September 17, 2004
University Center - Tejas Room 106A

Present: Alnor, Bickley, Buck, Canales, Carroll, Cook, Garcia, Ivy, Layman, Melrose, Morvant, Purdy, Shepperd, Sutton, Waheeduzzaman, Winston, Yellen

Absent: De Magalhaes, Friday, Harper, Maurstad, Wooster, Zebda

Guests: Judith Sutherland, Jeff Janko

I. Call to order.

Ivy called the meeting to order at 2:06 pm.

II. Approval of the Minutes of the August 27 meeting (attachment).

A motion to approve the minutes of the August 27, 2004 meeting was made and seconded. Ivy thanked Sally for taking minutes at that meeting.

Ivy asked for help with names of guests at the August 27, 2004 meeting. No one could remember the name of one of the guests. There was no objection to that name not being entered into the minutes.

Ivy asked that Dr. Knull's assistant, Laura Rosales' name be entered into the minutes as a guest.

A correction to the spelling of John Stalmach's name was made wherever it appears in the minutes.

Garcia asked that the word "vigorously" be added to the description of the alternative solution he put forth in response to the discussion of whether members of the University Research Enhancement Committee should be allowed to apply for Enhancement funds (section II.B.)

The minutes, with the changes described, were approved unanimously.

During the first half of the meeting, Jeff Janko took photos of the Senate in action for the Senate web site.

III. Action item: University Procedure 11.99.99.C7.01, Academic Calendar Approval Process (attachment).

Ivy and Winston reminded the Senate that newly proposed University rules must be approved by the Texas A&M University System before being adopted. They pointed out that since the item under consideration was a procedure, it would not require System approval.

After no discussion, the question was called and the new procedure was approved unanimously.

IV. Committee Reports -- Issues assigned to Committees

A. Academic Affairs Committee.

Morvant reported that the Committee has not yet met since they are short several members due to several Senators resigning their seats. They plan to meet next Wednesday, September 22, 2004.

He reported that they have received a proposed timeline for approving catalog copy from Winston.

He also reported that the Committee plans to examine the issue of workload reallocation and follow up on the Promotion and Tenure document approved by Senate last year before December of this year when work on catalog copy is likely to begin.

Finally, the Committee will examine policies for distance learning. Ivy mentioned that she had heard from the Provost that the Deans have reviewed the Promotion and Tenure document approved by Senate last year.

B. Awards/Bylaws/Elections Committee.

Melrose reported that the call for nomination ballots went out on Monday, September 13, 2004 for the election to fill empty Senate seats for the College of Nursing and the College of Education. The due date for these nominations is Monday, September 20, 2004 at noon. He explained that they may need an extension because of the small number of nominations they've already received. The Bylaws allow for an extension if needed.

Ivy reported that another special election would have to be held because Cindy Maurstad's husband has accepted a job in Houston. She will remain at the University for the remainder of the year but feels that she won't to be able to give Senate her full attention so, with regret, she has resigned her Senate seat. Senate decided that another election to fill her empty seat would start with a call for nominations Monday, September 20, 2004.

Ivy reported that Alnor has done a good job of gathering contact information for all new faculty members. This job was made difficult by the lack of one central, up to date repository for that information and by the lack of a universal email system on campus.

After some discussion about whether the College of Education election nomination should be extended, it was agreed not to extend it.

C. Budget Committee.

Canales reported that the Committee has not met.

D. Committee on Committees.

Ivy reported that the Committee has lost two members and therefore they also have not met. They will explore the issue of a non-smoking campus. Ivy reported that she will contact Roy Coons for information about the rule that requires smoking receptacles to be located 25 feet from buildings. She said that she would welcome any input that anyone cared to give with regard to the practices and rules employed at other institutions.

E. Faculty Affairs Committee.

Cook reported that Pat Carroll has joined the Committee to represent the College of Arts & Humanities. The Committee has met twice to discuss the issue of child care on campus, the faculty leave policy, and the Department Chairs policy.

She reports that the Committee has gathered a large amount of information describing the four previous attempts to bring child care to campus. The Committee has also met with Dr. Harper in an attempt to discover the stumbling blocks with which the previous attempts were met. Some of the stumbling blocks the Provost discussed were:

Lack of space.

If this is a trial run, how do you stop it if it doesn't work out?

We will not be able to solve the whole issue.

Child care is not our main business.

There is space available in child care facilities in town for children who needed it, the need is not great enough (this was the biggest stumbling block to the most recent attempt to implement child care on campus).

Fear the facility will suffer lack of business when campus is closed.

Other issues the Provost suggested that the Committee consider were:

Would child care be available to students, staff, and faculty or limited to faculty and staff?

How would the space in the facility be divided between children of faculty and staff and children of students?

How do you charge for it?

What ages of children would be accepted by the facility?

Canales asked if liability was an issue that had been discussed with the Provost. Cook said no. Cook mentioned that, in the past, one idea had been to bring in a professional child care company to run the program.

Ivy promised to ask each presidential candidate for their views and experiences with child care on campus.

Cook went on to say that the Committee planned to conduct a new survey of faculty, staff, and students and to present a proposal based on results of the survey and further research in the spring, after the presidential search is completed.

Cook reported that the Committee had found the issue of leave policies to be broader than they first imagined it to be. Among other actions, the Committee will explore whether there is a System policy on faculty leave.

She asked for clarification of what work needed to be done with regards to the Department Chairs policy. Ivy said that she would follow up on that and report to the Committee.

Winston mentioned that the Dean's Council had their own version of the Department Chairs policy and that she and Harper are comparing it with the Senate's version to create a history of the question. Ivy said the Faculty Affairs Committee and Senate would be happy to provide any help that Winston and Harper might need.

V. Provost's Report.

The Provost is in College Station and will provide a written report to the Senate next week.

VI. Speaker's Report.

Ivy reported that the Committee charged with creating an Honors Program would like to speak to Senate at the October Senate meeting. Their proposal is available on the web at the Campus Conversations link. It is about 14 pages long. Ivy and Morvant attended the Campus Conversations about it this week. Copies of the proposal will be included in Senate's October agenda packet. Ivy asked the Senators to please read it carefully and as soon as they get it because the Committee members will be looking for feedback and questions from Senate. Their plan is quite elaborate. The proposed implementation date for the Honors Program is Fall 2005 and they're trying to get it finished in order to be included in the catalog.

Senators discussed some possible reasons that an honors program is being investigated and implemented. One reason suggested was that Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is the only campus in the Texas AM System that does not currently have an Honors Program. Another reason suggested was that many groups on campus including faculty in the College of Science & Technology, feel that it would be a recruitment tool, especially in pursuit of success in the Closing the Gaps Initiative.

Ivy commented that a lot of work has gone into the creation of this proposal and a lot of money will be required to fund it.

Morvant stressed the necessity to read the document fully and carefully in order to understand what is being proposed. It is fairly complex and Senate may be expected to vote on it at the October meeting.

The attendance of members of the Committee proposing the Honors Program was approved for the October meeting.

Ivy proposed that Senate invite Lari Young to a Senate meeting to describe the programs that are planned for the new Performing Arts Center.

In an Executive Committee meeting, Zebda had suggested that Senate invite Trent Hill to come talk about how money gets spent, as well as his goals and plans for the future. Ivy wondered whether the Budget Committee ought to meet with him and report to Senate. She asked whether Senate would prefer this or to have him come to a meeting of the whole Senate.

Morvant reported that Dr. Orser would like to come give Senate a preview of the Parking Task Force's plans and to receive Senate's input on the plan before it is distributed to the University community at large.

It was agreed that Senate would invite Orser and Hill to the November meeting and Young to the December meeting.

Ivy solicited other ideas for guest speakers.

VII. Other Business/Announcements.

Ivy invited Alnor to describe her work on the Senate web site. Alnor explained that she does her best to keep it updated. She reported that Jeff Janko told her he took 100 shots of today's meeting and she wondered what she should do with all those photos. Ivy suggested she have him send her the 10 best. Alnor proposed creating a collage of the photos.

Ivy asked for suggestions for other information that should go on the Senate web site.

Morvant reported that the Parking Task Force is currently examining data regarding parking on campus including the cost of off campus parking, maintenance, parking garages, and other alternatives to parking. He feels that Orser wants everyone to know that the Task Force has examined every alternative. Morvant is soliciting comments to the Task Force from Senators and their constituents.

Ivy complimented Orser on his quick response to her questions and queries.

Ivy said that Orser and Dr. Furgason have met with Texas Department of Transportation officials about the traffic situation, merging, etc. on Ocean Drive near the University.She reported that Orser said that the merge situation was examined very carefully before it was set up and they (Orser and Furgason) are aware of how dangerous it is and they're exerting as much influence as they can to make it safer.

Canales announced that the Faculty Renaissance Center (FRC) will host an open house next Wednesday, September 22, 2004 from 8:30 am to 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Faculty art will be on display. FRC Central is located in CCH room 260. During the open house they will be collecting contact information from guests as well as guests' research interests.

Canales also reported that FRC has created a calendar of events that will be distributed via campus mail. The calendar will contain FRC events that will occur regularly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays throughout the semester, as well as special events.

Ivy brought up the three New Faculty Orientations. The first one will take place Friday, September 24, 2004 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (or right after the President's Convocation). The next two will occur on October 8, 2004 and November 5, 2004. She asked that the Senators please encourage new faculty among their constituents to attend.

Purdy asked Ivy about the status of the presidential search. Ivy replied that the Search Committee is reviewing applications and that they are hoping to work through the process and have a new president on board on January 1, 2005.

3:18 p.m. adjournment was moved, seconded, and unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
Sarah Sutton
Faculty Senate Secretary/Treasurer