Faculty Senate Meeting
November 21, 2003
UC Dolphin Room (306)
Present: Bala, Canales, Cook, deMagalhaes, Garcia, Harper, Kownslar, Melrose, Meyer, Morvant, Purdy, Sanders, Shepperd, Sutton, Winston, Wooster
Absent: Crowley, Friday, Ivy, Zebda
Meeting began at 2 p.m.
I. Approval of Agenda: Canales moved to approve the agenda. Purdy seconded the motion. The senate voted unanimously to approve the agenda.
II. Approval of October 24, 2003, Minutes: Canales moved to approve the minutes. Shepperd seconded the motion.
There were three corrections: (1) Crowley attended the meeting on October 24; (2) In section IV.B., the last line should read "will be distributed"; (3) in Section VI.B., the last line should read "was still in..." Minutes were unanimously approved with these corrections.
III. Announcements: None.
IV. Speaker's Report:
A. Schedule of Senate Initiatives for Spring 2004: Brendel referred the Senate to page seven of the meeting packet, which listed each initiative, the committee responsible for the initiative, and when each initiative will come up as a discussion and action item in the spring. He said that he created the schedule because he was concerned that things could build up until the April meeting.
B. Brendel said that there could be problems with scheduling a December meeting. The Executive Committee will meet on December 1, but the full Senate may not meet in December. He said that the Senate should plan to meet in December, but he will contact everyone if the full meeting is cancelled.
C. Brendel distributed a survey from Swint Friday on summer school, and he said that feedback about the survey should be sent directly to Friday. Purdy asked if contacting people by phone might provide more feedback than mailing the surveys. Harper also said that electronic access to the survey could provide more feedback. Also, Harper said that the chief academic officers meeting will take place in Corpus Christi in February, and she could request from feedback at the meeting, too.
D. Brendel read a report form Ivy, who attended the Texas Council of Faculty Senates in Austin in October. Ivy reported three items: (1) The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is reorganizing its web site, making it easier to identify core classes for transfers; (2) Texas State University - San Marcos is working on a non-discriminatory clause that includes sexual orientation; and (3) TAMU-Kingsville is working on improving their promotion and tenure guidelines and documents.
E. Brendel asked for reports from people who represent the Faculty Senate on various University committees. The committee reports included:
1. Enrollment Management Committee: Morvant reported that the University has experienced a significant drop in retaining Hispanic students. The committee wants to figure out the problem before recommending a solution.
2. Graduate Council: Canales reported that the council has come up with a course approval flowchart, which she showed to the Senate. Canales also said that the council has a rubric for approving syllabi. Also, for the syllabi, the council has asked the colleges to submit five copies to the Graduate Dean's office. Canales asked if the Graduate Council and the Senate were both going to continue looking at catalog copy, and Brendel said yes. Also, Canales asked for clarification of her role as the Senate representative on the council, and Brendel said that she would serve as a liaison to the faculty. Bala added that she should be advocating faculty issues on the council.
3. Grievance Committee: The committee has heard two student grade appeal cases.
4. Calendar Committee: Sutton said the committees priorities included (1) Devising the academic calendar for 2006-2007; (2) studying the EMS and Oracle calendar systems; and (3) establishing a calendar for off-campus activities.
5. Ceremonies Committee: Melrose reported that the committee had discussed several proposals, but no action had been taken.
V. Tabled Items: None.
VI. A. Academic Affairs: Bala said that the committee was discussing recommendations for promotion and tenure, but there had been some delays. The committee will come up with a list of recommendations to send to the Provost. He requested postponing discussion of this item until the January meeting, and the action item would then come up at the February meeting. Brendel agreed. Bala also reported that the catalog copy has not come to the committee, yet.
VI. B. Faculty Affairs: Meyer reported that she has finished drafting the survey for merit pay, and she distributed copies for the Senate. Meyer said that Jackie Alnor will distribute the survey to faculty and librarians. She asked if the survey should also be sent to adjuncts and visiting professors, and the Senate agreed that the survey should not be sent to these groups. Meyer said that the next item for the committee was to follow up about the signs regarding firearms on campus. Brendel said he checked with Ray Hayes, and Hayes is still working on this issue. Harper will also follow up with Hayes.
VI. C. Awards/Bylaws/Election Committee: Melrose said that the committee met last week and will work on a list of recommendations about same-sex benefits and send it to the University's administration. The committee will also identify institutions in the A&M System that do not have anti-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation. Harper offered to bring up this issue at the A&M officer meeting after Thanksgiving, and Melrose asked her to do so. Brendel also reported that, for the University awards, the ABE committee has been allowed to reduce the number of required recommendation letters from five to three.
VI. D. Budget Analysis: Brendel said that he received the budget information two weeks ago and turned it over to Zebda. Harper said that next academic leadership workshop would focus on budgeting, and Senate members were welcome to attend. This workshop will take place 8-10 a.m. on December 16.
VI. E. Committee on Committees: Morvant said that the committee would soon be working on two issues: (1) Collection of data for the feasibility study; and (2) Processing volunteer requests to serve on University committees for the next year.
VII. Provost Report
A. Harper reported on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board meeting: (1) There has been a significant decrease in funding for first-year students; (2) There was discussion of tuition deregulation, and Harper said that TAMU-CC has not made a decision about tuition increases, yet. She added that there would be no increases for the Spring 2004 semester; (3) Harper is working on a THECB committee to examine formula funding, and this committee is completing a major cost study. She said that it is actually more expensive to educate undergraduates than the state predicted, while it is less expensive to educate graduate students.
B. A committee has been formed to look at developing the descriptions for the Harte Institute endowed chairs. The first two chairs will cover GIS and marine policy.
C. Wendy Gramm and John White, who serve on the A&M Board of Regents, visited the campus recently. Harper said that it was the first time they had been to the campus, and the visit went well.
D. The comment period is complete for two proposed changes in the University’s structure: (1) creating an autonomous college of nursing and health sciences and (2) creating a school of visual and performing arts in College of Arts and Humanities. The proposed creation of the nursing/health sciences college is September 1, 2004, and the proposed date for the school of visual and performing arts is September 1, 2005.
E. The search for the A&H Dean is ongoing. More than 50 people have applied. The search committee is conducting telephone interviews on Friday and Saturday (November 21 and 22), and Harper hopes to have campus interviews in February and March.
F. Winston has been working on the Developmental Education Plan with Gerry Moreno, who is chairing this committee.
G. Several TAMU-CC faculty members attended the "Drop-Out" forum.
H. The meeting between the TAMU-CC and Del Mar officials went well.
I. More than 350 people are scheduled for Island Days on November 22. Three more sessions are scheduled for the spring.
J. Harper said that she is finishing up the first cycle of the undergraduate program reviews.
When Harper asked for questions, Purdy asked her when the groundbreaking would begin for the new classroom building. Harper responded that the groundbreaking would probably begin in spring 2004. The move-in date is scheduled for August 2005, but she was hoping for an earlier move-in time.
VIII. Any Other Business: Brendel thanked Linda Cook for agreeing to serve on a campus committee to evaluate food services. ARA-MARK's contract with TAMU-CC expires in April. Cook said that feedback or suggestions from faculty about food services should go to her. Issues raised during the Senate meeting included the cost of meals and the monopoly of catering.
Sanders recommended some type of commendation for Dr. Maggie McGuire, who assisted a student when that student had a seizure during her class. McGuire also stayed at the hospital until the student's father arrived. The Senate will follow up on this commendation.
IX. Meeting adjourned at 3:25 p.m.
Faculty Senate Secretary/Treasurer