The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)
Regular session – May 9, 2011 – 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 (0), Asojo (1), Atiquzzaman (1), Ayres (2), Baer (1), Bergey (0), Blank (0), Bradshaw (1), Chang (1), Chapple (2), Chiodo (3), Deacon (0), Devegowda (3), Hahn (1), Jean-Marie (2), Kosmopoulou (0), Lauer-Flores (0), Leseney (1), Marsh-Matthews (1), McPherson (1), Minter (2), Morvant (1), Moses (0), Muraleetharan (1), Palmer (1), Park (2), Ransom (3), Remling (1), Sadler (1), Sandel (2), Stock (0), Strauss  (1), Taylor (2), Vehik (2), Verma (1), Wyckoff (1), Wydra (0), Xiao (3), Zhu (0)

ISA representatives:  Cook (1), Hough (1)

ABSENT:         Cox-Fuenzalida (3), Gramoll (3), Kimball (3), Morrissey (3), Moxley (3), Natale (1), Tabb (2), Weaver (3), Williams (3), Yi (3)

Graduate College representative:  Griffith (3)

[Note: During the period from June 2010 to May 2011, the Senate held 9 regular sessions and no special sessions.  The figures in parentheses above indicate the number of absences.]





Remarks by Athletics Director Joe Castiglione


Schedule of Senate meetings for fall 2011

Summary of Speakers Service program

Search committee, College of Education dean

Student enrollment changes, Honors Council dissolution

Bike to Work Day

Faculty retirees

Faculty death

Senate Chair's Report:

Salaries, tuition

Copier/printer contract

Jacobson 102 renovation

Benefits:  retiree health plan, phased retirement

Administrative salaries

Search, Vice President for Information Technology; Budget

Faculty Advisory Council to the state regents: textbooks, advising

Signage, student complaints

Privacy room

Resolution, wellness

Certificates of appreciation

Election, councils/committees/boards and Senate standing committees

Election, Senate Executive Committee

Resolution of appreciation to Prof. LeRoy Blank






The Faculty Senate Journal for the regular session of April 11, 2011 was approved.





Athletics Director Joe Castiglione distributed copies of the Athletics Department annual report, which summarized the 2009-10 progress and achievement.  Mr. Castiglione said he interacts with the faculty in a variety of ways.  The faculty has representation on the Athletics Council, which oversees and advises intercollegiate athletics and advises the president on athletics matters.  He said he wanted to impress on the Faculty Senate that the Athletics Department is running an operation that is transparent. 


Among the several changes that have affected the department since last year was the conference realignment.  Progress has been made in the areas of academics, finance, and athletic achievement.  Compliance has been a huge area of improvement and growth.  Academically, progress continues in some of the programs put in place years ago, such as the attendance policy, the academic review committee, and graduation/retention initiatives.  Each year there have been increases in the graduation rate, retention, and grades.  Thirty-three students received national academic honors this year, seven entire teams earned honors in the 2009-10 academic year, and the men’s cross country team has already been recognized this year as an Academic All-American team.  Sixty-seven student-athletes finished the fall semester with a 4.0 GPA.  More than two-thirds – 400 of the 585 student-athletes – had a 3.0 GPA or better last fall, and 11 teams had a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.  OU had the highest academic progress rate in the Big 12 the last two years.  The data for this year are due out soon.  While still a student here, football student-athlete Quinton Carter started his own foundation to serve the community, was named by the American Football Coaches Association as a member of the Good Works Team, and also was awarded the Wooden Citizenship Cup.  OU has had four finalists in the six years the Wooden Cup has been given, and Mr. Carter is the second student-athlete from OU to win that award.


An area that is getting some attention in the media is what institutions are doing to develop opportunities to distribute video and other kinds of content.  The University of Texas has launched its own 24-hour, 7-day a week station.  OU is looking into that endeavor as well.  The Athletics Department partnership with the College of Journalism has continued to grow.  Now almost 40 students are working with the Athletics Department on a regular basis, doing video editing and live event production.  About 120 programs come out of that one studio annually.  This is another example of the academic-athletic partnership.


