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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of February 16, 2004.

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Sue A. Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
FEBRUARY 16, 2004

The sixth regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2003-2004 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, February 16, 2004, at 2:15 P.M.

ATTENDANCE.

Present: Ricardo C. Ainslie, Jacqueline L. Angel, Daniela Bini, David G. Bogard, Jennifer S. Brodbelt, Maggie Chiang, Michael J. Churgin, Alan K. Cline, Janet M. Davis, Donald William Drumtra, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Larry R. Faulkner, Kenneth Flamm, Wolfgang Frey, Alan W. Friedman, James D. Garrison, Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Marvin L. Hackert, Susanne Hafner, Julie Hallmark, Michael P. Harney, John J. Hasenbein, James L. Hill, Neville Hoad, Archie L. Holmes, Sharon D. Horner, Arthur B. Markman, Dean P. Neikirk, Melvin E. L. Oakes, Edward W. (Ted) Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Linda E. Reichl, David J. Saltman, Diane L. Schallert, Janet Staiger, Salomon A. Stavchansky, Sharon L. Strover, Daniel A. Updegrove, N. Bruce Walker, Paul B. Woodruff.

Absent: Lawrence D. Abraham (excused), Kamran S. Aghaie, Dean J. Almy, Urton L. Anderson (excused), Marian J. Barber, Hans C. Boas, Daniel A. Bonevac, Teresa Graham Brett (excused), Neal M. Burns, Johnny S. Butler, Joshua S. Campbell, Patricia L. Clubb, Melba M. Crawford, Andrew P. Dillon, Edwin Dorn, Phillip L. Dubov, Robert Freeman, Charles N. Friedman (excused), George W. Gau, Peter F. Green, Lita A. Guerra (excused), Carl T. Haas, Donald A. Hale, Brian J. Haley, Thomas M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty, Kurt O. Heinzelman, Susan S. Heinzelman, Raymond Bert "Rusty" Ince III, Judith A. Jellison (excused), Manuel J. Justiz, Martin W. Kevorkian, Robert D. King (excused), Richard W. Lariviere, Steven W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, Amarante L. Lucero, Slyman M. Majid, Thomas G. Palaima, Marcus G. Pandy, Anthony J. Petrosino, William C. Powers, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Johnnie D. Ray, Eric A. Renner, Victoria Rodriguez, Charles R. Rossman (excused), Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, M. Michael Sharlot, Mark C. Smith (excused), David B. Spence (excused), David W. Springer (excused), Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, James W. Vick, Ellen A. Wartella, Gwendolyn Webb-Johnson, John M. Weinstock (excused), Barbara W. White, Darlene C. Wiley (excused), Lynn R. Wilkinson, Glen M. Worley, James R. Yates.

Voting Members:
35
present
38
absent
73
total
Non-Voting Members:
7
present
27
absent
34
total
Total Members:
42
present
65
absent
107
total


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I.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.

The written report appears in D 2938-2942. There were no questions or comments.

II.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of January 26, 2004 (D 2946-2961) were approved as submitted.

III.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.

A. Questions by the President.

1. What is the University's stated policy to increase minority faculty representation at every rank? And, what active efforts do we have in place for recruitment and retention of Mexican American and African-American faculty? — Jacqueline Angel (associate professor, LBJ School).

President Faulkner answered that the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) was interested in increasing African-American and Hispanic representation on the faculty because a diverse faculty is needed to connect with the student population being served now and in the future. He said that the University has a strong commitment toward achieving this goal and is making progress. This is evident by the recent increased success UT Austin has experienced in its recruitment of African-American and Hispanic faculty members relative to the pool of existing applicants from these racial and ethnic groups. President Faulkner went on to say that the annual fraction of faculty members who have African-American and Hispanic identity that UT Austin has hired annually in the recent past is about three times the fraction available in the national pool. President Faulkner pointed out that a substantial shortfall exists throughout the country in the availability of minority Ph.D. candidates interested in academic employment. Although UT Austin doesn’t have the ability to solve the widespread shortfall, he said it does have the ability to contribute more significantly to a solution than most other universities. He said that the University administration aggressively seeks to retain people who are sought by other institutions, but this effort is pursued equally and is not really differentiated based on race or ethnicity.

