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Nov. 8, 2001

The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

Minutes of the HSC Faculty Senate TTVN meeting

November 8, 2001

From 3:33 p.m. - 4:48 p.m.

Senators present: Robin Autenrieth, Dennis Bastron, Sue Carozza, Robert Cederberg, Alicia Dorsey, John Gelderd, Fred Gimble, Marvin Hirsh, Dean Hudson, James Martin, George Martinez, Tom McKinney, Barbara Miller, Ed Miller, Lynne Opperman, Alan Parrish, Tom Peterson, Marty Scholtz, Tom Stanford, Carolyn Wilson, Dave Zawieja

Senators absent: Paul Brandt, Charlie Foulks, Paul Gershon, Frank Perez-Guerra, Geoffrey Kapler, Gerald Meininger, Jeana O'Brien, Robert Probe

Guests present: None

Call to Order: After checking with all TTVN sites, it was determined that senators were present at all sites except Scott & White (Senator Bastron was present later in the meeting). Speaker Opperman called the meeting to order at 3:33 p.m.

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

Approval of minutes: The minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting of October 11, 2001 were approved unanimously. 

Old Business:

      CAFERRT: Senator Dorsey presented two issues for discussion: "there are some discrepancies between the CAFERRT document and the AP&T document".  She pointed out that the path of review is not the same in both documents.  Speaker Opperman requested that Senator Dorsey write new wording for the CAFERRT document and send it to her.  She is also to reword parts of 6.2 and 6.3.3  for consistency.  Senator Dorsey also pointed out that under 9.2.1, it is not clear which components make up the HSC Tenure Mediation Committee.  Senator Dorsey is to make sure that it is clear in the new document that the GSBS component is not included since it is made up of faculty from the other 4 components.  After Senator Dorsey forwards the changes to Speaker Opperman, she will forward them to Dr. Bellinger and Dr. Binnie so the changes can be incorporated into the HSC copy of the document.

      Post Tenure Document: Senator Dorsey pointed out that the current document does not address department chairs in regard to the appeal of their review by their supervisor. Speaker Opperman indicated that the most current document does in fact include the Chairs in the review process.  However, it should state that chairs do not report to the Associate Dean, but to the Dean.  There was a question about who would hear their appeal if they were dissatisfied with their initial review.  Would it be to the Vice President For Academic Affairs of the HSC?  Speaker Opperman is to investigate this situation.  Senator Dorsey also referred to item III, A on page 4 about who would keep track of how faculty are performing, especially if they are sub-par (the three bad years rule).  She suggested that the document should spell out how this process works and who does it.  On page 5, there was another question regarding Peer Review: "what about the negative evaluations relative to the 5 years mark?"  The wording in this area needs to be clarified as to when a negative review can be over-ruled with the review process starting again.  It was also suggested that a group be set up to monitor the professional development plan if one is deemed necessary.  Since this is a post-tenure review process, the monitoring group should be comprised of tenured faculty.

Also, in regard to Peer Review,  Senator Ed Miller presented the question of whether the faculty also should have the right to appeal the decision of their Chair since they have the right to appeal the decision of the Associate Dean.  He also proposed that the time to prepare for an appeal be extended to 2 months.  This suggestion was accepted by all present.  He also pointed out that on page 5, item "2" under "F" that he felt that the review process should go to the HSC AP&T Review Committee for further review beyond the component level to assure that the review process was conducted properly.  This would be only in cases where chronic deficiencies were identified. He also suggested striking the first sentence of # 3 on page 7.  All seemed to agree.  Dr. Miller also thought that our document should state what the reason(s) are for a tenured faculty to lose tenure.  All seemed to agree that our document should state that the reasons are in accordance with the State Education Code (a) (3), page 15 - 16 (Appendix 1).

Senator Gelderd raised a point of concern (expressed to him by a COM faculty member) regarding all three academic areas (education/teaching, scholarship/research, professional service) and  institutional service and leadership.  This faculty member expressed some concern about the definition of service and whether it is another part of the evaluation picture.  Senator Gelderd asked whether professional service and institutional service are defined in the Post-Tenure document. Speaker Opperman indicated that they are defined in the AP&T document.  He also related another faculty concern and asked whether the rendering of clinical services to patients qualifies as an academic endeavor unless it is recognized for an emphasis related to teaching, research, or issues related to academic "?".  Speaker Opperman indicated that those activities would be considered to be professional service.

Senator Gelderd related another faculty concern about the statement on page 11 (1), b. about a secret vote being taken.  It was suggested that the wording be changed to "a secret ballot" instead of "a secret vote".  Another concern expressed to Senator Gelderd was about how unsatisfactory is defined and how the various areas of endeavor rank in the review process.  Speaker Opperman indicated that those issues should be addressed and defined in the faculty member's letter of employment.  A question still seems to exist of how one area of unacceptability affect the overall rating of the faculty for the entire review process unless it is specifically described in the letter of employment. Some faculty seem to be confused and question whether this is a pass/fail or a graduated situation.  The consensus was that efforts should be made to clarify what the exact requirements are for a tenured faculty going through the post-tenure review process.           

      Senate Elections: Senator Parrish discussed how the elections were going to be conducted and that nominations are being accepted at this time.  The election will be on December 10 with absentee voting occurring from December 3-10.  BCD reported nominations for each of the categories for the election and other components reported that they have none but were still working to get nominations.  The results will be discussed at the next Senate meeting on December 13.  It was decided that the new Senate electees should be invited to the December meeting.  Speaker Opperman expressed thanks for the work that the Election Committee did.  A question of who could vote in the election was raised and the answer was that only principle faculty are allowed to vote.  Speaker Opperman indicated that a faculty had to be a member of the GSBS to both nominate and to vote in the election.

      HSC Library: Cindy Scroggins, BCD librarian and a member of the Library Facilities Committee, drafted a letter to the new President of the HSC indicating strong Senate support for  additional  monies for "System" library facilities.  This letter was in response to a previous meeting of the committee where additional support had been requested, but had been turned down by the Chancellor.  Copies of the letter are to be sent to each member of the Library Facilities Committee (12 representatives) from all of the components of the "System" requesting that they obtain support from their individual senates for additional library funding.  Senator Gelderd suggested that the letter include students as being served by the library facilities.  It was agreed to include them in the letter.  Speaker Opperman suggested that since teaching is such a central part of our mission, that additional library support is essential for our students.  This will be added to the letter. 

New Business:

      Letter to Dr. Dickey: a question was raised as to whether the Senate should send a letter to Dr. Dickey congratulating her on her appointment to the presidency of the HSC.  It was decided that a letter should be sent and that she should be invited to address the Senate at the December meeting where she could also meet the "old" senators as well as the new ones.  Speaker Opperman will draft a congratulatory letter to Dr. Dickey and also extend an invitation to meet with the Senate.

      New Interim Dean for COM: no announcement has been made at this time.  It is assumed that when Dr. Dickey takes over the Presidency of the HSC in January that an Interim Dean of COM will be announced. 

      Committee of the Whole: Speaker Opperman reported that Dr. Dickey has been invited to address the BCD Retreat in November and will do so.  Senator Bastron indicated that he and Senator Martinez had been in attendance, but just quiet.  Their presence was duly noted.


A motion for adjournment was made, all seemed to be in agreement, and  the meeting adjourned at 4:48 p.m.


Tom McKinney


HSC Faculty Senate