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July 25, 2001 Minutes

APPROVED FACULTY SENATE MINUTES 43RD FACULTY SENATE JULY 25, 2001




Approved Faculty Senate Minutes

July 25, 2001

Senators present: Renick (chair), Sawey, Peeler, Stone, Hays, Reese, Stutzman, Brennan, McKinney, Hindson, Blevens, and Blanda.

Absent: Gillis, Stimmel.

Guests: Meg Grant, Bob Olney, Susan Day, Jon Bible, Bob Northcutt, John McGee, Margaret
Vaverek and Mike Moore

Meeting was called to order by Chair Oren Renick at 3:00 pm.

Senate Priorities 2001-2001
 As part of a priority establishing process Meg Grant reviewed the goal exploration activities from the previous Senate meeting, re-established the ground rules for civil discussion and passed out a list of 34 possible items gleaned from the last session.  These items were clarified then ranked and the possibility of some combining of items was explored.  Hays moved and Blevins seconded that the top ranked seven items be selected as priorities with other items included as sub-topics as appropriate.  Reese expressed a desire to be sure that the appropriate outcomes for each goal be established so that the Senate can assess its success.  With this admonition in mind the motion was passed unanimously.   The goals are listed as follows although they may receive some additional tweaking:
 1.  Revisit (monitor) the Post-tenure Review process.  There is special concern
      about procedural documentation and ethical stance in the use of the process.
 2.  Meaningful monitoring of the SWT budget.  Athletics and Ph. D. programs were
      of special concern.
 3.  Monitor reallocations as a result of FTE/SCH targets.
 4.  Examine/monitor hiring of temporary and adjunct faculty.
 5.  Develop a plan to address salary compression.
 6.  Continue to monitor the Division IA move.
 7.  Greater involvement in faculty evaluations.

Susan Day reminded the Senate that one of the best ways to change things is to be involved in writing policy.  The voice of experience is always welcome and helpful.

Budget Committee Report
Bob Northcutt presented the budget Committee report. There was spirited discussion throughout the report, which is included with these minutes.  The motion to accept the report by Sawey and seconded by Hays was accepted unanimously.  The Senate thanked Dr. Northcutt and his excellent committee for their hard and valuable work.

                              SWT BUDGET COMMITTEE  -- REPORT TO THE FACULTY SENATE

Over the 2000-2001 academic year, the members of the SWT Budget Committee met with various administrative representatives, held discussions, and focused on the following as being primary budget problems at this time. For the most part they are the same issues as last year, but there are additional concerns, which have come to the attention of the Budget Committee.

1. The Division I effort.
    There continue to be serious concerns about the actual costs and the various estimates proposed. Professor Montondon (Faculty representative) reported an estimated shortfalls of $4.98 million as a ìbest caseî scenario (17,000 ticket sales) with a $6.40 million ìminimum acceptable caseî scenario (17,000 discounted ticket sales/minimal expenses). These did not include the new stadium costs. Concern was expressed about effects of additional scholarships required, costs of staffing, travel, and costs of changing conferences. Most of these, along with increases in income (TV) have been vague and more concrete data is required.

2. Continued growth in administrative/staff area
    Over the past ten years there has been a disproportionate growth in the administrative/staff area compared to faculty growth. The following table from the SWT FACTS booklets shows some key information:

                                                                        1990                  2000                       % increase
 Administration                                                117                   150                           2 8.2%
 Professional                                                    243                   369                           51.9%
 Secretarial                                                       342                   430                           25.7%
 Service                                                            205                   232                          13.2%
 Faculty (full-time)                                           685                   739                           7.9%
 Part-time                                                         246                   295                           19.9%
 Lecturer/Instructor                                         172                    183                           6.4%
 Faculty FTE                                                   744.4                763.9                         2.6%
 Enrollment (fall)                                             20.940              22.423                       7.1%
 FTSE                                                             17.208              18,447                        7.2%

    Increased departments (from 33 to 43), associated office costs (travel, secretarial, space, M & 0 expenses) and increased salaries for administrators (over 12 month periods) have significant impact on our budget. It is noted that even in this area our salaries are not always competitive with State and national norms.
    In addition there is still proliferation of  ìdirectorsî, ìassociatesî, and  ìassistantsî with little attention to cost-benefit analysis or review. While many split appointments return funds to the departments (the replacements are at the lowest salary possible and part-time), the costs for 12 month salaries (at or above faculty rates) and quality of instruction are serious problems. In addition the time, effort, and money spent in finding replacements is an additional burden to the departments (with the required paperwork and regulations).

