DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
The minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of
May 8, 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
May 8, 2000
The sixth meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic
year 1999-2000 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, May
8, 2000, at 2:30 p.m.
Present: Christopher O. Adejumo, Urton L.
Anderson, Efraim P. Armendariz, Neal E. Armstrong, Phillip J. Barrish,
Gerard H. Béhague, Richard A. Cherwitz, Richard L. Cleary, Michael
B. Clement, Alan K. Cline, Donald G. Davis, Patrick J. Davis, Robert
Duke, John R. Durbin, Catharine H. Echols, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, G. Karl
Galinsky, John C. (Jack) Gilbert, Linda L. Golden, Edmund (Ted) Gordon,
Lawrence S. Graham, Sue A. Greninger, Thomas A. Griffy, Julie Hallmark,
Tracy C. Hamilton, Barbara J. Harlow, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley,
Arlen W. Johnson,1 Lester R. Kurtz, Desmond F. Lawler, Steven
W. Leslie, Laura E. Luthy, Vincent A. Mariani, Gregory R. Murphy, David
A. Nancarrow, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf,
Eric C. Opiela, Alba A. Ortiz, Bruce P. Palka, Shelley M. Payne, Theodore
E. Pfeifer, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Gretchen Ritter, Victoria Rodriguez, Joel
F. Sherzer, Michael P. Starbird, Ben G. Streetman, Teresa A. Sullivan,
Janice S. Todd, Michael C. Tusa, James W. Vick, N. Bruce Walker.
Absent: Katherine M. Arens (excused),2
Victor L. Arnold, Joel W. Barlow, Joseph J. Beaman, Harold W. Billings,
William D. Carlson, Loftus C. Carson, Jere Confrey, Richard L. Corsi,
Edwin Dorn, John S. Dzienkowski, Parisa Fatehi, Larry R. Faulkner (excused),
Rachel T. Fouladi, G. Charles Franklin, Robert Freeman, Sara C. Galvan,
James D. Garrison, Erayne N. Gee, Roderick P. Hart, Thomas M. Hatfield,
Vance R. Holloway, Sharon H. Justice (excused), Manuel J. Justiz (excused),
Elizabeth L. Keating (excused), Kerry A. Kinney, J. Parker Lamb, Richard
W. Lariviere, Michael L. Lauderdale, Brian P. Levack, William S. Livingston,
Margaret N. Maxey, Robert G. May, Thomas G. Palaima (excused), Randall
M. Parker, Atisha G. Patel, Elmira Popova, Robert A. Prentice, Johnnie
D. Ray, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (excused), Andrew M. Riggsby, Juan M.
Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Roberta I. Shaffer, M. Michael Sharlot, Lawrence
W. Speck, John E. St. Lawrence, Alexa M. Stuifbergen, Lonnie H. Wagstaff,
Ellen A. Wartella, Barbara W. White (excused), Karin G. Wilkins (excused).
1 Attendance corrected on August 23, 2000.
2 Changed unexcused absence to excused. Correction made September
|REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
There were no questions about the written report (D
|APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of April 17, 2000 (D
574-579), were approved by voice vote.
|COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
||Comments by the President.
President Faulkner was away from Austin on other
||Questions to the President.
Questions from Thomas G. Palaima (classics), James Kehrer (pharmacy),
and Alan Cline (computer sciences) were submitted in writing
before the meeting. The questions together with the replies
are in the appendix to these minutes.
|REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Martha Hilley (music) expressed thanks to all who had contributed
to the work of the Council and the standing committees over the year.
REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
[Secretary's note: This report was made at the end of the special
meeting of the 2000-2001 Council, which immediately preceded this
meeting.] Chair elect Patrick Davis (pharmacy) presented Martha
Hilley with a plaque in recognition of her outstanding commitment
to faculty governance. He said that much of the work of the chair
involves "behind the scenes interactions that require tact, humor,
which Martha certainly has, diplomacy, understanding, and conviction
on a huge range of issues."
