The first regular meeting of the Faculty Senate for the academic year 2007-2008 was held November 8, 2007 at 3:30 p.m. in the Assembly Room (JPL 4.03.08) with Dr. Mansour El-Kikhia, Chair, presiding.
Present: Diane Abdo, Marian Aitches, Mark Allen, Thad Bartlett, Rajendra Boppana, Lorenzo Brancaleon, Susan Bruenger, Aaron Cassill, Sara Deturk, Mansour El-Kikhia, Juanita Firestone, Mary Ellen Garcia, Kirsten Gardner, Julius Gribou, Eugene John, Craig Jordan, John McCray, Patricia McGee, Jolyn Mikow, Sandy Norman, Robert Renthal, Rocky Shih, Alan Shoho, John Simonis, Raydel Tullous, Judith Walmsley, Wan Yao
Absent: Karan Bhanot (excused), Ron Binks (excused), Rena Bizios (excused), John Byrd, Fengxin Chen, Margaret Flores (excused), Timothy Goles (excused), Amy Jasperson (excused), Eduardo Jimenez, Melvin Laracey, Melody Lo, William McCrary (excused), Debajyoti Paul (excused), Dianne Rahm (excused), Cherylon Robinson (excused), Michael Ryan (excused), Nestor Sanchez, Larry Shrum (excused), Ted Skekel, Jon Thompson, Karen Williams (excused), Mary Zey
Total members present: 27
Total members absent: 22
Dr. El-Kikhia announced that all changes in the Handbook of Operating Procedures must be reviewed by the governance structures of any institution. No changes to the HOP can be made without approval of the Faculty Senate.
He stressed the importance of getting feedback regarding the HOP from faculty in the various departments. He urged the Faculty Senate members to solicit the feedback in writing in order to absolve themselves of any problems later. He emphasized that the feedback on the HOP would govern the Faculty Senate’s relationship with the institution, with the administration, and with each other.
Dr. El-Kikhia thanked all the Faculty Senate members who have been attending the meetings regarding the Provost search. He announced that on November 9th, three candidates would be sent to the President, who would in turn choose one.
Dr. Sandy Norman announced the University Assembly had not met since the last Faculty Senate meeting. Therefore, there was nothing new to announce. However, at the System Faculty meeting there were several issues that might be of concern to the Senate.
The System Faculty is interested in obtaining a Faculty Regent. They feel that a faculty voice and perspective might prove to be very educational. Dr. Norman also stated that there was some discussion at the System Faculty meeting about restructuring compensation plans. Currently, the way in which compensation is handled in terms of raises and merit raises is problematic for a lot of faculty. Therefore, this issue is something that the Faculty Senate may want to consider.
Dr. El-Kikhia reported that Dr. Robert Renthal needs two more members on the University Curriculum Committee one from the college of business and one from the college of engineering. Dr. El-Kikhia stated that if the Faculty Senate representatives from business and engineering did not wish to serve, then it was incumbent upon them to find someone in their area who would.
1 University Curriculum Committee—Dr. Robert Renthal
The University Curriculum Committee approved the request for a name change for the minor in women and gender studies to a minor in women studies. The Faculty Senate motioned to approve the name change to a minor in women studies. Motion Seconded. Approved.
Dr. Robert Renthal said that he had been given an anonymous document by members in the biology faculty which raised a question about the compensation for some administrators. Some of the administrators are receiving added pay based on the number of dollars of grant funding that occurs under their administrative unit. The faculty is concerned that this may be a conflict of interest. Dr. Renthal suggested that this might merit an ad hoc committee to investigate the issue.
Dr. Marianne Woods announced she has formed a small advisory committee composed of faculty to talk about research and research-related issues. She is interested in what is taking place in research and research administration, and what she and the Faculty Senate can do as a team to enhance research on campus and to overcome some past problems. Dr. Woods announced that she has an open-door policy and is interested in hearing from Faculty Senate members about what can be done to make the process easier. She also stated that she would like to return to future meetings to keep the Faculty Senate abreast of what is going on.
Mr. Julius Gribou announced he will be meeting with the Inclusiveness Task Force next week to look at curriculum and the way various minority academic programs can be handled. The group will provide him with a recommendation that he will present to the Faculty Senate for discussion.
The Inclusiveness Task Force Committee is open-ended in terms of membership and will choose its own chair. The provost will meet with the committee and give them a charge.
Last year Science and Technology Acquisition and Retention (STARS) received a large amount of money for UTSA. Ten million dollars will be available to the entire system on a competitive basis. There will be a second roll out of additional STARS funding, which will be available to disciplines outside of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
The strategic plan is moving full speed ahead. Team 2016 has met, and a number of units are contributing their portions into a larger overall plan.
A salary compression study was commissioned by Dr. Rosalie Ambrosino and Dr. David Johnson. The provost will put together a presentation from the salary compression report and submit it to the Faculty Senate who may respond in an advisory capacity.
The provost also reported that the Coordinating Board is getting much stricter about new PhD programs. There must be at least five full-time and highly qualified faculty before any PhD program is considered.