The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – December 12, 2011 – 3:30 p.m. – Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206   phone: 325-6789
e-mail:   website:


The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Georgia Kosmopoulou, Chair.


PRESENT:       Adams, Apanasov, Baer, Bemben, Bergey, Buckley, Burns, Chang, Cox-Fuenzalida, Devegowda, Fagg, Grady, Gramoll, Hahn, Keresztesi, Kimball, Kosmopoulou, Leseney, Loon, Marsh-Matthews, McPherson, Minter, Morrissey, Morvant, Moses, Nelson, A. Palmer, G. Palmer, Park, Ransom, Soreghan, Stock, Stoltenberg, Tabb, Vehik, Xiao, Zhang, Zhu

Provost's office representative:  Mergler
ISA representatives:  Crawford, Hough

ABSENT:         Ayres, Chapple, Chiodo, Ellis, Jean-Marie, Klein, Moxley, Natale, Taylor, Verma, Williams, Wydra; Graduate College liaison -- Griffith







Institutional Review Board electronic submission

Faculty death

Schedule of spring 2012 Faculty Senate meetings

Faculty development awards

Affordable learning

Academic integrity

Student Conduct hearing panel pool

Committee on Committees conflict of interest policy

Senate Chair's Report:

Semester reports from council chairs

Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics

Sooner Ally

Faculty Advisory Council to the state regents issues






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of November 14, 2011 was approved.





iRIS, the new Institutional Review Board electronic system, was implemented Monday, December 5, 2011.  A new study may continue to be submitted using the current process (hard copy) until January 17, 2012.  To sign up for training on how to use the new online system, see IRB website:  A closure request should be submitted if a current study will not continue beyond May 31, 2012.  For further information, contact the IRB office at (405) 325-8110.


The Faculty Senate is sad to report the death of retired faculty member Gwenn Davis (English) on October 14. 


The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for the spring 2012 semester will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102 on the following Mondays:  January 23, February 13, March 12, April 9, and May 7. 


The Faculty Senate sent out the call for proposals for the Ed Cline faculty development awards on November 10.  Proposals are due to the Faculty Senate office on February 3.  Up to $2500 is awarded.  Further information is available at 





Prof. Bruce Mason (Physics & Astronomy) explained that last spring Provost Mergler asked him about the uses of open sources and low cost material for OU students in an effort to help students lower their educational cost.  Prof. Mason has been involved for years with the MERLOT project, a multi-state, multi-discipline learning repository.  In the past year, MERLOT and the California state university system started the affordable learning solutions (attached), which is a website with a collection of learning resources ranging from content that instructors can plug into their course to entire books.  The website ( brings together all the things that are happening in open source education, open educational resources, and low cost alternatives that publishers are providing.  The Oklahoma State Regents are partnering with MERLOT, and the Oklahoma academic librarians may consider an affordable learning solutions initiative.  Prof. Mason said he would be happy to provide more information and to give presentations to academic units. 


Prof. Fagg said he had noticed that students seem less motivated to read the material if it is online instead of in a textbook.  Prof. Mason said the consortium is trying to understand what are best practices and what approaches work better than others.  In his experience, the online material is not an advantage if it looks like a textbook.  There are opportunities out there to improve the interaction with students. 





Dr. Greg Heiser, Associate Provost and Director of Academic Integrity Systems, gave an update on the campus academic integrity system.  Also attending the meeting were Zeke Johnson, chair of the student integrity council; Breea Bacon, associate director of the integrity program; and Prof. Trina Hope (Sociology), the senior member of the academic integrity steering committee.  Other members of the steering committee are Mark Morvant (Chemistry & Biochemistry), Andy Fagg (Computer Science), Sam Huskey (Classics & Letters), and Aimee Franklin (Political Science).  The point of the system is to have a procedure that is fair, simple, yields consistent and clear results, and is non-adversarial.  The primary change in the system, which was approved by the OU Regents last January, was to remove most of the criminal or adversarial language.  Instead of charges being filed, we now have reports of potential violations, and the reports can be made by anyone.  The faculty member is no longer the prosecutor but rather just reports a violation and if necessary, is a witness.  So far, the system has worked well.  Last year, 290 cases went through the system for the Norman campus.  About the same number is expected for this year.  One improvement in the new system is the capacity for investigations, which can be requested by the faculty member or the student.  The new system has required a larger integrity council because the members participate in investigations, in adjudication, and as peer educators in integrity training classes.  This past year, we had the largest number of graduates ever in integrity training classes.  Some graduates have even applied to be on the integrity council.  Dr. Heiser said the challenge is to get the word out that OU is a scholarly community that values integrity.  Other challenges are addressing some procedural issues because the Tulsa campus does not have an integrity council and making sure the web site includes all the necessary information and forms.  Ms. Bacon pointed out that they had worked closely with the Student Conduct Office in the transition.  Dr. Heiser added that we need to convey the message to students that academic integrity also is an aspect of becoming a responsible, professional adult.  OU now has an Ethics Bowl team coached by Dr. Steve Ellis (Philosophy), and it is going to the national competition for the second year in a row. 