Provost Ekland-Olson said the programs targeting Mexican-American and African-American faculty recruitment have been most effective in the following colleges: communications, fine arts, and liberal arts. In addition, he said active recruitment efforts have occurred through the visiting scholars program. He added that engineering and natural sciences have targeted their recruitment efforts primarily toward women since they are underrepresented in these broad areas of study. Approximately $350,000 per year is being allocated here at UT Austin to these combined recruitment efforts. Since there have been suggestions that better mentoring might facilitate retention, the University has encouraged the development of these programs and sought to create a critical mass. Two centers in the College of Liberal Arts — the Center for African and African-American Studies and the Center for Mexican American Studies — have successfully implemented half-line and full-line positions with matching funds from within the college. The African Diaspora has been successful in terms of numbers, but both programs have shown promising results.

2. What is the best way for the Faculty Council to give feedback on the Report of the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy? — Paul Woodruff (professor, philosophy).

President Faulkner said that feedback and input from faculty members on the reports from both the Task Force on Enrollment Strategies and the Task Force on Racial Respect and Fairness can be sent to the email boxes dedicated to each respective report that were included in the letters he sent to faculty. Feedback can also be sent directly to him at president@utexas.edu. President Faulkner asked that comments be sent separately for the two reports since the input

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  for each would be considered on two different occasions. In addition, he indicated that certain aspects of the reports might require action by the Faculty Council and other formal bodies. Following the 45-day review period that ends approximately March 10 for both reports, President Faulkner will develop an agenda and proposals to share with the University community. He closed by saying that although he was not in a position to say what he might recommend at the present time with regard to the two task force reports, he felt that they were very important documents and that faculty members should carefully consider the recommendations and should provide thoughtful input to him.

Professor Paul Woodruff (philosophy), co-chair of the Educational Policy Committee, responded that his committee was currently reviewing the enrollment strategy report as it related to educational policy issues and would provide feedback by the deadline.

B. Comments by the President.

President Faulkner said that his top priorities at present were the two task force reports and another report he recently received regarding the Jackson School in geological sciences. He said that the University would be facing a great deal of work in the short run to develop an agenda in the areas addressed by these reports.

He commented on the financial difficulties the University has experienced this past year, saying that January 23 was a significant date since it was the date that fall tuition changes went into effect. He said that the level of commitment to preserving the University’s high quality was very widespread across all units on campus and very beneficial during the time when difficult choices had to be made with regard to budget cuts. He noted that the state’s fiscal situation was improving with the generation of increased tax revenues and expressed guarded optimism that the next legislative session might be “more comfortable” than the last one.

IV.
REPORT OF THE CHAIR.

A. Comments by the Chair

Chairman Hackert said it would be worthwhile for Faculty Council committees to spend time reviewing the two task force reports and provide input to President Faulkner before the March 10 deadline. He specifically noted the difference in the recommendations from the Educational Policy Committee and the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy with regard to the number of credit hours required for students to be recognized on Honors Day.

B. Issue of Faculty position on Honors Code for faculty, feedback request.

Chairman Hackert reminded Council members that President Faulkner had mentioned in his Address on the State of the University last fall that he was contemplating the need for a University-wide honors code. According to Professor Hackert, the president at that time said he did not envision a code that included a required oath, a justice system, or penalties for transgressors of its provisions. Since that time, the Senate of College Councils has proposed the following honor pledge: “I pledge to uphold the core values of The University of Texas at Austin through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect towards my peers and my community.” Professor Hackert said that President Faulkner had asked the Faculty Council to consider ways that it might participate in the implementation of adopting such a code.

Professor Kenneth Flamm (LBJ school) asked whether the University’s core values were the ones listed in the proposed pledge. When told that they weren’t, he asked what the core values were. Unfortunately, no one at the meeting could recall the full list. Professor Flamm then urged that a code for students be considered given what he considered the high level of internet-based plagiarism that is occurring. Chairman Hackert said it was his understanding that the students would be covered by the proposed honor code.

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  President Faulkner clarified that he had raised the question of whether or not the University should move toward adopting a code, statement or pledge. He said he did not want a large-scale enforcement structure, but he was more interested in “a reminder to people that there are standards of honesty, integrity, civility that a academic institution subscribes to.” He had suggested last fall that the students should play a major leadership role in developing a code. The proposed pledge under consideration was recommended by the Senate of College Councils and endorsed by both the Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly. Although the core values had been adopted before President Faulkner arrived at UT Austin, he said that they were values with which most everyone would agree. However, since the core did not include integrity, student leaders felt this value should be included. President Faulkner said he had sent the proposal to a set of university bodies, including the Faculty Council, to see what degree of agreement existed for the concept.

Chairman Hackert commented that he thought people might be expected to read or review the honor pledge when applying for admission to or employment with the University. Because President Faulkner has asked for comments by March 4, Chairman Hackert said the Faculty Council Executive Committee needed input from Faculty Council members regarding how this issue should be addressed.

Professor Flamm said he hadn’t given a great deal of thought to a code for faculty. He thought the important question was the purpose underlying the honor code. Although he had no objections to such a code, he emphasized that the faculty and others would need to determine and agree upon the basic principles included in the code. Professor Flamm again said that he thought a student honor code needed to be included.

Chairman Hackert encouraged Faculty Council members to provide input to Executive Committee members on how the Faculty Council might participate in further discussions about this code and how it might be implemented. There was a suggestion from the floor that all Faculty Council members should be sent an email regarding the proposed honors code since a number of members were not present at the meeting. Chairman Hackert commented that he thought people might be expected to read or review the honor pledge when applying for admission to or employment with the University. Because President Faulkner has asked for comments by March 4, Chairman Hackert said the Faculty Council Executive Committee needed input from Faculty Council members regarding how this issue should be addressed.

Professor Flamm said he hadn’t given a great deal of thought to a code for faculty. He thought the important question was the purpose underlying the honor code. Although he had no objections to such a code, he emphasized that the faculty and others would need to determine and agree upon the basic principles included in the code. Professor Flamm again said that he thought a student honor code needed to be included.

Chairman Hackert encouraged Faculty Council members to provide input to Executive Committee members on how the Faculty Council might participate in further discussions about this code and how it might be implemented. There was a suggestion from the floor that all Faculty Council members should be sent an email regarding the proposed honors code since a number of members were not present at the meeting.

V.
REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.

A. Reminder and topics for Joint Meeting with Texas A&M – Monday, February 23.

Chair Elect Linda Reichl announced that a map of the Texas A&M campus was available on the Faculty Council Web page to assist members who were planning to travel to College Station for the joint meeting with the Texas A&M Faculty Senate. She also reported that anyone who needed transportation to the meeting could contact her or Debbie Roberts.

Chairman Hackert reminded everyone that the joint meeting’s registration was scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. in College Station and that it would take a little over two hours to drive there.

VI.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS — None.

VII.
REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES.

A. Report from the Calendar Committee on Summer Freshman Class Calendar (D 2936-2937) — Ted Odell, chair (professor, mathematics).

Professor Ted Odell reported that some members of the Summer Freshman Class (SFC) that are required to enroll at the University for summer courses were not able to start classes when UT


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  Austin’s summer session regularly started because of late graduation dates and calendar changes in some Texas high schools. This has resulted in ad hoc methods being developed across campus to accommodate these students. Sections of classes for these students start later than the first (f) or whole (w) summer session classes start. The Calendar Committee is exploring the following four options to formally acknowledge these classes and include them on the official University calendar, giving dates for registration, orientation, first and last class days, and final exams:

1. Add the SFC schedule to the published calendar and continue to designate the SFC classes with w.
2. Create a separate designation for SFC classes, such as t for ten-week classes.
3. In addition to 1 or 2 above, change the beginning date nine-week classes (n) to correspond to the beginning date for SFC classes.
4. Change the starting date of the n classes to the second Monday of the f/w term and have them end with the s/w classes.

For more detailed information on these issues and problems involved with these alternatives, see the committee’s report at http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/2003-2004/reports/SFC.html. Professor Odell said the Calendar Committee was seeking feedback to help it decide which of the options would work best. After receiving input, the committee will make a formal recommendation to the Faculty Council.

B. Report from the Calendar Committee on the Concept of a Fall Break (D 2943) — Ted Odell, chair (professor, mathematics).

Professor Odell reported that the Calendar Committee had reviewed the documents developed in 2000-01 regarding the proposal for a fall break. The committee decided that the issues and problems remained as substantive as before, and the proposed fall break should not be pursued.

VIII.
NEW BUSINESS.

A. Educational Policy Committee Proposal for Change in the University’s Honors Criteria (D 2944-2945), Archie Holmes, co-chair (associate professor, electrical and computer engineering).

Professor Archie Holmes pointed out changes that had been made in the recommendat ions from the Educational Policy Committee since they were presented to the Faculty Council in an informational report in January. The first change was that the in-residence GPA be used instead of the University GPA for all of the honors awarded at the University’s Honors Day. In addition, the committee recommended that the provost’s office work with all units across campus to assure that this standard is uniformly implemented. For College Scholars, the committee recommends that recipients be enrolled in twelve semester credit hours instead of only nine for the time period they are being recognized for honors and that the honorees have achieved in-residence GPAs of 3.5 instead of University GPAs of 3.5. The committee also recommends that the designation of Distinguished College Scholars be officially recognized and included in the University’s Catalog. For Distinguished College Scholars, the committee recommends that recipients be enrolled in fifteen semester credit hours instead of only twelve for the time period they are being recognized for honors and have achieved in-residence GPAs of 3.8 instead of University GPAs of 4.0.

Chairman Hackert reminded members that this was a motion from the committee that did not require a second, and he opened the floor for discussion.

Professor Daniela Bini (French and Italian) said that she opposed the fifteen-hour requirement for Distinguished College Scholars since it penalized bright students who could not take fifteen hours because they needed to work. She said she did not oppose the higher GPA requirement.


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  Professor Holmes replied that the committee was concerned about fairness and decided that the twelve-hour requirement would apply to College Scholars; however, the committee members felt the Distinguished College Scholars should be held to a higher credit hour standard. Professor Paul Woodruff, the other co-chair of the Educational Policy Committee, explained that the current practice was to recognize students with 4.0 GPAs as Distinguished College Scholars although this classification was not included in the Catalog. Committee members wanted to give recognition to students who were willing to take some risk when enrolling in coursework and whose GPAs were not quite so high (3.8 instead of 4.0) but who were carrying what was truly considered a full load of fifteen credit hours. Professor Holmes reminded Council members that these requirements applied only to the recognition given students at Honors Day. Graduation honors would not be affected by these recommended changes.

Ted Pfiefer (registrar) asked whether the honors criteria under consideration would exclude extension and correspondence courses that were currently awarded non-resident credit but included in the University GPA. Professor Holmes replied that he thought the answer would be yes. Registrar Pfiefer suggested that the wording of the recommendations specifically mention that these courses would be excluded. Professor Holmes said that he thought committee members wanted to recognize students for classes offered by UT Austin faculty and would want to excluded the courses mentioned by the registrar and course hours earned through enrollment in AP courses in high school and through credit-by-examination.

Chairman Hackert asked if there were other questions or comments. Since no further discussion occurred, he asked the Faculty Council to vote on the Education Policy Committee’s recommendations (as modified to exclude credit earned through credit-by-examination and correspondence, extension, and AP courses). The recommendations overwhelmingly passed with only one negative vote cast.

IX.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS.

A. Nominations for Coop Board / Men’s and Women’s Athletics Councils and the Civitatis Award.
B. General Faculty Standing Committee Nominations through February 20.
C. Next Faculty Council meeting – Monday, March 22.
D. General Faculty Elections – nomination phase – for the Faculty Council by schools and colleges, Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, and Faculty Grievance Committee begins March 1 through March 12. The final election phase will be from March 29 through April 9.
X.
QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR.

A. Question from N. Bruce Walker, director, Office of Admissions, regarding the Coordinated Admissions Program (CAP) legislation.

Admissions Director Bruce Walker expressed concern that the Faculty Council was not going to act on the Coordinated Admissions Program (CAP) proposal that had been introduced at the January meeting by Professor Larry Carver, Admissions and Registration Committee chair. Chairman Hackert agreed with Director Walker that procedurally he thought the item was going to be presented for action, but he had not received a response regarding the proposal when he sent out his regular memo asking all committee chairs what items they wanted placed on the Faculty Council’s February agenda. Director Walker expressed concern that considering the CAP recommendations in late March would make it difficult to implement the proposed changes in a timely manner if they were approved by the Council and President Faulkner. Chairman Hackert apologized and expressed concern that the committee and its chair might have assumed that the item would be automatically considered at the February meeting, but he had not heard back so the item was not placed on the agenda. Professor Woodruff (philosophy) said that a short ad hoc meeting in early March might be called if consideration of the item were thought to be urgent.


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  Chairman Hackert said that was a possibility, but he felt the Executive Committee would need to find out what the time constraints actually were and decide if an early meeting should be called.
XI.
ADJOURNMENT.

The meeting adjourned at 3:13 P.M.

Distributed through the Faculty Council Web site on March 18, 2004. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.