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March 20, 2002 Minutes




Approved Senate Minutes

March 20, 2002

Senators present:  Boone, Stutzman, McKinney, Hindson, Stimmel, Blanda, Hays, Gillis, Peeler, Sawey, Renick, Blevens

Senators absent:  Brennan, Stone

Guests:  Erik Nielson, Ken Margerison, Patrick Cassidy, Gordon Thyberg, Mike Abbott, John Megerson, Steve Prentice, Brad McAllister (pretty illustrious line up!)

After only minor collective whining about how short Spring Break was, chair Renick gaveled the meeting to order at 4:00 pm.

Post Tenure Review Faculty Report

Dr. Erik Nielson, chair of the Post Tenure Review Policy Committee, was on hand to report the recommendations of the committee.  Nielson and the committee had consulted with Texas Faculty Association, Bill Fly and a number of other universities to help determine the "state" of the policy at swTSU.  The original charge to this committee was to develop guidelines for facilitating the current policy.  After much discussion and a presentation by Dr. Ellis and Dr. Brittain, the committee recommended that broader input from faculty, more specific policy and procedure statements, and greater clarity of language would be necessary to revive the current vague document into a truly helpful guide.  (The phrase "needing a complete over haul!" was bandied about.)  The committee recommended that a new committee be formed with representation from all seven colleges to create this document.  The current committee made 15 specific recommendations and suggestions that should be considered by this new committee.  Dr. Nielson commented that he would be interested in being a member of the new committee if it is formed as a resource for continuity from the current committee.  Hays moved and Gillis seconded a motion to endorse the Post Tenure Policy Review Committee recommendations which was accepted unanimously.  Stutzman wondered if this should be a Faculty Senate committee since this was an issue in which the faculty had great interest.  (Please note the use of mild understatement here!)  After some discussion it was decided that this could be a University committee.  Hindson moved and Gillis seconded that this committee, whoever appoints it, must have at least 50% of the appointees drawn from a pool of faculty members nominated by the Senate.  This motion was accepted unanimously and enthusiastically!

Governance Survey of TSUS Faculty Senates

Chair Renick, while meeting with the Senate representatives of the TSUS, recommended that all of our system institutions use the AAUP governance survey as a way to compare our governance perceptions and issues throughout the system.  The other institutions have agreed to do this.  swTSU will be taking the lead in this process and it will be returned to the agenda in two weeks.

Analysis of Indirect Cost, Break-even and Deficit

Mr. Thyberg presented another chapter of the Indirect Cost Recovery drama.  He will be meeting with a smaller group of Senators for more detailed explanations.  Meanwhile, the state still takes back 50 cents of every dollar that comes into the University in the way of indirect costs.  Until that changes we are paddling upstream with a tea strainer.  The real answer is to go out and write grants that have the maximum of indirect cost written in so that at some point in the future we can actually break even.  To Grant or not to Grant is no longer the question!  It is an imperative!
Meanwhile, the Senate continues to wonder, if through ICR (indirect cost recovery, of course!), and other means, the now 5 year old Geography  Ph.D. will ever pay for itself.  And how do you include the value of such intangibles as "prestige"?  Makes your head swim just a little!

PAAG Agenda Items

The following items were suggested for the PAAG meeting for March 27, 2002:
 1.  Post Tenure Review
 2.  Modified Honor Code
 3.  Reallocation of faculty lines and other resources based on SCH generation
 4.  University name change

Chair Renick mentioned that he had heard a rumor that someone had suggested that all the institutions in the TSUS become Texas State University-fill in the blank (such as Sam Houston, or at San Angelo, or LBJ, or on the River, or.......).  He also commented that Dr. Gomez of the TSUS would be willing to help swTSU improve our grievance process by finding a way for us to have just one hearing officer rather than the two lines we now have.  Chair Renick perceived this as positive suggestion as did the Senate.

After the break Chief Megerson presented the emerging goals of the Parking and Transportation Office.  He mentioned that their entire source of revenue is from the sale of permits.  The money from violations (although it seems that that must be enormous, according to my poor students) is not used for operating costs except in an emergency.  These fees are usually used for maintenance.  He pointed out that swTSU is entering a phase in which a totally different approach to traffic on the central campus must be taken.  This included the soon to be completed Bobcat Village which will create a potential for crippling traffic.  The P and T office is suggesting an improved inner campus traffic pattern that would include electric trams moving through the campus to do quick/short pick ups and drop offs that would discourage students from driving from class to class.  They are proposing a pilot study with the trams.  They have a few other draconian measures planned for the distant future, including closing off some parts of streets. Of course, the upshot of this is an increase in permit fees.  Sigh!!!!!  We knew it was coming. Our parking fees are really quite reasonable according to some who have been at other universities.  The proposal is $50.00 for restricted, $45.00 for Residential, and $35.00 for commuter.  Give thanks that it is still just double digit. One Senator wondered why there are no street name signs on the campus streets.  Chief Megerson said they confiscated them from dorm rooms when ever possible.  Perhaps we should paint them on the curbs.  Or would those, too, disappear to be used as trendy doorstops?

Old Business

Issues from the Librarians will be presented next week.
The progress on the 2001-2002 Senate goals was briefly addressed and will return next week.
The search for the new president is moving ahead.  Our Senate representative, being ever mindful of the confidentiality concerns, said that we do have viable candidates in the pool and that a hire by fall is expected.  Do you suppose any of the 117 left over from the A and M search will rush their resumes to us?

New Business

Chair Renick announced that the University Council Meeting was the next day.  The excitement in the room was palpable, I can tell you! A handout was given to the Senate to prepare them for discussing the Senatorial election process.
The minutes from March 6, 2002 were approved as read.

Meeting adjourned, may I say stampeded, at 6:09 pm

Minutes fractiously submitted by Joan Hays