DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council
meeting of September 18, 2006.
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 18, 2006
first regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year
2006-2007 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, September
18, 2006, at 2:15 p.m.
Eric J. Barron,
Christopher J. Bell, Susan N. Beretvas, Gary D. Borich, Douglas C.
Burger, Luis A. Caffarelli, Lorenzo F. (Frank) Candelaria, Linda J.
Carpenter, Patricia L. Clubb, Gustavo A. De Veciana, Diana M. DiNitto,
John S. Dzienkowski, Miriam R. Estrin, Linda Ferreira-Buckley, Sherry
L. Field, Amy D. Forestell, Luis Francisco-Revilla, George W. Gau,
Linda V. Gerber, Linda L. Golden, Oscar Gonzalez, Juan C. González,
Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Bretna M. Hackert, Kenneth J.
Hale, Charles R. Hale, Ian F. Hancock, Martha F. Hilley, David M. Hillis,
Lori K. Holleran, Troy L. Johnson, Klaus O. Kalthoff, Karrol A. Kitt,
Robert C. Koons, Desiderio Kovar, Nancy P. Kwallek, Judith H. Langlois,
Desmond F. Lawler, Steven W. Leslie, Wayne Lesser, William S. Livingston,
Raul L. Madrid, Julia Mickenberg, Karl H. Miller, Stephen A. Monti,
Joan A. Mullin, John H. Murphy, Kate Nanney, Patricia C. Ohlendorf,
Melissa L. Olive, J. Patrick Olivelle, Jon E. Olson, Alba A. Ortiz,
Cynthia Osborne, Thomas G. Palaima, Randall M. Parker, Elizabeth C.
Pomeroy, William C. Powers, Kenneth M. Ralls, Soncia R. Reagins-Lilly,
Wayne Rebhorn, John H. Richburg, Peter J. Riley, Gretchen Ritter, Danielle
R. Rugoff, Bonnie P. Rust, Lawrence Sager, Christine E. Schmidt, Berkley
B. Scroggins, Janet Staiger, Vincent S. (Shelby) Stanfield, James Steinberg,
Janice S. Todd, Jeffrey Vaaler, Gregory J. Vincent, John M. Weinstock,
Stacy Wolf, Sharon L. Wood, Paul B. Woodruff, Patrick Woolley.
Kamran Ali, Urton L. Anderson (excused),
Efraim P. Armendariz, Randy Bomer (excused), Virginia G. Burnett (excused),
Lisa J. Cary (excused), Marcos S. Ceniceros (excused), Penelope Davies (excused),
Douglas J. Dempster, Andrew P. Dillon, Richard B. Eason, Stanislav
Emelianov, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Donald A. Hale, Roderick P. Hart, Thomas
M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty, James L. Hill, David
Justin, Manuel J. Justiz, Dominic L. Lasorsa (excused), Yolanda C.
Padilla (excused), Shirley Bird Perry, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Brian E.
Roberts, Victoria Rodriguez, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Paul R.
Shapiro, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, N. Bruce Walker, Barbara
||64 present ,
Chair Linda Golden (marketing administration) called the meeting to order,
welcomed everyone, and introduced the following five new administrators:
Dean Designate Eric J. Barron (Jackson School of Geosciences), Interim
Douglas J. Dempster (College of Fine Arts), Interim
Langlois (College of Liberal Arts), Dean Lawrence Sager (School of Law),
and Dean James Steinberg (LBJ School of Public Affairs). She also welcomed Interim
Steve Monti and Registrar Shelby Stanfield, who have assumed new administrative
roles this year. Chair Golden then introduced Faculty Ombudsman Stanley
Roux, who gave a brief report of his activities during the past year,
and Associate Vice President Susan Clagett, who gave a brief overview
of UT @ 123 and invited all Council members to attend. Chair Golden also
introduced Faculty Council Executive Committee members and the Office
of the General Faculty staff. She then closed her introductory remarks
by asking everyone to take a moment to honor the memory of two great
Texas women—former Governor Ann Richards and former first lady
|REPORT OF THE SECRETARY.
