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The University of Texas System
Faculty Advisory Council

Meeting Minutes: March 23 - 24, 2000

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Joel Dunnington (FAC Chair, UT MD Anderson Cancer Centre) called the meeting called to order at 1002.

Approval of the minutes: approved with no corrections (revised sent out on email).

UT—FAC Executive Council Minutes--Dunnington:

        Board of Regents:

        Purchase of the Walmart property for UT Pan American

        Passed changes in the ethics and conflict of interest polices for board members of the UT Investment Management Company (UTIMCO)

        No news re: candidates for Chancellor (have not asked for any consultation form the UT FAC)

        RFP proposal for faculty satisfaction survey continues to be worked on. Dunnington will follow up with Ed Sharpe (Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs).

        Campus reports should be sent to Terese Verklan (FAC Secretary, UTHSC-Houston) 7 days prior to the general FAC meeting. Verklan will email the campus reports to all members 2 days prior to the meeting, along with “the to do List”. This will also help keep the verbal campus reports to 5 minutes.

        Daniel Stewart is the new director of the Employee Group Insurance (EGI). Gaulden (UT PB) is a representative on the EGI Advisory Committee. However, the meeting notices arrive so late, his ability to attend is severely limited. The issue will be discussed with Mr. Stewart.

        The federal regulation for the New Freedom of Information law was passed last year. Beth Lynn Maxwell from the Office of General Counsel (OGC) will discuss the final draft later in the day.

        The Mathematics Department at UT San Antonio continues in conflict resolution counseling at this time.

        Students at UT Dallas will be developing a web page concerning evaluation of faculty teaching on their campus. OGC has reportedly said this was permissible, but the student’s comments would have to be anonymous. The web-based critique falls under the 1st Amendment freedom.

        Assignment to committees have been sent out:

        Academic Affairs: Community College Transfers; Florida and Illinois Transfer Studies; Academic Integrity; Rights on the Web; Status of the Women in Academics Study

        Faculty Quality Committee: Faculty Satisfaction Survey—RFP; Exit Survey; Privacy; Freedom of Information; Sexual Orientation Statement

        Governance: Academic Hires; Letters of Appointment; Upward Evaluation of Administrators; Indemnification of Faculty on Committees; Grievance Out of San Antonio’s changes

        Health Affairs: Freedom of Information; Graduate Medical Information Payments Decreased; Daniel Stewart—New Director of EGI; MSRDP Billing

        UT-Austin: was found not to be totally compliant with SACS in that SACS questioned the computer literacy and quality of jobs obtained after graduation with a liberal arts and sciences degree. It is believed that SACS just wanted to challenge a leading institution to purposively demonstrate that their students were really prepared. UT-A is now working to accommodate SACS’ recommendation.

Shelley Payne (UT-A): SACS has a statement that the graduate is expected to be computer literate upon graduation. It was argued that many of the courses offered require the use of computers—students are expected to take one of these prior to graduation. By adding a statement of this type to the general education degree, we should be able to satisfy the SACS criticism. It is really very similar to the current writing course requirement. All SACS wants to see is that the graduate has the basic knowledge to use a computer.

Michael Moore (UT-Arlington): we have also added an oral competency, that of speech, in response to the SACS visit. The students can demonstrate their skill level by taking an existing course that has presentations or the students may take a formal course. For all newly admitted students, it must be documented (checked off) that the student has met this requirement.

Robert Nelsen (UT-Dallas): The oral competency is already a requirement in the common core—why did SACS want this?

Moore: I don’t know, but we didn’t have a speech requirement until then.

Ralph Liguori (UT-El Paso): Was SACS asking to validate natural science and liberal arts degrees?

Payne: SACS wanted us to demonstrate that we had some type of exit exam—we argued that the individual faculty already assesses learning in each class/degree. They want some kind of assessment tool, along with stating in the catalog how the assessment will be done. If we can deal with the computer literacy piece, they may back off on this.

James Stokes (UT HSC-Tyler): Is the proposal for a super TASK really from SACS, rather than being independent?

Payne: No, that was independent.

Nelsen: The TASK document is circulating around the legislature right now. It is being discussed that it is a good form of assessment.

 

 

Beth Lynn Maxwell (Office of General Counsel)—Update on OMB’s Revision to Circular A-110 Regarding Public Access to Research Data Through the Freedom of Information Act

 

Maxwell distributed three handouts: copy of the role; article from the Chronicle of Higher Education and a list of frequently asked questions.

Rule: Published research data created with federal money has to be made available to the general public upon request.

Origin: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was reluctant to release information regarding their studies which prompted Senator Shelby (Alabama) to make this his mission. It was proposed that the issue be studied for one year—the study was never done. Senator Shelby subsequently inserted two sentences in the Appropriation bill just before it was passed, the bill was not debated and the OMB was then stuck with the two sentences (the rule). In response, there were over 12,0000 comments and letters re the new rule pointing out the numerous problems. It is believed that the rule is there simply because of the EPA, however, it impacts technological research, health research, open up propriety business secretes, etc. The rule did not define what the research activity really is—could be anything, preliminary data, not necessary peer reviewed, any research data (NIH has a study on defining this). There is also no guidance on what type of data was included under this rule (incomplete, not published, etc.).

The rule now has definitions. Research data is defined as recorded factual material accepted in the scientific community necessary to validate research findings (excludes trade secrets, confidential information, intellectual property, etc.). Published data is defined as data in a peer reviewed scientific journal, or if a Federal agency cites the data to support something. The final rule has been tweaked to include the definitions. The door is still left open to enable the rule to be revised within the next 3 years once the initial requests have been reviewed.

The rule is now in effect. The first real test has been that of the US Chamber of Commerce requesting the EPA for its research—the request was made November 1999 and the EPA has not yet complied.

Liguori: Does the rule have to be renewed at the end of the year?

Maxwell: It will be renewed every year.

Jerry Mclarty (UT HSC-Tyler): Large industry may also be behind this—the tobacco industry is very interested in looking at the EPA data. And so was the NRA.

Maxwell: There was a certain web site, that entered you into a sweepstakes if you said that you were in favor of the bill (rule) and your vote counted yes! 55% of respondents were thus in favor of the bill (rule). Please call me if you get a request of information—requests are likely to be made to attack certain regulations in process, like the EPA or some federal regulatory body.

Moore: Will the state be likely to adopt a similar rule?

Maxwell: No. This goes through the Freedom of Information Act—the people receiving this information are not trained to evaluate what constitutes research data. FOI Act has two exemptions— commercial business interests and confidentiality—thus, this shouldn’t come down to the State level. If there is any federal money involved, however, the data needs to be released.

Dunnington: If you have a core grant at your institution, then all of the data is fair game.

Maxwell: Yes, everything is open. Your data is validated on a regular basis, the EPA doesn’t have to do this.

Betty Travis (UT-San Antonio): How long do you have to keep your research data?

Maxwell: 3 years after the submission of the final financial report. If the PI chooses to keep the data for longer, then you will be asked to provide that information.

Mellick Sykes (UT HSC San Antonio): This addresses the middle set of data that is not published, but is higher level than preliminary results. There have been investigators that have published erroneous conclusions—this would allow that someone could look at their data.

Maxwell: But that’s not the heart of the rule. In scientific publications, you do present your data. This rule is not a vehicle to test the credibility of the science.

Marvin Chasen (UTMDACC): You could question the results by writing a letter to the editor and then the author can respond. If this conflict continues, does this put the editor on the spot to initiate an investigation?

Maxwell: This process could be used to demand the data that supported the conclusions. FOI Act is not equipped to deal with these types of requests (data, reimbursement, etc.), so there will need to be much more tweaking of the rule. There are still many issues that need to be addressed such as, for example, who will pay for the researcher to comply with this request? The person requesting the information can’t just make a blanket request—they must state why they want it, identify the specific study, identify the specific publication, exactly what data it is that they want access to, etc. The request to the EPA is actually still pending—are talking about a shield of secrecy—they think the Shelby amendment is way too broad.

McLarty: Are there restrictions on what can be done with the data once the person requesting it receives it? For example, can someone else publish results?

Maxwell: The institution owns the data. It would really be incredible if that person requesting the information subsequently publishes after looking at the data.

Ivor Page (UT-Dallas, Past-Chair, UT FAC): There could be a major discovery that has preliminary work that is kept very confidential. You may not be able to protect your work effectively now when you publish preliminary results. The researcher may not want to say anything until he/she wins the Nobel prize!

Maxwell: That’s a good point—that’s why the rule will be evaluated every 3 years—to see exactly how the request and the data from those requests are being used.

Sykes: The scope of this appears to be so narrow that I don’t see it stealing intellectual property.

Maxwell: We are talking more about the publications. Much of the researcher’s work is protected (preliminary, not published, etc.) and it will be decided if it was research or not. Personal notebooks will never be classified as research. See 2nd page of frequently asked questions—it defines what is research.

 

 

Georgia K. Harper (Attorney, Office of General Counsel)—Confidentiality of Mail and Personal Email, and Who has the Authority to Publish Information on the World Wide Web?

 

Privacy issues are becoming more of an issue due to the increased use of the world wide web and email systems. Two articles pertain here—employee privacy and publishers liability for what is published on line.

