Faculty Senate Minutes
January 21, 2011

Attendance: Allred, Anderson, Beltz, Benibo, Bhattacharya, Changchit, Davis, Etheridge, Garrett, Hall, Kantangur, Katz, Loveland, McCollough, Mehrubeoglu, Miller, Ocker, Picou, Sefcik

Ex-Officio: Anderson, Billeaux, Guffy, Meyer, Smart

Guests: Tim Fitzpatrick

1.       Speaker Katz called the meeting to order at 2:05 PM.

2.       Approval of minutes

2.1.    The minutes of the November 19, 2010 meeting were approved as presented (McCollough moved, Benibo seconded).

3.       Speaker's Report - many meetings this week about budget. Interim Provost Guffy will provide more information later.

4.       Tim Fitzpatrick - Athletics Update

4.1.1. 48% of our student athletes achieved a GPA of 3.0 or better last year. Overall GPA for student athletes is 2.75 (credible but could be better).

4.1.2. Financially - operated within budget in FY 2010 for the first time since joining Division 1. The recent financial audit by Price Waterhouse Cooper revealed no issues or concerns. Anticipate greater financial performance this year due to increased revenue.

4.1.3. Academics - Academic Performance Ratings - all but one team exceeded the 925 point cutoff. Basketball is still below the cutoff due to two bad years under previous coaching staff; should be above cutoff within the next two years as those older figures fall out of the calculation.

4.1.4. New contract with Adidas to provide equipment & supplies for all TAMUCC sports team. Anticipate significant benefits from this relationship.

4.1.5. A new athletic training facility is under construction. Gold's Gym will sponsor equipment ($150,000 worth). Sponsorship by Christus Spohn will provide doctors for four hours per day in athletic training area. Other benefits include streamlined care for special services (e.g., scheduling MRIs for injured athletes).

4.1.6. Budget - attempt to trim costs without taking money from team services.

5.      Provost's Report -Ted Guffy (see handout)

5.1.   National Theme: "We must do more with less."

5.2.   Budget hearings with vice presidents, deans and directors. Most recommended cuts to: (1) student workers, (2) M&O, and (3) faculty lines. See handout for specific numbers.

5.3.   President's Cabinet Priorities

5.3.1.      Do everything possible to save faculty lines and faculty base salaries.

5.3.2.      Will not cap or reduce enrollment.

5.3.3.      Will not jeopardize accreditation.

5.4.   During budget hearings, two options related to summer school salary reductions were considered: (1) offer a flat-rate salary for summer courses (e.g., $4,000 per class), and (2) reduce current summer pay by 20% (i.e., offer 80% of 1/12 of the 9-month salary per class).

5.4.1.      Flat rate option saves 9 - 10 faculty lines, second option saves 5 - 6 faculty lines.

5.4.2.      Deans unanimously approved a motion to recommend the second option but to establish a minimum base salary of $4,000 and a cap of $8,000 per course.

5.4.3.      Both options are "off the table" for Summer 2011.

5.4.4.      The new provost (Markwood) has another option that may be preferable to faculty. Senate is also invited to submit proposals.

5.5.   Faculty senators offered several options for budget reduction:

5.5.1.      Eliminate the first week of classes from each term to line up our calendar with other system schools (we return to campus a week earlier than most other institutions in the state). How much would this option save in operating expenses? Billeaux will investigate.

5.5.2.      Cut administrative salaries. If faculty summer salary is on the table for a cut, then the administrators making that decision should be expected to reduce their annual income by an equivalent amount. "Circle the wagons and shoot out".

5.5.3.      Cancel summer graduation ceremony.

5.5.4.      Consider the option of moving some 12-month staff positions to 9-month staff positions. Some staff positions primarily support faculty, many of whom are not on campus in the summer.

5.6.   Additional questions/comments about the budget.

5.6.1.      Would cuts in summer salary discourage faculty from teaching. Would cuts in summer salary reduce SCH production in summer terms?

5.6.2.      Will promotion & tenure decisions be affected by budget issues. Guffy said it would not affect decisions at the university level but we don't know what the regents will do.

5.7.   Speaker's Comments - Speaker Katz offered the following comments on the budget crisis.

5.7.1.      Faculty became aware of many of the issues presented by Provost Guffy via rumor well in advance of today's meeting. Such rumors are damaging to morale and make faculty feel like they are being left out of the loop. We need to hear about issues that may affect us as soon as they are discussed, not after the decision is already made.

5.7.2.      We need to have faculty representation in the budgeting process. This input is needed at the beginning of the process, not the end of the process. Including a faculty representative on the President's Cabinet where most of these issues are discussed would help faculty feel like their needs are being considered.

5.7.3.      Leaving faculty out of the planning for this looming crisis not only eliminates many of the sources of idea from "where the rubber meets the road", it works to transform us from "faculty" to "employees". We are being told that we are part of an institution with a corporate model and are shut out of higher-level decisions that affect us. Discarding that model is what allowed the Japanese auto industry to overtake the U.S..

5.7.4.      Katz wholeheartedly agrees that we need to circle the wagons and not shoot inward. Pay cuts should be shared. It is galling and unacceptable for an administrator making twice my income to tell me that I have to take a pay cut to save colleagues' jobs when they aren't also taking a pay cut. Yes, there are differences between summer pay and calendar year pay, but a pay cut is a pay cut. We can accept a pay cut if it is necessary, but not if the only pay sacrifice is by faculty.

5.7.5.      The new provost has at least publicly stated that if money needs to be saved in the summer, the process should start with consultation of the faculty.

5.8.   Provost's response - appreciated the input and will carry concerns to cabinet. He liked suggestion that we (senate) create a task force to develop & present budget reduction ideas to the Cabinet.

5.9.   Revenue ideas?

5.9.1.      Hall moved to create a senate committee/task force to develop revenue enhancement and budget reduction ideas. Katz will appoint/recruit members for the committee. Loveland seconded the motion. The motion passed (20 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

5.10.                    Katz asked faculty to use our voice effectively. Our only power is our voice and we need to use it well. Turn adversity into opportunity...the first way we can be better is to be more united.

6.      Committee Reports

6.1.  ABE -- just sent notification of new awards.

6.2.   Budget -- see handout related to faculty salary distribution.

6.3.  Faculty Affairs -- the committee recommended Paul Cameron for emeritus status. Ruby moved to recommend for emeritus status.

6.3.1.      Etheridge moved to waive rules to permit voting on this issue today. Loveland seconds. The motion passed (19 for, 0 against, 1 absention).

6.3.2.      Ruby moved to recommend Cameron for emeritus status, Loveland seconds. The motion passed (20 for, 0 against, 0 absentions).

6.3.3.      Speaker Katz adjourned the meeting at 3:39 PM. (Miller moved, Bhattacharya seconded, motion passed by voice assent).


Respectfully submitted

Karen A. Loveland

Faculty Senate Secretary