Minutes for 09/03/08
Members present: Senators Feakes, Bond, Brown, Caldwell, Furney, C. Hazlewood, D. Hazlewood, Martin, Meek, Melzer, Shah, Stone, Warms, Wilson
Guests: Dr. Jesse Gomez; Crystal Davis, University Star
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
Senate Priorities for the Coming Year: Two topics, grievance procedure and gender identity, will probably need extensive investigation for possible recommendations to the University Administration. A subcommittee consisting of Senators Stone, D. Hazlewood and McGee will report to the Senate on grievance procedures; and a subcommittee consisting of Senators Martin, C. Hazlewood and Meek will report on gender identity issues. Hooding of Master’s graduates will be an issue for the first PAAG meeting. The grade appeal issue might also be included for PAAG. Chair Feakes will check with Faculty Records regarding current Research Professors.
University Advancement: Dr. Rebecca Prince, VP for University Advancement, will meet with the Senate next week.
Per Course Faculty: In a discussion on the current low salaries of per course faculty, it was noted that the current policy statement has been in place for ten years and the base salary of $2000 has not changed since its implementation. In most instances, the base salary can be increased by negotiating four possible adjustments: excess hours required beyond the usual three-hour course, excess preparation required beyond the usual three-hour course, market and experience. Most per course faculty are eligible for at least some of the adjustments and the current average per course salary is between $3000 and $3500. There is one example of a $5000 salary. Assoc. Provost Bourgeois did indicate that the base salary was clearly too low and immediately agreed to increase the base to $2500. The adjusted funds would normally be covered by the hiring department. However, if funds are really tight, the Provost’s Office will help with necessary extra funds. It should be emphasized that per course salaries are negotiable, but any extra funds require justification. At this point, someone pointed out that the faculty members who are negotiating for per course salaries are really in a very weak position to be arguing for more money. Maybe there should be something published to argue for market value added. Perhaps some initial recommendations for supplemental adjustments could come from departmental personnel committees or chairs. A question raised: Is there a CUPA value on per course salaries? Concerns will be expressed to Dr. Bourgeois.
Round Rock Faculty: There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding which faculty teaching on the Round Rock Campus are eligible for the $1000 stipend. Faculty who have an office in RR and only teach at RR are not eligible for the stipend. If faculty members teach on both campuses, they are eligible for the stipend and mileage. There was some mention of the University purchasing a TX Tag for commuting faculty, but it is not clear if the University would pay all of the tolls. Chair Feakes will ask more questions.
Retired Faculty Parking: UPPS 4.04.53 indicates that if a faculty member is fully retired, a parking permit is provided free of charge. However, a faculty member on phased or modified retirement must pay the regular faculty fee for a parking permit. It was noted that there is a reduced rate for any employee including faculty earning less than $25000. At any rate, a faculty member must retire completely to get a free parking permit.
ERS Benefits: A question was raised with regard to when ERS health benefits are vested. A person is eligible for interim insurance if 55+ with 10 years of service with TRS, ORP or ERS or any combination of these retirement programs. A person is eligible for retiree insurance if he/she meets the rule of 80 or 65+ with 10 years of creditable service. Interested persons should check the ERS webpage at http://www.ers.state.tx.us.
Merit Raises: The Senate will soon post data on last year’s merit cycle.
Faculty Development Leaves: The first annual cycle for Faculty Development Leaves is coming up. Faculty may apply for leaves for Fall09, Spring10 or both. It was noted that there could be a large number of applicants since there will only be one review cycle for the entire year. This resulted in a lengthy debate regarding how the leave applications will be considered. It was agreed that electronic applications would be considered this year. Further discussion will continue next week.
PAAG Agenda – An agenda will be developed next week.
Cancer Awareness – In coordination with April activities planned for next year, should President Trauth be asked to designate a cancer awareness week sometime next spring?
Development Leaves – The continuing question of whether Senators should eligible for development leaves was raised. The issue will be included in the above development leave discussion.
Minutes: Minutes for 08/27/08 were approved as amended.