Faculty Senate Meeting
University of Texas at Arlington
September 23, 1998
Senators: Amster, H., Barrett, E., Beehler, P., Bond, M., Bradshaw, J., Cantwell, D., Chapa, J., Chrzanowski, T., Chwialkowski, M., Clark, J., Cowan, E., Crowder, W., Del Carmen, A., Dunn, M., Elmasri, R., Feigenbaum, I., Han, C., Hanson, J., Hissong, R., Imrhan, S., Ingram, T., Jones, M., Kellner, H., Luo, T., Maizlish, S., Matthys, J., Morrow, E., Nelson, K., Palmeri, N., Payne, F., Porter, L., Price, K., Raja, M., Rodnitzky, J., Rome, R., Rycraft, J., Schelly, Z., Watkins, T., Wilmore, E., and Yardley, M. Student Government President J. Panton, President R. Witt, Provost Wright, and Chair, B. Ellwood. Guest Speaker: Dr. Anderson.
Call to Order
Brooks Ellwood, Chair, called the meeting to order.
Approval of Minutes
The Chair called for the approval of the minutes of the April 22, 1998 Faculty Senate meeting. The minutes were approved.
Remarks by the Faculty Senate Chair
The Chair commented that there was a full agenda because of the need to establish faculty senate committee assignments. The committee assignments are: Equity, Academic Freedom, Operating Procedures, Research and Development, Budget Liaison, Academic Liaison, Student Services Liaison, Ethics, Special Projects, and Presidential Advisory. Faculty Senators also needed to be elected on the Program Review Committee and that appointments needed to be made for the Standing and the Statutory Committees. The Chair noted that this is the first year of post-tenure review; and, the Review of Academic Administrators had been sent out to System and System made a number of changes that need to be considered by the Senate. The chair also announced that the Faculty Senate by-laws can be found on the UTA/Senate web page.
Remarks by the President
The President reported that a fair amount of time will be spent this semester getting ready for the upcoming legislative session. He and Provost Wright have already started attending meetings in Austin. The President noted that there will be a budget surplus with "no shortage of suggestions as to how it might be used". Two major initiatives that have been discussed with the legislature include: 1) a proposal to obtain approval for universities to keep 100% of indirect costs they generate rather than the current 50%, and; 2) a proposal to change renovation and equipment funding currently funded by PUF to Higher Education Assistance Funds (HEAF). This would open up approximately five to six million dollars a year that UTA might have access to for renovations and equipment funding.
The President commented that the plans for the upcoming year include faculty and staff salary structures, new initiatives, new programs, and continued improvement on the universitys infrastructure. He announced that reasonable progress has been made in terms of enrollment because the budget was based on 18,400 to 18,500 students and we are actually at 18,662 students.
The President then commented on the number of students with unpaid bills. He discussed a flaw in our current policy and proposed a new policy which will be implemented in the Spring of 1999. The new policy is, "Bills will be due and payable on the twelfth class day. Anyone who has not paid by that point in time or made acceptable arrangements to pay will be dropped. Students who are dropped at that point will then have an eight day window within which they may appeal for reinstatement. They will have to pay the reinstatement fee. At the end of the aggregate 20 days, no one will be reinstated". Moving to that model will mean that everyone, whether they pay on time or pay late with a penalty, will be captured within the 20 day window that will allow them to be counted for formula funding.
Finally, the President commented on cuts in formula funding for undergraduates who have more than 170 semester credit hours and doctoral students with more than 100 semester credit hours and how it will affect the university. He stated that students should be notified so that they can make alternative and appropriate financial planning.
Remarks by the Provost
The Provost welcomed everyone to the Faculty Senate meeting. He informed the Faculty Senate that he has received some equipment and technology requests, and that they are being processed. He discussed the SACS reaccredidation process and commented how Program Reviews are very important in preparing for the University's future. Finally, the Provost discussed the goal of moving toward a 12 month budget instead of the current 9 month system with an additional 3 month (summer) budget.
Questions for the President and Provost
Senator Feigenbaum asked how the September 17 article in The Dallas Morning News concerning the proposal for a new university in south Dallas would affect UTA, especially in terms of enrollment. President Witt responded that UTA has discussed the possibility of offering upper division UTA courses on one or two Dallas Community College campuses. The Steering Committee and Senator Royce West believe this would not benefit the area as much as would a free-standing university that has a name affiliation with a closely related area. Therefore, they are not interested in pursuing the course option with us. There has been some discussion of establishing branch campuses as well as some other alternatives. It is also believed that the establishment of a free-standing university sometime in the future could have a negative impact on UTA.
Senator Bradshaw commented that he supported the telephone enrollment management efforts that were made this year. He reported positive responses from students, parents, and others who answered the phone. He asked if others received the same feedback. President Witt confirmed the positive feedback from students and felt that this personalized the admissions process.
Senator Rodnitzky questioned the criteria used to raise admission standards this year. President Witt answered that he anticipates the profile of the entering class will be strong. The information is not yet available, however. Senator Porter requested a copy of the profile to be made available to the Faculty Senate. President Witt agreed.
Senator Hissong requested an update on the status of capital projects (e.g., bookstore, residence hall, conference center, and arena). President Witt responded that a management and construction company had been identified for the new bookstore. Plans are being made so that we will move into the new bookstore around the Fall Semester, 2000.
President Witt responded that several proposals are being discussed for a residence hall. An effort to involve the City of Arlington is currently underway to establish a higher education bonding authority that will allow the residence hall developer to have tax-free financing. President Witt was very optimistic that UTA will ultimately have the City of Arlingtons support and will go forward with the residence hall.
President Witt announced that the terms and conditions for the Conference Center/Hotel were not as attractive to potential developers as to UTA. President Witt commented that a revised proposal will be discussed and perhaps will allow us to continue with this project.
President Witt announced that plans for an Arena are being discussed and that UTA is working closely with the City of Arlington on this.
Senator Cantwell commented that PUF funds are not very advantageous to UTA. HEAF funds will mean more money for the UT System, but we (UTA) will be in stricter competition with other schools and may not benefit as much. He wanted to know what limitations will be placed on UTA with regard to HEAF funds. President Witt responded that Senator Ratliff and Representative Janelle have proposed that no existing school would be faced with a lower level of funding than they are currently receiving.
Senator Cantwell asked how well UTA compares to other universities and colleges in terms of enrollment. President Witt answered that an analysis of all the area schools will be made available to the Faculty Senate. As of now, TCJC Southeast campus enrollment is up eight percent this fall. UNT is up about two percent this fall. Information is being gathered from individuals who decided not to enroll at UTA this fall. President Witt commented that the measures put in place by Vice President Bender, before her resignation, should help us deal with enrollment issues. He also commented that Summer 1998, was an improvement over previous summer semesters.
Senator Cantwell asked to determine the pros and cons of changing from a 9 month/3 month budget to a 12 month budget. President Witt responded that a 12 month course schedule in addition to a 12 month budget would allow Deans, Chairs, and faculty to use their own resources more effectively and efficiently because they will have a longer scheduling parameter.
Senator Payne asked how the work/pay schedule would work under the 12 month system. President Witt responded that it would be up to the Faculty member.
Senator Amster asked if there had been a follow-up regarding the mass transit system with Forth Worth, Arlington and Dallas. President Witt responded that UTA continues to argue in support of mass transit. However, current plans do not include Arlington.
Senator Amster asked about merit raises for faculty. President Witt responded that he was in favor of them and that UTA would have to generate a portion of merit raises from internal funds. Provost Wright added that we are doing everything we can and that merit raises are at the top of the list of priorities.
Student Congress President, Jeannie Panton, asked for a synopsis on the equipment and technology funding that is available. Provost Wright explained that funding is available for this. He also commented that most funding is used for upgrading computer labs or to develop more sophisticated technology uses. Departments requesting funding are evaluated to see if there is funding available from other sources. If the department charges a technology/computer fee, it will probably be placed on a lower priority for additional equipment and technology funding.
Senator Cantwell requested that ACS technicians be provided with a mobile phone or beeper so that they can be reached for assistance. Provost Wright responded that it is important to answer a phone personally rather than with voice mail whenever possible. President Witt will check with Dr. Henderson about providing phones/beepers.
Senator Elmasri asked if the equipment and technology requests are still available. Provost Wright informed him that the deadline was September 17, but if something is still needed, then go ahead and request it.
Senator Porter asked if someone will replace Shirley Binder. President Witt responded that Michelle Bobodea is working closely with Judy Snider and Zach Prince. Shirley Binders Vice Presidential slot has been eliminated.
Chair Ellwood requested that everyone sign the Faculty Senate roster. He will send future information/agendas by mail; however, items that need quick action might be sent out electronically.
Senator Schelly requested a list of Senators be provided. Chair Ellwood confirmed that a list will be sent out with e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and box numbers.
Chair Ellwood explained that two senators needed to be elected immediately to serve on the Program Review Committee, and he apologized for not including this election on the agenda, but that he had just been notified of the urgency. He then asked Dr. Anderson to give a brief review regarding the Program Review Committee. Dr. Anderson stated that this committee oversees setting up the five year program reviews mandated by the UT System. He added that the committee was already active.
Senator's Cantwell, Ingram, and Yardley were nominated. A move was made and seconded for nominations to cease. Written ballots were requested and passed out to all voting members. Senator's Ingram and Yardley were then elected to the Program Review Committee.
Chair Ellwood discussed the Statutory Committees, comprised of the Presidential Advisory Committee, the Equity Committee, and the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee. He pointed out that a Faculty Senate representative from each college (Liberal Arts, Engineering, Science, Business, and Schools/Centers/Units) must serve on each Statutory Committee.
The Standing Committees include Equity, Academic Freedom, Operating Procedures, Research and Development, Budget Liaison, Academic Liaison, Student Services Liaison, Ethics, and Special Projects. At least one Faculty Senate representative from each college (Liberal Arts, Engineering, Science, Business, and Schools/Centers/Units) needs to serve on each Standing Committee.
Representatives from each college were then asked to assemble and assign/elect their representatives to the Statutory and Standing Committees.
No old business was discussed.
No new business was discussed.
No additional announcements were made.
Following completion of committee assignments, a motion was made and seconded for adjournment. The Senate then adjorned.