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Faculty Senate Meeting 

April 18, 2012 

Founder’s Room, Lovett Hall 

  

Agenda (and actions taken):  

I.         Call to Order,  Welcome Senators, Announcements

II.        Speaker’s Report

III.       Deputy Speaker’s Report

IV.       Working Group Reports:  Salaries (postponed until Fall) 

V.         Old Business

             Motion to approve Open Access Policy (Approved) 

VI.        New Business

             A.    Motion to amend Senate Bylaws Section 5.5 (Approved) 

             B.    Motion to recommend revisions to Section 8 of Policy 201 (Approved) 

             C.    General discussion regarding Conflict of Interest/Conflict of Commitment Policy 216

             D.    General discussion, including proposals for Senate 2012-2013

Senators present:  David Alexander, Randy Batsell, Carl Caldwell, David Caprette, John Casbarian, Marcia Citron, Danijela Damjanovic, Rebecca Goetz, Ramon Gonzalez, Jane Grande-Allen, Shirine Hamadeh, Illya Hicks, Michael Kohn, Anatoly Kolomeisky, David Leebron, Scott McGill, Susan McIntosh, George McLendon, William Parsons, Brian Rountree, Stan Sazykin, David Scott, Ruth Lopez Turley, Moshe Vardi, and James Weston.

Senators absent:  Kate Beckingham, Mikki Hebl, Helena Michie, Fred Oswald, Matteo Pasquali, Robin Sickles, and Jane Tao.

PROCEEDINGS (To listen to an audio tape of this meeting, email senate@rice.edu.)    

I.        Call to Order, Welcome Senators,  Announcements 

Speaker Susan McIntosh called the meeting to order at 12:00 p.m.  She welcomed the newly elected senators: Keith Cooper (Engineering), Betty Joseph and Rachel Kimbro (Humanities), Lanny Martin (Social Sciences), Christopher Hight (Architecture), Robert Atherholt and Gregory Barnett (Music).  Senators elected to another term include Jane Grande-Allen (Engineering), Susan McIntosh (Social Sciences), and Brian Rountree (Business).

McIntosh’s only announcement was to remind faculty members to attend the plenary session of the faculty, scheduled for May 11, at 11:00 a.m., in Baker Hall, immediately followed by a lunch in Dore’ Commons, hosted by President Leebron, for the presentation of faculty teaching awards, recognition of retiring faculty, and outstanding college associates.

II.       Speaker’s Report 

A.       Update from Vice Provost Paula Sanders 

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Paula Sanders spoke to the Senate regarding three topics:  syllabi archiving, the Program in Writing and Communication, and the administration’s action on retirement planning; please see below.

1.        Syllabi Archiving: a team has been working to get the syllabus online site running, and they recently viewed a demo of the system; they feel they are close to having a successful site. When finished, this site will allow a student to log in through his/her Esther account and view the syllabus from each class in which he/she was enrolled, beginning in Fall 2012 (but not retroactive), and faculty may, of course, do the same. As you may recall, the Senate approved a motion requiring certain basic information on a syllabus.  Syllabus archiving was part of the resolution on syllabus standards passed by the Student Association (SA), and Senate was supportive of the idea.

2.        Program in Writing and Communication :  

Freshman Writing-Intensive Seminars (FWIS) 

  • 80 courses on the books

o   33 taught by regular faculty, adjuncts, and a couple of postdocs

o   about 30 taught by full-time lecturers

o   remainder taught by graduate student instructors

  • Most faculty have opted for the research fund incentive
  • We have 5-6 graduate student TA’s
  •   Three FWIS workshops have been scheduled

o   2 in May, 1 in August

o   80% of faculty who will teach a FWIS have signed up

 Center for Written, Oral, and Visual Communication 

  •  Search for the Director is underway

o   advertised nationally, applicants from all over North America

o   14 made it through initial screening by Human Resources

o   4 semi-finalists—all PhD’s—were interviewed via Skype

o   3 finalists will be on campus over the next two weeks

o   Director will be appointed by August 1

  • Recruiting undergrad and grad students as consultants for the Center
    Special workshops for these student consultants

Following the presentation on the Program for Writing and Communication, Sanders was asked how registration will be handled. Registrar David Tenney replied that the plan is for freshmen students to be divided into two groups over the summer, with approximately 60% taking an FWIS in the fall semester, and the remainder in the spring semester.  He said that there will be no wait lists for FWIS courses. Sanders added that there are bound to be glitches the first time, but the registration system can be tweaked as needed.

