The fourth Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 1999-2000 was held in room 4.03.08, John Peace Library Building, on April 11, 2000 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. James Schneider, Chair, presiding, Dr. Eugene Dowdy, Secretary.
Present: Ron Alexander, Raul Aranovich, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Mark Blizard, Russell Briner, Eugene Dowdy, Keith Fairchild, Patricia Harris, Wanda Hedrick, Robert Hiromoto, Kellye Jones, Michael Kelly, Juliet Langman, Constance Lowe, Louis Mendoza, Sandy Norman, Walter Richardson, Jr., James Schneider, Betty Travis, Raydel Tullous, Anthony Van Reusen, Arturo Vega, Sandra Welch
Absent: Diana Allan, Deborah Armstrong (excused), Jahan Eftekhar, George Negrete, Jeanne Reesman, R. K. Smith
Total members present: 24
Total members absent: 6
The presentation was received favorably and the proposal will be on the agenda for May. The UTSA Implementation Committee will continue to develop the structure of colleges in order to have a final proposal ready in early May. If the proposal receives approval from the UT System, it would then need to be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board during its July meeting.
Dr. Bailey said that if UTSA receives authorization to form the new colleges, the 2000-2001 academic year would be a transition year during which the faculty in the college or the department would actually do the work of creating the new academic unit.
Dr. Walter Richardson asked how the Division and College Faculty Review Advisory Committees would handle relevant issues during this period?
Dr. David Johnson responded that the proposal would be to retain those committees with slight alterations. Since the divisional committee process is very complex, it cannot be changed in the available timeframe. Therefore, the same policies, timetables, and nomenclature would be kept until policies could be changed.
Dr. Bailey stated that the Office of the Provost would work carefully to ensure that there are no adverse effects for faculty members during the transition period. He requested that any suggestions related to the transition period be sent to the Implementation Committee.
Dr. Tony Van Reusen said that there was concern about budgeting for the new units.
Dr. Bailey responded that budgets are allocated from the Office of the Provost and there are different ways of making those allocations. He said he would look at the Coordinating Board formula for allocating dollars by discipline, which is currently how UTSA is funded. This should provide a fair metric for making allocations to the units. Whatever method is used for budget allocations will be made public. Dr. Bailey said that no unit should assume that its budget would be any less than at the present time.
Dr. Bailey reported that funds had been set aside to enhance the staff support in colleges and divisions around the University. A new advising plan will be implemented based on the report of a committee that examined advising across campus. The report requested the following: the formation of advising centers in each of the colleges; a centralized advising center with professionally trained advisors; and creation of professional ranks for advisors. It is anticipated that, within each college, there would be an advisor specializing in each discipline but all advisors in the center would be cross-trained.
Dr. Robert Hiromoto said he felt it was very important to support the current staff in terms of real salary. He noted that it was not enough to have more people who are incompetent and that it would be better to have fewer people who are very capable.
Dr. Bailey agreed and said that there are several issues involved, such as staff not always being well trained and administrators not providing staff with proper direction and supervision. He reported that the staff compensation study, which began last year, would continue with a commitment over four years to enhance staff salaries by $2.5 million.
Dr. Richardson asked what would happen if a negative evaluation did go to the Provost.
Dr. Bailey responded that there are no policy guidelines for that type of situation. He said he would like to see guidelines developed that would assist him to work with any faculty who receive negative evaluations and to address whatever problems existed.
Dr. Eugene Dowdy said that he had reviewed the Periodic Performance Evaluation policy and the minutes of governance meetings during which the policy was discussed. He could not locate anything that prohibited handling such a situation with remedial help or some sort of training. There are, however, many places that state that the administrator can recommend certain actions and many times the policy states that "appropriate actions may be taken." Dr. Dowdy agreed that the Faculty Senate should make recommendations for a specific procedure for these instances.
1) Work with the President to ensure the
appointment of a Core Campus Committee by May 1, 2000
2) Work with the President to identify an Administrative Coordinator by May 1, 2000
3) Work with the Core Committee or its representatives to review equity issues in the faculty rewards system during summer 2000; if inequities are identified, the Provost's Office will develop a plan for rectifying them as soon as possible
4) Work with the Core Committee or its representatives during summer 2000 to review equity issues in hiring and retention; if inequities are found, the Provost's Office will develop a plan for addressing them
5) Work with the Core Committee or its representatives during summer 2000 to propose policy changes regarding the quality of academic life; any proposed changes will be brought forward to the Faculty Senate during fall 2000
6) Continue to aggressively recruit women and underrepresented groups for administrative positions, important committee assignments, and senior faculty positions
7) Continue to develop and implement mentoring and training programs for potential and current administrators
8) Work with the Administrative Coordinator to develop a reporting plan.
