The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – November 9, 20093:30 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 Aimee Franklin, Chair.


PRESENT:       Apanasov, Asojo, Atiquzzaman, Baer, Bass, Blank, Bradshaw, Buckley, Conlon, Cox-Fuenzalida, Deacon, Eodice, Franklin, Gan, Grasse, Hahn, Jean-Marie, Kershen, Kimball, Lauer-Flores, Lifschitz, Miller, Milton, Morrissey, Moses, Muraleetharan, Palmer, Rogers, Russell, Sadler, J. Schmidt, R. Schmidt, Strauss, Tabb, Taylor, Trafalis, Vehik, Verma, Weaver, Williams

Provost's office representative:  Mergler

ABSENT:         Ahmed, Dial, Kent, Keppel, McDonald, Moxley, Reeder, Wallach, Wyckoff, Yi






Faculty deaths

Search committee, Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences dean

Interior Design honor

Remarks by Ghislain d’Humieres, director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Research Council recommendation to revise the process for hiring research faculty

Senate Chair's Report:

Photo rosters, registration

Wellness statistics


Academic misconduct process

Plagiarism detection

Reporting grades

Online course evaluations

State regents issues

Retirement fund record keeper

Posting course materials to

Digital tenure dossier review






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of October 12, 2009 was approved.





The Faculty Senate is sad to report the deaths in October of retired faculty Cedomir Sliepcevich (Chemical Engineering & Materials Science), Leale Streebin (Civil Engineering & Environmental Science), and Lloyd Williams (Education) and of active faculty member Roger Young (Geology & Geophysics). 


The Faculty Senate Executive Committee nominated two faculty members for the faculty-at-large position on the Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences dean search committee.  From the nominations, the administration selected both nominees (Mark Yeary from Electrical & Computer Engineering and Hank Jenkins-Smith from Political Science) to serve.  The search committee will be chaired by Dean Rich Taylor from the College of Fine Arts.


Prof. Asojo announced at the meeting that OU’s Interior Design program in the College of Architecture was ranked sixth in the nation recently by DesignIntelligence.



Remarks by Ghislain d’Humieres, director, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art


Prof. d’Humieres said he wanted to share the exciting things going on with the art museum.  President Boren secured the Adkins Collection, the largest private collection of Western and Native American art.  It is being shared with the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa.  The museum is being expanded by adding a floor and a half above the original 1971 building, and the original facility will be upgraded.  Construction started four months ago and should be finished in January 2011.  It will then take six months to move the art work back in, so the opening is expected to be in October 2011.  Prof. d’Humieres has been developing education programming.  One of the new programs is for middle school students and combines works of art and creative writing.  The museum also is here for the community.  Programs after hours include movies, lectures, teaching, and the Tuesday noon concerts.  He said he realized faculty members are very busy but he wanted them to be aware that the museum is here for them and that they are invited to all the openings.  The museum is a multi-disciplinary stage for education.  Faculty can use the auditorium for lectures.  He would like to find ways to connect the museum with all parts of the university.  For example, an exhibit will be held next fall called “Bruce Goff, the Creative Mind,” and he would like to involve Architecture, Interior Design, Engineering, and Biology.  The exhibition will include a lecture, symposium, movie, and open discussion.  He would like to work with other fields of study on programs related to the museum.  Photography is featured every semester because it is a medium that attracts students and also helps them understand that the museum is not old and dusty.  The museum is here to make the curriculum a little different.  Faculty members can hold a class at the museum.  Many of the athletic teams have visited the museum.  The new museum will be almost three times larger, so Prof. d’Humieres will be able to do more programming and exhibits.  He said he needs the ideas of the faculty and would like the faculty to change their perceptions of the museum.  Ideas may be sent to him at  Next semester, in conjunctions with a WPA exhibition, he is working with History and Journalism.  If faculty in other fields would like to participate, they should let him know their interest by the end of November.  Those who would like to be involved with the Creative Mind exhibition should notify him by the end of May. 


