NOVEMBER 10, 1998

The second Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 1998-99 was held in room 4.03.08, John Peace Library Building, on November 10, 1998 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. Arturo Vega, Chair, presiding.

  1. Call to order and taking of attendance

    Present: Ron Alexander, Donde Ashmos, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Eugene Dowdy, Mansour El-Kikhia, Patricia Harris, Michael Kelly, James McDonald, Lalatendu Misra, F. Alexander Norman, James Schneider, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Maggie Valentine, Anthony Van Reusen, Arturo Vega, Sandra Welch

    Absent: Diana Allen, Deborah Armstrong (excused), Jahan Eftekhar, Robert Hiromoto (excused), Sheila Johnson (excused), Constance Lowe (excused), Susan Nordhauser (excused), Jeanne Reesman, Tom Ricento (excused), Walter B. Richardson, Jr. (excused), Clemencia Rodriguez (excused), R. K. Smith, Matthew Wayner

    Total members present: 18
    Total members absent: 13

  2. Minutes of the following meetings were approved:

    September 8, 1998 Regular Meeting
    September 22, 1998 Special Meeting

  3. Reports

    1. Provost - Dr. Guy Bailey

      1. Dr. Guy Bailey gave a presentation on the Final Report of the University Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression. He provided an overview of what had been done, why it had been done, and the desired long-range results. He said that since the problems in the original salary equity exercise were too complicated to address on an ad hoc basis, the President had redefined the process as a study in salary compression. The President then appointed a task force of faculty members with experience and understanding of the issues as well as with the technical skills necessary to deal with the salary compression problems. The University Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression was charged to conceptualize the best approach to address compression, to identify elements that were most desirable for a UTSA salary structure model, and to evaluate the usefulness of UTSA's data systems in order to support compression related activities. Dr. Bailey reported that the Task Force had held numerous meetings between May and September to develop the salary structure. Factors deemed essential in addressing the issues included the following: salaries at peer institutions, years at UTSA, years in rank and merit evaluations.

        Dr. Bailey introduced Dr. Brian Murray, a member of the Task Force, to continue the presentation. Dr. Murray explained that there are expectations about salaries at each of the three faculty ranks. The differences between and among faculty members in the different ranks are influenced by their disciplines, years in rank and merit evaluations. Within each of the ranks with the mid-point set at the market average for the discipline, the ranges were at a 30% spread, which would set a floor at 15% below. The floor only has to do with years and rank. Technically merit could affect where the target would be. Faculty with merit evaluations at 3.0 or below would receive no adjustments at this time. Dr. Murray reported that the target midpoints were based on a survey of 26 peer institutions within each discipline and each rank. Around that midpoint, the Task Force placed a 30% range. Years and rank were chosen as a way to mitigate the problems that arise from compression. He explained that compression occurs when someone stays with an organization while the external market forces entry wages upward.

        Dr. Bailey discussed the variance in market rates for different disciplines. For example, faculty members in an English department are not paid as much as faculty in Accounting. He said that the Task Force also took into account certain subdisciplinary issues, such as pay variances in the different areas of engineering. He explained that difficult decisions relevant to the distribution of funds had to be made because of the limited amount of money. Dr. Bailey said that this year's exercise was a small step toward solving the problem of salary compression but the model that was put in place can, however, be used in future years to continue to resolve the issue.

        Dr. Bailey reported that the Task Force had discovered that the inconsistency of the merit evaluation system was a large part of the problem. The Task Force has asked the Provost to address this issue. Dr. Bailey said he would work with division directors to put coherence into the system.

        Dr. Patricia Harris asked if feedback from the faculty would be appropriate?

        Dr. Bailey said that such input was very appropriate. He said that there are actually two issues, one is to be as consistent as possible at this time and the other is to consider a longer-term solution. Feedback about both of these issues would be appreciated.

        Dr. Bailey discussed the decision made on how to distribute the limited amount of money. One option was to give relatively large amounts to a few people; another method would be to spread the funds out among a larger number of people. Based on feedback received from the Faculty Senate, the decision was made to have the Task Force recommend a compromise between the two options.

        Dr. Murray explained that paybands had been established. One set up a minimal allowable distance at 80% of the target; the most grievous cases were targeted to that point. A second band was established for people to reach 80% to 95% of the target, which was the shared amount prorated among individuals based on their distance from the target. Those within 95% of target would not receive adjustments.

        Dr. Bailey explained that an upper limit of five percent of the total budget was placed on the payouts in an attempt to maximize the use of the available money. That meant that, in certain cases, there are still a few faculty members that are not within 80% of the target. He acknowledged that there is still an unmet need for all ranks.

        Dr. Richard Harris, a member of the University Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression, pointed out that the people who received the largest adjustments also tend to be the farthest away from target, even after the adjustments were made.

        Dr. Bailey reported that 56% of the faculty had received adjustments. The discrimination tests showed no evidence of discrimination in the adjustments. He said that the most important things accomplished by the Task Force were the identification of a salary structure for UTSA and the establishment of the current status of the salary compression issue. The question now is how to proceed from this point. Dr. Bailey informed the Senate that the report from the Task Force is available in the Office of the Provost and on the UTSA Web Page.

        Dr. El-Kikhia asked if there would be additional funding in the next budget?

        Dr. Bailey explained that 1999 is a legislative year and one of the targets of the State Legislature will be to make faculty salaries competitive with those of the ten most populous states. This issue will also be a major legislative priority for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the University of Texas System.

        Dr. El-Kikhia recommended that faculty should be involved in the University's budgeting process.

        Dr. Bailey said that the Faculty Senate could go on record about the salary issue before the new president is hired. They could address general questions, such as if the proposed salary model is the right approach. The Senate should also make recommendations on prioritizing where funds are distributed. For example, with limited funding would the Faculty Senate choose to have more faculty, better salaried faculty or new programs. Dr. Bailey said these are examples of issues that a new president will have to consider and the Faculty Senate should make its views known.

        Dr. Vega asked why the adjustment checks were issued separately?

        Dr. Bailey explained that this was due to a timing issue. Several things, including discrimination tests and UT System approval, had to occur before the checks could be issued.

        Dr. Betty Travis asked if the same peer institutions and the same time periods used in the previous exercise had been used in this study?

        Dr. Bailey replied affirmatively.

        Dr. Donde Ashmos stated that she believes everyone applauds the work of the Task Force and the fine development of a statistical model. She said that it appears that the gap between merit evaluations of those in categories one and two had narrowed. She urged the Provost to begin reviewing the merit evaluation system.

        Dr. Bailey replied that the Task Force could possibly go back into the model and find merit information. One of the Task Force's strongest recommendations was to address the issue of the merit evaluation system.

        Dr. El-Kikhia asked why UTSA faculty were not paid at the same rate as the peer institutions. He reiterated that faculty need to be involved in the budgeting process of the University and that is the only way to overcome future problems.

        Dr. Bailey agreed that faculty do need to be involved in the budgeting process. He said he understands that some faculty members will not agree with the process but the only other option was to do nothing at all. He stated that the Task Force did the best possible job they could have done, under the circumstances.

        Dr. Vega requested a change in the Order of Business so the members of the University Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression could be recognized.

    2. Senate Chair

      1. Recognition of Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression

        Dr. Vega presented the following resolution to the Senate:

        Whereas, the University Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression met extensively over the Summer and early Fall of 1998 on an almost weekly basis and communicated extensively on an almost daily basis;

        Whereas, the issue of salary compression is a complex and an emotionally charged problem;

        Whereas, many past efforts at resolving the issue of salary compression have been deemed ineffective and irresponsible;

        Whereas, many actions and efforts in resolving the issue of salary compression are unappreciated and misunderstood;

        Whereas, the University Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression acted responsibly, professionally and effectively on bringing about salary compression adjustments and preparing an unbiased model for future salary compression exercises, now, therefore be it

