Senate members talk purpose, transparency

Speaker addresses diversity among faculty, staff members



Greg Crouch, Chair of Faculty Senate, responds to concerns from senators regarding each of the colleges during the Faculty Senate meeting on Thursday evening, at the Food Sciences and Human Nutrition Building.

LUKE HUDSON, Evergreen reporter

The WSU Faculty Senate hosted a guest speaker on the topic of faculty service at its first meeting of the year Thursday.

Melanie-Angela Neuilly, interim associate vice provost for faculty inclusive excellence, spoke about faculty service in communities as a method of restoring trust between universities and the general public.

“We are doing this job, not for ourselves, but for the communities we serve,” she said.

Service comes in many forms and each is recognized differently because of how intensive, visible and formal it is, Neuilly said. Research that matters to the community is an important service for public engagement.

“That service mission is critical in the land grant mission,” she said.

Diversifying the people who serve should be an important goal at WSU, Neuilly said. Fewer white males engage in service and seeking out those individuals as allies helps keep women and people of color from disadvantages.

“What you shouldn’t do is always go to the person who always says, ‘Yes,’” she said.

Some senators disagreed about transparency in the process of establishing the School of Information.

Donna Potts, senator for the College of Arts and Sciences, said she wanted more transparency for the decision making about where the School of Information will be housed and what programs it will offer.

She said it was her understanding that members of the decision-making committee on the School of Information were sworn to secrecy.

Matthew Jockers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said he wanted to keep the first couple meetings confidential because the committee was just entertaining an idea. After the decision was made, he said it was opened for input through a memo from the Office of the Provost.

The purpose of Faculty Senate is to represent faculty at WSU and exercise legislative powers to make recommendations to university leadership for changes, according to the WSU Faculty Senate website.

The senate’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 3.