UTMB Faculty Senate

March 10, 2003

4:30-6:20 – Caduceus Room


Senators in attendance:  S. Ayachi, C. Baker, M. Boyars, V. Braciale, B. Budelmann, C. Christiansen (ex-officio), R. Fabian, R. Garafalo, S. Gerik, N. Holcomb, C. Jansen, K. Johnson, S. Lemon (ex-officio), R. Leonard, R. Moore (ex-officio), Nash, L. Primeau, N. Rubin, V. Sierpina, G. Taglialatela, D. Traber, C. Watson, P. Watson, C. Wigg, C. Wisnewski.


I.                   Call to order.  3/10/03 agenda approved.  2/10/03 minutes approved.

II.                Comments from the president – J. Stobo

o        Currently doing a feasibility study on the comprehensive campaign.  There have been 3 meetings to date in Galveston.  The priorities are Biodefense, Education, Research and patient access.  There will be a meeting in Austin with the consultants to determine the specific financial target.  It is estimated at 300 to 350 million in addition to philanthropy.  Target date is by the end of summer.  (D. Traber questioned why not the burns unit).  The burns unit is not a specific need, but may be integrated into the projects.

o        Target date for opening of the BSL4 lab is the end of summer.  Applications for the Regional Center for Excellence and National Biodefense Lab have been submitted.  The Galveston Daily News published an article showing good support.

o        Budget – D. Stobo testified before the legislature.  We have reduced our budget by 7% for the remainder of this fiscal year.  Projected cuts of 12.5% of state revenues for FY’04 & FY’ 05.  Other system components were not as deeply impacted as we were.  They do not have hospitals, TDCJ or deal with indigent care.  Our cuts are substantial yet we are preserving our core values.

o        S. Lemon – He met with Chairmen to determine where the funds would be decreased.  There were no salary freezes; working to preserve and sustain academic programs.  Academic Executive Committee approved the 7% reduction for the School of Medicine.  Chairmen will make efforts to increase clinical and grant revenues.

o        P. Watson – the School of Nursing decreased their budget by 7%.  They will be filling faculty vacancies.  Nationally, the goal is to produce 10K new nurses per year at the Baccalaureate level.

o        C. Christiansen - the School of Allied Health is experiencing a downturn in enrollment as a result of tightening state funds.

o        C. Watson asked Dr. Lemon if he was considering combining basic sciences.  S. Lemon noted a possible combination of HBCG & Physiology; Microbiology and Pathology.

o        D. Traber cited an article in the Houston Chronicle about the cost of grants.  R. Moore noted that the schools absorb ½ of the general costs, institution picks up the rest.  G. Taglialatela cited that UT-System health components keep 100% of funds, there is a bill being proposed to extend to other components.

o        V. Sierpina cited a proposed 1% tax on indigent care supported by rep’s Eiland and Janek.

III.             Chair Report – G. Taglialatela

o        Dr. Lederman was unable to attend this meeting due to family emergency.  He and Dr. Lederman attended the Faculty Advisory Committee budget discussions with UT-System.  Met with Chancellor Mark Yudof.  Regent Judith Craven was very supportive of Afro-American/minority faculty advancement programs.

o        As of Friday, March 7, the Faculty Satisfaction Survey had 36.1% UT-System participation.  Will try to derive UTMB information.

IV.              Senate Committee Procedures – N. Holcomb

o        Distributed handout noting conflicts in senators serving successive terms; to be reviewed and discussed at the next senate meeting.


V.                 Past Chair Report – V. Sierpina

o        Noted that during these times of budget crisis, pending war, etc. we experience morale problems.  A beneficial resource is the publication “Academic Medicine” which contains ideas and ways to foster Faculty Development.

VI.              Progress Report OSP supervising committee – C. Watson

o        Distributed report for review prior to meeting via e-mail.  Response to UT-System’s question “Do we need oversight of the Office of Sponsored Programs?”

o        C. Watson noted their findings included:  customer services issues;  better management of resources is needed (i.e. on-line software) and high turnover of personnel.  Her committee has volunteered to be a Focus Group.  The only problem participating with point of service surveys, as well as all faculty surveys, is faculty never get the results.

o        Recommended that the existing Research Advisory Committee be utilized for oversight of OSP.

§         D. Traber noted we should look at the RAC structure; not elected members; administration should not appoint members.

§         G. Taglialatela noted the RAC was an elected body and purely an advisory source to Dr. Perachio.  He commended Watson and her committee for their report.

§         D. Traber noted the OSP should be immune to budget cuts – very important.

§         D. Taglialatela noted the RAC had come under fire at one point regarding their study of Sealy Smith fund distribution.

§         C. Watson commented it was what the committee can do vs. what they have done.


VII.           Discussion Senate Tasks/Approaches

o        Faculty Surveys

§         C. Watson – what good are the surveys to us if we don’t get raw data results vs. massaged data.

§         S. Gerikit’s value depends if the action is to change;

§         V. Braciale – need to know the purpose/intentions of survey

§         G. Taglialatela – surveys must be accountable (i.e. what change has come; why another survey)

o        Senate Tasks

§         G. Taglialatela proposed that 30 minutes of each meeting be allocated to update action plans/committee’s progress.  Are the action plans still valid or outdated issues?  Our mission is to be a line of communication between faculty and administration.  Should more time be spent on general interest topics vs. specific group issues?

§         V. Sierpina noted we should spend more time and focus on strategic planning.  The senate is the working collaboration with administration.

§         G. Taglialatela noted that other UT System campuses report a lack of communication with administration.  We have a good relationship with Administration & Academic Executive Council.  One example was Dr. Lemon being here to address budget issues pertinent to faculty and programs.

o        Senate Presence

§         Some senate members feel that the Faculty Senate is not recognized as the conduit for faculty communication with administration.  V. Braciale suggested that in addition to the Senate Newsletter being e-mailed to faculty, that the e-mail now include a list of senators, by school, with a direct link to the senators’ e-mail.  This will allow for direct communication between faculty and their senator, broadening the senator’s visibility.  R. Moore will assist with this task.


VIII.        Adjournment – motion made and seconded 6:20 p.m.