October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012
3:15 p.m., 601 Rudder Tower
Present:  Speaker John Stallone, Speaker-Elect Walter Daugherity, Secretary-Treasurer Clint Magill, Former Speaker Michael Benedik, Senators Louise Abbott, Ergun Akleman, Jorge Alvarado,  Leonard Bierman, Doug Biggs, Andrea Bonito, Joseph Boutros, Leonard Bright, William Bedford Clark, Jonathan Coopersmith, Charles Criscione, Richard Carlson, Janice Epstein, Edward Funkhouser, Holly Gaede, Ira Greenbaum, Michael Greenwald, Mike Hanik, Julie Harlin, Greg Heim, Kim Quaile Hill, Andrew Klein, Paulo Lima-Filho, Igor Lyuksyutov, Carol Loopstra, Vanita Mahajan, June Martin, Peter McIntyre, Stephen Miller, Jeffrey Morris, Angie Hill Price, Deva E. Reddy, Leslie Reynolds, Dale Rice, Eric Rowell, Karen Russell, Ergin Sezgin, Karen-Beth Scholthof, Brian Shaw, Kathleen Speed, Karen Snowden, Richard Stadelmann, Bob Strawser, Kim-Vy Tran, Mike Thornton, Manuelita Ureta, Gary Varner, B. Dan Wood, Richard Woodman, Jim Woosley
Absent:  Senators Carisa Armstrong, Joe Arosh, Raymundo Arroyave, David Baca, Perla Balbuena, Judith Ball, Tiffany Boudreaux, Edward Brothers, John Carhart, Gwan Seong Choi, Richard Curry, Robin Dabareiner, Joe Dannenbaum, Swaroop Darbha, Darryl De Ruiter, Jose Fernandez-Solis, Clare Gill, Stephen Guetersloh, Janet Hammer, James Hannah, Ed Harris, Melinda Grant, Kevin Heinz, Shelley Holliday, Richard Hutchinson, Wendy Jepson, Karen Kubena, Reza Langari, Thomas Linton, Martha Loudder, Sam Mannan, Adam Myers, A. Gene Nelson, Michelle Pine, Harland Prechel, Mike Pilant, Luis San Andres, Jason Sawyer, Jorge Seminario, Ramesh Talreja, Elizabeth Tebeaux, Grace Townsend, Wyoma vanDuinkerken, William West, Matt Whiteacre, Tryon Wickersham, Keyan Zhu-Salzman
Call to Order
John S. Sharp, Chancellor
Chancellor John Sharp reviewed changes that have occurred in his first year, including:
An early unexpected return of one-time AUF funds provided over $25 million that was reallocated $5.7 million to Prairie View and $19.7 million to TAMU specified for use in faculty retention.
System expenses were reduced so that the System now operates within its budget without drawing on reserves and on its units as had been the case.
$5 million has been provided for the newly initiated University Institute for Advanced Study, headed by Dr. John Junkins, to help bring top scientists to the University for short stays to interact and collaborate with current faculty in the hope of ultimately hiring them.
The System is saving $6.5 million per year as a result of the competitive bid process that awarded Blue Cross- Blue Shield the management of our health insurance benefits.
The BARDA contract awarded to TAMUS for development of enhanced biosecurity preparedness will provide $70-75 million in annual research funds; it is the only award made to a University as prime contractor.
A full-time System representative/lobbyist (Scott Sudduth) with prior experience from Stanford and the University of Chicago is now serving full time in Washington as Director of Federal Relations to assist with securing research funding. 
Negotiations for securing Texas Wesleyan law school as a part of Texas  A&M is progressing; the intention is to develop a program focusing on intellectual property law specializing in biology and engineering, areas where we have expertise. 
COMPASS has provided $40 million of ‘upfront’ funds for the contracts outsourcing dining, building maintenance, custodial and landscaping services.  Only 12 current employees did not pass the required screening process.   
At least $6 million per year of the outsourcing funds has been designated to pay salaries of outstanding scientists/teachers being recruited to recently designated focus areas.  Another $33.3 million per year for 3 years has been secured for use in startups, renovations, etc. needed to bring the recruits into TAMU.
Rebranding efforts have been increased to make sure that all units that are part of the System bring recognition to Texas A&M.  Members such as the Dental School are not now generally recognized as being part of TAMUS. 
Bringing the HSC back into TAMU should boost our competiveness for federal funding programs that very often now tend to fund collaborative research groups rather than individual PIs.  The $70 million in annual research funding by HSC investigators will also raise our overall national ranking in competitive funds received.
A request has been prepared to seek commercial services to manage Easterwood Airport, primarily in the prospect that it may provide a mechanism for improving services. 
A renovated system for handling construction projects is expected to reduce expenses.
An investigation of the possibility of monetizing parking or of borrowing at extremely low rates against parking revenues has been initiated, basically to see if it would make sense. 
An attempt to secure benefits for non-traditional domestic partners has been stymied by current state laws.
The gains we have made in managing finances should stand in good stead with the next legislature.
The Chancellor invites each president to bring 5 faculty members to each Board of Regents meeting; the attitude changes as faculty and regents come to know each other has been noticeable.
Senator Angie Hill Price asked the Chancellor if the price increases at dining facilities accounts for the ability of COMPASS to pay the University; if so, she suggested the gain to the University was mostly coming at the expense students and employees. Chancellor Sharp indicated that at least for the student meal plans, the price for this year had been established before the company was involved.  She was also concerned about the prospects for outsourcing parking, since the rates at Ohio State where this has recently been done are scheduled to increase dramatically, but the Chancellor indicated it is way too early to even consider what effects any contract, which would require considerable negotiation, would have. 
Speaker-Elect Daugherity asked the Chancellor’s opinion of the new committee chairs in the State Senate and House of Representatives.  Chancellor Sharp feels that those appointed will be fair and many have a tie to TAMU, some through the presence of a member school in their district.  He also indicated that although Judith Zafarini has been replaced as Chair of the Education Committee, she is still Chair of the select committee to monitor ‘the seven solutions’ effort and of the committee to oversee the sunset review of the Coordinating Board.  Once the legislative session starts, he will essentially decamp to Austin for the duration.
Senator Alvarado asked about the concept of freezing tuitions at the freshman level, but the Chancellor suggested that was not something Presidents could better address.  He also responded to Senator Alvarado’s question concerning the feeling of faculty they were being considered ‘second class’ by the quest to hire ‘superstars by pointing out the large amount of funds that he has provided for faculty retention.
Senator Greenwald asked about the possibility of tuition relief for faculty and staff.  Mr. Sharp said he was all in favor as it would be a real boom for hiring and retention, but again, is something that can’t be achieved without changing state laws. 
Senator Coopersmith expressed concern about the low graduation rates at other system schools and wondered if something is being done.  The Chancellor answered that Regent Mendoza was actively working with the provosts to develop a plan, that Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering Banks is attempting to coordinate engineering programs across the System and the College of Education has some outreach programs.  He mentioned that 72% of our education graduates are still teaching after 8 years whereas less than 50% after 5 years is the norm. 
Senator Hill indicated that he is personally less optimistic than the Chancellor that the increase in state revenue will be reflected in higher education but wondered if the faculty could help in any way.  Chancellor Sharp asked that any Faculty who know legislators well enough to discuss issues to let his office know and they may be called on to help sell issues important to TAMU.  He indicated that a number of student leaders have already engaged in similar activities.  Just spreading the word that ACT scores of our students exceed those of any other state public University could not hurt.  To quote: “We need to tell our story better”.  He indicated the number one priority of this session is to restore formula funding to the 2008 level. 
Speaker Comments:
Minimum syllabus requirements to satisfy Senate and State regulations require learning or course objectives.  Help for meeting the standards is available on the Howdy portal.
The merger of the HSC with TAMU is now targeted for June.
Dr. Teresa Fossum is serving as the Interim Vice President for Research and a search committee including faculty representatives is being formed. 
The list of Senators and Committees will be updated this week. 
The September 10, 2012 Faculty Senate meeting minutes were approved as submitted.        Motion Passed
                                                                                                                                                            Attachment A
Consent Agenda  - The consent agenda was approved as submitted.                      Motion Passed
GRADUATE COUNCIL – GC REPORT                                                                         FS.30.040
New Course Requests – September 6, 2012                                                            Attachment B
BIOL 661                    Antimicrobial Agents
CSCE 621                    Language, Library, and Program Design Using C++
ECON 684                   Professional Internship
HIST 624                    Readings in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration
HIST 625                    Research Seminar in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration
HIST 639                    Readings in Asian History
HIST 640                    Readings in Atlantic World and Caribbean History
HIST 641                    Research Seminar in Atlantic World and Caribbean History
HIST 648                    Readings on Topics in Modern European History
HIST 674                    Readings in Chicano-Latino History
HIST 675                    Research Seminar in Chicano-Latino History
VIBS 613                    Evolutionary Bioinformatics
VLCS 681                   Seminar
                                                                                                                                                Motion Passed
Course Change Requests – September 6, 2012                                                                      FS.30.041
HIST 645                    Research Seminar in War and Society                                           Attachment C
HIST 646                    Readings in War and Society
NUEN 611                  Radiation Detection and Measurement
NUEN 612                  Radiological Safety and Hazards Evaluation
NUEN 613                  Principles of Radiological Safety
NUEN 673                  Radiation Biology
NUEN 676                  Health Physics Instrumentation
NUEN 681                  Seminar
NUEN 684                  Professional Internship
Special Consideration Item – September 6, 2012                                                          Motion Passed
                                                                                                                                             Attachment D
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences would like to change the names of the Master of Agriculture, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Rangeland Ecology and Management to the Master of Agriculture, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy in Ecosystem Science and Management
UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE – UCC REPORT                                  Motion Passed
 New Courses – September 14, 2012                                                                              FS.30.043
 ALEC 412                   Technology-Enhanced Instructional Design Strategies                   Attachment E
                                      For Agriculture
Change in Courses – September 14, 2012                                                                    Motion Passed
AGSM 315                  Food Process Engineering Technology                                          FS.30.044
EURO 484                   Internship                                                                               
FSTC 311                   Principles of Food Processing
FSTC 312                   Food Chemistry
FSTC 313                   Food Chemistry Laboratory
FSTC 314                   Food Analysis
FSTC 315                   Food Process Engineering Technology
FSTC 401                   Food Product Development
GERM 336                  German Fairy Tales. FSTC 401
HORT 311                  Principles of Food Processing
Special Consideration – September 14, 2012                                                                Motion Passed  
College of Liberal Arts                                                                                                       FS.30.045
   Certificate in Foreign Language Competency                                                                 Attachment F
    Request to withdraw certificate
Special Consideration – September 14, 2012                                                                Motion Passed
 College of Liberal Arts                                                                                                       FS.30.046                                      Department of International Studies                                                                              Attachment G
    Minor in Chinese
      Request for a new minor
W-COURSES                                                                                                                          Motion Passed
Courses submitted for W Certification – September 13, 2012                                        FS.30.047
VIST 201                    Writing for Design                                                                                Attachment H
Courses submitted for W Re-Certification – September 13, 2012
AGSC 384                   Clinical Professional Experience in Agricultural Science
ANSC 310                   Behavior and Management of Domestic Animals
JOUR 203                    Media Writing I
_______________________________________________ End of Consent Agenda ____________________________________________
Committee Reports
SEBAC Report – Walter Daugherity, Speaker-Elect
Approximately 5,000 individuals formerly covered by Scott and White are now with BC/BS or have waived coverage.
Our medical plan is self insured and has $48 million currently in reserve, which is above the required level and may lessen an impact if state contributions are cut in the future.
Employee/dependent audits have been completed, leading to removal of 694 ineligible dependents removed from the rolls, at potentially significant savings, though savings can only be estimated based on averages which may not apply to those individuals.
Individuals using a doctor paid by a hospital may have co-pays charged by both the Doctor and the Hospital.
Individuals who have a health risk assessment and physical exam conducted each year will lower the deductible expense by $50 for each for a total of $100.
New Business
Proposed Changes - Student Code of Conduct
Anne Reber, Dean of Student Life
Kristen Harrell, Associate Director 
Dr. David Parrott, VP for Student Affairs
This is an informational discussion with the expectation that voting will occur in November.
Significant changes include addition of animal abuse, addition of non-informed recording or picture-taking, dropping of sanctions that involved a verbal-only warning and ‘dismissal for unspecified period”.  Other changes would prevent a student from having a lawyer at the conduct hearing unless the student also faces a criminal charge and would drop one of three faculty members from the UDAP hearing panels to be replaced by a staff person. 
The changes are proposed to make our rules better fit the ‘best practices’ and in response to a federal directive on dealing with sexual harassment.
Senator Stadelmann raised a number of concerns and with Senator Clark were especially concerned that the vagueness of the rule as written would allow almost any act, even if off-campus and not related to University activities be defined as breaking a University rule or guideline, essentially at the whim of the Student Life office since students could be held to a ‘higher level of morality’ than others.  The presenters agreed to set up a meeting with those Senators and any others that would like to provide input.  Senator Stadelmann was also concerned that in the past, the accuser-investigators also served on the hearing panels.  Jerry Brown from the Office of the General Council responded that although legal precedent allowed that to occur, at least in any case where separation from the University is a potential sanction, the rule and procedures are now constructed so that will not happen. 
Senator Price who has served as a UDAP panel member asked that more faculty become involved so that the faculty could still have a majority vote at the hearings. 
Senator Magill pointed out wording problems in Section 24.4.5 that the presenters agreed should be changed.  He also asked about removing the statements giving students access to the recording made of any hearing, but was assured that as part of a student’s record, that access could not be denied and didn’t need to be in the rule. 
Committee of the Whole
Senator Alvarado expressed concern with the number of Senators in attendance.
Senator Klein expressed concern that the effort for uniform branding was disrupting the use of printed letterheads (the official maroon has changed to a different color according to Speaker-Elect Daugherty), and the fonts are proprietary so users would have to pay for their use. 
Senator Biggs asked that the Senate online list of committees be updated. 
Secretary Magill asked that the problems in timely serviced part-time employees are having in switching between BC/BS and Medicare/Medicaid being the primary coverage is investigated. 
The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.