Present: Chair Stone, Senators Rao, Conroy, Montondon, Hazlewood, Gillis, Homeyer, Fleming, James, Sorensen, Bell-Metereau, Brennan, McKinney
Guests: University Star reporter, Cathy Fleuriet, Ev Swinney, Margaret Vavarek, Bill Peeler Meeting was called to order at 4:02.
I. University Positioning
Dr. Cathy Fleuriet reported on the Univeristy Positioning/Marketing Study.
This included discussion of tuition and student perceptions, which are being studied by the Art and Science Group.
Senator Montondon asked if the survey asked any questions of parents, and Dr. Fleuriet said that parents did not have that much influence, according to their data.
Dr. Fleuriet said that the report is designed to open up a discussion of the information, and that the focus is on perception rather than on what the university is trying to do or perceives itself to do.
Senator Sawey asked about the party school image that is prevalent among students who choose to attend Texas State.
The group that conducted the study said that diversity was an important aspect of the university, from student perspectives.
Beth Wuest, Presidential Fellow, is going to chair a group that will allow everyone in the university to send in information to be framed in the “Opportunities for Success” model.
Senator Bell-Metereau asked if there will be such strategies as exit interviews for students, to see if the university is delivering on its promise for programs perceived to be successful.
Dr. Fleuriet said that the Opportunites for Success will tie together the strategies and a feedback loop. Dr. Moore will attend the council of Chairs on March 8. By March 25th, everyone should have heard about this in their departments. Process, product, and promotion will be considered in the next cycle of talks.
Chair Stone said that some departments are not likely to see this until September, because of the hierarchical nature of the communication process.
Dr. Fleuriet said that the strategic plan was open to everyone, as this process should be. Chairs will meet with interested faculty between today and the 25th of March.
Senator Homeyer said that the timeline for feedback was unrealistic, considering that spring break and Good Friday will occur during this time.
Dr. Fleuriet said that the handouts were designed to be a guide for people to look at to focus the discussion. Do we want a process that involves faculty in the identity issue, in order to give an opportunity for faculty feedback? If the timeline doesn’t work, we will adjust.
Senator Hazlewood said that the faculty might be interested if they are asked how they can change false perceptions and deliver on and positive perceptions.
Package deals can be reported and reimbursed, but it takes paperwork to accomplish this.
III. Proposed Constitutional Changes:
Bill Peeler reported on proposed constitutional changes. Two areas will
change: definition of voting faculty and the election process. Dropping the 9-month residency requirement was recommended in order to enfranchise new faculty immediately. The number of new people who would be included with the 50% requirement would be 53 people. Removing the per-course people would disenfranchise about 150 people.
Senator Homeyer asked how many full-time faculty we have, and Chair Stone said it was about 830 full-time faculty.
Pps 7.14 reads that per course faculty are not required to perform other faculty assignments).
Election process has been to list every faculty member, but the new process would have an opt-out process and it would ask people listed to commit to serving, if elected. This would entail going to electronic balloting, which would speed up the process. In the past, we’ve lost many days shuffling paper. People who do not use electronic communication will not be part of the process. An election committee would prepare and process ballots. Joe Myer in institutional research would be the most qualified to design the mechanics and develop the software, questionnaires for opt-out, and certify the voters, with senate oversight. This would all need to be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the faculty, with two-fifths of the faculty voting.
What is the rationale for not changing the size of the senate? Fifteen is the best number for the most equitable distribution across schools and departments. A large senate, such as the one at UT, which only meets once a month and is very poorly attended, often ends up being run by a very small executive committee of four or five people.
Senator Fleming asked if the constitution needed to distinguish between five business or five calendar days, and it was suggested that this should be five business days.
Chair Stone said that we are preparing the perception of administrator surveys, and we could send this out in the same mailing. This would be less expensive.
Dr Swinney suggested that the new faculty newsletter would be a good venue for increasing awareness and participation in voting on the issue.
The committee could synopsize the major changes and have faculty vote on the revisions as a single amendment, rather than in parts. We will vote next week on this item.
IV. New Business:
The newsletter is out.
A meeting about evening buses and parking for students is set up for next week.
Research enhancement scheduling may increase participation.
V. Approval of Minutes:
Approval of 2/9/05 and 2/16/05 was postponed until next meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 5:52.
Minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau.