DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular
Faculty Council meeting of November 19, 2001.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL
November 19, 2001
The second regular meeting of the Faculty
Council for the academic year 2001-2002 was held in Room 212 of the Main
Building on Monday, November 19, 2001, at 2:15 P.M.
Present: Mark I. Alpert, Katherine M. Arens, Matthew J.
Bailey, Joyce L. Banks, David G. Bogard, Dean A. Bredeson, Joanna M. Brooks,
Kathryn E. Brown, Michael J. Churgin, Richard L. Cleary, Donald G. Davis,
Patrick J. Davis, Lesley A. Dean-Jones, Thomas W. Dison, Minette E. Drumwright,
John R. Durbin, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Larry R. Faulkner, Alan W. Friedman,
Omer R. Galle, Nell H. Gottlieb, Michael H. Granof, Lita A. Guerra, Marvin
L. Hackert, James L. Hill, Sharon D. Horner, Ward W. Keeler, Martin W.
Kevorkian, Karrol A. Kitt, David R. Kracman, David A. Laude, Glenn Y.
Masada, Francis L. Miksa, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Bruce
P. Palka, Esther L. Raizen, Linda E. Reichl, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza,
Cynthia W. Shelmerdine, Janet Staiger, Michael P. Starbird, Daniel A.
Updegrove, Frances Elizabeth Valdez, James W. Vick, N. Bruce Walker, James
Absent: Anthony P. Ambler (excused),1
Efraim P. Armendariz, Neal E. Armstrong (excused),2 Victor
L. Arnold, Brigitte L. Bauer (excused), Gerard H. Béhague
(excused), Harold W. Billings, Douglas G. Biow, Lynn E. Blais, Daniel
A. Bonevac, Cindy I. Carlson (excused),3
Dana L. Cloud (excused), Patricia L. Clubb, John D. Dollard, Edwin Dorn,
John D. Downing (excused), Robert Freeman, Dorie J. Gilbert, John C. (Jack)
Gilbert (excused), Donald A. Hale (excused),4
Von Matthew (Matt) Hammond, Barbara J. Harlow, Thomas M. Hatfield, Julie
R. Irwin (excused), Judith A. Jellison (excused), Manuel J. Justiz (excused),
Robert C. Koons, Stefan M. Kostka (excused), Richard W. Lariviere, Steven
W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, David R. Maidment, Robert G. May, Melissa
L. Olive, Alba A. Ortiz, Thomas G. Palaima (excused), David M. Parichy,
Theodore E. Pfeifer, Elmira Popova, William C. Powers, Mary Ann R. Rankin,
Johnnie D. Ray, Kevin Robnett, Victoria Rodriguez, David J. Saltman (excused),
Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Mark R. V. Southern (excused), Salomon
A. Stavchansky (excused), Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Teresa
A. Sullivan, Janice S. Todd, Jarrad Allen Toussant, Ellen A. Wartella,
Mary F. Wheeler, Barbara W. White, Michael P. Young.
1 Correction made on December 17, 2001, to reflect excused
2 Correction made on December 17, 2001, to reflect excused
3 Correction made on April 3, 2002, to reflect excused absence.
4 Correction made on April 22, 2002, to reflect excused absence.
|REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
There were no questions about the written report (D 1527-1530). The
secretary reminded members that Council approval of proposed changes
to The Undergraduate Catalog was the responsibility of the
Council, and not the Council's committee charged with reviewing the
changes. Before agreeing to changes by taking no action under the
no-protest procedure, members should ensure that they approve of the
changes or do not have serious questions about them.
|APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
|| The minutes of the Faculty Council
meeting of October 15, 2001, were approved by voice vote (D
|COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
||Comments by the President None.
||Questions to the President.
||What is the policy for schools and colleges
faced with all undergraduate admission openings being
filled by top ten percent high school graduates? Are any
schools or colleges other than business and communication
close to this condition? From the Executive Committee
of the Faculty Council.
