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 University of Texas Faculty Advisory Council
APPROVED MINUTES: May 22-23, 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

Douglas Burger
UT Austin

Karen Fuss-Sommer
UT Brownsville

Casey Mann
UT Tyler

Frederick Grinnell William Engle
UT Southwestern

Thomas Albrecht
UTMB Galveston

Jeffrey Mountain
UT Tyler

Amy Jasperson
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

Bobbette Morgan
UT Brownsville

Jim Klostergaard
UT MD Anderson

Pierre Neuenschwander
UTHSC Tyler

Larry Ellzey
UT El Paso

John Priest
UT Arlington

Marilyn Kaplan
UT Dallas

John Wiebe
UT El Paso

 

 

John Sargent
UT Pan American

 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

 

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

 

Dr. Pate reviewed highlights of the May 14-15 Board of Regents Meeting at UT Tyler (see appendix). They appointed Larry Kaiser as president at UTHSC Houston. The Health Affairs meeting was devoted to issues and trends pertaining to health care across the country, particularly reimbursement procedures. Dr. Stobo of System presented a summary of the red code report on access to health care in Texas. President Daniels of UT Dallas reported on Project Emmitt, a successful engineering initiative. Executive Vice Chancellor David Prior reported on academic leadership focusing on how it differs at different institutions due to their differing missions.

The leadership of the Student Advisory Council (SAC) reported at the Campus Life Committee. The student representatives made nine recommendations (see appendix), one of which was for a criminal emergency response system. The Board was interested in this idea and, in fact, expressed interest in expanding the system to deal with noncriminal emergencies. The student representatives also recommended a survey on the adequacy of student health insurance (though the majority of students do not use it). They also recommended creation of an online system that would make course evaluations available to students. Such a system is in place at UT Dallas, and it was agreed that the Faculty Quality Committee of the FAC will take a look at this.

Also at meeting, the chief UTIMCO administrator, Mr. Zimmerman, reported on the state of the System’s funds which appear to be doing fairly well.

There followed some discussion among FAC members of the different funds overseen by UTIMCO, including the Permanent Health Fund, and the Intermediate Term Fund. The latter allows regular withdrawals, while permanent funds do not.

At the open meeting of the Board of Regents, the Regents commended outgoing student Regent Camarillo, who has been very active despite being enrolled in medical school. The new student Regent is from UT Dallas and will begin serving in June.

Dr. Shine spoke in his new role as ad interim Chancellor. His main point is that he will work actively as Chancellor, keeping things going and launching new initiatives.

After completing his presentation on the Regents’ meeting, Dr. Pate had FAC members introduce themselves and opened floor for nominations for chair-elect. Thomas Albrecht was nominated. There followed a motion to close nominations and elect Dr. Albrecht by acclimation, and the motion passed unanimously.

 

10:55 AM

Dr. Kenneth Shine, ad Interim Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

Speaking first as Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Dr. Shine thanked the FAC for our help in the development of the template practice plan which is now being implemented at the individual health components. Dr. Shine noted that he has worked with Mr. Chaffin to have arm-length audits of these plans by persons not participating in the plans. The first audit will be this fall and will focus on implementation of the template. He is also putting into place a plan for in-depth audits at two institutions per year. He is also asking campuses to look at practice plans for other health professions such as nursing. Plans for nursing are important because of problems of salaries, faculty shortages, etc., in that area, and he is looking at ways for nursing programs to generate more external income. A difficulty in this endeavor has to do with prohibitions on changing “scope of practice,” but he is working hard to overcome the problem. Aside from nursing, there are other other opportunities for the development of practice plans in Allied Health.

Dr. Shine then noted that the Regents have committed $5 million for innovations in health science education. Dr. Stobo at System is in charge of this activity, and he is working with a steering committee of people from various campuses. The committee has solicited 47 letters of intent to develop new initiatives and, in 17 cases, the authors were asked to submit full proposals. They expect to fund about half of these.

There also is a task force on Ph.D. education, and the Regents have approved $5 million to fund transformative programs in this area. The taskforce will likely award grants of $500,000 for these programs.

Speaking as ad interim Chancellor, Dr. Shine reported that he is thinking about stimulating innovation in undergraduate education. He has made some visits to academic campuses, and has been impressed by the level of interest shown by Deans as well as faculty in looking at innovations. There is a good deal of interest in faculty developing new educational activities over the summer. Money is needed for these programs and he is looking for it. The intermediate term fund will be less helpful than in the recent past as the stock market has not been doing well. He is thinking quite broadly. For example, people are interested in developing courses that do not involve lectures.

Dr. Shine then reported that we have appointed new Deans of Public Health at San Antonio and Austin and we are looking at one for Houston. He sees real opportunities for strengthening programs in public health. He also noted the appointment of Larry Kaiser as President of UTHSC Houston, who is coming on August 1. Dr. Kaiser has previously built a great program in surgery, he appears to be highly approachable, and his presentation at UTHSC Houston evoked a standing ovation. The ongoing search for a new President of UTSW has produced good candidates. The Chancellor’s search also continues, with the Regents acting as their own search committee. They have received many nominations, and have said they expect to have completed the search in the next six months. They are looking for an academic with strong management credentials. The Executive Vice Chancellors are not on the search committee but will have input. Dr. Shine has observed that the Regents are not going for people based on their political connections. Their concern has consistently been with what is best for the System universities, and what will help fulfill the mission of the UT System.

As interim Chancellor, Dr. Shine wants to maintain the current management team which he believes is one of the best in the country. He also wants to solve certain problems which an interim Chancellor is in a good position to handle. There are some areas of dysfunction which he intends to address. A third priority is to prepare for the next legislative session. Even if we have new Chancellor by end of year, it is important to start laying the groundwork now.

