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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

PROPOSAL ON STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN FACULTY HIRING: BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR GENERAL FACULTY MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 17

 

At its regular annual meeting at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 17, 2001, in Room 106 of Burdine Hall, the General Faculty will consider legislation that would increase student involvement in the hiring process of tenure-track faculty. The legislation was introduced by the Student Cabinet of College Councils, and approved by the Faculty Council on April 16, 2001. It was then circulated to the General Faculty on a no-protest basis. Because the number of protests, 86, exceeded the required number of 25, the matter must be presented at a meeting of the General Faculty.

The rules state that at a regular meeting a quorum shall consist of 5% of the total number of voting members of the General Faculty. The rules state further that if a quorum is not present to consider action of the Faculty Council that has been protested, then the legislation shall be returned to the Faculty Council for action.

Below is a list of those who protested the action taken by the Council. Attached are the following supporting documents:

D 1489 Notice of the no-protest procedure circulated to the General Faculty on April 23 (copy of D 1234).
D 1490-1491 Legislation as approved by the Faculty Council on April 16 (copy of D 1235-1236).

A notice that 88 protests (later corrected to 86) had been received was sent to the General Faculty on May 18 (D 1272).

Additional supporting documents (all of which are posted at http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) are the minutes of the Faculty Council meetings of February 19 (D 1192-1196), March 19 (D 1227-1232), and April 16 (D 1255-1258b).

Other items on the agenda for the September 17 General Faculty meeting are comments by and questions to the president, annual report of the secretary, and election of a secretary for 2002 (D 1486).

Alphabetical list of the faculty members who protested the proposal to increase student involvement in the hiring process of tenure-track faculty

Lee E. Abraham, Theatre & Dance
John R. Allison, MSIS
Ignazio A. Angelelli, Philosophy
Sridhar Balasubramanian, Marketing
Zoltan Barany, Government
Jonathan Bard, Mechanical Engineering
William Beckner, Mathematics
Inés Bergquist, Spanish & Portuguese
David T. Blackstock, Mechanical Engineering
Mary Blockley, English
Michael Bloom, Theatre and Dance
Jerry Bona, Mathematics
Margaret Briley, Human Ecology
Rebecca Brooks, Art & Art History
Douglas Bruster, English

David P. Crews, Integrative Biology
Isabella Cunningham, Advertising
O. L. Davis, Jr., Curriculum & Instruction
Jim Deitrick, Accounting
Harriet Dinerstein, Astronomy
Todd Ditmire, Physics
Jackie Dudley, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology Andrew D. Ellington, Biological Sciences
James Erskine, Physics
Dan Freed, Mathematics
Robert N. Freeman, McCombs School of Business
Kim Fromme, Psychology
Edward I. George, MSIS

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William Goetzmann, History
Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez, English
John B. Goodenough, Mechanical Engineering
Lino A. Graglia, Law
Stephen A. Hall, Geography
Tim High, Art & Art History
John Higley, Government & Sociology
Eric Hirst, Accounting
Herbert Hochberg, Philosophy
James A. Holcombe, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Wayne D. Hoyer, Marketing
George P. Huber, McCombs School of Business
David G. Hull, Aerospace Engineering
Richard M. Isackes, Theatre and Dance
David B. Jemison, McCombs School of Business
Ross Jennings, McCombs School of Business
Steven Kachelmeier, Accounting
Leonard Kleinman, Physics
Mark Knapp, Communication Studies
Billy Koen, Mechanical Engineering
Kenneth M. Liechti, Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics
Marta Lujàn, Hispanic Linguistics
Ruth Margraff, Theatre & Dance
Graham J. McDougall, Nursing
Gary W. Miller, Pharmacy
Tess Moon, Mechanical Engineering
Douglas Morrice, MSIS
Paul Newman, Accounting
Qian Niu, Physics
Tinsley Oden, TICAM
Francisco L. Perez, Geography
Charles Radin, Mathematics
Jef Richards, Advertising
John Robinson, Accounting
Ehud I. Ronn, Finance
Juan Salinas, Psychology
Irwin Sandberg, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Elizabeth Scala, English
Robert N. Schmidt, Theatre & Dance
Karen Sedatole, McCombs School of Business
Paul Shapiro, Astronomy
Ralph E. Showalter, Mathematics
Bruce Smith, Economics
Tara Smith, Philosophy
Takis Souganidis, Mathematics
Waneen Spirduso, Kinesiology & Health Education
Raji Srinivasan, Marketing
Sheridan Titman, Finance
Anita L. Vangelisti, Communication
Felipe Voloch, Mathematics
R. Harrison Wagner, Government
James R. Walker, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
Mark Warr, Sociology
Louise Weinberg, Law
Steven Weinberg, Physics
Mary Wheeler, Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics
Holly Williams, Theatre & Dance
David Zuckerman, Computer Sciences


<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council

This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site (http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) and paper copies were mailed to voting members of the General Faculty on September 6, 2001.


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ATTACHMENTS

DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

NOTICE OF NO-PROTEST PROCEDURE FOR PROPOSAL ON D 1235-1236, CONCERNING INCREASED STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE HIRING PROCESS OF TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

To Members of the General Faculty
From: John R. Durbin, Secretary
Subject: Proposal to Increase Student Involvement in the Hiring Process of Tenure-Track Faculty
Date: April 23, 2001

This is to inform you of the opportunity to either accept (by taking no action) or to protest (as described below) legislation approved by the Faculty Council. The legislation is in the form of a "Proposal to Increase Student Involvement in the Hiring Process of Tenure-Track Faculty" and was approved by the Council on April 16, 2001.

Because the proposal is classified as major legislation, it must, according to the by-laws of the Council, be submitted to the General Faculty on a no-protest basis.

The legislation will be submitted to the president for approval as General Faculty legislation unless protests have been received by the secretary from 25 voting members of the General Faculty by May 11, 2001. If sufficient protests are received, the legislation will be presented to the General Faculty for discussion at a meeting early in the fall semester, on a date to be announced.

Protests may be sent to durbin@math.utexas.edu or mailed to the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.

The proposal, as approved by the Council, appears on (D 1235-1236). It was introduced by the Cabinet of College Councils, a student organization. Following is a brief summary of the proposal and of arguments for and against.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL: Students will be involved in the hiring of new faculty through at least one of four options: (1) Lecture, open to all students, with information available about the candidate and with opportunity for student comments. (2) Interview with students. (3) Voting student members on hiring committee. (4) Non-voting student members on hiring committee.

SOME ARGUMENTS FOR: It would help emphasize the importance of teaching. Students are dependent on teachers, so student opinion should be considered. Students have a unique perspective. It would help strengthen the relationship between faculty and students. Some academic units that already involve students in the process think it is useful. The proposal is flexible; it offers four options and would require that only one be used. Having this policy in place would increase student involvement in faculty hiring across the campus.

SOME ARGUMENTS AGAINST: Good tenure decisions in a major research university require more knowledge and experience than students would have. Students could be influenced and even coerced by faculty under whom they work. Screening candidates is time-consuming; obtaining reliable and consistent student participation is problematic. The advanced students best qualified are heavily involved in their own research and future plans. Student involvement could increase the chance of publicity of factors other than scholarship and professional accomplishments.

This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site (http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on April 19, 2001. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500. (D 1489 is the same as D 1234.)


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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

PROPOSAL TO INCREASE STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE HIRING PROCESS OF TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

The following proposal was approved by the Faculty Council on April 16, 2001, and is being circulated to the General Faculty on a no-protest basis, as described in D 1234.


<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council


Background
President Faulkner has stated that one of his highest priorities is to lower the student-faculty ratio here at the University. The goal is to reach a ratio comparable to our peer institutions by recruiting 300 new professors over the next ten years with thirty new faculty members recruited this year. The Cabinet of College Councils strongly believes that students should be involved in the hiring of all tenure-track faculty. Hiring processes vary by college and department, but the Cabinet of College Councils hopes that this proposal will serve to facilitate student involvement in the hiring process. Hence, adaptation of the proposal will vary in each college and will be the collaborative decision of the dean, department chair, and college council.

Proposal
Students will be involved in the hiring process of new faculty through any of the following options.

Time and location of all programs associated with the first two options will be made available to the college council at least one week before the event is to occur. Surveys will be provided to students to evaluate the candidateÍs performance, and the student survey results will be considered in the hiring decision and become part of the official committee records.

Candidate Information Packets shall also be available at each option available below. A Candidate Information Packet shall consist of the applicantÍs curriculum vitae, a statement of his/her teaching and research philosophy, letter(s) of recommendation from former students (if applicable), and any other information or statements that the applicant wishes to share with our student community.

  • Lecture — Under this option, candidates would be asked to present a research seminar or teach a class to a group of students or to a regularly scheduled section of another professor 's course on a topic of their choice. This session will be open to all students, and Candidate Information Packets will be available. Student opinion would be surveyed.
  • Interview with Students — Under this option, candidates would be asked to meet with a group of undergraduate and/or graduate students during their interview process. Candidate Information Packets will be available.1 Student opinion would be surveyed.
  • Voting Student Members on Committee — Under this option, at least one undergraduate and/or at least one graduate student shall be included on each tenure-track faculty selection committee. Students must be enrolled in the department in which the faculty member will serve and must be appointed to the committee by the time the first interview process begins with the candidates. These student representatives will have an equal vote to other members of the committee, and equal access to all information made available to the committee.
  • Non-voting Studnt Members on Committee — Under this option, at least one undergraduate and/or at least one graduate student shall be included on each tenure-track faculty selection

1 Corrected the statement ñundergraduate and graduate studentsî to read ñundergraduate and/or graduate studentsî on April 27, 2001.


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committee. Students must be enrolled in the department in which the faculty member will serve and must be appointed to the committee by the time the first interview process begins with the candidates. These student representatives will be non-voting members of the committee, however they will have equal responsibilities of other committee members and equal access to all information made available to the committee.

Rationale and Conclusion

In the past and coming years, faculty hiring has been growing in importance among the President and the Executive Officers of the University. Recently, Provost Ekland-Olson instituted a policy initiative requiring that departments assess candidates' "teaching interests and talents." The Cabinet of College Councils believes that the students of the University will be able to assist in lending a unique perspective to the selection process in regard to the focus of recruiting diverse faculty whose backgrounds represent those of our student population. Through the college councils' involvement in faculty hiring, we hope to strengthen the relationship between faculty and students at the University. In addition, we hope to reemphasize the importance of the classroom in faculty service.

Several colleges at the University, including the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the College of Communication, the School of Law, and the School of Architecture have included student members with voting rights on faculty hiring committees. The LBJ School of Public Affairs and the School of Architecture have also implemented mock classes. The Cabinet of College Councils encourages other colleges to look to these schools as a benchmark for student participation in faculty hiring.


This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site (http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on April 19, 2001. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500. (D 1490-1491 is the same as D 1235-1236.)