UTMB Faculty Senate

January 10, 2011

4:30 – 6:00 pm



Present:  Drs. C. Utsey, Chair, K. Beal, I. Boldogh, B. Bryant, C. Cooper, P. Crane, S. Croisant, L. Farmer, S Gerik, S. Higgs, C. Houston, C. Jansen, L. Massey, N. Mendias, H. Pine, D. Powell, E. Protas, E. Smith, H. Spratt, C. St. John, A. Torres, P. Watson, C. Wiggs, D. Wild and C. Wisnewski

Absent:  Drs. Y. Davila, J. LeDuc, M. O’Keefe, T. Riall, P. Singh and D. Solanki


I.      The meeting was called to order by Dr. Carolyn Utsey, Faculty Senate Chair.


II.    The Approval of the December 13, 2010 minutes.  The revised minutes of December 13, 2010 were voted and approved at the meeting.


III.  Dean’s and VP Report

       Dr. Watson talked briefly about the new student information system and that the Dean’s, Provost and the Enrollment office staff are discussing ways to meet our enrollment/admission needs with our mandated increases of enrollment.  Also they are revising the Strategic plan; the Education Strategic Plan is in progress to include faculty resources, testing center, etc.  A Senator asked if all the UT schools were increasing their enrollments, Dr. Protas stated that she knew that Texas Tech was.  Dr. Torres asked a question about GSBS.  Discussion followed concerning the ten-year plan and stipends for first- year students and postdoctoral fellows’ enrollment.  Dr. Watson stated the Council of Deans will be addressing our needs.  Dr. Croisant asked about the timing, with our campus under construction, will it be finished in time to meet our increased enrollment needs?  Some areas will not be completed until next summer.  A Senator asked about the budget cuts.  A reduction of 2.5% has recently occurred and it affects the remainder of this fiscal year.  A Houston Chronicle article indicated that Higher Education is expected to be a top target for cuts.  Dr. Cooper stated that the GSBS was cut $90,000.  Dr. Watson stated that we are optimistic about our opportunities.


Dean, School of Nursing (SON) and Vice President for Education – reports provided by Dr. Watson

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

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


IV.  Update on the Ombudsperson Position – Dr. Victor Sierpina, Ombudsperson Search Committee Chair      

Dr. Sierpina distributed the Ombudsperson job description and informed the Senate that of the applications they have received, the applicants either do not qualify or have backed out.  One applicant indicated interest but withdrew indicating he believes this position would be more than 20% time.  Senator Pine asked about a professional mediator or the possibility of lessening the criteria in the job description.  Senator Powell stated for an academic issue, an advantage would be someone who knows our academic complex.  The first person to take this position will be important.  It should be someone who is well respected and has a clear agenda/transparency.  Dr. Sierpina stated that this position is needed.  He has had a couple of faculty inquiring for an ombudsperson.  Currently, Dr. Sierpina is not clear on what to do short of a grievance.  Dr. Lieberman said temporary arrangement with a higher education medical center professional can provide for those with issues instead of a formal grievance.  Dr. Utsey asked Senator Smith, Chair of the Faculty Quality Committee, to review the Ombudsperson position criteria and bring back to the Senate their recommendations by the next meeting. 


V.  Legislative Issues – Dr. Ben Raimer, Senior Vice President, Health Policy and Legislative Affairs

Dr. Raimer presented a PowerPoint presentation and some highlights from his discussion include:

      People are extremely impressed with our work, the GNL and research, Shriner’s, quality of care and we are one of the leading health care centers in the nation.  The return of investment and the products of UTMB are our students, research and clinical care.

      Our challenges for the 82nd Legislative Session

      Texas Legislative Session meets every other year, 140 days and they have one of the largest budgets.  Interim hearings start on Tuesday, January 11 and budget is the hallmark.  Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, released that Texas has a $27 billion shortfall but optimists say $14-15 billion.  Some of the first things that will occur are the Congressional redistricting, (reconstructing the plan, Tom Delay was author of the last plan), Texas gained 4 US Congressional seats, Health Care Reform, Gambling, which would not bring in enough revenue for the State and would take four-years to roll out, Health and Human Services Programs, Merging of multiple agencies and programs, (railroad, TXDOT, etc.), and Criminal Justice and Correctional Health Care, i.e., many of the prisoners are aging and are in need of more health care.

