The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – May 9, 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 (0), Biggerstaff (2), Blank (1), Bradford (2), Brown (2), Burns (2), Caldwell (3), Cintrón (3), Civan (2), Davis (2), Devenport (2), Dohrmann (2), Draheim (2), Driver (2), Elisens (1), Fincke (2), Forman (0), Frech (1), Geletzke (0), Greene (4), Gutierrez (0), Halterman (2), Havlicek (1), Hobbs (3), Houser (0), C. Knapp (2), R. Knapp (1), Lai (2), Lewis (2), Liu (2), Marcus-Mendoza (3), Ransom (3), Rupp-Serrano (0), Schwarzkopf (0), Striz (0), Taylor (1), Vieux (5), Watts (0), Wheeler (0), Wood (2)

ISA representatives:  Schwiebert

ABSENT:         Bozorgi (4), Catlin (1), Cramer (3), Dewers (3), Hayes-Thumann (4), Henderson (3), Kauffman (3), Magnusson (1), Penrose (4), Raadschelders (3), Scherman (2), Sharp (3), Wyckoff (3)

[Note: During the period from June 2004 to May 2005, the Senate held 9 regular sessions and no special sessions.  The figures in parentheses above indicate the number of absences.]






Schedule of Senate meetings for fall 2005

Summary of Speakers Service program

Faculty retirees

Health benefits:  information about Aetna on OHR web site

Remarks by Athletics Director Joe Castiglione

Resolution of appreciation to faculty athletics representative Dan Gibbens

Senate Chair's Report:

Research compliance:  IRB course

New Chemistry building

Faculty tribute

Environmental Concerns Committee membership

Web policy

Council on Campus Life

Certificates of appreciation

Election, councils/committees/boards

Election, Senate standing committees

Election, Senate Secretary and Chair-elect

Resolution of Appreciation to Prof. Valerie Watts






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of April 11, 2005 was approved.





The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for fall 2005 will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102 on the following Mondays:  September 12, October 10, November 14, and December 12.


Summary of the activities of the Faculty Senate Speakers Service for the past year:
From May 2004 to April 2005, the Faculty Senate office arranged for 52 faculty and staff to give 126 talks to 52 organizations in 25 communities throughout the state.  The Faculty Senate and the University sincerely appreciate the members of the Speakers Service who share their expertise and knowledge with the people of Oklahoma.  Prof. Hobbs said she thought about 25 percent of the speakers were women and that 50 percent of the talks were given by women.  Ms. Fallgatter said she would find out.  [Note:  For the 2004-05 academic year, 23 (30 percent) of the 77 speakers listed were women, and 35 (28 percent) of the 126 talks given were by women.]


A list of the faculty who retired during the past academic year is below.  The Faculty Senate thanks these faculty members for their dedication and contribution to our community.





Judson Ahern

Geology & Geophysics



John Cheung

Electrical & Computer Engr.



Daniel Gibbens




James Goldsmith




Clark Kelly




James Kenderdine




Helga Madland

Modern Languages, Literature & Linguistics



Kenneth Merrill




Richard Nostrand




Kenneth Wedel

Social Work




As requested at the March 21 Faculty Senate meeting, the office of Human Resources has added a link on its web site ( to a document that will assist members in using the “DocFind” portion of the Aetna insurance web site.  OHR has also included on its web site a comparison of prescription co-pays between Aetna and the current HealthChoice plan; the list contains the ten most commonly prescribed drugs and the ten most costly to the OU plan.





Prof. Watts had asked Athletics Director Joe Castiglione to give a report on the activities of the Athletics Department and, in particular, the academic performance of our student-athletes.  Mr. Castiglione said he appreciated being invited to meet with the Faculty Senate annually.  He recognized Prof. Dan Gibbens (Law), who will retire this summer, for serving intercollegiate athletics for 30 years.  The leadership he has provided for the program, for this campus and nationally is unparalleled.  Prof. Gibbens is completing his last year as faculty athletics representative for the Big 12 and NCAA.  The process to replace him is going on, and an announcement about his successor should be made soon.


