FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

October 2, 2002

 

Attendance:

Courtney (Accounting), Crowder, Apilado, Rasheed, Dickinson, [Info. Sys. representative], Dulikravich, Liu, Spindler, Eakin, Elmasri, Prabhu, Hullender, Jolly, del Carmen, Horvit, Estes, Porter, Maizlish, Silva, Sol, Rogle, Nussbaum, Simowitz, Young, Maher, Kinsel, Balsam, Kribs-Zaleta, Amster, Wright, Patrick, Fincher, Courtney (Nursing), Arvidson (substitute), Witt, Wright, Featherstone, Chrzanowski.

 

Call to Order:

2:37 p.m.– Senate Chair Thomas Chrzanowski called the senate to order.

 

Approval of Minutes:

The minutes of the previous senate meeting were approved unanimously.

 

Remarks by the Chair:

The Chair declared that the senate may close its meetings at anytime. He reported that:

 

The Receivership Document has been sent to President Witt, who will return it to the senate for further review.

 

The recommendations on apportionment have been sent to Provost Wright for review.

 

Chair Chrzanowski presented a brief synopsis of events occurring at the June FAC meeting in Austin.  Discussions at the FAC meeting focused upon changes in staff at the System, the new policy on background checks, technology transfer, the role of Grants and Contracts offices, and a new Faculty Satisfaction Survey.

 

Remarks by the Provost:

Since Provost Wright had a meeting to attend, President Witt suggested that Provost Wright give his remarks first. Provost Wright made the following points:

 

It is a privilege to serve as provost at such an exciting time of rising enrollments and increasing challenges.

 

Rising enrollments mean greater challenges for the faculty, challenges that will require faculty support.

 

The university has a new, temporary building to deal with the rising enrollments, but it will need more such buildings.

 

Students, as evidenced at a recent student retreat, have great expectations for UTA.

 

The Faculty Development Leave program will continue and expand, if there are sufficient applicants.

 

There will be investments in technology. No faculty member should be without a computer.

 

Increasing enrollments have meant that getting online is difficult. Provost Wright himself has had difficulties. The problem is being worked on.

 

There will be continued faculty hiring in areas where the numbers of students require it and in areas where program needs justify it.

 

Finding space for the new faculty and the increasing number of students will be a big issue this year.

 

The faculty must not be mired in paperwork and bureaucracy. A program of “process improvement” will be introduced to streamline administrative procedures and increase efficiency and effectiveness. One example of this reform that has already been instituted is quicker reimbursement for travel expenses. Another example will be compliance training. We must do it, but we will limit it.

 

Provost Wright reported that he found at his meetings with Liberal Arts faculty that members valued UTA for the collegiality of their departments and for the freedom to teach and do research as they pleased.  The Liberal Arts faculty was concerned by dwindling M&O and travel monies and by the deteriorating physical appearance of the campus. Provost Wright pledged to address these concerns.

 

Provost Wright concluded his remarks by saying that he expected a difficult but exciting year.

 

Questions for the Provost:

President Witt suggested that since Provost Wright had to leave early, questions for Provost Wright precede his own remarks.

 

Senator Maizlish:  Will there be 20 FDLs this year as had been pledged?

Provost Wright:     Provost Wright said there will be, if there are sufficient                                         applicants.

 

Senator Liu:        Can there be more flexibility in setting GRA salaries?

Provost Wright:    Provost Wright said there would be and that he would                                          address excess paperwork in the GRA appointment process.

Senator Liu:            How can we handle a 70% student increase?

Provost Wright:            Provost Wright said that he had approved new hiring and he was relatively certain of one hire in the Senator’s area. He also said that he had expedited advertising for new positions.

 

Senator Amster:            Can there be a waiver of tuition for out of state graduate students?

Can there be compensation for summer supervision of Ph.D. students?

President Witt:            State law prohibits tuition waivers for out of state graduate students.

Provost Wright:            Provost Wright said that he would talk to Deans and Chairs and see if he could address the summer compensation issue.

