Present: Anderson, Bible, Conroy, Gillis, Gordon, Hays, Irvin,
Pascoe, Renick, Sawey, Skerpan-Wheeler, Stimmel, and Winek.
Guests: President Supple, VPAA Gratz, Margaret Vaverek (Lib), Bill Griffin
(Lib) and Mike Moore
Research Enhancement Changes
Curriculum Committee Report
Minutes of 4-29-98
Board of Regents
Evaluation of Chairs and Deans
The meeting was called to order by Chair Bible at 4:05.
Chair Bible welcomed the new Senators: Steve Gordon of EAPS, Oren Renick of
Health Administration, and Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler of English.
RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT GRANTS
The Senate considered changes to Standing Rule VIII which pertains to Research
Enhancement Grants. The main change would preclude members of the Faculty
Research Committee from submitting grant proposals during their term on the
committee even if they resign from the committee. The Senate voted to accept
CURRICULUM COMMITTEE REPORT
The Curriculum Committee submitted a report on proposed curriculum changes and
asked the Senate to review the details, which are on file in the Senate Office,
and to make any comments by May 20.
MINUTES OF 4-29-98
The minutes were approved after minor changes.
PAAG (Pres. Supple and VPAA Gratz)
1. Board of Regents
Dr. Supple reported that the Regents Meeting went well and was routine for the
most part. They had anticipated some concerns from San Marcos residents ("the
river people") about the use of water from Spring Lake to cool SWT towers but
there weren't any. The Board approved the first part of the construction on
West Campus which is the beginning of the new Art/Technology Complex. President
Supple said the new building will be the most expensive ever built on this
campus at a cost of 37 million dollars and that it would be the second largest
building, with the Alkek Library being the largest.
The Board approved all proposed rule changes exceptthose related to permanent
signs advertising alcohol products. The language regarding feedback from
administrators over the denial of promotion was passed as written;
specifically, the rules will now provide that in cases of promotion denial
administrators are "encouraged" (not "required" as the Senate had urged) to
provide feedback to faculty. Pres. Supple said the Board feels it is unwise to
give entitlements and prefers to have more discretion in this matter. All
tenure and promotions were approved, including five distinguished professors
emeritus. The Board also endorsed the Health Psychology Masters degree.
The new Student Center Building was dedicated. The Regents were impressed with
the building. At the dedication dinner, it was announced that a four million
dollar gift had been made to SWT by former Governor Hobby.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved our proposal and has
authorized us to offer a number of master programs in the fall. The emphases
will be on graduate programs with the possibility of offering undergraduate
programs during the second year. SWT has had an office in North Austin on the
campus of Westwood High School for some time; it is now officially designated
as an Auxiliary Site for SWT. On-site registration will be August 18. There
are also 6 other sites for future development.
Sen. Sawey asked if there are official records to verify that MITC can pay its
own way. Dr. Gratz reassured the Senate that MITC was not drawing off funds
from SWT programs. Dr. Gratz announced that a director would be appointed in
the next few weeks; the salary has not yet been established.
Dr. Gratz discussed the issue of Central Texas in Killeen becoming a public
university. He indicated that it was not feasible for it to become a part of
MITC as it was too far a distance from SWT. The only way it could be
considered is if it were funded as a separate operation, much like Tarleton.
VPAA Gratz discussed the progress of two quality teams which have been working
on issues important to the Senate subcommittee on library pay and status. The
Scheduling Team has recommended not having a professional librarian on duty
after 10 p.m., but instead using a Library Assistant. It has been determined
that the late working hours are a factor in the high rate (65%) of turnover
among librarians and that many other universities do not staff their libraries
with professional librarians in the late hours. Dr. Gratz wants to see at
least two things: an assessment mechanism for judging the effects of the new
policy and a plan for dealing with emergencies (like having a professional
librarian "on call"). Dr. Supple noted that Dr. Mears, Director of the
Library, has filed a Minority Report, indicating that he feels the library
should remain full service at all times. Dr. Gratz anticipates implementation
of the scheduling changes in the fall.
The Career Ladder Quality Team has also made recommendations which have been
forwarded to Dr. Gratz, who will soon be meeting with Dr. Tangum and John
McBride to resolve the remaining Career Ladder issues. Dr. Gratz indicated it
is possible that the recommendations for the career ladder will be implemented
by the fall.
4. Student Discipline
The Senate asked, in light of the recent cases of alleged rape, if discipline
cases involving student athletes and "regular" students are handled
differently. Dr. Supple said that differences do not turn on whether a student
is an athlete, but may occur if the criminal authorities ask the university not
to pursue a particular case because to do so might compromise a possible
criminal case. He also noted that criminal cases involve the "beyond a
reasonable doubt" burden of proof, whereas SWT discipline cases involve the
"preponderance of evidence" civil law standard. Finally, he pointed out that
any offense reported to the police must be handled by the legal system. For
example, rape victims seen at hospitals are, by law, reported to local police
which places that case in the legal system.
