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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES
OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 1999-2000

The standing committees of the General Faculty designated below have submitted their annual reports for the academic year 1999-2000, in accordance with a motion adopted by the University Council earlier and at President Berdahl’s request of February 17, 1995. These reports are being distributed for the information of the Faculty Council.

 


<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty


ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES
OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 1999-2000

The annual reports of the standing committees of the General Faculty for 1999-2000 received to date are reproduced below.

A. FACULTY AFFAIRS COMMITTEES

A-1 Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility

Committee Membership:

Alan Cline, computer sciences, chair
Janet Staiger, RTF, vice chair
Katherine Arens, Germanic studies
Neal Armstrong, civil engineering

Alan Friedman, English
Rachel Fouladi, educational psychology
G. Karl Galinsky, classics
H. Douglas Laycock, law
Melvin Oakes, physics

Meetings

The committee had three formal meetings: September 13, 1999, February 11, 2000, and February 21, 2000. Other business was discussed through electronic mail. The three principle topics of discussion were the post-tenure review policy, a "Compliance Brochure," and mid-probationary review of faculty.

Post-Tenure Review

A message (see appendix A (D 616)) was transmitted to the faculty regarding the procedures for post-tenure review. The message was nearly identical to that circulated by the committee the previous year, but it was discovered that there were differences between the post-tenure review policy as found in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) and in our two letters. These differences concerned the timing of communicating the results of an evaluation to a dean. In accordance with the role given to the committee as set out in the HOP in paragraph eight, we proposed that the HOP statement be amplified to reflect the original understanding.

Specifically we proposed that the statement in paragraph four, which read: "The chair of the department shall communicate the result of the evaluation in writing to the faculty member and to the dean for review and appropriate action in accordance with the UT System Guidelines for Periodic Evaluation of Tenured Faculty," be replaced with: "The chair of the department shall communicate the result of the evaluation in writing to the faculty member. Thereafter, the faculty member is to have an opportunity to respond before any recommendation is made from the department or school to the next administrative level for review and appropriate action in accordance with the UT System Guidelines for Periodic Evaluation of Tenured Faculty."


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Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson suggested that, instead of altering the HOP, a memo be sent to the deans clarifying the procedural steps. In that memo, the relevant text would be: "In the case of an unsatisfactory evaluation, the chair (or dean) shall provide the faculty member an opportunity to respond. The chair shall then communicate the results of all evaluations in writing to the dean for appropriate action and include any responses received from faculty members."

The committee found this satisfactory.

Compliance Brochure

The provost’s office requested the committee’s comments on a draft document "designed to highlight key obligations and provide useful information concerning everyday standards of conduct that will ensure that all employees follow relevant laws, regulations and policies." The draft is included as appendix B (D 617-619).

These were our comments:

A.
Outside employment. The document included the sentence: "Faculty are expected to engage in service or consulting appropriate to their discipline and for which they may receive payment." We wondered if the word "expected" might be misinterpreted and that the use of the "or" and "and" might cause confusion. We suggest the sentence read: "Faculty may engage in service and consulting appropriate to their discipline and for which they may receive payment."
B.
Use of state property. This paragraph allows for "incidental use of telephones, e-mail, and the Internet" but not for other incidental uses of offices and equipment. Given the allowance (perhaps even encouragement) of consulting in the "Outside employment" paragraph, we find this confusing and request that there be new language that widens the scope of "incidental use(s)."
C.
Intellectual property. The committee found the statement: "Generally, the work you do for the University belongs to the University. You must obtain permission to publish or disclose information." totally objectionable. A suggestion forwarded to the committee by Shelley Payne (microbiology) was that this language be replaced by: "Scholarly works are owned by their authors if the author is a professional, faculty member, a non-faculty researcher or a student. Their scholarly works do not have to be disclosed to or reviewed by the institution." The committee believed that this was an appropriate beginning to the paragraph, but that almost certainly the University would insist upon additional language that dealt with University rights to certain intellectual property. Cline was asked to consult with Lee Smith (associate vice president of administration and legal affairs) regarding the current status of the paragraph.
D.
Copyrighted materials. The committee felt the statement: "Although there are limited exceptions, as a general rule, you must obtain permission to use or copy materials you did not originate yourself." ignored any reference to "Fair Use" and thus was excessively strong. Cline was to contact Georgia Harper (UT System Office of General Counsel) regarding suggestions for better language.

The committee was informed that Lee Smith would be contacting us about the incorporation of our suggestions into the final document.

Mid-Probationary Review of Faculty

Reasons for formal mid-probationary reviews generally stress providing clear, productive, and informative guidance to a candidate during the probationary period toward tenure and promotion. Annual reviews are not usually adequate for giving candidates an overall assessment of their progress toward tenure. Additionally, cursory or uncritical mid-probationary reviews may not give candidates signals they need in time to make improvements. It was for these reasons that the primary recommendations of the UT System Committee on the Advancement of Women, fall 1996, included a recommendation that "each institution shall adopt a policy establishing a mandatory formal mid-probationary period review." Chancellor William H. Cunningham endorsed this recommendation in March 1997. Guidelines for such a policy were suggested, and the proposal from the committee follows those guidelines. It was presented for approval at the March 20, 2000, Faculty Council meeting. The proposal was approved in the following form:


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MID-PROBATIONARY REVIEW POLICY

Mid-Probationary Period Review of Assistant Professors

During the tenure-track probationary period, assistant professors shall receive a formal review. The purpose shall be developmental and advisory and is to provide feedback to the faculty member and the department regarding the faculty member's progress toward meeting the standards for promotion with tenure. The review should begin no later than the beginning of the fourth year of the probationary period and should be concluded in the semester in which it was begun. A favorable review should not be read by candidates as an implied assurance that tenure will be granted.

For the review, the faculty member's teaching, research, and service record will be evaluated. Evidence reviewed should parallel the categories and materials typically included in promotion and tenure files (see HOP 3.17).

The review shall be conducted by the department's budget council or an appropriate faculty committee which shall produce a written draft of its recommendations. The report should include appropriate recommendations to address problem areas.

The department chair will communicate the draft results of the budget council/committee's evaluations to the faculty member in a meeting with the faculty member and one other member of the budget council/committee chosen by the faculty member under review. The faculty member under review will have an opportunity to respond to the draft. After the meeting, the department chair and faculty member from the budget council/committee will inform the budget council/committee of the responses of the faculty member under review. The budget council/committee and the department chair will produce a final written version of their recommendations. The faculty member under review may provide a written response to the final written evaluation if he/she chooses. The department chair will communicate to the dean that the review has occurred.

The department must have a written document explaining the guidelines and procedures to be followed in the conduct of the review. The faculty member should be given this at the time of his/her initial appointment to a tenure-track position as well as updates as they occur.

Alan Kaylor Cline, chair

A-2 Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets

The Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets serves in an advisory capacity to the president and provost. Its charge is to review University budgets and make appropriate recommendations.

The committee met six times during the semester. All but the last meeting were directed to explanations of the budgetary process and discussions of budgetary priorities. The consensus of the committee was that for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2001, the primary budgetary objective should be to elevate faculty and staff compensation and graduate student financial assistance so that they are on par with those at peer institutions. Hence, we concurred with the administration’s proposal that, as a minimum, there should be the following increases:

Graduate student financial aid 10%

Staff salaries 6%

Faculty salaries 4%

In addition, we urged that priority be given to (1) reducing the student to faculty ratio and (2) upgrading classrooms, laboratories and other teaching facilities. These recommendations were set forth in a letter to Provost Ekland-Olson. Although the actual amount of available funds is not yet known and therefore budget allocations have not yet been made, the administration’s plans appear to be consistent with the committee’s recommendations.


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The final meeting of the year was devoted to a briefing by Johnnie Ray, vice president for development. Mr. Ray presented an overview of the capital campaign and the objectives and operations of the University Development Office.

Michael H. Granof, chair

A-3 Faculty Committee on Committees

Over the course of the 1999-2000 academic year, the Committee on Committees (CoC) met five times, on the dates September 13, November 4, January 18, March 24, and April 14.

At the September 13 organizational meeting, the CoC selected Bruce Palka to serve as its chair and Ted Gordon as its vice chair.

The November and January meetings were devoted to an item of business that had been held over from the 1998-1999 academic year; namely, the consideration of a motion made by Alan Friedman at the April 1999 meeting of the Faculty Council that called for the establishment of a new standing committee on academics and athletics. After lengthy discussion, the CoC decided not to recommend that such a committee be created. Instead, the committee brought to the Faculty Council at its March 2000 meeting a recommendation that an ad hoc Faculty Committee on Academics and Intercollegiate Athletics (FCAIA) be constituted in order to carry out the preparation of a vision plan for the future interrelation of academics and athletics on the UT Austin campus. A minority report from CoC members opposed to the formation of such a committee was attached to the recommendation. The motion to create the proposed FCAIA was defeated by a vote of the council.

