Senators in attendance: Jennifer Anderson, Mary Bantell, Sally Bickley, Kent Byus, Kirk Cammarata, Tim Causgrove, Nikki Changchit, Sue Elwood, Bryant Griffith, Mark Harlaub, Randall Johnson, Scott King, Margaret Lucero, Ian MacDonald, Marvarene Oliver, Greg Reuter, Sharon Talley, Waheed, and Elaine Yellen
Ex Officio: Anantha Babbili, Kathy Winston, Christine Silliman
Guests: Richard Sheppard and Elizabeth Mermann-Jozwiak
Called to order by Speaker Hartlaub at 2:04 p.m.
Yellen made a motion that the minutes be passed with minor changes accepted, Griffith seconded and the minutes were passed by assent.
Guest Speaker – Richard Sheppard
Dr. Sheppard provided a hand-out containing information on the system employee benefits and how the decisions are made. By state regulation there is a System Employee Benefits Advisory Committee. The Systems office is under the Director of Risk Management and Safety. If we have benefit questions we should go to the Human Resources staff or call Jennifer Koliba Senior Employee Benefits Representative. The advisory committee deals with issues throughout the system, but current does not deal with retirement issues. There is no committee for retirement issues so SEBAC is willing to take those issues into their committee. This issue is not yet resolved. If you do not want to talk to someone locally it is okay to talk to Jennifer Koliba instead. There are three benefits groups – UT, A&M, and TRS (everyone else). Although some health insurance plans lose money, others make money and overall the costs balance out. SEBAC primarily handles policy and doesn’t generally handle individual matters and complaints. A senator asked if an institution wanted to go to TRS and out of the system is that possible? Sheppard answered that he wasn’t sure the system group is a legal entity and might be difficult to change.
Guest Speaker – Elizabeth Mermann-Jozwiak
Dr. Mermann-Jozwiak came to discuss a proposal for the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science, which she was asked to design. She designed it after looking at other examples around the state. The students in the existing programs tend to be non-traditional and are usually working in their field already. She worked with individuals from other colleges to design the degree. Implementation may be difficult since it may require alternatives such as evening classes and on-line courses. We also do not know who would coordinate it. She also met with people at Del Mar who said they have been trying to get this degree program for five years. One senator asked if this program is going to cannibalize other programs. She indicated that no specific research has been done, but she agreed it could be an issue. The program still needs to be refined. She handed out a supplement to what the Senators already had on the program. The supplement involved changes to the Applied Leadership Track. A Senator indicated a concern about introducing this degree since it may be considered more of a “trade school” program. Computer Science has already been working with Del Mar to put together a program Bachelor’s Degree for students in the Associates Program. Currently students are transferring to Kingsville, Incarnate Word or San Antonio to get a BAAS. A Senator indicated that he feels the students should receive counseling to help them get a BA or BS. There was a question asked about the process used for new programs and that issue was discussed. The BAAS proposal was presented to the Liberal Arts College and was also discussed in the Science & Technology College. One senator suggested it should be more widely discussed across the colleges involved before it is approved. Another senator suggested that this program is not consistent with the programs we normally provide and it does not fit our competitive advantage. The question was raised regarding where students should go if they want an advanced degree after attaining a BAAS. One senator asked to have a delay to enable her to check with another committee and see if it was the same information that was previously rejected. Provost Babbili indicated that he had discussed this program with the president. The President is familiar with this program and found through his past experience that the students are older, more responsible students. Given their situation this is the best degree for them. He added that they are prone to complete the degree and not drop out. Further, he indicated that we have an ethical responsibility to help the people that are carrying out these important jobs. We also need to provide ways for people to get degrees that need them. Other schools are already supporting this type of program. Therefore, Provost Babbili indicated his support for the program.
A motion was put forth by Reuter and seconded by Talley
Motion: To accept the program as proposed with the amendment offered.
In further discussion, someone asked if it is appropriate for us to vote on
this program when it appears that some parts of campus have not had a chance
to discuss this in their colleges. There was a discussion regarding how senators
should vote on the motion if they want more time to discuss the program within
Griffith moved to table the motion and McDonald seconded it.
There was a discussion on the merits of tabling the previous motion and what that would mean for the future.
The vote on tabling the previous motion was - For 13, Against 6, therefore the motion was tabled.
McDonald made a motion that the colleges should discuss this program. The
merits of the motion were discussed. One senator said he did not think there
was a mechanism to tell colleges to do something. Griffith seconded the motion.
The vote was - For 13, Against 4, Abstain 2, therefore the motion passed.
Deputy Speaker Comments (Report by Yellen) – Yellen went to the TCFS meeting in Austin. We can send information and names for officers to this body. The Coordinating Board is in a consultative mode. The “six class drop rule” has been passed at the Coordinating Board level but now individual universities should create their own policy regarding what classes can be dropped and outline the procedure for dropping. There is a “Fellows” program which you can read about on the Website. Statistics indicate that 21.8% of faculty members in the U. S. are tenured. Faculty members are viewed as a cost of the University and the use of part-time faculty is on the rise (over 40%). Male-Female inequities were also discussed. If faculty members are contingent workers there is less commitment to the college or university and it is often difficult to get the service obligations completed. One trend involves the unbundling of the courses, this involves having one faculty member develop a course and individuals that cost less (e.g., part-timers) then run the courses. The A&M group got together and discussed student evaluations and how they are used.
Speaker Comments (by Hartlaub) -
• There will be a memo coming out on the procedures that will support the use of the Social Security Attestation form.
• He is still soliciting comments on International Faculty issues and problems.
• Mark will be in the Faculty Senate for one more year. He suggested that we consider changing the procedures to a series with a chair-elect, speaker, and former speaker.
• Hartlaub met with the five deans on the merit survey and will provide a report later.
• Hartlaub met with Harvey Knull. Knull agreed to work with us on creating a system where he can be evaluated by the graduate faculty. He is open to this and thinks it is a good idea.
Academic Affairs Committee (Report by Talley) – The Committee is working on a new policy to handle academic dishonesty. The University has an institutional license for Turnitin.com. The Committee has been asked to look into the issue involving free tuition for family members. The President with support of the Chancellor can provide approvals for free tuition. There is an exemption for faculty in nursing. He can also approve in-state tuition to children of new faculty members. The committee is not sure where else to investigate this issue.
ABE Committee (Report by Hartlaub) - Since there is no chair for this committee the responsibilities have been divided among the members. Hartlaub will take comments and inquiries and will forward them to right person.
Committee on Committees (Report by Johnson) - Johnson provided a handout discussing their progress with the committees. They have worked on staffing the University Committees, the Core Curriculum Committee, and IRB membership. They are also working on an issue from the retreat, which involves the non-tenure track faculty ranks policy. He asked how senators felt about the Core Curriculum Committee membership. Each College has two members on the committee. He asked if the library wants a member on the committee also.
Faculty Affairs Committee (Report by Oliver) – The Committee is examining the new Policy on Criminal Background Checks. The Committee wants input from the rest of the senators on there thought about this policy. The new policy was handed out. The Committee has also been collecting Tenure & Promotion policies from other universities to compare them to ours.
Budget Committee – (Report by Waheed) - The Committee met and they are preparing a document regarding what needs to be done to get some developmental leaves for faculty in the future. Probably this will not go into effect until 2009. The goal is to get one developmental leave per college. The committee recommendation will provide recommendations on how this could be accomplished procedurally.
Provost Report (Anantha Babbili) – He indicated that the President supports having developmental leaves for faculty members.
Meeting was adjourned at 3:57 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Margaret Lucero