DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular
Faculty Council meeting of December 10, 2001.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL
December 10, 2001
The third regular meeting of the Faculty
Council for the academic year 2001-2002 was held in Room 212 of the Main
Building on Monday, December 10, 2001, at 2:15 P.M.
Present: Anthony P. Ambler, Katherine M. Arens, Neal E.
Armstrong, Matthew J. Bailey, Gerard H. Béhague, Douglas G. Biow,
Joanna M. Brooks, Donald G. Davis, Patrick J. Davis, Thomas W. Dison,
John D. Dollard, John D. Downing, Minette E. Drumwright, John R. Durbin,
Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Larry R. Faulkner, Alan W. Friedman, Omer R. Galle,
John C. (Jack) Gilbert, Nell H. Gottleib, Michael H. Granof, Lita A.
Barbara J. Harlow, James L. Hill, Martin W. Kevorkian, Robert C. Koons,
David A. Laude, Steven W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, Francis L. Miksa,
Melissa L. Olive, Bruce P. Palka, Esther L. Raizen, Linda E. Reichl,
Richmond-Garza, Victoria Rodriguez, Mark R. V. Southern, Janet Staiger,
Michael P. Starbird, Salomon A. Stavchansky, Teresa A. Sullivan, Janice
S. Todd, Daniel A. Updegrove, James W. Vick.
Absent: Mark I. Alpert (excused),
Efraim P. Armendariz, Victor L. Arnold (excused), Joyce L. Banks (excused),
Brigitte L. Bauer, Glen S. Baum, Harold W. Billings, Lynn E. Blais, David
G. Bogard, Daniel A. Bonevac, Dean A. Bredeson (excused), Kathryn E. Brown,
Cindy I. Carlson, Michael J. Churgin (excused), Richard L. Cleary, Dana
L. Cloud (excused), Patricia L. Clubb, Lesley A. Dean-Jones, Edwin Dorn,
Robert Freeman, Dorie J. Gilbert (excused), Marvin L. Hackert (excused),
Donald A. Hale (excused),* Von Matthew (Matt) Hammond, Thomas M. Hatfield,
Kevin P. Hegarty (excused), Sharon D. Horner, Julie R. Irwin, Judith A.
Jellison, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Ward W. Keeler, Karrol A. Kitt,
Stefan M. Kostka (excused), David R. Kracman, Richard W. Lariviere, David
R. Maidment, Glenn Y. Masada (excused), Robert G. May, Melvin E. L. Oakes,
Patricia C. Ohlendorf (excused), Alba A. Ortiz (excused), Thomas G. Palaima
(excused), David M. Parichy, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Elmira Popova, William
C. Powers, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Kevin Robnett, David J.
Saltman, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Cynthia W. Shelmerdine, Frederick
R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Jarrad Allen Toussant, Frances Elizabeth
Valdez, Phyllis Boyd Waelder, N. Bruce Walker, Ellen A. Wartella, Mary
F. Wheeler, Barbara W. White, James R. Yates (excused), 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
1566-1569). The secretary called attention to the item on the
Policy on Teaching Continuity and Restructured Faculty Workload upon
the Birth or Adoption of a Child, which had been disapproved by the
Office of the General Counsel of The University of Texas System (D
1566). The secretary said he assumed the Council would hear more about
the item at a later meeting.
The secretary introduced Courtney Myers, a graduating senior who had
been working in the Office of the General Faculty for one-and-one-half
years, and Carolina Freire, a student who had just begun work in the
|APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
|| The minutes of the Faculty Council
meeting of November 19, 2001, were approved by voice vote (D
|COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
||Comments by the President.
President Faulkner thanked members for the service they had
given during the difficult time after the events of September
He then alerted members to budget problems for the University.
He said the administration was currently looking at the next
budget cycle, 2002-2003, and beyond that to include five years
in the future. He said some very difficult decisions would have
to be made affecting capital requirements, repair and renovations,
program support, faculty recruitment, and the hoped-for expansion
of the faculty to reduce the student/faculty ratio. It is important
for the University to try to maintain its momentum, but it will
not be easy, he said. He expected to have a budget message shortly
after the first of the year.
||Questions to the President.
||Professor Gerard Béhague (music)
had submitted two questions about on-campus parking.
The first was whether there was real justification for
F and A parking permit times from 4:00 to 5:45, which
had been done in September. The second had to do with
parking near Gregory Gym and Belmont Hall, in lots used
by those involved in recreational sports.
The questions were addressed by Bob Harkins, director
of Parking and Transportation Services. Mr. Harkins said
the changes in parking permit times had been made after
deliberations by the Parking and Traffic Policies Committee,
and consultation with students, faculty, and administrators.
He said that most of the responses about the changes
been favorable, and that some adjustments had been made
to accommodate those involved in recreational sports.
Professor Béhague argued that more changes were
needed, and questioned especially the policy regarding
parking under Bellmont Hall. Mr. Harkins invited further
input about the policies from Professor Béhague
||Professor Béhague also submitted
a question concerning the legislatively mandated four
percent merit pool increase for faculty and staff. He
was particularly concerned that in his own college, fine
arts, faculty holding endowed professorships and chairs
were singled out by taking up to two percent of the raise
amount for individual faculty members from their endowed
accounts. Provost Ekland-Olson and the president pointed
out that some schools and colleges, especially small
simply could not cover the overall costs of raises from
other sources; the legislature had provided only half
of the money needed to cover the raises it had mandated.
The endowed money was a permanent source of funds, and
both the president and the provost thought that covering
part of the raise for an individual from that
||individual's endowed position was reasonable
and equitable, especially given the circumstances.
| REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Bruce Palka (mathematics) announced that President Faulkner
would give a two-hour presentation of his vision for the University
in 2015 (UT@2015) at 2:00 on January 25 in the Avaya Auditorium of
the ACE Building. [The time was later changed to 2:15.]
|REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT None.
|SPECIAL ORDERS None.
|UNFINISHED BUSINESS None.
|REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS,
AND COMMITTEES None.
||Presentation concerning the status of assessment
and accountability procedures.
This presentation was made by Ray Rodrigues, formerly provost
and vice president for academic affairs at UT Brownsville, and
currently on assignment as a special assistant to the UT system
executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
More than a year ago, Regent Charles Miller proposed that measures
of accountability and assessment be instituted at the academic
institutions of the UT System. It was first believed that this
could result in a system of standardized tests, which would
have to be satisfactorily completed for graduation. However,
the system that has evolved is more flexible than that, and
Dr. Rodrigues reported on the background and current plans.
Dr. Rodrigues said the main goals were to assess student learning
and to hold ourselves accountable to our constituencies „ our
students, their parents, and the legislature. He said this
been a trend around the nation, and that some states mandate
standardized tests. The UT System's position now is that assessment
works best when it is devised by the faculty rather than imposed
with a standardized test from the outside. Decisions by the
legislature, the Coordinating Board, or the Southern Association
of Colleges and Schools (our accrediting agency) could lead
to something different in the future.
The initial phase is focused on writing, mathematics, and critical
thinking. These are to be dealt with in that order, with an
assessment of the writing of students prior to graduation beginning
in 2004. [Plans for the assessment of writing at UT Austin
covered in the next item of business.] Currently, "critical
thinking" has not been defined in this context.
For current information on UT System assessment plans, Dr. Rodrigues
referred members to http://ntmain.utb.edu/assessment/.
Professor Michael Granoff (accounting) asked about the costs
and benefits of the proposed plans for assessment. Dr. Rodrigues
said there would be some monetary costs, but he thought the
main cost would be faculty time. He said he felt very positive
about assessment, and he thought
||the main benefit would be that faculty members
would find out about what their students were learning.
Professor Matthew Bailey (Spanish and Portuguese) asked how
it was decided that mathematics would be one of the areas
to assess, and how faculty in the different departments of
the University would be involved. Dr. Rodrigues said it was
believed that writing and mathematics were the "most universal
areas that everybody seems to need to be able to succeed in
college." He indicated that there would have to be broad
discussion about how to assess critical thinking.
Professor Linda Reichl (physics) asked if there would be an
attempt to assess the level of the students as they enter
the University. She said that often we have less than well-prepared
students because of the state's education system, and thus
there is the question of the increment of improvement once
they arrive. Dr. Rodrigues understood the problem and thought
it was important that it be considered. For now, it is being
left to the individual institutions.
Presentation concerning specifics of the
UT Austin writing component assessment.
Linda Ferreira-Buckley, associate dean of the College of Liberal
Arts, explained UT Austin's plans for the assessment of writing,
as part of the UT System's assessment plans as discussed by
Dr. Rodrigues. She said that Provost Ekland-Olson had made
clear that we wanted something that would not change the nature
of the basic writing course and that would leave the faculty
in control of the assessment.
Professor Ferreira-Buckley said the assessment would be based
on the last writing assignment for English 306, which is a
course in academic argument based in classical rhetoric. The
assignment is done out of class. It would be graded as part
of the course, and a separate copy would be evaluated independently
as part of the writing assessment. This answered a question
from Professor John Dollard (mathematics). She said she believed
the assessment process would be useful for convincing students,
regents, and others of the value of the course.
Professor Robert Koons (philosophy) asked if writing done
in other courses, particularly substantial writing courses,
would be part of the assessment process, and the answer was
that it would not be part of the process.
Professor Salomon Stavchansky (pharmacy) said that to properly
assess a course it would be best to have baseline data indicating
the writing skills of those who enter the course. Professor
Ferreira-Buckley said the consultants on writing assessment
had said that a lot could be determined about the success
of a course without that. She also said it is possible that
the first writing assignments of students in a course could
be used for that purpose in the future, should it be desired.
Professor Melissa Olive (special education) asked how students
with disabilities would be accommodated in the process, and
she also asked about the reliability and validity of the assessment.
The answer to the first question was that students with disabilities
would be able to do their essays in the same way as other
essays in the course, and the answer to the second question
was that writing research showed that writing assessment of
the type planned had good reliability and validity.
Professor Bailey was concerned that the assessment would deal
only with the type of writing done in English 306, and not
with the other kinds of writing students do throughout their
careers at the University. The answer was that further assessment
could be very time-consuming and expensive, and that while
it might be a good idea in a perfect world, there could be
serious problems in trying to carry it out.
Professor Koons suggested that it would be desirable to have
a uniform assessment process across all UT System academic
institutions. Professor Ferreira-Buckley was opposed to that
believing strongly in campus autonomy. Also,
institutions in the System vary widely in their missions and
in the types of students they enroll.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS None.
QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR None.
The meeting adjourned at 3:35 P.M.
Distributed through the Faculty Council web site
on January 22, 2002. Copies are available on request from the Office
of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.