President Faulkner referred members to a report from Director
of Admissions Bruce Walker, Report to the Faculty Council
on the Admission of Top 10% Students, which is attached
as Appendix A. The president said that whether a school
or college admits all top ten percent applicants is determined
not by the school or college itself, but by the administration.
The University is required under Texas law to admit certain
students to the campus, but it is not required to admit
them to their curriculum of choice. For years some students
have not been admitted to their curriculum of choice because
some programs require portfolios or auditions, and some
programs cannot handle all applicants because of limited
faculty and facilities.
Michael Churgin (law) asked if the Personal Achievement
Index (PAI) satisfied the provision of the legislature
when a standardized test is used as part of the process.
Admissions Director Walker said the answer is yes. (The
report in Appendix A mentions that both the PAI and the
Academic Index are used.)
James Yates (special education) said he was concerned
that some students might end up with a major they did
not wanted to pursue or one they felt they could not pursue.
He was also concerned that some programs would come to
appear more elite than others. Finally, he was concerned
that State Representative Irma Rangel would feel the current
policy was not the intent of the law.
President Faulkner said that regarding the first two
concerns of Professor Yates, the University simply had
the fact that some programs, as well as the University
itself, did not have the resources to accommodate all
those who wanted to enter. Regarding the third concern,
the president said that the administration had been "in
full communication with Representative Rangel."
Mark Alpert (marketing) pointed out that at some institutions,
even public universities (such as Cornell), students must
apply to a particular program for admission, and if they
are not admitted to that program then they are not admitted
to the university.
||What is the policy of The University
of Texas concerning faculty, staff or students who are
members of the Reserves or the National Guard of the United
States and who are called up for active duty? From Robert
C. Koons (philosophy).
||This question was addressed by Patricia
Ohlendorf, vice president for institutional relations
and legal affairs. She said that, by state law, students
are given the right to withdraw from all classes and have
a full refund at any time during the semester. They also
have two other choices, both of which are written in the
catalog. One is to take an incomplete, if the faculty
member agrees, and not take a refund, and then finish
the course when he or she returns. Or, if the faculty
member feels that the student has mastered enough of the
course to have a grade assigned, that can be done; that
would be in a rare circumstance toward the end of the
semester. In terms of housing, federal law provides that
anyone who is called to active duty can legally break
a lease with thirty days notice. It also provides that
if someone is in married student housing, dependents of
that person can continue to live in married student housing
even though the student himself or herself is no longer
on campus. We are required to allow the person to return
after the active service is over and continue in a course
Financial aid for each student would be worked out by
the financial aid office. If a student is called to
active duty while in a loan deferral period, the period
served on active duty would be added to the period of
The section on military leave is in the Handbook
of Operating Procedures (Part 7 covers faculty and
staff. Human Resources, Section F. Leave Policies, Policy
|| REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Bruce Palka (mathematics) reported first on the October 26-27
meeting of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates. He said a topic
not on the agenda but of considerable interest was House Bill 1641,
which imposes certain restrictions on the uses of standardized tests
for admission and financial aid, as well as graduate and professional
programs. He said the faculty would hear more about this in the
The three main topics on the agenda were post-tenure review, formula
funding, and assessment of the effectiveness of faculty governance
(a project of the AAUP). He said a common complaint about post-tenure
review around the state was that faculty members were not given
a report of their review unless it involved something negative.
He said the University should ensure that was not the case on our
Chair Palka then discussed legislation concerning letter grades and
credit by examination. (See D
77-81.) He first summarized some of the history of the legislation,
and the quoted parts of a letter of October 12, 2001, from President
Faulkner (reproduced in Appendix B.) The letter asked for a reaction
from the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council, and the chair
said the Executive Committee applauded the second proposal mentioned
in the letter but believed the first proposal fell short of Faculty
Council recommendations. He said the Executive Committee preferred
that the Faculty Council's recommendation be implemented. He said
further that the Executive Committee recommended that in place of
the ad hoc committee mentioned in the letter, the issue should
be sent to the Educational Policy Committee, supplemented for this
purpose with others having expertise on assessment, and measurement
Michael Starbird (mathematics) said that he hoped the University
would evolve toward what the original legislation was namely
saying that there is something special about the UT Austin experience per se, and that that is what the University grade point
average should measure.
