Present: Bechtol, Bible, Bourgeois, Conroy, Deduck-Evans, Hays, Hunter,
Irvin, McGee, Oliver, Pascoe, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel and Winek.
Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz, AVPAA Cassidy (VPAA), AVPAA Tangum
(ORSP), Prof. Oren Renick (Health Prof) and Mike Moore.
1. SWT/Texas Parks and Wildlife
3. PPS 7.10 -- Faculty Merit and Performance
4. Status of Deans/Chair/Senate Committee on Chair and Dean
5. Faculty Awards Program: '97 Merit & Bonus
6. Research Enhancement Grants
7. Status of EdP 1350.
8. Mitte Chairs
SENATE MINUTES PROCEDURE
ASG TEACHER EVALUAION PLAN
Minutes of 8-27-97
The meeting was called to order by Chair Bible at 4:00 pm
SWT/TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE
President Supple reported on the prospects of building a freshwater
education and demonstration site, similar to Athens, Tx (which has a
focus on reservoirs) and Lake Jackson (with a focus on bays and
estuaries). Both are open to the public and have hatcheries. Funding
comes from the federal govt.; TX P & W has access to this with a 3/1
match. The Board of Regents has endorsed the concept and authorized
negotiations. This could start happening sometime this fall; VP Abbott
chairs a committee on this. It will be more educational than tourist,
but will bring in many people; Athens has attracted more than 500,000.
It will be a $12 million dollar project, with SWT responsible for $3
million (land match, no cash outlay). The site is undetermined, but we
will use what we already have.
Asked about the status of a report to the Board of Regents on the impact
of the Hopwood decision on SWT, President Supple said that it was
prepared by VP Studer and will be provided to the Senate.
PPS 7.10 -- FACULTY MERIT AND PERFORMANCE
Tabled until the joint Senate/CAD meeting.
STATUS OF DEANS/CHAIRS/SENATE COMMITTEE ON CHAIR AND DEAN EVALUATION
VPAA Gratz reported that the committee had been constituted and would
complete their task by December 1st.
FACULTY AWARDS PROGRAM
Chair Bible reported that two faculty members from the same department
had complained to him that despite the handbook requirements for written
criteria for merit, there are none in their department; faculty in that
department, moreover, submit no annual activity reports. It was further
alleged that a five-person committee in that department created merit
criteria which were not disseminated to the faculty, and finally that
some records of the merit proceedings were discarded.
VPAA Gratz said that in that department there is a draft policy due to
be acted upon this fall. On July 25th, he wrote to chairs stipulating
revisions required within a specific timeline. Gratz added that the
process of resolving this problem (given its existence) is under way.
Between January-March 1998, every department will complete evaluations
of all faculty.
Asked what would happen if a chair ignores these requirements, Gratz
replied that it would affect the chair's annual evaluation. He added
that this process is to be under way for all 39 departments by 11/30.
President Supple stated that process tends to be ignored in departments
where senior faculty have abdicated their responsibility. Chair Bible
asked if anything has been done about previous problems; Pres. Supple
replied that not having a policy doesn't mean bottom line decisionmaking
is wrong. Bible inquired about one case in which a faculty member was
supposedly "absent from campus" when merit decisions were made and was
thus not considered. VPAA Gratz stated that he assumed that the issue
would be raised through channels requesting subsequent action. He added
that the person involved had not done so.
Sen. Sawey asked if a TSUS tenure review document was in the works. The
reply was that each institution had to have a system in place or could
not spend FY98 funds. Sawey wondered if the Regents wanted to write
their own; Pres. Supple stated that prior to post-tenure review, there
was a document which listed a range of changes in academic areas which
was later pulled from the table. Gratz added that he, Fernando Gomez,
and the VPAA from Angelo State will review our rules. There is a Sept.
'98 deadline that mandates our compliance with state legislation; as
Gratz reads it, SWT complies in every way but one: "Alternate dispute
resolution" is not in our policy, so it may appear in system rules.
