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16887-16895a

DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE FACULTY COUNCIL

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES
OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 1997-1998

The Standing Committees of the General Faculty designated below have submitted their Annual Reports for the academic year 1997-1998, in accordance with a motion adopted by the University Council earlier and President Berdahl's request of February 17, 1995. These reports are being distributed for the information of the Faculty Council.

/Signed/

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES
OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 1997-1998

The Annual Reports of the Standing Committees of the General Faculty for 1997-1998 received to date are reproduced below.

A. FACULTY AFFAIRS COMMITTEES

1. Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility

The Committee has not taken up any new business.

Karl Galinsky, Chair

2. Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets

The Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets submitted its report earlier. It can be found in Documents and Proceedings of the Faculty Council D&P 16691-16692.

Michael H. Granof Chair

3. Faculty Committee on Committees

During the 1997-1998 Academic Year, the Committee on Committees developed and recommended the following actions:

1.

Selected a Vice Chair, Linda Ferreira-Buckley.

2.

Recommended nominees to the President's Office for two committees: the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC); and the Information Technology Coordinating Committee (ITCC). At present, neither of these is listed as a Standing Committee of the General Faculty. The former committee is being considered for standing committee status, and the latter committee was established early in the academic year.

3.

Recommended to the Faculty Council that the Secretary of the General Faculty be an ex officio member of the Committee and that chairs of Standing Committees be limited to General Faculty members. Both recommendations were approved by the Council on March 23, 1998, and by the President on April 10, 1998.

4.

During the Spring 1998 semester, solicited nominations for Standing Committees of the General Faculty, used those nominations to recommend nominees for each Standing Committee for which nominees were needed, and submitted the lists of nominees to the President's Office on April 27, 1998.

5.

Considered a recommendation from Peggy Kramer, President of the University Staff Association, for more representation of staff on Standing Committees, namely, at least two staff representatives on all Group B and Group C committees. Following discussions with the chairs of those committees, the Committee recommended representation changes on one committee, the Parking and Traffic Appeals Committee.

6.

Recommended that the Faculty Council Executive Committee consider appointing chairs for Standing Committees.

7.

Delayed until the 1998-99 Academic Year review of Committee charges and the recommendation from Peggy Kramer that a Staff Grievance Committee and Staff Welfare Committee be established.

8.

Determined that a faculty member may effectively chair two committees.

9.

Recommended a wording change to enable the Committee on Committees, on request, to nominate members for committees other than Standing Committees.
 
Neal A. Armstrong, Chair

4. Faculty Grievance Committee

  The Faculty Council passed at its 23 March 1998 meeting the Grievance Committee's proposal to create an elected position of chair-elect who would serve one year and then assume the position of chair in the following year. This legislation provides continuity to the committee's work.

A proposal for an ombudsperson will be discussed this summer, with possible legislation submitted early in Fall 1998.

Members of the Grievance Committee are working on four active faculty grievances.  

Janet Staiger, Chair

5. Faculty Welfare Committee

The Faculty Welfare Committee submitted its report earlier. It can be found in Documents and Proceedings of the Faculty Council D&P 16693-16699.

  Sue A. Greninger, Chair

6. Rules Committee of the General Faculty

The Rules Committee completed the business initiated by the 1996-1997 committee to clarify the procedures for membership in standing committees and the Faculty Council. Most of the resulting rule changes were approved by the committee and presented at the October 1997 meeting of the General Faculty. Remaining items of business were considered at an April meeting of the committee, and there were no new rules changes recommended.

Ann Cvetkovich, Chair

7. University of Texas Press Advisory Committee

1.

Legislation referred to, or in preparation for, the Faculty Council.

The Committee has not had any legislation referred to it by the Faculty Council nor has any legislation in preparation.

2.

Activities of the Committee during the 1997-1998 Year

A written progress report was filed during the fall semester (1997) on the work of the Committee. The usual responsibility of the Committee is to meet with the Director of the Press and Senior Editorial Staff and in those meetings to review readers' reports of manuscripts under consideration by the Press. The Committee then votes to recommend or not recommend each manuscript under review for publication by the Press. There are two or three meetings during each of the long semesters and usually one or two meetings during the summer. The frequency and length of meetings is a function of when sufficient readers' reports are ready for Committee consideration. Three meetings were held during the fall semester of the Committee and three during the spring semester. One meeting will be scheduled in June and one in August.

In addition to attention to manuscripts, the Committee has discussed with Press staff publishing priorities and had presentations by several Committee members on how the resources of the Press can best meet scholarly needs in the Committee members' respective fields. This is an activity that was begun in the previous year and continued through this year.

