THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
SUMMARY MINUTES OF THE
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
OF FEBRUARY 10, 2005
The fifth regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2004–2005 was held February 10, 2005 at 3:30 p.m. in the Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04) with Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia, Chair, presiding, Dr. Steven Boyd, Secretary.
Present: Diane Abdo, Ron Ayers, Stephan Bach, Ronald Bagley, Guy Bailey, Thad Bartlett, Robert Bayley, Manuel Berriozábal, Ron Binks, Steven Boyd, Felecia Briscoe, John Byrd, Aaron Cassill, Anthony Chronopoulos, Stacey Davis, Mansour El-Kikhia, Daniel Engster, Damon Garcia, Eugene John, David Johnson, Michael F. Kelly, Hayley Mayall, Patrick McDaniel, Bill Mullen, Alyson Ponomarenko, Dianne Rahm, Robert Renthal, Michael Ryan, Rudy Sandoval, Rocky Shih, Ted Skekel, Thankam Sunil, Betty Travis, Yiuman Tse, Raydel Tullous, Sandra Welch, Karen Williams
Absent: Rosalie Ambrosino (excused), Fred Bonner, Roger Enriquez, James Gallas, Timothy Goles (excused), David Hansen, Lars Hansen, Craig Jordan, Kerry Kennedy, Richard Lewis, Kenneth Masden, James McDonald (excused), Frank Pino (excused), Carlos Salinas, Larry Shrum, Joseph Stafford, Jude Valdez (excused), Venetta Williams (excused), Wan Yao
Total members present: 37 Total members absent: 19
A. Senate Chair – Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia
Dr. El-Kikhia said that great importance must be placed on attendance at the Senate meetings. Senators must engage and give at least one hour a week to Senate issues. Dr. Bailey left Dr. El-Kikhia with a report regarding Family Leave for female faculty in the University. Dr. El-Kikhia also introduced Jennifer Milner, new administrative support staff for governance
B. Secretary of the General Faculty – as submitted by Dr. James McDonald
With apologies to the Senate, I am unable to attend our regularly scheduled Thursday meetings this semester due to a teaching conflict that was unavoidable.
With that said, significant progress has been made on the new faculty governance web page. Please log into http://www.utsa.edu/gov to see the new design and updates.
The next step in the process is to develop a newsletter for the Senate/Assembly. A template has been worked up and I will be consulting with Faculty Senate Chair, Mansour El-Kikhia about content matters.
1. Academic Policy and Requirements Committee – Dr. Robert Renthal
Dr. Renthal discussed recommendations for policy changes from the Provost’s Workgroup on Academic Policies, chaired by Dr. Ann Eisenberg. The report from the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee recommended approval of all policies. Motion to approve all policies as presented made, seconded, and approved.
Dr. Renthal provided a status report on the feasibility of establishing the position of faculty ombudsperson. The Committee spent considerable time studying the practice of ombud offices at various campuses across the country; met with Dr. David Johnson, Executive Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs to discuss the issue; and prepared a report titled, Should UTSA Establish an Ombuds Office? Since it was determined the ombud issue is closely linked to the grievance policy, the Committee will review the grievance policy over the next month and present additional information at the next Senate meeting at which time there would be further discussion. He noted he and the other Committee members would appreciate input from the Senators.
2. Budget Committee – Dr. Stephen Bach (Attachment B)
Dr. Bach presented a report from the Budget Committee on a recent meeting with the Provost. The Committee will meet with the Provost again as a later date when more budgetary information is available from the legislative session.
3. Evaluation, Merit, Rewards, and Workload Committee–Dr. Daniel Engster
Dr. Engster reported the Committee met to review the revised workload policy; however, the proposal has since been withdrawn and is no longer an issue. The Committee will meet with the Provost soon to discuss the possibility of a Family Leave policy and should have a proposal by the next Senate meeting. The Committee is also working on the development of a policy that would allow tenured faculty to retain tenure if they choose to be appointed on a part-time basis.
Dr. Ronald Ayers reported a new workload policy has been proposed for the College of Business. The Dean of the College wants to adopt this policy by February 16th. He raised the issue of how college workload policies fit into the larger university workload policy and how the proposed College of Business would be integrated with any new policy developed by the Office of the Provost at a later date. Faculty in the College of Business are concerned because there are no plans to have a college-wide faculty forum to discuss the proposal. So far the only meetings planned are for individual departments.
