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Plenary Meeting of the Rice University Faculty

McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall

May 11, 2017

 

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 Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson to the podium.

Dean Hutchinson stated that as part of the official degree conferral process, he met with Registrar Tenney, who prepared the official list of May 2017 undergraduate-level degree candidates. Hutchinson said that the undergraduate-level degree candidates on the official list have met the university’s graduation requirements for their declared degree and major, and where applicable, their additionally declared minor or university certificate. Hutchinson also said that there were “no exceptions” being put forward. Finally, he said that as Dean of Undergraduates, his endorsement comes to the faculty as a motion to accept this list of UG degree candidates for May 2017 conferral. The motion was seconded, and the faculty voted unanimously for approval.

Please see the undergraduate degree totals HERE.

II.  Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Honors

Dean Hutchinson said that in his meeting with Registrar Tenney, they discussed and reviewed the calculation of Latin Honors for the academic year 2016-2017. He said that his endorsement and presentation of this year's Latin Honors data comes as a motion to accept these grade point average (GPA) ranges for the academic year 2016-2017. The motion was seconded, and the assembled faculty voted unanimously for approval. Please see the Latin Honors data HERE.

III.  Presentation and Approval of Advanced Degrees

Speaker Fleisher welcomed Seiichi Matsuda, Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, to the podium. Dean Matsuda stated that as part of the official degree conferral process, he met with Registrar Tenney, who prepared the official list of May 2017 graduate-level degree candidates. Matsuda said that the graduate-level degree candidates on the May 2017 official list have met the university’s graduation requirements for their admitted graduate degree program, and where applicable, an accompanying graduate-level university certificate. Matsuda also said that he was pleased that there are “no exceptions” being put forward. Finally, he said that as Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, his endorsement comes as a motion to accept this list of graduate-level degree candidates for May 2017 conferral. The motion was seconded, and the faculty voted unanimously for approval.

Please see the graduate degree totals HERE.

IV.  Actions of the Faculty Senate, 2016-2017

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

Approved Undergraduate Academic Programs

  • Minor in Cinema and Media Studies
  • Minor in Engineering Design
  • Minor in Museums and Cultural Heritage
  • Major Concentration in Creative Writing from the Department of English
  • Interdisciplinary Major in Social Policy Analysis (B.A.)

Approved Graduate Academic Programs

  • Master of Arts in Religion
  • Graduate Diploma in Liberal Arts from the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

Approved Policies

  • Three motions regarding degree conferrals: add August conferral date, add December plenary, deans endorse lists
  • General Education and the Distribution System
  • Digital Education report and addendum
  • Report and recommendations from the Working Group on Surveys for Dean Reviews
  • “Procedures for Appointments for Teaching Professor Ranks”

Other Policies

  • Reviewed proposed revisions to University Policy 201, placed on fall 2018 agenda
  • Reviewed proposed revisions to University Policy 214, placed on fall 2018 agenda

Fleisher then announced the senators for 2017-2018:

Natural Sciences: Patrick Hartigan, Christopher Johns-Krull, Angel Marti-Arbona, Edward Nikonowicz, Michael Wolf, Colin Zelt

Engineering:Keith Cooper, Michael Diehl, Marek Kimmel, Rob Raphael, Laura Segatori

Humanities: Graham Bader, Martin Blumenthal-Barby, Gwen Bradford, Nathan Citino, Julie Fette, Kerry Ward

Social Sciences: Jeffrey Fleisher, Stephen Klineberg, Susan McIntosh, Nancy Niedzielski

Architecture: Christopher Hight

Jones Graduate School of Business: Erik Dane, Balaji Koka, Doug Schuler

Shepherd School of Music: Charles Geyer

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: Scott Cutler, David Messmer, Scott Solomon, Pablo Yepes

Presidential Appointees: Lisa Balabanlilar, one person TBD

Ex officio: President Leebron, Provost Miranda

Fleisher thanked the senators whose terms have expired, and he noted the great length of time served by many of them:

David Alexander (six years)

Kate Beckingham (six years)

David Caprette (seven years)

Daniel Cohen

Andrew Colopy

Maryam Emami

Kevin Kelly

Michael Kohn (six years)

Anatoly Kolomeisky (six years)

Tim Morton

Fred Oswald (six years)

Stan Sazykin (seven years)

 

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

Marcia O’Malley, Marshals

Kathleen Matthews, Faculty Advisory Committee to the Office of Faculty Development

Will Cannady, Parking and Transportation

Kate Beckingham, co-chair, Faculty Advisory Board to the Program for Writing in the Curriculum
Carl Caldwell, co-chair, Faculty Advisory Board to the Program for Writing in the Curriculum

Christy Landes, Research

Lisa Balabanlilar, Teaching

Susan McIntosh, Undergraduate Curriculum

 

Fleisher thanked Deputy Speaker Julie Fette, and he said it was a joy to serve with her. Fleisher also thanked Faculty Senate Assistant Sharon Mathews.

V. Remarks from President Leebron

President Leebron thanked Speaker Fleisher and Deputy Speaker Fette for their service. He said that they were working hard to bring a new depth to shared governance at Rice University. He also said that it would be easy to move to the next level due to the relationship that the Senate has had with the administration over the years.

Leebron then spoke about the strategic plan for the university’s upcoming capital campaign, and Rice Lift, which he said was a high point in the year. He said that he was very proud of his faculty colleagues.

Leebron also discussed accessibility, saying that he wished to make the Rice experience available to students of all economic backgrounds. Further, he asked, “How do we move people from just getting to Rice but succeeding here?”

Leebron then read the names of the faculty members who died during the past year..

Faculty Department
William Veech Mathematics
Marjorie Corcoran Physics and Astronomy
Scott Wellington Chemical & Biomolecular Enigineering
Professor Emeritus  
David Hellums Bioengineering
Hans Ave Lallemant Earth Science
Hally Beth Poindexter Kinesiology
Katherine Tsanoff Brown Art History
Elinor Evans Architecture

 

Leebron recognized the following faculty members who are retiring from Rice:

Retiring Faculty
Victoria Arbizu-Sabater
Kim Kehoe
Stephen Cox
Bruce Entyre
Carl Rau
William Symes
John Bryant

Leebron then asked Marcia O’Malley, Chief Marshal of Rice University, for any special instructions for the upcoming commencement ceremonies. O’Malley reviewed the proceedings, and she thanked Keith Cooper, Chief Marshal for ten years, for his assistance.

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