May 9, 2008

Plenary Meeting of the Faculty

McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall

May 9, 2008

10:00 a.m.


I. Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Degree Candidates

II. Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Honors

III. Presentation and Approval of Candidates for Advanced Degrees

IV. Year-End Summary of Faculty Senate Activities

V. Faculty Awards

VI. Recognition of Retiring Faculty Members

VII. Announcements

VIII. Adjournment


Deborah Harter, Speaker of the Faculty Senate, welcomed the Rice faculty to the final plenary meeting of the 2007-08 academic year. She then asked Carl Caldwell, Chair of the Examinations and Standings Committee, and David Tenney, Registrar, to present the list of candidates for undergraduate degrees. They indicated that the totals for this year were the following:

Recommended Undergraduate Degrees May 2008

Bachelor of Arts 447

Bachelor of Science 60

BS in Bioengineering 25

BS in Chemical Engineering 16

BS in Civil Engineering 14

BS in Computer Science 9

BS in Electrical Engineering 28

BS in Mechanical Engineering 38

Bachelor of Music 29

Total Undergraduate Degrees 666

Bachelor of Architecture (UP) 22

Grand Total Undergraduate Degrees 688

There was a motion to approve the list of undergraduate degree candidates, and it was seconded. The resulting vote by the faculty was to approve the list.


Caldwell and Tenney then presented the list of candidates for undergraduate honors, see below:

University Honors (January and May 2008) GPA No.

Summa cum laude (top 5%) (4.042 - 4.229) 37

Magna cum laude (next 10%) (3.909 – 4.041) 73

Cum laude (next 15%) (3.837 – 3.908) 110

Total Number of Undergraduates Receiving Honors 220

There was a motion to approve the list, it was seconded, and the resulting vote was for approval of the list.


Professor Keith Hamm, representing the Graduate Council, and Tenney presented the list of candidates for advanced degrees. The totals are shown below:

Recommended Advanced Degrees May 2008

Doctor of Philosophy 107

Doctor of Musical Arts 5

Master of Arts 35

Master of Science 27

Master of Architecture 19

Master of Arts in Teaching 1

Master of Science in Environmental Analysis

and Decision Making 3

Master of Science in Nanoscale Physics 1

Master of Science in Subsurface Geoscience 2

Master of Science Teaching 1

Master of Music 45

Master of Bioengineering 3

Master of Computer Science 1

Master of Computational and Applied Mathematics 1

Master of Electrical Engineering 6

Master of Environmental Science 1

Master of Mechanical Engineering 2

Master of Statistics 1

Master of Business Administration 237

Master of Liberal Studies 3

Grand Total Advanced Degrees 501

There was a motion to approve the list of candidates for advanced degrees, it was seconded, and the resulting vote was for approval of the list.


Deborah Harter, Speaker of the Faculty Senate, briefly reviewed the Senate’s accomplishments for the 2007-08 academic year. These accomplishments included:

  • Approval of a Ph.D. in Management and a Ph.D. in Art History, on the recommendation of Graduate Council
  • Approval of a new minor in Global Health Technologies, and a newly formed Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management
  • Approval of Rice’s first “Policy Protocol on Access to Faculty Electronic Data,” the result of two years of work by the Senate’s Email Privacy Committee headed by Joe Warren and with the collaboration of President Leebron and General Council
  • Development and adoption of a new policy for the review of Deans when they come up for renewal, entitled “Dean Review Policy,” in response to an initiative from the Rice Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and with the collaboration of Provost Gene Levy
  • Development and approval of a new academic calendar in the form of a matrix that will serve as a template for all future calendars. The new matrix will allow for a four-week Winter Break and retains the two-day Midterm Recess valued by the students, while also allowing some courses to announce in advance that they will meet during breaks when necessary. The new system will ensure that future conversations will not be required regarding the academic calendar, and it will be put in place beginning with the 2009-2010 year. Harter thanked the Senate Committee on the Calendar for their extraordinary work, especially the chair of this committee, Professor Evan Siemann.
  • Formation of a new Senate working group on Admissions, under the leadership of Meredith Skura and Ben Kamins, whose task will be to promote increased faculty input on the admissions process at Rice

Harter thanked the many individuals who made informative presentations to the Faculty Senate this year. She invited current Senators to stand, and they were enthusiastically applauded by the faculty. Finally, she encouraged all faculty to attend the Faculty Senate meetings whenever they can, reminding them that their attendance and participation is always welcome.



