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Faculty Senate

64th Faculty Senate, 2022 - 2023

Zoom Meeting photo of 63rd Faculty Senate
First row: Taylor Acee, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Stacey Bender, Dale Blasingame, Rachel Davenport Second row: Peter Dedek, Farzan Irani, Jennifer Jensen, Lynn Ledbetter, Ben Martin Third row: Roque Mendez, Andrew Ojede, Adetty Perez de Miles, Michael Supancic, Alex White

Elections for the 64th Faculty Senate (2022-2023) have been completed, and senators were elected (or re-elected) in the following colleges:

  • College of Education:  Stacey Bender, Health and Human Performance
  • College of Fine Arts and Communication: Adetty Perez de Miles, Art and Design
  • College of Health Professions: Farzan Irani, Communication Disorders 
  • College of Liberal Arts: Rebecca Bell-Metereau, English

  • College of Science and Engineering: Alex White, Mathematics

The 64th senate convened at 5 pm on May 4, at which time officers were elected:

Chair: Lynn Ledbetter
Vice Chair: Jennifer Jensen
Co-Secretaries: Dale Blasingame and Ben Martin​

We would like to thank Danette Myers, who has completed her term of service for the College of Health Professions, and Stan McClellan, who has completed his term of service for the College of Science and Engineering. We also appreciate all candidates who agreed to appear on the ballot for their willingness to serve.

Statement on Academic Freedom

Historically, tenure and academic freedom have gone hand in hand, with tenure being a primary means of insuring academic freedom. Tenure is integral to the purpose of higher education, providing faculty the protection and freedom to engage in research, and teach or speak on matters related to their expertise in order to help advance our knowledge on important matters, regardless of how controversial these matters might be at any given time to people across the political or ideological spectrum.  The restriction or weakening of tenure at Texas universities would greatly diminish our ability to recruit and retain faculty.

Upon the recommendation of its Academic Freedom Committee, the Texas State University Faculty Senate opposes, in the strongest terms, any effort to weaken or eliminate the tenure status of faculty. Furthermore, the Faculty Senate rejects any attempts by bodies external to the faculty to restrict or dictate university curriculum on any matter (regardless of tenure status), including matters related to racial and social justice, and will stand firm against encroachment on faculty authority as defined in our Faculty Handbook and university policies.

The Summer Bulletin includes the following topics:

  • Faculty Senate Accomplishments 21-22
  • Academic Freedom Corner
  • Faculty Senate Fellow
  • Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant
  • Summer Meeting Dates
  • Fall Application Deadlines
  • Green Cat Challenge Award
  • University Lecturers Events

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.

63rd Faculty Senate Accomplishments 2021 - 2022

  • 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 and suggested revisions to 127 Academic Affairs and University Policy and Procedure statements
  • Served as impartial observers in Chair and Director reviews and chaired committees conducting Academic Dean summative reviews.
  • Reviewed and recommended 60 Faculty Development Leave applications.
  • Senate Fellow Sarah Angulo’s 2021-2022 project “Building a mentoring program for nontenure line faculty – One department’s journey and where to go from here” included gathering quantitative and qualitative data from surveying all nontenure line faculty about their goals for a mentorship program, and then creating and implementing a collaborative mentorship program for nontenure line faculty in the Psychology Department.   
  • Sponsored Dr. Sirry Alang, Associate Professor of Sociology and Health, Medicine and Society at Lehigh University, who presented “Who Fixes Broken Systems?  Undoing Legacies of Exclusion in Colleges and Universities” on Zoom on February 15, 2022, moderated by Ben Martin, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry. Attendees were Texas State faculty, staff and students, as well as faculty from TSUS member universities and other Texas universities.
  • Sponsored Dr. Alang for a Zoom session with the full senate on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 to discuss strategic opportunities to address equity and inclusion. Institutional Inclusive Excellence staff and Faculty of Color were also in attendance.
  • At the recommendation of the Retirement and Benefit Programs Committee, the senate asked that all retirees have full access to Microsoft 365 Desktop  A1 license at no cost to them, departments or colleges. 
  • Recommended more robust information campaign regarding Faculty Ombudsperson.