The Senate was also curious about this apparent anomaly: cases of suspected
drug use by students are handled under a "zero tolerance" approach, whereas
cases of suspected rape are not. Dr. Supple observed that in either instance,
a student facing such an allegation could voluntarily withdraw from school; in
addition, if either allegation is denied, both cases would be handled under the
same administrative machinery. It is true, however, that if an administrative
proceeding results in a finding of guilt, Regents Rules explicitly provide for
zero tolerance only in drug cases.
Regarding student athlete aspect of this issue, athletes sign forms which give
permission for drug testing. If a student althete is found to be using illegal
drugs the sudent is discouraged from future use, put on probation, counseled
and given a second chance; a second violation results in suspension from SWT.
Dr. Bible asked for a clear understanding of the "2nd chance" policy regarding
drug use by student athletes vs. other type of criminal behavior. Pres. Supple
reported that illegal drug use by student athletes is the only crime which is
granted the "2nd chance" ruling.
5. Committee on Evaluation of Chairs and Deans
Dr. Gratz reported that Dr. Gowens had met several times with his committee and
that recommendations for deans were nearly complete with chair recommendations
not far behind. He believes that they may finish their work in 2 to 3 more
6. Bonus Criteria
Dr. Gratz indicated that there are still no written criteria fordistribution of
bonus funds except those discussed at CAD, which were that bonuses were given
to faculty whose activities were directly connected to the Strategic Plan
Initiatives. He also expressed a need to set forth some guidelines for the
future, and Dr. Supple added that the process needs to be uniform across the
SWT campus. Dr. Gratz feels that it is appropriate to articulate criteria as we
move into the next phase of our Strategic Planning.
It was clearly stated that the awarding of bonus money comes from the deans and
that chairs award merit. Some deans have been up front about the basis for
their selections after the awarding of bonuses. Dr. Bible pointed out that it
is problematic to state criteria after the bonuses are given. Sen. Gordon
inquired about the concept of shared governance regarding this issue. It
appears that faculty are not consulted or involved in developing the process.
Dr. Gratz feels that shared governance comes in policymaking not
implementation. The problem still remains that it is difficult to get a bonus
if you don't know what is required to be eligible.
7. Course Fees
Dr. Pascoe questioned how some courses in the newSchedule of Classes had course
fees which were never charged before and of which the faculty had no knowledge.
Dr. Gratz reported that they may have been there before but now show up in a
new format of the book. He commented that some time ago all courses which did
not have a course fee were given a minimum fee of $5. This minimum $5 fee is
generally documented by departmental support of the class, which includes ta's,
copies, secretarial support, etc. Dr. Gratz also stated that all course fees
are subject to spot audits done by the SWT Internal Audit Office to make sure
that there is accountability -- that these funds stay in the department and do
support the course for which they are charged. All chairs have forms on file
to support and document the fees charged.
The Senate noted that the growth of these fees may discourage students from
attending SWT, that these fees were revenue in leiu of increases in tuition.
Dr. Supple advises SWT to be vigilant about the increase of course fees and
also the implications from the Texas Legislature. It was noted that course
fees are in line with other institutions and that the State of Texas expects
students to assume more financial responsibility for higher education (less
state support) expenses.
8. Equity adjustments
The Senate has had concerns about the problems associated with the adjustment
formula. The question is not which degrees are considered terminal, but that
other acknowleged terminal degrees are not considered equilavlent to the PhD in
the formula. The MFA's and JD's have been recalculated with some JD's
receiving adjustments after the original ones were made. The MFA's have been
rerun with insignificant results but the faculty in the Art/Design Dept. have
some concerns about the standards and the formula. Those concerns are: the
years of service were only counted for working at SWT, the length of time in
rank were not considered, and the age factor was weighted. Dr. Supple
explained that prior experience was figured into the original starting salary
so it was not a factor at all; also, the formulas yield a "range" rather than a
specific amount, which was news to the Senate. Sen. Conroy suggested that what
is considered a terminal degree is not only a problem for the JD's and MFA but
a similar argument could be made for some other kinds degrees as well and all
those should be rerun and adjustments made where indicated. The issue remains
that the that the other acknowleged terminal degrees are not considered
equilavlent to the PhD in the formula.
The Art and Design Department offeredto be a pilot study for testing a new and
more effective/efficient formula. Dr. Gratz pointed out that the model doesn't
include the merit cycle data which is very important data. Originally it was
planned to do the Equity Study every 2-3 years. Dr. Gratz is not sure if it
will be done next year. He believes it is necessary to document the process
and policy with a UPPS.
President Supple closed the PAAG section of the meeting by thanking all the
senators for their help, dedication and service to SWT. He describes their
work as honorable, that they provide valuable service to their colleagues, that
SWT benefits greatly from their activities and that they provide him with
valuable advice which is always takes into consideration.
David Duke/Ron Wilson Debate
Professor Pascoe asked Dr. Gratz who was responsible for sponsoring the David
Duke/Ron Wilson forum which was held last week on the SWT campus. Dr. Gratz
reported that CAUSE sponsored the event which was the result of Ron Wilson
volunteering to debate David Duke anytime.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:05.