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  University of Texas Faculty Advisory Council
APPROVED MINUTES: May 24-25, 2007 

Dennis Reinhartz-Chair

UT Arlington

Daniel Formanowicz

UT Arlington

Ted Pate

UTHSC Houston

Douglas Burger (sub.)

UT Austin

Larry Ellzey

UT El Paso

Sandy Norman

UT San Antonio

Linda Golden

UT Austin

Elizabeth Heise

UT Brownsville

Karen Fuss-Sommer

UT Brownsville

Kieth McCoy

UT Tyler

Lynna Littleton

UTHSC Houston

Marilyn Kaplan

UT Dallas

Murray Leaf

UT Dallas

Kieth Krolick

UT San Antonio

Cynthia Brown

UT Pan American

Doug Hale

UT Permian Basin

Mansour O. El-Kikhia

UT San Antonio

Cristina Gonzalez

UT Southwestern

James Bartlett-Secretary

UT Dallas

Christine Baker

UTMB Galveston

Thomas Albrecht

UTMB Galveston

Deborah Baruch-Bienen

UTHSC San Antonio x

Joel Dunnington

UT MD Anderson

Jonathon MacClements

UTHSC Tyler

Barry Norling-Past Chair

UTHSC San Antonio

John Sargent

U. T. Pan American

Douglas Burger

U. T. Austin

 

 

 

 

Thursday, May 24, 2007

 

10:00 AM FAC Chair Dr. Dennis Reinhartz,

May Board of Regents Meeting and other Matters

 

The Chair began by reporting that we have two nominations for Chair-Elect,

Cynthia Brown and Mansour El-Kikhia, and that the election will be held at lunch on Friday. Additional nominations may be made from the floor at that time.

 

He then reported on the May 8-9 Board of Regents of meeting, where each component reported on graduation rates. The reports were brief, and graduation rates were slightly increased from last year (2% to 6%), in line with expectations. There was little discussion of the validity of the measures or how the measures relate to the varying missions of different components. The Regents are interested in the strategy of using higher admission rates as a way to increase graduation rates. However, four regents are rotating off (Krier, Estrada, Craven and Clements), and some of these have been strong supporters of increasing admission standards. Hence, things may change.

 

The new Executive Vice Chancellor, David Pryor, was present at the meeting and told Reinhartz that he would be happy to come to meetings of the FAC if his schedule permits.

 

Much time in the Health Affairs meeting was devoted to outreach programs. Regent Colleen McHugh served in place of Regent Craven on the Campus Life committee, and it appeared to Reinhartz that the FAC will have a good working relationship with her and the committee.

 

Part of the Campus Life committee meeting was devoted to the Student Advisory Council (SAC), who made a highly impressive presentation before the Board. Some of their recommendations dovetail nicely with ours. We are of one mind, for example, on the need to: (a) recruit first rate faculty to attract first rate students, and (b) develop better measures of educational success (beyond four-year graduation rates). They suggested that “ontime graduation” is better than “graduation rate” as a name for what we are trying to achieve.

 

The SAC also suggested that “full time student” be defined as one taking 15 semester credit hours or more. However, Chancellor Yudof pointed out the practical difficulty that the federal government uses the criterion of 12 hours and is unlikely to change. Another recommendation was to appoint a student member of the Coordinating Board and it appears this might happen. The SAC is highly enthusiastic about a bill on textbook-sales-tax-relief that currently is at the Governor’s desk. Finally, the SAC proposed that graduate students be able to join the UTD Select health plan. This would require legislation, but might be taken up the next legislative session.

 

Another area of interest to the Campus Life Committee is doctoral experience. A System report from the Task Force on Doctoral Education and Post-doctoral Experience will come out this summer. Drafts have been distributed to the System campuses and we should examine them. A major point of the document is that we should make doctoral programs better so that we can recruit better students.

 

There followed discussion to the effect that the draft document has limitations as, for example, it does not say how we can recruit the best faculty, or how we can improve conditions for students. Further, the last section of the document deals with K to 12 and it is questionable that it should. An issue of concern is whether high school students should be admitted into college classes (or if classes for them should be tailored to their needs). Another issue is that of faculty representation on the Task Force as Robert Nelsen, a prior member and Chair of the UT System FAC, now occupies a high level administrative position. It was agreed that the FAC should review the document. The Regents have received only a summary the first draft.

