THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
SUMMARY MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING OF
The fourth Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 1998-99 was held in room 4.03.08, John Peace Library Building, on April 13, 1999 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. Arturo Vega, Chair, presiding, Dr. Sheila Johnson, Secretary.
Present: Ron Alexander, Diana Allan, Deborah Armstrong, Donde Ashmos, Guy Bailey, Eugene Dowdy, Patricia Harris, Daniel R Hollas, Sheila Johnson, Constance Lowe, Lalatendu Misra, F. Alexander Norman, Jeanne Reesman, Tom Ricento, Walter B. Richardson, Jr., Clemencia Rodriguez, James Schneider, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Maggie Valentine, Arturo Vega, Matthew Wayner, Sandra Welch Absent: Ron Ayers, Jahan Eftekhar, Mansour El-Kikhia, Robert Hiromoto, Michael R. Kelly, James McDonald, Susan Nordhauser (excused), R. K. Smith Total members present: 23 Total members absent: 8
II. Minutes of the February 9, 1999, meeting were approved.
A. Provost - Dr. Guy Bailey
1. Dr. Guy Bailey provided an update of the legislative session reporting that, while the State of Texas has a surplus of money, it does not appear that funding for higher education will be increased significantly. Dr. Bailey distributed a report showing the Texas Senate Finance Committee's proposed budget for UTSA. He explained that even though the budget provided a 16.7 percent increase in funding, all of the money is for capital expenses and none of it can be used for items such as hiring and salary increases. Dr. Bailey reported that it was likely that some funding for UTSA would be transferred from the Permanent Utility Funds (PUF) to the state's Higher Education Assistance Fund (HEAF). This would mean a large increase in funding for capital expenses, but a deficit for other expenses. He explained that if the Legislature does not provide Special Item Funding, as is proposed in their budget, it would be extremely detrimental to UTSA. Therefore, the key issue is to have special item funding restored in some way.
Dr. Bailey stated that UTSA is being treated inequitably by the State Senate Finance Committee. Although the Committee decided that funding for South Texas initiative items should be phased out over time, UTSA special item funding was zeroed out for the next biennium. Other institutions are expected to receive 90% of their special item funding in the next biennium. If UTSA's special item funding were restored to at the 90% level, the situation would be significantly better.
Dr. Walter Richardson stated that his impression was that the South Texas Initiative was a ten-year plan and that the Downtown Campus was a part of that plan.
Dr. Bailey responded that the Downtown Campus had been considered a special item for funding purposes. The funding for the Downtown Campus is currently on a pending list, along with other special items for UTSA. This list will be considered by a legislative conference committee. He said that San Antonio did not have representation on the conference committee but the Senator from Corpus Christi has represented UTSA in the budgeting process and it is expected that he will continue to be an advocate. Dr. Bailey explained that special item funding has been a controversy because some legislators want to eliminate it altogether.
Dr. Richardson commented that Senator Ratliffe had stated in the previous legislative session that, if post-tenure review were implemented, higher education faculty would be remembered in this session when salary increases were considered.
Dr. Bailey said that, even though the state has a surplus, it is expected that those funds will be used for a tax relief package and for public education.
Dr. Clemencia Rodriguez asked when the budget would be approved.
Dr. Bailey replied that UTSA would receive budget information at the end of May. He said he would keep the leadership of the Faculty Senate informed so they can communicate the progress to the Senators.
Dr. Bailey explained how the funding formula the State uses is detrimental to UTSA because of UTSA's ratio of tenured/tenure-track faculty to non-tenure track faculty. Because of this ratio, UTSA receives lower funding in tenure-track supplements than similar institutions, such as UT-El Paso and UT-Arlington.
Dr. Patricia Harris asked what was being done to alleviate this situation?
Dr. Bailey replied that all possible funds were being allocated for hiring new tenure-track faculty. Special attention has been given to areas, such as Mathematics and Statistics, Education, and English, Classics, Philosophy and Communication, where the imbalances are the largest. Division Directors have been requested to use the new faculty lines to reduce the imbalances in lower division courses and not to add new upper division sections.
Dr. Bailey reported that he has worked very closely with Business Affairs regarding the budgeting process and that it is clearly understood that different ways of allocating resources will be required. He said he is assured that the incoming president will give this problem the highest priority.
Dr. Richardson asked if TASP courses were considered in determining semester credit hours taught at the undergraduate level? He stated that Mathematics and Statistics have large numbers of students being taught TASP courses.
Dr. Bailey agreed to check into the issue.
Dr. Sheila Johnson asked how the proposed change in faculty ratios would affect non-tenure track faculty who have been with the University for several years.
