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Aug 31, 2005 Minutes

Approved Faculty Senate Minutes 08/31/05

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Davidson, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, James, McCall, McKinney, Montodon, Rao, Shah, Sorensen, Warms, Winek

Guests:

John Davis, Psychology, Leigh Kilman, Library,  Selene Hinojosa, Library, Jordan Anderson, ASB Pres, Clayton Medford, Univ Star, Jude Prather, student, George Restivo, student

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

 

Announcements:

  1. Student Final Drop Date:  Although a decision to alter the final class withdrawal date seemed like a done deal in CAD, the Provost has now referred the issue to a committee.
  2. Document Retention:  In answer to the question as to how long student records must be maintained by faculty, Joan Heath, Asst VP, Univ Libr, will head up a committee to investigate.
  3. Nepotism Issue:  This was an issue that was on the PAAG agenda due to some recent hires and appointments.  The senate had sent concerns to the President.  Pres Trauth addressed the issue (4/6/05) and indicated that it was a complicated issue but her interpretation allowed for "creative hiring." She felt that fair consideration for all parties involved could be worked out by the appropriate personnel committees.  The latest information indicates that the Provost has decided that personnel decisions in these cases would go to the next level of supervision.  The senate again sent concerns, but there has been no response from the administration. The issue will return to the senate agenda next week.
  4. Curriculum Committee:  Tina Cade, Agriculture, has agreed to fill the vacancy for the College of Applied Arts on the Curriculum Committee.
  5. Presidential Commencement Committee:  At the President's request for the senate to name an appointee, the senate recommended Linda Homeyer, EAPS, and she has accepted the appointment.
  6. Current Commencements:  It was noted that recent commencements have been short and relatively painless.  The administration seems to have made a genuine attempt professionalize and streamline the commencement process.
  7. Student Enrollment:  Current undergraduate enrollment stands at 27,228 with much of the increase due to increased freshman enrollment.  It is rumored that graduate enrollment is down. 

Texas State Alliance: Gilda Garcia, Director of Equity and Access, announced that the Texas State Alliance, a sexual orientation action group, is seeking recognition on our campus.  The group is drafting a letter to the President seeking membership on the Equity and Access Committee.  In light of the senate's past support for including sexual orientation in the University's anti-discrimination policy, the senate will consider endorsement of their request at the next senate meeting. 

Research Enhancement Proposal Guidelines:

Mike Blanda, Chair of the University Research Committee and OSP Faculty Associate, discussed the guidelines for the coming Research Enhancement Proposal (REP) cycle. Last year, the funding was increased from $290,000 to $350,000.  In the past, resources have been sufficient to fund approximately 40% of the REP requests.  An analysis of the FY04 REP cycle on how those dollars were expended indicated that recipients had leveraged $350,000 in external funding from their grants at the 40% indirect rate and had generated 28 publications and 48 presentations. Dr. Blanda requested an increase in funding to $500,000 from Provost Moore, but the Provost said no.  The Provost did indicate that he would increase the funding by $35,000 if the guidelines for REP would include a stipulation to seek external funding in order to be considered for subsequent REP funding.  There was considerable discussion about what activities would meet the

Provost's commitment.  It was indicated that the activity would need to be documented through the Office of Sponsored Projects.  Concern from senators focused on a couple of issues:  1) could every worthwhile proposal be expected to generate external funds? And 2) what happens if proposals start to be scored as worthy based only on their potential for generating external funds.  The sense of the senate was that there are many potential problems with changing the REP guidelines as the Provost has suggested.  The decision of the senate was not to accept the Provost's offer this year due to the seemingly off-the-cuff manner in which the money would be made available, and instead to study the issue further. 

The senate also discussed the suggestion of proportional allocation funding to colleges based on the amount of REP funding requested by faculty in those colleges.  REP proposals are reviewed at the college level and then the scores have been normed at the university level trying a number of statistical processes to try to get a fair system for the entire university.  As a result, due to the variable nature of the scoring between colleges, it would seem that some proposals are being funded that probably should not be funded.  For example, some colleges, with the norming process, have had 90% of their proposals funded while some other colleges have had less than 40% funded.  It was decided that in this year's REP cycle, funds will be allocated to colleges based on the percentage of funds requested by the college. 

Status of Librarian Curators:

The senate discussed the issue of whether librarian curators are eligible to serve on university committees.  The senate was convinced that librarian curators are considered equivalent to librarians and, as such, should have the same committee assignment consideration as librarians. 

Committee on Committee's Recommendations:

Caroline McCall presented the Committee on Committee's recommendations for staffing faculty committees.  The recommendations were approved with minor changes and Dr. McCall will begin notifying faculty of their committee appointments.

Administrative Computing Committee:

It was announced that the Administrative Computing Committee is reforming.  Vivek Shah will act as the senate's representative on that committee. 

Senate Constitutional Amendment:

There are almost enough votes tallied to make the ballot regarding amendments to the Constitution of the Faculty official.  Final results will be announced next week.

Administrators  and Chairs Evaluations:

There was continued discussion the Administrators/Chairs evaluation by the faculty.  A good faith effort will be made to indicate the number of responses versus the number eligible to evaluate each candidate.  Next week, the senate will consider whether or not to publish the written comments on the web.

Faculty Newsletter:

There was some discussion about what specific issues to consider in the next Faculty Newsletter.  It was decided that the next issue be specifically targeted toward REP issues.

Faculty Handbook:

Where is it?  After the summer presentation, it was assumed it would soon come to the senate.  The chair will investigate.

Minutes:

Minutes for 7/13/05 and 8/24/05 were approved.