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Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of April 11, 2005.


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty

April 11, 2005

The seventh regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2004-2005 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, April 11, 2005, at 2:15 P.M.


Present: Lawrence D. Abraham, Jacqueline L. Angel, Peter R. Antoniewicz, Efraim P. Armendariz, Matthew J. Bailey, Patrick L. Brockett, Douglas C. Burger, John D. Dollard, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, James L. Erskine, Larry R. Faulkner, Kenneth Flamm, Wolfgang Frey, John C. (Jack) Gilbert, William P. Glade, Linda L. Golden, Sue A. Greninger, Marvin L. Hackert, John J. Hasenbein, Kevin P. Hegarty, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, Neville Hoad, Archie L. Holmes, Joni L. Jones, Robert C. Koons, Desiderio Kovar, Nancy P. Kwallek, Dominic L. Lasorsa, Desmond F. Lawler, Daniel J. MacDonald, Erik D. Malmberg, Glenn Y. Masada, Kate Nanney, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. (Ted) Odell, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Alba A. Ortiz, Bruce P. Palka, Theodore E. Pfeifer, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Linda E. Reichl, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, John J. Ruszkiewicz, Juan M. Sanchez, David W. Springer, Patrick N. Staha, Janet Staiger, Pauline T. Strong, Alexandria K. Wettlaufer, Karin G. Wilkins, Paul B. Woodruff.

Absent: Ricardo C. Ainslie, Dean J. Almy, Patricia C. Avant (excused), Gerard H. Béhague (excused), Hans C. Boas (excused), Pascale R. Bos (excused), Teresa Graham Brett (excused), Cynthia J. Buckley (excused), Brent Chaney, Patricia L. Clubb, Miles L. Crismon (excused), Janet M. Davis (excused), James W. Deitrick, Andrew P. Dillon, Richard B. Eason, Lester L. Faigley, Richard R. Flores, Maria Franklin, Jeanne Freeland-Graves (excused), Robert Freeman, Alan W. Friedman (excused), Thomas J. Garza, George W. Gau, Michael H. Granof (excused), Philip A. Guerrero, Donald A. Hale, Roderick P. Hart, Thomas M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Susan S. Heinzelman, Bobby R. Inman, James O. Jirsa (excused), Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Martin W. Kevorkian, Robert D. King (excused), Richard W. Lariviere, Steven W. Leslie, William S. Livingston, Noah S. Lowenstein (excused), Rachel C. McGinity, Paul A. Navratil, Irene Owens (excused), Thomas G. Palaima (excused), Marcus G. Pandy (excused), Anthony J. Petrosino, William C. Powers, Victoria Rodriguez, Dolores Sands, M. Michael Sharlot, Frederick R. Steiner, Michael B. Stoff (excused), Ben G. Streetman, Daniel A. Updegrove, Angela Valenzuela (excused), James W. Vick, N. Bruce Walker (excused), Gwendolyn Webb-Johnson, Barbara W. White.

Voting Members:
Non-Voting Members:
Total Members:



The written report appears in D 3817-3821. There were no questions or comments.


The minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of March 21, 2005, (D 3822-3831) were approved by voice vote.


A. Comments by the President.

Chair Linda Reichl (professor, physics) announced that President Faulkner was testifying before the Texas Legislature and would arrive late for the meeting. Therefore, she would allow time later in the meeting for his comments. She said that Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson had been asked by President Faulkner to answer the question that had been submitted by Professor Janet Staiger (professor, radio-television-film).

B. Questions to the President.

From Janet Staiger (professor, radio-television-film):

This is a question about exceptions to the Extension of the Tenure Track Probationary Period policy (HOP 3.11), which states that any request for an extension "shall not be made later than the end of the spring semester before the faculty member's sixth year of full-time probationary service." Two years ago, an individual had a successful vote in the first stage of the tenure process and then received a negative vote at second stage. A request for an extension made at that point was denied. This past fall an individual had a successful vote in the first stage but was subsequently advised to request an extension. That request for an extension was approved. What circumstances will produce an exception to the stipulated dates in the policy?

