meeting and dispersed to the Senate by e-mail.)

A. Ideas On the Strategic Planning Process

1. Many of the parties to the 2001-2002 Strategic Plan have stressed the accessibility of the process. Additionally, the value of "diversity" has been stressed by members of the Planning Committee. However, one Senator expressed the view that the Strategic Planning Committee itself lacks diversity, since most of members of the Committee are "White."
2. One Senator expressed the view that the pre-conference process -, i.e., efforts to involve as broad-based a constituency as possible - is important.
3. One Senator suggested that it is important that the Strategic Planning Committee look at the old plan. He suggested that the old plan - "Forward Together" - should be the initial basis of discussion of any new plan, and that it should be critically reviewed.
4. The broadest possible constituency of "stakeholders" should be included in the plan: high schools, community colleges, political leaders, alumni, etc.
5. At the end of each academic year, the Chair of the Planning Committee and/or the Budget Director should give a report to the Faculty Senate on the extent to which goals and objectives outlined in the Plan are being achieved.
B. Ideas on Issues
1. The Strategic Plan (henceforth, "the Plan") should focus on the "work environment," including the quality of the work place, the availability of supporting resources such as day care, and domestic partner benefits. (Perhaps someone from the Strategic Planning Committee should pay attention to the work of the Chancellor's "Work- Life Committee".)
2. The Plan should affirm the University's commitment to General Education.
3. General Education should be looked at and - if possible - reinforced.
4. As part of the planning process, we need to look at our graduate programs: Where are they "going?" What role will graduate programs play in the overall mission of our institution? Will the growth of graduate programs help to re-define UW-L as an institution?
5. The idea that scholarship should be valued, and that resources should be appropriated to support research. This has become especially critical in recent years, as there has been increased pressure on faculty to devote more time to publishable research. Moreover, increased resources will be needed if faculty is to fulfill its own research agenda as well as encourage undergraduate and graduate research. For example, one Senator observed that the library's book budget is too small to adequately support research in history and other, similar disciplines.
6. Teaching as well as research should be valued. This idea reflects a strong body of opinion on campus that suggests that research - not teaching - is most valued in the current environment.
7. UW-La Crosse needs to reaffirm its mission as a Land Grant institution.  Within Wisconsin, this mission has had special meaning that has come to be encapsulated in The Wisconsin Idea: a commitment to service, accessibility to the people, and university-community partnerships.
8. The Plan should address the issue of "web-based instruction," including its future place within the curriculum.
9. The Plan should attempt to address critical resource problems on campus including (but not limited to) the following:
  - the shortage of classroom space (Carl Wimberly Hall);
  - serious maintenance problems and physical plant problems;
  - obsolete, outdated and non-functional technology in many classrooms.
10. The Plan should express our campus's commitment to academic excellence.
11. Student retention is often dependent on the efficacy of faculty advising. The Plan should reflect the importance of academic advising. Moreover, advising should be integrated into faculty-staff professional development strategies. Additionally, effective advising should be rewarded as part of the promotion and tenure process.
12. The University should institute a "Liberal Studies Major."
13. The University should institute a "Freshman Seminar."
14. The University needs to take a look at how freshman classes are selected. What criteria are used to select the incoming freshman class? What areas constitute our "catchment regions?"
V.  Adjournment.

The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

Submitted by
Susan Kelly, Secretary