The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)

Regular session - March 16, 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: Albert, Blank, Butler, Dillon, Durica, Edwards, Egle, Eliason, Emery, Engel, Friedrich, Fung, Gilje, Greene, Gronlund, Gupta, Harper, Hobbs, Holmes, Joyce, Laird, Lancaster, Livesey, Okediji, Pailes, Palmer, Patten, Patterson, Reynolds, Robertson, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Sipes, St.John, Thulasiraman, VanGundy, Vieux, Wahl, Warner

Provost's office representative: Mergler, Heiser

PSA representatives: Pyle

UOSA representatives: Griffin, Heaton, McMullan

ABSENT: Badhwar, Beasley, Benson, Elisens, Gabert, Hillyer, Konopak, Murphy, Norwood, Rasmussen, Ratliff, Shaughnessy, Stoltenberg, Watts




Faculty awards ceremony 1

Faculty Senate reapportionment 2

Information Issues Symposium 2

Academic Misconduct Code 2

Senate Chair's Report: Athletic Department deficit 5

Remarks by Outgoing and Incoming Chairs of OU Board of Regents 6

Faculty Compensation Committee report 8



The Senate Journal for the regular session of February 9, 1998, was approved.


The faculty awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, April 9, at 3:00 p.m. in Meacham Auditorium, with a reception following in the Beaird Lounge of the Oklahoma Memorial Union. Invitations will be sent to faculty in mid March.

The general faculty approved, by mail vote, the Senate's recommendation to retain the current Faculty Senate apportionment for 1998-01 by a vote of 200 to 2, with 2 abstentions (see 10/97 Journal, page 2).

An Information Issues Symposium--Putting Information to Work in the University: Moving Beyond Computing to Information Literacy--will be held Monday, March 30, 3:00-4:30 p.m. in George Lynn Cross Hall 123.


The latest version (dated February 11) of the proposed revisions in the Academic Misconduct Code was mailed to senators February13. For background information, please see 2/98 Senate Journal, page 2.

Prof. Egle moved to amend the proposal as follows.

Given Gregory Heiser's (attorney in the provost's office) discussion of the proposed revisions to the Academic Misconduct Code at the February Senate meeting and given my experience of dealing with the investigation of suspected academic misconduct under the assumption that a faculty member was not allowed to talk to the students involved before filing the formal complaint, I suggest that the revisions be modified to explicitly include an investigation phase in which the person suspecting the misconduct can talk to those involved before deciding to file charges.

I suggest the following changes in wording of the document distributed at the February Senate meeting. (Additions are indicated by underlining and deletions by strike-through.)

On page 1, STEPS 1 and 2 be changed as follows:

1. Incident of alleged Suspected academic misconduct is discovered. Instructor or staff member (complainant) investigates, collects evidence, and may discuss the evidence with the student(s) prior to deciding to file a charge of academic misconduct.

2. If the decision is to file a charge, the faculty or staff member discovering the incident (or to whom the incident is reported by a student or other person) complainant notifies the appropriate dean of the incident and, if applicable, of the grade penalty to be imposed if the allegation proves correct. If the decision is to not file a charge, the incident is closed.

A paragraph expanding the investigation phase should also be included. I suggest replacing section 2.2 and renumbering the current section 2.2 to 2.3.

2.2 Investigation

Before filing a complaint of academic misconduct, the faculty or staff member should thoroughly investigate the incident to determine if an allegation of academic misconduct is warranted. During the investigation, the complainant may meet with and talk to the student(s) to gather additional facts or to solicit explanations of evidence in hand.

It is important for the complainant to recognize that the purpose of the investigation is to gather information for the purpose of deciding if a complaint of academic misconduct should be filed. The complainant must not negotiate with or attempt to coerce the student(s) into accepting any penalty before the remainder of the process is complete.

The complainant should keep written evidence if academic misconduct is charged. However, copies of academic work, if involved in the incident, should be returned to the student(s) promptly.

Prof. Egle added that at the last meeting, Mr. Heiser mentioned that there was no explicit provision that kept a faculty member from talking to a student before charges were filed. A lot of people are under the impression that you should not talk to students if you suspect cheating. A lot of incidents could be shortened or cleared up. The policy is not clear on that. The proposed amendment adds an investigation stage, which could mean looking at the test or talking with the student(s) involved. This would make it explicit that a faculty member may talk to the student beforehand. He explained that Mr. Heiser had decided not to include such a provision because of some legal ramifications.

