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Sept 30, 2009 Minutes

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

Guests: Hohensee, Collins (University Star).

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Cancer Awareness Proclamation: Discussion was tabled regarding the Senate offering a proclamation in support of declaring April as "Cancer Awareness Month" at Texas State.

Representation on Faculty Grievance Committee: The Senators voted to elect three representatives and two alternates from the candidates agreeing to serve, keeping in mind the need for broad college representation on the Committee. Elected were Bible, Davidson and Homeyer; selected as alternates were Garber and McLaren.

Honor Code Revisions: David Wiley, Chair of the Honor Council, reported that he had spoken with ASG about the Senate's ideas for revising the Honor Code, and also obtained the names of 14 students willing to serve on the Council. The current PPS requires that there be two students from each college on the Council, but Dr. Wiley is concerned that this will make it very difficult to convene a Council hearing when needed. After discussion, the Senate voted to change the procedure to require that students on the Council represent at least five colleges, thus insuring both broad representation and flexibility. Dr. Wiley will share this suggestion with ASG.

After renewed discussion on the role of the Council in ruling on the validity of the academic penalties assessed by faculty for violations of the Honor Code, the Senate voted to allow the Council to rule on such questions and then send those rulings to the appropriate Dean. Even so, a number of Senators expressed concern that there is no standard for judging the validity or appropriateness of academic penalties established by individual faculty. Too, faculty should be urged to include a statement in their syllabi notifying students of the penalties they assign for Honor Code violations.

Dr. Wiley brought to the Senate the Council's question whether the Chair of the Council should vote or serve instead as the person who conducts the hearings. This change would require that hearings be comprised of six Council members (three students and three faculty) and the Chair in a non-voting capacity. The Senate voted to endorse this procedure.

The Senate urged the Council to follow the current PPS when it hears two pending cases this semester.

The Senate concluded its discussion of the Honor Code PPS and policies by asking Dr. Wiley that documents governing policies for Honor Code violations in online courses be sent to the Senate, and by electing Dwight Watson to serve as Vice-Chair of the Council. 


PPS 2.03 Academic Courses (Study Abroad, Study in America, and off-campus courses): Noting there is no requirement in University policies that requires following on-campus rules for minimum class size when enrolling off-campus courses like those described in this PPS, and that imposing such a requirement would in some cases likely mean suspending a number of important and long-running study abroad programs, the Senate voted unanimously to reject the suggested addition of a class size requirement in PPS 2.03. They argued instead that Study Abroad has functioned effectively without such a requirement for years, and that faculty who direct study abroad programs need the flexibility to make decisions about program size while maintaining sound budget decisions.

PAAG Meeting: The Senate voted to suggest to the President that next week's planned PAAG meeting be cancelled.

New Business:
1.  A Senator returned to a topic raised last week regarding policies governing parking and frequent visitors to events or programs sponsored by the University. The Senator spoke with a representative from the Transportation and Parking Services Committee, who noted that any change to parking policy must be approved by that Committee. The Senate will ask a representative from the Committee to attend a Senate meeting in the coming weeks. Senators in the meantime will compile a list of suggested responses to the University's parking difficulties, as requested by the Provost.

2.  Outside Employment Forms: The Vice-Chair of the Senate will investigate whether university policies regarding outside employment require part-time employees to file an Outside Employment Form.

3.  A faculty member raised again the issue of instituting at Texas State a plus / minus grading system.

4.  A faculty member would like to gauge the faculty's current feelings on the mini-session. The Senate will consider adding this topic to the agenda, and wonders if the concern is actually related to pressures on summer funding.

5.  A faculty member asked that Parking Services provide valet parking services for holders of red parking permits, since Parking Services has admitted that there are too few red spaces for the number of red permits issued this semester.

Minutes of 9/23/09 were approved.