The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session –
December 8, 2003 - 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 Mike McInerney, Chair.


PRESENT:       Baldwin, Bozorgi, Bradford, Brady, Brown, Burns, Catlin, Cintrón, Davis, Devenport, Dohrmann, Fincke, Hartel, Havlicek, Hayes-Thumann, Henderson, Houser, Huseman, C. Knapp, R. Knapp, Marcus-Mendoza, McInerney, Mendoza, Milton, Pender, Raadschelders, Rai, Ransom, Rupp-Serrano, Schramm, Sievers, Striz, Watts, Wheeler, Whitely, Wyckoff, Yuan

Provost's office representative:  Mergler

ABSENT:         Abraham, Caldwell, Dewers, Ferreira, Forman, Frech, Kauffman, Liu, Megginson, Morrissey, Newman, Penrose, Russell, Scherman, Sharp






Assessment, program outcomes assessment, and student satisfaction reports

Spring 2004 schedule of Faculty Senate meetings

Remarks by Graduate College Dean Lee Williams

Presentation on OU chapter of the American Cancer Society

Senate Chair's Report:

Health benefits

Faculty development award

Student academic integrity statement

Faculty appointment letters

Course exchange program

Research compliance

Faculty length of service awards

Faculty Senate reapportionment

Faculty compensation program

Regents’ policy manual

Renewable term faculty

Research Council charge

Password sharing policy

Election, councils/committees/boards

Benefit deductions






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of November 10, 2003 was approved.





The 2002-03 assessment report, program outcomes assessment report, and student satisfaction report are available in the Faculty Senate office.


The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for spring 2004 will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson 102 on the following Mondays:  January 12, February 9, March 8, April 12, and May 3.





Graduate College Dean Lee Williams gave an overview of the programs for graduate student support (  He said the Graduate College web site -- -- had all the information he would cover at this meeting.  The Funding Opportunities tab shows the different kinds of funding, such as the Army ROTC and the Fulbright program.  The Community of Scholars has awards and opportunities for faculty as well.  Travel and research grants are also available for graduate students. 


Some fellowships are discipline-specific, such as the American Meteorological Society, DeGolyer, and Phillips, and other fellowships are offered in individual departments.  The National Science Foundation has a number of fellowships for students in physical, social, engineering, and biological sciences.  The McNair program provides very structured support through the final years of students’ undergraduate program, with the goal of having them attend graduate school.  The Graduate College will provide fellowships for McNair fellows who are recruited here.  There is a fellowship named in honor of former Graduate College dean Ken Hoving and a Wethington scholarship, which provides awards for students in certain disciplines who come from a particular part of Oklahoma.  The larger ones are the alumni fellowships and foundation fellowships.  The alumni fellowships, funded by the alumni association, provide add-on awards of $2500 for a master’s student and $5000 for a doctoral student.  Three years ago, President Boren started the Foundation fellowships, and the OU Foundation provides $250,000 a year in funding.  The idea is to provide not just a stipend, but things like tuition waiver, health insurance subsidy, research support, travel support, and reduced load semester.  A number of departments participate, and others can talk with the Graduate College about developing a program.  The Graduate College assembles a package of support from different sources to give the department a more competitive package.  The department must develop a business plan for identifying students, measuring the quality of the students, and recruiting students and also must do a competitive market analysis to find out the kind of package it will take to be competitive.  The department writes a one-paragraph progress report every year on each student to let the president and the Foundation know about the excellent students they are helping to support.


We have two kinds of tuition waivers:  the Qualified Graduate Assistant and the fellowship.  The Graduate College has a $5.6 million budget for tuition remission; however the budget is not enough to cover all eligible students or the increase in tuition cost.  In FY 03, a charge was initiated on research grants to cover part of the tuition waiver.  The graduate waiver budget is now indexed to tuition, but not only is the cost of tuition going up, we have more students coming in.  Last year, the actual value of the tuition remission amounted to 27 percent of the stipend; this year it is 35 percent.  The number of graduate assistants (GAs) this year is up by about 10 percent, which means it will cost an extra $500,000-600,000 to provide tuition waivers.  Currently, we give graduate students six hours of in-state and nine hours of out-of-state remission.  A full-time load for a graduate student on an assistantship is six hours.  One possibility is to reduce the out-of-state waiver from nine hours to six hours.  Another option is to lock in the number of GAs and require new GA lines to cover the full cost of the waiver (35 percent).


Prof. Milton said he was opposed to reducing the number of hours of out-of-state tuition because his department requires students to take nine hours.  If the University does not pay for those hours, his department will not get any out-of-state students.  Prof. Raadschelders asked whether the increase in the number of graduate assistants referred to teaching assistants.  Dean Williams said it referred to total GAs.  Prof. Raadschelders pointed out that some assistants are funded out of grants.  Dean Williams said we currently charge grants seven percent toward the tuition.  At other universities, it ranges from not charging grants to requiring grants to pay the full cost of the waiver.  Provost Mergler asked about the average or median percentage of waiver that is charged to a grant or contract.  Dean Williams said his sense was that grants were paying more than they did two years ago, but he had not done a systematic survey.  To some extent, we have to set our support package so we are competitive.


Prof. Watts asked whether the discretionary waiver was for students who had less than a half-time appointment.  Dean Williams said it was, but it also was for students who were particularly worthy or had a need.  Three years ago, the program was dropped because of budget problems.  Prof. Watts asked why the University only offered full waivers now.  Dean Williams said it was for financial reasons. 


Prof. Striz said he was told that appointments had to be processed in November for students who begin in January.  Dean Williams replied that appointing a student early assured that the tuition waiver could be applied to their Bursar account by the time classes begin. 


Prof. Devenport asked whether there was any plan in the future to phase out the assessment on research grants.  Dean Williams answered, “No.”  The assessment should be large enough to cover the cost of tuition waivers; however, a full recovery would cripple the competitiveness of grants.  Right now, the seven percent is on the low side of the average.  Prof. Devenport asked, “How best do we compensate?”  Dean Williams said the best way was to pay the students a higher stipend.  If faculty assumed tuition would rise an average of ten percent and would write a ten percent increase for a GA into a grant, then Dean William would not have to change the percentage he charges.  In many cases, the stipend on a grant is well below what the agency expects to be charged.  A higher stipend means a larger base on which the university can recover costs.  He urged departments to pay GRAs what the market would bear and then use that mechanism to try to improve the situation for GTAs.  He said we needed to recognize that we are state-assisted and had to make the rest ourselves. 





Ms. Becca Eckstein, President of the OU chapter of the American Cancer Society, said she started the OU chapter three years ago.  The Relay for Life is the national signature event of the society to raise money to fight cancer.  It is a 12-hour event that will take place April 23 at 7:00 p.m. on the south oval.  Anyone in the OU community can participate.  People choose 8-15 member teams, and at least one member must be walking during the night.  The event includes bands, comedians, games, and food.  Cancer survivors walk the first lap.  At about 11:00 p.m., a luminary service is held to honor cancer survivors or victims.  The past two years, OU was the number one university-based relay in Oklahoma.  The goal this year is to raise $100,000.  She said she was trying to get faculty and staff involved in teams.  This is the first year as a UOSA-recognized event.  Team captain kickoffs will be held this week and early next semester.  Everyone on a team pays a $10 commitment fee, and the national fundraising goal for every participant is $100.  Ms. Eckstein distributed fliers and business cards. 



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Mike McInerney


“I would like to inform the Senate of a potential conflict of interest that I may have regarding the upcoming Request for Proposals on health care. My wife works for an insurance agency in Oklahoma City that manages several large health care companies. The owner of the agency is often involved as an owner of these companies as well. Thus, there may be a possibility that my wife’s company or the owner would respond to the request for proposals. I have notified legal counsel of this potential conflict. They have advised me to notify you of this loose connection. I have also notified the executive committee and Julius Hilburn of this potential conflict. Legal counsel has advised me that I may stay involved in the discussion, but to refrain from voting on the matter. I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of my situation before the request for proposals goes out.


“I have talked with Nick Kelly and Julius Hilburn about the request for proposal. It has been discussed with the employment benefits committee and the faculty welfare committee. Faculty members from these groups will be involved in reviewing the proposals when they are received. The request for proposals will be sent out on January 5, 2004 with a due date of February 15, 2004. We will keep the Senate informed of the progress of this request.


“Last week, members of the Faculty Welfare Committee, Nick Kelly, Julius Hilburn and other interested parties met with representatives from Health Choice to discuss some of our concerns regarding out of state and international coverage. This is a new problem for Health Choice, but they stated that they were committed to developing a national/international plan. They feel confident that they will have a plan in effect by January, 2005. In the meantime they will work on finding a more immediate solution to this problem. If an individual has critical health problems that require out of state care, they said to contact their office. They review these types of cases individually to see if there is an acceptable in-network provider or to make arrangements with the out-of-state provider about costs and fees. However, it is important that this be done before treatment begins.


“The Faculty Welfare Committee will send out a survey requesting information on faculty experiences with Health Choice and problems with out-of-state coverage. This information will be transmitted to Health Choice so that they can improve coverage so that it better fits the needs of our faculty.


“The announcement about the Faculty Development Award was sent to chairs and directors last week. The due date for submission of proposals is February 2, 2004. We have established an account in the Faculty Senate office to disburse the money based on the review committee’s recommendations. Please make sure that your colleagues are aware of this opportunity. These awards can be for teaching or for research.  I would like to thank Jim Davis for his effort in establishing the committee that will oversee this task.


“The Student Congress and the Graduate Student Senate have passed the student integrity code. Academic integrity is fundamental to our mission and we commend both bodies for their efforts in improving the quality of the educational experience at OU. The executive committee talked to the Provost about implementation of the policy. We will work with the Provost and representatives of the student government to develop an implementation plan that will be easy to use. I have also volunteered to serve as a liaison to the student honor council to provide faculty input into the implementation process.


“There have been a few questions regarding appointment letters, which have not as yet been sent out. Provost Mergler said that these letters will be sent out shortly.


“The students have implemented a reciprocal course exchange program where students can swap enrollment in high demand courses. I have talked to the Provost about potential problems that may occur with this system. Her office is already monitoring this activity to make sure that the system is implemented appropriately.


“There have been some concerns raised about the Public Relations office reviewing proposals after the Institutional Review Board has approved the research. Laurette Taylor, who is the chair of the Institutional Review Board, met with Debra Chionopoulos, Director of Compliance, and Joe Harroz, Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the University. They have agreed that the only recruiting materials that will go to Public Relations will be newspaper ads, TV scripts, etc. used to recruit off campus. Educational information on copyright requirements as related to research will be provided to researchers as an attachment to the IRB application materials. A check off box will be included in the application to verify that faculty members have read the requirements and are in compliance with them. They will no longer have to have permission letters or documentation beyond the signed assurance statement.


“The Faculty Compensation Committee is drafting a memo to Provost with their recommendations for recognition for faculty length of service.


“Given the change to PeopleSoft, the easiest way for the reapportionment of the Senate will be by Faculty Time Equivalent rather than by headcount. I don’t believe that this will cause any problems, but I will ask the committee to review this to make sure.  A recommendation on reapportionment will be made to the senate in the spring.


“As you may have seen in the newspaper, President Boren made a presentation to the General Conference Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Education concerning the increased funding that OU will need to provide for faculty and staff raises. He is requesting funds for a four percent raise for the next fiscal year. To achieve this raise, tuition increases may also be necessary. The faculty compensation committee is developing recommendations concerning the faculty compensation program that address the issues of compression and inversion. We will discuss these recommendations with the Provost and the President as planning of the compensation program proceeds. Let us know the concerns of your constituents regarding this matter.


“The Board of Regents at their December meeting approved several sections of the Regents’ Policy Manual. In consultation with David Levy, I recommended that sections 1, 5, 6 and 7 be placed on the Regents’ December agenda. Section 1 deals with the functions of the universities under the oversight of the Board and the functions of the Board itself. Section 5 deals with student affairs and the university community. Section 6 deals with athletics and Section 7 deals with fund raising and university development. The Task Force that reviewed the Regents’ Policy Manual last year did not have any concerns or questions with sections 1, 5, and 7. The committee did have a question about section 6 on athletics regarding reference to Faculty Senate Policy on final examinations. This matter was discussed with Joe Castiglione, Director of Athletes, Dan Gibbens, the faculty NCAA representative, Trent Gabert, the chair of the Athletics Council, David Levy, chair of the committee to review the Regents’ Policy manual, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Provost Mergler and Legal Counsel. Additional wording to the policy manual was included that includes policies adopted by the Athletics Council and references the appropriate Faculty Senate policies. It was important that Section 6 be placed on the December Regent’s agenda to be in compliance with NCAA regulations.


“David Levy’s committee that is reviewing the Regents’ Policy Manual met with the Provost before Thanksgiving break. They have resolved the numerous questions and concerns that the committee identified. The Provost is working on editing the Manual to include these changes. I expect that this task will progress to a point where David Levy can make a report to the Senate at our January meeting.


“The Committee on Renewable Term Faculty met last week and will be drafting a resolution that hopefully will be brought to the Senate at our January meeting. It is likely that the resolution will recommend that renewable term faculty with rank of assistant professor, associate professor and professor be designated as regular faculty. This would allow these individuals to serve in the Senate and the appropriate university committees. I should note that the Provost has set a limit on the number of renewable term faculty on the Norman campus. This is in the Regents’ Policy manual. The limit is that the number of renewable term faculty cannot exceed 10 percent of the tenured and tenure-track faculty.”





The Research Council proposed the following changes in its charge (see 11/03 Senate Journal).

[1] Add a 13th faculty member to be appointed by the Senate from the College of Fine Arts.

[2] Add the following sentence immediately after the first sentence of the last paragraph.  "If a member of the Council is nominated for a research professorship considered by the Research Council, the member must either have his/her name withdrawn from nomination or resign from the Council for the remainder of his/her term."


Prof. Hugh Benson, chair of the Research Council, said these were reasonably small changes.  The second recommendation was what occurs in the Faculty Awards and Honors Council.  The only two awards currently considered by the Research Council are the Cross and Rinsland, but they were not specified in case the Research Council considers additional research professorships in the future.  The other change is to add a member in order to have input on fine arts proposals.  Currently eight members are appointed by the Faculty Senate and four are presidential appointments.  Two members each are chosen from six areas.  The council thought it would be helpful to have an additional member so nobody would lose any representation.  This recommendation comes from the Research Council, not the College of Fine Arts.  The goal of the Research Council is to get faculty the money they need to do their research.  The motion to accept the recommendations was approved on a voice vote.  With the change, the charge would read:

Fine Arts (1 member)

Humanities and Arts:  Classics, English, Fine Arts, History, History of Science, Modern Languages, and Philosophy

Individuals recommended for Council membership should be currently active in either research, scholarship, or creative activities.  If a member of the Council is nominated for a research professorship considered by the Research Council, the member must either have his/her name withdrawn from nomination or resign from the Council for the remainder of his/her term.  The above representation will be review by the Council every 3 years.





The Information Technology Council (ITC) proposed the following policy on password sharing (see 11/03 Senate Journal). 


The University of Oklahoma holds as one of its highest values and as a primary basis of the academic community the right of faculty, staff, and students to explore and develop knowledge. The University considers it a violation of this value policy to falsely represent oneself as another individual, to use the name or identity of another person without authorization as that individual's delegated agent, or to present oneself as the spokesperson of an organization or unit without proper authorization to do so.

Password Policy

Accounts and passwords are given to individuals for individual use and should not ordinarily be shared, except when necessary to accomplish the mission of the University. If a password has to be shared, it should be changed as soon as possible.


Observance of this policy and adherence to the rules of good practice in use of user IDs and passwords does not imply or suggest privacy in use of the information resources included in University computing systems and networks. The University policy on privacy in electronic communication is found in the Policy on Email Use at the University of Oklahoma and in the Policy on Information Systems Security. Enforcement of this policy is detailed in these documents.


Prof. Deborah Trytten, chair of the ITC subcommittee on policy, explained that last year, the ITC delayed including a password sharing policy in the acceptable use of information resources policy because the issue was so contentious.  This proposal is not the council’s dream policy.  Disallowing password sharing makes system administration simpler and makes it simpler for Legal Counsel to prosecute people who, for instance, break into accounts.  The difficulty with completely disallowing password sharing is it requires significant training of faculty and staff, and there is no money for training.  It is unreasonable to have a policy that people would essentially be breaking every day.  ITC made a commitment to try to beef up the policy as training resources grow and the sophistication of faculty and staff regarding information technology (IT) security grows.  Prof. Trytten explained that since we do not have a policy against sharing passwords, it is virtually impossible for Legal Counsel to prosecute someone who sends out a defamatory or threatening e-mail.  ITC guidelines (attached -- show the direction ITC would like to go, which is a more stringent process.  Prof. Knapp clarified that the policy was really just the two sentences.  Prof. Trytten said that was correct.  Avoiding situations where people have to share passwords requires a fair amount of sophistication and IT support that does not exist right now.  Legal Counsel and IT would like to have stringent requirements, but ITC did not think that was reasonable in an environment in which we do not have the resources to train faculty and staff and in which the policy would be violated by every faculty and staff member virtually every day.  Prof. Huseman asked for an example of sharing a password.  Prof. Trytten said deans and directors often have staff members read their e-mail and get documents from their computers.  There are ways to avoid password sharing, but they require skill that is not well distributed across the university.  Prof. Fran Ayres, chair of ITC, said another example was deans needing access to various research projects.  If there is a misuse, such as a student logging on as somebody else in Blackboard or inappropriate use of a stolen password, at least there is a policy that says those are violations.  Prof. McInerney said another situation would be if someone got on a network and erased all the data.  The motion to accept the policy was approved on a voice vote.





The senate approved the following nominations of the senate committee on committees to fill a vacancy on the Research Council. 

To replace Lee Krumholz (Botany & Micro.), 2003-06 term:  Ralph Tanner (Botany & Micro.) [biological sciences]





Prof. Raadschelders asked why it was necessary to increase the monthly benefit deductions just when insurance premiums were taking a big jump in January.  Prof. McInerney said the university was going to a system in which people paid in 9 months would pay deductions over eight months.  Prof. Striz commented that it was because the system could not handle the half months.  Prof. Burns pointed out that a person on a 9-month appointment but paid over 12 months would have a deduction every month for 12 months.  This would only apply to a person on a 9-month appointment and paid in 9 months.  Prof. McInerney said that was correct.





The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, January 12, 2004, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Karen Rupp-Serrano, Secretary