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.

  1. Call to order by Bonnie Irwin at 2:07 p.m. (2504 Buzzard Building)
  2. 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.

  3. Approval of the minutes of October 5, 1999
  4. 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.

  5. Communications
    1. College of Education and Professional Studies Curriculum Committee Minutes--September 27, 1999. Peggy Holmes-Layman was elected vice chair. Special Education and Ec/EI/MI both requested to substitute STG 4000 for STG 3000. Both were approved.
    2. Council on Academic Affairs Minutes--September 30, 1999. Discussion of Humanities, Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences segments of General Education.
    3. Faculty Senate Account Statement–September 30, 1999. Balance of $3,456.25.
    4. Memo from Martha Brown (October 6, 1999) concerning statistical support for faculty and student research. In order to continue level of faculty research, graduate student theses, and undergraduate research, we need someone on campus who can provide statistical consulting. CGS is discussing this, but perhaps Senate should, too, since it is more than a graduate school matter.
    5. E-mail from Shirley Stewart (October 7, 1999) regarding Distinguished Faculty Award Plaque. The UAB considered various locations for the distinguished faculty award plaque, and could find no suitable available space in the Union. They suggest we try the display cases in Old Main. Faculty senators discussed several alternatives, including the Library and the proposed "better" dining area in the Union. It was decided to take the issue back to UAB for at least temporary display in the Union. A more appropriate permanent place to display the plaque may be the Library. It was also suggested that the plaque be displayed in a "cyber wall" on the Internet with the appropriate links.
    6. The Memorial for Lankford Walker will be held on Monday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Dudley House.
  1. New Business

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 University’s 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 designation–the 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 President’s goals for the University are (1) to enhance the quality of the academic programs; (2) heighten the University’s 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 Eastern’s budget. She has tried to explain the dedication factor of Eastern’s 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 President’s 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.

  1. Adjourn at 4:00 p.m. (Allison)

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy D. Marlow, Recorder