SEPTEMBER 14, 1999

The first Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 1999-2000 was held in room 4.03.08, John Peace Library Building, on September 14, 1999 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. James Schneider, Chair, presiding.


  1. Call to order and taking of attendance

    Present:   Ron Alexander, Diana Allan, Raul Aranovich, Deborah Armstrong, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Mark Blizard, Russell Briner, Eugene Dowdy, Keith Fairchild, Patricia Harris, Wanda Hedrick, Robert Hiromoto, Kellye Jones, Michael Kelly, Louis Mendoza, George Negrete, F. Alexander (Sandy) Norman, Jeanne Reesman, Tom Ricento, Walter Richardson, Jr., James Schneider, R.K. Smith, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Anthony Van Reusen, Arturo Vega, Sandra Welch

    Absent:   Jahan Eftekhar, Constance Lowe (excused)

    Total members present:  28
    Total members absent:     2


  2. Minutes of the April 13, 1999, meeting were approved.


  3. President's Address - Dr. Ricardo Romo


    Dr. Romo reported on the University's involvement in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Reaffirmation of Accreditation Self-Study, which represents an important milestone in UTSA's development. This milestone should be taken seriously, as it has tremendous potential to shape how UTSA defines itself as a university in the coming decade. Dr. Romo thanked Dr. Jim Schneider for the outstanding job he has done as Director of the Self-Study. He reported that the Steering Committee had recently been enlarged to include additional faculty, two of the deans, the vice president for business affairs, the associate provost for UTSA Downtown and a student representative. Many of these new members have experience as participants in the last SACS review or have been members of evaluation teams at other universities. Dr. Romo also thanked Dr. Martinello, chair of the Thematic Self-Study Committee, Dr. Terri Leal, Chair of the Compliance Committee, the Chairs of the Thematic Self-Study Task Forces, and all other faculty, staff, students and community members for their involvement in the process. He reported that the Site Visit is scheduled for April 24-27, 2000 and the University is currently involved in making recommendations for the site visit team, which will be composed of 19 members, including Dr. David Carter, SACS liaison for UTSA. Dr. Romo announced that there will be numerous opportunities for the University community to participate in forum and panel discussions related to the Self-Study. These include a panel discussion on October 11, 1999, and Open Forums on October 28, 1999 (ed. note: rescheduled to November 15, 1999) and January 28, 2000, as well as being able to offer opinions and suggestions in response to the reports posted on the UTSA Web Page.

    He reported that the Thematic Self-Study is concerned with how the University may become a learner-centered community with a supporting environment in which everyone is a learner. SACS expects specific objectives stated in each of the areas addressed by the task forces, which must result in specific recommendations that are in place at the time of the SACS visit. It is important to note, however, that the task forces are not charged with providing the full framework for the development of the University but, rather, provide starting points for discussion and building. Their work will serve as a springboard as the institution moves forward to reshape the University in the next decade. Dr. Romo noted that the issues being addressed include faculty and staff performance, incentives and rewards, student learning and development, instructional program development and the culture and community of the University.

    He reported that the initial work of the Compliance Committee is near completion. The Committee has responded to more than 550 "must statements" included in the SACS Criteria for Accreditation and identified fewer than 30 areas of non-compliance. Some of these areas can be met by actions which can be taken prior to the SACS Site Visit. The Self-Study also requires documentation of how change has been achieved in the organization and how planning and assessment have been used to achieve UTSA's mission. He said that it is essential that all areas participate in documenting changes and improvements over the last decade.

    Dr. Romo said that a Self-study Progress Report was recently mailed to members of the UTSA community and would also be posted on the Web Site. He continued that both elements of the self-study would reinforce each other. The Thematic portion of the study offers a tremendous opportunity to address the significant concerns expressed by faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders and to modify the mission of the University to coincide with practices and policies. Other opportunities include revision of the planning process for greater involvement and assessment of the University community.

    Dr. Schneider noted that his appointment as Director of the Self-Study reflects an attitude on the part of the current administration for much greater faculty involvement in planning issues than previously. He reiterated that UTSA is currently out of compliance with only 28 of the more than 500 "must statements". Some of these areas are substantial issues that cannot be remedied immediately, such as the ratio of tenured/tenure-track faculty to non-tenure track faculty. He said that it is important to include adequate documentation of compliance in the Self-Study Report in order to avoid follow-up after the Site Visit. Dr. Schneider stated that he feels the current administration is interested in encompassing bottom-up input in the planning process. The Self-Study is an opportunity to do that, as well as provide a comprehensive, honest look at UTSA in order to see where UTSA currently is and to get involved in shaping the University's future in a constructive manner. It is hoped that Senators choose to get involved and will encourage involvement on the part of their divisional faculty. Dr. Schneider offered to answer particular questions and queries about the process at any time.


