Senate Minutes – 10.7.14

For questions or clarifications, please contact Senator Kelly Tsao at

    1. Speakers: Ida Early and Maya Walton
      1. Board of Trustees representatives
        1. meets 4 times per year
        2. Executive committee meets monthly
      2. “Owners” of University; Stewards
        1. 4 year term (renewable for +1 term)
        2. Responsible for preserving WashU for future
      3. Hires Chancellor
      4. Large Board
        1. nonprofits tend to have larger boards than corporations because members are expected to raise and give money
        2. about 80 people; ⅓ are “emeritus” who served till age 70, then retire; others are voting members
      5. Student Representatives
        1. can serve on all committees except for Executive, Compensation, and Nominating
        2. both undergraduate and graduate
        3. Maya
          1. applied in spring; normal interview process; attended 1 meeting so far
          2. lots of power gathered here, but people are genuinely interested in student point of view
      6. Alumni
        1. many board members are alumni
        2. parents of former students
        3. Strong emotional connections
      7. Questions
        1. Are each of the members on 1 committee or is there overlap?
          1. Usually serve on 2-3 committees.
        2. How do you account for representation on every committee?
          1. Student reps are mostly for the larger meetings, not for every committee.
          2. Some committees have additional student representatives
            1. Student appointments are recommended by the Chancellor.
            2. Ex: Undergraduate Experience Committee
              1. Emma Tyler, leaders of student cultural organizations, etc
            3. Ex: Research-Graduate Affairs
              1. more grad school affairs
        3. What are you going to include on the annual report in May?
          1. Focuses in on one thing that students value.
            1. Months of research
            2. Presented in such a way that the board will act on it
            3. Ex: Last year’s presentation was on sexual assault on campus
              1. Executive Comm. took actions to increase awareness afterward (hiring Title IX coordinator, RA training,
          2. In addition, every monthly meeting includes a student presentation on a smaller issue.
        4. There are many CEOs on the board; how do you know they aren’t on other university boards and if so, how do you make sure they put WashU first?
          1. Generally don’t encourage it
          2. Very few members do; usually for colleges that are far away or different type
        5. Why do CEOs want to be on the Board of Trustees?
          1. Because they love WashU
            1. Possibly WashU wants them to recruit
        6. Is there a system of checks and balances for the Board of Trustees?
          1. Charter: developed to convince State of Missouri to recognize university; archaic and legal
          2. Bylaws: true document that determines governance of WashU
            1. ethical behavior
            2. avoid conflicts of interest
          3. IRS Questionnaire to identify conflicts of interest
        7. How has the dynamic of the board changed over the course of the last 10-15 years when so many changes have taken place?
          1. Mrs. Early has not worked with board for that long
          2. Consciously from 70’s on trying to become national, then international university
            1. Many board members come from far away as well; often same areas students are from
        8. Is it a requirement that most undergraduate representatives are seniors?
          1. Encouraged to apply during sophomore/junior year
          2. Does give you more experience, better understanding, to be older
        9. How do you communicate with the student body?
          1. Chancellor is spokesperson
            1. He and student reps have interview with StudLife after every board meeting
            2. The Record – daily email newsletter also reports on meetings
        10. Expansion predicted?
          1. No, not sure how that would be done; if students express interest sure
        11. Would it be ok for Senators/SU to bring issues to board from students who come to Senate?
          1. Emma is direct route
          2. Maya and Victoria are also always available
        12. Is 3-5 minutes enough to present an issue?
          1. Yes, has worked in past and they have prepared extensively. Other issues can be introduced in conversation.
        13. Has the board ever considered giving students a vote?
          1. Not a lot to vote on. Granting tenure and budgets.
          2. Voice vote; technically emeritus members don’t have a vote either but they
        14. How are potential conflicts of interest in board member family members’ admissions handled?
          1. Board members have nothing to do with admissions
            1. Do ask board members to recommend applicants
            2. Their family members do often apply
          2. Children/grandchildren of board members have been denied admission in past
            1. News broken gently
        15. How is representation by the different colleges and schools handled?
          1. Not a prominent issue; want everybody to consider interests of every school
          2. Alumni members are most likely to be ArtSci because of size
            1. Some may hold more than one degree
          3. Undergrad reps are from ArtSci
          4. Grad representatives are from Brown and med school
        16. What was the board’s reaction to the Peabody sit-in?
          1. Wide variety of reactions/opinions, ranging from conservative to liberal
        17. How often are students from other schools than ArtSci represented on the Board?
          1. Recently mostly ArtSci. Can find list, but not remembered offhand
          2. Group of student rep alums include some from Olin
        18. What/are there more open channels for contacting student reps?
          1. Had not considered adding contact information for student reps to website before; will look into it
          2. Maya’s email:
        19. It seems the vast majority of board members are men. Have you considered adding more women?
          1. Started as all men. Over the years nominating committee has considered gender diversity.
          2. Diane Sullivan recently added
          3. Barbara Thomas served long term
          4. Know it is something should work on
        20. Many people on board are very professionally successful. What other qualities do you consider when searching for members?
          1. Chart of qualities to look for
            1. Considers gender, expertise, geographic location, alumni/parent relationships
        21. Is anything prioritized?
          1. No, if anything, more women
        22. Are board members paid?
          1. No, they are all volunteers
            1. Not even flight/hotel compensation
          2. WashU grad living in Singapore used to have to fly from there
        23. On the surface it seems that the board has a great deal of power, but not power to tell certain university divisions what to do. What are the limits of the board’s power?
          1. Likely they want board to hire smart chancellor who will tell his vice-chancellors how to improve
          2. But in reality many initiatives come from the bottom up
          3. Typically WashU goes through giant strategic planning process every 10 years or so
            1. 2006, every school and division came up with plans and goals
            2. Results in fundraising campaign to finance these ideas
            3. Board members involved in hearing, fine-tuning plans
              1. Board point of view of asking how much money they can raise
              2. Deans see end goal of project and ask for money
          4. Generally universities are large, unwieldy and slow to change
        24. Would any board members come visit campus at any time other than the four official meetings?
          1. Yes; they are involved in many things about WashU
          2. Schools have advisory councils, each chaired by trustee
            1. Made up of volunteers that are alumni, other trustees
            2. Meet several times a year
          3. Trustees often chair search committee for leadership positions
            1. new dean of law school
            2. also students and faculty on search committee
        25. When not meeting, what are trustees actively pursuing?
          1. Plans they made in 2006 strategic meeting
          2. Scheduled to be completed in 2018
          3. Four objectives
            1. Be a leading institution for education and research in the world
            2. Train the best students
            3. cannot remember rest; very broad
          4. Each school also set plan for fulfilling objectives and particular goals
            1. Ex: New degree in landscape architecture came out of 2006 strategy
              1. Brand new faculty recruited
              2. Now one of most respected programs in country in short time
        26. Do these strategic plans evolve over time or are they laid out in detail?
          1. Board keeps watch; deans come to meetings to report on progress of plans
        27. Are these goals really expected to be completed by 2018?
          1. Depends on funding. Want completed; at least started, so long as there is enough money raised
          2. Is a cycle of planning and acting and reviewing
          3. Also due to nature of university, end goals really stay the same
            1. Only measurements of how to be best school, best research/students may change
        28. If Senate passes a resolution or if Student Life brings up an issue, does the board consider it?
          1. Has seen resolutions before
          2. Usually goes to Chancellor who deals with it through appropriate channels
            1. Ex: Divestment Resolution
              1. went before Chancellor and Kim Plumer – Chief Investment Officer
              2. board will take up in Dec meeting as part of larger discussion of how to use resources/assets for greater good of world (entire meeting inspired by issue)
        29. What ways does the board get the “pulse” of campus?
          1. Undergraduate Experience Committee – grassroots effort from wide representation


