The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – December 13, 2010 – 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 LeRoy Blank, Chair.


PRESENT:       Adams, Asojo, Atiquzzaman, Ayres, Baer, Bergey, Blank, Bradshaw, Chang, Cox-Fuenzalida, Deacon, Devegowda, Dial, Gibson, Hahn, Jean-Marie, Kosmopoulou, Lauer-Flores, Leseney, Marsh-Matthews, McPherson, Minter, Moses, Natale, Palmer, Park, Ransom, Remling, Sadler, Sandel, Stock, Strauss, Tabb, Taylor, Vehik, Verma, Wyckoff, Yi

Provost's office representative:  Mergler
Graduate College liaison:  Griffith
ISA representatives:  Cook, Hough

ABSENT:         Chapple, Chiodo, Gramoll, Kimball, Morrissey, Morvant, Moxley, Muraleetharan, O’Neill, Weaver, Williams, Xiao






Faculty development awards

Schedule of spring 2011 Faculty Senate meetings

Seminar:  Gen Y

Faculty deaths

Senate Chair's Report:

Benefits: retirement plans management

OTRS credit for sabbaticals

Dead week

Academic Integrity Code








The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of November 8, 2010 was approved.





The Faculty Senate sent out the call for proposals for the Ed Cline faculty development awards on November 12.  Proposals are due to the Faculty Senate office on February 2.  Up to $2500 is awarded.  Further information is available at 


The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for the spring 2011 semester will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102 on the following Mondays:  January 24 (tentative), February 14, March 21, April 11, and May 9.  Prof. Blank said it was likely that the Senate would meet on January 24 so that the retirement plans management proposal (see 10/10 Senate Journal) could be discussed. 


OU Career Services and Leadership & Volunteerism are partnering to present “Gen Y: Are They Ready for the Real World?” on Friday, January 21, 2:00-3:00 p.m. in the OMU Meacham Auditorium.  Nancy Barry, author of When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent College Graduates to Know, will talk about preparing and working with Generation Y/Millennials.  Faculty and staff are invited to attend this free event. 


The Faculty Senate is sad to report the death on December 8 of retired faculty member Sidney Brown (History) and on December 13 of faculty member Ming Chao Gui (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics). 





The Faculty Senate Executive Committee has had a lot of communication with the Retirement Plans Management Committee and asked the committee to address particular issues.  The majority of the information is expected to be available in January so that the Faculty Senate can discuss the proposal at its January and February meetings.


The Faculty Compensation Committee, with the help of Jon Forman (Law), suggested some updates to the Faculty Handbook with respect to service credit for OTRS during sabbaticals, in particular one-year sabbaticals, in order to reflect current OTRS policy.  The updates were given to the provost and are likely to be incorporated in the Faculty Handbook very soon.


Student Congress is disappointed in the Faculty Senate action of March 2009 regarding dead week.  Congress recently approved a bill asking the Faculty Senate to renew discussion of the pre-finals week policies.  Prof. Blank will meet with student leaders to discern what they are unhappy with and make sure everyone understands the restrictions we have on dead week.  He will report back at a future meeting.


The Integrity Council put forth an Academic Integrity Code, which was approved by the Faculty Senate.  The proposal has been presented to the OU regents Norman campus subcommittee and will be on the January regents’ agenda.  Shortly thereafter, a committee will be formed of five faculty and five students.  The Faculty Senate Executive Committee submitted nine nominations for the Provost’s office to consider for the five faculty positions on the committee.


The annual Norman Christmas Day community dinner will be held on December 25, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., in the Norman High School Commons Cafeteria.  Bob Magarian, the organizer, may be contacted at 364-3273. 


KinderCare at OU is offering a 10 percent discount for newly-enrolling children of OU faculty and staff.  Those who register prior to January 24 will receive free spring registration, valued at up to $125.  The center accepts children ages 6 weeks to 11 years and has limited openings in all classes.  For further information, contact Karisa Wilson, center director, at 325-0528. 





Vice President for Research (VPR) Kelvin Droegemeier said he was trying to attend all of the Faculty Senate meetings this year, regardless of whether he is on the agenda.  He distributed a one-page handout of the Aspire 2020 initiatives.  Discussing the first point on research statistics, Dr. Droegemeier noted that we have several multimillion dollar grants this year, some over $4 million.  We submitted some revised numbers to the Carnegie Foundation in areas where we had been underreporting.  We are waiting to find out what our Carnegie ranking will be and hope that we will be in a higher research category. 


Dr. Droegemeier thanked the faculty members for their engagement with the Aspire 2020 plan.  Many of the ideas came from faculty members.  Their input was extremely valuable. 


