Approved Faculty Senate Minutes 10/05/05
Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Davidson, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, James, McCall, McKinney, Montondon, Rao, Shah, Sorensen, Warms, Winek
President Trauth, Provost Moore, AVPAA Cassidy, AVPAA Bourgeois, AVPEM Heintz, Clayton Medford, Univ Star, George Restivo, student
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
1. There have been numerous recommendations to provide incentives to encourage faculty to willingly teach at the RRHEC. The Senate is aware that the Provost has allocated funds to the Deans with the understanding that the Deans would allocate the money in the most effective way for their college. In spite of these efforts the Senate is still getting complaints from faculty that feel they are being unwilling forced to teach at the RRHEC. There also seems to be little evidence of the application of the incentive money that was allocated. Would you please explain how the Deans are using the incentive money that was allocated?
2. As we enter this year’s promotion and tenure cycle the Senate is interested in ensuring that the faculty have maximum feedback from each stage of the promotion and tenure decision making process. While the policy does provide that the faculty member will be notified of the results at each stage, the Senate is interested in a clarification of what the notification will include. Specifically, the Senate would like the notification to include the voting results at any stage where a ballot is taken.
3. At a PAAG meeting last year you proposed the concept of a Sr. Lecturer position. To date the Senate has not seen a draft proposal or any clarification of the Sr. Lecturer concept. Do you still support this concept and if so when might the Senate be able to see a draft proposal?
4. At the first of this academic year the Provost announced that there would again be a supplement of the travel funds to support additional faculty travel. This travel money was allocated to the Deans to be distributed as they feel appropriate. While there was an announcement of the additional travel funds many faculty still seem unaware of the supplement. The Senate has two questions concerning these funds. First, how are the individual Deans distributing the funds and second, is there some way to increase the faculty awareness of the availability of the funds?
- RRHEC Incentives: Provost Moore indicated that there was $1000 per 3hr course to be made available as incentives for faculty to teach at Round Rock. Actually, the money hasn’t been distributed yet, but will go to the deans, who will in turn, distribute the money to departments. The discussion raised several issues:
- Can incentive money be used for travel? Yes, and it should be available this week.
- What about someone teaching part-time, but not full-time? Departments will decide, could prorate.
- Will there be permanent faculty at RR? For the present time, it important that all faculty be considered a part of Texas State University. Tenure/promotion process should be the same whether someone teaches at RR or SM. All faculty should feel that they are faculty at Texas State.
- What happens to the rest of the money if a faculty member only needs a portion of the $1000? The Provost indicated that faculty who teach at RR should get all of the incentive.
- Is it mandatory for a faculty member to teach at RR? Here there was some waffling. If a faculty member was hired to teach at RR, it would be mandatory. When told that some faculty have been told that they have to teach at RR, the Provost indicated that it was not in the best interest of Texas State to have faculty members who feel that they have been forced to teach at one campus or the other. He wants a happy group, but also mentioned that the university can assign teaching roles. If some chairs were using the assignment to go to RR as a punishment, he would certainly like to know about that. The President indicated that part of the Texas State mission is to make the RR campus prosper. Again, she also mentioned that an unhappy faculty is not good for either campus. The committee that first suggested incentives had recommended more money together with workload adjustments. It was more than the $1000 per course, but this was all that was available at the present time. Money might be pooled by the chair and personnel committee to create some flexibility. The President again stated that RR was important and that was the reason that incentives were being created, but she also mentioned that many faculty members do more than their share on the local campus too. Perhaps incentives might also be considered locally in the future.
- Tenure/Promotion: The Senate requested feedback be provided to candidates regarding the vote at each level of the process. The Provost agreed and indicated that would be done for this cycle. Some questions were raised regarding the Texas State vita template. Local grants, local teaching awards were mentioned. The template for this cycle will be changed to reflect these issues. Senate members told the President, etc. that there is a lot of anxiety. The Provost indicated that what the administration wants is for there to be a consistent history for decisions in order to make equitable decisions for all candidates. Candidates should address their accomplishments from the most recent and work back to give a full picture.
- Senior Lecturer: Regarding the creation of the Senior Lecturer appointment, the President indicated that she was still interested in creating the position, but just hadn’t gotten to it yet. The use of the position would be to separate tenure-track and non-tenure track positions with the idea of making continuing non-tenure track appointments Senior Lecturers and using per course faculty as Lecturers. She is still working with Gilda Garcia, Dir of Equity & Access on the details.
- Travel Funds: The reason there is no broad general knowledge about the distribution of addition travel funds is that the funds haven’t been released yet. But the funds will be released soon to the deans with the goal to enhance research and conference activity. The allocation is currently at $450 per tenure/tenure-track faculty member, but will probably be increased to $500. The money will be kept in the deans’ contingency accounts and should be distributed following existing departmental travel policy. The money should not be used to supplement departmental M & O. The Senate expressed its appreciation for again making the money available.
- Problems with SAP: The issue was raised that departments are anxiously waiting to see budgets, etc. The Provost said that there was hope in July that the SAP problem would be solved. There will be a meeting with those that know to make sure that this stuff works. Problems still need to be fixed. One current issue is that faculty salaries were all entered on a 12-month basis instead of the correct 9-month basis. Also, chairs are reluctant to release money when they don’t know what their actual budgets are. Mergers in divisions of the administration will fix some of the problems. Adding college budget officers should help. The President indicated that there is no perfect system. The beat goes on.
- Workload: There is a problem with pulling class sections and workload from the SAP system. Final workload reports will be late.
- Change in Admissions: It was noted that there has been a change in admissions. The number of students admitted to study who do not meet minimal standards has increased from 300 students last year to 600 students this year. AVPEM Heintz indicated that he was not responsible since it happened before he got here.
- Faculty Development Leaves: The Senate Chair informed the deans at CAD of the process for development leave applications. It is a touchy issue with some deans. The UPPS says that deans may attach comments, but they cannot hold up applications.
- University Council: Changes in the University Council membership were made adding Senators McCall, Davidson and Hindson.
- Piper Nominees: The finalized list of Piper nominees has a large number of good candidates.
- Invitation to the Senate: JoAnne Smith, VPSA, will come to Senate meeting, Oct 12, to discuss student retention and other issues associated with parking fees and summer camp housing fees.
- Complaint from a Chair: A departmental chair has complained that some persons have been given university salary data while others have not. It was decided to post the data on the Faculty Senate web site so that it will be available to everyone.
PPS 7.19 (Research Faculty): The Senate discussed the new PPS 7.19 that is circulating for review. The Senate objected to the use of the name Faculty and the titles
Assistant Research Professor, Associate Research Professor, and Research Professor for individuals who are hired at Texas State, but who are not subjected to the same scrutiny of a national search and retention in the areas of teaching, research, and service. The Senate has suggested that title Faculty be replaced with title Associate and the ranks be Junior Research Associate, Research Associate, and Senior Research Associate.
Faculty Development Leaves: Discussion on the issue of senators not being eligible for development leave while on the Senate was tabled.
- University Research Committee: Whether College University Research Committee members can be evaluators if they are not present at the college meeting to discuss applications was considered. The University Research Committee was divided on the issue and asked the Senate for its opinion. A pro to the current position of non-voting was that committee members would miss on any, possibly important, information that might be raised at the discussion meeting. A con was that committee members have read each application and should be able to rank applicants. The sense of the Senate is to leave the policy in place (non-voting if non-attending), but to allow alternates to the committee at the committee’s discretion if a member could not be present.
Minutes for 9/21/05 were approved.
Minutes for 9/28/05 were approved.