The third Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 1998-99 was held in room 4.03.08, John Peace Library Building, on February 9, 1999 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. Arturo Vega, Chair, presiding, Dr. Sheila Johnson, Secretary.
Present: Deborah Armstrong, Donde Ashmos, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Eugene Dowdy, Patricia Harris, Robert Hiromoto, Daniel R. Hollas, Sheila Johnson, Michael F. Kelly, Constance Lowe, James McDonald, Susan Nordhauser, F. Alexander Norman, Walter B. Richardson, Jr., Clemencia Rodriguez, James Schneider, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Maggie Valentine, Arturo Vega, Matthew Wayner
Absent: Ron Alexander, Diana Allen, Jahan Eftekhar, Mansour El-Kikhia, Lalatendu Misra, Jeanne Reesman, Tom Ricento, R. K.Smith, Sandra Welch
Total members present: 22
Total members absent: 9
Dr. Sandy Norman asked if the objection was a new issue that had not been voiced before?
Dr. Bailey responded that it was the only objection that had not been dealt with and both UTSA and UT System were attempting to have the policy approved within two weeks.
Dr. Betty Travis suggested that a conference call could be held with representatives from UT System Office of General Counsel, the Office of the Provost, the Chair of the Faculty Senate and the Chair of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee to ensure faculty input if additional questions arose.
Dr. Bailey stated that UT System had agreed to the original language approved by the Faculty Senate and University Assembly and only has a question about the one clause. He said that faculty input would be requested if the clause became a serious problem.
Dr. Arturo Vega asked for written clarification of the issue so the Senators could review the language before the process proceeds any further.
Dr. Bailey agreed to have his office check the policy under review at UT System against the original language to ensure the wording was as approved by the Faculty Senate and the University Assembly.
Dr. James Schneider requested a written statement of the objections to the language for the Senate's review.
Dr. Bailey responded that if any change in the language were required, Senate leadership would be consulted.
Dr. Bailey reported that $100,000 was allocated for five positions in graduate admissions, financial aid, and undergraduate admissions, which would allow more efficient processing of admission and financial aid applications. Upgrading of the mainframe computer and handling of compliance issues received an allocation of $162,000.
Spring tuition revenue will be set aside for the new president to allocate. Dr. Bailey said that he had discussed with each presidential candidate the priorities for Academic Affairs based, in part, on issues raised by the Faculty Senate, the Deans' Council and the Academic Administrative Council.
Dr. Travis asked if the mainframe computer upgrades and compliance issues would be on going expenses and, if so, in what amount?
Dr. Bailey responded that there would be an on-going need related to these issues but there may also be additional monies available. Funds had been set aside for a course scheduling software package, however, it now appears that it will not be necessary because the University's new student information system should be able to serve the same purpose.
Dr. Walter Richardson pointed out that the amount used for non-tenure track faculty budgets was substantially less than the amount allocated with the difference made up from lapsed faculty lines and grant buy-outs. He said he felt this was an unacceptable budget practice and divisions should be given allocations based on what is actually spent on non-tenure track faculty. Dr. Richardson asked if there would be some sort of change to the budgetary process.
Dr. Bailey said that the practice had been discussed with the presidential candidates since the new president would have to make the commitment to allocate more of the budget to funding non-tenure track faculty positions. He agreed that the budget was underfunded and it was not standard practice to use grant buy-out money for non-tenure track faculty salaries. Dr. Bailey said one way to alleviate the situation would be to hire more tenure-track faculty, especially since UTSA is penalized in the state budget process because of its heavy reliance on non-tenure track faculty. He explained that there is a tenure supplement in institutional budgets based on state allocations. At present, UTSA has approximately 60% non-tenure track faculty and 40% tenure track faculty. He said that the amount necessary to reverse those percentages would be approximately $5 million, which is not an unreasonable goal. The Office of the Provost would like to hire more tenure track faculty and also to fund more fully non-tenure track faculty in order not to use up grant buy-out and lapsed salaries funds.
Dr. Vega asked the status of the original money for new hires in the amount of $720,000 and the status of the faculty searches proposed for academic year 1998-99.
