Skip to Content

Oct 16, 2002 Minutes




Approved Senate Minutes
October 16, 2002

Senators Present:  Bell-Metereau, Blanda, Frost, James, Hindson, Peeler, Renick, Sawey, Stone, Stutzman,

Senators Absent: Brennan, Carns, Gillis

Guests: R. Martin, F. Horne

4:00 Call to Order, welcomed guests

I. SWT Check Cashing Policy

At the beginning of the Fall term, the Cashier's Office in JCK stopped its check cashing service for the university community.

Two memoranda related to this were distributed:
1. A memorandum (10/14/02) from Gordon Thyberg (Chair of the Staff Council) to VPFSS Nance requesting that the VPFSS reconsider this decision and resume the check cashing service.  The memo also contained:
2. A request for Staff Council to be consulted when decisions are made that impact staff employees.
3. An observation that a decision (made in the Student Affairs division) to discontinue check cashing at the University Bookstore has been reconsidered so that more data could be gathered and longer notice be given.
4. A memorandum (10/16/02) from Carolyn Conn (University Treasurer) containing (among other things) an assertion that the cashiers have trouble "balancing" at the end of the day if such checks are cashed.  Apparently this has recently become an "unbearable burden."

After some discussion and not a little consternation and disbelief, a motion (Stone/Hindson) was put forward for the Faculty Senate to endorse the Staff Council's recommendation for the VPFSS to reconsider this change of practice and to resume check cashing for the University community at the Cashier's Office in JCK.

The motion passed unanimously.

II. Revision of Charge to Curriculum Committee
(A Faculty Senate Committee)
(Dr. Roy Martin)

Dr. Roy Martin (Chair of the Curriculum Committee) came to discuss the recent activities of the Curriculum Committee and discuss the Senate's concerns related to its charge for this committee.  Generally speaking, the Curriculum Committee receives and evaluates all curriculum requests at the University.

PPS's related to the work of the committee are PPS 2.01 ( and PPS 2.05 (

The following is a summary of the items discussed:
1. Thus far this Fall, the committee has considered 299 new courses, 151 course deletions and 66 course changes.  There are 6 new program proposals in the offing.  There are no new doctoral proposals expected in the "near term."
2. In its deliberations, the committee attempts to ascertain how each item coming before the committee affects the possible requirements/needs for:
3. New faculty
4. Additional staffing
5. New equipment and space
6. The number of members on the committee is 14 (2 from each college), each with a 3-year term.  There are also several ex officio members.
7. The administration's "influence" extends only to collecting the materials (beginning in April of each year) and Ms. Henry's (VPAA's office) taking the minutes of the committee meetings.
8. Virtually no proposals are ultimately rejected, although some are returned for revision before final approval by the committee.
9. The committee often seems to be "bogged down" in dealing with the minutia of grammar and bibliography checking rather than "bigger picture" issues such as course duplication and critical costing issues.

There seemed to be considerable concern by the senators that the committee should not get bogged down in minutia, rather than dealing with larger policy/philosophical issues.  Concern was voiced that such "miring" facilitates the failure of the Faculty to "own" the curriculum.

No clear resolution of this issue was reached.  Insert picture of hand-wringing.

The next meeting of the Curriculum Committee is at 2 PM this Friday (10/16/02) in Library 105.

III. Facilities Report
(Ms. Nancy Nusbaum, Office of VPFSS -- Vice President for Finance and Support Services)

Information related to Facilities and the Office of the VPSS  can be found at:

Ms. Nusbaum gave a PowerPoint report on new and planned construction.

The slide presentation can be found at:

The presentation (an excellent one by virtually all accounts) was about 50% completed due to considerable questioning as the presentation proceeded.

Some of the items discussed, but not explicitly covered in the PowerPoint slides, are as follows:
1. This report did not cover deferred maintenance.  A report covering this topic will be coming later, but Ms. Nusbaum will send a spreadsheet reflecting these matters. This will be sent to the Senate office secretary and presumably distributed thereafter.  A table reflecting the contents of this spreadsheet is attached to the minutes.
2. The College of Education is requesting additional space and renovations to support its PhD program. Although the Education PhD proposal was not on hand, the memory of some senators was that it did not initially (less than 3 years ago) indicate the need for any additional space to support this program. The cost for this was to be discussed on a slide that was not reached in the presentation.
3. A new Coordinating Board requirement for athletic facility construction is that 25% of the cost must come from external gifts.
4. The new San Marcos Hall (West Campus) has 100% occupancy.
5. The new Bobcat Village (on Aquarena Springs Drive) had 53% occupancy on August 2, 2002.  Offers for living in Bobcat Village were made to "overflow" dormitory students and the current occupancy rate is near 80%.  This situation is being monitored closely in the VPFSS office).  Should the developer default on the construction bonds for Bobcat Village, it is unknown who would be legally required to assume the debt.
6. There was considerable discussion concerning the Mitte Complex, particularly the Art section of the building.  Some items discussed were:
7. Regulations require that the initial $42 million estimate of the total cost not be exceeded by more than 10%. The total cost is approaching $46 million.
8. Ceilings in one area of the Art section are so low (due to air ducts) as to be unusable for their intended purpose.  The additional cost for repairing this is a concern as is the fact that it would require placing the ducts on the roof, requiring additional cuts in the roof.  Such additional roof cuts would increase the chance for leaks, hence more reticence.  Apparently new construction cannot be done on this campus so that leaks are not included.
9. 1% of the construction cost can be used for art works/aesthetics.  The Technology/Physics use of these monies is going to a "water wall," presumably not on the (expected to be) leaky roof.  The Art use is being applied to a set of tiles.
10. A new space management PPS is to be released soon.

Since only 27 of Ms. Nusbaum's 48 slides were covered.  Ms. Nusbaum will be returning at some mutually convenient time to complete the presentations, including the additional College Education request for additional space to support its PhD enterprise.

IV. New Business

Several items were distributed for possible consideration at later meetings as the meeting was brought to a close:
1. A memo to the Handbook Committee from Kathy Fite concerning an electronic format for the Faculty Handbook.
2. Agenda for the TACT Fall Leadership Conference (October 25-26) in Austin.
3. Schedule of the campus visit (October 21-22) by the Educational Marketing Group, Inc.  This is the entity advising the University on matters" image-related."
4. The revision of the UPPS 04.04.46 related to prohibition of discrimination. The revision includes sexual orientation as a category against which the university will not discriminate.
5. Minutes of the October 2nd and October 9th were approved with minor corrections.

Since the draft proposal in available electronically, it is attached to these minutes. Comments are requested by Friday, 10/25/02.

The meeting adjourned at 6:20 PM