September 11, 2017

Printable Minutes

Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2017
Rudder 601
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Speaker Price at 3:18pm.
Speaker Price swore in the newest Senators to the Faculty Senate.
Guest Speaker
President Michael Young
Texas A&M University
President Young began with a word of thanks for everyone who helped with the fall out of Hurricane Harvey. Texas A&M closed the Galveston campus and had people come up here while they dealt with it to ensure that things went smoothly. We brought 70 students and a dog up here. He recognized that everyone has been very generous in everything you did to make them feel welcome and engaged. Appreciate accommodations you had to make on campus including cancelling classes for two days here and five days in Galveston. We also know that you have been helping us identify and watch out for faculty, staff, and students who are in some way or another still affected by this. The university has about 45% of their students from the Galveston-Houston corridor and many are here with little more than the clothes on their back right now. Funds have been set up to help them out and there are opportunities being set up for those who want to help to connect with those who need help. It’s been a difficult time and it’s far from over, but thank you.
One of his goals is transparency so President Young provided information on resource allocation. The University is putting most of their resources into academics. Most funding comes from state funding, tuition, fundraising, and auxiliary units. Total expenditures are about $1812 million. Committed costs ($343,000) include debt service, utilities, employee benefits, landscaping/custodial/maintenance and mandated financial aid as required by the state. We have $303 million that is restricted for colleges and academic affairs with respect to salaries or other previous commitments. $183 million goes to auxiliary units, most of which generate their own income. Athletics does not get any other funds from the university. This includes athletics, residence life, and transportation as the three biggest. This leaves us $982 million of available funds to allocate. $564 million goes directly to the colleges for allocations as deans, department chairs and faculty see fit (58%). $327 million (33%) goes to academics for non-colleges which is largely under the purview of the Provost for programs. The remaining $92 (9%) million is set aside for administrative costs.
The University had an increase in incremental funding from FY17 base to FY 18 base mostly had to due to enrollment growth, some from research funding increases, and some increases in auxiliary funds as well. Central benefits (includes retirement packages, healthcare, etc.) is larger than otherwise because we have been hosting unfunded liability and we’re behind. When looking at intermediate term future, it appears to be a big problem for the university unless we do some work now; thus we are putting aside more for that to ensure that we don’t have to dip into other funds. 27% is enrollment incentives that goes directly back to the colleges. Academic initiatives (29%) include faculty promotions, TIAS, shared services for academic affairs, targeted faculty hires, and certain types of faculty adjustments. There was a slight increase in operations, mainly utilities and SSC which are largely out of our control. Increase is under inflation rate and under what it’s been at universities across the country. The administrative side includes student affairs, human resources, and finance and operation. The increase is due to increase in students, faculty, and staff. This all goes into base funding.
We have one-time funding for a total of $72 million. About half of that goes to academic initiatives like the Magellan telescope, an HSC allocation, faculty start-up packages that go into the colleges. We have enhanced out of state recruitment which as increased slightly the number of out of state students. We have reduced the waivers for out of state tuition for a financial benefit for the overall university as well. The university has made commitments to some deans that were coming in that were made in light of some conversations before they were brought in. University has had increases in IT as well. We also have put 39% into academic facilities for equipment for research, a law school facility, the classroom building where the old Cain Hall stood, and classroom renovations. We like to commit between $3-$5 million each year for upgrades across campus as we can.
TAMU’s capital plan is a plan, some things are in progress while some are still slightly aspirational. The academic side includes the engineering academic center, VSL facility, and the new classroom building. These have a combination of state funding and fundraising. On residence life side, there has been complete renovation of the corps dorms including the leadership centers there that are funded by donors. This also includes the Aggie activities center and have been planning residence halls for the band as there is a continued growth trajectory for the corps. Student auxiliary funds include the expansion of the rec center and student activities. There is the possibility of a smaller recreation center near the golf course on the south side of campus. For athletics, it’s all externally funded by donations and revenue. Capital plan includes the parking garage which will return some revenue. The student services building were Bizzel is located. We hope to leave some services over at White Creek since there are students there but will have most centrally located.
