Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Founder's Room, Lovett Hall
Report from the Nominations and Elections
and Presentation of slates for the Executive Committee -
Nomination of candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker -
Report from the Working Group on Policies and
Governing Non-Tenure-Track Faculty - Gautami Shah
Presentation of the final report from the Committee on
Rice Undergraduate Program (CRUP) - Chandler Davidson
Consideration of a resolution to dedicate a portion of
meeting to an open dialogue on athletics
Senators present:Jose Aranda, John Casbarian, Marj Corcoran (Speaker),
Michael Deem, Rebekah Drezek,Christian Emden,Deborah Harter (Deputy Speaker), John Hempel, Matthias
Henze, Ben Kamins, Tom Killian, Phil Kortum, David Leebron (ex
officio),Eugene Levy (ex officio), Peter Mieszkowski, Nancy
Niedzielski, Anthony Pinn, Dale Sawyer, David Schneider, Gautami
Shah, Evan Siemann, Michael Stern, Randy Stevenson, Joe Warren,
James Weston, Duane Windsor, James Young
Batsell, Yildiz Bayazitoglu,
Total attendance: Approximately 55
A verbatim recording of the proceedings is available by
contacting the Faculty Senate at 713-348-5630.
Faculty Senate Speaker
called to order the Faculty Senate meeting at 12:02 pm.
opened the meeting with announcements:
Cinda Lack has resigned her position as Executive Assistant
to the Faculty Senate. The process to fill her position has
started with Human Resources. Cinda will continue to work
with Faculty Senate through mid-May.
Requests for input on committees for next year have gone
out to the faculty, department chairs and committee
chairs. The process will continue through next month or
A presentation on results of a positioning/branding study
by Linda Thrane, Vice President for Public Affairs, is scheduled
to take place after today's meeting.
In her last meeting as Speaker,
shared two issues she saw as possible points for consideration by
the Faculty Senate next year:
a) undergraduate admissions and methods to discern
preferred types of
students for recruitment and
b) teaching evaluations more broadly, identification of
other ways of evaluating teaching.
Although not on the agenda,
noted one year had elapsed since new rules were adopted governing
non-academic events at the end of the academic year. She
, chair of the Examinations and Standing Committee, to give a
report on results since these new rules were put into place.
To provide an understanding of the responsibilities of EX&S
in this regard,
read the current rules from the General Announcements, page 28,
regarding events during the last week of classes.
She pointed out that although the word "athletics" is not
mentioned in the rules, this was the area where virtually all the
situations arose in regard to events scheduled during blackout
explained the required process for athletes involved in these
events and the method by which the Academic Advising staff
determined students' academic standing. She also provided an
overview of the escalating numbers of students meeting with the
Academic Advising staff for this purpose.
, Assistant Dean of Undergraduates and Director of Academic
reported more detailed statistics on the number of meetings held
with students and compared this number with prior
semesters. She also further detailed the procedures for
determination of academic standing and described the process of
meeting with students.
asked if there were any students not approved for travel.
reported only one student was not approved to participate in an
event due to academic standing this year.
asked if Daley felt the new rules put in place by the Senate had
been successful, or had simply created more work for the Academic
Advising staff, without showing significant results.
was uncertain, adding that the new rules created a large amount of
work to be done in a short space of time. She felt some
students and coaches benefited from the process through better
organization, but some students and coaches found it very
Corcoranasked if more help was needed during those times.
thought the bigger question was efficient use of the university's
time versus accomplishments from this process.
commented that this process might not be the most advantageous use
of university resources given the needs of the student population
broadly. He asked if the use of the Academic Advising staff's
time could be better allocated with a more streamlined process that
could achieve the same results.
replied in the affirmative.
Further discussion took place with regard to the method of
implementation of the new rules, the process previously in place,
and the definition of "satisfactory academic standing."
reiterated, the view that the general intent of the Senate when
approving the new rules was that authority would evolve with
EX&S, and this committee, together with Academic Advising,
would determine the manner in which the program was
felt that a Senate meeting was not the best forum for determining
the management of the process and suggested the use of a small
working group for this purpose.
II. Presentation of slates for the Executive
Committee for 2007-2008
, chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee, presented the
following slate for the Executive Committee for 2007-08:
Dale Sawyer, Wiess School of Natural Sciences (continuing)
Jim Young, George R. Brown School of Engineering (replacing Joe
Randy Stevenson, School of Social Sciences (replacing Dave
Meredith Skura, School of Humanities (replacing José Aranda)
Duane Windsor and Benjamin Kamins, Professional Schools
Gautami Shah, non tenure-track faculty (continuing)
Nancy Niedzielski, assistant professors (replacing Rebekah
She noted next year's Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Faculty
Senate would also be added to the Executive Committee.
added that any other members of the Senate or the general faculty
were welcome to offer alternate slates for the Executive
III. Nomination of Speaker and Deputy Speaker for
Corcoranreminded Senate members that this was her last year as
Speaker and called for nominations for Speaker and Deputy
Speaker. Deborah Harter was nominated for Speaker and
Michael Stern and David Schneider were nominated for Deputy
Speaker for 2007-08.
added there would be another opportunity for nominations in the
IV. Report from the working group on policies and
procedures governing non-tenure-track faculty
explained that the charge of the working group on policies and
procedures governing non tenure-track faculty was to gather
information on the numbers and roles of non-tenure-track faculty in
the various schools and to examine existing university titles,
policies, and procedures for hiring, promotion, and retention of
She noted that feedback was gathered from non tenure-track
faculty through meetings and by use of an online survey. The
group's findings showed that the university was doing well on many
fronts, such as benefits, professional development, email, and
travel. Their findings also showed some gaps that need to be
relayed the following recommendations from the working group:
(1) Create a track of ranks for salaried non tenure-track
(2) Establish clearly defined guidelines for the hiring,
appointment, evaluation, reappointment, and promotion of non
added that creating a promotion track for NTT teaching faculty
would provide an important recruitment and retention tool, and
appropriately reflect the high quality of Rice faculty. She
also recommended merit-based promotions within the track to
facilitate quality control.
(3) Ensure that all non tenure-track faculty receive a contract
that clearly specifies duties, expectations, responsibilities,
duration of their current appointment, and type and amount of
(4) Develop more flexible guidelines for contract
durations. This would eliminate ambiguity, would allow
administrators increased flexibility in hiring and retention, would
strengthen involvement of NTT faculty, and would raise the quality
of new hires.
Discussion ensued regarding the importance of attracting
qualified non tenure-track faculty, the use of contracts,
inconsistencies across schools and the need for standardization,
the grievance process, the need for more clearly defined policies,
and the need for a performance review and evaluation process for
non tenure-track faculty.
felt that either this working group or a new one should continue to
work with the Provost's Office toward the recommendations as set
forth in the working group's report.
In reference to recommendation (3),
asked why Rice has letters of appointment rather than
talked about different ways contracts are created and embodied and
stated that a letter, which is sent out and accepted, either by
action or response, constituted a contractual agreement. He
added that policies and practices that are promulgated by the
university become, in most cases, part of the understanding. A
letter of agreement, either explicitly or, in many cases,
implicitly, references the general policies and practices of the
explained that the university uses letters of agreement for
personnel business. He did not feel that the university should
change this practice but did understand that this faculty group
should have something in writing, for a variety of reasons, and
that they should have easy access to the terms and conditions of
added that all tenured and tenure-track faculty receive letters of
appointment, not formal contracts.
also felt the term "track" in recommendation (1) should be
suggested the word "non-tenurable" as a substitute for the word
"track". After further discussion in this regard,
commented that there was clearly more discussion needed as to
language and suggested this discussion take place at a later
, Assoc. Director of the Boniuk Center and member of the NTT Task
Force, spoke to the importance of acting on this important and very
positive effort at this time.
seconded Carroll's recommendation, indicating that the time had
come to ensure our non-tenure track faculty were getting the
contracts, the salaries, and the support they deserved.
agreed that there was some language difficulty in the report, but
did not feel that Senate members had problems with the underlying
principles it contained. He recommended the report be endorsed
in principle, without specifically accepting all of the
agreed and noted further work and negotiation would be
Upon motion made and seconded, endorsement of the spirit of the
report was approved with the understanding that the Senate would
await more details next year.
V. Presentation of the final report from the
Committee on the Rice Undergraduate Program (CRUP)
gave Chandler Davidson an enthusiastic welcome and lauded him for
all the hard work involved in putting this committee together and
the long hours spent in the creation of the report.
As committee chair,
presented the report to the Faculty Senate. He began by
reiterating that the task of the committee was to determine a set
of goals for Rice undergraduates regarding knowledge and skills,
obtained both in the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities,
needed by the time of graduation.
He further explained that a second committee would be
established to determine the extent to which these goals could be
realized by the current curriculum and co-curricular activities,
and then, to the extent further realization of those goals might be
necessary, there would be a third committee to determine
implementation of these goals.
gave an overview of the report and made a few comments regarding
the committee's work and methodology. He noted the entire set
of goals was built around the conception of producing students as
viewed this document as building upon Rice's traditions, making use
of what already was in place, and especially adding to and making
more specific those aspects of the university thought to be
internationalizing aspects of Rice's production of global, world
As a member of the Davidson committee,
spoke further to the history and unfolding of the document Davidson
was presenting, outlining for the Senate the document's principal
goals and the key arguments that it had provoked within the
committee, and also indicating the ways in which the document
presented a very distinct philosophy and approach to undergraduate
Discussion followed on methods used to conceptualize these major
goals and make them accessible and acceptable by all members of the
Rice community. There was further discussion on priorities,
core elements, the impact of ever-changing technology, and
disciplinary knowledge, with some suggestions for revisions from
the floor on a number of points.
asked for the committee's definition of a liberal arts
responded that the committee felt Rice should produce students that
have a liberal education, but there was a general feeling that to
go as far as creating a specific definition was essentially beyond
the committee's charge. This specific definition would be the
charge of future committees.
suggested changing the wording to more clearly define "liberal
education" and asked Davidson to indicate the committee's intent
when using the phrase, "liberal education." Again
said the committee went out of its way not to state a
definition. He pointed out section #4 on page 4 of the report
and felt this wording was close to defining "liberal
Further discussion ensued with suggested changes on different
specific wording. There was discussion on faculty having
control over the curriculum, the role of the committee versus the
role of the Faculty Senate and the faculty as a whole, the
committee using the ideas and comments of the Faculty Senate, and
the need for the Faculty Senate to have a voice in the creation of
suggested a process by which the committee provided the initial
report, and the Faculty Senate would then provide a response to the
report. The report and this response would become part of the
work handed on to the next committee or other group for further
consideration. Areas for changes or modifications could be
identified and recommended and given to the next working group for
agreed with Sawyer's suggestion, feeling that in this manner the
integrity of the committee's work product would be maintained.
asked about the meaning of "University" throughout the goals and to
whom this referred.
replied that it was purposefully left broad for later
interpretation because the committee did not feel it appropriate to
assign responsibility in order to achieve these goals.
added that each point would not necessarily be the responsibility
of the same entity.
commented that the next step was to send the report to the full
faculty for consideration and comments, which would provide
feedback for development of the next stage of documentation.
