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Dates: October 6-7, 2005

 

 

Committee Reports: Faculty Quality | Academic Affairs | Governance | Health Affairs

 

Campus Reports: Health Institutions | Academic Institutions

 

Faculty Quality Committee : Co-Chairs Dan Formanowicz & Robert Nelsen

 

Merit Raises and Annual Evaluations

Background:

  • Arlington—yearly meeting with chairs and evaluation on teaching, research, service on a 10 point scale—must sign off (can rebut), chair recommends, dean decides
  • El Paso—no yearly meeting, but an annual review on a 4 point scale, chair has final say
  • Permian Basin—form that is filled out on research, teaching, and service and given to dean, dean rates the fields with a double weighting for research and service, chance for one week rebuttal and then moved up the chain of command—must sign off, dean has final say
  • Tyler—info submitted to chair, chair makes a recommendation, faculty member has chance to rebut and must sign off, then moves up to dean—must sign, chair recommends, dean decides
  • Brownsville—meet with chair, devise workload portfolio, and everyone gets base merit; for exceptional merit, competitive, with comprehensive portfolio, goes through all sorts of committees (much like tenure process) up to the Provost, can happen every three years
  • MD Anderson—annual evaluation, comprehensive if term tenure, otherwise less, areas of review include patient care, research, community chair; reviewed by chair, can result in remedial actions or increase salary (if you fit within the mission of the University), chief academic officer has final say
  • UTD—annual review based on vita and narrative; meeting with dean—signed review with scale from excellent to poor for some schools and not for others; provost has final say
  • Tyler Health—annual evaluation by director of research on basis of vita (publications, grant funding, teaching, service), evaluated on scale of 4 and then moved up; Vice President for Research has final say

 

Whereas merit raises should be based on merit;

Whereas faculty have unique responsibilities with regards to research, teaching, service and in many cases patient care,

Whereas transparency and clarity improve collegial relations and create a positive environment;

 

The FAC recommends that each University has a published and widely distributed description of the merit raise process that clearly states the criteria for merit raises and how they are determined.

 

How to Handle Comments from Course Evaluations

We discussed the new policy from UT Austin, paying special attention to the problem of retention and freedom of information requests.

 

We remain convinced that the solution is NOT to develop a system-wide evaluation or a system-wide policy regarding course evaluations. The information is very context-dependent, and each campus must decide on where they want to retain the information and how they want to use it with regards to promotion, tenure, merit raises, etc. Even within individual universities, there may be reasons why the material should be used in a way that would not be appropriate in all disciplines.

 

Faculty Quality recommends that each University discuss the course evaluation process in the Senate this semester, paying special attention to the problems associated with document retention, freedom of information, and FERPA. We further suggest that the recommendations from UT Austin be redistributed and serve as the impetus for the discussion at the Senate.

 

360 Degree Evaluations

Chancellor Yudof and Vice Chancellor Sullivan spoke to the FAC about the need to create a satisfied clientele as well as a healthy work environment wherein evaluations are not always top down. Surveying faculty about the environment and about working conditions can be helpful but not if it is time consuming and not if there is low turn out.

 

The general feeling was that there is not enough time in the day to be surveyed yet again about how well the bursar’s office is working or how well the dean’s AA is responding to faculty needs.

TO DO LIST FROM FACULTY QUALITY

  • Invite someone to visit with Faculty Quality to discuss problems associate with hiring people who are not US citizens
  • Ask everyone to report in their campus reports if there have been problems retaining faculty who receive offers from other institutions
  • Invite someone from the Coordinating Board to do a co-presentation with someone from System about joint programs and the benefits and problems associated with establishing such programs (e.g., with SACS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Academic Affairs Committee: Co-chairs: Linda Reichl & Cindy Brown

 

Rand Testing

  • Pedro Reyes reported that he received the final report yesterday on the testing administered at 8 of the 9 components last year.
  • Each of the components showed “value-added”.
  • He will be summarizing the results for the Chancellor immediately with the idea it will be presented to the Regents in February.
  • After the Chancellor reviews the results, Pedro will be calling together a group of faculty and administrators to meet with Rand to go over the process of the test and the evaluation of the results.
  • As far as the utility of the test, SACS is sold on the use of this test to demonstrate the student outcome accountability that they require.
  • The decision to conduct the testing again this year had to be made before the results were available. Terry Sullivan decided to go ahead and do the assessment again this year. It will be done in about 6 weeks.
  • We asked Pedro to give a report to the entire FAC in December.

 

Bridge Funding

  • Bridge Funding is a FAC proposal to the Regents in February and they were very supportive of the idea but said that it was an individual campus issue – not a system issue.
  • Funding for scored grants is less risky than other types of institutional support for research so it should be easier to convince administrators to provide this funding.
  • The committee discussed the ways in which bridge funding support could be handled at each component. There are significant differences in the type of research that is done and this means that the process to support “almost” funded grant applications must reflect the unique needs of the researchers on each campus.
  • The committee is urging that the FAC members take back to their Senates the idea of coming up with a policy for your campus to evaluate and fund these grants.

