Minutes of the Faculty Senate
February 20, 2009

Attendance: Jennifer Anderson, Mary Bantell, Kirk Cammarata, Bryant Griffith, Mark Hartlaub, Louis Katz, Karen Loveland, Margaret Lucero, Michael Moody, David Moury, Marvarene Oliver; Karen Paciotti, Mark Pfeifer; Nancy Rogers, Elizabeth Sefcik, Sharon Talley

Ex Officio: David Billeaux, Christine Silliman

Guests: Rachel Cox, Ralph D. McFarland

1. Speaker Lucero called the meeting to order at 2:03 PM.

2. The minutes from January 23, 2009 faculty senate were approved as corrected (voice assent).

3. Intercollegiate Athletics Council – Swint Friday – Postponed. The Athletic Council is still waiting for the NCAA report.

4. Disability Services – Rachel Cox – requested the addition to the Disability Statement in all syllabi specifically directed toward students who are returning from military service. Ms. Cox shared some of the difficulties faced by returning military and suggested that many of them are not aware of the need for or the availability of accommodation for the conditions they may be experiencing following a return from active duty. Lucero asked that she forward the statement to the Faculty Senate office and she would distribute it to the faculty.

5. Speaker’s Report
5.1. Provost Council
5.1.1. The administration has retained the Denim Group, data security consultants, to review our security policies and the security of our data.
5.1.2. Arlene Jackson, director of international education for ASCU will be on campus March 8 - 10. Look for more information in a future email message.
5.1.3. TAMUCC will be a partner in the new IB program at W.B. Ray High School. A senator asked why faculty were being informed about this program after the fact.
5.1.4. The calendar committee is now trying to move to a three-year planning horizon. One issue is whether we should match our calendar to the CCISD calendar and extend the Thanksgiving Holiday to a full week. Katz reported that the issue has been debated and that the committee feels that the entire faculty should be involved in a proposal of this magnitude. The committee will be emailing information from their discussions to the entire faculty.
5.1.5. Financial issues continue to be a concern. We have been told that we must give back 2% of our budget. Faculty senate will return a larger percentage of its budget.
5.1.6. Administrator evaluations are on the horizon. A company has been contracted to collect the data.
5.2. Protection of Sensitive Information – (attachment) – Speaker Lucero shared a memo from Jody Nelsen containing an update on the IT security issue.

6. WebCT/Blackboard Task Force proposal (attachment) – initially prompted by faculty concerns related to midterm grade policy. Lucero reported that she discovered several interrelated issues related to WebCT/Blackboard and integration with Banner systems. The proposal includes two primary recommendations: (1) to create a WebCT/Blackboard task force to address concerns related to IT upgrades and (2) to request that the Provost analyze the results of the midterm grade initiative and report the results to faculty on a regular basis. Several senators offered recommendations for issues the task force should consider.
6.1. Lucero asked for volunteers. Karen Loveland, Karen Paciotti, Nancy Rogers, Sharon Talley, Jennifer Anderson. Science and Technology will provide a name later. Talley will chair the task force. Task force will provide a report at the April meeting.

7. Refinement of Academic Dishonesty Policy – Sharon Talley and Dave Billeaux
7.1. Talley reported that we revised the Grade Appeal Procedure (GAP) and created a new Academic Misconduct Procedure (AMP) last year. Additional refinement is necessary. Proposed changes include:
7.1.1. Changes in membership composition, term of service, and appointment of chairs for the Academic Standards Grievance Committee. Faculty members will now serve three-year terms on the committee. The AVPAA will designate one faculty representative from each college to serve in the role of Panel Chair for a one-year term.
7.1.2. Change in 1.1.1 of the AMP regarding AVPAA’s designation of faculty representatives to serve as panel chairs.
7.1.3. Change in 2.2.3 of the AMP to add a procedural role for an ombudsman as in the GAP.
7.1.4. Change in 2.2.6.1 of the AMP to add a timeline for panel reporting consistent with the GAP.
7.1.5. Change in 1.1.1 of the GAP regarding AVPAA’s designation of faculty representatives to serve as panel chairs (consistent with the change to the AMP in 7.1.2 above).
7.1.6. Point of order: Lucero noted that the changes to the AMP and GAP must be given a second reading at the next meeting.
7.1.7. Talley moved to accept changes to the Academic Standards Grievance Committee (7.1.1 above). Oliver seconded. The motion passed (16 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

8. Use of plus or minus grading – the senator that requested the addition of this item was not in attendance. Following a brief discussion, the issue was dropped and may be re-introduced at a future meeting.

9. Committees
9.1. Academic Affairs Committee – Mark Hartlaub
9.1.1. Special admissions policy (attachment) – we have had a policy for some time but Provost Harper did not want that information in the catalog. A SACS policy requires that all enrollment policies appear in the catalog. NCAA regulations include the same rule. We must report this as a violation to the NCAA because we didn’t make the policy “public”.
9.1.1.1. A senator requested information about the performance and success rates of students admitted under this policy. Hartlaub will investigate and provide more information at the next meeting.
9.1.2. Second baccalaureate (attachment) – students cannot earn a second bachelor’s degree after earning the first. For example, a student that earns a BS cannot return for a second BS (mechanical engineer) but can return for a BA. Discussion favored additional information regarding the rationale for the policy. Hartlaub will provide more information at the next meeting.
9.1.3. Catalog copy – Hartlaub presented a summary of changes to the following areas:
9.1.3.1. Executive summary changes
9.1.3.2. COB executive summary changes.
9.1.3.3. College of Education executive summary changes
9.1.3.4. College of Liberal Arts changes
9.1.3.5. Nursing changes
9.1.3.6. S&T changes
9.1.3.7. Hartlaub moved to approve, Moury seconded. Motion passed (16 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).
9.2. ABE Committee – Jennifer Anderson
9.2.1. Awards issues
9.2.1.1. Elizabeth Palacios (COB) is the candidate for the national advising award.
9.2.1.2. The call for nominations for the regents’ award is now open.
9.2.1.3. Carnegie Foundation Case Professor of the Year award is now open.
9.2.1.4. Anderson reported that a faculty member expressed concern that the Excellence Award for teaching excludes non-tenure-track faculty. A senator expressed concern that the recent addition of a new professional track for faculty may amplify this concern in the future. Other senators expressed concerns that the teaching award was important for tenure and promotion and that comparing faculty whose duties are limited to teaching with tenure-track faculty that have other responsibilities was problematic. A senator suggested that we consider developing a new award for teaching faculty.
9.2.1.4.1. Sefcik moved that the Senate recommend creation of a new teaching award for full-time teaching faculty that are not tenured or tenure track. Moury seconded. The motion passed (10 for, 3 against, 1 abstention).
9.3. Committee on Committees – Nancy Rogers
9.3.1. Rogers reported that we need a recommendation to the Provost to change voting privileges for library director on Core Curriculum Committee.
9.3.2. Rogers recommended the development of an undergraduate council A senator requested clarification regarding the necessity of this committee and the major functions of such a committee. Rogers noted that the council description was developed based on the graduate council and identified the major tasks. Lucero noted that the rationale for this council would be to remove some of the load from the senate Academic Affairs committee for reviewing catalog copy and ensure an elected, representative body. Lucero noted that we can only make a recommendation on this issue. Several senators expressed concerns about the way such a council would operate and the scope of their authority and influence. A senator pointed out that we have grown too large to allow all areas to operate without integration and that it is too large a task for the current AA committee to undertake. Billeaux pointed out that we should be very careful to establish clear boundaries for such a committee. A senator recommended that we solicit input from our colleges. We will discuss this issue further at the next meeting.
9.3.3. Report on the survey of campus services – Rogers provided a summary of the recent COC support services survey and offered the following recommendations: (1) disseminate results to relevant parties, (2) identify strategies to improve problematic services (bookstore, media support, physical plant, admissions & records, and banner), (3) identify methods for communicating availability of services to faculty and, (4) conducting annual surveys to assess changes and monitor improvements.
9.3.4. Anderson moved to extend the meeting, Talley seconded, motion passed by unanimous voice assent.
9.3.5. Lucero recommended that we provide information to faculty and to related the related service providers. Lucero requested senators solicit feedback from our colleagues.
9.4. Faculty Affairs Committee – Marvarene Oliver
9.4.1. Oliver reported that they received very few responses to the telephone/security survey.
9.4.2. New Policies – second reading -- 12.01, 12.02, 12.05, 12.07 – Oliver requested final comments before forwarding existing comments to Dr. Nelsen.
9.4.3. New Policies – first reading -- 15.01, 24.01.01, 29.01, 34.02
9.4.4. Administration of Sponsored Agreements Policy - second reading (attachment) comments requested. Send to Oliver.
9.5. Budget Committee- Mary Bantell
9.5.1. The committee received salary comparison data for 2007-08 last week. Committee is analyzing data and will report findings at a future meeting.
9.5.2. The committee has developed a formal plan for identifying sources and uses of funds and additional data for comparison.

10. Provost Issues and Comments – Billeaux reporting for Provost Babbili.
10.1. Faculty Development Leave – FDL has been approved for three faculty. The names have been forwarded to the Board of Regents for approval subject to funding. The President is suggesting that FDL be requested for spring when possible due to lighter teaching and other loads.
10.2. Chancellor’s Teaching Awards – TAMUCC will be participating this spring. The Provost’s office will administer surveys following a pilot test at Kingsville and Prairie View. The process will be discussed further with senate in March with surveys to be conducted in April.
10.3. Textbook Adoptions -- “they” are recommending we keep textbooks for at least two years.
10.4. Other comments – Billeaux briefly commented on that the budget recision of 2.5% reported by Speaker Lucero applied only to state funds.

11. Other issues?
11.1. A senator mentioned the need to discuss Turnitin requirements related to graduate work. We will discuss this issue at the next meeting.

12. Lucero adjourned the meeting at 4:27 PM.

Respectfully submitted
Karen A. Loveland