 

Privacy law is a patch work—there really is no one thing that gives rights. There is tort law, statutory parts of federal law that protect electronic communications. The electronic communications privacy act does not really apply here—it extends the wire tapping law into the electronic environment. This only protects the information while it is in transit, however, it doesn’t apply to the employer, the owner of the communication system. In addition, the Freedom of Information Act and Open Records also work against privacy. In contrast, there is the Family Education and Right to Privacy Act, along with a constitutional right to privacy (4th amendment—limits search and seizure), and rights to sexual privacy.

These areas of the law are very difficult to understand—it all comes down to whether you had a reasonable expectation to privacy in that particular situation. The employer’s policy sets the stage/groundwork for this. An employer can decide ahead of time whether what you do in your office is private or not. Our policy is found in Business Procedure Memorandum (BPM) 53, which can also be found online. All state agencies had to adopt a similar policy to be in compliance—emphasizes that the information network is state property and belongs to the state, and is there for us to do our jobs. Our mission defines what we use it for—we are here to teach and establish an environment of inquiry. BPM 53 also sets out when the system owners and operators have the right to look at what is on the system. Thus, there is not a reasonable expectation of privacy at the University of Texas (employee privacy policy outlines 5 reasons why you do not). There are some universities who have said that email is private and will not looked at it.

There has been related litigation: An employee sued the employer because the employee sent a message that was unprofessional to his supervisor. The supervisor subsequently used the message as a part of a disciplinary action. This action was made public and the employee was punished. The court dismissed it out of hand—it was not reasonable to expect privacy in an email—the situation was likened to being at the watercooler. In addition, even if you did have an expectation of privacy, it was not unreasonable to share the highly offensive content as the company has an interest in preventing inappropriate/unprofessional/illegal activity on the email—this interest is put before the privacy rights of the individual.

Linda Phillips (UTMB): What if the email is labeled highly confidential?

Harper: There was a case involving Microsoft—the company went into the person’s computer directory and found those files. The court said that the computer was there for you to do your job—you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

Sykes: What if you received a personal mail at work?

Harper: The US mail has rules that do not apply to email.

Moore: Unless the mail is marked personal and confidential it can be opened.

Harper: Yes, once it hits the office we can open it. The US government doesn’t operate the email system. Getting something out of the mailbox is like an interception rather than getting it off the web where it resides, especially after it has already been opened on the server.

Page: If an employer were to systematically read the faculty’s email on a regular basis like surveillance, would the employee have a case?

Harper: There are guidelines in the 4th amendment—unreasonable search and seizure may provide a framework for the investigation. If an employer suspects wrongdoing (illegal/unprofessional, etc), the faculty can be investigated. The emails may be the evidence you need. I don’t know if you know but you can enter a person’s name at Deja News and get a list of every message they have ever submitted to Deja News! This is legitimate. On the other hand, if there is a malicious reason to do this, that doesn’t fit in with the guidelines of the 4th amendment or the exemptions with BMP 53 when we reserve the right to look at what is going on on a person’s computer.

James Turley (UT-Houston HSC): There may be problems when Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) is used.

Harper: HIPA requires us to keep certain things confidential—is it private from the public or from ourselves? There are 2 laws that seem to conflict, federal law always trumps state law—BMP 53 would be trumped by HIPA. This would be sorted out when the request was made for the information

Nelsen: When does the individual have to be notified that searches of their email are being done?

Harper: Notification is not a part of any of the laws.

Nelsen: Is there a retention date on how long the employee can keep the information on file?

Harper: Document retention schedules guide this—but this only applies to the original. A copy can be kept forever.

David Farquhar (MDACC): Our chief information officer says that all email is archived. They can look into it anytime they want.

Harper: This is true, but there are some important distinctions. For example, preparing for disaster—we have a rolling back up of everything on the system. Also we have to send to the state archives, all kinds of stuff—there is some sort of record that goes back for long time, but to what extent it is accessible, with respect to document retention schedules, is unclear.

Ralph Liguori (UT-El Paso): If I do state business on my home computer, does that open the home computer to search?

Harper: That is possible, but with limitations. If you didn’t take the original file home, we can’t insist on the copy—the same is true in the electronic environment.

Liguori: An airline went after an employee who was supporting a sick out—they seized his records for this.

Harper: They needed to have probable cause to do this. It appears to be work related so they would need to have a reasonable basis for going after his home computer records.

James Stokes (UT-Tyler HSC): Does an individual have any right to encrypt files?

Harper: That is extremely controversial. The individual could be compelled to de-encrypt. Because we are state employees, we can’t use encryption to circumvent the open records act. It also runs into things like HIPA where we do have to encrypt—but this is not subject to the open records act (30 exemptions).

Stokes: Let’s say that an employer is keeping email without cause and we are not notified—if we are to insist that anything sent needs to be encrypted, it could prevent the employer from looking without having the key.

Harper: But if someone invokes the open records act, then we would not be in compliance and the person in charge would be liable for not being able to do de-encrypt the file–the institution would be in violation of federal law. There is a policy in the works prohibiting encryption unless the content is exempted. The problem is that you don’t really know what is exempt—thus there is a default to the thought that everything is subject to open records. Also keep in mind that BMP 53 does not permit curious surveillance—people can’t just look at email.

Stokes: The word “audit” is pretty broad.

Harper: If this activity is occurring, bring it to the attention of the Ethics officer at your institution.

 

 

The U. T. System K-16 Initiative—Ed Sharpe, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Ivor Page, Past-Chair, FAC, UT-Dallas

 

The K-16 committee was established by the System composed of people from the System. The committee has been meeting since last summer. The problem identified is, that for the State of Texas we needed to produce 20,000 more bachelor degree students per year for the next 10 years. UT-Austin produces less than 20,000 bachelor degree students per year. If this goal cannot be met, it is forecasted that we will have an unskilled, uneducated population that can not compete economically or work effectively in business/economic endeavors. Economic trends project that household incomes would decrease—and increases in poverty would be seen. Another issue is that our drop out rates are higher in every grade level when compared to the national average—this also needs to be addressed.

The problems lie in a number of areas: by the time the students reach 3rd grade, they are behind in their reading—can’t get them back up to speed after this. It has been shown that if reading lags at 5th grade it will always be a problem.

2nd problem—dropout rate at algebra 1, which is needed for entry to University—can’t support technological career/advanced learning. Reading and mathematics skills lag and the student can never make it to college. Mathematics and reading levels tend to be poor if the student takes a lot of vocational classes.

There is a major discrepancy between economic groups and ethnicity. Minority families and children do have the same aspirations for economic security as Anglos. On examination, there is only a very small proportion of ethnicities represented in college/university. Poor school districts suffer from inadequate supplies, equipment and poorer qualified teachers. This lack of resources has devastating effects on the education. Three inadequate teachers in a row dooms the student to failure. There is a large proportion of teachers who are not certified to teach the content they are providing. A student’s score of A’s in the substandard school system tend to translate into C’s at the better schools—are about 4 grade levels behind their counterparts in the better districts.

We must do more than improve retention without dropping standards. Money is very significant indicator of success—will take a lot of money and brave legislation to close the ethnic gap.

How to use U.T. System to assist in solving the problem, not just for Texas, but for the nation:

        PowerPoint presentation at a Board of Regents meeting introduced them to the importance of this issue.

        Texas has four million students and 1,042 school districts. The State Board of Education and the legislature has different rules under which they operate. Higher education has 800,000 students in 6 university systems and 50 community college districts. This adds up to about 500-600 board members thus involved with the governance of education. The State of Georgia has one Board of Regents that is responsible for both the universities and the community colleges. The Challenge: who speaks for higher education, and what is the best means to accomplish the goal given the amount of autonomous agencies involved. The Coordinating Board is supposed to be orchestrating things, but it is acting much more like a regulatory agency. This is the collision of the two worlds in Texas.

        We want to reach the national average each year: 17,000 more associate degrees and 20,000 more bachelor degrees to achieve the national average. There will have to be a focus on the lower socioeconomic class to make the gains. The U.T. Board of Regents has given strong support from their Academic Affairs committee to do this.

        U. T. components: All components are involved in the project to varying degrees. For example, the El Paso collaborative for academic excellence includes the community college and the three largest school districts in the area. The Uteach program at UT-Austin is nationally recognized.

        U. T. System: The office of Academic Affairs is trying to involve itself in programmatic activities instead of regulatory ones.

        Felipe Alanis, Assistant Vice Chancellor, has an ongoing advisory responsibility to Jim Nelson, the Texas Commissioner of Education

        The U. T. System K-16 Leadership Council has representatives from all components.

        The U. T. System K-16 seminar was held January 30-31/00. Participants included community colleges, academic presidents, five community college presidents, superintendents, Jim Nelsen, and Charles Miller (Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Regents).

        Have developed an agenda for long term collaboration that includes an advanced placement program, mathematics in grades 8-13: the Algebra I Project to develop successful qualified teachers), UT-H Reading K-3: Professional development initiative;

        Beyond U.T. System:

        The Chief Academic Officers of the 6 University systems meet monthly for discussions;

        Texas Association of Community Colleges and the U. T. System superintendents advisory group created;

        Texas school alliance includes both the largest and the smallest school districts to improve the number of students coming out of public schools; the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; State Board of Education Certification; Texas Business and Education Coalition (TBEC); Education Trust Initiative. The guiding principles in the Initiative: Accountability—focus on student achievement as key outcome measure; Equity –close the achievement gap between ethnicities; need for change and improvement—build on public school reform movement; data-driven actions; value of collaboration; sustained effort.

 

Nelsen: How is this funded? The Chair of the Appropriations Committee says there is no money for this.

Sharpe: Currently there are discussions looking into a legislative approach for this. We are also looking into federal level and private sources.

Craven: What is the State Board of Educator Certification?

Sharpe: It used to be part of TPA. It develops the test that teachers must pass to be certified to teach in public schools.

Craven: If teachers then don’t know how to teach Math and Science, what does that mean about the State board of educator certification? They really are not ensuring that the teachers are competent.

Sharpe: This is more demand for teachers than is supplied. Thus they are not all certified, and we know that some of them are not qualified. There is nothing more important than getting able teachers in the classroom.

Corbett Gaulden (UT-Permian Basin): Senator Bivins says we want more people to go to community colleges for the first 2 years and you say that we need 20,000 more bachelor degrees per year. Someone needs to educate the legislature about the problem/issues.

Sharpe: Those figures are based on the national average. We need to work with the legislature to determine how to best meet the needs. There are some very good things going on in some of the community colleges here—need to work with them to turn out the best graduate.

Moore: Is there any momentum to creating a single board that will cover both universities and the community colleges?

Sharpe: I don’t’ think this is getting serious attention. It would be too much responsibility.

Moore: Accountability of the objectives and the TEAF proposal is circulating. Do you think that this will be tied together?

Sharpe: I don’t think that proposal has gained any momentum.

Stokes: What is the drive for the numbers related to the needed graduates coming from?

Sharpe: The view is an economic one—if we don’t produce a broad range of people ready for the workforce, we will be in economic crisis.

Dunnington: How is big business supporting the education? They want good deals and don’t want to pay taxes for a period of time. In my area, the kids are not tested until they fail 2 grades. If the school finds out they have learning disabilities, the school district then has to take care of them—meaning Special Education. The school district takes a long time to determine if and when the child has problems. This is not helping the situation.

Sharpe: Remedial work that needs to follow the problem is not occurring like it should. We may see something addressing this at the legislative level soon.

Ross Sherman (UT-Tyler): The proposal to establish literacy centers at all UT components was not carried in the legislature. Where is this now?

Sharpe: The proposal did not get into the higher education coalition that went forward. We are taking a broader view and including the community colleges now. We are going to try to put together a legislative package to go forth.

 

CAMPUS REPORTS

 

University of Texas at Arlington—Michael Moore

        The Faculty Senate has adopted and/or finalized the following policies:

-         Upward Review of Administrators - mostly minor changes. Ready for final approval

-         Grievance Policy - mostly minor changes. Ready for final approval.

-         Family Leave Policy - to create consistency across campus and expand coverage. President Witt as agreed to the policy.

-         Privacy Policy - Requires that employees be notified that most means of communication are not private. Also requires the president be the only one to order any monitoring.

-         Post Tenure Review - Added section for those who have joint appointments. Also now requires that the administration notify faculty members when the process has been completed.

-         By-laws have been amended to require that the Chair of the Senate be a current member of the Senate or a past member.

        Enrollment is up 5 percent for the Spring. Officials are crediting much of the gain to Winter session and to distance education.

-         Wintersession and Maymester raise potential difficulties related to faculty salaries. These courses are “capped” at $3500 for most faculty. However, summer courses are paid at a rate of one-tenth of the nine month rate. University officials have indicated that they would like to raise the rates, however, the recent announcement for Wintersession 2000 show no movement.

        President Witt announced that faculty and staff would be eligible for 4% raises based on merit.

        Some bad news. The university learned that the bricks on nursing and business buildings are literally falling off and will need to be replaced to the tune of $12.5 million. This was money that we had hoped to use for new construction.

        Administrative Departure. Our former Dean of Engineering who had been named a vice-president in charge of the Riverbend Campus has left the university to become a dean of Engineering in Florida.

        The university has taken the plunge in major media advertising with television spots on the local NBC station. The advertisements air during the Today Show, Jay Leno and Saturday Night Live. The first spot focuses on distance education and future ones will focus on Maymester, Riverbend Campus, and other aspects of UTA. The early reports are that ads are generating more inquires into the university.

 

How do you compensate your faculty in “special sessions”? 1/10 of their rate in the summer. Administration wants to cap the compensation at $3500/course irregardless of the faculty member’s salary.

Senior faculty are finding it difficult to continue in light of being Medicare eligible. Physicians do not want to see them. How are the other campuses handling this?

Shelley Payne (UT-A): You have paid family leave?

Moore: Yes, the policy is posted on our web page.

 

The University of Texas at Austin--Martha Hilley
        Active legislation has not been prevalent this academic year. To date the Faculty Council has acted on seven formal legislative reports. All may be found on the Faculty Council web page http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/. A quick survey of legislative action includes:

        Recommendation from Rules Committee on U.T System Faculty Advisory Council Representatives [The Chair and the Past Chair shall represent U.T. Austin on the U.T. System Faculty Advisory Council.] Approved by the Faculty Council on September 20, 1999. Approved by General Faculty October 12, 1999, and transmitted to President on October 13, 1999. Approved by President December 22, 1999.

        Recommendation from Rules Committee on Faculty Council Executive Committee [The Executive Committee of the Faculty Council (a standing committee of the Faculty Council). a. Composition: The Chair, and Chair Elect, and Past Chair of the Faculty Council; the Secretary of the Faculty Council; one Faculty Council member (elected by the voting members of the Faculty Council) from each of the following standing committees: Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets, Educational Policy Committee, and Faculty Welfare Committee; and the Chair (or the Chair Elect in the absence of the Chair) of the Graduate Assembly.]

Approved by the Faculty Council on September 20, 1999. Approved by General Faculty October 12, 1999, and transmitted to President on October 13, 1999.

Approved by President December 22, 1999.

        Recommendation from Educational Policy Committee on Changes in Policies Concerning Grades Awarded with Credit by Examination [1.That the University of Texas at Austin continue to award credit by examination either with letter

grades or with the symbol CR but that letter grades for credit by examination not be counted in a student's UT Austin grade point average. 2.That the catalog and other official publications of UT Austin be amended to reflect this change in

policies.] Approved by the Faculty Council on November 15, 1999. Transmitted to President November 16, 1999.

        Report from the Faculty Council ad hoc Committee on Course Instructor Surveys Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness and Excellence. Approved by the Faculty Council on November 15, 1999. Transmitted to President November 16, 1999.

        Report from the Educational Policy Committee on changes in the Basic Education Requirement. Calls for the addition of a statement regarding basic use of computers as well as the definition and assessment of student computer competency. Approved by the Faculty Council on March 20, 2000.

        Report from the Committee on Committees concerning the creation of a standing faculty committee on academics and athletics. Defeated by the Faculty Council on March 20, 2000.

        Report from the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility on the mid-probationary review policy. Recommendation was amended to “proceed no later than the fourth probationary year and be completed in the same semester as it was started.” The full text is available at the Faculty Council web site. Approved by the Faculty Council on March 20, 2000.

 

        Major issues other than legislation have included:

1)      Cancellation of the Kissinger Speech

2)      Reorganization of the upper administration

        The proposed reorganization will allow President Faulkner more

time to focus more global issues, including the outside community.

Dr. Faulkner’s plan calls for ten (10) vice presidents instead of the

current seven (7). Duties of some of the current vice presidents will

change under the new plan.

        There will be a new office of campus services (portfolio will include human resources, facilities, police, utilities, parking, environmental health and safety). An office of information technology will be formed as well as an office of public affairs.

Travis: Was the athletic committee not formed?

Payne: A large report was just completed that suggested changes for the athletic committee that should be addressed by the President first. That’s why we didn’t go forward with it.

 

 

The University of Texas at Brownsville—Terry Jay Phillips

1.      Enrollment Goal – 20,000 in 2010: The administration has set this as a goal. At the general faculty meeting in January, a resolution was passed which stated that the faculty could only support this goal if there were the proper resources available. The faculty feels that the institution is already at the limit of the services it can provide without major new resources in the way of space, new faculty, new support staff, etc. and to propose a goal of such huge enrollment increases (more than doubling in ten years) without proper consideration of the resource implications would be imprudent. There was a retreat of the VP’s held in late February, to determine the resources needed to reach this enrollment goal.

2.        An assessment plan for general education curriculum is being formulated. The various academic departments that administer courses under the general education core were assigned the task of devising the methods of assessment of each individual course to determine how the various “Competencies” and “Perspectives”, designated by the THECB are being met in each course.

3.      The current Provost has announced that he will be stepping down. He has indicated that he will serve until a replacement can be found. The Provost told the Dean’s Council that some of the reasons for his decision dealt with frustration in relation to the lack of resources to hire new faculty and increase current faculty salaries.

 

 

The University of Texas at Dallas—Robert Nelsen

*Enrollments are going through the roof—up 11% this spring. How much in the fall? 8 to 10% overall, maybe 12% or more. Actual acceptances are up 30% from this time last year. We have no place to put any of these people. No new dorms will be built until 2002. Portable classrooms have been ordered.

