The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2007-2008 was held February 14, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. in the Assembly Room (JPL 4.03.08) with Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia, Chair, presiding.

  1. Call to order and taking of attendance
  2. Present:  Diane Abdo, Mark Allen, Karen Bhanot, Ron Brinks, Rena Bizios, Rajendra Boppana, Lorenzo Brancaleon, Susan Bruenger, Fengxin Chen, Sara Deturk, Mansour El-Kikhia, Juanita Firestone, Margaret Flores, Mary Ellen Garcia, Rhonda Gonzales, Amy Jasperson, Eugene John, Jim Dykes, John McCray, Patricia McGee, Jolyn Mikow, Ashwani Monga,  Sandy Norman, Debajyoti Paul, Dianne Rahm, Robert Renthal, Cherylon Robinson, Michael Ryan, Rocky Shih, Alan Shoho, John Simonis, Howard Smith, Raydel Tullous, Judith Walmsley, Karen Williams, Wan Yao

    Absent:  Marian Aitches, Thad Bartlett, John Byrd, Aaron Cassill, Timothy Goles, Craig Jordan, Melvin Laracey, Melody Lo, William McCrary, Nestor Sanchez, Ted Skekel, Jon Thompson, Mary Zey

    Guests:  David Thompson, Jim Dykes, Jule Nordhaus 

    Total members present: 37
    Total members absent:  13

  3. Approval of minutes of December 13, 2007.
  4. Reports
    1. Senate Chair – Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia
    2. Dr. El-Kikhia announced that Lisa Esparza, Administrative Associate I has taken another job and that Jule Nordhaus, Administrative Associate II from the President’s office, would be acting as the interim assistant to the Faculty Senate until someone can be hired.  The larger problem is that the position is part-time with no benefits and it is hard to keep someone in the position.

      He reported that Patricia McGhee suggested the Faculty Senate use Rowdy Space to post all information relating to Faculty Senate instead of e-mailing.   

      He also reported that Betty Travis, the Grievance Committee chair, said that some of the faculty on this committee are now not willing to serve.   

    3. Secretary of the General Faculty – Dr. Sandy Norman
    4. Dr. Norman reported that the Conflict of  Interest document is a questionable document. The administration has inserted it into the HOP without Faculty Senate approval.

      He also reported that Homeland Security is trying to put the border fence through the middle of the UT Brownsville campus.  The UT Regents have made a request to Homeland Security to let them study the issue. The UT Brownsville Faculty Senate has approved a resolution opposing the fence.  Faculty Senates across the UT System have been encouraged to submit a resolution opposing the fence. The resolution written by the UT Brownsville Faculty Senate is on their web-site.

      Dr. Norman reported that this year there has been a lot of discussion regarding compensation plans for the medical branches. If these plans go through, the result could affect the compensation for the academic faculty in a similar way.

      The medical branches have discussed the smoking policies on their campuses.  He reported that this may be an issue that could come up in the future.

      Dr. Norman reported that we are close to having a faculty regent.

    5. Unfinished Business
    6. HOP - Dr. El-Kikhia e-mailed the updates for the HOP and apologized that they were not red-lined. He suggested that the Committee on the Handbook of Operating Procedures receive the questions and comments regarding the HOP.

      Grievance Committee – Betty Travis reported on the Grievance Committee.  The grievance process is changing and she reported to the Senate how the process currently works.  She also reported that she is having problems getting faculty to serve.  She asked the faculty to let her know if they are not willing or cannot serve on this committee, so that another person can be recruited.

    7. New Business
    8. Graduate Consent Calendar—Dr. Bill McCrary

      1. Proposal for a Graduate Certificate Program in Keyboard Pedagogy.  The Faculty Senate motioned to approve the proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Keyboard Pedagogy.  Motion Seconded.  Approved.
      2. Proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Keyboard Performance. The Faculty Senate motioned to approve the proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Keyboard Performance.  Motioned Seconded.  Approved.
      3. Proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration.  The Faculty Senate motioned to approve the proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration.  Motioned Seconded.  Approved.
      4. Proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Translation and Interpretation Studies.   The Faculty Senate motioned that the proposal for a Graduate Certificate in Translation and Interpretation be sent back and re-presented with modifications at the next meeting.
    9.            Quality Enhancement Plan – Sandy Welch
    10. Sandy Welch from the office of the Vice Provost for Accountability and Institutional Affairs reported on the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for UTSA.  She reported that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) (our regional accrediting agency) is determining whether if UTSA evaluates the institution’s educational quality and is accomplishing its mission. The purpose of the QEP is to select a proposal, written by either an individual or a team in our academic community, whose topic is directly related to student learning, has clear goals, adequate resources, evaluation strategies, and evidence of development and support.  A set of criteria will be provided for the pre-proposals and their evaluation.  A QEP committee and will to evaluate the proposals.  The pre-proposals should be four to five pages and submitted by  May 15. The committee will select the top proposal and the individual or team will be given a stipend to work on the proposal during the summer of 2008.  Any questions from faculty may be directed to either Belinda Flores, Janice Kramer or Sandy Welch.

    11. Open Forum
    12. The Salary Compression Study was discussed.  A recommendation was made to discuss the study with the new Provost and then draft an official Faculty Senate Resolution.

      Dr. Rajendra Boppana reported that there are two more IDEA focus groups meeting, one on Friday, February 15th and one Tuesday, February 19th.

      Dr. El-Kikhia re-emphasized that the faculty should be advised not to sign the Conflict of Interest forms until the Faculty Senate approves them to be included in the HOP.

  5. Adjournment