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Mar 11, 2009 Minutes

Minutes for 03/11/09 

Members present: Senators Feakes, Bond, Brown, Conroy, Furney, C. Hazlewood, D. Hazlewood, Martin, Minifie, Shah, Warms, Wilson
Guests: Provost Moore; Assoc. Provost Bourgeois; the College Deans and Asst. & Assoc. Deans; Kosaku Narioka, Univ. Star
Meeting called to order at 4:00
Faculty Senate/CAD Meeting:  
The Senate met with the Council for Academic Deans in Alkek 105.
  1. PPS 8.08 (Faculty Grievance Policy): The Faculty Senate has been working with the Provost and the Associate Provost to modify PPS 8.08, Faculty Grievance Policy. Specifically, the Faculty Senate has requested the replacement of a single grievance officer with a grievance committee composed of representative(s) from the Faculty Senate, the Chairs, and the Deans; and the inclusion of a specific grievance procedure, which outlines the hearing process. The administration agrees with the first request, but there are differences regarding the inclusion of specific hearing procedure. A subcommittee of the Senate will meet with University Attorney, Bill Fly, to work out the differences.
  2. Endowment Funds: The Faculty Senate is very concerned about the lack of student scholarships resulting from the poor performance of the endowment funds this past year. The Provost made it very clear that there is very little discretionary money at Texas State. He did indicate that the administration would work with the faculty to try to find possible donations that can go directly to scholarships, but emphasized that there just aren’t many other funds available.
  3. Salary Compression: The Faculty Senate raised another issue that involves money: salary compression. Being aware that now is not the time to be seeking salary increases to alleviate compression, the Senate is interested in recognizing faculty in other ways. Provost Moore indicated that he was sympathetic to the idea, but wouldn’t promise much. He said he would welcome ideas on how to show appreciation.
  4. Summer Teaching: The Senate expressed concern that departments might be selecting lower-paid faculty to cover summer teaching loads. Assoc. Provost Bourgeois indicated that this summer’s budget would be the same as last summer’s, which can be interpreted as a 3% cut since faculty merit raises averaged 3% last year. He indicated that he would have liked to increase the budget by 3% this year, but there just isn’t enough money available. He said that summer teaching assignments would be governed by departmental policy and that there was no move intended to change the normal 1/12, 1/6 rule for summer salary: i.e., a faculty members would get 1/12 their annual salary for teaching one summer course and 1/6 for teaching two courses. He stressed that departmental personnel committees should create a summer teaching policy if one does not already exist.
  5. Policy Statement for Evaluation of Deans – PPS 8.03: Dr. Bourgeois circulated a draft PPS for Evaluation of Deans and invited the Senate to comment.
  6. Possible Joint Meeting of the Senate with Chairs/Directors: Provost Moore indicated that a number of the issues that were raised should also be discussed with Chairs and Directors, and suggested that such a meeting might be held in the future.
Senate/CAD Follow-up:  
In a follow-up discussion, the Senate considered topics raised during the joint meeting. Some issues to consider:
  • Ask how much money is actually needed to fund University scholarships that would not currently be funded due to the endowment revenue shortfall.
  • Think of ways to show meaningful faculty appreciation in lieu of salary increases.
  • Expressed relief that 1/12, 1/6 rule for summer teaching salaries was not being considered for change.
  • The voting faculty of the department, not just the personnel committee, should approve departmental summer teaching policy.
  • Investigate how many faculty want summer teaching but do not get it.
Academic Computing:  
The Senate approved the recommendation of the Academic Computing Committee. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Provost.
PAAG Agenda:  After discussion, it was decided to request that the next PAAG Meeting with President Trauth be canceled.
Various PPS Reviews:  It was decided to postpone several PPS reviews until a later meeting.
Senate Elections: Voting for new Senators is going on in Science, Business and Applied Arts.
Perception Survey: The Chair received a note from Joe Meyer, Dir. of Institutional Research, that the annual survey of perceptions of deans and other administrators was being held up by the Provost’s Office until April 1 (to make the evaluation period as close to an academic year as possible).
New Business:
Office of Disability Services: Concern was raised regarding the restriction of times Disability Services will offer exams in the ODS office. Normally, exams are to be given at the same time regular class exams are given. It was noted that enrollment has increased substantially. Has that office’s capacity been increased accordingly to meet the need? A representative from Disability Services will be asked to discuss issues with the Senate.
Time Between Classes: The new schedule has reduced the time between classes to 10 minutes. Assoc. Vice President for Enrollment Management, Michael Heintze, will be asked to report on the effects of the schedule change.
Renewal Options for Tenure-Track Reappointments: A question has been raised to add another option for reappointment of tenure-track faculty, specifically one that would allow a vote of “reappoint with reservations.” The item will be on a future Senate agenda.
Training for Student Ambassadors: A question was raised regarding the training received by student ambassadors. 
Another Parking Complaint: The Chair will contact Parking Services.
Minutes: Minutes for 03/04/09 were approved as amended.