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The University of Texas System
Faculty Advisory Council

Meeting Minutes: March 25 - 26, 1999

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1. The meeting was called to order by Ivor Page (FAC Chair - UT Dallas) at 10:00 AM on Thursday, March 25.

Page
made the following announcements:

  • The legislation known as SB 148 is still alive. Katherine Parsonault of the Higher education Coordinating Board will be attending this meeting.
  • Regarding our recommendations to change Regents' Rules on grievance procedure and Section 6.35, the Office of General Council has responded with amendments intending to clarify. Such amendments are to be considered by the Regents at a summer 1999 meeting. A letter from Chancellor William Cunningham was also received on this subject. The FAC Governance Committee is to consider these responses and possible FAC action.
  • A document called a "Code of Conduct" has been circulated by the system but not yet approved. The FAC Faculty Quality Committee is to study this document.
  • The health insurance policy still needs examination and this is to be done by the FAC Health Affairs Committee.
  • The FAC should consider the question of whether its own image needs alteration. Such has been suggested by rumor as a desire from certain administrators. Possibly a change in the actual substance of the FAC is necessary.
  • Another report on distance learning has been received and should be studied by the Faculty Quality Committee.

2. Alan Cline (FAC Secretary - UT Austin) distributed minutes of the December 3-4, 1998 meeting and requested that consideration of approval of the minutes be delayed for a day.

3. A discussion was held with J. B. Pace and Mike Kerker, who do legislative relations work for the System, regarding the status of important bills in the current legislature.

  • Kerker reported that the current proposal called for a budget appropriation to the general academic institutions of $167M above that of 1997 and to the health institutions of $17M above 1997. A special addition for student scholarships was be considered.
  • The 170 hour cap on state funding for undergraduate study of SB 345 is being replaced by new language that places such a cap at 45 hours above the number required for degree programs. The language allows for certain exceptions.
  • Martha Hilley (UT Austin) asked if hours from non-Texas state supported schools are included in these counts. (They are not). She suggested this would be a bureaucratic nightmare and Kerker agreed. Joel Dunnington (FAC Chair-elect, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center) asked if failed hours counted and was told that all "attempted" hours count. This applies to all courses not dropped by the 12th class day. Kerker added that there is grandfather language that will make the new rules applicable only to students entering in the fall of 1999 or later.
  • Kerker presented an update on SB 148. A modification to this is the present SB 1261 and responds to some complaints. New language says that the Coordinating Board "may" introduce the fields of study (instead of "shall"). Also the advisory committees for determining the fields will be required to consult with faculty and administrators will be excluded from being considered "faculty" on such committees.
  • Kerker also mentioned a bill that would provide for automatic admission to all state supported institutions for anyone attaining a degree or certificate at a community college with a grade point average of at least 2.0.
  • Cline commented that this was terrible. Robert Nelsen (UT Dallas) opined that the community colleges run the state. He asked if the admission could be into a program other than that for which the associates degree was earned (e.g., could a student with an associates degree in history be automatically admitted into an engineering program?) Kerker said that maybe this could happen. Shelley Payne (UT Austin) asked if the bill really applied to all schools and was told yes.
  • Pace said that Sen. Ratliff is attempting to establish a formula for health institution appropriations similar to that for the academic institutions. Such a formula would attach equal money for each medical student. Pace believes that such a formula would be better for the health components.
  • Pace also addressed the disposition of the tobacco settlement money. He said three bills were under consideration. It was important to keep these bills separate from the regular higher education appropriations. There may be trust funds established for the health schools and there may be money from the tobacco settlement coming to the academic components after the next legislative session.
  • Lastly, Pace mentioned that the Legislature is expecting a report on the effects of post-tenure review. Page asked if the FAC could obtain copies of that report and was told yes. Page also asked if the figures will reflect how many faculty quit in the face of PTR and was told no.
  • Vice Chancellor Ed Sharpe responded that we should not be overly concerned with this report: the FAC can get information on PTR other than from just that report. Hilley asked if this was the same report that the Coordinating Board is preparing and was told no. Lois Hale (UT Permian Basin) mentioned that faculty at Southwestern Medical Center left prior to the reviews last year. Julian Peterson (UT SWMC Dallas) provided the numbers - former Dean of UTSW, William Neaves, had reported to the Senate that seven of 47 eligible for review had resigned in 1998. Michael Siciliano (Past-Chair, UT MD Anderson CC) said that there were two separate problems with counting only those who are reviewed: those who resign rather than be reviewed and those who reject offers of employment at institutions with post-tenure review. Mellick Sykes (UT HSC San Antonio) asked if there were data on the causes of all departures. Sharpe said Texas A&M University claimed 50 faculty had left. Page said that the FAC Faulty Satisfaction Survey done years ago had tried to explore reasons for departure and that possibly it was time to repeat this survey. The FAC pushed for "exit surveys" but this request has been ignored. He suggested we might renew the request. Linda Cooley (UT HSC Houston) said that her institution has been conducting exit interviews.
  • On another topic, Hilley asked about other legislative initiatives: would there be multiple flagship institutions. Sharpe responded that one resolution calledfor moving six institutions from the Permanent University Fund (PUF) coverage into that of the Higher Education Assistance Fund (HEAF) and that the flagship question is being discussed.
  • Siciliano asked about a bill that would guarantee faculty the right to appeal termination. Kerker said the bill will get a reading.
  • Finally, Sue Mottinger (UT Pan American) asked about HB 1232 calling for a single state board for lower and higher education. Kerker indicated there was little support for this in the legislature.

4. Page continued with announcements postponed at the arrival of Pace and Kirker:

  • The new FAC Bylaws have not yet been approved by the System administration.
  • The FAC's Teaching Evaluation Study has gone out to the components. Page suggested this document for those considering evaluation alternatives.
  • W. O. Schultz of the Office of General Counsel will discuss the "Model Grievance Policy". He claims that all policy matters that involve faculty are to be negotiated with component presidents. Presidents have a great deal of freedom and autonomy and the OGC opinions are only advisory. Presidents should not defend decisions with claims that "OGC forces this".
  • The System says that M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and UT Health Center Tyler may decide themselves whether to adopt lifetime tenure policies.
  • Several FAC officers will have a brief meeting with the component presidents in April.
  • Regarding relations with OGC, Ray Farabee says faculty governance leaders should be able to call the OGC for clarification of policies. Farabee says he will act as the contact person.
  • With respect to issuing invitations to system personnel to attend FAC meetings, Sharpe suggests we ask him to make the invitations.
  • Payne asked what had happened with the rules for the disposition of FAC legislation. Page responded that this will be discussed with the Governance Committee. Siciliano said an oversight committee should deal with this. He also asked what was happening with the bylaw changes. Page said these were being considered by the System administration.
  • Page raised the question of whether it was it time to sponsor a second faculty satisfaction survey. The survey might explore such questions as freedom, communication with chairpersons, the Optional Retirement Program, and salary parity. Sicliano added there might be extra importance to such a survey because of post tenure review.

5. Campus Reports:

UT Arlington: The campus had no report nor representatives at the meeting.

UT Austin: The Faculty Welfare Committee proposed and the Faculty Council approved a resolution calling upon the President to institute procedures for modified duties for faculty members who give birth or have primary responsibility for a newborn or newly-adopted child. The Education Policy Committee has completed its work on the Core Curriculum and the proposed core will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. We held a joint meeting with the A&M Faculty Senate on March 1 and one of the items of discussion was the role and effectiveness of the UT System FAC. Our Core Committee on the Status and Advancement of Women has been meeting regularly. One subcommittee has revised our sexual harassment policy and a draft of the new policy will soon be out for discussion. We also have a Core Committee on Minorities, but it has not been particularly active and has not reported to the Council. A major concern on campus this spring is the negative effect of publicity surrounding athletics expenditures. The renovation of the stadium, the salary increases for coaches and the discussion of Erwin Center renovations have created the impression of untold wealth on the campus. Recent remarks of legislators suggest that the high costs and poor timing of these expenditures will have a negative impact on the budget for higher education and especially the UT system.

Jim Klostergaard (UT MD Anderson CC) asked if there was a policy regarding chronic illness. Payne responded that there was not and neither was there a policy for caregivers. Klostergaard asked if other campuses had such policies. Peterson said that Southwestern had a donated pool of sick leave. Nelsen added that Dallas allows a maximum of 102 days of sick leave.

UT Brownsville: After conducting an extensive study of the core curriculum in an open environment, resulting in some innovative developments, the university committee was obliged to produce as a final product a core little different from its predecessor. Several faculty expressed concern over the amount of effort expended to produce such a limited result. A draft policy on the responsibilities of department chairs (leading to evaluation) has prompted expressions of concern by some senators over the intimidating extent of the responsibilities as well as the appearance of an effort to shift more administrative duties to chairs and faculty by "delegation". The Senate welfare committee has prepared a presentation to the administration seeking salary improvements. The administration has acknowledged a salary problem by conducting a comparative salary study (through the Business School) and by proposing a legislative "exception" to remedy the worst aspects of the problem.

UT Dallas: UTD continues to rework a series of policies. We synchronized the Post Tenure Review policy so that the Deans cannot appoint the members of the Personnel Review Committees that are responsible for reviewing the Dean's decisions. With respect to our Promotion and Tenure Policy, we have formalized a secret ballot faculty voting structure wherein the faculty of each school or program votes up or down on candidates after the Ad Hoc Review Committee has written its report. We have made the procedures in the Initial Appointment Policy similar to the procedures in the P & T Policy (except for the vote). The UT System Office of General Council turned down our Public Events Policy because it was too liberal, allowed too many people to propose and okay events on campus (e.g., Department Heads), and had an elaborate appeals process for the cases where someone refuses to allow an event to happen. We had to struggle to come up with a Common Core. The scientists and the humanists fought a minor a turf war over a general breadth requirement, which we finally abandoned and settled for a shorter 42 hour core.

UT El Paso: The Faculty Evaluation of Academic Administrators was completed in November and the results were distributed to the appropriate administrators and their supervisors in February. Our proposed Grievance Policy was sent back to our campus in the fall with OGC objections. The proposed policy had created a campus debate and an ad hoc committee, including the various factions, was established to recommend a response. Our Undergraduate Curriculum has been redesigned to accommodate the new core curriculum. Every college has modified its graduation requirements and all show a reduction of at least 3 credit hours in graduation requirements. During the past three or so years, academic administrators have been appointed with no formal faculty input. Positions such as Dean of the Graduate School have been replaced unilaterally by the administration by an Associate Vice President for Graduate Affairs which is considered a staff position. There are other such positions being created with appointments made in the same manner. We are raising our concern on this matter with our administration.

UT Pan American: A Faculty Senate committee is presently reviewing A Post Tenure Review Policy after the first year implementation. The review process includes a survey and interviews of 12 faculty who experienced PTR. Three of these received "letters of concern". Further interviews may include Department Chairs and Deans. UTPA faculty voted in favor of the 48-hour core proposed by the UTPA Curriculum Committee. After meetings with Faculty Senate and Curriculum Committee, the provost endorsed a UTPA faculty ratified version with the exception of one additional credit hour, thus a 49 hour core. Policy recommendations on a Faculty Workload Policy are presently in a joint-conference committee consisting of two faculty senators and two deans. A Faculty Senate committee reviewed present HOP policy on merit, tenure, and promotion. A report was presented to the Faculty Senate in March. A joint meeting to be held with the chair of the Faculty Senate, the chair of the Senate Committee, and the provost to determine inconsistencies in carrying out existing HOP policy and discuss potential solutions for presentation to the Faculty Senate.

UT Permian Basin: The third annual administrator evaluation process is underway. Data have been collected from faculty and are currently awaiting input and analysis by a special subcommittee of the Faculty Senate. Following that evaluation, results will be provided to appropriate administrators and faculty groups involved. This year we evaluated one department chair and the VP of Academic Affairs. The post tenure review process worked well on the campus.

UT San Antonio: Dr. Ricardo Romo, currently Associate Vice Provost at UT Austin, was named the new President of UTSA. He will assume his duties on May 17. The Grievance Policy issue is still not settled, more than three years after unanimous approval by the Faculty Senate and University Assembly. The Academic Policy and Requirements Committee presented a report to the Faculty Senate in February with recommendations on academic restructuring. An ad hoc committee of the Faculty Senate was appointed to review the reports and recommendations that were generated by the UT System Committee on the Advancement of Women several years ago. Their report to the Senate indicated that very few of the recommendations suggested by the Committee and accepted by the Chancellor have been instituted at UTSA.

UT Tyler: The Faculty Senate conducted a Faculty Salary Report and compared UT Tyler faculty salaries to other UT, state and regional institutions. The Faculty Senate unanimously approved the changes recommended by the Office of General Counsel to the proposed grievance procedures. The Commission on the Future of the University has held two of the three scheduled meetings. The Commission consists of political, business and community members in addition to UT Tyler administration, faculty and staff.

