THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO
DOCUMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
SUMMARY MINUTES OF THE
FACULTY SENATE MEETING
OF APRIL 10, 2003
The fifth regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2002-2003 was held in room 4.03.08, on April 10, 2003 at 3:30 p.m. in the John Peace Library Building with Dr. James McDonald, Chair, presiding, Dr. John Rundin, Secretary.
Present: Diane Abdo, Rosalie Ambrosino, Guy Bailey, Steven Boyd, Janis Bush, Aaron Cassill, Jan Clark, Mansour El-Kikhia, Eugene John, Michael Kelly, Randy Manteufel, Kenneth Masden, James McDonald, George Negrete, Frank Pino, Chris Reddick, Walter Richardson Jr., John Rundin, Mike Ryan, Linda Shepard, Woodie Spivey, Minghe Sun, Yiuman Tse, Sandra Welch, Kenton Wilkinson, and Mary Lou Zeeman
Absent: Ron Ayers, Gerard Barloco, Ron Binks, Fred Bonner, Felicia Briscoe, Steven Brown, David Bruenger, Manuel Diaz, Norma Guerra, Lars Hansen, Ni (Phil) He, Vic Heller, Paul Jacobs, David Johnson, Melissa Killen, Melvin Laracey, David Larson, Raquel Marquez (excused), Terri Reynolds, Ricardo Romo, Todd Ryska, Ted Skekel, Joseph Stafford, Armando Trujillo (excused), and Weining Zhang
Total members present: 26 Total members absent: 25
(Dr. McDonald made a motion to allow Dr. Amberg, the Chair of the University Standing Committee on the Library, to speak about the activities of his committee first because he needed to leave. Motion was passed.)
Dr. Amberg reported that the library has recommended to the University and the Provost that its share of the University's appropriation be raised. Dr. Amberg said his committee has endorsed their recommendation and will be calling on the University to agree to it. As a result, he wanted to stimulate discussion in the Faculty Senate in the hopes that they would endorse the recommendation for increased funding for the library, as well.
According to Dr. Amberg, the library's goal is to turn itself into a research library. This goal is critical if the University is to achieve research status. Unfortunately, compared to other library budgets, UTSA's library is $10 million short on an annual basis of the amount it needs to achieve research status in the next ten years. Hence, it has asked for its share of the legislative appropriations to be raised to five percent and the student library resource fee to be raised substantially over the next ten years.
Dr. Amberg said the University Standing Committee on the library is not very enthusiastic about raising student fees, so it has suggested some other sources of funding for the library. The first source would be to share the indirect costs on direct proposals that come to the University. The second source would be to directly ask alumni to make donations to the library. The third would be a development campaign for the library where members of the community at large are asked to support the achievement of research status for the UTSA library.
(question) On the issue of space, are there any plans down the road to increase the percentage of space that the library has in the JPL?
Dr. Amberg responded that when the Academic III building opens, there are plans to gradually commit all of the JPL to library functions. However, at first, twenty-five percent of the third floor and all of the first floor will still be occupied by administrative functions.
(question) In terms of the increases in funding, how are they divided proportionately among the students and other sources?
Dr. Amberg responded if the library's proposal is accepted by the University, in ten years the student fee will be the major source of funding for the library.
(question) Is there a way that one could endorse the request for increased allocations for the library without increasing student fees?
Dr. Amberg responded that his committee also has some reservations about the proposal to increase the student library fee to the degree that it is anticipated because it does shift the primary burden for supporting the library to the students. However, to take some of the burden off of the students, Dr. Amberg reiterated that the committee also recommends going to the indirect cost recovery policy for funds, going to the alumni, and going to the public for a general fund drive for the library.
(question) Would you mention what the increase in the student use fee is over what period of time?
Dr. Amberg said that it is currently $4. The proposal is to raise it to $18 over the next ten years.
(comment) That comes to $2 per year over the rest of the decade, and that is in context with other universities. For example, UT Austin's and UT Dallas's fees are already over $10, and UT Arlington's is on its way there. As a result, UTSA is already lagging far behind what other institutions are charging. I'm as concerned as anybody else about how much the students can bear, but there doesn't seem to be any other significant source of revenue.
