JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY SENATE The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)Regular session - November 11, 1996 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102

office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206 phone: 325-6789 FAX: 325-6782e-mail: web site:

The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Rick Tepker, Chair.

PRESENT: Albert, Baker, Benson, Blank, Bremer, Civan, Dillon, Durica, Egle, Elisens, Emery, Fiedler, Fung, Gana, Gilje, B.Greene, Hillyer, Hobbs, Holmes, Hughes, Hutchison, Joyce, C.Knapp, Konopak, Laird, Lancaster, Murphy, Norwood, Palmer, Patten, Patterson, Reynolds, Shaughnessy, Stoltenberg, Tepker, Thulasiraman, VanGundy, Wahl, Wallach, Wenk, Williams

Provost's office representative: Bell, Mergler

PSA representatives: Spencer

ABSENT: E.Greene, Gupta, Harris, Horrell, Kinzie, F. Lee, Ramsey, St.John, Sipes, Smith




Faculty/staff picnic 2

Arts and Sciences dean search committee 2

Honors and Engineering deans search committees 2

Internet newsgroups 2

Environmental Concerns Committee charge and membership 3

Rape Awareness Week 3

Remarks by Director of International Programs Center 3

Resolution, Staff Senate's 25th anniversary 3

E-mail guidelines 4

Senate Chair's Report:

Tuition waivers 5

Handbilling policy 5

Faculty evaluation scale 5

Campus network rights and responsibilities guidelines 6

Discussion of Athletic Department certification 6

Pre-finals week policy changes 7



The Senate Journal for the regular sessions of September 9 and October 14, 1996, were approved with the following corrections to the September Journal (deletions crossed through; additions in bold).

9/96 Senate Journal, page 4:

Prof. Norwood questioned the president about militia soliciting funds on campus and alleged anti-Semitic remarks by Benjamin Chavis at a student conference the selective enforcement of the University hand-billing policy, specifically the alleged harassment of Faculty Union representatives and the allowance of hand-billing by the Montana militia inside University buildings. Prof. Norwood said that he had asked the University police to stop the hand billing by the militia within Dale Hall but was told that they had permission. Prof. Norwood also asked the president about the role of the administration in sponsoring the visit of Benjamin Chavis at a Big Eight student conference February 1995. Prof. Norwood objected to the anti-Semitic position of Mr. Chavis, whom Prof. Norwood associated with Louis Farrakhan. President Boren said we are an institution ...

9/96 Condensed Senate Journal, page 1:

Prof. Norwood questioned the president about militia soliciting funds on campus and alleged anti-Semitic remarks by Benjamin Chavis at a student conference the selective enforcement of the University hand-billing regulations, specifically the alleged harassment of the Faculty Union and the fraternization by the Campus police with the Montana militia. He further asked the president why the administration had sponsored and promoted Benjamin Chavis, a leading ally of Louis Farrakhan, as the keynote speaker at the Big 8 Conference on Black Student Government, and why the administration had refused to meet with concerned faculty and concerned members of the Jewish community both before and after the speech..

Prof. Holmes asked about the new conflict of interest policy adopted by the regents. President Boren said the conflict of interest issue is difficult....


The faculty/staff picnic, traditionally held in the fall, has been rescheduled for Saturday, April26, 1997, before a home baseball game. Further information will be distributed later.

Prof. Jayne Fleener (Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum) was selected from nominations submitted by the Faculty Senate for the faculty-at-large position on the College of Arts and Sciences dean search committee (see 9/96 Senate Journal, page 7). Dr. Eddie Carol Smith, vice president for Research Administration, will chair the committee.

Prof. David Sabatini (Civil Engineering and Environmental Science) was selected from nominations submitted by the Faculty Senate for the faculty-at-large position on the Honors College dean search committee and Prof. Michelle Hanna (Chemistry and Biochemistry) on the College of Engineering dean search committee (see 10/96 Senate Journal, page 3). Provost Nancy Mergler will chair the Honors committee, and Dean Richard Cosier will chair the Engineering committee.

In a memo dated October 28, 1996, President Boren said the University will maintain two separate news servers for Internet newsgroups (see 9/96 Senate Journal, page 8). A three-person committee will review any complaints.

President Boren approved the revised membership and charge of the Environmental Concerns Committee with the changes outlined by the Faculty Senate (see 9/96 Senate Journal, page 7).

Rape Awareness Week is being held the week of November 11. A schedule of events is available from the Faculty Senate office.

Prof. Tepker asked the senators to let him know whether they preferred the format of the agenda for this meeting, which listed items for action and those for information, or the previous format listing old and new business.

Remarks by Dr. Edward Perkins (Political Science), Interim Executive Director, International Programs Center

Dr. Perkins said the International Programs Center was an initiative announced by President Boren. The first objective is to provide international relations experience or degrees for students in a multi-disciplinary mode. He is looking at expanding the program beyond the traditional subjects of law, business, economics, and geosciences, with the possibility it may be advanced to graduate level in the future. Dr. Gary Cohen (History) is responsible for rationalizing the academic discipline and further emphasizing that the center will be a coordinating effort. The center also will have an outreach activity to the community through seminars, conferences, and papers by students and faculty on foreign policy and international relations subjects. The center will have a board of visitors, which will hold its first meeting in a year combined with a conference on foreign policy in the context of foreign trade. Dr. Perkins said he will keep the Faculty Senate informed and appreciates any suggestions.

Resolution, Staff Senate's 25th anniversary

The following resolution congratulating Staff Senate on its 25th anniversary was approved on a voice vote, with one opposed. Prof. Tepker noted that the Staff Senate was the first of its kind. Theta Dempsey, Staff Senate chair, Katie Pursley, administrative coordinator, and Barbara Perry, secretary, were present to accept the resolution.

WHEREAS, the Staff Senate represents staff dedicated to University goals and missions and has devoted time, energy and talent to provide leadership and a representative voice for all University of Oklahoma staff appointed through the Norman Campus since 1971;

WHEREAS, the Staff Senate has served as a national model by virtue of being the first comprehensive, representative system for staff in an American University;

WHEREAS, loyal, committed and dedicated staff strengthen the University family and constitute a significant and valuable resource to the University;

WHEREAS, the Staff Senate and its member groups--the Hourly Employees Council, Professional Staff Association, Managerial Staff Association, Administrative Staff Council and Council of Administrative Officers--serve as the catalyst for staff participation in University governance;

WHEREAS, the Staff Senate and its committees have made outstanding contributions that have benefited the Faculty of the University of Oklahoma as well as the entire University community and initiated changes resulting in a more skilled work force and a more positive environment at the University;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that, in recognition of the Staff Senate's twenty-fifth anniversary as the representative group of the Norman Campus Staff, the University of Oklahoma Faculty Senate expresses profound appreciation to the Staff Senate for its many contributions to the University and looks forward to the group's continuing dedication to the University as it celebrates this benchmark event.

University e-mail guidelines

Prof. Tepker explained that the proposed e-mail guidelines (see 10/96 Senate Journal, Appendix II) had been removed from the agenda after discussion with Legal Counsel. The proposal needs to be improved in light of some existing law. Language will be added to take care of concerns expressed about privacy and academic freedom. A revised version probably will be submitted to the Senate in January.

Prof. Fiedler asked for a summary of the concerns. Prof. Tepker said most of the concerns focused on section 3, which states that e-mail can be reviewed for any legitimate purpose. He said that is probably not an adequate legal standard for government employers. In the private sector, the cases are very differential to the employer. There is a chance that investigative reviews of e-mail might be treated under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which governs a wide variety of searches. We should have a procedure that will protect the University and the individual faculty members.

Prof. Fiedler commented that the expression, "University employees," in section 3 is very vague. It does not say "certain University employees" or "authorized University administration." There should be clear rules as to how system administrators are to behave. Access should be reviewed by a select group of people. Prof. Egle said his colleagues were concerned with who decides who needs to know in section 3. They wondered why we could not treat e-mail like U.S. mail and telephone conversations. The University should attempt to guarantee the privacy of e-mail. It is disturbing that passwords and encryption will not prevent access (last sentence of section 3). He asked whether someone could be punished for refusing to unencrypt. Another concern is that e-mail can be accessed without telling the individual. Prof. Tepker said the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will recommend that prior notice be required. Prof. Egle suggested that the paragraph be revised to state that the University will attempt to guarantee privacy, and e-mail will not be read without asking the individual or getting a court order. Prof. Tepker said it is unlikely that a court order would be required. Prof. Egle noted that some internal third party could make the decision.

