MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE GENERAL FACULTY FOR 2012-2013

II.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE FACULTY COUNCIL, 2011-2012.

Secretary Greninger presented an overview of the annual report, which is published as D 9825-9866and posted on the Faculty Council website.

Secretary Greninger noted that the past year was an active one with six resolutions, including the faculty’s support of President Powers and his administrative team in their efforts on behalf of the University to obtain a modest but important tuition increase, even though the increase did not receive  final approval by the Board of Regents. One resolution was of a symbolic nature recommending that the Faculty Council delegate to the deans the conferral of degrees at commencement. A relatively minor resolution asked faculty to comply with House Bill 32 and submit textbook requests thirty days before classes commence. Another resolution formed a joint committee with the Graduate Assembly regarding the decentralization of graduate student fellowships. The fifth resolution of the year was in support of academic freedom, and the final resolution honored a number of retiring faculty members for their dedication to and leadership in faculty governance.

Major legislation included issues involving faculty retrenchment and voting rights of members of the General Faculty, both of which were carried over from previous years and remain pending. After being approved by the UT Austin administration, the legislation regarding faculty retrenchment was returned by Associate Vice Chancellor and Deputy General Counsel Sharphorn at UT System for reconsideration, while the voting rights legislation was returned to the Faculty Rules and Governance Committee to review some issues concerning intent and interpretation.

General and minor legislation involved the selection of leadership as well as members’ terms of service and term limits on General Faculty Standing Committees. Further legislative items are at various stages of approval and include the following: evaluation of tenured faculty, faculty grievance policies and procedures, departmental budget councils’ constitution and authority, in absentia policies and enrollment for graduate students, core course requirements, transfer credit for core courses, Honor’s Day criteria, and election procedures for the Secretary of the General Faculty.  Professor Alba Ortiz’s unexpected retirement required an election to replace her as chair elect of the Faculty Council. Slates of candidates for the Athletics’ Councils, the Coop Board, and selected other groups were submitted for the president’s consideration and selection. In addition, procedures and language for no protest legislation, as well as some student-oriented issues regarding grades, adds and drops, and course withdrawal, were resolved. Numerous proposals were approved with curriculum and degree changes that had been considered and submitted by the Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review (CUDPR) for the Undergraduate Catalog, 2012-2014.

The Office of the General Faculty established thirty-one new memorial resolution committees and completed thirty-nine such resolutions. Twelve resolutions are currently pending. Secretary Greninger thanked members of memorial resolution committees for their contributions and stressed that many of the resolutions are very inspirational and much appreciated by family members, friends, colleagues, and former students of deceased faculty members.

Secretary Greninger strongly encouraged faculty members to consult the secretary’s report and the annual reports of standing committees posted on the Faculty Council website for information about the status of existing legislation and recommendations for potential future legislation. She reported that twenty legislative documents were received involving General Faculty Standing Committees and that annual reports were submitting by twenty-three committees.

Lastly, Secretary Greninger thanked the staff of the Office of the General Faculty, Debbie Roberts and Anita Ahmadi, as well as Jen Morgan who moved on to the School of Undergraduate Studies, for their outstanding support. She also thanked all Council members, both continuing and new, for their participation in faculty governance.

Return to main report.