DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting
of May 9, 2005.
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
May 9, 2005
The eighth regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic
year 2004-2005 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, May
9, 2005, at 2:30 p.m.
Present: Lawrence D. Abraham, Jacqueline
L. Angel, Peter R. Antoniewicz, Matthew J. Bailey, Gerard H. Béhague,
Patrick L. Brockett, Cynthia J. Buckley, Douglas C. Burger, Patricia
A. Carter, Janet M. Davis, James W. Deitrick, John D. Dollard, Lester
L. Faigley, Jeanne Freeland-Graves, Wolfgang Frey, Thomas J. Garza,
John C. (Jack) Gilbert, Linda L. Golden, Michael H. Granof, Sue A.
Greninger, Marvin L. Hackert, John J. Hasenbein, James L. Hill, Martha
F. Hilley, Archie L. Holmes, James O. Jirsa, Robert C. Koons, Desiderio
Kovar, Dominic L. Lasorsa, William S. Livingston, Erik D. Malmberg,
Glenn Y. Masada, Rachel C. McGinity, Kate Nanney, Patricia C. Ohlendorf,
Alba A. Ortiz, Irene Owens, Bruce P. Palka, Theodore E. Pfeifer,
Linda E. Reichl, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Victoria Rodriguez, John
J. Ruszkiewicz, M. Michael Sharlot, Janet Staiger, Pauline T. Strong,
Angela Valenzuela, James W. Vick, Paul B. Woodruff.
Absent:Ricardo C. Ainslie (excused), Dean J. Almy, Efraim P. Armendariz, Hans C. Boas,
Pascale R. Bos (excused), Teresa Graham Brett (excused), Brent Chaney, Patricia
L. Clubb, Miles L. Crismon (excused), Andrew P. Dillon, Richard B. Eason, Sheldon
Ekland-Olson (excused), James L. Erskine, Larry R. Faulkner (excused), Kenneth
Flamm (excused), Richard R. Flores, Maria Franklin, Robert Freeman, Alan W. Friedman
(excused), George W. Gau, Philip A. Guerrero, Donald A. Hale, Roderick P. Hart,
Thomas M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty, Susan S. Heinzelman, Neville
Hoad, Bobby R. Inman, Joni L. Jones, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Martin W. Kevorkian,
Robert D. King (excused), Nancy P. Kwallek (excused), Richard W. Lariviere, Desmond
F. Lawler (excused), Steven W. Leslie, Noah S. Lowenstein, Daniel J. MacDonald,
Paul A. Navratil, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. (Ted) Odell (excused), Thomas G.
Palaima, Marcus G. Pandy (excused), Anthony J. Petrosino, William C. Powers,
Mary Ann R. Rankin, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, David W. Springer (excused),
Patrick N. Staha, Frederick R. Steiner, Michael B. Stoff (excused), Ben G. Streetman,
Daniel A. Updegrove, N. Bruce Walker, Gwendolyn Webb-Johnson, Alexandria K. Wettlaufer,
Barbara W. White, Karin G. Wilkins (excused).
||REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
The written report appears in D 3952-3956.
There were no questions or comments.
||APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
The minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of April 11, 2005
(D 3958-3968) were approved by voice vote.
|| COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
||Comments by the President — None.
Chair Linda Reichl (professor, physics) announced that President Faulkner was
out-of-town and unable to attend the meeting.
||Question to the President — None.
||REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair Reichl reminded everyone that the Faculty Council had learned
in fall 2004 that the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP)
had not been updated with regard to grievance procedures passed and approved
back in the 1980s. She said the changes from the 1980s had now been incorporated
into the HOP, and she thought a fully revised, up-to-date, and
readable version would be available once President Faulkner approves
the grievance legislation endorsed by the Council this year.
