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Feb 4, 1998 Minutes

Present: Bible, Conroy, Deduck-Evans, Hays, Irvin, McGee,
Oliver, Pascoe, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel and Winek

Absent: Anderson, Hunter.

Absent: Anderson and Hunter

Guests: Ed Seifert (EAPS), AVPAA Tangum, Margaret Vaverek (Library), Ev
Swinney (Hist), Sheila Torres-Blank (Lib), Misty Hopper (Lib), Bill Griffin
(Lib), Joan Conger (Lib), Mike Moore and Dylan Sides (Star)

Henrietta Avent Faculty Senate "Honor Roll"
Sexual Harassement
Faculty Compensation
Reserach Enchancement Program
Library Career Ladder
New Business
Minutes of 1-28-98

Chair Bible called the meeting to order at 4:04 p.m.


The Senate voted to purchase plaques honoring two former Senators for their
outstanding contributions to the leadership of the Senate and the entire
university. The plaques will read:

Faculty Senate
Excellence in Leadership

They will be awarded to Dr. Henrietta Avent (posthumously) and Dr. Everette
Swinney at the August, 1998, faculty and staff convocation. It was also
suggested that the image of the plaques be used as the cover artwork for the
next faculty handbook.


Last fall the Senate considered changes in this UPPS which were proposed by the
administration; the result was the formulation of a statement of Senate
concerns which was forwarded to the administration and circulated to the
faculty via the Senate minutes. The administration then redrafted the UPPS to
address the Senate's concerns, and at a recent meeting the Senate endorsed much
of the new language that now appears in the UPPS.

The remaining issue, on which the Senate focused today, involves the
composition of the panels which are chosen to hear harassment complaints. The
Senate is concerned that instead of providing for one panel with a stable
membership to hear all harassment complaints in a given time period, the UPPS
calls for the administration to appoint different panels in different cases.
This process, it seems, is susceptible to the claim that a particular panel was
selected in a particular case to achieve a desired result, and the Senate
thinks this is troublesome in an era in which other universities have lost
harassment cases due to the perception that their policies denied accused
faculty their rights of due process. In addition, the Senate believes that
members of harassment complaint panels should have some expertise in this area,
e.g., through attending a harassment seminar or workshop.

The Senate is inclined to believe that one panel should be selected to hear all
cases in a given period, but many questions arose concerning whether the panel
should be elected or appointed, which constituencies it should represent, and
the like. The Senate voted to RTA this issue so that Faculty Ombudsman McGee
could be consulted for his views and in order to allow time for further
consideration of the issue.


Last fall the Senate circulated a document entitled "Pondering Merit," prepared
by Everette Swinney, Chair of the Senate's Tenure, Promotion, and Compensation
Committee, which explored various concerns about the SWT faculty compensation
system. The Senate discussed these concerns with Dr. Supple at its monthly
PAAG meeting on January 28. Today the Senate revisited this issue to see what
additional action, if any, seemed appropriate.

In its discussion of merit, the Senate agreed that departmental autonomy in the
making of merit decisions is sound policy. There was concern, however, about
possible inconsistencies and inequities across campus and some question about
the purpose of the merit program and if it was working. Dr. Swinney suggested
that the Senate submit a proposal for permanent record keeping on faculty
compensation. The Senate agreed that this was a good idea. No further action
was taken; the issue will likely reappear on a future agenda.


Dr. Ed Seifert, Chair of the Faculty Research Committee, presented a report on
the committee's recommendations regarding Faculty Enhancement Grant funding
decisions in the last round. Of the 57 applications, 24 were funded. MANY of
the unfunded proposals were not even considered because the applicant
disregarded the proposal guidelines and used the wrong font, incorrect spacing,
or too many pages.

The Senate's position is that to have a level playingfield it is vital that the
applicable criteria be enforced uniformly. These criteria are in clear
language and are prominently displayed on the application form. The Senate
hereby reiterates that all grant applicants will be held to these criteria and
that deviations will result in disqualification of the application.

The Senate voted to accept the committee report. It also asked the committee
chair to meet with Senators Conroy and Irvin to review the guidelines and the
application process and to bring to the Senate, in the near future, any
recommendations for proposed changes.


Library Liaision Vaverek introduced Sheila Torres-Blank who gave a report on
the New Proposal of a Career Ladder for SWT Librarians. This proposal includes
base salaries, step raises, and longevity raises. The proposal is on reserve
at the Alkek Library. The Senate voted to endorse the proposal.


An item submitted by Dr. Pat Cassidy regarding a modification to the Faculty
Development Leave Application Form was introduced and will be on the Feb.11/98


Approved as read.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:19 p.m.