UTMB Faculty Senate

May 11, 2009

4:30 – 6:00 pm



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

Absent:  Drs. W. Au, N. Cintron, R. Fox, D. Heliker, R. Leonard, G. Taglialatela and C. Wigg


I.          The meeting was called to order at 4:39 pm.


II.       Approval of Minutes of April 13, 2009.  Minutes of April 13, 2009 were accepted as written at the meeting.


III.    Provost’s Report – Dr. Garland Anderson

·      Shriner Burns update.   They have asked us to postpone the hearing for another month and we suspect that they will postpone until their July meeting.  We have 33,000 square feet of lab and office space in this building and lab space is critical for us.  

·      No updates on the Legislative session.  The gun resolution will probably not pass.

·      The School of Medicine Commencement will be held on May 30, 2009 and Chancellor Cigarroa is our keynote speaker.

·      We have received $700,000 donations and it will likely reach $800,000.  The money was distributed evenly to the four schools.  We received $60,000 from the Texas Medical Association.

·      Our third year medical students’ rotation will be at UTMB and in Austin.


IV.    Vice President for Education and Dean’s Reports

Vice President for Education – Dr. Pamela Watson (written report provided by Dr. Watson).

·      SACS.  Due to Ike and the precedent set by Katrina, they are requiring UTMB to document compliance and we will to have to submit thirteen additional Principles along with the standard fifth-year Principles.  We were not successful with our request to the COC and we will have to complete the thirteen additional Principles.

·      WEAVEonline is a wonderful program.  It is an assessment support software package.  This provides a single repository of assessment information that is web-based and accessible to all academic programs.

·      Disaster Management Seminar Series “Learning From the Past – Planning for the Future” is now complete, phase two, a more global approach and offer course credit.


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

·      Nurse Week, we will be recruiting 100 new nurses for the new beds in the hospital and emergency room.

·      Dr. Karen Brykczynski was selected as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.  Dr. Tina Cuellar was invited to participate in the Disservice Nursing Research Program Strategic Planning meeting that reported to the Nurse Corps Chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  Dr. Elizabeth Reifsnider received an NIH three-year award for $188, 750, for her project “Reducing Overweight Among Galveston WIC Participants.”  Dr. Alice Hill was invited to participate on a review panel for a National Institute of Nursing Research initiative entitled:  “Centers in Symptom Management Research or Centers in Health Promotion/Disease Prevention.

·      Sixty-five undergraduate and graduate students and four nurse leaders were inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society at the induction ceremony on April 23, 2009.  Dr. Reifsnider also at this meeting was selected to receive of the Excellence in Research Award given by the Alpha Delta Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.  Dr. Kathryn Fiandt was the recipient of the Practice award, Mary Ann Best received the award for Nurse Educator and Claudine Dufrene, RN, MSN, was the recipient of the Excellence in Education award.

·      Dr. Kathryn Fiandt has been appointed Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).

·      BSN Student Enitan Pecku was awarded a Fogarty International Research Fellowship for 2008-2009, sponsored by the Galveston Global Health Consortium.

·      Student Steven Carrico was the recipient of the Outstanding Student Nurse Award given by Methodist Hospital.

·      The SON had 183 students graduating in April, 163 graduated from the BSN program (143 pre-licensure, 20 RN-BSN) and 20 from the MSN program.

·      The Nursing Simulation Center has officially moved to their new location on the 5th floor of the Children’s Hospital.  The Open House will be on May 12th, during Nurses week.

·      The SON sponsored four students to attend the National Student Nurses Association Conference in Nashville, TN.    


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

·      Dr. Richard Rahr, PAS Chair, was reappointed to a three-year term to the Dibrell Family Professorship in the Art of Medicine. Dr. Rahr is the inaugural holder of this professorship and was selected for his leadership in the practice and teaching of humane, patient-centered care.

·      Dean Elizabeth Protas has been appointed as the George T. Bryan Distinguished Professor as of May 1, 2009.  Steven Rivas, has joined SHP as a Clinical Research Coordinator.

·      The first 21 graduates of the DPT program will receive their degrees this August.

·      Dr. Douglas Paddon-Jones, received an NSBRI award for his research proposal, An Integrated Low-Volume Nutritional Countermeasure to Maintain Muscle Mass and Function during Space Exploration. NASA and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) selected 12 research proposals from 54 received.  He also received notification of a grant award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for his submittal, Protein Needs for Optimal Meal Response.

·      The Department of Occupational Therapy recently completed a successful external review to assist in improving faculty and departmental activities.

·      The Galveston Brain Injury Conference, presented by the Center for Rehabilitation Sciences and the School of Health Professions in collaboration with the Transitional Learning Center, was held on April 29-May 1.  Dr. Wayne Gordon, a Jack Nash Professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City received the 2009 Robert L. Moody Prize for Distinguished Initiatives in Brain Injury Research and Rehabilitation.