3.         Timeline for administrative action on retirement planning 

               May 1, 2012     One-time financial planning benefit for tenured and tenure-track
                                         faculty goes into effect

               August, 2012     Faculty-dedicated website on retirement posted on Rice

                                         Faculty landing page hosted by HR Benefits website

               October 2012    Financial expo

               AY 2012-13      Develop guidelines for conversations about retirement

                                        Workshop on retirement processes

                                         Resources and detailed website for chairs and deans

                                         Continuous work on phased retirement option, with regular
                                         updates to Faculty Senate

                July 1, 2013      Announce phased retirement

Following the presentation on retirement planning, Sanders was asked if the financial expo will occur just once. She replied that it will occur once per year. Moshe Vardi recommended that the current opt-in 403-B savings plan be instead set up as an opt-out plan. There was a discussion as to whether the July 2013 implementation date should be changed to April, and a question as to why it will take 1.5 years to complete implementation. Sanders said that although the plan might be ready before July 2013, she did not want to commit to an earlier date.

David Scott, chair of the University Committee for Faculty and Staff Benefits, and a member of the Senate’s Working Group on Faculty Retirement, asked if the working group had missed any significant issues when compiling the report. Sanders said that the administration has, so far, only worked on the parts that they can implement soon. She added that phased retirement can currently be negotiated with one’s dean.

Stan Sazykin, Non-Tenure-Track (NTT) Research Senator, asked if NTT faculty were included in this plan. Sanders replied that right now the retirement planning is a benefit for tenured and tenure-track faculty only, mainly due to available resources.  However, she said that she will add this question to the committee’s agenda.

B.       Update on Guidelines for Graduate Dual and Joint Degree programs 

McIntosh stated that John Olson, chair of the Graduate Council, recently met with the Executive Committee (EC) regarding the proposed guidelines document for graduate dual and joint degree programs.  Additional revisions to the guidelines document were requested by the EC, and these will be undertaken by the Graduate Council soon.  A revised document will be presented to the Senate for review next year. McIntosh thanked Olson and Arnaud Chevallier, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, for their outstanding work on the document.

C.      Departing Senators 

McIntosh thanked the following departing Senators for their loyal service to the faculty: Randy Batsell and John Casbarian, who have each served on the Senate since it began in 2005; Marcia Citron, Mikki Hebl, Scott McGill, Bill Parsons, Matteo Pasquali, Robin Sickles, and Yizhi Jane Tao.

D.       Leadership Appreciation  

McIntosh thanked the following Senators who served as chairs of working groups this past year:  Helena Michie, Communication in the Curriculum; Carl Caldwell, Faculty Appeals, Grievances, and Hearings, and Promotion and Tenure; Dave Caprette, Non-Tenure Track Faculty; Moshe Vardi, Research and Scholarship; Robin Sickles, Salaries; Kathy Matthews (non-Senator), Retirement Planning.

In addition, McIntosh thanked the following Senators who served in other leadership positions this past year:  John Casbarian, Convenor, and Carl Caldwell, Parliamentarian and Faculty Handbook revision chairman.  Senators serving on University Committees were also recognized:  Fred Oswald, chair of Admissions; Robin Sickles and Illya Hicks, Athletics; David Scott (chair) and Randy Batsell, Faculty and Staff Benefits; Bill Parsons , Graduate Council; Dave Caprette, Teaching; David Alexander, Undergraduate Curriculum, and Ramon Gonzalez, Diversity Council.

McIntosh also thanked the Executive Committee for its hard work over the past year and for overseeing the Rice 2032 project. She also thanked the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC), which has worked well under the leadership of Jane Grande-Allen.  McIntosh then thanked Grande-Allen specifically for her work as Deputy Speaker, and she presented to Grande-Allen a plaque and a gift.

E.        Election of Deputy Speaker  

McIntosh announced that Grande-Allen will stand for re-election to Deputy Speaker, and she officially nominated her, seconded by David Alexander. She asked if there were any other nominees; there were none.  The Senate voted unanimously in favor of Grande-Allen for Deputy Speaker.

III.     Deputy Speaker’s Report 

A.       Election of Speaker  

Grande-Allen thanked the NEC for their work this spring, and stated that one of their duties is to elect the Speaker for next year. She said that McIntosh, who has been re-elected to the Senate for a three-year term, will be on sabbatical next year, and in fact, needs to appoint a one-year replacement for herself. She thanked McIntosh for her dedicated service to the Senate, and presented her with a plaque and a gift.  Grande-Allen also thanked the Senate assistant, Sharon Mathews, for her work this past year.

Grande-Allen announced that the NEC has moved and seconded the nomination of Carl Caldwell for Speaker for 2012-2013. She stated that she worked with Carl on the University Committee for Examinations and Standing and saw how Carl handled complicated, time-consuming tasks very well and with a sense of humor. McIntosh added that Carl is one of the individuals who was involved in the creation of the Faculty Senate, and he has a great scope of understanding of shared governance. She said that she supported his nomination wholeheartedly.

