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Advisory Council



The University of Texas System
Faculty Advisory Council

Meeting Minutes: June 26 - 27, 1997

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1. Call to Order

Alan Cline Alan Cline called the meeting to order at 10:03 am. And welcomed everyone.

2. Executive Committee Report/Minutes Approval

Alan Cline distributed a copy of the letter he sent to the Chancellor on behalf of the FAC concerning the difficulties at UTSA, as well as the response from the Chancellor. He reviewed the contents of that response. A management audit is being conducted on the UTSA campus and a review of the process being used will be presented by Mr. Charles Chaffin during this meeting.

Alan Cline discussed the report that he gave to the Regents at their last meeting. In his report he requested 1) annual meetings between the Regents and the FAC, 2) a representative of the FAC on the Regents' Health Affairs Committee, and 3) a representative of the FAC on the Regents' Academic Affairs Committee. A copy of the letter asking for this representation was distributed , as well as the response from the Chancellor. A joint meeting between the FAC and the Regents has received initial approval, however, the other two requests have been denied since neither the students nor the presidents have such representation. The Chancellor indicated that the FAC is to be advisory only to the Chancellor and therefore, it would not be appropriate, however, the true role of the FAC is much broader and Francie Frederick will address this issue.

Alan Cline briefly discussed the Post-Tenure Review bill that has passed the Legislature. Since there are differences between the UT System policy and the new bill, the Regents may delay action on the local policies until the System policy can be revised. The implementation date may be delayed until January 1998. The impact of these changes is unclear at this time.

3. Audit Update - Mr. Charles Chaffin, UT System Audit Office

Mr. Chaffin gave a little of his personal background and then reviewed the organizational structure of the Audit Office (a handout was distributed) and how they operate. The Audit Office serves as a resource to the UT System and Board of Regents over a wide variety of areas, including management, policies and procedures, financial, etc. They have over 100 auditors.

Q - To whom are you responsible?

A - The Chancellor and the Board of Regents.

Q - If there are problems on a campus, who calls you in?

A - Anyone can call us in, such as via the new "hotline" at UT Houston.

Q - Who determines how many auditors are on each campus?

A - The size and complexity of the campus and the local campus.

Q - Who makes the decision about whether to do an audit?

A - The internal auditor receives the information and makes the determination as to whom should handle the issue. It depends on the situation and how serious the allegation. The local internal auditor usually notifies the System Office.

Q - If the administration initiates termination proceedings based on fraud, is the Audit Office involved?

A - The Audit Office may work under the direction of the police in certain cases. The Audit office does not determine whether something is illegal. The Audit Office does not necessarily have to be involved if fraud has already been proven.

Q - Are audits subject to the Open Records Act?

A - Yes.

Q - What is involved in a management audit?

A - You might look at a program to see if it is working and if not, why not.

Q - What is the anticipated completion date for the UTSA audit.

A - Four reports will be issued, athletics (completed), information technology (complete or nearly complete), internal control, and management (final draft stage).

Q - Who contacted you?

A - We were contacted by the Chancellor and campus president to do a thorough audit.

Q - Can the FAC obtain a copy of the completed audit?

A - Yes.

Q - Do you have access to e-mail messages?

A - Yes, theoretically.

Q - Have there been audits within the UT System in which e-mail messages were used?

A - Not to my knowledge.

Q - Who initiated the audit at UT Arlington?

A - The president of the campus requested it based on coverage in the press.

Q - When was it requested?

A - Before the vote of no confidence, sometime in 1994.

Q - Who audits the Audit Office?

A - A peer review is done by outside auditors from other states and by the State Auditor's Office.

4. Legislative Issues - Ms. Gwen Grigsby/Mr. Randy Wallace

Mr. Wallace reviewed appropriations issues. The Budget Office is busy preparing operating budgets. It was a very successful legislative session. Higher Education increased to 3.4 billion, probably a little over 8%. We received about 2/3 of the request for Back to Basics. South Texas Medical Initiative continued. Adopted a new formula system for the general academic institutions (four formula structure known as the Ratliff Formula). The formulas recognize a differential in upper level instruction and reward institutions using tenured and tenure track faculty in the classroom. A new allocation tool is to be used for each campus. Anticipated growth is also addressed. Even though the UT portion of overall credit hours decreased, we maintained our percentage of allocation of funds.

