MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
March 23, 2009
IV. REPORT OF THE CHAIR.
Chair David Hillis (integrated biology) reported he had received questions from faculty members regarding the following two issues: (1) Governor Perry’s transparency initiatives and (2) the House bill proposing to create a School of Ethics, Western Civilization, and American Traditions from an existing program at UT Austin. From his research and discussions regarding these issues, Chair Hillis said he understood that administrators at both UT Austin and the UT system shared similar concerns to those expressed by faculty members. He reported that the UT Board of Regents had developed a resolution indicating board members would discuss the transparency initiatives with the governor but were not implementing them at the current time.
Chair Hillis said there was also a shared concern about the legislature creating a new school or program when organizational and curricular decisions have traditionally been initiated from the bottom up by faculty and the institution. He said he did not think any actions were immediately needed because he felt the administrators were appropriately dealing with the situation. Chair Hillis said he would continue to monitor the two situations and apprise the Council of any new developments. President Powers clarified UT Austin’s current program offerings and indicated that the primary issue was that programs should be developed and proposed through normal processes on campus with faculty involvement and direction.