Provost Mergler asked about other exhibits that were planned for 2010-11.  Prof. D’Humieres replied that fall 2011 will be the opening of the Adkins collection, and spring 2012 will be works from the National Gallery.  He may do an exhibit about history for children, which will be at their eye level.  When he came here two years ago, only 2000 students were coming through the museum in one year.  Last fiscal year the museum started communicating through Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the web site and had 10,000 students visit.  He wants 15,000 students to visit the museum at least one time a year.  He asked the faculty members to help spread the word around. 


Prof. Miller asked whether docents could be arranged for faculty who participate in the adopt-a-prof program.  Prof. D’Humieres said the museum could provide docents anytime faculty members wanted to bring a group of students for a visit.  They could even tailor the tour for the group.  Prof. Rogers asked if the museum offered programs such as summer day camps for younger children.  Prof. D’Humieres said the museum does an exhibition during the summer.  This summer it will be photography, with a focus on traveling the world.  Each summer, about 2000 students in Camp Crimson come through the museum. 


Prof. Franklin added that the museum has been doing some partnerships with the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and is one of the trolley stops for the Second Friday night Circuit of Art.



Research Council recommendation to revise the process for hiring research faculty


According to the OU Faculty Handbook, the Research Council is responsible for reviewing Research Faculty candidates.  The Research Council voted unanimously to recommend that the Research Council be replaced by the Vice President for Research for this approval process.  The council believes there is enough oversight in the process to remove the Research Council endorsement.  (See Faculty Senate Letter.pdf and to hire research professor.pdf.) 


This modification would require a change in Faculty Handbook, section 3.5.3(A) (deletions crossed through; additions underlined):

“Once the academic unit has made a recommendation and the academic dean has endorsed this recommendation, the credentials of the candidate and the final recommendation to hire the candidate for the research faculty position shall be reviewed by the Research Council Vice President for Research, whose recommendation shall be forwarded to the Senior Vice President and Provost for review prior to presentation to the President and the Board of Regents.  All subsequent practices currently in place for temporary faculty appointments would apply in these cases as well. Contractual documents shall state clearly these appointments will not become tenure-track.”


This recommendation was considered last month (see 10/09 senate journal).  The Faculty Senate approved the recommendation on a voice vote.



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Aimee Franklin


Last month, Prof. Strauss asked about the iThink photo rosters.  The Faculty Senate Executive Committee visited with Provost Mergler and Brad Burnett, project manager for the new oZONE system.  They think they will be able to implement a temporary fix.  Prof. Franklin will review a test of the program and will have further details at the next meeting.  The students are now registering through the oZONE system.  It seems to be fairly successful except for a few glitches.  One of the problems is that prerequisites may be wrong.  Students should be referred to a departmental advisor, who can help with degree requirements.  Corrections may be sent to  Another problem is because the prerequisite requirements on the right hand side take up a lot of space, students did not realize that they had to keep scrolling down to see all of the available classes.  An alternative is to enter the course reference number, which is in a one-page format.


Breion Rollins, the new wellness coordinator, held some wellness screenings in October for the Norman campus, and 234 faculty and staff participated.  Over 2000 faculty and staff have been screened this year.  The OU Weight Watchers at Work has 170 members on the Norman campus and over 250 across all three campuses.  As of mid October, over 1000 total pounds had been lost. 


Individuals now have to complete a copyright tutorial and quiz to register for access to the OU WiFi wireless network and Housing wired networks.  In the coming months, some changes will be made in the wireless networks available on campus.


A change has been made that will impact faculty who file academic misconduct charges.  If a student has hired an attorney from outside OU, Legal Counsel will provide an attorney to the faculty member and to the board.  Additionally, the attorneys will not be able to address the hearing board directly.


Related to misconduct, Turnitin has been linked to the faculty’s drop box in so student assignments can be checked automatically for plagiarism.  A box allows faculty to enable plagiarism detection and set parameters for the originality reports.  The originality reports will be available in the drop box in a short amount of time.  Another enhancement is an online markup through the drop box for adding comments or corrections.  Several file types are compatible with plagiarism detection and online markup, such as MS Word, WordPerfect, PostScript, Acrobat PDF, HTML, RTF, and Plain Text.  IT is looking at other ways to link up our computing systems.  Prof. Kershen asked whether a summary was available of how to use the drop box to automatically check for plagiarism.  Prof. Franklin replied that some information is available on the web site, and a summary she prepared is available from the senate office.  She said the tool is amazingly simple and worked very nicely.  For assistance with this feature, contact Michelle Davis in IT at 


One of the items to be resolved in the oZONE system is uploading grades at the end of the spring semester.  The vendor may be able to offer a fix so that instructors will not have to upload grades into the Learn web site and then into the grade web site.  Nothing will be settled on that issue until the spring semester because they are still resolving registration issues.


