FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

October 30, 2002

 

 

Attendance:  Crowder, Apilado, Rasheed, Dickinson, Eakin, Dulikravich, Spindler, Elmasri, Prabhu, Priest, Jolly, delCarmen, Horvit, Estes, Reinhartz, Maizlish, Silva, Sol, Nussbaum, Simowitz, Young, Maher, Formanowicz, Kinsel, Liu, Kribs-Zaleta, Amster, Rosado, Fincher, Pillai, Arvidson, Witt, Wright, Wilding, Featherstone, Chrzanowski

 

Call to Order:

2:40 p.m. – Senate Chair Thomas Chrzanowski called the senate to order.

 

Approval of Minutes:

Senator Eakin (Information Systems) requested his name be added to the attendance for the October 2, 2002 meeting.

 

Chair Chrzanowski clarified he was charged to bring the hangtag issue to President Witt as an informal discussion, not resolution.    Chair Chrzanowski requested this item be changed to a motion instead of a resolution.  The senate agreed.

 

All members were in favor of previous minutes with the above corrections.

 

Remarks by the Chair:

The Chair Chrzanowski announced the use of nameplates for meetings.  The nameplates should be picked up before each meeting and returned after each meeting.

 

The hangtag issue was conveyed to President Witt verbally and by memo.

 

The Executive Committee and President Witt will discuss faculty involvement in revising UTA’s mission statement.  The executive committee believes that the faculty should have a large voice in writing the mission statement and should be included on committees.

 

Chair Chrzanowski and Senator Formanowicz attended the UT Faculty meeting in Austin on October 3 and 4.  It was a light meeting due to the last minute revision of the agenda.  Scheduled speakers were mandated to attend another meeting in San Antonio, thus new speakers came at the last minute to address the faculty. 

 

Digital Research, Inc. was contracted to conduct a Faculty Satisfaction Survey.  Members of Digital Research solicited the faculty’s opinion of what the survey should include and concluded that confidentiality and the types of questions on the survey were the most important issues.  Chair Chrzanowski received a preliminary copy of the survey and feels it is a little long.  In order to get faculty to participate, the survey needs to be reduced to a 15-minute process.

 


Senator Formanowicz summarized the chancellor’s comments at the FAC meeting:

-                     Introductory Comments

-                     Cooperation between UT Units

-                     Legislative Agenda

-                     Introduced Appointees

-                     Campus Life Committee replaces the Women’s and Minority Committee (which normally handled grievances, medical insurance, etc.).

-                     Criminal Background Check Policy – The policy is vague as written and will be rewritten with the idea that the procedure will only be performed on high-level administrators and for at-risk positions.  Background checks will not be performed on all new hires.

-                     Budget Deficit – UT will work with its current allocation of dollars instead of asking for more.

-                     Indirect Cost Recovery – Plans to work toward 100% recovery.

-                     Positive approach to legislation:  Programs, Programs, Programs.

-                     Will visit all components of UT this year.

 

Faculty salaries and recruiting were also discussed.  Daniel Hamerish, an Economics professor at UT-Austin, discussed his survey on salary compression.  Dr. Hamerish found that there were no differences in UT salaries compared with the nation and that there are no serious gaps locally.  The meeting attendees then discussed the possible misinterpretation of data in Dr. Hamerish’s survey.

 

Richard Armenta, UT Coordinator for Community Colleges, discussed his position and the current statistics on community college transfers.

 

Walter _____, Chair of the Employee Advocacy Council gave a thoughtful presentation on the EAC functions and how it interacts with faculty and administration.

 

Senator Reinhartz informed the senate of the Executive Board Meeting on November 8th.  The Executive Board will make a presentation to the Regents on November 12 in Dallas at which time the Faculty Satisfaction Survey will be presented. 

 

Chair Chrzanowski discussed the short timeline for the distribution of the Faculty Satisfaction Survey.  Revisions to the draft will be completed before November 15, a limited release of the survey will be distributed by January 1, and the full distribution will occur shortly thereafter.