  4. Reports



    1. Provost - Dr. Guy Bailey


      1. Dr. Bailey expressed his appreciation for the work being done by Dr. Schneider and other faculty involved in the process.

        Dr. Bailey reported that the Faculty Salary Compression Exercise is part of an overall compensation package. One component is faculty merit increases averaging three percent. In addition, the deans in each college were allocated the equivalent of .25 percent of total faculty salaries in order to address salary and equity problems in their college. The third component is the compression study, the first of a four-year commitment with $275,000 allocated each year to bring faculty salaries up to 95% of peer institutions.

        Dr. Bailey explained that the 1997-98 model, with minor refinements, was used for the 1998-99 study. Modifications for 1998-99 included: 1) the ineligibility of faculty who have not taught during the last two years; 2) to be eligible, the faculty member must have a performance evaluation on record; 3) faculty on modified service were ineligible and, 4) administrators who meet the criteria were included but only their academic rates are affected, not their administrative rates. The model used the mean faculty evaluation and one standard deviation for each college to establish the pool for merit. The maximum increase was two and one-half percent of the total funds available and the minimum increase was $750. Three hundred thirty-seven faculty members were determined eligible, with 117 receiving at least $750.

        Dr. Bailey said that the exercise revealed problems that need to be addressed, such at the process for performance evaluations and the need for consistency across the institution. He said that faculty will be asked to review the performance evaluation process and make recommendations for equivalence across the campus.

        Dr. Walter Richardson asked how many divisions utilize the merit criteria issued by the Office of the Provost in 1993?

        Dr. Bailey responded that most of the divisions have policies in use for conducting performance evaluations for merit. He continued that the current model needs to be reconsidered and that a different model might need to be developed. He requested that the Faculty Senate appoint a committee to work with the Office of the Provost to re-examine the model in order to ensure that the fairest, most equitable model possible is used for the next three years.

        Dr. Tom Ricento asked when appointment letters would be sent and if they would include information on salary adjustments as a result of the compression study, merit pay, and college adjustments?

        Dr. Bailey responded that this information would be listed in the letters, which will be sent out before October 1, 1999.

        Dr. Betty Travis asked who assigned the merit money and how it was distributed?

        Dr. Bailey said that each college was given a merit allocation and the manner of distribution was left to the discretion of the college dean.


      2. Dr. Bailey reported that a compression study for staff was underway, with $500,000 allocated for the next four years. It is hoped to have that study completed by the Christmas Holiday Break, with adjustments retroactive to the first of September.


      3. Dr. Bailey reported that there have been a number of administrative changes in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. These include the elimination of the position of Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and the reassignment of a member of the office staff to the Office of Research Development. Dr. Bailey announced that Mr. Joe Loya, Associate Vice President for Academic Financial Planning had resigned to accept the position of Chief Financial Officer in the El Paso School District. Dr. Bailey thanked Mr. Loya for the work he had done during difficult financial times at the institution. He said that the fiscal soundness in the Office of the Provost was due, in large part, to the efforts of Mr. Loya. Dr. Bailey stated his appreciation for Mr. Loya's work at UTSA and wished him good luck in El Paso. It has not been determined how Mr. Loya's position will be filled. An alternative under consideration is one-year assignments for two faculty interns to assist with projects within the Office of the Provost. This would help to prepare as many faculty as possible for administrative positions.

        Additional administrative changes include the addition of the position of Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies, filled by Dr. Rosalie Ambrosino. Dr. Ambrosino will be responsible for re-examining the advising efforts across campus and for retention efforts initiated by the Office of the Provost. Retention efforts, termed student success, will include the freshmen seminar programs and freshmen learning communities. Dr. Bailey said that he would continue to inform the Faculty Senate of reassignment of the responsibilities of the office staff so everyone will know who to contact for assistance. He also reported that Dr. Rudy Sandoval was appointed as the Associate Vice President for Administration in the Office of the President. His responsibilities will include affirmative action issues and hiring practices.


