Minutes of the Faculty Senate

September 25, 2008

Robert C. Voight Faculty Senate Chambers

3:30 p.m. – 325 Graff Main Hall


I.          Roll Call.

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

Excused:  V. Crank, L. Dickmeyer

Absent:  R. Ahmed


II.         The minutes of the September 11 meeting will be voted on at the next meeting.


III.       Reports.

            A.        Chair’s Report


A CAPS-approved Incomplete Policy for undergraduates will be considered by the Senate at an upcoming meeting, as will the currently tabled motion from the GEC regarding their Director position.  Space problems on campus will get worse due to building tear-downs.  The Chair is meeting with the Chancellor every other week, so any business you’d like Joe to bring up with Joe can be forwarded to JOE (Heim)!

            We have filled vacancies on various committees:  the Facilities Comm., the   Apportionment comm.  When there are committee vacancies during the semester, Senate members will be apprised and can nominate yourself or colleagues. 

            Bob Hetzel will report on the budget next week.


System and State Legislature Issues:

A September 23, 2008 WISTAX document titled “WISTAX Informs Debate on Higher Education Funding:  New Report Reviews 25-Year Spending Trends” (available at www.wistax.org) shows that “tax funding for the UW System over the past 25 years [. . .] has trailed overall spending, state school aid, and inflation.”  It also shows that “State funding increases for  higher education, including technical colleges, over the past ten years (+27.0%) ranked Wisconsin 44th, and over the past five year (+5.0%), 49th.” 

            It is important that we advocate for our University with legislators.  A handout of sample UW System-related questions for legislative candidates was given to Senators.


New Academic Building:

            UW-L Foundation pledges are still being accepted.  It is crucial that we reach a high percentage of employees contributing.  The dollar amount is not as important as the percentage  of participation on campus.


            B.         Chancellor’s Report

            A story in the local newspaper today shows the staff commitment to the new academic building project.  The national banking crisis may affect this project.  While there is confidence that we will have the loan, we still need to raise the money.

At a Chancellor’s retreat on Sept. 19, Representatives Mark Gottleib and Gordon Hintz voiced support for the idea of raising UW-L tuition rather than cutting quality should state funding become harder to achieve.  We hope the legislators will allow us to raise tuition.

            Bob Hetzel is working towards gaining more discipline with our budget.

            The political demonstration yesterday on campus was handled very well.  Some students felt threatened or harassed.  Next time, Campus Police will be present the whole time.  We did not infringe upon the demonstrators First Amendment rights of free speech.  We would intervene only if they impeded the flow of traffic or if they created a clear and present danger. 

            The Chancellor visits students in their dorms from time to time and is happy to report that he finds them studying, despite the huge televisions in their rooms!

            Question from G. Cravins:  In the Provosts’ or Chancellors’ groups, to what extent is there a discussion of a biennial increase in faculty salaries?  The Chancellor thinks it is a priority.


            C.        Provost/Vice-Chancellor’s Report

            Both deans searches are running:  thanks to Aaron Monte and Ronda Smith, who are the chairs of the committees.  The deadline for applications is  Dec. 1. 

The Provost’s Office hopes soon to finalize the distribution of funds for computer equipment and for academic instruction.   They are working on the distribution of funds for J- term.

            GQA:  Search and Screen pink slips are being processed by the Provost’s Office immediately upon receipt.  There are many inconsistencies across the departments regarding what is listed on the advertisements for those positions.  All position announcements should include information, or links to information, about our campus.  There will be one large advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education listing all our positions--for GQA and for resignations and retirements.  Classified Staff positions funded through GQA were discussed at JPB.  The call for those requests is coming out Oct. 17.  Kim Vogt is Chair of the committee handling those positions, and she will be sending out the e-mail call.  There are very few such positions available.


D.        Faculty Representative’s Report:  Georges Cravins

The UW System Faculty Representatives met in Madison on September 19.  The meeting was primarily with UW System staff;  no Regents attended.  A task force on faculty and staff salaries recommended a +7.78% salary catch-up for UW faculty to keep up with competition.  Policies on talking to the media were reviewed.  There is concern that how faculty talk to media is becoming highly regulated, with some campuses being very strict about who is allowed to talk to the media.  Chancellor Gow reported that he is not aware of a new System policy, and he is opposed to trying to regulate this, other than to separate the professional from the personal regarding political elections, as per System policies.

            System is looking for evidence that faculty are facing financial hardship.  Please send any compelling evidence to G. Cravins, and also let him know of any items you would like to see on the Faculty Representatives’ agenda.  Their next meeting is Oct. 31, and some will attend the Oct. 2-3 BOR meeting at Stevens Point.


            E..        Student Representative’s Report

Student Association President Fred Ludwig reported that there are still open positions on the Student Association.  Also, the SA is working on a nonpartisan voter registration initiative in classrooms:  teachers are asked to volunteer approximately 5-10 minutes of class time to allow students to register.


IV.       Approve Carol Oyster as one-year replacement for Lalita Pandit on Joint Promotion Committee.

M/S/P to approve Carol Oyster as a one-year replacement for Lalita Pandit of the Joint Promotion Committee.


V.        Budgetary Update – Bob Hetzel [rescheduled to October 9, 2008, senate meeting].


VI.       Mission Statement Survey – Bob Hoar.

UW-L operates under three different mission statements:  the UW-System Mission, the Core Mission of the University Cluster Institutions (the Comprehensive Universities within the UW-System), and its own Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  The Provost’s Office is studying the possibility of revising our current Select Mission. 



The current Select Mission was adopted in the Spring of 1988, after Linda Host (Math) and Stan Rolnick (History) worked as a sub-committee of the Long-Range Strategic Planning Committee (chaired by Carl Wimberly) to create the current wording. 



The following three questions comprised a Mission Statement Survey that was forwarded by e-mail first to faculty and staff and then to the broader UW-L community:


1.      In your opinion, should the UW-La Crosse Select Mission Statement be modified or updated?

2.      If there were one thing that you would want someone to know about UW-L, what would it be?

3.      Please describe (in a couple of sentences) the campus that UW-L should aspire to become.



Out of 345 faculty and staff responses, 249 (72%) voted “yes” and 96 (28%) voted “no,” with 130 people providing text responses to the follow-up questions.  The combined totals for the faculty/staff and broader surveys were as follows:


Total number of respondents:                838

Total number of “Yes” votes:                458 (55%)

Total number of “No” votes:                 380 (45%)


Next Steps

A committee of 10, with two nominees from each of the following governance groups will be formed to  review the text from the survey and propose mission statements that will be brought before the governance groups.

  • Faculty Senate
  • Academic Staff Council
  • Student Senate
  • Administration
  • Classified Staff


The goal is to complete any changes to the Select Mission Statement by the end of this year so that strategic planning can happen next year.  Any revised mission will have to go to the BOR for approval.  It was suggested that the committee consider inviting off-campus constituents to participate, for example, alumni, or community members.


[The next two items’ orders are reversed from the published agenda.]

VIII.     Student Information System – Debbie Veglahn.

The following progress report was presented:

PeopleSoft/Oracle Student Information System (SIS) Project
Progress Report to Faculty Senate:  9/25/08

Project Overview: The Student Information System Project is a UW System Common Systems initiative.  The project encompasses the implementation of a purchased web-based software package for recruiting, admissions, records, financial aid, student financials, degree audit, and self service for faculty/staff and students (the software is called Campus Solutions). The new student information system will replace AERIE, TALON, CAS, and ADMISSIONS student systems.  Inherent in the project is also the implementation of campus business processes and policies to ensure the integrity, security, and privacy of student data while at the same time enhancing the quality of service to the campus community.

PROGRESS!!  PeopleSoft Campus Solutions for Admissions and Recruiting went live successfully on 9/8/08!! New applications for the fall of 2009 are being loaded into PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, as well as test score files from ACT/SAT.  Over 12,000 prospect records were converted from the legacy system and Admissions staff are up-to-date on entering and updating new prospect records.  This is the beginning of a very busy recruitment cycle and the counselors on the road are already experiencing the positive impact of the new web-based system!  Automated e-mail communications are being sent to students and decision letters are going out daily.  The new Student Center has been activated so applicants can sign-in and check their admissions status.  During the first 18 hours, over 130 applicants logged in!  Congratulations to the PeopleSoft Admissions Team of Corey Sjoquist and Marsha Gottovi, the Admissions staff, and the entire project implementation team for all their hard work and contributions in making UW-L's first PeopleSoft Student Information System go-live a great success. 

