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April 28, 2004 Minutes


Present: Chair Stone, President Trauth, Dr. Gratz, Senators Hawkins, Brennan, Bell-Metereau, Hazlewood, Hindson, Rao, Shah, James, Conroy, Gordon, Gillis, Peeler, Sawey

Guests:  Margaret Vavarek, University Star Reporte


Report from President Trauth

1.  Some departments' internal structures don't fit with the CUPA data set. The final running of the data will be completed and dollar figures for colleges will be available to the deans next week.


Senator Shah asked if the chairs are included in the study, and Dr. Gratz said their base salary would go in.  The deans would not participate.

Dr. Trauth said that virtually everyone else will participate in the study, and this will appear in the October pay check.  The plan is to run the study this year, get money into salaries, along with a raise, and then run the study next year.


Dr. Gratz said that most faculties will benefit from this adjustment, getting at least a 1% increase.  In a case where someone does not receive that 1%, there will be a justification required.  For example, a new person who has been given a higher salary may not receive adjustments.


Senator Shah asked if these numbers will be finalized before the end of the semester, and Dr. Gratz said they will be flexible, but they would like to get it into the contracts for next year.


Senator Conroy asked if there were adjustments in the sub-categories for certain disciplines, and Dr. Gratz said some additional sub-categories have been established.


2. Sexual Orientation Policy

The regents' proposal to ban the inclusion of sexual orientation in the anti-discrimination statements system-wide has been withdrawn from the regents' agenda.  A faculty member has requested to speak against the universities new policy, and that individual, Michael Korn, will be heard by the regents.  


Senator Sawey asked why the item was withdrawn, and President Trauth said that the regents might not have wanted to appear to undermine her authority to make that decision.  He asked if the one who originally proposed the agenda item was Kent Adams, and the President declined to answer.  The president said any faculty member may ask to address the regents and expect to be heard.


Dr. Oren Renick had asked if he could address the regents on the recent

Change in health care policy changes, however, and the regents declined to place him on the agenda.


Senator Trauth said she did not view the sexual orientation issue as controversial; it is simply the right thing to do.  Senator Sawey said that there is trouble, even if there is not controversy.


3. New faculty positions and positions lost to retirement or resignation: Dr. Gratz said that all the colleges developed prioritized lists and that maintaining commitments and honoring approved programs were the most important items.  We cannot afford to lose accreditation for the School of Business, and therefore a number of positions will be allocated to business.


Senator Sawey asked if anyone who wanted to teach part-time and take partial retirement was able to continue teaching past three years.  In the past it had been indefinite, then five years, and now three.


Dr. Gratz said that there is a defined term of three years, and continuation beyond that period must be mutually agreeable to the faculty and the university.


Dr. Trauth said that although they are theoretically having vacated positions return to academic affairs, the VPAA has not yet done so, since we are still expanding.


Chair Stone said that at one time there was written policy on these issues, and Dr. Gratz said it was in the faculty hiring policy, which is under revision.


The new PPS speaks about an annual faculty position allocation cycle, but it allows flexibility for the provost.  Senator Sawey asked if we get a chance to see it, and Dr. Gratz said it was circulated in late fall of 2003.


President Trauth said the wording was still a work in progress, and the new provost would want to have some input on the policy.  The principle will remain the same.


Senator Gordon asked how an academic program can duplicate itself at Round Rock and not have any additional faculty members being hired.  Dr. Gratz said that they had asked deans to look at all needs for new faculty positions, including Round Rock positions and request new positions.  The new doctoral program in education is now handled by the same number of faculty.


Dr. Trauth said that the number of full-time faculty needs to be increased, but deans had to work out the numbers.  Now existing and new programs have to be considered in relation to each other.  If enrollment is as predicted in the fall and tuition deregulation stays intact, then in the spring of 2005, we anticipate having another batch of new faculty positions.


Dean Beck has made a case about the number of part-time faculty he has had to hire to cover the growth.


Senator Hindson asked how our tuition stands in relation to other schools in Texas, and Dr. Trauth said we were in the top third.  We're the only one in our system to take advantage of tuition deregulation.


4. Post-tenure review policy:

Dr. Gratz said it had been completed and forwarded to the university attorney for approval.


Senator Hindson said we no longer have performance raises, and the policy will have to be revised.  Dr. Gratz said they would look at that issue.


5. Invitation to University Council:

May 13, at 3:00, Dr. Trauth said at that meeting they will present the university plan and the academic plan at its center.  Not every piece is in place, but many parts are complete.  People can ask questions and comment at this point.


She also said that the governor's mandate is to come forward with >accountability measures, and the presidents are working on these measures. One of the goals would be performance-based funding, and the president is concerned about this possibility.  It has not worked in other states where it has been implemented.  The coordinating board adopted a revised funding formula, and we benefited somewhat on this new formula.  Eventually this will benefit us.   Every couple of years they will look again at the formula and make appropriate changes.  This was the first time a cost base was used to determine the formula.


Senator Hindson asked about the centennial of LBJ's birth, which is coming up in two years, and Dr. Trauth said that this will definitely be celebrated by the university.


Senator Bell-Metereau asked if there will be a new consideration of curriculum review, since we seem to be somewhat behind other universities in terms of interdisciplinary study and changes in traditional disciplinary boundaries.


Dr. Trauth said that individual faculty or groups may want to bring this up for consideration to the new provost.  This would not necessarily be done in the first year.


