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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
ollowing are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of January 26, 2004.
Sue A. Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF JANUARY 26, 2004
The fifth regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2003-2004 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, January 26, 2004, at 2:15 P.M.
Present: Lawrence D. Abraham, Kamran S. Aghaie, Urton L. Anderson, Jacqueline L. Angel, Marian J. Barber, Daniela Bini, Hans C. Boas, David G. Bogard, Maggie Chiang, Michael J. Churgin, Alan K. Cline, Melba M. Crawford, Donald William Drumtra, Kenneth Flamm, Wolfgang Frey, Alan W. Friedman, Charles N. Friedman, James D. Garrison, Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Marvin L. Hackert, Susanne Hafner, Brian J. Haley, John J. Hasenbein, Archie L. Holmes, Sharon D. Horner, Raymond Bert "Rusty" Ince III, Judith A. Jellison, Slyman M. Majid, Arthur B. Markman, Dean P. Neikirk, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Edward W. (Ted) Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Anthony J. Petrosino, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Linda E. Reichl, Charles R. Rossman, David J. Saltman, Mark C. Smith, David W. Springer, Janet Staiger, Sharon L. Strover, James W. Vick, N. Bruce Walker, James R. Yates.
Absent: Ricardo C. Ainslie, Dean J. Almy, Daniel A. Bonevac, Teresa Graham Brett (excused), Jennifer S. Brodbelt, Neal M. Burns, Johnny S. Butler, Joshua S. Campbell, Patricia L. Clubb, Janet M. Davis (excused), Andrew P. Dillon, Edwin Dorn, Phillip L. Dubov, Sheldon Ekland-Olson (excused), Larry R. Faulkner (excused), Robert Freeman, George W. Gau, Peter F. Green, Lita A. Guerra, Carl T. Haas, Donald A. Hale, Julie Hallmark, Michael P. Harney (excused), Thomas M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty, Kurt O. Heinzelman, Susan S. Heinzelman, James L. Hill (excused), Neville Hoad, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Martin W. Kevorkian, Robert D. King (excused), Richard W. Lariviere, Steven W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, Amarante L. Lucero, Thomas G. Palaima, Marcus G. Pandy, William C. Powers, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Eric A. Renner, Victoria Rodriguez, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Diane L. Schallert (excused), M. Michael Sharlot, David B. Spence, Salomon A. Stavchansky, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Daniel A. Updegrove, Ellen A. Wartella, Gwendolyn Webb-Johnson (excused), John M. Weinstock (excused), Barbara W. White, Darlene C. Wiley, Lynn R. Wilkinson, Paul B. Woodruff (excused), Glen M. Worley.
Voting Members: 42 present 31 absent 73 total Non-Voting Members: 4 present 30 absent 34 total Total Members: 46 present 61 absent 107 total
I. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
The written report appears in D 2811-2816. There were no questions or comments.
II. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
TThe minutes of the Faculty Council Meeting of December 8, 2003 (D 2817-2820) were approved by voice vote.
III. COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
A. Comments by the President.
Chair Marvin Hackert (chemistry and biochemistry) reported that both President Larry Faulkner and Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson were unable to attend the meeting due to changes in their schedules that required out-of-state travel; they were represented at the Faculty Council meeting by Executive Vice Provost Stephen Monti. Chair Hackert said that President Faulkner wanted to emphasize the importance of two reports released during the past week at The University of Texas at Austin: the first by the Task Force on Racial Respect and Fairness (D 2831-2868), chaired by Professor Darlene Grant, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Social Work, and the second by the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy (D 2869-2935), chaired by Professor Isabella Cunningham, Chairwoman of the Department of Advertising. Chair Hackert said that President Faulkner asked that faculty members review the reports and provide feedback regarding the recommendations included in the two reports during 45-day review periods from their respective dates of issuance.
B. Questions to the President.
Chair Hackert reported that President Faulkner had requested that the question submitted by Professor Jacqueline Angel (public affairs) regarding minority faculty recruitment and retention policies be deferred until the Faculty Council meeting on February 16, 2004.
IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Hackert pointed out that the January 23 deadline had passed, and the Board of Regents did not make any modifications to the previously adopted tuition increases, resulting in a clearer budgetary picture for the coming year. He also mentioned that the Texas Council of Faculty Senates will be meeting in about three weeks. The meeting’s focus will be on admissions, and Dr. Bruce Walker, vice provost and director of admissions, will be a participant. Representative Fred Brown, member of the Higher Education and Appropriations Committees in the Texas Legislature, will be the banquet speaker. Chair Hackert also announced that The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Group will meet in early March, and he expects that Governor Perry’s recent resolution regarding accountability guidelines will be discussed at the meeting.
Chair Hackert then asked past chair Michael Granof (professor, accounting) to report on the two meetings he recently attended as our University’s representative to the Big Twelve Athletics Coalition. The first meeting was in Kansas City and called by the University of Missouri chancellor. Present were representatives of eight of the Big Twelve universities; universities who were not represented were Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Iowa State. Professor Granof said that although there was reluctance among the representatives to endorse the resolution, the representatives agreed that they individually supported the document and would try to get their respective faculty councils to adopt it “in spirit” as The University of Texas’ Faculty Council had done in December. The group agreed to meet again and will invite Big Twelve commissioners and other officials to participate in the meeting.
The second meeting Professor Granof attended was at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis where coalition members met with athletic directors that are key players in the Athletic Directors’ Association and officials of the NCAA. He reported that the athletic directors were more supportive of the coalition’s proposal than the faculty senate members were although the discussion with the directors did
not address specific issues. The directors expressed concern about inappropriate advertising and ESPN’s influence on intercollegiate athletics. NCAA officials at the meeting presented their proposed reforms regarding incentives for universities to improve their graduation rates among athletes and generally agreed with the coalition’s proposal that specific oversight responsibilities should be assigned to faculty and faculty councils. The group agreed to meet again to address specific proposals. While in Indianapolis, coalition members also met with Mr. Jim Walda, Chair of the Association of Governing Boards, whose membership is comprised of regents and trustees of universities; Mr. Walda presented a statement from his organization saying that boards should assume general oversight responsibility for athletics, such as whether expenditures are appropriate and consistent with educational values.
Professor Granof expects that the coalition will now attempt to refine what is meant by best practices and will develop a full set of reforms by 2007. He said that if there were going to be changes to athletics, they would have to result from an alignment of presidents, trustees, athletic directors, and faculty members. Because television contracts are largely made with conferences, many of the reforms will have to be at the conference rather than at the national level. This could be difficult in the Big Twelve because a fairly mild statement of reform previously proposed by the University of Missouri has met with opposition from the University of Oklahoma. Professor Granof concluded by saying he felt reform is needed, and faculty councils will need to be involved so that athletics supports, rather than undermines, the academic mission of universities.
Chair Hackert then announced that UT Austin was hosting “Educating for a Diverse America: A Summit and Symposium” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education on January 29-30. Presidents and chancellors from a number of major universities across the country will participate in the summit, including Dr. Robert Berdahl, chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley and former president of The University of Texas at Austin.
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair elect Linda Reichl reported that the final agenda for the Joint Meeting of the Faculty Council and Texas A&M Faculty Senate is available. The meeting will be from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 23 in College Station. Representative Fred Brown, member of the Texas House Higher Education Committee, will speak at the luncheon, followed by sessions on flagship status, diversity, and budgetary decision-making. Council members who have not responded to previous emails asking if they plan to attend will be contacted again.
VI. UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Chair Hackert reminded council members that various Standing Committees of the General Faculty are expected to make presentations at meetings later this spring. On potentially controversial proposals, there will be an initial informational presentation followed by a vote at the next meeting.
VII. REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES — None.
A. Report from the Educational Policy Committee concerning honors criteria (D 2828-2830).
Professor Archie Holmes (electrical and computer engineering), co-chair of the Educational Policy Committee, reported the following recommended changes regarding honors criteria:
1. To receive honors, students will be required to be enrolled as full-time students, i.e., twelve hours. 2. The required GPA for College Scholars should be changed to in-residence GPA. 3. Criteria for College Honors should be uniform for the entire campus and in line with the criteria for University Honors. 4. Criteria for Distinguished College Scholars should be defined in the Catalog; the committee may recommend that the required GPA be lowered from 4.0 to 3.9.
The committee is also considering increasing the minimum number of hours and the in-residence GPA required for honors.