During the early part of the spring 2000 semester, the CoC solicited nominations for individuals to serve on 2000-2001 standing committees of the General Faculty. The nominations were screened by the committee during its March and April meetings. At the latter meeting, CoC members agreed upon lists of nominees to fill vacancies in all standing committees in which openings for the 2000-2001 academic year are scheduled to arise. These lists were sent to President Faulkner on April 21.

No further business was referred to the CoC during the 1999-2000 academic year.

Bruce P. Palka, chair

A-4 Faculty Grievance Committee

Cases Handled/Ongoing

To date, the Faculty Grievance Committee has been involved with eleven cases, in five colleges, at either the informal or formal stages of the grievance process. These cases involve the following issues:

  • Termination of a tenured faculty member.
  • Denial of promotion and tenure.
  • Denial of promotion to full professor.
  • Salary disputes.
  • Vindictiveness/Retaliation/Discrimination.
  • Non-renewal of contracts.

Subcommittee on Grievance Policies and Procedures

The chair, Alba Ortiz (special education), named a subcommittee on grievance policies and procedures to work with President Larry Faulkner and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson to ensure that the grievance process is one in which both the faculty and the administration have full confidence. The subcommittee is chaired by Professor Julius (Jack) Getman (law), with Alba Ortiz, Alan Cline (computer sciences), Gretchen Ritter (government), and Janet Staiger (radio-television-film; immediate past chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee) serving as members. Among the issues which the committee is addressing with the administration are the following:


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1.
The role of the president in the grievance process (note: references to "the president" are to the position, not to President Larry Faulkner).
2.
How hearing panels are constituted.
3.
Legal counsel for the committee and for hearing panels.
4.
Increasing legalization of the grievance process.
5.
Due process.
6.
Faculty ombudsperson.

Role of the President. The president has determinative authority over the convening of hearings in cases involving promotion, tenure, and dismissal of tenure/tenure-track faculty and also represents the last appeal in such cases. For example, if a subcommittee of the grievance committee determines that a faculty member has stated a complaint upon which relief can be granted and approves the faculty member’s request for a hearing, the president must approve the hearing. If a hearing is held, the hearing panel reports its findings and recommendations to the president who approves, rejects, or amends the recommendations or may reach different conclusions based upon the record of the hearing. The president’s decision is final. The effect of this policy is that the president controls the grievance process at the initial and final stages. Faculty, then, have reason to question the impartiality of the process. The grievance subcommittee has asked President Faulkner to approve the following operating procedures:

  • The grievance committee will work with the president through the provost.
  • Consistent with the Regents Rules (chapter III, section 6.35), the provost will approve the grievance committee's recommendation that a hearing be conducted when the committee believes the faculty member has stated a claim upon which relief may be granted. This tacit approval is not to be construed to mean that the provost agrees with the committee's recommendation, but simply that the provost is honoring the request that a hearing panel be convened to hear the case.

Hearing Panels. The Handbook of Operating Procedures requires that hearing panel members be randomly drawn from the pool of hearing officers, but it also requires that the president approve the panel membership. The president can ask that representatives be removed or can require that certain expertise be represented on the panel (e.g., by not approving the panel until it includes the membership s/he wishes to have). The grievance subcommittee has asked President Faulkner to approve the following recommendation:

Hearing panels will be constituted according to the procedures described in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. Panels will be drawn at random from the pool of hearing officers and the panel will routinely be approved by the provost as drawn. In rare cases, if the provost and the chair of the grievance committee mutually agree that specific expertise must be represented on the panel, the panel will be drawn to ensure such representation. Alternates will also be drawn at random in instances when a panel member is challenged and voluntarily disqualifies himself or herself or when, after consultation with the grievance committee chair, the panel member decides that she or he cannot serve with fairness or objectivity.

Legal Counsel. Current policies allow the hearing panel to ask the dean of the law school or the president to provide legal counsel to the hearing panel. Having the administration’s legal counsel also act as counsel to the panel represents a potential conflict or an appearance of conflict of interest. We have thus asked the president to approve the following recommendation:

If legal counsel is needed by the grievance committee during the informal phase of the grievance process or is requested by a hearing panel, the chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee, working with the dean of the law school or the dean's designee, will request such counsel directly from the law school.

We are engaged in continuing discussions with Provost Ekland-Olson about the issues which follow.

Increased Legalization. We are concerned that legal tactics can be used to interfere with, or slow down, the efficient conduct of hearings and to create unreasonable burdens for the grievant. Such tactics reinforce perceptions of conflict of interest and that the grievance process does not serve the faculty well. Examples of


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these legal tactics include charging for discovery, claiming that documents are privileged and thus cannot be shared with the grievant, or denying the grievant access to tapes of hearings.

The chair has named a subcommittee to study the role of legal counsel in grievance matters. The Subcommittee on the Role of General Counsel is chaired by Jack Getman (law), with Alan Cline (computer sciences) and David Rabban (law) serving as members.

Due Process. The grievance committee strongly supports the recommendation passed by the Faculty Council calling for mid-probationary period reviews of tenure-track faculty and urges the administration to implement this recommendation as quickly as possible. Frequently, promotion and tenure grievances arise because faculty (a) do not receive systematic feedback about their progress toward promotion during their probationary period, or (b) receive positive annual reviews, but then are denied promotion. Formal mid-probationary period reviews can help alleviate these issues.

The Handbook of Operating Procedures is clear that faculty members cannot grieve because of a "good faith" dispute over the outcomes of the promotion and tenure process. They can grieve serious violations of the procedures which result in denial of due process. Consequently, faculty are increasingly grieving promotion and tenure decisions on procedural grounds. They grieve because they do not believe they received a fair, customary review by their department or college and that violations of procedures were intended to "stack the deck" against them. To avoid frivolous complaints, the grievance committee will work with the administration to develop operating guidelines as to what constitutes "substantive" or "egregious" violations of the promotion and tenure guidelines which would allow faculty members to grieve on procedural grounds.

We are also concerned about the increasing number of grievances which involve complaints charging vindictiveness/retaliation/discrimination on the part of administrators against faculty. Such complaints reinforce the need for a faculty ombudsperson.

Faculty Ombudsperson. The grievance committee supports the Faculty Council’s recommendation that the administration appoint a faculty ombudsperson. The committee recommends that the ombudsperson be a former grievance committee chair given these individuals' familiarity with the University’s policies and procedures and experience handling faculty complaints.

In the absence of a faculty ombudsperson, the grievance committee chair, by default, serves in this role. In addition to handling active cases, the chair is the point of contact for many faculty who simply seek advice as to how to handle problems they are experiencing in their department or college, for those who want to explore informally whether their problems are covered by the grievance process, and for those who want to understand how the process works in order to decide whether to file a grievance. Because of the excessive time commitments, it is increasingly difficult to find faculty willing to serve as vice chair of the committee; the vice chair becomes the chair the following year. The vice chair position is vacant at this time.

On May 8, 2000, the Faculty Council approved the grievance committee's recommendation that the chair of the grievance committee be given release time, 4.5 teaching load credits each year, until the position of ombudsperson is created and filled.

Past Chair

The past chair of the grievance committee serves an important advisory capacity to the current chair and to the committee. Moreover, the past chair typically continues to handle cases which were initiated, but not resolved, during his or her term of office. The grievance committee recommended that the past chair of the grievance committee serve as an ex-officio, voting member of the committee. On May 8, 2000, the Faculty Council approved this recommendation.


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On behalf of the grievance committee members who have so ably served the University community:

Mark Alpert (marketing administration)
Phillip Barrish (English)
Gerard Béhague (music)
Alan Cline (computer sciences)
Robert Duke (music)
Alan Friedman (English)
Julius Getman (law)
John Ivy (kinesiology and health education)
Robert Koons (philosophy)

Parker Lamb (mechanical engineering)
Joseph Malina (civil engineering)
Madeline Maxwell (communication studies)
David Nancarrow (theater and dance)
David Rabban (law)
Gretchen Ritter (government)
Stanley Roux (botany)
Dorothy van Soest (social work)
Kamala Visweswaran (anthropology)

Alba A. Ortiz, chair

A-5 Faculty Welfare Committee

The Faculty Welfare Committee was chaired by Elizabeth Richmond-Garza during the fall semester. Since Dr. Richmond-Garza was on leave in Russia during the spring semester, Sue Greninger served as chair. The committee met seven times to consider the following issues:

  • Status of lecturers.
  • Inclusive insurance benefits.
  • Health benefit problems.