Chair Stone mentioned the consensual relationship issue, and said they were trying to develop a policy.  Dr. Trauth said she thought this would be a good idea.


Dr. Trauth and the senate thanked Dr. Gratz for his efforts, since this was his final PAAG meeting.


Faculty Senate:


Policy on Consensual Relations:


Senator Gillis moved to approve the policy and Senator Hindson seconded.


Senator Sawey asked why we needed it.  Senator McKinney said that the impression of relationships between professors and students could be damaging to the other students.


Chair Stone said that he discussed the issues with students, and they said they would be worried if a professor seemed to have a relationship with a student, feeling that this could somehow hurt their own grades.  Senator Conroy said that in order to be effective the policy would need workshops comparable to those conducted to educate faculty and staff on the sexual harassment policy.  Senator Bell-Metereau asked if anyone knew of any instance at this school that could have been alleviated or eliminated if this policy had been in place.  No examples were offered.


The committee's draft policy received unanimous approval.


Piper Award Revision:


Senator Conroy reported on changes in the call for nominations and committee charge wording.  The form that the foundation uses will be submitted, along with five letters of recommendation.  The committee requested that we make nominations due in April, but that was not possible.  The deadline for submissions remains October 1 (or the next day, if it falls on the weekend), but the amount of material submitted will be considerably smaller. People on the committee may not submit nominations.  This will be "votable" at the next meeting.


Senate elections:


Health professions: Sorensen and Nowicki are in Health Professions, but

Nowicki doesn't want to be considered.  


Round Rock people can't effectively vote.  We should do electronic voting next year. It would be possible with electronic ballot to have people opt out before the ballot went out.


Senator Conroy suggested an ad hoc committee to consider the election process.


Senator Peeler would chair, and liaisons would be included.


As Chair Stone starts sending electronic documents, he will tie in liaisons in electronic distribution of emails.


Senator Sawey asked if the committee to look at structure could look at the election issue as well, as part of the larger issue of participation.  Conroy and Brennan were on a previous committee that might contribute their expertise.  So far, Lisa has counted 196 against, 59 in favor of the petitioned change in the constitution.  Ballots so far are coming in against the petition 3 to 1.


Senator James said that it would be good to include the liaisons in more of the meetings.


Senator Bell-Metereau said that PAAG might not be the best time, because it might make the president more guarded to have a larger group.


Dean Wellborn is in the process of evaluating chairs in her college, and she wants to either use our data or re-administer the survey.  Chair Stone asked if we would object to using that form.


Senator Conroy said that starting from scratch would be better, since

She could let faculty know these were going to be used by the dean.


Senator Shah said he would rather have Dr. Wellborn take them separately to do with as she wished.


Senator Conroy reported that the Research Enhancement subcommittee is discussing whether chairs should be allowed to apply for Research Enhancement Grants.  They also posed the question of whether chairs are evaluated on research.  There is no standardization of how chairs are evaluated.  In some departments chairs do not seem to be evaluated on scholarship. She inquired about the possibility of establishing a more standard evaluation for chairs.


Senator Sawey said there was this expectation, but it wasn't clear that this was actually done. Chair Stone said that in their school there was no standard way of evaluating chairs. Senator Hazlewood said that in their department the chair is evaluated the same as everyone else.


Senator Gillis said that the president said chairs are faculty.  The role of the chair committee is saying they are not to be considered faculty.  Senator Bell-Metereau said that we should resist the Role of the Chair Committee's recommendation that chairs be considered primarily as administrators rather than as faculty.


Senator Shah said that in the fall we should bring this evaluation of chairs issue up to the new provost.


Chair Stone argued that chairs' roles are more standardized, as opposed to faculty across disciplines, and therefore some standardization of expectations is reasonable.


CAD Report:


The majority of CAD meetings are information sharing.  They do not generally formulate policy.  They shared information on applications for diplomas, the majority of which are for Texas State.


CAD supported the academic policy statement unanimously.  As we move to having more adjunct faculty, we do not pay enough attention to SACS accreditation. Senator Sawey said that there was no computer science department when he completed his Ph.D., and there are issues beyond the accreditation requirements.  There will be instances where we will have to base decisions on expertise.


At ACC, in addition to being adjunct faculty, the people fired did not hold proper degrees at all, not even Masters degrees.  This university may be overreacting to the situation.


New Business:


Senator Sawey said Dr. Blanda wondered if we'd like the details of electrical engineering before it comes to the curriculum committee. Senator Gordon said it wasn't really part of the process.  Senator Shah said that we had discussed having input earlier in the >process, and Senator Hazlewood concurred that this would be a good >idea.  We will RTA this item on May 5.


All liaisons and senators have been notified to check the College Research Committee representatives.


Senator James said that the work life committee will have recommendations.


Will we meet on the 5th or the 4th?  There is a presentation on defibrillators scheduled from Dr. Caranco.  Faculty Senate will meet at 1:00 on May 5.


Senator Bell-Metereau raised two questions about scholarships; financial aid is reduced by the amount of the scholarship. Low-income students used to get 80% covered by scholarships; this has gone down to 40%.  This will be worsened by tuition increases.  Also, what will happen with the Mitte scholarships if the Mitte money is unavailable for financial reasons.


We will be meeting once a month in the summer.  The senate will bring up some of these issues, including asking for feedback for IT people about issues of concern.


Chair Stone called for any changes to minutes.  Senate delayed approval

Until the next meeting. 


Move to adjourn; adjourned at 6:02.


Approved Minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau 5/14/04.