Plenary Meeting of the Faculty
Faculty Senate Meeting
January 25, 2012
Founder's Room, Lovett Hall
I. Presentation of
II. Presentation of Graduate Degrees
III. Adjourn to Senate Meeting
I. Call to order, Announcements
II. Speaker's Report
III. Deputy Speaker’s Report
IV. Working Group Reports
A. Research and
Planning, including motion for approval
V. Old Business
Open Access Policy draft
VI. New Business
A. Proposals from
B. Motion: Syllabus Standards
Alexander, Randy Batsell, Carl Caldwell, Dave Caprette, Marcia Citron, Rebecca
Goetz, Jane Grande-Allen, Illya Hicks, Michael Kohn, Anatoly Kolomeisky, David
Leebron, Scott McGill, Susan McIntosh, Helena Michie, Fred Oswald, William
Parsons, Matteo Pasquali, Stan Sazykin, David Scott, Robin Sickles, Ruth Lopez
Turley, and Moshe Vardi.
Beckingham, John Casbarian, Danijela Damjanovic, Ramon Gonzalez, Shirine
Hamadeh, Mikki Hebl, George McLendon, Brian Rountree, Jane Tao, and James
Weston. (Note: severe weather with
widespread flooding around campus is implicated in the unusual number of
PROCEEDINGS (To listen to an audio tape of this meeting, email email@example.com.)
Faculty Senate Speaker Susan McIntosh called the
meeting to order at 12:00 p.m. She stated that the purpose of the meeting was
for faculty to approve the mid-year degree candidates, with the official date
of graduation being December 30, 2010.
Stan Dodds, Chair of the University Committee for
Examinations and Standing, announced that there were 98 degrees to be awarded
to 92 undergraduate students, and there were no students with exceptions to the
graduation requirements. Please use this link to view the degrees by department: Undergraduate Degrees.
Grand Total Undergraduate Degrees: 98
number of students: 92 (55 men, 37
Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson asked how
long it took for the 92 students to complete their undergraduate programs.
David Tenney, Registrar, said that 15 of the 92 were transfer students. The
remaining 77 first-time students included 18 who graduated in 3.5 years and 59
who graduated in more than four years. The faculty voted unanimously to approve
the undergraduate degrees.
Paula Sanders, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
and Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, presented the recommended
advanced degrees. Please use this link to view the degrees by department Advanced Degrees.
Grand Total Advanced Degrees: 235
number of students: 234 (140 Men, 94
The assembled faculty had no questions for Sanders. Again,
the vote was unanimous to approve the advanced degrees. McIntosh thanked Dodds,
Sanders, and Tenney. The plenary session was adjourned. McIntosh invited
faculty members who attended the plenary session to stay for the Senate
to order, Announcements
Speaker McIntosh called the Faculty Senate meeting to order at 12:10 p.m. She
asked if there were any announcements from the floor; there were none.
The January 20th session of Rice 2032 on Teaching was a big
success. Forty-eight people were in attendance, including three members from
the Board of Trustees. The next session is scheduled for March 9 on
International and Global Engagement, with the final session this semester
scheduled for April 23 on Research.
An additional Senate meeting may be needed this year; notice will be
given 21 days prior.
Comments regarding proposed revisions to the university pet policy
(#234) are requested from faculty on the Senate’s wiki space. The Vice
President for Administration is canvassing all sectors of campus for feedback
on the proposed revisions.
Helena Michie, Chair of the Faculty Advisory Board (FAB), gave an update
regarding the Program in Writing and Communication (PWC):
1) Two Interim Directors
for the PWC have been hired: Interim Faculty Director Terry Doody and Interim
Program Director Matt Taylor. They will work with the FAB to launch the program
until a permanent director can be hired.
2) The University
Committee for the Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC) is working on distribution
credit issues for the First Year Writing-Intensive Seminars (FWS). Recruiting
of faculty to teach the FWS is going well; if interested, please contact Doody
or Taylor. Public sessions are also being held to let graduate students know
more about the program, both as consumers and as providers.
3) Planning for the Center
is well on its way, with a start-up date expected in late summer. Staff will be
hired once the FWS plans are in place.
David Alexander, a member of CUC, noted
that implementation of the program will be difficult. Michie agreed that it can
be complicated to get started, but she said that every effort is being taken to
ensure success. She asked for patience during this transitional time. Fred
Oswald asked how faculty can be included in the FWS program. Michie said that
faculty members should write a proposal for their course, obtain their
department chair’s signature, and send the proposal to the interim directors.