Reichl said President Faulkner had approved the Jackson School proposal
that recommended the school be a separate entity and forwarded it to the
University of Texas System despite the Council’s vote at the April
meeting that the Jackson School should remain in the College of Natural
Sciences. However, she said the Council’s vote was important so she
had sent the transcripts of the debate to the system. She said the Faculty
Council’s concerns about the divergence of the proposed structure
and composition of the Jackson School’s promotion and tenure committee
had also been passed on to the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory
Committee, and she thought the committee might consider this issue because
of the precedent such a change could pose for all universities in the UT
||REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair Elect Alba Ortiz (special education) asked everyone to join in a round
of applause to thank Chair Reichl for “the wonderful job she has done” this
year in leading the Council through difficult issues and very full agendas. She
complimented Chair Reichl for her diplomacy, tact, and sense of humor during
tense moments. Chair Elect Ortiz presented Chair Reichl with a snow globe
of the UT campus as a token of the Council’s appreciation for her efforts
in seeing that the Council’s work progressed effectively and efficiently
throughout the year. Chair Reichl said it had been an honor to serve as chair,
and she thought the Council had left the University a little better than when
the year began. She said she thought the committees were functioning more
efficiently than in prior years and had solved some problems.
|| Proposal recommending the continuation and expansion of the Bridging
Disciplines Program (BDP) as an interdisciplinary certificate program
||Professor Archie Holmes (electrical and computer engineering and Educational
Policy Committee chair) said Executive Vice President and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson
had asked his committee to review the BDP. After saying the committee felt
the program was positively influencing interdisciplinary education at UT, Professor
Holmes moved that the Faculty Council recommend continuation and expansion of
the BDP as an interdisciplinary certificate program at the University. Since
there were no further questions or comments, Chair Reichl called for the vote,
and the motion unanimously passed.
||Resolution endorsing the recommendation for the Task Force on
Enrollment Strategy limiting undergraduate students to a maximum
of ten long semesters in residence to complete a baccalaureate degree
Professor Holmes said the Educational Policy Committee supported
the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy’s recommendation to limit
undergraduates to a maximum of ten long semesters to complete baccalaureate
degrees with exceptions allowed at the discretion of the deans. He
said the committee also recommended that the provost establish an
implementation task force for the ten-semester limit since his committee
did not have time to consider specific policies and procedures. He
then moved that the Faculty Council endorse the recommendations proposed
by his committee in item D 3789-3790.
When Professor Doug Burger (computer sciences) asked if the deans
had been consulted about this proposed policy change, Professor Holmes
said they had not. Professor Larry Abraham (curriculum and instruction;
kinesiology and health education) said the issue that concerned him
was the impact this change would have on students whose circumstances
allowed only part-time enrollment. When he asked if the committee
thought the blanket authorization for deans to deal with these situations
on a college-by-college basis would suffice or if specific University-wide
guidelines were needed, Professor Holmes said the committee expected
these issues to be addressed by the implementation task force. When
Professor Janet Staiger (radio-television-film) asked for clarification
regarding the minimum number of semester hours needed for full-time
enrollment, Professor Holmes said twelve hours were required for
financial aid eligibility, but he did not think there was a minimum
for students who were not receiving financial aid. Professor Pauline
Strong (anthropology/women’s studies) pointed out that the
Educational Policy Committee had been asked to look at a series of
recommendations primarily designed to expedite graduation rates in
order for larger number of students to enroll at UT Austin.
When Professor Abraham asked if the consequences of a student not
meeting the ten-semester limit would be dismissal or if other measures,
such as increased tuition rates or special standing, would be considered,
Professor Holmes said the implementation task force would consider
these matters. He said his committee had looked at what other institutions
were doing, and some were requiring completion of degree requirements
during summers or were adding 25-30% to tuition costs for semesters
beyond the prescribed limit. He said he assumed the implementation
task force’s specific recommendations would have to come back
through a committee of the Faculty Council for consideration.
Professor Paul Woodruff (philosophy/Plan II) said he had voted for
the recommendation in the Educational Policy Committee, but he thought
such a limit would be unfair to students unless degree requirements
were thoroughly reviewed throughout the University. He said degree
requirements in certain areas at UT Austin were excessive when compared
to those of peer universities.
