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Apr 07, 2010 Minutes

Members present: Senators Hazlewood, Wilson, Stone, Feakes, Furney, Bond, Martin, Morey, Brown, Warms, Conroy, Shah

Guests: Hohensee, O'Connor (University Star), Bohanan (University Star), Fleuriet, Wuest, Cassidy, Bourgeois

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

Perception surveys will be sent to faculty on April 19.

2. Dr. Skerpan-Wheeler will visit the Senate on April 21 regarding the University Research Enhancement Committee.

3. In addition to discussions on summer funding and allocations, and on Deans' attitudes toward the make-up of Personnel Committees, the joint meeting of the Faculty Senate and CAD will consider HB 2504 and the Deans' ideas about selecting faculty liaisons for the PACE Center.

PAAG Meeting:
1. SACS Reaffirmation: The President and Provost discussed the recent SACS on- site team visit, as well as the process for completing the SACS Reaffirmation in the coming months. The on-site team reviewed Texas State very positively in its draft report, noting only three issues that needed to be resolved: two regarding institutional effectiveness and one regarding ongoing assessment of the QEP. Dr. Fleuriet noted that there are already plans in development to respond to these concerns.

Both the President and the Provost stressed the importance of the PACE Center, and that the SACS team had great respect for the QEP. The team wants to insure that the momentum to develop the Center and implement its goals continues even after the Reaffirmation process is complete. To that end, the Provost mentioned a number of areas that the University could work toward even before the Center opens: hiring a Dean of Advising, appointing faculty liaisons, defining more clearly the nature of the liaison position so that faculty play an integral role in the goals of the PACE Center. Most important, the Provost argued, is that students can move smoothly from their first-year experiences in the PACE Center to the Advising Centers in their colleges as they pursue their goals; this can only be achieved if faculty commit to the QEP. Another initiative that can begin soon is the redesigning of University Seminar, including reducing class size to twenty and creating a program-wide syllabus that all faculty would follow; these changes will be implemented in Fall 2011.

2. Capital Campaign: The President reported on the success of the Texas State Takes Action Campaign, by which the University raised funds in Spring 2009 for immediate disbursement to students. This Campaign, resulting from a request by the Faculty Senate last year and created in reaction to the economic crisis that meant very few scholarships could be awarded for this academic year, raised $109,000, roughly half of which went to students this year. The remaining money, which was donated after the July deadline, will go to students for the coming academic year. The President also noted that the University was able to raise money even in an economic downturn, a testament to our University family and donors.

3. Parking Proposal: Because we are about to begin the strategic planning cycle, the President explained, it is a good time to revisit our Transportation and Parking concerns at every level. She noted that VPSA Dr. Smith will share a parking proposal with the Transportation and Parking Committee on April 16, and that certain Senators have been invited. This proposal would make all red restricted lots open only to faculty and staff from 7 AM to 7 PM. The President urged the Senate to consider this proposal. If it does not answer the Senate's concerns, the President will explore the issue with Senators again.

The Provost believes that the bus system must be redesigned, perhaps from scratch, since an effective bus system would encourage students to park at outlying lots, thereby opening spaces closer to campus. Moreover, he stated that any new system must not only move people but must make them happy so they will want to use it.


PAAG Follow-Up:
Parking Proposal: The Senate is concerned that it has had no response to the parking proposal they presented to Dr. Smith in March, and that only a few Senators have been invited to the April 16 meeting of the Transportation and Parking Committee. Even so, Senators Stone, Martin and Feakes will attend to hear Dr. Smith's proposal. However, the Chair will first request that Dr. Smith's proposal and the data supporting it be provided to the Senate so that all Senators can consider the proposal at their next meeting. A number of Senators are particularly concerned that restricting all red spaces to only faculty and staff from 7 AM to 7 PM will anger students and will not answer faculty concerns about the safety of doing business on campus at night.

Senate Elections: The following faculty members were either elected or re-elected to the Senate in the election this past month: Janet Payne (College of Business), Leslie Huling (College of Education), Michel Conroy (College of Fine Arts and Communication), Steve Wilson (College of Liberal Arts), and Barbara Melzer (College of Health Professions). New Senators will be installed at the April 28 meeting.

Task Force Creation: After discussing the feasibility of creating a task force to explore the calculation of major / minor GPAs at Texas State, the Senate decided instead to use the coming summer to develop specific charges for the Academic Standards Committee to examine, to request that the Committee present to the Senate a fuller study of the issue than was presented at the March 31 meeting, and to consider whether the Chair of the Committee would be a good candidate for a workload reduction as he supervises this project.

New Business:
1. A Senator asked whether the University follows a standard formula for assigning workload credits over 100 %. If not, should the process be standardized so that all faculty are compensated fairly and equally? The Chair will discuss this issue with Dr. Bourgeois.

Minutes of 3/31 approved.