Faculty Advisory Council
Minutes: March 26 - 27, 1998
Thursday March 26
1. Call to Order - Chair Michael Siciliano called the meeting to order at 10:00 am.
2. Minutes Approval - The minutes were approved as distributed.
3. Announcements from the Chair and Executive Committee Report
Tenure vs. salary - The Chancellor has been asked to comment on the relationship between tenure and salary. A report from a committee appointed by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs has stated that there is no connection between tenure and compensation. The Chancellor has approved this report. The statement applies to faculty on the health campuses. It is in conflict with the AAUP Guidelines. COMMENT - On the academic campuses, salary increases are based on merit, but tenure should have some connection to base salary. COMMENT - A professor in the Midwest has not been paid in two years, although he has not lost his tenure.
Ms. Francie A. Frederick, Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs - Pending Board of Regents Items - Francie will become the Executive Director to the Board of Regents in June, so this will be her last meeting with the FAC. She expressed her sadness at leaving the FAC. She distributed a number of items for FAC input that included:
Francie asked for input on these issues. Ed Sharpe will be the new liaison to the FAC.
4. Campus Reports
UTMB Galveston - Dr. Siciliano read a report from Richard Rahr. They are in the process of electing representatives and officers to their new Faculty Senate. Faculty leaders have regular meetings with the new president and everything seems to be going well.
UT Arlington - Brooks Ellwood reported for his campus including: an answer to a question from the UTSA FAC representative concerning alleged firings of UT Arlington employees (no faculty were fired, but a staff member was relieved of her duties; a letter from UTA President Witt was included with the report); search for three deans; privatizing of a number of elements of the university; possible elimination of funding for athletics hinging on a student vote; PTR timing (they noted a lack of tenure records); cap on full time FTEs (both faulty and staff), based on historical standing of the university (all hiring offers will now have to go through the provost and president).
UT Health Center Tyler - Jerry McLarty reported for his campus including: new hirings; evaluation of administrators which provides some feedback to faculty; salary cut (5%) for physicians allowed them to earn back their pay cut (which most have done) (there is a formula for incentive earnings for physicians but not research faculty); grievance policies (both research and clinical) are still in the office of OGC (this seems to be a common problem at many campuses - up to 4 years delay was reported).
UT Brownsville - Farhat Iftekharruddin reported for his campus including: completion of SACS accreditation; the lack of the disclaimer in their handbook; faculty involvement into allocation of resources; new buildings; policy for post-tenure review of administrators is being considered.
UTHSC San Antonio - Jeff Ebersole distributed a report for his campus that included: recruiting administrators; preparation for SACS accreditation; the Dental School has just completed accreditation; Masters of Occupational Therapy approved; cooperative Occupational Therapy program with UT Pan Am; new building for Allied Health; effects of Hopwood on recruiting; DDS/PhD program being developed; PTR on track.
UT El Paso - Mo Mahmood distributed a report for his campus that included: evaluation of academic administrators will be implemented in November 1998; periodic performance evaluation of tenured faculty (the Faculty Senate will select two thirds of the faculty for hearing tribunals); faculty grievance procedure which will include the ability to grieve the presidents decision, with the Chancellor having the final decision; meeting of the Executive Council with the Chancellor, including a discussion about non-reappointment, and the PUF vs. the HEAF funds (the Chancellor will not recommend taking money from the UT Austin Excellence Fund).
UT Permian Basis - Corbett Gaulden distributed a report for his campus that included: selection of faculty for PTR and the intent that the PTR process would stop if the dean and faculty committee agreed on the outcome; second year of administrative evaluation; concern about grades (Ds in particular) accepted from other institutions in the core curriculum (60% of their students are transfer students).
UT Tyler - Allen Martin reported for his campus including: search for a new president; shared governance in operation (going to MWF classes despite negative input by faculty and students, and new carpet despite objections by the faculty); declining enrollment trend (with enrollment caps).
UT MD Anderson - Joel Dunnington reported for his campus including: dealing with their new Chief Academic Officer; salary information request (such as electronic copy of the budget, including budget for 1999) met with difficulty; relationship between department chairs and faculty senate; credentials committee issues; medical insurance problems; non-reappointment issues; minority hiring.
UT Austin - Jack Gilbert distributed a report for his campus that included: central administration changes; privatizing certain aspects of the athletic facilities (profits to be used for both athletics 60% and academics 40%); providing staff merit raises from the faculty merit pool (a recognition on the part of the faculty that staff were under compensated).
UT San Antonio - Rich Richardson distributed a report for his campus that included: PTR policy in place; changes were made to the grievance policy without the facultys approval and the faculty want to use the original language (still trying to resolve this issue)(the desire is to resolve grievances without resorting to legal recourse).
5. Chancellor William H. Cunningham
The Chancellor commented on the following issues:
6. Randy Wallace, Budget Office - FTE Caps
This cap was added as a rider at the last minute. It states that we must get approval from the Governor and LBB to exceed the employee caps. A request must be justified. Six academic institutions and four health institutions currently exceed the cap. Additional information has been requested by the LBB on the academic institutions. They have not yet made a decision and may not for two or three months. Most of these requests involve sponsored research grants. The Governor is very conservative about approving an increase in FTEs.