Mr. Heiser reported that Mr. Kurt Ockershauser, Associate Chief Legal Counsel, was concerned that students might not be fully apprised of their rights before talking to the professor. Furthermore, there could be some pressure on the professor to meet with the student against his/her wishes. Mr. Heiser said the code could state there is nothing prohibiting professors from talking with students before or after the charge is file. However, a student could turn the tables on the professor and question how thorough the investigation procedures were. Provost Mergler does not have any intention of preventing faculty from talking with students.

Prof. Butler said he assumed that as the code read before the amendment, students would be notified of their rights in the meeting set up by the Campus Judicial Coordinator. Mr. Heiser replied that most students have not read the Student Code, nor do they know about their rights. The new section 4.2 was not an attempt to prohibit prior meetings but to delay the meeting until the student talks with the Campus Judicial Coordinator. If language is added about an investigation stage, the new section 4.2 would need to be adjusted. Prof. Wahl said it would be his inclination to talk with the student first. Students often persuade him that cheating was not involved. Prof. Engel pointed out that a student who confessed could turn it around and accuse the professor of harassment.

Prof. Greene noted that it was useful to confront students when two are involved to find out which one was cheating. Prof. Egle said that was the situation he had in mind. He said he was willing to accept the friendly amendments to change Step 1 and the first two paragraphs of the new section 2.2 to read:

1. Suspected academic misconduct is discovered. Instructor or staff member (complainant) may inquire, collect evidence, and discuss the evidence with the student(s) prior to deciding to file a charge of academic misconduct.

2.2 Preliminary Inquiry

Before filing a complaint of academic misconduct, the faculty or staff member may make a preliminary inquiry with a student to determine if an allegation of academic misconduct is warranted and to gather additional facts or to solicit explanations of evidence in hand.

It is important for the complainant to recognize that the purpose of a preliminary inquiry is to gather information for the purpose of deciding if a complaint of academic misconduct should be filed. The complainant must not negotiate with or attempt to coerce the student(s) into accepting any penalty before the remainder of the process is complete.

Prof. Patten asked for a clarification as to whether the parties had to go to the Campus Judicial Coordinator before the inquiry. Prof. Egle said no; the idea was there are times when it is useful for the parties to meet first.

Prof. Blank asked for an explanation of the proposed third paragraph of new section 2.2. Prof. Egle said the idea was to give a copy of the work back to the student. Prof. Durica asked whether this should be inserted in the document before the "Who May File" section. Prof. Egle said his proposed amendment would become section 2.2, and the current 2.2 would be renumbered as 2.3. Prof. Holmes added that the parties should be identified before. Prof. Egle's amendment, as revised, was approved on a voice vote.

Prof. Robertson asked whether students are required to notify a hearing board that they will be represented by counsel. Mr. Heiser said the colleges are required to have their own hearing procedures, and he believes all colleges have a notification requirement. Prof. Egle commented that if the student has an attorney, the university normally provides one for the professor. Mr. Heiser remarked that this version does not contain a notification requirement. It would be legitimate for the hearing to be postponed until the professor has legal counsel. Prof. Holmes pointed out that the University's Legal Counsel does not represent the faculty. Prof. Robertson moved to insert in section 5.4(e): "If a student is to be represented by counsel, the student is required to notify the hearing board." Prof. Gilje suggested that a time limit be added. Prof. Robertson proposed five days. Prof. Okediji asked if the intent was five days before the hearing or within five days of receipt of the notice of the hearing. Prof. Holmes suggested 96 hours. Prof. Robertson accepted that friendly amendment. Prof. Robertson's revised amendment was approved on a voice vote.

If a student is to be represented by counsel, the student is required to notify the hearing board within 96 hours.

Prof. Butler asked for more information about the Campus Judicial Coordinator. Mr. Heiser said this was simply the result of a reorganization in Student Affairs; the old title was replaced, and the same person as before, Suzette Dyer, would handle these cases.