Provost Ekland-Olson said he thought it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the two specific cases alluded to in Professor Staiger’s question. He said section 3.11 of the HOP provides for a non-automatic extension of the tenure track probationary period for faculty when it is in the best interests of the University in terms of promoting the highest quality faculty. He said that other considerations were that the process and procedures are fair, equitable, and humane. Personal circumstances that may justify the granting of an extension include, but are not restricted to, disability or illness of a faculty member and status of the faculty member as a principal caregiver of a disabled, elderly, or ill family member. He said it was his job to decide whether to grant an extension based upon a review and consideration of the faculty member’s written request and the recommendations of the Budget Council, department chair, and dean. Provost Ekland-Olson said that in each case referred to in Professor Staiger’s question that the above considerations had been taken into account in the procedures that were followed.


Chair Reichl announced that nominations of faculty members were currently being solicited for the Intercollegiate Athletics Councils for Men and for Women, the University Co-op Board of Directors, and the Civitatis Award.


A. Report on the joint meeting of the UT Faculty Council and Texas A&M Faculty Senate, which was held Monday, March 28, 2005.


  Chair Elect Alba Ortiz (professor, special education) thanked everyone who attended the joint meeting with the Texas A&M Faculty Senate, particularly those who served as presenters, panelists, and note-takers. She thanked Chair Reichl for her able handling of the mistress of ceremony duties and President Faulkner for his personal and financial support of the meeting. She also thanked Debbie Roberts and Jenny Morgan of the Office of the General Faculty, saying they were the two people who made the meeting actually happen by preparing all the correspondence and arranging the logistics for the meeting.


A. Proposal to change the Rules and Regulations relating to the election of chairs of the standing committees (D 3806-3807).

Professor Larry Abraham (professor, curriculum and instruction and Committee on Committees chair) briefly reintroduced a proposal from his committee that had been previously presented at the March Faculty Council meeting. Saying that the proposal would facilitate continuity of committee functioning, he then made the motion to move the timing of the election of standing committee chairs from the beginning of the fall semester to the preceding spring semester.

When Professor Archie Holmes (associate professor, electrical and computer engineering) asked if the proposed change was expected to go into effect this spring semester, Professor Abraham said he hoped the change could be implemented as soon as possible, but since the proposed change would need final approval by President Faulkner, implementation during the current semester might not be possible. Chair Reichl clarified that the change would certainly start in spring 2006, but some committees might be able to implement it sooner, pending approval by President Faulkner. She then called for the vote, and the proposal unanimously passed.

B. Recommendations for changes in mission, name, or composition for Standing Committees of the General Faculty (D 3765-3773).

Professor Larry Abraham briefly reintroduced a package of recommended changes pertaining to the mission, name, and/or composition of standing committees that had been previously presented at the March Faculty Council meeting. He said the recommendations had resulted primarily from responses received in fall 2004 from standing committee chairs to a request made by the Committee on Committees for input on needed changes. The Committee on Committees had also taken into account the requests and recommendations from the Staff Council as well as those from various student governance organizations. Chair Reichl said she did not think it was required that the lengthy list of proposed changes be read at the meeting since the information had been on the Web for approximately two months. She said that the proposed changes could be handled as a package as long as concerns and questions about specific issues raised by Council members were addressed.

Professor Jack Gilbert (professor, chemistry and biochemistry) asked why associate deans, assistant deans, and department chairs were not eligible for membership on the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility (CCAFR). Professor Abraham responded that the CCAFR chair had requested the modification to clarify what the term “other administrative officials” meant since this group was excluded from membership under the existing rules. Professor Marvin Hackert (professor, chemistry and biochemistry, pointed out that department chairs were excluded under the current rules, and since CCAFR was reviewing a number of cases involving tenure procedures, committee members felt it was appropriate to have strict faculty representation on the committee.

Professor Gilbert then made a motion to amend the composition statement of CCAFR to eliminate associate deans, assistant deans, and department chairs from being included as non-eligible for


  CCAFR service. When Professor Pauline Strong (associate professor, anthropology) asked if Professor Gilbert wanted the term “other administrative officials” excluded, Professor Gilbert said he would be happy to exclude the term. However, Chair Reichl said the current motion on the floor had to be dealt with first.

Professor Paul Woodruff (professor, philosophy and Plan II) spoke in favor of the proposed changes recommended by the Committee on Committees, saying that he thought there were potential conflicts of interest in having chairs, associate deans, and assistant deans serving on CCAFR given the issues considered by the committee. Professor Hackert also spoke in favor of the proposed change, saying chairs of departments had been excluded from service on CCAFR for a long time because of the conflict of interest issue. He said that CCAFR members felt that associate and assistant deans as well as chairs were more on the administrative side than on the faculty side when issues dealing with faculty and tenure were being considered.

