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Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of December 11, 2006.

Greninger signature

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty


The fourth regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2006-2007 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, December 11, 2006, at 2:15 p.m.

Present: Urton L. Anderson, Efraim P. Armendariz, Christopher J. Bell, Susan N. Beretvas, Lorenzo F. (Frank) Candelaria, Lisa J. Cary, Penelope Davies, Gustavo A. De Veciana, Diana M. DiNitto, John S. Dzienkowski, Miriam R. Estrin, Sherry L. Field, Amy D. Forestell, Luis Francisco-Revilla, Linda V. Gerber, Linda L. Golden, Oscar Gonzalez, Juan C. González, Michael H. Granof, Sue A. Greninger, Charles R. Hale, Kenneth J. Hale, Ian F. Hancock, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, David M. Hillis, Lori K. Holleran, Troy L. Johnson, David Justin, Klaus O. Kalthoff, Karrol A. Kitt, Robert C. Koons, Desiderio Kovar, Nancy P. Kwallek, Dominic L. Lasorsa, Desmond F. Lawler, Steven W. Leslie, Wayne Lesser, William S. Livingston, Raul L. Madrid, Julia Mickenberg, Stephen A. Monti, Joan A. Mullin, Kate Nanney, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Melissa L. Olive, Jon E. Olson, Yolanda C. Padilla, Thomas G. Palaima, Randall M. Parker, Elizabeth C. Pomeroy, William C. Powers, Kenneth M. Ralls, Wayne Rebhorn, John H. Richburg, Peter J. Riley, Gretchen Ritter, Bonnie P. Rust, Christine E. Schmidt, Berkley B. Scroggins, Janet Staiger, Vincent S. (Shelby) Stanfield, Janice S. Todd, Jeffrey Vaaler, Gregory J. Vincent, Jeffrey Walker, N. Bruce Walker, Stacy Wolf, Sharon L. Wood, Paul B. Woodruff.

Absent: Kamran Ali, Eric J. Barron, Randy Bomer, Gary D. Borich, Douglas C. Burger (excused), Virginia G. Burnett (excused), Luis A. Caffarelli (excused), Linda J. Carpenter, Marcus S. Ceniceros, Patricia L. Clubb, Douglas J. Dempster, Andrew P. Dillon, Richard B. Eason, Stanislav Emelianov, Linda Ferreira-Buckley (excused), George W. Gau, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Bretna M. Hackert, Donald A. Hale, Roderick P. Hart, Thomas M. Hatfield, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Judith H. Langlois, Karl H. Miller, John H. Murphy, J. Patrick Olivelle, Alba A. Ortiz (excused), Cynthia Osborne (excused), Shirley Bird Perry, Mary Ann R. Rankin, Soncia R. Reagins-Lilly (excused), Brian E. Roberts, Victoria Rodriguez, Danielle R. Rugoff, Lawrence Sager, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Paul R. Shapiro, James Steinberg, Frederick R. Steiner, Ben G. Streetman, John M. Weinstock (excused), Barbara W. White, Patrick Woolley (excused).

Voting Members:
58 present
20 absent
78 total.
Non-Voting Members:
12 present
26 absent
38 total.
Total Members:
70 present
46 absent
116 total.


After calling the meeting to order, Chair Linda Golden congratulated the Faculty Council on the successful passage of the curricular reform measures by the General Faculty; she noted that only 17 protests were filed. She clarified that the reports of the Intercollegiate Athletics Councils for Men and Women, which some Council members had expected to be included on the December meeting agenda, had been postponed until the January 22, 2007, Faculty Council meeting at the requests of athletic council presenters due to scheduling conflicts.

The written report appears in D 5164-5168.

Professor Thomas Palaima (classics) noted that the date listed on the Council Web site regarding postponement of the reports of the Intercollegiate Athletics Councils for Men and Women was incorrect. Following the meeting, staff in the Office of the General Faculty researched the matter and found that the date had been posted on the Web site from the October 16 minutes when it was anticipated that the reports would be given at the November meeting. On December 12, the posted announcements posted on the Faculty Council Web site for the November 20 meeting were corrected to reflect that the reports would be given on January 22, 2007. However, since the date included on the paper document of the November 20 minutes was actually correct, the formal minutes did not need to be revised.


A. Comments by the President.

President Powers congratulated Council members regarding the passage of curricular reform and said he thought the faculty vote was supportive of the proposed changes. He said he thought Undergraduate Studies Dean Paul Woodruff had been empowered by the vote to carefully and expeditiously move forward with course and program development. President Powers said much work remained that would involve the Faculty Council and Educational Policy Committee during the implementation phase. Saying “it was a great day for the campus,” President Powers thanked everyone for their hard work and support for curricular reform.

President Powers said the Consultative Committee for the Selection of the Executive Vice President and Provost had succeeded in bringing strong candidates to campus, and he expected a decision could be reached by the end of 2006. He said the search for a new dean of the College of Liberal Arts was moving forward, but the final decision would be delayed until the new provost was named.

