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D 6218-6228


Following are the minutes of the regular Faculty Council meeting of March 24, 2008.

Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty and Faculty Council

March 24, 2008

The seventh regular meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2007-2008 was held in the Main Building, Room 212, Monday, March 24, 2008, at 2:15 p.m.


Present: Mark I. Alpert, Urton L. Anderson, Christopher J. Bell, Tawny L. Bettinger, Daniel J. Birkholz, Gary D. Borich, Douglas C. Burger, Virginia G. Burnett, Linda J. Carpenter, Elizabeth Cullingford, John S. Dzienkowski, Luis Francisco-Revilla, Jeanne H. Freeland-Graves, Alan W. Friedman, Linda V. Gerber, Linda L. Golden, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Michael H. Granof, Darlene Grant, Bretna M. Hackert, Ian F. Hancock, James L. Hill, Martha F. Hilley, David M. Hillis, Karrol A. Kitt, Robert C. Koons, Desiderio Kovar, Desmond F. Lawler, Steven W. Leslie, Robert P. Lieli, Reid Long, Carol H. MacKay, Michael J. McFarlin, Robin D. Moore, Joan A. Mullin, Stephen Myers, Patricia C. Ohlendorf, Cynthia Osborne, Elizabeth C. Pomeroy, William C. Powers, Keshav Rajagopalan, Kenneth M. Ralls, John H. Richburg, Brian E. Roberts, Janet Staiger, Vincent S. (Shelby) Stanfield, Mary A. Steinhardt, Pauline T. Strong, Nicole E. Trinh, Jeffrey K. Tulis, Jeffrey Vaaler, Clark R. Wilson, Patrick Woolley.

Absent: Lawrence D. Abraham (excused), Kamran Ali, Efraim P. Armendariz, Judy Copeland Ashcroft, Matthew J. Bailey, Eric J. Barron, Hans C. Boas (excused), Lisa J. Cary (excused), Patricia L. Clubb, Miles Lynn Crismon, Molly E. Cummings, Gustavo A. De Veciana, Douglas J. Dempster, Randy L. Diehl, Andrew P. Dillon, Richard B. Eason, Sherry L. Field, Kevin M. Foster (excused), Brian C. Gatten, George W. Gau, Juan C. González, Sue A. Greninger (excused), Donald A. Hale, Kenneth J. Hale (excused), Roderick P. Hart, Fred M. Heath, Kevin P. Hegarty, Neville Hoad, Manuel J. Justiz (excused), Klaus O. Kalthoff, Nancy P. Kwallek (excused), Dominic L. Lasorsa (excused), Wayne Lesser, Raul L. Madrid, John H. Murphy (excused), Jon E. Olson, Alba A. Ortiz (excused), Thomas G. Palaima (excused), Domino R. Perez, Shirley Bird Perry, Mary Ann Rankin, Soncia R. Reagins-Lilly, Gretchen Ritter, Victoria Rodriguez, Lawrence Sager, Juan M. Sanchez, Dolores Sands, Paul R. Shapiro, Andrew C. Solomon, Shannon Speed, James Steinberg, Frederick R. Steiner, Nikita Storojev (excused), Ben G. Streetman, Gregory J. Vincent, N. Bruce Walker, Barbara W. White, Travis W. Witherspoon, Stacy Wolf, Sharon L. Wood (excused), Paul B. Woodruff (excused).

Voting Members: 45 present , 32 absent, 77 total.
Non-Voting Members: 8 present, 29 absent, 37 total.
Total Members 53 present, 61 absent, 114 total.


The written report appears in D 6135-6145; Secretary Sue Greninger (human ecology) was unable to attend the meeting due to an injury. Chair Doug Burger (computer sciences) asked that any questions relating to the report be directed to the secretary via email.


Minutes of the Regular Faculty Council meetings of January 28, 2008 (D 6100-6117), and February 18, 2008 (D 6146-6169), were approved by voice vote.