Dr. Bailey explained that $300,000 has been allocated for new hires and that funds from the Spring 1999 semester tuition revenues would be used as well. He said there should also be additional money in the budget for the next biennium. Dr. Bailey reported that some new faculty searches were moving forward, including positions in Education, Mathematics and Communication.
Dr. Vega asked how many of the 30 new faculty positions discussed at the beginning of the Fall 1998 semester would come to fruition?
Dr. Bailey responded that 30 new positions for the next biennium would be a conservative estimate.
Dr. Vega asked what accountability measures would be implemented in the Division of Engineering to ensure that the problems with accreditation did not occur again.
Dr. Bailey replied that accrediting standards from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) would be used as benchmarks and the Division of Engineering would be carefully measured against those standards. The $150,000 will be carefully monitored to ensure that the funds are used to address the problems identified by the accreditation visit. He said also that the Office of the Provost would institute the practice of identifying potential problems in all disciplines in order to handle such situations proactively.
Dr. Travis asked who would decide how the additional tuition revenues funds generated in Spring 1999 would be allocated and if a faculty committee could be appointed to work with the Office of the Provost on this process?
Dr. Bailey said the allocation of the funds would ultimately be the decision of the new president but that recommendations from a Faculty Senate committee would be appreciated. Decisions will have to be made about which issues are the highest priorities and Faculty Senate input would be helpful. He pointed out that new tenure track faculty hires would result in a higher tenure track supplemental budget.
Dr. Richardson asked about the budgetary process for the previous summer in the College of Sciences and Engineering and if that college had lost money by the use of performance-based budgeting?
Dr. Bailey acknowledged that Sciences and Engineering lost money under the agreement that each college would be budgeted for a certain number of student credits hours, based on their previous year's production and any revenue generated above that figure would be considered a profit for the college. He said that his office worked very closely with the College of Sciences and Engineering as there were numerous complicated reasons for their loss of funds.
At the request of Dr. Bailey, Mr. Joe Loya explained that the process was a two-year pilot, in which the deans agreed to certain dollar amounts for semester credits hours, recognizing that the difference between the cost of instructional delivery by programs varies considerably. Thus using common numbers penalizes the high cost programs versus the lost cost programs, leaving Sciences and Engineering at a disadvantage. He said that there would be no penalty for the Summer 1999 schedule for the college since the agreement had been that the colleges would cover any deficits.
Dr. Bailey explained that the Governor's proposal to move UTSA into the state's Higher Education Fund would mean a higher allocation for equipment. The move, which could provide as much as $12 million over the biennium, would require a constitutional amendment.
Dr. Bailey pointed out that the Legislative Budget Board's proposed budget removed funding for the Downtown Campus as a Special Item. If this occurs UTSA would have a $4 million deficit per year. Dr. Bailey said he is hopeful that the San Antonio legislative delegation will ensure the funding remained as a Special Item.
Dr. Bailey provided a copy of the "Back to Basics" proposal prepared by the Chancellors of state higher education institutions and presented to the State Legislature. He noted that the proposal requested increases in faculty and staff salaries in the amount of five percent per year over the biennium. He said he did not think that the entire proposal would be funded by the Legislature. It would depend on how much of the surplus in the state budget became usable by the Legislature.
Dr. Bailey said he would keep the Senate informed of the budgeting process and, as soon as he could begin planning, he would request faculty input on allocation of the budget.
He explained that the Legislature considers performance measures at all institutions. One major issue the Legislature focuses on is freshmen retention rates, which is an area where UTSA needs improvement. Another measure, which must be addressed at UTSA, is the percentage of lower division courses taught by tenure track faculty.
Dr. Harris introduced Mr. Charles Field and Dr. Scott Lipscomb, non-Senator members of the Committee present at the meeting. She reported that the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee had been charged in October 1998 to review the issue of restructuring. Initially the committee understood the charge to mean that it should address questions on whether to restructure and what should be restructured. Dr. Harris noted that they came to the conclusion that the task was not to come up with the answers but to develop a set of questions that others could answer to reach decisions about restructuring. The Committee's report identified values that would assist in determining which initiatives should come forward, how those initiatives should be written and how they should best be judged.
The only goal for any restructuring initiative should be to further the University's mission. Dr. Harris reported that the Committee reached agreement that there should be a diversity of means to meet the mission and that the approval process should take this diversity into account.
Further, in deciding whether or not certain initiatives were affordable, there should be ongoing evaluation of all resource allocations in the University. The issue was not how to take the faculty slice of the pie and divide it up into even smaller portions, but how to look at resource allocations throughout the entire university when deciding whether or not new initiatives were worthwhile. The restructuring process should be ongoing and flexible, as new needs arise. The approval process should take into account the concerns of all relevant stakeholders. New proposals should have the requirement of setting out an evaluation plan so that proposals are held accountable for the content. All proposals should be treated fairly.
Dr. Harris explained that all restructuring proposals would require approval of two-thirds of faculty in the disciplines affected by the change. The Committee recommends that administrators be involved in the process only where remnants of divisions remain after a restructuring change and need to form a new unit.
Dr. Harris stated her opinion that the task of instilling in faculty the need for a new structure and the importance of that new structure should not be a problem for effective leaders. She suggested that the caliber of leadership should be raised to the level needed to initiate restructuring proposals, rather than lowering the process to the lowest common denominator among managers.
Dr. Harris reported that the approval process would consist of two stages. The first stage would be a preliminary proposal posted on the Internet for review by the entire University community. Feedback would be solicited, analogous to a posting in the Federal Register or the Texas Register. The second stage would consist of a revised proposal, which would undergo review by the following: 1) a new UTSA Standing Committee made up of representatives from faculty, the Downtown Campus, the Office of the Provost, students and budgeting, excluding faculty and administrators affected by the new proposal; 2) Faculty Senate; 3) University Assembly; 4) Office of the Provost; 5) Office of the President; 6) University of Texas System; and 7) Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The approval process would vary depending on whether the change was a substantive or non-substantive proposal.
Dr. Harris explained that the Committee's original report stated that a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Senate and the University Assembly could override the veto of the Provost or the President. However, the President may not agree to fund the proposal. She said that the Provost suggested an additional step in the process, which would require the President, Faculty Senate and University Assembly to negotiate.
She reported that the content of a restructuring proposal would be very similar to degree proposals or strategic initiatives with some important differences. One such difference would be that the proposal would have to describe the span of control if new administrators were proposed. The proposals would have to list probable impacts on all stakeholders and would, at least in their revised form, have to respond to all objections raised during the campus review. All proposals would have to include an evaluation plan. The criteria for prioritization will stress consideration of proposals with the greatest impact and highest probability of success and those that are well documented and included realistic calculations of cost.
Dr. Harris stressed that the Committee's report included safeguards for the Downtown Campus. These are: 1) the Downtown Campus Advisory Board may respond to the preliminary posting on the Internet; 2) the Associate Provost will appoint a representative to the new Standing Committee set up to review restructuring proposals; and, 3) all proposals will have to include information about the impact on the Downtown Campus.
Dr. Vega thanked the members of the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee: Patricia Harris, Chair, Ronald Ayers, Charles Field, Scott Lipscomb, Sandy Norman and Betty Travis. He stated that the Committee's report was the strongest proposal for reorganization of UTSA that he had seen. He said that the intent was not to vote on the recommendations, but to provide Senator with the report so they would have an opportunity to review the proposal carefully. A vote would then be taken at a subsequent meeting and, if approved, the proposal would be forwarded to the University Assembly.
Dr. James Schneider asked if the "two-thirds vote by faculty", meant the disciplines of the existing division and any disciplines who might be regrouped in the process?
Dr. Harris explained that the intention was that proposals must receive approval by two-thirds of the faculty in the intended new unit.
Dr. Ronald Ayers commended Dr. Harris on the outstanding job she had done as the Chair of the Committee.
Dr. Vega agreed that the entire Faculty Senate owed a debt of gratitude, not only to Dr. Harris but also to all the members of the Committee.
Dr. Donde Ashmos said that while the report provided a method for faculty recommendations for restructuring, in reality those recommendations would not be meaningful unless there was funding from the administration.
Dr. Harris agreed that the Faculty Senate would need more information about potential sources of funding for restructuring initiatives.
Dr. Travis said that the Committee had not been charged to determine the sources of funding, but to ensure the proposal took into account the cost that would be needed for any restructuring of units.
Dr. Tullous reported that the Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee had sent all faculty the first form in their process of soliciting faculty input. Faculty were requested to complete the form and submit it to the Chairs of the Division Faculty Advisory Committees. Dr. Tullous reported and she and Dr. David Johnson were meeting with division directors and chairs of DFACs to discuss the process and provide assistance, if needed. She asked the Senators to encourage the faculty in their divisions to participate and to initiate discussion within faculty forums. The goal of the Committee is to learn more about what faculty feels should be evaluated by students. This information would then be given to the ad hoc committee appointed to develop a new student evaluation instrument.
Dr. Vega said that several faculty members have stated their interest in being a part of the study and he would appoint the ad hoc committee, which would then work with the Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee.
Dr. Guy reported that the Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues identified numerous issues related to women faculty across the campus that should be addressed. She said that it had been difficult for the Committee to assemble information on which issues were already being studied and to gather statistics on salary issues. The Committee reviewed several documents issued during the last several years regarding the status of women at UTSA and across the UT System. The primary reports were the "Annual Report on Human Resources," "Comparing Satisfaction Levels of Women and Men," a systematic study prepared by Drs. Juanita Firestone and Richard Harris, and the "Chancellor's Response to the Committee on the Advancement of Women," which responded to specific policies generated by the Committee on the Advancement of Women and recommended in its April 1997 report.
Dr. Guy said that one of the top priorities had to be to establish a workable family leave policy for both faculty and staff. Currently the Affirmative Action Committee has a subcommittee reviewing that issue. The Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues recommends that the Faculty Senate closely monitor the work of the Affirmative Action Committee and encourage administration to move very quickly on any recommendations from that committee.
The next recommendation was that the Faculty Senate begin to query administration of the status of already existing UT System policies on the advancement of women as recommended in the April 1997 report from the UT System Committee on the Advancement of Women. Dr. Guy reported that Chancellor Cunningham and the Presidents of the UT System Council accepted many of the recommendations and called on component institutions to make efforts toward implementation. In particular, a UTSA permanent core committee to oversee issues related to the advancement of women should be created. This committee would also select a number of faculty members to represent UTSA on the UT System-wide Committee on the Advancement of Women. Currently only administrators represent UTSA on that committee.
Dr. Guy said that, according to the Chancellor's Report there should be an appropriate administrator charged with overseeing coordination of efforts to facilitate the advancement of women to important decision-making positions and committees. The Faculty Senate was requested to query the administration to find out who is in charge of that responsibility.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues requests a copy of the UTSA Annual Report on the Status of Minorities and Women and information on how to obtain the report each year.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues requests that the Faculty Senate inquire as to who is responsible for overseeing efforts to maintain and achieve an equitable pay structure for women at UTSA. According to the Chancellor's Report, there must be accountability for salary equity annually as part of the budget cycle.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues requests that the Faculty Senate review the University's plan for fairness in compensation. Fairness in compensation does not mean just salary, but also how women are being allocated research resources, as well as other resources. The plan should outline the efforts made by administrators at all levels to provide support beyond compensation to women and minorities.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues requests that the Faculty Senate review UTSA's policy for conducting campus exit interviews with all departing women faculty and administrators. The Chancellor's Report provided very specific direction that all components develop the practice of interviewing women leaving the campus in order to formulate appropriate administrative action on retaining the existing women faculty.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues recommends that all Faculty Senate committees that oversee policies on promotion and rewards review the report issued by Drs. Firestone and Harris about faculty satisfaction levels for women and men. The report contains very specific areas in which women faculty felt they were not being adequately compensated. The Committee further recommends that any policy that the Faculty Senate issues should take gender into account.
Dr. Vega thanked the Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues and stated that the questions and queries generated by the Committee would be forwarded to the appropriate administrators in order to move forward on the issues. He suggested that the reports from the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee on Restructuring and the Ad Hoc Committee on Women Faculty Issues should be the focus of the Faculty Senate for the remainder of the academic year.
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Last updated Sept. 1, 2005