Administrators seek alternative in finding guest lecturers

Senior News Reporter

In the search for guest lecturers, officials are concerned not enough attention is being given to ensure the quality and quantity of proposals.

The University Lecturers Committee of Faculty Senate, lead by Interim Chair Amanda Boutot, assists departments and groups to bring guest lecturers to campus. The committee helps gather funds and administer a budget to departments that have submitted proposals for guest lecturers.

After reviewing proposals at the March 4 meeting, the committee approved a total of $27,020 for guest lecturers.

Boutot said in a March 19 Faculty Senate meeting that proposal quantity and quality was lacking this year, which stemmed from lack of awareness. Faculty did not seem to be aware the call for lecturers had gone out, and two individuals tried to submit a proposal after the deadline.

“(The committee) did feel the quality of proposals this year, and the couple of people who have seen the (proposals) previous to, were not really that great,” Boutot said.

The top three or four proposals were “really good” but the remaining request for lecturers “dropped off” after that, Buotot said.

“We just wondered if the advertising for it might have been a part of the issue,” Boutot said.

Mass reminder e-mails are sent to inform faculty of the deadlines for lecturer proposal applications, senators said.

“We do the mass e-mailings, but the fact is people get so many mass e-mails they ignore some of them,” said Debra Feakes, vice chair for Faculty Senate. “I wonder if there’s a different way to do it besides a mass e-mail.”

Boutot said the committee’s top five proposals received full funding and were “highly rated.” The bottom three of the top eight proposals were recommended to receive a “little less funding.”

Feakes said the committee is allotted a $27,000 budget from student service fees. In the past, additional funds have been requested from the committee, but the previous amount is typically used.

“The total amount requested was somewhere around $40,000, and we knew that was too much,” Boutot said. “There’s the $27,000 annually, and then it rolls.”

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction had two proposals granted for a total of $5,750, according to the award document found on the Faculty Senate’s webpage. The geography, history, sociology and theater and dance departments each were awarded funding for their proposals. Other miscellaneous departments, including Campus Activities & Student Organizations, Institutional Research, the Center for Multicultural and Gender Studies and the Albert B. Alkek Library received the remainder of the funds.

Faculty members might be interested in submitting proposals if they knew more about the committee and the process, Boutot said.

“It may not be on people’s radars,” Boutot said.

The committee meets once per year and consists of once faculty member per college and a library representative, according to their webpage on the Texas State website.

A representative from the committee will return to Faculty Senate with a revised communication plan.