April 12, 2021

Printable Minutes

TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

April 12, 2021
Via Zoom
The full video recording of the meeting can be accessed on the Faculty Senate website: https://facultysenate.tamu.edu/Faculty-Senate-Meeting-Recordings.
Speaker John N. Stallone called the eleventh meeting of the 38th Session to order at 3:00pm.  Due to ongoing social distancing practices resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was conducted via Zoom.  Speaker Stallone reminded Senators of the Zoom features to be used during the meeting.
Speaker Stallone welcomed guest speaker Mr. Tyson Voelkel, President and CEO of the Texas A&M Foundation.  Mr. Voelkel updated the Senate on current and recent fundraising by the Foundation. (The presentation may be accessed here.)  After thanking faculty for their support, he shared information about the Lead by Example campaign and encouraged faculty to partner with the Foundation for support with their development efforts.  Highlights from his presentation included:
  • $4.25 billion raised between January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2020, with faculty and staff contributing over $62M.
  • There are five affiliated organizations raising funds for Texas A&M: the Foundation, the Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation, the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association, and the George & Barbara Bush Foundation.
  • The Texas A&M Foundation contributed $2.6 billion to the Lead by Example campaign.
  • The Foundation wants to partner more effectively with faculty.  Of the 3,364 new endowments created during the campaign, 127 were faculty chairs, professorships, and fellowships.
  • He encouraged faculty to reach out to him with any questions or ideas.
Mr. Voelkel took questions from the following Senators: Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Senator Matt Taylor, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Senator Allen Honeyman, College of Dentistry; and Senator Joan Wolf, College of Liberal Arts.
Speaker Stallone thanked Mr. Voelkel for speaking to the Faculty Senate.
Dr. Jocelyn Widmer, Assistant Provost for Academic Innovation, and Dr. Juan Garza, Assistant Vice President for Academic Services & Director of Provost Information Technology Office – Attachment A – FS.38.563 (for information only)
Dr. Widmer provided her monthly update on the progress of Canvas (LMS) via a video, and the meeting time was devoted to questions only.  The following Senators posed questions or offered comments: Senator Stephen Alton, School of Law; Senator Catharina Laporte, College of Liberal Arts, and Senator Matt Taylor, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
Speaker Stallone began his comments by thanking Senators for attending the Joint Meeting of the Faculty Senate and UT Faculty Council, held virtually via Zoom on Monday, March 29th.  He then reminded all that Senate elections were in process, to be followed by the officer and Executive Committee nominations and elections, encouraging Senators to consider running for these leadership roles.

The call for nominations for Senate awards were announced and donations requested for the Aggie Spirit Awards.  Senate committee chairs were asked to prepare their reports for the year and they will be presenting the reports at the May meeting.

He shared that the appointment of the new TAMU President was official: Dr. Katherine Banks, current Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Engineering, would be taking on the new role in June.  He welcomed her and expressed that the Faculty Senate was looking forward to working with her.