Dr. Bailey replied that they would probably not be affected at all, because even if ratios are reversed and non-tenure track faculty taught 40% of the classes, that would still be a significant number of courses. He acknowledged that there are many non-tenure track faculty with long records of service at UTSA that are very valuable to the institution.
Dr. Clemencia Rodriguez asked how the ratios could be shifted if money is not available to add new faculty lines?
Dr. Bailey explained that there are two priorities in the budget that he has pledged to accomplish. The first thing is to address the problem of the inadequate pay scale at UTSA. He said that the increase in funding for capital items proposed by the legislature would free up some funds that could be used for salary increases. He stated that his second priority is the hiring of new faculty. He added that UTSA must be as efficient as possible in offering courses. He suggested that the Faculty Senate might initiate discussion as to the best way to reverse the faculty ratios at the beginning of the next academic year.
Dr. Richardson asked about the possibility that some lecturers will be terminated in the Fall?
Dr. Bailey replied that lecturers will always be necessary at UTSA. The intention of the Provost's Office is not only to assist lecturers in as many ways as possible but also to address the tenure-track ratio problem that is penalizing UTSA in the state budget.
2. Dr. Bailey reported that there were no problems with the Periodic Performance Evaluations completed during the 1998-99 academic year as far as he knows.
Dr. Richardson said that he had been informed that a faculty member in the College of Business had not been informed about being scheduled for evaluation. He said he thought it was a very critical situation. The Senate previously had gone to a great deal of trouble to ensure that the lottery for the Periodic Performance Evaluations was conducted properly. The Senate may now consider assuming a more active role in seeing that correct notification of evaluations are made each year.
Dr. David Johnson responded that the lack of notification was a clerical error and the Provost's Office has notified the division director that the individual should be placed back into the cycle. He agreed that it would be appropriate for the Senate to be provided with a list of faculty to be evaluated each year.
3. Dr. Bailey reported that the Office of the Provost is on schedule with the evaluation of administrators, with one dean and one division director being evaluated during the Spring 1999 semester. The Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators will assist with the faculty input for these evaluations. Another dean and other division directors are scheduled for the Fall 1999.
B. Senate Chair - Dr. Arturo Vega
1. Dr. Vega said that he anticipates scheduling a special Faculty Senate meeting in early May on the grievance policy, the SACS accreditation and other items to be developed over the summer. He reported that the University of Texas system sent UTSA a letter stating their agreement, for the most part, with the language in the Grievance Policy requested by the Faculty Senate. Professors Gary Raffaele and Rudy Sandoval are reviewing the letter to provide their opinions. Dr. Vega said he would provide the Senate with a report as soon as he receives responses from Professors Raffaele and Sandoval.
2. Dr. Vega reported that the SACS accreditation has moved into its second phase and it is expected that the Senate will be asked to be more engaged during the summer with the thematic part of the self-study. He announced that Dr. Bailey would host an open forum on the self-study on April 28, 1999, 3:30 p.m., in the Regents' Room. The purpose of the forum will be to hear the progress made so far and to learn how individuals can influence the next steps of the process.
3. Dr. Vega reported that President Kirkpatrick had acknowledged receipt of the letter sent to him about women faculty issues, saying that he shared the Senate's thoughts on the issues and would respond by the end of the semester.
4. Dr. Sheila Johnson asked if there was any progress on the proposed new bylaws of the Faculty Senate? Dr. Vega replied that the bylaws remain with Dr. Kirkpatrick for approval.
Dr. Tullous reported that the committee met regarding the periodic performance evaluation process. They contacted the chairs of the division committees responsible for the process to determine if there were any problems or questions that need to be addressed. The committee will provide input to the Office of the Provost and work with them on any concerns of the divisions.
Dr. Tullous reported that the Committee has begun monitoring the Tenure and Promotion Policy established in 1997.
Dr. Tullous said that the Committee received a memorandum on the Report from the Public Service and Outreach Committee and will begin working on that issue. She suggested that the chairs of each of the Faculty Senate committees from the previous year should convene the first meetings of the committees for the current year. This would allow information to be reported to the new committee and provide continuity to the work of the committees.
2. Academic Policy and Requirements Committee - Dr. Patricia Harris
Dr. Harris reported that the Committee's recommendations on restructuring had been revised to incorporate the following changes:
1) include a step requiring authors of restructuring proposals to contact the Special Assistant to the Provost upon initiation of a proposal;
2) include a step to allow for a meeting between the Faculty Senate and the Provost or the Faculty Senate and the President, if either the President or the Provost disapprove of a restructuring proposal previously approved by the Faculty Senate and University Assembly;
3) include steps which recognize approval by the University of Texas System and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
4) revision to the section on content proposal to reflect requirements of the Coordinating Board proposal formats for substantive and nonsubstantive requests.
5) include a requirement that proposal writers submit appendices that report stakeholders' concerns and how those concerns would be addressed, how new administrative appointments would be selected and retained or rotated; and how the restructuring will be retained and evaluated.
Dr. Harris summarized the strengths of the Committee's recommendations by stating that the initial step in the proposal approval process requires an announcement on the Web soliciting input from all interested stakeholders and there is also a proactive consideration of the potential consequences of restructuring on a variety of components, including the impact on the Downtown Campus.
Dr. Vega thanked Dr. Harris and the members of the Committee for their work during the past year and stated his complete endorsement for the recommendations on restructuring.
Dr. James Schneider made a motion to accept the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee's Report on Restructuring. Motion passed.
Dr. Harris reported that the Academic Policy and Requirements recommends approval of the Division of Engineering's request to waive the admission requirements for current high school students in favor of admissions criteria for high school graduates. This waiver allows the Division to offer " Introduction to Engineering" to current high school students. Currently the requirements for concurrent high school enrollment are more stringent that those for high school graduates seeking admission to UTSA. This proposal is intended to be a pilot program for two years. Despite some reservations, the Committee voted to recommend approval of the proposal since the course is only one semester credit hour and, after two years, the program would have to be analyzed to determine if it should be institutionalized.
Dr. Ron Alexander made a motion to accept the recommendations of the Committee to approve the request from the Division of Engineering to waive the admissions criteria for concurrent high school enrollment in favor of the admissions criteria for high schools graduates for high school students wishing to enroll in "Introduction to Engineering." Motion passed.
2. Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee - Dr. Raydel
Dr. Tullous reported that most of the Divisions had returned the reports and worksheets related to the teaching evaluation process requested by the Committee. The Committee will meet soon to review the information and prepare a report for the Faculty Senate. The information will also be provided to the faculty when Phase Two of the process begins in the Fall 1999 semester. Dr. Tullous requested that the ad hoc committee, which will be responsible for the revision of the teaching evaluation instruments, be assigned to work with the Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee. The Committee also plans to work closely with the thematic portion of the SACS Self-Study relative to this process.
Dr. Ron Alexander asked if there was any indication about when more effective procedures or instruments for teaching evaluations might be recommended to the Faculty Senate?
Dr. Tullous responded that the goal is to have a report for the Senate by the end of the Spring 2000 semester. She stated that they continue to work with the Office of the Provost to ensure that the process moves forward.
4. University Curriculum Committee - Dr. Raydel Tullous
Dr. Tullous reported that the University Curriculum Committee reviewed the proposal for a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies and worked with the Division of English, Classics, Philosophy and Communication to resolve questions that they had. The Committee recommends approval of the Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies. Dr. Schneider made a motion to accept the report of the University Curriculum Committee. Motion passed.
1. Graduate Council - Dr. Matthew Wayner
Dr. Wayner reported that the Graduate Council unanimously recommends approval of the Ph.D. in English. Dr. Wayner made a motion that the Faculty Senate approve the proposal. Motion passed.
2. UT System Faculty Advisory Council Report - Dr. Betty Travis
Dr. Travis provided an update on legislative issues related to the academic area. She reported that a bill had been introduced to change the field of studies legislation. This bill directs the coordinating board that "it may develop a field of studies for the different curricula", instead of "it shall develop." The legislation also states that "an institution shall consult with the faculty of the institution before nominating or recommending a person to the board as the institution's representative on an advisory committee." The bill defines a faculty member as "a person employed full time by an institution of higher education as a member of the faculty whose primary duties include teaching, research, academic service or administration. However, the term does not include a person holding faculty rank who spends a majority of the person's time for the institution engaged in managerial or supervisory activities, including chancellor, vice-chancellor, president, vice president, provost, associate or assistant provost, or dean." The bill also says that the Coordinating Board will conduct a study to see if there is even a need for the field of studies legislation.
Dr. Travis reported that the UT System Faculty Advisory Council passed a resolution requesting that UT System fight against Senate Bill 282, which gives automatic admission to any state supported institution of higher education to community college graduates who have a 3.0 average. Dr. Travis said that House Bill 893 "prohibits a person employed by an institution of higher education from engaging in any conduct or behavior that a reasonable person would believe would cause psychological or mental harm to a student at your institution." She reported that a rider to Senate Bill 2 giving raises to faculty had been dropped. The Chair of the Senate Finance Committee has said he plans to continue the policy of appropriating a lump sum of money through formula funding to universities and allowing them to spend the money as they wish. The Chair added that universities could and should allocate increased higher education funding to faculty salaries. The finance committee did approve a three percent salary increase in each year of the biennium for state employees including the non-teaching employees of the university.