The written report appears in D
|APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
Minutes of the special Faculty Council meeting and the regular Faculty Council
meeting of May 8, 2006, (D 4837-4838) and (D
4839-4848), respectively, were
approved by voice vote.
| COMMUNICATION WITH THE PRESIDENT.
||Comments by the President.
President William Powers Jr. welcomed everyone back for the new
academic year, congratulated Chair Golden on assuming her new role,
and recognized past chair Alba Ortiz (special education) for her
outstanding service in facilitating the dialog about proposed changes
in the core curriculum. President Powers expressed his appreciation
and gratitude to all of the faculty, administrators, staff, and
students who contributed to the development of the undergraduate
curricular reform initiatives. He thanked Professor Archie Holmes
(electrical and computer engineering and chair of the Educational
Policy Committee) for the “fabulous job” he and his
committee members had done over the summer months in creating a
proposal that reflected the concerns raised by the Curricular Reform
Task Force and the Commission of 125, as well as the constructive
feedback provided by faculty, students, and administrators during
the spring semester. President Powers said he thought the Education
Policy Committee had come up with very good recommendations and
the process had “gone forward in a way that has, frankly,
surprised some people in the outside world that faculty governance
does work and we can get our business done.”
He said the original proposal of the Task Force on Curricular Reform
had undergone “significant evolution,” and there was
now general agreement to allow incoming freshmen to declare majors,
to allow greater flexibility and experimentation in signature courses,
and to provide general and major advising that complements one another.
President Powers said that there was unanimous agreement among the
groups who had worked on curricular reform over the past summer that
leadership was now needed to further the process. He announced that
Professor Paul Woodruff (philosophy and former head of Plan II) was
his choice to serve as the inaugural Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Describing Professor Woodruff as the “ideal person” for
this new position due to his vision, experience, and outstanding
leadership capabilities, President Powers then recognized Dean Woodruff
and congratulated and thanked him for accepting the position.
|| Questions to the President. (See Appendix
After saying he appreciated the importance of
issues raised by Professor Thomas Palaima (classics)
in his questions regarding the balance between
athletics and academics, President Powers stated
that “academics comes first on this
campus.” He explained that Professor Palaima
||had agreed to the administration’s preparing written answers
to his questions rather than answering them at the meeting due to the
heavy agenda. President Powers said responses to Professor Palaima’s
questions will be included in the minutes, and there would be an opportunity
for further discussion in the future.
|REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Linda L. Golden reported that the University’s standing committees
had met the previous Monday. She said she had already sent proposed changes
to the General Faculty Rules Committee for action and was expecting legislation
to be forthcoming to the Faculty Council. She said she expected the year
to be an active one and encouraged members to contact her if they had questions
or needed information to facilitate their involvement in Faculty Council
|REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair elect Douglas C. Burger (computer sciences) reported that the
joint meeting between The University of Texas Faculty Council and the
Texas A&M Faculty Senate is scheduled for March 5 here at UT Austin.
He said the format of the meeting would involve discussion of issues
of mutual interest, presidential remarks, and breakout sessions on prearranged
topics. He reported that the breakouts last year had focused on interdisciplinary
research, faculty grievance issues, and higher education accountability
and performance reporting requirements. He asked Council members to think
about potential topics and send him suggestions for the upcoming meeting.
|UNFINISHED BUSINESS — None.
||Community Oriented Policing Program. (See Appendix
Davis, Officer Janna Swain, and Officer Scott Hinderer of The University
of Texas Police Department introduced themselves, and Sergeant Davis
gave an informative PowerPoint presentation about the University’s
Community Oriented Policing (COP) Program. She explained that the program’s
philosophy was to engage the community in crime prevention and to coordinate
efforts to solve crime-related problems on campus. The campus police
are utilizing a variety of different approaches to provide outreach
to the UT Austin community and provide educational programs. For example,
the department has presented a sixteen-hour Rape Aggression Defense
program that has been attended by over 2,500 people. Officers also
present children’s clown shows to encourage drug resistance and
participate in National Night Out to build a sense of community and
cooperation. The entire PowerPoint presented at the meeting is attached
in Appendix B.
|REPORTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY, COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS, AND COMMITTEES.
||Motion from the Educational Policy Committee on Curricular
Reform (D 5011-5019).
