The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)

Regular session - February 9, 1998 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102

office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206 phone: 325-6789 FAX: 325-6782

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The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Connie Dillon, Chair.

PRESENT: Beasley, Benson, Blank, Butler, Dillon, Durica, Edwards, Egle, Eliason, Emery, Engel, Friedrich, Fung, Gabert, Harper, Hillyer, Holmes, Joyce, Lancaster, Livesey, Murphy, Norwood, Okediji, Pailes, Palmer, Patten, Patterson, Ratliff, Reynolds, Robertson, Shaughnessy, St.John, Stoltenberg, Thulasiraman, VanGundy, Vieux, Wahl, Warner, Watts

Provost's office representative: Mergler, Heiser

PSA representatives: Elder, Pyle

ABSENT: Albert, Badhwar, Elisens, Gilje, Greene, Gronlund, Gupta, Hobbs, Konopak, Laird, Rasmussen, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Sipes



Announcement: Campus campaign 1

Academic Misconduct Code 2

Senate Chair's Report:

FY99 budget 3

Athletic Department deficit 3

Health insurance 4



The Senate Journal for the regular session of January 12, 1998, was approved.


Information about the annual faculty/staff fund drive will be distributed the week of March 2. Please remember that you can designate your contribution for a particular department/program.


Prof. Dillon explained that the Senate Executive Committee reviewed the original proposal of the provost's office to revise the Academic Misconduct Code and made a number of suggestions, many of which were incorporated. Some additional changes in the version distributed last month were proposed by the provost's office. The new version will be mailed to the Faculty Senate members in the next few days. The Senate will not vote until next month.

Mr. Greg Heiser, an attorney in the provost's office, said he had inherited the project of revising the Academic Misconduct Code. The changes look more extensive than they really are. Most of the revisions are housekeeping changes that streamline the wording and codify the existing practices. One central concern is to get hearings for students as quickly as possible. In a small number of cases, students who are accused of academic misconduct in the spring semester and request a hearing often have to wait until the fall semester, largely due to the difficulty of constituting a hearing board during the summer. This version attempts to allow more flexible procedures for constituting boards in the summer and remove the disabilities for students who have to wait until the fall.

Prof. Patten asked whether faculty who are not employed could be asked to be involved in a hearing over the summer. Mr. Heiser answered that a provision was included to provide that no faculty member is obligated to attend if s/he is not contractually employed. In the meantime, however, students are allowed access to transcripts while they wait. There has to be a balance between the interest of the student and the interest of the institution. Prof. Beasley asked about the frequency of occurrences that come under this code. Mr. Heiser said we had about 75 last year; the number is usually between 60 and 90. Last year, about 15-20 requested a hearing.

Prof. Murphy commented that the only reference to a meeting between the student and faculty member is in section 4.2. She asked whether she would lose the right to a discipline action if she confronted a student she had discovered cheating. Mr. Heiser said, "Not under most circumstances." The concern is that students should not be coerced into admitting something before they understand all of their rights. Language was added to provide for a meeting with Student Affairs staff to let students know their rights before they talk to their professor. However, professors should have a right to ask questions before filing a charge to try to find out the truth. Mr. Heiser is working on an information sheet for new faculty.

Prof. Holmes asked who the University attorney would represent in a hearing. Mr. Heiser said Legal Counsel would represent the university. Prof. Blank said he found it difficult to draw distinctions between the sanctions. He suggested that plagiarism also should come under the first category of Censure. Mr. Heiser commented that there is a fair amount of permissive language that would allow any of the penalties to be applied in mitigating circumstances. We are not bound on the issue of plagiarism. Prof. Blank noted that plagiarism falls under limited notation suspension. Prof. Dillon mentioned that limited notation suspension may allow the student to perform community service. Mr. Heiser responded that plagiarism usually involves a fair amount of planning, but in certain circumstances, the student is unaware of what constitutes plagiarism, and a lesser sanction is imposed.

SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Connie Dillon

"Next month, we will have a report from the Faculty Compensation Committee and perhaps a report from the Intellectual Property task force.

"It's still early in the legislative session, but as you may have heard, the state's economic news is less optimistic than expected. The governor's budget for higher education would give the University of Oklahoma approximately $4 million in new money. President Boren, however, is hoping for $6-6.5 million. There are many budget scenarios right now, but the president is optimistic that there will be money for salaries, though probably in the neighborhood of 2-3%.

"I know many of you have expressed concerns about funding for salaries, libraries and other academic priorities. And I know many of you have expressed concern about continued cost over-runs in the Athletic Department. I think it is important to advise you of the current state of affairs.

"In December, the Athletics Council held an emergency meeting to discuss a $1-1.3 million shortfall. You will recall last year that the Athletic Department at the end of the year reported a $1 million shortfall. Remember the president gave them a loan and required they pay it back midyear. It is important for you to know they paid that loan back. However, they expect another shortfall in the range of $1-2 million this year and possibly more, I am told. I also think it is important for you to know that, unlike years past, we have been kept informed. I want to thank Prof. Ken Hoving (Psychology and Athletics Council Chair) and the members of the Athletics Council for staying on top of this issue, and I also want to recognize the more open environment at the Athletic Department. In the past, we have not found this out until the end of the fiscal year, when it was too late to do anything.

"In December, the Senate Executive Committee met with President Boren, at which time he advised us that he would initiate a hiring freeze in the Athletic Department, which he has done. In addition, all major expenditures must be approved by the Athletic Director. They still are not comparing budget and actual expenditures, but we hope to see that soon.

"I had a long conversation with President Boren last night. He asked me to assure you that this year's Athletic Department deficit will again be covered out of auxiliary funds--from our reserveand will be repaid next year. The president has also assured me that the Athletic Department deficit will not affect other university priorities. In addition, the president asked me to inform you that he will, in the next month, require the Athletic Department to identify significant reductions to be made this year, and further, he will, given regents' support, require more next year in order to "get them back on budget."

"I have spoken with several regents this past week including the Chair of the Board, Steve Bentley. Steve will be attending our March meeting to address the faculty on this issue and will take questions at that time. He would be here today, but he is in a meeting with the governor concerning higher education funding. The regents asked that I assure you that they were unaware of the size of the problem until just recently and that they intend to make significant progress on both the continuing deficit and accumulated debt next year. They understand our concerns but ask that you not overlook the positive funding environment we have had these past few years. I told them that we recognize this, but we simply feel it must continue.

"President Boren is meeting with Athletic Director Steve Owens on Wednesday to discuss cost reduction plans for this fiscal year. The Executive Committee will be meeting with President Boren on this issue Wednesday as well, at which time we will discuss a statement of principles designed to guide this process. This statement is based upon the resolution passed by the Senate in May 1996. In addition, President Boren has promised to meet with Lex Holmes and me throughout the next month as the plans are made and implemented.

"I will have a full report next month in addition to remarks from Regent Bentley. In the meantime, I am asking the Athletics Council to support the Faculty Senate proposal approved last year that requires Budget Council review of the Athletic Department budget following review by the Athletics Council budget subcommittee."

Prof. Egle asked what percentage of the Athletic Department budget the shortfall represented. Prof. Dillon answered that $2 million is roughly 10%. Prof. Ratliff asked whether money spent out of auxiliary services might still affect academic programs indirectly. Prof. Dillon reported that the president said the money would come out of the Affinity visa card funds and should not affect other programs. Prof. Holmes added that dollars are fungible, however. Prof. Van Gundy asked whether any explanation had been given as to why the Athletic Department had a second overrun. Prof. Dillon replied that Steve Owens was brought in to get control of this, but he has been on leave. No one has been looking at budgeted versus actual expenditures. Mr. Owens is back on a regular basis now.


Prof. Beasley commented that the senate had discussed health insurance at one of the previous meetings. He thought that issue was going to come before the Faculty Senate. Prof. Dillon explained that a new Personnel Director had been hired, and Personnel is negotiating with Blue Cross/Blue Shield to "re-bid" health insurance this year. Prof. Beasley said his main concern had to do with getting referrals. Prof. Dillon said the Senate Executive Committee met with all of the Personnel Director candidates and talked with them about that issue. She encouraged senators to talk with Prof. Fran Ayres (Accounting), Chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee and member of the Employment Benefits Committee. Prof. Gabert added that when the director position was vacant, it looked like the health plan would be carried for another year. Now Personnel will probably go through with negotiations, and we may get some correction or adjustment. Any concerns need to be made known to Fran Ayres, who can take them to the committee.


The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30p.m. on Monday, March 16, 1998, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Trent Gabert, Secretary


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator