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May 4, 2011 Minutes

Members present:  Senators Hazlewood, Wilson, Feakes, Brown, Huling, Melzer, Furney, Martin, Conroy, Morey, Stone

Guests: Sigler, Ellis

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


  1. At the recent CAD meeting, President Trauth spoke about the search for a new Provost, noting that she will ask each Dean to suggest two people to serve on the search committee.  Dr. Joanne Smith will serve as Chair.  The Chair of the Senate believes there also should be a representative appointed by the Senate.
  2. A final reminder about the ongoing Survey of Administrators has been sent to faculty by email.  The closing date for the survey is April 29.
  3. Dean Ellis visited to urge the Senate to explore the complicated issue of maternity leave.


University Research Committee Recommendations: The Senate returned to the URC recommendation tabled at the previous Senate meeting: There should be no bonus points awarded to applicants.  Although the Senate was provided with only incomplete data on the effects of awarding first-time tenure-track applicants five bonus points, the data provided suggests it has had no direct negative impact on other applicants.  There might be a perception among some applicants that the bonus points harm those who do not receive them, but the data does not seem to bear out this assumption.  The Senate did note that the method of awarding bonus points needs to be standardized across colleges, but finally rejected the URC recommendation to end the awarding of bonus points.

Faculty Development Leave Process: The Subcommittee charged with exploring revisions to the Leave process offered a plan for more clearly quantifying the review of applications by providing reviewers a more explicit evaluative rubric of five categories, based upon Leave criteria and the typical questions asked by Senators during applicant interviews.  The Senate discussed a number of revisions to the proposed criteria, and charged the Subcommittee to explore how these changes would impact materials sent to faculty at the start of the Leave cycle each year, as well as the relevant PPS.  The Senate also voted to suspend the interviewing of applicants as a part of the Leave process.


PAAG Agenda Development: For the May 4 PAAG meeting, the Senate will suggest the following items:

  1. Report on Tenure and Promotion Results
  2. Support for students with disabilities testing
  3. Report on deployment status of the new Banner system
  4. Update on the Coordinating Board

New Business:

  1. Gene Bourgeois will be invited to address the responsiveness and support offered by various university offices, particularly regarding those practices identified by the Council on Funded Research as having negative impact on funded research.
  2. Minutes from the Council for Women regarding maternity/paternity leave were distributed.
  3. Certificates were awarded to Senators completing their terms.
  4. There was discussion about the University’s process for admitting students such as musicians and athletes under the “special talent” category.
  5. The FAQ for new Senators is nearing completion, pending the incorporation of information from Senators with particular knowledge of the needs of new Senators, as well as a review of the entire document.
  6. A faculty member inquired about the availability of tuition remission for faculty dependents.  There is no free tuition.
  7. Bill Fly, the retiring University attorney, will not be replaced, but Texas State University System attorney Fernando Gomez will be on campus part-time.
  8. Nancy Nusbaum will be invited to present an update on the Campus Master Plan.

Minutes of 4/20/11 were approved.