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Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of March 20, 2006.

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty


MARCH 20, 2006

The sixth regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2005-2006 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, March 20, 2006, at 2:15 P.M.


Present: Lawrence D. Abraham, Seema Agarwala, Michael D. Allen, Peter R. Antoniewicz, Matthew J. Bailey, Susan N. Beretvas, Elizabeth Ann Brummett, Douglas C. Burger, Patricia A. Carter, Miles L. Crismon, James W. Deitrick, Philip Doty, Janet M. Dukerich, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Lester L. Faigley, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Richard R. Flores, Jeanne Freeland-Graves, Thomas J. Garza, Jessica L. Geier, John C. (Jack) Gilbert, Linda L. Golden, Juan C. González, Sue A. Greninger, Phillip Hebert, Martha F. Hilley, Lori K. Holleran, Archie L. Holmes, Joni L. Jones, Robert C. Koons, Desiderio Kovar, Nancy P. Kwallek, Desmond F. Lawler, William S. Livingston, Glenn Y. Masada, Charles C. McDowell, Karl H. Miller, Kate Nanney, Omar A. Ochoa, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Alba A. Ortiz, Bruce P. Palka, William C. Powers, Kenneth M. Ralls, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Wayne Rebhorn, Linda E. Reichl, Clare E. Richardson, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Peter J. Riley, Victoria Rodriguez, John J. Ruszkiewicz, David W. Springer, Michael B. Stoff, Pauline T. Strong, Angela Valenzuela, N. Bruce Walker.

Absent: Efraim P. Armendariz, Pascale R. Bos (excused), Patrick L. Brockett (excused), Joanna M. Brooks, Cynthia J. Buckley (excused), Lorenzo F. (Frank) Candelaria (excused), Patricia L. Clubb, Andrew P. Dillon, Diana M. DiNitto (excused), Richard B. Eason (excused), Stanislav Emelianov, James L. Erskine (excused), William L. Fisher, Kenneth Flamm (excused), Robert Freeman, George W. Gau, William P. Glade (excused), Oscar Gonzalez (excused), Steven J. Goode, Mark K. Goodman, Charles R. Hale (excused), Donald A. Hale, Roderick P. Hart, Thomas M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty (excused), James L. Hill, James O. Jirsa (excused), David Justin, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Richard W. Lariviere, Dominic L. Lasorsa (excused), Steven W. Leslie, Julia Mickenberg (excused), Edward W. (Ted) Odell (excused), Melissa L. Olive (excused), Yolanda C. Padilla (excused), Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Christine E. Schmidt (excused), M. Michael Sharlot, James Steinberg, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Janice S. Todd (excused), Daniel A. Updegrove, John M. Weinstock (excused), Alexandria K. Wettlaufer (excused), Barbara W. White, Erica L. Whittington (excused), Karin G. Wilkins (excused).

Voting Members:
Non-Voting Members:
Total Members:



The written report appears in D 4441-4446.


The minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of February 20, 2006, (D 4447-4457) were approved by voice vote.


A. Comments by the President — None.

B. Questions to the President.

1. In September 2004, the Grievance Committee suspended the processing of grievances until the procedures could be revised to guarantee fairness. The committee and the administration negotiated legislation on disciplining and discovery, which the Faculty Council passed last spring. In mid-August, President Faulkner approved the legislation and sent it to the Systems Office for approval. Expecting a quick resolution, the Grievance Committee resumed processing grievances in late August. However, this legislation has yet to receive approval, or disapproval, from Systems. In November we were told that a response should come within a month, but it did not. In his final days in office, President Faulkner pushed the Systems Office for a response, to no avail. I briefed you about this in a February 13 email, but have not received any reply. What steps will you take to see that this situation is finally resolved? — Lorenzo Sadun (professor, mathematics; chair, Faculty Grievance Committee).

