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Feb 5, 1997 Minutes



Present: Bible, Bourgeois, Caverly, Deduck-Evans, Ford, Hays, Horne,
Hunter, McGee, Pascoe, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel, Weller, and Winek.

Guests: Profs. Lou Caruana (CLS/Curriculum Committee), Ed Burkhardt and
Michal Anne Lord (HPER), Sue McCullough (EAPS), and Robert Northcutt
(Math/Budget Committee); Mike Moore, Adolph Trudeau, Shirley Pilus.

CONTENTS:

BUDGET COMMITTEE REPORT (Prof. Northcutt)
CURRICULUM COMMITTEE REPORT (Prof. Caruana)
RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT GRANTS PROPOSAL (Sen. McGee)
FACULTY BONUS FUND PROPOSAL (Sen. Pascoe)
FACULTY RESEARCH COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
NEW ITEMS
MINUTES OF 1/29/97

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

BUDGET COMMITTEE REPORT (Prof. Northcutt)

In a follow-up of last week's report, Prof. Northcutt presented a
handout with expansions and recommendations which follows, verbatim:

"(1) Failure to deliver and implement a timely summer school budget:
With the removal of summer budgeting from the regular budget cycle
a number of years ago and its placement at the deans/VPAA level, serious
problems have developed in departments being able to meet faculty and
student needs. The ambiguities and delays in assignment of funds, courses,
and faculty seriously affect our teaching mission and students. Reduced
funding and incomplete budgets are communicated to chairs and faculty in a
piecemeal fashion, compounding the problem. Information at all levels is
critical and teaching decisions need to be made at the departmental level,
where the teaching occurs. In addition, many faculty make professional
plans based on summer assignments, as do students.

RECOMMENDATION: The adm. needs to reassess its current practices
in summer budgeting and develop procedures that are more timely, efficient,
open, and decisive. The summer budget should be a part of the yearly
budgetary process at the departmental level to insure faculty involvement,
attention to program needs, and student service.

(2) Problems associated with the mini-semester:
There are delays in assignments for this project and the
mini-semester appears to "drive" some scheduling, since it fits between the
spring and summer terms. While many salary issues are being resolved,
there are questions concerning contracted faculty being paid while under
contract for May. Likewise, there are questions as to how this will be
viewed by the Legislature and outside accrediting agencies. While this is
a relatively small effort, some resources, such as building usage,
registration, and departmental staff, are required beyond normal duties and
we do not have a clear estimate of cost or benefit. With the loss of class
days this term, the mini-semester seems to limit our flexibility to make
time-loss corrections. In addition, there are questions concerning the
staffing of these positions and how it affects programs.

RECOMMENDATION: There should be an oversight committee to review
this project and make evaluations based on actual costs and benefits.
Additional attention needs to be evident in quality and assessment of these
courses. Scheduling and assignments should be made well in advance with
full departmental involvement and understanding.

(3) Proliferation of centers, directorships, and
associate/assistant positions:
There has been a steady increase in the numbers of faculty/staff
assigned quasi-administrative positions associated with centers,
institutes, and traditional administrative positions. Many of the
positions are filled with faculty with reduced teaching loads paid at a
rate above their faculty rate and over a twelve month period. While some
of the assignments began with "soft" grant money, they became entrenched
when the grant terminated. Of particular concern is the lack of monitoring
or review.

RECOMMENDATION: The administration should appoint an oversight
[sunset] committee to periodically review and evaluate all such activities
on campus, especially in terms of cost and benefits. A clear-cut policy
for establishment of such positions should be implemented and enforced.
More attention to follow-up in assessment is needed.

(4) The Round Rock Project and Distance Learning Initiatives:
These projects are in their initial stages and data as to costs,
benefits, resource requirements, and future costs are not well documented.
Drs. Smallwood and Tangum have been helpful in supplying information, but
more information is needed.

RECOMMENDATION: There needs to be more reports available that
detail cost estimates, benefit analysis, and projected costs to justify
expenditures in these areas. They need to be openly distributed and
discussed during the long terms, when faculty are available.

