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Feb 28, 2001 Minutes

Senators present: M. Blanda, F. Blevens, J. Hays (chair), A. McKinney, B.

Peeler, M. Reese,  O. Renick, R. Sawey,  B. Scheuermann (substituting for M.
Gillis), E. Skerpan-Wheeler, T. Stimmel, B. Stone,  J. Stutzman.

Guests:  M. Moore, D. Easter, L. Jesse

Topics Summary:

I. Academic Computing Committee Report
II. Student Evaluation of Faculty, preliminary discussion
III. Faculty Hiring Process
IV. Nominees for the Grievance Committee
V. Evaluation of "Upper Administrators"

The meeting was called to order at 4:03 pm.

                   I. Academic Computing Committee Report

Dr. David Easter, Chair of the Academic Computing Committee (ACC), reported on the committee's work of ranking proposals for computer resources at the university. Copies of the report and minutes of the ACC meetings are attached.
The rankings and letter noted in the report are not attached, but will be available after the final grant decisions are made in the vpaa's office.

Dr. Easter reported that there were 31 proposals submitted, totaling a requested funding of approximately $878K and there were $500K available.

The ACC examined the proposals and ranked them.  There was funding for the first 19 proposals.  This totaled approximately $524K, but Mr. Goss (Computing Services) is confident that the actual amount expended will be close to the $500K allocated.

All purchases will be made through Computing Services.  After purchases are completed for the first 19 proposals and if there is money remaining, then the next proposal in the ranked order for which there is enough money will be funded.

A motion to accept the ACC's recommendations was made and seconded, passing by 12-0-1.  The recommendations will be forwarded to the vpaa.

          II. Student Evaluation of Faculty, preliminary discussion

Chair Hays reported that a document related to evaluation of faculty teaching was distributed by the vpaa at the 2/21/01 meeting of the CAD (Council of Academic Deans).

The document is from the IDEA Center ( )

It was also reported that the vpaa had intended to implement pilot applications of this document (one department per college) this spring, but that this has been postponed until the Fall, 2001 term.

Considerable discussion followed.  Topics included the following:

    Inadequate consultation of the faculty by the vpaa in deciding to implement
    this program

    Concerns on how these evaluation documents and their results will be used
    by administrators

    Concerns that there must be multiple measures of teaching, rather than just
    one such as that from the IDEA Center

    Concerns that reporting of any numerical data be in ranges of values,
    rather than single numbers

    Concerns that such data are quite limited in their value for comparisons
    across disciplines, and indeed, within disciplines across levels of

    Noting that the IDEA Center, itself, provides a discussion of the
    limitations of its data gathering and reporting:

    Concerns on how much such an undertaking will cost and from what part of
    the university's budget will this come?  One estimate suggested was $50K
    per term

    Concerns related to considering other evaluation instruments.  It was
    reported that there are 5 or 6 nationally normed instruments available.
    Why this one?

    Concerns related to an examination of some of our local efforts including
    those supported by the Measurement and Testing Office of the university.
    It was suggested that the senate seek input from Dr. Paul Raffeld.

This topic should provide some spirited discussion for next week's meeting of
the CAD and Faculty Senate.

                         III. Faculty Hiring Process

Senators Hays and Renick reported on the work of an ad hoc committee charged with examining the faculty hiring processes at the university.  A list of parts of the process was distributed and senators expressed particular and ongoing concern related to the following items, included on the list:

    Position authorization request approved

    Position advertisements and timeliness

    Applicant log form submitted for  interview approval via the chair, dean,
    director of Human  Resources to the Associate vpaa

In addition to the steps in the distributed list, the following concerns were

    Sometimes the interview process spills over into the summer.

    Sometimes a dean "jumps the cycle" by making commitments before the search
    committee or chair have made their recommendations

                  IV. Nominees for the Grievance Committee

A tentative list for nominees for the election of members to the Grievance Committee was made. Chair Hays will contact these nominees to see if they would be willing to serve if elected.

                   V. Evaluation of "Upper Administrators"

Senator Stutzman reminded the senate of a recent newspaper article concerning the faculty evaluation of the "upper administration" at UT-Pan American.

After discussion of recent events on campus, a motion was made to appoint an ad hoc committee to examine a process that the senate might undertake to seek faculty input concerning the performance of the current "upper administration" at the university.  This would include examining the UT-Pan American instrument to see if it has applicability here.

