Faculty Senate Chair New Year Update

Welcome back to WSU for 2024. I hope you had a great break and a chance to recharge. It’s been an exciting start to the calendar year. Below is an update on the status of a number of issues, but first I hope you will join me in extending thanks to both the WSU and Graduate Student Union leadership for their efforts to negotiate a contract. We anticipate further updates to the Senate shortly. 

The Faculty Senate has added a Faculty Resources link to the faculty senate homepage in support of reviewing the upcoming Washington State legislative bills under consideration provided by the Office of External Affairs and Government Relations. Faculty interested in providing expert testimony during consideration of these initiatives are invited to work with the Faculty Senate Legislative Representative, Dr. Steve Bollens.  

We’ve received an update from the WSU System-wide Sustainability Task Force. Interested faculty can review the task force guidelines here.  

Several faculty expressed concerns about potential conflicts between research needs and information technology security needs at WSU last year. In response, Tony Opheim, and other members of the office of information technology services have had several meetings with concerned faculty and formed a working group to formulate appropriate policies and guidance with input from faculty senate. Updates to follow.  

The faculty senate has received several questions about the extent to which WSU’s administrative roles have expanded over the years, and we have contacted the Office of Institutional Research in response. Stephanie Kane and her team conducted an audit addressing this issue and conducted research on administrative spending by peer institutions on a biannual basis. The most recent IR report addressing this issue can be found here.  

The faculty senate executive committee will meet with the WSU president and provost on January 23, 2024. We have requested an opportunity to discuss a number of remaining issues including the status of the Athletic Advisory Committees in 2024 and WSU policies regarding review of administrators. I will continue to provide updates through this blog as well as my remarks during senate meetings.  

Thank you all for your service to WSU and I hope you have a great year!

Best wishes, 

Eric Shelden

Faculty Senate Chair

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