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April 20, 2011 Minutes

Members present:  Senators Feakes, Hazlewood, Wilson, Stone, Furney, Melzer, Conroy, Martin, Morey, Warms

Guests: Sigler, Ryser, Brown, Morse

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

Announcements:

  1. The Chair contacted Dean Ellis to request more information about her proposal for University guidelines on mentoring new faculty and staff.  The Dean and others interested in the proposal will be developing their ideas in the coming months, and will then share them with the Senate.
  2. The Chair spoke with Dean Cheatham about a staff appointment to the University Arts Committee, and is still exploring the method by which that appointment was made.  She is also interested in the possibility of having Senate committees, particularly those that disperse funds, meet with the Senate annually to report on their activities.

Testing for ODS Students: In response to faculty questions about the new procedures being used to test ODS students, Gail Ryser, Heidi Morse and Dean Brown visited the Senate to explain the recent changes and how they came about.  In Spring 2010 the Testing Center was asked to take over the responsibility of testing students with accommodations approved by the ODS.  The move, completed in December 2010, was needed because the ODS lacked enough space to test the increasing number of students with accommodations, and there were concerns about test security at the ODS.  Ms. Morse noted that this semester the Testing Center has been refining procedures, having only three people to handle testing, whereas the ODS had several staff and eight student workers.  Dean Brown explained that one of the challenges facing the Testing Center is that work-study funds that paid for the student workers in the ODS did not transfer to the Testing Center, and so they must currently make do with limited staff and resources; the Testing Center serves some 375 ODS students, most of whom take multiple exams in the Center. 

The Testing Center allows faculty to retrieve exams for several faculty at once, as long as the faculty approve it on the test form.  Ms. Ryser noted that calls about completed exams are made to faculty on Wednesday and Friday mornings. 

Dean Brown also reported that the Testing Center will once again have to move from Commons, from December 2011 to December 2012, while the cafeteria is renovated.

A Senator asked about the possibility of secure testing facilities for online courses.  The Testing Center has no plans for such facilities, nor enough space to offer such a service.  Dean Brown added that the Legislature is considering requiring that all developmental courses have an online alternative; should this requirement materialize, the Testing Center would have to explore increasing testing facilities.

URC Committee Recommendations: The Senate made the following decisions on URC Recommendations:

  1. Departments must designate both a representative and an alternate to their College Review Committee.  This recommendation was approved.
  2. There should be no bonus points awarded to applicants.  This recommendation was tabled for further discussion.
  3. Applicants should be allowed to include in their budgets travel money to enable them to present their research at conferences.  This recommendation was rejected.
  4. In joint proposals, applicants must designate a single Principal Investigator.  This recommendation was approved.
  5. Guidelines must specify that PI and co-PI must be employed by the University.  This recommendation was approved.

BREAK

PPS 7.05, Faculty Workload: The Chair distributed the latest version of the PPS.  The Senate voiced no concerns about the draft, which will soon be shared with the faculty.

Chair / Administrator Evaluations: The Chair distributed the latest tally of Chair evaluations, asking Senators to send her any errors they find in the document.  Evaluations of Administrators were sent to faculty on April 11, and the Chair encourages faculty to complete the surveys.  Once all surveys are complete, they will be posted online.  In addition, the Chair is working to insure that all survey results back to 2006, for all groups, are posted.

New Business:

  1. A faculty member commented on the complexities created by large personnel committees.
  2. Faculty members in Fine Arts asked about University service vehicles parking in red reserved spaces.
  3. A Senator expressed concern about the upcoming requirement that faculty process their own travel applications and reimbursement requests on the new Cat Trax system.
  4. Faculty are still having trouble with the new Banner registration system being used at Texas State for the first time this semester.
  5. A Senator noted a conflict with Human Resources over the hiring of student workers for grants.  The Chair will investigate.
  6. A Senator would like the Senate to explore ways to provide non-tenured faculty with more direct access to the Senate.  One possibility raised in the meeting was to create a Senate Committee for Non-Tenured and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty.  The Chair will explore the process for creating such a committee.

Minutes of 4/13/11 were approved.

Adjournment.