Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes

University Center, Concho Room

February 2, 2000 @ 2:30 P.M.

 

 

Attendance:

Senators: Amster, H., Ardekani, S., Cantwell, D., Chrzanowski, T., Clark, J., Courtney, H., Courtney, M., Cowan, E., Del Carmen, A., Elmasri, R., Han, C., Hunter, S., Ingram, T., Jones, M., Kellner, H., Koymen, A., Maizlish, S., Maxwell, P., Morrow, E., Nestell, M., Nussbaum, C., Payne, F.,  Porter, L., Rasheed, A., Reinhartz, D., Reinhartz, J., Rycraft, J., Schelly, Z., Shipman, B., Wang, B., Wilmore, E., Yardley, M., Head of Libraries T. Wilding, President R. Witt, Provost G. Wright, Student Congress, S. Smith, and Chair Michael Moore.

Call to Order:

 The Chair, Dr. Michael Moore, called the meeting to order.

Approval of the Minutes:

The Chair called for approval of the last Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes of December 5, 1999.  A motion was made and seconded.  The Minutes were approved.

Comments by the Chair:

Chair Moore announced that since the last meeting, two people from the University community have been lost.  One was a student who was hit by a hit and run driver on campus.  Also, recently, the loss of Department Chairman for Mathematics, Professor Kannan was noted.  A moment of silence was called.

 

Chair Moore reminded members who are on committees that have business that hasn’t wrapped up for the year, time is running out.  It was noted that finalizing things before the next meeting should avoid the last meeting rush.  He requested items be submitted at least ten days before the next meeting. 

 

The Standards of Official Conduct document discussed at the last meeting was forwarded to the President’s office and were incorporated into the document by Dan Williams. The document has been sent to the printers.  He believes most of the suggestions made at the last meeting were incorporated as best as possible—particularly with more clarification of intellectual property.  “It may not be precisely what we wanted, but I think it is certainly in the spirit of the direction where we were headed.” 

 

Chair Moore also announced that grade distributions are now available in the library, Student Congress, and in the Deans’ offices. 

 

Chair Moore announced that Dr. Ridgway’s office has requested the names of three to four senators who would be interested in attending a recruitment and retention workshop on February 24, 2000 being held near the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Volunteers were requested.  He also discussed the UTA Task Force Transfer Day to occur on campus on February 14, 2000. 

Comments from the President:

President Witt discussed a memorandum he had received from Tom Wilding concerning the new library and learning resources center. A need for a campus dialog was requested to discuss what this facility would require.  Envisioning what is wanted in the library to serve the academic community will require substantial input from all sectors of the academic community.  A Task Force would be put together to address this issue. 

 

It was announced that the new Bookstore was currently moving books and a grand opening would be scheduled soon.  The new residence hall was noted to be going up at a rapid rate. 

 

President Witt stated that he has asked the Provost to sponsor a campus-wide effort in the area of process redesigns in order to determine what we are now doing in terms of reports, procedures to be eliminated, procedures to be simplified, what needs to be improved, and how to get some of the paperwork out of the system and how to better serve the multiple constituents.  A need is to determine how to make the system function more smoothly.  The group will be co-chaired by the Provost and Dan Williams.  A memo requesting suggestions will be sent out. 

Comments from the Provost:

Provost Wright stated that in the fall semester of each year, the faculty members spend a great deal of time reviewing the work of colleagues for promotion.  This requires a lot of work and material that is a very long process.  Although time consuming, he stated that he finds it to be most uplifting. 

Questions and Answers:

Senator Cantwell commented on the library and the status of electronic libraries. 

Tom Wilding responded by stating that the library needs one electronic archive, which will be used by all. President Witt asked Tom Wilding to comment on the number of electronic journals UTA has.  Tom Wilding responded that we have over 50,000 electronic journals.  He stated that our access to these journals is through the web. 

 

Senator Porter commented on a need for a focal area for faculty to meet across department lines.  President Witt responded that the top floor of the new library is currently targeted to be dedicated to that purpose. 

 

Questions and comments were heard regarding quality phones at a less expensive rate. 

