FACULTY SENATE MEETING

Minutes

University Center, Concho Room

April 24, 2002

Attendance:

 

Rasheed, A., Nussbaum, C., Kribs-Zaleta, C., Depken, C., Formanowicz, D.,  Reinhartz, D., Patrick, D., Estes, E.,  Liu, H., Courtney, H., Amster, H., Clark, J., Priest, J., North, K., Porter, L., Rouse, L., Fincher, L., Rosado, L., Eakin, M., Jones, M.E., Bond, M.L., Lehmann, P., Clements, P., Elmasri, R., Burke, S., Hunter, S., Maizlish, S. (Secretary), Kleiser, S., Wilding, T., Ingram, T., Sol, A. President R. Witt, Provost G. Wright, Assistant Vice President M. Moore, and Chair T. Chrzanowski.

 

Call to Order:

 

2:40 p.m. Senate Chair Thomas Chrzanowski called the Senate to order. 

 

Approval of Minutes:

 

The minutes of the March 6, 2002 meeting were approved unanimously with minor corrections.  In “Approval of Minutes”, the date of the previous meeting minutes should be February 6, 2002.

Also, Sen. Porter stated that her Roundup Report on March 6 should have indicated that it was a decision of the College of Science faculty to participate in the competitive hiring process, rather than having it forced upon them, as indicated in her previous report.     

 

Remarks by the Chair:

 

The Chair forwarded the Receivership document to President Witt on April 15 for review. Senate recommendations on apportionment have been forwarded to Provost Wright, and reapportionment should be accomplished by fall, 2002.  

 

Sen. Chrzanowski and Sen. Reinhartz attended the recent UT System Faculty Advisory Council meeting and reported that a change to Regents’ Rules has been made to allow the titles of Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor to be granted to non-tenured and part-time faculty when appropriate, such as when hiring a Nobel laureate. Also, the title of Clinical Professor can now be awarded in institutions other than the health science institutions.  These are non-tenured positions with three-year terms.    The issue of accountability is being studied at the Regents level.  The Texas A&M campus reported that annual letters of appointment are now defined as a notification of salary, rather than a contract.  It is strongly felt that salary and tenure must be linked issues.  A $10,000 discretionary fund has been established for the Faculty Senate. 

Universities throughout the system are attempting to adapt to the changes in admissions criteria mandated by HB1641, which defines admissions criteria for graduate students, and seeks to apply socio-economic status as a criteria.  UT Brownsville is undergoing major expansion.  They have just purchased a shopping mall to be converted to classroom space, and are also bidding on a hotel for similar conversion.  UT Permian Basin is bringing NCAA soccer to their campus.  They are experiencing major growth in their academic programs and enrollment, with no increase in faculty.  UT Tyler HSC has approved periodic review of Academic Administrators, and is revising their grievance policy once again.  Their president and two vice presidents have resigned unexpectedly.  The Legislature plans to review the post tenure review process.  Recurring themes and concerns echoed by all campuses included: salary compression and salary issues in general, increased emphasis on compliance and its detrimental effect on faculty effectiveness. 

 

Sen. Reinhartz concurred with Sen. Chrzanowski’s summary, and added that the UT Tyler HSC faculty are quite concerned regarding a lack of advance notice regarding contract renewal, which now is received just before the fall semester begins.  He also believes it is important to bring the medical schools into line regarding tenure. 

 

Remarks by the President:

 

President Witt had no remarks, but indicated his willingness to answer any questions.

 

Remarks by the Provost:

 

Provost Wright reported that of 51 faculty notified of post-tenure review, a total of 38 were reviewed.  Of the 13 who were not reviewed,  4 retired, 5 were deferred due to leave, 3 resigned, and one was considered for and granted promotion.   Of the 38 to be reviewed,  35 reviews are complete, and the remaining 3 are scheduled for completion this week.

 

Sen. Eakin asked for an explanation of proper procedures for classroom teachers during tornadoes, such as last week’s storms.   Standard instructions say go to the first floor, but in Ransom Hall where he teaches, the first floor has many windows.  President Witt will ask the police to look into posting a recommended location for storm shelter in each building.

 

Committee Reports:

 

The Council of Faculty Senates: No report.

 

Equity: No report.

 

Academic Freedom and Tenure:  No report. 

 

Operating Procedures:  Had no report, as Sen. Silva was in class. The Chairman reported that the issue of the timing of the election of representatives will be carried over until fall.  The Promotion and Tenure process review will also be carried over until fall.

