The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – January 24, 2005 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206   phone: 325-6789
e-mail:   web site:


The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Valerie Watts, Chair.


PRESENT:       Barker, Blank, Burns, Caldwell, Catlin, Cintrón, Devenport, Dewers, Dohrmann, Draheim, Elisens, Fincke, Forman, Frech, Geletzke, Greene, Gutierrez, Halterman, Havlicek, Hayes-Thumann, Henderson, Houser, Kauffman, C. Knapp, R. Knapp, Lai, Magnusson, Marcus-Mendoza, Penrose, Raadschelders, Ransom, Rupp-Serrano, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Striz, Watts, Wheeler, Wyckoff

Provost's office representative:  Mergler

ABSENT:         Biggerstaff, Bozorgi, Bradford, Brown, Civan, Cramer, Davis, Driver, Hobbs, Lewis, Liu, Sharp, Taylor, Vieux, Wood




Announcement:  Academic integrity

Campus campaign

Research compliance

Alcohol policy

Senate Chair's Report:


Social security numbers on ID cards

Health insurance



OU’s employment trends

HEACO legislative forum






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of December 13, 2004 was approved.





President Boren approved the resolution passed by the Faculty Senate November 8 endorsing the UOSA academic integrity statement and applauding the accomplishments of the UOSA Honor Council (see 11/04 Senate Journal--





Mr. Kirk Garton, from the Development office, spoke about the 2005 faculty/staff Campus Campaign.  Mr. Garton thanked faculty and staff for their participation in the fundraising campaign last year.  Last year, faculty and staff gave $1.7 million.  That level of giving helps the Development office secure gifts from private sources and helps the president secure state funds.  This year’s focus is on participation, and the goal is 25 percent participation.  Last year, almost 19 percent of the faculty and staff participated in the campaign.  He asked the senators to encourage the people in their departments to donate.  People can give to their own program, school, or for a certain purpose.  At the suggestion of a faculty member, the campaign this year will include the option to contribute to a scholarship fund for children of faculty and staff.  Contributions can be made by payroll deduction.  Mr. Garton mentioned the awareness-building activities that raise additional funds, and he thanked the senators and their colleagues for their support.  Answering a question from the floor, Mr. Garton said those who donate to the Associates program get a parking permit, and an Associates donation or any other gift can be done through the Campus Campaign.  Associates give $1000 or $500 if they are 39 years of age or younger.  Mr. Garton encouraged the group to e-mail comments or ideas to him. 





Mr. Joseph Harroz, Vice President and General Counsel, and Debra Chionopoulos, Director of Compliance, gave an update on research compliance.  Mr. Harroz said when he had spoken to the senate a couple of years ago, the focus was on making sure there was appropriate oversight and the compliance operation served the intents of the original policy.  The compliance program started in June 2000 after a problem with a research study.  Mr. Harroz has oversight of compliance, Debra Chionopoulos is director of compliance (since April 2003), and an oversight committee has been put in place.  Mr. Harroz said he would like to give an annual report, at least to the senate executive committee, of what is going on in the compliance area.  One of the big concerns was how the hotline complaints would be handled.  In the two years the hotline has been in place, no complaints have been registered.  Hopefully, this reflects confidence in the way the compliance operation is working.  Individuals realize that they can get information and advice from the compliance office as opposed to calling in on a confidential hotline.  In March, the university will submit an application for accreditation in human research.  If we receive accreditation, we will have gone from being in need of assistance to being one of three universities in the country with independent accreditation of human research participant programs.  The main areas of compliance are environmental health and safety, grants and contracts, health insurance privacy (HIPPA), human research participant protection, medical billing and coding, and radiation safety.  The principles of compliance have not changed.  First, regarding independence, if there are any concerns or complaints, the compliance officer can go directly to the president or the regents.  Second, compliance is about education and assisting faculty in their academic endeavors.  Each quarter, the compliance officer reports to an oversight committee that includes the provosts, vice presidents for research, and deans of medicine so that the academic officers participate in the decisions that affect academics.  Mr. Harroz has put in place a controlled substance officer and a policy for the proper use, storage and inventory of controlled substances.  A person will be hired in the near future to handle export control issues. 


Ms. Chionopoulos discussed what has happened in the last year and what the major goals are for next year.  She pointed out that there are specific departments within the office of compliance and that compliance is for all three campuses of the university.  The Health Sciences Center is back to full accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.  Compliance websites are being updated to provide electronic access to more information and forms.  The biosafety committees on both campuses are actively ensuring that sure we are complying with the federal government regulations regarding select agents.  In the environmental health and safety area, the issues with DEQ concerning arsenic in the water have been resolved.  The office is developing protective policies to help faculty and staff, which includes situations involving confined spaces.  The human research participant protection program hopes to be fully accredited by the end of the fiscal year.  That process will require a site visit, so some researchers involved in human participants may meet with the site visitors.  Medical billing and coding is an ongoing process that is mainly for the Health Sciences Center but also affects Goddard on the Norman campus.  The use of radiation in human and animal experiments is highly regulated, and the radiation safety officers make sure we follow DEQ and EPA requirements. 


Prof. Burns said his colleagues in the social sciences had complained that the Institutional Review Board (IRB) micromanaged some of the projects.  For example, faculty will submit a list of questions that are to be asked of participants and will be told they need to change the wording of a question.  He asked whether the university was erring on the side of over-control.  Mr. Harroz responded that the IRB should not get in the way of research progress.  A lot of work has been done in the last few months to make the process more streamlined by better educating the researchers and IRB members.  Ms. Chionopoulos added that all of the members of the two boards had received appropriate training, either nationally or with a half-day course.  That was not available in the past.  The more expert board members are doing the reviews, so things should continue to improve.  Mr. Harroz said some rough edges needed to be worked out in the export control area.  Bringing on a control officer will help.  He said he would be glad to meet with individuals who are having problems. 


Prof. Kauffman said a colleague in education had to take a study through the IRB and also the PR office.  He asked who was drawing the line between academic freedom and legal issues.  Mr. Harroz replied that the issue had been a hot topic but had been worked out with Public Affairs.  Academics need to handle word choices themselves.  He suggested that Prof. Kauffman ask the IRB chair whether the issues had been resolved.  There is a regents’ policy on publications, so notices that go out in newspapers need to go through Public Affairs.


Prof. Cintron asked how the problem with arsenic in the water was resolved.  Ms. Chionopoulos said the university put in place a corrective action plan, which was approved by the DEQ.  We are in the process of converting to the public water system.  In the meantime, we are within the federal guidelines for arsenic levels in our water on this campus.





Continuing his comments on legal issues, Mr. Harroz discussed the new alcohol policy and its impact on faculty.  He said there should be no difference in a faculty member’s liability than there was before the policy.  The goal was to address underage binge drinking.  The policy will not prohibit faculty members from celebrating the completion of a Ph.D. at their house, assuming the Ph.D. student is over 21.  As long as students are legal, there should be no impact on professors and their activities.  One of the concerns is about faculty who sponsor student groups.  Under OU’s policies, any university-recognized student group has to have a faculty or staff sponsor.  The alcohol policy should have no impact on any enhanced liability for people who advise these groups.  Two items that speak to student organizations that have alcohol gatherings are the annual plan and the school night restriction.  Beyond that, there is no impact on an advisor’s role.  There exists a potential for liability, just as before the alcohol policy.  Faculty and staff sponsors need only to act reasonably.  If a problem occurs and the sponsor is sued, the university will represent and indemnify him as long as he was not acting fraudulently, recklessly, or illegally.  The threat of litigation should not keep people from being involved with students. 