 

Doctoral Education

  • In June the Committee continued the discussion of expanding doctoral education in the State of Texas and the role of the Higher Education Coordinating Board in facilitating this process. At that time committee members agreed to look into the way that new doctoral programs are brought forward at other large state systems.
  • Doug Hale reported on the New York State System (SUNY). He said that this is a tiered structure and there did not appear to be a process for any school other than the “Tier 1” schools to implement doctoral programs. Graduate education appeared to be tightly controlled and function under a regulatory process very similar to that in Texas.
  • Steve Johnson reported on the State of Iowa system. This is a 2-tier system with the University of Iowa offering over 50% of the doctoral programs in the state. It did not appear that any of the universities were adding doctoral programs and that graduate education seemed to be static. He could not find any information on a process to add new programs.
  • The committee agreed to continue looking into this process and to get information from Robert on the plans of THECB for evaluating new doctoral programs in Texas.

 

Accountability

  • The committee briefly discussed the accountability environment in Texas and felt that at this point there do not appear to be any big new initiatives that require FAC input.
  • The committee felt that as the opportunities arise, we should continue to request additional measures of administrative efficiency be included.
  • We will continue to monitor both the State’s Bluebird accountability process and the System’s accountability reports.

 

Governance Committee: Co-chairs: Murray Leaf and Mansour El-Kikhia..

The Governance Committee considered three items: 1) Wording for the section of Regent’s Rules to deal with searches for higher level administrators, 2) Wording for the section of Regent’s Rules to deal with Governance involvement in the development of the campus’s Handbook of Operating Procedure, and 3) Items to follow up on or consider initiatives on.

 

1) SEARCH POLICY. Wording for the section of Regent’s Rules to deal with searches for higher level administrators, Section 20102 Sec. 4.

 

Search Policy. Every institution shall have in their Handbook of Operating Procedures a policy for filling upper-level administrative positions. This policy must be developed by the faculty governance body and the administration. The search policy should describe the size, composition, and process by which members are nominated and appointed to such committees.

 

The Committee considered alternative wording and developed the following:

 

Search Policy. Every institution shall have a written policy for filling administrative positions in academic and medical lines of responsibility at and above the level of department chairs. This policy must be developed by the faculty governance body and the administration. The search policy should describe the size, composition, and process by which members are nominated and appointed to such committees. The procedures for developing and amending this policy must be described in the Handbook of Operating Procedures.

 

The Committee asked the FAC to consider the two wordings. The FAC, by vote, indicated that they preferred the first wording. The second can serve as a backup to provide guidance if difficulties develop with the first.

 

2) HOP. Wording for the section of Regent’s Rules 20201 section 4.9 to deal with Governance involvement in the development of the campus’s Handbook of Operating Procedure.

 

The wording to append to this section suggested by Mr. Martinez was:

Input from the faculty governance body for the institution will be sought for all significant changes to an institution’s Handbook of Operating Procedure.

 

The Committee agreed that in view of past experience this left too much latitude to local administrative interpretation that would be contrary to the spirit of the initial FAC recommendation, and Chancellor Yudoff’s concurrence. The committee developed several alternative wordings to bring before the full FAC. After discussion the FAC agreed on the following as its preferred form:

 

Sections of the Handbook of Operating Procedures that pertain to the areas of faculty responsibility as defined in Regents Rules series 40101 section 3, will be explicitly designated in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. The President, with the faculty governance body of the campus, shall develop procedures to assure formal review by the governance bodies before such sections are submitted for approval.

 

3) The Governance Committee agreed to follow up on or consider the following questions or issues:

 

1. Ombudsmen: The committee and the FAC has previously agreed to have it discussed on the several campuses and have the campuses report back. We have not followed through. Questions are:

 

1 . A. Should there be a system ombudsman office?

 

1. B. Campus ombudsman:

 

Last year we asked members to discuss the question on their campuses and report back. There has not been follow-through. Now we should put these specific questions in to do list or send as a separate communication:

 

If you have one, how is it working?

 

If you don’t have one, do you think you should and how would it work?

 

If you don’t have one, is there another mechanism for interceding in conflicts between faculty and/or faculty and administration?

 

2. Governance office. Should we make a standard recommendation? Before deciding, we should know whether each campus has a governance office or some provision for keeping a memory of communication with the FAC.

 

3 . What is the procedure for putting faculty on administrative leave –administration putting a faculty member on leave as a disciplinary matter or as part of a disciplinary process? (This was an issue folded into the receivership discussion and now is not going forward because the receivership issue is largely stuck on the campuses. We should separate it out and deal with it regardless of the receivership issues?)

 

Health Affairs Committee: Chair Mark Winter; Co-chair Ted Pate

 

Committee Members: Margaret Brackley, Jim McDonald, Christine Baker, John Wentz, Karen Fuss-Sommer, and Angela Shoup (Ex Officio)

 

ITEM 1:

The committee decided to continue to collect data on Leave Polices for the following types of leave: Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, and Elder Care. The committee divided up the United States into regions and the members will search for policies at: 1) large teaching system or institution and 2) smaller teaching institution, if possible. The committee will be looking at other Texas University Systems and larger Texas Departments (e.g., TxDOT, TDH) for their written policies for these types of leave. A data collection tool was designed during the committee meeting to facilitate data collection from each of these places. In addition, an attempt will be made to locate the contact information for the Women’s Group at each teaching institution/system.

 

ITEM 2:

In the past a representative from either Ken Shine or Dan Stewart would attend the committee meeting. A request was made to the Chair of the FAC and an attempt will be made to have representation from their offices at future committee meetings.

 

ITEM 3:

It was brought to the committee’s attention that our currant insurance carrier, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, does not cover tissue typing or transportation of organs for transplantation. We were informed that in some instances these costs could reach the $50,000 dollar range. This item was tabled until the wording of the policy could be located and disseminated to the committee members for interpretation.

