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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
The minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of February 21, 2000, published below, are included in the Documents of the General Faculty for the information of the members.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
February 21, 2000
The fourth meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 1999-2000 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, February 21, 2000, at 2:15 p.m.
Present: Urton L. Anderson, Katherine M. Arens, Neal E. Armstrong, Phillip J. Barrish, Gerard H. Béhague, Harold W. Billings, Richard A. Cherwitz, Michael B. Clement, Alan K. Cline, Jere Confrey, Donald G. Davis, Patrick J. Davis, Robert A. Duke, John R. Durbin, Catharine H. Echols, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Larry R. Faulkner, Rachel T. Fouladi, G. Karl Galinsky, Sara C. Galvan, John C. Gilbert, Linda L. Golden, Lawrence S. Graham, Sue A. Greninger, Thomas A. Griffy, Julie Hallmark, Tracy C. Hamilton, Barbara J. Harlow, Roderick P. Hart, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, Manuel J. Justiz, Elizabeth L. Keating, Lester R. Kurtz, Richard W. Lariviere, Desmond F. Lawler, Steven W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Eric C. Opiela, Alba A. Ortiz, Thomas G. Palaima, Bruce P. Palka, Atisha G. Patel, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Robert A. Prentice, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Andrew M. Riggsby, Gretchen Ritter, Victoria Rodriguez, Juan M. Sanchez, M. Michael Sharlot, John E. St. Lawrence, Michael P. Starbird, Alexa M. Stuifbergen, Janice S. Todd, Michael C. Tusa, James W. Vick, N. Bruce Walker, Ellen A. Wartella, Karin G. Wilkins.
Absent. Christopher O. Adejumo, Efraim P. Armendariz, Victor L. Arnold, Joel W. Barlow, Joseph J. Beaman, William D. Carlson, Loftus C. Carson, Richard L. Cleary (excused), Richard L. Corsi, Edwin Dorn, John S. Dzienkowski, Parisa Fatehi, G. Charles Franklin, James D. Garrison, Erayne N. Gee, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Thomas M. Hatfield, Vance R. Holloway (excused), Sharon H. Justice (excused), Kerry A. Kinney, J. Parker Lamb, Michael L., Lauderdale, Brian P. Levack, Laura E. Luthy, Vincent A. Mariani, Margaret N. Maxey (excused), Robert G. May (excused), Gregory R. Murphy, David A. Nancarrow, Randall M. Parker (excused), Shelley M. Payne (excused), Ana Cristina Pinto-Bailey, Elmira Popova, Johnnie D. Ray, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (excused), Charles A. Roeckle, Dolores Sands, Roberta I. Shaffer, Joel F. Sherzer (excused), Lawrence W. Speck, Ben G. Streetman, Teresa A. Sullivan (excused), Lonnie H. Wagstaff, Barbara W. White (excused). .
Voting Members: 47 present, 29 absent, 76 total. Non-Voting Members: 16 present, 15 absent, 31 total. Total Members: 63 present, 44 absent, 107 total.
I. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY (D 264-269).
There were no questions about the written report. The secretary talked briefly about faculty memorial resolutions. He said they can provide a source of renewal for one's belief in the importance of the University, and commended them to others.
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
Minutes of the Faculty Council Meeting of November 15, 1999 ( D 225-229 ), were approved by voice vote.
III. COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
A. Comments by the President.
President Faulkner talked about additional revenue coming to the University because of Proposition 17, approved by Texas voters in November of 1999. He said the University should use this revenue not just to handle growth in the cost of what it was doing, but to try to take a step that would materially improve the institution.
He said the Available University Fund had provided about $70 million to $75 million for a number of years. That had increased to $85 million this year and is expected to increase to $102 million next year. Although some growth is expected in the future, it will be much smaller. Faulkner said the increase this year provided an increment that was used to help fund the compensation improvements made during the current budget year.
He said the University should seize the opportunity to improve programs that directly affect the educational experience. He mentioned three specific targets. First, to lower the student/faculty ratio, by adding 20 to 40 faculty next year and as many as 300 faculty over a period of time. The larger increase will require support from the legislature. An increase in tuition and fees will help. The second target is to improve teaching facilities, including technology and labs. The third target is to improve libraries and information resources.
He said he remains committed to a ten percent increase in support for graduate students.
B. Questions to the President.
How will the University ensure that invited speakers are not disrupted or forced to cancel? How will the University ensure free and open intellectual exchange at public lectures and events?
These two questions, the first from Karl Galinsky (classics), the second from Barbara Harlow (English) and Tom Palaima (classics), were submitted before the meeting. A related question came from Alan Cline (computer sciences). (The complete texts of questions submitted before the meeting are appended to these minutes.)
The questions arose from controversy surrounding the cancellation of a speech Henry Kissinger had been scheduled to give at the LBJ auditorium on February 1. Faulkner pointed out that the LBJ Library had sponsored the speech, which is a federal, not a University, institution. He said the decision to cancel had been made by Kissinger and the library's director, Harry Middleton, based on Middleton's information about possible disruptions at the meeting.
Faulkner said that he had called Kissinger, at the suggestion of Middleton, to give Faulkner's appraisal of security issues. Faulkner told Kissinger he thought the University had committed adequate security resources for the meeting, and that disruptions would probably occur but he did not know how extensive they were likely to be.
In a press release on January 31, Faulkner said that "it is tragic that threats of assault on a peaceable, academic assembly will, in this instance, still public discussion on important issues by a distinguished visitor. The tactics are both immoral and inimical to the public interest. They must be rejected by our community. As The University proceeds into the future, it will take new and appropriate steps to meet its responsibilities as a major public forum." (The complete text of the press release is appended to these minutes.)
These statements and the questions posed to Faulkner led to an extended exchange involving Faulkner, Galinsky, Palaima, Cline, Dean Michael Sharlot (law), and Gretchen Ritter (government).
Cline expressed concern about the role of Chancellor Cunningham in the decision to cancel. Faulkner said it was advisory to Kissinger, as a friend. Palaima and Cline thought Faulkner's use of the phrase "threats of assault" was provocative. Palaima also said that the people wanting to address Kissinger were not immoral. Faulkner pointed out that he had not said that the people were immoral, but that the tactics were immoral. He added that shouting down a speaker is a form of assault, and that the threat to do that at Kissinger's speech took place in a public forum. Ritter said that democracy is not always neat and not always civil.
Sharlot said that disrupting a speech with speech is a violation of the first amendment. This was in response to a reference to a speech by Ward Connerly at the Law School in March of last year, which was sponsored by a registered student organization and which could not be completed because of disruptions.
The discussion in the meeting was driven by the questions to the president and by the president's answers. There was no general debate by the Council. However, Faulkner made clear that the issues would receive serious attention. Cline suggested the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility would be one appropriate source of input. The president said that was a reasonable suggestion.
In the last question submitted to the president, Catharine Echols (psychology) asked about the status of the Family Leave Policy passed by the Council last year. Provost Ekland-Olson said he expected that the administration would have a concrete proposal responsive to the Council's action by the end of the spring semester. The president said this was being looked at along with related human resource policies. He also said that the policy as proposed in the Council's action did not incorporate management provisions that would bear up under the kind of scrutiny it might get from the legislature and state government.
IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Hilley reported on the work being done by the general faculty standing committees, some of which will bring items to the Council later in the semester. The annual reports of the committees will be published at the end of the year.
Hilley also updated the Council on the Business Field of Study Advisory Committee and the Music Field of Study Advisory Committee, which are to report to the Coordinating Board and which were created as a result of Senate Bill 148. She said the Coordinating Board had yet to create a Feasibility Committee, which was also mandated by Senate bill 148 and was to have considered the feasibility of the field of study committees.
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Vice Chair Pat Davis reminded members of the joint meeting with the Faculty Senate of Texas A&M scheduled for March 27 in College Station. He invited suggestions for topics to be discussed at the meeting, and asked members to inform the Office of the General Faculty if they could attend.
