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The minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of November 15, 1999, published below, are included in the Documents of the General Faculty for the information of the members.


John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty


November 15, 1999

The second meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 1999-2000 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, November 15, 1999, at 2:15 p.m.


Present: Christopher O. Adejumo, Urton L. Anderson, Neal E. Armstrong, Victor L. Arnold, Gerard H. Béhague, Richard A. Cherwitz, Richard L. Cleary, Alan K. Cline, Donald G. Davis, Patrick J. Davis, Robert A. Duke, John R. Durbin, Catharine H. Echols, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Parisa Fatehi, Larry R. Faulkner, Rachel T. Fouladi, Alan W. Friedman, Sara C. Galvan, James D. Garrison, Erayne N. Gee, John (Jack) C. Gilbert, Linda L. Golden, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Sue A. Greninger, Thomas A. Griffy, Tracy C. Hamilton, Barbara J. Harlow, Roderick P. Hart, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, Vance R. Holloway, Sharon H. Justice, Elizabeth L. Keating, J. Parker Lamb, Desmond F. Lawler, Steven W. Leslie, Brian P. Levack, William S. Livingston, Laura E. Luthy, Vincent A. Mariani, Gregory R. Murphy, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Eric C. Opiela, Alba A. Ortiz, Thomas G. Palaima, Bruce P. Palka, Randall M. Parker, Atisha G. Patel, Shelley M. Payne, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Elmira Popova, Robert A. Prentice, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Gretchen Ritter, Juan M. Sanchez, M. Michael Sharlot, Joel F. Sherzer, John E. St. Lawrence, Michael P. Starbird, Alexa M. Stuifbergen, Michael C. Tusa, James W. Vick, Lonnie H. Wagstaff, N. Bruce Walker.

Absent. Katherine M. Arens (excused), Efraim P. Armendariz, Joel W. Barlow, Phillip J. Barrish, Joseph J. Beaman, Harold W. Billings, William D. Carlson, Loftus C. Carson (excused), Michael B. Clement (excused), Jere Confrey (excused), Richard L. Corsi, Edwin Dorn, John S. Dzienkowski, G. Charles Franklin, G. Karl Galinsky (excused), Lawrence S. Graham (excused), Julie Hallmark (excused), Thomas M. Hatfield, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Kerry A. Kinney, Richard W. Lariviere, Michael L. Lauderdale (excused), Margaret N. Maxey, Robert G. May (excused), David A. Nancarrow (excused), Ana Cristina Pinto-Bailey (excused), Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Andrew M. Riggsby, Victoria Rodriguez, Charles A. Roeckle, Dolores Sands, Roberta I. Shaffer, Lawrence W. Speck, Ben G. Streetman, Teresa A. Sullivan (excused), Janice S. Todd (excused), Ellen A. Wartella, Barbara W. White (excused), Karin G. Wilkins (excused).

Voting Members:
Non-Voting Members:
Total Members:




The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of September 20, 1999 (D 67-75), were approved by voice vote.

This item was taken up after Item IX on the agenda.

A. Comments by the President.

Because of the number of questions submitted in advance, the president proceeded directly to the questions.

B. Questions to the President.

The first of six written questions originated with the Recreational Sports Committee, which would like faculty and staff to have the option of paying the rec sports fee as a payroll deduction. Vice President Ohlendorf said that the legislature must approve payroll deductions, and that the University is attempting to gain more flexibility in this area.

Chair Hilley raised several questions about the change of grade policy on the campus, and in particular expressed the hope that faculty members would receive written confirmation of any grade change made for their own students. The provost said he would discuss this with the deans.

Tom Palaima (classics) expressed concern about the state of computer support for faculty, pointing out that much of the hardware and software from the last big computer initiative is becoming outdated. The provost said that life cycle replacement was a priority with the administration, but finding the funds is not easy.

Patrick Davis (pharmacy) asked about possible implications for UT Austin of the Carnegie Foundation's intention to remove research funding from the formula for classifying universities. The president said he thought there would be no implications for us.

James Yates (educational administration) asked about the policy governing priorities for allocation of football tickets for the UT/OU and other high demand games. He said that many faculty, former lettermen, and students who would have received tickets for the UT/OU game in the past were left out this year. Vice President Ohlendorf discussed the problem, and said a new policy on priorities had been approved by the Men's Athletics Council on November 9, and would take effect with the Big 12 playoff game. Ohlendorf later provided the secretary with the newly approved policy, which follows:

Away Game and Postseason Orders for Games with Limited Ticket Availability.

In some situations the availability of tickets will not be sufficient to meet the number of tickets ordered by the First Priority Level of customers (members of the Longhorn Foundation). In these cases the department will take the following actions:

  • The department will announce that the availability of tickets will likely not meet the number requested by members of the Longhorn Foundation.
  • The department will set aside an allotment sufficient to fill the request received from football letterwinners who are football season ticket purchasers and members of the Longhorn Foundation. All requests will be limited to the number of season tickets these customers purchase, up to a maximum of four tickets.


  • The department will set aside an allotment of tickets to be used in a lottery draw for orders from voting faculty, Code 1000 employees, and non-donor football letter winners that are season ticket purchasers. These orders will be limited to the number of season tickets these customers purchase, up to a maximum of four tickets.
  • Stadium suiteholders are members of the Longhorn Foundation (First Priority Level). For games with limited ticket availability, these customers will be provided the following:

    27 seat suites – 6 best available tickets, and 6 other tickets.
    All other suites – 4 best available tickets, and 4 other tickets.

The last written question was raised by Mike Hall (history), who expressed concern about academic integrity on the campus, writing that "I myself believe that nothing could be higher among our educational priorities than the issues of character and tutelage involved here." The president said students on the Cabinet of College Councils had also raised this issue, and that it would be an item of further discussion.

