Faculty Senate Meeting

Minutes

University Center, Concho Room

November 8, 2000

 

 

Attendance:

 

Amster, H., Barrett, E., Bond, M.L., Cantwell, D., Clark, J., del Carmen, A., Eakin, M., Formanowicz, D., Gintole, G., Hunter, S., Imrhan, S., Ingram, T., Jones, M.E., Kellner, H. (Secretary), Kribs-Zaleta, C., Liu, H., Maizlish, S., Maxwell, P., Millican, M., Morrow, E., Munch, J., Nestell, M., North, K., Nussbaum, C., Patrick, D., Porter, L., Rasheed, A., Reinhartz, D., Reinhartz, J., Rycraft, J., Schelly, Z., Shipman, B., Shoults, R., Silva, D., Sol, T., Wilding, T., President R. Witt, Provost G. Wright, Vice President D. Dunn, Assistant Vice President M. Moore, Assistant Vice President M.L. Hodge, Rojan Theophilus (Student Government), and Chair T. Chrzanowski.

 

 

Call to Order:

 

Faculty Senate Chair, Thomas Chrzanowski, called the meeting to order.

 

Approval of Minutes:

 

The Chair called for the approval of the minutes of the October 4, 2000, Faculty Senate meeting.  The minutes were approved with the following correction noted:

 

            Page 4 – The announcements should have read, “Senator D. Reinhartz asked    President Witt which programs were up for review.  President Witt responded that he

            would e-mail him the list.”

 

Remarks by the Faculty Senate Chair:

 

Chair Chrzanowski reminded the Senate to check the web site for Senate news and asked that Senators verify their e-mail addresses for accuracy as they initial the attendance sheet.  He indicated that many of his attempts to e-mail the Senate have bounced back.  He will send out an e-mail to all Senators prior to each meeting to call for agenda items.  The Chair also stated that although all faculty had been blanketed in the past concerning Faculty Senate, he would now only be contacting the Senate members.

 

Chair Chrzanowski called for nominations for Chair-elect and Vice Chair, and announced that Senator Rycraft would be in charge of the nominating procedure. 

 

Chair Chrzanowski reported on the October meeting of the UT Faculty Advisory Council, which he and Senator Kellner attended.  Interim Chair Burck addressed UTFAC and expressed his interest in their opinions and advice.  K-16 Programs and Fields of Study continue to be discussed in Austin. Dr. Sharpe mentioned the desire of the Regents to deregulate campus administrative procedures to some extent, while establishing some form of academic accountability.

 

Chair Chrzanowksi indicated that there are three presidential searches under way within the UT System, at UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and UT at Permian Basin. 

 

Chair Chrzanowski also indicated that on the Board of Regents, three members will be going off, Rita Clements,  Dan Effler, and Don Evans.

 

Chair Chrzanowski discussed the subject of academic accountability in the system.  The possibility of examinations in basic subjects is still a possibility at this time, with no certain outcome.

 

Chancellor’s Coalition of Texas institutions of higher education is seeking an increase in formula funding, more help with insurance premiums, development of fields of study, and reduced barriers that will make transfer from junior colleges to universities easier. Texas Faculty Association presented a legal argument in favor of offering benefits to same-sex domestic partners.  General Council Farrabee responded negatively.

 

Chair Chrzanowski discussed the new faculty satisfaction survey, indicating that RFP is available to schools within the system. He stated that he had a copy of the RFP for those interested. Senator Kellner added that there had been much discussion of  fields of study and transferability of junior college credits.  Dr. Sharpe had commented to UTFAC that this was an anecdote-driven issue, and that perceptions, not evidence, mattered.  Kellner inquired about the TCCN (Texas Common Course Numbering) system.  Dr. Dunn stated that this system had been used for years to judge which courses are transferable, and to complete various reports.  She also indicated that a copy may be obtained from the Registrar’s office.

 

 

Remarks by the President:

 

President Witt commented on legislative issues that the UT system will pursue in Austin. Senator Ratliff will once again be very influential in the area of higher education and expects this session to be a good one for higher education.  It is likely that a tuition increase will be supported.  President Witt commented that the Undergraduate Assembly does not seem likely to support flexible tuition but will likely support a stairstep model similar to the last tuition increase.  UTA will also be seeking tuition revenue bonds to help pay for building projects.  Recent enrollment growth places UTA in a more favorable position and we are now projected to have a space deficit by 2005.

 

President Witt commented on the Flagship status, indicating different terms were now being used such as “centers of excellence” and “universities of choice.” No university is likely to be anointed as a “flagship” university, but instead, monies will be made available by the Legislature to help schools improve in designated areas.  There is also likely to be legislation focused on deregulation issues to save time, paperwork, and effort.

