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March 27, 1996 Minutes


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

Guests: Prof. Joy Boone (Health Professions); and Sandra Akridge.

11 SENATE ELECTIONS
40 MODIFIED RETIREMENT DRAFT
76 RAISES FOR FY97
14 DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES (Policy and Forms)
11 ELECTION PLANNING
77 GENERAL STUDIES--APPOINT COMMITTEE TO EVALUATE
78 OMBUDSMAN--APPOINT COMMITTEE TO SELECT
17 CoFGO REPORT (Prof. Diana Hunter)
02 SENATE MINUTES OF 3/20/96
12 NEW BUSINESS

The meeting was called to order at 4:02, Chair Swinney presiding.

11 SENATE ELECTIONS

Prof. Diane Parkin-Speer (English) was appointed to replace
temporarily a senator who is on sick leave.

40 MODIFIED RETIREMENT DRAFT

The 3/20/96 draft of UPPS 04.04.51 on modified ("phased")
retirement was discussed. Rules for ORP participants were added to Section
04.02 (TRS requirements were already in this section).

Section 4.08 on departmental FTE and salaries now includes the
following:

"In the case of a Phased Retirement, the department, likewise, will
normally retain the FTE, and, with it, sufficient funds to pay the
retiree's salary and to hire an appropriate replacement for that portion of
the retiree's FTE which is being lost. The difference between this total
amount and the retiree's salary is recovered by Academic Affairs, half
going to the VPAA's faculty salary reserve account and half to the School
Dean's account."

Paragraph 4.04 on "the agreement" contains the sentence: "The
Phased Retirement agreement will initially be negotiated for a three to
five year period and may be renewed on a year to year basis thereafter."
Senior faculty must advise on this and documentation of senior faculty
opinion should be provided, following regular untenured faculty personnel
procedures. For example, if the Chair disagrees with the senior faculty,
written reasons must go forward with the recommendations. Alluding to last
week's discussion of processes and lack of follow-through by some
departments, deans, and other offices, it was suggested that faculty bring
to the Senate's attention serious cases of lack of attention to procedure.
Lack of senior faculty inclusion in personnel decisions seems to be a
chronic complaint, judging by anecdotal evidence.

The Senate voted to accept the revised draft with the addition of
the statement that it goes into effect September 1, 1996. This draft, endorsed
earlier in the week by the Council of Chairs, now goes to CAD.

76 RAISES FOR FY97

The VPAA's draft (3/21/96) for the implementation of raises for FY97
was discussed. It states (and I quote):

(1) A "performance" pool equal to 2.5% of faculty salaries will be
available for general raises to be made to most faculty in the various
ranks (with the determination still to be made as to whether percentage or
flat dollar raises will be awarded and whether the same or different
percentage or flat dollar will be awarded to the various ranks),

(2) A "merit" pool equal to 2.5% of the continuing faculty
salaries in each school will be available for merit awards to be added to a
faculty member's permanent salary (the funds needed for promotion and
longevity awards will be taken "off-the-top" from this 2.5% pool before
other "merit" allocations are made), and

(3) A "bonus" pool of 1% of faculty salaries will be available for
one-year-only, salary bonus awards.

The draft also asks questions which must be resolved (quote):

(1) Can appropriate faculty involvement in the review process be
completed by the end of the semester? If not, on what timetable can
appropriate faculty involvement be secured?

(2) What additional information, if any, do deans and chairs need
to receive to be able to implement a performance, merit, and bonus process?

(3) What documents, guidelines, etc., need to be prepared for this
cycle and on what timetable do these need to be available?

Prof. Swinney has done a great deal of statistical analysis on
faculty performance and merit raises from 1988 when our current policy was
implemented to 1996 (our last merit was in 1993). His study was inspired
by the objections raised by the Senate and the Texas Faculty Association
(TFA) to the 1988 process and results. Several interesting findings
emerge: (1) The top two academic ranks do better, (2) The non-tenure
track faculty do much less well, (3) Sex and ethnicity do not affect
raises when controlled for by rank, and (4) There is a great variance
across departments on how performance and merit are distributed. Some give
performance and merit almost across the board, meaning everyone gets a
little something. Others give what there is to a few. (5) Merit seems
rushed and subjective, compared to promotion and tenure which has a set
time-frame and relatively clear criteria. If we were all doing annual
faculty reviews as we have been instructed, this would not be quite so
rushed for faculty as current vitas would be ready. Chairs would be doing
an annual review even in the non-merit years.

