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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

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Feb 14, 1996 Minutes

 
Present: Bible, Caverly, Ford, Glassman, Horne, Hunter, Kurtz,
Middlebrook, Pascoe, Sawey, Swinney, Weller, and Winek. Absent:
Deduck-Evans, Stedman.

Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz, Asoc-VPAA Cassidy, Dean Rumaldo Juarez
(Health Professions), Margaret Vaverek and Pam Spooner (Library); Mike
Moore, and Sandra Akridge.

CONTENTS:

PAAG
FACULTY AND REGENTS
SENIOR FACULTY SYSTEMS
DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVE APPLICATION FORM
FACULTY AMENITIES
AQUARENA
ADMISSIONS STANDARDS
FISH HATCHERY

13 DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES (Policy and Forms)
73 B.S. IN RADIATION THERAPY
02 SENATE MINUTES OF 1/31/96 and 2/7/96
NEW ITEMS

The meeting was called to order at 4:04, chair Swinney presiding.

PAAG:
FACULTY AND REGENTS

Should the Senate have a liasion or some other systematic interface
with the Board of Regents, as does the student body? Pres. Supple said
that he was in favor of constituents having a voice, but there are also the
staff, the alumni, etc. He would favor something that did not require
individuals to attend all Regents meetings around the State all the time.
(1) The logistics for all schools to do this would be a problem
and usually the topics would not be of interest. Regents meetings tend to
concentrate on contractual types of questions, rather than curriculum
questions--about which they assume the various schools know best their own
needs. A current contractual hot-topic may be HUBs (Historically
Underutilized Businesses) with which State schools are supposed to
contract. Targets have been set for this and SWT has done about the best
of State schools until this year. Minority contractors picked up materials
from the University, but then did not place bids for some reason. Perhaps
it was the size of the job or the number of bureaucratic requirements, e.g.
bonding, paperwork, etc.
(1) Appropriate representatives, however, might attend when the
Regents meet on our campus, as they will next May, or when something really
at issue arises concerning our particular campus, such as the student fee
increase which was specifically SWT's topic at the last meeting.
(2) Alternatively, at each meeting the Presidents have to give a
report and some of this could contain positions put forth by the Senate.
Pres. Supple noted that the required Presidents' reports have not been
stimulating and that he once proposed that they be abandoned in favor of
presentations on problems facing all campuses, e.g. student health and
safety issues (AIDS, assault, etc.). This proposal did not engender
enthusiasm with the Board, he said.

SENIOR FACULTY SYSTEMS

Departmental decisions became more democratic in the 1960s when the
senior faculty were included, as opposed to previous practice of chairs
making all decisions. Since then decision making at this level has been
frozen in time with regard to policy, but not in practice. It appears that
most departments now include all faculty in discussions, but not in voting
on personnel issues. The Senate has sent a draft proposal from the Faculty
Governance Committee (Don Hazelwood, Chair) to all departments for
comments. In essence, all faculty (as defined in the Faculty Handbook)
should participate in all decisions, except personnel. This should return
to the Senate agenda in two or three weeks.

Pres. Supple supported inclusiveness as a way of making new faculty
feel welcome, informing them quickly on what was going on, and allowing
them to bring in new ideas. It is also the right thing to do.

DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVE APPLICATION FORM

CAD (Council of Academic Deans) will be responding to the draft
form which spells out a little more on how to present proposals, especially
in the area of methodology. Pres. Supple noted that we have too few
developmental leave proposals, and perhaps they are not bold enough.

A discussion ensued regarding the lack of subsequent reports on
what people actually did on leave and that we need supporting data to
substantiate requests for more support in this area. Reports of
accomplishment are to be collected in the VPAA's office.

FACULTY AMENITIES

Chair Swinney pointed out that the voluntary modified employment
(VME--partial retirement) program says that they have "all faculty
amenities." So what are faculty amenities for active and partially retired
faculty? The Staff Council has been working on this for staff. The Senate
would like to come up with at least two lists, i.e. what we have and what
we would like to have (with input from what others in the 50 states have).

Among the topics brought up were: (1) Free tuition for faculty
and staff (not currently possible under TX law, but available in some other
states and some private schools around the nation). Can this be examined?;
(2) Discounted tickets, e.g. when we dropped the "blanket tax" ticket to
all events, ticket sales for artistic and sports events declined in
general; (3) Day care--the Child Development Center is not a day care
center, but a teaching and research center constrained by an ethnic and
socioeconomic class mix necessitated for grant funding; (4) We need input
on elder-care for faculty and staff.

On child and elder care, Pres. Supple proposed that we could at
least set up an information/referral system that informed staff and faculty
on what was available locally. He also mentioned that in some communities
universities were setting up day-care centers with the help of such
agencies as the YWCA, which supply providers in University facilities.

On elder care and retirement opportunities, the University could
sponsor workshops/seminars.

Regarding blanket tax and subsequent declines in attendance,
perhaps we need to examine policy. One senator pointed out that in
addition we need to look at the forbidance (in 1980s?) of groups being able
to buy season tickets together in the same good sections to view sports,
etc. When this camaraderie was cut off, they quit attending.

