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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Few university updates make for brief Faculty Senate meeting

Kristy Mace
Faculty Senate meeting on March 27, 2023.

In an unusually short meeting, the Faculty Senate passed a piece of policy and received updates on enrollment, the overhaul of the ombuds program and the athletic department.

Enrollment updates

Ashlie Jack, associate vice president for institutional effectiveness, summarized enrollment efforts from around campus.

Jack said the university is specifically interested in increasing international graduate enrollment after booms in this demographic during the spring and fall of 2021.

Graduate programs have waived the Graduate Record Examinations requirement for the upcoming semester and are required to send decisions to applicants within seven days. Additionally, graduate coordinators must attend bi-weekly meetings to discuss how to increase enrollment.

In addition to this, prospective graduate students can now apply to multiple graduate programs at once rather than waiting on a decision from one program before applying to another.

The Intensive English program has also been reworked in order to make it more financially competitive with others and to allow students to dual-enroll in the program while enrolled in a graduate program.

Department chair eligibility policy

The Faculty Senate swiftly approved a revision to eligibility requirements for department chairs to officially allow non-tenure track faculty to take on the department chair role.

Now that the Faculty Senate has passed this policy, it will go to the general faculty meeting on April 29 for a final vote.

The second piece of department chair policy regarding the electorate requirements has not gone through a second read and needs to be voted on before the general faculty meeting.

Ombuds program charter

Carolyn Shaw, professor of political science, presented a revised version of the ombuds program charter from the general counsel.

An ombudsperson is a representative who can help faculty talk through problems they are experiencing at the university or point out systemic issues to the administration.

No major changes were made to the charter regarding the role of ombudspeople or the program’s function. Most changes revolved around formatting and using university-specific jargon.

This revised version will go to the general faculty meeting for approval.

Athletic Department updates

Clay Stoldt, the faculty athletic representative, gave his biannual update to the Faculty Senate in the form of a memo. He detailed student athlete academic performance, improvements within the athletic department and a new course for the fall semester.

Stoldt said that student athletes were able to beat the departmental goal of a 3.4 grade point average, with programs averaging a 3.45 GPA.

The department has now completed 39 of its 41 goals set by the Athletics Policy and Culture Task Force in 2021. Stoldt’s memo said that “good progress (is) being made on the other two recommendations.”

In fall 2024, the Department of Sports Management and the athletic department will offer a first-year seminar called “The Shocker Way.”

Designed for first-year student athletes, the course aims to “integrate course content specific to the priority developmental areas” such as “athletics reporting processes, leadership development, inclusive excellence and student athlete mental health.” 

Stoldt’s memo said that his and Saal’s updates will come in person in the future. Jolynn Dowling, Faculty Senate president, said the Faculty Senate’s schedule was too tight to fit in the athletic department’s presentation.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held on April 22 at 3:30 p.m. in Woolsey Hall 110A.

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About the Contributors
Trinity Ramm
Trinity Ramm, Managing Editor
Trinity Ramm is the managing editor and former sports editor for The Sunflower. This is her second year on staff. Ramm is a senior English Lit major and a sociology minor with a certificate in film studies. In her limited spare time, she can be found at the movie theater, browsing some obscure film database or crocheting. Ramm uses she/her pronouns.
Kristy Mace
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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