Approved Senate Minutes
January 29, 2003
Senators Renick, Conroy, Sawey, Peeler, Stone, James, Blanda, Gordon, Riepe, Frost, Hindson, Bell-Metereau, Brennan, Stutzman
Guests: Sally Villarreal, University Star Reporter
Chair Renick called the meeting to order at 4:03 and announced the February 13th meeting from 10 to 11 with President Trauth, which will last one hour.
He also asked who would go to the Texas Council of Faculty Senate meeting, and Senators Stone, Blanda, and Frost volunteered to attend.
Most senators will be able to attend the presidential investiture. Michael Blanda will be mace bearer and Rebecca Bell-Metereau will lead the senate to their seats.
Budget cuts will not be across the board and faculty salaries will not be cut, but the university does not have complete discretion on where cuts will be made. Hiring and construction that is under contract will be completed, and items at a later stage may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Senator Sawey expressed concern about the reserves, stating that more information is necessary. Senator Blanda indicated that terms for chairs will be considered in the near future by the administration.
Senator Stone moved that the senate should have someone appointed to budget-making entities and Ron Sawey seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
II. Faculty handbook
Senator Brennan reported on the Faculty Handbook, explaining that there is no set deadline. They want this to be a thorough and well organized revision,with links to pps sites. Once the table of contents is established, the committee will look at what could be deleted. The senate anticipates that the work will probably be completed within the next 12 months, and the senate encouraged some time framework in order to complete the handbook in electronic form. Several senators observed that any errors could be more easily corrected on line and that some mechanism would be necessary for updating the handbook website at frequent, regular intervals.
III. Objectives Report
Senator Frost reported on the objectives, noting that we will have one point person for each objective. We can notice which items donít have a lot of action taken on them and which items we have requested action from the VPAA, for example, without any follow-up or response. The faculty will forward a set of ìminimum criteria for faculty involvement in college governance.î
California has done the first study of faculty governance, and we can look at these to discover some best practices.
Clearly, at this point, #5 will become a top priority and #4 and #3 will also be important.
Senator Stone will convert the workload document to word, so that we can work with the wording for the pps 7.05 on workload.
Senator Hindson requested information on how many tenure-track faculty teach 1, 2, 3, or 4 classes. He requested a 15-minute session with Associate Vice President Cassidy on this issue. The initial request was made on October 30,2002, and we still have no compilation of this data.
Senators James, Stone, and Bell-Metereau will meet on the workload issue.
Senator Frost asked about whether faculty positions are frozen or about to be filled. At this point, it is unclear where possible cuts or freezes may occur.
Senator Stutzman reported on salary data and Senator Sawey made a request for the data, with name, department, rank, last yearís salary and this yearís salary, and equity information compiled in one spreadsheet. Joe Meyer should be able to provide this data.
Senator Hindson said that he now has the budget book.
Senator Stutzman asked if the evaluation for this spring is for deans, deans and chairs, or president and vice presidents as well. This remains unclear, although Chair Renick observed that an evaluation of a president who has only been in office for a short time would not be meaningful or fair.
Senator Stutzman said we would publish this information on the web and release it to newspapers. Chair Renick requested that comments not be published,because this practice was not widespread elsewhere. Written comments could be delivered directly to those evaluated, but he did not recommend publishing direct quotes, even if they are anonymous.
IV. Future agenda
2/5/03 will focus on objective 2. The meeting was adjourned at 6:10.
Submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau