The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – March 10, 2008 – 3:30 p.m. – Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206   phone: 325-6789
e-mail:   web site:


The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Steve Bradford, Chair.


PRESENT:       Albert, Apanasov, Basic, Bass, D. Bemben, M. Bemben, Benson, Bradford, Brown, Brule, Callard, Conlon, Croft, Edy, Eodice, Forman, Franklin, Ge, Grasse, Greene, Halterman, Horn, Kershen, Knapp, Livesey, Magnusson, McDonald, C. Miller, Milton, Miranda, Morrissey, Moses, Rambo, Reeder, Riggs, Roche, Rogers, Russell, Schmidt, Skeeters, Striz, Trafalis, Trytten, Veil, Verma, Warnken

Provost's office representative:  Mergler, Heiser
ISA representatives:  Cook

ABSENT:         Clark, Marcus-Mendoza, Radhakrishnan, Sadler, Tan, Vitt, Weaver






Faculty Tribute

Faculty Handbook section 3.5.6 – faculty resignation

Recreational Services Advisory Committee charge

UOSA Honor Council

Senate Chair’s Report:

Student retention

Diversity on campus

Research issues

4+4 login

Meeting with OSU and HSC, health insurance plan

Committee A workshop

Textbook reserve program






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of February 11, 2008 was approved.





The Faculty Tribute will be held on Wednesday, April 30, at 4:00 p.m. in the Sandy Bell Gallery of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.


President Boren supported the following actions taken by the Faculty Senate:  revision in the deadline for faculty resignations approved at the January 14 meeting and revision in the charge of the Recreational Services Advisory Committee approved at the February 11 meeting.





Dr. Greg Heiser, Assistant Provost, distributed a handout of data compiled last fall that summarized the academic misconduct cases on the Norman campus (excluding Law) from 1995 to 2007.  The summary included the number of cases each year, student responses, distribution of cases by class, and the penalties (see  We had had a gradual rise in cases since the mid 1990s, but the numbers are coming down a little now.  Dr. Heiser said he hoped the academic misconduct system was user friendly and fair.  The number of students who admit to misconduct has gone up.  We have a lot more cases of Internet plagiarism, but it is easier to catch those cases and that has reduced the number of contested cases.  Penalties have changed in a couple of directions.  The admonition, which has been in place the last few years, represents about half of the cases.  The number of suspensions has increased.  In the past, we may have been imposing community service on cases that may have merited suspension.  He introduced three members of the student Honor Council -- Matthew Maupin, Joe Hunt, and Eric Hansen – who discussed their organization.


Mr. Hansen said the Honor Council is a student-run organization that serves on academic misconduct boards and promotes academic integrity.  The members try to find ways to strengthen the sense of academic integrity.  In the past few years, the council has held an integrity week right before finals to remind students that people at OU care about academic integrity and also to create an atmosphere where students do their own work.  In April, the council will run an ad campaign to promote academic integrity.  Through their work on academic misconduct cases, members are noticing an increase in the use of among professors.  Mr. Hansen urged professors not to make the Inquisition, but instead explain why students should do their own work.


Dr. Heiser explained that some students did not learn in high school the difference between writing a paper and copying.  The University has acquired, plagiarism detection software that faculty members can use in classes.  In addition to catching plagiarism, the software can be a useful tool for showing the appropriate approach to writing.  He encourage faculty, though, to review the results.  Mr. Hansen noted that a list of best practices for using is available on the Honor Council web site,  Honor Council members will talk with UOSA about educating students and will work with the Writing Center in an effort to reduce the number of cases.


Mr. Maupin, the Honor Council webmaster, said the web page gets about eight hits a day.  He expects to get more with the ad campaign.  The page includes frequently asked questions, such as what is the Honor Council and what does it do.  The members plan to initiate a blog on the web page to start a dialog.  One example might be at what point are tutors helping students with their homework or doing it for them.  Dr. Heiser said many students would benefit from a venue that discusses professional integrity.  Mr. Maupin added that students might not realize why academic integrity is important.


Mr. Hunt said he had noticed that since the Honor Council had started assisting the provost’s office with misconduct cases, the punishments were tougher when they come from students.  The council is considering the idea of having freshmen and transfer students view a program on plagiarism and cheating to educate them on integrity and the consequences of cheating.  Dr. Heiser announced that the Honor Council would be looking for new members later this semester.  He asked the senators to encourage students who might be interested.


Mr. Bradford asked if there were any signs of success or what success would be.  Mr. Hunt answered that the summary numbers seem large but are a small percentage of the overall student population.  Punishments should be a time to reflect on the importance of integrity.  Mr. Hansen said there had been a spike in plagiarism with the Internet.  However, it is hard to tell if there is more misconduct or if more is being caught.  There are signs of success.  Misconduct cases are declining.  Raising awareness helps.  Dr. Heiser added that it depends on the community to remember and celebrate the positive ideal of integrity. 


Prof. Livesey asked if there were similar data for faculty who make charges or admonish students.  Dr. Heiser replied that the web site had results from a 2004 survey that included interesting numbers on faculty attitudes.  Students here report at a higher degree than the national average.


Prof. Miller asked whether the council offered any best practices concerning innocent plagiarism.  Dr. Heiser said the provost web page has information on plagiarism, including a tutorial.  Prof. Eodice pointed out that the Writing Center has partnered with the Honor Council and is working with faculty in departments to design language to help students understand expectations.  The best course of action is to have social norms and a climate that says we value integrity.  Prof. Franklin commented that she likes the online tutorial and has her students go through it.  Prof. Rambo said he usually does not have enough time at the end of the semester to investigate each case.  He asked about the possibility of extending the deadline for turning grades in.  Provost Mergler said that probably would not be possible, given the timing of intersession and the summer term.  Mr. Hunt noted that a lot of professors have their students turn in both a paper copy and electronic copy of their final papers.  The professors can then run a file of the electronic submissions at in less than an hour.  Dr. Heiser said he could suggest some other procedures as well.



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Steve Bradford


“The Executive Committee heard a report from Kent Johnson, academic director of the Program for Instructional Innovation.  The web page is  We talked about student retention and the different expectations of faculty.  In general, students who engage in class, engage in University activities outside of class, and learn to budget their time do well, and we will retain them.


“We are in the process of discussing diversity on campus and what role we should play and what action we should take.


“We will be talking with Vice President for Research Lee Williams in the near future, and one of the subjects for discussion will be the new rules proposed for the Sponsored Research Incentive Program.


“I was asked about the Faculty Senate request to change the 4+4 login (see 5/07 Senate Journal).  President Boren signed off on the request except for the deadline.  An announcement was made in Staff Senate that the last four digits of the 4+4 would be changed from the employee’s Social Security number to the employee’s Sooner ID. 


“We had a joint meeting with representatives from OSU and HSC and discussed many different issues of mutual concern.  OSU has had their health care plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield for about two months.  Nick Kelly and Julius Hilburn from Human Resources will speak to us on the 14th of April about the health insurance plan bids.


“The provost is going to have a Committee A workshop on disruptive individuals in April.


“Chair-elect Brown and I met with the textbook task force.  Prof. Janet Croft is going to give a short report on what we know on the textbook initiative at this time.”  Prof. Croft (University Libraries), a member of the task force, said the textbook on reserve program was initiated last fall when President Boren provided $200,000.  The program allows students to borrow textbooks.  One textbook was purchased for every 50 students for classes having an enrollment of 100 or more students or for textbooks costing $90 or more.  The program has been very successful.  During the fall semester, there were nearly 6000 total circulations.  The highest number of circulations was 89 times per copy for a Spanish textbook; the highest number of circulations for a single title was 952 for a Chemistry textbook.  The highest use was in the first three weeks and during finals.  Thirteen departments had more than 100 uses, 15 departments had no circulation, and six departments had fewer than 10 uses of their materials.  The task force is trying to determine why textbooks were not borrowed in some areas.  The highest use was at the 1000 level, followed by the 3000 level.  The task force wants to get more data before changing any criteria.  The availability of the textbooks was announced earlier this semester, so that might have changed the buying habits of students.  The textbook reserve can be accessed on the library’s web page and may be searched in various ways.  Students can check out the book for two hours, with a two-hour renewal.  The task force would like to find out what the students think of the program and suggested that a question be added to the student evaluation.  Prof. Bradford said the provost was not in favor of that idea.  Prof. Croft mentioned the library’s other reserve options.  Faculty can add books and other physical items through the reserve request form.  The electronic reserve option allows up to 50 pages or 20 percent of books and one article per journal issue for one semester.  Requests in excess of the guidelines require copyright permission.  The e-reserve portal is good for posting items such as lecture notes.  For additional information, contact Prof. Croft or Prof. Karen Rupp-Serrano.  Prof. Halterman asked if there had been any shrinkage in books.  Prof. Croft said nothing had gone missing.  It is possible that too many copies were ordered for some titles.  Prof. Bradford noted that faculty members could lend a book to the library and get it back later, but they probably should not use desk copies for that purpose.  Prof. Croft emailed the slides she used in her presentation to the Faculty Senate members; a copy is available from the Senate office. 





The meeting adjourned at 4:15 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14, 2008, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Roberta Magnusson, Secretary