JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY SENATE
The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session - March 11, 2002 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206 phone: 325-6789 FAX: 325-6782
e-mail: email@example.com web site: http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/
The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Al Schwarzkopf, Chair.
PRESENT: Abraham, Baldwin, Beach, Bemben, Blank, Bozorgi, Civan, Cline, Cox, Cuccia, Davis, Frech, Gensler, Gollahalli, Hanson, Harrison, Hart, Henderson, Knapp, Magid, Maiden, Milton, Morrissey, Nelson, Newman, Pender, Roegiers, Rupp-Serrano, Russell, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Sievers, Taylor, Vale, Wieder, Willinger, Wyckoff, Zagzebski
Provost's office representative: Mergler
PSA representatives: Hubbard
UOSA representatives: Galasso, Milam
ABSENT: Clark, Dewers, Gottesman, Greene, Hartel, Hawthorne, Kenderdine, Lee, McInerney, Ransom, Robertson, Smith, Tarhule
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2001-02 Campus Departmental Review Panel
Faculty Senate 60th anniversary
Student satisfaction assessment
Senate Chair's Report:
Meeting with HSC and OSU
Health benefits for 2002-03
Student Congress resolutions:
Faculty web pages and electronic posting of office hours
APPROVAL OF JOURNAL
The Senate Journal for the regular session of February 11, 2002 was approved.
The following faculty will serve on the 2001-02 Campus Departmental Review Panel: Ken Crawford (Meteorology/OCS), Penny Hopkins (Zoology), Greg Parker (Physics & Astronomy), Paul Philp (Geology & Geophysics), Pat Skubic (Physics & Astronomy), Larry Regens (Science & Public Policy), and Alan Witten (Geology & Geophysics). The panel also will include Dean Lee Williams (Graduate College). The seven units in the College of Engineering will be reviewed this year. Prof. Schwarzkopf pointed out that reviewers could not be in the same college as the units being reviewed. He told the senators to let him know if they had any objections or concerns regarding the membership. There was a brief discussion as to whether Prof. Crawford would be available to serve.
March 30 marks the 60th anniversary of the first meeting of the Faculty Senate.
STUDENT SATISFACTION ASSESSMENT
Ms. Sophia Morren, University College, said the student opinion survey, which had been conducted in the classroom the past nine years, would be on-line this year. All undergraduate students will be invited via email to participate in the survey the week of March 25. She asked the faculty to encourage student participation in the survey process and to let their colleagues know that this will be happening. Students will have to use their OU email accounts, but they may forward their OU email to the email address they prefer to use. Students will click on a link in the email, which will take them to a web site where they will fill out the survey. She said she expected the response rate to be 10-30 percent. The survey is important to faculty because it asks about satisfaction with majors, and those results are used in the program review process. She may be contacted at 325-3521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Randa Clayton, University Development, said Campus Campaign 2002 was under way. The theme this year is "Building our Future," and the focus will be on increasing participation. Prof. Schwarzkopf explained that the purpose of Campus Campaign was to get faculty and staff to donate to the University. Ms. Clayton said the overall participation rate last year on the three campuses was 14.5 percent. The goal this year is to increase that to 20 percent. Last year, the Norman faculty had a participation rate of 24.8 percent. She said some of the reasons to donate are that many of us have chosen to dedicate our careers at OU, state appropriations make up only 43 percent of the University's budget, and it sends a message to the legislature, foundations and corporations that the faculty and staff care about the University. Donations can be designated to any program or department. Two activities will be held to increase participation: a Ghost marathon and an online auction of OU items. Prof. Magid noted that donors could designate a gift for the Faculty Senate.
SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Al Schwarzkopf
The Senate Executive Committee met with President Boren on March 5 and brought up the problems with parking. Since the president teaches a class and drives to the parking lot, he understands the problems.
The executive committees of the OU and OUHSC Faculty Senates and Oklahoma State University Faculty Council met March 8. One of the issues discussed was OSU's lawsuit concerning OTRS. They are trying to get the option to not participate in the state retirement system. The OSU faculty is negotiating with its administration on a copyright policy that is attractive to the faculty and would not treat copyrights like patents. Another issue is that OSU's administration has taken the position that anything that appears on University equipment belongs to the University. The group also discussed health benefits (see below). Several years ago, OSU had a problem with being self-insured and decided to join the state insurance system. The benefits in that system are not as good as options 1 and 2 of OU's plan.
HEALTH BENEFITS FOR 2002-03
Mr. Brian Maddy, Vice President for Administrative Affairs, and Mr. Nick Kelly, Benefits Manager, discussed the proposed changes in health benefits for the coming year (see last month's discussion and attached plans and premiums).
Mr. Kelly said he would concentrate on what was new since last time. Two significant changes were made, both in the area of pharmacy. By working with the actuaries and the pharmacy management company, the University was able to save some money by steering people to generic drugs. The new co-pay on Option 2 (Schaller-Anderson) is $5 for generics and $22 for preferred brand name drugs. Instead of paying two co-pays for a three-month supply of drugs, the cost will be 2.5 co-pays. The administration did some of the other things discussed at the last meeting such as consolidating pharmacy management, negotiating more direct contracts to get better discounts, reducing the compensation for people who waive insurance, and using some medical management to avoid certain costs. The University will fully fund the employee premium for Option 2 at $235. Individuals who pick Option 1--Blue Cross--will have to pay about $43 per month. As the Highlight sheet mentions, some of the reasons why Blue Cross is more expensive are that Blue Cross does not let us use direct contracts and does not do any active medical management, its network is slightly larger, and its pharmacy plan is more costly. Option 3, with a premium of $217, is intended for employees who want to cover their dependents. Individuals would be about $700-$800 a year better off with Option 3 if they had a relatively healthy family. This option is a mirror of the state plan and is not the best of benefits. However, the premium is less than the state plan, which is about $230. If we could get other groups like OSU in our plan, we possibly could get lower premiums. Summarizing, Mr. Kelly explained that the pharmacy co-pays will increase, the physician co-pay will go from $10 to $15, the deductible on Blue Cross will increase, and a significant outpatient co-pay will be added on Option 2.
Following up on questions raised last month, Mr. Kelly said it currently was illegal to buy drugs in Canada for retail resale in the U.S. Although there is a bill in Congress to make it legal, there is another bill to double the tariffs on drugs from Canada. In addition, discussions are taking place with Goddard about designating them as the exclusive pharmacy for the Norman campus. One question is whether they would have to hire more staff to handle the extra volume and would then lose money. Prof. Magid asked about the proposed co-pays for Option 2, item 13. Prof. Schwarzkopf said the $30 co-pay was for an office visit, and the $250 and $400 co-pays were for hospitalization (inpatient). Currently, the co-pay is $25 for inpatient or outpatient. Prof. Wieder asked for a clarification of the different levels of hospital co-pays on Option 2. Mr. Kelly said the co-pay for facilities with which OU has a direct contract, which will include facilities such as Norman Regional, HSC hospital, and Baptist Integris, would be $250. The administration will publish a separate directory of OU direct contracts and will continue throughout the year to add doctors and facilities to our own contracts.
Prof. Schwarzkopf noted that this year, we had good communication on what the problems were. We were facing a 39 percent increase in the cost of health care because our expenses were higher than expected and we had used up the reserves. Two weeks ago, we were about 12 percent short in funding. The faculty leadership did not want to ask employees to pay extra toward the premium for Option 2 in a year when we will have larger co-pays and no raises. He said he appreciated the hard work of Vice President Maddy. Some ways to manage health care are to negotiate lower rates with facilities and doctors and encourage employees, though co-pays, to use health care responsibly. He encouraged individuals to ask their doctors whether a lower tier drug would work as well as an expensive drug. Although we will not get more money in our pockets next year, we will have additional University resources going toward the health program for us. The more people we can get in the program, the better chance we have to negotiate direct contracts. In the discussion with OSU about health plans, the OSU faculty said they planned to talk with their administration about participating in OU's plan. He reiterated the reasons why Blue Cross was more expensive and pointed out that BC does not give us good information on patient performance and history so that we know where there is a problem. Moreover, BC has not participated in the drug program we have, which could have saved a substantial amount of money. Mr. Kelly pointed out that for next year, we will have one pharmacy management plan, which means the individuals on BC will have a BC card and a separate pharmacy card. Mr. Maddy said they made that change in order to get better discounts and manage the pharmacy plan better. They had not taken that route last year because of all the other changes that were being made, even though we could have saved some money.
