UTMB Faculty Senate

October 14, 2013

3:45 – 4:15 pm, Orientation, 4:30 – 6:00 pm, Regular Meeting



New Senator Orientation PowerPoint presentation – Dr. Lisa Cain, Faculty Senate Chair


I.           The meeting was called to order at 4:32 pm by Dr. Lisa Cain, Faculty Senate Chair.


II.        The Approval of the August 12, 2013 minutes.  The minutes of August 12, 2013, were voted on and approved by email on August 26, 2013.


III.        Provost, VP and Dean’s Report

              Executive Vice President, Provost and Dean, School of Medicine – report provided by Dr. Jacobs.

              VP and Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences – report provided by Dr. Niesel.

              VP for Education and Dean, School of Nursing – reports provided by Dr. Watson.

              VP and Dean, School of Health Professions – report submitted by Dr. Protas.


IV.     UT System Faculty Advisory Council (UTSFAC) Report – Dr. Donald Molony, UTSFAC Chair and Professor of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

                   Highlights from his discussion: 

·       UTSFAC reviews important policies and create resolutions. Dr. Molony encourages the campuses to stay active and stated that faculty are the leaders of change.

·       The UTSFAC members - there are two representatives from each academic or health science centers.

·       Current issues that have been resolved are: Encryption and Conflict of Interest and Commitment policy.

·       Evidence of peer observation of teaching is being looked at for inclusion in all cases for promotion and tenure in The University of Texas System. This will be in addition to the evaluation of teaching utilizing student feedback, productivity and student contact hours. UTSFAC endorses that faculty review their peers; for quality of improvement and for the benefit of mentoring.  The Regents want to be aligned with the Public Health Foundation and want a vigorous review of teaching.  A model policy from UT San Antonio is currently being reviewed by UTSFAC.

·       Academic Review of Administrators.  Some UT system campuses currently do not have a policy in place to review departmental administrators.

Dr. Cain asked if she can send the draft model policy for the peer evaluation of teaching to the Senators for input and Dr. Molony agreed.


V.      Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Update – Dr. David Niesel, Interim Dean, GSBS and Professor and Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology

                   Dr. Niesel presented a PowerPoint presentation.  Listed below highlights from his      presentation: 

·       Biomedical Research and Training is changing and becoming more translational and interdisciplinary.  Current training programs do little to prepare students for anything besides an academic research career, despite clear evidence that a declining percentage of graduates will find such positions in the future.

·       NIH working group made some recommendations regarding graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Graduate Students:  diversify and shorten the time it takes to acquire a PhD and acquire more training grants and fellowships. 

Postdoctoral Fellows:  shorten the pathway to an independent career, increase support on training grants and fellowships, enhance the training aspects of the postdoc, and improve pay and benefits.


·       GSBS:  Shorten Time to Degree

         Coursework –  defining requirements, gateway courses, and new teaching modalities.

         Accountability                             Entity                               Frequency

         Milestone agreement                  UT System (6/13)          Annual

         Compact: Mentor and Student  GSBS-AAMC (Curr)     Candidacy

         Individual Development Plan   NIH (10-14)                    Qualifying Exam


·       NIH will Require Development Plans

         To help graduate students and postdocs achieve their goals, NIH expects grantees to:

                      Develop and implement institutional policies requiring individual development plans (IDPs) for every graduate student and postdoc supported by any NIH grant.

                       Starting October 1, 2014, IDP’s should be in the progress report, regardless of the type of NIH grant.

                      NIH encourages institutions with IDP policies already in place and that use the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rppr/ to start reporting IDPs after October 18, 2013.


·       Postdoctoral Fellows

         Increase stipends – March 2014, 0 level - $42,000

         Individual Development Plan – required for all NIH supported postdoctoral fellows

         Tracking of all trainees supported on NIH funding – Coming

         Shorten eligibly period and increase support for K99/R00 awards (Feb. 2014)

         Texas Workforce Management – starting 10-2013.


·       GSBS Postdoc Certificate Program

         The curriculum provides unique courses within the 7 different certificates.


Dr. Niesel suggested we invite Dr. Lawrence Sowers, Director of the MD/PhD Combined Degree Program to speak to the Senate.


IV.     Other Business

              Dr. Cain stated that the Senators are the voice of the faculty and we represent their ideas and concerns. The faculty have placed their trust in the Senators.  We must also work to support the vision and the mission of UTMB.  She stated that the committees must continue to provide input regarding the UTMB Health 2020-Academic Enterprise Initiative.  She stated that Dr. Jacobs values the input of the Senate, faculty in general and staff. She mentioned that it is wonderful that we are allowed to assist in planning the academic future of UTMB.


              Dr. Cain and Dr. Graham met with Dr. Callender and they discussed the Compensation plan, which is an ongoing process. Modifications to the plan can still occur.  Dr. Cain asked that the Governance and the Faculty Quality Committee work with the compensation committee and provide to the committee and our Senators that sit on the Compensation Committee comments that are received from the faculty.


              Two resolutions have been presented by the Health Affairs Committee and passed by the Faculty Advisory Council:  The enhanced incorporation of ethics, professionalism and the humanities into health care professional education and support for the Anatomical Board.


              Dr. Cain introduced Dr. Anish Bhardwaj, Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs SOM, who will present to the Senate in November. She met with Dr. Bhardwaj regarding faculty development and she thanked him for a productive meeting. She also stated that she wanted the Academic and Administrative Affairs and The Faculty Quality Committees to work with Dr. Bhardwaj regarding faculty development and the concept of a junior faculty development office.  Also at the November Senate meeting Mr. Victor Moreno will be presenting his role with the new faculty orientation. Dr. Cain is requesting that the Faculty Quality Committee provide their input to Mr. Moreno.


              Dr. Wiggs stated that the Policy of Periodic Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty is with the Council of Deans after changes of legal definitions. A motion was made to extend the meeting a few minutes past 6 pm.  Motion passed.

              Dr. Wiggs also mentioned the Abandonment of Academic Program and Financial Exigency is with Legal Affairs after working on the language in the documents.  Faculty Grievance Policy is 20 years old and will be revised.  Dr. Cain mentioned that the IHOP Committee will be working on this along with Drs. Graham and Dr. Wiggs. Dr. Graham in conjunction with the IHOP committee should take on the primary role of monitoring and making recommendations regarding the policies relating to the faculty at UTMB.  


              Dr. Cain stated that the Faculty Senate has a blog now which is located on the Faculty Senate website. She encouraged the Senators to utilize the blog.


          The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 pm.