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Jan 28, 2009 Minutes

Minutes for 01/28/09

Members present: Senators Feakes, Brown, Conroy, Furney, C. Hazlewood, D. Hazlewood, Martin, Melzer, Minifie, Shah, Stone, Warms, Wilson
Guests: Assoc Provost Bourgeois; Micky Autrey, Dir. Curr. Services; Dr. Karen Sigler, Alkek Library; Dr. Mary Jo Biggs, Social Work
Meeting called to order at 4:00
Info Items: The Chair announced some informational items:
  • Mace Bearers: Senators need to be thinking of nominations for mace bearers for the spring graduation ceremonies.
  • Committee Replacements: Dr. Carolyn McCall was recommended to fill a vacancy on the Committee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service and Shane Smith was recommended as the Fine Arts and Communication representative to the Academic Computing Committee.
  • CAD: The joint meeting of Council for Academic Deans and the Senate is set for March 11 in Alkek 105.
UCC Recommendation: A motion was made and seconded to approve the recommendation of the University Curriculum Committee to:
  • Change the name of the Department of Art and Design to the School of Art and Design
  • Change the BFA major in Digital and Photographic Imaging to a major in Photography
  • Change name of the Department of Technology to the Department of Engineering Technology
  • Move the School of Social Work from the College of Health Professions to the College of Applied Arts 
The motion carried.
SACS Drafts on Academic Freedom and the Faculty Role in Academic
Governance: Discussion continued with Assoc. Provost Bourgeois regarding the University’s grievance policy. A Senator pointed out that the language in Regent’s Rules, Section 4.43, is permissive in allowing a variety of methods for the hearing of grievances. Also cited was Chapter 51 of the Education Code, which is also permissive in that regard. Examples of different grievance processes at other universities in the Texas State University System were also presented. It was suggested that a grievance process similar to the one used at Texas State in 1999-2000 would be model insuring more faculty participation in academic governance.  Dr. Bourgeois agreed to take a form of the recommendation to the Provost for consideration. Dr. Bourgeois also indicated that Provost Moore was interested in setting up some sort of group with substantial faculty representation to look at University-wide budget issues. Senators indicated that they are also interested in more specificity regarding how monies are allocated at the departmental level. Dr. Bourgeois indicated that he would continue to encourage Chairs to be open with information on non-personnel decisions. He expressed his impression that a Chair was a managing partner of a department, and personnel committee members and other faculty should also be partners in that management. A concern that was also expressed to Dr. Bourgeois was the method of annual merit/performance evaluation in some departments, where only the Chair of the department conducted the evaluation. Dr. Bourgeois indicated that it was ok for departmental personnel committees to use a subcommittee of the group to do annual evaluations in coordination with the Chair, but that it was not acceptable for the evaluation to rest solely with the Chair. He went so far as to indicate that if personnel committee members were not involved in the merit recommendations of a department, the raises would not be awarded in that department.
PPS Recommendations: The Senate considered recommendations for changes in several PPS revisions. Suggested changes were approved for PPS 5.01—Contracts and Grants of an Academic Nature, PPS 8.03—Evaluation of Deans, and PPS 4.10—Faculty Authored Teaching Materials. An ad hoc committee consisting of Senators Brock and Martin will explore recommendations for changes in PPS 6.04—Piper Professor Award Recognition.
Handgun Resolution from ASG: Because it is not allowed to advocate for legislation, the Senate decided to take no action with regard to the ASG Resolution, S.R.F. 2008-2009 “Enabling Self-Defense.”
PAAG Agenda: Senators discussed possible topics for next week’s PAAG Agenda for President Trauth. Topics finally determined are:
  • Distance Learning: With the increasing number of distance learning classes, the Faculty Senate would like toknow if any effort is being made to evaluate and modify relevant policy and procedurestatements to accommodate the varying teaching environments. For example, the proceduresoutlined in UPPS 07.10.01, Honor Code, are not easily applicable to the distance-learningformat.
  • Scholarship Funds: The financial situation has resulted in significantly lower income revenues in many of ourexisting accounts used for Scholarship funds. In many of these accounts, the lack of incomeprevents the utilization of the account balance. Has the University made any contingency plansto provide temporary resources to ensure that we are able to continue funding these scholarshipstudents?
  • Tuition Revision: Although the Faculty Senate recognizes that the outcome of the current legislative sessionwill determine the status of tuition revenue in the State, we would appreciate hearing yourthoughts regarding the University’s plans in the case of reduced tuition revenue. For example,how would reduced tuition revenue impact current tuition revenue bonds?
  • Round Rock Programs: Does the university have any plans for expanding the number and kind of degree programsoffered at the Round Rock campus?
Minutes:  Minutes were approved as amended for 12/03/08 and 01/21/09.