3. Faculty staffing
   With increased retirements and planned growth at SWT there are serious problems in recruiting faculty and staff. Throughout the University departments report being non-competitive in salary offers (generally unable to get their top prospects). This results in more expense (having to interview more people), more wasted time and effort, and settling for less qualified people. While this is not just an SWT problem, we must look at this as a university problem and implement a university strategy.
    Included in this problem is salary compression and salaries of present faculty. Faculty are being hired at salaries above some current staff and some faculty have been given preferred treatment (due to market competition), but these actions should not adversely affect current staff ìAcross the board increasesî do not address this problem.

4. Infrastructure
    There are serious problems with the buildings on campus in terms of age and maintenance. The information about space needs, replacement, and condition of our present facilities indicate major shortfalls, especially if we continue to grow as predicted. The presentation on ìFacility Issues & Funding Availabilityî developed by Nancy Nusbaum and Pat Fogarty point to even less faculty resources and less favorable teaching /research environment. Twenty to thirty old buildings with old wiring, air conditioning, limited computer wiring, and older classroom design mean that many of our classrooms are obsolete and this affects our teaching mission, faculty recruitment, student retention, and morale.

5. Costs associated with other projects
    The concern with Aquarena Springs has lessened in the face of two more pressing issues, notably MITC, the ìmini-mesterî, and the Ph. D. efforts. MITC will continue to grow with the planned growth of SWI enrollment and it appears to be at a break-even point, but funding and staffing will continue to need monitoring and review.
    The ìmini-mesterî needs a careful cost-benefit review. There is no monitoring of the over-all program and it is being run at the chair level. This has created some problems in salary assignment, staffing, and equity between full-time and part-time staff. In addition there are questions concerning impact on regular summer school scheduling and the academic long terms. This project was implemented to boost FTE numbers, but may not be justifiable in terms of cost.
    The Ph. D. efforts need careful review, both in the approved programs and in the proposals being developed. In most instances each of the 11 doctoral proposals carry large overhead, new faculty recruitment, and increased operating budgets. The impact of these programs on the undergraduate programs will be severe if additional outside funding is not obtained. The break-even points frequently are six years with optimum estimates on enrollments. There is a need for a strategic plan in this area with clear statements as to funds available, timetable, cost-benefit to SWT, and who is responsible. Presently departments are rushing to put forth applications in competition with each other, rather than developing a program to meet the needs of the University, its mission, or the needs of our students. There is much wasted effort and wasted resources in this attempt.

6. Undergraduate education and the University mission
    Many of the preceding issues are directly tied to the changes in SWTís mission and role as an educational institution. The effects of funding research (grant matching, Ph. D. efforts, lab space, etc.) place demands on our undergraduate funding, since the research does not fully support itself. Without outside large gifts and endowments, the funds for these efforts will have to come from our present funding and that is built on our undergraduate programs. We are attracting (and losing) some of the brightest students ever to be on this campus, and that is a result of efforts at the undergraduate level. Admittedly the Coordinating Board, the population explosion in central Texas, and the Legislature have forced new demands upon SWT, we must have a firm grasp of our goals and mission. We can not be all things to all people, all the time.

Budgetary Aside:
It would be easy to say that all we need is more money, but the issues are more complex that that. The issues are inter-related and clearly we will not have an ìangelî come to our rescue. Inflation, increased construction costs, retirements, population growth, changing demographics, politics, and increased costs of education are each parts of this problem. Added is an unwillingness to develop firm plans, prioritize goals, and assess cost-benefits. Projects seem to run themselves, rather that being run by people assigned responsibility. Some efforts should be phased out, reduced, or should have never been implemented. It is difficult to say ìtoî a proposal (for some succeed and others fail), but we must control what we do as a university. Short-term and long-term costs, especially as to their effects on our programs and students, must be the criteria. To do less is to create bigger problems in the future.

With limited resources and many demands, SWT must do a better job in using resources to benefit our students, faculty, and staff.

