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Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of January 22, 2007.

Greninger signature
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty

JANUARY 22, 2007

The fifth regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2006-2007 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, January 22, 2007, at 2:15 p.m.

Present: Urton L. Anderson, Efraim P. Armendariz, Lisa M. Bedore, Gary D. Borich, Douglas C. Burger, Virginia G. Burnett, Linda J. Carpenter, Lisa J. Cary, Marcus S. Ceniceros, Penelope Davies, Diana M. DiNitto, John S. Dzienkowski, Miriam R. Estrin, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Amy D. Forestell, Luis Francisco-Revilla, Linda V. Gerber, Linda L. Golden, Juan C. González, Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Bretna M. Hackert, Charles R. Hale, Kenneth J. Hale, Ian F. Hancock, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, David M. Hillis, Lori K. Holleran, Troy L. Johnson, Klaus O. Kalthoff, Karrol A. Kitt, Robert C. Koons, Desiderio Kovar, Dominic L. Lasorsa, Desmond F. Lawler, Steven W. Leslie, Raul L. Madrid, Julia Mickenberg, Karl H. Miller, Joan A. Mullin, John H. Murphy, Kate Nanney, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, J. Patrick Olivelle, Jon E. Olson, Alba A. Ortiz, Cynthia Osborne, William C. Powers, Kenneth M. Ralls, Soncia R. Reagins-Lilly, Wayne Rebhorn, John H. Richburg, Peter J. Riley, Danielle R. Rugoff, Christine E. Schmidt, Berkley B. Scroggins, Paul R. Shapiro, Janet Staiger, Vincent S. (Shelby) Stanfield, Jeffrey Vaaler, Jeffrey Walker, Paul B. Woodruff, Patrick Woolley.

Absent:Kamran Ali, Eric J. Barron, Christopher J. Bell, Susan N. Beretvas (excused), Randy Bomer, Luis A. Caffarelli, Patricia L. Clubb, Gustavo A. De Veciana (excused), Douglas J. Dempster, Andrew P. Dillon, Richard B. Eason, Stanislav Emelianov (excused), Sherry L. Field, George W. Gau, Oscar Gonzalez (excused), Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Donald A. Hale, Roderick P. Hart, Thomas M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty, David Justin, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Nancy P. Kwallek, Judith H. Langlois, Wayne Lesser, William S. Livingston, Melissa L. Olive (excused), Yolanda C. Padilla (excused), Thomas G. Palaima (excused), Randall M. Parker (excused), Shirley Bird Perry, Elizabeth C. Pomeroy (excused), Mary Ann R. Rankin, Gretchen Ritter, Brian E. Roberts, Victoria Rodriguez, Bonnie P. Rust, Lawrence Sager, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, James Steinberg, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, Janice S. Todd (excused), Gregory J. Vincent, N. Bruce Walker, John M. Weinstock, Barbara W. White, Stacy Wolf, Sharon L. Wood (excused).

Voting Members:
54 present
24 absent
78 total.
Non-Voting Members:
10 present
27 absent
37 total.
Total Members:
64 present
51 absent
115 total.



The written report appears in D 5200-5205.


Minutes of the Faculty Council Meeting of December 11, 2006 (D 5208-5221) were approved by voice vote.


A. Comments by the President.
President Powers wished everyone “Happy New Year” and acknowledged Executive Vice President and Provost Steve Leslie’s new position and publicly welcomed him on board. He thanked Executive Vice Provost Steve Monti for his outstanding service as Interim Provost, calling Dr. Monti a great friend and asset. President Powers then highlighted the following legislative issues as important ones for UT Austin: the top 10% rule, tuition and general revenue funding, and tuition revenue bonds for the Experimental Science Building.

