UT Dallas Campus Report 29 April 2010
1. The campus continues to be a construction site. Our massive landscape beautification should be finished early this summer. The result, combined with reconstruction of several adjacent buildings, is shaping up to be a most impressive semi-covered north-south mall, running from the School of Management and Activities Center flanking the southern entry to the administration building/multi-purpose building at the northern end. The campus should remain walkable, and will be a medley of modern architectural forms from brutalism to post-modern, and of construction techniques from massive poured concrete to something like relatively permanent double-wides.
2. Senate elections. Once again we had fewer candidates nominated than positions. Our formula is that the Senate shall be not less than 10% of the faculty. On this basis, we could have elected 44. 38 were nominated, so we declared them elected. Ten percent is a very large representation compared to almost all other campuses, but we have discussed the problem and agree it is better to have a relatively large representative proportion and not quite fill it out than have a much smaller ratio, have elections, but risk leaving out some part of our constituency. Attendance is generally good. Non tenure-system faculty Senators are an additional 10% of the Senate seats, which this year is 4. Murray Leaf was reelected Speaker. David Cordell was reelected Secretary. This year, in response to an ongoing discussion of ways to prepare for succession, Speaker Leaf has said he will ask the Academic Council to elect one of its six members as Vice Speaker.
3. Exigency policy. We have approved our campus exigency policy. This is substantially the same as the original FAC template, but incorporates the final wording of key part of the revised Regents Rule 31003. It has administrative support. We will now send it to OGC. I append the final version.
4. Our HOP committee had the idea that it would write all policies in a standard format without changing any of their meanings. This was modified to recognize the difference between policies and committee charges. Now they seem to be recognizing that they cannot even do it for all policies. The main problem has been the IRB policy, which to a large extent incorporates wording negotiated among often distinct federal agencies that we are not fully confident that we understand and that, in all probability, is not even fully understood by those who insisted that we adopt it. The conclusion now seems to be to leave it alone.
5. President Daniel has been regularly reporting to the Senate on developments regarding the Governor’s projected 5% cut in state spending for this and the next academic year. Our state appropriation is approximately 40% of our core operating capital. The remaining 60% of our capital is essentially derived from student tuition and fees. Theoretically when you have a 5% cut on 40% of your budget you have a 2% cut. In actuality it is a little worse than that because when faculty and staff are appointed on state funds, fringe benefits, which are about 30% of salary, are paid from a different fund. He had hoped that UT System could mitigate the hit somewhat by using some potential savings off of our debt funded by the state, such as capital programs funded by the state, but this has been disallowed.
Nevertheless, the cuts did not come as a surprise and UTD does have a plan in place for it. He has budgeted for growth conservatively, while being aggressive on tuition, anticipating that state budgets would be stretched, and that puts us in a relatively good position. There is no plan for any layoffs, but he could not guarantee it.
We do not expect our summer sessions to be affected.
DRAFT UT DALLAS POLICY ON FINANCIAL EXIGENCY (Rev 3 MR 2010)
The enunciation of a policy in Rule 31003, Section 1, of the Regents' Rules and Regulations (http://www.utsystem.edu/board-of-regents/rules.htm#A4) concerning the Abandonment of Academic Positions or Programs calls for the President of the University to determine institutional procedures for an in-depth review to inform and guide decisions on these matters. Section 2 concerns elimination for “Academic Reasons.” Section 3 concerns elimination due to financial exigency. In accord with Rule 31003, U. T. Dallas policy and procedures relating to Section 3 are as follow.
GENERAL POLICY ON INTERPRETATION OF REGENT’S RULES
Regents Rule 31003, abandonment of academic positions or programs must be interpreted in the light of Rule 40101 which gives faculty the “major role” in regard to “general academic policies and welfare” and related matters and in the light of the further provisions that assign these faculty responsibilities to the faculty governance organization and require that the organization and procedures of the governance organization be set out in the university Handbook of Operating Procedures and subject to governance review and approval. In addition, the University accepts the recommendations regarding declarations of exigency in the American Association of University Professors “Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure.”
The term “faculty committee” as used in Regents Rules section 31003 shall be understood here as meaning the Academic Senate of the University of Texas at Dallas, the regular committees of the Senate, or any ad hoc committee that the Senate may assign responsibilities to in order to respond to the exigency. It does not include committees that the Senate does not constitute or approve.