 

ITEM 4:

Under an interpretation of Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) standards, a streamlining of by-laws was undertaken at UT-MD Anderson. Under these new by-laws a physician that is accused of inappropriate behavior (e.g., verbally abusive of staff, under the influence, etc.) would undergo a 3 member peer review for further actions. If the physician wished to appeal the peer review, then the chair could appoint a lawyer from within or outside the institution to run the appeal hearing. The faculty is concerned about the potential of a lawyer running an appeals hearing, rather than peer review. This item was tabled until the wording of the policy could be located and disseminated to the committee members for interpretation.


** UTSW | UTMB | UTHSCH | UTHSCSA | MD Anderson | UTHCT

 

UT Southwestern, Dallas

The faculty senate at UT Southwestern is in the process of evaluating their identity/purpose on campus. As a first step, Robert Nelsen was invited tospeak at the September meeting about Faculty Governance in the UT System. The Dean of the Medical School, Dr. Alfred Gilman, will speak with the senate in October.

 

Beginning in September, the Offices of Medical Education and Continuing Medical Education are hosting “The Effective Teacher Series”, a series of 13 seminars and workshops on practical teaching skills, provided for all faculty, fellows, and residents to enhance and improve their teaching skills.

 

A memo was sent to all faculty from Dr. Kern Wildenthal on August 18, 2005 requesting input from the faculty into the update of the strategic plan. The memo provided an overview of UT Southwestern accomplishments/improvements that have occurred over the years as a result of faculty input into the strategic planning process.

 

A proposal has been developed by a committee chaired by Susan Cox, M.D. to establish a Teaching Academy at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The proposed acronym for the academy is the SWAT (UT Southwestern Academy of Teachers). The Faculty Council voted to move forward with further development of this proposal.

 

Homework:

  • Did your campus provide funding for the legislatively authorized supplement to bring post‑September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP institutional contribution as earlier hires enjoyed? Response: Yes. UT Southwestern increased the ORP match for post 1995 ORP participants from 6% to 6.5% effective September 1, 2005.
    • Were faculty included in the decision making process? Unknown.
    • How was the faculty made aware of the decision to fund or not to fund? Response: Each post 1995 ORP participant received a memorandum describing the change. Grandfathered ORP participants did not receive the memo.
  • Are options for phased retirement (gearing down over a limited number of years without forgoing the protections afforded by tenure) well known and understood by faculty members and administrators at your campus? Unknown.

 

Allied Health – UT Southwestern

The UT Southwestern of Allied Health Sciences School dean Gordon Green, M.D. announced his resignation on August 31, effective upon the identification of a successor. President Wildenthal announced the formation of a dean search committee. The School of Allied Health Sciences Faculty Assembly Executive Council, which is a body elected by the faculty at large, was not asked for input or consulted in any way into the make-up of the search committee. The Executive Council sent a letter expressing concern about this oversight to Dean Green, who forwarded the letter to Dr. Wildenthal.

UT Medical Branch, Galveston

1) Rumor of TDCJ Hospital Closing:

No, there are no plans to close TDCJ Hospital now or anytime in the near future. There are no plans to convert it to a research facility. The hospital is not moving to Tyler. It’s relatively easy to understand why this rumor surfaced. As recently as this past spring, at forums such as Town Meeting, there were open and frank discussions about the financial pinch in correctional care and its impact on us as an institution. UTMB is responsible for providing quality health care to about 120,000 incarcerated patients across two-thirds of Texas, some of them here at the TDCJ Hospital at the center of this rumor. As medical costs have risen, our reimbursements had been reduced, a result of state budget cuts during the past budget cycle. It was getting dire and very difficult for us to absorb the costs associated with providing appropriate services. Tough questions were being asked, including “Can we sustain this correctional component of our mission?”

Fortunately, we were able to make a good case in Austin. The legislature recognized the tremendous value UTMB and its employees provided the citizens of Texas in addressing this unique societal need. In the 11th hour, the State Legislature granted us appropriations to cover some of our past losses, and allocated an additional $30 million-a-year for the two years of this upcoming budget cycle. It was less than we asked for, but enough to keep us hard at work.

2) Family Matters:

Members of the UTMB family now have the opportunity to demonstrate their pride in the institution through Family Matters: The Campaign for the UTMB Community. This five-year, $25 million effort funds specific initiatives that were developed by a broad-based group of UTMB employees and retirees. The initiatives include: Workforce Development; Patient Care Complex, Employee Health and Wellness; Moody Medical Library; and the Helping Hands Fund. But gifts to any of our numerous programs of excellence are welcome.

While the campus-wide kick-off is scheduled for July 15, 2005, in William C. Levin Hall, many members of the UTMB family have already made a contribution to the campaign. Having raised $6.8 million as of June 21, 2005, the Family Matters campaign is off to a great start

3) Hurricane Rita Stories:

Receiving the phone call and being told by Governor Perry to move all patients out of UTMB.

