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Resolutions & Work Accomplished

Resolutions

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.

 

Resolution from EEC: Appropriate use of student evaluations

TCU is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and seeks to “promote a campus environment that is welcoming for all and free of bias.”[1] Academic research, however, demonstrates that student evaluations of teaching “systematically disadvantage faculty from marginalized groups,”[2] including women and minorities[3], and are poor indicators of teaching quality[4].

Therefore, while SPOT data may be useful in (a) helping faculty members reflect upon and improve their teaching and (b) giving students an opportunity to voice opinions about their class experiences, SPOT data should not be used by colleges or departments in consequential decisions, such as annual review, tenure and promotion, or merit pay.

Note: For alternative methods of Teaching Evaluation, reference the “On the Evaluation of Teaching” – Faculty Senate Report (2011) and the “Best Practices on the faculty senate website.

References Cited

[1] Texas Christian University Strategic Plan. (2019). https://inclusion.tcu.edu/about/strategic-plan/

[2] Statement on Student Evaluations of Teaching. (Sep 2019). American Sociological Association.

[3] Mitchell, Kristina M.W., Martin, Jonathan. (July 2018). Gender Bias in Student Evaluations. Political Science & Politics. 51(3), 648-652.

[4] Supiano, Becky. (Sep 9, 2019). Sociologists Caution Colleges Not to Over-Rely on Student Evaluations of Teaching. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Additional References

Basow, S. A., & Silberg, N. T. (1987). Student evaluations of college professors: Are female and male professors rated differently? Journal of Educational Psychology, 79(3), 308-314.

Falkoff, Michelle. (April 25, 2018). Why We Must Stop Relying on Student Ratings of Teaching. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Flaherty, Colleen, Teaching Eval Shake-up (May 22, 2018). InsideHigherEd.

Merritt, Deborah Jones. (January 2007). Bias, the Brain, and Student Evaluations of Teaching.  Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 87.

Reid, Landon D., 2010. The Role of Perceived Race and Gender in the Evaluation of College Teaching on RateMyProfessors.com. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. 3(3), 137-152.

TCU CORE CURRICULUM

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Essential Competency (DEI EC)

Recommendations for Implementation

Submitted to TCU Faculty Senate on 27 November 2019

Administrative Matters:

Recommendation 1: Students must complete the DEI EC on campus at TCU in courses taught by appropriately-trained faculty.

Instructors teaching DEI EC-vetted courses will be required to complete a professional development workshop focused on pedagogy (see below). Since we cannot guarantee similar training at other institutions, we recommend that students be required to fulfill their DEI EC on campus at TCU under the instruction of appropriately-trained faculty.

Recommendation 2: Any course vetted for the DEI EC must be limited in size to 19 students or fewer.

The DEI EC is a competency—a skillset that requires cultivation and practice. This will require that the instructor provide frequent, detailed feedback which would not be possible in a larger class setting.  Further, it is important to recognize the emotional labor that this type of course entails for faculty, guiding the class through complicated issues that cut to the core of students’ identities and their relationship to power.  This can only be accomplished in an environment of mutual respect and trust, necessitating relationship-building between students and faculty which is only possible in a small classroom.

Recommendation 3: The DEI EC may overlay with any other course already approved for a TCU Core Curriculum designation, including courses that already have Essential Competency designation.

Students should have the opportunity to fulfill the DEI EC without necessarily adding an additional course to their degree plan.

Vetting Courses

Recommendation 1: Create a DEI EC Committee to vet courses.

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Essential Competency Committee should be a Faculty Senate Committee that will vet courses for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Essential Competency (DEI EC). This committee will vet courses for the DEI EC using as criteria the outcomes and action steps. This committee will also be responsible for working with the Director of the TCU Core Curriculum, and for maintaining a record of faculty who have successfully completed the training necessary to teach the DEI EC.

See the DEI EC Committee Charter document for more detail.

Recommendation 2: The DEI EC should have an Assessment subcommittee responsible for the assessment process.

The DEI EC Assessment Subcommittee will conduct an annual course assessment process that will include communicating the results of, and recommendations from, the assessment to faculty, especially those who taught the DEI EC courses reviewed in the assessment process.