Provost Ekland-Olson then read a statement from
President Faulkner, which concluded: "[Hilley] has brought extraordinary
leadership, ability, personal grace, and good humor to a challenging
office. It has been said that the chair of the Faculty Council
a thankless task. Professor Hilley, on behalf of the entire UT
community, I thank you for a job well done."
|SPECIAL ORDERS None.
||Intercollegiate Athletics Councils.
The annual reports of the Men's and Women's
Intercollegiate Athletics Councils were given by Waneen Spirduso
and Beverly Hadaway, chairs of the committees. The reports
summarized academic performance by athletes, as well as issues
discussed by the councils during the year. Included were figures
showing that women athletes had a cumulative GPA of 3.02,
the highest ever. The cumulative GPA for men was 2.67, up
from 2.31 in 1993. The complete reports, which contain a number
of tables and other information, are available in the Office
of the General Faculty.
Edmund (Ted) Gordon (anthropology) requested
that in the future the report on men athletes contain as much
information as that on women. He expressed particular interest
in results for those in football and basketball, the large
money-earning sports. He also encouraged the athletics councils
to give serious thought to the philosophical questions raised
by nationwide problems with intercollegiate athletics. Spirduso
said such issues were discussed at meetings of the Big 12
Conference and the NCAA, and that President Faulkner felt
strongly about the integrity of the University's athletics
programs. Gordon applauded that, but wanted to emphasize that
the issues should be studied by the University's own athletics
||Natural Sciences Foreign Language Requirement.
At its April meeting the Council rejected
a proposal to change the foreign language requirement for
BS degrees in biological sciences, physics, and chemistry
and biochemistry (D
436-437). On May 8 the proposal was reintroduced (D
586-590) on a motion by Tom Griffy (physics), who had
opposed the proposal in April.
Dean Mary Ann Rankin (natural sciences) said
the primary reason for the proposal, which was being made
with reluctance, was an attempt to reduce the number of hours
in the degrees from about 132 to 126 or 127, and to offer
students slightly more flexibility in their choice of courses.
She questioned the effectiveness of foreign language training
in college, pointed out that other schools and colleges at
the University had reduced their foreign language requirements,
made comparisons with language requirements at other universities,
and spoke of the strong support for the proposal from the
three departments involved. Rankin also claimed that language
departments supported the proposal.
Dean Ben Streetman (engineering) spoke briefly
in support of the proposal, saying his college was faced with
similar problems in trying to reduce the number of hours required
for its degrees. Desmond Lawler (civil engineering) reinforced
Streetman's argument, saying he had direct experience in trying
to reduce requirements in engineering so that degrees could
be completed in four years. Julie Hallmark (library and information
science) favored the proposal and agreed that students should
be encouraged to study languages earlier. John C. (Jack) Gilbert
(chemistry and biochemistry), Cline, and Bruce Palka (mathematics)
said they would vote for the proposal, feeling that the issue
had been considered carefully by those who were making it.
Palka added, however, that he was sorry the University had
allowed the foreign language requirement to be weakened in
college after college, and that he knew from experience that
languages could be learned even after college.
Joel Sherzer (anthropology), while sympathetic
with the problems faced by the three departments, said he
could not support the proposal. He said that foreign languages
are becoming more important, and that language instruction
is becoming better. He said cultural courses are not a replacement
for language courses; they should go together. He also questioned
the argument that languages are better learned in high school
than in college, and said he had checked with several department
chairs in foreign languages and that, contrary to claims,
they did not support the proposal.
The secretary (mathematics, speaking as a
voting member and not as secretary), said he could not support
the proposal for several reasons. First, it was not a foreign
language requirement. "It starts as a two semester foreign
language requirement, segues into a combination of that with
multiculturalism, and then ends with not much of anything." He
said that keeping the current (three semester) foreign language
requirement would motivate students to learn more
about a language in high school so they could satisfy the
requirement with advanced placement credit, which is what
many students currently do. He also questioned the interpretation
that had been made of requirements at other universities.
secretary thought it was important for UT
Austin to set a high standard for the state and to send a
signal that this is an institution of serious intent; that
could have a positive influence on college-bound students
and on the quality of those who enroll at the University.
Karl Galinsky (classics) said he would have
preferred that issues such as this, which involve general
education requirements, be studied first by the Educational
Policy Committee. Recalling the report of the Vick Committee,
he said that, ideally, students would learn foreign languages
well enough in high school so that they could satisfy a two
semester language requirement through a placement exam. He
preferred this to weakening the requirement, as was being
Matthew Bailey (Spanish and Portuguese, elected
to the Council for 2000-2002) supported many of the points
made by Sherzer, Galinsky, and the secretary. He also felt
that his department had essentially been told that natural
sciences was going to insist on what was being proposed, and
that they were merely asking his department to make recommendations
for cultural courses to replace the second semester of a foreign
language. He did not feel that his department had endorsed
Eric Opiela (student government), speaking
for a student member who could not attend, said there was
student concern that advisors in engineering and natural sciences
often encourage students to take free electives in those fields
rather than branching out into something like liberal arts.
David Laude (chemistry and supervisor of advisors in natural
sciences) said that may be the practice of individual advisors
but it was not the position of the college.
After approving a motion by Barbara Harlow
(English) to call the question, the proposal from natural
sciences was approved by a vote of 22 to 11.
||Cancellation of Summer Meetings of the Faculty
The Council approved a motion by the secretary to cancel its
summer meetings (D
||Approve Meeting Dates 2000-2001.
The Council approved a motion by the secretary that would set
the Council's meetings dates for 2000-2001 (D
Nominations for the Intercollegiate Athletics
Councils and for the University Co-op Board.
The Council approved the following lists of
nominees, which were proposed by a nominating committee chaired
by Chair Hilley (D
580-581). One selection is to be made by the president
from each list.
Men's athletics council: Elizabeth
Cullingford (English), James Deitrick (accounting), Robert
Duke (music), Michael Granof (accounting), and Patricia Witherspoon
Women's athletics council:
Linda Ferreira-Buckley (English), Ted Gordon (anthropology),
Jerry Junkin (music), W. Arlyn Kloesel (pharmacy), and John
University Co-op board of
directors: Desley Deacon (women's studies), David Fowler (civil
engineering), and Jack Getman (law).
[Secretary' s note: The president
later selected Michael Granof, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, and
David W. Fowler.]
Recommendations from the Educational Policy
Committee on Course-Instructor Surveys.
In November the Council received,
and forwarded to the provost, a report from the ad hoc
Committee on Course Instructor Surveys. Chair Hilley also
asked the Educational Policy Committee to consider the report,
especially with regard to confidentiality and the release
of responses to the surveys.
On May 8, on behalf of the
Educational Policy Committee, Urton Anderson (accounting)
introduced four recommendations for the Council's consideration
547-549a). Anderson began by amending the recommendations
to read as follows:
Recommendation 1: It is recommended that all
classes be surveyed every semester, including summer,
using either the Basic CIS Form or [
the Expanded CIS Form[ s].
Rationale: Teaching evaluations by students
are required by all faculty at UT Austin and have been required
since spring 1992. The only open issues are the form and frequency
of these evaluations. This recommendation specifies the form
and frequency of the required student evaluations.
For the results of student evaluations to
be most useful, it is desirable that they have some items
in common. [
Eleven] Nine common items
have been identified from earlier forms and have been used
to create a Basic CIS Form. [ Additional common items
have been taken from earlier surveys to create nine specific
Expanded CIS Forms (The Expanded CIS Forms include the eleven
Recommendation 2: In addition to the
Basic CIS Form, [
or one of] the Expanded
CIS Form[ s], and supplemental CIS forms
designed for specific types of teaching methods, colleges
and individual faculty are strongly encouraged to develop
and use additional methods of evaluation.
Rationale: The primary vehicles for collecting
information about teaching are student surveys, alumni surveys,
major retrospective surveys, peer review of materials, self-report
in the form of portfolios, and mid-semester course adjustment
data. To improve and maintain a high quality teaching program,
colleges and individual faculty should seek feedback on teaching
from many sources.
Recommendation 3: It is recommended
that materials be prepared to assist students in understanding
the importance of (1) giving helpful feedback and (2) understanding
how to read the results of the surveys.
Rationale: The statistical data from the course
instructor surveys is public information and will be released
to the students. It is critical that the students understand
the information provided to them.
