The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – May 8, 2006 – 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 Roy Knapp, Chair.


PRESENT:       Badhwar (2), Benson (0), Biggerstaff (2), Bradford (0), Brown (1), Burns (1), Catlin (2), Civan (1), Cramer (3), Croft (0), Fast (1), Fincke (1), Franklin (1), Frech (0), Garn (2), Ge (0), Geletzke (1), Gutierrez (0), Hamerla (2), Hawamdeh (2), Hayes-Thumann (2), Houser (1), C. Knapp (1), R. Knapp (0), Kolar (2), Kutner (1), Lai (1), Lester (0), Liu (2), Magnusson (1), Marcus-Mendoza (0), Raadschelders (3), Ransom (2), Roche (2), Rugeley (2), Scamehorn (2), Schwarzkopf (1), Tabb (1), Trytten (0), Warnken (1), Weaver (1), Wood (2), Wyckoff (2)

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


ABSENT:         Albert (3), Apanasov (1), Blank (1), Clark (1), Draheim (3), Elisens (3), Gade (2), Megginson (3), Skeeters (2), Wei (3)

[Note: During the period from June 2005 to May 2006, the Senate held 9 regular sessions and no special sessions.  The figures in parentheses above indicate the number of absences.]






Schedule of Senate meetings for fall 2006

Summary of Speakers Service program

Faculty retirees

New senator

Remarks by Athletics Director Joe Castiglione

Health insurance

Senate Chair's Report:

Meeting with OSU and OUHSC

Searches, Fine Arts and Journalism deans

Graduation/retention task force

Faculty Welfare Committee survey about health benefits

Faculty death

Certificates of appreciation

Election, councils/committees/boards

Election, Senate standing committees

Election, Senate Secretary and Chair-elect

Resolution of Appreciation to Prof. Roy Knapp

Department of Zoology statement on evolution






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of April 10, 2006 was approved.





The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for fall 2006 will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102 on the following Mondays:  September 11, October 9, November 13, and December 11.


Summary of the activities of the Faculty Senate Speakers Service for the past year:  From May 2005 to April 2006, the Faculty Senate office arranged for 50 faculty and staff to give 124 talks to 77 organizations in 36 communities throughout the state.  The Faculty Senate and the University sincerely appreciate the members of the Speakers Service who share their expertise and knowledge with the people of Oklahoma.  Prof. Knapp added that the speakers do a wonderful job and carry the image of the University to lots of people in Oklahoma.


A list of the faculty who retired during the past academic year is below.  The Faculty Senate thanks these faculty members for their dedication and contribution to our community.  Prof. Knapp noted that former Senate Chairs Cline, Levy, and Weaver-Meyers were among this year’s retirees.





Jody Anderson

Human Relations



Joseph Bastian




Edward Cline




John Downard

Botany & Microbiology



Russ Driver




Loretta Fowler




George Henderson

Human Relations



Larry Hill

Political Science



Claren Kidd

Univ. Libraries



Gregory Kunesh

Musical Theatre



David Levy




Fred Miller




Sandra Ragan




Ron Ratliff

Health & Exercise Science



Theodore Roberts




Avraham Scherman

Educational Psychology



Wilbur Scott




Dennis Shrock




Kenneth Taylor

History of Science



Richard Van Horn




Pat Weaver-Meyers

Univ. Libraries



S. Kay Womack

Univ. Libraries




Prof. Xun Ge (Educational Psychology) was elected to the Faculty Senate as of May to complete the 2005-08 term of Terry Pace (Educational Psychology), representing the College of Education.





Athletics Director Joe Castiglione said he came annually to the Senate to bring a little sunshine to the world of intercollegiate athletics.  He said he is finishing his eighth year as director, and he has truly enjoyed the experience.  He is privileged to work with a great group of coaches and other staff that serve nearly 500 student-athletes in the 20 sports the department sponsors.  He introduced Associate Athletics Director Gerald Gurney, Academic Advisor Teresa Turner, Life Skills Program Director Jennifer Vaughn, and Academic Advisor Curtis Jones.  Mr. Castiglione said the department was fortunate to have the leadership of Dr. Connie Dillon (Educational Leadership & Policy Studies), who took over from Prof. Dan Gibbens (Law) as OU’s faculty athletics representative. 


