The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – January 23, 2006 – 3:30 p.m. – Jacobson Faculty Hall 102
office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206   phone: 325-6789
e-mail:   web site:


The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Roy Knapp, Chair.


PRESENT:       Albert, Apanasov, Badhwar, Benson, Blank, Bradford, Brown, Civan, Cramer, Croft, Draheim, Fast, Fincke, Franklin, Frech, Gade, Geletzke, Gutierrez, Hamerla, Hawamdeh, Houser, C. Knapp, R. Knapp, Kutner, Lai, Lester, Liu, Magnusson, Marcus-Mendoza, Ransom, Roche, Rugeley, Scamehorn, Schwarzkopf, Skeeters, Trytten, Warnken, Wei, Wood, Wyckoff

ISA representatives:  Hough, Smith

ABSENT:         Biggerstaff, Burns, Catlin, Dewers, Elisens, Garn, Kolar, Megginson, Pace, Raadschelders, Sharp, Tabb





New senators

Assessment reports, student satisfaction report

Course syllabus

Senate Chair's Report:

UOSA resolution, question concerning dead week on teacher evaluations

Faculty deaths

Interim Senate apportionment

State of the University address by President Boren

Election, Senate Executive Committee and Research Council

Courses with numbers ending in 60, 70, 80, 90

Central campus instruction






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of December 12, 2005 was approved.





The following faculty members were elected to the Faculty Senate as of January 2006:

Gregg Garn (Educational Leadership & Policy Studies), completing the 2003-06 term of Rosa Cintron (Educational Leadership & Policy Studies), representing the College of Education

Ralph Hamerla (Honors), completing the 2004-07 term of Randy Lewis (Honors), representing the Honors College

Peter Kutner (Law), completing the 2004-07 term of Jon Forman (Law), representing the College of Law

June Lester (Library & Info. Studies), completing the 2004-07 term of Catherine Hobbs (English), representing the Graduate College


The 2004-05 Assessment Report, Program Outcomes Assessment Report, and Student Satisfaction Report are available in the Faculty Senate office.


President Boren approved the proposal passed by the Faculty Senate on December 12 that encourages faculty to make undergraduate course syllabi available online (see 12/05 Senate Journal).  The Faculty Senate office received a note of appreciation from Micah Carlson, Chair of Student Congress.





Provost Mergler sent Prof. Knapp a copy of Student Congress bill 740118 approved November 11, 2005, which asks departments to add a question to their teacher evaluations concerning the workload during dead week.  The Faculty Senate Executive Committee volunteered to meet with Student Congress leaders and the Provost to discuss the particular concerns.  The Faculty Senate does not need to take any action at this time.


This month’s report of faculty retiree deaths includes John Paul Klingstedt, former Accounting professor, who died October 3, 2005, and Robert E. Bell, George Lynn Cross Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, who passed away January 1, 2006. 





The University was reorganized effective January 1 to add a new College of Earth & Energy, which includes units from the colleges of Engineering and Geosciences.  The Senate Executive Committee recommended the following proposal for an interim apportionment of Faculty Senate until the regular Senate apportionment for the period 2007-10:  Designate the two seats of Faruk Civan (Petroleum & Geological Engineering, formerly College of Engineering) and Thomas Dewers (Geology & Geophysics, formerly Geosciences [now called Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences]) as representing the College of Earth & Energy.  Earth & Energy is composed of Geology & Geophysics, Petroleum & Geological Engineering, Energy Center, and Oklahoma Geological Survey.  Estimates are that Earth & Energy will have 35.5 faculty, Engineering will have 95 faculty, and Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences will have 32 faculty.  Engineering would have five remaining senators, and Atmospheric & Geographic Sciences would have two remaining senators.  The study on apportionment for 2007-10 will begin this fall.  The motion to approve the interim apportionment was approved on a voice vote.





Prof. Knapp explained that President Boren could not give his address last fall because of back surgery.  President Boren said he appreciated everyone’s encouraging words while he was recuperating from surgery.  His recovery is coming along very well.  He said he appreciates his relationship with the faculty.  He meets on a regular basis with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and that is extremely helpful to him.  He distributed five charts (available from the senate office), which describe where we have come from and the challenges we have.


State appropriations were 38.6 percent of the Norman campus operating revenue budget in FY1985, compared to 20.1 percent for FY2006.  More and more, we are getting revenue from sources other than the state, such as faculty research, training grants, and private donors.  Tuition and fees jumped from 9.9 percent of the budget to 22.9 percent in the past 11 years.  It is a national trend that continues to worry him.  Increasingly, public universities have to operate like private universities that get some state support.  Historically, higher education has given opportunities to many students because it has been reasonable in cost.  It is a struggle to maintain quality without putting increased pressure on students through tuition and fees.  The imperative is even greater that we raise more scholarship funds to offset the increased cost.  A six-minute video is being shown to alumni clubs around the country, with the hope of raising additional money for scholarships. 


In 1980, higher education received 18.55 percent of the state appropriation; today it is 14.68 percent.  The total state budget this year will be approximately $6 billion.  If higher education received the 1980 percentage, $240 million more would be going to higher education funding.  The Norman campus share of those funds would be about $36 million.  Fixed costs for next year will increase $15-16 million because of utility bills, health insurance, library costs, software costs, faculty growth, and some compression problems.  If we had the extra $36 million, we could meet all of our fixed costs for next year and have $20 million left.  President Boren noted that the administration was able to work out most of insurance issues with the cancer treatment providers.  A one percent compensation increase for faculty and staff costs about $1.4 million.  It is not unreasonable for us to say we ought to get a $90-100 million increase for higher education, given our shrinking percentage of the budget and the amount of additional money available to the state (estimated to be $600 million).  To be fair, some of the changes in budgetary priorities have come from federal mandates that were not fully funded, such as in health areas.


Over the past 14 years, endowment funds have grown from $219 million to $850 million.  Only 14 public universities in the country have billion dollar endowments.  All of the earnings from our endowment program go toward the academic mission, much of it for endowed chairs and the library.  We have made remarkable progress in the number of endowed chairs and professorships, growing from 116 in 1995 to 396 now.  Some announcements will be made at the January 25 regents’ meeting that will be historic in regard to endowed chairs.  [Note: He announced the addition of seven new endowed faculty positions, bringing the total to 403.]  Two things make for a great university:  the excellence of the faculty and the excellence of the students. 


ACT scores for first-time freshmen show the progress we have made.  We have jumped an entire cohort, three ACT points, adjusted to the new system, over the past 15 years.  The average ACT for first-time freshmen is 25.8.  He said the higher caliber of students contributes much to the classroom experience.  He spoke briefly on the tragic death of Paul Shanor, an OU student.  He said that he was a remarkable student, the kind of young person that does everything you hope someone will do. 


Turning to topics the Senate Executive Committee asked him to discuss, President Boren said the budget priority will be the same as last year: a meaningful compensation program for faculty and staff.  It will be a challenge, even in a year when the state has more revenue.  To have a 3-4 percent salary increase, the higher education budget would need a $90 million increase.  The state regents take about $15 million off the top of any appropriation, which would leave $75 million to go through the formula to the institutions.  OU would get $19-20 million.  President Boren has been meeting with the governor and other state leaders to show how OU is impacted by fixed costs.  The Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP) receives $12 million of the $15 million.  It is wonderful news that more high school students have the opportunity to become college graduates.  However, more and more students come through OHLAP every year.  The chancellor said if we could find another funding source for OHLAP, the money would not have to come out of the higher education appropriation.  OHLAP should not be viewed as just the responsibility of higher education.  It benefits common education as well, and it is the state’s responsibility.  We will try to keep a tuition increase under 7 percent.  Officially, the state regents have asked for an additional $126 million.  If OHLAP is funded, higher education could receive an increase in the $78-80 million range.  The OU Board of Regents is committed to making faculty and staff compensation our number one priority.  President Boren said he will need help working with the legislature and will develop materials for faculty to use in presentations to legislators.


Wagner Hall, the new academic services building, is going up where the OU Press was.  Improvements will be made to Gould Hall for the College of Architecture.  Wagner Hall will have space for University College and more space for advisors.  We have been adding advisors in University College and the other colleges to bring us in line with the number of advisors per student in the Big 12.  Our graduation rate, which is less than 60 percent, ought to be 70 percent or higher, with the caliber programs we have.  For the first time this year, we are in the top 50 public universities in the U.S. News & World Reports rankings and are close to being in the top tier of public and private universities.  Wagner Hall will also include Gateway classrooms, break-out and study rooms, computer lab, Writing Center, Center for Student Advancement, Project Threshold, and the graduation office.  It will, in essence, be a 24-hour operation and will free up classroom space in other buildings. 


In an effort to deal with enrollment pressures, the President is looking at faculty teaching loads and what kind of incentives would be needed to encourage faculty to take on another two or three hours.  It is less expensive than hiring additional faculty because 35 percent of new faculty compensation goes toward benefits.  He said he would talk with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee about incentives for people who would like to stretch their teaching load.  President Boren said he appreciated the number of applications for Dream Courses this year.  Four proposals are funded per semester for bringing in outside speakers.  He hopes to be able to fund five.  He said we have had some incredibly inventive classes. 


