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April 6, 2005 Minutes

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Fleming, Gillis, Hazlewood,  Homeyer, James, McKinney, Montondon,  Rao, Sawey, Shah, Sorensen.


Guests: Dr. Denise Trauth, President, Dr. Perry Moore, Provost, Dr. Eugene J. Bourgeois, Asst Provost, Dr. Patrick Cassidy, Assoc Vice Pres, Academic Affairs, Clayton Medford, University Star Reporter,


Meeting called to order at 4:00.



Only 185 ballots were received for the proposed amendment to the Faculty Constitution, whereas 282 were needed for the vote to be considered. Thus, the amendment failed.  The Senate will try to amend the constitution again next year.  The Faculty Handbook Committee has now combined the sections of the new faculty handbook into a single document. It should soon come to the Senate for review. The Committee on the Role of the Chair has finally finished its recommendations.  Some issues are in the recommendations were not without contention.  A term of four years, the step-down salary was among them.


Addressing PAAG Agenda Items:

(Pres Trauth and Provost Moore responding)

a. Ethical Conflicts within the University Environment:  To the questions, 1. Should a spouse or family member be able to vote as part of a personnel committee when it is dealing with promotion, tenure, merit or equity?

2. Should a personnel committee be put in the position of voting on the tenure, promotion, equity or merit of a faculty member who is the spouse or family member of the chair?”, the administration indicated that these were important issues and that there is a good chance that such circumstances will come up in the future.  The answer to the first query was a resounding no and that the University should definitely have policy in place to address the issue.  Having a clear university position would be a benefit to all parties and such policy might be added to the policy on consensual relationships.  This will be part of the project for the next Presidential Fellow.  The second question is a more difficult problem.  Highly recruited candidates might have a spouse who also needs a position.  The issue will put Personnel Committees and Chairs in a difficulty position, but we will work on a policy to state clearly how persons will be evaluated before employment.  Departments contain many resourceful people.  These things can be worked out.

b. Plans for Increasing M&O and Administrative Support Personnel. Responding to the question, “The Senate recognizes and applauds your policy of putting faculty positions at the top of the priority list for funding. We also recognize that at some point funding will need to be redirected to some of the more critical support functions. Do you have an approximate time frame for initiating the increase of support functions funding?, it was indicated that the M& O process for new staff positions is on hold because of the legislature.  Assuming we will be in positive territory (current funding is wavering between -5% and +8%), some new positions will be added this summer from an existing queue developed as part of the long-range plans.  After that, the issues become part university priorities which currently says adding new faculty comes first.  One time funding is a more predicable source of funds at the present time. A new staff position is currently being recruited in the College of Science on that basis.  Also, rather than say there might be a percentage increase to M&O  budgets, it is probably the case that how M&O monies are allocated will be restudied due to some problems stemming from reallocations done years ago.

c. Allocation of Special Funds for Faculty Travel. With regard to the question, “The special allocation of $500 per tenured or tenure-track faculty member that you have directed to support faculty travel has been distributed by departments employing a variety of methods.  Will you please clarify for the Senate whether this funding is intended to go to all eligible faculty who request it, and if there are any special restrictions on the use of these travel funds?”, the response was that the money should be used for travel by whatever guidelines the faculty of the department determine, with the option, again at the discretion of departmental faculty, to be used for some other purposes that the faculty deem more important.  Also, the provost indicated that in the event at additional funds were needed, requests could be routed through the deans to the provost to be funded on a case-by-case basis.

d. Work/Life Coordinator Position Funding. For the question, “There has been significant discussion about work/life issues on this campus including the recent program sponsored by the President's Council for Women. The Senates question is, are there any firm plans to fund a Work/Life Coordinator position?, the position will have to come a priority in the master plan and may already be in the queue.  That will be checked and reported to the Senate.  Some of the issues related to work/life have already been implemented.  For example, stopping the tenure clock for work/life issues has been added to the Tenure/Promotion document.  A senator reported that a recommendation with a plan for funding the position by having all chairs and deans making a small contribution was coming through channels from the Women’s Issues committee.

e. Provost Follow-up on Senate Issues.  The Provost reported the workload policy document had been amended as the Senate had requested with the statement that the final version of a faculty member’s workload statement to be distributed to faculty and personnel committees.  With regard to environmental issues, it was announced that the Facilities Committee would be combined with the Environmental Committee in order to better address environmental issues on campus.  With regard to a policy on public art acquisition; the proposed policy will combine the issue with other projects to cover acquisitions, not only for new facilities, but also cover project in the refurbish cycle.  With regard to housing for summer camps, a committee broad representation including representative from major camps has been formed to work with Resident Life to work out issues and come up with a comprehensive plan.  With regard to Senate recommendations on curricular issues, the recommendation to create more involvement at the College has been adopted.  The recommendation to remove the University Council from the approval line would not be accepted.  There was a query about completion this year’s Tenure/Promotion cycle.  The Provost’s response was that the letters would be sent out by April 14.  The reason for the delay was that in a few cases, additional information was needed and some deans were being given more time to provide it before final decisions would be made.

Academic Computing Committee Recommendation:

The Senate approved the recommendation for funding RFP proposals with the recommendation that addition funds be provided to fund the 25th ranked proposal since funds fell short of funding the proposal completely. It now goes to the Provost.


Discussion of Current "W" Dates:

The Senate discussed possible revision of the current withdrawal dates.  A consensus was reached to make the automatic “W” date 34 days after the beginning of the semester and the final “W” date 24 days before the end of the semester.  The item will be on the joint Senate/CAD agenda for April 20.


Senate/CAD Agenda:

The draft Role of the Chair document will be placed on the joint Senate/CAD agenda.


New Business:

1. A complaint was raised that the Presidential Committee on Excellence in Research sets up its meeting times without consulting faculty members.  As a result of class schedules the representative from Liberal Arts cannot attend all of the meetings, and as a result, will not be allowed to vote.  The Chair will consult Dr. Covington about the committee’s meeting schedule.

2, The Research Enhancement Committee will need a replacement this spring.

3. Developmental Leave applications will be discussed at the 4/13 and 4/27 meetings.

4. Senate elections are coming up.

5. Campus Master Plan meeting is coming up.

6.  Question was raised about how to more involve Senate Liaisons.  Members are asked to look for suggestions.