PAAG and Faculty Senate
Present: Chair Stone, President Trauth, Dr. Gratz, Senators Hawkins, Brennan, Bell-Metereau, McGee, Hindson, Rao, Shah, Conroy, Gordon, Gillis, Peeler, Sawey
Guests: Dr. Roseanne Mandziuk, Dr. Michael Blanda
I. President Trauth reported on the goal of returning to the ratio of students
to faculty that we had prior to the last two big enrollment bursts in fall of 2001. We will have twenty new hires, three of which will be targeted as diversity hires. We’re putting $1.5 million into new faculty positions. We anticipate doing the same thing next year, as the planning process plays out.
We’re having only one process through which new positions are allocated. For example, when a proposal comes through with new positions, the dean must prioritize those positions with everything else in the college. A college has the ability to prioritize, depending on need. It has been over ten years since we’ve had this many new positions, and this hiring is funded by new enrollments.
Chair Stone asked about the target of opportunity program, and Dr. Gratz spoke about the general faculty needs and processes by which
Dr. Gratz asked for each department to identify one candidate that would increase diversity, and the department can make an offer. Three selection
criteria: 1) contribution to diversity, 2) quality of candidate’s credentials,
3) departmental need. Faculty might have input at dean’s level.
Senator Rao asked if we are expecting diversity hires to play a particular role as a mentor, and Gratz said this might be part of their way of contributing.
Dr. Trauth warned against burdening anyone in that position with too much responsibility for mentoring.
Senator Rao asked Dr. Trauth whether the proposed teacher student ratio of was university wide and not pertaining to specific departments. Rao said that in her department, the Department of Mass Communication, they had 1600 students in fall 2003 and the teacher student ratio was about 1:80. Dr. Trauth said that the new ratio might not apply across all departments.
II. Worklife project
Dr. Roseanne Mandziuk reported on the work-life related issues. Work and personal life should be complementary, and the university is evaluating current policies and increase awareness of ways to improve our practices. A web-based survey will come out in the spring, with some overlap of questions for faculty and staff. They have put together a work-life task force. They will look at how to develop a website for work-life issues.
Senator Bell-Metereau asked if they plan to ask people who have left why they left, and Dr. Mandziuk said they might do that.
Senator Sawey asked what good things are being done. Dr. Mandziuk cited the wellness program and childcare, although they cost and are limited (on child care).
Chair Stone said that full tuition for children would be a good initiative.
Senator Bell-Metereau said that improving transportation for faculty would be another relatively inexpensive way to improve quality for faculty who must commute.
III. Gratz will get memo out on ??. HELP ME HERE. I HAVE A BLANK. IV. $300,000 Bookstore Vice President Nance said there was an ongoing investigation, so he cannot give details, but he can say that the state auditors did not discover this problem.
The accounting office discovered it through an internal audit. They hired forensic accountants, but hadn’t contacted the special investigations because they said only when you have proof of fraud should the university contact them. We had set a date in conjunction with the system internal audit. We will work on it for the next year and if they can’t discover the source of the problem, they will write it off.
Senator Hindson asked if it may lead to the privatization of the bookstore, but Vice President Nance said this alone wouldn’t merit that change. They are looking at that possibility in any case.
Senator Sawey asked if it is real money or an accounting issue. Vice President Nance said it might be an accounting issue rather than real money missing.
Senator Hazlewood asked how much this cost, and Vice President Nance said it wasn’t clear yet.
President Trauth said the issue of privatization has been discussed for some time now.
Senator Conroy said an ancillary cashier’s window would be useful on that side of campus, and that might help their business.
Vice President Nance said they would look at that possibility.
V. Sexual orientation and anti-discrimination
Senate expressed appreciation for the recent decision. Chair Stone asked about the sudden reversal. President Trauth had a long discussion with Mr. Gomez, the system attorney. The best decision was to make the change in our local policy. The regents’ meeting gave Dr. Trauth the opportunity to have a long conversation and determine that we have that authority.
The email to faculty and staff triggered a lot of reaction, both pro and con.
Dr. Trauth said it is the right thing to do to add this to our non-discrimination policy. An article on the issue appeared in the Austin American Statesman.
Senator Sawey asked if she had lost credibility with the regents in doing this, and Dr. Trauth said she didn’t believe that she had.
President Trauth said the senate benefited the university and the system by bringing up the conversation, because it triggered conversations on other campuses. They may or may not come to our same conclusion.
Senator Peeler said there was some sense that Regent Flores might bring this to the regents, but Trauth said she didn’t know about that. The other universities are still making decisions about the issue.
Senator Hindson asked if
When asked the status of committees, Dr. Trauth indicated that the review committee has been appointed and role of chair committee has been appointed.
Faculty Senate Meeting:
VI. Committee rosters updated. There is no Computer Science person on the
Academic Computing committee.
VII. Research Enhancement report
Dr. Michael Blanda reported on the proposals for funding and how the scores were normed to account for differences between college averages. They were
then ordered in descending order. Keeping the college research committees
staffed is difficult. Senators Peeler and Gillis moved and seconded to accept recommendations, with a request to come up with an extra $4,000 for the lowest funded person, and approval passed unanimously. The senate discussed the possibility of spreading some funds among the bottom five to completely fund the lowest person, but no motion was made.
Senator Hindson asked if there was any possibility of eliminating bonus for tenure track.
Senator Blanda said this was being considered. The electronic submission process is an issue. Other problems occur when proposals go to OSP and then are transmitted to the readers.
1. Have elections for dept. representatives be conducted through senators themselves and have it by spring. 2. Have university chair NOT be chair of their college committee. Otherwise there’s a conflict of interest. Senate should appoint university chair. 3. Ad hoc committee should be appointed to look at submission, bonus points, and how to print out this many copies of proposals.
Senator Conroy said perhaps the committee that looked at it before could rejoin and reconsider. Dr. Blanda said Dr. Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler had volunteered to serve again. Senators Sawey and Hindson moved and seconded a motion to form an ad hoc committee to look at the recommendations. Dr. Blanda suggested that college chairs are most knowledgeable and we should pick from them. This was added as a friendly amendment. College chairs, Senator Conroy, Dr. Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler, and Senator Catherine Hawkins will be on the committee, which will meet in the spring. College level should have maximum discretion, according to Dr. Blanda. The senate thanked Dr. Blanda for his efforts.
VIII. Election Procedures:
Dr. McGee reported on the problem of who was eligible to vote in Modern Languages. There were people on the ballot who were not eligible and someone who was eligible who was not on the ballot. They want to re-do the ballot for liberal arts. In Modern Languages they are sometimes full-time in the fall but not in the spring. We will re-do the ballot for liberal arts and get them sent out by Friday.
Senator McGee updated people on the situation with Dr. Jim Garber and the legal issues. The resolution has been to pay his bills, although not through state funds. Dr. Abbott decided to have a committee meet together on a case-by-case basis to deal with any faculty member who is in trouble in foreign travel.
This was not put on paper, and McGee moved and Bell-Metereau seconded a request to have Chair Stone write a letter requesting a university document to institutionalize the process.
A PAAG follow-up memo will also be drafted and circulated by Chair Stone.
Senator Conroy would like to know where resources would come from for work-life issues, and several senators said that it would be prioritized in various plans. Some policies could be more faculty and staff-friendly.
Chair Stone distributed results on Developmental Leaves, and everyone was recommended. He will draft a memo to that effect.
The meeting adjourned at .
Revised draft minutes submitted by