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Following are the minutes of the special Faculty Council meeting of May 09, 2011.
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty and Faculty Council

MAY 9, 2011

The first special meeting of the Faculty Council for the academic year 2011-12 was held in Main 212 on Monday, May 09, 2011, at 2:15 P.M.


Present: Byron P. Almen, Mark I. Alpert, Jacqueline L. Angel, Seth Bank, Keffrelyn D Brown, Anthony Brown, Douglas S. Bruster, Benjamin H. Carrington, Lee R. Chesney, Alan K. Cline, Patrick J. Davis, Arturo De Lozanne, James W. Deitrick, Michael P. Domjan, Michael W. Downer, Brian L. Evans, Alan W. Friedman, Robert B. Gilbert, Manuel A. Gonzalez, Edmund (Ted) Gordon, Sue A. Greninger, Susan S. Heinzelman, Jacqueline C. Henninger, Martha F. Hilley, Neville Hoad, James A. Holcombe, Michael Johnson, Kerry A. Kinney, Reid Long, Hunter C. March, Ismail Mohiuddin, Gretchen Murphy, Dean P. Neikirk, Edward W. (Ted) Odell, Alba A. Ortiz, Yolanda C. Padilla, Karen L. Rascati, Patricia Roberts-Miller, Mary Rose, Stanley J. Roux, Victor B. Saenz, Snehal A. Shingavi, Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Pauline T. Strong, Dnika J. Travis, Emanuel Tutuc, Deborah L. Volker, Alexandria K. Wettlaufer, Darlene C. Wiley, James R. Yates.

Absent: Robert H. Abzug (excused), Samer M. Ali (excused), Ashley Baker, Phillip J. Barrish (excused), Carl S. Blyth, Erika M. Bsumek (excused), Natalie Elizabeth Butler (excused), Lorenzo F. (Frank) Candelaria (excused), Namkee Choi (excused), Michael B. Clement, Dana L. Cloud, Zachary Elkins (excused), William L. Fisher (excused), Shernaz B. Garcia (excused), Hillary Hart (excused), David M. Hillis (excused), Coleman Hutchison, Chang Liu (excused), Blinda E. McClelland, Carisa Nietsche (excused), Robert G. Paterson, Cinthia S. Salinas, Rajashri Srinivasan (excused), Leslie J. Vaaler, Emily Van Duyn (excused), Jo Lynn Westbrook

Voting Members: 50 present, 26 absent,

Chair Alan Friedman (professor, English) introduced himself, welcomed everyone, and called the special meeting of the 2011-12 Faculty Council to order. Referring to President Bill Powers’ speech from earlier in the day, Chair Friedman spoke about the challenges facing higher education in Texas. He emphasized how faculty members needed to diligently perform their responsibilities of instruction, research, and service at the highest levels, but they must also guard against efforts that threatened to impact the quality, mission, and reputation of higher education in Texas. He told the Council that the 2010-11 Faculty Council Executive Committee members had worked countless hours in conjunction with campus and UT System administrators, faculty from other institutions, student leaders, and many alumni, donors, businessmen, and political leaders to address these threats to UT Austin and higher education in general during the past year. Given the extent and on-going nature of these problems, Chair Friedman stressed that the new Council members will need to “understand the situation and devote to it the time, thought, and energy to meet the challenges successfully.” He said he welcomed suggestions and advice from everyone regarding ways to more fully engage the faculty in addressing these issues of great importance to the future of UT Austin.


Chair Friedman explained that the purpose of the special meeting was to choose a chair elect for the 2011-12 Council, as well as three Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC) members. In addition to Chair Friedman, the following members of the 2010-11 FCEC served on the nominating committee: Professors Edmund (Ted) Gordon (African and African diaspora studies), Sue Greninger (human development and family sciences), Hillary Hart (civil architectural and environmental engineering), Sue Heinzelman (English), Dean Neikirk (electrical and computer engineering), Elmira Popova (mechanical engineering), and Janet Staiger (radio-television-film).

Chair Friedman said he was extremely pleased with the slate of candidates for Council leadership positions that was developed and approved by the nominating committee. He also expressed his gratitude to the candidates for agreeing to be on the slate and to serve if elected. He said the nominees were exactly the types of individuals UT Austin needed in positions of responsibility at the current time, describing the pool of candidates in the following way: “smart, experienced, unflappable, professional – in the best sense of that word – high achievers in their areas of expertise, and possessed of a breadth and depth of vision that encompasses the good of the institution as a whole.”

A. Election of the chair elect.

After announcing the nominees for chair elect as being Professors Martha Hilley (music) and Alba Ortiz (special education), Chair Friedman asked if there were other nominations from the floor. Since there were none, he then introduced the two candidates and asked each to make a brief statement. Both candidates described their prior experiences in faculty governance and service, as well as their perceptions of how they would address the issues faced by the faculty and institution at the present time.

B. Election of three members to the Executive Committee.

Chair Friedman introduced the slate of nominees for the three positions of service on the Faculty Council Executive Committee as Professors Mark Alpert (marketing administration), Michael Domjan (psychology), Brian L. Evans (electrical and computer engineering), Karen Rascati (pharmacy), and Stanley Roux (molecular cell and developmental biology). He asked if there were any other nominations from the floor for consideration by the Council, and there were none. The candidates gave brief presentations that primarily highlighted their experiences and interests in faculty governance activities and how they might best contribute to the Council and University needs during the coming academic year.

The official results of the election were announced during the follow-on meeting of the 2010-11 Faculty Council. Professor Ortiz was elected to serve as the 2011-12 chair elect; Professors Alpert, Rascati, and Roux were elected to serve as members of the 2011-12 Faculty Council Executive Committee.


A. Chair Friedman explained that two Faculty Council members would be appointed to serve on each of the 22 committees. He said he was about two-thirds of the way toward completing the list of appointments, taking individual preferences into account. He thanked members for their willingness to serve and said letters would be forthcoming regarding committee assignments. He asked the new members to familiarize themselves with the Faculty Council website and the information available there: Faculty Council Primer, meeting dates, agendas, minutes, secretary’s reports, and legislation.

B. Chair Friedman further announced that next year’s joint meeting with the Texas A&M Faculty Senate will be held at College Station on February 27, 2012. Members are asked to mark their calendars for that all-day event.

C. The 2011-12 Faculty Council meetings are posted on the Faculty Council's website.


The meeting adjourned at 2:45 P.M.

Distributed through the Faculty Council website on June 9, 2011.