The sixth regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2005-2006 was held March 9, 2006 at 3:30 p.m. in the John Peace Library 4.03.08 Assembly Room with Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia, Chair, presiding.
Present: Diane Abdo, Mark Allen, Rosalie Ambrosino, Ron Ayers, Thad Bartlett, Manuel Berriozábal, Rajendra Boppana, Thomas Coyle, Stacey Davis, Mansour El-Kikhia, MaryEllen Garcia, Kirsten Gardner, Timothy Goles, Paul LeBlanc, John McCray, James McDonald, Jolyn Mikow, Elizabeth Pate, Debajyoti Paul, Robert Renthal, Mariela Rodriguez, Ron Rutherford, L.J. Shrum, Ted Skekel, Raydel Tullous, Judith Walmsley, Karen Williams, Wan Yao.
Absent: Robert Bayley (excused), Ron Binks (excused), Lorenzo Brancaleon (excused), John Byrd, Aaron Cassill, Daniel Engster (excused), David Hansen (excused), Lars Hansen (excused), Eugene John (excused), Craig Jordan, Kim Keller, Patrick McDaniel, Elizabeth Pate (excused), Diane Rahm (excused), Earle Reybold (excused), Cherylon Robinson (excused), Michael Ryan (excused), Rocky Shih (excused), Betty Travis (excused).
Total members present: 28
Total members absent: 18
Dr. El-Kikhia reported on the most recent System Faculty meeting held in Austin. He added that Geri Malandra, Associate Vice Chancellor from Institutional Planning and Accountability discussed planning and accountability. She developed a website that faculty can visit and give their feedback. Dr. El-Kikhia said that he would e-mail that link to all Faculty Senators. Terri Sullivan, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is leaving The University of Texas at Austin for a Provost opportunity in Michigan. Dr. El-Kikhia added that a replacement position for Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UT has been opened. Brian J. Haley, the first student regent, also attended the System Faculty meeting. Representative Patrick Rose from the Texas House Committee and Regent speaker Ms. Colleen McHugh discussed the possibility of creating more funds for higher education. Dr. El-Kikhia noted that both Mr. Rose and Ms. McHugh knew very little of UTSA’s financial and space issues. However, both individuals were very receptive to discussions regarding these issues at UTSA.
Dr. McDonald reported on the Provost Search. He said that the Provost Search Committee has a list of five candidates that will be on the UTSA campus the week of March 20, 2006 through March 27, 2006. Open forums will be available at the 1604 and Downtown campuses for faculty, staff, and students to attend. A forum will also be structured for Faculty Senate members and key stakeholders. The dates of these forums will be listed on the UTSA website and e-mailed to all members of the UTSA organization. The names of the candidates are Dr. Rosalie Ambrosino, who earned a 1985 PhD from UT Austin in Social Work, Dr. Steven R. Angle, who earned a 1984 PhD from UC Irvine in Chemistry, and who is currently Dean of College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UC Riverside. The third candidate is Dr. William A. Covino who has a 1981 PhD from the University of Southern California in English, and is currently the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Anthony Garro, who holds a 1968 PhD from Columbia University in Microbiology and Immunochemistry, is currently the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Layman College City University in New York. Lastly, Dr. Neal Smatrask, a 1980 PhD from UT Austin in Zoology is currently Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. Dr. McDonald reminded Faculty Senators that the Provost Search Committee’s final charge is to provide Dr. Romo with an unranked list of three finalists. He concluded that the ideal date for the new provost to be in place at UTSA is by June 1, 2006. An electronic feedback system using Survey Monkey will be established on the UTSA website so that faculty may submit their feedback regarding the Provost Search.
Dr. El-Kikhia presented a proposal for University Travel Fund Initiative that he and Dr. Daniel Engster developed. This initiative would make available $1,200.00 per academic year, beginning in September 2006 and continuing indefinitely, to each tenure and tenure-track faculty member to support the travel, hotel and food expenses associated with the presentation of academic or artistic works at conferences or other academic or artistic venues. Dr. El-Kikhia added that he would like for this initiative to apply to non-tenure track faculty members as well. The University Travel Fund Initiative will be e-mailed to Faculty Senators for review. Dr. El-Kikhia concluded that funding for the initiative is available, and may come from UTSA summer funds. A motion was made to approve the University Travel Funds Initiative, and send it to the Provost’s and President’s office for review.
Dr. El-Kikhia reported on the tabulation of responses by faculty members polled regarding the plus and minus grade scale change. The data showed that 21 departments support exploring the grade scale change further, and 12 departments are against any further exploration. A motion was made to create an ad hoc committee that will research all aspects of the plus and minus grade scale change. Faculty Senators were asked to volunteer for this ad hoc committee, and will report their findings to the Faculty Senate in future meetings.
All motions made, seconded, and approved.
Dr. LeBlanc reminded Faculty Senators that nominations for Faculty Senate Chair are due Monday, March 27, 2006. Elections will be conducted at the Faculty Senate meeting held April 13, 2006. The term will be for two years, starting in August, 2006 and ending in May, 2008. In order to be considered for Chair of the Faculty Senate, Dr. LeBlanc noted that nominees must be current Faculty Senate members and voting faculty members in their department. Nominees will need to provide a statement outlining their professional achievements and interest in the position, which should not exceed two pages. Those who wish to self-nominate or nominate someone else should send their nominations to Robert Bayley, in care of Jennifer Milner, JPL 4.03.14 C.
Dr. Robert Fuhrman was present to discuss substantive approval for Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology Degree Program. Dr. Fuhrman explained that 19 tenure and tenure-track faculty will comprise the core of the program. Arrangements will also be made with the UT Health Science Center to partner with Harcourt Publishing and Brooks City Base to aid in specialized areas of instruction as well as dissertations. Dr. Fuhrman concluded that the Department of Psychology houses 3.2 million dollars in grants so that students enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology Degree Program will be funded.
All policies and programs were sent to Dr. Ricardo Romo and Dr. Rosalie Ambrosino for their review and approval March 13, 2006.
Dr. El-Kikhia brought forth concerns regarding the IDEA survey to Faculty Senators. He noted that the survey is not helpful in allowing faculty to develop, and many faculty members would like to replace the IDEA survey with a homespun survey. A motion was made to create an ad hoc committee to research other survey options, which will be made up of Faculty Senate members and members outside of the Faculty Senate.
Dr. Ronald Ayers brought forth a concern regarding an e-mail he received from Dr. Sandra Welch and Mr. William Angrove. The e-mail included a document in response to faculty misbehavior in on-line courses. The document was sent in order to prevent future misuse of on-line courses at UTSA, but was not intended to signify a policy. A motion was made for an ad hoc committee to be created to develop a policy regarding use and misuse of on-line courses at UTSA. Dr. Ronald Ayers will chair the ad hoc committee.
All motions made, seconded, and approved.
Dr. Ambrosino reported that the Provost’s office has completed reviewing Promotion and Tenure files. The decision for these files will be made by April 1, 2006.
Tuition Revenue Bonds are due, and Chancellor Mark G. Yudof is attempting to match Permanent University Funds with Tuition Revenue Bonds.
Dr. Ambrosino also asked Faculty Senators if they are still interested in housing an Ombudsman for faculty. Faculty Senators agreed that they would still like to have an Ombudsman, and that Dr. Rudy Sandoval will obtain that position.
Lastly, Ms. Diane Abdo brought forth a concern at the Faculty Senate meeting held November 10, 2005 regarding a fellow faculty member and the processes of grade appeals. The grade appeal was sent to the Department Chair and to the Associate Dean of the college, and the grade was changed. However, the faculty member was never notified of the grade change, and could not find any procedure that stated a faculty member should be notified. Ms. Abdo asked Dr. Ambrosino if this process had been researched. Dr. Ambrosino said that it had, and that there was a logical reason why the faculty member was bypassed in the grade appeal decision. She said that she will locate the exact information for Ms. Abdo, and agreed that everyone needs to be involved in a grade appeal process.
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