 

President Witt’s Remarks

 

Senator Kinsel asked about research/start-up funds.  President Witt replied that he is working with Keith McDowell on creating a pool of resources where faculty who need equipment for labs can apply for the money.

 

The Defense Bill has been signed which grants UTA $2.7M.

 

Construction is on schedule.

 

Facility Planning – Will be discussed at meeting with Board of Regents in February, 2003.

 

This is a new era for UT system.  The changes that will take place are still being defined.

 

All UT System Presidents will be required to file work plans for their respective components on a yearly basis.   These works plans will be used in performance evaluations.

 

The new Chancellor will also establish the Campus Compact Program that he instituted in Minnesota.  This program unites the deans and provost in setting priorities, goals, objectives, etc. for the units in the college.  This program is still in the planning stages, but may be ready by January, 2003.  President Witt would like the senators to think about how to put together a compact, probably starting at the academic units.

 

The Dallas Citizens Council (DCC) has completed a study of higher education in the Metroplex.  The council’s recommendations are reasonable, but troubling.  DCC has concluded that all units of UT need to coordinate and cooperate in forming a board which would consists of all area higher educational institutions.  DCC will review academic programs and research in the metroplex and make recommendations as to who does what.  Furthermore, it was conveyed that Universities who do not cooperate will receive economic and political pressure.  The Dallas Citizens Council will be in place before the legislative session.

 

Questions for the President:

Senator Maizlish:          Is the Coordinating Board concerned about the Dallas Citizen’s Council?

President Witt:  Chancellor says cooperation is good, but process can’t work

Senator Rasheed:          Who provides mandate to make anything other than recommendations?

President Witt:              The Dallas Citizen’s Council helped create HB 1839 which created Excel funds.  Now they feel they have power.  The DCC is made up of CEO’s of major corporations in the Metropolex.  This is the power structure of Dallas.  Every major corporation is represented on the council.

Senator Estes:               This battle has been fought before.  UTA must have representation against the Dallas establishment.  UTA needs to mount a movement from Tarrant County through legislative bodies and universities.

President Witt:              I have briefed legislative representatives and they are supportive of UTA.  On November 5, 2002, the Fort Worth Round Table will meet and John Roach (formerly of Tandy), who is very sympathetic to our cause, will represent UTA’s interest.

 

Senator Amster:            Should UTA comply in response to report or to pressure from DCC regarding program to combine UTD and SWMC?

President Witt:              DCC recommended UTA, UTD, and UTSWMC combine.  This plan is not viable and the UT System shows no indication they’ll comply.

President Witt:              The Alumni Gala was a very nice event.  Having Tommy Franks as a UTA alumni brings a tremendous sense of pride.

 

Provosts Remarks:

The faculty is not getting enough information from departments, schools, or programs on student evaluations, tenure documents, post-tenure documents, and merit evaluations processes.  He is talking to 9 academic deans to affirm they are giving feedback on student evaluations.  The Provost needs to know why certain merit evaluation scores were given.

 

The Provost discussed Faculty Development Leaves at the President’s Advocacy Committee meeting.  Last year 15 leave requests were turned in.  This year he has received 20.  He wants to encourage faculty with worthwhile projects to apply. A memo has been send to all deans encouraging applications for leave.  Emphasis should not be on quantity, but on quality.  FDL’s are important because they give faculty members to complete projects, etc.

 

Questions for the Provost:

Senator Young:             The problem in getting faculty to apply for faculty development leave is that the structure of the evaluation process is such that those projects don’t get funded because it doesn’t appeal to the evaluator’s discipline that’s assessing the evaluation.

Provost Wright:            I’m planning a meeting with chairs to discuss the need to understand each discipline’s work being important. 

President Witt:              Keith McDowell is working with the committee on the evaluation process.  Some think that Jr. Faculty shouldn’t get leave and that Sr. Faculty get preferential treatment.  Keith McDowell will come up with a better decision making process.

