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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of October 21, 2002.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
October 21, 2002
The second regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2002-2003 was held in Room 212 of the Main Building on Monday, October 21, 2002, at 2:15 P.M.
Present: Lawrence D. Abraham, Kamran S. Aghaie, Glen S. Baum, Gerard H. Béhague, Daniela Bini, David G. Bogard, Teresa Graham Brett, Jennifer S. Brodbelt, Neal M. Burns, Johnny S. Butler, Alan K. Cline, Melba M. Crawford, Ann Cvetkovich, Donald G. Davis, John R. Durbin, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Kenneth Flamm, Alan W. Friedman, James D. Garrison, Michael H. Granof, Carl T. Haas, Marvin L. Hackert, Julie Hallmark, James L. Hill, Archie L. Holmes, Sharon D. Horner, Raymond Bert "Rusty" Ince III, Judith A. Jellison, Katherine Ann King, 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, Anna Coons Pyeatt, Esther L. Raizen, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Linda E. Reichl, Charles R. Rossman, Diane L. Schallert, Mark R. V. Southern, David B. Spence, David W. Springer, Janet Staiger, Salomon A. Stavchansky, Sarah Elizabeth Tierney, Janice S. Todd, James W. Vick, Darlene C. Wiley.
Absent: Phyllis R. Akmal, Urton L. Anderson, Begona Aretxaga, Harold W. Billings, Daniel A. Bonevac, Joanna M. Brooks, Patricia L. Clubb, Andrew P. Dillon, Edwin Dorn, Robert Freeman, Lita A. Guerra, Donald A. Hale, Thomas M. Hatfield, Kevin P. Hegarty, Kurt O. Heinzelman, Joseph M. Horn, Julie R. Irwin, Richard W. Lariviere, Steven W. Leslie, Amarante L. Lucero, Robert G. May, Eric C. Opiela, David M. Parichy, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Elmira Popova, William C. Powers, Johnnie D. Ray, David J. Saltman, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Sharon L. Strover, Daniel A. Updegrove, N. Bruce Walker, Ellen A. Wartella, Mary F. Wheeler, Barbara W. White, Michael P. Young, Brigitte L. Bauer (excused), Michael J. Churgin (excused), John D. Downing (excused), Larry R. Faulkner (excused), Charles N. Friedman (excused), George W. Gau (excused), John C. (Jack) Gilbert (excused), Sue A. Greninger (excused), Barbara J. Harlow (excused), Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Martin W. Kevorkian (excused), M. Michael Sharlot (excused), John M. Weinstock (excused), James R. Yates (excused).
Voting Members: 47 present, 27 absent, 74 total. Non-Voting Members: 8 present, 26 absent, 34 total. Total Members: 55 present, 52 absent, 108 total.
I. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
There were no questions about the written report (D 2154-2157).
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
A. Minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of September 23, 2002 (D 2158-2176) were approved by voice vote.
III. COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
None. President Faulkner was out of town.
IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Michael Granof (accounting) made several brief comments about the president’s State of the University Address and the October 15 meeting of the General Faculty. For more information on both topics, see D 2193-2194.
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT — None.
VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS — None.
VII. REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES — None.
VIII. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Draft Report of the President’s ad hoc Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Teaching Faculty (D 2177-2182).
Professor Judith Langlois (psychology), chair of the committee, talked about the committee’s composition, conclusions, and recommendations, and then opened the discussion for comments and questions.
Professor Kenneth Flamm (LBJ School) expressed concern about the recommended commitment to multi-year contracts, given that academic units might not be assured of having resources to cover such a commitment for more than one year at a time. Professor Langlois said the committee was concerned with establishing uniform procedures, and realized there would have to be some flexibility. Dr. Hillary Hart (senior lecturer, civil engineering), a member of the committee, said that footnote 3 on D 2179 was included to handle such problems: “In extraordinary circumstances, the executive vice president and provost can approve an exception and permit an appointment of less duration than normal.” Professor Flamm later expressed concern that there might be reluctance to promote lecturers because of the multi-year commitment of resources it would imply, in spite of the footnote. Professor Langlois said that was one of the reasons the committee had included recommendations 17 and 18 (D 2182) of its report.
Dean Mary Ann Rankin (natural sciences) voiced two special concerns about the recommendations. First, she did not see the rationale for the third career step, that of distinguished senior lecturer. Second, she believed the proposed requirement of mandatory consideration for promotion after a specified number of years would lead to problems. It would create an additional burden on department chairs and others. And, in many cases, it would guarantee an implication of rejection, which would be very unfortunate. This would be
especially true for many lecturers who are satisfactory teachers but who do nothing beyond that. Professor Alan Cline (computer sciences) expressed the same concern. Dean Rankin said that the College of Natural Sciences employed approximately 150 lecturers. She believed the system now in place was satisfactory in most respects and these specific recommendations would do more harm than good.
Dr. Hart said the committee’s intention in creating a third level for lecturers was to make the non-tenure-track more parallel to the tenure-track. Specifically, it would give lecturers something to aim for; after four or so years they could be rewarded with promotion to senior lecturer, and then after another period of extraordinary work they could be rewarded with another promotion.
Executive Vice Provost Stephen Monti suggested that the question of mandatory review could be handled with language similar to that in a provision for associate professors, who, if not considered for promotion after a certain period of time, can ask for mandatory consideration. He later added that the idea of three-year rolling, non-tenure appointments was consistent with the Regents’ Rules. This was different from “seven-year term tenure”, which exists in some of the UT component institutions.
Professor Cline pointed out that, with regard to the committee’s recommendation 12 (D 2181), the College of Natural Sciences does give teaching awards to lecturers. He also brought up the fact that, because of the difficulty of accurately predicting enrollment, some lecturers are not hired until the beginning of classes. Professor Langlois said nothing in the committee’s recommendations would prevent that; it’s an unfortunate but unavoidable problem. She said the committee concentrated more on “career path” lecturers.
Professor Janet Staiger (radio-television-film) expressed concern about the growing number of faculty members throughout the country who are employed long term, without tenure. She said a large proportion of such faculty members are women, influenced by family and other career choices. She hoped there would be an effort to track various relevant statistics for non-tenure-track teaching faculty.
Professor David Springer (social work) said his school employed some part-time, non-tenured teachers for only one semester each year, partly because many of the school’s students were on internships during the spring semester. Professor Langlois said the committee’s general principles could not cover all cases. She added that some schools and colleges appoint faculty as lecturers when they should be appointed as adjuncts.
Professor Esther Raizen (Middle Eastern language and cultures) acknowledged that mandatory consideration for promotion might be a burden for department chairs and others, but thought that many lecturers would be reluctant to request such consideration on their own. She also raised the question of whether the University would be reluctant to hire lecturers for extended periods since it might imply tenure. Professor Bruce Palka (mathematics) said that to the extent the latter point might relate to medical schools it should not be considered an issue, since faculty members there generally raise their own money and often operate on a more-or-less annual basis.
Professor Larry Abraham (curriculum and instruction) said that a clear job description could help determine when a non-tenure-track teaching faculty member might be promoted; the description might specify only teaching and it might specify something more. He also expressed concern about the rapidity of the review process, and tended to believe that service under semester-by-semester appointment should count toward eligibility. Professor Langlois said she did not believe the committee had strong feelings about the length of the terms.
Professor Daniela Bini (French and Italian) believed that two levels, lecturer and senior lecturer, would be sufficient. She believed that adding a third level, on the pretence of making the tracks parallel to those for tenure, would be a farce, since it would not in fact lead to tenure.
Professor Archie Holmes (electrical and computer engineering) asked if a lecturer could submit a proposal where he or she would be the sole principal investigator. Professor Langlois said “yes”, and that this had been in the proposal at one point. Professor Holmes urged that it be put back in.
Returning to an earlier part of the discussion, Professor Marvin Hackert (chemistry and biochemistry) urged the committee to keep in mind that there is a difference between being reviewed, which he thought everyone would favor, and mandatory review for promotion.
The draft was brought to the Council for its information and comments, and not for action. Professor Langlois urged members to send further comments to her or another member of the committee. The committee will present its final version to the president, who will then decide how to proceed with the recommendations.
IX. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS — None.
X. QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR — None.
The meeting adjourned at 3:34 P.M.