UTMB Faculty Senate

UTMB Faculty Senate
October 10, 2005
Caduceus Room 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Members Present: T. Albrecht, J. Alperin, W. Au, S. Ayachi, C. Baker, C. Boodley, B. Budelmann, B. Camune, A. Cass, C. Christiansen, E. Cuellar, D. Freeman, J. Gallagher, P. Gallagher, K. High, N. Hughes, R. Johnson, R. Leonard, S. Leitch, K. Mossberg, M. Olson, V. Parisi, C. Phillips, L. Primeau, R. Rahr, K. Rasmussen, J. Stobo, S. Weaver, and M. Winter.

I. Approval of Agenda of 10/10/05

II. Approval of Minutes of 08/08/05

III. President’s Comments – Dr. Stobo

• In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, UTMB saw 500 people and admitted 50. UTMB also ran a clinic for 14 days at Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church and spent several days planning for the care of evacuees to be housed on cruise ships in the port of Galveston which ultimately did not happen.
• We were able to watch Hurricane Rita develop. On Tuesday, September 19, students from all four schools and non-essential employees were let go to prepare for evacuation. As of Wednesday morning, UTMB had 427 patients who were either discharged or evacuated in a 12-hour period. UTMB estimates that 91 ambulances, 32 helicopters, 5 planes, and numerous public and school buses were involved in the first full evacuation of the institution’s history.
• Approximately 170 patients went to Seton in Austin and 32 to the UT Health Center in Tyler. Patients were given discharges orders/notes.
• The day before the storm approximately 250 employees left campus, 130 of whom evacuated on two C130s. Approximately 400 faculty and staff volunteered to remain in order to provide emergency health care services and preserved vital functions within the institution. The emergency room remained open and was used to care for the fire victim rescued from Saturday’s fire.
• Dr. Parisi evacuated to Dallas/Fort Worth and worked with our evacuees there.
• The institution remained in emergency mode until Tuesday morning. Clinics reopened on Wednesday.
• The total cost of the evacuation is estimated to be in the $25-30 million range. The institution is using appropriate means to try to recover costs.
• Dr. Stobo reported that the institution’s budget shortfall is $25 million. Operating margins are very thin, operating revenue vs. operating expenses. Our debt to equity ration exceeds the benchmark. UTMB received a $50 million cut from the legislature. The institution is applying with FEMA, state and federal government to recap the shortfall.
• As a result of the evacuation, the institution has built a better relationship with city government and city planning.
• Karen Sexton was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force for Evacuation

IV. Chair’s Comments – Dr. Winter

• Dr. Winter asked the Faculty Senate for a volunteer to serve on the Institutional Educational Effectiveness Committee (IEEC). Barbara Camune volunteered to serve.
• Dr. Winter also asked the Faculty Senate for a volunteer to serve on the Computing Standards Advisory Group. Raleigh Johnson volunteered to serve.

V. Chair-Elect Comments – Dr. Baker

• Christine Baker advised that she had just returned from the two-day Faculty Advisory Council meeting in Austin. Dr. Baker attended presentations from the Vice-Chancellors, and other presentations on the budget and planning process for the Board of Regents. Numerous UT System components reported activities on their campuses related to: 1) hurricane evacuees, 2) effective teaching and enhancing faculty development, 3) progress on SACS self studies, 4) bridge funding opportunities and local resources and money for grants. Reports were provided from the various UT components on system-sponsored ORP contributions, ranging from 6 ˝% to 8 ˝% (UTMB Galveston is 8 ˝%). Phased-in retirement opportunities were also discussed. Governance, academic affairs and student outcomes, faculty quality, health affairs, and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), including maternity leave were some other topics that were discussed and will be further researched by FAC members.

VI. Past Chair’s Comments – Dr. Budelmann

• Dr. Budelmann asked the Senators to please promote the Faculty Lounge. The Faculty Lounge was a special project of the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Lounge is open to all Faculty. As part of the grand opening, there will be no membership fee until the end of October. Beginning in November, Faculty must be a member to have access. Monthly dues will be $20 per month. Interested Faculty may find and complete a membership application by going to the UTMB website at www.iUTMB.edu/facultylounge. Faculty are encouraged to email comments regarding the Faculty Lounge (specifically changes/improvements they would like to see) to any member of the Executive Committee (Winter, Baker, Budelmann, Rahr, Camune, or Boodley).

VII. Task Force Research Enterprise – William New

• William New gave a Research Services Update by PowerPoint presentation.
• Regarding issues in service, Mr. New reported that he had met with a number of Department Chairs and Principal Investigators and that there is a theme to the issues that need improvement. Issues for improvement include the need for better communication between the research community and research administration, better financial accounting to departments, effective pre-award advice and support, effective new award setup and reporting out and terminating old grants, and a more systematic approach to the evaluation of cores and centers. Additional goals would be to establish a stronger stability in the research services organization and to reduce staff turnover; to provide a mechanism for a regular critical assessment of institutionally-sponsored research activities, “internally funded” or “departmental” research; and mechanisms to assure the best use of internal resources (space and funding) to support the research programs.
• Mr. New reported on his work with an Ad hoc Research Space Committee comprised of senior UTMB faculty. The goal of the group is to propose a space policy which will clarify the criteria for assigning more space or reassigning space and describe the process for requesting more space. The group will also recommend to UTMB management processes by which to involve faculty in long-term space planning.
• Regarding issues in compliance, Mr. New advised the Faculty Senate that the UT System is quite focused on the Level of Effort Certification and that all UT components are aggressively developing strategies to improve Level of Effort reporting. Most Academic Medical Centers are scrambling also. Ann Elbert is working with the department administrators in reviewing all FY05 certifications to fix last year’s problems and to bring our reporting current. There will be training for all involved with the Level of Effort process, including Principal lnvestigators.
• Mr. New advised that in regards to the Research Services Organization, directors are well informed on issues and are competent. Staffing turnover is still a problem, but not as much as a couple of years ago. It is difficult to perform to one’s personal standards because the working conditions have been aggravated by a poor PeopleSoft installation creating an unstable environment where reconciling financial data and handling day-to-day activities is a struggle, with staffing shortages and the impact that turnovers all occurring in a two-year period where UTMB’s funding grew by 50%. This has been a challenging environment to manage in, and his directors have done admirably. He is currently working with the Research Services Directors to fill vacancies to improve the working environment. The PeopleSoft systems are gradually improving, but it will take another year or more before the grant modules work as we wish and all the financial data is up to the standards we wish.
• In regard to expanded services, Mr. New reported that he would like to develop a resource to support clinical trials and other resources to support large, cross departmental grant submissions. While Research Services can do anything, they can’t do everything and the current focus should remain on improving the basic administrative services organization that supports grant submissions and administration. Once this basic business is improved, he will seek to expand services to support the research faculty in new ways.

VIII. Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy Revisions – Wishon/Perachio

• Dr. Adrian Perachio and Angela Wishon gave the Faculty Senate an update on Conflict of Interest policy revisions. The Senate was provided with copies of the Conflict of Interest Committee, Points to Know about the Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy, Proposed Changes to Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy, UTMB Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy Revision Matrix, Conflict of Interest Disclosure Forms Review Process, and the Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy.
• They advised the Senate that the COI Committee is trying to be proactive and are trying to address conflicts before they occur.

IX. Senate Business

Dean’s Comments
• Dr. Parisi advised the Senate that a reorganization of the Dean of Medicine’s office had been completed.
• Dr. Parisi gave the Senate a PowerPoint presentation of the Proposed UTMB Austin Governance Structure. Dr. Stobo is serving on the search committee for the UT Austin presidential search.
• Dr. Christiansen congratulated Dr. Beach on an outstanding Best Practices Teaching Retreat and encouraged others to express appreciation to him and the members of the planning committee.

Senators’ and Faculty Concerns – Update
• No new concerns were received.

Meeting adjourned at 6:05 p.m.

Committee Meetings followed.

Next Faculty Senate Meeting: November 14, 2005 at 4:30 p.m. in the Caduceus Room.