VI. Consideration of a resolution to dedicate a
portion of one meeting each year to an open dialogue on
reminded the Senate that for many years Faculty Council included,
in the first plenary faculty meeting of each academic year, a
discussion of athletic admissions. The Senate had continued this
policy with such a discussion taking place during the second
regular Senate meeting, conducted by an officer of
admissions. At the suggestion of a number of faculty it had
been proposed that this discussion of athletics admissions be
expanded to include a discussion of athletics more
broadly. The proposal called for a yearly report from the
Director of Athletics (rather than from someone from admissions),
at a point convenient to all parties during the fall semester,
report in which he/she would report on a range of issues both of
the Senate's and of his/her own choosing. The Executive
Committee would be called on, moreover, to invite other individuals
to share their comments or expertise (students, faculty, the
registrar, the President) whom they felt, for any given year, would
pointed out that the resolution takes away the Executive
Committee's power to decide whether or not there should a meeting
regarding athletics every year.
reminded Senate members that the same kind of structure is in place
for meeting with the Chair of the Board of Trustees in order to
maintain an open line of communication. She added that in the past,
discussions about athletics had been divisive and difficult because
of fragmented and inadequate information and felt this new process
would avoid misinformation and maintain an open line of
communication regarding athletics. She felt that such a yearly
report was not just wise but critical.
discussed the types of information included in his annual State of
the University address. He noted that this measure would, to
some extent, remove athletics from that report and create a
separate presentation for it at this dedicated Senate meeting. This
meeting, he said, would allow the Director of Athletics the ability
to communicate with the faculty in a direct way, and would provide
the full picture of athletics at Rice, creating an effective way
for the Senate to be informed.
reaffirmed that this resolution was merely broadening the scope of
the conversation on athletics and that, in a few years, if it were
decided that such a meeting was no longer necessary, that a motion
to rescind this resolution could be passed.
commented on the need to shift the focus away from discussion
merely of athletic admissions.
agreed, and, although admission issues would be part of the
discussion as mandated by previous guidelines, he wanted to see an
honest presentation of the program as it touches on faculty and as
it involves faculty.
With no further discussion,
called for a vote. The resolution to dedicate a portion of one
meeting each year to an open dialogue on athletics was
VII. Corcoran asked if there was New Business
presented a two-part motion, on behalf of the Jones Graduate School
of Management, as follows:
1. The Senate approves for Fall 2007 the business minor
proposal of the Jones School.
2. At the urging of the Jones School, the Senate states
that no undergraduate business major shall be offered by any school
provided copies of the motion in written format to all Faculty
Senate members, noting a necessary date change on the copies from
fall "2008" to fall "2007."
As a point of order,
advised the Senate that it would be necessary first to debate and
vote on whether to discuss this motion, as a new item brought to
the Senate from the floor.
, speaking on behalf of the Economics Department, stated there were
a number of unresolved issues and recommended against considering
this motion of voting on a business minor.
stated his understanding that the main concern was that of
intellectual overlap between the courses in a business minor and
some of the courses offered in the Managerial Studies program,
indicating that he felt some of these concerns had been
relayed his basic concern that in two areas there were alternative
pathways available when you looked at Managerial Studies and at the
Business Minor. The first was in the domain of "personnel
issues." Here, three alternatives were possible: either the
present course in psychology, an economics-based course called
Organizational Design, or a new course that the business school is
offering. The second area was business strategy, which in the
business school would not be taught from an economics perspective
but rather from a psychological/sociological perspective.
felt that alternative approaches to a particular module or area of
study should be allowed in a business minor for undergraduates.
commented that it was important in principle that once a business
minor, or any minor or major, was approved, that the faculty in
that area determine the substance of the
curriculum. Therefore, this decision was not just whether to
approve a business minor, but to decide who should be in control of
the business minor at Rice. He added one alternative would be
to have this proposal come forward as an interdisciplinary minor
with some role for Economics and Psychology, in which case voting
on the proposal should be delayed
pointed to two ways in which the proposal could be delayed: to not
consider the issue at this point, or to consider the issue and
table it if a delay was desired.
