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DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE FACULTY COUNCIL

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES
OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 1998-1999


The Standing Committees of the General Faculty designated below have submitted their Annual Reports for the academic year 1998-1999, 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 1998-1999

The Annual Reports of the Standing Committees of the General Faculty for 1998-1999 received to date are reproduced below.


A. FACULTY AFFAIRS COMMITTEES

A-1
Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility

The Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility was charged with monitoring the implementation of post-tenure review (PTR), which began this year. To fulfill its charge, the committee sent out two mailings to all tenured faculty and the administration, informing them of this obligation and requesting that relevant inquiries and complaints come to the committee. The main problem concerning the implementation of PTR that came to the committee's attention resulted from the posting on UT's home page of outdated and superseded documents early in the academic year. Once the approved legislation, system policy, and UT Austin materials were posted, the committee received no further inquiries or complaints on the implementation of PTR.

The only other action in which the committee was involved this year was to be consulted on a case in which a faculty member was being reviewed for possible removal of tenure.

  Alan W. Friedman, Chair


A.2
Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets

Consistent with its charge, the committee met throughout the year to advise the President and Provost on matters relating to the budget..

At its first meeting in November, the committee met with President Faulkner. President Faulkner indicated that he had not yet been through a budget cycle and hence was not in a position to evaluate the present budget procedures at the University. He noted, however, that, owing in part to formula funding in the state, the budget process at the University is considerably less flexible than at the University of Illinois. Therefore, the types of reforms he was responsible for at Illinois may not be appropriate here. Nevertheless, he did identify some obvious deficiencies with the current process that might be ameliorated:

1.
  Many allocation decisions are made at the college or university levels rather than at the department level.


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2.
Budget decisions are mainly historically driven. We need greater coupling between improvements and dollar allocations.

3.
There is no incentive structure in place.

4.
There is a strong focus on the state appropriation structure rather than on programs and organizational units that are representative of the way in which the university is managed and non-budgetary decisions are made.

5.
Inadequate attention is paid to the revenue side of the budget.

President Faulkner noted that, as is true at all public universities, there is a decided inability to address priorities. Instead, the prevailing budgetary philosophy is "hope springs eternal" — somehow there will be sufficient resources to satisfy all needs. President Faulkner emphasized that the budget process needs to become sufficiently "transparent" so that department chairs can assume a greater role in the allocation process.

In subsequent meetings with Provost Ekland-Olson we addressed budgetary priorities for the 1999-2001 biennium. Provost Ekland-Olson indicated that the administration hoped to achieve the following increases:

Graduate student financial aid
Staff salaries
Faculty salaries

10%
6%
4%
The committee agreed that these priorities were reasonable. However, it noted that these increases would, at best, keep us from falling further behind peer institutions. Salary data show that between 1980 and 1990 UT salaries improved relative to the other schools. Since 1990, however, they declined significantly.

One of the central themes of our meetings was that the university budget, which is "fund" oriented, is comprehensible to only a few administrators and faculty. We recommended that it be tied more closely to the administration's strategic goals. To that end, we agreed that our meetings in the forthcoming year will be directed mainly to discussing these goals and the budget options that are available to assure that they are achieved.

  Michael H. Granof, Chair


A-3
Faculty Committee on Committees

During the 1998-99 academic year, the Committee on Committees met on September 14, January 27, March 30, April 7, and April 8 to carry out the work described below.

1..
Linda Ferreira-Buckley was selected as the vice chair at the September meeting, but she withdrew from the committee because she had been asked to chair another standing committee.

2.
  2. In October, nominations were sent to the President for two committees: the Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the Information Technology Coordinating Committee (ITCC). At present, both of these are not listed as Standing Committees of the General Faculty.

3.
Also in October, nominations were sent to the President to fill two positions on the Faculty Welfare Committee.


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4.
During the spring semester, the committee 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 on April 15, 1999.

5.
The committee considered further issues discussed during 1997-1998 about whether to recommend additional staff on standing committees. While the committee did recommend last year that additional staff be added to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Panel — and that change was implemented by the Faculty Council — the committee did not recommend any further staff additions this year, believing that staff representation on standing committees was currently adequate in the form of committee membership, ex officio staff membership, named administrative staff advisers, or informal staff advisers.

