THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
SUMMARY MINUTES OF THE
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
OF MARCH 11, 2004
The sixth regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2003-2004 was held March 11, 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, Manuel Berriozábal, Fred Bonner, Steven Boyd, Felecia Briscoe, Janis Bush, Aaron Cassill, Anthony Chronopoulos, Manuel Diaz, Mansour El-Kikhia, Daniel Engster, Lars Hansen, Eugene John, Michael Kelly, Dan Kiley, Raquel Marquez, Hayley Mayall, Sandy Norman, Michael Ryan, Carlos Salinas, Rudy Sandoval, Linda Shepherd, Yiuman Tse, Raydel Tullous, Jude Valdez, Sandra Welch
Absent: Rosalie Ambrosino, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey (excused), Stephan Bach, Jerry Barloco, Ron Binks (excused), David Bruenger, Roger Enriquez, James Gallas, Timothy Goles, Norma Guerra, David Hansen, Vic Heller (excused), David Johnson, David Larson, Ross Langham, Randy Manteufel, (excused), Kenneth Masden, James McDonald (excused), Bill Mullen, Frank Pino (excused), Alyson Ponomarenko (excused), Chris Reddick, Ricardo Romo, Todd Ryska, Ted Skekel, Joseph Stafford, Armando Trujillo
Total members present: 26 Total members absent: 28
Dr. Sandy Norman asked about UTSA's current classification. Dr. Welch replied it is not quite research intensive, but expects to receive that classification this year.
Chair - Dr. Aaron Cassill
Dr. Cassill reported the following:
ˇ Election of the Senate Chair for the next two years will be conducted at the April meeting.
ˇ The ad hoc committee on faculty diversity, chaired by Dr. George Negrete, has been meeting for the past few months. Committee members expect to have an interim report by the end of the year and, eventually, a full report on how to increase faculty diversity.
ˇ The Academic Policy and Requirements Committee is continuing to work on the grievance policy and revision of the tenure policy. Any comments on either policy should be forwarded to the committee.
ˇ UT System Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC):
ˇ The FAC received preliminary approval to allow faculty members who have already received tenure to reduce their time to as little as 49% 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.
ˇ The FAC has requested the addition of language to the Handbook of Operating Procedures requiring all faculty merit rates be based on peer review.
ˇ UT System Regents have approved a cross-campus initiative that will allow faculty at one UT component to transfer, with full right, to another System component for a short period of time.
ˇ There was considerable discussion about computer content and employees putting inappropriate material on their computers. The University of Texas at Austin even has a new procedure that completely scrubs and rebuilds each computer's hard drive every night. To have every bit of stored information deleted each night is an amazing infringement on the ability of faculty to control their own computers.
ˇ UTSA continues to do well in several areas when compared to other System components. For example, workloads are being increased from four to five courses, merit increases have been reduced due to deans retaining money for contingency funds, and portable buildings are used extensively.
ˇ Texas law forbids tuition waivers for spouses or children of faculty members.
ˇ A recent insurance survey determined the University of Texas PPO system is the best value in the country for academic institutions. An eight percent increase in cost is expected for next year, but the nationwide average increase is expected to be twenty percent. Future decreases in benefits are expected to be made to retiree plans. The elimination of health insurance benefits for retirees within the next decade has even been predicted.
Secretary of the General Faculty - Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia
1. Nominating, Elections, and Procedures Committee - Dr. Raydel Tullous
Dr. Tullous presented a proposal for revisions to Faculty Senate bylaws (copy attached to and made a part of these minutes). She said the report would be sent electronically to the Senators for review and presented for a vote at the April
meeting. Dr. Norman suggested eliminating "at least" in Article II.1.a. Dr. Tullous agreed to change the wording to delete "at least" and add "(excluding the Chair of the Faculty Senate and the Secretary of the General Faculty)" after the word "division" for clarification.
Academic Policy and Requirements Committee - Dr. Steven Boyd
Dr. Boyd presented a proposal, from the Undergraduate Issues Group, to revise UTSA's undergraduate repeat policy. Currently students who receive a grade of "D" or "F" in a particular course can repeat that course numerous times to improve that grade. The proposed revision is as follows:
The Undergraduate Issues Group recommends that the University modify the policy on repeating courses so that it applies only to students who have earned fewer than 45 semester credit hours of college credit prior to the beginning of a semester when a course is repeated and only to lower division courses.
Dr. Michael Ryan noted that one of the goals in UTSA's compact is to increase graduation rates. However, for students with low grade point averages based on 130 or 140 hours it will be almost mathematically impossible to graduate unless they can actually replace grades of "F" with higher grades. He asked if the proposed policy wouldn't be counter productive as far as the goal of increasing graduation.
Dr. El-Kikhia asked how the group decided on the 45-hour limitation. Dr. Boyd responded the intent is to give freshmen an opportunity to adjust to college life. In addition, the policy revision is in response to new legislation that does not allow a university to receive state funding for courses repeated for a third or subsequent time. UTSA has decided to assess the student a surcharge for repeated courses that will not receive state funding. The Committee recommends approval of the proposal to modify the repeat policy. Dr. Raquel Marquez suggested the Senate request a list of students close to having sufficient hours to graduate with low grade point averages. Data such as this would help to determine what impact the policy would have on graduation rates.
Dr. Briscoe asked if the position of the committee that proposed the changes is that the new policy would reduce class size and help students graduate sooner? Dr. Boyd responded the current policy encourages students to delay graduation in order to improve their grade point average. Students doing poorly in a class will go ahead and take a "D" or "F" knowing that currently there are no negative consequences to repeat the course in an attempt for a higher grade. Beginning with the Fall 2004 semester there will be a negative financial impact due to the three-attempt surcharge. Motion made and approved to refer the proposal back to the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee for clarification.
Dr. Boyd noted the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee had previously submitted a report recommending revisions to the Faculty Grievance Procedure. The report was tabled at the time but will be resubmitted to the Senate and presented for consideration at the April meeting.
Recommend approval of a Substantive Program Proposal for a Ph.D. in Public Administration - APPROVED
Dr. El-Kikhia recommended the Senate appoint a committee to evaluate its mission and values. In his opinion, the Senate is not currently fulfilling the expectations of the general faculty. Some have even suggested the Senate should be dismantled. Dr. Norman suggested the membership of the evaluation committee should include people outside of the Senate. Dr. Briscoe asked what kind of power does the senate actually have? Senate resolutions often are not implemented. In the past, the Senate Chair received a class release or monetary stipend but that is no longer the case. Dr. El-Kikhia agreed these are all issues the proposed acommittee should evaluate. The current membership structure should also be reviewed. Dr. El-Kikhia nominated Dr. Dan Engster to chair the committee and to make recommendations for committee members both within and outside of the Senate.
Dr. Boyd stated faculty in his department are quite alarmed and distressed about the content of proposed revisions to the annual report form. The concerns include the huge block of space for funded research and the request for citations. History faculty do not have a device to count citations. Dr. Briscoe stated there is also extreme concern in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies for the same reasons. Dr. Welch responded she would share these concerns with the Provost. Dr. Berriozábal suggested the problem might be due to an attempt to develop a form to be used by all disciplines. Perhaps each department should propose its own form. Dr. Welch said the Provost is trying to fine-tune the report and perhaps he should meet with the Senate to listen to the concerns of the faculty.
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Last updated June 2, 2005