Faculty Senate Minutes
August 25, 2006

Present: Bantell, Bickley, Buck, Causgrove, Elwood, Fugate, Hartlaub, Johnson, King, Lewis, Lucero, Oliver, Pohan, Thomas, Waheeduzzaman, Willman, Wingfield, Wheeless, Winston, Yellen.

Absent: Cook, Murray, Reuter, Talley.

Guests: Jack Cassidy, Sherry Dee Garrett, Stephanie Grote, Bryant Griffith, Martin Lo, D.J. Loveless, Nancy Nelson, Dan Pearce, Allison Schaum, Ping Tintera, Corinne Valadez, Tina Ybarra, Norma Zunker.

I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Speaker Hartlaub at 2:00 p.m.

II. Approval of 4/28/06 minutes
Yellen noted that she was chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee, but it was not noted, and she is not listed as a member of the Executive Committee. It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. The minutes were approved as corrected.

Hartlaub mentioned that one of the Executive Committee members cannot attend on the date when all the other members can attend. Pohan has teaching obligations off campus on Tuesdays, and cannot attend. She agreed to withdraw from the Executive Committee.

Hartlaub explained that Cook is attending the A&M System Faculty Senate meeting today in College Station.

III. Fall 2006 Semester Regular Meetings
The Senate meetings for Fall 2006 are as follows:
Friday, August 25, 2:00-4:00 p.m., BH 126
Friday, September 15, 2:00-4:00 p.m., BH 126
Friday, October 13, 2:00-4:00 p.m., BH 126
Friday, November 10, 2:00-4:00 p.m., BH 126
Friday, December 8, 2:00-4:00 p.m., BH 126
Hartlaub and the Executive Committee will work to keep meetings 2 hours long. The December 8 meeting is usually canceled, as it is in the middle of finals. Johnson asked what the procedure is if he must miss a meeting. According to the By-laws, he should contact Silliman at the Faculty Senate office, and let her know he cannot attend.

IV. Speaker Comments
1. Introductions - Senators introduced themselves.
2. Goals, Meetings, Notification - The Speaker’s goal is for the Senate to come together and agree on important issues. He asked that if any Senator must miss a meeting, to contact the Senate Office and let them know.
3. Last year’s topics and year-end reports – Some of the topics from last year’s issue list have been dealt with, others have not. The year end reports from Committees might help in determining whether some issues have been completed or are still in process.

Pohan noted that the Faculty Affairs Committee did not get to the workload issue, they spent a lot of time on the Promotion and Tenure policies.

A question was asked about the Clinical Faculty issue. It was stopped at the President’s level. Winston explained that a new draft was written over the summer. The Provost will give it to the Deans to discuss, then it will come back to Senate.

Regarding the issue of student withdrawals and changing grades, the Academic Affairs Committee from last year, felt that faculty should always be in control of grades.

4. Summer Meetings – Hartlaub served on the search committee for the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management which chose Margaret Dechant. He also spoke with the Football Feasibility Committee. He told them that the faculty are concerned about the cost of such a program. The Football Feasibility Committee members told Hartlaub that any expansion of the athletic program hinges on the success of the Basketball program. It will be 10 years before anything happens with a football program. Hartlaub also met with the new Provost, and talked to her about the understaffing problem that affects all the colleges.

V. Ranking of committee-generated topics
The topics generated during the summer retreat were posted on the walls around the room. Hartlaub explained what each was, and other Senators added further explanation, if needed. After reviewing the topics, some were lumped together as they were quite similar. The list of topics follows, and the number in bold is the number of votes for the topic. See the end of the minutes for a list of prioritized topics.

