February 11, 2019

Printable Minutes

TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

February 11, 2019
Rudder 601
Speaker Harlin called the meeting to order at 3:15pm.
New Senator Eduardo Gildin was sworn in and welcomed to the Faculty Senate.
Speaker Harlin introduced guest speaker Dr. Mark Barteau, Vice President for Research (VPR).
Dr. Mark Barteau
VPR Mark Barteau wanted to share ways that he and his office are working to increase and improve research at Texas A&M University.
  • Texas A&M is one of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and one of six who are additionally land-, sea-, and space-grant universities.
  • Funding information for fiscal year 2017: Texas A&M had $905 million in research expenditures (using NSF criteria).  For 2018, this number is $922 million.  The Research Development Fund and the President’s Excellence Fund will likely increase research growth for the University.  The President would like the University to hit $1 billion, which is likely to happen by fiscal 2020.
  • The Division of Research delivers strategic support to faculty, supports inter- and multi-disciplinary collaborations to grow federal funding, strengthens the research infrastructure, promotes the value of research and enterprise, and ensures research compliance with standards established by the federal and state governments and the University and System.
  • He sees the VPR as the Chief Research Advocate, not a compliance cop.
  • He shared the Division of Research Organizational Chart (found in attached presentation).
  • The Research office has created three methods of communication via email (go to website to subscribe):
    • The Research Bulletin comes out on Monday
    • Weekly Bulletin of submissions
    • Monthly Funding Bulletin
  • The staff provides a robust research development service: professional development workshops for younger faculty; assistance with proposal resubmissions, administration of four internal grant programs, and training for funding opportunities.
  • The Research office plans to expand to enable pursuit of large multidisciplinary proposals.
  • VPR Barteau shared examples of improvements at core facilities through the Research Development Fund, including high-performance research computing as a dedicated resource for research at Texas A&M and assistance with technology commercialization.
  • The Division of Research has three University-wide Centers/Institutes: the Microscopy and Imaging Center, the Texas A&M Energy Institute, and the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science, and there are another 144 research centers and institutes across campus.
  • Promoting collaborative research: Research Development Fund and two grant programs that are a part of the President’s Excellence Fund: T3 Grants and X-Grants.
  • Growing the impact of Texas A&M scholars through public engagement, publications included in bulletins, engaging on a national level, and strengthening our external partnerships.
  • Asked the Senate “how can the Division of Research help you?”
  • Visit research.tamu.edu for articles, photos and videos about research projects from across the Texas A&M System. 
    VPR Barteau then fielded questions.
    Raymundo Arroyave, College of Engineering
    Senator Arroyave referenced federal programs that are rolled out on a regular basis, asking if the Division of Research has any plans for setting up working groups to be prepared well in advance to apply for funding.  VPR Barteau replied that the plan is to set up a calendar to track these to offer early alerts and occasional resources.
    Rajesh Miranda, College of Medicine
    Senator Miranda expressed an interest in having centralized knowledge about research grants so that faculty will know what other funding sources are in use across campus by area of research.  VPR Barteau said that while it is not likely for this information to be publicly available, the Provost has prioritized the University to account for the NIH training grants on campus, information that the Division of Research has access to.  They will continue to work on improving the ability to access this information.
    Jeffrey Musser, College of Veterinary Medicine
    Senator Musser asked what is being done to make internal funding available for non-tenure track research faculty.  VPR Barteau said that they have been added to the X-Grants, but not the T3 Grants, which is a sore point for many.  They are looking at this issue, but the concern is overwhelming the system.  Currently there is a 40% success rate.  Adding non-tenure track faculty would more than double the number of people/teams who can apply, causing the odds of receiving grants to drop to the level of an NIH proposal.  The office will continue to look at the impact of these on all faculty.
    Speaker Harlin thanked VPR Barteau who left the podium to applause by Senators.
    Speaker Harlin began by commenting on how quickly the semester is going. She then shared some thoughts from an article she recently received from Senator Gary Wingenbach from Inside Higher Education, entitled “Navigating Misunderstandings & Conflict,” as well as a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.  She encouraged Senators to be generous with each other, be it colleagues, family or friends.  She then shared recent Faculty Senate highlights:
  • Some Senators participated in the Orange and Maroon Day in Austin the week prior.  Speaker Harlin thanked Andrew Klein, Speaker-Elect, for organizing the efforts and Angie Hill Price, Jim Woosley, and Alva Ferdinand for taking the time to attend this important meeting with our former students, UT colleagues, and legislators in Austin.
  • The Task Force on the Dean and Department Head SAP met the previous week, continuing to make significant progress. Thanks were offered to Senators Claire Katz, Clint Magill, Deb Banerjee, Adam Kolasinski, Jose Fernandez-Solis, Angie Hill Price, Jay Ramadoss, and Grace Townsend for serving on the committee, who hoped to have a draft to share with the Senate in the weeks to come.