B. Questions to the President (see Appendix A).
In his series of questions addressed to President Powers, Professor Thomas Palaima (classics) asked if the University would be willing to make what he called “the following simple and truthful statement” regarding the tax deductibility of “mandatory skybox suite and club seat rental fees”: “We have determined that rent charged for sky boxes is rent and not a voluntary contribution to higher education. Likewise compulsory fees for club seats are compulsory fees and not voluntary contributions to higher education.” President Powers clarified that the amounts actually charged for rental of suites and event ticket prices are not tax deductible. He said the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) regulations allow 80% of the donation enabling an individual to be placed on a priority-list for suites and/or tickets to be deductible as a charitable donation; the remaining 20% is not deductible and attributed to personal benefit. President Powers said his position and that of the University was that no statements would be issued “that interfere with our donors’ legal rights to take advantage of whatever tax advantages are available to them under specific IRS rules.”

With regard to Professor Palaima’s questions regarding the amount and purpose of auxiliary administrative fees, President Powers replied that these are fees paid by all auxiliary units and some self-reporting units across campus; he said examples include athletics, housing and food, and recreational sports. The fees are calculated on the expenditures of the units with certain items being excluded, such as the cost of goods for products sold by the auxiliary unit. In the beginning, the rate was set at 5% to parallel the rate allowed for a similar overhead charge on federal grants. After studies determined that the actual costs expended on the auxiliary units and interest earned averaged about 3%, the auxiliary fee was reduced to 2%. In 2003, the fee was raised to its current rate of 2.75% because of a reduction in interest earnings due to falling interest rates in the economy. President Powers said the most recent data indicated that $5.3 million in annual fees were collected and used for property, crime, automobile, and liability insurance expenses across campus. He said part of the expenses for the following are also paid with these fees: Office of Sponsored Projects, research, internal audits, physical plant, and student scholarships.

In response to Professor Palaima’s questions regarding the Longhorn Foundation, President Powers said the foundation is an internal unit of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and therefore a “part of the University and thus a public institution.” Since the foundation’s purpose is to raise funds for intercollegiate athletics, President Powers said it was akin to the advisory councils, visitor boards or committees, or foundations that perform similar fund-raising functions for academic and other units across campus. He said that all of these entities have been created through an approval process governed by the Board of Regents.


  In response to Professor Stavchansky’s (pharmacy) queries regarding the aspirations and challenges of his presidency, President Powers said he would like UT Austin to be recognized in five years as the leading U.S. public university or at least as having made great progress toward this goal. He said he wanted to see more of the departments achieving top-three rankings when compared to those at other public research institutions and improvements in diversification and the undergraduate experience across campus. President Powers said he is assuming that the requisite resources to achieve these goals will come from “a partnership of philanthropic donors, the legislature and general revenue, and tuition.” He said more resources would be required from the legislature, and he was “cautiously optimistic” regarding progress on this matter. According to President Powers, UT Austin is ranked approximately 25th in terms of peer review even though its per-student expenditure ranking is only 104th among 225 U.S. universities. He emphasized the need to communicate to legislators and Texas citizens how each dollar spent at UT Austin has a 25-to-1 return for the state’s economy. He said it is essential for there to be increased funding for the University from all sources, including the legislature, so UT Austin will not continue to rank next-to-last in per-student funding among the twelve public institutions against whom it is normally compared, such as Michigan, UC Berkeley, Wisconsin, etc.

In response to Professor Stavchansky’s question regarding efforts being made to increase the internationalization and globalization of the University, President Powers said he hoped the new core curriculum’s flags would give every student at least a minimum of exposure in these important areas. He also said that Vice Provost Terri Givens is leading an effort to enhance the University’s degree programs so they provide increased international/global experiences for students.


Chair Golden introduced Provost Leslie by saying he had been extremely helpful to subgroups of the Faculty Council in his role as chair of the Deans’ Working Committee on undergraduate curricular reform. Provost Leslie said he was honored to be provost, and he shared President Powers’ vision of moving UT Austin “toward the top of public universities.” He said he was looking forward to working with the Faculty Council, Undergraduate Studies Dean Paul Woodruff, and all of the other academic deans across campus. Provost Leslie said that UT’s rankings in terms of program quality indicated that faculty members were doing “a great job.” He said an important priority was to “look at how we will get our hands around improving the financial circumstances at this great University to support our faculty.” Provost Leslie said he viewed himself “as a faculty member on extended leave” just as former Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson had said he perceived himself when he stepped into the provost position several years ago. Provost Leslie closed his remarks by saying he was looking forward to the opportunity to work with the Faculty Council and with Chair Golden. Chair Golden thanked Provost Leslie for his remarks. She also thanked Executive Vice Provost Steve Monti for his “hard work,” saying no one paralleled his extensive experience and knowledge of the University’s infrastructure. Chair Golden reported that she would be reporting more extensively at a future meeting about the results from her survey of Council members regarding priorities and concerns. She then explained the role of the Faculty Council Executive Committee and introduced each of the committee members.