Prof. Murphy asked whether there was a legal precedent for a minimum threshold. She said there is nothing to prevent the University from protecting an individual's rights to a greater extent. Prof. Patten suggested that the Senate also look at voice mail. Prof. Van Gundy asked that the policy be worded so that it is not possible to misuse the policy. For example, reviews should be conducted for security purposes, not for some political reason. Prof. Tepker said he would take these concerns into account.

Senate Chair's Report

The Senate Executive Committee and the Budget Council chair sent letters to the president protesting the waiver of out-of-state tuition for children and grandchildren of OU graduates. In response, the president said he would reconsider the policy. He has decided to require a minimum GPA of 2.75, the individual student will pay more than in-state tuition, and it only will be a 2-year pilot project after which the fiscal impact will be assessed. Prof. Van Gundy asked whether there had been any discussion about waivers for faculty and staff dependents. Prof. Tepker said that issue had been raised, but it is still being discussed. Prof. Gana asked about the implication on minority students. She said, "I'm not sure how shrinking the value of a scholarship addresses that." Prof. Tepker answered that there was some discussion about reducing the number of available scholarships and making them competitive. Provost Mergler said there would be no impact on minority student participation. The program as it now exists runs about 17% minority students, and no change expected. The state regents have a cap of 3% of E&G funding on resident student tuition waivers, and half has to be given on a need-based basis. Prof. Tepker cited a case that talks about how to define the issue of differential impact. The availability of a benefit in a way that is skewed racially presents its own set of separate legal problems. Prof. Fiedler pointed out that the waivers will be biased toward the upper income brackets. He asked whether this would come before the Faculty Senate for a vote. Prof. Tepker said he was simply notifying the Faculty Senate of the discussions and that a re-consideration is going on. Prof. Gilje added that the Executive Committee made a strong statement in opposition.

In light of recent discussions, Prof. Tepker agreed to take up the handbilling and solicitation policy as an issue. His understanding is there is no policy now. He will recommend a policy that takes into consideration First Amendment concerns and the interests of the faculty, as well as the administration's concerns. Prof. Norwood remarked that since 1990, the administration has been enforcing what they call a handbill policy on the union members. The University has said it is forbidden to distribute handbills inside campus buildings. Prof. Tepker said he will present a draft to the Faculty Senate. Prof. Hobbs said she was concerned about turning the University into "consumerland." She asked whether the policy will address advertising. Prof. Tepker said it would have to include those concerns.

A recommendation will be submitted to the Faculty Senate at the next meeting concerning the faculty evaluation scale. The faculty development task force is considering several alternatives: (1) comparative option--evaluating individual faculty in comparison with other faculty in the unit using terminology such as above average and average; or (2) terminology such as exceeds expectations and meets expectations. Some version of the second approach is probably preferred by the task force. Suggestions should be submitted to Prof. Tepker. Prof. Van Gundy asked whether this pertained to evaluations by students. Prof. Tepker said this would be the evaluation by Committee A. Prof. Joyce asked whether this would be a replacement for the numbering system or a supplement. Prof. Tepker said the numbers would remain 5 through 1; the change would be in the description of those numbers. He said the reasons for studying this issue are that the language is not descriptive enough and the ratings are inflated. We need a non-ego-bruising method of developing a wider range of assessments. Prof. Durica said the amount of space devoted to commentary in the evaluation seems to be shrinking. Prof. Tepker said that could be addressed later.

Campus network rights and responsibilities guidelines

Proposed guidelines for the campus computing network were recommended by the Information Technology Council (ITC) and will be an action item at the next meeting.

Prof. Fiedler questioned the statement "every member of the University has a right to a minimum level of access to the University network and services." He said it depends on the budget. Prof. Bruce Mason (Physics and Astronomy), chair of the ITC, said there is a feeling that individuals in the University should have access to the network just as they have a right to access to the library. The document says the guidelines are within fiscal reality. To the greatest extent possible, the University should try to provide the resources. Prof. Tepker said it could be rephrased to say, "Each person should have access..."

