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 University of Texas Faculty Advisory Council
APPROVED MINUTES: March 6-7, 2008 

Ted Pate-Chair
UTHSC Houston

Dennis Reinhartz-Past Chair
UT Arlington

Mansour O. El-Kikhia-Chair elect
UT San Antonio

James Bartlett-Secretary
UT Dallas

Pamela Berens
UTHSC Houston

David Vines
UTHSC San Antonio

Murray Leaf
UT Dallas

Emily Robinson
UTHSC Houston

Karen Fuss-Sommer
UT Brownsville

Barbara Haas
UT Tyler

Frederick Grinnell William Engle
UT Southwestern

Thomas Albrecht
UTMB Galveston

Jeffrey Mountain
UT Tyler

Amy Jaspersan
UT San Antonio

David Hudnall
UTMB Galveston

Doug Hale
UT Permian Basin

Sandy Norman
UT San Antonio

Daniel Formanowicz
UT Arlington

James Eldridge
UT Permian Basin

Linda Golden
UT Austin

Dora Saavedra
UT Pan American

Joel Dunnington
UT MD Anderson

James Galizia
UTHSC Tyler

Bobette Morgan
UT Brownsville

Jim Klostergaard
UT MD Anderson

Pierre Neuenschwander
UTHSC Tyler

Larry Ellzey
UT El Paso

John Priest
UT Arlington

Kieth Krolick
UTHSC San Antonio

John Wiebe
UT El Paso

 

Thursday, March 6, 2008

 

10: 00 AM FAC Chair Dr. Ted Pate, Introductions & Review of February Board of Regents Meeting

 

Dr. Pate reported on the February 6-7 Board of Regents meeting (see highlights, attached), noting that Governor Perry appointed Janiece M. Longoria to replace Regent Estrada. Chairman Caven appointed Ms. Longoria to replace Regent Estrada on the Audit, Compliance and Management Review Committee, the Facilities, Planning and Construction Committee, and the Finance and Planning Committee. Dr. Pate also reported that the Model Practice Plan Bylaws were approved by the Board with the following understanding:

 

    • Changes would require a 2/3 vote of the members
    • Plan would be reviewed by faculty governance before becoming part of the Handbook of Operating Procedures
    • Faculty would be involved in implementing the plan
    • There will be regular external audits
    • Base salary is the salary associated with tenure

11:00 AM

Regent Prentice L. Gary, UT System Board of Regents

After introductions, there followed a free-flowing discussion among Regent Gary and the Faculty Advisory Council of several issues, beginning with the flawed nature of graduation rates as measures of teaching effectiveness, especially given the diversity of missions across components of the UT System.

In addition, members of the FAC pointed out that, at the Health campuses, the state is supporting less and less of the financial burden. The work done by faculty is funding the medical school, with the result that there is much more emphasis on seeing patients than on teaching and research. There is a huge paper work burden as well. It is becoming difficult to keep physicians in some areas such as radiology.

It was also pointed out that the legislature often acts without sufficient knowledge of the impact of what they do. We need some sort of bank of information that the legislature can consult before passing new initiatives.

Another problem that was discussed was indigent care. The legislature has said that they will not put more money into supplying such care, and yet we are ethically bound to serve these patients. We have been told that we must go to the county governments to secure the needed funding, but are told must go to counties, but they refuse to help us, pleading that they would have to increase taxes in order to support this work.

It was stated that the needs of individual campuses need to be considered, and Regent Gary indicated that he firmly agrees. He stated that he is planning to visit the campuses and is particularly concerned with how the 10% rule is affecting different campuses (it was pointed out that the main effects are at UT Austin, but that the effect is quite negative there. A full 60% of UT Austin students were admitted on the basis of the 10% rule, and this seriously hamstrings the admission process.

There followed a discussion of the problems created by the sheer size of UT Austin (50,000 students). Educating these and keeping up with demands for lab space is a continuing challenge.

