FACULTY SENATE MEETING MINUTES

November 19, 2004
College of Business Conference Room

Present: Buck, Carroll, Causgrove, Cook, Friday, Garcia, Harper, Ivy, Layman, Ledbetter, Melrose, Morvant, Shepperd, Sutton, Waheeduzzaman, Winston, Wooster, Yellen, Zebda

Absent: Bickley, Canales, De Magalhaes, Hill, Purdy

Guest: Coach Ronnie Arrow

I. Call to order.

Ivy called the meeting to order at 2:02 pm.

II. Guest: Coach Ronnie Arrow, Men's Basketball.

Ivy introduced Men's Basketball Coach Ronnie Arrow. She thanked him for his interest in speaking to Senate and his patience while we scheduled his visit.

Coach Arrow provided everyone with a folder of materials regarding the athletic and academic success of current and former participants in the Men's Basketball Program. He explained that he stresses the importance of academics in recruiting student athletes. He expressed appreciation for the faculty's support of athletics and athletes. He explained the top three reasons for students in the Men's Basketball program transferring out of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi: not playing enough, too far from home, not in a conference. He showed great pride about the variety of disciplines from which student athletes are being graduated. He thanked faculty for the good work that they're doing to educate student athletes. He is proud of the fact that two participants in the Men's Basketball Program are graduate students. He and his staff work hard to make sure student athletes attend class and he appreciates the cooperation faculty show by responding to requests about student athlete attendance at class.

Buck asked whether Arrow preferred to recruit new players from junior colleges or from high schools. Arrow replied that he chooses primarily high school players because he feels it is important to have a player on the team for four years in order to keep fans interested. Carroll pointed out that four years in one place was academically in the studentís best interest as well.

III. Approval of the minutes of the October 15 meeting.

Sutton apologized for providing Senators with a less than current version of the October 15 meeting minutes in their agenda packets and passed around the most recent version. She explained that there were no substantial differences in content between the versions.

Causgrove asked that his name be spelled correctly in the October 15 minutes,

A correction was made to the date of the November meeting in section VII.C., the Speaker's Report. The date was corrected to read "November 19".

The minutes were approved unanimously with these two changes.

IV. Discussion Items.

A. Academic calendar.

Sutton provided a review of two issues of interest to faculty that were discussed in the November 18 Calendar Committee meeting.

She explained that the first issue was one that Ivy had presented which centers on the last day to register for or add a class sometimes falling on a Tuesday at 5:00 pm, before Tuesday night classes have met for the first time. Sutton reported that University practice has been to set this deadline on the fifth day of classes. When the University does not observe a holiday on the first Monday after the beginning of classes, the fifth day of classes falls on the first Tuesday of classes at 5:00 pm. Harper reported that after this issue was discussed in Provost's Council, she asked Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Manuel Lujan to change the deadline for registering for or adding a class to the sixth day of classes which should resolve the problem.

Sutton explained that the second issue centered on the continuing dissatisfaction among faculty with starting spring and fall semester classes on a Wednesday. She went on to report that, after a discussion in Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Ivy had asked the Provost's Council for a formal evaluation of the Wednesday start date. The Provost charged the Calendar Committee with conducting such an evaluation. Sutton reported that the evaluation is expected to occur during the spring semester and that the survey method has not been decided yet. Ivy added that it might take the form of a number of choices presented for the University community to decide among.

Friday presented a draft analysis of class meetings at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi which indicates that our classes are meeting for more minutes per semester than at either Texas A&M University (College Station) or Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Sutton asked Friday to send her an electronic copy of his analysis that she could share with the Calendar Committee at their next meeting. Sutton asked Friday to send her an electronic copy of his analysis that she could share it with the Calendar Committee at their next meeting.

Harper explained that her charge to the Calendar Committee, when they prepared the new academic calendar that included a reading day and processing/grading days, was to keep the number of class meeting minutes the same. The addition of the reading day before exams and of the two processing/grading days after exams at the end of the semester required the addition of the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday class days at the beginning of the semester.

Buck asked Harper about the savings in heating and cooling costs provided by closing the University, especially the Science & Technology buildings. Harper replied that the savings was not enough to offset the inconvenience, particularly to those scientists who often work even when the University is closed.

Ivy asked everyone to please participate in the Calendar Committee's survey when it is sent to them.

B. Proposed University Procedure, Designation of Graduate Faculty.

Ivy asked for discussion of the proposed University Rule 12.99.99.C3.01, Designation of Graduate Faculty.

Cook explained the College of Nursing and Health Sciences' reservations about the document. Qualified adjuncts, she says, will not be allowed to teach graduate classes under this document.

Ivy asked Yellen why the issue had been tabled in the Graduate Council. Waheed explained that the Council had not come to a consensus on dealing with the issue. They wanted to pass the proposed version and deal with the adjunct issue at a later date.

Friday suggested that the Colleges each submit their own criteria for designating graduate faculty since the Colleges are the ones who are best qualified to judge qualifications needed to teach their graduate courses.

Harper suggested that section 2.3 about exceptional cases be moved into section 1.1 to qualify it.

Carroll suggested a change from "one year" to "one to three years".

Ledbetter concurred with all of the above.

Layman suggested that the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will always use clinical experts and so changing it to three years will not solve their problem with the document. She feels that the document does not imply continual renewal every three years.

Harper and Shepperd suggested adding language to imply that intention more clearly.

Ivy suggested removing the last phrase of section 2.3 that says, "normally for a term that will expire within 1 year".

Wooster felt that the language in the current document is necessary to keep the University from creating graduate programs that we do not have qualified faculty to teach. In general, he opposes adjuncts teaching graduate classes and he wants the University to be required to hire qualified, full time faculty to teach them.

Cook explained that the College of Nursing and Health Sciences' problem is with having to terminate current, qualified adjuncts.

Waheed agrees with Wooster and Harper. He feels that Graduate Council wanted to give as much flexibility as possible but maintain rigorous graduate programs.

Layman objects to the implication that College of Nursing and Health Sciences uses adjuncts because they can not hire full time faculty to teach a class. She pointed out that they do not need full time faculty to teach many of their clinical classes. She feels that requiring the College of Nursing and Health Sciences to fit into the structure set for other University graduate programs restricts the College of Nursing and Health Sciences' ability to grow their programs because of the differences between College of Nursing and Health Sciences and other disciplines.

Harper reminded us that a clinical faculty track had been discussed in the past and has been resurrected recently. She says that it is currently being considered by the deans.

Ivy suggested asking the Faculty Affairs Committee to recommend the change (2.3 to 1.1) and to present their recommendation as an action item at the December Senate meeting.

Senate agreed on this course of action.

C. Revision of University Procedure, Assurance of Protection of Human Research Subjects.

Ivy began the discussion by expressing her concern about the lack of explanation of the Vice Chair's role and term.

Waheed asked if their functions are explained anywhere else. Ivy said no. Waheed asked if this document was the right forum for describing the roles. Ivy replied that this forum is where it is often done.

Harper offered an explanation of the intent of the document. As the amount of research being done on campus grows, the Institutional Review Board's (IRB) responsibilities and workload also grow as does the complexity of the decisions they make. A two year term for the Chair gives them a chance to get up to speed. The addition of the Vice Chair was made in order to prepare someone to assume the Chair's position. She recognizes that it is not spelled out in the document but perhaps it should be.

Waheed compared it to the Library Committee on which he sits where they worked out the roles and terms of chairs in Committee. The Secretary of that Committee moves into the Chair's position and appointments are staggered.

Winston pointed out that appointments to IRB are staggered and that some of the form and function of the IRB is governed by federal guidelines.

Cook suggested adding the phrase "a Chair Elect will be elected on alternate years".

Shepperd questioned the Senate's comfort with the idea that, as it stands, neither the Chair nor the Vice Chair are required to be IRB members. He wondered whether it was intentional. Harper said it was not and suggested the addition of a phrase to the effect that the Chair and Vice Chair/Chair Elect will be elected from the IRB membership.

