THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
SUMMARY MINUTES OF THE
FACULTY SENATE SPECIAL MEETING
OF November 10, 2005
The third regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2005-2006 was held November 10, 2005 at 3:30 p.m. in the Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04) with Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia, Chair, presiding.
I. Call to order and taking of attendance
Present: Diane Abdo, Mark Allen, Rosalie Ambrosino, Thad Bartlett, Robert Bayley, Manuel Berriozábal, Mark Blizard, Rajendra Boppana, Aaron Cassill, Stacey Davis, Mansour El-Kikhia, Daniel Engster, MaryEllen Garcia, Kirsten Gardner, Eugene John, Craig Jordan, Paul LeBlanc, John McCray, Patrick McDaniel, James McDonald, Jolyn Mikow, Elizabeth Pate, Debajyoti Paul, Dianne Rahm, Robert Renthal, Earle Reybold, Michael Ryan, Rocky Shih, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Judith A. Walmsley, Karen Williams, Wan Yao
Absent: Ron Ayers, Ronald Bagley, Ron Binks, Lorenzo Branceleon (excused), John Byrd, Timothy Goles, David Hansen, Lars Hansen (excused), Kim Keller, Cherylon Robinson (excused), Mariela Rodriguez (excused), Ron Rutherford (excused), L.J. Shrum (excused), Ted Skekel (excused)
Total members present: 33 Total members absent: 14
A. Senate Chair – Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia
Dr. El-Kikhia reported that he received a response from President Ricardo Romo and Dr. Guy Bailey regarding The Berriozábal Report created by the Faculty Senate ad hoc Committee on Senate Case Review. Dr. El-Kikhia said that the response was sent in form of a memo which read that Dr. Romo and Dr. Bailey accepted the report, but did not concur with it. They believed that the report rendered an opinion and offered recommendations based on incomplete information, incomplete knowledge of the facts, incorrect assumptions, and a misunderstanding of the Texas State Law and University policies. Dr. El-Kikhia asked for the Faculty Senate to approve sending back only the recommendations portion of the report instead of the entire document so that a policy may be created in order to prevent unnecessary administrative leave. A motion was made that the Faculty Senate will allow the ad hoc Committee on Senate Case Review to evaluate the report, make new recommendations, and send the report to Dr. El-Kikhia so it may then be sent back to President Romo for approval.
Dr. El-Kikhia also asked the Faculty Senate to approve a resolution to be sent to the Organization of Texas Faculty Senates in order to prevent any Faculty Senate from being disbanded. This resolution was created in direct response to the dissolution of the Faculty Senate at Texas A&M University, Kingsville. The resolution also stated that the UTSA Faculty Senate regrets the actions of the President of Texas A&M University, Kingsville, in dissolving the Faculty Senate and prohibiting current elected members from standing for re-election.
Motion to approve all reports and resolutions as presented made, seconded, and approved.
B. Secretary of the General Faculty – Dr. James McDonald
Dr. McDonald reported to the Faculty Senate that the Provost Search Committee has met once, and they electronically finalized a job advertisement for the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs which chronicled Hispanic outlook and diversity at UTSA. He added that the Provost Search Committee is finalizing the job description, and materials and links will be posted to relevant sites of information at UTSA and related institutions. The following questions were raised regarding the search for Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs:
· What is the deadline for the Provost search?
· Can copies of the advertisement for Provost be sent to members of the Faculty Senate?
· Has President Romo added a non tenure-track member to the committee?
Dr. James McDonald responded to each question by explaining that: 1) the deadline for the Provost search is in December, but that deadline will vary based on the number of applicants received; 2) copies of the advertisement for Provost will be sent to the members of the Faculty Senate, and; 3) President Romo did not add a non tenure-track member to the Provost Search Committee because the committee had already been established.
1. Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee – Dr. MaryEllen Garcia
Dr. Garcia reported that the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee was charged with researching two issues. The first issue dealt with faculty voting procedures, such as if one faculty member may have one vote concerning promotion regardless of the level of which that vote is cast, whether it be departmental, college, or at the university level. Dr. Garcia added that the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee is waiting to review a voting policy that was established by the Office of General Council, and will report back to the Faculty Senate regarding faculty voting issues once that document has been researched. The second issue dealt with creating an administrative leave policy. Dr. Garcia said that the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee is currently creating an administrative leave policy pending upon five steps. These steps are 1) the committee will attempt to define administrative leave; 2) determine who is allowed to impose an administrative leave; 3) determine the reasons there might be such a leave; 4) identify procedures that can be followed on the part of the person or body imposing the leave, and; 5) identify safeguards that ensure the leave is not unnecessarily abusive to the person or persons to whom it is applied. Dr. Garcia concluded that she will have a progress report regarding these issues at the next Faculty Senate meeting.
2. Evaluation, Merit, Rewards, and Workload Committee – Dr. Robert Renthal
Dr. Renthal presented a policy on Special Opportunity Hires. He said that the Evaluation, Merit, Rewards, and Workload Committee added two changes to the current policy. In the second paragraph of the Statement for Special Opportunity Hires, the Evaluation, Merit, Rewards, and Workload Committee added language to the following sentence: “As soon as possible after the opportunity arises,” Department Faculty Review Committees will review the credentials of each individual “who could be hired for a tenured or tenure-track position; and the Department Faculty Review Committee will” make a recommendation to the Dean through the Department Chair, in accordance with established guidelines in the HOP prior to final negations. Dr. Renthal added that the committee felt that faculty involvement should be early on in Special Opportunity Hires processes in order to research a candidate’s credentials. He also added that the policy explicitly states that the President of UTSA may initiate an opportunity hire. A question was brought up regarding where the Statement for Special Opportunity Hires originated. Dr. Renthal responded that he believes that policy exists in UTSA administration, and that it came from Dr. David Johnson’s office, but is unsure of where the policy was created. A motion was made to reject the Statement for Special Opportunity Hires changes until the origin of the policy is located.
Motions made, seconded, and approved.
3. Academic Policy and Requirements Committee – Dr. Robert Renthal
Dr. Renthal presented a report on grade inflation at UTSA. He said that there is not a large change in the number of A and B grades given over the years, although they do increase slightly. He explained that this increase may coincide with the dramatic increase in enrollment at UTSA, and that incoming students seemed to be excelling in more areas than incoming students did years ago as indicated by their SAT scores. Dr. Renthal concluded that the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee would like to compare UTSA’s grade percentages with that of other universities in order to research grade inflation further.
4. University Curriculum Committee – Dr. Manuel Berriozábal
Dr. Berriozábal presented a nonsubstantive program request for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women’s Studies. Dr. Sonia Saldivar-Hull attended the Faculty Senate meeting to answer questions regarding the Women’s Studies degree program. Dr. Saldivar-Hull explained Women’s Studies courses will critically assess the status, portrayal, and achievements of women in areas such as art, literature, history, science, business, and political science. Women’s Studies is committed to an expanding recognition of the impact and strength of difference and diversity in women’s lives. Dr. Saldivar-Hull added that UTSA needs to hire more women across the field, and one of the reasons the Women’s Studies program has been proposed is to attract more female faculty in the areas of Engineering, Businesses, and Sciences. The following questions were raised regarding the request for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women’s Studies program:
· Will courses regarding women in Engineering and in the Sciences be added to the Women’s Studies degree program?
· Are the courses listed in the Women’s Studies proposal currently existing courses?
· Since this program will be housed in the Women’s Studies Institute instead of a college, how will faculty credit hours be calculated?
· How will students in the Women’s Studies degree program be advised?
· What kind of liability position does this degree put UTSA in if students are unable to obtain the number of courses that they need simply because those courses have not been offered?
· What approval processes has the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women’s Studies proposal gone through thus far?
