The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – May 5, 2008 – 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 Steve Bradford, Chair.


PRESENT:       Apanasov (0), Basic (2), Bass (2), D. Bemben (1), M. Bemben (0), Benson (0), Bradford (0), Brown (0), Clark (2), Conlon (0), Croft (0), Edy (0), Eodice (2), Forman (1), Franklin (0), Ge (0), Grasse (1), Horn (1), Knapp (2), Livesey (0), Magnusson (0), Marcus-Mendoza (2), C. Miller (0), Milton (0), Miranda (1), Morrissey (1), Moses (0), Radhakrishnan (2), Rambo (3), Reeder (1), Riggs (1), Roche (1), Rogers (0), Sadler (3), Schmidt (0), Striz (2), Tan (2), Trafalis (1), Trytten (0), Veil (0), Verma (2), Vitt (2), Warnken (0)

Provost's office representative:  Mergler
ISA representatives:  Cook

ABSENT:         Albert (2), Brule (2), Callard (2), Greene (3), Halterman (4), Kershen (3), McDonald (3), Russell (3), Skeeters (2), Weaver (3)


[Note: During the period from June 2007 to May 2008, the Senate held 8 regular sessions and no special sessions.  The figures in parentheses above indicate the number of absences.]






Schedule of Senate meetings for fall 2008

Summary of Speakers Service program

Faculty retirees

Faculty development award recipients

Faculty tribute

Remarks by Athletics Director Joe Castiglione

Senate Chair's Report:


Committee A workshop

Pre-finals week


Certificates of appreciation

Election, councils/committees/boards and Senate standing committees

Election, Senate Executive Committee

Resolution of Appreciation to Prof. Steve Bradford






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of April 14, 2008 was approved.





The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for fall 2008 will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102 on the following Mondays:  September 8, October 13, November 10, and December 8.


Summary of the activities of the Faculty Senate Speakers Service for the past year:  From May 2007 to April 2008, the Faculty Senate office arranged for 52 faculty and staff to give 141 presentations to 93 organizations in 24 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. Bradford commented that he had given presentations through the Speakers Service in the past and had had interesting experiences.


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.





Catlin, Jack

Classics & Letters



Fox, Robert

Educ. Leadership & Policy Studies



Jordan, Jack



1990 & 1974-77

Knapp, Roy

Petroleum & Geological Engr.



Kondonassis, Alex




Kudrna, James




Lee, Fred

Electrical & Computer Engr.



Mankin, Charles

Geology & Geophysics/OGS



McNichols, William




Patterson, Lotsee

Library & Information Studies



Price, R. Leon

Management Info. Systems



Roe, Bruce

Chemistry & Biochemistry



Smith, Robert




Van Gundy, Andy





The Faculty Senate is pleased to present the faculty development awards for the spring 2008 semester to Reid Coffman (Landscape Architecture), Janet Croft (Univ. Libraries), Chung Kao (Physics & Astronomy), Katherine Pandora (History of Science), Penny Pasque (Educ. Lead. & Pol. Studies), and Logan Whalen (Modern Languages, Lit. & Ling.). 


Senators Roberta Magnusson and Aimee Franklin, Executive Committee members, won awards at the recent Faculty Tribute ceremony.  Prof. Magnusson received a Regents’ Award for Superior Teaching, and Prof. Franklin received a Sam K. Viersen Jr. Presidential Professorship.





Prof. Bradford said it has become tradition for the Athletics Director to speak to the Faculty Senate.  Mr. Castiglione said it has been his pleasure and privilege to have visited with the Faculty Senate for eight straight years.  He introduced the Faculty Athletics Representative for the Big XII and NCAA, Dr. Connie Dillon, who has provided extraordinarily strong service and leadership and is involved with issues on the national level, and Senior Associate AD Gerald Gurney, who oversees issues regarding academic affairs. 


