DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
The annual reports of the standing committees
of the General Faculty for 2000-2001 received to date are reproduced
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council
ANNUAL REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES
OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 2000-2001
|| FACULTY AFFAIRS COMMITTEES
|| Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and
| Alan Cline, computer sciences, chair
Janet Staiger, vice chair, radio-television-film
Katherine Arens, Germanic studies
Neal Armstrong, civil engineering
Ronald Barr, mechanical engineering
| Gary Borich, educational psychology
Martha Hilley, music
David Saltman, mathematics
James Yates, educational administration
The committee had two formal meetings: September 18, 2000, and
April 3, 2001. Other business was discussed through electronic mail.
The two principle topics of discussion were the "Compliance Policy"
and free speech policy.
As in the past, a message was transmitted to the faculty regarding
the procedures for post-tenure review (see the appendices to these
annual reports, D 1374).
In 2000, the Office of the Provost 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 committee responded with comments (found
in last year's report) and waited for succeeding drafts. None had
been received by March 2001; thus, the committee explored the status
of the University's progress with preparing a "Compliance Policy."
We learned that the task was restarted in mid-2000 under the direction
of Mr. Lon Heuer. Unfortunately, it appears that Mr. Heuer was given
none of our comments. In fact, Mr. Heuer may not have been told
that we had been asked by the provost's office to be involved.
The committee began a page-by-page discussion of the new document.
A catalog was begun of bad grammar, misleading and unclear statements,
as well as questions about the necessity for the inclusion of certain
material. The review process stopped when it became clear that we
had too many objections of a basic nature.
Whereas, the document that the committee
viewed in 2000 was only several pages long, the new one has
twenty-three pages. Although we did find objections with parts
of the 2000 draft, we considered the basic idea of informing
faculty of some ethical and legal issues acceptable.
The new document is objectionable in many ways. Not only is
it very long, it is quite repetitive. Some sections come close
to contradicting other sections. Parts are very hard to understand
(including an eighty-six word sentence on intellectual property).
Many sections are totally irrelevant to the tasks of most faculty
(and many sections are totally irrelevant to many of the staff).
The document is a mixture of federal law, state law, Regents'
Rules, campus operating procedures, and random additional guidelines,
possibly authored by Mr. Heuer and his staff. However, the sources
of each of these items are unidentified; thus, a reader does
not know what is federal law and what is campus procedure. Lastly,
but perhaps most importantly, the tone towards faculty and staff
is negative as if had they not been informed that fraud
is to be avoided, they might have committed it. Although the
document claims that all employees are seen as honest, the content
may suggest that we are perceived as dishonest, unlawful, unethical
or may become such.
The committee understands that a web-based system of instruction
would be offered (perhaps required) for certification so that
faculty members understand the guidelines. Such a program may
be even more burdensome than simply having the faculty read
the document, especially if the document were concise and avoided
the redundancies. Furthermore, the question arises as to the
meaning of being certified by having read web-based material
(i.e., material that could have been altered an instant after
it was viewed).
The committee contacted Mr. Heuer to emphasize the objection
it had to a document of this sort. A meeting was held with a
subcommittee, Mr. Heuer, and Ms. Linda Sorber. Unfortunately,
that meeting did not result in agreement and, thus, the committee
will return to the provost to present its position.
Free Speech Policy:
In a statement by President Faulkner the committee was asked
to consider the "circumstances and events connected with the
February 2001 Justice For All display on the plaza in front
of Gregory Gym." More specifically:
"...Vice President Vick has created
a special committee chaired by Dean Sharon Justice to consider
the student-related policies bearing on questions like those
identified above. I invite the Committee of Counsel on Academic
Freedom and Responsibility to consider the issues in parallel
with and in collaboration with the Sharon Justice Committee."
The committee received no more specific charge
from the president. However, on April 26, 2001, the Executive
Committee of the Faculty Council did request the Committee of
Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility "to examine the
broader range of free speech issues that have arisen on our
campus, particularly those that are faculty-related. It is recognized
that this latter charge will be a longer-term effort." That
examination will begin in the summer of 2001.
|| 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 three times. Inasmuch as we are now in the second
year of the budgetary biennium, the state's appropriation to the
University for 2001-2002 will not be known for certain until the
legislature passes its appropriation bill. This will most likely
occur in late May. Accordingly, the committee was unable to make
substantive recommendations as to the allocation of available
At our first meeting, Provost Ekland-Olson
set forth several budgetary priorities for the year. These included
increasing faculty, staff, and graduate student compensation
by five percent per year and adding thirty new faculty positions
each year. Some committee members raised questions as to whether
the University had the fiscal capacity to absorb and support
the thirty new faculty members per year that the administration
has allocated funds to hire. They expressed concerns that although
the administration would provide the resources for their salaries,
the individual colleges and departments would have to use existing
MO&E and similar funds to pay for recruiting and hiring costs,
and ongoing miscellaneous costs, such as for computers, travel,
postage, etc. Moreover, members questioned whether the colleges
have adequate office space for new hires.
The discussion relating to new hires prompted committee members
to note that in some departments the quality of academic life
is already far below what could reasonably be considered adequate.
Among their observations were that in some departments:
- owing to a shortage of space new faculty
were given only cell phones, no offices;
- new faculty are not reimbursed for moving
- faculty must pay for their own meals when
entertaining prospective hires;
- faculty must pay the postage on submissions
of journal articles and applications for research grants;
- faculty do not have long-distance phone
- departments are unable to pay for colloquium
- owing to a shortage of main campus laboratory
facilities, faculty must commute between the main campus and
the Pickle campus.
To confirm and to measure the extent of these
problems, the committee decided to obtain, by way of a survey,
interviews or other means, information on policies and practices
throughout the campus. However, a subcommittee appointed to
conduct the research learned that the budget committee of five
years ago had carried out a similar study. That committee deduced
that "some departments on our campus do not have sufficient
resources to live and work like professionals." It suggested
that the "College of Liberal Arts appears to be in the worst
shape in terms of basic support and it urged the administration
to rectify such 'gross inequities in standards of living.'"
Our committee agreed that a new study would likely do little
more than confirm the results of the previous study and hence
we decided not to conduct one. Instead we provided a copy of
the previous study to the provost and emphasized to him the
importance we attach to assuring that faculty in all departments
enjoy a minimum quality of academic life.
On April 16, 2001, at a meeting of the University's Leadership
Council to which the committee was invited, President Faulkner
presented an overview of the budget outlook for the next biennium.
He indicated that based on bills pending before the legislature
the prognosis is grim the "bottom line" is that
planned and committed expenditure increases exceed projected
revenue increases by $28.8 million. He outlined several measures
that the University was considering to address this gap and
Provost Ekland-Olson requested a meeting with the committee
(now scheduled for May 3) to discuss them.
|| Faculty Committee on Committees
Over the course of the 2000-2001 academic
year, the Committee on Committees (CoC) met twice, on September
11 and April 9.
At the September 11 organizational meeting, the CoC selected Janet
Staiger to serve as chair and Bruce Palka as vice chair.
|| During early fall 2000, Staiger, in consultation
with Palka, provided additional nominations to fill vacancies
on the standing committees which occurred over the summer. In
spring 2001, with the excellent assistance of Debbie Roberts and
Christine Marcin from the Office of the General Faculty, the CoC
solicited nominations from the faculty for individuals to serve
on the various standing committees for 2001-2002. Over 200 nominations
were reviewed at the April 9 meeting, and a list was compiled
for submission for the president's final decision. The CoC submitted
this list April 25, 2001. The CoC also nominated individuals for
the Information Technology Advisory Committee, and submitted that
list on April 26, 2001.
No further business was referred to the CoC during the 2000-2001
Faculty Grievance Committee
This past year the Faculty Grievance
Committee was involved with eight cases in four colleges. Two
of these went to the formal hearing panel level; the others
are either in the formal process or are still at an informal
level. The cases have involved:
- Alleged retaliation/discrimination
- Denial of promotion to full professor
- Denial of promotion and tenure
- Salary disputes
The Grievance Committee waited until November
2000 to learn that its proposal for the creation of an Office
of the Faculty Ombudsperson, passed by the Faculty Council on
May 10, 2000, had been returned without approval. The committee
was confused and disappointed in this response from the president.
Subsequently, mid-spring 2001, the Grievance Committee received
from the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council a document
outlining a "Proposed Structure for Faculty Mediation."
This document was circulated to the members of the committee.