We have several interim deans in place at the moment.  The policy for national searches is well laid out, with the majority of the search committee composed of faculty.  The President anticipates that the vast majority of searches for deans will follow the national search process.  Elevating an interim dean into the deanship should be done rarely.  In situations, however, where we have an ideal person, s/he should be elevated into the permanent position because it saves time, does not create as much uncertainty in the college, and is not as costly as a national search.  He will talk with the Senate Executive Committee about a process for elevating an interim to a permanent deanship.  At a minimum, the entire faculty of a college would be polled, the Provost and President would meet in person with the Committee(s) A, and the President would solicit comments from the faculty through the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.  The prevailing rule will be national searches. 


The President said he appreciated the work of the advisory committee that has looked at keeping classes as much as possible in the central campus.  Some of the discussion came up in light of the plans for a new chemistry building on the south campus.  It is likely to be three or four years until completion of the building.  He feels strongly that we should have a walking campus as much as possible.  We do not want to fragment the community by taking too many classes out of the central campus.  He does not know of any other plans in the future to do that.  The Weather Center, with its partnership with the federal government and others and its size, necessitated the relocation of Meteorology to the south campus.  There are no plans to site another building that far away that would involve students and faculty traveling back and forth on a regular basis.  Before siting another building on the research (south) campus, we would have full discussion with the Faculty Senate and appoint an advisory committee in advance.  He agrees with the committee that we should hold relocations to a minimum.  President Boren’s hope is to keep enrollment relatively stable, with any growth coming through retention, higher graduation rates, and some expansion of graduate programs.  When we finish with the proceeds of the May bond issue and supplemental work from a small amount of self bonding, the physical plant of the University should last us in good stead for a quarter of a century.  The footprint of the University should not grow to any large degree.  Some private sector spin offs from our research may occur in the research campus, but core classes will not be located out of central campus.  We have time to develop safe bicycle and walking paths.  The committee recommended that we look at energy efficiency.  In the near future, we will expand our fleet of compressed natural gas vehicles, build a CNG fueling station, and increase our dual fuel vehicles as well as electric vehicles.  We hope to have a walking and bicycle pathway, but also energy efficient vehicular use. 


We had a backlog of approximately $70 million in endowed chairs.  The legislature had passed a bond issue for human talent almost two years ago.  While it took awhile, the Supreme Court declared the $50 million bond issue constitutional; $44 million will come to OU for endowed positions.  That money is counted in the endowment figures reported earlier.  We still have a backlog of endowed chairs.  The giving for endowed positions had leveled out because the donors were not getting the match from the state.  So far, the state regents have allocated $11 million for next year, much of it going to OU. 


President Boren’s priorities are faculty and students.  In light of the bond issue and generous private gifts, it is not our priority to ask for funds for buildings now.  His goal is to raise $50 million for the scholarship and fellowship endowment, not in five years, as originally announced, but by the end of this calendar year.  We have raised about $30 million already.  We are losing a few students who do not have the financial opportunities.  If we reach the $50 million goal this year, his plan is to raise the goal to $75 million.  The second goal is to add at least 20 endowed chairs this calendar year and go above the 400 level.  As a three-year goal, the President wants OU to be among the public universities that have a billion dollar endowment.  He suggested that the University could raise money for scholarships, fellowships, and endowed positions by offering to affix the donor’s name in a prominent location or on an existing edifice that has no name.  He thanked the faculty for everything they do for the University every day and for the help, encouragement, and advice they share with him. 


Prof. Schwarzkopf asked about the best way to give private suggestions to President Boren.  President Boren said individuals could meet with him, talk to Vice President Nick Hathaway, or send him a confidential note.  Prof. Knapp asked for clarification of the top 50 ranking.  President Boren said we rank 50th in public universities in U.S. News & World Reports.  We are close to being in tier one of the top 100 public and private universities.  Some of the things that have hurt us are the graduation rate and faculty/student ratio.  Prof. Knapp noted that soon we could point with pride to the U.S. News & World Reports rankings.  We as a community ought to take great pride in going as far as we have, and it is an achievement of all of us.  President Boren said the sense of community on this campus is remarkable.  That we are close to the billion dollar endowment speaks of the confidence that people have in us.  It is a source of pride to him that the academic mission remains the core of what we are.





The Senate approved the nomination of W. Murray Tabb (Law) to complete the 2005-06 term of Thomas Dewers (Geology & Geophysics) on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Andrew Strout (Art) to complete the 2004-07 term of Nancy Barry (Music) on the Research Council. 





In the interest of time, Prof. Knapp suggested that the Academic Regulations Committee revised proposals ( concerning XX60, XX70, XX80, XX90 courses and the Central Campus Task Force report ( be postponed until the next meeting.  Prof. Knapp noted that he had shared the draft report of the Task Force on Central Campus Instruction with the President. 





The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2006, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


A. Steve Bradford, Secretary