On Feb. 2 The Faculty Senate conducted a meeting in Kansas room at the Memorial Union, two months after its last session that was held on December 1, 2014.
The meeting was commenced with Randy Pembrook, vice president of Academic Affairs, announcing the beginning of the 150th birthday week for Washburn University. He then introduced the presentation of the Lincoln Harman lecture series, which would occur on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Besides only celebrating Washburn University’s anniversary week they spoke how they would be having a special 150th anniversary day on the actual anniversary, which was on Friday, Feb. 6.
The meeting proceeded further with discussions regarding the faculty agenda item No. 15-04, which was submitted by Jennifer Ball, president of faculty Senate on Sept. 18, 2014. The agenda item was an effort to make essential amendments in order to increase the representation of various academic units in the Academic Affairs Committee. In general, the senators considered it essential to focus upon further details and implications of the amendment and since it was not an immediate requirement, the amendment agenda was voted with a motion of postponement and will be taken up again in the next meeting.
The next item of discussion was introduced by Richard Liedtke, executive director of enrollment management, and Kris Klima, director of admissions. They spoke about efforts to recruit fresh students for WU. Currently, the goal is to recruit 8000 students at the commencement of the fall semester While discussions threw light upon departmental recruitment, Pembrook suggested that instead of looking at departmental student recruitment, the process should be more focused upon a generalized recruitment.
Suggestions were also made to compare and contrast the procedures of recruitment followed at WU with the other universities from the neighboring cities and states.
Another item of discussion was directed towards the issue of certain biased elements present in the teacher evaluations techniques.
“Women are often evaluated with lower evaluation techniques than men”, Ball said, mentioning an example on the topic. She claims that researches have found out that biases do in fact exist in various evaluations and the topic deserves further exploration in order to neutralize such gender or culture specific biases.
This topic was also supported by suggestions relating to comparison of evaluation methods from across the United States for better judgment and improvement strategies.
Following the recommendation of Gaspar Porta, one of the main objectives of the senate is to now establish a committee that would conduct research and reviews over evaluation techniques to eliminate any occurrences of bias.
The president of the senate promised to send details about the soon-to-be-formed committee via email.
After deliberating upon the agendas and topics due for the day, the meeting was adjourned.