FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
FOR OCTOBER 12, 1999
(Vol. xxix, No. 8)
The Faculty Senate agenda is posted weekly on the Web, at 2504 Buzzard, and at 315K Coleman.
Present: J. Allison, R. Benedict, J. Best, J. Coons, C. Eberly, P. Fewell, B. Fischer, G. Foster, B. Irwin, G. Lockart, N. Marlow, J. Tidwell, M. Toosi, B. Young, G. Kelly, B. Mazurski. Excused: K. Bielenberg. Guests: T. Abebe, J. Abell, K. Franken, M. Laiette, J. Maholy, D. Raybin, A. Samuels, S. Skala, C. Surles, B. Weber.
Motion (Fewell/Lockart) to approve the minutes of October 5, 1999.
Corrections: In section V.A.6 "of package" should be "a package." B. Fischer should be recorded as present.
Yes: Allison, Benedict, Best, Coons, Eberly, Fewell, Fischer, Foster, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Tidwell, Toosi, Young.
Guest Presentation: President Surles.
The President opened her remarks by stating that what Faculty Senate is doing is perhaps some of the most difficult work done on behalf of the University, and it is appreciated. Faculty Senators are the stewards of academe, and the work will become more important in the next few years. The Universitys mission is to be a distinguished comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and very strong professional programs. Liberal arts is not a discipline but a programmatic designationthe liberal education mission. Each of us has a good strong liberal arts background regardless of our majors and professional backgrounds. In the Higher Ed Record Eastern is listed first for its liberal arts education. Liberal arts is the foundation for the professional programs. The Presidents goals for the University are (1) to enhance the quality of the academic programs; (2) heighten the Universitys state and national image; (3) increase public and private resources; (4) move to address deferred maintenance; (5) increase access and diversity; and (6) improve overall institutional effectiveness. Many of these goals correspond with the goals of the Illinois Commitment, including the first one. The first goal is a must for every institution of higher education. Eastern has a great deal of good work on which to build. Liberal arts and professional programs are both a part of what we do well. At the same time we need to watch the environment for trends and opportunities. We need to look for resources to protect our programs. Compensation for faculty is a very important part of this; compensation includes salaries, incentives, and equipment. President Surles made a bold request for a parity increase at the IBHE Big Picture Meeting. She made a positive presentation to encourage them to more fully fund Eastern so that we can maintain our standing with our peers. There is a $6.2 million discrepancy between the next lowest funded public university and us. It is not only a matter of having lost funds over the past; it is also a loss of opportunity. We are hopeful we can get the attention of IBHE and the legislature. It is difficult for Eastern to compete when our faculty salaries are $20,000 behind the state average. There is no fat in Easterns budget. She has tried to explain the dedication factor of Easterns faculty. They have stayed, but that does not mean they are satisfied. We will continue to make that case in as many different ways as possible. We will also take control over our destiny and try to increase private funds. The key here is matching specific interests of individuals with our needs. Many individuals are just waiting for us to approach them. We have opened the doors in many ways for private funding, and this is encouraging. The following includes discussion points and the Presidents answers to questions:
Chair Irwin thanked the President for coming to Senate and added that the Senate is more than happy to provide input whenever the President wants it. She added that the President is always welcome to attend Senate meetings. The President thanked the Senate for the input already provided in a number of forms. She also said that whenever it is possible to get faculty leadership on key committees she will always do that. Because of the time, other business was postponed until the following week.
Nancy D. Marlow, Recorder