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Faculty Meeting

Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
via Zoom


  1. Call to Order
  2. Chair's Remarks
  3. Announcements
    • Welcome Video - Sara Billey
  4. Committee Reports
    • Planning Committee - Rekha Thomas
  5. New Business
  6. Executive Session
  7. Adjournment


The regular meeting of the faculty of the Department of Mathematics was held via Zoom at 3:30pm PST, December 8, 2020. John Palmieri, Chair, presided at the meeting. Rose Choi was recording secretary.

The meeting began with approval of the previous meeting’s minutes.

Chair's Remarks

This year’s starting class had a less than 10% drop in international students compared to the national average of about 40%. Additionally, there was an increase in non-resident US and resident students this year and there is a record number of applicants for next year’s class, as well. As the College budget is mainly driven by tuition the budget looks to be healthy for this year and next. The Dean extends his thanks to the faculty for teaching these larger classes and for the extra student contact hours undertaken this year.

The UW is taking a 5% budget cut, but the College hopes to absorb its share of the loss and spare the departments from making up the difference.

There has been an unusually low number of retirements this year which may affect next year’s hiring options, but we will retain the original hiring plan in the hopes that at least three tenure-track positions will be approved.

Mary Lidstrom, Vice President for Research, is stepping down in a year. There will be an internal search conducted.

To reiterate from last month’s meeting, all new hires must sign a declaration of sexual misconduct/harassment. The Chair (in discussion with Bianca Viray as the Chair of the Diversity Committee) will commit to making the department more transparent in regard to findings of misconduct and harassment. The chair vows to bring forward any and all cases to his supervisors, i.e. the Dean, Divisional Dean, investigating body, and relay the appropriate guidance to the department. By doing this, the hope is that any warning signs can be detected as early as possible and protect any current and/or potential victims from continued harm.

Faculty are encouraged to invite strong candidates, especially from underrepresented groups, to give a talk or engage in conversation with them in the hopes that they will be potential job candidates once we are able to hire.

When the department first started requesting diversity statements from job applicants, it was optional; however, as of a year ago, this statement has now been made mandatory per the College’s directive. This year, postdoctoral candidates were also required to supply these statements with their applications, and the candidates for promotion were strongly encouraged to include a section on diversity, equity, and inclusion contributions within their personal statement. Along these lines, the department has been encouraged to develop promotion and tenure guidelines. The Executive Committee will discuss the issue this Winter to determine the weight of diversity, equity, and inclusion contributions towards faculty promotion and tenure decisions. Additionally, faculty will be strongly encouraged to include this statement in their Total Record Updates starting this Spring.


Sara Billey has been putting together a video which contains a compilation of short introductions from members of the department to share with the new students and faculty. Please send her a clip in the next week or two if you would like to be included in this video.

Committee Reports

The Planning Committee has converted the data from the survey submitted by faculty to help organize and visualize the composition of the department thus far in terms of research, teaching, graduate students, postdocs, etc. This was done in preparation of the Priority Statements. There will be two additional follow-up surveys sent out shortly. The resulting graphs can be viewed here.


There being no new business, the meeting passed into executive session at 4:10pm.

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