PPS 8.08 Faculty Grievance Policy
    Jon Bible and John McGee presented the newly amended PPS 8.08.  Based on past experience in the grievance process and recent legislation concerning faculty grievance rights the PPS has been rewritten to incorporate a single hearing officer in the grievance process rather than a committee.  In grievances other than tenure and promotion that hearing officer will be a faculty member appointed by the President.  Dr. Bible and Dr. McGee, as the current and past ombudsmen, worked closely with SWT lawyer Bill Fly to be sure that faculty rights were protected.  This PPS is attached to these minutes.

Appendix B

Faculty Senate Standing Rule. Article VIII

    Research Enhancement Awards: The Research Enhancement Program (REP) was established by the 70th Texas legislature to "encourage and provide support for research conducted by faculty members." The legislation further provides that "funding should be awarded to faculty within any discipline according to campus-wide competitive peer- review procedures developed at each University."
    At SWT, the Faculty Senate is responsible for developing and implementing these peer- review procedures. To that end we have established a University Research Committee (URC), composed of one tenured faculty member from each College. Committee members are appointed by the Senate on the basis of their research experience and good judgment to staggered three-year terms. In the spirit of the legislation, the Senate has charged the URC to use a definition of "research" that is broad enough to include all definitions of scholarly and creative activity as defined by the individual departments. The URC, with the approval of the Senate, develops guidelines and application forms and establishes application deadlines. The URC is enjoined to work closely with the Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Projects (A VPRSP) and the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP).
    The URC shall be responsible for ensuring that the REP core principles and peer review process are systematically employed with integrity, particularly at the College Research Committee (CRC) level. Each academic College will have a CRC composed of one elected tenured faculty representative from each department in the College. CRC members will be chosen in an election conducted in the spring by the department's Senator or Liaison. Each CRC will be chaired by that College's representative to the URC. After CRC members have met to discuss REP grant proposals for their College and have electronically submitted scores for each proposal, the URC recommends proposals to be funded to the Senate. In making its recommendations to the Senate, the URC shall determine the numerical score that will trigger funding, based on the availability of funds and the mathematical norm for proposals scored by CRC members in each relevant review cycle.
Final determination and apportionment of funds will be made by the Senate. upon the recommendation of the URC, and notification of the results will come from the A VPRSP and/or the ORSP.
    The URC and CRC terms run from January to January. thus the terms cover both the spring and fall evaluations. Committee members may not submit a proposal during their term and members who resign in mid-term are not eligible to apply for a REP grant until the next granting cycle begins. The A VPRSP will serve as a non-voting ex-officio member of the URC.
    Approved by the Faculty Senate November. 1995 Revised September. 1997
Revised July 30, 2001

Research Enhancement Grant Process
    Mike Blanda presented the changes to the REP process and answered questions concerning the purpose of the changes.  Based on this discussion Sawey moved and Stone seconded that the Faculty Senate Standing Rule, Article VIII, which governs the REP process be replaced with the newly drafted Article VIII.  The motion was passed unanimously.

Announcement
    Milt Nielson, the new AVP of Information and Technology, will be visiting the Senate soon to explore how to support faculty in developing and using technology in education.  The possibility of meeting with him individually at an earlier time was included. Dr. Stone and Dr. Hindson both expressed an interest in meeting with him previous to the Senate meeting.

Old Business
     Marguerite Gillis has agreed to serve as the Senate member working with Douglas VanDenBerg on the problems of web registration access. Mary Brennan also expressed an interest in being involved in this process.

    There was extensive discussion of the upcoming meeting with President Supple concerning the Post-tenure Review
process.  The faculty is naturally alarmed about many potential problems that can occur in the processes and procedures
that are included in this action.  Assuring that policies are carefully followed and documented seems of paramount
importance.  The need for Post-tenure Review seems to be a clear demonstration of failure on the part of chairs and deans
in that good administrative leadership should intervene early and in a positive way rather than after the fact with a clearly
negative agenda.  The meeting will be on Aug 15, 2001, at 3:00 pm and will be open. The senators agreed that Dr Blevens
would invite appropriate represenatives of the media and that a special e-mail invitation would be sent out to all faculty
members encouraging them to attend the meeting.

The minutes of June 27, 2001, were approved with minor changes.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:45 pm.

Emotionally submitted by
Joan Hays, Secretary