Dr. Travis said that she recalled discussion at the Faculty Senate's Special Meeting in March about conducting an election of the Core Committee members and requesting that the President appoint those who were elected.
Dr. Bailey responded that the Chancellor's Response calls for a committee appointed by the president. He said he would check with the President to see if this would be an issue.
Dr. Harris asked if the administrative coordinator would be separate from the committee?
Dr. Bailey replied that the Chancellor's Response suggested a core campus committee with some sort of administrative coordinator. He said that he would appreciate any comments or suggestions the Senator might have for the establishment of the Core Committee.
Dr. Travis asked how women, in general, did during the recent promotion and tenure process?
Dr. Bailey provided the following information:
Dr. Kellye Jones said that the proposed areas presented in the report were excellent in terms of planning but had any consideration been given to accountability processes?
Dr. Bailey responded that the administrative coordinator would be responsible for ensuring reporting and accountability issues. The reports would monitor what was being done. The most important thing would be the public release and public documentation of the reports.
Dr. Travis noted that the Satisfaction Survey referenced in the report was conducted in 1992 or 1993 and the Chancellor's Response was prepared in 1996. The UT System Faculty Advisory Council will do another survey next year comparing the satisfaction level of men and women. Dr. Travis asked if there had been a deadline given to post a blind ranking of the faculty during the recent merit exercise.
Dr. Bailey responded that he would ensure that the division directors post the rankings.
Dr. Vega made a recommendation that the Faculty Senate's Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee investigate the standards for early tenure cases. This recommendation was because of a case in the Division of Social and Policy Sciences where the faculty member going up early was not granted tenure. He said that the perception was that the standard for early tenure is higher than the standard for those who go up normally.
Dr. Bailey said that early tenure and promotion cases did not receive approval for a variety of reasons, but most of the faculty simply had not achieved what the guidelines specify. He said that, while it can be accomplished, it was more difficult to demonstrate good teaching and service in two or three years, instead of six years.
Dr. Wanda Hedrick said that the perception was that the requirements for early submission versus normal submission are not clear.
Dr. Vega said that consistent, clearly-written standards were needed so there would be no misperceptions.
Dr. Bailey agreed that not having standards clearly articulated could lead to disagreement.
Dr. Louis Mendoza said that one of the issues studied for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Thematic Self-Study had been the faculty evaluation, merit and reward system. The task force made approximately 40 recommendations on how to improve the system. He said that the work that had already been done should be given consideration.
Dr. Bailey said that faculty should not be turned down for promotion simply because they applied early. The issue should be whether or not the faculty member meets the criteria.
Dr. Schneider stated that he does not know of any institution-wide policy on what entitled a faculty member to go up for tenure early. Nor, in most divisions, have there been any articulated standards as to what represents satisfactory performance at an earlier point in the tenure clock.
Dr. Raul Aranovich asked if previous service at another university was taken into consideration for tenure purposes.
Dr. Johnson responded that prior service outside of The University of Texas System did not count.
Dr. Richardson said that, for any tenure and promotion system to be effective, the recommendations made by the faculty committees had to be taken seriously.
Dr. Ron Alexander asked if there was an administrative policy on the setting or capping of percentages of faculty who can receive various rating levels for annual performance reviews and merit pay exercises? He also asked if there would be a means by which the entire issue of faculty compensation could be dealt with in a more pragmatic, functional manner other than referring to the fact that all increases in salary must be based on merit.
Dr. Bailey responded that there is not a cap and that the state normally requires that raises be allocated by merit.
Dr. Van Reusen said that the issue of alignment or lack of alignment between annual performance reviews and the promotion and tenure process does not provide a formative system for faculty other than a third year review. He said he would urge the Senate to pursue the idea of more focused evaluation that contained some formative indices to allow for a summary evaluation in making tenure and promotion decisions.