President Powers asked Patti Ohlendorf, Vice President for Institutional Relations and Legal Affairs, to respond to Professor Sadun’s question. Vice President Ohlendorf said she had recently talked with Helen Bright, who is leading the team of UT System attorneys in reviewing the proposed changes to UT Austin’s grievance policy and process. Since the policy had not been reviewed since the 1970s, Vice President Ohlendorf said the System attorneys are developing a draft that attempts to address legal issues associated with changes that have occurred in law and Regents’ Rules. Vice President Ohlendorf said Helen Bright wants to meet with appropriate members of the Faculty Grievance Committee and others to work out wording for the document. She said she thought that ultimately a document could be developed that does what “everyone wants to do from a policy perspective” as well as be a better document than what previously existed or what was recently proposed by UT Austin. Vice President Ohlendorf said the proposal from UT Austin tried to insert words into the language of an old policy and therefore did not result in a document that matched up totally with what was needed. She said Helen Bright thought the meeting with UT Austin representatives would occur in the next few weeks.

After saying he knew a great deal of work had gone into the UT grievance proposal, President Powers said the UT administration would continue to press to get the document processed in order to move forward.

2. At the February Faculty Council meeting, you briefly commented that plans were progressing for a general bookstore to be located on or near campus. On behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, can you provide a few more details about these exciting plans? — Sue Alexander Greninger (associate professor, human ecology; secretary, Faculty Council).

President Powers presented a report from Mr. Kevin Hegarty (vice president and chief operating officer) indicating the Co-op and Follett Corporation were in final negotiations for a lease that would allow Follett to establish a trade bookstore in the old Tower Records space at the corner of Guadalupe and 24th Streets. He said UT Austin’s provost, chief financial officer and liberal arts dean have participated in the negotiations with Follett, the operator of 700


  campus bookstores across the U.S. The transaction involves financial support from both the Co-op and the University; the contract will likely be signed within the week, and the store is expected to open by mid-summer 2006.


Chair Alba Ortiz (special education) reminded Council members to submit nominations for the Civitatis Award to the Office of the General Faculty before the April 21st deadline. She said the award recognizes meritorious service to the University that is above and beyond regular teaching, research, and service responsibilities. The nomination letters and vitae will be reviewed by the Faculty Council Executive Committee, which will then forward its recommendation to President Powers. She also thanked those who organized and participated in the college/school forums on curricular reform. She encouraged faculty, staff, and students to attend the University-wide forums to be held in Main 212 on March 24 from 10:00-12:00 and on April 7 and 21 from 2:00-4:00. She said the time was quickly approaching when the input on the recommendations would be turned over to the Educational Policy Committee for development of legislative proposals to be presented to the Faculty Council in fall 2006. Lastly, Chair Ortiz thanked Chair Elect Linda Golden for her work in organizing the successful joint meeting between UT’s Faculty Council and Texas A&M’s Faculty Senate. Saying the meeting had been one of the best ever in terms of content and attendance, Chair Ortiz asked Council members to join her in a round of applause to thank the chair elect for all of her hard work.


A. Report of the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Women.

Professor Mary Steinhardt (kinesiology and health education; chair, UT Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Women) recognized the following representatives from the athletics department, who were in attendance: Ms. Chris Plonsky (women’s athletic director), Dr. Randa Ryan (senior associate athletic director), and Mr. Brian Davis (assistant athletic director). She described the structure of the athletics councils for women and men, which include faculty, regent, alumni, and student appointees. She said every head coach meets annually with the athletics council’s scholarship subcommittee, Chris Plonsky, and Randa Ryan to review the athletes’ academic achievement and progress toward graduation. She said that the coaches are accountable for their recruits and for setting academic standards and the resources dedicated to academic support for student athletes at UT are significant.