  • Speaker Harlin thanked Derya Akleman, Joe Arosh, Anna Linderholm, and Geoffrey Booth for serving on the Ad Hoc Committee for the System Policy on Suspension without Pay. This group is in the process of providing feedback as requested on suggested changes to University policies related to this system change.
  • Senators were reminded to RSVP for the Joint Meeting with University of Texas on Monday, March 4, in Austin.  This was expected be a great opportunity to engage with colleagues at UT-Austin, administrators from both institutions, legislators from both sides of the aisle, and members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Speaker Harlin recognized colleagues at Transportation for working with Senate leadership on the RELLIS parking issues.  Many thanks were given to Peter Lange, Debbie Hoffman, and Kenny Kimball with Transportation Services and James Bright with RELLIS and the Texas A&M University System.  A new pilot plan for parking at RELLIS was to be rolled out on February 24 that was expected to impact positively faculty, staff, and students.  Thanks were also given to faculty who took the time to complete the RELLIS parking survey.  The data provided allowed administrators to respond to concerns in a timely and positive manner.
  • Senators were reminded that the survey to provide feedback on Faculty Workday Issues would close that day and to provide responses if impacted by these issues.
  • Speaker Harlin was honored to have spoken to the Prairie View A&M University Faculty Senate the previous week about shared governance.  Most of their Executive Committee members are expected to visit the TAMU Faculty Senate next month at the March 18th meeting to view shared governance in action.  Senators were encouraged to be on the lookout for an invitation to a social prior to the March meeting.
  • Several Senators were expected to attend the Texas Council of Faculty Senates meeting later that week.  Jim Woosley, as leader of that group, and Speaker-Elect Andrew Klein and Speaker Harlin planned to attend as representatives of the TAMU Senate.  The Speaker also planned attend a System meeting with speakers and presidents of the TAMU System institutions.
  • Senators were reminded that the March Senate meeting was moved from March 11 to March 18 due to Spring Break. 
  • Speaker Harlin provided an update on the scheduled Speakers for the spring Senate meetings.  In March, Dr. John August, Dean of Faculties; in April, Scott Woodward, Athletic Director and members of his team as well as Dr. Andy Morriss, Dean of the School of Innovation; in May, Robin Means-Coleman, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, will be there with members of her team.  Speaker Harlin was trying to find a date for the TAMU President to address the Senate sometime in spring.  If Senators had specific questions for the guests to address, they were asked to let the Senate Office know two weeks prior to the Senate meeting.
  • Committee Chairs were encouraged to look at the March calendar to determine if date changes needed to happen for committee meetings.  Due to the Joint meeting and the date change of the Senate meeting, there could be overlap in activities.  If Senators needed help rescheduling committee meetings, they were asked to let Betsy know.
  • Caucus Leaders were asked to send Betsy the name of the Senator who would be representing their College on the Election Committee by the upcoming Friday.  The Election Committee would be assembled shortly to elect a chair and provide oversight for the Senate election process.
  • Caucus Leaders were also reminded to schedule a meeting with their Deans and caucus members.  Building relationships with others is essential for to keep communication lines open and ensure a positive path forward in times of change. 
    The motion passed to approve the January 14, 2019 minutes as distributed. 
    The motion passed to approve the Consent Agenda.  (Consent Agenda can be found below Adjournment.)
    No unfinished business was conducted.
Core Curriculum Council Course Report – Attachment E – Passed FS.36.478
The motion passed to approve the Core Curriculum Course Report.  (Core Curriculum Course Report can be found below Consent Agenda.)
Other Committee Reports
No other Committee Reports.
No old business was conducted.
No old business was conducted.
Speaker-Elect Klein asked for any business for the Committee of the Whole.
Rajesh Miranda, College of Medicine
Senator Miranda reminded the Senators of a presentation given last year by the Dean Carrie Byington regarding the Texas A&M University partnership with CHI St. Joseph, and concerns about the one procedure (tubal ligation) that would not be offered to patients.  He referenced the Catholic Health Initiatives role in directing Catholic hospitals such as St. Joseph, and the ACLU’s study of these hospitals.  He requested an independent review of the documents between CHI St. Joseph and TAMU from a legal, financial, medical, and ethical perspective, done by an independent party.
Janice Epstein, College of Science
Senator Epstein expressed concerns that vacation pay from 2014 owed her has not yet been paid by her department (Science), and heard that it will be paid at the time of retirement based on her 2014 salary.  She wondered what other departments had done.  Parliamentarian Walter Daugherity shared that accrued but unused annual leave is banked in hours, not dollars.  It is required to be paid at your final salary at time of separation.  Incoming Dean of Faculties Blanca Lupiani let the group know that she was not sure and would look into it.
Angie Hill Price, College of Engineering
Senator Hill Price raised the issue of the requirement to have an annual wellness check and complete a health assessment at MyEvive.com in order to receive a discount in our health insurance premium.  She expressed concern that she is required to provide protected health data to a third party who is not bound by HIPAA laws.  Speaker Harlin shared that she received an email from a faculty member who was upset by this and who had pursued answers up the administrative chain that were insufficient.  Speaker Harlin forwarded this email to Senator Greg Heim, the Faculty Senate’s SEBAC representative.  She also planned to discuss this at the upcoming meeting with Speakers from the other System schools.  
