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July 8, 1998 Minutes

Present:  Bible, Irwin, Renick, Stimmel, Pascoe, McGee, Sawey, Hays and

Absent: Conroy, Anderson, Gillis, Winek, Skerpan

Guests: ExecVP Abbott, Chief Megerson, Mr. Prentice, Chair Blanchard and Chair

Visitor Parking Proposal
Faculty Research Committee
Amendments to Senate Standing Rules
Supplemental Round of REG Funds
AAUP Salary Study
Faculty Developmental Leaves
Faculty Grievances

Chair Bible called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.


Dr. Abbott, Chief Megerson and Mr. Prentice presented a proposal to
alter the existing Visitor Parking policy. The new parking garage provides
visitor parking on the west side of campus. For central and east campus the
suggestion is to create sixteen metered parking spaces for visitors on the top
floor of the GCB parking garage and to replace the 30-minute spaces by JCK
with metered spaces. Red permits would not have to pay meters, only visitors to
campus; green permit holders who pay the meters will continue to be ticketed.
Official guests to campus will still be provided with a special permit for
guest parking. Hosts call the P.D. and get their guests on a list that will be
held by the guards at the parking booths; when the guest arrives they will
receive a guest permit. The P.D. will also mail a permit to guests who are
registered in advance if the host so requests.

A motion to endorse the proposal passed unanimously.


Dr. Seifert, the committee chair, has left the University and needs to
be replaced on the Faculty Research Committee. New appointments are also needed
from the schools of Health Professions, Fine Arts, and Applied Arts and
Education. RTA'd to August meeting.


Chair Bible proposed to revise several sections to make them conform
with current practice. A motion to approve the proposed amendments passed


1. Supplemental Round of REG Funds (see attachment)

At its last meeting the Senate authorized AssocVP Tangum to solicit and
either approve or reject faculty proposals for REG funds left over from the last
round. Today Chair Bible distributed a report from Dr. Ron Walter showing how
these funds had been allocated.

2. AAUP Salary Study

Chair Bible distributed a report obtained at the Tuesday CAD meeting
showing that since 1990 SWT faculty have advanced several steps in a salary
ranking comparing SWT to Texas colleges of similar mission.

3. Faculty Developmental Leaves

VPAA Gratz has proposed denying three applications for faculty develop-
mental leave -- the three ranked the lowest by the Senate -- and asked the
Senate if it wished to offer any additional input on these applications. The
Senate unanimously voted not to do so.

4. Faculty Grievances

Last spring the Grievance Committee heard two grievances over merit pay.
Concluding that one grievant received less merit than she otherwise would have
received because she was promoted that year, the committee recommended a merit
increase; in essence, its position was that promotion and merit are separate
determinations and that a chair cannot use the former to justify a reduction in
the latter.

Pres. Supple overruled this recommendation, stating in his letter that
"I am not willing to substitute the committee's judgment on the fairness of this
[merit] process based upon its review of the file of a single faculty member for
the judgment of the department chair and the school dean that were based upon
their review of all of the information that was available to them regarding the
comparative records of all of the faculty members under consideration." His
letter also suggested that the committee had exceeded its proper role in terms
of how it conducted these hearings and framed its recommendations.

Because the effect of this ruling was to establish that a chair may
reduce a merit award because the recipient received a promotion -- a position
at odds with policy as the Senate had understood it -- and also because of the
statements about the committee's handling of these grievances, Chair Bible
requested a meeting with the president. It involved Bible, Supple and committee
members Day and Sanders, and it focused on three issues: (1) may a chair use a
promotion to justify reducing a merit award, (2) what is the proper role of the
committee, and (3) could the committee be made more effective?

Chair Bible reported to the Senate that the president confirmed that in
his view a promotion is among the array of factors which a chair may take into
account in making merit determinations for all faculty in the department. Pres.
Supple acknowledged, however, that there is no written policy in this area and
that one is needed. He invited any interested parties to offer input, and the
Senate will do so after it has explored the issue thoroughly, most likely in
September. The issue will also appear on the September PAAG agenda.

The meeting also explored whether, given the president's expressed
reluctance to overturn departmental and school merit determinations, faculty
might infer that grievances on these issues are pointless. Pres. Supple replied
that this was not his intent. The dialog on this issue will also continue in
PAAG and at Senate.

As for the committee, it was noted that continuity suffers when turnover
is too rapid, as has occurred recently when members have resigned for various
reasons, including to join the Senate. Chair Bible suggested that the practice
of having Senators not serve on the committee needs to be examined, as there is
no apparent conflict of interest involved in serving in both capacities. Other
suggestions included having the members of the committee, which the Senate con-
trols, appointed by the Senate rather than elected at large, and having members
undertake training for this increasingly complicated and litigous task.

The Senate reaffirmed its support for a viable and meaningful grievance
process and committed itself to addressing the foregoing issues in depth and
then making appropriate recommendations.

The Senate adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

The Faculty Senate has amended its Standing Rules as follows:

1. Article II provided:

"There shall be at least a weekly meeting of the Senate during scheduled
semesters and at least a monthly meeting during each scheduled summer session."