In a question not submitted in writing, Jack Gilbert (chemistry and biochemistry) asked about projects for athletics listed in the recently approved Capital Improvement Plan. The president said that the CIP covers a six-year span, and that it covers items that might be proposed but have not been approved. He said that some of the items will prove to be feasible and some will not. He said that a new basketball practice facility on the grounds of the Erwin Center has a fairly high priority because of conflicts of basketball with other events at the Center. He said it had not been approved but would be funded by gifts if it is approved.


At the September Council meeting Chair Hilley reported that the UT System Faculty Advisory Council had made the following four recommendations regarding distance education:

1. All courses, course sequences, and programs of study developed by faculty of a particular academic unit, or presented to students of that unit, must gain the approval of, and be monitored by, the appropriate faculty curriculum committee(s) following the procedures that are standard at the university.
2. Further, all courses, course sequences, and programs of study developed by faculty from two or more universities must be approved and monitored by the appropriate curriculum committee(s) on each contributing campus.
3. Similarly, externally-developed courses, course sequences, and prog rams of study adopted by a University of Texas System component must be approved and monitored by the appropriate faculty curriculum committee(s).
4. Finally, courses, course sequences, and programs of study disseminated through the UT Telecampus for academic credit at a UT component must undergo the approval and monitoring procedures that are standard at the component.

Hilley reported that these recommendations had been given the stamp of approval from Mario Gonzalez, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Distance Education.

Hilley also reported that the Coordinating Board had appointed field of study committees for general business, interdisciplinary studies, and music. These are consequences of Senate Bill 148.




A. Proposal to Delegate Authority to Approve 1999-2000 Degree Candidates ( D 50) – John R. Durbin.

The item was approved by voice vote.


Recommendation from the Educational Policy Committee on Course Substitution and Waiver Policy for Students with Disabilities (D 38-40) – Robert A. Duke.

This recommendation was withdrawn by the committee pending clarification of items questioned in the meeting by Thomas Griffy (physics), John C. Gilbert (chemistry and biochemistry), Michael Starbird (mathematics), Dean Neikirk (electrical and computer engineering), Steve Monti (provost's office), and the secretary, relating first, to where and how a student would initiate a request for an accommodation concerning to a disability, and second, to what was meant by the student's chief academic officer in the context of the proposal.

C. Changes in Policies Concerning Grades Awarded with Credit by Examination (D 77-81) – Robert A. Duke.

Professor Duke began by reviewing the rationale given in D 77-81. Then, responding to a question from Gerard Béhague (music), Duke pointed out that some examinations used for credit by examination, such as those for AP credit and the SAT II, are not graded by UT faculty.

Students speaking against the proposal, or expressing reservations about it, were Parisa Fatehi (student government), Eric Opiela (student government), John St. Lawrence (graduate student assembly), Erayne Gee (cabinet of college councils), and Atisha Patel (student government). They argued that the proposal could have a negative impact on retention; that it would increase the demand for lower-division courses by students under pressure to attain a high gpa; that the current policy creates a cushion for students trying to adjust to the pressures of the University; that counting the grades motivates high school students to do well in advanced placement courses; and that some students are attracted to the University by the possibility of getting grades for that accomplishment. Tom Palaima (classics) expressed the belief that the current policy encourages independent action by students.

Speaking in favor of the proposal were Alan Friedman (English), who spoke in some detail about defects in the current system, John C. Gilbert (chemistry and biochemistry), Barbara Harlow (English), Gretchen Ritter (government), and Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (English). They argued, in particular, that it would put credit by examination on the same footing as transfer credit; that students have been able to decide whether to have a grade registered after knowing the grade from the examination, which is quite different from what happens with a course; that the current policy gives some students an unrealistically secure feeling about their academic progress; and that a single examination is not equivalent to taking a course.

Alan Cline (computer sciences) was concerned that no administrator had spoken on the proposal, and wondered if the Council was wasting its time by discussing it. President Faulkner assured


  Cline that the Council was not wasting its time, and that the different viewpoints deserved to be heard. Faulkner said that it is important to know why a policy is what it is, whatever that policy might be.

Desmond Lawler (civil engineering) suggested that perhaps transcripts should show all grades and indicate how each was earned, whether by coursework or examination or transfer. This could allow flexibility in how the grades were used, perhaps through the computation of different gpa's for different purposes.

In the end, the proposal was approved by voice vote.


Report from the Faculty Council ad hoc Committee on Course Instructor Surveys: Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness and Excellence (D 82-101) – Patricia A. Alvey.

Patricia Alvey (advertising) provided an overview of the final report from the Council's ad hoc Committee on Course Instructor Surveys. The details are available in the full report (D 82-101).

Sara Galvan (cabinet of college councils) spoke on behalf of students in thanking Professor Alvey and the committee for their work on the report.

In further discussion, Vincent Mariani (art and art history) expressed concern that students are not required to sign their written comments, saying that, among other things, signing them would be an act of respect. Alvey answered that research shows that more information is obtained with anonymous comments, and that this outweighs some of the undesirable aspects of unsigned forms.

Gerard Béhague (music) pointed out that the course instructor surveys generally apply to organized courses, and urged that consideration be given to other teaching responsibilities, such as conference courses, theses, and dissertations.

On a motion by Barbara Harlow (English), the Council accepted the report by voice vote.

[Remark by the secretary: After the meeting the report was forwarded to the provost. In addition, Chair Hilley referred the report to the Educational Policy Committee for its comments; this was partly in response to questions, raised after the meeting, about the confidentiality of students' written comments.]


The meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

Distributed through the Faculty Council web site ( on February 15, 2000. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.