June 14, 2021

Printable Minutes

TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

June 14, 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 first 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 presented the Richard Stadelmann Faculty Senate Service Award posthumously to Senator Thomas Sullivan, who passed away May 10, 2021.
There was no guest speaker.
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.39.001
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 Hank Walker, College of Engineering; Senator Catharina Laporte, College of Liberal Arts, and Senator Tracy Vemulapalli; and Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.  Speaker Rice thanked Dr. Widmer for her ongoing reports.
Speaker Rice began his comments by welcoming Dr. Kathy Banks in her new role of President of Texas A&M University.  He expressed the Senate’s interest in working with the new leaders in her administration, and thanked outgoing cabinet members for their service and willingness to work with the Senate. He thanked Dr. John Junkins for taking on the role of Interim President and for working with faculty on some tough issues.  Speaker Rice then congratulated Steve Oberhelmann of Liberal Arts, a former Speaker of the Faculty Senate, who was appointed to an interim dean position.
Speaker Rice then commented on some Senate issues:
  • He heard from faculty who were concerned about students receiving CD credit for courses taken elsewhere, which was intended to be an interim practice until more CD courses were developed.  He appointed a small task force of Senators representing the Core Curriculum Council and the Academic Affairs Committee to assess progress in this area and report back to the EC at the end of the summer.  Those serving on the task force include Heather Ramsey, College of Science; Tamy Frank-Cannon, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; Janice Epstein, College of Science; and Andrew Klein, College of Geosciences.
  • He thanked Senator Greg Heim, Mays Business School, for admirably representing the Faculty Senate on the SEBAC committee the past three years, and thanked Senator David Earnest, College of Medicine, who has agreed to succeed Dr. Heim in this role. 
  • Last month’s report from the Academic Affairs Committee raised concerns related to the bookstore suggesting course material not approved by faculty.  The Executive Committee would be meeting with a liaison from the bookstore to discuss this issue.
The motion passed to approve the May 10, 2021 minutes as distributed. Attachment B – Passed – FS.39.002
The motion passed to approve the June 14, 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.39.014
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 D – For Informational Review – FS.39.015
Senator Greg Heim, Mays Business School, presented information from the May 2021 SEBAC meeting, found in Attachment D.  Questions were then asked by Senator Hank Walker, College of Engineering; Senator Catharina Laporte, College of Liberal Arts; and Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.
Other Miscellaneous Item
Speaker Rice recognized Catharina Laporte, College of Liberal Arts, who received the inaugural Hullaballo U Instructor of the Year Award. 
Proposed Revisions to Student Rules
Student Rules 1.7 and 1.8        Student Registration – Attachment E – Passed – FS.39.016
Student Rule 24.4.1     Dishonesty – Attachment F – Returned to Student Rules Committee
Student Rule 24.4.5     Hazing – Attachment G – Passed – FS.39.017
Student Rule 24.4.14   Weapons and Explosives – Attachment H – Passed – FS.39.018
Student Rule 57           Undergraduate Academic Appeal Panel – Attachment I – Passed – FS.39.019
Student Rule 59           Graduate Academic Appeal Panel – Attachment J – Passed – FS.39.020
Student Rule 62           First Professional Appeal Panel – Attachment K – Passed – FS.39.021
After much discussion of the revisions to Student Rule 24.4.1 found in Attachment F, the Senate voted to return the rule to the Student Rules & Regulations Committee for further revision.  All other rule revisions were approved.
Proposed Restructuring and Name Change of Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences (College of Agriculture & Life Sciences) – For Informational Review – Attachment L – For Informational Review – FS.39.022
This item was discussed at length, with many Senators feeling the chosen name was vague.  Although the Standard Administrative Procedure (SAP) for restructuring departments only requires that the Faculty Senate provide feedback to the college, a motion was made and the Senate conducted an informal vote on the proposed department name: Experience Management.  72% of those voting registered a negative view of the proposed name change.
Speaker-Elect Patti Smith convened the Committee of the Whole. 
Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences expressed concern over the computer in his classroom rebooting during class time so he was unable to use the computer.  Senator Mark Sicilio, College of Medicine, expressed similar concerns. 
Senator Adam Haney, TAMU Galveston, shared that the link to the minutes on the Faculty Senate website was broken and asked that it be fixed.
Speaker-Elect Smith returned the meeting to Speaker Rice.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:22pm.