Faculty Senate Meeting

Minutes

University Center, Concho Room

October 4, 2000

 

Attendance:

 

Amster, H., Ardekani, S. Barrett, E., Cantwell, D., Chapa, J., Clark, J., Crowder, W., Del Carmen, A., Eakin, M., Elmasri, R., Formanowicz D., Gintole, G., Hunter, S., Ingram, T., Jones, M.E., Kellner, H. (Secretary), Kribs, C., Liu, H., Maizlish, S., Morrow, E., Nestell, M., North, K., Nussbaum C., Porter, L., Rasheed A., Reinhartz, D., Reinhartz, J., Rycraft, J., Silva, D., Smith, S. (Student Government), Sol, T., Tuckness D., Wilding, T., President R. Witt, Provost G. Wright, 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 May 3, 2000, Faculty Senate meeting.  The minutes were approved with the following two corrections noted:

 

            Page 2 – UT Fac Report should be UCOFS Report

            R. Elmasri’s name was spelled incorrectly

 

Remarks by the Faculty Senate Chair:

 

Chair Chrzanowski welcomed new senate members and commented that the senate would have full and productive year.

 

Chair Chrzanowski briefed the senate on the resignation of Michael Moore, which resulted in his being in the position of Faculty Senate Chair for the 2000-01 AY.

 

Chair Chrzanowski announced that he would be at the University Faculty Meeting in Austin on October 5-6, 2000, and called for members to bring issues to his attention.

 

Finally, Chair Chrzanowski asked that everyone remember to announce his or her name and department when addressing the senate.

 

Remarks by the President:

 

President Witt commented that AY 2000-01 is off to a good start; enrollment is up, Arlington Hall opened on time and is at full capacity, merit raises for the faculty were issued at 4.5%, administrative and professional raises were at 4.0% and classified raises were at 5.7%.  The University was able to offset some of the cost of insurance increases for about 80% of the faculty and staff, and finally, progress has been made in DE off campus course alternatives.

 

President Witt commented on the confusion surrounding the designation of flagship universities.  He explained that at the Regents press conference a question was asked regarding the establishment of flagship universities in major urban areas “like San Antonio and Dallas,” to which the answer was “Yes”.  This answer did not indicate that San Antonio and Dallas were the flagship sites.  The Regents prefer to think of flagship in terms of “universities of choice,” where centers for excellence are developed.  Universities that develop such centers will receive incremental funding.  This is encouraging, as UTA already has numerous excellent academic centers in existence.

 

President Witt expects a busy academic year.  There will be a Legislative session in January where important issues will be raised.  One issue is the possible full return of indirect cost recovery funds; another issue will be the tuition revenue bond.

 

President Witt commented on the visit to the campus by State Representative Henry Cuellar, a member of the Higher Education Committee.  Dr. Cuellar toured the Science Building with Dean Smatresk and the plans for a new science building should be underway.

 

President Witt noted the need to improve faculty and staff salary structures; comparative information is being gathered.

 

President Witt commented that he was optimistic with the way the Fall semester got off to a good start and expected a repeat for the Spring semester.

 

Remarks by the Provost:

 

Provost Wright commented on the successful review and response to technology needs of the Deans.   New PCs for faculty, new lab equipment and multimedia equipment were purchased.  Although it didn’t fix all the problems, it helped and he hopes this process can be repeated in the spring.

 

Provost Wright commented that he would be involved in program reviews of several departments and would be interacting with the respective faculty and external reviewers.  He was particularly interested in the self-study part of the reviews, which allows insight from the department view.

 

Provost Wright commented that he would have to leave the senate meeting early for a meeting with the Tarrant Community Colleges regarding transfer students.  The meeting was to discuss making the transition of the students as seamless and comfortable as possible.  Since we are in competition for these students, considerable time will be spend building a good working relationship with the community colleges.

 

Provost Wright left the meeting.

 

Questions for the President:

 

Senator J. Reinhartz had a question regarding the newspaper article on provisional acceptance program at UT-Austin and UT-Arlington’s offer to accept students under this program.  President Witt responded that The UT-Austin’s provisional program is under enrollment pressures.  The number of students entering UT-Austin under the ten-percent rule has increased.  The number of students who do not gain regular admissions has increased.  The number of students in the provisional program has increased with plans to increase even more.  The UT-Austin is trying to deal with this problem of enrollment size and the negative feelings of students in the provisional program, who feel like second-class students.  In dealing with this problem a number of these provisional program students would be admitted to UT-Arlington without condition if they start in the summer to take some of the fall enrollment size off UT-Austin.  If the program is approved, in the future, UT-Arlington will offer provisional program students from Austin with a GPA of 3.0, admittance to UT-Arlington for one year (30 hours).  Arlington will control who enrolls; it will not be an automatic process.  This program is developed with the hopes that the majority of the students from Austin will stay at Arlington.  UT-Dallas has chosen not to participate in this program.