Chair Reichl then called for the vote on the amendment to allow associate deans, assistant deans, and department chairs to serve on CCAFR. The amendment overwhelmingly failed by voice vote.

Eric Malmberg (Graduate Student Assembly representative) said that the proposed composition of the Calendar Committee did not match the rationale stated for the change and asked if the words “and the Graduate Student Assembly” had been omitted in the second sentence of the description of the committee’s composition. Professor Abraham said that Mr. Malmberg was correct and the wording omission was an unintended error. Professor Abraham then made a motion that the wording in the second sentence be amended to read as follows: Student members shall be appointed by the president in the fall from a panel of names submitted by the Student Government and the Graduate Student Assembly. The amendment unanimously passed by voice vote. When Executive Vice Provost Steve Monti asked if potential undergraduate student nominations for committee service would be made by the Student Government and graduate student nominations would be made by the Graduate Student Assembly, Professor Abraham answered that was the committee’s intent.

Mr. Malmberg then asked Professor Abraham why a graduate student committee member was not included on the International Programs and Studies Committee (IPSC). Professor Abraham said that the Committee on Committees saw no reason to act against the IPSC's recommendation that there be no change in its composition. He recommended that Mr. Malmberg confer with the committee to see if the members would be willing to recommend the addition of a graduate student representative. Mr. Malmberg said the request had been made, but he was unaware of any response. Professor Abraham said he had also not seen a response. Both agreed that if a change was needed that it could be made at a later time.

Since there were no further questions or comments, Chair Reichl called for the vote on the proposed package of recommendations from the Committee on Committees and the motion unanimously passed by voice vote.

C. Discussion of proposed changes in the Jackson School of Geosciences.

1. Chair Reichl’s introductory comments.

Chair Reichl reported that President Faulkner had asked the Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC) to review the proposed status change in the Jackson School of Geological Sciences and determine if the issue should be presented to the entire Faculty Council for discussion. She said the FCEC had decided that the proposed creation of the new school as a separate, independent entity should come before the Council due to (1) its impact on the University as a whole and (2) certain implications regarding its academic structure and organizational charter. Chair Reichl said the size of the Jackson endowment is likely to be the






largest in the history of higher education and its use would receive national scrutiny. She said the endowment was to be used to support geology, geophysics, energy, mineral and water resources, and broad areas of earth sciences, including earth environment. Because faculty across campus are involved in this highly interdisciplinary research, the FCEC was concerned that the proposed structural change with the endowment situated in the Jackson School might exclude a number of faculty whose work involves the areas mentioned in the endowment but who are not faculty members in the Jackson School.

Before discussing the FCEC’s second concern regarding the proposed academic structure of the Jackson School, Chair Reichl reminded Council member that the following background information had been made available to them for some time on the Council’s Web page:

Chair Reichl said that the organizational charter of the Jackson School proposes the creation of an appointments committee consisting of full professors, senior research scientists, and persons of equivalent stature in other titles as determined by the new dean of the school. Because the proposed appointments committee would make promotion and tenure decisions regarding faculty in the geological sciences department, a question had been raised about the merits of having non-faculty members determining tenure and promotion of faculty members. She said the organizational charter proposes a Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) composition for the Jackson School that violates the current eligibility guidelines in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP), which only allows assistant, associate, and full professors to serve on such committees.

Chair Reichl said that after President Faulkner made his comments regarding the Jackson School, three invited guests would make presentations to the Council regarding the school. She said each one had been asked to address the following questions in their remarks:
  • The areas of research that fall within the scope of the Jackson endowment are "...geology, geophysics, energy, mineral and water resources, as well as the broad areas of the earth sciences, including the Earth's environment." Research on these topics is pursued in a variety of departments across campus and much of it is interdisciplinary. Please address the following questions: (1) How would removal of the Jackson School from the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) impact the fostering of outstanding research in the broad range of fields specified by the Jackson endowment? (2) What structures have been put in place to ensure that the highest quality research related to these areas will be supported on campus, even if the investigators are not part of the Jackson School?

