Senators Stone, Bond, Davidson, Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Melzer, Ogletree, Shah, Wilson
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
Creation of a Faculty Development Committee: At the request of the Senate, Chair Stone has asked Dr. Beth Wuest to provide a written description of the role of the committee and its charge so that the Senate might consider it as a possible faculty committee.
Info Items: The Senate recommendations on PPS and UPPS revisions. All in all, Chair Stone thought the exchange of suggestions was pretty successful:
Computing Priority Committee Appointments: The Senate is recommending Senator Meek, Art & Design, and Ms. Suzanna Doughetry, Physical Therapy, as its appointments the Computing Priority Committee. It was also noted that the Provost’s Office is recommending the appointment of two former Senators (Dr. Vivek Shah, CISQM, and Dr. Richard Warms, Anthropology) to the committee. The discussion included the role of the committee and there was mention of whether the Senate should conduct a faculty IT satisfaction survey.
Ombudsman Selection Committee: The Senate recommended three senators to the President’s Ombudsman Selection Committee: Dr. John McGee, Finance & Eco; Dr. Debra Feakes, Chem & Biochem; and Dr. Ian Davidson, Music. The naming of a new ombudsman is necessary since Dr. Walter Rudzinski, Chem & Biochem, has recently been named interim chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Development of Senate Priorities: The Senate discussed several topics that might be considered priorities for the coming year. Some ideas that came forward were:
· Tenure/Promotion: All university and college documents reference departmental criteria. Do departmental documents actually exist and, if so, have they been approved at the college and university levels? The existence and following of approved documents could resolve some of the uncertainty at the various levels of the tenure/promotion process.
· Start up clause in Faculty contracts: There is a great deal of new faculty anxiety regarding the phrase: “Start Up clause: Start up package of $xxxx.xx. You will be expected to obtain external funding which in turn will generate an amount at least equal to $xxxx.xx in indirect funding during your probationary period.” being put in the contracts of new faculty. What does the statement actually mean? Rumors abound. Is the statement really worth the ill will that it is generating?
· Governance for Departmental programs: There is some concern about governance for departmental programs, e.g., departmental study abroad programs. Where is the departmental faculty oversight for such programs? What is the relationship between faculty who run study abroad programs and the Study Abroad Office?
· Reimbursement for Travel to Round Rock: A question was raised regarding when faculty members would be reimbursed for travel to and from the RR campus. Would reimbursements occur as needed or once per semester? Some clarification seems needed.
· Transition from Course Fee Funding to M&O Funding: As the university moves from department funding through course fees to M&O via tuition, will the money actually go to the right place? Maybe there should be developed some budget transparency at the departmental and college level, with focus on how M&O is being allocated in lieu of the removal of course fee dollars?
· Graduate Enrollment in Summer School: Some concern was expressed regarding changes in K-12 start and end times with respect to the university’s summer schedule and how lack of coordination might affect graduate enrollment. The summer schedule is developed by the Registration and Calendar Coordinating Committee.
· Library Hours: There is some concern that as the university develops more and more graduate programs, regular open hours of the Alkek Library are insufficient.
PAAG Agenda Development: Ideas were discussed for the coming PAAG agenda. The Chair noted topics from past agendas for the benefit of the new senators. Topics considered for possible inclusion were:
· Space issues
· Merit data
· Print services for faculty and students
· Disability issues
· Departmental governance issues
Drug & Alcohol UPPS 04.04.xx: A number of issues remain in the current draft of the Drugs, Alcohol, and Performance Altering Substances UPPS 04.04.xx. An ad hoc committee consisting of Senators McGee, Melzer, and Ogletree will work on a possible senate recommendation.
Minutes: Minutes for 07/25/07 were approved as amended.