Dr. Shine continued that he will be active. Among his highest priories are restoration of formula funding to 2001 levels, about $480 million. Second, he is seeking stability in our budgets with incentive funding being incremental money. Performance measures should be directly linked to quality. Kern Wildenthal chairs a committee that the governor appointed to look at this issue. Another goal is to get tuition revenue bonds or other types of bond in the next session. Campuses have insufficient facilities given their growth. It is unclear how much we will get in PUF funding.

There is active discussion regarding the creation of a medical school in Austin. The thinking is that the institution would be relatively small, and that we might request no state funding except for formula funding and that no resources would be drawn fron UT Austin, UT Dallas, or UTSW in order to accomplish this. We also will not go to the legislature for funding as this would hurt other institutions.

Finally, Dr. Shine noted that nursing is a big priority for the System. One relevant fact is that Austin ranked 13 th for quality of students among public institutions, but 96th for funding per student.

There followed a series of questions (Qs) and Comments (Cs) to which Dr. Shine responded (R). These are summarized and paraphrased below.

C: Thank you for your leadership in the search for President at UTHSC Houston. R: Thanks to Ted Pate for his role. It was a great search committee and we also have an excellent committee working at UTSW. A big problem in these searches is the need for confidentiality for long periods of time and maintaining confidentiality while candidates are visiting a campus. We have lost some great candidates by aggressive counter offers.

C: Some of us are disturbed by the Regents conducting the search for our new Chancellor in such a closed way. R: It is what it is . . .the Regents have the authority to function this way. There is much controversy across the country as to how such searches should be done. We have been able to keep things very confidential at Galveston, Houston and UTSW.

Q: UTMB at Galveston will be developing clinical practice plans. . . Can we anticipate getting further guidelines for these plans from System? R: You have the template that we have developed, and, within that framework, you have flexibility. It is possible, for example, to create a separate basic science plan. Dr. Shine noted that his chief staff person, Amy Shaw Thomas, is very good at this and we should feel free to ask her for advice.

Q: Is our prior Chancellor Yudoff in touch with the Regents regarding the search? R: Yes. Yudoff was an incredibly successful chancellor. He took over when we had a huge deficit and we now have a surplus. Money per stuent on the academic campuses has gone up 3%, and now we are close to a 50-50 split on tuition versus state funding. So, as state appropriatetions have gone down, tuition is taking up the slack. The State is giving us more money in absolute terms, but less on a per-student basis.

C: Chancellor Yudoff strengthened faculty governance in a way no one else has. R: Dr. Shine responded that he worked with the Chancellor to create the STARS program, and to put more money into public health, nursing and patient safety. He made it clear that he wants to preserve that part of the culture and to continue to add value. He has spent much time helping raise money on campuses including UTHSC San Antonio, and UTHSC Houston. Dr. Shine then noted that, at the Regents’ meeting, he stated that the most important book he had read recently was Camus’ The Plague . . . because that book said so much about role of physicians in society. Some leaders in the State recognize university as an economic engine, but think that this is its only role. At System, we believe that universities need to educate people who will have many jobs in their lifetimes, who know about history, etc, in addition to medicine and engineering. Universities impact the society as well as the economy.,

C: We need to be doing billing cycle audits along with other things to keep things running smoothly. R: agreed. At System, we have both audits and compliance procedures. We are getting a new System Compliance Officer and want to make major changes in this area. An audit is a snap shot. If you want to improve, compliance can be powerful tool.

C: We are suffering faculty shortages in Allied Health. R: This is an important area and we are including this area in analyses of workforce shortages. We have a good opportunity in nursing as hospitals have been willing to put up money that maybe could be translated to fund full-time nurse positions. So we are taking advantage of this, but with the recognition that we are short in virtually every area. We also want to change weights in formula funding in these areas

Q: What percentage of state funds is used for education? R: Medicaid is having a great negative impact, and is pushing funding in all other areas down. We need more effective ways to take care of medicaid patients. And we need to get more funding for K-12 education as well.

Q: How can we be proactive on improving our measures of performance and productivity (beyond just considering graduation rates)? R: If you have ideas about metrics, get in touch with Kern Wildenthal. He has a committee that is looking at measures of performance at academic institutions that consider such things as transfers from the community colleges to four-year campuses. On health side, research productivity is an important metric, and graduation rates are not an issue. However, it is not enough to consider only research and so we need other metrics.

C: The ideas about assessment at SACS are a problem. How to better measure core abilities a real problem. R: This is a real problem. Pedro Reyes is working on this, and Excuritve Vice Chancellor Prior is a great resource on this.

Dr. Shine closed by thinking us, noting that we all are trying to do best we can.

 

12:00 PM

David Prior, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Dr. Prior began by noting that he has been visiting campuses and had had meeting with faculty governance organizations as well as administration. He is impressed with the campues and the diversity among them.

He then turned to the prior day’s meeting of Regents from all over the state. Dr. Prior himself was invited to this meeting but was then disinvited. The goal was to have Regents from all over the state talk with the Governor about the need for change in higher education in Texas. Dick Armey was there. A number of ideas were put forward, one of which was that we need greater assessment and greater rewards for teaching. There were expressions of skepticism about research on campuses, and Dick Armey led attacks on faculty governance referring to faculty as hired help. There was reference to a book called “Imposters in the Temple,” published in 2002. It is an attack on higher education that will make faculty angry.

A good deal of discussion focused on how to identify and reward the best teachers using teacher evaluations, and creating salary bonuses for effective teaching. There also was talk of having separate teaching and research budgets, and of requiring candidates for tenure to show evidence for teaching effectiveness. Barriers to innovation in teaching should be removed.

Dick Armey referred to the “myth” that all universities must be research institutions, and he decried the talk of political correctness, the increases in required courses for degrees, and the power of faculty associations and unions. UT System Regents’ Chair talked to Vice Chancellor Shine about the meeting, and the consensus seems be that people should not jump to conclusions or accept all that is alleged, but that there are questions that will need to be looked at. The bottom line is that there are skeptics who doubt what we do, and so we need to work together to communicate what we do, what our workloads are, etc.

There followed a number of questions and comments to which Dr. Prior responded, and these are paraphrased below.

Q: Did the Regents come to our defense? R: I don’t know, but (prior Regents’ Chair) Charles Miller took them on.

C: The voucher system appears not to be working well in Colorado. R: A few years ago, state contributions in Colorado were only 8%, and this is not a good example for us.

C: The group seems to have been similar (or the same as) that working with Education Secretary Spellings . . . We need to support our friends in the legislature. The Governance committee is trying to link up with other governance groups around the country R: This is a point well taken . . It is good to have others take on our case. The issue of affordability of higher education is a national issue now. Our growing enrollments are stressing us and dollars per student are going down. The total of tuition and state funding is lower than in 2001. The data are showing we are being efficient in managing our resources.

C: How the issue is framed is critical and there is a strong primacy effect . . . we need to be proactive R: We can take a positive view of this, viewing it as an opportunity to say what we are and what we do well and where we need improvement. It is not clear whether this meeting will have legislative impact.

C: Federal agencies are always looking for feedback on what issues they should be dealing with. R: We want to hear ideas about how we can proceed. For example, how can we get data on how people are working?

Q: How can there be a meeting with members of five Boards of Regents and not have it be a posted as an open meeting? R: The meeting was posted. . .

Q: Can you help us collect information we can use? R: We will share information freely.

Q: What can you tell us about future funding? R: Our position is that we want base funding restored before anything else is done by way of performance or incentive funding.

Q: Education is a long-term process . . Are these people interested in education? R: I don’t know the answer, but will say that the Governor and the Legislature have done fairly well by higher education in comparison with other states.

C: We need to put this matter in a larger national framework. We are dealing with a kind of anti—intellectualism, and, in addition, there appears to be a group that is interested in taking advantage of the huge interest in higher education to make a profit from it. R: Interesting

C: We should have direct contact between your office and The governance Committee of the FAC. R: Fine

C: Regarding the idea that different institutions have different missions, the UT San Antonio administration is pushing for Tier 1 status and so are proposing a PhD in mathematics. However, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board dismissed the planning proposal because UT San Antonio is too close to Austin R: There are several issues involved here. There are two Tier 1 institutions in the state now, and both are under-funded. Some believe that the state needs to invest more in existing Tier 1 institutions. Another question is that, given that we need more than two Tier 1 campuses, how many should there be and where should they be located? President David Daniel of UT Dallas has some ideas on how we might measure performance at candidate institutions in order to decide. Another thing to consider is that the Coordinating Board Commissioner says we currently have too many Ph. D. granting institutions. I agree in some respects but not in others. We are working on getting more information from the Coordinating Board when they turn down proposals. We also are thinking about how a small institution that could not afford a Ph. D. program might partner with another.

Q: Can the System notify us when there are meetings like this recent meeting of the Governor with Regents takes place? R: We are not in the habit of publicizing the Governor’s meetings.

 

1:00 PM

Campus Reports (see Committee and Campus Reports)

2:00 PM

Committee Meetings

4:05 PM

Randa Safady, Vice Chancellor for External Relations

Randa Safady began her remarks my noting that System raised $760 million in funds last year, which was our best year ever. In this respect, we rank third in the nation after the University of California and Stanford. However, private giving as a percentage of the total of endowments and gifts is rather low, about 10% or less. We are also rather low on alumni participation as a percentage of alumni. This is important as alumni giving is important as a barometer of an institution’s maturity and is a factor in determining a university’s ranking and in obtaining grants from foundations. Another weak area is “planned giving,” including bequests. Planned giving constitutes 11 percent of all gifts. These expected gifts are important, in part because the money is often unrestricted as to how it can be used. Currently, more money (70-90 percent) comes from major and deferred gifts than from renewable gifts, but renewable gifts involve more givers.

Vice Chancellor Safady noted that only some of the institutions in System have evolved fund raising programs. However, we have a planned giving officer at System to help components that do not have such an individual of their own. She also reported that her office is creating a “strength in numbers” program by which institutions apply for funds to build a development plan.

Finally, the Vice Chancellor remarked that most people in the development field came into it by default. It has tended to be a very transient career with frequent moves. However, at System, we are trying to grow our own development team.

In response to a question about the costs incurred by the System and its component institutions in fund raising, the Vice Chancellor noted that the costs are paid out of institutional funds (gifts are not taxed to cover these costs).

There followed a discussion of T. Boone Pickens’ very unusual $50 million gift to UTMD Anderson and UTSouthwestern. These gifts require institutions to match his contributions and this effort is involving some pain.

The Vice Chancellor also discussed “prospect research” which is the process of finding prospects for development persons to see. There is much use of online services in this process.

In response to a question of whether faculty are utilized in fund raising, the Vice Chancellor stated that faculty are best fund raisers, and that people give because of faculty rather than because of development personnel who serve as brokers. Retired professors can be a very good source.

