Faculty Senate Chair Zoe Barsness’ 2016 Agenda

Zoe Barsness

Dear Friends,

I begin by thanking you for the opportunity to serve. I arrived at UW Tacoma 16 years ago, enticed by the opportunity to develop a different approach to business education and excited by the institution building challenge offered. It has been a rich and rewarding journey since. My goal as Chair of the Faculty is to work in collaboration with others to contribute back. Just as my own scholarship has been motivated by a pragmatic desire to figure out how we, as members of organizations, can work together to “make things better”, so too must be our efforts on behalf of shared governance.

As faculty, we play a critical institutional role. Not only are our discovery and teaching efforts core to the institution’s mission, but we serve in partnership with the regents and administration as stewards of the institution and its core values. Our expertise; our passion for ideas, knowledge creation and learning; our willingness to exercise our voice and engage in dialogue with other key stakeholders; our commitment to excellence and willingness to invest our energies and efforts on behalf of the organization provide invaluable service as we work collectively to meet the diverse challenges facing us today. Together we can assure that the biggest challenges for the faculty are identified and the best solutions are found. The call for shared governance could not be greater and to my observation the receptiveness to partnership has never been stronger.

In observing closely the work of the chairs that have preceded me including Jack Lee, Kate O’Neill, and Norm Beauchamp, in discussions with the chairs of the faculty councils, in conversations with many of you, and in considering challenges faculty at our peer institutions are facing, a number of priorities have been identified for the coming year.

  1. The Faculty Salary Policy: Our first priority is to sustain our momentum and continue our efforts to implement a salary policy that minimizes compression, compensates faculty commensurate with peer institutions, and accommodates the flexibility deemed necessary by faculty in different schools, colleges and campuses. While, the particular salary policy proposal that was brought forward last spring for a vote did not prevail, it’s critical to understand that the multi-year effort around the faculty salary policy which culminated in that vote was not wasted. There was a robust, transparent, and widely engaged process. As a consequence of that process we have developed a much clearer understanding of the concerns any changes to the faculty salary policy need to address. Our focus this coming year will be to leverage the insights we’ve gained and momentum we’ve achieved to address these concerns more incrementally, working to strengthen the tools we have available to us in the existing faculty salary policy and identify areas where the current policy might be tweaked to extend and redirect its focus more appropriately.
  1. The Role of the Lecturer: Teaching is a core part of our mission. Lecturers play an absolutely central role in this mission. Establishing a track for advancement, a mechanism for job security, competitiveness of compensation and a voice in decision making have been areas of focused effort for the Senate. Ultimately, the goal must be to create a culture that values the role of lecturers. We will continue our efforts bringing forward resolutions and initiatives needed to more fully support our colleagues.
  1. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Creating and sustaining a diverse faculty is the only way we will continue to excel as a faculty. The Faculty Councils on Multicultural Affairs and the Faculty Council on Women in Academia are maintaining their great momentum by considering issues such as equity in compensation, researching and developing an actionable-agenda for overcoming the barriers women and faculty of color face in academic advancement, and sustaining our efforts, in collaboration with the administration, to provide training in best practices for faculty hiring committees and ultimately tenure and promotion committees. In addition to these efforts, we will continue work through our faculty councils, and in partnership with the administration, to enhance sexual assault policies at the UW. We will also seek to align the efforts of our faculty councils with the other great work that is occurring across our three campuses under the auspices of the university’s Diversity Blueprint and Race and Equity Initiative.
  1. Tri-campus Relations: This coming year we will be directing our attention to the relationship between our three campuses. The UW is now a true multi-campus system. The two smaller campuses, which might have been launched as “interesting experiments” in response to a legislative mandate, have become thriving and substantial institutions in their own right, each with its unique character. In order for the UW as a whole to sustain its ability to respond effectively to the changes buffeting higher education today, continued strategic growth is required not only for the UW Seattle, but also the UW Bothell and the UW Tacoma, indeed it is expected and anticipated. A pressing question then is how we build upon the respective strengths and leverage the unique character of the UW’s individual campuses to create something that delivers greater returns to the institution and our stakeholders at every level—both local and global. Several new initiatives focused on addressing these broader institutional needs and the challenges associated with collaboration and coordination across our three campuses will be undertaken.
  1. Shared Governance: Although last year’s effort to adopt a new faculty salary policy was unsuccessful, we saw mobilization of faculty voices that was unprecedented in recent history. A key goal for this year is to build on this energy to ensure that the Senate and Faculty Councils are identifying the issues that are most important to sustain the missions of the faculty. We will also focus on strengthening shared governance at every level of the institution by enhancing coordination with and the support we provide to our School, College and Campus Elected Faculty Councils. Most important, every senator must come to the meetings informed and prepared to represent the concerns of the faculty they represent and committed to bringing back needed solutions.

Importantly, this is not a comprehensive list. Each of our Councils is also reflecting on what they have identified as core issues for the faculty, seeking to identify at least three areas of focus for the upcoming year. We will be listing those initiatives on the Faculty Senate website. I really welcome your input on the initiatives above defined and the goals identified by each of the Councils.

Do not hesitate to contact me at zib@uw.edu. My commitment is to do the very best I can in serving your goals.

Washington State Legislators 2014 Session Town Hall events scheduled

3rd District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-11:30am
Museum of Arts & Culture, 2316 West 1st Avenue, Spokane
Senator Andy Billing, Rep Marcus Riccelli
4th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 6:30-7:30pm
call in, 1-800-757-3703
Rep Matt Shea
5th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-11am Maple Valley Community Center, 22225 SE 231st St, Maple Valley
Saturday, February 22nd, 1pm-2pm Issaquah Highlands Fire Department, 1280 North Park Drive, Issaquah
Saturday, February 22nd, 3pm-4pm Snoqualmie Police Department, 34825 SE Douglas Street, Snoqualmie
Senator Mark Mullet, Rep Jay Rodne, Rep Chad Magendanz
6th District:
Thursday, February 20th, 6:30pm
call in, 1-800-278-6179
Senator Michael Baumgartner, Rep Kevin Parker, Rep Jeff Holy
9th District:
Wednesday, February 26th, 6:30pm-7:30pm
call in, 1-800-761-6268
Rep Joe Schmick
11th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 1pm-2pm
King County Regional Communications & Emergency Command Center, 3511 NE 2nd St, Renton
Senator Bob Hasegawa, Rep Zach Hudgins, Rep Steve Bergquist
12th District:
Tuesday, February 25th, 7pm
call in, 1-877-229-8493, code 112411
Senator Linda Evans Parlette, Rep Cary Condotta, Rep Brad Hawkins
13th District:
Friday, February 28th, 6:30pm-7:30pm
call in, 1-877-229-8493, code 15542
Rep Judy Warnick, Rep Matt Manweller
15th District:
Tuesday, March 4th, 6:30pm-7:30pm
call in, 1-800-291-9241
Rep Bruce Chandler, Rep David Taylor
21st District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am Edmonds City Hall, 121 5th Avenue North, Edmonds
Saturday, February 22nd, 1pm Martha Lake Elementary School, 17500 Larch Way, Lynnwood
Saturday, February 22nd, 3pm Mukilteo City Hall, 11930  Cyrus Way, Mukilteo
Senator Marko Liias, Rep Mary Helen Roberts, Rep Lillian Ortiz-Self
27th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am
Jason Lee Middle School, 602 S Sprague, Tacoma
Senator Jeannie Darneille, Rep Laurie Jinkins, Rep Jake Fey
28th District:
Sunday, March 16th, 10am-11am Bethel High School auditorium
Sunday, March 16th, 2pm-3pm Pierce College, Cascade Room 332, 9401 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood
Rep Tami Green
29th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-2pm
PLU Bookstore, 208 Garfield St, Parkland
Senator Steve Conway
30th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-11:30am Federal Way City Hall, 33325 8th Ave S, Federal Way
Saturday, February 22nd, 12:30pm-2pm Milton City Hall, 1100 Laurel Street, Milton
Saturday, February 22nd, 3pm-4:30pm Algona City Hall, 402 Ward Street, Algona
Rep Linda Kochmar
35th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 2pm-3pm
Theler Community Center, 22871 NE State Route 3, Belfair
Rep Drew MacEwan
37th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 1:30pm-3:30pm
Pacific Tower, 8th floor Conference Room, 1200 12th Avenue South, Seattle
Senator Adam Kline, Rep Sharon Tomiko Santos, Rep Eric Pettigrew
38th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-11:30am
Marysville Library, 6120  Grove Street, Marysville
Senator John McCoy, Rep Mike Sells, Rep June Robinson
41st District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-11:30am Hazelwood Elementary School, 7100 116th Avenue SE, Newcastle
Saturday, February 22nd, 1:30pm-3pm Sunny Hills Elementary School, 3200 Issaquah-Pine Lake Road SE, Sammamish
Senator Steve Litzow, Rep Judy Clibborn, Rep Tana Senn
43rd District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 1:30pm
Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Avenue, Seattle
Senator Jamie Pedersen, Rep Frank Chopp, Rep Brady Walkinshaw
45th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-11:30am
Lake Washington Institute of Technology, 11605 132nd Ave SE, West Bldg Room W404, Kirkland
Senator Andy Hill, Rep Larry Springer, Rep Roger Goodman
48th District:
Saturday, February 22nd, 10am-12pm
Senator Rodney Tom, Rep Ross Hunter, Rep Cyrus Habib
49th District:
Wednesday, February 19th, 6pm-7pm
call in, 1-877-229-8493, code 18646
Senator Annette Cleveland, Rep Jim Moeller Rep Sharon Wylie

December 5, 2013 Faculty Senate Meeting

Jack Lee

Here’s a brief summary ot the second Faculty Senate meeting of the year, which took place on December 5, 2013.