Recommendation 4: In implementing the Basic
CIS Form or the Expanded CIS Form, the privacy of both students
and faculty must be respected and preserved. It
recommended that it be left to the faculty member to decide
how and when written comments are released
Rationale: Written comments on student evaluations
are not governed by the Open Records Act that governs access
to and release of answers to survey items. The written comments
are offered and received as part of a private communication
between student and faculty.
After discussion involving
Anderson, Galinsky, the secretary, Patricia Ohlendorf (vice
president for institutional relations and legal affairs),
Steve Monti (executive vice provost), Opiela, Davis, Steve
Fitzpatrick (Measurement and Evaluation Center and a member
of the ad hoc Committee on Course Instructor Surveys),
and Lawler, and after voting to remove the last sentence in
Recommendation 4, the Council voted to approve the four recommendations,
as amended by the committee and by the Council.
Recommendations from the Welfare Committee.
The Council approved a recommendation
from the Faculty Welfare Committee (D
550-551), introduced by Sue Greninger (human ecology),
asking that an annual survey of faculty and staff be conducted
(1) to provide data regarding satisfaction levels and trends
with healthcare benefits and services, including claims processing,
and (2) to identify problems being experienced by UT Austin
employees in these areas. The recommendation includes details
about how the annual survey should be carried out.
Recommendations from the Recreational Sports
On behalf of the Recreational
Sports Committee, Richard Cleary (architecture) introduced
a resolution (D
536-537) requesting that the University administration
institute a program under which the University would share
the cost of a basic recreational sports membership with each
faculty or staff member who chose to participate.
Jan Todd (kinesiology and health education)
spoke in favor of the proposal. Eric Opiela (student representative)
expressed concern that the funds might come from student fees.
Donald Davis (library and information science) and the secretary
also thought the question of the source of the funds was important.
Cleary acknowledged that there were similar items, such as
child care and parking, that were also costly to faculty and
staff, and no doubt of at least equal importance to some.
He said the committee had discussed this point, but that it
could make recommendations only on recreational sports. He
supported a motion made by Dean Neikirk (computer and electrical
engineering) to refer the matter to the Faculty Welfare Committee.
The Council approved the motion to refer.
During the discussion, John Walthall (Cabinet
of College Councils, 2000-2001) encouraged interaction between
faculty, staff, and students in such activities as recreational
||Report from the Faculty Grievance Committee.
Alba Ortiz (special education),
chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee, said the committee
had been working with the administration to improve the grievance
process and to give faculty greater control over the process.
A careful summary of that work and the recommendations below
are included in the full report of the committee (D
The Council approved two recommendations
from the committee. The first would include the immediate
past chair as an ex officio, voting member of the
committee. The second would provide the chair of the committee
teaching load credits (for one semester during the year)
as compensation for the demands of the position, until the
of ombudsperson is created and filled. (The second recommendation,
as originally circulated, requested "one course during the
academic year" as compensation. The
||recommendation to change that to "equivalent
to four-and-one-half teaching credits" was suggested by Professor
Lawler, and accepted by the committee before the vote.)
|ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS None.
|QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR None.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Distributed through the Faculty Council web site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/)
on July 19, 2000. Copies are available on request from the Office of the
General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.
Questions to the President
May 8, 2000
From James P. Kehrer (pharmacy):
Several colleges on campus function with a divisional
rather than departmental structure. However, division heads are asked
to function much like department chairs including writing department chair
letters for faculty promotions, making recommendations for merit raises
and staff raises, and writing other official recommendations. Should any
of these actions be challenged in a legal environment, I would like to
know the University's position regarding support and legal defense for
division heads relative to any current policies regarding department chairs.
A portion of this question also could be phrased in a more generic fashion.
Specifically, when we as faculty members write a letter of recommendation
(for students or for promotion and tenure committees at other universities,
or for other purposes) that is legally challenged, what is the University's
position regarding support and legal defense for that faculty member?
