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Feb 26, 2003 Minutes


Senators present Senators Renick, Conroy, Sawey, Peeler, Stone, James, Blanda, Gordon, Riepe, Frost, Hindson, Bell-Metereau, Brennan, Stutzman

Guests:  Associate Vice President Cassidy, Dr. David Easter, Vice President Milt Nielsen

Chair Renick called to order the faculty senate, reviewed the agenda and invited David Easter to speak on the Academic Computing Committee report.

Senator Frost asked what procedure was followed concerning disparate rankings. Professor Easter said the reasons were not discussed, but they did ascertain that none of these were made in error, and the committee agreed on the ranking. Professor Easter expressed some reservations about the process.

Senator Renick asked if we should we deal with ranking as it is or try to do something in the future.

Dr. Easter suggested possible problems with the procedure, and Senator Stone said we could accept it as it is, or take any disparate ranking out.

Senator Bell-Metereau suggested that we send it back to the committee for clarification.

Senator James moved and Hindson seconded the motion to table the discussion and RTA for further consideration.  The motion passed with four abstentions and
eight voting to table.  It will come back for action with Easter to return to the senate on 3/5/03.

II. Greg Marshall, Chair of Committee on Temporary Faculty, asked the senate to consider what issues it would like for the committee to consider, such as salary, use of temporary faculty, and legal issues.

Senator Hindson asked, of the three types of temporary faculty, what are the percentages of these three types here?

Senator Stone noted that the contracting form has line for personnel committee, but it doesn't seem to need their approval.

Senator Blanda said that we're supposed to represent all faculty, and yet a number of temporary faculty work in departments without any form of tenure for temporary faculty.

Senator Sawey stated that statistics and a questionnaire would be great, but what would the committee recommend.

Dr. Marshall said that the committee just wants more clarification.  Statistics could be gathered, but we don't know what temporary faculty have been asked.

Senator Brennan said that both the full-time and temporary perspectives are important:  permanent faculty may view the administration's use of temporary faculty as a "danger," but also we must consider the perspective of temporary faculty, who perform an important service.

Senator Stutzman said there is apparently not a limit to the amount of time temporary assistant professors can be at this status.  Summer teaching is another issue.

Senator Blanda noted that part-time faculty may affect full-time salaries and hiring, since temporary faculty can be paid less money.

Senator Bell-Metereau asked how our policies compare with the AAUP or other professional standards.

Senator said we need not simple data for this year, but we should have it over ten years, to see if we're relying increasingly on part-timers to teach

Senator Bell-Metereau suggested that this data be aggregated by departments and schools.

Senator Renick summarized with the following requests for the committee:
Survey on issues important to temporary faculty
Summary of issues that divide part-time and full-time faculty
Follow-up on Joan Hays' request to VPAA's office
Coordinating Board report with survey on salaries
Demographic information in a survey

III. Milt Nielsen Instructional Technologies Update
Vice President Milt Nielsen reported on how a capital funding moratorium puts us in limbo on funding until the fall for capital projects.  They plan to track the progress of faculty computers.

Lab improvements include upgrades with clear glass tops so groups can meet.  They will see if this is worthwhile pursuing in the future.

They are also looking at the usefulness of open-campus labs throughout the campus.

Another area they're looking at is printer monitoring and control, looking at how much students print at a time and in total.  Only 15 students reached 1,000 p. limit.  Programming can monitor how much students print at a time.  Computer use monitoring software will let us know computer use, and it will be distributed to lab coordinator meetings to put in their systems.

Additional developments are on hold until fall 2003.  Supported software initiative is for labs to create an environment like we do for faculty.  Tier 1 software will be distributed to all labs at no cost.  Tier 2 will be specific and a cost-sharing package will be arranged.  We may get third tier specific to a department, perhaps though publishers from whom we purchase texts or materials.

Senator Blanda asked about take-home possibilities, and Dr. Nielsen said we were negotiating now.

Senator Sawey said the October deadline may affect students, and Dr. Nielsen said they would try to consider improvements on a semester basis.

Blackboard has approximately 21,000 users, with 940 courses.  We improved to 5.5 and then will upgrade to 6 in the fall, without faculty having to re-do
their materials. Cost has increased, from $7,000 last year to $55,000 next year.  They are looking at Question mark:  testing program, free-standing or within Blackboard.  Their lease begins after spring break.

Senator Frost asked if test banks that can be uploaded, and they can.

The Website initiative will consolidate and make more efficient our website configurations.

Senator Bell-Metereau asked about media and video editing labs, and Dr. Nielsen said that was up to individual deans.  Currently only Mass Communications has
that as part of their required labs.

Senator Stutzman asked if social security numbers are off the system now, and Dr. Nielsen said they are off the system.

Senator Sawey asked about the email list server, and Dr. Nielsen reported that they were testing it when it crashed.

IV.     Chronic offender parking policy
Vice President Abbott and Senator Peeler brought proposed changes in the chronic offender policy for 2003-2004.  Concerns mentioned were as follows:
safety walking to distant parking; LBJ isn't overnight; growing perception on part of local citizens that chronic offender policy pushes them out into the

The committee proposes a radical shift, no longer taking away privileges.  We tow the car if people park illegally more than five times within a continuous 12-month period.  After 12 months with no violations, the chronic offender designation is removed.

Senator Stutzman said that open parking after 3 on campus is the problem, along with summer parking.

Senator Frost and several other senators asked if we could change the wording to suspension for all three categories--faculty, staff, and students--so as to avoid tenure issues.

V.  Old business and next week's agenda.
RTA parking policy for a vote next week.
Abbott:  University council in March.
RTA faculty senate workload, Report on Texas Faculty Senates, and
Subcommittees RTA'd

Minutes from the February 19, 2003 meeting were approved with minor corrections.

Senate adjourned at 6:15.

Minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau 2/27/03.