September 12, 2022

Printable Minutes

TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

September 12, 2022
Via Zoom
The full video recording of the meeting can be accessed on the Faculty Senate website:
Speaker Rice called the fourth meeting of the 40th session to order at 3:02pm.   Due to ongoing social distancing practices resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was conducted via Zoom.
Senator Andrew Klein and Secretary Janice Epstein will be monitoring the raised hand function and will monitor the chat.  Registration function is being used to track attendance.
Senators, I charge you to serve well and faithfully, to discharge your duties diligently, and to uphold the constitution of the Faculty Senate and the academic integrity of Texas A&M University.   Do you accept this obligation?  All new senators accepted and were therefore sworn in.
Colleagues with a new academic year now underway. There are a number of issues I'd like to touch on today in my speaker's comments. First and foremost, is your own good health.  Meetings in recent weeks confirm that Covid is active on campus. I realize there is a strong desire to put the pandemic behind us, but the reality is, it’s still impacting our university.  We even have several senators who successfully dodged Covid for two years only to catch it last month.  So, I urge you to continue exercising care and encouraging students to stay home if they’re ill.  Finally, if you have concerns, please don’t hesitate to communicate them to me.
Students, staff and faculty leadership are meeting regularly with Senior Vice President Greg Hartman for updates on Covid, and I would be happy to relay any issues you have.
Last month, as you all know, we passed a resolution critical of the status of shared governance at our institution.  I wanted to provide an update on what I see as steps in the right direction toward rectifying that.  The week after passing President Banks met with the Executive Committee, and we had a frank discussion about shared governance and our desire to be good partners in the process. 
Two weeks later at her invitation we joined her, and a number of top administrators for a wide-ranging discussion of issues important to faculty.  One example of the outcome of that session is we’re working to reconstitute an Admissions Advisory Committee which will have a significant number of faculty, and which will have an expanded role in advising the administration on a number of issues critical to the recruitment and retention of students.
I recognize that one committee doesn’t solve the problem or one good discussion, but we’ll continue to push for early faculty involvement in all areas, and I think it’s important to note that there are efforts to work together, I hope they will bear fruit. 
Shared governance isn’t just about our interaction with the administration, it’s also about representing faculty in a number of areas.
Later this week we will be sending a call for nominations for university-wide committees.  Such as the Committee on Academic Freedom Responsibility and then the Honor Council.  Please encourage your colleagues in your schools and colleges to consider running for a seat on these critical panels.  It’s another way to make sure shared governance is healthy.
Also, input is another important aspect of shared governance currently on the faculty affairs.  Intricate is the proposal for updating the rule governing the provost selection process and the office is proposing a new university-wide committee on Tenure and Promotion.  Vice President Anan is seeking comments on these proposals by September 23rd.  Please consider providing feedback either directly to Faculty Affairs or to Executive Committee members.
Later in this meeting, we will be discussing and voting on a resolution dealing with senate organization for the remainder of the year.  We did a similar thing when the Health Science Center with its various colleges returned to the university.  We took immediate action to increase the size of the senate and deal with organizational issues to give us time to develop constitutional amendments, approved them and took them to the full senate for a vote.  The effort then and now is to have approved organizational structure in place to protect curricular action such as degree and course approvals.
And finally, a reminder the President Banks will be delivering the State of the University speech on September 28th.  Please if you aren’t teaching that afternoon, take time to watch and hear about her vision for the future of the university.  Bright future is something we all care deeply about.                                
Minutes- Faculty Senate Meeting August 8, 2022, Attachment B Approved as distributed.  FS.40.066
The motion passed to approve the September 12, 2022; Consent Agenda - Approved
Core Curriculum Council Course Report –
Attachment C - Approved FS.40.077

College of Medicine, Department of Primary Care and Population Health proposed name change – Attachments D1    Passed FS.40.078
College of Medicine, Department of Molecule and Cellular Medicine proposed name change – Attachments D2, D3 & D4   Passed FS.40.079
Organizational Resolution – Attachment D5    Approved FS.40.080
Comments by: Senator Catharina Laporte, College of Arts and Sciences, Senator Daniel Jimenez, College of Engineering, Senator Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School, Senator Adam Haney, TAMUG.