I.   
Legislation referred to, or in preparation for, the Faculty Council.
On May 8, 2000, the Faculty Council unanimously passed the following recommendation proposed by the Faculty Welfare Committee:

That an annual survey of faculty and staff at The University of Texas at Austin 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 survey should be administered by an independent group of professionals within the University who are skilled in survey research design and implementation, such as the Office of Survey Research or other appropriate unit, with input and oversight from a faculty-staff advisory group. The findings of the survey should be reported on an annual basis to the Faculty Council, posted on the University's web site, and sent to The University of Texas System's Director of Employee Group Insurance. To assure that the survey is conducted in an ongoing and consistent manner that provides useful data, the president should allocate sufficient annual funding for the survey to the unit(s) within the University deemed best suited to conduct the survey, analyze the data, and disseminate the findings for the benefit of the entire University community.

This recommendation resulted from specific complaints and reports of dissatisfaction with healthcare benefits and claims processing that the committee had received from faculty members over the past few years. The committee was concerned about relying on anecdotal data in determining the extent to which these problems exist. Therefore, the committee felt that an annual data collection and dissemination system implemented by the University was needed to determine whether satisfaction levels were improving or deteriorating over time. The committee felt that the findings from such an ongoing survey would assist administrators, both at the University and System levels, to identify specific problem areas and to develop solutions to improve the delivery of services and information to faculty and staff. It was also felt that the findings could benefit employees in their selection, understanding, and utilization of healthcare benefits.

II.
Other reports to the Faculty Council – none.

III. Other action – none.


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IV. Topics discussed, but not acted upon.
Two topics were discussed at length, but no formal action was undertaken by the committee. These topics were the status of lecturers and the need for an inclusive policy regarding employee benefits.

A. Status of lecturers.
Some committee members were aware of concerns raised by the Faculty Women’s Organization regarding the status of lecturers and senior lecturers. Based on the preliminary survey of lecturers and senior lecturers conducted in 1997 by the Faculty Women’s Organization, it appeared that there might be a gender difference in terms of appointment to these ranks. Of the 86 respondents who had been at UT ten or more years, 37% were male and 63% were female. Response bias may have been a factor since a larger percentage of female than male lecturers responded to the survey.

Lack of job security/stability was the number one concern identified by the respondents. Difficulty in being considered for tenure-track positions, regulations and policies, and difficulty in being promoted from lecturer to senior lecturer were also identified as concerns. When asked what major problems most immediately needed to be addressed, lack of academic clout, lack of job security, competitive salaries, and teaching-load reduction were identified.

Based on this input as well as specific complaint letters received from lecturers, the Faculty Welfare Committee, under chair Richmond-Garza, sent an e-mail questionnaire to UT deans asking them to respond to four specific concerns and to provide data about their own unit’s non-tenure-track numbers. Also, the deans were asked to comment on the current discussion of multi-year contracts for long-term lecturers.

The four areas of concern were stated as follows:

  • Too high a number of women in adjunct positions.
  • Some senior lecturers have been raised to associate professors in the past.
  • Many lecturers are paid less than half-time and lose out on benefits.
  • Contracts come out late.

Eleven responses from the deans, or their representatives, were received and are summarized in appendix A (D 620-6222). Data were also secured from Institutional Studies which is attached in appendix B (D 623-626). Conclusions from the committee’s research are summarized below:

  1. Too high a number of women in adjunct positions.
    Since there were missing data from the colleges and schools, the committee used data from UT’s Office of Institutional Studies to address this question. In fall 1999, the Office of Institutional Studies reported that there were twelve more females than males in the overall non-tenure-track category (appendix B (D 623)). Lecturers were equally divided between males and females with 275 of each. In the visiting/adjunct/clinical faculty subcategory, there were four more males than females. The largest gender difference existed in the specialist subcategory where there were twice as many females as males, 31 and 15, respectively. Thus, the perception that a much larger proportion of females than males were employed in non-tenure-track positions here at UT was not substantiated for the overall University by these data.
            The data did reveal gender differences within some of the colleges and schools. Females outnumbered males by a fairly large margin in the following: education (50 to 30), library science (9 to 4), nursing (43 to 2), pharmacy (36 to 23), and social work (25 to 6). Males outnumbered females by a fairly large margin in the following: business (52 to 22), engineering (46 to 4), fine arts (29 to 17), law (43 to 28), and public affairs (7 to 2). Similar numbers of males to females existed in architecture (13 to 10), communications (20 to 15), liberal arts (47 to 65), and natural sciences (63 to 69). Some committee members felt that a number of the imbalances reflected traditional gender differences that have existed historically within various disciplines of study.
  2. Some senior lecturers have been raised to associate professors in the past.
    According to the information from the deans, senior lecturers have very rarely been promoted to associate professors. The University's current policy seems to be very clear to all deans: lecturers

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and senior lecturers wishing to become tenure-track must go through a traditional search process which is open to, and competitive with, other candidates for any position.
3.  
Many lecturers are paid less than half-time and lose out on benefits.
This perception was not substantiated by the deans’ survey. One respondent said that this practice was patently unethical if done on purpose and would not save anything since benefits on instructional budget appointments were not paid at the college or departmental level.
4.  
Contracts come out late.
This was true, especially when the University relays late budgets to the colleges and schools during the years when the state legislature is in session. However, this practice impacts tenure-track as well as non-tenure-track faculty. In addition, late contracts inevitably result when there are gaps to fill at the last minute because of deaths, sicknesses, late grant awards, etc. Some situations could be improved with more timely estimates of student demand for particular classes. 
B. Inclusive Insurance Benefits.
The Faculty Welfare Committee was asked, at the beginning of the academic year, to consider the issue of insurance benefits for unmarried partners of University employees. The request was that The University of Texas offer employees an opportunity to purchase health insurance benefits for unmarried partners. One rationale for offering such benefits was that it would allow the University to better compete in recruiting and retaining faculty and staff. It was reported to the committee that recent efforts to recruit specific candidates to the University were negatively affected by the lack of insurance benefits for unmarried partners. Lisa Moore (English) compiled and provided to the committee data on academic institutions and employers that offer insurance benefits for domestic partners as well as information on the potential costs of such benefits. Other nationally-ranked institutions offering such benefits include Michigan and Berkeley; Rice has recently instituted such a policy. Local employers providing such benefits include Travis County, Dell, IBM, and Apple. The cost was said to be minimal because the University would be offering an opportunity to purchase the benefits rather than offering them for free; estimates based on studies conducted at other institutions suggest a cost between 0.1% and 0.2% of the human resources budget. The committee requested additional documentation and citations regarding sources of the data. Additional documentation has since been developed by Lisa Moore, but the committee did not receive these materials before its last meeting of the current academic year. However, substantial groundwork has now been completed so that next year’s committee can move forward should it decide to do so.

V. Agenda recommended for next year.
The committee recommends that next year’s Faculty Welfare Committee consider doing the following:

A. Conduct a survey of non-tenure-track faculty members to determine what their needs and issues are. It is recommended that the Office of Institutional Studies’ classification system (lecturer, specialist, visiting/adjunct/clinical faculty) be used because it is possible that the subgroups experience different types of needs and issues. Although the information gathered this year from the deans was helpful, information is needed from the faculty members, especially those who have been employed at UT continuously for six or more years, before meaningful recommendations can be forwarded to the Faculty Council.
B.

Review proposal from Lisa Moore regarding inclusive insurance benefits; collect additional information, if needed, from peer institutions regarding their benefit offerings and costs with regard to unmarried partners.

C. Follow-up on recommendations that have been favorably acted upon by the Faculty Council which wereinitiated by previous Faculty Welfare Committees, including the Family Leave Policy and the Annual Health Benefits Satisfaction Survey of Faculty and Staff.

Sue Alexander Greninger, chair




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A-6 Rules Committee of the General Faculty

The Rules Committee (RC) had its first meeting of the year at 2:15 on September 13, 1999, in Main 213. Present were John Durbin (ex officio), Elmira Popova, and Robert Schmidt. Neal Armstrong had a conflicting meeting and Johnny Butler had only recently been appointed to the committee. Randall Parker was selected by those present to serve as chair. The RC then considered a proposal to change the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty Council, chapter iii, section d, paragraph 1, the fifth sentence: "The chair and the chair elect shall represent UT Austin on the UT System Faculty Advisory Council." to read: "The chair and the past chair shall represent UT Austin on the UT System Faculty Advisory Council." The RC approved this change.

