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Apr 21, 2010 Minutes

Members present: Senators Feakes, Wilson, Hazlewood, Furney, Morey, Bond, Melzer, Stone, Caldwell, Warms, Martin, Conroy and Shah.

Guests: O'Connor (University Star)

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

Announcements:
1.
At this week's CAD meeting, Constance Qualls, a visiting faculty member, was introduced. She is assisting faculty with grant development. In addition, CAD members spoke about HB2504 regarding the posting and management of data required by the Bill. IT is creating a system that will allow faculty to post their own syllabi and CVs on the University website.

2. The event celebrating fifty years of shared governance at Texas State occurs on May 5. Invitations have been sent out to current and former Senators.

Report from the University Research Committee: Dr. Skerpan-Wheeler, Chair of the URC, offered the following suggestions for the 2010-11 review cycle:
1. Bonus points: There should be no bonus points awarded.
2. Applicants and colleges: Applicants (PIs) must apply to their own college.
3. Proxies: In the event that a CREC member needs a proxy, the proxy should attend the entire CREC meeting; the proxy should consult with the CREC member s/he is replacing to confer about evaluation of applicants; the person who submits scores for applicants must be the person who attended the meeting
4. Representation at CREC meetings: Each department must be represented at CREC, regardless of whether there are applicants from the department.
5. Chairs on CRECs: Ordinarily, department chairs should not be members of a CREC, but the CREC should have the option of including chairs, especially those of small departments.
6. Other funding for summer grants: Applicants should disclose in their budget justifications any known summer salary that will be taken from other grants during the period covered by the REP grant.
7. Results from prior REP grants: PIs (and PIs only) should indicate results of prior funding, covering the past 5 years. This could be done on an additional page of the CV.
8. Number of grants applicant may receive: Applicants should not receive funding in consecutive years.
9. Multiple PIs: In the section on qualifications of PI there should be an explanation of why the Co-PI is necessary and how he or she will contribute to the project (e.g. why co-PI instead of consultant?).
10. Leverage for external funds: There should be no expectations that previous applicants demonstrate obtaining external funds. However, applicants may summarize expected outcomes of their project, including future publications, presentations, and/or grant proposals.
11. Funding for travel to conferences: It should be allowed. There should be a limit of $1500.
12. Adjusting budgets: Full funding should be allocated as long as funding is available. In case of a tie, the budgets of the tying proposals may be adjusted.

The Senators noted a number of concerns about the suggested changes, including whether the guidelines should allow chairs to serve on CRECs only when there are no eligible faculty from a small department; whether more money for travel to conferences should be provided when there are two PIs; whether any travel money to conferences should be provided at all, since the focus of the grants is for funding research; whether the CRECs should have the discretion to adjust proposal budgets; and whether the suggestions in items 6 and 8 should read as requirements rather than merely options. In addition, Senators asked Dr. Skerpan-Wheeler to forward the Senate details on the effects of adding bonus points to proposals from junior faculty.

The Senate will vote on the URC suggestions at the April 28 meeting.

Correspondence / Extension Courses: The administration is exploring whether grades in correspondence and extension course should be used in calculating GPAs for Deans' Lists and Honors. The Chair noted that current policies are contradictory on this issue, and about when such courses should appear on student transcripts. In addition, Senators expressed concern about the guidelines governing selection of faculty to teach these courses. While the Senate believes this last issue deserves examination, it moved to support the inclusion of such courses in GPA calculations.

Chair Evaluation and Perception of Academic Administrators: The Chair distributed a table detailing the results of Chair Evaluations from 2008 to 2010. Although this survey is conducted by the Provost's Office, the Senate makes the results available to the general faculty.

BREAK

Allocation of Service-Related Workload Reductions: Once the report from the Committee on Committees is received, the Senate will be able to explore its charges for the next academic year, as well as consider the make-up of Senate Committees. The Senate's requests for workload reductions need to be sent to Dr. Bourgeois by June 1. The Chair suggested that one possible candidate for a workload reduction this coming fall semester would be David Wiley, Chair of the Honor Code Council. The Senate will return to this issue at future meetings.

Parking Update: On April 16 members of the Senate and members of the Transportation and Parking Committee met to discuss both the Senate's parking proposal, whereby 5% of all red spaces, distributed across campus so that they are in proximity to all faculty and staff members' workplaces, would be 24-hour reserved; and the proposal from the Transportation and Parking Committee, by which a number of red reserved lots would be limited to faculty and staff parking from 7 AM to 7 PM. Senate representatives at the meeting noted that the latter proposal did not effectively answer the concerns of faculty who work on campus at night and seek safer parking options nearer their offices. The Transportation and Parking Committee will discuss the Senate's proposal and concerns at its next meeting.

Faculty Workload: The Chair has received two questions regarding workload:
1. How are salary and workload correlated for Senior Lecturers? The Chair noted that there is no policy governing such a correlation.

2. When faculty accumulate sufficient workload credits beyond the expected twelve per semester, how are course reductions allocated? Currently, University policy states that department chairs may assign such reductions, but does not require it. Although PPS 7.05 addresses the assigning of workload credits, such decisions have typically been left to the discretion of chairs. Should the Senate work to make the recording of workload credits more accurate and consistent? Should a system be developed so that chairs across the university assign credits and workload reductions more systematically and equitably?

New Business:
1.
University policy states that adjunct faculty are not required to perform professional activity outside teaching, but are expected to remain professionally proficient. Can this policy be clarified, since it seems contradictory?

2. A faculty member is concerned about the University's free speech policy, and the UPD's interpretation of it when speakers in the Free Speech Area are so loud that they disrupt classes. Can UPD be encouraged to take a more active role in insuring that the needs of both speakers and class meetings are met fairly?

3. Senators congratulated Senator Furney on his recent selection as a Distinguished University Professor.

Minutes of 4/14 approved.

Adjournment.