In the area of finance, the Athletics Department has balanced its budget for the twelfth consecutive year.  The department has emerged from a period of time when it was stressed financially and required a loan from the campus.  At the end of this fiscal year, the loan will be paid in full, almost 11 years ahead of schedule.  The Athletics Department is committed to remaining self-sustaining, meaning it does not depend on any appropriation from the state, on direct institutional subsidies, or on student fees.  OU is one of only 4-6 schools in the U.S. that is totally self-sustaining and is very proud of that.  Athletics is an integral part of the institutional mission and does not want to be a drag financially on the university.  In the last few years, the department developed an academic enhancement fee that comes off of sales of home football game tickets.  To date, over $14 million has been contributed to the academic side of the University. Support for other academic initiatives averages approximately $6 million annually.  The department faces budget challenges, just like other parts of the University.  Any funding available to the department would not be possible without the success of the athletics programs, the outstanding leadership of the coaches, and the private support of donors.  A new residence hall will be completed entirely with private funds.  All of the incoming student-athletes will be under one roof, although 51 percent of the residents will not participate in athletics.  In other areas of finance, the Athletics Department is part of the hiring freeze and is reassessing funding initiatives, all to make sure the department is supporting its mission and helping the programs to be successful.


Last year, we were the first school in Big 12 history to produce a national player of the year in both football and basketball.  This year, those same two individuals – Sam Bradford and Blake Griffin – were named Rookies of the Year in their respective sports.  The department continues to see great improvement across the board in athletic programs, which has been a goal.  This may be one of the best years for success across the board.  Many sports are participating in the post season.  All nine spring sports were ranked in the top 25 nationally.  Mr. Castiglione said he understands we cannot achieve those goals without the support and leadership of President Boren.  The Board of Regents as well as the private sector also are very supportive.  This year for the first time, the department will surpass $20 million in annual gifts from donors.  To give back, student-athletes have logged more than 1400 hours in service projects to the community this year.  The coaches and staff had a day of community service in lieu of a holiday party and were involved with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, food banks, and visits to hospitals.  It is something they will continue to do.  The Athletics Department works to improve its relationship with the campus, community, state, and fans and strives to represent this University in the best possible way, with dignity and class.  Mr. Castiglione said he is always proud, honored, and privileged to stand before any group as director of athletics. 


Prof. Muraleetharan asked what was happening with the Justice Department inquiry into the BCS championship.  Mr. Castiglione said a challenge to the BCS legality comes up annually.  It typically has to do with automatic access for some teams.  Years ago, teams would compete in bowl games and then the polls would determine the national champion.  With the BCS, theoretically the two best teams compete head-to-head for the national championship.  Since the methodology has been in place, there have been adjustments.  Challenges typically are waged by legislators representing institutions that are not in the BCS.  Since the BCS, college football has never been more popular.  Football is our economic engine and is vital to the existence of not only football but the rest of our sports programs.


Prof. Sandel said he had read that colleges would make more money if they went to a playoff system.  He asked if there would be a financial incentive to change the format.  Mr. Castiglione replied that a playoff might garner greater television rights, but it is hard to say whether a college would make more money.  The vast majority of presidents and chancellors do not want a playoff. 


Prof. Chiodo asked whether athletic clubs, such as rugby, are funded through the Athletics Department and what the relationship is between the organizations.  Mr. Castiglione said they are funded through Student Affairs, and the Athletics Department has some basic interaction with them but not much.  The Athletics Department does fund the spirit squads. 


Prof. Minter asked about tickets for sporting events for the faculty.  Mr. Castiglione said the faculty/staff rate for season tickets is about 20-25 percent off the general public ticket price.  The department also offers a one-for-one match on annual donations for seats in a priority section.  Mr. Castiglione said he would love to have more faculty and staff go to the games, including football and basketball.


Prof. Hofford noted that Title IX has brought equality, access and opportunity for women in athletics.  Some teams are starting to make money.  He asked how the department plans to continue to keep the teams vital and viable.  Mr. Castiglione answered that football and basketball are the only two sports that generate more money than it costs to operate.  A number of sports are building attendance and generating more revenue.  Some sports are not necessarily spectator sports.  Certain sports get a lot more attention in the media.  People like to say the Athletics Department is in the business of winning, and of course the department wants to try to have the best sports program possible.  But really, the department is in the life enhancement business.  Student-athletes have made choices to come to OU, so the department makes a conscious effort to give the sports programs a chance to succeed.  That means hiring great coaches, building state-of-the-art facilities, and providing full scholarships and the amenities.  Title IX is the law but it also is the institutional philosophy.  There are three ways an institution can comply with Title IX.  We are moving toward proportionality, meaning the ratio of our male and female student-athletes will be close to reflecting the ratio of men and women on campus.  Because of the success of football, the department has the financial means to make it possible. 


Prof. Chapple wanted to know what kind of infrastructure the Athletics Department has with local media.  She said she was disappointed that, although the women’s gymnastics placed third in the country, the story was buried on the fourth page of the sports section of the local newspaper.  Mr. Castiglione said he understands the struggles that newspapers face financially, but it is frustrating not to get better coverage in the hometown newspaper.  The Athletics Department has a robust media relations area, and the department’s website is a dependable source for coverage of OU sports. 


