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Aug 26, 2009 Minutes

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

Guests: Haynes, Sigler, Wiley.
Meeting called to order at 4:00.

1.  The Chair distributed June 4 and July 17 reports from University Advancement.
2.  PAAG meetings for the coming year will take place on Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 11, Dec. 2, Feb. 3, Mar. 3, Apr. 7 and May 5.
3.  Volunteers are needed to serve as Mace Bearers at commencement ceremonies Dec. 18 and 19.
4.  Senators Furney and Feakes will attend the Texas Association of Faculty Senates meeting, to be held Oct. 23 and 24.
5.  An email announcing the start of the Developmental Leave cycle was sent to faculty on 8/26.
6.  The call for Piper nominations will be distributed by email on 9/1.
7.  The Chair asked Senators to review the Senate webpage, sending any needed updates to her.
Honor Code Council Report: Council Chair David Wiley brought to the Senate several suggestions for improving and standardizing the process for hearings.
1.  The Honor Council should consider only academic issues, and not disciplinary penalties.
2.  Training of new Council members should be led by the Chair of the Council.
3.  The Council would like to expand the number of sitting Council members from 7 to 14 (two from each college). This will also require a similar increase in the number of sitting student Council members.
4.  The Council wants as part of its purview to make recommendations on the appropriateness of faculty penalties for student transgressions.
5.  The Chair would like the ability to convene the Council, rather than leaving that authority with the Deans.
6.  The Council would like the PPS revised to offer a time frame for the hearing process.
These suggestions, as well as the revisions to the PPS reflecting them, will be discussed at the next Senate meeting. Chair Wiley will return then to answer any Senator concerns. The Senators advised Dr. Wiley to forward the suggestions to ASG as soon as possible for student review. The Chair of the Senate also noted that there are several open seats on the Council; she will solicit nominations for those seats at the next meeting.
Request for Adding Academic Honesty Statement on Blue Books: A faculty member from the English Department has suggested that the University add a brief statement and signature line to exam blue books, so that students can promise to uphold the principles of academic honesty during exams. The Senate supports this idea and will explore its feasibility.
PPS 5.04 (Start-up Funds): The Senate returned to an examination of the start-up clause included in some new faculty contracts. There is concern that this clause, as well as informing interviewees about it, is not applied uniformly across the University. Moreover, the Senate wonders if there should be a monetary amount below which the clause would not be included in contracts, so that lower funds will not be tied to new faculty seeking and securing grants. The Senate will return to this discussion in the coming weeks.
PPS 2.01 (Course Additions): Sections of the PPS relating to Writing Intensive course requirements are now consistent. Rules were suspended so that the Senate could vote on the latest draft. The motion passed.
Honorary Doctoral Committee: Senators Caldwell and Melzer agreed to serve on the Committee.
Senate Goals for the Year:
1.  To complete efforts to standardize processes and procedures for committee appointments.
2.  To explore the university's GPA calculation practices, particularly regarding incorporating grades students earn at other institutions in place of failing / low grades earned at Texas State, and its impact on the quality of our graduates.
3.  To insure the Senate's active participation in SACS review this year.
PAAG Agenda:
1.  The Senate would like information on the effects of changes to plans for the Performing Arts Center.
2.  The Senate would like to discuss enrollment growth and classroom space.
New Business:
1.  The Provost will be invited to an upcoming meeting to discuss space allocations.
2.  The 2009-10 Committee Roster was distributed. The Senate plans to initiate a procedure for sending brief letters of thanks to those who serve on Senate committees.
3.  The Senate received a question from a librarian regarding whether Library Administrators should serve on Senate committees. The Senate believes such administrators should not serve on the Library Committee, but see no conflict in their serving on others.
4.  REP Process question: A faculty member in Art has received a year leave without pay to work on a commission. She wishes to serve as co-PI on an REP funded project, for which she will be on leave during the first four months. Since the guidelines do not prohibit such a situation, the Senate has no objections.
5.  Senator Melzer will serve on the Facilities Committee during the fall semester.
The minutes of July 1 were approved.