 

Chair Chrzanowski: Could you discuss the background check policy issue?

Provost Wright:            Provost Wright said that he shares the concern that criminal background checks could be required of a wide variety of people. All the provosts met with the chancellor and expressed these concerns. The chancellor promised to get back to us.

 

Senator Courtney: Could you discuss the status of last year’s tenure                  (Nursing)              decisions?

Provost Wright:            This was presented to the faculty at the last meeting,

 

Senator Rogle:            Will we have compliance training?

Provost Wright:            There will be compliance training. Ninety percent of the UTA faculty and staff had completed training–the highest percentage in the UT system.

 

Senator Kinsel:            There is a disconnect between your view of technology and the faculty’s. We see computers as only an entry level technology. We need investments in equipment technology and infrastructure. Can the university provide that kind of technology investment?

Provost Wright:            $830,000 has been invested in a super computer and the university will hire 1& ½ persons to run it. It will be a line item expense.

Senator Kinsel:            We appreciate the super computer, but technology is more than computers and we need substantial investment in equipment and infrastructure to hire and retain faculty and do research.

Provost Wright:            Provost Wright said that he agreed.

 

(Provost Wright left the senate meeting to attend another meeting)

 

Remarks by President Witt:

President Witt made the following points:

 

Staffing and space are two major concerns. Unfortunately, the university has had to satisfy space problems with a temporary building and there will be more temporary buildings. This raises concerns for the integrity of the campus master plan.

 

We are below the Coordinating Board’s space utilization norms. Students say that in order to come to afternoon classes there needs to be a core of courses offered, so we are considering the creation of an afternoon core.

 

We are trying to increase the quality of our students with calls to specific student prospects and a scholarship increase to $4,000 for four years and $10,000 for National Merit Scholars.

 

A new Ph.D. in Nursing and a new MA in Communications will be coming before the Coordinating Board.

 

The Receivership Document is still being reviewed.  President Witt is open to faculty involvement in the appointments process covered by the document, but wants to avoid protracted public discussions of these appointments, for it would be counter-productive to allow pressures to build through prolonged debate.

 

Faculty will be notified earlier than in the past of their salaries for the coming year.

 

The university is moving to increase investments in technology.

 

Sr. Vice President for Finance & Administration Dan Williams received a positive review. Areas of improvement were identified. He will be involved in faculty outreach and process improvement.

 

Provost Wright received a positive review. Areas of improvement were identified. Provost Wright will be going out to departments to learn about their issues and he will be doing a better job of delegating authority.

 

There will probably be a state budget shortfall of $5-12 billion. President

Witt fears a moratorium on new PUF funding.

 

One source of funding for technology equipment are the Lear funds. Last year these funds went to fire and air safety expenses, but this year those funds will be available for technology investment.  President Witt is certain that we can begin to partially address the technology equipment issue this year.

Questions for the President:

Senator Young:            Will there be higher funding flowing from the higher enrollments?

President Witt:            President Witt said that there will be no new money for faculty salaries, but there will likely be full funding of the formula and even with less than full funding the university will benefit under the formula from its enrollment increase. The resulting new funds will likely go to recruitment and some to faculty and staff salary adjustments.

 

Senator Amster:            What impact do outstanding bonds have on the university?

President Witt:            President Witt hopes that tuition revenue bonds will continue to be funded.

 

Senator Arvidson

(substitute):            Is the Ph.D. in urban planning before the Coordinating Board?

President Witt:            President Witt said that he is uncertain of its status.

 

Senator Liu:            How do we balance publications and work for a private patent in tenure decisions?

President Witt:            President Witt personally feels that pursuing a patent rather than a publication is alright as long as scholarship is a component of the patent request. Provost Wright will examine this issue.

 

Senator Rasheed:            Will more dormitories be built?

President Witt:            President Witt said that there will soon be fast track groundbreaking on a new apartment complex and we will be working toward the construction of another dormitory.

Senator Rasheed:            Will there be a new building for continuing education?

President Witt:            President Witt said that the Work Force Development building of 55,000 sq. ft. will have space in it for continuing education.