Joanna Hitchcock, the Editor of the Press, has made a point of inviting faculty advisory board members to functions of the Press's external advisory board. These meetings have permitted those persons on the external advisory board to achieve a better understanding of the variety of roles that faculty play in their university responsibilities including service on the Press Faculty Advisory Committee. Faculty members, in turn, have an opportunity to see how the books of the Press are viewed by citizens who have special concerns and support for scholarship. The exchange has been highly advantageous to the Press and something that should continue.      

Michael L. Lauderdale, Chair

B. STUDENT SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES COMMITTEES

1. Committee on Financial Aid to Students

This committee met eight times from, September 1997 to present, and will meet one more time before the close of the academic year. The minutes of each meeting are attached.

Throughout the year the committee discussed a variety of issues regarding student financial aid. Below are the highlighted issues:
15 Staff Salaries

One of the most important issues for this committee is the effect of low staff salaries. The turnover rate for entry level staff is accelerating whereas the training for new staff is becoming even more time-consuming and complex. Hiring someone without experience means a lengthy training period, yet hiring experienced staff is not possible given the University's compensation levels. It was noted that two years ago the Faculty Budget Committee began recommending that staff be given preferential treatment for salary increases. Committee members suggested sending a memo to Vice President Sharpe supporting creation of a proposed campus-wide committee to study compensation problems. This committee felt compelled to comment on this issue.

Presidential Achievement Scholarship

On January 15, 1998, Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) Director Larry Burt met with Executive Officers regarding funding needs for the President's Achievement Scholarship (PAS) program and the National Merit Scholarship program. Current cost for the Texas Achievement Award (TAA), Texas Achievement Honors Award (TAHA) and the PAS was $5 million. However, the allocation was only $4.9 million.

National Merit Scholarships

Current cost for the National Merit Program is approximately $1.9 million a year. The University of Texas at Austin ranks second to Harvard in the number of National Merit Finalists. It was noted that University policy calls for the financial aid office to reduce awards to students whenever they receive a scholarship from an academic department. This situation comes about because the OSFS is not allocated enough money to cover full tuition and fees for all National Merit scholarship winners. Academic Departments sometimes attempt to award scholarships, only to be frustrated in their efforts when the Office of Student Financial Services reduces its commitment. In order for the OSFS to be able to cover these costs, it would need an annual increase in funding of approximately $500,000 to $600,000. For the first time ever, stacking will be allowed for fall 1999. Stacking allows the student to keep any extra scholarship funds they receive from departments without having their National Merit scholarship reduced by the same amount. Each student may receive $3,000 as well as any departmental funds.

Capital Campaign Fund

A continuing problem is the extent of unmet financial need and borrowing by students. Last academic year the committee wrote to President Robert Berdahl suggesting that a Capital Campaign Endowment be created to address this student need. Committee members authorized Dr. Burt to send another letter along with updated accompanying data to President Flawn in order to assure that this issue is addressed as part of the Capital Campaign. Funding for need-based scholarships is third on the list of the Capital Campaign priorities. The committee had hoped that it would receive a higher priority.

OSFS Publications

The committee addressed concerns regarding the degree, clarity and ease of communication to students via OSFS publications. Our goal was to assist in improving ways to increase information and increase quality of publications going out to students. Students can receive information using the World Wide Web, OSFS mail outs, e-mails and pamphlets located in the office. Information is clear and concise; we concluded that the accuracy of the materials is of high quality. The committee felt that little or no changes are needed at this time.

Unified Undergraduate Scholarship Policy

The committee addressed the issue of unified undergraduate scholarships. The issue was brought to the attention of the Executive Officers. They approved the handling of processing of all freshman scholarship awards by the OSFS. Dr. Larry Burt will make a presentation to the Deans Council to secure their support and provide answers to the deans' questions.

ROSE (Registration on-line System)

The committee addressed the issue of the ROSE with regard to payment of tuition and fees. Some students expressed concern with the difficulty of on-line web fee payment procedures. Plans are underway to establish a link from the OSFS and payment of tuition and fees through internet registration for all students. Target date is set for Fall of 1998.

Ron Brown Scholarships

The committee evaluated the applicants for the Ron Brown Scholarship in May. This scholarship is awarded to dependents of employees of the University of Texas System. The scholarship award is $1,000.00 and will be awarded for the 1998-1999 school year. The following recipients are:

Dawn Mudie Cathleen Padden Emily Hueski Michael Demkowicz Citalli Phillips Nicole Hurley 1st alternate is Peter McGuire, and 2nd alternate is Sarah Faulkner
Martin E. Chapa, Chair

 
2. Recreational Sports Committee

I am writing to provide you the annual report of the Recreational Sports Committee for 1997-98. The Recreational Sports Committee is a standing committee of The University of Texas. It advises the Division of Recreational Sports on matters of policy, provides input on facility construction and expansion, hears appeals from various councils, and promulgates regulations for participation in non-student programs. The Committee met monthly during the Fall and Spring semesters of 1996-1997.

