The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College Academic Senate Minutes

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The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College Academic Senate Minutes
The University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College
Academic Senate Minutes
May 6, 2005
Call to Order
Ms. Cantu called the May 6, 2005 Academic Senate meeting to order at 1:40 p.m. in the SETB
3rd Floor Conference Room.
Members of the Senate in attendance included: Mr. Steve Benton (s), Ms. Ethel Cantu (*), Ms.
Carol Collinsworth (s), Mr. Roberto Cortina (s), Dr. Charles Dameron, Dr. William C. Davis (s0,
Mr. Doug Ferrier, Ms. Linda Fossen, Dr. Therese Gallegos (s), Ms. Mabel Hockday (s), Dr.
Gerald Hollier (s), Dr. Edward Hymson (*), Mr. Joe Lacher (s), Dr. Charles Lackey, Ms. Julie
Larson (*), Dr. Genaro Lopez (s), Dr. Emir Macari, Dr. Jose Martin, Dr. Eldon Nelson, Dr.
Rafael Otero, Dr. Gerson Peltz (s), Ms. Cheryl Phelps (s), Mr. Jay Phillips, Dr. Ruth Ann
Ragland, Mr. Mahandran Rajasuriar (s), Dr. Renee Rubin (s), Dr. Carl Stockton, Ms. Mary
Sullivan, Ms. Thelma Sullivan (s), Dr. John Sutterby (s), and Mr. Tom Welther (*).
Visitors included: Mr. Julio Ledezma, Dr. Mrinal Mugdh and Dr. David Pearson.
Review and Approval of the Minutes
Ms. Cantu called for review of the minutes of the April 8, 2005 Academic Senate meeting.
Hearing no discussion or corrections, the minutes were approved as written.
Presentation/Discussion: Salary Adjustment Priorities
Dr. Hymson, Chair of the Senate Welfare Committee and Dr. Jose Martin, Provost addressed the
Senate regarding salary adjustment priorities.
Dr. Hymson said that the Welfare Committee was asked by the Senate President to look at how
salary raises and adjustments are distributed and to look at salary parity issues. One of the ways
faculty receive a raise is through the merit system, Dr. Hymson said. We have a two-tiered merit
system here: base merit and exceptional merit. Base merit is based on a flat percentage that all
deserving faculty receive and exceptional is also a flat percentage but is given only to those
faculty deemed worthy of receiving it. Dr. Hymson went to say that another method of salary
raises is salary adjustment based on parity. Dr. Hymson said that parity is a device for salary
adjustment and is a method to “catch-up” with what our colleagues at other institutions are being
paid. Dr. Hymson said that parity is fair to some people but not all receive a salary adjustment.
Dr. Hymson said that at the April meeting of the Welfare Committee, a vote was taken as to
whether to continue parity or let all share in the pot with base merit. Dr. Hymson reported that
the results were tie: 50% for parity and 50% for base merit. He said that the direction of the
Senate President he was asked to bring this matter before the Senate.
He then turned the floor over to Dr. Martin to further explain the issue. Dr. Martin said that at
this point, the university does not know how much it will receive from the legislature. There are
two proposed scenarios: one puts us at 2 percent less than the last funding cycle and the other
puts us at more than we received in the last funding cycle. It remains to be seen what the
legislature will do. However, Dr. Martin said, we do have new funds from enrollment through
designated tuition and have used that money to hire new faculty and staff. Dr. Martin reported
that Dr. Ragland, VPAA and his office gave a presentation during the budget hearings on the
needs of the Division of Academic Affairs and made a case for money for faculty salary
Dr. Martin said that if we look at a 2 percent base merit increase, almost all of the faculty (219)
would receive a raise with the average raise in the neighborhood of $1000.00. If we consider
salary adjustments, only a few (37) would receive a salary adjustment
A lengthy discussion followed Dr. Hymson’ and Dr. Martin’s presentation. Dr. Davis asked if
we were discussing what we wanted to do. Dr. Sutterby asked about other percentages. Dr.