1. 12 month contract – Bantell explained that CONHS teaches required courses in summer, but salary is only 85% of salary for spring and fall semesters. Tuition is the same, credit hours are the same. They teach a 10 week schedule instead of a 15 week schedule, but it is still 45 hours. (5)

2. Faculty Calendar issues – Faculty are not happy about attending a Faculty meeting on the Friday before a semester starts. Also there were problems with holidays, such as Labor Day interfering with Monday classes in the Fall. (1)

3. Family members’ scholarships – CONHS has this benefit, as provided by the Texas Legislature, to assist in recruiting and retention of Nursing Faculty statewide. No other college or unit has this benefit. [Combined with 6 & 15 to become Faculty Benefits] (3)

4. Validity of Student evaluations – discussion of the weight given to student evaluations in annual evaluations and in the Promotion and Tenure process. (8)

5. Student furniture in CS and CCH – they need to be more comfortable and suitable for college students. (0)

6. Maternity and Family Leave – we do not have a policy, although Waheed says that we do have a policy, but it is a system policy. [Combined with 3 & 15 to become Faculty Benefits; see item 3].

7. Evaluation of administrators – Senate would like to see a cycle of administrative evaluations, but beyond that they would like to see a summary of the evaluation, get feedback as to what was learned and what the response might be. (2)

8. Merit distribution or COLA – how is this distributed across colleges and within colleges? The process needs to be transparent. [Combined with 10, 13, 17, 19 & adjunct pay inequity to become Salary]. (20)

9. Transparent budget – the budget of the University as a whole needs to be readable and understood by all. (13)

10. Salary compression at the associate professor level [See Item 8, combined under Salary]

11. Promotion and Tenure – if we are to have a research focus, are we in a position with our P & T process to be pro-active? (10)

12. Faculty Research Leave (sabbatical) or Faculty Development – Winston noted that we do have a rule about this, but it is more of a money issue that faculty weren’t taking sabbaticals. (10)

13. Compensation for large classes – this is not the same across colleges. In A&H, faculty get $1000 more for a class over 100, and if they have a class with over 175, it counts as 2 courses. This is not true in other colleges. [See item 8, combined under Salary]

14. Workload: Graduate and Undergraduate – This is not consistent across colleges. (8)

15. Faculty sick leave (summer) – There were problems with faculty obtaining sick leave when it was needed. [See item 3, combined into Faculty Benefits]

16. Librarian workload – Clinical status, and ranking for librarians. (8)

17. Cost of living – Sci Tech is very adamant that something be done about this issue. [See item 8, combined into Salary]

18. Retention of I (incomplete) on student transcripts – this should be removed, as it is a matter between professor and student.

19. Schedule of pay periods in Summer I & II – faculty receive 2/3 in June, 1/3 later. [See item 8, combined into Salary]

20. Supply Purchasing – the Theatre Department had issues with obtaining supplies for their workshops in a timely manner. This issue may be close to resolution for them.

21. Minimum class size – this should depend on type of class. We should not have a minimum class size across the university. Art classes would like to have an exemption from a minimum size.

22. Graduate Student Support – we are losing quality students because we cannot support them with assistantships or scholarships.

Senators added the following issues:

1. Reconciling the state requirements for credit hours with the reduction of units to 120, and the inability to reduce CORE requirement hours. (4)

2. Pay inequality between adjunct faculty and visiting faculty. These terms are not well defined or applied. [See item 8, combined into Salary]

3. There is a new Graduate School requirement to take classes during the Summer sessions. However CAMS doesn’t offer a class in the summer. A suggestion was made to have a University-wide research course that could be taught in the summer.

4. Recruiting issues – our enrollment has not gone up much in the last year or so. Everyone should be recruiting. Retention is also important. (1)

5. Memo requiring contact with media and outside sources. By channeling all advertising, printing requests, and media contact through one office, things sometimes become bogged down. Ads for workshops, or performances, etc. are time sensitive, and cannot be delayed. (1)

Because of the similarity of the issues, it was moved and seconded to combine issues 3, 6 and 15 under Faculty Benefits. It is also suggested to combine 8, 10, 13, 17 and 19, and the adjunct faculty pay inequity issues into a Salary issue. The motion was approved.