Another change for spring 2010 is university-wide online course evaluations.  Each college will retain its current evaluation form.  Last spring the College of Arts & Sciences went to online evaluations and had a 59 percent response rate.  The evaluation window is the same time as the paper evaluation and is a week long.  Instructors and students will receive emails notifying them about the evaluation window.  Instructors will receive a follow-up message mid week indicating the response rate thus far and also a message at the end of the period telling the final response rate.  The quantitative and qualitative evaluation feedback is expected to be sent to the instructor within a couple of weeks.  In spring 2009, the qualitative comments were delayed, but that problem has been resolved.  Overall, there was no statistically significant difference in the scores between paper and online evaluations, although some individual scores may have dropped and some may have increased.  Prof. J. Schmidt asked whether the 59 percent response rate was with or without the iPods.  Prof. Franklin explained that Arts & Sciences had a raffle last spring and gave away some iPods for students that completed all of their course evaluations.  However, Provost Mergler has discouraged individual professors from offering inducements, such as extra credit, to students for filling out the evaluations. 


On November 7, Prof. Franklin went to the state regents’ office to attend the annual faculty assembly.  The regents have a Faculty Advisory Council that meets every month.  OU has two representatives, one from the Norman campus and one from the Health Sciences Center.  The term of the Norman representative, Roger Frech, will expire in December, and LeRoy Blank will be the new two-year representative.  State Regents’ Chancellor Glen Johnson discussed the legislative agenda as well as the budget picture.  It is his opinion that we will see legislation about guns on campus again.  He anticipates the legislature will consider taking back the authority to set tuition.  It is highly unlikely that higher education can go through another academic year without a tuition increase.  An item the regents would really like to pursue on their legislative agenda is the funding of endowed chair positions.  They want to get the matching money to the universities through a bond program by restructuring the financing so the term is extended to 20 years and it is less costly to the state.  They are going to ask for continuation of the stimulus funds to replace the money that was cut this year and ask for a modest increase to cover the increased cost of utilities.  System-wide, higher education has been able to cut out about $80 million due to cost efficiencies, an indication that higher education is trying to do its part to reduce the budget impact.  The administration portion of the budget is down to 7.8 percent, from a high of about 11 percent.  Every dollar spent on higher education yields a $5 return to the state economy.  Faculty members are encouraged to have interaction with their senators and representatives about issues such as guns on campus and State Question 744 that President Boren mentioned last month (see 10/09 senate journal).  The regents would like to see a big turnout at the state capitol for Higher Education Day in February and to inform legislators about the key role higher education plays in alleviating some of the revenue issues. 


Members of the senate Executive Committee will meet on November 11 with Vice President Nick Hathaway, Human Resources Director Julius Hilburn and others to discuss the financial record keeper proposal.  Prof. Franklin will have more information to report to the senate next month.


Prof. Franklin pointed out that she wanted to have a discussion at this meeting about two issues of interest to faculty and that affect the entire campus:  posting course material to and digital tenure review.



Posting course materials to


Background: In 2005, the Student Congress passed a resolution requesting the posting of course syllabi and current grade information on  After discussion, the Faculty Senate approved a resolution stating: “Faculty Senate encourages faculty to make undergraduate course syllabi available online.”  On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the Student Congress passed a resolution about the availability of exam preparation resources. The resolution encouraged “…the Faculty to provide study guides, lecture notes, previous tests, syllabi, grades, and/or sample exam questions to all students in their classes by utilizing the Desire2Learn (D2L) platform.”

