Regular session – September 13, 2004 - 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, Blank, Bradford, Brown, Burns, Caldwell, Catlin, Cintrón, Civan, Cramer, Davis, Devenport, Dewers, Dohrmann, Draheim, Driver, Elisens, Fincke, Forman, Frech, Geletzke, Greene, Gutierrez, Halterman, Havlicek, Hayes-Thumann, Henderson, Hobbs, Houser, Kauffman, C. Knapp, R. Knapp, Lai, Lewis, Liu, Magnusson, Marcus-Mendoza, Penrose, Ransom, Rupp-Serrano, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Sharp, Striz, Taylor, Vieux, Watts, Wheeler, Wood
Provost's office representative: Mergler
UOSA representatives: Johnson
ABSENT: Bozorgi, Raadschelders
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Senate members for 2004-05 and schedule of meetings
Faculty Senate and General Faculty parliamentarian
2003-04 annual council reports
Faculty appointments to committees
Disposition by administration of senate actions for 2003-04
Resources in Faculty Senate office
Health insurance and retirement
Senate Chair's Report:
Tuition waivers for in-state graduate assistants
Student Honor Council
Regents’ policy manual—placement of Financial Emergency section
Campus Tenure Committee review of hire-with-tenure cases
Post-tenure review policy
Issues for 2004-05
The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of May 3, 2004 was approved.
A list of the Faculty Senate members is attached. Prof. Watts introduced the new senators and the Executive Committee members. She reminded the senators to sign in at the meeting.
The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for 2004-05 will be held at 3:30 p.m. on the following Mondays in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102: September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13, January 24, February 14, March 21, April 11, and May 9.
The senate Executive Committee elected Prof. Meg Penrose (Law) as parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate and General Faculty.
The compilation of the 2003-04 annual reports of university councils was e-mailed July 7 to the Faculty Senate members and to chairs, directors and deans to make available to the general faculty. The reports are available online at http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/cnclrep.htm.
The 2004-05 list of faculty appointments to committees is available on the Faculty Senate web site at http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/roster04.htm.
President Boren approved the policy on university
e-mail notifications that was approved by the Faculty Senate May 3 (see http://www.ou.edu/admin/facsen/minutes/504jrn.htm,
but with a modification in the second sentence of the second paragraph: “
be sent to this account.” He said,
“…there remains concern about the security of such communications. As such, it is important that the University
retain the ability to determine the most appropriate form of communication in
The summary record of the disposition by the administration of Faculty Senate actions for September 2003 to August 2004 is attached.
The Faculty Senate Executive
Committee nominated two faculty members for the faculty-at-large position on
the search committee for the
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe and the University budget are available in the senate office.
Human Resources director Julius Hilburn gave an update concerning health benefits and retirement changes. Benefits manager Nick Kelly and Employment Benefits Committee (EBC) chair Pat Weaver-Meyers were also present to answer questions.
Mr. Hilburn first talked
about the changes in the medical and dental programs as of January 2005. The university requested bids to find
alternatives to the state’s HealthChoice plan, and four companies submitted
proposals. After an extensive evaluation
process, the EBC and the Human Resources office recommended
This year OU is paying about $292
for each employee. The state projected a
7.3 percent increase in employee-only coverage for January 2005.
When asked about family rates escalating more than individual rates, Mr. Hilburn said there was no active program to change the contribution strategy. OU pays 100 percent of the employee’s premium and nothing for dependents. Last year the EBC polled various constituencies on whether OU should subsidize part of the dependent coverage, and there was not a lot of interest. It is a tough issue for us to try to address with the budget we have. The administration tried to provide as robust a salary program as possible to help people address that situation.
Prof. Wood asked about the
maximum rate increase in year two. Mr.
Answering questions, Mr.
Hilburn said we would still have two dental options.
Turning to retirement
benefits, Mr. Hilburn said the state of
Prof. Forman noted that long-time employees contribute 7 percent to OTRS, and the university contributes 15 percent on salary above $9000 to the DCP. Mr. Hilburn said that plan was for people who were hired before 1995. In 1995 the contribution to the DCP changed to 8 percent on salary above $9000, and the university also puts in 7.5 percent to OTRS. Those employees will have the option to keep the current plan or have the university contribute 9 percent without any required employee contribution. We will have to pay OTRS a surcharge for anyone who opts not to go into OTRS. We also have to put some money into a reserve fund. The cost neutral number that the actuary gave us is 9 percent, which is competitive with other universities. OU and OSU are at the top of the Big 12 in retirement benefits. OU is in the middle in terms of health care. Our fringe benefits rate is the highest in the Big 12.