Chair Golden gave a brief PowerPoint
presentation summarizing the chronology of events since the
Task Force on Curricular Reform presented its report to the
Faculty Council on October 27, 2005. Her PowerPoint presentation
is attached in Appendix C. She highlighted the various ways
that faculty input and feedback had been sought and the steps
in the process that produced the motion from the Education
Policy Committee that would be introduced by Professor Holmes.
Chair Golden closed her remarks by thanking the Education Policy
Committee and last year’s Faculty Council Executive Committee
for working so hard to produce the proposal at the first Faculty
Council meeting of the new academic year.
||Professor Holmes thanked his committee members and introduced
the motion (D 5011-5019), which recommends the Faculty Council approve
a set of changes to the degree requirements for all undergraduate
students at UT Austin incorporating the following four components:
Professor Holmes called attention to a two-page executive summary
of answers he had developed to questions faculty members were likely
to have about the motion. This summary is attached in Appendix
He asked Council members to read the motion and executive summary
and send him any questions and comments before the October 16 Council
- Require all undergraduate students to complete two Signature
courses. These courses will be interdisciplinary, be taught by
distinguished faculty members, and use the unique resources of
- Require all undergraduate students to complete courses – selected
from qualifying ("flagged") courses in the core curriculum
and their chosen major – that are approved to provide a
certain set of important skills and experiences.
- Identify groups of core curriculum courses that share common
thematic strands that can provide students with a coherent experience
within the undergraduate core. Students will be strongly encouraged,
but not required, to follow a strand appropriate for their individual
needs and interests.
- Broaden the existing nine hour natural science requirement to
allow that three of these nine hours be a science or technology
course that examines their effects on society today and in the
Professor David Hillis (integrative biology and member of the Task
Force who opposed some of the original proposals in the Task Forces
report by writing a minority report) spoke in support of the Education
Policy Committee’s motion. He said he thought the committee
had “done a very good job of taking the concerns of the faculty
into account.” He said the concerns he had raised in the minority
report had been addressed and were no longer an issue from his perspective.
Professor Janice S. Todd (kinesiology and health education), who
said she was also in favor of the motion, asked how the financial
impact of the proposal would be handled. She asked, “Will
there be administrative changes, TA funding and things of that sort,
and has that been considered yet? After Professor Holmes explained
that the charge to his committee had not included the financial
aspects of curricular reform, President Powers said there had been
a great deal of attention by the administration regarding financial
issues. He thanked the Co-op for providing one million dollars to
help fund the initial stage of curricular reform. With other fund-raising,
President Powers said he thought UT could cover the financial impact
of curricular reform’s “ramping up term.”
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Stephen Monti
said administrators had been modeling approaches to determine the
level of financial support required by curricular reform. He said, “I
don’t think there are any major roadblocks that we can see
for any of the proposals that have been laid out.” He said
the administration was committed to meeting what the faculty felt
was important to accomplish with curricular reform and that financial
support “should not be a factor.”
Professor Holmes closed by emphasizing the importance of what the
motion was trying to accomplish in improving the undergraduate experience
at UT Austin and said he felt the motion “deserves a lot of
discussion.” He said he would appreciate hearing what concerns
and questions Council members have about the motion so he can prepare
Chair Golden thanked Professor Holmes and members of the Education
Policy Committee for their work on behalf of the Faculty Council.
She said Professor Holmes was leaving UT Austin at the end of this
semester to join another institution, and he would be “very
much missed.” She reminded Faculty Council members that the
curricular reform motion would be an action item at the October 16
|ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMENTS.
|| Save the date for a holiday party at Professor Martha Hilley’s
home on December 17, 2006.
||UT@123 and Installation of UT President William Powers Jr., will be held Friday,
September 29, 2006, at 3:30 p.m. at Bass Concert Hall.
|| Joint Meeting of the Texas A&M Faculty Senate and the
UT Faculty Council will be held at UT on March 5, 2007.
|| Send comments and questions on the Educational Policy Committee
Undergraduate Curricular Reform motion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|QUESTIONS TO THE CHAIR —None.
