OF NOVEMBER 13, 2003

The third regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2003-2004 was held in room JPL 4.03.08, November 13, 2003 at 3:30 p.m. in the JPL Building Assembly Room with Dr. Aaron Cassill, Chair, presiding, Dr. Roger Enriquez, Secretary.

I. Call to order and taking of attendance

Present: Diane Abdo, Stephan Bach, Manuel Berriozabal, Steven Boyd, Felecia Briscoe, Janis Bush, Aaron Cassill, Anthony Chronopoulos, Mansour El-Kikhia, Roger Enriquez, Timothy Goles, Norma Guerra, Vic Heller, Eugene John, Michael Kelly, Dan Kiley, Melvin Laracey, Raquel Marquez, Hayley Mayall, James McDonald, Bill Mullen, Sandy Norman, Frank Pino, Michael Ryan, Carlos Salinas, Rudy Sandoval, Linda Shepherd, Ted Skekel, Yiuman Tse, Raydel Tullous, Sandra Welch

Absent: Rosalie Ambrosino, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Jerry Barloco, Ron Binks, Fred Bonner, David Bruenger, Manuel Diaz, James Gallas (excused), Roger Garza, Lars Hansen (excused), David Johnson, David Larson, Randy Manteufel, Kenneth Masden, Alyson Ponomarenko, Chris Reddick, Todd Ryska (excused), Joseph Stafford, Armando Trujillo

Total members present: 31 Total members absent: 20

II. Minutes of the October 9, 2003 meeting were corrected to add Dr. Kenton Wilkinson to the membership of the Teaching Effectiveness and Development Committee. Minutes approved as corrected.
III. Reports

A. Provost - Dr. Guy Bailey

Dr. Sandra Welch explained that Dr. Bailey was not able to attend the meeting due to being called away at the last minute.

B. Senate Chair - Dr. Aaron Cassill

Dr. Cassill reported that UTSA is doing quite well overall, in comparison to other University of Texas System components. Many components have reported faculty will not receive salary increases this year. Some have even reported anticipated staff layoffs.

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

Dr. El-Kikhia reported UT System has an office in Washington, D.C. that faculty can visit and make use of various resources, such as research and clerical assistance. The office also has student internships available. He further reported that UTSA's health insurance plan is in the best shape it has ever been and in much better shape than most other campuses and state agencies. Dr. El-Kikhia said nearly 500 UTSA faculty responded to the UT System Satisfaction Survey. Senators should contact him for information on how to download the files containing the survey results.

Dr. Cassill requested a suspension of the order of business to allow Dr. Frank Pino to introduce a resolution. Motion made and approved.

Dr. Pino presented the following resolution:

The Faculty Senate at The University of Texas at San Antonio, on behalf of the University's faculty, wishes to recognize the contributions to this institution made by Professor Joseph I. Michel, Professor Emeritus of Spanish, former Director of the Division of Bicultural/Bilingual Studies, Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies, and Dean of the College of Multidisciplinary Studies. He contributed greatly in building relationships with various sectors of the San Antonio Area community including public and private schools, public and private organizations and was one of the founders of San Antonio's University Roundtable. Following his retirement in 1986 he continued as Professor Emeritus of Spanish on a modified retirement basis, where students received him as one of UTSA's finest. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues, his students and his friends for his associations, and he will be appreciated for the foundation he laid for this institution.

Motion made and passed to approve the resolution.

D. Committees

1. Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee - Dr. Melvin Laracey

A subcommittee of the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee met during 2002-2003 to review the Faculty Grievance Policy. During that time, the committee was able to get a sense of how the procedures worked and to identify some of the problems with the policy. Dr. Laracey presented the subcommittee's report to the Senate. He noted the grievance procedure is actually a two-step process and considerable time is spent determining the grieveability of an issue. The committee suggests the process be changed so that a grievance committee is only necessary if someone contests the grieveability of the issue. Another problem was the timing of faculty training in the grievance process; however, that no longer seems to be an issue since training is now being provided early in the Fall semester. The committee also suggested there should be some discussion with the administration about when to utilize mediation or an alternative dispute resolution process to be conducted by someone outside of the university.

Dr. Mike Ryan asked if the committee considered how the grievance process could be related to the office responsible for handling discrimination issues, UTSA's Office of Institutional Diversity? Dr. Laracey responded that if alleged discrimination was an issue, it would be expected the grievant would want to pursue both avenues.

Dr. James McDonald noted that part of the power of the faculty process was the method of constituting the faculty panels. Even though it slows things down, any changes would take a peer process to an administrative process.