Davis gave a history on parity and base merit and said that base merit has not done enough to
raise salaries. Dr. Dameron asked if the 37 faculty members have received a salary adjustment
before. Dr. Davis moved that we go with 3% base merit. Dr. Gallegos seconded the motion.
The motion carried.
Presentation/Discussion: May Session
Dr. Ragland and Mr. Ledezma addressed the Senate regarding the May session. They began
their presentation by passing out a May Sessions report. The following is the information
contained in that report.
Course Sections Active Student
Headcount Not
with SS1)
Headcount Not
with SS1)
First May
710 (As of
Headcount Not
Dr. Ragland and Mr.Ledezma said that the Maymester began in 2000 and enrollment has
increased. They also passed out the Maymester course schedules for the years 2000-2005 to give
the Senate an idea of what types of courses are being taught.
A lengthy discussion followed Dr. Ragland’s and Mr. Ledezma’s presentation. Mr. Benton
voiced his opposition to the Maymester saying that some coursed can’t be taught in such a short
time. Dr. Davis wondered about the success of rate of Maymester vs. summer and regular
sessions. Dr. Pearson said that students should only be allowed to sign up for one course during
Maymester. Dr. Gallegos suggested that instructors be surveyed to see how they feel about
Maymester. Dr. Sutterby moved that we keep Maymester as constituted with no change. Dr.
Rubin seconded the motion. Dr. Hymson suggested that Dr. Sutterby consider the following
friendly amendment: students be limited during Maymester to four hours. Dr. Sutterby accepted
the friendly amendment and changed his motion to: we keep Maymester as constituted and limit
students to four hours. The motion passed. Dr. Hymson moved that faculty teaching during
Maymester be limited to teaching no more than four hours. Dr. Gallegos seconded the motion.
The motion failed. Dr. Hymson asked for a hand count vote. The vote showed 8 for and 9
against. The motion still failed.
Ombudsman’s Report
Dr. Rivas, the Senate Ombudsman, was unable to attend.
Senate President’s Report
Ms. Cantu had three items in her report.
Academic Senate Election Results- the Academic Senate congratulates the new officers:
President: David Pearson, Vice President: Edward Hymson, Secretary: Irma Jones, and
Treasurer: Pat Celaya.
We also congratulate these new senators and re-elected senators:
School of Education: Bobbette M. Morgan, Joseph Rene Corbeil, and John Sutterby
School of Health Sciences: Joe Lacher and Virginia Maldonado-Maxwell
College of Liberal Arts: William C. Davis, Julie Larson, and Cheryl Phelps
College of Science, Math and Technology: James R. Sullivan and Elizabeth Heise.
They will take office at the beginning of the fall term 2005.
TSC Board Meeting, April 21, 2005- Tom Welther, Vice President, attended this
meeting in my absence and provided this information. After executive session, the Board
reconvened and announced the appointment of Veronica Martinez as Assistant Vice
President of Construction. She will oversee the management of bond projects. Board
members will be liaisons for the various building projects. The Board approved a
revision to the property insurance policy, extended the contract for audit services by Long
Chilton LLP for the next two years, awarded a bid for 1210 additional parking spaces at
the University Blvd parking lot, and appointed 3D/International as Project Architect for
the Wellness, Recreation, Fitness and Kinesiology Complex. The TSC Board heard a
briefing on the Testing Office by its director Patrick McGeehee. The Testing Office tests
over 10,000 individuals annually with its original crew of four full-time personnel. The
Texas Success Initiative now replaces TASP for admissions and placement. In the future
an internet-based placement test, which can be scored immediately, will be available.
Tony Zavaleta, VPEA, gave a legislative update. The next meeting of the Board will be
Thursday, May 19.
Thank You- Julie Larson, Secretary, sent me a card expressing the condolences of the
Academic Senate over the recent death of my sister, Mary. Thank you for your
expressions of sympathy.
Partnership Committee Reports
No reports.
