Minutes of the Faculty Senate
September 19, 2008

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

Ex Officio: Provost Anantha Babbili, Christine Silliman

Guests: Robert Nelsen, Rebekah Thomas, JoAnn Canales, Jennifer Baker

1. The meeting was called to order at 2:02 P.M. by Speaker Lucero

2. Approval of minutes
2.1. Minutes from the April 18, 2008 meeting were approved by voice assent.
2.2. Notes from August 22, 2008 Senate Retreat were approved by voice assent.

3. Selection of Parliamentarian
3.1. Liz Sefcik volunteered to serve as Senate Parliamentarian. She was approved by unanimous voice assent.

4. Discussion Items:
4.1. Presence of Interim Associate Provost at Senate meetings
4.1.1. Dr. Babbili introduced Dr. Nelsen (Interim Associate Provost) and provided background information.
4.1.2. Dr. Nelsen provided more information about his background and the reasons he would like to attend senate meetings as an ex-officio member.
4.1.3. Speaker Lucero asked if Dr. Nelsen would serve as a replacement for Dr. Babbili. Dr. Babbili responded that it was his duty to be at meetings and that Dr. Nelsen would attend to provide information and assist him during meetings. He noted that Dr. Nelsen has direct access to the coordinating board and could provide information from that perspective.
4.1.4. Dr. Nelsen left the meeting.
4.1.5. Speaker Lucero proposed that the Senate invite Dr. Nelsen to attend meetings using same process currently applied to the Provost’s attendance. Talley seconded the motion and it was passed by voice assent.

5. Speaker’s Report
5.1. Speaker Lucero reported that she attended Intercollegiate Athletics Council meeting to investigate issues raised during the Senate Retreat. She has asked Dr. Friday (Chair of that IAC) to make the Senate speaker a member of the committee. Approval of the university president is pending.
5.2. Committee representatives needed from senate
5.2.1. Calendar committee -- Katz volunteered.
5.2.2. Graduate council -- Benibo volunteered.
5.2.3. Search committee for assistant to provost (Kathy Winston) -- Talley volunteered.
5.2.4. Search committee for director of university services -- Byus volunteered.

6. Report from Provost’s Council
6.1. The Meeting was cancelled.

7. Issue assignments for this year
7.1. Executive Committee assigned the top six issues from the Senate Retreat to the standing Senate Committees. Speaker Lucero will assume responsibility for the 7th issue (academic honesty). Chairs will inform committee members of the issue(s) they will address when they convene the first meeting.

8. Policy changes at system level
8.1. Speaker Lucero reported that there are many policy changes pending at the system level. These issues will be assigned to sub-committees after the executive committee reviews and identifies those relevant to faculty.

9. Action Item
9.1. Revised Mission Statement (attachment)
9.1.1. Speaker Lucero compiled the emailed comments from senators and presented a revised mission statement for consideration.
9.1.2. Speaker Lucero moved to approve the revised mission statement. Rogers seconded. Dr. Nelsen suggested the addition of the words “and international” to the last sentence. Lucero accepted the change as a friendly amendment.
9.1.3. Dr. Babbili noted that other groups would need to endorse the changes but would be a simple action item.
9.1.4. Dr. Lucero called for paper ballots.
9.1.5. The vote was unanimous in favor of inviting Dr. Nelsen to attend [RESULTS]

10. Deputy Speaker’s Reports
10.1. System Teaching Excellence Awards. The task force met last week and drafted five questions and a list of concerns with the proposed system for determining awards (see packet). After that meeting, they learned that TAMU College Station is taking a strong stand against the proposed method. Talley provided copies of the TAMU faculty senate and student senate resolutions regarding the teaching excellence awards.
10.1.1. Talley proposed a new resolution (handout). Talley moved to approve resolution…Rogers seconded.
10.1.2. Dr. Nelsen suggested adding a statement about local determination to the resolution.
10.1.3. Talley accepted a friendly amendment to add “and that the criteria for awards be determined locally at each institution.” To the second to the last paragraph.
10.1.4. Bantell commented that many faculty would be excluded due to clinical licensure requirements in nursing and other fields that limit class sizes to less than 15 students.
10.1.5. Talley accepted a friendly amendment to include class size issue.
10.1.6. Speaker Lucero called for a vote by a show of hands. The vote was 14 for, 4 against, no abstentions. The resolution passed.
10.1.7. Talley moved that we don’t submit the questions the Chancellor requested. Oliver seconded. Following discussion, Oliver called the question. Speaker Lucero called for a show of hands. The vote was 16 for, 1 against, and 1 abstention. The motion passed.

11. New item
11.1. Jennifer Baker, the new director for the Center for Academic Athletic Services presented a new form and procedure for student athlete progress reports. She also shared plans to put the report process online in the future. Several senators recommended changes to form and the process.

12. Back to Meeting with Chancellor
12.1. Changes to tenure.
12.1.1. Talley reported that the system is considering giving system schools to option to use two tracks. The tenure track would be used for those faculty with responsibilities in all three areas (teaching/research/service). The wording of the proposal would seem to reward grant writing heavily. The non-tenure track would have five-year contracts (or perhaps the three-year rolling contracts preferred by the Chancellor). Faculty on a non-tenure track would undergo review at end of contract period for renewal. The non-tenure track would create a new set of ranks and would have no service or scholarly activity requirements. The Chancellor doesn’t believe tenure is necessary to protect academic freedom and post-tenure review doesn’t work to eliminate non-productive faculty. Dr. Nelsen reported that tenure is dictated locally not at system level. This program doesn’t substitute for local tenure process.

13. Committees
13.1. Academic Affairs Committee – Hartlaub provided some information (handout) regarding the committee’s charge. He reported that the committee has not met and will go over the graduate faculty designation at next meeting. (see page 17). The proposed policy is designed to allow non-tenure track faculty to hold graduate faculty status in certain circumstances.
13.2. ABE Committee – Anderson reported that the committee as not met. Reported that the university has received the invitation to participate in the Piper Awards.
13.3. Committee on committees – Rogers reported that the committee has not met.
13.4. Faculty Affairs Committee – Oliver reported some confusion on committee assignments and requested clarification. The committee has not met.
13.5. Budget Committee – Bantell reported that the committee has not met.

14. Other issues

14.1. Bantell provided a follow up on the campus smoking policy. She reported that a university committee has been formed and they are reviewing the current policy.

15. Provost Comments
15.1. Provost Babbili reiterated his commitment to shared governance. Dr. Babbili welcomed the new senators and expressed his desire to work with all of us to achieve shared governance. He noted that Dr. Nelsen will be creating a new Web site to share information related to system and other information relevant to the senate. He welcomed Speaker Lucero and thanked former Speaker Hartlaub for his service last year. He expressed his desire for openness, candor, and team spirit and stated he was here to help in any way he can.

16. Speaker Lucero adjourned the meeting at 3:54 p.m.

Respectfully submitted
Karen Loveland