Senators question search committee approach

Faculty member asks how candidates can be identified even without complete job description; David Turnbull says answer is ‘above my paygrade’



The WSU Faculty Senate met Thursday to discuss the continued provost search. Holly Ashkannejhad, director of the WSU Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation, said Executive Policy 15 will be updated.

LUKE HUDSON, Evergreen deputy news editor

During its first meeting of 2020, the WSU Faculty Senate heard an update on the provost search from David Turnbull, WSU professor of music and member of the search committee.

Turnbull said the committee will meet with representatives from Issacson-Miller, the search firm hired to find a new provost, in February, which is when they will present information about who has been nominated for the position.

The committee expects to conduct off-campus interviews during March and should have candidates on campus by April, he said.

“I think it would be extremely important for me to ask you what questions you think we should and must ask the people who are coming in to interview,” Turnbull said.

Mike Kahn, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences senator, said that at a previous senate meeting Turnbull told the senate the position description would be updated before candidates were brought to campus. Kahn said he wanted to know what progress was made on the position description.

Laura Hill, vice provost for Faculty Development and Affairs, said the Roles and Responsibilities committee is working on the updated description which begins with a “problems statement” about what issues the committee must solve.

Darrel Muehling, College of Business senator, asked how the search committee can identify candidates if they don’t have a job description yet.

“That question is above my pay grade,” Turnbull said.

The senate also heard from Holly Ashkannejhad, director of the WSU Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation, regarding updates to Executive Policy 15 and the university’s affirmative action plan.

Ashkannejhad said the office is working on updating EP 15 mandatory reporting guidelines. She reminded staff that they must go through mandatory reporting training every five years.

She said another group is working on revising the affirmative action plan to identify specific ways to meet recruiting goals.

“We’re really lucky to have a lot of good partners across the system,” she said. “We want to collaborate with you all.”

Rebecca Van de Vord, assistant vice president of Academic Outreach and Opportunities, spoke about upcoming chances for faculty and staff to learn more about teaching as well as improve their skills.

Senate Chair Greg Crouch said Van de Vord will be retiring this year. Crouch thanked her and the senate gave her a round of applause.

Crouch said Faculty Senate elections are open and the university is seeking nominations for senate chair.

The senate unanimously approved all action items. They also discussed a revision to the senate constitution which adds representation from the Honors College. The full list of approved items can be found on the Faculty Senate website.

The senate meets again at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Building, room T101.

Kasee Hildenbrand, WSU associate professor of athletic training, and Tammy Barry, WSU psychology professor, will share an update from the Campus and Community Health Task Force.