Reply from Vice President Patricia Ohlendorf:
The first question is whether a division head in a non-departmentalized
college or school would have the same legal protections as a department
chair at the University. The answer to that is yes, as long as the person
was acting in good faith and carrying out responsibilities that were delegated
by the dean. Now whether or not the decisions by division heads would
carry the same weight as departmental chairs is a policy issue that the
provost office would have to address.
The second question is whether, when a faculty member
writes a letter of recommendation for a student, or for promotion and
tenure purposes, the University would provide some legal protection in
the event that there was a lawsuit that resulted from the recommendation.
The answer to that is yes, as long as he or she was doing that as part
of his or her responsibilities as a faculty member at the University
was acting in good faith. If the faculty member had inserted personal
information that either wasn't true, and the faculty member knew it wasnt
true, or did not rely upon personal knowledge or data that had been given,
and did not check to be sure that it was reliable, then there would be
a question as to whether or not the faculty member was acting as an expert,
or as someone in that field that should be making recommendations in
faith. The determination of good faith is made by the attorney general's
office. However, in every situation where one of UT's faculty has engaged
in something like this, UT has said that it feels that the faculty member
has been acting in good faith within his or her responsibilities.
The following questions (1-3) were submitted by Thomas
G. Palaima (classics). All answers were provided in written form by Provost
Faculty computer upgrades: The provost has reported
that we are embarking on a five-year two-million-dollar program
($400K-per-year) to address the essential need to keep faculty
relatively on par with current technologies for instruction and
research. He has also reported that "the algorithm we are using
for estimating the appropriate budget is 45% of total faculty and
an average of roughly $2,500 per replacement."
Calculations indicate that this program will
address minimal needs of 765 out of our 1700 faculty. 1700 faculty
* .45 = 765 * $2500 = $1,912,500, i.e, ca. $2M.
||How is appropriate basic computer equipment
being provided and maintained for the remaining 1700-765 = 935
faculty during this 5-year cycle?
In addition to the newly identified $400K
there are a number of sources being brought to the table.
These include dean excellence funds, college resources, endowments,
What are the anticipated sources of revenues
Final details of specific sources will
be worked out over the summer.
How much are departmental and faculty endowment
or project/grant funds expected to pay for the basic faculty
computer equipment/upgrades not provided for in the yearly
$400K? (Several faculty members have expressed strong opposition
to this practice as it is applied to computer equipment and
other areas of university funding.)
This varies widely across colleges. In some
colleges, the lion's share of replacement will be covered
by centralized university resources. In other colleges, a
larger portion of the cost will be covered by resources internal
to the college and departments.
How was the five-year time span chosen? What
about the 3-year plans used at some peer institutions? What
factors led to the conclusion that a 5-year plan is sufficient
(especially given the 6-9 mo. cycle for massive leaps in computer
technology) at a tier-one research university? Do our peer
competitors like UNC-CH, UILL-CH-URB, UW-MAD, UC-BERK, UMICH
and UWASH follow 5-year cycles?
The five-year replacement was decided upon
after much discussion. It is not fixed in stone. With the
newly funded program in place, we will be assessing the wisdom
of this cycle and will make adjustments in the context of
other demands placed upon the University's budget. There is
wide variation across universities when it comes to computer-replacement
Have college info-tech specialists been consulted
about conditions in individual departments? Classics reports
that no new faculty computers have been acquired in three
years and that faculty hardware and software is woefully out
of date and cannot make use of anything like the latest instructional
technologies. This must be paralleled in other departments
and programs, at least in Liberal Arts.
Assessment of conditions within departments
is the responsibility of each dean's office.
Faculty Travel Grants to Professional Meetings:
The Faculty Travel Grant Program now offers faculty up to $325 per
year to present a scholarly paper at a regularly scheduled professional
meeting. This is less than half the amount the program offered in
the 1980's (when it was known as CAMLS). It is probably about a
third of what it was when one factors in inflation. Given the increased
costs of travel and lodging, the sum UT Austin offers is a serious
disincentive. Since the scholarly/professional activity of presenting
papers at regular professional meetings is *de rigeur* for tenure
and promotion and for maintaining the professional visibility and
ranking of academic programs, the University should not effectively
be forcing faculty to use their own limited salaries to perform
their basic work, nor should it be taxing already strapped departments
to use endowed funds to do so. What is being done about this in
the current budgetary planning?
