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July 25, 2007 Minutes

Members present:

Senators Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Melzer, Ogletree, Winek

Guests: Dr. Mike Boone, EAPS, Dr. Stan Carpenter, EAPS, Micky Autrey, Director of Curricular Ser.

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

University Curriculum Committee Recommendation: The Senate approved the recommendation of the University Curriculum Committee to change the Master of Arts and the Master of Education major in Education Administration to a major in Education and Community Leadership together with the appropriate course additions and deletions. The vote was unanimous with no abstentions.


Creation of a Faculty Development Committee: The senators did not vote on the agenda item regarding the proposed formation of a Faculty Development Committee which would advise the Office of Academic Development and Assessment on the types of workshops that should be offered and oversee the funding provided by the Merrick Foundation.  The general consensus of the senate was that the proposal was unclear regarding the specific charge of the committee and the composition of the committee.  The senate recommends that Dr. Beth Wuest be asked to provide a written description of the role of the committee and the composition of the committee prior to the next senate meeting on August 22. 


PPS and UPPS Review:  The Senate considered  several PPS and UPPS revisions.

  • PPS 9.03 Academic Affairs Computing Priority Committee Project: The senate recommends that the composition of the committee be changed to include two faculty members selected by the Faculty Senate and one faculty member selected by the Associate Provost.


  • PPS 5.05 Additional Composition for Additional Duties for Faculty Paid 100 Percent from Sponsored Programs: The senate recommends that “faulty” member be changed to “faculty” member in item 7.  Additionally, the senate would like clarification regarding the step-out salary procedures (possibly covered by the PPS policy regarding the step-out salaries of chairs) and also whether the policy is only applicable to tenured or tenure-track faculty members.


  • UPPS 06.02.04 Planning and Liaison with the City of San Marcos: The senate recommends that the spelling of responsibilities in 03 be corrected.  Additionally, the Reviewers of this UPPS should be updated since Dr. Michael L. Abbott is no longer the Special Assistant to the President.  The certification statement might best be presented listing the titles of the people involved, rather than their names, since these assignments may change during an E4Y review.  For example, Mr. Gerald Hill is no longer Vice President for University Advancement.


  • PPS 5.06 Incentive Compensation for Externally Funded Sponsored Programs: The senate would like input regarding summers.  In item 5, summer salary is specifically eliminated, but then in item 7, summer salary is used as a criteria.  Although the items are not incompatible, it is not clear why summer salary is used as a criteria and also, many grants are not eligible for academic year salaries, thus limiting the scope of faculty that could benefit from the PPS.  Is there a method to provide a broader incentive so that additional faculty members may be affected?   In item 8a, the statement of “amount of salary bought out is 25% of $5,000 is extraneous and should be deleted.  The senate supports Chair Stone’s recommendations regarding the wording recommendations and the preparation of an appropriate form to clarify the application and approval process.


  • UPPS 05.06.03  University-Sanctioned Student/Student Organization Travel: The senate expressed no significant concerns regarding the PPS, but would like corrections made.  In 04.01 d, is there a Southwest Texan Student Handbook?  If not, that needs to be corrected.  Additionally, on the list of reviewers, there is no longer a “Dean of Students”.


  • UPPS 02.06.03 Excused Absence Policy: The senate expressed no significant concerns regarding the PPS.  There was a question regarding the PPS on Student Athletes and the expectation of a faculty member to provide an excused absence, and appropriate make-up work, for athletes. Dr. Gowens has been the AAC’s primary contact when issues surface regarding student-athlete absences.  He as been instrumental in working with both student-athletes and faculty members when absences due to travel become problematic, but to answer the question, there is no policy requiring excused absences for student athletes. In the reviewers section, the Dean of Students needs to be corrected.  The senate agreed with Senator Wiley’s comments regarding the coordination of student athletes through the advising centers.  All athletes are “required” to obtain advising through the advising centers, but sometimes, there doesn’t appear to be a concerted effort to coordinate the classes to minimize conflict with travel schedules.


  • PPS 9.16 Faculty Salary Equity Study: The main thought of the senate was “If they are not going to do equity adjustments anymore, why do we need the PPS?”  The senate feels quite confident in the abilities of Joe Meyer to produce a fair model.


  • PPS 5.04 Start-Up Funds: Several questions and concerns were raised regarding this particular PPS.  First, where is the Personnel Committee in these decisions?  The only references are to the chair and dean.  Items 6 and 8 should include the Personnel Committee.  The senate recommends, in Item 6, that the phrase “a three-year” be deleted and simply indicate “expectations over the probationary period would be clearly defined”.  Senator Hazlewood brought up repeated concerns within the College of Science regarding the wording in new faculty contracts.  The wording states, “Start Up Clause: Start of package of $10x. You will be expected to obtain external funding which in turn will generate an amount at least equal to $10x in indirect cost funding during your probationary period.”  The clause is detrimental to faculty recruiting (at least one example of a faculty member that is unwilling to sign the contract), retention (several examples of faculty that are keeping their “options open” in case they don’t meet the criteria), and moral.  Concerns were expressed about start-up packages that were not available in the full amount.  For example, a faculty member had to pay for electrical work to the unfinished laboratory out of start-up funds.  And the list goes on.  The senate recommends that the Start Up Clause and concerns of new faculty members be added to a PAAG agenda in the fall.



Informational Items:


  • A volunteer is needed to serve as the Mace Bearer for the graduation ceremony which includes the College of Education, Fine Arts and Communication, and Health Professions, was requested.  Senator Melzer indicated that she would seek a faculty volunteer and notify Bill Stone directly.


  • The Faculty Senate needs to select three senators to serve on the committee which selects the next University Ombudsman.  Dr. Rudzinski will be stepping down as of August 31st in order to serve as the Interim Chair for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  The committee will be composed of three senators and three chairs or deans (selected by Dr. Perry) according to PPS 8.08 (  Pending grievances need to be transferred to the new University Ombudsman.
  • Dr. Beth Wuest called and invited all Faculty Senate members to the New Tenure Track Faculty luncheon on Monday, August 20, at noon at Aquarena Center.  Please RSVP to Tina Jackson at


  • An announcement was made by Senator Melzer that the doctoral degree in Physical Therapy (DPT) has been accepted by the Coordinating Board as a three-year entry level doctoral program.


Minutes:  Minutes for 06/27/07 were approved as amended.