President Leebron announced that the following awards are for teaching, but he also recognized the valuable contribution to the Rice community by the many faculty members who volunteer to be on committees, including the Faculty Senate. He stated that the work of the university could not be accomplished without these volunteer efforts. He commended Deborah Harter and Mike Stern on their leadership of the Senate. Leebron further stated that he wants to bring these individual contributions to the attention of the general faculty and will look for ways to achieve that next year. President Leebron and Eugene Levy, Provost, then handed out the following teaching awards:

George R. Brown Certificate of Highest Merit

Steven L. Klineberg, Professor of Sociology

George R. Brown Prize for Excellence in Teaching

Bridget Gorman, Associate Professor of Sociology

George R. Brown Awards for Superior Teaching

Edward Cox, Associate Professor of History

Terrence Doody, Professor of English

Michael Gustin, Professor of Biochemistry & Cell Biology

Stephen Klineberg, Professor Sociology

Michael Emerson, Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Professor of Sociology

Marcia O’Malley, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Nicolas Salgo Outstanding Teacher Award

Michelle Hebl, Associate Professor of Psychology and Management

Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement

Michelle Hebl, Associate Professor of Psychology and Management

Rebekah Drezek, Associate Professor in Bioengineering and Computer Engineering

Presidential Award for Mentoring

Rebekah Drezek, Associate Professor in Bioengineering and Computer Engineering

Dennis Cox, Professor of Statistics

Sarofim Teaching Award

Suzana Bloem, Lecturer on Portuguese in the Center for the Study of Languages

Christa Gaug, Sr. Lecturer on German in the Center for the Study of Languages

Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management Award for Excellence

in Teaching

Sally Widener, Assistant Professor of Management

Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize

Karim Al-Zand, Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory in Shepherd School of Music

Faculty Teaching/Mentoring Award

Janice Hewitt, Instructor for the Cain Project

Stephan Link, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Women’s Resource Center Impact Award

Deborah Harter, Associate Professor of French Studies
Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Cain Foundation Award

Mike Gustin, Professor, Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Dan Wagner, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Ann Saterbak, Lecturer, Bioengineering

Maria Oden, Lecturer, Bioengineering


Baker College: Robin Sickles, Professor of Economics and Statistics

Brown College: Bill Parsons, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Hanszen College: Edison Liang, Andrew Hays Buchanan Professor of Astrophysics
in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Jones College: Christopher Hight, Assistant Professor of Architecture

Lovett College: Rolf Ryham, VIGRE-Lovett Instructor of Mathematics

Martel College: Brandon Dugan, Assistant Professor of Earth Science

Sid Richardson College: Steve Cox, Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics

Wiess College: Stan Dodds, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Will Rice College Alma Novotny, Lecturer of Biochemistry and Cell Biology


President Leebron recognized the following retiring members of the faculty and asked each
to stand when mentioned. Each retiree was enthusiastically applauded.

James Kinsey, D.R. Bullard-Welch Foundation Professor of Science in the Department of Chemistry
(20 years of service)

Ahmad Durrani, Professor of Civil Engineering (26 years of service)

Clarence A. Miller, Louis Calder Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
(27 years of service)

Don Herrick Johnson, J.S. Abercrombie Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Professor of Statistics (31 years of service)

Basilios Poulos, Professor of Visual Arts (33 years of service)

Arthur A. Few, Professor of Space Physics and Astronomy (38 years of service)

Paul A. Cloutier, Professor of Physics and Astronomy (41 years of service)

Anestis Veletsos, Brown and Root Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering
(45 years of service)

Ian M. Duck, Professor of Physics and Astronomy (45 years of service)


A. Deaths during this academic year:

Alan Chapman, Harry S. Cameron Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering (12/5/07)

Alan Grob, Professor Emeritus of English (9/21/07)

B. Brief Commencement Instructions

VIII. ADJOURNMENT (10:45 a.m.)