Prof. Havlicek said his understanding was that student organizations could still have alcohol at functions if they made sure everyone who was drinking was of legal age.  Mr. Harroz said that was correct, as long as proper control was enforced, the function was held on a Friday or Saturday night, and it did not take place in residence halls or fraternities.



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Valerie Watts


“Last senate meeting Senator Karen Rupp-Serrano had asked about Oracle’s purchase of People Soft.  Presently, the Norman Campus uses PeopleSoft’s Human Resources management system and is implementing their financial management system.  We hear from IT that at this time there is no cause for concern.  ‘We are on track to meet our goal of insuring continuity of critical University operations by migrating end-of-life legacy administrative batch systems to industry-standard.  Oracle is committed to supporting PeopleSoft customers.  The estimated revenue from software maintenance fees for existing PeopleSoft clients is close to $2 billion.  It would not be in Oracle’s best interest to drive these customers to a competitor.  It is worth noting that OU runs PeopleSoft on an Oracle database.  Therefore, we will not be as affected by the merged product in the long term.  However, the loss of a major competitor in the enterprise software industry will cause maintenance costs to climb more than in the past.  It is in our best interest to lock in price increase caps as soon as possible.’

“You had raised a concern in our last meeting about our new health insurance cards showing our social security number.  Fortunately, our new Aetna insurance cards do not have that information printed on the card.

“Please take notice of the latest Benefits in Brief sent to faculty from the Human Resources Office.  It explains how some prescription drugs require pre-certification and urges patients to contact their physician and request that documentation be sent to Aetna for pre-certification.  In general, this should apply only to refills of existing prescriptions.  Some of the most popular prescription drugs that require pre-certification are Allegra, Allegra-D, Clarinex, Celebrex, Semprex, Zyrtec, Nexium, Prevacid, Lipitor, to name a few.  You can find the more extensive list on the Aetna web site.  For those of you who have flexible spending accounts, you have been automatically enrolled in ‘Streamlined Reimbursement’ option, which means you do not have to file paper claims to be reimbursed for medical or dental care received at Aetna network providers.  However, there are some situations where paper forms would be required such as filing claims for eyeglasses or contact lenses.  The paper claim form is available on the HR website at or at your local benefits office.”  Prof. Raadschelders asked whether the cost of a non-network doctor or dentist could come out of the flexible spending account.  Prof. Watts said it could, but the member might have to file a paper form. 

“In today’s student paper, The Oklahoma Daily, an article discussed the problem of upper-division classes being overfilled.  Many upperclassmen are having difficulty fulfilling required courses due to the university’s record enrollment.  The administration has come up with several temporary solutions, including hiring visiting faculty, renting lab space at other universities and working with departments to allow substitutions for overfilled required classes.  The areas of study particularly hard hit are nursing, pre-medical, business, and political science.  In light of this problem, there is an even greater need for intersession courses to be offered.  If you are interested in teaching during intersession, please contact Mark Pelfrey at 325-2899.

“Additional parking, a topic that comes to the forefront as we see all of the new building on campus, is being addressed.  There is money earmarked in each building project’s budget for adequate parking.  In addition, it is now a priority for parking to be made available before construction begins.

“If you are interested in OU’s employment trends, you may want to refer to the report for fall 2004 faculty and staff, which will be available on the provost’s web site under institutional research.

“Finally, members of the executive committee attended a forum hosted by HEACO on the challenges and opportunities higher education will be facing with the 2005 legislative session.  Several state legislators were present, including Senators Cal Hobson and Glenn Coffee and Representatives Susan Winchester and Jari Askins.  Chancellor Risser’s top priority is the passage of the capitol bond issue for higher education buildings and facilities.  The last time a higher education bond issue of this magnitude passed in the legislature was in the late 1960’s I believe.  Senator Al Schwarzkopf, our legislative relations committee chair, can answer any questions you may have on the topic.”





The meeting adjourned at 4:18 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, February 14, 2005, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Roger Frech, Secretary