A. Comments by the President.
President Powers said he had no prepared comments but was willing to answer questions.
B. Questions to the President—None.


Chair Burger reminded Council members about the breakfasts with President Powers that are scheduled for April 1 and May 1 at 7:00 a.m. at the Campus Club. He encouraged Council members to attend one or both of the meetings. Because it currently appears that attendance will be larger at the April meeting than at the May meeting, Chair Burger suggested that those who were just now deciding that they wanted to attend one of the meetings might consider coming in May. However, he emphasized that it was most important that Council members attend when they could and join in the “robust discussion” of University issues that he hoped would occur. He then thanked President Powers for hosting and providing funds for the breakfast meetings.

Chair Elect David Hillis (integrative biology) reported on the joint meeting of the Texas A&M Senate and the UT Austin Faculty Council that occurred on March 17 at College Station. He said he thought the meeting had gone “very well, ” and there had been reasonably good attendance by UT Faculty Council members. He commented that the presentations by UT participants had been a large part of the meeting’s agenda. The presidents and provosts of both institutions made opening remarks, which emphasized the need for further cooperative efforts between the two flagship institutions. Chair Elect Hillis said the afternoon sessions focused on two important topics: curricular reform and athletics and academics. Professor Desmond Lawler (civil, environmental, architectural engineering) summarized UT’s curricular reform process and progress, and Professor Alba Ortiz (special education) reported on the activities of the Faculty Council Ad Hoc Committee on Academics Enhancement through Athletics to facilitate a synergistic relationship between these two major facets of the University. Chair Elect Hillis said he was pleased with the response to his request that Texas A&M consider joining the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. The Texas A&M faculty member who had been asked to consider information regarding the coalition and respond to Professor Hillis’ request personally recommended that their Senate join the coalition. Professor Hillis said there had been a request for Professor Ortiz’s PowerPoint presentation so it could be shown to the Texas A&M athletics department. In addition, there were comments and questions about UT’s curricular reform issues, but there had been insufficient time to engage in much follow-up discussion with regard to that topic. Chair Elect Hillis said he thought the meeting had been quite productive overall; his only concern was that the meeting seemed quite rushed, and there was little or no time for informal interaction among the participants.
Chair Burger thanked Chair Elect Hillis for all of his efforts in organizing and contributing to such a productive meeting. He agreed that the meeting had gone very well and been beneficial to the participants.


Proposal from the Educational Policy Committee to Add an Honorary A+ to the Grading System (D 6088).
Click here for the Faculty Council discussion of this item.


Reports from the General Faculty Standing Committees.

Chair Burger asked that the reports be approximately 3-5 minutes in length.
1. Faculty Grievance Committee.
Professor Alan W. Friedman (English and committee chair) provided a written report summarizing his presentation to the Council. See Appendix A.

2. Recreational Sports Committee.
Professor Liz Cullingford (English and committee chair) provided a written report summarizing her presentation to the Council. See Appendix B.

3. Admissions and Registration Committee.
Associate Dean Mark Bernstein (communication and committee vice chair) presented the report on behalf of Associate Dean Al Meyer (engineering and committee chair), who was unable to attend the meeting. See Appendix C for a written summary of the presentation.

4. University of Texas Libraries Committee.
Professor Richard D. Hazeltine (physics and committee chair) provided a written report summarizing his presentation to the Council. See Appendix D.

5. Parking and Traffic Policies Committee.
Professor Gordon S. Novak (computer sciences and committee chair) reported on the following major activities and accomplishments of the Parking and Traffic Policies Committee:
a. The committee voted to raise rates for most parking permits by 4.5% next year. Permit prices are usually changed every two years. The increase will pay for staff salary increases; also, UT is now charging for the electricity used by streetlights and lights in parking lots, and that additional cost must be covered by Parking and Transportation Services.
b. There has been a problem with significant changes to parking areas resulting in permit holders being given tickets without adequate notification of the changes; although the tickets were later forgiven, people became upset. A change to the regulations was made to make it clear that Parking and Transportation Services must notify permit holders of parking disruptions in a timely manner.
c. The main F11 lot will be eliminated because UT will be constructing a new building on the site. Deans will be asked to choose which faculty will retain F11 permits; those displaced (about 125) will be offered spaces in the Brazos Garage, which is located south of Jester.

