THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
SUMMARY MINUTES OF THE
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
OF FEBRUARY 12, 2004
The fifth regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2003-2004 was held February 12, 2004 at 3:30 p.m. in the Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04) with Dr. Aaron Cassill, Chair, presiding, Dr. Roger Enriquez, Secretary.
Present: Diane Abdo, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Manuel Berriozabal, Ron Binks, Felecia Briscoe, Janis Bush, Aaron Cassill, Anthony Chronopoulos, Daniel Engster, Roger Enriquez, Mansour El-Kikhia, Timothy Goles, Norma Guerra, Vic Heller, Michael Kelly, Dan Kiley, Raquel Marquez, Kenneth Masden, Hayley Mayall, James McDonald, Bill Mullen, Sandy Norman, Frank Pino, Alyson Ponomarenko, Chris Reddick, Carlos Salinas, Rudy Sandoval, Ted Skekel, Armando Trujillo, Raydel Tullous, Sandra Welch
Absent: Rosalie Ambrosino, Stephan Bach, Jerry Barloco, Fred Bonner, Steven Boyd (excused), David Bruenger (excused), Manuel Diaz, James Gallas, Roger Garza, Lars Hansen, Eugene John, David Johnson, David Larson, Randy Manteufel, Ricardo Romo, Michael Ryan, Todd Ryska, Linda Shepherd (excused), Joseph Stafford, Yiuman Tse, Jude Valdez
Total members present: 32 Total members absent: 21
Dr. Bailey distributed a draft revision to the faculty Annual Report form. He requested Senators review the draft and submit any recommended changes by Spring Break. He noted some changes were merely formatting issues but there are also some substantive changes. The evaluation stays the same; just the material being reported changes. Sections on publications related to teaching and on application of technology have been added. These will allow departments to build in some reward to faculty use of special applications of technology or for involvement in student success activities, such as learning communities. The research section was divided into two parts, with a fair amount of emphasis placed on externally funded research. A section on proposals submitted but not funded has been added. Dr. Bailey said suggestions on how to quantitatively measure research would be appreciated. He noted all graduate programs will be evaluated by the National Research Council within the next year and one of the measures to be used for this evaluation will be externally funded grants. In response to a question on the projected timeframe for implementation of the new form, Dr. Bailey said there is no pressure to change the form except the need for clarity in certain areas. He agreed faculty should have some lead-time to deal with a new form and perhaps waiting one year would be preferable. He reiterated the new form is not a change in the merit system unless a department decides to weigh certain areas differently.
Dr. Bailey reported the UT System Board of Regents approved a new title, Research Professorships, approximately two years ago. These positions are funded by soft money and any department can request one with a high probability of approval. The President's Office can provide start-up funds until external money is received, but these salary lines would not use any departmental money. Research professor positions cannot be converted to tenure-track. Visiting professor positions, however, are different in that a department can move the person into a tenure-track title if a salary line is available. The hiring of research professors is one of the mechanisms used to expand the university's external funding. Ideally UTSA would have a number of research professors working with postdoctoral graduate students and tenured/tenure-track faculty. Dr. Cassill asked if university centers could hire research professors. Dr. Bailey said if the funding was available a center could hire a person into this position. Visiting professor positions are funded by instructional dollars and are only available within a departmental structure. These faculty can be eligible to vote and serve on departmental committees. Currently research professors do not have this eligibility as their positions are specifically for research functions, but this distinction might need to be reviewed. Visiting professor positions can be converted to tenure-track lines but a research professor position cannot be converted.
Dr. Bailey noted equipment security remains a major issue. Faculty and staff can be held liable if they are found negligent when equipment is lost or stolen. There is an appeals process when that occurs; however, the committee that reviews the appeals does not have representation from Academic Affairs. The Provost's Office is trying to change the membership structure. In some cases, the ruling of negligence was based on the form submitted when equipment was taken off campus. The Provost's Office is developing a revised form that would take into consideration the need for faculty and staff to have their laptops with them when they travel. The office will continue to work with the equipment and inventory areas to ensure there equitable decisions are made in cases of negligence. Another problem has been the determination of liability and whether to use replacement cost or depreciated value. Dr. Cassill said law faculty in the College of Business state that according to case law it is the depreciated value. He then asked for information on the process in place for carrying the burden of proof against the faculty. Dr. Bailey said that is where the biggest problem exists at this time since the appeals committee does not have representation from Academic Affairs or Student Affairs and often does not understand the entire situation. Dr. Sandy Welch said she had talked to a staff member who had added a rider to a personal insurance policy that provided $3000 worth of liability coverage for $30 per year. This type of policy is also stackable so coverage can be provided at the appropriate amount. She said there needs to be discussion about what actually constitutes negligence and a policy needs to be developed that informs faculty of their rights and responsibilities related to university equipment. Dr. Bailey asked Dr. Sandoval to work with the Provost's Office to develop a policy.
B. Senate Chair - Dr. Aaron Cassill
Dr. Cassill reported the Senate would elect its next Chair for a two-year term at the April meeting. This will be the first election of the Senate Chair under the new bylaws. Nominations will be solicited at the March meeting and will be distributed prior to the April meeting.
