September 19, 2011



Chair Elect Alba Ortiz (special education) welcomed everyone and said she was looking forward to working with Chair Friedman as well as with the members of the Council.  She called attention to the announcement section of the agenda and pointed out that the annual joint meeting with the Texas A&M University Faculty Senate would be held on February 27, 2012, in College Station. Although their Faculty Senate will be responsible for establishing the agenda, Chair Elect Ortiz said she would be working with the their leadership in planning the meeting. She asked Council members to send her suggestions for topics they would like addressed at the meeting and to save the date on their calendars.  She added that the meetings were interesting and fun, and she hoped UT Austin would have a large number of Council members make the trip to College Station. If a large number of Council members will attend, a bus could be chartered to provide transportation.

Chair Elect Ortiz announced that the report from the Ad Hoc Committee on Athletics was postponed until the October 31 meeting since the posting of the report had been delayed. Because the report addressed important issues regarding the status of athletics, she thought it would be better for Council members to receive the report ahead of the meeting where it will be discussed.

After thanking Chair Elect Ortiz for her report, Chair Friedman also asked Council members to mark the February 27 date on their calendars and plan to attend the joint meeting. He reported that the 2011 meeting here on the UT Austin campus last spring had been “incredibly fruitful.” In addition to establishing good connections and communication, the meeting had focused on the crises facing the two institutions and resulted in an agreement to work together on items of mutual interest.  One concrete example was that the two primary leaders from each body worked together to draft a joint statement on the relationship between research and teaching, which was disseminated to media organizations and received fair representation in the press. Chair Friedman reported that gun legislation and budgetary issues were other issues of shared concern and much of the Council’s response to the budget situation came from ideas and discussion that occurred at that joint meeting.  As a result, Chair Friedman said he believed a good foundation had been established and felt it was important for the two faculty bodies to continue to work together.


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