UTMB Faculty Senate

January 12, 2009

4:30 – 6:00 pm



Present:  Drs. T. Albrecht, G. Anderson,  J. Bauer, V. Brooke, N. Cintron, B. Doucet, D. Heliker, C. Holzer, S. David Hudnall, A. Hudson-Jones, M. Kanuth, R. Leonard, S. Lieberman, D. Munsell, M. O’Keefe, S. Peloquin, E. Protas, K. Sandor, G. Taglialatela, S. Watowich, P. Watson, N. Wills and C. Wisnewski

Absent:  Drs. W. Au, C. Cooper, R. Fox, N. Garg, G. Olson, S. Rosenthal, C. Utsey and C. Wigg


I.          Meeting called to order at 4:40 pm.


II.       Approval of Minutes of 12-08-08.  The minutes of December 8, 2008, were approved at the meeting.


III.    Reminder to sign in, we are keeping track of attendance.  If a senator is unable to attend more than three consecutive meetings per year, he or she shall either rescind the position or request a temporary replacement.


IV.    Provost’s Report – Dr. Garland Anderson

·      There are 124 faculty that were affected by the Rif; 67 NTT, 16 TT and 41 T.  3 faculty resigned before the Rif’s process.

·      NIH sent several representatives last week and the visit went well.  We are waiting for the new administration to see if NIH will receive an increase in their budget.  Be sure to talk to your program officers about grant extensions.

·      We are looking to see where we can temporarily set up gross anatomy; the prime location at this time is the Pharmacology building.

·      Our hospital opened last week with 100-200 patients, OR has around 30 operations daily and also TDCJ is now opened.

·      On Recruitment, the graduate school is down 20% but we will know in January/February on how many students, since most of them sign up in January.  The SON is doing fine and the SHP we do not know at this time.

·      Appeals Process.  We have 36 estimated appeals, 2/3 of the letters have been mailed and the rest will go out at the end of this week.

Questions and Answers:  Dr. Hudnall inquired as to the status of the resolution he emailed as a result of the December 19 special session that he sent to Drs. Anderson and Callender.  Dr. Anderson stated that there was not a quorum for this resolution.  The resolution was concerning some faculty who are not able to work yet in their labs and/or offices currently.  Dr. Hudnall will send Dr. Anderson a list of faculty and their concerns.


V.       Dean’s Reports

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

·      Dr. Muneeza Esani started in January as a new Assistant Professor in Clinical Laboratory Sciences (CLS).  Dr. Jennifer Ellison is now 100% to PT as a full-time Assistant Professor and Dr. Michelle Kanuth has also expanded her responsibilities in CLS.  We hope to have Lodie Massey to rejoin SHP this month as a new faculty in the Physician Assistant Studies.

·      We continue to seek UT System approval of our new Faculty, Service, Research and Development Plan.  The next step is approval from the Board of Regents.

·      We awarded a record amount of scholarship funding, $189,000 to our students.  Thanks go to the Scholarship Committee for their recommendations.  We are grateful to Dr. Harry and Joanne Davis for their generous gift of two $10,000 scholarships for physician assistant students.  The PAS faculty are developing the procedures for awarding these scholarships.  The Kempner Fund has also provided support for a stipend to support the inaugural student in the Dual Enrollment Program.  This program will allow a student to work towards either a Master of Occupational Therapy or the Doctorate in Physical Therapy as well as a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences and target developing individuals for faculty positions.  We plan to have Open House sessions on Saturday in order to attract more prospective students.

·      We recognized a number of faculty and staff during our annual potluck holiday and awards luncheon.  The Leadership Award went to Jay Tanet for all of his fine work after the storm, the Research Award went to Dr. Micah Drummond in Physical Therapy, the Outstanding Support Staff Award went to a well deserved Sharon McEachern in Occupational Therapy and Dr. Jennifer Ellison received the Educational Excellence Award.

·      Senator Jane Nelson has agreed to reintroduce an Allied Health Faculty Enhancement bill (funding) this session.  The Deans of Schools of Health Professions will be meeting in a couple of weeks in Austin with Dr. Kenneth Shine, Interim Chancellor from UT System, and Dr. Raymond Parides, Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to discuss workforce and faculty shortages in the health professions.


Dean, School of Nursing – Dr. Pamela Watson (written report provided by Dr. Watson is appended).

·      Dr. Jeanne Ruiz, Director of the Bio-Behavioral Laboratory will transfer to UT-Austin effective January 15.  Dr. Kyungeh An will assume the Director position upon Dr. Ruiz’s departure.

·      56 students were accepted in the accelerated baccalaureate program (BACC2).  Classes began on January 5th.  This adds to our current complement of 35 students for a total of 91 in the accelerated program. 

·      $615,000 was awarded to the SON by the Nursing Shortage Reduction Program for increasing enrollment and graduation rates.

·      Patricia Romick transferred from UTMB Hospital Nursing Service to join the SON this month as Academic Advisor/Retention Counselor.  She will provide group and individual assistance with critical thinking, test taking skills, stress management and conflict resolution.  Debra Trimble joined the faculty this month as Assistant Professor in the Master’s Program, providing clinical teaching for the Family Nurse Practitioner students.

·      The doctoral program is continuing efforts to move to an on-line program.  A HRSA grant submission is currently under reviewing to help in funding this initiative.

·      The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program is moving forward with an anticipated opening date of fall 2010.

·      Dr. Watson represented UTMB at the annual meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges where UTMB earned a ten-year full accreditation.


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

·      GSBS graduates students 3 times a year but only holds Commencement one time – in May.  In December, 31 GSBS students graduated; 24 PhD and 1 MD/PhD.

·      GSBS is in the process of replacing 4 program directors that have left UTMB or are leaving soon.  Only one has been finalized to date.  Dr. Volker Neugebauer has replaced Dr. Blankenship, effective January 1.

·      GSBS to date is receiving somewhat fewer applications for fall 2009 than we received last year at this time.  This is a national trend, and it is too early to make a final conclusion, since the majority of applications occur January-March.  Publicity from Ike’s effects could be involved.

·      The majority of GSBS applicants who enroll tell us the web was important in their decision to apply.  Recognizing that the GSBS website needed a major overhaul, work began when we returned after Ike to redesign the GSBS website.  We anticipate its completion this month.


VI.    Committee Chairs Reports

·      Dr. Munsell, Chair of the IHOP Committee stated that they are waiting to hear back from the Legal office regarding the Grievance policy.


VII. Chair Comments

·      The Sys Faculty meeting on December 8, where a resolution was drafted up and will be sent to Drs. Callender and Anderson.  A motion was made and seconded to have Dr. Hudnall to send the final resolution to the UTMB faculty and was passed with 15 senators, 2 abstentions, and no opposition.

·      The Special Faculty RIF meeting took place on December 19.  There were 8 senators and 34+ faculty in attendance.  We have recently been asked to provide the legal office with our minutes.  At this meeting, Dr. Hudnall presented a PowerPoint presentation and Carolee King, VP, Chief Legal Officer, gave in great detail the UT System Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents Rule 31003, Abandonment of Academic Positions or Programs and stated that cuts were made across the board and opened for discussion for faculty to present their questions.  It was stated that there was a lot of RIFd faculty that had major teaching roles and also there were programs that were eliminated.  A motion was made for Dr. Hudnall to send out the minutes once final to the senate.  Dr. Wisnewski was not sure of the process of the minutes since they did not have a quorum nor was it a faculty senate meeting.  Dr. Hudnall sent Carolee King the notes and has asked for her approval from this meeting.  Once approved, then he will send the notes out.


VIII.       Appeals Process Update

·      There are 36 appeals and the Administration has 30 days to notify them. 

·      Dr. Peloquin made a motion for the Faculty Senate to send a collegial letter of support and appreciation for their service to the faculty who were RIFd.  This was seconded and opened for discussion.  Discussion included concern for those who may be reinstated and the letter needs to be carefully written and perhaps this is not the best time with the appeal process going on right now.  The point was made that getting the exact names of all those who were RIFd might be a challenge.  Dr. Holzer made the suggestion that the letter be sent as an open letter, and Dr. Peloquin said that she considered this a friendly amendment.  A vote to prepare this letter of support was approved with 12 in favor, 2 opposed and 3 abstentions.  Dr. Peloquin with the help of a few other senators from all four schools will draft this up and then send to the senate for their review/edits.


IX.    Older Business

         Dr. Hudnall inquired about the Ombudsman and whether or not to keep the search open.  


A motion to extend the meeting passed 6:00 pm was approved, 14 for and 1 against.


         Discussion for the Ombudsman included whether or not to continue the search due to the financial status; a senator stated that this position is more important than ever during this time.  A motion was made and seconded, in favor of continuing the search for an Ombudsman, passed with 14 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions.


Dr. Hudnall presented Dr. Albrecht with a plaque and thanking him for his previous service as Chair of the Faculty Senate.


A motion for adjournment was made and seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 6:05 pm.