April 13, 2015

Printable Minutes

Faculty Senate Meeting

April 13, 2015
601 Rudder Tower
In Attendance:  Gamal Akabani, Ergun Akleman, Derya Akleman, Stephen Alton, Carisa Armstrong, Joe Arosh, Raymundo Arroyave, Judith Ball, Debjyoti Banerjee, Guy Battle, Michael Benedik, Leonard Bierman, Doug Biggs, Carlos Blanton, Joseph Boutros, Edward Brothers, Christine Budke, Tahir Cagin, Richard Carlson, Jeff Cirillo, William Clark, Greg Cobb, Jonathan Coopersmith, Walter Daugherity, Nimir Elbashir, Janice Epstein, Margaret Ezell, Jose Fernandez-Solis, Athony Filippi, David Ford, Tamy Frank-Cannon, Gerald Frye, Clare Gill, Daniel Gomez, Elsa Gonzalez, Melinda Grant, Ira Greenbaum, Ayeman Hamouda, Greg Heim, Kim Quaile Hill, Angie Hill Price, Brian Holland, Shelley Holliday, Richard Hutchinson, Jon (Sean) Jasperson, Mark Johnson, Bita Kash, Karen Kubena, Reza Langari, Charles Long, Igor Lyuksyutov, Clint Magill, Vanita Mahajan, June Martin, Catherine McNeal, Beth McNeill, Rajesh Miranda, Leslie Morey, Christine Murray, Bimal Nepal, Bruce Neville, Mohammad Nutan, Calvin Parnell, Sorin Popescu, Heather Ramsey, Deva Reddy, Dale Rice, James Rogers, Eric Rowell, Karen Russell, Laura Sare, Emet Schneiderman, Jorge Seminario, Robert Shaw, Nancy Simpson, Karen Snowden, Joe Spurlock III, Bob Strawser, Cecilia Tamborindeguy, Gabriela Thornton, Grace Townsend, Kim-Vy Tran, Nancy Turner, Gretchen Tyson, Evan Vestal, Coran Watanabe, Mathew Whiteacre, Jim Woosley
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Speaker Jim Woosley at 3:18 p.m.
Guest Speakers
Guest speaker Karan Watson, Provost of Texas A&M University, opened with a discussion of the posting of faculty social security numbers that accompanied information about teaching loads at the university. The information was posted for three weeks, Watson said, and if faculty members’ names were posted, they received an email notifying them. The problem was the result of a new employee who was not properly trained and managers who did not follow the mandated process, she said. Ultimately, the information was accessed by 32 computers, 18 of which belonged to people at A&M. None within the university had downloaded the information, Watson said. University officials reached out to the other 14, who said they had no reason to even look at the part of the report with social security numbers. If A&M employees are attributing all recent identity theft problems with the release of the social security numbers, including fraudulent tax returns, they may not understand the bigger problem, Watson said. About 90 faculty members had fraudulent filings last year or this year, based on information at the time, she said. More than likely, Watson said, other major hacks were responsible. “We are taking care of the bad mistake our employee made, but the bigger problem is the effects of myriad ID theft taking place in different venues,” the provost said, noting the university was providing two years of LifeLock monitoring for those who were affected. In addition, she said, university officials are asking “since we found so many other people dealing with a crime, is this a benefit service we can afford or should provide for everyone?” She said she hopes to soon have an answer whether and how that could be handled. There is an additional problem for staff, who have less flexibility with time than faculty to work on to fix an identity theft problem. “We are working on that as well,” Watson said.
Rajesh Miranda from the College of Medicine, asked if Texas A&M employees are at a higher level of risk because of details about them, such as salaries, that are public.
Watson replied, “I don’t have a strong sense of that.” By the nature of what many faculty post to be helpful – such as cell phone numbers on syllabi – they may have more information posted than many people, she said.  “I’m not sure we are more susceptible, but I am concerned that we need to see what is the trade-off for providing more security,” she said. “This is a growing crime that’s not going to go away.
Ira Greenbaum of the College of Science noted that he was one of the people whose social security number was posted and he had recently received an email from LifeLock that that there had been no fraudulent activity involving him.
Sean Jasperson of Mays Business School asked what other steps might be taken to protect faculty members, such as using numbers other than social security for filing reports.
Watson responded that the breach did not occur because of sending the report to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. It was made because of human error here, she said, adding that if A&M employees had run their own processes, this would not have happened.