Chair Elect Doug Burger reminded members about the March 5th joint meeting of the UT Faculty Council and Texas A&M Faculty Senate, which will be held in the UT Club located in the football stadium. He said he had been coordinating the planning of the event with Professor Angie Price, Speaker Elect of the Texas A&M Senate. Chair Elect Burger said a major theme of the meeting would be academic leadership through good governance practices. Breakout sessions featuring successful initiatives and improvements at the academic departmental level and ways to leverage athletic visibility to improve academic reputations are being considered. There is also an effort underway, in consultation with Vice President Patti Ohlendorf (institutional relations and legal affairs), to identify legislator guests who will be invited to the meeting.



A. Motion from the Faculty Grievance Committee Recommending the Creation of an Office of the Faculty Ombudsman (D 5191-5194).
Chair Golden asked if there was any discussion regarding D 5191-5194, which had been introduced by Professor Mary Steinhardt (committee chair, kinesiology and health education) at the December Faculty Council meeting. Since there was no discussion or questions, Chair Golden called for a vote on the proposed legislation, and the motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.

B. Motion from the Faculty Welfare Committee Recommending Changes to University Family Friendly Policies (D 5183).
Chair Golden asked if there was any discussion regarding D 5183, which had been introduced by Professor Martha F. Hilley (committee chair, music) at the December Faculty Council meeting. Since there was no discussion or questions, Chair Golden called for a vote on the proposed legislation, and the motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.

C. Motion from the Educational Policy Committee Regarding the Natural Science Requirement of the Core Curriculum for all Undergraduate Students at UT Austin (D 5189-5190).
Chair Golden asked if there was any discussion regarding D 5189-5190, which had been introduced by Professor Archie Holmes (then committee chair, electrical and computer engineering) at the December Faculty Council meeting. Since there was no discussion or questions, Chair Golden called for a vote on the proposed legislation, and the motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.


A. Report from the Information Technology Committee.
Professor Desiderio Kovar (committee chair, mechanical engineering) reported that his committee had met monthly during the fall semester and would continue this practice during the spring semester. He said the principal issue facing committee members was to determine how this relatively new committee fits into and interfaces with the information technology (IT) organizational structure at UT Austin. Professor Kovar said UT’s newly-appointed Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Brian Roberts, had initiated a number of changes that increased the role of faculty governance in the oversight of IT on campus. Professor Kovar commended Vice President Roberts for his vision and leadership. A second issue the committee is addressing pertains to the implementation of UT System’s new standards concerning how research data are handled, particularly if they are in an electronic format. Professor Kovar said his committee would be focusing this spring on UT Austin’s need for a centralized backup system for data.

After thanking Professor Kovar for his report, Chair Golden said she had asked for the interim reports from the various committees so Council members would be aware of what issues the committees were addressing. She said this information could help Faculty Council members in nominating general faculty members for committee service and deciding their own committee preferences for next year.

B. Report from the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
Dean Paul Woodruff (undergraduate studies) said he was planning to give a more comprehensive report on curricular reform at the February Faculty Council meeting. He is considering using freshman seminars as signature courses, but larger format courses are also being developed as signature courses. Dean Woodruff said he appreciated the general faculty’s support of the curricular reform legislation. He said the protests received raised serious issues that needed to be addressed and fell into the following three major groups: (1) concerns about the inadequacy of


  resources for implementing the reforms; (2) concerns about the inadequacy of the reforms, particularly in the areas of ethnic diversity and global cultures; and (3) concerns about the concept of the signature course, particularly regarding the interpretation of interdisciplinarity. He said he shared these concerns, but it had been necessary to make compromises in order for the reforms to be “doable” for the diversity of majors across campus. He said the new required courses were attempting to “add strength to existing courses through the concept of flags.” He thought some programs would have room for more than the minimum requirements included in the reforms while others might not. Because of the thoughtful questions raised by faculty in the College of Engineering regarding the signature course concept, Dean Woodruff said he had written his own personal interpretations or reflections about the first-year signature course and was distributing it widely across campus in hopes of receiving feedback from faculty. See Appendix B for a copy of Dean Woodruff’s signature course proposal, which was distributed to Faculty Council members at the meeting.

