OF OCTOBER 24, 2000

The first Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2000-2001 was held in room 3.04.16B, Business Building, on October 24, 2000 at 3:30 p.m. with Dr. Patricia Harris, Chair, presiding, Dr. Raul Aranovich, Secretary.

  1. Call to order and taking of attendance

    Present: Sos Agaian, Raul Aranovich, Deborah Armstrong, Ron Ayers, Mark Blizard, Russell Briner, Keith Fairchild, Patricia Harris, Wanda Hedrick, Robert Hiromoto, Kellye Jones, Michael Kelly, James McDonald, Louis Mendoza, George Negrete, Sandy Norman, Thomas Ricento, Walter Richardson, Jr., Kent Rush, Deborah Schwartz-Kates, R.K. Smith, Raydel Tullous, Anthony Van Reusen (by Ron Alexander), Arturo Vega, Diane Walz

    Absent: Guy Bailey, John Bretting, Ruben Cordova, Mansour El-Kikhia, Jeanne Reesman

    Total members present: 25
    Total members absent: 5

    Dr. Art Vega made a motion to allow Dr. Betty Travis, Chair of the UT System Faculty Advisory Council, to participate in discussions during the meeting. Motion passed.

  2. Reports.
    1. Ad Hoc Committee on Non-tenure Track Faculty - Dr. Bernard Powell
      Dr. Powell reported that, approximately three years ago, the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs developed the Ad Hoc Committee on Non-tenure Track Faculty. The Committee reports directly to Dr. David Johnson, Executive Vice Provost. The first task for the committee was to determine which faculty are considered non-tenure track faculty. The Committee then developed an extensive survey for distribution to all non-tenure track faculty. The Committee received 170 responses to the survey out of approximately 400 surveys sent out. One result of the survey showed the teaching experience of UTSA non-tenure track faculty members. Fifty percent have been employed longer than six years and ten percent greater than 16 years. A large percentage has been employed for many years on a full-time basis.

      The survey was designed to determine the perception of non-tenure track faculty in terms of the way they are judged and what criteria are used for merit increase and promotions. The largest percentage of respondents thought that only student evaluations were used to determine their teaching evaluations. An alarming seven percent had no idea how they were being evaluated.

      The Committee then began work to develop a tool that could be used to judge and evaluate the effectiveness of the non-tenure track faculty. The Committee wanted something that could be used University-wide but would also be flexible enough to allow variations within the teaching disciplines. They developed a Merit Appraisal Tool called ForMAT. The intent of this tool was to show that everything should funnel into the area of teaching, since the majority of the non-tenure track faculty have teaching as their primary dedication. Many faculty members have experience in research, but essentially want to teach. Several of the criteria used to assess teaching ability are the same criteria that every university uses. Student evaluations are important but the annual report should be ranked above those. In the annual reports, faculty members must include items such as class syllabi and copies of examinations, but can also include anything they feel is appropriate, including research if done.

      Classroom effectiveness would be determined by self-assessment, student and peer comments, and teaching methods. Activities enhancing teaching effectiveness, such as workshops attended and advising and mentoring activities, were also included as criteria.

      The intent of ForMAT was to describe a process and show things that the Committee felt should be included in the evaluation of non-tenure track faculty. The Committee had determined that some colleges and divisions had not developed guidelines. So they tried to develop something that could be used University-wide with enough flexibility that each teaching discipline could incorporate items needed for its particular discipline.

      Dr. Harris thanked the Committee for the presentation and noted that the report raised questions for the Faculty Senate's Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee.

    2. Ad Hoc Committee on Administrator Evaluations - Dr. Sheila Johnson Dr. Johnson distributed two handouts: 1) Resolution on Evaluation of Administrators passed by the System Faculty Advisory Council, March 2000; 2) Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee to Evaluate Administrators.

      Discussion was held on the following recommendations of Committee:

