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Appendix A

Question to the President
Faculty Council Meeting
March 17, 2003



March 3, 2003

Larry Faulkner, President
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, Texas

Dear President Faulkner:

Several faculty members are concerned that no substantive, faculty-initiated legislation has been approved and enacted during the past six years. See the following list:

History and Status of UT-Austin
Substantive, Faculty-Initiated Legislation since Spring 1997

1996-1997
1. Change in Procedure for Appointing Members of the Pool of Faculty Grievance Officers to have faculty select all Members

  • Approved by FC 5/5/97
  • Not recommended by President & transmitted to Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 6/28/97
  • Not approved by Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 7/29/97


1997-1998
2. Suspension of a Faculty Member with Pay: Revision of Regent’s Rules to provide for consultation with Committee of Counsel of Academic Freedom and Responsibility prior to suspending a faculty member with pay prior to a hearing for termination

  • Approved by Faculty Council, December 8, 1997
  • Still at UT System


1998-1999
[Periodic Evaluation of Tenured Faculty approved this year, but it was not faculty-initiated]
3. Resolution Concerning Family Policy/Teaching Continuity and Restructured Faculty Workload

  • Approved by Faculty Council, January 25, 1999; Revision discussed by Faculty Council November 20, 2000
  • Rejected by UT System
  • Referred by FC Chair in February 2002 to the Faculty Welfare Committee for new attempt at revisions to make it acceptable

4. Proposal to Create an Office of Faculty Ombudsperson

  • Approved by Faculty Council, May 10, 1999
  • Returned by Provost on November 20, 2000
  • Revised, resubmitted, and approved by Faculty Council, February 18, 2002
  • Approved by President; search recommendations were given to the Provost in November 2002, but their implementation is now being delayed by Provost because of current budget situation


1999-2000
5. Changes in Policies Concerning Grades Awarded with Credit by Examination

  • Approved by Faculty Council November 15, 1999
  • Returned by President and Provost to the Educational Policy Committee for revisions

6. Proposal to Create Uniform University-Wide Mid-Probationary Review Procedures

  • Approved by Faculty Council, March 20, 2000
  • Still in office of the Provost, being implemented in various ways by individual colleges, none of which include all the features in the original legislation


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7. Report and Recommendations from the Faculty Grievance Committee, 1999-2000: Included recommendations about problems in the Grievance process including (a) the President approving the Hearings of which he is the final judge; (b) administrative interventions in the selection of members of Hearing Panels; (c) the need for legal counsel for the Grievance Committee; (d) increased legalization of the grievance process; and (e) the inability to grieve denial of tenure on procedural grounds unless the grievant can show violation of constitutional, federal or state laws.

  • Posted May 3, 2000
  • Most of the items (a, b, d, and e) are still being negotiated with the UT-Austin administration although possibly nearing resolution on item e


2000-2001

2001-2002

2002-2003
[Report of Task Force on Assembly and Expression recommended to President at his request]
8. Procedures for the University of Texas at Austin Administrative Investigations of Policy Violations Alleged Against Faculty Members

  • Approved by the Faculty Council, November 18, 2002
  • Currently in discussion with UT administration for revisions to what was passed


Would you please comment on this situation, what it says about faculty governance on this campus, and how faculty concerns expressed here might, in your view, be addressed?

Janet Staiger, Radio-Television-Film
Katherine Arens, Germanic Studies
Daniel Bonevac, Philosophy
Alan Cline, Computer Sciences
Alan Friedman, English
Julius Getman, Law
Susan Heinzelman, English
Martha Hilley, Music
Alba Ortiz, Special Education