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Oct 27, 1999 Minutes


Senators Present: Bible, Conroy, Early, Gordon, Hays, Irvin,
McKinney, McGee, Peeler, Renick, Skerpan-Wheeler,
Stimmel, and Stone.

Absent: Gillis

Liaisons Present: Gary Aron, Biology
John DeLeon, Technology

Guests: Robert Mooney, Health Administration
San Tarsitano, Biology
Mike Moore, Snoop du Jour

CONTENTS

ACADEMIC STANDARDS COMMITTEE REPORT (MOONEY)
BUDGET COMMITTEE REPORT (HAYS FOR NORTHCUTT)
SURVEY STATUS (GORDON)
LIBERAL ARTS BONUS SURVEY (MCGEE)
TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT SURVEY (MCGEE)
FACULTY PRIVACY ISSUE (EARLY AND TARSITANO)
FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE (EARLY)
FOLLOW-UP FROM CAD (HAYS)
RAMIFICATIONS OF MFA AS TERMINAL DEGREE (CONROY)
FOLLOW-UP FROM TEXAS FACULTY SENATE CONFERENCE (HAYS)
TASP BOOKLETS (HAYS)
REG INFORMATION (HAYS)
LIBRARY ACQUISITIONS (CONROY)
BUDGET WORKSHOP (HAYS)
PARAGRAPH 12 WORDING (HAYS)
IS THE SENATE A WHITE KNIGHT? (STIMMEL)
APPROVAL OF 20 OCTOBER 1999 MINUTES (EARLY)

The meeting was called to order by Chair Hays at 4:05 p.m.

ACADEMIC STANDARDS COMMITTEE REPORT (MOONEY)

Mooney reported the recommendations of the Committee anent CAD's proposal
to create a Pass/Fail grading option for certain university courses.

1. The student's choice of P/F vs. A/B/C/D/F should be irrevocable.
2. The student's choice should be made at registration.
3. No student should be allowed more than 12 hours of P/F coursework per
degree.
4. No student should be allowed more than 6 hours of P/F coursework per
semester.
5. The course roster should not indicate whether a student is taking the
course P/F or not. Instructors should report grades as A/B/C/D/F.
The registrar would translate A/B/C into P; D/F into F for those
students electing the P/F option.
6. The Credit/Non-Credit option should not be expanded to embrace P/F
because the Credit/Non-Credit courses were so designated for
specific, and different, purposes.
7. With the exception of internships, field experiences, clinical experiences,
and the like, the P/F option should not be available for courses within
the student's major[s] or minor[s] or the University College curriculum.
8. Department chairs should be permitted to decide whether or not to accept
a course taken under the P/F option as meeting degree requirements when
the student changes, or declares, major or minor.
9. P should not be included in gpa calculations, class rank, etc. F, however,
should be included in these calculations.

Motion to forward, with Senate approval, to CAD with the notation that 5
senators opposed, 6 senators approved, the inclusion of the P grade in various
gpa and ranking calculations.

Early/Bible 11-0

BUDGET COMMITTEE REPORT (HAYS FOR NORTHCUTT)

Hays distributed copies of the minutes of the 13 October 1999 Budget Committee
meeting. The Budget Committee will be considering:

1. Budgetary concerns for the north campus initiative, directorships and
other mid-level administrative costs, the Aquarena Springs project,
and Ph.D. programs at SWT.
2. Indirect costs assigned to deans as a result of the school-to-college
restructuring.
3. Comparison of UT faculty raises (4%) to SWT raises (3+%).
4. Impact of SWT's budget being based on a 20% contingency drop in enrollment.
5. Review of the athletic program and its costs.
6. Review of the $1 million reserve for new programs, seed money, or starter
funds for new Ph.D. initiatives.
7. Review of food service and bookstore funding.

$1,000,000?

The Senate's grappling with Paragraph 12 of the merit PPS was prompted by an
attempt to ensure that faculty evaluations, and subsequent appeals and
grievances, were completed prior to distributing merit money. In the past,
faculty appeals, even if successful technically, were, as a practical matter,
unsuccessful because that year's allocation of merit money "has already been
allocated; so sorry."

Early noted:

If we can give $112,000 to Jaime Chahin, Mimi Tangum, and University
Advancement for PR ...
If we can spend $300,000 per year for flat roof repair ...
If we can spend $500,000 for campus signage ...
If we can bear $1,500,000 for losses at Aquarena Springs ...
If we can plan to spend $5,200,000 for football field expansion ...
If we can plan to spend $10,000,000 for the Texas Rivers Center ...
If we can plan to spend $12,000,000 to upgrade dormitories to meet
current fire codes ...

Then why can't we find the few, measly 10 or 20 or even 30,000 dollars that
it might take to award merit to a successful appellant even if the allotted
dollars "have already been spent."?

They can, of course, find the money; they just don't want to do so.

McGee: Why not use part of the SPI money as a merit raise reserve? Isn't
merit a strategic?

