The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – April 11, 2005 - 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 Valerie Watts, Chair.


PRESENT:       Barker, Biggerstaff, Blank, Bozorgi, Bradford, Brown, Caldwell, Catlin, Civan, Davis, Devenport, Dewers, Draheim, Driver, Fincke, Forman, Frech, Geletzke, Gutierrez, Halterman, Hobbs, Houser, C. Knapp, R. Knapp, Lai, Lewis, Liu, Magnusson, Marcus-Mendoza, Ransom, Rupp-Serrano, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Sharp, Striz, Taylor, Watts, Wheeler

Provost's office representative:  Mergler
UOSA representatives:  Deeg


ABSENT:         Burns, Cintrón, Cramer, Dohrmann, Elisens, Greene, Havlicek, Hayes-Thumann, Henderson, Kauffman, Penrose, Raadschelders, Vieux, Wood, Wyckoff






Faculty development awards


Renaissance project

Senate Chair's Report:

Meeting with OUHSC and OSU

Faculty tribute

New Chemistry building

Declaration of appreciation to Instructional Development Director Dee Fink

Environmental Concerns Committee membership

Preliminary nominations for councils/committees/boards

Council on Campus Life

Web policy






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of March 21, 2005 was approved.





The Faculty Senate is pleased to present the faculty development awards for the spring 2005 semester to William Beasley (Meteorology), Jose Ray Canoy and Elyssa Faison (History), Johanna Cox (Music), Jeff Kelly (Zoology and Oklahoma Biological Survey), Brandon Olson (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering), Ingo Schlupp (Zoology), and Susan Shaughnessy (Drama).


Because of higher gas prices, the Staff Senate office started an effort to coordinate employees who are interested in carpooling.  The office will compile a list and connect people who commute from a particular area.  If you are interested in carpooling, please send the following information to  name, phone number, e-mail, address, city, zip code, and general area from which you commute (e.g. east of Noble, name of housing addition).


This fall, OU is launching the Renaissance Project, a series of year-long programs to enhance our students’ educational experience.  The theme for the pilot year 2005-06 is “Religion and Democracy.”  For further information, see (attached).



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Valerie Watts


“A couple of weeks ago the Faculty Senate executive committee met with the executive committees of the OU Health Sciences Center and Oklahoma State University.  The agenda of this annual meeting typically covers issues such as salary, benefits, academic standards, and pertinent action items in the state legislature.  There were a couple of interesting proposals worthy of note.  In particular, we are intrigued with OSU’s suggestion to supplement grades with optional rank in class.  This idea came about in response to grade inflation.  Undergraduate students could choose whether to have the class ranking included on their transcript or not.  It would not be appropriate for some disciplines.  The OSU faculty would like to test the idea out for the next five years for the programs that are interested.  We will be watching closely to see if this is something we might want to pursue for our own campus.


“I want to remind you that next Monday, April 18, is the Faculty Tribute at 3:00 p.m. in the Lester wing of the Art Museum.


“Finally, the senate received some questions about the administration’s plan to build a new facility for the Chemistry department on south campus.  We have arranged a meeting for chairs of the departments that will be impacted by the move (that includes all Engineering programs, Zoology, Microbiology, Physics, and Chemistry).  The meeting will take place Wednesday, April 20, at 3:00 p.m. in Jacobson 102.  Vice President Nick Hathaway will present the proposed plans and be prepared to discuss transportation issues for faculty and students.  I have informed the chairs that they are free to invite faculty who may be interested in attending.  If there are any particular concerns you would like Mr. Hathaway to address, please send them to me (  I will make sure they are included on the agenda.  This will also allow Mr. Hathaway additional time to gather the necessary information.”





At the January 2005 senate meeting, Professors Jos Raadschelders and Rosa Cintrón suggested that the senate express appreciation to Dr. Dee Fink, who is retiring as Instructional Development Director at the end of June.  Prof. Watts thanked senators Raadschelders and Cintrón for their efforts in composing the resolution (below) and relayed their regrets for not being able to be present at the meeting for its vote.  The motion to approve the resolution was unanimously approved by the senate on a voice vote.  The resolution will be presented to Dr. Fink at his retirement reception on May 11. 

The Faculty Senate of the Norman Campus of the University of Oklahoma
- acknowledging the importance of teaching and learning in our institution of higher education,
- recognizing the major advances that have been made in the past 25 years to improve the rigor, quality, and attractiveness of teaching and learning,
- emphasizing its functions as a representative body of faculty and staff of the Norman campus,
- and having learned about the retirement of Dr. L. Dee Fink as Director of OU's Instructional Development Program

wishes to declare its profound appreciation for the efforts of Dee Fink as to advance the cause of learning and teaching during his 25-year tenure as IDP Director. We specifically express our respect for the fact that he has done so in the various roles of:

- organizer, e.g. the development of various training programs for faculty and teaching assistants at OU, the development of platforms for exchange of teaching and learning experience across faculty;
- advisor, to individual faculty who came to him seeking and finding suggestions to improve teaching and learning;
- grant writer, securing prestigious federal education related grants which greatly benefited the teaching on our campus;
- scholar, as author of various articles and his book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences, published in 2003, which has already attracted national attention;
- and as good institutional citizen, both at OU and as a tireless advocate for the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, which elected him to be its national president in August 2004.