In addition, the RC considered another proposal to change the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty Council, chapter III, section D, paragraph 5, subparagraph a to add the "past chair" as a member. The RC also approved this change.

At the September 20, 1999, Faculty Council meeting, these two recommendations were unanimously approved.

The second and final meeting of the RC was on April 6, 2000. Two items were discussed at this meeting. The items were addressed by Shelley Payne (chair of the Faculty Council for 1998-1999) in e-mail to David Huff (chair of the Rules Committee for 1998-1999).

Item I: "The Faculty Council Executive Committee has been contacted by two staff groups, the Staff Association and the Academic Counselors Association, concerning staff representation on the council. The Staff Association met and chose two representatives to the council (actually, only one should be chosen each year for a two year term), but it is not clear that the Staff Association should be the group choosing the representatives. I would like for the Rules Committee to meet and perhaps talk with representatives from these or other staff groups and propose legislation to establish a mechanism for selection of staff representatives on the council."

The second item was introduced at the April 19, 1999, meeting of the Faculty Council by Alan Friedman (English) and was referred to the Rules Committee by Shelley Payne.

Item II: A proposal that rules of the Faculty Council shall be revised as follows: "Any committee (either standing or ad hoc) that produces a report considered major by either the council or the committee shall, before submitting its final version, offer a draft of the report to members of the council and an opportunity for their input. The committee shall meet to address the responses it receives, and either incorporate them into its final report or include as part of its rationale a statement for not doing so."

Present at the April 6, 2000, meeting were John Durbin (ex officio), Robert Schmidt, Neal Armstrong, and Randall Parker (chair). Visitors attending to present information on Item 1 were Alice Andrews, academic advisor in the Department of Psychology, Jackie Dana (sociology) chair, ad hoc Committee for Staff Representation, and Margarita M. Arellano, associate dean of students. Copies of a proposal to amend the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty Council, and a proposal to amend The University of Texas Policy Memoranda 1.501, 1.502, 1.503 and to create a new Policy Memorandum, 1.504 (attached (D 627-633)) were circulated prior to the meeting.

A discussion ensued concerning adding two staff members as representatives to the Faculty Council and, in addition, adding staff representatives to all standing committees of the General Faculty. One issue was that there is no adequate mechanism for selecting a group of truly representative staff members. Allowing private staff organizations to nominate staff representatives to the Faculty Council was not viewed as ideal by the RC. A better mechanism must be developed.

Neil Armstrong presented a list of all standing committees and briefly discussed their functions. The RC members agreed that staff representation on some committees (particularly the "A" committees that deal with faculty matters) was not appropriate. It was further indicated that some committees (e.g., Parking and Traffic) already have considerable staff representation. The RC members agreed that the addition of staff members to any


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committee should be thoughtfully based on an expressed need and a clear rationale. For example, staff members may have special knowledge that would serve to assist a particular committee in its work. The RC recommended that next year’s RC survey the chairs of the standing committees to determine the need for staff representatives on their committees. Finally, it was suggested that staff leaders explore the viability of developing a Staff Council analogous to the Faculty Council.

The second item was also discussed at length. The consensus of the RC was that the recommended modification concerning committee reports was unnecessary and that the suggested change would needlessly impede committee work. Committee reports are advisory and do not create policy. Any policy change suggested in a report would have to be introduced, debated, and approved by the Faculty Council before it became policy. Faculty Council members taking exception to the policy change would have an opportunity to express their views at this point in the process.

Randall M. Parker, chair

A-7 University of Texas Press Advisory Committee

This is the 1999-2000 annual report to the Faculty Council concerning the standing university-wide committee, the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC), which works with the University of Texas Press. Ten faculty members were appointed to the FAC this academic year, including two Faculty Council appointees. The administrative advisor, an ex officio position on the committee, is Joanna Hitchcock, director of the University of Texas Press. In addition, a number of members of the UT Press staff attend FAC meetings. The acquisitions editors are present for approval of the book projects that they are sponsoring, while representatives of other departments of the press are there to supply information and answer questions. Members of the Press staff, including the director, participate in discussion but do not vote.

It has not proven practical to include student members on this particular committee. The reason is that we review highly confidential reports evaluating manuscripts at every meeting; in many cases, either the evaluator or the author whose work is being evaluated is a faculty member at The University of Texas.

During 1999-2000, the full FAC met approximately once a month in the Wardlaw Room at the Press. Because the work of acquisitions goes on year round, the FAC also meets during summer months; two meetings will take place during summer 2000. The FAC has approved forty-three projects for publication since the beginning of the academic year.

When only one or two book projects were being presented for approval, especially when there was some factor of urgency involved, the proposals were evaluated by the Executive Committee of the FAC; members included Naomi Lindstrom (chair), Victoria Rodríguez (associate chair), and Brian Levack. The meetings were mostly taken up with the principal assigned function of the committee, "to be responsible for approving all publications to bear the imprint of the Press." The committee members read the evaluations of manuscripts that the acquisitions editors were proposing for publication and voted to accept or reject the projects or, in some cases, to seek further evaluation.

During the period covered by this annual report, the Press continued to build its strength in such areas as regional titles (whether specifically Texas or, more broadly, the Southwest and especially Southwestern Latino/a culture) and Latin American studies, including Mesoamerican research. New acquisitions also occurred in other areas in which the Press has long offered titles, such as Middle Eastern studies, natural history, and film studies.

Another aspect of the FAC's mission is "to advise and assist the director in forming policy for the Press." Over the year, the director and other Press staff members often updated the FAC on the Press’s current fundraising campaign and discussed the direction it would take. An important goal is to establish major endowments to support publishing about the arts in Texas, the Southwest generally, and Latin America.


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An additional question that has been discussed in the FAC is the market to which the Press targets its offerings. Many books continue to be published primarily for academics. At the same time, the Press has been seeking out ways to reach audiences beyond academic readers. Amateurs concerned with natural history, such as bird-watchers, are one example of such readerships. In recent times, the Press has been reaching out into the larger Hispanic community in the effort to expand its audience.

Naomi Lindstrom, chair

B. STUDENT SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES COMMITTEES

B-1 Committee on Financial Aid to Students

This committee met six times from October 1999 to May 2000. Throughout the year the committee discussed a variety of issues regarding student financial aid. We have acted as a "sounding board" for the director of the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS), Dr. Lawrence "Larry" Burt, while he implemented and improved operations. At each meeting, a representative from the OSFS briefed the committee on various issues and projects that were undertaken and responded to questions concerning both. We have highlighted the issues in this report.

Student Indebtedness

A continuing problem is the extent of unmet financial need and borrowing (loans) by students. The amount of debt incurred by UT students now exceeds the national average. During the course of the year the committee discussed the projected increase which will inevitably lead to students having more difficulty in the future paying off their escalating loan amounts. Dr. Burt offered a few suggestions and plans for the future that we hope will be an effective tool in combating this problem. The Office of Student Financial Services is launching a default initiative of its own to investigate ways to alert students on a semester basis as to how much they will owe and the monthly payment upon graduation. It was suggested that having such information available on the web would be helpful.

Another contributing factor to student indebtedness is the State of Texas "slacker law" that charges out-of-state tuition costs to students who take too long to finish their degree programs. Appeals are extremely limited except for students under certain degree programs and under certain conditions.

Tuition Increase

Need-based grant funding will increase by $1.1 million per President Faulkner. This special additional allocation is in direct response to the substantial tuition and fee increase scheduled for fall 2000. Texas grant funding allocation will also increase, which will help to defray the increase in tuition and fees. The net effect will be that the neediest students will be protected from the fee increase. Needy graduate students will get their support elsewhere.

Texas Grant Program

The OSFS spent almost twice its original allocation of Texas grant money. The increase, due to other institutions not using all of their monies, was from approximately $700,000 to more than $1,300,000. The University of Texas at Austin used 17% of the entire state budget. This is another example of the resourcefulness of the OSFS staff.

Capital Campaign Fund

Dr. Burt sent a letter to President Larry Faulkner requesting that the Capital Campaign support students by providing scholarships and grants. Although the cost of attending UT is still not as high as most private schools and many public schools, the average debt of our students continues to increase. The letter stated that undergraduate students borrowed approximately $79,774,726 in financial aid loans in 1996-1997. In 1997-1998 that total was $83,026,000, a significant increase. Last year the committee wrote a letter to President Faulkner suggesting that a Capital Campaign endowment be created to address this student need. The same recommendation was presented to the past two presidents, Interim President Peter T. Flawn and President Robert


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Berdahl. The recommendation called for outlining the need to fund scholarships and grants. Funding for need-based scholarships is low on the list of the Capital Campaign priorities. The committee once again believed that it should have been a higher priority.

