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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

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May 10, 2000 Minutes

Senators Present:  Bible, Blanda, Conroy, Gillis, Gordon, Hays,

McKinney, Peeler, Renick, Sawey, Skerpan-Wheeler,
Stimmel, Stone.  New Senators present, following break, for beginning of
Forty-Second Faculty Senate:  Blevens, Brennan, Stutzman.

Guests:  C. Conn, M. Moore, C. Temponi

Chair Hays called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.

1.  RESEARCH ENHANCEMENT GRANTS COMMITTEE REPORT (C. TEMPONI)

C. Temponi presented the Faculty Research Committee's (FRC) recommendations for Academic Year 2000-2001.  There
were 26 proposals.  The FRC recommended funding 14 proposals, including full funding for 10 proposals and reduced
funding for 4 proposals.  FRC recommended not funding 12 proposals.  Of $218,183.25 requested, the FRC recommended that $114,972.70 be funded.

Senator Conroy pointed out that the University Committee is The Faculty Research Committee (FRC) and the College
Committee is The Research Advisory Committee (RAC).

In Response to a question by Senator Stimmel, C. Temponi stated that some proposals were recommended by the Collegesí
RACs but not by the University FRC.

In Response to a question by Senator Blanda, C. Temponi stated that there was enough money to fund all 26 proposals.

Senator Peeler stated that he would like to see a guideline added that once a proposal has been submitted, there be no further communication between the proposal writer and the RAC.

Senator Gordon commented that he saw no problem with communication between the RAC Chair and a proposal writer,
provided it was to correct minor technical flaws in the proposal before it was reviewed by the RAC; that the goal at the RAC level should be to help promising projects get seed money, not to turn them down on minor technical grounds.

C. Temponi responded that, since external agencies turn down grant proposals for technical mistakes,  faculty must learn to meet technical requirements.  Also, we must require faculty to follow directions, just as we expect our students to do so.

Senator Bible asks if there was not some way to screen for technical problems at a lower level, perhaps by having the
Department representative to the RAC screen the proposals before they were considered by the RAC.

Senator Peeler pointed out that Department representatives to the RAC already have the authority to screen for technical
errors, and asked if it wouldnít be possible to create a list of common mistakes.

Senator Conroy pointed out that a checklist already exists. The FRCís grants recommendations were approved, with the vote 11 yes, 1 abstention.

C. Temponi also presented some concerns and recommendations regarding the grant process.  Some College Representatives are not notified on time of their appointment to the FRC.  The FRC recommends additional effort on the part of Senators and Liaisons to address this problem.  When a College Representative does not meet given deadlines, the whole process is held up.  The FRC recommends that the ORSP distribute the proposals by sending them to the departments and that the department's administrative assistant receive the proposals.  Also, the FRC recommends that the Faculty Senate appoint a College Representative for the cycle who can find sufficient time to perform his or her duties.  Another problem occurs when a College Representative does not attend a FRC meeting or leaves early.  Again, the FRC recommends that the Faculty Senate appoint a College Representative who can meet his or her responsibilities.  The FRC would like the ORSP to distribute only the number of proposals that are necessary for each College; it is confusing for faculty to have to deal with more copies of proposals than necessary.  Additionally, the FRC recommends that the ORSP prepare the application forms on PDF files.  Some Faculty members become confused when reviewing the same material in different formats.  The FRC is concerned that some department representatives have served on their RAC for too long.  Finally, the FRC has a wish list that includes a requirement for a one inch margin on each page of the proposal, guidelines regarding references in the proposal, and guidelines for RAC review of proposals.

In discussion of FRC recommendations, Senator Conroy stated that the Senate needs to do a better job of tracking the performance of those who review proposals, and that perhaps there can be an alternate from the RAC who would attend the FRC meeting if the College Representative could not attend.

Senator Peeler recommended that the FRC meeting time be set at the beginning of the year.  C. Temponi replied that she was in favor of doing that.

Senator Sawey asked how many FRC members were having difficulty meeting their responsibilities.  C. Temponi replied that one was having serious difficulty, and another was having some difficulty.

Senator Conroy noted that the Senate cannot control the appointment of department representatives on the RACs, since they are elected by faculty.

Senator Hays stated that the Senate needs to make it clear to the Colleges that the responsibility of reviewing research enhancement grants needs to be taken seriously.

2.  PRESIDENTIAL EXCELLENCE AWARDS ELIGIBILITY (CONROY)

Chair Hays noted that most chairs are considered to have half-time teaching loads and thus  have been considered eligible for Excellence Awards.  A motion that  anyone who carries the title Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, or Chair be ineligible for Excellence Awards (Sawey, Renick) passed 12-0.

