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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
The minutes of the General Faculty meeting of October 27, 1998, published below, are included in its Documents for the information of the members .
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 1998-1999
The regular meeting of the General Faculty for the academic year 1998-1999 was held on Tuesday, October 27, 1998, at 4:00 p.m. in Flawn Academic Center, Room 21. President Larry R. Faulkner presided.
I. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
The minutes of the regular meeting of the General Faculty for 1997-1998, held on October 28, 1997 (D&M 22507-22514) were approved.
II. ANNUAL REPORT OF THE FACULTY COUNCIL † John R. Durbin.
This report has been published as D&P 17078-17113/D&M 22602-22637.
III. DISCUSSION OF ANNUAL REPORT † None.
IV. QUESTIONS TO THE PRESIDENT.
See Item X.
V. SPECIAL ORDERS † None.
VI. PETITIONS † None.
VII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS † None.
VIII. REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES.
A. Committee to nominate a candidate for Secretary of the General Faculty.
The members of the nominating committee were William F. Lasher (educational administration), chair, John C. Gilbert (chemistry and biochemistry), and Shelley M. Payne (microbiology). On behalf of the committee, Professor Lasher nominated John R. Durbin (mathematics).
IX NEW BUSINESS.
A. Election of the Secretary of the General Faculty.
There were no other nominations, and Professor Durbin was elected Secretary of the General Faculty for the year beginning January 1, 1999, by acclimation
B. Changes in the Rules of the General Faculty and the Faculty Council.
On behalf of the Rules Committee, David L. Huff (finance), chair of the committee, introduced three recommendations 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 (D&P 25518-25525). The three recommendations were approved by voice vote.
C. Comments by the President on recent and pending developments affecting UT Austin.
President Larry R. Faulkner gave his State of the University address at an academic convocation celebrating his inauguration as President, on the 115th birthday of the University, October 6. The text of the October 6 speech is attached (D 55-61). He made the following additional remarks at the October 27 meeting of the General Faculty.
The President emphasized that his overriding concern was for the University to focus consistently on quality. That cannot be done from the top, he added. "It has to be done in every department and program and college, by selective application of resources and design of initiatives and curriculum." He said that because our resources are limited, we must see that they tell for the quality of the institution.
Faulkner said he had spoken to many audiences about the value of a large and distinguished University. From our own view, "the reward is certainly in the satisfaction we are able to achieve as an institution; but it is also in the services we can render to those who support us."
He repeated, from his recent address, four particular areas in which he felt the University could concentrate to great benefit: enhancement of the undergraduate program, emphasis on programs relating to Latin America, contributions to the improvement of K-12 education in Texas, and support for the new knowledge-based economic sectors in Texas. However, he made clear that the highest priority must be quality, whatever we do.
Moving to resources, Faulkner said "we have entered a competitive environment for talent and achievement that is at the top level, but I also believe that we are under-funded for the challenges that we face." He said one of the most serious problems is misunderstanding about the available fund, the income from the permanent university fund. He had sought to represent the available fund as a substitute for state appropriations, pointing out that the available fund is not sufficient to make up the difference between our state funding and that of other leading, public institutions. Viewed in this way, the University's support is not as large as many imagine. The private endowment is at about the average of that of other large, distinguished public universities, while our enrollment is larger than most
Because we spend less per student than our competition, we must be effective in taking our case to the legislature, Faulkner said. At this time the state has resources; it is a question of
how they will be used. His fear was not that we might be viewed negatively, but that other priorities might receive more focus. Thus it is essential to continually remind the legislature and the public of the value of an institution like ours.
X REMAINING QUESTIONS TO THE PRESIDENT.
Donald Davis (Graduate School of Library and Information Science) asked about recent student protests relating to the Hopwood decision. The President said the students and administration had had useful talks about the issues involved, and he expected a constructive outcome.
This document was posted on the Faculty Council web page: (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on October 06, 1999. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty and Faculty Council, FAC 22, F9500.
Address on the State of the University
Larry R. Faulkner, President
The University of Texas at Austin
October 6, 1998
Last updated: October 6, 1999.