Regular session – March 21, 2005 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206 phone: 325-6789
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web site: http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/
The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Valerie Watts, Chair.
PRESENT: Barker, Biggerstaff, Bozorgi, Bradford, Brown, Burns, Caldwell, Catlin, Civan, Cramer, Davis, Devenport, Elisens, Forman, Frech, Geletzke, Greene, Gutierrez, Havlicek, Hayes-Thumann, Henderson, Houser, Kauffman, C. Knapp, R. Knapp, Lai, Lewis, Magnusson, Marcus-Mendoza, Penrose, Rupp-Serrano, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Sharp, Striz, Taylor, Watts, Wheeler, Wood
Provost's office representative: Heiser
ISA representatives: Schwiebert
Cintrón, Dewers, Dohrmann, Draheim, Driver, Fincke, Halterman,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Search committee, Instructional Development Director
Art museum admission
Huston Huffman center admission
Online course management system
Senate Chair's Report: follow-up from previous meeting
The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of February 14, 2005 was approved.
The faculty tribute is scheduled for Monday, April 18, at 3:00 p.m. in the Sandy Bell Gallery of the Mary and Howard Lester Wing of the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art. Further information will be sent to faculty later this month.
Dr. Dee Fink, the Director of
the Instructional Development Program, is retiring the end of June. The following faculty will serve on the
search committee to select a replacement for him: Doug Elmore, Chair (Geology & Geophysics
and Associate Provost), Nancy Barry (Music), LeRoy Blank (Chemistry &
Biochemistry), Doug Gaffin (Zoology and University College Dean), Susan Kates
(English), Bruce Mason (Physics & Astronomy) Mary John O’Hair (Educational
Leadership & Policy Studies), and Teri Rhoads (Industrial
Engineering). Karen Cozart, Coordinator
of Distance Learning in the
President David Boren announced that special faculty and staff admission prices have been established at the Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art. OU faculty and staff are admitted free on Tuesdays. On all other days, the admission fee for faculty and staff will be $2 ($5 for the public). Faculty and staff individual memberships for year-round admission will be $15, and faculty and staff family memberships will be $20 ($25 and $35 for the public).
President David Boren announced that the monthly membership fees for faculty and staff to belong to the Huston Huffman will be reduced from $30 per month to $20 per month, effective April 1, for prepaid annual memberships and annual payroll deduction memberships. Amy Davenport, Recreational Services director, is working on a complete membership price review. She said, "I expect all of our prices to decrease so that we can better promote health on campus with our faculty, staff, and their families." Another option for membership is the punch card program, which allows faculty and staff to buy five entries to the Huffman center for $22.50 or 10 entries for $40. For additional information, see http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/Huffman.htm.
Vice President for Information Technology Dennis Aebersold and Dean of Arts and Sciences Paul Bell gave a presentation on the change from Blackboard to Desire2Learn course management system.
Dr. Aebersold’s presentation focused on the history of Blackboard. Blackboard became a company in 1997, and OU started using the system in 2000. In spring 2004, events began to happen that caused concern. Blackboard informed us that we would have to move to a new version (6) because the old version (5) would not be supported. A group of faculty and staff tried to migrate to the new version, and that was a failure. In fall 2004, we were without service for two weeks and had intermittent problems throughout the semester. We had an engineer look at Blackboard’s software and realized the company had taken on too many clients and did not have enough circuits available. Last fall, Provost Mergler asked Dr. Aebersold and Dr. Bell to co-chair a task force to make recommendations for a course management system.
Dr. Bell then discussed how we made the decision to replace Blackboard. He distributed a summary of the task force effort (available at http://casweb.ou.edu/d2l/index.htm or from the senate office). The task force knew we had to change from Blackboard 5 to Blackboard 6 or an alternative. The task force did an online survey of all instructors at OU to find out the features they wanted in an online course management system. The group also compared Blackboard 6 with WebCT, the other system we use at OU, and looked for additional options. One of the options was Desire2Learn (D2L). After receiving positive feedback from other institutions, several members of the task force volunteered to teach courses this semester using D2L. Based on feedback from the task force and evaluation of the product on ease of use, features desired by the faculty, and support from the vendor, the task force voted unanimously to recommend that we switch from Blackboard to D2L. The provost accepted the recommendation, and faculty will be able to start using D2L in April. D2L will be available to students August 2, the beginning of the August intersession. Dr. Bell said D2L looks to be a far better product and solution, more closely provides faculty with what they say they want, including relative ease of use, and has good customer support. The task force thinks it will work better for most faculty but cannot guarantee it will be perfect. We will continue WebCT, which meets the needs for certain types of classes, into the fall. However, many professors who use WebCT have agreed to try D2L. It is possible a year from now that D2L will be our only course management system, which would save significant dollars. We will not discontinue WebCT, though, until users agree that D2L meets their needs.
Prof. Sharp asked whether the
online testing in the D2L module would allow professors to give feedback to
students. Dr. Bell said everyone finds
D2L much easier to use than Blackboard, it does everything that Blackboard did
for them and more, and it works better than Blackboard. He said our Information Technology (IT) people
had phoned D2L with a problem at 3:00 a.m., and it was resolved in 15 minutes. We are getting much better customer service,
and student feedback works just fine.
Prof. Kauffman mentioned that WebCT had an updated version called
Faculty Welfare Committee Chair Bob Dauffenbach (Management Information Systems) and Benefits Manager Nick Kelly were invited to the meeting to discuss health care benefits.
Prof. Dauffenbach explained
that the Faculty Welfare Committee (FWC) and Employment Benefits Committee had launched
an effort to solicit comments about our health care system from faculty and
staff on the Norman campus and
Mr. Kelly said over half the
responses had addressed drug co-pays or the step therapy process. Pre-certification and step therapy for drugs are
not new concepts in medicine but are new concepts for OU, and this style of
management is new for a lot of doctors in Norman. The step therapy program requires a patient to
start with a more cost-effective medication and work up to the higher cost drug. We will be through most of the
pre-certification and step therapy process in the next few weeks, as people who
filled their 90-day prescriptions in December get refills. When he receives a complaint, he asks
Prof. Dauffenbach added that individuals
who were going through major procedures had sent in positive comments about the
calls they received from
Mr. Kelly then addressed questions
that had been raised about the dental plan.
Prof. Sharp thanked the employees
in the Benefits office who had been helpful to her. She said it was difficult to negotiate the “Find-a-Doc”
option on Aetna’s web site and suggested that the Benefits office specify on
its web page the
Prof. Greene asked whether
patients would have to go through the step therapy process again starting January
1. Mr. Kelly answered no. Once someone is certified for a drug, s/he is
certified. In fact, individuals should
not have to go through the process if they already went through it for a
specific drug. The doctor simply needs
to document that with
Prof. Burns said he thought
the appeal process appeared to be a conflict of interest because the appeal went
to someone who works for
Prof. Greene said a positive feature
of the new plan is patients can ask the doctor to write a prescription for 90
days, and patients only have to pay a two-month co-pay. Prof. Marcus-Mendoza commented that although
she had been through step therapy before,
Prof. Penrose asked whether the only time antibiotics were not subject to step therapy was in emergencies. Mr. Kelly replied that the majority of drugs for acute therapy, as opposed to chronic conditions, do not require step therapy or pre-certification. Prof. Penrose asked whether the Benefits office would be willing to share the results of the cost of the 20 commonly-prescribed drugs. She said the comments from her peers were usually about the high cost of prescription drugs. Mr. Kelly he could probably do that. He remarked that it was not unusual to hear from people who had to pay more. He reminded the group that people who are on very expensive drugs are paying less.
Prof. Dauffenbach said he
thought we needed to become more informed consumers, keep track of things that
are not working well, and pass those along to
Because of a question that came up at last month’s senate meeting, Prof. Laurette Taylor (Health & Exercise Science), Ms. Debra Chionopoulos (Compliance Director), and Ms. Kelle Rudolph (Human Research Participant Protection Director) were asked to give an update on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process for research involving human participants (see http://www.ouhsc.edu/irb-norman/ for forms and training).
Prof. Taylor said she wanted to allay any concerns about a student serving as principal investigator (PI) of research. Graduate students will be allowed to be PIs in research. It is important for graduate students to learn to become researchers and learn about accountability and responsibility for research. Graduate students can apply as PI, but the faculty sponsor must fill out a one-page form that has check-offs to verify that the individual has the training to carry out independent research. It meets all the regulatory requirements that the IRB needs to satisfy and ensures that students can continue to conduct independent research. The new form is on the Compliance web site, as well as the form for the faculty sponsor to complete. Prof. Taylor introduced Kelle Rudolph, Director of the Human Research Participant Protection office since September. She said since Ms. Rudolph has been here, the IRB has streamlined its process and developed new forms, tutorials, and resource material. Applications are very user friendly, with click-on options. Also, for research that qualifies for exempt status, there is now an abbreviated application that expedites the process.
Prof. Sharp said she had tried to add a student as part of a research team, but the student was added as a PI. Prof. Taylor said the IRB has a new modification form, and one of the options is the addition of personnel. She said she would check into Prof. Sharp’s situation. Prof. Kauffman asked whether faculty would be notified when it was time to do the annual training. Prof. Taylor replied that researchers only have to undergo the lengthy training once. After that, they go through an abbreviated review. People are given an annual notification to renew. IRB has implemented a web-based training for researchers who conduct human subject research. It can be done anywhere in the world, and it is divided into units so faculty can come in and out of the training. Prof. Scherman asked whether the training pertained only to PIs. Prof. Taylor answered that anyone involved in a research endeavor should be trained. She explained that most undergraduate research does not require IRB review if it is done within the context of a class with the purpose of learning research skills. However, for undergraduate research other than that, the undergraduate will be co-PI, with the faculty sponsor being the PI.
“Last month’s senate meeting was most refreshing. The discussion about what we had achieved this year, and in particular, additional concerns that you brought forward was very helpful. I enjoyed the interaction and appreciated your insight on various matters. Please continue to feel free to bring up any topics that you would like us to address.
“This last month we were very busy following up on the various issues that came up at our last meeting. Your questions about the increase in promotional raises and the availability of Symantec for retirees are noted in the minutes from last month. The only other item I have to report is that Jos Raadschelders has agreed to write a resolution of appreciation for Instructional Development Director Dee Fink. We plan on presenting the resolution for approval at next month’s meeting. Feel free to contact Prof. Raadschelders if you would like to contribute a phrase or two.”
The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m. The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 11, 2005, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.
Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator
Roger Frech, Secretary