INITIAL DECLARATION OF FINANCIAL EXIGENCY
Financial Exigency: a demonstrably bona fide financial crisis that adversely affects an institution as a whole and that, after considering other cost-reducing measures, including ways to cut faculty costs, requires consideration of terminating appointments held by tenured faculty. Whenever there is reason to anticipate that the University is sufficiently threatened by financial exigency, declines in enrollment, or changes in educational needs to endanger the continuance of the University's obligations to faculty members with tenure or on tenure-track appointments, the President at the earliest date possible shall inform the Faculty Senate and all potentially affected budgetary units of the problem.
The President shall consult with the Senate and the concerned budgetary units to determine the nature and seriousness of the problem, the most appropriate of the possible courses of action to be taken, and the means of safeguarding faculty rights and interests, including tenure rights. In solving such a problem, the University shall make every reasonable effort to reassign affected faculty members to other suitable work and to aid them in finding other employment.
On the basis of these deliberations, the President shall write an Initial Declaration of
Financial Exigency giving the extent and scope of the emergency and the general approach to be taken to respond to it.
CONCURRENCE OF THE SENATE
The President shall submit the Initial Declaration of Exigency to the Senate for advice and concurrence. Concurrence requires a majority vote of the Senate. This process may involve amendments, mutually agreed upon. Concurrence will result in a joint Senate-presidential Exigency Plan. The joint Plan shall include a formula for the membership of the committee “composed of faculty and administrative personnel to make recommendations to the president as to which academic positions and/or academic programs should be eliminated as a result of the financial exigency” in accordance with rule 3.l, as well as the general criteria the committee should apply in making its recommendations.
PROCEDURE FOR ELIMINATING POSITIONS
Upon concurrence, the Senate shall nominate faculty to serve on the committee to review the President’s declaration, assure that there is no alternative to the proposed actions, and develop a process to make the needed decisions as outlined in Regents Rules 31003, Part 2, Sections 3.2 to 3.5, provided that:
For section 3.1, the “committee composed of faculty and administrative personnel” the genera size and composition of the committee shall be agreed upon by the Senate and the President, provided that it has at least seven members, four of whom will be faculty. Once this is done, the Senate will nominate the faculty members. At least a majority of the faculty nominated will be tenured. The nominations should seek to represent the university as a whole, not just programs initially slated to be reduced or just those not so slated, and at least some of them will have served on the Committee for Qualifications of Academic Personnel. The President shall not appoint faculty to the committee who are not nominated by the Senate. This committee shall be called hereafter the Exigency Committee.
For section 3.2, assessment of academic programs. The Exigency Committee will provide a written report of its analysis of programs, which shall be submitted to the Senate for review nd response before recommendations are made for specific positions to be eliminated. As stated in the Rule, “The committee will review and assess the academic programs of the institution and identify those academic positions that may be eliminated with minimum effect upon the degree programs that should be continued and upon other critical components of the institution’s mission. The review will include, but not be limited to, as relevant: (a) an examination of the course offerings, degree programs, supporting degree programs, teaching specialties, and semester credit hour production ; (b) an evaluation of the quality, centrality, and funding of research activities; and/or (c) an assessment of the productivity, community
service, and quality of clinical services (in relation to teaching, healthcare delivery, and scholarly activity).” The Committee shall consider and may offer advice on all avenues by which terminations of faculty members can be avoided or minimized, and, as well, by which the negative effects of any necessary terminations can be mitigated. Unless an extension is approved by the President, the Committee shall submit its recommendations in writing in a period of time no longer than 60 days.
In section 3.3, Review Consideration. After the President approves the recommendations regarding programs to be cut, the Exigency Committee next recommends specific positions to be eliminated. These recommendations should also be contained in a written report. The recommendations should be related to the Exigency Committee’s assessment of programs. If other officers of the university, such as deans or program chairs, are involved in identifying individuals whose appointments are to terminated, the process for obtaining these ecommendations should be described in the report. The Exigency Committee will have available the personnel records of those being considered including current curriculum vitas, annual reports, promotion committee reports and recommendations, and results of periodic performance reviews. It will have access to full personnel files. Faculty whose positions would be jeopardized by the proposed actions will be provided the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the Committee's review process.
For section 3.4, Tenure Preference. The Exigency Committee should not apply an unduly narrow interpretation of the idea that two candidates should be “equally qualified” before preference is given to one with tenure over one without. Preference should be given to tenured faculty over non-tenured if they are have approximately the same qualifications and prospects, nd to more senior faculty over less senior provided that their accomplishments are roughly proportional to their relative academic lifetimes. The decisions should be consistent with the general principle that greater contributions will gain greater recognition.
