January 26, 2015

1. Call to Order:

The January 26, 2015 meeting of the University Senate was called to order at 4:00 p.m. in the Ropp Center, Room 105, by President Michael Swanbom.

2.  Roll Call:  Sandi Richardson

Senators absent from the meeting and without excuse or proxy: Teddy Allen, Rhonda Boyd, Pasquale De Paola, and Shane Puckett; a quorum was met.

3.  Approval of Minutes:  December 2014

Ratification of the December minutes was postponed until the February 2015 meeting.

4. Business

  • Senate Constitutional Amendment – The floor was open for discussion regarding the resolution document to amend the Senate Constitution. Many salient points were introduced. (Examine the Resolution Draft)
    • Reasons for amendment explored (more closely mirrors other Senates in Louisiana, allows Senate to better advocate for the faculty & staff, etc. Examine more complete list of reasons in this document)
    • What is actually the most desirable length of service? By majority vote, it is agreed that three years (about half the time needed for faculty tenure) seems to be the minimum length of service to accomplish the goals of institutional memory and continuity.
    • What is needed to amend the Constitution? There are three requirements:
      • approval by 2/3 of the voting senate body,
      • approval by 2/3 of the voting campus-wide faculty and unclassified staff, and
      • University President approval.
    • If the constitution is amended to expand the term limits, it is important to more clearly define the responsibility roles of the vice presidential position and to establish how the president is then elected.
    • Suggestions were tendered regarding possible ways to enlighten the faculty/staff campus-wide regarding the need for the amendment, such as:
      • Newsletter to inform faculty and staff and to explain what would happen, when it would take effect, and why change is necessary.
      • Call a faculty/staff meeting in much the same fashion as the fall faculty/staff meeting to address the what, when, and why questions.
    • The suggestion of developing a Plan “B” was made to have in reserve should the resolution not pass. One possibility is to develop a set of working by-laws, and word them appropriately to accomplish the same goal.
    • Following discussion, majority vote was for supporting the resolution as it stands.(Examine the Resolution Draft)
  • Online Evaluations
    • During discussion, concern was voiced regarding the possibility that data would be skewed and faculty performance reviews would be unfairly influenced by low participation.
    • The question of how to ensure participation was bandied about but no viable solution was presented.
    • Online evaluations seem to be the trend across the country.
    • Following discussion, a motion to accept the proposal as written was tendered by Ernie Rufleth and seconded by Steven Toaddy. The vote was unanimous. (Examine the online proposal document.)
  • Ninth-day rolls online
    • Faculty overwhelmingly request the ninth-day rolls be made available online.
    • Following discussion, a motion to accept the proposal as written was tendered by Jeff Yule and seconded by Leland Weiss. The vote was unanimous.
  • Salary Adjustment Projects
    • Motion was made by Leland Weiss and seconded by Bill McCumber to allow the committee to spend up to $525 for comparative data.
    • First presentation of comparative average salary data was presented. (Examine the online report document.)
  • Committee Reports

5. Voluntary Remarks:


6. Adjournment:  A motion to adjourn was made by Steven Toaddy and seconded by Jeff Yule. The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Sandi Richardson, Recording Secretary