July 12, 2021

Printable Minutes

TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

July 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 Dale Rice called the second meeting of the 39th 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 Rice reminded Senators of the Zoom features to be used during the meeting.
Speaker Rice welcomed guest speaker Mr. Ed Pierson, Interim Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.  His presentation included background on the IT organization, recent challenges, and a view into future efforts.  See slide presentation here.  Key highlights included:
  • The huge amount of data moved each day.
  • The multi-layered security precautions in place.
  • Best security practices for travel.
  • File security.
  • Platforms currently supported and those projected to be used.
  • The Microsoft 365 migration.
  • Networking updates providing for additional growth.
Questions were posed by the following Senators: Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Senator Tracy Vemulapalli, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; Senator Rajesh Miranda, College of Medicine; Senator Hank Walker, College of Engineering; Senator Raymundo Arroyave, College of Engineering; Senator Catharina Laporte, College of Liberal Arts; Senator Andrew Klein, College of Geosciences; and Senator Janice Epstein, College of Science.
Speaker Rice thanked Mr. Pierson for speaking to the 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 – For Informational Review – FS.39.023
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 Haney, TAMU Galveston and Senator Nicola Ayres, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
Dr. Tim Scott, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs & Student Success, requested that the Senate briefly hear from Tim Powers, Director of the Aggie Honor System Office, regarding Canvas issues discovered at Dartmouth due to a cheating scandal and its relevance on our campus.  Dr. Powers indicated that TAMU’s setup of Canvas avoided the tools that were problematic and his office had guided faculty away from using QuizLog, the only feature that could cause issues for faculty while tracking academic honesty in their courses.  Comments and questions were fielded from the following Senators: Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and Senator Jay Ramadoss, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
Speaker Rice thanked Dr. Widmer and Dr. Powers.
Speaker Rice began his comments by thanking the Senators who were able to participate in the poll on Senate Bill 165 regarding Q-drops.  Forty-two responded quickly, with 30 favoring the unlimited Q-drops during the COVID pandemic semesters and 12 opposed.  The results were forwarded to Interim Provost Weichold with identifying information removed.
He further thanked the Engineering and Medicine caucuses for providing feedback on the proposal to create a new School of Engineering Medicine.  University rules necessitate Senate feedback and the item will be on the August meeting agenda for Senators to ask questions and provide feedback.
Speaker Rice announced that Senator Andrew Klein was appointed co-chair of a task force convened by the Provost to identify practices that worked during the pandemic that could be helpful going forward.  He encouraged Senators to complete the short survey sent by Senator Klein on the previous Friday.
Lastly, Speaker Rice provided an update on concerns about the bookstore including suggested course materials not approved by faculty.  The Executive Committee met with bookstore leadership, who immediately responded to the concerns and removed the recommended Bartleby materials from faculty pages.  He thanked Barnes & Noble for their prompt action and willingness to listen to faculty concerns.
The motion passed to approve the June 14, 2021 minutes as distributed. Attachment B – Passed – FS.39.024
Speaker Rice highlighted some of the items that appeared on the Consent Agenda: approving changes in six BS or BA degree programs and one minor, moving two certificates to incactive status, and approving changes to 16 courses in five colleges and TAMU Galveston.  He emphasized the importance of faculty control of the curriculum.
The motion passed to approve the July 12, 2021 Consent Agenda as presented.
 (Full Consent Agenda with FS #’s can be found under Adjournment below.)
Core Curriculum Council Course Report Attachment C – Passed – FS.39.038
The motion passed to approve the Core Curriculum Course Report as presented. 
(Full CCC Report can be found under Adjournment below.)
Emergency Item: Proposed Revisions to Student Rules
This item was added to the agenda due to its importance in reviewing rules and policies for the reaccreditation by SACSCOC.  This would allow this rule to be included in the University’s self-study concluding shortly.  The rule was unanimously approved.
Student Rule 9     Transfer Credit – Attachment D – Passed – FS.39.039
Speaker-Elect Patti Smith convened the Committee of the Whole. 
Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, commented on Juneteenth becoming a holiday.  While he approved of the move, he was concerned about the University canceling classes that day; the impact on his five-week course was significant.  He hoped that in the future the administration would take accelerated courses into consideration when making such decisions.
Senator Rajesh Miranda, College of Medicine, expressed concern that all of the eating establishments were closed at the Health Science Center and asked that the University take their location into consideration when determining closures as there are no places to eat or get coffee close to the campus.
Speaker-Elect Smith returned the meeting to Speaker Rice.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:19pm.
No items.
 Change in Courses – Passed – FS.39.025
AERO 420: Aeroelasticity
AGEC 117: Critical Thinking and Decision Making in Agricultural Economics
ANSC 326: Food Bacteriology
CSCE 463: Networks and Distributed Processing
ECON 323: Microeconomic Theory
ENGL 333: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Literatures
FSTC 470: Quality Assurance for the Food Industry
MKTG 321: Marketing
NRSC 101: Neuroscience Overview
PSYC 245: Introduction to Psychological Science Methods
PSYC 304: Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity
SCMT 305: Intermediate Business Statistics
SCMT 364: Operations Management
Change in Courses – Galveston – Passed – FS.39.026
DIVE 250: SCUBA Diving I
MARB 303: Biostatistics
MARS 210: Marine Geography
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.39.027
College of Science
Department of Biology
BA-BIOL: Biology - BA
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.39.028
College of Science
Department of Biology
BS-BIOL: Biology - BS
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.39.029
College of Science
Department of Biology
BS-BMCB: Molecular and Cell Biology - BS
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.39.030
College of Science
Department of Biology
BS-MBIO: Microbiology - BS
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.39.031
College of Science
Department of Statistics
BS-STAT: Statistics - BS
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.39.032
College of Science
Department of Biology
BS-ZOOL: Zoology - BS
Change in Programs – Passed – FS.39.033
College of Science
Department of Biology
MINOR-BIOL: Biology - Minor
Change in Programs – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.39.034
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Liberal Arts
CERT-DIVL: Diversity - Certificate
Change in Programs – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.39.035
College of Science
Department of Science
CERT-CU40: Neuroscience - Certificate
Courses Submitted for W Certification – Passed – FS.39.036
ANTH 489-W: Special Topics in...
COMM 460-W: Communication and Contemporary Issues
ECON 414-W: Health Economics
ECON 470-W: Program Evaluation
STAT 483-W: Interdisciplinary Data Analytics Practicum
Courses Submitted for W Re-Certification – Passed – FS.39.037
NUEN 405-W: Nuclear Engineering Experiments
POSC 406-W: Poultry Further Processing
______________________________End of Consent Agenda_______________________________
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: American History
HIST 106-GE: History of the United States
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Language, Philosophy & Culture
CLAS 221-GE: Intermediate Latin I
FREN 202-GE: Intermediate French II
WGST 200-GE: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Life and Physical Sciences
GEOG 213-GE: Planet Earth Lab
PHYS 226-GE: Physics of Motion Laboratory for the Sciences
Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Social and Behavioral Sciences
ARCH 212-GE: Social and Behavioral Factors in Design
URPN 361-GE: Urban Issues