Mr. Castiglione began with OU’s response to the big NCAA change referred to as academic reform.  Student-athlete welfare has been and always will be our number one concern.  OU has accepted all that has come through with regard to academic reform and has taken the opportunity to see how it best fits us and to see that our student-athletes are prepared and progress toward graduation.  The department looked at some initiatives internally to deal with some of the issues.  The first was to develop an admissions review committee, made up of faculty, to review student-athletes who are at risk academically, even though they exceed NCAA eligibility standards.  Each case receives full review.  This committee is allowed to request any information they want about a student-athlete, and they can ask to meet with the coach, who is held accountable for the student-athlete’s success.  Second, the Athletics Department is requiring background checks prior to the time the student-athlete signs the national letter of intent.  OU is one of only a few institutions doing this.  Through the checks, the department attempts to learn as much as it can about an individual’s character.  They look at any criminal background or run-ins with the law but can access only information that is available to the public.  Fortunately, no student-athlete has had to be refused after being offered a national letter of intent.  Third, there are penalties now that will develop if athletics departments have sports that do not reach a certain academic progress rate.  The OU Athletics Department has a policy in place to deal with potential penalties, although none have been imposed yet.  In the next several days, the NCAA will release the rates for all institutions in the country.  Last year, the department developed a psychological resource, which has been a strong asset for current student-athletes but also assists with the assessment and screening of new student-athletes.  In addition, the learning specialist programs develop strategies for learning enhancement.  The Athletics Department is dealing with a variety of people with varying preparedness for college-level work.  Staff members have been put in place to assist student-athletes when they arrive and while they are here.  Another program the department developed as a result of the academic reform movement is a higher standard for progress toward a degree.  It is a carryover of the retention/graduation task force created by President Boren.  The NCAA requires that student-athletes must complete a certain percentage of their degree requirements after each year.  The Athletics Department is encouraging student-athletes to take more than the minimum number of hours required.  It has worked very well.  After one year’s data, it appears likely that more student-athletes could be moved toward a degree in four years.  Mr. Castiglione noted that this policy has not had any deleterious effect on the special admit student-athletes.  All of these initiatives address the issues in the athletics culture and puts the department in a better position to improve the way student-athletes perform in the classroom.


Mr. Castiglione said is he really proud of the Athletics Department staff.  This year the National Consortium for Academics in Sports recognized OU as having the nation’s most successful degree completion program.  The program he just described is at the heart of this success, as is the effort to reach out to former student-athletes to get them to complete their degree.  The board recognized that the department brought back 112 former student-athletes, and 87 graduated in the last several years.  With regard to the performance of current student-athletes, 63 percent consistently earn a 3.0 GPA or better, and 37 earned a 4.0 last year.  Nine of the 16 teams average a 3.0 GPA or better. 


This year will be the ninth straight year that the Athletics Department has balanced its budget.  OU is one of the few athletics programs in the country that does not receive any state funds, institutional funds or student fees.  President Boren likes to say that the Athletics Department is one of the few programs that actually subsidizes the academic budget.  The academic enhancement fee, $2 per ticket per football game, is given to the University to support academic programs.  The department also contributes money to build a $1 million endowment for the library.  In spite of the economically challenging times, the department’s fundraising initiatives continue to go well, and it is retaining the vast majority of its season ticket holders.  The Athletics Department is well ahead of repaying the loan that was put in place about six years ago for the operating debt of nearly $15 million, which had accrued before Mr. Castiglione arrived.  The loan probably will be paid in full 10 to 11 years earlier than projected. 


In the last couple of years, the Athletics Department has made significant advances in improving diversity in student-athletes as well as in staff and coaches.  All but two women’s sports are coached by women.  The department’s commitment to compliance and integrity rules has grown in the last nine years and is absolutely strong and unwavering.  Any situations are faced the right way, with swift and decisive action.  The performance of the sports programs continues to be very strong.  Several teams have won conference or national championships and participated in NCAA tournaments.  He distributed copies of the annual report.


Prof. Bradford asked about women’s rowing.  Mr. Castiglione noted that women’s rowing is OU’s newest sport.  Leeanne Crain was hired as the head coach, and she is on campus now putting everything together.  Competition is expected to begin a year from now, in the spring.  Most of the first year competitors will be walk-ons, and they will be taught to become technically skilled.  Prof. Bass asked about the amount of principal left on the $15 million note.  Mr. Castiglione said it was just under $6 million.  Prof. Striz asked whether ice hockey would become an NCAA sport.  Mr. Castiglione said a lot of people are interested in that.  However, with OU’s commitment to gender equity, Title 9, it will be quite awhile before we add a men’s sport.  Women’s rowing eventually will get us to proportionality. 


Prof. Bradford commented that the better job the Athletics Department does at recruiting, the more athletes leave early to go pro instead of graduating.  Mr. Castiglione said the methodology in place begins to recognize but does not fully address the issue of student-athletes who are in good academic standing and leave campus to pursue a professional career.  Another situation is student-athletes who do not get enough playing time here will transfer to another school.  Heretofore, we have not been able to get credit for the person who graduates from the other school.


Prof. Brown asked what happens to students who have a felony record.  Mr. Castiglione said OU has not taken a student with a felony record, so they do not end up here.  Prof. Bradford asked how well the Athletics Department knows individuals after recruiting them.  Mr. Castiglione answered that the NCAA significantly restricts the amount of time the coaches can interact with prospective student-athletes.  Coaches try to build a relationship with their student-athletes.  When they get here, the coaches will know more about their academic preparedness, their character, and so forth.  Institutions around the country are facing some of these situations with non student-athletes.  Sometimes even outstanding student-athletes make an error in judgment. 


Prof. Marcus-Mendoza said she has been amazed at the services that have been put in place since 1992.  She commented that a lot of student-athletes and athletics staff go through the Human Relations program, and the quality of students is wonderful.  The summer camps put on by the various sports are great opportunities for children to learn and grow, and the Athletics Department should be commended.  Mr. Castiglione said the department has a terrific group of head coaches who keep priorities in order.  In today’s world, with a focus on winning, people forget that student-athletes are still growing, dealing with stress, managing all the demands in a short amount of time, and trying to be as good as they can be in their sport.  The program has high standards for athletic performance.  It gets great support from the President, Provost, and staff.  Student-athletes need the faculty’s leadership and guidance as they transition from secondary to higher education.  It is important to Mr. Castiglione that the Athletics Department reflects positively on and is an integral part of OU’s institutional mission.  The reason for coming to the Faculty Senate meetings each year is to make sure the faculty knows the Athletics Department is fully transparent.  Everything the Athletics Department does is a reflection of the mission.  The department staff tries to do everything with integrity and class.  The staff interacts with the Athletics Council, which is made up predominantly of faculty, or interacts with faculty on a daily basis.  This year, Mr. Castiglione just finished his first semester of teaching graduate students.  He said it was wonderful to come to a place where you can set the bar as high as you can, and people will support you in reaching or exceeding that threshold.  He is proud and privileged to be the Athletics Director at OU.  The program continues to have success, and its best days are still ahead. 



SENATE CHAIR'S REPORT, by Prof. Steve Bradford


The Senate Executive Committee discussed the budget outlook with President Boren on May 1.  The second week of May the state board of equalization will certify revenues.  The board may find more gross production tax than expected.  If so, everyone will be fighting for those dollars.  It is possible we could get some additional funding, which could translate into a slightly smaller tuition increase or a slightly larger salary increase.  The state is almost $100 million behind in its match of endowed faculty positions for OU.  There is some possibility of a state bond issue to provide funding. 


Provost Mergler had a Committee A workshop on disruptive individuals.  One of the points that came out of the meeting was that the University provides many support services, and faculty should refer troubled students to one of those offices. 


The students have asked for an amendment in the pre-finals week policy to change the amount of work that can be due from 10 percent to 5 percent.  Prof. Bradford said he saw the proposal as a move by the students to give them time to study for finals and so that faculty would not spring surprises on them the last week.  Handouts were distributed at the meeting of the current policy in Faculty Handbook section 4.10, the student proposal, and the Executive Committee’s preliminary suggestions.  The proposal will be discussed in the fall. 


