Dates: October 6-7, 2005
Faculty Quality Committee : Co-Chairs Dan Formanowicz & Robert Nelsen
Merit Raises and Annual Evaluations
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
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?)
Committee Members: Margaret Brackley, Jim McDonald, Christine Baker, John Wentz, Karen Fuss-Sommer, and Angela Shoup (Ex Officio)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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
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:
Answers to Qts requested by Dr. Norling:
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
To Do List
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.
UT Permian Basin
UT San Antonio
I. General Report
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.
No Report Submitted