Grande-Allen asked if there were any other nominees; there were none. The Senate voted unanimously for Carl Caldwell as Speaker.

B.       Announcement of Executive Committee slate as proposed by the NEC 

Grande-Allen announced the slate for the Executive Committee for 2012-2013, as proposed by the NEC, and following the guidelines in the Senate Bylaws: 

                NTT:  Dave Caprette

                Professional Schools:  James Weston, Gregory Barnett

                Engineering:  Moshe Vardi

                Humanities/Assistant Professor:  Rebecca Goetz

                Social Sciences:  Fred Oswald

                Natural Sciences:  Michael Kohn

She stated that alternate slates can be proposed in the fall. The approval of the EC by the Senate will occur in the first Senate meeting of the fall semester.

C.       Ongoing NTT-Teaching Election 

Grande-Allen announced that the election for two additional Senators to represent NTT-Teaching is currently ongoing and will end on Friday, April 20.  The three candidates running for the two positions are:  Scott Cutler (Computer Science), Jonathan Ludwig (Center for the Study of Languages), and David Messmer (Program for Communication Excellence).

IV.       Working Group Reports:  Salaries (postponed until Fall) 

V.          Old Business:  Motion to approve an Open Access Policy 

McIntosh stated that the motion to approve an Open Access Policy was tabled at a previous Senate meeting, and since then, revisions to the policy have been made by Moshe Vardi. Vardi stated that the revisions were regarding procedural matters only. Provost McLendon spoke in favor of the policy, saying that it is to a faculty member’s advantage to archive everything. The documents can stay “dark” until the faculty member authorizes its inclusion. He stated that this procedure is a common mechanism used by faculty at other universities.

One Senator asked if musical scores and recordings would qualify under “other publications” in the policy, and the reply was yes. Regarding penalties for non-compliance, Vardi said that policies are often passed without penalties for violations spelled out. McIntosh noted that oversight of this policy rests with the Library Committee.

Following this discussion, the Senate voted to approve the motion, shown below, with one abstention and the remaining Senators voting for approval.

            Motion to approve an Open Access Policy, as follows:    

The Faculty of Rice University is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, and recognizing the importance of letting faculty members choose appropriate venues of publications for their scholarly work, the Faculty adopts the following policy: The current Rice copyright policy governing faculty publications will be followed, with the additional provision that Rice University will make published articles written by faculty members available for open dissemination. The policy will apply to all scholarly articles written while the person is a faculty member, except for publications completed before the adoption of this policy. The Provost or Provost's designate will waive application of the policy for a particular scholarly publication upon written notification by the author, who informs Rice of the reason. Faculty members are further encouraged to make all of their publications, not just articles, available for open dissemination.  

To assist Rice in distributing the scholarly articles, as of the date of publication, each faculty member will make available an electronic copy of his or her final version of the publication at no charge to a designated representative of the Provost's Office in one of the appropriate formats specified by the Provost's Office. The Provost's Office will make the articles available to the public in an open-access repository, the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive. Upon request, an article will not be made available to the public for an agreed-upon embargo period. 

The Office of the Provost, in consultation with the Vice Provost and University Librarian, will be responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the Faculty. The Library Committee will provide ongoing faculty oversight, advising the Office of the Provost and reporting annually to the Senate.   

The policy is to take effect immediately; it will be reviewed after three years, with a report presented to the Faculty.  The Faculty calls upon the Vice Provost and University Librarian to develop and monitor a plan for a service or mechanism that would render compliance with the policy as convenient for the Faculty as possible. 

VI.      New Business 

A.       Motion to amend Senate Bylaws, Section 5.5  

Carl Caldwell, chair of the Working Group on Appeals, Grievances, and Hearings presented the motion to amend the Senate Bylaws, Section 5.5, as shown below. The motion was moved and seconded by the Executive Committee in its last meeting.

Convenor of Appeal and Grievance, and Hearing Panels. The Convenor is a member of the Senate appointed annually by the Speaker, with the approval of the Executive Committee, and may serve multiple consecutive terms. On the recommendation of the Convenor of Appeals and Grievances, the Executive Committee of the Senate may constitute panels to investigate Appeals of Decisions on Promotion and Tenure, and to investigate Grievances about other matters; the Convenor may also recommend that a Hearings Panel be constituted to consider severe sanctions, as, and to conduct the Hearings called for in the second stage of review described in paragraph three Section 2c of the Procedures for Investigating Accusations Warranting Severe Sanctions, Including Dismissal, Against Faculty Members, described established by Faculty Senate as stipulated in Policy 201, Section 8.a.3. The Senate will adopt rules for the appropriate conduct of these panels. If the Convenor or the Speaker of the Faculty Senate feels that the Convenor has a conflict of interest with respect to the execution of any of his or her specific duties, the Speaker of the Faculty Senate, with the approval of the Executive Committee, will appoint an alternative Convenor to handle those specific duties.  