  In the area of facility development, the Committee monitored the completion of the Gregory Gym Renovation Project. In that connection the Committee advised the Division of Recreational Sports with respect to a number of issues that arose as students, faculty and staff began to use the newly completed facility. The Committee has also provided advice to the Division of Recreational Sports regarding the Campus Master Plan.

  The Committee once again expressed its strong support for a payroll deduction plan for faculty and staff that would allow the costs of membership to be spread throughout an entire year. The Committee also continues to support the idea of financial support from the University for faculty and staff desiring to participate in recreational sports programs. It was noted that many corporations provided financial support for various fitness programs, and the University might elect to pursue a similar course of action.

  Finally, the Committee offered advice to the Division of Recreational Sports concerning its budget request. The Committee concluded that increases in funding are necessary to provide adequate personnel and higher salaries for existing personnel.

  As in the past, the staff of the Division of Recreational Sports was exceedingly well prepared and helpful. The Division is very receptive to all input from faculty, staff and students. The Committee was very favorably impressed by the performance of the staff during the sometimes trying early stages of adjustment to the new Gregory Gym facility. The entire staff devoted time and attention to implementation during this sensitive period that went well beyond the call of duty.

  The Committee believes that the University of Texas has an outstanding recreational sports program and hopes that it will continue to improve.

  Thomas O. McGarity, Chair

 
3. Committee on Student Affairs

After a meeting with Dr. James Vick, Committee on Student Affairs accepted as its charge this year the task of obtaining feedback from faculty concerning the construction of new dormitories on campus. After two meetings with representatives from Housing, two written descriptions of model dorms were prepared and with the aid of student leaders around campus a list of approximately 50 faculty members has been constructed. Focus groups will be held this summer or early next fall to obtain feedback concerning these two dorm "concepts."

  Eli P. Cox III, Chair

C. INSTITUTIONAL POLICY OR GOVERNANCE

5. 5.8. 8.
1.
Admissions and Registration Committee

No report submitted

Joseph M. Horn, Chair

2.
Calendar Committee

The Calendar Committee met on February 4th. We took the following actions:

1.

Approved the calendar for 1999-2000 as presented by June Burke, Associate Registrar.

2.

Decided to withdraw the proposal submitted in Spring 1997 to the Faculty Council to extend the length of class sessions in the summer from 75 to 90 minutes. The proposal appears to lack the support necessary for approval.

3.

Decided to postpone further consideration of a proposed two-day, mid-Fall semester break until we are presented with additional evidence of student support for it.

Michael Granof, Chair

3.
Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee

Plans for the graduation ceremony are similar to those used last year.. If changes occur, they will be addressed at the May 11 meeting.

R. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Chair

4.
Educational Policy Committee

The Educational Policy Committee held 10 meetings during the 1997-1998 academic year, during which the topics outlined below were addressed.

The Committee revised and submitted to the Council a set of recommendations formulated by the 1996-1997 Educational Policy Committee regarding Obstacles to Timely Graduation by Undergraduates. The Committee's recommendations were approved by the Council.

The Committee reviewed a proposal by the UT System Student Advisory Group for a so-called Student Exchange Program among Component Institutions of the UT System, and formulated a written response that was forwarded to the Board of Regents.

The Committee developed a proposal to permit undergraduate students' simultaneous enrollment in two degree programs (i.e., two majors). The Committee's proposal was approved by the Council.

The Committee, at the request of the Council, reviewed a proposal submitted by the Calendar Committee regarding changes in the summer course schedule. The Calendar Committee's recommendations were subsequently withdrawn from consideration.

The Committee submitted a proposal regarding the signatures required for dropping a course after the fourth week of classes. The Committee's proposal was approved by the Council.

The Committee met with Vice-Provost Chris Maziar regarding the proposed 42-hour liberal arts Core Curriculum being considered by the Legislature.

The Committee developed a resolution urging faculty to include a university-wide syllabus statement concerning students with disabilities and procedures for accommodating students' special needs in university coursework. The resolution was approved by the Council.

The Committee voted to present to the Council legislation regarding the inclusion of grades earned through credit-by-examination in UT-Austin grade point averages. The legislation will be considered at the first Council meeting of the 1998-1999 academic year.

Items to be forwarded to the next academic year:

The Committee will review the current university policies related to students' concurrent enrollment in UT and other institutions and will make recommendations to the Council.

The Committee will consider university policy regarding the minimum number of students that must be enrolled in a Substantial Writing Component Course in order for the course instructor to receive 4.5 teaching load credits, and will make recommendations to the Council. The Committee will participate in the implementation of the 42-hour liberal arts Core Curriculum.

Robert A. Duke, Chair

Faculty Building Advisory Committee

No report submitted.

Austin M. Gleeson, Chair

6.
International Programs and Studies Committee

The International Programs Committee met twice during the Fall 1997 semester. At those meetings the items to be pursued for the year were discussed, and two issues were selected by the Committee for further investigation. The first issue regarded the funding of the Study Abroad Office, specifically obtaining support for the student vote that had tentatively been scheduled in which students would vote on a proposed increase in fees that would be directed toward the Study Abroad Office. The second issue concerned admissions of international students. Anecdotal evidence suggested there are many delays in the consideration of foreign applicants to graduate programs at the University. Upon contacting Bill Paver, we were told that this criticism has been heard from time to time, and that the Admissions Office is genuinely concerned about its occurrence. They need to know specific cases, however, in order to track the purported problems involved.

The International Programs Committee provides a faculty forum to serve as a conduit between faculty, students and administration. It also will serve to advise and react to internationally-oriented issues facing the University that are brought to it by the Administration.

  Robert T. Green, Chair

7.
Library Committee

The Library Committee met twice in the fall semester and three times in the spring semester. A major item of business was the resubmission to the Faculty Council of a tabled proposal to amend the charge and membership of the Committee so as to reflect the new responsibility of the Committee to provide recommendations on how student library fee money should be allocated. In the spring semester the Committee submitted its recommended revisions to the Faculty Council for approval. The Committee's recommendations were approved by the Council at its meeting of March 23 with one amendment, to increase the graduate student representation on the Committee from one to two.

The Committee also discussed ways to secure increased funding for Library acquisitions and staff salaries. State funding for the General Libraries has not increased in ten years, despite drastic inflation in the cost of serials and other materials and the eroding value of employee salaries. The Committee received a report from the Director of the General Libraries on current plans to include the libraries in the Capital Campaign and on ongoing strategies being developed in the ARL to combat the spiraling costs of serials acquisitions. Library funding will continue to be a major topic of discussion in the Committee in the year ahead.

The Committee also received and discussed reports on the results of a student use survey, the allocation of student library fee money, and enhancements to UT's digital library capability, which facilitates electronic access to UT system libraries statewide. The Committee will continue to discuss the implications of expanding demand for digital information technology for the future growth and development of the General Libraries.

Reflecting the central importance of library and information services to the basic mission of the University, the faculty and student members of the Library Committee undertook their responsibilities this year with enthusiasm and dedication. The Chair is grateful for their support.

Carolyn P. Boyd, Chair

Parking and Traffic Appeals Panel

My committee reviewed 38 appeals over the year and rendered decisions concerning them.

Earle F. McBride, Chair

 

9.
Parking and Traffic Policies Committee

No report submitted.

William Myers, Chair

10.
Recruitment and Retention Committee

During the year a number of focus groups and task forces met throughout the University, each of which dealt with issues related to recruitment and retention of students, either at the undergraduate or graduate level. A number of members of the Recruitment and Retention Committee participated in these discussion groups and it is expected that those members will share the results of their activities and recommendations with the new Committee during the coming academic year, for possible action.

Three activities which the Committee recommends as worthy of further support from higher administrative levels are the ongoing admissions and outreach efforts, the continuation of the Student Success Conference on Retention, and the development of programs which enrich the Freshman year experience.

Despite the clear disadvantage in recruitment due to the Hopwood decision under which the University operates, initial evidence suggests that the 10% admissions law may help obviate some of those disadvantages. Nevertheless, the necessity of maintaining and even expanding recruitment efforts centered around admissions centers in the major urban areas of San Antonio, Dallas and Houston is evident; such centers represent an aggressive effort to encourage participation in the University experience from a diverse population.

The Retention conference brought together campus leaders and provided a forum to discuss and provide possible avenues through which the University can enhance its retention efforts. Evaluation by participants indicates that subsequent conferences on this topic should be held,

A significant component of retention is the enhancement of the freshman year experience. The University has a significant lack of congregating places, small classes at this level and residential colleges. Long-term planning is required to overcome many of these deficiencies. However, in the short-term, programs such as Freshman Interest Groups and special programs within Colleges which have provided significant small class experience are to be encouraged and supported to their fullest. In particular, an effort should be made to identify and coordinate all such efforts to ensure fuller participation by entering freshman.

Efraim Armendariz, Chair
11. Committee on Responsibilities, Rights, and Welfare of Teaching Assistants and Assistant Instructors

No report submitted.

Daniel A. Bonevac, Chair

This document was placed on the Faculty Council web site, www.utexas.edu/faculty council/, on May 25 1999. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.