AQUARENA

The Regents will probably let SWT continue to run Aquarena until
August 31, 1996, at which time we hope to have an alternative. Presently,
the situation with the IRS is still up in the air. We are trying to get a
release to convert from tax-free to taxable bonds (under which we can make
a for-profit contract with a concessionaire) instead of waiting out the
five year hold on such a change. We still hope to get a ruling in three to
five months from the IRS--don't hold your breath. Also we must still
negotiate details with bidders for the concession.

ADMISSIONS STANDARDS

According to the administration, SWT's academic standards for
athletes are possibly the highest in the conference, under NCAA qualifying
guidelines. Even so, we have some athletes who would not meet normal
requirements. These students have been given assistance and have, as
groups, reached acceptable norms--with the exception of men's and women's
basketball. The respective coaches are aware of this and are working on
the situation. Under Coach Jerry Clayton and others (who work closely with
their students) we have done very well in our record of graduating our
athletes. As long as student academic performance rates are good and
rising, the University will be pleased. Obviously basketball is an area to
be watched currently.

FISH HATCHERY

Judge Bunton has extended the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
responsibility for the Hatchery to February 23. SWT has sent a letter to
the Service that we will accept the "refugio" responsibility (to garner
some specimens of endangered species if they are threatened by drought,
etc.)--if the Service will fund the $54,000 a year that keeping specialists
on watch will entail. No funds from SWT's existing budget are required.

13 DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES (Policy and Forms)

RTA'd.

73 B.S. IN RADIATION THERAPY (Dean Juarez)

The Curriculum Committee has received no objections to the current
proposal within the five-day limit and they are expected to approve it.
The Council of Academic Deans and the University Council will be examining
the documentation on Tuesday of next week.

Dean Juarez pointed out that when he arrived in 1994 this proposal
was already in the discussion stage. (1) Shivers Cancer Center (which is
soon to be incorporated into the merger of Seton and Brackenridge
Hospitals) wants a batchelors degree for their radiation therapists. A
B.S. will be an accrediation requirement by the year 2000 and the medical
group also wants well-rounded graduates immediately, if not sooner. An
expansion into chemotherapy is also anticipated, as cancer is a growing
problem within Texas and the nation--given the aging of the population,
and who knows what else. (2) This action should be taken before the
February Regents meeting to set the process in motion to get under the
accreditation umbrella which Shivers has, before it runs out in 1997.
After that, it is a major pain and cost to gain this. In addition, the
current cohort in Shivers' certification program is ready to go into our
undergrad requirement program to finish a B.S. and Shivers' faculty are
currently enthusiastic. In other words, Dr. Juarez pointed out, we have
people who are enthusiastic now and want to push forward. Lags in
implementing the degree might dampen this, in addition to the accreditation
problems.

A number of questions arose regarding how many positions SWT was
responsible for and contractual relations with for-profit corporation(s)
who had not yet worked out their own structure (the merger of Shivers,
Seton, and Brackenridge). We have been dealing basically with Shivers, so
what will its eventual parent organization want? Prof. Swinney presented a
balance sheet he had worked out which did not quite "jell" with the budget
in the proposal. Others pointed out that, in balance, how can the
University sign onto something when the details are so fuzzy. What would
such small classes (limited by accreditation requirements regarding number
of students per high-tech equipment available) do to the recent command
that SWT go to large numbers of student hours per faculty? Ergo, will the
rest of the University departments have to pick up the slack on SCH per
faculty if special programs (not just this one) have to have small classes
to meet accreditation standards? [This argument seems deja vu but the
Senate has not received any assurances on adjustments for special cases
yet, e.g. intern classes and labs. All we have heard is that SCH in
departments and faculty to student ratios are across the board.]

On the other side, Dean Juarez pointed out that to be on the
cutting edge required working with the corporate community in health
professions. Shivers has the equipment we could use for free and has the
faculty on board, whom we would hire as adjuncts. We would supply the
other degree courses for the B.S. students (a boost to SCH) and would pick
up administrator and adjunct faculty costs (and M&O?). Debate ensued on
who was gaining what at who's expense. On the positive side, this would
also be the only B.S. program of its kind in the State and would draw,
perhaps, from a wide area. Also, it would open internship opportunities
for other Health Professions interns around the area. Employment
opportunities state-wide and elsewhere are quite good for radiation
therapists in cancer centers.

Cost-wise the bottom line, according to the proposal, says that the
program would be paying for itself in the second year due to student fees,
etc. State formula funding kicks in during the third year. Budgets for
new programs must be funded by internal or other sources for two years
before ostensible State dollars are spent, although (in some way your
Secretary didn't quite grasp) we will benefit from the State and come out
ahead in the second year according to the proposal's projections.

Ultimately, the Senate could not vote "aye" on a proposal with
budget and contractual agreements rather vague and voted to RTA for more
information. Although a vote was not taken, there might have been some
general agreement that this was a good idea if more data were available at
the upcoming CAD and UC meetings.

02 SENATE MINUTES OF 1/31/96 and 2/7/96

RTA'd due to lack of time.

NEW ITEMS

RTA'd.


Meeting adjourned at 6:23 p.m.

Ramona Ford
Secretary