March 18, 2013

Faculty Senate Meeting
March 18, 2013
3:15 p.m., 601 Rudder Tower
Louise Abbott, Ergun Akleman, Jorge Alvarado, Carisa Armstrong, Raymundo Arroyave, David Baca, Michael Benedik, Doug Biggs, Tiffany Boudreaux, Joseph Boutros, Edward Brothers, John Carhart, Gwan Seong Choi,William B. Clark, Jonathan Coopersmith, Charles Criscione, Richard Curry, Joe Dannenbaum, Walter Daugherity, Darryl De Ruiter, Janice Epstein, Jose Fernandez-Solis, Edward Funkhouser, Holly Gaede, Clare Gill, Ira Greenbaum, Janet Hammer, Mike Hanik, Julie Harlin, Ed Harris, Greg Heim, Shelley Holliday, Andrew Klein, Karen Kubena, Reza Langari, Paulo Lima-Filho, Thomas Linton, Carol Loopstra, Martha           Loudder, Igor Lyuksyutov, Clint Magill, Vanita Mahajan, Sam Mannan, June Martin, Stephen Miller, Miguel Mora, Jeffrey Morris, Adam Myers, Gene Nelson, Mike Pilant, Leslie Reynolds, Dale Rice, Karen Russell, Jason Sawyer, Ergin Sezgin, Richard Stadelmann, John Stallone, Bob Strawser, Ramesh Talreja, Mike Thornton, Grace Townsend, Kim-Vy Tran, Manuelita Ureta, Wyoma vanDuinkerken, Gary Varner, William West, Matt Whiteacre, Tryon Wickersham, B. Dan Wood, Richard Woodman, Jim Woosley, Beth McNeill
Call to Order
Guest Speaker
Dean M. Katherine Banks, Dwight Look College of Engineering
Summary of the remarks of guest Speaker, Dr. M. Katherine Banks, Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Engineering on the plan to double enrollment to 25,000 by 2025. 
Estimates show that Texas will need 18% more engineers by 2018 and could use 10,000 more stem graduates per year.  Although we are now the 3rd largest College of Engineering, we now have over 10,000 applicants for about 1,500 slots and Texas is graduating 87,000 more high school graduates per year.
The Provost has announced that a large part of any increase in designated tuition that comes from growth in student numbers will be returned to the departments teaching those students.  These returns will be based on weighted student credit hour subvention rates provided by the state so will provide the funding for expansion for all colleges whose teaching load will increase.
Guiding principles for undertaking expansion:
1)provide access to high quality degrees, 2) use transformative education models to take advantage of technology and for access to laboratories, and equipment, 3) maintain or reduce the cost per student, 4) the increase will come at all levels, including Masters offered through distance education, with an annual growth rate of 6% at the undergraduate level, 5) the growth will provide for new hires of tenure track and ‘professors of the practice’ geared to teaching, so will create more graduate student positions and not greatly alter student/faculty ratios.
1) Space is tight, especially for teaching and research labs, but an Engineering Education Complex is being planned ($137 million, with about half expected to be raised from former students) and an extra $38 million for equipment and support to departments.  A hoped-for date of completion is 2016, in time for the large influx of students in engineering classes and which will also free up existing space for new hires. 
2) Currently only 55% of those who start in engineering graduate in engineering, versus about 77% for peer institutions.  The primary cause is thought to be the practice of first-come-first-served enrollments which leaves many of the best candidates out if they apply after September, essentially a year in advance.  In the future, non-automatic admits will be held until early December so that it may be possible to apply higher standards for admission while accepting more students.  (Most minority applications currently arrive after admissions too many majors have been cut-off.)
US News and World Report rankings rely primarily on employer interviews to rank graduate and undergraduate engineering programs.  Growth will allow the College to target ‘high flyers’ who will in turn generate additional research support so there is not expected to be a loss of quality.
Steering, operating and departmental growth committees are already in place.  It was emphasized that each department, through its Faculty, will decide how any growth should occur, taking in the prospect of jobs after graduation for that major. 
Response to questions provided the following additional comments:  It is not assumed that if Engineering grows, other colleges will have to cut enrollment.  It can only be assumed that the state will continue with the level of subvention that will allow the programs to grow.  Part of the $38 million will be used to provide scholarships for travel abroad for students who can not otherwise afford it.  Agreements are being established for TAMU faculty to team teach in several foreign countries.  A special effort is to be made to increase, at least double, the % of female and minority students in engineering.  Other Universities may be able to supply metrics, screens or filters that help to identify those applicants who are most likely to stay and succeed in engineering degrees.  The new Education Complex may have one large classroom, but Dean Banks prefers using ‘flipped’ classrooms where students go over class materials ‘on-line’ and then have smaller sections with instructors to resolve questions, pose problems etc. during the class period.

