Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Gillis, Hazlewood, Hindson, James, McKinney, Rao, Shah, Sorensen, Warms
Guests: Vedaraman Sriraman, Engr & Tech, Steven Beebe, Comm. Studies, Margaret Vavaerek, Library, Selene Hinojosa, Library, Beth Erhart, Anthro, Micky Henry, Provost’s Office, Jon McGee, Anthro
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
Curriculum Committee Recommendations:
The Senate considered the following recommendations from the University Curriculum Committee:
The rules were suspended and the recommendations were approved.
Curriculum Committee Appointments:
The Senate made the following appointments to the Curriculum Committee:
Again, the rules were suspended and the appointments approved.
Senate Survey Data to be Used in Reappointment of Chairs:
Dean Cheatham has requested early release of the Faculty Senate data on the evaluation of chairs so that he might use the results in the reappointment process of chairs in his college. Normally, the data would not be released until the fall semester, but the sense of the Senate was that if the data could support the reappointment process, then it should be made available.
Librarian/Curator Enhanced Status:
A group from the Library is requesting that curators be afforded the same enhanced status as librarians with regard to membership on faculty committees. The argument forwarded is that librarians and curators have equivalent degree requirements for appointment and the same career ladder for advancement. Although librarians are not considered faculty at Tex State, they are given the enhanced status of being able to serve on faculty committees. Their request is curators be given the same enhanced status. Some questions were raised regarding the teaching component of a curator’s appointment. The discussion expanded the issue of the possible inclusion of art curators and lab instructors and whether such enhanced status was appropriate. The issue will be considered at a later date.
Round Rock Higher Education Center (RRHEC) Requests Representation on Faculty Committees:
The Senate considered a memorandum from Provost Moore to various administrators: V. Wyatt, N. Nusbaum, J. Smith, J. Studer, C. Fleuriet, requesting that staff members from
RRHEC be placed on the Academic Computing Committee, the Library Committee and several other university committees. V. Wyatt pointed out that the Academic Computing Committee was a Senate committee and any appointment to Senate committees should go through the Senate. A Senator remarked that the phrase, “two campuses – one faculty,” was used to refer to RRHEC in the past, but it is not clear how many faculty appointments are designated solely to the RRHEC: Tex State faculty are automatically considered for committee appointments. The Senate discussion concluded that consideration of the role of each faculty committee should be re-examined and a determination made as to whether RRHEC needed representation. The Director of RRHEC, Edna Rehbein, will be invited to the Senate for clarification.
Nepotism and Related Employment:
The Senate considered the new UPPS 04.04.07 Nepotism and Related Employment which includes changes in Regents’ Rules to allow the president of the university to approve the employment of any person related within the second degree of affinity or the third degree of consanguinity to another employee even if such employment causes one relative to have a direct supervisory relationship over the other relative or such employment causes one relative to have authority over the salary or other terms of employment of the other. Previously, such employment was not allowed by Regents’ Rules. In the subsequent discussion the Senate agreed with most of the revision although apprehension about possible violation of nepotism laws was expressed. Debate centered on the particular phrase on page 2 of the revision:
all subsequent actions with regard to appointment, reappointment, promotion, or salary shall be the responsibility of the next highest administrative supervisor.
This particular clause, if a chair was employed with a spousal faculty member in the same department, the dean to become a voting member of the college review group. Also, problems could arise for a personnel committee to discuss reappointment, promotion and merit/performance issues for a chair’s spouse. The Senate will express its concern regarding the UPPS and will monitor the issue.
Governance and the Right to Grieve:
The Senate discussed a grievance filed last year by two faculty members in the College of Health Professions that was featured in the May 5, 2005, vol. 1 issue 1 article of the Texas Faculty Association. At issue are not the particular merits of the case, but how it was handled by the then Tex State hearing officer, John Bible, who ruled that grievants must have legal bases for their complaints, i.e., a violation of law or policy. On that basis, their grievance was denied and the denial was endorsed by President Trauth. Subsequently, the Texas Faculty Association has filed a Texas Public Information Act request on behalf of the faculty members to examine the documentation surrounding this change in grievance procedures at Tex State. Article 1. Of PPS 8.08 states:
Section 4.42 of Chapter V of the Regents' Rules permits a faculty member to present a grievance, in person, to the President or his designee, on an issue related to wages, hours of employment, conditions of work, promotion denial, or the non-renewal or termination of employment.
At question is whether Bible’s interpretation was appropriate. The current hearing officer, David Spencer, Criminal Justice, will be invited to discuss the issue with the Senate.