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March 31, 2005 Minutes

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Fleming, Gillis, Hazlewood,  Homeyer, James, McKinney, Montondon,  Rao, Sawey, Shah, Sorensen.

 

Guests: Dr. Tim England, Mass Communication, Clayton Medford, University

Star Reporter.

 

Meeting was called to order at 4:05.

 

Announcements:

It was mentioned that Senator Rebecca Bell-Metereau had resigned from the Senate as she wanted to apply for developmental leave. Liberal arts did not have adequate representation on the Senate, which will be important in reviewing Developmental Leave applications. It was suggested that a representative be appointed temporarily, preferably someone who had prior experience serving on the Senate. Ted Hindson, Audwin Anderson and Chris Frost were suggested.

 

Chair Stone requested a volunteer for mace-bearer at the Saturday 2 p.m. commencement for the School of Business and College of Science. Shah suggested Roy Martin, CIS.

 

Chair Stone distributed information on the tabulation of faculty and senators across campus. There are 1209 faculty and there  are currently 16 senators. He said that six positions would be vacated by the end of this semester. He said that he would get ballots ready for the elections by the 2nd week in April. Senator Gillis asked what the procedure would be when she goes on modified retirement this fall. Stone said that a person would be appointed as a replacement for the rest of her term.

 

 

Central Texas Medical Center:

Chair Stone discussed the disagreement between Central Texas Medical Center and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas that has resulted in the hospital terminating BCBS services. This disagreement goes back several years. They are still in the process of negotiating and the old contract is still operational. The physicians are not happy. BCBS is negotiating for lower costs for customers. Chair Stone suggested that if things got bad, we could write a letter to BCBS.

 

Workload Policy Changes:

Chair Stone mentioned that the changes to the workload policy pps 705,attachment 1, section 5 had been approved by the Council of Deans on March 29. Deans needed to make it clear to the chairs that a copy of each faculty's workload had to be given individually and the personnel committee had to have a copy. Stone mentioned that he was astounded at the speed with which it occurred. Senator James asked if workload reports are available electronically.

 

Academic Computing Committee Report:

Tim England, Chair, ACC, reported that $500,000 was available to be distributed this year. There were 41 proposals and 24 could be funded. There was less than $10,000 left over. This money could not be used as the next in rank was a proposal that required considerably more than $10,000. The ACC decided not to recommend partial funding. If more money becomes available, the project ranked next in line would get the funding. If not, the left over money will revert to other IT costs. England explained that in the past, the committee had recommended more money than they had and the IT authorities had provided the extra funding. Senator Conroy asked what happened to the remaining money obtained from student computer service fees. England explained that this was spent on open labs, software, etc. The Senate will vote on the ACC recommendations at next week’s meeting.

 

An issue that was discussed was the fact that the committee received a letter dated January 31 from the Provost and VPIT. Van Wyatt explaining that no new labs would be funded and that the money had to be used to maintain the existing computer facilities. This was not known to the departments or to the committee at the time that the applications were made. It was decided that action should be taken to ensure that in future cycles applicants would know the criteria before writing proposals.

 

Other items:

Chair Stone said that the Provost would like to discuss pps 2.05 and 2.22 at

the next PAAG meeting.

 

Chair Stone also mentioned that the standing rules subcommittee will have Margaret Vaverek and himself as members. Senator Conroy volunteered to join the committee.

 

CAD/Senate Agenda Items

Senator Shah expressed concern over the issue of the withdraw dates in the academic calendar. He said that the first withdraw date was too early and the second one was too late. It was thought that the senate should come up with a policy before this was taken to CAD. Conroy suggested that a subcommittee be set up. Senator Shah said that he would write up a proposal and suggest changes.

 

Senator Montondon mentioned the issue of nepotism. She said that there are some chairs whose spouses serve as faculty in the same department. This causes problems when the spouse comes up for promotion, merit raise, etc. It was mentioned that this was legally acceptable, but not ethical, and leads to conflicts of interest. Senator James suggested that the tenure and promotion document could perhaps include a statement about this.

 

Regarding equity, Senator Shah said that this time the median would be considered instead of the mean, the highest salary would be taken out before calculating the average. There would be no drastic changes from last year. The Deans would hold on to 10 percent of the money. The money would be designated by ranks but personnel committees may move funds between ranks. People hired in the last two years will not be eligible.

 

Senator Conroy mentioned the value of the University Council as a possible topic for discussion.

 

Senator Hazelwood suggested workload issues.

 

PAAG Agenda Items

 

Travel money to the tune of $500 per faculty member would be available again this year.   Senators discussed the use of this money that was different in different departments. It was felt that this money needed to be better distributed and used for travel purposes. Senator Shaw suggested that this money be made permanent.

 

Other items suggested were SAP and administrative assistance and M & O.

 

New Business

Senator Brennan said that the AVEM (enrollment management) search committee was in the process of interviewing candidates.

 

Meeting adjourned at 5:50p.m.

 

Minutes submitted by Sandy Rao, April 8, 2005.