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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

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Oct 2, 1996 Minutes

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

Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz, AssocVPAA Cassidy, Dr. Bill Mears and
Joan Heath (LRC); Profs. Elizabeth Blunk, John Garstka, and Beth Wuest
(FCS), Vedaraman Sriraman (Tech), Julio Dix (Math), Aditi Angirasa (Ag.),
Paul Cohen (Eng.), Chinna Natesan (Mgmt/Mkt); Margaret Vaverek (Library);
Mike Moore and Ms. Shirley Pilus.

CONTENTS:

PAAG (Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz)
VALUE OF TEACHING
FACULTY BONUS PAY
DISTINGUISHED PROFESSORS
STRATEGIC PLAN INITIATIVES
LIBRARY ALLOCATION FORMULA (Julio Dix)
REGENTS' DRUG USE POLICY
UNIVERSITY LEAVE POLICY
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES POLICY
PARKING APPEALS COMMITTEE
UNIVERSITY MEDIATION COMMITTEE
MINUTES OF 9/25/96
NEW ITEMS

The meeting was called to order at 4:00, Chair Bible presiding.

The Senate agreed to send condolences to the family of the late
Dean of Science Mariel M. Muir.

PAAG (Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz)

VALUE OF TEACHING

Related areas surfaced in discussion: (1) What role does teaching
play now in tenure, promotions, and merit? (2) Does SCH increase devalue
teaching?

Pres. Supple noted that teaching is usually mentioned in tenure and
promotion justification; merit award justification rarely mentions
teaching. Student evaluations are only part of what we should consider.
He noted the "Lake Woebegone effect," that almost everyone is above average
in student evaluations. Also he noted that studies do not support the idea
that teachers who give higher grades have the best evaluations. We need
some measurement of learning outcomes, if we are to know who teaches well.
Actual faculty observations of others' teaching are rare and student
learning outcomes are virtually nonexistent. Teaching awards offer some
help in evaluation. By the time a person comes up for tenure and merit,
however, the Administration must assume that departments have weeded out
bad teachers by the third year. Still, there is a range from adequate to
spectacular that is usually not well-documented. In summary, we need to
measure student outcomes better and, second, we need to have better checks
within depts. on quality teaching. Subsequently, we need to recognize
master teachers and help spread their techniques around.

This is related to performance/longevity increases which few
persons are denied, it was stated. [Only twelve did not receive
performance last year, according to the Administration.]

Dr. Supple pointed out that the quality of teaching will be
affected by how we restructure classes. Perhaps we need to have a very few
large classes in our three new teaching theatres (backed up by media and
TAs) to free up faculty for more small classes. He noted that UT-Austin is
notorious for large classes but these are really few and average class size
there is lower than at SWT. He gave an example of one CA campus (Central
Valley) which permitted only classes below 20 or above 200. It was also
noted that teaching spaces (rooms) are not currently well utilized.

Prof. Simpson brought us back to how much weight is given to
teaching on campus. Prof. Pascoe suggested that chairs should be given a
workshop on what aspects of teaching should be considered in tenure, merit,
and promotion--so that all depts. are on-the-same-page.

In the meeting after PAAG was over, it was pointed out that Quality
of Teaching was not really well discussed. We veered off into
money/motivation, etc. It was agreed to discuss more concrete questions at
the next Senate meeting and present them to the Administration for
discussion at the next PAAG--with almost nothing else on the agenda to cut
short our one-or-two hour meeting by having others waiting in the wings.
Teaching is high on the Senate's list of concerns. Faculty with teaching
concerns are urged to be forthcoming with questions and opinions, in person
or by e-mail to representatives.

It was pointed out that how the top administration evaluated
teaching was a mystery and we should ask them to evaluate one or two ersatz
cases for us, so we could see top adm. evaluation in practice.

FACULTY BONUS PAY

Pres. Supple noted that this idea was initially to have a pay pool
for faculty in years that we do not have merit to distribute, but that the
idea had evolved over time to be an annual gesture for some who had
achieved something extraordinary toward accomplishing departmental goals
which further the University in some way. In the discussion it was pointed
out that this might have some overlap with merit--although merit is
individual achievement in teaching/scholarship/service. The Pres. gave a
concrete example of possible bonus: The rewarding of persons key in
applying for accreditation of a department's program. Several Senators
asked if this would extend cronyism and depress morale--and who would do
the evaluating? Prof. Stimmel reminded us that the faculty survey
indicated that 70 percent of respondents seemed to dislike the idea of
bonuses, which was part of the reason the Senate voted last week to fold
bonus money into merit.

Prof. Hays noted that merit already included a range of steps (a
step being about half a percent of pay) which rewarded the meritorious in
degrees. Prof. Hays asked if just some of this $340,000 bonus pool for
faculty (the rest of the $500,000 is for staff) could be used for this
"special category" and the rest go into merit. Why not look at the current
situation and see how much we would need in dollars to reward the special
category? Pres. Supple said this was a good idea.

Profs. Stimmel, Caverly, and others were concerned that large
bonuses aimed at others' goals might pull some away from individual
pursuits of what they feel they should be doing. Extrinsic rewards might
overcome intrinsic rewards for all but the hardy few who insist on
following their own drumbeat.

