Minutes of the Faculty Senate
January 23, 2009

Attendance: Mary Bantell, Bilaye Benibo, Kent Byus, Kirk Cammarata, Niki Changchit, Bryant Griffith, Mark Hartlaub, Louis Katz, Karen Loveland, Margaret Lucero, Ian MacDonald, Ahmed Mahdy, Michael Moody, Mary Kay Mortimer, David Moury, Marvarene Oliver; Karen Paciotti, Mark Pfeifer; Nancy Rogers, Elizabeth Sefcik, Sharon Talley

Ex-Officio: David Billeaux, Robert Nelsen, Christine Silliman, Cely Smart

Guests: Alan Gutierrez

1. Speaker Lucero called the meeting to order at 2:02 PM.

2. Approval of minutes from November 21, 2008. Griffith moved to accept as written, Oliver seconded. The motion passed by unanimous voice assent.

3. Speaker’s Report

3.1. Dr. Nelsen introduced Cely Smart, new Assistant to the Provost (Kathy Winston’s replacement) and shared some background.
3.2. Protection of Sensitive Information – Lucero reported that she has delivered a letter to the Provost regarding some areas of concern related to information security. Some of the issues detailed included rekeying file cabinets and desks, more computer training for faculty, more IT support for those that aren’t able to maintain systems, and suggesting the adoption of a systematic process for checking security on campus.
3.3. Provost Council
3.3.1. Calendar -- 2009 summer I session overlaps with the CCISD calendar creating a problem for new enrollments by high school students and teachers enrolled in summer classes. It is too late to change the calendar. Speaker Lucero asked faculty to begin considering ways to accommodate students that are unable to attend the first few days of Summer Session I. Katz reported that CCISD tries to align their calendar with our calendar but the scope of their planning horizon compared to ours may create such problems.
3.3.2. Midterm Grades – faculty are now required to submit mid-term grades. Faculty will use the same Banner self-service page but there will be some differences. Training will be provided. We’ve been asked by the Provost to make this retention effort work.
3.3.3. Billeaux reported that faculty will be required to submit midterm grades and while there will be no sanctions for non-compliance, the Provost strongly encourages participation. Billeaux also reported that we are going to try “going paperless” so faculty won’t receive the regular printed 12th day rosters. This required changes to the way we report students that stopped attending. They developed a new interface for entering midterm grades that will allow reporting of attendance earlier in the semester as well A senator requested that it be made clear that the faculty senate vote of support included the assumption that compliance would be voluntary. Nelsen noted that faculty had the option of enter a “P” for “passing” if they were unable to enter a letter grade at midterm. A senator asked how the system would work with teaching assistants who don’t have SAIL access. Billeaux reported that he believed 12th day attendance and midterm grade reporting would be the responsibility of the faculty member of record. Lab grades may be a problem. Lucero reported that some students attend the last class to avoid a SA notation. She suggested that we may need a solution if this is a financial aid issue. Lucero suggested that we see what happens this semester and then return to the issue later this term or next term after we have a chance to identify problems and outcomes of the system.
3.3.4. The search for Dean of college of Liberal Arts down to five names.
3.4. Texas Council of Faculty Senate’s meeting the first week in March. Lucero reported that she will attend and would like to have another faculty member attend. If interested, please contact speaker lucero.
4. Committees
4.1. ABE Committee – Mark Pfeifer for Jennifer Anderson
4.1.1. Library Director Evaluation Forms – form based on the dean’s evaluation form. Has been reviewed by committee and library staff and approved. A senator noted that the form had many double-barreled questions. In addition, one or more questions may be unanswerable by a subordinate. Many questions overly wordy. Noted numerous errors through the form. Nelsen reported that we need process in place quickly so we based the Library Director form on the form used for Deans to allow us to collect information this semester for SACS. We will revisit the forms and the value of the evaluations next year. Lucero outlined the choices. Byus moved that we recommend to the authors of the questions that they eliminate the double-barreled questions before using them the first time. Mahdy seconded. Friendly amendment that Benibo would provide direct assistance.
4.1.2. Library Director Evaluation Forms (for faculty to evaluate Library Director) – Oliver moved we accept the form as corrected, Byus seconded. Motion passed by unanimous voice assent.
4.2. Committee on Committees – Nancy Rogers
4.2.1. Survey – has been sent, please encourage participation before Jan. 30 deadline.
4.2.2. In late February, the committee will send an interest survey to the filling of faculty vacancies.
4.3. Faculty Affairs Committee – Marvarene Oliver
4.3.1. A survey regarding the availability of security phones in classrooms and other campus areas will go out soon.
4.3.2. Policies – second reading. 02.06 and 02.07 – Oliver moved to accept policies as written, MacDonald seconded. Motion passed by voice assent (20 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions). 11.01, 11.03 – Oliver moved to accept policies as written, Talley seconded. Motion passed by voice assent (20 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions). 11.04 – Oliver moved to accept, Talley second. Motion passed by voice assent (20 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions). 11.05 – Oliver moved to accept, Byus seconded. Motion passed by voice assent (20 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions). 11.06 – Oliver moved to accept, Talley seconded. Motion passed by voice assent (19 for, 0 against, 1 abstention). 11.07 and 11.08 – Oliver moved to accept, Moury seconded. Motion passed by voice assent (20 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions). A senator expressed a point of personal preference and noted that we are trying to review too many policies at the same time. Nelsen noted that these policies have already been approved by the Coordinating Board and we are merely being asked for feedback prior to incorporation of these policies into our handbook. 12.01– we were asked to examine this carefully, especially the section on firing (section 8.2.4). Senator expressed concern that policy doesn’t clearly require faculty notification of termination issue. Another senator expressed concern the policy invests too much power with the CEO. Byus moved that we extend deadline for providing comments to Dr. Nelsen on selected issues to Friday, Jan. 30. Sefcik seconded. Motion passed. The following policies were added to the list of policies that require additional time to comment: 12.01, 12.02, 12.06 (allows annual PTR), 12.07 (very different from our policy), 13.02. Senators should review these policies The remaining policies were deemed to be acceptable and required no extension of the time to provide comments to Dr. Nelsen. Copy Oliver and Silliman on messages.
4.3.3. Administration of Sponsored Agreements Policy - first reading – send comments to Oliver. Pay particular attention to pgs. 12 - 23. Nelsen reported that time and effort reporting can be complicated. Those involved in sponsored research should pay particular attention.
4.4. Budget Committee- Mary Bantell
4.4.1. Met last fall and developed template to compare faculty salary. comparative data. Still missing 2007-2008 data from Orser’s office.
4.4.2. Compiled list of endowed professors. Committee believes this is a way to influence faculty salary without affecting budget. TAMUCC has only nine endowed professors, four full-time endowed chairs.
4.4.3. The committee is also reviewing AAUP salary data
4.5. Academic Affairs Committee – Mark Hartlaub
4.5.1. Assoc/Asst Dean Evaluation Form (attachment) – a senator recommended slight change to questions three and five. Hartlaub moved to accept form as amended, Benibo second, Motion passed by voice assent (20 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).
4.5.2. Course Equity Across Campus – provided results of workload compensation survey of deans/assoc. deans.
5. Other issues
5.1. A senator requested a future discussion on plus-minus grading
5.2. A senator requested follow up on the textbook cost issue
6. Provost Comments – “no comment”
7. Safety Issues – Chief Alan Gutierrez –
7.1. Talley moved to extend the meeting, Oliver seconded. The motion passed by unanimous voice assent.
7.2. A senator expressed concern about the street leading into the gated parking area. Students (drivers and pedestrians) don’t look before pulling/stepping out. Recommended more aggressive stance on pedestrian flow. We need to develop a flow plan. Gutierrez reported they are working with the physical plant on this issue. Cart traffic also an issue.
7.3. Another senator mentioned that lack of signage (stop signs) in parking lots. Gutierrez said that proper signage is one of the issues they’re working on.
7.4. A senator asked how many people get speeding tickets on Islander Drive. Gutierrez said very few. The senator expressed concern about the single crosswalk on that street with no signs on the outbound side. Gutierrez said he would investigate.
7.5. A senator suggested more education including the use of signs to remind students and faculty that campus speed limit is 20 MPH on roads and 10 MPH in parking lots. Gutierrez said they would investigate this issue.
7.6. Campus Safety Video – Gutierrez and Lucero asked everyone that had not seen the video on campus safety (related to campus shootings) to please stay and review it after the meeting.
8. Speaker Lucero adjourned the meeting at 4:23 PM

Respectfully submitted,
Karen A. Loveland, Faculty Senate Secretary