The first Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 1998-99 was held in room 4.03.08, John Peace Library Building, on September 8, 1998 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. Arturo Vega, Chair, presiding, and Dr. Sheila Johnson, Secretary.

  1. Call to order and taking of attendance

    Present: Ron Alexander, Deborah Armstrong, Donde Ashmos, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Eugene Dowdy, Patricia Harris, Sheila Johnson, Michael Kelly, James McDonald, Susan Nordhauser, F. Alexander Norman, Tom Ricento, Walter B. Richards, Jr., James Schneider, R. K. Smith, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Maggie Valentine, Anthony Van Reusen, Arturo Vega, Matthew Wayner, Sandra Welch

    Absent: Lola Boyce, Mansour El-Kikhia, Robert Hiromoto, Timothy Jones, Constance Lowe, Lalatendu Misra, Jeanne Reesman, Clemencia Rodriguez (excused)

    Total members present: 23
    Total members absent: 8

  2. Minutes of the following meetings were approved:

    April 2, 1998 - Special Meeting

    April 14, 1998 - Regular Meeting

    April 23, 1998 - Special Meeting

  3. Reports

    1. Provost - Dr. Guy Bailey

        Dr. Bailey reported that the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has mandated a state requirement that the core curriculum consist of 42 semester credit hours. The Core Curriculum Committee has drafted a document revising UTSA's core curriculum to meet that requirement. Dr. Bailey said this revision to the core will ultimately be beneficial for UTSA and should result in positive enrollment figures. The document has been sent to deans and division directors for their review. The draft document will be presented to the Senators for their action at the next Senate meeting.

      1. Dr. Bailey reported that the State Legislature, during its last session, asked the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop a set of faculty workload goals for all colleges and universities in the State of Texas. The developed goals, based on Carnegie Classifications, are as follows: Research Universities - 2 organized sections per semester; Doctoral Institutions - 2.5 organized sections per semester; Comprehensive and Bachelors Institutions - 3.5 organized sections per semester. These requirements would mean a 4/3 teaching load for most faculty at UTSA. In the Coordinating Board's report last summer, UTSA had 2.4 organized sections per faculty member per semester. Dr. Bailey reported that the Provost's Office is requesting that the Coordinating Board reclassify UTSA as an emerging doctoral institution. A doctoral institution requires three doctoral programs, which UTSA will have as of January 1999, and 10 doctorates granted per year. To continue to be classified as a "Comprehensive and Bachelors Institution" would unfairly penalize UTSA. Dr. Bailey reported that if the State Legislature adopts the Coordinating Board goals during the next legislative session, there would be financial penalties to UTSA. UTSA will continue to work with other components in the UT System to lobby against the State Legislature adopting the proposed workload goals but if the goals are mandated, UTSA would probably have a year to bring their workloads into compliance.

      2. Dr. Bailey's report on the Salary Compression Exercise stated that the President reconceived the previous equity exercise as a salary compression exercise, which better fit the goals of the original exercise. In addition, this compression exercise was conceived as the first step in a process that would bring UTSA salaries in line with those at peer institutions. To determine the extent of salary compression at UTSA, the committee compared UTSA salaries to those of peer institutions using CUPA data for those institutions. When CUPA data was not available for a particular discipline (e.g., mechanical engineering), peer salaries were estimated on the basis of NASULGC data. The committee then developed three statistical models that calculated target salaries for each faculty member based on peer salaries, years at UTSA, the merit evaluation average of the last five years, and number of years in rank. The models show a high correlation for the target salaries (a minimum of .94 and a maximum of .99). Based on the results that these models produced, it appears that fixing the salary compression problem completely would require about $1,000,000. This year there is only $125,000 for addressing the problem. The committee has suggested two methods for using the available money in the most effective way. The first method would identify faculty who are farthest away from their target salaries and who have been at UTSA the longest and would bring them up to about 80% of their target salaries. This method would provide substantial salary adjustments to about 55 faculty members. The second method would identify all faculty who are under their target salaries and would provide relatively small payouts to them. Roughly 250 faculty would receive some adjustment. The Provost's Office is currently exploring some compromise methods that would affect a relatively large number of people (perhaps a third of the eligible faculty) but still provide substantial payouts. The Provost's Office will also establish a process for the continuous evaluation of faculty salaries. The committee will make a report to the President and results could be reflected in the October 1st paychecks.