6. Research Policy Committee.
Professor John W. Kappelman (anthropology and committee chair) reported on the following major activities and accomplishments of Research Policy Committee:
a. The committee members received a number of complaints regarding issues of compliance and the functioning of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and have met with Director Lisa Leiden and her staff from the IRB, Vice Provost Judith Langlois, and Director Mark Hayward of the Population Research Center as part of its investigation regarding the complaints. As a result of this work, Professor Kappleman expects his committee will be submitting action items to the Council within the next month or two. Issues being studied by the committee include the volume of work being handled by the IRB and the resulting delays in approval time for projects. This is particularly problematic for student research proposals where there is a limited window of time for completion of the research. Given the increased emphasis on undergraduate research, the committee thinks that these projects could be fast-tracked through the IRB, especially in the case of those projects that are categorized as exempt. The committee members believe one solution might be to establish a separate committee to handle student-directed research proposals.
b. Another related issue is the volume of biomedical projects being submitted for approval. The committee is considering whether another parallel committee is needed to handle these proposals, which are expected to increase in number at a more rapid rate in the future.
c. The committee has just recently learned that Director Leiden is leaving IRB for a position with the UT System. This unexpected vacancy is seen as an opportunity for committee members, and possibly other faculty members, to play an important role in setting the direction of the office in terms of its operational procedures and focus on faculty issues.

7. Information Technology Committee.
Professor Desiderio Kovar (mechanical engineering and committee chair) provided a written report summarizing his presentation to the Council. See Appendix E.

8. Commencement and Academic Ceremonies Committee.
Professor Yolanda Padilla (social work and committee chair) will give her committee’s report at the April 14 Council meeting.


A. Proposed Policies on the Recognition of Undergraduate Academic Certificate Programs on Official University Transcripts (D 6128-6130).
Click here for the Faculty Council discussion of this item.


Chair Burger said Mr. Long had an announcement he wanted the Council to hear. Mr. Long asked that the Council recognize Ms. Priyanka Pathak to make the announcement. After the Council gave its approval, Ms. Pathak announced that the coming week was UT’s official Faculty Appreciation Week. She said there would be many events, including a luncheon for professors who have been at UT for 40 or more years. In addition, students would be signing thank you cards that would be delivered to professors.

Chair Burger asked Council members to read the announcements listed on the agenda. He also reminded Council members to pay particular attention to items A, B, and F.
Breakfast meeting with the President, April 1, 7:00-8:30 at the Campus Club on Guadalupe.
Standing Committees should elect a chair elect to serve as chair beginning the first class day of fall 2008. Please provide that information to the Office of the General Faculty ASAP.
General Faculty college voting phase for election to the Faculty Council begins March 31 and runs through April 11.
D. Next Faculty Council meeting will be held on Monday, April 14 at 2:15 in Main 212.
E. Nominations for Civitatis Award due in the Office of the General Faculty by Friday, April 18.
F. Annual Reports of the General Faculty Standing Committees are due in the Office of the General Faculty no later than April 18. Please turn these in on time so your Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC) and FCEC+ can focus on any matters that you might have that can be acted on this academic year (up to and including our May 5th meeting).
G. The Standing Committees should submit any motions and/or reports for action by the Faculty Council at the April 14th and May 5th meetings no later than March 24 and April 21, respectively.
H. Breakfast meeting with the President, May 1, 7:00-8:30 at the Campus Club on Guadalupe.
I. UT Remembers, Friday, May 2: An annual day of remembrance honoring members of The University of Texas at Austin community who died in the previous year.



Chair Burger adjourned the meeting at 3:17 p.m.

Posted on the Faculty Council web site on April 24, 2008. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.



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