The provost then moved to the subject of strategic planning. The state requires A&M to have a strategic plan in place, and the current one ends in 2015. The Faculty Senate and CPI hosted four forums, with faculty offering many suggestions that were both substantive and editorial on a proposed strategic plan. “We would welcome you to keep giving us input,” Watson said, noting that she was going to visit Qatar, the Law School and the Dentistry School to discuss the strategic plan with faculty in those locations. President Michael Young will take office on May1, the provost said, and he is the one who will need to submit a final strategic plan to the chancellor, with the aim to do that in the fall.
Kim Hill of Liberal Arts cited a news story in the Houston Chronicle about anticipated additional expenses dealing with carrying concealed handguns on campus. He asked if A&M had developed any cost estimates and submitted them to state budget writers. Hill also asked the provost if she had any perspective or concerns on cost estimates.
“Our main concern is for human beings and resident halls being one of those areas where we have concerns,” Watson responded. She said that nationally the most suicide-prone group is males 18-24. Currently, the university can restrict concealed carry from buildings, but not the sidewalks of campus. The proposed law would allow 21-year-olds to carry concealed weapons for which they have a permit into our buildings. A second bill that has been filed in the Legislature deals with open carry – where a person would not be required to have a permit. A&M officials have been in consultation with other states that have had the change, she said. One particularly worrisome aspect is to our security and police force. In a rare circumstance in which a campus police officer needed a weapon, they are afraid of coming on the scene and not knowing who the bad guy is, Watson said.
Doug Biggs of Geosciences noted that AAUP had prepared a paper on potential costs.
Speaker Comments
Approval of February 9, 2015 Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes— Attachment B
The minutes of the February 9, 2015, Senate meeting were approved as submitted.
Consent Agenda
GRADUATE COUNCIL – GC REPORT                                                   
New Course Request – February 5, 2015
Graduate Council Report
AGEC 608             Economics of Foreign Intervention, Conflict, and Development
AGEC 642             Dynamic Optimization in Agricultural and Applied Economics
BICH 678              Metal Ions
EPSY 633              Qualitative Research Design and Data Collection
GEOG 634            Hydrology and Environment
ISEN 665               Management of Engineering Systems.
ISEN 670               Theory of Socio-Technical Systems
NUEN 657            Emergency Response Dose Assessment
OCNG 655           Experimental Design and Analysis in Oceanography
VSCS 697              Teaching Anatomy Lab
Attachment B
Motion Passed
Course Change Request
HPCH 670             Seminar in History and Context of Public Health
HPCH 671             Seminar in Public Health Theory
HPCH 672             Seminar in Public Health Interventions
HPCH 673             Seminar in Public Health Evaluation
HPCH 674             Seminar in Social and Behavior Health
HPCH 685             Directed Study
HPCH 686             Directed Research
HPCH 689             Special Topics- Health Promotion & Community Health Science
PHEB 685             Directed Study
PHEB 686             Directed Research
PHEB 689             Special Topics- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
PHEO 685             Directed Study
PHEO 686             Directed Research
PHEO 689             Special Topics- Environmental and Occupational Health
PHPM 685           Directed Study
PHPM 686           Directed Research
PHPM 689           Special Topics- Health Policy and Management
WMHS 601          Applications and Problems in Hydrological Sciences
Attachment C
Motion Passed
GRADUATE COUNCIL – GC REPORT                                                   
New Course Request – March 5, 2015
Graduate Council Report
ACCT 705             Accounting for Business Results
ACCT 710             Accounting for Managerial Decision Making
BIOL 653               Digital Biology
BUAD 700            Value Creation
BUAD 701            Business Collaboration
BUAD 702            Career Management
BUAD 705            Business Communications and Professional Presence
BUAD 710            Ethical Decision Making and Conduct
BUAD 715            International Business Environment
BUAD 720            Integrated Business Experience
EDCI 710               The Hispanic Learner in Urban Settings
ENTO 631             Principles of Integrated Pest Management
FINC 705              Corporate Finance
FINC 710              Entrepreneurial Finance
ISYS 705                Information Management for Decision Making
MGMT 705          Strategic Human Capital
MGMT 710          Crafting Business Strategy
MKTG 705           Market and Customer Insights
MKTG 710           Strategic Marketing Decisions
POLS 673              Seminar in Gender and Politics in Comparative Perspective
SCMT 705            Global Operations
Attachment D
