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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

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Nov 1, 1995 Minutes

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

Guests: Prof. Mayur Mehta (CIS); Dept. Liaisons John Garstka (F&CS),
Margaret Vaverek (Library), Bill Kurtz (EAPS), Michael Supancic (CJ),
Oren Renick (Health Adm.), Lu Montondon (Accounting), George Morgan(CIS),
Roseann Mandziuk (Speech Comm), Kathy Moffeit (Accounting, Acad. Core
Chair), Joy Boone (Health Adm.), Michel Conroy (Art, Research Com. Chair);
Sandra Akridge.


Committee Chairs)
58 NASA GRANT (Tarsitano Letter)

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

Committee Chairs)

Prof. Swinney greeted the faculty representatives who then
introduced themselves and stated some of the issues in governance that
their departments are most interested in confronting. Issues mentioned

--Salaries for faculty/staff: This was the most widely mentioned
category of concern, i.e. some persons just said "ditto" on salary
questions, because their units had expressed similar concerns to those
given by other representatives present. Irritations were expressed
regarding discrepancies with sister schools in Texas and around the
country, and manner of collection of TX salary data for the recent
adjustment (Personnel collected data according to instructions from PC).
This produced such anomalies as Professional Librarian IIs being normed at
a higher salary than Librarian IIIs who have been here longer and been
promoted from II to III.

Will 2% giveback and second stage increase in student general use
fees result in a 10% raise in faculty/staff salaries? [Answer:
Technically yes, but in practice probably less as some will be used for
other areas such as the strategic plan initiatives. The President recently
mentioned a 6% ballpark figure for raises.] In the recent Faculty Senate
survey (55% responded), 85% said we needed to address salary
inequities--market (academic and nonacademic), compression, minority, etc.
How will current 2% be distributed and when? [Answer: In January
increases will most likely be distributed as a performance raise (an equal
percentage to most faculty). The Senate has recommended that comprehensive
equity study precede next year's allocation.]

--Fund allocation: This was mentioned in some way by practically
everyone present. Fund allocations seem to favor administrative programs
rather than undergraduate teaching needs, i.e. more adm. personnel and
bigger undergrad classes. There was some difference of opinion on the
costs of Aquarena (i.e "Who takes the dive for Aquarena--besides Ralph the
swimming swine?") versus the view that it will pay off in the long-run and
be wise educationally as well. In addition to administrative and Aquarena
costs, athletics and the recording studio were mentioned in the debit
column. More matching funds are needed to back the grants faculty are getting.

--Student fees: Students have not been made aware of the details
regarding the student fee question, i.e. why SWT is having to raise fees
because of TX legislature decisions, and where fees are going.

--Parking: This seems to be a serious bone-of-contention for
staff/faculty/students. Night parking (we hope) will soon see a few spaces
reserved for faculty and staff (e.g. Library) who are on duty at night.

--Space allocations in the Master-Plan: Speech Communications and
the Art Dept. have been waiting for a decade or more for promised
accommodations. This put Schools and Depts. up in the air on whether to
spend monies for hardwiring or other renovations since they have no idea on
how long they will be in these buildings. The Master-Plan is only a
blueprint and in a constant state of flux. The Senate could look at

--Aquarena: See above comments--a financial disaster or a long-run

--Student club accounts: Prof. Lu Montondon brought to our
attention that student clubs must turn over their monies to the SWT cashier
and get a check from them for expenses. At the same time, University
facilities require cash up front, which the students must fork-over while
waiting two or so days for a check from the University. This all could be
handled efficiently if University facilities would check accounts on the
computer and accept immediately the student representative signatures on
these valid accounts.

--Tenure and promotion: New up-or-out proposal, if adopted, means that
faculty will no longer be able to go up for promotion before tenure and that
when one goes up for tenure and promotion, one cannot be tenured without
promotion. [Many of the current faculty would not be here now under this rule,
as departments considered that their publications were in the pipeline and they
deserved tenure on potential.] Would this be grandfathered for those who were
hired under the old more flexible rules? This proposal is currently being
reviewed by the Tenure, Promotion, and Compensation Committee.

In addition, the vita format for T&P needs work--as it seems to be
rather excessive. Education is experimenting with portfolios. Perhaps
more than one model would be appropriate.

--University Club/Faculty Lounge: More space is needed. Perhaps
when Testing moves out of Commons that area could be used. The need
appears to be at lunch, as morning and evening use is low. It was hoped
that the 2nd floor of The Lair could be used for University Club but this
washed out.

--Capital investments: The Academic Computing Committee is
interested in knowing where the new student computing fees will be going
(projected at $1 million) and how HEAF funds (currently $500,000) will be
used. We need to have everyone hard-wired and on e-mail and Internet.
[See more comments in CWIS report below.]

