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March 19, 1997 Minutes



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

Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz, and Assoc.VPAA Cassidy; Dylan Sides
(University Star), Mike Moore, Shirley Pilus.

CONTENTS:

PAAG (Pres. Supple and VPAA Gratz)
(1) RENEWABLE TERMS FOR CHAIRS AND DEANS
(2) STATUS OF COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS ON UNIVERSITY
GRADE CHANGE POLICY
(3) STATUS OF UNIVERSITY DISABILITIES POLICY DRAFT
(4) STATUS OF FACULTY WORKLOAD POLICY DRAFT
(5) UPDATE ON NORTH AUSTIN INITIATIVE
(6) FUNDING FOR AQUARENA WALKWAY
(7) QUESTIONS REGARDING NATURE AND HERITAGE CENTER

FACULTY GRIEVANCE PROCESS
(1) PRES. SUPPLE'S RESPONSE TO GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE'S
RECOMMENDATIONS IN TARSITANO V. ROSE AND HORNE V.
ROSE GRIEVANCES
(2) MEMO FROM DR. TARSITANO REQUESTING SENATE ACTION
(3) CHANGES IN PPS 8.08 SUGGESTED BY SENATE AT 2/26
MEETING WITH OMBUDSMAN McGEE

SENATE ELECTION PROCESS

NEW BUSINESS

MINUTES OF 3/5/97

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

PAAG (Pres. Supple and VPAA Gratz)

(1) RENEWABLE TERMS FOR CHAIRS AND DEANS

Pres. Supple explained that one reason why renewable terms for
chairs and deans might not be feasible is the Regents' reluctance to grant
multi-year contracts. He also stated that chairs need at least six years
to get their programs in place, but he does approve of substantive reviews
every three years for chairs and five years for deans. All stakeholders
--faculty, staff, students, administration--should have input. He suggested
that perhaps School Councils should have a major role in evaluating deans
and that he hoped to see a clear statement of the functions of deans (which
he hoped would be tied in part to strategic plans). When the process is
drafted it will be shared with the Senate and with our ad hoc committee
working on evaluation.

In the discussion it was pointed out that in the past some
departments were unanimously opposed to their chair, but were overridden by
the Administration. If the Adm. is going to go against the faculty, the
faculty should receive written feedback on why. Pres. Supple agreed that
faculty need this information, but he wasn't sure what form that should
take.

VPAA Gratz noted that all this will be discussed at Deans' Council
next week. This information will help the Senate's ad hoc committee in
their evaluation work.

(2) STATUS OF COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS ON UNIVERSITY
GRADE CHANGE POLICY

This too will be discussed at Deans' Council next week where a
draft proposal will be presented.

(3) STATUS OF UNIVERSITY DISABILITIES POLICY DRAFT

The University has been operating under the draft policy all year.
Assoc.VPAA Smallwood is in charge of its evaluation and faculty with
suggestions are urged to put them in writing for him.

(4) STATUS OF FACULTY WORKLOAD POLICY DRAFT

We are waiting to see what the Legislature is going to do with
Comptroller Sharp's Texas Performance Review which directly affects
workload policy and doesn't mesh with our draft. Currently the Leg. seems
to be ignoring the report. We hope to take our policy draft to the Regents
in the fall.

The Core Curriculum bill, however, seems to be moving. It is in
committee. This will also affect our policy.

(5) UPDATE ON NORTH AUSTIN INITIATIVE

There have been two recent articles in the Austin
American-Statesman indicating that UT has not been meeting the educational
needs of Round Rock/North Austin area. The University has been working a
little with the Legislature to try to get some funding for our initiative.
For example we need a contact person with a phone and office in the area;
also we will need adjunct faculty. This initiative (along with the math
camp, semiconductor project, etc.) is part of Article 11 which contains all
line items in the State Budget. We won't know how we fare until the tax
business is settled. Also the bond issue election in Round Rock will have
an influence on what can be done.

Questions were asked regarding computing facilities and other
equipment required for technical courses. Pres. Supple said it was
possible that technical companies would provide their facilities for our
use. Will the initiative take some students from our campus courses? It
might. [Again, it might bring in new students attracted by our programs.]
What does UT think about this? UT's mission seems to be in another
direction. The Coordinating Board will be discussing the initiative for
informational purposes in April.

(6) FUNDING FOR AQUARENA WALKWAY

Prof. Horne noted that we were trying to get private funding for
the Walkway. Pres. Supple said that Texas Parks and Wildlife is interested
in supporting a center relating to the aquifer. They have a federal
three-to-one matching grant with which they have already built two centers
around other nature research projects. A team from SWT will visit the one
in Athens, TX and develop a proposal for a center here which covers both
our needs and those of TX P&W. This will be presented to the Regents in
June. The money is there (except for our "one" to their "three") and just
needs assignment.

(7) QUESTIONS REGARDING NATURE AND HERITAGE CENTER

Will the Center be housed at Aquarena, as we have heard? That is
the eventual plan. Details on reporting and oversight of the NHT minor and
the Center were discussed.

A PPS draft is coming out next week regarding centers and it will
contain a sunset review process. Prof. Sawey asked if we could have these
policy drafts by electronic means. VPAA Gratz said that his office is
working on a Website where such could be posted.

NEW ITEMS:

What is the status of getting some modern equipment in the Senate
office? It is a top priority in the HEAF request.

Is anything exciting going on in the Legislature? Senator
Ratliff's SB5 on formulas will do us some damage, by taking some of the
money from the lower division undergraduate formula for the upper division.
Past formulas have not seemed reasonable either, really benefitting some
schools and hurting others. In addition, we may lose funding for the
interest on our utility bond debt (perhaps $1.2 million a year). The water
bill is also of interest and Prof. Joe Moore has already been approached
for assistance if it passes.

A question was asked about the proposed Clinic for the Advancement
of Teaching, which will be directed by Prof. Jim Garber when he steps down
from the chair of Anthropology. The purpose will be to train faculty in
the use of the new teaching theatres. He will also be addressing the
current problems of equipment maintenance, scheduling, etc. [CAD is also
revisiting the question of the theatre use fees being charged to depts.]

*********
FACULTY GRIEVANCE PROCESS

(1) PRES. SUPPLE'S RESPONSE TO GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE'S
RECOMMENDATIONS IN TARSITANO V. ROSE AND HORNE
V. ROSE GRIEVANCES

Copies of the responses were distributed and discussed. A timeline
was outlined for a series of meetings between all parties and the Adm. to
develop objectives and procedures for change. The outcomes will be
evaluated by the Acting Dean and VPAA in August. Also written policies for
objective faculty evaluation, with the advice and consent of the dept.'s
senior faculty, are to be submitted to the Acting Dean and VPAA by May
15th. [All depts. will be doing this shortly, as per the Post-Tenure
Review requirements.]

After much discussion the Senate hoped that this process is
successful in settling the problems, one way or another. Prof. Simpson
noted that in his dept. there were written criteria and the senior faculty
reviewed and rated all documentation submitted for merit, keeping
everything out in the open and objective.

(2) MEMO FROM DR. TARSITANO REQUESTING SENATE ACTION

The Senate discussed a memorandum submitted by Dr. Tarsitano in
response to the President's reply to the Grievance Committee report in the
Tarsitano v. Rose grievance, but took no immediate action; the consensus
was that the items raised in the memo were for the most part addressed in
the President's reply.

(3) CHANGES IN PPS 8.08 SUGGESTED BY SENATE AT 2/26
MEETING WITH OMBUDSMAN McGEE

At our 2/26 meeting, we asked Ombudsman McGee to consider whether
the grievance process should be expanded to include faculty v. faculty
grievances. The Ombudsman recommended against this, except to the extent
that a faculty member alleges that another faculty member violated a law or
policy in some manner (such allegations are already within the scope of the
grievance process).

On 2/26 we also discussed a recommendation that the Ombudsman be
permitted to dismiss "frivolous" grievances, and we asked the Ombudsman to
consider providing that such determinations be sent to the Chair of the
Faculty Grievance Committee for a final decision. The Ombudsman responded
by adding language to this effect to PPS 8.08.

The Senate voted to accept both recommendations.

SENATE ELECTION PROCESS

Should Senators who are running for reelection be collecting and
counting ballots, should they be mailed directly back to the Senate for
counting (to keep anyone from tampering with the ballot box), etc.? In
the discussion, various options were suggested, but in the end it was
decided that no changes in the current process are necessary.

NEW BUSINESS

Senate minutes: Prof. Ford, who has been the Senate secretary
for the past several years, is retiring from the Senate. It has been
suggested that the Senate's able administrative assistant, Ms. Shirley
Pilus, might begin taking minutes. Ms. Pilus has indicated that she is
willing to do this, in return for which Chair Bible could approach the
administration with a request for a salary increase for her. [The
Faculty Handbook would have to be changed to reflect this new procedure.]

This issue will be put on the agenda next week.

MINUTES OF 3/5/97

The minutes of 3/5/97 were approved as read. Prof. Carlos
Gutierrez has brought to our attention that in the approved minutes of
2/26/97 the word "semiconductor" should have been used instead of
"superconductor." The change was approved.

The meeting adjourned at 6:04.

Ramona Ford

Secretary