Dr. Saldivar-Hull responded to each question by explaining that: 1) there is a possibility that new courses regarding women in Engineering and in the Sciences will be added to the Women’s Studies degree program; 2) the courses listed in the proposal will become existent once the major is approved; 3) this program will not be housed in the Women’s Studies Institute for long, as it will more than likely be housed under College of Education and Human Development or the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Faculty credit hours will go towards and be calculated in that faculty member’s home department; 4) the College of Liberal and Fine Arts is currently advising students enrolled in the Women’s Studies minor, and details are currently being worked out with Dean Betty Merchant, and she is open to different possibilities including budgeting for advising students enrolled in the Women’s Studies major; 5) the department heads need to encourage and allow their faculty to teach these courses, and ; 6) this program proposal has been approved by Dean Dan Gelo, Dean Betty Merchant, and Dr. Larry Williams. Since this degree program will be housed in the Women’s Studies Institute and not within a college, there has not been a college vote. Dr. Saldivar-Hull reminded Faculty Senators that this program proposal requires innovative approaches, as it is an innovative program. A motion was made to approve the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women’s Studies.
Motions made, seconded, and approved.
All proposals and resolutions were sent to President Ricardo Romo and Dr. Rosalie Ambrosino for their review and approval November 14, 2005.
D. Graduate Consent Calendar
E. Provost’s Report – Dr. Rosalie Ambrosino
Dr. Ambrosino discussed the search for Dean of the College of Sciences, faculty voting issues, college workload policy, tuition and fees, graduation and retention issues, grade inflation, developmental courses, and funds for faculty hiring. Main points about these items are as follows:
· An offer has been made to the candidate for Dean of the College of Sciences. The candidate has verbally accepted the position, but a written confirmation is still needed. A position description for Vice President of Research has been sent to Human Resources, and should be posted soon.
· Dr. Guy Bailey implemented the faculty voting procedure on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and faculty members cannot vote twice. The Office of General Council will advise as to the proper voting procedures for faculty.
· College Deans are currently developing workload policies that will be specific to their own colleges, but will also contain general umbrella guidelines. Every college should have their own workload policy by the Fall of 2006.
· The administration at UTSA has proposed a $10.00 credit hour increase in tuition for the Fall of 2006, and $7.75 an hour increase for the Fall of 2007.
· The Board of Regents are very concerned about graduation and retention rates, and they have asked UTSA for a monthly plan aimed at increasing graduation and retention rates. UTSA is proposing a plan that will credit $ 500.00 to any student who completes thirty credit hours in an academic year with a GPA of 2.0 or higher to be used for tuition their senior year. A conference will be set up in March of 2006 to address graduation and retention issues.
· Dr. Sandra Welch has been working on a project which involves testing groups of freshmen and seniors in the UT System to assess if grade inflation is a problem. A comparison across institutions revealed that the freshmen enrolled at UTSA who were tested had lower SAT and ACT scores than freshmen tested elsewhere. However, the group of UTSA seniors tested scored higher than all other groups of seniors from different institutions.
· Twenty percent of incoming freshman at UTSA take state developmental courses, and those courses are typically in Math and English.
· In conclusion, Dr. Ambrosino reported that UTSA was allocated a certain amount of funding for faculty hiring this fiscal year. Due to the need of additional faculty, Dr. Kerry Kennedy approved using funds from the 2006-2007 fiscal year to hire this year’s faculty, resulting in a double-hire. The only type of faculty hiring that will be done next year will be to replace those faculty members who will retire. The Library Committee agreed to shift one million dollars to the administration to aid in UTSA’s infrastructure.
F. Open Forum
Ms. Diane Abdo brought up a concern from a fellow faculty member regarding the processes of grade appeals. The grade appeal was sent to the Department Chair and to the Associate Dean of the college, and the grade was changed. However, the faculty member was never notified of the grade change, and could not find any procedure that stated a faculty member should be notified. A motion was made to the Committee on Operating Procedures to review this process in the HOP and make changes in order to allow faculty involvement in this process.
Motions made, seconded, and approved.
III. Unfinished Business
IV. New Business