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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

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Jan 17, 1996 Minutes

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

Guests: VP-FSS William Nance, VP-SA James Studer, Prof. Michel Conroy;
Mike Moore, and Sandra Akridge.

CONTENTS:

60 FIVE-YEAR STUDENT FEE PLAN (VP-FSS Nance and VP-SA Studer)
63 BOARD OF REGENTS' RULE ON PROMOTION
38 RESEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT (Prof. Michel Conroy)
42 FACULTY SALARIES--BUDGET CYCLE FY96
13 DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES (Policy and Forms)
02 SENATE MINUTES OF 12/6/95
NEW ITEMS

The meeting was called to order at 4:05, Chair Swinney presiding.

60 FIVE-YEAR STUDENT FEE PLAN (VP-FSS Nance and VP-SA Studer)

The State Legislature has more-or-less capped funding increases and
kicked it back to the local level to raise funds through increased fees.
Fees based on SCH (e.g. General Fee, Student Service Fee, Computer Fee,
Library Fee) generate about $512,000 for each $1. Flat per student fees
(e.g. Student Center, Medical, Bus, Rec Sports, Publications) generate $1 x
number of students, i.e. about $21,000, per $1 increase. Fees for 12 SCH
in 1996 were $434. The proposal for 1997 fees, which will go to the Board
of Regents in February, will be $629. [The projection for the year 2001 is
$841, but this could be revised as costs, needs, and new ways of doing
things change.]

ASG has been meeting with VP-FSS Nance, VP-SA Studer and others in
the administration regarding allocation of the proposed increases in
student fees. The student government would like to see some of the General
Fee funds shifted to the Computer Fee category for upgrading hard and
software and perhaps more in the Library category to extend hours a little
(on an experimental basis, perhaps, to see if there is student use). ASG
was also concerned that the proposed increases in faculty salaries be
weighted toward those at the lower end of the pay scale. [The University
is currently doing a pay equity survey.] It was proposed that funds be
shifted from the General Fee category in 1997 to pay for a parking lot
adjacent to the Consumer and Family Science Bldg. and Recreation Center.

Efforts will be made to lower the Student Publications fee (the
price of paper has hit the ceiling). This might be done by printing fewer
catalogs and class schedules, by perhaps putting the information on-line,
and/or by charging directly for publications as some other schools do.

A major question is how this will affect lower income students. We
were assured (again) that the increase in TPEG grants (17% of tuition would
go here) would generate an additional $550,000 to $560,000 to cover these
students. We will also be tracking our competition (UT-Austin, Texas Tech,
A&M, UT-SA, and Stephen F. Austin) to see how their fee increases (higher
than our projected increases) affects their enrollment.

There will also be a 3% increase next year in on-campus room and
board, to keep up with inflation.

The Senate voted 9 to 3 to endorse the 1997 fee increase proposals.
Following is the Senate's statement on the fee plan:

"Background

"Over the last decade or so, state spending in Texas has consistently been
about 5% of personal income, thus demonstrating a stable taxation structure.

"Economic and population growth have produced an expansion of per capita state
spending from about $400 in 1970 to around $800 in 1990 and total state
spending from $10 billion to $30 billion over the same period.

"Education's share of this spending has steadily declined. In the 1980-81
biennium 52% of the total state budget was allocated to education; in 1992, it
was 39.8%.

"Between the oil glut in the mid-80's and the present, the Legislature has
moved steadily from a "total funding concept," in which the State took
responsibility for the overall funding of institutions to a "base funding
concept," in which the State provides a minimal base budget and delegates to
institutions the responsibility and authority to raise supplementary funds.
The authorization of course fees several years ago and the authorization of a
dramatic increase in the general fee at the last session are the most visible
evidence of this change in practice and philosophy.

"These vagaries in State funding, exacerbated by the formula allocation system
which favors graduate education at the expense of undergraduate, have helped to
undermine the competitiveness of faculty salaries at SWT. In the early 80's,
faculty salaries at SWT were, generally, above the 80th percentile in
comparison with peers nationally. In recent years, we have been between the
20th and 40th percentile. Several local studies have shown that in dollar
terms, our salaries, faculty and staff alike, are about 20% below our peers.

