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Jan 27, 2010 Minutes

Members present: Senators Brown, Hazlewood, Bond, Wilson, Feakes, Furney, Stone, Morey, Conroy, Melzer, Martin, Shah, Warms

Guests: Sigler, Hohensee, O'Connor (University Star).

Meeting called to order at 4:00.

1. The Chair distributed data on salaries for program faculty.

2. The Chair and Ted Hindson (Chair of the subcommittee developing plans for the May event celebrating fifty years of shared governance at Texas State) met with the Provost's Office staff to discuss the upcoming celebration. The Provost's Office will cover all expenses, as well as assisting with planning. Senator Martin agreed to assist with securing live music to be performed at the opening reception.

3. Milt Nielsen will visit the Senate on February 3 to discuss faculty concerns about the TRACS system.

Allocation of Supplemental Funding for Development Leaves: Senator Conroy, who served on the committee that reviewed requests for supplemental funding, reported on the review process. There was no meeting held, partly because the review of requests and decisions on ratings had to be completed during the winter break, by January 8. Committee members sent their ratings to Dr. Bourgeois, who then collated the results. The committee declined the opportunity to discuss the ratings or the review itself. The Senate wonders if the review dates could be revised so that the committee could meet to discuss funding requests. The Senate would also like to insure that its rankings of Development Leave requests be included in the review materials this committee receives.

Composition of Personnel Committees: The Chair met with Dr. Bourgeois to discuss the Senate's questions about the composition of Personnel Committees. Dr. Bourgeois explained that he felt the minimum number of faculty on a PC would be two, although he would prefer at least three. The President and Provost feels that Research Professor and Endowed Professors should be engaged in departmental activities such as tenure-and-promotion decisions. Moreover, that percentage of such professors' assignment in a department would be judged by the host department during annual review and merit cycles.

The Senate remains concerned about non-teaching faculty being involved in decisions about the quality of their colleagues' teaching, and also wonders if departments have any input on whether such non-teaching faculty should join their faculty as voting members. In small departments, the addition of non-teaching faculty to Personnel Committees can have a significant impact on tenure-and-promotion decisions. One Senator also wondered about faculty who might be tenured in two departments: would such faculty be able to vote on personnel matters in both departments?

The Senate will invite the Chair of the Academic Governance Committee to discuss these issues, and to charge the Committee with exploring them in more depth.

Honor Code UPPS 07.10.01: As reported by Senator Shah, the Committee revising the Honor Code UPPS met several times to develop the UPPS. The Committee included Thorne, Amaya, Morton, Wiley and Shah. Most discussions focused on refining and developing the processes for appeals. Troubling to the Senate is the fact that, late in the revision process, the Senate was removed from the list of those who would review the revised UPPS; the Chair will make the Senate's concern about this decision known to the Committee.

Among the issues still of interest to the Senate are:
1. the lack of specific guidelines governing distance learning and online courses; although Dr. Thorne says another UPPS is being developed to cover Honor Code violations in such situations, the Senate feels those guidelines should be included in this document. Moreover, the Senate wonders why it has yet to see any of the guidelines Dr. Thorne mentions, since she has told the Senate for almost a year now that they have been in development;

2. the requirement that the initial meeting between a faculty member and a student must be private when the faculty member asserts the alleged Honor Code violation. Of particular concern to the Senate are the security issues this raises, especially for graduate teaching assistants;

3. the apparent lack of student input into the development of this new UPPS.

Workload Proposal for Service Commitments: The Chair distributed a draft proposal to be sent to the Provost, outlining the Senate's request for administrative support for major service commitments. After discussion, the Senate revised the draft to request, in addition to ongoing assigned time for the Chair of the Senate and the Chair of the University Curriculum Committee, a pool of four one-semester, three-hour assigned releases, to be used when warranted by the workload for chairs in Senate committees.


Faculty Senate Committee Preference Survey: Brief descriptions of each committee's purview were distributed by the Chair. The Senate would like to include these descriptions on the survey so that faculty can make more informed choices about committee preferences. Moreover, the Chair will explore sending to faculty survey forms that list only committees with openings for representatives from their particular

Parking Proposal: At the request of the Provost, the Senate last fall developed a list of proposals to resolve several ongoing concerns about campus parking, and sent the list to the Transportation and Parking Committee. Because the Senate believes that its proposals were not taken seriously, and feels that parking issues are of importance to nearly every group on campus, the Chair will invite Dr. Joann Smith to the Senate on February 17 to ask that the University designate five percent of all red spaces, and no fewer than two per lot, as 24-hour restricted spaces. Such spaces would assist faculty teaching night courses, as well as those with business on campus in the evenings; they would also alleviate security concerns about walking across campus late at night by making red spaces available nearer faculty members' primary places of work.

PPS 7.14: As requested at last week’s senate meeting, Senator Conroy drafted possible additions to the revised version of this PPS that has been circulated for review. The draft was distributed electronically and will be returned to agenda for discussion. One possible issue raised by the revised policy is the re-definition of per course faculty. Also, because Senior Lecturers are defined as continuing faculty, most of 7.14 no longer applies to them, leaving only one paragraph in PPS7.22 that pertains to the position. More comprehensive guidelines for Senior Lecturers may be needed.

New Business:
1. A faculty member has asked whether the small room in Commons Cafeteria can be reserved for faculty and staff use until a new University Club opens.

2. University Attorney Bill Fly provided a statement that can be included on syllabi to meet the requirements for informing students about the University's Honor Code. The Chair will forward it to Dr. Bourgeois.

3. Use of Turn It In: University Attorney Bill Fly feels that a faculty member can submit student essays to the Turn It In program without the students' permission, as long as there are no student names on the essays.

Minutes for 1/20 approved.