Faculty Senate Minutes - November 18, 2002 1
Western State College Faculty Senate
Official Minutes from the November 18th, 2002 meeting
Senators present: Kevin Alexander, Harv Harriman, Nancy Gauss, Dan Harrison, Roger Hudson, Kevin Nelson, Dale Orth, Dave Plante, Christine Purkiss, Terry Schliesman, Dan Schuster, Don Seastrum, Allen Stork, Heather Thiessen-Reily, Frank Venturo. Guests and ex-officio members: Jeff Kean, John Sowell
1. A.Stork called the senate meeting to order at 4:17 p.m.
2. Motion to approve minutes (with minor changes) and agenda passed unanimously.
3. Chair's Report: Following up on D. Schuster's concern about rumored, mandatory athletic practices that are in conflict with class times, A. Stork asked the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee to generate a white paper on policy of practice start times. Stork also reminded the senate of upcoming meetings of importance.
4. VPAA’s Report:
· Regarding this year's budget: Governor Owens recently announced a 6% cut for higher education, which is in addition to the 4% cut imposed in June. With thrifty budgeting, Western can cover this 10%. If cuts go any deeper, Western will need to look at adjusting operating budgets and staffing.
· For next year’s budget, the combined floor funding (for Western, Mesa and Adams) that CCHE proposed to the JBC was the same as the Governor's plan: both call for $4 million in floor funding, of which Western will get $1.4 million. A discussion then ensued about "worse-case" scenarios, alternative sources of revenue for Western, and lobbying efforts in Denver. The senate was in agreement that adequate floor funding in an independence bill is crucial to Western's survival.
· In other VPAA business, Sowell met with GE 25 representatives on 11/15; at issue was the three-credit requirement that's been "floating" in the GE 25 plan. It was agreed to assign the three credits to Humanities. So now there’s nine credits in Area I, eight credits in Area II and nine credits in Area III.
· Finally, there's a new design to the Western homepage. Navigation ought to be easier in this new format.
5. Old Business:
· K.Nelson made a motion to approve the GE Assessment Plan, seconded by K.Alexander. It, along with the item about student/faculty representation on SGA & Faculty Senate, will be voted on at the next senate meeting.
· H.TReily presented the following resolutions to the senate:
Senate Resolution I
Area I in WSC’s General Education program shall be defined as the “Social Sciences” in accordance with the state GE 25 standards. This limits Area I to classes from the Social Sciences as defined by the State of Colorado. The title of Area I will be “Social Sciences” and the description of that area will be rewritten to reflect the aforementioned changes.
1. This resolution originates from the belief and desire that the General Education program of WSC is committed to providing its students with a solid educational foundation in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. WSC’s catalogue defines the General Education program consisting “of three components: Basic Skills, Liberal Arts, and Capstone Experience.” While Areas II and III have reflected a commitment to the Liberal Arts in course options, Area I was vaguely defined as “Human Relationships.” Over the years, this category has become so broad and its definition so meaningless that it could theoretically include classes from virtually ANY discipline on campus. Such broad generalities and vague purpose create problems for any real assessment of knowledge and skill within Area I. The above resolution would strengthen and deepen student preparation in the Liberal Arts and Sciences through a more consistent definition in line with the already existing definition of the second component of WSC’s General Education program based on a coherent set of academic principles.
2. This resolution would establish the integrity of Social Sciences in the General Education program. As the program exists now, a student can complete Area I without taking a course in any Social Science discipline. In light of the recent changes of the state-wide GE and the increasing external scrutiny of GE within the state, even the possibility of the above scenario would not play well with external audiences.
3. This resolution would bring Area I of WSC’s GE program in line with the state-wide GE reform which has concluded as of last week. The state defines the Social Sciences as Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. We have already approved the removal of Anthropology and Psychology from Area II and their placement in Area I; this resolution would complete the overhaul of Area I according to state guidelines.
Senate Resolution II
The Capstone requirement shall be removed from the General Education requirements and placed under the requirements of the individual program majors.
1. While recognizing the value and effectiveness of a General Education program which encompasses four years, it is questionable what part the Capstone really plays within the GE program. The catalog description is confusing and it is clear that assessment of this requirement falls solely to the faculty within the specified academic discipline or program. Is or was the Capstone really part of the GE and if so what part? Is the Capstone simply something the GE program requires of all the majors? This resolution just formalizes what seems to have emerged out of pragmatic and practical decisions about what the Capstone is and how it serves the individual disciplines and not GE.
A.Stork asked senators to gather feedback from departments over the next few weeks, and be ready to discuss and possibly vote on the resolutions at the next senate meeting.
6. Motion to adjourn was made at 5:23 p.m.
 Western State College, Catalog 2002-2003 (Gunnison: Western State College, 2002), 39.