Speaker Comments
Senate nominations and elections are coming soon.
Chancellor Sharp has put out a request for proposals (RFP) to examine the effectiveness and delivery of TAMU and System administration.  It is not clear how for down into academic departments the examination might go, but the Speaker has emphasized to Mr. Sharp that Faculty could be greatly impacted so must have a voice before any suggested changes are implemented. 
Those Senators who attended the joint meeting with the UT Faculty Council were recognized and a report from the meeting which included talks by Fred Heldenfels, Chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and State Representative Dan Branch, Chair of the Higher Education Committee as well as both University Presidents and Provosts.
A committee co-chaired by TAMU Senate Speaker Stallone and HSC Speaker John Quarls is meeting to work out details of how the Senates can be merged. 
Approval of February 11, 2013 Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes                                    Attachment A
                                                                                                                                                Motion Passed
Consent Agenda
GRADUATE COUNCIL – GC REPORT                                                                                                 Attachment B
Consent agenda passed (OCEN 424 was corrected to OCEN 420 before consideration)                    Motion Passed
New Course Requests – February 7, 2013                                                                           Attachment C
ASTR 601         Extragalactic Astronomy                                                                                  FS.30.125
ASTR 602         Astronomical Observing Techniques and Instrumentation                             Motion Passed
ASTR 603         Stellar Astrophysics
ASTR 604         Cosmology
ASTR 605         Galactic Astronomy
ASTR 606         Radiative Transfer
ECMT 674       Economic Forecasting
PHYS 641         Extragalactic Astronomy
EDTC 641        Educational Game Design
PHYS 642         Astronomical Observing Techniques and Instrumentation
PHYS 643         Stellar Astrophysics
PHYS 644         Cosmology
PHYS 645         Galactic Astronomy
PHYS 646         Radiative Transfer
Change Course Requests – February 7, 2013                                                                     Attachment D
PHYS 606         Quantum Mechanics                                                                                      FS.30.126
PHYS 607         Statistical Mechanics                                                                                      Motion Passed
PHYS 611         Electromagnetic Theory
PHYS 615         Methods of Theoretical Physics I
PHYS 619         Modern Computational Physics
PHYS 624         Quantum Mechanics
LCS 622           Equine Disease and Epidemiology
Special Consideration Item                                                                                                  Attachment E
The College of Liberal Arts is requesting that a name change for the Master of Arts in        FS.30.127
Modern & Classical languages with an emphasis in Spanish to a Master of Arts in               Motion Passed
Hispanic Studies.                                                                                            
UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE – UCC REPORT                                     Attachment F
Change in Courses – February 8, 2013                                                                             FS.30.128
PHYS 221         Optics and Thermal Physics                                                                         Motion Passed
PHYS 302         Advanced Mechanics I
PHYS 303         Advanced Mechanics II
New Courses – February 8, 2013                                                                                        Attachment G
Texas A&M University at Galveston                                                                                       FS.30.129
MAST 480        Honors Seminar in Service Learning                                                              Motion Passed
Change in Courses – February 8, 2013                                                                               Attachment H
Texas A&M University at Galveston                                                                                       FS.30.130
MARE 303       Marine Thermodynamics                                                                               Motion Passed
Department of Maritime Systems Engineering
Course prefix change from MASE to OCSE - see memorandum from
Dr. Donna Lang and Dr. Martin Miller
Change in Curriculum – February 8, 2013                                                                          Attachment I
Texas A&M University at Galveston                                                                                       FS.30.131
      Department of Marine Biology                                                                                        Motion Passed
            Minor in Marine Biology – requirement changes
Special Consideration – February 8, 2013                                                                         Attachment J
Texas A&M University at Galveston                                                                                       FS.30.132
      Department of Maritime Systems Engineering                                                               Motion Passed
            B.S. in Maritime Systems Engineering
                        Request for a degree program name change
Courses submitted for W Certifications – February 7, 2013                                             Attachment K 
OCNG 424       Introduction to Biological Oceanography                                                      FS.30.133
                                                                                                                                                Motion Passed
Courses submitted for W Recertification – February 7, 2013                              
INTS 481          Senior Seminar in International Studies
LAND 442        Professional Practice
PSYC 203         Elementary Statistics
Course submitted for C Recertification – February 7, 2013                                                                     
ANSC 316        Equine Selection and Judging
ENTO 435        Case Studies in Problem Solving
Core Curriculum Council                                                                                                            