Morvant thinks it is necessary to leave the document flexible in order to easily include future changes in federal guidelines that govern it.

The Senate agreed that Ivy may draft the changes discussed and bring them before the Senate for a vote at the December meeting.

V. Committee Reports.

A. Faculty Affairs Committee.

Cook reported that the Committee continues to work on faculty leave issues.

She reported that, on the issue of childcare on campus, the YWCA does not have much to offer us except advice. The Committee has discovered that there are spaces available at many child care facilities around town. The Committee will continue to research and discuss the issues. They plan to report their findings toward the end of spring.

In response to a question from Ivy, Cook reported that the Committee will probably conduct a survey to assess the need for a closing the gaps initiative that can be met by having child care on campus.

Action item: Recommendations for Chairs Policy.

Cook provided some of the history of the chairs policy. The most recent version is before us in the agenda packet. On pages 21 and 22 of the packet are the sections of the policy in which the Faculty Affairs Committee has suggested a few wording changes. All of the changes are made clear with underlined additions, strikethroughs and rationale. Pages 23 and 24 of the agenda packet include the entire most recent version of the policy as it was put before the Committee and the Senate.

Ivy reminded us of how long this document has been in process and that the current schedule calls for President's Cabinet to review the document and approve it on Monday, November 22. She feels that this is not the time to revisit old arguments that have already been turned down.

Zebda asked about the fate of the version of the policy the Senate had sent forward last spring and why was it rejected. Ivy explained that the Deans disliked much of that version and that, in the interest of time, Harper had put together an ad hoc committee to revise it again. Ivy and Brendel served on the ad hoc committee

Harper added that she gave the ad hoc committee detailed instructions for their revisions which she offered to share with anyone who would like to read them. She added that she shared the ad hoc version with the department chairs, many of whom voiced their objections.

Zebda reiterated that he would have liked to have been notified as to exactly what parts of the last Senate version were objectionable. Garcia supported Zebda's objection.

Ivy replied that she and Brendel felt that they were representing Senate to the best of their ability and carried on the spirit of the Senate's work on the document. She apologized for not better communicating the process as things went along.

Garcia objected to the document being presented to chairs for input. He felt that faculty should have been consulted again, as well, at the same point in the development of the document.

Wooster asked Cook if the Faculty Affairs Committee felt comfortable with the document as they have presented it today. Cook replied that the Committee's recommendations represent a compromise that they hoped would be accepted although it does not include everything that Senate wanted it to include. Cook also pointed out that the time deadline was so tight that the Committee did not feel that this was the time for substantial, controversial changes.

Harper added that the original document (on page 23-34) would be implemented if Senate declined to recommend an alternative one.

Friday suggested that Senate reject the version that was given to Senate for approval. That version would probably be adopted by President's Cabinet but without Senate's approval.

There was a discussion of parliamentary procedure.

Garcia pointed out that this document contains more of the work that was done on the Senate's original version than the alternative and offered his support for the Faculty Affairs Committee's version.

Harper suggested that the removal of the word "generally" from 4.2 and the subsequent removal of the final sentence, removes the guiding principle from the section completely and that might not be Senate's intention.

Cook pointed out that the Committee preferred to remove the "generally" from 4.2 over the removal of the "generally" from 2.2.

Waheed asked for clarification of what was being voted on. Buck and Ivy clarified that the vote was for (or against) the Faculty Affairs Committee's recommendations which are depicted on pages 21-22, to the whole document which is represented on pages 23-24.

Shepperd pointed out that Senate has the right to make additional changes to the parts of the document that the Faculty Affairs Committee did not choose to change after the vote on the Committee's recommendations.

The question was called on the Committee's changes. Senate voted unanimously to end discussion and vote on whether to accept the document as revised by the Faculty Affairs Committee.

The Senate voted unanimously to send the document with the Faculty Affairs Committee's recommended changes forward to President's Cabinet.

Friday moved that the Senate discuss the amended document. His motion was seconded.

Friday moved to amend section 5 by adding "however an unusually strong case must be made to continue a chair in office beyond two terms" the motion was seconded.

