Skip to Content

Feb 12, 1997 Minutes

Present: Bible, Bourgeois, Caverly, Deduck-Evans, Ford, Hays, Horne,
Hunter, McGee, Pascoe, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel, Weller, and Winek.

Guests: VPAA Gratz and AssocVPAA Tangum; Mike Moore, Dylan Sides
(University Star), Shirley Pilus.


PAAG (VPAA Gratz and AssocVPAA Tangum)


The meeting was called to order at 4:00, Chair Bible presiding.

PAAG (VPAA Gratz and AssocVPAA Tangum)


Over time numerous examples have come to the Senate's attention
regarding incidents in which policy has not been followed. Some recent
examples are: (1) The Search Committee was left out of the loop on
advertising for Dean of Science; (2) The Post Tenure Review Committee found
that some chairs and deans are either not conducting annual evaluations of
faculty--as required by the Handbook, or didn't have written policy, or are
conducting evaluations in a manner inconsistent with school or departmental
policy; and (3) That there is a lack of policy in some areas, e.g.
temporary faculty.

(1) VPAA Gratz said the ad was given to The Chronicle of Higher
Ed. before the Christmas vacation so that more people might see it and the
Committee had not met yet. It was mentioned that if the Committee had been
appointed earlier, it would have had time. (2 & 3) Chairs are issued a
calendar for when reports are due for evaluations, but only some of them
are to be reported to the VPAA's office--not all evaluations. The new PPS
on Post Tenure Review will require written policies and reports to the
VPAA. The Senate has just authorized a Subcommittee on Temp Status,
chaired by Prof. Hays, to issue a draft PPS on temp workers.

In addition, Senators brought up the fact that people were being
hired with tenure (e.g. some chairs, deans) and this was not regular
policy. [Gratz: We don't do this very often.] What happened to the
workshop for chairs for getting on-the-same-page for evaluations? [Gratz:
Good idea. We plan to do it.] What happened to "summative evaluations" of
chairs every three years ? [Gratz: Third year review is in the works.
The Administrative Evaluation Subcommittee, Prof. Caruana chair, will be
bringing forth suggestions on this.] Since PTR is on the fast track, isn't
it appropriate to reconsider the matter of renewable terms for chairs?
[Gratz: I have talked to the president and we do not support renewable
terms for chairs.] Is there a way merit raises can be put out in the open
for examination? [Gratz: Yes, after merit has been approved. Written
policies and chair evaluation workshops should help make merit evaluation
more objective and out-front.]


Who determines what regarding missed days? [Answer: For staff the
rule is "emergency leave"--meaning they don't have to make it up. Deans
and VPAA decide whether classes will have to be made up. They probably
will not be for the January closing.] Starting at noon on Tues. did not
seem a good idea since the roads in some areas were bad and the sidewalks
in some areas of the campus were not safe. [Well, we didn't want once a
week late afternoon and night classes to lose a week of school and the
weather was supposed to be better by afternoon.]

Tangential to this, the question of standardizing class times was
discussed briefly. This has become a maze for scheduling classrooms and
finals. The question was not assigned to any group to study, as yet.
Perhaps the Calendar Committee, the Registrar, and other involved parties
could get together on this.


VPAA Gratz said we have $360,000 in the bonus pool for faculty
salaries. The Adm. is bent on bonuses despite the negative vote of the
Senate and Council of Chairs. The Deans are divided on the issue. The
Senate had recommended that it be added to the merit pool. [The faculty
survey done earlier suggested that most faculty were not in favor of
bonuses, when this could go into merit and be added to base salary.]

The question was: This is a done-deal that we are stuck with
bonuses instead of merit, so should we hold fast to our opposition to
bonuses and stay out of the criteria for bonus distribution? [If the
Senate holds, we support the faculty opinion survey. If we chip in now, we
could have input on an Adm. decision which has overriden faculty wishes and
may create hostility, if poorly done.] Currently, we have received no
criteria for bonus distribution--except that it be tied in some way to
strategic initiatives. The next step is to CAD to determine details for
bonus distribution.

