April 18, 2000

Cashion 303



Present: Abbott-Kirk, Adams, Auld, Baird, Beck, Bowery, Buddo, Carini, Curtis, Davis, Farris, Garland, Gilchrest, M. Sanford (for Genrich), Hair, Jensen, K. Johnson, P. Johnson, Johnston, Longfellow, Losey, McGee, Riley, Stone, Supplee, Weaver, Williams, Wilson, Yelderman, Young

Absent: Cox, Dunn

Also present: D. Myers (Committee on Committees), M. Essary (Tenure Committee)


I. Call to Order & Announcements.

The meeting began at 3:35. Baird expressed the Senate's best wishes to Sandy Genrich for a speedy recovery following recent surgery.


II. Consideration of Agenda

The printed agenda was distributed, and approved by consent


III. Consideration of March Minutes

The minutes from the March meeting (distributed electronically prior to the meeting) were approved by consent.


IV. New Business

A. Report from University Tenure Committee (Melissa Essary, Chair)

Essary expressed concern over several matters. First, the Tenure Committee often gets little or no feedback from departmental faculty (in many, though not all departments). As a result, the Committee often uses Student Evaluations to assess teaching effectiveness, despite their acknowledged shortcomings. Second, the members of the committee expressed concern that with the University's increased emphasis on scholarship, teaching effectiveness may be compromised.

Discussion focused around the first of these points. The Tenure Committee is in the process of suggestion models of peer review and mentoring, especially for tenure-track faculty early in their careers. As a sample model, Essary reviewed the procedures used by the Law School. Newly-hired Law faculty engage in reciprocal teaching during the first two years, sitting in on senior colleagues' classes, and these colleagues attend junior colleagues' classes. During the third year, a comprehensive peer review is performed by three tenured faculty members, which is intended to serve both as evaluation and feedback. During the 5th year, a comprehensive peer review is conducted prior to the tenure evaluation the following year.

Essary stressed that the Law School model is simply one way of conducting these reviews, and she welcomed feedback regarding the process. The Tenure Committee is planning to make a recommendation regarding peer review in the tenure process to the Council of Deans next academic year.


B. Report from Senate Nominating Committee

The following names were placed in nomination by the Senate Nominating Committee

Chair: Jay Losey

Chair-Elect: David Longfellow

Publicity: Buddy Gilchrest

Secretary: Chuck Weaver


A formal vote will take place at the May meeting.




C. Report from University Committee on Committees (Dennis Myers)

The COC report was distributed prior to the meeting, and was submitted for review and approval by the Senate. Myers also distributed a supplemental report (see Appendix A). The COC report will also be reviewed and approved by the Administration. As the COC report is still incomplete, Myers asked the Faculty Senate for approval of this preliminary report, pending a final report once Administrative review is completed. The report and supplement were accepted unanimously.


V. Old Business

A. Tenure Decision Letter

The suggestions made by the Faculty Senate was approved by the Administration. A copy of the letter (with the changes highlighted) is in Appendix B.


B. Description of Senate in Faculty Handbook.

Discussions are continuing


VI. Committee/Liaison Reports

A. Faculty Committee on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Environment (J. Losey, Chair).

No report.


B. Faculty Committee on Enrollment Management (D. Johnston, Chair).

As of March 31, 2000, mean SAT and ACT scores of incoming freshmen are 1183 and 24, respectively, compared to 1182 and 24.66 for the entering class, fall of 1999. Johnston hopes to have additional data at the May meeting.


C. Faculty Committee on Physical Facilities (J. Yelderman, Chair).

The current parking situation for faculty and visitors will be reviewed this summer.


D. Faculty Committee on Student Life and Services (R. Wilson, Chair). No report.


E. Athletic Council (M. Dunn, Liaison).

Data are being gathered regarding the financial status of the athletic department.


F. Staff Council (J. Abbott-Kirk, Liaison). No Report.


G. Benefits and Personnel Committee (F. Curtis, Liaison). No Report.


VII. Additional Business

McGee introduced the following resolution:

Be it resolved that the Baylor University Faculty Senate expresses it enthusiastic support of its Chair, Dr. Robert Baird, and the sentiments that he stated regarding the establishment of the Polanyi Center as published in the April, 2000 issue of the Faculty Senate Newsletter. The Senate requests that the Baylor Administration respond affirmatively to Dr. Baird's request that the Polanyi be dissolved, as a positive sign of the Administration's respect for the Baylor faculty and their judgments regarding academic programs.


The motion was seconded by Beck, and passed by an overwhelming majority (27 votes in favor, 2 against, 1 abstention).


With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:45.


Respectfully submitted,

Chuck Weaver


Appendix A

Supplemental report to the Faculty Senate from the Committee on Committees






Appendix B

Revised Tenure Letter

(Original modifications shown in bold. Deletions shown in strikethrough. Final version non-italicized.)







Dear Dr.


I congratulate you on a successful tenure review.


The process of awarding and accepting tenure marks a significant transition in the ongoing relationship between you as an individual member of the faculty and the larger institution. It is both a recognition of the contributions you have made to Baylor University during the years of your pre-tenure appointment and an indication of an increased level of mutual responsibilities and expectations between you and the University. In granting tenure, the University makes a commitment to you and in return expects that, as a tenured member of the faculty, you will actively support the Christian mission of the University and will continue your commitment to excellence in your teaching, your scholarly activity, your service to the University and community, and your personal and professional relationships with your students and colleagues.


Based on your review and in accordance with Baylor's tenure policy, Baylor will grant tenure to you effective June 1, 20XX. , provided that the quality of your service and conduct, as established in your tenure review, continues until that date, as we certainly anticipate will be the case. Best wishes for successful completion of your tenure track appointment.






Robert B. Sloan, Jr.