 

Cynthia Brown reported on the Leadership Academy committee (the Academy would train faculty to assume administrative roles). The committee met this week and has been moving ahead, albeit slowly. It includes only 8 people but will expand in the Fall. Robert Nelsen and Sandra Hurly are serving on it. They will be putting out a survey and we should look for it. The goal is to see what is occurring and what is not on the various campuses. The Academy will probably start functioning in Spring, 2008.

 

10:45 AM

Mark Yudof, Chancellor, UT System

 

The Chancellor began by briefing us on the legislative session: He reported that, globally, things look pretty good. There was a significant increase in formula funding on both the academic and health sides, probably on the order of 2-3%. There is also some performance-based funding. Part of this is for funding new research based on existing grant support. There is also more money for the emeging technology fund and more scholarship money. There was a 2% state employee raise not applicable to UT System faculty, but the System will allocate money to make up for this.

 

There are rumors that Senator Ogden is promoting a scholarship program, perhaps for students in the top 10% of their graduating classes. Around $100 million may be allocated.

 

The System is most worried about the effects of the Legislative Session on UT Arlington (which had flat enrollment and large programs in nursing and engineering which did not do well by formula funding) and UTHSC Tyler (which is growing rapidly and dealing with a consequent lag in funding, and also has a nursing program)

 

UT San Antonio came out well because it is growing rapidly. UT Austin will probably be down in core funding but will do well in research-based funding.

 

It appears there will be a teacher excellence fund, but the details are not known. There may be as much as $100 million in performance incentives coming through Governor’s office. The UT System should come out well on this because we are growing. There is talk of exit exams for students, but the idea is not yet well thought out.

 

The fate of the 10% rule is not yet clear . . . .various amendments are being considered. The System wants more flexibility but minority leaders are concerned. There is an issue of trust. Asain Americans with average SAT scores mght fare the worst. The System believes it is a bad idea to have legislative mandates for admissions and automatic transfers.

 

It is not yet clear how special items will fare. These are now in article 9 which means that the Govenor can review items one by one and may veto some of them.

 

There followed a series of questions and comments from FAC members to which the Chancellor replied. These are summarized below (these are not verbatim quotes):

 

Q: Has there been discusson about different formulas for teaching and research institutions? A: Not much. The performance funding programs are concerned primarily with teaching. The System is also trying to get the legislature to take a more nuanced view of graduation rates. For example, we want credit for graduates who transferred into our institutions. We have such measures in the UT System Accountability Report. UT El Paso looks much better if transfers are considered.

 

Q: Is anything being done regarding infrastructure (UT San Antonio is out of space). A: we don’t know. We are not doing much in the way to TRBs (tuition revenue bonds), but there may be some for Texas A&M.

 

Q: Will formulas change for nursing and engineering?. A: Formula funding is based on cost. It is not supposed to be based on value. The System tried to get funding for engineering and nursing up but we have not succeeded. The state needs to set priorities (i.e., the need for more nurses) and base funding on these, but it is difficult to get the legislature to move away fom cost –based formula funding. Special items can be used to address this issue.

 

Q: Can we obtain the latest draft of the Doctoral Education and Post-Doctoral Experiences report. A: Yes, though Geri Malandra might want one more go round on it (responding to a comment that the report has already been sent to some campuses but not distributed to faculty, the Chencellor agreed that we should get the draft out).

 

Q: Two years ago, money was allocated for start ups for labs. A: $15 million was put aside before, and this might happen again. Medium term investments have done well with UTEMPCO. The financial people have been keeping more cash reserves than is necessary, giving out only 5%. They have set up funds that are giving 10%, so it may be possible to come up with $15 million. (The Chancellor also commented that we are approachng the constitutional cap on TRB funds and this limits our ability to finance new buildings (except for housing or parking garages that produce an income stream)

 

Q: What about System policy on the tenure-salary relationship? A: The situation is different on the academic and health campuses. On the health campuses, you cannot guarantee full salary (but nor should you reduce salary to $0). The problem is all the more complex because of Ph.D. faculty on health campuses.

 

Q: Do you know who the new Regents will be? A: Yes, but cannot say at this point. It is not clear why the process is so late. Expectations are that the Governor will appoint the new Regents in early June, but they will not be confirmed by legislature for 1 ½ years.

