July 13, 2020

Printable Minutes

TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

July 13, 2020
Via Zoom
Speaker John N. Stallone called the second meeting of the 38th Session to order at 3:00pm.  Due to ongoing social distancing practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was fully conducted via Zoom.  Speaker Stallone began by reminding Senators of details of how to participate remotely via Zoom using the hand-raising, polling, and chat features.
Speaker Stallone welcomed guest speaker Dr. Carol Fierke, Provost of Texas A&M University, along with members of her leadership team: Dr. Michael Stephenson and Mr. Joe Pettibon.  Dr. Fierke began by sharing the two primary goals for fall semester operations: 1) providing the best education possible to meet our land grant mission as safely as possible, and 2) making decisions based on best available scientific and medical data, taking advantage of all of the experts at TAMU.  She provided multiple updates for the fall.
  • Currently planning on face-to-face (F2F) classes
  • Working hard to balance educational mission, safety, and financial health; fewer F2F classes will lead to layoffs and furloughs
  • Decisions are fluid and can be changed as circumstances change
  • Remote courses are a safety option to minimize exposure to students who test positive for COVID-19, while allowing them to continue their education
  • Committees are working on options for exams and proctoring
  • Every classroom will have cameras and microphones, and guidance on use will be provided
  • TAMU now has a bring-your-own-device policy for students
  • Planning to work with local hospitals to manage load due to student illness
  • Various measures are being put in place to ensure safety of faculty and staff; colleges are expected to have a back-up if faculty are too ill to teach remotely
  • Administration will be tracking illness on campus via a dedicated portal and Workday
  • Face covering policy is in place; non-compliant students can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct and faculty have the option to move their class online for that day
  • The amount of fresh air being circulated in buildings is being increased to hospital levels, and classrooms will be cleaned multiple times daily
  • Maximizing study spaces, including tents on campus to avoid congregating in halls
  • Operations will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis
  • Training, monitoring, testing and contact tracing are in place; free testing for faculty and staff who are symptomatic will be available via the student health center.  Turnaround time is expected to be 30-48 hours.  Testing will also be available for those who are notified by contact tracers that they have been exposed.
  • Students who are COVID-19 positive will be quarantined in hotels set up for this purpose.
  • TAMU School of Public Health has teamed up with the Brazos Valley Health Department to develop a contact tracing group.  Portal reporting goes directly to this group.
  • Working on a wastewater COVID-19 testing protocol to test for viral load  
    Dr. Fierke then took questions from Senators, some of which were aggregated by Senator Andrew Klein who was monitoring the Chat.  (The full video recording of the meeting can be accessed here.)
Speaker Stallone thanked Dr. Fierke for speaking to the group.
Dr. Jocelyn Widmer, Assistant Provost for Academic Innovation
Dr. Widmer provided her monthly update on the progress of implementing the new learning management system (LMS).  This included a technical update, the Opt-in App, Canvas “by-the-numbers”, shells in Canvas, Canvas out of the box & 3rd party tools, Zoom in Canvas, and what’s next.  For greater detail, see Dr. Widmer’s slide presentation and notes.
Speaker Stallone reflected on the two challenges confronting faculty: the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will impact teaching in the fall, and racism on campus.  The full text of his comments can be found here.
The motion passed to approve the June 15, 2020 minutes as distributed. Attachment A Passed
The motion passed to approve the July 13, 2020 Consent Agenda as presented. Passed
(Full Consent Agenda with FS #’s can be found below Adjournment.)
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – Report on the S. Ross Statue Survey Attachment B FS.38.041
Senator and Executive Committee member Julie Harlin presented the report found in Attachment B. 