(5) Emerging questions:
Committee members expressed questions of computer costs, physical
plant costs, telephone expenses, and need for more monitoring/follow-up
data on expenditures. There is a need for more coordination in a
university computer plan due to the distance learning project, campus
computer needs, internet usage, and changes in mission, but these are areas
for future consideration.

In the discussion which followed it was pointed out that at the
Feb. 4 CAD/Council of Chairs meeting VPAA Gratz said the Calendar
Committee was looking at the summer budget and AssocVPAA Smallwood was
working [with the Committee?] on the mini-semester. Regarding the
proliferation of quasi-adm. positions, an example of impact was presented.
There are 900-plus faculty. For every $100,000 in quasi-adm. expenses, the
faculty are docked a possible $100 in salary, or some other area of need is
denied. In addition, these salaries are averaged into faculty salary by
rank--which makes the Legislature and public think faculty are earning more
than they are. [Didn't you always wonder why you were below the average in
your rank?] Regarding the Round Rock Initiative, a report was presented to
the CAD/COC meeting yesterday. The report does not offer all the data
needed, although Chair Bible noted that Dean Willoughby's office has been
very forthcoming with what they have so far. Basically, the faculty are
"in the dark" on what is involved in the RR and Distance Learning and other
initiatives.

Prof. Northcutt emphasized that the Curriculum Committee was not
against initiatives (new programs, positions, etc.), just the lack of
information and assessing their value to our mission. We have general
monthly and yearly budget reports, but the categories are not specific
enough to help evaluate programs and positions re cost/benefit. Perhaps
this could be done with a combination of accounting/computer/sunset
committee processes.

The Senate concurred to send this report to the Administration and
put it on the agenda for the Feb. 12 PAAG meeting [that's when the Senate
meets with Pres. Supple and VPAA Gratz each month].

The Senate gave Prof. Northcutt and the Committee a vote of thanks
for their diligent efforts and precise analyses.

CURRICULUM COMMITTEE REPORT (Prof. Caruana)

The report covered adding and subtracting courses, mostly at the
graduate level, in four schools. In addition, a minor in Religious Studies
and a minor in Value Studies were requested by Philosophy (the courses are
already in place but names for concentration make them visible). Also, an
interdisciplinary minor in Nature and Heritage Tourism was proposed (along
with a Center for Nature and Heritage Tourism, already an interdisciplinary
done-deal which Senate and visitors were very fuzzy about regarding its
location, funding, etc.). HPER proposes an MS in Recreation and Leisure
Services (sharing courses with the Geography and other depts.), explained
by Profs. Burkhardt and Lord. This program is expected to break-even in
the third year, even at half the expected enrollment. An MA in Legal
Studies was included, although the Senate had already approved the proposal
after interviewing Profs. Opheim and Brittain last fall.

A motion was unanimously passed to accept the Curriculum Com.
report, with the exception of the portion dealing with the Center for
Nature and Heritage Tourism (about which we know little, except that it is
apparently already a reality; we will have to gather info on it), and the
proposed minor in Nature and Heritage Tourism, which the Curriculum Com.
deferred until its February meeting. The Senate will revisit this issue
after receiving the Curriculum Com. report of its February meeting.

RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT GRANTS PROPOSAL (Sen. McGee)

For the last few years there has been money left over from the
first round of Faculty Research Enhancement Grants. Historically the
grants are intended for relatively new faculty to get them started and then
apply for succeeding years of external grants. There is currently a cap on
applying every year, i.e. 3 grants in 5 years. With monies left over from
an initial round, we have had to go to a supplemental round--which is also
tedious for the pro bono review committees in each School and the
University Faculty Research Committee. Senator McGee proposes that in Fall
1997 we drop the three within five years limit and set the guidelines for
preference on new applicants first and, if monies are left over, go to the
second pool of previous recipients. He also reiterated a proposed higher
dollar cap--now $6,000, could be expanded to $10,000 which might attract
more applications.

