4/96 (Page )

The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session - April 8, 1996 - 3:30 p.m.
Jacobson Faculty Hall 102

The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Pat L. Weaver-Meyers, Chair.

PRESENT: Badiru, Baker, Benson, Carnevale, DeBrunner, Dillard, Durica, Egle, Fiedler, Fung, Gana, Genova, Gilje, Greene, Gupta, Gutierrez, Harris, Havener, Hertzke, Hillyer, Holmes, Horrell, Hutchison, Laird, F. Lee, Mouser, Murphy, Nelson, Ogilvie, Patterson, Ragep, Scaperlanda, Shaughnessy, Sipes, Stoltenberg, Tepker, Thulasiraman, Wallach, Weaver-Meyers, Williams

PSA representatives: Iselin, Spencer

UOSA representatives: Scott

ABSENT: Bremer, Burnett, Dillon, Elisens, Konopak, Lucey, R. Miller, Palmer, Stock, Van Gundy, Weinel, Wenk



Announcement: Interactive Theatre Company 2

Senate Committee on Committees' nominations 2

Senate Chair's Report:

Censorship of newsgroups 2

Faculty Senate web page 2

Graduate Student Appreciation Week 2

Faculty salary comparison 2

Salary program recommendations 3

Provost search 6

Dead week 6



The Senate Journal for the regular session of March 18, 1996, was approved.


The Interactive Theatre Company, a collaboration project through the School of Drama and Student Support Services, is made up of twelve actors performing self-written scenes and monologues dealing with contemporary social issues affecting the college community. This semester, the group has developed three topic areas: racial and sexual intolerance, academic misconduct and integrity, and sexually transmitted diseases. Each scenario lasts about ten minutes and is followed by the actors answering questions of audience members from the point of view of the character that they portrayed. I.T.C. is available for performances for your classroom, committees, or organizations. If you are interested in scheduling a performance, contact David Stevens, School of Drama, FAC 209, or call 5-4021.


A preliminary list of Committee on Committees' nominations for end-of-the-year vacancies on university and campus councils/committees/boards was distributed at the meeting and will be voted on at the May meeting. Nominations can be made from the floor, but the permission of the nominee must be obtained. The President will also make some appointments.


The President formed a task force to address the issue of blocking newsgroups containing pornographic material from the university server. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee asked that the Information Technology Council be part of that process. The Chair of the ITC has been added to the task force.

The Faculty Senate web page is online and can be located under Administration on the OU web page. Faculty will be able to access Faculty Senate minutes electronically.

Graduate Student Appreciation Week is April 20-24. For information about events during the week, call 5-4041.

The deans just received the 1995-96 report of departmental faculty salary at OU compared with the averages of respective peers in the Big 12 and Big 10 universities. The March-April 1996 issue of Academe--the annual report on the economic status of the profession--states:


At the last meeting (3/96 Journal, page 5), the Senate considered the Faculty Compensation Committee (FCC) recommendations concerning salaries and suggested that unit discretion be added. The Senate Executive Committee and FCC revised number 1 of the recommendations as follows, but they could not agree on the provision for unit discretion:

1. Salary adjustments for all faculty with satisfactory performance to bring neutralize the effect of negative raises in FY 95 and FY 96 up to zero: for each faculty employee as of May 93, this requires a 5.36% increase.

Professors Fiedler and Hertzke also submitted some proposed revisions (Appendix I). Prof. Andy Magid, Chair of the FCC, could not attend this meeting.

Prof. Fiedler moved to add to number one of the FCC recommendations, "This recommendation does not preclude the option of a budget unit distributing any new salary adjustments on the basis of merit." Prof. Ogilvie said a poll of her unit showed that the faculty were evenly divided with respect to across-the-board or merit raises. Prof. Greene asked how Prof. Hertzke's recommendation might be integrated. Prof. Weaver-Meyers said that could be done any way the Faculty Senate desired. For example, sections of Prof. Hertzke's recommendations could be incorporated. Prof. Greene said she would like to include some excerpts like merit and unit flexibility. She asked for clarification of 3.A. and 3.B. of the FCC recommendations. Prof. Weaver-Meyers explained that items like utilities are considered fixed costs. The FCC wanted salaries to be given the same funding priority. Prof. Hillyer noted that 3.A. was about cost of living, and 3.B. merit. Prof. DeBrunner commented that 3.B. made a very strong statement in that prior commitment items are the first considered. Prof. Weaver-Meyers pointed out that salaries are listed as the number one priority, but fixed costs like utilities get taken care of first.