Waheed suggested and Friday accepted that the word "unusually" be struck from the amendment. The amendment then read "however a strong case must be made to continue a chair in office beyond two terms."

Harper asked why one would not want to retain a chair who was doing a good job.

Friday responded that when people stay too long there's a point of diminishing returns; he prefers the turnover, the addition of new blood, and the new ideas that changing chairs every eight years would bring and he thinks that his suggestion provides that.

Morvant agreed with Harper; if someone is doing a good job as an administrator, why should they be forced to stop using their best skill just because their term has run out.

At 4:00 pm a motion to extend the meeting by 30 minutes was unanimously approved.

Zebda pointed out that Friday is not asking us to force the chair out, only that a "strong case" be made to retain the chair.

Shepperd suggested that the impending end of their term might put pressure on a chair to remain active in research and teaching.

The question was called on Friday's motion. The vote to end discussion of Friday's motion was 10 in favor and 7 opposed. The motion carried.

The Senate voted on document as amended: 15 in favor.

Friday made a motion that Senate reject the document as received from the Provost. The motion was seconded.

Several Senators and Harper questioned the rationale for the vote.

Friday explained that it was to make a statement in support of all of the work that was done on the Senate's initial version of the rule.

Zebda supported Friday's motion. He feels that all of the Senate's work on the rule is invalidated by the procedure that was used to send it back to Senate.

Morvant brought up a point of procedure: this motion and discussion are not procedurally correct. Ivy asked him to vote against the motion if that was his belief.

Harper explained that Brendel felt that sending the original Senate document back to Senate after it had been rejected by the Dean's Council was not the most efficient way to move the rule forward.

Friday repeated that even if President's Cabinet decides to reject all of Senate's recommendations, if we vote for this motion, they will be rejecting it over the Senate's objection.

Shepperd pointed out that a vote for the motion could be considered a vote against the setting of a procedural precedent that we might not want to set.

Wooster moved to amend Friday's motion by changing the wording of the motion to "The Senate expresses its deep reservations about the document we received and the process that led to its production." Friday and Zebda accepted the rewording as a friendly amendment.

There was additional discussion as to exactly what is being objected to.

The question was called on the amended motion. The Senate voted unanimously to end discussion of Friday's motion.

The Senate vote on the motion resulted in 10 votes for the motion, 5 against, and 2 abstentions. The motion passed.

B. Academic Affairs Committee.

Morvant reported that the Committee met on November 8. They discussed the wording of the Promotion & Tenure document on the scholarship of teaching. They plan to bring the results of their discussion to Senate as an action item in December or January.

Morvant reported that the Committee is also working on a survey designed to discover the faculty's priorities for the workload issue. They also plan to bring the survey before the Senate in December or January. Their preference is December so that they can distribute it in hard copy form with the faculty packets for the Spring Faculty Meeting. Harper advised the Committee that the deadline for materials to be included in the packets was about December 5.

Finally, Morvant reported that the Committee is working on catalog copy now which will result in several action items for the Senate's December agenda with more to come in January.

C. Awards/Bylaws/Elections Committee.

Melrose reported that the Committee will be meeting to discuss bylaws soon and that he will report on the results of that discussion at the December Senate Meeting.

He reported that the Piper Award candidates have been submitted to the Provost and are due at the Foundation soon. There are two nominees whose names have been submitted to Provost. The nominees are Jan Haswell and Pam Stokes

Melrose reported that the Committee is working with Alnor on nomination materials for the remaining awards for the year.

Melrose asked whether self nominations will be accepted. Harper said that the Colleges recommend facultyfor awards and that it is up to the faculty member to make their desire to be nominated known to their College. Faculty members can self nominate to their College Committees.

At 4:30 pm a motion to extend the meeting by 30 minutes was unanimously approved.

D. Budget Committee.

Zebda reported that the Committee has met. Their discussion centered on the salary comparison that was brought before Senate last spring. The Committee will finalize the letter they want to send to the System and put it on the agenda for the December meeting.

He expressed the Committee's desire to meet with the Provost regarding the faculty's budget priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Ivy and Harper asked him to call Harper's assistant to arrange a meeting with her.

E. Committee on Committees.

Ivy reported that the Committee has been working on their smoke-free campus initiative but that they have run into some trouble with the language used to describe it. After considering a large amount of research on the dangers of second hand smoke, they ask that the campus move to a system of designated smoking areas on campus rather than a smoke-free campus.

Layman pointed out an initiative in the city to reduce smoking in public places.

Ledbetter pointed out the high rates of asthma in the Coastal Bend and the sensitivity to cigarette smoke of asthma patients. She sees this as an opportunity for the University to take a leadership role on this issue.

Ivy says the Committee will continue their work.

VI. Provost's Report.

The Provost stated that her report for today centered on four areas. In the interest of time she named the areas and asked for questions.

  1. Ongoing programming
  2. Position searches
  3. Community linkages
  4. Policies sent to A&M System

She reports that the financial needs of the Honors Program are being considered. The Office of Institutional Advancement may be able to endow a small number of students in the Honors Program. Two candidates for Honors Program Director and two candidates for Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs will be interviewed after Thanksgiving.

Ivy asked about the Search Committee for the Vice President for Financial Affairs. Harper replied that they will wait until the new President is named. Then they will ask the new President how he or she wants to proceed with the search.

Ivy also asked about the search for a new Dean of Outreach. Harper replied that an external review was conducted and that a search will be launched based on feedback from that review. She anticipates that it will be an internal search and that it will get underway after Thanksgiving.

Harper also reported that there are more than 30 applicants for Dean of Science & Technology and that some are very strong candidates. Dean Gigliotti hopes to move the search along quickly so as not to lose any of the candidates' interest.

VII. Speaker's Report.

Ivy reported that a small group attended the last New Faculty Orientation Session. Their guest speakers were great and a lively discussion ensued. Ivy suggests the convening of a committee to handle these sessions next year. She reports that Harper suggested a student panel be added to the sessions for next year either in addition to the three existing sessions or as part of one of the existing sessions.

Ivy reported that Lari Young will be our guest speaker in December. She prefers to hold off on scheduling speakers for the spring due to the large amount of business that usually comes before Senate at spring meetings.

She reported that Student Government has responded to Senate's anti-Pie the Professor initiative from last year. They want to convene a committee to discuss alternative events for homecoming this year. Ivy wants us to know that Student Government is open to that change.

Ivy reminded us that the next Senate meeting is December 10.

She reports that she has a copy of the regional plan for the growth of South Texas and that if anyone wants a copy of it she is willing to share.

Ivy reminded Senators that our responsibility is to represent our own views as well as those of the faculty whom we represent and to take what happens in Senate back to those faculty members. She asks that each Senator be sure to take the opportunity to talk about what's going on in Senate at all the meetings they attend.

Layman would like to have the agenda in electronic form. Ivy reminded her that the agenda is posted on the Senate website a week before each meeting when packets are sent out.

Finally, Ivy asked all Senators to please attend one of the two or both sessions with the sixth presidential candidate on Monday, November 22 and to please pass the word to your colleagues and ask them to attend at least one of the sessions.

Wooster asked Ivy about the differences in the process that was used to select the first five candidates versus the sixth.

Ivy replied that they were very similar. She reminded us that the call for applications did not set a deadline for applications but said that applications would be considered until the position was filled. The Search Committee met with the sixth candidate, just as they had with the other five, and subsequently voted to bring him to campus.

Carroll pointed out that the sixth candidateís vita is now available on the Senate's website.

Ivy reminded us that the Committee's charge is to present the board with three unranked candidates whom the board will interview at their meeting in December. It is possible that a new president will be named at the December 7-8 Board of Regents' meeting on our campus.

At 5:00 pm a motion to extend the meeting by 30 minutes was unanimously approved.

VIII. Other Business/Announcements/Adjournment.

There was no other business. There were no announcements.

The meeting adjourned at 5:08 pm.

Respectfully submitted on December 1, 2004 by

Sarah SuttonFaculty Senate Secretary/Treasurer, 2004-05