        Dr. Thomas Ricento asked how the amount of $125,000 was determined?

        Dr. Bailey replied that he did not know but that the Provost's Office is currently arguing for additional funding.

        Dr. Donde Ashmos said it was her impression that during the last exercise there was not enough accounting for performance evaluation. She asked what is now different which will ensure that does not happen again.

        Dr. Bailey replied that a significant amount of weight was given to performance evaluations in determining the target salaries. In other words, the target salaries are adjustments of the peer salary based on years at UTSA, years in rank and with average merit evaluation being a very significant part of the adjustment.

        Dr. Ricento asked if there is a sense that there would be money forthcoming in the coming years and how that might effect which model is to be used this year. He pointed out the long-term issue of compression as it might effect the university's ability to attract and retain good faculty.

        Dr. Bailey replied that the concept of a compression, or equity, exercise is an internal decision. This has been an extremely beneficial exercise in demonstrating that there needs to be a long-term commitment, adding that there is genuine realization that it needs to be ongoing. Dr. Bailey reported he would do a similar exercise for staff within the Academic Affairs area.

        Dr. Walter Richardson asked if the committee would make the report available, taking privacy issues into consideration.

        Dr. Bailey responded that there is no reason that the draft of the report could not be made available since it is a discussion of the work of the committee, their models and their recommendations. The report itself is a real argument for a need systemically to address salary issues and UTSA can only gain by making that publicly available. Dr. Bailey said that he is looking for input from the Faculty Senate if it cares to give it. He said he is very optimistic that the exercise could happen again. The salary issue would be one way to improve the institution since faculty is woefully underpaid and staff pay is even worse.

        Dr. James Schneider said that he sees the real issue as whether it would be better for the university to try to get a little for a lot of people right now and hope that things continue to improve or whether the big problem is really that the 55 faculty who are most underpaid might leave the institution.

        Dr. Bailey agreed that the issue was really an issue of values. He is not asking the Senators to vote but rather to provide any feedback that it wishes to provide on all of the possibilities. The Senate's feedback will be taken into consideration in anything that is done.

        Dr. Ricento said he felt the Provost was in a good position to make a philosophical decision and that he was willing to put his faith in the Provost's ability to the right thing. He feels that the Provost would consider the needs of the university.

        Dr. Vega expressed his belief that a sense of closure was needed on some of the issues. He said that the Senators had been elected by their colleagues to make the hard decisions. The decision at issue with the salary exercise is whether to award 55 people, 250 people, or some number in between.

        Dr. Patricia Harris expressed interest in a compromise skewed toward a small number getting most of the available money, but broader than the 55; a compromise that would take into account assistant professors who are being hurt dramatically when new people are hired at much higher salaries.

        Dr. Ashmos made a motion that the Faculty Senate recommend that the Provost and the Task Force on Faculty Salary Compression pursue a compromise model somewhere between the two methods presented. Motion passed.

        Dr. Travis asked if a merit exercise were also being conducted and, if so, if that would be included in salaries for the current year.

        Dr. Bailey said that many faculty members would receive merit in addition to any equity adjustments.

      Dr. Travis requested clarification on the guidelines provided by the Office of the Provost in relation to post tenure review. She notes that the policy on Periodic Performance Evaluation did not specify the size of the committee but that the guidelines issued by the Office of the Provost stated the committee would consist of a minimum of three faculty and a maximum of five. Dr. Travis asked if this composition could be changed by a division's Faculty Forum.

      Dr. David Johnson responded, on behalf of the Provost, that when the Faculty Senate Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee developed the policy they purposely did not specify a number, the idea being that the individual divisions would decide who would be on the committee. The number, as specified in the guidelines, was determined in discussion with the academic deans in order to have workable committees. Dr. Johnson reminded the Senate that there would be a report to the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee about how the process worked during the initial year, adding that the size of the committee could be an issue to present to them.

      Dr. Travis asked if the Faculty Forum of a division could determine the size of the committee.