The assessment process will also include a larger periodic assessment of the DEI EC learning goals and institutional goals. The DEI EC Assessment Subcommittee will work with the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Institutional Accreditation to conduct this component of the assessment, and will share outcomes of these assessment tools with faculty, widely, and especially with faculty who taught DEI EC course in that academic year.

Because the of the nature of the addressing DEI in a classroom setting, it is important to have a dedicated group of faculty responsible for the assessment of the DEI EC. See the DEI EC Committee Charter document for more detail.

Assessing the DEI EC

Recommendation 1: Assessing DEI EC Courses.

Using the information faculty submitted when vetting courses for the DEI Essential Competency, the DEI EC Assessment the DEI EC Assessment Subcommittee will collect a representative sample of DEI EC courses taught across colleges and schools in each academic year. In addition, the DEI EC Assessment Subcommittee will utilize a random sampling method to assess courses within a particular college or school to ensure that courses are not overrepresented or underrepresented from any single academic department or unit on campus. The DEI EC Assessment Subcommittee will request artifacts of student learning indicated on the vetting forms, and review those artifacts to determine how well students met the DEI EC competency. The Assessment Subcommittee should work with the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Institutional Accreditation to develop an appropriate assessment strategy and assessment tools that align with the competency statement for the DEI EC.

The DEI EC Assessment Subcommittee will share outcomes of the assessment with faculty, widely, and especially with faculty who taught DEI EC course in that academic year.

Because of the nature of addressing DEI in a classroom setting, it is important to have a more frequent and robust assessment plan and cycle to help ensure that we are achieving our stated goals. See the DEI EC Committee Charter document for more detail.

Recommendation 2: Assessment of learning goals/institutional goals.

On a periodic basis, the DEI Essential Competency Committee and Assessment Subcommittee will conduct a larger assessment. Working with the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Institutional Accreditation, the DEI EC Committee and Assessment Subcommittee will create a brief survey aligned with concepts in the Intercultural Competence work, designed to capture data relevant to DEI efforts in the DEI EC. Faculty teaching the DEI EC and students enrolled in those courses will complete the survey.

The DEI Essential Competency Committee and Assessment Subcommittee will also develop a checklist/brief report form to be requested of a college/school-level representative selection of randomly sampled DEI EC courses taught that academic year. The checklist/brief report would ask the instructor to collect and report information relating to relevant learning goals and DEI outcomes, and artifacts of student learning.

The DEI EC Vetting Committee and Assessment Subcommittee, working with the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Institutional Accreditation, will determine how frequently to conduct the survey described above, and the DEI EC Assessment Subcommittee will share outcomes of these assessment tools with faculty, widely, and especially with faculty who taught DEI EC course in that academic year.

Because the of the nature of the importance of the work of DEI to the TCU campus, it is important to have a more frequent and robust assessment plan and cycle that includes an evaluation of the contributions the DEI EC makes to larger institutional goals. See the Assessment Process in the DEI EC Vetting Committee Charter for more detail.

 

 

 

 

Professional Development/Pedagogical Training for Faculty

Recommendation:

All instructors teaching DEI Essential Competency overlay courses must complete a professional development workshop focused on pedagogy at least once every five years. The DEI Essential Competency Committee, working with the Director of the Core Curriculum, will maintain records of faculty who have completed the required training. Faculty new to TCU should not teach DEI EC overlay courses during their first year on campus. The purpose is to avoid overloading new faculty in their first year, especially faculty from historically underrepresented groups, and to give new faculty time to acclimate to TCU.

Dr. Claire Sanders is working to create the professional development workshop focused on pedagogy.

SRC’s Honor Code resolution (SGA’s original below)

 

Student Relations Committee Resolution

Honor Code Resolution

The TCU Faculty Senate, in its role as the representative body of the TCU faculty, joins the TCU Student Government Association (SGA) in increasing and reaffirming our commitment to academic integrity at TCU

At this time, along with SGA, recommends the adoption of a TCU Honor Code stating:

“As a member of the TCU community, I will actively contribute to an environment of academic integrity. We are ethical leaders and will not participate in any form of academic misconduct. ”

 

Student Government Association Resolution

“A Resolution to Adopt the Academic Honor Code Statement”

Whereas: Lead On Goal One, which was given as a charge in our strategic plan by the Board of Trustees, is to “Strengthen the Academic Profile and Reputation of TCU”, and

Whereas: A joint Honor Code Statement with Faculty Senate would solidify and publicize TCU’s firm commitment to academic integrity, thus increasing our academic profile, and

Whereas: Honor Code discussions have been ongoing at TCU for decades, and

Whereas: This statement builds upon these discussions, most notably the 2010 and 2016 Honor Code meetings, therefore;

Let it be resolved by the House of Student Representatives at Texas Christian University:

(1) The TCU Student Government Association, in its role as the representatives of the student body, joins Faculty Senate in increasing and reaffirming our commitment to academic integrity at TCU.

(2) That the Student Government Association adopts the following Academic Honor Code in conjunction with the Faculty Senate:

“As a member of the TCU community, I will actively contribute to an environment of academic integrity. We are ethical leaders and will not participate in any form of academic misconduct.”

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 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)

Teacher-Scholar Statement Resolution

Encompassing all faculty, the teacher-scholar model serves as a foundation for academic life at TCU. It recognizes the distinction between both faculty roles and also the dynamic dialogue that must occur between them. Teaching and scholarly activity (such as research and creative activity) are mutually compatible and reciprocal, and exceptional performance in one inspires equal merit in the other. Students benefit when faculty engage in scholarly activity and share their zeal and insights in the classroom. Likewise, such classroom discussions spark new insights that guide future scholarly activity, sometimes in collaboration across faculty and students. The teacher-scholar model thus integrates faculty productivity and student learning, enhancing both and facilitating awareness of, and service to, the world.

Passed April 4, 2019

A Resolution on Pass / No Credit Policy

Faculty Senate Student Relations Committee

 The TCU Faculty Senate, in its role as the representative body of the TCU faculty, joins with the TCU Student Government Association (SGA) in increasing and reaffirming our commitment to student learning and success by amending the current Pass / No Credit option to allow students an opportunity to forfeit their Pass/No Credit to receive the actual letter grade earned.

 Pass – No Credit Grading Option (revised 04-2018)

Undergraduate students may elect a Pass/No-Credit (P/NC) grading option. They may do so by indicating their choice online using the Manage Classes then the Edit option in my.tcu.edu no later than the date listed in the academic calendar for electing the P/NC grading option. These P/NC courses are not counted in computing the student’s GPA. A “P” course, however, will carry credit hours and be used toward a student’s total hours required for graduation. A “P” indicates achievement equivalent to a “C-” or better. Achievement equivalent to a “D+” or below results in the grade of “NC.” Students earn no credit hours in courses in which the grade of “NC” is received.

Students may take up to two courses (eight hours maximum) on a P/NC basis. No course applied to the student’s major, minor or associated requirements may be taken on the P/NC basis. Students in the M.J. Neeley School of Business may not take any course in the lower-division business sequence or in the upper-division business core on the P/NC basis. Students in the College of Education may not take any education course required for teacher certification or in the student’s teaching content area on the P/NC basis. Courses offered only with the P/NC grade will not be counted toward this limit on the number of P/NC hours. The P/NC option is not allowed in any English as a foreign language courses offered by the English Language Center.

At the conclusion of the course, a student who elected the Pass/No Credit grading option before the deadline may forfeit the Pass/No Credit designation in order to claim the letter grade earned in the course. They may do so by indicating their choice online using the Manage Classes then the Edit option in my.tcu.edu by the end of the business day (5pm) two days from the day the grade is posted to the registrar.

 If the student claims the letter grade for a Pass/No Credit course, that course still counts toward the two course (eight hours maximum) limit.

Intercollegiate Athletics Committee Resolution on a Campus-Wide Testing Center:

(Passed December 6, 2018)

Whereas the Faculty Senate passed a 2013 resolution calling for the establishment of a campus-wide testing; and

Whereas the IAC passed its own resolution in November 2016 calling for a campus-wide testing center; and 

Whereas the IAC continued to endorse previous resolutions in its February 2017 meeting and called for a memorandum to be circulated in support of these resolutions; and

Whereas the memorandum was unanimously supported by IAC in February 2017 and then sent to the Provost and Faculty Senate Executive Committee, calling for steps to be taken to discuss a campus-wide testing center; and

Whereas no steps were taken, or discussions held;

The IAC respectfully requests that discussions concerning a campus-wide testing center be given priority during the 2018-2019 academic year and active steps be taken to consider the feasibility a campus-wide testing center; and

further requests that such discussion start by asking the Provost to attend the next IAC meeting and that the IAC also ask to be included on the next Faculty Senate agenda to revisit its 2013 resolution; and

finally, requests a formal ad hoc campus-wide committee of relevant stakeholders be formed and sanctioned by the Provost to review, discuss, and draft a final resolution concerning the establishment of a campus-wide testing center.

Shared Governance Statement (12 November 2018)

TCU is a community of interdependent stakeholders that believes in meaningful involvement of its constituents in the shared governance of the university. This community recognizes that decisions and actions in any sector have implications for all other sectors. Shared governance means that all stakeholder groups participate in deliberation and decision-making.  This critical participation requires a clear understanding and observation of roles, responsibilities, and channels of communication among faculty, administration, staff, students, and trustees.

TCU reaffirms its historical commitment to the practice of shared governance, which means that faculty, staff, and students – through their elected bodies – are consulted prior to (and involved in) the formulation and implementation of policies that affect them.

Faculty Perspective on Shared Governance

TCU faculty can effectively share in governance by playing an active role in decisions regarding the formulation, amendment, or abolition of all policies that affect them at the university, college, and department levels. They can also share in governance by participating in long-term planning and decision making throughout the university. Playing an active role and participating in long-term planning require meaningful representation, through the Faculty Senate and/or elected faculty representatives, at all levels of decision making, including the Chancellor’s Cabinet and Board of Trustees.

  • Elected representatives must be faculty whose chief duties are teaching and/or research, not administration. Consequently, faculty members whose primary current roles are administrative cannot effectively serve as faculty representatives.
  • The Faculty Senate is the appropriate body to determine whether a policy or practice affects the faculty.
  • Proactive and sustained communication by all stakeholders is essential for effective shared governance.

FSEC Resolution on Senate representation on the TCU Board of Trustees:

An important part of the “TCU Promise” is a campus culture and structure that promotes and expects shared governance through collaboration, discussion, representation, and decision input. To accomplish the above requires input during (not after) the process of decision-making on issues affecting the faculty of the University. We believe that the TCU community strives to honor and uphold a firm institutional commitment to shared governance and a participatory process that encourages such faculty involvement. A natural extension of that outlook would be faculty representation on the Board of Trustees. Therefore, the TCU Faculty Senate endorses such a policy of faculty representation on the TCU Board of Trustees with full participation in discussions and decision-making.

Passed 12/6/18

Sense of the Senate Resolution regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The TCU Faculty Senate, in its role as the representative body of the TCU faculty, joins Chancellor Boschini and the TCU Administration in reaffirming our commitment to TCU students and other members of the greater TCU Community affected directly or indirectly by recent announcements regarding the DACA program. We join the call for the U.S. Congress to expeditiously pass legislation that will permanently remove the uncertainty and fear being experienced by those who find themselves in legal limbo through no fault of their own. Keeping the promises made by the U. S. Government to these honest, hard-working, and valued members of our TCU family is the right thing to do and is in keeping with TCU’s Mission to “educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community” and our core Values of “academic achievement, personal freedom and integrity, the dignity and respect of the individual, and a heritage of inclusiveness, tolerance and service.” Should Congress fail to act in a timely manner, we call upon President Trump to reconsider any discontinuation of the DACA program.

Passed September 8, 2017

Sense of the Senate Resolution regarding Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

The TCU Faculty Senate supports the ongoing efforts by TCU to provide relief to the more than 900 TCU students and others affected by the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Further, we urge all TCU faculty members to act compassionately and supportively by, as much as possible, accommodating the special needs and circumstances of our TCU students, faculty, and staff impacted by these unprecedented natural disasters.

Resolution from the FRC

During the 2014-15 academic year, the Faculty Relations Committee of the Faculty Senate examined data regarding the role and status of adjunct faculty members at TCU. Data included results of a previously published national study, institutional data gathered by TCU’s Office of Institutional Research, a survey the Committee administered to adjunct faculty, and a separate survey the Committee administered to unit chairs. A report on these data was distributed to the Faculty Senate on April 23, 2015.

The data revealed that many adjuncts express commitment to TCU’s mission and engage meaningfully with their students and TCU colleagues. At the same time, both adjuncts and chairs expressed concern about the compensation of adjunct faculty members, with TCU lagging behind some schools in the region and our national peers.

Based on this analysis, the Faculty Senate:

  1. Supports recent efforts to hire full-time faculty members to replace adjunct faculty members hired to meet enrollment demands, particularly with regard to TCU Core classes. For example, we support extending the current three-year program for the conversion of adjunct positions into full time positions to six years or more.
  2. Recommends enhancing the status and recognition of all adjunct faculty members.
  3. Given the outstanding reputation of TCU both within the region and nationally, recommends increasing the compensation of all adjunct faculty members. This will:
    • Allow TCU to compete more effectively with our peer universities;
    • Prevent loss of current adjunct faculty to regional universities, in fulfillment of the first cardinal principle of the Vision in Action strategic plan (“Recruit and retain outstanding students, faculty and staff who can thrive intellectually, personally and professionally at TCU”); and,
    • Attract the most skilled adjunct faculty in the region, in fulfillment of the second cardinal principle of the Vision in Action strategic plan (“Design a vibrant, strong and brave learning community that is characterized by outstanding teaching”).

Passed February 4, 2016

SENSE OF THE SENATE RESOLUTION ON COMPASSIONATE SUPPORT DUE TO GLOBAL EVENTS:

As TCU is truly a global community, the Faculty Senate reaffirms our ongoing commitment to the compassionate support of members of our community directly or indirectly affected by natural disasters, wars and civil unrest, and other events, wherever in the world they occur. We call upon all faculty, staff, and students to consider how they can best support our fellow Frogs in their time of need.

Passed October 5, 2017

“The Faculty Senate recommends to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees that concealed firearms not be allowed on campus and that TCU opt out of the Campus Carry provision of Texas Senate Bill 11.”

Passed October 1, 2015

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?

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 regarding the establishment of foreign language houses:

The Faculty Senate supports the establishment of a German Language House and a French Language House. It also calls for the Provost to work with the Department of Modern Language Studies, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull, and Director of Housing Craig Allen to provide sufficient funding to support them.

Passed Feb. 6, 2014

The Faculty Senate commends Chancellor Victor Boschini, Provost Nowell Donovan, Vice Chancellor Kathy Cavins-Tull, Vice Chancellor Tracy Syler-Jones, TCU Chief of Police Steve McGee, Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, and Football Coach Gary Patterson for their forthright, transparent, and timely response to the arrests made this February. They brought respect to TCU during a difficult time; they demonstrated their deep commitment to the mission of the university; and they strengthened the national regard for our institutional integrity. Their obvious concern for the well-being of all students allowed TCU to garner approval across the region, state, and nation for their handling of this unfortunate situation. The Faculty Senate appreciates their efforts.

Passed March 1, 2012

Resolution on Multisource Assessment of Academic Administrators
As submitted by the Faculty Governance Committee to the TCU Faculty Senate March 29th, 2012

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 multisource assessment is a performance assessment tool employed in many organizations that includes feedback from all stakeholders, members, and participants, including administrative subordinates, peers, and supervisors, and

Whereas there are no current, consistent [University-wide] protocols for the review of academic administrators,

Therefore, be it resolved, that the TCU Faculty Senate recommends the use of multisource assessment to review the performance of academic administrators. The assessment process should be completed by the evaluated administrators sharing their resultant thoughts and plans with their faculty.

[When there were suggestions of “wordsmithing” the portion of the resolution that stated “Whereas there are no current, consistent University-wide protocols …”, Chair Williams suggested that in the interest of time they [Faculty Governance Committee] would try to rework the phrasing on that and that the Faculty Senate vote on the principle.]

Passed April 5, 2012

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

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.

  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