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VII.
REPORTS FROM THE STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE GENERAL FACULTY.

D 3719-3720 Revised Proposal for Revision of the Handbook of Operating Procedures 3.18 Regarding Discovery and the Rights of Parties when a Formal Hearing is to be Held. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on February 18, 2005. Approved by Faculty Council on February 21, 2005. Transmitted to the president on February 24, 2005. In a letter dated June 14, 2005, from president states that the proposal is “under review to determine whether necessary revisions address all substantive, legal, and terminological issues satisfactorily, and to determine whether the revised text corrects references to the Regents’ Rules and conforms to the new format for the Handbook of Operating Procedures.” Endorsed by President Faulkner and transmitted to the Office of General Counsel, UT System on August 12, 2005, for review. On May 11, 2007, Provost Steven Leslie transmitted the legislation to President Powers with recommendation for approval. On May 25, 2007, President Powers transmitted the legislation with recommendation for approval to the executive vice chancellor ad interim. In a letter dated September 25, 2007, President Powers notified Sue Greninger that final approval had been granted and that“The revisions and corresponding flowcharts have be incorporated into the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP). These are now posted on the HOP web site.”

D 3721-3722 Proposal for Language to be added to the Handbook of Operating Procedures 3.18 Addressing Provost’s Role in Grievance Procedures. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on February 18, 2006. Approved by Faculty Council on February 21, 2006. Transmitted to the president on February 24, 2006. In a letter dated June 14, 2006, from president states that the proposal is “under review to determine whether necessary revisions address all substantive, legal, and terminological issues satisfactorily, and to determine whether the revised text corrects references to the Regents’ Rules and conforms to the new format for the Handbook of Operating Procedures.” Endorsed by President Faulkner and transmitted to the Office of General Counsel, UT System on August 12, 2006, for review. On May 11, 2007, Provost Steven Leslie transmitted the legislation to President Powers with recommendation for approval. On May 25, 2007, President Powers transmitted the legislation with recommendation for approval to the executive vice chancellor ad interim. In a letter dated September 25, 2007, President Powers notified Sue Greninger that final approval had been granted and that “The revisions and corresponding flowcharts have be incorporated into the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP). These are now posted on the HOP web site.”

D 3734-3736 Revision of the Recommendation for Change in the Handbook of Operating Procedures Concerning Disciplining of a Faculty Member. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on March 8, 2006. This legislation replaced D 3208-3209 and was approved by the Faculty Council on March 21, 2006. Transmitted to the president on March 23, 2006. Endorsed by President Faulkner and transmitted to the Office of General Counsel, UT System on August 12, 2006, for review. On May 11, 2007, Provost Steven Leslie transmitted the legislation to President Powers with recommendation for approval. On May 25, 2007, President Powers transmitted the legislation with recommendation for approval to the executive vice chancellor ad interim. In a letter dated September 25, 2007, President Powers notified Sue Greninger that final approval had been granted and that “The revisions and corresponding flowcharts have be incorporated into the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP). These are now posted on the HOP web site.”

D 3798-3800 Admissions and Registration Committee Proposed Recommendations for Change in Enrollment as a Nondegree Seeker.Posted on the Faculty Council web site on March 10, 2005, and presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 21, 2005. On April 11, 2005, it appeared on the Council's agenda as an action item. However, due to lack of time, it was addressed and approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on May 9, 2005. Transmitted to the president on May 10, 2005. Transmitted to the provost for his consideration and action on June 29, 2005. In a letter dated March 25, 2008, Vice Provost Terri Givens returned the legislation to the Admissions and Registration Committee for reconsideration.

D 3835-3837 Educational Policy Committee Proposal to Improve Course Availability for Undergraduates. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on April 11, 2005. In a letter dated June 13, 2007, to Sue Greninger (secretary, Faculty Council), President Powers disapproved section 2 and 4, and he approved section 3 with modifications; sections 1 and 5 are pending further review and recommendations from the provost. In a message to the provost dated January 31, 2008, the registrar recommended disapproval of sections 1 and 5 “in light of the six drop limit called for in SB 1231 and the conditions stated in SB 1231 for which a drop may not be counted toward the limit.” In a letter dated March 25, Provost Leslie agreed with the recommendation from the registrar to disapprove sections 1 and 5. In letter a to Sue Greninger from President Powers dated April 16, 2008, Sections 1, 2, 4, and 5 were disapproved. Section 3 was approved with the provision that additional information be required in the syllabus as stated in the letter dated June 13, 2007. President Powers summarized his actions on the legislation in a letter dated June 4, 2008.