Prof. Egle asked what was meant by "the effect of negative raises." Prof. Weaver-Meyers said the target is the CPI. Prof. Egle asked whether the intent (with the amendment) was to give across-the-board raises up to the CPI, and any additional money would be used for merit. Prof. Fiedler said that was not the intention. Prof. Havener noted that the FCC recommendations were in priority order, so the proposed amendment to number one would be contradictory. Prof. Fiedler said he would have no objection to moving his amendment to another section. Prof. Holmes proposed a friendly amendment to strike the FCC's number one and substitute the last paragraph of Prof. Fiedler's. Prof. Fielder accepted that.

Prof. Carnevale asked whether that would mean everyone in a department would receive 5.36%. Prof. Tepker said there is no guarantee. It would be up to the unit to decide. Prof. Weaver-Meyers said units would receive enough to provide an across-the-board raise; however, not all of the individuals within the unit would necessarily receive 5.36% . Prof. Tepker said the original recommendation makes cost of living the first priority. The substitute gives the choice to the unit to give cost of living, merit, or something else. Prof. Carnevale said he was concerned about eating up the money with across-the-board raises. Prof. Gilje remarked that if this amendment is approved, 3.A. would have to be rewritten. Prof. Tepker suggested, "The minimum 5.36% is to be treated..." Prof. Gilje proposed changing the first word in 3.A. from "The" to "Any." Prof. Fiedler accepted that change. Prof. Havener objected to the change to "Any" because in future years, only the units that opted for CPI increases would get salary increases.

Prof. Hutchison observed that there were four options: (1) Unit discretion; however, some faculty do not think they are treated fairly by their unit. (2) Merit only, but many faculty are not keeping up with inflation. (3) Combination of across-the-board and merit. (4) Across-the-board only. He suggested a combination of across-the-board and merit. Prof. Havener pointed out that the original proposal recognized that merit and cost of living are deserved. Number three could serve us all well in the long term because it works salaries into the budget process automatically every year.

Prof. Weaver-Meyers said one reason the language in number one was changed was to give more flexibility to the units. Prof. Carnevale said his concern with the FCC recommendations was what the operating unit could and could not do. Neutralizing the effect of negative raises would mean going to zero; it would not authorize merit unless the department had additional funds. It would not allow a department to give 2% across the board and the rest to merit. Prof. Badiru suggested that the Senate find out the President's current thinking on this issue. Prof. Weaver-Meyers explained that the FCC recommendations had been shared with the President, and this body needed to let the President know if it agreed with those recommendations. Prof. Gilje commented that the Senate could vote on each of the three options: FCC, Fiedler, and Hertzke.

The motion to substitute Prof. Fiedler's last paragraph for the FCC's number one and change "The" to "Any" in the FCC's 3.A. was defeated on a voice vote.

Prof. Gilje suggested that Prof. Hertzke's paragraph beginning with, "I would propose ..." be substituted for the FCC's recommendation one. Prof. Tepker contended that the proposals of Prof. Fiedler and Prof. Hertzke were the same. Prof. Hertzke said his intent was to shift the burden from across-the-board increases in the other direction so departments would have flexibility to allocate the majority of new salary money, and a smaller amount could be allocated for cost of living. Prof. Holmes moved to substitute Prof. Fiedler's last paragraph for the FCC's number one but add at the end, ", provided no less than __% shall be reserved to neutralize the negative effect of inflation." Prof. Gilje said he was willing to withdraw his proposal. Prof. Havener observed that the problem could be solved by removing "in priority order" from the FCC version. Prof. Hutchison remarked that he liked the idea of the percentage since we do not know how much we are going to get for salaries. Prof. Holmes said the first sentence of Prof. Fielder's paragraph could be deleted. He suggested that a straw vote be taken on what percentage should be for across-the-board increases. Prof. Hertzke said the Dean of the College he represents thought there should be maximum flexibility to the units. Prof. Hertzke said he would like to give departments more flexibility than 50%.