Sen. Irvin challenged the administration's presumption that everything
automatically works well with respect to bonus, merit, etc., determina-
tions simply because there are PPS's dealing with these subjects. He
noted that chairs and deans sometimes don't follow existing policy and
urged more aggressive policing of this. Gratz said that with respect to
merit, the only sanction that deans have is to strike people from the
list of people recommended for merit. Senator Stimmel agreed but added
that Deans are responsible for the process and can't wash their hands of
it. Chair Bible said that repeated allegations imply that policing is
inadequate. VPAA Gratz repeated that an extensive document now exists
in the aforementioned department for implementation.
Sen. Pascoe inquired about the possibility of a university policy
instead of a different one in each department, but other senators noted
that disciplines are different, which makes variance appropriate; Sen.
Hays, for example, noted that a return to data-based research dominance
would return arts to the bottom of the ladder. Sen. Stimmel surmised
that our republic was designed to create policies which protect people
against the tyranny of small majorities; policy should protect those
doing a good job which may entail unpopular decisions.
Sen. Irvin asked if a departmental "executive" committee which has both
elected and appointed members violates the new SWT governance policy,
which provides that "faculty voters" shall make departmental decisions
except those involving personnel, which are to be made by the "personnel
committee" (formerly senior faculty). VPAA Gratz replied that such a
committee is permissible, that a governance/executive structure that is
advisory in nature could be both, and that the personnel committee with
the narrower focus of tenure/promotion/reappointment was to be elected.
Pres. Supple concurred that the administration needs to focus on what to
do when things go wrong. He added that this was when Deans were needed
and that if their hands were tied, this needed a closer look, that when
faculty had differing views on whether there had been arbitrary action,
Deans needed to be involved. Sen. Sawey challenged the statement that
if a majority of faculty complained, action would follow, reminding the
President and VPAA of a 100% faculty complaint several years ago where
nothing was done. He also asked how the same percentage of merit could
be awarded throughout the Academic Affairs office; Gratz replied that
when everybody is performing well, you can expect equality of reward,
due to high performance.
Sen. Simpson asked what it would take for administration to levy
sanctions? Gratz said it would depend on the situation, i.e., whether
the majority of faculty concurred with the complaint. Pres. Supple
countered with a rhetorical question as to whether the Senate accepts
without reservation the perceptions of everyone who complains to it?
Chair Bible advised that all who complained were asked for concrete
evidence. Pres. Supple concluded that they were open to anything and
have heard a lot with regard to the aforementioned department, including
a memo signed by 18 faculty who were "saying otherwise." Gratz reported
that he had met monthly with parties involved since June. Sen. Conroy
concluded the discussion by noting that she had sat on the Grievance
Committee which had heard the complaints from the two faculty members in
the aforementioned department, and that the committee had agreed that
there was fault on the part of, and corrective action needed from, both
the complainants and the department chair.
Chair Bible summarized the CAD response to whether deans had used an
application process in awarding faculty bonuses. The answer was "no,"
though some Deans asked faculty to document worthiness for consideration
which they saw as appropriate, particularly with 90 or more faculty.
Sen. Stimmel confirmed doing a one-page summary when notified of
consideration; he added that the decision to award bonuses was made a
long time ago, but that as late as July the procedure was changed which
makes for a loss of confidence. VPAA Gratz stated that for next year
nominations and applications would occur from mid-April to mid-July.
Chair Bible asked how schools varied in their focus on parts of the
strategic plan and whether any variance was appropriate?. VPAA Gratz
confirmed that if the focus was on any portion of the strategic plan it
was appropriate, acknowledging that different foci meant it "played out
differently" in different schools. Sen. Pascoe asked how are we to
determine that the bonus process worked? Pres. Supple said he didn't
know yet, that he wanted to be able to reward activity that might not
rate merit but still advances goals of the institution, and that he
wanted to try it for at least 3 years before forming conclusions on its
success. He further acknowledged that the first round would be "what
happened" because of the timelines. He concluded that it helps if the
dean and chair can advertise award activity in particular areas which
did happen in couple of cases this time.
