UTMB Faculty Senate

UTMB Faculty Senate
February 9, 2009
4:30 – 6:00 pm

Present:  Drs. T. Albrecht, G. Anderson, V. Brooke, N. Cintron, C. Cooper, B. Doucet, R. Fox, N. Garg, D. Heliker, C. Holzer, S. David Hudnall, A. Hudson-Jones, M. Kanuth, D. Munsell, M. O’Keefe, S. Peloquin, K. Sandor, G. Taglialatela, C. Utsey, S. Watowich, P. Watson, C. Wigg, N. Wills and C. Wisnewski

Absent:  Drs. W. Au, J. Bauer, R. Leonard, G. Olson, E. Protas and S. Rosenthal

  • Meeting was called to order at 4:38 pm.
  • Approval of Minutes of 1-12-09.  The minutes of January 12, 2009, were approved at the meeting.
  • Provost’s Report – Dr. Garland Anderson
  • Dr. Anderson announced that on February 6, he attended three of the meetings with the new UT Chancellor, Francisco Cigarroa.  Chancellor Cigarroa has a great respect for the history of UTMB.  It was the first Academic Medical Center that he visited at the age of 9, since his father visited UTMB and was appointed by Governor John Conley to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  He also recognized UTMB’s history of diversity that UTMB started accepting students from diverse backgrounds long before anyone else.  Dr. Cigarroa stated his support for UTMB and that he wants UTMB to thrive and be one of the most outstanding academic medical centers in the United States.  Dr. Cigarroa had asked all of the groups that he met with what they thought he should know about UTMB.  All the people he spoke to said that it had been a very positive day.  There is short video clip of his visit on iUTMB.
  • Faculty appeals will soon be scheduling a few of the hearings while other faculty who are appealing will be getting a letter this week.  Faculty members who have requested extensive documentation of the financial exigency documentation and RIF process proceedings will need to file a Public Information Act (PIA) request.  One faculty member has withdrawn his appeal.
  • At the last Faculty Senate meeting, Dr. Hudnall asked Dr. Anderson if he cared to comment upon the faculty petition that was presented at a Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate, sent to Drs. Anderson and Callender, and signed by numerous non-RIFed faculty regarding the unfair treatment of RIFed faculty in some departments regarding access to offices and labs.  Dr. Anderson stated that because there was not a quorum of Senators at the special meeting, the document was not an official Faculty Senate document.  Dr. Anderson only knew of isolated incidences of faculty not being able to use their lab, and those have been corrected.  He asked Dr. Hudnall at the January Faculty Senate meeting to provide additional names of those without access to their offices or laboratories. Dr. Hudnall to date has not sent any additional names to him.
  • The KSA Report regarding the reconfiguration of the clinical enterprise will be out soon.  The Board of Regents will be holding a public meeting in Galveston on February 20 to hear comments on the report.
  • Questions:  Dr. Hudnall indicated that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), a prominent national organization concerned with faculty affairs, had sent a letter to Drs. Cigarroa, Callender, and Anderson outlining in very specific terms serious problems with the 1) the financial exigency declared by the UT Regents, and 2) the faculty RIF at UTMB. In particular, the letter highlights their serious concern for the lack of meaningful faculty involvement (including the Faculty Senate) in the process, and the attack on tenure. Dr. Hudnall asked that this letter be made available to the UTMB community. Dr. Anderson stated that the letter is posted on the TFA website. 
  • A senator asked about the budget and Dr. Anderson stated that around early April they will try to have the budget to the Departments.
  • Dean’s Reports
  • Dean, School of Nursing – Dr. Pamela Watson (written report provided by Dr. Watson is appended).
  • The Board of Regents approved two new nursing scholarships at their January 2009 meeting.  The Lewis Decker Nursing Scholarship and the Shirley Decker Scoggin Nursing Scholarship will be awarded for the fall semester.
  • Dr. Patricia Richard’s has been approved by the UT System Board of Regents for funding on four projects and they are:  Distance Education website project, $10,000; Education Technology website project, $50,000; Simulation Support project, $100,000 and Blackboard Development Server project, $60,000.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Reifsnider and Constance Brewer Koomey, Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the UTMB School of Nursing, is a member of the research team lead by Nicola Abate, MD, that recently received an Institutional Clinical and Translational Sciences Award for the project Pilot Study for the Obesity and Metabolic Complication Translation Team. Dr. Abate’s team received 1 of the 6 awards of $105,000 for 2 years.
  • Dr. Charlotte Wisnewski, Associate Professor in the UTMB School of Nursing, has successfully passed the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Nurse Educator Certification Examination, has successfully passed the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s (CCNE) site evaluator for Post Baccalaureate nursing residency programs and she has been selected to serve on the Research Committee for the American Association of Diabetes Educators for 2009.
  • Dr. Karen O’Brien, Assistant Professor, successfully defended her dissertation entitled “Nursing Students’ Utilization of Personal Digital Assistants”.
  • Micah Vo, R.N., a student in UTMB SON’s Master’s Program, has received the 2008 Critical Care Nurse Week Excellence Award, a national award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.
  • Rebeka Watson, B.S.N., R.N., doctoral student in the UTMB School of Nursing, was a student poster winner for the 12th Annual UTMB Forum on Aging sponsored by the Sealy Center on Aging in conjunction with UTMB Research Services.
  • The first synergy seminar on disaster management was presented on January 22, 2009 to a standing-room-only audience of students from all schools, and members of the UTMB and Galveston communities and the second synergy seminar will take place this week.

Dean, School of Health Professions – Dr. Elizabeth Protas (written report provided by Dr. Protas is appended).
<ul><li>Lodie Massey has rejoined SHP as a new faculty in Physician Assistant Studies and several research support positions (Tech and Post Doc) are currently posted.
SHP has received UT System approval of our new Faculty, Service, Research and Development Plan.  Currently, SHP’s PT and OT programs are participating in some faculty practice opportunities.
The Open House session held on Saturday, January 24th received a positive response and another is planned for February 21st with a Mardi Gras theme.
SHP STARS for this term are Linda Vosburg, classified staff, for going the extra mile, and Camille St. John, CLS faculty, for her love of teaching and always being available to her students.
Senator Jane Nelson has re-introduced the Allied Health Faculty Enhancement bill this session as SB 706.  This will establish grants to recruit and retain faculty. 
The Deans of Schools of Health Professions met with Dr. Kenneth Shine, Vice Chancellor of the UT System, and Dr. David Gardner, Associate Commissioner for Academic Affairs, THECB, to discuss workforce and faculty shortages in the health professions.  A plan to support legislation was developed.
Dr. Vicki Freeman is back in Tanzania, but, this time as a community volunteer.

Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences – Dr. Cary Cooper (written report provided by Dr. Cooper is appended).
GSBS is in the process of replacing 3 program directors who have left UTMB or are leaving soon.  For the Neuroscience Program, Dr. Volker Neugebauer has replaced Dr. Blankenship.  For the Cell Biology Program, Dr. Darren Boehning will replace Dr. Golda Leonard. For the Master of Medical Science Program, Dr. Gustavo Valbuena will replace Dr. Mel Soloff.
GSBS expected to receive somewhat fewer applications for fall’09 than we received last year at this time.  This is a national trend, and also we expected publicity from Ike’s effects might be felt.  However, January-March are when the majority of GSBS applications arrive and the current data are as follows. 

Total GSBS                                        ‘09/‘08 (%)
2/4/09                          221                    80%
2/1/08                          277

Total BBSC*
2/2/09                          129                     68%
2/7/08                          191                 

U.S. BBSC                                           
2/2/09                            67                    86%
2/7/08                            78
[BBSC = First Year Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum]

Committee Chairs Reports
Dr. Munsell, Chair of the IHOP Committee stated that they have nothing to report.  They are waiting to hear back from Mr. Johnstone in the Legal office regarding the Grievance policy.
Dr. Sandor and Dr. Watowich discussed with the senate their input on scheduling a faculty forum, just to let the faculty know that they are still here, that we still have a voice, and to develop faculty input on vision.  Discussion:  A motion was made and later withdrawn regarding the Faculty Quality Committee to make a determination at what capacity and send to faculty senate for faculty support.  Since there will be a Faculty research retreat on February 25th , the proposed faculty forum could be in 3-4 months.
Academic and Administrative Affairs Committee has nothing to report.
The Governance Committee did not meet last month so nothing to report.

Chair-Elect and Past Chair Comments
Dr. Wisnewski indicated that at their meetings with Dr. Callender and Dr. Cigarroa were productive and on the right track.  Dr. Cigarroa is interested in faculty interests and he started a faculty senate in San Antonio.

Chair Comments
The AAUP letter was sent to Dr. Callender and Dr. Cigarroa from the Executive Secretary, AAUP in Washington, D.C.  The letter indicates a great concern of the process and how it was handled.  The letter indicates that given the lack of faculty input in the process all terminated faculty should be immediately reinstated. The AAUP also indicated that they would call for a public hearing if they did not receive an adequate response or a report for the UT System explaining the process in more detail.  After the post-Katrina LSU faculty RIF, the AAUP launched a full investigation which led to LSU reinstating most of the Riffed faculty.  Dr. Hudnall will send the AAUP link or letter to the faculty senate.
At the Sys Faculty Executive Meeting, Dr. Pryor wants to meet with the faculty senate chair and past chair.

Old Business
Dr. Peloquin discussed the open letter, that five senators had reviewed and finalized and is ready to forward on and asked the senators how do we want to communicate this?  Dr. Hudnall stated that he has a Riffed faculty email list; he had sent them an email from him as faculty senate chair, but some responded to him stating that they did not want hear anything more about the Riffed subject.  They proposed a letter to the editor of the Galveston Daily News but this was not approved by all, stating that doing this, would not be personal but a political move.  It was decided to link the letter to the Faculty Senate website, Dr. Hudnall would send it by email to the Riffed faculty and to submit to iUTMB.  This was approved by all 14 remaining senators with no one opposing.
The Ombudsman search has been reactivated.
For faculty senator’s absences, several senators on the cusp have received notice.  The bylaws were discussed and Dr. Wisnewski thinks that the bylaws are too harsh and some modification of the absence policy is indicated. A brief discussion followed.

A motion for adjournment was made and seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 6:38 pm.