Pres. Supple noted that the idea of bonuses was still "in process"
but that the University would have to make up its collective mind before
Christmas break or lose this year's pot (a point brought up by Prof.
Sawey). Perhaps more teaching awards could be given; one for each School,
Prof. Angirasa suggested. Perhaps higher awards for teaching could be
given. [Stay tuned, folks. We are in a "use it or lose it" mode,
apparently. Send immediate word to your Senators and liaisons.]

DISTINGUISHED PROFESSORS

"Distinguished Professor" is a title beyond the rank of professor.
Prof. Joe Moore, Jr. has been named our first distinguished professor
(part-time, $30,000, Geog/Planning). The Pres. suggested that we could do
this for a "handful" each year. The pay is usually for three years in
these cases, but the title lasts a lifetime. This title can attract
well-known faculty whom we could not afford or entice otherwise. Other
universities (such as the SUNY system) use this mechanism. The capital
campaign will be targeting this and endowed chairs, if we are fortunate in
our efforts. A committee will be formed (three nominated by the Senate and
three by the Administration) to establish criteria for these positions.

STRATEGIC PLAN INITIATIVES

A handout of the requests for funds from various departments was
examined. A few items were already budgeted for funding (e.g. Honors,
Assessment) and some others will be funded when we see what monies are left
after the dust settles from this first pay period of the semester.

LIBRARY ALLOCATION FORMULA (Julio Dix and the Senate's Library
Committee)

The Library allocation formula is revisited about every three
years. This year the diligent committee met over several months for
several hours nearly every week to totally revamp the formula. Each item
and its possibilities for measurement were argued pro and con. For
example, usage was determined impossible for serials and other materials
which cannot be checked out. Electronic usage of the catalog and/or
obtaining materials from the Net have negated nose-counts of patrons and
interlibrary loans. In revamping the formula, the Committee took into
account such areas as the number of dept. majors, the cost of publications
in areas ordered by the depts., etc.

The TexShare card enables students and faculty to borrow from any
Texas State supported library (Austin Public will conform soon, we are
told). Electronic conveyance and faxing of articles needed is cheaper than
ordering the hard copy journals at several hundred dollars a year, e.g. in
the sciences.

The complicated formula (an innovative contribution by Prof. Dix)
will smooth the ups and downs of depts. which order big in some years and
less in others. A weighted formula will control for major downs, such as
Psychology encountered this last cycle.

Dr. Mears pointed out that the LRC allocations are up for this
coming year because of both student fees (which are ongoing) and HEAF funds
($150,000, which may not be available in subsequent years). The "Round
Rock situation" relies on a couple of things: (1) Students can have
materials available in their on-site campus, if the instructor requests it
and (2) all students have TexShare library cards for TX supported
libraries, which includes UT. SWT will not be contributing to the building
of library collections in Round Rock this year, but relying on these
augmental services.

In passing, it was noted that departments do get SCH for these
off-campus courses.

A motion was made and unanimously passed that the Senate accept the
Committee's report on the Library formula. The Senate praised the
Committee's diligence and excellent efforts to produce a formula reflecting
SWT need, current market production, and prices. Applause followed,
because the group had examined every possibility (including what other
benchmark universities did) and Prof. Dix had translated this into a
reasonable formula.

REGENTS' DRUG USE POLICY

After some discussion over wording (but not apparently intent), the
Senate unanimously approved the following:

"The Faculty Senate is seriously concerned about section 4.24(8) of
Chapter V of the Rules and Regulations of the Texas State University
System, which deals with the illegal use, possession, sale, or distribution
of illegal drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances by faculty members.
We are strongly opposed to the following sentence in section 4.24(8):

"That an employee is charged in a criminal case, or is found "not
guilty" therein, shall not be construed as prohibiting System
administrative enforcement of these Rules and Regulations."

"In our judgment, this statment flies in the face of ethical and
moral precepts and principles of justice which are firmly rooted in our
culture and our legal system, and which this university professes to
uphold. That an individual has been vindicated of criminal charges
stemming from alleged drug use should be enough to vindicate that person in
the eyes of the university as well.

"Accordingly, the Senate proposes that section 4.24(8) be rewritten
as follows:

"Illegal use of drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances: A
faculty member who has been found guilty under these RULES AND REGULATIONS
of the illegal possession, use, sale or distribution of any drug, narcotic,
or controlled substance, whether the infraction is found to have occurred
on or off campus, shall be subject to termination, suspension or other
discipline as determined by the president or the president's designees.
If, in the judgment of the president or the Board, the best interests of
the students or the university or the Sytem so dictate, the employee may be
immediately removed from contact with students and other employees, pending
resolution of disciplinary proceedings.

"Exception: (1) A faculty member may not be subjected to
university disciplinary proceedings if criminal charges are subsequently
dismissed, or (2) The charges result in a criminal prosecution in which the
faculty member is found "not guilty." That one is vindicated of criminal
allegations of illegal drug possession, use, sale or disstribution shall be
construed as sufficient proof of his or her innocence."

This will be forwarded to the Administration.

UNIVERSITY LEAVE POLICY

RTA'd due to time.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES POLICY

RTA'd--time.

PARKING APPEALS COMMITTEE

RTA'd--time.

UNIVERSITY MEDIATION COMMITTEE

RTA'd--time.

MINUTES OF 9/25/96

Approved as read.

NEW ITEMS

None.

Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.


Ramona Ford
Secretary