Mr. Castiglione said he would like to talk about the Athletics Department’s mission, values, and programs as well as the key points of academic student life, financial affairs, and student-athlete welfare.  Discussing what is on the radar screen for a campus athletics director in today’s world, Mr. Castiglione said the development of a vision and the fulfillment of a mission are right up on top.  Core values involve academics, student services, and student life.  He has made ongoing professional development for his staff a priority.  Such a large athletic program, which has become a dynamic aspect of campus, deserves strong organizational support systems, especially in today’s complicated environment.  He must manage sports performance expectations and in some cases create expectations that mirror the department’s mission and values.  Intercollegiate athletics has many stakeholders, and it is vital to maintain relations and communication with these stakeholders.  Facilities are an important part of the Athletics Department focus.  If we are going after the best athletes, we need state-of-the-art facilities.  Compliance issues, including the myriad policies and procedures, extend beyond the coaching staff and student-athletes.  Performance measures and accountability for everything the department does, rather than just a score on the scoreboard, are part of the daily focus.  Mr. Castiglione said he could he could talk more about sports performance but had decided to concentrate on vision, mission, core values, academics, and building the OU brand.


Vision starts with providing the appropriate resources for student-athletes, coaches, and staff.  The department supports the interest of its fans and other stakeholders and demonstrates fiscal responsibility in all of its affairs.  The program will remain focused on the welfare and creation of a positive environment for student-athletes.  Lessons taught through participation in intercollegiate athletics complement the college education.  Whenever asked how far he should look forward, he answers, “as far as we need to and as far as we can.”  The Athletic Department’s mission, “inspiring champions today, preparing leaders for tomorrow,” is an extension of the campus mission and is integrally woven with the campus. 


Core values guide and govern all of the department’s actions all of the time.  They are not shaped by public opinion.  Respect, accountability for self and others, passion for comprehensive excellence, an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement, celebration of diversity, integrity in all affairs, and individual talents and collective efforts create the competitive advantage and distinguish this program from its competitors.


Turning to academics, Mr. Castiglione said the athletic student services area has a large staff, terrific budget and over 35,000 square feet dedicated to the support of student-athletes and their development as a total person.  Associate Athletics Director Gerald Gurney has built a model for programs across the country.  This area deals with assessment, counseling, life skills, development, career planning and placement, virtually any resource that a student-athlete needs to balance academic, athletic, and personal development.  Some people want to zero in on graduation rates as the only example of whether the services are working.  People should understand that student-athletes are individuals with different aspirations, talents, concerns, and shortcomings.  No one model fits everyone.  The Athletics Department becomes an extension of their family and provides guidance, discipline, and motivation.  Student-athletes are not infallible.  That is part of the responsibility the program takes on.  OU is one of the first universities to hire an in-house licensed psychologist to help students deal with the demands of student issues and athletic pursuits. 


In the last five months, the NCAA has brought forth various initiatives, such as academic reform.  Academic progress rates are now replacing the former language of graduation rates.  Graduation rates will still be a part of our reporting structure, however.  This year’s graduation rate was 55 percent, compared with the campus rate of 54 percent.  Some anomalies are due to the turnover in coaching staffs in the mid to latter part of the 1990s.  Student-athletes who do not meet the institutional admission standards are now carefully reviewed by a faculty committee.  That practice has brought sunshine to the process of trying to ensure that the students can compete in the classroom and move toward graduation.  The program is formulating an incentive to move student-athletes toward graduation in four years.  This type of initiative would exceed conference and NCAA standards.  The program is also pushing for greater initial eligibility standards.  The focus in the last few years on GPA and core classes has been helpful but does not necessarily keep pace with the increase in continuing eligibility standards.


Enhancing the OU brand deals with more than just marketing.  The opportunity to represent OU extends nationally.  The most important element in strengthening the OU brand is perpetuating the quality of staff, coaches, and student-athletes.  The priority point system for tickets has been in place since 1995.  Points can be earned by purchasing season tickets and making contributions to the Sooner Club.  An initiative for the coming year is an incentive for game attendance.  Everyone who attends games can earn points toward season tickets, post-season tickets, or tickets to special events.  The Athletics Department matches donations of faculty and staff, which gives them a stronger opportunity to access tickets.  Also, faculty, staff, and students receive discounts on tickets. 