 Secretary, Janice Epstein asked if there were any positive issues or items of concern appearing on campus relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Senator Kolasinski, Mays Business School asked about the ACES+ program if it was approved by President Banks.  He also asked if Chancellor Sharp was aware of this program.  Vice President NK Anand responded that the President approved this, but he wasn’t sure if Chancellor Sharp knew about it.
Senator Rajesh Miranda, College of Medicine raised issues regarding transportation issues with no bus service from main campus to the Health Science Center on Hwy 47.  Would like to see bus service.
Senator Jim Rogers, College of Arts and Sciences responded to Senator Miranda. Stating that he is on the Transportation Advisory Committee, and this had been part of their discussion.
Senator Carly-Miles, College of Arts and Sciences raised question about the Covid protocols that are listed on the Faculty Senate homepage.   Vice Provost Tim Scott by way of Speaker Dale Rice said that the protocols would continue for this academic year.
Senator Richard Waer, College of Engineering raised issues with Information Technology (IT) not having the information needed to teach class or not receiving support.   Senator Adam Haney, TAMUG also commented on issues with Canvas.
Senator Debra Ellis commented on how the semester started in the middle of the week which was very disruptive to the way her class and labs are structured.  Secretary Epstein also commented on the difficulty when you teach one day a week and classes start in the middle of the week making things difficult.  Senator Daniel Collins also commented on student exams not being allowed if you teach a certain schedule.  Vice President, NK Anand also commented. Senator Adam Haney also commented on the schedule. Senator Megan Reynolds also raised issues about classes with a lab.  Senator David Bapst raised issues saying that he is for the increased holidays due to daycare issues. Senator Asha Rao responded to all calendar issues saying that her committee did look into these issues. Vice President NK Anand said that the university discussed giving the whole week off for Thanksgiving or extended days off for Christmas.  Senator Robert Korty also mentioned issues with the calendar. Senator Irene Moyna stated that breaks on Friday would be a lot less destructive to the schedule then breaks on Monday.  She also mentioned being required to start the semester a full week before your contract starts is wrong.  Senator Ranjana Mehta also raised issues with international students that are required to attend orientation before they are on payroll and the hardships this may cause.  Speaker Dale Rice stated that one reason for beginning work on the 15th rather than the 1st is because that is when the fiscal year starts.  Senator Hank Walker said that if a student needs to attend mandatory orientation, then they need to be on payroll.  Especially for international students because this could be considered work.
Senator Adam Haney raised an issue on contracts and the fact that Galveston is no longer required to sign a contract.  He also asked if College Station campus were receiving merit pay.  Senator Irene Moyna said that her department didn’t sign contracts either however, with reading the chats it seems that some departments did.  Vice President NK Anand also commented.          Joe Pettibon stated that the allocation of central funds was based on 2% of salary pool.
Senator Beth McNeil commented about the Registrar’s office assigning classrooms that are not conducive for what is being taught in those rooms. Also, some rooms are very outdated still having black chalkboards.  Speaker-Elect Hammond and Joe Pettibone also commented.
Speaker Rice motioned to Adjourn the meeting at 4:23pm. 
Graduate Council
New Courses Proposal – Approved FS.40.067
GEOL 613: Global Tectonics
HISP 681: Seminar
MEEN 700: Robotic Perception
New course Proposal – Approved FS.40.068
MARS 651: Coastal Ecosystem Management and Environmental Planning - Galveston
Change in Course Request – Approved FS.40.069
ECON 685: Directed Studies
INTA 606: International Politics in Theory and Practice
INTA 670: International Affairs Capstone Seminar
MEEN 664: Energy Management in Commercial Buildings
MEEN 665: Application of Energy Management
NUEN 604: Radiation Interactions and Shielding
NUEN 613: Principles of Radiological Safety
NUEN 625: Neutron Transport Theory
NUEN 627: Radiation-Hydrodynamics
NUEN 628: Computational Fluid Dynamics in Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics
NUEN 629: Numerical Methods in Reactor Analysis
NUEN 650: Nuclear Nonproliferation and Arms Control
NUEN 657: Emergency Response Dose Assessment
NUEN 673: Radiation Biology
NUEN 674: Radiation Carcinogenesis
NUEN 675: Internal Dose Techniques
Change in Course Request – Special Consideration – Approved FS.40.070
MARA 689: Special Topics in – Galveston  
Change in Program Request – Approved FS.40.071
College of Engineering
Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering
MEN-SYEN: Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering
Change in Program Request – Approved FS.40.072
Mays Business School
Department of Finance
MS-QFIN: Master of Science in Quantitative Finance
Change in Program – Approved FS.40.073
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics
PHD-BCMB: Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Undergraduate Curriculum
New Course Request – Approved FS.40.074
ECON 419: Personnel Economics
SPMT 455: Research and Writing Culminating Experience
Change in course Request – Approved FS.40.075
BIMS 405: Mammalian Genetics
ECCB 324: Forest Measurements
ECON 470: Data Science for Economic and Social Issues
ENTO 402: Insects In Agriculture
RWFM 400: Study Abroad in Natural Resources
SOCI 214: Social Problems
SPMT 265: Professional Communication for the Sport Industry
Program Change Request – Approved FS.40.076
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
BA-PSYC: Psychology - BA
BS-PSYC: Psychology - BS
CERT-ABEH: Applied Behavioral Health - Certificate
CERT-HLYD: Healthy Development - Certificate
CERT-PSDV: Psychology of Diversity - Certificate
W & C Courses – Nothing to report