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Advisory Council

Advisory Council



The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council
Ashbel Smith Hall, 201 West 7th Street, 2nd floor
Austin, TX   February 28 – March 1, 2013

Members Present: Tom Ingram, Antoinette Sol, Elizabeth Heise, Kevin Buckler, Murray Leaf, David Cordell, Vladik Kreinovich, Carl Lieb, Thomas White, Dora Saavedra, Derek Catsam, Todd Richardson, Rebekah Smith, Misty Sailors, John Lamb, Patrick Olomu, Gerald Casenave, Lisa Cain, Carol Wiggs, Thomas Cole, Donald Molony Barry Norling, Ed Jackson, Jean-Bernard Durand, Ann Killary, Amy Tvinnereim, Tim Allen, David Griffith

Thursday, February 28

Discussion of Encryption of Laptops on Campus, Research Conflict of Interest Policy, Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy

The campuses reported that most campuses have encrypted university owned laptops.

The campuses reported that the Conflict of Interest in Research policy was enacted last year.

The campuses reported that they are in the process of modifying the Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment model policy on their campuses.

Issues that were raised were discussed.

Discussion of Intellectual Property Regents Rule 90101 and the Rule on Patients 90102.

Dan Sharphorn – Conflict of Interest Conflict of Commitment
            The faculty are concerned about the requirements in UTS 180.
- There is a list of things that are in our job description that we have to declare.
- Then we are listing the things that we need to do for our job.
- There are privacy concerns
- Service on boards is very broad.
- Some employees/staff might have a conflict of interest who are not covered in the policy

Dan’s response:
Relatives of employees information will not go on the public website.
Encouraged outside activities could be covered on a local policy that says that serving on specific types of activities are approved, such as service on journal boards. 
Q- Can we state that activities that we do as part of our job and report in our annual reports for merit etc do not need to be reported to the database?
A- That sounds reasonable.

Q- Why do we have the publically searchable database?
A- To have transparency dissuades people from engaging in conflicts of interest and conflict of commitment.

Q- Community involvement often comes with partisan and political activities.  Reporting these activities might pose problems for the individual faculty member.

Q- The concern about this problem is that there seems to be an assumption that the faculty have an inherent conflict of commitment.  We are not sure that the database won’t be used against us.

Approval of minutes of meeting of January 2013 – Kevin Buckler moved to accept minutes Rebekah Smith seconded.  Approved unanimously.

Committee Meetings
Academic Affairs and Faculty Quality (ASH 208)
Health Affairs (ASH 202)
Governance (ASH 210)

Friday, March 1

Members Present: Tom Ingram, Antoinette Sol, Martha Hilley, Elizabeth Heise, Kevin Buckler, Murray Leaf, David Cordell, Vladik Kreinovich, Carl Lieb, Thomas White, Dora Saavedra, Derek Catsam, Todd Richardson, Rebekah Smith, Misty Sailors, John Lamb, Patrick Olomu, Gerald Casenave, Lisa Cain, Carol Wiggs, Thomas Cole, Donald Molony Barry Norling, Ed Jackson, Jean-Bernard Durand, Ann Killary, Amy Tvinnereim, Tim Allen, David Griffith

Committee Meetings,
Academic Affairs and Faculty Quality
Health Affairs

Committee Reports
Health Affairs Committee
Resolution To the Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs

Whereas all faculty are by Regent’s Rules (Regent Rule 40101) required to be involved in governance of the organization, and whereas; certain University of Texas Health Science Centers consisting of multiple different schools are currently represented by unified faculty governance organizations, and whereas, The University of Texas Health Science Center Tyler (UTHSCT) clinical faculty are currently not represented within the formal UTHSCT faculty governance organization, we resolve that the UTHSCT be required to expand their current governance organization to include representation from the clinical faculty that is equivalent to the representation from the academic faculty.

Passed Unanimously

Resolution to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs if he agrees it will support the HSCs and if Barry McBee agrees it will support HSCs

Whereas, the Health Science Centers care for a disproportionate number of individuals without insurance and by so doing perform a service to their communities and people of Texas; whereas, caring for all of the people of Texas allows for the most effective education of students in the health sciences, and whereas the ability to cost-effectively and efficiently care for the broadest proportion of the Texas population is critical to the educational missions of the Health Science Centers; and whereas; current Federal and State programs do not fully cover the cost of care for many patients served by the Health Science Centers; we resolve that the University of Texas should encourage the leaders of Texas to consider agreeing to the current Federal proposal for expansion of Medicaid as important in support of the educational mission of the Health Science Centers across the State of Texas.

                      Passed Unanimously

Discussion with Barry McBee later indicated that it might not help HSCs.

To the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Draft:
Ask Francy Frederick clarification from the BOR on 90102 Section 2.5 regarding the intent on the creator: university split.
Whereas, the current Regent’s Rule 90102 (effective 11/10/2011) specifies a 50% : 50% split in royalty payments from intellectual property between the University and the creator of that property; whereas, the regents rule specifies that any deviation from this split will be negotiated on a case by case basis and require specific approval from the Regents; whereas, this rule currently regulates such activities on all but two of the Health Science campuses; and whereas the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have implemented percentage splits that differ from the split specified in the current Regent’s Rule 90102; we resolve: That all University of Texas Health Science Centers should be regulated by the current Regents Rule 90102 and that royalty distributions on all new projects hence forth should be regulated by the most current Regent’s Rule and that excepts require, specified in this Regent’s Rule, a case-by-case consideration.