Finally, there was discussion of the negative effects of TAKS testing which are now apparent in the loss of creativity and critical thinking in the classroom.

In departing, Regent Gary said he enjoyed the experience and that he will share his notes with fellow his Regents in the hope that they can be helpful in some of these problem areas.

12:20 PM

Keith McDowell, Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer

Dr. McDowell distributed two handouts, one which was a listing of six directives from the Governor to Texas universities pertaining to the promotion of technology transfer and commercialization, and a second which was a draft resolution from the UT System to the Board of Regents on two ways of promoting commercialization. He noted that Governor Perry has said a good deal about commercialization, and that he and the legislature have done some great things in this area, including the creation of the emerging technology fund. Much of the money is to support start-up companies, but there is a part of the legislation that gives awards to universities. The Governor has urged Texas A&M to consider commercialization as a factor in tenure and promotion decisions, and they have done so.

Dr. McDowell then went through the six directives from the Governor which were as follows:

  1. A single point of contact for technology transfer/commercialization within each system. In the governor’s words, that individual is to “speak with authority” and “represent the highest level of the institution.”
  2. Increased university collaboration. This is to include the use of a menu of standardized IP agreements and to work with the OoG in the creation of those IP agreements.
  3. University system tech transfer/tech commercialization offices are to be adequately staffed and funded. This not only includes a sufficient quantity of knowledgeable full time employees, but a transparent “operations plan timely put into place so that folks know where we are going and why we are going there.” The ETF will assist with funding through a percentage of awards.
  4. Each system is to add technology commercialization and economic development to their public mission statement.
  5. Each system is to add commercialization experience as a consideration for tenure.
  6. Each system is to designate a specific board member that reports directly to the Governor for commercialization efforts.

Dr. McDowell pointed out that he is the person referred to in item 1 and that Regent Caven is the person referred to in item 6. He also noted that the Governor is interested in cross-system collaboration, and that the System is informing the Governor that much collaboration is already occurring. We already have on website with templates for a large variety of agreements, and the Governor has been told of this.

Dr. McDowell then reported that there are over 100 people across the system that work on tech transfer and commercialization, and that great progress in this area has been made. He also noted that items 4 and 5 on the Governor’s list are the most important ones, especially item 5. While Texas A&M has complied with item 5, they are structured differently than we are. Their system has just one key institution, and they have a Regents’ Rule that spells out criteria for tenure and promotion. They have revised that rule to include commercialization as a factor, but this is not how the UT System works. The UT System has no Regents’ rule that describes criteria for tenure and promotion. Mr. McDowell stated that his position is that the faculty determine the tenure and promostion criteria in a bottom-up fashion in each discipline on each individual campus. As can bee seen from the draft resolution (the second handout), he wants the commercialization factor in promotion and tenure to be addressed as appropriate in specific disciplines.

Regarding item 4, the System has reviewed the mission statements from all components, as well as the compacts and strategic plans. Every UT System institution includes commercialization somewhere in these documents. Further reviews of mission statements will take place in the normal course of business.

An important national issue is the extent to which universities should go beyond tech transfer to commercialization. Many universities across the country do it, so it is part of the prevailing climate. Further, commercialization is already included in mission statements at some of the UT System campuses.

Finally, Dr. McDowell referred to the final paragraph of the draft resolution, which states that consideration of intellectual property and commercialization has become standard practice at UT System components, and so the thrust of the draft resolution is simply that the Board of Regents should endorse what already is occurring.

There followed a number of questions (Q) and comments (C) from FAC members, which are summarized below, along with Dr. McDowell’s answers (As).

C: The document should include a statement that grants often require that the Principal Investigator cannot commercialize.

A: There are rules that allow a university to commercialize in some instances.

C: The document should include a statement that scholarly contributions also are considered.

A: That is fine. If the FAC crafts a statement, we can add it to the resolution.

C: The resolution makes no mention of institutional conflict of interest which is an important matter in the medical area.

A: It is important to be economical with words in material put before the Regents.

