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Case Western Reserve University

Faculty Senate Newsletter

Synopsis of the October 29, 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. 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.

Resolution in Memoriam

Professor Christian Zorman presented a resolution in memoriam from the Case School of Engineering for Professor Steven Garverick. Prof. Garverick served as the 2013-14 chair of the Faculty Senate for only a few months before he passed away unexpectedly on September 26, 2013. After reading the resolution, Prof. Zorman and several faculty members spoke about Prof. Garverick and a moment of silence was observed. The resolution will be recorded with the minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting and a copy will be provided to Prof. Garverick’s family.

President's Announcements

  1. The President reported that she had recently attended the fall meeting of the AAU. The discussion at the AAU meeting had been focused on the federal government sequester and the impact on research institutions. The AAU members will work with other organizations and agencies to advocate for a short term resolution to the sequester. Of primary concern to the AAU schools were NIH budget cuts and continuation of federal student aid.
  2. The President reported on the Franklin Project, a new initiative of the Aspen Institute that had also been discussed at the AAU meeting. The Franklin Project is looking to engage people from across all sectors to help create a new policy for national service. President Snyder encouraged faculty members who are interested to get involved.

Chair's Announcements

  1. Professor Sandra Russ will serve as chair of the Faculty Senate for the remainder of the academic year. The Faculty Handbook states that the vice-chair of the Senate shall serve in the event of a vacancy in the chair, but is silent about the election of a new vice-chair. Prof. Russ discussed this with the Nominating Committee and the committee developed a list of potential vice-chair candidates. Prof. Russ said she expects that an election will be held soon.
  2. Six Senate standing committees have been charged with reviewing the new Interim Sexual Misconduct Policy and providing comments to Prof. Russ by November 6th. Individuals are welcome to submit comments also. Prof. Russ will compile the comments and discuss them with the Executive Committee and Faculty Senate in December.
  3. Senators should discuss the 5-year review of the Faculty Handbook and Faculty Senate By-Laws with their school's executive committees and any suggestions should be sent to Prof. Russ or Rebecca Weiss by the end of November. The Senate Committee on Faculty Personnel has been asked to spend significant time reviewing the Handbook as part of this process and the Senate By-Laws Committee will be coordinating and discussing comments during the spring 2014 semester.

Report from the Executive Committee

  1. The Faculty Senate Committee on Undergraduate Education (FSCUE) is reviewing classroom scheduling issues that will occur as a result of increased enrollments. The committee will consider whether to recommend a classroom scheduling prioritization policy.
  2. FSCUE has been charged with discussing whether to establish an undergraduate course content policy.
  3. The Faculty Handbook provides that constituent faculties shall recommend to the Board of Trustees the awarding of degrees in course. Prof. Russ will work with Vice Provost Don Feke to draft language transferring the obligation of certifying students to the Faculty Senate. This will then be considered by school/college executive committees.

Report from the Secretary of the Corporation

  1. Ms. Libby Keefer, secretary of the corporation and general counsel, said that she would no longer review the entire Board of Trustees report with the Faculty Senate. She will highlight a couple of items at each meeting and the full report will be attached to the Senate minutes. Ms. Keefer reported that the Board of Trustees had approved the appointment of two new trustees at their October meeting: Don Richards and Ellen Stirn Mavec.

Diversity Strategic Action Plan Update

Dr. Marilyn Mobley, Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity provided an update on the Diversity Strategic Action Plan (DSAP) and the activities of the OIDEO office. The DSAP was approved by the Faculty Senate and adopted by the Board of Trustees in 2011. Milestones in achieving the DSAP include:

There is still work to be done. The campus climate survey conducted in 2010 showed that faculty are significantly less likely than students and staff to agree that the campus is a comfortable place for them. A new survey will be conducted in the fall of 2014. Between the fall of 2008 and the fall of 2012, the number of women and minority faculty have increased, however data shows that retention rates for this group of faculty have declined.

The Diversity Champion Annual Fund netted $12,000 in its first year, and the African American Alumni Association is launching a campaign to raise $500,000. OIDEO has engaged in a number of campus-wide partnerships and the Power of Diversity series has been extremely successful this semester. Dr. Mobley thanked Deputy Provost Lynn Singer and Amanda Shaffer, Director of the Faculty Development Office, for facilitating CWRU’s involvement in the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) which will assist in the recruitment of minority and women faculty by providing job resources for accompanying spouses.

Strategic Plan Presentation

Provost Bud Baeslack reviewed the draft public plan document. The Provost said that while the university has achieved financial stability he hopes that funding will become even more robust in the future. Navigating current challenges to sustain CWRU as a premier research university will require:

  1. A new boldness and willingness to experiment- this idea was consistent across all the strategic plan working groups
  2. An integrated culture--problems need to be resolved collectively
  3. A disciplined focus--identification of the university's uniqueness
  4. Agility--must be flexible enough to move quickly when necessary
In order to leverage CWRU's strengths and address society's most pressing issues, over the next 5 years the university will:
  1. Advance interdisciplinary initiatives
  2. Enhance learning through innovation
  3. Prepare students for leadership roles
  4. Bring breakthroughs to market
  5. Engage, enable and advance faculty, staff, students and alumni
  6. Continue to augment the cross-cutting initiatives of diversity and internationalization
The next steps involve the development of an implementation plan and action agenda and the launch of the schools' planning processes which will align with the overall university plan. A master plan for the university will be developed and a firm will be selected shortly for the development of the plan. Spending will need to be reduced in some areas in order to invest in others. An implementation leadership committee and strategy teams will be formed. Feedback on plan implementation will be sought from the entire campus community.

Learn more about the Faculty Senate.

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