 

Q: How much input does the UT System administration have in the process? A: None. The governor telephones sitting Regents and gets their advice. Many different balances are sought (e.g., gender, geographic region) and campaign contributions are a factor as well. And at the state level we are 0 for 3.

 

After the Chancellor departed, Cynthia Brown noted that there appears to be a growing demand for our “dating service” (the data base for research interests of UT System faculty). A committee has been formed to enhance research and a focus is on how to foster collaboration using the dating service and in other ways. We should look for announcements of future meetings of this group.

 

Reinhartz noted that he will get copies of the Accountailty Report along with the draft of the Doctoral Education and Post-doctoral Experiences report.

11:30 AM

Lunch and Campus Reports (see attached)

2:30 PM

Barry McBee, Vice- Chancellor for Governmental Relations

 

Mr. McBee first remarked that nothing coming out of the legislature is definite at this point. We are in a period of silence (longer and stronger than usual), but there are some things that appear to be happening. Having said that, it appears that formula funding may be up about 66 million on the academic campuses and 34 million on the health campuses. Graduate medical education may get a 30 million increase. A program for funding research based on current extramural funding may provide one million for every 10 million in research expenditures. This may mean a net gain of 23 million for UT Austin. The threshold for this program is 50 million in current funding so other institutions are currently excluded buy may grow into the program.

 

There will be more money for health coverage but we are still below some places.

 

Special items will appear in article 9 (allowing item by item veto) so the fate of these is hard to predict. The governor may get 100 million in an incentive funding program for higher education. The program will be aministered by the Coordinating Board and the Governor.

 

There is likely to be a little more money for indigent care by UTMB Galveston. This is symbolically important as state counties have fought back attempts to get them to pay for more of what their indigents cost to care for at UTMB.

 

There will be an emerging technologies fund and the word is that the governor will get all the funding he requested for this.

 

A bill for a cancer research institute was passed by both houses and currently is in conference committee.

 

Little will happen regarding higher education textbooks. An initiative for a sales tax holiday for textbooks has died. However, a bill requiring campuses to give textbook information to competing bookstores will pass.

 

A bill for performance evaluations by Chancellors and Presidents was defeated.

 

Finally, lots of studies will be launched.

 

It is disappointing that this was not a major session for higher education. We had hoped it would be better (given the dollars available). However, if the economy stays strong, the 2009 session might not be as bad as previously feared.

 

There followed a series of questions and comments from FAC members to which the Chancellor replied. These are summarized below (these are not verbatim quotes):

 

Q: What about legislation on giving college credit for high school courses? A: Will check out legislation on this matter.

 

Q: Who are our friends? A: Senator Zafirini, Senator Watson (who has offered many ideas), and Colthorse on the house side. Speaker Craddick is also a friend to the UT System and Pat Rose and Jeanie Morrison have done a great job. More people are getting interested in higher education : Dona Howard may have power down the road.

 

There will be some special system funding for the University of North Texas and Texas A&M who are making out “like bandits” (the Chairman of Finance is supporter)

 

Q: Has there been anything on disaster planning? A: Will check

 

Some institutions were way behind the curve. Specifically, UT Arlington, UT Tyler and UT El Paso did not get as much as we wanted. Leo Berman from Tyler in house was good but not good enough.

 

Q: What can we do? A: What you need is get business persons in your area to call law makers.

 

Q: Why is the legislature pushing community colleges? A: There are lots of them, they have great lobbying power, and they are funded differently, Paredes (Head of the Texas Coordinating Board) speaks frequently of using Community Colleges more and more to serve higher education in the state. He has a good story and is influential.

 

 

3:30-5:00 PM

 

Committee Meetings

Friday, May 25, 2007

 

9:00 AM

 

Campus Reports

10:00 AM

Student Regent Randal Matthew Camarillo

Regent Camarillo noted that he goes by Matt or Mathew. He grew up in Fort Worth, and went to UT Austin, majoring in chemistry. He was an athletic trainer and will do orthopedic surgery. He took oath on February 9, and has visited eight campuses, and spent an hour with student government. He receives from System weekly packets of 150 pages or so, and attended his first two day Board of Regents meeting just a few weeks ago. He heard from the Student Advisory Council at that meeting, and noted that their presentation was very well received.

 

There followed a series of questions and comments from FAC members to which Regent Camarillo replied. These are summarized below (these are not verbatim quotes):

 

 

C: The Regents have focused on accountability and a single graduation rate measure. Can you help rectify this? A: Geri Malandra gave a presentation on graduation rate, and the Regents know there are different ways to calculate the measure. Still, there is a strong focus on closing the gaps by 2013, and Chairman Huffines wants him to contribute actively in this area (this often involves work in executive session). The Regents do know that the measure is skewed but feel the legislature will use it and so we must as well.

 

Q: Are you involved in advocacy to the legislature? A: Have not yet made statements and wants to be careful as he might be viewed as speaking for whole Board of Regents.

 

C: Health insurance for students would be worthwhile for Regents to advocate. A: Meeting with Shine today on health insurance for students. Further, we are getting students a paper and web site at each campus. Do agree that students are underinsured. This is a tough problem because many students are covered under parents,

 

Q: What have you learned from visits to campuses A: The issue of health insurance was brought up frequently, as also was diversity.

 

 

Q: What do Regents do at their meetings? A: We start off with meetings of the committees where various issues are brought up and presentations are made. The next day, we go into open session and followed by executive session where donations, namings of buildings, an ongoing investigations are dealt with.

 

Q: Are there other accountability measures that the Board is interested in ? A: Not to my knowledge

 

Q: Does Chair Huffiness appoint the committee chairs? Is there any chance you would chair the Campus Life committee? A: I am not a voting member and so cannot chair a committee.

 

Q: What is the student perspective on admission standards A: We like raising standards but want to take a holistic view instead of just looking at numbers.

 

Q: Is there active discussion at the executive sessions? A: Yes, and they disagree openly. Most votes are unanimous but this is because the issue has already been worked through to consensus by the time votes are taken.

 

Q: What do the Regents know about education? A: They all went to college, (laughed) . . but they are a good group. Good in finance, Krier is very active in improving student life, Rawlings knows much about business. It is a great dynamic.

 

Q: Do you know who the new Regents will be? A: No idea . . they have to go before the legislature.

 

Q: The UT System is emphasizing research dollars, graduate eduation, recruiting top researchers. We need help in getting the Regents to understand that we are not competing within the state of Texas, but across the nation A: As a System, we are not competing with big time schools now.

 

Q: We are facing issues of salary differences, an aging nursing faculty, reduced teaching loads at Health components because they want their faculty to be bringing in their income. Will you be able to think about these issues? A: Yes

 

C: One big problem is the attitude of legislature about supporting higher education, with the consequence that the health campuses are becoming private schools.

 

Q: Regents think all students are the same, that all should be in and out in four years. A: happy to make campus visits (we promised to get him a copy of the Malandra Accountability Report).

 

Q: Regarding insurance, many undergraduates are older and working 20 hrs week A: They should be elgible for UTD Select.

 

C: We need to disseminate health information to students in many different ways, e.g., packets, wallet-sized cards, web sites, e-mails. A: Yes.

 

C: Students in California have their own lobby and are very effective

 

C: We really want to get to know new Regents, please let them know they can come to us directly.

 

 

Q: We would like your support for a faculty regent A: responded positively (not definitively).

 

Regent Camarillo commented that that the Student Advisory Council is meeting with its counterpart at A&M parts, and asked if we are interested in doing something similar.

 

C: The two systems have developed in different ways vis a vis faculty government. In the UT System, we now have changed Regents Rules to allow faculty to implement policy though HOPs (Handbooks of Operating Procedure) such that faculty has decisive (though not total) voice. At A&M has moved in the opposite direction, making faculty only advisory.

 

At several points, Regent Camarillo encouraged FAC members to e-mail him and he passed out his business card.

 

 

11:00 AM

 

Election and Committee Meetings.

Mansour El-Kikhia was elected Chair and James Bartlett was elected as secretary for a second year.

12:00 PM

Lunch with Dr. Ken Shine, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

Dr. Shine began by noting that the Health institutions did reasonably well in the legislative sesstion. It looks like success with respect to TRBs (tuition revenue bonds), rolling back the 10% cuts, increasing money in formulas, and further support of graduate medical education (including support of residents).