John Hubbard, College of Medicine
Senator Hubbard asked when the Dean and Department Head SAP review would be completed, and “how standard” these procedures would be.  He referenced a current survey in his college.  Speaker Harlin reported on the status of the committee’s work: a draft has been completed and shared with administrators. The next step is to meet with them and make sure it includes what is needed to get rich and nuanced information from faculty without being cumbersome.  Dr. Lupiani affirmed that the surveys would include feedback about the team the deans have assembled, and that deans were notified about this.
Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School
Senator Kolasinski, who is on the SAP Task Force, stressed that there will be guidelines for notifying faculty to ensure they are aware of the survey, and that faculty also have a responsibility to participate.
Bobby Reece, College of Geosciences
Senator Reece followed up asking what rules are currently being followed during searches while the SAP is still being drafted.  Speaker Harlin shared that the new version of the SAP are being piloted.  Dr. Lupiani responded that the search committees have been drafting the questions for faculty, which are not yes/no questions, until the survey is finalized.
Joan Wolf, College of Liberal Arts
Senator Wolf followed up on the issue of the TAMU partnership with CHI St. Joseph, saying that she has done research since this issue was raised, and is alarmed at the scope of issues beyond the single procedure discussed.  A further concern is that these low-cost religion-affiliated organizations push out other providers, leaving them as the only option in communities.  She seconded the request for an independent review.
Claire Katz, College of Liberal Arts
Senator Katz raised an issue from the Research Committee wondering what is being done to keep research directions independent of donor money and influence.
David Staack, College of Engineering
Senator Staack raised a second issue from the Research Committee about the lack of access to libraries for the 10,000 to 12,000 West Campus Agriculture students.
Bruce Neville, University Libraries
Senator Neville expressed concern about the TAMU partnership with CHI St. Joseph from a financial standpoint.  He took issue with the notion of “everybody” saving money because of this partnership; he would need to leave his long-term doctor to receive this benefit.  Speaker-Elect Klein assured the group that the Executive Committee is aware of and continuing to address these issues.
Bob Strawser, Mays Business School
Senator Strawser, after stating his biases, echoed concerns about CHI St. Joseph.  Secondly, as a former Speaker he oversaw some efforts to change the bylaws.  First was changing the position of Deputy Speaker to Speaker-Elect and, second, to eliminate term restrictions.  He suggested the Bylaws Committee eliminate Senate “seats” and simply offer the number of openings in a given college.  This eliminates a person from directly running against another person.  He is open to meeting with the Bylaws Committee to give more detail.
Deb Banerjee, College of Engineering
Senator Banerjee seconded removing seats in elections.
Lou Tassinary, College of Architecture
Senator Tassinary serves on the Honor Council and believes everyone proceeds in good faith.  However, he is concerned that the standard that is used in cases before the Council – the preponderance of evidence – assumes each party has equal power and equal consequences.  As the parties rarely have equal power and consequences, he recommends using “clear and convincing evidence” for the standard of evidence.  Senator Strawser seconded this idea.
Speaker-Elect Klein turned the meeting back over to Speaker Harlin.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:35pm.
ATTACHMENTS BELOW: Approved Consent Agenda, CCC Course Report, Dr. Mark Barteau’s presentation slides
New Courses – Attachment B – Passed – FS.36.475
BMEN 613                        Principles and Analysis of Physiological Control Systems
ISEN 673                          Prospective Analytics for the Service Industry
LAW 7321                         Healthcare Compliance
PHPM 648                        Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis for Population Health Services
SCMT 637                        Modeling and Optimization
New Courses – Attachment C – Passed – FS.36.476
Texas A&M University at Galveston
MARB 669                        Adaptations in Extreme Environments
Change in Courses – Attachment D – Passed – FS.36.477
CVEN 750                        Finite Element Applications in Structural Engineering
FINC 602                          Corporate Finance
FINC 643                          Commercial Bank Management
FINC 660                          Fixed Income Analysis
FINC 674                          Market Analysis for Development
HPCH 606                        Public Health Informatics
   No items.
No items.                 
______________________________End of Consent Agenda____________________________________
Core Curriculum Council Course Report – Attachment E – Passed FS.36.478
New Courses Submitted for Foundational Component Area: Lang, Phil, Culture
ENGL 221-GE      World Literature
New Courses – Cultural Discourse
GEOG 205-CD             Environmental Change
MAST 340-CD Museums and the Construction of Identities
MUSC 324-CD             Music in World Cultures
PERF 326-CD Dance and Identity in the United States
New Courses – International and Cultural Diversity
COMM 407-ICD           Women, Minorities and the Mass Media
GERM 435-ICD            German Film
IBUS 455-ICD Asian Business Environment
PSYC 107-ICD Introduction to Psychology
New Courses – International and Cultural Diversity – TAMU Galveston
MARB 340-ICD      Tropical Marine Ecology