At the initial meeting following receipt of the document, discussion
was both spirited and somewhat angry. While there was some support
for the ideas expressed in the proposal, it seemed to the majority
of the committee that it ignored the main point of the ombudsperson
proposal, namely reducing the workload of the chair of the Faculty
Grievance Committee. The proposed mediation process simply adds
another layer, albeit a welcome one, to the process that is
currently in place. It in no way relieves the committee chair
of any involvement; in fact it makes her/him responsible for
being the "gatekeeper" to mediation. This matter needs
to be thoroughly explored by the Grievance Committee, with input
from many constituencies, before a valid response can be sent
to the Faculty Council.
All in all, this has been a frustrating year for this committee.
We seem to have worked hard all year but have little to show
for our efforts. However, as always, those members who served
on subcommittees to examine cases did so with distinction and
gave of their time freely for their peers. The chair wishes
to recognize those members of the faculty who served on formal
hearing panels and to thank them in this record for their energy,
time, and fortitude in a most difficult cause.
Submitted on behalf of the members of the Faculty Grievance
| Mark Alpert, marketing administration
Neal Armstrong, civil engineering
Matthew Bailey, Spanish and Portuguese
Gerard B³hague, music
Roger Bengtson, physics
| Martha Hilley, music
Robert Koons, philosophy
Parker Lamb, mechanical engineering
Joseph Malina, civil engineering
Madeline Maxwell, speech communication
| Douglas Biow, French and Italian
Mercedes De Uriarte, journalism
Robert Duke, music, spring semester
Julius Getman, law
| Martha Newman, history
Dorothy Van Soest, social work
Helena Woodard, English
David Nancarrow, chair
|| Faculty Welfare Committee
The Faculty Welfare Committee for the
2000-2001 year undertook the following four items on its agenda.
Each one was raised by members of the faculty in the course of
|| Follow-up on the Policy on Teaching Continuity:
The committee was pleased to be able to assist the president's
and provost's offices in finalizing the wording, presenting
the final version to the Faculty Council, and implementing
this policy under the expert guidance of Lucia Gilbert.
|| Development and implementation of the Faculty
and Staff Benefits Satisfaction Survey: This has been the
largest project undertaken by the Faculty Welfare Committee
this year in coordination with Kyle Cavanaugh and the Office
of Human Resources. Until present, there has been no systematic
canvassing of the opinions of UT Austin employees about
their priorities and opinions regarding health care and
benefit options in the context of the current national health
Working with Dan Stewart from the UT System office and Kyle
Cavanaugh, the Faculty Welfare Committee has drafted a preliminary
survey to be administered to all UT faculty, staff, and
benefits-eligible employed graduate students. The Welfare
Committee looks forward to working with the newly-formed
Staff Council to conduct the survey at the earliest suitable
time. The projected timeframe is in the late autumn of 2001.
The view of the committee was that UT Austin employees,
including faculty, should be surveyed as a whole and that
the information gained through this survey would be helpful
in informing future benefits decisions for the UT System
as a whole, and UT Austin in particular. Both Dan Stewart
and Kyle Cavanaugh felt that the information derived from
this survey would be very valuable as important and sometimes
difficult decisions are made in the future about benefit
The method of administering the survey (over the web, by
telephone, on paper, etc.) to maximize response and representation
of the UT Austin employee population as a whole, is still
under consideration. These decisions will be made early
in the fall 2001 semester so that the survey can be administered
in a timely manner after UT Austin employees have had a
few months of experience with whatever benefit changes become
effective during the annual enrollment period in July 2001.
The Welfare Committee would especially like to acknowledge
the invaluable and expert assistance of Kyle Cavanugh and
the Office of Human Resources.
|| Follow-up on the question of domestic partner
benefits: After researching the matter fully, the committee
was assured that there is at present no legal way to offer
such benefits. However, a question regarding interests in
such benefits has been included in the overall benefits
satisfaction survey to assess the extent of campus-wide
UT Austin interest in such benefits.
|| Follow-up on the expansion of childcare
facilities: This matter is still pending since there are
several different proposals about where and how to expand
this much-needed resource.
Following the initial inquiries and recommendations of the
Welfare Committee, the status of lecturers and other non-tenure
track faculty at UT Austin has been referred to a special
ad hoc committee charged by President Faulkner.
No further items were brought to the attention of the Welfare
Committee this year, but the committee continues to encourage
all faculty to raise any matters of concern. As chair for
2000-2001, I would like to thank the members of the committee
for their energy and commitment over the past year.
|| Following the initial inquiries and recommendations
of the Welfare Committee, the status of lecturers and other non-tenure
track faculty at UT Austin has been referred to a special ad hoc
committee charged by President Faulkner.
No further items were brought to the attention of the Welfare
Committee this year, but the committee continues to encourage
all faculty to raise any matters of concern. As chair for 2000-2001,
I would like to thank the members of the committee for their energy
and commitment over the past year.
|| Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, chair
|| Rules Committee of the General Faculty
The Rules Committee (RC) had its first meeting of the year convened
by Anthony Ambler at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 21, 2000,
at ACES 5.120. Members present were John Durbin (ex officio),
Robert Schmidt, Johnny Butler, and Pauline Strong. Gerard Béhague
was not in attendance as he was unaware at that time that he had
been appointed as a Faculty Council representative. With their
consent, the attending members of the committee selected Robert
Schmidt as chair and Pauline Strong as vice chair of the RC.
As there were no proposed changes or additions to the rules of
procedure of the General Faculty or Faculty Council, no election
disputes, and no questions of rule interpretation or jurisdiction,
the RC has had no subsequent meetings during the 2000-2001 long
term and has brought no proposals or recommendations forward to
the Faculty Council.
|| University of Texas Press Advisory Committee
The Faculty Advisory Committee of the
University of Texas Press was convened on September 26, 2000,
by Desley Deacon, Faculty Council appointee, to elect the chair
and the three-person Executive Committee for the year. (The Executive
Committee is empowered to act between meetings on urgent projects.)
Victoria Rodriguez was elected as chair, and she, Brian Levack,
and Beryl Simpson to the Executive Committee.
Seven meetings have been held so far this fiscal year, with three
more scheduled before August 31. A total of fifty-eight book manuscripts
have been presented by the staff and accepted by the committee,
along with one new journal (Latin American Research Review).
|| Victoria Rodriguez, chair
|| STUDENT SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES COMMITTEES
|| Committee on Financial Aid to Students
No report submitted.
|| Recreational Sports Committee
The Recreational Sports Committee is
a standing committee of the University 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. It also
serves as a representative group of the campus providing input
and advice to the division from its various colleagues. The committee
met eight times during the fall and spring semesters of 2000-2001.
|| In the area of facility construction and expansion,
the committee participated in the ongoing discussion of the architecture,
construction, and programming for the Gregory Gym Aquatics Complex.
The committee also oversaw the renovation and reopening of Clark
Field that had previously been closed because of the construction
of a student housing project. The renovation resulted in a refurbished
jogging track with four exercise stations, four new basketball
courts, and a newly-developed, irrigated turf area. The committee
also supported the RecSports decision to partially close Whitaker
Fields. This was in response to significant deterioration and
the need for turf treatment. The decision to close areas and reduce
usage in the spring semester has allowed a growth period for the
turf in preparation for the fall 2001 semester.
The committee once again expressed its support for keeping participation
affordable for faculty and staff membership in Recreational Sports.
To accomplish this goal the committee supported a legislative
proposal that will allow payroll deduction as a method of payment
for memberships. The UT System bill has successfully passed the
legislature and is now awaiting the governor's signature. The
committee has recommended that planning be geared toward a fall
2001 implementation if at all possible.
The committee reviewed and provided direction to the Division
of Recreational Sports concerning its budget request for FY 2001-2002.
After deliberation, the Recreational Sports budget, non-student
membership fee schedules, and facility use fee schedules gained
the committee's support and were forwarded to the student service
fee committee and budget office, respectively.
The committee supports the Division of Recreational Sports' goal
to be central to the mission of The University of Texas at Austin
to transform lives for the benefit of society by
providing education through recreation.
|| Committee on Student Affairs
On behalf of the Committee and its chair, Dean Bredeson, James
W. Vick submited the following report:
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 2000-2001 academic
All first-time, full-time freshmen returning after year 1:
Black first-time, full-time freshmen:
Hispanic first-time, full-time freshmen:
In terms of the percentages of minorities enrolled, the entering
freshman class of 2000 was as diverse as the entering class of
1996. The percentage of whites fell from 65% to 63%, while African
|| steady at 4%. Hispanics fell slightly from 14%
to 13%. Asian American and foreign students showed the greatest
The overwhelming increase in the number of provisional offers
and enrollees over the past few years led to the modification
of the Provisional Program for Summer 2001. We have now implemented
a three level admission system: regular admission of no more than
6,400 students, conditional enrollment of another group who will
take basic courses this summer, thereby alleviating pressure in
the fall, and the off-campus provisional program that requires
students to complete 30 specified hours with a 3.0 GPA in one
year at one of our System campuses. A student who satisfies this
requirement is then automatically admitted to UT Austin.