The proposed revisions in the Academic Misconduct Code as amended by the senate were approved on a voice vote (see Appendix I).

Senate Chair's Report, by Prof. Connie Dillon

"I am pleased to introduce the outgoing Chair of our Board of Regents, Steve Bentley, and the incoming Chair of the Board, Melvin Hall. Steve will have some remarks and will take questions shortly.

"Never in the history of the senate have the incoming and outgoing chairs met with the Faculty Senate. I want to commend both of you for coming today and for demonstrating in such a visible way your interest in hearing the concerns of the faculty.

"Dialogue and communication will serve us well as we make the difficult choices that face us in the future. And I believe we are having that dialogue in terms of the difficult issues we have faced this year--post-tenure review and budget priorities. Though the board and the faculty may have different perspectives on how those choices should be made, it is important that we remember that we have a common goal--all of us--and that is to make the University of Oklahoma a great university.

"The Faculty Senate passed a post-tenure review policy that we feel is responsible in terms of assuring public accountability while protecting academic freedom and assuring due process. This will go before the board soon, and I hope the board will approve the version we are submitting to you.

"I want to take this opportunity to recognize Regent Bentley for his active interest in the university. He has been a regent who sincerely wants to understand the university and has given time to both faculty and student concerns. He listens, he is accessible, and he is open. I have always felt I could speak with him candidly and honestly.

"I spoke with Steve last month about the faculty views on the ongoing Athletic Department budget problems. His immediate response was, "Let me come talk things over with them." Since that time, we are seeing some significant developments. For those of you who have not seen the papers in the past week, you should know that Athletic Director Steve Owens announced $1.15 million of cuts in administrative and overhead costs.

"Let me quote Director Owens, "…we must become more cost effective so that we can improve without competing for funds which appropriately go to academic units." That, I believe, is an unprecedented statement from an Athletic Director at this university.

"Of the reductions, $850,000 will come from administrative personnel expenditures, and $350,000 will be saved in travel expenses. Reductions in personnel are necessary given the size of the deficit, but we all recognize the dramatic effect they have on people's lives. We should support any reasonable reassignments that can be made throughout the university.

"Also understand that these reductions are for the next fiscal year. That represents a 4.6% reduction in the FY99 Athletic Department budget. Some of you may think that is not enough, and in the past, academic programs have been required to make similar cuts and more--without public outcry. But be reminded that it is a step in the right direction.

"However, we are still very concerned about the continuing cost overruns--overruns that have occurred almost every year for the past 12 years. We are concerned that despite the fact that in FY98 the $1.7 million in E&G funds were used to pay for Athletic Department expenses, the Athletic Department is still expected to run a deficit estimated at $2.5 million. The president has assured us that this will be "repaid" next year. In FY99, an additional $700,000 in E&G funds will be used to cover athletic-related expenses. Despite what will total next year $2.3 million from the university, expected cost increases for raises, health care, and retirement may require more reductions. So none of us believe that $1.15 million in reductions solves the problem, but it does represent a major step in the right direction.

"Many faculty have the impression that the Athletic Department is the board's number one priority. Last summer, I made a statement to the board about the impact continuing athletic cost overruns will have upon our academic programs. Amidst conversation about the importance of athletics in this state, it was Regent Hall who insisted that academics is the board's top priority. I believe we see this action as evidence that the board is, as Regent Hall said, committed to academics.

"Students, I want to remind you that every dollar that is diverted from our primary mission--teaching, research, and service--is a dollar that we cannot spend on improving the quality of your education. You are asking for smaller class sizes, more sections, better classrooms, and better technology. Graduate assistants, you want more benefits. We all want more and better library services; we all want to recruit and retain the best faculty. All funds that are diverted from our primary mission jeopardize these critical priorities.

"Students, by taking this action, the regents are protecting the value of your degree. We need you to actively demonstrate your support for this action taken by the regents, the president, and Director Owens.

"So, yes, the $1.15 million in reductions goes a long way, but it does not solve the problem. We need to see the Athletic Department end this year in the "black." We need to see the Athletic Department debt reduced to manageable levels in a reasonable time frame. And we need to see fiscal controls put in place, such as those we have on the academic side.

