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Sept 3, 2003 Minutes

Chair Stone called Faculty Senate to order at 4:05.

Attending: Sawey, Peeler, Conroy, James, Shah, Rao, Gillis, Hazlewood, Bell-Metereau, Brennan, Hofer

Guests: Dan Lochman, Margaret Vaverek, Michael Korn


          Chair Stone welcomed a new temporary member. Ted Hindson asked to have Kay Hofer substitute for him. It was moved and seconded appoint her to substitute until Senator Hindson returns.


          Modern Languages doesn’t have an elected faculty senate liaison.

Senator James moved to ask last year’s liaison to continue to serve until an election can be held, Senator Sawey seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.


I. Chairs and Deans must make sure faculty meet minimum SACS requirements for the courses they are teaching.  A new form for the Coordinating Board requires that courses be justified for usefulness and for academic quality.


          II. Upcoming PAAG Dates and Issues

          PAAG meeting dates for 2003-04 will be as follows:

          9/17, 10/15, 11/12, 12/3 (social), 2/4, 3/24, 4/28

We can schedule times to meet with the president, but small group meetings with senators will not be regularly scheduled this year. President Trauth plans to meet individually with each department. To free up time for that, she won’t have the other kinds of meetings she’s been having with individuals and groups during the first year.


          Proposed Agenda Items for Future PAAG Meetings: ∑ Status of librarians (Margaret Vaverek reported that VPIT Van Wyatt has asked to meet with all librarians.) ∑ Workload policy, Disclosure of workload ∑ 9-hour teaching load ∑ Anti-discrimination policy ∑ Raises (performance, merit, relative amounts of faculty, staff,


∑ Graduation attendance (On-line handbook hasn’t been changed. One dept. has faculty going to three.)

          Senator Shah said that Vice President Gratz should send a memo stating that faculty are obligated to go to one of four events (included freshman convocation). Ms. Henry said such a memo had gone out in 1996 and Chair Stone asked Ms. Henry to find the memo. ∑ Post-tenure review policy ∑ Address [?] for evaluation of deans and chairs ∑ Allocated positions for minority hires

          Several faculty expressed concerns about the hiring of minorities. Senator Rao stated that the deans have money that can be used to automatically hire minority faculty and questioned the legitimacy of this. Chair Stone explained that it was all right to hire without advertising if it is an adjunct in an emergency position. Senator Rao said there is some money available for minority hires that can used now.

∑ Presidential Award program (will it continue at present funding level?)


          Items proposed for our next PAAG meeting are as follows:

          Discrimination #1

          Workload #2


          Raises #4

          Librarians #5

          9-hour teaching load


Chair Stone said President Trauth wants to discuss the librarian status issue at the 9/17 PAAG.


III.  Chair Stone asked the Senate to determine a charge for the curriculum committee.


     Senator Sawey said we should be looking at duplication of courses and making an attempt to assess real cost, particularly of Ph.D. programs.  Professor Lochman, newly appointed chair of the Curriculum Committee, said both of these were excellent and difficult issues. The committee is concerned about duplication of courses, but the difficulty occurs when possible duplication is defended on basis of unique qualities of the course, suited to the discipline. For example, statistics courses would seem to be duplicative but each discipline argues that their approach is unique. It is difficulty to sort out the accuracy of such claims.


           Senator Sawey asked how much trouble it would be to flag the item when such issues come up.


          Chair Stone said that faculty ownership of courses should be central to this committee.


          Professor Lochman gave the historical example of the controversy between English and Theatre over teaching Shakespeare.


          Chair Stone said Geography of Health would be epidemiology in any other school. We need to do this oversight of curriculum as faculty, and we need committee members who are willing to stand up and speak out on the issue.


          Professor Lochman said this will require a different level of activity for the committee. They have over 200 adds, drops, and deletes, to get results in by September 14. It would be impossible to address that level of complexity this year.


          Chair Stone said that there are only a handful courses that cause some concern.


          Professor Lochman said that at one time departments proposing new courses were to go to the departments with possible overlap. Perhaps there needs to be a fuller statement of rationale for the need for the course.


Senator Shah said that there is a problem with unrealistic claims that new courses and programs will not require additional resources. Someone has to teach new courses.


           Senator Bell-Metereau suggested having more topics courses that might eliminate the need to create a number of very specific courses, which might or might not have faculty to teach them in the future.


           Professor Lochman said they have to be submitted as a specific course after they are taught more than three times. Also, any course that has been changed more than 50% must be resubmitted.


           Senator Brennan said the timing is a big part of the problem. Ms. Henry said the time for comment was shorter than it used to be.


           Professor Lochman said having the committee in place by August 1 would help.


           Senator Conroy said we appoint Faculty Research committee members at beginning of the spring semester, and we could also appoint curriculum committee members in the spring.


     Professor Lochman met with as many new members as possible to instruct them in the curriculum process, and said it would be a good practice to complete before classes started.


           Chair Stone said that reorganization might help. Senators Hazlewood (chairing), Conroy and Brennan will work with Prof. Lochman on a subcommittee to draft a revised charge for the Curriculum Committee.


          Senator Brennan said there are three levels: 1) technical/language 2) new proposals, duplication, legitimate 3) cost of programs


          Senator Peeler asked if all course proposals have to come as a package.


IV.   New Business

           Senator Sawey asked for further consideration of “deals” for people stepping down from chair positions. (e.g. $109,000 and a  semester off.)  Ask V.P. what deals were made in Geog, Political Science, and Sociology. When a new chair, is hired now they negotiate a chair salary and base academic salary. Chairs that have been around for a while pre-date the new policy, which has only been around for the last 3-4 years.


     Item: Professor Hofer requested information on the increase in parking fees to $50 and the refusal to allow faculty to increase Cafeteria Plan election amounts when health care costs were raised May 1.


           She also asked about the legality of changing the health insurance plan in the middle of the contract year.  Regents declined the request to ask the Attorney General to consider the legality of this change. Can we re-address this issue? U.T. and A & M have gotten out of this because they’re not in ERS. They’ve avoided the rule of 80, but their financial condition is not any better than ours.


           Senator Hazlewood asked if this was a property right and Chair Stone observed

that the legislature doesn’t have the money.  Nevertheless, the cafeteria plandoesn’t cost the state. But if a change is allowed on this item, then it would affect everything else.  Chair Stone noted that there are IRS regulations governing the cafeteria plan as well. Professor Hofer commented on the drastic rise in out of pocket health care costs.


Senator James received a request from a faculty member to have a faculty server that would belong to the faculty and would not be affected by registration. A second issue raised by a faculty member is the scarcity of parking for faculty on campus.  Senator Gillis also had faculty members mention parking and UPD illegally parking.


           Senator Rao had faculty with concerns about the new gates. Who is collecting new data and why.  Senator Hazlewood said he went through four gates finding a place to park. Senator Peeler said it allows a way to identify the card with a user, so if it’s stolen it can be deactivated while the faculty member gets another card.  Senator Sawey asked if there is an effort to keep this data secure. Senator Conroy asked if there were any other kinds of fallout from budgetary cuts.


          The Meeting adjourned at 6:05.


          Minutes submitted by Senator Bell-Metereau 9/21/03.






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