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

·         Up to 50 UTMB trainees will be able to attend a workshop in teaching and mentoring, thanks to Dr. Scott Weaver, Professor in the Department of Pathology, this year’s Dr. Leon Bromberg Professorship for Excellence in Teaching.  Lectures will be presented by Dr. Kelly Skeff and Dr. Georgette Stratos, of Stanford University’s Faculty Development Center and Dr. Oma Morey and Dr. Ann Frye of UTMB Office of Educational Development, June 8-9.  On June 17, Dr. Perez-Polo, Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, will give a lecture focusing on mentoring. 

·         GSBS awarded 45 degrees at the 39th Commencement on May 2nd.  38 graduates received their PhD’s; 2 received MPH degrees and 5 received combined MD and PhD degrees.  In addition, the GSBS awarded masters and doctoral degrees to an additional 43 students.   Yuan Li received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence, Dr. Bryan Sutton received the GSO’s Distinguished Teaching Award; Dr. Johnny Peterson received the Distinguished Faculty Research Award; and the new GSBS Distinguished Faculty Service Awards went to Dr. Bernd Budelmann and Dr. James Blankenship.  Dr. Faith McLellan, a medical humanist, was the commencement speaker and the 2009 recipient of the GSBS Distinguished Alumna Award.      

·         Rebecca Alyea a GSBS student, was sole winner of a Seymour Fischer Academic Excellence Award in Neuroscience competition /PhD category for her paper entitled “The role of membrane estrogen receptor subtypes in modulating dopamine transporters in PC-12 cells.”  The work was done under the supervision of Dr. Cheryl Watson and the award carries a cash prize of $5,000.  A blind reviewer for this award, who is an expert in this field, indicated that this was an outstanding paper.


V.                Grievance Committee Nominations

Dr. Hudnall asked the Senators for nominations to fill the two vacated slots in the Faculty Grievance Committee, and the names recommended were:  Dwight Wolf, Tom Ksiazek and Jim LeDuc.


VI.             Faculty Compensation Plan Committee

Dr. Hudnall asked the Senators for nominations to fill the vacated slots in the Faculty Compensation Plan Committee, three in the School of Medicine and one in the GSBS and the names recommended were:  (SOM) James Lee, Susan Carlton, Cheryl Vaiani, Chris Thomas and (GSBS) Cheryl Watson, Lisa Elferink and Johnny Peterson.


VII.          Senator Replacements

We have several SOM vacant positions and need to fill those seats.  Mary Schlobohm will check on the process for a special election.


VIII.       New Business

One of the Senators brought up a concern from a faculty member concerning the response time for IS technical service.  It took eleven days for the IS technician to finish the task.  It was decided that Dr. Kanuth will draft an email to Mr. Ralph Farr for Dr. Hudnall to send on behalf of the Faculty Senate to invite him to attend the Faculty Senate meeting on June 8th and the Senate is interested in knowing the time required to solve IS problems, the number of IS employees before and after IKE and the response time to complete a ticket from before and after IKE.  This information is being requested in order to allow us to discuss problems that have been reported to the Senate by faculty regarding the length of time computers are unavailable when problems are encountered. 


IX.       Subcommittee Reports

·      Dr. Sandor reported that the Faculty Quality Committee met today and they are gathering data for the Post Tenure Review among the schools.

·      Dr. Munsell reported that the IHOP Committee are reviewing the IHOP policies pertaining to faculty issues for possible condensing or deletion, and they are still in the process.


X.        Ombudsman

Dr. Holzer reported for the Governance Committee, the Ombudsman that they are in        process of reviewing the position requirements.  Dr. Hudnall reported the results from the            email polling of the Senators for their consideration of the two possible changes which        were to consider separately each of the 2 possible changes:

1.  Former/retired UTMB tenured faculty – yea or nay (14 Yes / 2 No)

2.  Tenure–track faculty – yea or nay (6 Yes / 9 No / 1 Abstain)

A motion was made that the Ombudsman position could be a person who is a retired tenured faculty member, seconded and the vote was unanimous.  Dr. Hudnall will notify Dr. Sierpina.


XI.       Other Business

            A Senator asked are we still in financial exigency?  If so, when will it be lifted?  Who makes this decision to move us out of financial exigency?  The Senator indicated that he had been asked these questions by some faculty.  It was decided that the Faculty Senate should invite Mr. William R. Elger, CPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Business and Finance Officer to the next Faculty Senate meeting.  A Senator also stated that there are quarterly reports that are on the website and that he would send Dr. Hudnall the web link.


A motion for adjournment was made and seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 5:58 pm.