Professor Staiger said she favored moving people through at a reasonable
rate, but she was very sympathetic to students who experience financial
or personal problems. She was concerned about inequities and variability
based on different deans’ attitudes and concerns about enrollment
pressures when considering waiver requests. She said she approved the
underlying theory but preferred to make approval contingent on the
actual recommendations coming from the
||implementation task force to the Faculty Council. She said she
was not certain the waiver decisions should reside with the deans
and wanted there to be equity in how different colleges handled waivers.
Professor Holmes responded that members of his committee shared the
Professor Bruce Palka (mathematics) said the Task Force on Enrollment
Strategy did not have time to deal with the specific issues involved
in its many recommendations, but there had been great emphasis placed
on the need for curriculum review and the development of an efficient
system for advising students about their degree program status. When
Professor Martha Hilley (music) suggested that the implementation
task force include heavy involvement of student deans from across
campus, Professor Holmes agreed the student deans should have a “voice
at the table.”
Professor Abraham proposed an amendment to the motion asking the provost
to establish an implementation task force for the ten-semester limit
and then report the recommendations of the task force back to the Faculty
Council. When Chair Reichl asked if Professor Holmes would accept Professor
Abraham’s amendment as a friendly one or as a substitute, Professor
Holmes said he would. Chair Reichl then called for the vote on the
amendment or substitute motion, which passed by voice vote with one
person voting against the motion. After some discussion about
parliamentary procedure, Chair Reichl said a vote was needed on the
amended motion as recommended by the Educational Policy Committee.
The amended motion, which included that the provost create an implementation
task force for the ten-semester limit and report its recommendations
back to the Faculty Council, passed unanimously by voice vote.
||Proposal recommending that University grade point average be based
on in residence grade point average (D
Professor Holmes said that the Educational Policy Committee had
concluded that academic decisions throughout the University were
not based on the same grade point average (GPA) calculation, and
the committee members believed a standardized measure should be adopted.
He then moved that the Faculty Council recommend that all academic
decisions related to a University GPA, including scholarships, honors,
graduation, and probation and dismissal, use the “in residence” GPA
for courses completed at UT Austin.
Speaking in favor of the motion, Professor Palka pointed out that a
77-81) was passed by the Faculty Council in November
1999 that stated, “That The University of Texas at Austin continue
to award credit by examination either with letter grades or with the
symbol CR but that letter grades for credit by examination
not be counted in a student’s UT Austin grade point average.” Noting
that President Faulkner had not acted on the Faculty Council Executive
Committee’s 2001 re-affirmation of the motion, Professor Palka
asked how the new motion differed in substance from the previous one
and whether there was any expectation that the president would approve
the new motion. Professor Holmes said the new motion did not seek to
change the definition of the University GPA, which includes credit-by-exam
scores. He said the new motion recommends that academic decisions
at UT Austin be based on courses taken in residence at the University.
When Professor Palka asked if the GPA on a student’s transcript
would seem “in some sense a fraudulent GPA” if it differed
from the internal GPA used for academic decisions regarding scholarships,
honors, graduation, probation, and dismissal, Professor Holmes said
he thought the transcript GPA would be “different” but
he would not call it “fraudulent.” When Professor Palka
asked if the University GPA would then be the one reported to the outside
world, such as graduate schools, Professor Holmes said, although the
specific question raised by Professor Palka had not been discussed
by the committee, he thought that Professor Palka’s perception
was correct. Saying that one of the few powers of the faculty was to
determine the quality of the degrees granted by the University, Professor
Palka said he did not want the faculty to “cede the stewardship
to the Educational Testing Service or any other body.”
||Professor Palka then said he would vote for the present motion
since it was “a step in the right direction.”
Kate Nanney (student representative) reported that the Senate of College
Councils had supported the 1999 amendment and also supported the current
amendment. Vice President Jim Vick (mathematics and student affairs)
pointed out that the current proposal went further than the 1999 motion
by eliminating correspondence study from inclusion in the GPA calculation.