  • The Jackson School contains a relatively small academic department and two research units. In the proposal to move the Jackson School out of the CNS and set up an administrative structure headed by a Dean, it is proposed to form an "appointments committee" which would consist of "Full Professors, Senior Research Scientists and persons of equivalent stature in other titles as determined by the Dean." The Jackson School is proposing to use the "Appointments Committee" as a promotion and tenure committee. Is it appropriate that Senior Research Scientists and others make decisions regarding the promotion and tenure of faculty members? Is there a precedent for doing this on campus and, if so, how is it working?

2. Comments by President Faulkner’s regarding the Jackson School.

President Faulkner gave a brief history of the Jackson endowment, the creation of the school that currently is located in the College of Natural Sciences, and the development of the proposal to create the Jackson School as an independent college-like entity under the direction


  of a dean. He said the $250 million endowment received by the University after Mr. Jackson’s death had made it necessary to consider alternate organizational structures since the three units targeted to benefit from the endowment were spread across campus with two being located in the College of Natural Sciences (the Department of Geological Sciences and the Institute of Geophysics) and one being a separate entity that reports directly to the vice president for research due to its agency function and visibility (the Bureau of Economic Geology). President Faulkner described the processes that had been followed to develop the proposed governance charter and to determine if the restructuring and governance charter were acceptable to members of the three units directly impacted. He reported that Provost Ekland-Olson has recommended that the Jackson School be established as a separate federated school comprised of the three units and that the governance process outlined in proposed charter be approved. President Faulkner said that the proposed changes would have to be approved by the chancellor, Board of Regents, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. However, he felt that the decision at the campus level was more serious than those at the higher levels and that was why he believed it appropriate to call upon the Faculty Council for advice.

When Professor Staiger asked the president to explain his rationale for taking two units out of the College of Natural Sciences, President Faulkner said the issues and the scale involved, the question of efficiency in trying to integrate the three units within the existing college, and the situation of the Bureau of Economic Geology justified his decision. Although the three units are considerably different from one another, President Faulkner pointed out the special nature of the bureau with its agency function in providing the state geological survey, the amount of contractual research it performs for outside entities, and its soft money budgetary basis.

3. Comments by invited guests regarding the Jackson School.

a. Comments by Professor William Fisher, director of the Jackson School.

Professor Fisher broadly defined the geosciences and how they were related to the Jackson School’s proposed structure. In answer to the first question regarding support for research outside the Jackson School, he said the Jackson School wants to maintain and strengthen relationships with units having similar or related programs across the campus. He said he thought an independent school structure would facilitate this goal better than an imbedded location within any individual college. He provided examples of the high quality support being provided to areas outside of the Jackson School for research, collaborative efforts, joint appointments, graduate fellowships, and post-doctoral positions.

To the second question regarding the appointments committee and its role in promotion and tenure decisions, Professor Fisher said he thought the arrangement would work because objective standards and criteria will be used in evaluations. He did not know if a precedent for the appointments committee existed elsewhere on campus. He said a great deal of work and review had gone into the restructuring proposal and the governance charter and that he though the proposed structure would meet Mr. Jackson’s expectations and challenge for UT Austin to become the nation’s best in geological sciences. He urged the Faculty Council to endorse the proposed new structure and governance charter.

Professor Woodruff asked how the division in natural sciences would impact the educational experience for undergraduates and graduate students. He said the restructuring made sense with regard to research, but he wondered how it would affect pedagogy. Professor Fisher said he thought the overall impact would be positive, especially in attracting qualified students at both levels. He thought the expansion of the GSC would benefit graduate students by its inclusion of senior, prominent researchers and greater diversity in terms of courses offered. When Professor Woodruff asked if the geology undergraduates would have access to the advising and placement infrastructure


  in natural sciences, Professor Fisher said the school was currently providing an advisory structure and placement service.

Professor Ken Flamm (professor, LBJ school) asked for an explanation of the rationale for the governance charter’s departure from the requirement in the HOP that GSC chairs be elected, and he questioned whether such departures were likely to be emulated or repeated elsewhere on campus. Professor Fisher said he thought Professor William Carlson, who chaired the governance charter document’s development and would be speaking next, could more fully address the first question. He said the latter question resided with the provost and president.

Provost Ekland-Olson responded that there were issues that needed to be worked out in terms of consistency of policy and would be addressed later in the process.

b. Comments by Professor William Carlson, chair of the implementation committee in geological sciences.