Committee Reports:

The Presidential Advisory Committee Report:

Chair Moore discussed The Presidential Advisory Committee and the Review of Academic Administrators and the final revisions for the Grievance Policy. 

The Equity Committee Report:

No report at this time.

Tenure and Academic Freedom Responsibilities Committee Report:

It was suggested that this report be held until later in the Agenda.

Operating Procedures Committee Report:

It was recommended that the changes of the By-Laws be discussed later as in the Agenda.

Research and Development Committee Report:

No report at this time.

Budget Committee Report:

No report at this time.

Academic Liaison Committee Report:

No report at this time.

Student Services Committee Report:

No report at this time.

Family Leave Committee Report:

Senator Porter commented that the committee will have a proposal for review at the March 15th Senate meeting.

Special Projects Committee Report:

No report at this time.  However, Chair Moore reminded members that the committee is meeting immediately following this meeting. 

Master Plan Committee Report:

Senator Dennis Reinhartz stated that faculty input had been requested shortly after the last meeting.  All faculty members that responded appeared to be concerned over the nature of faculty input into the Master Plan.  The faculty feels they should have a more direct, more significant say in the process.  There continues to be significant interest in the library.  A report will be submitted to the President as soon as the data is gathered and prepared. 

Old Business:

Chair Moore discussed changes of the By-Laws that were briefed during the last meeting.  These changes come from the Operating Procedures Committee, chaired by Senator Amster.  A list of the recommended By-Law changes was provided.  However, a copy of the By-Laws was not provided at this meeting.  Copies of the By-Laws may be downloaded from the web.  He discussed two cosmetic changes and two substantive changes. 

 

Senator Amster provided a summary of what the committee was after for each of the changes.  The first two changes dealt with making the document consistent with changes that have occurred elsewhere.  Current By-Laws make references to the Center for Professional Education and also to the word “centers” throughout the document.  That is no longer the case.  The Center for Professional Education is now the School of Education.  The recommended change is to strike any references to the Center Professional Education and replace it with School of Education, and also strike any other references to centers.  A motion was made and seconded to accept this recommendation.  There was no discussion.  The change was accepted.

 

The second change dealt with TOFCO.  Their name has been changed to the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.  The documents should reflect this name change.  A motion was made and seconded to accept this recommendation.  There was no discussion.  The change was accepted.

 

The third change (first substantive change) pertains to the election of officers.  Chair Moore provided a copy of the nominations procedure, as it currently exists.  The change in the current process is the requirement that the person who is elected to Chair-elect to be a current member of the Faculty Senate or to have had past membership on that Senate.  An additional criteria would require that the person have a minimum of two years of service on the Senate, and if they are no longer on the Senate that they have served within the last four years.  Senator Amster discussed the rationale for this.  Previous experience is important and the need to have members eligible for Chair-elect with this experience is important. 

 

A motion was made and seconded to accept this for discussion.  Senator Chrzanowski stated that the issue of nominations is awkward.  He did not disagree with the motion, however, he cautioned regarding adding restrictions. 

 

Senator Porter questioned how the slate of officers was presented.  Chair Moore responded that the By-Laws require that at the “next meeting I will appoint a nominating committee.  They will select a Chair.  At the last meeting of the year, a slate is presented and voted on at that meeting.”  Senator Porter suggested that having the slate prior to the last meeting would perhaps be better.  Senator Amster responded that this had not been proposed.  Chair Moore remarked that if this is something desired, it would need to be suggested at today’s meeting.  “We couldn’t do it today.  We need to propose it and then have a meeting to sit on it and then do it at the next meeting….  It would not affect this cycle, but would go into effect at the next, next election.”  Senator Chrzanowski stated that this sounds like a good idea.  However, he cautioned regarding the possibility of not having any officers coming into the following year.  Chair Moore recommended that the Operating Procedures Committee address this idea of when the slate should be proposed. 

Further discussion covered the term of office for the Chair-elect and the fact that it was a long-term (four year) commitment.  Chair Moore responded that he would mentor the Chair-elect as to procedures.  “They then serve a two-year term, at which point during their first year, I become the past chair to serve as a kind of touchstone….  It is normally a four-year commitment—two years to chair and a year as past chair….” 

