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Sept 27, 2000 Minutes

Senators Present: M. Blanda, F. Blevens, M. Brennan, M. Gillis, J. Hays, A. McKinney, B. Peeler, R. Sawey, E. Skerpan-Wheeler, T. Stimmel, B. Stone, J. Stutzman

Call to Order: 4:00 pm

I. Grievance:
Former faculty senator and current University Ombudsman, John Bible gave reports on the following topics:

A. Merit-The rights of a faculty member to issue a grievance concerning merit decisions were discussed. It was noted that the current language of the amended pps 7.10 states that the Dean's decision is final and not subject to appeal. Limited instances of appeal beyond the dean including "special circumstances" such as bias on the part of the chair or dean, poor professional judgment or violation of procedures were proposed and discussed.

An amendment to the pps was proposed which would require a summary of events be forwarded to the VPAA office documenting how the merit process was enacted and the actions taken. The summary is intended to serve as a record of events.

The right to appeal or file a grievance on Equity adjustments was proposed as an alternative mechanism for ensuring a record of events.

B. Academic Freedom:
A report was also given by Dr. Bible on the recent decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (Mid-Atlantic Region) concerning the academic freedom of faculty. Essentially, the court ruled that the rights of state employees (faculty) are granted by the University and that they do not enjoy the protection of First Amendment rights which have not been conferred by the university. This includes activities in the classroom, on university owned computers, research areas and publishing.

While this ruling does not affect Texas universities, it does serve as a precedence and may become a looming issue in the future.

II. PAAG Agenda Items:
Items for the PAAG meeting were discussed and finalized. The topics to be addressed are:

1. Equity
2. Proliferation of non-tenure track faculty.
3. SWT Vita (specifically issues concerning the documentation of Journal circulation, per cent acceptance etc. and
    their inclusion to the vita.)
4. Reallocation of resources based on SCH/FTE and Student/Faculty ratios.
5. Open records act concerning faculty evaluations, student test, grade and other records.

III.The Senate discussed questions to be asked of Bill Fly when he visits the Senate on October 11, 2000. Open records act concerning faculty evaluations, student test, grade and other records were suggested

IV. Announcements/Miscellaneous:
Joint CAD/Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled for Oct. 17 from 1:30-3:30 Reed Parr Room.
Senator Stone gave a report on the current faculty survey (regarding Equity Cycle).
Senator Sawey reported on a previous survey question (name change).
No new business was put forward, the minutes from previous faculty senate meeting were approved and the meeting was adjourned.