The Senate approved formation of ad hoc committees to continue review of the IDEA survey and of the process of administrator evaluations. Dr. Cassill noted he had sent an email asking for Senators to volunteer to serve on these committees but received very few responses. He asked to be contacted as soon as possible if anyone was interested in serving or knew of anyone in his or her department who might be interested.
Dr. Cassill reported the following items from the UT System Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) meeting:
· The University of Texas System has $4.5 billion dollars committed for construction during the next five years. Health science centers will receive $3.2 billion and $612 million will be allocated to UT Austin. This mean all of the other components will share in $700 million. UTSA has been funded very favorably, receiving $270 million in total construction money. Compared to the System as a whole and to institutions across the country, UTSA is doing very well.
· The FAC approved a motion that will allow faculty members who have already received tenure to reduce their time to as little as forty-nine percent without losing tenure. Currently if an appointment goes below 100%, the faculty member loses tenure. The new ruling is important for faculty who need to take maternity leave or who are near retirement and want to work at a reduced rate.
· A motion was approved to add language to the Handbook of Operating Procedures requiring all faculty merit rates be based on peer review.
· A request was made to add language to the Handbook of Operating Procedures stating that all organizational restructuring should involve consultation with effected faculty.
· A motion was approved to request UT System performance measures must include the ratio of administrators to non-administrative faculty.
· Faculty hired since 1995 can increase contributions to optional retirement plans to 8.5%. The legislature approved this increase but did not provide funding.
C. Secretary of the General Faculty - Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia
Dr. El-Kikhia reported his term as Secretary of the General Faculty/University Assembly expires August 31, 2004. An election will be conducted during the Spring semester to fill this vacancy. He encouraged faculty to submit nominations for the position. He said the FAC presented a proposal to link faculty salary with tenure. Faculty also need to be aware that there continues to be a lot of discussion about accountability; he expects to learn more details at the next FAC meeting.
Nominating, Elections, and Procedures Committee - Dr. Raydel Tullous
Dr. Tullous distributed copies of proposed amendments to Senate bylaws that change the method of electing the Chair of the Graduate Council and adding that position to Senate membership. The 30-day notice requirement has been fulfilled and the committee recommends approvals. Motion approved. Dr. Tullous then reported on additional changes the committee has proposed to provide clarification on Senate membership. The revisions will add one faculty representative from the Freshman Initiative Program and the position of Vice President for Extended Services as an ad hoc member. The committee has also identified the need of clarification of the sections that specify the election of the Senate Chair and officers. The additional amendments will be distributed to allow the 30-day review and will be voted on at a later meeting. Several Senate members noted additional editorial revisions to reflect changes in titles and positions, as well as the need to review the current senior administrative structure to ensure inclusion. Dr. Tullous said these suggestions would be addressed and included in the next set of revisions, as appropriate.
Dr. Tullous reported a call for election of new Senators and University Assembly faculty representatives will be sent to college deans, a call of nominations for the Secretary of the General Faculty will be sent to all voting members of the General Faculty, and a call for nominations for the position of Senate Chair will be sent to all Senators. Dr. Cassill noted the Senate Executive Committee has discussed the possibility of having the Senate Chair elected by all voting members of the General Faculty. The Faculty Senate would nominate candidates from within the Senate but the election would be university wide. This process would give the Senate Chair and the Senate, in general, more legitimacy. The process could be similar to the Secretary of the General Faculty election and include statements of interest and accomplishments with the ballot. A motion was made to revise the bylaws to state the Faculty Senate Chair will be elected by all voting members of the General Faculty, to be effective with the 2006-2008 election. Motion passed.
Recommend approval of a Substantive Program Proposal for a Master of Arts in Communication - APPROVED
Dr. Ted Skekel expressed concern regarding determination of negligence when property is stolen. There are so many available keys for classrooms and faculty offices; it would be difficult to know who was actually negligent when a room is left open. Dr. Bailey agreed that is an issue that needs review. The current focus on classroom security is in process with the installation of locks that accept UTSA identification cards. Other aspects of the situation will be addressed as quickly as possible. Dr. Vic Heller asked if faculty or staff should physically intercede if they encounter theft in progress. Dr. Bailey emphatically replied they should not intercede but should call the police immediately. He also stated portable equipment should not be left unattended at any time. For example, if a professor dismisses a class early, the Office of Distance Learning and Academic Technology should be notified that the equipment needs to be picked up ahead of schedule. That office should also be told if there is any classroom equipment not cabled properly. There is a telephone in each classroom's teaching station that is hardwired to the office for this purpose. Another deterrent to be done is the installation of high-decibel motion alarms on the projectors. This will alert anyone in the area a theft is taking place. He noted that although tracking devices are available, these are often not cost effective.
Dr. Norman asked for an update of the proposal for high school students to have easier entry to UTSA in order to take university courses. Dr. Bailey replied the proposal actually made entry to the university more stringent. There are two ways a high school student can take college courses. One is that the student qualifies for UTSA admission and takes courses for regular college credit. The proposal addresses the other method, taking courses for dual high school/college credit. There is also a pilot program allowing provisional admission. So far 100 provisional students have been admitted with the stipulation they work with the Tomás Rivera Center and take specified coursework. These students achieved higher grade point averages and had a better retention rate than regularly-admitted students. In response to a question about the recent Access Program Survey, Dr. Bailey replied he would check on the results and report back at a later date.
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Last updated June 2, 2005