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April 16, 2008 Minutes

Members present:  Senators Feakes, Bond, Furney, Hazlewood, Hindson, Hurt, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Ogletree, Shah, Winek


Guests: Rebecca Swindal, Staff Council Representative; Mary Dichard, University Star



Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Info Items:  

  • Senate Elections:  The cycle is complete. New Senators will be announced next week.
  • Technology:  AVP for Instructional Technology, Milt Nielsen, will meet with the Senate next week to discuss the computer refresh cycle.


Faculty Development Leaves: The Senate considered the ranking of Faculty Development Leaves and recommended all  twelve applicants be awarded leaves.  The recommendation goes to the Provost and the Council of Academic Deans.


University Curriculum Committee PPS:  The Senate approved a motion to recommend a change in PPS 2.18, Curriculum Committees, paragraph 4, to:  “The Faculty Senate will select two tenured faculty members from each college, a staff representative from the University Library, and two students appointed annually by the Associated Student Government as voting members of the UCC.  The Director of Curriculum Services in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs serves as an ex-officio non-voting member.  UCC faculty members and the staff representative serve three-year renewable terms.  Faculty members of the UCC serve concurrently on the CCC (see paragraph 5) and act as liaisons between the committees.”  The reason for the recommendation is the UCC is a high profile, work-intensive committee, and service is not in the best interests of tenure-track faculty.


Senate Accomplishments:  In order for the Senate to make its annual report to the Faculty, there was some discussion of Senate accomplishments over the past year.  Some issues that came to mind were:

  • Development of gender identity nondiscrimination policy.
  • Negotiation with the Provost for posting Administrator Survey Data.
  • Stopping a policy statement allowing random drug testing of faculty.
  • Dedication of Henrietta Avent Room.
  • Compliance on the part of Chairs and Deans to circulate chair evaluations and workload reports.

Senator Wilson was designated in his absence to check for additional items and to create a document to circulate to Faculty.  Senator Meek agree to help.


Wellness PPS:  Staff Council Representative Rebecca Swindal reported that the Staff Council was considering a recommendation that UPPS 04.04.32, Texas State Wellness Program, be altered to allow staff members “either thirty minutes per day five times per week or sixty minutes per day three times per week” to participate in the University’s Wellness Program.  The Senate is considering whether it will support the Staff recommendation for the change in the UPPS.


PAAG Agenda Items:  The Senate discussed possible items for the next PAAG agenda.  The agenda will be completed at next week’s meeting.  Items considered:

  • Status of the next University Ombudsman.
  • Student Athletes and Excused Absences.
  • The President’s Mitte Decision.
  • What are the Provost’s conclusions regarding the interviews held last fall over the leadership of the College of Science?
  • Capitol Campaign.
  • Progress on the Pleasant Street Garage.


New Business:

  • Academic Computer Committee Grants: A question was raised regarding when the announcements would be made on grants by the ACC.  The announcements are currently being circulated.
  • Academic Dishonesty:  A Senator raised the question whether there is an escalating increase in academic dishonesty.  Discussion revealed mixed opinion.  The topic may be considered at a later date.
  • Quality Enhancement Program:  The QEP group is still looking for a major theme.  Emphasis is that whatever theme is determined, it should be a data-driven choice.  Popular possibilities are critical thinking and job shadowing.


Minutes:  Minutes for 04/02/08 and 04/07/08 were approved as amended.