OFF-CAMPUS PROVISIONAL ADMISSION:
|| FALL 2000
| FALL 2001
| SUMMER 2001 ADMIT OFFERS:
| SUMMER 2001 ENROLLED:
BREAKDOWN OF CONTRACTS RETURNED:
| CONTRACTS RETURNED:
In its third year, the Freshman Interest Groups (FIG) program
continued to grow and expand in new directions. For 2000-2001,
105 FIG clusters were offered, representing all undergraduate
colleges. The FIG office worked with 87 professional advisors
and 105 peer mentors to deliver services to more than 2000 freshmen.
The residential FIG program moved into the Living-Learning Halls
to accommodate almost 100 students in special residential clusters.
The program's continued success is marked by a third year of FIG
GPA and retention rates out-ranking non-FIG participants. The
pilot (Spring Interest Groups (SPRIG) program enrolled students
in 26 roll-over clusters for the Spring. For 2001-2002, the program
will expand its Fall, Spring, and Residential programs, while
piloting a Transfer (TrIG) program. In 2002 we anticipate offering
Summer Freshman Admit student FIGs and branching the Transfer
Interest Groups (TrIGs) to both traditional transfer students
and provisional students with transfer coursework from UT component
San Jacinto Residence Hall
Last fall, 460 of the hall's beds were occupied; the remaining
400 beds were opened and assigned in January of 2001. The reaction
to the new space has been extremely favorable, so much so that
many incoming students are putting the new hall down as their
only preference despite the higher cost of living there in comparison
with the other residence halls on campus. Various campus constituencies
are also making use of the hall's spacious meeting rooms.
|| Outdoor Pool Project
After legislation passed authorizing the Board of Regents to charge
each student a fee for constructing, operating, and maintaining
an outdoor aquatics center at the Gregory Gymnasium Complex, architect
and contractor selection occurred and now a schematic design has
been completed. The project is currently entering the design development
phase with construction scheduled to commence in July 2002. The
opening of both the renovated indoor pool at Gregory and the outdoor
aquatics complex is projected to be August 2003.
Interactive Degree Audit
The IDA is a process by which students can monitor satisfaction
of degree requirements on an individual basis. Use of the Interactive
Degree Audit system has grown, allowing Deans' offices to reduce
the funds spent on staff for this role. In January 2001, the use
of IDA was offered to students at other campuses who plan to transfer
to UT. January's total number of guest users was 83, and by April
that number was up to 231. We anticipate off-campus access to
continue to increase along with on-campus use by students and
Grants, Scholarships, and Endowments
Grant for Women Against Violence In October of 2000, the University
of Texas was awarded a half million-dollar grant by the U.S. Department
of Justice to combat violence against women on campus. The primary
goals of the grant are to:
Grant staff has already begun campus education
programs that will reach all new students and international students
going through orientation programs this summer. A peer education
program is being researched and developed this summer to begin
in the fall of 2001. Counseling and advocacy services, along with
a specific referral process, are currently being developed in
order to begin providing services in August 2001. Concurrently,
a comprehensive system of confidentially reporting incidents of
sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking is being developed.
Data collection is designed to assist in the planning of programmatic
initiatives and training and to give a better understanding of
the violent incidents that impact our students before and after
they come to UT. These are the first of multiple strategies developed
by the grant staff in collaboration with several University departments
as well as Austin Police Department's Victim Services and SafePlace.
|| improve data collection related to violence
|| develop a system of comprehensive, coordinated
services for victims of sexual assault, relationship violence,
|| create coordinated response to violence
against women on campus to impact campus cultural norms
regarding sexual assault and relationship violence and link
campus efforts to the existing coordinated community response
efforts in Austin-Travis County, and
|| review institutional responsibility, abuser
accountability, and responsiveness to victim safety.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
135 UT students received more than $326,700 in scholarships from
the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). That's the highest number
of HSF recipients at any university in the country this year.
In conjunction with that, the Goldman Sachs Foundation has given
the HSF $1 million to launch a national program to improve college
retention rates among Hispanic Americans. The initiative was announced
by Governor Rick Perry and President Faulkner on April 9, 2001.
|| Bonfire Unity Scholarship
A & M's President Bowen presented a check for $50,000 to President
Faulkner to establish an Endowed Presidential Scholarship called
the "1999 Bonfire Unity Scholarship." It will be awarded each
year to a UT student who exhibits the qualities witnessed during
the days following the tragic collapse of the Aggie bonfire: demonstration
of leadership and involvement with campus issues and a commitment
to service. We are grateful for the opportunity to commemorate
the compassionate efforts of our student community.
Delta Gamma Endowed Lectureship
Delta Gamma Fraternity recently donated $25,000 to the University
for the establishment of an Endowed Lecture Fund in Values and
Ethics. Funds are to be used to support a lecture series for the
benefit of students, faculty, staff, and community. The series
will invite speakers whose life contribution illustrates ethical
conduct, personal honesty, and individual responsibility. A committee
consisting of Delta Gamma representatives, the Vice President
for Student Affairs, two faculty or staff members, and two members
of the community at large will choose speakers to invite on a
yearly basis. This philanthropic support should prove an entertaining
way to enrich the experience of a large UT audience.
As a result of shrinking attendance at events, lack of competition
for chairmanships, and criticism from student leaders on campus,
the Union's Board of Directors determined a need to restructure
the Texas Union Council, the student-run programming body of the
Union. After conducting a peer review of the Council, and after
deliberations within the Council itself, the Board of Directors
dissolved the extant Council and created a more streamlined Texas
Union Activities and Events Board. Currently, there is an interim
president in place who is staffing various positions and working
on new bylaws. In Spring of 2002, there will be a student referendum
to elect the regular president of the Activities and Events Board,
in the same way in which students elect the editor of the Daily
Texan or the President of the Student Government.
Debit Card Program
Starting in Fall 2001, UT will offer its students a new option
for making purchases both on and off campus. In an online survey,
students preferred the name "Bevo Bucks" for the new debit
card which will be kicked off this summer with a marketing campaign
aimed at fall enrollees. The Student Government and residence
hall representatives have been involved with the development of
the program, which will be run through a "virtual office." Though
not tied physically to the Division of Housing and Food Service,
that department has been the driving force behind getting the
program off the ground. Preliminary interest from off-campus bookstores,
food vendors, and retail establishments has been very high. If
all goes as planned, a website will be established June 30 allowing
students to purchase Bevo Bucks online.
|| INSTITUTIONAL POLICY OR GOVERNANCE COMMITTEES
|| Admissions and Registration Committee
Faculty: Daniel Bonevac, Larry Carver,
David Laude, Martha Menchaca, Ted Pfeifer, Paula Poindexter, Joanne
Richards, Cynthia Shelmerdine
Students: Sylvia Epps, Matthew Hammond, Daron Roberts
The Admissions and Registration Committee met four times this
year, all in the fall semester, to address the Proposal to Control
Enrollment by Redefining the Provisional Admission Program (D
793-796). This proposal involved a three-tiered freshman admission
policy consisting of fall admission, summer enrollment plan, and
a Provisional Program offered through UT Arlington.
In our first meeting, we considered SAT and GPA data by ethnicity,
as well as details of the admissions process provided by Dr. Bruce
Walker, director of admissions. Dr. Walker also discussed the
problems caused by a forty-six percent increase in applicants
in the last few years, the actual versus perceived effects of
the top ten percent enrollment legislation, and desired goals
for freshman enrollment.
The second meeting focused on the number of hours that might be
taken by provisional students during the summer. Also in the second
meeting, Marsha Moss of the Office of Institutional Studies provided
us with projected enrollment numbers through the fall of 2004.
She noted that a goal for the size of the
undergraduate student body was 36,000 and that
her projections for the fall of 2002 were approximately 36,833,
if the proposed enrollment controls are adopted. By the fall
of 2004, her projections showed 36,694.
In the third meeting, the committee unanimously agreed that
the Provisional Program needed to be revised or eliminated.
There was a motion that there be no Provisional Program at UT
Austin that would guarantee admission, but it was defeated.
During this third meeting, the committee formally voted that
a Provisional Program, in some form, should be retained.
The fourth meeting began with a motion to phase out the Provisional
Program at UT Austin, but to gradually phase in a Provisional
Program at one or more System campuses. This motion failed.
The fourth meeting ended with a motion to support the general
form of proposed changes to the Provisional Program.
The following were the committee's final recommendations to
the Faculty Council on the proposal:
- The Provisional Program as currently structured
needs to be revised or eliminated.
- The Provisional Program should be retained
in some form.