VI. SPECIAL ORDERS None.
VII. PETITIONS None.
VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS None.
IX. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Report of the Calendar Committee.
At the September meeting of the Council, the Calendar Committee was asked to evaluate a recommendation from the Student Assembly for the establishment of summer dead days. Catharine Echols (psychology, chair of the committee) reported that the Calendar Committee had investigated the issue, and had concluded that because of various time and other constraints the introduction of summer dead days is not feasible at this time (D 257-259). The Council approved a motion supporting the committee's conclusion.
Report of the Technology Enhanced Learning Committee.
This item, which appeared on the agenda, was postponed until the March 20 meeting of the Council.
C. Report of the e-University Task Force.
This item, which appeared on the agenda, was postponed until the March 20 meeting of the Council.
X. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS None.
XI. QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR None.
The meeting adjourned at 3:43 p.m.
Distributed through the Faculty Council web site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on March 17, 2000. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.
Questions submitted to the president in advance of the meeting.
Questions to the President
February 21, 2000
- What concrete steps is the University taking to make sure that invited speakers are not disrupted or forced to cancel? Two such incidents in the past ten months are two too many and the University's acquiescence will only encourage more of the same. This is plainly unacceptable. What does the Administration intend to do about it? From G. Karl Galinsky (classics).
- We share Karl Galinsky's concern and his question regarding the cancelled Kissinger lecture, but have further questions which we ask that the president address explicitly. These are as follows:
- What standards does the University have for free and open intellectual exchange at public lectures and events? With respect to the Kissinger lecture, it was reported that questions to Mr. Kissinger were "to be screened" in advance. Such a procedure in and of itself violates our sense of open discourse. It also puts individuals or interest groups who hold opinions opposite to those of any speaker in a position of having to devise alternative strategies to have their views heard. It thus would seem to create the very situation one wishes to avoid.
- We are further concerned about your remarks as cited in the Austin American Statesman (Sunday, January 30, 2000), that "we're going to have to develop some methods that will allow us to proceed with these events with the threats." Could the president: 1. clarify what is understood by "threats" and how they are reported to and evaluated by the administration; and 2. explain what is projected by way of "methods" that would "allow us to proceed with these events?" This also seems to conflict with a statement reported in the January 29 Statesman that, in your view, University security was sufficient for the event to be held. From Barbara Harlow (English) and Tom Palaima (classics).
- First, I would like to know what evidence you, as a scientist, had for the statements made upon cancellation of the Kissinger speech suggesting "threats of assault." I'd also like to know about Chancellor's Cunningham's role in the decision to cancel. Since many people believe that embarrassment as opposed to violence was at the root of the cancellation decision, Cunningham's dealings with Kissinger (e.g., serving on the Freeport Board of Directors) certainly disqualified him as a neutral observer. Lastly, I'd like to know if the UT police are sending informers to meetings of campus organizations. From Alan Cline (computer sciences).
- What is the current status of the Family Leave Policy passed by the Faculty Council last year? From Catharine Echols (psychology).
UT Austin President issues comment on Kissinger lecture cancellation.
January 31, 2000
AUSTIN, TexasStatement from President Larry R. Faulkner, The University of Texas at Austin:
As President of the University of Texas at Austin, I express my deep regret over the cancellation of the planned lecture by Dr. Henry Kissinger at the LBJ Library. In keeping with its public responsibilities, The University committed itself to provide security for the personal safety of the audience and for open discourse on issues of public concern. In the end, it became clear that assurance of both in this particular setting probably would not be possible. This cancellation reflects, first and foremost, legitimate concern over public safety.
It is tragic that threats of assault on a peaceable, academic assembly will, in this instance, still public discussion on important issues by a distinguished visitor. The tactics are both immoral and inimical to the public interest. They must be rejected by our community. As The University proceeds into the future, it will take new and appropriate steps to meet its responsibilities as a major public forum.
Text taken from the press release found on The University of Texas at Austin, Office of Public Affairs web site (http://www.utexas.edu/admin/opa/s/00newsreleases/nr_200001/nr_statement000128.html).