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Sept 16, 2009 Minutes

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

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

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

Almost all liaisons have now been named, except for representatives from the following departments: Biology, Physics and EAPS.
2. Mace Bearers: Bob Mooney will serve as mace bearer for Health Professions at December Commencement. The Chair is still awaiting a volunteer to serve as mace bearer at the Commencement ceremony for the Colleges of Science and Business.
3. Adminstrators' salary data has been requested by the Chair and will soon be posted on the Senate website.

Presidential Excellence Awards committees: Faculty representatives from the Colleges of Fine Arts and Science are needed to serve on the Presidential Excellence Committee for the awards in service.

College Research Enhancement Committees: Returning to an issue discussed at the September 9 meeting, the Senate considered the difficulties faced by the College of Health Professions, in which some departments are so small that only their Chairs are eligible to serve on the CRECs if an eligible faculty member will be applying for a Research Enhancement Grant. While the Senate reaffirmed its opinion that chairs should not serve on CRECs, it will allow them to serve on such committees in Health Professions for this cycle, but urges the College to insure such a situation will not arise in future.

Faculty Office Hours: After resuming a discussion initiated at the September 9 meeting, regarding University guidelines for faculty office hours, the Senate decided that PPS 4.01 makes clear the University's expectations. Furthermore, the PPS does not prohibit faculty from counting online office hours toward fulfilling those expectations.

Liaisons Meeting Agenda:
1. Provost Moore will speak about space allocations at the University.
2. The Senate will ask liaisons to explore with faculty in their departments interest in and knowledge of the procedures for calculating major GPAs, particularly as it relates to replacing grades earned in courses at Texas State with grades earned in the same courses at other institutions – an issue that the Senate plans to explore in the coming months.
3. Parking concerns and solutions.
4. Revisions to the Honor Code PPS.


Revisions to the Honor Code PPS: The Honor Code at Texas State developed some years ago over issues of academic honesty raised at other institutions. Because the Code was envisioned as a plan for mutually respectful behavior between students and faculty, any revisions to the Code must take into account the participatory nature of the procedure. With this history in mind, the Senate examined suggested revisions to the PPS offered by the Honor Council. Among issues that warrant further discussion is the Council's request that it hear and make judgments about the validity of individual faculty's academic penalties for violations of the Honor Code, as well as the feasibility of faculty developing a statement for their syllabi expressing their particular academic penalties for violations. The Senate would also like the Council to discuss and incorporate into the PPS guidelines governing the special circumstances of online courses.

New Business:
1. Provost Moore seeks nominees to serve on the Faculty Grievance Committee. The Senate will provide three nominees, who will serve staggered three-year terms.
2. The Senate discussed the use of electronic communications in deliberations and decision-making. As the Senate has noted in the past, it feels that votes should not be taken using electronic communications, since such a practice might disenfranchise those unaware of or absent from the thread of communications. The Chair will make it clear in future electronic communications that they are solely for the exploration of ideas, and are not to be used to solicit votes on topics under consideration.
3. Faculty are expressing concerns about recent revisions to the University's tenure and promotion process. Dr Bourgeois will be invited to discuss these changes with the Senate.
4. The Senate will vote at its next meeting on again supporting the University's naming April as "Cancer Awareness Month."

Minutes of 9/9/09 were approved.