The Spring Meeting of the University Faculty and Associates was held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2002, in the E.H. Hereford University Center Rosebud Theatre.  President Robert E. Witt presided.


AWARD PRESENTATIONS.  The following faculty members were recognized for their achievements:


Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching – Awardee received a plaque and cash award of $500.


     Grace Esimai, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems and Operations Management


Piper Professor Nominees – Awardees received a plaque and cash award of $500.


     Martin Danahay, Professor of English

     Barry McKeown, Professor and Chair of the Department of Kinesiology


President’s Award for Excellence in Distance Education Teaching – Awardee received a plaque and cash award of $750.


     Nancy Hadaway, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction


Chancellor’s Council Award for Excellence in Teaching – Awardee received a $5,000 cash award from U.T. System and a plaque.


     Rebecca Deen, Assistant Professor of Political Science


Academy of Distinguished Teachers – Academy members receive a $2,500 salary increase, a medallion, and a plaque.


     David Diltz, Professor of Finance and Real Estate

     Bernard Frye, Professor of Biology

     Lawrence Holder, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering


Outstanding Research Achievement – Received a plaque and cash award of $1,000.


     Diane Cook, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering


Distinguished Record of Research Achievement – Received a plaque and cash award of $1,500.


     William Ickes, Professor of Psychology


Arlington Star-Telegram Service Learning Award – This is the first year for this award of $750 and a plaque.


     Diana Wisell, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction


Outstanding Academic Advisor – Undergraduate: 


Dallas Lacy, Associate Professor of English


Outstanding Academic Advisor – Graduate: 


Carol Sue Marshall, Associate Professor of English


Faculty members receiving Faculty Development Leaves for the Academic Year 2001/2002 were announced:


     Cheryl Anderson, School of Nursing

     Edith Barrett, School of Urban and Public Administration

     Sajal Das, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

     Robert Fairbanks, Department of History

     Adrian Fund, Department of Electrical Engineering

     Kevin Gustafson, Department of English

     Susan Hekman, Department of Political Science

     Li-Chin Jennifer Ho, Department of Accounting

     William Ickes, Department of Psychology

     David Jorgensen, Department of Math

     Christopher Morris, Department of History

     Peggy Quinn, School of Social Work

     Shelley Smith, Department of Anthropology

     Antoinette Sol, Department of Modern Languages


Faculty members receiving Research Enhancement Program Grants were announced:


     Y. Alp Aslandogan, Department of Computer Science and Engineering

     Rick Bogard, Department of Music

     Manfred Cuntz, Department of Physics

     Lauri Jensen-Campbell, Department of Psychology

     Sophia Passy, Department of Biology

     Yuan Bo Peng, Department of Psychology

     Edmund Prater, Department of Information Systems and Operations Management

     Dmitry Rudkevich, Department of Chemistry

     Sanna Thompson, School of Social Work

     Jaehoon Yu, Department of Physics

     Gergely Zaruba, Department of Computer Science and Engineering


REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT.  President Witt reminisced about when he first met George C. Wright and discussed the possibility of him joining UTA’s administration.  At the time, Dr. Wright pointed out to Dr. Witt that in spite of all the short-term challenges confronting the University, each year we would have to turn our attention to strengthening the academic environment­­­–making the University more like the kind of place at which we wish to teach, where we want to do our research, and where we would be proud to send our sons and daughters.  Dr. Witt said that through some very challenging times, Provost Wright, the person charged with creating and leading the academic environment of this University, has kept focused on this need and has produced the progress that he identified as being vitally important to our future.  President Witt gave the floor to Provost Wright to make comments on our academic environment.


REMARKS BY THE PROVOST.  Provost Wright stated that we as a community of faculty, staff, students and administrators have accomplished a great deal over the past six years.  The most crucial issue that needed to be addressed was the declining enrollment, which bottomed out in 1998.  Thanks to the hard work and wonderful ideas of a wide range of people, we have experienced an enrollment growth for the last three years.  Before this academic year started, The President, Provost, Vice Presidents and Deans discussed our future–where do we go from here?  We were convinced that UTA is on the right track, and if we stayed the course, we would be serving the needs of our students and becoming an even better university.  We asked ourselves what new initiatives will take UTA to the next level, a university of excellence.  Now that we have reversed the enrollment decline and experienced several consecutive years of enrollment growth, a new focus is essential if UTA is to have the bright future that we all want.  While the slogan, “Students Come First” captured what we were attempting to do, a new slogan is, “Expect Great Things.”  These great things will come from our students, faculty and the entire university community. 


Step 1 is enhancing opportunities for all faculty--provide mentoring for young faculty, the resources needed for the research-oriented faculty and to rewarding appropriately faculty whose main contribution is in teaching.  Since the creation of the faculty developmental leave program, more than 40 paid leaves have been awarded to faculty to conduct their research.  The number of leaves has been increased beginning with those recognized today.  Several new teaching awards have been created, as well as recognizing outstanding lecturers and adjuncts and distance education teaching. 


Step 2 is investing in student computing.  Connectivity throughout the campus has been enhanced, and faculty and staff have been provided personal computers.  A state of the art computing facility was opened for student use.  Over the last five years we have approved requests for faculty and departments totaling an additional $4 million for labs, software and equipment.  All of our colleges and schools have computer labs and technology equipped classrooms.  As a result of a TIF grant for $200,000 the School of Architecture is in the process of creating a digital teaching and research environment for architecture, landscape design and interior design students and faculty.  At the end of this project, we will have taken a major step forward in the attempt to transform that school’s technological capability with a 14-seat digital classroom for training and instruction and another 14-seat physical technology workshop for digital teaching. 


Step 3 is an investment and a commitment to research.  While it is still at the exploratory stage, we are very interested in the development of an Academy of Distinguished Researchers, similar to our Academy of Distinguished Teachers.  We plan to reinvigorate the UTA Research magazine.  The number of awards for sponsored projects at UTA increased by 4% in fiscal year 2001 over fiscal year 2002 with new awards totaling $19.2 million.  This represents the growing ability of our faculty to compete for research funding and indicates that our underlying infrastructure is strong.  We have made investments in the research capability of all of the academic units, and have increased the amount of support for graduate teaching assistants and graduate research assistants.  We have invested $1.8 million for new science labs.  We have invested $2.8 million for new engineering labs.  We have made a commitment with a new physical anthropology lab and new Ph.D. programs.  We recently opened a newly renovated 12,000 square feet animal care facility in the Life Science Building.  This facility enables us to conduct important research, and has been deemed one of the best in Texas by the USDA.  We are also committed for undergraduates to have a research experience. 


Step 4 is investment in high performing computing.  Last year we committed $830,000 to upgrade our high performance computer and hardware and software will be purchased each year to ensure that it is up-to-date.  This super computer also allows our researchers to be more productive than ever, and will enhance UTA’s competitiveness for national and international funding as well as attract top notch faculty to our campus.  It will also give our students valuable experience in working with a machine equivalent to those found in commercial firms. 


The concept of growth is a dominant theme in the campus master plan.  New buildings will continue to come on line at UTA, and exciting things about the physical campus are in store for the years ahead. 


We have been able to have pay increases for faculty and staff even in the years of lower enrollment.  This is essential to the overall well being of this university.  We will remain committed to raising faculty and staff salaries.  As our resources permit, we will add new faculty to all schools and colleges across campus.


Dr. Wright applauded the commitment of all faculty, staff, administrators and students to the success of UTA.  UTA has a wonderful foundation built on strong academic programs and is a positive part of Arlington and the Metroplex.


ADJOURNMENT.  The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.  A reception followed.





Recorded by Connie Frazier