Present: Bechtol, Bible, Bourgeois, Deduck-Evans, Hays, Hunter, Irvin,
Oliver, Pascoe, Sawey, and Stimmel.
Absent: Winek, Conroy, McGee and Simpson
Guests: Chris Frost (Psy), Jeff Gordon (Phil), Chief Megerson (SWT
Police), John McGee (SWT Ombudsman), Don Hazlewood (Math), Wilbon Davis
(Comp Sci), Lou Caruana (Clin Lab), Bill Peeler, (Theatre), Margaret
Vaverek (Lib), Mike Moore, Scott Baker (AGS), and Lance Moore (AGS).
_ LEARNING EXCELLENCE TEAM (LET)
- GRIEVANCE POLICIES
- RESOLUTION OF RESEARCH FUNDS
- POST TENURE REVIEW
- NEW BUSINESS
- EVALUATION OF CHAIRS & DEANS
- NEW SENATE COMMITTEE CHARGE STATEMENTS
- STATUS OF DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES
- FACULTY HANDBOOK
- GRADE DISTRIBUTION
- MINUTES 5-12-97
The meeting was called to order by Chair Bible at 3:05 pm.
LEARNING EXCELLENCE TEAM (LET)
Profs. Frost and Gordon propose to establish a new Senate Committee
called the Learning Excellence Team (LET). Its purpose would be to
improve student learning at SWT, to facilitate campus efforts to enhance
teaching, and also to promote institutional rewards for good teaching
(tenure, promotion, merit, workload issues) by integrating resources in
a more efficient, collaborative, sustained manner. This committee would
focus on initiatives such as clinics, workshops and seminars to raise
the level of dialogue on teaching-learning issues with the intention of
promoting efforts that would inspire SWT faculty. The Senate discussed
the role of the Faculty Advancement Center in these issues, wondering if
it might not be more appropriate to create such a committee under the
auspices of the FAC. The issue was RTA'd until the July 16th meeting.
At the Senate's request, Chief Megerson of the University Police and
Prof. Peeler, Chair of the Transportation and Parking Committee (TPC),
addressed the ongoing parking situation. The Senate had heard rumors
concerning possible plans for the use of Pickard and Matthews Streets,
the proposed new inner campus bus route, and the new parking garages,
and it wanted to discuss these issues with someone in authority. Chief
Megerson pointed out that his major responsibility involves safety and
that he can only make recommendations, not decisions, but he did discuss
the basic elements of the various proposals as he understood them. An
ad hoc committee is studying the effects of the new street, bus routes,
and the parking garages; it will make recommendations to the TPC which
will in turn take its recommendations to President's Cabinet. No final
decisions have been made but the proposals, when adopted, will go into
effect in January.
The Senate did express puzzlement over the creation of this ad hoc
committee, as it seemed that the TPC itself was created for the
expressed purpose of addressing such matters. The Senate was also
curious as to the proposed line of authority; will the Senate,
University Council, etc., all have an opportunity to address whatever
parking proposals are finally developed before they go to PC for final
Senator Hunter expressed the concern of Health Professions about the
loss of their parking lot to the new Student Center parking garage which
will be a "pay for use" facility. Among other things, she wondered how
it was determined that this garage would indeed be "pay for use"? She
also noted the increased number of staff who will be seeking parking in
that area when the new Student Center opens and the fact that the School
of Health Professions will have to buy parking garage tokens for all
disabled people who attend their clinics. Prof. Wilbon Davis stated
that the SWT administration must be committed to a plan and to involving
the Transportation and Parking Committee, at the very beginning, on any
issues concerning parking on the SWT campus, including new construction.
University Ombudsman McGee has been working on changes to PPS 8.08 and
04.04.021 to bring them in line with the Regent's Rules regarding the
right of faculty to grieve a denial of a promotion. Under those rules,
such decisions may not be grieved, and language in the PPS's which
provided otherwise must be eliminated.
The Senate moved to amend PPS 8.08 by removing a reference to a hearing
for promotion appeals. In addition, Ombudsman McGee noted that the PPS
now provides that a faculty member may allege a procedural error in the
decision on their promotion, and that if the Ombudsman agrees that such
error occurred, he may return the faculty member's file to the promotion
cycle. This places the Ombudsman, who is supposed to be a neutral
facilitator, in the untenable position of acting as a decisionmaker;
accordingly, Ombudsman McGee proposed, and the Senate agreed, to amend
PPS 8.08 by giving the responsibility for determining whether procedural
errors have occurred to the Chair of the Grievance Committee.
Various amendments to PPS 04.04.021 were also approved. Ombudsman McGee
did note that Dr. Gratz has drafted a memo to be sent to faculty who are
denied a promotion which invites them to meet with their dean to discuss
what needs to be done in terms of professional development to get
promoted the next time around, so there is at least some opportunity for
faculty to receive input as to why their promotion was denied.
The Senate made it clear that although it sees no alternative but to
amend the PPS's to bring them into conformity with the Regents Rules as
they are now written, it does not intend to abandon the effort to effect
changes in those rules. Among other things, it was noted that simple
fairness dictates allowing faculty to avail themselves of the grievance
machinery in promotion denial cases. It was also noted that the trend
in the law recently has been to encourage the use of grievance processes
and mediation as an alternative to litigation and that the Regents Rules
are inconsistent with this trend. Finally, concern was expressed that
by ruling out grievances in promotion denial cases, the Regents Rules
may have the very unfortunate effect of encouraging disgruntled faculty
to resort to litigation in such cases.
RESOLUTION OF RESEARCH FUNDS
Chair Bible has conferred with AssocVP Tangum and VP Nance and it has
been resolved that the leftover research enhancement funds will carry
forward to next year. The plan, adopted at a previous Senate meeting,
to allocate $2500 to hire a research associate to organize the files at
ORSP is under way, meaning that the actual amount carried forward will
be $14,000+. It was decided not to pursue the idea of exploring other
options for the funds.
POST TENURE REVIEW
The Appropriations Act provides that universities may not expend their
appropriated funds until their governing boards adopt a policy on post
tenure review. Chair Bible advised the Senate that it has been proposed
that our Board of Regents adopt, at its August meeting, this policy:
"Each component university shall develop campus-specific post tenure
policies and review procedures to determine whether a tenured faculty
member is performing consistently at an acceptable, professional level
as well as a mechanism whereby a faculty member is informed of any
deficiencies and provided opportunity to improve his or her performance.
Such policies and procedures shall be consistent with the provisions of
paragraph 4 of this Chapter."
Because SWT has already developed a such a policy, the effect of the
adoption of the proposed Regents' policy would be that the SWT policy
would become operative. It had previously been determined that the SWT
policy would not be put before the Regents at the August meeting so as
to give the regents the opportunity to develop their own post tenure
review policy, but the appropriations act language dictated a change in
EVALUATION OF CHAIRS & DEANS
An ad hoc Senate subcommittee has proposed changes to the Evaluation of
Chairs and Deans PPS and now recommends the creation of a joint Senate/
CAD subcommittee to consider these recommendations. These changes are
now posted on the web. Chair Bible asked the senators to critique the
changes and bring recommendations to the July 16th meeting. CAD has
agreed to wait on approval of any changes until the Senate makes final
NEW SENATE COMMITTEE CHARGE STATEMENTS
The Senate needs to develop charges for the two new committees we
created. Chair Bible suggested the following as a starting point:
1. Committee on Temporary Faculty. Monitors and makes recommendations
concerning the status and needs of temporary faculty on campus.
2. Academic Policy Oversight Committee. Monitors extent to which
chairs, deans, and other administrators are adhering to applicable PPS's
and other rules and brings concerns to the attention of the Faculty
Chair Bible has asked to be replaced on the SACS Committee due to his
involvement with many other university committees and because he feels
the Senate is already adequately represented on that committee through
Senator Pascoe, who chairs the steering committee. Senator Pascoe has
volunteered to represent the Senate in addition to his other SACS
Committee duties. It was decided that any senator who wanted to serve
on the SACS Committee should contact Dr. Pascoe; otherwise, Dr. Pascoe
would serve in that position.
STATUS OF DEVELOPMENTAL LEAVES
Developmental leaves for Spring '98 have not yet been granted by the
VPAA. This issue was RTA'd until the next CAD meeting.
Proposed changes to PPS 7.10 (faculty merit and performance pay) were
discussed briefly. This issue was RTA'd until the July 16th meeting
when the Senate will ask VP Nance to attend.
Prof. Hazlewood reported that the draft of the new Faculty Handbook is
nearly ready for distribution to the Senate.
Chair Bible reported that grade distribution documents for the various
schools were distributed at the CAD meeting.
MINUTES OF 5-12-97
The Minutes of May 12, 1997 were approved.
The next meeting of the Faculty Senate will be held on Wednesday, July
16, at 3:00 in the Faculty Senate Conference Room, 880 JCK.
The meeting adjourned at 5:30.