Guiding all decisions of the Athletics Department is a set of core values:  respect, accountability for self and others, passion for comprehensive excellence, commitment to continuous improvement, celebration of diversity, and integrity in all affairs.  Academic reform will impact intercollegiate athletics on every campus in the country.  OU has been preparing for the initiatives for several years, not only applying the new NCAA strategies to our program, but developing other strategies that will put our student-athletes in a position to be successful academically.  Coaches are given three years’ worth of data so they will understand what we have faced and will face in terms of similar comparisons.  The department has identified areas of concern, many resulting from student-athletes leaving early because of professional opportunities.  Some departmental policies have been instituted that will promote improved academic performance, including a background check of all prospective student-athletes, a faculty-based review of the academic background of marginally special-admit student-athletes, careful review of transferring student-athletes, and a new academic attendance policy.  Athletes can be held out of practice or prohibited from competing in contests for unexcused absences.  The department currently is evaluating how to put student-athletes in a better position to graduate in four years.  Typically, NCAA student-athletes must successfully complete 24 hours a year to remain eligible.  The university’s initiative is for students to complete 31 hours a year in order to graduate in four years.  It is the intent of the Athletics Department to have student-athletes finish in a four-year period, knowing that some cannot for very understandable and acceptable reasons.  Presently, student-athletes graduate at a rate that is identical with the rest of the student body: 56 percent.  Strategies to improve graduation are being reviewed by other faculty on campus.  If we can keep student-athletes here through their four years of eligibility, 84 percent graduate.  Student-athletes often leave early if they do not get enough playing time or have professional opportunities.  Ninety-three of our student-athletes were named to the academic all-Big 12 teams.  For the fall semester, the student-athlete grade point average was at an all-time high of 2.95.  Twelve teams finished with a 3.0 GPA or better. 


Student-athletes have embraced the importance of being involved in the community.  Jacob Gutierrez, a member of our football team, and Jackie Dubois, a member of our track and field team, were recognized for their outstanding contributions in community service by being nominated for the John Wooden Citizenship Cup.  The recipient was Jackie Dubois, who overcame cystic fibrosis early in her childhood to become captain of her cross country team.  She also is graduating at the top of her class in Meteorology.  Student-athletes are involved with over 1000 public school children, with hospitals, and with a variety of charitable organizations.  They try to make a strong effort to give something back to the community in response to the great support they receive in their athletic endeavors.


In terms of athletic performance, OU finished in the top 25 in football for the sixth straight year and had a bowl championship.  Football continues to draw record crowds; attendance is in the top ten nationally.  The women’s basketball team won the Big 12 championship, was undefeated in the regular Big 12 season, and was the Big 12 tournament champion.  Average attendance is over 7500, and three games were sell outs.  The men’s basketball team finished in the top 25 in the NCAA tournament, wrestling finished third in the nation, women’s gymnastics finished in the top ten in the nation, men’s gymnastics won a national championship for the second year in a row, men’s golf won the Big 12 championship, and baseball and softball are in the top 10 and top 25 and have seasons that are ongoing, as do the men’s and women’s track teams.


Diversity programs have been put in place, which have produced very good results.  The athletics diversity council brings in an expert to assess the programs and the improvements made to comply with Title IX, gender equity.  New facilities for soccer and tennis will be completed for fall.  The department has a continuing commitment to Title IX and is discussing the possible addition of a women’s sport.  One of the core values is integrity in all affairs.  In the last three years, the department has been reviewing its compliance programs and has made improvement and progress. 


Intercollegiate athletics is an enormous business.  The Athletics Department operates solely on funds it generates through ticket revenue, fundraising, corporate sponsorships, revenue sharing through the conference, licensing revenue, the use of primary marks, etc.  It does not receive any part of the annual state appropriate or any institutional support.  The annual operating budget is $62 million.  For the seventh straight year, the department will balance its budget.  Growth has been kept to CPI levels—3-5 percent—and the price of tickets has grown by the same amount or not increased at all.  Basketball tickets were left the same price this year.  The department has tried to find ways to contribute to the campus.  Through the $2 per football ticket fee, $2.5 million in unrestricted money has gone to the campus for academic enhancement.  The Athletics Department and many of its members personally contribute to the endowment for the University Libraries.  To stay in step with President Boren’s scholarship initiatives, the Athletics Department has increased its efforts to enhance the athletic scholarship endowment.  The endowment grew by over $1 million from last year to this year.  Mr. Castiglione thanked President Boren and the regents for giving him the chance to be in the role of director.  He said he tries to make the athletics program mirror the mission of the university.  The Athletics Department has great coaches and student-athletes who represent the University in a quality way around the country.  He appreciates the opportunity to share openly with the Faculty Senate.  He wants to operate fully with the spirit of transparency.   