Professor Steinhardt then asked the Faculty Council to consider having future athletics reports presented during fall rather than spring Faculty Council meetings. She said this change would make the athletics report to the Council congruent with University-based academic data and provide a full year of performance data consistent with NCAA requirements, including the new Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR). She said the new NCAA reforms are intended to provide real time data on student athlete eligibility, retention, and progress toward graduation. If the suggested change were implemented, the athletics report presented in fall 2006 would reflect the entire 2005-2006 academic year, including the summer 2006 term when many student athletes complete their degrees.

Professor Steinhardt then introduced Dr. Randa Ryan to give the report from the women’s athletics program. Dr. Ryan said the number of UT student athletes currently recognized with Big


  12 commissioner’s honors, all academic Big 12 honors, and academic all-Americans and/or receiving NCAA post-graduate scholarships is “at an all-time high.” She also reported that the student athletes had contributed greatly to community service events and activities both on and off campus in addition to successfully representing UT Austin in their competitive sports. Saying faculty guidance and support were essential to the success of the student athletes, Dr. Ryan expressed gratitude to the faculty on behalf of the students.

Dr. Ryan’s PowerPoint presentation is attached in Appendix A. Following the report, Professor Desmond Lawler asked about the six-year graduation rates for student athletes. Dr. Ryan responded that the cohort on whom the current presentation was based was not the same cohort for which six-year graduation rates are determined. When Professor Lawler asked if these data could be available in the future, Dr. Ryan said yes, but the reates could not be available until the end of the spring semester.

B. Report of the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men.

Professor David Fowler (civil, architectural, and environmental engineering; chair, UT Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men) said there was good involvement of the faculty with coaches and counselors, and a three-person subcommittee meets annually with the head coaches and respective counselors for each sport. He said the meetings had been very helpful, and he thought they sent a signal to the coaches that faculty members have a strong interest in the student athletes’ academic progress. He then listed the names of faculty members on the men’s council as follows: Professors Robert Duke (music), Linda Hayes (aerospace engineering), Archie Holmes (electrical and computer engineering), Robert Wilson (LBJ school), and David Fowler (civil, architectural, and environmental engineering).

Professor Fowler complimented Dr. Ryan and the counselors for the improved academic performance in the men’s programs. He said he thought it was because of the reorganization that had occurred in academic counseling. He singled out basketball, pointing out that the team’s mean GPA had improved about a full grade point from last year.

Professor Fowler’s PowerPoint presentation is attached in Appendix B. When Chair Elect Golden asked if men’s athletics would prefer to present its report at a fall Faculty Council meeting, Professor Fowler said yes. Professor Michael Stoff (history) commended Professor Fowler on the thoroughness of this year’s report in comparison to ones given in the past. When Professor Philip Doty (information) asked why there was such a high percentage of student athletes enrolled in the non-certification kinesiology program and what the program requirement entailed, Professor Fowler referred the question to Dr. Ryan. Saying the kinesiology major was “very challenging,” Dr. Ryan reported students in that major often start out thinking they want to get their teacher certifications. However, due to the length of time and sequence required for student teaching, the student athletes often find there are scheduling conflicts with their sports’ practice times. Therefore, many student athletes decide the best alternative is to delay the completion of teaching certification requirements until after they major in kinesiology and possibly minor in education. In addition, she said there were some students who want to major in kinesiology from the outset and plan to continue on for advanced degrees in exercise physiology. Dr. Ryan said she thought the education majors were good choices because many of the student athletes want to teach and coach, and they are disappointed when they discover they won’t be able to obtain their certifications in a timely manner.

Professor Linda Ferreira-Buckley (English and rhetoric and writing) said she was pleased with the detail in the report, but she wanted to know if the outcome category that was labeled “transfer/leave in good standing” included students who drop out with a 2.0 or less. Dr. Ryan responded it was important that student athletes who transfer or take time off from school leave in good standing so they will be able to return to UT or to be eligible to participate in athletics if they transfer to another school. Therefore, the category is simply defined as “in good academic standing.” She said the category includes some students who are leaving because of stronger educational opportunities exclusive of athletics, such as graduate or medical school enrollment, so


  one cannot conclude that the students in this group have GPAs barely over a 2.0. Professor Ferreira-Buckley said she understood this but felt that it would be better not to combine students who are taking time off and perhaps never returning to school with those who are transferring to another institution. Professor Fowler said he saw no reason why the request could not be honored.

