Members present: Senators Feakes, Brown, Caldwell, Conroy, Furney, Hazlewood, Huling, Martin, Melzer, Morey, Payne, Stone, and Warms
Guests: President Denise Trauth; Provost Perry Moore; Assoc. Provost Gene Bourgeois; Michael Heintze, Associate VP, Enrollment Management, Debbie Thorne, Associate VP, Academic Affairs, Hollie O’Connor, University Star, Sue Stewart, Staff Council, Tom Grimes, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Josue Vasquez-Weber
The meeting was called to order at 4:00.
PAAG: President Trauth responded to the following items:
Tenure and Promotion Report: The Faculty Senate requested a report regarding the results of the tenure and promotion cycle for the past academic year. President Trauth described last year’s tenure and promotion process as successful, with seven promotions to Professor and nineteen tenured with promotions to Associate Professor.
University Enrollment: The Faculty Senate would like an update on current enrollment and the effects an increase in enrollment is having across campus. What are the University’s plans for maintaining quality of instruction (at all levels) and the availability of classroom seats, especially in prerequisite and general education courses, in order to insure that entering students have the ability to graduate in a timely manner? In some departments, particularly those that teach a large number of service and general education courses, required courses filled before registration ended this fall. How is this being evaluated and what steps are being taken to address space and personnel issues as enrollments continue to increase? It is widely recognized that space is at a premium throughout campus and class sizes are necessarily increasing. As class sizes are reaching fire-code capacity, how will additional enrollment increases be handled? The Chair clarified that the Senate supports enrollment growth. One concern is the need to predict demand in certain areas in order to provide the classes that are needed for students to make progress toward degrees.
President Trauth and Provost Moore reiterated that one of their highest priorities is to hire full-time faculty, and Associate Provost Bourgeois confirmed that he has funded all requests for personnel. It was suggested that space issues be addressed by extending operating hours, especially for laboratory sections. AVP Heintze described an existing model for predicting demand for seats in lower-division courses that is distributed to the deans in March, but said it is difficult to predict demand for particular programs. The university has a record number of transfers, 100 new (replacement) faculty, and record enrollment of 32,586 students, mostly full-time.
Compliance Modules: The Faculty Senate is aware that a PPS is being drafted for the University Compliance Program. One of the significant concerns raised by this process is whether compliance certification should be required every two years or every year. The Faculty Senate would like to voice its preference for a two-year cycle because we believe a one-year cycle will consume more total faculty time for minimal actual benefit. We would be interested in your thoughts on this issue.
Provost Moore supports the two-year cycle for compliance certification. EEO certification is required every two years by law. The university has a plan to implement the Regents Rules requirement for ethics training for all employees.
Higher Education Cost Efficiencies: On August 10, 2010 the draft Report of the Advisory Committee on Higher Education Cost Efficiencies was submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This report is due to the Governor by November 1, 2010. There are a number of recommendations in this report that could impact Texas State University. Could you please update us on any expected impacts of the report, especially in light of the coming legislative session?
President Trauth and Provost Moore stated that university efforts regarding this report will be focused on the legislative session.
Hiring of New Deans: With Texas State selecting four new Deans within the next two years, the university has a rare opportunity to shape the leadership team in significant ways. Given how the university is currently positioned and its aspirations for the future, are there specific characteristics that the university administration is seeking in this new set of Deans?
Provost Moore stated that charges to search committees are quickly evolving. One goal is to maintain the cultural roots of the university. Qualities sought are very good interpersonal skills, understanding and appreciation of faculty culture, extensive administrative experience as a chair (preferred) or associate dean, good communication skills with all constituencies, passion for and appreciation of the differences in the disciplines in the college, and energy.
The lively email exchange started during the week was deferred until such time that the Senate receives Associate Provost Bourgeois’ report on budgeting and feedback from the liaisons’ meeting.
• Senators were chosen to attend the meeting of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.
• Senators were tentatively selected to attend AAUP conference.
• A senator was chosen to serve on the grievance committee.
• A senator was chosen to serve on the academic calendar committee.
• A representative from the College of Education is needed for the University Library Committee.
• Questions about Development Leave were answered.
o The interval between leaves will be measured from the beginning of one leave to the beginning of the next.
o Associate Deans apply through the regular process, unless they are also chairs.
o A Development Leave recipient cannot opt to take the leave half time for a year and also collect salary for teaching.
• Nominations for mace-bearers are still being solicited for some commencement ceremonies.
• Not all 24-hour red parking spaces have been marked. The chair will follow up with Parking Services.
• There were reports on an insufficiency of textbooks in the University Bookstore, slow delivery times from Central Receiving, limited choice of vendors for office supplies, and lack of handicap parking in certain parts of campus.
The minutes of the September 8, 2010 meeting were approved.