 

The System worked very hard on nursing. There might be $9.7 million per year more over all nursing programs (positive but not great)

 

System also worked hard to get support for the joint admissions medical program (JAM), which works in favor of diversity, providing a path for minorities . We obtained some money but not as much as is needed.

There is $140-160 million for special items, but we don’t know which the Governor will veto

 

The System tried to get more money into a biomedical formula and an institutional formula but we were not successful (stayed with educational formula).

 

A $3 billion cancer research bill will go to voters in the Fall. Dr. Shine has talked to Lance Armstrong about supporting this but cannot promise anything.

 

The health campuses will get $161 million in physican upper payment limit money (which pays for Medicaid costs). This is 28 months retroactive, but we will be lucky to get $30 or $40 million per year going forward. This money is for improving care . . no bonuses, or compensation for work that was done. The focus will be on expanding services, increasing salaries only where appropriate. Otherwise, the matter will come back to haunt us.

 

The bottom lines at the health campuses look healthy but this is only because of this one time infusion.

 

We are waiting to see if a stem cell amendment gets back on a bill.

 

Dr. Shine then turned to activities and achievements within the UT System. On the educational side, we have a UT System Academy of Health Science Education. We have elected a cohort of 24 individuals and plan to elect 24 next year and 12 the year after that. Additionally, we want individual campuses to have their own academies. The idea is peer recognition of excellent teaching. UT Southwestern has already done this. The goal is to use these academies to change education of health professionals (e.g., developing a web-based curriculum with virtual patients, etc).

 

This year a Chancellor’s Health fellow – Joe McCormick – contributed a piece on diabetes which aired on PBS. The System also had a two day symposium on wellness for faculty, students, and staff. We also are working on a wellness for K-12.

 

Finally, Sherry Martin developed course at MD Anderson on quality treatment and safety. We might create a System Center for this.

 

Turning to the Research side, there have been several STARS awards for recruitment (start-up funds). Another STARS program will match gifts from donors. There will be more of these at health institutions but some at academic campuses as well. These awards must involve new money for a single faculty member. There is another program for an emerging technology program. This will provide money to essential faculty involved in a project. The concept is to make proposal to governor, showing that the money provided will be leveraged.

 

We are trying to finalize a contract on time and effort reporting with HURON. Ten campuses are interested

 

We have completed search for president of UTMB Galveston. The search committee did great job. Four candidates all said they will tell others about UTMB

 

 

The System was doing a study to rationalize compensation plans and practice plans. However, the lawyer left and nothing happened. Brenda Strama joined OGC in the Fall and is working on the problem now. Dennis Reinhartz’s letter was circulated and Dr. Shine noted he has little problem with it except that he believes we need flexibility about base salary across the various campuese. For example, MD Anderson faculty argue that since they don’t have life tenure, they should have higher base pay. Additionally, we cannot give a committee the final authority for implementing a plan. By law, that authority lies with the campus president. Brenda Strama is working on a draft that will deal with all these issues. This draft should be completed by the end of June. We will go to the Regents in November with both kinds of plans and bylaws.

 

There followed a series of questions and comments from FAC members to which Dr. Shine replied. These are summarized below (these are not verbatim quotes):

 

 

Q: What about compensation plans being formed now, not always with wide input (e.g., at UT Houston)? A: Campuses have been told they must have explicit plans for consultation. We will not approve a plan with it. It also is likely that we will expand other kinds of practice plan, including nursing, and in the allied health areas.

 

Dr. Shine noted that he forgot to mention earlier that we have a STARS program for nursing. We are building simulation labs and will have $1.7 million left if we need help recruiting faculty.

 

Q: We would like the plans to come out with joint endorsement of the FAC and the Executive Vice Chancellor’s office A: We just need to work on the language.

 

Q: We need a medical director for each practice plan A: Agreed. (Dr. Shine noted he thought UTSW has already hired someone).

 

Q: do we have any data on difficulties of recruiting on health campuses?. A: will talk more about this. We do nott want to micromanage. We judge presidents based partly on how well they fill positions. We will collect data on this.

 

In response to another question, Dr. Shine talked about a policy for informing patients and families when unexpected events occurred and apologies are warranted. The goal is to be able to do this free of risk of litigation.

 

1 PM

 

 

Committee Reports (attached)

2PM

Meeting adjourned

 

 
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