The University of Oklahoma
Regular session - October 14, 2002 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206 phone: 325-6789 FAX: 325-6782
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web site: http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/
The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Ed Cline, Chair.
PRESENT: Abraham, Baldwin, Beach, Bozorgi, Bradford, Brady, Carnevale, Cline, Cuccia, Devenport, Dhall, Frech, Gensler, Gottesman, Hanson, Hart, Hartel, Havlicek, Huseman, Knapp, London, Madland, Magid, Maiden, McInerney, Milton, Morrissey, Ransom, Rupp-Serrano, Russell, Scherman, Striz, Tarhule, Taylor, Thulasiraman, Wheeler, Whitely, Wieder, Willinger, Wyckoff
ISA representatives: Lauterbach
UOSA representatives: McFayden
ABSENT: Davis, Ferreira, Fincke, Henderson, Kauffman, Lee, Newman, Pender, Robertson, Rodriguez, Sievers, Vale
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Status of issues for 2002-03
Information Technology newsletter
Senate Chair's Report:
Faculty wellness center
Social security numbers
Research compliance policy
Regents policy manual
Research compliance policy
The Senate Journal for the regular session of September 9, 2002 was approved.
The status of issues brought to the Faculty Senate for 2002-03 is attached.
Copies of the fall 2002 Information Technology newsletter were distributed at the Senate meeting. Additional copies are available from Michelle Wiginton (325-9246, email@example.com).
Prof. William Huseman (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics) was elected to complete the 2001-04 term of Prof. Linda Zagzebski (Philosophy) on the Faculty Senate, representing the College of Arts and Sciences.
President Boren said the football stadium enhancements will include a faculty wellness center. The center will be modest but will include shower facilities and equipment.
Several faculty members have expressed concern about the security of Social Security numbers on I.D. cards. New I.D. numbers are in place, and after the new PeopleSoft system goes online, we can start getting new I.D. cards, probably after the first of next year. Social Security numbers are supposed to be suppressed from grade sheets as well.
State revenues for September were down, so the administration is anticipating some further budget cuts. If the cut is small enough, the administration will try handle it out of reserves. If it is not, then the first priority will be to preserve the educational mission of the university.
The research compliance policy and standards of conduct will be discussed at this meeting and voted on next month. The revisions are a collaboration of a task force chaired by Prof. Mike McInerney, Compliance Director Cori Loomis, and Chief Counsel Joe Harroz. Compliance is important because if we do not comply with the federal research standards, we will be shut down. Any suggestions about the proposals should be sent to Professors Cline and McInerney. It is important to have a policy that adheres to federal regulations but imposes minimal impediments on people who perform human and/or animal research. One of the worries was that the hotline would be too unregulated. Efforts have been made to regulate it, and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will get quarterly reports to make sure things are handled fairly.
The regents policy manual is being revised. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee will review three sections to see if the revisions square with the Faculty Handbook. One policy being proposed that is in conflict with the Faculty Handbook is that renewable term faculty would have regular faculty status. This issue will come up for consideration by the Faculty Senate at some point. Currently, the number of renewable term faculty is capped at 10%.
Many of the issues raised by faculty (Appendix I) deal with financial matters and will be difficult to solve in the current climate. The Senate will do what it can. Administrators and committee chairs will be asked to consider those concerns.
The Senate approved the following nominations of the Senate Committee on Committees to fill vacancies on university and campus councils, committees and boards.
Academic Regulations Committee
To replace Anne Reynolds as of Jan. '03, 2000-03 term: S. Lakshmivarahan (Computer Science)
Campus Disciplinary Council
To replace Steve Gensler, 2001-03 term: Don Bogan (Law)
Information Technology Council
To replace Bob Swisher, 2000-03 term: Deborah Trytten (Computer Science)
To replace Ken Fuchs, 2002-05 term: Fran Ayres (Accounting)
Rita Lottinville Prize for Freshmen Committee
To replace Michael Flanigan, 2001-03 term: Ning Yu (Modern Lang., Lit. & Ling.)
