West Texas A&M University

Faculty Senate Minutes

September 29, 2006



I. Call to Order : President Chuck Chase called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. Members present were Bill Ambrose, Syed Anwar, Sandy Babitzke, Chuck Chase, Gerald Chen, Mo Cuevas, Jeanette Embrey, Robert Hansen, Harry Hueston, Mary Jarvis, Frank Landram, Joshua Lewer, Jessica Mallard , Amy Newman , Ian Peddie, Bonnie Pendleton, Keith Price, Helen Reyes, Mark Riney, and Duane Rosa.


II. Guest Speaker : Danny Smith, Vice President for Physical Facilities

Danny Smith gave a report on the status of the Pedestrian Mall and the construction progress on campus. The sidewalks on the Pedestrian Mall will have the ability to be heated during bad weather so they don't get icy. The Pedestrian Mall will also have wireless internet capability. The construction is behind due to the recent rain, but should be complete by the end of the year.


III. President's Remarks: Dr. O'Brien talked about two issues. The first dealt with the establishment of an athletic fee. We currently have a student services fee of $15.00 per credit hour that funds part of the athletics program. The proposed athletic fee of $10.00 per credit hour would allow part ($7.20) of the current $15.00 per credit hour student services fee to go back into student services, student scholarships, and tutorial assistance. The second issue dealt with faculty salaries. Dr. O'Brien stated that compared to our peer group schools, WT faculty salaries are lower than the median in every category. He explained that he is also going to begin the analysis by department and college of faculty salaries. Because of decreased state funding, it will take some time to rectify the issue of low salaries. Dr. O'Brien mentioned that he will be looking at tuition because WT currently has the second lowest tuition in the state.


The steering committee has completed the draft version of the Strategic Plan. (Link will open in a new browser window.  Choose desired draft version to view) The updated version should soon be available on WTAccess. Gary Barnes and his team will now begin working up financial scenarios according to current and future enrollments. Once this is done, Dr. O'Brien wants debate and feedback on the Strategic Plan from faculty, staff, and students.


IV. Approval of past minutes

The minutes of September 15th were approved.


V. Check for accuracy of dates of appointments to Senate

If they are inaccurate, email Mary Rausch the correct date.


VII. Senate financial accounts

The faculty senate has two accounts. One is an account for membership dues for the Texas Council of Faculty Senates and the other account is for travel fees.



VIII. Texas Council of Faculty Senates

The next meeting will be October 20 and 21, 2006 but this conflicts with Inauguration Week events so we will not be attending. President Chase would like a senator to volunteer to attend the next meeting.


IX. Inauguration update

The Faculty Senate sponsored Faculty Reception for Dr. O'Brien and Mrs. O'Brien will be Wednesday, October 18th , from 2:30-3:30 in the Hazel Kelly Wilson VIP Room. It will be a come and go reception in honor of the inauguration of our Tenth President.


X. Graduate faculty policy (Graduate Council meeting)

There are now only two representatives from each college on the Graduate Council which is a reduction from the past membership. One of the things a subcommittee on Graduate Council has been given to look at proposes making it more difficult to reach “full” Graduate Faculty Membership status. A memorandum created by Dr. Chapman entitled Revision of Graduate Faculty Policy was disseminated for discussion. (Please contact your department's senator to view this document.)


XI. Promotion and tenure procedure

Dr. Chapman sent out a memo explaining that there will only be one primary notebook that gets sent forward for tenure and promotion. Additional notebooks can be available in the individual departments. Faculty senators voiced concern that this policy still requires individuals to do the same amount of work on a variety of folders and that it would be helpful to clarify this policy so that faculty going up for tenure or promotion do not need to create multiple folders.


XII. Faculty Emeritus

A memo was distributed on what is required for Faculty Emeritus. The Policy on Emeritus Rank was distributed to clarify this issue. The issue was raised that the current policy requires that you have to be out of the University for a Minimum of three years which is longer than some institutions.  (Please contact your department's senator to view this document.)


XIII. Strategic Plan Update

Dr. O'Brien mentioned that the Strategic Plan draft that the steering committee has been revising is complete and will now go to the planning committee. Dr. O'Brien hopes that the plan will be in place by 12/31/06.


XIV. Committee Replacements

A list was disseminated of the committees that need additional members due to changes in faculty and the establishment of a new college. Nominations are needed from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the College of Business . Two nominations are required for each open position.


XV. New Proposed Teaching Schedule

The Proposed Teaching Schedule was disseminated. One reason for this proposal is to increase classroom utilization. We are below 30% and that makes it difficult to ask for new buildings. The suggested times were created by Dr. Chapman. The proposal has been sent to the Deans who sent it to department heads. Dr. Rosa explained that some of the impetus for this schedule is to help deal with the problems that will occur when the CC building is closed for remodeling.  (Please contact your department's senator to view this document.)


XVI. Other Business

No new business was brought forward


The meeting was adjourned at 2:15

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Mallard