Prof. Schwarzkopf said he had been hearing some discussions about the responsibility of universities to their athletes.  He asked what it would take to remove a scholarship from a student-athlete.  Mr. Castiglione answered that scholarships are offered annually.  There is an expectation that the scholarship will be awarded each year.  Every spring student-athletes get a letter saying whether the scholarship will be renewed or not.  They have the right to appeal to an independent board if the scholarship is not renewed.  Typically, reasons are related to conduct, not athletic performance.  The aid is honored for the duration they are here, provided they take their academic responsibilities and conduct seriously. 


Prof. Biggerstaff pointed out that certain degrees are difficult to finish in four years, and adding athletics on top puts a lot of pressure on the athlete.  He asked whether the Athletics Department asks students to consider a different discipline than those that take longer than four years to master.  Dr. Gurney replied that the athletic scholarship is designed to be a ten-semester scholarship, so student-athletes normally have five years plus summer school and intersession to complete their studies.  The policy under consideration for continuing eligibility is intended to help student-athletes focus on graduating within four years but allows for specific degree programs that take longer.  It currently is taking about 4.9 years to graduate, and the graduation rate is only 56 percent.  The rate should be better for both student-athletes and students in general.  The proposed policy has exceptions and waivers for challenging majors and allows some additional time to graduate.  It is in line with what we are trying to do here:  have a student-athlete finish with a degree in hand. 





Human Resources Director Julius Hilburn updated the Senate on health insurance issues.  Assistant Director Nick Kelly and Employment Benefits Committee Chair Darryl McCullough (Mathematics) also were present.  Mr. Hilburn said the two questions he is frequently asked have to do with the high premiums for dependent care and whether the University will stay with Aetna or go back to HealthChoice in 2007.  He explained that OU’s premiums for dependent health care are high.  OU is different than its peer institutions because of its contribution approach.  OU pays 100 percent of employee premiums but nothing toward dependent premiums.  That means dependent rates are higher than at other institutions.  OU’s benefit consulting group, Mercer Consultants, reports that the average monthly cost in higher education for family coverage is around $300; OU’s cost is around $700.  The average contribution for employee coverage at those institutions is $73 per month; OU has no required contribution for employee coverage.  In the context of everything the university spends on benefits, we have the highest fringe benefit rate for grants and contracts in the Big 12 and has the second highest expenditure for retirement benefits.  OU is the only Big 12 institution that pays 100 percent of the employee premium for medical and dental and 100 percent of the retiree premium for medical.  Our benefit costs are higher than the average of our peer institutions, and the dollars are spent differently than the others.  This contribution strategy makes it difficult to recruit and retain faculty and staff.


In response, Human Resources has been analyzing the data, talking with various governance groups, and identifying options that are worthy of further discussion.  Changing the contribution strategy will require the campus community to engage in a thoughtful dialogue.  It is not an easy issue to resolve.  The Employment Benefits Committee, which is made up of faculty and staff from all three campuses, has been discussing the contribution strategy and asked Mercer to consider alternative strategies.  With the overall budget situation, it is not possible for the university to provide additional dollars to solve the problem.  Mercer developed a “strawman” contribution strategy to facilitate discussion and analysis and identify funding sources.  The strawman does not represent a final proposal, but could give us some ideas for responding to the issue.  If we introduce a lower cost base plan, employees who elect a higher level of coverage would make a contribution that could be applied to dependent categories.  The lower cost plan would have a higher deductible, co-pay, and out-of-pocket maximums, but would use the same networks as we currently have.  Buying up to the current level of PPO coverage would require a contribution of approximately $35 per month.  If we made no change, the monthly rate for families for 2007 is estimated to be about $700, which means employees are paying on average 68 percent of the cost for a family.  Under the strawman strategy, if the employee chose the free lower cost plan, the family coverage would be about $500 per month or 48 percent of the total premium.  For the high PPO plan, employees would pay $35 per month (10 percent of the cost of that coverage), and the monthly family premium would be $613 (54 percent of the overall premium).  At other universities, employees typically pay about 18 percent of the cost of the single-only premium and 30 percent of the cost of family coverage.  The strawman model would move us closer to a competitive position.  The model generated lots of good discussion within the Employment Benefits Committee (EBC), and the group thought the proposal warranted continuing dialogue.  The EBC asked Human Resources to look at other ways besides employee contributions to generate additional dollars, the impact on lower paid faculty and staff, and a phased implementation to a competitive position. 


