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Mar 25, 2009 Minutes

Minutes for 03/25/09

Members present: Senators Feakes, Bond, Brown, Caldwell, Conroy, Furney, C. Hazlewood, D. Hazlewood, Martin, Minifie, Shah, Stone, Wilson
Guests: Kosaku Narioka, Univ. Star
Meeting called to order at 4:00
Worklife Survey: A request to support a survey on worklife issues from Stephen F. Austin University was discussed. It was decided to send the request to whomever in the University approves surveys on campus, to see if SFA survey merits consideration.
Mace Bearers: Mace bearers for the Spring graduation ceremonies should have gotten instructions by now.
Senate Elections: Faculty Senate elections will be completed Friday.
Voting Problem: It was reported that one faculty member was able to vote twice in the current Senate election. Checking revealed that that was the only such instance and the second vote (which was deleted) has no impact on the actual result of the election. The process is being reviewed to see that such an occurrence can’t happen again.
Grievance PPS:  University Attorney Bill Fly does not like the Senate’s recommendation on procedure for the grievance process. Senators Feakes, Hazlewood and Stone will meet with Mr. Fly to consider alternatives.
CAD Follow-up:  It was determined that the Senate would ask for an exact accounting of the number of dollars available in Dean’s accounts for possible scholarship assistance. Regarding faculty morale, one suggestion that was raised was to create an Academy of Distinguished Teachers (approximately 5% of the faculty). Another idea was to create a special parking sticker and some individually reserved parking spaces, for faculty to receive some sort of recognition. They would still have to pay the regular parking fee, but would have their own parking spaces. On the subject of summer teaching, it was mentioned that while the Provost would not seek to change the 1/12-1/6 rule for summer stipend, there will be a effectively a 3% shortfall in summer funding to departments; i.e., summer funding to departments will remain the same as last year’s funding, but there was an average 3% merit raise to faculty last year. Possibly there will be no problems, but what if there is a significant increase in summer enrollment? Departments are encouraged to develop summer teaching policies. A joint meeting with the Senate and Chairs was discussed. Pros and cons were raised. 
Reappointment Form B for PPS 8.01:  It was suggested that the reappointment options for untenured continuing faculty were too restrictive. Currently the options are:
Reappoint for one year (an option which one applicable to second-year faculty during the fall review);
Reappoint with final contract;
Reappoint with terminal contract;
Do not reappoint;
Reappoint for one year, contract conditions to be determined (an option appropriate only for second-year faculty during the fall review).
It was suggested that a sixth option, “reappoint for one year with reservations,” be considered. Discussion of the issue eventually centered on how the actual write-up by the Personnel Committee was developed and approved. Senators should look at the PPS. A comment supported the idea that the representative of the Personnel Committee who signs the form that goes forward should not sign it unless the comments clearly reflect the opinions expressed by the entire Personnel Committee. The item will be considered at a later date.
PPS 4.01:  Discussion continued regarding Section 45 of PPS 4.01, Conduct and Planning of Courses, which states: “In courses identified as Writing Intensive (WI), a minimum of 50 percent of the course grade must be based on written exams or assignments, and at least one assignment must be 500 words or more in length.” Arguments were made that a course should not be considered as writing intensive with only 50 percent of the grade dependent on writing.   A motion was made, seconded and passed by majority vote to change “50 percent” to “65 percent.” The recommendation will go to the Provost. Also discussed was Section 33, which states “Instructors should be routinely evaluated by their students. An anonymous student evaluation of the teaching of all faculty should be done at least once a year. The method and frequency of evaluation are determined by the instructor's department/school. Student evaluation records should be retained in accordance with the Records Retention schedule. The instructor’s department/school is responsible for the retention of student evaluation records in accordance with the Records Retention schedule”. The question was raised regarding who has ownership of the evaluations. Discussion around the Senate table revealed that departments handle such documents in many different ways.
PPS 4.02:  The Senate sent some minor revisions to PPS 4.02, Conduct of Classes, to the Provost.
UPPS 4.04.51:  The Chair reported that the Senate’s suggestion to change Section 04.04 of UPPS 4.04.51, Phased Retirement Plan for Faculty, was not approved. The Senate had suggested the Phased Retirement Agreement be from one to five years instead of one to three years. It was suggested that the item be considered for the next PAAG agenda.
PPS 8.03:  The Senate noted that the revised PPS 8.03, Evaluation of Deans, included all of the Senate’s recommendations.
PPS 4.10:  The Senate noted the revised PPS 4.10, Faculty Authored Teaching Materials, appears to contain the recommendations made by the Senate. A question was raised regarding Section 8, which states “The deadline for the submission of requests for materials to be used during the Fall Semester will be July 1, for materials to be used during the Spring Semester will be November 1, and for materials to be used during the summer sessions will be April 1. “ The issue of concern was, if the same materials are used, whether approval had to be made more than once per year. The Chair will seek clarification.
PPS 1.15:  The new PPS 1.15, Budget Committee -- Academic Affairs Division, which creates a budget committee with faculty representation at the University level, was discussed. Concern was expressed that representation by a non-chair faculty member from each department should also be considered. Also discussed was that fact that college budget committees are no longer required. The item will return to the Senate agenda.
UPPS 4.04.42:  UPPS 4.04.42, Prohibition of Sexual Harassment, will be considered next week.
New Business:
Evaluation of Chairs: The issue was raised that a dean was requiring faculty to sign comments about the chair’s performance. The PPS, PPS 1.10, covers evaluation of chairs and deans and, in theory, faculty have already been able to provide anonymous comments regarding their chair on the Provost’s survey of faculty perception of chairs. Those comments are given to the dean. Thus, the issue of the dean’s requirement has little consequence. One suggestion was to require that the survey comments be made a part of the deans’ review of chairs. There was also some question raised regarding how student input for the evaluation of a chair or dean is obtained.
Clinical Faculty: A possible PAAG item that needs to be developed.
Piper PPS: The suggested changes to PPS 6.04 will be considered next week.
Summer Budgets: There is still concern regarding summer budgets. Assoc. Provost Bourgeois will be invited to discuss the matter in two weeks.
Minutes: Minutes for 03/11/09 were approved as amended.