The following points were raised. (1) Should the institution follow
its policy, PPS 7.10, which specifies that 75% of raises should go to
performance and 25% to merit? This would suggest, with a 6% salary pool, an
allocation of 4.5% to performance and 1.5% to merit. Or, if the bonus is to be
implemented, something like 3.5% to performance and 1.5% to merit. A motion
suggesting these two alternatives was made but ultimately tabled to allow
Senators time to consult with constituents. [Subsequently, VPAA Gratz announced
at CAD on Thursday that the Regents have mandated 2.5% performance, 2.5% merit,
and 1% bonus and that this mandate supersedes PPS 7.10.] ( 2) We have not come
to grips with flat raises instead of percentages. (3) We need more feedback
from faculty. (4) Are bonuses legit with no apparent controls on them and are
they legal? [A previous TX Attorney General opinion said no, but what is the
current AG's opinion?] (5) Finally, a big question was what happens to the
other 4% of the 10% we thought were going into faculty and staff wages?
[Student fee increases were to provide 5% wage increases and the latest round
of department give-backs provided another 5%.] It looks like faculty and staff
will receive 6% (some more, some less) but the other 4% is out there for
initiatives under the strategic plan.

RTA'd. Tell your Senator what you think about the above. It will be
back on the agenda next week.

14 DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES (Policy and Forms)

The major change was in UPPS 8.02.03 which now reads:

"At SWT, eligibility is currently limited to tenured
faculty members with (1) at least six years of service at this University
and (2) at least six years of service since his or her last Development
Leave. The service must be full-time duty but need not include teaching."

An objection was raised by Profs. Ford and Sawey that this now
excluded professional librarians and other professionals who are included
in the State enabling statute. Prof. Swinney noted out that we were not
currently granting librarians developmental leave and this would follow
current policy. It was pointed out that librarians were not aware until
last spring that they were eligible for this and that now they would be
applying, given the incentive to join faculty. He suggested that "academic
status with continuing contract would solve the situation," which is what
the Senate Subcommittee for Librarian Pay and Status suggested in their
report last March. However, would losing developmental leave help or harm
their cause to become part of the recognized faculty?

It was also noted that Senators are not allowed to apply for
developmental leave while on the Senate.

The Senate approved the draft by a vote of 8 to 5.

11 ELECTION PLANNING

The 15 Faculty Senators are allocated by size of faculty in each
school. Senators were asked to check lists regarding who is eligible to
run for senator from their school. Everyone who has tenure, has been here
three years, is assistant prof. or above, and is paid full-time from a
faculty budget will appear on the ballot. Ballots will be distributed in
April.

77 GENERAL STUDIES--APPOINT COMMITTEE TO EVALUATE

Two deans, 2 senators, 2 chairs, and 2 faculty will be serving on
this committee. Senators Bible and Winek were appointed to serve.

78 OMBUDSMAN--APPOINT COMMITTEE TO SELECT

Senators Bible, Hunter, and Ford were appointed to serve on the
committee, with Prof. Bible serving as chair. VPAA Gratz will appoint
three deans and/or chairs to complete the committee. The Ombudsman's term
expires September 1st.

17 CoFGO REPORT (Prof. Diana Hunter)

RTA'd

02 SENATE MINUTES OF 3/20/96

The minutes were approved.

12 NEW BUSINESS

(1) An e-mail from Prof. Max Warshauer (Math) has been received
regarding the constriction of grants for which faculty can apply, under
current Sponsored Projects practice. This will be investigated and
discussed.

(2) Prof. Sawey discussed his handout on calculating SCH/FTE
ratios under the "virtual department" criteria. Using three hypothetical
university departments (one with a masters program as well as upper and
lower division undergrad and service courses; another with only upper-lower
undergrad and service courses; a third with only service courses), he
calculated averages by two methods for each dept. The variations were
quite extreme among the three depts. with different mixes and within each
dept. when two different approaches to "averages" were used.

He pointed out that the methodology is flawed, as is our "fuzzy"
concept of virtual-department peers. The 5-page handout was e-mailed to
the Senate and the various administrators involved in the project.

(3) Prof. Bible noted that the "commitment" of $60,000 or so for
the Honors Program to reimburse departments for the loan of their faculty
to teach honors courses has suddenly evaporated. His promise to chairs
that they would be reimbursed for lost teaching time in their department
has put him on the spot, since the administration is now saying that it is
under consideration along with other initiatives. In the last two or so
months the Honors Program has not been able to get a response from the
VPAA's office on this. In fact, Prof. Bible himself has not been paid for
the current honors course he is teaching. If excellence in teaching is our
basic goal at SWT, certainly the Honors program which tries to carry really
good students into super-realms of exploration, should not be hampered by
stonewalling on faculty salaries.

The "black hole" that issues drop into at higher levels was
discussed. This is part of the ongoing debate on process and procedures
and lack of follow-through.

(4) Athletics has been moved from Exec-VP Abbott's office to
VP-Student Affairs Studer's office.

(5) Prof. Kurtz noted that the Lounge and Dining Room Committee
recommends that the University Club be shut down in the morning, since it was
not even close to paying its way. The UC has been open as a faculty coffee
lounge. This recommendation will come to the Senate agenda soon.

Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.


Ramona Ford
Secretary