Mr. Hofford asked whether students have free entry to non-revenue sports.  Mr. Castiglione said full-time students get in free.  Prof. Hofford said the Athletics Department might think about providing a card for faculty and staff that would get them in free or for a modest fee and might encourage them to attend.  Mr. Castiglione said he would look into it.  The Athletics Department has had some special nights at athletics events for faculty and staff.  Prof. Strauss added that any perk the Athletics Department could give to faculty would be appreciated.  Mr. Castiglione said this was his twelfth year coming before the Faculty Senate.  When he first arrived on campus, he asked for the opportunity to speak to the Senate.  He wanted to build a relationship with the faculty and staff and wanted them to feel fully informed.  He said he looks forward to sharing with the Senate in the next academic year.  Prof. Blank thanked Mr. Castiglione for his openness.  He pointed out that Mr. Castiglione had also met with the Budget Council and has been very transparent.





The regular meetings of the Faculty Senate for fall 2011 will be held at 3:30 p.m. in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102 on the following Mondays:  September 12, October 10, November 14, and December 12.


Summary of the activities of the Faculty Senate Speakers Service for the past year:  From May 2010 to April 2011, the Faculty Senate office arranged for 48 faculty and staff to give 127 presentations to 79 organizations in 31 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. Blank gave credit to Ms. Fallgatter for coordinating the program and said the Speakers Services makes a huge difference in how the people of the state view the University.  He encouraged the senators to think about joining the program. 


The Faculty Senate Executive Committee nominated three faculty members for the faculty-at-large position on the College of Education dean search committee.  From the nominations, the administration selected Prof. Joe Rodgers (Psychology) to serve.  The search committee will be chaired by College of Engineering Dean Tom Landers.


President Boren approved the proposal for changes in policies governing student enrollment changes and the dissolution of the Honors Council (see 4/11 Faculty Senate Journal). 


The annual Bike to Work Day for central Oklahoma is Friday, May 20 (see  It is part of a national campaign to promote bicycling as a healthy and efficient transportation alternative.


A list of the faculty who retired during the past academic year is attached.  The Faculty Senate thanks these faculty members for their dedication and contribution to our community.


The Faculty Senate is sad to report the death on April 27 of faculty member Michael Langenbach (Educational Leadership & Policy Studies). 





The Faculty Senate executive committee will be meeting with President Boren later this week to discuss the general financial health of the institution, in particular, compression problems, pay raises, and tuition.  President Boren has been talking to the students about tuition; it looks likely that there will be a tuition increase.  The Faculty Advisory Council recommended a small raise to the state regents, but no particular numbers were discussed.  Everyone is waiting to see what the legislature does.  Prof. Blank said the senators could send him agenda items that they would like the executive committee to bring up with the president.


OU now has a contract regarding copiers and printers.  The Faculty Senate executive committee is looking into the policy. 


A renovation of Jacobson 102, where the Faculty Senate meets, will take place over the summer and will include videoconferencing capability.


The retiree health plan will be an issue next year.  Prof. Blank said he thinks the administration should find the money for shortfalls someplace other than health insurance.  Phased retirement is being considered by OSU.  The Faculty Welfare Committee will be looking into that option.


The School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering asked the Faculty Senate to form a subcommittee to examine administrative salaries.  Prof. Blank will forward the memo to the Faculty Compensation Committee, which will take up that issue next year.


A search for the Vice President for Information Technology will be discussed with President Boren this week.  Another topic will be where we should make cutbacks when necessary.  Significant cuts this year were made in the one-time instructional funds, which impacts the graduate program particularly.


Professors Blank and Kosmopoulou attended a recent meeting of the Faculty Advisory Council to the state regents.  Prof. Kosmopoulou will be the new representative to the council.  At a recent meeting, the state regents provided a legislative update and a presentation about security on campus.  The text-2-trade program is on the verge of being implemented.  It would be a tremendous bonanza to students to be able to trade books with one another.  The Student Advisory Board to the state regents presented a resolution calling for better advising.  The Faculty Advisory Council is interested in increasing the communication between faculty and students and would not be opposed to looking into better advising for students. 


A couple of things that Prof. Blank wants to take care of before he leaves office is to have some spelling errors on building signs corrected and to tell the students about better alternatives than they currently have used for pursuing issues such as dead week violations.


An email was sent to faculty and staff on April 28 to assess the interest in an on-campus privacy room for breastfeeding mothers.  Prof. Blank encouraged the senators go to the web site and complete the survey.





