May 3, 2000 Minutes
E. Skerpan-Wheeler, T. Stimmel, M. Blanda, J. Bible and R. Sawey.
Senators Absent: A. McKinney, O. Renick
Guests: Acting President Gratz, Margaret Vaverek, Barbara Sanders, LeAnne Stedman, Gaye Kramptiz
and Mike Moore
New PPS establishing chair salaries
Possible change in post-tenure review document language
Dean and chair evaluation process
University Arts Committee release time proposal
Approval of 4/26 minutes
Chair Hays called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. The first hour was the spring semester PAAG/Social; Acting VPAA
Cassidy was unavailable so Acting President Gratz attended on behalf of the administration.
1. New PPS on Chair Salaries
The Senate has learned that internal applicants for chair positions are at a disadvantage compared to external applicants
because the latter are often offered large salaries to lure them to SWT while the former assume the chair role at whatever
comparably meager salary they have. Dr. Gratz acknowledged that existing salary schedules are often inappropriate for
external searches and noted that most other institutions do not peg a fixed salary but instead provide an addition to whateversalary is needed to entice the candidate to come there. These facts coupled with the golden parachute issue of what salary achair should receive on returning to the faculty have led to the drafting of a new PPS on chair salaries. It provides:
3. Department chairs will be hired at an appropriate faculty salary based upon experience and market considerations.
Chairs will also receive a monthly stipend ranging from $150 to $500 based upon the size and complexity of the
department. The monthly stipend will become part of the annual salary during the time that an individual holds an
appointment as chair.
5. If a department chair resigns his/her position as chair and returns to faculty status, the annual salary will revert to the
previously determined faculty salary, adjusted for performance and merit increases earned while serving as chair.
In the discussion Dr. Gratz acknowledged that to eliminate the disadvantage to internal candidates it would be worth
considering whether to increase their salaries to whatever they would be if the candidate were being hired externally.
2. Post-Tenure Review
The PTR document provides that termination proceedings must be initiated against faculty who fail to meet performance
expectations for three consecutive years. There is concern that this may lead to a situation in which faculty continually save themselves at the eleventh hour by failing to meet expectations for two years, meet-ing them for one, failing to meet them for the next two, etc. Some administrators prefer changing the three-consecutive-year provision to three-years-out-of-five.
In the discussion it was noted that because the PTR policy has only been in effect for three years, there is no data available to indicate whether the concern noted above is valid. In addition, senators observed that the committee that drafted the PTR document spent considerable time on this issue and that the three-year provision should not be lightly jettisoned. The issue was left unresolved with Dr. Gratz saying that it would appear on upcoming CAD agendas.
3. Chair and Dean Evaluation
This year the Senate has expressed concern that the faculty performance evaluation process has worked in its usual timely
fashion but that the required chair and dean evaluations have generally not been conducted; indeed, the Senate understands
that the April 15 deadline was met in only one college. Dr. Gratz conceded that this pro-cess has not worked well. Next
week the VPAA's office will distribute forms on which faculty may evaluate deans and deans will distribute chair evaluation forms. There will be an extended deadline for faculty to return these forms.
In the discussion the possibility of conducting chair and dean evaluations via the internet was raised. This issue will be
explored in the future. Sen. Sawey also reiterated his desire, shared by others on the Senate, to see chairs hired for fixed
4. Chair/Dean Merit (Off-agenda)
Sen. Sawey noted that department personnel committees review faculty records for merit/performance purposes but not
chair records. This should be a two-way street. Dr. Gratz agreed that there should be some review process but wondered if the deans should conduct it; this discussion will continue. He also noted that there is a separate merit pool for chairs and that deans are put in the staff pool.
5. Fall 2000 Enrollment (Off-agenda)
Dr. Gratz noted that fall 2000 freshman applications are higher than last year but attributed this in part to the fact that 1999
was the first year in which SWT required essays in the application process and there was a statewide admission
application. In addition, this year it is much easier for applicants, via the internet, to click on any number of universities as recipients of their forms. The true test will involve such things as housing applications.
6. SWT Name Change (Off-agenda)
Sen. Bible asked about rumors of an impending name change from SWTSU to Texas State University San Marcos. Dr.
Gratz said that his intent is to let the discussion percolate for awhile, noting that he and others have received many emails
from alumni, etc., taking positions all across the spectrum. Several senators opined that this is but another example of the
university exalting form over substance and seeking quick, easy but ultimately meaningless cosmetic fixes to better
position us to run with the big dogs in our quixotic Division I-A football quest.
UNIVERSITY ARTS COMMITTEE RELEASE TIME PROPOSAL (Prof. Stedman)
Prof. Stedman, Chair of the Senate University Arts Committee, discussed the extent to which the chairs responsibilities
have mushroomed in recent years. Among other things she noted that she spent roughly 120 hours during the 1999-2000
arts season doing such things as scheduling and securing facilities; obtaining basic tech-nological support; and taking care of publicity, hospitality, events management, and even contract negotiation.
Because these responsibilities have gotten out of hand and are now compromising her duties as a faculty member, Prof.
Stedman proposed that the university (1) hire a full-time Events Coordinator and (2) grant release time to the chair of that
committee quarter time per year if a coordinator is hired and per semester if not.
In the discussion it became clear that the chair is having to perform a wide variety of menial, time-consuming tasks and,
more importantly, to take on responsibilities e.g. contract negotiations which she is not legally equipped to assume and
which might expose the university to legal liability. It was also noted that if SWT is willing to allocate the resources
necessary to go big time in the football realm, it should be equally enthusiastic about providing the support that our truly
outstanding national and international arts bookings require.
Moved and Adopted (Bible/Stimmel): That the Senate urge the university to hire a full-time Events Coordinator.
LIBRARY SURVEY (Sen. Bible)
Sen. Bible, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Librarian Pay and Status, present-ed a report summarizing the results of a July 1999 survey of librarians attitudes on factors affecting them and presenting recommendations for change. The surveywas a follow-up on action taken based on recommendations passed by the Senate in 1995. The report is available for examination, but its bottom line is that librarians continue to have concerns about their lack of academic status; staffing and scheduling- issues, particularly reference desk staffing at certain times of the day. There is also some sentiment among librarians and especially senators that moving the library from Academic Affairs to Information Technology was ill-advised because the primary mission of the library is in the realm of academics. The Senate intends to explore that issue in the summer.
Moved, seconded and approved. The Senate accept the report and forward it to the VPIT and the Library Committee.
Greg Marshall, Health Prof, 2003, Chair
Sandy Carey, Liberal Arts, 2001
Steve Wilson, Liberal Arts, 2002
John Edgell, Science, 2003
David Easter, Science, 2002, Chair
Lon Shell, Applied Arts, 2003
Floyd Ploeger, Business, 2001
Liz Stephens, Education, 2001
Tim England, Fine Arts, 2003
David Falleur, Health Prof, 2002
Wuxu Peng, Science, 2003
1. Chair Hays noted that the award for the Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award has been increased to $2000.
2. Sen. Bible distributed a draft of a letter to be sent to the system Chancellor before the May 18-20 meeting of the Board
of Regents. It addresses proposed changes and current provisions of the Faculty Grievance section of the Regents Rules.
In essence, it complains that the rules limit grievances of tenure and promotion denials to complaints alleging a violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or Texas, which the Senate believes is entirely too narrow a basis, and
precludes administrators from providing reasons for a tenure or promotion denial. The letter alleges that the rules reflect a crabbed reading of the applicable state statutes in this area, reflect poor management policy, and are likely to encourage
rather than discourage litigation.
Sen. Bible asked the senators to comment on the draft before next Monday and a revised draft will be considered for
adoption on May 10.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.