UTMB Faculty Senate

UTMB Faculty Senate

December 8, 2008

4:30 – 6:00 pm



Present:  Drs. W. Au, N. Cintron, C. Cooper, R. Fox, D. Heliker, C Holzer, S. David Hudnall, A. Hudson-Jones, M. Kanuth, R. Leonard, D. Munsell, M. O’Keefe, S. Peloquin, E. Protas, B. Raimer, S. Rosenthal, J. Ruiz, K. Sandor, G. Taglialatela, C. Utsey, C. Wigg, N. Wills, C. Wisnewski and Patricia Richard

Absent:  Drs. T. Albrecht, G. Anderson, J. Bauer, N. Garg, G. Olson, S. Watowich and P. Watson


I.           Approval of Minutes of 11-10-08.  The minutes of November 10, 2008 meeting were approved at the meeting.


II.        Dean’s Reports


Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences – Dr. Cary Cooper (written report provided by Dr. Cooper is appended).

·     Dr. Cooper mentioned the UT System Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents Rule 31003, Abandonment of Academic Positions or Programs.

·     Clinical Science MS and PhD Program was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) in November; the PhD-MPH concurrent enrollment - umbrella agreement signed with UTHSPH; the GSBS MPH was approved by THECB for all UTMB residents; and the dual degree MD-MPH program was approved for UTMB medical students.

·     The NIH Bridges grant was renewed for four years.

·     The DPT-OT/Rehab Science PhD dual degree program with the School of Health Professions is in the development stage.

·     Memoranda of Understanding was completed that included five GSBS schools in Houston (Gulf Coast Consortium members) to allow graduate students at one institution access to courses (for credit) at any of the others schools.

·     Electronic Dissertation & Thesis mandatory as of 9/1/07.  Paid tuition & fees was implemented for 9 of the GSBS programs for all students on a GA stipend.


Dean, School of Health Professions – Dr. Elizabeth Protas (written report provided by Dr. Protas is appended).

·     Dr. Carolyn Utsey was appointed Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy effective December 1st.

·     Jill Seal and Rebecca Galloway, both P.T.’s joined the Physical Therapy faculty.

·     Teri Bigler, PAS, accepted a position at LSU in Shreveport and George Steer left the Respiratory Care faculty to pursue clinical opportunities.

·     Offices of Academic and Student Affairs are being combined under Dr. Henry Cavazos after the departure of Raymond Lewis, Jr.  We bid a fond farewell to our Director of Development, John Mitchener.

·     Classes will run through December 19 to make up the time from Ike.

·     Commencement for the 96 students in the School of Health Profession will be held December 12.  Dr. Diane Rath will be the commencement speaker.

·     Physical Therapy and Physical Assistant Studies will resume interviews for next year.

·     They hope to maintain the highest enrollment of 575 students next fall.

·     They will have to look for other clinical training opportunities as a result of the reduction in UTMB’s clinical services.

·      They reviewed their admissions responsibilities and agreed to send out the admissions and rejections letters to accommodate reduced personnel in Student Services.

·     They completed a SWOT analysis as part of UTMB’s strategic planning process.


Provost’s Comments and Dean of the School of Medicine – Dr. Garland Anderson (not present) (Dr. Cooper made an announcement for the Provost which was the UT System Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents Rule 31003, Abandonment of Academic Positions or Programs).


Dean, School of Nursing – Dr. Pamela Watson (not present) Dr. Trish Richard, Associate Dean, represented Dr. Watson, no report


III.      Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) Presentation – Dr. Raimer

Dr. Raimer distributed and discussed two handouts that were distributed regarding the Legislative Appropriations Request.  We are sending messages out about what UTMB is good in.  Dr. Raimer talked about the funding sources, general revenue and net patient revenue as well as the local initiatives and the issues impacting UTMB’s funding.  He talked about the LAR for FY 10 and FY11 and the formula funding and funding request for Ike recovery and exceptional item requests, such as Protecting Texas from Emerging Infectious Diseases $18.8M, Conquering Inflammation and Tissue Damage, $18.3M, Institute for Brain Research, $18.3M and Center for Educational Excellence $40M TRB.


IV.     Sys Fac Review – Dr. Wisnewski

Dr. Wisnewski (in addition to Drs. Hudnall and Albrecht) recently attended the two-day meeting in Austin.  The Sys Fac is structured with faculty from each of all the UT schools and it meets four times a year.  Dr. Shine and Tom Johnson attended this meeting and each spoke for about an hour and answered questions.