 

*The odious code of conduct that I kept warning about has become "compliance training." We are currently in the middle of (in my opinion) a major catastrophe. The access to media web training module is a joke, absolutely misleading, and an embarrassment to the System and to the Board of Regents. I asked our President to take down the web site (as was done in El Paso); he refused in spite of my sincere and adamant protestations. The Senate, therefore, passed a “resolution” stating that the faculty considered all of the modules as the view of the administration only, that taking any of the modules did not constitute an agreement to comply with the administration’s views, and that faculty retain their rights to speak and act according to normal academic and legal standards as the faculty understand them. More to come. This issue is clearly on its way to the courts. On our end, we are rewriting the access to media site, but that site is only one of the myriad of legal and ethical problems that the System’s policy muddies and fails to address.

 

*The funding of TA's has come to a head—the TA’s were about to go on strike. The administration has offered a proposal ($1000, $500 tuition reimbursement, annual raises on the basis of the annual percentage offered to faculty, etc.). The TA’s have said yes….. The Deans are unhappy because each school will have to cut its budget by 2.5% to pay for the raises. The raises still leave the teaching assistants $500 dollars below what UTD considers (in published form) the minimal subsistence level of the graduate students to be.

 

*If the administration changes the grades of any of our students (they have always been able to do this), the faculty will at least be notified from here on out.

 

*UTD has been given the right to write a policy on non-discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation." The Senate tried to do this by just adding the words to the catalogue, but failed. The actual policy to be put in handbooks, etc., will work just as well.

 

*The Senate added wording to the catalogue to make it clear that the catalogue is not a contract and that faculty cannot be sued on the basis of changes in the catalogue.

 

* The System's lawyers in Austin have, according to the administration’s opinion, given the students permission to put up anonymous pages (without censorship or limits regarding language, tone, content, or number) for open comments about professors. These pages will appear on the UTD web site and will therefore be supported by UTD (and System) money. The debate on campus is, to say the least, rancorous. Next month the faculty will be considering a motion to be sent to the President asking him to refuse to use University funds to support such a site.

Payne: With respect to the compliance document—we have no training piece, it is just expected that you will be in compliance with the relevant state laws.

Farquhar: We had an open forum for faculty that resulted in a fiasco. Although it is anonymous, the email can always be traced, and when that was made known, the amount of inflammatory remarks decreased greatly.

 

The University of Texas – Pan American--Sue G. Mottinger

1.      Administration Evaluation: The UTPA Faculty Senate is conducting an evaluation by

the faculty of the President, Provost/VPAA, Deans, and the Director of the Library. Opinions based upon a Likert scale will be reported to the Faculty Senate and shared with each administrator. The Chair of the Faculty Senate will share written comments with the appropriate administrator.

2.      Dean Searches: There are two dean searches occurring: Dean of the College of

Business Administration, and Dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. Each search should be completed before the end of the spring semester.

3.      Curriculum: The UTPA faculty passed a referendum for a 51-advanced hour

minimum requirement for all degree programs at the university. A core curriculum oversight committee that includes faculty and administrators has been established.

4.      Faculty Salary: A Faculty Senate committee recently completed a study of summer

school compensation and overload compensation for faculty. The report, including recommendations, was submitted to the President. At this time, discussions and negotiations are occurring with the President and Faculty Senate.

5.      President & Faculty Senate: By invitation, the President of UTPA addressed the

Faculty Senate at its March meeting. Legislative issues and faculty salary are on the agenda.

6.      Construction: The general-purpose classroom and student union building

constructions are progressing. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place in the spring for the new on campus, apartment style, residence housing.

7.      Department Chair Compensation: The Faculty Senate is conducting a study of

department chair summer school compensation. This has caused additional information pertaining to overall department chair compensation to be included. The final report and recommendations will be presented to the Faculty Senate and Council of Deans later in the spring.

8.      Faculty Workload Policy: The Faculty Senate approved the policy in October and

subsequently approved by the Council of Deans. After discussions with the President, agreements were reached and the proposed changes forwarded to the UT System Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

9.      Enrollment: The spring semester brought a new enrollment procedure – no arena

registration, that is, standing in lines. The enrollment figures for the spring semester increased 1.2% Student Credit Hour’s and 1.84% head count.

10.   English Department: Placed in “receivership”, that is, a department chair from another department is serving as department chair ad interim for English.

 

Travis:: Were the committee and the bylaws disbanded?

Ken Buckman (UT-PanAm): Yes. They disbanded the internal search and appointed another chair ad interim.

 

 

The University of Texas At San Antonio-- James C Schneider

Reaccredidation

UTSA has its site visit on April 24-27. The reports are going out to the site team and the last details of the visit are being arranged. In the period leading up to the visit all units on campus are going to be visited by the representatives of the self-study team to help them anticipate what they are likely to encounter during the visit. Aside from an uneven record of assessment, we hope that UTSA is in fairly good shape.

Physical Facilities

Work is continuing on the third building of the Downtown campus. We received news of additional funding in excess of $83 million for new facilities and the upgrading of existing buildings. This will allow a new 240,000 square foot academic building at the 1604 campus, expansion of the library, and various other improvements. Taken together, this expansion will go far toward alleviating the chronic shortage of space that has characterized the University over most of its history.

Restructuring

This is perhaps the liveliest issue involving faculty at the moment. A committee of faculty prepared, and the president and the provost have endorsed, a general proposal to overhaul the academic structure of UTSA. This features a shift from our current divisional structure toward more traditional departmental groupings, in most cases. It also involves a reorganization of the college structure. We currently have four—Business, Fine Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Engineering, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Already proposed are new colleges in Engineering and Education, along with a School of Architecture. Issues yet to be resolved involve the creation of a programmatic presence at the Downtown Campus and where in the overall structure to house the remaining programs in Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Grievance

The president has endorsed the grievance procedure recommended by the Faculty Senate and the document is currently at System. We may finally have this resolved after many years.

Women’s Issues

The Senate received a partial response to a Report on Issues of Concern to Women that it had forwarded to then-President Kirkpatrick last Spring. The report was prepared by the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs and focused on the under-representation of women in leadership positions at UTSA. In addition to calling for the formation of a presidential committee to study matters further, the report indicated that it was the administration’s intention to promote inclusion of women in a new internship program to help develop future leaders at the University.

Mathematics and Statistics

The Senate discussed matters at its last meeting, and received documents from the provost concerning the conflict resolution process and from a faculty member about allegations made against him. The Senate resolved to ask the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee to explore ways in which units with internal problems might be aided in resolving them. The Math issue continues and there have been administrative errors (like the web page) that have not assisted in bringing about a resolution. The conflict resolution process has been interrupted by a grievance filed against it.

 

Farquhar: Was the grievance policy yours or the generic one?

Travis: A little bit of both, but we had some unique characteristics. Ed, do you know where it is?

Sharpe: Still in OGC.

The University of Texas at Tyler—Steve Rainwater

Faculty Senate:

1.      The Faculty Senate has approved an ad hoc committee recommendation that proposes

the restructuring of senate and university committees. The proposal would basically

organize most university committees under the current senate committee structure. Chairs of the senate committees would remain senior senators with membership comprised of the chairs of the aligned university committees. The principal rationale is to afford the faculty a more universal and centralized representation in the proposal and review of university policies and procedures. The proposal is under review by the president.

2.      The senate has assumed a major role in the review and revision of the proposed New

Millennium Vision strategic plan. After the release of the proposed plan in December,

the senate sponsored an on-line survey and discussion list database to gain input from

the faculty. An open forum discussion was also held last month. Several issues were identified as a result of these initiatives. Consequently, the proposed plan is currently being revised by a small group committee with the senate president and two past-presidents serving as members.

3.      Senate committees reviewed assigned sections of the SACS Institutional Report

appropriate to their oversight and provided input to the steering committee.

4.      The senate approved a recommendation for the university to establish a Center for Instructional Effectiveness. President Mabry has authorized the center with operations to begin in the fall of 2000.

5.      The annual senate-sponsored Alpha-Omega luncheon honoring new, retired, and newly tenured and/ore promoted faculty was an overwhelming success with more than seventy in attendance.

6.      The Academic Affairs committee voted unanimously to withdraw its previous recommendation regarding the proposed resolution to allow faculty to administratively drop students for excess absences. New federal rules may shift the responsibility from the student to the university for paying back student loan money if the student drops below 12 credit hours before the semester of enrollment is at least 60% completed.

What do the other campuses do about this?

 

7.      The senate unanimously approved and President Mabry accepted a recommendation designating the inclusion of a statement in the Handbook of Operating Procedures that established senate oversight over any additions or revisions to the HOP involving faculty.

8.      The senate has hosted guest presentations at each of the senate meetings this year. These presentations have included: representatives from the bookstore, the SACS steering committee chair, the interim director of the Longview University Center, enrollment management dean, strategic planning facilitator, the VPBA, development office and student affairs.

9.      Senate committees continue to study the following issues: final review period, course repeat policy, required grades for general education courses, number of upper division hours necessary for degrees, monitoring of post-tenure review process, proposed system post-tenure reporting form, longitudinal study of faculty salaries, review of proposed institutional policies/procedures for evaluation, tenure, and promotion, and establishment of university traditions (colors, mascot, nickname, logo).

 

University:

1.      The SACS visiting team was on campus March 6-9 and provided a series of recommendations and suggestions.

2.      Construction is nearing completion on the Longview Higher Education Center; program/course offerings and faculty assignments are being formulated for Fall 2000. A major gift in Palestine completed the purchase of the remodeled instructional facilities.

3.      Preliminary architectural specifications for a proposed (and privately endowed) bell tower have been developed. Approximately one-half of the cost for a proposed Health and Kineseology building has been secured.

4.      Fall enrollment: up slightly in total number of students, but down slightly in semester credit hours. Spring 2000 enrollment flat.

 

In his remarks to university donors at the annual President’s Dinner, President Mabry emphasized the need for scholarships, professorships, and excellence funds.

 

 

University of Texas Permian Basin—Corbett Gaulden

P.T.R.:

Some procedural delays were encountered in getting our second round of PTR underway. Only two persons university-wide were evaluated this year. Our small size, and two promotion attempts are the reasons for the very small pool of evaluatees this year. The process has been completed. The committee has finished with its work. The deans of the affected faculty members have also completed their work. We are finished with the second round of PTR.

 

SACS:

The SACS campus visit was conducted February 14-17, 2000. The visitation committee came and went with very little criticism of the campus. The committee reported out 21 recommendations and 11 suggestions.

ADMINISTRATOR EVALUATIONS:

The fifth (or sixth) round of administrator evaluations is now underway. The faculty members involved in this year's round of evaluations have all completed the questionnaires. Those questionnaires are now in the hands of the Senate committee charged with oversight of the process. Compilation of the data will take place next week. In our procedure, the direct superior of the administrator being evaluated is charged with analyzing the results of the process after compilation. That administrator, then, writes a summary report to be distributed to the faculty whose administrator was evaluated. The process should be completed in April.

 

PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH:

President Charles Sorber announced in February of this year his resignation effective May 31, 2001. Vice Chancellor Sharpe was on campus on March 22, 2000 to discuss with various affected bodies the procedures to be used for selection/election of the membership of the presidential search committee. At the time of the preparation of these notes, the outcome of those discussions was not known. An oral report may be available on March 23 at the FAC meeting.

 

INSTIUTIONAL COMPLIANCE:

The VP for Business Affairs has appointed a faculty member to the Institutional Compliance Committee. The Compliance officer is taking a low key position. This appears to be a non-issue on the faculty.

OTHER:

The President is considering a 3% salary raise next year.

 

Travis: Do the faculty who are involved with the upward evaluation process receive the results of their reviews?

Gaulden: They get a summary of the results along with the supervisor’s interpretation of the results.

Travis: Is your tenure with the system or with the individual component?

Dunnington: We will check with Regent’s Rules to determine if there is a rule with this.

 

 

Campus Report for UTMB, Galveston—Linda Phillips

1.      UTMB, Galveston has started its budgetary hearings for this coming fiscal year 2000-2001. We are anticipating a 1.4% cut across the board.

2.      The Faculty Senate has embarked upon several meetings seeking information regarding restructuring and other activities on campus. This is in an attempt to determine what efforts are present on campus and inform the individual Senators.

3.      The Senators are tracking the progress of the Development Program that we have endorsed. Little activity has been detected and we are taking this to upper echelons on our campus.

4.      Attached are the forms used for upward evaluation. On our campus, this occurs at the Chair level and below. The Deans have exempted themselves. Currently, it is on a voluntary basis.

Hilley: How can the deans opt out?

Phillips: I will clarify this, since we do have forms for this. No one above the deans is evaluated either.

 

5.      The Faculty Satisfaction Survey which is a joint effort with the Core Committee for Women is currently at the printer and should be dispersed within the next several weeks. We have requested a bid for analysis of this data. In addition, the Core Committee for Women has embarked upon a salary equity study which will begin in the School of Medicine and will continue across the entire campus.

 

The University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio—Cheryl Staats

University Level

        In February, Dr. John Howe announced that he will step down as President of The UTHSCSA January 2001. A search committee for the position is being convened.

        The proposal for changes in faculty governance is an ongoing issue. Alternate proposals to the establishment of a Faculty Senate are being circulated and discussed. A vote is pending.

The Chairs of the Faculty Assemblies submitted names for the selection committee—The Board of Regents will select 3 names.

Dunnington: Sanchez was not happy with the make-up of the committee—no Hispanic representation, although women were represented. He charged racism.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

        A search committee has been formed for the Dean’s position in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

        A Graduate Faculty Assembly Committee is in the process of review and revision of the School’s By-Laws since 1986.

        The issue of disciplinary versus interdisciplinary graduate school programs is being examined.

 

Medical School

        Dr. Steve Wartman, has accepted the position of Dean of the Medical School. He will fill the position at the end of March.

        Discussions are underway concerning monies that have been allocated to the university for the development and renovation of teaching space.

        New clinic space has been acquired with the addition of the Diagnostic Clinic Building. The efficiency of MSRDP, which is a major funding source is an ongoing discussion.

        The first class to experience the new "integrated basic science curriculum" is the current second year class. Informal observations suggest that things are going well. Positive feedback has been received from clinical preceptors indicating that this class seems more advanced in clinical skills compared to students in previous years. Additional information should surface concerning the impact of the curricular changes as these students rotate through the third-year clerkships.

 

School of Allied Health

        Dr. Dennis Blessing, from UTMB, has accepted the position of Chair of the Physician’s Assistant Program. He is expected on campus in May.

        The Chair position for Physical Therapy and the search for the position remain open.

        A bachelor's curriculum was approved for Emergency Medical Technology.

Dental School

        Renovations of the building and the dental equipment are in progress. Dental units that were original to the school are being upgraded.

        The dental school is preparing to implement the electronic curriculum in August 2000 for incoming freshmen. Texts will be issued (bought) by students in CD-ROM format, along with class outlines and manuals on CD-ROM.

 

School of Nursing

        Dr. Carol Benzer has accepted the position of Associate Dean for Students. She will begin the position in July 2000.

        Dr. Brenda Jackson accepted and is currently serving in the position of Interim Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Program.

        Currently there are openings for the positions of Chair, Department of Chronic Nursing Care and Chair, Department of Family Nursing Care. A search committee has been convened for the Associate Dean for Information Technology and Curriculum Resources position.

        Off campus sites are being developed for LVN and RN distance learning. Sites in Alpine and Seguin are being planned.

        Texas A&M in Kingsville has expanded to include a site at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. Palo Alto is a member of the Alamo Community College District. The nursing major is currently in the negotiation stages with The UTHSCSA School of Nursing.

James Schneider (UTSA)—A&M said they would offer programs no one else did—as for example, Agricultural Science. But no one wanted it, so they are now bringing in programs that are competing with us at lower prices. This is a declining campus that has been in trouble for a long time. Enrollment has been declining, funding is suboptimal. Are they going to move the main campus?

Sykes: Anyone else have their curriculum on CD rom? It is working out well for the dental branch—is portable and the students like it. This is something to watch.

Staats: I think this is a national movement for dental students.

 

 

UT Southwestern Medical Center—Cheryl Silver

1.      UT Southwestern has announced its campus expansion plan for the year 2012, which includes construction of a new center for ambulatory care, expansion of combination clinical/research facilities on our North Campus, the development of a West Campus component, construction of a new underground parking garage for faculty, and a housing development for students and visiting fellows. Additionally, negotiations are under way for the purchase of a hospital facility, currently under private ownership, which would become a part of the planned West Campus.

2.      Because of the feeling of vulnerability expressed by some faculty and for the purpose of utilizing 21st century technology, UT Southwestern has begun consideration of a SmartCard plan that assigns a card to each faculty member, which would serve as an ID card, security card for the buildings and offices, and parking card for entrance into parking facilities.

3.      A female professor and chair of the Physical Therapy Department has received the first endowed professorship created in the UT Southwestern Allied Health Sciences School.

4.      Following a round of holiday parties, the president of UT Southwestern has withdrawn approval for alcohol to be served at any campus events where students are in attendance, or at any off-campus events involving students which are supported by university funds.

5.      Dean of graduate school has stepped down from the position due to health related problems. A search committee has been formed.

 

 

University of Texas Houston Health Science Center—James Turley

        Faculty Satisfaction Survey: The InterFaculty Council has identified salaries, teaching and faculty reviews as the top priority concerns. We will ask the Executive Council to work with faculty to address these areas. The IFC believes that focus on the areas of teaching and faculty reviews are vital to achieving the UT-HHSC goal of becoming the model health sciences center of the 21st century.

        SACS was here! We had an excellent exit interview—loved our compliance report, and the fact that the self-study was online. They were also very impressed with our students.

        We were reaccredited for 10 years (compliance) with 2 substantial recommendations, the most important of which was to demonstrate financial stability for the medical school

        We also had a commendation—the University leadership was acknowledged for their open dialogue on differing perspectives.

        We need to respond to them by August 15.

        Medical School: Have lost $9M in practice plan for FY99. They have received $10M from surplus for FY 2000 (is already gone in the first 6 months)—now is a $20M projection. Leaves reserves of only $16M.

        There will be reductions in the central business office (approx 45-50 people)

        ? Administrative reductions

        Performance incentives reduced

        Faculty have already been given notice of non-reappointment

        Collect 40% of gross charges—translates into approximately 22 cents/$1.

        Overhead is about 24%--benchmarked at about 8-10%

        Are drafting a business plan for the next 6 months, next year, and next 2 years.

        Memorial Hermann Hospital is required to take 6% indigent care—currently do 12%. (is approx $70M) We do 90% of this and receive no reimbursement. Are looking into this as a source of revenue.

        Allied Health: Coordinating Board to do site visit about doctoral program in informatics

        Dental Branch: Dean asked for faculty input on restructuring their administration—received 10 recommendations/suggestions.

 

 

University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler—Jerry McLarty

        On January 13, the two faculty chairs met with President, Dr. Garvey, concerning asking for tenure at the Health Center. It was agreed that Dr. Garvey would try to get the issue on the November Regents meeting. However, after attending the February regents meeting, Dr. Garvey said he thought it would be better to wait until the institution gets degree granting capabilities and then ask for tenure.

        In a joint clinical faculty meeting March 9, the faculty voted unanimously (except for one abstention) in favor of not waiting for degree granting before asking for tenure.

        A subcommittee was formed to investigate the possibility of permanently merging the clinical and research faculty assemblies into one organization.

        The President has issued another 5% cut across all budgets (2nd time in a row). Last year some administrators had raises of 20-25%.

 

Craven: Your HOOP does not have a list of criteria on how to get tenure—you do have criteria on how to get promoted. Be careful that the achievement of tenure does not get out of reach for a large part of the clinical faculty.

McLarty: That is a concern, but I don’t think the bar could be any higher for both groups than it is now.

Craven: Administration has the perception that they lose control when faculty get tenure since you now have a greater level of independence and protection. Did the Chairmen vote on this?

McLarty: No.

 

 

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center - David Farquhar

Lifetime Tenure vs. Term Appointments

        After nearly one year of deliberation, the President of the Cancer Center, Dr. John Mendelsohn, has ruled on the issue of tenure versus 7-year renewable term appointments for our faculty. He has decided that we should stay with our current term appointment system. In reaching his decision, he solicited the input of five standing committees, namely, the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff, the Executive Committee of the Science Faculty, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, the Promotion and Tenure Joint Working Group, and the Physicians Referral Service Executive Committee. Four of the committees recommended that we retain the current term appointment system. One, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, recommended a switch to tenure. The vote of the 70 Senators who participated in the Senate debate was 37 for lifetime tenure and 30 for retaining the current 7-year term appointment system; 3 members abstained. Dr. Mendelsohn explained his decision as follows:

        We are a university with a unique research and clinical mission; we are not a medical school;

        Our unusual collaborative culture and our outstanding success have developed under the present term appointment system;

        Our current system is attractive to outstanding clinician researchers; they have a higher probability of achieving term appointments here than tenure at any other U.T. medical component or any other academic medical center in the country;

        Academic freedom is preserved under either system if applied properly, with appropriate safeguards and conflict resolution mechanisms;

        The changes in our grievance policy now provide fair protection and appeal mechanisms for our faculty.

 

Faculty Conflict Resolution Policy

        A new faculty conflict resolution policy has been developed at the Cancer Center. It consists of 3 major components. The first is an Ombudsman office. The Ombudsman has wide ranging authority to determine the facts of a case, and reports directly to the President. The second component is mediation; for this the Cancer Center has retained the services of a distinguished retired Texas Appeals Court Justice. The third component is a Faculty Appeals Panel; this will consist of three individuals selected by random number generation from a pool of 45 faculty members who are elected from their respective departments. This Conflict Resolution Policy is pending approval in the UT Office of General Counsel.

Craven: This replaces the current grievance policy. It is an attempt to resolve problems and conflicts internally without lawyers. If it is an EOC or criminal act, this does not take away the right to pursue legal action.

Farquhar: Administration and faculty worked on this jointly—everyone is a part of it—there is no adversarial relationship.

Upward Evaluation

        Upward Evaluation was conducted earlier this year, and involved faculty administrators with the title of department chair or division head (where a division is an organizational unit consisting of a number of departments). The overall faculty response was 67% compared with 56% last year. The faculty was provided no feed back on the results of Upward Evaluation. However, immediately after completion of the process, one division head resigned. A second division head resigned two days ago. The relationship of Upward Evaluation to the resignations was not explained.

        All faculty administrators subject to Upward Evaluation are required to present plans to Senior Administration on how they propose to remedy the perceived deficiencies in their administrative performance. Upward Evaluation will be conducted again next year and will be extended to all senior administrators whose duties impact on the ability of faculty to perform their duties including VP’s and Executive VP’s (the Chief Academic Officer, the Chief Medical Officer, and the Chief Operating Officer).

 

Hilley: Is the ombudsman position a full time position?

Farquhar: The faculty want it to be a 50% appointment. The president wants it to be about 25%. The person will receive a supplement reflecting the time he/she spends in the job. Anyone can nominate themselves for this, but they must have training in mediation/conflict resolution.

Hilley: All campuses presently have an ombudsman office of students, right?

General consensus was no.

 

 

University of Texas El Paso—Ralph Luigori

        There are two search committees formed or being formed to fill the Dean’s positions in the College of Business and the College of Health Sciences. The College of Business search is more advanced as Dr. Hoy is stepping down on August 31. The Dean of Health Sciences, Patricia Castiglia, will search until December 31 or even later if needed. The search committees were filled with the Faculty Senate nominating 6 possible members for each committee.

        The Communications Department saga continues. The leadership of that group of faculty seems to be undetermined at this time. A special Ad Hoc Committee that was set up early last fall to investigate the ramifications of the then proposed changes reported to the Faculty Senate in February. In a comprehensive report of the actions involving the Communications Department a major finding of the committee was that “there has not been any good faith communication with the faculty about decisions which affect their career, the future of students in the program, and/or the impact of radical program changes in the University at large”. The report of the committee was accepted by the Faculty Senate unanimously. Further, the Senate voted unanimously to have the President of the Senate create an Ad Hoc Committee to participate in the resolution of the situation in order to preserve and enhance the role of the faculty in the decision-making process according to sound academic principles. Finally the Senate invited the Provost to address that body concerning the subject, which he did at the regular meeting in March. There are criteria from the Coordinating Board and the Board of Regents for disbanding a department. Administration says the department is not being disbanded, just relocated into a Communications Center. Administration has not followed the procedure because they say the purpose is to disperse people, not to get rid of them. Faculty are concerned about the arbitrary manner in which things appear to have been handled. For example, the press was notified of events before the faculty were.

        The administration has retained Professor Pat Witherspoon of UT to mediate the situation and make recommendations concerning the administrative changes to be implemented.

        The attack by our state Senator against some of the faculty of the College of Business which resulted from a report by a group of high school students on the lending practices of the El Paso Banking Community appears to have been quietly dropped. Although no public communication has been published in which the Senator has dropped his charges imputing any study by a faculty group investigating the charges raised by the student group, it appears that he has quietly backed off from infringing on the academic freedom of the faculty.

        We are in the process of doing upward evaluation every 2nd year. Our policy requires feedback at each administration level, but we only have about a 50% response on this. Clinical and tenure track faculty were pretty much segregated.

         We had a booklet on the “Standards of Conduct Guide”. Regarding the section related to investigations and press media relations—if there was an investigation the proper procedure was to let the superior know. It has since been revised and is currently focused on the media—if you are approached by the press the proper procedure is to talk to your supervisor first and not speak to the press. Subsequent to discussions, a letter was sent from the President via U. T. System saying that you can speak to the press.

        We still have no faculty on the compliance committee.

 

Dunnington: We don’t have a book, we have a memo with a printed standards of conduct that reflects that the 75th legislature requires that all faculty be notified of the standards re the use of state resources, 556.0 Termination of Employment, and Compensation Prohibition. I am supposed to sign it and return. It appears that different campuses are receiving different information.

Nelsen: Do you still have to do compliance training? All of the modules are up. Every faculty member should have received a code of conduct manual. The web site has 12 different modules addressing a wide range of topics—all employees have to take the web based training. Government agencies can investigate at any time. You can’t talk to the media directly about the investigation or criminal charges of the investigations.

Turley: Our IFC said this whole issue is DOA and we have not heard from them again.

Payne: One fold-over flyer came with our paychecks saying you need to be in compliance. Lee Smith, our Compliance Officer, and faculty representatives met to come up with a document that describes issues related to classified staff and faculty. It doesn’t say anything about a code of conduct or standards. It also does not need to be signed. We have not heard anything about training.

Dunnington: Every faculty governance should have representation on the compliance committee.

Turley: UT-H HSC has 2 faculty representatives as requested by the IFC.

Dunnington: There really is quite a wide range of participation from nothing to everything in the various components. There are so many inconsistencies that it is difficult to track, and yet there doesn’t seem to be any conflict of interest.

Nelsen: The Vice Chancellor said no signatures are required, although the forms/letters have all come out with signature pages.

 

 

Robert Nelsen and Ivor Page Spoke with Georgia Harper Re: Issues Related to Confidentiality

We discussed the student web page where anyone can have input anonymously at UT-Dallas. The faculty believe this is a problem. We thought it was a problem of liability—there is a federal statute that immunizes the University with respect to something published on the web. Individuals who feel harmed can sue the person(s) who put the information out on the web if the person(s) can be identified. We have begun to look at this as a use of resources—since funding for this site will need to come out of someone’s budget. The President can refuse to use resources in this way—as faculty we couldn’t stop the students to do this as they have the right to do this by the Office of General Counsel, as well as the law. The money really is nominal but the President could justify the funding/lack of funding as a resource allocation issue.

