February 8, 2021

Printable Minutes

TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
February 8, 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 ninth 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 announced that the scheduled guest speaker, Mr. Tyson Voelkel, President and CEO of the Texas A&M Foundation, was unable to attend the meeting.  If possible, he would be rescheduled in the coming months.
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.38.534 (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 Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School; Senator Andy Tag, College of Science; Senator Andrew Klein, College of Geosciences; Senator Raymundo Arroyave, College of Engineering; Senator Tracy Hammond, College of Engineering; and Senator Rebecca Burns, College of Nursing.
Speaker Stallone commented that the COVID virus seems to be under control on campus, while the vaccination progam was currently struggling.  He was was working with the TAMU administration to get surplus personal protection equipment (PPE), specifically masks, to campus for distribution to faculty, staff, and students.  Interim Provost Weichold indicated to Speaker Stallone that these were arriving and a message would go out to the campus community in a day or two.
Speaker Stallone shared the good news that merit raises, held since the beginning of the fall semester due to budget concerns, were being released and would soon be received.
The Joint Meeting of the TAMU Faculty Senate and the UT Austin Faculty Council is to be held on Monday, February 22nd via Zoom.  There would be a morning session on higher education budget and finance, and an afternoon session on efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.  Both sessions would include a panel discussion.  The Chancellors and Presidents from both campuses would also be giving brief remarks.
Speaker Stallone announced the upcoming spring Senate elections, reminding Senators that each caucus would need to have a representative on the Election Committee, and to look for an email with more details from Senate assistant Betsy Peterson.
He raised the issue of recent university investigations into the behavior of two faculty members.  These were overseen by Mr. Kevin McGinnis, Chief Risk, Ethics, and Compliance Officer at TAMU, which raised concern among some faculty members that Mr. McGinnis was not qualified to evaluate academic content of faculty instructional materials.  After reviewing this information, the Senate Executive Committee (EC) recommended creating a committee to work on developing standard operating procedures for such investigations involving faculty members.  The committee will consist of three EC members: Dale Rice, College of Liberal Arts; Heather Ramsey, College of Science; and John Stallone, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; and four members of the Senate at-large: Beth McNeill, College of Education & Human Development; Rajesh Miranda, College of Medicine; Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School, and Jim Rogers, College of Liberal Arts.  Speaker Stallone thanked everyone who volunteered for this committee.
Speaker Stallone mentioned that the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion had recently released their report, and that he believed faculty would do their part to improve our campus climate.
In closing, he thanked Senators for their continued hard work during such an extremely challenging time.  TAMU Faculty have continued to rise to the occasion to deliver superior education.
The motion passed to approve the January 11, 2021 minutes as distributed. Attachment B – Passed – FS.38.535
The motion passed to approve the February 8, 2021 Consent Agenda as presented.
 (Full Consent Agenda with FS #’s can be found under Adjournment below.)
Senator Joan Wolf provided an update on available services for students offered by the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).  She shared an option for faculty interested in learning how to speak to students about suicide prevention call Kognito.  It is a brief training and can be accessed via TrainTrak.  CAPS continues to provide all of the same services such as individual counseling and group counseling, and students in crisis will be “seen” (in person or virtually) within an hour during business hours.  Additionally, CAPS has added a series of “Let’s Talk” workshops targeting underrepresented or marginalized students, reaching out to a wide variety of populations.
Core Curriculum Council Course Report Attachment C – Passed – FS.38.539
The motion passed to approve the Core Curriculum Course Report as presented. 
(Full CCC Report can be found under Adjournment below.)
Proposed Revision to Student Rules
Student Rule 10 – Degree Requirements Attachment D – Passed – FS.38.540
Student Rule 14 – Degree Requirements Attachment E – Passed – FS.38.541
Speaker-Elect Dale Rice convened the Committee of the Whole.  While waiting for hands, he thanked Senator Wolf for her report, especially during this stressful time of COVID and altered educational situation.
Senator Janice Epstein, College of Science, raised two concerns related to COVID practices that could potentially be addressed with emails from leadership.  First, a reminder to students to avoid gatherings since these are high-risk situations.  Second, a clarification on what constitutes a “private office” to make sure staff are wearing masks as required.  Speaker-Elect Rice shared that Student Affairs is working very hard to present messaging to students on-campus about gathering, but off-campus students are more difficult to reach.