6. Campus reports were suspended at this point in order to hold a discussion with W. O Schultz of the Office of General Counsel.

The general topic was Regents' Rules 6.3 and 6.35 regarding grievances and the conformance of these rules with state law.

  • David Farquhar (UT MD Anderson CC) said that the policy does not apply to faculty under term appointments who have not been renewed. Schultz responded that a grievant may appeal if there is a contention that the non-renewal was unlawful. Farquhar added that the appeal can be made only to the president (as opposed to a faculty group). Siciliano said that the changes with Rule 38 do not give protection to such term appointed grievants as they do to tenured faculty. Schultz replied that faculty who have been moved from term tenure to term appointments do lose the rights of tenured faculty. Farquhar commented that this was a limited process.
  • Gerald Brazier (UT Pan American) asked if non-renewal can be grieved under Rule 38 and Schultz responded that this policy allows for any employee to complain about any thing in the work situation. Nelsen asked if the difference in rights indicated a difference in importance of the individuals. Schultz said he would not respond. Siciliano asked when the Board of Regents will act on the rules changes and Schultz replied May. Siciliano also asked if a non-renewed person could grieve under Rule 38 and was told by Schultz that it depends upon institutional policy but that Regents' Rules take precedence over Handbooks of Operating Procedures.
  • Page announced the Schultz would be meeting with the Governance Committee

7. Chancellor Cunningham joined the meeting and answered questions off of the official record.

The general meeting then temporarily adjourned for committee meetings.

8. Page called the meeting back to order at 9:05 AM on Friday, March 26.

He also reminded the Council that elections for chair-elect and for secretary would be held at the June meeting. Nominees should prepare statements and submit them to Page prior to that meeting.

9. Campus reports were resumed.

UT SMC Dallas: At a regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate on January 21, 1999 a resolution regarding SB 148 was passed unanimously. Regarding the changing of grades, a question was referred to our Registrar, Mr. Charles Kettlewell, whose answer was that we have no policy on this matter. He said, "through the guarantee of academic freedom" faculty are essentially given the right to assign grades as they see fit. If any grade seems notably off base, the department chair would handle the matter. He said, "circumstances would need to be extraordinarily unusual" for anyone other than the Dept Chair to enter the process. During our report on the activities of UTFAC, we asked the faculty about their knowledge of the EGI program on insurance for retirees. No one was familiar with the program. When this was going to be included in the minutes, the Dean asked us to defer and invite our Director of HR to an upcoming meeting to explain their efforts. This was done to the satisfaction of the members of the Senate.

UT MB Galveston: Galveston has established a campus-wide Senate and has sent Rodger Marion as its representative to the FAC. Marion is the first faculty-selected FAC representative from the Medical Branch.

UT HSC Houston: A Faculty Satisfaction Survey is in the final stages of analysis. This survey is similar to the one done in 1995 and will serve to follow-up on the faculty’s perception of changes and assess new issues. New questions were added to query information from the faculty about the post-tenure review process. UT-HHSC has a Core Committee on the Advancement of Women. Examples of the issues addressed are retention and the lack of women in administrative positions.

UT HSC San Antonio: Substantial activity is ongoing in creating a Faculty Senate at the HSC. A working group spanning all schools has created a proposal to be submitted to the administration. The by-laws of the UTMB senate are being used as a model and someone from Galveston and potentially other UT campuses will be coming to SA to meet with faculty and speak on this issue. Currently, there are serious re-negotiations with the University Health System regarding payment for indigent services, usage of office space in the Stark bill era, and other financial issues that have the potential to change the landscape of the University-indigent relationship in San Antonio. The Post-Tenure Review process has been initiated with the first faculty to be evaluated this spring.

UT MD Anderson CC: After one year in office, one of our three new high-level administrative appointees, the Chief Academic Officer and Executive Vice-President, Dr. von Eschenbach resigned Of great and immediate concern for the Faculty Senate was his loss as a strong advocate and primary moving force for Upward Evaluation of Administrators in our Institution. The first quarter of 1999 witnessed the inauguration of a Faculty Senate Newsletter, The Sentinel. This is scheduled to come out quarterly, and will feature discussions, editorials and even verbatim memoranda between the Senate and our Administration. The Senate and the MDACC Management Committee co-sponsored a Forum on March 1st wherein we discussed the pros and cons of our current term tenure system vs. life-tenure, subject to PTR as it is in the UT System. These discussions necessarily encompassed the related issues of tenure linkage to salary, tenure density, and changes in qualification for tenure under a new system. A concern among some of the Clinical Faculty is that life-tenure may be out of reach for service-oriented Clinicians. However, several remaining issues including how qualifying criteria would be established for a life-tenure system at MDACC, whether or not we could adopt a type of hybrid system, and whether proposed revisions in how we attempt to resolve Faculty/Administration conflicts could improve our current system, still need more scrutiny.

UT HC Tyler: Dr. Ron Garvey, the interim director of the UT Health Center at Tyler, has been named President of UTHCT. Other titles have also changed such as Associate Director for Research to Vice President for Research, etc. The position of Executive Associate Director for Academic Affairs has been eliminated. A new policy was distributed a few weeks ago saying that any faculty member could be terminated with only 2 months notice. After protesting to the President, the policy was changed back to 6 months notice for the research faculty. The clinical faculty can still be terminated with 2 months notice, even though they are asked to give 6 months notice before they quit. President Garvey was supportive of the concept of tenure when he spoke to the Research Faculty Assembly in January. However, he then received a letter from W.O. Schultz in OGC saying that tenure is not allowed at UTHCT according to Regents Rules. With Garvey's permission, Barry Peterson asked to meet with Schultz about the issue but Schultz informed Garvey that he would not meet with Peterson because there was no "wiggle room" on this issue. Little progress has been made on a joint research/clinical grievance policy.

10. The minutes of the December 3-4, 1998 meeting were approved as corrected.

11. Committee Reports:

Health Affairs: The Committee met with Vice Chancelor Mullins, Bob Molloy, and Pam Bacon. The Employee Group Insuance program was discussed. The following motion was made on behalf of the committee:

Resolution:

1. The UT System FAC requests that annual health benefit information provided by the EGI and local HR offices include a clear, non legal description of benefits.

2. The UT System FAC requests that retirement benefit information be disseminated annually to faculty.

3. The UT System FAC requests the following phone numbers be printed on the back of the health insurance card: Doctor selection, Billing questions, Benefit information, Out-of-state benefits, Web site address.

The motion passed.

There was concern about the Federal Freedom of Information Act applying to federally funded research. In particular, there are questions about whether this would require the release of raw data and what effect it could have on patient privacy. The following motion was made on behalf of the committee:

Resolution:

The UT System FAC requests that the OGC explain and clarify the consequences of the Freedom of Information Act pertaining to federally funded research within the UT System.

The motion passed.

Governance: Having met with the Governance Committee, Sharpe addressed the role of the Faculty Advisory Council - as he said "The general issue of how the FAC relates to the System." He posed the question "Is it a governance organization?" and answered "yes, it is close". He mentioned that there is only one paragraph of reference to the FAC in the Regents' Rules. "My assessment is the FAC is a very worthwhile organization," he said. "I enjoy working with it." The FAC's greatest impact would be advisory. The issue of informality versus formality of our proceedings is not important - what is important is being effective.

Page responded that we very much appreciate being able to ask Sharpe for assistance, and offered the example of the meeting set up with Charles Chaffin to discuss the "Code of Conduct". However, Page added that the meeting with Chaffin had not gone well After meeting with Chaffin, we decided that by asking Sharpe to speak to Chaffin and Dan Burke we might make progress. Page concluded by saying we would be taking Sharpe up on his offer to help us. Sharpe responded with "I'll give you advice but the decisions are yours."

Continuing with the question of the "Code of Conduct", Dunnington said faculty do not know who their campus compliance people are. He said there was also a problem that Chaffin did not seem to care whether there was faculty involvement in the "Code of Conduct". Page mentioned that there was a time when the system lawyers would not meet with the FAC but that now they do.

Regarding tenure at the Health Center at Tyler, the following resolution was made on behalf of the Committee:

Resolution:

The University of Texas Board of Regents has recognized and endorsed in Regents Rules Chapter III Section 37.3 the necessity of academic freedom for faculty that tenure provides in order to fulfill the missions of each University of Texas System component. The faculty at UT Health Center at Tyler participate in the mission of teaching and research, and therefore need the protections of academic freedom as afforded by tenure. The faculty governance organizations and President Garvey of The UT Health Center at Tyler have indicated that they would support adoption of a tenure system. Therefore, the UT System Faculty Advisory Council supports our colleagues in their obtaining appropriate modifications of Regents Rules in order to allow the faculty at UT Health Center Tyler to pursue tenure.

Siciliano asked what evidence there was for the claim of presidential support. Robert Klein (UT HC - Tyler) and Robert McLarity (UT HC - Tyler) responded that President Garvey had told them, himself. Hale asked if just because the Regents' Rules preclude tenure at that campus, does it mean that the subject cannot even be discussed. Klostergaard answered that it can be discussed.

The motion passed.

Regarding delays in receiving contracts or employment agreements, the following paragraph to substitute for the first paragraph of Regents' Rules Chapter II, section 1.83 was suggested for the purpose of discussion. There was no motion.

Resolution:

Full-time non-tenured track faculty holding an academic title as specified in this section who are appointed for either a fiscal year, September through August, or an academic year, September through May, as indicated in their appointment letter, and are the subject of a decision not to reappoint, shall be given written notice not later than March 1st if the appointment expires at the end of the first fiscal/academic year, or not later than December 15th of the second fiscal/academic year. After two or more academic years of service, written notice of non-reappointment shall be given not later than August 31st if the subsequent year will be the terminal fiscal/academic year of appointment.

The Committee offered this justification: "Full-time members of the faculty (both non-tenured and tenured) at public institutions of higher education have complained about not receiving a contract or employment agreement from the administration until well after the start of the academic year. In some cases, faculty members are not receiving any contract or employment agreement. By comparison, the Texas Education Code (Chapter 21, Subchapter E, section 21.206) states that the board of trustees of a public school must notify a teacher serving a term contract in writing "Not later than the 45th day before the last day of instruction in a school year...". The purpose of HB2079, Timely Distribution of Contracts" to be presented in the legislature March 21st by Ms. Rangel (Chair of the House Higher Education Committee) is to provide standards governing the dates by which institutions of higher education must issue contracts or employment agreements to faculty members. Thus, the time may be appropriate to modify Regent's Rules (Chapter Ill) dealing with issues of notification for non-tenure track faculty as to their reappointment to another contract."

Payne offered that a lot of UT Austin appointments are for only one semester and would not be covered. She added that the departments sometimes do not know of staffing needs until immediately before semesters begin. Siciliano asked who do we want to protect. He added that many institutions are on paths to employing faculty short term. This resolution is to protect those people. Corbett Gaulden (UT - Permian Basin) said that the language of the paragraph seems to exclude the cases that concern Payne and asked if we wanted to add language to include them.

Klostergaard said that such people will get 60 days notice under a bill currently being considered in the Texas House of Representatives. Klein replied that these people have less employment protection than secretaries do. Ralph Liguori (UT -El Paso) said that some institutions allow for many people to be hired on a one-semester basis. Page then added that we need to construct a title for the people we want to protect. Klostergaard said the proposed policy compels institutional responsibility by forcing budgets to be prepared earlier but Payne responded that it is an issue of practicality since institutions don't have the requisite information very far in advance. Nelsen said we wanted to have a way to promote stability and Travis said the maybe the language was too broad - we should be careful about describing who is covered. Klostergaard said that this was not just a Health Center at Tyler problem - none of the non-tenure track faculty have protection.

A change to the Regents' Rules regarding grievance is to be made at the upcoming meeting. The current proposal was circulated and the Committee requested that this be studied for comments. In particular, there is concern about the short time of notification that a potential grievant would have. It was suggested that the rule might have great effects for the staff as well as the faculty and that staff representatives should see the language.

Dunnington said that faculty should have peer review in a grievance procedure. Travis said that peer review was not precluded from the proposal. Dunnington responded that if it were not required (as opposed to allowed) administrators will interpret it as precluded. Liguori said that this policy will supercede campus policies and Klostergaard said that he had a problem if section 6.35 stays unaltered since then faculty might not be given reasons for non-reappointment. Siciliano said we need to replace "grievance" with "formal faculty grievance action" to avoid misunderstanding. Payne asked if there was a definition of "grievance", to which Klostergaard responded that there should be one.

Travis said she'd been told that all campus grievance policies would have to be rewritten to conform to the new policy. Page said we need to work quickly on this and wondered if current policies would be taken away without sufficient time for them to be rewritten.

The rules for the disposition of FAC legislation discussed at the previous meeting are being presented to the administration with the addition of the phrase "that requires action" (i.e. "Disposition of FAC legislation that requires action"). Cline asked if this required a change to the FAC bylaws. Travis wondered if the bylaws should be so specific. Klostergaard recommended that Page should speak to Sharpe about this and Cooley suggested that when legislation is passed forward it would be appropriate to indicate how we want it acknowledged.