- The Provisional Program should exist totally
off the UT Austin campus.
- The proposed three-tiered freshmen admission
policy to control enrollments is recommended by the committee.
- Provisional students should be required
to complete thirty semester hours with a minimum GPA of 3.0
in order to be guaranteed admission to UT Austin.
- Students in the summer enrollment plan should
be required to take a minimum of twelve semester hours, but
there should be a plan to monitor the actual number of hours
These recommendations were presented to the
Faculty Council on October 16, 2000.
|| Calendar Committee
Stefan Kostka, chair (music), Catharine Echols (psychology), Colleen
Fairbanks (curriculum and instruction), David Maidment (civil
engineering), Edward Odell (mathematics), Jack Robertson (accounting),
David Saltman (mathematics), Daron Roberts (student), Paul Thompson
(student), Carol Holmgreen (administrative advisor, Office of
After the initial convening meeting, the committee met twice,
once on November 7, 2000, and a second time on January 19, 2001.
In addition, Stefan Kostka met on October 26 with Vice President
James Vick and several members of the University staff to discuss
the feasibility of a fall break.
At the November 7 meeting the committee discussed the options
for a fall break. The student members favored extending the Thanksgiving
vacation to a week by beginning classes two days earlier and by
holding classes on Labor Day. While the majority of the committee
favored a fall break in principle, various concerns were raised
regarding the Thanksgiving week proposal. The central concerns
included (1) the legislative requirement that a semester consist
of fifteen weeks of classes, (2) the placement of the break so
late in the semester, (3) day care problems that would be faced
by students, faculty, and staff who have small children if classes
were held on Labor Day, and (4) the importance of the Labor Day
holiday to members of the staff.
This discussion was continued at the January 19 meeting, which
was also attended by Vice President James Vick. The committee
eventually agreed upon and passed unanimously the proposal and
its rationale (D 1122), which were presented by Stefan Kostka
at the meeting of the Faculty Council on February 19,
|| 2001. Serious concerns were raised by the Colleges
of Engineering and Natural Sciences, and by members of the chemistry
and biochemistry faculty regarding how the new schedule would
impact their lab courses. The debate was renewed at the meeting
of the Faculty Council on March 19, 2001, and the motion to accept
the proposal was defeated.
Approval of 2001-2002 calendar. The committee reviewed the proposed
calendar for the long session 2002-2003 and the summer session
2003. No problems were identified. Consequently, the Calendar
Committee recommends approval of the proposed 2002-2003 calendar.
|| Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee
The Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee met in the
fall of 2000; the members were asked to recommend and submit names
to the chair of prospective speakers for 2001 and future commencement
speakers. These were then forwarded to President Faulkner.
Ideas on changes, campus decorations, and the future configuration
of the different groups (faculty, graduate school, the president's
party) were asked for as well.
This committee does not call for frequent meetings since Vice
President Clagett's office provides excellent support.
|| R. R. Hinojosa-Smith, chair
|| Educational Policy Committee
Educational policy matters at The University of Texas at Austin
are centered largely in the colleges and schools. The Educational
Policy Committee considered two issues associated with aligning
the school/college policies with university-wide concerns.
The first issue involves the fundamental structure of degree programs.
We sought to create an administrative structure by which the wisdom
of the whole university could beneficially and supportively review
proposed revisions of degree programs. To that end we composed,
and the Faculty Council passed, legislation to create a university-wide
committee under the Faculty Council that would systematically
review and comment on proposals for degree plan changes from the
schools and colleges. The legislation can be found in the documents
of the Faculty Council (D
The second issue considered by the Educational Policy Committee
involved graduation rates. We believe that no single factor explains
the preponderance of the problem. Instead, many factors contribute
a little to UT's relatively low and slow graduation rates. These
factors involve financial incentives or lack of incentives for
students to graduate quickly, incentives or lack of incentives
for faculty and departments to promote better graduation rates,
non-academic work that students do, non-helpful features of UT
student culture such as poor class attendance and low number of
hours studying outside of class, difficulty in students adjusting
to college life during their freshman year, specific rules and
requirements that are obstacles to graduation, and other factors.
Many groups around campus are working on many of these issues
and progress is being made on several fronts.
The Educational Policy Committee decided to focus on students
who were not admitted to the professional program of their choice
and who may subsequently flounder in another college. Frequently,
for example, students not admitted to the School of Business are
in the College of Liberal Arts.
To help those students, we discussed a policy that would inform
students early and definitively whether or not they can expect
ever to be admitted to their preferred professional school or
program. We considered a
|| policy that would state that each student would
have one specific time to apply for transfer admission
perhaps after three semesters at UT. If that application were
denied, then no further application would be considered from the
student. Alternatively, this permanent denial could be given to
most non-admitted applicants while leaving a few with some future
hope for admission. This policy, however, was too broad and the
professional programs were too varied in their habits and needs
to have such a global rule be beneficial. Instead, we discussed
this issue with individual professional schools specifically,
pharmacy and business to encourage them to avoid leaving
many students in a position of inappropriately hoping for admission
that they will never receive.
Currently, when students are denied admission, pharmacy and business
do inform them of their low chances for admission at a future
time. So a no-reapplication policy would simply make that information
more definitive, thus, forcing students to accept the fact that
they will not be admitted later and to commit themselves to other
plans. We encouraged the Schools of Business and Pharmacy to continue
to strengthen their policies of discouraging vain hopes of later
Another desirable feature of transfer admission to any professional
school is that the criteria for UT transfer admission could encourage
students to take courses that are applicable to other degrees
and could give preference to students who are making rapid progress;
for example, students who take fifteen hours a semester. These
features are largely in place for students attempting to transfer
to the Colleges of Business Administration and Pharmacy.
Associate Deans Carver from liberal arts and Anderson from business
are well aware of the graduation rate consequences of the internal
transfer issue. They are developing advising aids and will consider
the possibility of developing concentrations and degree programs
in the College of Liberal Arts that would be attractive to students
who are not admitted to the School of Business. These attractive
alternatives to the professional program might use the students'
early work toward the professional program as a good start toward
a liberal arts degree. They are envisioned as residing in a variety
of departments beyond the obvious Department of Economics. Special
degree tracks in foreign languages, sociology, government, and
other departments, or interdisciplinary degrees or concentrations
that emphasize critical writing and communication skills could
become attractive programs for students who want to develop their
The College of Liberal Arts might invite potentially disappointed
students who are not admitted to the School of Business to be
part of a program that could be touted as even more interesting,
fundamental, and valuable than the professional school path. This
way, students would have a clear, inviting alternative when the
professional school path does not work out. Deans Carver and Anderson
have used their imagination and interest in student success to
start the process of considering these intriguing possibilities
in future semesters.
|| Michael P. Starbird, chair
|| Faculty Building Advisory Committee
No report submitted.
|| International Programs and Studies Committee
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.
|| The committee continued to take interest in
the "Guidelines for Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs" which were
created to help in the development and operation of faculty-led
programs. The committee discussed the expansion of the "Guidelines"
into three distinct parts:
The most urgent problem in the opinion of most
of the committee members is the issue of liability and liability
insurance for faculty members who take student groups abroad.
The absence of policy and the uncertainty of legal protection
for such faculty members are of grave concern. The committee discussed
liability issues and risk areas extensively and collected a list
of legal questions that arise from the operation of exchange programs.
The chair of the committee submitted this list of legal questions
to UT System lawyers via Jerry Wilcox, director of the International
Office, on March 9. So far, there has been no response to our
questions. The committee will take up the issue again in fall
2001. The committee also is prepared to discuss solutions to legal
problems in the context of risk management and crisis management
|| A tool that helps interested faculty members
develop exchange programs. The following should be considered:
needs assessment, program development, financial structure,
risk assessment, approval process.
|| Operation manual along the lines of the
existing "Guidelines," including risk management and
|| Program evaluation and assessment matrix.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board established a rule that the number of exchange students
hosted by a Texas university and the number hosted by foreign
partner institutions should be in balance within a five-year time
span. At the end of the third year of this policy, it has become
apparent that the University will have to undertake serious efforts
to keep in compliance at the end of five years. During the 2000-2001
academic year for instance, UT received 395 exchange students,
while we sent only 348 to our partner institutions. The chair
formed a subcommittee that was charged with studying the issue
and to come up with recommendations on how to address the problem.
The subcommittee presented a report to the committee at the May
2 meeting, entitled "Plan to Increase UT Student Participation
in Reciprocal International Exchange Programs" (see the appendices
to these annual reports, D 1375-1376
). The report was approved unanimously. The subcommittee report
Here are some of the most important subcommittee recommendations:
At the request of Associate Vice President Lawrence
S. Graham, the committee agreed at its April 4 meeting to serve
as a review committee for campus-wide agreements between UT, involving
more than one college or school, and organizations with an international
orientation, other than a single academic unit. The committee
will review this policy at the end of the spring 2002 semester
and decide whether to continue to serve in this review capacity.
The first such cooperation agreement approved under this new policy
at the May 2 meeting was the Educational Experience Affiliation
Agreement with The Center for Democracy in Washington, D.C.
|| Faculty should be encouraged to discuss
international exchange opportunities with their students.
|| University administrators, deans, undergraduate
advisors, and faculty committees in charge of curricula
should be encouraged to more effectively integrate courses
taken at partner institutions abroad into UT degree programs.
|| More financial resources for participation
in international educational exchange must be found, and
existing resources should be advertised more effectively.
|| The imbalance problem is primarily due
to a couple of programs that are seriously imbalanced. Each
program should find ways to balance their student numbers
by creating incentives for UT students to study at partner
The committee will take an interest during the 2001-2002 academic
year in the following issues, among others:
|| Completion of a liability advisory for
directors of faculty-led programs and resolution of liability
|| Risk management and crisis management issues
for faculty directors of exchange programs.
|| Streamlining of the evaluation and approval
process for new programs.
|| Assignment of credits for planned intersession
|| The status of the language requirement
at UT and possible consequences for international programs.
|| Broadening the participation in study abroad
programs, particularly among ethnic minority students.
|| Library Committee
The function of the University Library Committee is to inform
itself of the functioning of the library sufficiently "to assist
in developing operational procedures; to assist in development
of both personnel and fiscal policies and procedures; to advise
the Faculty Council and the president concerning the direction
and growth of the library; to advise the president in the event
it becomes necessary to appoint a new librarian."
The committee met three times in the fall, and three times in
the spring. The committee's activity was split in character between
hearing presentations of information from library staff, and investigation
on its own initiative.
There were three major presentations to the committee by library
|| A presentation on consortial contracts
was given by Mrs. Phillips and Mr. Dillon. In conjunction
with the digitalization of journals, such contracts are
developing into a dominant force in the acquisition of library
materials, already accounting for about a third of this
budget. This is certainly an area requiring careful attention
in coming years; even though our library is playing a major
role in this arena, the potential for significant impact
on library functioning is very high, through both the evolving
digital form of library materials and the consequences of
|| A presentation on progress since development
of the strategic plan of the Undergraduate Library was given
|| A presentation was made by Mr. Billings
of benchmark comparisons with libraries of peer institutions.
The data, recently distributed to the administration, give
disturbing evidence of long-term underfunding: the budget
for library materials has, since 1987, consistently placed
our library in ranking from between fifteenth and thirtieth
in standing among our peers, with expenditures per student
for 1999 at $236 as compared, for instance, with $468 at
Michigan; and the extent of our serials collection has consistently
ranked only about tenth among such institutions. Related
data is available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/cird/statistics.html.
Our committee strongly supports increased funding of our
library, as a major resource for both our teaching and research
|| The committee also performed one investigation,
a survey sent to official departmental library liaisons to evaluate
the state of the library function from the point of view of client
departments. (This was a significant departure from the more traditional
library focus on individual users.) Five questions were distributed
to the liaisons of forty-two departments, eliciting a response
from twenty-two. Aside from several suggestions of particular
concern to special departments, there was only one general area
that indicated a need for attention: half the respondents indicated
they had insufficient input into library decisions on acquisitions
of books and serials. This was subsequently discussed with the
library's bibliographers, and an effort will be made to enhance
their communication with departments.
|| Parking and Traffic Appeals Panel
During the fall semester, three panels of five people processed
thirty-one appeals. The biggest problems were 1) getting members
of the committee to respond to email messages and actually agree
to serve on a panel, and 2) numerous appeals in which the story
presented by the UT police officer and the ticketed person disagree
as to exactly where the person was parked. I checked all parking
sites for which appellants provided maps to aid in our decisions.
During the spring semester, the committee reviewed
153+ traffic appeals, of which seventy-eight have been adjudicated,
and seventy-three were sent out May 15 to the panels for adjudication.
Six have requested an appearance for their appeals, and the committee
is trying to arrange for those. This is a massive increase over
past semesters, which ranged between twenty and forty. The committee
is not sure why there has been such a tremendous increase. We
will check with parking and transportation.
|| Earl F. McBride, chair (fall
The committee recommends that eligibility to appeal tickets be
set at some minimum dollar figure per ticket, because we have
an amazing number of petitions over a $10-20 reduced fine. This
creates a lot of work for tickets that have already been reduced
and the amount is not of major consequence. The committee realizes
that for some appellants it is the principle of the thing, but
it expends a lot of work hours to process.
|| Deane M. Willis, chair (spring
|| Parking and Traffic Policies Committee
No report submitted.
|| Randy B. Machemehl, chair
|| Recruitment and Retention Committee
Margarita M. Arrellano, assistant dean of students
Alan Constant, program director, UT Learning Center
Darlene Grant, associate professor, social work
Emma G. Griffis, student development specialist II, graduate studies
Marie Harris, ex officio, program coordinator, UT Learning Center
Joni L. Jones, associate professor, speech communication
Martha N. Ovando, associate professor, educational administration
Angela Valenzuela, associate professor, Center for Mexican American
Bruce N. Walker, ex officio, director, Office of Admissions
Faculty Council Appointees:
Marvin L. Hackert, professor, chemistry and biochemistry
David G. Bogard, professor, mechanical engineering
Robert R. Galvan, Hispanic Alumni Association
Garza, deputy director, Office of Admissions
James L. Hill, vice president for human resources and community
Crystal E. Kemp, Black Alumni Association
Gerald Torres, Gerald, vice provost, LLM
|| Discussion Highlights
Wednesday, September 27, 2000, discussion focused on various university-wide
efforts to address recruitment and retention including: (1) the
UT Pre-College English Program initiative, (2) Longhorn Opportunity
schools and efforts in Dallas and Houston, and (3) the 1999-2000
Presidential Task Force on minority faculty recruitment, retention,
and advancement. Robert Galvan provided much of this overview.
The predominant concern discussed was the role this committee
could play in collating the apparently large amount of disparate
information on university-wide recruitment and retention efforts,
and whether or not, and if so how, to expand the committee's purview
(scope) to include graduate and faculty concerns. The first recommendation
was that we revise the "duty" or "function" statement of this
committee to reflect our concerns regarding undergraduate, graduate,
and faculty recruitment, retention, and advancement efforts. A
second recommendation was that the committee develop a retention
and recruitment committee directory web page with links to all
related efforts. Committee representatives from the Office of
the Dean of Students, Graduate Studies, the Center for Mexican
American Studies, the Hispanic Alumni Association, the Office
of Admissions, and the Hispanic Alumni Association would provide
significant resources for such a collaborative effort. The committee
further decided to meet with Lucia Gilbert, vice provost, for
her input regarding this idea of collating information, because
of the wealth of information she has regarding undergraduate,
graduate, and faculty recruitment, retention, and advancement
Wednesday, October 25, 2000, discussion focused on overview of
retention programs including undergraduate programs including
Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGs), Preview, Gateway, and the ACE
programs, the graduate level Select Admission Program. The Select
Admission Program focuses on keeping UT's best and brightest undergraduates
for graduate studies. Augustine Garza provided an in-depth review
of PENS and the role of SCOPRO for catching/detecting undergraduate
students who are having problems at the end of their first fall
semester for retention intervention.
Wednesday, November 15, 2000, discussion focused on continued
negative perception, rumor, and conjecture about the Top 10% Rule
and revisions in the Provisional Admission Program as evidenced
by editorial statements in the Daily Texan, for example.
Discussed President Faulkner's op-ed piece in the Austin American
Statesman, November 6, 2000, as a model for educating the
UT and general public regarding the University's efforts to continue
addressing student body diversity in the aftermath of Hopwood.
Augustine Garza presented undergraduate admissions office research
findings regarding the impact of Hopwood and the Top 10% Rule
and referred the committee to findings in presentation form at
The committee decided to draft a letter to President Faulkner
encouraging an e-mail and/or other media based dissemination of
the admission's office findings to address the rumor and conjecture
that otherwise informed the general UT and broader public on these
Wednesday, March 21, 2001, began the meeting by applauding Dr.
Arellano for a well-attended, organized, interesting and informative
"Student Success Conference," held March 2, 2001, and Recruitment
and Retention Committee member Augustine Garza for his informative
presentation (with Dr. Bruce Walker, associate vice president
of student affairs) on the Top 10% Rule at the conference. This
yearly conference is one venue for the dissemination of retention
and recruitment information and ideals,
and deserves significant recognition and support from this committee
and the broader University community. We also applauded Dr. Angela
Valenzuela for her newly-published book entitled Subtractive
Schooling: U.S. Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring.