Dr. Sandy Norman agreed changes in grievance procedures were overdue. However, in Fall 1999, the Senate passed a grievance policy that has never been implemented. This occurred after an incredibly complex negotiation with the UT System Office of General Counsel. The grievance policy currently in the Handbook of Operating Procedures is not the policy approved by the Faculty Senate and University Assembly. The "no rational basis" clause makes it virtually impossible for faculty to win a grievance. After considerable discussion regarding this clause, the Office of General Counsel agreed to change it, but it was never changed in the Handbook of Operating Procedures. He said the Senate should be making any changes to the policy approved by the Senate, Assembly, and Office of General Counsel that should be in the Handbook.

Dr. Cassill said the Provost should be asked to address this issue at the next Senate meeting. Dr. Pino suggested the Senate should request the administration to provide a copy of the policy returned to the President and Provost from the Office of General Counsel. Dr. El-Kikhia made a motion to table the report of the subcommittee until additional information could be obtained from administration. Motion approved.

2. Nominating, Elections, and Procedures Committee - Dr. Raydel Tullous

Dr. Tullous reported proposed changes to Graduate Council bylaws would require revisions to Senate bylaws. The committee is reviewing the bylaws and will make recommendations for changes at a future meeting.

Dr. Tullous also reported the committee initiated the process of election of faculty representatives to the University Assembly by sending out a request for elections to colleges with vacancies. The deadline to provide the names of the new representatives was set as November 17, 2003.

IV. Graduate Council Consent Calendar
V. Unfinished Business

1. Faculty Senate Representation for Freshman Initiative Program

Dr. Michael Kelly presented the following resolution for consideration:

Move that the Senate direct the Freshman Initiative Program faculty to elect one representative to the Faculty Senate to serve for the remainder of this current academic year, 2003-2004. The director of the program should coordinate the election. A simple majority of votes cast will elect the representative. In the case of multiple candidates and no majority winner, a runoff election between the two candidates with the highest vote totals will be conducted. The election process may be done electronically.

A motion was made to accept the resolution. Discussion followed during which Dr. Ryan asked how the Freshman Initiatives Program came into existence? Dr. Kelley responded it was created by administrative action. Dr. Welch explained administration had studied various ways to improve freshman retention. Several research universities have established a separate entity for freshmen, which assists students, particularly first-generation students, to better determine what is available in terms of careers. Dr. Carlos Salinas asked if the Freshman Initiative Program was the same as the Technology Initiative discussed several months ago. The Senate had been told that the technology initiative would not result in a separate college and this new program has caused considerable confusion. Dr. Norman said he applauded the Provost's Office for trying to improve the curriculum and help students. But these types of initiatives should have some faculty oversight if, for no other reason, there could be unintended consequences. The Faculty Senate should, at least, have some idea of what is going on with this type of curriculum initiative. Dr. Bill Mullen said the separation of the writing program from the Department of English, Classics, and Philosophy set a precedent that an entire group of non-tenure track faculty could be removed from a department and placed into another area. When the Freshman Initiative went into effect, there was massive confusion in the department regarding responsibility for decision making in many instances. Dr. Mullen said since serious governance issues, financial implications, and questions about curricular control have been raised by this move, someone should address the Faculty Senate to explain why this happened.

Motion to accept the resolution approved.

Dr. Kelly presented a second resolution, which was subsequently withdrawn after determination this was not an issue at this time.

Move that in the election of faculty representatives to the University Assembly that the Senate open the election to the candidacy of all tenure track faculty in each college, including the department chairpersons, and that a simple majority of votes cast will elect the representative. In the case of multiple candidates and no majority winner, a runoff election between the two candidates with the highest vote totals will be conducted. The election process may be done electronically.

2. IDEA Survey - Dr. Felecia Briscoe

Dr. Briscoe recommended a new ad hoc committee be formulated to continue work on the IDEA Survey. Dr. El-Kikhia made a motion to form this committee. Motion approved.

3. Faculty Senate Resolution - Dr. Bill Mullen

Dr. Mullen presented the following resolution for consideration:

The UTSA Faculty Senate supports the right of all UTSA students to quality, affordable higher education. The Senate calls upon the Texas state legislature and The University of Texas System Board of Regents to find ways to reduce the cost burden of higher education for UTSA students and their peers across the state.

Motion made and approved to accept the resolution.

VI. New Business

1. Evaluation of Administrators

Motion made and approved to form an ad hoc committee to determine the adequacy of the current process for evaluating administrators.

2. Faculty Senate Email Distribution List

The question has been raised about whether or not the Faculty Senate email distribution list should be available to everyone on campus. Sandy Pottorff will contact the Office of Information Technology to determine what distribution options are available.

3. Web Site Usage

There are concerns regarding University restrictions on academic Web sites. A motion was made and approved to have the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee review this issue.

VII. Adjournment

The motion was made and approved to adjourn the meeting.

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Last updated Sep 1, 2005