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Oct 14, 2009 Minutes

Members present: Senators Feakes, Wilson, Caldwell, Brown, Furney, Stone, Bond, Morey, Martin, Shah, Warms, Conroy, Melzer.

Guests: Hohensee, Collins (University Star), Sigler, Bourgeois, Wiley, Grimes, Gratz, Peeler, Smith, Friedman, McGee.

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

1.  Administrators' salaries will be posted on the Senate website by 10/15, and faculty will then be notified the data is available for review.

Tenure and Promotion:  Dr. Bourgeois noted that there is no new information on the Tenure and Promotion process since the President discussed the new procedures at a PAAG meeting last spring. Only in "rare and exceptional" cases will people be tenured or promoted early. An adequate amount of time in rank is needed for promotion to Full Professor; if a person with many years in rank at another institution is hired at Texas State, "a minimum of three years in rank at Texas State would be acceptable" for promotion. New contracts will likely offer all hires the full probationary period.

Expectations for scholarly / creative activity:  Dr. Bourgeois explained that faculty and departments should not think of minimum requirements. Rather, think of a "pipeline of activity" that will lead faculty to build a record worthy of their being tenured or promoted. To insure this, a number of departments now maintain "rates of publication" on faculty to judge if they are progressing effectively toward the amount of publication needed for tenure and / or promotion. Standards have not changed, but mentoring efforts have been refined; this is the purpose of discussing a "pipeline of activity."

Grant funding:  The valuing of grant activity varies among departments and colleges. In some, there is an expectation of grant activity, and such activity will be judged equivalent to scholarly / creative activity. Moreover, grant activity in some fields is necessary for faculty to pursue their research agenda. In other disciplines, grant activity may have no bearing on judging a faculty member's scholarly / creative activity. Dr. Bourgeois noted that the place where grant activity counts most across campus is in annual review.

External reviews:  External reviews are most useful for "marginal" candidates, who may need to provide additional evidence of their worthiness for tenure and promotion.

Dr. Bourgeois would like to convene a Senate committee to work toward incorporating these new procedures into relevant PPS documents.

Transportation and Parking:  Drs. Gratz and Peeler, co-chairs of the Transportation and Parking Committee, along with Dr. Smith, visited the Senate to listen to Senators' suggestions for and concerns about parking on campus, an issue made more urgent by the recent growth on campus. As outlined in the Senate minutes of 10/7/09, the Senate shared several recommendations, as well as summarizing a number of issues that they hope the Committee will explore: the number of red permit spaces; the possibility of 24-hour reserved spaces for red permit holders; student abuses of the parking system; poor use of gated lots; the problems of requiring the purchase of parking permits by those visiting campus as participants in University outreach programs; the security measures in place for parking lots; the security of gate cards; and a reconsideration of the start-of-semester grace periods, during which parking rules are not enforced.

Dr. Smith noted that several parking spaces near Harris, where the Testing Center is currently located, have been reserved for faculty doing business at the Testing Center. Dr. Gratz explained that a comprehensive review of parking policies is needed to reflect the recent campus growth. He also noted that a new parking garage will open next year, and this addition of spaces will need to be a part of the review. Parking was an element of the campus Master Plan, but we are now in the fifth year of that plan and many things planned for did not occur, while others arose that now need to be considered. Drs. Gratz and Peeler will take the Senate's concerns and recommendations to the Committee, and will report back to the Senate on their discussions.

University Curriculum Committee Recommendation Vote:  The Senate voted to approve the Committee's recommendations on the following proposals:
•  Delete the International Studies majors;
  Change the Dance major;
•  Add an undergraduate certificate in Environmental Interpretation;
  Change the Department of Educational Administration and Psychological Services;
•  Add a Department of Health Information Management.


There was continued discussion of the proposal to change the name of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation to the Department of Health and Human Performance. Discussion focused on the potential for student confusion about what college houses the Department, Health Professions or Education. Additional discussion focused on the promises of the Department that it will not revisit its department offerings after changing the name. The Senate concluded its discussion by approving the proposed name change.

The Senate deferred action on the proposal to delete the Early Childhood Education majors, so that faculty concerns about the changes could be expressed and faculty participation in the process would be respected.

Piper Committee Recommendation:  Dr. Friedman, Committee Chair, reported the Committee's recommendation for this year's Piper nominee and Swinney Awardees. After suspending rules so that a vote could be taken, the Senate voted to approve the recommendations. Dr. Friedman noted that the new process for submitting applications online worked well. She urged the Senate to consider notifying faculty of the application dates earlier in the year, and the Chair agreed to explore the possibility of sending out an email reminder to faculty in late spring, so that faculty have the summer to develop their applications more effectively ahead of the October 1 deadline.

The Senate expressed appreciation to Dr. Friedman for her exemplary work on the Committee over the past few years.

President's Work-Life Advisory Council:  Council Chair Dr. Mandziuk returned to the Senate to ask for its renewed support of a proposal the Senate first explored last year: to encourage the University to join UT Advantage, a program that offers counseling services and a database of service providers to employees. The revised proposal will cost Texas State roughly $70,000, a reduction from last year's proposal. In addition, the program would now include not only faculty and staff but also graduate student employees. The Senate voted to endorse the proposal, and encouraged Dr. Mandziuk to seek support from the Associated Student Government's Graduate House. If the Administration does not reach a decision on the proposal by the time the Senate develops its next PAAG agenda, the Senate will ask the President to speak about the Administration's position on the proposal and the program.

Cancer Awareness Month Proclamation:  A revised proclamation letter was approved by the Senate and will be forwarded to the President.

Developmental Leave Procedures:  Applications are due by 5 PM on October 15. The Senate discussed plans for holding longer meetings to review applications should the number of applications require it. The 10/21 and 10/28 meetings, reserved for reviewing Developmental Leave applications, will run from 3:40 to 6:10, if necessary.

Fiftieth Anniversary of Faculty Governance at Texas State:  The Chair will explore incorporating a celebration into the last Senate meeting of the academic year, next May.

New Business:
1.  A concern was raised about the way stacked classes are tracked in the registration process (specifically, the inability of the registration program to report the total number registered for a stacked class). Additionally, Senators are curious about the functioning of the new student information system. The Chair will invite representatives from the Registrar's Office to a future meeting to explore these issues.

2.  The Senate is curious about the current status of the process for nominating Regents' Professors.

3.  A Senator would like the Senate to explore ways to encourage more faculty to apply for Developmental Leave, since participation is far below what one would expect at a university the size of Texas State. Of related concern is the effect on application numbers of the University having changed to a once-a-year application cycle.

Minutes of 10/7/09 were approved.