FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

March 12, 2003

 

 

Attendance:  Crowder, Rasheed, Kleiser, Eakin, Dulikravich, Liu, Spindler, Elmasri, Horvit, Estes, Smith, Rinehartz, Maizlish, Silva, Bogle, Nussbaum, Young,  Formanowicz, Kinsel, Kribs-Zaleta, Amster, Millican, Rosado, Fincher, Courtney, Lehmann, Arvidson, Wilding, Sorber, Wright..

 

Call to Order:

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

 

Approval of Minutes:

The senate unanimously approved the previous meetings minutes as written.

 

Remarks by the Chair:

Two Guest Speakers were in attendance at the meeting:

1.   Kate Kettles, Director of the Office of Governmental and Community Relations, will spend a few minutes updating the senate of the legislative initiatives.

  1. Vice Chancellor Sullivan will give the senate an update on the Presidential Search.

 

The Faculty Advisory Council meeting was attended by Senate Chair Chrzanowski and Senator Reinhartz in Austin.

 

John de la Garza, the Vice Chancellor of Community Relations was introduced to the FAC. 

 

Regent Judith Craven spoke about a wide range of issues.  Most importantly, she found out what was important by talking to people who do the work.  She has a very clear bottom up management style. 

 

Ashley Smith, Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Policy spoke mainly about the legislative session regarding budget issues, a bill to create a local taxing district, tuition deregulation and fee structures, and the bill in the legislature moving UTA from the UT System.

 

Clare Goldsmith, an Assoc. Vice-Chancellor for IT at UT System, spoke about his role as a facilitator.  Since the hacking incident at UT-Austin had just been publicized, he was inundated with comments regarding the use of social security numbers in the UT computer system and the reluctance to move away from it.

 

Francie Frederick, Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Regents, and Dondie Ploughman, Professor of Management at UT-San Antonio explained the real effort to revise and update the Regent’s Rules.  This was ordered by the Regents to happen as soon as possible.  Plughman believes that things should be organized with simple rules thus creating self-organizing systems.  This would create general rules instead of “thou shall nots.”  The new wording would be as follows:  “allowing policy for” and “organize along this rule.”  This new wording of Regent’s Rules seems to shift the Board’s responsibility to the local scale. 

 

Senator Reinhartz added that if Regent’s Rules are already covered by the constitution or in state or federal law there would be no reason to have it as a Regent’s Rule.  The rules are interpreting the obvious. At the meeting, revisions of the first seven parts of the Regent’s Rules were completed by deleting the obsolete rules because they were archaic or unnecessary.

Chair Chrzanowski discussed their meeting with Chancellor Yudof.  The chancellor freely discussed the question of tuition deregulation.  Across the system, 52% of tuition and fees flow back to students in the form of financial aid.  The UT-Brownsville campus has 102% of their tuition and fees going back to students as financial aid.  The current system administration seems to want to get the system moving forward by getting down to business and making changes occur.  Senator Reinhartz added that in the past the system administrators were not interested in sharing what was going on, but Vice-Chancellor Smith was very informative in updating the Senate during his time at the meeting.

 

UT-San Antonio is still experiencing a problem in their Math Department.  The Math Department was put into receivership and split into 2 units after the receivership issue was supposedly resolved.  One part of the department (Department of Applied Mathematics) was on campus while the other half (Science and Math Education) was 20 miles off campus.  The off-campus group must go to campus to receive their mail, etc.  Later, a memo was sent to the off-campus group and accused them of insubordination by failing to create science education.  The president has refused to become involved.  There were grievances filed that went unanswered.  The grievance has been referred to the Faculty Advisory Council.  This is the very reason that the Faculty Senate exists.

 

Chair Chrzanowski discussed the new changes in system administration and how there is now a wealth of information available via issue briefs.  Chair Chrzanowski said he has access to these briefs at any time as well as the underlying meeting summaries.  The distribution of these documents has not been previously done because there is no central place to keep them for reference.  He asked any faculty member to contact him if they would like to refer to these documents.

 

Chair Chrzanowski also discussed the Faculty Satisfaction Survey.  Among all UT System academic campuses, UT-Arlington has the lowest response rate (32.3%) with UT-San Antonio with the highest (70%). Chair Chrzanowski asked all senators to go to their constituencies and get them to respond to the survey.  Without an equal turnout in all campuses, the results of the survey may not give a clear picture of the overall faculty’s satisfaction. 

 

Senator Spindler:            How about a reminder from Michael Moore to fill out the survey with the survey document as an attachment?

Senator Chrzanowski:            Four messages have been sent from Digital Research, each carrying special numbers to maintain anonymity.  The surveys and results are collected off-campus to make sure all anonymity was absolute.  Great lengths have been taken to make sure that no one would be traced.  That’s why all the messages came out with the unique identifiers.

 

President’s Remarks

Dr. Sorber spoke about the budget cuts and how that would impact academics.  Dr. Sorber would like to minimize the impact on academics and instead reduce business services.  The next round of cuts for 2004-2005 will probably be about 12.5% out of everything with the exception of special items.  These special items have to go to Conference Committee and then we will know what the bottom line is.  This will not be insignificant.  Everyone will be affected, but we would like to keep the momentum in research and graduate programs.

 

We will begin the process of budget cutting for the future at the end of this week by putting together 5 cost reduction teams consisting of faculty, staff (exempt and classified), administrators, and students.  These teams will be chaired by 5 vice-presidents (Dr. George Wright, Dr. Dana Dunn, Dr. Keith McDowell, Dr. Kent Gardner, and Dr. Dan Williams).  They will try to meet after Spring Break and 3 times during the next month.  The teams will brainstorm about where we can cut costs without impacting our services and primary mission.  This approach has worked in the past by collecting information, culling it, and then giving feedback.  There are 2 reasons that we take this approach:  1) so everyone truly understands that this is a serious problem; and 2) a voice is cast for every constituency on the campus.  We are open and want involvement in this process.  Dr. Sober asked the Faculty Senate leadership to nominate participants and hopefully will have the process completed in a month via three, one-hour meetings.

 

Questions to the President

Senator Amster:            What is the reason to include students on these teams?

President Sober:  They are concerned about student services.

Senator Maizlish:            Over the last couple of days, chairs in the College of Liberal Arts have received requests to submit reviews (6 year post tenure review) with merit evaluations.  There has always been a wall between merit evaluation and post tenure evaluation.  All systems for evaluations originate in the department and go up the line for approval.  The result is less serious merit evaluations which effect tenure.

Dr. Wright:                   We’ll try to finish up on regular promotion and tenure by the end of January and February.  We will send out information on who will be promoted.  I will check on the status of promotion and tenure. We try not to tie post tenure review with merit evaluation.

Senator Liu:                  With 12.5% to cut across the board, will these cuts be from services or salaries?

President Sober:            No.  General revenue doesn’t mean reductions in your salary.  That would be the last thing we would look to.

Dr. Wright:                   All agencies have been mandated to cut 12.5%.  There are many factors in addition to maintaining excellence.  They said they would also take into consideration the growth that occurred.  This will help UTA.  Twelve and one-half percent equates to ten million dollars per year at UTA.

President Sober:            These cuts are real and we need to worry about them.  We must prepare, but doubt any salaries will be affected.

Senator Maizlish:            Do you have any idea of when Faculty Development Leaves will be announced?  Also, what is the status of the College of Liberal Arts Dean Search?

Dr. Wright:                   We will be sending out notifications by next Monday for Faculty Development Leaves.

We are in the process of talking with the candidates for the COLA dean position.  Hope to resolve in another week or so.

 

Provost Wright and President Sorber left the meeting.

 

Guest Speaker Vice-Chancellor Terry Sullivan

The principal reason Dr. Sullivan is in Arlington is for the first meeting with of the Presidential Search Committee.  Vice-Chancellor Sullivan said the committee hoped to lay out the game plan for the search committee.  Hopefully, the committee will approve the advertisement and will send out to the local and national media as well as create a web ad.  Also, an email address has been set up to anonymously nominate candidates.

 

Dr. Sullivan hopes faculty members will spread the word about the position and will encourage interested parties to apply.  Faculty members are the best recruiters as well as their networks elsewhere with colleagues from other institutions, and professional associations etc.  When a list of finalists has been compiled, the candidates will be brought to the campus and arrangements will be made for them to meet with the faculty.

 

Questions to Dr. Sullivan

Senator Maizlish:            When you were here last, there was the issue of UTA becoming a Texas A&M campus.  Can you talk about that now and what impact has that had on the presidential search?

Dr. Sullivan:                  It has had no effect because the search hasn’t been announced yet.  The bill has not yet been filed for moving governance of UTA.  It could happen tomorrow or Friday.  We want to get the best president we can possibly get.  Arlington adds a lot to the system and vice versa.  There is lots of momentum here.  I hope it doesn’t happen, but I want to run a good search.  We want to put forth a good package to candidates about UT-Arlington.  I don’t think the budget cuts will be a deal breaker since almost all public institutions are having the same problem.

