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Jan 30, 2008 Minutes

Members present:

Senators Stone, Bond, Davidson, Feakes, Furney, Hazlewood, Hindson, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Melzer, Ogletree, Shah, Winek, Wilson


Guests: Rebecca Swindal, Staff Council Representative; and Selina Saucedo, University Star


Meeting called to order at 4:00.



  • Degree-Seeking Graduates data:  The Chair circulated data on degree-seeking graduates. The data will be kept on file in the Senate Office.
  • Limitations on the Number of Courses Dropped:  Guidelines are being developed to help students with the implementation of the legislation designed to limit the number of drops for undergraduates at institutions of higher education. Students with questions will be asked to contact the Registrar’s Office.
  • Faculty Developmental Leaves: There was some discussion at CAD regarding the eligibility of chairs to apply for developmental leaves.  Also, some discussion, but nothing official, on the cycle.
  • Joanne Cole Mitte Faculty Grant for Excellence:  The deans are looking at ways to increase the number of applications for the award and how to improve their quality of documentation.


Parking/Shuttle Issue:  In an e-mail, as a response to the Senate’s request that someone from Parking Services meet with the Senate, Stephen Prentice, Asst. Dir. Of Parking Serv., provided the following responses to Senate questions:

    1. Can we request drivers assist with the shuttle doors for passengers who need assistance:  those carrying a lot of item, older passengers? Response:  I’d be happy to suggest that to our drivers.
    2. Can we extend the shuttle runs to later in the evening? Response: One van operates until midnight. The two “dedicated” vans run until 5:30 p.m. We’ve asked the evening driver to concentrate on the Pleasant Street Garage until closer to 6:30 p.m. If folks need a ride after the 6-6:30 ending time they can call 245-safe and UPD will dispatch the van. If it was me and I was headed out of the office I’d call just to make sure the van was there. One van operates until midnight. The two “dedicated” vans run until 5:30 p.m. We’ve asked the evening driver to concentrate on the Pleasant Street Garage until closer to 6:30 p.m. If folks need a ride after the 6-6:30 time they can call 245-safe and UPD will dispatch the van. If it was me and I was headed out of the office I’d call just to make sure the van was there.
    3. For the first few days of the semester, both the Physical Plant Lot and the Pleasant Street garage were restricted to parking by those with red permits from 7 AM to 7 PM.  It has since returned to 7 AM to 5 PM.  Why were the hours reduced, given the difficulties in finding parking spaces?  Response: The Physical Plant lot was originally designated 7 to 5 and remains that way. What did change was the number of spaces dedicated to Red Permits. The existing 181 commuter spaces were changed to “Red”. In a lot of 301 spaces, the average number of Red permitted vehicles parked during the first week of classes was about 160. The high of 205 was on the first Tuesday but since has never been more than about 180. Based on those numbers I recommended returning 86 spaces back to commuter use. The TPC approved. If you visit the Red area now, at almost any time you will see it is still not fully utilized. Both the permanent sign at Pleasant and the portable one we place each day say 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. It was my original recommendation to reserve the lot 7 to 7 and TPC approved. We have staffed the garage and performed parking counts since day one. During the first week we found that there were never more than 29 red permits parked in the garage by 6:15 p.m. I sent that information to the TPC and it was decided that the time could be changed to 6 p.m. As you can imagine, it is difficult to explain to evening students or community members coming to some of the public events at Music or Evans that they need to park a long way away and walk...past a garage with 60 empty spaces. We have continued to staff it from 5:30 to 6 to shoo away students and perform counts. There have never been less than 45 empty spaces at 6:05. I then have the officer go to the R-3 Lot (the gated lot next to Evans and Nueces) and count those spaces. There have never been fewer than 40 empty spaces there at 6:15 p.m. and as a gated lot it remains that way throughout the night. Based on this data it would seem that anyone arriving before 6:30 would have close to 90 spaces in these two lots to choose from. Even if the garage fills, R-3 always has plenty of space.

There was some discussion among Senators regarding how vacant spaces are counted and exactly when are spaces considered to be vacant. A plan for further action will be considered next week.



Faculty Perceptions of Administrators:  The Senate began its initial discussions on how to proceed with its annual survey of faculty perceptions of the Deans, Provost and President. It is anticipated that the survey will be an electronic survey, but if necessary, a hard-copy survey might be administered.  Some adjustments were made to the initial letter that will announce the survey to the faculty and there was some discussion about what to say and do about the comment section of the survey.  It was decided to invite University Attorney Fly to discuss wording with respect to the letter and the comments section.  A later discussion will consider potential changes to the specific statements in the actual survey.




PAAG Agenda Items:  After some discussion, it was decided to consider the following topics for next week’s PAAG meeting with the President and Provost:

  • $20,000 Awards Associated with Developmental Leaves: Since this is the first year of the program, the Senate is interested in learning how the process went. What criteria were used to select the award recipients and who participated in the selection process?
  • Texas State’s Interface with THECB: With the approval of the Math Education Ph.D. proposal, there were apparently significant external obstacles that needed to be resolved to get the proposal approved. The Senate is interested in the nature of the obstacles, how they were overcome and if these events will affect our long-term relationships with THECB?
  • Success of Faculty and Administrative Recruitment Efforts:  Are faculty and administrative searches generally successful?  Individual Senators are aware of local results, but is it possible to get an overview.


New Business: 

  • Exchange Programs:  Assoc. VPAA Thorne indicated a draft policy being circulated on University exchange programs. The chair will request a copy of the draft for the Senate.
  • Departmental Impact of the Mini-session Stipend Increase:  There was some discussion to consider the impact on the various departments with respect to the recent increase in stipend for University mini-sessions from $2000/2500 to $3250/4000.
  • Admission of Non-graduates to Graduate Classes:  There was some discussion regarding the Graduate College policy of allowing students completing their last semester of their undergraduate program to enroll in graduate classes, at times, over several semesters.  Dean Willoughby will be invited to discuss the issue.  Senators should be considering other possible questions related to the Graduate College.


Minutes:  Minutes for 01/23/07 were approved as amended.