Chair Golden thanked Dean Woodruff for his report and complimented him on including the following personal introductory statement on his proposal regarding signature courses, with which Chair Golden was in agreement: "Faculty teach best when they choose what to present in a course; students learn best in courses they have chosen. Any new requirements we impose must respect the intellectual freedom of faculty and students. To this I am firmly committed." Chair Golden requested that Dean Woodruff share any mission statements that were being developed at the February Council meeting.

C. Report of the ad hoc eCIS Committee.
Professor Janet Staiger (committee chair, women’s studies and radio-television-film) explained that the eCIS ad hoc committee was a reactivation of a 2005 ad hoc committee on the course-instructor survey. The new committee was assembled in fall 2006 when the University began testing of an electronic course-instructor survey format and the University attorneys determined that student open-ended or written comments on the electronic surveys would be subject to open records requests whereas similar written comments on handwritten surveys completed in class would not. She said the legal determination had resulted in a disparity in the two methods of gathering student evaluations and the potential for long-lasting dissemination of the comments in whole or selectively through internet distribution. She said instructors could be wrongfully harmed and the University exposed to risk for facilitating the dissemination of damaging anonymous comments. The full report presented by Professor Staiger is attached in Appendix C and makes the following two recommendations to the administration:

(1) The Provost direct the University lawyers to determine a way to make the student comments on electronic course-instructor surveys not available as public documents or cease the inclusion of that feature on e-surveys.
(2) The Provost remind students and the public that valid concerns regarding instructors can be made through other means than the end-of-the-term official course-instructor surveys.

Chair Golden thanked Professor Staiger and her committee members for the report and said the Committee of Counsel for Academic Freedom and Responsibility had worked on this issue as well and might be an on-going resource for further efforts.

D. Report of the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Women.
Professor Mary Steinhardt (council chair) introduced the following athletics personnel: Chris Plonsky (women’s athletic director), Deloss Dodds (men’s athletics director), Lori Smith, Randa Ryan, Brian Davis, Butch Worley, and Nick Voinis. Saying this past year had been the “best year ever for women student athletes at UT Austin," Professor Steinhardt presented a series of PowerPoint slides that included academic performance data broken down by sport. The complete presentation is attached in Appendix D.


E. Report of the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men.
Professor David Fowler (council chair, civil engineering) presented a series of PowerPoint slides on the academic performance of the men’s athletic program that was formatted similarly to that of the women’s program. The complete presentation is attached in Appendix E.

When Professor Desmond Lawler (civil, architectural, and environmental engineering) inquired about an article that appeared in the Austin American-Statesman last fall where UT Austin did not compare favorably to other Big XII competitors, Randa Ryan said she would need to see the data included in the article in order to comment, and she and would be glad to do this. Professor Jon Olson (petroleum and geosystems engineering) said he thought he had seen data on the NCAA Web site indicating that UT Austin’s football program had the lowest graduation rate among the top ten football programs. Vice President Ohlendorf said the data in Professor Fowler’s presentation indicated that out of twenty-four football players three outcomes were classified as “other” and seven outcomes were actually transfers to other college programs. She said that both of the categories of outcomes negatively impacted the federal rate calculation for UT Austin. She said she thought UT Austin’s transfer rate was sometimes higher than other universities and UT’s academic programs were more rigorous than those in a number of other Big XII institutions. Although she called her information anecdotal, she said the transfers and players who left for professional football careers before graduation had negatively impacted the graduation rate outcome for UT Austin. She agreed that the three in the “other” category were the ones of greatest concern.