--Health benefits: Prof. Renick asked that faculty/staff respond
to the survey of satisfaction on health care, as this study would be
combined with local Chambers of Commerce study and provide info up and down
the I-35 corridor. ERS which has been dragging its feet will apparently
cooperate somewhat on open records, after some legal threats. Health
benefits for retirees are also needed in the study.

--SWT Bookstore Prices: The mark-up on some books was said to be
40% above wholesale. Last year the Senate received a report that said the
University Bookstore was in line with other bookstores in the area.
Perhaps this question should be re-opened with regard to what is a
justifiable cost for students.

--Faculty Workload Committee: The report will be coming out next

--Honors Program: The Committee (via Senator Deduck-Evans) thanked
the Senate for their support. On the bright side, Honors has the promise of
funding in the future to pay Depts. for teachers who instruct honors courses.
Continuous financing is essential if the program is to survive.

--TQM: Library liaison Margaret Vaverek thanked the Senate for
their support re the pay and status report last spring. Although TQM takes
a long time to bear ripe fruit, it was reported that the initiatives and
training begun recently in the Library were already leading to enthusiasm
and communication among the department heads and staff participating. Two
teams are up and running regarding the problematic career-ladder pay scale
and assessment. Other teams are in the offing. The lower level librarians
and paraprofessional assistants have seen salary increases.

--Course and lab fees: It was reported that some of this money is not
coming back to the Depts., although course fees are definitely supposed to
because the rationale for their existence is offsetting the costs of delivering
the courses.

--The Voluntary Retirement Program (VME) committee will meet again
next week. A concern is that under new policy proposals any agreement
after three years is totally at the discretion of the university.

--The University Lecture Committee needs a little more money to
meet increasing fees charged by people we would like to bring in to enrich
the campus intellectual life.

Prof. Swinney thanked the representatives for their attendance and
ideas. The role of liaisons, as outlined in the Senate's Standing Rules,
is, in general, one of communication: of assistance in appointing faculty
to committees, in distributing Senate ballots to faculty, forwarding
letters to the Senate, and checking to see that minutes are posted or
distributed to all faculty. The Roundtable adjourned and the regular
Senate meeting began.

58 NASA GRANT (Tarsitano Letter)

Ombudsman Edgar Laird has been working for some weeks with this
problem. The University did not renew its share of the three-year contract
which SWT signed with NASA. Two faculty were affected by this recall on
the part of the University. The University's input was very small,
$15,000, compared to what we would get, according to Profs.Tarsitano and
Tilton. The Senate feels that the grievance machinery--collegial mediation by
the Ombudsman followed, if necessary, by a grievance hearing--is the
appropriate way to deal with this specific issue.

The larger question remains: How can the University break a
contract that all the administration and other relevant personnel have
signed off on? This action seems to put the University in a bad light for
getting contracts with such agencies. The Senate agreed to put this generic
question on the next PAAG agenda.


A new paragraph was added to the Standing Rules, Article VIII:

"Research Committee and Research Advisory Committee terms run from
January to January, thus the terms cover both the spring and fall
evaluation. Committee members who resign in mid-term are ineligible to
apply for a research enhancement grant until the next cycle begins."


This is an important Senate committee which awards approximately
$300,000 each year in Faculty Research Enhancement Grants. Terms on the
Research Committee run from January to January, and the Senate briefly
discussed composition of the committee for next year. It is important that
continuity be maintained from cycle to cycle.


The Taskforce report sets forth general policy regarding the SWT Campus
Wide Information System. "The CWIS is a distributed information system made of
numerous interconnected components: the SWT Home Page server, the campus news
reader, other campus servers, the campus-wide local area network and the campus
internet gateway." Many students are looking for schools which have the
capability of allowing them to set up personal "home pages" on which to present
resumes, their papers, etc. Departments and individuals affiliated with the
University are already setting up "home pages" on the Net. Obviously this new
exposure presents both joys and possible pains. Broadly speaking, the proposed
policy appears to facilitate considerable personal freedom in the posting of
information while making it clear that the opinions of individuals and groups
do not represent an official University point of view.

RTA'd until next week for careful study of the report. The CWIS
Taskforce will meet November 14th to finalize the report. They have been
seeking suggestions from various University constituencies.

A question was raised regarding the use of the expected $1 million
for computing generated by the new student computer fee. Will this replace
HEAF funds? We'll try to find out.

02 SENATE MINUTES OF 10/25/95 and PAAG MINUTES OF 10/18/95.

The minutes were approved.


(1) Exec-VP Abbott has not responded to Senate questions
regarding the hiring of more ticketers for parking violations. Also we
have more questions about which lots around buildings will have reserved
spaces for faculty and staff who work at night.

The meeting adjourned at 6:05.

Ramona Ford