Withdraw from consideration

To Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs:  Proposal to be discussed at the FAC meeting in April 2013:

Whereas: The threshold for funding individual National Science Foundation (NSF)/ National Institutes of Health (NIH) research proposals (RO1 applications) has reached an historically high level. Only those NIH proposals scored in the top 6th to 5th percentile are currently eligible for funding. The NIH funding threshold is expected to become even more prohibitive with the anticipated across the board spending cuts currently mandated by Congress. Realistically, NIH funding is now essentially restricted to a limited number of experienced investigators with established NIH track records. In this unfavorable environment, biomedical researchers (PhD and MD) are still evaluated for professional and academic success and also specifically for promotion on the basis of attaining the career development "gold standard" of NIH funding. Persistence of this standard is unfair, unrealistic and potentially quite detrimental to the University of Texas system and the state. Young faculty will inevitably either become frustrated with the process or will be let go after failing to garner the required NIH /NSF funding in the expected period of time. We are in danger of losing a generation of young biomedical scientists. The tangible consequences of losing a large number of young researchers both from the perspective of lost scientific contributions and from the perspective of wasted resources utilized for prematurely terminated career development are incalculable.

We resolve that the University of Texas System should develop a fund to allow for start-up or "bridge" funding for young researchers who are academically and scientifically productive and show promise for future contributions but who are not able to procure NIH funding in the first few years of their careers. This funding will allow young faculty to continue successful or promising research and amass the necessary experience, publications and data to build a successful NIH / NSF funding application, and not coincidentally, to also remain competitive for promotion within their respective institutions.

Furthermore, we resolve that such funds should be established to support mid and senior level investigators who have been successful but who have lost current NIH/NSF funding to supplement the limited funding that is currently available on some but not all HSC institutions.

These same concerns, i.e., wasted career support and loss of talented scientists and teachers, are pertinent to mid-level faculty who are between NIH grants or other extramural support. A "bridge" fund would undoubtedly be of value in this circumstance and would prevent unnecessary and disruptive turnover of experienced and productive mid-level faculty.
Lastly, with no improvement in NIH/NSF funding in sight, we resolve that the University of Texas System consider a re-evaluation across the system by the constitutive institutions of use of NIH/NSF funding as a metric by which academic success in the biomedical sciences is measured and as a sole metric for determining faculty retention and promotion.


Resolution on Guns on Campus to the Chancellor

The University of Texas Faculty Advisory Council believes that the carrying of firearms on campus by anyone other than law enforcement officers is detrimental to the safety and security of all on campus.

Passed with one opposed and with one abstention

Resolution on Encryption
Whereas computer encryption programs can directly inhibit certain kinds of faculty research and communication, each UT System campus should establish an information security advisory committee with substantial faculty membership to receive and to make recommendations with regard to faculty requests for exemptions from requirements for the encryption of university owned computers and mobile communication devices.  
Passed Unanimously

Resolution on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment to the Chancellor and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Work that is considered to be integral to the duties of faculty as teachers and scholars is already reported in annual evaluation reports and other periodic personnel processes.

Therefore, FAC recommends that local policy not require faculty to report such information in annual Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interest disclosures, unless, in the opinion of a reasonable person, there is a prima facia conflict of interest or commitment.

Passed Unanimously

Resolution on Faculty and Staff Rights to Privacy to the Chancellor and to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Faculty and staff of the University of Texas System have the same inalienable rights as other citizens of the United States and as are recognized in international conventions on human rights. These include the rights of freedom of speech and of the press, the right of association, the right to petition the government, and rights to dignity and privacy.   

The University of Texas System may properly disclose information pertaining to its relationships with its faculty and staff if that information is otherwise public, such as employment titles, pay, and assigned duties.  It may, subject to appropriate laws, disclose information on arrangements it has made with faculty and staff members to assure that their activities and associations outside of their employment with the university do not interfere with their abilities to carry out their obligations to the university.  

The University of Texas System should not disclose information on employees’ associations, activities, speech, or sources of income outside their relationships to the university and not within the scope of their employment in the university.  This specifically includes, but is not limited to, information on their domestic arrangements, business activities, charitable activities, political activities or associations, publications or other speech activities, appearances as expert witnesses under subpoena or otherwise, and employment in other organizations outside of the university, or such associations or activities of the members of their households or family relations.