  • Arranging transfer of patients out of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • How to keep the Emergency Department open for those left in Galveston: police and fire
  • The evacuation of 300+ employees via the Air National Guard from Ellington to Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth
  • The relocation of the evacuees to a hotel in Dallas with the help of the ‘new’ Dean of Medicine
  • How those spent their time in Dallas until their return flight to Galveston

These stories and others from those caught in the massive traffic jam and subsequent gasoline shortage are still being collected. According to the October 6 th issue of the Houston Chronicle, of those polled:

21% evacuated because they were told to do so

52% reached their destination in less than 10 hours

62% of the people living in the evacuation zone left

 

UT Health Science Center, Houston

  • Our most recent issues have been Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Following Hurricane Rita, our HSC set up and manned a medical facility at the George R. Brown Convention Center for Katrina evacuees. This was a very well organized operation. When Hurricane Rita threatened, because of our previous experience with Tropical Storm Allison, the HSC was shut down for two days prior to the hurricane in order to insure the safety of all faculty, staff and students. Classes really didn’t get back to normal for a couple of days after the hurricane. Fortunately, the hurricane did not really hit Houston and we did not suffer any damage.

 

  • One of the most significant accomplishments this past year has been to develop a much better relationship between our Interfaculty Council and the senior administration of the HSC. The officers of the IFC have monthly meetings with the EVPAA and EVPCOO, and they regularly attend the IFC meetings.

 

  • The two main issues that have been discussed at the Interfaculty Council on our campus are:

 

  • Faculty Evaluation
    • Should it be centralized?
    • Should it be consistent across campus or individualized for each school?
    • What data should be retained in a centralized repository?
  • Base Academic Compensation
    • What should be included in base academic compensation calculations?
    • Should total compensation be reported to NIH for grant purposes?
    • What should be “at risk” vs. guaranteed?
    • Clinical income vs. clinical augmentation.

 

      • Answers From the To Do List
  • Did your campus provide funding for the legislatively authorized supplement to bring post-September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP institutional contribution as earlier hires enjoyed?  Were faculty included in the decision making process?  How was the faculty made aware of the decision to fund or not to fund? No. This decision was made by senior administration due to budget constraints at the time. It was reported through normal channels, but no additional communication to faculty.
  • Are options for phased retirement (gearing down over a limited number of years without forgoing the protections afforded by tenure) well known and understood by faculty members and administrators at your campus? This may happen on our campus, but there isn’t any official policy.

 

UT Health Science Center, San Antonio

The Senate at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has been involved in the following late spring and summer, 2005:

  • We received a report on the recommended UTHSCSA-WIDE TEACHING CENTER
  • Held discussion of efforts to enhance awareness and participation in Faculty Senate activities by faculty members of remote/distant UTHSCSA campuses- we have 5.
  • Medical Dean’s Search Committee, chaired by Dr. Hanna Abboud, Division Head for Nephrology, Department of Medicine, was formally charged on April 27 th. Plan is to have the new Dean in place by December.
  • Dr. Jan Patterson, Professor of Medicine/Infectious Disease, described a new Leadership Development Program being created to provide training to administrative leaders on our campus-aimed at Chair level development.
  • A recommendation is to be forwarded to the Administration concerning the creation/implementation of an Exit Questionnaire designed to help monitor why faculty members choose to leave UTHSCSA which was not received positively by the Executive Committee.
  • Held a discussion on classroom management software (decision to use Web-CT over blackboard).
  • Is providing leadership on a cross-campus coalition that will join forces for purposes of fostering faculty development/mentoring activities. We will start with Promotion & Tenure skill development.

 

Answers to Qts requested by Dr. Norling:

  • Did your campus provide funding for the legislatively authorized supplement to bring post-September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP institutional contribution as earlier hires enjoyed? No

Were faculty included in the decision making process?  No

How was the faculty made aware of the decision to fund or not to fund?

Learned from Dr. Norling and word of mouth

  • Are options for phased retirement (gearing down over a limited number of years without forgoing the protections afforded by tenure) well known and understood by faculty members and administrators at your campus? Not to my knowledge

 

UT M.D. Anderson

The Ride – out team of MDACC (3 upper level administrators) dismissed all non-essential personnel on Thursday at noon; hurricane was expected to strike at Friday after nightfall. Since it was too late to leave the immediate Houston area, some employees, graduate students and post-doctoral students instead had to ride out the hurricane at alternative shelters, such as parking garages on the Campus, or at Hermann Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital or at the VA-Administration Campus hospital, all of which agreed with granting temporary shelter for those in need.

 

  • Strategic Planning

The building program continues at high speed

SACS accreditation is ongoing, one site visit performed and passed, final approval expected in approximately one year, completing MD Anderson’s quest for becoming an independent degree-granting institution.

 

  • Accountability

Upward evaluation will finally take place at the MD Anderson Cancer Center; Administration had postponed this for over one year but has in the last few weeks agreed with moving ahead with a second round of upward evaluation.

  • Bridge funding – a revised program for this is being implemented, now first time submissions within 10% of funding and competing renewal submissions within 5% of will be funded up to 18 months.
  • New By-Laws proposed for the Medical Staff handbook: TROUBLING is that the administration wanted to have an outside Attorney to be presiding officer over hearings that are to decide in matters of alleged medical misconduct, whereas 3 faculty peers will only be committee members.
  • A new committee for deciding on whether research/IP generated is ethical (Patent Ethics Committee) was implemented by the Chief Academic Officer, who in a recent article/interview in Houston Chronicle in reference to animal research performed on beagle dogs commented, that the institution would never endorse unethical research.
  • New and strengthened COI reporting standards for all faculty have been implemented as per this Academic year.

 

Issue to follow up on: Going part-time, what is needed and how can tenure be retained for faculty who wish to work part-time. Will later discuss this with Jim Bartlett who has a letter from the BOR clarifying that this is possible (reference for this info is Robert Nelson, UT Dallas).

 

UT Health Center, Tyler

  • Vijay Boggaram, Ph. D., Chairman, Research Faculty Assembly

 

 

  1. Administration has proposed to reduce the salary offset from an extramural grant by 25%. Most faculty are unhappy about this and are concerned that it would adversely impact on their research programs.

 

  1. UT Health Center has provided funding since September 2004 to bring post-September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP Institutional contribution as earlier hired employees. As far as I know faculty were not included in the decision making process. Faculty were informed by email about the decision to provide supplemental funds. I am told that continuation of supplemental funding depends on the availability of funds.

 

  1. UT Health Center at Tyler does not award tenure and therefore phased retirement without forgoing benefits afforded by tenure does not apply.

**UTA | UT | UTB | UTD | UTEP | UTPA | UTPB | UTSA | UTT

 

UT Arlington

Receivership Policy:

The revised Senate approved receivership policy draft was submitted to the President for his approval in late April. During the summer, he returned it saying that he and the Provost had problems with the Senate’s broad definition of receivership. Differences were discussed at a meeting between the Senate Chair and Assistant Chair and President and Provost. The President and Provost were asked to submit their revised definition of receivership, which they have done. It was also decided to submit the revised draft to the UT System Office of General Council “without prejudice” for commentary.

Only this week, the Senate leadership received a copy of the OGC’s reply, dated 22 September 2005. After what seems to have been a cursory examination, the OGC returned the revised policy document, commenting that few revisions actually had been made and that it was “essentially identical” to the policy originally submitted in February 2003. The OGC went on to remark that the “current proposed policy is more troublesome since an additional paragraph further expands the definition of an academic receivership….” A copy of the previous OGC evaluation also was attached to the returned revised policy document as the major part of the OGC’s review.

The Senate leadership will meet in the very near future with the President and Provost to try to find the way to a yet further revised academic receivership policy for UTA.

Quality Enhancement Plan:

The search for an as yet illusive QEP for the SACS Reassessment of Accreditation of UTA in 2007 continues. The UTA Administration has sought broad-based Senate and Faculty input into this quest. A faculty internship has been created in the Office of the Provost to oversee the selection and implementation of the QEP.

Strategic Planning:

The delayed latest version (as revised by the deans) of the strategic planning document was just published on 4 October 2005. The UTA administration is seeking input on this version from all UTA community constituencies and the Senate.

To Do List:

  • ORP catch-up funding—No, but after prodding by the Senate Chair, the President is looking into it again and thinks that .5% increases for five years might be possible.
  • Phased retirement options—Yes.

 

UT Austin

Personnel Matters

President Larry Faulkner has announced his resignation. A Presidential Search Advisory Committee has been appointed, co-chaired by UT System Vice Chancellor Teresa Sullivan and Former UT President Peter Flawn, with the goal of having a new President in office no later than February 1, 2006.

In response to a recommendation by the Task Force on Racial Respect and Fairness, the position of Vice-Provost for Inclusion and Cross-cultural Effectiveness was created and Dr. Greg Vincent was hired for this role. Dr. Vincent took office this fall.

The University established a Faculty Ombudsperson position to provide faculty a mechanism to resolve questions, concerns, and complaints beyond turning to their supervisors. The report of the first ombudsperson to be appointed, Professor Stan Roux, clearly indicates the need for an ombudsperson. During the 2004-2005 academic year, forty-three faculty sought assistance in resolving concerns related to termination, denial of promotion and tenure, disciplinary actions, and withholding of substantial rights. The vast majority of these cases were resolved through mediation and informational counseling; very few of the cases were referred to the grievance committee.

The University implemented a 10 year faculty expansion plan in 2000-2001 with the goal of adding 300 new faculty positions. To date, approximately 151 of these positions have been filled, nearly all on tenure track.

Student Matters

UT Austin is continuing efforts to reduce the faculty-student ratio, both by reducing the number of students enrolled and increasing the number of faculty employed. The Fall 2005 enrollment is approximately 50,000, a slight decrease from last year's enrollment. The University anticipates reaching the targeted enrollment figure of 48,000 within five years.

The University is also continuing efforts to increase the diversity of the student body. This fall, for the first time since the Hopwood decision in 1996, new race-sensitive methods in the admissions process were implemented. Preliminary data show increases in minority student enrollments. The freshman class of 2005 is 5 percent African American, 17 percent Asian American, 18 percent Hispanic, and 55 percent white.

A flat-fee tuition program for all undergraduate colleges and schools, beginning with the current academic year has been implemented. This system allows students to enroll in additional coursework at no additional cost and encourages more rapid progress toward degrees.

Other Items of Interest

Course Instructor Surveys. The Faculty Council is reviewing the status of Course Instructor Surveys relative to recent legal interpretations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Public Open Records Act. The Ad hoc Committee of the Faculty Council to Study CIS has recommended that the University discontinue the collection of student written comments as part of the official course-instructor survey. Student written comments would be solicited with a notice that the comments may be subject to the protections of FERPA and that by writing the comment students thereby agree to waive any rights they may have under FERPA and with the understanding that the comment becomes the property of the faculty member to whom it is addressed. The Council is now considering these recommendations. There is concern about the faculty’s legal obligations regarding storage, handling, and retention of past and future student written comments relating to FERPA law, open records act, and records retention regulations.

Curriculum Reform. The Task Force on Curricular Reform, chaired by Bill Powers, Dean of the School of Law, has conducted a comprehensive review of the core curriculum and will present its recommendations to the faculty on October 27, 2005. The Faculty Council will begin deliberating the Task Force recommendations in November.

New College. The Jackson School of Geosciences. has been authorized by the Regents and the Coordinating Board and is now operating as a new college.

 

UT Brownsville

  1. UTB/TSC Compact: The UTB/TSC 2006-2007 Compact is been completed, and is available both on our website and on the website of UT System.
  2. Doctoral Degrees: In August 2005, the UT System Board of Regents approved the addition of doctoral degrees to the UT Brownsville/Texas Southmost College mission statement. Addition of doctoral degrees to our mission statement will permit us to award doctoral degrees for approved programs. Doctoral degrees have been awarded in the past in cooperation with the University of Houston.
  3. Capital Projects:
    1. Our new $26 million Business and Education Complex opened this semester. This is the third UT-funded building to be constructed on our campus (all others are TSC-funded). The building was dedicated in a ceremony on September 27. Featured speakers included Robert W. Shepard, newly named chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and Cyndi  Krier, Vice Chairman of the UT System Board of Regents.
    2. Much new building is scheduled on campus, financing for which comes from $68 million in bonds, plus another $19.3 million in additional funds from Partnership Funds and the Student Fee for Wellness and Recreation, for a total of $87.3 million. Specific initiatives include:
      • Wellness, Recreation and Kinesiology ($25 million)
      • International Technology, Education, and Commerce Campus ($17 million)
      • Library ($14 million)
      • General Purpose Classrooms ($12 million)
      • Music Education ($8 million)
      • Biomedical Research and Outreach ($5 million)
      • Early Childhood Center ($4 million)
      • Parking ($2.3 million)
    1. There will be a Board Bond Advisory Committee for each major project, which will include a TSC Trustee, a Dean, a faculty member, a staff member, a student, and two community members. Each committee will review and recommend architects, programming, schematic design, substantial completion, and final acceptance. The BBACs report directly to the TSC Board. There will be Campus Advisory Committees, including faculty, that will be used during the Program Development and Schematic Design stages, and we should make sure that interested faculty are made aware of the need for faculty input. A contract with the firm of Broaddus and Associates was approved. The firm will provide Project Management Services during the upcoming Bond construction projects.
  1. Strategic Marketing Plan: UTB/TSC has retained Ampersand to develop a strategic marketing and communications plan for our institution. The Agency is strongly research-based, with experience in developing advertising plans whose outcomes can be measured and evaluated. The first task is to:  1) assess where UTB/TSC is today in terms of assets, programs, services, and degree plans;  2) establish where we would like to be in the year 2020; 3) determine how we might best market ourselves to successfully effect this transition.Next spring, Ampersand will develop marketing plans for admission and recruitment, the university website, arts and entertainment, student affairs/student life, athletics/sports, news and information, and fundraising/endowment.
  2. Evaluation of President: The TSC Board recently evaluated President Juliet Garcia’s performance. It was judged that she had provided “very exceptional leadership” for UTB/TSC, had “performed beyond all expectations,” and had the Board’s continued support and full confidence.
  3. New Logo: We are considering a design for the official college logo: a scorpion superimposed on the letters UTB/TSC.
  4. Grievance Process: For the first time our formal university grievance process was being used, and functioned well.
  5. Homework
    • Did your campus provide funding for the legislatively authorized supplement to bring post-September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP institutional contribution as earlier hires enjoyed? Were faculty included in the decision making process? How was the faculty made aware of the decision to fund or not to fund? UTB/TSC did not choose to enact the legislatively authorized supplement. Faculty were not involved in the decision making process, and were not mad aware of the decision not to fund.
    • Are options for phased retirement (gearing down over a limited number of years without forgoing the protections afforded by tenure) well known and understood by faculty members and administrators at your campus? Yes, phased retirement is generally understood by faculty. A number have already availed themselves of the opportunity.

 

UT Dallas

To Do Items: 1. UTD is phasing in the ORP supplement at the rate of 5% per semester. 2. The Part-Time Policy was approved by the President, and an email was sent to the faculty explaining the policy—a link to the actual policy was appended to the email.

Over 210 people participated in 21 committees to write a draft of a new strategic plan. Recommendations were made for everything from a community outreach office to a vice president for diversity to living learning centers. The plan has been finished and is in the hands of the President. After massaging it, he plans to release it in two weeks for public comment.

The president’s honeymoon continues in spite of the photo op exchange of presidents with Arlington a couple of weeks ago. During the photo op, the presidents announced that they have set aside 250 grand for cross university collaboration between Dallas and Arlington.

We reported some time ago that the extra 50% return of the indirect costs were going to be returned to PI’s. Well, that didn’t happen. The money went to support RA’s and the vice president for research’s office.

The Senate set up a committee to revamp how the scholarship programs were run. We are moving toward electronic applications, and have gone from 51 places on our website to 1 place where they are advertised.

The work of our promotion and tenure committee has become more and more intensive as we have grown. To cut back on the burden, we are moving to electronic files, scanning everything onto a server so that people can view the files from home. We also made an additional change—the promotion and tenure committee will no longer look at new hires.

Latin Honors have dropped from 38% to 33% since we added pluses and minuses, but the engineers and management folk still think that liberal arts students are getting more than their share of honors. Hence, we are considering moving to a percentage for each school.