Senator Jay Ramadoss, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, thanked Senator Wolf for providing the mental health information and encouraged Senators to carry this information to their colleagues.
Dr. Michael Benedik, Vice Provost and Chief International Officer, responded to Dr. Epstein’s concern regarding private offices, directing people to the COVID guidelines on the TAMU website to find how private offices are defined.
Senator Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School, thanked Speaker Stallone for convening a committee to examine the process of faculty investigations and for putting him on it.  He was concerned that people outside of Texas A&M have questioned academic freedom at the university.  He asked if the Executive Committee might consider having the Faculty Senate endorse the “Chicago Statement,” created by the University of Chicago, and endorsed by many other universities as the gold standard of statements of academic freedom.
Senator Catharina Laporte raised the issue of actions occurring during Zoom Senate meetings that are different from in-person meetings, such as sideline chats, voting, and hand-raising.  These are functioning but some are distracting and might be worth a discussion in a future meeting.  Some comments were made by various people who could not find the raise hand feature.
Speaker-Elect Rice returned the meeting to Speaker Stallone.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:52pm.
New Courses – Passed – FS.38.536
AFST 652: Black Freedom Movements
BICH 637: Advanced Topics in Metabolism
RPTS 673: Grant Writing and Program Evaluation for Youth Development Organizations
SOCI 600: Introduction to Sociological Data Analysis
SOCI 650: Applied Sociological Research and Evaluation
Change in Courses – Passed – FS.38.537
AGEC 605: Rural Real Estate Appraisal and Organization
EDHP 631: Curriculum Foundations for Healthcare Professionals
EDHP 632: Evaluation and Assessment for Healthcare Professionals
SOCI 633: Demographic Methods
WFSC 624: Dynamics of Populations
WGST 645: Queer Theory
Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.538
College of Medicine
     Department of Medicine
IMED 811: Internal Medicine Acting Internship
IMED 812: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
IMED 813: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
IMED 815: Clinical Infectious Diseases
IMED 816: Clinical Nephrology
IMED 817: Dermatology
IMED 821: Clinical Cardiology
IMED 835: Infectious Disease
IMED 836: Benign Hematology
IMED 839: Clinical Cardiology
IMED 843: Cardiology Outpatient
IMED 844: Cardiology Inpatient
IMED 849: Acting Internship in General Internal Medicine
IMED 851: Neurology
IMED 853: Cardiology
IMED 854: Cardiology
IMED 855: Clinical Rheumatology
IMED 857: Hematology and Medical Oncology – Outpatient
IMED 858: Neurology
IMED 859: Intensive and Critical Care
IMED 861: General Internal Medicine Acting Internship
IMED 864: Gastroenterology Hospital Service
IMED 868: Clinical Allergy
IMED 869: Hematology
IMED 870: Geriatric Medicine
IMED 872: Gastroenterology Clinic
IMED 873: Clinical Pulmonology (VA)
IMED 874: Private Service Internal Medicine Acting Internship
IMED 875: Neurology
IMED 876: Medical Intensive Care Unit (VA)
IMED 878: Clinical Cardiology and Electro Cardiology
IMED 880: Medical Intensive Care Unit
IMED 881: Clinical Endocrinology
IMED 883: Dermatology
IMED 885: Neurology
IMED 886: Inpatient Palliative Medicine
IMED 887: Clinical Infectious Disease (Inpatient Service)
IMED 888: Clinical Infectious Diseases (VA)
IMED 892: General Internal Medicine Acting Internship (VA)
IMED 901: General Medicine Acting Internship
IMED 902: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
IMED 903: Traditional Pulmonary Medicine
IMED 904: Coronary Care Unit
No Undergraduate Curriculum Committee or W&C items for February, 2021.
New Courses – Cultural Discourse – Galveston
FSCI 334-CD: One Health in Coastal Regions
New Courses Submitted for Foundational Component Area: Language, Philosophy & Culture
HIST 104-GE: World History Since 1500