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DOCUMENTS AND MINUTES OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE FACULTY COUNCIL
The Minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of January 25, 1999, published below, are included in its Documents and Proceedings. They are also included in the Documents and Minutes of the General Faculty for the information of the members.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
JANUARY 25, 1999
The third meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 1998-1999 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, January 25, 1999, at 2:15 p.m.
Present: Patricia Alvey, Urton L. Anderson, Katherine Arens, Efraim P. Armendariz, Neal E. Armstrong, Jay L. Banner, Roger T. Bonnecaze, Carolyn P. Boyd, Richard A. Cherwitz, Richard L. Cleary, Alan K. Cline, Jere Confrey, Robert M. Crunden, Patrick J. Davis, John R. Durbin, Catharine H. Echols, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Larry R. Faulkner, Alan W. Friedman, Karl Galinsky, Denise Gobert, Linda L. Golden, Lawrence S. Graham, Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Thomas A. Griffy, Julie Hallmark, Roderick P. Hart, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, Annie L. Holand, Sharon H. Justice, Manuel J. Justiz, Terry D. Kahn, H. Paul Kelley, William J. Koros, Desmond F. Lawler, Brian P. Levack, William S. Livingston, Cynthia Marshall, David A. Nancarrow, Dean P. Neikirk, Kimberly Nixon, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Thomas G. Palaima, Shelley M. Payne, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Wayne A. Rebhorn, Gretchen Ritter, Daron K. Roberts, Jaclyn Y. Roberson, Charles A. Roeckle, Juan M. Sanchez, M. Michael Sharlot, James Sidbury, Michael P. Starbird, Alexa M. Stuifbergen, Teresa A. Sullivan, Michael C. Tusa, James W. Vick, Karin G. Wilkins.
Absent: Victor Arnold, Joel W. Barlow, Joseph J. Beaman (excused), Harold W. Billings, William D. Carlson, Ann Cvetkovich, Edwin Dorn, Robert Duke (excused), John S. Dzienkowski, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, G. Charles Franklin, Susan H. Gamel (excused), Teresa Garcia, James D. Garrison, John C. Gilbert (excused), Stuart L. Goosman, Edmund T. Gordon, E. Glynn Harmon (excused), Thomas M. Hatfield, Kerry A. Kinney, J. Parker Lamb, Judith Langlois, Michael L. Lauderdale, Stephen W. Leslie, Vincent A. Mariani, Richard S. Markovitz (excused), Robert G. May, Reuben R. McDaniel, Jr., Lisa L. Moore (excused), Randall M. Parker (excused), Robert A. Prentice, Mary Ann Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Elizabeth M. Richmond-Garza, Victoria Rodriguez, Harriett D. Romo (excused), Thomas D. Russell (excused), Dolores Sands, Lawrence W. Speck, Ben G. Streetman, Owen R. Temple, Bruce Walker (excused), Ellen A. Wartella, Barbara W. White (excused), Stacie C. Wright.
Voting Members: 48 present 28 absent 76 total Non-Voting Members: 14 present 17 absent 31 total Total Members: 62 present 45 absent 107 total
I. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY (D&P 16974-16978).
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of November 16, 1998 (D&M 22535-22539/ D&P 16969-16973) were approved by a voice vote.
III. COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
A. Comments by the President.
In his remarks to the Council, President Faulkner outlined the process being used to achieve action on the priorities set forth in his State of the University Address on October 6. The process began with the creation of steering groups in each of seven areas: the University's resource base, human resources in the University, access and participation, the new Texas economy, public education, the undergraduate experience, and Latin America. On January 22 Faulkner met with the Dean's Council and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council to discuss the preliminary responses of the steering groups, and to invite suggestions for one or two additional items to be considered. He noted that much of the University's overall agenda is outside the domains assigned the steering groups.
Faulkner said that he is temporarily chairing five of the steering groups, and that Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson is chairing the steering groups on undergraduate education and Latin America. The aim is for an efficient process that will advance the University and that will be achievable in six months to a year.
B. Questions to the President.
Council Chair Shelley M. Payne asked Faulkner to comment on the dismantling of the University's Target of Opportunity Program, under which special funds were set aside to promote race-based hiring and promotion. Faulkner said that changes were made in the program shortly before he had become President. The changes were made in response to a decision of the fifth circuit court in the case of Messer vs Meno, and a resulting memorandum from the UT System Office of General Counsel. The Messer vs Meno decision had been compatible with the Hopwood decision, and said that race could not be used in decisions on hiring and promotions.
