Texas State University Logo

Jan 22, 1997 Minutes

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

Guests: Profs. Susan Day and Ev Swinney; Mike Moore, Dylan Sides
(University Star), Shirley Pilus,


MINUTES OF 10/16/96, 11/13/96, 11/20/96, 12/4/96, 1/15/97.

The meeting was called to order at 4:07, Chair Bible presiding.


Prof. Day explained that this draft has three basic aims: (1) To
catch faculty who are faltering at an early stage and set a broad pattern
for remediation; (2) To mesh, as much as possible, the time periods for
annual, performance, and merit evaluations which we are already doing --
so that faculty will gather their materials only once a year by Feb. 15th;
hence the draft combines much of the language on evaluation from the
Faculty Handbook and PPS 7.10; and (3) To keep the process mostly at the
departmental level, with reviews of departmental criteria and evaluations
by Deans and VPAA. The Committee found some depts. (and possibly even a
School or two) did not have written evaluation criteria and these depts.
and schools will have to develop a statement of their processes.

The new statement which guides #1 above reads as follows:

Faculty not addressed in the following two paragraphs will be
eligible for reemployment if their performance meets departmental
expectations as determined by the annual evaluation.

If the faculty member is on a tenure-track or extended term
contract, a failure to meet departmental expectations will cause the
department to consider whether termination with appropriate notice is
warranted. See Faculty Handbook, p. 7-8. If the faculty member is to
be retained, the chair will provide him or her with specific written
suggestions for improvement.

If the faculty member is tenured, a failure to meet departmental
expectations as determined by the annual evaluation will result in the
chair providing him or her with a written list of deficiencies. After
consultation with the faculty member, the chair shall prescribe in writing
an appropriate program of remediation. Three consecutive years of not
meeting departmental expectations, in the absence of significant
improvement, will cause the chair to initiate a recommendation for
dismissal for cause. See Faculty Handbook, pp. 8-12 and Rules and
Regulations: The Texas State University System, Ch. V, Par. 4.24, pp.

Questions were raised regarding "three consecutive years" without
"significant improvement." Why not three out of five? What's to keep
someone from putting in extra effort every third year? It may be difficult
to do research and publish in three years, if one's deficiencies are in
that area. Who decides what is significant improvement? [Answers: This
policy is aimed basically at "dismissal for cause" based on teaching
incompetence. The Committee gave much thought to time for some remediation
in this area. With regard to who decides if there is significant improvement,
ultimately it is the chair with input from the personnel committee (senior
faculty). No evaluation policy works well unless it is enforced by the
departments. It may be that chairs will need some training for evaluation,
remediation, and communication with affected faculty. Prof. Swinney added
that while he hesitated to put an estimate on how many faculty could be
affected because of their poor teaching, it might be 1 or 2% of the 450 or
so tenured faculty.]

How is tenure protected from a politically or personally
antagonistic chair? [Answers: Departmental criteria must be spelled out
and approved by Dean and VPAA, as must the subsequent faculty evaluations
and remediation plans. The Deans in the Senate/CAD joint meeting yesterday
were most anxious not to be left out of the loop. Chairs can only
"initiate a recommendation for dismissal for cause," at which time the
University attorney also enters the picture, along with the Dean and VPAA.
In addition, the grievance procedures are still in place for tenured
faculty. The "bad evaluations" have to be submitted in evidence to the
Grievance Committee for dismissal for cause. It was stated again that the
intent is not to weaken tenure, but to remediate tenured faculty who have
slipped in their teaching.]

Where are the resources for remediation to come from? Will the
rest of the faculty who are doing their jobs have to suffer a loss of
resources? [Answers: The Faculty Advancement Center, along with others,
is already planning teaching workshops. We are not talking about many
tenured faculty in the affected category.]

Will this policy be acceptable to those in the Legislature who are
pushing the Blivens bill? [Answers: First, the bill may or may not pass.
One senator noted that a teachers' association lobbyist reports that
Blivens is enthusiastic about remediation and that is what this policy
addresses. Prof. Day added that the current national wave for getting rid
of tenure bases its arguments on the idea that businesses don't have
tenure, so neither should universities. While in the first place
universities are not exactly like businesses, in the second place human
resources management emphasizes that businesses should concentrate more on
upgrading their employees. An editorial in The Wall Street Journal
suggests businesses would do well to foster tenure in order to promote more
creativity. Interestingly, empirical research indicates that intrinsic
rewards, such as growth on the job, a feeling of importance of one's work,
etc. are better motivators than extrinsic rewards, such as merit and
bonuses. Employees who are alienated or burned out can profit from


(1) $300 has been added to the Senate's account to defray
copying expenses. The computer equipment in the Senate office will also
be upgraded.

(2) The Tarsitano grievance will be heard Friday 1/24/97 at
10:00 a.m. in Alkek 105.

(3) The CoFGO meeting will be held in Austin 2/21-22/97 and the
Senate will send a representative. Also the Western States Assn. of
Faculty Governance and the University of Houston system will host a
conference on "The Future of Faculty in Higher Education" on 2/14-16/97.
Senators were asked to consider attending.

(4) A motion was made, but failed 4-10, urging the VPAA to
adhere to University policy, for example, the current process in hiring a
new Dean of Science. Instead, the Senate will be discussing this, and
similar situations, with the Administration at the next PAAG meeting on

(5) Some faculty have reported difficulty in finding out about
the recent school closing. The proper number to call is 245-2424.

(6) Prof. Bourgeois reported that by the Coordinating Board
rules lecturers are not eligible for Faculty Research Grants--a question we
had raised earlier. There may be other types of awards for lecturers that
the University has more control over and this will be followed up.
Assoc.VPAA Tangum is working on the suggestion that ceilings be raised on
research grants and on the amount which can be used as faculty salaries.

MINUTES OF 10/16/96, 11/13/96, 11/20/96, 12/4/96, 1/15/97.

The minutes of the above meetings were approved as read.

The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

Ramona Ford