(comment) I support the accolades directed toward the library, especially for research support; however, I am concerned that the undergraduates would not approve the proposal. If it were put forth to the student body with the heading of research, undergraduates might feel that this issue did not concern them. Plus, a couple of savvy students might even know that once the institution goes to Research I status, undergraduate education often suffers. I'd be very careful how I would frame that.
Dr. El-Kikhia pointed out that undergraduates use the library for research papers and assignments, as well.
Dr. Amberg said he thinks the library intends to set the fee higher for graduate students than for undergraduates. However, in order to raise enough money to meet the financial needs of a Research I library, the undergraduate population, which is the largest population, will be the main source of money. Dr. Amberg concluded his report with the hope that the Faculty Senate would consider some voice of support for the library's recommendation to the Provost and the Administration. He said it is one of the key recommendations, and the faculty should take a more direct interest in it.
Dr. Bailey began his report with a few points about the library's need for more funding and the University Standing Committee's recommendation. He said the indirect cost issue is a good source of funding because there is some hope that the University will get to keep more than 50% of the indirect cost from this legislative session. Right now, that amount will probably only be a couple of million dollars, but over the next ten years, that amount is expected to increase quite rapidly. Further, Dr. Bailey said using the indirect cost for library funding is certainly a legitimate use of overhead cost because the library is part of the overhead.
Dr. Bailey also claimed that fundraising for the library was a good idea because the University as a whole is beginning to increase its development efforts. Accordingly, Dr. Bailey complimented the job that the development team and its executive director, Sonia Martinez, are doing. Dr. Bailey also mentioned Mertz and Lundy, which is a consulting firm that the University is now using. According to Dr. Bailey, they have a very good record for helping universities create significant development portfolios. Since the University is concentrating on development efforts, Dr. Bailey said the library should be included in those plans. Another way to do that is with money from donors. Libraries represent good naming opportunities and are the kinds of things that donors like to support. As a result, Dr. Bailey said he would try to move fundraising into the priority list for development. Further, he said it was important that the University pursue large gifts rather than just having annual fundraising campaigns. One of the things that the University has done wrong is its focus on raising money for immediate use without any plan for bringing in large gifts or creating endowments.
Dr. Bailey also addressed the issue of raising library student fees. He said tuition and fees are probably going to increase anyway to compensate for the reduction in the state budget. As a result, the money that is generated should be designated toward high priorities in the institution. If the University is going to have fee increases anyway, why not designate a part of that to use specifically for the library? Dr. Bailey encouraged the Faculty Senate to consider the library's recommendation because it would be useful in establishing some priorities. He said one of the most important things that the University can do is create a library that the students and faculty find useful.
After encouraging support of additional funds for the library, Dr. Bailey discussed the state budget. He said three versions of the budget exist. Right now, the University's biennial budget is $136 million. The governor has proposed a state budget in which the University's allocation will be $119 million. The House has proposed a budget that will allocate $116 million to the University. Both scenarios present a pretty bleak picture. However, the Senate has come in with a version of the budget that will allocate $127 million to the University, which is much better than the House version. That version of the budget is one that the University can recover from and still make some progress in the biennium. Hence, Dr. Bailey predicted if the University gets the Senate version of the budget, enrollment continues to increase, and some authority is given to the University to raise tuition and fees, UTSA will be in pretty good shape.
Dr. Bailey said the University's priorities for the biennium were pay raises for faculty and staff and hiring new faculty. He said the University cannot grow unless it has a significant number of faculty.
(question) How many faculty do you anticipate to have hired by September?
Dr. Bailey said the University would like to hire about fifty people a year, and his projections are somewhere in that range. Although he did not have an exact number, Dr. Bailey said he could give a dollar figure. He said hiring for faculty beginning in September is probably close to $3 million.
(follow-up) The number one priority is to increase faculty. It's competitive to hire them; it's competitive to retain them. The University needs to start to get a decent student/faculty ratio before it can approach Tier I.
Dr. Bailey agreed that the University needs to do a significant amount of hiring. He said UTSA would need to add 145 tenure-track faculty tomorrow in order to be at the level the University needs. UTSA has a very poor student/faculty ratio, and this problem is being addressed. It is the President's personal priority and Dr. Bailey's, as well. Nothing that the University wants to accomplish can be done without a significant increase in faculty.