The financial state of the Athletics Department is a big focus every year and was a criticism when Mr. Castiglione took over six and a half years ago.  For the sixth straight year, the athletic budget is balanced.  The department is on track to repay all debt that had accrued and is well ahead of the repayment schedule.  The Athletics Department is growing, it has more student-athletes than ever, its programs are bigger than ever before, and the programs have better and more consistent success.  Mr. Castiglione always has to look for ways to manage expenses and find new sources of revenue without compromising any commitment to the mission or values.  The Athletics Department is an entity of OU that makes it on its own without taking anything from the campus budget.  Every dollar spent must be generated.  This coming year, the annual operating budget is expected to be over $60 million.  The program has found a way to share its success with the rest of the campus.  One way is through donations to the university libraries.  Mr. Castiglione said it was a privilege and honor to represent the University around the country.  He appreciates the support from the regents, the leadership from the president, and the faculty.  Seven years ago, he said, “If we choose the pursuit of greatness, the great will choose to pursue us.”  Our record over the past five or six years is proof that the times are changing for the better, and it is due in large part to everyone working together.  He thanked the Senate for giving him the opportunity to speak.


Prof. Burns commented that he had asked Mr. Castiglione last year about opening up the track to the university community.  He appreciated that Mr. Castiglione had done that.  Mr. Castiglione replied that this campus has a sense of community, and he shares that sense of community.  Whenever possible, he has made some other facilities available to faculty, staff and students. 


Prof. Biggerstaff said it was commendable to try to get students to graduate in four years.  However, for some degrees, it takes longer to graduate.  He asked whether safeguards would be put in place for those types of degrees.  Mr. Castiglione said he had already acknowledged that students without extracurricular activities are challenged to finish certain degree programs in four year.  That will be taken into consideration.  The program is trying various options, such as encouraging student-athletes to enroll in courses when they choose to stay here in the summer.  The new academic performance rates measure student success as graduating in five years.  If a student-athlete leaves before graduating, the department wants them to be as close to finishing as possible.  This plan is not geared to be punitive; it is incentive-based.  Dr. Gurney said the NCAA rule requires student-athletes to complete about 20 percent of the degree program a year.  It is the department’s hope to get student-athletes to complete their degree program in four years, and if they are here for a fifth year, to pursue a second major or graduate school. 


Prof. Striz asked whether there was any chance that ice hockey would become an OU program.  Mr. Castiglione responded that it was doubtful, but he has been impressed with the club program.  There are not enough ice hockey teams in the vicinity to compete, so it would be cost prohibitive to sponsor that sport at varsity status.  Furthermore, it is unlikely that we would add any men’s sport in the current climate. 


Prof. Halterman mentioned that research grants have to pay a large overhead fee for items such as utilities.  He asked what was being paid for out of the $60 million athletic budget.  Mr. Castiglione said the Athletics Department pays for anything and everything used by intercollegiate athletics.  The department has an overhead assessment on every dollar it generates, with the exception of financial gifts.  No money comes out of the institutional operating budget to pay for annual expenses, except for some support for academic enhancement. 


Prof. Fincke remarked that that the former baseball coach’s racial remarks undermined what Mr. Castiglione said about core values.  She asked whether the remarks were a mistake or a systemic problem.  Mr. Castiglione said the comments were not systemic.  Human frailty can cause some people to make a mistake in spite of being a caring individual.  No one in the department is trying to excuse the remarks.  The individual has resigned and is no longer in the program.  People should look at what the Athletics Department does in response to an error in judgment.  The program has diversity programs in place, and there is no other department with as much diversity as intercollegiate athletics.  The remarks do not represent the Athletics Department and, in fact, are hard to explain. 


Prof. Forman noted that some players had avoided criminal actions being brought against them.  He asked what the program was doing to teach young athletes good manners.  Mr. Castiglione responded that each coach has very high standards of behavior expectations.  The incidents are fewer and far between.  Sometimes student-athletes have the good judgment to steer away from situations; other times they do not.  They are in the public eye 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they have a higher cost to face.  The Athletics Department has them go through a variety of educational programs.  If a situation warrants further review, the department decides on a case-by-case basis whether a second chance is deserved. 