Following up on a question raised at the last meeting, Prof. Bradford said he had asked Provost Mergler about the university’s subscription to Pick-A-Prof.  Provost Mergler told him that student government had petitioned to have class grades released to Pick-A-Prof.  Legal Counsel agreed to release the grades as long as students could not be identified because a class was so small.  The Graduate Student Senate has expressed some concerns.  Prof. Bradford said he thought the GSS should act first, if it wants, and pass a resolution opposing the subscription to the Pick-A-Prof service, and then the Faculty Senate could decide what to do.


Prof. Bradford thanked the provost for attending the Senate meetings and for meeting regularly with the Executive Committee and the Chair.  He thanked her for discussing issues openly and for her support.  He also thanked the Executive Committee members for their opinions and ideas and said it always was a pleasure to meet with them.  He thanked the senators.  He said it had been a pleasant year.  What he learned this year was that many problems were problems only because somebody had not spoken to somebody else.  The job of the Senate is to seek information before drawing conclusions or taking sides. 





Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the following outgoing senators who completed full three-year terms (2005-08):  John Albert, Hugh Benson, Janet Croft, Aimee Franklin, Susan Marcus-Mendoza, Alan Roche, Martha Skeeters, Deborah Trytten, and Charles Warnken.  Certificates also were presented to other senators whose terms expired and to the outgoing members of the Senate Executive Committee. 





The Senate approved the Committee on Committees' nominations for end-of-the-year vacancies on university and campus councils/committees/boards and Faculty Senate standing committees (attached).  Prof. Brown pointed out that Chris Sadler was substituted for Michael Sullivan on the Parking Violation Appeals Committee.  The names of the remaining volunteers will be forwarded to the administration to consider for the appointments they make. 





The Senate elected the following faculty to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for 2008-09:



Loretta Bass (Associate Professor of Sociology, Ph.D. Connecticut, at OU since 1999)

Scott Moses (Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, Ph.D. Purdue, at OU since 1999)

Jeff Schmidt (Associate Professor of Marketing, Ph.D. Michigan State, at OU since 2005)


Paula Conlon (Associate Professor of Music, Ph.D. Montreal, at OU since 1996)


Aimee Franklin (Associate Professor of Political Science, Ph.D. SUNY at Albany, at OU since 1998)





Before reading the following resolution of appreciation to Prof. Steve Bradford, outgoing Senate chair, Prof. Magnusson explained that Prof. Bradford’s research areas are ancient Greece and pirates.

Whereas Steve has sailed many seas and weathered many storms, keeping our ship afloat and on course through another historic year,

Whereas he has sought to retain our students lest they be washed overboard before reaching the safe harbor of graduation,

Whereas he has sought to build consensus rather than sow the apples of discord,

Whereas he has consulted the wisdom of campus committee Solons and brought faculty concerns to the administrators on Mount Olympus,

Whereas he has consulted the oracles of IT in order to decipher their Delphic prophecies about Student Information Systems,

Whereas he helped shield our 4x4 identities from the pirates of the Internet,

Whereas he sacrificed his Spring Break to summon the phalanxes and spearhead the opposition to the prospect of guns on campus,

Whereas he has faced the threat of draconian cuts and Spartan budgets,

Whereas he has helped the faculty thread its way through the health care labyrinth,

Whereas he has supported Green efforts to preserve our Arcadian campus,

Whereas his term was marked by an epic ice storm that nearly shattered the Groves of Academe,

Whereas he has conducted Senate business with calm and cheerful efficiency, so that meetings did not drag on into marathon sessions,

Whereas he has upheld the classic traditions of reason, democracy, and civility in a world too often beset by irrationality, tyranny, and demagoguery,

Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate expresses its appreciation to Steve Bradford for his outstanding leadership and service for the academic year of 2007-2008.


The resolution was unanimously approved by the Senate.  Prof. Brown presented Prof. Bradford with a certificate of appreciation and an engraved OU arm chair.  Prof. Brown then assumed the office of 2008‑09 Senate chair. 





The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.  The next regular session of the Faculty Senate will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, September 8, 2008, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Roberta Magnusson, Secretary