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Oct 26, 2005 Minutes

Approved Faculty Senate Minutes 10/26/05

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Davidson, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, James, McCall, McKinney, Montondon, Rao, Shah, Sorensen, Winek


Clayton Medford, Univ Star

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Development Leave Applications: The Senate considered development leave applications from Xiao Chen, Computer Science, Craig Hanks, Psychology, Joseph Koke, Biology, Roger Colombik, Art & Design, John Spellman, Mathematics, Debra Monroe, English, James Housefield, Art & Design and Bruce Smith, Journalism.  The rest of the applicants will be evaluated next week.



       Texas Council of Faculty Senates: With regard to President Rumaldo Juarez's recent action to suspend the faculty senate at Texas A&M-Kingsville and create an new structure for faculty governance that denies participation to any former member to the dissolved faculty senate, the TCFS reaffirmed their previous resolution of Oct 3, 2004 which stated "Whereas, Texas A&M, Kingsville, has passed a vote of no confidence in their President. Therefore, be it resolved that the Texas Council of Faculty Senates insists that state university and college faculties have a right to assemble and petition grievances.  Be it further resolved, that all faculty participants should be immune from any retribution for their statements and actions.  And, be it further resolved, that the Texas Council of Faculty Senates fully supports the Texas A&M, Kingsville, faculty senate in its efforts to carry out it obligations and responsibilities as a body of the faculty."

       120 Hour Degree Rule: The Coordinating Board is not writing any rules for the implementation of the legislative directive that baccalaureate degrees require no more than 120 hours of credit by 2008.  The board staff says that colleges should not change their programs based on the rule and that the Coordinating Board will probably be very liberal in allowing exceptions.  For the time being, everyone should just sit and wait.

       Flat Tuition at Texas A&M:  Texas A&M University has instituted a flat tuition rate.  Students pay registration fees for fifteen hours but may actually register for more or fewer hours credit.  The legislature seems to be very interested in the idea; the motivation being given is that it will save money in the long run.

       Closing the Gaps: The Higher Education Coordinating Board's Closing the Gaps Program goal was, initially, to close the gaps in higher education participation rates across Texas to add 500,000 more students by 2015.  Now, the goal has increased to more than 600,000 more students.  Hopefully the legislature will listen and provide the necessary additional funding.

       Faculty Salaries:  TACT has indexing figures about faculty salaries.  It appears that most colleges had average raises this year in the neighborhood of 4%.  Figures seem to show that raises at Texas State averaged closer to 3.5% overall.

       Special Session of the Legislature:  It would appear that any special session of the legislature would now not take place until after the primary elections in the spring.  It looks like the tuition/revenue bond monies are still on hold.


Tenure/Promotion Data:  The Provost's office has provided the tenure/promotion data from the last tenure/promotion cycle.  The Chair will seek clarification on a couple of cases that were possibly incomplete.  For example, there was an instance where there was a college review group recommendation but not one from the dean.  Normally, a recommendation goes forward if it is approved by either the college review group or the dean, but stops only it is denied by both.


Survey Regarding the Senate's Web Page:  An electronic survey to the faculty to determine opinion regarding whether data on the Faculty Senate's web page should be password protected was discussed.  Some minor changes were made on the form.  It should be coming to the faculty soon.  The reason for the survey is the continuing debate surrounding the Senate's posting of the comments section of last year's faculty opinion survey of the University's deans and chairs.


 New Business:

  1. PAAG:  Senators should continue to think of items for the PAAG agenda in two weeks.
  2. Curriculum Committee Recommendations:  Recommendations from the Curriculum Committee are coming.
  3. Senior Lecturer:  What has happens with regard to the creation of the senior lecturer position?  Senators are being asked if the new position will allow new benefits that current lecturers do not have, for example, will senior lecturer be able to apply for research enhancement grants.  Currently, lecturers must apply jointly with tenured or tenure-track faculty. Apparently, creation of the position has slipped to a back burner.  No new policy has been written yet.



Minutes for 10/19/05 were approved.