Faculty Senate Minutes December 2019

Senators present: Kim Acuna, Chuck Bultena, Dave Carlston, Randy Case, Sarah Cobb, Rodney Fisher, Catherine Gaharan, Terry Griffin, Attapol Kuanliang, Tammy Kurzewski, Adam Lei, Marcos Lopez, Jonathan Quam, John Schulze, Beverly Stiles, Lynette Watts, Tyler Williams, Bradley Wilson

Guests:

  • Rachel Fornof (Title IX Coordinator)

  • Julie Gaynor (Director, Marketing and Public Information)

  • Barry Macha (University General Counsel)

  • Angie Reay (Redwine Wellness Center Director, Staff Senate Representative)

 

Call to order: 3:02 p.m.



Housekeeping:

The minutes were approved. The agenda was approved with the addition of the Police Regulations.

 

CURRENT BUSINESS

1. Marketable Skills—Senator Carlston, information only

Over the last several months, the university has been working to identify marketable skills connected to components of degree programs as required by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The process is now complete and the list of marketable skills has been distributed

2. EAB software—Senator Cobb, information only

MSU has decided to purchase a membership in the Student Success Collaborative. This includes Navigate, which is their student success management system. The goal is to use data about student performance to identify students who are at risk and intervene to help them succeed. The software will pull transcript data directly from Banner, as well as use data input by faculty, staff, and students. Students interact with the system primarily via mobile apps.

The goal of this purchase is to improve student retention. The implications for faculty workload are not yet clear. Dr. Shipley is currently seeking a donor to fund the purchase. No payment is required for the first two years.

A senator asked whether MSU owns its own data on this system. Senator Cobb was not sure.

OLD BUSINESS
1. Policy on Policies and Shared Governance Policy

Chair Carlston stated that President Shipley had been approached about creating a cross-campus group to work on these policies. She will discuss organization of that group with the cabinet. The policies remain tabled until the January meeting.

2. Sexual Harassment Policy—Rachel Fornof

Chair Carlston noted that the relevant Texas law does state that employees not complying with the mandate to report must be terminated, settling discussion of this point at the December meeting.

Chair Carlston stated that the senate intends to distribute the new executive summary of the policy widely and bring the policy to a vote in January.

Rachel Fornof stated that this policy is primarily intended to bring MSU into compliance with state law. The other motivation comes from the recent Title IX audit, which highlighted some needed improvements in policy.

Several points were raised during the discussion of the policy:

  • Senators found the executive summary helpful in understanding the policy. Senators requested that short, written summaries should be provided for other information relevant to Title IX.
  • Some senators expressed uncertainty about which kinds of misconduct need to be reported. Fornof stated that the training to be offered in February will help clarify this and that anyone who is unsure in a particular instance can contact the Title IX office for clarification.
  • Several senators were concerned about the necessity of reporting creating an environment where faculty are reluctant to hear from students. Fornof acknowledged that this was a concern and noted that this also creates pressure on student employees. She emphasized that even with the concerns related to reporting, it was an important way of connecting students to the resources they need.
  • A senator asked whether the volume of reports might be more than existing staff could keep up with. Fornof stated that this had not been the case so far, and that additional staff could be added if the rate of reporting is so high that they are needed.
  • Senators asked whether the psychology clinic and athletic trainers could be added to the list of employees who should treat communication about misconduct as confidential. Fornof indicated that this would likely be possible.
  • A senator asked whether the Title IX office provides bystander training. Fornof said that they do.

Fornof stated that she was leaving the position of Title IX coordinator as of December 6, 2019, but that an interim would fill that role until the position is permanently filled.

3. Police Policy—Senator Carlston

Senator Carlston stated that the only changes from the old policy are increased fines, which are already in effect. Senator Lopez moved that the policy be accepted. The motion passed unanimously.

COMMITTEE AND OTHER REPORTS:
  1. Administrative Council (Dr. Carlston): None.
  2. Academic Council (Dr. Lopez): The formation of the new EURECA committee was approved, as well as a number of new degree plans.
  3. Board of Regents (Dr. Carlson): Chair Carlston stated that the executive committee has discussed the committee portion of board meetings with President Shipley, since it seems to reduce openness of meetings. The written materials from these meetings can be shared with the senate, but it might be difficult to get actual faculty presence in committee meetings. The presentations from the finance committee and enrollment committee have been distributed to senators. President Shipley also indicated that better enrollment information can be made available. President Shipley and Provost Johnston are still working on the request to have an IT employee assigned to each college.
  4. Budget Oversight Committee (Dr. Stiles): None.
  5. Other active committees: None.
  6. Financial Report (Dr. Anderson): None.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

  • None

 

NEW BUSINESS:

  • Senator Wilson asked whether colleges are moving forward with implementing the research and teaching awards the senate requested last spring. Several senators indicated that their colleges have begun working on this. The possibility of adding service awards was discussed, and senators were generally in favor of it.

Submitted,

Sarah Cobb, Faculty Senate Secretary

Dave Carlston, Faculty Senate Chair

 

NEXT MEETINGS:

  • The next Executive Committee meeting with be at 3 p.m. Jan. 16 in the Mass Communication Conference Room.
  • The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held in the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at 3 p.m. on Jan. 23.