WTAMU Faculty Senate February 29, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 12:20 in the JBK Room 11 by President Harry Hueston.

Members present: Harry Hueston, presiding; Bill Ambrose, Syed Anwar, Sandy Babitzke, Gerald Chen, Mo Cuevas, Scott Frish (for Perry Crafton,) Jeanette Embrey, Robert Hansen, Mary Jarvis, Frank Landram, Jessica Mallard, Liz Matos, Bonnie Pendleton, Darlene Pulliam, Amy Newman, Mark Riney

Member absent: Duane Rosa, Nagalapura Visnawath, Keith Price, Jean Stuntz, Mike Meyers

Harry commented on the Tenure and Promotion issue, having reviewed the documents from the other universities in the A&M System, and the University of Portland. His observation is that our policy is much more detailed than those of other institutions. The senate needs to encourage feedback from faculty. There has been little response.

Frank Landram spoke of College of Business standards for scholarly activity being in line with peer institutions, mentioned need to clarify details of the Annual Review documents to correct the number scales, and the clearly binary evaluation of collegiality and professionalism. Copies will be circulated to be sure everyone has the most current version of the Annual Evaluation of Faculty performance.

Update on awards committees. The award for outstanding faculty is to be limited to full-time, tenure or tenure-track faculty. Harry will research a Latin name for the award.

Dr. O’Brien addressed questions regarding faculty development leave and funding. There is no mechanism at the moment for providing funding. Issues to be addressed include length of service to qualify to leave, whether leave is a full year at full pay, or half-year at full pay, full-year at partial pay. His opinion is that the policy that currently exists is too lax and needs to be clarified.

Scott Frish questioned how tenure-track faculty can reach the qualifying level of intellectual/creative contributions without being given reduced teaching loads. Dr. O’Brien agrees that teaching loads are too heavy, that release time should be granted for extra, non-teaching responsibility. The funds to support that possibility must come from growing the institution, which in turn requires raising the reputation of the institution. Dr. O’Brien’s view is that excellence should be rewarded and that the criteria for that evaluation in the past have been too general.

Harry will expect discussion on Faculty Development Leave at the next meeting.

Bonnie Pendleton reported on the discussions held at the Texas Council of Faculty Senates, including such issues as changing funding to be based on students completing a course rather than 12th day rolls, college readiness standards coming from the coordinating board, enrollment caps. Bonnie felt the trip was worthwhile in hearing what issues are affecting other schools. Our future participation is important.

MOTION: To approve minutes of February 15, 2008: Cuevas, seconded by Frish, passed.

Motion to adjourn at 1:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Hansen, secretary

These minutes have not been approved.