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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

 

Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of November 20, 2000.

 

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John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty

 

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF

November 20, 2000

The third meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2000-2001 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, November 20, 2000, at 2:15 p.m.

ATTENDANCE.

Present: Christopher O. Adejumo, Efraim P. Armendariz, Neal E. Armstrong, Victor L. Arnold, Phillip J. Barrish, David G. Bogard, Dean A. Bredeson, Cindy I. Carlson, Michael J. Churgin, Richard L. Cleary, Michael B. Clement, Dana L. Cloud, Donald G. Davis, Patrick J. Davis, Desley A. Deacon, Minette E. Drumwright, John R. Durbin, Larry R. Faulkner, Shelley F. Fishkin, Dorie J. Gilbert, Nell H. Gottlieb, Lita A. Guerra, Marvin L. Hackert, Barbara J. Harlow, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, Sharon D. Horner, Judith A. Jellison, Elizabeth L. Keating, Ward W. Keeler, Stefan M. Kostka, Laura E. Luthy, Katheryn Coveley Maguire, Glenn Y. Masada, Gregory R. Murphy, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Thomas G. Palaima, Bruce P. Palka, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Linda E. Reichl, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Daron K. Roberts, David J. Saltman, Joel F. Sherzer, Michael P. Starbird, Laura T. Starks, Salomon A. Stavchansky, Janice S. Todd, James W. Vick, James R. Yates, Katy B. Zarolia.

Absent: Mark I. Alpert, Anthony P. Ambler (excused), Katherine M. Arens (excused), Matthew J. Bailey, Joyce L. Banks, Joel W. Barlow, Brigitte L. Bauer (excused), Gerard H. Béhague (excused), Harold W. Billings, Douglas G. Biow, Lynn E. Blais, Daniel A. Bonevac, Richard A. Cherwitz, Patricia L. Clubb, John D. Dollard, Edwin Dorn, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, G. Charles Franklin, Robert Freeman, Von Matthew Hammond, Thomas M. Hatfield, Arlen W. Johnson (excused), Sharon H. Justice (excused), Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Kerry A. Kinney, Karrol A. Kitt (excused), Robert C. Koons, Richard W. Lariviere, David A. Laude, Steven W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, David R. Maidment, Margaret N. Maxey, Robert G. May (excused), Francis L. Miksa, Alba A. Ortiz (excused), Elmira Popova, William C. Powers, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Andrew M. Riggsby, Victoria Rodriguez, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Robert N. Schmidt (excused), Roberta I. Shaffer, Cynthia W. Shelmerdine (excused), Mark R. V. Southern (excused), Lawrence W. Speck, Ben G. Streetman, Teresa A. Sullivan, Paul Randall (Randy) Thompson, N. Bruce Walker, John W. Walthall, Ellen A. Wartella, Barbara W. White (excused).

 

Voting Members:
44
present,
31
absent,
75
total.
Non-Voting Members:
8
present,
25
absent,
33
total.
Total Members:
52
present,
56
absent,
108
total.


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I.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY

There were no questions about the written report (D 882-885).

II.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

The minutes of the Regular Faculty Council Meeting of October 16, 2000 (D 860-868), and of the Special Faculty Council Meeting of October 30, 2000 (D 869-874), were approved by voice vote.

III.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT

A. Comments by the President.

The president reported that on November 16 the Board of Regents had approved his recommendation for a new off-campus provisional admission program for UT Austin. The Faculty Council had voted against the recommendation on October 16 (D 860-868). The president said that "my judgment, developed from extensive discussion with people interested in the University from across the State, is that we would be acting against the best interest of the University to choose that path."

The off-campus program, as originally proposed, would have been limited to UT Arlington. The action of the regents and the president’s comments indicate the program will be expanded, although not necessarily in the first year, to nearly all UT System academic components.

 
B. Questions to the President.

In April of 1997 legislation was approved modifying the UT Austin policy on review of administrators (D&P 15102-15113 [as amended]). Responding to a question from a faculty member not on the Council, the executive committee asked how the legislation was being implemented. The president said that [with the exception of the evaluation of vice presidents] this had been delegated to the provost (who was not present). Based on the president’s response in the November 20 meeting, and comments from the provost in a meeting with the executive committee, it is the secretary’s understanding that the policy is being followed with respect to the review of deans, but is uncertain about the thoroughness with which the details are being followed with respect to directors, chairs, and vice presidents. Thomas Palaima (classics) urged that the University’s policy be followed regularly and systematically.

In a second question, the president was asked about the degree to which the faculty was being involved in planning for changes in the summer program, especially with regard to new high school students who would be admitted on the condition they begin in the summer (D 860-868). The president responded that this was under the supervision of the provost, and that the summer program was being organized through the offices of the deans of liberal arts and natural sciences. In consultation with Council Chair Davis, several faculty members also had been selected to take part in the planning process. Bruce Palka (mathematics) said he had been included in the latter group, but regretted that the person most involved in course scheduling in his department had not been included.

In a final question submitted before the meeting, the president was asked about the degree to which the faculty was being involved in planning for the new off-campus provisional program, especially with regard to the choice of the prescribed courses and the compatibility of courses with those offered at UT Austin. The president said that the offices of the deans of liberal arts and natural sciences were also responsible for this. He said that the admissions office was coordinating the admissions portion of the newly-structured provisional program.


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  The secretary suggested that the changes in the admission policy were part of a larger question involving outside pressures on the University, including proposed fields of study, core curriculum, and distance education. He said he thought that few members of the faculty had a grasp of these issues, and suggested the creation of a special faculty committee to provide oversight in these areas. He mentioned the example of the ad hoc Committee on Undergraduate Education, chaired by former Dean of Pharmacy James Doluisio, which submitted its final report in September of 1989 (D&P 12465-12541). The president said it might be a good idea to create a more long-lasting coordinative body to look at such issues, and suggested that the Council consider this in one of its meetings.

In another question to the president, Palaima urged that thought be given to creating something like spring break for the fall semester. He pointed out that Cambridge and Oxford devote less time to classes and more to individual work. The president said this had been raised by Daron Roberts (student government) and other students. James Vick (vice president for student affairs) has been investigating various possibilities, such as overlapping the first two class days with two days of administrative procedures. This might lead to a week off at Thanksgiving, but it is not yet clear that this would be possible.

IV.
REPORT OF THE CHAIR – None.

V.
REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT – None.

VI.
SPECIAL ORDERS – None.

VII.
PETITIONS – None.

VIII.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS – None.

IX.
REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES – None.

X.
NEW BUSINESS.

In January of 1999, the Council approved a recommendation that the administration "institute procedures for modified duties for faculty members who give birth or have primary responsibility for a newborn child." On November 20 Vice Provost Lucia Gilbert discussed the response, a "Policy on Teaching Continuity and Restructured Faculty Workload upon the Birth or Adoption of a Child" (D 938-940) and invited members to comment.

Gilbert said the purpose was to ensure continuity in classroom teaching. The policy would involve a restructured workload but not paid leave. It would require planning with department chairs, deans, and the provost, and would be facilitated by resources from the provost’s office in appropriate cases.

Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (English) said the Faculty Welfare Committee, which she chairs, unanimously endorsed the policy. She said they saw it as a very good first step in the direction of a family leave policy as a whole. An extended discussion followed. Michael Churgin (law) commented on the policy in the context of the Family Medical Leave Act. Palaima questioned the policy’s effect on sick leave. Janice Todd (kinesiology and health education), Desley Deacon (American studies), and Phil Barrish (English) also had questions. Gilbert said that the members’ comments would be taken into account in writing the final version of the policy.

XI.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS – None.

XII.
QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR – None.


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XIII.
ADJOURNMENT.

The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.

 

Distributed through the Faculty Council web site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on January 12, 2001. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.