B. Report from the Educational Policy Committee concerning legislative course requirements (D 2826).
Professor Archie Holmes, co-chair of the Educational Policy Committee, reported that the committee is recommending that President Faulkner request that The University of Texas System coordinate with other Texas institutions of higher learning in proposing to the Texas Legislature that the current requirement of six hours of American history and six hours of American government, including Texas government, be changed to the following: three hours U.S. history, three hours U.S. government, and six hours social science (any area).
Professor Alan Cline (computer science) asked if the courses recommended were what the committee members thought should be recommended or what they perceived might gain approval; he mentioned computing and multicultural classes as ones that might be appropriate for students to take. Professor Holmes answered that committee members felt this was a compromise between what was wanted and what might actually be approved. When asked by Professor Mark Smith (American studies) if the committee had defined social sciences, Professor Holmes said the answer was no; Professor Smith asked if Latin American studies, journalism, or business courses would count toward the changed requirement and said that social sciences needed to be defined before there could be a vote on the proposal. Professor Kenneth Flamm (public affairs) felt that social science needed to be defined at the university level before the Legislature was approached, and he inquired about the turnitin.com service mentioned in the committee report. Professor Holmes said the service was primarily a plagiarism-checking site that involved a usage fee. Professor Daniela Bini (French and Italian) agreed that social sciences should be defined with a specific list of courses and asked if world history might not be made mandatory. Professor Holmes said the committee’s general approach had been to leave the definition up to individual colleges and programs, but he agreed that specific guidance would be needed. Professor Alan Friedman (English) said he appreciated the committee tackling the issue and understood the desire for a compromise on the requirement; however, he felt that dropping the social science requirement would potentially make the proposal easier to defend. He suggested that a recommendation of three hours of U.S. history, three hours of U.S. government, and the remainder to be set by the institution might be easier to defend than the one proposed by the committee. Professor Holmes concluded by saying he would take the suggestions back to the committee for further consideration.
C. Report from the Educational Policy Committee concerning return of student papers (D 2827).
Professor Archie Holmes, co-chair of the Educational Policy Committee, reported that the committee contacted the Academy of Distinguished Teachers for advice regarding best practices for returning graded papers to students. The committee concluded that the specific methods of returning papers should be left up to individual faculty members but should be done is ways that were both ethical and legal, with protection of student privacy being the most important goal. The Committee believes the worst practice is leaving graded papers in halls with student names and grades on them.
D. Report from the Admissions and Registration Committee concerning the Coordinated Admissions Program (D 2821-2823)
Professor Larry Carver (English), chair of the Admissions and Registration Committee, summarized the requirements of the Coordinated Admissions Program (CAP) and presented the following recommendations to improve student quality and to control enrollment:
1. The GPA earned on thirty hours at component UT System institutions should be increased from 3.0 to 3.2.
Professor Kenneth Flamm (public affairs) asked for a brief description of CAP’s underlying assumptions and what caused the participants to be viewed as superior to competing junior college transfer students. Professor Carver said when he was acting director of admissions that it was easier to send letters saying that applicants had opportunities to earn their way into The University of Texas at Austin than to just send out rejection letters. Professor Flamm asked what extra resources were involved in the CAP program. Professor Carver said this was a question for the director of admissions but that there were personnel costs at the University and at the five sister campuses. When Professor Larry Abraham (curriculum and instruction) asked if students would be told in advance the institutions where they were qualified for admission, Professor Carver said yes. Professor Abraham asked if grades from short semester courses would count toward the GPA requirement. When Professor Carver answered that only the GPA in the thirty required long semester courses would count toward the requirement, Professor Abraham said that it would be simpler if the recommendation said two long semesters of fifteen hours are required. Professor Alan Cline expressed concern that the standards for CAP students entering UT Austin could be considerably lower than the standards for transfer students trying to enter. Professor Carver said the program offered applicants a second chance; he said CAP students were performing as well as summer admits but not as well as top 10% admits and regular fall admits that are not in the top 10%.
2. All CAP students should be required to take a mathematics course beyond M 301 as part of thirty hours of course work. 3. CAP students should not be allowed to count credit in short semester courses as part of the thirty hours. 4. The deadline for accepting CAP should be moved from July 1 to June 1. 5. UT System participating institutions should be able to accept only those CAP students who meet their admissions requirements. 6. CAP should be reviewed each year.
VIII. NEW BUSINESS.
A. Current Student Demographics
Marsha Kelman, director, Office of Institutional Research, presented a profile of selected student demographics and benchmarks that were compiled when university administrators were attempting to determine the optimal size for the University. She indicated that about 92% of the undergraduates are from Texas, 5% are from out-of-state, and 3.5% are from foreign countries. In contrast, the percentage distribution for graduate students are 44% Texan, 28% out-of-state, and 28% foreign. In comparison to the top dozen major public research institutions in the U.S., UT Austin has higher undergraduate enrollment, lower tuition and fees, a lower average student course load, a lower four-year graduation rate, and a higher student-faculty ratio. Ms. Kelman’s complete presentation is included as an attachment to these minutes (D 2954-2961).
B. Summary Report from the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy (D 2869-2935)
Isabella Cunningham (advertising), chair of the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy, presented a summary of the findings and recommendations of the task force’s report that was issued January 26, 2004, the day of the Faculty Council meeting reported in these minutes. Although questions from Council members occurred throughout the presentation, the minutes will be divided into two parts: first, a summary of the task force’s recommendations and second, a summary of the questions and discussion at the council meeting. The full report of the task force can be accessed through the document number listed above.
C. Resolution Endorsing the Framework for Comprehensive Athletics Reform (D 2791).
This item was introduced by Professor Michael Granof (accounting) on behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee. The chair called on Professor Granof to discuss the motions. Professor Granof pointed out that the items had been discussed previously in the Faculty Council. He said that the Women’s Athletics Council had also considered the proposal and supported the motions, subject to two amendments: amend the first motion to say that the Faculty Council endorsed “the spirit of” the framework; and amend the second motion by making the appointment by the Executive Committee be “with the approval of the Faculty Council.” Professor Granof believed that “the spirit” was implied, and did not favor making it
Task Force’s Recommendations:
To answer President Faulkner’s questio n regarding the recommended enrollment for the University, Professor Cunningham said that the task force developed two sets of recommendations regarding undergraduate enrollment: long-term strategies and short-term strategies. Guiding principles established by the task force were that the University should:
Long-term enrollment recommendations were the following:
1. continue to be internationally renowned for teaching, research, and service. 2. provide graduate and undergraduate education second-to-none. 3. carry out its central education mission on a contiguous campus. 4. improve the percentage of undergraduates who complete their degrees and shorten the time to graduation. 5. move progressively to a student-faculty ratio similar to those of the national comparison group of institutions. 6. allow sufficient flexibility for students to explore academic areas outside their majors without delaying progress toward graduation. 7. provide diversity in its students, faculty, and staff. 8. possess adequate resources to accomplish the above goals while remaining an economically viable choice for all Texans. 9. achieve a size that is consistent with the above principles.
Short-term enrollment recommendations included the following:
1. reduce the student population to 48,000 over the next five years. 2. increase the size of the faculty by about 170 in order to lower the student-faculty ratio. 3. pursue legislative changes that would limit the percentage of new students admitted under the State’s Top Ten Percent Law.
1. limit undergraduates to a maximum of ten long semesters in residence to complete a bachelor’s degree. 2. increase the minimum number of required student credit hours to fifteen per semester to qualify for honors programs and merit-based scholarships. 3. review the undergraduate curriculum, especially core or basic education requirements. 4. review policies related to students being allowed to return from scholastic dismissal. 5. limit the number of students admitted under the Coordinated Admissions Program. 6. motivate undergraduate students to increase their course loads and notify those that are not making adequate progress toward graduation. 7. review readmission policies and enforce readmission application procedures. 8. deny multiple applications from the same student for admission to a restricted program unless an exception is granted by the dean. 9. limit number of times a student can enroll in a course to two, with additional enrollments requiring written consent of the major advisor; count course drops and withdraws from the university as enrollments. 10. limit the number of times a student can drop a course or withdraw from the University. 11. built or develop additional classroom space from existing space available on campus. 12. implement a campus-wide policy for reserving classrooms at both the University-wide and departmental levels. 13. give preference to seniors nearing graduation for registration in required classes. 14. increase the number of semester credit hours that must be earned after high school graduation to thirty that transfer students must complete before admission to the university. 15. encourage degree holders and non-degree seekers to take courses offered by the Division of Continuing and Extended Education. 16. provide adequate numbers of course offerings and available seats for non-majors.
Questions and Discussion at the Council Meeting:
Professor Janet Staiger (radio-TV-film) asked what effect increasing student credit hours per semester and limiting in residence enrollment to ten long semesters would have on average class size. Professor Cunningham said the model used by the task force had taken these factors into account, and increasing the number of faculty and classrooms should result in no impact on average class size. When Professor Daniela Bini (French and Italian) asked if the fifteen hours per semester would be mandatory, Professor Cunningham replied no; however, when Professor Bini asked if that meant honors students who were working would be automatically excluded from the fifteen-hour requirement, Professor Cunningham said that they might. She then said she didn’t know if there is a relationship between working and honors status, but there is a relationship between the student credit hours per ssemester and honors status. She said 90+% of students say that they are working; however, whether or not they need to work is a different situation. She said she would be happy to check on this relationship.
When Professor Linda Reichl (physics) pointed out that there is concern that new buildings on campus don’t have classrooms and asked if the task force recommended that buildings with classrooms be constructed, Professor Cunningham replied yes and said that the Faculty Council’s recommendation regarding this issue had been followed by the task force. Professor Kamran Aghaie (Middle Eastern studies) commented that the recommendations seemed to create more restrictions and reduce freedom rather than improve quality. He said he had a lot of very good students who stayed beyond the ten-semester period. He asked if the goal was simply to make the statistics look good to education consumers who are shopping around for schools. Professor Cunningham said she thought students could exceed the ten semesters if they desired but still managed to graduate on time. Although exceptions could be granted, the objective of the recommendation was to encourage students to make adequate progress toward graduation.
When Brian Haley (Student Government) asked if the ten-semester limit would affect study abroad, Professor Cunningham said no. She also said there was a recommendation to increase advising support in response to another question from Mr. Haley and then agreed to give the task force’s report for Student Government. Professor Mel Oakes (physics) ask if there was an economic disincentive or incentive to reduce enrollment given the new tuition increases. Professor Cunningham said that the number of students would not make a difference because formula funding is based on the number of student credit hours, but the question was difficult to answer since she had no idea what tuition increases were planned for the future. Executive Vice Provost Monti confirmed that formula funding was driven by semester credit hours, but he said that current school and college fee money is driven by headcount. He said he thought the target of 48,000 students was related to the best quality education that the faculty and physical resources could provide.
When Professor Mark Smith (American studies) asked if the effort to provide a priority registration incentive for students based on the number of enrollment credit hours could be undermined by students later dropping some of classes, Professor Cunningham said the recommendation limiting the number of drops per student would discourage this behavior. He also was concerned that students could get forced into staying in a class that was not wanted or where a problem existed due to the restriction on drops. Professor Cunningham said the task force tried to address general issues; however, exceptions could be granted for specific situations that exist in colleges or departments or for individual circumstances that the task force could not foresee.
At the end of the presentation, Chair Hackert thanked Professor Cunningham and her task force for their excellent work and reminded council members that review period was underway. Comments regarding the recommendations should be directed to President Faulkner. He also noted that there was a difference in the recommendation from the task force and the Education Policy Committee regarding the number of semester credit hours required to qualify for honors, fifteen versus twelve, respectively. Professor Cunningham said the task force had as for input regarding the fifteen-hour
requirement from the committee that selects endowed presidential scholarship recipients; after that committee looked at student records, it concurred that the fifteen-hour minimum per semester was an adequate recommendation.
Noting that the task force had made no recommendation regarding flat-rate tuition, Professor Sue Greninger asked if the task force had determined that there had not been sufficient time to evaluate the impact of this pilot program. Professor Cunningham said that the increase in student credit hours per semester resulting from the flat-rate tuition plan had not been enormous. Although the task force endorsed the flat-rate plan, she said the offices of the president and provost would decide exactly where the plan should reside in the future.
IX. ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS.
A. Next Faculty Council meeting – Monday, February 16. B. Joint Meeting of UT and Texas A&M Faculty Senates — Monday, February 23. C. Nominations for Coop Board / Men’s and Women’s Athletics Councils and the Civitatis Award.
X. QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR — None.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 P.M.
Distributed through the Faculty Council Web site on January 12, 2004. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.
Selected Student Demographics and Benchmarks
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