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Plenary Meeting of the Rice University Faculty

McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall

May 12, 2016

 

I. Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Degree Candidates

Jeff Fleisher, Speaker of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. He welcomed faculty members and administrators to the annual plenary meeting. Fleisher explained that the main purpose of the meeting was to approve the undergraduate and graduate degree candidates. He welcomed the chair of Examinations and Standing (EX&S), Elias Bongmba, to the podium.

Professor Bongmba thanked the members of EX&S for their work, as well as the Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson and his staff, Registrar David Tenney and his staff, and the Office of Academic Advising. Bongmba said that EX&S met on May 10, 2016, to review the candidates, and EX&S voted unanimously for approval. He noted that the list of undergraduate degree candidates did not contain any exceptions. He said that the EX&S endorsement comes to the faculty as a motion to approve the candidates. The motion was seconded and the faculty voted unanimously for approval.

Please see the undergraduate degree totals below:

   
  Bachelor of Arts (BA) 538
  Bachelor of Science (BS)   66
  BS in Bioengineering (BSBE)   39
  BS in Chemical Engineering (BSCHE)   68
  BS in Civil Engineering (BSCE)   25
  BS in Computer Science (BSCS)   26
  BS in Electrical Engineering (BSEE)   24
  BS in Materials Science & Nano Eng (BSMSNE)     9
  BS in Mechanical Engineering (BSME)   52
  Bachelor of Music (BMUS)   25
  Total (Undergraduate Degrees) 872
  Bachelor of Architecture (UP)   19
  Grand Total (Undergraduate Degrees) 891
       

 II. Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Honors

Bongmba and Registrar Tenney presented the Latin Honors information, which they reminded the faculty is determined by school: the students with the highest 5% of the grades in their school receive Summa Cum Laude, the next 10% receive Magna Cum Laude, and the next 15% receive Cum Laude. He noted that one of the most significant changes to the previous school-wide system is that more Architecture students now receive Latin Honors. The assembled faculty members followed this statement with a round of applause. Tenney also reminded the faculty that the names of the honors recipients is considered confidential until the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

Tenney presented three graphs that illustrated the distribution of Latin Honors. Please see HONORS.

Fleisher stated that the EX&S endorsement of honors recipients comes as a motion for approval. The motion was seconded, and the assembled faculty voted unanimously for approval.
 

III. Presentation and Approval of Advanced Degrees

Speaker Fleisher welcomed Kathy Ensor, chair of the Graduate Council, to the podium. Ensor reported that the Graduate Council reviewed the candidates for advanced degrees on May 10, and its members voted unanimously to endorse them. She noted that there were no exceptions among the candidates. Ensor said that the Graduate Council endorsement comes as a motion for approval. The motion was seconded and the assembled faculty members voted unanimously for approval. Please see the list of advanced degree candidates HERE..

IV. Actions of the Faculty Senate, 2015-2016

Fleisher summarized the actions of the Faculty Senate during the past academic year:

Undergraduate Academic Programs

Minor in Medical Humanities
Minor in Physics
B.A. and B.S. in Environmental Science
Major Concentrations in the Sport Management B.A.
Undergraduate Certificate in Languages and Intercultural Communication

Undergraduate Policies

Credit Hours Cap
Transfer Courses for Distribution Credit
Motion to discontinue announcing aloud Latin Honors

Graduate Academic Programs

Approval of two Graduate Major Concentrations in Economics and Finance
Dual Ph.D. in History with Instituto Mora
Graduate Certificate in Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism

Graduate Policies

Guidelines for Graduate Major Concentrations
Revised Graduate Honor Council Policies and Procedures

Faculty Policies

Resolution regarding opt out feature of Senate Bill 11 (Campus Carry)
Recommendations from the Working Group on New Courses and Faculty Oversight
University Policy on Credit Hours (awaits President Leebron’s signature)

Endorsed by Faculty Senate

Strategic Plan for Accessibility
Implementation of NTT Task Force Recommendations

Fleisher then announced the senators for 2016-2017:

Natural Sciences: David Alexander, Kate Beckingham, Christopher Johns-Krull,
Michael Kohn, Anatoly Kolomeisky, Edward Nikonowicz

Engineering: Keith Cooper, Michael Diehl, Kevin Kelly, Marek Kimmel, Laura Segatori

Humanities: Graham Bader, Martin Blumenthal-Barby, Daniel Cohen,
Julie Fette, Timothy Morton, Kerry Ward

Social Sciences: Jeffrey Fleisher, Stephen Klineberg, Susan McIntosh, Fred Oswald

Architecture: Andrew Colopy, Christopher Hight

Jones School of Business: Erik Dane, Doug Schuler

Shepherd School of Music: Charles Geyer

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: Dave Caprette, Scott Cutler, Jonathan Ludwig, Stan Sazykin

Presidential Appointees: Gwen Bradford, one TBA

Ex officio members: President Leebron, Provost Miranda

Fleisher thanked the senators whose terms have expired:

Robert Atherholt (Shepherd School of Music)
Jerry Dickens (Natural Sciences)
Claire Fanger (Humanities)
Illya Hicks (Engineering)
Rachel Kimbro (Social Sciences, Deputy Speaker)
Stephan Motowidlo (Social Sciences)
Luay Nakhleh (Engineering)
Brian Rountree (Jones School of Business)
James Weston (Jones School of Business, Speaker)
Michael Wolf (Natural Sciences)

Fleisher then thanked the chairs of each of the University Committees:

Ric Stoll, Admissions
Jill Foote, Athletics
Elias Bongmba, EX&S
Richard Grandy, Faculty & Staff Benefits
Matthew Baring, Fellowships & Awards
Kathy Ensor, Graduate Council
Duane Windsor, Graduate Honor Council
David Tobin, Library
Keith Cooper, Marshals
Don Morrison, Faculty Advisory Committee to the Office of Faculty Development
Will Cannady, Parking and Transportation
Helena Michie, co-chair, Faculty Advisory Board to the Program for Writing in the Curriculum
Kate Beckingham, co-chair, Faculty Advisory Board to the Program for Writing in the Curriculum
Christy Landes, Research
Michael Gustin, Teaching
Susan McIntosh, Undergraduate Curriculum

V. Remarks from President Leebron

President Leebron thanked outgoing Speaker James Weston and Deputy Speaker Rachel Kimbro for their service. He said that they worked very hard for the university during their two years in the Senate leadership, especially behind-the-scenes, and it was an invigorating experience to work with them. The assembled faculty members gave Weston and Kimbro a hearty round of applause.

Leebron then read the names of the faculty members who died during the past year, listed by the ascending number of years of service to Rice.

Alison Henning
Joy Bryant
James Lang
Meredith Riddell
Malcolm Gillis
Joel Cyprus
Michael Carroll
Norma Cowley
Gwen Gann
Madeleine Alcover
Angelo Miele
James Buchanan
Jean-Claude De Bremaecker
Robert Hauge

Leebron recognized the following faculty members who are retiring from Rice, again in order of ascending number of years of service:

Suzana Bloem
Chao-Mei Shen
Vicki Colvin
Tony Gorry
Danny Sorensen
Edward L. Cox
Hiroko Sato
John Bryant
James Wise
James R. Thompson
W. Edward Billups

Wise (38 years), Thompson (46 years), and Billups (46 years) each received a hearty round of applause.

Finally, Leebron made a special presentation to Keith Cooper, who has served as Chief Marshal of Rice University for ten years. Leebron thanked Cooper and presented him with a replica of the staff carried by the Chief Marshal. Cooper received a hearty round of applause.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.