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Nov 14, 2007 Minutes

Members present:

Senators Bond, Feakes, Furney, Hazlewood, Hindson, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Melzer, Ogletree, Shah, Winek

Guests: Dr. Debbie Thorne, AssocVP for Academic Affairs; Dr. Michael Blanda, Faculty Associate, Off of Research & Fed Rel; Dr. Paul Gowens, Fin & Econ; and Scott Thomas, University Star

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


NCAA Athletics Certification:  Dr. Debbie Thorne, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, met with the Senate to discuss the University’s self-study plan for the coming NCAA Athletics Certification.  She quickly pointed out that the self-study had nothing to do with moving the football program to Division I and that there is currently a four-year moratorium on such moves.  The self-study is a normal part of the regular 10-year review cycle for NCAA Athletics Certification.  The Steering Committee and sub-committees (Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance, Academic Integrity and Equity and Student-Athlete Well-Being) represent a diverse group of faculty, staff, administrators and students.  Each sub-committee is responsible for collecting and organizing data, gaining input from appropriate campus groups, communicating regularly through meetings and reports, maintaining written records of meetings and individuals in attendance, assigning individuals responsible for writing reports, and reviewing drafts and approving final reports.  The Steering Committee is responsible for monitoring the self-study certification process and approving the final self-study report for submission to the peer-review panel.  Dr. Thorne indicated that the University had passed the previous review with no restrictions and anticipated no significant issues with the current review.  The review is part of a two-year process which started last spring and will end in 2009.


Study Abroad Programs:  Dr. Thorne also partially addressed the Senate’s query regarding Study Abroad Programs.  She indicated that the University is currently not well-organized for international programs.   The Study Abroad Program is currently in the Extension Program, but there is some thought toward combining the International Office, the Study Abroad Program and the Extensive English Program into one division.  She said that the demand by international students is mainly focused on PhD programs in Engineering and Computer Science and that her office was looking for new ideas to recruit international students.  Discussion was discontinued due to lack of time.


University Research Committee Recommendation:  The URC Chair, Dr. Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler, English, presented the URC recommendation for Faculty Research Enhancement grants.  This year, there was $370,000 available that was allocated to Colleges based on a proportional funding model:  allocations were made to individual colleges based on the actual amounts requested in the college:


No. of Proposals

Actual Requested

College Allocation

Applied Arts




Business Administration








Fine Arts & Comm




Health Professions




Liberal Arts













The URC recommended funding for the Colleges of Applied Arts, Business Administration, Education, Science and Health Professions with a specific distribution for the College of Health Professions contrary to the distribution requested by the College based on the conclusion that the College had not followed URC guidelines. The recommendation for funding for the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Fine Arts is currently on hold until particulars with respect to the appropriate college alignment for some proposals can be properly determined.  A full recommendation from the URC is expected before the Senate makes its recommendation to the Administration.




Development Leave Application Forms:  Discussion continued on possible alterations in the Faculty Development Leave Application Forms.  Specific recommendations will be presented to the entire Senate at the next meeting.


PAAG Agenda:  The Senate decided to include the following items together with any other topic President Trauth might wish to consider for the next PAAG Meeting:

·   Round Rock Campus: The Senate would like to request an overview of the short-term and long-term plans for the Round Rock Campus.  Information regarding the proposed buildings, funding, and the status of the School of Nursing as well as the plans for the possible addition and relocation of other health related programs would be appreciated.

·   Institutional Research Alumni Survey: Alumni surveys provide an important means of assessing the current status of departmental programs as well as potential means of improving the overall environment within our departments.  Unfortunately the faculty, who are often the driving force for improvements, have not been allowed access to the alumni survey results compiled by the Office of Institutional Research without first getting permission from their chair or dean.  The Senate would like to know the rationale for this decision and would like to request unrestricted access to the surveys for all faculty members.

·   Capital Campaign: The Senate would appreciate an update on the status of the “Bridge to the Future” Capital Campaign.  Although an update on each of the three proposed pillars would be appreciated, there was particular interest in the status of the new Performing Arts Center.  



New Business: 

  • Study Abroad Program:  Dr. Thorne will be invited back to discuss Study Abroad issues since there was insufficient time for full consideration at this meeting.


Minutes:  Minutes for 11/07/07 were approved as amended.