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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of May 5, 2003.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
MAY 5, 2003
The sixth regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2002-2003 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, May 5, 2003, at 2:30 P.M.
Present: Lawrence D. Abraham, Kamran S. Aghaie, Urton L. Anderson, Brigitte L. Bauer, Glen S. Baum, Gerard H. Béhague, Daniela Bini, David G. Bogard, Teresa Graham Brett, 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, Charles N. Friedman, James D. Garrison, John C. (Jack) Gilbert, Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Marvin L. Hackert, Julie Hallmark, Barbara J. Harlow, Michael P. Harney, James L. Hill, Archie L. Holmes, Sharon D. Horner, Judith A. Jellison, Martin W. Kevorkian, Elliott W. Kruppa, Richard W. Lariviere, Arthur B. Markman, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. (Ted) Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Bruce P. Palka, Anna Coons Pyeatt, Esther L. Raizen, Linda E. Reichl, Charles R. Rossman, M. Michael Sharlot, Mark C. Smith, David B. Spence, David W. Springer, Janet Staiger, Salomon A. Stavchansky, Sharon L. Strover, James W. Vick, Darlene C. Wiley.
Absent: Phyllis R. Akmal, Harold W. Billings, Daniel A. Bonevac, Neal M. Burns, Johnny S. Butler, Patricia L. Clubb, Joshua Dever, Andrew P. Dillon, Edwin Dorn, John D. Downing, Robert Freeman, George W. Gau (excused), Lita A. Guerra (excused), Carl T. Haas (excused), Donald A. Hale, Thomas M. Hatfield, Kevin P. Hegarty, Kurt O. Heinzelman, Raymond Bert "Rusty" Ince III, Julie R. Irwin, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Katherine Ann King, Anastasia "Stacey" Kounelias, Steven W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, Amarante L. Lucero, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Melissa L. Olive, Eric C. Opiela, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Elmira Popova, William C. Powers, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Victoria Rodriguez, David J. Saltman (excused), Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Diane L. Schallert, Mark R. V. Southern, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Sarah Elizabeth Tierney, Janice S. Todd, Daniel A. Updegrove, N. Bruce Walker, Ellen A. Wartella, John M. Weinstock (excused), Mary F. Wheeler, Barbara W. White, James R. Yates, Michael P. Young.
Voting Members: 48 present 26 absent 74 total. Non-Voting Members: 8 present 26 absent 34 total. Total Members: 56 present 52 absent 108 total.
I. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
There were no questions about the written report (D 2534-2538).
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of March 17, 2003 (D 2523-2529), were approved by voice vote.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
A. Comments by the President.
The president dealt with Item B before Item A. He then said the secretary had informed him that the current calendar year would be the secretary’s last to serve in that position. The president said because of that decision, he and the provost would like to place a resolution before the Council. The resolution is reproduced in Appendix A. Following the usual practice in such matters, the Council responded with generous applause, which was interpreted as an endorsement. [The secretary was uncharacteristically speechless, but very grateful.]
The president closed his remarks by reminding members of what the University is able to do and the role it serves in the larger society. He thanked members for their contributions over the preceding year and urged them to savor the importance of what they had done.
B. Questions to the President.
The following two questions from Professor Gerard Béhague (music) were submitted before the meeting.
President Faulkner said the proposal to abolish out-of-state tuition had not moved out of committee in the legislature, and he thought it unlikely that it would be approved. The item was being watched, however, in case things changed.
1. The news that the state legislature has been or is considering abolishing out-of-state tuition waivers is alarming, as a large percentage of the graduate student body on this campus comes from out-of-state. Would you please give us an update on this issue and comment on what the University can do, should such an unfortunate initiative be implemented?
2. 2. The severe budget reductions for summer 2003 instructional activity are being justified as a way to augment TA and AI budgets in 2003-2004 and thus maintain the current levels of TA/AI funding for 2003-2004. In tight budgetary situations, shouldn’t all levels of University operation be considered in sharing the reductions? Why target the teaching faculty alone and not administrative and professional personnel as well? Finally, wouldn’t it be appropriate in times such as these to scrutinize what actually constitutes reasonable faculty teaching loads (not only minimum loads) so that courses or sections of courses do not have to be cancelled or taught by AIs?
For the second question, the president said the effects on the summer budget were largely a result of the governor’s order to remove seven percent of the current year’s budget. The responses to the order were being dealt with by deans and vice presidents in a variety of ways. He said that, to the extent possible, the burden was being shared by all operational units of the University, with administrative units carrying a larger proportional part of the cuts. He pointed out that academic units are funded largely by state appropriations, tuition, and fees, while administrative units are funded largely by state appropriations; in addition, both kinds of units received some money from the Available University Fund.
The president then called on Executive Vice President and Provost Ekland-Olson to discuss teaching loads. The provost said efforts were being made to minimize the impact on course availability for students. Professor Béhague said he had assumed that summer instruction actually generated funds, so he was curious about the result of reduced teaching. The provost replied that the plan was to increase class size without reducing the number of semester credit hours.
IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Michael Granof (accounting) thanked the president, the provost, and the members of the Council, especially those on the Executive Committee, for their support during the year. He also offered special thanks to Jenny Morgan and Debbie Roberts of the Office of the General Faculty.
He reviewed the work of the Council over the past year, and reported that the Council’s Executive Committee had met with Charles Miller, Chair of the Board of Regents, to discuss several items of general interest: the budgetary situation, the UT System’s accountability program, and athletics. He also said he had become a member of the steering committee of a coalition of members of the major athletics conference, organized to consider reform of intercollegiate athletics.
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair-elect Marvin Hackert (chemistry and biochemistry) announced the results of the election of officers for the 2003-2004 Council (see D 2520-2521). He also spoke for the members in expressing appreciation to Chair Granof for the leadership he had provided to the Council over the year, and presented Professor Granof with an inscribed wooden plaque with the annual Faculty Council photograph and University seal.
VI. SPECIAL ORDERS — None.
VII. PETITIONS — None.
VIII. UNFINISHED BUSINESS — None.
IX. REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES — None.
X. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Approval of Meeting Dates for 2003-2004 (D 2530).
The Council approved a motion by the secretary setting the meeting dates of the Council and the General Faculty for 2003-2004. The secretary pointed out that the October 14 meeting would be on a Tuesday rather than a Monday, due to scheduling conflicts and the new policy (D 2384-2385) calling for the annual meeting of the General Faculty to occur immediately after the October meeting of the Council.
B. Cancellation of Summer Meetings of the Faculty Council (D 2531).
The Council endorsed, by voice vote, the action taken by the chair in canceling the Council's summer meetings, with the understanding that special meetings would be called if warranted.
C. Nominations for the Intercollegiate Athletics Councils (D 2532-2533).
The Council approved the following lists of nominees, which were proposed by a nominating committee consisting of Michael H. Granof (chair), Marvin L. Hackert (chair elect), Jennifer S. Brodbelt (chemistry and biochemistry), Dean P. Neikirk (electrical and computer engineering), Melba M. Crawford (mechanical engineering), and Linda Ferreira-Buckley (English). The president is to make one selection from each list of nominees.
Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men: Robert A. Duke (music), John C. (Jack) Gilbert (chemistry and biochemistry), Edmund T. (Ted) Gordon (anthropology), Archie L. Holmes (electrical and computer engineering), and Bruce P. Palka (mathematics).
Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Women: Susan Heinzelman (English), James V. Hoffman (curriculum and instruction), Michael Lauderdale (social work), David P. Morton (mechanical engineering), and Gretchen Ritter (government).
D. Revision of Proposed Procedures for The University of Texas at Austin Administrative Investigations of Policy Violations Alleged Against Faculty Members (D 2539-2541).1
This item was introduced by Professor Janet Staiger (radio-television-film), chair of the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (CCAFR). She discussed the background of the proposal, including changes made after consultation with members of the administration. She said the committee had come to realize that Section 3.18 of the Handbook of Operating Procedures already covered some of the items that had concerned the committee.
Professor Staiger addressed questions that had been raised about the meaning of "discipline." She quoted several definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary. She said the current grievance policy was not clear, in itself, regarding when disciplining occurs, but she said that with this proposal we were in the environment where disciplining involves an administrative investigation with subsequent acts by the administration. She said CCAFR was especially concerned with protecting "the rights of an individual who may face a disciplining that would be very difficult to take back should it turn out that allegations [were] untrue or the discipline that was enacted [was] too severe for whatever the situation was." She said the committee had dealt with this by putting "in place a consultation with CCAFR about protecting the individual should the administration wish to go ahead with disciplining ... that is irrevocable or very difficult to take back."
Provost Ekland-Olson said he believed the administration and CCAFR were close to agreement on the proposal, but he would ask for input from the academic deans before recommending approval.
Vice President Ohlendorf said the language in the second paragraph of the proposal needed to be consistent with the language in Item 6.
Professor Sharon Strover (radio-television-film) said she was uncertain about the meaning of significant policy violations with respect to discipline, and would like some examples; she also asked for clarification of “property rights” in the context of the proposal. Professor Staiger said that removing a faculty member’s right to teach a summer class would be an example of “discipline.”
Vice President Ohlendorf repeated her concerns about the consistency of the language in the second paragraph of the proposal with the language in Item 6. She addressed Professor Strover’s question about rights by saying they might include, for tenured faculty, the right to
1 Modified on August 18, 2003.
continue employment subject only to termination for cause or perhaps termination for financial exigency; it might also include a right to a hearing for cause before suspension without pay. Another category would be something like denial of a right to apply for summer funds until a matter was resolved, if this caused a delay past the deadline for applying for the funds. She said she could not support the legislation if it required a hearing prior to an implementation of any administrative procedure. Professor Staiger said the proposed legislation would not require that.
Professor Alan Cline (computer sciences) expressed dismay over the delay since the first version of the legislation had been approved, and the fact that the administration was still raising questions about the proposal at this meeting. In particular, he felt that if deans needed to be consulted, as the provost had implied, then, since the deans are members of the Council, they should come to the Council meetings and speak.
Dean Richard Lariviere (liberal arts) replied, as a dean, that he would find it extremely difficult to live with the proposal if it meant a hearing would be required before any disciplinary action was taken. He said there are circumstances in which, in the best judgment of department chairs and colleagues in departments, something had to be done very quickly in a classroom in the best interest of the students and the overall mission of the institution; it would be very difficult to do that if a hearing was required first. Professor Staiger responded that the legislation would not stand in the way of the kind of action Dean Lariviere had referred to.
Professor Kenneth Flamm (LBJ) said he had become confused about the need for a hearing. He asked if the default was “no hearing” or “hearing unless there is some expediency or urgency?” Vice President Ohlendorf interpreted the current proposal to mean that, if a disciplinary action was irrevocable, then a hearing, if requested, could be held unless the administration informed CCAFR that the delay for a hearing was not acceptable under the circumstances; she said these cases would be very limited.
The secretary said crucial points about the proposal remained unclear to him, such as the meaning of “discipline” in the context of the treatment of faculty. He had not discovered a case in his own department where the proposal would have been applicable. It had been the practice to work out difficult problems informally, with a few cases of counseling where it was appropriate. He also said the discussions between CCAFR and the administration seemed not to have cleared up all of the disagreements about the proposal, or made the legislation completely unambiguous. He said he would prefer to have these matters worked out before voting on the proposal, and moved to postpone the item until the September meeting of the Council. The motion, which was not debatable, was defeated by a show of hands.
Professor Strover said that as an interim chair for the past year she had considered the issue of discipline very carefully, and she understood the vagueness of the term as it was used in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. She believed the Council should try to do better.
Professor Esther Raizen (middle eastern studies) questioned the appearance of a comma following “President or Provost” in the last paragraph of Item 6. Professor Staiger said the comma had not been there in what had been submitted to the Office of the General Faculty. Investigation after the meeting proved otherwise, but it was not clear when the comma had appeared. As Chair Granof remarked in the meeting: “It’s clearly a typo, I believe.”
Professor Flamm said that, since the wording of the legislation was going to change anyway, he thought the Council should wait to vote on the final version. Professor Staiger thought that would just lead to further delay.
The provost repeated that he would ask the deans to comment on the proposal and said that the discussion in the Deans’ Council would be different from that in the Faculty Council. It was essential that he have their input before making a recommendation on the proposal. President Faulkner said that he had not read the proposal, and would wait to make his decision until receiving a recommendation from Provost Ekland-Olson and Vice President Ohlendorf.
Professor Salomon Stavchansky (pharmacy) thought the Council should wait for a more final version before voting on the proposal. Professor Staiger did not agree.
The proposal was then approved by a show of hands.
E. The Study of UT Student Financial Status.
Dean Lariviere presented this item, and copies of the information he discussed appear in Appendix B of these minutes. He said the study arose from discussions of the flat-rate tuition policy introduced in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences. He suggested the most problematic numbers in the survey were those for average household labor income, which were the most difficult to determine. [Professor Sue Greninger (human ecology) made a comment about the report, but regrettably neither her comments nor the response were clear from the audio tape for the meeting.]
XI. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS — None.
XII. QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR — None.
The meeting adjourned at 3:55 P.M.
Distributed through the Faculty Council Web site on August 8, 2003. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.
Resolution of Appreciation for John R. Durbin,
Retiring Secretary of the General Faculty and
WHEREAS, our exceptional colleague John R. Durbin has served with the greatest distinction as Secretary of the General Faculty and Faculty Council for the past five years; and
WHEREAS, in that capacity he has brought a mathematician's order and consistency to the recorded proceedings of our faculty governing bodies; and
WHEREAS, John Durbin has single-handedly modernized General Faculty elections on this campus, bringing the process into the electronic age; and
WHEREAS, he dignified the importance of Faculty Memorials by completing 17 years of unfinished faculty memorial resolutions and placing them on a web site for access to the UT community and the entire world; and
WHEREAS, John Durbin also assisted in binding 17 years of Faculty Council reports into archived volumes for posterity; and
WHEREAS, he has diligently and tirelessly coordinated the minutes, legislation, policy changes, annual reports, and all other activity produced by faculty governing bodies; and
WHEREAS, John Durbin has served as a superlative Secretary, with the deft precision of a fine ballroom dancer and the creativity of a master artist; and
WHEREAS, he has demonstrated uncommon leadership on this campus for the past 39 years and a genuine compassion toward students and colleagues; and
WHEREAS, John Durbin exemplifies the University's core value of "Learning: A caring community, all of us students, helping one another grow";
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the President and the Executive Vice President and Provost join the Faculty Council in commending John R. Durbin for his outstanding work and offering our utmost gratitude to a great citizen of the University and a devoted caretaker of faculty governance.
Appendix BThe Study of UT Student Financial Status
- Conducted by UT Office of Survey Research, Fall 2002.
- Designed by Prof. Marc Musick (Sociology) and Prof. Gerald Oettinger (Economics).
- Random sample of 1,349 UT undergraduate Texas residents enrolled in both the Spring and Fall of 2002.
- 81% response rate.
- Sample is representative of gender, ethnicity, class rank, and college.
Student Loan Debt
- 58% have $0 student loan debt.
- 22% have $1-$9,999 student loan debt.
- 12% have $10,000-$19,999 student loan debt.
- 8% have > $20,000 student loan debt.
- transfer students have a mean student loan debt of $8,630 compared to $4,125 for non-transfer students.
Student Loan Debt (cont.)
- Mean student loan debt is highest among seniors at $6,700 compared to $3,874 for juniors and $3,006 for freshmen/sophomores
- 57% of seniors have no student loan debt
Credit Card Debt
- 24% of students have no credit card.
- 38% have one credit card, 4% have 5 or more cards.
- 57% have no credit card debt.
- 14% have $1- $500 in credit card debt.
- 15% have $500-$2000 in credit card debt.
Nellie Mae Study
- Nellie Mae, the student loan organization, recently published a study showing credit card debt levels from a survey they conducted of student loan applicants (February 2003).
- Compared to UT students, the students in the Nellie Mae sample were more likely to have credit cards and carried many more on average (4.3 vs. 1.5) than UT students.
Nellie Mae Study (cont.)
- The mean credit card debt carried by Nellie Mae respondents was much higher than the average credit card debt of UT students-- the median credit card debt for the Nellie Mae sample was $1,770. In comparison, median credit card debt for UT students was $0.
- Average debt varies by race (but not gender)
- $4,262 for Asians ($774 credit card).
- $4,522 for Whites ($821 credit card).
- $6,954 for African Americans ($662 credit card).
- $7,010 for Hispanics ($990 credit card).
Student Debt by Class Standing
Mean Student Loan Mean Total Debt No Student Loan Debt Fresh/Soph. $448 $3,007 $3,466 57% Junior $537 $3,874 $4,422 60% Senior $1,227 $6,700 $8,153 57%
Student Debt by Class Standing Expenditure
- Average UT student spent $7,385 in Fall 2002.
- Largest expenditure items were
- tuition and fees, (mean -- $2,470), and
- rent and utilities, (mean -- $2,504).
- Nearly 60% of expenditure was devoted to non-school consumption.
- 54% of students did not work during Spring 2002.
- 36% worked for most or all of semester.
- Of those who worked the mean number of hours was 19.
- Only 13% worked over 20 hours per week.
- There is a significant drop in work from the Fall to Spring semesters
- Women likely to work than men.
- 13% mentioned working for the experience, to enhance their resumes, or because it was something fun to do.
- 19% of students worked both long semesters and reported doing so primarily to pay for educational or living expenses.
- 70% parents “still” married.
- 88% from two-parent households.
- 72% one parent has a college degree.
- 44% both parents have a college degree.
- 12% both parents have advanced degree.
- “average” household labor income (excludes investment income) ±$100,000.
Subjective Assessment of Financial Well-Being
- 75% of students reported slight or no difficulty paying for educational expenses.
- 9% reported difficulty paying educational expenses.
- 77% reported themselves satisfied with their financial situation.
- 7% described themselves as not at all satisfied.