Present: Bible, Ford, Glassman, Horne, Hunter, Kurtz, Middlebrook, Sawey,
Stedman, Swinney, Weller, and Winek. Absent: Caverly, Deduck-Evans,
Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz; Margaret Vaverek, Pam Spooner, Leigh
Kilman (Library); Mike Moore, and Sandra Akridge.
FISH HATCHERY, RECORDING STUDIO, AQUARENA SPRINGS, ETC.
OTHER/Q & A
38 RESEARCH COMMITTEE (Appointment of new chair)
34 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE REPORT (MS in Aquatic Biology)
13 DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES (Policy and Forms; Prof. Deduck-Evans)
17 CoFGO-Spring Meeting
02 SENATE MINUTES OF 1/24/96
The meeting was called to order at 4:12, Chair Swinney presiding.
The University Planning Committee (Deans and VPs) have been
discussing SCH targets for departments. The motivating factor is that this
is one of the areas (in addition to department givebacks, increased student
fees, etc.) being explored to raise salaries to a more competitive level
while facing increased enrollment and declining State support. The
question is how to do this fairly, especially when considering that: (1)
The load is not equitably distributed at present, (2) There are numerous
programs with special requirements (graduate courses, internships,
practicuums, etc. which must be kept small by certification requirements)
and (3) Some buildings have small classrooms for their departments.
The target is currently to raise the faculty average from 370 SCH
to 383 SCH. This would raise SWT from 113% of the State average to 126%.
Said another way, our student to faculty ratio would rise from 20:1 to
The method of investigation on how departments are doing on SCH
would be to compare them to other similar departments or "virtual
departments" around the State. This is a tricky methodology and might mean
that SWT departments will have to do follow-up investigative reporting on
other universitites around the State to ascertain similarities and
differences. UT and TX-A&M are not in the group to which we will be
The burden will fall on the Deans of SWT's Schools to micromanage
who loses lines when someone retires to subtract from SCH "deficit"
programs. Departments which teach mass classes for General Studies in
large classrooms will not suffer. Other programs may have to justify
The Planning Committee will meet with chairs on February 15th to discuss
Apparently many think SWT should have a short, clarion call
statement of goals. However, "full realization of potential takes many
directions and does not lend itself to a bumper sticker statement." ["SWT
is #3" was suggested. Apologies to Avis Rent-a-Car.] There is a vision
statement in rough draft, but no one seems thrilled by it. The
Administration does not want fluff, neither does it want specifics that you
cannot say on paper. "Ongoing dialogue is better, but some people think
you have to have words on paper."
Prof. Horne asked what happened to the athletic cost reduction
plan. There were give-backs from athletics, but the leakage back to cost
overruns overcame givebacks. A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the
need for more fan support. Apparently Sam Houston and a few other colleges
have made enormous gains in game attendance in a short space of time
through promotion. The NCAA has been investigating promotional techniques
by similar successful schools.
It was suggested that our alumni have not always been happy with
the way they are treated when dealing with SWT. This could put a crimp in
game attendance and in donations to the University. University donations
have gone up but there was a feeling that this was the result of a few
donors giving more. We apparently need to extend to a more broad-based
support, even for those who contribute only a little.
Data suggest that only 16 athletic programs in the country make
money and the rest are subsidized. While the athletic budget could be
better spent, the real question may be "Are we getting value for money"
(i.e. fans and school supporters).
Another discussion encompassed dropping back to Division II and its
effects. The Administration suggested that this has not worked well in
other schools (e.g. Lamar) because of bad publicity and ongoing student and
FISH HATCHERY, RECORDING STUDIO, AQUARENA SPRINGS, ETC.
After a flurry of phone calls around the break between semesters
among legislators, the Texas Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, and the National Biological Service, Pres. Supple was asked if SWT
would like to take over the operation of the Fish Hatchery from the U.S.
Biological Service and perhaps regain the 115 acres of land it is on, which
SWT Pres. McCrocklin and other townspeople gave to the government through
SWT in 1971. The current Administration response has been that SWT will
need a little support to run it. That figure is perhaps $300,000 a year.
[We'd like to have the valuable land back and we'd like to run the Hatchery
with so many endangered species, but we don't have the funds.]
The Biological Service can dump the running of the Hatchery on us
with the stroke of a pen. The land would have to come back to us by
federal law--which is currently being drafted. The costs of running the
operation might be covered under Section 6 (a federal passthrough to
protect endangered species, of which there are many at the Hatchery).
Accepting the Hatchery now would put us in a spot, since Section 6
applications take some months and the federal courts (Judge Bunton
presiding) could order us to continue Hatchery operations to protect
endangered species--whether we had the money to do it or not.
The Recording Studio cost the University about $54,000 last year,
but is providing a fruitful workshop.
Aquarena Springs has been approached by three corporations with
proposals: Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels), Lark (Fort Worth), and Leisure
Management, Inc. (Houston). These are profit-making corporations and as
yet there is no ruling from the IRS regarding an exception for our
tax-exempt bonds to allow for-profit contracts. One possibility is to
offer a five-year contract to one of the corporations. The first three
years would be on a management fee basis until we could legally renegotiate
our bonds into tax-based. The last two years would be for profit to the
There will be a meeting next Tuesday of the Aquarena Advisory
Committee with representatives of the corporations presenting their
proposals. With regard to SWT's purchase of Aquarena there seems to be a
common response from the legislature on down that, "We are glad to have it,
but. . . . "
OTHER/Q & A
(1) The librarians present at the meeting asked Pres. Supple
about his position with regard to the recently revised library
career-ladder pay scale which raised the bottom levels a little, but not
Librarian III pay, and about librarian status. [Last year's Senate
Subcommittee report on the library asked for academic status--which is not
faculty status--with continuing contracts like tenure. This is the system
the major academic research libraries around the nation--and Texas Tech,
Fall 1994--have gone to.] The Pres. said he was "open minded and waiting
to be convinced that this was the way to go."
Issues were raised that the methodology in SWT's survey of
sister-schools last year were faulty (e.g. librarians at the beginning rank
of Librarian I were paid at a higher level that the next rank up--according
to the odd way the survey was done). Will this be a similar methodological
snag when SCH departmental comparisons across universities are done?
[Note: The Senate Subcommittee on Library Pay and Status compiled
statistics from national, regional, and state associations regarding pay at
various ranks and trends in status. SWT disregarded these measures to do
their own and came up with some indefensible conclusions, i.e. that newly
hired librarians should be paid at a higher rate that the next level up.
This was a product of the methodology. Will a comparison of Texas
sister-schools departments for SCH be better? We will see.]
(2) It appears that SWT will receive its annual $200,000 plus
inflation increases from the Alkek foundation. Mrs. Alkek has sent an
additional check for $250,000 to fund the Bandera scholarship fund.
(3) The student fee increase has been approved by the Faculty
Senate, the University Council, and ASG (which will send a letter to the
Board of Regents in February regarding their appreciation for time to
discuss the increase with students and make changes on where monies should
go). The Administration expressed their desire to monitor the effect of
fee increases on students. While most students are not expected to be
affected (because of increased student aid), those who are part-time and
not eligible for aid may be affected.
Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.