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The Faculty Senate Leadership team from left to right is Tom Merrill, Vice Chair, Lilian Baeza-Mendoza, Chair and Garret Martin, Past Chair and not pictured, Lura Graham, Operations Manager

Summary of the Faculty Senate Meeting
December 7, 2022

Chair’s Report—Lillian Baeza-Mendoza

The Chair of the Faculty Senate, Lilian Baeza-Mendoza, opened the meeting promptly. She made several announcements as part of the Chair’s Report.

  • The minutes of the November 2 Senate meeting were approved.
  • The joint seat for OGIS and OGPS on the Faculty Senate has been approved by the board of trustees. Professor Beverly Peters (OGPS) will be the first person to hold that seat; Professor Jason Rancatore (OGIS) will be a designated observer.
  • Professor Susan George (OGIS) will join the Committee on Information Services as a voting member and Professor Matt Winkler (OGPS) will join that committee as a designated observer.
  • One of the “Brunches with Bronte,” events that allow faculty to meet and ask questions of CFO Bronte Burleigh-Jones, will take place on December 12th. Bronte will be coming to a Senate luncheon in January.
  • The Senate leadership met with the Board of Trustees Campus Representatives after the last board meeting. Retention was an important topic of discussion.
  • There will be regular office hours for senators to talk to the senate chair Lilian Baeza-Mendoza and the rest of the Senate leadership if they are available outside of senate meetings. The next offices hours will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14th from 7 to 8 pm.
  • The senate will be looking for a new vice chair for the next academic year. Interested persons should contact the Senate leadership; the next vice chair will be a term faculty member.
  • The Faculty Award Committee will start meeting in the spring semester, after President Burwell announces the call for nominations.
  • The Task Force on Service has begun is starting its work. It is being chaired by Professors: Garret Martin (SIS) and Taryn Morrissey (SPA). The other members of the Task Force include Professors: Larry Engel (SOC), Carolyn Gallaher (SIS), Solange Garnier-Fox (CAS), Derrick Jefferson (University Library), Martyn Oliver (CAS), Anna Olsson (CRTL), and Jane Palmer (SPA).
  • The Senate will be meeting in a hybrid in person/online modality in February.
  • After the Senate’s election of members for the search committee for Dean Jessica Water’s replacement, the Senate is discussing changing the way members of senior search committees are selected. We will likely move away from elections, although the new process is still being discussed.

Provost’s Report—Peter Starr

Provost Starr shared the following items:

  • Retention, including internal barriers to transfer and courses that are restricted to majors. The First Year Experience is also being looked at closely.
  • Searches. The university is close to hiring a new Assistant Vice President for Student Success and Retention. The search for a new Dean of Undergraduate Education and Student Services will get going in the new year.
  • The university is making a push to coordinate its experiential learning pathways.
  • The administration is working to implement the new Continuing Appointment for Term Faculty processes.
  • The Working Group on Faculty Engagement has started to meet.
  • Provost Starr and Dean Wendy Boland are reviewing small MA programs across the university. The administration is also reviewing what it would take for the university to gain R1 status. We are close, but there may be some obstacles that get in the way (e.g., we would need to spend a lot of money on expanding the number of PhD students).
  • WCL is having conversations about law school rankings.

Action Item: Revisions to the CFA/DOF Instructions Memo—Rhonda Zaharna, Monica Jackson & Karen Baehler

Professor Rhonda Zaharna, Dean of Faculty Monica Jackson, and Associate Dean Karen Baehler proposed a series of revisions to the CFA/DOF Instructions Memo. These changes are not intended to make any substantive changes but to clarify and streamline the document. The Senate voted on this proposal.

Discussion Item—Working Group on Faculty Engagement—John Heywood & Beverly Peters

Professor John Heywood (WCL) and Professor Beverly Peters (OGPS) reported on the work of the Working Group on Faculty Engagement. The group is still deliberating about which topics to focus on. The group will not, however, take up the question of Senate reapportionment. The other members of the group include Professors: John Bracht (CAS); Stephen Silvia (SIS); Gemma Suñé-minguella (CAS); Stephen Vassallo (SOE); Lacy Wootton (CAS) and Monica Jackson (Deputy Provost); William LeoGrande (SPA).

Action Item—Undergraduate Regulation Class Attendance changes—Jessica Waters & Jeff Brown

Jessica Waters, Dean of Undergraduate Education and Student Services, included two proposals in the materials circulated before the senate meeting. The first one, a proposal about unexcused absences, was retracted for the time being by Dean Waters and was not discussed. The second proposal, about incomplete grades, was discussed by the Senate. Because there was a significant debate about the wording of the policy, the Senate voted to table the proposal until the next Senate meeting.

For the Good of the Order—Lilian Baeza-Mendoza

The U-Club pop-up is open. Lilian Baeza-Mendoza thanked Shawn Bates (SIS) for advocating on this issue.