The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Rick Tepker, Chair.
PRESENT: Albert, Benson, Blank, Bremer, Civan, Dillon, Durica, Elisens, Emery, Fiedler, Fung, Gana, Gilje, B.Greene, EGreene, Gupta, Harris, Hillyer, Hobbs, Holmes, Horrell, Hughes, Hutchison, Joyce, Kinzie, C.Knapp, Konopak, Laird, Lancaster, F. Lee, Murphy, Norwood, Palmer, Patten, Patterson, Ramsey, Reynolds, Shaughnessy, Sipes, Smith, St.John, Stoltenberg, Tepker, Thulasiraman, VanGundy, Wahl, Wallach, Wenk, Williams
Provost's office representative: Mergler
PSA representatives: Iselin, Spencer
UOSA representatives: Gray
ABSENT: Baker, Egle
Senate members for 1996-97 and schedule of meetings 2
Faculty Senate and General Faculty parliamentarian 2
1995-96 annual council reports 2
1996-97 campus departmental review panel 2
Appointments to councils, committees, boards 2
Disposition by administration of Senate actions for 1995-96 2
Resources in Faculty Senate office 2
Employee debt ad hoc committee 2
Supervisory review advisory committee 2
Library: document delivery service; customer satisfaction surveys 2
Faculty retirees 3
Remarks by President David Boren 3
Senate Chair's Report 5
Conflict of Interest policy 5
Election, Arts and Sciences dean search committee 7
Revisions in Environmental Concerns Committee charge 7
Election, councils/committees/boards 7
Internet newsgroups 8
Elimination of committees 8
APPROVAL OF JOURNAL
The Senate journals for the regular session of May 6, 1996 and special session of May 28, 1996 were approved.
A list of the Faculty Senate members is attached (Appendix I). The new members of the Senate were introduced at the meeting.
The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for 1996-97 will be held at 3:30 p.m. on the following Mondays in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102: September 9, October14, November11, December 9, January 13, February 10, March 17, April14, May 5.
The Senate Executive Committee elected Prof. Ruth Gana (Law) as parliamentarian of the Faculty Senate and General Faculty.
The compilation of the 1995-96 annual reports of University councils was mailed August21 to the Faculty Senate members and to chairs/directors and deans to make available to the general faculty. Copies are available from the Senate office.
The following faculty will serve on the 1996-97 Campus Departmental Review Panel: Norman Crockett (History), Kevin Grasse (Mathematics), Bonnie Konopak (Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum), Fred Miller (Law), and Eleanor Weinel (Architecture). The panel will also include three deans and Dr. Ed Sankowski (Philosophy), Provost Office Coordinator. The four units in the Colleges of Fine Arts and four units in the College of Business Administration will be reviewed this year.
The 1996-97 listing of faculty appointments to committees was mailed to the general faculty August 1.
The summary record of the disposition by the administration of Faculty Senate actions for September 1995 to August 1996 is attached (Appendix II).
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, and the University Budget are available in the Senate office.
Prof. Victor Hutchison (Zoology) replaced Prof. James Mouser (Marketing) on the employee debt ad hoc committee (see 2/95 Journal, page 6).
Prof. T. H. Lee Williams (Geography) replaced Prof. Donna Nelson (Chemistry & Biochemistry) on the supervisory review advisory committee (see 11/95 Journal, page 2).
The University Libraries are involved in two research projects this semester. Beginning in mid-October the Libraries will be experimenting with a document delivery service available on the Internet. The service will include a Table of Contents service that will automatically send alerts to a user's e-mail address. Also, the Libraries will be working with the Marketing Division and the School of Library and Information Studies to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. You may be asked by the committee members if they can distribute volunteer request forms in your classes. Any questions about either project should be directed to Pat Weaver-Meyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Faculty Senate thanks the following faculty who have retired during the past academic year for their dedication and contribution to our community: John Alberty (Art), Ramon Alonso (Management), Mervin Barnes (Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics), Robert Barker (Art), Wayland Bowser (Architecture), Sherril Christian (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Harold Conner (Architecture), Walter Dillard (Zoology), James Estes (Botany & Microbiology), Bruce Hinson (Journalism & Mass Communication), William Kuriger (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Douglas Lilly (Meteorology), Donald Menzie (Petroleum & Geological Engineering), Mack Palmer (Journalism & Mass Communication), Jerlene Reynolds (Architecture), James Richstad (Journalism & Mass Communication), Neil Salisbury (Geography), Burt Scanlan (Management), Stephen Thompson (Anthropology), Dick Van Der Helm (Chemistry & Biochemistry), William Weitzel (Management), and Richard Williams (Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum).
Prof. Tepker asked for volunteers to serve on the Parking Violations Appeals Committee. He reminded the senators to turn in issues and concerns. A summary of the provost candidate qualifications was distributed at the meeting.