We express our desire that Dee Fink's work for the IDP will continue to fulfill its interdepartmental functions and look forward to benefiting from his experiences.





The Environmental Concerns Committee recommended that its membership be changed from a faculty/staff/student ratio of 4/2/2 to 3/3/3 (see -- attached).  Prof. Debra Engel (University Libraries), co-chair of the committee with Ms. Sophia Morren (Arts & Sciences), explained that one of the faculty appointments had come from the Campus Planning Council, which is inactive.  The proposal would provide equal representation from each governance group.  Prof. Watts noted that the senate executive committee had suggested the possibility of retaining four faculty by having the Faculty Senate appoint the member that used to be appointed by the Campus Planning Council.  Prof. Engel said that would make an even number of members, but she was willing to take the suggestion back to the committee.  She pointed out that the committee was a remarkably dedicated group, and almost everyone showed up for meetings.  Prof. Schwarzkopf said the reason for the suggestion to keep the additional faculty was to have a larger cohort in case the other members did not actively participate.  Prof. Engel said there was a lot of strong support for the committee.  A number of student groups are involved with environmental and recycling issues.  The recommendation will be voted on at the next meeting.





The senate committee on committees’ preliminary nominations for the end-of-the-year vacancies on university and campus councils, committees, and boards were distributed at the meeting and will be voted on at the May meeting (see -- attached).  Prof. Knapp, chair of the committee on committees, said the committee was still working on a couple of vacancies.  He called for volunteers for the Conflict of Interest Advisory Committee and Faculty Appeals Board.  He noted that the Faculty Appeals Board is like a jury pool. 





The senate executive committee recommended that the Council on Campus Life be dissolved.  Prof. Watts explained that the committee was formed in 1990.  It is not a legislative body.  Its purpose was to provide a forum for all campus constituencies to address matters pertaining to the quality of campus life.  It no longer serves the function for which it was originally intended and, therefore, has not been active the last few years.  Vice President for Student Affairs Clarke Stroud has an advisory council that serves the same purpose and meets regularly.  The recommendation will be voted on at the next meeting.





The Information Technology Council created a web policy with the purpose of establishing standards and guidelines for web pages (see -- attached).  Prof. Watts called attention to two proposed changes distributed at the meeting. 

Revise the last paragraph of Personal Web Pages to read:  The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of Oklahoma.

Add to the Introduction:  Placing material on a web site is equivalent to publishing it.


Prof. Barker remarked that placing material on a web site was equivalent to putting something on a public notice board but was not equal to publishing it in the sense of what is required for promotion and tenure.  Prof. Watts said she had discussed the language with Sally Garrison in Legal Counsel.  Ms. Garrison said there could be copyright issues depending on whether the material was original or not.  The executive committee wanted to make sure faculty understood there were some instances when the material would be considered as published.  Prof. Barker said he thought the issue of copyright ought to be separated from the issue of publication.  He said anything could be copyrighted, but not everything could be counted as a publication for the purposes of this university.  Prof. Bradford said the point was that placing material on a web site was equivalent to taking someone else’s material and putting it in a book that was going to be published.  One could violate a copyright by putting something on a web site that was written by somebody else.  The purpose of the proposed language was as a warning to be careful of what you use.  Prof. Watts added that the matter applied to any material that was not originally yours.  Prof. Schwarzkopf said he was the one who wanted to make clear what was copyright and what was plagiarism.  When someone puts something on the web, it is the same as including material in published work.  He thought it would be good to have a clear warning.  Prof. Barker said someone’s own content, if placed on a web site, could count as a publication.  He commented that it would be better to make explicit that the intention was to warn people about using material.  Prof. Fincke suggested that the proposed new sentence read, “Placing material on the website is subject to the same copyright law as a publication.”  Prof. Blank commented that the issue was not only copyright but also academic dishonesty.  Prof. Scherman said the policy sounded like another set of rules to govern our lives.  He suggested the addition of some language in the introduction about the positive things the web does for us.  Prof. Watts explained that the proposed policy was a new policy; it was not replacing any policy.  She told the senators to contact Prof. Deborah Trytten (Computer Science), chair of the Information Technology Council, if they had any questions.  Prof. Rupp-Serrano noted that there was already a section about copyright in the document.  Prof. Watts said the executive committee had acknowledged that but thought it would be useful to have some statement at the beginning.  Prof. Rupp-Serrano pointed out that the third bullet should read, “…enable appropriate online transactions.”  The policy will be voted on at the next meeting.




The meeting adjourned at 3:55 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, May 9, 2005, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Roger Frech, Secretary