Aquarena Springs will be on the next PAAG agenda.

SURVEY STATUS (GORDON)

Faculty Survey forms were distributed to senators for distribution to
faculty. Completed forms should be brought to Senate in two weeks.

LIBERAL ARTS BONUS SURVEY (MCGEE)

McGee surveyed the Liberal Arts faculty to determine their preferences for
distribution of the bonus money were the bonus program to be discontinued.

39.5 favored an across-the-board salary increase for all faculty.
6 favored lumping the bonus money in with the merit money.
2 favored letting the deans keep the money in college-level funds
for deans to disburse.
6.5 favored letting chairs have the money to be used for faculty travel.

[The .5s arise because of folks who favored two choices equally.]

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT SURVEY (MCGEE)

Last year, more than 50% of travel reimbursement requests were returned to
faculty for corrections.

Observations:

The travel office processes a lot of paper.
They meticulously process that paper.
They are very picky, returning paperwork for even a 10-cent mistake.
But the leading cause of returns is missing documentation.

Bottom line: The faculty need more instruction in the travel reimbursement
process.

FACULTY PRIVACY ISSUE (EARLY AND TARSITANO)

Bible, University Ombudsman, left the meeting to avoid the appearance of
conflict of interest.

Aron requested permission to audiotape this segment of the meeting. As we
had denied Moore's earlier request to tape senate meetings, we also denied
Aron's request.

Issue 1. What right of privacy does a faculty member enjoy? Can one's desk
in one's office be examined? Can one's computer files, email, and
the like be examined? Can one be punished for refusing to reveal
the content of private conversations?

The senate was invited to speak with representatives of the state
attorney general's office, the Coordinating Board's attorney, the
Board of Regent's attorney, the University attorney, et al., to
discuss these issues.

Issue 2. Is it possible to compel university administrators to follow policy
codified in University PPSs? State law? Federal law?

And, if so, how does one go about it?

In general, faculty are not "given" rights by administrators. Rights come
into existence when faculty demand them.

The senate will re-visit these issues soon with an eye toward referring the
topics to the senate's Academic Governance Committee.

Early received the following two emails which he includes as interesting
addenda to the faculty privacy discussion.

Grady,

I request that the following text of Dr. Tarsitano's presentation be
included in the minutes.

I come to you with a matter of general concern! Faculty are demanded their
private conversations off-campus and with university attorneys! There is
retaliation!. Question: Does administration have right to demand private
conversations and can they retaliate! I want to discuss right to privacy.
We have a right to remain silent! Even police give you this right. I urge
you to talk to the Human Rights Commission, the Attorney General,
representatives of the state attorney general's office, the Coordinating
Board's attorney, the
Board of Regent's attorney, and the University attorney,to discuss these
issues.
I request Senate to make policy. Administrators can't demand private
conversations. There should be no retaliation! I have another issue: ad hoc
process of disassociation. We need to give the administration policy to go by.
I promised to mention no name but I have proof of everything and I invite
you to visit with me in my office and I will show you everything if you
don't believe me!

Gary Aron
Biology Senate Liason


From: IN%"st04@txstate.edu" "Sam" 29-OCT-1999 10:17:35.84
Subj: RE: draft senate minutes 10/27

dear Gary: I think that your summary is a little off if you don't mond my
saying so. But your writings have raised important issues that I hope the
senate will discuss. Thanks Sam

End of addenda.

FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE (EARLY)

Early distributed the following information:

Final Exam Schedule Development Team

Bob Smallwood Associate VPAA
Joan Hays Chair, Faculty Senate
Grady Early Computer Science
Susan Day Chair, Sociology
Bill Yager Chemistry
Ken Margerison Chair, History
Bob Habingreither Chair, Technology
Doug Skinner Acting Chair, Music
Sue McCullough Chair, Educational Administration
and Psychological Services
David Rodriguez President, Associated Student
Government

The final exam schedule is a mess.

Scheme 1: Last year, another committee, after much work, recommended a
scheme which would keep student exam schedules as close to their
regular semester schedule as possible. E.g., mwf a.m. classes would
have their exams in the a.m. on m or w or f.

This scheme was implemented in Fall 1998, but it was a disaster
because Smallwood overlapped 2 exam time periods resulting in massive
room conflicts.

Scheme 2: Then, Smallwood and the deans, unilaterally, scrapped Scheme 1 for
one which aims to minimize the number of students having 3 or more
exams on one day. This scheme was used in Spring 1999 and will soon
be used in Fall 1999.



Now we have yet another committee [team] to consider the issues.

And they are many.

1. Is it desirable to minimize the number of students with 3 or
more exams on 1 day?

2. Is it desirable to eliminate situations in which faculty or
students or classrooms have 2 scheduled exams at exactly
the same time?

