The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – January 14, 2008 – 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 Steve Bradford, Chair.


PRESENT:       Albert, Bass, Benson, Bradford, Brown, Brule, Callard, Clark, Conlon, Croft, Edy, Eodice, Forman, Franklin, Ge, Grasse, Greene, Halterman, Horn, Kent, Knapp, Livesey, Magnusson, Marcus-Mendoza, Miranda, Morrissey, Moses, Radhakrishnan, Reeder, Riggs, Rogers, Russell, Sadler, Schmidt, Tan, Trafalis, Trytten, Verma, Vitt, Warnken, Weaver

Provost's office representative:  Mergler

ABSENT:         Apanasov (excused), Basic, D. Bemben, M. Bemben (excused), Kershen, McDonald, Rambo, Roche, Skeeters, Striz (excused)






Schedule of spring 2008 Faculty Senate meetings

Climate commitment

Recycling containers

Faculty development award recipients

Senate Chair's Report:

Student information system

Faculty interest groups

Recreational Services programs

Parking issues

Building maintenance

Retirement policies

Faculty Handbook section 3.5.6 – faculty resignation

Recreational Services Advisory Committee charge






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of November 12, 2007 was approved, with an amendment to the eighth paragraph of the Focus the Nation section, beginning with “Prof. Moses.”  The paragraph should read:


Prof. Moses pointed out that as many as 5 of the 7 long-term goals and 2 of the 4 short-term goals will have cost implications, which could be significant amounts.  There is no consideration given to what the extra costs might be or a plan for how to pay for them.  Are students willing to endorse tuition hikes to fund these changes?  Mr. Pollard commented that most of the initiatives would save us money in time.  He acknowledged that a cost-benefit analysis would help.  Prof. Moses said we should have a plan for how to pay for becoming carbon neutral.  A comment was made that we should not miss the opportunity with new buildings to incorporate green features.  Prof. Dalton said some funding initiatives exist, such as the Clinton Climate Initiative.  Ms. Pearson added that another possibility was a fee on parking permits.  Prof. Moses noted that three of the four short-term goals are what others should do. He thinks the UOSA should focus mainly on what students should do.  He gave two examples.  First, he noted that the elevator in his five-story building operated all day long, and able-bodied students could take the stairs rather than the elevator.  Second, he noted that in previous years, a much greater percentage of students lived near campus and walked/biked.  Now, many of them drive.  He thought the UOSA could develop policies that encourage reduction in student commuting.  He noted they mention this as a long-term goal, but students move often and it could be more short term if they are really serious.  Mr. Pollard said the green week would focus on those areas.  





The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for the spring 2008 semester will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102 on the following Mondays:  January 14, February 11, March 10, April 14, and May 5.


President Boren approved the Faculty Senate’s endorsement of the UOSA resolution on climate commitment, which was voted on at the November 12 meeting (see 11/07 Senate Journal).


With regard to the discussion at the November meeting about recycling, desk-side paper recycling containers may be ordered at; they will be delivered at no charge.  A sample was displayed at the meeting.  Prof. Moses asked who was responsible for emptying the containers.  Prof. Bradford reported that Mr. Burr Millsap, associate vice president for Administrative Affairs, said the Physical Plant is having a difficult time filling entry level custodial positions because of the tight labor market.  Perhaps that is why recycling containers are not getting emptied.  Prof. Albert noted that the web site indicated that desk-side containers had to be emptied by individuals into a larger recycling container within the unit. 


The Faculty Senate is pleased to present the faculty development awards for the fall 2007 semester to Danielle Brittain (Health & Exercise Science), Paul Goode (Political Science), Emily Johnson (Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics), Robert Nairn (Civil Engineering & Environmental Science), Kathleen Rager (Educational Leadership & Policy Studies), Zev Trachtenberg (Philosophy), and Hans Peter Wachter (Interior Design).  The call for the spring awards will go out soon.



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Steve Bradford


The December 10 meeting, which was cancelled due to the University closing because of the ice storm, was the first time in recent years that the Senate had not met as scheduled.  Prof. Bradford mentioned that the administration and faculty worked well together to get through that period. 


The University is putting in a new computer system for student information.  Prof. Bradford asked for suggestions concerning the features that the faculty would like to have in the new system.  Some of the suggestions up to this point are exporting course grades from Desire2Learn directly to academic records, course scheduling, early progress reports, integration of Degree Navigator and online enrollment, and textbook adoption forms.  He said he welcomed suggestions, but cautioned that some requests might not be possible, given the constraints of time and money.  The Executive Committee will discuss the ideas with the provost.


The Executive Committee continues to address the issues submitted by the senators last fall.  One of the issues was to consider the formation of faculty interest groups – travel, book, etc.  There used to be a faculty singles group and a yoga group.  Prof. Bradford said that while he did not see the creation of interest groups as a function of the Senate, senators were welcome to announce in any Senate meeting that they were starting a group.


Recreational Services has some new fitness and nutrition programs (see


Prof. Bradford plans to meet with the Parking director to discuss parking issues, for example, the lack of designated faculty parking, the cost of parking, the availability of shuttle service for evening students, and security for students and faculty after dark, in particular in the parking garages.  He asked the senators to send in any other issues or problems that should be addressed. 


The Senate Executive Committee met with associate vice president Burr Millsap concerning building maintenance.  Mr. Millsap said he depends upon faculty to report any problems.  His office does surveys, but it is necessary for faculty to alert him and not leave it to custodians.  He mentioned that Mechelle Gibson is the liaison from the provost’s office on building issues.  Mr. Millsap plans to provide better feedback so that faculty members will be able to see where their request is in the list of priorities.


Prof. Bradford introduced a resolution he wrote to express appreciation for the hard work of the health care task force and to make a request to them that they study the retirement issue thoroughly. 

The Faculty Senate expresses its appreciation for the hard work and diligence of the Healthcare Task Force.  We request, as the Task Force continues its work on retirement policies, that it examine all retirement policies, compare what other universities do, and consider the implications a change in the University’s retirement policies might have on hiring, both at the junior and senior level. 

Prof. Bradford remarked that since it was a resolution, the Senate could vote on it today.  Prof. Benson suggested that the last line read “on hiring and retention.  Prof. Bradford accepted the language as a friendly amendment.  He said he thought it was important to advise the task force soon on the faculty’s concerns about retirement.  The resolution as amended was approved on a voice vote.





Prof. Bradford explained that the Senate had discussed the recommended Faculty Handbook revision in November (see 11/07 Senate Journal) and that the change had to do with when faculty should send in a letter of resignation (additions are in bold, deletions are struck through; revisions from the 11/12/07 Senate meeting are highlighted).

Section 3.5.6 of the Faculty Handbook


A regular faculty member who elects to resign his or her appointment is obligated to give notice in writing at the earliest possible opportunity, but not later than May 15 or thirty days after receiving notification of the terms of his or her appointment for the coming year, whichever date is later.   It is a professional expectation that a regular faculty member who elects to resign his or her appointment give written notice at the earliest possible opportunity to the chair or director of the academic unit.  Timely notice of resignation is needed to allow sufficient time for the academic unit to seek appropriate personnel to cover the teaching assignments of the resigning faculty person and provide a smooth transition for students.  Written resignations for the subsequent academic year should be submitted early in the spring semester, but not later than May 15.  A regular faculty member who elects to resign his or her appointment is obligated to give notice in writing at the earliest possible opportunity, but not later than May 15.  A faculty member may request a waiver of this requirement.

For faculty and staff with 12-month appointments, resignations shall be effective on the last day of service of the employee, and an employee shall not be paid for a holiday if the last day of service was prior to the holiday period.

Rationale:  Tying the notice requirement to the appointment letter is no longer relevant, given that the appointment letters are now issued only after regent approval (usually in September) of the salary increases.  The primary purpose of this policy is to encourage early notice of resignation to aid planning. 


With no further discussion, the revised language was approved on a voice vote.





The University Recreational Services Advisory Committee proposed a revision in its charge (attached).  Prof. Bradford explained that the current language is obsolete, and some of the duties no longer exist.  The membership is not being changed.  The Senate will vote on the proposal at the next meeting. 





The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, February 11, 2008, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Roberta Magnusson, Secretary