      1. In accordance with the University of Texas Regents' Rules, Part I, Chapter III, Section 37.4, the results of a 6-year formal evaluation of all deans, by the constituent faculty, 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 department chair(s)/division director(s) should also be in writing, be filed in the appropriate dean's office, and made available to constituent faculty.
      2. As part of the administrators' formal evaluations, all faculty in a unit must be given the opportunity to evaluate the dean(s), chair(s), and director(s) assigned or appointed to the unit.
      3. The results of a dean's, chair's or director's formal evaluation must be used by the supervising administrator as part of any decision regarding continuation or merit consideration of deans, chairs, or directors. The evaluation should also be used to develop an improvement program/plan that has measurable goals and outcomes to be attained by a dean, chair, 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.
      4. The supervising administrator is expected to use informal and/or on-going mechanisms to assess improvement in a dean's, chair's, or director's performance when deficiencies are found and to direct corrective action.
      5. The President and the Provost support the development of evaluation procedures by the Faculty Senate to be followed by college, department, or division faculty to request and/or pursue an early or extraordinary review of a dean, chair, or director when at least two-thirds of the affected faculty desire such action.
      6. The President and the Provost support midterm evaluations for all deans, chairs, and directors and an end-of-term evaluation for all chairs. These evaluations would be implemented with the involvement of by a designated committee of the Faculty Senate. Resources and support of these evaluations should be provided by the University administration.
      7. Administrators above below the level of dean, chief executive officer and who have significant impact on campus academic affairs, with the exception of the President, be upwardly reviewed every three years. Those who have served in their current positions for at least three years will be phased into the review process over the next three years in order to facilitate the transition and implementation of administrative evaluations. The phase-in process will consist of a random selection by lottery in which one-third of those administrators who have completed at least three years in their current positions will be evaluated in each of the next three years.

      The Report was amended as indicated above. Dr. Vega made a motion to accept the Report of the Committee as amended. Motion passed.

    3. Academic Policy and Requirements Committee - Dr. Sandy Norman Dr. Norman reported that the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee had been charged to examine the ramifications of restructuring on the development of bylaws. The Committee developed the following recommendations:

      • begin a dialogue with President Romo or his designees to discuss the future of the University Assembly and its relations to the Senate;
      • propose revisions to the Handbook of Operating Procedures that legitimize the existence, purpose, and goals of the Senate;
      • propose to President Romo a plan for revising the University Charter with the aim of providing a flexible process for the development of bylaws at departmental and college levels;
      • affirm that local faculty should have primary responsibility for creating bylaws at the departmental and college levels;
      • reaffirm the substance of the proposed Faculty Senate bylaws;
      • carry out a revision of the Faculty Senate bylaws to bring them in line with changes in University structures, focusing in particular on issues of equitable representation; and
      • consider and discuss the possibility of creating a mechanism for monitoring and/or ensuring compliance with bylaws - an ombudsman role, perhaps.

      Dr. Harris noted that the intent of the Committee's report was to identify key questions for study and was not intended to present answers or plans. She suggested that the reaffirmation of the substance of proposed Faculty Senate bylaws be added to the issues.

      Dr. Norman said that item would be included. He stated the Faculty Senate would now need to decide who will be tasked with examining these issues and begin to think about how to address the situation.

    4. Ad Hoc Committee on the Selection of Women for the Campus Core Committee on the Advancement of Women - Dr. Art Vega

      Dr. Vega reported that the Committee had been charged to consider a method of selection for members of the UTSA Campus Core Committee on the Advancement of Women. The Committee recommends:

      • That the Committee be made up of seven members - six faculty and one representative from the UTSA Staff Council.
      • That the President of the University shall appoint three faculty representatives; that the Chair of the Faculty Senate appoint three faculty representatives with the advice of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee; that the Staff Council elect a staff representative. The Chair of the Committee would be elected by vote of the entire Committee.
      • That among the appointed faculty representatives, one should be from each of the three academic ranks. It is desirable, but not required, that representatives appointed also reflect the depth of diversity of faculty members across the university.
      • That appointments be for two-year terms with the possibility of reappointments. Terms shall be staggered by lots at the initial meeting. Three individuals serve one year, remaining members serve two years to ensure continuity.
      • That once the committee is structured that the Committee communicate as quickly as possible with UT System component committees and examine their existing reports.
      • That the Committee make annual reports to the Faculty Senate, Provost and President of the University.
      • That the Chair of the Faculty Senate charge the committee to create a formal and inclusive process that explores the variety of topical issues for the variety of specific interest groups across the campus and that the full committee be encouraged to create and assign sub-committees to form focus groups to study topical issues in preparation of its report and recommendations.

      Dr. Vega noted that the Committee recommended that the scope of the charge be widened to include gender issues. The Committee also recommends an inclusive process by which any interest groups that might form on campus could address this Committee and give advice. Then, if necessary, focus groups, open to anyone, could be formed to provide input on the issue.

      Dr. Van Reusen made a motion to accept the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Selection of Women for the Campus Core Committee on the Advancement of Women. Motion passed.

  3. Meeting adjourned

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