V.        New business:

·        Dr. Hudnall distributed a document which was drafted at the Sys Fac meeting by the UT Faculty Advisory Committee.  The document has three resolutions and once the document is final, it will eventually go to the Chancellor and the UT Regents.  Dr. Hudnall read the three resolutions (printed below) and was opened for discussion.  Discussion included the clarification of Regents Rules; there is a lack of transparency in this process especially for tenured faculty.   Tenured is being threatened at UTMB which can affect all tenured faculty throughout all the states.  The Chronicle of Higher Education and some other organizations are asking questions.  The rif letters were not clear in the reason for their termination.  No faculty should be terminated unless a clear case is made and that all other remedied have been considered. 


The first resolution is in two parts, part one states: “Clarifications of Regents Rules:”  

·        “In section 3.1, Committee evaluating programs and positions.  We suggest that the faculty appointments be made from recommendations submitted to the president by the faculty governance body.  The faculty should comprise at least 50 percent of the committee.

·        In section 3.2, evaluation of programs.  The committee will provide a written report of its analysis of programs.

·        In section 3.3, evaluation of specific positions to be eliminated.  The committee will provide a written report explaining individual positions to be eliminated in relation to its assessment of programs.

·        In section 3.5, reasons given for termination, if acted upon, should be provided in the written notice of termination.

·           In section 3.7 and 3.8, appeals.  The Regents Rules say that the president should appoint a hearing committee for appeals.  If there is a grievance process already established on the campus, the appeal process should utilize that grievance process”.


Part two of the first resolution states: “In specific reference to section 3, elimination due to financial exigency, we recommend the following:

·           No faculty should be terminated unless a clear case is made that all other remedied have been considered.

·           Every campus shall have a states policy on termination for exigency that has been approved by the faculty governance organization (placed in the IHOP).  If there is no such policy, or if the policy does include the following points, the following should apply:

·           Exigency should be clearly explained in financial and budgetary terms (cost and benefits).

·           Terminations should be explained in relation to the campus exigency.

·           Faculty involvement in decisions should be substantial.

·           The appropriate faculty governance body, as determined by the Faculty Senate/Council, should be involved in decisions.

·           The Committee should making the recommendations should be independent of administrators making recommendations, these recommendations should be reviewed by a unit-wide committee with no less than half of its membership being faculty. 

·           The President shall choose committee members from a list provided by the faculty governance body.

·           There should be due process.

·           The written termination notice to the individual should specify the reasons for termination of that individual in relation to the stated exigency.

·           Membership of the recommendation committee should be publicly known. 

·           This entire process should be transparent.

·           Faculty should not be fired when the exigency could be remedied with managerial changes.

·           The process should give discernable preference to faculty with tenure.

It is a basic principle of due process that the principles underling a rule or standard be applicable in the same way for all who are affected”.

The second resolution states:   “The evaluations applied in the UTMB case appear to have based on the interests of the departments rather than the interests of the campus as a whole.  The fact that a high proportion of tenured faculty selected for termination at UTMB are members of the Academic Senate and the UT System Faculty Advisory Council, including the Chair-Elect of the Faculty Advisory Council, suggest that a low value is placed on governance service.  The mission of the University requires effective faculty governance, and faculty participation in a wide range of committees under the governance purview.  It is essential for effective faculty governance that the several units on a campus make their faculty available to participate in such bodies for the good of the entire campus, and not restrict their evaluation of faculty to the benefits they produce for the individual unit/department alone.  Failure to recognize this principle should be regarded as inconsistent with Regent’s Rules recognition of the importance of participatory management involving faculty and administration”.

The third resolution states: “The University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council, speaking for the faculties of all the University of Texas campuses, strongly opposes any change in law which would allow firearms to be carried by any personnel other than law enforcement officers.”  This topic came up recently and they wanted to put closure on this.   

Dr. Wills made a motion, was seconded and approved with no one opposing the motion.  It stated:  We wish to express to the UT Faculty Advisory Committee, our appreciation for their support of the UTMB faculty and for their efforts to clarify the Regents Rules, regarding financial exigency and the implication for tenure.

VI.    Subcommittee Reports

Dr. Hudnall gave the Faculty Governance Committee their charge to take the resolution and see how it will impact UTMB.  Dr. Sandor, chair of the Faculty Quality Committee gave a brief report.  There were no other committee reports.

A motion for adjournment was made and seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 6:12 pm.