Sen. Conroy asked for clarification on fiscal vs. calendar year and
would that time be lost in the switch. VPAA Gratz said that it needs to
be discussed at PC and CAD as well as whether there are institutional
level targets. Sen. Conroy expressed pleasure that some awards for
service were given. President Supple said it didn't happen as much as
RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT GRANTS
Chair Bible raised two issues: funding source & emphasis. Sen.
Bourgeois reported that the funding source, according to Bill Nance, is
the same as last year and that the Administration intends to continue
funding at past levels. President Supple said he didn't believe they
have had that conversation or that any decision has been made. Gratz
said it was a transferable line item. President Supple said we need to
ask: "Is it worthwhile? Can we document it? What is its impact?"
Sen. Bourgeois acknowledged reporting problems by some recipients. He
summarized the two stated goals of THECB for a peer review process and
that money is expended as determined. When evaluated locally, a goal
that is looked at is the leveraging of these funds. This raises the
question of priorities of funding; leveraging is not on that list.
President Supple anticipates AVP Tangum will have an ambitious plan as
to external fund raising and that we will have to help that along. He
added that faculty should NOT be ineligible for research grants due to
lack of possible external funding sources, but he also said, "On the
other hand, [faculty research grants] should not be a sole source of
research funds for faculty when other sources are available. So we want
to encourage the seeking of other outside sources."
Chair Bible noted that regarding both research grants and developmental
leave the Senate has been more rigorous in creating accountability
measures. Sen. Stimmel said: "You can't predict if something will lead
to external funding." President Supple replied: "We are not asking for
external funding but ATTEMPTS, which are not required to be successful."
Sen. Conroy asked what this does to enabling legislation. Does it turn
the REP program into an administrative prerogative? AVP Tangum cited a
letter from Roger Elliott and passed out copies. She restated her
position of some months ago that this expectation was for those who have
repeatedly succeeded in receiving REP money, stressing that Elliott's
letter makes clear the focus on externally funded research. Sen. Conroy
asked: Whose prerogative are we answering to?" President Supple said
it was a good question, but there was not a clear answer. Sen. Irvin
said it seems the university decides, adding that it was about 50/50
around the state whether these funds were disseminated through a system
President Supple asked if Elliott seemed concerned about the future of
funding. AVP Tangum said he was. Sen. Bourgeois restated his concern
that it gets put into that 50 million line. President Supple replied
that one of Ratliff's goals was to get rid of all those lines, to bundle
Chair Bible asked if a statutory program can be killed via these kinds
of funding problems. VPAA Gratz gave examples of programs which exist
in law but were never funded. Bible said that since this program was
funded, it was different. Gratz added that except for faculty salaries
line item funding has disappeared. Pres. Supple said that the program
is funded this year and he didn't know that "we'll want to stop funding
it." Asked if local control over the funding put THECB out of the loop,
Gratz said that would make us accountable to the house appropriations
AVP Tangum gave 94-95 data reflecting many articles and presentations
but only four external proposals produced by approximately 100 internal
grant recipients. Chair Bible stated that today's report had a "case by
case" flavor not apparent in the cover letter which ORSP sent to faculty
to advertise for grant applicants -- the letter suggests that "special
consideration" will be given to applicants who seek external funding,
whether or not such efforts are feasible in particular cases, whereas
today's discussion indicates that this standard will apply only where
appropriate. AVP Tangum said we need to broaden the base of those who
seek funds. Chair Bible asked: "So you're proposing it as just one
factor to be 'considered' in the application review process, and then
only when it is appropriate?" AVP Tangum said she hadn't succeeded in
her stronger recommendation.
Various senators noted that the letter is inconsistent with program
guidelines recently approved by the Senate, which state only that
"consideration" will be given to the fact that an applicant has sought
external funding; it was also noted that school committees who conduct
reviews will have to understand that the Senate guidelines control.
Chair Bible expressed concern that faculty may draw inferences from the
cover letter that will discourage them from applying for a grant. AVP
Tangum said: "I obviously did it, on purpose; but it did not change
anything substantive." The senate, however, noted that they were as
much concerned with the tone of the letter as with the words. Sen.
Sawey decried that AVP Tangum wrote what she wanted in her memo to get
around what the Senate had approved in its guidelines. He did, however,
thank her for presenting the Elliott letter to the Senate, noting that
if this kind of documentation had been provided earlier, the Senate
would have had a better understanding of why ORSP has taken the position
on the leveraging issue that it has.
Sen. Bourgeois summarized that were was a one year commitment, a need
for evaluation of the effort, and that leveraging is a real goal, all of
which the committee needs to address, particularly as to its impact.
Sen. Conroy again inquired as to which master we are serving. President
Supple said: There is no doubt about that; the master we are serving is
this university and its research goals." Asked if it was a priority,
Supple replied that this is one thing that the faculty does very well.
He said we must ask: "Do we have high standards for the outcomes and
contributions towards the goals of the university. Can we do more?" He
asserted that we can encourage faculty to seek external funding without
doing harm to the program, that he does care whether the Senate has some
sense that this is being used wisely, that the last thing he wants is
for this to be a check list to eliminate prospective applicants.
Chair Bible restated that the committee needs to address this. He then
informed the Senate of Dr. Folse's resignation as chair of the Faculty
Research Committee which is effective immediately.
STATUS OF EDP 1350
VPAA Gratz said that they are still trying to resurrect this course.
They discovered in audit last fall that EDP 1350 had been coded in a way
that no funding has been received since the mid-80's. THECB's original
position was that it is a remedial course; despite submitting
documentation and gaining approval, it was never funded. The course was
resubmitted and rejected. SWT continues to believe that it is not
remedial. With a new commissioner, this needs addressing at the state
level by Chief Academic Officers. EAPS has resubmitted it to the
curriculum committee as a junior level course. Gratz has concerns about
this as it eliminates usage for freshmen who need it. We are awaiting
results of curriculum committee scrutiny.
Sen. Sawey questioned its content. Gratz said it had been redesigned as
ajunior level course. Sen. Simpson reported on its effective impact.
President Supple said that the question remains: It is collegiate level
RTA'D until joint CAD meeting.
RTA'd until 9/24
Covered during the PAAG discussion.
SENATE MINUTES PROCEDURE
Chair Bible restated the concerns from his e-mail: if draft minutes are
circulated to the campus community but are later amended, sometimes in
important respects, people are likely to remember the uncorrected rather
than the corrected version. He would perfer that 15 eyes look at draft
minutes first and that the minutes be distributed campuswide only after
approval by the Senate. Sen. Sawey felt timeliness is more important
and recommended sending them out when the draft is done. The Senate
voted 12-2 to adopt the new method of distribution.
ASG TEACHER EVALUAION PLAN
Chair Bible talked with the ASG president who reported a proposed
different kind of evaluation system which gives students access to
information about faculty. When done, we will get together for a
Chair Bible reminded Senators to follow voting procedures, including
e-mailed results by Tuesday afternoon. Sen. Bourgeois stated that
sending the information to administrative assistants was a process which
should have worked but didn't in all instances in determining
eligibility by the 12th day.
Senator Hays graciously volunteered to serve as scribe for next
Chair Bible asked for feedback on having an agenda item next week to
discuss Lino Graglia and a possible Senate resolution. The Senate
concluded that this was essentially a dead issue and that no action was
Senator McGee inquired about whether deductions from bonuses were
optional. Chair Bible said he would pursue this.
Minutes of 9-10-97
The minutes from 9-10-97 were approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:13 pm.