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May 5, 1999 Minutes

(PART I)   
Please note that there are 2 sets of minutes for May 5.
Part I is the last meeting of the 40th Senate
and Part II is the first meeting of the 41st Senate.

Senators Present: Anderson, Bible, Conroy, Gillis, Gordon, Hays, Irvin, McGee,
Pascoe, Renick, Sawey, Skerpan,and Stimmel.

Absent: Winek

Liaisons Present: None

Guests: Carol Hazlewood (Comp Sci), Grady Early (Comp Sci), Nancy Grayson (Eng),
Audrey McKinney (Phil), Cecilia Temponi (Mgt/Mkt), Dan Flaherty (Acctg) and
Margaret Vaverek (Lib).

MINUTES OF 4-28-99

The meeting was called to order by Chair Bible at 3:35 pm.


Recommendations from the Curriculum Committee were discussed:

Sch of Bus: - a 5 year integrated program in accounting
Sch of FA: - a Jazz Studies major under the Bachelor of Music
Sch of LA: - a graduate minor in Women and Gender Studies
- emphasis in Creative Writing under BA w/major in Eng
- emphasis in Profess. Writing under the BA w/major in Eng
- rename Geo & Planning to Dept of Geography
School of Sci: - major changes in the biology program.

All recommendations were approved unanimously except for the graduate minor in
Women and Gender Studies, where there was one "no" vote from Sen. Sawey.


Earlier in the year the Senate met with the Chairs and Deans to discuss the
faculty grievance and merit allocation processes. After a lengthy discussion of
PPS 7.10, Faculty Merit and Performance, it was decided that the Senate would
draft a revision of paragraph 12. The Senate appointed a subcommittee for this
purpose, to be chaired by Sen. Renick.

The committee drafted a new paragraph 12 which would have permitted the dept.
chairs to withhold a percentage of merit money allocated to them to use to make
adjustments, before merit determinations become final, if the chair determined
that his or her preliminary determination regarding a faculty member(s) was
erroneous. The Senate, however, objected to the notion of chairs withholding
merit money, believing that among other things this might encourage grievances
instead of heading them off.

The Senate also discussed the need for a process by which faculty could address
concerns to their chairs before the merit funds are distributed. Pres. Supple
has often said that a flaw in the current grievance process is that even if it
is determined that a merit grievant should have received more merit, no remedy
can be afforded after merit money has been parceled out. The Senate believes
that one way around this is to create a mechanism by which faculty can complain
about a chair's merit determinations, and adjustments can be made, before the
determinations become final.

Chair Bible talked about the merit allocation process in Finance and Economics,
which he felt works fairly well. In brief, this process calls for the chair to
make preliminary merit determinations based on a range of points which faculty
may earn in various categories of Teaching, Scholarly Activity, and Service;
these determinations are reviewed by a subcommittee of the Personnel Committee,
and adjustments may be made at this time. Faculty are then told how many points
they have earned and may express concerns to the chair; adjustments may again be
made. Determinations are not finalized until this process ends.

Chair Bible noted that this system allows everyone in the department to know
what has been proposed for him or her and to voice concerns to the chair while
adjustments can still be made. Other Senators agreed that the system would be
improved greatly if departments adopted a "sunshine" approach -- that is, told
their faculty their merit ranking and how it was determined, and gave them an
opportunity to seek an adjustment before the process becomes final. Too often,
it was noted, merit decisions are made and kept in secrecy, which fosters
misunderstandings and distrust among faculty.

The Senate voted to return the item to the subcommittee to work on a mechanism
to publicize ranking data for merit money and in-house (dept.) procedures for
faculty to complain in advance of the merit money distribution in order to
resolve disputes. In cases where faculty use the university grievance process
and it is determined that more merit should have been awarded, the Senate agreed
that the amount in question should be taken off the top in the next merit cycle
two years hence. This aproach gets around the objection that adjustments cannot
be made because no money is available for that purpose.

Dr. Bible will communicate with Dr. Gratz about the discussion.


Carol Hazlewood, chair of the Academic Computing Committee, recommended funding
13 proposals totaling $537,165. Information about submitting proposals was sent
out April 1 with an April 16 deadline. Of the 13 proposals recommended, 4 were
made to continue projects which had begun last year and 3 were revised proposals
from faculty/departments which were denied last year. Sen. Sawey pointed out
that there needs to be a mechanism to upgrade and maintain systems without the
use of the funds administered by the Academic Computing Committee.


Cecilia Temponi, Chair of the Faculty Research Committee, discussed proposals
which were submitted for the spring cycle. She noted that some faculty are
submitting proposals without reading the guidelines. Some proposals were
submitted without the required documents and with incorrect formats. Some of
the submissions were just ideas, not proposals at all.

The committee considered 30 proposals and agreed to fund 15 totalling $119,140.
Dr. Temponi noted that she had difficulty in determining exactly how much money
the committee had to allocate. The Senate voted unanimously to accept the
recommendations of the committee. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
will send letters to faculty who had proposals funded.

Another discussion followed about the suggestions made by former chair, Beverly
Penn, to make some changes to the guidelines. The matter was RTA'd until fall
when a subcommittee will study the subject.


MINUTES OF 4-28-99

The minutes of the 4-28-99 meeting were approved as corrected.

Dr. Bible thanked the retiring senators, Anderson, Pascoe and Sawey, for their
service to the Faculty Senate.

The 40th Senate was adjourned at 5:05