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Sept 4, 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, Assoc.VPs Cassidy and Tangum, Internal
Auditor Thyberg, Prof. Farr, Prof. Folse, Library liaison Vaverek; Mike
Moore and Ms. Shirley Pilus.

CONTENTS:

PAAG (Pres. Supple & VPAA Gratz)
REGENTS' DRUG USE POLICY
LEGISLATIVE ASSAULT ON TENURE
MERIT PAY/ADJUSTMENTS
NORTH AUSTIN INITIATIVE--COMPENSATION
VALUE OF TEACHING

RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT GRANTS (Prof. Folse)
FAC--SURVEY (Tangum, Farr, & Thyberg)
FACULTY BONUS PAY
MINUTES OF 8/28/96
NEW ITEMS

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

PAAG (Pres. Supple & VPAA Gratz)

REGENTS' DRUG USE POLICY

At their May meeting the Board of Regents altered their rules
regarding drug policy to include faculty. The new policy under Section
4.24 (8) [4.24 is "good cause" for dismissal] reads 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 designee.
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. If, in the judgment of the
president or the Board, the best interests of the students or the
university or the System so dictate, the employee may be immediately
removed from contact with students and other employees, pending resolution
of disciplinary proceedings." Subsequent paragraphs outline the procedure
for hearings and appeals.

In the discussion that followed, Pres. Supple pointed out that this
puts faculty under strictures similar to students, who may be treated more
punitively by a university than by a court, which may not press charges for
possession, for example. (1) Universities typically ask a student to
withdraw for a semester; students who refuse are suspended, which goes on
their record. In other words, a university is forced to take some action
toward students and now faculty as well. The president is allowed some
latitude on punitive measures. [But it looks like the Board may have the
last call, doesn't it?]. (2) Criminal cases require a strict standard of
proof -- "beyond a reasonable doubt" -- while administrative proceedings,
including university hearings, require less proof. Thus, a joint found behind
your office door might be enough to convict you in a university hearing but
not in a criminal trial. Someone observed that an unhappy student could
easily "set up" a faculty member.

LEGISLATIVE ASSAULT ON TENURE

Pres. Supple noted that this is an issue that is not going away.
Not only are there TX legislators who seem bent on disposing of tenure, but
there is a nationwide assault. UT and A&M are coming up with their own
regulations on evaluation of tenured faculty. This is a proactive approach
which could forestall strange regulations from higher bodies, such as the
report by the TX Legislature Senate Education Committee in May that "Below
standard peer and student evaluations for two consecutive years would
provide cause for tenure revocation or dismissal." Various persons noted
that faculty who ask for a great deal of student work and/or hold to high
standards are at risk for student complaints. In addition, the public
stereotype of the leisured faculty -- meeting classes a few hours a week and
goofing off the rest of the time -- needs to be set straight. Most depart-
ments on campus already do some kind of annual evaluation of faculty. The
point of faculty evaluation is that teachers get some suggestions on how
they might improve.

Pres. Supple will form a group to study this and the Senate will
appoint some faculty (including some who are untenured) to work on
evaluation guidelines. Perhaps this will concentrate on departmental peer
review with minimal input from a school review group. Again, the emphasis
should be on measures to assist faculty to evaluate and improve their
performance.

MERIT PAY/ADJUSTMENTS (Prof. Horne)

It has been suggested that merit pay may have been used to address
equity problems, such as salary compression when incoming faculty are paid
more that faculty who have been here for some time. Pres. Supple was not
aware of this. The recent increase for staff could be for either merit or
adjustment, but the faculty raises were supposed to be for merit. VPAA
Gratz indicated that salary adjustments for faculty from the merit money
must be rare, but might have occurred if guidelines were not strictly
followed. Can deans bump up faculty merit increases over what the dept.
has recommended? [Answer: Again, this would be the rare case.]

NORTH AUSTIN INITIATIVE--COMPENSATION

Faculty teaching at Round Rock receive $2,500 for undergraduate
courses and $3,000 for graduate courses, when out-of-load, plus transporta-
tion expenses. Faculty who live in Austin do not get transportation. This
is less than faculty get for teaching on campus in the summer, but it might
get better once the program there is established.

