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Case Western Reserve University

Faculty Senate Newsletter

Synopsis of the February 20, 2013 Faculty Senate meeting

This newsletter will be sent out monthly and will provide you with a snapshot of what took place at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting. To learn more about any issue, click on the item and it will take you to more information further down the page; the numbers below correspond with the numbers above. If you have any questions, please contact one of the senators for your school or college. The list of senators can be found on the Faculty Senate website.

President's and Provost's Announcements

  1. On-campus visitation days have begun. On President's Day, 1250 visitors came to campus, including 80 admitted students and 300 high school juniors and seniors. Admitted student open houses will start soon.
  2. President Snyder reported that the President's Committee on Child-Care Options is working diligently on a Request for Information from child-care centers and potential partners for an on-campus child-care center. The co-chairs of the Commission will report to the Senate later this spring.
  3. Provost Bud Baeslack reported that the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and working groups met together this week. A consultant facilitated the discussion. Open campus forums will be held in late February and early March where working groups will report on their activities and solicit input from attendees. Once the forums have concluded, a draft strategic plan incorporating feedback from attendees will be circulated.

Chair's Announcements

  1. Prof. Robin Dubin, chair, Faculty Senate, reported that the Constitution of the Faculty Handbook is being revised to reflect changes to the Faculty Senate Budget Committee charge. The Faculty Senate By-Laws will also be revised. These changes are provisional as they have not yet been approved by the University Faculty. They will be presented to the University Faculty at its annual meeting next fall.

Report from the Executive Committee

  1. Prof. Steven Garverick, chair-elect, Faculty Senate, reported that the Honorary Degree Committee unanimously approved the awarding of honorary degrees to Peter B. Lewis and Frank Gehry.
  2. The Executive Committee heard a report on the smoke-free campus proposal draft. Information will be provided to the Senate as the proposal develops.
  3. Professor Patricia Higgins, SON, chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Personnel, reported on activities of the committee which included the development of the Modified Workload Policy for caregiving responsibilities and the Faculty Paid Parental Leave Policy. The committee is currently working on revisions to the emeritus appointment provisions of the Faculty Handbook as well as on revisions to the pre-tenure extension provisions.
  4. Professor David Crampton, MSASS, also reported on his school's activities which include the establishment of the online MSSA, the new MNO and the school's plans for greater involvement in undergraduate education.

Agenda Items

  1. Art History/Museum Studies PhD- Discontinuation of Program
  2. WSOM Undergraduate Majors


  1. Report from Faculty Senate Committee on University Libraries
  2. Report from Faculty Senate Committee on Information and Communication Technology
  3. Safe Workplace Report
  4. Report from the LGBT Center

More Information

  1. Professor Catherine Scallen, CAS, presented a proposal to discontinue the PhD program in Art History and Museum Studies. The PhD program has graduated just six students in its history and one since 2001. Aspects of this degree program will be incorporated into the remaining PhD in Art History. The proposal was approved by the CAS in 2012 and the Faculty Senate Committee on Graduate Studies on January 28, 2013. The Faculty Senate voted to approve the discontinuation of the PhD program.

  2. Professor Jennifer Johnson, WSOM, presented a proposal to change the three "concentrations" in the BS in Management to "majors" for the fall of 2013. This change will help students better understand the offerings of the business school. The new majors are in Finance, Marketing, and the Dean's Approved Major. In changing from concentrations to majors, the curriculum has been updated and courses have been added. The majors will be reflected on the student's transcript and the diploma. The Faculty Senate voted to approve changing the three WSOM concentrations to majors.

  3. Professor Frank Merat, CSE, chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on University Libraries (FSCUL), reported on the activities of the committee. They are keeping abreast of OhioLink developments as more and more costs are being shifted to member organizations. They are also monitoring online activities at CWRU (i.e massive open online courses, also known as MOOC's) to determine how the library should be involved. The committee is continuing to work with KSL on the implementation of its 2011 strategic plan, and has submitted a statement regarding library funding to the current strategic planning steering committee and working groups. Prof. Merat said that CWRU currently ranks second to last in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) investment index rankings of private research universities. Rankings are no longer based solely on collection size and take into consideration total library expenditures, salary and wages for professional staff, total library materials expenditure, and numbers of professional and support staff. The mean ARL ranking for private research universities is 48 and CWRU is ranked at 103. At a minimum the goal for the university should be to raise the library ranking to 65 by 2018. An aspirational goal would be to raise it to 45 by 2026. To accomplish this, total expenditures would need to increase. A senator questioned whether increasing expenditures for the sake of rankings was advisable. Prof. Merat said that a higher ranking would only be one of the benefits of increased funding. More importantly, it would allow the university to secure resources being eliminated by OhioLink.

  4. Professor Ray Muzic, SOM, chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Information and Communication Technology (FSCICT), reported that FSCICT works closely with IT offices across campus and tries to secure representation from the college and all schools on the committee. FSCICT also often invites IT campus leaders to its meetings. The FSCICT Google site is visible to the entire campus community and serves as an archive for the committee's work. FSCICT is currently working with vendors to obtain permission for faculty to use software and support for personal computers being used for university business. The ITS website has also been updated and improved. FSCICT holds its monthly meetings within the college and schools so that the campus community can be more aware of the committee and its activities. The challenge that FSCICT and the IT community face is how to prioritize major projects and investment when funds are limited. A vetting system has been developed among the Executive IT Committee, the Priority Review Board, and FSCICT.

  5. Dick Jamieson, Vice President for Campus Services, and Jes Sellers, PhD, Director of University Counseling Services, reported on the Threat Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Team (TABIT). Prior to 2007 and the Virginia Tech shootings, only 20% of colleges and universities had established threat assessment teams. CWRU developed its team after the shooting in the Peter B. Lewis building in 2003. The Provost's office provides administrative oversight for TABIT. Current TABIT program enhancements include:

    • Updated protocols covering the operation of TABIT
    • An enhanced record-keeping system
    • The production of a brochure providing an overview of TABIT
    • An updated website (in progress)
    • Participation in the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA)
    • Participation in professional training programs and benchmarking CWRU with peer institutions

    Dr. Sellers provided the Senate with information on pre-incident behaviors and stressed the importance of paying attention to warning signs. The new website provides detailed instructions on what to do in both emergency and non-emergency situations. The university has created Campus Concerns Committees (undergraduate and graduate) to address potentially dangerous and threatening behaviors from students. Deputy Provost Lynn Singer said that the team will soon be rolling out a plan to address active shooter situations. Dr. Sellers said that all campus community members should be focused on keeping each other safe. A TABIT member is available to the community on a 24/7 basis.

  6. Elisabeth Roccoforte, Director of the LGBT Center, introduced the Faculty Senate to the Center. The office opened in 2010 as a result of funding from an anonymous donor and is housed in the Thwing Student Center. The Center provides support, programs, events, education and advocacy for CWRU's LGBT community (including alumni). CWRU is on the LGBT Honor Roll, receiving 4.5 out of 5 stars on the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index. The Center provides Safe Zone ally training twice a semester or by request. Those who have participated in the training display a Safe Zone sticker in their office or on a door to indicate that they are an LGBT ally. Over 400 faculty, staff and students have participated in this program to date. As of fall 2012, the CWRU student health plan covers medically necessary transgender-related health care and the university registrar's office has finalized the process for the use of a Preferred Name Option for transgender students. The Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity is hosting an interest meeting for faculty who are interested in diversity-related research and LGBT research will be included in this group. Deputy Provost Lynn Singer has also established the LGBTA Committee which is comprised of faculty, staff and students and which works to support LGBT programs and to implement policy. LGBT allies are welcome to attend these meetings. The university provides domestic partner benefits, however, the coverage may result in taxable income to the partner. A "grossing up" policy has been adopted by a number of colleges and universities to cover this additional cost. CWRU has not yet adopted this policy, and medical insurance for faculty and staff has exclusions for transgender health-related issues even when they are medically necessary. CWRU should continue in its efforts to create an inclusive campus for LGBT individuals. Ms. Roccoforte is available to speak with campus groups and is also willing to meet individually with campus community members who have concerns or need support.

Learn more about the Faculty Senate.

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