He said the 1999 proposal referred strictly to advanced placement and
testing by exam. When Professor Palka asked if Charles Roeckle
would comment on the current motion’s chances of being approved
by President Faulkner, Deputy Roeckle said he would defer to the president
on the issue. Chair Reichl then called for the vote on the motion recommending
that academic decisions at UT Austin be based on the in residence GPA. The
motion passed by voice vote with one member objecting
Proposal recommending the elimination of the table of scholastic
standards and changing the criteria for probation and dismissal (D
Saying his committee agreed with
the student deans that this proposed change regarding student probation
and dismissal would facilitate earlier intervention for undergraduates
having academic problems, Professor Holmes moved that the Council
endorse the recommendations in D 3792-3795. He said the proposed
change would apply to the grade records of students during matriculation
at UT Austin including their first semester as freshmen.
Drawing on his past experiences as a student dean, Vice President Jim
Vick said he recalled that it was not that unusual for a student to
gradually work out of probationary status over a period of semesters.
He said he would like to see statistics on how many students were on
probation for more than one semester and was concerned that this major
change could result in a larger number of student dismissals than in
the past. He said he would also like to know the percentage of students
who had succeeded after being on probation as opposed to being dismissed
and not returning to the University. Vice President Vick also discounted
the argument regarding early intervention, saying there was nothing
to stop such intervention when a student was on probation for the first
time. He did acknowledge there might be somewhat less leverage in getting
students to come in for assistance under the current system. Professor
Holmes said he did not have statistics that addressed the questions
raised by Vice President Vick and had no way to know if the policy
change would result in increased dismissals. He said he thought the
student deans were seeking a mechanism to call students in for assessment
and assistance. Since there were no further questions or comments,
Chair Reichl called for the vote on the motion, and it passed by voice
||Recommendations for change in the readmission after second dismissal
policy (D 3796-3797).
this proposed change would allow undergraduate students only one chance
to succeed after being away from the University for three calendar
years following second dismissal, Professor Urton Anderson (accounting
and Admissions and Registration Committee chair) moved that the Faculty
Council endorse the recommendations included in D 3796-3797. He said
approximately 4,800 students over a ten-year period had been granted
admission after second dismissals. Since there were no questions or
comments, Chair Reichl called for a voice vote, and the motion unanimously
||Recommendations for change in enrollment as a nondegree seeker
policy (D 3798-3800).
Saying data on the number of nondegree seekers enrolled at the University
on a continuing basis were not currently available and the proposed
change regarding enrollment of nondegree seeking students would provide
this needed information, Professor Anderson moved that the Faculty
Council endorse the recommendations in D 3798-3800. When Professor
Abraham asked if the degree holders who seek certification through
the College of Education would need to be reviewed
|| after two semesters of enrollment, Professor Anderson said the committee
had determined that most of the certification programs were completed
in two semesters. He said the committee did not intend for the process
to interfere with certification programs, but the college would need
to review student petitions after two semesters of enrollment. Since
there were no further questions or comments, Chair Reichl called for
a voice vote; the motion unanimously passed.
||Recommendation for change in the Coordinated Admissions Program
(CAP) Policy (D 3801-3803).
Professor Anderson reported that CAP transfers consumed 873 of the
1,700 external transfers last year to UT Austin. He said his committee
was asking the Faculty Council to endorse the motion that whenever
the admission through the CAP exceeds 60% of the total external undergraduate
transfer admissions, the GPA, course load, and curriculum requirements
for admission through CAP should be reviewed so this wording could
be inserted in the undergraduate catalog. Since there were no further
questions or comments on the motion, Chair Reichl called for a voice
vote; the motion unanimously passed.
||Recommendation for increasing the number of transfer credit required
for admission from twenty-four to thirty semester credit hours (D
Professor Anderson said his committee thought the credit hour requirement
for other transfer students should be consistent with that required
of CAP students. Therefore, he moved that the Faculty Council
endorse his committee’s recommendation that the University increase
the number of completed credit hours required for transfers from twenty-four
to thirty. Since there were no further questions or comment, Chair
Reichl called for a voice vote and the motion unanimously passed.
||Proposal to improve course availability for undergraduates (D
Professor Holmes reported his committee’s proposed motion related
to two recommendations made by the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy
to improve course availability for undergraduate students. Due
to an unintended omission, he said he was making a friendly amendment
to his committee’s original motion to add the symbol F to
the lists of possible outcomes in items 2c and 2d. He said faculty
members can currently assign grades of F when dropping students
from their courses, and the committee had not intended for this to
be changed. The motion after the amendment was added was as follows:
|| Create a new symbol, N, which is assigned when a student drops
a class for a documented, non-academic reason.
|| Adopt the following add and drop policy for all undergraduate
|| For courses that meet during the
first four class days of the semester, students
will be permitted to drop a course, without penalty,
untilmidnight on the
fourth class day of the semester. Students
will be permitted to add a course untilmidnight
on the fifth class dayof the semester.
|| For courses that do not meet during
the first four class days of the semester, students will be permitted to drop
a course, without penalty, until midnight on the day that
the class first meets. Students will be
permitted to add a course until midnight on theday after
the first class meeting day of the semester.
|| Between the fourth class day and the mid-semester deadline,
students who drop a course will receive either a symbol
of F, Q or N.
|| After the mid-semester deadline, students may only drop
a course for a substantial, non-academic reason. These
drops will receive a symbol of F or N.
|| Require faculty to provide students a course syllabus by the
first meeting day of all classes. This syllabus must contain
the following items: grading policy for the course, including
whether class attendance is used in determining the course grade;
due dates for assignments
||that count 20% or more of the total course grade; and a list of required textbooks
for the course.
||Adopt the following course repeat policy for all undergraduate courses. No student
may enroll in any course (except those that may be repeated for credit when topics
vary) more than twice, even if the course is needed to meet degree requirements,
unless all of the following conditions are met:
|| A symbol of N or W was assigned
at least one of the two times the student has enrolled
in the course.
|| Written consent for the third attempt has been
obtained from the student’s major adviser.
||Written consent for the third attempt has been obtained from the department offering
||A student who has received three Qs must have documented, non-academic reasons
for any additional drops after the fourth class day of the semester.
Professor Holmes said the first proposed change allowed better
differentiation between drops for non-academic and other reasons.
The second proposed change would encourage earlier drops and enable
students to add courses where seats are available in a more timely
manner than the current policy allows. The third proposed change
would allow students to assess the content and requirements of
courses in a timely manner. Although students can petition to repeat
courses a third time, the fourth proposed change was designed to
limit repeated enrollment in the same course to two times unless
the student withdrew or dropped for a documented non-academic reason.
Although the overwhelming majority of students have no more than
two Q drops, the intent of the fifth proposed change was
to limit excessive Q drops unless there were documented
When Eric Malmberg asked if the requirement of a first day syllabus
would apply to graduate and undergraduate courses, Professor Holmes
said it would apply to only the latter. Mr. Malmberg said he would
like the policy forwarded to the Graduate Assembly for consideration
if the recommendation were adopted.
When Professor Marvin Hackert (chemistry and biochemistry) asked
if the proposal would effectively change the official enrollment
day from the twelfth to the fifth day of the semester, Professor
Holmes said it would not. He said committee members thought it
was unfair to allow students to add courses significantly later
than the fourth-class day and still expect them to be successful.
When Professor Abraham asked if the N symbol represented
a non-academic drop and a W would still be used if the
student withdrew from the University, Professor Holmes said these
descriptions were correct. He clarified that a Q would
signify that a student dropped the class but did not provide a
documented non-academic reason. When Professor Abraham asked for
clarification between academic and non-academic reasons, Professor
Holmes said that the committee had discussed the meaning of Ns
and Ws but not Qs. When Professor Abraham asked
if having insufficient time to complete course requirements due
to work or other activities were an academic or non-academic reason,
Professor Holmes said it would be up to a dean’s discretion.