Prof. Magid asked whether the staff would be making a recommendation also. Mr. Maddy said the Employment Benefits Committee (EBC), which has faculty and staff representation from all of the campuses, would take some action. Prof. Magid asked whether the Faculty Senate recommendation would be on behalf of everyone or the faculty. Prof. Schwarzkopf said he thought there would be responses from a number of bodies, including the EBC. Mr. Kelly said he had discussed the proposals with several groups and had held open meetings on this campus and the HSC. The EBC will make a recommendation. Prof. Schwarzkopf said the Senate could take some action to recognize the proposal as a good faith program from the University. Prof. Willinger moved to accept the document as stated as a good faith representation of the Faculty Senate and of the good work of Brian Maddy and Nick Kelly. The motion was approved on a voice vote. Prof. Schwarzkopf said he appreciated the cooperation of Mr. Maddy and Mr. Kelly and their efforts to keep the Faculty Senate informed.
STUDENT CONGRESS RESOLUTIONS
President Boren approved the Faculty Senate's proposal to shorten the late registration period from two weeks to one week (see 11/01 Senate Journal). Student Congress supported the proposal but requested certain accommodations (attached). The students want chairs or deans to be allowed to add students to a class if necessary. They want a full seven days for adds, with adds available on the weekend, and they want seniors who need a course to graduate to have some sort of priority in getting into a class. Prof. Schwarzkopf said he thought the requests could be handled administratively.
Two other resolutions from Student Congress recommend that departmental web pages include faculty office hours each semester and that faculty regularly update the course and office hour information on their web pages (attached). Prof. Taylor asked who would pay to update the web pages. Prof. Schwarzkopf said in his opinion, the ideas were good, but requiring them was a different matter. At a minimum, the resolutions will be included in the minutes of this meeting. Prof. Taylor said she would endorse posting office hours at faculty offices but thought it would be difficult for units that do not have technical support to make changes periodically.
Mr. E. J. Galasso, Student Congress liaison, said by having information online, students could find out how to contact certain professors and which classes to take without walking all around campus. He said the students could look into getting assistance in setting up web pages for faculty. Provost Mergler said many faculty members have contact hours that are virtual rather than office based. She encouraged the faculty to endorse a vehicle for listing contact hours that is accessible to everyone. Prof. Cline noted that it is relatively simple to make changes after a web page is initially set up. Prof. Knapp suggested that IT could add a section for office hours to the on-line phone directory. Provost Mergler commented that IT does not change the directory as frequently as once a semester. Also, the responsibility for office hours has always been departmental based. Prof. Harrison asked why it was necessary to put anything on the web if the syllabus included office hours and was handed out in class. Mr. Galasso said students who are interested in taking a class in a future semester could find out what is involved in a class ahead of time. Prof. Harrison said office hours are usually for students enrolled in a faculty member's course, and many faculty members are in their offices at other times as well. Mr. Galasso said students know they can get in touch with faculty members during office hours. Prof. Harrison said the best way to contact professors is through e-mail, which is listed in the directory.
Prof. Magid noted that every faculty and staff member has a potential web page space through http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/, and the site includes information on how to create a web page. Prof. Schwarzkopf said this was a call to start moving in the electronic direction. Prof. Cline said it was his experience that the vast majority of his students never looked at the syllabus at all. He added that not all students are proficient at using computers. Prof. Nelson followed up on the suggestion that students might be willing to help. Mr. Galasso said he would look into what it would take to have someone maintain web pages. Prof. Schwarzkopf said the Sooner Information Network might be interested in helping.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 8, 2002, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.
Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator
James S. Hart, Jr., Secretary