Nearly 5 years later, we are a campus that has long-term experience with, encourages green initiatives, and employs alternate course delivery formats (especially with the advent of absences caused by H1N1).  In addition, there is an emphasis on improving graduation rates and time to graduation and increasing retention rates.
Should the current policy be revised to reflect minimum expectations for faculty posting of course materials?


Prof. Franklin explained that each class has a web site that is established through the Desire2Learn system.  The issue is what information should be made available to students in electronic form.  With the transfer to the oZONE system, the effort to make our campus greener, the concern about providing course materials to students in the event of a flu outbreak, and the resolution passed by Student Congress, it seemed time to have a discussion to determine what the current policy should be.  In 2005, the Faculty Senate encouraged faculty to make undergraduate course syllabi available online.  The discussion at this meeting was to get a sense of where we are and give senators an opportunity to talk with their faculty colleagues.  Prof. Eodice was present and would be willing to describe the resources available in the Learning, Teaching, Writing Program (formerly the Writing Center and Program for Instructional Innovation).  Rachel Terrell from UOSA came to the meeting to explain the Student Congress resolution if anyone had any questions.  The idea behind the student resolution was to have exam preparation resources available in whatever form the faculty prefers.  The test banks some students currently use may not be the most efficient because sometimes the test answers are inaccurate.


Prof. Eodice explained that the Learning, Teaching, and Writing (LTW) program, which reports to the provost, is a convergence of the technology and teaching elements of the program for Instructional Innovation.  The initiative this fall has been teaching with technology.  Fewer than 40 percent of faculty use D2L.  Some instructors only use the online grade book; fewer than 37 percent are fully engaged with all the potential of D2L.  LTW has been offering lots of opportunities to help faculty get materials on D2L quickly.  One of the LTW goals is to bring everyone up to a level of usability so students are provided with the information they need in a course should there be an interruption.


Prof. Milton said he uses D2L for grades and homework solutions but finds it more convenient to use his own web page for most of the course materials, such as lecture notes.  Prof. Eodice pointed out that D2L is more intuitive now than it used to be, so it is a good time to look at it again.  There is a lot of support for using the program.  Prof. Franklin added that the College of Arts & Sciences could upload course syllabi to D2L for the faculty in that college.  She was told the library could do that as well.  Prof. Miller commented that faculty could save students a lot of money by uploading reading materials.  Provost Mergler remarked, “The more we can make uniform where they go for access to materials, the better.”  Faculty members have to weigh that against their own personal convenience.  We are here for the students, and the assistance that is provided makes it easy to get the course materials onto D2L.


Prof. Kershen said he uses his own personal web page, too.  He asked whether there was a good reason why he should move to D2L.  Prof. Eodice noted that the dean of University College has a web site that is very deep and wide, but his students use D2L as the gateway to that web site.  D2L is getting to the point where instructors can use blog-based software, and it imitates a kind of web site interface.  Students need to be able to get to the material, and it is helpful if they get in the habit of going to D2L for the basic materials.  Prof. Franklin noted that materials on a faculty web site are open to everyone.  Some instructors may want only current students to have access through D2L.  Prof. Eodice mentioned that students can design their own portal page with their own links.  It gets populated with their current semester courses, and they have a link to that page through oZONE. 


Prof. Miller remarked that D2L works well for announcing research participation opportunities, and it has increased participation in his department.  Students can go directly to the survey sites.  Prof. Eodice said 300 incoming graduate teaching assistants went through a training session on D2L during the orientation in August, so they would be able to help faculty upload materials.  Prof. Franklin pointed out that faculty members will lose the course email function through iThink during the transition.  They will have to communicate through the email list in D2L.  Prof. Vehik said her department had created D2L permanent courses for faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students, which allows them to maintain communication.  It also is useful for posting job opportunities.  Prof. Franklin commented that instructors can post resources and guides for research papers and hold electronic office hours in a chat room.  She asked the senators to gather feedback from their faculty colleagues so the Faculty Senate can decide whether it wants to take any course of action.



Digital tenure dossier review


Background: Each year roughly 40-45 tenure dossiers are reviewed by the Campus Tenure Committee.  Added to this are 10-15 promotion dossiers reviewed administratively.  Currently departments prepare paper dossiers for internal and external review.  Seven complete copies of the candidate’s dossier are required for internal review.  External review dossiers, normally smaller, are estimated to require 6-12 paper copies of the candidate’s dossier.  In 2009, the review for Honors and Awards was streamlined to require paperless submission for most dossiers.

Best practices research of Big 12 schools and schools recognized in a recent Chronicle article suggests that technology has advanced to the point where creating electronic dossiers is more efficient and that secure submissions and reviews of digital dossiers can be assured.  Digital submission could allow electronic access for reviewers at any setting they choose and would greatly reduce the amount of paper used, enhancing green campus initiatives.
Should the current policy be revised to encourage electronic review of tenure and promotion dossiers?


Prof. Franklin described the stacks of paper that are used for just one case file.  A recent article in the Chronicle talked about some universities that are going to electronic review.  The question is whether it would be possible to have a more efficient, greener system that still is secure.  Some privileged information is contained in those documents, so we would have to make sure we have the same level of security that we have now.  We could start out with internal review and move to external review.  The Faculty Awards and Honors Council is trying electronic submission this year.  Currently, at the end of the process, every dossier is scanned by the provost office and kept on file.  Digital dossiers would be a way to have a more dynamic system.  Instead of printing the electronic files that already exist, they could be uploaded, similar to the FastLane process that NSF uses for submission of proposals.  Prof. Franklin asked the senators for their reaction to the idea and to check with their colleagues for suggestions and concerns.


Prof. Apanasov said it was important to create safe files in a convenient way.  Prof. Franklin said the options are wide open.  At this stage, the objective is to see if there is an interest and to imagine how we would do it.  Some of the schools who have gone electronic developed their own system, others used a course management system such as Blackboard or D2L to upload the files, and some purchased a system.


Prof. Rogers said her main concern was since there is a uniform standard, the dossiers should be scanned in a central place instead of in department offices.  Prof. Eodice said most of the programs skip the scanning; all the materials are uploaded into a template.  Prof. Apanasov noted that books cannot be uploaded because of publisher objections, so it would not be possible to replace the real thing.  Prof. Franklin replied that publishers might be able to provide an eBook in Kindle.  She agreed that books would be an important concern. 


Prof. Gan commented that tenure and promotion packages are very different from grant or award packages.  Some of the external review letters may not be supportive, so security is a big concern.  Prof. Franklin replied that initially those letters could be scanned and made available electronically rather than having the reviewers submit them electronically.  Prof. Milton remarked that everything he reviews is electronic.  He said he thought the security issue was solvable.  However, some people have trouble reading documents on computer screens.  It would not be very green if individuals end up printing all the pages.  Prof. Franklin suggested that the department could provide one paper copy.  One concern is people who print documents and leave them lying around.  At present, the Campus Tenure Committee has to review the dossiers in the Faculty Senate office or carry them around.  Kindle is making its electronic reader available as a free download to a computer.  If the materials are in the Kindle format, the font can be enlarged.  Prof. Vehik said she just prepared a dossier for a tenure candidate in her department.  Everything was in electronic form, then she had to make paper copies.  She would much rather have it all electronic.


Prof. Muraleetharan said some departments, such as the creative arts, would have different requirements.  Prof. Franklin replied that one issue would be what to do about non-electronic items.  Prof. Taylor said it was important to have a mechanism for making notes on a digital copy.  The Institutional Review Board is going to an electronic system where everything is submitted in an electronic template and only the people who are authorized have access to the system.  The materials would be more organized if everything went into a digital slot.  She said she thought there must be a way this could be done securely.  It makes sense to go digital.  Prof. Franklin said with the great advances in technology, it is time to rethink the policy.  The government has an application that allows individuals to read materials on the screen but not download them or print them.  Prof. Muraleetharan asked whether we were the last ones to think about this.  Prof. Franklin reported the progress at other Big 12 schools and said our campus could be almost at the lead.  The others are very curious about our results and would like to find out what we do.  She asked the senators to gather input for more discussion at the December meeting.





The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, December 14, 2009, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Amy Bradshaw, Faculty Secretary