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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
The minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of March 20, 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
March 20, 2000
The fifth meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 1999-2000 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, March 20, 2000, at 2:15 p.m.
Present: Urton L. Anderson, Katherine M. Arens, Efraim P. Armendariz, Neal E. Armstrong, Richard A. Cherwitz, Michael B. Clement, Donald G. Davis, Patrick J. Davis, Robert A. Duke, John R. Durbin, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Parisa Fatehi, Rachel T. Fouladi, Robert Freeman, Sara C. Galvan, John (Jack) C. Gilbert, Linda L. Golden, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Lawrence S. Graham, Sue A. Greninger, Thomas A. Griffy, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, Vance R. Holloway, Elizabeth L. Keating, Lester R. Kurtz, Desmond F. Lawler, Steven W. Leslie, Margaret N. Maxey, Gregory R. Murphy, David A. Nancarrow, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Eric C. Opiela, Alba A. Ortiz, Thomas G. Palaima, Bruce P. Palka, Randall M. Parker, Shelley M. Payne, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Andrew M. Riggsby, Gretchen Ritter, Juan M. Sanchez, Roberta I. Shaffer, M. Michael Sharlot, John E. St. Lawrence, Michael P. Starbird, Teresa A. Sullivan, Janice S. Todd, Michael C. Tusa, James W. Vick, Karin G. Wilkins.
Absent. Christopher O. Adejumo, Victor L. Arnold, Joel W. Barlow, Phillip J. Barrish (excused), Joseph J. Beaman, Gerard H. Béhague (excused), Harold W. Billings, William D. Carlson, Loftus C. Carson, Richard L. Cleary, Alan K. Cline, Jere Confrey, Richard L. Corsi, Edwin Dorn, John S. Dzienkowski, Catharine H. Echols (excused), Larry R. Faulkner (excused), G. Charles Franklin, G. Karl Galinsky, James D. Garrison, Erayne N. Gee, Julie Hallmark, Tracy C. Hamilton, Barbara J. Harlow, Roderick P. Hart, Thomas M. Hatfield, Sharon H. Justice, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Kerry A. Kinney, J. Parker Lamb, Richard W. Lariviere, Michael L. Lauderdale, Brian P. Levack, William S. Livingston, Laura E. Luthy, Vincent A. Mariani, Robert G. May (excused), Atisha G. Patel, Ana Cristina Pinto-Bailey, Elmira Popova, Robert A. Prentice, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (excused), Victoria Rodriguez, Dolores Sands, Joel F. Sherzer (excused), Lawrence W. Speck, Ben G. Streetman, Alexa M. Stuifbergen, Lonnie H. Wagstaff, N. Bruce Walker, Ellen A. Wartella, Barbara W. White (excused).
Voting Members: 41 present, 35 absent, 76 total. Non-Voting Members: 12 present, 19 absent, 31 total. Total Members: 53 present, 54 absent, 107 total.
I. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
There were no questions about the written report (D 341-348). The secretary announced that he had received protests to language requirements in proposed catalog changes for BS degrees in biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, and physics. He said these would be considered at the April 17 meeting of the Council.
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of February 21, 2000 (D 349-354), were approved by voice vote.
III. COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
A. Comments by the President None.
B. Questions to the President.
Tom Palaima (classics) expressed concern about a reduction in the University's direct support for KUT-FM. He said he thought that KUT and KLRU were two of the University's best ways of reaching out to the public. Speaking for President Faulkner in his absence, Provost Ekland-Olson explained that the reduction was in response to a proposal from the dean of the College of Communication three years ago to reduce the University's subsidy over three years from approximately $600,000 per year to $300,000 per year. The difference has been used for such items as seed money for faculty programs, for faculty research, and to bring in visiting scholars. He said he thought the investment in KUT is wise, but that the new uses of the money from the reduced subsidy of KUT are also worthwhile
IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Hilley introduced Roberta Shaffer, newly-appointed Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and Robert Freeman, newly-appointed Dean of the College of Fine Arts.
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Vice Chair Pat Davis discussed plans for the annual joint meeting of the Council with the Faculty Senate of Texas A&M, scheduled for Monday, March 27, in College Station.
VI. SPECIAL ORDERS None.
VII. PETITIONS None.
VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS.
A. Report of the e-University Task Force.
Tom Edgar (associate vice president) and Pam McQuesten, both from academic computing and instructional technology services, reported to the Council on the work of the e-University Task Force. They said the e-University should be viewed as a method for the transformation of key service, academic, research, outreach, and business processes through the use of internet technologies.