Senators then voted using the “dot system” to determine issues with the highest priority. Results are given in bold after the issues. The Executive Committee will make recommendations for assigning committees the top issues to work on for the year.

VI. Curriculum & Instruction Ed.D. moving to Ph.D. degree
Dr. Pearce, who is Chair of the Curriculum & Instruction Department, presented a history of the program, which began in 2004. Students in the program requested the change to a Ph.D. The initial petition to change the degree was sent to the Dean and the Provost in November 2005. Dr. Kirby requested that it be reviewed by the College of Education’s Curriculum Council, the Graduate Council and the Faculty Senate. It has been approved by the Curriculum Council and the Graduate Council, and is now before the Faculty Senate.

Buck clarified that the Ed.D. degree is an applied degree, while the Ph.D. is a research design degree. He noted that according to the information provided, the degree is a research based program. He clarified that a dissertation, not a project, is required. Pearce replied that the degree requires more research hours than any program in Texas with the exception of the University of Texas.

Yellen asked about a quantitative research design course. Pearce explained that they were creating a stand alone course for quantitative research, and Dr. Nelson said that the quantitative design is integrated into some of the other courses. They do not have a course with the specific title, “Quantitative Research Design,” but the topic is well treated in other courses.

Pearce explained that this is still a new program, and is under probation with the Coordinating Board, and the faculty in the department were not willing to do a lot of changes to course descriptions. Most of the course titles were crafted by external reviewers when the program was being designed.

King asked about the dissertation approval process. The Graduate Office recommended a 4 member committee, with one external to the department, which will approve the proposal and the dissertation.

The benefits to students is that they will be able to go into institutions of higher education with a rigorous research degree. Initially, with the Ed.D., it was thought the graduates would go into administrative positions. Students commented that they felt they were immersed in research, the program is strongly research-oriented, and students do not see this level of research in other Ed.D. programs. Dr. Nelson added that fellowships are often only available to Ph.D. students, so this would open up new opportunities for support for graduate students.

Senate will consider this as an action item during its next meeting in September.

Hartlaub asked for volunteers for a Parliamentarian. Lucero volunteered to fill this position.

Dr. Wheeless was asked to speak, as this is her first Senate meeting. She was glad to be able to attend the Senate meetings. Kirby, as Interim Provost looked at the University Rules to see what might need to be updated. These will be sent to Faculty Senate Committees to get some initial ideas as to how they might be changed. She agreed that a transparent budget was important, and that Mr. Lovitt and his team are working to prepare a readable budget. Regarding student evaluations, Wheeless felt that how faculty use the results of the student evaluations, to improve their teaching, is important.

VII. Holdovers from April 06 meeting
There are three main issues that were not resolved at the end of the 2005-2006 Senate.
1. Term limits on the Speaker’s position – Awards, By-laws, and Elections Committee will present some alternatives for Senate to decide on.
2. Transparent budget and how merit is distributed will be looked at by the Budget Committee.
3. The evaluation cycle for administrators will be taken up by the Faculty Affairs Committee. The new chairs policy will be an issue the Committee looks at.

VIII. New Items
1. The Academic Affairs Committee will look at incident reports for cheating or plagiarism.
2. The Academic Affairs Committee will also look at the procedure for Grade Appeals. There are several issues that must be resolved with respect to this issue, including timing and adherence to deadlines. Elwood recommended using technology to assist in making the documents available and in keeping the deadlines. This led to a discussion of the use of “Turn It In” software to determine if a student has plagiarized.