        Resolved, that the University of Texas at San Antonio Faculty Senate recognizes and appreciates the personal and professional commitment and work on the University Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression and the personal and professional service to the University of Texas at San Antonio of:

        Dr. Guy Bailey, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
        Dr. Marilyn Greer, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
        Dr. Norma Guerra, Executive Director of Human Resources Management and Development
        Dr. Richard Harris, Associate Professor, Division of Social and Policy Sciences
        Dr. David Johnson, Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs
        Dr. Terri Leal, Executive Director of Assessment and Institutional Analysis
        Mr. Joe Loya, Assistant Vice President for Academic Budgeting and Planning
        Dr. Brian Murray, Assistant Professor, Division of Management and Marketing
        Dr. David Pillow, Assistant Professor, Division of Behavioral and Cultural Sciences
        Dr. Dale Truett, Professor, Division of Economics and Finance

      Dr. Travis made a motion to accept the resolution. Motion passed. Dr. Vega distributed a commemorative certificate of the Resolution to each recipient.

      A. Provost

      1. Dr. Bailey reported that the University of Texas System believes that the next State Legislature will designate funds for retention efforts, mainly directed toward "gateway courses." UTSA must quickly prepare a proposal for innovative ideas for improving such courses, especially for students who have been in developmental studies. In order to receive a portion of this retention funding, a proposal for a pilot program will be developed in consultation with division directors. This funding would be an opportunity to add new faculty and allow innovation in the gateway courses.

    3. Committees

      1. Academic Policy and Requirements Committee - Dr. Patricia Harris
        Dr. Harris reported that the Committee had held several meetings addressing the possibility of academic restructuring. She said that, during a recent meeting, restructuring issues had been discussed with several members of the University community who were interested in the issue. Dr. Harris explained that the committee will develop recommendations within the following areas: principles and values that should be observed in restructuring, the question of who could initiate a restructuring proposal, what the review process should look like, what criteria a restructuring proposal would need to meet to be a valid proposal, and what the selection processes should be for new administrative levels. She announced that the committee would sponsor a Faculty Forum on the restructuring issue on Thursday, November 19, 1998, 3:30 p.m., Business Building Auditorium (BB 2.01.02). The forum will be an opportunity for faculty to provide their input.

        Dr. Vega said that the committee has been working very diligently and their efforts are appreciated.

        Dr. James Schneider stated his belief that it will be important to have an idea of the costs of any restructuring in order to evaluate the proposal.

        Dr. Vega clarified that the committee is developing a process to evaluate questions of restructuring as well as a set of recommendations and principles that will guide future restructuring. Part of the committee's task will be to consider the costs involved and where those priorities might fit into the larger scheme of the University.

        Dr. Harris said that different restructuring proposals would have different costs and it is possible that some types of restructuring would not be very costly at all. One aspect of any restructuring proposal would be to identify the costs and part of the approval process would be to evaluate those costs.

      2. University Curriculum Committee - Raydel Tullous

        Dr. Raydel Tullous explained the written report of the University Curriculum Committee regarding the proposed changes to the Core Curriculum mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The report included a table comparing UTSA's Current and Proposed Core Curriculum to the Coordinating Board Guidelines. Dr. Tullous explained that the major changes from the present core to the proposed are the elimination of foreign languages and computer science and the reduction in interdisciplinary studies from six hour to three hours. The committee proposal of 42 semester credit hours will allow flexibility if adjustments need to be made later. If approved, the new Core Curriculum will be implemented in the Fall 1999 semester.

        Dr. James McDonald made a motion to accept the recommendations of the University Curriculum Committee. Motion passed.

      3. Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee - Raydel Tullous
        Dr. Tullous reported that the committee was studying the issue of options for evaluating teaching other than the current teaching evaluation forms. Working with the Office of the Provost, the committee was developing worksheets to distribute to faculty in order to solicit input about what should be evaluated and what issues are important to them. Dr. Tullous said that the ad hoc committee that will make recommendations for a new evaluation instrument will need the faculty input from the worksheets.

