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Faculty Senate Meeting Information

Henrietta Avent Faculty Senate Meeting Room

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Oct 25, 2000 Minutes

Senators present: Blanda, Blevens, Brennan, Gillis, Hays,

McKinney, Peeler, Sawey, Skerpan-Wheeler, Stone, Stutzman

Call to order; 4:15pm

This meeting was a joint session of both the Faculty Senators
and Liaisons. Chair Hays allowed each Liaison present to have the floor in order to express any concerns or ask any questions that they or their faculty have.

Essentially, the expressed concerns parallel those of the Faculty Senate and, for the most part, center on the allocation of
University resources.

Item 1. Merit/Equity (Discretionary Merit) Money

Several comments were made indicating that the merit/equity policies and procedures were not followed in some Colleges. Senator Stone had discovered this as well and has been looking into what actually took place. Hello discretionary money!!

Suggestions were made that there should be a specific policy regarding the allocation of discretionary funds. VPAA Gratz
has previously indicated that no such policy would be forth-coming. "If procedures were in place to allocate such funds,they would no longer be discretionary." (Please see Item 11below for even further enlightenment.)

Item 2. Quality versus Growth, Image and Prestige (GIP)

Concerns were expressed that the prolific increase of new courses, new programs, new PHD programs and the emphasis on
the new front porch is taking a toll on the quality of the established programs already in place. Faculty are being asked to do more with less. (Increases in teaching loads, growing class sizes, out dated facilities, increased expectations in service and reseach with no additional resources for support, etc., etc,) Faculty in the non-spotlight areas are feeling overwhelmed, overworked and significantly underpaid.

Could morale be declining in some areas on campus? Does the University really have the resources, including both human capital as well as financial capital, to adequately undertake the desired endeavors of the administration?
Senator Sawey and other members of the Senate have questioned the prevailing Gip thought... with no success.

Item 3. Administrative Bottleneck of Routine Operational Functions

Numerous faculty positions go unfilled, are hastily filled or are filled with part-time faculty because the administration does
not appear to be in gear in responding to the hiring cycle process. Needed approval is often delayed, even in replacement positions, announcements and advertising are often too late, making offers is slow, etc.

Deadlines regarding the evaluation of tenure and promotion candidates are often not met. New requirements seem to occur
which are not communicated or spelled out. Requirements are too vague, etc.

Item 4. Faculty Hiring, Mentoring and Salaries for Full and Part-time Positions

Several departments report a significant faculty turnover on the horizon. The current administrative process seems to hinder the ability to replace faculty. Do we have good mentoring programs in place to insure continued success? How are we going
to meet the salary expectations of new faculty?

Several departments are already reporting that SWT offers are not competitive. If SWT increases the salaries of new hires, what will the impact be on current faculty? It is no longer an issue of salary compression....most new hires will be exceeding the salaries of full professors! Is there a solution?  Back to the A&M "Equity" model. An unnamed Senator has requested that this model be abandoned and replaced. Response, "It has been legally tested."

In addition to the issue of hiring part-time faculty to staff unfilled or needed new faculty lines, several comments were made regarding the low pay for these faculty. Per course payment in some departments has not changed in years ($1200?-$2000??). Other departments have managed to better address this issue.

Item 5. MITC Staffing and Travel

Several Liaisons from the College of Business mention the effect of the North Campus initiative. CBA departments are
having to staff the MITC program with main campus faculty. Which, of course, takes teachers from programs on campus.
And needless to say, the commute is tons of fun!

Item 6. Library Staff Status

As an on going item, library staff members are requesting a status level "beyond staff." Dr. Wyatt is willing to entertain
discussions on this issue, but it is not clear that academic status is really what librarians want to attain.

As an aside, a general satisfaction survey from the library is on its way to faculty. Plans and strategies are formulated
from the survey results, so please participate.

After a short break, the Senate reconvened in order to conduct new and old business.

Item 7. Retirement Programs Committee Recommendation 2

Professor Singh's committee has recommended that faculty be compensated for unused sick leave at a rate not less than
the existing hourly minimum wage rate at the time of retirement.

Chair Hays reports that Messrs. McBride and Nance have replied that the decision of whether or not to pay for unused sick leave is made by the legislature. Previously authorized payment was deemed too expensive and revolked in the '70s.

It was suggested that the University could make the decision at the local level and pay from auxillary reserve funds - for both faculty and staff. The precedent comes from the payment of unused vacation and comptime for administrators. Faculty are not paid for accumulated workload credits.

These thoughts will be referred back to committee for further action.

Item 8.SHSU Post Tenure Review Report

A general feeling is that SWT is already doing many of the recommendations found in the report. Further, it seems that
more time is needed for the process to evolve and generate outcomes before an examination of the procedure and recom-
mendations is needed. There was a concern that Post Tenure Review would either be abused or overlooked. Currently in the
grievance process, a tenured faculty member in Geography is undergoing dismissal.

Item 9. Changes to PPS 7:10

Currently, PPS 7:10 states that all grievances regarding the awarding of merit and performance pay end with the decision of
the Dean. The Senate has requested, and the Council of Acadenic Deans was amenable to, a change that states any grievance brought and the Dean's decision must be forwarded to the VPAA
as a matter of record.

The purposes here are to: (1) let the VPAA know what is going on in the merit and performance cycle, and (2) given numerous and continuous grievances, shed light on the possibility that there is a potential decision-making problem at the College level.

Senator Stone will draft a standardized form for approval to be used by all Colleges.

 Item 10. Faculty Survey of Administrators

A suggestion has been made that the Faculty Senate conduct a survey of faculty on the performance of upper level administrators (i.e., Deans, VPs and the President). This is done at other Universities and maybe it is time to start at SWT. Further discussion to follow in future Senate meetings.

Additionally, a request will be made to allow the Senate to review the Chair and Dean evaluations that were made for the
current merit and performance Cycle.

Item 11. Return to "Equity"

Related to Item 1 above, Senator Stone revealed that, of the $211,000 that was taken from faculty merit money to be used as "equity" (descretionary merit) money, $22,000 was missing and not allocated to faculty. Where did it go?? It seems these funds were taken and added to the pool of money used as merit for Deans and Chairs!! "Say it ain't so, Joe. Please, say it ain't so."

Item 12. October 11, 2000 minutes were approved

Meeting adjourned, 5:50pm