WTAMU Faculty Senate January 18, 2008
The meeting was called to order at 12:15 in JBK Room 11 by President Harry Hueston. He welcomed Senators and introduced Liz Matos, elected from the Department of Nursing to complete term of Helen Reyes.
Members present: Harry Heuston, presiding; Bill Ambrose, Syed Anwar, Sandy Babitzke, Gerald Chen, Mo Cuevas, Perry Crafton, Jeanette Embrey, Robert Hansen, Mary Jarvis, Frank Landram, Jessica Mallard, Liz Matos, Pat Tyrer (for Amy Newman,) Bonnie Pendleton, Keith Price, Duane Rosa, Mark Riney, Jean Stuntz, Nagalapura Visnawath
Absent: Mike Meyers and Darlene Pulliam
President O’Brien addressed results of Tenure and promotion process.
He presented the numbers of those applying for tenure and promotion to associate professor, those applying for tenure only, and those applying for promotion.
Dr. O’Brien affirms teaching as primary criterion, as necessary but not sufficient, to be awarded tenure. In research, the minimum standard applied was two refereed articles. Most who were recommended exceeded that level during their probationary period. Those at the two refereed article level had other significant types of research activity to justify being advanced.
Of two faculty members applying for Tenure and Promotion but not being recommended, one was denied outright, one was given a two-year extension to bring scholarly activity up to the minimum two-refereed-article standard arbitrarily established by the president.
One Associate Professor applying for tenure only has been given a one –year extension to meet research standard. One faculty member requesting early promotion to full professor was denied.
Dr. O’Brien acknowledges that rules have changed, and anticipates continuing the policy of granting extensions until probationary faculty will have sufficient time to achieve the raised standards..
Questions from the senate and the gallery addressed teaching loads and their relation to research productivity. The teaching load policy needs to be reviewed to determine how much additional faculty will be needed to continue to offer the same number of courses AND observe the workload policy.
Addressing the seeming contradiction of increasing rewards for promotion and increasing market adjustments with the freeze on new and replacement positions, President O’Brien reported that it was simply a time-out to have time to assess the financial impact. The freeze is lifted on replacement of existing positions, but they still studying new positions. Previous savings on unfilled positions has been providing summer teaching budget. These funds are now being used for associate deans and extended contracts for department heads. Therefore, there will be a reduction in summer teacing. Budgeting practices will be adjusted to allow a clear vision of resources available for new positions and for summer salaries.
Dr. O’Brien responded to a question regarding plans for stimulating research-dormant faculty to become re-engaged.
Hueston: Minimum standard for research needs to be clearly defined and written. O’Brien says standards need to come from the colleges. There are difficulties created because the process of articulating standards has been on-going and doesn’t seem to be completed. Discussion ensued regarding the difficulties of precisely defining equivalent standards across disciplines. The need also becomes apparent for good mentoring of new faculty.
Question regarding the fate of service in the light of pressures for teaching effectiveness and research. Service is also a necessary but not sufficient condition for tenure. Question was posed regarding incentives for service if a faculty member risks foregoing merit increase for lack of research activity because of teaching and service assignments. Dr. O’Brien recognizes that there needs to be flexibility in assessing.
There being no further questions, Dr. O’Brien left the meeting.
Comments regarding the moving process from the Classroom Center, which seems to have gone smoothly. Dr. Hueston will address a letter to those responsible for the process thanking them for their effort.
All of the Senate’s requested changes to the ARFP were accepted by the President and the Provost. Question if the point scale changes were actually incorporated in the final draft; Hueston will verify that information.
Anwar raised the collegiality issue and how a negative assessment can be appealed. The appeal process is in place; a negative evaluation will prevent merit increase.
Thanked Pat Tyrer for sitting in for Amy Newman.
The T&P process is in the hands of the Faculty Handbook Committee, and will be brought to the senate as soon as possible.
Dr. Hueston will request attendance of the deans at a future meeting to discuss the status of the standards for Tenure and Promotion, and to push for a conclusion of the process.
Bonnie Pendleton will attend the meeting of the A&M System Faculty Senate.
Hueston mentioned discussion of the faculty development (sabbatical) leave issue, pointing out that it is a financial dream.
Comments on the fall report of Senate activity distributed by Hueston.. The report is attached to these minutes.
Spring agenda items will include Regents Professor, Outstanding Faculty Award, student evaluation committee will present a report at February 1 meeting.
Enrollment caps in online courses: Anwar reports that in US News and World Report, WT is among the minority of schools that do not cap those enrollments. Hueston will consult with the Provost on the topic for future action.
Sedona will take time to master, and some of the people who will be using Sedona as basis for evaluating faculty members have never been evaluators. Barbara Petty will start after January 21 to meet with department heads for training; Russell Lowry-Hart will meet with the associate deans.
MOTION to approve Minutes from November 30th by Rosa; seconded by Stuntz, PASSED.
Sandy Babitzke posed question regarding existence of a tracking mechanism to acknowledge the accomplishments of former students, so that some recognition can be sent from the university. Dana Olmstead will be invited to address the idea.
MOTION to adjourn by Rosa, seconded by Stuntz. PASSED. Meeting adjourned at 1:47PM
Robert Hansen, Secretary
These minutes have not been approved.
Faculty Senate Fall Semester 2007 Accomplishments:
Final copy of annual faculty performance criteria approved by administration
All committees and committee structure at WTAMU reviewed and revised
All committee appointments made
All senators elected.
Faculty Handbook Committee revised and started
Amy Newman attends Texas Council on Faculty Senate
New Outstanding Faculty Award – committee created and criteria pending final senate approval.
Classroom Center – move of faculty completed
Started a revision on CIEQ – committee formed and work is progressing
Areas of effort for the Spring semester, 2008
Faculty Handbook Committee – putting in performance criteria into faculty handbook. Next finalize promotion and tenure criteria
Assuring that standards for Teaching Effectiveness, Research and Creative Activity, and Professional Service are established in each department and are clearly and readily available to faculty.
Capping enrollments for online classes
Awarding Regents Award Process
Awarding Outstanding Faculty process
New schedule of classes – adjustments to times and locations