Members present: Senators Bond, Hazlewood, Morey, Caldwell, Melzer, Furney, Feakes, Brown, Stone, Warms, Shah, Conroy, Wilson
Guests: Sigler, O'Connor (University Star), Hohensee, N. Wilson, Munoz, McGee, Burrow, Thorne, Bohannon, Davis, Sladek
Meeting called to order at 4:00.
1. The suggested revisions to PPS 7.14 were approved.
2. The Chair asked Senators to encourage faculty to attend one of the open forums exploring the university-wide evaluations under development in response to HB 2504. The forums will take place in Alkek 102 from 3:30-5:00 on March 4 and April 2. Electronic access will be provided for faculty at the Round Rock campus. The Chair also asked that departmental votes on the evaluation questions be forwarded to her. Senators encouraged the subcommittee developing the questions to consider what information will be posted on the university website. Will it include the number of respondents and number of students enrolled in a course, for instance? Too, a field test of the questions would be wise.
1. HB 2504: Dr. Moore explained that the bill requires, among other things, that departmental budgets, course syllabi (which must be posted by the seventh day of each semester), faculty CVs, university-wide course evaluations, and work-study openings must be posted on the University's website, no more than three links away from the homepage. The item of most concern to faculty, he noted, was the posting of evaluations. The administration plans to make department chairs responsible for posting the required materials, although the course evaluations will be processed and posted by the Testing Center. The Chair expressed concerns about the added burden on departments to maintain these materials; Dr. Bourgeois suggested that perhaps a centralized system could be developed to help with the workload. He also stated that his goal is for faculty CVs to be posted as the faculty wish them to appear, and to insure that they are secure.
2. Intensive English Program: Valuing the goals and the successes of the Intensive English program, the Senate wonders about the alternatives that were explored before the administration decided to end the non-bridge component of TSIE. President Trauth first explained that her primary concern in all decisions is that the University fulfill its mission, which is to support degree-granting programs for students. Thus, because non- bridge students are not enrolled in university academic programs, the administration has decided to close it, but continues to support the bridge program, in which Texas State students obtain assistance in developing their English language skills. Dr Moore noted that all current students in both programs will be supported until they complete their programs. He also argued that space is a precious commodity on campus, and there is pressure from several colleges for the space currently occupied by TSIE. Rosario Davis, of the TSIE program, argued that non-bridge students contribute to the diversity of our campus community while also learning about the US and Texas; moreover, a number of students have moved from the non-bridge program to full enrollment at Texas State. Ms. Davis further noted that TSIE provides a place for students and faculty to work on projects related to English-language teaching.
3. Credit for Significant Service Commitments: The Senate asked the administration for the autonomy to assign up to four one-semester, three-credit hour appointments, when needed, for chairs on committees that must undertake significant projects. The President agreed to study the proposal and will discuss her decision at a later PAAG meeting.
PAAG Follow-Up: The Senate urges the administration to revisit its decision on closing the non-bridge component of TSIE so that more alternatives can be explored. There are open classrooms on campus in the evenings and weekends where TSIE classes could be held, and the faculty and staff of the program are willing to be flexible. The Senate considers TSIE an important part of the university's goals to internationalize the campus, and are certain the administration, also valuing those goals, can find a solution that will preserve this effective and useful program. The outpouring of support for TSIE from faculty and students shows that the university community believes it to be an important part of Texas State. The Senate also urges the staff of TSIE to explore ways to use the program as a more effective recruitment tool for the university.
Faculty Senate Elections: The Chair provided a table illustrating that Senate representation among colleges will not change for this election cycle. This week, faculty will be asked via email if they are willing to stand for election, with the actual election taking place after Spring Break.
The Senate asked the Chair to thank Joe Meyer and Richard Batey for all their service assisting the Senate with its surveys and elections.
1. The Chair wonders how Associate Deans are evaluated.
Minutes for 2/10 and 2/17 approved.