FACULTY SENATE MEETING

Minutes

University Center, Concho Room

March 14, 2001

 

Attendance:   Amster, H., Ardekani, S., Cantwell, D., Clark, J., del Carmen, A., Eakin, M., Hunter, S., Gintole, G., Jones, M.E., Kellner, H. (Secretary), Kribs-Zaleta, C., Koyman, A., Maizlish, S., Maxwell, P., Millican, M., Morrow, E., Nestell, M., North, K., Nussbaum, C., Patrick, D., Porter, L., Rasheed, A., Reinhartz, D., Reinhartz, J., Rycraft, J., Schelly, Z., Shoults, R., Silva, D., , Sol, T., Weed, F., Wilding, T., President R. Witt, Provost G. Wright, Vice President D. Dunn, Assistant Vice President M. Moore, Sharon Smith (Student Congress) and Chair T. Chrzanowski.

 

Call to Order:

 

2:36 p.m. Senate Chair Thomas Chrzanowski called the Senate to order.

 

Approval of Minutes:

 

The Senate approved the minutes of the February meeting with the following correction: instead of "Kay Kettles in Boston" will be substituted "Kate Kettles in Austin."

 

Remarks by Guest of the Faculty Senate:

 

The first guest of the Senate was Dan Stewart, Director of Employee Group Insurance, UT System.  He was introduced by Dan Williams, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.

 

Mr. Stewart noted that the problems with rising health budgets are not unique to us; it is a nationwide problem.  In the previous fiscal year, the health insurance system ran a 20 million dollar deficit; this year there will be a 23-24 million dollar loss.  For the biennium, this creates a total loss of 43-44 million dollars.  The books must be balanced.  After exhausting a 29 million dollar reserve, a 13 million dollar deficit is left to carry over into the next biennium.

 

System has asked the Legislature for 300 million dollars, an increase of 123 million.  But others – such as Medicaid and Employee Retirement System -- are ahead of us in line.  Preliminary indications are that the Legislature will approve 282 million.  This is 18 million short of the request.  Added to the 13 million dollar deficit, the total that must be carried over is 31 million dollars.

 

(see end of document, Table One, attached as a .PDF file)

 

In terms of cost, the U. T. system health plan is the best higher education health plan in the state.  We have a relatively good deal, brought about by smart negotiation and good risk.  Mr. Stewart does not favor combining the U. T. system health plan with other groups because we would lose our risk advantage and pay more.

 

Why have the costs gone up?  The Pharmacy Plan has been a major problem.  Mr. Stewart described changes that had brought the Pharmacy Plan "somewhat under control now."  No further changes are planned.  There will be more teeth in future contracts, including penalties for poor performance.  Hospital costs have increased 67 percent; physician costs, 10-12 percent.  Mr. Stewart also disappointment with CIGNA.  His office has put out an RFP to the market for new PPO partner.  He's looking for companies that can deal directly with individual campuses, not just with the system.

 

As of September next year we will be offered Long Term Care coverage which can cover family members, including parents and grandparents.  This coverage will be better than that of the A&M system.  It is "a major coup."

 

There are 29 employees in the Group Insurance office, making it stronger than before.  The toll-free telephone number may be obtained from the Benefits Office.

 

There will be changes next year.  UT Select coverage is too complex -- it will be simplified.  TUHP, the HMO system in which UT is fully at risk with no outside carrier, will be gone.  An RFP is out for good HMO, so that we will continue to have a choice between a PPO and an HMO.  But we must "balance the checkbook."

 

(see end of document, Table Two, attached as a .PDF file)

 

Senator PATRICK asked how long the long-term rates stay in effect.  Mr. Stewart replied that they are locked in at the age the principal beneficiary enters.  Rates for other family members may change.

 

Sen. JONES asked without TUHP would we have access to the Medical Centers?  Mr. Stewart replied that while he hopes they can keep all providers, there is no guarantee that better providers will not appear.  RFPs test the market.  Providers must remain competitive.

 

Sen. Eakins asked whether any other systems have lower costs.  Mr. Stewart replied no.  He has no information on private universities.

 

Sen. Porter noted that the Long Term Care schedules for spouse and family members are different from the main rates.  Mr. Stewart confirmed this.

 

Sen. D.  Reinhartz said he was glad there would be teeth in the contracts.  He offered an anecdote about improper treatment.  Mr. Stewart agreed this is not acceptable.

 

Sen. Del Carmen asked Mr. Stewart to guess at the amounts of premium increases.  Mr. Stewart replied that while the Legislature is in session, anything can happen, his best guess would be:

 

·        Those who use the HMOs face a 15-20 percent increase next year

 

·        Those who use UT Select (with its 31 million dollar "baggage" described above" and a 15 percent up trend in costs) face in increase of 30-35 more dollars per month for employee and spouse, or fifty dollars more per month for employee and family.  Employees without insured family members face no increase.

 

Mr. Stewart pointed out that we might not know the correct numbers until summer.  His office will make the information known as soon as possible.

 

Sen. Cantwell told a personal anecdote about denial of service because of age, and stressed the issues of retirees and those with higher risks.  Mr. Stewart expressed concern for the needs of older employees.

 

Sen. Amster asked whether there is a health ombudsman?  Mr. Stewart said no, but repeated that our Benefits Office has the toll-free number to contact Laura Chambers.

 

Sen. Weed asked about out of area coverage.  Mr. Stewart noted that UT Select has provisions for this.

 

Sen. J.  Reinhartz asked where prescriptions can be filled, noting that Walgreens is excluded.  Mr. Stewart said that all other pharmacies are included, but that Walgreens would not agree to the systems conditions.

 

The chair thanked Mr. Stewart for visiting the UTA Faculty Senate.

 

************************************

 

The second guest was Mark Lanier, Director of Physical Plant.  Mr. Lanier has held his position for eight months during which time there has been a reorganization emphasizing customer service.

 

He presented two telephone numbers: 3581 is the number to call if anything is broken.  690-3457 is his own number, which may be called it there is no satisfaction to an earlier request.

 

Mr. Lanier's repeated message regarding problems with buildings and lighting was CALL IT IN.

 

Sen. Morrow asked about turnaround time, particularly in campus lighting.  Mr. Lanier said his office was spending  $60,000 dollars more in support for the 2400 exterior lights on campus.  He also noted that some problems had existed for so long that people had stopped calling them in -- a ten-year leak, for example.

 

Sen. Rasheed expressed appreciation for quick responses.

 

Sen. J.  Reinhartz asked whether Physical Plant can get into rooms with alarms.  Mr. Lanier replied that it depends.

 

Student Congress President Smith noted that parking lots have been closed because of darkness when their lights were out.  Mr. Lanier replied that we are contracting in order to better light the parking lots.  There is a complete walk through twice a year, and he personally observes the campus by bicycle.

 

Sen. Amster asked whether physical plant monitors work done by outside contractors, noting cracked parking lots and falling bricks.  Mr. Lanier replied that he does not have the manpower to observe all problems.  They rely on us.  The campus has had bad paving, and there is an RFP for an engineering firm to improve the situation.

 

CALL IT IN.

 

Mr. Lanier can be reached by e-mail: mlanier@uta.edu.

 

The chair thanked Mr. Lanier for visiting the UTA Faculty Senate.

 

Remarks by the Faculty Senate Chair:

 

The chair noted the need for a transcriber of the Faculty Senate meetings.  The post is paid, and the need is great.  He commented that on-line voting is generally working well, although there have been isolated problems.  He reviewed the events at the last meeting of the UT System Faculty Advisory Council in Austin.  Sen. Kellner noted that the minutes of UTFAC are posted on the Web, and encouraged interested senators to consult them.

 

URL for the UT System Faculty Advisory Council:

http://www.utsystem.edu/utfac/

 

The chair noted that Fred Fair, from Sam Houston State, had spoken to UTFAC about the Post Tenure Review survey he had produced.

 

Sen. Gintole asked if there is a form for PTR follow-up.  The chair said no, but there must be a response from a number of administrators.

 

Sen. North inquired about the PTR survey.  The chair said that it was designed for the state college system, but was given to other campuses.

 

Remarks by President Witt:

 

President Witt answered the proposal in this morning’s Star Telegram that a number of universities in North Texas, including UTA, should be united under the UNT system with a counter proposal to merge the universities with the flagship centered at Arlington.  He addressed financial questions and flagship issues.  He noted that Sen. Chris Harris has proposed another excellence fund to replace the Capital Excellence and Equity monies.  He has no word on the status of indirect cost recovery policy.

 

Remarks by Provost Wright:

 

Post Tenure Review this year saw 60 eligible faculty.  Four retired, three left the University, one is on leave, three disputed their PTR status successfully.  49 came up for review.  The provost will report on the results at a later date.

 

The administration is surveying other system schools to learn which ones do not use Social Security numbers for identification -- the medical center at Galveston is one.  It is looking for a replacement for the Social Security number.

 

Since January there been problems with the campus Internet service.  Some problems come from outside because our services are currently routed through UTD, but some problems are campus-based.  The following steps of been taken to improve the situation.  The Alliance for Hire Education checks us regularly.  In April we will have a direct connection to the Internet.  The staff at Information Technology, including Chauncey Jackson, are all on call around the clock.

 

Questions for the Provost:

 

Sen. Del Carmen asked whether there it is a campus wide shield against viruses.  The provost answered that Chauncey Jackson will respond.  The Chair noted that Norton Anti-Virus is available from the UTA WebSite.

 

Sen. Cantwell asked who must respond to the faculty member regarding PTR.  The Chair replied that too many people are supposed to respond, and that this policy is in need of revision.

 

Texas Council of Faculty Senates Report:

 

Sen. Porter reported on TCOFS.  She noted that other faculty senates have space and staff devoted to their use.  Most schools in the state do not use Social Security numbers for identification.  On matters of Family Leave, we're doing well.  On matters of Faculty Development Leaves, we're doing poorly. 

 

On the matter of withdrawals from class, Sen. Porter suggested that UTA is too easy.  Across the state, the better the school, a harder it is to drop of course.  The chair noted that the problems of highly selective schools, where students may enroll for many courses in hopes of getting some that they need, are different from hours.  This is a complex issue.

 

Committee Reports:

 

Sen. Maizlish reported that The Equity Committee had discussed the question of assessment.  Since there were no concrete proposals, they found it premature to respond.  He noted that there would be enormous problems on our campus, including student resistance, to any testing.

 

Sen. Silva reported that the Operating Procedures Committee had received no responses to their proposal, presented at the last Senate meeting, for solving the problems of succession to faculty Senate offices.  The proposal, as presented, was put to vote, and PASSED (see end of document and Figure One attached as a .PDF file).

 

Sen. Nestell reported that the Special Projects Committee had approved seven professors for emeritus status.

 

Old Business:

 

There was no Old Business

 

New Business:

 

A model document on policy regarding Academic Receivership, drafted by the Governance Committee of UTFAC, was sent to the committee on Operating Procedures.

 

A Nominating Committee for next year was appointed to name candidates for the offices of Secretary, Parliamentarian, Chair-Elect, and representative to TCOFS.  Sen. Del Carmen will chair; Sen. Porter and Sen. Rycraft are members.

 

Announcements:

 

The Liberal Arts Constituency Council will hold a silent auction on 17 April at 7 p.m. in the Carlisle Suite.  Those who wish to contribute items should contact Theresa Behrend at 2566.

 

Sen. Cantwell complained that there was no motion on the issue of Social Security numbers.  The Chair responded that the Senate has expressed its opinion, and that the administration is moving forward.

 

Adjournment:

 

At 4:30 p.m. the Senate was adjourned.

 

 

Attachments as PDF files:

Table One

Table Two

 

 

Revisions to the By-Laws:

 

 

 

Suggested Revisions to the

Faculty Senate Bylaws - revised February 2, 2000

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

I. NATURE AND PURPOSE

 

II. FUNCTIONS

 

III. MEMBERSHIP

 

E. Upon election to the position of Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, a senator becomes an ex-officio member of the Senate with a four-year non-voting term of office consisting of one year as Vice-Chair (Chair-Elect), two years as Chair, and one year as Vice Chair (Past Chair). The departments that the Chair and Chair-Elect/Vice Chair represent shall elect other senators to represent them as voting members.

 

 

IV. SENATE OFFICERS.

 

A. The Faculty Senate Officers shall be:

 

Chair

Vice Chair              (as either Chair-Elect or Past Chair)

Chair-Elect

Secretary

Parliamentarian

Texas Council of Faculty Senates Representative

 

Note: As an elected officer of the Faculty Senate, the Texas Council of Faculty Senates (TCFS) Representative will have the following responsibilities:

 

Attend TCFS Texas Council of Faculty Senates meetings

 

Serve on the Faculty Senate Presidential Advisory Committee

 

Give a verbal report of TCFS Texas Council of Faculty Senates meetings at Faculty Senate Meetings

 

Provide a written report of TCFS Texas Council of Faculty Senates meetings to the Faculty Senate Chair.