Dr. Schneider reported on a related issue where students at various campuses had set up independent Web sites on which they post ratings of faculty members. UTSA could not sponsor such a web site and should one become operational the University could not edit it in any way without incurring legal liability.
Dr. Ron Ayers said that if faculty had no right of privacy, there should also be a policy about the rights of others to access electronic mail documents.
Dr. Schneider said that the Senate could request and help to develop an institutional policy about when such investigations could occur and who would be allowed to authorize these investigations.
Dr. Dowdy said that his concern was if a faculty member asked him to make a statement at a meeting, that statement would be summarized into the minutes. But if a faculty members gave a Senator a written statement it would be reproduced verbatim to every Faculty Senator. It could give undue weight to the statement just because it was submitted in writing and read during the meeting.
Dr. Hedrick said that whoever was summarizing the verbal statements should also summarize written statements.
Dr. Dowdy said a motion that the Faculty Senate allow verbatim remarks to be summarized in the circulated minutes and attached verbatim to the official minutes that are archived in the Governance Office. Motion passed.
Dr. Tullous reported that the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee had already begun working on the policy. The committee found several sections that were not clear and were being interpreted in different ways across the campus. She said that having the documents from other institutions would be very helpful as the committee continues its work on this issue and promotion and tenure issues.
Dr. Schneider asked if there was any interest in making a sense of the Senate resolution along the lines that a developmental avenue should be explored if deemed appropriate or should the Senate wait until recommendations come from the Committee?
Dr. Travis recommended that the Senate put forth a motion that indicates sentiment to be expressed to the Provost that there is a Senate Committee reviewing the issue to develop some kind of remediation or developmental plan.
Dr. Blizard made a motion that the Faculty Senate would make recommendations for a revised Periodic Performance Evaluation policy by the end of the Fall 2000 semester. During the interim, in lieu of that policy, if any cases of unsatisfactory ratings were received by the Office of the Provost, the Faculty Senate requests those cases be handled in a developmental manner. Motion passed.
1) In accordance with the University of Texas Regents' Rules, Part I, Chapter III, Section 37.4, the results of a six-year formal evaluation of all Deans be produced in a written form and be filed within the Provost's Office as part of the evaluation process. The results of the evaluations of Division Directors should also be in writing and be filed in the appropriate Dean's office.
2) The results of a dean's or director's formal evaluation be used by the supervising administrator to formulate any merit considerations for the deans or directors. The evaluation should also be used to develop an important program/plan that has measurable goals and outcomes to be attained by a dean or director under the next evaluation cycle. The results of these actions should be reported to the Faculty Senate and forwarded to the faculty within the unit.
3) The supervising administrator use informal and/or on-going mechanisms to assess improvement in a dean's or director's performance when deficiencies are found and to direct corrective action.
4) The President and Provost support the development of evaluation procedures by the Faculty Senate to be followed by college or division faculty to request and/or pursue an early or extraordinary review of a dean or director when at least two-thirds of the affected faculty desire such action.
5) The President and the Provost support midterm evaluations for all deans and directors. This midterm evaluation would be implemented with the involvement of a designated committee of the Faculty Senate. Resources and support of this evaluation should be provided by the University administration.
Dr. Van Reusen said that the recommendations were viewed as very necessary to help support and use the evaluation process which, in turn, support the concept of using evaluations to improve performance. He said that the recommendations were presented in draft form and the Committee did not request any action by the Senate at this time.
Dr. Schneider informed the Senators that the Provost is considering hiring an outside firm to actually conduct and administer the evaluations. The firm would send the results back to the Faculty Senate for analyses.
Dr. Travis reported that the legislature was considering the requirement that all college students be given a test before they can graduate. Every major program at each state college or university would be evaluated in terms of the value added by instruction. This evaluation would be on how well students perform on these examinations as compared to how well they could be expected to perform given their entering SAT scores and high school grades. Sub-standard programs would become subject to mandatory reform, including external control, and, if no progress was made, state funding could be terminated.
Dr. Schneider requested that all Senators provide him with their Tuesday and Thursday schedules in preparation for the SACS Site Visit scheduled for April 24-27, 2000.
Dr. Keith Fairchild said that Faculty Senate ad hoc committees should be formed in September so the committees can begin their work right away and not be forced to meet impossible deadlines.
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Last updated Sept. 1, 2005