DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular
Faculty Council meeting of October 15, 2001.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL
October 15, 2001
The first regular meeting of the Faculty
Council for the academic year 2001-2002 was held in Room 212 of the
Main Building on Monday, October 15, 2001, at 2:15 P.M.
Present: Mark I. Alpert, Anthony P. Ambler, Katherine
M. Arens, Joyce L. Banks, Gerard H. Béhague, Lynn E. Blais,
David G. Bogard, Joanna M. Brooks, Kathryn E. Brown, Cindy I. Carlson,
J. Churgin, Dana L. Cloud, Donald G. Davis, Patrick J. Davis, Lesley
A. Dean-Jones, Thomas W. Dison, John D. Dollard, Minette E. Drumwright,
John R. Durbin, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Larry R. Faulkner, Alan W. Friedman,
Omer R. Galle, Dorie J. Gilbert, John C. (Jack) Gilbert, Nell H. Gottlieb,
Michael H. Granof, Lita A. Guerra, Marvin L. Hackert, Von Matthew (Matt)
Hammond, Barbara J. Harlow, James L. Hill, Sharon D. Horner, Julie
Irwin, Ward W. Keeler, Martin W. Kevorkian, Karrol A. Kitt, Robert
C. Koons, David R. Kracman, William S. Livingston, David R. Maidment,
Y. Masada, Francis L. Miksa, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Thomas G. Palaima,
Bruce P. Palka, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Esther L. Raizen, Linda E. Reichl,
Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Victoria Rodriguez, Juan M. Sanchez, Cynthia
W. Shelmerdine, Mark R. V. Southern, Janet Staiger, Michael P. Starbird,
Salomon A. Stavchansky, Janice S. Todd, Jarrad Allen Toussant, Frances
Elizabeth Valdez, James W. Vick, N. Bruce Walker, Ellen A. Wartella,
James R. Yates.
Absent: Efraim P. Armendariz, Neal E. Armstrong (excused), Victor L.
Arnold (excused), Matthew J. Bailey, Brigitte L. Bauer (excused), Harold
W. Billings, Douglas G. Biow, Daniel A. Bonevac (excused), Dean A. Bredeson
(excused), Richard L. Cleary (excused), Patricia L. Clubb, Edwin Dorn,
John D. Downing, Robert Freeman, Donald A.Hale (excused),* Thomas M.
Hatfield, Judith A. Jellison (excused), Manuel J. Justiz (excused),
Stefan M. Kostka (excused), Richard W. Lariviere, David A. Laude, Steven
W. Leslie, Robert G. May, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Melissa L. Olive (excused),
Alba A. Ortiz (excused), David M. Parichy, Elmira Popova, William C.
Powers, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Kevin Robnett, David J.
Saltman (excused), Dolores Sands, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman,
Teresa A. Sullivan, Daniel A. Updegrove, Mary F. Wheeler, Barbara W.
White, Michael P. Young.
*Correction made on April 22, 2002, to reflect excused
|REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
There were no questions about the written
report (D 1492-1496).
|APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
|| The minutes of the special Faculty Council
meeting of May 7, 2001, were approved by voice vote (D
||The minutes of the regular Faculty Council
meeting of May 7, 2001, were approved by voice vote (D
|COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
| Comments by the President.
President Faulkner said that, because of the events that had
begun on September 11, the administration had been looking
at all aspects of the way security was managed on the campus.
This included the security of information systems, materials,
special facilities, events, and research activities. He said
the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, directed by
Erle Janssen, was an office of very high proficiency and had
a good grasp of security issues associated with various kinds
of substances, including biological materials. He also said
the campus police had been working extremely hard since September
11, often putting in 16-hour days per person during that period.
Faulkner reviewed some remarks from his State of the University
Address concerning the University's endowment, which he said
had been slightly misrepresented in the press. He said that
UT Austin receives only about 45 percent of the UT System's
two-thirds share of the income from the Permanent University
Fund. That corresponds to an endowment of approximately $2.4
billion for UT Austin. The private endowment of UT Austin
is now approximately $1.6 billion. Faulkner said he is setting
a goal of increasing the private endowment by $1 billion,
which, by the time the funds could be raised, would mean that
the private endowment would match the public endowment. He
stressed that this is in addition to the target set for the
capital campaign, and would not be raised by the end of that
campaign. He said the University could not maintain its standing
and achieve its goals without that level of support.
In response to a question from Michael Churgin (law), the
president said the figure of $1.6 billion for the private
endowment included the amount held out side of UTEMPCO, which
was about $0.2 billion.
||Questions to the President.
||From Barbara Harlow (English).
"Please discuss your (and/or the University's) policy
and philosophy for dealing with 'dissent' on our campus.
I raise this question in the immediate context of the
extraordinary circumstances - local, national, international
- catalyzed by the events of 11 September 2001, and
out of a concern at your public response (in the Houston
Chronicle) to the expression of political opinion
and analysis by one of the University's faculty members.
What can we - as faculty members of The University
Texas at Austin - anticipate from the institution's
administrative officers as the nation perhaps proceeds
on its path to 'war'?"
[Secretary's remark: The public response referred to
was a letter which appeared on September 19, written
in response to an editorial by Robert Jensen (speech
||communication), which was published
in the Houston Chronicle on September 14. The
editorial and the letter are reproduced in appendices
A and B to these
Response from President Faulkner.
"The short answer is that the University's policy is
what it has been for decades, which is to provide both
staunch support for freedom of expression and an environment
in which free expression can occur. Such support and
such an environment have been realities here for a long
time, and they will continue to be so.
"Events of last spring did raise a need for us to review
some of our operational policies, and in response to
those events, I asked several groups to examine relevant
issues in particular areas. The report of the committee
chaired by Dean Sharon Justice is one product of that
activity. Upon the recommendation of the Faculty Council
Executive Committee, I am acting now to appoint a task
force to undertake a comprehensive examination of our
policies and practices relating to free expression.
Professor Douglas Laycock of the School of Law has
consented to chair this group, which will begin work in January.
"Finally let me comment on matters connected with my
published letter. In the wake of Professor Jensen's
publication in the Houston Chronicle, his preceding
comments on radio, and his subsequent television appearance
on the Fox network, I received a flood of email messages,
letters, and telephone calls, many measured and articulate,
nearly all posing questions of me. Very often I was
asked to define my personal views about Jensen's arguments
and positions. I do not believe that I have the latitude
simply to ignore inquiries from the people of this state
about their university or about my views on a matter
that is of high concern to them. I also do not believe
that I can fabricate a response. Perhaps a private university
president would have more freedom to avoid engagement.
"As president, I am obligated to do my best to
maintain a spirit of community, but I am not obligated
to any pretense that all ideas and all arguments have
"My overriding obligation is to defend the University
as an island of free debate and expression. I did what
I thought was necessary in that direction. Please let
me recall the closing two sentences in the published
letter, which read as follows: 'But I also must defend
the freedom granted to all citizens under the First
Amendment. It is the bedrock of American liberty.' "
After the president's response,
Professor Harlow said that she had submitted a letter
to the president presenting background to her question,
and she asked that the letter be included as part of
the record. She then read the letter, which is reproduced
in appendix C to these minutes.
The president replied, "I think I've made my response
and I won't make any further response."
||In response to a question from Gretchen
Ritter (government, not a member of the Council), the
president said he had been in contact with Senators
Hutchinson and Gramm to express his strong opposition
to a freeze on student visas, which had been proposed
by some. He said the country's graduate programs, research
programs, and programs of cultural exchange would be
devastated by even a six-month moratorium on such visas.
||REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Council Chair Bruce Palka (mathematics)
reported on issues being watched by the UT System Faculty Advisory
Council (SYSFAC), including transfer credit, assessment/accountability,
and compliance. He said that he and Patrick Davis (pharmacy, past
chair of the Council) were UT Austin's regular representatives to
SYSFAC for 2001-2002, and that, in addition, Martha Hilley
||(music) was a special envoy because of her expertise
on assessment and fields of study, which deals roughly with the
transfer credit that students can get for courses in their major
||REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT None.
||SPECIAL ORDERS None.
||UNFINISHED BUSINESS None.
||REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND
SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES None.
||Resolution from the Committee of Counsel
on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (D
The resolution was introduced by Janet Staiger (radio-television-film),
chair of the committee.
