Faculty Senate Meeting


April 28, 1999

University Center, Rio Grande



Senators: Amster, H., Beehler, P., Bond, M., Bradshaw, D., Bredow, J., Cantwell, D., Chrzanowski, T., Clark, J., Cowan, E., Crowder, W., Del Carmen, A., Feigenbaum, I., Han, C., Hanson, J., Hissong, R., Imrhan, S., Ingram, T., Jones, M., Kellner, H., Nelson, K., Maizlish, S., Matthys, J., Morrow, E., Nelson, K., Porter, L., Price, K., Rodnitzky, Schelly, Z., Watkins, T., West, R., Wilmore, E., and Yardley, M., Head of Libraries Wingfield, T. for Wilding, T., President R. Witt, Guest Speaker D. Anderson, Guest Speaker D. Dunn.


Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chair Rod Hissong on behalf of Chair Brooks Ellwood who was not present.

Approval of Minutes:

A motion to accept the minutes from the March 3, 1999 Faculty Senate meeting was made and seconded. The minutes were approved.

Remarks by Faculty Senate Vice-Chair:

There were no remarks by Vice-Chair Hissong.

Remarks by the President:

President Witt commented that when House Bill 1 was filed it reflected our enrollment decline down about 3.2 million dollars over the biennium but we are now in a position where this has been reversed. He continued that on both the proposed House Bill and proposed Senate Bill, we’re a little over 3 million dollars up in spite of the enrollment decline.

President Witt commented that one of the most important pieces of legislation under consideration from UTA’s perspective was the proposal to move UTA and five other UT System schools from PUFF to HEAF funding. He said it appears likely that the legislation will pass. He also said that Tarleton may leave PUFF funding and join us. He explained that if this is passed, UTA will have just over five million dollars a year more for equipment and renovations and repair. That would be a ten million dollar increase over the biennium, compared to what we have in the current biennium.

President Witt commented that indirect costs from research grants and contracts will go up to 75 percent instead of the current 50 percent; and, he was optimistic that in the next legislative session we’ll probably get the remaining 25 percent.

President Witt commented that there was considerable debate in the legislative session about establishing an a research excellence fund to tie substantially but not exclusively to research and graduate education with the goal of establishing more flagship universities in the state. He stated that currently there are two figures being quoted over the next biennium for the Research Excellence Bill—50 and 75 million. Right now, the Coordinating Board’s space allocation model was the only one that could be agreed on. He said the argument that the UT System is putting forth is that you could develop a very simple algorithm based on number of graduate degrees and weighted semester credit hours at the graduate level. If System can persuade the legislature to adopt that allocation mechanism, we would get about 2.9 million per year at the low end, but in excess of four million per year at the higher end.

President Witt commented that support for a three percent across the board staff raise appears quite strong while little support exists in the legislative allocation for faculty merit raises. He also added that if these other budget increases that I’ve alluded to come through, even if there isn’t an allocation of faculty salary increase money from the legislature, we will be able to generate funds for a faculty merit raise within the university. He continued by stating that he and the Provost have already committed to the Deans that they will not be asking the Colleges and Schools to contribute toward faculty merit raises; they will be generated centrally.

President Witt commented that the Intercollegiate Athletics Bill passed out of the Senate with no amendments and no negative votes and that Senator Chris Harris did a very good job of steering that Bill through for us. He said it looks very promising.

President Witt commented that funding for Special Items was rolled up into a single lump sum figure under Academic Excellence. He continued that all of our Special Items can be restored from the pool of dollars that was placed in our Academic Excellence Fund. If that is approved, everything can be reconstituted. He also said there was surplus funding that we were able to get in excess of a million dollars that we can use for various other excellence initiatives.

President Witt commented on The UNT South Dallas campus situation. He said it is very clear that it is going to happen and that the best course of action for us would be to try to structure an arrangement that would leave UTA in as strong a position as possible. He said we had excellent help from Senator Chris Harris and that an arrangement was put together where Senator West agreed that when he asked for funding for the UNT South Dallas campus, he would also, request funding to supplement UTA’s recruiting and retention efforts. The legislature agreed to fund half of what UNT requested for the South Dallas campus, 4.5 million out of a 9.1 million dollar request, but there was concern expressed that if they at that time gave something to UTA for recruiting and retention, the money could look like money being allocated so that we would not fight that campus. As an alternative, to provide us with financial flexibility, Automated Robotics and Research Institute, (ARRI), was reconstituted as a Special Item at approximately 1.3 million dollars over the biennium. Since the Academic Excellence Fund that had been created in the roll up already contained 1.3 million to reconstitute ARRI, and since that fund is totally flexible, we now have dollars that we can use, $650,000.00 a year to strengthen the Dale Anderson’s graduate, recruiting initiatives and the undergraduate recruiting initiatives.