The Senate has not heard a persuasive argument on bonuses over
merit pay. Prof. Simpson asked why the Adm. didn't ask the Senate (and
faculty) how they wanted bonus money spent instead of asking whether we
(faculty and Senate) favored bonuses or merit. [The implication is that
there was an appearance of an attempt at democracy, but when the vote
didn't go right the Adm. opted anyway for the bonus they wanted.]

See Pascoe resolution below for more commentary.


A rumor has been circulating that faculty cannot apply for SWT
research enchancement grants unless they also apply for external grants at
the same time. AssocVPAA Tangum pointed out that the original intent of
the Legislature was that these grants get faculty started on research and
they would apply subsequently for external funds. This has not been
happening often enough. For example, in FY95 fifty people received
internal funding, but in the 18 months since then only eleven have applied
for external grants. Her suggestion was that after two internal grants
faculty be required to apply for an external grant, whether they received
it or not, before they could apply for a third internal subsidy. This
would increase the possibility for outside funds. There was never a
suggestion that an applicant had to apply outside at the same time. She
said there were tons of funding sources right here in Texas and the
University has used only a few.

Prof. Tangum was asked to put her idea into writing and give it to
the Faculty Research Committee who will soon be revising the grant policy


Last week's Senate minutes contains the full report from the Budget
Committee regarding their concerns and recommendations.

(1) Summer budgets are late, VPAA Gratz explained, because CAD
knows only 70-80% of the budget before the supplemental funds are
ascertained at the end of spring hiring. It was suggested that these early
base funds be parcelled out and the add-on can come later. Also data on
past summer enrollment could be disseminated in a timely manner to help
chairs in planning. Some graduate programs rely heavily on summer
enrollment, e.g. Education must be able to guarantee basic courses (and
their service courses in other depts. as well) so students can complete

(2) Mini-semester concerns: There is no problem with faculty
receiving pay for these courses in May at the same time as their regular
salary. This is analogous to faculty being paid during the regular
semester for teaching off-campus courses out-of-load.
While we have a "student assessment" of mini-semester courses last
year, we have not seen a cost-benefit analysis. How much did we make?
What are the additional staff, building, etc. costs? [Answer: We won't
know until the formula funding for this base year is completed, but perhaps
we could look at the earlier funding formula and make an estimate.
AssocVPAA Smallwood can do a cost-benefit analysis.]

(3) The increase in quasi-administrative positions, centers, etc.
which often start out on soft money and end up in the regular budget is an
area of concern. [Answer: Centers do bring in outside money and promote
interdisciplinary work, as they involve participation by several depts.
The University often supplies funds for release time for faculty who are
fundraising and getting centers started, e.g. the new Center for Nature and
Heritage Tourism which is now in the funding stage but does not yet exist
on the ground. Yes, we should have a sunset review of centers and
positions, but we don't want to lose sight of interdisciplinary advantages.
A draft PPS on centers is necessary. The VPAA has a report on who is
getting release time for what and promised to share it with the Senate.]

Prof. Sawey noted that buying out release time, etc. affected such
things as FTE and tenure/tenure-track faculty teaching lower division
courses which are some of the items tracked in the Texas Legislative Budget
Board Report. He distributed copies of the LBB higher education report
section comparing institutions on the above items, plus freshman retention
and six-year graduation rates. In addition, Comptroller Sharp's Texas
Performance Review calls for mandatory teaching workloads and class size,
which is a one-size fits all approach rather than being based on FTE/SCH
and a flexible approach to allowing chairs to divvy-up assignments, a
position that SWT favors. Our workload policy is supposed to go to the
Board in August. The VPAA and Deans are going to have to work on this
pronto. In addition, the Comptroller's report would mandate a 120 hour
degree, while SWT has historically had a 128 hour degree (now approximately
130 hours). Further, the Legislature bill is mandating a core curriculum
of 42 hours (12 hours of history and political science are required by law,
leaving 30 hours of other areas). Schools which want a larger core will
have to apply to the Coordinating Board for permission. [According to the
current catalog, SWT requires about 49 hours, rather than 42.]