A goal of Aspire 2020 was to establish a Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment.  Alicia Knoedler, from Penn State, was brought here to be the new director.  Dr. Knoedler said she had been at OU about six months and had spent time talking to the faculty about what they wanted to accomplish with their research programs.  The center used to be focused on proposals and external funding but now is focused on helping faculty accomplish more with their research programs.  That might entail pursuing external funding, finding partnerships for research endeavors, or leveraging what already exists at OU to help a faculty member accomplish more of his/her own research.  The center also can help with post-doctoral research and graduate student research.  She invited the faculty to contact her to discuss research programs and external funding.


Dr. Droegemeier noted that Dr. Knoedler had met individually with all the deans.  She understands that research is not just physical science and engineering, so she has spent a lot of time working with faculty in education, history, classics, and fine arts.  She is engaging all aspects of the university and is here to help with the initial idea all the way to submitting a proposal.  Money has been set aside to help individual faculty members achieve their goals.


The Strategic Initiative in Defense, Security and Intelligence (DSI) is up and running.  The VPR office is working with a Washington, D.C. consulting firm to put faculty together with agencies such as the Department of Defense.  Many of these agencies are very different than NSF and NIH, so the VPR office is helping faculty to navigate this different environment.  He is setting up a center for applied research and development that will house non-faculty researchers and use an inverted SRI model.  It is not just for physical science and engineering, but also for other areas.  For example, the DOD is interested in understanding how people drift toward extremist views, so this is an opportunity for those who study cultures.  Prof. Verma asked how he could get engaged with Washington, D.C.  Dr. Droegemeier said interested faculty could send him an email, and he will provide the information.


The Research Liaison Program is a counterpart to the graduate liaison program.  Every academic department will have someone in the VPR office who can help faculty members succeed in their research.  The Faculty Research Challenge Grant Program will provide seed funding.  The amounts of money are beyond what faculty can get anywhere else in the university, and the focus is on strategic, long-term development of research programs.  Two grants at $100,000 are being given for a one-year period, four at $50,000, six at $25,000, and 10 at $10,000.  Provost Mergler has been incredibly supportive of the Aspire 2020 initiatives.  The VPR Research Awards Program was established to better reward scholarship and faculty achievement.  Four awards at $2,500 apiece will be given.  The amount of the Regents’ Award for Superior Research and Creativity was increased from $2,000 to $10,000.  In addition, his office will put some resources forward to help deans, chairs, and directors nominate faculty for national and international awards.  He is trying to find ways, through the Faculty Research Incentives and Rewards Program to incentivize faculty to think big in the area of scholarship.


One of the key plans for 2011 is to create an environment at OU that is effective in terms of multi-disciplinary collaboration.  With assistance from the consulting firm in Washington, 2-4 major initiatives will be identified in that arena.  A new VPR web site is coming that will include policies and highlights of research.  Currently, the research services web site is more about writing proposals.  The new site will have descriptions of our research centers.  Dr. Droegemeier’s office also is redoing the Research Council portfolio to streamline and simplify it and make it much less proscriptive.  An additional $50,000 will be added to the money available from the Research Council this year and another $50,000 next year.  This is in response to faculty members saying they needed seed funding and that the Research Council portfolio needed to be changed.  Dr. Droegemeier thanked the senators and asked them to thank their colleagues and to ask them to continue to be engaged in the Aspire 2020 planning activity.  With the support of the administration and input from the faculty, we can continue to move everything forward.  We have made some pretty substantial advances the past year, and next year will be even better.


Prof. Sandel commented that the searches for strategic hires associated with a center generally do not go through the normal procedure, and the new hire may get a 1/1 teaching load.  He asked whether strategic hires are evaluated, whether the appointments are permanent, and whether strategic hires will continue.  Dr. Droegemeier said to his knowledge, every faculty member who is hired, strategic or not, goes through the standard process.  The strategic initiative hires are evaluated the same way as other faculty; there are no special cases.  What is important is to think strategically about the faculty we do hire.  He thinks every faculty hire ought to be a strategic hire.  We should think in terms of cluster hires.  Initially the individual may have a reduced teaching load.  It is essential to have a careful evaluation of credit hour production and research expenditures to make sure we are doing things the way we ought to be doing.  We will see a lot more emphasis put on accountability, which is important for the University to have.


Prof. Taylor asked if we are still trying to solve the problem of funding collaboration between the Norman and Health Sciences Center faculty.  Dr. Droegemeier said he is looking at meaningful ways to facilitate collaboration.  We have lots of challenges, but we have made enormous progress in the last five years.  A lot more can be done, however. 





The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, January 24, 2011, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Amy Bradshaw, Faculty Secretary