President Witt commented on UTA’s construction plans. He said we have all of the necessary approvals for the Bookstore and plan to break ground the first week in July. He also said the Coordinating Board gave final sign off on the new residence hall and if approved, we’ll break ground on that facility around the first week in August.

President Witt commented on The Campus Master Planning Committee’s work. He stated the Committee has done some excellent work, and if everything stays on course, we’ll present the Campus Master Plan to the Board of Regents at their October meeting.

Questions for the President:

Senator Cantwell asked what funds would be available to accommodate increased parking on campus. He also inquired, about the MBA online program. President Witt responded that the Campus Master Plan has devoting a considerable amount of attention to the issue of parking. If the plan continues on its present course, there will be multiple parking garages that will be put up as part of the Campus Master Plan.

With respect to the online MBA program, President Witt commented that it was considered by the College of Business faculty at the end of last week, and as he understand it, the reason it was tabled was that it had not yet gone through appropriate approval processes in the College of Business. It will then go to the Graduate Assembly and if it is accepted, we can move forward. He further commented that this degree was a relatively high priority of the Board of Regents.

Senator Amster asked if the Master Plan allowed for upgrading classrooms. President Witt responded, the Campus Master Plan has addressed the classroom space upgrading situation and in addition to providing for new buildings, will have a complete schedule for renovation and upgrade of some buildings. He further commented that multiple buildings will probably come down during the course of the Campus Master Plan implementation and that this was part of the importance of going into HEAF funding.

Senator Crowder asked about Carnegie rankings and flagship status in terms of our federal funding.

President Witt commented we are making the argument that UTA is a Carnegie II qualified already and it’s just a case of formal recognition cycle that precludes our having that designation. President Witt then asked Vice-Provost Dale Anderson to comment on our federal funding. Dale Anderson responded, that our federal funds have actually gone down in the last year and that Texas Tech does have more federal funds than we presently do.


Remarks by the Provost

President Witt stated that Provost Wright had a commitment he could not break this afternoon. Provost Wright asked him to convey his thanks to everyone involved at the College and School level at laying out the criteria for Periodic Evaluation of Tenured faculty. He stated that the procedures, policies, and criteria in each of the academic units were very well drafted and all of the academic units did a fine job of implementing the faculty senate policies. A total of 69 faculty and administrators were notified in February that they would be evaluated. Twelve of the 69 were not ultimately reviewed due to resignation, announced retirement, modified service, or notification error. Fifty-seven faculty were reviewed. The recommendations from all the Colleges and Schools were received in the Provost’s office on March 12, 1999. He anticipates that within the next week the review of all of those recommendations will be completed.


Questions for the Provost (Responded to by President Witt):

Senator Cantwell had a question regarding a closure date and the policy for Post-Tenure Review. President Witt responded that the only dates mentioned in the document were October 30th--the people under review are asked to submit their materials, March 12th--materials from the Dean’s office reaches the Provost’s office, and January 30th--the Office of Institutional Research and Planning provides the new list. There is no closure posted. Senator Cantwell then recommended that a closure date be added to the policy. Vice-Chair Hissong remarked he did not recall the policy of having an explicit date as to when the results of the evaluation were to be recorded. President Witt agreed and said he would have Provost Wright look into this matter. President Witt and Senator Cantwell then discussed the proper procedure if a tenured faculty member’s performance was found to be unsatisfactory.

Senator Bradshaw tried to clarify the post-tenure review process and commented that this was just the first step in the process and it was not a tenure hearing. Senator Cantwell then made a motion to assign a Faculty Senate committee next fall to look into setting closure involving Post Tenure Review to serve the needs of the faculty. The motion was seconded and passed.

Committee Reports

Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom and Responsibilities—Senator Crowder, chair, summarized that the Committee on Tenure and Academic Responsibilities met six times in the course of the past year and had two major topics on their agenda. First, the revision and approval of the Tenure Promotion document which passed in its final version by the Faculty Senate at the beginning of this spring semester.

He added that the committee made the revisions requested by the Office of General Council of the UT System. The second item was the study that they did relating to retention policy and grade practices on the part of the faculty and how that related to academic freedom issues. He said that the Committee has made a statement which he read, "The Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee affirms the instructors’ right to establish his or her own grading policy and maintains that this right is a direct corollary of the instructor’s ‘freedom in the classroom’. The assignment of grades is a fundamental responsibility of the faculty and is the responsibility of the faculty alone. The Committee has been assured that the University is committed to addressing its retention concerns through discussions among faculty rather than by the examination of the grading practices of individual faculty members, and therefore the Committee has no reason to believe the academic freedom of the faculty is threatened."

Committee on Equity—Senator Wilmore, chair, stated that there were no changes recommended.