Following is the historical tracking of the legislation to date.

Archie Holmes, chair of the Educational Policy Committee, was to present the legislation to the Council at its meeting on April 11, 2005. However, due to lack of time, it was addressed and approved at the meeting on May 9, 2005. Transmitted to the president on May 10, 2005. Transmitted to the provost for his consideration and action on June 29, 2005. Transmitted to the president from the provost on January 19, 2006, with the following recommendations:

“I recommend approval of Sections 1 and 3.

Section I recommends the creation of a new symbol, N, to be used when a student drops a course for documented non-academic reasons. Section 3 requires that faculty provide a syllabus with specified information. I recommend adding to Section 3 that the syllabus also provide a description of the course, an outline of the weekly topics, and faculty and TA office hours. In addition, I recommend that we ask faculty to include the statement, The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.

“I also recommend the approval of Section 5, which limits the number of Q drops, but with a modification. The proposed legislation recommends that a student who has received 3 Qs must have documented, non-academic reasons for any additional drops after the 12th class day. The limitation on Q drops is a very good idea. Based on the data provided by the Registrar's Office and consultation with academic advisors, however, I recommend that the recommended number be increased to 4. The purpose underlying the Faculty Council's proposal is maintained, and student progress is not reduced.

“I do not recommend approval of the proposed Sections 2 and 4.

“Section 2, which proposes changes to the current add and drop procedures, significantly shortens the period of time students have to add and drop courses each semester. Data prepared by the Registrar's Office indicate that these changes would have minimal impact on course availability and would be costly to implement. In addition, because students would have less time to attend meetings of a course and thus consider whether a course is suitable for them, it is projected that the likelihood of adds and drops would increase substantially. In my opinion, this would not be a healthy outcome for the institution.

“Section 4, which addresses course repeat policy, puts restrictions on the number of times a student may register for the same course. Colleges and schools currently handle these restrictions quite successfully internally. They are in the best position to determine the most effective practice for the courses they offer. I recommend that college/school level discretion be continued.”

In a letter to Provost Leslie dated March 13, 2007, President Powers stated “Because of the significance of this proposal and the effect on the academic policy which you oversee, I am returning all five recommendations of D 3835-3837 to you for review, comment, and recommendation.”

In a letter dated April 10, 2007, to President Powers, Provost Leslie recommended disapproval of items 2 and 4. Regarding item 3, he suggested “further modifications that serve to include the list in the original legislation that should be included on the course syllabus. This list is as follows:

Course name and number;
Faculty member name;
Faculty member office location and office hours;
TA name, office location and office hours if course has a TA;
Overview of course, including course prerequisites;
Grading policy for course, including whether class attendance is used in determining the grade;
Dates during semester for examinations and assignments that count 20% or more of the total course grade;
Final exam date and time;
Required materials for the course (textbooks, supplies, packets, etc.);
Course web site; and statement:
The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.”

The provost also agreed with the “recommendation to approve item 5 with the modification that limitation in Q drops be increased to four rather than three as suggested in the legislation.”

In a letter dated June 13, 2007, to Sue Greninger, President Powers responded to Provost Leslie’s recommendations of April 10, 2007, with the following:

Section1: Before taking action on the recommended approval, President Powers is “asking Provost Leslie to work with Mr. Shelby Stanfield, Registrar, to review the proposal in light of Senate Bill 1231 and provide a further recommendation after that review. ”
Section 2: President Powers concurred with the provost’s recommendation to disapprove this item.
Section 3: President Powers approved the provost’s recommendation for approval with modifications.
Section 4: President Powers agreed with the provost’s recommendation to disapprove the item.
Section 5: Before taking action on the recommendation for approval, the president is “asking Provost Leslie to work with the Registrar to review the proposal in light of Senate Bill 1231 and provide a further recommendation after that review.”