Prof. Schwarzkopf commented that any money held in escrow would be used only for benefits. Prof. Weaver-Meyers pointed out that younger employees with families could choose to spend the money that would have gone to OTRS on health insurance. Mr. Hilburn said the optional plan is more flexible because people can contribute to discretionary retirement programs or dependant health care. The decision guide should be helpful, and the Human Resources office plans to make a calculator available so that people can compare projections for the plans. Current employee will have a one-time option to stay in OTRS or go to the ORP. We probably will not get IRS approval until 2006, and then employees will have a full year to make a decision. People who have been here a long time and are in the 15 percent plan will probably not make a change. The ORP is being offered to meet the diverse needs of our faculty and staff.
Prof. Gutierrez asked about a guide for current employees. Mr. Hilburn replied that current employees would get individual calculations and counseling to help with the decision. Prof. Barker asked whether someone who was already vested in OTRS and transferred to the ORP had to satisfy a second vesting period. Mr. Hilburn said, “No, your OU service counts toward vesting in both plans.” The vesting period for the ORP is the same as for the DCP: three years. The minimum age requirement is eliminated in the ORP and DCP for exempt faculty and staff. Mr. Hilburn said he thought the retirement plan changes were all very positive for OU and gave people the option of picking what would work best for them. Prof. Watts thanked Mr. Hilburn and Mr. Kelly for all their work and for keeping the faculty informed.
“There are two announcements that relate to our senate meetings directly. President Boren will speak at our October 11 meeting. We are now sending agendas out by email and ask you to bring a copy to each meeting.
“The provost has informed me that the university will be able to offer our graduate assistants (in-state) a 7th hour of waived tuition for this fall and spring. Also, money is now available to begin addressing classroom maintenance. As you may remember, last year a committee examined the state of our classrooms and forwarded their recommendations to the provost.
“Last May the regents
approved the plans for the
“The members of the new student Honor Council have already begun educating their peers about the OU honor statement and academic integrity in general. They are now tackling the issue of acceptable collaboration in the classroom. The council is asking the faculty to submit their definition of acceptable collaboration, which can vary from discipline to discipline or course to course. They are very much interested in what you consider acceptable collaboration in your course.
“Finally, a bit of good news for faculty: The Information Technology office is offering an e-mail anti-spam service. (Refer to OUMM email message sent 8/16.) IT can help you log on to that service.
“The next three items on our agenda will be presented to you today. We ask that you circulate these motions and discuss them with your colleagues before next month’s meeting, when we will discuss and vote.”
Prof. Watts explained that initially the financial emergency section stood alone, coming before the severe sanctions section. The changes made (attached) were intended to try to make things simple by including Financial Emergency in the Severe Sanctions section with an asterisk by it indicating that it was a valid reason for termination of employment but not considered a severe sanction. The senate Executive Committee wanted to make clear that financial emergency was not the faculty member’s fault. In response, the administration agreed to make the financial emergence section a sub-paragraph, and they also decided to include the paragraph about changes in the University’s educational function since it is another example where the faculty member is not at fault.
Prof. Rick Tepker (Law), Chair of the Campus Tenure Committee (CTC) said, “This proposal (attached) comes out of the experience of the units, faculty, and the Campus Tenure Committee. To keep it brief, basically the units were having some difficulty in a class of cases that might be described as hire-with-tenure cases. These individual cases usually involve competitive searches within the unit, and the materials that are developed are largely not what we require as part of our ordinary tenure process. So the value we get in these files is often quite different and, to put it gently, somewhat incomplete compared to our other experiences. In effect, the university and the unit are really relying upon the integrity and skill of the competitive search process to make the decision and really not relying at all on any expertise or role the CTC would play. The second problem was at the CTC level because, frankly, these cases came to us in the summer when we weren’t around, and so our review of these cases was often incomplete or uncertain or with a fragment of the committee. It was a unanimous judgment of the Campus Tenure Committee that it is a better and more candid process to rely on the competitive search process, which is our real reliance for excellent choices in this field, and get the Campus Tenure Committee out of this business.”
Prof. Doug Elmore (Geology & Geophysics) reported that the Post-Tenure Review Policy requires a review of that process every five years. That was put in the policy to protect faculty rights. This last summer when it was time for that five year review, the provost asked him to chair the committee to conduct the review. The committee made two recommendations (attached). The first recommendation is a fairly minor wording change in terms of faculty evaluation. The second recommendation is to remove the requirement of a five-year review. There have been no serious problems with post-tenure-review. If problems develop, there is a mechanism to request a review of the process. The review could be perceived by some outside interests as an invitation to critique the process and seriously erode tenure rights. Very few faculty members have been asked to write a professional development plan, and no one has been removed from the University because of the post-tenure review process. The general consensus is that post-tenure review has been useful.
Prof. Watts asked the senate members to look over the list of issues for 2004-05 (attached). Senators who have other issues may send them to her by e-mail or turn them in to the senate office.
The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m. The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at on Monday, October 11, 2004, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.
Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator
Roger Frech, Secretary