Committee members were provided a hard copy of the report and
referred to http://txtell.lib.utexas.edu/stories/m0002-full.html
for a nice discussion of "Minority Enrollment at UT Austin: The
Hopwood Ruling and Its Aftermath." The story is provided by Texas
Alcalde. The primary task completed during this meeting was
the drafting of a revision of the Retention and Recruitment Committee
"FUNCTION" as presented in the Faculty Council literature under
Committee Type C: Institutional Policy or Governance part C-10
The 2000-2001 Retention and Recruitment
Committee formally submits the following recommended revision
of the committee's "Function" to the Faculty Council for a vote:
To (1) address the matter of recruitment, retention and advancement
of undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented
populations; (2) collaborate with Faculty Council and other
University committees established to address the issue of faculty/administrative
staff recruitment, retention, and advancement; and (3) recommend
to the Faculty Council and the president constructive solutions
for enhancing diversity and the coordination and dissemination
of information regarding these issues.
. The Retention and Recruitment Committee will further work
- serve as a conduit for gathering, consolidating,
and continually updating information regarding the numerous
recruitment and retention efforts into one reference web-based
- develop a Recruitment and Retention Fact
Sheet for dissemination to every dean, department chair, counselor,
and faculty member. The contents would provide a "map" of
sorts for negotiating the numerous programs and web sites
that provide information useful to this cause;
- meeting with other Faculty Council policy
and governance committee chairs regarding the above-noted
fact sheet and any committee interface necessary to achieve
the goal of having the UT faculty and student body reflect
the diversity of Texas;
- play a greater role in annual new faculty
orientation efforts so that new faculty have an idea of University
undergraduate, graduate, and faculty recruitment, retention,
and advancement efforts;
- invite Executive Vice President Lucia Gilbert,
Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson, and President Faulkner to the
table to discuss the more concrete role this committee can
play in advancing undergraduate, graduate, and faculty recruitment,
retention, and advancement efforts.
- maintain a log of Texas Senate House Bills
and other legislative endeavors that address student and faculty
recruitment, retention, and advancement efforts in institutions
of higher education.
|| Research Policy Committee
The Research Policy Committee (RPC) met monthly (eight times,
September-April) and considered the following issues during the
2000-2001 academic year.
|| Items continued from the previous year:
|| Publicity ideas
|| How to highlight research at
UT (particularly on the web).
Ideas so far: HIGHLIGHTS UP FRONT ('What's hot')
on UT homepage;
Abstracts of grants funded, by area?
|| Remodeling-decision policies
|| Could UT (physical plant /
business office / departments) be convinced
to make decisions regarding 'modest remodeling'?
|| It was suggested that this
is more a matter for departments to deal with
directly through a set of approved outside contractors
(rather than physical plant).
|| New items brought to the committee during
the current year:
|| Faculty Council motion on tuition
remission for graduate research assistants (D 1202-1203).
This motion was successfully presented to the Faculty
Council on Monday, April 16 (originally scheduled
for the March Council meeting). It was unanimously
approved, by a show-of-hands vote. In remarks immediately
following, at the same meeting, President Faulkner
also voiced his approval of the motion as 'a very
|| The motion's wording can be found
on the Faculty Council web site http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2000-2001/legislation/rpc.html.
The motion represents the results of a great deal
of collective and individual hard work by the committee
over several months, identifying the existing problem
of inequity, deciding exactly what needed to be changed
and how, conducting comparative-external and UT-internal
research, drafting and refining wording and arguments,
securing written support from six UT college deans,
and preparing a compelling visual presentation of
the facts (including granting-agency figures provided
by Dr. Sanchez, cost-of-living data for graduate students,
and department-by-department figures supplied courtesy
of Fred Friedrich, director of accounting, via Beth
Prior to the Faculty Council vote to approve the motion,
written support was solicited and received for this
motion from the following deans: Mary Ann Rankin (College
of Natural Sciences), Ben Streetman (College of Engineering),
Randy Charbeneau (associate dean for research, College
of Engineering), Richard W. Lariviere (College of
Liberal Arts), Ellen A. Wartella (College of Communication),
and William Powers (School of Law). The Graduate Student
Assembly also strongly endorsed the motion at its
|| Difficulties working budgets and
accounts through Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP).
Office of Sponsored Projects: Status report to RPC
by Wayne Kuenstler, director, Office of Sponsored
Wayne Kuenstler attended the April 9 RPC meeting,
and gave the committee a status report on a number
of initiatives currently in process involving OSP.
The committee also offered some specific suggestions
(relating to timely stage-by-stage e-mail updates
copied to principal investigators (PIs), regarding
a grant application's progress through each step of
the process), potentially saving time and energy for
both the OSP staff and the grant-writing faculty in
The discussion was also attended by Sharon Brown,
new assistant vice president for research.
We had a very fruitful discussion of where OSP is
heading in the future, especially regarding the grant
application process, which is now mostly on-line (some
last adjustments are waiting for the federal government
to put its various grant-giving agencies' processes
|| Sources of matches for matching research
|| Implications of change in budget:
70-80% research vs teaching.
Customers demand research, income is produced by research.
What does this say about UT's avowed emphasis on teaching?
Should we keep hiding behind a teaching-linked-to-research
facade, or gradually change our image, like Stanford
and MIT, and make research our formal objective?
- Rebalanced loads / TLC's, etc.
- Educate students about what
|| Institutional Review Board (IRB)
for protection of human research subjects: resources
(Including: Implementation of new human subjects'
requirements as 'certified.')
|| Dr. Sanchez told the RPC in January
that because the IRB is currently being restructured,
much of what is related below is about to be realized.
Discussions in response to the following remarks from
Lynn Crismon (RPC member):
"Historically UT has taken a minimalist attitude
about IRB functions. This will just not be allowed
in the future particularly for biomedical and
psychological research. The national standard (and
international as well) is becoming increasingly high,
and the University needs to make sure that it follows
both the letter and the spirit of the guidelines.
The IRB needs a full-time staff person to support
its activities. Sandra is expected to perform IRB
activities on a part-time basis. Ongoing review of
human research is an expectation of IRB's, and UT
has not adequately stepped forward to address this.
Clarke Burnham is doing an excellent job as chair,
but he also has full-time faculty responsibilities.
Sandra is excellent, but she is part-time. Many major
universities (including UT Health Science Center campuses)
have an IRB administrator who has a human research
and ethics background, and this person supervises
IRB functions on at least a half-time basis. The individual
performs pre-reviews of applications and provides
feedback to faculty and graduate students. Also, serves
as a teacher and resource to graduate students and
faculty regarding human research ethics, etc. Some
faculty at UT do not do a very good job in mentoring
their graduate students regarding human research ethics,
importance of the IRB, informed consent, etc. I perceive
that some faculty view it as a hassle, and not as
an important part of their research.
"We should not wait until NIH (National Institutes
of Health) freezes all grant funds (as has happened
at several other major universities) before we adequately
address these issues. I would like to emphasize that
I have been encouraged about the increased attention
that has occurred regarding human research ethics
since Sharon Brown became assistant vice president
"We also need to carefully address the human
research education requirement for all investigators
(and significant research staff). This is another
area where we should take the high road, and not take
a minimalist position."
|| Research Policy Committee membership, 2000-2001
Sanchez, Juan M., vice president for research
Sullivan, Teresa A., vice president and dean of graduate
Carnes, Brian R., computational and applied mathematics
(PhD candidate: appointed by the provost's office)
Crismon, Miles L., pharmacy
Geisler III, Wilson S., psychology
Heller, Adam, chemical engineering
Henderson, Linda D., art and art history (on leave, fall
Laycock, H. Douglas, law
Metcalfe, Travis S., astronomy (PhD candidate: appointed
by the provost's office)
Reichl, Linda E., physics (Faculty Council appointee)
Rubin, Allen, social work Southern,
Mark R. V., Germanic studies (Faculty Council appointee)
Strover, Sharon L., radio-television-film
Stuifbergen, Alexa M., nursing
White, John M., chemistry and biochemistry
|| Committee on Responsibilities, Rights, and
Welfare of Teaching Assistants and Assistant Instructors
The major activity of the Committee for
the Responsibilities, Rights, and Welfare of TAs and AIs was to
undertake an extensive survey of TAs and AIs at The University
of Texas. The survey, largely prepared and administered by Logan
Wilson Intern Mike Dailey in conjunction with the committee, focused
on issues involving the financial compensation of TAs and AIs,
the expected duties and time commitment, teaching evaluation procedures,
the preparation and orientation of TAs and AIs, and the administrative
procedures associated with TAs and AIs. The survey was publicized
in February, and nearly 1000 responses were collected, representing
virtually all departments and colleges across campus. Mike Dailey
prepared a summary of the survey results (see the appendices to
these annual reports, D 1377-1378).
Many results of the survey were positive. For example, 81% of
respondents felt their departments followed fair and consistent
procedures in selecting TA/AIs, and 93% felt they had a satisfactory
working relationship with their supervising faculty or staff member.
96% would accept another TA/AI appointment. But there were some
identifiable themes among the negative comments, specifically,
Concerning these, the committee makes the following
|| inadequate pay,
|| confusion concerning how TA/AIs are selected,
|| desire for more evaluation and guidance
Furthermore, although numerous informational materials
relevant for TAs and AIs are currently available on the web, in
practice, many TA/AIs are not aware of this fact. For example,
few TA/AIs are aware that there exists a grievance procedure.
The committee feels that the available information should be publicized
in a more systematic and comprehensive manner at the beginning
of each semester. To implement this, an announcement detailing
the availability of these materials and the appropriate web addresses
will be prepared and sent via e-mail to all TAs and AIs via the
Office of the Graduate Studies. Relevant web materials include
a Handbook for Teaching Assistants and Assistant Instructors,
a past report compiled by the previous Committee for the Responsibilities,
Rights, and Welfare of Teaching Assistants and Assistant Instructors,
and relevant sections of the Handbook of Operating Procedures,
such as the section on grievance procedures. It is recommended
that each successive committee should be charged with the review
and updating of these web materials early in the fall semester.
|| The upper administration of The University
of Texas should continue to strive to increase the financial
compensation of TAs and AIs, making it a top priority for
further action. Most TAs and AIs feel that they are underpaid,
especially relative to the escalating cost of living in
Austin. Lumping together the TA and AI salary data, one
finds that on average the students holding these positions
fall short of breaking even financially over the nine-month
period of the award.
|| and c) A memo regarding issues related
to the evaluation of TA/AIs and the procedures used to select/appoint
TA/AIs will be sent from the Office of Graduate Studies
to the chairmen, graduate advisers, and graduate coordinators
of each department and graduate program. This memo will
encourage departments to publicize the procedures used to
select/appoint TA/AIs and the availability of formal teaching
evaluations (see the appendices to these annual reports,
|| Jennifer S. Brodbelt, chair
This document was posted on the Faculty Council web site, www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/
on July 24 , 2001. Paper copies are
available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC
|| Committee of Counsel on Academic
Freedom and Responsibility
| Message to faculty regarding
To: Members of the General Faculty
From: The Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility
As the Committee responsible for having written and overseen the
adoption of UT's Post-Tenure Review Policy (PTR), we felt it incumbent
on us, as we did the last two years, to reiterate what it is and
is not, and to inform you of our continuing responsibilities in
First, PTR applies to all tenured members of the faculty, regardless
of the positions they currently hold. PTR affirms all current
University and System commitments to tenure, academic freedom,
due process, and good cause for dismissal. There is to be no linkage
between PTR and review of tenured faculty for possible termination;
the link, rather, is to professional rewards and to faculty development
where appropriate. It is intended to build on what currently works,
the annual reviews conducted by individual departments and schools,
and thus, to minimize bureaucracy and the time spent evaluating
and being evaluated, and to make the review process regular and
routine. In the first instance, faculty promoted within the last
six years are to be reviewed six years from their last promotion;
the timing of the reviews of the remaining tenured faculty are
to be chosen randomly or by any other legal means agreed to by
the faculty of the department or school. Faculty are to be given
six months notice to prepare for the review and sufficient opportunity
to provide input. In addition, results of the review are to be
given to faculty in writing, and they are to have opportunity
to respond before any recommendation is made from the department
or school to the next administrative level.
Finally, the process is to be monitored by CCAFR, which is charged
to receive reports of faculty problems and concerns, and to recommend
changes in PTR where, in its judgment, they are needed.
Electronic versions of all the major documents concerning post-tenure
review are located on the World Wide Web at http://www.utexas.edu/admin/evpp/faculty/post.tenure/index.html
Included there are links to the Timetable for Annual Review and
Post-Tenure Review, the section from the Handbook of Operating
Procedures entitled Annual Review and Periodic Evaluation of Tenured
Faculty, and the UT System Guidelines for Periodic Evaluation
of Tenured Faculty. You might also wish to consult an issue of
"Academe" (September/October 1998, pp. 61-67), which contains
the AAUP response to PTR. We believe that our version addresses
their concerns. In addition to consulting these documents, please
feel free to contact any member of CCAFR to express any concerns
you have about the implementation of PTR. Thank you.
Alan Cline, Computer Sciences, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Katherine Arens, Germanic Studies, email@example.com
Neal Armstrong, Civil Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald Barr, Mechanical Engineering, email@example.com
Gary D. Borich, Educational Psychology, firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha H. Hilley, Music, email@example.com
David J. Saltman, Mathematics, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janet Staiger, Radio-Television-Film, email@example.com
James R. Yates, Educational Administration, firstname.lastname@example.org
|| President Larry Faulkner,
Provost Sheldon Ekland Olson, the academic deans, and Patti
Alan Kaylor Cline
Department of Computer Sciences, The University of Texas
512-471-9717 (office) 512-345-7645
|| International Programs and Studies Committee
Report of the Special Subcommittee
Jonathan Brown (Chair), Larry Graham, Peter Hess, Ivy McQuiddy
Approved by the full committee on May 2, 2001
"Plan to Increase UT Student Participation in Reciprocal
International Exchange Programs"
The Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board established a rule that the number of exchange
students hosted by a Texas university and the number hosted by
foreign partner institutions should be in balance within a five-year
time span. At the end of the third year, it has become evident
that The University of Texas at Austin faces a serious imbalance
in its student exchange programs with foreign universities. Specifically,
the number of international students coming to this University
is greater than that of UT students going abroad for study. Therefore,
the International Programs and Studies Committee proposes the
implementation of the following plan to encourage greater UT student
participation in reciprocal international exchanges. The plan
consists of notifying administrators, faculty, and students of
the academic and programmatic benefits of and financial resources
for participation in the exchange program.
|| All members of this committee will
bring the contents of this plan to the attention of
their colleagues in international studies through memoranda,
flyers, and word of mouth. Committee members will:
|| discuss exchange opportunities
in their undergraduate and graduate classes and
encourage their colleagues to do likewise, and;
|| contact graduate advisers in
their departments and in their area studies programs
about the benefits of graduate students to participate
in exchanges within the parameters of existing
|| Associate Vice President Graham will
notify the Deans of Graduate Studies, Liberal Arts,
Engineering, Business Administration, and other colleges
about the contents of this plan.
|| The chairperson of the International
Programs and Studies Committee will seek to report to
the University Faculty Council about the problems in
UT's exchange program and the remedies suggested by
|| How Students Benefit from Participation in
|| Students earn credit for graduation
while studying abroad.
|| They experience living in a foreign
culture and operating within its educational and professional
|| They improve their ability to use a
|| They create lasting friendships and
future collaboration with foreign citizens.
|| They become culturally literate, thereby
generating an even deeper understanding of their own
|| They acquire valuable references for
graduate school and employment.
|| Incentives for Participation in Exchange
|| Committee members will identify obstacles
that keep students from studying abroad and devise strategies
to remove them. In discussions with administrators and
faculty, we will suggest:
|| that advisers seek to incorporate
the foreign exchanges into the degree programs
at the graduate and undergraduate levels. They
might internationalize the curriculum by
|| establishing requirements for
international studies, language study, study abroad,
|| that incentives be created for
faculty members to become involved with study
abroad like travel to partner institutions and
|| that students be recognized for
their courses in international studies and for
study abroad with special certificates.
|| Committee members will promote and
enhance the financial incentives available to students
for study abroad:
|| by gaining familiarity with existing
scholarships such as the International Education
Fee Scholarships, the Liberal Arts Study Abroad
Scholarships, and Financial Aid for participants
in exchange programs,
|| 2. by completing lists of financial
support available from the Study Abroad Office,
from the various colleges, and from the Office
of Graduate Studies, and
|| by encouraging departments and
colleges to establish scholarship programs for
|| Committee members will encourage language
departments to promote study abroad more aggressively within
their classes. They might offer specialized language courses
for students who plan to participate in exchange programs
in business, engineering, and the sciences.
|| How Exchange Programs Might Achieve Balance
|| A statistical analysis shows that only
a handful of exchange programs are seriously imbalanced.