A new Fine Arts complex will be complete by August, 2003.

 

Senator Porter:            Is a faculty club planned?

President Witt:            President Witt said that a faculty club will be contained within a planned Alumni Association building.

 

(President Witt left the senate meeting)

 

Pickaprof:

The senate debated the value of Pickaprof.

 

Student Body President Featherstone explained that the students were considering paying for the previously free Pickaprof service. He emphasized the multiple services Pickaprof could provide, including services that will allow faculty and students to interact. He explained that he hoped the faculty and students could work together to form a service that would both meet the students’ needs and address the faculty’s concerns. He expressed concern over the escalating costs of the service.

 

Faculty raised a number of objections to Pickaprof:

Its accuracy was called into question; the usefulness of its sample was challenged; its focus on the grades professors give was objected to; faculty were warned of its strong impact on enrollment patterns; and its tactic of offering a service for free and then, after establishing a following, charging for it was explained.

 

Chair Chrznowski ended the discussion and then closed the meeting, asking all non-senate members to leave the room.

 

Parking hang tag flags:

The senate debated the presence of the flag of the United States of America on this year’s parking hang tags.

 

Senator Arvidson’s replacement presented a resolution authored by Senator Arvidsion objecting to the flag’s presence on the hang tag, arguing that it violated free speech since it imposed on the entire university community a single way of expressing patriotism. The resolution called for the condemnation of the placement of the flag on the hang tags and for alternative hang tags to be issued to those who request them.

 

A debate on the subject ensued. The following points were made:

 

The placement of the flag on the hang tag is a violation of the flag code.

 

The presence of the flag on the hang tag is a violation of free speech.

 

The presence of the flag is positive and any objection to it might associate UTA in the public’s mind with The University of California at Berkeley.

 

With a controversial war at hand, it is best not to be emotional in our displays of patriotism.

 

It was not appropriate for one administrator to have made the decision to place the flag on the hang tag.

 

Senators should get feedback from their constituencies before voting on this issue.

 

Only necessary information should be on hang tags.

 

A number of faculty have covered the flag on their hang tags.

 

Senator Arvidson’s motion to disapprove the “unilateral administrative decision to require such a display and [ask] that alternative hang tags be issued to those who wish” was defeated with 9 in favor, 17 opposed, 2 abstaining.

 

Senator Courtney (Accounting) offered the following motin that was seconded by Senator Rasheed: “Parking hang tags should contain no symbolism other than the information needed for parking purposes, excepting university symbols.” This motion passed with 29 in favor, none opposed, and 2 abstaining.

 

The senate then unanimously approved Chair Chrzanowski’s suggestion that he take this motion to the president.

 

FAC:

Chair Chrzanowski explained that all FAC members were asked to bring three issues that they thought were the most pressing to the next FAC meeting. He suggested that two of them should be:

 

1) Receivership policy.

2) Faculty salary levels and salary compression.

 

He asked for other suggestions.

 

Senator Amster suggested the reliance on adjuncts.

Senator Porter suggested online courses.

 

Committees:

Chair Chrzanowski outlined the duties each senate committee would have this year  and then (after 5pm) adjourned the senate to meet by college and school to select committee representatives.

 

Charges:

Equity

No specific charge.

 

Academic Freedom and Tenure

·        Revise Academic Receivership Policy when returned from President.

·        Review Tenure and Promotion Policy making sure it is in agreement with current practices.

 

Operating Procedures

·        Timing for the establishment of Senate committees. 

·        Revision of the Periodic Review of Academic Administrators. 

·        Consideration of the eligibility of department Chairs for Senate membership

 

Research and Development

·        Assessment of the increase in administrative positions proportional to the increase in faculty.

·        Assessment of increase in administrative salary compared to increases in faculty salary.

·        Salary compression and level of compensation.

 

Budget Liaison

·        Combine work with Research and Development

 

Academic Liaison

·        Combine with Student Services to complete the Faculty Guide

 

Ethics

·        Summer compensation