With regard to the approaching legislative session, President Powers said he and former Texas A&M president, Robert Gates, had been devoting mutual efforts this past fall on raising awareness throughout Texas about the need for increased higher education funding through a campaign called “Horns and Aggies—Together for a Change.” The two presidents have made joint presentations delivering a unified message that “an investment in education, especially an investment in higher education, is an investment in the future of the state.” To emphasize the contributions of the flagship research institutions, President Powers said “a state dollar invested on our campus has a 25 to 1 leverage for impact on the Texas economy.” He said this compares to a 5.5 to 1 ratio for higher education in general. He said audiences had been receptive to this information regarding the impact of higher education funding on the state’s economic development.

President Powers said that the goal for UT Austin to become the best public university in the country would prove challenging, given that the 1.8% annualized increase in state funding has


  resulted in an actual decline in real dollars after adjusting for inflation. Out of approximately 220 universities, President Powers said UT Austin ranked about 22nd based on peer reviews but only 104th on overall funding per student. The University of California at Berkeley, which is smaller in terms of total enrollment, receives over $400 million in legislative support compared to the $279 million UT Austin receives. President Powers said it is important to communicate to the public and the legislature the level of instructional and research quality provided here at UT Austin and the importance of retaining tuition flexibility. He said the University does not want to totally eliminate the top 10% admissions rule but increased flexibility in terms of a cap on the percentage of enrollees meeting the requirement is needed.

B. Questions to the President (see Appendix A).

In response to Professor Wayne Rebhorn’s (English) question on salary compression, President Powers said he thought the problem was occurring at UT Austin as well as at other universities throughout the country as institutions struggled to respond to market pressures in recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members. Saying the question was a difficult one to answer in terms of specifics, President Powers said he regarded salary decisions as “our most basic incentive structure” that conveys what our institution values for both faculty and staff members. He said he did not think the salary structure should be “purely egalitarian or lockstep” in terms of time in rank or longevity on the job. He thought the structure should be equitable rather than equal and should seek to further the institution’s strategic goals. He said he did not think salary compression existed if lower-paid, middle-level faculty members were being rewarded according to the best efforts of their units to determine “who is pulling hardest on the oar.” However, he said he recognized that merit-based decisions are difficult and multi-faceted, with priorities and standards differing from individual to individual across campus. He said he thought it was unfair to provide the same percentage across-the-board salary increase to each employee based on the percentage increase the University allocates to the salary increase pool because this would not reflect individual effort and productivity. President Powers said he was committed to increasing the number of departments at UT Austin that are considered in the top-five nationally, and the University could not ignore market pressures in its effort to meet this goal. He said the University needs to keep disparities resulting from these pressures as short-term and small as possible and work toward achieving a structure that provides good incentives to the overall faculty. He said he thought faculty who were particularly disadvantaged in terms of salary differentials included those who are “trapped” here due to family constraints, such as spousal employment opportunities and/or children in school, or commitments to a lab or type of research that cannot be easily transferred. In the University’s efforts to respond to market pressures, President Powers said it was important to maintain a reasonable balance so as to not adversely impact these productive employees who are constrained in terms of their job mobility.

President Powers positively acknowledged the $1.8 million that former President Larry Faulkner and Provost Sheldon Ekland-Olson allocated in 2005-2006 for special salary adjustments. During 2006-2007, he indicated that $1.5 million had been earmarked for a couple of colleges to help address salary issues that partially resulted from competitive pressures. He said efforts were being made to roughly maintain a 3% annual salary increase pool and decrease the student-faculty ratio by adding 30 new faculty members each year in accordance with policies initiated by former President Faulkner. President Powers emphasized again that salary issues involve the important challenge of maintaining a balance; however, because of the necessity of responding to market pressures in securing the best faculty at UT Austin, he felt some inequities would inevitably exist.

Professor Rebhorn thanked President Powers for addressing his question since he thought salary issues existed in the College of Liberal Arts as well as across campus. He mentioned that the student newspaper at the University of Virginia had published the annual salaries of faculty members up until two years ago. Based on the data available for 2004-2005, faculty in the English department at Virginia, which was ranked about sixth nationally, received comparable average salaries for assistant professors but much higher ones for senior faculty than those here


  at UT Austin. Professor Rebhorn said he thought increasing faculty salaries of UT’s senior English department faculty members’ salaries by 10-20% might produce “a Virginia in our future.” He said low salaries and insufficient research support here at UT Austin resulted in faculty seeking to teach summer school, which then resulted in decreased research productivity. Although he was not asking for less funding for summer instructional activities, Professor Rebhorn said he thought increasing the number of Faculty Research Assignments (FRAs) available from the current level of 40 per year would enhance research productivity and departmental rankings.