Chair’s Report and Q&A: At the beginning of the meeting, I referred senators to my written report, which summarizes the recent progress on the main issues facing the senate this year.  Then I took questions about the emerging faculty salary policy proposal. Currently, we’re hoping to release detailed descriptions of the proposal around the first of the year, and to initiate a broad discussion about it throughout the university community.

Sponsorship Policy: Next, we had two invited guests: Steven Bell, Director of Corporate Sponsorships, and Randy Hodgins, Vice President for External Affairs, explained the new university policy governing sponsorship agreements with outside organizations.  You can read the description of the policy here.

Academic Freedom: The senate gave second approval to the revised statement of academic freedom, with a few clarifying changes recommended by the Advisory Committee on Faculty Code and Regulations (the “code cops”).  This legislation now goes out to all voting faculty members for approval.  When you get your official email notification about it, please vote!

English Language Lecturers: Finally, the senate revisited the issue of instruc­tors in the Inter­na­tional and Eng­lish Lan­guage Pro­grams. A resolution had been introduced by Sen­a­tor Diane Mor­ri­son of Social Work at the previous senate meeting, and the sen­ate decided to post­pone action on it until this Sen­ate meet­ing in order to obtain more back­ground information.  At this meeting, a revised version of the resolution was presented, and after a spirited discussion was passed by a strong majority.

I welcome comments or questions about any of the issues the senate is dealing with, either in the comments section here or by email.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday.


October 24, 2013 Senate Meeting

Lee-John-M-smallThe Faculty Senate had its first meeting of the 2013-2014 academic year on Thursday, October 24. The official minutes will be distributed after they’re approved by the Senate Executive Committee (probably November 18), but I’ll use this blog to comment on some of the highlights of the meeting.

Academic Freedom: The big news this week is that a revised statement on academic freedom received its first senate approval. You can read the statement and its justification here. Amazingly, the current section of the Faculty Code titled “Academic Freedom and Responsibility,” enacted in 1956 and unchanged since then, says a lot about responsibility but almost nothing about academic freedom. This new statement, worked out in a careful collaborative process between faculty and administrators, fixes that.

What happens now?  The senate gave the legislation its first approval, and the president has already given his approval. It now goes to the “Code Cops,” who might recommend changes in the wording to clarify the meaning or to make it more consistent with the rest of the code. It then comes back to the Senate Executive Committee on November 18 and to the senate on December 5 for second approval. If passed, it then goes to the full faculty for a vote and to the president for his signature.

English Language Learners: The instructors in the International and English Language Programs in Educational Outreach are among the few teaching staff in the university who are represented by a collective bargaining union, but they don’t yet have a contract. Senator Diane Morrison of Social Work introduced a resolution in support of the union’s efforts “to obtain a fair contract, to better their working conditions and thereby to protect the reputation and standing of the UW as a world class educational institution.”  After considerable discussion, the senate decided to postpone action on the resolution until the next Senate meeting, in order to obtain more background information.

Faculty Salary Policy:  UW faculty salaries have suffered from two interconnected and long-standing problems: a persistent gap between our salaries and those of peers, and severe compression for long-serving faculty members. These problems have kept most senior faculty salaries far below those of our peers even as new faculty are hired in at competitive market rates. The five-year salary freeze during the recession only made the problems worse. As President Young reported in the Senate meeting, the upcoming accreditation report will highlight faculty salaries as the biggest problem the university has to solve.

Recognizing all of these problems, President Young in 2012 appointed a joint faculty-administration working group to recommend an improved faculty salary policy. In this senate meeting, I described the outlines of our emerging proposal, based on four pillars:

  1. Rank promotion raises increased to 12%
  2. Merit tiers within ranks (8% raises, approx. every 4 years)
  3. Market adjustments (annually to all meritorious faculty, based on CPI)
  4. Equity adjustments (variable, approximately 1% per year on average)

Ask your senator for more details.

The proposal is still tentative, and many details are now being firmed up. Expect a more complete description of the full proposal to be posted in the next few weeks.