3.  FACULTY RESEARCH COMMITTEE AND ACADEMIC COMPUTING COMMITTEE
     APPOINTMENT AND TERM POLICY STATEMENT DRAFT (CONROY)

A proposed policy statement revising Article IV of the Faculty Senate Standing Rules was discussed.  An additional paragraph under the heading "Committee Appointments" was suggested.  The statement, including the additional paragraph, follows:

Appointments to the Faculty Research Committee and the Academic
Computing Committee are among the most important made by the Faculty Senate
since these committees are charged with recommending the allocation of significant funds and
therefore have a direct impact on faculty professional development (FRC) and learning resources
provided for the student body (ACC.)  Given these important missions, the Senate will carefully
monitor the composition and terms of these committees to insure that they have the confidence and respect of the
entire university.

Committee Appointments
During the Spring semester of each year, timed to coincide with the Committee on Committees Report, the Faculty Senate
will solicit nominations for FRC and ACC committee members from Senators and Liaisons in Colleges that have committee representatives with expiring terms.  Nominators are encouraged to seek out well-qualified faculty with proven good
judgment, expertise and experience to bring to service on these important committees.

To insure a broad range of perspectives within each committee, the Senate may also take into account a concern for rotating
representation among departments within the College when making appointments.  The Senate may also consider input from the Faculty Preference Poll via the Committee on Committees, but these positions will not be filled solely by
recommendation from the COC.  The Senate will consider all nominations and make appointments.  The Senate Chair will
notify appointees of their committee assignments and the length of their terms.

In the case of the FRC, it is strongly recommended that appointees have prior service at the College Research Advisory
Committee level and have a working knowledge of the Research Enhancement Program.  As stated in the Standing Rules of
the Faculty Senate, Article VIII, "Committee members may not submit a proposal during their term and members who
resign in mid-term are not eligible to apply for a Research Enhancement Grant until the next granting cycle begins."

An alternate to attend the University FRC evaluation meeting will be designated by the College RAC if the RAC chair is
unable to attend the University FRC meeting.

Committee Terms
Committee members are appointed by the Senate to serve staggered three year terms and may serve a maximum of two
consecutive terms.  FRC terms begin in January and conclude at the end of December.  ACC terms run from September to
August.

Chair Appointments
FRC and ACC Chairs are appointed by the Senate to renewable one year terms and may serve as Chair for a maximum of
two consecutive years.  It is strongly recommended that Chair nominees have completed one year of service on the
committee before being considered for appointment.

A motion to approve the statement (Conroy, Sawey) passed, 11 yes, 1 abstention.

Chair Hays noted that the statement will need to go into the Committee on Committees rules.  Chair Hays and Senator
Conroy will explore where the statement needs to be inserted.

4.  APPROVAL OF MAY 3 MINUTES

A motion to approve the May 3 Minutes (Gillis, Stimmel) passed, 12-0.

5.  LETTER TO BOARD OF REGENTS (BIBLE)

A letter to the Board of Regents regarding Senate concerns about proposed changes to the Regents rules on faculty
grievances has been completed.  It will be signed by Chair Hays and sent forward.  The letter is on file at the Faculty Senate Office.

6.  THREE SENATORS COMPLETE TERMS

Senators Bible, Conroy, and McGee were commended for their years of service as they completed their senate terms.

7.  NEW SENATE MEMBERS INSTALLED

F. Blevens, M. Brennan, and J. Stutzman were installed as new senators

8.  ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Chair Hays was nominated for a second term (Peeler, Gillis).  The nomination was approved 13-0.

Vice Chair Renick was nominated for a second term (Hays, Conroy).  The nomination was approved, 13-0.

Senators will rotate as secretary.

Chair Hays will continue as Senate representative to the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.

9.  DIRECT DEPOSIT REIMBURSEMENTS (CONN)

C. Conn discussed a proposal for faculty to have the option of reimbursement by direct deposit.  At present, plans are to
give faculty a single choice; total direct deposit of salary plus reimbursements, or no direct deposit at all.  One could not elect to have direct deposits of one type of payment but not the other.  Also, one could not have salary deposited to one bank and reimbursements deposited to a second bank.  Several senators voiced concerns over this lack of choice, noting that options could be provided with minimal additional programming.  In response to a question by Senator Blevens, C. Conn stated that it is hard to tell, but that direct deposit will probably save at least two days.  Several senators noted that one problem with the reimbursement process is that faculty sometimes donít receive notices that reimbursements are available.  Senator Stone noted that a well managed system should be responsive to the needs of the faculty.  Senator Renick asked if a review of issues raised by senators could be completed and a report provided to the Senate.  C. Conn replied that she would be glad to explore these issues and report back to the Senate at its next meeting. Senators stated that they support the general concept of direct deposit of reimbursement.

10.  POSSIBLE AGENDA ITEMS FOR SUMMER AND FALL

Curriculum Committee report (priority item)

C. Conn's report on direct deposit reimbursement issues (priority item)

Chair compensation issues

Visit by new VP for Technology

Insurance Committee report

Regents response to Senate letter on grievances

Academic ethics

11.  SUMMER MEETING DATES

The Senate will meet on the following dates:

June 28, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
July 26, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
August 30, time TBA

12.  NEW BUSINESS

Chair Hays summarized a report from the Business Committee (Northcutt)

Senator Peeler would like to see the Senate go on record concerning the proposed name change to Texas State University.

The Senate adjourned at 6:00 p.m.