Faculty Senate Meeting

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Minutes of November 15, 2002


Present: Balasubranmanya, Brendel, Cabrera, Crowley, Friday, Garcia, Harper, Ivy, Kownslar, Landry-Hyde, Lewin, Melrose, Middleton, Moore, Morvant, Ricard, Sanders, Zebda, and Winston.


Guests: Dr. Paul Orser, Jr., Vice President for Planning & Institutional Effectiveness; Margaret Jordan, Nursing Faculty, and Dr. Christina Thompson, Physical and Life Sciences Department.


The meeting was called to order at 2:04 p.m.


I.                   Minutes.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the Minutes of the October 18, 2002 meeting. Those minutes were approved unanimously.


II.                Guest Speaker.

Dr. Paul Orser, Jr., Associate Vice President for Planning & Institutional Effectiveness, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the results of the Faculty Survey administered last Spring 2002. The survey is UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) Survey, which is administered nationally once every three years. This is the first time our institution has taken part in the survey, but it is Dr. Orser's hope that we will continue to participate. Survey results may be viewed at http://pie.tamucc.edu/survey/survey.htm. There are many ways the data can be broken down. Dr. Orser and Gale Stuart, Research Analyst, in the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, are willing to work with faculty on data analysis.


Action Items.
A. The Senate moved to the action items, as Bala had to leave early and his Academic Affairs Committee had the action items for the day's meeting.

1. Proposed Rule, 11.99.99.C5, Co-curricular Services to Minors. Lewin proposed an amendment to the proposed rule that would re-word one section and add another, 2.6. Friday added punctuation to the statements to make them grammatically correct. The proposed rule now reads:

2.5    When feasible, University students working on campus will work with groups of minor children. When individualized services are delivered on campus, teams of at least two University students should deliver the services, if appropriate.

2.6    [The end of the previous section was made into a new section.] When working with minor children, University students must be supervised by University faculty.

There was discussion as to where this proposed rule got its start with University Outreach. Then the College of Education thought they ought to take a look at it.


Crowley called the question on the amendment. The Senate had the 2/3 vote required. The proposed rule, as amended, passed.


2.      The Proposed University Procedure, 11.99.99.C5.01, Procedures for Co-Curricular Services to Minors, was passed unanimously by the Senate.


3.      Degree Program Request for B.S. in Biomedical Sciences

This is a "nonsubstantive degree program request" that combines the clinical laboratory sciences and the pre-professional option in biology into a single degree. The proposal has been approved by the Provost's Council.

Dr. Christina Thompson from the Physical and Life Sciences Department was present to give this overview and answer questions.

The program request was approved unanimously by the Senate.


4.      Proposed Rule, 34.06.02.C1, Firearms

Crowley proposed an amendment to the above. He proposed that item #3 in the proposed rule read: "Signage will be posted at the entrances to campus advising the public of the firearms rule." What is currently listed as item #3 in the proposed rule will become item #4 in said rule.

There was discussion on the proposed amendment. When the vote was taken, 15 senators were in favor of Crowley's amendment; 3 senators were opposed; there were no abstentions. In the discussion that ensued, some faculty continued to express concern that in South Texas, where hunting is common and many citizens have firearms in their vehicles, the prohibition of firearms in university parking lots would be problematic in terms of enforcement. Crowley stated that this is a system issue, not a University Police Department issue. The Provost commented that, since C. Ray Hayes sits on the President's Cabinet, and since that body will see this proposed rule on its way through channels, Hayes can alert the UPD to any issues the enforcement of this rule might raise.

The vote on the amended firearms rule had only 1 opposed and 1 abstention.


B.     Resolution on Administrative Fees.

Brendel had recently returned from the Texas Council of Faculty Senates meeting in Austin where there was a great deal of concern about the precedent established by the imposition of the administrative fee. Based on the information Brendel received during the above-mentioned meeting, he was in favor of supporting the College Station Faculty Senate's resolution to condemn the imposition of the fee. So Crowley re-introduced his proposal that the TAMU-CC Faculty Senate pass a resolution in support of the action taken by the mother campus Faculty Senate. The resolution passed unanimously. Lewin then suggested that the resolution be forwarded to SAC on campus for action from that staff advisory body. The Senate was unanimous in support of that recommendation.


III.             Standing Committees.

A.    Faculty Affairs - Ivy

1.      Proposed Rule 33.99.99.C1, Employment of Full-time Non-tenure Track Faculty.

The committee met with Nursing and Education Faculty on this issue as these are the programs most impacted by the proposed rule. It was discovered that neither Nursing Faculty nor Education Faculty as a whole had seen and discussed the document. There was even some question as to who had written the document in the first place. The Provost commented that this rule has taken years to move through the process, with a great deal of staff turnover along the way, including change at the director and dean levels. The committee decided that there should really be two separate documents, since there are differences in the circumstances that must be dealt with by the School of Nursing and by the College of Education. There also seems to be a need for a wider discussion of the document among the faculties concerned. The committee is sending the document back to the respective programs to be re-written by each.


