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March 23, 2011 Minutes

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

Guests: Sigler, Gross (Star), Rao, Hawthorne

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

Announcements:

  1. At the recent CAD meeting, Chairs were urged to complete the annual review process as scheduled.  In addition, the Provost spoke about possible modifications to commencement ceremonies so that there is a clearer delineation between undergraduates and graduates.
  2. The search for the Dean of University College and the PACE Center is ongoing; three candidates will visit campus in April.

 

Internationalization Task Force Report: The Chair of the President’s Task Force on Internationalization, Dr. Sandy Rao, offered the Senate an overview of the findings and suggestions in the Task Force Report, which has recently been discussed at length by the President’s Cabinet and CAD.  Dr. Rao explained that the original impetus for the Task Force was student opposition to the closing of the TSIE program early last fall.  The President asked the Task Force to explore ways to internationalize the campus, noting that suggestions might be incorporated into the upcoming Strategic Planning cycle.  The Task Force first met in April 2010, initiating a study of the current state of internationalization at Texas State, followed by a study of internationalization at peer institutions.  Based upon these findings, the Task Force offered in December 2010 a comprehensive plan for internationalization, suggesting both short-term and long-term goals to insure that all students at Texas State are prepared to work and succeed in an increasingly global environment.  Among the main goals suggested were

  1.  making internationalization a priority at Texas State, since all efforts must be based upon an institutional commitment.
  2. centralizing efforts so that initiatives are coordinated and internationalization programs highlighted.
  3. providing international education opportunities for all students; within this goal is the Task Force’s suggestion that both the bridge and non-bridge elements of the TSIE program be resumed.
  4.  working to increase the percentage of international students enrolled at Texas State to 2.5% of the student population.
  5. supporting faculty in their internationalization efforts through recognition in merit and promotion.
  6. increasing and centralizing student and faculty support services.

The Chair of the Senate recounted that the Provost stated at CAD that he believes faculty must be invested in these goals for them to succeed.  Thus, she urges faculty to examine the Task Force Report and share any insights and concerns with Dr. Rao.

Academic Computing Committee Recommendations: The Senate voted to accept the recommendations of the ACC.

Joint Faculty Senate / CAD meeting: The joint meeting takes place on March 30 in the Reed Parr Room of the JC Kellam Building. Senators will suggest the following agenda items:

  1. A discussion of recent changes to the Computer Refresh Program.
  2. An exploration of ways to create a “culture of service” among Texas State faculty.
  3. The possibility of developing hooding ceremonies for all Texas State colleges granting graduate degrees.

 BREAK

Faculty Definitions: The Chair noted that the process of revising the PPS has been extensive, with discussions ongoing.  She asked that the Senate reach some conclusions on the less-controversial change: a new definition of “faculty voter.”  One difficulty that has arisen in revising this definition is the meaning of “academic appointment.”  The Senate discussed possible wording to clarify this confusion; the Chair will create a draft incorporating those suggestions and distribute it to Senators.

Texas Council of Faculty Senates (TCFS) Report: Senators Stone and Melzer, who attended the February TCFS meeting, shared highlights with the Senate:

  1. Fellow Texas State University System institution Sam Houston State gave faculty raises; as did Sul Ross State for half of their faculty, with the remaining half to receive raises this year.
  2. The main topic of discussion at the meeting was the proposed state legislation legalizing the carrying of concealed handguns on campuses.  Most attendees believe the legislation will pass.  The TCFS sent a resolution to the Legislature expressing its opposition to the proposed law.
  3.  There is some support in the Legislature for new Tuition Revenue Bonds.
  4. It was revealed that, as suspected, there was some centralization of power in the Chancellor’s Office in recent months.
  5. No one is sure about the upcoming State budget and what effects it will have on universities.
  6. The TCFS sent the Legislature a resolution expressing its concern for increasing faculty teaching loads while maintaining current expectations for efforts in scholarly / creative activity and service.
  7. There is much concern about shifting summer salaries from payment based upon percentage of faculty salary to a flat, per-course remuneration.

New Business: Several faculty have expressed frustration with the new Banner registration system for students.  One problem noted by a number of faculty is that departments no longer get graduate applicants’ application materials.  This is a particular problem now, when decisions are being made about offering graduate teaching assistantships.  The Chair noted that soon problems will arise with undergraduate registration as well.

Minutes of 3/9/11 were approved.

Adjournment.