Friday, May 23, 2008

 

9:00 AM

Committee Meetings

 

10:05 AM Executive Vice Chancellor David Prior and Associate Vice Chancellor Pedro Reyes

Drs. Prior and Reyes presented certificates of appreciation individually to each member of the Faculty Advisory Council. Dr. Prior thanked us and underscored his belief in shared governance. All present asked that the minutes reflect that the Faculty Advisory Council and System administration deeply appreciate the many contributions of Dr. Dennis Reinhartz in his roles as Faculty Advisory Council member and Chair-elect, Chair, and past Chair of the Council. Dr. Reinhartz, who is retiring from his Professorship at UT Arlington in August, cautioned the Council in characteristic good humor that all should avoid “the dark side.” The council also expressed its respect and gratitude for the services of Dr. Ted Pate, the 2007-2008 Council Chair.

 

10:15 AM Approval of the minutes

The minutes were approved with minor corrections.

10:16 AM

Committee Reports for Academic Affairs, Governance and Faculty Quality (see attached).

 The Faculty Quality Committee proposed a resolution supporting the recent recommendations from the Student Advisory Council (SAC) to the Board of Regents (see attached resolution I). The resolution was seconded and passed with one opposed.

The Faculty Quality Committee also proposed a resolution on textbook policy supporting recommendations from the UT System textbook study group (see attached resolution II). The motion was seconded and was passed unanimously with one absention.

 Governance elected Drs. Murray Leaf and Amy Jasperson as co-Chairs, while Faculty Quality elected Marilyn Kaplan and Bobbette Morgan as co-Chairs.

10:50 AM

Campus Reports (cont’d)

11:15 AM

Geanie Morrison, Chairwoman of Higher Education Committee

Geanie Morrison began by noting that this was her 5 th term in legislature, representing Victoria county and four other counties. She sits on several national higher education committees, and is interested in working with students, especially those with issues. Much has changed in the last 10 years, and education is in the forefront nationally. The legislature has been increasing funding, but not as quickly as costs have been rising. While all are concerned with the rising costs of higher education, we need to compete globally. Her primary focus has been on public (high school) education where we have not had the standards that we should have. Her concern is with making sure that students are prepared, not only for college but for vocational schools as these demand reading, writing, and math skills.

One big issue in the legislature is understanding what is going on. Attention is now being paid to what other countries are doing in education, but too many in the legislature are not aware that we need to set the bar higher.

Representative Morrison was on a blue ribbon commission on higher education which included a very diverse group of 10 people, democrats and republications from different states. They put out a report almost two years ago (in November, 2006). The focus was on how states need to be concerned with what happens with regard to education in their states. They obtained a grant to continue for two more years. Texas is way ahead of other states in terms of planning, as some states don’t even know their demographics. The Closing-the-Gaps initiative is not perfect, but gives a roadmap of targets.

Representative Morrison noted in closing that the big hurdle is the ever-increasing costs of education. There followed a series of questions and comments, and responses to them, that are paraphrased below:

Q: What about the Govenor’s recent meeting with Regents. R: I did not go as I was not invited. The meeting was put together by a think tank. We did get a staff person there in the late morning, but no legislator was informed. The meeting was intended to be private, but the media found out and things got out of hand. The Speaker’s office did not know.

Q: Should not they be more inclusive? R: Agreed. Morrison noted that she had talked to the Governor about the matter, but still knows little

Q: How can we facuty help you? R: We need to know what you see with your students. . .are they prepared?

C: At UT Brownsville, over 90% of the students are Hispanic and the Community College and UT Brownsville itself are located together. We do not have high graduation rates, but the legislature does not understand that the diversity of our students determines this outcome. R: the UT Brownsville situation is similar to what happens in my district. We have formed a special committee in the House to look at formula funding (there is not one in senate). However, every time you talk about changing formula funding, institutions get concerned. With incentive funding, we want to incentivize graduation, but as a bonus, not a penalty. You should get credit for graduation from your institution whether or not students entered your institution in first place. For this, we need a better tracking system. We need to look at better ways to get students, and to be more progressive in where we get them. We need to have lots of different ways to recruit students. There is talk of funding institutions based on students completing courses as opposed to registering.

Q: Can we get rid of the six-drop rule? R: I talk to one my colleagues about this, and he is very passionate. The FAC might want to invite him for a visit. There were unintended consequences of the rule for the Community Colleges.

C: Texas is big and diverse. . . your response is legislation that is too specific A: No . .I want to address our problems regionally. Our biggest concern is access, and we want regions to decide how to best insure access.

Q: Are you assuming all students are young? R: No.

C: Many of our students are parents and grandparents. The legislature should not be telling us how many dropped courses are allowable, how many hours should be required for graduation, when professors should change text books, etc. There should be limits on what the legislature can do. R: I agree to an extent, but the legislature feels there is not enough accountability as to where the funds are going. We need to talk about measures and output. We need a statewide plan on what each region needs and what we have. Some regions have too much. Every institution cannot have everything. In the past, there was so much competition that Systems hardly talked to each other. We cannot have a one-shot fix, but we do need strings attached to appropriations. I think you would be surprised at how much what you are talking about is being discussed in the legislature. We need more Tier 1 institutions, but how do you decide on this? How much power does the Coordinating Board really have? One problem has been the focus on public (high school?) education. I am hoping that Governor’s focus is indeed now on higher education.

C: Many more people going to college which means we have much more diversity coming to college than ever before. Your are right that you need ways to deal with broad problems instead of focusing on little things like the number of courses being taken. R: We have to focus more on community colleges

C: It would be good if the legislature came to us to avoid unintended consequences of education-related legislation. R: Alot of legislation is filed early and so faculty could come to hearings and testify, or, even prior to that, faculty could talk to authors of bills and explain our issues, before a bill even gets to committee. One of biggest concerns is textbook costs.

