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Mar 19, 2008 Minutes

Members present:  Senators Stone, Bond, Feakes, Furney, Hazlewood, Hindson, Hurt, McGee, McKinney, Melzer, Ogletree, Shah, Wilson, Winek


Guests: Dr. Michael Blanda, Assoc. VP for Research and Federal Relations; Dr. Robert Habingreither, Assoc. Dean of Science; Dr. Vedaraman Sriraman, Chair of the Department of Technology; Rebecca Swindal, Staff Council Representative; and David Rauf and Selina Saucedo, University Star


  Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Info Items:  Several topics were discussed:

  • Avent Room Dedication:  The dedication of the Avent Room will be April 2, 11th floor of Alkek at 4 pm.  There will be no formal PAAG agenda.
  • Graduate Question:  Dr. Michael Willoughby, Dean of the Graduate College, will meet with the Senate next week to discuss a graduate admissions question.
  • Senate Elections:  The Senate elections are coming.  See the following item on Elections in New Business later in the minutes.
  • Survey Issues Subcommittee:  The Senate subcommittee to discuss faculty survey issues with the Provost will meet with the Provost Friday, March 21.
  • Faculty Development Leave Applications:  Leave applications are due March 26.  They will be distributed to Senators prior to April 2nd, to be considered at the Senate meeting of April 16th.


IRB Questions:  Dr. Blanda, representing the Associate Vice President for Research and Federal Relations, met with the Senate to discuss concerns regarding the Institutional Review Board (IRB).  The IRB is a board required by federal mandate at institutions seeking to conduct research involving human subjects.  It is also concerned with animal testing, biological safety and export control.  The Senate’s interest involved complaints regarding the process of approval for proposed research projects.  Dr. Blanda indicated that part of the problem was a lack of necessary support staff, but that a revamp with additional support was in progress.  Faculty are encouraged to visit the new IRB website at

and any problems should be directly addressed to Dr. Blanda at 5-3121, or visit his office at JCK 489.   The new process for approval is set up on a two-week cycle.   The calendar is also posted on the website.   Dr. Blanda responded to questions regarding:

  • IRB Make-up:  The IRB members are chosen from departments whose projects often require IRB approval.  It is mandated to be a diverse committee.  Dr. Covington approves the membership, renewed annually.
  • Expedited Review:  Expedited review is a review by two IRB committee members who review a proposal and make a recommendation to approve it or not.  If a project is not approved though an expedited review, an applicant may request a full-seated review by the IRB.  A full-seated review is a review by IRB members who form a quorum of the full committee membership.
  • Exemptions:  Requests for exemptions can be made on any project; and depending on the project, an exemption is either granted by Dr. Blanda or the project must go to the IRB for approval.
  • Don’t Get Off Track:  If there is any question or if a faculty member is unsure of how to proceed, contact Dr. Blanda directly.


University Curriculum Committee Recommendation:  The Senate approved the motion made last week to approve the UCC recommendation for the Bachelor of Science program in Concrete Industrial Management.




New Business:

  • Senate Elections: Current data provided by Joe Meyer, Director of Institutional Research, indicates Senate composition for the new year will be: Applied Arts (1), Business (2), Education (2), Fine Arts & Communication (2), Health Profession (1), Liberal Arts (4) and Science (3).  Senators completing terms or needing replacement for the expiration of their terms are: Dr. Steve Furney, Education; Dr. Ian Davidson, Fine Arts & Communication; Dr. Ted Hindson, Liberal Arts; Dr. Audrey McKinney, Liberal Arts; Dr. Shirley Ogletree, Liberal Arts; and Dr. Gary Winek, Science.
  • Faculty Survey of Administrator Perceptions:  The issue of whether to publish survey comments will be considered next week.
  • Required Meeting:  The question of whether there should be a regular meeting between the Chair of the Senate and the Provost was raised.
  • New Class Schedule:  The new class schedule allowing for 50-minute classes for MWF will be instituted Spring 2009.  It seems that no one has any idea of what times will be available for the 50-minute sessions.  Since Spring09 schedules are due soon, it would seem that the information should be available soon.  The Chair will send a memo asking for an update.
  • What Offices are Open and Which are Closed for Breaks and Holidays:  A question was raised regarding who makes the decision with respect to which offices are open and which are closed during breaks.  Of particular interest is the Central Receiving Office.  It’s closure during breaks causes frustrating and possibly unnecessary delays.


Minutes:  Minutes for 03/05/08 were approved as amended.