UTMB Faculty Senate

December 11, 2017


The meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm by Dr. George Carayannopoulos, Faculty Senate Chair

The minutes from November 13, 2017 were voted on and approved by email by December 6, 2017. 

Updates – Dr. George Carayannopoulos          

  • Dr. Carayannopoulos announced that Senator Harold Pine is the clinician of the month.
  • Dr. Carayannopoulos announced that they met with Dr. Callender and Dr. Jacobs and asked the questions polled from the Senate.  For MD Anderson and League City update, we should invite Donna Sollenberger and Tom Riley and he asked that the clinical committee decide if they want to invite them or have a meeting with them.  Dr. Carayannopoulos also talked about the financial framework, branding, access to the facility and joint faculty appointments with MD Anderson League city facility.
  • Dr. Carayannopoulos mentioned scribes and medical assistants to help reduce faculty burnout.  He asked the clinical committee to see if they want to have Dr. McCallum and Anne O’Connell attend a Faculty Senate meeting or does the committee want to meet with them and report back.
  • Dr. Carayannopoulos gave an update on FCIP and will revisit the education mission using case examples for Dr. Callender and Dr. Jacobs to highlight the issues regarding the educational component of the FCIP.  Drs. Callender and Jacobs reaffirmed the need to get faculty compensation to the 65% in total compensation using multiple benchmarks (AAMC, MGMA-academic, MGMA-private, FPSC) before considering any annual merit pay base salary increases.  Currently faculty compensation is at 40%.  Dr. Carayannopoulos also looked at the UTMB Data Reference Card trends over the past five years, and indicated that despite the number of faculty at UTMB being down 1.3% over the past 5 years, the productivity from the faculty has increased significantly.  He also mentioned that Institutional Support (which is Administration) has increased significantly over the same five year period. 
  • Dr. Carayannopoulos discussed the Education Center space, and there is a steering committee consisting of all schools reviewing space/use assignments.  Dr. Callender had recommended that the Senate meet with Drs. Niesel, Mouton, and Southerland to learn more. 
  • Dr. Carayannopoulos updated the Senate with the International travel question of not being able to travel internationally using their funds, and stated there are exceptions allowed with an appeal process that starts with Department Chair that then goes to the Dean of the respective school.
  • Dr. Carayannopoulos talked about Shared Governance and the request from faculty to be involved at the beginning of policy development.  Most policies are now just updates or formed at the local level.  The University Committee could invite Cecily Martinez from Compliance to meet with them to discuss this further.

Mr. Shriner had provided a handout and answered questions from the Senate on these two temporary locations.  They are working on two locations (6th floor CSW and 1st floor JSA) - for private dining/meeting areas that will be accessed by id badge.  Mr. Shriner stated the timeline of completion, should be completed by February 2018.  The Senate indicated that these rooms will be utilized if properly equipped with food and beverage at no charge, and the room should be upscale since they would bring faculty candidates to these two facilities to impress them showing that UTMB cares about their faculty.  These two lounges will foster communication, production and collaboration which would improve faculty morale.  Also, having a subscription to a newspaper like Houston Chronicle or Wall Street, examples of two newspapers would be a nice perk.  A Senator has asked what plans are being considered for the League City campus for a lounge or faculty dining room, which is a great need as well.  Mr. Shriner indicated plans for expansion for this location are ongoing; however, not current location or timeline in place. 

SHP Faculty Retention Survey Results – Chair Elect Lynne Hughes

Dr. Hughes gave a PowerPoint presentation and stated that interim Dean Freeman created a task force and a SHP Faculty Retentions Survey was sent and out of 67 faculty, 46 responded, (69% response rate).  The results conclude that of the majority who responded, the majority spend their time in the mission of Education, followed by Research and then Administration. 

The top items they like about their employment at UTMB are: Colleagues; teaching, students, influence the next generation; Research, opportunity for collaboration; Autonomy/flexibility; Benefits; Boss, chair, dean.

         The top items they dislike about their employment at UTMB are:  Workload, overworked, faculty shortage; Compensation/incentive plan; Communication/transparency/administration/lack of leadership; Research – no time, infrastructure, not supported; Lack of flexibility in remote work; Insufficient travel/tuition reimbursement; Insufficient staff/admin support; Insufficient space and teaching resources; Clinical/faculty practice plan – not supported.

         Overall satisfaction with their employment at UTMB:  Somewhat satisfied (Average 5.16)

         Top solutions or changes that would improve your employment experience at UTMB SHP:  Increase salary/incentives/add merit; Support multiple pillars – research, clinical; Improve flexibility/telecommute; Reduce workload/increase faculty; Improve faculty input; Increased staff; Improve space/resources.

         Additional Comments

         “Faculty Compensation and Incentive Plan was designed with the assumption that faculty effort across all four schools should be standardized.  This assumption is faulty because many factors vary (for appropriate reasons) by school: primary mission (greatest % effort for most faculty), program designs (on-campus, distance, blended), administrative support for faculty, and opportunities for clinical practice.”

         “Working at UTMB has been bittersweet.  There seems to be a commitment to generating money and limiting expenses as most important value of institution.”

         “Allow educational faculty to telecommute and ensure workloads are distributed fairly and that departments have enough faculty.”

         “When 80-90% of the non-administrative faculty in SHP/SON spend 80-90% of their effort     teaching – how are we different from a community college?”

         Dr. Carayannopoulos stated at their next meeting with Dr. Callender, they will bring the survey up.

         Dr. Alton stated for the SON, that they are collecting the data from their survey and will present the results to the Senate.

Publication Costs Update – Senator Kelly Dineley

       Dr. Dineley was invited to attend the May Strategic Research Committee to talk about Publication costs.  She presented a PowerPoint from that meeting. Here are some highlights: 

    Publication costs

        Multiple publications per year for most PIs

        >$10K annual cost is unsustainable for current funding metrics

               How are teaching and clinical faculty, likely without grants $$, to support academic publication activities? 


  •    Publications not only reflects positively back upon the authors, but also the institution, department, and affiliated centers
  •    Study section will not award grants to PIs that do not publish and do not publish in quality journals

       Recent discussions with academic enterprise leaders do not indicate institutional support for offsetting publication costs

          MSRDP funds
  •    Clearly not sufficient to support medium to high impact publication
           4% ICR
  •     Rapidly depleted – 4% of $250K=$10K
  •     PIs need those funds for bridging and pilot studies for the next grant


          Departmental Funds

  •        20% ICR
  •        Budgeted in for each AFY
  •        Leave it to Chair’s discretion

           Research Services

  •        Budgeted in for each AFY
    •      Metric or policy for which publishers will be covered
    •      Not likely in this academic climate
  •        Compile list of impact factor, publication cost(s), open access policy, quality score

UK and Europe are leaders in assessing and posting policy on publishing companies and business practices.  

Dr. Dineley had meeting with Craig Cassidy, his blog: https://www.utmb.edu/research/research-blog and here is a link to his blog from 8/3/17 titled “Understanding and preparing for publication costs: https://www.utmb.edu/research/research-blog/blog-article/research-resources-blog/2017/08/03/understanding-and-preparing-for-publication-costs

Dr. Dineley also indicated that the Grants for lunch is offered 5pm on Thursday in addition to Tuesday at noon.  She included several links regarding publications and costs in her attachment.



Dr. Carayannopoulos read the Ombudsperson’s handout, the activity from 9/1/16–8/31/17.

Dr. Carayannopoulos indicated that we will be inviting the Deans to the January meeting, please send in your questions by December 18th.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 pm.