Dr. El-Kikhia - If there are going to be pay raises, what is the percentage?
Dr. Bailey said since the legislative session had not ended yet, he did not know what percentage the pay raises would be. He did say that the University had done a good job of hiring faculty, and it is important to retain them.
Dr. Bailey also addressed the problems with the IDEA system. He said that in the past the University has kept no records centrally of any student evaluations because it was thought to be unnecessary. However, open records requests were made for student evaluations last summer or fall, and they included teaching evaluations. Since they are state property, the evaluations have to be turned over, but the University did not have them to turn over. When UTSA was unable to comply properly with the open records request, UT System's legal council asked the University to keep records. The plan was to copy them, scan them in, and distribute the copies. Dr. Bailey apologized for the debacle and promised to get the evaluations to the faculty as soon as possible.
(comment) As I understand from talking to the director of Information Technology at UT Austin, student comments are specifically excluded from the Open Records Act according to a 1976 opinion. The debate that is ensuing now is if they can put them on the web. Once they are available on the web, they are no longer written and could be subject to open records.
Dr. Bailey responded that the University does not put them on the web. He said UTSA got word from the Office of General Council that it had to make student evaluations available if there were an open records request.
(question) A review is in progress in the College of Sciences, but it appears that only a small number of faculty members were selected. How many faculty members were selected and why can't the review include all faculty?
Dr. Bailey said he did not know how many faculty members were selected for the review, but he would get those numbers. He said the firm that is conducting the review is called Personnel Decisions Incorporated (PDI), and they are headquartered in Minneapolis. The University requested that PDI do a random survey with broad numbers in order to get an accurate representation of the faculty. Normally, only about twenty percent of the faculty returns evaluations. Many feel that there might be a way that they could be identified and their comments used against them. That was the logic for bringing in this firm. Dr. Bailey said he has been evaluated using this instrument, and he found the feedback very helpful.
Receivership Policy - Drs. Richardson and Travis addressed the faculty senate executive committee two weeks ago. Out of that discussion we learned that the UT Sysfac had developed a departmental receivership policy that has been endorsed by the Chancellor. I have requested a copy of that policy from Dr. Robert Nelsen, chair of the Sysfac. He has sent me a copy of the policy that was drafted for UT-Dallas and is in the process of getting me the original policy from the Sysfac. The executive board endorsed passing these documents to the policy and requirements committee so that we can shape a policy for UTSA.
Greivance Procedure - Policy and Requirements has been working on a number of suggestions for revising our rather byzantine grievance procedure. I would like to see those get circulated and then sent up to the Provost's Office as soon as possible.
Budget Committee - the new budget committee has convened for the first time. Chair shouldn't be other than full prof. Committee wanted some clarification about summer meeting. Committee will reconvene once these issues are clarified.
Qualitative teaching feedback (Mike Ryan's feedback form) - would like to entertain a motion to direct teaching effectiveness to work on the issue of an alternative qualitative teaching feedback instrument.
Curriculum Committee - no report today; they are in the process of reviewing four new program proposals, which we will have to vote on electronically because they will need to be approved/rejected before May.
Idea Survey - the teaching effectiveness committee has sent out a survey on the IDEA instrument to department chairs and we should be getting feedback shortly.
VII. Library - based on Dr. Steve Amberg's presentation, I would like to form an ad hoc committee from the senate to develop a resolution or report on the library budget.
Dr. El-Kikhia began by discussing his involvement with System faculty (SYSFAC). He said Dr. McDonald and himself represent the faculty of the University of Texas at SYSFAC, which is an advisory body that provides ideas to the UT system and brings together representatives from all components of the UT System in Texas. Dr. El-Kikhia said many of the issues that they deal with are similar to the issues that the Faculty Senate confronts. As a result, he said it is important that he and Dr. McDonald bring the information to the Faculty Senate and link it with what is going on at UTSA. For example, the return on the funding from 30 or 40% to 100% was started with SYSFAC and they are also in the process of revising the regent's rules. Dr. El-Kikhia ended his report with the hope that someone from UTSA will eventually chair that body.
