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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

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Oct 1, 1997 Minutes


Present: Bible, Bechtol, Bourgeois, Conroy, Deduck-Evans, Hays, Irvin,
McGee, Oliver, Pascoe, Renick, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel and Winek.

Absent: None

Guests: John McBride (Personnel), Michelle Massey (Personnel), Grady
Early (Computer Science), Lance Moore (Pres., ASG), Jeff Noethen (ASG),
and Mike Moore.

CONTENTS:

PPS 04.04.30 -- UNIVERSITY LEAVE POLICY
SENATE LIBRARY LIAISON
REGISTRATION/CLASS SCHEDULING CONCERNS
ASG CONCERNS
PAAG FOLLOW-UP
CAD/SENATE AGENDA
NEW BUSINESS
MINUTES OF 9-24-97

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

UNIVERSITY LEAVE POLICY

Mr. McBride and Mrs. Massey reported on changes to UPPS 04.04.30 and on
clarifications which the Senate had previously requested of policies
affecting faculty. They reiterated that many of the changes were due to
changes in law. Sen. Sawey asked whether faculty who were on sick leave
for an entire semester have hours deducted for holidays; Mr. McBride
indicated they are deducted. Sen. Pascoe asked if there are provisions
for parental leaves for fathers; there are. Sen. Winek asked if all
accumulated hours of a retiring faculty member can be donated to the
sick leave pool; they can. Mr. McBride also reiterated that up to eight
hours of sick leave per year can be used for parent-teacher conferences.

Chair Bible asked how the policy will be incorporated into the faculty
handbook. Mr. McBride and Mrs. Massey answered that they intend to give
the Senate information from the staff handbook which can then be
tailored for the faculty handbook. UPPS 04.04.30 will be presented to
Staff Council next week. Senators were satisfied that the requested
clarifications of policy had been addressed and accepted the report.

SENATE LIBRARY LIAISON

Sen. Stimmel was unanimously elected to serve as liaison to the Library
Committee.

REGISTRATION/CLASS SCHEDULING CONCERNS

Prof. Early presented his version of an academic calendar for Senate
consideration, a version which has classes starting on Monday, avoids
partial weeks anywhere in the semester, and allows a full week for final
exams. Discussion focused on the issue of holding classes on Labor Day
and on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday. Senators endorsed holding
classes on Labor Day, but were concerned that the university might be
construed as terribly insensitive in ignoring the MLK day. Several
Senators argued that keeping students on campus and holding special
class discussions, celebrations, symposia, etc. in Dr. King's honor on
that day might be a more appropriate tribute than simply canceling
classes. It was also pointed out that no other holidays, such as
Presidents' days, are celebrated by canceling classes.

Lance Moore (ASG Pres.) argued against deleting "dead" day (Tuesday)
from the calendar because students need the time to study for finals;
however, it was pointed out that the proposed calendar, in having
classes end on a Friday before exam week, would allow two "dead" days
prior to exams.

It was moved to endorse the calendar proposed by Prof. Early, but the
motion was tabled to allow Senators time to discuss the proposal with
their constituency before voting on it. The Senate decided to put the
alternative on the Senate home page and ask faculty to comment on it.
The Senate would like to get feedback from faculty before University
Council deals with the subject of the academic calendar at its next
meeting on Thursday, October 9.

ASG CONCERNS

ASG has requested a closer relation with the Senate. Pres. Moore spoke
of two concerns of ASG: (1) developing a systematic program of student
evaluations of professors so as to "expand information available about
professors to students"; (2) limiting the use of the "staff A"
designation in the CATS handbook.

Discussion of concern #1 centered on the kinds of information ASG would
seek in its evaluations and the method for conducting them. Sen. Renick
asked ASG to avoid any procedure which smacked of witchhunt or
popularity contest, perhaps by stressing that its purpose in evaluating
faculty would be to provide feedback so that faculty might improve. Mr.
Moore indicated that the evaluation issue was still in committee. The
Senate suggested that ASG should return to the Senate when it has
developed a concrete proposal and instrument.

Discussion of concern #2 centered on the legitimate uses of "staff A" in
the CATS handbook (schedules have to be done far in advance; allowing
slots for new faculty yet to be hired; the serendipitous nature of
faculty assignments--sick and/or developmental leaves, grant funding,
etc.) as well as possible illegitimate uses (e.g., hiding unpopular
faculty from students). Sen. Bourgeois recommended that ASG talk with
department chairs about the issue. Mr. Moore assured the Senate that
ASG's concern was to eliminate abuse of the procedure.

Other issues of concern to ASG and the Senate include the widespread use
of social security numbers and problems with drops and adds. The Senate
expressed its delight at ASG's interest in cooperating with the Senate.
Mr. Moore offered to send ASG minutes to all senators.

PAAG FOLLOW-UP

Chair Bible discussed the possibility of forming a subcommittee to visit
with Pres. Supple to discuss various issues which the Senate believes
are not being appropriately addressed. It was decided to defer action
on this until the Senate meets with CAD on Wednesday, October 8.

CAD/SENATE AGENDA

The Senate agreed on the following agenda for its joint meeting with
CAD:

Faculty Compensation Issues
Merit/Performance
Faculty Awards
Faculty Governance
Faculty Morale

NEW BUSINESS

Sen. Oliver was elected to attend the Fall semester meeting of the Texas
Council of Faculty Senates (formerly CoFGo) in Austin; Sen. Hays will
attend the Spring semester meeting.

The MINUTES of 9-24-97 were approved.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:18 p.m.