One of the immediate goals of the task force is the creation of the student portal. This would provide, for each student, a way to consolidate and simplify the different ways in which the student makes use of the University and its services, including scheduling,
financial aid and scholarships, billing, library use, communication with instructors, and academic planning. This would later be extended to cover more of the ways in which faculty and staff interact with different components of the University.
Janice Todd (kinesiology and health education) asked if all faculty would have updated computers and software, so the system could be made to work. The provost said this was a priority item, and that an announcement about what is planned would be made in a month or so. He said that the athletics department was providing money to help begin the program this year.
More information on the e-University will be available in the months ahead. The task force can be contacted through Janice Longridge, firstname.lastname@example.org.
B. Report of the Technology Enhanced Learning Committee.
The work of a committee charged to develop a plan for technology enhanced learning, with particular applications to distance education, was outlined by Jack Gilbert (chemistry and biochemistry), chair of the committee. This committee is faced with the challenge of developing an overall framework to include faculty capacity, incentives, and compensation; infrastructure requirements and delivery technologies; course/program priority and selection mechanisms; instructional design, quality, and standards; and student-faculty and faculty-faculty interactions.
Thus far the committee has developed six principles, twelve assumptions, and fifty-one recommendations. Gilbert expects that the committee will soon have a web site reflecting its work.
IX. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Report from the Educational Policy Committee on Computer Competency.
In its response to the accreditation report prepared by UT during 1996-1998, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has urged the University to adopt a formal statement ensuring the computer competency of undergraduates. Based on conversations between the Educational Policy Committee and the administration, the committee proposed two changes in the Basic Education Requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog (D 335-337). The first would state that every graduate is expected to "be competent in the basic use of computers." The second would state that "within each discipline, the faculty defines and assesses computer competency through learning activities that require the use of computers."
Urton Anderson (accounting), speaking for the committee, said that it did not envision something as centralized as the substantial writing requirement, but intended for each school and college to implement the policy to fit its own circumstances. The Council approved the recommendation.
Recommendation from the Educational Policy Committee on the Residency Requirement.
The Educational Policy Committee also introduced a proposal to increase the amount of work that must be completed in residence for an undergraduate (D 333-334). Instead of "at least two long session semesters, or an equivalent period, and at least thirty semester hours" in residence, the committee proposed "at least sixty semester hours" in residence. In addition, at least two thirds of the upper-division semester credit hours in the major would need to be completed at the University, rather than at least twenty-four of the last thirty semester hours, as currently required.
Eric Opiela (student government) asked about the impact on transfers from two-year colleges. Anderson said that there would be essentially no impact since two-year colleges cannot offer upper-division courses.
Desmond Lawler (civil engineering) spoke in some detail about why he thought the new proposal would be overly restrictive, both in the number of hours involved and in a separate requirement that would affect hours taken in study abroad programs. In answering, Anderson said that part of the committee's motivation in making the proposal had to do with the potential future impact of distance education.
In the end, the proposal was referred back to the committee for further consideration.
C. Report from the Committee on Committees.
In April of 1999, during the Council's consideration of the report of the ad hoc Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, chaired by Charles Alan Wright (law), Alan Friedman (English) proposed the creation of a standing faculty committee on academics and athletics. Shelley Payne (microbiology), then chair of the Council, referred this item to the Committee on Committees. Bruce Palka (mathematics), current chair of that committee, introduced a motion from the committee recommending an ad hoc rather than a standing committee to deal with one portion of Friedman's proposal (D 330-332). In particular, the ad hoc committee would "outline the components of an intercollegiate athletics program whose academic policies and standards furnish a 'best case' model for this and other institutions."
Palka reported that the Committee on Committees was closely divided on the recommendation, and referred to a minority report that accompanied the recommendation. John Durbin (mathematics), stepping out of his role as secretary of the Council, presented the minority point of view. The Council then voted against the creation of the new ad hoc committee.
D. Report from the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility.
On behalf of the committee, Janet Staiger (RTF) introduced a proposal stating that no later than the beginning of the fourth year of the tenure track probationary period, assistant professors shall receive a formal review to provide feedback to the faculty member and the department regarding the faculty member's progress toward meeting the standards for promotion with tenure (D 328-329).
After comments by Pat Davis (pharmacy) and Steve Monti (vice provost), the proposal was amended and then approved by the Council (D 365-366).
X. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS None.
XI. QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR None.
The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
Distributed through the Faculty Council web site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on April 11, 2000. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.