Chair Golden adjourned the meeting at 3:30 p.m.
Distributed through the Faculty
Council Web site on October 11, 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.
August 31, 2006
Dear President Powers,
Since last February you said that I should not take a vow of silence, I have
3 sets of simple, related questions.
The first concerns policies connected with admissions and academic achievement.
The second concerns the leasing of sports sky boxes and their educational
The third concerns the values we take active steps to promote iconographically.
Answering these questions should not take much time. The simple facts can,
I am sure, be easily gathered by staff. The first set might require a simple
review of the academic files of some 2005-2006 athlete-students, and the second
set a call to the leasing office of our NCAA Football program.
You may choose the option of answering them in writing to be 'read into' the
minutes. That way the questions and your answers do not have to take
up air time at the actual council meeting in September.
Thank you in advance for answering these questions. They will give us a good
view of the priorities and educational standards that we are now using.
MY FIRST SET OF QUESTIONS IS:
(1a) In an article of July 10, 2006, (Austin American-Statesman Ralph
K. Haurwitz) we are informed that basketball coach Rick Barnes, whose salary
was increased between $400,000-500,000 to $1.8 million for 2006-2007, is also
eligible for academic performance bonuses, if his team does well academically. It
was reported on July 10 that "Barnes' academic award, if any, hasn't been
calculated yet for this [2005-2006] year."
By now the calculations must have been made.
What were the criteria for this bonus and which ones were achieved this year?
How much money was paid out?
(1b) I discussed with Bruce Walker, director of admissions, what mechanisms
were used to admit athlete-students whose academic profiles fall far below
the average student body profile.
The men's basketball athlete-students for 2005-2006 were a clear example.
The average of their SAT scores was 873.
This is a staggering ca. 330-370 points below the range of average SAT's over
the last ten years for all UT students (between 1205-1242).
(NOTE: The average for all students is already lowered by low athletics scores
such as these!)
I assume that at least some of my colleagues share my concern as to whether
it is in the best educational interests of students with such profiles to be
pursuing degrees at UT Austin.
Students with such profiles, even if they were not distracted by the long
practice hours and travel of 'Sweet Sixteen quality' basketball, would find
If they pull through by means of judicious course selection or by having batteries
of tutors and academic overseers, they are not really getting the kind of education
that serious academics want them to get.
And this is not even to consider the effects that students with such academic
profiles have on classroom dynamics and therefore on the quality of educational
experience of other students.
Bruce Walker explained clearly that, in granting such 'exceptional admissions', individual
cases are examined and that there is a mechanism whereby even a non-athlete-student
whose academic profile has weaknesses--we used the example of a talented musician
or artist--may be admitted via a presidential scholarship.
Would you or Bruce Walker give us some good faith (and non-vague and non-anecdotal)
figures for the following questions?
(1c) How many such presidential scholarships were given out to non-athlete-students
in 2005-2006 and what were their average SAT scores?
(1d) How many athlete-students participating in major sports (men's football,
baseball and basketball and women's basketball) in 2005-2006 were admitted
with serious shortcomings (say SAT's below 1005)?
If you are unable to answer these questions, may I request that these statistics
be researched and made available to the Faculty Council by the Standing Committees
for Admissions and Registration and/or Educational Policy.
MY SECOND SET OF QUESTIONS IS:
On the Longhorns texassports.com commercial web site that is linked to the
University of Texas at Austin educational web site, we read:
Football Stadium Suites: SOLD OUT FOR 2005-06
Foundation markets the 62 private stadium suites within Royal-Texas Memorial
Stadium (14 on the 8th floor of Belmont Hall on the stadium west side; 28 on
the 9th floor and 24 on the 8th floor of Reese M. Rowling Hall on the stadium
east side). Suites are leased for three, five or seven years. Lease prices
are set by UT Athletics, and a significant portion of the annual costs for
the suites is up to 80 percent tax deductible.
(2a) What are the current leasing rates of these sky boxes?
Patti Ohlendorf in discussing (February 8, 2006 Cox News Service Ralph K.
Haurwitz) the current $150-million stadium expansion is quoted as saying, ""And
there will be a portion - I think one floor - not yet finished out that will
have some future university use."
(2b) Taking as a given that legal minds are precise with words and their implications,
does this statement imply that most of the rest of the project, i.e., the sports
component, is dedicated to non-university uses?
(2c) If so, then why is there an up-to-80% tax deduction for contributions
to the sports programs as contributions to our educational institution?
BACKGROUND TO QUESTION 3:
It was reported in the Austin American-Statesman
(John Maher, "Nine-foot
Campbell Statue on the Way" August 16, 2006) that "[a]ccording
to the current University of Texas System Board of Regents rules, 'No gift
of statuary depicting a living person shall be accepted by an institution,
unless intended for display in a museum or for addition to the collection of
works of art for display in a museum'"; but that San Antonio oilman James
Nixon led a movement that "credits UT president emeritus Peter Flawn,
vice president Patty Ohlendorf and former president Larry Faulkner with keeping
the bureaucracy moving and getting the statue [of Earl Campbell] its place
So we will soon have on campus statues of:
1. confederate general Albert Sydney Johnston;
2. U.S. secy of war and president of the Confederate States Jefferson Davis;
3. Texas governor James Stephen Hogg;
4. U.S. president Woodrow Wilson;
5. U.S. president George Washington;
6. civil rights leader Martin Luther King;
7. political leader and educator Barbara Jordan,
8. civil rights leader Cesar Chavez;
9. U.T. sports donor Joe Jamail;
10. U.T. football coach Darrel Royal;
11. U.T. football player Earl Campbell.
It is conspicuous here that the living figures on this list (the only exceptions
to regental rules against statuary of living people?) are all sports figures
(a donor, a coach and a player).
Likewise conspicuous among the statues of the dead is the absence of any human
beings who are remembered primarily for exemplifying or championing the traditional
values of scholarship and teaching, scientific and humanistic, at UT Austin. (NOTE:
Barbara Jordan's tenure at the LBJ School came after her retirement from the
distinguished political career that made her famous.)
Simply put, the score here, as in so many other things at UT Austin, is UT
sports 3, UT academics 0.
MY THIRD SET OF QUESTIONS THEN IS
(3a) Is it true that regental rules still prohibit statues of living humans?
(3b) If so, why or how were these particular exceptions made?
(3c) What message do these particular exceptions transmit about the priorities
of (y)our institution?
(3d) What precedent did granting these exceptions set?
(3e) In the interests of some semblance, not of balance, which pragmatists
among us realize is completely unrealistic, but of putting academics on the
statuary scoreboard, would you support an initiative to identify one deceased
and one still-living UT academic who would be worthy of memorializing in statuary
at UT Austin?
(3f) If so, what do you think of the merits of former UT president Homer Price
Rainey as a candidate for the deceased category? His conspicuous presidential
courage in the 1930's and 40's in standing up for true educational values and
the intellectual freedom of faculty against political and regental intervention
has never seen its equal in the UT president's office before or after his tenure.
You and other members of UT Austin community might like to read the New Handbook
of Texas entry on President Rainey, while you consider the merits of this proposal.
(3g) If not, why not?
Thank you again.
Tom Palaima Classics FC member 2006-2008
Executive Summary on the Motion from Educational Policy on Changes to the Core Curriculum
What charge did Educational Policy receive regarding the Task Force Report?
In May of 2006, the Faculty Council Executive Committee charged Educational Policy with providing recommendations to the Faculty Council on the following aspects of the Task Force on Curricular Reform’s report: signature courses, courses required of all students as part of the state-mandated 42-hour core curriculum, flagged courses, and thematic strands.
What information was used by Educational Policy in crafting its motion?