Schneider (UTSA): The issue is having a web site with the University name on it. There is a distinct possibility that it can end up with a skewed representation that can mislead students and others.

Nelsen: There are no restrictions as to what goes on the web site. This is protected by a “soft cushion” due to the University’s position. If the University takes someone’s’ web site off, they have lost the protection of the soft cushion—now everything is at risk. The soft cushion is a protection by the federal statute that says you are not liable for the information posted.

Craven: What if something is downright illegal that is downloaded onto the web.

Nelsen: The University can’t block it or tamper with it in any way. If it does, it loses that protection for the whole campus on all web sites. The ruling originated years back out of cases related to pornography.

Farquhar: You can be held personally liable for information. The comments were traced through the web address—it was discoverable.

Page: The whole spectrum of web pages for faculty, students, etc are in one basket—the University would be liable for anything offensive here since they edit people’s pages. The other is a free speech area—which is what the students want. You can say anything here and no one is allowed to take this down. The University cannot touch anything on this web page, no matter what. If the source could be traced, then there could be a suit. The students are ensuring there can be no trace through the use of kiosks and anonymous log ins.

Bartlett: How does a web page get declared to be a free speech area?

Page: BPM 53 is under revision, but does give the general guidelines for everything related to the state with respect to web pages/electronic medium. Web Master is never mentioned. The document is not all that specific as to who can do what or put what on the web.

Turley: This is a moving target—it will take decades to litigate because of the difference in what is public and private, how far down is this protected, etc. This is not an area that will be solved easily. For example, every faculty member could be a server—there is no separate certification for this.

Page: If you have a PC in your office with the root password, you can access the network in ways that can compromise security. Everyone in that position should be certified, but we aren’t doing that. When you get a root password you need to sign that you will behave. Bottom line for the student is to send them somewhere else, let’s not spend state monies on this—faculty should not be involved.

 

 

Joel: reminded the FAC about upcoming elections. The incoming chair-elect must be from a health science component.

 

 

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

Academic Affairs Committee

Guests: Catherine Parsoneault

Members: M. Hilley, C. Gaulden, C. Lackey, R. Ligouri

 

Vice President for Administration and Legal Affairs Patti Ohlendorf of UT Austin was invited to address the committee on the status of past efforts on status of women in the system. She has been invited and intends to attend our June meeting.

 

Initial discussion of the TEATHE proposal/initiative. The committee is working on understanding the initiative. Early on we discussed the possibility of a response to the TEATHE idea. The committee remained unsure as to whether to attempt a response to the initiative and, possibly, raise the plan to a high level or to wait and see how things go. We will do research on the proposal and discuss it again at the June meeting. The committee may then begin formulating specific plans to deal with the initiative if it appears that it will influence the next legislative session. Impacts include a conversion from the current American system to the British system of higher education.

 

Discussion of the nature of organization among community colleges and its impact on the lack of ability of the university sector to be consistent in its voice.

Dr. Ray Garcia, is chair of the CC organization—is a very effective voice. Are organized in their approach to the legislature, raise monies to fund their organization. The university sector has nothing similar.

 

The transfer issues – studies from Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, were discussed.

 

FIELDS OF STUDY

Public comment period of 30 to 60 days after the April meeting for the Business field of study curriculum. Early childhood has been redesigned for EC-4 and 4-8. This will also be up again in April. We need to get faculty at all Texas universities to be aware of the comment period and its value to us.

General business committee is finished with the Fields of Study curricula. Are attempting to get copies of the drafts the Coordinating Board is looking at. Music is moving slowly. The CB will look at them in April, likely will approve, will post it for 60 days for comment (we should be notified when it begins) and then it can be passed as law.

Nelsen: I thought they were coming to us first, and then go to public comment.

FEASIBILITY

The feasibility study report is due to the legislature by September 2000 (per SB 1261). The committee has not yet been appointed for this study. Community colleges are interested in the outcome. Looks like this will happen pretty soon now. Committee may be appointed as early as next week.

Gaulden: Recommendation: Send a name(s) from the FAC for representation on the feasibility study committee.

Page: I nominate Corbett Gaulden.

Hilley: My committee (music) is still working. I think sending forward Corbett’s name would help to ensure a strong committee. Corbett’s Field of Study is completed.

Vote: Unanimous--nominate Corbett. Joel will call Catherine Parsenault to forward Corbett’s name.

 

 

Friday, March 24

No guests. Same committee members present.

 

Committee members received copies of the Minnesota and Arizona transfer reports for study. Members will discuss the studies in the June meeting.

 

Committee members received draft copies of the Field of Study curricula that the board will be considering at its April meeting.

 

 

MOTION:

The UT FAC wishes to ask the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to instruct each academic component to put into place mechanisms that capture all transfer problems and to document the nature and resolution of each instance of transfer dispute. Further, we wish to ask the Vice Chancellor that all such cases be reported to his office. The purpose of this activity will be to enable the UT System to respond to any and all concerns that are related to transfer.

Discussion: none

Passes unanimously.

 

MOTION:

The UT FAC wish to convey serious concern over ambiguities in the assigned mission of Community Colleges in the State of Texas as expressed in the web-site styled as www.thecb.state.tx.us/divisions/ctc/status/stctc.htm

under the section called “Community Colleges: Mission.” We believe the very large scope described therein makes it very difficult for the community colleges to insure adequately academic course coverage. First, the criteria for faculty selection are not the same for community colleges as for universities. Second, courses for university preparation should be academically equivalent to their counterparts at the universities. We believe that in many cases, university-bound students are in classes with students who are not in university bound programs, as is required by accrediting bodies.

 

Therefore,

1)      We wish to recommend that the chancellor’s office make it a high priority to stress that faculty at community colleges who teach courses that are intended for university transfer (particularly general education core) meet the same criteria as faculty teaching the same courses at universities.

 

2)      We wish to recommend that the chancellor’s office make it a high priority to stress that courses that are taught under the heading of the general education core should be specifically identified as appropriate for university transfer.

 

Further, we wish to ask the chancellor to convey our concerns and recommendations to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and any and all other appropriate parties.

 

Discussion:

 

Health Affairs Committee

Attendees: Mellick T. Sykes, Chair; Ross Sherman; Marvin Chasen; Jim Turley; Richard Rahn; Joel Dunnington.

 

By invitation:

 

Thursday: JB Pace

Chas Mullins

Friday: Kathleen Pantalion

Daniel Stewart

 

Summary

This committee covers the health affairs of all campuses, and all the affairs of the health campuses.

Dr. Mullins met with the committee on Thursday to discuss current problems affecting the health campuses.

1.                  Formula funding by the state to the Health Center campuses was noted. This will in theory equalize the appropriations by the state according to students served. This is an attempt to minimize the “special projects” funding by the state. Handouts of the latest revision of the plan was distributed by Dr. Mullins.

2.                  As more of health campus budget comes from the practice of medicine, billing by the state via the MSRDP came under scrutiny. Discussion on:

a.       The history of centralization of MSRDP in the 1980’s;

b.      Problems with the PATH audit in the 1990’s, leading to requirements for significant documentation by faculty in patient care, minimizing the differences in day-to-day responsibility between private practice and academic practice.

c.       Reduction of Medicare dollars for indigent care

d.      Stark differences in the reimbursement for Graduate medical Education between training centers in the Northeast and Texas, based on 1984 base year data.

e.       Current collecting ability of various campuses, which vary. Reporting of billing in general is not up to private standards.

3.                  A general discussion of funding of academic health centers.

a.       Separating funding sources for distinct functions or “products” of health campuses: clinical, educational, research, administrative, support.

b.      Difficulties in finding time for traditional teaching while competing for funded patients.

c.       Utilization of select private physicians for training purposes.

d.      Training was noted to, on average, take 20% more time for patient care that simply providing the care without educational obligation.

e.       A goal of average faculty salary at 80% of AAMC levels is present; currently apparently we are about 40-50% across the board.

 

4.                  On Friday, detailed discussion with new Head of the Employee Group Insurance (EGI), Daniel Stuart, was held. Manager of Insurance Benefits Kathleen Pantalion, was present also.

 

Mr. Stewart gave an overview of the role of EGI in the UT system: a System-Level
“middle person”, which tries to maximize the purchasing power of the state and employee contributions to health, life, and disability insurance, as well as selecting a third-party agency to administer the UT cafeteria plans such as FLEX accounts. EGI works with the products developed by commercial carriers who wish to bid for UT business (not all do!), and health products developed by UT component institutions in Galveston, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.

 

The staff for EGI has risen from 6-8 two years ago, to 18-20 now, based on consultation and audit reports.

 

Cost of premiums for health care will probably increase an average of 20% this year. For employees electing “basic” coverage without child, spouse, or family (57% of all UT system employees), no cost increase is possible according to state law. That means that the cost increase for those opting for family coverage, or opting for more than basic plans, will be considerably more that a 20% raise in premiums.

 

He noted dissatisfaction with Cigna, and related a frank discussion with them three weeks ago regarding their UT service. Increased communication with individual employees as well as component HR input is a priority within the limits of current staffing.

