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Faculty Senate

63rd Faculty Senate, 2021 - 2022

Zoom Meeting photo of 63rd Faculty Senate

Tuesday, February 15, 4 - 5:30 pm via Zoom (registration will be required)

Faculty Senate presents Professor Sirry Alang: Who Fixes Broken Systems? Undoing Legacies of Exclusion in Colleges and Universities

  • Moderator: Ben Martin, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Higher education is a microcosm of society. Our educational institutions are formal sites for knowledge creation. For good, we shape minds. For bad, we shape minds. Minds that enter different fields – law enforcement, politics, education, business, science, health care, art, humanities, and so forth. What happens when the processes of knowledge production, dissemination, and application are grounded in white supremacy?  How can colleges and universities contribute meaningfully towards building a just and equitable society?

Sirry Alang, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Health, Medicine and Society at Lehigh University. Her research explores the role of social structures and institutions in creating and undoing inequities.

 

 

The November/December Bulletin includes the following topics:

  • Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Awards
  • Campus Safety Update, Fall 2021
  • Academic Freedom Corner
  • Texas Council of Faculty Senates Meeting
  • Fall Meeting of the Full Senate
  • University Lecturers Series

Campus Safety Update

Mr. Eric Algoe, VPFSS, attended the President's Academic Advisory Group meeting with the Faculty Senate on Nov. 10 to give a power point presentation on Campus Safety. You may view the presentation here.
 
Highlights include: 
  • There are three committees under the University Safety Committee:  Security and Personal Safety Committee, Environmental Health and Safety Committee and Research Safety Committee. All are active.
  • Recent improvements to safety include an additional 200 lights across campus at a cost of $2.2 million, an audit of campus emergency phones, replacing first-call classroom door locks with manual locks at a cost of $800,000 and adding swipe card access for the primary exterior doors of all major academic buildings. The university will next begin removing physical keys for these doors from distribution.
  • There is a new Emergency Operations Center that will open in January 2022. Three emergency management exercises were held in the previous year.
  • The university published its first comprehensive Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan in 2021. 
  • The university rolled out a cadet training reimbursement program for receiving training with a focus on diversity. 
  • The university increased walking, ATV and bike patrols and joined the Hays County Joint Emergency Communications Center. 
  • Old posters related to emergency procedures in classrooms displayed K-12 standards and, since 2017, have been replaced with ALERRT standards of Avoid, Deny, Defend. 
  • The campus safety/emergency procedures page on the Texas State website provides training on topics like active shooter scenarios. Each scenario contains videos co-produced by the ALERRT Center. 
  • Regarding communication messages related to life-safety situations, University Police send those without review or delay. Less-than-life threatening emergencies come from University Communications with a goal of getting the message sent in less than 20 minutes. Cabinet and University Communications regularly conduct training on this issue and have a Rapid Response Guide that outlines all protocols on this topic. The Rapid Response team is comprised of cabinet members, the police chief and others who are needed in emergency situations. It also contains people who are in the room, monitoring social media. 
  • Academic units and larger offices can reach out for UPD trainings or briefings of what to do during an emergency. These trainings can last anywhere from 1-3 hours. Algoe added the two most relevant trainings are Civilian Response to Active Shooter Emergencies (CRASE) and Standard Response Protocol (SRP). UPD regularly schedules trainings, but they will also hold the trainings by request.

For information regarding the university’s path for keeping our community safe and our students advancing toward their educational goals, visit the Roadmap.

On August 11, a letter was sent to President Trauth and Provost Bourgeois requesting more flexibility with the beginning of classes, enforcing the use of Bobcat Trace and quarantining, and asking for more clarity of messaging related to COVID-19. On August 20, the Faculty Senate Statement on Minimum Health and Safety Procedures for Return to Campus was circulated to all faculty and university librarians resulting in 514 signatures by August 24. The statement was then sent to President Trauth and Provost Bourgeois, and was the subject of comment and discussion at our meeting with them on September 1 at which Dr. Carranco was an invited guest. There are a few things that came about as a direct or indirect result of the senate’s advocacy for faculty, including the incentivization of vaccinations and expedited messaging from Bobcat Trace regarding positive cases in classes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We pledge to continue to advocate for our faculty as we navigate issues and concerns related to COVID-19 on our two campuses.

2020 - 2021 Accomplishments

•    Reviewed and endorsed awards related to the following peer review processes:  Research Enhancement Grants, Nontenure Line Faculty Workload Release, University Lecturers Series, Part-Time Faculty Teaching Awards, and the Piper Professor and Everette Swinney Teaching Awards.  

•    Reviewed 65 Academic Affairs and University Policy and Procedure statements.

•    Contributed to efforts to enhance environmental sustainability on campus by supporting Dr. Tina Cade's 2020-2021 Senate Fellow project to create an environmental sustainability "road map," including a list of steps the university and its members can take to improve sustainability.

•    Cosponsored the Academic Freedom Committee and Philosophy Dialogue Series.

•    Endorsed required diversity training for faculty hiring, faculty enrichment, and department participation.

•    Distributed two surveys to faculty to ensure our collective concerns and voices were heard regarding personal health, safety, and course modality options during the pandemic.

•    Continued to work on drafts of the NLF Teaching Faculty Appointments and Personnel Committee policies and finalized the Academic Freedom policy.

•    Advocated for an additional year's tolling of the tenure clock.

•    Advocated for early semester updates from the Registrar to notify faculty of students who add/drop courses prior to census day.

•    Participated in Restorative Justice sessions.

•    Prepared and submitted recommendations to improve faculty morale to university administration.


During the week of July 13 - 20, 2020, Faculty Senate surveyed faculty regarding your perceptions and concerns related to the University’s Roadmap to Return.

Here are the final results. While specific comments have not been included for reasons of confidentiality, comments were coded into general categories, which are included in this report.