Academic Senate Committee Reports
A. Memorial Fund- Mr. Benton, Chair of the Memorial Fund Committee, reported on the
work of his committee. Recommendations from his committee included: keeping
memorials simple, informing new faculty and staff about memorials, voluntary
contributions of two dollars per year for memorials, at least ten years of service to
UTB/TSC, retired from UTB/TSC, die in service to the university, create a memorial
walkway, and/or create a memorial wall. After discussing the recommendations, Dr.
Hymson moved to bring these recommendations up at the fall general faculty meeting. Dr.
Lopez seconded the motion, and the motion passed.
B. Guidance for Personnel Committees- Dr. Pearson, Chair of the Academic Senate l
Committee on Guidelines for Personnel Committees, gave a PowerPoint presentation on his
committee’s work and recommendations regarding faculty tenure guidelines. The
committee has developed eight recommendations in regard to faculty tenure guidelines.
Recommendations for Committee Appointments
A. Grievance Panel- Ms. Cantu, in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Senate,
provided the Senate with the following nominees to the Grievance Panel (whose terms will
expire in May, 2007): William C. Davis and Roberto Cortina from Liberal Arts; Wayne
Wells and Rodney Sullivan from Science, Math, and Technology; Gerald Hollier from
Business; Paula Parson and Mary Curtis from Education; and Virginia Maldonado-Maxwell
from Health Science. Ms. Cantu called for a motion to accept these nominees and pass their
names on to the President. Dr. Lopez so moved, with a second from Dr. Peltz. The motion
B. Academic Standards and Student Records- no recommendations.
C. Information Resources Committee- Sessia Wyche was nominated to serve on the
Information Resources Committee. Dr. Peltz moved to approve his nomination, with a
second from Ms. Collinsworth. The motion carried.
HOOP Policies
A. HOOP Policy 7.2.2- “Graduate Faculty”- this was the second reading of this policy
before the Senate. Dr. Lackey presented this policy and reported that the changes
requested by the Senate at the last meeting were made. The policy has been approved by
Deans and Chairs. There was no comment or corrections to the policy. The Senate
approved the policy on second read.
B. HOOP Policy 7.5.1- “Selection of Department Chairs and Academic
Directors” Update- Dr. Martin updated the Senate on this policy. He said that the
policy was approved by Deans Council with a change in the language from 2/3s to simple
majority. The policy now moves to Provost Council, Executive Council and UT-system.
New Business
There was no New Business.
Provost’s Report
Dr. Martin had nine items in his report.
I want to congratulate our new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Charles
Dameron. Dr. Dameron has served as our interim dean for more than a year, and we’re
pleased that he now is the “New Dean”.
We want to thank the Search Committee, which was chaired by Professor Manuel
Medrano of the History Department. Other members of the Search Committee are
Professors Bill Davis, Behavioral Sciences; Noel Otu, Criminal Justice; Elizabeth
Vidaurri, English and Communication; Lidia Diaz, Modern Languages; and William
Harris, English and Communication; and Ms. Rhonda Riveria, Student Senator from the
College of Liberal Arts; Dr. Carl Stockton, Dean, School of Education; Ms. Mabel
Hockaday, Assistant Director, Library; and Dr. Maria Elena Valdes-Corbeil, Director,
Learning Assistance Center.
We want to congratulate Dr. Manuel Medran of the History Department as the recipient
of the 2005 Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award. Dr. Medrano will be
honored Friday, May 13, at the Distinguished Alumnus Ceremony at 6 p.m. in the SETB
Lecture Hall. Dr. Medrano gave the keynote speech at the Excellence Awards Ceremony
for outstanding students several weeks ago, and we encourage you to attend next Friday’s
ceremony at SETB. Three Distinguished Alumni will be honored this year: Rear
Admiral Jose Luis Betancourt, Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Southwest Region based
in San Diego, Navy Lieutenant Colonel Dr. David Nunez, who is a dental surgeon who
assisted in identifying 9-11 victims; and Mr. Welcome W. Wilson Sr., a Houston Real
Estate developer, financier and broker.
Congratulations also are in order for Dr. Michael Lehker of the Biological Sciences
Department. Dr. Lehker has been selected as UTB/TSC’s nominee for the CASE
Professor of the Year Award.
Recommendations for both the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award and
the CASE Professor of the Year Award were made by a distinguished committee of
former recipients of the Chancellor’s Council Award. Members of the selection
committee this year were Professors Mary Wagner of the Math Department; Milo
Kearney of the Social Sciences Department; Graciela Rosenberg of Curriculum and
Instruction; Anne Rentfro of Nursing; Joe Zavaletta of the Center for Civic Engagement;
Terry Tomllin of the Fine Arts Department; and Alfredo Munoz of the Biology
Department, who served as Chair. We thank this Committee for their excellent work in
reviewing more than 20 portfolios submitted by nominees for these prestigious
Dr. Carl Stockton, Dr. Tony Zavaleta, and Dr. Ragland were in Austin Monday to
provide information to the House Higher Education Committee and the Senate Higher
Education Subcommittee on a bill that would allow us to establish a Math and Science
Academy similar to the one at the University of North Texas. The academy would accept
50 to 75 outstanding high school juniors and seniors each year to take college courses on
our campus. They would complete their freshmen and sophomore years of college while,
at the same time, earning their high school diploma. The bill was received favorably by
the committees, and we expect it will move forward in both the House and Senate. If the
bill is approved, we would plan to start the Academy in Fall 2006.
In other legislative news, we also are asking for a $33 million Tuition Revenue Bond to
build additional classrooms. Our request is moving along with the requests by all other
state institutions, and we hope that the outcome will be positive.
The 3rd Annual Filemon B. Vela Pre-Law Academy will begin on Monday May 16, and
continue for two weeks on our campus. Thirteen students have been selected to
participate in the academy. They will spend their mornings preparing for the LSAT
examination, and they’ll hear guest speakers and take field trips in the afternoons. This
will be the first time that we’ve had a representative from Kaplan to teach the preparation
course for the students. In the past, law clerks have been the teachers. U.S. District
Judge Hilda Tagle is assisting us with the academy. Professor Charles Chapman of the
Social Sciences Department and Mr. Floyd Akers, our university legal advisor, worked
with Dr. Ragland in making this opportunity available to students who are interested in a
career in law.
Also on Monday, May 16, we will have two important visitors from the UT System on
our campus. Dr. Teresa Sullivan, the executive vice chancellor for UT academic
institutions, and Dr. Kenneth Shine, executive vice chancellor for medical and healthrelated institutions, will be visiting with faculty and others who collaborate in research
with the RAHC. Dr. Joe McCormick, the Brownsville regional Dean, will be
coordinating the visit.
We want to keep you updated on the progress of the HOOP policy on Selection of Chairs
and Program Directors. The HOOP now has been approved by both the Deans Council
and the Deans and Chairs Council. The only change made was the one that I mentioned
at the last Senate meeting- deleting language stating that two-thirds of the eligible faculty
must vote. Under the revised HOOP, the Chairs and Program Directors would be elected
by a simple majority of those casting ballots. The HOOP now moves to the Provost
Council and Executive Council before going on to UT System.
It’s time for you to evaluate administrators, and you may already have received the
survey forms by now. For the first time, they are being conducted online. Dr. Mrinal
Mugdh has designed the online evaluation process and is here today to answer any
questions you might have.
See you at Graduation Saturday, May 14 at 6 p.m. on the Student Union lawn. We have
almost 800 students eligible to receive diplomas.
There was one announcement.
Ms. Cantu announced that the next Academic Senate meeting is at 1:00 p.m. on July 15
in SETB 3rd Floor Conference Room.
The meeting stood adjourned at 4:35 p.m..
Respectfully submitted,
Julie Ann Larson
Secretary, UTB/TSC Academic Senate
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