Approved Faculty Senate Minutes 02/01/06
Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Davidson, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, James, McKinney, Montondon, Rao, Shah, Sorenson, Warms, Winek
1. It was the understanding of the Faculty Senate that there would be an equity cycle conducted this year. We would be interested in knowing what the proposed methodology for this cycle is, and if there has been a timetable created?
2. The College of Science has apparently developed a policy of giving new faculty 50% summer salary as a research release. While the Senate is supportive of this funding to encourage scholarship, we would like to know if the university intends to extend this policy to other colleges?
3. The Senate has had long standing concerns with the lack of adequate grading time between the last finals and the point at which grades are due. Faculty who have late finals are very reluctant to use essay format tests or other forms of exams that require extensive time to grade. For example, this semester the last final ends at 5:30 pm on the 9th and the grades are due on the 11th at 9:00 am. We recognize that there are many constituencies involved in the calendaring process, but it would seem that academic quality should be the principal driving force of all actions in the university. Is there a way to increase the time between the last final and the time at which grades are due?
4. The Senate continues to receive reports from faculty who believe they are being sentenced to Round Rock as a punitive action by their chair. We recognize that it is not the policy or intent of our university to punish faculty by repeatedly scheduling them to teach in Round Rock. As a rule, the Senate is a body that focuses on policy issues and the issue that has been raised is not the policy itself, but fairness of its application. The obvious answer to these complaints would be to advise the faculty members to file a formal grievance. However, we are reluctant to give this advice without first discussing this issue openly with you. The larger issue of how the faculty perceive Round Rock campus assignments is one that deserves more discussion.
1. Equity Cycle: President Trauth announced that there is again $750,000 for equity adjustments. Since the adjustments are to provide market equity, recent hires will be excluded. New this year, equity salary review and merit/performance will be done at the same time. It is assumed there will be approximately 3% available for merit/performance, but, at this time, no decision has been made regarding the merit/performance split. While equity adjustments will again be based on the CUPA median, there are two changes that will be different from the last cycle:
1) some money will be set aside for senior lecturers. A definition should be official soon, but basically the title goes to those lecturers who have been here for at least three years and have the general expectation of being reappointed. The actual designation will be left to individual departments and will offer the security of a multiyear appointment (probably 3 years). The reason for setting aside money for the senior lecturer rank is to suggest that the money go to those positions. In past cycles, lecturer equity dollars has been used by departments in variety of ways. Some did not involve lecturers at all.
2) A directive will be given to departments that equity adjustments should not be given to faculty members whose salaries reflect a lack of merit/performance in years past. The money is designated to provide market equity, but not to indiscriminately raise salaries.
2. Research Support for New Faculty: Provost Moore indicated that a policy to give all new faculty summer research support would have significant budget implications. In the past, such support and summer funds generally were monies that would just magically appear to fund the University’s summer sessions. He is indicated that he is trying to move toward more rational fiscal process and one way to handle the summer research dollars would be to make that part of new faculty members’ negotiated startup package. Currently contracts for new faculty have language indicating an expectation that startup money should be recovered by external grants. These monies will probably not be made available to all disciplines; some are just more competitive than others. When asked if a faculty member’s accomplishments (research papers, presentations, etc.) would be sufficient, the Provost indicated no, that external grants were needed.
3. Final Exam Schedule: President Trauth and Provost Moore both agreed that adjustments to the final exam schedule are a workable issue and they will look into it.
4. Round Rock Teaching: President Trauth indicated that she was really serious about faculty members who teach at the Round Rock campus being happy about teaching there. Problems, specifically ones where someone feels that an assignment is a form of punishment, are very disturbing. The President asked that specifics be shared with the Provost so that such problems can be handled on a case-by-case basis. The Senate agreed. Hopefully, these issues can be resolved without having to involve the grievance process.
5. Other Issues and Announcements: The President added several items:
1) The McCoy building is progressing nicely. Although there is a slight delay from the spring break finish, it should be ready by the end of May.