Speaker Stallone stated that the end of the year was almost here, and congratulated faculty for persevering for another year through the challenges of COVID-19.  He thanked Dean Shawn Gibbs, Dean of the School of Public Health, and faculty, staff, and students within the Health Sciences Center who have been on the front lines administering the COVID vaccines. 
The motion passed to approve the March 8, 2021 minutes as distributed. Attachment B – Passed – FS.38.564
The motion passed to approve the April 12, 2021 Consent Agenda as presented.
 (Full Consent Agenda with FS #’s can be found under Adjournment below.)
Approval of Revisions to the Faculty Senate Constitution – Attachment C – Tabled (Proposal 1 failed) – FS.38.576
Speaker Stallone recognized Mr. Greg Hartman, Senior Vice President and CEO of Texas A&M Heatth, and Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives for the System, who provided input related to the College of Medicine representation on the Faculty Senate.  A question was directed to him by Senator Richard Waer, College of Engineering, after which discussion was halted so that the proposals could first be introduced.
Speaker Stallone then introduced Senator Bruce Neville, University Libraries, Chair of the Bylaws Committee, to review the set of proposals discussed at the last Senate meeting in March.  After the proposals were reviewed, Proposal 1 was moved and brought to discussion.  There was no discussion, the vote was taken, and failed to pass.
There was much discussion concerning the lack of attendance at the meeting, and how this impacts constitutional voting which requires two-thirds of the Senate membership to pass an amendment.  Tabling was discussed, and what this would mean for this set of proposals.  A formal motion to table Attachment C was made, seconded, and voted upon.  The motion to table Attachment C was passed.  Speaker Stallone thanked Bylaws Committee Chair Bruce Neville for all of his work on these amendments.
Core Curriculum Council Course Report Attachment D – Passed – FS.38.577
The motion passed to approve the Core Curriculum Course Report as presented. 
(Full CCC Report can be found under Adjournment below.)
System Employee Benefits Advisory Committee (SEBAC REPORT) – Attachment E – For Informational Review – FS.38.578
Senator Greg Heim, Mays Business School, presented information from the February 2021 SEBAC meeting, found in Attachment E.  Questions were then asked by Senator Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School; and Senator Rosemary Walzem, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
Student Athlete Competition Absence Agreement – Attachment F – For Informational Review – FS.38.579
This document was brought to the Senate by the Athletics Council for comments and feedback.  The form was created to initiate constructive discussion between student-athletes and their professors at the beginning of the semester regarding absences.  Comments were made by Senator Angie Hill Price, College of Engineering; Andrew Klein, College of Geosciences; and Senator Sara Rowe, College of Liberal Arts.
Speaker-Elect Dale Rice convened the Committee of the Whole. 
Senator Patti Smith, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, read a statement from a faculty member in her college regarding the health accommodations for the fall 2021 semester, urging administrators to reconsider some cases such as pregnant and/or nursing women, and immuno-compromised individuals, and the deadlines for determining how courses will be taught.
Senator Joan Wolf, College of Liberal Arts, shared information about women and girls who have serious caregiving responsibilities, suggesting this population be allowed to register for courses early along with student-athletes.
Senator Beth McNeill passed along a statement from a colleague regarding going back to “normal” courses in the fall, and the conflicting information from administration, causing extra work for faculty.
Senator Andrew Klein, College of Geosciences, commented on the difficulty passing an innocuous revision to the Constitution due to inadequate attendance at Faculty Senate meetings.  He encouraged people to discuss with their caucus that their attendance is critical to the function of shared governance.  Senator Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School, also expressed concern about lack of attendance and wondered if there were any processes in place for addressing chronic absenteeism.  Speaker-Elect Rice shared some past practices, as did Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
Senator Andy Banerjee, College of Engineering, expressed concern about receiving emails from third-party vendors, and wondered if TAMU is selling email addresses.  Senator Allen Honeyman, College of Dentistry, was also concerned and wondered if spam filters were doing their job.  Senator Andrew Klein, College of Geosciences, agreed that the sale of email addresses should be looked into but that spam filters are working, as most mail is spam and what is received has been filtered.  Senator Greg Heim, Mays Business School, shared that the Budget Information Committee addressed this with the CIO and learned that 95% of outside email is spam or an attack, so it is a “Herculean task.”  Senator Honeyman stated that the College of Dentistry faculty receive spam from within the University, for example, emails targeting undergraduates when his college has no undergraduates, and suggested that distribution lists need to be better tailored.  Senator Danny Davis, Bush School, suggested that the Senate bring in a representative from IT or cybersecurity to better inform the Senate on this issue.
Speaker-Elect Rice returned the meeting to Speaker Stallone.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:17pm.
New Courses – Passed – FS.38.565
ATTR 645: Corrective Techniques and Progressive Exercise for Return to Function
INTA 712: A Non-Technical Introduction to Cyber Policy
MSEN 630: Nanomaterials Science
NURS 728: Organizational and Systems Leadership
NURS 734: Healthcare Policy and Economics
NURS 739: Residency in Advanced Nursing Practice
PERF 624: Performance and Aesthetics
PETE 678: Resource Shale Petrophysics
Change in Courses – Passed – FS.38.566
NUEN 604: Radiation Interactions and Shielding
PERF 691: Research
PHEB 618: Spatial Epidemiology
Change in Courses – Passed – FS.38.567
AGEC 316: Building Customer Relationships in AgriFood Selling
FINC 341: Business Finance
HIST 402: History of Modern Germany
IBUS 459: Latin American Markets
MGMT 363: Managing People in Organizations
MKTG 321: Marketing
RDNG 468: Essential Foundations of Language and Literacy for All Learners
SPAN 407: Spanish-English Translation
Change in Courses – Galveston – Passed – FS.38.568
MARB 310: Introduction to Cell Biology
MARB 335: Fish Physiology
Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.569
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance Studies
MUSC 200: Topics in Music
Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.570
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance Studies
MUSC 400: Senior Seminar and Project
Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.571
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance Studies
RPTS 408: Community Development and Supporting Institutions
Change in Programs – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.572
College of Education & Human Development
Department of Health & Kinesiology
BS-HLTH-SCH: Health - BS, School Health Track
Change in Programs – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.573
College of Education & Human Development
Department of Health & Kinesiology
BS-KINE-PEK: Kinesiology - BS, All-Level Physical Education Teacher Certification Track
Courses Submitted for W Certification – Passed – FS.38.574
GEOG 430-W: Environmental Justice
Courses Submitted for W Re-Certification – Passed – FS.38.575
MKTG 448-W: Marketing Strategy
ECON 465-W: Contemporary Economic Issues
______________________________End of Consent Agenda_______________________________
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Creative Arts
PERF 201-GE: Music and the Human Experience
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Language, Philosophy & Culture
ENGL 202-GE: Environmental Literature
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Mathematics
MATH 171-GE: Calculus I
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
SOCI 207-GE: Introduction to Gender and Society
SPMT 304-GE: Sport Psychology Management and Practice