Faculty Senate Minutes
November 20, 2009

Attendance: Anderson, Bantell, Benibo, Bhattacharya, Changchit, Davis, Garrett, Hall, Katangur, Katz, Keys, Loveland, Lucero, Mahdy, Moury, Pfeifer, Rogers, Sefcik

Ex Officio: Babbili, Billeaux, Paul Orser (for Nelsen), Silliman

Guests: Katherine Funk-Baxter, Renee Gonzales, Harvey Knull, Jody Nelsen, Erin Sherman, David Travis

1. Speaker Lucero called the meeting to order at 2:01 PM.

2. Minutes of the September 18, 2009 Senate meeting were approved as written (Katz moved to accept, Moury seconded).

3. Speaker’s Report

3.1. TCFS Report (attachment) – Lucero asked for comments on the TCFS report. She also noted that Katz was elected as coordinator of the system schools.
3.2. Retirees Issue Up-date – the senate has teamed up with the Staff Advisory Council to review retiree benefits. The group developed a list of proposed retiree benefits (see handout). We will vote on this issue at the next meeting. Lucero reported that there is an issue with providing email addresses for retirees. The state may not be willing to pay the costs of this benefit. Lucero asked senators to direct questions and comments to her.
3.3. Staff Advisory Council – Lucero reported that she asked the ABE committee to work on an amendment to the senate bylaws that would allow a staff council representative to be an ex-officio member of the senate. Benibo suggested that an amendment to the senate constitution was more appropriate than a bylaws change (see handout). He noted that the amendment requires a 2/3 majority vote. Lucero suggested also adding “Assistant Provost” and “Vice Provost” to the list of people who are ex-officio members of the senate.

3.3.1. Benibo moved to put the measure on the ballot for the next meeting. Sefcik seconds. The motion passed (18 for, 0 against, 1 abstention).

3.4. Meeting with the Chancellor – Lucero and Katz met with the chancellor a few weeks ago. Katz reported that he was a “likeable guy” and that he was interested in international education, collaboration between system schools, and cost savings. Katz and Lucero noted that they didn’t receive many direct answers to their questions.
3.5. Provost Council Meeting – they are encouraging any students or faculty who go to other countries to carry an SOS card. Contact Blanca Ordner for more information. The card allows for save evacuation during an emergency.
3.6. We are currently looking at Vice Provost candidates.
3.7. Members of the WebCT task force from last term – Joseph Doan reported to Lucero that they aren’t using the sandbox account set up last term…please start doing so.

4. Parking and Funding Issues - Jody Nelsen and Kathy Funk-Baxter

4.1. Formula Funding – see handout.

4.1.1. Funding Basics Funding for universities come from direct appropriations and indirect appropriations. 18% of our budget is from formula funding. Two formulas: Instruction and Operations Formula and Infrastructure Formula. Instruction/Operations fund based on weighted semester credit hours and base period with credit hours being critical. The Infrastruture form and supplements are driven by credit hours and other variables. Research and service missions bring virtually no direct formula funding. Teaching generates SCH and that affects most state funding. The “base period” is the 12 month period used to measure SCH…summer and fall of even years and spring of odd years. Base period SCH determines funding for two years. SCH is weighted using a matrix derived from cost studies. The teaching experience supplement provides an extra 10% bonus for undergraduate classes taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty.

4.1.2. HEAF Funding – complex formula calculated using need (25%), condition (25%), and complexity (50%). See handout for summary of funding. HEAF allocation for FY 2011 to FY 2015 decreased by $1.3 million. A senator asked if other schools were getting “creative” with space allocation to receive more funding. J. Nelsen said that in theory it was difficult to do and that they do audit the schools space utilization data regularly (TAMUCC will be audited in March 2010).

4.1.3. Parking Issues – J. Nelsen noted that we were caught off guard with the demand for parking this semester. We have formed an ad hoc parking and transportation committee to investigate the issues. A parking garage would solve many issues but would be expensive ($20 million or $20,000 per space). Location and function are being investigated. Off-campus parking with shuttle service. The most likely solution will involve a combination of both options above. A senator asked about paid, gated parking and the problem that paying for a space didn’t guarantee a space. J. Nelsen noted that the issue was a result of a decision to shift spaces from the west to the east gated lots and that as far as she knows, no one was unable to locate a space. Lucero noted that she asked Steve Hall to represent the senate on this committee.

4.2. IT Security issues –

4.2.1. Have acquired Identify Finder software for scanning computers for sensitive information. This will be available soon.
4.2.2. Working on acquiring encryption tools (PGP) for those that need to encrypt sensitive data on hard drives, jump drives, and email.

5. Export Controls – Harvey Knull, Renee Gonzalez, and Erin Sherman –

5.1. Supplemental Pay Related to Grants and Contracts (Sherman) – Babbili noted that he is regularly asked to approve supplemental pay for people working on grants and contracts. He expressed some trepidation regarding the state and federal regulations related to supplemental pay policies and expressed gratitude for Knull’s office providing information about changes in the laws.

5.1.1. See handout. We are governed by the U.S. Office of Management & Budget. Circular A-21 covers supplemental pay and our current policies/practices are not in compliance with federal law. Two types of pay: Regular pay and consulting. Regular pay is strictly limited to no more than 100% of your normal monthly pay during the summer months. Consulting pay allows a faculty member to receive compensation in excess of 100% of normal salary in special cases. Our policies need updating. Senate will review the changes at the next meeting.

5.2. Export Controls (Knull and Gonzalez) – Federal export control regulations (federal) typically exempt universities because of their focus on fundamental research. Recent FBI investigations and subsequent sanctions at several universities have prompted TAMUCC to begin formulating policies that ensure compliance with federal export laws. See handout for a list of steps TAMUCC is taking to monitor export controls.

5.2.1. For more information about export controls, go to http://www.bis.doc.gov/licensing/exportingbasics.htm.

6. SACS Focused Report – Paul Orser

6.1. “Classroom crisis” – we are starting to hit a “wall” with class scheduling. We are compressing our schedule toward the middle of the day and the middle of the week. For the past year or so, certain time blocks have no classrooms available. A work group is investigating strategies for spreading out the schedule.

6.1.1. Note that we have 63 general classrooms in an array of sizes.

6.2. The president has asked Orser to take over and manage the next phase of implementation of SACS report. He noted that we should learn by the end of the month what (if anything) we’ll need to respond to in the focused reports. We will need to submit those responses in January.

7. Web Policy (Ian Travis, Web Services Manager) – see policy emailed to senators last week. Current Web policies are nine years old and need to be revised and updated. The main change is to the academic side of the Web presence (colleges and individual faculty pages). Procedures will change to allow deans to determine the content of pages under their domain. Please contact Pfeifer with comments or concerns related to the proposed changes to the campus Web policy.

8. Study Abroad Scholarship Change – Anantha Babbili (attachment)

8.1. Change in policy reduced required GPA to qualify for study abroad scholarships from 3.0 to 2.5. The change reflects what was discovered by investigating the requirements at other institutions. College Station for example requires a 2.5 GPA, many other require only a 2.0 GPA. Please direct comments to Pfeifer. We will vote on this change at the next meeting.

9. Committees

9.1. Academic Affairs Committee – Nikki Changchit & Elizabeth Sefcik

9.1.1. Changchit reported that the student survey was nearly ready for distribution. Currently under review by the IRB.

9.2. ABE Committee – Bilaye Benibo

9.2.1. Announcement: Please look for future award announcements coming up in the spring.

9.3. Budget Committee- Michael Moody

9.3.1. Moody expressed concerns that the current perspective on salary compression may result in interdepartmental resentment and, in the absence of new funds to address the problem, may not be worth the effort required to develop proposed solutions. Lucero offered to meet with the committee to brainstorm a more systematic approach to exploring salary compression.
9.3.2. Motion to extend the meeting (Mahdy moved, Moury second, passed by voice assent).
9.3.3. Off-campus remote access issue has been resolved. Contact Faculty Helpdesk (2693) to request remote access.
9.3.4. Christina Gonzalez is working to create a list of site-licensed software and make it available on the web by January 2010.
9.3.5. See attachment for information on WebCT upgrade.
9.3.6. New committee (“Instructional Technology and Distance Education Committee”) will meet regularly to review policies and procedures related to instructional technology and online classes.

9.4. Committee on Committees – Nancy Rogers

9.4.1. Need a senate volunteer for the Enrollment Management Council.
9.4.2. Need a senate volunteer for the university committee on committees.
9.4.3. Provost office has sent email to communicate committee appointments to faculty.

9.5. Faculty Affairs Committee – Mark Pfeifer

9.5.1. Direct comments to Pfeifer regarding three proposed policies (supplemental pay, web development procedures, and international study abroad policies).
9.5.2. See handout for recommendations related to Turnitin issue.

10. Other issues – none.

11. Provost Comments

11.1. Update on HB 2504 (Billeaux) – See handout for a quick summary of HB 2504 requirements. Lucero asked Billeaux to coordinate with the Academic Affairs committee for information and assistance.
11.2. Piper Award nomination (Awni Zebda) is being mailed out.
11.3. Working to create space to house veterans’ services and other student program/services.
11.4. Honors program enrollment has passed 200 students this year.
11.5. We are in the end stages of the search for the Dean of Education.
11.6. Need to move quickly on the search for a Vice Provost to meet deadline for SACS reporting.

12. Lucero noted that Dr. Nelsen will be leaving at the end of December. She will be accepting donations for an appreciation gift.

13. Lucero adjourned the meeting as 4:24 (Rogers moved, Mahdy seconded)