Board of trustees discuss plans for 2015

By Katie Dunn, Staff Writer

Students attending classes at Riverpoint can expect to see EWU President Mary Cullinan around campus in January. This will be part of a regular schedule Cullinan will have in Spokane.

The board of trustees met Nov. 21 to go over update reports from the presidents of various organizations and to approve the new, repealed and revised policies that were covered during the previous two board meetings.

Having an office in Spokane and becoming a regular presence there is one of Cullinan’s goals as EWU’s new president.

“I have an office, a desk, a lamp, a computer and a chair,” said Cullinan. “I’m getting there.”

On the Cheney campus, Cullinan is working with the President’s Executive Committee on the 2014-15 strategic planning initiatives that is underway, but are multi-year projects.

According to Cullinan, she has started a Legislative Action Team consisting of students, faculty and staff to develop messages and share information as the executive committee goes into their legislative session.

“I really want to set up a President’s Regional Advisory Board,” said Cullinan.

Cullinan said she would like 20-30 people to be on this advisory board representing health care, business, nonprofits, K-12 and higher education, and that she wants them to become more knowledgeable about Eastern and to work with the board of trustees on partnership initiatives.

“That’s going to be something I’m going to start pulling together as we start the new year,” said Cullinan.

Mindy Breen, associate professor of visual communication design, said the Faculty Organization and Academic Senate is focusing on the program Critical Foundation and its First Year Experience (FYE) pilot, which is currently in progress.

According to Eastern’s FYE webpage, the program assists students in transitioning to college life by teaching successful study strategies, time management and how to engage the Eastern community.

Breen said the FYE pilot encompasses three courses, one during each quarter, and that Lynn Briggs, Ph.D., professor of English, is teaching the first quarter of the pilot.

“We’re working on the next phase of Critical Foundations, so the FYE pilot is our first phase and the second phase will be a FYE scale up and rollout for the next academic year,” said Breen. “We anticipate an additional five to 10 sections of First Year Experience next year with a full implementation for 2016-2017.”

Breen said the Faculty Organization is trying to make sure students end the first year with the 45 credits they need to have to progress to sophomore standing.

“The freshmen currently enrolled in the First Year Experience pilot are getting nine credits total for the year, three fall, three Winter and three Spring,” said Breen. “Right now, most of the students in the FYE pilot are taking the FYE course plus two to three other courses this quarter.”

ASEWU President Dahir “D.J.” Jigre reported the ASEWU’s activities during the quarter, including Eagle Spirit Week, Veterans Day and their efforts towards the PUB Renovation Project.

Jigre said he wants students to get to know the ASEWU.

“As of now, we are seen as a bandwagon of T-shirts, where all we do is give out T-shirts, and it’s much more than that,” said Jigre. “My goal is to get students to understand that [the] ASEWU is much more, we are them and they are us.”