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Mar 31, 2010 Minutes

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

Guests: Sigler, O'Connor (University Star), Beck, Watkins

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

The March 24 Faculty Senate meeting was cancelled.

2. The joint Faculty Senate / CAD meeting will take place on the 11th floor of JC Kellam.

3. The Chair has received the results of the latest Faculty Senate elections and will contact the winners. New Senators will be installed at the April 28 meeting.

Procedures for Service-Related Workload Reductions: Dr. Bourgeois visited the Senate to finalize procedures for assigning workload reductions for Chairs of Senate committees that require significant service commitments. He explained that there needs to be a system whereby the Provost can assign workload reductions and coordinate those reductions with department chairs so that teaching needs can be met. To facilitate this process, the Senate has moved the date for distributing the Committee Preference Survey to February to insure that Dr. Bourgeois receives Senate requests for workload reduction by no later than June 1. Dr. Bourgeois would also like to create a plan that would allow a committee chair to save his / her workload reduction for a later semester should the needs of the department require the faculty member to delay requesting a course release for committee service; he wants to insure that workload reductions are provided to faculty members in a fair and timely manner. The Senate and Dr. Bourgeois will work on revising the appropriate university documents to reflect this new process, including relevant PPS sections and the Faculty Handbook.

The Senate raised a number of other issues with Dr. Bourgeois:
1. He noted that the President will soon release a report on the recent SACS on- site visit.

2. Responding to an article in the University Star, Dr. Bourgeois explained that departments are currently undergoing salary review, a process that should be completed by finals week. By late fall or January, nearer the State Legislative session, a decision will be reached by the University on faculty merit raises.

3. A faculty member has inquired about the wisdom of applying for tenure in the fourth year of probation. Dr. Bourgeois stated that he would not encourage it, believing that the fifth year is the soonest one could reasonably pursue early tenure.

Report from the Academic Standards Committee: Prof. Mooney, Chair of the Committee, submitted the Committee's findings about the Texas State system for calculating major / minor GPAs. Prof. Mooney noted that Committee members contacted a number of other institutions, and that nearly all calculate major/ minor GPAs using only their own courses, rather than those transferred in from other institutions. The Committee urges that the University explore instituting a similar system at Texas State, while allowing departments the ability to require an on-campus final exam for a transfer course, or to require that students submit course syllabi so that departments can judge whether the content of transfer courses matches that of their own course offerings. The Committee also spoke with a number of Academic Center Supervisors, and they asked that a new system be put in place immediately, should it be adopted, since the new Student Information System will soon be online.

The Senate asked that Prof. Mooney provide the names of those Supervisors interviewed. In addition, Senators noted that this process will require more information and time than a Senate committee can provide, and so perhaps a University Task Force needs to be formed. Finally, though, Senators want to insure that faculty are the primary judges of academic standards and courses. This becomes a more pressing issue as Academic Advisors take over roles that traditionally were held by faculty. The Chair will invite Dr. Bourgeois to the April 7 meeting to discuss the Senate's concerns and findings.


PAAG Agenda Development:
Among potential issues that the Senate might wish to present to President Trauth are the following:
1. Ongoing concerns about a lack of response to the Senate's request that 5 % of red parking spaces be converted to 24-hr reserved.

2. An update on the SACS reaffirmation, with particular discussion on plans for the development of the PACE Center.

3. A report on the University's Capital Campaign.

4. A report on the availability of scholarships this cycle.

Faculty Senate / CAD Joint Meeting Agenda Development:
The following issues were raised as possible items for the upcoming meeting:
1. A discussion of summer funding, summer course offerings, and the process for the allocating of summer monies.

2. The Deans' position on the make-up of Personnel Committees.

New Business:
1. A faculty member expressed concern about the version of UPPS 04.04.06 posted on the University's website. Is there a more current approved version?

2. The Chair reminded Senators that the second Open Forum on HB2504 takes place April 2, starting at 3:00 PM.

Minutes of 3/17 approved.