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Nov 17, 2004 Minutes

Present: Chair Stone, Senators Sawey, Rao, Homeyer, Gillis, Montondon, Hazlewood, Fleming, Bell-Metereau Warms, McKinney , Sorensen

Guests: University Star reporter


Meeting was called to order at 4:00 .


The senate heard developmental leave applications.


Senate approved the PAAG memo with no revisions.


PAAG items for December 1st:


Workload policy should be distributed to the faculty, and this has not been done.  We will ask how the provost thinks this should be assigned.


Chair Stone will look up the section revisions. 


Provost Moore may not be aware of this change in policy.


Equity policy is moving forward, with the provost studying the issue.


Is the top administration now settled?


What has happened with those who are no longer vice presidents?


What is the status of the role of the chair document?  The committee will convert current recommendations into a PPS.  The first meeting of the new committee is December 7, dead day.


Chair Stone did check on the building priority, and the fine arts center is no longer second.  First is undergraduate building, second is the Round Rock building, and third is infrastructure. Fourth is the fine arts building. 


Chair Stone said that the master plan is still in development.  Deferred maintenance may constitute the $45 million in infrastructure.


These will come from HEAF funding.


Request from Dr. Estaville:


Dr. Estaville has asked that the senate remove certain negative comments from chair evaluations published on the Faculty Senate website.  He may sue the university, which could result in depositions of faculty senators.  He has contacted our office, Bill Fly, and Van Wyatt.


Senator Hazlewood said that he has been treated no differently from any other chair or dean, so until there is a restraining order, we should leave the comments on the website.


Senator Rao suggested allowing a rebuttal space for people who have been evaluated.


Senator Shah asked how long this rebuttal process would continue.


Senator Warms asked if faculty were informed that their comments would be published on the senate website, and Chair Stone said that they were informed, assuming they read the cover letter. Senator Warms suggested that someone might not have been aware of the fact that they would be published.


Senator Rao asked why we didn’t use a password to keep it from being available to the public at large, but Senator Stone said that it was an open records document. 


Chair Stone said that we are publishing perceptions, not “facts.”  We can decline to remove the comments, move to remove them, or develop a policy on the issues.


Senator Warms said that he had a problem with people being able to say anything they like. 


Senator Homeyer asked what the alternative was, since she did not want to restrict faculty from making comments.


Senator Conroy suggested having a committee consider the issue, and academic governance was suggested as a standing committee that might reasonably look at this.


Senator Warms said that it would be better to have a standing policy, but Chair Stone said that any policy could be changed each year anyway.


Senator Hazlewood and Sawey moved and seconded to table the discussion. Motion passed by majority vote.


Constitution Subcommittee Interim Report:



Constitution Subcommittee Interim Report:


On behalf of the Constitution Subcommittee, Senator Conroy requested feedback on the constitutional definition of faculty voters. The current definition of faculty voters is faculty, exclusive of assistant instructors, who

(1) are contracted by the university for a nine-month academic year,

(2) are paid at a rate of more than fifty percent from monies budgeted for faculty salaries, and

(3) have one year or more of service as defined by (1) and (2) above.


Three things are being considered for revision:

1) Dropping the requirement for a 9-month contract

2) Changing more than 50% to 50% or more

3) Dropping the one year residency requirement


A change to the requirement of more than 50% to 50% or more would enfranchise more part-time faculty.. The part-time people in some departments outnumber the full-time faculty.  Since voting is done in the spring, most people would have already been here for at least half a year. The effect of the changes taken cumulatively would enfranchise people who may not remain here longer than a semester.


Senator Rao asked the percentage of part-time faculty. Chair Stone said he thought it was four or five hundred people, but he was not sure of the percentage.


Senator Conroy said that the committee deliberations on this issue take into account the views of the representative from Modern Languages, which has a large percentage of part-time people.


Chair Stone observed that part-time people might be influenced in their voting by the wishes of chair, since they serve at the pleasure of the chair.


Senator Warms asked about the status of people in Modern Languages, and Chair Stone said that many of these people have never been able to vote because of the way theyíre appointed.


Senator Hazlewood said that when faculty voters became departmental voters this was an attempt to give faculty more of a voice.


Senator Sawey said that there is an argument to be made for requiring people to be here for a while before they vote.


There was general support of the first recommendation, a consensus against the 50% change, and a split on the one-year requirement.


The committee will consider the senate’s feedback on these issues and will present recommended revisions to the senate, which will then vote on the recommendations early next semester.


The voter list and electronic balloting are two different issues. IT or IRP will provide the election committee with the data for the voter list. Currently, the senate administrative assistant creates the ballots based on information provided by senators, liaisons and, in some cases, department administrative assistants.


Senator Conroy asked if people on leave vote, and Chair Stone said they can vote if they are more than half time. The committee will bring the committee report to the senate at the beginning of the year. There is no current sentiment for changing the senate size. Moving to twenty creates imbalances, and the number of senators would have to move to at least twenty-five in order to maintain the balance of representation achieved at 15.


New Business:


Tenure and Promotion committee has a document that will go out for comments soon.  Chairs and deans are being asked to comment, but Senator Hazlewood said they didn’t have a copy of it yet.  Chair Stone said it could be disseminated to the entire faculty when it is completed.


Changes proposed include the following:  One of the issues will be that instructors are no longer tenurable.  Promotion to associate and tenure are not coupled in the current document.  “Teaching is essential but not sufficient” is another change.


Approval of the minutes was tabled and the meeting was adjourned.


Minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau on November 30, 2004 .