Motion passed unanimously.

Senators appointed to the committee: Stutzman, Stone, Sawey.


Approved minutes of previous meeting.

Adjourned 5:35 PM.



Report and Recommendation to the Faculty Senate
From the Academic Computing Committee
Wednesday, 28 February 2001

This report will refer to the following documents:
1. Minutes of the ACC meeting of 23 February 2001.
2. ACC Ranking Combined Results
3. Award Letter.

Review of the Ranking Process:

Ranking criteria were developed from the section headed "Ranking Criteria" in the Request for Proposals:

Proposals are expected to support or develop projects appropriate to some or all SWT students who have provided funding through the payment of computer service fees. The following will be considered in the evaluation of proposals.

1. the relevance of the proposal to one of the established funding goals;
2. the ability of the proposer(s) to carry the proposed project  to fruition. (Note: Proposers who have previously  received
     funding through the ACC must have already filed reports for each of those grants before they will be considered for new
3. appropriateness of the requested resources.  (The ACC does not fund the following categories of requests: (a) furniture and
    security hardware; (b) reference manuals, paper, printer cartridges, and other expendables.)
4. commitment from the proposer's supervising administrators (e.g., chair and/or dean) to provide all additional resources
    required by the proposed project (e.g., space, furniture, cabling, printer cartridges, paper, security, and staffing).

Before proposals were received, the committee developed a 100-point weighting scheme, based entirely on the published

The Ranking Procedure described in the Request for Proposals was followed. Proposals will be reviewed and discussed by all members of the Academic Computing Committee.  Following the discussion, each college representative will rank all proposals, except those which were submitted from their own college.  In the current funding cycle, the committee Chair (representing the College of Science) will delegate his rights of ranking proposals and voting to the ex-officio representative
representing Computer Science.  Awards will be recommended according to the overall ranking of each proposal until funds are exhausted or until all proposals deemed acceptable have been funded (whichever occurs first). The committee held two 90-minute meetings to discuss the strengths and weakness of each proposal.  Following these meetings the college representatives submitted their numerical scores for all proposals except those submitted from their own college.  The ex-officio representative from Computer Science submitted rankings in place of the Chair (who represents the
College of Science).  The raw scores are tabulated on the first page of ACC Ranking Combined Results.

The raw scores were normed before averaging, such that the mean and the standard deviation for each set of
representative's scores was identical (page two of ACC Ranking Combined Results.)  The normed scores were then averaged and numerically ranked from highest average score to lowest (page three of ACC Ranking Combined Results.)
The committee recommends funding the first nineteen ranked proposals (see the minutes of the February 23 meeting).
The committee discussed and approved an award letter (attached), which will be sent to successful PI's after funding
approval has been granted by both the Faculty Senate and the VPAA's office.

At the conclusion of the committee's February 23 meeting, many members expressed their delight that the ranking process had
been fair and collegial, and had been absent of political overtones.

Respectfully submitted,
David C. Easter, Chair 2000-01


Academic Computing Committee

Friday, February 23, 2001

Present were Dave Falleur, Lon Shell, Dave Nelson, Tim England, Paul Cohen,
John Loyd, David Huffman, Claudia Ocana (Agriculture), Wuxu Peng, Bob
Goss, and David Easter.

The meeting was called to order at 3 pm.

Minutes of the previous two ACC meetings were approved.

Following a brief discussion of the proposal  ranking results (which had been
distributed by email) the following was moved and seconded.

The Academic Computing Committee recommends to the Faculty Senate and
the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs that the proposals ranked
1 - 19, as ranked by the committee be approved for funding.

1. The funds available total $500K; the budget requests of these
19 proposals come to $524K.  Based on his past experiences,
Bob Goss (Computing Services) believes that these nineteen
proposals can be fulfilled at a cost of $500k; in the event that
the need exceeds $500K, he has committed himself to find the
additional necessary funding.
2. In the unlikely event that funds remain after the first nineteen
proposals are funded, additional proposals will be funded
according to the following guideline:  the next proposal in
rank order whose budget is less than or equal to the available
funds will be funded first, and so on.

The motion passed unanimously.

An award letter, to be sent to successful Principal Investigators upon approval
by the Faculty Senate and the VPAA's office, was discussed and approved.

The meeting was adjourned  at 3:35

Submitted by David Easter
Committee Chair