Faculty Senate Minutes February 2020

Senators present:  Kim Acuña, Jennifer Anderson, Chuck Bultena, Dave Carlston, Randy Case, Sarah Cobb, Eduardo Colmenares, Catherine Gaharan, Terry Griffin, Attapol Kuanliang, Tammy Kurzewski, Adam Lei, Marcos Lopez, Matthew Luttrell, Stacia Miller, Jonathan Quam, Vicki Sanders (proxy for Rodney Fisher), John Schulze, Beverly Stiles, Lynette Watts


  • Dr. Suzanne Shipley (President)

  • Dr. James Johnston (Provost)

  • Dr. Beth Reissenweber (Vice President for Administration and Finance)

  • Ruby Garrett (Staff Senate Representative)

Call to order: 3 p.m.


The minutes and agenda were approved.



1. General Budget Discussion—Dr. Beth Reissenweber

Dr. Reissenweber described her philosophy in setting budgets. She emphasized the need for a flexible budget and budgeting that reflects the university’s priorities.

2. Online Evaluations, Summer Pay, and Strategic Planning Update—Dr. James Johnston

Dr. Johnston stated that the pilot of online course evaluations was not satisfactory and that online evaluations will not be continued for the spring semester. Paper evaluations
should be distributed to colleges by April 24 to allow for some flexibility in when they are administered.
He also stated that digitizing signatures in general has proved to be expensive. His office is continuing to investigate options for this.
Dr. Johnston explained that the Strategic Plan Committee is working to revise the plan. Some things have been completed and others need timelines adjusted. Information will be shared with faculty as the process continues.
Dr. Johnston stated that there is currently no plan to adjust summer pay.

3. Policy on Policies and Shared Governance Policy—Dr. David Carlston

Senator Carlston stated that the Policy on Policies and the Shared Governance Policy had not progressed significantly since the senate last met. Both of these policies are likely to be affected if MSU joins the Texas Tech system. Senator Carlston moved to table the issue and the motion passed.

4. Discussion Re: Texas Tech System—Dr. Suzanne Shipley

Dr. Shipley explained that MSU is one of four independent universities in Texas, each of which is independent in order to pursue a distinctive mission. The administration has sensed some pressure from the governor’s office to join a system, and MSU board appointments do not seem to be receiving as much attention as they should. If MSU is eventually going to join a system, it is better to make the move while we are still in a good position and attractive to the systems. MSU has received invitations from other systems as well, but the board thinks Texas Tech is the best fit for us.
Dr. Shipley indicated that very negative responses from either the campus or the community could stop the university from pursuing this option. Currently, response has been mixed, but more positive than negative.
She also stated that part of the role the governance groups on campus will play in this decision is in helping to determine which things are important to pursue during negotiations.
Senator Wilson will send a survey to faculty to ask for concerns and hopes so that we can develop recommendations from a faculty perspective.
Committee and Other Reports:
  1. Administrative Council (Dr. Carlston): No report
  2. Academic Council (Dr. Lopez): Some catalog changes and new courses were approved.
  3. Board of Regents (Dr. Carlson): The board of regents voted to consider joining the Texas Tech system and also approved a 2% tuition increase for next year. The tuition increase was less than the 2.6% that had been considered.
  4. Budget Oversight Committee (Dr. Stiles): No report
  5. Other active committees: No report.
  6. Financial Report (Dr. Anderson): No report.



  • None



  • Senator Griffin was elected as a Faculty Senate representative to the budget oversight committee.

  • Senator Lopez was elected as Faculty Senate representative to a committee to develop a policy to comply with the Texas Senate Bill regarding expressive activities on campus.

  • Chair Carlston stated that the senate intends to ask for the policy on office hours to be formally changed to require five office hours per week instead of ten.



Sarah Cobb, Faculty Senate Secretary

Dave Carlston, Faculty Senate Chair


Next Meetings:

  • The next Executive Committee meeting with be at 3 p.m. March 5 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 March 12.