 

Senator Steve Maizlish had a question for Michael Moore regarding the focus of the salary study.  He questioned whether or not the study would take into consideration the inequities that exist between disciplines and departments.  Dr. Moore responded by indicating that the Deans had been requested to supply a list of peer and target institutions for the salary study and that information was being complied.  Dr. Moore also stated that IRP had recently conducted a salary equity study and that was available for review.  President Witt commented that when, not if, inadequacies were determined; the Provost would focus on the salary structure problem, identifying areas of concern and systematically addressing each area.

 

Chair Chrzanowski asked Dr. Moore whether the study would identify and separate administrators with joint appointments.  Dr. Moore indicated that this was already being addressed.  Senator Kellner asked Dr. Moore to investigate salary increases associated with promotions.  Dr. Moore indicated that they haven’t gotten to that point yet and the issue would be added to the process.

 

Steve Maizlish questioned Dr. Moore on whether or not the study was going to take into consideration the past and present administrative salaries (in the past increased for administrative duties remained in the salary base, but now the increases are temporary).  Dr. Moore indicated that the study would be comparing like pools to like pools.

 

Senator del Carmen noted that criminology departments/faculty are fairly recent and asked how they would be grouped in the comparison with other salaries.  Dr. Moore indicated that the study would compare criminology salaries with appropriate same or comparable department salaries. 

 

Chair Chrzanowski asked if there were any more questions for the President.  There were none.

 

Committee Reports:

 

Chair Chrzanowski stated that since this was the first meeting of the year there would be no committee reports and asked if there were any issues from last year to bring forward. 

 

Senator Porter questioned President Witt on the status at the system level of the family leave proposal.  President Witt responded that he thought it had been approved but would check.

 

Old Business:

 

Chair Chrzanowski stated that the grievance policy was returned from the OGC with minor corrections and asked the senate for advice on how to proceed proposing two options:  1) act collectively on behalf of the senate, or 2) have Presidential Advisory Committee act on the policy revisions.

 

Senator Cantwell moved that the grievance policy be referred to the Presidential Advisory Committee for review.  Motion was seconded and passed.

 

Senator Crowder questioned the next step in the procedure after the Presidential Advisory Committee had finished with the policy.  Chair Chrzanowski indicated the policy would then be forwarded to the President.  Senator Crowder asked that the final document be posted on the website and Chair Chrzanowski indicated that it would be posted.

 

Chair Chrzanowski announced that Annual Reports from the Standing Committees were available.

 

President Witt announced that two administrators were up for review, the Dean of Nursing and the Provost.  Review committee size and makeup will be in accordance with policy and formed by November so that final results will be available by Spring.

 

New Business:

 

Chair Chrzanowski announced that Mark Lanier, Physical Plant, was to address the Senate, but was not present.

 

***

 

Chair Chrzanowski announced that, according to the by-laws, the Senate needed a Chair-Elect .  The order of ascendancy is not clear in the by-laws, so there is a need to establish a policy of succession.  Chair Chrzanowski reviewed the Faculty Senate Chair Rotation, reading from Attachment A.

 

Senator Cantwell suggested that the issue be put to a vote or sent to committee for a decision.  Senator Clark suggested that the senate vote and elect a Chair-Elect.  Senator Amster moved that the Chair-Elect and the Vice Chair be the same person and the position continues for two years.  Motion seconded and discussion called. 

 

Senator D. Reinhartz commented that this would be good to have continuity for two years so that information learned could be retained and shared.  Senator Crowder questioned the rationale for having two different positions, Chair-Elect and Vice Chair.  Chair Chrzanowski explained that the Vice Chair was usually the past chair and the Chair-Elect was the person to take over in the absence of the Chair.  Senator Crowder asked if Dr. Moore would serve as Vice Chair.   Senator Reinhartz suggested that we have a Chair-Elect for two years and leave the position of Vice Chair out. 