Discussion followed on the import of the Round Rock (North Austin)
Initiative. Pres. Supple indicated: (1) We want to get our foot in the
door on this to eliminate the need for a third large university in central
Texas (UT seems uninterested in night and extension courses and we are the
other alternative for higher level classes). (2) What is our budget and
what will side expenses such as library resources cost us? SWT expects to
lose money for three years or more until the unit gets on its feet. VPAA
Gratz will provide the Senate with the current projected expenses. (3)
What did the feasibility study indicate? The bond election may be delayed
until November 1997 and the area covered may be expanded. (4) SWT will be
asking for a line-item in the coming State budget to cover some of the costs.
[We live in hope on what items are attached to the budget.] (5) ACC is our
biggest feeder school and 52% of our students are from the Corridor area,
weighted toward Travis county. (6) We will soon be receiving the echo of
the baby boom and need to control the number of students on our own campus,
which off campus centers will help. [Traffic jams, parking problems, etc.
can always get worse!]

VALUE OF TEACHING

RTA'd for next PAAG meeting, due to lack of time.

RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT GRANTS (Prof. Folse)

SWT wants more applicants for faculty research enhancement grants
and we want more of the proposals submitted to be accepted. Rejections can
occur when applicants do not follow the guidelines and fail to give the
Committee the relevant data to justify their general evaluation and the
budget request. The Committee submitted a form that asks for explicit
fill-in-the-blank info (as opposed to general instructions) and
particularly spells out the need for approval from the IRB on any kind of
study done with people--before submitting the proposal. [This just takes a
few days, folks, so plan ahead.]

A discussion followed regarding the amount of funds per research
grant and it was ascertained that there is no legal limit, although the
Committee had set a cap on grants at $6,000 in 1989. A motion was passed
that the Committee reconsider the amount for grants in the 1997 cycle.
Maybe some proposals deserve higher funding. In addition, one can have
more than one grant over the years (3 grants within 5 years), assuming that
one is starting some relatively new aspect of one's area of research. RE
grant proposals must specify how these research needs are not covered by
any concurrent outside grant. Budget justifications are also asked and the
new form includes what kinds of things cannot be covered with REG monies.

The Senate voted to commend the REG Committee's work and urged the
faculty community to attend the REG workshops on September 17 and 18
(2:00-3:00, Psychology 132) to get tips on writing proposals.

FAC--SURVEY (Tangum, Farr, & Thyberg)

A "consumer survey" of the Faculty Advancement Center has been
prepared. A motion was passed to appoint a committee to oversee this and
other FAC internal surveys. The Committee will consist of Prof. Sawey
(chair), Prof. Caverly, Mr. Thyberg, Profs. Tangum and Farr, Joe Meyer from
IRP, and an unnamed untenured faculty person. A handout was distributed
denoting the mission and activities of FAC. Dr. Tangrum noted the new
activities FAC has targeted since their review was begun some months ago.

A question was asked regarding whether the Freshman Year Experience
initiative overlapped with FAC. [Reply: FAC has a small staff -- a part-
time director, one full-time secretary, and another quarter time person, so
cooperation from other areas is welcomed. FAC is a clearinghouse which tries
to bring in SWT resources or outsiders for groups and individuals who need
assistance. The Freshman Year Experience also overlaps somewhat with the
aims of General Studies. There is going to have to be some coordination on
what each entity contributes.]

FACULTY BONUS PAY

An EPC subcommittee handout was distributed and discussion was
RTA'd to next week.

MINUTES OF 8/28/96

The minutes were approved as read.

NEW ITEMS

(1) Insofar as upcoming grievance hearings involving members of the
Biology and Physics Departments are concerned, Prof. Tuff, who chairs that
committee, recused himself; he will be replaced temporarily by Prof. Lou
Caruana and Prof. Marguerite Gillis will be asked to chair the committee
during these hearings.

(2) ExecVP Abbott and Chief Megerson volunteered to discuss parking
with the Senate at the 9/11/96 meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 6:13 p.m.


Ramona Ford
Secretary