OF MAY 7, 2002

The fourth Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2001-2002 was held in room 4.03.12, Regents Room, on May 7, 2002 at 3:30 p.m. in the John Peace Library with Dr. Ronald Ayers, Chair, presiding, Dr. Thomas Ricento, Secretary.

I. Call to order and taking of attendance

Present: Ron Ayers, Steven Boyd, John Bretting, Jan Clark, Mansour El-Kikhia, Ni He, Michael F. Kelly, Melvin Laracey, Rafael Lopez-Mobilia, Raquel Marquez, Kenneth Masden, James McDonald, George Negrete, Frank Pino, Thomas Ricento, A.C. Rogers, John Rundin, Kent Rush, Ron Rutherford, Michael Ryan, Woodie Spivey, Minghe Sun, Weining Zhang

Absent: Deborah Armstrong, Guy Bailey, Fred Bonner, Felecia Briscoe, Stephen Brown, Ruben Cordova, Dorothy Flannagan, Vic Heller, Paul Jacobs, G.V.S. Raju, Walter Richardson, Jr., Todd Ryska, Deborah Schwartz-Kates, C.S. Shih, Kenton Wilkinson

Total members present: 23 Total members absent: 15

Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia made a motion to move Item IV, Election of Faculty Senate Chair for 2002-2003 to Item II. Motion approved (revised agenda attached to and made a part of the minutes).

II. Election of Faculty Senate Chair for 2002-2003 - Dr. Ronald Ayers

Dr. John Bretting said the Nominating and Elections Committee should have met to develop a ballot for the election. Dr. Thomas Ricento agreed there should be a mechanism in place to conduct special elections, but since there is nothing in the current bylaws the election should take place using parliamentary procedures. Dr. Bretting made a motion to empower the Senate Chair to conduct the election from the floor. Motion approved. Dr. Ayers said there were two of the three candidates and a designee of the third candidate present. Each was allowed five minutes to speak about their candidacy.

- Dr. Stephen Boyd said he was very interested in the position and eager to serve. He has no preset agenda but would consult with the Senate of what issues should be addressed. He sees the role of the Chair as an expeditor without a personal agenda.

- On behalf of Dr. Vic Heller, Dr. Thomas Cannon said the Senate should focus primarily on four major issues: workload, teaching evaluations, merit, and periodic performance evaluations. This would be accomplished through ad hoc committees, who would be asked to get as much faculty-wide input as possible before any recommendations are developed. Secondary issues include the grievance policy, bylaws, budget policy, and the Handbook of Operating Procedures.

- Dr. James McDonald said his approach would be to provide standing and ad hoc committees with defined, achievable tasks. Continuing issues include bylaws, workload, assessment of the new course instructor survey (IDEA), administrator evaluations, merit, periodic performance evaluation, policies and procedures, and laboratory space.

Dr. Ayers proposed conducting the election by sending out a paper ballot with a deadline of May 17th. The ballot would include the e-mail address of each candidate so Senators could ask questions. Dr. Boyd made a motion to complete the election process at the meeting. Motion approved. A majority of the votes went to Dr. Boyd and Dr. McDonald. A runoff was held and Dr. McDonald was elected Faculty Senate Chair for 2002-2003.

III. University Curriculum Committee - Professor A. C. Rogers

The University Curriculum Committee recommends approval of a Nonsubstantive Program Proposal for a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences. APPROVED

The University Curriculum Committee recommends approval of a Nonsubstantive Program Proposal to add an Option in Communities, Families, and Children to the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mexican American Studies. APPROVED

Dr. Jan Clark made a motion to move Item VI. Graduate Catalog Consent Calendar to Item IV. Motion approved.

IV. Graduate Council Consent Calendar - Recommend approval of revision to 2003-2005 Graduate Catalog. APPROVED
V. Ad Hoc Committee on International Programs - Dr. James McDonald

Dr. McDonald presented the summary report of the committee (copy attached and made a part of these minutes). He noted that the report was developed after assessing faculty responses to the committee's December 2001 report. Dr. McDonald reported that the Office of International Programs is now fully reconstituted and a search for a director is being conducted. This office will address both faculty and student concerns.

VI. Domestic Partners Benefits - Dr. John Rundin

Dr. Rundin proposed the adoption of a resolution on the issue of Domestic Partners Benefits. Discussion was held which resulted in revision as indicated in the final resolution:

The University of Texas has a non-discrimination policy with regard to sexual orientation, yet the current lack of domestic partner benefits in University benefit packages constitutes an employment inequity for those with same-sex partners.

One hundred sixty-three Fortune 500 companies, one hundred thirty-eight state and local governments, and one hundred and sixty-five institutions of higher learning now offer such benefits. They find them an inexpensive and cost-effective way of recruiting and retaining employees. The University of Texas is may therefore be put at a hiring disadvantage even though the insurance benefits that the University offers are explicitly intended, by statute (Texas Insurance Code Article 3.50-3), to make the University a competitive employer.

Accordingly, the Faculty Senate of the University of Texas at San Antonio resolves to request that the University of Texas at San Antonio administration discuss this issue with other University of Texas administrative units and educate inform the Board of Regents, the Administrative Council for the Texas State College and University Employees Uniform Insurance Benefits Program (established by Texas Insurance Code Article 3.50-3, sec. 4) and other state officials as appropriate about this deficit in University of Texas compensation packages.

Motion made to approve the resolution. Motion approved.

VII. Meeting adjourned

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Last updated Aug. 29, 2005