Chair Chrzanowski:      The original Faculty Development Program is a Faculty Senate Program.  We need to revisit the membership on the review committee, the timing of elections, and review criteria.  There is a need to revise the policy overall.

Senator Reinhartz:         In his experience, it is hard to make an evaluation from outside of your own discipline, but can be better communicated by following a standardized form.

 

(President Witt and Provost Wright left the senate meeting.)

 


Committees:

Chair Chrzanowski wants to meet with all chairs after this meeting.

 

Equity – Nothing to report.

Academic Freedom & Tenure – Will meet immediately after the meeting to elect chair.

Operating Procedures – Nothing to report.

Research & Development – Organized a committee and have a chair.

Budgets - No meeting.  Will meet immediately after this meeting to elect chair.

Academic Liaison – Revisions to Faculty Guide.  Meeting in next week or two.

Student Services – Nothing to report.

Kinsel – Nothing to report.

Special Projects – Nothing to report.

 

Council of Faculty Senates

Senator Amster will replace Senator Porter for the rest of the term.  Representatives are Senators Sol and Porter.

Issues:

-                     Adjunct Faculty – Treatment and Proliferation (Brownsville adjuncts are paid $1,500 per class/per semester.)

-                     Lack of Tenure and Tenure-Track Hires

-                     Texas Wesleyan reported a freeze on salaries while administration got 20-30% pay increases last year.

-                     Money across the board is a problem.  UT will suffer a budget shortfall in the coming years, while enrollments are increasing.

-                     Lamar University has many faculty inequities.  (Texas salaries low compared to rest of nation.)

-                     UT-Austin – 2001 – 500 students participated

-                     Texas Association of College Teachers – 15-Year Plan:  7,000 additional teachers needed to fulfill goals.  According to recent student, Texas is last in teacher salary of the 10 most populated states.

New Business:

-                     Bought domain for web-site.  The web-site will contain a clearinghouse for faculty senators.  Web-site will include web pages for administration evaluation forms (consensus is that administration is less than truthful.  Legal advice and representation will be made available to senators.)

-                     Website will supply a list of members and committees.

-                     Council plans on adding a Media/Publication Liaison.

-                     Work on education of public and students to faculty issues.

 

Senator Reinhartz:         TSE issued a report on administration salaries blooming compared to faculty.  Top heaviness is an issue.

Senator Sol:                  The Council is looking at the administration/faculty ratio.

Chair Chrzanowski:      The 1992-2002 salary studies are going to the Research & Development Committee.

Maizlich:                       The enrollment increase at UTA is more than other UT components.

Amster:                        Has there been any progress in salary equity?

Senator Sol:                  No action had been taken.

 

Old Business:

None.

 

 

New Business:

Senator Spindler:          Concerned about the impact of compliance on performance.  The paperwork associated with compliance is increasing and infringes on time spent on teaching and research.  Need to lighten the load.

Chair Chrzanowski:      Currently, there are 20 items that have to be done on a regular basis – all administrative.  If necessary, Provost Wright will add to Advisory Group issue if senate so desires.

Senator Silva:               The idea of campus compacts sounds like it will add more paperwork

Maizlich:                       President would ask that this be changed as a Process Improvement. 

Chair Chrzanowski:      Senate can act as a go-between between the Provost and chairs.

 

Senator Spindler:          Committee interviews chairs, then creates outline of what chairs are experiencing.  When on paper, can decide what is nonsensical and what is important.

Senator Rasheed:          The Association of Academic Department Chairs should take up the issue with the Provost.

 

The Senate discussed the matter further and Chair Chrzanowski suggested that the Advisory Council be charged with the issue.

 

Announcements:

Reinhartz:                     Senator Reinhartz will be speaking to Regents on November 12, 2002.  He’ll be presenting a report on Faculty Development Leave so if you have any issues, please get them to him by November 8th.

 

The Campus Employee and Faculty Scholarship which is sponsored by the Roundhouse Society will be appealing for donations. 

 

 

Chair Chrzanowski:      Faculty Club plans are underway.

 

Meeting adjourned at 4:03 p.m.