WMU News

Trustees approve changes in Faculty Senate, WSA constitutions

Dec. 15, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees Dec. 10 approved changes in the constitutions of two major campus organizations, the Faculty Senate and the Western Student Association.

Changes in the Faculty Senate constitution are designed to strengthen the senate's role in shared governance and they rely heavily on the active involvement of senior administrators, said Dr. Linda M. Delene, professor of marketing, who chaired a committee that revised the senate's structure.

The changes were approved by the Faculty Senate and in a vote of the faculty. The senate advises the president and other University officers on matters of academic policy. Its members are elected by the faculty at large and from within departments.

"The operating principal of Faculty Senate meetings, its councils and committees, will be to expend faculty knowledge, expertise and time only on matters germane to the professoriate," Delene said in a report to the senate on the changes.

Among the changes is a consolidation of senate councils that deal with specific policy areas. Councils include both faculty members and administrators. For example, the revised constitution provides for a Campus Planning and Finance Council, which combines two councils that dealt separately with planning and with business and finance.

Recognizing the impact of technology on teaching and research, the senate established a new Council on Technology and Operations. The new structure retains councils on undergraduate studies, graduate studies and research.

Other new constitutional provisions change the terms of senate officers and the make-up of the senate's executive board to include the chairpersons of senate councils. The senate president and vice president now will be elected for two-year terms rather than one-year terms.

Trustees approved two amendments to the WSA constitution. The amendments, all procedural, were ratified by the association this past fall semester. The organization's constitution requires that ratified amendments go to the Board of Trustees for final approval.

One amendment alters the name as well as broadens the scope of the WSA's Environmental Concerns Committee. The committee, now named the Campus Concerns Committee, will continue to address environmental issues.

That committee also will work with the larger campus community on projects and concerns related to campus planning, parking and public transportation. Previously, those areas were under the purview of the Student Affairs Committee.

The other amendment changes the name and acronym of the Student Budget Allocation Committee to the Allocation Committee (AC). This committee acts as the allocating body for all Student Assessment Fee monies under its jurisdiction. The fee is primarily used to fund programs offered by WMU's registered student organizations.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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