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Feb 15, 2006 Minutes

Faculty Senate Minutes 02/15/06

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Conroy, Davidson, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, James, McKinney, Montondon, Rao, Warms, Winek

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

Faculty Voting List: Some faculty, particularly those in general studies, don’t have a senate representative in that context.  The consensus was to consider faculty who don’t have senate representation as a result of their reassignment to be considered as members of the department that they were in before moving to the other area for voting purposes.


Research Faculty: It appears that the title consideration is in remission. 


New Faculty Positions:  The chair circulated a list of the new faculty positions for fall 2007.  It was reported that the new positions are based on the university’s long-range plan and enrollment in the individual departments and colleges.  The chair also indicated that any new positions would be funded from sources other than the 3% pool for faculty raises.


New Graduate Assistant Positions:  The chair circulated a list indicating new graduate assistant positions for fall, 2006.  He indicated that, although the positions were listed for individual departments, the actual allocations were to college deans, not departments.  Again, it was indicated that the positions were made available based on the long-range plan and enrollment.  It was also iterated that the administration is serious about the 9hrs course load requirement for graduate assistants: graduate assistants are required to take a 9hr load for each semester that they receive support.  The question was raised about possible waivers to the 9hr load requirement.  Policy seems to vary across the university. With the question of “where does the truth really lie?” in mind, it was decided to invite Dean Willoughby to inform the Senate about the 9hr requirement.


Graduate Student Applications:  The statistics for fall, 2006, graduate student applications were circulated.  While some programs showed marked declines in enrollment applications, notably in Geography, some programs in Education, Business and Science, Dean Willoughby seems to think the alarming negatives will smooth out over time.


Endowed Mitte Chairs:  A draft announcement requesting proposals from deans of colleges for Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Endowed Chairs was circulated.  Deans are solicited to apply for one or more Mitte Endowed Chairs in their colleges.  Tenured full professors would occupy these chairs.  The deans are asked to describe goals for the endowed chairs, define outcomes that the chairs will produce, and explain how the outcomes will significantly enrich and create opportunities in the college.  The major focus appears to be on chair occupants who can bring in external funding. 

Changes in the Board of Regents:  The chair indicated major change in how the Board of Regents, Texas State University System, operates.  The Board will now operate primarily with a consent agenda, an agenda containing items for the Board that are essentially decided as opposed to an action agenda which is an agenda whose items must be reviewed item by item.  Almost every item going to the next Board meeting is a consent item.  Also, it was noted that our Board of Regents now has a non-voting student member.


Senior Lecturers:  There is a rush to identify some faculty as Senior Lecturers so that their salaries can be part of in the salary review cycle, which will consider both merit/performance and equity at the same time this year.  The intent seems to be to avoid what has happened in the past where some chairs shuffled equity dollars to other faculty ranks at the expense of the lecturer group.  A formal policy statement will probably not be instituted until the fall semester.


Miscellaneous Human Resources Policy:  A new policy statement eases the waive structure so that all staff members can take university courses with a student fee waiver.  In the past, staff members could not get the student fee waiver until their third year of employment.  A motion was made to support the new rule change.  The senate rules were suspended for the vote that passed to be forwarded to the Provost.