      Dr. Vega requested that Dr. Travis present her question again under New Business.

      Dr. Sandy Norman asked Dr. Bailey the intentions of the Provost's Office related to expediting the hiring process for new faculty. He pointed out the difficulties divisions have in receiving administrative approval for hiring announcements and in bringing candidates to campus for interviews.

      Dr. Bailey responded that, since replacement positions are already authorized, the deans have the authority to begin advertising for these positions. Some of the other processes, such as approval of the candidate short list, are being decentralized and the deans will receive guidelines on these. For new positions, the Office of the Provost with consult with the deans to develop a strategic plan for Academic Affairs that will ensure recognition of past commitments as well as plan for future programs.

      Dr. Richardson suggested that the workshops related to Affirmative Action be held earlier in the calendar year.

      Dr. Bailey reported that his understanding is that the Presidential Search Committee will begin reviewing applications very soon and the search should move quickly during the fall.

      Dr. Vega requested a suspension of the regular order of business. The following presentation was conducted:

      Dr. Vega: One of the things that it is important that we do, as a Senate, is to recognize the individuals who have played an important role in service to the Senate. Therefore, we want to present Dr. Richardson a commemorative gavel and I asked Dr. Bailey and Dr. Travis to say a few words.

      Dr. Travis: The issues that have faced us as a faculty over the past couple of years have become increasingly more complex and difficult and so, I believe, we are indeed fortunate to have had the leadership of Dr. Richardson to see us through these times and then to assist us as we look forward as well. So, with our sincerest appreciation, we present this to Dr. Walter Richardson, 1997-98 Chair of the Faculty Senate.

      Dr. Bailey: The last year or so demonstrates more than ever how crucial it is for faculty to participate in faculty governance.

    2. Chair - Dr. Arturo Vega

      Dr. Vega said that UTSA is changing and, as change occurs, the Faculty Senate must engage in preparing for a new vision and a new perspective and the vision has to focus on the university. He said he would like to place this year's focus on four principal areas: 1) changes in bylaws to make the Senate a more effective body; 2) studying and strengthening current governance structure; 3) having a sense of closure on issues pending from last year, specifically grievance, equity and the evaluation of administrators; and 4) creating a plan of action for issues.

      1. Dr. Vega said he would like for the Senate to expand the purview of the Ad Hoc Bylaws and Shared Governance Committee to consider the following changes to the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate: changes in the times the Senate meets, memberships terms, and the election of officers. Currently the Senate meets every other month on the second Tuesday of the month for approximately two hours. Currently, elections to the University Assembly determine the membership of the Senate with members serving two-year terms. One-half of the Senate is elected every year, thus one-half of the Senators are new members each year. He said he felt members should serve three-year terms, with one-third elected each year in order to provide continuity on the issues that the Senate considers. Also the Chair of the Senate should serve a two-year term instead of serving one year as Chair-Elect and then one year as Chair. With a three-year term for Senators and a two-year term for Senate Chair, the position of Chair-Elect would be eliminated or replaced by a Vice-Chair.

      2. Dr. Vega said that the current governance structure is redundant with a Faculty Senate, which is a legislative body, and a University Assembly, which is also a legislative body. The bylaws of both structures read that each will have the authority to conduct studies, investigations and to receive recommendations and make recommendations. The Senate makes recommendations to the Assembly; the Assembly initiates and enacts legislation constituting specific recommendations to the President of the University. The President presides over the University Assembly. So essentially the Chief Executive Officer of the University presides over the executive branch, or the administration, and the legislative branch, the University Assembly. The Faculty Senate is subsumed under the Assembly

      3. Dr. Vega discussed the issue of the implementation of evaluation of administrators, saying that the issue has become simpler, since the University is engaged in a search for a president and a provost. He recommended that the Senate concentrate on evaluating division directors during the current year and then use that experience to evaluate other administrators.

      4. Dr. Vega said that the Senators must empower Senate committees to consider issues and make recommendations for the Senate to follow. The full Senate is not the place to micro-manage every committee decision, but rather a forum in which to decide among the choices that deliberations of committees provide. He encouraged all committees to send one-page reports to be included in the packets with the agenda and minutes. This will allow for consideration of the issues prior to meetings; therefore the Senate would be able to move more quickly on the issues.