6.
The committee considered the recommendation from Pegeen Kramer, President of the University Staff Association, that Staff Grievance and Staff Welfare Committees be established. The committee concluded that it was not in the purview of the Committee on Committees to recommend establishment of such committees since these would not be committees dealing with faculty matters. If such committees were established as Standing Committees of the General Faculty by some other entity, the Committee on Committees would, of course, recommend whatever faculty members were called for in their composition statements, as it does for other standing committees.

7.
The committee declined again to recommend a procedure for electing a chair-elect for standing committees, someone who would be the chairman for a committee the following academic year. Attached is the content of a January 8, 1999, e-mail from Neal Armstrong to Shelly Payne explaining the rationale of the committee for declining to recommend such a procedure.

    E-mail from Neal Armstrong, Chair, Committee on Committees to Shelley Payne, Chair, Faculty Council on January 8, 1999, re "The idea of having the committees select a chair-elect or vice chair who would serve as chair the next year"

Shelley,

The Committee on Committees did indeed discuss this issue and declined to make a recommendation for several reasons as I recall. First, the notion of, in the same year, electing a chair and chair-elect (to be chair the next year) precludes an effective chair from serving a second year, and we did not feel that was fair to the effective chair nor necessarily productive. Second, we certainly support vice-chairs being selected by committees and did not discourage selecting a vice chair who could serve the next year if the committee wished. Third, the Committee concluded that selecting a chair-elect for the following year precluded a committee with new members and hence a different composition from selecting its own chairman. Fourth, we felt that using a chair-elect system to force committees to meet in the Fall semester and begin their work was really the wrong mechanism to accomplish that; rather, a means should be established by the Faculty Council Chair or the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council to initiate committee activity at the start of the Fall semester. One view expressed which had much Committee support was for the Faculty Council representatives who were appointed each committee be charged with initiating committee activity; part of that initial committee activity is the selection of a committee chair. The Committee on Committees this year has much the same composition as last year, and I really doubt that we would come up with a different result by reconsidering this issue, although I will be happy to do so.

What I would suggest, however, is a change in the way committees begin their work in the fall. At the start of the academic year when all of the committees are asked to meet at one time in the Main Building, the President and the Faculty Council Chair would kick off that meeting with the President stating the importance of committee activity to the running of the university. That would be followed by the Faculty Council Chair giving an overall charge to


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the committees, a statement of expectations (including the committee charges), and a preferred timetable for committee deliverables. One of those expectations would be the selection of committee chairs with the "threat" of a chair being appointed if a committee cannot select one. With the committee chairs selected, the Faculty Council Chair could give, a short time thereafter, a more specific charge to all committees through a meeting with the committee chairs. Finally, the Faculty Council appointees to each committee, along with committee chairs, could keep the Faculty Council Chair informed about committee activities and progress. What I will do this spring as we distribute the nomination materials for the Standing Committees of the General Faculty is to state in the cover memo that individuals nominated should not only be willing to serve but to take committee service responsibilities seriously and even be willing to serve in a leadership capacity

In summary, I think committees can become more productive if they sense an importance of what they do from top administrators/faculty leaders, if they see the results of their work being implemented, and if they feel their time is well spent (i.e., the committee is focused on specific work to do).

  Neal A. Armstrong, Chair


A-4
Faculty Grievance Committee

During 1998-1999, twenty individuals and groups contacted the Faculty Grievance Committee regarding concerns. In three cases, questions were answered and the matters were resolved. In two cases, the Grievance Committee was unable to help the individual. In two cases, the individual withdrew the grievance. In four cases, the chair of the committee was able to resolve the problems through conversations with the various parties. Subcommittees of the Faculty Grievance Committee reviewed four cases. In three of these reviewed cases, hearings were approved; in the fourth case, the subcommittee determined the grievance did not have merit to justify a hearing. Of the three hearings approved, one was denied by the President, one was held in December 1998, and one will occur during September and October 1999. Five cases are in progress. The Faculty Grievance Committee also submitted legislation for a Faculty Ombudsperson which was unanimously approved by the Faculty Council in May, 1999.