She said that the application process leans to inclusion, and there are
incentives for faculty members to teach in the FWS program.
Deputy Speaker Jane Grande-Allen asked the
current Senators to let her know if they will seek re-election to the Senate or
not. She said that some Senators who will not continue serving have suggested
colleagues to take their place, and this advice is welcome.
A. Working Group on Research and
Moshe Vardi provided a brief update on the efforts of the
working group. He first presented the names of the working group members:
Chair: Moshe Vardi
Engineering: Pulickel Ajayan, Keith Cooper, Michael Deem
Humanities: Beatriz Gonzalez, Richard Grandy, Ussama Makdisi
Science: Janet Braam, Randy Hulet, Seiichi Matsuda
Social Science: Mahmoud El-Gamal, Michael Emerson, Fred Oswald
Architecture: Albert Pope
Jones Scool: Vikas Mittal, Gustavo Grullon
Baker Institute: Steve Lewis
Ex-officio: Susan McIntosh, Doug
Natelson, Vicki Colvin, Cindy Farach-Carson, Caroline Levander, Don Morrison, Paula Sanders
Editor: Jan Odegard
said that the group has met twice a month since November and has focused its
discussions on the following
Data and Metrics
Location: Houston, Texas
Vardi was asked when the working group
expects to complete its task, and what its outcome will be. Vardi replied that
the group has a deadline of Rice’s Centennial (October 2012), and they will
submit a report jointly to the Faculty Senate and the administration, with the
hope of influencing policy.
Group on Retirement Planning
Susan McIntosh introduced Kathy Matthews,
Chair of the Working Group on Retirement Planning. McIntosh thanked Matthews
for the thorough report the working group produced, and she showed to the
Senate a large file folder which contained the appendix to the report. (Use this link to view the final report: Retirement Planning.) Matthews
then presented the following slide show to the Senate: Presentation.
One of the recommendations from the
working group was that in addition to Rice’s current retirement plan, a phased
retirement option be adopted. Following Matthews’s presentation, President
Leebron also praised the thorough work of the group. He added that among the
peer universities the working group investigated, Yale’s retirement policy
appears to be an outlier. He said that the working group has chosen to
recommend a similar, unusual policy. Leebron said that this phased retirement
plan is essentially a 75% bonus.
Matthews replied that Harvard has a policy
somewhat similar to Yale’s, and she said that many institutions seem to be
moving towards phased retirement/incentive plans. She also said that the phased
retirement plan being recommended by the working group has no consequences for
Rice’s budget. Rice must put that much into the budget for everyone; here, the
key is a decrease in assigned duties for faculty. The working group believes
this would be very attractive; it will give faculty time to create avenues for
moving out of the university as they age.
Further discussion included several
questions that were not within the scope of the working group’s charge. In
summary, Matthews said that her group can simply make a recommendation, and she
stressed that a simple, clear retirement plan is needed. Vardi said that it is crucial that chairs and
deans are given legal advice so that they can advise their faculty properly
about retirement. Vardi also suggested that Rice’s 403-B (supplemental)
retirement plan be changed from an opt-in to an opt-out plan. Randy Batsell
predicted that the phased retirement being seen as a “good deal” is likely to
make people more agreeable to retire.
McIntosh requested that the Senate vote on
the motion to approve the recommendations of the working group, shown below,
which was moved and seconded by the Executive Committee.
to endorse the report of the WG on Retirement Planning and to recommend
implementation of its recommendations:
i. Enhance communication with faculty regarding
all aspects of retirement
Provide resources to chairs and deans for discussing retirement with
Create a new, phased retirement option
A short discussion ensued as to the
meaning of item iii, with one Senator asking if the recommendation was for any phased retirement option, or did it
mean the one recommended by the working group? McIntosh’s reply was that iii
refers to the working group’s recommendation, but the final decision is in
President Leebron’s domain, not the Senate’s. Helena Michie suggested that iii
be changed to read, “Create a new, phased retirement option as outlined in the report.” This
suggestion was moved and seconded, resulting in a vote of the Senators present.
The vote did not carry. President
Leebron stated that the Senate has signaled its desire for change in Rice’s
retirement system and has attached recommendations from a working group, but it
is recognizing that the specifics are up to the administration.
Vardi called the question at this point,
which Matteo Pasquali seconded. The resulting vote by the Senate was
unanimously in favor of approving the motion as is. McIntosh thanked all who worked on the project, including
Vice President Kathy Collins and the Human Resources office.
Business: General Discussion on Open
Access Policy Draft
McIntosh presented general information
regarding Open Access, including the proposed Rice policy draft. Please use
this link to view the presentation: Open Access.