7. Campus Reports Continued
UT Dallas - James Bartlett distributed a report for his campus that included: selecting faculty for PPE (Periodic Performance Review); applying PPE to administrators; appointment of PPE review committees; changing the grading system from an 8 point system to a 12 point system (students are concerned that this will lower their GPA); lack of clarity regarding funding of libraries; SACS visit went well; 100 hour limit (phantom course scandal); dropping GRE/GMAT requirements; becoming serious about faculty oversight of appointments of lecturers.
8. Committee Meetings
(Health Affairs - OHH1; Faculty Quality - ASH5 - Dr. Charles Mullins and Mr. J.B. Pace invited to meet with Health Affairs about Medicare Billing; Georgia Harper to invited to meet with Faculty Quality Committee to discuss Distance Education and also the role of Intellectual Property Committees; Priscilla Lozano invited to meet with the Governance Committee to discuss the Handbook Disclaimer issue)
The FAC adjourned to committee meetings at 2:30 pm.
Friday, March 27
9. Campus Reports Continued
UTHSC Houston - James Berry reported for his campus including: development of a policy to make it easier for employees to obtain information from the university; evaluation of the EVPRAA continues; centralizing local complaints about health insurance; faculty representatives on HSC committees; SACS accreditation starting; Dental Branch recently accredited with 20 commendations; work on non-reappointment issue continues.
UT Pan American - Gerald Brazier reported for his campus including: progress on searches for administrators; PTR assignments to the 6 year cycle (8 to be reviewed the first year); grievance policy is in question by local administration.
UT Southwestern - Tim Wolff distributed a report for his campus that included: PTR has already taken place on his campus with mixed results (47 reviewed, 30 favorable, 3 marginal, 2 unfavorable, 5 pending, and 7 opted to retire instead o f proceeding with the review).
10. Distance Learning - Dr. Darcy Hardy
Dr. Hardy presented a demonstration of the UT Tele Campus which is currently under construction. This campus wont offer courses. The UT campuses are currently offering a variety of telecourses. The Tele Campus is meant to be a support campus. Anyone can come to the Tele Campus and will be asked to sign up the first time. The URL has not been released yet. The campus includes 7 "buildings". The goal is to make sure that our students receive the services they need. There are several departments within each "building". Information listed on each page provides both information about the various UT campuses and a link to those campus pages. It will tell students how to register for courses and take the student directly to the local registration. Academic calendars are also available for each campus. TASP test information is provided. Some "personal interest" courses, not given for credit, will be identified. Shared student data between campuses will be available within 5-10 years. There will be a "courseware offering tool kit" provided to faculty and a two day training session will be held April 20 & 21 for two people from each campus. There will be links to MCI Symposium and Web CT. This program is being developed by UOL Publishing out of Virginia. The program can be modified as needed. The classroom "building" contains information on exams, grades, a windows on the Web course and tutorials. It may provide remedial information. The information "building" contains a variety of information about each UT campus, Tele Campus staff, the master plan, a distance education primer, a UT System link and links to other important resources. The library "building" contains about 4000 books in digital format. There are also links to other library information on each campus as well as other places. The commons "building" has such things as a reading room, games, entertainment, conference rooms and gallery.
11. Privacy Issues - Helen Bright
Open Records Act - Anything you create is open to the public (with certain exceptions such as medical information and student information). Your personnel file is an open record with the exception of financial information such as ORP and insurance, medical information, highly intimate information, etc. Each exception must be approved by the AGs office. Which file is provided in an Open Records request depends on how the request is stated and if files contain privileged information.
12. Year 2000 Issues - Mr. Lewis Watkins, Office of Infromation Resources
Mr. Watkins distributed a report that was prepared for the Regents concerning how we are preparing for the year 2000. We thought that the year 2000 problems just concerned mainframes, but we found out that our servers, pcs, and facilities also have problems. There are also legal problems that we may face. We want to make sure that our operations on each campus continue and no one is harmed in any way. We are focusing on providing student loans, patient care, etc. The administrative areas are probably in the best shape because they have been working on the problem for some time. The departments are the ones facing more problems with data bases and spreadsheets. The two digits are the problem. Old systems only used two digits for the date and new systems, in order to be compatible, may only use two digits as well. Desktop software does not all handle the date in the same way. The student record system is one of our larger problems, but they have been working on that problem. Payroll issues have also been addressed for some time, and we will get paid. Air conditioning systems can be affected by this problem which can impact research. Elevators can also be affected. All campuses have people looking into this problem. They are the year 2000 coordinators (names available on the Web <http://www.utsystem.edu/oir-year2000/>. Outside vendors and other people we interact with can also affect us. There are two spectrums. There are those who say there is no problem and then there are others who say that there will be global problems with our supply chains. The reality is, in some departments there will be little or no problems if dates are not an issue, and in others where dates are very important this will be a problem. We are concerned about the facilities, because we have only recently realized that this is a problem so we are getting the engineers involved. The lawyers are also looking into such things as contracts. We are having a hard time holding on to the computer people because they are in great demand. Imbedded systems may give us the biggest problems and its difficult to determine the actual components in any given item (such as an airplane).