The Senate voted to send the suggestions to the Faculty Research
Committee. The Com. is already looking at raising the cap on the $6,000
limit and this would ask them to consider also changing the three-in-five
year limit on former recipients. It was pointed out that dept. chairs and
school members of research grant committees (every dept. has a member on
the school committee) should be mentoring faculty on application for
grants--especially new folks. Last fall the Faculty Research Com. chair,
Prof. Kim Folse, offered two workshops on how to write proposals and they
were poorly attended. Chairs and other interested parties should encourage
faculty to attend these if they are offered again.

FACULTY BONUS FUND PROPOSAL (Sen. Pascoe)

The following is Sen. Pascoe's proposal:

"I propose that the money that is now in the Bonus reserve be
turned over to a new fund called the Faculty Salary Enhancement Fund.
Individual faculty members will be eligible to apply to this Fund to help
compensate for some research or service project that will benefit the
academic community and bring luster to SWT. A Salary Enhancement Award
would be given at the start of the semester in which the work is to be
undertaken."

In discussion it was pointed out that the Adm.'s preference for
appointing four Distinguished Professors with a $5,000 a year bonus for
five years--retaining the Distinguished Prof. title thereafter--was not a
"done deal." Hence, Prof. Pascoe suggests an incentive use for any bonus
pool the Adm. insists upon. This will return to the PAAG agenda.

FACULTY RESEARCH COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

Some debate ensued on whether the Senate's instructions to the Com.
to follow the guidelines closely were followed too tightly, and whether the
instructions to applicants were ambiguous. The Senate seemed to agree that
the guidelines need clarification, i.e. Is it five pages of proposal
(purpose, methodology, distribution of outcomes) and more pages of PI
vitas, support letters, etc. Most of the rejections were at the suggestion
of the School committees, however a few at the FRC level were because of
failure to follow guidelines. For example, apparently one proposal was
rejected for lack of approval for research on human subjects. They had an
exemption from the Sponsored Projects office, but it was not in their
documentation, so the FRC didn't know. This should have been caught at the
School review level for clarification.

The Senate recommends to the Faculty Research Committee to
reexamine the few proposals that were rejected based on interpretation of
the guidelines. It was agreed that School committees should be able to
come back to applicants on technical problems before they reach the
University FRC. All documentation on such things as human research must be
sent up to the University FRC. [The documentation form addresses the IRB
issue; applicants need to check the appropriate category.] The enormous
workload at the University FRC level could be alleviated if School research
committees could get their applicants' documentation in order.

The FRC is the only Senate committee which is appointed on the
calendar year rather than academic year. Three members of FRC are continuing;
four term-up members said they were willing to be reappointed. One term-up
member did not wish to be reappointed and Prof. Ann Hall (C&I) was nominated
to fill this place. The Senate voted (12 to 1) to reappoint the three members
with expiring terms and in another motion unanimously to appoint Prof. Hall.


NEW ITEMS

(1) The Faculty Workload question should be included with our
budget request to the Regents in the August meeting.

(2) According to the PC minutes of 1/22/97 there will be a staff
salary equity study to try to stem the attrition in the U. Police
Dept.--and other staff areas will be addressed. Library liaison Vaverek
has asked the Senate to make sure the Library staff are included in this
survey, given their major turnover problem.

(3) Prior to the Senate meeting, the complaint on faculty having
to pay up-front to the Bookstore for faculty texts was discussed by the
Chair and Secretary (the latter having received a complaint from a faculty
member). Given the response from SWT Bookstore Manager Chester Banks
regarding the fact that the Bookstore was in-the-hole for about $6,000 over
the last few years due to lack of faculty compliance on returning freebies
after receiving desk copies from the publishers, the subject was dropped
from the Senate agenda. Apparently PC approved the new policy. Faculty
will have to call publishers' 800 numbers for desk copies or pay up-front
to the bookstore and turn in clean copies (if they want a full refund).

MINUTES OF 1/29/97

The minutes were approved as read.

The meeting adjourned at 6:13 p.m.

Ramona Ford
Secretary