Faculty Advisory Council
I. Call to Order
Chair, Lynn Little, called the meeting to order at 10:05 am.
II. "Free Speech Issues"
Professor Jack Getman - U.T. Austin School of Law
Senior Attorney Susan Bradshaw - Office of General Counsel
Professor Getman claimed he is not an expert on the First Amendment, but has a background in academic freedom battles working with the AAUP. He provided some history of academic freedom to the FAC. The AAUP "Red Book" may be of interest since it records various rulings. The previous process of the AAUP of investigating cases of academic freedom violations, has been supplanted by more formal adjudication. Defining academic freedom is not easy, but their are some basic principles that are generally agreed to, although even these may be debated. In most cases academic freedom has been well protected on our campuses, with at least an implied contract embracing AAUP principles.
Susan Bradshaw indicated that most courts in recent decisions have dealt with academic issues more in terms of First Amendment rights. Academic freedom is not protection from acting illegally or as a bad citizen. Ms. Bradshaw reviewed several court cases. Academic freedom does not give you the right to do anything you want to do or say within or on behalf of an institution. As public employees we do not lose our rights to free speech, but it must be something that would be of public concern not private or internal. You also cannot exercise your First Amendment rights in a disruptive way. The courts have tended to side with the employer in most recent cases. A number of cases have dealt with an academic setting. Most cases affirm that a university must have a collegial, non-disruptive relationship with its faculty, and employees should not disrupt this relationship. The Supreme Court seems to be moving more toward an employment analysis rather than a academic freedom analysis.
Professor Getman disagreed with the notion of good departmental citizenship as being necessary in order to be protected by academic freedom. Ms. Bradshaw felt that there could be some institutional requirements such as determining what type of research a person does. This was met with strong opposition from the members of the FAC.
III. Executive Committee Report/Minutes Approval/Open Discussion
A. Chair Lynn Little asked everyone to introduce themselves.
B. The minutes of the November meeting were approved as submitted.
C. Lynn distributed copies of the report he presented to the Board of Regents on behalf of the FAC. He reported being very well received by the Regents. He also reviewed the letter (also distributed) received from Chancellor Cunningham with regard to the resolutions submitted to him by the FAC. The proposed changes in the language of the Regents Rules regarding Clinical and Research Titles was also distributed and will be reviewed by the Governance Committee. The Chancellor has taken action on the items that we recommended.
Lynn also distributed proposed changes to the Regents Rules regarding intellectual property rights.
D. Lynn informed the Council that Lou Curry, a former member, has died and that a fund is being set up and will be discussed later in the meeting.
E. Open Discussion
A question arose regarding the wording of the proposed changes to the Regents' Rules regarding Clinical and Research Titles. The current wording may under emphasize the role of teaching, whereas the original intent was to emphasize the role of clinical teaching. There was still concern expressed about emphasizing teaching by non-tenure track faculty, however, it was pointed out that 30% of the lectures at some campuses are given by Senior Lecturers who will never attain tenure. (They are supposed to be supervised, but that isn't reality.) It was suggested that we might want to pursue "tenured clinical titles". This in fact may already be occurring a some institutions.
With regard to probationary periods, it was pointed out that there is no minimum probationary period, only a maximum.
The issue of faculty transfers between schools within an institution was brought up with regard to what happens to the individual s rank and tenure status. Should the faculty have to go through promotion and tenure again at the new school? It was the opinion of some members that this has been decided by the courts in the UT Dallas case and that rank and tenure does follow the faculty member. The Texas Council of Presidents and Chancellors has a newsletter that would be worth reading. Francie will provide a copy of the legal opinion at UT Dallas if someone wants it. Suggested that we should have some type of policy to cover these issues as more transitions occur in the future. The idea of a "virtual university" could pose these problems and more.
Colorado is talking about establishing a virtual university now. We need to stay abreast of these issues. Is the "for profit" notion driving these changes? It was reported that Microsoft is going to establish a www page to provide training for teachers and could offer university courses this way.
Student outcome assessments are required by SACs accreditation, will this change if the traditional university disappears. Some universities are already "out sourcing" courses and have been for several years. May be driven by both economic demands and a desire to meet student needs. How can the FAC best prepare for these changes? May have Joe Stafford and Georgia Harper meet with Faculty Quality to explore some of these ideas.
