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4/23/2012

Dear Colleagues,

Here are the highlights of the seventh regular meeting of the Faculty Council (FC) for 2011-12.

Questions to the President:

1.  From Michael Domjan, Chair, Committee on Financial Aid to Students:

            “I would like to inquire about the range of issues to be considered by the newly formed Committee on Business Productivity. The University Committee on Financial Aid to Students has been discussing the considerable benefits to students of including campus employment opportunities as a part of offers of financial aid. The Report of the Task Force on Undergraduate Graduation Rates also recommended that the University ‘offer more on-campus employment that both fulfills the financial needs of the students and helps keep them connected to the campus.’ I would like to inquire whether Committee on Business Productivity will consider ways in which various vendors that operate on campus (e.g., Wendy's, Taco Bell, Quiznos) and campus service units could employ more students as a part of their standard operating procedures.”

            Answer: Giving students employment on campus enhances their experience as well as providing them with financial support.  Studies show that students who work no more than 20 hours per week do better academically than students who don’t work at all.  He will work with the Financial Aid Committee to see what can be done to increase student employment, including encouraging campus vendors to hire more students.

2.  From Snehal Shingavi, Assistant Professor, English:

            What is UT doing about the 19 students who were arrested last week for staging a sit-in in the President’s office?

            Answer: UT adheres to the Fair Labor Standards and insists that our vendors do so as well.  The students violated an agreement he thought he had reached with them when they came in excessive numbers, brought the media with them, pushed their way in, and refused to leave at the end of the day.  He doesn’t know what will happen next regarding the pending charges.

My Report:

1.  On behalf of the UT Austin Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets and the Faculty Council Executive Committee, Hillary Hart and I sent a letter to Chancellor Cigarroa endorsing the tuition increase recommended by President Powers

2.  The Council discussed, amended, and approved the Guidelines and Procedures for Implementing the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents Rule 31102: Evaluation of Tenured Faculty

Prof. Snehal Shingavi introduced a “Resolution in Support of Academic Freedom in the Case of Loretta Capeheart.”  After considerable discussion, the FC voted to defer action, suggested several ways in which the resolution might be improved, and voted to have it sent out as an email ballot.

Elections and appointments: Professor Steven Goode (Law) has been appointed to serve on the Co-op Board of Directors for a four-year term, September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2016.  Professor Kevin Foster (African and African Diaspora Studies and Educational Administration) has been appointed to serve on the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Women and Professor Ben Carrington (Sociology) has been appointed to the Intercollegiate Athletics Council for Men; both appointed to serve a four-year term, September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2016. Edmund T. Gordon (African and African Diaspora Studies) has been appointed to serve on the UTPD Oversight Committee, September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2015.

Faculty Council membership for 2012-13, which includes the results of the recently concluded election, is posted on the Faculty Council's website.

As always, I welcome your questions or comments about what the Council is or isn’t doing.

            Best,

            Alan W. Friedman

            Chair, Faculty Council 2011-12

            friedman@austin.utexas.edu