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March 7, 2007 Minutes

Minutes for 03/07/07

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, McGee, McKinney, Montondon, Sorenson,Warms, Winek,Wiley

Guests: Dr. Mark Fronstad, Geography, and Scott Thomas, University Star

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Informational Items: Some informational items:

120-hour discussion:  There was some discussion on how to handle testimony when the 120-hour policy and core curriculum issues come before the Senate at the 03/21/07 meeting.  It was generally decided to limit debate to three minutes per individual.

Faculty Handbook:  Senator Conroy announced that the Senate’s suggested revisions regarding how revisions will be monitored and journaled were approved. Also, the Provost’s Office is working on printing a hard copy of the current edition.


CAD/Senate Meeting Follow-up: As a follow-up to last week’s joint meeting with CAD and the Senate, discussion centered on workload, college level committees, the role of service in faculty performance, and tenure/promotion results.

Workload:  A question was raised regarding how faculty workload is actually reported.  Some chairs report only enough credits to indicate that a faculty member has earned the required minimum of twelve credits while other chairs record the total number of credits earned which is often considerably larger than twelve.  The consensus was that reporting of workload credit should be consistent and that there should be some mechanism for reimbursement for obvious overloads.  There was also some discussion regarding the twelve-credit minimum at Texas State and the Coordinating Board minimum of nine credits. It was suggested that a group be formed to collect general ideas to make adjustments in the workload pps.  Senators Davidson, Feakes, Hindson and Homeyer were selected to serve. 

College Level Committees:  While some colleges have a large number of college committees, only two are required by University policy:  a college budget committee, see PPS1.04, and a college curriculum committee, see PPS2.18, and their membership should be elected by departmental faculty within the College. There was some discussion regarding other possible college committees.  A college assessment committee was a possible suggestion.

The Role of Service: It was reported that a group is working on a revision of the draft of PPS8.01, Development/Evaluation of Tenure-Track Faculty.  The group has met one time.  While it was noted that most faculty members accept the 40-40-20 mantra which seems to work for merit/performance evaluations, the 40-40-20 rule does not seem to work for promotion.  Tenure-track faculty should do research instead of service to gain tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.

Promotion/Tenure Results:  There seems to be an issue with this cycle of promotion/tenure recommendations.  In the past, the Provost had indicated that offering to add extra years to the tenure clock was not a good practice for faculty who might be denied tenure based on their current performance.  But, it is reported that some faculty have recently been offered two-year extensions to their tenure clocks contrary the Provost’s comments.  Also reported, a “sustained record of scholarly activity” is being interpreted by some Deans as meaning “a paper per year” during the probationary period. The crux of matter is that some faculty were recommended by Personnel Committee, Chair and College Review Group but were turned down by a Dean.  Such action certainly does not contribute to harmony in the academic community. Currently, tenure/promotion is recommended by the departmental Personnel Committee and Chair with the application going forward to the next level if not denied by both groups.  At the next level, tenure/promotion is recommended by the College Review Group and the Dean with the application going forward to the Provost if not denied by both groups, with the final decision being made by the Provost in concurrence with the President and the Board of Regents.  The issue may become a PAAG item.




Academic Computing Committee Recommendations: Chair Tim England reported the ACC recommendations.  He indicated that this year’s funding cycle was governed by a charge to discourage new initiatives and fund only proposals for upgrading or replacing obsolete equipment.  Of twenty-eight proposals, the committee recommended funding nineteen projects totaling $359,977.76.  The unencumbered surplus will carried over to next year’s cycle.  The Senate will act on the recommendation at the next meeting.


Payroll Check Issues: Nancy Nusbaum, VPFSS & Planning, and Debra Jones, Director of Payroll, met with the Senate to report on a problem with payroll that occurred last week.  The net result was that fifty-three faculty were overpaid in amounts from $0.01 to $13,000 due to operator error.  Only faculty in the College of Education were affected.  Adjustments were made, but Nusbaum and Jones wanted to dispel rumors, indicate that the problem should not happen again and to inform everyone that the University will be responsible for any charges caused by the error.  Anyone with unresolved problems with regard to the error should contact Debra Jones at 245-2543 or  VPFSS Nusbaum also responded to some facilities questions: 

·         The addition to the Pleasant Street Parking garage has been canceled, however, it will still be closed from July 07, to December 07, to build a bus loop.

·         Another parking garage will be built close to the cogen plant.

·         There are some changes coming to the Undergraduate Classroom Building. Even though the purchase of the Campus Christian Community Center has failed, the building will be built at a different location with a probable smaller footprint.

·         The College of Nursing will probably get funding from the Legislature.  Consulting work on the curriculum has already begun and a search committee has been formed to hire a Director of Nursing.


Minutes:  Minutes for 02/28/07 were approved as amended.