V. Report on Committee on Advancement of Women
A. Ivor Page distributed a draft of the recommended policy for extension of the tenure-track probationary period (which covers both men and women). It was pointed out that in this version, the extension does not have to be granted by the chief academic officer. It was also noted that military service is a different situation and covered by other statutes. Faculty Quality will review this document. Ivor also summarized the meeting of the Committee which took place on Valentines Day. The Committee considered a number of issues such as hiring, promotion, retention, etc. There were reports by some departments who can never seem to find qualified women for faculty positions in their areas. When we sit on search committees, we should be considering how many women we should expect to see as applicants (who should then be given every consideration).
B. Juanita Firestone distributed the Executive Summary of the report she presented to the Committee on the Status of Women with regard to the Faculty Satisfaction Survey. The report had been approved by the Committee. She then reviewed the Summary and pointed out the areas where the largest differences occurred. She also explained the procedures that she had followed in analyzing the data. Her recommendations included:
Recommendations from this analysis will be incorporated in the next version of the FSS.
VI. Campus Reports
A. UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas
Lyman Bilhartz indicated that he did not have a written report and that most topics have already been covered. Lynn Little reported for Rosemary Wade Wilson that they are conducting the first annual selection by Southwestern Allied Health Sciences School faculty of a faculty member for the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.
B. UT Medical Branch - Galveston
Richard Rahr gave an oral report which included:
C. UT Health Science Center - Houston
James Berry distributed a report and then presented a brief summary. One of the issues concerns the appointment letters which contained an addendum putting portions of salaries "at risk".
D. UT Health Science Center - San Antonio
Nancy Girard presented an oral report which included:
E. UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Michael Siciliano presented an oral report including:
F. UT Health Center - Tyler
Cathy Wu presented an oral report. They are working on their Bylaws for faculty governance for research faculty and are moving forward. Kent Davis reported that:
G. UT Arlington
John Beehler distributed a report along with a copy of the process employed in the UT Arlington vote of confidence. He then summarized the report including:
Lynn Little reported that the asbestos incidence got little press in Dallas. He also reported that a number of alumni were invited back to campus as part of their centennial celebration. Lynn reviewed some of the interesting history of UT Arlington of which Governor John Connally was a big part.
H. UT Austin
Alan Cline filled in for the campus representatives who were not in attendance. His report included:
I. UT Brownsville
Bill Davis distributed a report and presented an oral summary including:
J. UT Dallas
Ivor Page reported that things are going well at his campus.
K. UT El Paso
Larry Johnson reported on his campus activities which included:
L. UT Pan American
Herold Poelzer summarized a report that will be distributed tomorrow. He included:
M. UT Permian Basin
Tom Schaefer reported on activities on his campus including:
N. UT San Antonio
Richard Diem gave an oral report including:
O. UT Tyler
Patricia Gajda reported about:
VII. Committee Meetings
At 3:37 pm the Council was dismissed to committee meetings and given their room assignments.
The meeting adjourned following the committee meetings. Chancellor Cunningham hosted the members of the FAC for dinner at the Bauer House.
IX. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chair Lynn Little at 9:04 am.
X. Teaching Effectiveness Survey - Dr. Art Hernandez
Difficulties that put them behind schedule are due to budget problems. Preliminary draft of the report, which was due today, will be produced in the near future. Art distributed a "Summary of Preliminary Statistical Analysis of Data" and then gave an oral summary. Increase of 15% in response rate due to efforts of FAC members.
The final report will include a cross reference list of associated topics. An observation is that people have difficulty describing "good teaching". In order to evaluate teaching, you need to know what it is and the criteria that everyone agrees with. We need multiple indicators of good teaching. Campuses need to develop instruments that are both valid and reliable. Need to have at least 2/3 of the class reporting. Instruments should have 5-7 points. You need to look at evaluations over time, not focus on just one data point. For evaluative purposes, we should look at more global items, but for diagnostic purposes, we should focus in more specific areas. There is a lot of measurement error, therefore we shouldn't differentiate between faculty based only on small numerical differences. The effects of different variables may be different for each institution, even though nationally they may not seem to have any effect. Different disciplines are rated differently, with little information available about medical/health disciplines. Some personality factors are correlated with high ratings, (e.g. approachability). Hard to prove any real relationship between grade achieved and rating given.
treat evaluation research the same way we treat other areas of research.
We should be just a rigorous in collecting evaluation data as we are collecting
other data. Very few places have developed written guidelines for interpreting
the data. Each institution should have a support group for interpreting
XI. Committee Meetings
The Council was dismissed to committee meetings at 10:00 am.