Prof. Blank explained that a proposed resolution requesting an expanded commitment to wellness (attached) was proposed by the Faculty Senate Faculty Welfare Committee and put forward by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.  The committees hoped the senate would take action today if everyone was amenable.  If approved, the executive committee would take the resolution to the President, along with the request to make this a smoke-free campus.  Prof. Strauss asked whether the incentives for healthy behavior could be more specific.  Prof. Moses said the idea was HR could investigate what types of incentives are available and what meets the HIPAA requirements.  Prof. Strauss said he thought the incentives should include financial.  Prof. Moses said there are certain legal requirements that have to be met.  Prof. Blank said those incentives would be developed if the senate passed the resolution.  Prof. Bradshaw moved to change the language to “… offering incentives, including financial, that encourage healthy behavior…”  The resolution, as amended, was approved on a voice vote, with one abstention. 





Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the following outgoing senators who completed full three-year terms (2008-11): Abimbola Asojo, Mohammed Atiquzzaman, LeRoy Blank, Amy Bradshaw, K.K. Muraleetharan, Michael Strauss, and Don Wyckoff.  Certificates also were presented to other senators whose terms expired and to the outgoing members of the Senate Executive Committee.  Prof. Blank thanked them for their service and said their fellow colleagues appreciated what they have done.





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).  The names of the remaining volunteers will be forwarded to the administration to consider for the appointments they make.  Prof. Ayres asked why the Retirement Plans Management Committee was not included.  Prof. Blank explained that this year, the appointments were made by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.  A mechanism is now in place to have three faculty on staggered terms, and the RPMC will appear on the list of nominations from the Committee on Committees next year.





The following slate was proposed for the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for 2011-12:


Mark Morvant (Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Ph.D. Oklahoma, at OU since 2006)

W. Murray Tabb (Professor of Law, LL.M. Illinois, at OU since 1990)

Susan Vehik (Professor of Anthropology, Ph.D. Missouri-Columbia, at OU since 1977)


Abi Asojo (Associate Professor of Interior Design, M.Sc. East London, at OU since 1997)


Michael Bemben (Professor of Health & Exercise Science, Ph.D. Illinois, at OU since 1992)


Prof. Blank asked for a few words in support of Prof. Bemben, given the importance of the chair-elect.  Prof. Hofford said it was his privilege and honor to talk about his colleague.  Prof. Bemben is a presidential professor and chair of the Health & Exercise Science Department.  He currently is chair of the Budget Council, is on the Executive Committee of Arts & Sciences, and has played a role in the Institutional Review Board, Research Council, Graduate Council, and Academic Program Review.  He is an excellent teacher and researcher and has a good relationship with the HSC.  Prof. Bemben has served the University well over the years and will make an excellent chair.  The Senate approved the nominations.





Prof. Kosmopoulou, incoming Senate chair, said she appreciated Prof. Blank’s service and leadership.  She introduced a resolution of appreciation, which was approved on a voice vote. 


Whereas LeRoy developed a close and effective working relationship with the university administration, adding good humor and optimism to neutralize effects of difficult budgetary times;


Whereas LeRoy acted with devotion and wisdom as proponent of the faculty before the university community and the State of Oklahoma, representing the many and diverse viewpoints of faculty members;


Whereas LeRoy has worked diligently to maintain effective communication with the university administration about faculty concerns and needs regarding critical issues related to changes in the retirement program;


Whereas LeRoy has kept the faculty and its representatives continuously informed about numerous important issues concerning their welfare and worked hard to maintain quality faculty benefits;


Whereas LeRoy has kept the Faculty Senate Executive Committee busy with his very, very late night emails;


Whereas LeRoy has done all of this while also serving as the Town Constable for Lake Wobegon (hence the late night e-mails);


Whereas LeRoy has established a productive working relationship with student representatives, facilitating the process for creation of a new Academic Integrity Code and helping everyone survive the re-examination of the dead week policy;


Whereas LeRoy devoted his last year of an exemplary academic career to navigate the Faculty Senate through the tides and storms of budget cuts and salary and hiring freezes;


Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate expresses its sincere appreciation to LeRoy Blank for his faith in the collective wisdom of the faculty and for his unrelenting dedication to academic excellence and eloquent defense of the highest goals of the university community.


Prof. Kosmopoulou presented Prof. Blank with certificates of appreciation for serving as chair and senator and with an engraved clock so he could think of the time he spent working with the Senate.  Prof. Kosmopoulou then assumed the office of 2011-12 Senate Chair.





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, September 12, 2011, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


Amy Bradshaw, Faculty Secretary