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Sept 8, 2004 Minutes

Approved 9/8/04 PAAG and Faculty Senate Minutes

Attending: Chair Stone, Senators Sawey, Rao, Conroy, Gillis, Homeyer, James, Shah, Sorensen, Hoffman, Hazlewood Montondon, Bell-Metereau, Warms, Brennan, McKinney

Guests: Margaret Vavrek, Dana Garcia, Bob Northcutt, Patrick Cassidy, University Star reporter, Faculty Senate secretary Bonnie Inglet, Mary Hoffman

Chair Stone called the meeting to order at 4:00.

PAAG Meeting:

President Trauth asked if we were scheduled to meet with the provost, and Chair Stone said that we were not yet on his calendar.

Dr. Trauth explained that the post-tenure policy was on the provost's desk, but he was not yet ready to present that to the senate. The chair policy was his top priority, and since there are searches underway, it is most important to clarify that issue. The tenure and promotion policy is currently being put into operational language.

Tenure at the rank of instructor and lecturer:

A lecturer can be reappointed indefinitely, but instructors have a seven-year limit, since they have to be considered for tenure after that point. Dr. Trauth explained that these have to do with AAUP rules on how long a faculty member can serve as instructor without having tenure. She thinks it is appropriate to have a position that would be a long-term career without being in a tenure-track line, perhaps as senior lecturer, with 3- to 5-year contracts, to provide job stability. This needs to be fleshed out into a document as an addendum to the tenure and promotion policy.

Dr. Garcia asked if the university is considering having instructor as a position for assistant professors who have not gotten tenure. Dr. Trauth said that something similar has occurred in order to give people additional time to complete their research for tenure consideration. She may refer to this to the existing committee after consulting with Dr. Perry. The senate will table this discussion until they have further considered it. 

Senator Shah asked what the target date for completion is, and Dr. Trauth said it should be this year. Tenure and promotion will have to go through the regents.

Senator Conroy asked about the changes, but this document is not yet finished.

Senator Hazlewood said it is currently simply a list of about ten general items.  

UTSA Plans:

Dr. Trauth said she did not know the specifics of their plans, but that we have a clear blueprint for our plans and support for these programs. Texas needs several more tier one institutions, given the population, and Central Texas is underserved in the Austin-San Antonio corridor. Having UTSA competing may spur the university to accomplish more quickly the commitment to increasing salaries and new lines.

Senator Sawey asked about the enrollment projections, the programs we'll be offering, and high tech jobs. Enrollments in computer science and related fields are down about 40%. Dr. Trauth said that the table of programs at UTSA includes, for example, a Ph.D. in physics. Dr. Trauth said that our Ph.D. offered at night would meet the needs of people with jobs, but Senator Sawey said they might not have those jobs in the future.

We will use outside consultants in building these programs and doing needs analysis. 

Deans of Science and Education:

Dr. Ellis is the head of the search committee for education dean, and Dr. Chahin is the head of the search committee for the dean of science.

Dr. Perry will discuss the associate vice president for academic affairs.

Chair Stone and Senator James will be on that committee.

Senator Sawey asked about what the duties would be, because they seem vague, but this is not clear at the moment.

Increasing M & O:

Dr. Trauth said that travel was an important gap in funding, so they distributed one-time $500 per full-time faculty member to colleges and departments. This needs to be predictable, so faculty can make plans. This money will continue to be there as long as we continue to grow.

Senator Hazlewood asked about infrastructure and how we replace equipment for teaching and research, especially very expensive items. Dr. Trauth observed that there is a tension between hiring faculty and buying equipment, but Dr. Trauth said the priority would be hiring faculty. She gave an example of the decision to have students use credit cards for only a 1% charge. It may be better to raise that charge and use the savings for another use. She continues to study the budget to see where money can be reappropriated. We have grown by about 4% in SCH, which is good news. Most of the head-count growth was in San Marcos. Retention rates have gone up about a point, graduation rates about a point and a half. Grad school SCH is up about 2%.  

Senator Sorensen asked if the ACC approach to San Marcos High School would have an impact on us, and Dr. Trauth said it would. More students will go to community colleges because of tuition deregulation.

Senator Conroy asked about the cap on course fees, and Dr. Trauth said that we wanted the capacity to go into designated tuition, rather than fees. This is the most flexible kind of money we have, but we may look at course fees again.

Students want to increase the recreation center fee to increase the size of the recreation center.

Senator Sawey asked about the new programs that don't meet their targets, and Dr. Trauth said that the ability to get new lines is a competitive process.

Therefore, if a college has a net decrease in students, they will not be able to ask for more positions. Senator James asked if this would ever result in the loss of a faculty position. Dr. Trauth said that someone would need to leave, since we will not simply fire faculty, so this would occur when someone leaves or retires.

Faculty Senate Meeting:

Dr. Northcutt reported on the budget committee and the need to speed up the process of hiring. Construction was another issue; we have taken occupancy ahead of time, which changes liability issues, leaving the university financially responsible for fixing problems. Program assessment and advising processes need to have a cost-benefit analysis. Auditing reports should come to the senate. Ph.D. needs more program justification, since these all are currently losing money. Administration should review all of the reporting lines, twelve-month status of jobs, etc. Cutting them back to 10 and a half months would result in serious savings. Split appointments should also be reconsidered. The president will address formulas, and the budget needs to be more open and accessible. Currently, it is only after the filing that we can see what happened in the previous year. Reassignment of faculty leaving part-time or administrative appointments is always horizontal, never down.

Chairs will supposedly have a step-down salary. The golden parachute problem is perennial. The committee should look at administrative salaries.

Appointment for the Open Access Initiatives group:

Dr. David Wiley will be willing to serve. Other appointments are pending.

PAAG Follow-up memo:

Some points for the follow-up memo include the following:

Look at UTSA programs carefully as we make our plans.
Invite provost to visit with us.
M & O budget needs to be revisited.
Are we creating the extra travel money at the cost of instructional quality of part-timers? Emphasize that we have been working on post-tenure review policy for several years.
We look forward to progress on these issues.
 

Approval of Minutes and New Business tabled until the next meeting.

Meeting was adjourned at 6:00.
 

Minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau 9/13/04.