Although that was the current situation, Professor Holmes said
the committee thought it would helpful to differentiate the two
as documented by the deans. Since there were no further comments
on the proposed changes, Chair Reichl summarized the main points
covered by the motion and called for the vote; the motion passed
by voice vote with one member voting against the motion.
||Proposal to change the definition of University Honors (D
some confusion occurred regarding the agenda order for the remaining
recommendations from the Educational Policy Committee, Professor Holmes
explained that he had unintentionally
||skipped the item regarding merit scholarships. Saying his committee
members did not see the need to have University honors based on a
fifteen-semester hour enrollment requirement, Professor Holmes said
the committee had decided to recommend the enrollment requirement
for University Honors be the same fourteen-semester credit hours
used as the basis for flat rate tuition. He moved that the Faculty
Council endorse the definitions for University Honors and Distinguished
College Scholars as recommended by his committee in D 3838-3840.
Executive Vice President Steve Monti said he didn’t think
the number of hours chosen for honors should be tied to fourteen
because it was unrelated to actual number of hours that students
take. He though it was a good idea to encourage students to take
as many hours as possible since this would make the flat rate tuition
work in their favor. Chair Reichl asked if there were other comments;
since there were none, she summarized the motion and called for the
vote. When no one voted and it was again clarified that the proposal
under discussion pertained to the honors recommendation in D 3838-3840,
Professor John Dollard (mathematics and Graduate Studies) proposed
an amendment that the requirement for honors be changed to fifteen
credit hours per semester to encourage students to complete their
degrees in four years. Professor Holmes said he thought that the
number of four-hour courses offered across campus made the fourteen-hour
requirement a good idea. He pointed out that a student who was taking
two four-hour courses and two three-hour courses would only meet
the fourteen-hour requirement and would have to take a seventeen-hour
course load to be eligible for honors if the fifteen-hour requirement
were adopted. Professor Abraham said he liked to encourage students
to take an average of fifteen hours per semester, but he felt that
requiring fourteen hours on a semester-by-semester basis to qualify
for University Honors was appropriate. When Professor Dollard asked
if the motion required an average enrollment of fourteen hours or
enrollment in fourteen hours every single semester, Professor Holmes
said that eligibility for University Honors required enrollment in
fourteen or more hours every semester. Vice President Vick then asked
for clarification regarding whether a student had to be enrolled
for fourteen hours every semester at the University to be eligible
for honors. Professor Holmes clarified that University Honors were
a per-semester award based on one semester’s work; he said
students taking fourteen or more hours were eligible to receive University
Honors if they meet the requisite GPA requirement. However, to be
Distinguished College Scholars, students must have enrolled in fourteen
or more hours during both their current and previous semesters as
well as met GPA requirements. Professor Holmes pointed out that the
fourteen-hour requirement would not apply if a student were graduating
that semester and needed fewer than fourteen hours to meet graduation
requirement. Professor Strong said the Educational Policy Committee
thought it might be confusing for students to have different credit
hour requirements for honors, financial aid, and flat rate tuition.
Chair Reichl called for a vote on the amendment to change the semester
credit hours in the original motion from fourteen to fifteen; the amendment
failed by voice vote. She then called for a voice vote on the original
motion from the Educational Policy Committee that would base honors
eligibility on fourteen-semester credit hour enrollment. The motion
passed by voice vote.
||Proposal to require fifteen or more hours for merit-based scholarships
Holmes then returned to the recommendation that had been skipped. He
said his committee did not support the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy’s
proposed recommendation that merit-based scholarship recipients be
required to enroll in a minimum of fifteen semester credit hours per
semester. He said the Educational Policy Committee members felt that
the scholarship providers should determine the number of hours required
for their specific scholarships. The motion from the committee was
that the Faculty Council should not endorse this task force recommendation.