Graduate Student/Tuition Loans, Waivers, and Exemptions

The committee expressed concern about how the University could attract top-quality graduate students given the amount of fellowships available. The current system does not allow "competitive" awards in comparison to our peer institutions. As a result, UT graduate students incur a large amount of graduate student loan debt. However, it was noted that the Office of Student Financial Services does not award fellowships, teaching assistantships, and the like. All of the aforementioned is handled in the Office of Graduate Studies and the OSFS does not get involved in those awards or appointments. The cost for a graduate student is high and each department must absorb this cost. Legislative mandate states that a student must receive a $1,000 scholarship from the department in order to be eligible to receive a non-resident tuition exemption. Many departments cannot afford the $1,000 scholarship. Several committee members indicated that part of the problem is the dwindling supply of non-resident tuition waivers available to departments. It was explained to the committee that the state has put a 5% maximum on the number of tuition waivers that can be given out by each institution of higher learning. Institutional policy at the University has limited this amount because of the need to increase revenue. It was suggested that fundraising efforts may be an avenue to expand the use of these tuition exemptions. It was also confirmed that there is no equivalent for the Pell Grant for graduate students. In the end, it was suggested that graduate student aid could be an issue for future committee members to pursue.

Decreased Meeting Dates

Committee members noted that one of the original objectives of the Financial Aid to Students Committee was to monitor complaints by students and try to respond to those complaints or tackle other issues. In the past few years such complaints have dramatically decreased or have become so isolated that there was no action needed from the committee. We congratulated the OSFS on its dramatic improvement in servicing students. It was suggested that this committee should meet only twice a year or once a semester to check on the operations of the office and award the Ron Brown Scholarship. Every committee member concurred with this suggestion.

Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship (LOS)

The committee discussed the new scholarship that was implemented in the fall semester of 1999. The scholarship is offered to students from high schools that historically sent very few graduates to UT. Most of the recipients are from inner city schools in urban areas of Texas. The scholarship provides $4,000 a year for four years. The schools that qualify have a high minority enrollment (African American and Hispanic). Support services for recipients of the LOS were coordinated by the Office of Admissions, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Office of the Dean of Students, and OSFS. Students were placed in one of the following programs: Preview, Gateway, ACE, or a Freshman Interest Group (FIG). The retention services area of the Office of the Dean of Students coordinates the first three programs listed. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs coordinates the FIG. These programs provided the academic support necessary for the academic success of students. Minority enrollment was still an issue to the committee. Nevertheless, minority enrollment has improved as a direct result of the inception of the Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship and the continuation of the President's Achievement Scholarship. There has been good response, but it was noted that mentoring programs could still be a problem if the program was expanded. In the fall of 2000, all LOS recipients will be placed in a new academic program housed in the Office of the Provost. This unnamed program will support all LOS high school students. It was noted that problems could be significant if students are not retained. This could hinder future recruiting efforts.

Ron Brown Scholarships

The children of UT System faculty and staff were encouraged to apply for the Ronald M. and Marilou D. Brown Endowed Scholarship named in honor of the former vice president for student affairs and his wife. The scholarship is awarded only to full-time undergraduate students (including freshmen and transfer students) who are the offspring of regular, retired, or deceased full-time UT System faculty or staff. The annual income from the endowment, estimated at $6,000, will be used for six to seven annual awards and alternates.


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The committee evaluated the applicants for the Ron Brown Scholarship in May.

The recipients are:
Farnell Akinbala
Sarah Grice
Jacob Mackey
Teresa Ramirez
Daylen Chinique
Rebecca Kaiser
Eve McCulloch

3 alternates:Karen Morris 1st alternate
Kathryn Turner 2nd alternate
Julie Garcia 3rd alternate

Martin E. Chapa, chair

B-2 Recreational Sports Committee

The Recreational Sports Committee is charged with advising on matters of policy, providing input on facility construction and expansion, hearing appeals from various councils, and promulgating regulations for participation in non-student programs. The committee met eight times during the fall and spring semesters of 1999-2000.

In the area of facility construction and expansion, the committee participated in a discussion of the construction and programming for the Gregory Gym Aquatics Complex. Design and construction of that facility is planned to begin in the upcoming months. A discussion of the location of basketball courts to replace those originally located at Clark Field occurred with the decision to relocate in parking lot 48. On another topic, committee members discussed the impact to recreational sports of the potential closure of Speedway to vehicular traffic.

The committee once again expressed its support for the development of methods to maintain affordability for faculty and staff membership in recreational sports. To accomplish this goal, the committee forwarded a letter to President Larry Faulkner encouraging support of payroll deduction as a method of payment for membership, and the development of a matching program whereby the University would provide a source of funding to offset the cost of individual membership. It should be noted that the committee felt that, at a time when the University finds itself challenged by a variety of employment and compensation issues, developing methods to provide this popular service in a more affordable way would have a strong, positive impact on the campus environment. In addition to forwarding this information to the president, resolutions supporting these concepts were forwarded to the Faculty Council to gain its support.

The committee reviewed and provided direction to the Division of Recreational Sports concerning its budget request for FY 2000-2001. After discussion, the recreational sports budget, non-student membership fee schedules, and facility use fee schedules gained the committee’s support as they moved through administrative channels.

The committee was involved in hearing appeals on three different occasions, two forwarded from the Intramural Council and another from the Sports Club Council. After hearing testimony, the committee made a ruling in each case. The ruling of the committee is the final appellate hearing for those appeals.

The committee was favorably impressed with the role that recreational sports programs and services provide to the University in developing a sense of community and in offering a wide variety of student development opportunities.

John W. Brokaw, chair

B-3 Committee on Student Affairs

On behalf of the Committee and its chair, Mia Carter, I am submitting the following brief report:


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Several new projects or recent gains in well-established programs are worthy of mention when assessing the state of student affairs at The University of Texas at Austin over the 1999-2000 academic year.

Retention Data:

All first-time, full-time freshmen returning after year 1:
1996: 87.9%
1997: 88.0
1998: 89.3

Black first-time, full-time freshmen:
1996: 86.0%
1997: 88.8
1998: 94.9

Hispanic first-time, full-time freshmen:
1996: 84.2%
1997: 84.9
1998: 85.8

Though retention for all of these groups has improved, the rates that have increased the most sharply are those for African American students.

Admissions:

1450 students have enrolled in this summer’s Provisional Program, the largest group ever. The increase in the number of provisional offers and enrollees has led to plans for modification of the Provisional Program for summer 2001; it is clear that we will have to limit access to the summer Provisional Program. One possibility being considered is to offer those students denied the program the option of completing a full year of prescribed work at UT Arlington with the assurance that a gpa of 3.0 will guarantee transfer admission.

Overall, UT received a total of 21,121 freshman applications for fall 2000.

FIGs:

The Freshman Interest Group (FIG) Program expanded to 52 sections and 1,000 students in the fall of 1999 and will more than double to 108 FIGs and 2,000 students in fall 2000, with participation from all ten undergraduate colleges. Our program is now larger than similar programs at other institutions, though we have been doing it for only three years. Soon to be added are spring semester FIGs.

Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship

Last year, 49 underrepresented schools were identified as primary targets for stepped-up recruiting efforts. From those Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship high schools, 146 students enrolled at UT in the fall of 1999. The average gpa of those students upon completion of their first semester was 2.99. LOS students who enrolled through the Gateway Program (95 of the 146) did even better, with a 3.10 average gpa.

New Residence Hall

We begin moving into the new residence hall on Clarke Field this fall, even before the construction is finished. Of the total completed capacity of 860 beds, 460 will be occupied when school starts on August 30, 2000. The remaining 400 are due by November 15 and will already be promised to students who have completed contracts in anticipation of moving in.

Outdoor pool project

Legislation passed during the 76th Legislature authorizing the Board of Regents to charge each student a fee for renovation of the Gregory Gymnasium indoor pool facility and for constructing, operating, and maintaining an outdoor aquatics center at the Gregory Gymnasium Complex. Architect selection and final negotiations are underway. Design and construction are projected to commence during summer 2000 and to take 22 months. The opening of the outdoor aquatics complex is projected for March 2002 with the goal of opening the renovated indoor facility prior to that date.


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e-University Portal

A widely cooperative initiative between Academic and Administrative Computing, Office of the Registrar, and others, the portal will bring together disparate units on campus to create a more efficient electronic community. Key features will include class web sites with chat groups, a personalizable calendar, unified degree planning, library services, and all of the other services that are currently represented on the web: financial aid, applications and information for on-campus housing and admission, and access to grades, for example.