Remarks by President David Boren
President Boren said he is trying to make improvements in and protect some of the older buildings such as Jacobson, Science, and Carnegie. He said this has been one of the better years financially. We are almost even with where we were four or five years ago. Fifty-six faculty lines were filled this year. A lot of that was possible because we did not do a re-programming of funds. A major priority is to let the faculty grow again.
On the private fund-raising front, OU crossed the $100 million mark, half way toward our goal. Enormous progress has been made on several key projects. The golf course is now virtually complete. We are close to completing the OMNH drive. The University purchased an incredible art collection with private money. Regional campaigns will be launched soon. We now have 2100 associates, up from 1390 a year ago, and 23,000 people have given to us the past year, up from 15,000. OU received the largest increase in state appropriation in 15 years. The state regents made direct appropriations of $400,000 for MESONET and $2 million for OMNH, which do not count against the appropriation to the University.
The emphasis in the budget is on faculty compensation. Administrative costs have been lowered. At 6.5%, OU is by far the lowest of the state system; OSU is at 8.5%. The College of Arts and Sciences is at 1.7%. The regents will adopt the individual salary program at this month's meeting. The average salary increase for faculty this year is 5.1%. About 2% is across the board, with the remainder for merit at the discretion of the departments.
We were going into the last year of a two-year fix on OTRS. The presidents of the other colleges, except OSU, did not want caps because they do not have TIAA-CREF. What was worked out with the legislature was a five-year plan that will allow the caps to rise gradually. That means we can continue TIAA-CREF at the current levels for people who were hired before July 1, 1995. He hopes to keep some floor for TIAA-CREF because a reduction in TIAA-CREF for new hires will hurt recruiting. We have now had a 7.1% increase in salaries, but the freeze on upper administrative salaries will be kept in place until next year.
Last spring, the Faculty Senate approved a resolution urging that no direct appropriation be made to athletics but that some things be funded that were paid for by athletics in the past. Following the Faculty Senate recommendation, President Boren provided funding to Development for tickets, to Fine Arts for the band, and to University College for advising. The new Athletic Director, Steve Owens, is undertaking a joint development effort to raise funds for academics as well as athletics. Mr. Owens plans to meet with the vice president for Administrative Affairs to develop some controls to make sure the Athletic Department stays within its budget. He will meet with the Senate Executive Committee to discuss what can be done about the Athletic Department debt. He is also exploring ways to increase revenue.
Additional initiatives include travel fellowships for faculty and scholarships for students to take advantage of our exchange relationships with other universities. A graduate fellowship program is being developed to help departments that are recruiting nationally become more competitive. The additional $400,000 for the library and the faculty equipment pool competition were continued this year. External funding passed the $100 million mark this year, at a time when research funding is down nationwide. Enrollment is projected to be over 20,000. The freshman class is exceptional. New housing was constructed in the dorms for faculty. Housing assignments were rearranged to get more diversity in the dorms. The president will try to expand the adopt a professor program.
Four candidates are being interviewed for the Provost position. The Arts & Sciences dean, Honors dean, and Engineering dean search committees will be appointed in October. Dr. Russ Driver was appointed as the interim vice president for Administrative Affairs, and Bill Henwood has been appointed as the new Physical Plant director.
President Boren is already at work lobbying the governor and legislators. He has been assured by the governor and legislative leadership that they will recommend increases to higher education again. The regents adopted goals of bringing faculty salaries up as quickly as possible to the average of the Big 12 and of bringing library funding up to the top half of the Big 12 in terms of per student funding.
Prof. Norwood questioned the president about the selective enforcement of the University hand-billing policy, specifically the alleged harassment of Faculty Union representatives and the allowance of hand-billing by the Montana militia inside University buildings. Prof. Norwood said that he had asked the University police to stop the hand billing by the militia within Dale Hall but was told that they had permission. Prof. Norwood also asked the president about the role of the administration in sponsoring the visit of Benjamin Chavis at a Big Eight student conference February 1995. Prof. Norwood objected to the anti-Semitic position of Mr. Chavis, whom Prof. Norwood associated with Louis Farrakhan. President Boren said we are an institution that allows various viewpoints to be represented. A university needs to be a free market place for ideas. Mr. Joseph Harroz, General Counsel, said the police were not absolutely sure what the policy was and were concerned about making the militia situation worse. Distribution of handbills depends on whether it is done outside of buildings. We can engage in reasonable time, place, and manner regulations. President Boren said he will talk with Joe Lester, Public Safety Director. Some calls are difficult to make on what is allowable and what is not.
Prof. Holmes asked about the president's views on the Conflict of Interest policy. President Boren said whatever policy we adopt will make no one happy. This is a difficult issue because of state law, state ethics commission rules, and federal guidelines. The policy we now have goes too far. We do not have the man power to monitor carefully all the disclosures. It is an intrusion, but we should try to keep it to a minimum. The regents want a little more time to consider the revised policy, so the current interim policy will be kept in place temporarily. He hopes to have a new policy by the end of the calendar year. Another issue is the Internet policy. OU is caught between state law and free expression. The dual news feed model seems to be the best option.
President Boren said he feels even better than last year about joining OU. People in the state are talking positively about OU. We need to keep that momentum going. He is trying to bring about some cultural changes that have been lost in the last few years. He welcomes suggestions by faculty.
Senate Chair's Report None
Conflict of Interest policy
Prof. Tepker explained that the current Conflict of Interest policy will expire at the end of the month. A revised version (Appendix III) was drafted to address some concerns raised by the Senate Executive Committee. The regents plan to make a recommendation about the policy when they meet September 11-12.
Prof. Fiedler said the policy should include language on exceptions. Prof. Tepker said the policy states a broad disclosure mandate. He noted that the language in section V.A. requires annual disclosure of any significant financial interest(s) in entities outside the University. Section III, paragraph 2 states that faculty and staff are responsible for disclosing those significant financial interests that would reasonably appear to be affected by or to affect their University duties. The safe harbor, however, is to disclose.
Prof. Tepker explained that the disclosure requirements of the current and proposed policies are the same. What has changed are the prohibition and scope of the regulations. He summarized the main changes. First, the current policy prohibits a wide variety of situations. The definition of a conflict of interest is rather broad: "A conflict of interest refers to situations in which financial or other personal considerations may compromise an employee's professional judgment in carrying out University responsibilities such as teaching, research, contract administration, purchasing and the like or in which there is potential for such compromise." The proposed policy focuses on significant financial interests (Section III). It does not ask about other personal considerations, and it does not speak as clearly to the ideas of possibility and appearance. Second, the current policy requires prior administrative approval before one can engage in any outside activity. In the proposed policy, prior approval is eliminate except where required by federal law, for example when seeking federal grant money. Third, the proposed policy says there will be no retrospective sanctions for the period of time when an activity is known but no action is taken to minimize or eliminate it. That will focus attention on managing things in the future.
Prof. Tepker answered several questions about the situations that would require disclosure. He said if the individual's interest qualified as a significant financial interest under the definition, s/he would have to disclose. The form may need some clarification. His advice is, "When in doubt, disclose." It is still and probably ought to be a broad disclosure policy. Prof. Holmes asked whether an individual could have outside employment that is not a conflict of interest. Prof. Tepker explained that there is a separate outside employment disclosure form, and that limit is 25% of time.
Prof. Van Gundy asked about the $10,000 requirement. Prof. Tepker said the definition comes from federal regulations dealing with grants. The more problematic issue is the source. Prof. Van Gundy asked whether money earned during the summer would count. Prof. Tepker said a conflict does not stop being a conflict during the three months of summer. He said the committee tried to keep the proposed policy narrowly focused, restrained, and realistic. Prof. Gilje said it is not clear whether people who have federal grants are disclosing currently. Provost Mergler said faculty are filling out forms. In fact, some disclosures have been adjudicated. Federal funds cannot be released until the federal agency is satisfied all the questions have been answered. We have a lot of work to do in educating people about conflicts of interest. We also have to conform to state statues.
Prof. Patten asked about capitalizing on ideas of other universities. Prof. Tepker said two successive committees have looked at this issue. The proposed version borrows heavily from the University of Chicago. Prof. Patten asked how promptly the administration should respond to a disclosure. Prof. Tepker said the preference is to get the freedom to go ahead with the outside activity until the University looks at the matter. Disclosure is a self-protective step. Referring to Section V.B.2., Prof. Tepker said that language was a compromise . Prof. Williams said we have to have a conflict of interest policy, and $10,000 is a reasonable figure.
Prof. Smith moved to approve the proposed policy. Prof. Dillon said there had been some discussion as to whom the disclosure should be made. Prof. Tepker said the Senate Executive Committee had talked about making the disclosure to the provost instead of department chair in order to keep it confidential. Disclosure to the unit might influence evaluations and salary determinations. Prof. St. John asked what would happen if it was determined that a faculty has a conflict. Prof. Tepker said the University's determination that there is a conflict is not necessarily definitive, but the individual is at risk in proceeding with the activity. Prof. Gilje moved to amend the motion to require disclosure to the provost instead of the unit. Prof. Holmes suggested that V.A. be revised to read, "This disclosure shall be made in writing to the employee's unit head or supervisor provost..." Prof. Gilje accepted that friendly amendment.
Answering questions from Prof. Van Gundy, Prof. Tepker said nothing in the policy would exclude income from other countries, and federal regulations include spouses and dependent children. Prof. Holmes explained that this is not a disclosure of income, but of a conflict of interest.