C: There currently are experimental use exclusions allowing researchers not to pay licensing fees for patended products. However, a court has decided against Duke University in one relevant case and so it appears that we may have to start paying more licensing money because of commercialization.

A: We are thinking about this along with many other issues. For example, in other states a university can loose the right to issue tax free bonds.

C: Regarding the Governor’s Directive 3, three of the staff at MD Anderson have been fired and not replaced. Regarding Directive 5, at UTMD Anderson, emphasis has been placed on grants and publications and so it is unclear that they are conforming to the Governor’s plan. Third issue is that things may change after the election that might affect commercialization (e.g., punitive damages in lawsuits may be dropped).

A: We are aware of this and are working on it

Q: The Governor has no business telling us what we should do in the awarding of tenure. Why cannot System stand up to Governor?

A: I sympathize, but must work with Governor.

Q: What is meant by “administration unit” in the draft resolution?

A: This is a standard phrase which has different meanings on different campuses.

C: If we have to pay for the licenses we use, it will be disastrous. The document is ill-conceived in that it does not deal with consequences of commercialization.

A: What you are talking about is a problem anyway.

C: The directives reflect ignorance in Governor’s office and for this reason it seems ill advised to send an endorsement.

C: Perhaps the resolution should replace “endorse” with “allow.”

C: We understand your position but, as independent body, we (the FAC) should not engage in a give and take exercize with the Goveneor. Rather, we should reject this intrusion from the Governor’s office.

A: It is simply the case we do more than education, and commercialization is part of what we do.

It was agreed that the FAC would confer on this issue and Dr. McDowell agreed to return on Friday for further discussion and/or action.

 

 

1:00 PM

Campus Reports (see Committee and Campus Reports)

2:00 PM

Committee Meetings

Friday, March 7, 2008

 

9:00 AM

Committee Meetings

 

10:00 AM

Campus Reports (cont’d)

11:30 AM Dr. John D. Stobo, Former President, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Dr. Stobo distributed a handout on the Galveston Three Share program which provides insurance to uninsured individuals. Such plans are being used in several states.

The three parties in such plans are the employer, the employee, and a variable third party (often involving federal or state money). We received $1.6 million from the Houston endowment and some money from University of Texas Medical Branch. Participants in the plan are involved in determining coverage. The target enrollment is only 500 due to funding limitations, but we will find out what works and what does not. There is much interest in such plans across the state, and Dallas is currently furthest ahead. The matter is important as Texas leads the nation in percentage uninsured (about 25%)

They are working on determining the minimum proportion of employees to participate in the plan. There will not be full coverage due to funding limitations.

At UTMB, physicians are reimbursed at 115% of Medicaid which is not attractive. The plan requires altruism on part of providers and the institution.

Q: How can we avoid losing money if not everyone enrolls?

Next, Dr. Stobo discussed a new program for innovative approaches to education. He has visited five health components and UT Austin and has spent a day at each campus. He found much innovation but considerable duplication of effort as well. There is a good deal of interest in sharing information between components and having some sort of online catalog with the goal of helping educators educate and improve their interdisciplinary offerings.

The basic approach is to solicit a letter of intent for a new educational program, to review the letter and possibly invite a larger proposal to be submitted to a second review before possible funding. Intercampus and intracampus collaborations are encouraged. They anticipate four to six grants of up $300,000 each.

Dr. Stobo’s office is also initiating a program for formal education of educators Ie.g., a master’s degree in health education), and will be looking at new certification programs, some to be offered online.

Still another program being initiated is for sharing information. The idea is to get universities to put their best information online. This would involve the creation of a LOR (learning object repository), which would be a kind of platform for depositing information. This is already being done in several states and 16 countries. Many questions remain including quality control of information, incentivizing faculty to use the program, costs, etc.

 

12:15 PM Mr. Barry McBee, Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations

 

Mr. Safady was ill and so Mr. McBee kindly appeared in his stead.

Mr. McBee began by noting that the Legislature was quiet over the summer and fall but has been more active in last 60 days. He organized his remarks around two standpoints, process and issues.