2.      Draft of Academic Department Chairs Statement, formerly Academic

Mid-Administrators Statement 31.99.99.C1.01.

The Senate discussed the proposed statement on chairs. Friday stated that chairs should act as advocates for faculty. Ricard does not think that we should have untenured chairs. Lewin stated, in reference to section 3.3, that faculty can appeal to the Provost if a "no confidence" vote is not heeded by a dean. Crowley seconded Friday's statement. Crowley also suggested some kind of faculty ranking of those candidates eligible to serve as chair. The deans should be aware of those rankings. Friday felt there should be some kind of formal recommendation from faculty in the choice of a chair. The Provost noted, in reference to section 3.1, that the language on skills detailed in that section was taken from a "Profiler" used in executive management circles. The language and standards came out of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The Provost also noted that, with the draft statement as it reads now, the deans offices would be taking over systematic evaluation of chairs, something that is currently being done by the Provost's Office. Harper wanted to be sure everyone understood that the current statement would cause that change. This was fine with the Provost; she just wanted everyone to be aware of the change the document would effect. Zebda noted that discussion with faculty should take place, whether the search for a chair was internal or external. Lewin stated that the chair should get paid while he/she is doing the job, but not after the job is over. Morvant felt that 3-year terms for chairs was not long enough. He suggested 4- to 5-year terms, at least. In terms of financial reward, Morvant expressed agreement with Lewin's statement Sanders asked whether soft-money, non-tenure track faculty should vote. The Provost cautioned that the word "advocate" could carry a negative connotation - "my department, come hell or high water." This is not good. Zebda re-iterated that the chairs should represent the faculties they serve. Ivy will work on incorporating into the draft as many suggestions as possible. That revised document will next be sent to the larger faculty for feedback and comment.


B.     Awards/Bylaws/Elections - Kownslar

Kownslar reminded the Senate that we have not been operating according to our bylaws. However, before the bylaws can be changed, we need to revise the Constitution. That requires a 2/3 vote of the faculty, and there is concern about getting enough faculty to vote to accomplish this. One idea is to put a ballot in the packets distributed at the Provost's meeting at the beginning of the Spring Semester. Lewin questioned whether or not there needs to be two separate readings of the proposed constitutional changes. Kownslar will check on that .


Cabrera made the motion to extend the meeting another 15 minutes, and that was seconded.


C.     Budget Analysis - Zebda

Budget analysis is in progress by this committee. There is a proposed policy on receiving gifts from donors. This will probably be a discussion item for the next Senate Meeting.


D.    Committee on Committees - Brendel

The committee is very pleased at the response to its e-mail sent out to faculty asking them to indicate which committees on which they would like to serve next year. Some of the university-wide committee assignments are administrative appointments, which accounts for the differences between the list handed out at the New Faculty Service Orientation Session and the list e-mailed to faculty at large.


IV.                Provost's Report

If faculty have suggestions for agenda items for the next University Faculty Meeting, please let the Provost know. One suggestion for a Campus Conversation is a discussion of the draft Chair Statement. TAMU-CC had a very successful visit with the First Year Learning Communities research team that visited campus in October. The General Accounting Office (for the U.S. Congress) will soon be coming to campus with reference to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's regional plan for recruitment and retention. Work is progressing on the Faculty Development Strategic Plan. There was a Campus Conversation on this topic, and anyone wanting to submit comments can go to the Campus Conversations Web site, which has a link from the main University Homepage .

Work is also moving ahead on fleshing out the University Goals and Objectives. Meyer asked about a mechanism for feedback on University Goals. Summaries can be sent to the Provost. There are ongoing space issues on campus: evening classroom space, the Business Building, etc. Crowley asked if there were any possibility for new faculty lines. The Provost said it was unlikely, given the fact that the colleges said the only way they could meet potential budget cuts would be to not fill current positions. So this doesn't hold out much hope for newly created positions. Zebda called for "blocking" faculty teaching time, when possible. He noted that some faculty have 8:00 a.m. classes and still need to be on campus to teach evening classes, as well. The Provost stated that this is an area where the chairs and deans have been involved. The Provost has not been directly involved in that scheduling.


V.             Speaker's Report/Discussion/Information Items.

A job offer has been made to one of the candidates for the Faculty Senate Administrative Secretary position. The New Faculty Orientations are completed. Everyone liked the idea of breaking up the orientation sessions into several gatherings. This arrangement proved to be beneficial to all. The University Calendar Committee has been suggesting some changes.


The top issues identified by the Texas Council of Faculty Senates meeting in Austin were:

VI.          Announcements

The nominee for the First-Year Student Advocate Award is Glenn Blalock.


VII.       Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Denise Landry-Hyde