Professor Carlson explained the composition and function of the implementation committee, saying the committee had been asked to define the key elements of the governance structure that was needed in a school if it were reorganized apart from the College of Natural Sciences.

In response to the question regarding support for areas outside of the Jackson School, Professor Carlson also mentioned several collaborative relationships with other colleges and schools, saying it was vital that the Jackson School connect broadly across campus. He agreed with Professor Fisher that an independent school structure would best facilitate this goal. He pointed out that the proposed restructuring required the dean to report annually to the president, provost and vice president for research on the uses of the Jackson endowment. He also said that the endowment committee would include two persons from outside the Jackson School, one appointed by the provost and the other by the vice president for research.

With regard to the appropriateness of research scientists participating in recommendations regarding tenure and promotions, Professor Carlson said the appointments committee would be charged with establishing a set of high standards for hiring and promotion actions that would unify the divergent cultures in the three units comprising the school. The committee would provide a review after the budget council and department chair had acted. He stressed that the appointments committee would only be advisory, with their recommendations being forwarded to the provost and president. He concluded by urging the Council to support the restructuring proposal and governance charter.

When Professor Flamm asked about the rationale for the departure from the HOP in terms of the selection of the GSC chair, Professor Carlson mentioned the relative large number of individuals whose roles are outside of a traditional academic department. He also said the dean’s level of executive authority and access to larger than normal resources required the dean to have a dominant voice in the process and in the selection of the individual responsible for the graduate program.

When Professor Neikirk (professor, electrical and computer engineering and chair of the Graduate Assembly) asked if the two instances in which the governance structure directly differed from the HOP were by intent rather than oversight, Professor Carlson responded that both were intentional decisions. He said the GSC had already been expanded to include individuals who do not hold professorial titles. Professor John Dollard (professor, mathematics and associate dean, Office of Graduate Studies) pointed out that the expansion of GSCs to allow non-professorial members had been rejected by the


  Graduate Assembly a few years ago, with the stipulation that expansion could only occur through a special appeals process to the dean of graduate studies and that approval of such expansions should not occur very often. When he asked how the expansion of the GSC in geological sciences comported with the Graduate Assembly decision, Professor Carlson said it didn’t. He said that providing their graduate students with a talented pool of highly credentialed professionals was felt to be advantageous. He said the steering committee and the Jackson School executive committee narrowed down the list of GSC nominees, and the resulting list was forwarded to the vice president and dean of graduate studies who approved it

When Nick Lasorsa (associate professor, journalism) asked if the second level review for tenure and promotion above the department and dean was a good idea for the rest of the University, Professor Carlson said he had no comment on what the rest of the University might prefer. He said the Jackson School had replicated the model followed in the College of Natural Sciences that was perceived as being advantageous. When Janet Staiger asked the approximate number of full-time equivalents in the three units, Professor Carlson said there were approximately 30 tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Department of Geological Sciences, 30 Ph.D. level scientists in the Institute of Geophysics, and 45 Ph.D. level scientists in the Bureau of Economic Geology. When Professor Staiger asked why the Ph.D. level senior research professionals were not shifted over to tenured or tenure-track faculty, Professor Carlson said that had not been considered but budgetary issues were important. President Faulkner said he thought the different missions of the three units were important, and one of the units was much more of a corporate research enterprise.

c. Comments of Professor Mary Ann Rankin, dean of the College of Natural Sciences.

Dean Rankin said she was impressed with the implementation committee’s suggestions that addressed many of her concerns about the initial proposal. She said Chair Reichl had asked her to reiterate her concerns with the initial proposal. She said she was willing to do this, but at this point, she had moved on to working toward a smooth transition and implementation of the changes. She summarized her objections and concerns as the following:
(1) Geology is an integral, core discipline in natural sciences and had been important in the establishment and building of the college.
(2) A separate administrative unit would result in barriers to program development, especially when there is a wide resource imbalance.
(3) The interdisciplinary nature of geological sciences is not that different from other programs in natural sciences so that remaining in natural sciences really would not provide an additional barrier.
(4) Separation from related programs in natural sciences might make on-going collaborations difficult.
(5) The small size of the academic program in geological sciences is not a clear driver for establishing a separate structure, especially compared to other units in natural sciences such as biological sciences.
(6) The expense of creating redundant systems for advising and administration is wasteful.
(7) Although other departments in natural sciences have considered becoming separate units, such as computer sciences, the decision in the past has been that there were benefits both to the college and department to stay within the college.
(8) Separating geological sciences from the broader overview of the College of Natural Sciences for promotion and tenure might be a mistake.
(9) There has been unnecessary concern about the size of the College of Natural Sciences and the perception that having a unit with so much funding would overburden the college.