  Janet Staiger, Chair


A-5
Faculty Welfare Committee

No report submitted.

  Desmond Lawler, Chair


A-6
Rules Committee of the General Faculty

The Rules Committee made recommendations to the General Faculty that were designed to clarify the rules for all-University and college and school elections, to facilitate an electronic voting process, and to improve, but not substantially change, the basic method for counting votes. The recommendations were approved by the General Faculty at its meeting on October 20, 1998, and were later approved by the President. Members of the committee also monitored the General Faculty elections, which were carried out electronically for the first time in the spring of 1999.

  David L. Huff, Chair



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A-7
University of Texas Press Advisory Committee

No report submitted.

  Ted Huston, Chair


B. STUDENT SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES COMMITTEES

B-1
  Committee on Financial Aid to Students

This committee met eight times from September 1998 to May 1999. Throughout the year the committee discussed a variety of issues regarding student financial aid. We acted as a "sounding board" for the director of the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) while he implemented and improved operations (see Graph 1, p. 6). At each monthly meeting a representative from the OSFS briefed the committee on various issues and projects that were undertaken and responded to questions concerning both. We have highlighted the issues in this report.

Staff Salaries

One of the continuing issues for this committee is the effect of low staff salaries. The same issue was addressed last year. The turnover rate for entry-level staff is accelerating. The training for new staff is becoming more time consuming and complex because UT Austin compensation levels make it difficult to attract experienced staff. Hiring someone without experience requires a longer training period. Three years ago the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets recommended that the staff be given salary increases before the faculty. This committee felt compelled to comment on this issue.

Capital Campaign Fund/Student Indebtedness

A continuing problem is the extent of unmet financial need and borrowing (loans) by students. According to some recent data, the amount of debt by UT students now exceeds the national average (see Graph 2, p. 7). During several meetings we discussed the increase of student indebtedness and projections that suggest students will have more difficulty paying off their escalating loan amounts in the future. OSFS Director, Dr. Larry Burt, sent a letter to President Larry Faulkner requesting that the Capital Campaign Fund support students by providing scholarships and grants (see Memo 1, p. 8). The letter stated that for the 1997-1998 school year, undergraduate students borrowed $83,026,000 in financial aid loans. In 1996-1997, it was $79,774,726. Last academic year the committee wrote to interim President Peter T. Flawn suggesting that a Capital Campaign Endowment be created to address this student need. The same recommendation was presented to former President Robert Berdahl outlining the need for scholarships and grants to be funded (see Graph 3, p. 9). Funding for need-based scholarships is low on the list of the Capital Campaign priorities. The committee hoped it would have been a higher priority.

Jobs and More (JAM)

The new web-based job applications program called Jobs and More, or JAM as it's affectionately known, has been activated. It is available for employers to post both work-study and non-work-study jobs. Students can also use this service to apply for these jobs.

There is a link between JAM and the OSFS web page. As of December 1998, approximately 400 students had already registered to use this service (see Memo 2, p. 10 and Memo 3, p. 11, front and back).


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Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship (LOS)

The committee discussed a new scholarship that will be implemented in the fall semester of 1999 (see Graph 4, p. 12). The scholarship will be offered to students from high schools that presently send few graduates to UT. Most of the recipients will be from inner-city schools in Texas (see Graph 5, p. 13 and Graph 6, p. 14). The scholarship will provide $4,000 a year for four years. There will be 115 scholarships offered at 49 different high schools. The schools that qualify are mostly minority (African-American and Hispanic). The public announcement of this scholarship was made in Dallas, Texas. UT President Larry Faulkner and his associates visited various high schools in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Laredo. They were well received at all the schools. Support services for recipients of the LOS were coordinated by the Office of Admissions, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of the Dean of Students (DOS), and OSFS. Students will be placed in one of the following programs: Preview, Gateway, ACE, or a Freshman Interest Group (FIG). The Retention Services area of the DOS coordinates the first three programs listed. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs coordinates the FIGs. It is believed that these programs will provide the academic support necessary for success.

