OF APRIL 8, 2004

The seventh regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2003-2004 was held April 8, 2004 at 3:30 p.m. in the Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04) with Dr. Aaron Cassill, Chair, presiding, Dr. Roger Enriquez, Secretary.

Call to order and taking of attendance

Present:   Diane Abdo, Ron Ayers, Guy Bailey, Manuel Berriozábal, Ron Binks, Steven Boyd, Felecia Briscoe, David Bruenger, Janis Bush, Aaron Cassill, Anthony Chronopoulos, Mansour El-Kikhia, Daniel Engster, Roger Enriquez, Timothy Goles, Norma Guerra, Lars Hansen, Vic Heller, Eugene John, Dan Kiley, Randy Manteufel, Raquel Marquez, Kenneth Masden, James McDonald, Bill Mullen, Sandy Norman, Frank Pino, Alyson Ponomarenk, Chris Reddick, Michael Ryan, Linda Shepherd, Ted Skekel, Armando Trujillo, Yiuman Tse, Raydel Tullous, Jude Valdez, Judy Walmsley

Absent:   Rosalie Ambrosino, Jerry Barloco, Fred Bonner, Manuel Diaz, James Gallas, David Hansen, David Johnson, Michael Kelly, Ross Langham, David Larson, Hayley Mayall, Todd Ryska, Carlos Salinas, Rudy Sandoval, Joseph Stafford, Sandra Welch

Total members present:   37                    Total members absent:   16

>Minutes of the March 11, 2004 meeting were corrected and approved.
III. Reports

Dr. Aaron Cassill asked for a motion to suspend the Order of Business and move directly to Item D., Committee Reports. Motion made and approved.


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

Dr. Tullous called for a final vote on the amendments to Faculty Senate bylaws as presented at the March 11, 2004 meeting. Dr. Vic Heller made a motion to accept the revised bylaws. Motion approved.

Dr. Tullous asked each of the four nominees for Faculty Senate Chair to give a two-minute presentation on their ideas and visions for the Senate. Drs. Mansour El-Kikhia, Anthony Chronopoulos, Vic Heller, and Stephen Boyd addressed the Senate. Ballots were then distributed. The Committee counted the votes and determined a run-off election between Drs. El-Kikhia and Heller was necessary. Run-off ballots were distributed; the final count determined Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia would serve as Faculty Senate Chair for the next two years.

University Curriculum Committee - Dr. James McDonald

Dr. McDonald presented the report and recommendations of the Curriculum Committee as distributed with the agenda packet (attached to and made a part of these minutes). Dr. Bill Mullen noted his agreement on the Committee's recommendation to form an oversight committee for the Freshman Initiative Program. He suggested the committee's charge should include curricular development and approval. Dr. McDonald accepted the suggestion and a friendly amendment. Motion approved.

Academic Policy and Requirements Committee - Dr. Steven Boyd

Dr. Boyd again presented the proposal to revise the UTSA undergraduate repeat policy. He distributed additional information on the impact of this change and introduced Dr. Larry Williams to assist with answering questions. Dr. Randy Manteufel said his experience has shown the policy has more of a pedagogical impact than a financial one. The new policy would be a tremendous improvement encouraging students to become more serious and to graduate sooner. Dr. Boyd noted the possibility that upper-level students allowed to repeat courses several times might, theoretically, be denying other students from taking the class because there are no available seats. Dr. Michael Ryan said the seriousness of the students would be improved if prerequisites were actually enforced at the time of registration. In order to enforce prerequisites now, the faculty member has to manually check academic histories on Banner. If a student does not have the appropriate prerequisites, the faculty must initiate an administrative drop. Dr. Williams said Banner should be able to check prerequisites by the Fall 2005 semester. Dr. Heller called the question. Motion approved.

Dr. Boyd summarized recommended changes to the Faculty Grievance Policy previously presented to the Senate by the Academic Policy and Requirements Committee. Currently there is a two-stage grievance procedure.  First a grievance panel determines the grievability of the issue. If it is grievable a second panel hears the grievance itself. The recommendation of the committee was to collapse the two hearings into one. This would reduce demands on faculty, as well as reduce the delays caused by the absence of sufficient faculty to serve on panels. A second recommendation was that all newly appointed members of the pool of panelists be trained early in the Fall so that issues could move forward through the process as they occur. Thirdly, the committee suggested the use of some type of outside mediation. Based on experience within his department, Dr. Boyd added the recommendation that panelists must be tenured or tenure-track faculty. Dr. Bailey asked if non-tenure track faculty file a grievance would that entire grievance panel be tenure-track faculty. Dr. Boyd responded affirmatively and noted the perception is that it is possible for deans to influence the decisions of people who are not tenure-track. Dr. Chronopoulos said it should be the decision of the person accepting the nomination. Regents' Rules require that grievance committee panelists are of equal or higher rank than the grievant. Dr. McDonald said the committee had expended a tremendous amount of effort to help revise and streamline the current grievance procedures and he urged a vote on the recommendation in order to move the process forward. He called the question on the committee's report. Dr. Boyd again stated the recommendations to streamline the grievance procedure process by collapsing the current two-step process into a one-step process; to encourage earlier training for grievance pool members;, and the development of a mediation process. He withdrew the recommendation to limit panelists to the ranks of tenured or tenure-track. Motion approved.

Provost - Dr. Guy Bailey

UTSA Access Program - a full report on the status of this proposal will be given at the May meeting.

Freshman Initiative Advisory Committee - recommendations for members have been received and the committee will be appointed soon.

Annual Report Form - feedback has been received. Comments have ranged from very positive to very negative. Some modifications will be made based on faculty suggestions. However, it should be noted that the collection of information and how the departments conducts merit evaluations are different issues. The various disciplines cannot be evaluated in the same manner. Some of the data collection is required by the UT System accountability document. The State of Texas is also requiring more accountability in higher education. Fortunately UT System has been proactive and is ahead of the curve, with the Chancellor setting the agenda for the entire System.

UTSA University Compact - Dr. Richard Lewis distributed copies of the draft currently being reviewed by UT System. The document is designed to generate extensive conversation with internal and external constituents. The accountability process is something UT System has worked on for two years and now the state is involved in terms of accountability. There are still some missing pieces in the draft compact in terms of short- and long-term initiatives. The colleges and departments are going to be involved in further development of the compact. Comments or suggestions would be appreciated and made a part of the process. Dr. El-Kikhia stated that the Chancellor takes this process very seriously. He asked if the draft could be placed on the Web so that faculty could provide input electronically. Dr. Lewis agreed to post the material on the Web.  He further explained the intent is to put a template together that goes down to the departmental and college level so they can create plans that are realistic for them. The document will be updated every year and should never be a stagnant strategic plan, which in most cases does nothing. The unit determines what can be measured, then, at the end of the year, evaluates what has been done to ensure the plan was followed. The compact is intended to be a very fluid document with priorities evaluated from year to year. The compact is also the first step in a process to reconstitute a vision for the university. Dr. Bailey noted that administration has been very involved with the Washington Advisory Group (WAG) that was hired by UT System to provide recommendations on how some components could move to the status of research institutions. The consensus was to review the WAG report and the Regents' response to that report before making additional changes to the compact.

IV. Graduate Council Consent Calendar


V. Unfinished Business

Dr. El-Kikhia made a motion to establish an ad hoc committee, chaired by Dr. Daniel Engster, to evaluate the Faculty Senate. This committee would see if the Senate is operating appropriately, determine its strengths and weakness, and make recommendations for changes, if needed. Motion approved.

VI. New Business


VII. Questions to the Provost

Dr. Boyd asked if it would be possible to have two Annual Report forms with each college deciding which form to use. The Department of History is very concerned about the proposed new form and would prefer the old form even with all its deficiencies. Dr. Bailey replied that some of the material collected could possibly be optional. The important point is that people show the impact of what they have achieved. The department can determine how it collects the information but it must be collected. The Provost's Office does not receive the Annual Report forms and would only see the actual form if there is an appeal of a merit decision. Each college submits a plan for how it is going to allocate merit increases. Dr. Briscoe asked if a college could have two forms - an annual report that would be the basis for merit evaluation and another form for additional information needed for accountability purposes. Dr. Bailey said the ideal would be the broadest collection of information possible. Then the departments can use the information for evaluations. While different disciplines have varying expectations, all must provide data for both external and internal evaluation. The university must think about the quality of the work, as well as the quantity. Within the next year, all UTSA doctoral programs will be evaluated by the National Research Council. At that time, UTSA must be able to show the impact of its faculty's work as an institution. The Provost's Office would appreciate any suggestions about how to collect the necessary information. Dr. Tullous asked why an Annual Report with an ending date of December 31st was due in the deans' offices in the early part of December? Dr. Bailey responded this deadline is an issue he can discuss with the deans and department chairs. He noted the timing is critical for the merit evaluation and budgeting processes, which must be completed in March.



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Last updated June 2, 2005