Dr. Travis reported that House Bill 1952 states that "it is the right of faculty members of institutions of higher education to issue grievances on certain personnel issues." She explained that this, specifically, is the right of public employees to present grievances concerning their wages, hours of employment, or conditions of work to their employer. This will mainly affect non-tenured and the full time faculty who are not renewed or have been terminated by giving them the right to grieve the termination.
Dr. Travis reported that a proposed change to the Regents' Rules and Regulations on the grievance process states that a faculty member would have 10 days after a decision is made in order to file a grievance. If this is approved, the UTSA grievance policy will have to conform. The UT System FAC was successful in having this item removed from the agenda for the Regents' meeting in May and placed on the August agenda. The SYS FAC would like to propose different wording, such as "ten days (or a certain number of days) after a faculty member or employee has been notified or could have been reasonably expected to be notified of a decision." They would also like to include a statement about stopping the clock, in order that there be an opportunity to find an alternative way to settle the situation.
Dr. Richardson commented that the ten-day time limit in the grievance procedures is absurd due to the time restrictions imposed when information is requested under the Texas Open Records Act.
Dr. Travis noted that the UT System Faculty Advisory Council will present a system-wide status report to the Board of Regents at the August meeting and will conduct a faculty satisfaction survey at all System components.
1. Ad Hoc Committee on Evaluation of Administrators - Dr. Donde Ashmos
Dr. Ashmos distributed two reports to the Senators. She stated that it is important to recognize that the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators operated under the following assumptions:
1) The evaluation of administrators is an important process that requires the involvement of faculty in a systematic and inclusive fashion.
2) The administrators who usually have the most direct impact on faculty are the deans and division directors.
3) The existing system for formal evaluation of deans and division directors allows for limited faculty input, however, it is not systematic or consistent across divisions or colleges. Further, under existing procedures, results of the evaluation of deans and divisions are not shared with the faculty.
Dr. Ashmos reported that the Provost invited the Faculty Senate to play a role in the formal evaluation of administrators by independently circulating the Senate approved evaluation instrument, summarizing the results from the distribution of that instrument and reporting back to the faculty, as well as the administrator being evaluated, the summarized results.
In addition, the Committee met with the Provost and devised a plan and schedule for Faculty Senate evaluation of division directors and deans. This plan is described in the Committee's report. Dr. Ashmos explained that the process of providing a report to the administrator being evaluated as well as to the appropriate faculty serves the purpose of constructive feedback and administrator accountability to faculty.
She reported that evaluation instruments for the two administrators being evaluated during Spring 1999 were sent to the appropriate faculty. Results of the instrument provided to the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators will be summarized and a report will be prepared and distributed to the appropriate faculty and to the administrators being evaluated. Based on this pilot process, the Committee will report their experience to the Faculty Senate in Fall 1999 and recommend any necessary revisions to formalize a procedure for the evaluation of administrators. For the future, it is the intent of the Faculty Senate to distribute the instrument independent of the Office of the Provost. Dr. Ashmos reported that the Committee also proposes a midterm review. She explained that extensive resources would be required to conduct these reviews and this need should be discussed by the Faculty Senate during Fall 1999.
Dr. Harris stated that she felt, in the interest of problem solving and averting serious rifts, a newly hired division direction should be assessed after the first year. She said it would be in the interest of the mission of the University to provide first time managers with feedback that could help them to be better managers right away before situations become labeled personality issues when, in fact, it could be a communication style that needs to be corrected.
Dr. Ashmos replied that changing the formal evaluation period of time was not under the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate, however, the Senate could decide to conduct an independent survey of a new division director at the end of the first year. Dr. Alexander made a motion to accept the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators. Motion passed.
1. Dr. Vega appointed Dr. Deborah Armstrong, Dr. Lalatendu Misra and Dr. Art Vega to an Ad Hoc Budget Committee and Dr. Donde Ashmos, Dr. Betty Travis, Dr. Sandy Norman and Dr. Sandra Welch to an Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators.
2. Dr. Vega congratulated Dr. James McDonald on his promotion to Associate Professor and Drs. Walter Richardson and Betty Travis on their promotions to Professor.
VI. Meeting Adjourned.
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