Senators present: Margerison (for Brennan), Stutzman, Hindson, Stimmel, Gillis, Hays, Blanda, Blevens, Renick, Stone, Sawey, McKinney
Senators absent: Peeler, C & I representative (TBN)
Guests: Jerry Supple, Robert Gratz, Patrick Cassidy, John McGee, Francis Horne, Sam Tarsitano, Mariko Gomez, Mike Moore
Meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm by chair Renick.
Priorities for the Presidents Office for Spring 2002
1. The Texas Governorís Office is asking for cost cutting such as cutting travel, not filling positions. This does not seem to be about short falls but more about economizing. Thirty four percent of the SWT budget comes from the state general revenue fund. So far there is no clear sense about where this is going or what will be expected of the University system. That will be clearer soon. Response is due by March 15 (beware, the Ides of March).
2. Enrollment is up 5.4% for spring. We expect 22,000 plus by the 12th class day. Dorm rooms are full. Bobcat village is going up apace and should be ready for occupancy in the Fall. San Marcos Hall, a privately funded dorm, should be ready for Fall, as well. There will be a three story parking facility included in this plan. (What? Preplanning for parking? Hooray!)
3. Dr. Supple will continue to pursue the name change. The proposal will go before the Board of Regents in the Spring meeting. SWT is currently positioning itself to meet some resistance from other TSUS institutions.
4. Dr. Supple is exploring (with the help of staff and others) the possibility of a ìsustainable freshwater policy instituteî to help establish a functional water oversight body. He is hoping for an endowed chair to direct this.
5. SWT is still working to obtain a facility for the MITC. Investigation into the advantages of renting vs. owning is part of that exploration. Meanwhile, MITC seems to continue to grow.
6. SWT has received an NEH grant. SWT will need to raise 1.5 million to match this grant so the Presidentís office will be actively involved in fund raising.
Priorities for the VPAAís office for Spring 2002
1. Tenure/promotion reviews, one of the important annual activities of the office.
2. Budget reallocations based on FTE/SCH target achievements. This will include enrollment management issues. During this discussion Blevens received a small reallocation from the College of Education.
3. Other important issues for this semester include academic program planning, including MITC, new Ph.D. program development, academic program reviews, dean summative reviews, integration of technology into teaching and distance learning, and the results of the National Survey of Student Engagement.
Since much of item 3 involved funds from SPI it engendered a certain amount of discussion. Senator Blanda wondered if there was going to be money for hazardous waste issues. Dr. Gratz replied affirmatively and that it was in SPI 2. Senator Sawey was concerned that as we cap the enrollment in the College of Business we are sensitive to the ìtoothpaste squeezeî that will happen as the ìwanna besî must find other Colleges and departments to enroll in. Will there be room and resources to absorb them?
4. The Post Tenure Review Committee is now in place and will be meeting soon.
Stockholm Accord on Ethnic Cleansing
President Supple is encouraging student groups to become actively involved in petition signing activities. There will also be educational opportunities available for classroom sessions as well as information sharing in a number of informal settings. These activities do not constitute an official endorsement by the President or SWT. It is considered a facilitory move. (Is facilatory an word or have I made up another word?) Senator Sawey expressed concern that this accord covered every conceivable population variable except gays.
Summer School Budgets
Even after the February ìsweepsî there is an expected shortfall of around $1.2 million. It is anticipated that this short fall will be covered by reserves for this summer and, if necessary, next summer. By that time there will be a process in place that includes the summer budget in budget planning so that summer school does not rely on the ìleft overî budget from the long terms and unexpected student enrollment tuition dollars.
Commencement Committee Recommendations RTA
(Not to worry! There is no apparent recommendation for an all student outdoor graduation!)
Faculty Grievance Policy - Non reappointment of Nontenured Faculty
It was Dr. Suppleís opinion that if a department chooses not to renew or reappoint a tenure track faculty member and the reason for that nonrenewal is not illegal then the department has that right, just as they have the right to hire. He was asked how important he thought the issue of collegiality should be in this decision. He responded that if it is important to a department not to renew a nontenured faculty member and the reason is not illegal discrimination then the department has that right. He pointed out that nonrenewal for lack of collegiality has withstood court tests. The Senate and the President agreed that a nontenured faculty member should be warned about collegiality issues ìup front.î However, the TT person has no rightful expectation of renewal. The department is supported in that by Regents Rules. John McGee, Ombudsman, recommends a statement about collegiality be included in the Faculty Handbook.
Mariel Muir Excellence in Mentoring Award
Mariko Gomez came before the Senate to encourage people to nominate worthy colleagues for this prestigious award. This honor is given to a faculty member and a staff member based on their mentoring activities, particularly the mentoring of peers. There is a $2500.00 honorarium attached to the award and the recipients are presnted at a luncheon. The nomination process has been streamlined.
Review of the PAAG meeting RTA
Review of Senate Priorities RTA
Survey of Faculty - Desired Characteristics in SWTís Next President
There was lively discussion about how best to survey the faculty quickly. This will be done electronically. Dr. Sawey agreed to get something on the web. The basic question would be ìwhat three characteristics are most important for our new president?î There was some underground muttering about the use of a head hunting company in the process. It seems so unacademic, somehow. Hays and Blanda thought that we might be able to hire a top Enron CEO rather inexpensively.
The possibility of faculty who live out of San Marcos having a small allowance for calling home without having to tape pennies to their phone bill or punch in 45 consecutive numbers.
New fees for use of facilities for faculty and staff using Jowers during the noon hour.
The possibility of a Fall Break
Inviting Dr. Abbott to present the results of the parking study.
The minutes of Dec. 12, 2001, were approved as read.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:12 pm.
Minutes frantically submitted by Joan Hays.