Dr. Bonner said he had an opportunity to examine the third-year review guidelines that he submitted to the Faculty Senate in the last meeting. He said he also received some feedback from various faculty members as well as from Dr. Welch. As a result, a few substantive changes were made. One change was switching the areas of teaching and research in the document. Additionally, language was removed from the document that described the third-year review as elective if the candidate was not going to renew an expiring contract. Since the process is mandatory, the new form reflects those changes. As a result, Dr. Bonner asked for a motion to take a vote on this particular document.
A motion was made and discussion ensued.
(comment) It was pointed out that Item 4 also needed to switch the order of teaching and research in order to reflect the flow and be consistent with the earlier change.
Dr. Bonner said that technical change could be made.
Dr. Spivey said he did not see it mentioned that the dean could participate in the feedback process for third-year reviews.
Dr. Bonner responded that the dean is mentioned in the last section in the deadlines. The dean receives the report from the department chair and determines if the faculty member's performance has been satisfactory. Dr. Bonner added that all of the departments are following the information on the HOP for the tenure process, which does not give much direction. As a result, the new guidelines should standardize things across the departments.
After discussion, Dr. Bonner asked for a vote on the guidelines including these changes? A vote was taken and the guidelines were approved.
Dr. Boyd reported that his committee will have a written set of recommendations on a revised grievance procedure by the next meeting. He said his committee would like to see those recommendations discussed and submitted to the administration for consideration at that time. Dr. Boyd also addressed the administrative evaluations. He said the committee stressed that faculty input needed to be a part of the process. Finally, Dr. Boyd asked the Faculty Senate to look over the changes that were made to the recommended research space utilization policy and to provide him with feedback, so the committee could come back with a final recommendation for a policy next month.
Dr. Wilkinson began his report with a quick summary of the way things have developed with the IDEA surveys. He said the process became way too complicated in terms of distributing the files of student comments to faculty. It was decided that a more efficient approach would be for the administration to keep the copies of the scanned images and distribute the hard copies to the faculty. As a result, Dr. Wilkinson said an agreement was needed on whether the University should adopt the recommendation to have the scanned images be stored in Institutional Effectiveness and have the hard copies sent back to faculty. Dr. Wilkinson then made a motion to recommend that the administration adopt a process for distributing the results of the student comments on the IDEA surveys whereby the scanned electronic copies would stay with the administration and the hard copies would be distributed to the individual faculty members who have been evaluated. The difference being that under the old system there were no electronic copies that were kept. A motion was made to discuss the issue.
Dr. El-Kikhia asked if the Faculty Senate should wait until the legal issues are
cleared up before a vote is taken?
Another comment was made that the wording would have to be changed on the cover sheet informing students that people beyond the professor or instructor would see the comments.
Dr. Wilkinson said if the Senate recommends that his committee take up the issue, the level of participation in the process will have to be broadened and the process will take longer. Faculty are already annoyed that the surveys were completed five months ago, and they still are not back. If something is not adopted soon, it will be even longer.
Dr. Welch brought Dr. Terry Leal in to answer questions, since her office is responsible for the student evaluation process. Dr. Leal was asked about the wording on the student instructions and who those instructions authorized to have access to the feedback. In response, Dr. Leal read read the instructions from the sheet: "A copy of the original survey form that you are completing is returned only to the instructor whom you are evaluating and only after final grade reports are submitted." However, Dr. Leal said the instructions will be changed for next time in order to inform the students that the University keeps an electronic copy and the hard copies go to back to the instructors.
After much discussion, Dr. Wilkinson withdrew his first motion and made another one. His motion stated that the Faculty Senate recognized the issue needed more work, and it would be remanded to the Teaching Effectiveness Committee. Meanwhile, Institutional Effectiveness would be asked to send back the hard copies for the Fall 2002 semester and the legal implications for subsequent semesters would be explored.
The motion was approved.
1. Approval of revisions to Graduate Council Bylaws was recommended.
Dr. Welch wanted to clarify the Break Even analysis for summer because it differs from the one used in the Spring and Fall semesters. In the summer, instead of having $50 times the weighting factor times the number of hours times the student, it is a straight $67 times the number of students. Any amount above that is considered summer profits for the department. Dr. Welch sent an email to Dr. McDonald with the correct version of the Break Even Analysis, and he will send out a copy to everyone. Dr. Welch apologized for any inconvenience that misunderstanding might have caused anyone.
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Last updated June 2, 2005