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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

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Oct 16, 1996 Minutes


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

Guests: Prof. Wilbon Davis (Computer Sci.); Dylan Sides (University Star),
Mike Moore, and Shirley Pilus.

CONTENTS:

PARKING (Prof. Davis)
TEACHING AT SWT
FACULTY LEAVE AND DISABILITIES DRAFTS
FACULTY GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE REPORT OF 12/95
MINUTES OF 10/9/96 (and 7/25/96)
NEW BUSINESS

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m., chair Bible presiding.

PARKING (Prof. Davis)

Prof. Davis made a presentation with a handout and colored overlays
on the overhead projector, showing where student green parking and
on-campus dorms and faculty/staff parking and office buildings are located.
He has an estimate of how many parking permit holders are in various
buildings. Dividing the central campus map into zones, he pointed out that
the macro figure of 2,300 red parking spaces for 2,000 red tags sold is not
consistent with the actual situation. Only 1,700 are exclusively red (the
others are in red/green zones). Some of the 2,300 spaces are located in
distant sites, such as the warehouse and bus barn. In one zone there are
1.2 permit holders for every space; in another there are 2.2 permit holders
for every 1 space. Mondays and Fridays are less stringent, but in mid-week
Tues.-Thurs. it is "go fish." This can take 45 minutes or so on a bad day.


Some areas have recently been changed from red to green and, of
course, the "red parks in green" was halted a couple of years ago. People
on last year's Transportation and Parking Committee said they did not approve
any changes from red to green, just the rules and regulations which were on
the back of the map that we all get with our permits. Apparently the changed
map was assumed to have been approved as well.

Recently, following up on the Senate's recommendation, the
University Council voted to allow red to park in green again. The PC voted
to kick this back to the Transportation and Parking Committee. [At their
10/18 meeting T&P voted unanimously to allow this until the new Pit parking
garage is completed. Also they agreed to allow 100 purple commuter tags to
be exchanged for green.]

In the discussion it was pointed out that originally the current
moat around the Theatre Building was intended to be a below eye-level
parking area (without water, of course). The Pit parking (about 250
spaces) is supposed to be "completed" in January, 1997, but we are not sure
if this means open for parking, since the General Classroom Building will
still be under construction. Long-run planning might include having new
large dorms located off campus where parking would be close and
transportation to campus easily available. [Presumably on campus dorms
could be reconditioned to class and office space, although this was not
discussed.]

A major point was that students and staff/faculty not be seen as at
odds with each other over scarce parking, but that we should be working
together on reasonable short and long-term solutions. [It appears that the
T&P Committee feels this way, as the students on the Committee voted to
allow reds to mix with greens in the short-run crisis.]

Prof. Davis was sincerely thanked for his physical, mental, and
time expenditures to check out where parking spaces were and where
permit-holders were and mesh them into a coherent whole.

TEACHING AT SWT

In a lengthy discussion, the following basic points were raised:
(1) There is no "cookie cutter" or one-size-fits-all way to measure
teaching effectiveness, particularly across disciplines; (2) If the
Administration believes teaching is important, as Pres. Supple and others
have told us, then concrete mechanisms for rewarding faculty for teaching
are necessary for tenure, promotion, and merit (special School awards were
suggested in minutes of 10/9); (3) We have enormous resources on campus
for evaluating teaching which we are not using for our own faculty
evaluations.

Various concrete ideas were suggested (See also minutes of 10/9).
The Administration, deans, chairs, school review groups, and
teaching-evaluation personnel from Education should get together to iron
out means of evaluation in general and in specific disciplines. The new
"workload policy" guidelines seem to undervalue teaching and need to be
adjusted. The whole organizational culture that good teaching won't get
you tenure (but teaching can be used as an excuse for not tenuring if a
dept. wants to get rid of you on other grounds) should be examined. This
is what new people are being told. The message seems to be "Publish and
your average teaching evaluations will be acceptable." There was no
indication that really poor teachers were tolerated, just that teaching was
not the top priority in the current reward system. Apparently
"performance" raises means teaching and the "merit" boost is publishing,
for the most part. [Service was not addressed, but perhaps should be in
the discussion of what counts for tenure/promotion/merit.]

Chair Bible will send us a rough draft of the suggestions which we
will discuss and send along to administration, deans, chairs. Prof.
Bourgeois volunteered to work on any Senate draft regarding teaching.

FACULTY LEAVE AND DISABILITIES DRAFTS

During discussion suggestions were made. Prof. Stimmel noted that
Tina Schultz of Disabled Student Services was in an awkward position of
having to certify student disabilities and then having to be the student
advocate, as well. Perhaps these functions could be divided in some way.
Prof. Hays suggested that the question of the draft handbook going beyond
the mandate of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act could be clarified
by having the mandated parts highlighted. This would enable faculty to see
what was required and what was negotiable, given the range of ways in which
students' special problems could be handled. [The way it is set up in the
draft makes it look like the student can legally demand anything--which led
to some faculty complaints regarding what they viewed as unreasonable
requests when other options were available.]

On the draft Faculty/Staff Leave PPS, questions of parental leave,
medical leave to tend a domestic partner, etc. were discussed briefly. It
was suggested the University might try going beyond the letter of the law
and see what happens. This is basically a staff issue, since faculty
rarely request leave. These issues will return to the agenda.

FACULTY GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE REPORT OF 12/95

The Faculty Governance Committee's report recommending changes in
the next Faculty Handbook will open up faculty decision making on most
questions (except personnel) to include untenured faculty. What was
formerly referred to as "senior faculty," who make personnel decisions, is
to be called the "personnel committee." Most departments are already
allow junior faculty to participate in departmental decisions; hence the
change in wording reflects what is widely practiced.

After review of the wording changes, a motion was passed to endorse
the Committee's report.

MINUTES OF 10/9/96 (and 7/25/96)

The minutes of 10/9/96 were approved with the addition that the
Legal Studies programs was approved by unanimous Senate vote. The minutes
of 7/25/96 which had been approved earlier were amended on the request of
the Personnel Dept. to include an addendum outlining the draft leave policy
PPS in more detail.

NEW BUSINESS

(1) The Post-Tenure Review Committee is being formed, in response
to Bill Ratliff's (R-Mt. Pleasant) Texas Senate Education Committee's
recommendations, as you will recall. Senate Chair Bible and Senator
Stimmel will serve on the Post-Tenure Review Committee and we have been
asked to select another faculty member. The Senate voted unanimously to
appoint Prof. Ev Swinney, because of his interest and his vast store of
information on faculty matters. As currently constituted, the Committee
will have twelve members--seven faculty (including the Committee chair) and
five deans, chairs, and administration.

(2) The Parking Appeals Committee letters have been sent out, but
the final constitution of the Committee is pending acceptance of
appointments.

(3) The Facilities Committee has a vacancy. The Senate voted
unanimously to appoint Prof. Horne.

(4) The Grade Appeals Committee has been constituted except for
the appointments of Senators. Profs. D. Hunter, G. Simpson, and F. Horne
were appointed.

(5) A Merit/Bonus Committee may be forthcoming. RTA'd.

(6) Prof. McGee noted criticism of the evaluation report of the
Mini-mester. Senators were asked to examine the report, seek input from
faculty, and send comments to Chair Bible.

(7) Prof. Caverly asked that the Senate examine the new policy
that any external grant had to be run through the University. RTA'd for
the agenda of 10/30/96.

(8) An earlier complaint/question received by the Senate regarding
the handling of grant proposals for external support by Sponsored Projects
will also return to the agenda on 10/30/96.

(9) Prof. Opheim has indicated that she is too busy with the new
position as Chair of Political Science to serve on the Handbook Committee
and suggested that Prof. Grasso be appointed. A motion passed endorsing
Prof. Grasso to membership on this committee.

The Senate meeting of 10/23/96 will be a welcoming of liaisons from
the various departments. It will be held in Alkek 105, 4:00-6:00.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:02.

Ramona Ford

Secretary