Professor Fowler said the three athletes in the “other” category comprised only one-eighth of the total. He agreed that the transfer rate was relatively high, saying many players who come to UT Austin transfer to other programs, such as Division II, where they can get more playing time than the competitive pressures allow them to have here at UT Austin. He said he thought this was particularly true in the three major sports of football, basketball, and baseball. He said a subcommittee of the men’s athletics council meets every year with the coaches regarding academic performance and reviews the cases of those who are having academic problems. He said improving academic performance was a high priority for the council members as well as the coaches, and he expected to see improved statistics in the next few years.

Professor Olson said he was pleased to hear that academic improvement was a priority. However, he expressed concern that UT Austin was not as successful as other universities with rigorous academic programs, such as Penn State, Notre Dame, and even Texas A&M. Pointing out that other programs have transfers and individuals that enter professional sports, Professor Olson said that UT Austin needed to “address the fact that we’re not competing at the top on the academic side when we are competing at the top in athletics.” Professor Fowler said he recalled reading that UT Austin and Northwestern were the only two Division I universities that did not have special programs of study for athlete placement, and the data in his presentation had indicated a relatively good distribution of majors among the University’s athletes.

Professor Olson complimented the efforts and resources expended on tutoring that had led to improved academic performance, particularly in men’s basketball. When he asked if there were parallel efforts by UT’s athletic programs to encourage improved academic performance and higher SAT scores among high school athletes, Professor Fowler replied that he understood that the UT coaches were stressing the importance of academics to the high school coaches. He said this was happening as a result of the tougher UT admission standards and the scholarship penalties imposed by the NCAA when academic performance measures fall short. He said he was not sure if a formal program had been established, but he was sure that the message was informally being sent. Chris Plonsky said outreach to the high schools was primarily done through the NCAA, whose board of directors has implemented reforms to increase academic standards and tighten eligibility standards over the past eight years. She said the NCAA had increased its standards in a


  number of areas, such as raising the required number of core courses that must be taken in high school and GPA levels.

When Chair Elect Burger asked Professor Olson if the bottom rankings for UT Austin pertained to top ten ranked football programs, top BCS ranked teams, or Big XII schools, Professor Olson said he thought it was the top BCS ranked teams. Chair Elect Burger said he would like to see additional data in future reports about the students who leave in good academic standing, such as their cumulative GPAs. He said he would like to know the rate at which non-athletes leave UT Austin so this rate could be compared to that of the athletes. Professor Fowler responded that he had been told that the information Professor Burger was requesting about the general student body was not available. Vice President Ohlendorf said in the past this information had not been available, and she thought tracking of dropouts was not being done at present. Registrar Shelby Stanfield agreed that his office does not know why students leave the University and do not later return to continue their studies. Vice President Ohlendorf said the data Chair Elect Burger had requested would be difficult to secure.

Vice President Ohlendorf reported that the reorganization of the academic support program undertaken by athletics over the past few years had resulted from the major efforts of both athletic directors as well as their academic staff members. She said there had been impressive successes among some of the student athletes, but individual cases could not be reported due to privacy concerns. However, Vice President Ohlendorf said NCAA rules changes had produced both positive and negative outcomes. Although the governing body has increased the eligibility requirements for students to participate in intercollegiate athletics both while they are enrolled in high schools and in higher education institutions, she said the NCAA had at the same time decreased the initial eligibility requirements by replacing a minimum SAT cutoff score for intercollegiate eligibility with one based on a sliding scale. She said individual institutions that are competing at the national level are unlikely to add extra requirements that their competitors are not requiring. She explained that both of UT Austin’s athletic directors as well as former President Larry Faulkner had encouraged the NCAA to reinstate higher initial eligibility requirements, and she knew President Powers would continue to assert his influence in a similar manner. Her view was that NCAA requirements imposed at the high school level provide greater impetuous for improved academic performance than those at the college level because high school athletes want to play at the college level and their awareness of the consequences of receiving poor grades can be emphasized. Vice President Ohlendorf concluded her comments by congratulating the athletic directors and their academic staff members for the improvements realized in the academic support programs and thanking the athletic council chairs and members for the time they had contributed toward these enhancements.

After noting the low average SAT scores in the 800 range for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, Professor David Hillis (integrative biology) asked if there was concern that students with 1400 SATs, who were not in the top 10% of their graduating classes, were being denied admission to UT Austin when student athletes were allowed to matriculate with much lower scores. Professor Fowler replied that the coaches were under great pressure to recruit the best athletes that they can, and there had been a good deal of improvement in the GPAs of the basketball team this past year. He said he did not know how the SATs of basketball players at UT Austin compared with those of players at other colleges and universities. When Professor Hillis asked if any thought had been given to establishing a minimum SAT score for all students being admitted to UT Austin, Professor Fowler said he didn’t think there had been discussion about establishing an absolute minimum. He said the main concern was to find athletes who could “made the grade” regardless of their SAT scores, but he thought the policy of the athletics programs and the athletics councils had been to only admit student athletes who have good probabilities of succeeding at the University. Vice President Ohlendorf said students in the top 10% of their high school graduating classes who have low SAT scores can be admitted to the University. She said data developed to answer previous questions from Professor Palaima indicated that the majority of those admitted


  with SAT scores of 1000 or less had met the top 10% requirement. When Professor Hillis asked if any of the top 10% students had been admitted with SAT scores in the 800s, Vice President Ohlendorf responded by saying yes.

Professor Fowler thanked the staff for preparing and commenting on the detailed reports and Council members for their questions. Chair Golden also thanked the athletics personnel for their hard work in assembling and presenting the data for the Council.

F. Report from the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA).
Professor Michael Granof (COIA representative, accounting) said he had been a member of the coalition since it was founded in 2001-2002 and had served on its steering committee. He explained that the coalition was comprised of representatives from 54 faculty senates from Division IA colleges. He said the group was conservative and had worked closely with the NCAA, organizations of faculty athletic representatives, the association of governing boards, and the presidents of universities that comprise the presidents’ task force on the future of Division I athletics. He said COIA had focused primarily on five areas for establishing policy recommendations: academics, student welfare, finances, commercialization, and shared governance. Specific recommendations include the following:
  • faculty involvement in establishing admissions policies and in collecting and analyzing academic performance data in relationship to SAT scores
  • scholarships being guaranteed for four or five years rather than offered on a one-year renewal basis
  • establishment of reporting lines between the athletes’ academic advisors and the institution’s chief academic advisor, such as the provost
  • faculty involvement in athletic oversight, especially as it relates to academics, though an independent faculty athletics council
  • inclusion of an independent faculty athletic representative to the NCAA
Professor Granof reported that he did not think that COIA had made a great deal of progress. Although he thought the proposals and concerns of the group had been taken seriously by the NCAA itself, all five of the association’s proposals had been rejected or tabled by the Academic Eligibility Compliance Committee and therefore not forwarded to the NCAA governing board. He was somewhat optimistic that a couple of the tabled proposals could still be put forward.

Professor Granof said reform of intercollegiate athletics is very difficult with opposition primarily emanating from second-tier institutions rather than major programs, such as Ohio State, Michigan, and Texas. For example, schools that would not get weekend-televised coverage of their games opposed a recommendation that football games not be scheduled on weekdays. Recommendations regarding the salaries of coaches had run into anti-trust issues, where the NCAA has already lost a major lawsuit when it attempted to regulate assistant coach salaries. Professor Granof said the belief that reforms could be accomplished if the athletic programs were primarily run by university presidents had not proven to be true, and there is evidence that presidential decisions sometimes don’t reflect academic values. He said he thought commercialization of college athletics had actually increased over the last five years, with every bowl game and even regular games now having corporate sponsors. The level of money involved has continued to increase resulting in additional games being added to schedules. When recruits announce that they will be going pro after only a year in college, Professor Granof said it is hard to maintain that the athletes are primarily students when they matriculate.

Professor Granof said he thought he had answers regarding athletic reform when he first got involved in these issues ten years ago, but now he had none. As long as UT Austin remains a Division I program, he said changes could only be made at the margin even in the face of faculty concerns and objections.