"These salary shortfalls can be remedied in two ways only, probably in
combination: (1) increasing faculty productivity, (2) raising fees as
authorized by legislation.

"Recommendation

"Given the above facts, the Faculty Senate endorses the Five Year Fee Plan
which has been developed by the Administration for submission to the February
meeting of the Board of Regents. The increases sought are essential, not only
to shore up persistently lagging faculty and staff salaries, but also to
address infrastructure problems, especially library acquisitions and computer
hardware, where state appropriations in recent years have been inadequate.
Further, the proposed increases are not out of line with what other
institutions in the state have done or plan to do, and tuition and fees in
Texas are still relatively low in comparison with other states.

"While the Senate supports the proposed fee increases, we are sensitive to the
impact it has on our students. This is a very steep boost, and we are
sympathetic to the concerns which students have expressed. We regret the
State's retreat from the traditional "total funding concept"; but this
institution cannot control that, and must make the best of a difficult
situation. Perhaps improved financial aide, and, as we said in our October
memorandum, a full explanation to students regarding the increases and a
careful husbanding of the new resources can be ameliorating factors."


63 BOARD OF REGENTS' RULE ON PROMOTION

The Regents' Rules for our system state that "Faculty members who
are not recommended for promotion shall not be entitled to a statement of
reasons for the decision against the recommendation" (Section 4.233 of
Chapter V of Regents' Rules). Further, "A faculty member shall not be
entitled to a hearing to review or appeal a decision not to recommend the
faculty member for promotion unless the affected faculty member submits in
writing to the President factual allegations that the decision not to
recommend promotion constitutes a violation of a right guaranteed by the
laws or Constitution of the State of Texas or of the United States and
requests an administrative hearing to review these allegations" (Section
4.234).

This is contrary to SWT UPPS 04.04.21 (Section 11.02) which
indicates that those denied promotion need to be told by chairs or deans
what they should to do to gain promotion. Those denied tenure are out and
need not be told.

Two issues arose: (1) By affirmation the Senate agreed that the
Regents' Rules need to change to allow administrators to offer suggestions
to those denied promotion; and (2) the wording of "factual allegations" as
just cause for grievance was too fuzzy. What should be said is that the
plaintiff must be specific on what aspect of his/her civil rights has been
tread upon in the rejection. As it reads, any complaint can be dismissed
as "hear-say" since reasons for denial of promotion are not given in
writing, ergo not "factual."


38 RESEARCH COMMITTEE REPORT (Prof. Michel Conroy)

There is about $85,000 left over in the research grant budget.
Since this cannot be carried over to the next cycle of grants for 1997, it
was suggested that a "quick cycle" be immediately offered to faculty who
wish to pursue research this summer. The deadline for submission of
proposals would be March 1st. The Senate passed a motion to this effect.

Staffing problems on the Committee were discussed. In addition,
changes in wording in the Faculty Research Enhancement Grant (FREG)
guidelines were approved.

The main points which arose from discussion were that (1) More
faculty need to apply, and (2) Methodology on how one is going to pursue
the research needs to be more explicit. On the latter point, many
proposals fail to be funded because the author gives a good objective but
does not spell out how s/he is going to collect data, or whatever, to
achieve the goal.

It is too late to appeal rejections on the last cycle, but not too
late to resubmit proposals which spell out how one is going to approach the
research for the quick cycle for this summer or the cycle for Summer 1997.


42 FACULTY SALARIES--BUDGET CYCLE FY96

RTA'd because of lack of time for adequate discussion.

13 DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES (Policy and Forms)

It is too late to protest turn-downs in the last cycle. It is not
too late to rework a proposal and spell out one's methodology (see FREG
discussion above) for the next cycle.


02 SENATE MINUTES OF 12/6/95

The minutes were approved as read.

NEW ITEMS

No new items were introduced.

Meeting adjourned at 6:06 p.m.

Ramona Ford
Secretary