 

President Witt also commented that at the last Dean’s Council, the question of overlapping reports and duplicated effort was raised. He stated he would investigate, and work on deadlines to avoid this problem in the future.  The President also said that he would be sending a letter to the Deans about the procedure for Professor Emeritus nominations.  These will be due to the Senate on March 1, 2001.

 

Remarks by the Provost:

 

Provost Wright commented on the Tenure and Promotion process, stating that nothing is more important than mentoring those faculty members who are going up for Tenure and/or Promotion.  He stated that the materials are due to him next week, with 17 cases for Tenure and 17 for Promotion to Full Professor.  Provost Wright indicated that he, along with the President, the Dean of the College and the Vice Provost for Research will spend the next two months reviewing these files.  He stated that these reviews have given him an opportunity to get to know the faculty better, and feels UTA has extraordinary faculty.

 

Questions for the President:

 

Senator Kribs-Zaleta mentioned the new Trinity Railway Express, and asked if the University was considering plans of providing transportation from the Railway to the University.  President Witt commented that it did not look financially feasible at this time.  He then turned the question over to Mary Lee Hodge, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Assistant Vice President Hodge stated that she has made a recommendation and that it will be going before council within the next week, also stating that if the recommendation was passed, it would increase taxes.  She will report back on the progress of this recommendation.

 

Senator Cantwell asked a question about the state of the Library, indicating that there is an immediate need to provide places for the students to study.  President Witt responded that the new Internet Café had met many of these needs.  He also stated that he will ask Provost Wright for incremental information concerning changing initial priorities and adding repairs.  President Witt indicated that the Library will be the number one project after the Science building.  As it came close to the time to request tuition revenue bonds, it became clear that we did not have a clear vision for the library of the future because library functions are changing so quickly.  He credited Tom Wilding, Director of Libraries, has made very efficient use of monies given him for improvements.  Provost Wright commented that Mr. Wilding is developing a vision for the future of the Library.  He also stated that student computer fees were used for the renovations.  Provost Wright turned the question over to Mr. Wilding.

 

Mr. Wilding indicated that the funding was adequate and that the fee enabled $2 million to be put into the Library for renovations.  He stated that there are currently 10,000 electronic journals and that the number is growing weekly.  There has been a vision of the virtual needs but not of the physical needs of the library.  Mr. Wilding commented that the emphasis should now be on what would attract students to the current facilities, since it is used so differently today from in the past.  Senator Cantwell introduced Rojan Theophilus as the student representative, indicating that we should talk with the students and find out what they think about Library.

 

Senator Liu asked Provost Wright two questions about Tenure and Promotion: 1) how are Teaching, Research and Service weighed when reviewing a candidate’s ’s file and 2) what does tenure mean?  Provost Wright responded by stating that the Tenure and Promotion guidelines are set forth by each of the nine units, and that each unit is handled individually.  He indicated that those reviewing the files will follow these units’ guidelines.  He also stated that at UTA, tenure means “rank held throughout career.”

 

Senator Amster asked Provost Wright if there are deadlines for Post Tenure Review and Chair Reviews, to which Provost Wright responded that a schedule is produced each year.  He then referred the question to Vice President Dunn, who stated that a memo is sent to Dean’s, Department Chairs and Directors each year listing all deadlines.  Provost Wright stated that the schedule for Chair Reviews is every four years.  Chair Chrzanowski then indicated that Senator Patrick had asked about the schedule for Program Reviews, to which President Witt responded with a number of 10 reviews a year.  Senator Kellner indicated that the Program Review Committee had met recently and that eight reviews were scheduled for this year.

 

 

Committee Reports:

 

Senator J. Reinhartz reported that she and Senator Porter attended the Texas Council of Faculty Senates on October 14, 2000.  She indicated that many issues were discussed, such as standardized testing, and a heated discussion about field of study.  She also stated that the role and problems of non-tenure track faculty were discussed.  Senator Reinhartz indicated that the status was being looked into.  She also asked the chair whether evaluations of administration would be discussed to which Chair Chrzanowski answered in the affirmative.  Senator Reinhartz commented on the K-16 Initiative and how helpful it has been to Education.  She also announced that applications for “Fellows” would be accepted in the Spring at the higher education meeting.

 

Chair Chrzanowski stated that the Presidential Advisory Committee would review OGC changes to the grievance policy, indicating that there was one area of contention:  Currently section 3.2 reads: “The appeal must be made within 30 work days of the date of the administrator’s written response.”  The PAC would prefer this to read:  “The appeal must be made within 30 work days of the date of the receipt of the administrator’s written response.”

 

Chair Chrzanowski indicated that the change could be ratified without sending it back to the OGS.  Senator Cantwell moved to accept this change, which Senator Schelly seconded.  The vote was unanimous.

