Senators Stone, Bond, Davidson, Feakes, Furney, Hazlewood, Hindson, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Ogletree, Shah, Winek, Wilson
Guests: President Trauth; Provost Moore; VPFSS Nance; Assoc Provost Bourgeois; AVPEM Heintze; Lou Montondon, Accounting; Frances Burns, Comm. Disorders; Rebecca Swindal, Staff Council Representative; and Selina Saucedo, University Star
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
- $20000 Awards Associated with Developmental Leaves: President Trauth responded to the Senate’s query about the new program of awarding $20000 to five developmental leave applicants. She emphasized that the new program was to support faculty in their endeavors and that ease of participation was one of the major goals. The $20000 award was to pay out-of-pocket expenses, purchase equipment or provide partial support for faculty opting for a full-year leave. All five of the recipients chose to take one-year leaves and the Provost’s Office found money to support them for the full-year without loss of salary. Although there is presently no change to the Faculty Developmental Leave cycle, the Provost indicated that he would like to see a single application period per year with applicants indicating whether they were interested in a fall leave or a spring leave for the next year. In response to a question of whether chairs are eligible for developmental leave, Provost Moore’s response was “no.” He did not think that chairs should be competing with faculty for developmental leaves. He did indicate that he thought it was reasonable for chairs to have leaves, but those should be funded through a different process than the Faculty Developmental Leave process.
- Campus Construction: VPFSS Nance offered an update on the current campus construction situation. He indicated that there were currently construction projects totaling more than $200 million. He apologized for the current parking conditions, but also indicated that things will probably get worse before they get better. The Pleasant Street Garage is the sorest construction issue, but he indicated that it should be finished by the end of the summer session. While the Pleasant Street Garage construction will not add new parking, the Mathews Street Garage has been expanded to compensate for the additional parking that was lost when the Pleasant Street Garage project was scaled back. He encouraged faculty to use the Commuter Lot below the Physical Plant, where parking is partially changed to restricted parking. On other projects in the works, the VPFSS Nance said the Undergraduate Classroom Building may be ready by Fall, 2011, although it could be later. The current schedule is for completion by Spring, 2012. Funding efforts are continuing for the Performing Arts Center. It is hoped that groundbreaking will occur by Fall, 2011. One of the high priorities with the next Legislative Session will be for securing matching funding for the Center. Also a priority for the next session is another building at the Round Rock campus and a new Music Building here.
- THECB: While it was a difficult process, the Coordinating Board approved the PhD in Mathematics Education. After Texas State’s receiving preliminary authority in 2004 for the degree, the Coordinating Board’s staff changed with a new commissioner who was looking to create new criteria for identifying new programs and reviewing existing programs. The Mathematics Education program was caught in the middle as the new criteria were developing. With respect to other new programs, the Coordinating Board’s commissioner has indicated that he is interested in Texas State offering a degree in Developmental Education. The University will seek preliminary authority for the degree this year. Also, the Criminal Justice PhD is almost ready for campus approval. Other programs in the mix are a Materials Science degree involving the departments of Electrical Engineering, Physics and Chemistry/Biochemistry; and Computer Science degree.
- Recruitment Efforts: There are currently more than 100 searches in progress for faculty recruitment. New hires are being paid at a rate higher than the current CUPA medians. Searches are starting earlier and start-up packages continue to escalate, many being in the range of $120K to $250K. Our start-up packages are competitive with current doctoral I institutions. Faculty contracts will contain a phrase that requires new faculty with start-up packages, both tenured and tenure-track, to secure external grants in the equivalent amounts. This wording is more lenient than prior wording, which required indirect funds of equivalent amounts. It was indicated that departments are able to hire their 1st or 2nd choices in the current recruitment cycle.
- University Council: VPSA Joanne Smith will be talking about security issues on campus at the next University Council meeting, Feb. 14, 3-5, in the Reed Parr Room of JCK.
- Presidential Compliment: When asked what the Senate and the faculty might do for her, President Trauth applauded the faculty at Texas State University, indicating that in almost every group she meets, our faculty are identified as being truly student-oriented and hard-working. Although the University has grown, it still maintains that small-school atmosphere. She said, “What the faculty can do for me is keep doing what you are doing.”
- Football Recruitment: Provost Moore offered an up-date on the current athletic recruitment efforts. He indicated that the football program had been very successful, particularly in efforts to recruit new defensive players.
- Senate Compliment: Chair Stone also forwarded a compliment lauding VPSA Rebecca Prince, indicating that she has been very consistent with her commitment to keeping the Senate informed and that Senate sincerely appreciates her efforts.
Budget Committee Report: Chair Montondon, Dept of Accounting, offered a draft of a UPPS for Reporting Departmental Budgets, in response to the Senate’s request to the committee to help make the departmental budgeting process more transparent for faculty. Discussion centered on how much information should be made available, how often should it be reported and how is it to be distributed. Some minor changes were made to the draft. The item will return to the agenda at a later date.
Parking Motion: A motion was made and seconded that the first floor of the Pleasant Street Garage be restricted Monday through Thursday from 7am to 7pm to red permits, as approved by the Transportation Committee. The motion carried with one abstention. It will be forwarded to Parking Services and other entities in the reporting chain.
- Body Farm: Is the Body Farm back? There are some rumors that it is now in the works to be housed on the Freeman Ranch. The Chair will inquire.
Minutes: Minutes for 01/30/07 were approved as amended.