OF MARCH 13, 2003

The fourth regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2002-2003 was held in room 4.03.08, on March 13, 2003 at 3:30 p.m. in the John Peace Library Building with Dr. James McDonald, Chair, presiding, Dr. John Rundin, Secretary.

I. Call to order and taking of attendance

Present: Diane Abdo, Guy Bailey, Gerard Barloco, Fred Bonner, Steven Boyd, Felecia Briscoe, Janis Bush, Aaron Cassill, Mansour El-Kikhia, Vic Heller, Eugene John, Michael Kelly, Melvin Laracey, Randy Manteufel, Kenneth Masden, James McDonald, Walter Richardson Jr., John Rundin, Mike Ryan, Linda Shepard, Woodie Spivey, Minghe Sun, Yiuman Tse, Sandra Welch, and Kenton Wilkinson

Absent: Rosalie Ambrosino, Ron Ayers, Ron Binks, Stephen Brown, David Bruenger, Jan Clark (excused), Manuel Diaz (excused), Norma Guerra, Lars Hansen, Ni (Phil) He, Paul Jacobs, David Johnson, Melissa Killen, David Larson, Raquel Marquez, George Negrete (excused), Frank Pino (excused), Chris Reddick, Terri Reynolds, Ricardo Romo (excused), Todd Ryska, Ted Skekel, Joseph Stafford, Armando Trujillo, Mary Lou Zeeman (excused), and Weining Zhang

Total members present: 25 Total members absent: 26

II. Minutes of the February 13, 2003 Meeting approved.
III. Reports

A. Office of the Provost

1. Provost's Report - Dr. Guy Bailey

Dr. Bailey began his report by addressing the state budget crisis and the various budget categories that had been affected by it. The first was the education and general revenue budget, which includes the basic money for running the educational portion of the institution. The second was debt service, which he said the legislature cut by 12.5 percent. Dr. Bailey explained that cutting the debt service has the greatest impact on universities that have undertaken large building projects during the past decade. As a result, both Dr. Bailey and Dr. Romo have spent time with legislators and staff members to discuss some technical adjustments that could be made to improve the outlook for UTSA.

Dr. Bailey claimed the reduction in state appropriations will be offset to some extent by increases in the University's enrollment. For example, UTSA has enrollment growth and has been very conservative with how the money from that growth has been allocated. The state has also approved a $2 student credit hour increase in tuition. As a result, over the next biennium, the increases in tuition and fees will help to offset the budget cuts.

Another way the University is trying to offset the budget cuts is through careful management of curriculum and course offerings. Hence, UTSA is requesting the minimum course size be raised to twenty, with the exception of labs, studio courses, and some other classes which will be considered on a case-by-case basis. By taking these actions, he expects the University to be able to make it through the biennium without any cuts in academic programs. However, there will be some cuts outside of academics.

Dr. Bailey stressed that there are three things that should not be cut by the University. Instead, they should be enhanced. These three things are the instructional, research, and development missions of the institution. Dr. Bailey said any cuts in these categories would have negative long-term consequences for the institution. He then asked if there were any questions.

Dr. Walter Richardson, Jr.: When was the decision made to increase class size?

Dr. Bailey responded that the decision was made to try to manage class sizes when the governor set a budget of $119 million for the biennium and the House set an even lower budget of $115 million.

Dr. Richardson: Will the Senate be privy to the process that was used to arrive at a figure of twenty for undergraduate class sizes?

Dr. Bailey said the figure of twenty was arrived at by looking at Honors classes (which usually run at twenty) and looking at the number of classes that were taught with fewer than twenty people last year. He explained that there were enough classes with fewer than twenty people to create some savings by changing the class size. Plus, by raising the minimum class size, the University will avoid asking each department for a certain percent of their budget back.

Dr. Richardson: The process should not have been so top-down. One rule is being applied university-wide instead of asking each department to find their own ways to cut ten percent from their budget and prioritize their courses

Dr. Bailey explained that the University does not want any department to cut anything. Every department could not come up with the same percentage cut because it would result in inequities in distribution of funds across the institution. Instead, reducing the number of courses will only affect non-tenure track (NTT) faculty budgets. Plus, each department will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. McDonald said he had heard from the deans that they were asked to reduce their NTT budgets by ten percent.

Dr. Bailey explained that the University did ask the chairs and the deans to reduce NTT costs by ten percent. He explained he had received a notice from Business Affairs that NTT faculty budgets had led to a million dollars in unanticipated costs. The way the University gets funded is on a proposed budget, so any overruns have to be paid by the University. By cutting NTT costs, the University saves money. Further, that money will stay within the colleges. It will be a way for them to build in the discretionary funds for reallocation within the college.

Dr. Bailey suggested a way to cut NTT costs is to hire more full-time rather than part-time NTT faculty to teach more courses. He said this would also save on benefits that are paid out by the University. Rather than paying benefits for four part time people, the University would be paying for two. Hence, Dr. Bailey stressed that a department's curriculum has the greatest impact on its resources. The better it is managed, the more money that is available for research or travel.

Dr. Richardson: How would a department ask for an exception to the minimum class size?

Dr. Bailey responded that faculty in the department should talk to the chair. The dean would review the chair's request. Upon the dean's approval the request would then be forwarded to the Provost's Office.

Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia asked for clarification about the summer budget and class sizes for the summer semester.

Dr. Bailey responded that the summer budget would be a different issue and exceptions would also be considered on a case-by-case basis. He added that the University is trying to promote a new organizational structure. Departments should focus on how much money they generate. If courses are generating money, then that money does not have to be in the budget. The course will pay for itself.