XIII. Committee Reports
A. Academic Affairs
Met with Art Hernandez and discussed the problems involved in the teaching survey. There are definite plans to present the final report at the June FAC meeting. The items to be included in and the order of presentation was decided. One important point that has come out of the study, is the difference between the perception of reality and what the literature says is reality. A disk containing the report will be sent out before the meeting. (Alan Cline will put the report on the web site if possible.)
is working with Lewis Watkins to arrive at a computer use policy that
is acceptable to faculty while still covering the law. L. Johnson pointed
out the importance of developing flexible local policies within the System
The issue of Senior Lecturer was discussed. How the data is collected seems to be a problem. May ask the FAC for help in gathering data. The Coordinating Board may have numbers they can use.
Anyone considering early retirement needs to negotiate the best deal they can, since there is no one model policy/contract.
The Committee would like to make a motion to ask the Chancellor how the evaluation of administrators is progressing. If we ask the Chancellor it may gain more information and investigation than if we just ask each campus. M. Siciliano felt that it might be better to find out first from the campuses and then present the results to the Chancellor. S. Freeman concurred from the standpoint that it would first identify campuses where there is a problem. J. Polinard felt that this would allow us to be more effective if we go to the Chancellor with the data. A. Cline was concerned that the source of the information might be directed to individual FAC representatives and felt it might be better just to indicate how many campuses are not complying. L. Johnson pointed out that in some cases we, as faculty, might not know all of what is being done. L. Bilhartz felt that we should be more proactive in terms of asking for faculty input. M. Siciliano suggested a simple form of indicating whether an evaluation process is in place and made a motion "to call the roll of the FAC institutions and have each member indicate whether an evaluation of administrators process is in place which includes faculty input". The motion was seconded by R. Olien. Richard Harris suggested that the question was answerable in terms of the FAC recommendation. B. Travis questioned which administrators we are trying to evaluate. The main issue seems to be whether the evaluation processes are meeting the FAC's intent. The motion passed. A roll call vote was taken with the following results:
Summary of results: 8 Yes; 6 No; and 1 No Vote. Lynn Little will write a letter to the Chancellor asking him to look into this matter.
A. Cline raised a question about the Ethics brochure distributed yesterday, specifically concerning e-mail and the internet. The definition of the use of the internet seemed to be very restrictive. I. Page questioned whether there was a difference between what is illegal and what is against State regulations. Francie indicated that people need to be reasonable with how they use state time and resources. This brochure should just provide some guidance for local rules and policies. W. Davis indicated that the Ethics Office tends to error on the side of restriction.
Chip Dameron reported on the Committee activities. One issue is the due process afforded to faculty who might be dismissed. Francie helped draft language that expressed the Committee's intent. Another issue is how the tribunal is selected. The FAC's previous recommendation has been changed and the Committee is responding to this change. Chip distributed a suggested change to the language that would insure that at least half of the tribunal would be recommended by the FGO. The new wording was as follows:
6.33 In cases where other offenses are charged, and in all cases where the facts are in dispute, the accused faculty member will be informed in writing of the charges, which, on reasonable notice, will be heard by a special hearing tribunal of at least three members, appointed by the chief administrative officer. At least 50% of the members of the tribunal must be drawn from a panel of faculty selected by a procedure established by the faculty governance organization.
L. Johnson has experience selecting these types of boards and is concerned about how the chair of an FGO would select these individuals. W. Davis questioned the 50% requirement instead of using the term "majority". L. Bilhartz indicated that his dean has agreed to having FGO input, but may want to retain the ability to make the decision and also maintain confidentiality. M. Siciliano reminded the FAC of earlier discussions which included the issue of making the decision without the involvement of the whole FGO. He feels that the current wording gives the FGO input while still leaving the administration with flexibility. B. Travis felt the wording left enough flexibility for different situations. Chip made a motion that the new wording be accepted as an amendment to our original recommendation. M. Siciliano seconded the motion. W. Davis made a motion to amend the statement to use the word "a majority" instead of 50%. This was seconded by J. Freireich. The amendment passed. The amended motion passed. Francie will carry this recommendation forward and Lynn will follow it with a letter.
Chip reminded the FAC that at our last meeting we made a recommendation with regard to the naming of buildings.
C. Health Affairs
Lyman Bilhartz reported on Committee activities. The Committee met with Dr. Mullins, Dr. Guckian, Mr. Pace and Mr. Molloy. One of the topics discussed with Dr. Mullins was the recommended change to the description of Clinical titles. He indicated that a committee had been appointed to review the whole tenure issue. He felt that this committee would be able to address this issue in one meeting. The members of this committee are Executive Vice Presidents or Deans from the HSCs. Lyman distributed and reviewed an agenda and supporting material for the up coming meeting of this committee. UT Tyler HC was not included in this committee. W. Davis questioned whether this meeting would be an open meeting.
