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April 22, 2009 Minutes

Members present: Senators Feakes, Bond, Brown, Caldwell, Conroy, Furney, C. Hazlewood, D. Hazlewood, Melzer, Minifie, Shah, Stone, Warms, Wilson

Guests: Assoc. Provost Gene Bourgeois; Director of Disability Services Tina Schultz; Kosaku Narioka, Univ. Star
Meeting called to order at 4:00
Office of Disability Services:
Director Tina Schultz discussed several issues with the Senate:
Accommodation Statements: She encouraged faculty members to include an accommodation statement in the class syllabi and indicated that students should present a letter that includes any accommodations that are recommended by Disability Services. She emphasized that specific accommodations are not always required, but if different from the recommendation, the alternative must be mutually agreeable. Students are supposed to talk to faculty members early in the semester, but seeking an accommodation later is the semester is possible, but there should be a reasonable amount of time for the accommodation to be implemented. A 48-hour notice seems reasonable before an accommodation is granted.
DAS Exam Schedule: A complaint was mentioned that the DAS exam schedule does not match the regular class exam schedule. Director Schultz indicated that their specific exam times were required because of lack of space. DAS administers more than three thousand exams during a semester and simply does not have the staff or space to fit every schedule. Due to the security issue, she said it was the student’s responsibility to get their exam scheduled to as close a time as possible to the regular exam schedule.
Note Takers: Many students have volunteer note takers. When asked if a student could have a person take notes while they were not in class, Director Schultz said absolutely not. The student should also be present.
Meet with Departments: Director Schultz indicated that she was more than willing to meet with departments to discuss what services her office can provide. She indicated that she regularly meets with the Academic Office to coordinate activities. Any faculty member who feels that they are not getting everything they need from ADS should call Director Schultz directly at 245-3451. She also indicated that there is a small facility for Disability Services on the Round Rock campus with a testing center.
Faculty Perception Survey:
Specific wording and formatting for the faculty perception survey results on chairs and deans was discussed. The survey should be made available to faculty soon.
Grievance Policy:
The recommendations for the Faculty Grievance policy are going forward with the approval of University Attorney Fly.
Faculty Development Leaves:
A subcommittee of the Senate, including Senators Feakes, Melzer, C. Hazlewood, Shah and Wilson to consider the recommendations from the previous week.
  1. Faculty submitting proposals should be encouraged to route their proposals through a Faculty Senator from their college. During the process, the Senator is encouraged to provide input and recommendations to strengthen the proposal.
  2. The entire Faculty Senate should be involved in the review process for each proposal.
  3. The presentations to the Faculty Senate should continue and the process should be optimized to enhance the efficiency and atmosphere of the process.
  4. The faculty who receive development leaves should be recognized in a substantial way. The faculty could be recognized through marketing (for example, Hill Views) and there could be a post-award symposium, sponsored by the President’s Office, to acknowledge the accomplishments of the faculty members.
  5. A subcommittee, representing the broad viewpoints of the Senators, should be created to develop the specific process.
  6. In its report to faculty applicants, the Senate rankings of the applications will not be included.
Some of the above issues will require modification of the Senate’s standing rules. The subcommittee is encouraged to focus on the easy stuff. A straw vote of the Senate indicated that most Senators are against Senators being eligible for development leave while in office.
Piper Professor Policy:
Recommended changes to PPS 6.04, Piper Professor Award Recognition, were approved and will be implemented.
Dr. Michelle Toews, Family & Consumer Science, was reappointed to the University Curriculum Committee after being on leave.
New Business:
Nepotism: Specifically how policy effects tenure/promotion and merit/performance issues will be investigated.
Writing intensive requirements: What percent of the grade is determined by writing requirements is a curricular issue and should be determined by the faculty and not deans. The Senate will revisit the issue at a future meeting.
Tenure/Promotion: There were rumors that the administration is not happy with the number of candidates applying for early promotion and tenure, indicating that the practice should be justified and uncommon. Also mentioned was that candidates for promotion should be held to higher standards. These rumors will become a topic for the next PAAG agenda.
Honor Code: The Honor Council is being formulated have a pool of at least 20 faculty and 20 students trained to fill the necessary 7 students and 7 faculty required for the council to be formed. A schedule for the semester will be set up for when hearings will be held. There will be a time limit to restrict how long hearings might be postponed and a policy for students with two honor code violations will require the chair of the Council to notify the Dean of Students who will make the decision to dismiss such a student from the University. Dr. Debbie Thorne in the Provost’s Office will help with scheduling and documentation for the Council.
Minutes: Minutes for 04/15/09 were approved as amended.