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Oct 07, 2009 Minutes

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

Guests: Hohensee, Collins (University Star), Autry, Smith, Earl, Sigler, Dunn, Werner, Carpenter, Knudson, Barrera.

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

1.  There will now be a system for purchasing printers for faculty, as well as some version of a printer refresh cycle based upon the system used for replacing faculty computers. More details are forthcoming.

2.  Dean Chahin and Dr. de la Teja (Chair, History) will serve as representatives of the Administration on the Faculty Grievance Committee.

3.  The Piper Committee has received all applications and will present its recommendations at the 10/14 meeting. This year, the Committee received all applications electronically.

University Curriculum Committee Report:  Dr. Hazlewood, Chair of the Committee, reported that the Committee approved adding 126 new courses and deleting 82. In addition, the committee recommended several program changes:
•  Delete the International Studies majors;
•  Change the Dance major;
•  Add an undergraduate certificate in Environmental Interpretation;
•  Change the Department of Educational Administration and Psychological Services;
•  Change the name of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation to the Department of Health and Human Performance;
•  Add a Department of Health Information Management;
•  Delete the Early Childhood Education majors.

There was considerable discussion among the Senators about changing the name of HPER. In particular, the Senators, echoing the views of the College of Health Professions, wondered about the removal of the term "Education" from the Department name, and the potential confusion this will cause for students who may think that HHP is housed in the College of Health Professions rather than in the College of Education. The Senate would like to know whether the College of Education has considered the concerns expressed by the College of Health Professions, and will return to the discussion at the next meeting.

The Senate will vote on the proposals during its 10/14 meeting.

Cancer Awareness Month Proclamation:  At the request of the Cancer Awareness Month and Community Outreach group, the Senate will compose a letter to President Trauth stating its support of declaring April 2010 as Cancer Awareness Month.

Parking Issues and Recommendations:  Drs. Gratz and Peeler, of the Transportation and Parking Committee, will visit the Senate to hear its recommendations and concerns regarding the current parking situation at the University. Among the issues the Senate would liked considered are the following:
1. Creating a number of 24-hour reserved spaces for red permit holders.
2. Using lot gates more effectively.
3. Exploring the possibility of creating more satellite parking and reliable shuttle service to campus from those lots.
4. Reconsidering requiring that frequent visitors to campus purchase a parking permit. Often such visitors are taking part in University-sponsored outreach programs, and asking them to buy permits undercuts our relationship with the local community.
5. Providing a few reserved spaces near Harris for faculty doing business with the Testing Center.
6. Updating the lot gate card system to insure security.
7. Moving University vehicles to satellite lots.


Implementation of Plus / Minus Grading System:  A liaison has inquired whether faculty at Texas State are interested in instituting a plus / minus grading system at the University. This topic has been raised a number of times over the years, and the Senate wonders if there is new research on the effects of such a system, particularly its impact on the inflation of grades. The Senate will ask liaisons to poll their colleagues about their interest in exploring such a grading system.

New Business:
1.  A faculty member on the Worklife Committee is returning to the Senate regarding an issue raised last year: Texas State's joining the UT Advantage program, which offers a database of service providers to members, at the cost of roughly $2.00 per employee, per year. Although the Senate expressed its support for the program last year, the faculty member is having trouble securing the membership fees from the University. She will visit with the Senate next week to seek advice.

2.  Dual Employment Form: the relevant PPS notes that the President has chosen to extend the rules governing dual employment to cover part-time employees. The Senate would like to investigate whether those rules also apply to non-regular employment.

3.  Study Aboard Courses: the Chair asked Dr. Bourgeois for clarification on some of the concerns raised by the revisions to PPS 2.03, in particular 1) creating minimum class size requirements for study abroad courses and 2) developing guidelines for online courses. Dr. Bourgeois noted that study abroad courses are not formula funded, but that Dr. Thorne is reviewing the class size issue. The Senate will wait to see if CAD accepts the Senate deletions of the class size requirements. Should that not occur, the Senate will invite Dr. Thorne to discuss the issue.

On the topic of online courses, the Senate wonders if a separate PPS should be developed for the particular needs of such courses, and will ask Dr. Thorne about the status and nature of policies at Texas State that govern them.

4.  The Senate would like to investigate the long-term plans for the location of the Testing Center.

5.  A faculty member asked if Developmental Leave can be granted for two years at quarter time. The Senate will explore whether the rules allow such a possibility.

6.  A faculty member could not obtain the college review criteria governing REPs. The Senate will explore the processes in place for disseminating this information.

7.  A Senator wonders whether REP guidelines could be revised to allow participation by Clinical Faculty, who hold academic rank but are not tenured or tenure-track.

Minutes of 9/30/09 were approved.