The fifth regular meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2006-2007 was held February 8, 2007 at 3:30 p.m. in the University Room (BB 2.06.04) with Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia, Chair, presiding.
Present: Diane Abdo, Thad Bartlett, Rena Bizios, Rajendra Boppana, Lorenzo Brancaleon, Aaron Cassill, Mansour El-Kikhia, MaryEllen Garcia, Kirsten Gardner, Timothy Goles, Heather Hill, Amy Jasperson, Eduardo Jimenez, Eugene John, Craig Jordan, Paul LeBlanc, John McCray, Patricia McGee, Jolyn Mikow, Sandy Norman, Elizabeth Pate, Debajyoti Paul, Dianne Rahm, Thomas Ricento, Cherylon Robinson, Mariela Rodriguez, Ron Rutherford, Michael Ryan, Rocky Shih, L.J. Shrum, John Simonis, Raydel Tullous, Judith Walmsley, Karen Williams, Wan Yao.
Absent: Mark Allen, Rosalie Ambrosino (excused), Ron Binks (excused), David Bruenger, John Byrd (excused), Fengxin Chen, Juanita Firestone (excused), Melody Lo (excused), Steve Murdock, Robert Renthal (excused), Nestor Sanchez, Jon Thompson, Judith Walmsley (excused).
Total members present: 35
Total members absent: 13
Dr. El-Kikhia reported on concerns regarding merit pay in the College of Sciences. He noted that the issues of merit pay lie mainly within the administration of the merit, not within the College of Sciences. He assured Faculty Senators that he would have a full report regarding merit pay at the next meeting.
Dr. El-Kikhia also suggested that an IT Committee be created through the Faculty Senate to work with problems such as software site licensing issues at UTSA.
Dr. Norman reported on past issues brought up at the University
Assembly meeting. He informed Faculty Senators that recent construction on campus has caused faculty and students to have parking issues. He noted that the administration should be pushed to resolve this problem.
Dr. Norman also reported that Dr. Romo suggested creating a community-wide initiative to gain additional funding for the library.
In reference to the library, Dr. El-Kikhia noted that the fourth floor of the John Peace Library Building will be vacated so that the library can be expanded. Staff currently housed on the fourth floor of the JPL may be moved to the Multidisciplinary Studies Building.
Dr. Chia Shih suggested funding for a satellite library housed in the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math building. Dr. El-Kikhia agreed, and will send a request to Dr. Romo regarding satellite libraries in each building, as well as faculty access to electronic resources in the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center.
Dr. El-Kikhia also noted that he will search for the initial library report developed in 2000.
Ad Hoc Committee on Periodic Performance Evaluation – Dr. Cherylon Robinson
Dr. Robinson reported on the committee’s efforts to research all Periodic Performance Evaluation policies within the UT System. She noted that only three schools in the UT System referenced alternatives to the PPE review. These schools are The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas Pan Am, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Many of the other schools, including The University of Texas at El Paso call for a third provision which allows for remedial efforts. Dr. Robinson suggested to Faculty Senators that UTSA adopt a third alternative to the PPE review policy that closely mirrors that of UT El Paso. This third alternative implies more protection for faculty, and suggests utilizing a timetable for improvement based on recommendations of the faculty member’s department and college committees.
A motion was made that the Ad Hoc Committee on Periodic Performance Evaluation delay the addition of the third PPE review policy alternative until final wording regarding PPE policies is received from the System Faculty Advisory Council.
Motion made, seconded, and approved.
Professor Lewis discussed the prospect of designing the Faculty Center. He noted that this project has become a studio project in which a selection of College of Architecture students will participate in developing the center. Professor Lewis reminded Faculty Senators to fill out the questionnaire being sent out by his students so that they will be able to obtain recommendations from faculty regarding the center. Professor Lewis also noted that the area between the Main Building and the Arts Building has been targeted and approved for development of the Faculty Center.
Dr. Rocky Shih mentioned that select students from the College of Engineering will be in charge of creating the engineering design for the Faculty Center.
Professor Lewis explained that his students are currently looking into parking issues, creating housing for off-campus guests, and designing the Faculty Center with green building aspects in mind. He also noted that although the budget is formulaic at this point, the threshold may be about $300.00 per square foot.
Mr. Porter brought the Student Bill of Rights forth for faculty discussion. He noted that many of the items present on the Bill of Rights have been taken directly from the Student Handbook. The Student Bill of Rights was created so that students would have a clear, more easily attainable list of rights. Mr. Porter also noted that these rights were passed through the Student Government Association, but that he was seeking faculty approval so that the rights could be published for students.
Several Faculty Senators noted problematic issues with the document including plagiarism, unclear meanings and definitions, lack of responsibility present on the students’ part, and connotations of a political agenda.
The following motions were made and seconded: