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July 13, 2005 Minutes

Approved Faculty Senate Minutes 07/13/05

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan,  Gillis, Hazlewood,  Hindson,  McKinney,  Rao,  Shah, Sorensen, Winek

Guests: Perry Moore, Provost,  Gene Bourgeois, Assoc. VPAA,  Micky Henry, Dir. Curr. Ser.,

David Spencer, Criminal Justice, John McLaren,  Criminal Justice

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Discussion with Perry Moore:

Provost Moore discussed several topics:

  1. Legislative Issues: 
    1. Tuition/Revenue Bonds:  the Academic Building, second building at Round Rock were  in the bills from both the House and Senate Second Special Session.
    2. HEAF monies decline from 14.4 million to 14.1 million for each of the next two years and then increase to 20 million for the next eight years.
    3. Our general appropriation will be up because of the new funding formula and because of growth.
    4. There is a bill to put a student on the Board of Regents.  Someone asked if there was a possibility for faculty representation.  Comment was: “who knows.” 
    5. Hours Restriction:  Institutions can’t require more hours for a degree that the minimum required by SACS (120 hrs).  The current average is 128 hrs.  This would be cut unless the institution determines there is a compelling reason for more hours.  We will need to review current requirements.  The issue does not apply to students until after 2008.
    6. Performing Arts Center:  Construction of the Performing Arts Center is a top priority and if it is not funded by the Legislature,  monies will be provided from other sources.
  2. Salary Raises:  There will be monies available (3%) with 1% for performance and 2% for merit.
  3. Strategic Projects:  2.5 million is set aside for special projects.
  4. New Faculty Positions:  2 million is set aside for new faculty positions. Currently there are 816 full time faculty with 66 new tenure track faculty.  Planning for an addition 26 new positions for next year.

Grievance Procedures:

Dr. David Spencer, the current university hearing officer, met with the Senate to discuss the current grievance procedure in light of a recent article from the Texas Faculty Association condemning Texas State and its previous hearing officer for denying two faculty members’ right to grieve on the basis that the university broke no internal policy or violated any law. Dr. Spencer indicated that he had not discussed the issue with the prior hearing officer, and that he did not agree with that interpretation of the right to grieve.  He indicated any issue was grievable  as long as it fit broadly within the guidelines in Regents’ Rules Chap 5.4.42: “A faculty member may present a grievance,  in person, to a System component’s president or his or her designee on a issue related wages, hours of employment, conditions of work, promotion denial, or the non-renewal  or termination of the faculty member’s employment.” If a grievance is filed, he indicated there should be a grievance hearing unless all parties agreed that a hearing should not be held.  When asked about the possibility of reprisal since he doesn’t have a tenure track appointment,  he indicated that he was a lawyer, had been a judge in both civil and criminal court  and was not worried about such matters.


Faculty Handbook:

Dr John McLaren, Chair of the Faculty Handbook presented a preliminary draft of the new faculty handbook.  He indicated that most changes from the previous version dealt with the university name change,  creation of the post of provost, but there are some new sections, one of which is a section on post tenure review.  After some discussion, it was agreed that a completed draft would come to the Senate soon.


Relocation of the Senate:

The offer from the Provost to relocate the Senate office to Derrick Hall was discussed.  Although no action was taken on the offer, the sense of the Senate seemed indicate that the Senate should not move from its current location on the 8-th floor of JCK.


Senate Constitutional Amendment:

The Senate discussed how best to present a ballot to amend the Constitution of the Faculty to the faculty.  Most changes are cursurary with the exception of the suggested change in the definition of voting faculty which waives the one year requirement to become eligible to vote and changes the issue of appointment from “more than 50% faculty” to “50% faculty.” It was decided to circulate the ballots at the college and departmental meeting at the beginning of the fall semester.


Mace Bearers:

There was a request to the Senate to provide mace bearers for the summer commencement ceremonies.  Senators Shah and Stone  together with another to-be-named faculty member will serve.


Evaluation Data for Administrators  and Chairs:

The Senate discussed the format for evaluation data collected in the spring semester.  A draft will be provided for the next Senate meeting.


New Business:

  1. Parking and the increased parking sticker fee was discussed.
  2. It was announced that the recommended  modification of the dates for development  leave applications and final student withdrawal  date had been endorsed by the Deans and was forwarded to the Provost.
  3. A query was raised about the announcement of the creation of the Texas Digital Library and the possibility of our institutions possible membership. 
  4. A question was raised with regard an PPS referring to clinical faculty.  Some concern was expressed about new titles being interpreted as equivalent to tradition titles like asst prof, assoc prof, and prof without  proper scrutiny.