Faculty Senate Minutes November 2019

Senators present: Kym Acuña, Jennifer Anderson, Chuck Bultena, Dave Carlston, Randy Case, Eduardo Colmenares, Catherine Gaharan, Nathan Jun, Adam Lei, Mitzi Lewis (for Quam), Marcos Lopez, Matthew Luttrell, Stacia Miller, John Schulze, Beverly Stiles, Lynette Watts, Tyler Williams, Bradley Wilson


  • Fred Dietz, Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Ruby Garrett, Staff Senate Representative
  • Barry Macha, General Counsel
Call to order: 3 p.m.


The minutes and agenda were approved.



1. Enrollment Report— Fred Dietz, VP of Enrollment Management

Mr. Dietz presented the updated enrollment numbers to the Faculty Senate. Specific trends he highlighted were a 3% increase in enrollment, an increase in graduation rates, 93% occupancy rate for on-campus housing, and a drop in enrollment of transfer students.
The Chair voiced concern that the data presented was a summary report, and the full data has become difficult to obtain. The Board committee meeting times and locations are not posted, and they have no faculty representative present. There is concern that there is important information presented at committee meetings that is not accessible to the faculty.
The Chair asked if there was more data available than presented to the Senate, and asked if Mr. Dietz could make that data available. Mr. Dietz agreed to send more data to Chair, and to have Flower Mound campus data separated. 
Various senators highlighted that the student/faculty ratio has increased, as has the tuition rate students pay. There is growing concern that MSU Texas will struggle to remain competitive with other public schools.
Mr. Dietz expressed that the university is exploring multiple ways to remain competitive. Such explorations include increasing the merit pool and considering using a third party company for the instruction of online core courses.
Senators expressed concern over outsourcing teaching to an outside entity.
2. Policy Discussion—Barry Macha
Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy
Discussion began on this policy noting that Keith Lamb agreed to present an executive summary of the policy at the October Senate meeting, but such a summary has not been presented at this time.
Concern was expressed that Rachel Fornof leaving the university at the end of the semester, and this policy does not make it clear who employees should report relevant information to.
Senators also asked if the policy needed to be 64 pages long, and that policy is usually much shorter, and should refer to a longer document if necessary. Mr. Macha pointed out that the policy was written by an outside company, and underscored that even if the policy is not adopted, it is mandated by state law, with criminal penalties beginning in January for failure to report.
There is concern over the exact wording of the law in regards to employee termination. Senators propose that we verify within the law whether termination of employment is required before accepting it as policy.
There was a motion to table the voting on this policy until the December meeting. The Senate voted unanimously to table the vote until the December meeting.
Policy on Policies/Shared Governance Policy
Senator Wilson motioned to discuss these policies. Senators commended Mr. Macha on the intent of these policy changes, but expressed the need for other voices to be present in their drafting. The Chair motioned to table the vote until the January meeting. Both Policies were tabled until the January Senate meeting.
3. Writing Intensive Courses – Bradley Wilson

Melissa Nivens, after the initial proposal was denied, has compiled an extensive list of 60-some courses that already meet Writing Intensive guidelines. The goal is to recognize courses as writing intensive and to provide students with an alternative to the Writing Proficiency Exam.

4. Workload Taskforce Update – Jennifer Anderson

The Taskforce has identified five main actions to address. They are:

  • Workload is incorrectly split
  • Confusing teaching as primary responsibility with sole responsibility
  • A lack of recognition for scholarship
  • No mechanism to increase salaries based on performance
  • Many University procedures are inefficient, which force too much work spent on non-core tasks.
Members of the task force expressed that they feel the taskforce is going well and moving towards good solutions. Senator Bultena stated that a solution to workload concerns will most likely be college specific. Senator Jun agreed that the best approach would involve solutions left to college discretion, possibly even department discretion. Senator Bultena stated that the taskforce will probably seek a college solution structure with the support of the university.

5. Society of Fellows – Nathan Jun

Senator Jun requested and received Faculty Senate approval of the Society of Fellows in concept.

Committee and Other Reports:
  1. Administrative Council (Dr. Carlston): No report
  2. Academic Council (Dr. Lopez): School & Society is going through core approval with new language in description.
  3. Budget Oversight Committee (Dr. Stiles): No report
  4. Other active committees: No report.
  5. Financial Report (Dr. Anderson): No report.



  • None



  • None



Marcos Lopez, Faculty Senate Vice Chair

Dave Carlston, Faculty Senate Chair


Next Meetings:

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