The Senate voted unanimously to approve the motion.

B.       Motion to recommend revisions to Section 8 of Policy 201 

McIntosh presented the motion shown below:

In order to update University Policy 201 consistent with recently approved changes to the Research Misconduct Policy and the Senate procedures for Investigating Accusations warranting Severe Sanctions, including Dismissal, the Executive Committee proposes a Motion to recommend revisions to University Policy 201, Section 8.a. Dismissal sanctions, and  8.b. Sanctions other than dismissal as follows: 

8.a.2. A faculty member will be dismissed for cause only after he or she has had an opportunity for a formal hearing by a faculty Hearing Panel convened for the express purpose of considering dismissal for cause. The president of the university or the president's delegate will initiate consideration of dismissal by presenting to the Speaker of the elected Faculty Council  Senate a written statement of the allegations, framed with reasonable particularity, that, if established, would justify dismissal. 

8.a.3. The Faculty Council Senate, in consultation with the president, will establish the procedure to be followed during dismissal hearings, and any subsequent changes in that procedure affecting the authority of the president or Board of Trustees must be approved by the president or the Board. The speaker will insure an opportunity for a dignified, careful, and fair hearing in which 1) written notice will be given to the faculty member of the administration's allegations against him or her, 2) the faculty member will be considered fit in his or her capacity as a teacher or scholar until proven otherwise, 3) the confidentiality of the proceedings will be guaranteed and the privacy of the faculty member will be respected, 4) an unbiased panel composed solely of faculty members will be chosen, and 5) an opportunity will be given the faculty member to be present throughout the hearing, to confront and question witnesses to the extent permitted by law or regulation, and to give information in his or her favor. The hearing panel will reserve the right, at any time before, during, or after the formal hearing, to meet in closed session outside the presence of the parties or their representatives. 

8.b.3. A faculty member who believes that an imposed sanction that has been described as minor is actually a major sanction, or that a minor sanction has been unjustly imposed, may petition the Faculty Grievance Committee submit a grievance petition to the Faculty Senate Convenor of Appeals and Grievance Panels for such action as may be appropriate. Grievances arising from normal salary administration will not be covered by this policy. 

The Senate voted unanimously to approve the motion.

C.      General discussion regarding the revised Conflict of Interest/Conflict of Commitment Policy 216 

McIntosh stated that multiple revisions to the proposed policy had been circulated since the Executive Committee met last, and the most recent draft was sent to Senators two days ago. She said that there is simply insufficient time for Senate review and discussion of this policy in its last meeting of the academic year. McIntosh stated that the EC will continue to fine-tune the revised policy over the summer, working with Vicky Colvin, the Vice Provost for Research, and General Counsel Richard Zansitis, in order to meet the August 2012 federal deadline for policy implementation.  McIntosh stated that although this policy cannot formally be called “interim”  due to federal requirements,  language in the policy includes a review in 2013.

Per the Senate rules, this summer action of the EC will be presented to the full Senate in September for ratification, and the Senate will review Policy 216 next year.

Vardi said that the deans of the schools must be contacted before the policy is finalized; their input is needed. He also stated that a procedures document is needed.  McIntosh said that she will also ask for comments from faculty on the Senate’s wiki space, where a copy of the current version is available for faculty to view.

D.       General discussion:  proposed topics for Senate 2012-2013 

•       Re-form Working Group on Grade Inflation

•       Re-form WG on Promotion and Tenure, Ombudsman?

•       Revised statement on academic freedom

•       Review sabbatical policy

•       Review undergraduate pass/fail policy

•       Senate should be involved with Center for Teaching Excellence

•       Transparency in Rice’s accounting system; for example, how are NTT faculty salaries calculated?

•       Perhaps form a University Committee for Education, instead of separate Teaching and Undergraduate Curriculum; it could address teaching, mentoring, pass/fail, how to integrate student-athletes, etcetera

•       Rice should provide software to faculty, such as “turnitin,” to help combat plagiarism

•       Guidelines and specific undergraduate and graduate curricular requirements for upper level “communication in the discipline” are to be developed by departments and programs, in consultation with the FAB and the PWC Director. Any expansion of curricular requirements beyond requirements for the major will need Senate approval.  The target implementation date for upper level writing and communication is Fall 2015, so planning should be completed by Fall 2014.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 p.m.