We are working very hard to return as much revenue as we can generate under these sources to academic units and continuing to keep administrative costs as low as we reasonably can. The rate is about 4.1% which is about half of whatever the next school is in Texas, which is very low.
All of the information is posted online including everything we spend and every detail. If you have questions, you can call Jerry Strawser for exact numbers.
We have exciting things going on here at the University. If we were to care about rankings, Washington Monthly ranked us among the top four in academic standards and the other three are not bad company to be in. This is an indication of the increased appreciation for what you do as faculty- the amount and quality of research. The US News validations are also going up for Texas A&M. That’s not how we define ourselves, but they do reflect our capacity and quality. However, it’s complicating things. We have seen a substantial increase in our yield this year. We’ve tried to put soft caps on the number of freshman students, but the student body has grown pretty dramatically. The student to faculty ratio is not where it ought to be and President Young has been stressing this with the Board of Regents. Also an issue with the number of counselors we have. All of these are related to time to graduation and quality of relationship we have with our students. We targeted 10,000 freshmen this year knowing that the yield had gone up last year so we reduced the number of offers. The actual number turned out to be 11,200. It is a tremendous tribute to quality of the education these individuals receive. There was also a jump in the number of transfer offers as well. The university will be working on the soft caps this next year as well. This highlights the need for even more resources for the academic mission of the university. On average, the student to faculty ratio is 23:1 which puts us about the 20/20 aspirates. Part of that is inevitable because students migrate faster than faculty migrate so it takes time to orient faculty to the demand, but the ratio is not acceptable in his view. Thus, we should increase the number of faculty hiring which is essential to student success.
Graduation rate is still very good. Average time to graduation is 4.1 years which is the best in the state by some considerable distance. The biggest tuition increase to give a student is to make them go an extra semester. The university is working very hard on identifying variables that makes this necessary. We should think about how we can enhance efficiencies. Educational outcomes don’t vary much if the class is over 75 people; it doesn’t matter how big it gets. Are there places where we can increase efficiency there by allocating professors to more upper division courses or courses where there are much lower student to faculty ratio as that seems to have an impact. 
Interpersonal dimension has to be attended to. We need to be working to have more faculty and generate more resources to do the most good. Is there a role for technology and if there is, what is that role? So far, most of the data suggests that there are effectiveness gains but very few efficiency gains. Technology seems to be improving outcomes with little evidence of moving the cost.
President Young also stressed that this has the potential to be a challenging year if not a challenging five years for universities, but we are not alone. It is less enthusiastic support or recognition for the benefit of higher education in the general public. We saw that in the legislative session. It was a challenging session and we came out comparatively well, but foresees the legislature drilling down on special items and formula funding. There is substantial skepticism. The left thinks college education is not worth it, the debt loads are too high, and people can’t get jobs with it anymore. The data do not support that it’s not worth it and too costly, especially the data at Texas A&M. On average, 75% of college students in the U.S.  are graduating with debt. At Texas A&M, about 45% are graduating with debt; we are only 2/3 of the national average. The average debt it $35,000 across the U.S.; at Texas A&M, the average is about $24,000. We give about 72% of students financial aid. The average package is $16,500. This is our moment to say that you can give great education that shapes careers without a substantial debt load. On the right, they seem to think that we don’t represent America and we’re indoctrinating the children. Again, the data shows that if you’re a liberal professor and you talk about your liberal views, you have no effect on students beliefs, but if you’re conservative you do. We are a university that stands profoundly for a set of values- service and respect.
