Senators Present: M. Conroy, M. Gillis, S. Gordon, J. McGee,
A. McKinney, B. Peeler, C. Renick, E. Skerpan, T. Stimmel, B. Stone
Absent: J. Bible, J. Hays
Two Seats Vacant
Guests: J. Supple, R. Gratz, M. Moore, R. Sawey, P. Cassidy, S. Day
Senate Vice-Chair Renick called the meeting to order at 4:07 p.m.
I. PAAG Items
A. Board of Regents Meeting
President Supple chose to begin with a report on the events and
circumstances leading to the Boardís unanimous approval of the
university administrationís request to move the football program to NCAA
Division IA. The administration maintains that this move, along with
the push to achieve academic Doctoral I status, will position the university
nationally at a level where the President believes SWT should be. The
administration has beenconsidering this move for some time and has had
discussions with otherschools that have recently moved to IA status.
The President cited external forces that led him to believe that this was the
time to make the division move and circumstances that accelerated the
time frame and precluded consultation with SWT faculty, students and staff.
The President apologized to the senate for not talking to the faculty about the
decision before it was made, and re-stated his view that this is the
right decision for the university.
[Editorís note: The Senate understands that the administration first
began considering this move while Mike Alden was Athletic Director. We
find it difficult to understand how, in the intervening years, there
never could have been an opportunity for consultation with the various
segments of the university community.]
Senator Stone noted that since the machinations of the decision process
were so much "blood under the bridge" the senate should not spend time
discussing them. He asked the President about the difficulty of
maintaining academic standards for student athletes given increased
pressure on faculty to be lenient with them. The President answered
that he hoped that would not be the case.
Professor Sawey asked about AD Wackerís comment to the Board of Regents
that seemed to discount the importance of input from the faculty in this
decision. The President answered that he did not agree with AD Wackerís
For the sake of clarity, these are AD Wackerís exact words as they
appear in the transcript of the board meeting:
"How do you make a decision, the best decision an organization is going
to make? You take your top most qualified people, they go in, they
study it in detail and they decide whether it is yea or nay. Do you
take it on a vote of faculty who has never studied anything? Never gone
to any of these campuses, never talked to another president. . . ." AD
In response to the Presidentís statement that academic programs would
not be financially affected by the move to IA, Senator Conroy asked
about the additional money (approx. $360,000) that will be set aside for
athletic scholarships off the top of Student Service Fee funds and the
strain that will be felt by programs, many integral to curricular
development, that are also funded by Student Service Fees. The
administration believes that anticipated increased enrollment will, in
turn, increase the amount of SS Fees collected, compensating for the
cost of increasing athletic scholarships from 63 to 85. The President
indicated that he is open to examining ways to eliminate the competition
between athletics and other programs for these funds; possibly by
instituting an athletics fee, separate from the Student Service Fee.
In answer to a question about fundraising efforts being funneled into
athletics away from other needs, the President stated that he does not
think the athletics push will hurt other fundraising.
Senator McGee asked about the ability to put this initiative in place in
such short order when it requires a very lengthy process to get approval
and bring resources to bear for other moves, for example, the Geography
doctoral program. The President answered that the time frame is not
dissimilar since this move has been in the works for years. [Ed. note:
Again we must wonder why there wasnít time for campus-wide
Professor Sawey asked the President what other "done deals" are in the
works. VP Gratz responded that the last "done deal" the President
brought to the faculty was the Mitte scholarship contribution.
When asked about other needs that could have been addressed by soon to
be freed-up bond moneys, the President stated that academics would not
have had a legitimate first call on funds that become available and that
this university subsidizes academic programs more than any other university
In conclusion, the Senate and the President acknowledged that this move
has been made at a very high cost in terms of the missed opportunity for
shared governance, and at the cost of mutual trust and good-will.
The President and Vice President agreed to extend their visit with the
Senate to address the remaining items on the PAAG agenda.
B. HEAF Money Distribution
VP Gratz summarized the HEAF review process and stated that in his view
it cannot be shortened. It is tied to the hiring process since start-up
money for capital expenses to support new hires come from this pool.
Deans were notified of HEAF allocations last week.
C. Development Leave Evaluation Process
The Deans have expressed concern over a discrepancy between the Dean and
Chair rankings of an applicant and the Senateís evaluation of the
applicantís proposal. The Senate expressed willingness to meet with CAD
to describe the evaluation process employed by the Senate. Differences
in rankings may emerge since the Senate, unlike the Deans and Chairs,
reads each proposal and interviews all applicants. The Senateís
evaluation includes the applicantís ability to answer questions posed by
Senators during their interview.
Vice Chair Renick thanked the President and Vice President for meeting
with the Senate.
II. Senate Committee Resource Person (RTAíed from 2/2)
Senator Stone agreed to work with the Committee on Committees in serving
as the Senate Committee Resource Person.
III. Governance and other future senate goals (RTA)
IV. Old Business
Senators and Liaisons are again reminded to conduct elections in their
departments for representatives to their Collegeís Research Advisory
Committee. The primary function of these committees is to evaluate
Research Enhancement Program proposals. Please forward the names of
those elected to Terry Aguirre (TA06). The REP application deadline is
Vice Chair Renick reported on the CAD decision regarding the wording of
Paragraph 12, notifying faculty of proposed merit recommendations before
awards are made. CAD, the Council of Chairs and the Senate seem, for
the most part, to be in agreement now.
V. New Business
The minutes of 2/2 were approved with revisions.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:11.