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March 20, 1996 Minutes

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

Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz, Exec.-VP Abbott, Asst. VPAA
Smallwood, Asst. VP-Planning & Adm. Griffith; James Driscoll
(San Marcos Daily Record), Mark Bruce and Adolph Trudeau (The File);
 Margaret Vaverek (Library liaison); Mike Moore, and Sandra Akridge.

74 SCH TARGETS (Guest: Dr. Griffith)

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



Prof. Swinney received e-mail from the University of Cincinnati
regarding their new policy of evaluating deans for a 5-year renewable term,
which brought up the question regarding how SWT evaluates deans. VPAA
Gratz said the ultimate burden fell on him and the PPS was being
reviewed. The evaluation of chairs is done by those directly above and
below (deans and faculty). The process of evaluating deans is trickier
because the above and below model (VPAA and chairs) cuts faculty out of
the loop and that does not seem acceptable. Neither deans nor chairs are
on a "term" (e.g. three or five years for renewal) at SWT.

In the discussion it was brought out that while faculty, chairs,
and deans are supposed to be reviewed annually, this process was not
occurring in many depts. and schools. The PPS on chair evaluation might
contain the idea of an annual review and a thorough review every three
years, but of course it would have to be put into practice. For a few
years the Senate was distributing rating questionnaires for administrators
to all faculty, but this was put on hold due to the low response. Should
chairs collect data from faculty on deans? Information could be filtered,
not an encouraging idea. The usual way administrators are evaluated (when
done) is to ascertain their goals for the coming year and then examine
their progress toward same. The discussion continued in the next section
on processes.


Pres. Supple indicated that serious three-year reviews for deans
and chairs were necessary, but that three years was not long enough to turn
a school or dept. in a new direction and lag-time should be allowed when
major change goals are not met. Rotating chairs are democratic in concept
but not so helpful in leadership, he noted. Others noted that a three-year
major review gave both the University and the chair an "out" if they wanted
it. Apparently some administrators would like to go back to teaching but
feel they might be viewed as deserting the dept. or school if they stepped

The budget review by faculty also breaks down in practice. A
senior faculty person signs off on a document that the faculty has reviewed
the budget. Obtaining budget info is a major problem. Currently the
budget is done electronically but the software is not in place for faculty
to receive and download. This needs to be changed.

Prof. Kurtz introduced the idea that the process for proofreading
University publications (e.g. class schedule and catalog) needs to be
examined as there are so many errors in the recently released Fall 1996
schedule that his dept. had to throw it out and produce their own for their
students. VPAA Gratz said the class schedule proofing should go directly
to the Registration Coordinating Committee for corrections. The catalog
proofing should go to the VPAA's office. Time-frames for proofing may be a


As we all know, the Regents instructed SWT to cease and desist
commercial operations at Aquarena and stick to academic purposes.
Continuing Ed. is in charge of the park and hotel, Rec. Sports runs the
golf course, and Auxiliary Services runs Pepper's.

Currently Elderhostels, conferences, and glass-bottom boat rides
are bringing in money to the park ($28,000 during Spring Break). The
golf-course and Pepper's have always been self-sustaining.

The Transition Team is in charge of park maintenance (repairs,
upkeep, etc.). Depts. which have ideas for exhibits and so forth should
contact the VPAA's office. We understand the Texas Dept. of Parks and
Wildlife will be contacting us on an idea they have. Biology is
considering a "Wetlands Exhibit."

If and when the IRS allows us to use tax-free bonds to engage in
profit-making activities, SWT might be able to entertain opening as a theme
park again. Any subcontractor would have to sink megabucks into the
operation to become profit making. Two of the four proposals we received
from theme-park corporations sounded like good possibilities, if the
opportunity arises in the future. The theme park was losing money when we
bought it, but it brought money to the community (jobs, motels,
restaurants, etc.). SWT bought it to preserve the environmental area, but
tried to keep it open for the community benefit. Pres. Supple emphasized
that the University is very anxious to bring Aquarena back to service for
the local business community, but that we are a little ham-strung at the
moment by legal technicalities.


The recent student fee increase was based on the idea that
staff/faculty would receive a 5 percent increase in wages. Since SWT is so far
behind the nation and even sister-schools within the State, it is difficult to
recruit and keep personnel at all levels. The general fee portion dedicated to
salaries will raise $2.5 million.