Texas Recognition and Equal Access Programs (TREAP)

The committee is in full support of the TREAP, which according to OSFS Director, Dr. Larry Burt, encourages changing student's habits beginning in high school. It would have five levels of funding and cost approximately $200 million a year (see Table 1, p. 15). TREAP is primarily designed to provide support to low-income disadvantaged students. The program provides increasing levels of support as students achieve greater success in high school. It also targets support to students who overcome the adversity of attending a high school that has a significant amount of economically disadvantaged students. There are more than 600 high schools whose population includes at least 40% disadvantaged students. The enrollment in these school districts comprises a total of 83% of all the African-American students in Texas. For Hispanic students the percentage is 90%.

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. Each scholarship is $1,000 and will be awarded for the 1999-2000 school year. The 1999-2000 recipients are:

Dawn Mudie Natalie Resendez Ron Cabal
Emily Hueske Christopher Pineda
Sarah Faulkner Allison Hutto

The appendix, which includes the referenced graphs, memos and table, is available in the Office of the General Faculty.

  Martin E. Chapa, Chair


B-2
  Recreational Sports Committee

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 1998-1999.


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  In the area of facility development, the committee supported the Gregory Gym aquatics center project which was approved by the UT student body in fall 1998. The chair and a student committee member served on the ad hoc committee to complete the programming study. In addition, the committee was informed about the use of Clark Field for student housing.

The committee remains committed to a payroll deduction plan for faculty and staff that would allow the cost of membership to be spread throughout the year. The committee continues to support the idea of financial support from the University of Texas for faculty and staff desiring to participate in recreational sports programs. This matching-fee concept is utilized by many corporations to encourage wellness for their employees.

The committee offered advice to the Division of Recreational Sports concerning its budget requests. The 1999-2000 Recreational Sports budget and fee schedules were reviewed and approved. Other topics included cleanliness issues related to Gregory Pool, conversion of some racquetball courts to squash courts, access to the new track stadium for recreational sports members, additional bike racks, and completion of Gregory Gym landscaping.

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 favorably impressed by the energetic participation of students in the division's programs, a reflection of the outstanding recreational sports program at UT.

A major disappointment for the year was not receiving approval for payroll deduction of the fee for faculty and staff. This continues to be a serious concern of the committee as it is viewed as a significant reason for the low membership numbers of faculty and staff. The ability to pay monthly for the use of recreational sports facilities would sharply enhance the membership of this segment of the UT community.

  Karrol Kitt, Chair


B-3
  Committee on Student Affairs

The spring 1999 activities of the Committee on Student Affairs did not require the need for any new legislation or resolutions.

During the spring semester the committee continued its investigation of student retention and success issues. During the fact and information gathering part of this process, the committee heard reports on various issues, ranging from the success of the FIGs (Freshman Interest Groups), minority recruitment and retention, the Longhorn Opportunity Scholarships, and enhancement of the undergraduate experience. These reports were delivered by Vice President James Vick, Dr. Gary Hanson (Administrative Research), and Dr. David Laude. The committee was particularly concerned about the difficulties many students were experiencing in the large classes and "gatekeeping courses."

One of the committee's goals was to develop resources that would provide advice and counsel on effective learning and educational success for both undergraduate students and faculty members. In April, the committee developed and circulated a survey on student success to randomly selected members of last year's freshman class and a limited number of upper-class men and women. Gary Hanson generously assisted the committee with the survey's development and processing.

The survey asked "successful students" — those who had successfully completed the previous year or semester — to identify individuals (advisors, mentors, etc.), campus programs and resources, and scholarly strategies that helped them to succeed. The survey additionally asked questions like, "What advice would you give to incoming freshmen? What advice would you give to faculty who are teaching freshmen?" Although the survey was circulated late in the


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  semester, the response was enthusiastic. Gary Hanson used some of the advice-oriented survey responses in an on-campus orientation program in the spring.

