September 8, 2014

Faculty Senate Meeting
September 8, 2014
601 Rudder Tower
Present: Louise Abbott, Gamal Akabani, Ergun Akleman, Derya Akleman, Stephen Alton, Carisa Armstrong, Joe Arosh, David Baca, Debjyoti Banerjee, Guy Battle, Michael Benedik, Leonard Bierman, Doug Biggs, Carlos Blanton, Joseph Boutros, Leonard Bright, Edward Brothers, John Buchannan, Christine Budke, Tahir Cagin, John Carhart, Richard Carlson, Jeff Cirillo, William Clark, Greg Cobb, Jonathan Coopersmith, Nathan Crick, Charles Criscione, Joe Dannebaum, Walter Daugherity, Darryl De Ruiter, Nimir Elbashir, Janice Epstein, Margaret Ezell, Jose Fernandez-Solis, Anthony Filippi, David Ford, Tammy Frank-Cannon, Clare Gill, Elsa Gonzalez, Melinda Grant, Ira Greenbaum, Daniel Gomez, Ayeman Hamouda, Julie Harlin, Greg Heim, Kim Quaile Hill, Angie Hill Price, Brian Holland, Shelley Holliday, Alan Honeyman, Richard Hutchinson, Jon (Sean) Jasperson, Daniel Jiminez, Mark Johnson, Kara Jones-Shubert, Andrew Klein, Karen Kubena, Reza Langari, Jason Lindo, Thomas Linton, Wenshe Liu, Charles Long, Igor Lyuksyutov, Clint Magill, June Martin, Beth McNeill, Rajesh Miranda, Miguel Mora-Zacarias, Albert Mulenga, Christine Murray, Bimal Nepal, Bruce Neville, Mohammad Nutan, Lynne Opperman,  Calvin Parnell, Sorin Popescu, Heather Ramsey, Deva Reddy, Dale Rice, Eric Rowell, Karen Russell, Laura Sare, Jorge Seminario, Ergin Sezgin, Robert Shaw, Nancy Simpson, Karen Snowden, Joe Spurlock II, Bob Strawser, Cecilia Tamborindeguy, Winifred Teizer, Gabriela Thornton, Grace Townsend, Kim-Vy Tran, Nancy Turner, Gretchen Tryson, Evan Vestal, Coran Watanabe, Matthew Whiteacre, Jim Woosley, Hongwei Zhao
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Jim Woosley, Speaker of the Senate, at 3:15pm
Guest Speakers
Speaker Comments
Speaker Woosley introduced Kelly Drake as the new Faculty Senate assistant and bid farewell to Diane Bertinetti, the Senate assistant who was leaving College Station.
Swearing in of new Senators
Re-elected and newly elected senators were installed and welcomed to share in the governance of this institution.
Approval of July 14, 2014 Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes – Attachment A
The minutes of the July meeting of the Faculty Senate were approved as submitted.
Consent Agenda
GRADUATE COUNCIL – GC REPORT                                                   
New Course Request – July 3, 2014
Graduate Council Report
PLPA 634              Turfgrass Pathology
Attachment B
Motion Passed
Course Change Request
BIMS 5126           Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research
MATH 662           Seminar in Algebra
MATH 663           Seminar in Analysis
MATH 664           Seminar in Applied Mathematics
MATH 666           Seminar in Geometry
MATH 669           Seminar in Mathematical Biology
PROS 5259           Implant Concepts and Techniques
STAT 615              Stochastic Processes
Attachment C
Motion Passed
Special Consideration
Dwight Look College of Engineering
                     Department of Nuclear Engineering
                          MS in Health Physics
                                Request to discontinue degree
Attachment D
Motion Passed
Consent Agenda
New Course Request – August 7 , 2014
Graduate Council Report
ECMT 673            Economic Analytics
HORT 641             Science of Foods for Health
PLPA 634              Turfgrass Pathology
VTPP 639             Non-Coding RNAs
VTPP 650             Stem Cell Biology
Attachment E
Motion Passed
Course Change Request
BAEN 673             Modeling Small Watersheds
CPSY 602              School Counseling Theories and Techniques
ECON 684            Professional Internship
EDAD 615             School Superintendency
EDAD 651             Education Finance and Economics
EDAD 690             Theory of EDAD Research
EHRD 625             Organization Development & Performance in Human Resource Development
EDAD 628             Research and Publishing in Human Resource Development
Attachment F
Motion Passed
July 11, 2014
New Courses
ISEN 440               Systems Thinking
MSEN 201            Introduction to Materials Science
MSEN 310            Structure of Materials
MSEN 410            Materials Processing
MSEN 420            Polymer Science
MSEN 460            Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials
NRSC 407             Core Ideas in Neuroscience
RPTS 411              Cruise Tourism
VIBS 407               Core Ideas in Neuroscience
VIBS 408               Neuroscience and Religion
Change in Courses
CHEN 204             Elementary Chemical Engineering.
CHEN 313             Chemical Engineering Materials.
CHEN 354             Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics II.
CHEN 414             Chemical Engineering Laboratory I.
CHEN 424             Chemical Engineering Mass Transfer Operations.
Attachment G
Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
                Dwight Look College of Engineering
                      Department of Biomedical Engineering
                            BS in Biomedical Engineering
Attachment H
Motion Passed
Change in Curriculum
                Dwight Look College of Engineering
                      Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
                            BS in Chemical Engineering
Attachment I
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
                College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
                      Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences
                            Certificate in Tourism and Hospitality Management
                                    Request for a new certificate program
Attachment J
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
                Dwight Look College of Engineering
                      Department of Biomedical Engineering
                            Minor in Biomedical Engineering
                                    Request for a new minor
Attachment K
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
                Dwight Look College of Engineering
                      Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
                            Minor in Chemical Engineering
                                    Request for a new minor
Attachment L
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
                Dwight Look College of Engineering
                      Department of Materials Science and Engineering
                            Minor in Materials Science and Engineering
                                    Request for a new minor
Attachment M
Motion Passed
August 8, 2014
New Courses
LBAR 200              Topics in Liberal Arts I
LBAR 400              Topics in Liberal Arts II
RPTS 454              Amazon Field School
VTPB 404             Amazon Field School
WFSC 448            Fish Ecophysiology
WFSC 454            Amazon Field School
Attachment N
Motion Passed
When the consent agenda was introduced, Karen Snowden of Veterinary Medicine said she was concerned about Attachment N and asked that it be withdrawn from the consent agenda. The remainder of the consent agenda was approved as submitted.  Item N was approved as submitted, with an understanding that the graduate courses mentioned in Attachment N must still be approved by the GCC before further consideration before the Senate.
Special Consideration Item
                College of Liberal Arts
                      Certificate in Global Perspectives in Liberal Arts
                            Request for a new certificate program
Attachment O
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
                College of Liberal Arts
                      Department of Sociology
                            Minor in Latina/o and Mexican-American Studies
                                  Request for a new minor
Attachment P
Motion Passed
July 11, 2014
Courses submitted for W certification
BUSN 403            Personal Competencies Assessment
Courses submitted for W re-certification
ECMT 463            Introduction to Econometrics
HLTH 482              Grant Writing in Health
PHYS 491              Undergraduate Research with Writing Credit
Attachment Q
Motion Passed
Core Curriculum Council  
The CCC did not meet in July or August. No report submitted.                                                               
Committees did not meet in July or August. No report submitted.
                __________________________________End of Consent Agenda____________________________________
Informational Items Only
Unfinished Business     
New Business  
The Executive Committee approved the resolution for Summer Degree Candidates on behalf of the Faculty Senate since there was not a Faculty Senate meeting in August.
Proposed Revisions to the Texas A&M Student Rule Change 1
Attachment R
Motion Passed
Proposed Revisions to the Texas A&M Student Rule Change 10
Attachment S
Motion Passed
Proposed Revisions to the Texas A&M Student Rule Change 12
Attachment T
Motion Passed
Proposed Revisions to the Texas A&M Student Rule Change Appendix IX
Attachment U
When Attachment U was considered, Ira Greenbaum of Science questioned item D of Attachment U. He said it suggested that on approval of the president, the whole campus in College Station may be declared nonsmoking property. “Does it extend to airport, Qatar?” he asked. “It’s a tad vague.” Bedford Clark of Liberal Arts, who said he was a smoker, said there was a “spirit of intolerance here.” He moved to table the item, and it was tabled.
Proposed University Calendar for 2015-2016
Attachment V
Motion Failed
When Attachment V was considered, Angie Price of Engineering questioned the holidays in March. Registrar Venesa Heidick said one was spring break and the other was the reading day on the Friday before the Easter holiday.  Clint Magill of Agriculture and Life Sciences asked where it had been discussed in the Student Senate?  Janice Epstein of Science said that with giving students the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, it would be a struggle to get students to come to class on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Dean of Faculties Michael Benedik explained that the days off had been put in place to deal with graduation.  The motion to approve Attachment V failed.
Committee of the Whole
Speaker Woosley called upon Speaker-elect Bob Strawser to take the Senate into Committee of the Whole.