Faulkner said that it remains critically important for the University to develop a diverse faculty that can relate to all of its students. Although a lower number of minority faculty was hired last year, the percentage of minority faculty among new faculty was essentially the same as in the previous several years. In this regard, the University has benefited from an increase nationally in minority participation in college, minority graduation from college, minority participation in graduate school, and minority graduation with doctoral degrees. Although the Target of Opportunity Program has been discontinued, there is a continuing emphasis on the need for openness in hiring; the administration has been conveying this to the schools, colleges, and departments.
IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Payne thanked President Faulkner for including faculty in the planning sessions and steering groups mentioned in his remarks above. Payne also reported that members of the Council, along with faculty representatives of other UT System institutions and Texas A&M, have met with Coordinating Board staff and with Senate Education Committee staff to discuss concerns about SB 148 and its impact on undergraduate education. She seemed hopeful that more flexibility would result from these meetings.
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair Elect Martha Hilley talked about arrangements for the March 1 meeting of the Faculty Council with the Texas A&M Faculty Senate. The meeting will include sessions on SB 148, admission and retention, and on the status of minorities and women.
VI. SPECIAL ORDERS — None.
VII. PETITIONS — None.
VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS — None.
IX. REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES.
A. Report from the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.
Alan Friedman (English) reminded members that the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, which he chairs, is charged with monitoring the post-tenure review process and reporting annually to the Council and to the administration. He said he was pleased to report that no substantive concerns had been expressed to the committee.
B. Report from the Faculty Grievance Committee.
Janet Staiger (Radio-Television-Film), chair of the committee, reported on several clarifications resulting from cases that had been brought before the committee and in discussions with President Faulkner concerning those cases.
The first is the concept that the University has an obligation to provide each tenure-track faculty member with a full and objective review by customary methods whenever promotion and tenure are considered. This review must be sufficient in depth and character to support action in the best interests of the University, whatever decision is reached. If there is a question of an inadequate procedure in the initial tenure decision, then that is grievable. However, if the original procedure was adequate, then procedure is not grievable in a later reconsideration of a negative decision.
Faulkner said that he has taken "the position that reconsideration is an institutional favor that relates to institutional interest and that process matters are not grievable with respect to reconsideration. They are grievable with respect to our obligation to provide a full review in the first instance."
C. Report from the Financial Aid to Students Committee.
Martin Chapa (Office of the Dean of Students), Chair of the Financial Aid to Students Committee, introduced Larry Burt, Director of Student Financial Services, who gave a detailed report on student financial support. This included summaries of the amount and type of support, of student indebtedness, of the improved level of service provided by the Financial Aid Office, of the effect of the Hopwood decision, and of efforts being made to increase the number of students from underserved high schools, that is, high schools which have been sending relatively few students to the University. These latest efforts are part of an attempt to attract a more diverse population of students.
X. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Resolution on Family Policy (D&P 16965-16966).
Gretchen Ritter (Government) introduced the resolution on behalf of the Faculty Welfare Committee. The Resolution "calls upon the President to institute procedures for modified duties for faculty members who give birth or have primary
responsibility for a newborn or newly-adopted child. Under a system of modified duties, deans and department chairs should work with the affected faculty members to allow them to meet their teaching obligations without regularly-scheduled classroom meetings during the affected semester or semester equivalent. Faculty members are expected to use all of their available paid leave (e.g., sick leave) in conjunction with modified duties. Further, faculty members would not suffer any loss in salary while on modified duty. Finally, faculty members on modified duty will normally be expected to fulfill their other professional responsibilities."
The resolution further requests "that the administration seek to publicize leave and modified duty provisions to deans, department chairs, and faculty members. Further, a person within each dean's office should be designated to work with faculty and department chairs on creating leave and modified duty plans for individual faculty members."
Ritter explained that while on modified duty faculty would be expected to meet other professional obligations, and perhaps other teaching-related duties such as course development, assistant instructor supervision, and so on. She said the proposal was meant to be flexible and to respond to particular needs of different schools, colleges and departments.
Ritter discussed three reasons behind the proposal. First, it would increase the University's ability to recruit, retain, and promote women faculty. Second, it would promote gender equity, since the burdens of childbirth and care for young children fall more heavily on women. Finally, it would contribute to a feeling of fairness; although something like the proposed policy is currently in place in some parts of the campus, it is not universally known or available on equal terms to all. Desmond Lawler (Civil Engineering) also spoke in support of the resolution. The inclusion of newly-adopted children was made at the suggestion of Patricia Alvey (Advertising).
The Council approved the resolution.
XI. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS — None.
XII. QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR — None.
The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m. The next regular meeting, scheduled for February 15, 1999, was canceled by the Executive Committee.