April 11, 2011



Chair Elect Friedman thanked President Powers and Provost Leslie for providing funding for the refreshments at the meeting. He said he would very much like feedback from Council members regarding this practice and whether or not they would like this to continue. Provost Leslie said he thought it was a terrific idea and had found that his providing coffee and cookies for attendees at meetings of the newly initiated Institute for Neuroscience several years ago had improved attendance. He thanked Chair Elect Friedman for suggesting the idea, and Council members agreed with their applause.

Chair Elect Friedman thanked the deans who were in attendance at the meeting. He said he thought it was very important in view of the issues facing the University that everyone from the president through the deans and chairs to the faculty, staff, and students work together to address our shared concerns. He said the attendance of the deans was a “an extraordinarily positive sign they share that concern with us, and they want to work with the faculty going forward.”

With regard to follow-up from the joint meeting with the Texas A&M Senate, Chair Elect Friedman announced that the Texas A&M Senate had also passed the resolution in support of UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s letter on the proposed gun-carry law. He said the joint statement on research and teaching that he and Chair Neikirk had signed was also signed by the Texas A&M Senate chair and chair elect, and the statement has been published in The Daily Texan and the Austin-American Statesman. In addition, he said the idea for the resolution that Professor Alba Ortiz (special education) is scheduled to present later in today’s meeting had been initiated at the joint meeting and will also be presented for consideration at a Texas A&M Senate meeting. Chair Elect Friedman said he thought the joint meeting had proved itself very fruitful, and there were plans to pursue coordinated efforts in the future when appropriate.

Chair Elect Friedman said follow-up had also occurred with the UT System Faculty Advisory Committee. He said the two task force chairs, Regents Wallace L. Hall, Jr. and Brenda Pejovich, had asked for information about policies and procedures from all UT System campuses. He reported that Ms. Debbie Roberts and Ms. Anita Ahmadi had coordinated efforts on the UT Austin campus to produce and deliver an electronic binder that he described as well organized and documented with links to existing policies, procedures, and other relevant documents. He said the binder demonstrates the depth of policies and procedural directives that already existed at UT Austin and should be helpful not only to the task force members but also to our campus community.

Chair Elect Friedman announced that the election for next year’s Faculty Council and Standing Committees of the General Faculty was still underway but scheduled to end on April 15th. He encouraged everyone to vote and said members of next year’s Council would soon be asked to submit four to five committee preferences. The election of next year’s Faculty Council chair elect and Faculty Council Executive Committee members will be held at the special meeting of the 2011-2012 Council on May 9 before the regular May meeting of the 2010-2011 Council meeting of this year.

Chair Neikirk also thanked Ms. Roberts and Ms. Ahmadi and the other numerous staff members from the offices of the president and provost for their diligent work in creating the electronic binder. He said the binder would be a great resource for everyone because it contains links to “everything you ever wanted to know and more.” He said he thought an effort should be made to publish the binder since it is an amazingly organized place to find out information about UT.


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