MINUTES OF THE REGULAR FACULTY COUNCIL MEETING OF
March 21, 2011
V. REPORT OF THE CHAIR ELECT.
Chair Elect Friedman said he thought the joint meeting of the UT Faculty Council and Texas A&M Faculty Senate was successful, and he had received a good deal of positive feedback about the content of the meeting. He said the A&M faculty members who attended seemed to be somewhat less in sync with their administrators over how to deal with the budgetary and political pressures currently facing higher education here in Texas than the UT faculty who were present at the meeting. Professors Alba Ortiz, Michael Domjan, and Janet Staiger each co-chaired a different breakout session. The first was on shared governance, the second was on faculty accountability and evaluation, and the third was on faculty rights in times of financial crisis. When Chair Elect Friedman asked if the three co-chairs wished to provide information regarding their sessions, Professor Michael Domjan (psychology) accepted the invitation. Although he referred to the meeting as “quite fruitful” with much good discussion, he said the lack of a lasting record of the meeting through minutes left him with a “sense of futility.” He suggested that notes at least be taken on the action items from the breakout sessions with the records retained somewhere so they are available for future reference and achievement.
Chair Elect Friedman said he took away two ideas that were related to what Professor Domjan had mentioned. First, he agreed with Professor Domjan as well as his counterpart at Texas A&M that records needed to be established and maintained. In addition to records of the joint meetings, Chair Elect Friedman said that coordination of business that is mutually of benefit to the two institutions should be attempted. Whenever legislation is being developed at one of the institutions that would be potentially of interest to the other, he said there should be coordination between the two bodies with an effort to come up with the same or similar wording if at all possible. He said this objective was accomplished with the resolution that Professors Mary Rose and Ben Carrington (sociology) will introduce in support of Chancellor Cigarroa’s letter to Governor Perry regarding concealed handguns on campuses later in the meeting under new business. Chair Elect Friedman said this resolution was developed at the joint meeting and approved by the faculty that attended and is actually the second take-away item provided by the joint meeting.