Professor Larry Abraham (kinesiology and health education; curriculum and instruction) noted that the current classification system did not provide information regarding the academic standing of the student athletes who had gone into professional sports. He said it would be preferable to represent the academic standing of all the students and count “going pro” just as one of the alternative forms of leaving the University. Professor Fowler said he saw no reason why this could not be included in future reports.

Chair Ortiz thanked both athletic councils for their excellent reports and noted that the groups had been very responsive to the Council’s past requests for more detailed information. She said the Faculty Council Executive Committee would include the new items in its request to the athletics councils for next year’s report and would address the request about the timing of the report presentations.


A. Report of the Task Force on Curricular Reform .

1. College Forum Feedback
a. Red McCombs School of Business
Chair Elect Golden reported that thirty-seven individuals, including five task force members met for a two-hour discussion late on a Friday afternoon. She said operational issues and questions regarding front-end enrollment were raised. Because the McCombs School presently knows who will enroll as freshmen within 10-20%, there were concerns regarding how the University College would impact this. In addition, there were concerns raised about how curricular reform would impact honors programs. Task force members emphasized how the proposals were designed to supplement existing successful programs and procedures rather than replace them. The meeting concluded with a discussion of operational issues facing liberal arts in dealing with a large number of undeclared majors that need advise, direction, and support.

b. College of Engineering.
Professor Desiderio Kovar (mechanical engineering) reported that departmental meetings were initially convened by chairs in the College of Engineering, which resulted in about a 75% faculty participation rate. Although the chairs had the discretion to invite task force members, he thought none had chosen to do this. The meetings followed the format suggested by the Faculty Council, with each department providing a written summary report. The departmental meetings were followed by a college-wide forum where 20% of the tenure, tenure-track, and lecture faculty attended along with four task force members. After the departmental reports were summarized, Professor Desmond Lawler, a task force member, responded and open discussion followed. Since the general meeting focused largely on points of clarification as opposed to discussion, Professor Kovar said his report would focus primarily on the departmental meetings.

Professor Kovar said the following were areas of consensus support for the task force report: increasing resources, improving educational experiences for undergraduates, developing and using strands, and conceptualizing and implementing flagged courses. The freshman signature course was thought to offer some benefits, but there was great concern about its implementation. The effectiveness of offering such large sections to diverse audiences was questioned; issues were raised as to whether time to graduation would be lengthened. Due to the lack of specifics in the task force report regarding the sophomore signature course, some faculty members were concerned that it might end up a watered-down survey course. Faculty recommended that a single signature course might be more appropriate in meeting the lack of coursework in multi-culturalism in the engineering curriculum, especially since quantitative reasoning is already greatly


  emphasized. One idea was there might be a variety of different signature courses suited to different individual needs.

Professor Kovar said the areas where there was strong opposition generally paralleled those raised in Professor David Hillis’ alternative recommendation. The faculty felt that improving the current college-centered advising system was preferable to changing the system. Faculty members were doubtful that an advisor outside of a discipline could provide needed information about a particular discipline much less about several different disciplines. Faculty members were concerned that College of Engineering’s efforts to create a smaller community might be damaged by centralized advising and that the college’s ability to attract top-quality recruits might be negatively impacted. The second area of strong opposition, according to Professor Kovar, was the University College concept where faculty members felt efforts to connect students to specific departments and colleges during the freshman year would be adversely affected. There was also concern about the financial implications of establishing University College. Professor Kovar reported that the matter of resources was of great concern since faculty members perceived that new resources could be better spent by hiring more faculty members, reducing the student-faculty ratios, and focusing on undergraduate research experiences.

c. College of Fine Arts.
Professor Martha Hilley (music) provided feedback from student affairs’ personnel as well as the faculty in the College of Fine Arts. She said the 40-page student affairs report was available by request. The faculty forum was attended by thirty faculty members, five task force members, and three staff note-takers. She thanked the task force members for spending so much time and effort to attend the forums across campus.