SACS has arrived on campus. Each school has now determined outcomes and objectives for each major and for all core courses. Some of the faculty are kicking and screaming, but that is expected. The difficult part will be getting them to put those objectives in their syllabi. Texas Tech was just dinged for not having their objectives in their syllabi.

In spite of FERPA and in spite of document retention and freedom of information requests, UTD is going to continue collecting written comments. The engineers need the comments for ABET. Everyone else claims that they use the comments to improve their teaching. The administration wants the information for merit raises.

The provost’s office has been undergoing major shuffling—the Senate’s support has not been as strong as in the past. We are trying to get the support back to where it is and where our governance documents say it should be.

 

UT El Paso

SACS

The SACS Reaccredidation effort has completed nearly all of the web-based work that will be used by the reviewers. In essence, all departmental and administrative home pages have roughly the same layout. This was done so that as users navigate throughout the website they will feel comfortable and familiar about what to do. Of course, the Senate’s webpage is accessible to all and it has been upgraded to include more information that faculty need.

Currently most of the energy is directed toward the Quality Enhancement Plan, the mandatory portion of the report that outlines one aspect of campus activity that an institution intends to focus on during the upcoming years. UTEP has chosen to examine what are called the Middle Years, those years immediately after the traditional freshman year. Specifically, attention is directed toward student advising and the undergraduate curricula and how it is that improvements in these two areas will increase retention and graduation rates. Two working groups of faculty, staff, and students have been created to examine the issues and provide an outline for what needs to be done. The resources of the Offices of the President and Provost have been made available to assist with whatever the committees need to prepare those outlines by mid-November. The committees met for the first time at President Natalicio’s home on Wednesday. Dr. Natalicio and I are co-chairs of this effort.

Survey of Administrators

The Senate conducts a biennial survey of administrators that includes: Chairs, Deans and the Provost. This is the year for that survey, and most of the logistical work has been done. The survey has been finalized and will include responses to be bubbled in and written comments. The list of faculty is almost ready, and my letter to the faculty is set to go. It can be taken either online or with a hard copy. It will go to the faculty in the upcoming week.

A past problem with the survey has been that the results go nowhere. Specifically, those surveyed usually received the results and sought no additional feedback from the faculty. The Senate is working with the Provost to make sure that chairs meet with their departments and deans meet with their faculty to go over the results. If you have any experience with this, please let us know.

Pre and Post-Tenure Review

Provost Richard Jarvis wants to make the pre and post tenure review of faculty more standardized, rigorous, systematic and useful. There has been considerable variance both between and within the colleges. Please let us know if you have any insight into this.

Parking Garage

The Board of Regents approved the construction of a new parking garage on campus. It will be the first of at least two and it will be located near the Sun Bowl. The cost of construction is over $20 million; consequently parking fees went up dramatically.

Steve Best

Dr. Steve Best, Associate Professor of Philosophy, has been banned from Great Britain because they claim he is a member of the Animal Liberation Front, an animal rights group that has resorted to violence when in cases involving what it believes is animal abuse. UTEP has stated that Best has the right to advocate for animal rights as a private citizen and as long as he does not use his affiliation with UTEP when he undertakes activities. Best denies he is a member of the ALF. His story was detailed in an article in an August 2005 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Earlier in the year Best lost his position as department chair due to faculty discontent with his performance on the job.

To Do Work

Post September 1995 hires . I contacted our Human Resources Department and found that UTEP just couldn’t afford to.  So, we still have 2 levels of employer matching for the ORP.  Everyone hired prior to 09/01/1995 is at 8.5% employer matching; those hired after that time are receiving contributions into their ORP accounts at the 6% employer match. No faculty input was asked for. Faculty members who were affected were notified of this when benefits information was distributed and at meetings about benefits held at the start of the year.

Phased Retirement. A number of faculty members have chosen phased retirement as a way to end their careers. They have received most of the information about their options from Human Resources because neither UTEP’s Handbook of Operating Procedures nor Faculty Manual mentions it. Both suggest that the reader examine the UT System Regents Rules for further information. I looked there, could not find anything about it

 

UT – Pan Am

  • Awaiting system approval, Tenure/tenure-track faculty will be moving from 24 to 18 hours teaching workload/academic year effective next semester (Spring 06). Associated with that reduction, higher merit performance expectations/guidelines have been proposed by the administration and are currently being discussed at the Faculty Senate. The load for lecturers will remain 24 hrs
  • Based on the President’s initiative and recommendations of a Faculty Senate Taskforce, a new college governance structure will be implemented by the end of this fall. The new structure is sought to enhance shared governance at the college level through the creation of college councils and adoption of college bylaws.
  • We continue our 2 nd year in working and preparing for SACS re-accreditation in Spring of 07. The project is on schedule and substantial progress has been made in faculty credentialing, planning, assessment and the Quality Enhancement plan (QEP).
  • The Faculty and Staff Senates have joined together in a fundraising effort to help the vi ctims of Hurricane Katrina! (We have collected $5402.35)

To Do List

  1. Did your campus provide funding for the legislatively authorized supplement to bring post-September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP institutional contribution as earlier hires enjoyed? Yes (only 1/2 %). 

Were faculty included in the decision making process?  We had a faculty Senate resolution requesting the President to do so!

How was the faculty made aware of the decision to fund or not to fund? In response to that resolution, we were told that the Business affairs will determine the cost to be seriously considered in the new budget. Later on we learned about the 1/2 % through the FAC email.

  1. Are options for phased retirement (gearing down over a limited number of years without forgoing the protections afforded by tenure) well known and understood by faculty members and administrators at your campus? A limited number of faculty are somewhat aware of these options.

 

UT Permian Basin

Business:

  • Growth has slowed a bit to just under 5%, but this still is causing pains in terms of space and faculty.
  • We now have a permanent Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Lois Hale, and a new Dean of Education, Dr. Ed Mills. Dr. Kay Ketzenberger, formerly one of our FAC representatives, has accepted the position of Chair of Behavioral Science and has decided to leave the Senate. Dr. Jim Olson is the new Faculty Senate Vice President and alternate FAC member.
  • A post-WAG faculty evaluation document has been returned by OGC with suggestions for very slight changes from the original as submitted from the Faculty Senate.
  • We now have a paid faculty development leave policy for the first time.

Happenings:

  • For the second year in a row we have added about 200 beds of new apartment style student housing.
  • I am pleased to announce we have had our first wedding at Stonehenge.
  • To give an idea of how far-reaching the recent hurricane evacuations were, we had a number of Rita evacuees in our gymnasium for about a week and a half – around 200 people at the peak.

Homework:

    1. Did your campus provide funding for the legislatively authorized supplement to bring post-September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP institutional contribution as earlier hires enjoyed?  Were faculty included in the decision making process?  How was the faculty made aware of the decision to fund or not to fund? It is not clear whether faculty were involved in the decision, but UT Permian Basin has provided funds to provide the 8.5% to everyone eligible for ORP at the pre-1995 level. From the Human Resources Director: Yes, UTPB provides funding of 8.5% of ORP institutional contribution for all ORP eligible employees.  I don’t know if faculty were included in the decision making process or not or if they were informed of the decision.  I believe it was the Executive Staff who determined the ORP contribution amount but I don’t know if Dr. Fannin took it to all faculty members. Dr. Fannin is the Provost.
    2. Are options for phased retirement (gearing down over a limited number of years without forgoing the protections afforded by tenure) well known and understood by faculty members and administrators at your campus? UTPB does not have such a program, though there have been cases of individual agreements.

 

UT San Antonio

I. General Report 

  • UTSA is still growing. Our student body at last count was 27,600 students. Academic year 05-06 is the first instance where the university was forced to reject eligible students.
  • UTSA faculty body has increased by 80 during 2005-2006. We anticipate an additional 30 faculty to join us during the 2006-2007 academic year.
  • Lack of space continues to be a detriment to development and growth. UTSA is still 600,000 sq ft short and is looking for innovative ways to deal with the rapid need for classrooms, labs, and office space.
  • A new garage to deal with the parking crunch at UTSA has been completed. Expansion of the existing student center and the new recreation facility will also begin this year. Students have also moved into the Chaparral village. A new food service building to cater to the growing resident student body has also begun serving students.
  • The Senate now has permanent staff support, an office, letterhead, and an M&O budget. Secretary of the General Faculty has developed a governance web site and initiated a newsletter.
  • The Senate adopted a number of new proposals that have also been approved by the administration. These include:
    • The creation of a permanent Senate committee for the evaluation of administrators.
    • The appointment of an Ombudsman Office to serve as a preliminary mediator to resolve grievance issues.
    • A fully paid family leave policy to cater to faculty who need to give birth or take care of a parent or a child.
    • Faculty who are facing family or health issues can also continue working but have the tenure clock stop for a full year.
    • Part-time tenure permitting tenured faculty to go on extended absences and not lose their tenure.
    • Recommendations by a Senate committee to develop policies for the creation of Centers and the hiring of their directors and faculty.
    • A Senate committee has been formed during the summer of 2005 to update the Handbook of Operating Procedures. The committee has been made into a permanent Senate committee to review all policies concerning faculty before they are included into the HOP.
    • The Senate Committee formed to review the change in the Prep program has made its recommendations and the report has been forwarded to the Provost and the President.
  • UTSA’s Provost, Guy Bailey, has taken a new position starting January 1 as Chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  The University will conduct a national search for his replacement.
  • Appointing administrators on an interim basis and then made permanent without searches is emerging as an issue at UTSA.

To do list:

1. Did your campus provide funding for the legislatively authorized supplement to bring post-September 1, 1995 hires to the same level of ORP institutional contribution as earlier hires enjoyed?  Were faculty included in the decision making process?  How was the faculty made aware of the decision to fund or not to fund?

Beginning last year UTSA raised the level of the institutional ORP contribution for post-September 1, 1995 hires to levels enjoyed by earlier hires (i.e., it was raised from 6.0% to 8.5%).  Faculty were made aware of the change through a blanket email that was sent out. 

2. Are options for phased retirement (gearing down over a limited number of years without forgoing the protections afforded by tenure) well known and understood by faculty members and administrators at your campus?

UTSA has processed 2 or 3 phased retirement agreements.  We have followed the UT Austin guidelines. It is not a well-known option.  At this time it is not in the HOP but I forwarded to Legal Affairs the information we have used and asked that it be added to the HOP.  . It is currently under review for addition to our HOP. We have processed 2 or 3 phased retirement agreements.  We have followed the UT Austin guidelines.

Much like other UT campuses, UTSA is focused on emerging and continuing challenges and opportunities associated with rapid growth. 

 

UT Tyler

No Report Submitted

 

 
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