Main Content

Resolutions & Work Accomplished

Resolutions

Submitted by the Faculty Senate Faculty Relations Committee March 21, 2019

Whereas TCU affirms a campus culture that promotes equity, fairness, collaboration, and connection; and

Whereas TCU’s strategic plan, Vision in Action: Lead On, identified raising the university’s academic profile as a primary objective; and

Whereas all TCU faculty members should have an equal right to advance their professional development and raise their academic profiles; and

Whereas the number of full-time non-tenured faculty has steadily grown over the past decade; and

Whereas current confusions in the Faculty/Staff Handbook’swording concerning leave policies limit access to opportunities to professional development for full-time non-tenured faculty; and

Whereas the specific use of the ambiguous word “normally” in reference to who qualifies for academic leave contributes to an inconsistent, and thus unfair, granting of academic leave among TCU’s various colleges and schools1; and

Whereas such inconsistency allows some, but not all, full-time non-tenured faculty to take academic leave, thereby limiting access to professional development opportunities; and

Whereas such inconsistency is incompatible with TCU’s commitment to equity, fairness, collaboration, and connection;

Whereas TCU, and particularly the TCU Faculty Senate, has previously endorsed the conviction that TCU faculty should not be separated into gratuitous tiers of greater and lesser privileges;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the TCU Faculty Senate strongly suggests that the wording in the Faculty/Staff Handbook be clarified to indicate that “Leaves can be awarded to all full-time faculty whose leaves enhance the academic profile of their department, college, and/or the University.”

”Normally, leaves are awarded only to tenured faculty and are awarded to faculty whose leaves enhance the academic profile of their college or the University.” (TCU 2018-19 Faculty/Staff Handbook, p. 53)

Passed April 4, 2019

The first goal of TCU’s Vision in Action strategic plan is to “strengthen the academic profile and reputation of TCU.” We can only accomplish this goal through faculty excellence in both teaching and research/creative activities.

Regular merited faculty leaves provide faculty with the time, attention, and energy needed to achieve such excellence. Accordingly, the 2018-19 TCU Faculty/Staff Handbook indicates that “The University supports the concept of merited leaves with pay for full-time faculty” and that they are “awarded to faculty whose leaves enhance the academic profile of their college or the University.”

The 2018-19 TCU Faculty/Staff Handbook also indicates that “Normally, seven academic years at TCU must pass between applications for leave of absence. Hence, one applies for a leave in the fall of the seventh academic year since the previous leave with the award taken in the eighth year of service.” In contrast, most of our peer and aspirant institutions offer a seven-year leave cycle, and we are unaware of any other comparable institution that offers an eight-year leave cycle.

Therefore, to facilitate faculty excellence in teaching and research/creative activities, the TCU Faculty Senate recommends revising the TCU Faculty/Staff Handbook to change the eight-year leave cycle to a seven-year leave cycle (i.e., with six years of service and leave taken in the seventh year). The revised handbook language would read, “Usually, seven academic years at TCU must pass between leaves of absence. Hence, one applies for a leave in the fall of the sixth academic year since the previous leave with the award taken in the seventh year of service.”

This resolution does not preclude the awarding of more frequent leaves in exigent circumstances (such as fellowships, grants, invitations, and other special opportunities) where a leave would greatly enhance the academic profile of the University.

Passed April 4, 2019

 

Mirroring the broader world around us, the TCU community strives to accommodate a diversity of opinions, perspectives, and experiences on many issues of importance. Given these differing views, authentic and respectful dialogue must guide faculty discussions on current and future issues of concern to the University. Especially now, as we begin work toward crafting a structure for teaching our students how to speak, relate, and work productively across differences, it is imperative that faculty model this skill set. A willingness to address differences respectfully and frankly, with an attitude of curiosity, humility, and a desire to understand, should be our ground rule in all matters involving discourse and debate. We therefore call upon all TCU faculty, regardless of rank, discipline, or perspective, to listen carefully to one another, to seek understanding over divisiveness, and to engage in respectful dialogue in their discussions with one another.

Passed May 2, 2019

The Faculty Senate of Texas Christian University, representing the faculty, reaffirms its commitment to the University’s core values of academic achievement, personal freedom and integrity, the dignity and respect of the individual, and a heritage of inclusiveness, tolerance, and service. The faculty supports the TCU community’s ongoing efforts to fully realize those values and their expression in diversity in all its forms, equity, inclusiveness, freedom of expression, and academic freedom.

December 1, 2016

Motions:

  1. In recognition for conducting the colossal work of researching and cataloguing historical proceedings from 1970 to 2015, and appreciating the significance and many possible future uses of this contribution in the operations of the Faculty Senate, the Senate hereby presents this expression of its sincere gratitude to its Information Officer, Dr. Art Busbey.
  2. The Faculty Senate Governance Committee acknowledges the actions of the executive committee in the creation, charges, and membership appointments of the Committee on the Academic Profile of the University, The Committee on Research and Creative Activity, and the Horizon Commission. Therefore in accordance with section IV, Articles C and D, we move for a vote of confirmation by the senate in the creation of these committees.