Prof. Fiedler moved to change the first sentence of section V.A. to read "... significant financial interest(s) that could pose a conflict of interest as defined in Section III and IV of this policy, that he or she has in entities outside the University." Prof. Tepker proposed, "... significant financial interest(s), as defined in Section IV of this policy, that would reasonably appear to be a conflict of interest that he or she has in entities outside the University." Prof. Fiedler accepted that friendly amendment.
Prof. Patten asked how the above change would affect the references to vice president. Prof. Tepker explained that the policy originally was drafted for the Norman, HSC, and Cameron campuses. Now the policy may apply only to the Norman campus, and that reference may be changed to provost. The proposed policy as amended was approved on a voice vote.
ELECTION, COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES DEAN SEARCH COMMITTEE
The Senate approved the following Senate Executive Committee's nominations for the faculty-at-large position on the search committee for the College of Arts and Sciences Dean (see 1/96 Journal, page 6): Jayne Fleener, Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum, and John Scamehorn, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science (to replace Michael Scaperlanda, who is on sabbatical)
Revisions in Environmental Concerns Committee charge
The Environmental Concerns Committee (ECC) proposed some revisions in its charge and membership (Appendix IV). The Senate Executive Committee recommended that the ECC designate a liaison to the Budget Council, that, in keeping with current policy, the Faculty Senate appoint two faculty and the president appoint one (the ECC recommended the reverse), and that ex officio members remain non-voting. (see 5/96 Journal, page 3). The Senate approved the revisions as modified by the Senate Executive Committee.
The Senate approved the following Senate Committee on Committees' nominations to fill vacancies on University and Campus Councils, Committees and Boards.
Academic Programs Council: Roger Harrison (Chem. Engr. & Matr. Sci.)to replace Ronald Evans, 1996-99 term
Academic Regulations Committee: Kaan Akin (Mathematics)to replace Gerard Walschap, 1994-97 term
Continuing Education & Public Service Council: Russell Usnick (Reg. & City Planning)to replace Jerome Steffen, 1994-97 term
Environmental Concerns Committee: Jess Everett (Civil Engr. & Envir. Sci.)to replace Amy Shannon, 1995-97 term
Equal Opportunity Committee: V'Lou Oliveira (Art)to replace Michael Ma, 1994-97
Faculty Appeals Board: Catherine Leigh (Interior Design)to replace Robert M. Davis, 1995-99 term
Faculty Appeals Board: Sridhar Radhakrishnan (Computer Science)to replace Peter Kutner, 1995-99 term
Faculty Awards and Honors Council: S. Lakshmivarahan (Computer Science)to replace Ron Peters, 1995-98 term
Goddard Health Center Advisory Committee: Anne Reynolds (Instr. Lead. & Acad. Curr.)to replace Kay Kincade, 1996-97
Research Council: Michael Rogers (Music)to replace Robert M. Davis, 1995-98 term--humanities and arts
Prof. Tepker explained that a task force proposed some recommendations concerning Internet newsgroups (Appendix V) to deal with a controversy that developed last year. The preferred option is dual news feeds, which would allow individuals within the University to have unrestricted access to the Internet; a second news feed would have restricted access available to the public outside the University. Mr. Joseph Harroz, General Counsel, said a group called Oklahomans for Children and Families complained that the OU news server had obscene material that violated state statutes. The distribution of obscene information is subject to a $10,000 per transaction fine. A minimal number of clearly obscene sites were removed . A lawsuit has been filed against the University for removing sites from the OU news server. One option was to shut the whole thing down. Another was OSU's policy, which is a narrow band. At OSU, faculty and staff, not students, can request an additional newsgroup in writing and, if approved, it is turned on for everyone. The Internet Newsgroup Task Force voted unanimously in favor of the dual news feed option. One news server would carry a more narrow band and be available to anyone. A second one will require a password, which will keep minors from getting access. An exception to the law allows access for legitimate academic purposes. Nothing will fetter anyone's access at the University to get to the information via a different route. A committee may be formed to handle complaints.
Mr. Harroz answered a number of questions. Prof. Sipes asked what would happen to home pages that meet the legal definition of obscene. Mr. Harroz said that would be given to a committee and, if judged obscene, would be removed. Prof. Bruce Mason, chair of the Information Technology Council, said there is no policy now. These are the kinds of questions the ITC will be considering this year. Prof. Tepker said nothing in the policy would interrupt what the courts have described as a world wide conversation on the Internet. It is simply an attempt to restrict access by the public and minors. Prof. Gilje moved to accept the Internet Newsgroup Task Force recommendation for dual news feeds. The Senate approved the recommendation on a voice vote.
Elimination of Faculty Advisory Committee to the President, Strategic Planning Committee, and University Development Council To be voted on at the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30p.m. on Monday, October 14, 1996, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.
Alexander Holmes, Secretary
Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator