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Oct 04, 2006 Minutes

Minutes for 10/04/06

Members present:

Chair Stone, Senators Brennan, Conroy, Davidson, Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, Homeyer, McGee, McKinney, Montondon, Sorensen, Warms, Winek, Wiley

Guests: Mark Fronstad, Geography, Micky Autrey, Dir Curr Serv, Brandi Simchak, International Studies, Hector Flores, Dean of Science, Bob Habingreither, Assoc Dean of Science, Vedararman Sriraman, Dir of Engineering

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


UCC: The Senate discussed the recommendation of the University Curriculum Committee that recommended:

·         Delete BAIS major in Russian/East European Studies

·         Add BS major in Electrical Engineering

·         Add School of Engineering in the College of Science and change the Department of Engineering & Technology to the Department of Technology

Questions were raised about which faculty would be moving from Technology to Electrical Engineering, about the areas of emphasis of the new engineering program and about the amount of space that would be required for the new program.

The Senate will vote on the UCC recommendation at its next meeting.


Updates and Info:

·         Background Checks PPS:  Chair Stone informed the Senate that the draft PPS on background checks has been re-released with all of the Senate’s recommendations included.

·         Budget Committee’s Final Report:  The Senate received the 2005-2006 wrap-up report of the Budget Committee.  The committee noted general concern with:

o        The SAP program and its ongoing problems

o        Growth in administrative staff

o        Lack of budget Information for the Round Rock and the north San Antonio operations

o        Cost of new PhD programs

o        Cogeneration plant and energy costs

o      120 hour restriction on undergraduate programs

·         Spring Workload Report:  The chair will request the spring workload report in order to initiate on an audit to see if the chairs are finally following the University policy on workload reports.

·         Capital Campaign:  The Chair made a plea to Senators to earmark a portion of their contributions to the Faculty Senate’s budget account.


Faculty Handbook Issues:  The administrative version of the Faculty Handbook was discussed. Together with numerous typos, there seem to be some policy issues that need to be straightened out, e.g., who now votes on promotion.  The paragraph that said specifically which personnel committee members vote on promotion of candidates to associate professor or professor has been deleted. There is some mislabeling of whether chairs and deans are faculty members or not.  In one place, they are and another they are not.  There was also considerable discussion about how the Faculty Handbook should actually be revised. The way it was done this last year is unacceptable. The item will be placed on the PAAG agenda.  The Senate will ask for the Handbook subcommittee of the Senate meet AP Bourgeois to work out differences and also suggest that the Senate write a policy statement on the procedure for revising the Handbook.





PAAG Agenda:  Together with the Handbook issue, the Senate will also ask that the new capital campaign be included on the PAAG agenda together with a topic titled unintended consequences of the increase in doctoral programs. The existence of the doctoral programs on campus decreases the ability of the primarily undergraduate departments to compete effectively within the current funding environment.  For example, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funds programs at primarily undergraduate institutions through the Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program.  “Eligible predominantly undergraduate institutions include U.S. two-year, four-year, masters-level, and small doctoral colleges and universities that (1) grant baccalaureate degrees in NSF-supported fields, or provide programs of instruction for students pursuing such degrees with institutional transfers (e.g., two-year schools), (2) have undergraduate enrollment exceeding graduate enrollment, and (3) award an average of no more than 10 Ph.D. or D. Sc. Degrees per year in all NSF-supportable disciplines.”  The loss of RUI status at NSF is imminent for Texas State.  As a result, faculty members who are submitting proposals to NSF will now be evaluated with doctoral institutions, such as UT-Austin and Texas A&M University, regardless of the presence, or absence, of a doctoral program in their own specific department.  Additionally, many faculty receive “start-up” grants through private agencies, such as Research Corporation and the Petroleum Research Foundation.  If the departments pursue doctoral status, the funding from these specific programs will no longer be available.  Since this is an issue that will impact faculty individually and the university as a whole, it should be discussed.


M&O Study Appointments:  Senators McGee and Davidson were appointed to be Senate representatives on the new committee to study M&O.


New Business: 

Growth in Administrative Staff:  Due to the concern expressed by the Senate’s Budget Committee, it was decided to request a list of all assistant and associate administrative whatevers and flow chart listing to whom they report.

Institutional Effectiveness:  Someone raised the question of how, in the current climate of assessment and outcome proofs, the efficacy of administrative offices, e.g., Institutional Effectiveness, is evaluated? This may be a topic for further discussion.