The survey responses were in the midst of being processed and collated when the committee met for the last time in May. Our plans for using the surveys included a brochure for advising freshmen (during registration, at orientation sessions, etc.); a "What students think about learning, teachers, and teaching" brochure for faculty, advising programs, and the Center for Teaching Effectiveness; a "Freshman Tip of the Day" for electronic posting (perhaps on the UT home page); and a "Best of the Best Advice" for other university publications (The Daily Texan, On Campus, etc.). We were unable to implement our plans for using the survey responses due to the summer break and the committee's dispersal. This project will, we hope, be completed in the forthcoming academic year.

As chair and on behalf of the committee, I would like to thank Gary Hanson for his time, energy, skills, and gracious support. The Student Affairs Committee hoped to "do something" proactive to assist and support undergraduate students on campus; I believe we were successful in getting that project underway.

  Mia Carter, Chair


C. INSTITUTIONAL POLICY OR GOVERNANCE COMMITTEES

C-1
  Admissions and Registration Committee

In the years preceding 1998-1999, the Admissions and Registration Committee worked to formulate policies that complied with the Hopwood decision and the "Top Ten Percent" Bill. Because the President and Provost have appointed ad hoc committees whose charge is to explore concerns related to Hopwood and the top ten percent policy, the Admissions and Registration Committee did not attempt to reformulate admissions policies. Instead, it sought to understand the effects of the University's new admissions procedures.

Director of Admissions N. Bruce Walker kept committee members up to date on UT Austin's admission process, including the on-line admissions option. He also helped members to understand UT's policy in the context of national perspectives on admissions. As Walker's figures show, UT continues to attract and enroll strong students; what's more, the University seems to be returning to its pre-Hopwood enrollment of minority students. Special programs sponsored by the University and the Alumni Association — all in compliance with Hopwood — probably account for this success. Walker also explained the difficulty of predicting and managing enrollment.

Registrar Ted Pfeifer explained the duties of the Office of the Registrar and reviewed innovative procedures his staff has developed. New technologies have revolutionized the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of data; this technology is shared with colleges and departments that wish to update their operations. The office continues to deal with such mandates as the 170-hour rule, TASP reporting requirements, and core-course requirements.

This year's committee decided not to pursue the previous committee chair's interest in grade inflation. Finally, staff turnover remains a problem.

On behalf of the faculty, I wish to thank Ted Pfeifer, Bruce Walker, Susi Deem, and the staff members responsible for admissions and registration. Their responsibilities are many and complex. Although much of their work may sometimes be invisible to faculty and students, the consequences of their work are directly responsible for the well-being of this institution.

  Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Chair



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C-2
  Calendar Committee

No report submitted.
  Philip Doty, Chair


C-3
  Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee

The Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee met at the beginning of the year. New members were oriented and were asked to submit names for consideration for future commencement speakers. A subcommittee was appointed to oversee and plan for commencement and other ceremonies for which this committee is responsible.
  R. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Chair


C-4
  Educational Policy Committee

The Educational Policy Committee held eight meetings during the 1998-1999 academic year, during which the topics outlined below were addressed.

The committee spent a good deal of its meeting time throughout the year working out the details of the University's core curriculum (in order to meet the legislative mandate of Senate Bill 148). The University's core curriculum was approved by the Coordinating Board in May of 1999.

The committee drafted legislation regarding the minimum enrollment requirements for undergraduate courses with a substantial writing component (SWC). Prior to submitting the legislation to the Faculty Council for action, Executive Vice President and Provost Ekland-Olson agreed to create additional flexibility in the enrollment requirements for SWC courses in accordance with the aims of the legislation. Based on Provost Ekland-Olson's commitment to take administrative action in this matter, the committee decided not to submit the legislation to the council.

The committee devoted a number of meetings to the University's concurrent enrollment policies, which differ substantially among colleges and schools. All members of the committee agreed that some action must be taken to ameliorate the serious problems created by the disparities among the different concurrent enrollment policies, and proposed that legislation be drafted at the beginning of the 1999-2000 academic year.

The committee developed a legislation checklist designed to follow the progress of legislation submitted by the committee as it makes its way through the council, to the President, to the Board of Regents, and to its final implementation on campus. Members of the committee expressed concern that some legislation may either be misinterpreted or lost entirely along the path between committee action and implementation of policy. The recent policy regarding so-called dual degrees (legislation that was originally designed to permit simultaneous enrollment in two majors) exemplifies this problem. The committee agreed that the implementation of legislation must be monitored.

The committee agreed that the implementation of legislation must be monitored. The committee reviewed a proposal presented by Army ROTC, making it possible for students to apply upper-division Army ROTC courses toward degree requirements across campus. The committee identified questions and concerns regarding the proposed legislation, and recommended that the matter be reconsidered in the fall of 1999.

The committee reviewed a proposal from the President's Committee on Students with Disabilities regarding a course substitution and waiver policy for students with disabilities. A revision of the proposal was approved, and will be submitted to the Faculty Council in the fall


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  revision of the proposal was approved, and will be submitted to the Faculty Council in the fall of 1999.

The committee reconsidered legislation, passed by the Faculty Council in 1997, regarding the inclusion of credit-by-exam grades in students' GPAs. The legislation was not approved by then President Robert Berdahl. The committee voted to resubmit the legislation during the 1998-1999 academic year, but, at the request of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council, agreed to postpone resubmitting the legislation until the 1999-2000 academic year.

Items to be forwarded to the next academic year:

1.
Submit to the Faculty Council completed legislation regarding the inclusion of credit-by-examination grades in students' GPAs.

2.
  Submit to the Faculty Council completed legislation regarding a course substitution and waiver policy for students with disabilities.
3.
Review the current university policies related to students' concurrent enrollment in UT and other institutions and make recommendations to the Faculty Council.
4.
Consider legislation making it possible for students to apply upper-division Army ROTC courses toward degree requirements across campus.
  Robert A. Duke, Chair


C-5
  Faculty Building Advisory Committee

No report submitted.

  Austin Gleeson, Chair


C-6
  International Programs and Studies Committee

No report submitted.

  Orlando R. Kelm, Chair


C-7   Library Committee

The committee focused most of its attention this year on the library's budget, particularly the acquisitions budget. Annual inflation in the cost of scholarly journals has continued to exceed 10% (the rate for monographs is about half this), and there is little reason to think it will decrease significantly in the near future. The budget received a significant boost with the introduction of the student library fee three years ago, but costs have now caught up with this increase and we face the strong possibility of once again being forced to reduce library acquisitions. The committee has considered three ways to increase funding: a larger allocation from the University, an increase in the student fee, and more endowment funds. Each has its limitations:

  • Allocated Funds. The administration has expressed strong support for an increased library allocation, but much depends on the legislature and it seems unlikely that this funding will increase substantially in the foreseeable future.


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  • Library Fee. Some students have expressed support for an increase in the fee, which is significantly lower than at many other Texas universities. Such a fee increase would help, but there are limits to how high it can reasonably go, and the benefits would be only temporary.

  • Endowment. The library is one of the priorities of the current development campaign, but we cannot expect endowment funds, which should be used for special opportunities for excellence, to cover basic needs.

  • Even an optimist is forced to conclude that funding will probably remain inadequate indefinitely, forcing further reductions in serial and monograph acquisitions.

    The committee also considered the other side of this problem — the rising cost of books and especially journals, many of which are published by profit-making companies that have taken advantage of market conditions and have raised prices seemingly without constraint. To cite just one example — The Journal of Comparative Neurology increased its price from $6,719 per year in 1994 to $14,080 in 1999. The committee has been examining a wide variety of efforts to control these costs by faculty and administrators nationwide. Recently, for instance, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists pressured the publisher of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, who has now agreed to reduce the subscription rate from $2,112.11 to $900. Efforts such as this, and the continuing growth of electronic publication, hold out hope that the inflation spiral may eventually be brought under control.

    We urge all our colleagues to familiarize themselves with these new trends — consult the "Issues and News" section on the library's "Collections and Information Resources" page at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/cird/ — and, where possible, to seek a less expensive alternative for publishing their books and articles. Established scholars need to lead the way, and those who are editors or on editorial boards of journals, or have influence in scholarly organizations, may be able to bring additional pressure to bear. It will take time and a concerted effort, but this seems the best hope to reverse the trend of the last decade of libraries each year spending more money for fewer items.