President Powers agreed that UT Austin was “thinly funded” in areas that attract and keep talented faculty, such as research support, research assistant support, travel money, summer leaves, sabbaticals, and free tuition for faculty children. He said this issue was “a little different than “the shape of our salary structure,” but he thought funding increases for faculty, especially for top-quality, senior-level faculty, needed to be addressed during the next five years if UT Austin really wants to compete “at the very top.”

Professor Palaima said he thought the challenge of improving funding levels for faculty was “absolutely enormous.” He said he had no idea that the number of FRAs awarded each year was so low. Regarding salary allocation, he pointed out that a 3-4% merit pool is usually cut down to 2.5-3% by the time it reaches the department level. He said allocating such a small pool doesn’t provide much of an increase, for example, to top quality faculty members in departments such as classics. He said his calculations regarding the $1.5 million set aside mentioned by President Powers would provide only $500 per faculty member if divided among 3,000 individuals and only $750 if divided among the 2,000 most productive ones. He said it was very important to communicate to the legislature just how little this level of funding can reduce the compression that has occurred over the past 20 years.

Professor Palaima also expressed concern that the contributions of engineering, math, and science on economic development were overshadowing other educational needs in the social sciences and humanities. He said he thought an emphasis was also needed on such areas as history, culture, and languages in the current geo-political environment and hoped this message would be conveyed to the legislature. Professor Palaima said he was disturbed that subsequent drafts to the original report prepared by the Commission on the Future of Higher Education omitted discussion of higher education’s contributions to social virtue development and only focused on their impact on economic development.

Professor Palaima noted that $178 million was being spent for the north end expansion of UT’s football stadium, and his calculations indicated the additional suites and club seats would generate approximately $22-24 million annually in “voluntary contributions to higher education.” Professor Palaima referred to the tax deductibility status of these so-called voluntary contributions as a scam, given that little of the athletic revenue generated is actually used to fund academic activities. He strongly suggested that a considerable portion of the newly-generated money from the stadium expansion as well as from trademark revenues should be used for academic priorities, such as addressing salary compression and expanding FRAs. He also questioned the relative value of spending as much as $700,000 for the Bevo Museum vs. only $1.5 million for a salary shortfall that is causing faculty to leave the University. Lastly, Professor Palaima questioned whether UT’s student athletes were learning much about the “spirit of competition” when only two of the 13 games played last year were against teams ranked in the top five and two other end-of-season games were against teams ranked in the top twenty-five. He said the remaining games were played against “fodder schools” where the victory margin averaged 39.6 points. Professor Palaima suggested that the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men or the UT administration should address this aspect of the football program.

President Powers agreed that the challenge of raising the funds needed for faculty compensation as well as graduate student stipends, research leave, start-up funds, etc. is enormous. He said he



believed in the “compound interest theory of progress,” where you start and gradually make progress which leads to more progress and so forth; therefore, it was essential to get the process underway. President Powers said he thought all areas across campus, including liberal arts, law, business, and communications, rather than just engineering and science were contributing to the economic impact on the state. He acknowledged there were pressures to move the University toward scientific areas and away from the arts and humanities, but he said it was crucial that the UT Austin be regarded as a comprehensive rather than a technical institution.

Professor Palaima said he was pleased to know the president wanted UT Austin to be a comprehensive institution, but he thought the Bevo Museum and the UT Club generated an impression that the University was “wealthy beyond belief.” He said spending $178 million on the stadium expansion amounted to “burning political capital” when there are such pressing economic requirements that were not being met President Powers replied that UT Austin’s image embraced more than athletics. Although faculty salaries and research funding are higher at UT Austin than at most institutions of higher education, President Powers said the University is competing at the margins rather than the averages, and this difference needs to be communicated to legislators and Texas residents.

With regard to athletic funding, President Powers said the stadium expansion was a business decision based on the assumption that additional revenue could be raised by adding seating capacity. He said the question of whether or not the money being contributed to athletics would automatically be contributed to academic was an empirical question, but there was evidence that individuals who contribute to athletics also provide large contributions to academic and cultural programs. Professor Palaima said his empirical and anecdotal evidence indicated that many individuals may be “tapped out” by what it takes to get good seats at the games, leaving them with little to contribute to academic needs. He said Jim Boom told him that the most common reply from Texas-Exes, when they are asked to donate to UT Austin, is that they already gave to the Longhorn Foundation. He said Miguel Ferguson had told him that a neighbor’s son had bought a $75,000 skybox as a way of giving something back to the University. Professor Palaima said he expected $6-8 million of the $24 million spent on skyboxes would likely be donated for academic needs if the boxes were not available. He also said that former high-ranking University officials resented the fact that athletics controls trademark revenues. He said he thought the president should insist that these funds support academic needs, such as TA salaries, salary compression, FRAs, and lab construction and renovation. He concluded by emphasizing that the tax deductibility of so-called voluntary contributions violated the social values that the University should be teaching. Agreeing that the evidence was anecdotal, President Powers said he knew of individuals who were drawn to the University through athletics and then provided major gifts to other programs on campus. Regarding the tax issue, President Powers said the deductibility of the voluntary contributions was a federal income tax judgment, and it would be difficult for the University to dictate whether donors take what is permitted under federal law.

Interim Provost Stephen Monti said that sabbatical programs normally involve only the tenured faculty at an institution, and about 10% of the faculty members are on leave each year. UT Austin currently has 1,300 tenured faculty members, and approximately 130 individuals are currently awarded FRAs or Dean’s Fellows each year. Because not all the awards here at UT Austin go to tenured faculty, Provost Monti said our program is not exactly comparable to a normal sabbatical program; however, we do have 130 funding opportunities rather than just 40 each year.

Chair Golden briefly reported on the System Faculty Advisory Committee meeting, where newly-elected State Senator Kirk Watson was a guest speaker. She said he was receptive to ideas and information regarding higher education and recommended that institutions work to expand overall funding without treating the situation as a zero-sum game. She encouraged President Powers to let the Council know how the faculty can assist in fostering support for the University. She said the


  salary compression issue had been discussed at the system-wide meeting and was also reported as a concern in the survey she had recently conducted regarding Faculty Council priorities. Noting that the University’s competitiveness in terms of faculty and TA salaries and research travel support were key issues raised in the survey, Chair Golden said she would soon be preparing a report of the survey results and encouraged those who had not yet sent her their completed survey instruments to do so. Because Chair Elect Doug Burger (computer sciences) could not attend the Council meeting, Chair Golden reminded everyone make plans to attend the joint meeting with the Texas A&M Senate on March 5.




A. Motion from the Faculty Grievance Committee.

Mary Steinhardt (committee chair, kinesiology and health education) summarized her committee’s motion (D 5191-5194) proposing a change in the composition of the ombudsman selection committee from four members elected by the Faculty Council and two members appointed by the executive vice president and provost to a subcommittee of the Faculty Grievance Committee. The proposal also recommends that the new committee provide oversight of the ombudsman function. She said the committee would work in conjunction with the administration, with the executive vice president still making the final selection of the ombudsman. Due to increased demand for consultation with Professor Stanley Roux, the current ombudsman, the committee’s proposal also recommends the establishment of an assistant ombudsman position.

When Professor John Dzienkowski (law) asked for additional clarification of the rationale and role expectations for the assistant ombudsman position, Professor Steinhart responded as follows: (1) demand warranted the need; (2) Professor Roux would supervise the assistant, who would have similar duties; (3) the new assistant would negotiate release time and/or summer salary; and (4) the assistant position could provide on-the-job training for a future head ombudsman successor. When Professor Michael Granof asked if the code 1000 appointment would have any implications for a tenured faculty member who accepted the position, Professor Steinhart said it would not, which was also confirmed by Vice President Ohlendorf (institutional relations and legal affairs).

B. General Faculty Standing Committee Reports.

1. Research Policy Committee.
Professor Peter Riley (committee chair, physics) reported that his committee had focused on pre- and post-award research grant issues this year. The committee has established a subcommittee charged with developing a proposal in conjunction with the Office of Sponsored Projects to provide grant-writing mentoring for young faculty. Professor Riley said the committee was developing a recommendation that the University hire grant specialists to provide campus-wide support for principal investigators. He said the transition to electronically-submitted grant applications on February 1, 2007, would likely pose difficulties, and he thought grant administration was “getting worse rather than better.”

2. Faculty Building Advisory Committee.
Professor John C. (Jack) Gilbert (committee chair, chemistry and biochemistry) reported that his committee had met four times this fall in its oversight role regarding capital projects. Proposals the committee has reviewed include the following: (1) the chilling station being relocated to the east side of Taylor Hall, which will later be replaced by the Dell Computer Building; (2) a large water tank being considered for energy conservation


  and financial savings, which will possibly be located north of the San Jacinto parking garage; (3) and fire/life safety issues involving the Texas Memorial Museum, which currently has only one building exit. The committee has active subcommittees related to master plan compliance and to the review of art in public spaces. In addition, committee members provide service as liaisons to ad hoc committees created when buildings are in the planning stages of development. When Professor Granof asked if the Wright Committee’s recommendations that all athletic projects be reviewed by the Faculty Building Advisory Committee were being followed, Professor Gilbert said they were.

On behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, Secretary Sue Greninger thanked Professor Gilbert for his outstanding contributions to faculty governance at UT Austin over the past 40 years. She noted a number of his specific accomplishments while serving as chair of the Faculty Council in 1997-1998, which coincided with the Office of the General Faculty and Faculty Council becoming electronically of age, as well as his service chairing other standing University committees. Professor Gilbert will be moving to California where he will serve as professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and senior fellow in the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University.

3. Parking and Traffic Appeals Panel.
Associate Vice President Gerald Harkins (committee member, campus safety and security) reported that approximately 9,000 appeals result from the 60,000 parking and traffic tickets written each year at UT Austin. The committee members are divided into four panels, which provide second-level appellate review; of the 169 cases reviewed last year, 115 were denied and approximately 44 were sustained. Vice President Harkins said he thought the process was a good one in allowing review of cases where individuals perceive they have been unfairly treated, and the panel members provide honest appraisals of each appeal.

4. Parking and Traffic Policies Committee.
Associate Vice President Harkins reported that members of this committee provide oversight regarding fee-setting and regulatory policies governing parking and traffic issues on campus. He said he thought the committee’s advice had been helpful in coping with the loss of parking spaces as new facilities are constructed by providing feedback and communication from constituencies across campus. He said the task is challenging since over 70,000 visitors, staff, faculty, and students come to campus each day, and there are only 14,500 parking spaces currently available. He said he appreciated the assistance the Faculty Council provides in staffing both the Parking and Traffic Appeals Panel and the Parking and Traffic Policies Committee.

Chair Golden reported that 11 non-Faculty Council members were chosen first for the two parking and traffic committees this past year. She said this supported the fact that committee membership was broadly-based and representative of the entire faculty and University community.

5. Committee on Financial Aid to Students.
Ms. Danielle Alsandor (committee vice chair, student affairs administrator) reported on behalf of Professor Patricia Somers (committee chair, educational administration), who could not attend due to medical reasons. Ms. Alsandor said the committee had met twice to discuss strategies and recommendations to increase the availability of financial aid resources for students. She said participation of committee members had been very active this fall.

6. Commencement and Academic Ceremonies.
Professor Yolanda Padilla (committee vice chair, social work) reported on behalf of Professor Jacqueline Angel (committee chair, LBJ school), who could not attend due to medical reasons. Professor Padilla said the committee had met once this fall to add to a list of potential 2007 University-wide commencement speakers that is maintained by the


  committee. Based on a poll conducted by the committee, the top recommendations for 2007 commencement speakers are the following: former President Jimmy Carter, Paul “Bono” Hewson, Maya Angelou, Kofi Annan, Lance Armstrong, and Robert Rodriguez; these recommendations have been provided to President Powers. Chair Angel, who is the University Marshall, has participated in two ceremonial events, President Powers’ installation and the fall graduate student commencement ceremony. Professor Padilla said the committee would meet in the spring to develop recommendations to submit to the Faculty Council and the Office of the President on policy issues related to Honors Day and the 2007 spring commencement.

7. Faculty Rules Committee.
Professor Philip Varghese (committee chair, aerospace engineering) reported his committee had met once and conducted most of its business thus far by email. The committee sent forward legislation this fall recommending changes in the composition of the Committee on Committees and the charge of the Faculty Welfare Committee. Both of the motions were endorsed by the Faculty Council and approved by President Powers, with only a minor wording change to the one pertaining to the Faculty Welfare Committee. Professor Varghese said the committee is currently considering if recommendations are needed regarding the voting status of new faculty classifications, such as clinical faculty. Information is being collected regarding the uniformity of responsibilities and policies pertaining to these job classifications across campus. Chair Golden reported that the voting issue was of concern because more of these new classifications are being utilized; she said the issue had also come up at the System Faculty Advisory Committee meeting.

8. Admissions & Registration Committee.
Dr. Ruth Buskirk (committee chair, biological sciences) reported that her committee had considered the impact of the Coordinated Admission Program (CAP) on general admissions to UT Austin. She said the number of CAP applicants, who enter at other UT institutions in hopes of later matriculating here at UT Austin, has increased even though the program requirements have been strengthened. Even with these tightened requirements, approximately one-third of the applicants have consistently made the transition and enrolled here at UT Austin. Dr. Buskirk said the committee was pleased with the increased diversity of this year’s entering freshman class. She said the admissions office had actively developed centers in areas of the state where large numbers of under-represented groups reside, and the committee was considering joint work with the financial aid office as a means of potentially increasing aid for these students. Data on the varying impact of the top 10% legislation on different colleges and programs are currently being developed and will be shared with the Council when the findings are available.

Dr. Buskirk said the committee was concerned about the number of Q drops occurring after the 45th class day since many appear to be unrelated to substantial non-academic reasons. Because the committee has determined that there is a great variability in the policies of the various colleges/schools and the practices of faculty members across campus, the committee is seeking greater transparency and understanding of the functions served by Q drops and exploration of potential deterrents to late drops.

Chair Golden commented that the reports from the committees were intended to familiarize Council members with the charges and activities of the various committees. She said this information would be helpful when continuing Council members are asked to prioritize committee assignment preferences.

9. Recreational Sports Committee.
Professor Marc Musick (committee chair, sociology) reported that the committee’s charge to provide advice to the Division of Recreational Sports was facilitated by the efforts of Director Tom Dison and his assistant, Megan De Gennaro. He said the committee has met four times, with the first meeting providing an overview of the division and its functions.