Mr. Castiglione said the senators could ask him other questions by phone or e-mail.  He said, “We are engaged at this University in what is going on.  Likewise, we want you to feel that there is a connection.    There is no greater privilege than we have had to positively represent the University of Oklahoma.” 





The Faculty Senate approved the following resolution of appreciation to Prof. Dan Gibbens (Law), NCAA and Big 12 faculty athletics representative, who is retiring the end of June.


Whereas, Dan Gibbens has served the University of Oklahoma as a Law Professor since 1962 and as the University’s NCAA Faculty Representative since 1976, in each capacity with quiet dignity, honesty, strong leadership, compassion and clear communication.

Whereas, while officially representing the President’s Office and the University of Oklahoma, Dan has admirably served five different Athletics Department Directors and scores of Faculty Athletics Councils and Senate Executive Committee members.

Whereas, Dan was an instrumental member of the University of Oklahoma’s successful transition from the Big Eight to the Big Twelve Conference, including the restructuring of all the administrative and policy structures.

Whereas, Dan is nationally recognized as a leader among academic and faculty representatives of intercollegiate athletics, having served on seven NCAA Peer Review Certification Teams.  He has held a long standing leadership position with the NCAA Governance Structure Committee and is a recipient of the 2000 National Football Foundation’s “Outstanding Faculty Representative Award.”

Whereas, he maintains a strong teaching load within the College of Law, which includes the development of new courses and programs, all of which garner praise, respect and appreciation from students and colleagues alike.

Whereas, Dan Gibbens accomplishes all of these tasks in a quiet, efficient, thorough and highly professional manner, which reflects positively on the University of Oklahoma.

Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Norman Campus Faculty Senate commends Professor Daniel Gibbens’ leadership, contributions and service to the University of Oklahoma and expresses gratitude and appreciation for his commitment to clear communication between all the “parties” served.


Prof. Gibbens said the work had been interesting, enjoyable, challenging, and a lot of fun.  He said he appreciated the resolution from the Senate. 



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Valerie Watts


“The Institutional Review Board reports that the refresher course, which is required annually for those doing research involving human participants, will be revised and shortened.  The biomedical portion will be separated out.  The new version should be in place by the end of May.


“I want to thank Vice President Nick Hathaway, Dean Paul Bell, Vice President Lee Williams, Provost Nancy Mergler, and Mike Moorman of Architectural and Engineering Services for their presence at the April 20 meeting regarding the new facility for the Chemistry Department.  They addressed questions about the impact of the south campus location on transportation and related science and engineering programs.  The faculty appreciated the opportunity to voice their concerns and hear what stage the administration is at in the planning process.  I was pleased with the exchange of information and hope that it will continue.


“Finally, let me congratulate our senator Susan Sharp from the Department of Sociology who received the Good Teaching Award at the 2005 Faculty Tribute.”





The Environmental Concerns Committee recommended that its membership be changed from 4 faculty, 2 staff and 2 students to 3 faculty, 3 staff and 3 students (attached; see also 4/05 Senate Journal).  The Senate approved the recommendation on a voice vote. 





At last month’s Senate meeting (see 4/05 Senate Journal), the Information Technology Council proposed a Web policy.  Revisions suggested since the last Faculty Senate meeting were highlighted (attached).  The Senate approved the policy as revised on a voice vote. 





The Senate Executive Committee recommended last month (see 4/05 Senate Journal) that the Council on Campus Life be dissolved.  The council is not a legislative body.  Its purpose was to provide a forum to address matters on quality of campus life.  It no longer serves the function for which it was originally intended and has not been active.  The Student Affairs Vice President has an advisory council that serves the same purpose and meets regularly.  The Senate approved the recommendation on a voice vote.





Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the following outgoing senators who completed full three-year terms (2002-05):  Khosrow Bozorgi, Steve Bradford, Lynn Devenport, Joe Havlicek, Doug Kauffman, Karen Rupp-Serrano, Avi Scherman, Fred Striz, and Ralph Wheeler.  Certificates also were presented to other senators who terms expired and to the outgoing members of the Senate Executive Committee. 




