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Dec. 13, 2001

The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

Minutes of the HSC Faculty Senate TTVN meeting

December 13, 2001

From 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Senators present: Robin Autenrieth, Sue Carozza, Robert Cederberg, Alicia Dorsey, Charlie Foulks, John Gelderd, Marvin Hirsh, Dean Hudson, George Martinez, Barbara Miller, Ed Miller, Cindy Meininger, Jeana O'Brien, Lynne Opperman, Alan Parrish, Tom Peterson, Tom Stanford, Carolyn Wilson, Dave Zawieja

Senators absent: Dennis Bastron, Paul Brandt, Paul Gershon, Fred Gimble, Frank Perez-Guerra, Geoffrey Kapler, James Martin, Tom McKinney, Gerald Meininger, Robert Probe, Marty Scholtz

Guests present: Dr. Nancy Dickey, HSC President Elect

Call to Order: Speaker Opperman called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.

Confirmation of a quorum: It was determined that a quorum was present.

Welcome to new Senators: Speaker Opperman welcomed the new Senators and thanked them for their willingness to serve.  Those present were: BCD-Senators Grogan and Hidalgo-Rivera, COM-Senator Cindy Meininger

Welcome to Dr. Dickey: Speaker Opperman welcomed Dr. Nancy Dickey, the new President of the HSC.  She congratulated her on her selection as the President and asked her to address the Senate.  Dr. Dickey began by suggesting that there needs to be many opportunities for conversation. The following are her expressed thoughts.  Her first agenda item is to successfully go through the SACS visit and accreditation process.  After the SACS process has been completed, then the HSC components need to come together and begin the process of adding "flesh" to the mission statement that the HSC has already formulated.  She indicated that the HSC has extraordinary opportunities because of our unique nature.  The question was raised of how do we take advantage of the unique features of the HSC to further our mission and make ourselves known to the legislature, be of service to the State, and to put ourselves on the map.  She sees her role as one of communication among the components, the legislature, and communities.  Also, alliances need to be built that will help bring in money for the HSC.  She sees her role as that of someone to bring the collective visions of the components into a cohesive whole for the HSC.  She also indicated that she considers the Faculty Senate the voice of the faculty and that the senators should report back to the faculty they represent the proceedings of the Senate.  She could then expect the Senate to be the voice of the faculty in general and that the faculty should be included in the process of decision making.  In response to a question regarding inclusion of a faculty representative on the Executive Committee of the HSC, Dr. Dickey indicated that she believes that a representative of the faculty should be included in the executive level decision making; however, the current structure may make that difficult to accomplish because of the time that would be required of the faculty person. 

Speaker Opperman thanked Dr. Dickey for her visit and for sharing her thoughts with the Senate.

Old Business:

      Senate Elections: Senator Parrish reported the election results by naming those elected at each of the components.  When it was announced that Dr. Rick Finnell, who is IBT Director, was to be one of the CAFERRT representative from IBT concern was expressed that he could not hold that position since he is the Director.  Speaker Opperman asked Senator Parrish to inform IBT that they needed to elect one new CAFERRT member to replace Dr. Finnell.  Senator Ed Miller raised the question of the number of CAFERRT members to which Senator Peterson reminded all that the GSBS does not have CAFERRT membership.  Senator Peterson also indicated that he would like a list of those who are rotating off of the Senate.  Speaker Opperman read a list of the Senators who are leaving: BCD-Senators Cederberg, Hudson, and Stanford.  BCD's GSBS- Senator Opperman.  COM College Station-Senator Schultz.  SRPH-Senator Carozza.  Scott & White - no information.  Speaker Opperman indicated that the election committee member from each component should send a list of changes to the Election Committee Chair.  She also thanked the election committee members for their work in obtaining new Senators, CAFERRT, and Tenure Mediation Committee members to serve the HSC.  Senator Gelderd suggested that the vital information about the new members of the Senate and Committees should be obtained and placed on the Website.  Speaker Opperman asked Senator Zaweija if he would get the information placed on the Website once it is obtained.  He agreed to do so, and was profusely thanked for his willingness to do so.

      HSC Library: Speaker Opperman indicated that she had sent the letter to Dr. Dickey and then to all library representatives at the components and the TAMU system.  She indicated that she received back a nice letter from Leann McKinzie, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Distance Learning and Technology in the system.

      Post Tenure Document: Speaker Opperman mentioned that there were several problems that had been identified and sent back to Dr. Binnie for consideration.  Most of the suggested changes were favorably received.  The only problem that seemed to remain and elicited discussion was the definition of the term "acceptable vs unacceptable".  When these terms are used, there will be a reference to every document in which these definitions are used so that the context in which they are used can be studied.  Speaker Opperman suggested that when the new document comes out, senators can study it for inclusion of the suggested changes.     

      CAFERRT: Senator Peterson indicated that he had discovered from Kay Mizer that the document was still in the legal office of the System.  She indicated that it had been there for several months and had not been sent to her for placement on the Website.  It was recommended that Senator Peterson follow up this finding during the business of the new Senate to make sure that the document gets on the Website prior to the SACS visit.

New Business:

      Nominations for Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and Secretary: Speaker Opperman reminded senators to come up with nominations so that an election can be held at the meeting on January 10, 2002.  Nominees are expected to supply a brief bio for their position.  If you plan to nominate someone, be sure that they will serve.  All nominations should be sent to Senator Parrish.

      Charge to Senate re: FAPT: Speaker Opperman indicated that the documents of the HSC governance are now being interpreted and that there seem to be some inconsistencies in certain areas, especially in the area of service.  The main question of concern seems to be whether Institutional Service is one of the areas of activity that has any benefit to the faculty member in regard to promotion and tenure.  Discussion occurred about how different chairs might counsel and work with their junior faculty regarding this ambiguous area of the document.  The question seems to be whether all four areas have to be documented by the faculty member seeking promotion and tenure.  Speaker Opperman suggested that the Senate re-look at this section of the document to be sure that we are not reading something into it that is not there and that it is going to be the job of the Senate to make sure that different interpretations of the document do not hurt the faculty.   

      Next Meeting: to be at the IBT on January 10, 2002.  Speaker Opperman mentioned to the new Senators that the quarterly meetings are face to face so that everyone gets to know each other.  Senator Ed Miller suggested that someone at IBT should be contacted about meeting the senators who are flying in to Houston to take them to the IBT.

      Committee of the Whole: Deputy Speaker Peterson opened the session and there was no business.

      Approval of minutes: It was brought to the attention of the Speaker that the minutes had not been approved.  Senator Ed Miller indicated that on page 2, the second paragraph included a question mark area and he wondered what that meant.  The minutes of the meeting of November 11, 2001 were then approved unanimously. 


A motion for adjournment was made, and the meeting adjourned.


Tom McKinney


HSC Faculty Senate