Faculty Senate Minutes
October 15, 2010

Attendance: Allred, Anderson, Benibo, Bhattacharya, Etheridge, Garrett, Kantangur, Katz, Li, Loveland, Mehrubeoglu, Miller, Moody, Picou, Ridley, Rogers, Sefcik

Ex-Officio: Benson-Landau, Graham, Guffy, Meyer, Smart

Guests: Debra Cotinas

1.      Speaker Katz called the meeting to order at 2:03

2.      Welcome and Introductions -- librarians and others

3.      Approval of minutes

3.1.   The minutes of the September 17, 2010 Faculty Senate meeting were tabled.

4.      Speaker's Report

4.1.   Provost Search Update

4.1.1.      Please encourage faculty to attend remaining Provost candidate meetings.

4.1.2.      Search committee meets first week in November to discuss finalists.

4.2.   Texas Council of Faculty Senates

4.2.1.      Benibo will attend, Katz will attend after provost candidate meetings.

4.3.   Rules, procedures, timelines

5.      Problems with Minor in Education Approval

5.1.1.      We approved the education minor relatively quickly before

6.      Tabled Policies

6.1.   Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Positions (12.0799.99.C12.012

6.1.1.      Motion to approve (Miller moved, Ridley seconded)

6.1.2.      Katz noted that senators should not be hesitant to object to proposals if they have concerns. Encouraged faculty to continue to speak their mind.

6.1.3.      The motion passed (12 for, 0 against, 1 abstention).

6.2.  Faculty Workload 12.03.99.C1 -- Tabled

6.3.    Assignment of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Workload Credit 12.07.99.C1.01 (File is labeled 12.99.99C2.02) -- Tabled

6.3.1.      Moved to take the policies off the table (Etheridge moved, Sefcik seconded). The motion passed (14 for, 0 against, 1 abstention).

6.3.2.      The motion to approve the policies passed (14 for, 0 against, 1 abstention).

7.      University Staff Policy (advise only) -- Debra Cortinas guest -- system mandates that we have a set of rules related to compensation. We did not have such a rule, these policies are designed to describe what is already done in order to comply with system requirements.

7.1.   Benson-Landau noted that the policies were discussed during staff council and various staff concerns addressed.

7.2.   A senator asked staff reps to identify the major concerns identified by staff council.

7.2.1.      Some discussion about wording.

7.2.2.      Some discussion about salary increase associated with promotion…wording noted that there "may" be increase when historically we have tried to ensure at least 5% bumps.

7.2.3.      Staff requested clarification on merit increases.

7.2.4.      Re-classification of positions and associated compensation.

7.3.   31.01.01.C2 Employee Compensation

7.4.   31.01.01.C2.01 Salary Increases Not Awarded Through the Regular budget process

7.5.   31.01.01.C2.02 Temporary Salary Increases

7.6.   31.01.01.C2.03 Reclassification of Nonfaculty Positions

8.      Librarian Contract Language

8.1.   At-will clause. Issue is that librarians are treated as faculty.

8.2.   Issue was the responsible party for issuing librarian and dean contracts. Clause was included in all staff contracts.

8.3.   In the future, the provost's office will issue contracts for librarians and deans to prevent such confusion. Appointment letter for this year will be reissued.

9.      Guidelines for Fall A&M System Student Award for Teaching Excellence

9.1.   A senator asked if the process would be administered online.

9.2.   System questions will be administered online in all classes. Faculty will still need to opt in for consideration for the award. Information will be circulated to all faculty when the award requirements and specifications for this term are finalized by the system.

10.  Scheduling policies, number of days on campus /office hours policy/online teaching

10.1.                    Provost Guffy addressed concerns about recent changes and inconsistencies in policies related to faculty schedules.

11.  Online Teaching -- a brief discussion of various issues related to online teaching revealed several consistent faculty concerns. Speaker Katz suggested that we might need to create a senate committee/sub-committee to address these issues. Others noted that several existing committees were charged with addressing some of these issues. Executive committee will discuss further at the next meeting.

12.  Committees

12.1.                    Academic Affairs Committee

12.1.1.  Double-dipping of courses -- issues raised include:

12.1.1.1.        Does it affect accreditation?

12.1.1.2.        What is the TAMUCC policy?

12.1.1.3.        What are practices and policies in comparable institutions?

12.2.                    ABE Committee

12.2.1.  Bhattacharya reported that the committee has placed information on the Web site related to various awards.

12.2.2.  Committee needs one more member to have four voting members

12.2.3.  Outstanding faculty advisory award deadline today

12.3.                    Budget Committee -- will be meeting soon. Salary data obtained from administration for all faculty, administration and staff.

12.4.                    Committee on Committees -- chair has resigned from the senate. A replacement will be selected this week.

12.5.                    Faculty Affairs -- no report.

13.  Parking -- seems to be a given that changes will happen. More communication and transparency in the decision making process will help alleviate continued concerns being brought to the senate.

14.  Provost comments

14.1.                    Appreciate the opportunity to be at meeting and work with us on issues

14.2.                    Appreciates receiving advance notice of issues to be discussed at the meeting.

15.  Speaker Katz adjourned the meeting at 3:22 PM.