Minutes for 09/17/08
Members present: Senators Feakes, Bond, Brown, Caldwell, Furney, C. Hazlewood, D. Hazlewood, Martin, McGee, Meek, Melzer, Shah, Stone, Warms, Wilson
Guests: President Trauth; Provost Moore; Jo Anne Smith, VP for Student Affairs; Dr. Ron Sawey, Computer Science; Dr. Nico Schuler, Music; Adam Epperson, University Star
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
- FY2009 Budget: President Trauth opened the PAAG discussion by summarizing the FY2009 Annual Operating Budget, indicating tuition and fees now make up 46 percent of estimated revenues. Faculty salaries continue to comprise the largest share of the expenditure budget. Significant increases in the 2009 budget include:
o $5,714,518 net increase from $10 per SCH Designated Tuition increase.
o $1,729,757 from financial aid set-asides from Statutory and Designated Tuition.
o $1,192,000 from $15 per semester increase in Academic Advising Fee.
o $1,484,730 in increased Texas Grant funds.
o $1,475,000 from $2 per SCH increase in Athletics Fee.
o $2,894,000 from $47 per semester increase in Student Recreation Fee.
o $426,000 in increased indirect cost income.
o $4,348,404 for the three percent merit pool. This does not include the Auxiliary Enterprises that must fund their own merit pools. All raises come out of local dollars (tuition).
o $2,197,285 for new tenure-track faculty positions as we continue to try to bring down our student/faculty ratio.
o $1,729,757 in increased student financial aid awards.
o $1,484,730 in increased Texas Grants awards.
o $1,192,000 for 25 additional FTE academic advisors.
o $1,000,000 from the increased Athletic Fee transferred from the Athletics operating budget to their facilities reserve.
o $769,864 to fund “academic growth” in the form of additional per course faculty and inflation adjustments for academic department M&O budgets.
o $711,958 for 13 new staff positions across the University to keep up with growth.
o $661,409 for increased operating costs and $2,200,000 in debt service associated with the addition to the Student Recreational Center.
o $426,000 to be distributed to the Office of Sponsored Programs and Principal Investigators per statute and Regent’s Rules.
President Trauth indicated that our budget expenditures are similar to other universities’ expenditures, but in state subsidies, we are third from the bottom due to our large undergraduate programs. As a result, we are more dependent on tuition revenues than most other schools. She indicated that our undergraduate enrollment was up 3.5% and our graduate enrollment is up 7%, with current enrollment topping 29,000, putting us ahead of Texas Tech in enrollment. She said there were 15,000 applicants for our freshman class this year. On the needs side, she said we need more space and more buses. Toward the goal of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, which will yield many benefits including grant opportunities and contracts, we are only 1% point away.
2. Cancer Awareness Month: Regarding the Senate request that the President designate April as Cancer Awareness Month at Texas State University, President Trauth concurs with the request and will initiate the process for the designation.
- Graduate Commencement: Regarding the Senate request on providing additional recognition to the Masters students at graduations, Provost Moore indicated that he is willing to consider suggestions as long as their implementation does not lengthen the ceremonies. The numbers of graduates attending graduation ceremonies has gone up more than 15% over the past five years, and that the current five ceremonies may have to be extended to six just to meet current demand. He mentioned he has received very positive feedback on recent graduations and that at Texas State every graduate’s name is called and each shakes hand with the President, something that is not done at most institutions these days.
- Gender Identity: Regarding the Associated Student Government and the Faculty Senate request for a change to UPPS 04.04.46 that would strengthen prohibition against discrimination, including harassment, by adding the phrase "gender identity and expression" to the list of protections that currently includes race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, age, and sexual orientation, Dr. Joanne Smith indicated that the President’s Cabinet decided not to add the phrase to the statement; however, the Cabinet reaffirmed support for an inclusive environment and support providing family restrooms that are gender neutral in all new construction and in renovations as appropriate. The Cabinet noted its recognition of the concern about “gender identity and expression” among many campus groups. Cabinet members also expressed their continuing support for ongoing education programs promoting the inclusion of diverse groups.
- Assistant and Associate Administrative Titles: Regarding the assistant and associate administrative titles on campus, the Provost indicated that the positions -- assistant and associate chair, assistant and associate dean and assistant and associate provost -- are literally staff extensions of the respective chair, dean or provost. If there is an issue with the performance of any of these individuals, it should be registered with the particular chair, dean or provost.
- Department Affiliation Changes: The Provost’s announcement of the relocation of the School of Social Work from the College of Health Professions to the College of Applied Arts beginning in the Fall 2009 raised the question of what role the faculty and faculty governance had in the decision to restructure the two colleges? Restructuring the colleges raises a number of issues including in particular what mechanism(s) exist to protect the faculty who began their tenure-track appointments under one set of guidelines, but who will now be under a different set of guidelines. Similar issues exist for the promotion of tenured and tenure-track faculty. This kind of move impacts the faculty in both of the affected colleges in very complex ways that the Faculty Senate believes should carefully be explored among all of the faculty involved. The Provost detailed some the process to initiate the move of the School of Social Work from the College of Health Professions to the College of Applied Arts. Faculty in the School approved the move by a vote of 60% for and 40% against. Among other forces in play, the College of Health Professions is designated to eventually move to the Round Rock Campus and there is not enough room to hold all departments and schools in the college in the two buildings at Round Rock. Also, Social Work is a big school that is not particularly health-oriented. There is also some pressure from other institutions to not offer degrees in Social Work at Round Rock. As a result, it was determined to initiate the process to move the School of Social Work to the College of Applied Arts. It will be a year-long process as determined by PPS 2.11 on Academic Administrative Units. When asked about concern by some faculty about tenure/promotion issues, the Provost indicated that the primary conditions for tenure/promotion lie at the department/school levels and that environment would move with the school. When asked about possible issues at the dean’s level, the Provost said that he was aware of those issues and would carefully monitor the situation.
- Enrollment: Enrollment is officially 29,125 students, making Texas State bigger than Texas Tech.
- Bid for a Projector: It was observed that the bid for a projection system for the Avent Senate meeting room did not include certain items. The Chair asked for another bid, which ended up much more costly. She indicated that she had forwarded the revised bid to Dr. Bourgeois, who would work a possible share plan to reduce the costs to the Senate.
- Merit/Performance Raises: The data is available and will be posted on the Senate webpage soon.
- Senate Liaisons: Liaisons have been named for all departments except one. The tentative date for the joint meeting of the Senate and the Senate Liaisons is October 8th.
- Expenditures on Grants: SAP can now recognize co-PI’s on grants.
- Final Exam Schedule: Although it was determined not to change the fall final exam schedule, there is still some pressure to move the last exam and grade posting away from the holidays, possibly by: 1) having some exams on Saturday and 2) moving the start date for the beginning of the semester to a week earlier. There was no objection to having exams on Saturday and moderate objection to moving the start of the semester.
- PAAG Follow-up: There will be a PAAG follow-up discussion at the next meeting.
- Bike Racks: There has been no response regarding whether bike racks will be placed in/near the Speck Street Garage.
- Computer Setup: There has been a complaint regarding how IT is setting up computers for the refresh cycle. Individuals have complained that they are not given administrative passwords and can’t alter the initial setup environment.
Minutes: Minutes for 09/10/08 were approved as amended.