President Powers welcomed everyone and told the new members that the work of the Council was important for the University, and he thought they would find it interesting. In facing the challenges ahead, he said he thought a consultative and iterative process was needed that would involve hard work on the part of many members of the University community, and he expressed his appreciation for everyone’s efforts to meet the challenges thus far.
With regard to the legislative items returned to the Council and therefore to the committees, President Powers said some of the recommendations were agreeable to the administration but a few were perceived to need more discussion and work. Although the timing question raised by Professor Hilley was difficult to determine, he said the administration would make an effort to “not hold up big things because of one little item and get them done expeditiously” so the flow of the Council’s work could be maintained. He said a great deal of discussion dealt with matters of financial exigency in view of the downsizing that occurred at the Galveston campus following Hurricane Ike. He said he thought rule changes initiated by the Board of Regents “to bring faculty input into those discussions” had provided good direction, and he added, “we’re trying to get our rules to implement those Systems rules.” President Powers said meetings with the Faculty Council Executive Committee (FCEC) and individual members of the committee had been productive, and he was confident that good rules for the campus would emerge.
President Powers said answers were now available for the questions he had been asked last year about the allocation of faculty raise monies and the growth in administrative costs over the past decade. He explained data needed to answer the questions were not available and required time for collection and analysis. He asked Provost Leslie to address the question about last year’s raises.