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The Minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of March 22, 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 Faculty Council


MARCH 22, 1999

The fourth meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 1998-1999 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, March 22, 1999, at 2:15 p.m.


Present: Patricia Alvey, Urton L. Anderson, Katherine M. Arens, Neal E. Armstrong, Jay L. Banner, Roger T. Bonnecaze, Carolyn P. Boyd, William D. Carlson, Richard A. Cherwitz, Richard L. Cleary, Alan K. Cline, Jere Confrey, John R. Durbin, Larry R. Faulkner, Alan W. Friedman, Karl Galinsky, Susan H. Gamel, James D. Garrison, John C. Gilbert, Denise Gobert, Edmund T. Gordon, Lawrence S. Graham, Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Thomas A. Griffy, E. Glynn Harmon, Roderick P. Hart, James L. Hill, Sharon H. Justice, H. Paul Kelley, J. Parker Lamb, Desmond F. Lawler, Brian P. Levack, William S. Livingston, Cynthia Marshall, Reuben R. McDaniel, Jr., David A. Nancarrow, Dean P. Neikirk, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Thomas G. Palaima, Shelley M. Payne, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Wayne A. Rebhorn, Elizabeth M. Richmond-Garza, Gretchen Ritter, Jaclyn Roberson, Charles A. Roeckle, Thomas D. Russell, Juan M. Sanchez, M. Michael Sharlot, Michael P. Starbird, Alexa M. Stuifbergen, Michael C. Tusa, Karin G. Wilkins, Stacie C. Wright.

Absent. Efraim P. Armendariz, Victor Arnold, Joseph J. Beaman, Harold W. Billings, Roger T. Bonnecaze, Robert M. Crunden, Ann Cvetkovich, Patrick J. Davis (excused), Edwin Dorn, Robert A. Duke, John S. Dzienkowski, Catharine H. Echols, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, G. Charles Franklin, Teresa Garcia, Linda L. Golden (excused), Stuart L. Goosman, Julie Hallmark (excused), Thomas M. Hatfield, Martha F. Hilley (excused), Annie L. Holand, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Terry D. Kahn, Kerry A. Kinney, William J. Koros, Judith Langlois, Michael L. Lauderdale, Steven W. Leslie (excused), Vincent A. Mariani, Richard S. Markovits (excused), Robert G. May (excused), Lisa L. Moore, Kimberly Nixon, Randall M. Parker (excused), Robert A. Prentice, Mary Ann Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Daron K. Roberts, Victoria Rodriguez, Harriett D. Romo, Dolores Sands, James Sidbury, Lawrence W. Speck, Ben G. Streetman, Teresa A. Sullivan, Owen R. Temple, James W. Vick, Bruce Walker, Ellen Wartella, Barbara W. White (excused).

Voting Members:
Non-Voting Members:
Total Members:
44 present
12 present
55 present
32 absent
19 absent
52 absent
76 total
31 total
107 total




The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of January 25, 1999 (D&P 17046-17049/D&M 22568-22571) were approved by a voice vote.


A. Comments by the President.

President Faulkner said he would limit his time to addressing questions.

Questions to the President.

A number of questions had been sent to the President before themeeting. Alan Friedman (English) asked why the Faculty Council had not been consulted on the decision to reopen the Tower; he also asked about the security arrangements. President Faulkner said he had considered the reopening a community-wide issue, and had appointed a task force to consider all of the issues involved. The task force had made a preliminary report to the Regents before making a recommendation, and several hundred persons had contacted the President, almost all in favor of the reopening. The President said he felt confident in the plans for security, both with regard to preventing people from putting themselves in danger and from putting others in danger.

In the first of four questions, John C. Gilbert (Chemistry and Biochemistry) asked, "What actions are being pursued to counter the negative impact that the apparent wealth associated with our intercollegiate athletics program is having on efforts to obtain increased funding for academic activities at UT Austin?" The President said that the reactions of legislators, in particular, had not been as negative as had been reported in the media, but that he did understand all aspects of the concern being expressed in the Council. He also noted that essentially all of the state funding for higher education comes through formulas that apply to other colleges and universities in the state.

Alan Cline (Computer Sciences) and Karl Galinsky (Classics) raised follow-up questions. Professor Cline asked about nonresident competitive scholarship tuition exemptions and the relative number that are awarded to those on athletic scholarships. This was addressed by Vice President Ohlendorf and Vice Provost Monti. It had previously been addressed by Faculty Council legislation (D&P 16190), which was returned by President Flawn without approval in March of 1998 (D&P 16760). [Secretary's remark: Thomas Palaima (Classics) later asked for clarification of the data presented in the meeting. This should be done at the meeting on April 19.]

Professor Galinsky expressed concern about the management of publicity about athletics, involving buildings and spending, and its effects on the University's image. The President said that sometimes, because of timing, this was out of the University's control, but that he appreciated the point being made.


  In the second of his questions, Gilbert asked about the proposal to build skyboxes in the Erwin Center. Faulkner said that any plans to change the Erwin Center were in the most preliminary stages of discussion, and had to do as much with concerns of the Center management and the age of the facility as with anything else. He also said the Faculty Building Advisory Committee would be consulted about plans that might develop.

Next, Gilbert asked about the prospects in the current legislative session. Faulkner discussed this at some length, and said he was uncertain, but hopeful, about what the results would be. He said that his own budget plans give a very high priority to increases in compensation for faculty, staff, and graduate students, and that, if necessary, adjustments would have to be made elsewhere to accomplish that. Sue Gamel (Mathematics-Physics-Astronomy Advising Center) told the President she hoped overworked staff would not have to take on more responsibilities to cover the cost of any increased compensation. The President said he understood.

Finally, Gilbert asked about the status of the search for a Vice President for Research. The President said he had intentionally slowed down the selection process until he had a better indication of the legislature's funding plans, but he expected to make an announcement about the search later in the week.

Chair Shelley Payne asked about rumored plans for the construction of a hotel on the campus. The President said the administration was preparing a request for proposals for this and that any resulting plans would go through the usual procedure, including consultation with the Faculty Building Advisory Committee. He said other universities had benefited from this type of facility, and that he and others felt the need for such a facility here.


Chair Payne reviewed the joint meeting with the Texas A&M Faculty Senate, and praised Chair-Elect Martha Hilley for her work in organizing the meeting. She also commented on her increasing concern about the status of athletics and the public's perception, based on unbalanced publicity, that the University values athletics more than teaching, research, and service. Past Chair Gilbert made a brief report on the work of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates.







A. Report from the Core Committee for the Advancement of Women.

Vice President Ohlendorf reported on the work of the Core Committee for the Advancement of Women, for which she is the co-chair with Janet Staiger (Radio-Television-Film). She said the fifteen-member committee had been working with the Provost's Office, with standing committees of the General Faculty, with the Faculty Women's Organization, and with the University of Texas System. Issues being considered include salaries, promotions, professorships, chairs, the number of women in senior faculty positions and on the administrative staff, and the policy on sexual harassment.

B. Report from the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men.

Postponed until the meeting of April 19.

C. Report from the ad hoc Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics (D&P 17000-17034).

In September of 1997, the Council approved a resolution calling for the creation of "a committee to assess the need for additional athletic facilities, to review the mission of intercollegiate athletics at the University, to evaluate whether current policies and practices are consistent with that mission, and to recommend any needed changes in the mission itself or the strategies to achieve it."

Charles Alan Wright (Law) chaired the resulting committee. He was appointed along with the other eleven members by John C. Gilbert (Chemistry and Biochemistry), then Chair of the Council, in consultation with the President. The committee submitted an interim report to the Council in April of 1998, and its final report was distributed and posted on the web in February of this year. The committee interviewed former University presidents and current University administrators in and outside of athletics, and drew on the work of documents such as the well-known report of the Knight Commission.

Michael Granof (Accounting), a member of the ad hoc committee as well as the Council, presented the report to the Council on March 22. Following Granof's remarks, a number of questions about the report were raised by Alan Friedman (English), Alan Cline (Computer Sciences), Gretchen Ritter (Government), Karl Galinsky (Classics), and Edmund Gordon (Anthropology). After a brief parliamentary exercise, the Council voted to adopt the report with the understanding that it would be free to amend the report before forwarding it to the President.

Professor Friedman then moved the adoption of recommendations I, II, and III, which are reproduced below. The motion was seconded, but before further discussion, Desmond Lawler (Civil Engineering) observed that the Council had lost a quorum. He said that, in any case, before acting the Council should give careful thought to the issues that had been raised. Consideration of the report will be on the agenda for the April 19 meeting of the Council. [Secretary's remark: Professor Friedman later provided the Secretary with revised versions of his recommendations. These will be made available to members before the April 19 meeting.]


  Recommendations introduced by Professor Friedman:

I. Revisions

A. Revise the committee's first recommendation (D&P 17025), as follows:

We recommend that those with responsibility for the conduct of intercollegiate athletics always bear in mind that there are philosophical differences among the faculty and other UT constituencies about the place of athletics most faculty believe that intercollegiate athletics are overemphasized at UT, and that they take this view into account when decisions about athletics are being made.

B. Revise the committee's second recommendation (D&P 17026), as follows:

We recommend that every effort be made to keep the faculty and other University communities fully informed about the athletics programs, and that elected faculty representatives be included in all major decisions.

C. Revise the committee's fourth recommendation (D&P 17028), as follows:

We recommend that the two Athletics Councils and the administration give further consideration to this idea, and find means to implement it if at all possible.

II. Replace "Underlying Principles" by "Recommendations" (D&P 17023-17024).

III. Additional Recommendations

D. Report from the University Staff Association.

Postponed until the meeting of April 19.

A. That the Report include the following:

1) Specific information on what University resources and personnel, if any, were diverted from other projects to the stadium renovation and what steps have been taken to prevent this from happening in the future.

2) A clear and specific statement on the "many important benefits" that the University reaps from intercollegiate athletics and the resultant costs, if any, to the success of the academic enterprise.

3) A vision statement on what, ideally, the system of intercollegiate athletics might look like and what steps (short of "unilateral disarmament") or leadership from UT might help to move the current system in that direction.

B. Establishment of a standing faculty committee on academics and athletics (elected by the faculty or appointed by its elected leaders) that would serve a continuing evaluative, monitoring, and reporting role.

D. Report from the University Staff Association.

Postponed until the meeting of April 19.


A. Resolution from the Faculty Grievance Committee to Create an Office of the Faculty Ombudsperson (D&P 17040-17043).

Postponed until the meeting of April 19.




The meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m. The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 19, 1999.