Faculty Senate Meeting
Friday, January 20, 2006


Present: Buck, Carroll, Causgrove, Cook, Friday, Fugate, Garcia, Harper, Hartlaub, Hill, Ivy, Layman, Ledbetter, Melrose, Pohan, Talley, Thomas, Waheeduzzaman, Willman, Wingfield, Winston, Yellen


Absent: Bickley, Oliver


Guests: Jo Ann Canales, Kamiar Kouzekanani, Anthony Quiroz, Carey Rote, Richard McLaughlin


             I.      Call to Order

Ivy called the meeting to order at 2:03 p.m., and welcomed attendees and introduced our new Interim Provost Robert Kirby. Ivy requested round robin introductions for Kirby's benefit.


          II.      Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of the November 11, 2005 meeting. Minutes were approved.


       III.      Committee Reports

A.    Academic Affairs Committee -- Waheed

Discussion/Action Items: Catalog copy changes to 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog

1.      Honors Program and Honors Program Courses: Proposed changes in the program description section include clarification of the required components of the application portfolio, deletion of information regarding dates now past, clarification and added detail about recently developed upper-division honors courses and requirements, and a change in contact information. It was moved and seconded to accept substantive changes and course additions to Honors Program catalog copy. Motion approved.

2.      University Core Curriculum Program:

Catalog Copy changes: addition of three new options for satisfying the Mathematics requirement; reducing the minimum number of core curriculum hours from 46 to 45 by dropping the 1 semester hour math lab; and inclusion of a new Fine Arts option, COMM 1305 - Film and Culture.

3.     Credit by Exam (CLEP) no changes.

The Senate approved recommendations as amended.


B.     Awards/Bylaws/Elections Committee -- Buck

Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awards for "extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching" <www.case.org> nominations process will open in February. Dossiers due to College Awards Committee by March 15th and to Provost Kirby by April 15. Excellence in Creative/Scholarly Activity Award, Excellence in Teaching Award, and Outstanding Service Award nominations may be submitted by faculty or students. Nominations should be submitted to the College Awards Committee by Monday, February 13th; to the Faculty Senate Awards/Bylaws/ Election Committee by Wednesday, February 22nd and to Provost Kirby by Wednesday, March 1st.

C.    Farewell Celebration for Dr. Harper

Official thank you and farewell to Provost Sandra Harper: Harper commented that relationships are extremely good between university administration and the colleges. She encourages the FS to keep continue striving to make this institution the best it can be. Her experiences here have been positive and a great experience. She reiterated her feeling that it is good to have the FS speaker on Provost's council. She offered a heartfelt "Thank you" for a great seven and a half years. Ivy presented a resolution of appreciation. Cake and beverages were served.


D.    Budget Committee -- Friday

Discussion/Action Items: Faculty Salary Adjustments (see attachment).


Friday credited Debra Cortinas and Rebekah Thomas with collecting information on state laws and regulations governing higher education faculty salary increases. At issue were mechanisms to award stellar faculty (merit raises), salary inequities, and cost-of-living increases (COLA). Legislation allows state-mandated raises for merit and across-the-board (basically COLA) salary increases.


Action Item 1

BiRT...Implement a salary adjustment program designed to avoid salary inequities by providing adjustments to salaries of faculty at the Associate and Full Professor ranks where such inequities exist.


Action Item 2

BiRT...Implement a salary adjustment program to provide compensation at least equal to that provided by institutions nationwide that have a similar role and mission.    


Action Item 3

BiRT...Implement program that rewards ALL faculty an incremental salary increase each year for their dedication and service to the institution.


Discussion: Full professors have the most serious salary inequities. Senators questioned why assistant professors are not being considered. Friday replied that they are at or above market rates for new faculty. Layman maintained there is still a major discrepancy for some new faculty. A suggestion was made and withdrawn to take ranking references out of the document. Friday referred those interested to Dr. Orser's web page for salaries. Harper said the university's approach has been to compare salaries within disciplines. Wingfield felt there should be more specific wording about inequities. Ivy advised her to send a friendly amendment to Friday. Ledbetter questioned why business faculty have higher salaries. Buck referred to an article in the Chronicle last week about the discrepancy regarding business. Waheed said COB grads with an MBA make more than their professors. Thus the salary scale is market driven, with COB faculty receiving higher salaries for retention purposes, in order to avoid losing them to corporate jobs. Layman noted the situation is similar in CON, in that professionals outside academia command higher salaries than professors. Harper said nursing salaries have increased in recent years, and during negotiation they are flexible, and not just driven by salary charts. Vote on Action Items was tabled until the next FS meeting.


E.     Committee on Committees - Ledbetter

The Committee is looking at input on campus programs that run on a 12-month schedule and colleges that are interested in making a case for a 12-month contract. Thomas noted that if we go to a research intensive status, the impact of this type of schedule on research issues would need to be considered. Harper commented on the issue of continued enrollment growth on classroom availability. In a worst case scenario, if future budgets did not permit additional classroom construction, the university might consider running full-time trimesters (FT summers).


A Faculty Interest Survey is coming out in early February to aid in assignment of committee appointments.


Work continues on designating smoking areas on campus. One problem area is the walkway between FC and CI buildings. Students get surly when asked to move.


F.     Faculty Affairs -- Garcia

Faculty Affairs Committee is looking at proposed changes to University Rules regarding Tenure; Evaluation and Promotion of Full-Time Faculty Members; Academic Rank Descriptors; and Descriptions of Teaching, Scholarship, and Service. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools evaluate the University on student learning outcomes. Harper feels they ought to be reflected in our document and be a part of faculty review. Also, the goals of the American Democracy Project initiative and Momentum 2015 should be addressed in University Rules relating to faculty promotion and tenure. Regarding rules for appointment, Killebrew says University will not hire at Assistant Professor rank if Ph.D. is not done, although the University may hire as a Visiting Professor. The wording regarding promotion to Associate Professor will consider substitution of related professional experience, such as a faculty member's performances outside of the university.


Faculty Affairs committee will meet next week to examine the proposed changes and make any suggestions for revision.


G.    Executive Committee -- Ivy

Discussion of Dr. Quiroz' attached memo and draft of the Concept Paper to establish the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS). His working group will meet next week. The group currently includes Jo Ann Canales, Diana Marinez, Benito Sanchez, Adolfo Benavides and John Fernandez. Ivy suggested adding a library representative. Hopefully the concept paper will go to the Board of Regents by May. Further revisions are expected based on the Board's recommendations. The next step will be to write a full proposal. The Center will work with all campus colleges, Centers and Institutes, including the Mexican American Studies program, as well as serving various local and state constituents. Research will be a main focus. Layman expressed hopes that nursing can be given a greater focus in the goals. Ivy would like to see mention of the library and a more detailed description of consortial members under the section on External University Collaboration.


       IV.      Provost's Report

Dr. Bob Maroney wants to rotate out of his role as Faculty Athletics Representative. Harper will call for nominations for a new representative next week and hopes a new person can be on board by fall. A strong advocate for athletics is needed. Ivy suggested putting this item on the Faculty Interest Survey.


The budget this year is tight because, in spite of growth, projections have not been met. In the second year of the biennium, we don't get any new state funds. They must come from raises in tuition or fees. Faculty/staff raises are usually not as high. We can't add as many new faculty. We will have more funds avail in FY '07. Even though this is a "count summer" it is still the end of the fiscal year, and we won't get the money until after the legislative session. Kirby had no additions to comments.



          V.      Speaker's Report

A.    FS web site is being updated by Christine Silliman. Silliman suggested adding a column for web sites to roster. She will send out emails. If you want your web site listed, please reply. President's Cabinet Minutes also need updating. Friday will contact Alicia Jasso again in this regard. Agendas and minutes will be combined in one section. Awards section also needs updating. Web page still needs to become ADA compliant.


B.     Ivy said we have a new Suggestion Box outside the FS office. One new suggestion was that deans need to be evaluated by faculty every year, not biennially. The suggestions and responses will be posted to the web site.


C.     Ivy called for comments via email regarding the Provost search.


D.    The Executive Committee is reviewing New Faculty Orientation sessions and who will be responsible for organizing them.


E.     Motion to extend five minutes. Seconded and carried.


F.      The Bookstore is losing money. The university is looking at outsourcing this department. Three groups will be interviewing on campus on February 14: Follett, Barnes & Noble, and Nebraska . Mr. Lovett wants a Senate representative present. Ivy will send out an email soon. Possible fallout includes changes in staffing. Would new outfit bring all new staff? The Bookstore spends 75K to put textbooks on Circulation Reserve at the library. That probably will go away with a new company. We can lobby for it. Some faculty like them there all semester, some don't. Harper noted that if they only remained on reserve three weeks, as some faculty suggest, it would be a lot of work for the library. Melrose asked what the effect would be on the price of texts. Waheed mentioned it might be our chance to get the market factor into pricing. Ivy suggested the Budget Committee might want input on this issue. Talley said if textbook reserves are discontinued, we have to do something about financial aid getting to students faster.


                         VI.      Other business/Announcements

A.    Thomas inquired as to what campus entity sets the deadlines for student evaluations. Apparently each college can set own deadlines. Harper suggested it might be more effective to pass them out during the first fifteen minutes instead of at the end of class. Ledbetter said Nursing's are online in WebCT, and are not available until near the end of the semester.


B.     Cook is forwarding names to the Coastal Bend Fire and Emergency Management Committee. They tend to forget they have a pool of experts here.


C.     Ivy asked Layman to get a document from Florida Atlantic University for the Post-Storm Planning workgroup.


D.    Meeting adjourned: 4:23 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by Sue Willman