Another issue regarding health insurance is whether we should stay with Aetna or return to the state HealthChoice plan.  Aetna and HealthChoice really are the only viable options.  We should not have an annual ritual of choosing between the two plans.  It is not good for employees to jump back and forth because of transition of care and other benefit issues.  EBC will make an assessment as to the best value, considering network access, price, service, and flexibility to offer options important to OU.  One of the reasons for changing to Aetna was that HealthChoice did not offer benefits when people were out of state.  Discussion with governance groups will continue through July.  The EBC will make recommendations in August concerning the rates for next year and whether to stay with Aetna or change to HealthChoice.  The EBC may not be ready then to make a recommendation about a change in contribution strategy.  In September, the regents approve a health insurance plan for the next year.  Open benefits enrollment is October-November. 


Prof. Scamehorn asked how the strawman proposal would affect retirees.  Mr. Hilburn said retirees who are over 65 are on Medicare.  Those who are under 65 have traditionally had the same contribution strategy as active employees.  He said, “I think we would not do anything with that because we do not consider them active employees.”  Currently, they do not contribute more; the university pays 100 percent of their premium.  Prof. Schwarzkopf said he thought it was good to have a discussion of alternate plans, but summer was not a good time to make a change.  If we are going to make a major change in the paradigm, we need to spend the next year discussing the issue.  [The slides presented by Mr. Hilburn are available from the Senate office.]





On April 12, members of the Executive Committee met with the leadership of the OSU and OUHSC faculty council and senate.  The group discussed health care concerns, OTRS, TABOR, expanded grading scale, post-tenure review, faculty diversity, and the OSU-Tulsa program. 


At President Boren’s request, the Executive Committee interviewed Interim Dean Foote in the College of Journalism and Mass Communication and Interim Dean Enrico in the College of Fine Arts concerning their candidacy for permanent dean.  Prof. Knapp wrote letters to President Boren summarizing the results of those interviews. 


At the monthly meeting with President Boren, the Executive Committee suggested that additional faculty resources be added to his task force on graduation/retention since the big drops in retention occur as students move deeper into their programs.  That is when the faculty has a bigger impact.  President Boren asked Vice President Hathaway, chair of the task force, to take that under consideration.


The Faculty Welfare Committee is conducting a survey of faculty and staff attitudes about health benefits.  The Executive Committee urged President Boren to go slowly in making any changes in health benefits, particularly since faculty will have their attention diverted elsewhere during the summer.  The President seemed to be very accepting of that.  Prof. Bob Dauffenbach, chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, said the response rate to the survey was 60 percent so far. 


Prof. Knapp reported the death of Dr. Charlyce King, professor emeritus of education, who died on May 2, 2006.  Mr. Hillyer Freeland, a staff member who worked 36 years in the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 30 of those as the manager of the union, died May 3. 





Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the following outgoing senators who completed full three-year terms (2003-06):  Cecelia Brown, Thomas Burns, Jack Catlin, M. Chris Knapp, Hong Liu, and Daniel Ransom.  Certificates also were presented to other senators whose terms expired and to the outgoing members of the Senate Executive Committee.  Prof. Knapp thanked the senators for their patience and diligence in their service to their colleagues and University.  He announced that Senator Geletzke just retired after 27 years of service in the U.S. Navy.  He thanked the Executive Committee members for their counsel and advice.  Prof. Knapp commented that the Faculty Welfare Committee survey should provide good statistics on attitudes of employees about health care.  He pointed out that the Faculty Compensation Committee had championed the idea of service awards for faculty, and thanks to the support of the provost, 72 faculty members with 30 or more years of service were given an OU arm chair at the faculty awards ceremony.  He thanked Prof. Bradford for resolving some textbook order problems and Prof. Frech for chairing the Committee on Committees.  He also thanked student clerk Tabitha Brown and coordinator Sonya Fallgatter.





The Senate approved the Committee on Committees' nominations for end-of-the-year vacancies on university and campus councils/committees/boards (attached).  The names of the remaining volunteers will be forwarded to the administration to consider for the appointments they make.  Prof. Frech said he appreciated the willingness of the faculty to serve on committees. 