        Dr. Vega said the Senate needs a plan, and needs to be proactive rather than reactive. The Senate should work with others to bring issues to the Senate and have them resolved. He said that, until the bylaws are changed, the Senate would have to use special meetings to resolve the issues of the day. Dr. Vega recommended the Senate participate in a strategic work session during which key issues facing the university would be identified and plans for the future would be discussed.

        Dr. Vega listed other issues to be considered by the Senate such as, divisions versus departments, family leave in relation to maternity leave, assessing how teaching is evaluated by students, registration of faculty organizations, and consideration of the proper role of the Senate. He said the Senate's role is to represent the faculty before the administration but it also includes participating in the development of policies and procedures of the university and assisting the administration to spell out the manner in which business is to be conducted and providing a congenial work environment. The Senate must help the administration understand that the first principle of the university is that the faculty are the university, not solely employees and it is incumbent upon faculty to solve the issues and plan for the future.

    3. Committees

      1. Nominating Committee - Dr. Matthew Wayner
        Dr. Wayner conducted the elections; ballot packets were distributed. Dr. Wayner made a motion to accept nominations from the floor for Chair-Elect since no nominations were received prior to the meeting. Motion passed. Dr. James McDonald nominated Dr. James Schneider. Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia nominated himself but was ineligible since he is in the second year of his term. Dr. Schneider was elected as Chair-Elect. Dr. Schneider then withdrew his nomination on the ballot for election as parliamentarian. Dr. Wayner nominated Dr. Deborah Armstrong for parliamentarian and her name was added to the ballot.

        Dr. Wayner made a motion that the remainder of the election be handled as written ballots to be returned to the Nominating Committee after the meeting for tabulation. Motion passed.


        Officers and Executive Committee
        James Schneider - Chair-Elect
        Sheila Johnson - Secretary
        Deborah Armstrong - Parliamentarian
        Constance Lowe - College of Fine Arts and Humanities
        Deborah Armstrong - College of Sciences and Engineering
        Thomas Ricento - College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
        Matthew Wayner - Chair, Graduate Council

        Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee
        Robert Hiromoto - CoSE
        Mark McLeod - CoFAH
        Raydel Tullous - CoB

        Academic Policy and Requirements Committee
        Ron Ayers - CoB
        Patricia Harris - CoSBS

        Nominating Committee
        Ron Alexander - CoSBS
        Deborah Armstrong - CoSE

        Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee
        Deborah Armstrong - CoSE
        Ron Ayers - CoB
        Maggie Valentine - CoFAH

        University Curriculum Committee
        Mansour El-Kikhia
        Patricia Harris

    4. Other

      1. Report from University Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws and Shared Governance - Dr. Thomas Ricento

        The President appointed the University Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws and Shared Governance in January 1998. For the purpose of looking at the overall shared governance of UTSA, the eight members of the Committee represented faculty, administration, and staff. When a similar exercise was conducted in 1990 and 1991, it was envisioned by the President that the system would need to be reviewed again in five or six years. The appointment of the new Committee provided an opportunity to revisit some of the items studied in the previous exercise, such as the governance system itself, because it has been found that administrators felt they were not included appropriately, non-tenure track faculty felt they were not represented and students felt they were only token representatives. In Spring 1998, the Committee sponsored a workshop inviting over 200 faculty, student and staff to participate by providing feedback on governance issues. These discussions were summarized from notes taken by the committee members and those summaries were provided to the Senators.

        The Committee then divided into four sub-committees. Drs. Ricento and Ashmos' sub-committee looked specifically at governance issues at the college and division levels. The other sub-committees were charged to review items such as the UTSA Standing Committee system, communication and governance issues related to administrators and staff.

