DRAFT                                               MINUTES


UTMB Faculty Senate

August 11, 2003

4:30 p.m. - 6:20 p.m.

Caduceus Room


Members present:  S. Ayachi; C. Baker; V. Braciale; B. Budelmann; K. Calhoun; B. Cammune; R. Garofalo; S. Gerik; C. Jansen; R. Leonard; R. Moore (ex-officio); L. Nash; A. Perachio (ex-officio); L. Primeau; N. Rubin; V. Sierpina; D. Traber; C. Watson; C. Wisnewski.


  1. Approval of Agenda/Minutes
    1. Approval of August 11, 2003 agenda & July 14, 2003 minutes.  Motion made, seconded – approved.
  2. President’s Comments – J. Stobo
    1. NBL site visit on July 15, 2003.  Although this happened during tropical storm Claudette, it was in our favor as the visitors were able to see UTMB during a storm doing “business as usual”.  They were also impressed with our knowledge of biocontainment labs and toured our level four BSL facility under construction.  We should hear results in September.
    2. Open records request – Sunshine Group.  As noted in the galveston daily news, our records of bioresearch meetings have been requested.  UTMB is following NIH guidelines, which were written before 9/11/01.  We have three federal agencies telling us not to release our records.  There will be an article published in the Houston chronicle & this will also be discussed at our community advisory board meeting this Thursday.
    3. Diversity week.  We have received favorable comments from faculty and staff about the week’s events (i.e.  Three movies about diversity; essay contest; presentation by Jordan Cohen and establishment of William Levin scholarship & community leaders meeting).  When asked about the effect of the recent supreme court decision on recruiting for faculty and students, Dr. Stobo felt it gives us a broader leverage for increasing diversity & targeting minority scholarships.  This is the first of the newly formed diversity council’s efforts towards increasing diversity in the utmb community.
    4. The Black Issues in Higher Education released their ranking for the year.  UTMB mad an outstanding showing.  We ranked #7 out of all medical schools for the number of African American students and #1 for the number of Hispanic students.
    5.  D. Traber noted we must increase funding for minority mentoring.  J. Stobo agreed and will forward that suggestion to the academic executive council.  C. Watson shared her experiences that often faculty candidates share their CV’s for a current opening, and are somehow lost when future considerations open up.  Recommended establishing a database with these CV’s to draw upon.
  3. Past Chair Report – V. Sierpina (chaired meeting as J. Taglialatela and R. Lederman out of town).
    1. On-line compliance training.  Noted that the extent of compliance programs faculty are required to complete is 20 or more.  How relevant to faculty are these & necessary on annual basis?  Senators expressed concern that “penalties” (i.e.  No merit raises; restricted travel, etc). have rumored to be in place should modules not be completed by August 31st. These are not accurate.  R. Moore explained that we are working on getting one single office responsible for tracking accountability.  Currently, each entity has an individual administrator, who can determine which modules are required.  R. Moore is slated to present a proposed process to the president’s council in September and will address with the faculty senate once plan is ready for implementation.
    2. Distributed certificates if appreciation to outgoing senators.
    3. Parliamentarian for Senate – Nominated S. Gerik; she has agreed to serve.
    4. President’s cabinet awards.  These will be announced at a dinner on September 13.   For a donation of $1K or more, you can be a member.  This is a UTMB and community effort which has been successful in raising over $330K this year to fund health projects.
    5. Faculty Senate Annual Meeting – September 8, 11:30-1:00 PM – Levin Hall Dining Room.
    6. V. Sierpina’s last senate meeting.  Expressed how this opportunity of serving as senator, chair and past-chair has been rewarding, especially with exposure to how administration functions; the ability to interact with faculty from the four schools and experience with the faculty advisory committee in Austin.  Thanked all the senators for their hard work and efforts.
  4. Research Support Services Update – A. Perachio (see presentation (link)
    1. Began with a faculty survey to determine what can be done to fix processes and add value.  Increased federal funding last year in excess of $20%; should be more with our involvement in biocontainment.  This has increased the work load.  Processes and participants have been better refined/relocated to increase productivity and speed.  The implementation of Peoplesoft and IRB software systems will greatly enhance the accessibility, creation and tracking of grants.
    2. Moving away from silo based system to more integrated, comprehensive databases and experienced personnel to man them.  Establishing a single point of contact, web based training and education in grantsmanship.
    3. Susan Coulter from the office of university advancement will be invited to a senate meeting to give an overview of the collaboration of OUA and Research on grants/programs.
  5. UTMB Core Facilities – T. Albrecht
    1. Efforts have been made to acquire state-of-the-art equipment for use by all investigators as opposed to current single cores.  Suggested a move to increase funding by combining requests.  Individual cores should be reviewed as to whether they are dysfunctional and replaced with valued cores.
    2. Proposed a senate subcommittee investigate method of stabilizing research cores including their funding.  The committee should work with the research advisory committee, Dr. Perachio and Dr. Albrecht.
  6. Comments from outgoing veteran senator – D. Traber
    1. After 43 years with UTMB and 4 years with the faculty senate, expressed a spirited account of the tremendous value the faculty senate is to the institution.  Senators must be the voice of the faculty to the administration if we want to make a difference!  You must attend meetings, share, participate and show responsibility.  Get your faculty involved!
    2. V. Sierpina noted there is a system in place for senators that miss meetings; repeated failure to attend should prompt replacement of the senator.

VII. Adjournment – motion made, seconded – adjourned 6:20 p.m.