added a potential precedent was rooted in this conversation as the
proposal for a minor was offered by a recognized unit of Rice
faculty, and therefore, in a sense, was a credential that faculty
would certify on confirming the minor. He felt, in time,
there would be numerous instances where an established unit of the
faculty would bring forward a proposal for a minor. Then the
question would come to whether, in each one of those cases, the
conversation should be open for to an array of substitutional
courses. He felt there were issues in this discussion that
were portable and precedential and should be considered very
did not think of this business minor as an average minor and felt,
as a representative in the Senate, he wanted the opportunity to
talk to his constituents.
expressed her concern that she and her constituents had not had the
time necessary to review this minor, and that she had some strong
concerns. She said she preferred not to be rushed on a matter
that required more time and consideration.
stated that he wished this vote to be delayed. He felt it
would have very important effects on the sort of education we would
be offering to undergraduates, consituting a possible turn away
from the primarily intellectual spirit of the Rice curriculum.
seconded Emden's comments, noting that while a Business Minor could
be considered a strong program in itself, the larger context of the
Rice curriculum needed to be considered. He himself had grave
concerns about how the minor could potentially play out in that
said the business minor proposal was not a surprise and had been
under discussion for most of the year. He wanted to move
forward with a discussion of the facts so that a decision could be
made as to approval.
Other Senate members also favored discussion of the proposal.
called the question.
called for a vote on the issue of whether to continue the
discussion. The issue of further discussion of the business
minor was approved.
began the discussion with some questions. She felt one of the
main issues to be the allocation of resources. Resources from
the general university fund would go to the Jones School to pay for
these courses. She wanted assurance from the President and
Provost that approval of the business minor would not impact the
university's ability to implement future curricular reforms that
would be considered higher priority. Her concern was that a
big investment in the business minor could shut out other
improvements in the curriculum.
stated the business minor was a cost effective program, and it
would not shut out future initiatives.
wanted a decision made in regard to responsibility for the business
agreed this was the first question to answer. She asked
representatives from the Jones Graduate School to answer to the
idea of an interdisciplinary business major.
responded that, in his view, the business school was an
interdisciplinary intellectual environment, with faculty in
marketing doing psychology-based research, faculty in strategy
doing sociology research, faculty in organizational behavior doing
a combination of sociology and psychology research. Weston
added he was an economist, working in finance and doing technical
research in statistics. He stated the proposed business minor
was very much an interdisciplinary program as
proposed. Speaking to the issue of ownership of the program,
he pointed out that the Jones Graduate School was an accredited
business school, and he could not understand the circumstances
under which the Jones Graduate School would not have full ownership
over the intellectual content of the proposed minor.
asked if any of his comments related to business strategy.
referred the question to Windsor, as part of the strategy group in
the Jones School.
explained that there were two ways to address strategy. One
tradition was associated with a very strong economics
foundation. The other tradition included sociology,
organizational theory, leadership, and strategic direction. He
added there aren't many business schools in the country using the
economics approach to teach strategy for business and management
and explained this as an intellectual disagreement of long standing
that could not be easily resolved.
felt there should be an option for undergraduates to choose their
pathway of study.
asked the business people to speak to the possibility of the
business minor serving as a core on which to build other
interdisciplinary business-related programs in areas such as
gave more detail about the three new courses to be offered for
business minors: a marketing course, an organizational
behavior course, and a strategy course, not taught according to the
economics tradition but rather taught the way the strategy group
within the Jones School preferred. He added that from these
three new courses, there was no reason students from the
Engineering School couldn't benefit from the marketing and finance
class or the strategy and organizational behavior class, with these
connected to an overlapping engineering course, thereby creating a
certificate program or some other form of interdisciplinary
minor. The existence of the three new undergraduate business
courses could then serve as a wellspring for other undergraduate
Corcoranpointed out that the proposal would cap the number of
students in these courses and would cap by extrapolation the
number of students who can take the minor. The reason for
the cap was to keep costs under control. She knew that
individual courses had been capped in the past, but did not think
a program had ever been capped in this way.
felt this program would have a positive effect on the university as
a whole and would allow the Jones Graduate School to become engaged
in collaborative interaction with the rest of the university.
Shahfelt that the Senate had a responsibility to the Jones
Graduate School to help it realize its full potential. She
stated that since the Jones Gradate School had proposed the
business minor, as a business school, and with the full support
of their faculty and Dean, the business minor should be
administered by the Jones Graduate School, unless a majority of
Senators thought an interdisciplinary business minor was
agreed with Shah's comments in regard to the question of
administration of the business minor. He added that it was
not the Senate's function to design minors but rather to decide
whether a proposal met the requirements for minors and had a
reasonable administrative structure.
asked for clarification on #2 of the motion.
explained this section of the proposal was simply to make clear the
position of the Jones School, and there were no plans to create an
undergraduate business major in the future.
Bill Glickadded that this business minor proposal grew out of the
desire of undergraduate students to have access to a resource on
campus that previously has been inaccessible. That was the
interest and purpose of positioning this minor within the
business school. This proposal was the initial step to
provide access for undergraduate students to the business school
faculty. Going forward, the Jones Graduate School would like to
collaborate with other schools on campus by combining business
courses with other disciplines.
pointed out that the students conducted a poll, which showed their
strong support for a business minor. The poll also showed even
stronger student support for interdisciplinary minors.
There was further discussion including the issue of time
limitations for students in engineering and science, choices for
elective hours, prerequisites for the business minor, ways a
business minor would change the student body, capping and fiscal
suggested splitting the proposal into two motions so that the
business minor proposal of the Jones School was not tied to what
might be done in the future.
responded the Jones School would be happy to split the proposal and
vote in sequence for #1 and #2. He hoped there was clear
understanding that the Jones School desired to collaborate as
broadly as possible at the undergraduate level and had no interest
in promoting an undergraduate business major.
wanted the two items to remain coupled.
explained that #2 of the motion only referred to the Jones School
and was simply a reassurance that the Jones School faculty was not
going to offer a major.
While he appreciated the Jones School
including #2 in the proposal to make their position very clear,
made the motion of a friendly amendment to remove #2 from the
objected and wanted this to be stated because one of the arguments
against the proposal was that it would lead to a business
major. She wanted it on record that there was no intent of
going to a business major.
asked if it was satisfactory if the vote was for two separate
motions, to accept the amendment, vote on #1, and then introduce
acknowledged she would be happy with that process.
advised that the only amendment on the table was to strike
changed the amendment to divide the issues into two separate
asked for clarification that the second motion would restrict the
offering to the Jones School.
replied in the affirmative that this was accepted as the
A vote was taken and the amendment to divide the proposal into
two parts was approved.
With no further debate,
took a vote on calling the question. It was approved.
proceeded with the vote on #1 by secret ballot
The Senate approved for fall 2007 the business minor proposal of
the Jones School.
[The Parliamentarian determined that the numerical result of the
vote by secret ballot could be given for the record. The
business minor passed with a vote of 18 in favor and 4
against. Three members of the Senate who had been present for
most of the meeting did not participate in the vote, since
they had had to leave before the vote was taken: Anthony
Pinn, Nancy Niedzilski, and David Schneider]
proceeded to the vote on question #2, by a show of hands. The
motion was approved and on the record as affirmation of the stance
of the Jones School.
To end the meeting,
, on behalf of all Senate members, thanked Marjorie Corcoran and
Deborah Harter for their work as Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the
Senate this year. Corcoran was presented a gift as a token of
appreciation for her two years of service as Speaker of Faculty
Senate and given a standing ovation. Both Corcoran and Harter
were awarded plaques in honor of their "Extraordinary Service to
the Rice Faculty Senate, 2007-2008."
The meeting was adjourned at 2:50.