Faculty Senate Meeting
September 12, 2016
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:18pm.
Guest SpeakersMichael K. Young, President- Welcome
President Michael Young joined the faculty senate meeting to discuss briefly the state of the university. In his comments about the upcoming year he indicated that there is a good entering class, that we are second in the nation for the number of merit scholars, we had a robust applicant pool, and that with our student body increasingly reflects what the state looks like 25% Hispanic. Our recruiting efforts are helping students find pathways to the university. And we help satisfy our land-grant mission with slightly over 25% first generation students.
With regard to the size and growth of the university, we still have a fair amount of work to do to determine what the optimal size of the university should be. As a result, we are putting a soft cap on the freshman students by way of limiting the number of the entering class and the transfer students.
This will help put a pause on the growth of the university and allow us to ascertain our classroom inventory, lab space, student-teacher ratio, which varies from college to college and department to department. When we do this, we will have a better idea of how to deploy our resources and correct deficiencies. Both the Board of Regents and the Chancellor agree that this is an appropriate tack for us to take.
Young discussed the Engineering medical school initiative with fall 2017 to have the first entering class. The aim is to develop a curriculum that integrates engineering and medicine with 50 out of 200 students on this track. The question is how do we collaborate on research projects related to this area?
Second, we need to have/continue transformative learning experiences for our students where students will claim not only competency but also innovation and problem solving skills. We need to develop other transformative intellectual experiences
President Young discussed Vision 2030 and the need to move all depts. and all colleges to the next level however we define that. The committee for 2030 will have a broadly representative group of faculty, which will outline goals and ambitions and visions. These will be paired with fundraising opportunities
The university will engage in at least two administrative searches this year: Provost and Dean of Geosciences.
This year is an off year for the legislative session. During the last session we played offense. We will play defense this session. The budget projections are dismal and they keep going downward. It projects to a 4% cut across the university. Cutting our unfunded mandates would be devastating to the university. He affirmed that this is not what Texas research universities aspire to.
He has heard very little about any additional leg. about concealed weapons
He closed his comments by saying that he would like to visit every dept. and if possible attend a faculty meeting. His comments were followed by a brief question and answer period:
Kim Hill (CLA): asked about “Bricks and Mortar.” The general landscape is being transformed with more development, student housing, traffic patterns and so forth. Is the university thinking about the larger environment?
Pres. Young: Facilities deserve more attention and this requires us to redo the campus master plan with an idea to looking at the campus and being more academically intentional: more green space, move cars to the periphery, more bus routes, and bus routes that connect the campus to the community.
Clint MaGill, College of Agriculture, Where will the modular buildings for student services?
President Young: We need to do more thinking about spatial engagement.
We have a significant need for classrooms of a certain size: those that not very large but rather moderately large to medium size. Cain hall might work for that However, if you do that, it’s not compatible with student services—which should be on the first floor. There are privacy issues. Bizell is another option but whether this is where it will wind up will depend on a series of factors: footprint, cost, etc
Stephen Miller, CLA—Two things that ten years ago we could not have imagined: Carrying of fire arms and post tenure review. What is your thinking about post tenure review?
Pres Young: I was just handed this document—the Texas educational code on Post Tenure Review. I think it is probably flawed in certain respects and probably ignored in other respects. If we can think through the flaws, it might not be so ignored. It is not intended to be punitive as in “We’re going to weed out the bad apples.” Not the way it is best viewed. To the extent it is used this way, it will fail. Rather, we should view this process as asking us to consider the following: what can we do as an institution to really do what they came here to do?
Mark Sicilio College of Medicine, We have more mental health issues among many of the students. How would you like to see this addressed?
President Young: Mental health issue more complicated. We have more students who have challenges. We have an increasingly competitive academic student body which includes higher stress levels. Additionally, students who are used to more pharmacological inventions to get through high school and who might not have been able to get through high schools, cannot do this on their own in college. It is harder to maintain the regime. This is a three-fold problem—we need to get enough counselors, get students referred and get students to engage the help.
The EC of the Faculty Senate made a Presentation of the Ring Day print to President Young.Ann Kenimer, the Pedagogy Project
Our second speaker was Ann Kenimar, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies, who spoke about the Pedagogy Project, an initiative that ties into President Young’s interest in transformational learning.
Why the Pedagogy Project? Dr. Kenimar affirmed that we do a pretty good job with the retention of students but many students are retained at only 84%.
She is hoping to generate excitement about looking at different pedagogical experiences for students so that they can become more engaged and excited about their learning.
If they are engaged/motivated that they will be more successful. Students who are successful are more likely to complete their degree
Programming for the pedagogy project will focus on 100 and 200 level courses. She wants people to feel free to try different styles of teaching.
For more information, faculty can contact her directly by email: email@example.com
Trey Jones, College of Education, how will this work with CTE?
Dr. Kenimar indicated she had already visited with Deb Fowler (CTE) and they anticipate an alignment of things that will intersect. They believe there will be a synergy between existing and new programs
Andrew Klein, College of Geosciences, how do we do this in particular kinds of classes that we have, e.g., large classes?
Dr. Kenimar: We need to work closely with faculty so that we can provide examples for faculty in these different kinds of classes.
The re-elected and newly elected faculty Senators who were present at the meeting were sworn in.
Speaker Bierman is holding office hours each Friday from 2-5pm in YMCA 205. The Faculty Senate website has been updated and reflects the new Senators. Speaker Bierman thanked the Dean of Faculties Office for their work on the Voluntary Separation Program and then he provided information about eligibility etc. for the program. Vice Provost Benedik clarified that the rules are different for each college and some of the factors of consideration for approval include longevity, how much money each college has, and rank of those requesting separation. He clarified that until the dollar limit for the college has been hit, anyone who applies for voluntary separation should be approved. When the number of applicants exceeds the dollar amount, then they will be selective. Those faculty who are approved are selected by the Provost potentially using reverse productivity. There have been a good pool of people who have applied, but not near the number of people who are eligible. Kim Hill from Liberal Arts questioned the reverse productivity as a means for selection stating that it seems to reward people who haven’t been doing as well as opposed to those who have been doing well in terms of the university. This in in the interest of retention per the Vice Provost. Melinda Grant asked why this is not being offered to non-tenure track faculty. Dr. Benedik responded that non-tenure track faculty have shorter contracts and it doesn’t apply. Richard Carlson, College of Geosciences, asked if the criteria are posted and Dr. Benedik directed faculty to the Dean of Faculties website. Jim Woosley, College of Education, understands why deans would want flexibility with tenure track faculty, but staff do not have tenure. Dr. Benedik indicated that staff separation does not come under the Provost Office.
Speaker Bierman said that the Senate will not be voting on Post-Tenure Review today. There were four faculty forums in the spring, but faculty seem more focused on it now. The six year post tenure review is required by the state 51.942 and applies to all state universities. Dean of Faculties, Dr. John August, said he received good feedback with focused concerns including the needs improvement and restructuring so it’s not portrayed as a negative document. In the next 24 hours, a revised document with some additional safeguards should be available. We believe this is not a fair document. Dr. August indicated that the purpose is to assess if faculty are meeting the expectations of a tenured faculty member and are we maintaining the productivity of tenured faculty. Language is modified in the first paragraph to be more positive. Additionally, rank categories do not have to match the categories of an annual review. Dr. Fernandez-Solis asked how the vote would work. Speaker-Elect Price indicated it would be a majority vote. Dr. August said the vote would happen soon as we don’t want to delay the process much longer. Speaker Bierman said this will have to move on to the implementation phase.
Speaker Bierman thanked the Core Curriculum Committee for their work on International and Cultural Diversity requirements.
Speaker Bierman introduced Paul Batista, SEC Faculty Athletic Representative. Mr. Batista indicated that there are tensions between athletics and academics but it’s his job to protect student athletes and ensure they are being treated as they should both academically and athletically, to represent faculty with regard to the athletic department, and to monitor with the compliance departments to ensure that we act accordingly with the SEC and NCAA standards and bylaws. He also is tasked with making sure we act in accordance with the six core principles. If faculty wish to contact him, he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, Speaker Bierman reminded all faculty about the reception immediately following the meeting in the University Club (11th
Floor Rudder Tower).
Approval of August 8, 2016 Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
The minutes were approved as distributed.
Consent AgendaGRADUATE COUNCIL – GC REPORTJuly 2016New Course Requests
ENTO 426 Methods in Vector-Borne Disease Ecology
ENTO 626 Methods in Vector-Borne Disease Ecology
MGMT 629 Financial Analysis Modeling in HR
MGMT 657 Entrepreneurship: The Lean Startup Approach
SCMT 650 Applied predictive Analytics for Business
SCSC 644 Physiological Basis of Crop Improvement
SOCI 610 Reproduction, Birth, and power
VIBS 426 Methods in Vector-Borne Disease Ecology
VIBS 626 Methods in Vector-Borne Disease Ecology
WGST 610 Reproduction, Birth, and PowerAttachment BFS.34.51Motion PassedCourse Change Requests
SCSC 634 Regulatory Science Principles
SPED 630 Early Literacy for Students with Diverse Instructional NeedsAttachment CFS.34.52Motion PassedUNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE – UCC REPORT New Courses—August 5, 2016
CHEM 220 Physics and Chemistry of Inorganic Materials
CHEM 468 Materials Chemistry of Inorganic Materials
CHEN 456 Advanced Chemical Process Optimization I
ENTO 426 Methods in Vector-Borne Disease Ecology
MKTG 336 Managing Business to Business Relationships
SCSC 406 Soil and Water Microbiology Laboratory
SCSC 411 Biotechnology for Crop Improvement
SOCI 410 Reproduction, Birth and Power
VIBS 426 Methods in Vector-Borne Disease Ecology
WGST 410 Reproduction, Birth and Power
MARS 456 Coastal Water Policy
MART 208 Maritime MeteorologyAttachment DFS.34.53Motion Passed Change in Courses-
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Entomology, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, Department of Poultry Science and Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
ENTO 285, ENTO 485, FIVS 285, FIVS 485, BICH 291, BICH 491,
GENE 291, GENE 491, POSC 484, SCSC 485 – include zero credit hours
ATMO 326 Environmental Atmospheric Science
CSCE 312 Computer Organization
CSCE 314 Programming Languages
CSCE 420 Artificial Intelligence
CSCE 436 Computer-Human Interaction
CSCE 441 Computer Graphics
CSCE 463 Networks and Distributed Processing
FINC 351 Investment Analysis
FINC 361 Managerial Finance I
MKTG 436 Sales Management
PETE 435 Technical Presentations II
PETE 437 Senior Student Paper Contest.
SCSC 405 Soil and Water MicrobiologyAttachment EFS.34.54Motion Passed Change in Curriculum
Mays Business School
Department of Finance
BBA in FinanceAttachment FFS.34.55Motion Passed Texas A&M University at GalvestonNew Courses
MARS 456 Coastal Water Policy
MART 208 Martime Meteorology Attachment GFS.34.56Motion Passed Texas A&M University at GalvestonChange in Courses
MARA 205 Introduction to Ships and Shipping
MART 103 Basic Safety and Lifeboatman Training
MART 200 Basic Communications, Navigation and Seamanship
MART 201 Naval Architecture I
MART 202 Naval Architecture II
MART 203 Seamanship I
MART 204 Terrestrial Navigation
MART 205 Marine Surveying
MART 300 Intermediate Communications, Navigation and Seamanship
MART 301 Seamanship II
MART 303 Celestial Navigation
MART 304 Electronic Navigation
MART 306 Radar/ARPA/ECDIS
MART 307 Global Maritime Distress Safety System
MART 308 Fast Rescue Craft
MART 309 Advanced Topics in Shipboard Operations
MART 311 Tug and Towing Operations
MART 312 Marine Cargo Operations I
MART 321 Maritime Law I
MART 350 Commercial Cruise Internship
MART 400 Advanced Communications, Navigation and Seamanship
MART 401 Maritime Security
MART 404 The Navigator
MART 406 Marine Cargo Operations II
MART 407 Liquefied Gas Tankers
MART 410 Bridge Watchstanding
MAST 425 Thesis and Technical WritingAttachment HFS.34.57Motion Passed Texas A&M University at GalvestonChange in Curriculum
Department of Marine Biology
BS in Marine Biology – License OptionAttachment IFS.34.58Motion Passed Texas A&M University at GalvestonChange in Curriculum
Department of Marine Sciences
BS in Marine Sciences – License OptionAttachment JFS.34.59Motion Passed Texas A&M University at GalvestonChange in Curriculum
Department of Marine Transportation
BS in Marine TransportationAttachment KFS.34.60Motion Passed Texas A&M University at GalvestonChange in Curriculum
Department of Maritime Administration
BS in Maritime AdministrationAttachment LFS.34.61Motion Passed Texas A&M University at GalvestonChange in Curriculum
Department of Maritime Administration
BS in Maritime Administration and MMAL in Maritime Administration and Logistics – 3+2 ProgramAttachment MFS.34.62Motion Passed Special Consideration College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
Minor in Plant Breeding
Request for a new minorAttachment NFS.34.63Motion Passed W-COURSES – August 5, 2016 Courses submitted for W certification
RELS 312 Contemplative Practices in the Modern WorldCourses submitted for W recertification
ATMO 459 Tropical Meteorology
BIOL 401 Critical Writing in Biology
ECON 449 Economics of Decision-Making and Strategy
POLS/WGST 367 Women in Government around the World
RPTS 403 Financial and Marketing Recreation, Park and Tourism Services
VIST 201 Writing for Design Courses submitted for C recertification
NUTR 481 Seminar in Nutrition and Food SciencesAttachment OFS.34.64Motion Passed
__________________________________End of Consent Agenda____________________________________
Informational Review Items
SOCI/WGST 410 and SOCI/WGST 610: Senator Clark from the College of Liberal Arts pulled these items from the consent agenda stating he had a problem with the word “power”. It’s a red flag for many of us. The word is ideologically loaded. The course is ideological and she is teaching this course in an ideological way. I do not want to accuse the faculty member or the department of bad faith, but the interesting thing here is that so many people operate on assumptions that blind them to the broader issues. The reading list made me feel kind of threatened. It’s indoctrination. Senator Katz from Liberal Arts spoke in favor of the courses erring on the side of academic freedom- we do not know nor can we assume to know what the professor is doing in her class. Any book can be used for ideological reasons but it depends on how you teach. I agree that dogma is not the same as education, but you are making a lot of assumptions without knowing what is going on in the classroom. You should judge the class based on the syllabus and the syllabus is acceptable. Vice Provost Benedik said at first thought on of the books in question is not a required text, but upon further research, it is required. Speaker-Elect Price moved to vote. Votes were in favor of approving the courses.
For Review/Discussion (to be voted upon at next meeting)
Committee of the Whole
Speaker Bierman called upon Speaker-Elect Price to take the Senate into the Committee of the Whole.
Melinda Grant, College of Education, discussed excused absences and asked if we could have a less cumbersome approach to excuses. More specifically, it was asked that we have a bonafide excuses policy. The honor system works if we have a system to verify it. We were not made aware of the change to Beutel’s policy regarding absence notes. WE found out about it from a third party and then located the information at the bottom of the Beutel website. Bob Strawser, Mays Business School, admitted to being the person who referred to the honor system. This rule has been sent back to the Student Rules & Regulations Committee for further review and revisions.
Speaker-Elect Price returned the meeting to Speaker Bierman.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:52pm.