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Jan 21, 2009 Minutes

Minutes for 01/21/09

Members present: Senators Feakes, Brown, Bond, Caldwell, Conroy, Furney, C. Hazlewood, D. Hazlewood, Martin, Melzer, Minifie, Shah, Stone, Warms, Wilson
Guests: Assoc Provost Bourgeois; Director Mick Autrey, Curriculum Services; Assoc Dean Sanders, Health Professions; Chair Erik Nielson, Art & Design; Director Dorinda Noble, Social Work; Chair Vedaraman Sriraman, Technology; Dr. Mary Jo Biggs, Social Work; Dr. Mary Tijerina, Social Work; Jordan Gass-Poore, University Star
Meeting called to order at 4:00
Info Items:  The Chair announced some informational items:
  • PAAG Meeting Dates: The PAAG Meeting dates with President Trauth and Provost Moore will be February 4, March 25, April 8 and May 6.
  • TCFS: The meeting of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates will be held March 6 and 7. Senators should be considering if they would like to attend.
  • CAD: The Council of Academic Deans approved the recommendation that all final exams for 2009 will be scheduled at two and one half hours.
  • College Budget Committees: The PPS mandating the existence of College Budget Committees has been canceled; thus, Deans may or may not have College Budget Committees.
  • Departmental M & O: The Chair will circulate a spreadsheet showing probable departmental M & O budgets for the next fiscal cycle.
UCC Recommendation:  The Senate discussed the recommendation of the University Curriculum Committee to:
  • Change the Department of Art and Design to the School of Art and Design
  • Change the BFA major in Digital and Photographic Imaging to a major in Photography
  • Change the Department of Technology to the Department of Engineering Technology
  • Move the School of Social Work from the College of Health Professions to the College of Applied Arts 
The Senate will vote on the recommendation at the next meeting.
The Senate also discussed possible changes in PPS 2.18, Curriculum Committee, particularly changes to the membership of College Curriculum Committees and how chairs of the various committees are selected. A final draft will be developed next week.
PPS & UPPS Revisions: The Senate considered possible recommendations on several PPS and UPPS revisions:
  • PPS 5.01 Contract and Grants of an Academic Nature: The sense of the Senate was to recommend that language be included for a process to select applications that go forward when the number of allowed proposals by institution or division of the institution is limited.
  • UPPS 02.05.03 University Scholars Program: Other than a comment that the revision seemed to be poorly written, no substantive changes were recommended.
  • UPPS 02.06.01 Student Absences for Religious Holy Days: There was some comment regarding the lack of a requirement for advance notice to be given when a student absence is anticipated for a particular holy day, but no specific recommendations for changes were made.
  • PPS 4.10 Faculty Authored Teaching Materials: Discussion focused on the lack of control a faculty author has regarding some of the information requested on the Teaching Materials forms. Senator Warms will develop a recommendation for suggested changes in the PPS to be considered at the next meeting.
  • PPS 8.03 Evaluation of Deans: The development of recommendation for changes in the Provost’s evaluation of Deans will be provided by Senator Conroy for consideration at the next meeting.
  • PPS 6.04 Piper Professor Award Recognition: Senators Martin and Brown will bring recommendations for changes to the next meeting.
SACS Issues:  The sense of the Senate was that the key issue of concern with regard to the drafts, 3.7.4 on Academic Freedom and 3.7.5 on the Faculty Role in Academic Governance offered by Assoc. Provost Bourgeois, deal with the Grievance Process.   Specifically, the fact that whether a grievance is even considered to be valid is determined by a single hearing officer who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the President. The Senate will discuss the issue with Dr. Bourgeois later in the meeting.
PPS 8.10 Tenure and Promotion Update:  The Senate went into closed session to discuss with Assoc. Provost Bourgeois the impact an erroneous typo that allowed Chairs vote in tenure and promotion decisions during the most recent cycle. Dr. Bourgeois offered details indicating that, while there were some instances where Chairs voted in the decisions, there was no significant impact on final departmental recommendations. The error in the PPS has now been corrected. Also discussed was item 38 of PPS 8.10, which states “The chair/director is responsible for seeing that the comments accurately reflect the discussion about the candidate.” The statement appears to indicate that a chair can direct how recommendations from a personnel committee can be written up and that is exactly what some Chairs are reported to do. Dr. Bourgeois indicated that that should not happen and such action was not allowed by the PPS. The Senate suggested revisions be made to the PPS to insure the Chairs do not take on this role in the future.
SACS Drafts on Academic Freedom and the Faculty Role in Academic Governance:  The Senate has been asked by the Provost’s Office to consider drafts on Academic Freedom and the Faculty Role in Academic Governance at Texas State University for the SACS Review. Specifically, Draft 3.7.4 asks that the institution ensures adequate procedures for safeguarding and protecting academic freedom; while Draft 3.7.5 asks that the institution publish policies on responsibility and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters. The draft has check boxes for compliance, partial compliance and non-compliance. In the discussion with Assoc Provost Bourgeois, issues with the drafts were raised, particularly with the grievance process mentioned above in the section, SACS Issues. After considerable discussion, it was decided the Dr. Bourgeois will bring suggested possible revisions for the grievance process back to the Senate for discussion. Senators will also consider revisions and the Senate will meet with Dr. Bourgeois next week. Dr. Bourgeois also discussed issues of budget transparency at the departmental and college levels.   The deletion of the PPS that mandated college budget committees seemed contrary to goal of promoting budget transparency. Dr. Bourgeois argued that Deans, Chairs and Faculty are managing partners in department and college matters, and information should be shared freely. Dr. Bourgeois did share the projected M &O budget summary with the Senate.