Dana Cloud (communication studies) said that she favored
the resolution in general, but was concerned about the AAUP's
statement that, as scholars and educational officers, teachers "should exercise appropriate restraint" when they speak and
write as citizens. Who would define "appropriate restraint,"
she asked? She said that "a number of people in my own academic
community and my own political community" felt that Professor
Jensen's comments showed appropriate restraint, but that "President
Faulkner's exercised much less restraint." She acknowledged
that others would disagree.
Thomas Palaima (classics) spoke at some length about the
resolution. He began by saying that he was opposed to changing
of the AAUP statement as Professor Cloud had suggested. He
felt Jensen had said many of the right things in his editorial,
but thought that he should learn how to phrase them better;
he added that "you just don't say certain things like that
two or three days after a nationwide funeral." Palaima also
said he found nothing wrong with the president's letter. He
concluded by saying: "I think if we just tone down the emotional
level of both letters, we get two appropriate plays of discourse.
So I can sleep well at night being a colleague of both Bob
Jensen and Larry Faulkner."
Robert Koons (philosophy) said that he opposed the resolution.
He thought it showed a "certain presumptuousness" for the
Faculty Council to give moral admonitions to the University
community at large. He also was concerned that it did not
address any specific incidents. He thought if it was intended
to be applied to any specific example, then it should say
so. Finally, he was concerned "about what will be perceived
at least to be a kind of coercive niceness, and a sort of
sensitivity police that's going to be sent out to assure
we don't injure anyone's feelings."
The resolution was then approved by voice vote.
||ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS None.
||QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR None.
The meeting adjourned at 3:10 P.M.
Distributed through the Faculty Council
web site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on November 1, 2001. Copies
are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC
Sept. 14, 2001
U.S. just as guilty of committing own violent acts
By ROBERT JENSEN
Sept. 11 was a day of sadness, anger and fear.
Like everyone in the United States and around the world, I shared the
deep sadness at the deaths of thousands.
But as I listened to people around me talk, I realized the anger and
fear I felt were very different, for my primary anger is directed at
the leaders of this country and my fear is not only for the safety of
Americans but for innocent civilians in other countries.
It should need not be said, but I will say it: The acts of terrorism
that killed civilians in New York and Washington were reprehensible
and indefensible; to try to defend them would be to abandon one's humanity.
No matter what the motivation of the attackers, the method is beyond
But this act was no more despicable than the massive acts of terrorism
-- the deliberate killing of civilians for political purposes -- that
the U.S. government has committed during my lifetime. For more than
five decades throughout the Third World, the United States has deliberately
targeted civilians or engaged in violence so indiscriminate that there
is no other way to understand it except as terrorism. And it has supported
similar acts of terrorism by client states.
If that statement seems outrageous, ask the people of Vietnam. Or Cambodia
and Laos. Or Indonesia and East Timor. Or Chile. Or Central America.
Or Iraq. Or Palestine. The list of countries and peoples who have felt
the violence of this country is long. Vietnamese civilians bombed by
the United States. Timorese civilians killed by a U.S. ally with U.S.-supplied
weapons. Nicaraguan civilians killed by a U.S. proxy army of terrorists.
Iraqi civilians killed by the deliberate bombing of an entire country's
So, my anger is directed not only at individuals who engineered the
Sept. 11 tragedy, but at those who have held power in the United States
and have engineered attacks on civilians every bit as tragic. That
is compounded by hypocritical U.S. officials' talk of their commitment
to higher ideals, as President Bush proclaimed "our resolve for justice
To the president, I can only say: The stilled voices of the millions
killed in Southeast Asia, in Central America, in the Middle East as
a direct result of U.S. policy are the evidence of our resolve for justice
Though that anger stayed with me off and on all day on Sept. 11, it
quickly gave way to fear, but not the fear of "Where will the terrorists
strike next?" which I heard voiced all around me. Instead, I almost
immediately had to face the question: "When will the United States,
without regard for civilian casualties, retaliate?" I wish the question
were, "Will the United States retaliate?" But if history is a guide,
it is a question only of when and where.
So, the question is which civilians will be unlucky enough to be in
the way of the U.S. bombs and missiles that might be unleashed. The
last time the United States responded to terrorism, the attack on its
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, it was innocents in the Sudan
and Afghanistan who were in the way. We were told that time around they
hit only military targets, though the target in the Sudan turned out
to be a pharmaceutical factory.
As I monitored television during the day on Tuesday, the talk of retaliation
was in the air; in the voices of some of the national security "experts"
there was a hunger for retaliation. Even the journalists couldn't resist;
speculating on a military strike that might come, Peter Jennings of
ABC News said, "The response is going to have to be massive," if it
is to be effective.
Let us not forget that a "massive response"
will kill people, and if the pattern of past U.S. actions holds, it
will kill innocents. Innocent people, just like the ones in the towers
in New York and the ones on the airplanes that were hijacked. To borrow
from President Bush, "mother and fathers, friends and neighbors" will
surely die in a massive response.
If we are truly going to claim to be decent people, our tears must flow
not only for those of our own country. People are people, and grief
that is limited to those within a specific political boundary denies
the humanity of others.
And if we are to be decent people, we all must demand of our government
-- the government that a great man of peace, Martin Luther King Jr.,
once described as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world" --
that the insanity stop here.
Jensen is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas in
Sept. 19, 2001
Jensen's words his own
In his Sept. 14 Outlook article "U.S. just as guilty of committing own
violent acts," Robert Jensen was identified as holding a faculty appointment
at the University of Texas at Austin.
Jensen made his remarks entirely in his capacity as a free citizen of
the United States, writing and speaking under the protection of the
First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
No aspect of his remarks is supported, condoned or officially recognized
by The University of Texas at Austin. He does not speak in the University's
name and may not speak in its name.
Using the same liberty, I convey my personal judgment that Jensen is
not only misguided, but has become a fountain of undiluted foolishness
on issues of public policy.
Students must learn that there is a good deal of foolish opinion in
the popular media and they must become skilled at recognizing and discounting
I, too, was disgusted by Jensen's article, but I also must defend his
freedom to state his opinion. The First Amendment is the bedrock of
Larry R. Faulkner, president The University of Texas at Austin
20 September 2001
Dear President Faulkner,
I read with dismay the letter that you took it upon yourself to write
to the Houston Chronicle in reply to Professor Robert Jensen's editorial
published in that same paper on 12 September 2001. Your remarks reflect
badly on the University's professed pursuit of excellence in critical
thinking and educated public debate. Between the opening and closing
sentences of your letter in which you include a perfunctory invocation
of the First Amendment, you deliver yourself of an ad hominem invective
against a member of our University community and a colleague. Under
even the best of circumstances, such a public assault by a senior administrator
against one of his/her faculty members is unwarranted. In our present
circumstances, however, it is perhaps irresponsible and even potentially
dangerous. As the United States prepares for war - described by some
politicians as one that will be in significant part clandestine and
covert and could result in untold civilian casualties, we watch as
the ominous threats of egregious curtailments of constitutional guarantees
and civil liberties and the expansion of the powers of the executive
branch of the government to prosecute its war without answerability
either to its own citizens or to the international community. Furthermore,
we are watching unfold across the country an exorbitant and deplorable
series of ignorant hate crimes committed against Arab Americans, Muslims,
and others taken - or mistaken - to resemble them. Your assault on
Jensen comes alarmingly close, I fear, to reproducing those same dangers
- curtailment of civil liberties and scapegoating of individuals and
groups -- as part of the public persona and intellectual engagement
of the University. The University of Texas at Austin has a long, distinguished
and honorable tradition of critical dissent and intellectual debate
on the part of its faculty and students, and I would hope that you,
as its President, and in this time of national loss and international
crisis, will be able to represent that history rather than misrepresent
the contributions of those of who teach and learn here.
Department of English