Members present: F. Michael Combs, Beauvais Lyons, Sam Jordan,
Glenn Graber, Jon Coddington, Olga Welch, Loren Crabtree, Sylvia
Davis, Douglas Birdwell, Salvatore DiMaria, Jim Gehlhar, Louis Gross,
Laura Jolly, David Patterson, Peggy Pierce, Richard Strange, Fred
Weber, Candace White, Sara Williams
Guests: Anne Mayhew, Alan Chesney, Kay Reed, Don Scroggins, Jo
Combs called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
President’s Report (M. Combs)
Combs introduced T.-W. Wang who is acting parliamentarian. He then
reviewed the documents in a package he distributed at the meeting;
these include the Statement of Vision for the 2002-2003 Faculty
Senate, minutes of the February 3, 2003, Faculty Senate meeting,
results of the election of the members to the Committee on Committees,
the budget hearing schedule, projected adjustments to the UT budget
based on proposed reductions in state appropriations, a letter about
the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars Program, proposed changes in
bylaws to be voted on at the next Faculty Senate meeting, a list
of members of the Executive Committee, UT Fiscal Policy 135, principles
for emerging systems of scholarly publishing, and a senate resolution
on review of administrators.
Combs then reminded everyone of the open meeting with the president
tomorrow at 3:30, the Faculty Senate Advisory Council meeting with
the president to discuss the transition to the chancellor position,
and the lunch with the provost. The latter two events occur Wednesday
and Friday of this week, respectively. He also noted that the first
candidate for Dean of Arts and Sciences will be on campus February
20 and 21.
Combs next reported that the Council of Past Presidents is active
and will meet next in early March. He also reported that he had
contacted each senator who missed the last meeting; almost everyone
of them responded with a good explanation for his or her absence.
He also noted that he had brought a few compact disks produced by
the Student Activities Office and to be distributed to students
during summer orientation. He then asked for and received approval
to appoint G. Whitney as chair of the Special Advisory IT Task Force.
Combs then said that The Color of Water is the book to be read
by new students next summer. He encouraged committee members to
volunteer to conduct discussion sessions. He said he is volunteering.
Combs next expressed interest in having more direct faculty involvement
with the first-year studies program. He also encouraged members
to respond promptly to his e-mail asking about proposed dates for
a special called meeting of the Executive Committee. He then called
attention to a resolution of the Faculty Senate not to suspend the
evaluation of administrators. He wants to push on this matter, but
needs help. Combs concluded by asking for special support during
the last three Faculty Senate meetings and by describing the kinds
of help he needs.
Provost’s Report (L. Crabtree)
Crabtree reported he is busy with budget planning and hearings,
searches for deans and a director of athletics, signing offer letters,
and many other things. He then said that he anticipated budget reduction
($14.7 million) for next year which is a permanent reduction in
the base. He believes it can be covered without damaging the academic
programs. A tuition increase of about 3% will be needed to avoid
draconian cuts and a further increase will be needed to deal with
inflation and other matters.
Crabtree also reported that applications are about 2% below last
year’s level at this time, but the number of applicants with
higher ACT scores is up. He then encouraged everyone to attend tomorrow’s
discussion of the Research Foundation; he said he believes faculty
comments have been heard and that faculty should be pleased with
what they hear tomorrow. He then said there will be a massive effort
to revamp the UT web page.
L. Gross asked about the sources of the $11 million of the $14.7
million not coming from tuition increases. Crabtree said that $5
million will come from funds he reserved this year, cuts in S. Davis’s
unit, fee increases, deferring some expenses, fewer classroom renovations,
etc. In response to a question from D. Birdwell, Crabtree said that
Vice President Leonard is in charge of IT at the systems level and
that it is not clear what will happen at the campus level. In response
to a question from J. Coddington about what will happen year after
next when the $5 million held in reserve this year is not available,
Crabtree said that with the unsettled economy it is difficult to
Report from the Committee on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (A. Chesney)
Chesney distributed a report and asked for feedback when committee
members have an opportunity to read it.
Educational Policy Committee (F. Weber)
Weber reported that the minutes of the Undergraduate Council meeting
of January 28, 2003, have been approved. He then moved that the
Executive Committee approve the minutes of the Graduate Council
meeting of January 30, 2003, on behalf of the Educational Policy
Committee. A. Mayhew reported that the proposed changes have been
reviewed twice and that much of the material is associated with
the merging of two colleges and with reorganizations in the College
of Agriculture; there was nothing of great controversy, according
to Mayhew. After a short discussion the Executive Committee approved
the minutes with one abstention and one negative vote.
Weber then distributed copies of proposed changes in the bylaws.
They call for removing the Educational Policy Committee from the
curriculum-approval chain and for changes necessary to reflect that
removal. R. Strange expressed concern about loss of faculty involvement
in curricular changes. Gross agreed. C. White then noted that approving
minutes in the Faculty Senate meetings is not the same as approving
policy changes that might be referenced in those minutes. L. Jolly
then described the review process through the council level. She
believes that there is a more open and effective process than that
used in the past when the Faculty Senate discussed the material
approved by the councils. J. Coddington said he does not see the
proposed changes reducing faculty oversight, since the councils
are faculty organizations. B. Lyons suggested some changes in the
proposal in order to make the review process more transparent. G.
Graber also made suggestions. It then was decided that Weber should
make wording changes, inform the members of the Executive Committee
and, if they are in agreement, present the proposals at the next
Faculty Senate meeting. If they do not agree, then he should report
again at this committee’s next meeting.
Weber next distributed a draft of changes proposed by the Instruction
with Technology subcommittee; these changes would add material to
the Manual for Faculty Evaluation. There were several comments about
the wording “Special consideration for faculty teaching through
innovative instructional technologies…” and about the
appearance that using such technologies will be mandatory for good
Weber then distributed recommendations for changes in the policy
on Information Technology Resources at the University of Tennessee
(Policy 135). B. Lyons moved that Weber make this report as a first
reading at the next Faculty Senate meeting and that the Faculty
Affairs Committee report on its concerns, also as a first reading.
Coddington suggested presenting the report, but noting that there
are reservations. Birdwell suggested presenting the report only
as a working draft. Weber agreed.
Gross moved that the Executive Committee recommend to the Faculty
Senate that a resolution be approved to send a letter to the president
requesting removal of “personal gain or” in item 3 under
“General Policies” in UT Fiscal Policy 135. Patterson
suggested telling the president that the policy needs a thorough
review. Birdwell seconded the motion by Gross and the motion was
approved unanimously. Coddington then moved that the Executive Committee
recommend that the Faculty Senate approve a resolution proposing
that the Faculty Senate and the administration work in concert to
review and revise Policy 135 to the mutual satisfaction of both
the faculty and the administration. Birdwell seconded the motion
which was approved unanimously.
Report from the Teaching Council (R. Strange)
Strange reported that various concerns about moving the student
evaluation of instruction surveys entirely to the web will be addressed
next year. Patterson asked whether grades might be withheld until
one does the student evaluations. White noted that the present system
elicits comments only from the very positive and the very negative
students. Graber noted that students who owe fines are blocked from
seeing their grades on-line. Gross commented that the lack of consistency
in the evaluation program makes it useless and it should be dropped.
In response to a question from S. DiMaria, D. Scroggins said that
the move to on-line is motivated by a desire to save money and to
save class time.
Lyons asked for suggestions of topics to be covered in the “Faculty
Senate Newsletter.” He also asked for comments on future Faculty
The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
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