C: We have to be careful about lobbying R: but there are ways . . Faculty can work through Barry McBee

C: Facuty are concerned with talking about students as if they were consumers while at same time faculty must hold students accountable for learning. R: The biggest complaints about faculty is that they do not present both sides of an issue. And this complaint is often from colleagues. I have not received many complaints from students themselves.

There followed more discussion about how faculty can communicate with legislature and, again, Representative Morrison suggested that Barry McBee can help us.

Q: What do you mean by a regional approach? R: We have asked the Coordinating Board to sit down and look at the state as whole and do an assessment of our higher education system . . what we have and how accessible it is. . . .where we need what courses. Partnering can be done. In general, we need a roadmap for the future with a statewide plan. We have 150 house members, and these people are responsible for looking out for their constituents and are competing for resources. This is not the best way to do business regarding education..

Q: How would you feel about a Faculty Regent R: I have not thought about it.

 

12:10 PM

Dan Sharphorn, Deputy General Councel

 

Mr. Sharphorn began his remarks by noting that he was at the University of Michigan and has dealt with many faculty and student issues. Former Executive Vice Chancellor Terry Sullivan was instrumental in his recruitment. His career has been in higher education law.

He also noted that the University of Michigan has constitutional autonomy. The legislature there cannot pass a law telling the university what to do. No law like the six-drop law could be passed in Michigan.

Mr. Sharphorn stated that he is interested organizations and how they function. He wants to be helpful and not be seen as part of a bureaucracy. Rather, he wants to find ways to provide maximum discretion for institutions and faculty.

Having been told that the Faculty Advisory Council was interested in policy review, Mr. Sharphorn provided a handout describing a model policy for amending the Handbook of Operating Procedures at a University. He pointed out that if a policy was originated from a campus, it comes to his office for review. Importantly, the institution should indicate that the proposed policy has gone through appropriate review. If a policy was originated centrally, there still should be way to make sure appropriate groups have had input in its development.

Representative Morrison commented that the conflict of interest policy was a legislative mandate and did not allow much discretion. Despite some issues being raised, there was a deadline of January 1 that did not have much time for changes. This was unfortunate and we would not act that way unless it was legislatively mandated.

Mr.Sharphorn commented on student discipline procedures, stating his belief that there should be heavy faculty involvement in the academic side of student misconduct. However, what is considered to be an academic matter depends on the area. The selling of drugs might be viewed as more academic in a medical school than on an academic campus.

Regarding noncompete clauses in contracts, Mr. Sharphorn commented that, within the UT System, these might be used only at UT Southwestern. Such clauses were used at the University of Michigan for clinical faculty. His understanding is that their use is not prohibited, but that courts tend to want them narrowly drawn. Sometimes these clauses are used to protect the patient base of a clinic. He stated he will double check to determine whether there is no law against doing this to a state employee.

There followed a series of comments and questions to which Mr. Sharphorn responded, and these are paraphrased below:

Q: Noncompete clauses put a burden on recruiting and the Faculty Advisory Council will probably forward a resolution to eliminate them. R: It might make sense to consider this issue on individual campuses rather than at the System level.

There followed a discussion about a chapter about research supported by the tobacco industry. The issue had more to do with secrecy and with academic freedom. Mr. Sharphorn commented that a global statement that research should be transparent and not kept in secret might be workable. A different question is whether a university should refuse money from tobacco even if all laws are followed.

Mr. Sharphorn commented that, in the future, he wishes to deal with issues of how to handle troubled and troubling students and staff. This will be high on his list of priorities.

Q: Do we need to change the Regents’ Rules to develop a new policy on troubling students? R: We are looking for a way to have more than one person on campus to be charged with these matters. However, this is a problem we are still working on.

Q: The provost on our campus claims to be the ultimate interpreter of Handbook of Operating Procedures. This raises problems of transparency. R: A President might designate the Provost to interpret the HOP, but Regents would have that ability and, hopefully, the Office of General Council, will be consulted in difficult cases.

Q: At what point do departmental policies require review by higher-level administration? A: I do not really know at this point.

 

12:45 PM

Karen Lundquist, Senior Attorney, Office of General Council

Ms. Lundquist had heard the question about legislative advocacy, and remarked that a faculty member can call a legislator or legislative staff person to protest a bill, but cannot use State time or resources in doing so. If the call is during work hours, a faculty member should try to document that he or she is not on work time. Indeed, it is probably better not to call during work time. It might be advisable to use a cell phone while on lunch break. Care is required, because the lobbying law is what legislators will use to fight agencies they don’t like. The law states that it is allowed to provide information in response to a request. However, it is best to go through governmental relations person. One can also contact legislators on personal matters if one is not using state resources. One must always be clear that one is not speaking for the university.

Q: Now that Representative Morrison has asked for our input, can we feel free to contact her? R: We would still recommend that you go through Governmental Relations.

There followed a discussion about how a faculty member might disagree with administration, and that this might make it difficult to communicate with the legislature through Governmental Relations. In this connection, Mr. Sharphorn noted that he has on occasion to take the side of faculty against administration. It also was noted in the course of the discussion that Government Relations people can provide information upon request and use state resources in doing so because communicating with the legislature is part of their job descriptions.

In summary, there was a consensus that faculty can respond to request for information from a legislator, and can also contact a legislator “on our own dime,” taking a personal day or whatever, and not making use of university resources. We can also write letters (not on University letterhead), and can even use our titles so long as we are clear that we are not speaking for the University. It was noted that the relevant law is Chapter 556.004 of the Government Code.

