West Texas A&M University

Faculty Senate Minutes

January 26, 2007

 

 

I. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 12:15.

Members present were Bill Ambrose, Syed Anwar, Sandy Babitzke, Chuck Chase, Gerald Chen, Mo Cuevas, Jeanette Embrey (and Jeanette Embrey for Helen Reyes), Robert Hansen, Harry Hueston, Mary Jarvis, Frank Landram, Joshua Lewer, Jessica Mallard , Amy Newman , Bonnie Pendleton, Keith Price, Mark Riney , Duane Rosa, Nagalapura Viswanath, and Douglas Werden.

 

II. Dr. O'Brien's Report

Dr. O'Brien discussed three issues: (1) restructuring the finances of the university, (2) organizational changes, and (3) what is happening in Austin.

 

Restructuring the finances of the university

 

Organizational Changes

Things happening in Austin

III. Dr. Chapman's Comments

Dr. Chapman spoke in response to the question the senate raised at the last meeting about the “counting” of “education majors” and related impacts. He explained that all education majors also have a code that shows what discipline they are focusing on so that departments get credit for education majors in some way.

 

Dr. Chapman explained that when a department asks for a new line, the first thing that it depends on is if there are the budgetary resources to support the new line. Overall, he uses the following criteria:

  Can we afford it?

  Are all of your classes full in your major?

  Is your semester credit hour production low?

  Can you justify the faculty position based on the niche that your program

  occupies?

 

In response to a question about Higher Education Advancement Funds (HEAF), Dr. Chapman explained that the money is available to departments and that requests should be part of the unit planning process. The money will be used to advance programs. When this money comes in each year, needs will be based on the unit plans and discussed by the Deans and allocated by them. Unit plans will be increasingly important and departments should plan for the future and make requests through their unit plans. The current administration will use the unit plans to make budgetary and funding decision.

 

Dr. Chapman said that he is working on a new category for Clinical faculty like in communication and disorders and nursing who don't seem to fit the traditional definition of faculty.

 

IV. Approval of past minutes.

The minutes from December 1, 2006 were approved.

 

V. Replacement for Ian Peddie

Douglas Werden was elected to complete Ian Peddie's term.

 

VI. Student Grade appeals

President Chase asked for volunteers or nominations to serve on an Undergraduate Grade Appeal Panel and a Graduate Grade Appeal Panel.

 

VII. Final Copy of the Strategic Plan

The final copy of the Strategic Plan is complete. The plan is now going to the steering committee. Harry Hueston talked about his experience on the committee and suggested that senators should download the new version and circulate it among their departments. It provides a good indication of the direction the university is heading.

 

VIII. Provost's T&P Guidelines

President Chase distributed Dr. Chapman's draft of Performance Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion . Discussion ensued regarding how the faculty senate should go about responding to this document. Comments and thoughts should be sent to Harry Hueston and will be discussed by the ad hoc committee he is chairing on Promotion and Tenure. Members of this committee include Mo Cuevas, Nagalapura Viswanath, Robert Hansen, Duane Rosa, Frank Landram, Joshua Lewer, Mark Riney, and Syed Anwar.

 

President Chase discussed the issue of core course syllabi and the issue of academic freedom. Several faculty members have asked how much structure should be “forced” on faculty teaching core courses. The issue of the same textbook and same assignments versus meeting the same objectives was discussed.

 

IX. Texas Council of Faculty Senates Meeting

The spring meeting is scheduled for February 16 & 17 in Austin, TX . If senators are interested in attending, they should let Chuck Chase know.

 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:25 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Mallard