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Nov 4, 1998 Minutes

Senators Present: Anderson, Bible, Conroy, Gordon, Hays, Irvin, McGee, Pascoe,
Renick, Sawey, Skerpan, Stimmel and Winek.

Senators Absent: Gillis

Guests: Grady Early (Comp Sci), Ron Brown (General Studies), Philip Salem
(Speech Com), and Rebecca Bell-Matereau (Eng).


MINUTES OF 10-28-98

Chair Bible called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.

The Orientation/Advising issue was revisited. Dean Brown reported that there
is no faculty representation on the Orientation Planning Committee although all
other constituencies are represented. The current thinking seems to be that
Advising time will be increased at the expense of Orientation time. There are
concerns that faculty be compensated, either through release time or monetary
payment, for their services in the summer Orientation/Advising program. The 20+
proposed advising/orientation sessions are overwhelming to most faculty
advisors and no solution seems to be on the horizon.

Following its discussion of this issue, the Senate approved this statement:

"The Faculty Senate is concerned about the proposal to increase the number of
summer freshmen orientation/advising sessions from 12 to 19. Although we
understand the desire to deal with fewer students at one time, conversations
with Bob Smallwood, Ron Brown, and Grady Early revealed many logistical
problems that the administration does not seem to have contemplated or to have
addressed sufficiently, if at all: the need for advisee housing; the
administrative costs of the extra sessions and their impact on already
overtaxed office staffs; the fact that some advisors accustomed to working in
one summer session will now be asked to work in both sessions; the apparent
lack of any means of compensating advisors, who will have to teach classes
while shouldering a greater advising burden; the impact on chairs, who will
have to schedule summer classes with an eye toward keeping advisors free for
morning advising; the impact on summer faculty, some of whom have suggested
that instead of attempting to assume a more onerous teaching/advising burden,
they will simply not teach in the summer; and many others. Above all, the
Senate is very concerned that faculty were not represented on the Orientation
Planning Committee and thus had no voice in the process that resulted in this
new plan.

The upshot of our discussions was the adoption of the following resolutions:

Following the discussion, the Senate adopted this resolution:

1. We request that a faculty representative, to be selected by the Faculty
Senate, be included on the Orientation Planning Committee. [NOTE: The Senate
was subsequently informed that the administration has agreed to this request.]

2. We request that rather than addressing the problems noted above on an ad hoc
basis, the administration and the deans act immediately to develop a plan
which, to the extent possible, anticipates and addresses these problems. The
input of chairs, faculty, and staff should be solicited in this effort."


Dr. Phil Salem, Professor of Speech Communication and a trained mediator, spoke
to the Senate on the grievance process and alternatives for dealing with
conflict management. Dr. Salem's remarks were thought-provoking and very
informative, and a clearer light was cast on the differences of meaning of the
terms adjudication, arbitration, and mediation. Dr. Salem's comments were
followed by a discussion of the grievance process and grievance history at SWT.


The Senate was asked to appoint a faculty member to serve on the Patent and
Copyright Committee. Dr. Pascoe was elected unanimously, primarily to
represent "arts" interests; the Senate felt that AssocVP Pat Cassidy, already a
member of that committee, was the best spokesperson for "science" interests.


Sen. Hays reported on the annual meeting of the Texas Council of Faculty
Senates. Her report covered the following concerns and topics of interest to
Texas faculty senates.

-Distance Learning
-Intellectual property rights
-A&M faculty child care facility
-A&M faculty senate booklet
-A&M faculty evaluation package
-Post tenure review
-Field of study program
-Visit of State Representative to faculty senates
-Coordinating Board web page
-First tier institutions
-Developmental leave process

Sen. Hays was gratefulto have had the opportunity to attend this conference and
felt that it was very informative and a worthwhile experience. She urged our
continued association with this group.


It was moved and seconded by Sens. Hays and Irvin that Chair Bible, Sen. Renick
and Omsbudman John McGee form a committee to review the Grievance PPS and make
recommendations for policy changes. The motion passed unanimously.

Sen. Conroy asked about the possibility of final grades including + or -. Chair
Bible said he would explore this issue with VPAA Gratz and the Senate could
then decide what action, if any, to take.

The last Senate meeting for this semester will be Dec. 9, 1998.

The minutes of the 10-28-98 meeting were approved.

The meeting adjourned at 6:10 pm.