After commenting on the negative nature of the motion, Chair Reichl
asked if the motion could be renamed a resolution. Executive Vice President
Monti thought the motion should be made into a resolution because,
if the original motion failed, no action could be taken. Professor
Holmes said he would make a friendly amendment to change the motion
|| resolution. Chair Reichl called for the vote on the resolution,
saying that an affirmative vote signified that one did not support
the task force’s recommendation to increase the minimum number
of semester credit hours required for merit scholarships to fifteen.
The resolution passed by voice vote with two members voting against
||Proposal to restrict the number of times a student can apply for
an internal transfer (D
Professor Holmes moved that the Faculty Council endorse his committee’s
recommendations in agenda item D 3841-3842 to restrict internal transfers
between colleges/schools after completion of sixty hours of coursework
in residence or four semesters in residence at the University unless
a dean granted an exception. He said that Professor Desmond Lawler
(civil engineering), who could not attend the Council meeting, had
objected to the recommendation because it conflicted with a particular
situation in the College of Engineering. Students in the college
must complete the first half of their coursework with a requisite
GPA in order to continue in the program. Some students complete four
semesters and do not meet the GPA requirement, and Professor Lawler
was concerned about what would happen to those students when they
could not transfer to another college because they had exceeded the
maximum allowed in the proposal. Professor Holmes said the Educational
Policy Committee had addressed this situation by including the provision
for petitions in the proposed recommendation. Professor Palka said
he thought the petitioning requirement was the correct strategy because
the Task Force on Enrollment Strategy had found the major factors
in non-timely graduation of students were repeated transfers and
the inability to choose career paths. He pointed out that the proposed
change did not make it impossible for students to transfer from college
to college; it just made it more difficult. Professor Palka said
he thought engineering needed to decide earlier regarding student
continuation in the college than is currently done.
Professor Paul Woodruff (philosophy and Plan II) said he agreed
with Professor Palka and thought that there were large numbers of
students in holding patterns across campus, who were attempting to
raise their grades in order transfer to more selective colleges.
He said the College of Business had adopted a fairly restrictive
internal transfer policy, and he thought the University needed a
policy on this matter. Professor Woodruff said the committee members
felt strongly that a clear message needed to be sent to students,
advisors, and the colleges that majors needed to be decided by the
third year of undergraduate study. He said students who don’t
decide on their majors by the third year usually are unable to graduate
on time; they clog the system and take spaces that other students
need. He concluded by saying that the University needs to make a
commitment to improve and expedite student advising about major selection
to improve graduation rates.
Professor Burger asked what the deans thought about receiving increased
numbers of student transfer petitions and if it matter how often student
transferred as long as they graduated within the ten-semester time
limit. Professor Holmes said the student dean from engineering was
on the Educational Policy Committee, and he didn’t seem to be
concerned about the number of petitions; however, he acknowledged that
this was only one data point. With regard to the second question, Professor
Holmes said he thought the committee basically believed the transfer
recommendation was needed in addition to the ten-semester limit. He
said the transfer restriction would require a dean to assess whether
the transfer request was timely enough that the ten-semester limit
could be met. Since there were no further questions or comments, Chair
Reichl called for a voice vote, and the motion unanimously passed.
||REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES.
|| Update from the ad hoc Committee on Course Instructor Surveys.
Committee Chair Marvin Hackert summarized the history of the Council’s
involvement with the course-instructor survey from the mid-1990s when a committee
was appointed to review survey
issues. He said the core of recommendations in a Faculty
Council document passed in 1999, as a result of that committee’s
work, focused on the concern and intent that students, teachers,
and administrators all benefit from processes that were informative,
efficient, and fair. He said the 2005 survey review committee
members were concerned that aspects pertaining to the efficiency
and fairness of the survey and its results had been lost over
time. Professor Hackert said the 1999 document concluded that
the written comments from students on the evaluation forms were
not governed by the open records regulations that applied to
the bubbled-in responses by students to standardized questions
on the survey. He said the members of the current review committee
believed the written comments were offered and received as private
acts of communication between the student and the faculty member.
He said current review committee members thought the privacy
of both the students and faculty members should be respected
and preserved and, therefore, the timing and procedures regarding
the release of survey results were extremely important. Professor
Hackert said increased access to and use of the survey results,
particularly the written comments, by the UT Austin administrators
had been reported during the past year to the Faculty Council
Executive Committee. In addition, a legal opinion was issued
this past year stating that the course-instructor surveys, including
the written comments by students, were official University documents
to use for official University purposes. This means that the
Texas Open Records Act, the Family Education Rights and Privacy
Act (FERPA), and the University Records and Retention Schedule
apply to both the written student comments and the bubbled-in
responses on the evaluation forms. As a result, anyone from the
public can request access to the evaluation results, and actual
records must be retained for ten years for this purpose. According
to Professor Hackert, the current review committee felt that
these changes had diminished the original intent of the surveys
to provide feedback to instructors so they could improve their
teaching and facilitate successful student learning.
Although the current committee is not yet ready to make final
recommendations to the Faculty Council, Professor Hackert said
the committee was leaning toward a recommendation that there
should be a separation in the methods used to collect the responses
to the standardized survey questions and the written statements
from students. He said the committee felt the written comments
were helpful in encouraging improved student-faculty interaction
and learning; however, if this feedback were solicited separately
from the University’s official course-instructor survey
and on a voluntary basis, the economic impact of record storage
could be reduced. Professor Hackert said one idea under consideration
by the committee was to modify the official course-instructor
survey form by excluding the section for written comments. Faculty
members who wanted to solicit student comments would be encouraged
to use alternate means, such as two-part forms, a class activity,
or an on-line tool such as Blackboard. Faculty members would
need to understand that if they kept the comments, the documents
would be subject to FERPA and open record’s regulations;
however, since the comments would not be part of the official
University survey, they could be destroyed after the faculty
member read the students feedback and suggestions.
In addition to these policy issues, Professor Hackert said his
committee was studying procedural issues, such the use of on-line
surveys. He said the committee had met with Chuck Gaede (associate
director, Measurement and Evaluation Center) and Judy Ashcroft
(associate vice president, Division of Instructional Innovation
and Assessment) about these matters. In addition, the UT System
Faculty Advisory Council was planning to survey its member institutions
about their course-instructor survey procedures and concerns. He
concluded by saying his committee’s goal was to present its
report and recommendations to the Faculty Council at the beginning
of the 2005 fall semester; therefore, the committee would welcome
comments and suggestions as it worked over the summer months.
||NEW BUSINESS. |
|| Nominations for Intercollegiate Athletics Councils
and for the University Co-op Board of Directors (D
Chair Reichl announced the Faculty Council Executive Committee’s
recommended lists of nominees for potential appointment by
President Faulkner to the athletics councils and the Co-op
Board of Directors as presented in D 3941-3942. She asked
if there were additional nominations from the floor. Since
there were none, she moved that the Faculty Council approve
the list of nominees as submitted. The motion was seconded
and unanimously approved by voice vote.
||Cancellation of Summer Meetings of the Faculty Council
behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, Secretary
Greninger (human ecology) moved that the summer meetings
scheduled for June, July, and August 2005 be cancelled, with
the understanding that special meetings will be called if
warranted. The motion was seconded and unanimously
approved by voice vote.
||Approval of Meeting Dates 2005-2006 (D
behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, Secretary
Greninger moved that the schedule of meeting dates for the
2005-2006 Faculty Council be approved, with the understanding
that changes might be required. The motion was seconded and
unanimously approved by voice vote.
||ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS.
||The offices of the General Faculty, Faculty Council, and the Faculty Ombudsperson
have moved from FAC 22 to WMB 2.102.
|| Standing Committee chairs should submit formal committee
reports to the Office of the General Faculty by May 16.
||QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR. None.
Chair Reichl adjourned the meeting at 3:52 p.m.
Distributed through the Faculty Council Web site
on June 20, 2005. Transcripts of the Faculty Council meetings and copies of these
minutes are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB