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Sept 12, 2007 Minutes

Members present:

Senators Stone, Bond, Davidson, Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Melzer, Ogletree, Shah, Wiley, Wilson, Winek

Guests: Dr. John Davis, Psychology; Dr. Alberto Giordano, Geography; AVP Milt Nielsen, Instructional Technology; Scott Thomas, University Star

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

 

Academic Calendar: The Registrar, Lloydean Eckley, distributed a handout that generally outlined the steps for creating the University’s academic calendar:

  1. Start with a basic calendar, usable through 2015, that follows Coordinating Board guidelines for beginning dates, ending dates, dates for holidays and dates for final exams.
  2. The Registrar calculates and adds dates for registration, tuition refunds and drop deadlines.
  3. The Registrar then collects and enters dates provided by Residence Life, Student Business Services and Admissions.
  4. The adjusted calendar is then presented to the Registration Coordinating and Calendar Committee for approval.
    1. If there are changes, the calendar is revised by the Registrar and returns to 4.
  5. The revised calendar is then presented to the Council of Deans for suggestions and approval.
    1. If there are changes, the calendar is revised by the Registrar and returns to 5.
  6. The calendar is posted on the web.

The current calendar has no planned significant changes through 2012.  The final determination of the calendar is made by the Provost with advice from the Deans, so that any suggested changes in the calendar should go to Registration Coordinating and Calendar Committee, chaired by VP Heintze; or if that committee has already made its recommendations, to the Council of Academic Deans or to the Provost directly.

 

The final exam schedule is determined by the Registrar.  There have consistently been conflicts with 5:00 and 6:30 class schedules when determining a final exam schedule.  The current schedule is a compromise generated by surveying students in the 5:00 and 6:30 classes and trying to reduce conflicts.

 

In response to a query with respect to the University’s summer schedule and how it meshes with the State’s public school schedule for the end and beginning of their sessions, Ms. Eckley suggested that requests for possible changes should go to the Council of Academic Deans.  There was also a question about how the new withdrawal/drop deadline was set since last year the Senate had sent a recommendation forward to the Provost regarding withdrawal/drop deadlines.  Ms. Eckley indicated that, to her knowledge, the Senate’s recommendation had never made it to the Council of Academic Deans and that the new automatic “W” drop deadline of October 23 was made by the Deans without looking at the Senate’s recommendation.

 

Charge for the Academic Governance Committee:  The Senate has had long-standing concerns about the existence (or nonexistence) of written departmental policy documents and appropriate compliance with those policies.  University policy requires that all departments have a minimum set of written policies and requires that those policies be updated every three years.  For example, all departments must have P&T documents, Merit & Performance documents and Faculty Evaluation documents.  As a result, it was determined to charge the Senate’s Academic Governance Committee to:

1.        Determine what policies departments are required to have based on University policy.

2.        Determine which departments have the required policies in place and if the policies have been appropriately updated.

3.        Collect existing policy documents, prepare a report about the status of departmental level policies and develop a recommendation of what minimum policies need to exist at the departmental level.

 

Charge for the Budget Committee:  The Senate also has some fundamental concerns about the transparency of departmental budgets to the faculty at large and personnel committees specifically.  The Senate charges the Budget Committee to do the following:

  1. Determine what departmental budget information would be useful to the faculty and at what frequency the faculty should review the information.  For example, should the faculty review M&O expenditures and, if so, should they do it weekly, monthly, quarterly?
  2. Develop draft departmental, college and Academic Affairs policy statements as needed to provide faculty with access to the data recommended in the first item.

 

Printing Issues:  Vice President Milt Nielsen, Instructional Technology, described the chronology and particulars of the decision to close the Ready Room that formerly provided print services to the University’s students and faculty.  Discussions for the closure decision begin in August 2005, and the Ready Room formally closed in June 2006, primarily due to the excessive cost for maintenance.  Current labs, using IT software, allow students to print 2500 pages per semester with a print job limit of 25 pages per job.  Academic departments may use the software in their individual labs at no charge.  Although current IT lab printers do not have the capability to insert a blank page between print jobs, IT is working to provide that capability and will implement as soon as possible.  While there is still concern that student and faculty printing needs are not being adequately met, it was decided that Vice President Van Wyatt would be invited to the Senate to discuss issues, one of which is the possibility of adding printers to the faculty computer refresh cycle.

 

Drug & Alcohol Draft UPPS 04.04.xx:  The Senate vigorously objects to section 4.01c of the circulated draft, which again provides for random drug testing of faculty.  It was decided to invite Vice President McBride to discuss Senate objections.

 

Added update on the 04.04.XX story from Chair Stone: It seems that due to a clerical error an incorrect version was sent out to all reviewers including the Provost, Deans and the Senate that included the offensive language in subsection 4.01c. I have to wonder if anybody read this version that was about to be approved other than the Senate? Since nobody else seemed to be objecting, if we hadn't caught this there is a good chance that it would have been approved in its incorrect form. This AM the President called VPFS Nance and Nance started making calls resulting in this clarification below.

 

-------- Original Message --------   
 Subject:  Re: University Star Article and UPPS 04.04.XX Drugs, Alcohol, and Performance Altering Substances  
 Date:  Thu, 13 Sep 2007 14:27:59 -0500  
 From:  McBride, John E <jm05@txstate.edu> <mailto:jm05@txstate.edu>   
 To:  Nance, William A <Nance@txstate.edu> <mailto:Nance@txstate.edu> , Moore, Perry D <pm19@txstate.edu> <mailto:pm19@txstate.edu> , Stone, William E <WilliamStone@txstate.edu> <mailto:WilliamStone@txstate.edu>   
 CC:  Quinn, Floyd F <fq10@txstate.edu> <mailto:fq10@txstate.edu>   

 

Gentlemen,
 
The information appearing in the September 13 University Star article re: faculty drug testing is not correct and is the result of looking at an incorrect version of the UPPS that was sent from our office in error.
 
I am attaching the correct version of the UPPS.
 
HR has been working on this UPPS since July 06.  It was sent to secondary reviewers 2/12/07 (Chairs of the Faculty Senate and Staff Council, University Attorney, Director of Equity and Access, Director of the Alcohol and Drug Resources Center, Director of Sponsored Programs), and it included in subsection 4.01c the paragraph on random drug testing that appears to be the source of the controversy created by the Star article.
 
After comments were received from the secondary reviewers, especially from the University Attorney and Faculty Senate, subsection 4.01c was substantially changed.  The UPPS was then sent to the VPFSS who sent it to BSC members for review and comment.  One comment was received from Terry Ondreyka, new Associate VPFSS, and he recommended that some of the information in the revised 4.01c be included in subsection 4.01a which dealt with pre-employment.  
 
We agreed and Floyd made the changes and sent the UPPS to me to be forwarded to you for distribution for campus comment. Unfortunately, Floyd made the changes to 4.01a on the earlier UPPS version that had been sent initially to the secondary reviewers and which did not have the extensive revisions made to the random drug testing paragraph of 4.01c….and this appears to be the UPPS that the Senate is looking at.
 
So that you can follow the above sequence of events I am attaching the initial UPPS sent to secondary reviewers on February 12, 2007, the revised UPPS sent to the VPFSS which was distributed to BSC for review and comments on June 29, 2007, and the UPPS version sent to the VPFSS on August 2, 2007 which contains Terry Ondreyka’s recommendations in subsection 4.01a but does not have the 4.01c revisions made after receiving the secondary reviewer comments.
 
Please note in the final correct version of the UPPS, at the recommendation of the VPFSS, we have added for clarification at the beginning of section 4 that the provisions of section 4 apply only to staff and that any action on the other provisions in section 4 as they might apply to faculty would strictly be up to the Provost.
 
I apologize for all of this confusion and hope the above adequately explains how the incorrect version of the UPPS got distributed.
 
Please let me know if you have any questions.
 
John

 

New Business:

·         Parking Problems: A faculty member complained of having to search for nearly an hour to find a parking space (not a new story).  The new story is that it seems to be current parking policy that one ticket is given to a particular vehicle per day.  Students may be taking advantage of this by placing parking violation envelopes on their windshield to prevent getting a second ticket.  Parking inspectors should be aware that students are very adaptable and so should check carefully to see when a new ticket is warranted.

 

Minutes:  Minutes for 09/05/07 were approved as amended.