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March 25, 1998 Minutes

Present: Anderson, Bible, Deduck-Evans, Gillis, Hays, Irvin, McGee,
Oliver, Pascoe, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel, and Winek.

Absent: Conroy and Hunter

Guests: Pres. Supple, VPAA Gratz, VPAA Cassidy, VPSA Studer, Margaret
Vaverek (Lib), Sheila Torres-Blank (Lib), Bruce Renfro (Mass Com), Gene
Bourgeois (Hist), Ron Walter (Biol), Rebecca Bell-Metereau (Eng), Mike
Moore, & Dylan Sides (STAR)

Mitte Scholarship Selection Process
Librarian Career Ladder
Merit Issues
Teaching Theatre
Student Computing Fees
Regent's Rules Proposal
MINUTES OF 3-11-98

The meeting was called to order by Chair Bible at 4:00.


Mitte Scholarship Selection Process

VP Studer described the process for selecting both undergraduate and
graduate recipients of the scholarships. Applicants are assigned a ranking
by two readers, then put in rank order and reviewed again, forwarded to the
President for review, and then forwarded to the Mitte Foundation for final
decisions. VP Studer indicated that the Mitte Foundation wanted the
graduate scholarships used as a recruiting opportunity. Pres. Supple
indicated that the Mitte Foundation had raised the required GPA for renewal
from 3.2 to 3.5. Senators were concerned that too few faculty were
involved in the selection and renewal processes; that judging the
candidates' commitment to the university's core calues seemed highly
subjective; and that the renewal process seemed almost automatic. Pres.
Supple pointed out that the criterion of commitment to core values was due
the Foundation's desire that awards not be based solely on grades.

Librarian Career Ladder

The Senate and librarians requested a status check regarding the career
ladder proposal recently submitted. Pres. Supple reported that he was
concerned with three issues: 1) the libraries themselves cannot do the
salary survey, but must work out a way to have the Personnel Office do it;
2) whatever the conclusions of the survey turn out to be, the ladder itself
must be consistent with what is done in other university offices; 3) the
librarians must justify their rationale for five, rather than four steps.
Chair Bible asked if the proposal could be implemented for Fall 1998; VPAA
Gratz indicated that he hoped so. Pres. Supple also indicated that
librarians would have input on the salary survey.

Merit Issues

Chair Bible reported on the Senate's final action on the recommendations in
Prof. Swinney's "Pondering Merit" report last fall. First, the Senate
recommended that merit awards be made in the second year of the biennium.
Pres. Supple responded that he sees the 2-year process in a positive way,
but that he thought the awards should be given in the first year, rather
than held back. He also indicated that he did not want to constrain merit
to exceptional activity only in the two-year funding period, but rather,
look at long-range contributions. Secondly, the Senate recommended that
any merit award of more than 10 steps be reviewed by the senior faculty of
the department involved. VPAA Gratz reported that he intends to discuss
this with CAD; Pres. Supple reported that he thinks the 10-step limit is
constraining. Thirdly, the Senate asked its Tenure, Promotion and Compen-
sation Committee, chaired by Prof. Swinney, to examine the issue of how
many steps should be awarded for a promotion. VPAA Gratz indicated that
his office had data on procedures at other universities and that SWT, which
awards 14 steps, tends to be on the "high side" of the range.

Teaching Theatre

VPAA Gratz reported that since the charge-back system had discouraged
departments from using the teaching theatres, in the future such use will
be funded as a strategic initiative in the budget cycle so as to treat the
theatres as institutional resources. Sen. Sawey asked if the theatres were
considered "utilized" if smaller classes were scheduled in them. It was
reported that although a Coordinating Board rule requires 66% capacity for
a room to be considered "utilized," the rule had yet to be enforced. VPAA
Gratz reported that Jerry Farr and others would be sponsoring an institute
on using the teaching theatres.

Senators' concerns had to do with the disadvantages of large classes,
particularly their effect on class discussion. Pres. Supple indicated that
teaching theatres should be used only for those classes for which they are
most successful. Sen. Pascoe said that faculty in the Theatre Dept.
objected to the use of "theatre" in the title. Several senators suggested
alternative names, such as "Teaching Warehouse" and "Teaching Corral."

Student Computing Fees

Pursuant to a report by its Academic Computing Committee on applications
for student computing service fee grants, Senators were concerned whether
students have "general access" to computing labs. VPAA Gratz reported that
computing service fees were intended to expand the availability of
computers to students, not to ensure that all labs be general access labs.
Special labs could be funded by these fees. Sen. Sawey expressed his
concern that labs which claim to be generally accessible be so, and that
such labs have a consistent interface and be monitored to ensure general
accessibility. VPAA Gratz agreed that we need campus-wide standards to
ensure compatibility and accessibility and indicated that he saw the
Senate committee recently appointed as a good place to start (cf minutes of

Regent's Rules Proposal

The Senate had intended to discuss its recent proposal that the Regents
Rules be amended to provide that faculty denied a promotion be given an
explicit statement of the reasons and be allowed to grieve the matter. As
written, the rules prohibit administrators from telling faculty why they
were denied a promotion and allow grievances only if they allege (1) that,
during the promotion cycle, some procedural problem occurred; or (2) that
the grievant was denied some constitutional or statutory right.

Recently, however, the VPAAs of SWT and some other system institutions
reviewed the entire section on Faculty in the Regents Rules and have come
forward with several proposed changes. Today the Senate received these
proposals. Chair Bible suggested that rather than spending time on the
Senate's recent proposal, the Senate should instead schedule time at its
next meeting to take a look at the entire package of proposals from the
VPAAs. The Senate agreed to do so.

ORSP/OGA Consumer Satisfaction Survey

Sen. Anderson and Ron Walter presented the proposed survey their committee
had drafted and answered questions regarding the background information
requested on the survey. Senators suggested the section on ORSP and GAO be
switched to elicit a better response, that school rather than department be
solicited in the background information section, and that "departments" be
changed to "offices" in questions 32 and 33.

Honors Contract Proposal

The Senate considered the proposal to allow individual courses to be
tailored for Honors Program credit. The proposal is to "allow an Honors
student to enroll for a 3000 or 4000 level non-Honors course, complete
additional work that represents a qualitative enhancement to the existing
course, and have the completed course and contract count as one course
towards the minimun number of courses required to graduate in the Honors
Program." Dr. Bourgeois explained that Honors was concerned with the
completion rate of students in the program, especially for transfer
students who come to SWT having completed General Studies required courses
(for which many Honors courses substitute). Being able to take a regular
university course for Honors credit would help bolster completion rates.

Senators wondered if faculty's reluctance to undertake additional work for
a course would defeat the contract's purpose; Dr. Bourgeois pointed out
that many faculty now agree to serve as directors or second readers for
Honors theses. Chair Bible asked if the Director of Honors would be
reviewing contracts to ensure their rigor; Dr. Bourgeois indicated that he
would do so. Sen. Pascoe asked if the faculty member's chair and dean
would be informed of such contract work. Dr. Bourgeois indicated that he
will send the same sort of letter he now sends to chairs and deans
informing them that a particular faculty member is directing a thesis and
asking that such work be taken into consideration for tenure, promotion and

Senators voted unanimously to suspend the rules to vote on endorsing the
proposal; senators voted unanimously to endorse.

New Business

Sen Sawey reported that there were some faculty concerns about the rules
gonverning outside employment of faculty.

Minutes of the 3-11-98 meeting

The minutes from the March 11 Senate meeting were approved.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.