Faculty Senate Minutes
March 26, 2010

Attendance: Anderson, Bantell, Benibo, Bhattacharya, Davis, Etheridge, Garrett, Hall, Katangur, Katz, Keys, Benson-Landau, Loveland, Lucero, Mehrubeoglu, Moody, Moury, Paciotti, Rogers, Sefcik

Ex Officio: Billeaux, Meyer, Smart

Guests: Reginald Wade

1. The minutes of the February 19, 2010 Senate meeting were approved as corrected. (Katz moved to accept, Benibo seconded the motion).

2. Welcome and introductions – Lizzy Benson-Landau – will be SAC president next year and will represent SAC as president-elect on Senate.

3. Speaker’s Report

3.1. Quick report from Etheridge re: tuition benefits. State funding is not possible. Options are to seek external rewards programs (e.g., Coca-Cola), designating a fund to solicit external corporate donations, and creating a fund faculty and staff can fund through annual campaign.
3.2. Provost’s Council met this weeks. Relevant issues are on the agenda today. Wade will discuss textbook provisions of new legislation, promotion and tenure candidates presented to the board this week. Changes in commencement: breaking in to two groups and honors cords will be placed on students at commencement instead of having a separate ceremony.

4. HEOA Textbook Provisions – Reginald Wade (2 attachments)

4.1. Scheduled to go into effect July 2010. Faculty need to be aware of several new requirements for textbook publishers when they talk to publisher’s representatives.

4.1.1. Publishers are required to provide the following: (1) price of the textbook to students through the bookstore, (2) dates of last three editions and description of major revisions, (3) availability of alternate formats (e.g., paperback, e-book), (4) offer bundled packages as separate un-bundled offerings (including price information. Disclosures also required for custom textbooks.
4.1.2. Bookstores are required to provide ISBN and pricing information textbooks for all classes in the course schedule. Faculty are encouraged to provide textbook information to the bookstore as soon as possible each term.
4.1.3. Programs/universities are encouraged to provide students with information about alternate textbook availability options (e.g., e-books, textbook rental programs and textbook buyback programs).
4.1.4. A senator noted that some publishers discourage use of older editions by not printing them.
4.1.5. Another asked about formatting of the notification.

5. SACS/QEP up-date – Mary Bantell

5.1. The QEP Steering Committee members were invited to attend SACS visit team exit interview. We were given four recommendations requiring a response:

5.1.1. Provide detailed, comprehensive budget that explains support for QEP.
5.1.2. Demonstrate adequate personnel to sustain program. Specifically full-time/part-time staff and faculty to direct QEP.
5.1.3. Need a more solid implementation plan after the first year.
5.1.4. Demonstrate adequate structure to support and implement QEP.

5.2. QEP steering committee has already met to discuss a plan for addressing recommendations and preparing plan for SACS by August 2010 deadline.
5.3. Meyer added that the budget issue was two-fold: (1) it wasn’t detailed enough, and 2) it was inadequate (we need to devote more resources to the FYI program).
5.4. Lucero added that we needed to involve staff and students more in the process.
5.5. Meyer noted that the “compliance review” ended up with no recommendations. We simply have a little more work to do on the QEP.
5.6. Billeaux noted that overall it was a successful effort.

6. Assoc. VP for Research and Dean of Graduate Education Search – Paul Meyer (attachment)

6.1. Meyer noted that a replacement for Knull is important and the president believes we need to expedite the search process. A committee has been formed with representation from all colleges. Prospectus requirements are finalized and we are working with an executive recruiter. More information should be available on the Web on Monday. The plan is to have candidates on campus by June.

6.1.1. A senator asked if information about the committee composition and membership was available online. Meyer said that it would be available soon.
6.1.2. Meyer encouraged nominations from the faculty.
6.1.3. A senator asked about the financial benefit of using an executive search firm. Meyer noted that they expedite the process (for example, having a prospectus available online just two weeks after search was initiated). In addition, the firm specializes in academic positions and has contacts/networks to locate qualified applicants.
6.1.4. A senator asked if this would still be viewed as a single position or whether we were considering splitting it into two positions. Meyer noted that if we had the resources, we might do it right now but that constraints demand filling the position as described and then charging the new person with effectively separating the tasks into two positions.

7. Texas Council of Faculty Senates – Louis Katz and Bilaye Benibo (attachment)

7.1. Katz and Benibo attended a session on trends in assessment and course evaluation. The consensus is that course evaluations don’t significantly differ between online and traditional paper evaluations. They also discussed methods for increasing response rates for online course evaluations. See links to resources in report.
7.2. Attended session on shared governance. Identified threats to shared governance (see report).
7.3. Please see report for a summary of activities by faculty senates at other institutions.
7.4. Katz noted that reports of budget cuts appear to be seen as more serious at institutions that receive less external research funding.
7.5. HB2504 – everyone appears to be doing the same things to address the provisions of this bill. Recommends that we all put “job responsibilities” at the top of our vitas and that we note that average student evaluations are high at TAMUCC.
7.6. Benibo noted that other institutions appear to have more adversarial relationships with administration; that we appear to have a better relationship with administration than other faculty senates.