Passed Unanimously

Resolution on the formation of the new UT in South Texas

Whereas, HB 1000 and SB 24 section 4 (c) states “In recognition of the abolition of The University of Texas--Pan American and The University of Texas at Brownsville as authorized by this Act, the board of regents shall facilitate the   employment at the university created by this Act of as many faculty and staff of the abolished universities as is prudent and practical”;

Whereas, the companion House and Senate bills contain vague language concerning retention of UTB and UTPA faculty and staff;

Whereas, The UT Board of Regents’ Rule contains no specific policy governing the merger of academic or medical campuses;

Therefore, be it resolved that the UT System Faculty Advisory Council strongly recommends that, should the legislation be enacted into law, the following guiding principles be implemented:

“All faculty and staff employed by the University of Texas--Pan American and the University of Texas at Brownsville, upon dissolution of the two institutions and merger into one newly created South Texas university, will have their positions, salaries, and tenure statuses as well as time and rank transferred to the newly established institution.  

In the event that duplication of duties necessitates reconsideration of existing administrative structures leading to the elimination of current positions in either Brownsville or Edinburg, Board of Regents’ Rules and pre-existing UTPA and UTB policies shall be followed in a manner that is mindful and respectful of shared governance.  In the event of a situation where no extant local or Regents' policy specifically governs the issue, a policy shall be created through existing shared governance procedures including the UT System Faculty Advisory Council and local faculty and staff governance bodies.”

Passed Unanimously

Academic Affairs and Faculty Quality

Resolution on Space Utilization to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Whereas the new Space Utilization metrics that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and UT System have imposed on the constituent UT campuses have proven to be both burdensome and counterproductive, and oftentimes do not allow universities to appropriately utilize specially configured classrooms, the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council resolves that System work to reform space utilization policies and develop better metrics in consultation with faculty governance bodies to allow for appropriate room usage as determined by local campuses.

Passed Unanimously

Resolution Faculty Analytic Tools to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs
Be it resolved that the implementation of any analytic tool (e.g. Academic Analytics, SciVal, MyEdu) either by System as a whole or by individual campuses for faculty assessment purposes shall be subject to regular review and approval by campus faculty governance bodies and/or by the System Faculty Advisory Council. Further, each campus Chief Academic Officers (or a designee) shall ensure that there will be a regular mechanism for improving the usage of these tools when these bodies or when individual faculty members reveal omissions, absences, and flaws in the analytics and/or raise issues with their usage.

Passed Unanimously

Resolution on Peer Observation to the Executive Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs moved to April meeting.

Reply on the report on student debt moved to April meeting.

Barry McBee, Vice Chancellor and Chief Governmental Relations Officer

Finance side – the committees have set up workgroups on the budget process
$150 million more for Texas Grant
$90 million more for formula funding
Competitive Knowledge fund has added UT Arlington, UT El Paso, and UT San Antonio
More support for Graduate Medical Education is broad
Not as far along
$150 million more for Texas Grant
Looking at how much we are paying per student and trying to go back to 2009 levels
Both bills will go to the floor in the next few weeks

The good news is that there will not be budget cuts this time
Tuition Revenue Bonds were proposed in the Senate $2.2 billion in projects that will get cut down.

The Creation of the New University in South Texas is the 
132 of the 150 members of the house are on board with the bill.
Will be heard on Wed in the Senate
20 of 31 senators will get the 21st when a senate seat is filled tomorrow.
April vote. 
PUF Eligible immediately and creation of the new university in the biennium.

Creation of the new medical school in Austin

Outcomes based funding for academic campuses is supported by UT System but it is unclear if it will pass

Cancer prevention and research institute is a priority for UT System.  It may be reformed.

Handguns bills will come up the week of March 11.

Coordinating board is up for sunset. The bill hasn’t been filled yet.

There is a bill to get the Coordinating board out of the construction business.
There is a bill to get the Coordinating board out of the low producing programs business.

Hazelwood benefits for veterans families is an unanticipated cost.  The house is offering a one-time payment.

Public educations issues are being discussed. The legislature has identified that there are too many tests and too much time on preparing for tests. There is a discussion of the rigor in high school curriculum.
Joint oversight committee – The Lt Gov gave his support for Bill Powers. Senator Seliger filed SB 15 regarding the regents. The bill limits the role of the regents.  The new regents will be going through confirmation hearings.

The expansion of Medicad to the state is an issue that has been discussed by governors. Some have flipped their opinions. Rick Perry has said that he will decline the money.  The UT System has stayed out of the conversation.

John Hayek, Assoc. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff
            And Dan Sharphorn, Deputy General Counsel

Has been working with MyEdu.com. Liasons on all campuses trying to get more students to set up accounts.   We are working on Beta Testing faculty side of MyEdu.com.    The faculty at UTB and UT Tyler are giving feedback this month.

Chancellors framework addresses the roles and responsiblities of department chairs. There is an outline on a revised Regents Rule.  Will share with FAC in the next week or so.   This addresses the academic campuses.  The policy includes training. There are some campuses that have some models of leadership training.  There was a committee of provosts who developed the draft Regents Rule.

There is no news on the search for the new Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.

Suggersted changes to UTS 180 will go to campus presidents next week.

Concentual sexual relationship task force has started to work on policy. Chaired by Regent Foster.

Board of Regent meeting voted to cap students who need remeidation at 10%.  There is no timeline for acheving the goal.

Motion adjourn at 1:45 pm was passed.

FAC Executive Committee Meeting


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