Faculty Senate Minutes October 2019

Senators present:  Jennifer Anderson, Chuck Bultena, Dave Carlston, Randy Case, Sarah Cobb, Eduardo Colmenares, Laura Fidelie, Rodney Fisher, Nathan Jun, Tammy Kurzewski, Adam Lei, Marcos Lopez, Matthew Luttrell, Stacia Miller, Jonathon Quam, John Schulze, Beverly Stiles, Lynette Watts, Bradley Wilson


  • Barry Macha, General Counsel
  • Keith Lamb, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
  • Beth Reissenweber, Vice President for Administration and Finance
Call to order: 3 p.m.


The minutes and agenda were approved.



1. Title IX Policy Revisions—Dr. Keith Lamb

Dr. Lamb presented a new policy on Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence.

He stated that the policy was put together last fall after a Title IX audit showed that current policy does not meet legal requirements. The new policy is a handbook that consultants recommend for the university. Its main purpose is to establish uniform policies for investigation of sexual misconduct involving students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Lamb also referred to a Texas law stating that every university employee is a responsible employee and, starting January 1, can be charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report sexual misconduct. Relevant training will be offered in February.

Under the proposed policy, the Title IX coordinator makes reports to the president and the president is required to report to the board. A senator inquired whether those reports would ne public; Dr. Lamb was not sure.

Several senators expressed concern about the length of the policy and the very short time that the senate had been given to review it. Chair Carlston requested that a summary of the policy be written.

A senator asked why the Title IX committee had not been asked for input on the policy. Dr. Lamb was not sure.

No action on this policy was taken.

2. Other Policy Revisions—Barry Macha

Mr. Macha presented several other draft policies for consideration.

No action was taken on the Rules and Regulations or the Policy on Policies. Senators expressed several concerns about these policies:

  • The Standard Operating Procedures section of the University Rules and Regulations does not provide a process for vetting these procedures or reviewing them to make sure they do not affect other administrative units. It undermines efforts to promote communication before procedures are adopted and moves away from shared governance.
  • Inadequate time to review policies makes it difficult for the faculty to offer meaningful input. The expedited review process in the Policy on Policies exacerbates this problem.
  • Revising the process for approving policies requires an understanding of shared governance, so that policy should be considered first.
  • The Policy on Policies allows the General Counsel to make “minor and non-substantive changes” to the University Policies and Procedures. Senators expressed concern with allowing one person to make unilateral changes to policy.

Senator Miller moved to approve the Protection of Animals in Research Policy. The motion passed with one opposed and one abstention.

Senator Lopez moved to approve the Chemical Safety Policy. The motion passed with three abstentions.

Senator Jun moved to approve the Youth Protection Policy. Senator Wilson moved to table the motion until the next meeting. The motion to table passed.

Senator Carlston moved to approve the policy on Reporting Abuse and Neglect of a Child, Elder or Disabled Person. The motion passed with three abstentions.

Mr. Macha also distributed a draft of a proposed Shared Governance Policy proposed by the Office of the General Counsel. No action was taken on this policy.

3. Introduction of new Vice President of Business Affairs (Dr. Beth Reissenweber)

Dr. Reissenweber stated that she is happy to be at MSU and looks forward to working with faculty. She invited faculty to bring concerns to her.

4. Piper Award Nominations

Chair Carlston stated that voting for MSU’s Piper Award Nominee would take place online.

Committee and Other Reports:
  1. Administrative Council (Dr. Carlston): No report
  2. Academic Council (Dr. Lopez): The Student Experience Task Force is now a committee.
  3. Budget Oversight Committee (Dr. Stiles): No report
  4. Other active committees: The strategic planning committee has met, but there is nothing to report yet.
  5. Financial Report (Dr. Anderson): No report.



  • None



Chair Carlston provided an update on the pilot for online course evaluation forms. Students will receive an email telling them how to access the evaluations. Faculty may provide time in class for students to complete the evaluations and if they choose to do this, should inform people in charge of evaluations so they can consider the success of the pilot program. A senator inquired whether grades could be withheld until students complete evaluations.

A senator stated that the Registrar’s Office is working on an electronic version of the degree plan that uses Degree Works. Online course substitution forms are also under development.

A senator inquired whether deans had been informed about the new faculty awards. Chair Carlston agreed to bring this up with the Provost.


The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.



Sarah Cobb, Faculty Senate Secretary

Dave Carlston, Faculty Senate Chair


Next Meetings:

  • The next Executive Committee meeting with be at 3 p.m. Nov. 7 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 Nov. 14.