Funding to assist faculty with travel to professional
meetings is part of the $1.5 million University Research Institute
(URI) budget. Currently $200,000 is allocated to the travel budget
with the balance going to the Faculty Research Assignment ($800K)
and Summer Research Assignment ($500K) budgets. These budget allocations
permit the University to provide limited support to faculty in three
important areas, but clearly they are not sufficient to meet all
of the demand. During past budget discussions, the Graduate School
has requested an increase in the URI budget, especially for the
high priority FRA and SRA programs, and I am confident they will
continue to do this. Unfortunately, the budget priorities of recent
years have not permitted an increase in these centrally managed
What are the total projected costs of the ongoing
administrative restructuring, including the salaries and benefits
of the three principal new positions and of the anticipated associate,
assistant and staff positions related to these new positions? How
does the reported $350K figure relate to the total costs?
In my letter in On Campus, I covered the issues
of cost as straightforwardly as I can at this relatively undeveloped
stage. Here is the relevant portion of that letter:
I am frequently asked whether this reorganization
will be costly. The answer is that there certainly will be nonrecurring
(one-time) costs, mainly in connection with the relocation of offices.
There may also be recurring (year-after-year) costs, although it
is difficult to predict exactly how large they might be. To a considerable
extent the plan rearranges reporting points, and there is little
or no expected recurring cost for that. In other cases, as in the
creation of the portfolio in information technology, there is a
consolidation of closely related functions. We will realize some
efficiencies in the course of doing that. Moreover, we should keep
in mind that this portfolio involves an area where expansion of
scale and effort is very likely, and it is important to establish
a structure that can accommodate it. In a third direction, as in
the creation of a portfolio for campus services, we are dividing
and providing a new structure for an already complex existing organization.
Not all of the organization required to oversee the new portfolio
will itself be new.
In any case, the total of recurring costs should
be quite small compared to the amount that we are committing to
any given segment of the recently announced academic initiatives,
especially the expansion of the faculty. It will be tiny compared
to the recurring funding committed to faculty and staff compensation
improvements next year alone. We do need to remember that this is
a university with an annual budget of $1.1 billion and an extremely
complex program of activities. It is false economy to preserve an
outdated administrative structure that cannot fully cope with our
current scope and that cannot position The University effectively
in a changing world. Such an administration will waste (or lose
opportunities to realize) more resources than reorganization to
a better structure will ever cost.
The figure of $350,000 is an estimate of recurring
cost that I made for American Statesman reporter Mary Ann Roser
when she asked for a "ballpark" idea. I think it is still a reasonable
range for the net recurring cost when all realignments are complete,
exclusive of the cost of expanding or improving existing programs
(e.g. for the maintenance of new buildings or responding to the
KPMG report on OHR) during the same time frame.
From Alan Cline (computer sciences):
Recently a Web site appeared that purported to provide
composite grades for UT courses. The site was plagued with errors but
apparently it did have many grades for many courses. Given that there
are situations (e.g. small classes) where the composite figures come very
close to disclosing individual grades, release of this information seems
to border on invasion of the privacy of students and faculty. Could you
tell us by what authority this information was released?
Reply from Provost Ekland-Olson::
In response to an open records request the University
provided grade distribution data for all organized classes for the period
Summer 98 through Fall 99 by individual course and professor. These summary
data are public information and we were required to release them. To avoid
the inadvertent release of grade information that might be associated
with a specific student, we did not release grade distribution data for
small classes. We used the Coordinating Board definition of small classes,
i.e. classes with fewer than 10 students for undergraduate courses and
fewer than 5 for graduate classes
In a follow up question, Cline asked if there is "no feeling
that this [the involvement of a lawyer in the UT System Office of General
Counsel] was a conflict of interest, seeing as John Cunningham, son of
the chancellor, had made this request?" Ohlendorf replied: "I don't even
know that the lawyers knew who made
the request, and under the Texas Public Information Act,
you cannot ask any reason why someone asks for information or even determine
who it is, or make any distinctions there. So, no, I don't believe there
was any conflict of interest."