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Oct 23, 1996 Minutes

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

Guests: Senate liaisons or their representatives Profs. John Belisle
(Music), Joy Boone (Health Serv.), Miriam Echeverria (Mod.Lang.), James
Irvin (Chem.), Roseann Mandziuk (Sp.Comm.), Lu Montondon (Acct.), Floyd
Ploeger (CIS), Glen Rydl (Ag.), Bill Stouffer (Pol.Sci.), Ruth Taylor
(Mgt/Mkt), Tom Thickstun (Math), Margaret Vaverek (Library); Prof. Suji
Singh (Math); Ms. Shirley Pilus, Dylan Sides (University Star), Mike Moore.

CONTENTS:
Senate liaisons from departments not represented by a senator, the
Senate, and others met in Alkek 105 to discuss issues the liaisons felt
were important to their departments. The topics covered were:

SCH MANDATES AND TEACHING
DEPARTMENT CHAIR AND DEAN POWER/PAY/REVIEW
BONUSES
FACULTY GOVERNANCE
LRC PROGRESS ON 1995 SENATE RECOMMENDATIONS
FACULTY WORKLOAD POLICY

The meeting was called to order at 4:00, Vice-Chair Pascoe
presiding.

SCH MANDATES AND TEACHING

Several points were brought up in discussion: This major increase
in number of students taught by faculty will not be possible unless we have
the projected dramatic increase in the number of students in Texas within
the next five years, they decide to come here, and we have enough large
classrooms to accommodate mega-classes. Some questioned the statement from
the administration that UT's average class size was smaller than ours
(because they teach some mega-classes and more smaller ones, including more
graduate courses, we have been told). The Senate was asked to get the
figures on this. Another point, related to our recent discussion of
teaching (see 10/9 and 10/16 minutes), was that those teaching mega-classes
and/or taking up the teaching slack for others must be rewarded when
evaluations are made for tenure, promotion, and merit.

One suggestion was that administrators, from chairs on up, be
required to teach a mega-class occasionally (as the late Dean Muir did).
The argument was that faculty SCH helps pay administrators' salaries and
admins. should pull some of their weight and get the feel for student
reaction. Some deans were said to be balking at the SCH quota assigned to
their schools--because of language and science labs and other curriculum
requirements such as individual instruction in the arts, and because of
concerns over the quality of teaching.

Teaching evaluation was discussed briefly. Some depts. have
mandated observation by peers (e.g. History). Perhaps depts. should
consider observation from outside (e.g. Education knows how to evaluate
teaching, even outside their content areas). Much literature and many
campus resources are available to help new and old faculty beef-up teaching
without punitive damages, so why not use them? Teaching evaluations need
to be packets of peer internal and external reviews, and student
evaluations.

DEPARTMENT CHAIR AND DEAN POWER/PAY/REVIEW

Thanks to Prof. Sawey, salaries and merit increases for this year
are available on the Web. Given the clustering of salaries, it appears
that merit may have been used for salary adjustment, particularly at the
administrative levels, i.e. isn't it odd that chair salaries are so
uniform, ditto for most deans. Salary compression is also quite visible in
the ranks, i.e. new faculty are approaching or overtaking old faculty in
some areas. While suggestions were made to put the admins. on 11-month
salaries (presumably cutting the annual income 1/12th), it was pointed out
that the admins. were not as out-of-line regionally and nationally as the
regular faculty. It is the rank-and-file who should receive our greatest
concern.

Prof. Singh noted that chairs have a great deal of power--in
addition to markedly larger pay and practically lifetime chairship. Prof.
Stouffer suggested that chair accountability should be examined. Some
chairs seem to be visibly working, while others are difficult to find.
Prof. Sawey reminded us of the idea of renewable terms for chairs and deans
which we (Senate) have suggested many times and which the Administrative
Evaluation Committee is currently examining. Renewable terms should not
damage recruiting of chairs/deans, if they are quality people not looking
for a sinecure (i.e. a safe place with little responsibility and little
action.). Prof. Deduck-Evans made an interesting point that (whatever they
are paid) admins. are supposed to make the duties of faculty smoother, not
more complicated.

With regard to pay, Prof. Stouffer noted that CEO's in the U.S. are
paid fantastically out-of-line compared to other countries and that SWT's
admin. to faculty ratio (10:1) is much lower than the skewed U.S. rate.
Profs. Boone and Stimmel commented on golden parachutes (the pay for
admins. going back to faculty status). The rule-of-thumb is that chairs,
etc. go back to the middle pay of full professors, but apparently not
everyone gets the same treatment.

Two final points were made: "When the admin. does not want to make
a decision a 'smoke-screen' is used, e.g. 5% reallocation, increase SCH."
[Others might say that including the faculty on these decisions is the TQM
thing to do.] "Such mandates for school and dept. decisions pits one unit
against another." [Obviously competition in such areas will require
mediation at some point. Perhaps we could all use a little training in
mediation a la TQM.]

BONUSES

Merit is handed out in a very nebulous manner in some depts. It
does not go away if a mistake is made, Prof. Singh noted. Bonuses might
increase give and take on information.

Opposing arguments included ones the Senate earlier stated, that
the bonus process was to require another long evaluation process, that the
criteria were up-in-the-air, that merit already provides bonuses by
granting more merit to higher achievers, that depts. evaluate differently
(e.g. some have peer surveillance of teaching and peer evaluation, some
leave merit to the chair, etc.).

The argument that we lose the bonus money if we don't use it is
bogus. It is still there. Recall that the Senate voted this fall to fold
bonus monies into the merit pool, at least in the short-run. This occurred
because the criteria for bonuses were fuzzy. How many were to get it (the
Bonus Committee suggested the maximum of 25% of faculty, the admin.
suggested few and large bonuses perhaps for groups rather than
individuals)? For what areas of performance? Would this be based on the
last merit increases or based on new criteria regarding the strategic plan?


FACULTY GOVERNANCE

A heated debate ensued regarding changing the Faculty Handbook to
allow non-tenured faculty to vote. Is this a dimunition of senior faculty,
or a possibility for non-tenured faculty to sway the direction of
curriculum, or for a chair to control the votes of the non-tenured, etc.?
Or is this an attempt to include the non-tenured in curriculum and other
areas in which they are involved but have no voice? In the minutes of
10/16 the Senate approved the Faculty Governance Committee's Report of
12/95. The rewording for the Faculty Handbook would allow the voting of
non-tenure faculty on all departmental issues except personnel issues. The
"senior faculty" would be called the "personnel committee," since this is
the area they deal with privately. The Committee approached University
depts. and found this was what most were already doing and suggested that
the Faculty Handbook be changed to reflect common practice. One senator
referred to the noninclusion position as elitist and hierarchal. [Several
heads nodded in agreement, but we didn't take a "head count."]

Prof. Singh noted that this was not acceptable in the Math Dept.
where there were many long-term lecturers who could outvote the senior
faculty when the faculty were divided on an issue. In addition, "temps" are
vulnerable to influence from the chair who holds their contracts in hand.
[One suggestion from a senator was for secret ballots so the chair was not
able to distinguish votes.] In another dept. it was noted that long-term
lecturers resisted changes in curriculum which would keep up with the
profession. [Another senator suggested some of these lecturers should be
sent to professional meetings, etc. to catch up.] A compromise suggestion
was that secret ballots on issues be taken by tenured and non-tenured
status, so the chair can see who thinks what. [Note that this underlines
the current power of the chairs for final decisions, as discussed above.]

It was agreed that this be returned to the agenda and that persons
concerned attend the Faculty Handbook Committee's meeting of November 1st
at 3:30, Math/Com.Sci 478.

LRC PROGRESS ON 1995 SENATE RECOMMENDATIONS

In Spring 1995 the Senate Subcommittee on Librarian Pay and Status
issued a 50+ page report on SWT's library vis-a-vis libraries in Texas, the
Southwest, and nationally. In Spring 1996 a follow-up report on progress
toward the Report's recommendations was made, e.g. increased salaries for
entry level professional librarians and para-professionals, intralibrary
communications, etc. LRC liaison Vaverek reported that the Library has had
an Assessment quality team running for a year now on general issues. Under
their aegis a user-survey will be done within the next week or so to tap
user complaints and satisfactions. Expect to be stopped in the Quad, the
Library, or elsewhere for your input on Library services. Please take time
to respond. A new team has been formed and will be trained in January 1997
to deal with scheduling, which is a sore point with many in the survey of
librarians in both the original report and the follow-up report. [Note:
SWT is one of the few libraries which staff professionals past 10:00 p.m.
into the wee hours.]

FACULTY WORKLOAD POLICY

There is a wide divergence of opinion on the relative weights of
teaching, scholarship/research, and service. Prof. Bourgeois noted that
there should be a tie-back related to performance and criteria for tenure,
promotion, and merit. Ergo, one's workload distribution in these areas
should be reflected in evaluation for the above. [He said again that he
would like to work on a committee to propose mechanisms on this kind of
evaluation and workload distribution.]

OTHER ITEMS

Senators were reminded of the special calling of University Council
tomorrow, Thurs. 10/24/96. The flexible summer schedule and mini-mester
(May) and Transportation and Parking Committee recommendations (red can
park in green until the Pit opens) will be on the agenda.

Liaisons were invited to the next PAAG meeting (with Pres. Supple
and VPAA Gratz) and any other subsequent meetings.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:00.

Ramona Ford

Secretary