Phase 3 of the reallocation program will raise $2.1 million and new
tuition dollars will generate $0.8 million. Thus, there are $5.4 million new
dollars on the table for next year, sufficient funds for a 10% salary pool.

At the EPC retreat last week, the decision was made to authorize a 6%
salary pool and to use the remaining money for new initiatives under the
Strategic Plan. The original intent of the reallocation plan was strategic
plan initiatives, with salaries being the highest priority. Over the last two
years all of the reallocation money has gone to salaries, funding the
accumulated 8% increases during FY95 and FY96.

The Administration's current thinking with regard to the new 6% salary
pool for FY97 is to allocate 2.5% to performance raises, 2.5% to merit raises,
and 1% to bonuses. Some Senators, remembering that in our poll last September,
80% of the Faculty saw salary inequities as a problem, wondered out loud
whether this proposal is, in fact, the best approach.

Prof. Swinney distributed information regarding SWT faculty salaries:

He has collected documentation of SWT pay raises since 1986 (both
across-the-board and merit). A table from AAUP shows SWT is in the low 40th
percentile of public comprehensive institutions nationally on prof. and
associate ranks, and assistant professors and instructors are in the bottom 20
percent of public higher education nationally. According to AAUP, SWT gets
about a D+ on salaries--i.e. 25 percent or so below average. On the other
hand, President Supple noted that Texas does very well on senior administrators'
salaries and capital expenditures. We do not have a definitive explanation on
why senior administrators and capital expenditures fared so well vis-a-vis
salaries for lesser mortals.

Swinney also distributed a packet of documents including our salary
policy (PPS 7.10) and the four Senate Reports on the merit raises of FY89, 90,
91, and 93. These reports explain the merit process and highlight some of the
issues which faculty have raised regarding the efficacy of merit. Both sets of
documents are available on request from the Senate Office.

Salary issues will be on next week's agenda.

74 SCH TARGETS (Guest: Dr. Griffith)

The bottom line seems to be how to increase faculty salaries to
marginally respectable levels, given increased funds from State formulas,
departmental reallocation, and student fees, etc. expected in the future
(year 2000-01). Dr. Griffith presented three possible scenarios in a
handout. In essence, we will have to pare faculty, teach larger classes,
increase student enrollment, etc. The University is aiming at a SCH/FTE
ratio which comes down to fewer teachers teaching more students. The
issues were hotly debated regarding: (1) How "virtual departments" were
constructed for comparison on national Classification of Instruction
Programs (CIP) codes; (2) Why some depts. which are into graduate
programs, internships, labs, writing intensive courses, etc. cannot meet
such criteria for "mass classes"; (3) The sensitivity of long-run versus
annual targets based on one year (i.e. set a base on data gathered from
virtual depts. this year and the whole thing changes next year for some,
but we are stuck with this particular base year).

It was discussed that depts. could do a better job of judging
themselves against other depts. than outsiders (but would they be
objective?). On one hand, depts. which teach mass classes or interactive
TV classes (in other universities--we don't do this yet) can look very good
departmentally. On the other hand, SWT could get more actively involved in
interactive classes than we have. But are mass classes always a good idea?
Debate ensued.

This will be returned to the agenda.


The minutes were approved as read.


(1) The Subcommittee on Library Status and Pay presented a
survey of hours and staffing in State-assisted higher ed. libraries. The
Subcommittee suggested that the Library Committee (which meets March 29th
at 3:00 in Alkek 102) consider SWT's policy of staffing all open hours with
professional reference librarians. SWT is the only university in the State
higher ed. group which currently covers all open hours with professionals.
Other libraries do not do this because most late night library users use
the Library more as a study hall than a time for seeking real reference
material. This stretches a thin staff even thinner and takes them away
from peak hours of use. Data is collected at the reference desk on what
kinds of questions are asked after 10 or 11 p.m., but will have to be
requested by the Library Committee since it does not appear in the
Library's annual report. Since the Library will be extending its hours in
the Fall, the Subcommittee felt this was a good time to examine policy.

The Senate suspended its one-week-before-vote policy on new
business and voted to refer the question to its Library Committee to
discuss policy with the administration and professional librarians.

(2) In closed session, temporary replacement for a Senator on
sick leave was discussed.

Meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m.

Ramona Ford