Angie Price of Engineering said “substantial and drastic changes” had been made to the appointments of faculty in the College of Engineering. “We don’t know whether they are justified or not because there was no consultation with the faculty,” she said. No faculty will be permitted to have 12-month appointments under the plan, only nine-month and three-month appointments. “The biggest concern for us is there was no consultation with faculty whatsoever,” Price said. She added there was a huge concern with Engineering faculty that “we’re going down a slippery slope.” She said the Engineering Caucus would be filing an emergency motion on the topic when the formal meeting resumed. Walter Daugherity of Engineering said university rules required that all faculty members receive their annual appointments two weeks after the university budget was approved by Regents. Any changes should be included after appropriate consultation with the faculty member, he said. Twelve-month appointments permitted vacation to be accrued, he noted. “Zero consultation is not appropriate consultation,” he said. Calvin Parnell of Agriculture and Life Sciences said, “Two days of notice is not shared governance. One of the reasons we are on Faculty Senate is to stand up and speak our minds. In my opinion this is not right.” Dean of Faculties Benedik explained that the provost had asked all deans to review the 12-month appointment policy within their colleges. Just under 40 percent of faculty are on 12-month appointments, including those in Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Science, he said.  There always was an intent to have a full discussion, he said, noting the purpose of the change was to stop vacation accrual. He said faculty at the University of Texas or U of Houston do not accrue vacation. The change, he said, would not affect a faculty member’s actual salary.  The driving force, Benedik said, was to make sure that our faculty appointments were compliant with state law. All high-level administrators would be moving off 12-month appointments, he noted, adding that 60 percent of the faculty been doing this for a long time.  Price of Engineering said “our deans are treating themselves differently from faculty.  Why does our faculty get treated differently from everyone else?” Dan Jimenez of Engineering said he had vacation accrual when he was a faculty member at the University of Texas, which allowed him to take off Family Medical Leave Act time when his daughter was born. “This is a benefit they’re taking away,” he said. 
Shifting topics, Claire Gill of Agriculture and Life Sciences said students had approached her about concerns in chemistry. Students in CHEM 111 were only going to lab every other week, she said, asking if they were getting the same level of education as previous students in the course.
Doug Biggs of Geoscience said he would like to hear at the next Faculty Senate meeting about any plans the university had for hiring additional faculty to maintain a favorable student-faculty ratio.
Epstein of Science said she was concerned about the invocation she had heard at the football game. “It made me uncomfortable because I don’t share the same religion as the speaker,” she said.
Biggs of Geoscience asked if there was still a staff hiring freeze. Dean of Faculties Benedik said nothing had changed in regard to the hiring freeze. Colleges must still request permission to fill staff positions at the college level.
Margaret Ezell of Liberal Arts said a series of emails to faculty that day informed them that the Neo email service would be decommissioned on Sept. 23. “Are all sharing in this experience?” she asked.
Andrew Klein of Geoscience made what he said was an observation about nine- vs. 12-month contracts. Over past few years, he said, the university administration has kept pushing deadlines into summer. If faculty members are on nine-month appointments, there is “an expectation we are doing things we are not being paid for,” he said. Len Bierman of Mays said he totally supported the Engineering faculty procedurally. Substantively, he said, it’s very complicated. Faculty who have not taken vacation in three or four years are producing an unfunded liability for their colleges, he noted. Rejesh Miranda of Medicine cautioned against making observations based on individual cases. Twelve-month appointments, he said, should not be taken away summarily. Gamal Akabani of Engineering said he was concerned about the movement of some Engineering faculty to the animal sciences building. “We feel we are being disregarded,” he said, noting he would like to see more transparency in renovation decisions.  Richard Carlson of Geoscience asked whose role it was to review faculty contract decisions. Dean of Faculties Benedik responded it was the provost or dean of faculties. Miranda of Medicine asked, “Is the dean of Engineering a candidate for the presidency?” Lynne Opperman of Dentistry said the Engineering faculty had been treated inappropriately and suggested they could put forward a vote of no confidence in their dean for the manner in which the issue was handled. Price of Engineering replied that the Engineering Caucus intended to call a meeting open to all faculty in the College. “We hope this will divert that and come to an easier resolution,” she said. Allen Honeyman of Dentistry said there had been a “lot of violation of university and system policy here. Did the legal beagles approve this process?”
Klein of Geoscience asked if, given the uncertainty of the presidential search, faculty should ask for a statement on the progress of the search?
With no more business for the Committee of the Whole, Speaker-elect Strawser turned the meeting back over to Woosley. Woosley opened the meeting back up to business. 
Price of Engineering moved that the Senate permit an item on the contractual issue in the College of Engineering for emergency consideration. That motion was granted.
The following resolution then was brought before the Senate:
WHEREAS, the faculty recognize that changes in the terms and conditions of their appointments may be needed, and WHEREAS, such changes require "appropriate consultation" in accordance with University Rule 12.01.99.M2.2.2.4 and the principles of shared governance, and "appropriate consultation" requires time,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate calls on Interim President Hussey to continue vacation accrual for the 2014-2015 fiscal year for all faculty who accrued vacation in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, except as mutually agreed by a faculty member and his or her college, without change to the announced payout of past accrued vacation, in order to provide adequate time for the necessary "appropriate consultation" regarding any changes in the terms and conditions of their appointments that may be needed.
The resolution was approved unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:40pm
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