    Another issue that arose late in the year concerns borrowing privileges. Our initial discussion revealed considerable sentiment that these privileges are open to abuse. We recommend that next year's Library Committee undertake a full study of this issue.
      Michael Gagarin, Chair


    C-8
      Parking and Traffic Appeals Panel

    My committee reviewed 46 appeals over the year and rendered decisions concerning them.

      Earle F. McBride, Chair


    C-9
      Parking and Traffic Policies Committee

    The committee held monthly meetings reviewing and recommending policy changes and considering special requests. In addition to a large number of significant issues involving small campus population segments, the committee was asked to offer recommendations regarding two policy issues involving significant fractions of the campus user population. The first of these was the proposed 1999-2000 parking fee schedule. The second was an extensive list of proposed parking and traffic routing changes including Inner Campus Drive, Speedway, shuttle bus staging at Jester Center, and notably the Blanton Museum site plan. Special meetings were held for both of these issues and the committee investigated thoroughly, and deliberated extensively, before producing recommendations.


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      The committee worked hard and took its job seriously. I wish to thank all members and particularly Mr. David Kapalko and his staff for providing constant support and important background information.

      Randy Machemehl, Chair


    C-10
     

    Recruitment and Retention Committee

    The purpose of this committee is to address the matter of recruitment and retention of minority students and to advise the Faculty Council and the President regarding these matters.

    The committee met five times last year and reviewed the following:

    1.
      The latest admissions data shared by Augustine Garza and Trish Norman and the impact of the top 10% freshmen minority population.

    2.
    The retention programs in some of the colleges. Presentations from the Colleges of Communications and Engineering were done for the group by Darrell Rocha, Assistant Dean of Students, and David Mendez, Assistant Director for the Equal Opportunity in Engineering Program.

    3.
    The status of minority graduate students post-Hopwood. Dr. Pedro Reyes, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, presented and facilitated discussion regarding this issue.

    4.
    University-wide programs, such as retention programs in the Office of the Dean of Students (Gateway, Preview, and ACE Programs); the Learning Center; Freshman Interest Groups (FIGS); and Freshman Seminars. It also discussed the new Longhorn Opportunity High School initiative.

     

    The committee met with the Provost, Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson, to discuss some of the recruitment and retention issues.

    Our efforts must continue. The University is slowly but steadily increasing its number of new minority freshmen to pre-Hopwood levels and reducing first year attrition in general. The creation of outreach centers and college retention initiatives have contributed greatly. The expansion of the Gateway Program, Freshman Interest Groups, Freshman Seminars and other initiatives have and will continue to create opportunities to enrich the experience of first year students, therefore improving the retention of students. There is still much to be done.

    The committee recommends the following:

  • Close and continuous monitoring of the number of minority students in regard to admissions, retention, and graduation at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • Rewarding and promoting faculty involvement in retention programs and initiatives at the college or university-wide level.

  • Ensuring that new retention initiatives actively recruit minority students into their programs.

  • Monitoring and evaluating the success of the new Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship recipients during their freshman year.

  • Providing monetary support to those areas in student services that assist the increasing number of students who are top 10% and who may come with some academic


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    deficiencies. Areas such as the Learning Center and Retention Services need to be able to provide the assistance necessary to these students.

  • Monitoring the admissions, retention, and graduation of minority graduate students and the challenges they are facing post-Hopwood.

  •   Margarita Arellano, Chair


    C-11
     

    Research Policy Committee

    The principal activity of the committee for 1998-1999 was to advise the offices of the Vice President for Research and the Vice President for Administration and Legal Affairs on development of a policy statement on "Misconduct in Science and Other Scholarly Activities" appropriate to the University of Texas at Austin campus. There was general consensus that the Research Policy Committee made a significant contribution to this process. After approval by the UT System administration, this statement will become part of the UT Handbook of Operating Procedures.

