Faculty Senate Meeting

March 25, 2005
UC Tejas, Room A
2-4 p.m.

Present: Alnor, Bickley, Buck, Byus, Carroll, Causgrove, Cook, Friday, Ivy, Layman, Ledbetter, Melrose, Morvant, Purdy, Shepperd, Winston, Wooster, Zebda

Absent: Garcia, Harper, Hill, Canales, Sutton, Waheed, Yellen

Guests: Dr. Terry Lewis

I. Call to Order & Review of the Minutes of the February 18 meeting.

Ivy called the meeting to order at 2:00 pm. She announced that Senator Sarah Sutton could not be present because she is recovering from a detached retina, so Jackie Alnor will be taking the minutes in her stead. Ivy passed around a Get-Well card for all to sign.

The Minutes were approved unanimously.

II. Committee Reports

A. Academic Affairs Committee

1. Action Item: Catalog Copy - Guest: Dr. Terry Lewis, Professor of Theatre and Director of University Theatre, (new degree plan for Department of Theatre).

Lewis distributed the course rotation schedule for the new degree plan, comprised of 23 new courses and 2 deleted ones, for a total of 52 new hours of course work. He said the reason for the expanded curriculum was to attract more and better theatre students to the program. Lewis noted that in order to accommodate the program there would be some overload on the current four full-time faculty members and the chair, as well as the use of adjunct instructors. They are also recruiting for a costume designer.

A discussion ensued. It was noted that the Theatre Department was at capacity in covering courses but just two additional adjuncts were needed. Only full-time professors would head up the theatre productions. Morvant said that the design of the course outline is a good design and not on a heavy overload. He has no reservations in approving the undergraduate catalog copy.

There was a motion to approve the Theatre course outline for the undergraduate catalog. It was approved by a vote of 13 for, 0 against, and 2 abstentions.

Morvant presented the Academic Affairs Committee's changes in the catalog for the undergraduate S&T and Earth Sciences courses. There was a motion to approve. It was approved by an unanimous vote.

Morvant recommended approval of two additional math courses in the catalog that would be utilized for graduate credit. There was a motion to approve. It was approved by an unanimous vote.

All catalog change recommendations were approved.

2. Action Item: Final Exams Procedure

Morvant explained the Academic Affairs Committee's recommendations for changes to the University Procedure on Final Examinations. The changes would assist students in arranging their final exam times at the time of registration to avoid having to take too many final exams on the same day. The recommended changes also give the procedure to follow should a student request to change the date and time of a scheduled final.

Morvant accepted some friendly amendments. Cook suggested a change in the wording in 2.2 C to change the word "their" to "his/her." Ivy suggested adding an apostrophe at the end of the word "students" in the same paragraph. Cook also requested that an additional sentence be added for clarification. The sentence reads: "Final exams given outside the regularly scheduled time may vary in content and format at the discretion of the faculty member." Friday asked that the word "must" in 2.2 B be changed to "will." Morvant accepted all the friendly amendments.

There was a motion to approve. It was approved by an unanimous vote.

3. Discussion Item: Workload Survey Progress

Morvant reported that the results of the "Workload Survey" were disappointing. Only 64 people responded: Library: 2; A&H: 17; Business: 9; Education: 10; Nursing: 11; S&T: 15. He noted that the low response rate might make it statistically unreasonable to make any significant interpretation. Discussion ensued as to whether it would be worth it to take greater measures to get the non-responders to respond. Ivy suggested doing the survey again at the fall meeting when faculty is gathered together in one place.

B. Awards/Bylaws/Election Committee

Status of awards recommendations; nomination & election process

Melrose reported that the three university award recommendations have been submitted to the Provost's office. The Case Award is due in the Faculty Senate on April 1. Regents Professor Award is due April 4.

Melrose gave an update on the status of the nominations for the Faculty Senate election. Two of the colleges, S&T and Nursing, had enough nominees. The other three colleges received only 1 nomination each. Melrose said that we needed more nominees in order to schedule the election. Discussion ensued of the need to vote to extend the election. A motion was made to reschedule the absentee election dates to April 5, 6, and 7; and the regular election to April 8, 2005, thereby extending it by one week. An email will be sent out on Monday with the new election dates. It was approved by an unanimous vote.

Discussion Item: Proposed Bylaws Revisions - Melrose pointed out recommended changes to the Bylaws from the ABE Committee. There was a discussion about the wording of the electronic absentee ballots versus the hard copy votes on election day. Ivy pointed out an additional paragraph added on the subject of temporary vacancies on the Senate.

C. Committee on Committees

Ivy reported on the responses to the faculty interest survey for committee participation. There were only 80 responses this year, compared with 91 last year. Ivy said it could be evidence of a lack of interest among the faculty, in light of increased research expectations on faculty.

Ivy reported the progress of the smoking issue. The Committee on Committees has received feedback from other groups on campus that they considered before coming up with a compromise position. Ivy handed out campus maps featuring the proposed designated smoking areas. The map preserved areas at the entrances of buildings to be smoke-free within 30 feet. Morvant noted that according to the fire code smoking should not be allowed under breezeways of buildings. Ivy pointed out the memorial areas on the campus map that should also be kept free of smoking. Ivy also said that there would be costs involved to supply smoking areas with seating and cover against the wind.

A move to extend the meeting was approved.

D. Faculty Affairs Committee

E. Budget Committee

Zebda gave a report of his committee's meeting with the Provost. Zebda expressed to the Provost his committee's concern that the increase in the budget due to the tuition increase this year went to Athletics instead of faculty pay for which it was supposedly intended. Zedba said that a better way to raise money for athletics would have been to raise athletic fees instead.

Zebda reported that the Board of Regents okayed a 0-15 dollar per unit tuition increase.

III. Provost's Report

The Provost is out of town, so Ivy gave an update on the spam situation. She said it is being worked on. The TexShare program calls for changes in the library's data bases and more information will be coming on that.

Ivy reported that the commencement speakers are being lined up. There will be a student speaker for the Spring commencement; a faculty member at the August commencement; and an off-campus speaker for the fall commencement.

Legislative update: A 5% budget cut is being considered by the Texas legislature. Ivy asked how we would makes cuts.

IV. Speaker's Report

Ivy gave a list of dates to remember:

April 11th - Executive Committee Meeting - Last chance to put anything on the Senate agenda.

April 14th - Deadline for getting attachments to Jackie for inclusion in packets.

April 22nd - Last Faculty Senate meeting - All committee chairs must give a report and recommendations of what each committee should cover next year.

  1. Health Coverage
  2. Ivy pointed out the article regarding health coverage for retirees in the state of Texas.

  3. Personal update

Ivy thanked the Senate for their support during her recent family crisis. She reported that her mother came through her surgery but was still in the hospital, though out of intensive care.

V. Other Business

Purdy inquired about a Steering Committee being formed by President Killebrew and who selects the participants. Ivy confirmed that the President has formed task forces to study excellence; engagement; and expansion. Discussion ensued.

Morvant announced that the parking task force is still meeting. They are studying the parking needs based upon classroom occupancy during the day versus parking availability. Standardized class times may need to be enforced to ease the problem.

VI. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 4:58.

Respectfully submitted,

Jackie Alnor
Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant