All you need to know about the latest Board of Trustees meeting

Important updates from the second to last Board of Trustees meeting of the school year

Sydney Carpenter | News Editor  

On April 21, the Board of Trustees completed their second to last meeting. In the meeting, students, staff and faculty presented to the Board on the current state of the university and the important actions that will impact students for the next school year.

Student proposal: Over the course of a few months, students have been developing a detailed proposal for the board. Makana Waikiki ⏤ the current Incidental Fee Committee chair ⏤ led the presentation on borrowed time from shared governance after an April 13 request to be included in the meeting was denied due to the agenda being full. During the presentation, Waikiki presented five main items that will have the opportunity to be discussed in a special forum prior to the Board’s final meeting in June. It should be noted that the presentation is not mentioned anywhere within the meeting docket.

  1. Allocate $1 million from the online course fee not used by the IFC towards the “Freedom Center,” IFC funded programs, replenishing the IFC reserves, additional funding for student athletes and hiring a Director of Equity and Inclusion.
  2. Comprise a committee consisting of one Black Indigenous Person of Color student recommended by ASWOU, one BIPOC student appointed by Black Student Union, one BIPOC student sent by the Multicultural Student Union, one BIPOC faculty member recommendation from the faculty union, one BIPOC staff member appointed by staff union and one administrator appointed by Western’s president.
  3. Allow 30 minutes of public comment on reopening campus for fall term.
  4. Have President Fuller come to the next board meeting with a new policy around hiring faculty and staff positions. All committees should be required to have a student, staff and faculty member that is within the BIPOC community.
  5. Hold a series of public forums in fall 2021 for students, staff and faculty to provide feedback to various organizations on campus.

IFC: Incidental fee recommendation is included in the Tuition and Fee Book and is supported by President Fuller. The Incidental Fee Steering Committee will meet during spring term to review the IFC Bylaws. IFC has voted to change the fee to $355 per term, to be charged to all students at credit one.

Article 15:  The Curriculum Committee voted to disapprove the remaining Article 15 items. Dr. Leigh Graziano, Faculty Senate President and Associate Professor of English, anticipates the remaining items to also be disapproved by the Faculty Senate on April 27.

Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility: In collaboration with the University Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and University Cultural Competency Advisory Committee, the Board’s Executive Governance and Trusteeship Committee released an official statement instead of University Policies or Procedures that communicates operational or transactional procedures. The statement is broken down into three sections: key terms and definitions, the seven priorities and expectations and accountability and steps the university will take to ensure that it is meeting the Board’s expectations.

Reopening update: Currently, a large committee meets every other week to discuss plans for reopening for fall 2021. At this time, the university anticipates holding in person classes and resuming co-curricular activities and group meetings. Western is currently reviewing a paper discussion presented by the Math and Science Faculties evaluating high-efficiency particulate air filters in classrooms. Western will be testing the filters in the coming months, assessing noise and overall effectiveness; funds for the project will come from the America Rescue Plan.

Tuition & Fee Advisory Committee: For the upcoming school year, the committee has recommended a 0% increase to the current tuition ⏤ $184 per credit ⏤ citing a concern pertaining to decreasing enrollment and 546 students who indicated $184 per credit was the maximum they were willing to pay. However, the committee did recommend a $5 increase to the Student Health and Counseling service fee from $145 to $150 a term.

Contact the author at scarpenter18@mail.wou.edu

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