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Faculty Meeting

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 - 3:30pm


  1. Call to Order
  2. Chair's Remarks
  3. Announcements
    • Graduate Admissions Committee - Koblitz
  4. Committee Reports
    • Undergraduate Program Committee - Taggart
  5. New Business
  6. Executive Session
  7. Adjournment


The regular meeting of the faculty of the Department of Mathematics was held virtually via Zoom at 3:30pm PST, March 7, 2023. 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

The prospective graduate students will be visiting the department at the end of this week. Please participate as much as you can.

USTARS (Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Research Symposium) will take place on March 18 & 19 at UW. Paige Helms sent out an announcement with details for the event via e-mail. Faculty and students are encouraged to attend.

The University is requesting 4% merit raises for faculty but anticipating at least 3%. There looks to be more flexibility in how these will be distributed this year as opposed to recent years. Unit adjustment raises have also been approved by the Provost. In preparation, the Personnel Committee had drafted a list of priorities last spring, first of which was to benefit the lowest paid, highly meritorious full professors and teaching-stream faculty. However, nominations were limited to a quarter of the faculty which prevented all who fall in these two groups from being nominated. The College is hoping to offer these unit adjustment raises again in the next two years, at which point the Personnel Committee hopes to nominate the remaining faculty who were not put forward this year.

The next round of teaching preference forms will be sent out soon. Please consider signing up to teach online calculus, in-person calculus, MATH 207 & 208, MATH 381, and MATH 116, MATH 282, MATH 382, and MATH 397. Sarah Garner and Jenni Taggart can provide details on these courses.

Starting next year, the large 100-level courses will be increased to enroll 240 students. The aim of this is to reduce the department’s teaching load so that those in the teaching-stream will have a one-course reduction in teaching moving forward (from seven to six) and tenure-stream faculty will go from teaching, on average, four courses per year to about three-and-a-half courses. The department’s teaching-credit system will, therefore, be updated accordingly per the Executive Committee.

The room reservation system is changing. PDL C-38, PDL C-401, and CMU B-006 are going to be available for seminars, reading groups, and similar activities. Details for the new policy have been added to the website at

Admitted student days for undergraduate students is on April 15th from 1-3pm at the Burke Museum. Purple & Gold days on April 1st is an event geared towards underrepresented students who have been admitted. If you are interested in attending either of these events, please let John Palmieri know.

The College has requested that departments develop their own guidelines for all four promotion cases (Assistant-to-Associate and Associate-to-Full promotions for both the tenure- and teaching-stream faculty) to supplement the College's own guidelines. The department had already approved guidelines for the promotion to associate professor with tenure and must now develop criteria for the remaining three cases. For the promotion to associate professor with tenure, in 2021 the department added two items: (1) regarding research, author order on papers is typically alphabetical in mathematics, and our default position is that each listed author is assumed to have made roughly equal contributions. (2) Regarding teaching, we tried to de-emphasize student evaluations and listed some other items that we consider important in evaluating teaching.

The Executive Committee recommends the following:

  • For promotion to (tenured) professor, we follow the College's guidelines, along with modifications (1) and (2).
  • For promotion in the teaching ranks, we follow the College's guidelines, along with modification (2).

A vote was held, passed, and approved.


This Thursday and Friday there will be 23 prospective graduate students visiting the department. Please answer any questions they may have and make them feel welcome. They’ve all received offers and we are working hard to recruit them. If they share any information pertaining to their decision to accept or decline the offer, please pass this along to Neal Koblitz. A schedule will be posted on the department bulletin.

Committee Reports

The Undergraduate Program Committee proposes updating the catalogue description of MATH 407: Linear Optimization to more accurately reflect what is currently being taught, as well as requiring a background in proofs to be able to follow along with the course material. A vote was held, passed, and approved. 

New Business

WXML is holding a poster session in the math lounge at 5:30pm this Thursday.

Math Day could use more volunteers for tech support and other facets that don’t involve direct interaction with high school students.


The meeting passed into executive session at 4:10pm.

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