Prof. Sawey asked VPAA Gratz what about the three-year terms for
chairs that had been discussed earlier. VPAA Gratz said this was not on
the Adm. agenda--which was not what the Senate had understood and our
Administrative Evaluation Subcommittee is working on that very question,
among others.


Bonuses were discussed again.

The Senate will put workload on the next PAAG agenda, as we lack an
understanding of what all is involved.


The following is Sen. Pascoe's proposal:

"I propose that the money that is now in the Bonus reserve be
turned over to a new fund called the Faculty Salary Enhancement Fund.
Individual faculty members will be eligible to apply to this Fund to help
compensate for some research or service project that will benefit the
academic community and bring luster to SWT. A Salary Enhancement Award
would be given at the start of the semester in which the work is to be

Prof. Pascoe's proposal was discussed regarding possible expansion
to funding in the arts and other areas which do not usually fare well in
our research grant process. ["Creative" works do not translate well for
committee members who are used to other research paradigms.] This brought
up comments on royalties for creative works. [Note: The Faculty Handbook
states, "The ownership of any patentable product that might result from
research performed by a faculty member utilizing funds or resources
provided by the University shall be vested in the University." In the
past, this has knocked out taking development leave to write textbooks,
etc. Whether research grants/salary enhancement grants to produce
copyrighted products applies here is unclear.] Chair Bible will pass Prof.
Pascoe's suggestion along to CAD, where there has not been consensus on
bonuses or their criteria.

The Senate and depts. not only had no say on whether this would be
merit or bonus, but do not have control over criteria, although this is
"faculty salary money." The Senate agreed to put out an e-mail appeal to
faculty for their vote on criteria, since bonuses are a done deal.


A Grievance Committee member is recused automatically when a
grievance concerns faculty or the chair from the Committee member's dept.
and a Committee member may recuse him/herself for any personal reason on a
case brought by someone from another dept. However, a Committee member may
serve if the complaint is from a dept. within the same School and there is
no reason to recuse. The motion passed to affirm this. Prof. Tuff will
serve on the Committee for the Chemistry grievance.


(1) Prof. Bourgeois, after talking to Prof. Swinney, proposed
that the Post-Tenure Review draft expand faculty governance in the
remediation procedure for tenured faculty as follows:

"After consultation with the faculty member, senior faculty, and
school dean, the chair shall prescribe in writing an appropriate program of

A motion passed to forward this suggestion.

(2) Prof. Swinney has also pointed out that the Senate has
plenary powers over the criteria for research grants and development
leaves. Prof. Folse will meet with the Senate next week to discuss the
research grant policy which the Faculty Research Committee is working on.
It was agreed to invite Prof. Conroy too, for her historical memory of
experiences on this Committee. The Senate also was reminded that they are
to appoint the Committee chair [earlier we discussed having the Committee
elect] and that we need to stagger Committee members' terms over a
three-year cycle for better continuity.

(3) Prof. Ford distributed a request from Librarian Joan Heath
that the Senate: (a) Request the Library be included in the "staff salary
equity study" reported in the PC minutes of 1/22/97, since the Senate is as
concerned about attrition due to low pay in the Library as PC was the
attrition in the University Police Dept., and (b) Assist the Library in
obtaining faculty responses to the Library's User Survey by either (1)
sending packets of surveys to Chairs to administer at departmental
meetings, or (2) Distribute surveys with the up-coming Senate vote to
individual faculty mailboxes.

RTA'd due to lack of time.



The meeting adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

Ramona Ford