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March 11, 1998 Minutes


Present: Anderson, Bible, Deduck-Evans, Gillis, Hays, Irvin, McGee,
Oliver, Pascoe, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel, and Winek.

Absent: Conroy, Hunter

Guests: Mike Moore, Bruce Renfro (Mass Communications), Carol
Hazlewood (Computer Science)

CONTENTS:

ACADEMIC COMPUTING COMMITTEE REPORT
FACULTY HANDBOOK COVER
GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE ELECTION
SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
SWT MISSION/CORE VALUES STATEMENTS
MITTE SCHOLARSHIP SELECTION PROCESS
NEW BUSINESS
MINUTES OF 3-4-98

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

ACADEMIC COMPUTING COMMITTEE REPORT

On March 4 the Senate began discussing its Academic Computing Committee's
recommendations for funding proposals to improve student access to com-
puting services. Approximately one million dollars of student computer
fee money is available to fund these grants, and the Academic Computing
Committee recommended that 14 of 26 proposals be funded. At that time
the Senate tabled the discussion until it could obtain some additional
information; among other things it was concerned about the appropriate-
ness of using student computer fee money to fund these projects, since
it seemed that they could and perhaps should be funded by Computer
Services instead. Today the Senate was advised that funds for computer
projects ultimately come from the same source, even though it might
appear that two separate pools of funds exist.

A separate concern was whether all of the proposals involved computer
labs which would permit "general access" by all students on campus. The
Senate noted that it understood that the intent of the student computing
fee grant application process was to fund only "general access" labs.
Today the Senate was advised that each lab would be "general access" in
the sense that it could be used by any student who could work with the
existing software in that lab.

Additional discussion included (a) the size of the School of Business
project, which combined all requests within the school, compared to the
smaller "targeted" requests coming from individual programs within the
university, and (b) possible revision of the guidelines with which the
Academic Computing Committee makes its ranking. Committee Chair Carol
Hazelwood said that the committee discussed the possibility of paring
down some proposals but finally decided to evaluate all proposals as
submitted.

The Senate decided not to second-guess the committee in this regard
and ultimately voted to accept the ACC recommendations. It also voted
to create a subcommittee of Ron Sawey, Bob Goss, and Pat Cassidy that
would (1) reassess the criteria by which proposals are evaluated, and
(2) establish a mechanism to ensure compatibility among all campus
computer labs and to make them generally accessible to all students,
if possible.

FACULTY HANDBOOK COVER

The Senate voted that the cover of the next issue of the Faculty
Handbook bear the SWT centennial design. It was also decided that the
new handbook would be dedicated to Dr. Henrietta Avent.

GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE ELECTION

The Senate had previously invited all faculty to nominate candidates
for election to the Grievance Committee. In this regard, the Senate's
Standing Rules provide: "In March of each year . . . the Chair of the
Senate will solicit from Senators, Liaisons, and Departmental Senior
Faculties the nomination of knowledgeable and judicious Full and
Associate Professors as candidates for membership on the Faculty
Grievance Committee. This list of nomineees will then be submitted
to faculty voters in the annual April election. . . ." A list of 15
names that could appear on the ballot for the April campus wide
election was presented.

LeAnne Smith-Stedman HPER
Gay James HPER
Steve Furney HPER
Patrice Werner C&I
Velma Menchaca C&I
Brenda Scheuermann C&I
Leslie Huling C&I
Donald Hazlewood Math
Julio Dix Math
Sukhjit Singh Math
Stewart Welsh Math
Sam Tarsitano Biology
Bill Peeler Theatre
Jack Mogab Fin. & Econ.
Gary Carman Fin. & Econ.

The Senate voted to accept the nominations.

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

The Senate had previously discussed whether Senate committees may
conduct closed meetings. Chair Bible consulted with University
Attorney Fly, who advised that such committees are not subject to
the state Open Meetings Act but are governed by a university UPPS
which provides that "all meetings of university committees shall
be open to the public unless the presiding officer . . . after
consultation with the other membes, declares that for any reason,
al or any portion of the meeting shall be closed to the public."

The Senate felt that this language was too open-ended; accordingly,
it voted to recommend that Section 04.01 of UPPS 1.04.04 be modified
to allow the presiding officer of any university committee, upon a
vote of a majority of committee members present, to close a meeting
only for a reason specified in Section 05. of the UPPS. Section
04.02 of the UPPS would be deleted. The Senate also voted to change
Section 04.05 of the UPPS to state that a presiding officer of a
committee who has any question regarding the closing of a meeting may
seek the advice of the university attorney.

SWT MISSION/CORE VALUES STATEMENTS

VPAA Gratz is convening a committee to revise the university's mission
statement. Chair Bible asked if Senators had suggestions for changes.
Senators commented that the statement was generally cumbersome and
should be rewritten in a streamlined fashion.

MITTE SCHOLARSHIP SELECTION PROCESS

Senators were concerned about the process for awarding Mitte
Scholarships. Questions such as the following were asked:

What are the criteria for awarding a Mitte Scholarship?
Who makes the final choices?
Shouldn't each school review its applicants before they are put
forward?
When must applications be filed?

The Senate decided to inquire about the process at the March 25 PAAG
meeting with President Supple and VPAA Gratz.

NEW BUSINESS

The following items were suggested for the agenda of the March 25 PAAG
meeting:

Mitte Scholarship selection process
Librarian career ladder
Merit raise issues
Use of teaching theatres

At a recent CAD meeting, concern was expressed about an "open letter"
column apparently directed at VPAA Gratz amd President Supple in the
recent LET "Spotlight" newsletter. The Senate subsequently determined
that this heading was not contained in the draft that it reviewed before
the newsletter was published and disseminated. Several Senators noted
that the heading was unnecessarily confrontational and wondered who had
made the change and when. Chair Bible said he would look into the
matter.

The Senate will decide at its March 25 meeting whether or not it wishes
to make any revisions to a customer satisfaction survey that will be
sent out by the ORSP/OTA committee.

Sen. Hays volunteered to replace Sen. Gillis on the Evaluation of Deans
and Chairs committee. Sen. Gillis' schedule prevented her from
attending meetings.

The minutes from the March 4 Senate meeting were approved.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:54 p.m.