West Texas A&M University

Approved Faculty Senate Minutes

October 14, 2005

 

I. Call to Order: President Pam Lockwood called the meeting to order at 12:16 p.m. Members present were Syed Anwar, Joel Babitzke, Rob Brammer, Sharon Burnett, Charles Chase, Jill Hayes, Mary Jarvis, Lance Kieth, Cloyce Kuhnert, Frank Landrum, Pam Lockwood, Jessica Mallard, Amy Newman, Neil Terry and Reed Welch substitute for Harry Hueston.

 

II . Approved the minutes from the September 16, 2005 meetings.

 

IIII . Old Business : (All comments by President Lockwood unless noted otherwise.)

A. TAMU-Kingsville. The current Faculty Senate at Kingsville has been dissolved based on a report from a three-member outside faculty committee appointed by the System and a Regent's vote. Materials were handed out to each Senator in support of this extreme measure. The Kingsville faculty have been encouraged to look at our bylaws to create a new Senate that is representative of all faculty members. It appears that the main problems with the old Faculty Senate were the lack of representation from all departments (only ten departments represented) and the unbroken terms of several senators who had made the body more of an exclusive club than a representative body.

B. Gift for the Long's Scholarship Donations. President Lockwood asked for suggestions concerning encouraging faculty to donate to the scholarship as a token of the faculty's affection for Dr. Long and his wife. Sending out a reminder e-mail, arranging payroll deductions, and setting a workable goal were suggested.

C. College Realignment Survey Results. Senator Landrum presented the results of the College Realignment Survey. The text of the survey results is given in Appendix A.

D. Status of College Realignment. The current version of the realignment proposal is similar to the one presented at the September 2, 2005 meeting except for the psychology department moving colleges. The final version was forwarded today (10/14/05). The first program to be realigned is the nursing program hopefully in the Fall of 2006.

E. November 18 th Kilgore Lunch, Presentations, & Drinks. All committees are reminded of this event and encouraged to make sure all interested faculty members attend.

 

IV. New Business: (All comments by President Lockwood unless noted otherwise.)

A. Cell phones in class. The faculty of the Math, Physical Sciences and Engineering Department has asked for guidance on the use of cell phones in class. This issue is addressed in the Code of Student Life, under Disruptive Behavior, and each teacher should set rules for their own classrooms.

B. Center for Faculty Development. Dr. Lowery-Hart has asked for faculty input on the development of this Center. Suggestions were given and are included in Appendix B. Senators were asked to poll their own colleagues and forward comments to the Faculty Senate Secretary for summarization.

C. Status of the Presidential Search. The Presidential Search Committee is due to meet on Tuesday October 18th . The Search Committee has been instructed to plan on doing airport interviews at DFW for the top candidates that emerge. They were told that it is not critical to rush into hiring an individual or as expressed by Dr. McTeer they shouldn't “punt on the first down”.

 

V. Committee Reports: See Appendix C.

 

Faculty Senate adjourned at 1:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sharon Burnett

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Appendix A - College Realignment Survey Results

 

To: Faculty Senate Date: October 14, 2005

From: Frank G. Landram

Subject: Realignment Survey Findings West Texas A & M University

 

On 12 September 2005, attitude and awareness questionnaires were sent to the faculty. Ninety-six faculty members responded with completed questionnaires. Faculty members were asked to respond to the following statement:

  For our department, the proposed realignment better reflects the

  relationship of the discipline than our current alignment.

This statement was repeated “For our college” and “For our university”. The faculty responded with

  1. strongly agree  2. agree  3. neutral   4. disagree    5. strongly disagree

The response average was then calculated for each department, college, and for the university. An average of 3 indicates their attitude toward realignment is neutral or indifferent. Below 3 indicates a favorable attitude while above 3 indicates an unfavorable attitude toward realignment. Table 1 shows a ranking of the departments from most favorable to most unfavorable.

As one might suspect, the Department of Nursing is the most favorable regarding the realignment. Agriculture and Art, Communication and Theatre tied for second place followed by History and Political Science. Statistical analysis was not employed to determine if a significant difference exist between any of the ratings. The SES, CIS, and BSC departments possessed the most unfavorable attitudes regarding the realignment. However, only one person completed the questionnaire in SES. Table 2 reveals the attitude of the faculty on realignment by colleges.

 

 

Table 1. Attitudes Concerning Realignment by Departments

 

 

Surprisingly few comments were included with the questionnaires. Many of these comments were classified as PRO – NEUTRAL – CON. They were also classified as CONSTRUCTIVE (factual-logical argument for or against realignment) or OPINION.

These comments may bring new insight and consideration about the realignment.

The weighted average for the attitude of the university is 2.25. This signifies a slightly favorable attitude for the realignment from the university as a whole. I hope these findings are beneficial to both faculty and administration.

 

 

Table 2. Attitudes Concerning Realignment by Colleges

 

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Appendix B – Center for Faculty Development Comments

 

So far the Center has the authority to hire a director, no other plans are in place.

 

The following suggestions were offered by Faculty Senators:

 

- Provide access to travel funds for faculty

- Sponsor research fellowships for faculty

- Organize off-campus speakers for faculty

- Include a faculty representative from each college

- Benchmark centers from other universities

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Appendix C – Committee Reports

 

Faculty Development and Student Learning – the following committee report was presented:

 

“After consulting with Dr. Hallmark, we are going to schedule our new employee training session to coincide with his training session that is scheduled for November 17 at 2:30 pm in the Killgore Conference Room. Representatives from each college will follow Dr. Hallmark's session and will break into small groups by college.”

 

The focus of the training by the committee is on completing the Annual Professional Summary and Tenure and Promotion materials

 

Budget & Faculty Governance – the committee gave updates on the Piper Professor Nominations and Compensation Report.

 

Piper Professor Nominations – the committee has received 5 nominations to date. The nominee application deadline is October 25 th . Voting will take place during the first week of November. Senators were asked to watch their e-mails for notification of voting times and place.

 

Compensation Report – data on internal faculty salaries and national averages have been obtained. The committee plans on preparing a report summarizing the data and comparing it to WT salaries. The committee is also hoping to obtain data on faculty salaries from some of our peer institutions in Texas and preparing a comparison with that data also.

 

Assessment, Advising, Conduct, and Curriculum Issues – committee to meet on October 20 th , will have a report at the next meeting.

 

President Lockwood informed the committee that reducing the core does not appear to be a major problem but putting more flexibility in it may be difficult.

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