TAMU Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
September 14, 2020
CALL TO ORDER
Speaker John N. Stallone called the fourth meeting of the 38th
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 Stallone began by reminding Senators of the Zoom features to be used during the meeting, then the newly-elected Senators were sworn in.
The inaugural Faculty Senate Shared Governance Award
, given to administrators who positively impact faculty through their commitment to shared governance, was presented to Provost Carol A. Fierke and her team. Speaker Stallone detailed how the Provost’s team has collectively exemplified the spirit of shared governance throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. He virtually presented a framed certificate to Dr. Fierke and her team, and offered congratulations.
Dr. Fierke thanked the Faculty Senate in return for helping faculty get through this difficult time, and thanked all faculty and staff as well for the enormous amount of work done by all. President Michael K. Young congratulated Dr. Fierke and expressed his gratitude for the relationship between administration and faculty – particularly the Faculty Senate.
Next, the Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Awards
were presented by Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. He detailed how each of the recipients, Dr. Asha Rao, College of Science, and Dr. Claire Katz, College of Liberal Arts, exhibit extraordinary teaching and commitment to students. These professors will carry the title of Presidential Professor for the remainder of their time at Texas A&M University. Both expressed their gratitude for receiving the award.
Speaker Stallone welcomed guest speaker Michael K. Young, President of Texas A&M University. President Young began by again expressing his gratitude to faculty for all they have done in recent months to continue providing high quality education to students. Contrary to concerns about losing student enrollment after the spring semester of online classes, summer enrollment increased by approximately 5000 students. Fall enrollment increased by around 1700 students, and retention increased. This helps to confirm that what faculty, staff, and administration have been doing has been successful.
- Most of the COVID-19 protections put in place have worked well; numbers have begun to stabilize.
- The State has requested a 2.5% budget cut. He explained that in the past the Texas Legislature has requested cuts in both formula funding and statutory tuition, but this year only in formula funding. This will put us in a better position than we might have been. However, declines in revenue from auxiliary units and spring housing refunds have contributed to more precarious finances.
- The President’s Excellence Fund has produced some remarkable research and collaboration. He is very pleased with the rising generation of professors and researchers. About 95% of junior faculty have participated in the grants in one way or another, which points to the mentoring they are receiving from senior faculty.
- The Student Success Initiative continues, contributing to a “healthy uptick” in retention between freshman and sophomore year, especially with historically underrepresented students, which is very encouraging that our goals will be met. Much more needs to be done but the work continues by an excellent team gathered by Provost Fierke.
- Planning has begun on what the spring semester will look like, considering areas of improvement.
- Construction continues apace; design is in process for the new laboratory building which is critical for the campus. The 21st Century Classroom Building, the Dental School in Dallas, and the Student Affairs Building have all opened.
President Young then took questions from the following Senators: Angie Hill Price, College of Engineering; Daniel Jimenez, College of Engineering; Shiren Wang, College of Engineering; Adam Kolasinski, Mays Business School; Dale Rice, College of Liberal Arts; Clint Magill, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and Lou Tassinary, College of Architecture.
President Young ended as he began, with gratitude towards, and pride in, the faculty.
(The full video recording of the meeting can be accessed on the Faculty Senate website: https://facultysenate.tamu.edu/Faculty-Senate-Meeting-Recordings
Speaker Stallone thanked President Young for speaking to the Faculty Senate.
ANNOUNCEMENTSDr. 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 information only)
Beginning this month, 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: Beth McNeill, College of Education & Human Development; Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Catharina Laporte, College of Liberal Arts.
Speaker Stallone announced that Senator and former Speaker Julie Harlin, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, resigned from the Senate on September 1st
to take a position as Assistant Provost in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. This leaves an open seat on the Executive Committee to be filled. A two-week nomination period begins directly following the meeting, with the election occurring during the October Faculty Senate meeting. Nominees cannot be accepted from the Colleges of Engineering and Liberal Arts as, per the Bylaws, the EC already has two representatives from each of those colleges.
Speaker Stallone congratulated faculty for facing the challenges of teaching face-to-face while simultaneously maintaining remote components of courses.
- He shared that administrators such as Chancellor Sharp, Board of Regents Chair Mendoza, President Young, Provost Fierke and her staff, and student leaders have expressed their extreme gratitude for faculty efforts this semester.
- The Executive Committee (EC) will continue to work with administration to get online proctoring application Honorlock in place, while exploring and building other options for the future. Faculty were encouraged to bring concerns to the Senate and EC for review and action.
- Speaker Stallone spoke with Chair Mendoza and Chancellor Sharp about the issue of faculty merit pay increases that were recently rescinded by the Board of Regents, sharing the following with Senators:
Both emphatically expressed their desire that faculty understand that the withdrawal of the merit pay was in no way punitive and did not reflect any negative views about the extraordinary efforts that faculty are making in the classroom this year during the COVID pandemic. The merit pay was only withdrawn out of fiscal caution by the BOR, as there are several unknowns at present regarding the state budget, the impact of COVID on the school year, and whether refunds will be necessary for tuition and/or housing, and the impact of legal actions against the university having to do with on-line classes. There is a merit pay pool which is being held by the chancellor, for TAMU and for all other system schools, and I was assured that it will be released if and when the financial picture is more certain, most likely next semester.
Speaker Stallone closed his comments by wishing faculty success with their classes and continued good health.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The motion passed to approve the August 10, 2020 minutes as distributed. Attachment B – Passed
The motion passed to approve the September 14, 2020 Consent Agenda as presented. Passed
(Full Consent Agenda
with FS #’s can be found under Adjournment
COMMITTEE REPORTSCore Curriculum Council Course Report – Attachment C – Passed – FS.38.103
The motion passed to approve the Core Curriculum Course Report as presented.
(Full CCC Report
can be found under Adjournment
NEW BUSINESSProposed Revisions to Student Rules
Student Rule 1.9.1 (18.104.22.168 & 22.214.171.124)–Undergraduate Degree Plans– Attachment D – Passed – FS.38.104
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Speaker-Elect Dale Rice convened the Committee of the Whole.
Senator Jim Erickson, College of Science, expressed that he was unable to move fast enough to provide comments regarding the just-passed Student Rule 1.9.1. He was concerned about students who miss the deadline to update their degree plan not having any recourse to correct this error. Speaker-Elect Rice suggested the issue could be given to the Academic Affairs Committee who might draft an amendment to the newly-approved rule.
Senator Beth McNeill, College of Education & Human Development, was seeking clarification on the rules for an associate professor to move to a full professor position. Dean of Faculties Blanca Lupiani stated there is a System policy that an Academic Professional Track Faculty (APTF) must be in that role for five years before being considered for promotion to the next rank.
Senator Lou Tassinary, College of Architecture, asked Provost Fierke when the Senate might receive a report from Chief Financial Officer Jerry Strawser, discussed at last month’s Senate meeting, on the impact of not going face-to-face this fall. Dr. Fierke stated that she had asked for this report, and asked Joe Pettibon, Vice President for Enrollment and Academic Services,
if he could follow-up to get this report to the Senate. Dr. Tassinary then asked Dr. Lupiani for further clarification on the question of promotion of APT faculty. She shared the wording of the policy in the chat, confirming what was previously said.
Senator Angie Hill Price, College of Engineering, who serves on the Student Rules committee, commented on the language in Rule 1.9.1 approved under New Business. It was written as such to bring the rule into compliance with new state requirements. She suggested talking to Dean of Student Life Anne Reber and the Registrar’s Office to get more detail on what was required before working on an amendment.
Senator Clint Magill, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, asked when he would learn of his committee assignment. Speaker Stallone stated that committee assignments had been emailed, and would have Betsy Peterson, Executive Assistant to the Faculty Senate, resend that information to all Senators.
Senator Deb Banerjee, College of Engineering, thanked Provost Fierke for creating the COVID-19 dashboard as it has been very helpful. He further wondered if she would be starting her office hours again. Dr. Fierke assured him that she has slots available and that her assistant would send that information out to faculty. She would also consider whether to start up the Coffee with Carol events or if the Open Forums with the President and her this semester are enough opportunities for faculty to get questions answered.
Senator Asha Rao, College of Liberal Arts, had a follow-up question related to the APTF policy on promotion. She wondered if the tenure-track professors can be promoted early, why couldn’t the same be true of APT faculty. DOF Lupiani explained that it is a System policy, not a University policy, but that the issue could be discussed with the System. Provost Fierke suggested taking this issue up with Dr. Hallmark, TAMUS Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Dr. Lupiani further stated that when a faculty member comes with experience in that rank, their experience counts towards their promotion, so there have been some faculty promoted before five years. Speaker-Elect Rice suggested that the EC work with Dr. Lupiani and Dr. Hallmark on this issue.
Speaker-Elect Rice returned the meeting to Speaker Stallone.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:27pm. APPROVED CONSENT AGENDA for September 2020GRADUATE COUNCIL New Courses – Passed – FS.38.078PHSC 611: Drug Delivery and FormulationsPHSC 612: Principles of Drug ActionsPHSC 681: SeminarSTAT 683: Data Science Capstone Change in Courses – Passed – FS.38.079PSAA 617: U.S. State and Local Government: Institutions and Policy UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM COMMITTEE New Courses – Passed – FS.38.080ECON 441: Policy EconomicsITAL 251: Global ItalyPERF 455: Seminar in Gender, Sexuality, and PerformancePERF 456: Seminar in Identity, Intersectionality, and PerformancePERF 457: Seminar in Performance and Technology Change in Courses – Passed – FS.38.081ASTR 102: Observational AstronomyDCED 361: Ballet IIDCED 372: Modern Dance IIDCED 401: Dance PedagogyDCED 405: Career Preparation in DanceDCED 462: Ballet IIIDCED 473: Modern Dance IIIESET 269: Embedded Systems Development in CESET 419: Engineering Technology Capstone IHIST 105: History of the United StatesHLTH 331: Community HealthHLTH 407: Global HealthHLTH 429: Environmental HealthIDIS 330: Sales EngineeringIDIS 340: Manufacturer Distributor RelationsIDIS 344: Distributor Information and Control SystemsIDIS 433: Industrial Sales Force DevelopmentIDIS 434: The Quality Process in DistributionIDIS 444: Ethics and Leadership in DistributionIDIS 450: Analytics for Distribution OperationIDIS 464: Distributor Operations and Financial ManagementINST 362: English as a Second Language Methods IINST 363: English as a Second Language Methods IIITAL 452: Topics in Italian Women and Gender StudiesITAL 453: Literatures of ItalyITAL 455: Italian CinemaITAL 456: Contemporary Italian CulturesKINE 175: Gender Neutral PartneringKINE 201: Pilates ApparatusKINE 260: Movement Lab: Ballet IKINE 271: Movement Lab: Modern Dance IKINE 361: Movement Lab: Ballet IIKINE 372: Movement Lab: Modern Dance IIKINE 462: Movement Lab: Ballet IIIKINE 473: Movement Lab: Modern Dance IIIMMET 105: Engineering GraphicsMUSC 381: Small EnsemblesNRSC 101: Neuroscience OverviewPERF 200: Introduction to World TheatrePERF 325: Dance in World CulturesPHLT 309: Population Health PromotionPHLT 330: The Environment and Public HealthRELS 420: Religion and the Environment Change in Courses – Galveston – Passed – FS.38.082MARB 101: Succeeding in ScienceOCEN 362: HydromechanicsOCEN 406: Capstone Design I Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.083College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 209: Global Musicianship Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.084College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 214: Perspectives on World Music Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.085College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 215: Fieldwork in World Music Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.086College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 227: Popular Music of India Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.087College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 245: Composition I Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.088College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 255: Keyboard Instruction Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.089College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 281: Ensemble Performance--Small Ensembles Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.090College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesMUSC 355: Individual Performance—Keyboard II Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.091College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesPERF 202: Introduction to Performance Technology Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.092College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism SciencesRPTS 423: Tourism Management Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.093College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesTHAR 102: Text and Performance Analysis Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.094College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesTHAR 155: History of Western Dress Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.095College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesTHAR 420: Directing Live Performance Change in Courses – Inactivation Proposal – Passed – FS.38.096College of Liberal Arts
Department of Performance StudiesTHAR 435: New Technology for Performance Design Change in Programs – Passed – FS.38.097College of Education & Human Development
Department of Educational PsychologyBS-EDUC-BLE: Education - BS, Bilingual Education EC-6 Change in Programs – Passed – FS.38.098College of Education & Human Development
Department of Educational PsychologyBS-EDUC-ESP: Education - BS, Special Education EC-12 Miscellaneous: Bulk/Mass Prefix Change – Passed – FS.38.099College of Education & Human Development
Department of Performance StudiesUndergraduate Courses MUSC/THAR to PERF W&C COURSES Courses Submitted for C Certification – Passed – FS.38.100CHEM 481-C: Seminar Courses Submitted for C Certification – Galveston – Passed – FS.38.101MART 410-C: Integrated Navigation III: Bridge Watchstanding Courses Submitted for W Certification – Passed – FS.38.102BIOL 401-W: Critical Writing in BiologyBIOL 495-W: Biology Capstone: Research Communication in the Life SciencesRPTS 403-W: Financing and Marketing Recreation, Park and Tourism Resources ______________________________End of Consent Agenda____________________________________ CORE CURRICULUM COUNCIL COURSE REPORT – Attachment C – Passed – FS.38.103Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Creative ArtsARCH 250-GE: Survey of World Architecture History II Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Language, Philosophy & CultureSPAN 201-GE: Intermediate Spanish I Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Life & Physical SciencesHORT 201-GE: Horticultural Science and Practices Recertification for Foundational Component Area: Social & Behavioral SciencesHLTH 236-GE: Introduction to Health Disparities and Diversity New Courses – International and Cultural Diversity ITAL 251-ICD: Global Italy