The Senate approved the Senate Committee on Committees' nominations for end-of-the-year vacancies on university and campus councils/committees/boards (attached).  Prof. Knapp noted that there were still some vacancies on the Faculty Appeals Board that would be filled in the fall.  The names of the remaining volunteers will be forwarded to the president to consider for the appointments he makes.





The Senate elected the following faculty to fill vacancies on Senate standing committees: 



Continuing members: Keith Gaddie (Political Science), S. Lakshmivarahan (Computer Science), Jane Magrath (Music), Al Schwarzkopf (Management Information Systems).

To replace Ellen Greene (Classics), 2005-08 term [Must have been at OU five years and hold tenure.]:

Cecelia Brown (Associate Professor of Library & Information Studies, Ph.D. Illinois, M.L.I.S. Oklahoma, at OU since 1996)



Continuing members: Tyrrell Conway (Botany & Microbiology), Richard Marshment (Regional & City Planning), Fred Striz (Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering).

To replace Eric Anderson (Art) and Darryl McCullough (Mathematics), 2005-08 term:

Heidi Mau (Associate Professor of Art, M.F.A. Temple, at OU since 1997)

Karl Sievers (Associate Professor of Music, D.M.A. Missouri-Kansas City, at OU since 1999)



Continuing members: Tom Burns (Sociology), Bob Dauffenbach (Management Information Systems), Sheena Murphy (Physics & Astronomy), Pat Weaver-Meyers (University Libraries).

To replace Lee Willinger (Accounting), 2005-08 term:

Lee Willinger (Professor of Accounting, D.B.A. Florida, at OU since 1990)


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, 2005-06 term, 3 vacancies

To replace Steve Bradford (History), Neil Houser (Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum), Meg Penrose (Law) [Cannot succeed themselves.]:

Tom Dewers (Associate Professor of Geology & Geophysics, Ph.D. Indiana, at OU since 1992)

Bob Dohrmann (Assistant Professor of Art, M.F.A. Central Washington, at OU since 1999)

Susan Sharp (Associate Professor of Sociology, Ph.D. Texas, at OU since 1996)





Prof. Steve Bradford (Saxon Professor of History) was elected Secretary, and Prof. Roger Frech (Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry) was elected Chair-Elect of the Senate for 2005-06.





The Faculty Senate approved the following resolution of appreciation to Prof. Valerie Watts, outgoing Senate Chair:


Whereas Valerie has smoothed the occasionally difficult transition between health insurance companies by providing a forum for concerns to be voiced and problems to be solved, establishing an atmosphere of trust and confidence in the administrative officers overseeing the transition,

Whereas Valerie steered the faculty through the labyrinth of changing retirement options, working with the benefits office to bring a degree of clarity to often-murky waters,

Whereas Valerie has continued to emphasize the importance of faculty compensation concerns to the administration,

Whereas Valerie has worked diligently and enthusiastically to strengthen support for the Faculty Development Fund,

Whereas Valerie patiently dealt with a variety of issues stemming from changes to the faculty handbook and the Regents policy manual,

Whereas Valerie blended the distinctive strengths of the Executive Committee into an effective voice articulating faculty concerns to the Administration,

Whereas Valerie has been especially effective in maintaining frank communications with the administration, providing advice and counsel on complex issues,

Whereas Valerie’s leadership was characterized by graciousness and compassion, honesty and openness, fairness and balance,

Whereas Valerie has treated the executive committee and assorted others to a tasteful display of her pie-making skills,

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate expresses its appreciation to Valerie Watts for her outstanding leadership and service for the academic year 2004-2005. 


Prof. Roy Knapp presented Prof. Watts with a certificate of appreciation and an engraved clock.  Prof. Watts thanked everyone for their help and participation.  Prof. Knapp then assumed the office of 2005-06 Senate Chair.  He said next year, the Senate would need to provide insight and leadership on our health care benefit.  We should hear from the IRS as to whether current employees will be able to choose between OTRS and the alternate retirement plan.  The creation of a new college and the subsequent reorganization will be another issue to address.  He will soon solicit concerns and issues from the senators for the Senate to consider next year. 





The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 12, 2005, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Roger Frech, Secretary