The Associate Vice President for International Programs
and committee members should discuss the need for balance
with directors and faculty sponsors of unbalanced exchange
programs. We should suggest:
|| that each exchange program within
the university should strive to balance the number
of incoming foreign students with outgoing UT
|| Committee members should enlist
supportive faculty and advisers to promote and
recruit students for exchange programs.
|| We should "talk up" exchange
programs with faculty colleagues.
|| Faculty should use their classrooms
to notify students of the benefits of study abroad
Brief Notes on TA/AI Survey Data
|| Committee on Responsibilities, Rights,
and Welfare of Teaching Assistants and Assistant Instructors
(Prepared by Mike Dailey)
A survey of experiences and perceptions
of TA's and AI's at UT (all colleges represented) was conducted
in the spring 2001 semester. Of approximately 2,500 graduate students
who hold either a TA or AI appointment that were invited to participate
in the online survey, just under 40% (968) completed the survey.
While a full and comprehensive analysis of the data has not yet
been conducted, a brief review of data from the recent survey
of TA's and AI's reveals several themes of concern and shared
experiences among graduate students who hold these appointments.
The following summary is intended only to highlight issues for
further analysis, not to serve as a complete analysis of these
In general, survey responses do not appear to be overwhelmingly
negative or positive in nature. Responses tend to be very well
presented with specific examples and recommendations included.
Of the respondents, 78% hold a TA appointment and 21% an AI appointment
(~1% did not report). Each of the colleges and most, if not all
departments are represented in the respondent population. The
survey respondents include first time TA's or AI's as well as
those that have reached the maximum amount of semesters allowed.
Not surprisingly, financial issues appear to be one of the greatest
concerns voiced in the survey responses. The level of frustration
and dissatisfaction with pay rates range from general comments
such as one graduate student reporting, "Although I am enthusiastic
about teaching, I also would like to be paid enough money so I
do not worry about my living conditions,' or another's "The financial
compensation could be moreƒIt is nearly impossible to survive
in Austin's economy on the salary of being a TA alone," to
more specific comments such as "You do not pay us enough money.
I net about $850 a month. There are many costs associated with
being a graduate student (books, etc.) this is not enough income
to live off of." Graduate students that work for the University
in this capacity generally feel that: a) they are not paid in
line with the value of the services provided; b) that the low
stipends force them to work elsewhere or accumulate debt (each
of which act as obstacles to completing degree); and, c) do not
take into account the rising cost of living in Austin. Particular
issues of concern are tuition costs and taxation of tuition support,
payroll "glitches" that lead to non-payment or late payment of
stipend, and wide discrepancies in support levels across and within
departments. For over a third of the respondents (36%), the TA/AI
stipend is their only source of financial support. Other sources
range from the support of spouses to running up large credit card
The relationship of quality and quantity of work expected from
TA's and AI's and the wages received (as well as impacts on time
to degree) is a difficult one for graduate students to reconcile.
As one stated, "in some departmentsƒthe AI's are required to do
inordinate amounts of teaching and grading while being supposedly
employed for 20 hours a week. There should be regulations to prevent
their department from exploiting their graduate students like
that." Another student summarized the experiences of many
very well, reporting, "I worry that the amount of time we
have to spend teaching cuts into the time we have to spend on
the things that hiring committees will pay attention to, like
publications and conference papers. Given that the actual workload
is upwards of thirty hours a week, and I have to work an outside
job so that I can make ends meet, I don't have very much time
for my own studies. Why not pay grad students for the hours we
A second theme to emerge from the data is a concern over the lack
of transparency in departmental appointments. TA's and AI's generally
feel that there is no rhyme or reason to who is chosen, how they
are chosen, and when they are notified (often at the last minute
leading to a multitude of other problems). While only 16% of respondents
indicated that they had experienced administrative obstacles to
receiving their appointments, the qualitative data suggest that
many students have learned to navigate the informal channels of
their departments to address the obstacles. One student expressed
the confusion well, stating, "I'm not sure what the ïprocedure'
is. I've always been fortunate to be awarded a TAship but others
have not. Sometimes it's a mystery why some people are chosen
and others are not.K" Quite typical of the experiences of
many TA's and AI's is finding out about their appointments too
late, often leading to difficulties in scheduling (both for students
and departments which then impacts undergraduate courses) and
receiving funds from payroll. As one students relates, "For
my appointment in fall 2000, we were supposed to find out our
assignment by April 1 of
the previous spring. However, we
were told in August. This delay was annoying and professors became
upset when they found out our class schedules couldn't be adjusted
that late in the game to fit their needs."
Finally, many graduate TA's and AI's expressed a desire for a
formal evaluation of their performance. Asking for both guidance
at the beginning of a semester and helpful evaluation as a semester
progresses as well as at the completion of a semester, students
would like to use this opportunity to improve their teaching skills
and position in the academic marketplace. Unfortunately, many
respond that this is not the case. Over half (54%) of survey respondents
indicate that they have not received feedback from a supervising
faculty/staff member on their teaching performance. As one student
complained, "I would like feedback on my teaching to help
me improve. The only source of feedback available to me now is
the student questionnaires, but four or five numeric ratings are
not very helpful." While some students did report receiving
some form of feedback such as this respondent who said, "Yes,
the feedback from last semester was good. I was new, and unsure
of my abilities. I enjoyed the feedback, although I wish I had
received some suggestions to correct my difficulties as a TA,"
many more students responded that they wanted useful feedback
to help them become better teachers themselves. In hand with feedback,
many graduate students expressed a desire for greater professional
training and preparation for their appointed duties. As one student
put simply, "We definitely need more preparation before we
teach for the first time. A two day workshop is not enough."
These are just a few of the main issues or concerns expressed
by survey respondents. The data are generally quite explicit and
consistent across departments and colleges. Several immediate
suggestions include: insist on transparency of appointments by
departments, prepare orientation material for TA's and AI's that
outline expectations, duties, and university policies, and provide
evaluation of performance that will help graduate students become
While many TA's and AI's have had good experiences such as one
who reported, "I want to continue this, I have fun,"
many more express a sense of futility, recognizing that they need
the appointment for both financial and professional reasons and
will do what is needed because they must. In the end, 96% of respondents
indicated that they would accept another TA/AI appointment in
the future. As one student expressed succinctly, "What else
can I do?"
DRAFT OF MEMORANDUM
To: Chairmen, Graduate Advisers,
From: Vice President and Graduate Dean Teresa A. Sullivan
Re: Publicizing Procedures Regarding Selection/Appointment and
Optional Formal Evaluation of TAs and AIs
Based on an extensive survey of TAs and AIs undertaken by the
Committee of the Responsibilities, Rights and Welfare of TAs and
AIs, the committee recommends that each department publicizes
the procedures used to select and appoint TAs and AIs. Such a
statement would clear up confusion among TAs and AIs and dispel
myths and inaccuracies about the selection procedure. A suggested
model statement is given below:
"The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry welcomes our
many new and returning TAs and AIs. The selection and appointments
of TAs and AIs is a time-intensive procedure and requires a fine
balancing act between the availability of skilled TA/AIs, the
avoidance of conflicts between the class schedules of the TA/AIs
and the TA/AI assignments, the class enrollments which may require
that certain sections be expanded or reduced on short notice,
and the approved TA/AI budget each semester. Every effort is made
to accommodate the special requests of faculty, TAs and AIs, but
the appointments ultimately hinge on the balance of the variables
listed above. All appointments are arranged through the graduate
office in a process that requires up to six weeks as applications
are collected, projected course needs and enrollments are estimated
and revised, and experienced TA/AIs are matched with appropriate
assignments in an iterative manner. Six weeks prior to the start
of classes each semester and summer, applications are collected
from prospective TA/AIs and faculty are asked to submit a list
of the projected financial support for each of the graduate students
in their groups (i.e. an accounting of which students will be
supported as GRAs or TAs). A spreadsheet listing all the classes,
the faculty assigned to each class, the projected enrollment of
the classes, and the number of TA slots allocated is created.
The graduate office begins to assign graduate students to specific
TA positions based on past experience, the individual requests
of faculty and graduate students, while avoiding conflicts among
the courses in which the graduate students will enroll. A tentative
assignment of TA positions will be posted approximately five days
prior to the start of classes, but assignments may not be finalized
until the second day of classes due to fluctuations in enrollments.
Generally all graduate students who are making good progress in
the graduate program and have satisfactory teaching evaluations
can expect to be selected for teaching positions. Priority is
given to full-time students in the doctoral program of the Department
of Chemistry and Biochemistry."
Moreover, the committee recommends that you establish a procedure
for allowing TAs and AIs to request faculty evaluations of their
teaching performance. The results of the committee's survey indicated
that many TAs and AIs would greatly appreciate a protocol for
a formal teaching evaluation, and I support this idea.