Present: Balasubranmanya, Brendel, Cabrera, Crowley, Friday, Harper, Ivy, Landry-Hyde, Lewin, Melrose, Middleton, Moore, Myer, Ricard, and Winston.Absent: Garcia, Kownslar, Morvant, Sanders.
Guests: Drs. Jack Cassidy, JoAnn Canales, Bryan Smith, Marsha Grace, and other College of Education Faculty.
The meeting was called to order at 2:10 p.m.
I. Approval of December 6, 2002 Minutes.
A motion was made and seconded for the approval of the December 6, 2002 Minutes. Minutes were approved with the correction to be noted that Dr. Crowley had voted against the emergency action item dealing with Faculty Consulting. The Minutes were approved with that correction.
II. Action Items. Given the fact that there were a number of guests from the College of Education, the Speaker first went to the Academic Affair's action item relating to the proposed doctoral program in Curriculum & Instruction.
A. Academic Affairs
1. Proposed Doctoral Program in C&I.
The Committee's recommendation to the Senate read:
"Having reviewed the proposal on the Doctor of Education degree in Curriculum and instruction, and having received clarifications from the College of Education on the workload of, and proposed additions to, the faculty in the College who would participate in the proposed program, the committee recommends the approval of the proposal by the senate."
Lewin asked what impact the recent hiring freeze would have on the proposed program. The Provost did state that the Coordinating Board might freeze new programs until the budget situation is clarified. After brief discussion, the recommendation was approved, with 1 abstention.
2. Catalog copy recommendations were also approved.
3. The BBA in Business Economics and BA in Economics recommendations were also approved unanimously.
A. Faculty Affairs
1.Faculty Consulting, External Professional Employment, and Conflicts of Interest, University Rule 31.05.01.C1.
A motion was made and seconded to reconsider this rule due to a parliamentary issue. None opposed. Section 4.5 was added to the proposed rule by Crowley to further clarify what constitutes external professional employment. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to consider the changes. Lewin suggested some wording changes. A motion was made to remove the word "books" from section 4.5. This was considered to be an unfriendly amendment by Middleton. There was a second for striking "books" from the wording. Lewin proposed using the phrase "scholarly books" as an alternative. A vote was taken on removing "books" from the section: 10 voted against; 2 were in favor, and 2 abstained. A vote was then taken on accepting the proposed rule with the added section 4.5 and with the friendly amendments. The wording of section 4.5 now reads:
"As per system Regulation 31.05.01, section 3.1, book reviews and journal articles are not to be included as external professional employment. In addition, the following categories of contracts are not to be included as external professional employment: scholarly books, textbooks, textbook instructor's manuals, study guides, and other textbook peripherals, edited volume royalties, occasional honoraria for professional lectures and awards, stipends for journal editorship, and occasional payments for review and assessment of research proposals for awards or fellowships/professional stipends granted to scholars by non-government organizations. If in doubt, faculty are encouraged to gain approval before signing any contract."
There were 13 in favor and 1 opposed (Lewin). Lewin has concerns about what constitutes a day.
III. Standing Committees
A. Faculty Affairs - Ivy
1. Update on Chairs Statement
The Committee has been getting feedback from faculty on the proposed statement. PALS Faculty discussed the statement as a group. They suggest that the statement not be too prescriptive, and that a distinction be made between Department Head, more of an Administration advocate, and Department Chair, more of a Faculty advocate. The Provost described this person as a "boundary role" person - one who needs to be able to communicate with both faculty and administrators.
Cabrera re-iterated the need for continuity when it comes to length of terms.
The Provost noted that the Coordinator in PALS is really the equivalent of a Department Chair, so there are very different structures within the colleges.
B. Awards/Bylaws/Election Committee - Brendel for Kownslar
1. Kownslar had included in the Senate packets an Executive Summary of the proposed revisions to the Faculty Senate Constitution and also a proposed timeline. Lewin suggested a change in language in B. 5 of that document - to have the newly-elected Senators each Spring take their seats no later than the "next regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate," rather than specifying May 1.
C. Budget Analysis - Zebda
1. Update, Benevolent Gift Investment and Risk Management Policy. This draft policy has been sent to Ray Hayes for his comments.
2. Given the large deficit the State of Texas is facing and what that means for higher education, a Web site has been set up on Paul Orser's Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness page to share updates on the budget situation as it unfolds. A special University Budget Committee, with John Brendel as its Chair, has been created to facilitate communication, input, and feedback within the University Community. Middleton encouraged the group to see that the Minutes from the special Budget Committee are put up on the Web site.
3. Zebda noted that the University is only receiving $28,000 per year for leasing its land to the Miramar Apartments. This lease agreement will be for the next 35 years. The company, because it is leasing land from the University, is not having to pay property taxes. This translates into tax savings for the company amounting to about $900,000 per year, according to Zebda. Perhaps in the future, the university could seek to work out arrangements that would be more favorable financially to the university itself.
4. Landry-Hyde asked if there were a hiring freeze on all unfilled positions. Zebda said that there was. The Provost stated there was currently a freeze on travel and capital expenditures, and that energy efficiencies would be pursued. The University budget is being cut by 7%. Tuition increases may be coming.
D. Committee on Committees - Brendel
1.Responses, thus far, to the Committee's survey sheets asking for faculty willing to serve on University Committees were in the packets.
2. Brendel noted that Dr. Claudia Johnston will be needing 14 faculty for program reviews.
3. It was also noted that there is a need for more full professors to participate on the Senate and other committees. Newer faculty are feeling the crunch of many committee assignments while still having to work towards tenure.
IV. Provost's Report
Most of the discussion revolved around the 7% budget cut from general revenue. For TAMU-CC, this will mean about $2.8 million and perhaps closer to $3 million having to be returned to the state. The Provost stated that we need to look at every bit of uncommitted money, as of now. The possibility of furloughs are even being discussed. There will be Campus Conversations in February to give the University Community a chance to provide input and express concerns.
Lewin made a plea for staff paid at the lowest levels. These salaries are so low to begin with that he thought these staff should be exempt from any kind of salary cut.
Ivy asked if the new classroom building might be affected. The Provost responded that it is one of the most vulnerable projects.
The Governor has said to cut administration first, then services.
V. Speaker's Report/Discussion/Information Items.
Brendel stated that we would really have to focus on our core values as the budget situation worsens. By February 6th, we must decide how we will return approximately $2.8 million to the state this year.
A. There has been a change in date for the April Meeting to April 25th.
B. Women's Center Request. For the Annual Cheryl Hein "Get the Job" Program on February 12th, the Women's Center is asking faculty to "role model appropriate interview dress on this day."
C. Special University Budget Committee
Information from the Chronicle and other sources was included in the packets.
D. BEAMS Project. TAMU-CC is now a part of this Building Engagement & Attainment of Minority Students Project. It is a partnership between the American Association for Higher Education and the National Survey of Student Engagement.
E. Upcoming Texas Council of Faculty Senates Spring Meeting (2/21-2/22).
Brendel was going to ask for a representative to attend, but Lewin felt strongly that this would be an especially important meeting and that our regular representative ought to attend. Middleton will chair the next Faculty Senate Meeting in Brendel's absence.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m. The next meeting will be February 21st.