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Nov 28, 2001 Minutes


Approved Senate Minutes

November 28, 2001

Senators Present: Blanda, Brennan, Carns, Hindson, McKinney, Peeler, Renick, Stephenson for Stutzman, Stimmel, and Stone

Senators Abesent: Blevens, Gillis and Hays

Guests: Selene Hinojosa, Arlene Lucio, Leigh Kilman, Matthew Swartz

The meeting was called to order at 4 p.m. by Chair Renick.

Senate Subcommittee Report on Librarian Status
The Senate considered the report by the Senate Subcommittee on Librarian Pay and Status. Ms. Margaret Vaverek, a Subcommittee member, reviewed the report for the Senate. Discussion focused on the issue of the feasibility of implementing academic or non-teaching faculty status for Librarians who hold the MLS degree. While generally supporting enhanced status for Librarians, the Senate requested a specific list of recommendations from the Subcommittee before taking final action. Ms. Vaverek agreed to take this request to the Subcommittee.

Student Health Center Class Excuse Policy
Dr. Carranco, Director of the Student Health Center, reviewed the class excuse policy of the Center. He also reviewed the Walk-Out Statement, which documents patient visits to the center. Taken together, the Policy and Statement should assist professors in developing their class absence policy. The Class Excuse Policy of the Center is as follows:

Class Excuse Policy

The Student Health Center does not write class excuses for students. Student Health Center physicians will write a medical note for students that should be excused form class or work for more than a day due to illness or injury diagnosed and treated at the Student Health Center. Medical notes are not written for past absences due to illness/injury that was not diagnosed or treated at the Student Health Center. Medical notes are not written for days that the student was not seen in the Student Health Center. Medical notes are written for students with significant medical problems that may be affecting their attendance or performance in school. At the discretion of the individual physician, other medical notes may be written when appropriate.

University Professors may want to consider the following information as they develop class absence/excuse policies:
1. Illness often occurs that does not normally require a visit to a physician.
2. Every student that is seen by a medical provider at the Student Health Center will receive a ìWalk-Out Statementî that provides proof that the student was seen on a particular day and time.  If the student loses the Walk-Out Statement, a copy can be provided easily by the Student Health Center
3. Requiring a class excuse for a student with a minor illness that may have caused a one-day absence that did not require a visit to the doctor creates a demand for appointments at the Student Health Center.  An appointment solely for the purpose of trying to obtain a class excuse wastes precious medical resources.
4. Some professors have found that establishing a certain number of permitted absences due to illness or other extenuating circumstances is a good way to manage this issue.  Absences beyond those permitted result in some penalty, unless a very valid excuse is presented.

AAUP Indicators of Sound Governance
Chair Renick reviewed with the Senate the Indicators for Sound Governance instrument developed by The American Association of University Professors. It contains 36 indicators of sound governance and an overall satisfaction section on the facultyís role in shared governance. A Subcommittee was named (Senators Blevens, Stimmel and Stone) to review the Indicators instrument further and make recommendations to the Senate about how to best implement a limited survey. Senator Blevens will serve as Chair of the Subcommittee.

Status Report on Senate Priorities for 2001-02
Chair Renick reviewed the status of Senate objectives for 2001-2002. Of the nine objectives, all have been addressed in some manner. Substantial progress has been made with several of the objectives. However, the Senate will review each objective more thoroughly at the beginning of the Spring semester to assure appropriate implementation and progress. The objectives are restated below.



We will unite the faculty to promote the interests of the University community.


We will make recommendations to the Administration concerning general University policies and procedures.


1. The Senate will become actively and substantially involved in the selection of the next president of the university.

2. The Senate will make specific recommendations concerning post-tenure review, including all aspects of related policies, procedures, and processes.

3. The Senate will monitor University financial management to make specific recommendations concerning the allocation of resources, including budget development, actual expenditures, and discretionary spending.

4. The Senate will monitor proposed reallocations of faculty full-time equivalents (FTEs) based on student credit hours (SCH) and make recommendations concerning the alignment of proposed reallocations with the Universityís mission statement and purposes.

5. The Senate will recommend the development of hiring guidelines for recruiting faculty and monitor hiring patterns, including the use of temporary/adjunct faculty.

6. The Senate will review concerns about faculty salary compression and make recommendation consistent with the review findings.

7. The Senate will develop recommendations to increase faculty involvement in the evaluation processes for faculty, chairs and deans.

8. The Senate will monitor the cost of the proposed move to Division 1-A football, including diverse issues like financing, academic standards, retention of scholarship athletes, and player injuries.

9. The Senate will develop a process to identify faculty concerns and make them known to the Administration, including topics such as academic honesty.

PAAG Agenda for December 5, 2001
The Senate set the agenda for the PAAG meeting of December 5, 2001. Topics to be included are SWT name change, doctoral programs, current student to faculty ratios, salary concerns relative to senior management and staff employees, funds for summer teaching, and the use of faculty as ushers at commencement.

Administrative course change recommendations were distributed to the Senate. Dr. Smallwood will review them during the Senate meeting following PAAG on December 5th.

Minutes for the November 14, 2001 meeting were approved.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:55 p.m.