Shared Leave Committee
To replace Dolores Leffingwell, 2002-05 term: Jan Caldwell (Zoology/OMNH)
The documents referred to in the discussion below are at http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/compliance.htm. See also the comments made about research compliance in the chair's report.
Prof. Michael McInerney said the task force he chaired reviewed the policy approved by the regents in January -- http://www.ouhsc.edu/compliance/ (Compliance Program) -- and the implementation plan. The task force had eight members, one from the HSC, one from Tulsa, and the rest from the Norman campus. He said the faculty is committed to the highest standards of ethics and conduct and will work to be in compliance with all of the laws and regulations. He distributed a summary of the task force's deliberations. A lot of the concern had to do with training and assistance. The Compliance Director assured the group that her office will provide assistance to help faculty get through the detailed regulations. The policy and standards of conduct have been reworded. The Compliance Office has held training sessions and has made some organizational changes. Individuals have been appointed to provide expertise in animal research and radiation safety. One big problem has been that the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for human research has been overwhelmed with proposals. Steve O’Geary has now been hired as the director of human research protection. Federal regulators recommended additional IRBs for the Norman campus as well as additional expert personnel. In the interim, faculty will get special pay, release time, or summer support to compensate for the extra workload. In several months, we should have a well-staffed human research protection program on the Norman campus, which should alleviate a lot of the problems people have had. The federal regulators have approved a tiered review system that will provide for an exempt, expedited, and full board review. Information about human research proposals, including forms and sample letters, are explained on the web site -- http://research.ou.edu/irb/default.asp -- and should expedite research, particularly research that deals with human information from previous data sources. The added cost of compliance and training will not come out of department budgets or practice-related income of faculty physicians; it will be provided by the university. The Norman campus will have its own IRB and actually will have several in the future. One of the main concerns was the hotline reporting. The hotline phone number has to be in place because of federal mandate. Anonymous reporting protects people who feel they cannot report compliance problems through normal channels. Faculty and staff will be told that complaints should be made through normal channels where possible. There was some concern about exit interviews, and those have been deleted. Several controls have been included to prevent abuse. Legal Counsel, rather than the Compliance Director, will institute any punitive measures, there will be some faculty oversight, an advisory committee will review hot line reports, and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will get a quarterly summary of the hot line calls. A lot of the issues deal with medical billing for patient care, which relates to the HSC and Tulsa.
Ms. Cori Loomis, Compliance Director, gave a brief background. In June 2000, the Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) issued a letter of deficiencies to the university because of the Tulsa melanoma trial. President Boren appointed a task force in June 2000 that made several recommendations, one of which was to develop a fully-supported compliance program with a compliance director. In January, the regents adopted a skeleton program, and since then, input on that program has been solicited from several groups. This is a living document. As the laws change and the organization changes, we will review the program. Some of the revisions make it a more balanced program. Initially, it was weighted toward health care activities. The reason there is more guidance on health care is because the government has issued more guidance in that area. More specificity has been added on human and animal research, and that section was moved to the beginning of the document. The hotline message was reworded to clarify that the phone number is only for complaints, concerns, or questions concerning this program. Ms. Loomis said she did not encourage the use of it at all because it is difficult to do an investigation on an anonymous complaint. The exit interviews were eliminated since they are hard to enforce and had some of the same concerns as the hotline. The goals were restated, given that the intention has always been to provide assistance. The document had been legally written and not very friendly. The focus will be on training and education. Ms. Loomis said she appreciated the input of the task force. She pointed out that things that are not working properly in the next year can be changed.
Prof. Magid, referring to Prof. McInerney's summary, asked how much the implementation of the compliance program would cost. Prof. McInerney said he was not sure. Part of the personnel changes will be a matter of changing the responsibilities of some people, but several new people will be hired. Ms. Loomis said the IRB administrative function will come under the compliance office umbrella, and the budgets of the existing radiation and environmental health and safety will move to the compliance office. The new money added to the budget for the Norman campus will be about $153,000-$160,000. We will need to hire one or two people for the IRB and also for environmental and radiation safety. Prof. Magid asked about the source of funding. General Counsel Joe Harroz said new dollars would have to be found somewhere. Our research has increased, but our support for research has not. The President and board understand that individual departments cannot be asked for these dollars. The largest area impacted is billing and coding at the HSC, and 99% of that is in the College of Medicine, which has some funding already available. Prof. McInerney suggested that some of the additional money could come out of indirect costs from research grants.
Noting that the policies of the IRB were not included in the program, Prof. Cuccia asked how concerns with the IRB would be addressed. Mr. Harroz said the biggest problem in the Tulsa situation had to do with procedures that were not defined by the IRB. The proposed plan indicates that concerns could be handled by the compliance officer or through the hot line. Prof. Cuccia said his question was about the interpretation by the IRB of what is human subject research. In the College of Business, the faculty does a lot of research with databases and has been frustrated with how the IRB is interpreting policy. Mr. Harroz said that concern could be addressed by the compliance officer, legal counsel, president or provost. He said the IRB committees are working night and day. Prof. McInerney said Steve O’Geary could also help. Prof. Laurette Taylor, chair of Norman campus IRB, said no one from Business had talked with her about this problem. The IRB has tried to establish some guidelines and works very closely with Prof. Pat Daugherty, Marketing Director in Business, to respond to any issues. Prof. Cuccia said his point was that we needed to clarify whether research involving publicly held data involves human subjects and thus requires IRB approval. Prof. McInerney explained that the new web site had a lot of information, such as what needs to be submitted to the IRB and the levels of review. Prof. Taylor added that research involving publicly accessible data that does not identify individuals does not have to go through the IRB. She recommended that the group of concerned faculty meet with the IRB. Some problems are easy to resolve if the IRB is given an opportunity. Ms. Loomis commented that the IRB had recently undergone some intensive training. Last month, representative from the OHRP met with the Norman board to answer questions and confirmed that the board was interpreting the regulations correctly. Mr. Harroz said there were efforts to streamline the IRB’s review of applications. Prof. McInerney encouraged people working with databases to look at the web site because it has information about the kinds of reviews. Prof. Cuccia pointed out that exempt does not really mean exempt from review. Prof. Taylor said the IRB added some clarifying language in the policies to address some of the issues that had arisen. For example, when databases are considered to be public domain, the IRB has no further role. She recommended that the anyone with concerns or questions should submit a proposal for the IRB to consider. Prof. Cline said it was important to open the lines of communication.
Chief Counsel Joe Harroz explained that a couple of audits revealed some problems with the nepotism policy. One of the main changes being proposed is that approval for hires needs to be granted ahead of time instead of after the fact to make sure there is no preferential treatment. A provision was included so that someone could be hired in special cases prior to board approval. Other changes were added to accommodate concerns that have arisen. A lot of the revisions simply make the language consistent.
Prof. Taylor asked whether waivers would have to be granted for spouses to be on Committee A, even when they are excused from all decisions about their spouses. Mr. Harroz said a waiver was necessary, but it did not have to go to the board of regents. It could be handled internally. The key is to have a plan in place to make sure there is no perception of impropriety. Prof. Cline said it was a simple plan in which a spouse would recuse himself or herself from discussion of his or her spouse. Prof. Taylor asked whether a waiver had to be requested each time if a department had a policy in place. Mr. Harroz said the plan was to make it as convenient as possible and have some boiler plate language that a Committee A member could sign. The real issue is to prevent abuses. Having a good plan in place gives everybody protection.
The motion to approve the revised policy was approved on a voice vote. Mr. Harroz thanked everyone who had worked on the nepotism and compliance policies. He said all of the faculty had been incredibly helpful and he appreciated their time and effort. Prof. Cline remarked that the legal office had been very cooperative and respectful of faculty concerns.
Prof. Madland said she thought something needed to be done about the housekeeping and maintenance of existing buildings. Prof. McInerney noted that a subcommittee dealt with those issues as they related to research. Prof. Madland said she was referring to problems like heating and roofing. Prof. Cline said the Campus Planning Council could address that issue, but it has not been meeting. He offered to meet with Mike Moorman, Architectural & Engineering Services Director, to discuss some of the problems.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, November 11, 2002, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.
Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator
Valerie Watts Secretary