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Feb 20, 2008 Minutes

Members present:

Senators Stone, Bond, Feakes, Furney, Hazlewood, Hindson, Hurt, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Melzer, Ogletree, Shah, Wilson


Guests: Dr. Michael Supancic, Criminal Justice; Rebecca Swindal, Staff Council Representative; and Selina Saucedo, University Star



Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Temporary Senate Replacement:  Dr. Charles Hurt, Music, was named as a temporary Senate replacement for Senator Davidson, Music, who is unable to attend meetings for the spring semester.


Academic Governance: Dr. Michael Supancic, Chair of the University Governance Committee (UGC), reported to the Senate on the activity of the committee regarding the Senate’s charge to the committee to perform an audit of compliance of academic departments with respect to the policy statements on promotion/tenure, merit/performance and faculty evaluation.  Copies of these policy statements for each department are supposed to be available in the Provost’s Office.  Faculty Records in the Provost’s Office seems to be the repository for such documents, but actually seeing the documents has been difficult. As a result, the UGC has not been able to determine which departments are in compliance and which are not. Director of Faculty Records, Gaye Korenek, has indicated that she is working with Instructional Technology to develop a TRAC site for such policy statements, but the site is not currently available to the UGC.  The Senate decided to reformulate the charge to the UGC to determine what departmental policy statements regarding promotion/tenure, merit/performance, faculty evaluation and conditions of employment without terminal degrees were actually filed in the Provost’s Office as of February 13, 2008, and which were not; and, if the documents are on file, what was the date of their last revision.


University Curriculum Committee Recommendation: The motion to approve the UCC recommendation regarding degree name changes in the School of Music and the recommendation to delete the BA major in Chemistry was considered.  A motion to approve the recommendation passed with one no vote.


Grant Information: A report from Sponsored Projects was circulated listing all grants to the University for 2007.  The report will be kept on file in the Senate Office for anyone wishing to look at it.


Testing Center Fees:  It was reported that the Testing Center will charge a fee for surveys it conducts that are not associated with a classroom activity.  Speculation was that the Center was charging for the surveys in order to become a for-profit entity on campus much like Auxiliary Services.




Parking Issues: Discussion continues with respect to the Senate’s concern about evening parking in the Pleasant Street Garage for faculty who teach evening classes.  In response to the Senate’s motion that parking be restricted to red permits from 7 am to 7 pm, Stephen Prentice, Asst. Dir. For Parking Services, responded: “Thank you for your note. As you know, the Transportation and Parking Committee hears these types of requests and you should ask Bill Peeler or Dr. Gratz to place it on the agenda for the next meeting. Thought the original time was set at 7:00 p.m. the TPC did approve the change to the 6:30 based on parking counts of the first week. I wasn’t sure if you knew that or not.   


As an FYI- the committee is quite data driven. I’m sure they will want to see your data to support the proposal. Parking Services has continued to do counts at 6:15 and 6:30 most evenings in both the Pleasant Street Garage and R-3. There continues to be ample parking in both these lots as late as 6:30.  For example, last Monday night (11th) there were 45 parked cars and 45 empty spaces at 6:15 p.m. in Pleasant. Also, it is very important to Dr. Cheatham to be able to provide parking for his community events held at the Music Building. I don’t know how he can do that if we don’t let folks into these empty spaces after 6:30. Just a “heads up” that it might be something the Faculty Senate rep who comes to present the proposal should be prepared to address.”


According to the Parking Services counts, there is no reason for the faculty complaints about there being no evening parking space in the Pleasant Street Garage.  While it seemed only a small concession to leave the parking gate closed until 7 pm, the continued closure is apparently much more complicated than the Senate originally thought. For the time being, the Senate will not appeal to  the TPC.  The chair will send a memo to the TPC chair, Dr. Bill Peeler, indicating that the Senate motion was to Mr. Prentice and not to the TPC.



Developmental Leave UPPS 8.02:  There are discussions with the Provost’s Office to make changes in the UPPS for Developmental Leaves.  The most significant change being discussed is review applications for leaves one time per year rather than twice.  The Chair will meet with Assoc. Provost Bourgeois to consider some rewording.  One concern is that changes should not adversely affect the number of leaves granted in a given year.  A question was also raised with respect to Senate representation on the group that determines which of the leave recipients are eligible for the extra $20K stipend that is being offered by the Administration. 


Promotion/Tenure Issues: The Administration is discussing possible changes in the Promotion/Tenure process.  Aside from some minor wording changes in the UPPS, some of the ideas that are circulating are:  College Review Groups would consist of only faculty members without chairs; an elected faculty member would chair the departmental Personnel Committee rather than the chair.  The Senate will explore a possible survey of the faculty on such issues.


New Business: 

  • Institutional Review Board:  There has been some concern about the IRB rejecting proposals for research involving human subjects.  It was questioned whether membership on the IRB should be more balanced from an academic point of view.  The Senate will request that AVP Covington meet will the Senate to discuss IRB membership and role in the academic process.
  • Research Infrastructure Issue:  Should the Testing Center be charging individuals for its services?  AVP Covington will also be asked to discuss this matter.
  • Faculty Salaries Posted on the Web:  There is discussion on posting salary data on the web without password protection.  The data was pulled from the Senate webpage last week because it no longer required a password to access the data, but since the data is subject to open records, why should a password be necessary.  A motion was passed and seconded to post the data anyway.  It will be considered at the next meeting.     

Minutes:  Minutes for 02/13/07 were approved as amended.