The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – December 14, 2009 – 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 Aimee Franklin, Chair.


PRESENT:       Ahmed, Apanasov, Asojo, Baer, Blank, Bradshaw, Buckley, Conlon, Deacon, Dial, Eodice, Franklin, Hahn, Jean-Marie, Kent, Kershen, Kimball, Lauer-Flores, Lifschitz, McDonald, Miller, Milton, Morrissey, Moses, Muraleetharan, Palmer, Reeder, Russell, Strauss, Tabb, Taylor, Trafalis, Vehik, Wyckoff, Yi

Provost's office representative:  Mergler
ISA representatives:  Cook, Hough

ABSENT:         Atiquzzaman, Bass, Cox-Fuenzalida, Gan, Grasse, Keppel, Moxley, Rogers, Sadler, J. Schmidt, R. Schmidt, Verma, Wallach, Weaver, Williams





Remarks by Graduate College Dean and by Vice President for Research


Faculty death

Faculty development awards

Process for hiring research faculty

Patent Committee

OU-Norman representative to the Faculty Advisory Council to the State Regents

Higher Education Day at the State Capitol

Election, Employment Benefits Committee

Senate Chair's Report:

iThink photo rosters

AAUP meetings

Benefits:  retirement fund record keeper

Crimson and Green sustainability initiative


Posting course materials to

Digital tenure dossier review




Remarks by Graduate College Dean Lee Williams and Vice President for Research Kelvin Droegemeier


Dr. Lee Williams, Dean of the Graduate College, first discussed the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training.  A group from OU out of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program developed a model of ethical decision making and translated it into a training program.  They trained 200 graduate students from about 13 departments across the spectrum and then assessed the program.  It was clear the federal government would require RCR for people supported on federal grants.  The National Science Foundation started requiring training for all students supported by grants effective October 1.  Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) came out with their rules and were more proscriptive in that they required training and gave some parameters.  Answering questions that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee had asked him to address, Dean Williams said we cannot use the online training, CITI, that OSU uses because the federal guidelines do not allow it.  The training has to have an in-person contact.  Online training will not be allowed.  Some studies have shown that online training can lead to less ethical decision making.  OU and two other universities have been working with NIH on the guidelines.  The training is called RCR because that meets the federal requirements.  However, the actual training is much broader and includes professional ethics training.  The case studies initially were in the sciences because of funding, but more case studies have been added to include other disciplines.  Dean Williams has been discussing the RCR idea with the Graduate Council and the Graduate Student Senate.  The Graduate Student Senate passed a resolution last semester endorsing the idea of professional ethics training for all graduate students.  Now is not a good time to bring in that idea, though, because of the economy and the fact that students are required to pay for the training.  This semester, because NSF required the training, NSF paid for the training.  If we expand it, then NSF does not consider the training to be specific to an NSF project and the fee cannot be charged directly.  It could be paid from indirect costs, but those are capped by the federal government.  The $150 fee is based on the actual cost of having instructors teach the course.  It is impractical at this point to require training for all students, but it is appropriate for all new graduate assistants.  OU typically has about 400-600 new graduate assistants per year.  The plan is to get the cost down to $100 per student and offer the program at no cost to the student.  The funding will be provided by the Graduate College and the central administration.  In a few months, the expectation is the training could be offered to all graduate students as well as faculty.  Another question that was raised was the standardized curriculum in the training does not fit all disciplines.  The training was not designed to be discipline specific.  The idea was to give students a model of ethical decision making, and on-going training would take place in departments.  Dean Williams plans to do a survey in the spring to find out the other ethical training that could be provided within each department.  After the training program is assessed during the year, decisions can be made about the training options to offer after that. 


Prof. Milton asked whether post docs would be able to take the training without charge.  Dean Williams said the idea was post docs and undergraduates could be accommodated if they wanted to take the training.  Individuals have asked why the training needed to last two days.  A substantive training that actually works needs a certain level of repetition to get the ideas across.  One of the options was to provide one hour of credit, but the fees would cost a minimum of $275.  Prof. Muraleetharan asked about the assessment.  Dean Williams said the group that developed the model developed assessment metrics that were accepted by the NIH.  It is like the individual is taking a test in that s/he responds to scenarios.  Prof. Palmer said she would like to look at a sample curriculum.  Dean Williams said he could send the manual and/or provide a bibliography of the articles.  Prof. Kent suggested that the articles could be sent to the senators.  Prof. Strauss said departments need to see the whole curriculum so they will know what they need to supplement.  Dean Williams said some departments already have programs that they apply to their students.  The federal agencies want an explicit, stand-alone program that is assessed.  He has not talked to departments yet about the program, but their training would complement the RCR training.  [Two articles and a FAQ are online at]


Dean Williams’ second topic was the graduate assistant tuition waiver.  Currently, for half-time graduate assistantships, the University pays seven hours of resident and nine hours of nonresident tuition waivers for fall and spring and four hours in the summer.  Feedback from departments indicates that the current waiver is not competitive.  Dean Williams is proposing to uncap the waiver, and the University would pay for the entire enrollment for the student for that semester.  Faculty would then be able to work with their students to plan an appropriate rate of progress toward a degree.  However, the waiver would be capped at the number of hours required for the degree and limited to a certain number of semesters.  Students would be expected to make appropriate progress toward completion of their degree.  He is working on the details and hopes to have it approved in time for the recruiting cycle, early next semester. 


Prof. Bradshaw asked for clarification on how many hours the University would pay for.  Dean Williams said the University would commit to the number of hours a student needed to complete a degree.  He is still working out details regarding grant payments and a phase in.  Answering a question from Prof. Apanasov, Dean Williams said there was the issue of recruiting good students but also the academic issue of faculty advising students and designing their course sequence and progress so they take the appropriate number of hours.  Prof. Palmer asked whether courses that are not discipline specific would be paid for.  Dean Williams said the tuition would be paid if the courses were part of the degree program.  Prof. Baer asked if there would be a provision for students who want to do a graduate certificate or a minor to receive extra hours toward the degree.  Dean Williams said the hours would be covered if the certificate was toward a degree, but he did not know yet whether the hours would be paid if the graduate certificate was separate from the degree. 


Prof. Milton noted that Physics and Astronomy students are required to take nine hours until they become Ph.D. candidates and then they take six, so ideally it takes 6.5 years to graduate.  Most do not become degree candidates, though, until the third year, and the average time for a Ph.D. is seven years.  Dean Williams responded that if the degree program is 100 hours in practice, the department may need to change the requirement to 100 hours instead of 90.  Prof. Muraleetharan pointed out that a Ph.D. through the Graduate College is 90 hours.  Dean Williams said the Graduate College regulations specify that a Ph.D. shall be a minimum of 90 hours, but it can be longer.  He believes time to completion of graduate degrees is going to become a major recruiting and competitive issue.  Responding to a question from Prof. Bradshaw regarding the number of hours, Dean Williams said he will commit to pay to support qualified graduate assistants for the number of hours required to obtain the degree they are seeking.   


Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Vice President for Research, began by sharing some good news.  After the first four months of fiscal year 2010, the amount of new awards in the research area was running 60 percent above where we were at last year.  We are $23 million ahead or two-thirds of the way toward our total in new awards.  Only $10 million is stimulus money.  Faculty members are aggressively developing proposals and having success in funding.  Indirect cost recovery is already up $700,000 this year.  We have a record high number of new awards -- 338 -- versus 253 last year. 


In August, a research visiting team came to all three campuses.  Martin Jischke, former faculty member and interim president, joined the visiting team and was very helpful.  The team looked at processes and structure rather than programs.  It was chaired by Rita Caldwell, former director of the National Science Foundation.  The team did an analysis of how we facilitate research, our communication across campuses, how we are set up as far as technology, and so on.  They produced a report for the President that had a number of excellent recommendations that Vice President Droegemeier and the Research Cabinet are evaluating.  The recommendations run the gamut from hiring clusters of faculty to better engaging the continuing education college, having more cross-campus collaboration, improving our relations with private industry, and improving the support of faculty who are seeking external funding.  A strategic planning activity – Aspire 2020 – will start in spring.  It will be a decadal plan for research, which will challenge us to think about where we want to be and how we can get there.  The plan will have three fundamental pillars:  1) High expectations, in the sense that we want to challenge ourselves to think bigger than we are.  We want to go after larger opportunities and set high expectations in quality proposals.  Vice President Droegemeier has found that pre-submission reviews have been important to improving the quality of the proposals.  The administration wants to help faculty achieve what they came here to do.  2) Full participation across the entire institution, which means everybody getting involved.  Places like the Department of Homeland Security are funding fundamental basic scholarship in areas such as art, history, English, and history of science, so there are a lot of opportunities.  Full participation also means accountability from chairs, deans, and faculty.  The visiting team asked who was championing research in the state.  There is a vacuum out there that OU can fill.  What he means by research is scholarship across every discipline.  3) Broad incentives and rewards.  People who make substantial achievements in scholarly and creative activities should be rewarded and incentivized across all disciplines of scholarship.  From that will flow several goals, for example, going after more national centers.  Vice President Droegemeier is creating a faculty proposal development center and hiring a new director to help faculty develop the content of proposals.  The center will be located on the second floor of 3 Partners Place.  His hope is the center can eventually teach faculty how to take on leadership positions.  A lot of research funding goes unused every year.  The more success we have, the more we can reinvest the indirect costs from grants and contracts back into the university to grow things like the proposal development center.  Stimulus funding runs out in 2012.  We want to be improving our success rate for proposals so as the stimulus funding ramps down we can maintain our high level of success.  He said he is excited to be in the vice president for research position and is pleased to be part of such a great leadership team.


Prof. Muraleetharan asked if the report from blue ribbon panel could be shared with the faculty.  Vice President Droegemeier said Dr. Paul Risser, chair of the Research Cabinet, and the deans are looking at the report to formulate potential actions.  The plan is to bring some initial thoughts to faculty for reaction and conversation.  Prof. Muraleetharan asked when the planning would start.  Vice President Droegemeier said the planning will start in mid to late January.  He will put out a survey in mid January to learn how faculty members view the environment in which they work and live.  In addition, he has formulated ten specific goals.  We have a good idea of what we need to do as an institution.  The question is how we are going to do it.  About two years ago, a Vice President for Research advisory committee was started, composed of faculty and deans from all the colleges, who are heavily involved with policy.  It is through that committee that the planning process will be brought to the faculty.  He will spend some time over the break to put the process together.  There will be multiple opportunities and ways for faculty to be involved.  Prof. Franklin said further questions could be emailed to her, and she would forward them to Dean Williams or Vice President Droegemeier.





The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of November 9, 2009 was approved.





The Faculty Senate is sad to report the death in November of retired faculty member Paul Brinker (Economics). 

The Faculty Senate sent out the call for proposals for the Ed Cline faculty development awards on November 20.  Proposals are due to the Faculty Senate office on February 1.  Up to $2500 is awarded.  Further information is available at 

President Boren approved the change in the process for hiring research faculty (see 11/09 senate journal). 

The regents approved a change in section 3.27.2 of the Faculty Handbook – Intellectual Property Policy – that allows the Office of Technology Development to convene the Patent Committee on an as-needed basis, rather than three times per year.  It is rare to need the intervention of the Patent Committee in the majority of disputes over the issue of inventor ownership.  Typically, these issues are resolved through mediation. 

Faculty Senate Chair-Elect LeRoy Blank was selected as the OU-Norman Campus representative to the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.  Anecdotal information on how cutbacks have affected specific students (for example, delayed graduation), should be sent to Prof. Blank so he can report it to the FAC. 

Higher Education Day at the State Capitol is scheduled for Tuesday, February 16, 2010.  Students can apply to attend on the UOSA web site.  Faculty members are encouraged to attend and share information about the value provided to the state’s economy through higher education.





The Faculty Senate approved the Committee on Committees’ nomination of Scott Moses (Industrial Engineering) to complete the 2008-12 term of Debra Bemben (Health & Exercise Science) on the Employment Benefits Committee. 



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Aimee Franklin


Information about the photo roster feature in the new oZONE system can be found at or  The rosters will be available for the December Intersession and spring semester by going to “The Book” under the Faculty and Staff Academic Services channel on the Faculty and Staff tab in oZONE (see oZONE alert, volume 25).  Prof. Franklin thanked Provost Mergler for arranging to replace the iThink rosters in the old system with a photo roster option in the new system (see 11/09 Faculty Senate Journal).


An AAUP-OK meeting was held on campus on December 5.  The next state AAUP meeting will be March 27.  More information is available from Ken Fischer or Michael Kent or at


On November 11, members of the senate Executive Committee met with Vice President Nick Hathaway, Human Resources representatives and others to discuss the financial record keeper proposal.  This pertains to the retirement accounts, primarily the 403b, as required by the IRS, but it also will cover the 457 accounts.  The request for proposal is not quite finalized because the administration is trying to expand the number of offerings that will be available.  We will go from a number of vendors and virtually unlimited number of investment choices to choices that are representative of certain types of investment opportunities, in other words, major classes of funds that people like to invest in.  There will be an exchange-traded fund and one with a set retirement age.  A third option will be a brokerage window for the more sophisticated investor.  The amount of use will determine the charge for the third option.  The primary benefit is that individuals who use multiple vendors will have one consolidated statement, and the record keeper will make sure investors comply with IRS regulations.


Faculty, staff and students have an opportunity to pledge to support sustainability at OU through the Crimson and Green initiative.  For every pledge, OU will contribute $2 toward our recycling program (see  More than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff have already made a commitment. 


Many states in the Midwest are starting to experience the recession.  When our state revenues are certified in late December, the state will determine the revenues for our current fiscal year, but also the appropriation for the next fiscal year.  Although the future is uncertain until then, OU administrators have been anticipating what we might expect and have made cuts and asked for reallocations.  Several faculty committees have been holding meetings to keep track of what is being discussed and to provide as much input as possible.  It is important to be prepared so we can minimize the impact on the fundamental missions of the University.  The President anticipates a cut of 5-10 percent.  The chancellor of the state regents has suggested to the legislature that nominal tuition increases will be required for FY11.  President Boren has committed that as soon as we have more information, he will communicate that across campus, and faculty should share ideas.  Some departments are giving up telephones since most faculty have cell phones.  Simple things will be important, but because the shortfall is sizeable, we may see other more significant changes in the days ahead.  It is a shared problem, and faculty will want to participate in a shared solution.





Background: In 2005, the Student Congress passed a resolution requesting the posting of course syllabi and current grade information on  After discussion, the Faculty Senate approved a resolution stating: “Faculty Senate encourages faculty to make undergraduate course syllabi available online.”  On Tuesday, November 3, 2009, the Student Congress passed a resolution about the availability of exam preparation resources. The resolution encouraged “…the Faculty to provide study guides, lecture notes, previous tests, syllabi, grades, and/or sample exam questions to all students in their classes by utilizing the Desire2Learn (D2L) platform.”

Nearly 5 years later, we are a campus that has long-term experience with, encourages green initiatives, and employs alternate course delivery formats (especially with the advent of absences caused by H1N1).  In addition, there is an emphasis on improving graduation rates and time to graduation and increasing retention rates.


Prof. Franklin said she had asked senators last month to gather input about this issue from their colleagues.  The Faculty Senate Executive Committee offered a motion for consideration: 

The Faculty Senate encourages faculty to use the University’s online course management system to distribute syllabi and other course materials or links to course materials.

The motion closely parallels the UOSA Student Congress resolution but maintains flexibility.  If instructors have materials already posted on a site outside of Learn, they could put links inside Learn and students would have one central access point. 


Prof. Eodice reported that after the last meeting, she had been contacted by faculty who did not realize there was so much support available, not just technological but people support.  She said she wondered if the language should be stronger.  It is no cost to faculty except the upfront time to upload materials.  Some Texas schools have gone to mandatory posting of all course syllabi for the public.  It shows a real commitment to the students if instructors can agree it is part of their basic responsibilities.  She said she was uncomfortable mandating anything, though.  She said she would like to offer a friendly amendment and hoped the language could be collaboratively developed.


Prof. Kent said he had a problem with requiring but not with encouraging the use of D2L.  If he distributes a study guide in class but does not post it online, a student could come back and say s/he did not receive it.  Prof. Franklin noted that another problem was who would police the requirement.  Prof. Kent remarked that a student who wanted to contest something would have grounds if posting the syllabus was a requirement.  There are consequences.  A grade appeal is a lot of work.  Prof. Vehik said she thought the motion was fine the way it was written.  Prof. Eodice commented that the proposed wording would not require anyone to upload study guides.  That suggestion had been made by the students.  She proposed a friendly amendment to change the motion to read, “The Faculty Senate recognizes the value of faculty at least posting a syllabus.”  Prof. Bradshaw pointed out that the Executive Committee motion said “syllabi and other course materials.”  Prof. Strauss said the motion could be made stronger by requiring syllabi and encouraging other course materials.  Prof. Vehik said someone would still have to police that.   


Prof. Muraleetharan asked what would be gained by just requiring the syllabus.  Prof. Strauss replied that some instructors still are not aware of the course management system, and the motion would encourage them to use it or use it more.  Prof. Miller said putting their syllabus up would require instructors to use it once at least.  Prof. Franklin asked Prof. Eodice if she would be in favor of language that says, “The Faculty Senate requires faculty to post syllabi on the University’s online course management system and encourages the posting of other course materials or links to course materials.”  Prof. Eodice said she would.  Prof. Bradshaw asked whether the Faculty Senate had the power to require that.  Prof. Franklin said it would be an amendment to the Faculty Handbook.  Provost Mergler asked what level of approval was required for the course syllabi section.  Prof. Franklin suggested that the friendly amendment be tabled, she will check on the proper authority, and an amendment will be brought back to the next meeting.  Prof. Conlon said she thought faculty members were required to provide a paper copy of the syllabus the first week of class.  If the syllabus is posted online, she would not want students to say it was not clear or they did not receive a copy.  Prof. Eodice said there also are issues with hard copies.  She said she thought it would be a good move to demonstrate to students that faculty members are in the 21st century.  The technology is available and faculty should take advantage of it.  Prof. Kent asked whether the online version would be in lieu of paper or in addition to paper, or would faculty have a choice.  He said he did not see the point of doing both.  Prof. Miller commented that faculty could provide a short written syllabus and put the rest online.  Prof. Franklin said she would check on the technicalities and work on some language for next time.





Background: Each year roughly 40-45 tenure dossiers are reviewed by the Campus Tenure Committee.  Added to this are 10-15 promotion dossiers reviewed administratively.  Currently departments prepare paper dossiers for internal and external review.  Seven complete copies of the candidate’s dossier are required for internal review.  External review dossiers, normally smaller, are estimated to require 6-12 paper copies of the candidate’s dossier.  In 2009, the review for Honors and Awards was streamlined to require paperless submission for most dossiers.  Best practices research of Big 12 schools and schools recognized in a recent Chronicle article suggests that technology has advanced to the point where creating electronic dossiers is more efficient and that secure submissions and reviews of digital dossiers can be assured.  Digital submission could allow electronic access for reviewers at any setting they choose and would greatly reduce the amount of paper used, enhancing green campus initiatives.


The Faculty Senate Executive Committee and the Campus Tenure Committee endorse movement to electronic tenure and promotion dossiers submission and review, provided the proper security provisions and adequate central administrative support are in place.


Prof. Franklin explained that adequate central administrative support translates to no extra work would be required for the faculty or the department over and above the amount of work involved in preparing a paper dossier.  It is expected it would be less work.  Prof. Franklin asked if the senators had received any questions, concerns, or comments from their colleagues about moving to digital tenure review.  She noted that the Provost had started a work group to explore some of the ramifications and system requirements in anticipation of the senate’s favorable support.


Prof. Kent said the only problem he could see involved people who do creative work.  Digital dossiers would be fine for textual documents but would be problematic for other kinds of documents such as videos and art work.  Prof. Franklin said there would be a transition process, and thought would have to be given as to how to supplement the electronic file with visual images. 


Prof. Miller asked when it would be possible to turn in grades on D2L.  Prof. Franklin said grades could be posted electronically in spring 2010, but they might have to be uploaded manually.  The administration is still working on making a seamless transition from D2L to the registration office.


The motion of Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Campus Tenure Committee was approved on a voice vote. 





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, February 8, 2010, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Amy Bradshaw, Faculty Secretary