Submitted by James Vick on behalf of Mia Carter, chair

C. INSTITUTIONAL POLICY OR GOVERNANCE COMMITTEES

C-1 Admissions and Registration Committee

The committee met three times this year primarily to hear reports from Dr. Bruce Walker, associate vice president for student affairs and director of admissions.

At its last meeting on May 15, 2000, the committee was briefed by Dr. Walker in his capacity as director of admissions and chair of the Top 10% Committee. After Dr. Walker presented the work of the Top 10% Committee, the Admissions and Registration Committee voted to endorse two of the committee's recommendations. Those recommendations follow:

  1. When any college or major reaches the point where 80% of the available spaces are being filled by students who qualify through HB 588, the college or major may elect to restrict admission of the top 10% students.
  2. If the college or major decides to restrict admission, then the following policy will be put in place:

The dean, in consultation with the provost, will determine the exact number of new freshmen that can be admitted for the year in question. Seventy-five percent of this number will be automatically admitted under HB 488. The students with the highest class ranks will be admitted first, until the spaces are filled or until all top 10% students have been accommodated. The college or major will fill the remaining 25% of the spaces using both the academic index and the personal achievement index, as normally used by the Office of Admissions when making admission decisions.

The Admissions and Registration Committee also supported two proposals offered by Dr. Walker. Both are still in the planning stages at the presidential level and require administrative and regents approval before they can be implemented. The two proposals include:

  1. Limiting provisional admissions to approximately 600 students each year.
  2. Supporting a pilot program with The University of Texas at Arlington. The pilot program, if approved, calls for the remaining applicants in the freshman pool at UT Austin to be offered admission to UT Arlington with the understanding that if the students complete a required curriculum with a prescribed gpa, these students can transfer to UT Austin after a freshman year at UT Arlington.

Finally, the committee agreed that it would support the centralization of honors applications in one office and that the various directors would be notified of this action during the summer.

J. Michael Quinn, chair

C-2 Calendar Committee

Committee Members. Catharine Echols, chair (psychology), Ronald Barr (mechanical engineering), Diana DiNitto (social work), Colleen Fairbanks (curriculum and instruction), Vincent Mariani (art history), Andrew Riggsby (classics), Jack Robertson (accounting), Atisha Patel (student), Robyn Rosen (student), Carol Holmgreen (administrative advisor, Office of the Registrar).


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Meetings. After the initial convening meeting, the committee met twice, once on November 5, 1999, and a second time on December 7, 1999. At the first of these meetings, the committee was joined by Eric Opiela, student government vice president, who presented a recommendation from the Student Assembly calling for the establishment of "dead days" during the summer session. Susana Alemán, assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Law, also attended to discuss possible changes in the law school calendar. At the second meeting, the committee was joined by representatives from the College of Liberal Arts, Housing and Food Services, and the Dean of Students who were invited to discuss constraints on the summer schedule that could affect feasibility of summer dead days.

Summer Dead Days Proposal. At the September meeting of the Faculty Council, the Calendar Committee was charged with evaluating the Recommendation from Student Assembly for Establishment of a Summer Dead Day. Specifically, the proposal called for adding one no-class day immediately prior to the final exam period of each of the six-week summer sessions and, if possible, of the nine week summer session. The goal of the proposed change was to provide students with additional time to study for final exams; "dead days" presently are included for this purpose in the calendars for the fall and spring semesters.

The membership of the Calendar Committee was highly sympathetic to the request for summer dead days. At the November 5 meeting, however, a number of possible scheduling constraints were raised that could restrict the feasibility of adding days to the summer schedule. Possible constraints restricting the beginning dates of the summer session included (a) high school ending and graduation dates, which tend to be in late May or early June; (b) the University’s ability to provide housing and other services to participants in the Special Olympics; (c) the need for time following the close of the spring semester for deans’ offices to review appeals of academic dismissal; and (d) Housing and Food Services’ need for time to clean dorm rooms to make them available for summer students. There did not appear to be time to add days at the end of the summer session because, as it is, dorms are reopening for early arrivals the same day they close and various fall semester activities are beginning while the second summer session is concluding. The discussion of various constraints affecting the beginning dates of summer sessions suggested that additional information was needed from the affected entities within and outside of the University before a decision could be made regarding the introduction of additional days into the schedule.

At the December 7 meeting, Mary Duncan and Sean Stevens from the College of Liberal Arts discussed constraints imposed by scholastic appeals and the summer provisional students program, Mary Beth Mercatoris from the Dean of Students discussed constraints imposed by the summer orientation program, and Kathy Hatcher and Sarah Kay from Housing and Food Services discussed constraints imposed by their services. In addition, Carol Holmgreen had produced projected calendars for each of the academic years through 2010 that included summer dead days. Additional information regarding past and projected high school graduation dates also was presented.

Several problems were identified in the projected calendars, including (a) summer registration would begin in May most years, which could create difficulties for students entering from high school; (b) in many years, orientation might have to overlap with registration; (c) in a few cases, summer dead days could be added only by beginning the spring semester earlier, with the result that only one or two work days would be available before the beginning of the spring semester for orientations and scholastic appeals; a later beginning date would result in only three days between commencement and the summer session. Information on high school ending and graduation dates was limited (many districts reported that they did not have this information readily available for other than the current year); the data that were available suggested ending dates in the third and fourth weeks of May, with some graduation dates extending into early June.

With the summer provisional program, a primary concern was the ability to notify students sufficiently early that they can arrange to attend other schools if they do not meet the criteria for continuation at The University of Texas; as it is, arrangements have been made to end the required math and English courses early to permit early submission of grades. However, notification would not be affected if the extra days were added at the beginning rather than at the end of the summer session. Additional concerns were raised about giving this group of


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students, who already are at a disadvantage, even less time for transition from high school to the University and limiting their orientation time.

The representatives from Housing and Food Services suggested that one of the biggest problems for them would be maintenance projects that require closure of facilities; efforts are made to do these projects during holiday periods, but the windows for doing such projects are getting increasingly restricted. The likelihood of increased housing costs to the students, due to the addition of 3-5 days of dormitory operation, was mentioned. Concerns were also raised about making staff available for the summer provisional students: it would be necessary to move staff around to prepare for this group, and the training of resident assistants and other staff would become even more compressed than it is at present; even now the residence halls are being opened for the summer while staff are being trained.

The most intractable problems revolved around summer orientation and, specifically, the registration component of summer orientation. During their summer orientations, incoming freshman meet with advisors and register for their fall courses. Due to limitations on the University’s facilities, staff, and computer resources, this registration process cannot occur while new and continuing students are registering for their summer classes. Consequently, the registration component of the freshman orientation cannot begin until after the close of summer session registration for the first summer session, and it cannot occur during registration for the second summer session. Furthermore, all of the freshman orientation sessions must be completed by about July 15 to permit fee bills to be generated sufficiently early that students can receive the bills and pay them before the beginning of the fall semester. Additional constraints on the beginning dates of summer registration are imposed by high school graduation dates; additional constraints on the ending dates include the Honors Colloquium and Camp Texas, both of which use many of the same staff who assist with the summer orientation programs. However, it is the registration constraints that appeared to be most difficult to resolve. Mary Beth Mercatoris of the Dean of Students office noted that adding two days to the summer schedule would, for all but one of the projected calendars, make it impossible to schedule the required number of orientation sessions. Committee members explored a number of possible solutions, but ultimately concurred with Ms. Mercatoris’ assessment.

It should be noted that the impact of adding two no-class days to the summer schedule may extend beyond two days because many of the activities scheduled during the summer require blocks of three or four days. For example, freshman orientation sessions require four days. Annual variation in the timing of particular holidays further complicates the scheduling. Due to the requirement for blocks of days, the addition of two days to the summer session could, in some years, result in a need to begin the first session up to a full week earlier.

One additional issue that was raised was the question of the need for summer dead days. Although it seems reasonable to expect that summer dead days would be useful to students, no one present at the meeting was aware of any evidence that might support this assumption. Given the disruption that summer dead days would cause, including disruptions that might have negative impacts on students (e.g., due to reduced time between the completion of high school and entrance into the University, compression of orientation schedules, inadequate advising for registration), it would be valuable to have evidence that the addition of these days would be advantageous to students (though committee members acknowledged that it may be difficult to obtain direct evidence of such advantages, particularly given that other Big Twelve universities and other Texas universities do not have summer dead days, and committee members were not aware of any universities that do have them).