Foundational Component Area:  Communication                                                                  Attachment L
ENGL 104        Composition and Rhetoric                                                                              FS.30.134
                                                                                                                                                Motion Passed
Foundational Component Area:  Creative Arts                                                          Attachment M
ARCH 249        Survey of World Architecture History I                                              FS.30.135
ARCH 250        Survey of World Architecture History II                                             Motion Passed
ENDS 101        Design Process
ENDS 115        Design Communication Foundations
THAR 201        Introduction to World Theater
Foundational Component Area:  Language, Philosophy and Culture                        Attachment N
ARCH 213        Sustainable Architecture                                                                    FS.30.136
GEOG 202       Geography of the Global Village                                                        Motion Passed
Foundational Component Area:  Life and Physical Sciences                                      Attachment O
GEOG 205       Environmental Change                                                                       FS.30.137
OCNG 251       Oceanography                                                                                    Motion Passed
OCNG 252       Oceanography Laboratory                 
SCSC 105         World Food and Fiber Crop
Foundational Component Area:  Mathematics                                                           Attachment P
MATH 167       For All Practical Purposes                                                                   FS.30.138
                                                                                                                                   Motion Passed
Foundational Component Area:  Social and Behavioral Sciences                              Attachment Q
ARCH 212        Social and Behavioral Factors in Design                                            FS.30.139
GEOG 201       Introduction to Human Geography                                                    Motion Passed
___________________________________End of Consent Agenda____________________________________
Committee Reports                                                                                                                          
SEBAC             Report
SEBAC Report
Walter Daugherity
March 18, 2013
As the Faculty Senate's non-voting representative, I attended the regular meeting of the System Employees' Benefits Advisory Committee (SEBAC) February 26, 2013.  Here are the highlights:
1.  With the addition of former Scott & White customers and the removal of outsourced employees, there are 125now 48,931 covered health-care enrollees, a net increase of about 10,000.
2.  Insurance for students other than graduate student employees will be consolidated into a single System plan.
3.  The state contribution is expected to increase 7 to 8 per cent, except for employees with other insurance, in which case the state contribution will be limited to $50.
4.  However, our premiums will likely not see a corresponding reduction, due to two more Obamacare taxes' taking effect in 2014 at a cost of over $3 million per year.
5.  Obamacare will also require part-time employees working 30 or more hours per week, including summer student workers, to be covered as full-time employees, with out-of-pocket expenses limited to 9% of four times the poverty level.  The current TAMUS policy of requiring 4-1/2 months' work at 20 hours per week or more to be covered (and receive half the state contribution) is not allowed by Obamacare.  Instead, there are new IRS "lookback" and "stability" regulations (26 CFR 154 and 301) which require that if an employee worked at least 30 hours per week in the previous six months without coverage, then the employee must be given coverage for the next six months.
6.  Other pending bills in the legislature include a plus-one plan with no state contribution, pharmacy management (which would affect Blue Cross and Medco), a high-deductible "consumer-directed" plan like that of the state Employee Retirement System, and refiled bills concerning podiatrists, sonograms, covering post-traumatic stress disorder as a mental health issue, and requiring all blood tests to include testing for HIV.
7.  TAMUS will do a "wellness survey" to see what each campus is doing and target ways to help employees and reduce claims.  For example, around the system the most diabetics are in south Texas and in Bryan/College Station, so the system could highlight doctors who are specialists in diabetes treatment and management in those two regions, recommend finger pricks when a full blood panel is not required, etc.  Any such "wellness projects" would be funded from system reserves, i.e., from the health plan.
8.  In response to a senator's request for guidance on selecting an ORP/TDA vendor, I asked SEBAC to survey employees for their experience with the seven active vendors.

Old Business                                                                                                                                                  
New Business                                                                                                                       
Committee of the Whole
Senator Funkhouser (COALS) asked for details concerning how it can be determined, after the merger of several itemized student fees into a single University Advancement, how each of the prior targeted recipients fared.  Provost Watson provided this answer:  “…Each of the participants except the Library and IT, who had successfully requested increases, received the same amount that had been provided the previous year; the Library and IT did receive an increase.  The ‘energy fee’ established when costs were overwhelming the University is still collected but due to a new highly efficient system, can be reallocated.  The President will have to decide the basis for collecting the students’ assessed portion of expenses for renovation of Kyle Field will be collected, given that the administration and Student Senate resolutions had different outcomes….”

Senator Carlson (GEOS) asked if others found “Blackboard” as difficult to use as he does.  Provost Watson suggested a faculty panel had decided it was the best system available at the time, but that changes may be coming.  (Rumor says the new system may require 10 hours of training before use!)