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May 10, 2010


Chair Janet Staiger (radio-television-film) said she was concerned about the length of the meeting agenda and the importance of items under consideration. Should a quorum not exist at some point during the meeting, she wanted to be able to send out low-controversy items to Council members for consideration on a no-protest basis. She said she hoped this would not occur, but she wanted to assure that legislative items were completed and not held over until September if at all possible.

Chair Staiger said she was pleased the faculty of the College of Education had approved its governance plan during the past month, and the approval of the School of Undergraduate Studies’ plan was to be considered later in the Council meeting. With regard to the budget reductions, she indicated the administration was keeping both the Faculty Budget Advisory Committee and the FCEC informed regarding the situation, but at this point the decisions are largely the responsibility of the colleges and schools. She said this meant the standing committee structure at the overall University level would not be in a position to offer faculty input during the decision-making process. Therefore, Chair Staiger said the FCEC had recommended to the president and provost that there was a need for equivalent “structures of consultation” to exist at the college/school level to the ones at the University level. She said the FCEC members had been pleased to learn that the College of Liberal Arts had created “a committee to deal with potential budget changes.” She reported the FCEC would like to see the other colleges and schools follow this example and establish faculty advisory committees regarding budgetary issues; however, she added it would “even be a stronger statement” if these committees were comprised of elected rather than appointed faculty representatives.

Chair Staiger congratulated Executive Vice Provost Steve Monti on his upcoming retirement, and added, “he has served us very well,” including a period when he was the interim provost. She thanked Shabab Siddiqui from The Daily Texan and Ralph Haurwitz from the Austin American-Statesman for their clear and accurate news articles about Council activities during the past year. In addition, she thanked Debbie Roberts and Jen Morgan of the Office of the General Faculty and Faculty Council for their “professionalism, institutional memory, and remarkable behind-the-scenes work” for the Council. She also thanked each of the members of the FCEC, saying she was both fortunate and privileged to work with the entire group of individuals.

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