JOURNAL OF THE FACULTY SENATE The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)Regular session - October 13, 1997 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102

office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206 phone: 325-6789 FAX: 325-6782e-mail: web site:

The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Connie Dillon, Chair.

PRESENT: Albert, Badhwar, Beasley, Benson, Blank, Butler, Dillon, Durica, Edwards, Egle, Eliason, Elisens, Emery, Engel, Friedrich, Fung, Gabert, Gilje, Gronlund, Harper, Hobbs, Holmes, Joyce, Konopak, Laird, Lancaster, Livesey, Murphy, Norwood, Okediji, Pailes, Palmer, Patten, Patterson, Rasmussen, Ratliff, Reynolds, Scherman, Schwarzkopf, Shaughnessy, Sipes, St.John, Stoltenberg, Thulasiraman, VanGundy, Vieux, Wahl, Warner, Watts

Provost's office representative: Mergler

PSA representatives: Pyle

ABSENT: Greene, Gupta, Hillyer, Robertson




1997-98 campus departmental review panel 1

Search committee, College of Engineering dean 2

Graduate Assistant health insurance 2

Faculty forum on post-tenure review 2

Conflict of interest policy 2

Revisions in Continuing Education and Public Service Council charge 2

Triennial reapportionment of Faculty Senate seats for 1998-01 2

Proposed post-tenure review policy 2



The Senate Journal for the regular session of September 8, 1997, was approved.


The following faculty will serve on the 1997-98 Campus Departmental Review Panel: Samuel Lee (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Steven Livesey (History of Science), William Patten (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering), Joe Rodgers (Psychology), and Baxter Vieux (Civil Engineering and Environmental Science). The panel will also include three deans and Dr. Ed Sankowski (Philosophy), Provost Office Coordinator. Eight units will be reviewed this year: Botany and Microbiology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Geography, Geology and Geophysics, Mathematics, Meteorology, Physics and Astronomy, and Zoology.

Prof. Linda Wallace (Botany and Microbiology) was nominated by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to replace Prof. Michelle Hanna (Chemistry and Biochemistry) as the faculty-at-large member on the College of Engineering dean search committee (see 11/96 Senate Journal, page 2).

The Graduate Student Senate approved a resolution thanking the Faculty Senate for its role in the establishment of the Graduate Assistant health insurance subsidy (see 3/97 Senate Journal, page 3).

A faculty forum on the proposed post-tenure review policy will be held Wednesday, October29, at 3:30 p.m. in Adams Hall 150. Prof. Dillon encouraged the senators to attend and to urge their faculty colleagues to attend. The Faculty Senate will vote on the proposed policy at its November or December meeting.

Any thoughts or concerns pertaining to the implementation of the conflict of interest policy should be sent to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (


Prof. Dillon noted two significant factors in the revisions in the charge of the Continuing Education and Public Service Council: removal of public service from the charge and elimination of the two outside members. Prof. Irv Wagner, past chair of the council, explained that the proposed charge reflects what the council has been doing. The proposed charge (Appendix I) was unanimously approved on a voice vote.


Every three years the Faculty Senate is reapportioned. The recommendation of the ad hoc committee, co-chaired by Professors Gary Copeland (Political Science) and Al Schwarzkopf (Management), is that the same apportionment be retained for 1998-01 (Appendix II). Prof. Schwarzkopf said the procedure had been in place for several years. There have been some changes in the faculty count, but the percentages worked out so that there is no change in the allocation. The apportionment is proportional, except the College of Liberal Studies and the Graduate College get one seat because they are degree-recommending divisions. Following some questions about representation from the Graduate College and College of Liberal Studies, Prof. Schwarzkopf pointed out that both colleges have always had a seat, and including those two seats, the Senate has 50 members. The recommendation was unanimously approved on a voice vote. The Senate's decision will be considered by the general faculty.


