University Center, Concho Room

February 6, 2002



Rasheed, A., Nussbaum, C., Kribs-Zaleta, C., Depken, C., Maher, D., Reinhartz, D., Patrick, D., Barrett, E., Estes, E.,Liu, H., Courtney, H., Amster, H.,Clark, ,J., Porter, Fincher, L., Eakin, M., Jones, M.E., Lehmann, P.,Elmasri, R.,Burke, S., Hunter, S., Maizlish, S. (Secretary), Kleiser, S., Wilding, T., Ingram, T., Balsam,W.,  President R. Witt,  Provost G. Wright, Vice President D. Dunn, Assistant Vice President M. Moore, and Chair T. Chrzanowski.


Call to Order:


2:35 p.m. Senate Chair Thomas Chrzanowski called the Senate to order. 


Approval of Minutes:


The minutes of the December 12, 2001 meeting were approved unanimously. 


Remarks by the Chair:


The Chair had no remarks.


Remarks by the President:


President Witt updated the Senate on UTA support for mass transit in the May election.  A list of issues is being prepared for the upcoming legislative session.  Planning efforts for the new Science Building is on schedule.  One of the new apartment buildings is ahead of schedule; the other is slightly behind.   President Witt is traveling to Washington, D.C. on a monthly basis to promote funding from federal sources.  Researchers are asked to notify him as early as possible in the grant-writing process of any upcoming federal grant submissions so that groundwork can be laid in D.C. to support UTA proposals. 


Remarks by the Provost:


Provost Wright reported that his office had just completed Promotion and Tenure reviews and indicated that he was very impressed with both the level of preparation and the quality of our faculty. 


Sen. Liu asked President Witt for clarification of his request for early notification on grant submissions.  He restated that the earlier he is aware of upcoming grants, the more likely he can seek support for them on his monthly trips to D.C.  Grants written within normal timeframes will be in process in plenty of time to allow him to lobby on their behalf. 


Sen. Reinhartz asked President Witt if an Arlington light rail stop was under consideration in the public transportation initiative.  President Witt advised that a one-quarter cent tax increase will be on the May ballot in Arlington.  These funds would include a sum for a study of potential rail service to Arlington.  Preliminary plans would link Arlington to the Dallas-Fort Worth rail line by bus service. 


Sen. Elmasri asked Provost Wright the ratio of Promotion and Tenure proposals received to those approved.  The Chair advised that these would be made public at the next meeting. 


Sen. Elmasri asked how many Faculty Development Leaves are to be awarded this year.  President Witt advised that fifteen were slated for this academic year, and that plans to expand to twenty in the future were in place.  He expressed concern that the application rate is so low, and encouraged more faculty to submit leave proposals.  The Administration is committed to funding deserving proposals, and will support the transition to funding 20 proposals for next year. 


Chair Chrzanowski suggested to President Witt that he obtain a list of pending grant submissions from the office of Sponsored Projects.  President Witt advised that he does receive such a list, and uses it regularly, but that some proposals have been coming in so close to the due date that there has been no opportunity to seek support at the federal level. 


Sen. Liu asked if Faculty Development Leaves could be used to remain on campus and conduct research with no teaching responsibilities.  President Witt advised that this was possible.


Committee Reports:


The Council of Faculty Senates: Sen. Porter advised that UTA representatives will attend the next meeting in March. 


Equity: Had no report, but is up to date on their projects.


Academic Freedom and Tenure:  Sen. Priest reported that a preliminary draft of the Academic Receivership Policy was available as a handout and asked senators to review this document for discussion at the March 6th meeting. 


The Chair urged senators to give this issue their full attention and forward comments to Sen. Priest. 

Operating Procedures:  Proposed that senators be elected in January, rather than September.  An amendment to the Bylaws was proposed to allow two representatives to attend the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.  A vote on these issues will be taken in March. 


Research & Development:  Sen. Eakin reported that a review of apportionment has been completed, and that two departments that currently have two senators should have only one.  He also suggested that a simple computer program be developed to review apportionment annually. 


The Chair expressed his thanks to R&D for their hard work on this review and advised that there was no model in the Bylaws for annual reapportionment. 


A motion was made by Sen. Courtney and seconded by Sen. Amster to accept the report of the R&D Committee.  The motion passed unanimously. 


A motion was made by Sen. Courtney to use these figures to reapportion the Senate immediately at the next election.  Sen. Maizlish suggested that the motion be amended to include a provision for annual reapportionment prior to the election of senators.  Sen. Courtney accepted the amendment of his motion. 


Sen. Rasheed suggested that rather than going through OIT, departments should provide numbers of faculty at the beginning of each semester.  The Chair advised that department staff often do not understand eligibility rules of the Senate, and therefore provide inaccurate counts. 


Sen. Courtney retracted his acceptance of the amendment by Sen. Maizlish.  It was clarified that departments with 0-22 faculty members have one senator, those with 23-45 faculty have two senators, and those with 45 or more members have three senators. 


Sen. Amster reminded senators that apportionment was a separate issue from changing term dates and suggested using the figures available one month before elections to apportion senators. 


The Chair clarified the motion on the floor that the Senate implement the recommendations of the R&D Committee immediately for the upcoming elections.  The motion was passed unanimously.  The Chair will formally notify the Provost’s office of this decision.


Budget Liaison had no report.


Academic Liaison:  Sen. Porter reported that the Academic Liaison Committee is continuing the update of the Faculty Guide.  In order to provide the most current information, the printed guide will list URLs where updated information will appear.  The committee was asked to remain after adjournment.  An additional two months is estimated for completion this task.


The Chair reported that several requests had recently been received for Faculty Guide information, and commended the committee for their work. 


Sen. Porter suggested that the Faculty web site be updated from “under construction” to include information on how to access information from the Faculty Guide or get a hard copy. 


Student Services Liaison had no report.


Ethics had no report.


Special Projects:  Sen. Fincher reported that this committee is currently working on deletion of a paragraph from the Promotion and Tenure document, and the Professor Emeriti nominations.  The paragraph in the P&T document was advised to be a non sequitur, as it refers to recommendations of the Provost, when he in fact makes no recommendations.  The entire P&T policy needs to be reviewed and updated to more accurately reflect the current process.  The Chair assigned this to the Operations Committee for handling.  Four nominations for Senator Emeriti have been received, and they are waiting for information on three more before reviewing the submissions. 


Old Business:


The Chair reported that the Periodic Reviews of Academic Administrators are both preparing drafts of a final document.


The Chair appointed Sen Porter, Sen. Lehmann, Sen. Rouse, and Sen. Kribs-Zaleta to serve on the Faculty Development Leave Committee.  The committee will meet February 13 at 11:30 a.m. in DH 327. 


President Witt reported that Spouse Activity Cards would be upgraded to include tennis at no extra cost for the remainder of this academic year.  A modest increase in fees may be necessary next year. 


Direct deposit of expense checks is already available on campus by signing a form through Human Resources. 


The issue including student photos on class rolls is under review.  This may be difficult to implement.


Regarding the review of the drop policy requested by Sen. Porter, the Undergraduate Assembly has no records of the previous review of this issue.  It will be re-assigned for review. 


New Business:


Sen. Reinhartz asked if it was appropriate for department chairs to serve on the senate, and expressed concerns regarding chairs’ loyalty to faculty issues. 


The Chair advised that current Bylaws allow department chairs to serve, and will refer this issue to committee for review.


Sen. Porter expressed concern that some students are being advised by UTA faculty and staff to “go to junior colleges to get their basics out of the way.”  Her concerns were based on a recent article in the Shorthorn, which included a quote from the Director of Advising. 


President Witt will follow up on this, but felt that the Shorthorn may have taken a quote out of context on this issue. 


Sen. Kleiser expressed the concern of a faculty member that too many students were enrolling in courses without the necessary prerequisites.  It was suggested that computer screening be implemented to check prerequisites. 

Vice President Dunn advised that the Undergraduate Assembly had reviewed this issue and felt it would be problematic to implement blanket computer screening due to the many exceptions allowed by departments.  She suggested that each unit review this issue and consider requiring clearance for certain courses by the departmental advisors. 


Sen. Kleiser asked how faculty can ensure that students are qualified for a class..  Vice President Dunn advised that faculty should announce prerequisites on the first day of each class, and publish them in both the printed and on-line syllabi


Sen. Elmasri advised that in Computer Science Engineering, advisors must clear all upper level courses manually.  They can generate computerized reports to alert faculty to those in classes without proper prerequisites.  Vice President Dunn advised that such a policy could adversely affect transfer students whose transcripts had not yet been reviewed.  It was confirmed that a faculty member could not drop a student from a course. 


Sen. Amster reopened the discussion of time frames for senate service, and the need to have senators available during summer months. 


The Chair advised that the Operating Procedures Committee is working on this issue.  They are not yet ready to bring recommendations to the Senate floor. 


Sen. Amster asked if it might be possible for the Senate to discuss certain confidential issues in closed session without any of the Administration present.  President Witt indicated the Administration’s willingness to exit any Senate meeting if requested to do so by the Chair. The Chair expressed his appreciation for the excellent working relationship enjoyed by our faculty with UTA administration.  He advised that the Presidential Advisory Committee precedes each of their meetings with the President with a closed one-hour private session to discuss any issues. 


Assoc. Vice President Moore advised the Chair that Robert’s Rules of Order allow for an Executive Session any time such a motion is made and approved.  Such a motion would require that all non-voting members clear the room upon approval of the motion.


 Announcements:  There were no announcements.   


The meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.