Concerns of confidentiality surround committee proposal

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Faculty and staff who are members of the Faculty Senate and Imagine PNW task forces pushed back against a proposal for the creation of an ad-hoc committee tasked with gathering information about Imagine PNW and presenting it back to the Senate.

The document, FSD 18-05, which was presented during the Oct. 12 Faculty Senate meeting, tasked members who serve on both the senate and Imagine PNW task forces “with responsibility for reporting to the Senate on the activities of the Task Forces and making recommendations to the Senate on appropriate responses to those activities.”

Currently five members serve on both the senate and on the Imagine PNW task forces.

Members, however, said that Imagine PNW deliberations are confidential and cannot agree to share information back to the senate, outside of web reports, citing signed Imagine PNW contracts. These members said they will redirect all inquiries to the Imagine PNW website.

The discussions around the document were focused on whether the Imagine PNW templates, which will be used to evaluate PNW’s 300 academic and support programs, should be confidential. The templates will be sent to the programs on Nov. 9, according to Imagine PNW documents.

Rita Brusca-Vega, CHESS senator, asked what is confidential in the templates, adding “that something is wrong there.”

Catherine Gillotti, associate professor of communication, proposed that the Faculty Senate vote on whether or not the template information should be posted publicly.

Vanessa Quinn, College of Engineering and Sciences senator and support functions task force member, said the confidential nature of Imagine PNW is “out of respect for people.” She added that it is “not their place to make a decision” whether the information should is public.

The templates are planned to be released in April 2019, four months before the presentation of final decisions by the task forces, according to Imagine PNW documents.