Faculty Senate Meeting
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
September 19, 2003
UC Tejas 106A

Present: Alnor, Bala, Brendel, Canales, Cook, Crowley, de Magalhaes, Friday, Garcia, Harper, Ivy, Kownslar, Melrose, Meyer, Morvant, Purdy, Sanders, Shepperd, Sutton, Winston, Wooster, Zebda

Absent: None

Guests: David Yoskowitz

Meeting began at 2 p.m.

  1. Approval of minutes from August 29: Approved without correction.

A. Academic Affairs (Bala): The committee has not met, yet. However, they have begun an electronic discussion of issues. Brendel said that the Provost is in the process of meeting with Deans and colleges to make sure that the tenure and promotion expectations are clarified. Bala suggested that Academic Affairs should first work independently of the Provost to come up with an analysis on its own.

    Bala said that the analysis of tenure and promotion should go back to the disciplines, and the expectations should be discipline-specific. How does each discipline evaluate scholarship? What scholarly goals can be achieved in a discipline in five or ten years? There should be unambiguous language for expectations in the first letter of appointment.

    Zebda suggested that Bala request verification about the requirements from the A&M System. Purdy and Zebda suggested gathering data first. Wooster asked Bala to send out the information that the committee gathered, and Bala said that he would. Crowley asked if the Senate could have a representative on the college committees. He also suggested having university-wide P&T committees, rather than by college, as well as external reviewers in the process. De Magalhaes suggested having a preliminary review at three years.

B. Faculty Affairs (Meyer): The committee will focus on research support and sabbaticals this year. Meyer has already spoken to Harvey Knull about the sabbatical policy, and he will check on the policy, process and funds for sabbaticals and will get back to Meyer.

Meyer also said that the committee would survey faculty about merit raises and their perceptions of the criteria. In addition, the issue of release time would also be examined.

Meyer suggested shifting the faculty salary issue to the Budget and Analysis Committee. Zebda agreed.

C. Awards/Bylaws/Election (Melrose): Melrose reported that the committee discussed "Specific Suggestions for More Efficient Senate Meetings". He said that the committee members generally supported the document, although there were concerns about stifling speech. Crowley responded that while the report itself would last five minutes, any discussions could last longer if necessary.

Melrose also reported that changes in same-sex faculty relations benefits would probably not be accomplished this year. Crowley suggested that the committee survey peer and aspiration institutions about types of benefits and non-discrimination clauses.

Melrose asked the Senate if the A&M System needed to make changes in these kinds of benefits before TAMUCC did. Brendel said that he was not sure. Morvant said that clarification was needed about "same sex" and "domestic partnership" benefits. Ivy recommended two sources of information: the Texas Faculty Association and the faculty senate listservs.

D. Budget and Analysis (Zebda): Zebda reported that the committee had not met, yet. The committee will focus on a general analysis the University budget, not just summer school. In addition, they would examine faculty salaries. Brendel asked if the committee could submit a smaller sub-report for summer school. Zebda replied that the committee could do this.

Zebda also said that the committee did not have a clear goal for summer school, adding that the University made money from money school. Morvant suggested looking at a long-term analysis of data about summer school.

E. Committee on Committees (Morvant): Morvant said that the committee had not met, but it will meet by the end of next week. For the appeals pool, two colleges have a pool, and he will talk to the other two colleges. There will need to be a pool of 18 faculty members.

Initiative V on 3/3 or 3 / 4 teaching load: Morvant said that the committee would need to collect data. Brendel suggested re-wording the study to 9/9 or 9/12. The committee will probably study the aspiration group of universities.

II. Action Items:

  1. Affirmation for President and Administrative Team: Ivy presented a revised draft of the document for approval. After a lengthy discussion about the wording of the document, Zebda made a motion to refer the document to Ivy and Wooster for further revisions. As Ivy declined, the motion died.

    Zebda made a second motion to refer the document back to the Executive

    Committee. The vote was 9 for, 8 against, 0 abstentions. The document will therefore be referred back to Executive Committee.

  2. Procedures for More Efficient Senate Meetings: Crowley presented "Specific Suggestions for More Efficient Senate Meetings" as an action item. After discussion and several proposed amendments, Ivy made a amending motion to approve the document with Point 1 deleted ("Limit all reports to 5 minutes"). The vote was 12 for, 4 against, and 1 abstention.

The remaining two points in the amended document were unanimously approved. The text of the proposals is as follows:

Be it resolved that: Committee action items will be merged with the committee reports.

Be it further resolved that: The Senate agenda as of October 2003 use the following format:

  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes
  3. Announcements
  4. Speaker's Report
  5. Tabled Items
  6. Standing Committees (and Associated Motions)
  7. Provost's Report
  8. Any Other Business
  9. Adjournment
III. Provost's Report

Harper said that the A&M System has a new Interim Chancellor, A. Benton Cocanougher, who visited the campus earlier that week. She also reported that the new architect for the Art Museum was in town. In addition, the University has done a 100 percent review of the classrooms for the Social Sciences Building. That project is moving along and is scheduled for completion for Fall 2005. As the original date (8/15/05) is very close to the beginning of school, she hoped to move back the completion date about a month- and-a-half. Lastly, she said that the University was participating in the NCAA Certification Process Self-Study, and anyone interested in participating should let her know.

Brendel asked Harper to clarify the Faculty Development/Faculty Leave policy.

Harper said that the administration hadnít developed a timeline or funding source, yet. She added that the decisions about faculty leave should be made in early spring (end of February or March) to plan for the following year.

IV. Speaker's Report:

Brendel discussed communication issues with the Senate. Specifically, how can the Senate communicate issues to the faculty in each college? There have been some suggestions to send out the minutes of meetings before they're approved, but several senators expressed concerns about doing that. How can the Senate give an accurate picture without releasing unofficial documents?

A suggestion arose to email summaries of the meeting to the colleges (one or two senators send this information to their colleges). Brendel said that he could take the responsibility of sending out the meeting agendas, adding that the meetings are open. Senators could take the responsibility of communicating to their colleges.

V. Other Business: None

VI. Announcements

Canales reminded everyone that the deadlines for the Faculty Renaissance Center Fellowship positions was Monday, September 22.

Harper reminded everyone about the "Engaged Lives" presentation on September 22.

Meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Edward Kownslar
Faculty Senate Secretary/Treasurer