    4. Other

      1. Ad Hoc Committee to Evaluate Administrators - Dr. Donde Ashmos
        Dr. Donde Ashmos reported that the evaluation of administrators is a two-pronged issue. The UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures contains a very clear process for the evaluations of deans and division directors that is supposed to occur regularly. However, the Handbook does not specify anything about the president or the provost. The committee report contains recommendations for the development of an instrument that the Faculty Senate would administer periodically, separate from the ongoing procedure outlined in the Handbook.

        Dr. Ashmos read the following recommendations:

        1. The academic administrative positions of Division Director, Dean, Provost, and President should be evaluated by the General Faculty (or appropriate subsets for division director and dean) at least once every three years. This process should not replace the "official" evaluation by the University Administration as specified in the Handbook of Operating Procedures.
        2. A Division or College Faculty Forum can vote to request earlier evaluations for their Director or Dean than those specified in the above three-year cycle. An earlier evaluation for the President and/or Provost can occur when requested by at least twenty percent of the General Faculty. (The committee recommends deleting this item.)
        3. The Faculty Senate should set up a standing Evaluation Committee to conduct the surveys and summarize the statistical data. Clerical assistance should be provided by the Provost's Office.
        4. The summarized data should be made available by the Faculty Senate only to members of the effected division or college.
        5. The process should begin this academic year with approximately one-third of the division directors and three deans. The division directors should be selected randomly unless an evaluation is requested by a division faculty forum.

        Dr. Ashmos reported that these recommendations are a beginning set of procedures for launching an evaluation sponsored and conducted by the Faculty Senate.

        Dr. Ashmos discussed the second part of the committee's report, which dealt with the process of evaluation in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. The concern of the committee is whether or not the process of the formal evaluation is being followed. Dr. Ashmos reported that the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators would like to make the following suggestions to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs:

        "The Faculty Senate strongly encourages the Vice President for Academic Affairs to begin a regular process of evaluating deans and division directors as specified in the Handbook of Operating Procedures."

        "The Faculty Senate strongly encourages the Vice President for Academic Affairs to specify a timeline and procedures for the evaluation of deans and division directors and inform the faculty of this."

        Dr. Sandy Norman asked for an explanation for the elimination of Item Two in the first report. He said it could be important for faculty to evaluate the division director without having to wait three years.

        Dr. Ashmos explained that if a process were occurring every three years, that process would be meaningful and would be a large enough task for the Faculty Senate.

        Dr. Betty Travis said that the process conducted by the Faculty Senate, would not preclude a division's formulating their own perception of how their division director was performing at the time and providing that input to the supervisor of the division director.

        Dr. Vega added that it is important to initiate the process and, once the Senate committee is established, the issue could be revisited at a later time.

        Dr. Bailey suggested that the work of the Senate committee could dovetail with the formal evaluation process. He offered to work with the committee to further develop the procedures.

        Dr. Ashmos asked if action on the report and recommendations of the committee should be postponed until the committee met with the Provost in order to provide more complete recommendations to formalize, even more specifically, the suggested process.

        Dr. Travis said she would prefer approval of the process and then have the Faculty Senate work with the Office of the Provost on the details.

        Dr. El-Kikhia made a motion to accept the report from the Ad Hoc Committee to Evaluate Administrators. Motion passed.

        Dr. Vega made a motion to accept the resolution from the Ad Hoc Committee to Evaluate Administrators. Motion passed.

  4. Unfinished Business
    1. Dr. Vega reported that a letter to the President on the issue of grievance was being prepared.

  5. New Business
    1. Dr. Vega announced that a Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate would be held on November 24, 1998, 3:30 p.m. to allow Dr. Marian Martinello, Chair of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Thematic Self-Study Committee, to address the Senate. She will inform the Senate about the SACS accreditation and the work of her committee.

  6. Meeting Adjourned

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Last updated Sept. 1, 2005