4:02 The meeting was called to order.
- Introductions were made.
- The minutes from the Faculty Senate meeting of May 1, 2007 were approved.
- Chancellor’s Report
New daycare center:
As announced at the women’s faculty reception, the university will develop a day care facility for faculty, staff and students (including post-doctoral fellows). Having been assured that the facility will not undermine the partnership the university already has with the University City Children’s Center because of the high demand, the center will be located near campus. It will be managed by a third party. Tuition will cover operating expenses. The incoming Executive Vice Chancellor Hank Weber and Vice Chancellor Ann Prenatt, both of whom have relevant experience, will be leading the effort to develop the new center. The opening date depends on whether the facility will be purchased or built, but everyone is eager to move as quickly as possible.Capital projects:
Three major capital projects on the Danforth campus are on schedule. The Danforth University Center will be finished summer 2008. The lower two levels of the parking garage are already open. The new Social Sciences and Law Building, also to be finished summer 2008, will be named after Harry and Susan Siegle in recognition of their $10 M gift. The new residence hall on the north side will provide an apartment-like environment for students. Meanwhile some of the facilities on the South 40 will be taken off line this coming summer due to the need to move utility lines. Other spaces – such as the Village – will be maximized.
A formal groundbreaking took place on October 30th for what will be the largest building on the medical school campus. It is a joint project with BJC Healthcare and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. To honor BJC Healthcare’s $30 M gift toward the university’s share of the $240 M cost the building is to be named “The BJC Institute of Health at Washington University.” The joint project is part of the biomedical initiative of Project 21, and focuses on the increasingly significant field of translational research. Thanks to Dean Larry Shapiro’s leadership two major gifts – $20 M and $10 M – have been garnered toward supporting research. The foundation of the building is quickly taking shape at the corner of Children’s Place and Euclid; the construction is expected to be completed at the end of 2009.
Early applications are on par with this time last year (a record year), and represent the strongest group ever. The university is showing greater focus in targeting students with a reasonable chance of admittance. While the university cannot offer the same financial aid as some peer institutions, it can still be competitive.
The university has had a strong showing in intercollegiate competitions. Women’s volleyball won their championship. The university, with approximately five hundred students competing, is number one in Division 3 sports.
The new daycare center does not affect the Washington University preschool. However, the location of the preschool, and the status of the building, suggest that the future of the school needs to be considered. The location will one day be part of a comprehensive renewal of the Milbrook Apartments. The buildings are now well beyond their anticipated life span. The apartments may be replaced by something like the Village or a new building.
- Senate Council Chair’s Report – Jeff Lowell
The Faculty Senate and Senate Council have a new webpage. Gar Allen has volunteered to be the coordinator; Ian Million continues to serve as webmaster. Comments, suggestions, and additions are welcome. The address: facultysenate.wustl.edu (without www).Human Resource Issues:
The university now offers a voluntary phased retirement plan for tenured and clinician track faculty who are at least 55 years old and meet the rule of 75 (age + years of employment at the university). As per the chancellor’s announcement, there are ongoing efforts made to meet the high quality accessible child care demand. Health insurance premiums have increased, and are high, but not compared to other institutions. This year there will be a one time freeze on premiums for lower-income employees.
Habif Health and Wellness Center:
Dr. Alan Glass presented an overview of the extensive mental health resources on campus to help manage and mitigate mental health issues. They have developed a web-based training about recognizing warning signs and responding appropriately. The on-line program will be available to faculty in January; the link will be on the faculty senate web page.
Amanda McBride, director, spoke about the goals and activities of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service. The purpose of the institute is to encourage and support all forms of community service on the part of members of the university community (including alumni and alumnae). Their new and improved website will be published in April.
Bruce Backus, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environmental Health and Safety summarized the new policy on chemicals issued by the Department of Homeland Security. It requires all companies, including universities. to inventory 350 different chemicals, including some common household formulas. As there is a very short response time, a multi-pronged approach is being used to reach everyone involved.
- Nondiscrimination PolicyA new statement on nondiscrimination was issued on July 1st. The revision of the policy has been proposed so that the policy is consistent with the issued statement. In addition to adding “gender identity or expression” the name of the hilltop campus has been updated to reflect the change to the Danforth Campus.The suggestion to add the phrase “gender identity or expression” to the first paragraph of the second paragraph was accepted as a friendly amendment, as was the suggestion to add the dates when modified to page 5.
The new policy was unanimously approved.
- Travel Policy – Gerhild WilliamsA committee of staff and faculty representing all of the schools met three times over the summer to review the policy, discuss its ramifications, and suggest emendations. Vice Chancellor for Finance Barbara Feiner and Controller Mike Dunlap presented revisions of the policy twice to the committee, taking into account all considerations, objections and concerns while still abiding by the university’s need for oversight and financial responsibility. Once the committee approved the policy, it was brought before the University Council and the Senate Council.The Faculty Senate Council strongly supports the tenor and tone of the new policy, and thanks all involved in the effort.
Training sessions will be offered in January. These sessions can identify where deans and department chairs may use discretion. There will also be an on-line web based training, and a link to each schools policy.
Only the Central Fiscal Unit is required to use Gwin’s Travel for their travel arrangements. At the end of the year, the data from Gwin’s will be used to negotiate better discounts on travel for the university.
The possibility of joining with other regional institutions to form a travel consortium for greater discounts was raised, Also, the restriction against reimbursing babysitting costs was questioned, especially for a nursing mother. Some departments have made special arrangements (raising money for a babysitting fund, for example).
- There being no other business, the chancellor thanked everyone for a good semester, offered good wishes for the holiday season, and the meeting was adjourned at 5:10.
Nancy E. Berg