We have a lot of people who view universities as an easy target to challenge, which is why we’ve had so many white supremacists wanting to speak on campus. Our open environment can attract those who will not engage in effective dialogue. At a great university, people have to be comfortable having uncomfortable conversations. We don’t shy away from that, but a great deal of what is going on right now is about intimidation not free speech. We have to remain open in a productive way that generates dialogue. There needs to be a lot of discussion and recognition about the challenging times for a university.
Jorge Alvarado, College of Engineering, asked President Young if we have the right system or structure for the 21st century university. He expanded asking if it was time to demolish the whole system and have programs or something more flexible/horizontal. President Young says there are two models of education- the Oxford model with the individual colleges with all disciplines represented and then you have models like Hanover where there are colleges centered around the disciplinary topics which is the model that almost all major universities across the world adopt. The second model was very powerful for enhancing the intellectual capacity of the faculty, having all of the chemists or physicists together really enhanced those disciplines. Where we are now with technology as part of that and the realization of the problems we are addressing now shows that they are integrated amongst disciplines. It may be that we have to think about how we facilitate that enhanced engagement. President Young thinks that we are going to try some experiments such as the I-school and if that works, it creates the notion that we can create a more matrix structure where people can work around disciplines and even define greater disciplines. The idea is to see if we can find more experimental ways to see what works, but we can find modalities to facilitate more interactions and new disciplines emerging out of that. If you go to academic analytics and look at it, you can see where people are writing together. The pattern has changed a lot over the past decade. There are clusters of articles with people from two or three disciplines writing together. Some of that happens organically, but we can remove the barriers that make it more difficult.
Geoffery Booth from the College of Architecture asked President Young how faculty help President Young and the University try to address the narrative that we are creating debt that students will never climb out of, which the data says is wrong. President Young indicated that we have kept our light under a bushel for a long time. We have hired a first rate Vice President for Communication because we need to get the narrative out there. A&M is a beacon on a hill. We do something very special and we want to show them. Our answer may be to be more somewhat more A&M centric and focus on getting the word out about A&M. We have some room in our budget to do that. Texas A&M leads the nation in social media; we have the largest twitter, second largest Facebook and Instagram. We need stories to talk to them- what are your students doing in the classroom or graduate experiences.
Speaker Comments
Speaker Price reminded all Senators of the reception being hosted by the Senate in the University Club immediately following the meeting.
Speaker Price asked the Senate to take a moment of silence in remember of Patriot’s Day and all of those who were lost on September 11, 2001.
Aggie Spirit Award
The Aggie Spirit Award was presented to Ms. Sierra Fox (in person) and Mr. Timothy Godwin (via TTVN).
Approval of August 14, 2017, Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
Attachment A
The minutes were approved as distributed.
Consent Agenda
New Courses
SPSY 627                     Culturally Responsive Interventions- Models for Making Cultural Adaptations to Interventions
VIBS 642                     Histological Research Methods
VIBS 676                     Speciation Biology and Genetics
VPAT 654                    Fundamentals in Laboratory Animal Medicine
VPTA 655                   Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Medicine
Attachment B
VIBS 676 Pulled for Discussion; Motion Passed
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Change in Courses
MARB 607  Research and Conservation in Greece; Dolphins, Fisheries and Cultural Heritage
Attachment C
Motion Passed
Program Change
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
      Horticultural Sciences
                      MAG-HORT Master of Agriculture in Horticulture
Attachment D
Motion Passed
New Courses
ANTH 448   Quantitative Methods in Anthropology
CSCE 416    Hardware Design Verification
