During its first meeting this academic year, Faculty Senate discussed the governing body’s guidelines and reports from the past year.
The senate is an elected legislative body made up of faculty members who typically meet four times a semester and make recommendations to President Vistasp Karbhari. Each department elects its own senators to the body.
Provost Teik Lim said the university hired a total of 49 tenured or tenure-track faculty members and 53 non-tenure track faculty members during the 2018-19 academic year.
Lim said 76 tenured or tenure-track positions have been approved for the next hiring process but the number could grow if more funding can be allocated. He also mentioned the creation of new offices under his own including a new academic personnel office.
Senate chairperson Bill Carroll welcomed eight new senators. Despite the new additions, Carroll said, there were still seats open on the senate and he encouraged department chairpeople to hold elections to fill them.
“One of the reasons we’re not doing a lot of business today, we wanted to make sure we get the roster full before we jump into any of that,” Carrol said.
Vice chairperson David Coursey said there would be 15 non-tenured faculty senators represented, starting in October. Each college will get one representative and the remaining seven are based on the total number of non-tenure track faculty.
Coursey stressed that the senators should take time to inform other faculty senators proceedings at departmental meetings. He said senators should notify either Coursey or Carroll if they are not given allotted time at departmental meetings.
“You are the liaison to the faculty for a lot of information,” he said. “You’re the conduit for a lot of this information.”
Coursey, Carroll and communications senator Tom Ingram delivered reports concerning foreign influence, an initiative called Academy for Distinguished Service Leadership.
At the end of the meeting, senators separated into colleges and voted each of its own members into a committee. Carroll said it would be at least a week before this year’s committee list would be published on the senate’s website.
According to the senate committee charges document, committees plan to review faculty hiring processes, faculty retention, as well as evaluate the new UTA website.
The next Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2.