      4. Dr. Bailey distributed a handout titled, "Approved Funding for Projected Tenure Track Faculty Recruitment." He noted that 42 faculty searches had been authorized, which is a significant investment in faculty. The entire campus has cooperated in this effort to increase the number of tenure-track faculty and reduce the dependency on non-tenure track faculty. Dr. Bailey explained that priorities for faculty positions took into consideration areas where commitments had been made for program development, where the proportion of student credit hours taught by non-tenure track faculty was very high, and where accreditation issues needed to be addressed. In addition, the College of Business was allocated $100,000 to make salaries competitive for replacement positions. Dr. Bailey said that it is very important to fill as many of the available positions as possible. Due to the state funding formula, the funding for the University is, in part, dependent on generating more student hours with tenured and tenure-track faculty. He said that it is also important to develop innovative ways to reduce student credit hours generated by non-tenure track faculty. For example, deans and division directors have been asked to assign tenured and tenure-track faculty to large sections. He noted that the tenure-track weight, which was 5% in the last biennium, would increase to 15% in the next biennium and could increase to as much as 50%.

        Dr. Ron Ayers asked how the teaching of summer classes would be handled since, in the past, non-tenure track faculty were assigned to summer classes in order to make a profit?

        Dr. Bailey explained that the colleges had been allowed to retain any profits generated during previous summer sessions but during budget years the emphasis will be on assigning as many tenured and tenure-track faculty as possible to increase the student credit hours ratio.

        Dr. Travis asked if only lower-division undergraduate courses were counted toward the total of student credit hours and if TASP courses counted?

        Dr. Bailey responded that all undergraduate for-credit courses were counted but he would need to determine if the TASP courses were included. He noted that the state funding formula did not penalize an institution for having graduate courses taught by non-tenure track faculty, but the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools did not approve of that practice.


      5. Dr. Bailey reported that a new policy on non-tenure track faculty titles had been approved by the UT System. This policy eliminated the rank of teaching associate and established the ranks of Lecturer I, Lecturer II, Lecturer III and Senior Lecturer. These titles reflect qualifications such as experience, performance, and recommendations from deans and division directors. Currently there are funds in the amount of $200,000 to augment lecturer salaries over the next four years. Dr. Travis asked how the voting rights of non-tenure track faculty would be affected by the title changes?

        Dr. Bailey responded that those who meet the criteria, as stated in the bylaws, would have voting rights.

        Dr. Raul Aranovich asked if the salaries for teaching assistants and graduate research assistants were being reviewed?

        Dr. Bailey explained that the Office of Graduate Studies is developing policy statements related to those salaries. There are two sources of funds that can be used to create a compensation package for graduate students - non-tenure track salary funds and graduate incremental tuition.


    2. Senate Chair - Dr. James Schneider


      1. Dr. Schneider thanked Dr. Art Vega, out-going chair of the Faculty Senate, for the outstanding job he did during the 1998-99 academic year. He presented Dr. Vega with a token of esteem in appreciation of his work with the Faculty Senate. Dr. Schneider said that Dr. Vega's continuing presence will be invaluable to the Senate as will that of all continuing members. The University, as well as the Senate, has new leadership, representing an opportunity to build a new relationship in which everyone can work constructively and productively.


      2. Dr. Schneider provided a list of on-going issues to be addressed by the Senate:


        • Proposal for a new governance structure presented at the May 4, 1999 University Assembly meeting, which was tabled. Chair's recommendation would be to ask the President to reconstitute the University Assembly Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws and Shared Governance and charge them to make recommendations within a short timeframe.


        • Revisions to the Faculty Senate Bylaws remain with the President for approval. Although these could be approved right away, they contain implications for other governance structures which must be considered. Chair's recommendation is to request feedback from the President on the proposed bylaws.


        • The language in the Faculty Grievance Policy remains an issue for the Senate and will be discussed under "Old Business".


        • The Academic Policy and Requirements Committee's 1998-99 Report on Recommendations Related to Academic Restructuring set forth a policy on how restructuring could be done. Chair's recommendation is to ask the Provost if these are the procedural rules by which restructuring will be conducted.


        • The Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Women's Issues investigated a number of issues last year and requested information from the Office of the President related to those issues. The information has not been received. Chair's recommendation is to send the President a resolution requesting that this information be provided.