"I believe that the faculty and the regents are in agreement on this, and I hope, students, you will join us with your support. We all know that the regents face intense pressure for this action. We live in a state whose esteem and identity are steeped in our athletic rather than our academic traditions.

"Let's see if we can work together to make this thing happen."

Remarks by Mr. Stephen Bentley, OUTGOING Chair, AND MR. MELVIN HALL, INCOMING CHAIR of the OU Board of Regents

Mr. Bentley said it was an honor to address the Faculty Senate. This is the third time he has attended a Faculty Senate meeting. About four years ago he had a good discussion with the senate about why regents should be on search committees.

He reported on the positive things that have happened in the past five years. In endowment, we are at $327 million and are eighteenth in the nation. We have moved from ninth to sixth in the Big 12 in faculty salaries. We have had 46 chairs and professorships and 32 president's partnerships. He said all of the board members are available for questions. He introduced Mr. Melvin Hall, incoming Chair of the regents.

Regent Hall said Regent Bentley did a fantastic job as chair, and we have had a lot of success. He said he was sensitive to the concerns of faculty and staff. The number one priority is academic excellence. Athletics is a distant priority. It is unfortunate that athletics receives a lot of attention.

Prof. Blank remarked that the fundamental support for teaching, research, and creative activities is the library. The most recent ARL report puts us at about 96th out of 108. He said it will take a long time to get the library back where we can compete. Regent Bentley said the regents put

$1.1 million into the library last year and have a long-range plan to add $1 million per year for ten years. It takes a lot of money and time to get things back in line.

Prof. Gilje commented that faculty salaries have improved; however, averages hide a lot of things. Many individuals have given 30 years of service and are very productive but make slightly above the average as full professors. Regent Hall said we need to work with the departments to identify those inequities and make corrections. Across-the-board increases only exacerbate those problems. We want to reward performance and longevity. Regent Bentley noted that the board should not micro-manage; requests should go through the deans and provost. He said he did not think the board had ever refused an increase. Provost Mergler added that the more you can support salary based on merit, the more flexibility she can give the deans to address compression and inversion issues. Prof. Gilje's response was that last year half of the increase was across-the-board and the deans kept a percentage, which left very little for merit.

Prof. Palmer explained that in areas like the humanities, the older books that were not purchased in earlier years are still needed. Provost Mergler said the University Libraries Committee and academic librarians can address that issue. We have robbed the monograph budget to fund serials. The additional $1 million per year for ten years is to be used to replenish the monograph budget, build electronic journal acquisition, and add new staff.

Prof. Holmes said he was pleased to hear Regent Bentley suggest that the board should not micro-manage, so he presumed they would support the recent Athletic Department cuts. He said he was puzzled by how the Athletic Department could have such a large deficit. He asked whether some financial controls would be put in place. Regent Hall responded that this is an on-going problem. There are fixed expenditures, like gender equity, and most sports do not generate enough revenue to cover expenses. Controls are being put in place, expenditures are being closely monitored, and hiring has been curtailed. We need to grow our way out of this. If we cut, we lose our competitiveness. Ways to grow our program include fund-raising, concerts, and exhibition games. When we discussed eliminating some programs a few years ago, we ran into legal problems. Prof. Holmes explained that a $2.5 million overrun is a 2.5% pay raise for faculty and staff. Regent Bentley noted that the press focuses on athletics rather than academics.

Prof. Patten congratulated the regents and president for elevating the stature of our university. Most highly regarded universities have tremendous research programs. A strong component of any research program is the quality of the student in that program. We are not doing much to enhance our graduate student base. Regent Bentley said technology transfer goes hand-in-hand with research and graduate students. We are trying to get businesses to re-locate in Oklahoma to provide places for these students to get jobs or work together on graduate research projects. Regent Hall said we have done a lot of positive things with the undergraduate program, but now we need to focus on graduate programs.

Prof. Butler asked whether the regents had any words of assurance concerning the recruitment and retention of minority faculty. Regent Hall said he has been concerned about faculty, staff, and student diversity and diversity of vendors with whom we do business. We have made some improvements but not enough for any of us to be proud. There is a commitment within the board. We should see some positive results in the near future.

Prof. Emery pointed out that that Athletic Department recently made some high profile capital expenditures, which are often defended as a way we are going to build our way out of the deficit. Regent Hall answered that all of those expenditures can be economically justified. For instance, the score board has already paid dividends and will continue. We need to build a program that is competitive with our peers and to have a visionary approach. We cannot cut and continue to recruit athletes. However, the regents have put emphasis on eliminating the deficit.

Prof. Fung, noting our tremendous fund-raising results, questioned how the funds will be spent. He asked whether the regents controlled the spending or whether the president had sole control. Regent Hall responded that the president makes recommendations about how the money will be spent, and the regents have final approval. It is a shared responsibility. The regents use a five-year strategic plan to identify uses for the fund-raising dollars, such as the graduate program, Honors College, and technology transfer.

Prof. Joyce reiterated the basic centrality of the library. She said she would like the regents to understand the complexity of that situation; many programs depend on the library. We have the smallest staff of any ARL library in the country. Regent Hall said when he reports to the regents on this meeting, he will emphasize the library.

Faculty Compensation Committee Report

Prof. Andy Magid, Chair of the Faculty Compensation Committee, discussed the committee's report (Appendix II). He said our ranking of sixth in the Big 12 in faculty salaries is based on average salaries and benefits adjusted for cost of living. Charts 2a and 2b are the salaries for 9-month faculty. The average salary of the 635 faculty is $55,273. In 2b, the box has as its base the 25th percentile (first quartile) and the top the 75th percentile (third quartile). Half of the faculty make salaries that fall within the box. The line across the middle is the median. The whisker is the solid vertical line. If salaries were normally distributed, which they are not, 95% would be within the whiskers and 99% within the stars. Chart 3 is a curve describing how salaries are distributed among all faculty. If the curve were a straight line, salaries would be completely equitable. These salaries include 12-month faculty, deans, academic vice presidents, and president. Generally speaking, faculty salaries are relatively well-distributed across faculty. Charts 4a and 4b show descriptive statistics by rank. Deans who have 9-month appointments (KR=1) are broken out separately. Groups 2, 3, and 4 are the 9-month full, associate, and assistant professors. Conclusion A is that the distribution of salaries across faculty is not highly loaded at the upper extremes. Progress is not due just to hiring some individuals at the high end. Charts 5a and 5b are for full professors. The horizontal axis is the number of years in rank, which would be less than or equal to the years at OU; the vertical axis is salary. There is no obvious trend. In other words, salaries do not increase with time in rank. In 5b, R-squared is statistically zero, which means years in rank has zero effect on salary. Charts 5c and 5d are median salaries. Once again, there is no discernible trend. Conclusion B--long-term length of service has zero effect on salary--is a serious problem. The most likely explanation is the years of no salary increases. Prof. Magid noted that the four recommendations had been shared with the Senate Executive Committee and President Boren. He said the first recommendation related to a discussion the Arts and Sciences dean had with chairs recently as to whether a small increase should go to M&O budgets rather than salaries. He pointed out that even a small salary increase like $100 per month ($900 per year) put in a supplemental retirement annuity for 20 years will give you another $100,000 for retirement.

Prof. Blank asked how the Faculty Compensation Committee figured years in rank. Prof. Magid said that figure was the years at OU. Prof. Fung wondered how many of the very high salaries in chart 5a were faculty who previously were administrators. Prof. Magid said he did not know. The highest 9-month salary is a previous administrator. The highest salary of any faculty member, which is a 12-month salary, is 100% reimbursed by an outside source.

Prof. Prof. Engel asked whether statistics for other state schools were available to show whether the longevity trend is the same. Prof. Magid said he did not know. He said he expected to see a logistic curve but saw a flat line. Prof. Livesey said some universities have step systems.

Prof. Wahl thanked the Faculty Compensation Committee for the good work. He said the longevity section is important and needs to be addressed. Prof. Patten asked whether the Health Sciences Center was included. Prof. Magid said it was just for the Norman campus. Prof. Joyce asked whether anyone had studied 12-month faculty. Prof. Magid said they were left out because it is hard to tell the difference between faculty and unit heads or deans. This seemed to be the pure way to see the longevity issue.


The meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30p.m. on Monday, April 13, 1998, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Trent Gabert, Secretary


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator