DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty
Council meeting of March 17, 2003.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL
March 17, 2003
The fifth regular meeting of the Faculty Council
for the academic year 2002-2003 was held in Room 212 of the Main
Building on Monday, March 17, 2003, at 2:15 P.M.
Present: Lawrence D. Abraham,
Urton L. Anderson, Glen S. Baum, Gerard H. Béhague,
David G. Bogard, Daniel A. Bonevac, Jennifer S. Brodbelt,
Joanna M. Brooks, Michael J. Churgin, Alan K. Cline,
Melba M. Crawford, Ann Cvetkovich, Donald G. Davis,
John R. Durbin, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Larry R. Faulkner,
Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Kenneth Flamm, Alan W. Friedman,
James D. Garrison, John C. (Jack) Gilbert, Michael
H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Lita A. Guerra, Marvin
L. Hackert, Julie Hallmark, Barbara J. Harlow, Michael
P. Harney, Kurt O. Heinzelman, James L. Hill, Sharon
D. Horner, Raymond Bert "Rusty" Ince III,
Julie R. Irwin, Judith A. Jellison, Anastasia "Stacey" Kounelias,
Elliott W. Kruppa, William S. Livingston, Arthur B.
Markman, Dean P. Neikirk, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Edward
W. (Ted) Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Melissa L. Olive,
Bruce P. Palka, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Elmira Popova,
William C. Powers, Diane L. Schallert, M. Michael Sharlot,
Mark C. Smith, Janet Staiger, Salomon A. Stavchansky,
Sharon L. Strover, Sarah Elizabeth Tierney, Janice
S. Todd, James W. Vick.
Absent: Kamran S. Aghaie,
Phyllis R. Akmal, Brigitte L. Bauer(excused), Harold
W. Billings, Daniela Bini, Teresa Graham Brett, Neal
M. Burns, Johnny S. Butler, Patricia L. Clubb, Joshua
Dever, Andrew P. Dillon, Edwin Dorn, John D. Downing,
Robert Freeman, Charles N. Friedman(excused), George
W. Gau(excused), Carl T. Haas, Donald A. Hale, Thomas
M. Hatfield, Kevin P. Hegarty, Archie L. Holmes(excused),
Manuel J. Justiz(excused), Martin W. Kevorkian(excused),
Katherine Ann King, Richard W. Lariviere, Steven W.
Leslie, Amarante L. Lucero, Eric C. Opiela, Anna Coons
Pyeatt, Esther L. Raizen, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie
D. Ray, Linda E. Reichl, Victoria Rodriguez, Charles
R. Rossman(excused), David J. Saltman(excused), Juan
M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Mark R. V. Southern, David
B. Spence(excused), David W. Springer, Frederick R.
Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Daniel A. Updegrove, N.
Bruce Walker(excused), Ellen A. Wartella, John M. Weinstock,
Mary F. Wheeler, Barbara W. White, Darlene C. Wiley,
James R. Yates, Michael P. Young.
|| REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
There were no questions about the written report (D
|| APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
|| Minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of January
27, 2003 (D
2499-2501) were approved by voice vote.
|| COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
|| Comments by the President.
President Faulkner began by commenting on a recent security
breach of the University’s information system, in which
55,000 social security numbers were taken. He said the theft
was discovered by the University’s own information technology
security people, who had a good idea of who was responsible
before the federal authorities were able to act. Each person
whose social security number had been taken was being contacted
about the theft. He said most of the University’s administrative
databases were protected by a common firewall, but the recent
theft occurred because of an application left outside the firewall
for the convenience of other UT System components; this weakness
had now been corrected. He also said that UT Austin, as well
as other universities throughout the country, was trying, to
the extent possible, to eliminate the use of social security
numbers for identification.
The president also commented on the current budget process
and the cuts that would be required because of the state’s
financial shortfall. Cuts would have to be made for the current
fiscal year and for at least the next several years. He said
that his goal was to try to preserve the best things the University
represents and the quality that had been built up over a long
period of time.
|| Question to the President
Before the meeting, seven members of the faculty submitted
a question to the president stating that they were “concerned
that no substantive, faculty-initiated legislation has been
approved and enacted during the past six years.” (Appendix
A to these minutes.) President Faulkner began his response
with a review of those items. He then listed other items that
had been approved over that period, many of which he considered
substantive. He said he thought faculty governance was in a
reasonably strong state here, and that he had not noticed people
shrinking from making their positions known.
Professor Janet Staiger (radio-television-film), one of those
who had submitted the question, stressed that the question
concerned what she and others considered “substantive,
faculty-initiated legislation.” She said she realized
that some of the items had not been approved because of action
by the UT System rather than the UT Austin administration.
She added that another concern was that members of the administration
sometimes did not raise questions about legislation when it
was before the Council, but only after it had been acted on
by the Council. She objected, specifically, to a remark made
by Executive Vice Provost Steve Monti, in which he said he
had not expressed opposition to an item on the Council floor
because he knew he would have an opportunity to do so later.
The president responded that the administration’s style
had been to let the process be open without much administrative
discussion in Council meetings. That might slow things down,
and perhaps the procedure should be considered, he said. He
added, however, that if legislation is substantive then it
is probably not going to “breeze” through.
|| Professor Alan Cline (computer sciences) said that when
the Faculty Council was created from the University Council
and the Faculty Senate, the hope by some was that there would
be open discussion involving members of the administration
in Faculty Council meetings. He asked for the president’s
comments on that idea. President Faulkner said it had been
his understanding that after the Council approves an item it
was his option to approve or to disapprove or to recommend
change. In either of the last two cases the Council would be
given a chance to respond. He felt the Faculty Council was
a place for the faculty’s voice to be heard, and he believed
that was essentially for the good of the institution. If the
Council believed a different procedure would be preferable,
then it should be discussed.
Professor Alan Friedman (English) said he thought it essential
that the Council be given an opportunity to respond when items
were disapproved, and even be given the opportunity to re-endorse
items it had originally approved. The president said he agreed.
The secretary said he believed one weakness was a failure,
in some cases, of insufficient debate in the Council by faculty
members themselves; this could leave it to the administration
to raise questions that should have been raised by the faculty.
He also said that attendance by deans at Faculty Council meetings
had been very low, and, although he thought the change to the
Faculty Council was a good idea, the relative lack of input
from deans was a defect in the current system. He said that
attendance by deans might have decreased because they had voting
privileges in the old University Council but not in the current
|| REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Michael Granof (accounting) invited nominations for the Civitatis
Award and for the Men’s and Women’s Athletics Councils.
He also commented, at some length, on the administration’s
handling of the legislation regarding a faculty member’s right
to an administrative hearing before disciplinary measures are imposed
2360-2362). On this issue, he supported the views expressed by
those raising the question to the president in III.B of these minutes.
|| REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair elect Marvin Hackert (chemistry and biochemistry) thanked members
who had attended the joint meeting of the Faculty Council and the
Texas A&M Faculty Senate on February 24. He said the attendance
was good, even though it was slightly below the number who had replied
that they would attend (48 from the Faculty Council, 18 from Texas
A&M, and 10 representatives from the state legislature). He said
a summary report of the results of the two breakout sessions had
been sent to Provost Ekland-Olson. He expressed special thanks to
Debbie Roberts and Jenny Morgan from the Office of the General Faculty
for their help in making the meeting a success.
|| UNFINISHED BUSINESS — None.
|| REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS,
AND COMMITTEES — None.
|| NEW BUSINESS.
| Resolution in Support of “Flexible Tuition” (D
Chair Granof introduced this resolution. A number of students
spoke in opposition. They included Sarah Tierney (computer
sciences, student government), Molly Rogers (English), Forrest
Wilder (English), and Austin van Zant (French), and at least
one other student who was not identified on the audiotape of
|| The secretary defended the resolution, saying that additional
money must be found to preserve the quality of the institution,
and it seemed reasonable for those who would benefit the most,
the students, to help. Professor Kenneth Flamm (LBJ) suggested
that students and their parents could also help by lobbying
the legislature for an increase in appropriations for the University.
The motion was approved by voice vote.
|| Report of the Committee to Nominate Faculty Members for
Appointment to the University Co-op Board of Directors (D
The Council approved the list of three names submitted by the
Executive Committee. [Secretary’s note: The president
later chose Professor Isabella Cunningham (advertising) to
serve on the board.]
|| Recommendation for Change in the Residency Requirements
in The UT Austin Undergraduate Catalog (D
Professor Robert Duke (music) introduced and discussed this
item. Professor Salomon Stavchanksy (pharmacy) questioned the
exclusion of credit for online courses, saying that some online
courses are quite good and some important courses might not
be offered at the University. In reply, Professor Duke said
the exclusion applied only to courses recorded as transfer
credit, and not to online courses offered at the University;
he said that was consistent with the spirit of the proposal.
Professor Jack Gilbert (chemistry and biochemistry) asked if
there was a reason for setting such a low number, six hours,
for advanced courses in one’s major, in part 2.d of the
proposal. Professor Duke replied that six hours was the current
number (with the exception of some individual schools or colleges),
and the committee had kept that. He added that he personally
thought the number was too low and perhaps it should be reconsidered
at some point.
Professor Larry Abraham (curriculum and instruction, kinesiology
and health education) asked if the committee had considered
students who would transfer in from other UT System institutions
under the provisional admissions program. Professor Duke said
the committee had considered this, and that very few of the
students would be affected and the deans could handle those
by making exceptions.
The recommendation was approved by voice vote.
|| Proposal to Modify Instructional Responsibilities Policy
This item was introduced and discussed by Professor Elizabeth
Richmond-Garza (English), on behalf of the Faculty Welfare
Committee. Professor Staiger asked what problems, if any, might
be expected in having this proposal approved by the UT Austin
administration and the UT System. Professor Richmond-Garza
believed that possible objections had been addressed, and she
expressed special thanks to Associate Vice President for Legal
Affairs Susan Bradshaw for her help in dealing with those objections.
The recommendation was approved by voice vote.
|| Final Report President’s ad hoc Committee on Non-Tenure-Track
Teaching Faculty (D
Judith Langlois (psychology), chair of the ad hoc Committee
on Non-Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty, introduced and discussed
the report, and it was endorsed by voice vote.
|| ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS — None.
|| QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR — None.
The meeting adjourned at 3:54 P.M.