Senator Liu:                  What is the timeline for hiring the new president?  Is the interim president a candidate?

Dr. Sullivan:                  Chuck Sorber cannot be a candidate.  After the ad is posted, we will allow a month for applicants to send in their CVs.  Also it gives us time to allow nominations and it also allows times for me to contract a search firm.  That would take us to May 1, 2003.  We then have to screen CVs which would take another month.  The committee would then decide how many to interview which would take another month.  The earliest that a candidate would visit would be early summer.  If that all worked as we hoped, then the new president would be in place for special session.  Most importantly, we need for the search to be good and not fast.

Dr. Young:                   With 18 people on the committee, five community members and 3 faculty, the committee seems to be skewed with community members.  Is there anything to allay our concerns as to the candidates that will be chosen? 

Dr. Sullivan:                  The applications will be screened by 3 subcommittees.  Each subcommittee will be chaired by a faculty member.  Faculty members know how to read CVs.  Several have served on the presidential search committee in Austin.  There are other faculty members on the search committee:  UTA Dean of Nursing Dr. Poster, President Faulkner of UT-Austin, President Francisco Cigarroa of UTHSC-San Antonio, and Regent Craven of Health Science Center - Houston.

Dr. Kinsel:                    The community members are not satisfied with the responses to the issue regarding UTD.  Does the chancellor want to make additional responses to his position?

Dr. Sullivan:                  The Chancellor has promised to get the VP of Research, UTD, and UT Southwestern to meet.  They met and discussed where needs are overlapped in research.  Community members frame this issue negatively with UTA.  UT-Southwestern needs more synthetic chemists.  UT Southwestern needs a chemistry department to ally with.  The Chancellor’s plan wants to challenge the community for financial support.  In terms of size, the Dallas community can give more financial support than Tarrant County.  But if Tarrant County raises it first, that would be great.  The challenge is where to go with research.  We are at a disadvantage because our medical schools are separate from our academic institutions.  This would be UTA and UTD because neither has a medical school.  They think they need help with   Computational Biology, Organic and Synthetic Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics of Imaging and a few other areas.

Dr. Rasheed:                There is a public perception due to the newspaper that the system prefers one school over the other.  The system needs to clarify so public perception is straightened out.

Dr. Sullivan:                  We don’t control the press.  They are misinterpreting and resistant to hearing our message.  If there are people who want to believe, we can’t help that.  I will have dinner the CEO of Arlington’s Chamber of Commerce and I am staying in close touch with members of your community.

 

Dr. Sullivan left the meeting.

 

Guest Speaker Kate Kettles, Director of Govermental and Community Relations

Ms. Kettles introduced herself and handed out a “Filed Bills Effecting Higher Education” document.  She explained that she can work with those who UTA are close to, but can’t lobby them.  The “Hold Harmless” money is there for growth which helps us more than other institutions in the state.  The following bills that affect faculty are being monitored by Ms. Kettles:

 

HB 264 – Optional Retirement Programs – Permits universities to make contributions from different source of funds.

HB 268 – Textbooks from Taxes – Gaining momentum. 

HB 484 – Changes Graduate Student Populations – Set for hearing on 24th, but has a long way to go in the process. 

HB 2393 – Moves UTA out of UT System and allows it to go anywhere.

HB 613 – Requires uniform grading for all universities.

HB 707 – Requires that THECB adopt strategy that would make faculty and staff reflect population of locale of college or university.

HB 760 – Uniform admission standards for non-top 10%.

HB 1026 – Disallow universities from using social security numbers – (in committee).

HB 1212 – Limits number of foreign students you can have in graduate programs.

HB 1783 – Requires universities to study pay compared to ten most populace states and equalize salaries to the average.

HB 1887 – Help with the indirect cost issue by letting institution keep funds that are giving back to the state.

SB 666 - Would repeal our excellence funding and put in one pool until allocated.

SB 722 -  Loan program for underrepresented groups in graduate school.

 

Questions to Kate Kettles

Senator Maizlish:            In the last faculty senate session, there was discussion about lifting the cap on tuition and additional fees as the salvation for budget problems.  Is that happening yet?

Ms. Kettles:                  Not yet, but we’re looking for it.  We’re hoping that somebody will file by Friday.  I’ve heard that the head of the Senate Education Committee is in favor of it, but I’m hearing more negativity about it publicly.

Chair Chrzanowski:            What is your feel on us moving out of the UT System?

