Faculty Senate Executive Committee Minutes

3:00 p.m. - 327 Graff Main Hall

Feb. 24, 2009


Present:  Joe Heim, Rebecca LeDocq, Susan Crutchfield, Brian Udermann

Visitors: Kathleen Enz Finken, Bob Hoar


1.  IAS Policy Proposal

            We will probably vote on all the policy changes except Chapter 10 at the next Senate meeting.  There seems to be overwhelming Senate support for all the changes.  


2.  Ad Hoc Textbook Rental Policy Committee

The committee has been established.  The Senate will be asked to suggest guidelines regarding how the committee should proceed.  Whether the faculty generally agree that Textbook Rental (TR) should be privatized is not known.   The Provost offered several reasons why a change is needed in TR;  raising the student fee will not solve all the problems.  On another note, TR is currently overseen by Student Affairs, but it would be better placed under Academic Affairs or the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.  The current plan is to move it under the VC for A and F. 

            This committee will serve in an ongoing advisory capacity regarding TR policy.  There are some unresolved questions about to whom the committee will report, how its membership will be maintained, and so on.  When it becomes a standing committee, what will be its administrative/organizational status?


3. Transfer of Tenured Professors

            Sarah Shillinger’s concerns on this matter, as discussed at the last SEC meeting, are being discussed in various meetings between her and the CLS Dean, and her and the Provost.


4.  Senate Elections

            Nominations are in, and all but one seat in the upcoming election will be contested.


5.  High Demand Faculty Fund (Star Fund)

            TAUWP had a meeting with Brent Smith last Friday, at which TAUWP expressed its lack of support for the fund.  Arguments against the fund include that such a fund should not be used for specific faculty during a time when there are no significant salary raises across the campus, and that how the fund is being used is unclear.  Should Senate express an opinion?


6.  CAPS Chair

Jocelyn Shadforth has resigned as the Chair; this position needs to be filled.


7.  School of Education and DES

School of Education Director’s current reporting line and lack of authority were major concerns in the DPI review.  The Provost’s Office is looking at restructuring the School of Education.  The Director’s position will be moved to be under the Provost rather than the CLS dean, and the Director’s role will be reviewed for redefinition.  Faculty would remain in their subject-area departments.  The Department of Education Studies would remain in CLS.

The Provost would like to create a task force of people from across the campus to look at the processes for creating curriculum and for conferring tenure and promotion in the School.     


8.  Integrating Assessment into APR

The NCA continues to express concern about UW-L’s progress in all three areas flagged as needing improvement in their last report:  General Education, diversity, and assessment.  (See the NCA Higher Learning Commission’s Feb. 9, 2009 response to our monitoring reports at http://www.uwlax.edu/nca/.)  To address their concerns about assessment, the Provost requests that we integrate assessment into our APR process.  This was proposed several years ago but with no action taken by Senate.  The Provost presented a draft of a proposal written by Bill Cerbin and Carmen Wilson.  SEC will review the proposal for further discussion next week.


9.  Electing Chairs

The Provost asks that we revise our current policy for electing departmental chairs.  There is currently no nomination process, which means people cannot opt out of a race before the election.  This has led to some people being voted in as chairs despite their wishes not to take the positions.


10. Excused Absences for Students Participating in University-Sanctioned Activities

            There is currently no policy regarding how to treat student absences incurred due to participation in university-sanctioned activities such as UW-L musical ensemble concerts, UW-L athletic events, and the like.  In some cases, professors have not allowed students in such situations to make up their missed work (e.g., an exam) or even complete it prior to their absence.  The Provost asks that Senate consider creating a policy excusing such absences.  The definition of a “university-sanctioned event” will need to be established.  Would absences for military duties be included?  It was agreed that CAPS should draft a policy.  


11.  The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Susan Crutchfield