The Senate elected the following faculty to fill vacancies on Senate standing committees: 



Continuing members: Cecelia Brown (Library & Information Studies), Jane Magrath (Music), Al Schwarzkopf (Management Information Systems).

To replace Keith Gaddie (Political Science), S. Lakshmivarahan (Computer Science):

Glen Krutz (Associate Professor of Political Science, Ph.D. Texas A&M, at OU since 2002)

S. Lakshmivarahan (Professor of Computer Science, Ph.D. Indian Institute of Science, at OU since 1979)



Continuing members: Tyrrell Conway (Botany & Microbiology), Heidi Mau (Art), Karl Sievers (Music).

To replace Richard Marshment (Regional & City Planning), Fred Striz (Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering):

Jeffrey Maiden (Associate Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, Ph.D. Florida, at OU since 1994)

L. Angie Ohler (Assistant Professor of University Libraries, M.A. American, M.S. Catholic, at OU since 2004)



Continuing members: Tom Burns (Sociology), Sheena Murphy (Physics & Astronomy), Lee Willinger (Accounting).

To replace Bob Dauffenbach (Management Information Systems), 2006-09 term:

Bob Dauffenbach (Professor of Management Information Systems, Ph.D. Illinois, at OU since 1990)

To replace Fran Ayres (Accounting), 2006-08 term:

Fran Ayres (Professor of Accounting, Ph.D. Iowa, at OU since 1982)


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, 2006-07 term, 3 at-large members

To replace Cecelia Brown (Library & Information Studies), Roberta Magnusson (History), Murray Tabb (Law):

Peter Gade (Associate Professor of Journalism & Mass Communication, Ph.D. Missouri, at OU since 1998)

Neil Houser (Associate Professor of Instructional Leadership & Academic Curriculum, Ph.D. Washington State, at OU since 1996)

Randall Kolar (Associate Professor of Civil Engineering & Environmental Science, Ph.D. Notre Dame, at OU since 1995)





Prof. Cecelia Brown (Associate Professor of Library & Information Studies, Ph.D. Illinois, at OU since 1996) was elected Senate Secretary for 2006-07.  Prof. A. Steve Bradford (John Saxon Chair of Ancient History, Ph.D. Chicago, at OU since 1994) was elected Chair-Elect of the Senate for 2006-07.





Before reading the following resolution of appreciation to Prof. Roy Knapp, outgoing Senate Chair, Prof. Bradford remarked that in this time of heightened sensitivity to plagiarism, he needed to confess that he freely borrowed from Homer. 


Whereas Roy is a man of many ways and many journeys, who has seen much and thus learned to know the human heart,

Whereas Roy has captained our little-metaphorical-ship through the aeolian winds of rising oil revenues and threatened tax cuts and past the avernian spectre of OHLAP,

Whereas Roy has steered us between the Scylla of HealthChoice and the Charybdis of Aetna and has ensured that the crew would be fully informed on health care issues, of the different plans and models, and

Whereas Roy has insisted that we have a voice in any decisions made,

Whereas Roy has ensured that all questions relevant to the faculty would be presented to this body, be fully explicated, fully discussed, and brought to a vote in a timely manner,

Whereas Roy has sailed us through the dry campus and the walking campus,

Whereas Roy has continued a dialogue between the President and the Faculty and has maintained a good relationship while nonetheless presenting faculty concerns,

Whereas Roy has kept the faculty informed about faculty accomplishments and honors and has seen that faculty service is rewarded through increased funding for faculty development awards,

Whereas Roy has accomplished these cyclopean tasks with courtesy, equanimity, and good humor,

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate expresses its appreciation to Roy Knapp for his outstanding leadership and services to the University and to the University Faculty for the academic year 2005-2006.


The resolution was unanimously approved by the Senate.  Prof. Knapp thanked the Faculty Senate for its support and asked a favor.  He said, “I think that in the next few years, we as faculty are going to have some opportunities for academic governance sharing with the administration.  Accept the opportunities because I sense that this administration will welcome that assistance, and your participation in faculty government will help make the university much stronger.”  Prof. Frech presented Prof. Knapp with certificate of appreciation and an engraved OU arm chair.  Prof. Frech then assumed the office of 2006‑07 Senate Chair. 





In the interest of time, Prof. Fincke said she would postpone the introduction of the Zoology Department’s statement on evolution (attached) until the fall.  Prof. Frech wished everyone a very happy summer. 





The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 11, 2006, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


A. Steve Bradford, Secretary