The following was reviewed by a subcommittee of Educational Policy, chaired by
Marilla Svinicki, this summer before the final motion was crafted:
- The Original Task Force Report
- The Supplementary Task Force Report
- Transcripts from the faculty forums in the various Schools and Colleges
- Transcripts from Faculty Council meetings where the task force recommendations were discussed
- Email comments sent to email@example.com. This email was established by the Faculty Council to allow faculty to comment on the report.
- The motion crafted by the Senate of College Councils
- The Report of the Academic Counselors’ Association
- The Report of the Student Deans Committee.
What are the main differences between the motion of Educational Policy and the original and Supplementary Task Force Reports?
A list of the main differences appears below:
- The topics of “Culture” and “Nature” were removed from the Signature Courses.
- The goal of the Freshman Signature Course was changed to have students discuss and analyze an important contemporary issue from an interdisciplinary perspective.
- The Sophomore Signature Course’s goal was changed to look at an issue from a narrower interdisciplinary focus such that the course fit within an existing area requirement.
- The Signature Courses were redesigned to allow more flexibility on the part of faculty to develop such courses. The areas in which flexibility is given is class size, how Interdisciplinarity is achieved, and how communication is emphasized in the class.
- The flagged courses are the same as those proposed in the original Task Force Report. The descriptions of the criteria for a flagged course has been modified from those proposed in the Supplementary Report.
- The Natural Science Requirement in the state-Mandated 42-hour Core Curriculum has been expanded to allow a course on Science and Technology to be used. The nature of this course is consistent with the original vision outlined in the Task Force Reports.
Why is 35% of the course grade used for the following flags: Writing, Global Cultures, Cultural Diversity in the United States, Ethics and Leadership, and Independent Inquiry?
This percentage was selected by Educational Policy as a balance to many competing factors. First, we felt it was important that a student should not pass a flagged course without showing some competence in the skill or experience for which the course was flagged. Second, the criteria for the flag needed to be such that an instructor has the flexibility to cover other content important in the course and not have to sacrifice this in order to satisfy the flag requirement. Lastly, Educational Policy believes that one course could cover more than one flag. Using 35% allows a course to have two flags (possibly three if writing is one of them).
Why is the Science and Technology Course not required for all UT undergraduate students?
While Educational Policy hopes that many degree plans at UT will add a Science and Technology course for their students, the decision to make this course an elective was based upon two main factors. First, many science and technology degree plans satisfy the spirit of a Science and Technology Course in their regular course work. As such, they should be able to continue to educate their students as they do now. The second main factor is that degree plans may have a justifiable reason for requiring nine hours of traditional science courses to best prepare their students for their future careers. Again, these degree plans should have the flexibility to make the determination about whether this new courses or a traditional science course is in their students’ best interest.
The Commission of 125 believed that students benefit from studying
some common academic topics and concepts to add richness to discussions and debates
outside the classroom and to create a bond among graduates. They also believed
that current curriculum lacks sufficient common intellectual experiences shared
by all undergraduates, whatever their discipline. How does this proposal from
Educational Policy address this?
The ideal way to address this concern might be to have certain specific courses that all students are required to take. However, Educational Policy believes that this approach at a university with the size and diversity of UT is impractical. In addition, we believe that there is merit in giving students choices on how to get the knowledge, skills, and experience they need for their career and personal goals. Nonetheless, we believe that the recommendations of the committee go substantially in the direction of meeting the Commission's recommendation. First, the Signature courses create a "special" type of course that has a common focus on using an interdisciplinary approach to examine a topic of broad interest. This commonality lends itself well to discussions outside the classroom between students in different Signature courses. The lecture/performance series connected to the Freshman Signature Course also provides common experiences that can help create the type of bond we are seeking. Second, the flags also serve to create common experiences that extend beyond the individual classroom. For example, every undergraduate will be required to take a course including a substantial ethics component. Since there are commonalities in ethical considerations across fields, this will provide common background and experience to prompt and enrich discussions of ethics in dorms and other places where undergraduates gather.