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Jul 01, 2009 Minutes

Members present: Senators Feakes, Furney, Bond, Brown, Martin, Hazlewood, Keeley (for Conroy), Melzer, Shah, Stone, Wilson.
Guests: Davis, Eckley, Sigler.
Meeting called to order at 3:00.
1.   Senator Conroy has agreed to serve on the Development Leave Supplement Committee.
2.   Robert Larson will be invited to serve as Mace Bearer at the August Liberal Arts Commencement Ceremony.
3.   At the June 30 CAD meeting, the Senate's revisions to the Grievance Policy were approved, although there is a request to add a statement that any grievant agreeing to the terms of arbitration will not seek further appeals. The Senate had no objections to the changes.
Academic Calendar and Drop / Withdrawal Dates: Lloydean Eckely distributed data reflecting the fairly static history of drop and withdrawal dates at Texas State. Recently, however, the university adopted the "60% + 1 day" guideline, believing that federal rules governing financial aid required it. Under this new, current process, students are able to drop only up until 60% plus one day of a semester has passed. After that date, students can leave courses only if they withdraw completely from the university. Ms. Eckely is not sure if this is actually required by federal statutes, and will investigate. Some Senators would like to return to a previous Texas State system that allowed faculty to assign grades of "W" or "F" after the drop deadline, at their own discretion. Ms. Eckley will let the Senate know what she discovers about the relevant federal guidelines.
Committee on Committees Report and Requests: Chair John Davis offered the Committee's recommendation for committee appointments, noting that the recently instituted online survey of faculty committee preferences is working well. Among the assignments needing resolution are the following: George Burke retired and will need to be replaced on the University Arts Committee; the Fine Arts position on the University Lectures Committee is open.
Davis also noted that the Committee is uncomfortable naming chairs to committees if no one has offered to serve, or if the person offering to serve has not been on the committee previously. He and the Senate discussed that one alternative might be to ask that committees include the naming of a new chair as one of their final tasks each year.
Davis requested the Senate's assistance is encouraging more librarians to apply for committee appointments, wondering if the preference survey leads them to believe it is only seeking faculty requests.
Other Committee Issues: A number of committee appointments were decided, and Chair Feakes will contact the nominated individuals to solicit their participation. The Senate also decided that it will make all future decisions regarding the appointment of members to Senate-Appointed Committees.
The Senate will wait on appointments to the Honors Council, since the Council is currently undergoing changes in procedure and design. David Wiley, Chair of the Honors Council, will update the Senate in early fall.
Development Leave Process: The Senate voted to approve the various changes to the Developmental Leave process that have been incorporated into relevant documents over the past several months. A motion to allow standing Senators to apply for Leave in the third year of their terms was defeated.
Senate Goals for Next Year: The Chair asked Senators to think about goals for the coming academic year. Among those mentioned at today's meeting were 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; and 3) insuring the Senate's active participation in SACS visits next year.
New Business:
1.    Senators would like to discuss with the administration the recent reduction by 40% of the budget for the new Performing Arts Center. How will this affect the quality programs and events for those who will use the facility?
The minutes of June 3 were approved.