October 2008:  Conversion of bio/demo data for all students (current and history) and faculty/staff
October/November 2008:  Conversion of the Course Catalog and Class Scheduling
November 2008:  Training for campus departments on Class Scheduling
January/February 2009:  Financial Aid Go-Live
March 2009:  Student Records and Student Financials Go-Live
Spring 2009:  Academic Advising Go-Live
Fall 2009:  All modules up and running, testing completed, assessment and evaluation continues

Implementation team:                                                                        Executive Sponsors:
Debbie Veglahn, Project Manager,                                             Kathleen Enz Finken, Provost and Vice
Jenna Klinner, Student Communications Assistant                                   Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Chris Bakkum, Academic Advising                                             Bob Hetzel, Vice Chancellor for Administration
Cristen Houlihan, Student Financials                                                       and Finance
Sue Knudson, Academic Advising

Louise Janke, Financial Aid
Corey Sjoquist, Admissions and Recruiting                                 
Jan Von Ruden, Student Records                                               CIBER Enterprise Solutions
Janice Ward, Information Technology Services                           John Gleason, Project Manager
ITS Staff

Project web site and campus location:
Web Site:  http://www.uwlax.edu/peoplesoft/
Team Room:  108A Wing; UW-L Project Manager: 110 Wing; CIBER Project Manager: 109 Wing


Veglahn stressed that assessment and evaluation of the system will continue at every stage of the process.  Also, students will still be able to apply to the University using a paper application. 


VII.      How PeopleSoft Affects Records and Registration – Chris Bakkum.

The following proposal for a change of grade submission deadlines for the Academic Year 09-10 was presented by Bakkum:


Our current academic calendar, which was approved by the Faculty Senate, includes dates and times for grade submission at the end of each term.  As we move toward the implementation of our new student information system, we have discovered that the time of the grade submission must move from 8 a.m. to midnight.  Since we expect the processing of grades to take up to 8 hours, I would like the Senate Executive Committee to consider granting a one year “pilot” of moving the grade submission deadline to midnight on the night before our calendared grade submission date.  This does mean the faculty will need to have grades in 8 hours earlier than currently scheduled.  The one year pilot will allow us time to learn how the new system will work and whether or not the change to midnight is detrimental to the faculty submission of grades.  Note that nothing would change for this academic year (08-09).  The change would be piloted in 09-10.


Below are the current and proposed grade submission deadlines for 09-10:


                        Current                                                           Proposed

SS 09               Wed., Aug. 19 at 8 a.m.                       Wed. Aug. 19, 2009 at midnight [not a typo]

Fall 09              Wed., Dec. 30, 2009 at 8 a.m.             Tues., Dec. 29, 2009 at midnight

Winter 09         Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 at 8 a.m.             Thurs., Jan. 28, 2010 at midnight

Spring 10         Fri., May 21, 2010 at 8 a.m.                 Thurs., May 20, 2010 at midnight


Thank you for your consideration of this request.  I believe this temporary change will help to ensure that we will be able to get grades processed and provide timely access to those grades for students during the PeopleSoft implementation year.  We will monitor the grade processing and will return to the Faculty Executive Committee in Spring 2010 with a recommendation for future grade submission deadlines. 


Motion and Second to approve the proposal as submitted with the change of each deadline to 11:59 p.m. rather than “midnight”.


Discussion:  There was some concern that the deadline for grade submissions keeps moving up.  This puts pressure particularly on faculty who have a lot of written work to grade, and it may lead them to assign less complex end-of-term projects or papers.  Bakkum stressed that this is a one-year pilot.  If the same change is needed in following years, the Registrar will return with another proposal for another vote.  The intention is that in following years, unless the pilot year shows that this earlier deadline is necessary to meet Registrar’s Office administrative needs, the submission deadline will be moved later to provide more time for grading, not earlier.


Motion Passed -- 15/4/0


IX.       Old Business. 


X.        New Business.


XI.       Adjournment.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:58 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Susan Crutchfield