1:22PM

 

Committee Report from Health Affairs (see attached).

Health Affairs offered a resolution regarding noncompete clauses (see attached resolution III). A motion to accept the resolution was made and seconded, and it passed with one opposed and three abstentions.

 

1:30 PM

Campus Reports (cont’d)

2 PM

Meeting adjourned

Appendix

Resolution I:

UT System FAC Resolution
Regarding The Student Advisory Council Recommendations

Where as; the UT System Student Advisory Council presented the following nine recommendations to the Board of Regents on May 14, 2008,

Be it resolved: the UT System Faculty Advisory Council endorses these recommendations.

Passed 5/23/ 2008

Recommendation 1

Each campus should model the on-line course instructor and course evaluation survey results tool used at The University of Texas at Dallas. The course instructor and course evaluation surveys should be linked to the on-line course catalog and be made readily available to students during registration periods from the registration menu.

Recommendation 2

Each campus should implement a policy encouraging professors to post course syllabi on-line preferably before the first registration period but at least before the first day of class.

Recommendation 3

A recommendation from the 2004-2005 Academic Affairs Committee of the Student Advisory Council encouraged each institution to develop and promote an honor code. We reiterate our support for this idea and ask again that it be made a priority at the U. T. System level. Each campus president should be charged with the task of convening a group of students, faculty, staff, and administrators to develop and implement an honor code.

Recommendation 4

Concerned with campus safety, we request that each institution implement a criminal emergency response system in order to avoid additional potential crimes against students on campus. We ask the U. T. System to look at the possibilities of a Shared Services Contract in order to keep costs low when shopping for a criminal emergency response system.

Recommendation 5

We commend the report from the Task Force on Doctoral Education and Post-Doctoral Experience. To continue this goal of improving the doctoral education and post-doctoral experience and to better recruit and serve graduate students, graduate housing must be addressed for graduate students.

Recommendation 6

We recommend that a student representative from the SAC be included in the evaluation, analysis, and investigation of developing a standard of student health care for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Once established, the standard should be a required goal for each of the student health care facilities in the U. T. System.

Recommendation 7

Conduct a survey to ascertain the adequacy of student health insurance in the U. T. System. The results of this survey should be used to study the possible development of a Tiered Health Insurance System with options for additional coverage for students with specific needs .

Recommendation 8

Concerned with the Archer Center, we wish to express our support for the program, and encourage the U. T. System to offer a similar program during the summer whether it is an abbreviated version of the Archer Fellowship or a new service targeted specifically for summer students, when more students are likely to take time away from their home institution .

Recommendation 9

We recommend that U. T. System and its Governmental Relations office institute a policy to effectively communicate legislative issues to student leaders during the next legislative session. We recommend that students be designated as campus liaisons in the information-sharing process.

Resolution II:

 UT System FAC Resolution
Regarding Textbook Study Group Recommendations

Where as; the UT System Faculty Advisory Council recognizes the rising costs of textbooks and supports minimizing those costs while maintaining the academic freedom of faculty,

Be it resolved: the UT System Faculty Advisory Council endorses the Report and Recommendations from the UT System Textbook Study Group.

Passed 5/23/2008

 Report and Recommendations of the University of Texas System

Textbook Study Group
Revised: May 22, 2008

In the fall of 2007, Chancellor Mark Yudof asked Executive Vice Chancellor David Prior to create a study group to develop recommendations on how the University of Texas System, working through its institutions, could reduce the costs students experience in buying textbooks.

This current study group recommends action to be taken by the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council and, subsequently, the individual campus faculty senates and administrative officers. In the short-term, faculty members selecting learning materials, being mindful of the costs, are the key to controlling and, possibly reducing the expense student face with regard to textbooks.

Introduction

Over the last several years, considerable attention has been focused on the college textbook market. Compared to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), college textbook prices have risen twice as fast as the rate of inflation. Students, faced with ever increasing tuition, have been very vocal about rising textbook costs.

According to a recent survey conducted by The College Board, full-time students on average spent $942 for textbooks in 2006-07. While this figure is absent of any deductions for financial aid, it should be pointed out that, on average, grant aid is insufficient to cover textbook expenses for low-income and moderate-income students.

The American Association of Publishers reports that 20 percent of students go without purchasing textbooks. This could be due to the fact that students use library copies, borrow from friends or forgo using a textbook because of cost.

A recent report issued by the General Accounting Office cites four major reasons for escalating textbook prices. These include textbook bundling, frequent updated textbooks, bookstore markup, and university profit.

Students, college administrators, textbook publishers, bookstore managers, faculty, state and federal legislators are all in engaged in efforts to find a solution to the problem.

Understanding the Textbook Market

The textbook market is made up of four segments—new texts; used texts; course packs; and course technology. The majority of the market is new and used texts—although course packs and course technology are being used more frequently. Roughly 98 percent of course material sales are from new and used textbook purchases.

Typically, publishers produce textbooks and market them to instructors who choose and assign textbooks. In 2004, industry consolidation led to five of the largest publishers providing textbooks for over 80 percent of the market. This consolidation has arguably led to decreased market competition.

Bookstores stock new and used textbooks from wholesalers and student buyback programs. Used books are purchased from a wholesaler or a student for 50 percent of the new retail prices. If the textbook is not going to be used at the institution again but can be used at another institution, the wholesalers buys the textbook and the student gets from 5 to 35 percent of the new retail price. Students may sell their textbooks back to bookstore or to an online buyer or trade the textbook. If a new edition of a textbook is released or no buyback is possible, students get nothing.