Prof. Ragep mentioned that many units have perceptions that there is some unfairness. Many of these issues may need to be addressed at a different level than the department. Prof. Fung noted that, provided we get a 6% raise, half for across the board would be only 3% . He said he would favor 50% across the board. A straw poll showed that the majority favored 50%. Prof. Hutchison said the motion would not preclude the unit from giving more across the board. Prof. Holmes proposed that 50% be included in his motion. Prof. Benson said he was hesitant to remove the language containing the 5.36%. Prof. Holmes suggested that Prof. Fiedler's first Whereas be added at the beginning. Prof. Fung suggested that the language be simplified to say that half would go to across-the-board raises. Prof. DeBrunner said 3.A. then should be removed. Prof. Hertzke said Prof. Fiedler's second Whereas could be added. Prof. Holmes agreed to that. Prof. Benson said the first sentence of Prof. Fiedler's last paragraph should be retained so that the recommendations would say how much of a raise we should get.

Prof. Hutchison cautioned against citing specific amounts. Prof. Benson said whatever the unit gets, it would be distributed 50:50. Prof. Tepker pointed out that units would be bound to a percentage increase. A flat dollar amount might be more appropriate in some units. Prof. Scaperlanda said in his unit, most of the money would be distributed to the senior faculty if awarded on a percentage basis. Prof. Weaver-Meyers said it was stated as a percentage of the money available. Prof. Benson said the percentage or dollar amount could be left to the departments. Prof. Holmes said people with higher salaries lost more due to inflation. Prof. Hutchison contended that it would be confusing to include a dollar amount distribution.

Prof. Williams said the two issues were the amount and distribution. Asking that salary be indexed to CPI would not be received well by the legislature, considering their views on faculty tenure. A CPI increase should be allocated on the basis of merit. Not all of the merit decisions have to made at the department level. The Deans and Provost could give differential allocations to the units.

The above motion to combine the FCC and Fiedler recommendations and add some revisions was approved on a voice vote. The revised recommendations read:

Whereas, faculty salary increases have not kept pace with inflation since May 1993, causing in effect an average 5.36% decrease in salary.

Whereas, the lack of new money for salaries has prevented budget units from awarding merit salary increases or rectifying salary inequities.

The Faculty Senate recommends the following salary program (in priority order):

1. In FY 97, the budget units be awarded at least enough money to provide an average 5.36% salary increase for all faculty. The actual salary increase for individual faculty members will be left to the discretion of the budget unit, provided no less than 50% shall be reserved to neutralize the negative effect of inflation.

2. The Senate strongly endorses President Boren's goal of moving OU faculty salaries up to Big 12 medians and recommends a three-year merit-based program, with one-third of the progress to be made with FY 97 salaries.

3. The Senate also strongly endorses the continuing goal of making salaries a number one budget priority. To insure that, in departure from past practice, the priority goal is achieved, the Senate recommends that:

A. The salary adjustments to neutralize the effect of CPI increases are to be treated in the "fixed cost to continue" category of the budget process; and

B. The first year of the merit program is to be treated in the "prior commitment" category of the budget process.

Prof. Mouser said he would like the record to reflect that 5.36% is not to be considered a maximum amount to be awarded.

Prof. Fung asked about the status of the Provost search. Prof. Weaver-Meyers said the search is under way, and the committee is meeting Thursday. Interviews will be conducted in September. The College of Arts and Sciences Dean search has not started. Those interviews will be scheduled after the Provost is selected.


The Student Congress resolution requesting the creation of a dead week, the Graduate Student Senate memo opposing the proposal, and the current Faculty Handbook statement with regard to pre-finals week are attached as Appendix II. Prof. Holmes moved to amend section 4.10 of the Handbook by changing five percent to ten percent. Prof. Havener said he did not think it was appropriate to amend the existing policy. Prof. Hutchison suggested that the motion be voted down and that the current statement, which is only three years old, be reaffirmed. Prof. Holmes' motion was defeated on a voice vote. Prof. Hutchison's motion to reaffirm the existing policy was approved on a voice vote.


The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, May 6, 1996, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.

__________________________ __________________________

Sonya Fallgatter Connie Dillon

Administrative Coordinator Secretary

Norman Campus Faculty Senate
Jacobson Faculty Hall 206
phone: 325-6789 FAX: 325-6782
e-mail: facsen@uoknor.edu