Ms. Kettles:                  This is a tool to get the system to respond.  It is up to both sides to come together.  The chancellor doesn’t want to lose UTA.  There is lots of support for UT in the legislature via alumni and donors.  In order for this change to happen, the constitution would have to be changed which would require a vote of the people.

Senator Millican:            Is this something that was generated from A&M wanting us or UT not wanting us?

Ms. Kettles:                  I think there are lots of people who think UT System doesn’t treat us like they should.  They feel like UT hasn’t helped us.  There have been other bills like this that didn’t go anywhere that would have put us with other institutions.

Senator Reinhartz:            We also assume that A&M is desirous of a Metroplex campus.

 

Kate Kettles explained to the Senators that if they wished to communicate their opinions or concerns regarding any legislative issues, they need to do it on their own time and on their personal computer, phone, fax, etc.

 

Kate Kettles left the meeting.

 

Committee Reports

Council for Faculty Senates:  Amster

Dr. Sol’s report to the Council for Faculty Senators was handed over to Senator Amster to deliver since Senator Sol was unable to attend the meeting.  She summarized the report as follows:

·        Enrollment – Large increases reported on most campuses.

·        War – Many say no affect on students at their campuses.  Half reported some significant opposition by students via demonstrations or writing letters. 

·        Budget – Most addressed the need to cut budget by 7% by proposed changes in summer school, closing buildings, going to 4 days at 10 hours per day.  Texas A&M reported never having had a budget cut although 6 campuses in the Texas A&M System that have had huge budget cuts.  UNT planning to cut low enrollment classes.  Faculty are opposing this idea.

·        Two-Track Workloads – Sam Houston Sate University discussed a policy which involved distribution of teaching load.  Research and service vs. teaching.  Faculty was asked which track they wanted to be on voluntarily.  UTA has this policy – informally, but are not asked to volunteer.  Tarleton also has something similar.

·        Tenure-Track/Quality of Education Issues – Many departments are particularly more likely to hire temps namely, the College of Liberal Arts.   UT has more than 40% tenure-track faculty.

·        UNT is working on acquiring a law school (Texas Wesleyan).  If successful, this move will increase UNT’s minority student population because Wesleyan’s Law School student population includes a large minority population.

·        UT has a program in Dallas which allows part-time students to get their degrees on alternate weekends. 

·        Resolution that we ask to vote on that the Faculty Senate join the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.

 

Senator Amster read the following resolution to be voted on:

 

                Whereas the primary mission of the state colleges and universities of Texas is education and instruction;

                Whereas the core values and goals of the state colleges and universities of Texas reflect and support this mission;

Whereas the state colleges and universities of Texas must preserve and protect their basic ability to deliver quality instruction to a record number of students;

Whereas recent and pending budget restraints require state colleges and universities of Texas to do more with less (i.e., deliver more instruction to more students with smaller budgets);

Whereas all members of the Texas higher education community must bear the burden of ensuring that we weather the budget crisis without sacrificing quality;

Whereas the faculty in the state of Texas are willing to assist in devising ways to determine how to do more with less, and they are willing to make adjustments in their overall workload if necessary to accomplish this;

Therefore be it resolved that the Texas Council of Faculty Senates, an organization representing the leaders of the faculty senates in the state of Texas, supports the efforts of faculty to participate in this process and believes that the burden of doing more with less must not be interpreted to mean the faculty should be paid less and/or that the faculty should assume a greater overall workload.  While the Texas Council of Faculty Senates believes that colleges and universities should be free to make adjustments must be done within the constraints of fair pay for a reasonable workload.  Colleges and universities must recognize that teaching load is only a subset of workload.  Any adjustment in teaching load therefore must mandate a corresponding adjustment in service, research, and other work activities.  Furthermore, in the spirit of shared sacrifices, we ask all Texas college and university administrators to shoulder a just portion of this burden by limiting their own increases in compensation packages to a percentage no greater than that received by the faculty in their institutions.  To do so otherwise will harm the missions, values, and goals of the state colleges and universities of Texas.

 

Signed on this 22nd day of February 2003.

 

Claudia Stuart

President

Texas Council of Faculty Senates

 

Senator Amster moved to approve the statement.

 

Senator Maizlich moved to accept by acclamation.

 

Faculty senate approved.

 

Motion passed.

 

Equity: No Report.

                                               

Academic Freedom and Tenure:

There are 2 appeals to denial of tenure.  They have not been resolved.  This issue is a few weeks old.  An individual wished to appeal his denial of tenure.  The faculty member talked with Drs. Formanowicz and Chrzanowski.  The faculty member then contacted the Provost who told him the wrong procedure to use to appeal by advising the faculty member that the University Hearing Panel hears the appeal.  The hearing panel deals with violations of Texas law, but the issue is improper procedures.  The faculty member met with the Hearing Panel, which informed him that they don’t hear his kind of case.  The faulty member then went back to Dr. Formanowicz to look at the Regent’s Rules to figure out.  We’re not sure what to do next.  The issue could be dealt with on the Equity Committee.  To start the appeal process, the faculty member should make an appeal to the department and then work his way up to the Equity Committee.  Dr. Moore said the issue should go through the Equity Committee.  Then Dr. Moore retracted his advice and said this issue would be handled at the Executive Level by the president.  Dr. Moore instructed the faculty member to wait and Dr. Moore’s office would send a letter.   This information was given to the faculty member via a hand delivered letter which said that it should be addressed by the President and Hearing Panel.  Dr. Moore said the relevant issues should be addressed to the hearing panel.  We’re concerned because of the time elapsed, we’re concerned about the faculty member’s ability to appeal.  The president has the ability do this, but does the president’s decision close the faculty member’s avenue through the Equity Committee?  The issues are:  1)  No one in Davis Hall knows what to do; 2) The Faculty Guide is as it currently exists on-line is wrong; 3) Handbook of Operating Procedures is unclear.  This needs to be fixed. 

 

Dana Dunn was contacted to find out the decision of the faculty member’s appeal because the 5-day response period had passed.  Dr. Dunn contended that they were within the 5 days but there were no consequences for going over the 5-day required response period.  There are empty deadlines in many ways.

 

Senator Maizlish:            The president can rule to end the procedure itself?

Senator Formanowicz:            The appeal is decided at the executive level, the faculty member’s right to due process has been circumvented.  The president is invoking executive privilege and has decided to handle it himself.

Senator Crowder:            I am on the hearing panel.  It was clear to me after his investigation that the procedural issue with this decision was made with the chair of the hearing panel.  Issue is made with the departmental P&T committee and then to the college promotion and tenure committee.  He should write a letter to the college P&T Committee and request a hearing. Based on the process delineated in the Handbook of Operating Procedures.

 

The college P&T committee recommends the package to be resubmitted, but ultimate authority is with President.  The president can’t summarily remove this procedure.

Senator Formanowicz:            The faculty member was working on following the procedure you just spoke of when this happened. 

Chair Chrzanowski:            The document outlinge the procedure for appeal was poorly prepared and no one really knows the procedure.  The Faculty Senate needs to do something about it.   Senator Formanowicz will handle this appeal.  If it is moved to Executive Committee, I will refer all issues related to it to Senator Reinhartz. I have a conflict of interest here and I do not wish the integrity of the Senate to be challenged.

Senator Crowder:            The truth is that these are rare events; therefore, we don’t know procedure.  This is not necessarily something we should be outraged about it.  We’re all busy with our own jobs, but I don’t think that the administration is derelict in its duties due to not following a procedure.

Senator Formanowicz:            Chair Chrzanowski and I will follow up with the President on this grievance issue.

Senator Millican:            I would like someone to talk about the whole process and procedure of tenure and promotion.

 

 

Research and Develoment:            Unable to report due to length of meeting.                       

 

Budget Liaison:            Unable to report due to length of meeting.

 

Academic Liaison:            Unable to report due to length of meeting.

 

Ethics: Unable to report due to length of meeting.

 

Special Projects:            Unable to report due to length of meeting.

 

The Senate discussed the heavy workload of faculty and the lack of time available to continue to work of even greater tasks needed for faculty senate members to take on.

 

Senator Arvidson:            Update on parking?

Chair Chrzanowski:            President Witt in Executive Council ensured a policy that marked off flag symbols on hang tags will not be ticketed , but not brought up.

 

                                    Should we as a faculty respond to the efforts to move us out of UT System?

Senator Maizlish:            That would be appropriate, but what is the motive.  We’d like to stay in UT System.

Senator  Chrzanowski:Do we as faculty want to take a position?  We can make a resolution and prepare a statement.

Senator Millican:            We need to call a special meeting of the Faculty Senate.

 

Appointment of the Nomination Committee:

 

Senator Chrzanowski:            Drs. Priest, Kinsel, Eakin, Jolly,and Courtney will produce a slate of nominations for next year. 

 

Old Business

Unable to report due to length of meeting.

 

New Business

Unable to report due to length of meeting.

 

 

Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.