Ms. Bacon noted that the Do You Understand Integrity (DYUI) training has been very successful.  The integrity council has done a great job of expanding their efforts by investigating hearings and helping her teach the course.  The members are adequately trained and have been very professional.  She asked the faculty to pass along the names of students who would be good additions to the council.  Prof. Hope said she had served on the College of Arts & Sciences misconduct board for a number of years.  She said what is best about the new system is that it is student run and that sends a message that integrity is not just something the instructors care about.  The new boards have three students and two faculty, and a student serves as chair.  Before, it was the opposite.  Ms. Bacon said one of the new positions on the integrity council is vice chair of adjudication.  That student will chair every hearing, which provides a consistent message and transcript.  Prof. Hope mentioned that having the student investigators shifts the system to one that is more student driven.  The one hearing that has been held went very smoothly.


Mr. Johnson said it used to take months to wrap up a case.  Centralizing it in the Provost’s office has helped streamline things.  Some cases have been resolved in as little as a day.  Training for the members is done twice a year on every aspect, from investigations to adjudication, and everyone goes through peer educating.  Prof. Fagg said it was worth talking about how the faculty role has shifted.  Previously faculty members were investigators and prosecutors.  Now they are called in as witnesses and may not even stay for the entire hearing.  Dr. Heiser said the new system has moved away from an adversarial system to one where the board asks the majority of the questions.  It has worked pretty well so far.


Prof. Burns said he was leery about using plagiarism software because the information goes into a central database.  He asked whether alternatives were available.  Dr. Heiser replied that is the leader in the field of plagiarism detection software.  It makes sense to have one database of written work.  It would be nice if universities could provide the service, but it is not a project that universities could take on.  Turnitin compares a student paper to its database of previous papers and then adds that paper to the database.  Some criticisms are that this amounts to stealing the intellectual property of the students without paying them and that it has a Big Brother element.  On the copyright issue, a case decided a couple of years ago that it is fair use, not a violation of copyright.  There is an option for institutions to ask that the student papers be removed from the database.  With respect to it being an intrusive search, the Desire to Learn (D2L) process is fairly automatic and low impact.  Students can be given access to the originality report so they can review it.  Without Turnitin, instructors would have a difficult time seeing where students are having problems handling research.


Prof. Nelson said she thought the presence of the academic integrity system was going to help.  She asked if the students could contact someone if they have questions as to whether something they have done or contemplate doing is appropriate or not.  Occasionally students do things innocently.  Dr. Heiser said students could contact the integrity council through 


Prof. Palmer noted that it is helpful for the students to see the results of Turnitin because the report highlights what is plagiarized.  She said she has had great success with Turnitin.  It insures that a paper has not been turned in before by someone else.  She pointed out that sometimes a student will turn in a paper to an athletics department tutor and so it will be flagged as being previously submitted.  Prof. Hope explained that instructors can click a button to send an email to the athletics department, and the staff there can verify that the paper was submitted by the athletics department student life office.


Prof. Zhang asked whether students could run their papers through Turnitin to police themselves before they submit them to their instructor.  Dr. Heiser answered that professors can turn on a button in D2L to allow students to review their own originality before they submit the final paper.  In many cases, students who have problems with plagiarism have more fundamental problems with picking a topic, identifying good research sources, etc.  It is important to focus on more than the end product.  He will be starting a plagiarism training course for the spring so students will learn the difference between writing and copying.

Prof. Devegowda said some written work by students, such as general exam reports, are outside of courses.  He asked whether professors could give their Turnitin ID and password to students so they could do a self-assessment.  Dr. Heiser said he would have to check the contract.  Ms. Bacon said the students could use WriteCheck, which is through Turnitin, but it costs about $5 per paper.  Prof. Devegowda said he had noticed that; however, it is limited to 5000 words, and general exam reports can be 100 pages long.  Prof. Hope said faculty could create a class, have the students register, and then the students could run their report through Turnitin. 





Mr. Clarke Stroud, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students discussed the new Student Code that was established on September 19.  The previous code had been in place a couple of decades, and in some cases, outside forces (parents, attorneys) were steering the process.  The new code brought some order and simplified the prohibited conduct for students.  Students now know what they can expect if they engage in prohibited conduct.  Secondly, the same Student Code was established on all three campuses.  Before, the Health Sciences Center handled misconduct processes in the various colleges, so the outcomes could vary for the same misconduct.  The third benefit is the new code established some clear procedures for the students.  The Student Conduct web site ( has the Student Rights and Responsibilities Code, which includes the prohibited conduct for students.  This kind of prohibited behavior is not academic related.  It involves situations such as threatening another student, stealing, and alcohol or drug violations.  The Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures (also on the Student conduct web site) are simple and clear for the students.  They indicate exactly what happens when students are accused of misconduct.  Students can resolve the matter with a Student Conduct officer or go to a hearing.  If they go to a hearing and are found innocent, the matter is over.  If they are found guilty, they have an appeal and then they have one more appeal after that.  In the new code, the hearing procedures are clear.  Previously, attorneys would try to establish different kinds of processes.  The new code and procedures put us in compliance with the Dear Colleague letter.  The University has a new sexual misconduct policy and will have a new sexual misconduct officer.  One of the requirements of the Department of Education is students can no longer sit on a hearing panel when the case is sexual misconduct.  The hearing panel has to be faculty and staff.  The cases of sexual misconduct that go to a hearing are incredibly divisive.  The new process protects both the suspect and the victim in the case.  Hearing panels are composed of three members, one student (except in sexual misconduct cases), and two faculty and staff.  Mr. Stroud asked the senators to pass on to their colleagues that Student Affairs needs faculty to volunteer to sit on the panels.  He would like to establish a pool of 10 faculty, 10 staff and 10 students who would be selected as cases come up.  Volunteers will need to attend one mandatory training session before they can serve on a panel.  The new process now has some real time limits that were not in place before, so cases should be resolved more quickly.  Mr. Stroud said he would be happy to speak at a departmental meeting.  Faculty who are interested in volunteering for the hearing panel may email Mr. Stroud. 


Prof. Grady asked whether some of the incidents could involve criminal matters and whether the hearings were closed.  A student who might be involved would not want his words to be used against him in court.  Mr. Stroud said the hearings are closed.  However, a transcript of the proceedings could be subpoenaed.  Prof. Grady said he assumed the idea was the internal process would be faster than in court.  Mr. Stroud said any criminal process would go first.  The code portion has a provision for a direct administrative action, such as temporary suspension or expulsion of a student who is considered a threat. 





Prof. Kosmopoulou explained the proposed change in the bylaws of the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Committees (attached).  The change would introduce a conflict of interest policy.  The main difference is the last paragraph.  The Faculty Senate executive committee unanimously recommended the change.  The proposed change will be voted on at the next regular session.  There was no discussion at this meeting.



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Georgia Kosmopoulou


“We had our Faculty Senate large executive committee meeting late last month, and we heard from the chairs of the Information Technology Council, the Athletics Council, the Continuing Education Council, the Budget Council, the Faculty Welfare Committee and the Faculty Compensation Committee.  Al Schwarzkopf, the chair of ITC, reiterated that the council is focusing on three areas for improvements:  research computing, classroom technology and oZone. We spent some time discussing classroom technology and in particular lecture capture options and closed captioning. Al Schwarzkopf was selected as the faculty representative on the oZone change request committee (see 11/11 Senate Journal).


“Emily Johnson, the chair of the Athletics Council, gave us a brief report of activities. (Among other issues discussed, it was mentioned that the Athletics Department finished paying off its loan, 11 years early.) 


“On the question that Prof. Ransom asked in our previous meeting related to COIA (Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics), Emily Johnson mentioned that she and Connie Dillon, the faculty athletics representative, both believe that OU's oversight policies are equal to or better than those recommended by COIA. I talked to Connie Dillon, as well, who offered to come and discuss this in more detail with the Senate to answer questions. Joining the COIA is ultimately a Senate decision, but Connie Dillon would encourage the members of the Senate to review the COIA recommendations and also consider the views of the faculty members on the Athletics Council since they are actively engaged in many of the oversight functions that COIA recommends.  I invited her to join us at the January meeting to discuss COIA with the Senate or any other issues related to athletics.


“Shannon Bert, the newly elected chair of the Continuing Education Council, gave an activity report.   She discussed among other issues the Outreach Lifelong Learning Opportunities brochure, which gives a general description of offerings. 


We also heard from Susan Hahn on the Budget Council meetings. The Budget Council invited Chancellor Johnson to talk. Some of the details of the discussion are in the slides of his presentation made at the Regents Faculty Assembly. These slides were made available to you last month.  As you saw from President Boren’s letter, the budget outlook is not very optimistic, but we are waiting for further news and developments.  The welfare and compensation committees are also continuing their activities along the lines described in earlier meetings.


“The reports of all council annual activities will be made available to us in the summer.


“Kathy Moxley, Director of the Women's Outreach Center, who came and informed us at an earlier meeting about  the Faculty Ally training program, asked me to inform the senate that they have been taking the suggestions they heard at Faculty Senate and are offering a two-part session in the spring.  They have one training on January 12 from noon to 3 p.m. (lunch provided) or a two-part session on February 21 and 28 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. For more information see


“The monthly meeting of the faculty advisory council to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education took place on Friday, December 9.  Dr. Houston Davis, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, discussed the Complete College America (CCA) initiative.  Oklahoma’s activities as part of this program will be focused on a framework that covers two fronts: (1) Academic preparation initiatives for high school students and (2) adult degree completion initiatives that aim to streamline degree options.  At the end of the meeting, I was elected the chair of the council for the period April-June 2012.”  [Note: The Highlights of Oklahoma’s Complete College America and NGA Complete to Compete Initiatives is available from the Faculty Senate office.]





The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, January 23, 2012, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Mike Bemben, Chair-Elect