Prof. Hutchison pointed out that some of the questions the Senate had about the e-mail policy applied to these guidelines: "without proper due process" (Section III.c), "legitimate University business" and "legitimate access rights" (section V.b and c). Prof. Patterson said she interpreted accessibility as a vision statement. Prof. Fung said that does not mean each faculty has to have a computer; computer labs on campus could serve the purpose. Prof. Tepker said we could probably find better language, but the point is there is some sort of institutional goal of making the search for information easier. When asked about a definition of a "minimum level," Prof. Mason said that was left out intentionally because minimum levels will change. Prof. Williams said that could be defined as one lab on campus serving the community. Everyone should have access to computers as appropriate. Prof. Wahl said he would use the term "reasonable" access.

Discussion by Dr. Jack Kasulis (Marketing), Athletics Council Chair, of Athletic Department certification

Prof. Tepker announced that an open forum will be held on November 19 at 4:00 p.m. in the stadium to discuss the NCAA certification self-study report. Prof. Jack Kasulis, Athletics Council Chair, said he wanted to give a short explanation of the new process NCAA instituted recently, which is like an accreditation process for academic programs. He introduced Prof. Al Velie (English), chair of the steering committee, and Prof. Dan Gibbens (Law), the faculty representative to the NCAA.

Prof. Velie said all Division I schools are in a rotation to study themselves and deliver a report to an NCAA committee, which makes an on-site visit. J. R. Morris, George Henderson, Joseph Harroz, and Jack Kasulis head subcommittees on academic integrity, commitment to equity, compliance, and fiscal integrity (a membership list was distributed at the meeting). The next step is to share the report at the forum and solicit general input from the University community and Norman community. The report will be disseminated to the Faculty Senate before the forum.

Prof. Holmes asked whether this self-study was different than a study by academics of the Athletic Department. The people who are the object of the study outnumber the faculty 4:1. They are acting as members of the committee instead of advisors. Prof. Velie said the faculty generated the report. The responsibility lies with the faculty, but it was a cooperative effort. Prof. Gibbens noted that that the Athletic Department did not represent the majority on any subcommittee. Prof. Velie said he had no reason to question the integrity of the information. Prof. Holmes asked for any conclusions the Faculty Senate should address. Prof. Velie said the committee decided to leave the substantive questions until the open forum. Prof. Holmes suggested that the forum be held in a more accessible location, such as the Conoco Auditorium.

Prof. Tepker said a number of faculty have concerns about the document that was used by the regents to readjust the policy on Athletic Department funding. He said a lot of statements in that document are untrue. He asked what would happen with the certification process if remarks to that effect are made at the forum. Prof. Velie answered that the committee is obligated to incorporate any deficiencies in the report. Mr. Larry Naifeh, Executive Associate Director of Athletics, said the report looks at procedures and operations. Prof. Velie said the committee addressed only the areas that the NCAA requested. Prof. Kasulis asked the senators to get any comments to Prof. Gibbens right away so that they could be incorporated. Department heads also will receive the document. Prof. VanGundy asked whether the Faculty Senate will have an opportunity to vote on the final document. Prof. Velie announced that the NCAA is not coming until February. The Faculty Senate is welcome to deliberate the report. Prof. Tepker said the Executive Committee had not discussed yet whether the Faculty Senate would consider any final recommendations. Prof. Velie noted that the committee would still take input after the forum.

Pre-finals week policy changes

Prof. Tepker explained that proposed changes in the pre-finals week policy had been submitted by the Provost's office. The Senate will act on this issue at the next meeting. Prof. Egle wondered whether the word "assigned" in (b) meant scheduled but may be given past that time. Prof. Tepker said that was correct. Students are concerned about last-minute ambushes that occur just before the end of the semester, when previously unknown assignments are made. This policy has been the subject of discussion before this body on at least a couple of occasions. The real effort is to establish clear expectations so students can plan in advance.

Prof. Durica asked for further clarification of the new policy. Prof. Tepker said one of the objectives is to make the policy more than a suggestion. Prof. Van Gundy asked why summer school was not included. Prof. Hillyer pointed out that summer school is compressed and has different deadlines. Associate Provost Paul Bell reported that there is no finals week in the summer. Finals are incorporated into the schedule. Prof. Holmes suggested that "and intercollegiate athletic activities" be added after "(UOSA)" in the last section.


The meeting adjourned at 4:43 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30p.m. on Monday, December 9, 1996, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Alexander Holmes, Secretary


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator