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Bernstine discusses financial future

Portland State University’s Faculty Senate convened its second meeting for the new year in accordance with its regular monthly meeting schedule.

Bernstine addressed the meeting and thanked the faculty before expressing his appreciation for the success they had experienced with four core initiatives – assessment, student advising, internationalization on campus, and diversity of the student and faculty body at PSU in the last year.

Bernstine discussed his trips to Salem and the state Legislature to meet new legislators.

He described the visit as bleak, with prevailing budget deficits in education and no talk of new money entering the Oregon University System.

PSU’s provost and academic leader Mary Tetreault urged the assembled faculty to “call for new groups to refine action steps (to the priorities outlined by the Senate) and come up with new ideas.”

Tetreault stressed improving the student-faculty ratio as an important facet of the meeting agenda.

The Senate proceeded to discuss and vote on various recommendations on priorities espoused by the Senate, and was presented by Scott Burns.

An action step to “support aggressive hiring of tenure-track faculty commensurate with enrollment growth such that the proportion of tenure track faculty is increased,” was nominated by Burns and passed the meeting.

A discussion ensued about the addition of an action step to “attract and retain a student body that is excellent and diverse.”

A move to “increase tenure-track faculty commensurate with a goal of reaching the student-faculty ratio in 1996” was amended to “increase the tenure-track faculty commensurate with a goal of reaching appropriate student-faculty ratios” and passed by the body.

The next priority introduced by Burns was to “maintain accreditation in all accredited programs and across the university.” A motion to add the action step of “achieving a ranking in at least 12 graduate areas among the top 50 percent of similar programs or by other means of achieving distinction” was passed by the committee.

The committee further amended an earlier action step that was to “achieve a racially and ethnically diverse student population with percentages reflective, at least, of a group’s percentage in the metropolitan area” to read simply as an action step to “achieve a fully diverse student population.”

The final motion passed was to adopt and pass all Action and Priorities recommended by the Senate to the provost and president.

The Senate listened to the sustainability initiative presentation, Curriculum Committee interim report, Graduate Council interim report and the Intercollegiate Athletic Board quarterly report before adjourning.