New language:

"The Senate shall meet at least biweekly during scheduled semesters and at
least monthly during each scheduled summer session."

Reason for change: To allow for the possibility that the volume of work in a
given week may not warrant a meeting.

2. Article III provided: "The Senate shall annually elect a chair, vice-chair,
secretary, and TCFS representative from among its members."

New language: "The Senate shall annually elect a chair, vice-chair, and TCFS
representative from among its members. At that time the Senate shall also
decide whether to elect a secretary, who shall take minutes at each meeting, or
to rotate that function among the entire Senate, in which case no secretary
shall be elected."

Reason for change: Recording the minutes of meetings, which is the primary
dutyof the secretary, can be an onerous and time-consuming task; the Senate
believes that to require the same person to do this each week prevents him or
her from being an effective Senator. Accordingly, recent Senates have declined
to elect a secretary and have instead decided to rotate the minute-taking
responsibility among all Senators, and the amendment makes the rules conform to
that practice.

3. Article IIIthen continued: "At the last meeting of the spring semester each
Senator shall be provided with a written ballot listing the names of all Sena-
tors. Each Senator will mark the name of one Senator for election to the
office of chair. If no Senator receives a majority of votes, new ballots shall
be distributed listing the names of the two Senaors who received the most
votes. In the event of a tie for last place, those in the tie shall be listed.
Ballot- ing shall continue until one candidate receives a majority."

New language:

Make paragraph 2 a separate paragraph and add the following to the end:

"After a chair is elected, the Senate shall elect a vice-chair; a secretary, if
appropriate; and then a TCFS representative according to the same procedure."

Reason for change: As written, the paragraph spoke only to the process of
electing a chair; the change addresses the other offices and also clarifies
that the chair is elected first, then the vice-chair, etc.

4. Article III also provided:

"The secretary shall attend all meetings of the Senate and shall record all
votes and the minutes of all proceedings, including expenses incurred by or on
behalf of the Senate, and the records will be open for inspection upon request."

New language:

"If elected, the secretary shall record all votes and the minutes of all pro-
ceedings, and these records shall be open for inspection upon request. If no
secretary is elected, this duty shall be assumed by each Senator on a rotating

Reason for change: The "expenses" provision is obsolete; the Senate's
administrative assistant performs this function. The other changes make the
policy conform to the practice discussed above.

5. Article IV provided in part:

"The chair of each committee is recommended by the Committee on Committees,
appointed by the Faculty Senate, and approved by the VPAA. Each committee may
select its own vice-chair."

New language: "The chair of each committee shall either be recommended by the
Committee on Committees and confirmed by the Senate, or if the Senate so votes,
be chosen by the members of the particular committee. Each committee may
select its own vice-chair."

Reason for change: In some instances the Senate votes to have the members of a
given committee select their own chair.

6. Article IX, on Developmental Leaves, provides as follows:

"Following the presentations, the Senate, in a closed meeting, will process the
applications as follows: a) The Senate will briefly discuss the merits of each
proposal in alphabetical order. b) Proposals deemed unacceptable may be dropped
from futerh consideration upon the motion of any Senator and a majority vote.
c) Proposals remaining in the pool will be ranked on a secret ballot by each
Senator from one to the number of applications (one being the best proposal).
In making this ranking each Senator will exercise her or his best judgment in
applying the general criteria in PPS 8.02. d) The chair will designate two or
more Senators to tally the votes. This tally, running from low number to high
number, will constitute the Senate's official ranking of the applications. Ties
will not be broken. e) By motion and majority vote, the Senate will determine
the number of leaves to recommend to the academic administration for funding."

New language:

"Following the presentations, the Senate, in a closed meeting, shall briefly
discuss the merits of each proposal. In evaluating proposals each Senator will
exercise his or her best judgment in applying the general criteria in PPS 8.02.
Each Senator shall then evaluate the proposals using a prescribed form with the
following numerical ratings and categories: (0) Does Not Meet Criteria, (1)
Meets Criteria, (2) Exceeds Criteria, (3) Strongly Exceeds Criteria. The
average of all Senators' ratings on each applicant shall then be determined; to
be deemed acceptable, an applicant must receive at least a composite rating of
1.0. The application forms and the composite numerical ratings for each
applicant shall then be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs."

Reason for change: To make the rules conform to recently established practice.

7. Article IX then provided:

"The chair will promptly inform each candidate by letter of the Senate'sranking
and recommendation regarding the candidate's proposal. The chair will then
forward the original copy of the applications, together with the Senate's
ranking and recommendations, to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The
Sectretary will publish the names of faculty (in alphabetical order)
recommended for leaves by the Senate. Except as provided above, the Senate's
discussion and rankings are confidential and will not be released to other

New language:

"The chair will promptly inform each candidate by letter of the Senate's
ranking and shall include representative comments from Senators to assist the
applicant in understanding the reasons for the ranking. Except as provided
above, the Senate's discussion and rankings are confidential and will not be
released to other parties."

Reason for change: To make the rules conform to recently established practice.