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Oct 11, 2006 Minutes

Minutes for 10/11/06

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Davidson, Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, McKinney, Montondon, Sorensen, Warms, Winek

Guests: President Trauth, Provost Moore, Assoc. Prov. Bourgeois, Dir. of Curr. Micky Autrey, Mark Fronstad, Geography

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


PAAG: President Trauth and Provost Moore addressed the following issues raised by the Senate:

1         Capital Campaign:  In response to the Senate’s request that she address the university’s new capital campaign, President Trauth began with a history of the project.  Planning began in the spring semester with the first action to identify and hire a consultant. After were several meetings, a consultant was hired, a group of volunteers identified representing corporations, foundations and others, and policies and procedures initiated.  The University is now in the feasibility study phase with the volunteers on hold and the consultant talking to people to determine levels and strategies.  Finalization of the plan is anticipated in January and then there will have to be a decision made as to what is to be the next step.  The general metaphor for the campaign is a ``Bridge to the Future.’’ The bridge will have three supporting pillars:  the main center pillar, academic excellence, will support students with need based and merit based scholarships and faculty with more endowed chairs.  The other pillars are bricks and mortar and athletics.  The major emphasis of the bricks and mortar pillar will be phase 1 of the Performing Arts Center.  The athletics pillar will mainly support more scholarships and support for summer school for the University’s athletes.


2         Unintended Consequences: Regarding implied pressure on departments to propose new doctoral programs, according to the Provost there shouldn’t be any. Currently the University has six doctoral programs in place and, at the midpoint of a four year planning schedule, there are five programs in planning: Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Physical Therapy, Criminal Justice and Computer Science.  There might be a couple more during the next two or three years, but the Provost does not expect every department to come forward with a Ph.D. program.  While the University trend is for more Ph.D. programs, it is an evolutionary process that should be as simple and painless as possible.  It is important to maintain the respect of the faculty, and the commitment is to both the undergraduate and graduate programs of the University.  For example, of the new faculty positions, two-thirds have gone to non-doctoral programs over the past two years.  With respect to the question of whether Texas State is still eligible for RUI funding, there is still no answer from the Office of Sponsored Programs.  The Provost will pursue the topic.  There were approximately fifteen doctoral degrees granted within the past year, but Education degrees do not count toward the ten degrees granted annually to make the University ineligible for RUI funding. Thus, Texas State is probably still eligible, but clearly, the University will run into the issue soon:  at least one dean is telling his tenure-track faculty that they must receive federal funding in order to be eligible for tenure. The Provost will ask AVP Covington to investigate how the Office of Sponsored Programs can help those faculty who will eventually be impacted by the cutoff of RUI status.  In response to the remark about a dean indicating federal funding was necessary for tenure, the Provost said `` external funding’’; it didn’t necessarily have to be federal funding.  A question was raised as to whether having or not having a doctoral program might relegate a department to be a service department and considered not as good as everyone else.  Both the President and the Provost responded that ``what we at Texas State do at the baccalaureate and masters level, we do very well.’’  Having a doctoral program is not the only way to get new resources.  A department shouldn’t go for a doctoral program unless the department, as a whole, really wants it.  Don’t do it just for status within the college and the University.  Other discussion touched on such topics as: should there be an Honors College at the undergraduate level and whether University Seminar helps retain students.

3         Faculty Handbook:  At the Senate’s suggestion of a subcommittee of the Senate working with AP Bourgeois on a final edit of the Faculty Handbook and if the Senate should work on a draft PPS for future Faculty Handbook revisions, both the President and the Provost whole-heartedly agreed.

4         Legislative Session:  The top University priority for this legislative session is funding to the Undergraduate Classroom Building.  State Representative Rose and State Senator Wentworth are very supportive.

5         Core Curriculum: With regard to meeting the 120-hour degree mandate, departments want course reductions to come from both the core curriculum and the major.  Right now, it looks like a 4-4 cut, four hours from the core curriculum and four hours from the major.  The cut in the core curriculum will probably come from collapsing two required three hour courses into one three hour course and eliminating two PE courses.  There was some discussion about University Seminar.  Specifically, the Provost’s view is that the University Seminar course should be directly involved with retention.  More sections, specific to a particular discipline, were suggested as a possible improvement.  The Provost liked the idea and indicated that his office will try to come up with more money for the program.  Faculty should start now to dedicate disciplines to offer special sessions next fall.




UCC Recommendation: The Senate returned last week’s recommendation of the University Curriculum Committee for a formal vote.  The recommendation was

·         Delete BAIS major in Russian/East European Studies

·         Add BS major in Electrical Engineering

·         Add School of Engineering in the College of Science and change the Department of Engineering & Technology to the Department of Technology

The Senate endorsed the recommendation of the UCC to be forwarded to the next level.



·         Retired Faculty Benefits:  A redrafted version of UPPS04.04.53 has returned all of the benefits to retired faculty except for the free tickets to football games.

·         University Archivist:  The Library has hired a university archivist who will work on faculty records retention.

·         Piper Professor Applicants:  Recommendations for the University’s Piper Professor nominees will come to the Senate within the next couple of weeks.


Approval of Minutes: Amended minutes for 9/27/06 and 10/04/06 were approved.