Process: The committees remain in place and are working through a long list of some 350 interim charges. The System is looking at about 200 of those. Action will intensify after spring break, go quiet in the summer, and resume in the fall.

There are several select or special committees, more of these than in past. Unfortunately, this means duplication of effort across committees.

The Select Higher Education Finance committee (called the Branch committee) is in search of a mission, but has high brain power on it.

The Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness is made up largely of citizens. Not all appointments have been made and it is not clear when it will begin its work. They are supposed to write the next strategic plan for education in Texas. Bill Cunningham is on it.

The Governor’s Task Force on Incentive Funding came out of the Governor’s veto of a bill for health insurance for community colleges. Kern Wildenthal chairs it. The idea is that, for incentive funding to work, it must come on top of base funding and should be a simple process. The funding level is not yet clear, but maybe $50 to $60 million.

The Formula Funding Advisory Committee at at the THECB have completed their work and their recommendations are now before Dr. Paredes They will be asking for $487 million in additional funding. Dr. Paredes had wanted to spend this amount of money on incentives rather than enrollment growth as he thinks additional money for enrollment growth would not be approved. In response to a question about matching funds, Mr. McBee stated that there will be a 2 to 1 matching, so that, to receive a dollar, you must come up with 50 cents.

Q: Has there been progress on formula funding for nursing?

A: There will probably be discussion of incentive funding for some areas, and of continuation of gap money to deal with shortages, but probably nothing will happen with the formula. We have not gotten the THECB or legislative bodies to fix this.

Q: Are their scientists on cancer research center board?

A: Actually, there are two committees, one is a peer review committee and will consist primarily of scientists.

Issues: These range from narrow to fundamental questions.

A top issue for System is tuition flexibility.

Another issue is formula funding. Probably little will change except that Dr. Paredes is talking about change from counting semester credit hours on the 12 th day of class to counting them at end of the semester. System will not fight this as it is hard to counter the logic. However, we will argue that we must phase the new plan in, or deal with this using incentive funding.

Q: Has there been any talk of abolishing the THECB?

A: No one wants to extend their role, but no one wants to abolish them either.

Q: We are hearing talk about flagships again

A: This is an issue, and there probably will be serious discussion about it. In fact, the Branch committee in Dallas is pushing for a flagship in the area. The cost will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars as the state would need more than one new flagship. It is not clear if can get that kind of money.

Q: How did the tuition cap come about? A: This was a decision of the Board of Regents motivated by what they heard from the legislature about the numbers coming out of UT Austin. The Regents took a stand and others will probably fall in line (e.g., Texas A&M). The decision may not hold for all time, but the legislature feels like they spent a good deal of money on higher education in the last session.

Q: Will Tom Craddick remain Speaker?

A: Probably, and has been good for higher education.

Q: Has there been talk of the six-course drop rule?

A: The issue will be examined.

Q: What about the 120 semester credit hour rule?

A: This will probably not be revisited in the next session.

Q: Will there be any movement on indigent care at UTMB?

A: The Speaker is the problem on this issue. He asks why his constituents in Midland pay for indigent care in Galveston?

C: The counties around Galveston have refused to support indigent care, and Speaker Craddick feels like they are not paying their fair share. . . What can be done?

A: It really is an intractable problem, and Speaker Craddick thinks it is a local problem.

C: We are beginning to turn people away.

A: We need a crisis to turn things around, and turning away undocumented aliens is not viewed as a crisis by the legislature.

At this point, Mr. McBee turned to several additional issues including incentive funding to increase numbers of graduates, the need for new medical schools, Community College transfer, financial aid, graduation rates, accountability, textbook costs, accreditation, barriers to entry for for-profit institutions, instate tuition for children of undocumented aliens, and handguns on campuses.

Mr. McBee noted that UT El Paso President Natalicio has finally attracted serious attention to the problems with graduation rates as a measure of institution performance.