      The Political Intrigues

      Who will be the Speaker of the House? 

      How much influence will the newly elected members wield?  Craig Eiland did an excellent job for us in the last legislative session.  The Tea Party probably not going to move as quickly as they would like and on average, new members do not get a bill passed.

      Will the national health care reform package be sidetracked for lack of funding?  The health care reform will require more health care providers.

      Will the economy pick up in Texas?  The map shows the projected percent change in total population in Texas Counties (2008-2040).  Graduates will probably head to the blue areas (50% to < 100% and > = 100%).  Texas is the fastest growing state. 

      Health Professions Workforce

      UTMB’s plan to increase the size of schools

      Expansion of GME; program graduates near their residency program

      Innovations in population medicine / care management (model programs) 1)Multi-share, 2) Teen health / Teen Mental Health;  Chronic Case Management; and Nurse-managed medical clinics.

      Impact of health care reform (more demand for providers and resources).

      Legislative Agenda (Sustain the Mission)

      Maintain UTMB GR Base

      Maintain UTMB’s Ike Recovery Funds ($150M)

      Obtain debt service for $150 TRB (Replacement Hospital)

      Obtain new Correctional Health Care contract

      How can you help

      Our students are planning a day in Austin; Share our story:  Educational excellence (Tops in Texas), Research importance (NIH ranking) and Health care provider (Innovations; burns, transplant, diabetes); Share the facts (FIRST in diversity, national exams, stature); Share your friends (relationships); keep us on your speed dial; and Share your feedback with us; help up do our jobs better; be our partner.

Senator Crane stated the Student Legislative day will be early March.  Dr. Raimer asked her to coordinate the event with his office.  Dr. Sierpina asked about push on Medicaid funding; Dr. Raimer stated that the Governor has backed off that.


VI.   New Student Information System – Dr. Vince Loffredo, Associate Vice President for University Student Services and Ms Vickie Brewer, Director of Enrollment Services and University Registrar

·      Dr. Loffredo stated that we have many changes coming with the new Student information system with implementing the student financial aid, registration, records and they are a little behind.  He thanked the faculty for their patience as his office had several challenges with the data changing over, running both old and new systems, and working out a few bugs.  They are meeting weekly with the Provost to work out the issues and to improve for next time around.  Our partner on the new system will roll off in March.  Faculty training will be required to enter grades, rosters, etc.  Dashboards will be created.  Senator Smith asked about the length of time for the training and Ms. Brewer estimated that the training classes should only take a couple of hours.  Dr Croisant asked when are we coming off the old system and Dr. Loffredo mentioned they will run both until summer 2011, they are now maintaining the old system and admissions are in the new system.  Senator Torres questioned the GSBS student applications deadline, by the time they receive the students applications, a good portion of them have gone elsewhere.  The GSBS application deadline must be moved up than what it is currently.  Dr. Loffredo stated that the Council of Deans establishes the schedule priority.  Senator Wild asked about using Centralized Services for application processing and Dr. Loffredo indicated that Centralized Services facilitate the processing of applications.  Senator Wiggs stated that the service is being used for prelicensure applicants.  Senator Jansen stated currently key functions are done by one person with no back up, any changes to include backups?  Dr. Loffredo said that they are creating safe guards to have backup for their office.


VII.  Reports by Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Committee Chairs

·      Dr. Utsey stated that the Communication Survey will be discussed at the February meeting.

·      Dr. Utsey reported that most of the questions for Dr. Callender that were posed by Senators at the last meeting had been answered by the Deans and VPs who were present at the meeting.

·      Dr. Utsey distributed information that Dr. Lieberman received regarding the Fulbright scholar program. 


6:02 pm, the meeting was adjourned.  The Committees met following the general meeting.