The first Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2000-2001 was held in room 3.04.16B, Business Building, on October 24, 2000 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. Patricia Harris, Chair, presiding, Dr. Raul Aranovich, Secretary.
Present: Sos Agaian, Raul Aranovich, Deborah Armstrong, Ron Ayers, Mark Blizard, Russell Briner, Keith Fairchild, Patricia Harris, Wanda Hedrick, Robert Hiromoto, Kellye Jones, Michael Kelly, James McDonald, Louis Mendoza, George Negrete, Sandy Norman, Thomas Ricento, Walter Richardson, Jr., Kent Rush, Deborah Schwartz-Kates, R.K. Smith, Raydel Tullous, Anthony Van Reusen (by Ron Alexander), Arturo Vega, Diane Walz
Absent: Guy Bailey, John Bretting, Ruben Cordova, Mansour El-Kikhia, Jeanne Reesman
Total members present: 25
Total members absent: 5
Dr. Art Vega made a motion to allow Dr. Betty Travis, Chair of the UT System Faculty Advisory Council, to participate in discussions during the meeting. Motion passed.
The survey was designed to determine the perception of non-tenure track faculty in terms of the way they are judged and what criteria are used for merit increase and promotions. The largest percentage of respondents thought that only student evaluations were used to determine their teaching evaluations. An alarming seven percent had no idea how they were being evaluated.
The Committee then began work to develop a tool that could be used to judge and evaluate the effectiveness of the non-tenure track faculty. The Committee wanted something that could be used University-wide but would also be flexible enough to allow variations within the teaching disciplines. They developed a Merit Appraisal Tool called ForMAT. The intent of this tool was to show that everything should funnel into the area of teaching, since the majority of the non-tenure track faculty have teaching as their primary dedication. Many faculty members have experience in research, but essentially want to teach. Several of the criteria used to assess teaching ability are the same criteria that every university uses. Student evaluations are important but the annual report should be ranked above those. In the annual reports, faculty members must include items such as class syllabi and copies of examinations, but can also include anything they feel is appropriate, including research if done.
Classroom effectiveness would be determined by self-assessment, student and peer comments, and teaching methods. Activities enhancing teaching effectiveness, such as workshops attended and advising and mentoring activities, were also included as criteria.
The intent of ForMAT was to describe a process and show things that the Committee felt should be included in the evaluation of non-tenure track faculty. The Committee had determined that some colleges and divisions had not developed guidelines. So they tried to develop something that could be used University-wide with enough flexibility that each teaching discipline could incorporate items needed for its particular discipline.
Dr. Harris thanked the Committee for the presentation and noted that the report raised questions for the Faculty Senate's Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee.
Discussion was held on the following recommendations of Committee:
The Report was amended as indicated above. Dr. Vega made a motion to accept the Report of the Committee as amended. Motion passed.
Dr. Harris noted that the intent of the Committee's report was to identify key questions for study and was not intended to present answers or plans. She suggested that the reaffirmation of the substance of proposed Faculty Senate bylaws be added to the issues.
Dr. Norman said that item would be included. He stated the Faculty Senate would now need to decide who will be tasked with examining these issues and begin to think about how to address the situation.
Dr. Vega reported that the Committee had been charged to consider a method of selection for members of the UTSA Campus Core Committee on the Advancement of Women. The Committee recommends:
Dr. Vega noted that the Committee recommended that the scope of the charge be widened to include gender issues. The Committee also recommends an inclusive process by which any interest groups that might form on campus could address this Committee and give advice. Then, if necessary, focus groups, open to anyone, could be formed to provide input on the issue.
Dr. Van Reusen made a motion to accept the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Selection of Women for the Campus Core Committee on the Advancement of Women. Motion passed.
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