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Orientation for New Officers and Senators   August, 2005

The new officers and senators of the Faculty Senate are invited to an orientation on Thursday, August 18 from 9-11am in the Gorgas Conference Room. Experienced senators and officers will offer an overview of responsibilities and a review of the Faculty Senate Constitution and sections of HOOP that are relevant to faculty.

End of Year Reports  August, 2005

Olivia Rivas, Ombudsman, reported her work to the Faculty Senate at the July meeting. She offered insight into the concerns faculty bring and recommendations for how those concerns should be addressed. Ethel Cantu, Past President, gave a report at the August 17 Faculty Meeting on how the Faculty Senate responded to faculty issues from 2003-2005. Both of these reports can be accessed under Reports on this website.

Mission Statement Approved by UT Board of Regents   August, 2005

Great News!
President García presented our revised Mission Statement to the University of Texas System Regents yesterday, and they approved it.
The revised statement, which accommodates doctoral programs, now goes to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for consideration.
The UT Regents' approval is a giant step in our progress toward offering doctoral programs.
Thanks to our faculty, staff, students, TSC Trustees and community members for their support in making this important change to the Mission Statement.
Ruth Ann Ragland, VPAA

Thank You Senators & Past President  July, 2005

The Faculty Senate extends its thanks for the service of these outgoing Senators:  Roberto Cortina from the College of Liberal Arts, Steve Benton and Genaro Lopez   from the College of Science, Math & Technology, and Renee Rubin from the School of Education. We especially thank Steve Benton and Roberto Cortina for their years of service since the creation of the Faculty Senate in 1992. We also thank Bill Harris for his service as Senator, Vice President, President and Past President of the Faculty Senate. We will miss their wise counsel and knowledge of faculty issues and Faculty Senate history.

New Vice President Elected  July, 2005

The Faculty Senate congratulates Karen Fuss-Sommer as the new Vice President. She was elected to replace Edward Hymson who recently retired. She will take office at the beginning of the fall term 2005.

TSC Board Passes Naturally Sustainable Campus Resolution June, 2005

Pat Wade, Chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on Environmental Responsibility, and President Ethel Cantu presented a summary of the work of the committee to Trustees Breedlove, Robles, and Oliveira at the Physical Facilities Subcommittee meeting on May 26, 2005. The trustees were very complimentary of the work done by the committee and very receptive to the recommendations, including a resolution on the naturally sustainable campus. The TSC Board accepted the recommendation of the Physical Facilities Subcommittee and passed this resolution at their June 16, 2005 meeting.

Resolution in Support of a Sustainable Campus Environment:
Whereas a well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing campus is in keeping with our campus values and is especially important to creating a sense of place; and
Whereas our campus is located in close proximity to the Lower Rio Grande River Wildlife Corridor and other sensitive native habitat and ecosystems; and
Whereas, being good stewards and a model for the community in energy conservation, efficient architecture, recycling, and sustainable eco-systems, is in keeping with the mission of our community university.
Therefore be it Resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the Texas Southmost College District supports our community university's continuing efforts to create, maintain, and promote a naturally sustainable environment within its existing and future campus.
Passed and adopted this 16th day of June, 2005.

This issue of environmental responsibility was first raised by the faculty at their fall meeting in August, 2003. Pat Wade agreed to chair the committee and from their hard work resulted a report, meetings with administrators and trustees, and resolutions passed by the faculty, the Faculty Senate, and the TSC Board. It's now up to the campus community to implement this resolution with appropriate procedures and activities. Pat Wade has already initiated a discussion about recycling with Student Affairs. Contact Pat to get involved.

Recommendation to Abandon Parity Adjustments in Favor of Larger Base Merit Increase  May, 2005

The Welfare Committee spent several meetings in discussions about base merit increases vs parity adjustments but was unable to make a recommendation to the Faculty Senate because of a tie vote. The Faculty Senate heard from Ed Hymson, Chair of the Welfare Committee, and Jose Martin, Provost, about the consequences of base merit increases and parity adjustments. Base merit increases benefit almost all faculty, whereas parity adjustments benefit only a few, particularly those in only one school, the School of Business. If no parity adjustments are made, then the base merit adjustment can be a larger amount. The Faculty Senate at the May 6 meeting voted in favor of a larger base merit increase for 2005-06.

New Officers and Senators Elected   May, 2005

The Faculty Senate congratulates the new officers: President:  David Pearson,
Vice President:  Edward Hymson, Secretary:  Irma Jones, and Treasurer:  Pat Celaya.

We also congratulate these new senators:
School of Education:  Bobbette M. Morgan,  Joseph Rene Corbeil, and John Sutterby
School of Health Sciences:  Joe Lacher, and Virginia Maldonado-Maxwell
College of Liberal Arts:  William C. Davis, Julie Larson, and Cheryl Phelps
College of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: James R. Sullivan and Elizabeth R. Heise.

They will take office at the beginning of the fall term 2005.

Members Appointed to Grievance Panel  May, 2005

President Juliet Garcia has accepted the Faculty Senate's nominees to the Grievance Panel for the 2005-2007 term.
College of Liberal Arts: William C. Davis, Roberto Cortina
College of Science, Math & Technology: Wayne Wells, Rodney Sullivan
School of Business: Gerald Hollier
School of Education: Paula Parson, Mary Curtis
School of Health Sciences: Virginia Maldonado-Maxwell

They will join these members of the panel whose term is 2004-2006:
College of Liberal Arts: David Pearson, Terry Tomlin
College of Science, Math, & Technology: Blanca Lozano, Sessia Wyche
School of Business: Irma Jones
School of Education: James Telese
School of Health Sciences: Joe Lacher

Department Chairs to be Elected to Three Year Terms  March, 2005

HOOP Policy 7.5.1  Selection of Department Chairs and Academic Program Directors was revised to call for the election of department chairs to three year terms. The Faculty Senate initiated this revision in response to faculty demands at the fall 2004 general faculty meeting. The policy is expected to take effect this fall with one third of the department chairs standing for election.

Reply from Raymund Paredes, Commissioner of Higher Education, THECB  February, 2005

February 4, 2005

Dear Professor Cantu:
I received a copy of your letter to Jeffrey Phelps in which you express concern over comments at The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Committee meeting on December 2, 2004.
Let me state unequivocally that the staff and members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, apart from what Mr. Phelps may or may not have said, weigh all proposals for degree programs on the merits of each proposal. We have no policy, formal or informal, that favors the placement of doctoral programs in urban institutions. We are eager to work with the faculty and administration of UT-Brownsville to expand and strengthen its academic programs in a manner consistent with the best interests of Texas higher education.
We look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Garcia, Dr. Martin, and other faculty and staff at UT-Brownsville on the development of additional academic programs for the people of South Texas.

Raymund A. Paredes

Resolution on Discriminatory Remarks by Staff of THECB passed by the Faculty Senate January, 2005

Read the full text of the resolution under Resolutions on this Faculty Senate website.

Whereas, discriminatory remarks, such as those made by Jeffrey Phelps to the Faculty Advisory Council on December 2, 2004, that "the Coordinating Board should not be approving doctoral programs, such as a PhD in Physics, on the fringes of Texas in a region that is not a large metropolitan area," are detrimental to the decision-making process.

Faculty Views on Parking September, 2004

In September, 2004 I sent the following letter to President Garcia, Provost and VPAA Jose Martin and VPBA Rosemary Martinez regarding parking.

I write this letter to express the views of the Faculty Senate regarding parking and parking lots on campus.  At the August 20 meeting, the Faculty Senate responded to concerns raised by the faculty at the general faculty meeting on August 18 and passed three motions related to parking.  The first motion expressed a very strong sense that UTB/TSC continue to keep faculty lots or sections of lots at the current level or above and provide faculty lots or sections of lots around new buildings at a level sufficient for the reasonable needs of the faculty and staff.  The feeling on this issue was so strong that the Faculty Senate directed me to send a letter to this effect to you.
The second motion was to require that all parking permit holders provide proof of insurance at the time of permit pick-up.  The third motion was to provide enforcement of parking in lots designated for faculty by gates or other means of enforcement. The UTB/TSC parking committee has also been notified of these actions by the Faculty Senate.  It is the desire of the Faculty Senate that you accommodate these strong feelings of the Faculty Senate and the faculty at large as you deliberate issues of parking on campus.
Ethel Cantu, Faculty Senate President

Faculty Senate Appoints Olivia Rivas as Ombudsman  February, 2004

Dr. Olivia Rivas, Professor, School Specialties, was appointed ombudsman by the Faculty Senate at the February 6, 2004 meeting. Olivia brings skills and experience from administrative and faculty positions at UTB/TSC, including interim Dean, School of Business, Vice President for Student Affairs, TSC Faculty Association President, and counselor. She completed formal mediation training with the TSC/Harvard Mediation Program (1990) and with the Texas A&M University System Office of Community Development (2002). Olivia is ready to act as an informal mediator in disputes between individual faculty members and their colleagues or administration at a level below that of the formal grievance procedures.

Washington Advisory Group (WAG) Report

The WAG report can be accessed at

Campus Compact Report

The Campus Compact report can be accessed at

Campus Bookstore Offers the Faculty Center Network

The Faculty Center Network is a one-stop resource on college textbooks. It is intended to serve faculty and provide robust information on textbooks, and to help faculty make informed decisions. The Faculty Center Network database of over 225,000 different textbook titles is revised and refreshed on a daily basis. The Faculty Center Network adds titles and the title's core data -- cover image, summary/table of contents/preface, etc. -- as soon as information is available. However, the book ranking and adoption information is updated twice a year, in April and November. Access to the Faculty Center is limited to faculty. Access the campus bookstore at  and then select Faculty Services. Next select Faculty Center Network and then register your user name and password. After verification that you are a UTB/TSC faculty member, you will have access to the services.

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