 

1:15 PM

Committee Reports

Governance:

In consultation with Vice Chancellors Keith McDowell and David Prior, Governance made motions for two changes in the draft resolution pertaining to the initiative to support commercialization of research in the UT System. The changes were restricted to item b in the Recommendation section of the resolution and item b in the Background section of the resolution. These changes were unanimously accepted by the FAC and the two sections, as modified, are shown below:

Recommendation

b. Recognizing that criteria for promotion and tenure are established by faculty as part of the process of peer review and that technology development and commercialization are included in that process where appropriate, we recommend that the Board of Regents reaffirms the peer review process as an effective support for U T System efforts to promote commercialization as a legitimate and desirable outcome of creative scholarship.

Background

b. Tenure and promotion decisions in the U T System are practiced in a culture that respects established measures of scholarly productivity such as refereed publications, books published, external research support, and outside peer review. Given the diversity and breadth of disciplines, administrative structures, and cultures in System institutions, as well as the need to tailor specific tenure and promotion measures to a given discipline, the determination of the specific measures is vested in individual “administrative units.” This structure has served us well.

Following passage of these motions, Governance also led a discussion of institutionalizing a faculty Regent.

Health Affairs:

Health affairs offered the following resolution against non-compete clauses in employment contracts for physicians at the Health components:

Whereas; there are non-compete clauses being placed in UT System Component faculty employment contracts,

Whereas; this impedes the rights of faculty members to self determination,

Whereas; this has a negative impact on recruiting new faculty,

 

Whereas; this violates the Texas principle of free market rights,

 

Be it resolved: Non-compete clauses should not be included in UT System Component faculty employment contracts.

 

 

The motion was seconded but a motion to table the resolution pending further discussion was seconded and affirmed.

 

Health Affairs also offered the following “Smokeless Campus” resolution which was seconded and passed with a vote of 12 in favor and 6 opposed:

Whereas, the members of the Faculty Advisory Council to the University of Texas System are the faculty representatives of all the institutions of higher learning within the UT System,

Whereas, cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the US and secondhand smoke kills 53,000 Americans per year,

Whereas, the faculty are looked to by the community to serve as leaders in all areas, including those of public health, and

Whereas, all of the UT System Health Components now have Smokefree campuses,

Whereas, we believe that the UT System has a responsibility and must be committed to maintaining a healthy environment for employees, students, faculty, and visitors,

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Advisory Council resolve that the UT System and its component institutions become entirely smoke-free and that smoking be prohibited on all component institutions. This is to include all campus grounds, buildings (on-campus and off-campus), and property whether owned or leased by the component institution. This will be enforced on campuses by all appropriate mechanisms as any other policy.

There followed discussion of Honoraria as the relevant policies vary a lot across campuses.

Faculty Quality:

Faculty Quality led a discussion about creating a salary scale like that of the University of California system. It was agreed that Faculty Quality will look further into this, examining data collected by the THECB on salaries across the state. Faculty Quality also will be working on: (a) orientation programs for new faculty on UT System campuses, and (b) the faculty recruiting policy at MD Anderson.

Academic Affairs:

Academic affairs is working on the orientation of new members of the Board of Regents.

 

 

 

2 PM

Meeting adjourned

Appendix

Board of Regents Meeting February 6 & 7, 2008
UT Pan American

Meeting Highlights

BOR Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

12:30pm Meeting of the Board in Executive Session

2:15pm Facilities Planning and Construction Committee

3:15pm Health Affairs Committee

4:15pm Academic Affairs Committee

5:15pm Finance and Planning Committee

6:00pm Joint Finance and Planning Committee and Audit, Compliance

and Management Review Committee

Thursday, February 7, 2008

9:00am Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee

9:00am Student, Faculty, and Staff Campus Life Committee

10:00am General Meeting of the Board in Open Session

11:30am Adjourn

Introduction of New Regent

On February 1, 2008, Regent Janiece M. Longoria was appointed by Governor Perry to replace Regent Estrada on the Board of Regents.  Chairman Caven appointed Regent Longoria to succeed Regent Estrada on the following committees: 

Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee

Facilities Planning and Construction Committee

Finance and Planning Committee

Regent Longoria is an attorney from Houston

She would like to meet with the FAC

Facilities Planning and Construction Committee

The Board amended the FY 2008-2009 Capital Budget to include 21 projects

Five are major new construction projects

Projects by campus

UT Austin – 10 projects

UT Arlington – 1 project

UT Dallas – 3 projects

UT El Paso – 2 projects

UT San Antonio – 1 project

UTMB – 2 projects

UTHSC Houston – 1 project

UT MD Anderson – 1 project

Health Affairs Committee

Authorized UT MD Anderson to purchase about 3.55 acres of land and also to convey about 2.28 acres of land to the City of Houston

Approved the Model Practice Plan Bylaws with the following understanding:

Changes would require a 2/3 vote of the members

Plan would be reviewed by faculty governance before becoming part of the Handbook of Operating Procedures

Faculty would be involved in implementing the plan

There will be regular external audits Base salary is the salary associated with tenure

proved the naming of the Harold and Annette Simmons Comprehensive Center for Research and Treatment of Brain and Neurological Disorders at UT Southwestern

Dr. Stobo presented a preliminary report on initiatives in health professional education

Dr. Shine presented his quarterly report

Academic Affairs Committee

Approved the expansion of degree planning authority at UT Brownsville, UT Dallas and UT Pan American

UT Brownville

BA in Spanish Translation and Interpreting

BS in Public Health

BS in Biomedical Sciences

MA in Conflict Resolution

MFA in Art Education

Master of Corporate Communication

Master of Physical Therapy

MS in Chemistry

MS in Environmental Sciences

UT Dallas

BS in Geospatial Information Sciences

MA in Latin American Studies

MFA in Translation

MS in Behavioral and Brain Health

PhD in Mechanical Engineering

PhD in Science/Mathematics Education

UT Pan American

PhD in Applied and Computational Mathematics

PhD in Engineering Science

 

Finance and Planning Committee

Dr. Kelley reported on the key financial indicators for the UT System.

Mr. Wallace reported on the analysis of financial condition for Fiscal Year 2007

Approved the Fiscal Year 2009 Operating Budget Preparation Policies and Calendar

Mr. Zimmerman the administrator for UTIMCO presented performance summary and investment reports for the fiscal year and quarter ended November 30, 2007.

Approved amendments to UTIMCO bylaws and the revised Master Investment Management Services Agreement with UTIMCO

 

Joint Meeting of Finance and Planning with Audit, Compliance and Management Review Committee

Renewed the contract with Deloitte & Touche as the external auditor for UTIMCO for Fiscal Year 2008

Appointed members to the Audit and Ethics Committee of UTIMCO

 

Student, Faculty, and Staff Campus Life Committee

President Càrdenas presented an overview of UT Pan American

It is one of the most rapidly growing campuses

Very impressive facilities, especially their new Health and Fitness facility

Dr. Malandra reported on national developments in accountability and accreditation (we are apparently leading the way in accountability)

 

Open Meeting of the Board

Chairman Caven appointed Regent Foster to serve as Chairman of the Audit, Compliance, and Management Review Committee and Regent Barnhill to serve temporarily on the Facilities Planning and Construction Committee in the absence of Vice Chairman Huffines

Several reports were postponed due to time constraints

Dr. Safady gave the Annual accountability and performance report of campus development offices

Increased the distribution rate of the PUF to 5% when certain criteria are met, with the additional revenue directed toward expanding the UT System’s faculty recruitment and retention efforts

Former Board Chairman Bernard Rapoport, Waco, Texas, was named the 2008 recipient of the Santa Rita Award

Approved Committee Reports

State Senator Eddie Lucio addressed the Board and indicated that he will reintroduce a bill to create a HSC in the Rio Grande Valley

State Representative Aaron Pêna also addressed the Board

 

 

 
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