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April 26, 2006 Minutes

Draft Minutes for 04/26/06

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Davidson, Fite, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, James, McKinney, Montondon, Rao, Warms, Winek

Guests: President Trauth, Provost Moore, AVPAA Bourgeois, VPEM Heintze, Dr. John McGee, Dr. Debra Feakes

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

PAAG Agenda:

  • Work Life Coordinator Position: President Trauth indicated that the two key issues that came out of the work life study were tenure clock management and filling a fulltime position to help faculty and staff find appropriate resources in times of need.  The first issue has been addressed allowing faculty the opportunity to extend the tenure probationary period on a case-by-case basis.  The second was in competition with other priorities in the University's strategic plan resulting in inadequate resources being available to provide a work life coordinator.  There are also some issues with the job description for such a position, for example, it would be difficult for a single individual to adequately provide work life support for 2000 faculty and staff and doing the job poorly would cause even more problems.  The President indicated that she will put together a group who can come up with a job description for the work life position and that new funds should be available next fall to fund the position.


  • ERS Health Care Benefits:  In response to the Senate's query about concern about the deterioration of health care benefits, the President indicated that the six chancellors in the state are starting to meet and discuss issues that are a concern to all higher education.  She will inform our chancellor, Charles Matthews, of our concerns and, perhaps, the chancellors of the state could take up issue and provide a group that might have enough clout to make ERS listen.


  • Tenure/Promotion Cycle Overview:  President Trauth and Provost Moore both indicated how impressed they were with the quality of the candidates for tenure and promotion in this year's cycle.  All tenure/promotion candidates who were supported by both their dean and college review group were promoted.  The Provost would still like a better analysis of each candidate's research and indicated this analysis should be done by the group that can best do that, namely, departmental personnel committees.  Departments should be on alert that better analyses will be required in the next cycle.


  • Equity Review Cycle:  While the current cycle is not quite finished, it seems to be a success.  President Trauth said the University's faculty is the core of the University and she will continue to work with the numbers and if change is needed she will provide more CUPA adjustments.  Provost Moore mentioned the need for Texas State to compete with other institutions and will continue to look for ways to make that possible.  Both the president and the provost indicated that they would continue to work on the legislature to get appropriate funding for higher education.  Average increases in faculty salaries were approximately 3% statewide.  At Texas State, we are closer to 4%.  There is some concern that staff salaries are also lagging.  The President is setting aside $250,000 to do a staff equity study.


  • Merit Review Cycle:  The deans now have spread sheets and guidelines for allocation approximately $1.4 million for merit.  That amounts to a 3% allocation that is available to the colleges for merit.Allocations will again be made on a rolling 3-year review cycle.  The process should be completed by the first week in May.


  • Special Session:Representative Patrick Rose has indicated that the House and Senate may finish with the Sharp report and be able to also consider resurrection of TRB funding.The President optimistic.




University Curriculum Committee:  The Senate considered recommendations from the UCC, consisting of a GPA requirement change in Radiation Therapy, a certificate in Inter-American Studies, minor in Forensic Systems, and a draft PPS 2.18 Curriculum Committees.  The Senate suspended its rules by a unanimous vote so that the issues could be considered.  All recommendations passed.  Also, the Senate appointed Dr. Michael Supancic to be Vice Chair of the UCC.


New 48th Faculty Senate:  Newly elected Senators are Dr. Debra Feakes, Dr. John McGee and Senators Hazlewood and Stone were reelected.  Senator Stone will continue as chair, Senator James as vice chair and Hazlewood as secretary.


University Research Committee:The Senate appointed Dr. Elizabeth Skepan-Wheeler as the chair of the URC.Dr. Michael Blanda will continue on the committee as an ex-officio member and Senator Conroy with serve as the Senate representative.


Summer Senate Schedule: The Senate summer schedule will be meetings from 3 to 5:May 24, June 28, July 26 and August 30.


Senate Survey of Deans, Provost, and President:The Provost�s survey pre-empted the Senate survey.The Senate�s survey of dean�s, provost and president will be sent out electronically 04/27/06.


Final Grade Input Schedule:There is still no final resolution on the date that final grades must be recorded at the end of each semester.There will be more time at the end of the semester, it is just not clear when that will happen.


Development Leave:A question was raised the Development Leave application form, Attachment A, which indicates that faculty must have six consecutive years of full-time academic service to be eligible for leave.What happens if a faculty member took maternity leave during the period, would he/she be eligible?The consensus of the Senate was that such leaves should not affect eligibility.


Increased Parking Fees:Concerns were expressed about fears of parking shortages when work begins on parking garages on campus.Although arrangements are being made to increase shuttles from outlying parking lots, such fears are probably warranted.It is just one of those things that happen with progress.


PAAG Follow-up:


  • The Senate will continue to urge the President to institute a work life coordinator.Senator Warms is recommended as a representative of the Senate when the President for a group to study the job description.


  • The Senate will request an electronic copy of the merit results when the process closes in May.


  • The Senate will again request that the University budget be provided electronically.A hard copy is traditionally provided when the budget recommendation goes to the Board of Regents.


  • It was recommended that the chair send a note of appreciation noting the openness the President and Provost have shown the faculty.


Minutes:Minutes for 04/19/06 were approved.