MUSC 381  Ensemble Performance
SPAN 112   Intensive Beginning Spanish
SPAN 321   Hispanic Cultures in Historical Context, 15th-18th Centuries
SPAN 322   Hispanic Cultures in Historical Context, 19th Century
SPAN 323   Hispanic Cultures in Historical Context, 20th-21st Centuries
Attachment E
Motion Passed
Change in Courses
CHEN 491   Research
MATH 411  Mathematical Probability
MUSC 211  Collaborative Musicianship
MUSC 255  Keyboard Instruction
MUSC 316  Music and Technology
MUSC 317  Recording and the Producer
MUSC 318  Electronic Composition
MUSC 402  Intermedia Performance
PERF 303    Creating Performance
PERF 454    Seminar Performing the City
PERF 481    Capstone Seminar Performance as Research
SCMT 300   Business Communications I
STAT 301    Introduction to Biometry
STAT 302   Statistical Methods
STAT 303   Statistical Methods
STAT 408   Introduction to Linear Models
STAT 415   Mathematical Statistics II
STAT 426    Methods in Time Series Analysis
THAR 102   Text and Performance Analysis
THAR 245   Critical Design Studies
THAR 302   Dramaturgy
THAR 321   Collaborative Design Process
THAR 322   Collaborative Performing
THAR 420   Directing Live Performance
THAR 435   New Technology for Performance Design
THAR 445   Design as Performance
Attachment F
Motion Passed

Texas A&M University at Galveston
Change in Courses
MARB 407  Research and Conservation in Greece; Dolphins, Fisheries and Cultural Heritage
MAST 411  International Maritime Culture
                Attachment G
                Motion Passed
Course Inactivations
MUSC 206  Music Theory III
MUSC 207  Form and Analysis
MUSC 208  Musicianship I
MUSC 210  Musicianship II
MUSC 212  Musicianship III
MUSC 253  Individual Performance Guitar I
MUSC 254  Individual Performance Voice I
MUSC 256  Individual Performance String I
MUSC 259  Individual Performance via Classroom Instruction
MUSC 270  Individual Performance Woodwind I
MUSC 271  Individual performance Brass I
MUSC 272  Individual Performance Percussion I
MUSC 285  Directed Studies
MUSC 286  Ensemble Performance-Symphony Orchestra
MUSC 289  Special Topics in…
MUSC 291  Research
MUSC 311  Music in Early Western Culture
MUSC 312  Music in Modern Western Culture
MUSC 315  Music in the 20th Century
MUSC 321  The Symphony Orchestra and its Music
MUSC 352  Individual Performance Band and Orchestra II
MUSC 353  Individual Performance Guitar II
MUSC 356  Individual Performance String II
MUSC 370  Individual Performance Woodwind II
MUSC 371  Individual Performance Brass II
MUSC 372  Individual Performance Percussion II
MUSC 485  Directed Studies
MUSC 489  Special Topics in…
MUSC 491  Research
THAR 101   Introduction to Western Theatre and Drama
THAR 115   Voice and Articulation
THAR 210   Acting II Characterization
THAR 250   Stage Makeup
THAR 255   Costume Technology I
THAR 280   History of the Theatre I
THAR 285   Directed Studies
THAR 289   Special topics in…
THAR 290   Theatre Practicum Crew
THAR 291   Research
THAR 310   Acting III Period Styles
THAR 335   Theatre Technology II
THAR 345   Scene Design
THAR 355   Costume Design
THAR 381   Theatre History and Dramatic Literature I
THAR 382   Theatre History and Dramatic Literature II
THAR 390   Theatre Practicum Performance
THAR 391   Theatre Practicum Production
THAR 392   Theatre Practicum Design
THAR 410   Acting IV Advanced Problems in Acting
THAR 485   Directed Studies
THAR 489   Special Topics in…
THAR 491   Research
Attachment H
Motion Passed
Special Consideration
      Mays Business School
                                       Inactivation of program CERT-CU2 Advertising Strategy-Certificate
Attachment I
Motion Passed
Special Consideration
      Mays Business School
                                       Inactivation of program CERT-CU3 Analytics and Consulting-Certificate
Attachment J
Motion Passed
Special Consideration
      Mays Business School
                                       Inactivation of program-CERT-CU21 Entrepreneurial Leadership-Certificate
Attachment K
Motion Passed
Special Consideration
      Mays Business School
                                       Inactivation of program-CERT CU50 Retail Buying and Management-Certificate
Attachment L
Motion Passed
Special Consideration
      Mays Business School
                                      Inactivation of program CERT-CU52 Professional Selling and Sales Management-Certificate
Attachment M
Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
      College of Liberal Arts
                      College of Liberal Arts
                            BA-USLA-RPC University Studies-BA, Religious Thoughts, Practices and Cultures Concentration
Attachment N
Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
      College of Science
