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Oct 22, 2003 Minutes

Members present:  Senators Hawkins, Brenan, Sullivan (representing Hofer), Hazelwood, Rao, Shah, Jones, Gordon, Gillis, Peeler, Sawey, Stone.

 

Guests present: Dan Lochman, English, Michael Korn, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Michael Blanda, Presidential Fellow, Cindy Waggner, VPAA's Office, Stan Israel, Dean, College of Science, Robert Habingreither, Chair, Technology, Vedaraman Sriraman, Technology, Micky Henry, VPAA's office, Emily Gunn, University Star, Robert D. Gratz, VPAA, Margaret Vaverek, Alkek Library.

 

Chair Stone called the meeting to order at 4:05.

 

Chair Stone introduced Lisa Adams, new senate secretary, to everyone.

 

Industrial Engineering

 

Dan Lochman stated that the curriculum committee had approved the proposal for the industrial engineering program. He gave a brief reported of the meeting.

 

Senators asked several questions about the proposal. Senator Shah noted that the proposal contained four electives in the health department. He asked what the synergy was between health and industrial engineering. Dr. Sriraman explained that industrial engineers are hired in all sectors and more recently in the service sector, in particular the health sector. Industrial Engineering (IE) majors gain familiarity with the field-they do not have domain specificity. IE is as good in a manufacturing facility as in a health facility, he said. Dr. Habingreither added that these courses were electives. Senator Shah suggested that a description of the connection be added to the proposal. Senator Shah also suggested that if an advisory board is formed, a representative from the health department could be included.

 

Senator Sawey asked whether there were faculty in other departments who could teach the proposed courses. For example, could professors in the math department teach related courses in operations research and applied mathematics that had been proposed. He asked whether other departments that already offered such courses had been considered. Dr. Sriraman explained that the courses were similar and dissimilar. He said that a mathematician's perspective was different. IE was interested in application. It would be difficult to satisfy both groups of students. He said that there were at least six undergraduate courses in statistics being offered in our University. He asked whether these were mere redundancies.

 

Senator Shah asked how faculty in one discipline could be tenured by those in another discipline. Dr. Sriraman said that there were collaborative efforts between the department of technology and the various science departments and that the tenure process had worked. He said that he had himself been promoted to full professor in the College of Science.

 

Mention was made of the possibility of having a program in electrical engineering. This would come out of the strategic planning process.

 

Senator Hawkins addressed the issue of funding the proposed program. Dr. Blanda explained that the money would come from different places. He said he could not say where all the money would come from but a lot of it would be from the new dollars going into academic affairs. He could not say whether it would also come out of other departments. Lochman mentioned that in a certain number of years there would be a return on investments. Dr. Habingreither said that he would get back on the point of how many years it would take to get a return on investments. He said that the allocations would be based on enrollment projections. Senator Sawey asked what would happen if the program did not grow as anticipated. Dr. Habingreither said that faculty could teach in other areas. Further addressing the issue of growth, Dr. Sriraman cited statistics in the state that indicated that there was a big demand for industrial engineering.

 

Chair Stone mentioned the formula funding and noted that the decrease in the amount per hour was a result of what the legislature did. Dr. Habingreither said that it was an economical engineering program with treat potential to increase student enrollment.

 

Senator Gillis asked how the trend to move industrial plants outside the country was related to the proposed program. Dr. Blanda said that it worked both ways and that there were some high technology facilities being established here also. He mentioned the new Toyota plant that was coming up in San Antonio. Dr. Sriraman said that there was a shortage of engineering professionals in 1996 due to want of engineering professionals. From the mid-80s to mid-90s, the total engineering degree output did not meet the need and that's why it was going to Asia. Dr. Habingreither said that the coordinating board wanted to double the engineering degrees in Texas. He said that St. Mary's University had 2 labs but here we had 19 labs many of which could support industrial engineering. Only 2 new labs were needed.

 

Senator Peeler asked about space. He asked for how long the existing space would be adequate-five years? Dr. Habingreither said that they were good for at least two more programs. For example, IE was very similar to manufacturing engineering and there would be shared space. Dr. Blanda said that the coordinating board had toured the Mitte Complex.

 

Returning to the issue of enrollment, Senator Sawey asked what would happen if the enrollment did not go up as projected. Dean Israel said that the criteria for undergraduate programs were different. If the enrollments did not go up, the labs would have been established but there would be no commitment to new faculty and one could do away with the program. Sometimes programs did not have resources and sometimes as in the case of photography, programs could be transferred to another college.

 

Senator Hawkins mentioned that 3 million dollars would be spent in 5 years. In what way would this impact existing programs? Dean Israel said that we should ask the President. Dr. Gratz said, to echo the President, the money would come from the new allocations made for new faculty pools and strategic initiatives. This money had nothing to do with specific programs. There was no separate new programs pool. He mentioned that 40 new faculty positions would be created to maintain a faculty student ratio that existed earlier. Dean Israel said that as new programs grew we would have to maintain that number as new programs require new faculty lines.

 

Senator Peeler asked whether the SPI money would be allowed for other programs if the IE proposal was not approved. Dr. Gratz replied, 'yes.'

 

Senator Shah asked when the Electrical Engineering program would be proposed. Dean Israel said that this was not an appropriate question.

 

A motion to approve the engineering program passed.

 

 

 

Academic computing committee

Discussion regarding committee members was deferred until Friday.

 

Library Update

Senator Brenan gave an update on the library proposal. About 80% were willing to accept the proposal with the idea that this is not the last word and that there are some questions not explained in the proposal. They felt that they were 'Classified but Disaggregated'-perhaps a subcommittee could be formed to look into the issues. Margaret Vaverek  said that it was a good start. They were willing to accept the proposal with a limited number of reservations. Senator Stone that this is the beginning of an ongoing process. Some of the reservations were regarding the status issue. Perhaps inclusion in university committees may help. Senator Brenan explained that their anxiety was that this should not be the end of it. It was decided to vote on this next week.

 

 

PAAG follow-up

There was a discussion about the draft report. Senator Hawkins-include info on 33% increases received by some administrators. There was also a discussion about the honor code and suggestions were made regarding the document.

 

About the post tenure document, changes were suggested to indicate that this was a high priority document. Senator Stone said that we need to keep the document moving. It could be amend and sent to the president.

 

New Business

Regent's rule change:

Senator Hazelwood said that at Tx A&M the Senate was involved in the changes made to the Regent's rule regarding tenure six months before it was changed. This, however, had not been done in our university. He said how the rules are applied is the thing to be really careful about.

 

 

Senator Rao asked about the memo that VPAA's office had said they would give regarding the number of commencements/events faculty had to attend each year. Senator Stone said that the VPAA's office would get back on issue. There were plans to organize additional commencements due to fire codes.

 

The Senate approved the minutes of the previous meeting.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 6:10p.m.

 

Approved minutes submitted by Sandy Rao, November 19, 2003.