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Faculty Senate President's Message



Faculty Senators

Bruce Sorte

Faculty Senate Summary
January 6 - 10, 2003
  Faculty Senate activities are extensive and the Faculty Senate meetings do not allow enough time to advise you on all that we have been doing. Hopefully, these notes will partially bridge that gap and also give you a sense of my positions on issues so you can provide ideas and information that may support or redirect those positions. I will try to keep my comments to two pages and clip and paste from other documents as needed. I will not cite references when the information is routine unless the citations add to the interpretation. The notes may be a bit rough and they are mine alone and should not be used to infer the positions of others'. They will be in chronological rather than priority order and issues will run together in the paragraphs. Please do let me know when you agree or disagree.

Some members of the Executive Committee (EC) and the Budgets & Fiscal Planning Committee interviewed one of the candidates for the Foundation's VP of Development. He did not seem like a centralizer and expected the administration and colleges to lead the way on programmatic initiatives. Another candidate will interview next week.

Sabah and I will meet every other week. We met on Tuesday and discussed 2007 and budget. It would be difficult to implement the administrative and programmatic recommendations of 2007 simultaneously. It seems to me that any administrative changes will go first (two years) and then any programmatic changes (some time from 2005 out). I also expressed concern about the graduate students' benefits and asked Sabah, if he could provide the EC an update. As budgets become tighter, we will need to carefully consider how competitive we are for good graduate students and fixed-term faculty. Interest is increasing to recruit a new leader in international education and research and I asked Sabah to consider contacting Dave Acker or Ed Price, both prior directors of OIRD, for their ideas. Rather than long-term outreach programs, international research may be moving to short-term multidisciplinary programs for which universities are very well suited. We need a leader who has the experience with these types of programs and has the stamina to work overseas as well as in D.C.

At the EC meeting we started scheduling facilitators for small group meetings with President White. President Risser, with an EC member facilitating, met with 40 small groups of faculty and President White will continue the meetings. We also discussed the most recent OUS OMB A133 audit, in which OSU was one of three OUS institutions that was required to implement a new procedure, which will require faculty assistance.

Basically, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships must identify the last date of attendance for students who receive all "F's" each term by contacting faculty and/or the students. In order to avoid penalties, OUS has agreed that OSU will go back and request attendance information for aid recipients from 2001-02 forward. When programs are closed, consolidated or redirected, the Faculty Consultative Group reviews and advises on the process. The Faculty Consultative Group is comprised of the EC and the chairs of Budgets & Fiscal Planning, Faculty Status and Curriculum Council. We worked on questions for that group to ask.

New senator orientation seemed to go well with many very experienced faculty members attending the whole session. My message was take risks, propose motions or amendments during deliberations, and find multiple ways to communicate with your constituents. I am available any day at 7 am at the Bean, with one day's advanced notice, to work on motions or other issues with individual or groups of faculty.

The legislators' comments seemed helpful during the FS meeting, although I hope I did not overload you with political/legislative information. It just seemed right given the beginning of the session on Monday. I tried to make the swearing in somewhat formal to communicate really what a privilege and confirmation of confidence that your constituents have in you to elect you to the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS), the EC and/or the FS. The new admittance standards concern me because I believe the definition of success is too narrow, we may be just admitting those who know the formula, external constituencies may perceive it as just an enrollment cap, and there are insufficient resources identified to do a careful job of the assessment. I like adding the tiers and assessments, have not been able to offer a better measure of success, believe faculty representation has be broad throughout the process, and hope that the process can be slowed enough to have you deliberate on the issue in February. The floor motion on aggression was difficult, whether I agreed with it or not (I did agree with the fundamental points). I do believe our contribution in these very values based resolutions relies on the quality of the discussion so will try hard, even with very time sensitive issues, to assure adequate time for deliberation.

Finally, it is particularly interesting, rewarding and challenging to represent faculty that have had such a significant impact on my life and have so much opportunity to contribute to students, science and society.