 

Research & Development:  Sen. Eakin provided a handout explaining proposed improvements to the apportionment policy from the Handbook of Operating Procedurs (HOP.)  The two concerns with the existing statement regarding apportionment were that some administrative units grant degrees, and that the explanation of apportionment numbers was unclear.  A lengthy discussion ensued to determine the exact intent of each version of the suggested text.  Sen. Courtney moved that version “B” be adopted, as follows: 

 

“(Assumes departments will never have more than 52 voting members) Each academic department and administrative unit offering undergraduate or graduate academic degrees shall elect senate members.  For 22 or less full-time equivalent voting faculty members they will elect one senate member, for 23 to 37 they will elect two, and for 38 to 52 they will elect three.  The President and Provost shall be ex officio members without vote.  When the size of the body reaches 60 members, the Senate shall be reapportioned to bring the number to less than 60.” 

 

Sen. Reinhartz seconded Sen. Courtney’s motion.  Another lengthy discussion ensued regarding changing the numbers to more rounded numbers, such as 20 and 40.  Sen. Eakin expressed concern regarding changing the actual numbers, as the version being voted upon seems to most accurately reflect the intentions of the existing document. 

 

The motion to adopt this change to the bylaws was approved by a majority vote, with one vote against.  The actual vote to change the bylaws must be taken at the next meeting.  Sen. Estes requested statistics on the impact of such a change.  The Chair noted that this was the first reapportionment in six years and that only two senators were being lost through reapportionment.  It was generally agreed that this should be an annual process.  There are currently 42 senators.

 

 Budget Liaison had no report on the issues of salary survey or compression.  Sen. Formanowicz noted that in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education comparison of salaries, UTA was omitted for the first time.  

 

Academic Liaison and Student Services Liaison:  Sen. Porter reported that revisions to the Faculty Guide are complete.  The Guide has been reformatted into a pamphlet overview listing URLs.  Complete information has been updated on the web page, and hard copies are on file in each departmental office.  Ongoing changes will be added to the web site, as requested. 

 

The Chair commended this group for their outstanding work on a significant task.

 

Ethics had no report.  In Sen. Barrett’s absence, the Chair reported that the summer salary issue was to be carried over until fall, and assigned a new charge to the committee to investigate whether department chairs can serve as senators. 

 

Special Projects:  Sen. Fincher reported that seven nominations have been received for Professor Emeritus, and the committee will meet today to review them.  The process is going well. 

 

Old Business:

 

The Chair reported that the Periodic Reviews of Academic Administrators are nearing completion.  The Provost Review Committee is scheduled to forward their review to the President in two weeks.  The review of Vice President Williams is complete, and has been forwarded to President Witt.  Sen. Courtney inquired about the availability of these reports after publication.  The Chair advised that AAUP considers these documents private personnel information and will discuss the issue with President Witt.  He is checking on the requirements of the Public Information Act. 

 

In response to the Senate’s request for additional information on the promotion and tenure process, the Chair has received a complete report from the Provost, and is in the process of tabulating the information.  It will be added to minutes on the website when available.  


New Business:

 

The Chairman has had a request from Dean Cohen for a member of the Senate to be appointed to the University Program Review Committee, as Sen. Kellner’s three year term has expired.  Since Senate terms are only two years, the Chair has some concerns and will discuss this with Dean Cohen.  Sen. Estes volunteered to represent the Senate. 

 

A senator is also needed to serve on the Holiday Committee, which reviews staff days off.  Senator Elmasri volunteered to represent the Senate. 

 

Sen. Rosado requested that the senators receive new name plates before next year’s meetings, and the Chair agreed to attempt to replace them during the summer. 

 

Regarding access to the library and e-mail access for retirees, Senator Courtney reported e-mail forwarding accounts are available, but no electronic library access is available.  Tom Wilding explained that this is due to requirements of the contractual agreements with various on-line resources, which would be violated through the provision of services to retirees.  The Chair suggested that such information be added to the on-line Faculty Guide. 

 

Elections were conducted by Sen. Sol, chair of the Nominating Committee, and Sen. Rasheed. 

Sen. Maizlish moved that Sen. Sol and Sen. Porter be elected by acclamation to the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.  The motion was seconded by Sen. Amster, and approved unanimously.  Incoming officers will be Sen. Reinhartz, Chair Elect, Sen. Formanowicz, Secretary, Sen. Maizlish, Parliamentarian, and Sen. Sol and Porter, TCOFS representatives.

 

It was agreed that although the Senate enjoys an excellent working relationship with the President and Provost, they should be dismissed after their presentations and question and answer period to allow for a more open exchange of ideas.  This will be tried at next year’s meetings on a trial basis, and a final decision will be made at the conclusion of next year. 

 

Annual reports from University Committees are available through the following links:

Hearing Panel

Long Range Planning

Committee on Committees

Committee on Rules and Elections

Commencement Committee

Faculty Development Leave Committee

University Library Committee

Scholarship, Loans, and Awards Committee

University Committee on the Status of Women and Minorities

 

 

Announcements: .   

 

The Chair commended the Senate for a job well done and recapped their accomplishments for the past year.  Sen. Maizlish commended the Chair for a job well done. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.