  The second meeting was called in response to the resolution passed by Student Government regarding availability of pool hours for children. As a result of the meeting, pool hours were expanded for children as well as all users, and a regular review process was established by the division. At the last two meetings of the semester, budget recommendations from the division and proposed fee and program cost increases were considered.

10. Committee on Student Affairs.
Professor Musick explained that the Committee on Student Affairs includes the chairs of the following committees: admissions and registration, recruitment and retention, calendar, financial aid, and recreational sports. In order to provide useful advice regarding student affairs, the committee members met with Vice President Juan Gonzalez (student affairs) and determined that they should provide reviews and recommendations regarding the following: (1) his office’s Strategic Work Group Report or mission statement; (2) campus-wide career center functioning and effectiveness; (3) financial aid issues; and (4) relationships between the University and campus student organizations. Professor Musick also requested that his committee review undergraduate research issues and develop recommendations on how to increase participation in this activity.

11. International Programs and Studies Committee.
Professor Linda Gerber (committee vice chair, marketing) represented the committee in the absence of Professor Cynthia Buckley (committee chair, sociology) and reported that the committee had met three times during the fall semester. She said the mission of the committee was to promote interest in international activities and determine what issues were of importance in the various colleges/schools across campus. After acquainting themselves with programs on campus, committee members spent the first meeting generating a list of policy issues that might be addressed. The following two meetings focused on grading issues, particularly problems related to how grades are understandably and equitably translated when transferred to UT Austin from a wide variety of study abroad programs that can have different grading bases, formats, standards, and distributions. Pointing out that cultural differences in grading standards offer both incentives and disincentives for student engagement in study abroad opportunities, Professor Gerber indicated committee members had questioned the extent to which the University might utilize such differences as communication and learning tools for students. She said she expected the committee would present recommendations to the Faculty Council in the future regarding whether or not grades earned from study abroad programs should count toward calculating student grade point averages, how pass/fail credit might be utilized for such courses, and how grade translation mechanisms will work.

In addition, Professor Gerber said the committee had not yet addressed the following matters: effective promotional strategies to increase study abroad participation through campus events such as Explore UT; broad awareness about a national study abroad conference that will be hosted here in Austin this coming March; campus-wide support for the Lincoln Study Abroad Act; development of multi-disciplinary, multi-department, cross-department study abroad opportunities; and recommendations on Institutional Review Board policy and procedural issues pertaining to international research.

Chair Golden suggested that motions from committees seeking Faculty Council endorsement be prepared for presentation at the March Council meeting so there will be sufficient time for the Council to act on them before the end of the spring 2007 semester. She announced that due to length of the meeting, Professor Desiderio Kovar, chair of the Information Technology Committee, had agreed to defer his committee’s report until the January meeting.

12. Responsibilities, Rights and Welfare of Graduate Student Academic Employees.
Professor Melissa Olive (committee chair, special education) reported that her committee had met four times, focusing their efforts primarily on issues dealing with the salaries and


  rights and responsibilities of graduate student academic employees (GSAEs). The committee’s preliminary assessment indicated that there is considerable variation in the pay rates and criteria for pay increases of GSAEs across the UT Austin campus. According to survey data from the Association of American Universities, the benefits available for GSAEs here at UT Austin are unmatched by other institutions with the exception of the University of Michigan. Professor Olive said that the average salaries paid to UT’s assistant instructors (AI) and teaching assistants (TA) are considerably reduced after students make payments for their tuition, books, and other expenses. She said that when nine-month TA salaries were clustered into four groups, the committee’s analysis indicated that $600,000 in additional funding would be needed to bring the salaries of the 303 TAs in the lowest paid group up to $10,948 and $1 million in additional funding would be needed to bring the salaries of the 400 TAs in the two lowest paid groups up to $12,000.

After reviewing the rights and responsibilities of GSAEs as covered in the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures, Professor Olive said the committee had concluded that family and medical leave policies and procedures did not exist for GSAEs. She said the committee was considering the possibility of conducting a survey of TAs and AIs about their working conditions.

13. Educational Policy Committee.
Professor Archie Holmes (committee chair, electrical and computer engineering) introduced proposed legislation (D 5189-5190) from his committee to clarify the natural science requirement of the core curriculum for all undergraduate students at UT Austin. This new motion replaced the controversial change in the science and technology course requirement that ended up being struck from the curricular reform legislation that the Faculty Council endorsed and was subsequently passed on a no-protest basis by the General Faculty on December 8 and then transmitted to President Powers on December 12, 2006. When Professor Jon Olson (petroleum and geosystems engineering) asked if six hours of natural science credit were still required in one field, Professor Holmes responded that it was. Professor Holmes clarified that his committee was proposing a possible rather than a required change. He said the committee members were suggesting that the UT Austin faculty “go on record in saying that educating our students about science and its impact on society is important.” He said the committee hoped that course offerings addressing this important issue would be expanded beyond those currently offered in natural sciences, liberal arts, and geosciences. This motion will be an action item at the January Council meeting.

On behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee, Professor David Hillis (committee chair elect, integrative biology) thanked Professor Holmes for all he has contributed to UT Austin and especially for his service as chair of the Educational Policy Committee and as a subcommittee chair on the Task Force on Curricular Reform. He said he had learned by working with Professor Holmes of his “love for The University of Texas” and tremendous “commitment to the educational mission of this University.” Professor Holmes will be joining the faculty at the University of Virginia in January 2007.

14. Faculty Welfare Committee.
Professor Martha Hilley (committee chair, music) reported that her committee elected Professor Michael Ferguson (social work) as vice chair and had met three times during the fall semester. Human Resources Manager Robin Jarman met with the committee in October to discuss a health insurance coverage problem that had developed involving the Austin Diagnostic Clinic (ADC) and HMO Blue. ADC had notified approximately 180 HMO Blue participants that it would no longer honor HMO Blue coverage, leaving 300 individuals in need of new primary care physicians and specialists. Professor Hilley commented that this scary situation was entirely legal even though it imposed a hardships on the participants. The committee met with Professor Gretchen Ritter, director of Women’s and Gender Studies, regarding the modified instructional duties policy and determined that faculty



members need increased awareness and information about this opportunity through improved communication mechanisms. Professor Hilley said she is also working with Dr. Hillary Hart (civil engineering) on issues raised in the report of the Implementation Committee on the Status of Non-tenure Track Faculty and the development of materials they believe will be beneficial to deans and chairs regarding these issues. In addition, the Board of Regents recently approved the distinguished senior lecturer designation. Professor Hilley said her committee is expecting to receive a detailed report from Associate Dean Marv Hackert on faculty travel grant awards made this fall after the new policy changes were implemented. Data on the number of awards, total and average award amounts, allocation patterns, administrative load, etc. have been requested. These data will provide the committee with information needed in relation to potential policy recommendation regarding faculty interest in funding coverage for lodging and/or per diem expenses.

Professor Hilley introduced proposed legislation (D 5183) from her committee that would (1) allow two parents who are both principal caregivers to take modified instructional duty in the same semester, (2) develop a standard for communication of University Family Friendly Policies (UFFP), and (3) create communication vehicles for conveying UFFPs regarding modified instructional duty for dissemination to chairs, new faculty, and interviewees for faculty positions. This proposed legislation will be an action item at the January Council meeting.

A. Report from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Dean Paul B. Woodruff announced that the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee has been formed and is comprised of six associate deans, six professors, and two students. (See Appendix B for the handout listing the committee members.) Dean Woodruff said he or his representatives would be meeting with individuals who are responsible for specific degree programs to determine how curricular reform might be practically implemented. Efforts to expand the Freshman Seminar Program and Freshman Interest Groups and to increase the academic presence within residence halls are being pursued. Meetings with the Division of Instructional Innovation and Assessment personnel and others have been initiated to discuss evaluation strategies and methods.

A. The president will hold his General Faculty meeting immediately following this Faculty Council meeting (December 11), at approximately 3:45 p.m. in Main 212.
B. Save the date for a holiday party at Professor Martha Hilley’s home on December 17, 2006.
C. Joint Meeting of the Texas A&M Faculty Senate and the UT Faculty Council will be held at UT on March 5, 2007.
D. 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.



Chair Golden adjourned the meeting at 4:17 p.m.

Posted on the Faculty Council Web site on January 18, 2007. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.


Appendix A

Question for President Powers Concerning Salary Compression

Dear President Powers:

Salary compression is a serious problem for the College of Liberal Arts and especially for departments in the Humanities. My own department, English, has faced this problem for many years. Because the market forces that drive entry-level salaries have moved them up very fast, and because the amount of money available for raises each year has been so meager, by the time Assistant Professors have reached their tenure promotion year, they often make no more than a recently hired beginner, no matter how much academic distinction they have achieved. Moreover, matching offers for colleagues at all ranks have typically moved them well ahead of everyone else in their rank, and have often catapulted them beyond those in higher ranks whose accomplishments are very substantial. In a report compiled by the College of Liberal Arts for the 2004-2005 academic year, salaries in our department and in others at the University have been compared with the salaries earned by professors at comparable public institutions. Those institutions—our "peers"—include national powerhouses such as Berkeley, Michigan, and Virginia, but also some less distinguished places, such as Arizona and Penn State. The figures in the report (adjusted for different costs of living) reveal that in my department, Assistant Professors after their first year in rank make, on average, twenty percent less than they would at comparable public institutions. For Associate Professors, the average level of compensation is fifteen percent below what they would earn at those other schools. And for Fulls, the situation is even worse: they make twenty-five percent less than they would if they taught at one of the universities we consider our peers. I would add that according to the same COLA report, a similar, and similarly dismal, pictures results when one reviews the figures compiled for the language departments as well as for the visual and performing arts, whereas the report also shows that professors in most of the social sciences make roughly what they would elsewhere, while those in economics make well above the average, as do those in engineering and in science departments such as physics.

Let me give you a few specifics about my own department, using information provided by our 2006-2007 budget. As evidence of salary compression at the rank of Assistant Professor, for instance, one can take what all the individuals holding that rank make and compare it with what incoming Assistants have been offered. If one does, what one finds is that the average compensation for Assistant Professors in my department is only $3,000 greater than the salaries offered to those who were just hired. In other words, in the years after their arrival here, our Assistant Professors have scarcely made enough in raises to keep them abreast of those who were hired after them—and this despite the fact that our Assistant Professors have distinguished themselves as scholars such that in recent years virtually none of them has been denied tenure. The inadequacy of compensation for our faculty can also be seen in the fact that one of our Assistant Professors, who recently had an outside offer matched, now makes more than 23 of our 28 Associate Professors and 13 of our 39 Full Professors. Even more revelatory of the problem of salary compression is what one finds at the upper end of our salary scale. The English Department has twenty Full Professors who hold a Professorship, an honor that confirms what one can see from their Vitae, namely, that they are the most distinguished scholars in the department, scholars whose accomplishments compare favorably with those of their colleagues at our peer institutions. Nevertheless, the average base salary of those Professors in 2006-2007 is only in the mid-$90,000 range. And if one subtracts from their ranks those individuals who are involved in departmental and college administration, that figure drops to just above $90,000. In other words, after many years of excellent service and distinguished teaching here, and despite scholarly productivity that has made them the leaders in their fields nationally, and often internationally as well, our Full Professors holding Professorships make less, often considerably less, not just than what they would make at comparable institutions, but than what their colleagues in the social sciences, the sciences, and engineering make at this University.

This situation has had a negative impact on morale at all levels of my department and, I am sure, throughout similar departments in the College and the University. One result has been to drive some of the best of our colleagues to find employment elsewhere. This can be explained, of course, simply as an example of market forces at work. However, it is also the result of demoralization that translates into a lack of any real attachment to this institution that might outweigh a desire to go elsewhere. I say this because in every case, the outside


offers our faculty have received have been matched by the University, but many of our professors have elected to leave anyway. Although English remains a very strong department that has been consistently ranked in the top twenty departments nationally, we, like many other departments in the College, have ambitions to improve our standing. The "brain drain" caused by salary compression works to thwart those ambitions and thereby affects not just us, but the College and the University as well.

English—and the Humanities in general—will play a key role in teaching courses in the revised core curriculum about to be put into place at the University. Not only will our faculty continue to assume full responsibility for one of the required courses in it (English 316K), but we will doubtless be involved in designing and teaching some of the required Signature Courses, and we will certainly play an important role in teaching "flagged courses," in particular those that focus on undergraduate writing. Indeed, in English already more than eighty percent of our upper division courses are SWC courses. Many of us are eager to participate in these curricular reforms, to be sure, but it is essential that our morale and the commitment of all of our faculty to the University continue to remain high. Consequently, my question to you, President Powers, is the following:

Are you fully apprised of just how serious an issue salary compression is for my department and for other similar departments in the College and the University, and how do you and your administration plan to deal with this problem?

Respectfully submitted,
Wayne A. Rebhorn
Celanese Centennial Professor
Department of English
Faculty Council Member, 2005-2007


Appendix B

Report from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies

The Office of Undergraduate Studies has these missions:
1. To develop and maintain a solid core curriculum for all undergraduate majors at the University, working closely with the existing Colleges and Schools, in accordance with decisions of the Faculty Council.
2. To develop and maintain academic experiences for freshmen in learning communities through seminars, interest groups, residence-hall based encounters with faculty, signature courses and other initiatives.
3. To evaluate core courses and promulgate methods for improving them.
4. To advise students on matters relating to the core curriculum; to foster and coordinate strategic advising programs for students who are undecided about their majors, or are considering a change in major.
5. To initiate, enhance and coordinate academic programs that are open to all undergraduates, working closely with the Schools and Colleges, with special attention to the needs of students who have been denied admission to the college or program of their choice.

Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee

Ex Officio
Paul B. Woodruff, dean of Undergraduate Studies
Cale McDowell, special assistant to the dean

Associate Deans
Urton Anderson, associate dean, McCombs School of Business
Mark Bernstein, associate dean, College of Communication
Pat Davis, associate dean, College of Pharmacy
David Dolling, associate dean, College of Engineering
Richard Flores, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts
David Laude, associate dean, College of Natural Sciences

Members of the General Faculty
David Hillis, professor, integrative biology
Brent Iverson, professor, chemistry and biochemistry
Larry Speck, professor, architecture
Laura Starks, professor, finance
James Vick, professor, mathematics
Sam Wilson, professor, anthropology

Kate Nanney, Senate of College Councils representative
Keshav Rajagopalan, Student Government representative


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