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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

RESOLUTION FROM THE FACULTY BUILDING ADVISORY COMMITTEE — SPRING 2002

 

John C. Gilbert (professor, chemistry and biochemistry) submitted the following resolution on behalf of the Faculty Building Advisory Committee. The secretary has classified this resolution as general legislation. The Faculty Council will take action on the resolution at its meeting on February 18, 2002.



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John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty


RESOLUTION FROM THE FACULTY BUILDING ADVISORY COMMITTEE — SPRING 2002

 

Resolution

Whereas a primary mission of The University of Texas at Austin is the education of almost 50,000 students, and

Whereas the main campus of the University has limited opportunities for new and renovated buildings, and

Whereas the current inventory of general-purpose classrooms is woefully inadequate for our present needs,

Therefore the Faculty Building Advisory Committee resolves that all future building and renovation of academic facilities on the main campus of The University of Texas must include a minimum of 15% of the assignable space in the form of general-purpose classrooms. Any exceptions to this must be approved by the president, following advice from the Faculty Building Advisory Committee and the Facilities and Space Council.

Justification

For the past several years, The University of Texas at Austin has been engaged in an aggressive building program on the main campus. This expansion reflects newly identified needs resulting from research and teaching initiatives and recognition that the campus was under-built. At the same time, available building opportunities on the main campus are restricted and have taken place within its existing footprint.

A characteristic feature of this building program has been construction of new buildings that do not include general-purpose classrooms. The Moffitt, Connally Dispute Resolution Center, Seay, Wet Lab, and the Blanton Art Museum buildings are all recent examples. The trend continues in the recent and planned renovation projects such as the Gebauer, Batts, Mezes, and Benedict buildings that further reduce the inventory of such classrooms. The notable exception is the North Office Building, which had classrooms added as an afterthought to a design that does not accommodate them well; these classrooms are projected to be only a temporary modification in any case. The failure to include classrooms in building and renovation projects has taken place despite a universal recognition among faculty and staff that there is a serious shortage of general-purpose classrooms.

Efforts by the Faculty Building Advisory Committee to address this issue in their project reviews have not been effective. In addition, there is a general sentiment that buildings dedicated solely to classrooms should not be built because it is academically more effective to integrate classrooms with other academic activities such as research and departmental administration. Given the shortage of future building opportunities construction or renovation of an academic building that lacks a space devoted to general-purpose classrooms should not be authorized for the main campus except under the most extraordinary circumstances.




This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site on February 12, 2002. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.