 

Anecdotal feedback regarding 1-800 numbers, cards, etc was given. It was suggested that large-scale anecdotal and other feedback, useful to the EGI in negotiations with the carriers and discussions with the legislature, be expedited. Several models were discussed. A web- and email-based schema, with organization of the data during input, with a large “text” area to describe anecdotes, may be practical from all viewpoints. Dr. Dunnington emphasized his negative experience in the past insuring that EGI was aware of feedback from individual component institutions regarding insurance issues.

 

Disability insurance for medical professionals has been dropped June 1 by the carrier; UT led by MD Anderson are scrambling for new coverage.

 

The meeting ended by recommending to President Dunnington that Mr. Stewart be invited to the general SYS-FAC meeting in June to update the SYSFAC on current issues, problems, and trends.

 

Resolutions: None

 

Discussion: Joel: changes he was making and the grasp he has on what’s going on has moved us forward greatly already. Sounds very knowledgeable about the problems and willing to work with us. Wants frank input on issues from each campus.

Shelley: did you ask about the domestic partners coverage?

Joel: it is against the law—OGC was asked for a ruling. I asked for a copy of what OGC said and examine it.

Cheryl: the disability has been dropped for who?

Turley: the disability in the straight faculty line is still there. This is the additional liability that comes through the practice plans is what has been dropped. This was on top of what UT System had for all employees. The business with the practice plan has been terminated.

 

 

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee discussed three major issues: Faculty Contract letters, Upward Evaluation of Administrators, and indemnification and liability for faculty.

 

Last year we passed resolutions with regards to the first two issues, but in the Committee’s opinion more specific wording was necessary to resolve the controversy surrounding the contract letters and the upward evaluation reporting process. Hence, we are offering the following resolutions:

 

I. Faculty letters of appointment should be distributed no later than the first day of classes and should contain the following information:

(See pg 28 of letters of appt resolution of previous minutes) 1-3

 

1)      the specific section of Regents’ Rules under which the faculty member is appointed;

2)      the exact dates of appointment;

3)      the statement “a revised memorandum will be sent if there is a change in your status during the indicated budget period”;

4)      the exact nature of the contract, e.g. tenure track, __ year of a multiyear term, administrative appointment;

5)      percentage of full time appointment and basis of appointment (e.g., 9 months, 12 months);

6)      total salary and specific breakdown of salary including amounts or percentages for base pay, supplements, stipends, grants, etc.;

7)      if applicable, the phrase “the obligation of the University for payment of all or any portions of the compensation that is payable from contracts, grants, and non-state sources is dependent upon receipt of those funds.”

8)       contain the phrase “by accepting this document I am not waiving my right to grieve contractual matters

 

 

Discussion: Could the appointment letters not come out in a more timely manner?

Vote: passes unanimously. Dunnington will distribute it to the Chancellor for distribution to Mullins and Sharpe.

II. Upward evaluation by relevant faculty of all administrative officers below the level of the chief administrative officer is periodically required by Regents Rules and is intended to be an important component of the individual administrator’s employee evaluation. The effectiveness of the upward evaluation process is, in part, proportional to the percentage of faculty members who are involved in such evaluations. Faculty need to know that the upward evaluation process is taken seriously.

To ensure that the upward evaluation process improves administrative leadership and management skills we recommend that:

 

Following completion of the upward review, senior administrative officers should discuss in an open forum the results of the evaluation with the affected faculty. The details of any programs for improvement recommended for affected administrators (if any) should also be presented at that time. Consequently, the following questions should be addressed:

1.                  What counseling or improvement programs are in place for faculty administrators who perform poorly on Upward Evaluation?

2.                  Do improvement programs have measurable goals and outcomes?

3.                  What follow-up mechanisms exist to determine improved administrator’s performance?

4.                    What are the consequences for faculty administrators with consecutive unfavorable Upward Evaluations?

 

Discussion:

Bartlett: Do you think administrators might turn this around and use this on faculty (ie follow-up for improvement, etc.). We do already have performance evaluations.

Nelsen: We do already have something in place for this.

Kellner: PTR does have this as a model already.

Ross Sherman: The concept of open forum needs to be defined. I would rather have a private closed evaluation with my administrator. Are we treating administrators differently than faculty? The evaluation is between the employee and supervisor.

Page: Any written report is subject to open records.

Travis: Instead of mandating an open forum, the resolution should state that the administrator should provide feedback or discuss the evaluation in an open forum—this way the discussion is the goal and not necessarily how it is done.

McLarty: If the evaluation is only in the form of a written report, it seems to be more innocuous. The discussion is important.

Buckman: If you have the forum then the faculty can ask the administrator questions and get answers directly.

Payne. If you delete “open forum”, there still can be a discussion, and privacy is retained.

 

Amendment:

Following completion of the upward review, senior administrative officers should discuss the results of the evaluation with the constituent faculty. The details of any programs for improvement recommended for affected administrators (if any) should also be presented at that time. Consequently, the following questions should be addressed:

Vote: one against. Vote passes.

 

We also discussed issues regarding indemnification of faculty who are performing their “jobs” and the liability of such individuals. Mr. Leo Barnes from OGC came to the committee and presented his opinions on such matters and the actual laws. The long and short of it is that he asked us to write a formal request to OGC asking for a web page that will address the issues and compile the relevant laws.

 

OGC’s client, he said, is the University and not individual faculty members. If a faculty member is sued, the Attorney General’s office is (in accordance with law) supposed to defend the defendant. State employees (us) do have qualified immunity if the duties they perform are the reasons for the suit. All such duties must have been done in good faith and must be in accordance with what laws, etc., a reasonable person would normally know.

 

The State laws state there is a cap of $100,000 for liability. The state could possibly come up with other money, but it is unclear how or when. We will know more once the web page is put on the web.

 

Dunnington will write a letter to Mr. Farabee requesting information be placed on the web. He will also have copies sent to Chancellor Cunningham and Vice Chancellors Mullins and Sharpe.

 

 

Faculty Quality Committee

1. The committee has completed its work on the faculty exit survey (attached) which we recommend to be delivered to all faculty leaving employment by a U. T. System component. We recommend that the U.T. System administration direct all Presidents of component institutions to begin administering this survey as soon as is practical.

 

Nelsen: The Coordinating Board already sends out a small exit survey.

Dunnington: Do we have any data from that? How would that be analyzed or reported? Will it be done as a committee?

Bartlett: I don’t know how many faculty are exposed to the exit survey. If it’s not too much, the analysis could be done as part of the regular Faculty Quality committee work once/twice a year.

Dunnington: Any idea what type of faculty is affected—would this also include the lecturers and instructors too?

Bartlett: Yes, because they are included in Regents Rules.

Travis: Then there could be a large number to look at.

Bartlett: Senior lecturers are important. Restricting our review of the exit surveys to include only those full-time faculty who leave may be helpful.

Travis: Where to the FAC where this would be sent?

Bartlett: Ed Sharpe’s office.

 

Vote: Send it out, the committee will compile the info. Unanimously passed.

 

2. We have reviewed the U.T. Austin policy on nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (attached) and recommend that other institutions add this or a similar statement to their HOPs, student handbooks and/or other appropriate documents. The U.T. System policy should be consulted; it is available at www.utsystem.edu/systempolicies/sex disc.htm

 

Recommendation to all FAC members to examine the sex discrimination policy at U. T. Austin and on their campuses—and discuss in their individual senates to increase awareness of the issue.

Vote: Passes unanimously.

 

3. Having discussed Ms. Maxwell’s highly informative presentation of faculty rights to privacy, we urge that all FAC members make it clear to their fellow faculty that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy for any and all materials in their offices and on their computers and sent and received by them via e-mail and the Web. They may also wish to develop a privacy policy like those at U.T. Arlington and M.D. Anderson (attached) though it should be clear that such policies concern due process as opposed to any true protection of privacy.

 

Dunnington: Section 2A should read “President” or “designee”.

Nelsen: I would like this to stay with the “President”. This is likely to end up in the Compliance officer’s lap if “designee” gets in.

Bartlett: Each campus could do what works for them.

Dunnington: Remember that the U.S. mail is not confidential once it gets into your building.

Moore: The institutional policy says it is. According to Georgia Harper, the mail would be confidential if marked as so. UT Arlington just passed this institutional policy. It is posted on the web page.

 

Recommendation: take to respective campus for their information.

 

4. We discussed the RFP for a second Faculty Satisfaction Survey with Art Martinez of the U. T. System. He was very helpful and highly encouraging and will be working with us on an RFP over the next few weeks. We hope to begin the application process by the end of April and are shooting for a final completion date for the final report of September 1, 2001.

 

5. We are actively discussing the new code-of-conduct and compliance training procedures being implemented in different ways at the U. T. System components. We will monitor the fate of U. T. Austin’s proposed policy which has separate procedures for faculty as opposed to staff. If the U.T. Austin plan is approved by the U. T. System, we will recommend it or something similar as a model policy for other components.

 

 

Dunnington: A reminder to think about the upcoming elections. For those of you who are interested in a position please email a biosketch so that Verklan can email it out to the FAC members.

 

Dunnington will inquire if the executive committee will visit the Board of Regents in May.

 

Meeting adjourned at 1443.

 
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