Francie indicated that we could ask. Dr. Mullins simply encouraged us to speak to our local representative at the HSCs. The Health Affairs Committee will request that UT Tyler HC be included, that the issue of Clinical titles be addressed and that a Clinical Scholar Track be considered. S. Freeman thought this should come from the FAC and that the committee be asked to move the meeting date (3/14/96) back to allow time for more input. Francie suggested that we ask for input on any recommendations coming out of that committee. K. Davis mentioned the importance of tenure for the researchers at his campus. C. Wu suggested that a FAC representative should be present. M. Siciliano thought that the committee should be allowed to meet as it chooses, but that the recommendations from the committee be sent to us for input. He pointed out that the Regents' Rules contain requirement for faculty input on changes to the Rules that directly effect faculty.
I. Page believes that we need to present a unified front. Lyman indicated that we will try to come up with a unified statement. I. Page suggested lobbying the individual members of the committee to obtain faculty input.
The Committee met today with Mr. Molloy. He has greatly improved our health plan since he joined the UT System. He has been very responsive to the Committee's requests and questions. The Health Affairs Committee expresed their appreciation for Mr. Molloy's hard work and cooperative attitude. He addressed the question of an HMO for Permian Basin, but felt that right now there is not a viable choice in that area. He also indicated that the HMO portion of the Triple Option will eventually have to be phased out and employees will have to either choose an HMO or the PPO/Out of Network system. Cost versus what the people are willing to pay for will ultimately drive the decision. Mr. Molloy also discussed the 1-800-UT TOUCH telephone system for enrollment and/or determining current coverage.
D. Faculty Quality
Jim Bartlett presented the Committee report. He distributed and reviewed a "Faculty Exit Survey" which the Committee has developed. They have change the scale to remove ambiguities. They have also tried to clarify the questions. This is still a draft copy. They have also included some basic demographics. Jim recognized the help of Pam Johnson in putting this survey together. He asked for input (via e-mail) from the FAC members concerning this survey. The implementation of this survey will be left to future discussions. A. Cline indicated that the survey needs to have a place to indicate that a person is leaving because they have been offered a better job. W. Davis suggested adding it to item "D". I. Page suggested that the Committee on the Status of Women might have some valuable input. Jim agreed with seeking their input as long as it is considered a general document. L. Smith thought the item on retirement benefits was vague.
Distance Learning (Interactive Courses) is another issue discussed by the Committee. Georgia Harper has been working on a document defining rights concerning materials produced. The Committee is working to combine this document with other issues of concern. Telecourses and contractual agreements are of particular concern. The presenter of a telecourse must obtain all the permissions concerning material presented. The combined document is being reviewed by Georgia Harper and Joe Stafford. Hope to have a finished document to submit by June.
The Committee also discussed the current version of the policy on extension of tenure probationary period. The Committee debated whether the request for extension should be automatic or not. The Committee recommends that requests for extension should be made to the director of personnel or human resources at the institution instead of the department chair/unit head. This would still leave some room for decision but take it out of the department. M. Siciliano and B. Travis do not think it would be a good idea. Francie concurred that the director of personnel might be inappropriate. L. Bilhartz suggested that it be granted unless there are mitigating circumstances. The Committee was asked to continue looking into this matter. L. Little suggested that it is a complex issue. A. Cline suggested that it may lead to higher expectations as everyone starts taking the extra year.
I. Page indicated that Committee on the Status of Women felt that the decision should be made on the merit of the case.
The Committee was asked to consider the virtual university. Jim asked for direction for the Committee. Jim will accept e-mail input.
Richard Harris reported that the FSS original report is no longer trapped in a computer at Pan American. He addressed the issue of what happens to faculty salaries during a faculty development leave. It can be transferred to local accounts and used for faculty support on the leave. J. Bartlett asked if there was a way to share the San Antonio model. Richard said that he would share it, but that it is really very simple. I. Page indicated that other campuses are also doing this.
XIV. Old Business/New Business
Lynn Little reminded the FAC that we will conduct nomination and election of officers at the June meeting. Lynn read the rules regarding the election of officers. Anyone interested in being considered for nomination for an officer should send a biographical sketch to Lynn. This year the chair-elect should come from a health component.
Meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm.
The Executive Committee Meeting scheduled immediately following the FAC Meeting was cancelled due to the lateness of the hour and Lynn Little simply announced the date of the next Executive Committee Meeting (June 7, 1996) and FAC Meeting (June 27 & 28, 1996).