Faculty Senate

The Forum for Professors at UTA

"An Elected Legislative and Deliberative Faculty Body Whose Primary Purpose is to Represent UT Arlington Faculty"

Senate Resolutions

Resolution: COVID-19 Policies

The following resolution was approved by a vote of 52 in favor and 3 opposed through an email vote of the UT Arlington Faculty Senate, August 13, 2021.

WHEREAS the Faculty Senate of the University of Texas at Arlington is dedicated to the shared, critical goal of keeping our institutions open during the pandemic to best serve the needs of our community and citizens;

WHEREAS the Faculty Senate of the University of Texas at Arlington is firmly committed to student success, outstanding research and instruction, and community service;

WHEREAS experts estimate the new Delta variantís transmissibility may be at least two-fold higher with much greater hospitalization and severe illness than the original COVID-19 virus and appropriate, scientifically-justified action is essential to keeping our institutions open;

WHEREAS the county data provided by the CDC places Tarrant County in the highest risk category for transmission of COVID-19 and 48.7% of the population 12 and older have not been fully vaccinated;

WHEREAS forecasters at the University of Texas at Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium concluded recently that most regions of the state are headed back to the capacity-busting hospitalization rates of January 2021 if abating measures, such as masking and social distancing, are not widely implemented;

WHEREAS many classrooms and other facilities used for academic purposes such as advising do not permit proper social distancing for faculty, staff, students, and visitors;

WHEREAS the Centers for Disease Control is recommending that areas of high transmission of COVID-19 resume mask-wearing indoors;

WHEREAS the University is being constrained in its protective and preventive measures by current state-level policies; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Texas at Arlington:

1. believes individual UT-System institutions should be given wide discretion in implementing pandemic policies based on their best professional, scientific judgment of the needs of their students, faculty, and staff based on local health conditions, public health standards, and sound scientific advice and evidence.

2. urges that UT-System institutions actively engage in shared governance with all their stakeholders in developing and adopting appropriate and effective scientifically-supported policies to combat COVID-19 and share ďbest practicesĒ across member institutions in coordination with UT-System leadership.

Resolutions: Tenure and Promotion Processes and Procedures

The following resolution was approved by unanimous vote in a Special Session meeting of the UT Arlington Faculty Senate, October 28, 2015.

WHEREAS the Faculty of the University of Texas Arlington is deeply concerned with administration’s disregard for and noncompliance with currently established written procedure, as approved by UT System, for modifying policy or procedures contained within the Handbook of Operating Procedures rule 1-200 (https://www.uta.edu/policy/hop/1-200), as evidenced by the Fall 2015 unilateral implementation of unapproved changes to Tenure and Promotion procedures;

BE IT RESOLVED that all proposed changes to the current UT Arlington Handbook of Operating Procedures follow, in spirit and letter, the current, approved process for proposing new policy, seeking stakeholder input, and approval by the HOP committee, as outlined in the published HOP rule 1-200.

 

The following resolution was approved by unanimous vote in a Special Session meeting of the UT Arlington Faculty Senate, October 28, 2015.


WHEREAS the Faculty of the University of Texas Arlington is deeply concerned with ongoing issues with the Tenure and Promotion process;

WHEREAS the trajectory of unsuccessful tenure and promotion cases in the past two years appears to coincide with a sudden, unwritten change in criteria or the way the criteria are being interpreted;

WHEREAS the Faculty Senate alerted the Administration to the need for modification of the University-level Tenure and Promotion Committee membership repeatedly since January 2015;

WHEREAS the delay by administration in following the currently established written procedure in Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP), as documented in HOP Policy 1-200 (https://www.uta.edu/policy/hop/1-200), has resulted in a last-minute push, outside the scope of the HOP, to implement a substantive change without sufficient, required stakeholder input, including Faculty, Chairs, and Deans;

WHEREAS the Faculty Senate recognizes the UT System Regents Rule 20201, section 4.9(b) (http://www.utsystem.edu/board-of-regents/rules/20201-presidents), which states:

“The president, with the faculty governance body of the campus, shall develop procedures to assure formal review by the faculty governance body before such sections are submitted for approval. The formal review should be done within a reasonable timeframe (60 days or less).”

WHEREAS the Faculty Senate affirms the longstanding principle that the formulation, development, and approval of the Tenure and Promotion process and procedures are the responsibility of the tenured/tenure track faculty through their elected representatives;

WHEREAS the Faculty Senate recognizes that the Tenure and Promotion process and procedures are subject to further approval and enactment by the President and the UT System per the authority vested in the Regents’ Rules and the UT Arlington HOP;

BE IT RESOLVED that all changes to the ongoing Tenure and Promotion process be immediately halted, with no changes for candidates who have already applied this year, or for the faculty committees evaluating their dossiers.

 

During the UTA Faculty Senate Meeting of May 1, 2013, the faculty representatives unanimously voted to support the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Councilís Resolutions of April 26, 2013.

Resolution: Faculty Analytic Tools

Sent to Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Shine and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Reyes.

Be it resolved that the implementation of any analytic tool (e.g. Academic Analytics, SciVal, MyEdu) either by System as a whole or by individual campuses for faculty assessment purposes shall be subject to regular review and approval by campus faculty governance bodies and/or by the System Faculty Advisory Council. Further, each campus Chief Academic Officers (or a designee) shall ensure that there will be a regular mechanism for improving the usage of these tools when these bodies or when individual faculty members reveal omissions, absences, and flaws in the analytics and/or raise issues with their usage.

Resolution: Peer Observation

Sent to Chancellor Cigarroa and Executive Vice Chancellor Reyes

The goal of peer observation of teaching should be the enhancement of teaching, therefore any system-wide peer observation policy should have the purpose of improving teaching rather than providing evaluation. This should not preclude individual institutions from establishing additional policies for a separate process of peer observation for the purpose of evaluation, but any such policy should be developed at the local level.

(Reference Policy Recommendations dated June 28, 2012 from the UT System Working Group on Faculty Peer Observations of Teaching, chaired by Paul Woodruff.)

The potential for the misuse of data gathered in faculty evaluation and the conflation of peer observation for two different purposes is of concern to faculty and unites both resolutions. We feel that oversight is needed for the first and clarification for the second.

Resolution: Guns on Campus

Given the current status of the Senate and House Bill on the permission to carry concealed handguns on campus and the probability that some form of the bill will pass, the UT Arlington Faculty Senate voted unanimously to support the Faculty Advisory Councilís resolution of March 1, 2013: "The University of Texas Faculty Advisory Council believes that the carrying of firearms on campus by anyone other than law enforcement officers is detrimental to the safety and security of all on campus".

In addition, the University of Texas at Arlington Faculty Senate reaffirmed the resolution passed in April 2009, "The Faculty Senate of the University of Texas at Arlington believes that carrying firearms on the university Campus by anyone other than law enforcement officers is detrimental to the safety of the students, faculty, and staff".