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April 21, 2004 Minutes

Chair Stone, Senators Sawey, Peeler, Gordon, Gillis, Conroy, Shah, Rao, Hazlewood, Hindson, McKinney, Bell-Metereau, Brennan, Gordon, Hawkins

 

Guests: Dr. Supancic, University Star reporter

 

I. Report on Consensual Relationships Policy

Dr. Supancic reported on the committee charged with developing a consensual relationship policy.  He noted that this brings up several issues, including confidentiality, the burdensome nature of the situation for supervisors, and the penalties this may place on affected parties.

 

Senator Hindson asked how often this sort of thing happens at the university, and Dr. Supancic said that they were very rare.

 

Senator Bell-Metereau brought up the point that the interruption of a relationship through the policy might actually harm the party the policy intends to protect.  In addition, two people might have ended a relationship with negative feelings and this might affect the supervisor’s judgment of the subordinate.  They would technically not be violating the policy.

 

Senator Hindson asked if two people could not be married or in a relationship and be in a teacher-student relationship.  Dr. Supancic said that alternate means of evaluation could be developed.  The UN-C policy is more draconian than the one suggested here.

 

Senator Hawkins said that social workers are not allowed to have relationships with their clients.  Would this not apply to teachers and students?

 

Dr. Supancic said that faculty are encouraged not to have such relationships, but they did not want a punitive policy.

 

II. PAAG topics

Topics suggested included the faculty market study issue. 

 

Report from the president on proposed response to the regents on sexual orientation policy.  Dr. Trauth intends to resist any changes on this issue, and she wishes for the presidents and other speakers to express this opinion at the meeting.

 

New faculty positions and reallocating lines of retiring or terminating faculty.

 

Update on new buildings (mass communications, liberal arts, undergraduate).

 

III. Updates

Faculty development leave scores indicated that everyone has been recommended for approval.  A ranked list will go forward to the VPAA.

 

We may not in a year exceed one fifth of the faculty, but the number is usually much smaller.

 

Mailing labels include part-timers, even though they were given an order for full-time faculty.

 

Chair Stone said that 40% of voting faculty must give a 2/3’s majority to make an amendment.

 

Senator Brennan asked if we know how many mailing labels we have. 

 

Chair Stone said that we could use 40% based on 688, on a thousand, or invalidate the count.  We could run these in the summer, but this would result in low turnout.

 

Senator Brennan asked if we should notify the petitioners. 

 

Senators Conroy and Shah said that they were in favor of notifying everyone.

 

The problem will be explained when the results are released.  The count will be biased in favor of the petitioners.

 

Senator Shah said that we need to have a meeting and then report on the results.

 

Close of the day Friday will be the deadline.  We will need to inaugurate the new officers on the 5th.  We would confirm the final ballot issue as well.

 

In liberal arts we will take the top four and do a run-off for the top two.

 

Chair Stone will call a meeting on the 4th or the 5th.

 

Senator Shah said the results of evaluations will be done by July.

 

IV. Honor Code

Senator Hazlewood resumed his review of revisions for the honor code.  He modeled his description of procedures on the old grievance wording. 

 

Senator McKinney asked why they would place multiple violations together.

 

No punitive action may be taken against the student while the honor council is in session. 

 

Can the honor council ask questions or will they just listen?  They can ask questions, but they won’t be cross-examined.

 

Senator Hindson said that many faculty members will do anything they can to avoid this kind of procedure.

 

Senator Shah asked about step 3.01, and Senator Hazlewood said that student justice  would look at the issue from the point of view of the history of the student.  The faculty member would put forth the report to student justice.  It was not clear who would call the honor council.

 

Senator McKinney said the model was useful because she found it troubling.  As a faculty member she would want to go before a body that would look for facts and documents and evidence.  She would not want a courtroom-like atmosphere.

If the faculty member does not wish to present and opening statement or conduct a cross-examination, no one else would do it. 

 

Dr. Blanda said there might be a case of collusion

 

Senator Shah asked if the faculty member could get sued.

 

Chair Stone pointed out that the process was bifurcated to avoid these problems.  One cannot have a hearing without rules.

 

Senator Peeler said that the dean still has the grade appeal, which is still in the academic affairs line.

 

The honor council is hearing the grade issue as well.

 

Dr. Blanda said that the honor council is only looking at whether a violation occurred.  Student justice would determine the penalty.

 

Senator Bell-Metereau asked what would occur in the case of a tie, and Senator Hazlewood said it would go forward with that record.

 

Senator McKinney said that the appropriate role of the honor council is to make the best judgment based on the evidence.  She asked if there is a way to do this without using the trial model. 

 

Dr. Blanda said that the easiest way would be to present each case.

 

Senator McKinney asked if it would be better to eliminate the part about cross-examination.

 

Senator Hazlewood said the procedure would not necessarily

 

Sawey moved and Marguerite seconded that we recommend with the changes Audrey suggests, with the honor council to be a review of record (without

cross-examination).   It passed unanimously.  ASG President Ernie Dominguez

said it would be possible to call it the honor code council, and this was viewed as a friendly amendment.

 

Update from CAD:

No meeting of CAD

 

V.          New business items:

 

Senator Brennan reported on a student complaint regarding separate fees at Round Rock campus. 

 

Senator Conroy suggested that we might look at some issues brought up by the proposed constitutional amendment.

 

Senator Hindson suggested that expanding PAAG might be a good idea.

 

Senator Shah asked if there was a possibility for another structure of representation.

 

Chair Stone said that the formula worked well to represent the smallest schools.

 

Senator Shah questioned whether the Round Rock faculty will be adequately represented.

 

We may want to modify election process, have it go electronic.

 

Senator Sawey said that we would need to give a computer account to all faculty and have trust in the system.

 

Senator Conroy suggested having a committee or task force look at the issue.

 

Chair Stone commented that the most perturbing email has been an allegation of election irregularities.

 

Senator Conroy stated that it seemed unethical to make such allegations without any substantiation or explanation.  The amendment proposed was a poorly conceived solution to any perceived problems. 

 

Senator Peeler said that we could look for studies that would indicate the most effective size for deliberative bodies, and he said developing a newsletter is vital at this point in order to let faculty know what the senate does.

 

Senator Brennan pointed out that city governments went to smaller bodies when they tried to eliminate corruption.

 

Senator Shah said we need to post minutes regularly, and that Jon McGee said he wondered where the minutes were. 

 

Senator Sawey suggested posting draft minutes.

 

Senator Hazleton said that the Totempole was an effective, brief newsletter. 

 

Chair Stone asked if anyone wanted to do a newsletter, and Senator Conroy said she had been thinking about it. 

 

This would be time-consuming.

 

What kinds of things can be written if there’s an editor and if it needs to be approved.

 

Senator Brennan suggested that an expanded agenda could be distributed.

 

Senator Conroy was considering it being a monthly newsletter.

 

Senator Sawey said it could still be short.

 

First set of minutes; change the Bob Gratz announced the honor council to say that Chair Stone reported that Dr. Gratz would not be implemented to the

3/31/04; and last week’s amendments

Adjourned 6:05.

Minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau 4/23/04.