                              BS-APMS-STA Applied Mathematical Sciences-BS, Statistics Emphasis
Attachment O
Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
      College of Science
                      College of Science
                            BS-USSC-MBU University Studies-BS, Mathematics for Business Concentration
                Attachment P
                Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
      College of Science
                      College of Science
                           BS-USSC-MPP University Studies-BS, Mathematics for Pre-Professionals Concentration
                Attachment Q
                Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
      College of Engineering
                      College of Engineering
                              Minor-ENPM Engineering Project Management-Minor
                Attachment R
                Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
      College of Liberal Arts
                      Performance Studies
                             Minor-PERF: Performance Studies-Minor
Attachment S
Motion Passed
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Change in Curriculum
      Galveston Campus
                      Marine Biology
                             BS-MARB Marine Biology BS
                Attachment T
                Motion Passed
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee-UCC Report-August 2017
      Change in Curriculum
      Mays Business School
      Mays Business School
                      College of Business
                              BBA/MS-ACCT/CLBA-YR5 Accounting-5-Year Bachelor of Business Administration/Master of Science
                Attachment U
                Motion Passed
                Texas A&M University at Galveston
                Special Consideration
                Galveston Campus
                                Marine Engineering Technology
                                Maritime Administration
                                                New Program Proposal
                                                         BS/MML-MARR/MAAL-GAD: Marine Engineering Technology-5-year Bachelor of                                                               Science/Master of Maritime Administration and Logistics
                Attachment V
                Motion Passed
W-Courses – August 2017
Courses submitted for W recertification:
ECMT 461            Economic Data Analysis         
Courses submitted for C recertification:
PERF 202              Creating Performance
Attachment W
Motion Passed
Miscellaneous Change Request-August 2017
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
Graduate Council
Prefix Change Request-UG/GR Courses
Attachment X
Motion Passed
__________________________________End of Consent Agenda____________________________________
Unfinished Business
VIBS 676 was pulled from the consent agenda by Dr. Ira Greenbaum, College of Science. The course has not been reviewed by Biology since one of the two prerequisites does not exist. Asked that the course be sent back to be considered by the Department of Biology for changes to prerequisites. Professor Clint Magill also brought forth concerns with the grading for the Genetics course and suggested that Genetics also be consulted. Proposal includes a C or better in GENE 603 which a C in a graduate course is equivalent to failing. Suggested that those proposing the course consider requiring a pass/fail for GENE 603. Motion to send back to Graduate Council. Motion passed.
Old Business
Senator Clark from the College of Liberal Arts moved for reconsideration of the BA in computing from the August meeting. The English department has reviewed, is happy, and welcomes the program. Motion to reconsider passed. Walter Daugherity from Engineering moved approval for BA in Computing.
Motion Passed
New Business                              
Information & Discussion Only (not to be voted upon)
Proposed Revisions to Student Rule 7-Attendance-Attachment Y
Speaker Price charged by Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution department to bring up issues faculty are concerned about including:
  • Concern that if faculty don’t put they require a note they can never ask for a note. If student continually misses an exam even if it was just for one day, the faculty cannot ask for documentation on that.
  • Faculty are required to have exams posted on the syllabus, so extremely unhappy that students can still miss exam for mandatory interview.
  • What is a mandatory interview and how that is defined? Faculty in the department had a discussion about the opportunity for rampant abuse this provides.
Dr. Ann Kenimer addressed the questions.