Professor Hilley said the faculty at her college forum, as well as at others she attended, supported the signature courses and flags as good ideas; however, there was concern about staffing and funding for both of these. She said the fine arts faculty had major concerns with the University College. Due to the limited funding for fine arts, faculty members were concerned about a new entity being established when resources were needed in programs that already existed. She said the fine arts faculty did not like the idea of freshmen delaying their declaration of majors, given that so many of the majors in the college had been training all their lives to major in fine arts. She said stronger wording about the possibility of dual citizenship within a declared major and membership in University College would allow students to take advantage of both entities.

d. College of Liberal Arts.
Professor Pauline Strong (anthropology) reported that forty individuals, including eight task force members, attended the two-hour forum on March 8. She said the tenor of the meeting was an expression of gratitude for the service performed by task force members. She said there was general agreement that the undergraduate curriculum needs attention and is worthy of the effort and resources required. Professor Strong said it was difficult to make general statements since there were mixed opinions on a number of the proposals. Although some faculty felt large lecture courses can be quite outstanding, many were concerned about the proposed class size and wondered if a common intellectual experience would actually exist given the format of the signature courses. Concerns were expressed about reliance on TAs for teaching writing, incentives for faculty to teach the courses, and the possibility of having a two-tiered faculty system evolve where some are greatly involved and others feel unwanted. Some felt they had trained hard to teach a particular subject and others were not qualified to teach in their area of study. Some felt team teaching was not needed for interdisciplinary teaching. Others felt that the signature courses were very expensive, and others felt they might be more appropriate at the upper division level because students would have stronger grounding to handle interdisciplinary work.

With regards to alternatives, it was suggested that the Freshman and Interest Groups (FIGs), Freshman Seminars should serve as models for the signature courses. Instruction should be done by hiring faculty and not using TAs, and signature courses should be more “mode of thinking” or “big idea” courses, like the one Plan II offered for math. The


    strands were seen as a potential “bureaucratic nightmare.” Although there was support for the flags, there was concern about how they could be monitored for rigor and appropriateness. One person said the flags were potentially trendy and might be short lived. One alternative was that the Bridging Disciplines Program could serve as a model for the strands. Regarding university-wide advising, there was a question about what happened with the previous center that was abandoned. It was thought colleges needed to continue being involved in advising and not allowed to avoid this important area of service.

Regarding University College, the concerns were similar to those already mentioned. Questions were raised about the cost and number of administrative position that would be created as well as how the University College would relate to other colleges. Task force members, Evan Carton and Paul Woodruff, distributed handouts regarding frequently-asked questions. Professor Strong said the handout regarding why the task force thinks there is a need for the University College is particularly helpful.

e. College of Natural Sciences.
Professor Bruce Palka (mathematics) reported that the February 21 forum in the College of Natural Sciences was very well attended with estimates of attendance ranging from 120-155. Following Professor Lawler’s overview of the task force report, the faculty members focused primarily on University College and the signature courses. Professor Palka said the tone of the meeting was very critical of the task force recommendations, and although there was general agreement with the goals of the task force, the faculty overwhelming perceived that the implementation plan was completely wrong. After about an hour and a half, a motion was made from the floor that the College of Natural Sciences affirms the minority report written by Professor Hillis, and the motion passed.