    Some committee members participated in the interview process (late spring) for the selection of a new Vice President for Research.

    Relevant research policy issues that were raised by individual committee members during the past year but not fully explored in committee discussion include the following questions:

    1.
    Should full-tuition costs be charged to faculty research grants for graduate students who are supported as GRAs? This question has come up most strongly with the engineering faculty.

    2.
    What possibilities are there for increased university funding to support faculty travel to research conferences? Currently, faculty can apply for a Faculty Travel Grant that provides up to $325 to partially cover travel expenses. As with FRAs, this program is administered by the Office of Graduate Studies.

    3.
    What reasonable steps can be taken to increase faculty options for "sabbatical leave"? The university does not have a sabbatical program, and principal support in this direction rests primarily on Faculty Research Assignments (FRAs) and the Dean's Fellows Program. Do these programs benefit a sufficiently broad group of faculty?

    4.
    Should the faculty's role be strengthened in administrative review of "conflict of interest" issues related to research grants and projects?

      William Beckner, Chair


    C-12
     

    Committee on Responsibilities, Rights, and Welfare of Teaching Assistants and Assistant Instructors

    After our initial organizational meeting on September 14, 1998, the members of the committee established the following issues to pursue during our tenure. Our list of graduate student issues and concerns Ü culled from our own departmental experiences and from previous reports from this committee Ü seemed much too long and ambitious, and included items ranging from work load to tuition waivers. We scheduled a meeting with Vice President and Dean Teresa Sullivan to determine what might be feasibly attempted in the course of an academic year for the committee. We met with Dean Sullivan on November 18, and decided that the most appropriate use of our time would be to focus on trying to establish a university-wide set of


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    guidelines for the appropriate use of TAs and AIs in each department. Such guidelines might include the quantity and quality of contact hours, pre-service training, grievance procedures, etc.

    Our committee was quite diverse in terms of departmental coverage, with members representing nine departments in four colleges at the University. Based on our conversation during our first two meetings, it was clear that there was no uniform standard or even consensus on crucial TA/AI issues such as:

  • How are TAs/AIs selected in each department?
  • How are they assigned jobs?
  • What is expected of them in hours? in duties?
  • What are "appropriate" duties/responsibilities?

  • With such questions in mind, the committee members began in January 1999 a systematic telephone polling of departments on campus to determine answers to the above questions. In most cases, graduate advisers or coordinators were contacted and asked to provide the needed information. These calls usually took no more than a few minutes. The phone surveys continued through the spring semester. Meetings were used to compare on-going results and clarify any differences in gathering the data. By April, the results of the polling indicated that there were no uniform criteria among departments within a college, or among colleges, regarding the selection, assignment, or assessment of TAs and AIs. At our last meeting we determined that the information collected over the course of our tenure would be of interest to both departments and graduate students if presented in an appropriate format. Dean Sullivan indicated that such a document would, indeed, be of interest to the Graduate Office and gave her support for its production and dissemination.

    When the spring term ended in May, the committee results were still in the form of notes taken from the telephone calls and in brief summary reports from the representatives from the four colleges. I still expect to compile the existing data into a usable document to present to Dean Sullivan as the final product of our committee. The committee determined at its May meeting that the final document would contain: 1) a university-wide overview; 2) a college-by-college summary; and 3) recommendations for establishing some level of uniformity throughout UT to lessen the concerns and problems in TA/AI assignments. Moreover, all of us on the 1998-1999 committee hope in earnest that the 1999-2000 Committee on Responsibilities, Rights, and Welfare of TAs and AIs will attempt a similar polling and data collection to broaden the findings. It is our hope that by having a single document to show the variance of appropriate selection, assignment, and assessment of graduate student TAs and AIs at the University, there might be far fewer questions and concerns from program administrators and graduate students alike.

    I hope, in collaboration with a few of our past committee members, to have the final document to Dean Sullivan before the winter break. I would be happy to meet with the 1999-2000 committee to discuss any part of our project and the report at their convenience.

      Thomas J. Garza, Chair


     


      Last updated: September 17, 1999.
      Comments Welcome.
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