Dr. Bill Mullen made a motion that the Senate recommend to the Dean of the College of Business that the college provide its faculty an opportunity to discuss the proposed College of Business workload policy by means of a college-wide open forum, in accordance with college bylaws, prior to implementation of the policy. Motion approved.
4. Nominating, Elections, and Procedures Committee – Dr. Robert Bayley
Dr. Bayley reported on two issues related to the revision of Senate bylaws that need consideration.
· The recommendation of the Senate Faculty Governance Committee was to extend the term of office for Senators from two to three years. Committee assignments, however, were left at two years, which might cause problems with committee terms coinciding with Senate terms. The Committee recommends three-year membership terms on Senate committees to coincide with Senate terms.
· The Committee has reviewed the need for a new Senate committee on issues related to the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP). It was suggested that the Senate should increase their level of bureaucratic involvement and create a committee to receive any changes proposed in the HOP from the administration. This will include any issues that may affect faculty or academic policy. The Committee would ensure the proposals are forwarded to the appropriate Senate committee for review and recommendation.
· Carlos Salinas was elected chair of this committee.
5. Ad Hoc Committee on Evaluation of Administrators – Dr. Bill Mullen
Dr. Mullen represented the Ad Hoc Committee on Evaluation of Administrators. This committee emerged out of work done last summer by the Faculty Governance Committee, chaired by Dr. Daniel Engster. One of the discussions that took place is how the role of the Senate and general faculty governance could be enhanced, and is the Senate empowered to conduct studies and reviews. Dr. Mullen said that a good deal of time was spent on the web looking at faculty senate web pages and the Committee found that it was a fairly common practice for faculty senates to have evaluation procedures in place.
Dr. El-Kikhia said he sent the final document to the Faculty Senate members, and a small but very thoughtful set of responses were made. The Committee has reviewed all of those responses, and made some changes; the final document is now being presented for discussion.
A recommendation was made to appoint the evaluation committee at the beginning of the academic year and to create a fall timetable for the work of the evaluation committee instead of starting in February. A motion was made to change the timeline to begin the process at the first Faculty Senate meeting of each year. Motion approved.
Dr. Ayers raised the question regarding the follow-up process for administrators who have received evaluations. He believes that these administrators might now have had the necessary resources to do their job properly. He proposed the Faculty Senate could set in some sort of resolution so that these individuals can obtain the resources that they need in order to do their job effectively.
Motion made to accept the report from the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators as amended. Motion approved.
On the same issue, Dr. El-Kikhia noted that the purpose of this proposal is not to be vindictive, but to receive good feedback, and have a system that would work for everyone.
D. Open Forum
1. La Raza Faculty and Administrator’s Association – Dr. Arturo Vega
(statement attached to and made a part of these minutes).
Questions were raised concerning the statement:
· Why does Dr. Vega need a special grievance committee for the promotion and tenure cases since there is already one in place?
· Why does Dr. Vega believe that this particular faculty member (used as an example in his statement) was being treated differently from other faculty members?
· Wouldn’t an external reviewer be a better judge of an individual’s research standing in the community versus an elementary educational specialist, for example, who knows nothing about educational technology?
· Shouldn’t the individual that Dr. Vega utilized in his document use the grievance process, which exists in the UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP)?
Dr. Vega responded to these questions by reiterating that La Raza is asking the Faculty Senate and its appropriate committee to: 1) study, review and make recommendations for improving promotion and tenure standards, processes, and practices UTSA; 2) investigate the standards and practices for promotion and tenure of comparable institutions of higher education; 3) consider the creation of a Promotion and Tenure Grievance Committee, which could investigate formal complaints regarding specific promotion and tenure cases and make recommendations directly to the President based on its findings; 4) form college committees comprised of Senate and non-Senate members to recommend department and college-specific criteria for promotion and tenure relative to the general standards provided in the HOP; and 5) establish a timeline for these tasks to be completed and reported back to the Senate by the end of the 2005 Spring semester.
La Raza believes that this case was handled outside of the guidelines of the HOP. Letters that were solicited from strong reviewers were set aside and the review committee moved on without them. La Raza believes that the process should be followed and that those letters should be considered and should have some weight in decision-making.
He also stated that the individual used in the example was once again going through the promotion and tenure process and did not want to utilize the grievance policy for fear that it would interfere as a result. Dr. Vega said that the HOP standards were loose, vague, and open to interpretation and not all of the departments have written policies. As a result the entire process was open to interpretation.
A decision was made to submit La Raza’s request to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee for review and recommendation.
2. Dr. Manuel Berriozábal
Dr. Berriozábal requested the Faculty Senate conduct an investigation on the matter of his administrative leave (statement attached to and made a part of the minutes).
Dr. Sandy Norman said the Senate should investigate the case if, for no other reason, than to try to understand the details. The fundamental issue seems to be faculty protection. Administration could remove any faculty member from academic duties for a variety of reasons. The assumption is if those reasons turn out to be faulty, unwarranted or invalid the faculty member could go back to their former position in good standing. That is not necessarily the case and was not the case for Dr. Berriozábal. The Senate needs to address the issue of forced administrative leave so faculty are not left to the risk of vindictive administrators. Dr. Bailey noted that faculty in administrative appointments serve at the pleasure of the administration; faculty status is a different matter and is protected. Dr. El-Kikhia asked for volunteers to form a special committee to investigate the situation. Members will include Ron Ayers, Rocky Shih, Steven Boyd and three members from outside the Senate.
E. Provost – Dr. Guy Bailey
Dr. Bailey discussed administrator evaluations and the questionnaires for evaluations as well as a few points about the budget. A document was distributed to Senators for review regarding these matters. A few main points about this discussion:
· Administrators should decide who they would like to evaluate them. The questionnaire tended to focus quite a bit on human relations and communications. Job descriptions are also important to focus on.
· A time table for these evaluations should be decided
· Many new institutes and centers have been created, and new policies need to be formed for these groups.
Dr. Bailey also discussed workload issues in detail. Specifics are as follows:
· The system of workload credits was laid out in the current HOP. Most everyone exceeded the required amount of workload credits by far, and this was often interpreted as a workload policy.
· The accountability matrix has no real bearing of the number of courses one must teach. The budget is the driving force regarding the number of courses taught. It is important for each college to come up with an accountability matrix and workload policy to ensure that no laws are violated.
· In order to develop a workload policy for each college, a significant number of faculty must be hired. One of the only things insisted upon was that faculty who ended up teaching more classes should not be penalized in any way by the evaluation system.
A question was raised in regards to the workload policy including:
Since several faculty members are teaching 3/3 schedules and there should not be any penalization, does this mean that if one is teaching twice the course load, or additional course load, that essentially is releasing the research requirement?
Dr. Bailey responded that there were a number of individuals who did not have research agendas based on their course loads. However, if those individuals were untenured, that would be a different manner. Dr. Bailey made note of the fact that he was only discussing faculty who were tenured. Dr. Bailey also explained that each college is allocated a sum of money and it is up to the Deans, working with the Department Chairs, to decide how to divide that money. He also added that lecturers can now be put on lengthy contracts instead of a semester-by-semester basis
A comment was made that the number of classes any faculty is supposed to teach is three. Dr. Bailey argued that there is no reason the class load had to be three; there just had not been motive to change it yet. The interest here was in helping faculty pay less money to buy out a course.
Dr. Bailey explained that faculty should do two things in research practices:
· Support graduate students. This will vary from college to college, but there is more grant activity than originally thought. Faculty must understand what their discipline expects and what kind of things are researchable.
· Buy out courses. As more faculty are hired and more courses bought out, that will create more income for the colleges and departments.
Dr. Bailey discussed the budget and made the following points:
· Although the state budget picture is not good, the preliminary outlook for UTSA is very good.
· There was a five percent reduction for all special items and the legislature will no longer pay debt service on new buildings.
· Assuming Senate Bill 1 is passed as it is now, this would represent an increase of more than 11 million dollars. Never in the history of the institution have we been this well off. This is a 9 percent increase.
· UT Arlington, UT Austin and UT Dallas were all down by a significant amount.
· The key idea to help the University change is in weighted student credit hours. Enrollment growth is not quite as important. Student enrollment growth was up by 6 percent, but the change in weighted student credit hours is up by 13 percent.
· Fifteen percent of the University’s budget is for special items. That needs to be decreased to approximately four percent, similar to that of UT Arlington.
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Last updated May 9, 2005