Increasingly students are turning to online bookstores in an effort to save money on their textbook purchases. Bigwords.com and Amazon.com are two examples of online companies that stock commonly used collegiate textbooks. Approximately 23 percent of students purchase their textbooks online. The National Association of College Bookstores has estimated that about one-third of those textbooks are purchased from the college bookstore web site.

Appendix A of this report shows 4 examples of typical first and second year Spring 2008 required textbooks of four majors at the University of Texas at Austin. What these examples illustrate is that if a student is resourceful, he/she can realize considerable savings on their textbook purchases. In some cases a student could save over 50 percent of their textbook costs.

College bookstore sales of textbooks are based on requirements by a professor, regardless of format or type of publication. The National Association of College Bookstores estimated U.S. college bookstore sales of $10.5 billion for the 2005-2006 academic year. Roughly 60 percent of the sales revenue of college bookstores, $6.5 billion was from the sale of college textbook/course materials.

Reasons for Rising Textbook Costs

Textbook bundling

Typically sold as a single unit, “bundles” are packages that contain a textbook along with other course materials that may include study guides, CD-ROMS, and pass codes to textbook-companion web sites. The biggest objection to bundling is that other materials included in the “bundle” are not used enough to justify the extra costs. Those in favor argue that since more and more students arrive for their freshman year unprepared for the rigors of college work, bundles or supplemental materials are essential. A poll released in 2005 by Zogby International found that:

  • 75% of professors either required or recommended that their students purchase textbook packages that include supplemental materials,
  • 84% professors argued that their students absolutely must have the required textbooks to get a good grade in their courses.
  • 76% actually told their students that they needed to use the texts to get a good grade.

Behavioral assessment and intervention team policy These findings were echoed in a 2006 study by Zogby International commissioned by the Association of American Publishers. That study found that:

  • 55 percent of entering freshman were not ready for college-level studies
  • 65 percent of faculty say that supplemental course materials help retain student who might otherwise fail to complete a course or drop out of school
  • 80 percent said that less-prepared students would do significantly better in introductory courses if they spent more time using supplementary materials
  • 79 percent of this faculty surveyed believed that students would do better if they used supplementary materials.
  • 86 percent required or recommended supplementary materials
  • 90 percent believed that less prepared students would do better if they spent more time reading the textbook and
  • 30 percent of faculty used the publishers’ online homework, while 19 percent used the publishers’ online quizzes

What is generally missing from the discussion of textbook bundling is the cost effectiveness of textbooks and other learning materials. What is known is that pass rates, retention rates and grades improve when students utilize the materials bundles with their textbooks.

Frequently updated textbooks

Another argument is that frequently advanced is that updated textbooks negate the used book market. In general new textbooks are bought back from students at 50% of the new price. If textbooks are frequently updated the buyback value declines substantially. Students may be purchasing new textbooks with the expectation that new textbook can be resold to the bookstore.

The 2005 Zogby International survey found that:

  • 80% of those professors surveyed believe that it is important that the material in texts used for their courses be as current as possible
  • 62% report that they prefer to order texts with the most recent copyright date.

Bookstore markup and university profit

According to the National Association of College Stores NACS 2007 College Store Industry Financial Report “college bookstores returned an average of 13.3% of sales back to their institution-- average net income of 7.5% of net sales to their institutions and average of 5.8% of net sales to support campus activities such as scholarship funds, donations of merchandise, advertising dollars to school media, store revenue paid to institutional accounts, rent paid to the institution, non-store administrative salaries, and alumni gifts”.

Table 1 below shows where the new textbook dollar goes.

Table 1
Anatomy of the New Textbook Dollar

Cost Element

Description

Amount

Publisher’s Paper, Printing, Editorial Costs

All manufacturing costs including paper, editing, storage, distribution, record keeping, billing, publisher’s offices and employee salaries and benefits

.321

Publisher’s marketing

Marketing, advertising, promotion, publisher’s field staff, professors’’ examination copies

.153

Author Income

Author’s royalty payments

.116

College bookstore Personnel

Employee Salaries and Benefits

.108

Publisher’s General Administrative

Federal, State and local taxes

.099

College Store Operations

Insurance, utilities, building and equipment, rent and maintenance and data processing

.072

Publisher’s Income

After tax income

.070

College bookstore Income

Pretax income

.044

Freight Expense

Freight costs from publisher’s warehouse to college bookstore

.017

Total

 

1.00

 

As the table shows, 76 percent of the new textbook dollar goes to the publisher, while 24 percent goes to the retailer. The single largest cost element of the new textbook dollar, manufacturing costs and publisher employee salaries and benefits, account for 32 percent.
The largest percentage of stores are owned or operated by higher education institutions. While most are institutional, they may also be contract managed, cooperatives, or owned by student associations. Table 2 below indicates the affiliation of UT System academic institutions and bookstores that serve their populations.

Table 2
Contracted Bookstore Services at U. T. System Academic Institutions

Institution

Contracted Bookstore

Company

U. T. Arlington

Yes

Follett Corporation

U. T. Austin

No 1

 

U. T. Brownsville

Yes

Barnes and Noble

U. T. Dallas

Yes

Barnes and Noble

U. T. El Paso

Yes

Follett Corporation

U. T. Pan American

Yes

Follett Corporation

U. T. Permian Basin

Yes

Follett Corporation

U. T. San Antonio

Yes

Follett Corporation

U. T. Tyler

Yes

Texas Book Company

1 Informal arrangement of a retail (not textbook) store, to feature books and authors of non-textbooks in its store.

Solutions

Short-term

Short-term solutions involve government intervention into the marketplace, or restrictions on publishers, retailers and faculty at the university level.

