Skip to Content

Oct 6, 1999 Minutes

Senators Present: Bible, Conroy, Early, Gillis, Gordon, Hays, Irvin,
McGee, Peeler, Renick, Skerpan-Wheeler,
Stimmel, and Stone.

Absent: McKinney

Liaisons Present: Margaret Vaverek, Alkek Library

Guests: Jerome Supple, President
Robert Gratz, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mike Moore, A Double Winner



The meeting was called to order by Chair Hays at 4:05 p.m.


1. What progress has there been on the process of evaluating chairs
and deans?

According to Gratz, the process is brand new. He claims to
have hope that it will be successful, but he admitted that he
has no plan for evaluating the process to determine whether
it is successful or not.

According to Supple, there has been considerable turnover amongst
chairs and deans. Perhaps some of that turnover has been the
result of the evaluation process.

The deans will provide to the Senate copies of their evaluation

2. Please explain the budgeting process.

Supple suggested that the Senate invite Bill Nance [VPFSS] or
Gordon Thyberg [Director, Budgeting] to do a special budget
workshop for the Senate. Meanwhile:

a. Thyberg prepares an income estimate.
b. Salary requirements are subtracted first.
c. Then, continuing, annual commitments.
d. Then, other [unspecified] things.
e. The rest is then given to the VPs to spend at their discretion.
f. This year, an increased enrollment means we get more money.
Supple's inclination is to 'save' it until we see what happens
to us next year.

So, what about m&o and, more specifically, travel?

The Supple/Gratz view, in a nutshell, appears to be that departmental
financial woes are of their own making.

For example, the 5% budget cut of recent years [1%-2%-2% spread over 3
years] was achieved, in some departments, by cutting personnel costs
[eliminating positions, paying lower salaries, etc.], by cutting m&o
budgets, or both. Now, those departments have to live with their

For example, some departments, as a matter of principle, decided not
to jump so heavily on the questionable bandwagon of imposing course
fees on students. Now that course fees have been frozen, those
departments must live with that decision.

Bottom line: Supple/Gratz seem to have the Reaganesque view that
poor departments, being, apparently, of poor character, are solely
to blame for their own poverty.

Gratz did give Art some hope that recent renovation/moving costs which,
as a chargeback from the physical plant, had decimated its m&o budget,
might be recovered if the Art chair would submit, via the Fine Arts
dean, a justification for reimbursement of that extraordinary expense.

In general, Supple/Gratz seemed willing to reevaluate the way in which
we do central vs. departmental budgeting. For example, why should
departments be charged for the telephone utility when they're not
charged for the electrical utility?

They also seemed willing to see if faculty/staff workloads might be
reduced in some way. For example, rather than having one or more
individuals in each department devoting endless hours keeping various
computer labs operational, that work could be done centrally.

In response to various questions about the complexity of budget
documents, Supple/Gratz also seemed to agree that:

i. the budget and financial reports will not likely be
made readable, and

ii. they will not be put on the web for study.

3. What about Aquarena costs, past and present?

Supple claims that Aquarena is breaking even, may even be in the
black this year. Our time having expired, however, this item was
RTAed to the next PAAG meeting.

4. So, quickly, what's the status of the Art/Technology/Physics building(s)?

Proceeding apace. The architects are hard at work. The most promising
plan appears to be to move the Technology/Physics part of the complex
south and build it on top of Vista Street. Supple has asked the City
of San Marcos if it will abandon enough of that street to allow us to
do so. He made it clear that he does not want this to be another
water well-type argument; just tell us 'yes' or 'no.'


Motion to ask Irvin to prepare charges for the two newly-restructured
committees for action at the next senate meeting. McGee/Skerpan-Wheeler 12-0.


1. (Hays) Remember that the next senate meeting, with liaisons in attendance,
will be held in 105 Alkek.

2. (Hays) And, the week after, we'll have the combined senate/CAD meeting
in the Reed Parr room on the 11th floor of JCKellam.

3. (Stimmel) Please attend the Kellogg Foundation workshop next Tuesday,
12 October 1999, 2-5 p.m., in 3-14 [teaching theatre] LBJ Student Center.

4. (Stone) Let's survey the faculty to see if they would approve of the
idea of shifting all budgeted bonus money into deparmental m&o over the
next 4 years. ... vigorous and extensive discussion ... RTA

5. (off the record) A film "Skin Deep" was required viewing for faculty in
Liberal Arts. Has it been required in other schools?
Apparently not.
Some senators reported a wide range of opinions concerning the usefulness
of the film in understanding diversity issues.
That diversity of opinion will, of course, please an administration
obsessed with the promotion of diversity.

The 29 September 1999 minutes were approved without dissent.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

cheerfully submitted