Summary and Recommendation on the Summer Dead Days Proposal. Although the Calendar Committee supports the principle of summer dead days, a review of the various constraints on the summer schedule indicates that the introduction of summer dead days is not feasible at this time. Consequently, the Calendar Committee does not recommend that the Faculty Council support the Recommendation from Student Assembly for Establishment of a Summer Dead Day. The committee recommends that the issue of summer dead days be reconsidered if barriers change, for example if additional computer resources became available that permit fall registration for incoming freshman and summer registration for continuing students to occur concurrently. Furthermore, the committee suggests that the issue be reexamined if compelling evidence is provided that summer dead days will be of significant benefit to students.


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Approval of 2001-2002 Calendar. The committee reviewed the proposed calendar for the long session 2001-2002 and the summer session 2002. No problems were identified. Consequently, the Calendar Committee recommends approval of the proposed 2001-2002 calendar.

Catharine Echols, chair

C-3 Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee

The Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee has nothing new to report. The subcommittee has met and has made no important changes. As usual, the chairman asked for names to be included in the list of future commencement speakers. These were forthcoming.

The list of marshals was completed and the marshals agreed to accept the charge.

R. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, chair

C-4 Educational Policy Committee

The Educational Policy Committee considered the following issues during the 1999-2000 academic year.

Items continued from the previous year:

• Course Substitution and Waiver Policies for Students with Disabilities.
• Changes in Policies Concerning Grades Awarded with Credit by Examination.
• Concurrent Enrollment Policies.

New items brought to the committee during the current year:

• Catalog Change for Reservation of Work for Graduate Credit.
• Addition of a Computer Competency Requirement to the Basic Education Requirement.
• Report of the ad hoc Committee on Course-Instructor Surveys.
• Changes in the UT Austin Residency Requirement.

Items in a preliminary discussion stage:

• Potential Impacts of Distance Learning.

Each of the items listed above, except the last, is discussed individually below:

Course Substitution and Waiver Policies for Students with Disabilities

The committee had forwarded a recommendation on this issue to the Faculty Council in 1999, which Robert A. Duke (music) presented to the council on September 20, 1999. Consideration of the item was delayed until the October 18, 1999, meeting (which was cancelled). Questions arose at the November 15, 1999, meeting that resulted in the question being sent back to the Educational Policy Committee. This item has been reworked by the committee and is awaiting review by James Yates, one of the original authors of the proposed policy change.

Changes in Policies Concerning Grades Awarded with Credit by Examination

This was forwarded to the Faculty Council and was presented at the November 15, 1999, meeting by Robert A. Duke. The proposal is that grades awarded through credit by examination not be considered in computing the student's UT grade point average. The topic was debated, with some students expressing reservations. Several faculty spoke in favor of the proposal. In the end, the proposal was approved by voice vote.

Concurrent Enrollment Policies

The committee reviewed concurrent enrollment policies and forwarded a recommendation to the student deans' group through committee member Urton Anderson (associate dean, College of Business Administration). The


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student deans developed a procedure for handling concurrent enrollment. The issue did not come back to the committee.

Catalog Change for Reservation of Work for Graduate Credit

A proposal from the Graduate school concerning reservation of work for graduate credit was sent to the committee for consideration. Although primarily a graduate matter, the proposal involves undergraduate students and hence committee consideration was appropriate. The proposal loosened the requirements for reservation of work for graduate credit by undergraduates. The committee agreed that on the whole, the proposal was an improvement over current practice, but did not think that the student's undergraduate advisor should be ignorant of the student's graduate level course load. The committee asked that the student's undergraduate advisor be added to the approval list. The graduate school agreed.

Addition of a Computer Competency Requirement to the Basic Education Requirement

The committee forwarded a recommendation to add a computer competency requirement to the basic education requirement to the Faculty Council. This recommendation was presented by Urton Anderson at the March 20, 2000, meeting of the Faculty Council. In its response to the accreditation report prepared by UT during 1996-1998, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 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."

The Council approved the recommendation.

Review of Proposed Changes in Course Instructor Surveys

The committee was asked to review the report of the ad hoc Committee on Course Instructor Surveys. The committee reviewed the report and forwarded recommendations to the Faculty Council in time for its May 8 meeting. The recommendations focused on four areas. It was recommended that (1) all classes be surveyed every semester using either the basic CIS form or one of the expanded CIS forms, (2) that colleges and faculty be encouraged to use other methods of evaluation in addition to the basic CIS form or one of the expanded CIS forms, (3) that materials be prepared to assist students in understanding the importance of giving helpful feedback and understanding how to read the results of the surveys, and (4) that the privacy of both students and faculty must be respected and preserved in the evaluation process. With some discussion and clarification, the recommendations were passed by the Faculty Council.

Proposed Changes in the UT Austin Residency Requirement

At the March 20, 2000, meeting of the Faculty Council, the Educational Policy Committee 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.

The impact of the policy change on transfer students was discussed, as was the section dealing with credit for study abroad programs. The increased number of credit hours to be taken at UT Austin was a concern for some present. Questions arose concerning the residency requirements at other universities. In the end, the proposal was referred back to the committee for further consideration.

At its meeting on April 19, 2000, Urton Anderson discussed residency requirements at other universities (Harvard, Penn State, Yale, Berkeley, Michigan, Texas A&M, Southwest Texas, Indiana University - Business, Indiana University - Arts & Sciences). Information on residency requirements at additional schools is being sought. However, the initial impression is that UT Austin's residency requirement is among the most liberal (easiest to satisfy) of any of the institutions studied.


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The committee concluded that this issue requires more study and that its implications with respect to distance courses and study abroad need to be clarified. Any new residency requirement must (1) protect the quality and integrity of degrees from UT Austin, (2) allow UT Austin students to take advantage of unique study opportunities (study abroad, inter-institutional programs, etc.), and (3) ensure that all who receive degrees from UT Austin are sufficiently exposed to the core values of the institution.

The Educational Policy Committee concludes that this issue is of tremendous importance to UT Austin and should be a primary focus of the work of the committee in the next academic year.

Wallace T. Fowler, chair

C-5 Faculty Building Advisory Committee

No report submitted.

Austin Gleeson, chair

C-6 International Programs and Studies Committee

By way of explanation, the International Programs and Studies Committee is asked to advise the Faculty Council and the associate vice president for international programs on policies and procedures related to international programs at the University. Due to the appointment of Richard Lariviere as dean of the College of Liberal Arts, during much of the past year we have been without an associate vice president for international programs. As such, the focus of our committee has been limited. The new associate vice president for international programs, Professor Larry Graham, will officially begin his new position in the summer, but we have already met with him to discuss a number of issues related to international programs.

This report centers on a document that was released in March 2000 by the College of Liberal Arts entitled, "Guidelines for Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs." These guidelines were created to help in the development of summer faculty-led programs so that faculty might understand some of the procedures and policies that affect such programs. The development of the program guidelines was initially requested in 1997 by Sheldon Ekland-Olson, who at that time was dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Richard Lariviere, in his role as the associate vice president for international programs. Various members of the faculty helped write the initial guidelines and Assistant Dean Barbara Myers supervised the revision that was finished in March.

The guidelines are specifically focused on faculty-led programs and do not apply to reciprocal exchange or affiliated programs. The guidelines provide ideas regarding financial issues, promotion and recruitment, student orientations, faculty responsibilities, and sample documents, forms, and articles that are helpful for both those who have existing faculty-led programs and those who are looking into the possibility of creating faculty-led programs. The issue at hand for our committee was to consider whether this extremely helpful and useful document, created by and for the College of Liberal Arts, should be expanded beyond the College of Liberal Arts and serve as a guide for faculty-led program at the University level. Based on conversations among committee members, conversations with representatives of the International Office, Study Abroad unit, and in consultation with Dean Myers, the committee's recommendations are as follows:

  1. That the scope of the "Guidelines for Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs" be expanded beyond the College of Liberal Arts to apply to all faculty-led programs at the University;
  2. That the responsibility for the revisions and updates of the guidelines be given to the International Office, Study Abroad unit;
  3. That the Study Abroad Office take on the responsibility of dissemination of the materials, both in paper and electronic formats;
  4. That the Study Abroad Office continue to utilize the study abroad committees of the various colleges and the expertise of those involved in these programs to help with the development of these documents;


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  1. That future revisions include an expanded section of issues related to the legal obligations and liability of the faculty members who are involved in the programs;
  2. That future revisions contain general sections that apply to all programs and separate sections that are unique to each college.

Justification of the recommendations

Initial conversations with Dean Myers helped to identify some of the reasons why it might be appropriate to expand the scope of the document beyond the College of Liberal Arts. Most of all, the document was created initially to answer the need for The University of Texas at Austin to fulfill its international mission. Given that the College of Liberal Arts has more faculty-led programs than any other college, it was a logical place to start. The intent was always to expand the guidelines, but that is beyond the role of the College of Liberal Arts. As to updates and revisions, the College of Liberal Arts would be happy to see some other groups take on that responsibility, given of course the opportunity to provide expertise and assistance. We also talked with Jerry Wilcox, director of the International Office, and he expressed willingness to take on the role of expanding, revising, and disseminating the guidelines in the future. Everyone on our committee agrees that the guidelines are excellent and that the College of Liberal Arts should be congratulated for having prepared these materials.

Orlando R. Kelm, chair

C-7 Library Committee

The University Library Committee (ULC) serves a number of functions, especially to advise the president of the University, the director of the General Libraries, and the Faculty Council about library finances, services, collections, policies, and procedures. There are eight members of the general faculty and seven students (both undergraduate and graduate) on the committee, which is advised by the director of the General Libraries as well as other senior administrative library staff members.

The committee met five times in the fall and spring semesters, with substantial discussions online as well. Among the major topics considered by the committee were the raising of UT staff salaries and its implications for library expenditures, funding for a third year from the University regents for one million dollars for UT Austin resources to be shared with other System campuses, continuing support for the General Libraries’ digital initiatives, and University-wide fee increases for library and ITAC support (discussion led by Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies Terry Sullivan).

The bulk of the committee’s work this year, however, has been with questions related to the length of library loan periods, especially for graduate students. This topic was recommended to the committee by last year’s committee and by Vice President Sullivan, as well as by the graduate student members of the current committee.

We appointed a subcommittee consisting of one faculty member and two students, advised by senior library administrators, to consider questions related to:

  1. The actual use of hold, recall, circulation, and other library services by faculty, classified staff, professional staff, and students at UT Austin.
  2. Loan periods at peer institutions.
  3. Possible effects of changes in loan periods for library work load and work flow.
  4. Other topics as appropriate.

This subcommittee, after a series of data collection and analysis activities, face-to-face meetings, and online discussions, made five recommendations to the committee, with strategies for achieving these goals (see appendix A (D 634-635)):

  1. Make recall and hold services more widely known to users.
  2. Extend checkout privileges to all non-enrolled but continuing students in the summer.
  3. Discontinue mail renewal for faculty and professional staff by spring 2001, relying on renewal through UTNetCAT.
  4. Extend the loan period for graduate students to one semester to match that of faculty and professional staff.


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  1. Establish a continuing subcommittee of the University Library Committee to review loan periods and borrowers’ privileges.

Two faculty members and one student expressed reservations about the recommendations, while the rest of the committee strongly supported the subcommittee’s conclusions. The two elements of the subcommittee report that drew this criticism related to increasing graduate student loan periods to one semester and the phase out of paper mail renewal for library materials.

To keep the Faculty Council informed, the chair of the University Library Committee subsequently wrote a letter to the Faculty Council chair (see appendix B (D 636-637)) and spoke at the Faculty Council meeting on April 17, 2000, providing a summary of the recommendations and the rationale for their virtually unanimous support in the ULC. The council accepted the letter as a report.

Next year’s committee is especially encouraged to (1) follow up on this year’s interest in having General Libraries staff members present their work in significant digital initiatives to the ULC — especially to strategize how the ULC can help garner financial, intellectual, and pedagogic support for these and other General Libraries efforts, (2) continue review of borrowers’ privileges, and (3) look closely at the undergraduate library’s strategic plan and its holdings.

Philip Doty, chair

C-8 Parking and Traffic Appeals Panel

The panel consists of six groups of four UT employees, each group with a mix of students, faculty and administrators. We reviewed 22 appeals, all of which have gone to the Parking and Transportation Services. There was a delay in organizing the groups and finding time to get the material out. Now that the groups are organized, we should be able to respond to appeals more efficiently. We have one appeal requesting a personal appearance that is being arranged by one group, and three appeals that have recently been received that will be going out to another group for a decision.

Deane M. Willis, chair

C-9 Parking and Traffic Policies Committee

The Parking and Traffic Policies Committee membership for 1999-2000 included Randy Machemehl, Bill Myers, Phillip Dupre, Julie Hallmark, Larry Mellenbruch, Eric Opiela, Robert Prentice, John Ruszkiewicz, Kay Sewell, and David Vandenbout. The following served as advisors: David Rea, Jeffrey Van Slyke, Marla Martinez, Cheryl Wood, David Kapalko, Silas Griggs, and Velia Estrada.

The committee held monthly meetings reviewing and recommending policy changes and considering special requests. During the March 2000 meeting, the committee was informed that David Kapalko, director of parking and transportation, was leaving the University. Following this announcement, committee advisor Marla Martinez assumed Mr. Kapalko's normal leadership role. Ms. Martinez and the committee chair spent significant time serving as chair and member, respectively, of the committee seeking to fill Mr. Kapalko's staff position. As of this writing, the position vacancy was posted. Roughly thirty applications were received; a short list of seven was selected, and telephone interviews were conducted with that group.

In addition to a large number of significant issues involving small campus population segments, the committee was asked to offer recommendations regarding several policy issues involving significant fractions of the campus population. One of these was the proposed Fiscal Year 2001 parking fee schedule. Another was the procedure to be followed for the proposed closing of Speedway Street.


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The committee was a very hard working group that took its job seriously. I wish to thank all members, particularly Mr. David Kapalko and his staff and Ms. Marla Martinez, for providing constant support and important background information.

Randy Machemehl, chair

C-10 Recruitment and Retention Committee

No report submitted.

Darlene Grant, chair

C-11 Research Policy Committee

Although we met several times, we have nothing of substance to report.

John M. White, chair

C-12 Committee on Responsibilities, Rights, and Welfare of Teaching Assistants and Assistant Instructors

Our task was initiated by the 1998-1999 committee, chaired by Thomas J. Garza (Department of Slavic Languages). After lengthy discussion, that committee had decided to pursue an assignment that is well stated in an excerpt from Garza’s 1999 summary report:

…the most appropriate use of our time would be to focus on trying to establish a University-wide set of guidelines for the appropriate use of TAs and AIs in each department. Such guidelines might include the quantity and quality of contact hours, pre-service training, grievance procedures, etc. Our committee was quite diverse in terms of departmental coverage, with members representing nine departments in four colleges at the University. Based on our conversation during our first two meetings, it was clear that there was no uniform standard or even consensus on crucial TA/AI issues such as:

How are TAs/AIs selected in each department?
How are they assigned jobs?
What is expected of them in hours? in duties?
What are "appropriate" duties/responsibilities?

The 1999-2000 TA/AI committee, which had the largest membership of any Faculty Council committee and whose composition was also highly diverse, agreed that it should complete the fact-finding mission already begun and publish a readily accessible summary. Regarding the questions posed above, we discovered that a half-time appointment is fairly standard across the UT campus, but the way that TAs/AIs are selected, assigned jobs, etc., varies widely in response to the great variability of roles that these persons are expected to fulfill. This is a healthy situation, and we do not recommend that job descriptions or selection procedures be forced into a common mold.

Our report has been placed on the web and it contains links to nine other web sites; you can access it at http://www.utexas.edu/ogs/TAsAIs/info.html. Although in principle some of the information could be recovered from other web sites, we hope that many persons will access our web site and find its description of TA/AI Best Practice to be a useful succinct summary.

Leon E. Long, chair

 

This document was posted on the Faculty Council web site, www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/ on June 29, 2000. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.


APPENDICES

A-1 Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility

Appendix A: Message to faculty regarding post-tenure reviews (D 616).
Appendix B: The University of Texas at Austin Compliance Program (D 617-619).

A-5 Faculty Welfare Committee

Appendix A: Summary of responses to questions addressed to deans in f all 1999 regarding reported problems (D 620-622).
Appendix B-1: Teaching Faculty by Rank and Gender (D 623).
Appendix B-2-B-4: Teaching Faculty by College, Rank, Ethnicity and Gender, Fall 1999 (D 624-626).

A-6 Rules Committee of the General Faculty

Proposal to amend the Rules and Regulations of the Faculty Council, and Proposal to amend University of Texas Policy Memoranda 1.501, 1.502, 1.503 and to creat a new Policy Memorandum, 1.504 (D 627-633).

A-7 Library Committee

Appendix A: Report of the ULC Subcommittee on Loan Periods, March 3, 2000 (D 634-635).
Appendix B.: Letter to Faculty Council on loan periods, March 21, 2000 (D 636-637).