At the federal level mandated price controls could be employed to restrict the rate of increase in textbook pricing. At the state and local university level, state legislators and university administrators could restrict the use of revised editions, or employ buying consortiums.

Indeed, legislation proposed by the 80 th Texas Legislature was focused on some of these short-term solutions. Appendix B of this report gives a synopsis of proposed legislation from 80 th Texas legislative session.

At the university level local administrators and faculty senates could work together to put into practice guidelines that would help students purchase textbooks at a lower cost.

Faculty guidelines could require that textbook lists are submitted early enough for bookstores to take advantage of buybacks and the used textbook market, urge faculty to consider multi-semester adoptions, use old editions even though the revised edition has been released and post textbook lists and ISBNs online.

Bundled textbooks and associated materials should be used only when materials will be actively used by the instructor.

Most importantly, by making textbook lists available early, students, who wish to do so, can shop for textbooks online and save significant amounts of money (see Appendix A).

In May 2006, the Academic Senate of the California State University system passed resolution AS-2747-06/FA (Faculty Role in Mitigating Textbook Costs) which recommended that their colleagues take the following actions to mitigate the costs of textbooks for California State University System students (see Appendix C):

  • work with bookstores to arrive at mutually acceptable timelines for text adoption;
  • submit textbook requests within mutually acceptable timelines to ensure the availability of textbooks through the campus and other local bookstores;
  • notify campus bookstores as early as possible about re-adoptions of previously used textbooks to allow current students who wish to sell their copies back to the campus bookstore and;
  • communicate clearly with publisher representatives and bookstore owners about textbook pricing concerns and options.

Notwithstanding the affordability issue, the resolution also reaffirmed the right and responsibility of faculty to select teaching materials with intellectual content and teaching effectiveness as the prime considerations.

 Textbook rentals and textbook swapping as well as increasing library reserves (E-reserves and textbook donations) have also been used at some institutions.

While most solutions focus on making changes directly to the textbook market, others look at providing increased financial aid to help cover rising costs. Bookstores at the University of Washington and Portland State University offer need-based textbook scholarships for students who are having trouble paying for textbooks.

Some states have addressed this issue by providing additional aid. Georgia and South Carolina provide extra state aid to help defray textbook costs.

Long-term

The textbook industry is in transition and that transition is in part being driven by technology. Longer-term solutions to the escalating costs of textbooks point to the digital marketplace as a method to lower costs. Those solutions include electronic textbooks, no-cost online textbooks, Open Educational Resources and Print on Demand Services. These longer term solutions are in their infancy and are being tested in a limited number of cases. All provide great promise in helping to hold down prices.

Electronic books (E-books) can be provided to students in various formats from unprintable pdf documents to desk top editions that reside on a student’s desktop for the duration of course to textbook on CD. Despite its appeal, research indicates that students still want to have a printed copy of the material.

This fall 2008, The University of Texas at Austin and John Wiley & Sons will partner in a pilot project to provide eBooks to students in certain science and mathematics courses at the University. The exact number of courses and format of the eBook are details that are yet to be finalized. The goals of the pilot are to assess digital demand, assess print option value, examine the Library’s role and develop a new sustainable model.

E-books can be provided to students at roughly 50 percent of the cost of a new hard copy. These saving occur because publishers do not have to incur printing or production costs. In addition it is much easier and cheaper to update an e-book.

Open Education Resources involves the sharing of digital learning resources at no charge over the internet. OERs have been around for more than 10 years. The often cited Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) developed by California State University (CSU) is an example of how OERs could work. MERLOT contains 16,000 teaching materials and allows faculty collaboration and development of course materials.

Similarly, Connexions, and Open Education Resources project at Rice University uses materials gathered from professors as well as students to develop courses and freely share the materials.

Print on Demand Services use a digital download to print, bind and cover a textbook. Colleges and bookstores purchase machines to print course materials available in print-on-demand format or those available in the public domain. The University of Texas Co-op Bookstore uses a print-on-demand machine to print course packs and textbooks. Students pay only the costs of printing the materials.

Recommendations of the Textbook Study Group

Changing technology and changes in the delivery of knowledge on campuses across the country are reshaping the textbook industry. Eventually the industry will become a digital marketplace where printed course materials are no longer what are expected.

The industry is beginning to embrace these changes and together with colleges and universities are exploring models that will yield profit to the industry as well as deliver the needed course materials to students and faculty. In addition, digital textbooks would always be current and provide more equal access to learning materials.

In the short term college administrators and faculty should do the following:

  • require that textbook lists are in early enough for bookstores to take advantage of buybacks and used textbook market,
  • urge faculty to consider multi-semester adoptions,
  • use old editions even though the revised edition is released,
  • post textbook lists and ISBNs online in a timely manner so that students can shop the least expensive alternative, and
  • use bundled textbooks and associated materials only when materials will be actively used by the instructor.

Additionally, institutions should use their influence or contracting power to encourage publishers and bookstores to limit textbook prices and offer used books or less-expensive alternatives

Until such time that more sophisticated electronic solutions become available to reduce textbook costs, the committee recommends that the Faculty Advisory Council of the University of Texas System adopt these recommendations and forward them to the campus faculty governing groups and campus administrators for action. This recommended action is similar to the action taken by the Academic Senate of the California State University System in March, 2006.

 Resolution III:

 UT System FAC Resolution
Regarding Non-Compete Clauses

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 detrimental 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.

Passed 5/23/08

The Study Group members include: Jim Studer, Chair, Office of Academic Affairs, Edward Baldwin, Office of Academic Affairs, Lisa Baird, Office of Finance, Kent Kostka, Office of General Counsel, and

Carlos Martinez, Office of Governmental Relations.

 

 
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