Professor Palka said he was disappointed that little constructive criticism or discussion of alternatives occurred at the meeting; however, he thought more constructive suggestions had come from departmental forums within the college and were posted on the Faculty Council Web site. An idea from the mathematics department forum involved the creation of a course designed to improve the freshman experience, and that would be teaching calculus in classes of about forty rather than 120 students. The mathematics department forum participants felt moving to smaller classes would be the best way to improve the educational experiences of freshmen and sophomores. Professor Palka said this was in accord with the recommendations that grew out of a University partnership with Ford, such as increasing the number of FIGSs, developing class identity through activities like “Gone To Texas,” and teaching freshman classes in small sections.

f. School of Social Work
Associate Dean David Springer (social work) reported the School of Social Work forum had about 95% attendance among the faculty since it occurred at a regular faculty meeting. Professor Lawler represented the task force and gave an overview of the recommendations; two faculty members and one staff person took notes. Associate Dean Springer said the school’s faculty members see the recommendations of the task force as a way that their school can make a stronger contribution than it does now to undergraduate education. The faculty strongly supported the concept of strands as it paralleled what is already being done in the school. The faculty also felt it was important to have a strong guardian of the core, and this role could be provided by the University College. A positive aspect of the signature courses was that students would be more likely to study a portion of the core at UT Austin rather than at community colleges; however, the proposed large class size seemed problematic even though the faculty understood there was a resource issue. One suggestion was that the University hireprofessional teaching staff to lead the discussion groups because it was felt TAs might lack the requisite experience; it was also felt a professional teaching staff could better coordinate with the faculty in charge of presenting the large lectures and integrate the content from the lectures into the smaller discussion groups. Associate Dean Springer


  said that faculty in the School of Social Work supported the task force recommendations and the principles guiding the recommendations.

Chair Ortiz thanked the forum reporters and said she found the reports helpful. She said there appeared to be emerging themes around aspects of the report than can be supported and those that might require “some tinkering” in order to garner further support. She asked the presenters to submit written reports so the feedback can be aggregated along with the comments received through the dedicated email address.

B. Motion to recognize temporary disabilities caused by pregnancy and childbirth for graduate students (D 4355).

Professor Linda Reichl (physics) made the following motion, which included slightly modified wording to the one she introduced at the February Council meeting:
I move that The University of Texas at Austin adopt a policy allowing extension by one semester of the 14-semester rule* for graduate students who give birth while in graduate school and that this recommendation be forwarded to the Graduate Assembly for action. The university currently recognizes the temporary disabilities caused by pregnancy and child birth for faculty members on the tenure clock; it is important to extend to graduate students giving birth the recognition of additional time to accomplish progress toward completing their dissertations

*The 14 semester rule refers to the Graduate School policy that a graduate student may NOT receive support (in the form of a GRA or TA) for more than 14 semesters.
Professor Reichl said the proposed policy change was a small step compared to what other Universities were doing, such as Stanford University who grants paid leave to graduate students and extends the time they have to complete degrees. She said a problem existed in UT’s College of Natural Sciences as well as across the United States because there were too few women in the sciences. She said the motion would be helpful in certain departments, particularly computer sciences where the average time nationally to complete a Ph.D. is 7.4 years. UT’s current policy would cut students off after seven years and make it virtually impossible for women who give birth during graduate school to be competitive. She reported that Associate Dean Jack Gilbert (natural sciences; chemistry and biochemistry) had found that the proposal was supported by administrators in the McCombs School Business, LBJ School of Public Affairs, School of Social Work, School of Pharmacy, College of Fine Arts, College of Engineering, and College of Natural Sciences.

Chair Ortiz asked if there were a second for the motion, which she received. She then clarified that the current motion’s wording recognized that the Faculty Council did not have authority to modify the current policy and was therefore recommending that the motion be forwarded to the Graduate Assembly for consideration and action. Professor Doug Burger (computer sciences) thanked Professor Reichl for bringing the motion to the Council; he said the current policy was detrimental to his department because it was difficult for its students to nationally compete when they had less time to finish their degrees than peers at other institutions. He also said the Graduate Assembly had been reluctant to deal with the issue. When Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Victoria Rodriguez clarified that the 14-semester rule applies to paid employment and not to time allowed to complete the degree, Professor Reichl replied that graduate students who give birth need health care insurance and must reduce their actual work time. When Professor Reichl asked if foreign students on Visas, who no longer received graduate funding, had to leave the country before completing their degrees, Vice Provost Rodriguez said no systematic study of the issue had been conducted. She said not all international students come to UT without support; she said a lot of international students come with support from their countries. Professor Reichl replied that in the physics department very few international students come with support.

When Professor Janet Dukerich (management; chair, Graduate Assembly) asked if the proposal applied to male graduate students, Professor Reichl said the motion addresses the issue that


  women graduate students have a temporary disability when they give birth, but she would be pleased if the Graduate Assembly would expand it to be congruent with the broader policy for women faculty members. When Vice Provost Rodriguez asked if it pertained only to women who give birth and not to those who adopt a child, Professor Reichl said that was correct. Vice Provost Rodriguez then asked if a graduate student who gave birth to more than one child while in graduate school would be eligible to a one-semester extension per birth. Professor Reichl responded that it should be one semester per birth, unless multiple births occurred at the same time and then it should be one semester. Professor Burger said he had eleven Ph.D. students under his supervision and all were supported under GRAs. Of his nine international students, none have outside funding. He said three were female and one just gave birth. As a result, the proposed extension would only apply to one of his students. If his nine international students get cut off after seven years, that would be a real problem for them, and he intended to immediately look into the rules to see if they would have to return to their home countries.

Associate Dean Gilbert said he thought the determination of how long a graduate student should receive support, such as a TA or GRA, should be made by the graduate studies committee under whom the student is earning the degree. He said he planned to recommend that the Graduate Assembly eliminate the 14-semester rule. He thought if the justification behind the 14-semester rule were designed primarily to prevent graduate students from being held longer than they should before receiving their degrees, then the graduate studies committees were best suited to understand and monitor what was happening. Professor Palka agreed, saying that graduate studies committees were aware of resource issues in the individual departments and should be the ones to decide how long a student should receive support. He also mentioned that it would be counterproductive to support graduate students beyond the point where they cease earning formula funding for the University. Because discrimination in favor of women had been of concern when the family leave policy was considered several years ago, Professor Palka asked if Vice President Ohlendorf thought constitutional issues might come into play with the 14-semester rule extension proposal. Vice President Ohlendorf responded that she thought it was possible to write a policy and find a way to address the issue in the proposed motion.

Kate Nanney (Senate of College Councils) said sentiment among students at a meeting where representatives from different colleges attended was favorable to the propsed motion. She said some students asked why the extension could not be for two semesters instead of just one. Professor Lawler said, when the family leave policy was being discussed, the main issue was that women in our society felt they had to postpone having children if they had an academic career. He thought no institution should encourage that idea. Therefore, he would recommend that the Graduate Assembly, of which he is a member, reconsider the 14-semester rule issue. He encouraged Council members to vote for the proposal and let the Graduate Assembly do its job.

Chair Ortiz called for the vote, and the proposal passed by voice vote.


A. General Faculty College Elections to the Faculty Council, final phase, are scheduled for March 27 through April 7.


Open forums to discuss the Report of the Task Force on Curricular Reform in Main 212:

March 24   10:00 a.m. to noon<
April 7         2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
April 21       2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

C. Nominations for the Civitatis Awards are being accepted by the Faculty Council Executive Committee. Submit names by April 21, 2006.




Chair Ortiz adjourned the meeting at 3:44 p.m.

Distributed through the Faculty Council Web site on April 13, 2006. 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.

Appendices                                 4488-4523


Appendix A: Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, Report to the Faculty Council

Appendix B: Intercollegiate Athletics for Men, Report to the Faculty Council