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Oct 28, 1998 Minutes

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

Senators Absent: Conroy

Liaisons Present: Linda Thomas (HIM)

Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz, VPAA Cassidy, Ron Brown (Gen Studies) Grady
Early (Comp Sci),and Rodolfo Rocha (ACE Fellow).


Chair Bible called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.



There have been discussions in some quarters concerning the expansion of the
number of "flagship institutions" of higher learning in Texas. SWT has not
been listed among these institutions. Asked if he could shed any light on the
matter, Pres. Supple indicated that an entity styling itself as "The
Chancellor's Group" has taken it upon itself to make such suggestions and SWT
is not directly represented in this group.

The group has proposed an additional $1 billion for higher education with about
$600 million going to universities. The rest would go community colleges and
medical schools. In some of their proposals, about $400 million would go for
proposed formula funding changes. Another $200 million would go for
"excellence funding," which includes money for new flagship institutions
(although the term "flagship" is not being used in the proposal). This would
include a sizeable infusion of money for UT-Austin, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and
University of Houston. The latest proposal also has UT-Dallas in the set of
flagship institutions. Apparently the UT-Dallas inclusion is at the strong
prompting of Chancellor Cunningham of the UT System.

At some point in the discussions of this proposal, SWT did appear in the
discussions for excellence funding, but ultimately disappeared from the mix.
The president opined that The University of North Texas would likely be
concerned about this set of proposed flagship institutions, too. He further
noted that any change for SWT would likely have to come legislatively.

One possibility suggested by the president was that of seeking to make SWT a
"doctoral 1" institution rather than a "research 1" (as is UT-Austin). This
could mean additional funding for SWT. This could depend considerably on the
outcome of the upcoming election. The president also indicated that one
incarnation of the "excellence funding" proposal would have yielded some $20
million for SWT. That proposal is currently moribund.


A followup question from Sen. McGee concerned any relation these matters might
have to HEAF (Higher Education Assistance Fund) money. The president opined
that he thought these were related, particularly since some of the institutions
within university systems including flagships (e.g. UT System and A&M System)
have not been particularly well served by the PUF (Permanent University Fund)
and the Available University Fund, the latter not having performed well


In the wake of the tragic murder in Wyoming, the Faculty Senate has again
passed a resolution urging the TSUS Board of Regents to amend its rules
involving antidiscrimination to include "sexual orientation." The ASG was to
consider the matter on 10/26/98 and the Staff Council has been contacted for
its support.

Asked for his views on the matter, Pres. Supple indicated that he had informed
the TSUS chancellor that this matter might be coming. He further noted that
the Board has a somewhat different composition from that of a few years ago
when a similar proposal was put forward. He would not venture to predict what
this might mean for the proposal's chances.

The president indicated that he would be pleased to take the proposal forward
to the Board and that he would support it. There then followed a discussion of
possible strategies. The president reminded the senate that if a board member
suggests an agenda item, it MUST be considered by the regents; the same is true
of an item suggested by all of the university presidents in the system. An
item suggested by a single president within the system MAY be considered by the
regents, but need not be; this was the case the last time such a proposal came
before the regents.

The president further indicated that it might be a good idea to propose the
items as an "emergency" item, given the current climate of opinion, although he
also indicated there could be arguments made for gathering more support from
other entities on the SWT as well as other TSUS campuses.

In any case, the president indicated that he thought the time was opportune for


Given the scrutiny afforded faculty development leaves, the practice of giving
administrators (e.g. deans and chairs) a semester's leave after leaving an
administrative position is a matter of some concern. VPAA Gratz responded to
the senate's concerns by saying that administrators currently on such leaves
are supposed to be following some proposed plan that puts them back on a
faculty track and to be submitting reports on their activities.

When asked if there were any PPS's covering such leaves (there are such for
faculty), the VPAA said no, but agreed with the comment that there should be.
When asked when such a PPS may in place, the VPAA indicated some time after the
SACS visit.

The VPAA also indicated that these "administrative leaves" are styled as
"special presidential assignments," and not legislatively mandated as is the
case with faculty development leaves. Furthermore the money comes from faculty
salary money.


Concerns have been raised with respect to the afternoon and evening closing of
the university on Monday, 10/26/98. VPAA Gratz indicated that the process
involved an initial meeting of the President's Cabinet (PC) on Sunday. At that
time it was decided to keep the university open. After subsequent meetings on
Monday and with rains being heavier than expected, it was decided around 1:30
PM on Monday to close the university in order to try to ensure that people were
not stranded on campus.

In answer to the question of how to find out the open or closed status of the
university, it was suggested IF phone lines are in service one could call,
5-2424 or check the university's web page. The president suggested that the
university radio station might be another means of communication and further
opined that in general he is very reluctant to close the university. He said
that to do this while Blockbuster Video remains open sends the wrong kind of
message about the importance of classes.

It was noted that at least one department (Geography and Planning) unilaterally
cancelled its classes in the morning. Pres. Supple said he would follow up on
this to learn the details.


Dean Brown discussed the planning process (or lack thereof) used in preparation
for the summer orientation/advising program. Prof. Early expressed dismay at
what he perceived to be the inadequate consultation of academic advisors in
this planning process as well as the failure to adequately "capture" the
additional faculty cost associated with broadening the scope of advising to
include the entire summer, rather than only the second summer session.

Dean Brown distributed and discussed three documents. These documents were

1. Partial Rationale for Changes in Orientation 2. Orientation Key Issues
(10/23/98) 3. New Student Orientation Update (10/21/98)

A rather lively discussion followed and the issue is to return to the agenda
next week.


The perrenial question of whether there is an "endowment of Alkek money" arose.
The president indicated that SWT is currently in receipt of a one-year grant of
$200K. $100K is going to the library for "technological issues." The other
$100K is to go for faculty release time to develop the use of technology in the
classroom. A request for proposals has just been released.

The president indicated that application must be made for this annual grant of
$200K of "Alkek money" and that plans for applying for a 5-year grant of $200K
each year are under consideration. This would allow for the announcement to
read to the effect that SWT has received a $1 million grant.



Dean Brown briefed the Senate on matters related to "core curriculum" as
mandated by the legislature and implemented by the Coordinating Board. Dean
Brown distributed the following documents:

1. Texas S.B. No. 148 -- "Transfer of Credit" 2. Core Curriculum Comparison
42-Hour Proposal v. SWT General Studies 3. Agenda Item III-E

This discussion will continue at the next senate meeting.


The Minutes of 10-21-98 were approved.

A motion to include the vote totals on all motions put forward in the Senate
was made. The motion passed unanimously.

The Senate adjourned at 6:15 p.m.