 

Senator Amster discussed the problems regarding Senate membership prior to election and during the year of the election.  Several Senators discussed this from various aspects.    Chair Moore stated, “There is a motion on the floor to change the last sentence as proposed to be eligible to nominate the Chair-elect who must have served on the Faculty Senate.  No prior membership is required.”  The motion was made and seconded.  Discussion of the amendment was to remove the minimum and maximum qualifications from the sentence and to require only previous service on the Senate.  It was determined that this would prohibit the drafting of someone as Chair-elect who had never served on the Senate. Senator Rycraft rephrased the discussion by suggesting the last sentence addressing membership be removed.  Hearing no objections to calling to question, the vote was to delete the sentence of the amendment, which would require that to be eligible the Chair-elect require current membership or past membership on the Faculty Senate.  A vote was taken.  The motion carried.  It was agreed that the new language be added to the By-Laws.  This would become effective immediately.

 

Another change was also discussed.  Chair Moore stated, “The process of determining the election was a bit unclear in terms of how an election would be decided if there was more than one candidate.”  A majority vote would be required.  The motion was made and seconded.  The motion passed.

Review of Academic Administrators:

This had been presented at the last meeting and sent back to the Presidential Advisory Committee for a final review.  The Faculty Senate was provided with copies of the recommended changes along with the document in congressional style.  Chair Moore commented that both cosmetic and substantive changes were recommended.  The first change, recommended on line 8, the striking of the word “will” and the replacing with the word “may”, as there may not necessarily be recommendations for improvement—there may or may not be.  There was a motion to accept the change.  The motion was seconded and approved. 

 

The second change involved reorganization in lines 124-125 of the current document, wherein a definition of voting faculty.  Voting faculty was also referred to in line 91.  The committee thought it would be prudent to move earlier in the document, a definition of voting faculty in order to keep everything clear.  A motion to accept was received, seconded and approved. 

 

A third change referred to line 30.  The current language implied that the President is not evaluated.  It was the wish of the President’s office to remove that language under this process, as he is evaluated by the Chancellor’s office.  A motion was made, seconded and carried. 

 

A substantive change pertains to lines 65-69 in which the Committee shall include faculty and may include staff, administrators who are supervised by the administrators.  An insertion for Committees for Deans, Vice-Presidents, and Provost must include two external representatives.  There was a motion to accept the change.  The motion was seconded. Hearing no other discussion, there was a call to question.  A vote was taken.  Approval was received. 

 

Lines 79-81 concerned the material referring to composition be moved to the section referring to committee size.  Also, the language was to add the exception of Honors College.  A motion was made and seconded to accept for discussion.  Senator Kellner observed that his experience with elections by college was bothersome.  In his opinion, elections by college was deserving of a better method.  There was no further discussion.  A call to question to change recommended number five was made, seconded, and approved.

 

In lines 109 through 110, the language was being modified to read, “…the final report would be available and protected under the Texas Public Information Act, Open Records” and will include how the evaluation “informed the final reports’ assessment of the administrator’s job performance.”  Chair Moore stated that there was a need to require some linkage between the surveys that were being collected on behalf of the faculty and the final report that is written.  The evaluation should inform the assessment of the administrator’s job performance.  There was a motion to accept this assessment.  The motion was seconded.  Hearing no discussion, a call to question was made. It was suggested that the term “influence” might be better than “inform”.  A vote was taken to accept the change.  Approval was received.

 

In line 120, a cosmetic change was recommended regarding non-periodic reviews, which may be initiated by petition or vote of the faculty, to rephrase as a “vote of the voting faculty.”  A motion was made and seconded to accept.  Discussion included who comprised the voting faculty--assistant professor or above--and the requirement of a majority of voting faculty.  A call to question was made and seconded to accept the change.  President Witt commented that the figure of seven to nine was a “comfortable” number as opposed to an unlimited number.  Chair Moore commented that there is still a requirement that 50 percent of the committee be of faculty.  Therefore, the change that would be recommended to change lines 75-90 in the third column to read minimum committee size to read 7, 7, 5, and 5 with a ratio of faculty to non-faculty.  A motion was made and seconded to accept for discussion.  Hearing no discussion, a call to question was made.  A vote was taken and the change was approved.

 

 

New Business:

Senator Cantwell suggested the health care issue be added to the agenda.  Chair Moore stated it was on his agenda.

 

Concerning the Privacy Policy, a resolution was presented asking the university to include a statement in the Standards and Conduct Guide and circulate through an annual memo which would recognize the reality of things—not that we may or may not be happy with what is considered private or not private—but is our understanding of existing laws.  It was recommended that the faculty should delete the “made aware” of what the state of affairs is.  There is a duty to inform UTA colleagues that “this is the way life is” regarding privacy.  Section two deals with authorization and notification that if there is to be some review, monitoring, or seizing of materials, this is to be authorized by the President and reported to the University Compliance Officer, who will, in turn, notify that faculty or staff member within a reasonable period of time.  A motion was made and seconded to accept for discussion. 

 

Senator Cantwell commented that his understanding of the current state of affairs was that the rules regarding privacy were such that the University would review if they felt there was a need. Chair Moore commented that we could have an amendment that would require the faculty senate to have an annual review of this to ensure compliance of existing state and federal laws. A motion to accept this for discussion was made and seconded.  Hearing no additional discussion, there was a call to question.  Hearing none, there was now an amendment requiring that the faculty senate review annually to ensure compliance with existing state and federal laws.  A vote was taken to the amendment was accepted. 

 

Chair Moore commented, “If the University does find a need to monitor somebody’s activities—perhaps they suspect somebody’s engaged in some illegal activities just as Senator Cantwell suggested.  One does not warn you of a wiretap before it actually occurs because they need to monitor that activity.  It’s probably impossible for us to specify how long that period needs to be.” 

 

Chair Moore stated that he would be open for some language for an amendment referring to consequences. Chair Moore suggested, “Any person who obtains unauthorized access to information sources shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.”  Senator Cantwell stated that the language was agreeable.  Senator Chrzanowski suggested that it should differentiate between accidental and intentional access.  Chair Moore revised the statement to read, “Any person who purposefully obtains unauthorized access to information sources shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.”

 

Chair Moore stated that the motion should now read, “Any person who purposefully obtains unauthorized access to information sources shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action and may not share the obtained information with others.”   

 

Hearing no further discussion, a call to question was made.  A vote was obtained accepting this amendment. 

A motion was made to move the primary motion.  A call to question was made and seconded.  Chair Moore stated, “The “aye’s” have it.  We move to a vote on the motion as a whole.  All those in favor of the motion as it has been amended three times, signify by saying “aye” (aye’s).  Opposed (none).”

 

Chair Moore stated that two additional items were now ready for discussion.  In regard to health care, Senator Cantwell provided two additional newspaper articles for the Faculty Senate to review.  Senator Cantwell also proposed a motion to direct the UT System to address the rights of UT employees and retirees in selection of Medicare health benefits.  A motion was made to table this motion, and a suggestion was made to investigate it further.  The motion was seconded and approved.  The motion was tabled. 

 

A motion from the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibilities suggests changes in the Post-Tenure Review Policy.  Chair Moore stated that the entire document is not up for being revisited, but just the changes before the Faculty Senate.  The first change recommends changing Sections B1-3 and also C 2 to insert the qualification that the committee members be tenured.  It also raises the issue whether or not those people voting would be the tenured members of the department and/or school or centers, or whether or not it would be all voting eligible members.  Sections B 1-3 and C 2 should insert the qualification that the members serving on this committee be tenured members.  A motion was made and seconded to accept that.  Hearing no discussion, a call to question was made. A vote was taken for approval requiring the voting pool to be comprised of tenured members voting on tenured faculty to serve on the Committee.  An affirmative vote would mean the voting population for composition of Post-Tenure Review would be limited in departments, colleges, centers and schools to only the tenured faculty.  A negative vote would mean that all voting faculty—tenure-track, assistant professors that are non-tenured—to be part of that voting pool. 

 

A proposed amendment was suggested to change this from “shall” to “may”, which would give departments, schools, colleges, and centers, the authority to restrict that if they want.  A motion was made and seconded.  After brief discussion, the amendment was voted upon to allow—if the ultimate amendment/resolution was adopted—departments, schools, colleges, and centers, to have flexibility to determine their voting criteria.  A vote was taken and failed.

 

A vote was then called for on the main proposal to restrict voting membership to only tenured faculty.  An affirmative vote would restrict the voting pool and a negative vote would allow tenure-track, assistant professors to vote for the composition of the Post-Tenure Review Committee.  After a brief discussion regarding tenured faculty, non-tenured faculty, tenure-track, and eligible voting pool members, Senator Amster suggested an amendment be added which would define eligible voting members. 

Chair Moore responded, “The amendment that Senator Amster has proposed is that we define for the purposes of this document—we would insert the same definition we’re using in review of Academic Administrators.  That is, that we define for the purposes of this document, voting faculty to be full-time faculty holding the rank of assistant professor or above.” Clarification was made regarding voting faculty being assistant professors or above.  A second was obtained.  Chair Moore restated the amendment which is a replacement to the original amendment, “It would define for the purpose of this document, voting faculty shall be defined as all full-time faculty holding the rank of assistant professor or above.  In voting for election to post-tenure review committees which we have defined now as to be only tenured faculty members, anyone who is an assistant professor or above, would be allowed to vote for membership on those committees.  In discussion of the amendment, comments were heard stating that Post-Tenure Review of tenured faculty was best reviewed by tenured faculty.  A call to question was heard.

 

Chair Moore stated, “The amendment before the floor now is essentially a replacement to the earlier amendment.  It would insert the language that for the purpose of this document the voting faculty shall be defined as all full-time faculty holding the rank of assistant professor or above.  A vote of yes means that you will allow all those faculty to vote in determining the composition of Post-Tenure Review Committees which will be only tenured people.  The pool of eligible candidates is tenured people—everyone, assistant professor or above—would be allowed to vote.  A no vote means you want to return to some other alternative which would yet to be discussed.  All those in favor, signify by saying “aye” (ayes).  Opposed (nays).  The no’s have it.  We are back to the original motion now, the amendment that was suggested…that the voting faculty would be defined for the purpose of this document to be tenured faculty members.”  A call to question was made.  A vote was taken.  The motion was approved.

 

The second section, Section 3, pertains to what happens to members up for review who have taken family leave.  The document currently allows them to defer the review for one year.  The question then was if their clock goes back to six years from the year that it was deferred or six years from which their time came up.  An amendment suggests that a faculty member may choose to defer the six-year review for a period of one year from the regularly scheduled review, after the completion of the deferred review.  The faculty member’s next periodic review will be in six years.  Hearing no discussion, there was a call to question.  A vote was taken and the motion was approved.

 

Section C, regarding the proposed time line, the committee would like to see the process wrap up more quickly.  Second, there was a suggestion that there be a final conclusion to the process, such as a letter being sent informing candidates that everything has been completed.  Chair Moore stated that he “would like this recommendation, if we decide to speed up the process, to the Provost’s office, work with Dana Dunn on the more specific timetable, and bring that back to you at the next meeting.”  A second was obtained for the motion.  The motion carried.

Announcements:

Chair Moore stated that a meeting was scheduled for a week from today for the Presidential Staff Advisory Committee at 3:00 p.m. in Room 455, University Hall. 

 

Louann Schultz announced that nominations were currently being taken for Outstanding Academic Advisors.  The deadline was set as February 11th. 

 

It was announced that the week of February 19th and week of February 26th is homecoming on campus.  Many events are scheduled.

 

Chair Moore also asked for volunteers for the Retention and Recruitment Seminar.  Names would be given to Dr. Ridgway. 

 

Senator Cantwell requested information from President Witt regarding the health care issue and the relationship of the UT System.  President Witt responded stated that he would gather information for Senator Cantwell.  He also stated that the UT System relationship does not extend down to the clinic level; it stops at the provider level. 

 

Senator Amster proposed that Academic Advisors be subject to the same type of evaluation as faculty.  Chair Moore asked Senator Amster to draft it and he would be sure it would be added to the next agenda.

Adjournment:

A motion to adjourn was made and seconded.