Update 2/24/2021: Letter to the Board of Regents and President Schulz’s reply are linked below
On December 15, 2020, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee formed an ad hoc committee to formalize a statement to the Board of Regents concerning the proposal that 2-3 million dollars be diverted from unallocated university funds in order to support athletics. This ad hoc committee has produced a statement that is now open for signing.
Ad Hoc Committee membership
Von Walden, Professor, Pullman (Chair)
John Barber, Vancouver
Caitlin Bletscher, Vancouver
Matt Carol, Pullman
Glen Duncan, Spokane
Kelly Farnsworth, Pullman
Heiko Jansen, Pullman
Doreen Main, Pullman
Luke Premo, Pullman
Statement to the WSU’s Board of Regents & President Schulz’s Reply
Given that the framework for ONEWSU will be explained in a series of whitepapers and coordinated with the WSU System Council, I have moved this discussion to a page linked in the menu. Comments posted here have been moved as well. As we learn more about ONE WSU, we will share in this new location.
I have posted the Notice for the January 22, 2021 Board of Regents retreat on the Faculty Senate site. The retreat will be in executive session from 8:00 am to 8:30 am on January 22, 2021. Following this, the meeting will be streamed on YouTube. Please note that the white paper will be the focus of the retreat. Please use the comments below to provide feedback that I may convey to the Board of Regents
As many of you know, the athletics budget will be presented as a future action item at the upcoming Board of Regents meeting on November 12 and 13. As a future action item, it will not be put to vote but will be discussed. Linked below is the memo and related materials. In summary, this discussion will be predicated on the validity of the following assumptions:
The following assumptions regarding the WSU Regents, President and leadership commitment to intercollegiate athletics support the financial options recommended below. Changes to these assumptions will change the recommended financial options.
WSU’s affiliation with a top-level intercollegiate athletics conference and program is a key and strategic means of increasing institutional visibility on a national scale, to the benefit of all WSU students, faculty, staff and communities.
WSU intercollegiate athletics is an essential element of the residential campus experience for the Pullman Campus, and understands that university support of intercollegiate athletics is an investment in the student experience that is essential to attracting and retaining students.
The operation of intercollegiate athletics without membership in the Pac-12 is financially unfeasible.
We are gathering feedback in advance of this meeting. Thus far faculty have asked:
Is there evidence to support these assumptions?
Is the operation of intercollegiate athletics without membership in the Pac-12 financially unfeasible?
Have other schools similar to WSU gone this route? If so, what were the outcomes?
Would being the first school to depart the Pac-12 and moving to another conference demonstrate our commitment to academic excellence and our Land Grant mission? Would this offer a highly visible pathway to gain prestige and interest in WSU that is at least equivalent to the assumed advantages of remaining engaged as a Pac-12 member?
Relevant links are below. Please use the comment feature to add to this discussion.
For my first meeting as the faculty representative to the Board of Regents, I was unsure of my role and participation. I have since learned more and updated the website linked in the menu called Faculty Representation on the Board of Regents. I will post reports on this page for your review and comments. I will also continue to post links to the public YouTube links as well as the links to the agenda.
Update from Sept 17/18 2020
The majority of the discussion centered around COVID-19, fall census enrollment numbers, and budgets. COVID-19 has been well covered in the media so I will not add to that here. On the issue of budget, the discussions centered around the increased athletics debt projections associated with the pandemic.
The board decided to postpone approval of this budget projections – first by a few weeks and now until the regular November meeting. The athletic budget too has been covered in the media. Note the 30M projected increase in debt was based on assumptions about the season’s play. On September 25 it was announced that PAC-12 will resume in November.
The full agenda and YouTube Links are posted so I will only highlight those things that were discussed in detail or pertain to faculty.
Summer 2020 changes to the faculty manual to accommodate new Title IX federal guidance (described here)