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Academic Affairs

Advisory Council

Advisory Council



The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council
Ashbel Smith Hall, 200 West 7th Street, 2nd floor
Austin, TX   September 22-23, 2011

Members Present Thursday: Dan Formanowicz, Tom Ingram, Antoinette Sol, Alba Ortiz, Dean Neikirk, Elizabeth Heise, Kevin Buckler, Murray Leaf, David Cordell, Carl Lieb, Larry Ellzey, Linda Matthews, Thomas White, Derek Catsam, Todd Richardson, Carola Wenk, Amy Jasperson, Scott Marzilli, Shelly Marmion, Lori Millner, Sharon Croisant, Carol Wiggs, Richard Castriotta, Donald Malony, Rajeshwar Rao Tekmal, Donna Gardner, Ed Jackson, Joel Dunnington, Amy Tvinnereim, Tim Allen, William Girard.

Members Present Friday: Dan Formanowicz, Tom Ingram, Antoinette Sol, Alba Ortiz, Alan Friedman, Elizabeth Heise, Kevin Buckler, Murray Leaf, David Cordell, Carl Lieb, Larry Ellzey, Linda Matthews, Thomas White, Derek Catsam, Todd Richardson, Carola Wenk, Amy Jasperson, Scott Marzilli, Shelly Marmion, Lori Millner, Sharon Croisant, Carol Wiggs, Richard Castriotta, Donald Malony, Rajeshwar Rao Tekmal, Donna Gardner, Ed Jackson, Joel Dunnington, Amy Tvinnereim, Tim Allen, William Girard.

Thursday, September 22 – ASH 208

Introductions and Review of August BOR Meeting

Legislative committee on Higher Education Hearings were discussed.  The committee believes that the BOR has overstepped its authority and is addressing it. 

The Chancellors comments were well received by the BOR and he has rallied their support.  The roll call vote called by Regent Hicks was unanimous.

Discussion of proposed revision to the Regents Rules 31102.

The taskforce was formed to look at post-tenure review.  The process took place over the summer with the Executive of the FAC and System.    The original version of the revised rule came from the BOR and was distributed to the campus presidents. The FAC then started working on the revisions.  The copy sent out from Tim in the summer was the consensus draft revision of the revision.  The changes were added to protect faculty.

The revision links the annual review process with post tenure review.  The Regents have requested more categories other than meets expectation and unsatisfactory. The chancellor would like to use the high affirmation for reward and raises.  It is important to keep the annual review for Merit Raises and the comprehensive review be a review not another tenure. 

There are questions about the reasons for the many new categories.  We need make sure that each campus defines the categories in the local policies.  The templates are going to be important.  We need many good templates to take in account the variety of campus’ within the system. It was suggested that we might want to reject the change in the number of the categories.   

We pushed back when research was under attack last year – these proposed changes are an attack on tenure.  Should we be pushing back more.

Dr. David Prior, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Dr. Pedro Reyes, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning & Assessment

The BOR made significant investments at the last BOR meeting these give us direction for the future. The taskforces have reported out the results of their efforts. There was a realization that we had a foundation to build on for online and hybrid teaching. With a strong brand from UT. The Regents are now investing $50 million in online education.  Not reinventing Telecampus, but there will be a system presence.  There will be grant competitions for the money.  This will be a faculty centered activity.

The second large investment of $30 million was for the Lower Rio Grande Initiative.  Enhancing the educational opportunities in the valley, and must be collaborative. This includes the expansion of the UTeach program to create more teachers and to give expertise in the subject matter for in-service teachers.  Additionally there will be Valley Stars Program, and Biomedical sciences programs while developing the new smart hospital in Harlingen.   5 year funding with the hopes of leveraging more funds from other sources.

$10 million to increase philanthropy across the institutions.  Resources are going to continue to be tight thus the need to increase the donations throughout the system.

The Regents renewed the teaching award program for the next 5 years. About 70 faculty per year have been recognized through this program during the past 5 years.   They also added the Health Sciences campus’.

The Chancellors Framework brings together many items that we have been working on to present them in cohesive document. Undergraduate student success, PhD programs, Rio Grande Initiatives.  The timelines are preliminary.

Myedu.com the Chancellor has a draft letter going out to presidents regarding this. We have suggested improvements and additions, they are entirely focused on undergraduates – why not add graduate?    We have been visiting with campus’ regarding advising. We would like to tune up our campus advising. We are looking at adding e-Advising.  Myedu.com might be able to complement some of the advising on campus’.

Q - Do we have a mid-degree progress review so students are not caught by campus offerings?  A - There are different systems in place but there is room for improvement.

Q - We need clarification on the rules for hybrid delivery of courses to explain how contact hours are counted with the coordinating board.  A- Will get back to you.

