WTAMU Faculty Senate March 14, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 12:15 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, Sidnye Johnson (for Mary Jarvis,) Frank Landram, Jessica Mallard, Liz Matos, Mike Meyers, Bonnie Pendleton, Keith Price, Darlene Pulliam, Amy Newman, Mark Riney, Duane Rosa, Jean Stuntz, Gabe Goodwin (for Nagalapura Visnawath)

Dr. Hueston introduced the Deans Henderson, Clark, Terry, Taylor, Rennier and Hallmark, who visited the meeting to report on the progress of the colleges toward the equalization of performance standard expectations.

Dean Henderson anticipates that ESS will complete its process by the end of the semester. Department heads have articulated standards and a rubric will created to determine ratings.

Dean Clark reports that ANS is still in process of developing the standards with the expectation of completion by end of the semester.

Dean Terry reported that the COB set its standards in February 2007, with revisions expected to coordinate with rest of the university. Minimum expectation for performance in scholarly endeavors is three peer-reviewed articles in five years, and more if the journals are lower tier. Finds the evaluation of teaching is the most difficult, with opportunities for service being easily found.

Dean Taylor reports NHS progress in aligning the standards among the three departments in her college. Goal for completion is the end of the semester. The issue for NHS includes an added component of practice, which in nursing and communication disorders equates to scholarly activity. Requirements to engage in practice need to be considered. She has been working with Dr. Chapman on the possibility of a clinical track for tenure and promotion. She is also concerned that grants available to NHS are service grants as opposed to research grants, and that credit needs to be given for such grants. The uniqueness of the disciplines justifies a different standard that needs to mesh with the general university expectations and yet still be fair to the faculty.

Dean Rennier reports that each department in FAH has articulated standards, and a college committee that will work to equalize the expectations among the varied departments within the college. His view is that the college’s and department’s ability to write standards is hampered by the pace of achieving the finalized version of Tenure and Promotion policy. He believes that scholarship in the arts is defined as something in public view, in real time and in the moment. Offers support of bringing in outside evaluators. Also recognizes peer-selection as peer-review: invited and hired performances equate to peer-review. Accrediting bodies in the arts present particular requirements.

Dean Hallmark holds that it his role to ask the hard questions regarding the quality of scholarly/creative activity as faculty go through the tenure process. He also mentioned the need to properly define eligibility for graduate faculty status.

With thanks from the senate president, the deans left the meeting.

MOTION: To approve minutes of February 29, 2008: Rosa, seconded by Mallard, passed.

The senate discussed the issue of the difficulty of achieving uniform definition of “satisfactory/excellent.” Senate will propose a town hall meeting to offer a debate for the faculty on the Tenure and Promotion policy once the policy is finalized and ready for adoption. Harry emphasized the comments made by several of the deans that the senate has been very effective this year.

Dr. Hueston has met with Dr. Chapman to present concerns with the Tenure and Promotion policy that have been raised by the senate and the faculty.

Status check on the capping of online enrollments: The issue is financial. There is not enough faculty to cover classes if enrollments are capped.

Dr. O’Brien joined the meeting at this point, and picked up on the issues of faculty loads generally. If we followed the load policies currently in place (we do not), many additional faculty would be needed. Added to the complication is the need for release time for research and special assignments that faculty must meet. There must be accountability to the state for any release time that might be granted. Eight additional faculty positions have been approved for next year.

As of March 3 there are more applications for the freshmen class than there were in August last year. The increase is about 29% for new freshmen and about 34% for transfers.

Dr. O’Brien reported that the provost will call a town hall meeting after spring break. Dr. O’Brien answered questions regarding the Classroom Center renovations. The cost has risen and requires Board of Regents review. The difference is $2.3 million and efforts are underway to raise the funds through donations and naming opportunities, for example, $30,000 to name a classroom.

Faculty Development Leave Policy. MOTION TO ACCEPT: Hansen, second Pulliam.

The policy revision was circulated to the senate prior to he meeting.

Dr. Babitzke opined that the seven year policy might deter recruitment of faculty because WT may not have the facilities to allow them to complete research. Allowing leave after two years might address that issue. He also questioned the adequacy of the salary provisions. Dr. Meyers and others countered that the leave is not to support employment but to reward service, by allowing a professor to retool and/or rejuvenate.

ACTION: Motion passed with one dissenting vote.

Dr. Hueston highlighted the Outstanding Faculty Award guidelines with Latin Name and the Faculty Excellence awards.

Open discussion on Tenure and Promotion ensued. The policy still requires major revisions. The Tenure and Promotion document is procedural. The issues for attaining tenure and promotion still remain as a question of defining standards. Once the standards are articulated and accepted, a faculty member should be able to rely on the acceptance of those standards by the upper administration in determining their activity in preparation for the tenure and promotion process. The question arose whether the faculty senate should make a formal statement regarding the types of activities that become scholarly.

Mention was made of scholarship issues, regarding the redirection of talent-based scholarships to reduce academic scholarships. The decision to redirect 10% of the revenues from camps was also reported to the senate.

MOTION TO ADJOURN: Stuntz, second Anwar. Meeting adjourned at 2:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Hansen, secretary

These minutes have not been approved.