Dr. Bailey noted that even though the budget picture for higher education is not good at the state level, pay raises for the next biennium remain a high priority at UTSA.

2. Presentation on Budgeting and Funding - Dr. Sandra Welch

Dr. Welch began by referring to a table of special provisions relating to higher education. By using the formula in this table, a department can determine whether a class being offered will breakeven, turn a profit, or lose money. According to Dr. Welch, each course has a weighting factor, which determines what the state pays per student credit hour based on discipline, course level, and student rank. Once the weighting factor is figured for the number of students in the course and the faculty salary is subtracted, the department can have an accurate idea if the course will generate a profit. Further, that number will determine whether the department can offer the course.

Dr. Welch also emphasized strategic scheduling on the part of the faculty. To better facilitate this, UTSA is establishing a University Scheduling Committee. The committee will help with room assignments and ensure that every room is filled. Further, they will see that courses are moved to larger rooms if they are in demand and others are moved to smaller rooms if they are below capacity. The committee will also look at courses that are capped and make decisions on whether those caps should be removed.

B. Senate Chair - Dr. James McDonald

1. Items Pending

Dr. McDonald reported that the grievance procedure revision recommendations are being reviewed by the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee. More undergraduate program proposals have been submitted to the Senate's University Curriculum Committee. The IDEA survey should be going out soon from the Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee (TEDC). Kent Wilkinson, a member of the TEDC, has been gathering information on the digitizing of the student comments on the IDEA form.

Dr. McDonald said Dr. Bailey has noted there is a contradiction in the Handbook of Operating Procedures concerning Tenure & Promotion, so that a tenured associate professor coming to UTSA can go up for promotion to full professor without having produced any additional research at UTSA. Dr. McDonald charged the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee with devising a recommendation to the HOP about this issue.

2. IDEA Survey

Dr. McDonald reported that there was a workshop held on March 12, 2003 on the IDEA student survey that netted relatively sparse faculty attendance. Because he feels strongly that faculty need to know as much as possible about the instrument, how it works, and how to interpret it, Dr. McDonald has asked Dr. Dennis Duchon, the workshop presenter, to provide the Senate with a short summary of his presentation at the next meeting in April.

3. Insurance Premium Outlook for Next Year (from UT System Faculty Advisory Council)

Dan Stewart, Executive Director of UT System's Employee Group Insurance Office, noted UT System was $30 million in the red two to three years ago. However, now it is not running a deficit, unlike many other University systems in Texas. As a result, UT System's benefits program is being used as a model for other state university systems to consider. The UT System is asking for a 5.6% increase for the upcoming biennium, while other University systems are asking for increases from 14% to 20%. The bottom line is that faculty and staff should not see much change in health care benefits for the next biennium. The one thing that may change is that a number of markets may not have an HMO option because their rates may exceed the UT Select PPO option while providing fewer and less flexible services. Dallas and Houston may lose their HMO option, Austin is on the edge of not having one, and San Antonio may continue to have one.

C. Secretary of the General Faculty - Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia

Dr. El-Kikhia said he and Dr. McDonald had met with the chancellor recently. At the meeting, the chancellor said his goal was to decentralize. Part of that decentralization would be to transfer the authority to set fees from the legislature to the system itself. Dr. El-Kikhia also said there was discussion of having three semesters during the summer. Then, a faculty member would have the choice to teach either in the fall and spring or fall and summer. As a result, the summer would no longer be on a pay-as-you-go basis. It would be part of the school year. Dr. El-Kikhia also wanted to thank everyone who responded to the Faculty Satisfaction Survey. He said the deadline had been extended, and he encouraged everyone that had not yet responded to do so and make their views known.

D. Committees

1. University Curriculum Committee - Dr. Randy Mantuefel

Since the committee chair was unable to attend, Dr. Mantuefel presented two proposals that the University Curriculum Committee recommends approving.

1) The College of Education and Human Development proposal to replace EPD 1702, College Success Seminar, a two-hour course with EDP 1703 to better accommodate the growing needs of the students. APPROVED

2) Proposal from the Division of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies to add a concentration in Anthropology to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Mexican American Studies. APPROVED.

2. Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee - Dr. Fred Bonner

Dr. Bonner distributed the revised version of the third-year review policy. He said his committee's charge was to develop viable perimeters for that policy, to find a way of standardizing the process across colleges, programs and departments, and to establish a clear and concise timeline for third-year review processes. Dr. Bonner explained there were no real substantive changes to the policy.

A motion was made to accept the revised version of the third-year review policy. Discussion followed and the following suggestions were made:

A technical adjustment should be made in the document. On page three, under feedback process, it says the department chair will arrange to meet with the faculty member after March 1. Then, the very last line at the bottom says the faculty member may make an appointment to meet with the faculty member after March 1. The second statement alludes that the candidate may elect to participate in third-year review if he or she does not wish to renew their expiring contract. That is a piece that should be changed in the document.

Research be listed before teaching because of the volume of material that goes into the teaching section.

The document should be clearer regarding the required that the faculty include student comments.

A motion was made to send the third-year review policy back to the committee for final revision. Motion approved.

3. Academic Policy and Requirements Committee - Dr. Steven Boyd

Dr. Boyd discussed the proposal from the College of Business regarding admissions and academic standing. The Committee recommends approval of the proposal. Committee recommendation accepted and proposal approved.

IV. Graduate Council
V. Unfinished Business
VI. New Business
VII. Adjournment

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Last updated June 2, 2005