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April 3, 2002 Minutes



Approved Senate Minutes

April 3, 2002

Senators Present: All present and accounted for (so watch your wallets!)

Guest: Bob McLean

Meeting was called to order promptly at 4:00 pm by chair Renick.

Senate Elections

The corrected Senate election process is underway and seems to be running smoothly.

Status of Senate Objectives

Goal 1, the involvement of faculty in the swTSU presidential search, is being accomplished.
Goal 2, the process of improving the post-tenure review policies is underway.  It was suggested that the Senate create an improved PPS to present as a proposed solution.  It was agreed that an ad hoc committee made up of Ken Margerison, Bill Stone and Ted Hindson would begin this task immediately.
Goal 3, the involvement of the Senate in monitoring University financial management is also proceeding with some results.  The most interesting but elusive items seem to be the athletic budget, the cost of Ph.D. programs, the indirect cost recovery issue, the athletic budget, the cost of Ph.D. programs, athletics, Ph.D. programs, athletics, Ph.D. programs  (You get the point.)  Senator Sawey, with commentary from Senator Blanda and Guest Bob McLean, discussed their findings concerning the cost of Ph.D. programs. Apparently,  of the $2,000,000 dedicated to reserves each year $1,000,000 per year is committed to new Ph.D. programs.  Ultimately it will cost about $500,000 per year to maintain these programs.  Some may be less expensive than others and some may even break even or help pay for the more costly programs somewhere down the line.  The fact  of the matter is that the prestige of Ph.D. programs, will, like the athletic program, continue to cost.  The question is, is the prestige worth it?  There is really no way of telling until the game is played out.  If it finally changes the immutable state formula funding it may be worth it.  A collective sigh was heaved with much shaking of heads and a little muttering.  It is all so elusive.

Status Report from Presidential Fellow, Bob McLean

Because Dr. McLean was rumored to have been working on "costing out" the Ph.D. programs the Senate suggested hearing his report at this time.  McLean suggested that if a Ph.D. program failed by a large margin to recruit and graduate students it would probably phased out.  He has been unable to work diligently upon the development of a cost accounting mechanism for evaluating Ph.D. programs because he as been teaching a full load this semester and just could not get it done.  The Senate testily forgave him and  he continued with the rest of his report.

Dr. McLean presented his report on developing scholarship within departments.  He suggested the following methods:
 1.  a mentoring system within the department that would engage new faculty with tenured faculty,
 2.  helping to find funding to support departmental research efforts,
 3.  presenting brown bag seminars as a way of encouraging collaborative efforts,
 4.  recruiting "good" students, not just warm bodies.  (no trolls)
Senator Stimmel suggested that travel money to allow faculty to take advantage of scholarly actives, including attendance at professional meetings, even if they are not presenters, would be extremely helpful, as well.  There was a chorus of "Hear! Hear!" (in the key of  D flat, of course) around the table for that.

The Senate took a brief break to refill coffee cups and cookie plates then reconvened to discuss the Research Enhancement Grant program.  Chair of the University Research Committee Blanda reported that they are working hard to get all the changes that have been made in the program ironed out (technical term) so that the single cycle of proposals, and electronic submission of proposals will go smoothly.   He voiced frustration at not being able to get responses from Senate appointed members of the University Research Committee.  He has emailed them and had, by the end of the Senate meeting, gotten a response from only half.  There is one appointee from each academic college and they are responsible for the final decisions on Research Enhancement Grants.  The Senate hopes that they and the College Research Committees that they oversee will be more forthcoming in the future.  Again, the word "troll" emerged.

Senate Goals (again) (although it took a fair amount of adamant foot stamping to make this happen!)

The Senate Then returned to reviewing progress on 2001-2002 goals.
Goal 4, the monitoring of proposed reallocations of resources based on FTE/SCH ratios, is  moving forward.  A draft PPS is being finished up but there is a general consensus that this may be a "new president" item.
Goal 5, the investigation of the use of part time, temporary and adjunct faculty, after getting off to a slow start, is now underway.
Goal 6, the investigation of salary compression is moving ahead.  Senator Stutzman is working with colleagues to develop a model to evaluate the issue at swTSU.  Recommendations will follow.
Goal 7, which deals with faculty evaluation of chairs and deans, is also moving forward. Instruments for this ├Čin house├« evaluation are being developed.
Goal 8, the investigation of athletic budgets, has ebbed and flowed.  The committee will be interviewing Dr. Studer in the near future.
Goal 9, which involves the adoption of an honor code at swTSU, is nearing completion.  Senator Gillis moved and Blevens seconded that the Senate go on record with the following endorsement of the proposed modified honor code currently being considered for implementation:

 "The SWT Faculty Senate heartily supports the concept of implementing a modified honor code at SWT and looks forward to continuing to work toward doing so in collaboration with SWT faculty, students, and administration ." The motion was accepted unanimously.

Old Business
Developmental Leave proposals will be heard on April 10 and 17, 2002.  Only senators present at all presentations will be allowed to rank proposals.

Reports from the Curriculum Committee will be heard on April 24 and May 1, 2002.

The Senate noted a proposal from Dr. Pankey to Dr. Gratz outlining the costs of the Noon Wellness program.

Chair Renick commented that the presidential search process is moving along smoothly. He assured the senate that there were some very strong candidates in the pool and that there were no trolls.  (It must be the elusive nature of Ph.D. program budgets that makes us take this mythological turn.)

New Business
The minutes for March 27, 2002 were approved without comment.

Minutes doggedly and dreamily submitted by Joan Hays