In section 3.5, Recommendation. According to the Rule, “upon completion of its review,” the Exigency Committee “shall promptly recommend in writing to the president those persons who may be terminated, ranked in order of priority, with the reasons for their selection. The president shall, with such consultation with institutional administrative officers as the president may deem appropriate, determine which academic positions are to be terminated because of the financial exigency and shall give the holders of these positions written notice of the decision.” The Exigency Committee recommendations to the President shall be made in writing. Unless an extension is approved by the President, the Committee shall complete its work in a period of time no longer than 60 days from the submission of the initial report, specified in section 3.2, identifying the programs to reduce or eliminate.
PROCEDURE FOR NOTICE AND APPEAL
A faculty member whose position has been eliminated is entitled to appeal the decision, subject to the requirements of Regents’ Rules 31003 section 3.8.
(a) The existence and extent of the exigency. The burden will rest on the administration to prove the existence and extent of the condition. The findings of other hearing involving the same issue may be introduced.
(b) The validity of the educational judgments and the criteria for identification for termination, although the panel should give presumptive weight to the previous judgments of the Senate and the exigency committee.
(c) Whether the criteria developed by the exigency committee are being properly applied in the individual case.
The hearing shall be held before a panel consisting of full-time faculty drawn from the list of faculty in the pool approved for service on hearing tribunals in accordance with the UTD Policy on Hearing Tribunal Selection Procedures, provided that such faculty are not in the academic programs affected by the decision. At least half of the membership of such panels shall be from faculty recommended by the Senate. The size of such appeals panels shall be determined as part of the guidelines for the declaration of exigency. The Hearing Panel shall elect its own Chair. The hearing must be held no later than 30 days after a written request is submitted to the President's office.
The employment of a tenured faculty member who is to be terminated under this policy shall extend to the end of his or her current academic term; faculty will be allowed reasonable time to close down laboratories, complete teaching assignments, and transfer their responsibilities. If an entire program or part of a program is cut, employment of all faculty in that program will terminate when the program itself is terminated, and will not extend beyond the termination of the program. During this period of employment and for 3 additional years, the terminated faculty member shall have the right to first consideration among equally qualified candidates for any faculty position at U. T. Dallas for which a recruitment and hiring process is conducted and for which the faculty member in question formally applies. In addition, the considerations noted in Rule 31003, Section 2, Subsections 2.6 - 2.11 of the Regents’ Rules and Regulations will be extended to the faculty member to be terminated.
NO CONCURRENT REPLACEMENTS
If appointments are terminated, the University will not at the same time make new appointments except in extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion in the academic program would otherwise result.
UT System Faculty Advisory Council Report
UTEP has completed its Strategic Plan for Research and presented it to the THECB. We intend to focus primarily on two outcome variables, extramural research funding and granting of doctoral degrees, in our pursuit to become “the first national research university with a 21 st century demographic.” While UTEP is unlikely to receive funds from the Texas National Research University Fund because access to that fund has been made contingent upon a much longer list of detailed criteria, our administration believes that this broader approach will permit us to achieve nationally recognized research university status within the next decade without altering the essentially identity of the institution or changing our mission to serve the region in which we are located.
UTEP Administration, in response to warnings after the last legislative session of the structural budget deficit at the State level, acted conservatively in the development of the 2009-10 budget. Should the anticipated 5% reduction materialize, UTEP’s appropriations would be reduced by $8 million. During the current year, with the approval of the THECB and the System, we moved faculty salaries from the instruction budget into both Higher Education Incentive Funding and formula federal stimulus monies that UTEP received. We also deferred equipment purchases and capital projects, and continued a flexible hiring freeze (with tenured and tenure-track positions exempted). Finally, we realized savings of approximately $350,000 from energy conservation efforts. These budget maneuvers will yield approximately $4.8 million in savings which will remain in local reserves as a set aside for the potential reduction. During 2010-11, we anticipate similar actions. The combined savings achieved through these maneuvers will provide sufficient funds to cover an 8% reduction. Meanwhile, a 2% pool has been set aside for staff and faculty raises this year.
UTEP has adopted an experimental policy using high school TAKS scores for admissions and placement decisions. For the next year, students who score at least 2200 on the TAKS will be automatically admitted to the institution, and will bypass developmental coursework, being placed directly into college-level math, English, and communications. Preliminary data suggest that there will be little impact on admissions, but significant changes in placement decisions. UTEP currently uses the Accuplacer test for placement, and the TAKS 2200 standard appears to be somewhat more liberal than the Accuplacer. Faculty have expressed some concern about implications for the performance of poorly prepared students in introductory courses, and the Senate will monitor the plan as it is implemented. The change in standards apparently originated at UT Arlington, which is in direct competition with the El Paso Community College for dual enrollment credits among El Paso high school students. EPCC changed its own standards to remain competitive. UTEP has tried to maintain parity with EPCC in order to prevent “gaming” of the prerequisite system by local students.
Finally, UTEP’s Provost, Richard Jarvis, has announced his resignation and his intention to return to the faculty, effective September 1, 2010. This transition has been long planned, but postponed until the completion of the Strategic Plan for Research. The President has conferred with the deans and Senate officers on a transition plan. At present, it appears that we are likely to place an individual in a brief interim position, while starting a search this summer/fall.
Campus Report—University of Texas of the Permian Basin
To address the central topic of this meeting’s campus reports: UTPB has handled the 5% budget as well as it could, and faculty are generally satisfied, under the circumstances. The university enacted a flexible hiring freeze. That is, only when a decent candidate for a position could not be found was a freeze implemented. Also, a flexible travel freeze was implemented. Faculty development travel was not affected—only non-essential travel. Finally, the university has begun enacting energy savings measures which are estimated to save $250,000 a year in energy costs. We will have a very modest raise—the pool is 1.5%.
We had our SACS visit on April 12 and 13. I’m happy to report that we made it through with no recommendations from the visiting team. They were particularly pleased with our Critical thinking QEP
Our three major construction projects-- the new science and technology building, the Ellen Noel Performing Arts Center, and new student union—continue on schedule. Additionally, the plan for a new campus residence hall is well underway—a construction manager is now being selected.
Recent senate successes have included the university president agreeing to establish a standing university committee for environmental sustainability, which has already held its inaugural meeting. Paper and cardboard recycling have resumed. We have also been successful in persuading the administration to drop the fees assessed student clubs for making use of university facilities after hours, and also to grant each student club $100 per year if officers and sponsors attend special training. Finally, the senate persuaded the president to establish a new annual faculty award for outstanding faculty service to the university.
We have also completed a revision of our Bylaws, which has not been done since 1976. We have also been successful in placing a faculty senator on a special task force which has been commissioned to ease the growing pains of our dual enrollment program.
Of greatest current concern is the so-called low-producing program initiative coming from the Coordinating Board. Faculty senate is currently working with so-designated programs and the provost in order to establish plans of action.
UT Tyler Campus Report to UT System FAC
HANDBOOK OF OPERATING PROCEDURES
1. improving the academic administrator's job performance;
B. Persons Affected
D. Policy and Procedures
Having identified areas in need of improvement, the subject of the evaluation will be able to develop realistic short and long-term goals for improvement. The periodic nature of the evaluation will provide a means of assessing both the extent to which superior performance and skill areas are capitalized on and the extent to which progress toward needed improvements has been made.
HANDBOOK OF OPERATING PROCEDURES
EVALUATION OF ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS
The annual evaluation of each academic administrator is the responsibility of the individual's immediate supervisor. For department chairs (or equivalent positions), each year all respective subordinate faculty members will be given an opportunity to provide input into their department chair’s annual evaluation via an anonymous survey. All other academic administrators will be evaluated yearly by their immediate supervisors, with a more extensive evaluation conducted at least every two years; in the more extensive evaluation, all respective subordinate faculty members will be given an opportunity to provide input via an anonymous survey. The questions on the evaluation survey will be determined by a duly appointed Faculty Senate steering committee (with the goal being a set of university-wide survey questions with each unit/college having the ability to include questions specific to that academic unit), as will the timetable for the evaluation process. Thereafter, the Faculty Affairs Committee shall maintain and administer the surveys.
The administrator should submit a self-evaluation package to the immediate supervisor. The manner of the review should be agreed upon in advance by the administrator and the supervisor.
After completion of the evaluation(s), the supervisor will prepare a draft of the report, discuss it with the administrator, make revisions if appropriate and forward the report upward through the academic administrative organizational structure. Consistent with the purpose of the evaluation, the final report will be distributed only to the person being evaluated and to those administrative officials to and through whom the report is submitted.
HANDBOOK OF OPERATING PROCEDURES
ELIMINATION OF POSITIONS OR PROGRAMS
Policy and Procedures