Academic Affairs Committee – Senator Jay Ramadoss
Budget Information Committee – Senator Greg Heim
Personnel & Welfare Committee – Senator Len Bierman
Planning Committee – Senator Clint Magill
Research Committee – Senator Tom Sullivan
SEBAC Report for May 2020 Attachment D FS.38.043
SEBAC Representative – Senator Greg Heim
Proposed Amendments to Minimum Syllabus Requirements: 
Statement on Mental Health and Wellness – Attachment E – Passed – FS.38.044
The motion passed to approve Attachment E without discussion.
COVID-19 Temporary Amendment – Attachment F (linked document is the FINAL revision ) – Passed – FS.38.045
Senator Angie Hill Price, College of Engineering, asked for the Senate to recognize faculty member ‘Jon Jasperson.  Dr. Jasperson served on the committee drafting the Minimum Syllabus Requirements, and detailed extensive suggested revisions to this amendment.  After much discussion and input from Associate Provosts Michael Stephenson and Michael Benedik, the Faculty Senate approved a motion to allow the Executive Committee to make final approval of the amendment after revisions, due to the extremely short turnaround time required to get this amendment on fall syllabi.  There followed a vote on Attachment F “as amended,” which passed.
Recommendation of August 2020 Degree Candidates
TOTAL – 1,897
TAMU-Main – 1,671
TAMU-Galveston – 93
TAMU-HSC – 100
TAMU-Law – 21
TAMU-Qatar – 12
Secretary Ferdinand made the motion to certify the August 2020 Degree Candidates; the motion passed.
Senator Deb Banerjee shared an announcement of the passing of a colleague and mentor in the College of Engineering, Dr. Hisham Nasr-El-Din.
Speaker-Elect Dale Rice convened the Committee of the Whole. 
Senators Raymond Arroyave, College of Engineering, and Clint Magill, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, both shared their experiences in the Recreation Center of students not wearing masks while using the facility.  Senator Adam Kolasinski also shared a circumstance of demonstrators without masks on campus.
Speaker-Elect Dale Rice turned the meeting back over to Speaker Stallone.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:02pm.

GRADUATE COUNCIL – No items in July, 2020
New Courses – Passed – FS.38.029
CHEM 484: Internship
COSC 222: Social Issues in the History of the Construction Environment
SCMT 334: Purchasing Practices
Change in Courses – Passed – FS.38.030
BIOL 414: Developmental Biology
CHEM 119: Fundamentals of Chemistry I
CHEN 482: Bioprocess Engineering
EDCI 353: Early Childhood through Adolescent Education
EDCI 364: Creativity and the Young Child
ENGL 104: Composition and Rhetoric
LBAR 203: Foundations of the Liberal Arts: Humanities
MASC 351: Problem Solving in Mathematics
MASC 450: Integrated Mathematics
MATH 150: Functions, Trigonometry and Linear Systems
MATH 151: Engineering Mathematics I
MEFB 452: Curriculum and Instruction for Middle Grades
MEFB 497: Supervised Clinical Teaching
MGMT 363: Managing People in Organizations
MGMT 466: Strategic Management
MGMT 485: Directed Studies
MUSC 201: Music and the Human Experience
MUSC 228: History of Electronic Music
OCEN 363: Dynamics and Vibrations
PHIL 111: Contemporary Moral Issues
POLS 206: American National Government
RDNG 372: Reading and Writing across the Middle Grades Curriculum
RDNG 470: Reading/Language Arts Methods in Middle Grades Education
RDNG 472: Teaching Writing in Elementary and Middle Grade Classrooms
RDNG 490: Assessment in Reading Instruction in Middle Grades
TEFB 371: Dynamics and Management in Multicultural/Inclusionary Learning Environments
TEFB 410: Social Studies and the Humanities in the Elementary School
TEFB 426: Supervised Clinical Teaching
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.38.031
College of Engineering
            Department of Nuclear Engineering
                  BS-NUEN: Nuclear Engineering - BS
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.38.032
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department of Animal Science
                 CERT-CU24: Equine Science - Certificate
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.38.033
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department of Poultry Science
                  MINOR-POSC: Poultry Science - Minor
Change in Programs – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.034
College of Education & Human Development
Department of Health & Kinesiology
                  BS-EDSM: Sport Management Lower-Level
Change in Programs – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.035
College of Education & Human Development
Department of Health & Kinesiology
                  BS-SPMT-SPI: Sport Management - BS, Internship Track
Change in Programs – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.036
College of Education & Human Development
Department of Health & Kinesiology
                  BS-SPMT-SPN: Sport Management - BS, Non-internship Track
Special Consideration Item – Passed – FS.38.037
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Liberal Arts
                  MINOR-GNHT: Gender and Health - Minor
Miscellaneous: Bulk/Mass Prefix Change – Passed – FS.38.038
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department of Nutrition and Department of Food Science
                  Undergraduate Courses (NFSC to NUTR/FSTC)
Courses Submitted for W Certification – Passed – FS.38.039
CSCE 331-W: Foundations of Software Engineering
GEOG 309-W: Geography of Energy
HIST 280-W: The Historian’s Craft
HORT 315-W: Issues in Horticulture
INTS 405-W: War and Memory
PSYC 301-W: Elementary Statistics for Psychology
Courses Submitted for W Re-Certification – Passed – FS.38.040
PERF 310-W: History of Performance in the Ancient World
PERF 311-W: History of Performance in the Common Era
PERF 312-W: History of Performance Modern Era
PERF 453-W: Seminar in Performance Ethnography