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Nov 04, 2009 Minutes

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

Guests: Collins (University Star), Hohensee, Sigler.

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

  Several documents were distributed: Breakdown of One-Time Research Expenditures, Approved New Faculty Lines for Fall 2010, Budget Committee Reports for Academic Affairs, Course Enrollments, and Budget Allocations. The Senate continues to explore the implications of the process outlined in the first document, investigating whether it offers all faculty the opportunity to apply for the funds.

2.  The Chair noted that the University will now require only that first-year students live in on-campus housing.

Texas Council of Faculty Senates Meeting: Senators Feakes and Furney attended the meeting, reporting that a number of important topics were explored:

1.  Proposition 4 (which passed on November 3) shifts 500 million dollars from the Higher Education Fund to the National Research University Fund, the goal being to support universities working toward "emerging research university" status. Texas State is interested in seeking this status.

2.  HB 2504, to increase the transparency of class procedures and policies, asks that a number of documents (syllabi, evaluations, exams, etc.) be placed online so that they can be easily accessed by the public.

3.  Higher Education Holdings, a company that develops online courses for institutions and faculty, is currently being used by a number of Texas institutions, some against the wishes of the faculty.

4.  The University of Phoenix was mentioned as the fasting-growing higher education institution in Texas.

5.  Dr. Kenneth Craycraft discussed the ongoing development of a process for selecting a new Chancellor of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

6.  The Chair of the Senate presented to attendees at the TCFS meeting her "round- up report," which outlines the state of affairs at the University. The report is available in the Senate Office.

Developmental Leave Results: The Senate reviewed and approved its rankings of the applications for Developmental Leave. The Senate will forward to the Provost its recommendation that all 2010 Developmental Leave applications be approved.

PPS 2.17: Proctoring Distance Learning Exams: The Senate is concerned that the document does not offer specific guidelines for security issues that can arise in online testing. A number of faculty at Texas State have expressed frustration that the University has done little to develop such guidelines, or to answer concerns about the need for similar guidelines in the Honor Code policies regarding academic dishonesty in online courses.

PPS 6.11: Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly / Creative Activities: There was discussion on the addition of a paragraph requiring that all applicants for the Presidential Seminar Award also be nominees for the Presidential Excellence Award. In addition, concerns were raised about the potential problems arising in the make-up of the university review committee, since winners of the awards are members for two years, potentially creating a large block of votes from one college. The Chair will return to this concern in coming weeks.

Committee Representation:
1. Transportation and Parking Committee: The Committee would like one additional Senate appointment; currently Dr. John Blair serves as a Senate appointee. Senator Shah agreed to fill the other seat.

2. University Compliance Program: The Chair would like a Senate representative on this committee so that there can be faculty input into a process that includes work on a number of issues explored by the Senate in recent years.

3. Library Committee: A representative is needed from the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

4. Commencement Team: Senator Wilson agreed to serve as the Senate representative on this committee.

5. Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly / Creative Activities: This review committee needs a representative from the College of Fine Arts and Communication.


Assigned Time for Service Commitments: The Senate wonders if there is a process for funding assigned time for faculty who undertake major service duties, for instance serving as Chair of the University Curriculum Committee or as Chair of the Faculty Senate. In the case of the Senate Chair position, faculty who take this position must request assigned time from their department chairs. Although the PPS states that serving as Chair of the Senate will mean a reduction of one course from the Chair's teaching load, it does not outline the method for funding this assigned time. Might the Provost's Office fund such assignments? Might administrative assistance be provided to support service appointments with exceptionally demanding responsibilities?

PAAG Agenda Development: The Senate will suggest the following topics to the President for exploration at the upcoming PAAG meeting:

1.  Assigned time for service commitments.
2.  Presentation of the proclamation in support of Cancer Awareness Month.
3.  Worklife system proposal.
4.  University Compliance System.
5.  Celebration to recognize fifty years of faculty governance at Texas State.
6.  A discussion of the need for asking all employees to submit forms documenting outside employment.

New Business:

1.  The Chair will forward details on the recently created University Distinguished Professor Award, and asks that Senators consider whether the guidelines (particularly limiting potential awardees to only those at the rank of Full Professor) are a topic to explore at a future meeting.

2.  The Chair will investigate the proposed changes to the 2010 summer calendar.

3.  A faculty member has noted that Paws N' Go opens after the start of 8:00 classes.

4.  A Senator noted that Auxiliary Services charges a fee when off-campus caterers are used.

5.  A Senator would like her colleagues to forward any departmental policies regarding faculty choosing to return to a four-course teaching load rather than reserving one course assigned time for research.

Minutes of 10/28/09 were approved.