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Sepr 29, 2004 Minutes

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

Faculty Senate staff, Ms. Inglet

NOTE:  The secretary never received back the sign-up sheet distributed, which included names of other attendees.  I have included those names of speakers in the minutes that I was able to ascertain. 

Guest:  University Star reporter, Chris Robinson

 

4:00 Chair Stone called to order the combined Senate and Liaison meeting.

 

I. Role of the Chair

The provost is not in favor of having two different lengths of office for outside and inside candidates.

 

Senator Hindson asked if they would ever have chairs elected by the faculty.

The committee came down on the side of the chair as administrator rather than representative of the faculty.

 

The provost may give his word on this at the next meeting.  Dr. Studer is now a special assistant to the president.  The registrar is removed, and Dr. Smallwood is reallocated.  Chair Stone said he did not believe these would be long-term posts.

 

The provost said the chair’s salary should go back down after that person becomes a regular faculty member.  Student affairs may be assigned to other areas.  An outside specialist will specifically deal with enrollment management.  We should ask for clarification of this at PAAG.

 

Senator Sawey said we could ask for a website update on all of these changes.

The senate wishes to emphasize the importance of meaningful evaluations that result in some action.  Senator Brennan asked about chairs who have been in place for a long time, and the chair said they would be among the first to go up for review. 

 

There are possibilities of chairs having contracts of less than 12 months.

 

Dr. Forrest asked if the senate had a position on this, and Chair Stone said we had never taken any vote on it, aside from endorsing the committee report.

 

Dr. Taylor asked about faculty input in the evaluation of chairs, and Chair Stone said that this might eventually be formalized, as it once was in the past.

 

Senator Conroy asked about the scholarship requirements of chairs, but Chair Stone said this was not discussed.

 

II. Constitution

The standing rules are out-dated.  For example, we have no policy on representation for programs, as opposed to departments.  These areas are not easy to change.  The committee has met and changed outdated names, revised for gender-neutral language, etc.  They have discussed the first three articles so far. We need to streamline the election process.  Senator Sawey has created a secure electronic voting process, which he will run a test on in the future. We will be able to confirm that people got their ballots, but their vote will be anonymous.

 

Chair Stone asked how the liaisons feel about this, pointing out that electronic balloting would relieve liaisons of the duty of handling the ballots.  This would free them for more meaningful work. 

 

Dr. Forrest asked how we determine who is eligible to vote, and Chair Stone said we already maintain such a list.  We have been dependent on liaisons to check these lists.  Senator Conroy said there was a range of opinion on defining eligible voters.

 

Under our current rules, part-time people are not eligible.

 

Dr. Taylor said the liaisons used to be on the governance committee in the School of Business, and now they are no longer on that committee.  Chair Stone said that few colleges even have such a committee. 

 

Senator Shah is chair of that committee and he said the committee was too large and unwieldy.  Chair Stone said that the liaisons are important in suggesting who would be good people to appoint for various committees. 

 

Dr. Taylor said that the role needs to be redefined, and Senator Conroy said that was the purpose of the committee and this current meeting.

 

Chair Stone asked how liaisons would feel about requiring a once a month meeting. 

 

One liaison mention that new faculty are required to participate in the monthly Teaching Excellence Workshops, and there was some question about whether this was the case.

 

Dr. Forrest said that in smaller departments, this would require a lot of commitment.

 

A health professions liaison said that this was her first meeting. 

 

Senator Hazlewood said that tenure and promotion was looking at the place of schools and programs in such items as post tenure review.

 

A physical therapy liaison said that she could communicate issues to her faculty.

 

Most pressing issues seem to go on the PAAG agenda. 

 

Senator Conroy said that we could meet before PAAG in order to formulate the agenda.  Also, anyone can attend PAAG meetings.

 

Dr. Hindson asked how the administration seemed to feel about liaisons attending PAAG meetings, and the chair said the senate makes these decisions, and in recent history, anyone can attend and speak at PAAG.

 

It has to be a 40% return rate on faculty voting, with a two-thirds majority to institute a change.  The mail-out on expanding the representation was not done by representatives.  Some faculty said they did not receive ballots, but there was no clear pattern to the problem.  Dr. Frost said that in Psychology, some people put these into the ballot box instead of returning them through campus mail, and this was not discovered until later.

 

III. Post Tenure Review

The senate has been asking about this policy for some time.  We will now go over the document carefully.  It seems to be a reversal of the tenure process, more thorough and careful, and this pps 08.09 has been reviewed and will be on the website soon.  At U.T. nine tenured faculty in music have been pushed out through a post-tenure process.  This is a concern for the music faculty.

 

IV. Creation of new faculty ranks

The president is discussing the idea of a senior lecturer to provide recognition for people who are not tenure-track.  They might receive three-year contracts in order to provide some security.  These would be renewable.  Dr. Taylor asked about tenuring long-term instructors.  The committee on promotion and tenure is looking at it, but currently they are talking about dropping the instructor rank.  The music liaison suggested that instructors might be more protected by having a one-year contract.  University of Texas is moving to a three-tier system of lecturers.

 

The equity issue came up, with a complaint about the problem of looking at rank without considering the number of years in rank.  The market equity looked at the whole span in the average, and it would supposedly be up to the individual departments to look at the number of years in rank.  The senate was alarmed by the simplification of the material.  Dr. Taylor said that the personnel committee analyzes and recommends, but the chair never returns with information on what decisions were made. There are almost 90 errors in the data.  Most are in the last merit cycle. The senate will post the information once it is corrected. 

Dr. Davidson, from Music, mentioned how he attended the teaching seminar and he was amazed to discover the teaching loads for other schools.  It would be useful to share information on faculty load, committee assignments.  Musicians are required to provide their own instruments. Dr. Hindson said they were wondering about college curriculum committees and how they are appointed. 

Dr. Frost spoke about the faculty senate newsletter, saying it would send periodic reports, more focused that the minutes, more detailed than the meeting agendas.  Senator Hazlewood said these do produce some reaction, and the editor should have freedom to control the product. Dr. Audwin Anderson, sociology, had a concern with the creation of new faculty.

 

Jackie LAST NAME? from health administration was concerned about electronic balloting. Senator Hazlewood said that linking promotion to tenure got a vote of no-confidence at A & M. 

Senator Shah said this had to be linked, and he argued against early promotion.  These are currently not linked in music. Senator Warms said that the faculty has tenured people without promotion. 

 

V. Committee Member Replacements

Fine Arts Committee doesn’t use co-chairs.  They have scheduled the year and they don’t use the co-chair system. Ivanette Blanco will be appointed.  The chair is Michelle Ney.  This item will be RTA'd until the next meeting.

 

Meeting was adjourned at 6:00 pm.  Minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau 9/6/04.