13. Committee Meetings (Health Affairs - OHH1; Academic Affairs - ASH5)
The Council recessed to committee meetings.
14. Committee Reports
Health Affairs - Joel Dunnington reported for his committee. Members of the Committee included: Joel Dunnington and Tim Wolff, co-chairs, and Alan Cline, James Berry, George Knight, Jerry McClarty and Ted Pate, members. The Committee met with Dr. Mullins and Mr. J.B. Pace to discuss healthcare fraud. The government is auditing the medical schools to determine fraud. Some medical schools in other states have already been audited and large settlements reached. UTHSC San Antonio has been audited (with the aid of a whistleblower who will receive a percentage of the settlement), and the other Texas schools will be audited in the future. Compliance mechanisms are being set up on each campus to try to remedy this situation.
The Committee also met with Mr. Bob Molloy to discuss the health insurance plan. The triple option will not be available next year (similar to the Houston/Galveston area this year) and premiums may go up (everything is still out on bid at the present time). The Texas Universities Health Plan (TUHP) is bidding to provide care in some of the areas. Dr. Guckian reported that the malpractice insurance plan has been doing well, with a low level of claims. At Senator Ratliffs request, they are looking at an equitable way to use formula funding for the health institutions.
Academic Affairs - Corbett Gaulden reported for his committee. Members of the Committee include: Corbett Gaulden and Fernando Rodriguez (not present), co-chairs, and member Lucy Willis. The Committee had no action items, but discussed the Core Curriculum which will be voted on by the Coordinating Board in the near future. There is concern about transferring Ds from other institutions. The other item discussed was access to faculty files and the Committee plans to survey the campuses about this issue.
Ivor Page made a motion that the Chancellor be asked to submit members of the FAC to the Coordinating Board for influential positions on the Fields of Study Committee. The motion was seconded. It was suggested that all the members of the Fields of Study Committees should be made up of faculty members. The motion passed. In the letter to the Chancellor, he will be asked to encourage the presidents to appoint full time faculty members to serve on these committees.
Governance - Jack Gilbert reported for the Committee. Members of the Committee included: Jack Gilbert and Betty Travis, co-chairs, and Mo Mahmood, Mike Siciliano, Harold Poelzer, Roger Conaway, Linda Smith, and Terese Verklan, members. The Committee discussed the issue of adding a disclaimer to each Handbook of Operating Procedures. The reason this was written was to help the OGC demonstrate in court that the HOP is not a contract. Alternative language was discussed, but the representative from the OGC has indicated that we should withdraw this issue. Jack Gilbert made a motion that the FAC support the OGCs position to withdraw the disclaimer from the handbooks. The motion was seconded.
The Committee also discussed the model grievance policy. The Committee makes a motion that the model policy have a disclaimer stating that it has not been approved by the FAC. The motion passed. The Committee recommends that each FGO submit the model policy to the appropriate committee for review and to simply use it as a resource.
The Committee also discussed the proposed Regents Rules change regarding the meeting of the FAC with the Board. The Committee made a motion that this change be endorsed by the FAC. The Committee felt that it would be much easier for the Executive Committee of the FAC to meet with the Board (as proposed). The motion passed.
The Committee also discussed searches for an in-line position (this could be either a faculty or staff position). The Committee will determine the protocols for filling these positions at each campus, particularly the amount of faculty participation.
The Committee also discussed Non-Reappointment and whether faculty should be entitled to a reason. The other aspect of Non-Reappointment is the basis on which a faculty member could grieve this decision. The Committee will continue to discuss these issues and try to educate the Regents.
Faculty Quality - Gerald Brazier reported for the Committee. The Committee discussed the distance learning policy. Following review of the policy by members of the FAC, Dr. Gonzalez has indicated that he will start over with the policy. The Committee will present two principles to Dr. Gonzalez. First that faculty must have control over the curriculum. And second, that faculty should receive recognition and support for teaching these types of courses. Members of the Committee will meet with Dr. Gonzalez and the Strategic Leadership Council. The main goal is to show that the same Regents Rules should apply to distance learning as in traditional formats. Faculty should have veto power over the critical aspects of the courses presented. The Committee will prepare proposed language to include in a revised policy.
15. Old/New Business
We want this meeting to be very positive, not a whining session. Were not looking for immediate approval, but a willingness to consider these issues with FAC input. The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors will be present at the meeting. The meeting is scheduled to start around 2pm and is currently scheduled as a closed briefing session. Francie Frederick will look into making the meeting an open meeting.
Additional suggestions should be e-mailed to Dr. Siciliano.
Dr. Ed Sharpe was welcomed as the incoming Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the liaison to the FAC. He indicated that he wanted his office to be of service to the university and be an advocate for the institutions. He also encouraged the FAC to keep Francie Frederick in the loop in her new position with the Board. Dr. Cline expressed high praises for Dr. Sharpe based on his past experiences with him.
16. Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned at 2:50 pm.