Page also commented that the FAC needs a place to keep its records.

Academic Affairs: The Committee met with Katherine Parsoneault of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board who informed them that two fields of study proposals have been circulated for comment. Relative to information from the Coordinating Board, the following resolution was made on behalf of the committee:

Resolution: The Faculty Advisory Council recommends that there be correspondence with Marshall Hill requesting the creation of an electronic listserve for information distribution services. Such a listserve would augment dissemination of snailmail information to CEO's and CAO's at each of their respective institutions. The UT System Faculty Advisory Council and the Texas Council of Faculty Senates shall be placed on the electronic mail listserve specifically for matters concerning SB 148, i.e. core curriculum, fields of study, and advisory committee formation. The timeliness of notification and the importance of related information will provide faculty the opportunity to participate fully in all curricular matters.

Cline wondered if the proposed changes in SB 148 don't gut it. Gaulden answered that even with the changes, the Coordinating Board (as opposed to the institutions) has the option to develop new fields of study. Dunnington said this was not the impression we had from Kerker. Peterson said that Parsoneault has offered to maintain contact with the FAC and Mottinger added that the Coordinating Board is attempting to please everyone. Gaulden commented that dealing with the effects of SB 148 will take time.

The motion passed.

The Committee then proposed the following resolution in response to SB 282, a bill proposed with language specifying that any student who receives a "degree or certificate" consisting of "at least 30 semester hours" should be automatically admitted.

Resolution: The UT System FAC expresses grave reservations concerning SB 282 pertaining to "automatic admission" of undergraduate transfer students. We recommend that the Board of Regents be sensitized to the ramifications of such legislation.

The Committee offered these justifications.

  1. Ramifications include an inability to successfully implement enrollment management programs.
  2. This type of automatic admission combined with automatic admission of certain cohorts of high school graduates might seriously undermine the recruitment efforts of institutions.
  3. Students might well be misled about their qualifications, capabilities, and potential for success.
  4. Admission to a university is not synonymous with admission to an identified program of study, and the perception might exist that it is.

Dunnington asked if anyone knew what sort of numbers were involved and Gaulden said he did not. Cooley asked what was the background to this and Gaulden replied that this was the result of legislators acting on behalf of community colleges. Mottinger added that it was important to act on this particular bill in a way different from the inaction that met SB 148. Cline said we must go on record in opposition to SB 282.

The motion passed.

Lastly the Committee requested that the component institutions provide a copy of their institutional general education core curricula developed in response to SB 148 to the Academic Affairs Committee of the FAC for the purpose of an analysis of those curricula for commonalties. Due dates are April 1 and May 1 at the THECB. The curricula should be provided to Corbett Gaulden or Sue Mottinger by May 5 by e-mail, fax or snail mail (gaulden.@utpb.edu or mott@panam.edu) (915-552-2175 or 956-381-3502 are the Fax numbers)

Faculty Quality: The committee discussed the Distance Learning proposal and recommended an alteration to item 4.

Resolution: The Faculty Advisory Council recommends the following language for item 4 of the Distance Learning policy:

"Finally, courses, course-sequences, and programs of study disseminated through the U.T. Telecampus for academic credit at a U.T. component must undergo the approval and monitoring procedures that are standard at the component."

The motion passed.

The Committee recommended that the FAC's previous resolution on exit surveys be circulated. The Committee also wishes to consider if a second Faculty Satisfaction Survey should be made. It suggested that Jerry Polinard might be interested in supervising this.

Lastly, the Committee had a meeting with Charles Chaffin regarding the "Code of Conduct". The version we have seen is the second draft. The Office of General Counsel is also examining it. The Committee wishes that the FAC be involved prior to the circulation of a draft to the campuses and then again after something has been circulated.

Nelsen commented that the code is on the fast track. Possibly we have only two days to offer comments. Dunnington handed out a list of compliance officers on the campus. Payne said that whatever document survives should deal simply with legal compliance as opposed to ethics. Siciliano agreed with this. Dunnington commented that a lot of this is for administrative protection and that the faculty could be civilly and criminally liable if they were non-compliant even if they were unaware of compliance rules.

12. Meeting was adjourned at 3:04 PM, March 26.

 
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