        Dr. Ricento reported his sub-committee found that the faculty forums were not functioning as had been recommended in the original exercise. In 1991, it was recommended that the forums would meet monthly to receive reports from the college delegation from the Assembly, to discuss these issues and then advise the dean. Currently forums meet only at the beginning of each semester to receive informational materials from the deans. The college bylaws differ considerably in terms of the function and operating procedures of the faculty forum. The college faculty advisory committees are viewed as non-proactive. It is not clear, however, if this is a function of the bylaws or a function of the implementation of the bylaws. Strategic planning does not happen jointly between deans and faculty in three of the four colleges. Many participants of the workshop questioned the role, responsibilities, composition, and leadership of the University Assembly. Discussion from the workshop included a clear feeling that the Senate should meet more frequently and provide quicker action on recommendations. Senate leaders and other academic administrators should be included in more university events. Many participants in the workshop felt the committee structure needed to be reviewed to ensure all existing standing committees were necessary and that each had a clear, specific mandate. They felt committee recommendations should weigh more heavily in administrative decision making. Faculty participants said they wanted and needed to have more input into major matters that directly affect them, particularly the selection and evaluation of division directors. The observation was made that UTSA's college and division structure had not kept pace with its growth and that the current structure works well only where divisions are coherent programmatically. Other issues raised by the workshop participants were related to non-tenure track faculty, professional development, evaluations, teaching loads and responsibility.

        The next step in the process is for the committee to meet with the President to report on the work done to date and to discuss how to move ahead. Dr. Ricento recapped that some of the issues are changes in Senate bylaws, the governance structure, committee structure and changing the way in which division directors are hired. The purpose of the shared governance task force is to attempt to make recommendations for the development of a better system of shared governance, not just for faculty but for staff, non-tenure track faculty, and administrators.

      2. Graduate Council

        1. Recommend approval of Resolution passed by Graduate Council
          May 7, 1998

          Dr. Wayner made a motionto accept the recommendation. Motion passed.

        2. Recommend approval of revisions to 1999-2001 Graduate Catalog
          Dr. Schneider requested clarification of the suggested wording on page 95: If there is no graduate studies committee for the discipline, the director of the division in which the discipline is located or the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research is the authorized representation. He asked when the division director would be the authorized representative and when it would be the associate dean. Dr. Bailey responded that if the program is located within a division the representative would be the division director but if more than one division is involved with the program, the representative would be the associate dean. Dr. Wayner made a motion to accept the recommendation. Motion passed.

  4. Unfinished Business

    1. Grievance Policy

      Dr. Vega asked for the Senate's permission to hold a Special Faculty Senate Meeting to discuss the issue of the grievance policy. He said there are two principal issues. One is that the Senate proposed language for the grievance policy and the other is that the UT System Office of General Counsel wrote in different language. At Dr. Vega's request, Dr. Gary Raffaele and Dr. Rudy Sandoval examined a letter from the UT System Office of General Council to Dr. Kirkpatrick which discussed the proposed language versus the adopted language. Both Dr. Raffaele and Dr. Sandoval reported that they believe that both sections have substantial ambiguity and that no grievant could prevail under the current system. Therefore, Dr. Vega would like to devote an entire meeting to the issue of whether to resolve to accept either the proposed or the adopted language. The Senate could also decide whether to form a committee to make substantive changes in the objectionable language that is being used in the policy.

      Dr. Richardson offered to distribute a letter from Shirley Goldsmith of the Texas Faculty Associate and to forward a message from the Chair of the UT System Faculty Advisory Council related to the issue of grievance policies.

  5. New Business

    1. Dr. Vega announced that the Faculty Senate has a link from the UTSA Web Page, which will be used to disseminate information on Faculty Senate proceedings.

    2. Dr. Vega informed the Senators that Dr. Clemencia Rodriguez has a scheduling conflict for this semester only. He asked if anyone had objections to Dr. Rodriguez continuing to serve on the Senate and accepting her absences as excused. No objections.

    3. Dr. Vega announced the creation of a Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee to examine the Senate bylaws and make recommendations related to Senate bylaws and Senate relationships with the University Assembly. Appointed to the committee were Drs. Ashmos, Harris, Ricento, and Wayner.

    4. Dr. Raydel Tullous made a motion that each division's faculty forum would determine the number of faculty members that serve on the Periodic Performance Evaluation Committee. Motion passed.

    5. Dr. Vega asked that the Faculty Senate Academic Policy and Requirements Committee work closely Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws and Governance to consider the question of divisions versus departments.

  6. Meeting Adjourned

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Last updated Sept. 1, 2005