IX. System Policies
The Texas A&M System has revised 2 policies and implemented a new policy. This is for Senators’ information.
1. 12.01 – Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure (revised)
2. 12.02 – Institutional Procedures for Implementing Tenure (revised)
3. 17.01 Intellectual Property Management and Commercialization (new)

X. Adjournment
The meeting was adjourned at 3:57 p.m.

______________________________________
Respectfully submitted by Sally Bickley, Secretary


Faculty Senate Issues
2006-2007


20 Faculty Salaries
• Merit distribution or COLA – how is this distributed across colleges and within colleges? The process needs to be transparent. [Combined with 10, 13, 17, 19 & adjunct pay inequity to become Salary].
• Salary compression at the associate professor level [See Item 8, combined under Salary]
• Compensation for large classes – this is not the same across colleges. In A&H, faculty get $1000 more for a class over 100, and if they have a class with over 175, it counts as 2 courses. This is not true in other colleges. [See item 8, combined under Salary]
• Cost of living – Sci Tech is very adamant that something be done about this issue. [See item 8, combined into Salary]
• Schedule of pay periods in Summer I & II – faculty receive 2/3 in June, 1/3 later. [See item 8, combined into Salary]
• Pay inequality between adjunct faculty and visiting faculty. These terms are not well defined or applied. [See item 8, combined into Salary]

13 Transparent budget – the budget of the University as a whole needs to be readable and understood by all.

11 Promotion and Tenure – if we are to have a research focus, are we in a position with our P & T process to be pro-active?

10 Faculty Research Leave (sabbatical) or Faculty Development – Winston noted that we do have a rule about this, but it is more of a money issue that faculty weren’t taking sabbaticals.

8 Validity of Student evaluations – discussion of the weight given to student evaluations in annual evaluations and in the Promotion and Tenure process.

8 Workload: Graduate and Undergraduate – This is not consistent across colleges.

8 Librarian workload – Clinical status, and ranking for librarians.

5 12 month contract – Bantell explained that CONHS teaches required courses in summer, but salary is only 85% of salary for spring and fall semesters. Tuition is the same, credit hours are the same. They teach a 10 week schedule instead of a 15 week schedule, but it is still 45 hours.

4 Reconciling the state requirements for credit hours with the reduction of units to 120, and the inability to reduce CORE requirement hours.

3 Faculty Benefits
• Family members scholarships – Nursing has this, as provided by the Texas Legislature, to assist in recruiting and retention of Nursing Faculty statewide. No other college or unit has this benefit. [Combined with 6 & 15 to become Faculty Benefits]
• Maternity and Family Leave – we do not have a policy, although Waheed says that we do have a policy, but it is a system policy. [Combined with 3 & 15 to become Faculty Benefits; see item 3].
• Faculty sick leave (summer) – There were problems with aculty obtaining sick leave when it was needed. [See item 3, combined into Faculty Benefits]

2 Evaluation of administrators – Senate would like to see a cycle of administrative evaluations, but beyond that they would like to see a summary of the evaluation, get feedback as to what was learned and what the response might be.


1 Faculty Calendar issues – Faculty were not happy about attending a Faculty meeting on the Friday before a semester starts. Also there were problems with holidays, such as Labor Day interfering with Monday classes in the Fall.

1 Recruiting issues – our enrollment has not gone up much in the last year or so. Everyone should be recruiting. Retention is also important.

1 Memo requiring contact with media and outside sources. By channeling all advertising, printing requests, and media contact through one office, things sometimes become bogged down. Ads for workshops, or performances, etc. are time sensitive, and cannot be delayed.

Retention of I (incomplete) on student transcripts – this should be removed, as it is a matter between professor and student.

Supply Purchasing – the Theatre Department had issues with obtaining supplies for their workshops in a timely manner. This issue may be close to resolution for them.

Minimum class size – this should depend on type of class. We should not have a minimum class size across the university. Art classes would like to be exempt from a minimum size.

Graduate Student Support – we are losing quality students because we cannot support them with assistantships or scholarships.


There is a new Graduate School requirement to take classes during the Summer sessions. However CAMS doesn’t offer a class in the summer. A suggestion was made to have a University-wide research course that could be taught in the summer.