March18, 2013


Chair Hilley asked if there were any objections to allowing Dr. Steve Mintz to deliver his presentation (see New Business) at the current point in the agenda, and there were none. Following Professor Mintz’s presentation, Chair Hilley reported briefly on the February 28 and March 1 System Faculty Advisory Committee (SysFac) meeting. She noted that many speakers were unable to attend the first day because they were called to the legislature. Mr. Barry McBee, JD, vice chancellor and chief governmental relations officer for UT System, talked about some priorities. Topping the list was the creation of the new university in South Texas, merging UT Pan American and UT Brownsville, and developing the new medical school in Austin.

Chair Hilley reported that Vice Chancellor McBee had noted that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is very much in favor of outcomes-based funding, and he did not think opposing this position would be worth a political fight. She said that the vice chancellor also talked about the handgun legislation, which, unfortunately, had been on the legislative agenda the week of Spring Break. She said six bills were filed, and one, the Birdwell bill, was not presented at the hearing even though it was the first bill to be filed. Vice Chancellor McBee declared that the coordinating board should not be in the construction business, in the low-producing programs business, and the regulation business. He also spoke out against students taking too many tests that count for too much and was in favor of reducing the number of tests from fifteen to three.

Chair Hilley also reported that both Vice Chancellor McBee and Representative Dan Branch mentioned Hazelwood, and that the vice chancellor also talked about the Selinger bill (Senate bill 15).

Next, Chair Hilley called attention to UTS 180 that deal with the new Conflict of Interest, Commitment and Outside Activity policy. She announced that there would be a presentation of UTS 180 at the April Council meeting. Provost Leslie confirmed that the first phase of the online aspect of the legislation would begin on May 1.

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