8. Administrative Assistant search up-date – Louis Katz

8.1. We have been interviewing for the senate administrative assistant position. We have selected a candidate and are working to obtain approval from HR. An offer has not been made because HR approval is required and we need to discuss salary considerations.
8.2. Lucero noted that the second candidate would also do a good job if the first candidate doesn’t accept our offer.

9. Committees

9.1. Academic Affairs Committee – Nikki Changchit & Elizabeth Sefcik

9.1.1. Catalog changes (attachment)
9.1.2. Music minor (attachment) – checked that it meets all requirements and needs no addition of new course. Lucero noted that Provost’s Council and Undergraduate Council have already approved the minor. Lucero called for a vote (Moury seconded). The motion passed (18 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

9.1.3. Catalog Changes -- committee reviewed all changes and didn’t find any major changes. Most were typo corrections and other minor corrections/clarifications. The committee recommended approval (Rogers seconded). A senator asked if the language related to electronic scanning of student work for plagiarism requirement has been put in the catalog again. Bantell asked if the Graduate Council had reviewed the changes and had noted a change in the requirement. Smart said that she didn’t recall any changes in that part of the catalog.

9.1.4. Lucero called for the vote. The motion passed (18 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).
9.1.5. Committee is still working on data from student learning survey and will report at the April meeting.

9.2. ABE Committee – Bilaye Benibo

9.2.1. Have candidates for all senator openings except nursing needs one representative. The committee will communicate results and new senators will be recognized at the April meeting.
9.2.2. We will be electing officers in April. Lucero noted that the April meeting typically runs to 5:00 or later so please be prepared. Benibo asked that all senators, including outgoing senators, attend the last meeting. Lucero noted that the location will not be the same. Please note the location of the meeting when Lucero sends the meeting notice next month.

9.2.3. CASE award and Regents awards are the final awards they need to recommend. CASE award nomination is finalized and will be forwarded to provost next week. Regents award deadline is April 30.

9.3. Budget Committee- Michael Moody

9.3.1. Moody noted that in the current budget situation, we need to be very careful about selection of the committee next year.
9.3.2. Landau noted (related to scholarships) that she wants to focus on large companies. The Coca-Cola contract currently funds athletics with vending contract and she thinks it should be more academic. More talks with College Station and the systems office are planned to see how they fund scholarships for dependent students of faculty/staff.

9.4. Committee on Committees – Nancy Rogers

9.4.1. Blackboard 8.0 training update – According to Doan, training is tentatively scheduled to begin April 12th. Will be scheduled for Monday/Tuesday afternoons.
9.4.2. Faculty support for research. Meeting with Knull will take place April 12.
9.4.3. Faculty Interest survey – will be emailed on Monday with two weeks to return.
9.4.4. Center for Faculty Excellence (attachment) –Summarized recommendation of COC. COC recommends that the Senate approve the proposal with the changes noted by the COC. Katz seconded. Billeaux noted that the current FRC committee has reviewed and supported the COC proposed changes. Lucero called for the vote. The motion passed (16 for, 0 against, 2 abstentions).

9.4.5. Lucero noted that Doan is preparing to train people in the use of Second Life as an educational resource.
9.4.6. Lucero noted she has purchased a professional subscription to Survey Monkey for senate use.

9.5. Faculty Affairs Committee – Paciotti reporting for Pfeifer

9.5.1. System Policies (two attached for information only) Longevity and hazardous duty pay policy -- consisted of wording changes. Military Leave and Service – changes to reflect compliance with federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

10. Provost comments

10.1. Meyer reiterated his gratitude for all who helped with SACS.
10.2. Billeaux brought up the grievance committee pool issue. Academic Affairs committee members are automatically members of the pool of faculty used for grievance hearings. Lucero presented the question to the David Billeaux to see if we could change that requirement.

10.2.1. Billeaux noted that he is responsible for picking people from the pool to serve on grievance committees. He noted that he does not have a problem with eliminating the Academic Affairs requirement as long as we replace them with other faculty to maintain pool size at 25. Would require changes to several existing policies. One change would relate to the role of clinical faculty on the grievance committee. He would propose expanding current “tenure and tenure-track” limitation to include “clinical faculty”. Billeaux offered to create some proposed language changes and send it to COC to create a proposal.

11. Other issues?

11.1. A senator noted that ROTC teaching staff are not represented on university committees and that we might want to consider giving them some representation in the future.

12. The meeting was adjourned at 3:45 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,
Karen A. Loveland
Faculty Senate Secretary