The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – January 23, 2012 – 3:30 p.m. – Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206   phone: 325-6789
e-mail:   website:


The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Georgia Kosmopoulou, Chair.


PRESENT:       Apanasov, Ayres, Baer, Bemben, Bergey, Buckley, Chang, Ellis, Fagg, Grady, Gramoll, Hahn, Jean-Marie, Keresztesi, Kimball, Klein, Kosmopoulou, Laubach, Leseney, Loon, McPherson, Minter, Morvant, Moses, Natale, Nelson, A. Palmer, G. Palmer, Park, Ransom, Soreghan, Stock, Stoltenberg, Tabb, Vehik, Verma, Williams, Wydra

ISA representatives:  Cook, Crawford, Hough

ABSENT:         Adams, Burns, Chapple, Cox-Fuenzalida, Devegowda, Marsh-Matthews, Morrissey, Moxley, Taylor, Xiao, Zhang, Zhu






Museum of Art website for faculty

Faculty development awards

Remarks by faculty athletics representative Connie Prof. Dillon

Remarks by Prof. Donna Nelson concerning opportunities for scientists

Committee on Committees conflict of interest policy

Election, Commencement Committee

Senate Chair's Report:

New senator

Higher Education Day

Fees for computers sold through the IT Store

Center for Applied Research and Development – Applied Program Support






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of December 12, 2011 was approved.





The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is growing physically with the recent opening of the Stuart Wing and has added a new position to its education department.  Jessica Farling (, the coordinator of academic programs, is serving as a liaison with faculty and students to facilitate the use of the growing collection in faculty research and the university curriculum.  The faculty resource page that has been added to the museum’s website is at  There, you will find information about how to use the collection.  You may also join the museum’s mailing list while visiting the page.


The Faculty Senate sent out the call for proposals for the Ed Cline faculty development awards on November 10.  Proposals are due to the Faculty Senate office on February 3.  Up to $2500 is awarded.  Further information is available at 





Prof. Kosmopoulou noted that Prof. Emily Johnson, chair of the athletics council, gave a report to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee in November (see 12/11 Senate Journal).  Prof. Connie Dillon (Educational Leadership & Policy Studies), faculty athletics representative, was asked to tell the Senate about the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics, oversight of athletics, and other athletics issues.  Prof. Dillon said she brought two graduate assistants from the Athletics Department who are in the Adult and Higher Education master’s program to the meeting.  She said she would be happy to answer any questions about the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics or intercollegiate athletics in general. 


Prof. Grady asked for the Athletics Department’s opinion on the proposed $2000 increase in aid for student-athletes.  Prof. Dillon answered that as the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), she has been supporting this change, and she believes the Athletics Department is supportive.  Much of the press has advocated for paying the full cost of attendance beyond the current NCAA limit of grant-in-aid, which covers room, board, tuition, fees, and books.


Prof. Kosmopoulou asked Prof. Dillon to describe OU’s oversight policy.  Prof. Dillon said she downloaded the principles of the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) from its website.  Coalition leaders have attended many of the faculty athletics representative meetings over the years.  Almost every year Prof. Dillon goes to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and reminds the group that the Faculty Senate could consider joining COIA.  Prof. Dillon said she did not know if the coalition made any difference in terms of athletic policies, but it has received the attention of the press about faculty senate concerns related to intercollegiate athletics.  The faculty voice and academic integrity often get lost in the mix of commercialism, conference realignment, tournaments, and CBS and ESPN deals.  It is of value to remind the public that intercollegiate athletics is about college, not just sports.  Prof. Dillon said she is happy about the involvement and the oversight that the athletics council provides at OU.  The athletics council does most of what is prescribed in the COIA principles, even exceeding in some areas.  In the Big 12, OSU, Texas, and Missouri are members of the COIA.  At OU, faculty members on the athletics council review certain specially admitted students, and teams with academic performance problems are required to meet with the academic integrity committee of the athletics council in the development of improvement plans.  The council has much more oversight on fiscal matters than it had several years ago when the athletics department had accrued an operating debt.  President Boren and our current athletics director Joe Castiglione value faculty input, and Mr. Castiglione is open and transparent with faculty.  She sees the athletics council as a critical component of institutional control, which is an NCAA requirement.  The Faculty Senate has done a good job in appointing faculty members who are willing to ask tough questions.


Prof. Ayres asked whether all schools had a policy of sending checkers to class to track attendance as rigorously as we do.  Prof. Dillon replied that a number of schools do monitor class attendance. Several years ago, the athletics council helped develop our class attendance policy, which was supported by Mr. Castiglione.  Not going to class affects student-athletes’ college performance and their eligibility to play.  There have been considerable benefits in terms of class attendance and also class completion.  Prof. Ayres asked Prof Dillon to comment on OU’s policy about airplanes and coaches’ travel.  Prof. Dillon said that since the 2001 OSU plane crash, the athletics department has been giving the athletics council a report on student-athlete health and safety as well as travel safety. The OU policy on travel by coaches requires twin engine aircraft and two pilots and stipulates other requirements.  Student-athlete travel has more stringent requirements.  The athletics department is looking into how the policy is monitored and will report to the council in February. 


Prof. Jean-Marie inquired about the graduation rate trend over the past 5-10 years and how we compare with other institutions.  Prof. Dillon said our rates are improving.  In the Big 12, we are in the middle of the pack, but that is not good enough.  Overall graduation rates are improving, in part because of the NCAA academic performance program.  There has been a big improvement in the graduation rate of the men’s basketball team, which had a zero graduation rate several years ago.  Last year, the four-year graduation rate was nearly equal to the graduation rate of the student body, which is approximately 60 percent.  In doing comparisons to the student body, the rate that is used is the federal rate, which counts transfer students differently than the NCAA rate.  The NCAA uses the graduation success rate (GSR), which does not penalize an institution if a student-athlete leaves eligible, and a student-athlete who transfers to the University is placed in the graduation cohort.  Prof. Soreghan inquired about our target and the plan to get there.  Prof. Dillon said we want every student-athlete to graduate, but that would be difficult to attain.  Penn State’s GSR was one of the highest, at 80 percent.  Student-athletes are recruited earlier than ever and are pressed to make decisions that may not be best for them.  One of the things that the academic integrity subcommittee of the athletics council examines each year is whether student-athletes look like the student body academically.  So long as commercialism is rampant, BCS institutions, in particular, are pressured to bring in students who may not be academically qualified.  Prof. Kimball pointed out that the baseball numbers skew things because baseball players often are drafted to play professionally after one year.  A great deal of effort is being put into helping students complete their degrees even if they have become professional athletes.  Those students may not even show up statistically.  Prof. Dillon said OU has been number one for several years in terms of graduating student-athletes after they have left.  Prof. Palmer asked if they take online courses primarily.  Prof. Dillon said some take online courses and some come back to class.  We have other policies that move our student-athletes toward graduation.  To remain eligible, the NCAA requires a student-athlete to complete 24 hours a year.  Our athletics council also worked to develop policy that requires OU’s student-athletes to complete 30 hours a year.  By their senior year, student-athletes may have only a few hours left, which makes it easier to finish, especially for those who may be drafted.  What the council did on class attendance and the 30-hour rule has really made a difference. 


Prof. Bergey asked whether the pom squad was involved.  Prof. Dillon responded that the pom squad and cheer squad are spirit squads and are not NCAA sports.  There is some discussion about including spirit squads as NCAA sports.


Prof. Nelson said when there were discussions about modifying the conference membership, there was concern that OU was not a member of the AAU.  Prof. Dillon said she had heard that AAU membership was important to the Big 10 when it added Nebraska, but Nebraska lost its AAU status soon afterward. 


Prof. Minter inquired about advising for student-athletes and the motivation for students to get their degrees.  Prof. Dillon explained that the University has an academic advising service.  The athletics department has academic advisers who advise student-athletes about their major, progress toward degree, and those sorts of things.  She pointed out that the NBA requires athletes to be in college one year to be eligible for the draft; the NFL requires three years.  Baseball student-athletes can be drafted without attending college, but many come to OU because they hope to be seen and drafted.  Because of this, some student-athletes attend college so that they can pursue a professional athletic career, but most student-athletes understand they need a degree.  Student-athletes tell her how supportive our faculty has been and how positive they feel about their classes.  Two issues where she could use faculty assistance is with monitoring class attendance and helping student-athletes find the major they want and still be student-athletes.  Many student-athletes tell her they cannot major in a certain degree because the courses conflict with their practice and competition. 


Prof. Klein pointed out that attendance has a lot to do with success in a course, yet many student-athletes miss an enormous amount of class because of competitions.  She asked whether anything was being done to address when the competitions are being scheduled.  Prof. Dillon explained that basketball and baseball, in particular, play a lot of games.  If a team makes the playoffs, its members will miss class.  Prof. Dillon has been arguing at the national level for reducing the number of games per season.  She is working with the athletics council to monitor and watch practice and competition times.  The athletics department does make sure the student-athletes have study time when they are away from campus. 


Prof. Palmer asked how student-athletes are advised and whether they start in University College.  Prof. Dillon said they work with the athletic academic advisers first, but those advisers interact with the University academic advisers.  Prof. Kimball said there is a great deal of concern among the athletics staff about missing class for competition.  The athletics council weighed in strongly on this issue when OU discussed joining the PAC 10.  Competing with the west coast teams would lead to even more class time missed.  Prof. Dillon noted that the Athletics Director and athletics council spoke out about missed class time during those discussions. 


Prof. Palmer said it seemed that many student-athletes cluster into particular majors.  She asked if advisers told them about options or if they simply major in what their friends major in.  Prof. Dillon replied that the athletics council looks at majors.  Men’s football has a variety of majors.  A growing number of student-athletes are majoring in multidisciplinary studies, but that also is happening with the general student body.  She asked for the faculty to help in providing classes at times that do not conflict with practices.  Prof. Minter said he had a track athlete take some dance courses as an elective.  The student-athlete wanted to major in Dance but could not because of her schedule.  Prof. Dillon talked about a student-athlete who wanted a degree in Art.  The coach and the faculty member worked together on scheduling, and the student was able to get an Art degree.  Prof. Fagg said the concern is they are not being advised of the options.  Prof. Dillon said the Fine Arts faculty could talk about opportunities in the arts at the student-athlete orientation. 





Prof. Donna Nelson (Chemistry & Biochemistry) discussed a new project intended to benefit faculty, OU, and the state of Oklahoma by increasing the number of Fellows of scientific societies who reside in Oklahoma and, in particular, who are at OU.  Achieving multiple Fellow designations usually constitutes milestones on the path to membership in the National Academies.  The number of Fellows among faculty can also be considered when ranking universities for and/or considering them for membership in organizations such as the AAU.  Increasing the number of nationally-recognized faculty in Oklahoma will increase visibility and help to identify OU's leaders serving in professional organizations.


A good place to start is increasing the number of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows, for several reasons.  The AAAS is multidisciplinary, and its Fellows designation has reasonable criteria to meet.  OU currently has several AAAS Fellows, so it would be somewhat easy to find a Fellow to nominate another OU faculty member interested in being nominated.  Increasing the number of AAAS Fellows would be a worthy endeavor because the number is considered in rankings, such as that for AAU membership, whereas Fellows of other professional organizations are not always considered. 


Professional development opportunities are also being planned for the group of Oklahoma Fellows.  Any OU faculty member who is interested in being nominated for AAAS Fellow and thereby joining the group, can contact Dr. Donna Nelson at for information.





Prof. Kosmopoulou explained that the proposed change in the bylaws of the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Committees would add a conflict of interest policy (attached).  The revisions were discussed in December (see 12/11 Senate Journal).  The main changes are in the last paragraph.  The Senate approved the changes on a voice vote.





The Senate approved on a voice vote the Faculty Senate Committee on Committees’ nomination of Dan Butko (Architecture) to replace Maura Valentino (University Libraries) on the Commencement Committee for the term 2010-12.



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Georgia Kosmopoulou


“Tim Laubach (Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum) was elected by the College of Education to the Faculty Senate to complete the 2010-13 term of John Chiodo (Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum). Congratulation on your election.


“Higher Education Day is coming up on February 21. This is a day where educators and students gather at the State Capitol to promote the importance of higher education to lawmakers.


“In our last executive committee meeting, we invited Prof. Al Schwarzkopf to discuss the work of the Information Technology (IT) Council and also IT Vice President Loretta Early, who talked about emerging technology trends and identified areas of focus for IT. We discussed service fees on computers sold through the IT store and Loretta said that, for computers provided in academic departments, IT will remove a number of existing fees, such as the customization fees, costs associated with receiving and staging for Windows, and program management fees. 


“The Vice President for Research (VPR) office established recently the Center for Applied Research and Development (CARD), and the VPR website is updated with all the information on the center (see  The VPR’s office also established a new internal funding program known as Applied Program Support (APS), designed to provide discretionary resources to support research.  APS applies only to activities associated with CARD.  The VPR received feedback from a number of faculty and administrators and has created a structure for APS; it can be found on the website.”





The meeting adjourned at 4:31 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2012, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Fran Ayres, Faculty Secretary