  He said he did think there was room for more faculty involvement in admissions and oversight of courses. After his lengthy involvement with athletic reforms, Professor Granof said he firmly believed that Texas probably has “the best managed program in the county” given that it is self supporting and “as good a compliance program as anywhere in the country.” He said he felt the University was seriously concerned about the academic and personal welfare of its athletes while they are on campus. However, he concluded that there were no easy solutions to the broader problems involved in intercollegiate athletics, and he urged Council members to consult the COIA Web site for information regarding the policy statements the coalition has issued.

Professor Stavchansky commented that it was important to guard against perceptions becoming reality, such as when information appears in the newspapers reporting a coach is making $2.5 million a year. He said such perceptions could interfere with the University achieving its goals by hindering the administration efforts in dealing with the state legislature. Professor Granof said he totally agreed and realized it was “a real problem when coaches are earning four or five times the salary of the University president.” He said he had once asked a college president why he didn’t want a number one physics or English department as much as he wanted a number one football team. Although the typical response is that such high salary levels are market driven, Professor Granof said the more important issue is the high salaries in athletics reflect the underlying values of our society.

Professor Paul Shapiro (astronomy) said he thought the rationale for supporting the athletics program was difficult to understand unless some of the money raised for the athletic program is channeled regularly to academic programs on campus. When Professor Shapiro asked if it were possible for the University to establish a policy whereby some fraction of the athletic funds would be regularly guaranteed to support academic programs, Professor Granof responded that such a policy had been suggested and then referred the question to President Powers. President Powers said athletic transfers are occurring, and this year he thought the amount would be about $2.5 million. He said the amount would vary depending on the success of the athletics program. He then agreed with Professor Granof, saying the points made regarding the global nature of the problem were “very apt.” He said a single institution cannot have much impact on change, and the collective group needs to address the overall breadth of the problems. He pointed out that professorial salaries are not regulated even though many folks think they have “gotten out of hand.” He said salary regulation encounters legal anti-trust issues because it runs counter to the value system or the “American way.” When Professor Granof commented that regularly transferring funds from athletics to academics could create a dependency on an unreliable revenue source that markedly decreases when teams have bad seasons, President Powers agreed. With regard to fund raising, President Powers said that he had observed that donors to athletics also give a great deal of money to other academic programs and University functions. He said it is an unknown if these donors became involved with funding other campus needs as a result of their interest in athletics. President Powers said he thought the issue was more complex than a zero-sum game that assumes money donated to athletics would have otherwise been given to other programs at the University. Professor Granof concurred, saying he had received the same message from a development director ten years ago.

President Powers pointed out that the reports from the athletics councils had indicated that the graduation rates and other statistics had been “trending upward over a period of time.” He said that some of the rolling averages include students who entered UT Austin back in 1996. Since that time, President Powers said he thought recruiting and counseling programs for athletes had greatly improved and the coaches were taking academics very seriously. Although he said it would be better if the statistics were higher than they are now, it was important to note the improvement over time. He said he believed UT Austin has “a clean program with people devoted to these issues,” and the University should be appreciative of this.

Chair Golden thanked Professor Granof for his report and service in attending the COIA meetings. She said she thought future reports from the athletics councils should include an additional column where the change from the prior year is entered.




Chair Golden encouraged Council members to read the announcements included in the agenda. She then introduced Professor Ken Ralls (committee on committee chair, mechanical engineering) who called attention to announcements A, B, and C. He said it was important for each University Standing Committee to elect a chair elect for the coming year who will then assume the role of chair for the following academic year. In addition, he said his committee depends on faculty members to nominate individuals who are willing to serve on University Standing Committees, and this nomination phase is underway now. Committee reports that include Faculty Council action items need to be submitted no later than March 1 or April 1 since the February Council meeting agenda is already quite full.

A. Each Standing Committee should elect a "chair-elect," as provided in the revision of the rules and regulations by the Faculty Council last spring: "During the first half of the spring semester the voting members of each committee shall elect a chair elect, who shall assume the office of chair on the first class day of the following fall semester for a term of one year. Faculty members of the committee whose terms of service extend through the following year or who are eligible for reappointment to the committee are eligible to be elected as chair elect. A chair elect whose term of service does not extend through the following academic year will be reappointed for an additional term."
B. General Faculty Standing Committee nominations are scheduled for January 29 through February 23.1
C. The Standing Committees should submit reports for action by the Faculty Council at the February and March meetings no later than February 1 and March 1, respectively.
D. General Faculty At-Large Elections, nomination phase, are scheduled for February 26 through March 9.
E. Joint Meeting of the Texas A&M Faculty Senate and the UT Faculty Council, held at UT on March 5.
F. General Faculty At-Large Elections to the Faculty Council, final phase, are scheduled for March 26 through April 6.
G. The Faculty Council annual photograph will be taken on April 16 at 2:00 p.m. on the south steps of the Main building, immediately preceding the Faculty Council meeting.

1Extended an additional week on Tuesday, Friday, February 13, from February 16 to Friday, February 23.



Chair Golden adjourned the meeting at 4:12 p.m.

Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on February 16, 2007. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.


Questions for the President pertinent to the January FC meeting and the reports of the athletics councils.

1. In regard to the the tax-deductibility of mandatory skybox suite and club seat rental fees (a matter being investigated by the House Ways and Means Committee of the US Congress), at the last faculty council meeting (Monday December 11) President Powers stated that UT Austin could not unilaterally tell those who pay these fees that they cannot claim IRS deductions for them.

Is it possible for the University of Texas at Austin to make the following simple and truthful statement? Individuals can then decide what to do on their own tax returns.

"We have determined that rent charged for sky boxes is rent and not a voluntary contribution to higher education. Likewise compulsory fees for club seats are compulsory fees and not voluntary contributions to higher education."

After all, Vice President Ohlendorf said about the club seats that are made available to deans:  "...[E]ach  academic dean at UT was given the opportunity to pay  face value for four club seats to use for entertainment  purposes when the east upper deck expansion to the stadium opened. Members of the public would be required  to pay a donation of approximately $20,000 annually  for this privilege, but this fee has been waived for  the deans since this program began."  FC Minutes, February 20, 2006,  D 4450

This means that these are mandatory, i.e., non-voluntary, fees.

2. What is an "auxiliary administrative fee"? 

What is the history behind the $1.2 million dollar annual auxiliary administrative fee athletics pays to the University? 

How was this odd specific amount determined? 

What is this money used for on the academic or administrative side?

Do other units of the University besides athletics pay 'auxiliary administrative fees' to the University?

IN RE:  FC Minutes February 20, 2006  4449

Vice President  Ohlendorf said athletics pays approximately $1.2 million  annually as its auxiliary administrative fee to the University.

3. What is the status of the Longhorns Foundation in relation to the University?

Is it a non-university, non-public institution?

What is the rationale behind its existence?

Respectfully submitted,
Tom Palaima, classics


Second set of questions

Thanks for the opportunity to submit questions for the President. The following are four questions that I would like to ask the President:

1. Where do you want to see the University in five years? What would you like your legacy to be?
2. What assumptions do we have to make to get there. For example, what kind of resources will be required and who should pay for them?
3. What kind of efficiencies will be necessary to control tuition increases? How do we ensure equal access to the University if tuition continues to increase? Should we expect more support from the State? What is your prognosis?
4. How do we improve the process to internationalize the University and educate our students about the present and future impact of globalization on their lives and on the country.



Salomon Stavchansky, Ph.D
Alcon Centennial Professor of Pharmaceutics
The University of Texas at Austin
College of Pharmacy
Division of Pharmaceutics
PHR 4.214C
Austin, Texas, 78712

Voice: 512-471-1407
Fax: 512-471-7474



Course-Instructor Survey (CIS)—Student Comments
and Electronic CIS Surveys


Appendix D

University of Texas Intercollegiate Athletics for Women

2005-2006 Academic Report to the Faculty Council

January 22, 2007


Appendix E

University of Texas Intercollegiate Athletics for Men

2005-2006 Academic Report to the Faculty Council

January 22, 2007

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