UTMB Faculty Senate

March 10, 2014



I.           The meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm by Dr. Lisa Cain, Faculty Senate Chair.


II.        The Approval of the February 10, 2014 minutes.  The minutes of February 10, 2014, were voted on and approved by email on February 22, 2014.


III.        Provost, VP and Dean’s Report

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

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

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

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


IV.     Human Resources Update – Dr. Ian Barrett, AVP HR Talent Management

              Dr. Barrett presented a PowerPoint presentation.  Listed below are a few highlights from his presentation: 



·       Developed new compensation philosophy and methodology

·       Refined recruitment processes to comply with public policy

·       Streamlined position request process – cycle times shortened to 7.5 days

·       Established new sources and vendor relationships

·       Enhanced the faculty recruitment and selection processes

·       Selected to manage the medical operations for the U.S. Antarctica Program


Retention and Development

·       Implemented People Planning Program

·       Improved delivery of the institution’s flu vaccination and TB testing programs

·       Conducted You Count! Employee engagement survey

·       Restructured the Diversity Council

·       Trained employees on the Fair Labor Standards Act

·       Recognized CMC structure statewide and improved salary admin. Process

·       Launched the Physician Leadership Academy

·       Decrease in worker’s compensation premiums

·       Hired a full-time Title IX coordinator and appointed a new ADA coordinator


Employee Support

·       Upgraded PeopleSoft HCM system

·       Implemented Enterprise Learning Management online training system

·       Digitized employee records – scanned and converted 89,000+ personnel files

·       Automated the At-Risk Compensation and Merit programs

·       Deployed online Total Rewards statements

·       Developed Certified Medication Aide program

·       Streamlined our FMLA request process


The HR Road Ahead

Focus on the Future

·       Facilitate implementation of You Count! Survey action plans

·       Implement ePerformance

·       Adjust nursing recruitment strategy

·       Initiate an institution-wide employee safety program

·       Devise a pilot program for addressing unconscious bias

·       Improve service delivery model and process by with new CRM system

·       Design annual conference

·       Implement managerial skills training program

·       Develop an institution-wide diversity engagement survey


V.      Proposal from IMH: A Forum to Discuss the Future of Higher Education in a Commercial Environment – Dr. Howard Brody, Director, Institute for the Medical Humanities. 


              Dr. Brody stated that his topic is currently premature and he would like to be invited back to meet with the Faculty Senate once the Institute for Medical Humanities has finalized the proposal to the Faculty Senate.  Here are some highlights of the brief discussion.  


              The Institute for Medical Humanities would like to create a forum for discussing Higher Education in a Commercial Environment with faculty input.  IMH would like to invite Professor Christopher Newfield, author of “Unmaking the Public University:  The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class” to UTMB to talk about his book.  IMH would like to co-sponsor the event with the Faculty Senate in order to include as many faculty members as possible.


              Once Dr. Lisa Cain receives the proposal from Dr. Brody, she will send the proposal, book title and author to the Senators for review and a vote to determine if they would like to co-sponsor the event. 


VI.     Other Business

          Dr. Cain led a discussion on the “Open Letter to the Faculty Senate.”  The letter was discussed extensively.  Some highlights of the discussion include:

            Employee turnover rate - UTMB is well below the national average for the release of faculty.

              YOU Count Survey – Slight, but a not statically significant, declines in overall satisfaction scores were observed; however, action plans have been developed specifically to increase communication and improve employee satisfaction.

            Blue Ribbon Panel – This panel was formed to ensure that professionalism is adhered to on all levels and that responses to issues of non-professionalism are handled appropriately, including an examination of current policies and procedures. The Blue Ribbon Panel is scheduled to meet again in April.

            Compensation Committee – The current committee was formed in September, 2013, and will serve through August 31, 2015. It has met twice will continue to meet as the new plan is implemented. The previous Compensation Committee also met and provided input regarding the Compensation Plan.


The Senate is committed to representing the faculty and their concerns; however, is difficult to respond to an anonymous letter.  By a majority vote, the Faculty Senate issued the following statement on March 10, 2014 “The Senate has discussed the Open Letter to UTMB Faculty Senate and has decided not to respond.”


The meeting was adjourned at 6:15 pm.