Professor Starbird also said he thought that the actual forces and
influences that are governing the decision are not being actually
discussed publicly. Namely, the decision was at least partly influenced
by the question of Hispanic students and how we attract them and
make them successful at the University. He said the best thing to
do would be to reemphasize the programs contributing to
||recruitment and retention, and to not try to hide
any inadequacies by something artificial, such as the current policy
|REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT None.
|SPECIAL ORDERS None.
|UNFINISHED BUSINESS None.
|REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS,
AND COMMITTEES None.
|NEW BUSINESS None.
|ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS None.
|QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR None.
The meeting adjourned at 2:58 P.M.
Distributed through the Faculty Council web
site (www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on November 29, 2001. Copies are
available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.
Report to the Faculty Council on the Admission of Top 10% Students
It has been a long-standing practice of
the University of Texas to admit new freshmen directly into the major
for which they qualify. Upon applying to the University students select
a first and second choice major, with Liberal Arts Undeclared as the
default pool in which Texas residents compete should they not qualify
for admission to their first or second choices.
With the passage of HB 588 in 1997 (which guarantees admission to any
public general teaching institution to students who graduate from an
accredited Texas high school and whose GPA places them in the top 10%
of their class), the University made the decision to allow top 10% students
to automatically qualify for their first choice major. There are two
exceptions: no guarantee to Architecture where faculty review is required
for admission and no guarantee to majors within the College of Fine
Arts where auditions are required.
During the admission process for the fall 1999 freshman class, the number
of top10% students applying to the College of Business equaled 103%
of the available spaces. In order to accommodate at least some strong
residents and non-residents who were not in the top 10%, the College
of Business opened additional spaces reducing top 10% students to 96%
of the total. Though top 10% students in the College of Business had
demonstrated strong performance, the College felt that automatic admission
was closing out possibilities for very strong non-residents, students
from non-ranking schools, and students with slightly lower class ranks
but very high SAT scores.
In July of 1999, Provost Eckland-Olson appointed a task force, which
I chaired, to consider policy changes regarding automatic admission
of top 10% students. In addition to myself, members of the task force
were Urton Anderson - College of Business, Larry Carver - Liberal Arts,
Kathy Fagan ÆAdmissions, David Laude - Natural Science, Darrell Rocha
- Communications, and Steve Monti and Gerald Torres from the ProvostÍs
The task force report was discussed with and approved by the Admission
and Registration Committee of the Faculty Council and sent to the Provost
in May of 2000. The report was accepted and adopted as policy. The Task
Force recommended that the University continue to guarantee automatic
admission to top 10% students to their first choice major but with some
modifications. Those modifications were the following;
||When any College or major reaches the point where
80% of the available spaces are being filled by students who qualify
through HB 588, the College or major may elect to restrict automatic
admission of top 10% students.
|| If the College or major decides to restrict automatic
admission, then the following policy will be put into place.
The Dean, in consultation with the Provost, will determine the exact
number of new freshmen that can be admitted for the year in question.
Seventy-five percent of this number will be automatically admitted
under HB 588. Students with the highest percentile ranks will be
admitted first until the spaces are filled or until all top 10%
students have been accommodated. The College or major will fill
the remaining 25% of the spaces using both the Academic Index and
Personal Achievement Index as normally used by the Office of Admissions
when making admission decisions.
The policy provides both a limit on the
number to be automatically admitted and a process for deciding which
top 10% students will be admitted.
This policy was put into place for the College of Business for the class
entering in fall, 2001. Through data modeling it was determined that
students in the top 5% would likely fill the spaces available for automatic
admission. This turned out to be true.
The College of Communications reached the trigger point during the application
process for the fall of 2001 and has now decided to invoke the limitations
for the fall 2002 entering freshman class. Through data modeling it
has been determined that the top 6% will likely fill the available spaces
for automatic admission and we are proceeding on that assumption.
From the questions we have received about
the policy it is apparent that a couple of things need clarification.
First, what happens to those top 10% students who are not admitted automaticallyƒthe
next 4-5%? They are placed in the pool to compete for the remaining
25% of the spaces. This results in additional, but not all, top 10%
students being admitted. Second, what happens with those top 10% students
who are still not admitted to their first choice? Top 10% students who
are not admitted to their first choice are automatically admitted to
their second unless it is restricted in the same way. Eventually, all
top 10% students are admitted. Finally, does this mean that some top
10% students who should be getting automatic admission have to wait
until the very end of the admission process before they get admitted?
In order to keep top 10% students in Fine Arts, Architecture, Business
and Communication fully informed, we send them a letter soon after we
have received their application stating that they are assured admission
to the University, the only decision remaining is what major they will
be admitted into.
The process has seemed to work well in its first year in the College
of Business and we will continue to work with them to monitor the results.
We will work closely with the College of Communications in their first
year of implementation.
Respectfully submitted November 19, 2001
Associate Vice President- Student Affairs
Director of Admissions
October 12, 2001
Dr. John R. Durbin,
Secretary, The General Faculty
Office of the General Faculty
FAC 22 (F9500)
I write in response to the proposed "Changes in Policies Concerning Grades
Awarded with Credit by Examination" (Documents of the General Faculty, D
77-81). The proposal included two recommendations:
||That The University of Texas at Austin continue
to award credit by examination either with letter grades or with
the symbol CR ["Credit"] but that letter grades for credit by examination
not be counted in a student's UT Austin grade point average.
||That the catalog and other official publications
of UT Austin be amended to reflect this change in policies.
A close reading of our current credit by
examination policies, as well as the proposal, raises several concerns.
In supporting the removal of letter grades earned in credit by examination
from the UT Austin grade-point average, the proposal itself comments
that credit by examination does not reflect a student's performance
in coursework at UT Austin. Beyond that issue is a question about inconsistency
between the way in which a final grade is normally determined in coursework
at UT Austin and the way in which the grade is determined in credit
by examination. In coursework, the final grade is almost always the
result of multiple factors (tests, papers, attendance, participation,
etc.). In credit by examination, the grade is the result of a single
These and other issues still need to be considered as regards the granting
of credit by examination. I am asking the Executive Vice President and
Provost to appoint a special committee to address the issues and prepare
a report. I will hold the current proposal (Documents of the General
Faculty, D 77-8 1), pending the report of that committee.
There is, however, an inequity in our current policies that I believe
must be addressed now. For the final grade in coursework at UT Austin,
the student must choose between a letter grade or "Credit" (for pass/fail)
by the mid-semester drop deadline, i.e., well before the final grade
is determined. For credit by examination, however, the student is permitted
to delay the choice of letter grade or "Credit" for an indefinite period
until he or she knows the grade and knows how that grade might affect
the grade-point average.
To eliminate this inequity, I am considering the following changes in
||Beginning September 1, 2002, a student attempting
credit by examination through a University of Texas at Austin test
will be required to make the choice of letter grade or "Credit" prior
to taking the examination (i.e., where that choice has been made
available by the department offering the examination).
||This policy alone would give an advantage to a student
earning credit by examination off campus when that student retained
the choice of letter grade or "Credit" until after the examination
was completed. Therefore, beginning September 1, 2002, the University
will accept credit by examination earned off campus as CR ["Credit"]
Before proceeding to implementation, I
would like to know the thoughts of the Faculty Council Executive Committee
about these changes.
Larry R. Faulkner President
||Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson
Dr. Bruce P. Palka, Chair of the Faculty Council