  • Interviews- a number of groups considered this including the development group (undergraduate studies, graduate studies, student affairs and student health services). This group recognized the potential for abuse of the rule for mandatory interviews. However, they felt the proposal had merit so it was added to the rule. The rule was reviewed by the Rules & Regulations Committee, by Academic Operations Committee, Graduate Operations Council, and Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee. Again, concerns were expressed about potential for abuse but did not feel that the potential was markedly greater than the potential for abuse for other things so the decision was made to go ahead and leave that in the rule for consideration by the Senate.
  • Mandatory interview is up to the instructor to determine if the documentation is satisfactory. Situation in business where company has a one day mass interview where students are invited to visit the company and take part in activities on that day. Based on their performance on those activities, that is how the decision is made on who to bring in for internships. Because it occurs on one day, students have no pull on when they can go. There are chances where students schedule one on one interview where there is flexibility unless they are interviewing with people who travel a lot.
Speaker Price says that the rule states that it can be any interview if they say they can’t reschedule it. Dr. Kenimer would anticipate that the student would provide documentation for the absence. It is not restricted to just full time employment. Professional and graduate school interviews are actually already covered.
Dr. Kenimer says they are allowed to schedule interview on exam dates because sometimes the students do not have a choice.
As for why the documentation was not an opt-out rather than an opt-in, Dr. Kenimer says that is because that is the process we have now and it seems to work for most people. Dr. Kenimer says that not having it in your syllabus does not prevent the faculty member from requesting documentation; however, if the student were to appeal, there is not guarantee on what would happen if the syllabus did not contain a statement saying documentation would be required for the absence to be excused. 
Daniel Jimenez, College of Engineering, shares Speaker Price’s concerns. What is the Faculty Senate’s role in Rule 7? Will we sometime vote on it? Speaker Price explained that when the Senate has large issues that impact faculty they are placed on the agenda a few times for discussion to ensure the information gets out to the faculty and they can provide feedback, but then we will vote. We can make amendments, vote down changes, or approve it. We will vote on the rule in October. The whole idea is there are not surprises for the faculty.
Greg Heim, Mays Business School, has a colleague concerned about 7.1.1. The faculty member wants to know why students are excused from notifying faculty prior to the date for religious holy days. Faculty members should have no greater burden because of religious holy days. Dr. Kenimer clarified that it’s a statement required by law.
Bob Strawser repeated his objection to all of this stating that we have an honor system. We should accept the student’s word or abandon the honor system.
Debjyoti Banerjee, College of Engineering, there is a saying by Confucius. The country with the largest number of laws has the largest lawlessness. Tends to agree with Dr. Strawser that too many rules and too many subitems are a recipe for Confucius.
Committee of the Whole
Dr. Harlin brought the Senate into the committee of the whole.
Clint Magill, Agriculture, there was a time when you could search Faculty Senate business all the way to the beginning. Can no longer search past 2013. When he was speaker they were getting those digitized so they were searchable. Last year’s committees etc. are still up and not the current ones as well. Speaker Price has the senate Office working on these items. Challenge is the borrowing of staff from the dean of faculties office until own person hired again. When changed servers, information was lost. Senate Office still maintains the files, they just need to be re uploaded to the Senate website.
David Earnest, College of Medicine, asked to bring forward an issue of continuing concern over the lack of faculty governance. There are a number of policies where this has played a role. Seeking input from the Faculty Senate regarding recent application of an issue and policy that was decided upon without a change in bylaws to establish an operation definition of faculty at the College of Medicine. Dean is using policy derived from Faculty Senate constitution and applying it universally to establish an operational definition of faculty given the significant participation from affiliate members to justify why there is a need for standing committee reconstitution. The constitution says that faculty are those (1) who appointment was approved by the Provost at Texas A&M University; (2) who faculty appointment at TAMU is the person’s primary long-term position; and (3) who is employed at TAMU with an annual FTE of at least 0.75. Part about employed with FTE of at least .75 is the point of contention. Membership on standing committees now limited to those who meet this definition. Policy imposed without change in bylaws, not in terms of membership on Faculty Senate and all standing committees and its implications have had dramatic effects in terms of teaching and research mission. Now have collaborators that are clinicians who provide the opportunity to submit translational grants can no longer be included as co-investigators on grants because they are no longer considered faculty at TAMU. The College of Medicine faculty would like feedback on if this policy being universally applied across units and departments as operational definition on whether you are a faculty member at Texas A&M.
Walter Daugherity, College of Engineering, the answer is no. It is entirely possible for college or department in accordance with their bylaws to adopt a suitable definition for their department or college. Bylaws for the Faculty Senate control the Faculty Senate. If procedure for amending the Bylaws within the college were not followed, that would be an issue for the Dean of Faculties Office.
David Earnest continued that the policy was brought forward as an issue of compliance with the university as the apparent rationale for the changes. The changes were brought forth without any sort of faculty input or faculty governance.
Vice Provost Benedik clarified that the intent of the document was to define faculty for the purposes of serving on committees, not to define faculty as a whole. Anyone a college wants to define as faculty is fine, but only certain types of faculty can serve on certain committees (example: Promotion & Tenure committee must be tenured). The intent of the document is for the purpose of shared governance. Adjunct faculty can still be considered faculty and are still permitted to be on grants.
Dr. Earnest if the unit has so chosen, they cannot be on grants. Just had a grant himself that he submitted and that as of March cannot include clinical faculty who are not paid off university money beyond co-investigators. They can be on the grant as collaborators, but to him that’s unprofessional and unethical. If person on the grant is contributing as much as he is if not more, it’s not ethical. Those decisions are being made independent of the circumstances. Dr. Earnest has been at TAMU COM for 23 years, both when they were part of the university and when they were separate, and now since the merger, based on the complete lack of shared governance, morale is as low as I’ve ever seen.
Dr. Mark Sicilio, College of Medicine, is a non-tenure member of the faculty. He stands with Dr. Earnest and represents the faculty. The faculty love the university and are proud to be back as part of the university. There has been dialogue but there needs to be continued transparent discussions. The faculty at this university should support outreach with clinical partners. We have faculty who have served for 35 years, not just having students rotating through their office but who are intimately involved in curriculum, instruction, testing, providing opportunities for residencies and fellowships, and research. He believes in light and transparency. It’s important for the College of Medicine and the University for there to be open, honest, transparent discussions so that we can go forward together to achieve our great potential.
Daniel Jimenez, College of Engineering, one of the things the Faculty Senate is here for is to help the faculty. In the past, we’ve had people do things and the faculty Senate has been able to get their attention.
Dr. August, Dean of Faculties, facilitated a faculty forum at the College of Medicine. Heard some candid options about the topics of the definition of faculty, shared governance, and leadership in the college. Relayed those concerns to the dean immediately after the meeting in hopes she continues to strengthen communication with the faculty. Late last week, Dr. August and Dr. Lupiani met with the Dean’s Chief of Staff and one of the Senior Faculty Administrators to discuss definition of faculty and eligibility. Wanting to ensure faculty in College of Medicine that these discussions are ongoing and concerns are being related to the dean to promote respect and communication.
Dr. John Hubbard, College of Medicine, reiterating that clinical faculty members were stripped from faculty titles and were stripped of their committee assignments, many of which with very little notice and some in the midst of committee meetings. We have had committees dissolve by a phone call in the midst of a meeting. This is a serious issue. We’ve had the opportunity to meet with the Dean and when we began to approach this issue we were told this is not the business of faculty Senators or the Faculty Senate. We represent the faculty and the faculty is the core of the university. This is rapidly escalating into a serious issue. We are losing morale from core faculty and the numbers and support of our clinical faculty.
Dr. Sicilio indicated that this takes great courage. He is a fiscal conservative. It’s hard to hire faculty to teach medical students. MD Anderson lost 450 million caring for underinsured individuals in the state of Texas- that’s one Kyle Field in one year. It’s hard to practice medicine in the state of Texas with uninsured and underinsured patients. As we go forward, his sense is that we should be very proactive in welcoming clinicians that are willing to share their expertise to achieve great things. If we don’t, it can be a very difficult and costly endeavor.
Richard Hutchinson, College of Engineering, definitely supports this. We’ve had this discussion before with nurse practitioners. This is nothing new with what we’ve discussed before and we need to step up and let our voice be heard. Was asked to bring up considerations with the university calendar. We have some young faculty with young children that are in school. We need to consider the school holidays when looking at the next year’s calendar because it does cause a lot of extra strain.
Jose Fernandez-Solis, College of Architecture, believes he understands the pain from the Senators from the College of Medicine. What he does not understand is why the Dean enforcing a definition of faculty taken out of context from the Faculty Senate. He asked: what is the motivation behind/the reason/the gameplan; what is the possible statement behind the logical illogical of this.
Dr. Earnest says the rationale that has been given to the faculty in the College of Medicine has predominantly that this change is necessary for compliance with university policy, although no evidence has been provided. They have been informed by the Provost office that the Dean of Faculties have told the Dean that we are not in compliance with these issues. Yes, the College of Medicine was not in compliance in terms of membership on the Faculty Senate, but he doesn’t see how this applies. The College of Medicine faculty have a hard time understanding how this policy which is part of the Faculty Senate constitution applies to the operational definition of faculty. Dr. Earnest is concerned about the long-term direction that the dean is targeting for the College of Medicine.
Dr. Benedik, Vice Provost, there is a university rule that anyone listed as co-investigator on a grant must be a university employee per the Vice President for Research.
Dr. Earnest agrees that it is a policy, but it was only changed as of March this year. Clinical colleagues were always co investigators on grants up until that point. Someone paid completely by MD Anderson cannot be a co-investigator on a grant. They can be a collaborators or subcontractors. They can no longer apply for grants through the Research Foundation.  Grants cannot withstand the hit in terms of subcontracting a neurosurgeon.
Tim Davis, College of Engineering, raised questions on if you can have a medical school without clinical faculty. Additionally, what is the standard practice at other universities- do they consider clinicians as faculty?
The Executive Committee will discuss the issues with the College of Medicine and charge at least one of our committees with investigating the issue further.
Darlene McLaughlin, College of Medicine, stated that communities like Bryan/College Station, in order to have a clinical clerkship, have to rely upon community physicians. They, as a general rule, are adjunct faculty. In the tradition of Texas A&M, they did not have adjunct in front of it. The whole purpose of clinical faculty is to teach medical students and most of these faculty are volunteer faculty. Most of it has been taken care of by Scott & White previously. The College of Medicine have lost most of the family medicine faculty because of issues with the system and some of the reason is definitions of who is faculty and who is not.
Dr. Benedik made a brief announcement about an email being sent to all faculty about a workshop he is co-hosting with an organization called the Conversation. The Conversation is a non-profit group of journalists who work with faculty to write commentary and articles. They are published by the Conversation and are typically republished by the popular press. Texas A&M has had tremendous success by faculty working with the Conversation- about 75 articles written so far, 1.5 million readers have read them, some faculty have had over 50,000 reads of their articles. There is no cost, no profit, just a way to get your word out about your research, scholarship, and areas expertise. A way to engage in public discourse. Dr. Benedik encourages faculty to attend and tell other faculty about the workshop.
Dr. Price met with students called the Aggie Recovery Community and this goes back to the conversation last year about better support for our students mental health need. The organization is helping students seeking or in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. If you know students who might benefit from this, you can send them information about the Aggie Recovery Community. 
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10pm.