Motion Passed
Course Change Request
MKTG 670           Marketing Leadership 
Attachment E
Motion Passed
Curriculum Change Request
Master of Science in Marketing
Attachment F
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
Department of Public Service and Administration
Executive Master of Public Service and Administration
Proposal for new Master’s Program
Attachment G
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
Mays Business School
Master of Science in Business
Proposal for new Master’s Program
Attachment H
Motion Passed
February 13, 2015
Special Consideration Item
Dwight Look College of Engineering
                BS in Interdisciplinary Engineering
                      Request for a new degree program
Attachment I
Motion Passed
March 13, 2015
New Courses
PHLT 314              Public Health Data Management and Assessment I
PHLT 315              Public Health Data Management and Assessment II
PHLT 333              Accident Investigation
PHLT 334              Fire Safety and Workplace Hazards
PHLT 335              Hazardous Materials
PHLT 416              Public Health Leadership and Ethics
PHLT 441              Strategies for Population Health Improvement
PHLT 445              Population Health Culminating Experience
Attachment J
Motion Passed
Change in Courses
HISP 364       Diversity Lessons from Medieval Spain
HISP 371       Hispanic Religions
RELS 312       Contemplative Practices in the Modern World
RELS 364       Diversity Lessons from Medieval Spain
RELS 371       Hispanic Religions
Attachment K
Motion Passed
Special Consideration Item
School of Public Health
                Department of Public Health Studies
                      Minor in Public Health Studies
                            Request for a new minor
Attachment L
Motion Passed
February 6, 2015
Courses submitted for W certification
EHRD 490             Research in Human Resource Development/Technology Management
PERF 101              Introduction to Performance Studies
POLS 412              International Political Economy
Courses submitted for C certification
PERF 481              Senior Project
Courses submitted for W recertification
SOCI 328              Sociology of the Environment
WGST 200            Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies
Attachment M
Motion Passed
Core Curriculum Council—Report
February 20, 2015
International and Cultural Diversity
MARS 432            Peak Oil, Global Warming and Resource Scarcity (Galveston)
Attachment N
Motion Passed
                __________________________________End of Consent Agenda____________________________________
Planning Committee Report
Doug Biggs, chair of the Planning Committee, reported that the committee had been discussing three areas of interest: shared bicycle, pedestrian and skateboard use of campus sidewalks; attendance at strategic planning forums; and full-class photos of students tied to the Howdy page.
Core Curriculum Council Report on ICD Forums
Dale Rice, co-chair of the Core Curriculum Council, updated the Council’s plans for a new recertification program for all International and Cultural Diversity (ICD) courses. The Council’s timeline includes developing the new certification guidelines by September, holding a series of public meetings on the proposed guidelines in October and bringing the final recommendation to the Faculty Senate in November.
Budget Information Committee Report
Greg Heim, chair of the Budget Information Committee, presented an in-depth report of his committee’s examination of areas of concern, including the evaluation of outsourcing.  (See the attached report for details.)
Informational Review Items
Unfinished Business     
Old Business
New Business
Steven Alton of the Law School moved to table the proposed student rules until the next meeting. The motion was approved.
Proposed Revisions to Student Rule 24
Attachment O
Motion Tabled
Proposed Revisions to Student Rule 26
Attachment P
Motion Tabled
Proposed Revisions to Student Rule 51
Attachment Q
Motion Tabled
Proposed Revisions to Student Rule 58
Attachment R
Motion Tabled
Proposed Revisions to Student Rule Appendix IX
Attachment S
Motion Tabled
Committee of the Whole
Speaker Woosley then turned the meeting over to Speaker-elect Strawser for the Committee of the Whole.
Doug Biggs introduced Wendy Jepson, a faculty member and former senator from Geosciences. Jepson said she was concerned about the university’s plan to use Veterans Park as a park-and-ride location during football games. Provost Watson said that proposal was “off the table.”
Jonathan Coopersmith of Liberal Arts noted that a number of buildings have recycling containers and suggested trying to expand that program across campus to have one container on each floor with a classroom.
Walter Daugherity of Engineering suggested the university should consider several vehicles for improved personal computer security. Best practices for going forward, he said, include encrypting all personal information at rest and having the university continuously checking computers for personally identifiable information.
Speaker-elect Strawser then turned the meeting back over to Speaker Woosley.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.