Following McIntosh’s introduction, there
were a few questions from Senators, which Geneva Henry, Executive Director of
the Rice Center for Digital Scholars, helped to answer.
What about a 300-page book, would it be scanned and input
A: (Henry) A book is a scholarly work,
and the system can accommodate books. When books go out of print, they would
still be available on this system.
What if the author is not the copyright holder?
A: (Vardi) Rice faculty members own
their copyright, but Rice has the license to all copyright works here at Rice;
one could say that Rice has an “easement” on your property.
If I am working at home, on my own time, and not using Rice funds, Rice
does not own my work, right?
A: (Vardi) But you are receiving a Rice salary….
A: (Leebron) These are good questions; I
will consult with our General Counsel on this matter.
Is there a system of notification? What if the library scans your book
and adds it to the system without you having a chance to opt-out?
A: (Henry) The actual implementation is
still being worked out, but we do not plan to go through the stacks and scan
books. A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document is being prepared, and we
will include information about notification and how to opt-out.
Henry was asked by McIntosh to look into
copyright rules regarding the use of images and objects from museums;
currently, one must pay a royalty to use such items in a book even once. It was
suggested that the policy being drafted specify the responsibility of the
university. Another Senator asked to change the wording in the policy from “articles”
to “scholarly publications.” At this point, McIntosh requested that the
discussion be halted and further comments be posted on the wiki space. She
added that the goal is to finalize the policy soon.
Proposals from the floor—none
Motion regarding Syllabus Standards
McIntosh stated that the Senate received a
recommendation from the CUC regarding a resolution from the Student Association
(SA) requesting that a syllabus be supplied to students for each course and
that it contain certain standard information.
McIntosh added that most of this information is also required by the
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The SA resolution
requested that the syllabus be provided by the end of the first week of
classes, but the CUC changed the requirement to “by the first day of class”.
McIntosh said that the SA proposal also requested that archiving of syllabi on
Esther be implemented so that they can be accessed after the course ends. Currently, Esther is not set up for posting syllabi
and it would need to be modified accordingly.
The CUC did not make a recommendation to Senate regarding syllabus
archiving. The motion shown below came
to the Senate meeting having been moved and seconded by the Executive
Motion: Faculty members are required to provide by
the first day of class, in hard copy and/or on Owl-space, a syllabus that
includes the following information:
name, office number, and e-mail address
hours or a statement of either an “open-door” policy or hours by appointment
course objectives and expected learning outcomes
of required texts
materials required for the class, if any
of required examinations and papers
9. Statement of expectations regarding course
work and the Rice Honor Code
statement encouraging any student with a disability that requires accommodation
to contact both the course instructor and Disability Support Services in the
is permissible to include a statement indicating that the information contained
in the course syllabus, other than the absence policies, may be subject to
change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the instructor.
Evan Siemann suggested that the syllabus
be made available to the entire student body and not just the students who
attend class the first day of the semester. Batsell suggested that learning
outcomes be included in the syllabus: “…when completed, the student will be
Pasquali noted that the information on his
syllabus is almost exactly like the SA’s request, and he wondered if Rice
already has some syllabus guidelines. Carl Caldwell, former Chair of EX&S,
stated emphatically that the only Rice policy on the subject is that a syllabus
is recommended. Pasquali continued
with two concerns: item #5, the absence policy because the official absence
policy also appears in the General Announcements; and item #11 because some
faculty will forget to include this statement on the syllabus and then it will
be difficult to change later in the semester.
Further discussion revealed some concerns
about posting syllabi in a public place. One suggestion was to use Owl-space,
but Tenney informed the Senate that Owl-space information is not available
after the semester has ended. SA President Georgia Lagoudas said that the SA’s
motivation was simply to have a syllabus be required and to include a set of
standards. She said that the archiving of syllabi can be decided later.
Several Senators did not attend the meeting
or had to leave early due to the weather. As the Senate was close to losing the
quorum required for a vote, Batsell called the question and it was seconded,
and the vote was in favor of ending discussion.
McIntosh asked the Senators to vote on the motion. She said that if they
did not feel that they had had time for sufficient discussion or if their
questions had not been satisfactorily answered, they should vote no. A vote by
the Senate was then held to approve the Syllabus Standards motion; there was
one vote against, one abstention, with the remaining Senators voting for
approval. The motion passed.
McIntosh noted that the question of
archiving is an important one that will be pursued by the Registrar with the
support of the Provost’s Office.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:55 p.m.