The October Faculty Senate meeting was called to order by President Lynda Ciuffetti in the LaSells Stewart Center.
President Ed Ray delivered his State of the University Address titled "Charting the Future." He provided a review of accomplishments during the last year and proposed actions for the coming year; his speech is online at http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/president/state_university_address2008.html.
Jeff Hale noted the economic situation and questioned what Ray expects regarding fundraising for the foundation and payouts. Ray responded that second quarter returns were negative, he didn’t have a sense of the third quarter, and noted that there are ways to average payouts.
Senator Haggerty, Science, asked how OSU’s 6% raises would be communicated to the public. Ray explained that the salary package was authorized by the legislature, the administration understands that people are hurting and they are following the identified schedule, he didn’t feel they could afford to not go forward with the increases, and, depending on passage of November ballot measures, there may be issues beyond the next fiscal year.
Tony Wilcox, Executive Committee, expressed concern on behalf of faculty regarding the level of budget cuts related to journals in the Library. Ray responded that the sense of challenges and reductions has less to do with funding and more to do with increased costs of publications and professional journals. The library is working with OUS to identify shared subscriptions.
Interinstitutional Faculty Senate
Kate Hunter-Zaworski, IFS Senior Senator, reported on the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate meeting held in Ashland on October 3-4. Her report included the following:
A panel described for Senators a day in the life of student athletes at OSU. The moderator was Terry Head Coach of the Volleyball team and the panelists were: Stephanie Clough, Women’s Soccer, Exercise and Sport Science, Junior; James Dockery, Football, Business Administration, Junior; Bree Knitter, Volleyball, Spanish/Sociology, Junior; Josh Tarver, Men’s Basketball, Speech Communications, Senior; and Bradon Wells, Baseball, Speech Communications, Senior.
Liskevych noted that the goal is to teach 425 athletes study skills, life skills, time management, and problem-solving skills. The panelists discussed some of the challenges faced by student athletes: practicing and training year round and being far from home while balancing a full academic load (study hall is mandatory for freshmen and sophomores) and, if injured, scheduling rehab and conditioning sessions in addition to everything else.
When asked about the best and worst aspects of OSU, most of them mentioned the positive impact of Beaver Nation and the support they receive from the community and student body; the worst was being away from home and family. Several mentioned that OSU makes athletes feel comfortable and their participation in a family-oriented program.
Senator Thomas, Student Affairs, questioned what interaction is like with peers across campus, especially for African-American athletes. Dockery responded that interaction hasn’t been a problem for him and he feels welcome. Tarver noted that his interactions have been good.
Tony Wilcox, Executive Committee noted that baseball schedules present problems for faculty and asked panelists to explain the student side of the interface. Wells responded that the new NCAA schedule forces all teams to start the same day, which is tough on athletes (the old schedule was easier); some student athletes had to come back for an additional term since they weren’t able to take required courses; there is a need to coordinate with faculty and load up on student credit hours in the fall (for baseball athletes); and online courses help alleviate the situation. Liskevych explained that volleyball played Friday and Sunday last year so students could attend more classes. He mentioned that coaches request that athletes meet with faculty to determine if they will be able to take courses based on their scheduled practice and playing time.
Senator Dorbolo, Associated, questioned if the internet plays an important role in learning. Wells responded that the internet is definitely helpful, especially because blackboard can be checked to get notes or schedules online; he feels compelled to check daily. Tarver felt that the internet is easier for athletes because papers can be submitted electronically when traveling.
President Ray acknowledged proposed schedule changes made by Liskevych and others. He felt it was worthwhile for people to know that some schedules have been shortened, but it didn’t change the number of games. Pat Casey has been a leading advocate for a shorter baseball season because he feels that students are missing too much class. Ray noted that the NCAA self-study accreditation process will be occurring this year and many faculty are participating in the study; one area to be addressed is student athlete welfare.
Liskevych expressed a desire to bridge the gap of the railroad tracks between athletics and academics. He thanked everyone for coordinating the panel, especially Kate Halischak and Athletic Academic Advisors.
REPORT FROM THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT
President Ciuffetti's report included the following:
There was no new business.