 

B. Election of Officers

 

            Nominations

 

A nominating committee shall be appointed by the Chair at the second regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate in the Spring Semester. The committee shall consist of one senator from each undergraduate college and one senator representing the School of Social Work, the School of Urban and Public Affairs, the School of Architecture, the School of Nursing, and the School of Education. The committee will select its own chair and prepare a slate of nominees for Secretary, Parliamentarian, TCFS Representative, and, in the first year of the current Chair’s term, a Chair-Elect. The slate will be presented to the Senate at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Those senators whose terms expire before the first Senate meeting the following Fall are ineligible to take office as Secretary, Parliamentarian, or TCFS Texas Council of Faculty Senates Representative unless they have been legally elected by their department or unit for the next year.  Eligibility to serve as Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate shall require either current membership on the Faculty Senate or past membership.

 

            Election

 

The election of officers shall be held at the third regularly scheduled meeting of the Spring semester. The chair of the Nominating Committee shall preside over the election. Nominations may be taken from the floor and added to the ballot. Each office will be voted on separately, beginning with that of Chair-Elect. Election shall be by secret ballot if there is more than one candidate.

 

            Sequencing of Election of Chair-Elect, Chair, and Vice Chair

 

In the first year of the current Chair's term, the position of Vice Chair will be filled by the immediate past Chair. At the end of the first year of the Chair's term, a Chair-Elect will be chosen. The Chair-Elect will serve the Faculty Senate for four years:

Year 1:                    Vice-Chair (as Chair-Elect)

Years 2 & 3:           Chair

Year 4:                    Vice-Chair (as Past Chair)

as Vice Chair for one year, then The Chair-Elect will assume the office of Chair at the end of the final regularly scheduled meeting of the Spring semester in which he/she was elected.  A quorum of the Faculty Senate must be present and a simple majority of the voters will be sufficient to elect each officer.

 

C. The newly elected officers shall succeed the present officers at the conclusion of the final regularly scheduled meeting of the Spring semester in which they were elected.

 

D. The officers of the Senate shall be eligible for service on the statutory and standing committees of the Senate.

 

E. If the Chair is not able to serve the second year of the term of office, the Chair-Elect shall assume the office of Chair. A special election will be held for a Vice Chair.

 

E. If the Chair can not complete his/her first year of office, then the Vice-Chair (who is Past Chair) assumes the position of Interim Chair for the remainder of the year. As soon as possible, a special election is held for a new Chair-Elect, who immediately assumes the role of Vice-Chair. At the end of the academic year, the Chair-Elect assumes the position of Chair and the Interim Chair (Past Chair) assumes the role of Vice-Chair for the following academic year. At the end of the new Chair’s first year of office, elections for a new Chair-Elect are held (in accordance with §IV.B).

 

{NOTE: Should a Chair vacate his/her term during the first year of office, the “Past Chair” would actually wind up serving for 5 years in Senate leadership; The alternative would be to have the new Chair-Elect serve only 1 year as Chair. Doing so provides the sort of continuity that we believe was desired by the original framers of this complex system.}

 

If the Chair vacates the position during the months between his/her first and second years of office, then the Vice-Chair (who is Chair-Elect) assumes the position of Chair for a two-year period, followed by a one-year term as Vice-Chair (as Past Chair).  The role of Vice-Chair is offered to the most recent Past Chair of the Senate, who serves as Vice-Chair for one year; should the most recent Past Chair decline to serve an additional year of service, a special Election is held to select an Interim Vice-Chair, who serves for one year. In either case, election for a new Chair-Elect is held at the end of the academic year (in accordance with §IV.B).

 

If the Chair vacates the position during his/her second year of service, then the Vice-Chair (who is Chair-Elect) assumes the position of Interim Chair, completes the departing Chair’s term of office, and subsequently begins his/her own two-year term as Chair. A special Election is held for an Interim Vice-Chair, who serves until the end of the departing Chair’s term of office plus one (1) additional year.

 

{NOTE: The term “Interim Chair” has been added to the text so as to distinguish between an individual’s service in place of another (as “interim”) vs. his/her “own” duly elected term of office.}

 

F. If an officer changes departments during a term of office, the former department can elect a new representative, and the officer can finish serving the elected term.

Figure One: