October 17, 2001
Senators present: Renick (chair), Stutzman, Brennan, McKinney, Hindson, Stimmel, Blevens, Blanda, Hays, Stone, Peeler
Senators absent: Carns, Gillis, Sawey
Guests: Mike Moore, Susan Thompson, Donna Bourke, Jim Irvin (council of chairs), Max Warshauer, Gordon Thyberg, Miriam Echeverria
Meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm.
Chair Renick announced that the Senate Liaison meeting will be October 31, 2001.
The CAD/Senate joint meeting will be November 13, 2001. Spaces will be announced later. Please mark your calendars for these major academic events.
High School Student Concurrent Enrollment and the Lack of Financial Aid
Max Warshauer voiced his concern to the Senate that high school students who are concurrently registered in high school and the university (duel enrollment) are unable to be considered ìdegree seeking studentsî and, therefore, are unable to apply for any type of financial aid. The regulation that withholds this ìdegree statusî is fairly common but seems to be a local regulation. The implication is that it might be possible to change this policy. The Senators wondered if this might help to recruit minority students but the numbers of students actually pursuing duel enrollment are very few so it is hard to tell. Because the high school students who do enroll concurrently are generally gifted it seems like one way to help draw these students to SWTSU. Senator Blanda wondered how we market this program. Senator Stone suggested that one problem about allowing these students to be classified as degree seeking started their ìcatalog clockî ticking and so it might be a disadvantage. Senator Stutzman wondered if these students had to meet the same entrance requirements as entering freshmen (They do.) It was determined that not all duel enrollment students would have to become degree seekers, only those who want to apply for financial aid. It was pointed out that with ACC now offering classes locally these students might well choose to go there because it is less expensive. The Senate asked Dr. Warshauer to investigate where this policy against allowing duel enrollment students to become degree seeking was housed to determine how and to whom a request for change might be addressed. More about this at another time!
Staff Issues by Staff Council
Susan Thompson (Staff Council chair) and Donna Bourke came before the Senate to present a staff salary concern. Last year the Staff Council worked with President's Cabinet to return to using the ten largest public universities for market studies to determine what salaries should be for university-specific titles. Staff Council recommended all university-specific position salaries be raised to 100% of their average market minimums, but PC decided to set the level at 75% of average market minimums for university-specific titles. Although the PC seemed to agree that salary increases to meet this base level would be a good idea, there was NO MONEY to do this. Sob! Sob! The administration then turned around and gave very large raises, up to $20,000.00 per year, a 24% increase in one case, to a handful of people. (See minutes of Oct. 10, 2001, for specific figures. The staff was very disappointed and felt that these salary amounts seem to be arbitrary and capricious. Senate was reminded that staff and faculty money come out of the same pot. It was asked if all staff salaries needed to be increased and the response was that only about 100 needed an increase to meet the Staff Council goals. Senator Hindson remarked that if we can go for division IA in athletics then staff salaries should reflect salary bases from comparable institutions. Blevens moved and Stimmel seconded a motion that the Senate endorse the Staff Council report and that it be posted on the web page. The motion was accepted unanimously. Point us toward the windmill, Sancho!
University Star Football Ad of 10/11/01
Senator Hays displayed a copy of the full page ad placed in the Oct. 11, 2001, Star which was encouraging attendance at the coming football game. The Senate agreed that it was in extremely poor taste. Further outraged and desk pounding discussion was forestalled by a letter of apology from Greg LaFleur, SWT athletic director, which had been sent to Chair Renick as a result of a heated note from Senator Hays to various administrators when the ad was first noticed. That letter, anticipating the Senateís reaction, saved us about 15 minutes and kept blood pressure at reasonable levels, too.
Faculty Evaluation of President and VPAA
Senator Stutzman presented the revised materials for faculty evaluations of Drs. Supple and Gratz. It was moved (Blevens/Peeler) that it now be circulated to Supple and Gratz for their comments with a response required within 10 business days, after which time it will be mailed to all eligible voting faculty. This motion was passed unanimously. Stone moved and Blevens seconded a motion that a mass email reminder to the faculty, once the evaluations are sent out, be sent via the VPIT office in hope of improving returns. This motion also passed unanimously
Chair Renick informed the Senate that the letter to the Board of Regents naming the faculty nominees for the Presidential Search Committee has been sent.
Dr. Renick presented Committee on Committees recommendations for membership on the Academic Computing Committee to the Senate. After some vigorous discussion and a moderate amount of intentional ìchain yankingî(for which a 10yd. penalty was assessed) it was moved and seconded (Peeler/Brennan) that the Committee on Committees recommendation be accepted. Approval was unanimous.
David Henton has agreed to serve on the Transportation and Parking Committee.
The Senate has been warned that there is much going on in this committee that may soon affect many of us. Stay tuned and tranquil.
Chair Renick presented a number of opportunities for the Senators to improve their service portfolios. One of these included participation on the University Image discussion groups. After a heartfelt comment about crawling through glass a motion was made and seconded (Stone/Hindson) to volunteer Senators Blevens, Brennan, and Sawey for attendance at these focus groups. This motion passed with 9 votes for and Blevens abstaining. (No hint of vested interest here!)
Senators carrying the mace at graduation this fall will be Stimmel and Hays.
There was a brief discussion about agenda items for the approaching Liaison meeting and the joint meeting with CAD.
One Senator asked if salaries for mini session classes were standard across the university. Are faculty paid $2500.00 or 1/12 of salary? We will be following up on this
interesting little question.
Another Senator wondered about using graduate assistants to teach classes. Apparently, in order to be ìteacher of recordî, the GA or TA must hold a masters degree with 18 hours in the teaching area. There are certain exceptions but there is a sense that this regulation is being violated from time to time. The game is afoot, Watson!
Jim Irvin, ex-senator and current representative from the Council of Chairs, commented that the Council is interested in increasing its role in university governance.
The Senate will consider the ensuing issues that arise from this activity with great interest as they come forward.
The Minutes of Oct. 10, 2001, were approved with corrections.
The Senate adjourned at 6:05 pm
Minutes smugly submitted by Joan Hays (You know you are in trouble when the computer flags you for run on sentences!)