2) Finalization of the title of senior lecturer will probably be accomplished in the next few weeks. The appointments would offer a 3-year contract. All other lecturer appointments would be part time appointments.
3) Tuition Revenue Bonds (TRB) though a special session of the legislature are probably unlikely at this time. The President is looking at possible alternatives to get funding for the proposed Undergraduate Building.
4) Enrollment for next year was mentioned. It is hoped that there will be an approximate 2% increase in the undergraduate enrollment. Graduate enrollment has been declining and presents the most significant enrollment problem.
5) There was some discussion of the memorandum to chairs regarding development a policy for faculty members without a terminal degree in their discipline. The President indicated having such a policy in place would help with accreditation issues, specifically where there might be substitutions for discipline specific workplace experience. Having a definite policy would avoid confusion.
PAAG Follow up: In the follow up discussion of the PAAG meeting:
1) There was some discussion of the fact that faculty members are on a 9-month contract with no guarantee of summer employment. The apparent expectation by some administrators that faculty should spend their summers doing research, with support or not, was also mentioned.
2) There was some discussion about how equity decisions are made. The Chair was asked to explore how the Senate might get representation in that group.
3) It was decided to request a copy of the CUPA data.
4) The Chair was also asked to seek clarification on the definition of longevity since the expression is used over and over in equity discussions.
5) Regarding the statement that equity adjustments should not be given to faculty whose salaries reflect a lack of performance and years without merit raises, it mentioned that the Senate should be vigilant that such decisions are made by the faculty at the departmental level and not by the administration.
Univ Curr Comm: The recommendation for the approval of several course additions, and the creation of a Public History Studies graduate certificate and an Honor Studies minor by the University Curriculum Committee was presented and discussed. Approval of the recommendation will be considered at the next meeting.
Marketing Plan Discussion: As a reaction to the presentation by AVPEM Heintze, a follow up statement was discussed. It was finally agreed by a split vote to forward the following statement to AVPEM Heintze with a copy to the Provost:
“Faculty Senate Response to, “Integrated Marketing Plan, 2006—2010” (Majority Report)
Presented to the Senate as a final draft by AVPEM Michael Heintze, January 18
It was unclear from the outset whether the purpose of Dr. Heintze’s presentation of his Integrated Marketing Plan (IMP) to the Senate was strictly to inform the Senate of a plan that was a fait accompli, or whether the intention was to gather input and reaction from the faculty through its elected representatives. When asked this question directly, Dr. Heintze was unable or unwilling to clarify what, if any, action was being asked of the Senate. In the spirit of cooperation and believing that the administration is truly open to the views of the Senate, we offer this response.
In sharp contrast to the inclusive process employed to present the campus Master Plan to the university and municipal communities, and to the recent comprehensive strategic planning process that enlisted all constituencies across the university in forging a vision for the future of Texas State, the formulation of an IMP, as represented by this draft document, is woefully lacking in broad based input and devoid of foundational research. If, as the document states in its opening paragraph, the university’s image may be its most important asset, it surely deserves the thorough vetting afforded other initiatives of this significance before it is declared finalized or is put in place (although elements of the plan have already been implemented).
An ongoing Senate concern is the lack of engagement of faculty expertise in the affairs of the university. As stated in the Senate constitution, “The interests of the entire academic enterprise are best served when the Faculty’s expertise and skills are brought to bear in cooperative participation in the governance of the University.” We hold that this principle is not limited to governance, but extends to all the university’s endeavors. There are, of course, university departments and academic programs teaching aspects of marketing with expertise to contribute to this plan:
-Department of Marketing
-Public Relations and Advertising, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
-Communication Design, Department of Art and Design.
According to Dr. Heintze, the faculty was represented on the Positioning Committee, chaired by AVPIE Fleuriet, and he utilized the committee’s report in writing the IMP draft. This tangential avenue for input does not sufficiently capture the faculty expertise and input that could greatly enhance this effort. The Senate recommends that faculty from the above programs be enlisted to review the IMP as soon as possible. Several faculty have indicated an interest in working on this project. In the service of fortifying the culture of research across the university, we recommend that a marketing research program be created to test the assumptions stated in the IMP.
“Internally, a unified image will build employee commitment and inspire dedication to the university’s goals and values.” If goal is to be achieved, it is essential that the image be perceived as focused, accurate and meaningful. Trust creation is a fundamental goal of branding and building that trust internally begins with an open, transparent process rather than a plan that is implemented by administrative decree without widespread endorsement.
A limited circulation of the plan to faculty has elicited the following comments (paraphrased).
-I don’t see this as a plan, but as generalized advice. This “plan” simply describes the general function of a marketing department at a university.
-What research was conducted to form the opinions stated in this plan? Marketing lives and dies by research.
-Grammatical corrections to paragraph 3, first sentence: “While decentralized marketing activities may have appeal in the traditional university culture, they also create incongruent messages, waste resources, and cause confusion.”
-It is disappointing to see the term “Situational Analysis” used in place of the correct term, “Situation Analysis.” This is a mistake my students would make.
-Another basic mistake is the use of “Target Audiences” instead of “Target Markets.” One audience sees an ad, but it may be comprised of many markets. The audience is everyone who sees the ad.
-The star image reinforces the party school image (see Lone Star Beer logo), instead of dispelling this perception.
-Replace “audiences” with “markets” in the first sentence of the Target Geography and Vivid Descriptors sections (see second item under Page 3 above).
-The proposed messaging theme is unsupported by research. Neither it, nor alternatives, were tested.
-The Vivid Descriptors are not communicated by the messaging theme.
-The messaging theme fails to capture any aspect of Texas State’s history, traditions, uniqueness or academic excellence.
-The chiseled star logo and rising star tag line are cliché, unoriginal and overused. As an image, the star does not create focus for Texas State, but is so broadly used by state businesses, agencies, institutions and organizations as to be seen as generic.
-The five-point chiseled star represents Texas, but communicates nothing unique to Texas State.
-The rising star tag line is inappropriate for a 100+ year institution. If the star is just now rising, what has happened here over the last 100 years?
-The list of phrases supporting the Rising Star of Texas on page 5 amounts to one cliché supported by other clichés.
-“Goals can be both strategic and tactical.” Actually, a strategy is developed as to how the goals would be best met, and tactics are the individual steps taken to reach the goal, but these tactics must follow a strategy!
-Marketing Goals: A true goal is measurable; there is not enough definition to these goals to be able to accurately measure them to see if they were met or not, since no percentage in change is suggested.
-Add to Goal 2: Create a template for internal departmental websites that also allows for some customization.
-What is the reasoning behind the choice of media listed for Action Plan Goal 3? Is there research to support these choices? Determination should be made based on importance of specific markets to be reached; then the appropriate media should be selected accordingly.
-The proposed external communications channels listed under goal 3 are utterly out of touch with the way that students use and consume media.
-Are admissions counselors making regular trips to regional high schools in Houston and Dallas?
- I would suggest a strong internship program because we have extremely talented Comm. Des., Public Relations and Advertising students who need financial assistance and have difficulty finding internships in these areas in San Marcos – many have to travel to San Antonio or to Austin and compete with UT students for limited opportunities.
-The proposed budget will not allow for media buys of any consequence in the venues listed in Action Plan Goal 3 (TV, radio, newspapers, billboards).”
1) Senator Conroy and Chair Stone will attend the Texas Council of Faculty Senates meeting Feb 17-18.
2) Most REP accounts have been set up, so the process is progressing.
3) The Chair circulated a list indicating the upcoming evaluation cycle for departmental chairs.
4) Next week, the Senate will discuss the faculty survey on the performance for Dean/Provost/President. Currently, chairs are excluded pending the new evaluation process developed by the Provost.
5) Should there be a university policy for summer teaching appointments? Senators are asked to consider the question.
6) A question was raised regarding the participation of an associate professor chair in promotion to professor decisions of other associate professors when that person was also being considered for promotion to professor. There seems to be no clear policy on this. Should there be? Senators are asked to consider the question.
Minutes: Minutes for 1/25/06 were approved.