    1. Abstention Amendment
      1. Clarify language
        1. Old: abstaining vote counted as no, but shouldn’t have
        2. New: adding section that for simple and super majority, if you abstain your vote will not be counted toward total number of ballots
      2. Context: Treasury wanted to make this clearer because of confusion at Treasury Open Forum
      3. Only abstain from a vote if you have a conflict of interest
      4. Vote: 20-0-0  Unanimous!


    1. Forum on Diversity in Undergraduate Admissions
      1. Nov 17, Monday
      2. 8-9:30 pm
        1. hopefully will get mid-day for future events
      3. Location probably Goldberg Formal Lounge or Tisch Commons
      4. Business casual
      5. WashU has lowest percentage of Pell Grant students out of elite universities!
      6. GET THE WORD OUT!!!
      7. info on admissions, financial aid, important things


    1. Tommy-Proposed Group Senate Projects
      1. WFF Worker Benefits
        1. WashU switched services from Aramark to WFF
        2. Rumors about cost cutting in new contracts taking away benefits from low-income workers at WashU
        3. To be a leading university, WashU should take more progressive action on this issue
        4. Amelia, Sih, Ryan, (Tommy)
      2. Student Elected Rep to Board of Trustees
        1. Currently reps are chosen by administrators
        2. Tommy wants a student-elected rep who would have greater contact with student opinion
        3. Emma sits on Undergrad Experience; discussion-based; PanHellenic committee
        4. Mike, Kabir, Josh, Nik
      3. Campus Voices
        1. Yik Yak for school suggestions
        2. website to encourage students to talk to Senate and for us to get ideas for projects and resolutions
        3. Daniel, Natalie, Uma, Olivia
      4. Overall, for grander vision of Senate, better to build taskforces to work on large advocacy initiatives, take bigger role
        1. Goal: 4 people per project
        2. Meet after this Senate meeting


    1. Attendance
      1. 2 unexcused absences => Speaker can dismiss Senator
      2. Excused absences: Family/medical emergency, test, etc
      3. Not just missing Senate, but committee meetings. Should take commitment seriously.


    1. Gear
      1. Problem: need to include new SU logo
      2. Scott will lead ordering sweatshirts


    1. Updates
      1. Exec
        1. Talk to Emma if you want to take real lead on new projs
      2. Treasury
        1. Stereotypes
        2. Catholic Student Union
        3. Women’s Soccer
      3. Advisor
        1. willing to help
      4. Judicial
        1. Fall elections will have vote to change constitution to be gender neutral


    1. Open Forum
      1. Social: trip to Uncle Bill’s
        1. Are there people with cars who are willing to transport ppl?
        2. Will send out a doodle
      2. Sih Tabling for Ribbons of Hope –  11-2, DUC
      3. Rahool meeting with dining services about getting healthy breakfast in the Village
        1. open invitation to join him
      4. Rahul – ACAF has provost coming to next meeting, 6 pm Thursdays
      5. Mike – Brian willing to make Senate website attached to main website
        1. first outreach email going out next week
          1. email for things to add