Ms. Grigsby provided a legislative update and distributed a handout. They monitored over 1900 bills. Several significant bills were passed, such as a common admissions application and performance evaluation of tenured faculty. Campuses must have policies in place in order to receive funding from the Coordinating Board. HB 588 requires admission of the top 10% of a high school class. High schools will have to make sure these students are adequately prepared for college. SB 148 requires the development of a Core Curriculum and a modification of the TASP test. Most tuition bills did not go through. SB 1907 merged tuition and the general use fee. Ms. Grigsby also reviewed the impact of several riders to the general appropriations bill (see handout). One of the next big issues that the Senate Education Committee will address will be to monitor what happens as a result of the bills that just passed. The Senate Finance Committee may address each of the Special Items now and will look closely at the health institutions. The House hasn't announced their interim activities yet.

Q - Can you explain the Core Curriculum bill and how soon this will be implemented?

A - You should continue your current activities.

C - Faculty should be involved in developing a core curriculum.

Q - Will grades transfer too?

A - Don't know.

Q - Will remedial hours be limited to 18?

A - It will give you more flexibility, but we don't know all the answers.

Q - What does the System do to help a campus that gets a new building but no operating support such as UT Tyler?

A - This is a serious problem that will be addressed.

Q - What percent of higher education costs is being funded by the state?

A - About 22-23% from appropriations.

Q - Was this the "year" for higher education?

A - This was a successful year for higher education.

Q - Are the growth projections still accurate?

A - Many factors have a big influence over those projections.

Q - Is the pay raise for non-faculty employees coming from sources outside of higher education and will administrators receive this raise.

A - Non-faculty administrators will receive this raise.

Q - How can campuses meet the funding guidelines if the Regents do not address the local evaluation policies until later?

A - The System policy will be used.

Q - How many remedial courses can an institution offer?

A - Not sure how this will work out.

Q - Why didn't the faculty salary go up by the same amount as the overall increase?

A - Some of the money cannot be used for salaries. Some of the money is restricted.

Q - The faculty are continuing to fall behind inflation. Will we continue to take a cut in pay?

A - Yes.

Q - Why were non-faculty employees given $100 per month increase and not faculty?

A - For those employees at the lower salaries, this will be a big and needed increase, but for those on the higher end it will be less than faculty are supposed to receive (5% over the biennium based on merit).

Q - The story in the Austin American Statesman indicated that the A & M budget was going up over twice as much as the UT Austin budget. Is this correct?

A - It is correct, but the A & M budget includes many things that don't compare apples to apples to UT.

Q - Did UT Austin receive 2% less than the state average?

A - Yes, because the Austin campus isn't growing like other campuses.

Q - What is the spirit behind the uniform admissions bill?

A - No one knows exactly what the outcome will be, but the intent is to get more minority students without using race based admissions policies.

Q - Will the health component in the Rio Grande Valley be a new component?

A - I don't believe it will be a new component.

Q - Will there be a retrospective component to the new rule regarding tenure for administrators?

A - No, it will not be retrospective.

Q - Did a bill pass rewarding students for just taking the minimum credit hours to graduate?

A - Yes, it did pass.

Q - Does the faculty evaluation bill address non-tenured faculty?

A - No, only tenured faculty.

5. Campus Reports

UT Arlington - Mike Moore gave a report for his campus that included: personnel changes; post-tenure review; standardized student evaluation of teaching instrument; awarded about 12 faculty development leaves; most faculty and staff will receive raises; enrollment ahead of last year; plans for a 24 hour computer facility; and projects for next year such as evaluation of administrators.

UT Austin - Paul Woodruff gave a report which included the loss of several administrators and a search for a new president. They are looking at both internal and external candidates.

UT Brownsville - Bill Davis gave a report that included: grievance policy; policy for post-tenure review; policy for dismissal for cause; open budget hearings; review of faculty and administrative salaries, which may have resulted in larger faculty raises; opening up to additional students (4 year institution); and self study for accreditation.

Q - Was salary data hard to obtain?

A- Not really, we just asked the right vice president.

UT Dallas - James Bartlett distributed a written report and summarized the following: revisions to the post-tenure review policy; a revised policy on faculty consulting is being developed; a new summer teaching policy is being developed by a faculty committee (if anyone has a summer teaching policy, please let James Bartlett know); a review of the grading system (it varies greatly from campus to campus); student representation on faculty committees; and a proposal to change their core curriculum (currently in limbo).

UT El Paso - Mo Mahmood distributed a written report and summarized the following: status of faculty conduct and grievance policy; salary compression; evaluation of administrators (Senate is negotiating for a viable policy); a policy for determining a Hearing Tribunal Pool; status of post-tenure review policy; extension of tenure track probationary period; and increasing faculty role in dispensing punishments to students for academic dishonesty.

Q - Why do you want faculty to be more involved in punishing students?

A - Faculty are more directly involved with the students and may be better able to deal with punishment.

UT HC Tyler - Kent Davis reported for his campus including the following: a new Skilled Nursing Facility; wiring of his campus for the Internet. Shaun Black reported the following: the status of their faculty grievance policy; upward evaluation of administrators; a clinical faculty compensation plan; and a new office of clinical research.

UT Houston HSC - James Berry distributed a written report and summarized the following: salary adjustments based on a salary survey; the status of a program closure policy; and the result of the multiyear contract proposal.

UT HSC San Antonio - Daniel Chan reported on the following: completed search for a Nursing School dean; new vice president for institutional effectiveness and planning; a new building; search for Allied Health dean; status of post-tenure review; and Dr. Howe is president-elect of the TMA.

UT MD Anderson - Joel Dunnington reported the following: search for several chief officers; 30% of basic scientists' salaries placed on grants; upward evaluation of administrators finalized; working on grievance procedures (credentialing committee results is not currently grievable)(the Health Affairs Committee may need to look into this issue); a look at closing certain programs; and working on changes to promotion and tenure tracks.

Q - Should the FAC conduct a salary survey?

A - That may be in order.

UT MB Galveston - Richard Rahr reported the following: they will soon have a faculty senate in place; evaluation policy revised; search for a new president; and they are going to a PBL (Problem Based Learning) format.

UT Pan American - Gerald Brazier reported the following: new VPAA; unsuccessful search for a dean; science building ready to be occupied; tuition revenue bond approved; committee studying the evaluation of teaching; work load committee formed; review of academic programs; case of a faculty member who was denied tenure by the VPAA, recommended for tenure by a faculty committee and has not received any word from the president.

Q - Who was on the campus-wide faculty committee?

A - Chairs of committees from each school.

UT Permian Basin - Corbett Gaulden reported the following: post-tenure review status; evaluation of administrators; will be building a new building in 1999; and new VPAA which has resulted in a number of on campus reviews.

UT San Antonio - Betty Travis reported on the following: search for administrators; naming of four associate deans; status of post-tenure review; formation of an ad hoc committee to evaluate all administrators; resolution calling for written evaluation of administrators by administrators; new Bylaws for Faculty Senate; grievance policy may be completed; equity committee formed to look at equity pay raises (only 60% of faculty are eligible for merit raises); downtown campus will open July 2; and campus dealing with draft AAUP report and waiting for final report.

Q - Will the final AAUP report be reviewed by your senate?

A - Yes.

UT Southwestern - Tim Wolff reported the following: blood/body fluid exposure control program; decline in minority acceptances following the Hopwood decision; discussions of merger of hospitals has stopped; Histoplasmosis epidemic on campus (spores believed to come from a bird rookery adjacent to an overhead walkway as well as other possible sources). Jean Sparks reported on issues within the Allied Health Sciences School including: name recognition; upward evaluation of administrators; discussion of the UT System Student Advisory Group newsletter.

UT Tyler - Allen Martin reported the following: search for new president (5-10 names will be given to the Board of Regents); obtained four-year status, phased in over next several years; expansion of campus to Longview (building but no operating budget); and development of post-tenure review policy.

UT System - Francie Frederick distributed a packet of information that included: Board of Regents biographical information; Draft agenda items for August Board of Regents Meeting (which included: student exchange program proposal, intellectual property policy revisions, amendment to Regents' Rules on academic titles, amendment to Regents' Rules on solicitation/anonymous publications, and evaluation of faculty); and information on Board of Regents Meeting dates.

C - It should be noted that the FAC was instrumental in initiating changes in the Regents' Rules on academic titles. This includes the allowance of multi-year contracts for non-tenure track faculty which may benefit many of our faculty and institutions.

Q - What is the rush on the Student Exchange proposal?

A - The students feel very strongly about this.

Q - Is the Evaluation of Faculty item to resolve the difference between the UT policy and the new bill and should the FAC provide input?

A - Yes and yes.

6. Discussion of Status of Evaluation of Tenured Faculty and Evaluation of Administrators

Alan Cline recommended that we develop a form concerning Evaluation of Administrators that would indicate what is happening on each campus. We could provide information on how some campuses have addressed this issue which would be valuable to those campuses that have not yet addressed the issue. Ted Pate reported that two deans and one executive vice president have been evaluated on the UT Houston HSC campus. He will provide a report to the Oversight Committee. It was suggested that the FAC may want to propose an amendment at the August Board of Regents' meeting to the post-tenure review policy that would also address this issue. The Legislature's bill is more consistent with the FAC's original proposal. We should not give up. Policy making processes require repeated revisions. The System's recommended amendments will be sent out to the campus presidents soon.

The following committee assignments were made:

  • Student Exchange Proposal to Academic Affairs
  • Evaluation of Administrators to Oversight Committee
  • Revision of Organizational Guidelines to Governance Committee
  • Coordinating Board issues to Academic Affairs
  • Definition of Merit to Faculty Quality
  • Administrative salary increases vs faculty salary increases to Faculty Quality
  • Response to the Chancellor's letter regarding UTSA to Governance
  • Health claims reimbursement problems to Health Affairs
  • Reduction of health benefits at Houston and Galveston to Health Affairs

7. Committee Meetings

(Health Affairs - OHH 1; Academic Affairs - ASH 5)(Mr. J.B. Pace will be invited to meet with Health Affairs);Armed with their assignments, the FAC adjourned to committee meetings at 2:45 pm.

8. Adjourn

Following committee meetings, the meeting adjourned until Friday morning. Chairman and Mrs. Alan Cline graciously hosted a dinner for the members of the FAC at their home.

9. Buffet Breakfast/Call to Order (Friday, June 27)

Alan Cline called the meeting to order at 8:44 am.

10. Distance Education

Allen Martin reported that the FAC "Policy Framework.for Faculty Involved in Distance Learning" was very favorably received by the AAUP. Allen will present the general faculty view of distance education at the Western cooperative meeting in October. There are major consortiums interested in distance education. He met with Dr. Mario Gonzalez who is in charge of distance education for the UT System. He was very receptive to FAC input into this area and in particular will consider the FAC's Faculty Protection Policy regarding distance education (Allen Martin briefly reviewed the rationale for having such a policy). Faculty participation in distance education involves additional work, therefore, they should be compensated for this work. Faculty should choose whether they wish to participate in this area or not. Apparently six grants have been awarded throughout the UT System (at about 60K each) in support of distance education. Some campuses are putting courses on the Web. There is a large front-end expense for distance education. There are some agreements between campuses for electronic courses which could be of benefit to all concerned if handled properly (i.e. appropriate guidelines). Virtual universities are booming in some areas. It was reported that some faculty have gone on sabbaticals and continued to teach their courses over the Web. Medicine is using distance education in a very positive way.

Q - Should we go after the non-traditional students on our campuses via distance education?

A - Distance education does have many benefits in this area as it can be delivered in many settings.

Q - Do the legislative funding formulas take distance education into consideration?

A - Yes.

C - The message coming out of Dr. Gonzalez's office is to reach those students who have been unreachable or offer unique courses.

11. Report on Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness Project

Art Bronson presented a status report on the analysis of the data from the Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness Project (see handout distributed at the meeting). He has been assisted by several individuals (Dr. Javier Rojo, Director of UTEP's Biostatistical Laboratory, Dr. Charles Odegard, Rene Chavarria, Arturo Acosta, Eric Esparza, Adriana Marquez and Edurado Obeso). Dr. Bronson gave a brief background on the survey before going through the data. He explained the new graphics that are used in the report. It was noted that 60% of the faculty (according to the graphs) are not tenured, that number needs to be verified. The question was also raised as to whether statistically significant differences are really meaningful. The areas reviewed included: significance of teaching to students, instructors and administrators; the effective teaching methods considered by students, instructors and administrators; categorization of indicators to the quality of teaching practice; a condensed summary of data analysis; and a summary of data analysis-teaching quality. More probing questions include: What techniques are considered the most effective in evaluating teaching?; Is teaching effectiveness measured differently with respect to lower division, graduate and professional students?; and What are the major functions of higher education?

Q - Why are different instruments required for different disciplines?

A - The data and the literature suggest this.

Q - If we lump categories together, won't that be misleading?

A - Yes, we need to be careful as we look at that.

Q - Did the survey focus on traditional classroom teaching?

A - Yes and because of that, many faculty were left out of the survey.

Q - Do we have data that tells us which guideline was specifically discounted by administrators?

A - Yes.

Q - When will the final report be ready?

A - We hope to have the report by September.

Q - How do you decide between "style" and "behavior"?

A - That was an arbitrary decision made in order to facilitate data analysis. We need to make sure we have the right items clustered together.

C - The narrative portion of the report has been reviewed by a statistician in Austin with a favorable report.

12. Discussion of Revision of Organizational Guidelines

Lynn Little reported on the status of the proposed revision of the Organizational Guidelines of the FAC. The FAC has evolved over the last several years and therefore, the guidelines should reflect the way we currently do business. The Governance Committee will look at the latest revisions at their meeting this morning and present them this afternoon.

13. Committee Meetings

(Health Affairs - OHH 1; Academic Affairs - ASH 5)(Mr. Bob Molloy to meet with Health Affairs)

Alan Cline reminded the committees that they need to elect new co-chairs during their meetings this morning. He also asked the committee chairs to be brief in their reports this afternoon. The meeting recessed to committee at 9:56 am.

14. Elections (Chair-Elect and Secretary)

Drs. Betty Travis and Ivor Page had been nominated for chair-elect. No further nominations came from the floor. Each candidate gave a brief background statement prior to the election. Following a written ballot, Ivor Page was elected chair-elect.

Nominations were opened for secretary. Ted Pate was nominated and with no further nominations, he was re-elected secretary.

15. Committee Reports

Academic Affairs - Ivor Page reported for the Committee. Concerning Coordinating Board issues such as Core Curriculum, the Committee recommends that a letter be written to the Chancellor asking for the FAC to have a voice in these issues. Ivor made a motion to that effect, seconded by Jim Bartlett. It was recommended that names of individuals willing to serve on a committee be given to the Chancellor. It was also suggested that more than just names, but also a little biographical background be provided. It was suggested that FAC members be allowed to send in their names (and a paragraph) to the chair, who would then forward those names to the Chancellor. The motion, including the suggested changes, passed. Members should submit their names and paragraph to the chair.

Minority enrollment was another issue the Committee addressed. Whether the "Top 10%" bill will impact that issue remains to be seen. The common admissions process may improve our ability to recruit students.

Drs. Art Bronson and Corbit Gaulden were elected co-chairs of the Committee.

The Committee also addressed the issue of exchanging courses between campuses and feels that a certain amount of caution needs to be used as this issue proceeds and that the students must seek proper approval. We need to work with the Student Advisory Group to solve this problem. The Committee asked for FAC approval to proceed. Approval was given.

The Evaluation of Teaching Project report is proceeding and the Committee wished to thank Drs. Samuel Freeman and Art Bronson for all their hard work. They look for the final draft to be ready for September.

Health Affairs - James Berry reported on Committee activities. The Committee met with Mr. Bob Molloy and discussed the changes in the health plans in the Houston and Galveston area. These changes were prompted by high costs over the past 3 years. There is a general problem with health insurance at most of the UT components and although the Houston/Galveston area is currently a "sore thumb", it is likely that similar measures will be taken at many if not most other campuses in the near future. Although the premiums for most plans in those areas (Houston and Galveston) will increase (as high as 86%), the benefits will also increase for many things. The Committee is working with Mr. Molloy to try to identify the causes of the increased costs. Several members of the Committee suggested an audit to help determine the source of the increases. It is not clear whether the costs are due to increased cost of health care, the way we are utilizing the health care, or the way the contracts have been written. The Committee is continuing to look at the impact of the proposed change allowing multiyear contracts.

Q - Why not distribute the costs over the entire system?

A - Some areas such as UT Austin have actually made money and it was felt unfair to pass the increased costs to everyone.

Q - Are providers not giving information?

A - Yes, but they are trying to get that information.

Q - Can the Committee look into the credentialing system on each health campus and any appeals process and its connection to the promotion and tenure process?

A - The Committee discussed that issue and will provide the FAC chair with information.

Drs. Joel Dunnington and Tim Wolff were elected as co-chairs.

Faculty Quality - James Bartlett reported for the Committee. The Committee discussed the merit raise process and developed three principles upon which merit raises should be based. These principles are: 1) Faculty who are meeting their professional responsibilities are to be considered meritorious and therefore deserving of merit increases in salary; 2) Differences in merit salary increases within an administrative unit should be consistent with differences in levels of performance as determined by written annual performance evaluations; 3) Faculty shall be able to appeal or grieve their salary increases. Francie Frederick will be asked to provide salary data through System sources. Are there people on campuses who are being judged satisfactory yet are not given any raises? Arbitrary limits on how many faculty can receive merit raises should be considered unacceptable. Should a lack of raise be a grievable issue? Should just "meeting professional responsibilities" be considered meritorious. Since some interpret that only merit raises may be given, then if faculty do not receive a merit raise they will take a cut in pay (due to inflation, etc.). We need to show data on what is happening to faculty salaries and how they are impacted by inflation. Only those not doing their job shouldn't receive a raise. Job descriptions should be challenging enough that those who do their job are meritorious. It was pointed out that some grievance policies exclude salary issues and some do not. There was a discussion as to what to do with these principles. Gerald Brazier made a motion that the FAC adopt these principles and ask the Chancellor to pass these principles along to the presidents. The motion was seconded by Jack Gilbert. Concern was expressed as to whether the timing was right to send this to the Chancellor. This issue could be refined in the fall and then sent to the Chancellor. Most administrators would probably say they follow these principles already. It was also noted that with limited money, if you spread it out further on the low end you will negatively affect the upper end. Richard Rahr made a motion to postpone definitely (table) the motion. The motion passed.

The Committee is continuing to monitor distance education issues and is also continuing to look at Program Closure policies.

Drs. James Bartlett and Gerald Brazier were elected as co-chairs.

C - The FAC should formally through its members, request salary information showing faculty and administrative salary changes at each component in the last five years.

Jay Freireich made a motion to that effect. Seconded by Joel Dunnington. Francie Frederick has already been asked to obtain that data from the Budget Office. The information should be end-of-year data. The motion was defeated. How we define who is a faculty member and who is an administrator is an issue.

Governance Committee - Jack Gilbert reported for the Committee. Drs. Jack Gilbert and Betty Travis will be co-chairs next year. A proposed revision of the Organizational Guidelines was distributed and reviewed, highlighting the primary changes. No "alternates" or "proxies" are provided for in the revised Guidelines and the Committee was evenly divided on this issue. The FAC members are asked to carefully review this document and send comments to the Committee co-chairs. Comments made during the meeting included: Whom the FAC advises should be made more clear; The ability of the Executive Committee to conduct business between meetings should be clearly stated.; there should be a definition of "faculty" (should this be left to the individual component?).

16. Old Business/New Business

Patents (Intellectual Property Policy) was discussed. There was concern expressed as to how the UT System deals with patents. Georgia Harper in the Office of General Counsel is working on this issue.

James Berry who will be leaving the FAC, expressed his appreciation for having served on the FAC and suggested that the members let there administrations know about the value of the FAC.

Lynn Little who will also be leaving the FAC, also expressed his feelings about the FAC and how much it has meant to him as well as its value. He commended the past and future leadership of the FAC.

Mike Siciliano presented a gavel to Alan Cline the outgoing chair and thanked him for all his efforts.

Alan Cline recognized those members who are leaving the FAC and made remarks under the category of Lapdog, Pit Bull or Saint Bernard. He reflected on a number of things that have occurred during his tenure on the Council.

Ivor Page expressed the feeling that faculty opinion of the FAC has increased over the past year and acknowledged Alan's leadership efforts.

Mike Siciliano, the new chair, will be in touch with the membership concerning the FAC meeting dates for 1997-98.

17. Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 3:20 pm.

An informal Executive Meeting was held immediately following the meeting with primary discussion of the necessary amendment to the post-tenure review policy.

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