 

Discussion followed regarding the duties and rotation of the Chair, Vice Chair and Chair-Elect.  Senator Cantwell moved that Senator Amster’s motion be passed and that an election be held at the next meeting.  Motion seconded and approved.

 

Senator Cantwell moved that a bylaws committee address the issue of faculty senate chair rotation.  The motion was not seconded.  Discussion followed and Senator Crowder suggested that a committee be elected to address/create new by-laws and that the current motion be tabled.  Senator Cantwell withdrew his motion.

 

***

 

Chair Chrzanowski announced that the senate needed to elect a new representative to the Texas Council of Faculty Senates due to Jeff Hanson’s resignation.  Senator Crowder asked for a clarification of the duties involved.  Senator Amster responded by explaining the duties:  The representative goes to Austin twice a semester, prepares a report on UTA to present to the other representatives from other universities.  The representatives meet to discuss policy, distance education, salaries, improving instruction, etc.  They report to their Faculty Senates.  The representative also serves on the Presidential Advisory Committee.

 

Senator Cantwell nominated Laurie Porter with Judy Reinhartz as an alternate.  Senators Amster and Crowder seconded the nomination.  Senators Porter and Reinhartz accepted the nomination and were unanimously elected as UTA’s Texas Council of Faculty Senates representatives.

 

Chair Chrzanowski announced that since the Regents request for establishing an accountability system, he has been bombarded with questions from media requesting a statement for UTA’s faculty.  He has told all reporters that the Faculty Senate has formed no official opinion.  Senators, who have read the documents and have an opinion, should speak to him as soon as possible.

 

Senator Maizlish suggested that it might be appropriate that a subcommittee be formed to develop a formal response.  Chair Chrzanowski suggested that the Presidential Advisory Committee should be that “committee”. 

 

Senator Cantwell questioned President Witt on the intentions behind this request, stating that the university was already accountable.  President Witt responded that the Academic Affairs Committee wants performance measures, but does not intend this to become a burden on the university or the students.  This is an evaluation of the university, not the students, and the President would be held responsible.  The issue of testing will not be resolved quickly as there are many issues to consider, namely feasibility.

 

Senator Cantwell questioned President Witt on the justification of administrative appointments as opposed to faculty/teaching appointments, noting how the financial burden of these appointments hinders the funding of education. 

President Witt responded that because of increased reporting responsibilities, there are more administrators today than there were three years ago.  Several minutes of discussion followed on where/how funds are spent/allocated in relation to administrative/academic. 

 

Senator Cantwell questioned the position of a department/program that does not produce.  President Witt stated that no one should be insecure, no program will be eliminated and that all options and decisions would be made to keep the community intact.

 

Senator North stated that she was involved in public education and that accountability comes down to each child and teacher.  Senator Amster commented that standardized tests can only reveal what is being tested and called for a committee to prepare a multifaceted report that would suggest creative ways to test and evaluate.

 

Senator Clark moved that the Faculty Senate is not favorable to standardized testing but that the issue is being further considered.  Senator Crowder questioned the Faculty Senate’s ability to vote before members have studied the documents and the issues involved.  Senator Kribs-Zaleta explained briefly the idea of standardized tests. 

 

Several minutes of discussion followed on the issue of accountability and standardized testing; the two issues should be considered separately.  The Faculty Senate then made an informal decision which states “The Faculty Senate is not in favor of standardized testing of core curriculum and disciplines.”

 

Senator Cantwell moved that the issue of accountability of state funds and the criteria that establishes this accountability be decided at a later time.  Motion was seconded and approved.

 

Senator Porter stated that she did not feel comfortable with the “straw poll” decision on this issue and that a blanket response was really an empty statement without any thought.  Senator Amster commented that we need more information before a decision could be made.  Chair Chrzanowski suggested that we not offer an opinion at this time.  Senator Barrett responded that to offer no opinion on accountability would be to state that we have not in the past been accountable when we are in fact accountable and have always been accountable.  Senator Del Carmen suggested that after members read the information, comments could be e-mailed to Chair Chrzanowski. 

 

Senator Cantwell requested clarification on how Chair Chrzanowski and Secretary Kellner will represent the Faculty Senate on the issue of accountability.  Chair Chrzanowski responded that he would state if asked, “We are accountable and always have been accountable.”

 

Announcements:

 

Senator Reinhartz asked President Witt which programs were up for review.  President Witt responded that he would e-mail her the list.

 

Adjournment:

 

Faculty Senate meeting then adjourned for the selection of committee assignments.