D 4779-4780 Revised Motion to change the definition of University Honors. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on May 4, 2006. Amended and approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on May 8, 2006. Transmitted to the provost on May 9, 2006. Also see D 4524. In a letter dated August 7, 2007, Vice Provost Terri Givens disapproved the legislation with the following comments:
I do not feel I can approve this change as written. I base my decision on the attached summary by Mike Allen, Associate Registrar, of issues affecting the implementation of changes suggested in this document. If the concerns raised in this summary are addressed and appropriate revisions are made, I will be happy to reconsider approval of this motion.
D 5155-5163 Final Version of the Amended Motion on Curricular Reform. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on November 22, 2006. The Faculty Council approved related legislation D 5097-5105 and D 5106-5114 at its meeting on November 20, 2006. The legislation resulting from the approval of these items was presented to the General Faculty on a no-protest basis on November 27, 2006, and approved by the General Faculty on a no-protest basis on December 8. Transmitted to the president on December 12, 2006. See D 5154 for notice of no-protest procedure. Endorsed by the president and transmitted to the executive vice chancellor ad interim on February 19, 2007. Final approval received March 5, 2007, from the interim executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. The legislation was forwarded to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for their information.

In a letter dated March 12, 2007, President Powers wished “to congratulate the Faculty Council on the thorough deliberative process it used to consider this substantial undergraduate curricular reform.” He also directed the provost to work with the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the other academic deans to implement the necessary degree changes.

In a letter dated March 15, 2007, to Joseph Stafford, assistant commissioner for academic affairs and research at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Pedro Reyes, associate vice chancellor for academic planning and assessment, requested “approval to modify the core curriculum,” and later, “UT Austin has not yet developed specific University-wide lists of courses that will satisfy the new and modified core component areas, but we seek your approval to begin the process of amending degree plans to implement the new core, with the understanding that course lists will be developed and submitted for your approval as soon as possible.” Approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on October 18, 2007.

D 5183 Faculty Welfare Committee Recommendations Concerning University Family Friendly Policies. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on December 6, 2006. Presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on December 11, 2006. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on January 22, 2007. Transmitted to the president on January 23, 2007. On March 8, 2007, the president referred the legislation to the provost for review and recommendations. On July 2, 2007, Provost Leslie sent a letter to the president recommending approval. In a letter to the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs dated December 14, 2007, President Powers requested approval of the proposal.

D 5189-5190 Natural Science Requirement of the Core Curriculum for all Undergraduate Students at UT Austin. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on December 11, 2006. Presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on December 11. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on January 22, 2007. Approved by the General Faculty on a no-protest basis on February 16, 2007. Transmitted to the president for approval as General Faculty legislation on February 19, 2007. The president referred the legislation to the provost for review and recommendations. Approved by the provost and transmitted to the president on March 7, 2007. Approved by the president and transmitted to the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs ad interim on March 20, 2007. See D 5226 for notice of no-protest procedure.

D 5191-5194 Proposal from the Faculty Grievance Committee to Create an Office of the Faculty Ombudspersons. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on December 11, 2006. Presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on December 11, 2006. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on January 22, 2007. Transmitted to the provost on January 23, 2007. In a letter dated May 21, 2007, the provost indicated that he is willing to approve the creation of a assistant faculty ombudsperson position, but would like to revisit whether there is a pressing need. This issue will be discussed with the Faculty Council Executive Committee and the president at their next meeting on October 1, 2007. In a letter to Sue Greninger dated June 2, 2008, Provost Leslie approved the creation of an assistant faculty ombudsperson as a voluntary non-salaried position, without additional compensation such as reduced workload expectations.

D 5314-5315 Proposal to Revise the Principles for Development of the Academic Calendar. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on March 16, 2007. Presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 19, 2007. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on April 16, 2007. Transmitted to the president on April 17, 2007. On May 3, 2007, the president asked Provost Leslie for written recommendations. In a letter to President Powers dated August 1, 2007, Provost Leslie recommended approval. Approved by the president on September 18, 2007.

D 5319 Recommendation to update the Function of the University of Texas Libraries Committee. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on April 10, 2007. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on April 16, 2007. Transmitted to the president on April 17, 2007. In a letter dated May 3, 2007, the president asked Provost Leslie for written recommendations. In a letter to President Powers dated August 1, 2007, Provost Leslie recommended approval. Approved by the president on September 18, 2007.

D 5320-5321 Recommendation to Update the Function of the Calendar Committee. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on April 10, 2007. Amended and approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on April 16, 2007. Transmitted to the president on April 17, 2007. In a letter dated May 3, 2007, the president asked Provost Leslie for written recommendations. In a letter to President Powers dated August 1, 2007, Provost Leslie recommended approval. Approved by the president on September 18, 2007.

D 5769 Proposal to Change the Name of the Calendar Committee to the University Academic Calendar Committee. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on November 8, 2007. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on November 12, 2007. Transmitted to the president on November 13, 2007. In a letter to President Powers dated November 20, 2007, Provost Leslie recommended approval of the legislation. Approved by the president on December 14, 2007.

D 5770-5772 Proposal from the Educational Policy Committee Regarding the Implementation of Plus/Minus Grading System for Undergraduates. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on November 8, 2007. The proposal was discussed at the Faculty Council meeting held November 12, 2007. It was approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on December 10, 2007, and transmitted to the provost on behalf of the president on December 12, 2007. Approved by the provost and transmitted to the president for consideration on January 23, 2008. Approved by the president on January 29, 2008.

D 5810 Proposal to Disband the General Faculty Committee on Student Affairs. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on December 6, 2007. The proposal was presented to the Faculty Council for discussion at its meeting on December 10, 2007. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on January 28, 2008. Transmitted to the president on January 29, 2008. In a letter dated March 17, 2008, President Powers asked Provost Leslie and Vice President Juan González to provide written recommendations. Provost Leslie responded on April 22, 2008, recommending approval with the “expectation that the Faculty Council will work towards the re-establishment of a new Committee on Student Affairs with a revised charge and different membership composition.” In a letter dated May 20, 2008, President Powers concurred with the provost's recommendation. He approved the legislation but urged “the Faculty Council to consider Provost Leslie’s recommendation and to work with Vice President González to establish a new committee that could provide an effective way for the faculty to be consulted in student services matters not covered by other standing committees of the General Faculty.”

D 5872-5878 Motion to Change the Core Curriculum Course Lists for the 2008-2010 Undergraduate Catalog. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on December 6, 2007. The proposal was presented to the Faculty Council for discussion at its meeting on December 10, 2007. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on January 28, 2008. Transmitted to the president on January 29, 2008. Following approval of the provost and the president, transmitted to the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs on February 27, 2008. Approved by the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and transmitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on March 6, 2008. On March 24, 2008, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the core course lists with three exceptions. On April 28, 2008, Vice Provost Terri Givens responded to Dr. Joseph Stafford regarding the three exceptions and the resolutions to remediate the existing areas of non-compliance. Also see memorandum dated May 9, 2008 from Paul Woodruff to deans and associate deans.

D 6088 Proposal from the Educational Policy Committee to Add an Honorary A+ to the Grading System. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on February 7, 2008. Approved by the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 24, 2008. A condition of the legislation, however, was that the Graduate Assembly endorse this change for the graduate grading system. At the March 26, 2008, Graduate Assembly meeting, the Administrative Committee of the Graduate Assembly reported that it had decided not to bring the motion forward to amend the plus/minus grading system to include an honorary A+. This was after a poll of graduate advisors revealed little support for the proposal. Consequently, the proposal was not forwarded to administration and is no longer being considered by the Faculty Council or the Graduate Assembly. No further action is required.

D 6128-6130 Proposed Policies on the Recognition of Undergraduate Academic Certificate Programs on Official University Transcripts. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on March 5, 2008. Initially presented to the Faculty Council for discussion on March 24, 2008. Amended and approved by the Council at its meeting on April 14, 2008. Transmitted to the president on April 16, 2008. In a letter dated May 20, 2008, President Powers asked Provost Leslie for “written recommendation regarding this legislation.”

D 6174-6183 Faculty Grievance Committee Proposal to Revise the Handbook of Operating Procedures 4.03, Teaching Assistant and Assistant Instructor Grievance Procedures. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on April 1, 2008, and updated on April 3, 2008. Presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on April 14, 2008. Approved by the Council at its meeting on May 5, 2008. Transmitted to the president on May 6, 2008. In a letter dated May 20, 2008, President Powers asked Provost Leslie for his recommendations regarding this legislation.

D 6197 Educational Policy Committee Motion on Rules for Designation as “College Scholars” and “Distinguished College Scholars.” Posted on the Faculty Council web site on April 9, 2008. Presented to the Faculty Council at its meeting on April 14, 2008. Approved by the Council at its meeting on May 5, 2008. Transmitted to the president on May 6, 2008. In a letter dated May 20, 2008, President Powers asked Provost Leslie for his recommendations regarding this legislation. In a letter to the president dated July 21, 2008, Provost Leslie recommended approval. Approved by the president on August 6, 2008.

D 6320-6340 Annual Reports of the Standing Committees of the General Faculty for 2007-2008. Posted on the Faculty Council web site on August 19, 2008. Transmitted to the president for his review and information. No action required.

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