        • The Faculty Senate received a proposal to change the requirement for sigma cum laude recognition. This proposal will be referred to the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee.


        • The Chair reminded the Senators that each Faculty Senate Committee for 1999-2000 should be initially convened by its chair of last year as a way of promoting continuity.


    3. Committees


      1. Nominating Committee - Dr. Deborah Armstrong Dr. Armstrong conducted the elections for the Officers and Committee of the Faculty Senate.

        Post-Meeting Election Results:


        Officers and Executive Committee:
        Patricia Harris - Chair-Elect
        Eugene Dowdy - Secretary
        Art Vega - Parliamentarian
        Keith Fairchild - CoB
        Louis Mendoza - Chair, Graduate Council

        Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee
        Ron Alexander - CoSBS
        Diana Allan - CoFAH
        Kellye Jones - CoB
        Tom Ricento - CoSBS
        Bennie Wilson - CoB

        Academic Policy and Requirements Committee
        Juan Gonzalez - CoB
        Marita Nummikoski - CoFAH
        Raydel Tullous - CoB
        Tony Van Reusen - CoSBS
        Esther Wheeler - CoSE

        Nominating Committee
        Keith Fairchild - CoB
        Steve Levitt - CoFAH
        Walter Richardson, Jr. - CoSE

        Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee:
        Aaron Cassill - CoSE
        Eugene Dowdy - CoFAH
        Sandy Norman - CoSE
        Raydel Tullous - CoB

        University Curriculum Committee
        Raul Aranovich - CoFAH
        Ron Ayers - CoB
        Russell Briner - CoB
        Eugene Dowdy - CoFAH
        Connie Lowe - CoFAH
        Rebecca Petersen - CoSBS
        Tony Van Reusen - CoSBS
        Sandy Welch - CoB
        Kathy Wohlert - CoB


      2. Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee - Dr. Raydel Tullous

        Dr. Tullous distributed an update on the work of the Committee. She explained that each faculty member was sent a request to identify those activities they believed should be evaluated as part of their teaching effectiveness. The Committee then grouped the reported activities into seven categories. A third worksheet will be sent to faculty with the request that they review the categories and activities and assign weights to the categories. The Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee's recommends that faculty be elected to serve on the Course Evaluation Instrument ad hoc committee and that the committees hold joint meetings to share information previously compiled by TEDC on student evaluations. The TEDC was meant to be part of a comprehensive study of the entire reward system.


    4. Other


      1. Evaluation of Administrators - Dr. Donde Ashmos

        Dr. Ashmos reported that last year the Ad Hoc Committee on the Evaluation of Administrators recommended to the Faculty Senate that there should be wider involvement of faculty in the regular formal evaluation of deans and divisions directors and that there should be a process for a mid-point evaluation. The Faculty Senate approved those recommendations. During the Spring 1999 semester the Faculty Senate appointed an ad hoc committee to conduct the first two formal evaluations, one for the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and one for the Director of the Division of Life Sciences. Dr. Ashmos reported on the results of this pilot process which was the evaluation of the Dean. Responses received from the instruments circulated to all faculty in the College were recorded, summarized and organized. The process included open-ended questions as well as scaled questions. She noted that the evaluation instrument approved by the Faculty Senate included three very important open-ended questions, including one about the strengths and weaknesses of the person being evaluated. The Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences received a copy of the report and was given an opportunity to respond. No response was received. The report was then sent to faculty in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Faculty Senators.

        Dr. Ashmos commented that the process was very time-consuming and the Faculty Senate should realize that it has adopted an aggressive agenda for being involved in the evaluation of administrators. She explained that divisions directors would be evaluated every four years and deans every six years, as well as a mid-point evaluation for each of those roles. She said that the Faculty Senate should seek additional staff assistance to become engaged in the process. Dr. Ashmos noted that while the open-ended questions are the most time-consuming, they also are the most revealing aspect and should not be deleted. Dr. Ashmos reported that another concern was the low response rate of 21%. Questionnaires were sent to 300 faculty - 128 full-time and 272 part-time. The Senate should look at whether there is any value in sending questionnaires to non-tenure track faculty. Even though the deadline was extended, the response rate remained very low and a serious endeavor should be made to increase the number of responses. Dr. Ashmos provided some specific policy recommendations that the Faculty Senate should consider:


        • The Senate needs to appoint or establish a regular, on-going committee on the evaluation of administrators. The purpose of the committee would be to coordinate the process, oversee it, conduct the analysis, and report the findings to the Faculty Senate. In order to ensure the integrity of the committee, it should consist of a chair and eight members, two from each college and no more than four members from the Faculty Senate.


        • An important point stressed by the Office of the Provost was that no faculty member should ever be involved in the evaluation of his or her division director or his or her dean. Thus any committee of the Senate charged with the evaluation of administrators should be made up of faculty from each of the colleges with member participating in the evaluation process only of administrators in colleges other than their own.


        • The purpose of the process is constructive to give administrators feedback from their faculty and to provide some accountability of the administrators to their respective faculty but it is also very important that the process be handled with ultimate sensitivity.

        Dr. Schneider thanked Dr. Ashmos and the other members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Evaluation of Administrators - Drs. Sandy Norman, Betty Travis, and Sandy Welch. They did an outstanding job and should be commended. The recommendations made by the Committee will be referred to an appropriate body, either an existing committee or an ad hoc committee, to review the entire process and make recommendations on how to proceed.


  5. Unfinished Business


    1. Dr. Schneider proposed that the Faculty Senate develop a motion asking the President to reconstitute the Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws and Shared Governance, perhaps building on the nucleus of the former committee and augmenting it as seems reasonable. The motion would include a request that the committee be given an early deadline to return proposals on governance.

      Dr. Tom Ricento noted that the previous Committee had assembled a large amount of useful materials. They are concerned, however, about the entire concept of the president's council as proposed by Dr. Samuel Kirkpatrick. The bylaws of this council would have policy making authority that could bypass the Faculty Senate and bring issues directly to a vote of the General Faculty. Dr. Ricento made a motion that the Faculty Senate recommend to President Romo that the Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws and Shared Governance be reconstituted and formally charged to complete a set recommendations to be given to the President by the end of the Fall 1999 semester.

      Dr. Aranovich said that it appeared that two proposals for governance were mentioned, one from President Kirkpatrick and one from the Faculty Senate. He asked for clarification about these proposals and whether Dr. Romo supported the proposal from Dr. Kirkpatrick.

      Dr. Schneider explained that the Faculty Senate's proposal consists of a set of revised bylaws, which did not propose a university governance structure as a whole but contains implications for governance in that the new bylaws do not recognize the existence of the University Assembly. A major difference between the Senate's proposed bylaws and Dr. Kirkpatrick's proposal for a governance structure is that the bylaws state that the Senate would report directly to the president but in the Kirkpatrick proposal, the Senate would report through the provost. Dr. Schneider said that Dr. Romo did not comment about specifics of governance structure but did support a resolution to the issues as rapidly as could be done. Dr. Schneider has had indication from both President Romo and Provost Bailey that they would be favorable to a request to revisit the issue.

      Dr. Schneider called for a vote on the motion. Motion approved.


    2. Dr. Schneider proposed that the Faculty Senate request that the Provost clarify the status of the Faculty Senate's Report on Recommendations Related to Academic Restructuring to declare that these are the procedural rules by which structuring will be determined and further to invite action by faculty along those lines.

      Dr. Ron Alexander made a motion to request that the Provost accept the Recommendations Related to Academic Restructuring and that those recommendations govern the procedure for restructuring efforts on the campus and to invite faculty or interested parties to submit proposals along those lines. Motion approved.


    3. Dr. Betty Travis made a motion to request that the President respond to the concerns raised by the Ad Hoc Committee on Women's Issues by providing the information requested during the Spring 1999 semester. Motion approved.


    4. Dr. Schneider invited discussion on the grievance policy, but also noted that a Special Meeting could be called to provide sufficient time to fully discuss the issue. Dr. Aranovich said that since he is not familiar with the background of the issue, he would appreciate hearing input from other Senators before voting.

      Dr. Betty Travis agreed that additional time was needed and requested that the issue of the receivership of divisions be added to the agenda for the Special Meeting as it may be a grievance issue. She also suggested that the Faculty Senate address how they might become involved in the discipline of faculty who make false allegations against others.

      Dr. Schneider said that he would contact the Senators to determine a suitable date for the Special Meeting and would invite agenda items at that time. The Special Meeting should be held prior to the University Assembly meeting in October so that items can go forward for the Assembly's approval.


  6. New Business



  7. Meeting adjourned.

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Last updated Sept. 1, 2005