Motion from EEC:

The TCU Faculty Senate endorses the shortened e-SPOT, as recommended by the University
Evaluation Committee (UEC) and the EEC. The new shortened e-SPOT questionnaire is as follows:

New Proposal for Student Perception of Teaching (S.P.O.T.) Survey

Student Information
[Yes/No]
– This course is a requirement (i.e. part of my major/minor/program/core requirements).
– I am a major in the department offering this course.

[Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Neither Agree nor Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree]
– I was interested in taking this course.

[Better than expected / same as I expected / worse than I expected]
– My performance in this course is …

Faculty Questions
[Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Neither Agree nor Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree]
– The instructor encouraged active involvement in this class.
– The instructor treated students fairly.
– The instructor created and maintained an atmosphere of civility and respect.
– I felt welcome seeking the instructor’s help outside of class or online.
– The instructor was well prepared.
– The instructor provided clear explanations during class.
– The instructor provided useful feedback on my work.

Course Questions
[Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Neither Agree nor Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree]
– The course work helped me learn.

[Open-ended questions]
– What worked well in this class?
– What are your suggestions for improving this class?

Resolution on Faculty Inclusivity
By the TCU Faculty Senate
November 3, 2011

Whereas TCU affirms a campus culture that emphasizes collaboration, reciprocity, cooperation, and connectivity, and

Whereas TCU upholds a firm institutional commitment to shared governance and a participatory process that encourages faculty involvement, and

Whereas all full-time TCU faculty should have the opportunity to participate in the structures of governance that concern them, and

Whereas TCU administrators and faculty must guard against forming of specious hierarchies that unnecessarily limit faculty participation due to different ranks, designations, and duties,

Therefore, be it resolved, that the TCU Faculty Senate endorses a policy of inclusivity regarding faculty participation in governance structures; that full-time TCU faculty should not be separated into gratuitous tiers of greater and lesser privileges due to their different ranks, designations, and duties; and that all full-time TCU faculty have the right to express their concerns and opinions in all appropriate departmental, college, and Senate forums.

Resolution on Access to Wireless Networks
By the TCU Faculty Senate
November 3, 2011

Whereas TCU has established a reputation as a center of academic excellence and innovation, and

Whereas TCU’s ability to achieve its mission to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community is significantly impacted by the ability of TCU students to have easy and reliable access to the World Wide Web, and

Whereas maintaining the teacher-scholar model also requires all TCU faculty and support staff to have easy and reliable access to the World Wide Web, and

Whereas TCU students are continuing to experience connectivity difficulties with the StuWireless network, and

Whereas TCU faculty and support staff are experiencing connectivity difficulties and restricted access to TCU networks, and

Whereas these difficulties negatively impact the ability of TCU students, faculty, and support staff to contribute to TCU’s mission and achieve academic and operational excellence, and

Whereas an increasing reliance on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile wireless devices over traditional desktop computing devices will only exacerbate any current wireless network problems, and

Whereas Mac users currently experience more problems than PC users,

Therefore, be it resolved, that the TCU Faculty Senate urges Technology Resources to make (1) reliable student access to TCU networks, (2) unrestricted and reliable access to TCU networks by TCU faculty and support staff, and (3) equal treatment and support for Mac and PC users priorities of the highest order and (4) to provide the Faculty Senate with regular updates on the progress being made toward achieving these goals.

Submitted by the Student Relations Committee

A Resolution Honoring Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr.
The TCU Faculty Senate
May 2013

WHEREAS, Dr. Victor J. Boschini, Jr. has provided exemplary leadership and service as Texas Christian University’s Chancellor since 2003;

WHEREAS, he has encouraged new strategic initiatives that have raised TCU’s reputation while positively impacting the community, nation, and world, such as Vision in Action and Vision in Action: The Academy of Tomorrow;

WHEREAS, under his leadership the student-faculty ratio has improved to 13:1; the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate has reached 90 percent; undergraduate financial aid has doubled; and applications for admission have soared to more than 19,000;

WHEREAS, under his leadership TCU has been consistently listed among the nation’s top 100 universities, its schools, colleges, and programs highly ranked; and its reputation enhanced with the recognition it has received for its promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics and campus life;

WHEREAS, under his leadership a dozen chairs and professorships have been created, so that now 11 percent of the faculty hold endowed positions;

WHEREAS, under his leadership the physical campus has been transformed by continual improvements; TCU’s facility space has increased by 24 percent; $573 million has been invested in 25 new facilities and renovation projects, including Scharbauer, Palko, Reed and Lowe halls; and classrooms and laboratories have been universally upgraded;

THEREFORE, be it resolved, that the TCU Faculty Senate commends Chancellor Boschini for his exemplary leadership and expresses its profound gratitude and esteem;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be made a part of the official minutes of the TCU Faculty Senate and that a copy be presented to him.

Resolution on TCU Employee Benefits
Adopted by the Faculty Senate
May 2, 2013

Whereas the TCU Faculty Senate recognizes the need of the Board of Trustees and senior administrators to practice fiscal responsibility, and that prudent oversight of such responsibility ensures the longevity, competitiveness, and well-being of the institution, and

Whereas the TCU Faculty Senate believes that robust benefits are a vital part of employee compensation and thus crucial in attracting top faculty and staff, fostering long-term employee commitment to the institution, and promoting its national and international reputation, and

Whereas the TCU Faculty Senate further believes that robust benefits are crucial in sustaining institutional momentum, maintaining faculty and staff morale, and preserving the Teacher/Scholar model that distinguishes TCU’s excellence, and

Whereas the TCU Faculty Senate is proud to contribute to TCU’s momentum, distinction, and excellence, and is fully committed to protecting the overall health of the university,

Therefore, be it resolved, that the TCU Faculty Senate recommends that employee compensation, including benefits, either be maintained at current levels, or increased when appropriate;

Be it also resolved, that reductions to employee compensation, including benefits, should only be considered in the event of a severe budget crisis that clearly threatens TCU’s institutional health and well- being; that, if such financial exigency occurs, employee compensation should only be considered for reduction as part of a larger campus-wide effort to reduce costs; and that, if such budget cutbacks become necessary, all employees be grandfathered in at their current levels;

Finally, be it further resolved, that any reductions to faculty compensation, including benefits, be discussed in the Faculty Senate before any steps toward implementation are taken; that, as a means of declaring its position, the Faculty Senate take a formal vote on such reductions; and that designated representatives of the TCU Faculty Senate take part in Cabinet-level budget discussions when changes in employee compensation are discussed.

Resolution Summary: This resolution reaffirms the 2013 “Resolution on TCU Employee Benefits,” expresses concern that the Faculty Senate was not consulted regarding the recent reductions in benefits, respectfully asks for a meaningful dialogue to consider the restoration of the PPO90 plan and the domestic partner policy, and, in the spirit of shared governance, calls for the involvement of the Faculty Senate representatives in future decision-making discussions on benefits. 

Whereas the TCU administration, faculty, and staff have strongly supported a campus culture of connection, collaboration, and cooperation; and 

Whereas shared governance has been widely endorsed as a part of this campus culture; and

Whereas the TCU Faculty Senate’s “Resolution on TCU Employee Benefits,” adopted by the Senate on May 2, 2013, resolves that employee compensation and benefits should be maintained at current levels or increased, and reduced only in the case of a severe budget crisis that threatens TCU’s well-being; and

Whereas the 2013 resolution states that benefit reductions should occur only after the TCU Faculty Senate has had the opportunity to discuss and make a recommendation concerning proposed reductions and that “designated representatives of the TCU Faculty Senate take part in Cabinet-level discussions” when changes in compensation and benefits are discussed; and

Whereas the TCU administration has recently—and without consultation—reduced employee benefits by precluding employees from enrolling in the PPO90 health insurance option and ending access to benefits for domestic partners; and

 Whereas these reductions in benefits are inconsistent with TCU’s Vision in Action Lead On strategic plan, which calls for strengthening the workforce and emphasizes the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion,

Therefore, be it resolved that the TCU Faculty Senate (1) expresses its concern that the Faculty Senate was not consulted in the administrative recent decisions to reduce benefits, and therefore, (2) respectfully asks for a meaningful dialogue with the Chancellor, the Cabinet, and the Retirement and Benefit Plan Committee to consider the restoration of full access to the PPO90 plan and the domestic partner policy, and (3) calls for specific procedures to implement a greater level of shared governance by involving Faculty Senate representatives in all future administrative deliberations on benefits.

 

The Academic Excellence Committee, in conjunction with the DEI Subcommittee for Curriculum, propose adding a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) requirement as an Essential Competency to the TCU Core Curriculum.  (Faculty Senate,  March 7, 2019)

  1. The Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee, in cooperation with the Academic Excellence Committee, will review the GPA requirements for maintaining eligibility for scholarships and other forms of financial assistance. In the spirit of flexibility and fairness, special consideration should be given to evaluating each trailing semester’s GPA for maintaining eligibility as well as the current policy of considering the cumulative GPA.

In addition, the Senate recommends that there should be a review of the current policy whereby a 3.00 GPA is required for the continuation of Academic scholarship eligibility in the first year and then increases to the 3.25 GPA level in succeeding years.

2. Policies regulating the number of times a course may be retaken are the province of the college offering the course. In the case of a course offered by one unit, which is required in the major degree plan of another, the Deans of the respective units, in cooperation with the Provost, will reach an agreement on policy.

3. A student taking a course multiple times will have all grades achieved in that course averaged together for inclusion in the calculation of theirGPA*.

*If a student takes a course multiple times it will only count once in terms of credits earned. A 3 credit course taken three times will contribute 3 credits (not9 )toward the degree and the GPA.

 

Work Accomplished

On the Evaluation of TCU Faculty Teaching: A TCU Faculty Senate Report

Best Practices for the Evaluation of Teaching

The Faculty Senate Task Force on the TCU Promise: Final Report