The proposed post-tenure review policy was attached to the September agenda and mailed to all faculty September 12. Dean Paul Bell, Prof. Susan Vehik, and Prof. Roger Rideout from the task force were present. See also last month's discussion (9/97 Senate Journal, page 3). Prof. Dillon suggested that any discussion about whether to have a post-tenure review or not be postponed until we see what the final version will look like. The Senate will not vote on the policy until after the forum October 29. Prof. Friedrich noted that the September/October issue of Academe had a good report on post-tenure review. [Note: Academe is available in the Faculty Senate office, and the report mentioned is on the Faculty Senate's web site under Current Issues--Post-Tenure Review: AAUP.]

Prof. Vieux commented that the composite rating for annual evaluations is not really a numerical average, yet the policy is based on a hard numerical rating of 2.0. Prof. Dillon said, "That's correct. It's criterion-based." At some point, qualitative criteria become numerical. Prof. Engel mentioned that at the last meeting, the Provost said she would provide average numerical ratings for the last five years. Prof. Dillon said she had not been given those data. Prof. Mergler noted that the Faculty Senate had urged that we not make comparisons across departments. Prof. Scherman observed that in his department, a 2.0 means a person is doing well and does not need professional development. He said there should be some guidance as to what a 2.0 means because it varies from department to department. Prof. Dillon reminded the group that the Faculty Senate had voted last year on what those numbers mean. A 2.0 means "marginal."

Prof. Wahl said he was concerned that since this occurs every five years, one could lose four years of good performance if one is in disfavor with the chair. He asked whether this was the most powerful way to develop people. He suggested that an external evaluation could eliminate any vulnerability to politics. If someone is not measuring up, s/he would be given guidance. Prof. Holmes asked whether the concern was that this focuses on faculty development for those who have not performed well in the past five years. Prof. Wahl said that was correct.

Prof. Norwood said he was uncomfortable with this plan because the method of evaluation is flawed in many cases. For example, in some departments, student evaluations, which may not be good indicators, count 50%. Someone can have low results for that reason. Also, there is no way to check the accuracy of the computer-generated numbers. He said he would like to see reform before this is approved. This policy could lead to persecution of minority faculty. Prof. Dillon said one of the key factors is having well-defined and communicated criteria to try to protect arbitrariness.

Prof. Wahl asked whether this would be applied retroactively to faculty who received tenure under a different agreement. Prof. Bell said the policy would apply to all faculty. Prof. Wahl said faculty would believe that is a betrayal of their contract agreement. Dean Bell said he would need to ask Legal Counsel, but he did not think this would change the employment contract. The review uses the evaluation system that is already in place and is based on an average. Prof. Gana Okediji said if the unit is living up to the contract and the annual evaluation is based on that, then faculty would be protected.

Prof. Fung asked about the additional amount of work required. Dean Bell answered that faculty would have to provide three items: self-evaluation, updated vitae, and copies of sabbatical leave reports. The only additional item for the review is the self-evaluation. Prof. St. John commented that people who score four or five consistently should not have to file additional paperwork. Prof. Friedrich pointed out that the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) guidelines suggest that post-tenure review should initially be set up on a trial basis and should be evaluated with respect to its effectiveness in supporting faculty development and redressing problems of faculty performance. Prof. Dillon explained that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee had made recommendations to the task force based on the AAUP guidelines. That was one of the recommendations, but it was not included in the policy. Dean Bell said a trial basis is not usually written into a document, because any policy can be changed.

Prof. Friedrich asked about making resources available for professional development. Dean Bell answered that it was not within the task force purview to provide any financial commitments. Resources could be negotiated at the point of the professional development plan. Prof. Friedrich asked about recognition for demonstrated high or improved performance. Dean Bell said that was not in this policy.

Prof. Schwarzkopf wanted to know the formal sequence of steps under which someone would be denied tenure. Dean Bell said there is nothing in this policy that would lead to that. Abrogation of tenure is not an automatic result of this policy. Prof. Holmes asked if the administration could initiate abrogation of tenure if a faculty member received 2.0 two years in a row. Dean Bell said the administration could initiate proceedings any time it believed a faculty member was not fulfilling his/her contract. All this policy does is try to help faculty improve. It does, however, create a paper trail.

Prof. Holmes asked Dean Bell to clarify what benefits the majority of the faculty would receive who do not fall into the low performance category. Dean Bell said he could only speculate on the benefits. Many units are using annual evaluation well: helping faculty to develop. For those departments, post-tenure review is an opportunity to demonstrate that faculty are performing well. For those who are just assigning a number, post-tenure review will force them to do something in a more formal way. It will force conversations to occur between faculty and the leadership of the department, which is the key to making faculty successful. Prof. Benson mentioned that one of the grounds for abrogation of tenure is the failure to fulfill professional responsibilities. Every faculty member who reads this policy will be anxious about abrogation of tenure. He moved that the document and Faculty Handbook be amended to make it clear that the University has the burden of proof in such an abrogation proceeding, even if a faculty member fails to meet expectations. Otherwise, the language could be interpreted as putting the burden of proof on a faculty member to defend his/her tenure.

[1] Under section 3.X.8 of the policy, add the following statement at the end of the paragraph: "In tenure abrogation proceedings, the University retains the burden of persuasion to show sustained failure to meet institutional and professional expectations or other just cause of dismissal."

[2] Add the following sentence to section 3.9.1(i)(6) of the Faculty Handbook: "In abrogation of tenure hearings, the University has the burden of persuasion to establish sustained failure to perform or other just cause of dismissal."

Prof. Van Gundy asked about the distinction between "persuasion" and "proof." Prof. Benson said the key is to make clear who the complainant is. Prof. Gana Okediji explained that burden of proof encompasses both burden of production and burden of persuasion. "Persuasion" is by more than 49%. Prof. Pat Weaver-Meyers, past Senate chair and member of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the State Regents, remarked that it is the University that initiates abrogation of tenure, and the University has the burden of proof. Prof. Benson noted that section 3.8.4 of the Faculty Handbook states that abrogation is brought by the president. Prof. Dillon added that lot of concern was expressed by the chairs at a recent Big 12 meeting as to who would be the complainant. Prof. Benson observed that failing the faculty development plan may lead to the initiation of abrogation of tenure, and the results can be used as evidence in such a procedure. It could look like it is up to the faculty member to prove s/he did not fail the plan. We should guarantee that the faculty member does not have the burden of proof. Prof. Wahl said it sounded like a good thing to do, but he would like to take the amendment back to his faculty colleagues. The motion to table the amendment was approved on a voice vote.

Prof. Hobbs reported on the comments from her department. Two positive comments were that the proposal conforms to AAUP standards and did not seem too burdensome. One of the problems is the link to punishments but not to rewards. It raises the stakes of annual evaluations and places more attention on faculty instead of students. Evaluations are post-tenure review. When something is added to current evaluations, then something else should be removed. We only have evaluation criteria for one-year periods. Is this the best way to develop faculty? This will not get out of faculty what we want to get out.

Prof. Stoltenberg asked about the two-year review. Dean Bell replied that an early review is triggered after two consecutive years of poor performance. Some task force members thought this would lead to efforts to get the person back up to expectations. In those cases, we should not wait five years. Prof. Stoltenberg said it is likely that someone with a 2.0 at the end of five years would be in trouble earlier. Prof. Bell noted that under the early review, it is possible to postpone the review a year. Prof. Stoltenberg observed that the review would be automatic unless a request was made to extend. Dean Bell said that request is up to Committee A. Dean Bell said there have not been many individuals with less than a 2.0 two years in a row. Prof. Palmer asked why we are trying to put a policy in effect that does not affect many faculty; is it just to appease the legislature? She said we have the information already to abrogate someone's tenure.

Prof. Rideout explained that all faculty will be reviewed every five years. Only if someone's rating is 2.0 for two years in a row will s/he be reviewed quicker. Prof. Holmes said he was confused because the five-year policy seems to have no effect except to require a gathering of data, which is already in place. There is no reward for those who have done well and no penalty, because they would have been caught at the two- or three-year point. Prof. Rideout agreed that there is no incentive for doing well other than what is already present in annual reviews. Prof. Holmes said the only advantage is faculty will have an opportunity to talk with elected faculty who have not spoken to them in five years. Prof. Palmer said part of the confusion is that the five-year review is based on the one-year review. Prof. Patterson said her department was concerned about the impact on the workload of Committee A. A second concern was whether there were financial impacts connected with the resources made available to faculty who need the professional development.

Prof. Schwarzkopf asked who would hear an appeal from a faculty member who was up for an early review. Prof. Benson answered that all appeals go to the Faculty Appeals Board, but it is not clear what the faculty member would be appealing. Annual evaluations can be appealed at any point. Prof. Wahl asked whether abrogation of tenure could be exercised after two years or five years. Dean Bell said abrogation of tenure can be instituted at any point the president believes there is sufficient evidence. Under the proposal, an individual would have two years of bad performance and three years of development, so normally five years would elapse before initiation.

Prof. Patten said many faculty do not have enough confidence in the Chair/Committee A relationship and would prefer an intermediate process, like the Campus Tenure Committee, to judge the procedural correctness. Prof. Palmer said there is also the problem of having non-tenured faculty on Committee A.

Prof. Livesey said faculty are concerned about what they will gain from this. A small department will cycle faculty through Committee A regularly and will have well-established lines of communication. Referring to section 3.X.7 (creation of professional development plan), he said the fact that the board that evaluates faculty is the same one that creates the plan may not be in the best interest of the faculty. It might be better to have a separate board create the plan. Prof. Wahl said the most senior faculty in his area were concerned that this could lead to deteriorated recruiting.

Prof. Sipes said he was disappointed in the conversation. He said we are spending more time talking about the negative aspects rather than how it will raise our ability. If a red flag would have come up for very few people, then we need to go in with the idea of how this will benefit us. Prof. Benson said it is important not to think of this as an average. It should not be the case that any policy guarantees that 25% are not performing adequately. Prof. Van Gundy remarked that many philosophical and procedural questions were unresolved. For example, can faculty choose the five-year period?

Prof. Fung said he was concerned that post-tenure review would bring additional work to Committee A. He asked whether the suggestion would be considered that faculty who have done well will be exempted from additional documentation. Prof. Dillon said anything brought up as an amendment will be considered. She encouraged senators to bring faculty to the forum, clarify amendments for the next Faculty Senate meeting, check out the Faculty Senate web site, and look at the latest issue of Academe.

Prof. Hobbs asked about setting up a web board where faculty could post comments. Prof. Dillon said she had checked into that, but there was concern about password protection. This is an internal debate right now, but that would open the discussion to the world. Prof. Palmer asked what other universities are doing. Prof. Dillon replied that the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) had reviewed practices of others (available from the Faculty Senate office), and Texas A&M's policy is on the web site. The AAHE document gives examples of good policies and their impact, but it does not say who has not implemented a policy and the reasons. Prof. Patten noted that Virginia Tech adopted the Kentucky model, which is similar to ours.

Prof. Eliason commented that one of the main points in the AAUP red book is the importance of faculty involvement in faculty evaluation and development. We should have some protection so that this is not just an administrative task. This could be an opportunity for faculty to have a role in determining the outcome. In his department, Committee A has been very effective. Prof. Dillon commended the senators for bringing input from faculty at large and communicating with them.


The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30p.m. on Monday, November 10, 1997, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Trent Gabert, Secretary


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Appendix I



TO: Faculty Senate

FROM: Irv Wagner, Chair

DATE: May 9, 1997

SUBJECT Continuing Education and Public Service (CE&PS) Council

As a result of discussions held by the CE&PS Council, following is submitted as a revised name and charge for the Council.



PURPOSE: The Continuing Education Council (CEC) works with and supports the Vice Provost for Outreach and Distance Education/Dean of the College of Continuing Education, and reports to the Faculty Senate on matters concerning continuing education. The Council provides a forum for faculty and administrators to discuss all aspects of lifelong learning as it impacts the University of Oklahoma. It also serves an advocacy role in raising the level of campus discussion on such issues as:

The CEC serves a proactive role in providing information about outreach and lifelong learning to the Faculty Senate, the Provost's office, and the President's office and directing campus dialog regarding these issues. In addition, the CEC provides substantive input and acts as a constructive sounding board for the Vice Provost and College of Continuing Education staff regarding outreach, distance education, and lifelong learning programs and activities. Finally, the CEC serves as a liaison between the President's office, the College of Continuing Education, and the faculty and staff, providing effective communication between these and other campus groups.

TO: Faculty Senate

FROM: Irv Wagner, Chair

Continuing Education Council

DATE: August 27, 1997

SUBJECT: Addendum regarding the Continuing Education Council (CEC)

This addendum pertains to the committee membership on the Continuing Education Council and should be considered along with the request for a change in name and charge.

The council recommends that the practice of having two outside members on the council should be eliminated. This decision was reached due to the following:

  1. The outside members on the council rarely if ever attended the meetings.
    1. The outside members were unclear as to their role on the council and had difficulty understanding the kinds of problems faced by the College of Continuing Education.
    1. More involvement of outside people is needed in the College of Continuing Education, but a better plan than having outside people on the council is to have a Board of Visitors for the College or to have a forum of people who are clients of shareholders (those who utilize the services) of the College.

    Thank you.


    Appendix II


    To: Faculty Senate,

    Connie Dillon, Chair

    From: Ad Hoc Committee on Reapportionment

    Gary Copeland

    Al Schwarzkopf

    Date: October 6, 1997

    Subj Faculty Senate Reapportionment for 1998-2001

    Pursuant to the guidelines provided in the Faculty Handbook we propose the attached reapportionment for the next triennial, 1998-2001. Figures for the number of current faculty were provided by the Office of Institutional Research. The numbers reflect the tenured and tenure track faculty on the payroll for the Fall of 1997. Figures for previous years are derived from reports by previous ad hoc committees on reapportionment.

    Our recommendation is attached in Table 1 under the column labeled "Proposed Apportionment (50 Seats)." We have utilized the same formula as the previous four reapportionments (at least). We began by allocating one seat each to the Graduate College and to Liberal Studies, as required by the Handbook. Of the remaining 48 seats we allocated them on a straight percentage basis.

    Following tradition we have included separate allocations for the University Libraries faculty and for ROTC faculty. Each receives one seat under the proposal. If they were combined into a single category of non-degree granting divisions (as called for by the Handbook), the two (combined) would receive two seats. There is, then, no net change in allocations. The difference is that each faculty is guaranteed a representative under the proposal.

    Tables 2 and 3 are provided solely for information purposes. They show trends in the number of faculty and in the allocation of seats. You might note that the proposed apportionment reflects no change from the current apportionment.

    TABLE 1


    ARCHITECTURE 26 3.5 1.68 2 2
    ARTS AND SCIENCES 362 48.4 23.23 23 23
    EDUCATION 51 6.8 3.26 3 3
    ENGINEERING 91 12.2 5.86 6 6
    FINE ARTS 67 9.0 4.32 4 4
    GEOSCIENCES 44 5.9 2.83 3 3
    LAW 31 4.1 1.97 2 2
    UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES 16 2.1 1.01 1 1
    ROTC 13 1.7 .82 1 1
    TOTAL 748 100 48 48 50

    TABLE 2


    UNIT 1986 1989 1991 1994 1997
    ARCHITECTURE 24 20 26 24 26
    ARTS AND SCIENCES 346 292 356 338 362
    EDUCATION 34 32 49 51 51
    ENGINEERING 92 81 85 89 91
    FINE ARTS 70 61 64 62 67
    GEOSCIENCES 41 33 37 44 44
    LAW 24 24 33 29 31
    UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES 15 15 21 10 16
    ROTC 17 13 14 13 13
    TOTAL 729 625 731 706 748

    TABLE 3


    UNIT 1986 1989 1991 1994 1997
    ARCHITECTURE 2 2 2 2 2
    ARTS AND SCIENCES 22 22 23 23 23
    EDUCATION 2 2 3 3 3
    ENGINEERING 6 6 6 6 6
    FINE ARTS 5 5 4 4 4
    GEOSCIENCES 3 3 3 3 3
    LAW 2 2 2 2 2
    ROTC 1 1 1 1 1
    GRADUATE COLLEGE 1 1 1 1 1
    LIBERAL STUDIES 1 1 1 1 1
    TOTAL 50 50 50 50 50