Special Projects Committee—Senator Amster, chair, stated the Committee has made Emeritus recommendations to President Witt for four faculty who were nominated by their respective departments.

Senator Amster continued by saying the Committee drafted a statement on Faculty Evaluation to replace the statement in the UTA Faculty Guide (beginning on p. 19) and also included an insertion on Post-tenure Review (see attachment A). Vice-Chair Hissong asked if the Committee was making a motion for this statement (i.e., new wording) to go into the Faculty Guide? Senator Amster responded "Yes". Senator Amster then made the motion to accept this statement and it was seconded. Senator Porter then asked for clarification on the second page of the statement under Roman Numeral II, item 3. Comments were made from Senator Bradshaw and Senator Porter concerning adding quotation marks and three dots or to just paraphrase item 3. It was agreed in a friendly amendment to the motion that no double dots be included under item 3. The motion carried.

Operating Procedures Committee—No report was given.

Research and Development Committee—No report was given.

Academic Liaison Committee—Senator Morrow, chair, stated the Committee met twice in Fall 1999 to review the current Add/Drop policy for the University. The Committee concluded that a recommendation for changes in the policy were not warranted by this Committee and they forwarded their concerns to the Undergraduate Assembly. Senator Porter further explained the Add/Drop policy and how some UTA students wait until the 12th week of the semester to withdraw from a class or classes. Senators Payne, Rodnitzky, Cowan, and Cantwell also described some Add/Drop problems from the past and agreed with Senator Porter that the policy should be further addressed at Undergraduate Assembly.

Budget Liaison Committee—Senator Bredow, chair, reported that the Committee met once during the academic year.

Student Services Liaison Committee—No report was given.

Ethics Committee—No report was given.

Texas Council of Faculty Senates—Senator Hanson reported that he attended this meeting in February and that Marshall Hill, Assistant Commissioner at the University, spoke about current issues for higher education in Texas. This issues included 1) those degree programs that have no five year start up cost can now go straight to the Commission without the Coordinating Board approval, 2) to improve graduation rating and retention of minority students, 3) core curriculum and transferring hours from lower division schools to universities, and 4) field of study where a set of lower division courses for certain disciplines (e.g., communications, engineering, business, nursing, social work, elementary teacher education, music, and criminal justice) would be defined by policy-makers at the State level. Senator Hanson also reported that he participated in a "roundup" where other schools conveyed faculty concerns.

Senator Porter asked, if the first item referred to undergraduate or graduate programs. Senator Hanson believed it was either undergraduate or graduate programs. Senators Payne, Cantwell, Amster, Bradshaw, Nelson, and Schelly continued the discussion by commenting about transferring of hours, field of study, and course equivalency.

Old Business



New Business

Election of Officers

A motion was made and seconded to suspend the by-laws for this meeting because the elections were due prior to this meeting. Senator Chrzanowski from the Nominations Committee then received nominations for the following slate of officers:

Texas Council Faculty Senate: Harriet Amster

Parliamentarian: Hans Kellner

Secretary: Joan Rycraft

Chair Elect:   Michael Moore

A call was made for a motion to accept the slate. There was discussion regarding current membership in the Faculty Senate being a requirement before becoming an officer. Senator Cantwell made of point of order that challenged the chair’s ruling that current membership in the Faculty Senate is not a requirement before becoming an officer. Senator Cantwell then made a motion that challenged the chair’s ruling that current membership in the Faculty Senate is not a requirement before becoming an officer. It was seconded. Three minutes of discussion followed by Senators Bradshaw, Amster, and Cantwell. The motion failed.

Vice-chair Hissong then stated we have the slate of candidates out on the floor. There was a motion to accept the nominations and it was seconded. No additional nominations from the floor occurred for each office.

Results of the election were:


Chair Elect:  Michael Moore

Secretary: Joan Rycraft

Parliamentarian: Hans Kellner

Texas Council Faculty Senate: Harriet Amster

Election of Faculty Development Leave Committee

Vice-chair Hissong stated that we would need 5 representatives for this Committee. Guest speaker Dr. Anderson described how the Committee reviews each proposal when he served on it. Guest speaker Dr. Dunn stated that 5 representatives would be elected by the Faculty Senate and 3 representatives would be appointed by President Witt.

Volunteers and nominations for this Committee were:

Roy West, Science

Elizabeth Morrow, Music

Steve Maizlish, History

Laurie Porter, English

Bill Crowder, Economics

Mary Lynn Jones, Nursing

Shiek Irham, Engineering


Results of the election were:

Roy West, Science

Steve Maizlish, History

Bill Crowder, Economics

Mary Lynn Jones, Nursing

Shiek Irham, Engineering






A motion was made and seconded for adjournment. The meeting was adjourned.