Q - In the PhD program section of the Chancellors Framework – about making an agreement between the student and department regarding time-to-completion.  This is contrary to the nature of research.  Can this be rephrased?  A - The intent is to provide a reasonable agreement between the professor and student about the work and timeline for the study.  This is to make sure that students and faculty are discussing the expectations for study and teaching etc. 

Q - The post tenure review Regents Rule revision has a time line of Nov 2011 for a decision.  Would it be possible to have more time?  A - We have been working on this for the past 6 months.  This revision has involved the Executive of the FAC.  The Regents want these changes to move along.  The policy does not change tenure and follows the law.  The intent is to improve the policy and provide clarity.

Q - UTB is going through a lot of changed as a result of transition.  The process for electing a chair by faculty has been bypassed in our new colleges by the appointment of assistant deans.  Can we get help with following existing policies through the transition?  A - Lots of uncertainties exist.  A lot of the policies need to be revised. The faculty are supposed to engaged in the process through committee.  The roll of chairs is evolving because they provide important service to the institution.  We will look at the rolls and responsibilities of the chairs.  We need to reexamine how chairs are evaluated and how they are rewarded. 

Committee Meetings
Friday, September 23 – ASH 208

Minutes from the April meeting were accepted as submitted motion by Murray Leaf second by Ed Jackson.

Committee Meetings

Regent Alex M. Cranberg

Myedu.com is tool that members of the system can use to improve the experience of students in the system. The faculty, students and family can benefit from features.  There are some improvements that could be added to this to help with content and direction and design.  $10 million investment to make the system as an equity owner of the company. The money is meant to develop the product and improve the design and content.  The FAC can help by providing input into the design and content of the future product.  

Q - What process should the stakeholders follow should they want to provide feedback?  A - Michael Crosno will be working with the system to improve the product for 4 year universities around the country. There is a dedicated team at myedu.com working with the UT System effort. They will be developing a way of communicating with each individual campus.

Myedu.com acquired rate-my-professor or pick-a-prof and have begun to move more into student planning of their academic career.  High school students can enter educational goals and can project their possible plans at different UT campus’ along with projected costs.  There could be course evaluations in this product that could be uniform and customized questions throughout the system.

Q - Can you explain more about the investment in the Institute for Innovative teaching?  A - The investment is for individuals to use the capital to start innovative teaching techniques and to use the unique skills of our faculty to help build the UT brand for teaching and learning.

The initiatives that the FAC takes to help provide constructive feedback to myedu would be very helpful.  Please do not wait for system to provide a route for feedback – it is important to provide feedback as an early adaptor.

The grade distribution feature has been thought of a way for students to find an instructor who will be a easy grader.  The goal is to give students ideas of the workload in the course so they can balance their schedule.

The Regents want to assist the faculty in doing their jobs. 

Dr. Prior shared the following: Pedro is going to be the lead of a team that will include someone on each campus to give feedback on myedu.com. The FAC and SAC will work together on student evaluation of instruction. The presidents at each campus will be engaged in a discussion about how to implement the parts of the framework.

Q - There are DE committees on each campus that can help with the input for Pedro’s team.
Q - Myedu is remarkably inaccurate. It lists faculty for courses from years ago or may have never taught. The services provided at myedu are already provided at the campus’.  Myedu scrapes data from other sites, we have the original data at our campus.  The use of outside venders has been problematic with faculty activity reports and teaching evaluations. A - Dr. Prior replied that the goal of making myedu into something that benefits the entire system.  Don’t concentrate on what it is now but what it can become.

Dr. Kenneth Shine, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs

Myedu might be included mostly in the PhD programs at the Health campus’.

The Chancellor has made progress in rebalancing relationships throughout the system. The framework provides structure to many activities in the system. The campus’ are in a much stronger position to apply a much more balanced approach to how data is collected and applied.  The commitment of 50 million will be helpful to the activities at the health campus’ and the implementation will be faculty driven. 

We are very interested in new initiatives in health profession education. Introducing undergraduates to the health professions. Increased focus on competency based learning. Efficiency and use of time during health education including adding more social studies to the curriculum.

Health care in America is a cottage industry. We have been working on clinical effectiveness and patient safety. There is more collaboration with the academic campus’ and health campus’.

The BOR added the teaching award to the health campus’ for the next 5 years. The hope is to ensure that there is a fair distribution of awards throughout the health campus’.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley Initiative addresses the shortage of health professionals in the valley.  This will improve care and economic development.

Some of the monies will be used to develop residencies at the RAC.  The goal is to build a smart hospital in Harlingen similar to the smart hospital in Arlington. Smart hospitals use mannequins for the students to work on. The research focus will be diabetes and obesity in Harlingen, Brownsville, Edinburg, and Laredo. The proposal is to have the RAC be the regional planner for South Texas.

There has been talk of a medical school and hospital in Austin. The system is committed to comprehensive medical schools at both Austin and Harlingen.  We will not take resources from any other campus, so that will mean new money.