3. Should we have different exam schedules or special policies for
various special interest groups?

a. Let seniors take exams early; e.g., before graduation,
and everyone else take exams after graduation?

b. Exempt seniors from final exams?

c. Schedule large section exams early to allow more grading
time before grades are due?

d. Schedule writing intensive exams early ... ?

e. Should there be separate, and different, exam schedules
for

i. undergraduate students?
ii. graduate students?
iii. night students?
iv. classes which meet once per week?

4. And what about the structure of the final exam period itself?

a. Will 6 days: m, t, w, th, f, s serve?

b. Or do we need 8 days: m, t, w, th, f, s, m, t?

c. Should there be 3 exam periods per day? Or 4? Or 5?

d. Should exams be 2 hours in length, as they are in our
summer sessions? Or 2.5 hours, as in our long
semesters? Or what?

e. How much time between exam periods is adequate? 15
minutes? 20? 30? 45? An hour?

f. Do we really need the [semi] dead day?

g. Is it important that exams start on Monday?

5. How should we distribute exams over the exam period?

a. Spread them out as evenly as possible?

b. Or front load the schedule to maximize grading time?

6. And what about grading time? How much time should there be
between the last exam period and the time that grades are
due?

7. What about the schedule of classes [soc]?

The Fall 1999 soc has classes meeting at 516 different times.
Eliminate classes whose finals don't occur during final exam
time, and there are still 256 different class meeting times.

Some times overlap, of course. MWF 2-2:50 and MW 2-3:15
classes can have their exams at the same time.

Even so, there are still way too many to fit into 20 or 25
or 35 exam periods without conflicts.

So I suggested:

Scheme 3: Rather than having a separate final exam schedule, let classes meet
normally during the final exam period. Classes which meet 1 or 2 or 3
or 4 or 5 times during that period would get their finals in 1 or 2
or 3 or 4 or 5 parts, as necessary.


cheers

grady


Senators were unamused by the notion that so much effort should go into
rigging the final exam schedule in Scheme 2.
Stimmel: We've always allowed students to re-schedule finals if they have,
in their own opinion, too many finals on one day.
Hays : Students can take some responsibility for their own schedules by
choosing a course schedule with a final exam distribution that
they like.
Skerpan-Wheeler: According to SACS, we must include the day/time of the final
exam in our class handouts. Students can begin making arrangements
to re-schedule exams at the beginning of the semester if they don't
like their exam schedule.

Bottom Line: The senate unanimously rejects Scheme 2. Scheme 1 is a clear
favorite with strong support [4 or 5 senators] for Scheme 3. All
senators agreed that they would have no trouble, even in writing
intensive classes, segmenting their exams for Scheme 3. Stone
noted that segmentation might well benefit writing intensive
classes especially because at least part of the writing could
be done early in the final exam period; if part of the exam is
objective and part subjective, then the subjective part could be
given early on and the objective, easier-to-grade, part could be
given later.

Early noted that, in a survey of cs majors and college of science
faculty, 99 students favored Scheme 2 whilst 97 students opposed it.
21 faculty favored Scheme 2; 26 faculty opposed it.

FOLLOW-UP FROM CAD (HAYS)

rta

RAMIFICATIONS OF MFA AS TERMINAL DEGREE (CONROY)

Conroy pointed out that, contrary to Early's wording in the 20 October 1999
minutes, JDs and MFAs _are_ terminal degrees and are admitted to be so by
Gratz and the deans. Thus, they should be treated the same as the Ph.D. in
the salary equity study.

Conroy is attempting to acquire or compile a list of other non-Ph.D. terminal
degrees across the university. Her concern is not limited to the MFA and JD.

FOLLOW-UP FROM TEXAS FACULTY SENATE CONFERENCE (HAYS)

rta

TASP BOOKLETS (HAYS)

Dr. Ratliff sent a few TASP booklets to the senate. They are available in
the senate office for perusal by one and all.

REG INFORMATION (HAYS)

Research Enhancement Grant money. Apparently, we are directed by the state
to given extra weight to research proposals which deal with environmental
issues; especially Texas/Mexico border environmental issues.

This information was received with due solemnity.

LIBRARY ACQUISITIONS (CONROY)

The library acquisition system is antiquated and capricious. It should be
possible to track purchases online.

rta to a time when a librarian can visit with us.

BUDGET WORKSHOP (HAYS)

Have one? Druther not.

PARAGRAPH 12 WORDING (HAYS)

Paragraph 12 wording has gone back to CAD, the deans having seemed fairly
positive during the combined Senate/CAD meeting.

It's going to the Council of Chairs on 4 November.

IS THE SENATE A WHITE KNIGHT? (STIMMEL)

Does the senate view itself as a protector of the faculty from real or
alleged abuses by administrators?

Stimmel asked that the senate discuss the matter at a future time.

APPROVAL OF 20 OCTOBER 1999 MINUTES (EARLY)

After appropriate [I hope] tweaking of language on the JD/MFA item, the
minutes were approved by acclamation.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.

cheerfully submitted

grady

sen.19991027