(10) The perception that the Bureau of Economic Geology reports to the dean of graduate studies would be problematic was unfounded, since another unit, the DANA Center, which has some similarity in functioning to the Bureau, has functioned quite well within the College of Natural Sciences.

  Dean Rankin said she had not seen a strong rationale with regard to any of the above points that mandated separation from the college, but she had seen potential pitfalls from restructuring in terms of interaction across programs, development of interdisciplinary programs as recommended by the vision committee, impact significance, and negative impact on some research programs. She said she would have liked to have had this discussion with Faculty Council earlier rather than revisiting it when the college had moved forward in the transitional period.

4. Resolution Regarding Jackson School of Geosciences (D 3845).

Professor Gilbert introduced the following resolution that had been posted on the Faculty Council Web site earlier in the day:

  • Whereas the goal of The University of Texas is to foster excellence in teaching and research and

  • Whereas one approach to achieving this goal is by organizing undergraduate and graduate programs according to commonality of disciplines within a single administrative unit and

  • Whereas developing interdisciplinary programs, which may involve both teaching and research, is possible across colleges and schools, it is most readily accomplished within a single administrative unit and

  • Whereas the purpose of the bequest by John A. and Katherine G. Jackson to pursue sustained leadership and highest distinction in “the subjects of geology; geophysics; energy, mineral, and water resources; as well as the broad areas [emphasis mine] of the earth sciences, including the Earth’s environment,” topics that are closely correlated with a number of teaching and research disciplines of academic units currently embedded in the College of Natural Sciences and

  • Whereas there should be compelling reasons for creating new colleges and schools in terms of the benefits that will accrue to the teaching and research programs of the entire academic enterprise of the University.

  • Be it therefore resolved that it is not in the best long-term interests of The University of Texas to separate the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences from the College of Natural Sciences.
Professor Gilbert said the issue was frustrating to address since President Faulkner had already approved the separation in a letter; however, Professor Gilbert thanked the president for having brought the issue before the Faculty Council for consultation. He said he thought it was important for the Council to hear the concerns of faculty members who were not part of the Jackson School. Professor Gilbert said he was not convinced that the creation of the Jackson School was beneficial for the University and might further balkanize relationships. He said he felt he could not support a separate school because he did not think it would further the academic and research goals of the University, and therefore he moved that the resolution be adopted.

Professor Gilbert asked if David Hillis, (professor, integrative biology and member of the School of Biological Sciences) could address the Council. Professor Hillis said that he was the first director of biological sciences, who had worked hard to develop a plan for the reorganization into a school. He said there had been lengthy discussions about how to best reorganize the school and a primary focus had been on whether the biological sciences should be a separate entity outside of the College of Natural Sciences. After assessing the positives and negatives, the faculty decided that increased isolation and lack of coordination would not benefit undergraduates, graduate students, or faculty. When it became clear that an administrative structure was needed, he said the solution proposing a school within the


  College of Natural Sciences was actually made by Professor Carlson from geological sciences. Professor Hillis said he thought that the arguments in favor of separation of geological sciences from the college were the same ones considered by biological sciences, but the case was weaker than it was for biological sciences in terms of multidisciplinary nature of the disciplines and the size of the program. He concluded that the creation of a separate school of geological sciences is not in the best interests of the University, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Jackson School because it would result in less interaction among faculty and students in the sciences, increased problems in developing a core curriculum, redundant and wasteful administration, and less efficient use of resources in the College of Natural Sciences. The main positives for establishing a separate Jackson School would be increased coordination and development of geological sciences, but these could be accomplished as a school within the college. He said the only thing that would not be accomplished by creating the school within the college would be the complete isolation of endowment money, which he thought was not a valid reason for harming the academic programs in the school, college, and University.

Eric Malmberg supported the resolution, saying that the proposed restructuring did not address the rationale for deviating from the GSC rules in the HOP, the impact on students, the administrative support structures.

Professor Gilbert asked for permission for Professor Don Winjet, chair of the Department of Astronomy, to address the Council. Professor Winjet said the development of the Jackson School as an integral part of the College of Natural Sciences was most compatible with the goals for the University as outlined by the Commission of 125. The Commission had identified overspecialization of study as a problem and encouraged the increased need for interdisciplinary study. He also noted that the Commission encouraged consolidation of duplicate academic and administrative functions.

Professor Neikirk said he supported the resolution because of the serious reservations he had about the governance document and the intent to contravene existing operating procedures as outlined in the HOP. He said he felt the Graduate Assembly expected GSCs to determine course offerings, to admit graduate students, and supervise graduate students, all of which are academic activities. He said he had serious reservations about extending GSCs to include individuals who are not in professorial ranks, and he thought the GSC chair should be elected.

Professor Gilbert asked that Professor Bob Janson, chair of the Section of Integrative Biology, be allowed to address the Council. Professor Janson said he was concerned about the impact the separation would have on interdisciplinary programs, particularly the Section of Integrative Biology and the Environmental Science Institute. He said there were considerable concerns about interdisciplinary training both at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as the development of new interdisciplinary programs.

Nick Staha, representative of the Senate of College Councils, said he did not support the resolution because a separate school for geological sciences would create brand name identification for graduates of the program. He also said he was concerned about a faculty governance organization coming down too hard on the proposal when the members of the constituent units were overwhelmingly in support of the restructuring.

Professor Staiger called the question because she was concerned about the late time of day and the potential loss of a quorum at the meeting. Following discussion of proper procedures when the question was called, Chair Reichl called for a vote, saying that a two-thirds vote was needed to stop the debate. The vote to stop debate was 18 in favor and 11 not in favor. Chair Reichl said there had not been a two-third vote in favor of stopping debate so the discussion would continue.


Professor Gilbert asked that Professor Henry Bose, the current director of the School of Biological Sciences be given permission to address the Council. Saying that he was opposed to separating geological sciences out of the College of Natural Sciences, he noted that the endowment was created by Mr. Jackson to help raise UT’s geological sciences program into the top 5% of those in the nation. He asked how many of the top 10% programs were not part of Colleges of Natural Science? Professor Carlson said he could not give a definitive answer, but that his alma mater, Stanford University, has the third-ranked program, which is situated in the School of Earth Sciences and is a separate, college-level entity.

Because there were no more questions or comments, Chair Reichl called for the vote on the resolution, saying a yes vote meant that the Jackson School should stay in the College of Natural Sciences and a no vote meant that the Jackson School should leave the College of Natural Sciences. Vice President Patti Ohlendorf (institutional relations and legal affairs, asked that the vote be a recorded numerical one. The resolution passed by a vote of 22 to 6. Chair Reichl said there was no need to record abstention according to Roberts’ Rules. Professor Hackert said he felt the discussion at the meeting was more important than the vote. He said he did not think there was a legitimate quorum, but that was a separate issue. Chair Reichl said it was a non-binding resolution to get the sentiment of the Council. Professor Hackert said the discussion was very important although the timing was not so good. He pointed out that Dean Rankin had said that it would have been better to have had the discussion a year or so ago. He said he thought the Council and the administration needed to look at any similar situations in the future in the same way through an open hearing process.

Chair Reichl said the legislation under new business that had not been dealt with at the meeting today could be carried over until the May meeting of the Council. The motion to adjourn the meeting passed unanimously by voice vote.


A. The General Faculty Elections have been extended through Friday, April 15.

B. The move date for the Office of the General Faculty and Faculty Council from FAC 22 to WMB 2.102 will be Friday, April 15.

C. The special meeting of the 2005-2006 Faculty Council will be held on May 9, 2005, at 2:15 p.m. in Main 212.
1. Election of 2005-2006 Faculty Council Officers.

D. The next regular Faculty Council meeting will be held on May 9, 2005, at 2:30 p.m. immediately following the special meeting of the 2005-2006 Faculty Council.
1. Approval of 2005-2006 meeting dates.
2. Cancellation of summer meetings.
3. Nominations for Intercollegiate Athletics Councils and for the University Co-op Board of Directors.

E. Standing Committee chairs should submit formal committee reports to the Office of the General Faculty by May 16.



Chair Reichl adjourned the meeting at 4:04 p.m.

Distributed through the Faculty Council Web site on May 6, 2005. Transcripts of the Faculty Council meetings and copies of these minutes are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.