Minutes for 12/06/06
Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Davidson, Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, McGee, McKinney, Montondon, Warms, Winek, Wiley
Guests: President Trauth, Provost Moore, AVPEM Heintze, Assoc. Provost Bourgeois, AVPFSS Nusbaum, Rickey Lattie, Univ. Police
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
PAAG: President Trauth and Provost Moore responded to Senate questions regarding:
· Laboratory Space Analysis: In response to a question about a memorandum sent to departments in the College of Science requesting an analysis of the distribution of research space allocated to each professor compared to the external funds generated by that professor, the Provost indicated that the analysis was only being done in the College of Science at this time. He said that he wanted space that was allocated for research to be used for research and that such an analysis would generate useful information to have on hand. Any reallocation of space will be determined by the Chairs and Deans.
· Procedures to Meet the 120 Hour Rule: Legislative mandate requires each major to offer a path to a degree requiring no more than 120 hours by fall, 2008. Most current degree programs require 128 hours, which would mean an 8-hour cut in those programs to meet the mandate. The Provost has requested recommendations on how the cuts might be made from the General Education Council and an ad hoc 120 Hour Committee comprised of representatives from each of the Colleges in the University. Since curriculum is a faculty matter, he has proposed that recommendations from the GEC and the 120 Hr Comm be reviewed by the University Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Senate and the Council of Academic Deans for their input before a final decision on how the cuts will made is determined. A final decision is needed by the end of the academic year.
· Status of Retiree Benefits Policy: A final draft of UPPS04.04.53 is being circulated that restores all the benefits removed in the prior draft, specifically free parking permits and free tickets to University events, with the exception of football games. The policy should be finalized by the end of the semester.
· Workload Policy Compliance: The Chair of the Senate presented a poll that indicated that most Chairs are still not in compliance with the policy that requires that faculty receive a copy of their individual workload report and that the departmental Personnel Committee receive a full copy of the department’s report. The Provost indicated that the lapse would be brought to the Chairs’ attention.
· Status of the Faculty Handbook: The Provost said that the final edits to the Faculty Handbook would be completed by Christmas and that a bound edition would soon be available.
· Update on Capital Campaign: President Trauth indicated that the capital campaign would add intensity to something that the University was already in the process of doing: creating a culture of giving. This is accented by current gifts, most recently from the McCoys, St. Davids and the Ingrams. Currently the campaign is in its quiet phase, seeking the advise of a consultant. It will eventually be formally announced with its centerpiece being academics and academic achievement.
· Legislative Update: President Trauth gave a short update on the coming legislative session. She said the best news was that there seemed to be no big horrible issue that the Legislature must come to grips with for this session. Higher Education is generally interested in how the Legislature will handle spending caps and funding for formulas (spending and HEAF). She indicated that there will probably be a cap (possibly 5%) on tuition increases. All in all, she thinks the session will be favorable to Higher Education.
Facilities Update: AVPFSS Nusbaum provided the Senate with a facilities update. She indicated that the faculty would continue to get e-mail providing construction updates. There is also a web page, http://www.facilities.txstate.edu that provides current information. Most recent bids have come in high due to a rise in costs of steel and concrete and will have to be rebid. One item of interest to faculty is that the Pleasant Street Parking Garage construction has been delayed, at least until spring break. Also, the Fine Arts Feasibility Study is going well and she circulated watercolor renderings of a preliminary building design.
University Curriculum Committee: The recommendations from the University Curriculum Committee were approved and forwarded. See the 11/29/06 minutes for particulars.
University Research Committee: The Senate continued its discussion of the University Research Committee recommendation. Discussion favored continuation of the advantage for first time applicants although there will be a continuing review of the weighting structure. The Senate endorsed the committee’s recommendation. The senate charged Michel Conroy, senate liaison to the URC, to raise a number of issues at the spring URC meeting, including improving the policy on partial funding.
· Piper Nominee Form: There was a short discussion on the Piper Nominee form. The Senate will revisit the matter at a later date.
· Internet II: Internet II is coming. Details are still being worked out on how faculty will have access.
Minutes: The minutes for 11/30/06 were approved as amended.