Faculty at health campus’ need to recognize that the budget pressure will be for the next 18-24 months.   Cuts in Medicare and Medicaid will cause budget pressures at the health campus’.  Cost reductions are the focus. Faculty will need to be involved as the clinical income decreases.

PhD programs will be reviewed in terms of the framework. Issues include: Time to degree and advising of students of the scope of activities. Policies regarding the amount of time that graduate students teach.

Chancellor Cigarroa did away with the Vice Chancellor for Research. Patty Hurn’s office takes up some of the responsibilities.  We have an RFP out for a consultant to help with system wide computing – both teaching and research needs.  We are making progress in linking all campus’ with 10 GB internet connection.

Q - What is a comprehensive medical school? A- Includes teaching medical students as well as research. They add new knowledge and technology transfer.

Q - The budget cuts in the next 18-24 months will need to include the faculty in the process.  A - This will need to be a 2 way street. The faculty need to play a role in identifying places to cut, with the administrations. Dr. Shine will encourage campus’ to involve faculty.

Q – The HSC campus in Harlingen should help wit our representation in serving minority and underserved communities. A – there should be an increase in people being trained and practicing in the valley.

Q – What will the mechanism be for the teaching awards. A - We want to be similar to the academic campus’ but unique. We will award based upon the number of faculty and students at each campus. Presidents will nominate twice as many candidates as there are slots allotted.

Q – How will the time initiative be implemented?  There are PI’s at each campus implementing at the campus. The funds have been awarded. Info is on the website.

Q – The FAC asked for more residencies to be established. A – we have been working on increasing the number of residencies in Texas. We lost residencies in Texas with the last legislative session.

Q – Do you anticipate there being difficulty recruiting faculty to the new medical school in the valley?  A – When there is a active research group present there then recruiting will be focused.

Dr. Patricia Hurn, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Science Research

Infrastructure is key to research impact. Important for recruitment and retention and research growth.  Cyberinfastructure (UTRC) – High Bandwidth Networks, and UT data repository, and High performance computing (TACC).

Access to Broadband Network – to support collaborations. Build 10 GB access to researcher at 17 UT sites.  Access to data storage.

UT Data Repository – Available to archive data.  Can be used for large scale data manipulation.  Is looking for HIPPA data users to pilot the use of this.

Q – The policy refers to data without differentiating business affairs data and research data.  There needs to be a policy for handling of research data to make this repository more useful for faculty.  A- Will take a look at this.

Faculty Outreach Working Group – has person from each campus. To educate faculty and staff, and to work with faculty to identify unmet needs.

Developing an IT roadmap for all of the campus’.  Consultants will be on campus’ from Oct 11 to Apr 12.

Powerpoint will be provided to entire FAC.

What would be the value of having a set of networked research cores throughout the system? 

There are advantages in working from a distance but there may be a better use of regional collaborations.

Samantha Dallefeld, Chair and Meghan Hennis, Vice Chair - Student Advisory Council

SAC wrote a recommendation to the BOR regarding graduate student time-off. This issue probably doesn’t affect the majority of graduate students, but is impacting a few dramatically.

BOR reply - state law prohibits time off for students. The SAC is not asking for paid time off, just reasonable release for some personal time.

The FAC supports the students and recommends possibly having Best Practices similar to UT Tyler’s to help remind faculty.  Perhaps suggest a student ombudsmen so they have a neutral person to go to help the student anonymously. 

Committee Reports

Motion to adopt the Resolution Regarding the Proposed Revision of RR 31102 that was emailed to the FAC Carola Wenk/Alan Freidman

There was detailed discussion of each item.

Ed Jackson Called the Question. There was no second.

The motion is withdrawn.

Motion to vote each item individually on the Resolution Regarding the Proposed Revision of RR 31102 separately Carola Wenk/David Cordell.

David Cordell called the question second by Kevin Buckler. 17/5 motion carried.

Item 1 -- 15/10 pass
Item 2 -- 17/8 pass
Item 3 -- 12/13 fail
Item 4 -- 14/11 pass
Item 5 -- 12/11 pass
Item 6 -- 14/11 pass
Item 7 -- 14/10 pass
Item 8 -- 14/11 pass

Motion to adopt the resolution on the Rio Grande Valley that was emailed to the FAC by Kevin Buckler second by Sharon Croisant. Passed unanimously.

Motion to adopt the resolution from the Governance Committee regarding the HOP Committee policy that was emailed to the FAC by Amy Jasperson seconded by Carola Wenk. Passed unanimously.

Motion to adopt the resolution supporting Health Science Centers to be sent to Dr. Shine by Richard Castriotta seconded by Donald Malony.  Passed unanimously.

Motion to ask the Executive Committee report to the Resolution regarding revision of RR 31102 by Donald Malony seconded by Scott Marzilli.  Motion withdrawn.

Motion to adjourn Donald Malony seconded by Kevin Bucker.


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