 

Chair Chrzanowski asked if there were any other committee reports, charging the Operating Procedures Committee to look into how a Vice-Chair or a Chair-Elect could be selected in the event of a vacancy

 

The Ethics Committee discussed the importance of consistency on the time clocks for Post-Tenure and Tenure documents, as well as in the provisions of the Family Leave Act.  Senator Barrett commented that this law came down from Legislature and the time clocks were set for every six years.  Chair Chrzanowski asked Provost Wright who should be contacted for clarifying legal matters of this nature.

 

Old Business:

 

Chair Chrzanowski asked Assistant Vice President Moore about Faculty Development Leaves policy. Assistant Vice President Moore indicated that there are inconsistencies in the way Faculty Development Leaves and Research Enhancement Proposals are handled.  Moore indicated that the Provost’s Office, in conjunction with the Dean of the Graduate School, was working to revise the process and speed up the timeline.  Moore also indicated that he was aware of the concerns raised by Senator Maizlish and welcomed further Senate input.  Chair Chrzanowski suggested that interactions should be with Assistant Vice President Moore.

 

Senator Cantwell asked about the academic side of formula production, suggesting that the university was heavy with administrators. President Witt responded that it might be useful to have Mr. Dan Williams, Vice President for Business Affairs, talk to the department chairs and the Deans about the budgets.  He indicated that a great percentage of the time, when the Deans ask for hires, the answer is “no.”  There have been 40 positions eliminated so that that money can be put back into faculty salaries.  Every effort is being made to eliminate the unnecessary administrative hirings.  Senator Cantwell stated that the administrative areas are loaded up, to which President Witt responded that information concerning this will be provided if needed.

 

New Business:

 

Chair Chrzanowski announced that Mark Lanier, Physical Plant, was to address the Senate, but was again unable to be here due to illness.

 

Chair Chrzanowski also announced that there are two Periodic Reviews of Administrators; Mr. Dan Williams, and Provost Wright.  The Faculty Senate will oversee the election to the committees for these reviews, consisting of 20 members each.  Chair Chrzanowski indicated that Provost Wright’s committee will consist of one Faculty Senate representative from each College and one from the collective Schools; the Chair of the Senate is also a member. There will also be one at-large representative elected, and one representative elected at large from each College and collective Schools.

 

Chair Chrzanowski then indicated that Mr. Williams’ committee will consist of one elected representative from the Colleges of Business, Liberal Arts and Engineering, and the collective Schools, with Chair Chrzanowski representing the College of Science.  One at-large representative will be elected from each College and the collective Schools.

 

Senator Barrett asked what the advantage was to having two at-large representatives from each College, to which Chair Chrzanowski responded that since this review is a Senate policy, there should be Senators representing their College or School.  President Witt indicated that Faculty Senators should compose part of the committee since they were more likely to be familiar with the demands and workings of the Provost and the Vice President for Finance.

 

Chair Chrzanowski asked for a motion, it was seconded and approved unanimously.

 

Provost Wright departed the meeting at this time.

 

Chair Chrzanowski then sent sheets around for the elections of Senators to these committees, with candidates identified by College or School.

 

Senator Silva indicated that there were names on the list of Senators who were coming up for tenure, and moved that all non-tenured faculty names be eliminated.  Senator Shipman seconded .  The motion passed.

 

Chair Chrzanowski asked for nominations. Senator Munch was selected representative of the College of Business; Senator Shoults for the College of Engineering; Senator Maizlish for the College of Liberal Arts; Senator Formanowicz for the College of Science.  From collective Schools,  Senator Gintole who was elected.  Senator Amster was elected for the at-large position.

 

Chair Chrzanowski noted that unless Senators had more questions for President Witt there was no need for him to stay at the meeting.  President Witt departed the meeting.

 

Chair Chrzanowski asked for nominations for Mr. Dan Williams’ committee.  For the College of Business, Senator Eakin was elected; for the College of Engineering, Senator Imrhan was elected.  Chair Chrzanowski will serve for the College of Science.  For the collective Schools, Senator Bond was nominated and elected unanimously.

 

Chair Chrzanowski indicated that he will use the President’s staff to contact the Dean’s Offices for the at-large election.

 

Announcements:

 

Vice President Moore asked if there would be a time frame for the election of non-Senate faculty to these committees.

 

Senator Cantwell asked if there would be a ballot by next week, to which Chair Chrzanowski responded that he would contact the Provost’s office about using their resources for conducting the election.

 

Senator Millican asked if there was still a Master Plan Committee.  Senator Reinhartz indicated that there was not.  Senator Millican indicated that she had made some sketches and drawings that she would like included in the input process and hoped that faculty input was still possible.  Chair Chrzanowski indicated that the committee did issue a report, with a voice from the faculty.

 

Senator Amster asked if there would be a chair for each administrator review committee, to which Chair Chrzanowski answered that it was “out of our hands.”

 

Senator Rycraft asked if there was a list of the committees.  She was told it was on the web site.

 

Adjournment:

 

Faculty Senate meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.