May 9, 2019

Rice University
Plenary Meeting of the Faculty

May 9, 2019
Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library

Faculty Senate Speaker Christopher Johns-Krull called the meeting to order at 2:06 p.m. He then called Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman to come forward.

  1. Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Degree Candidates

    Dean Gorman said that the Office of the Registrar had prepared the official list of May 2019 undergraduate degree candidates and she met with Registrar Tenney the previous day to review the list. She said the list was available in book form prior to the meeting. The totals, by degree, were also listed on the screen. She said her endorsement of the degrees came as a motion to accept the list of undergraduate degree candidates for May 2019 conferral. Johns-Krull asked if there were any questions and there were not. The motion was seconded. The motion was approved unanimously by hand. 

  2. Presentation and Approval of Undergraduate Latin Honors

    Johns-Krull then asked Dean Gorman to present the list of Latin Honors. Dean Gorman said the previous day she and the registrar had also discussed and reviewed the calculations for Latin Honors. She said the cut off ranges applied to graduates for December 2018, May 2019, and August 2019. Dean Gorman said the endorsement and presentation of the Latin Honors came as a motion for approval. Johns-Krull asked if there were any questions. There were not. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously by hand. The calculations can be viewed HERE.

  3. Presentation and Approval of Candidates for Advanced Degrees

    Johns-Krull then called Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Seiichi Matsuda to the podium to present the lists for masters and doctoral candidates. Dean Matsuda said that the Office of the Registrar had prepared a list of May 2019 advanced degree candidates and he met with the registrar to review the list on May 7. He said the lists were distributed in booklets prior to the meeting. The totals, by degree, were also listed on the screen. To view the slides, click HERE. He said there were no exceptions being put forward. He said his endorsement came as a motion to conditionally approve the degrees. Johns-Krull asked if there were any questions. There were not. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously by hand.

  4. Report from the Faculty Senate

    Johns-Krull then called former Faculty Senate Speaker Ed Nikonowicz forward to present an update on the Faculty Senate. Nikonowicz summarized the following accomplishments of the Senate of the 2018-2019 academic year:

    Approved Undergraduate Programs

    • Minor in Religion
    • Minor in Data Science

    Approved Graduate Programs

    • Online Master in Computer Science
    • Non-thesis Master of Arts in Business

    Approved Program Updates

    • Elimination of the Professional Master’s in Nanoscale Science
    • Modifications to the Certificate of Languages and Intercultural Communication

    Approved Policies

    • Procedures for Faculty Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure
    • Policy 202: Honorary Faculty Titles

    Approved Actions:

    • Approved competencies for SACSCOC
    • Approved a motion to extend the deadline to designate a course as “audit”

    Competed Working Groups

    • 2020-2021 Academic Calendar
    • Athletics

    Ongoing Working Groups

    • Advising
    • Pass/Fail
    • 60-hour Credit
    • Academic Calendar

    Johns-Krull then announced the members of the 2019-2020 Faculty Senate. They are as follows:

    Natural Sciences: Gregory Chambers, Christopher Johns-Krull, Pat Hartigan, Angel Marti-Arbona, Ed Nikonowicz, Colin Zelt

    Engineering: Dennis Cox, Michael Diehl, Marek Kimmel, Jun Lou, Rob Raphael

    Humanities: Gwen Bradford, Nate Citino, Daniel Domingues, Sarah Ellenzweig, Esther Fernandez, Nicole Waligora-Davis

    Social Sciences: Sergio Chavez, Mahmoud El-Gamal, Christopher Fagundes, Eden King

    Architecture: Dawn Finley, Jesús Vassallo

    Jones School of Business: Erik Dane, Doug Schuler

    Shepherd School of Music: Charles Geyer

    Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: David Messmer, Ray Simar, Scott Solomon, Pablo Yepes

    Presidential Appointee: Emilia Morosan

    Ex officio members: President Leebron, Provost Miranda

    Johns-Krull thanked the following departing senators:

    • Graham Bader (6 years)
    • Lisa Balabanlilar (3 years)
    • Martin Blumenthal-Barby (3 years)
    • Julie Fette (6 years)
    • Jeffrey Fleisher (6 years)
    • Laura Segatori (6 years)
    • Kurt Stallmann (1 year)
    • Michael Wolf (5 years)

    He also expressed gratitude for the 2018-2019 University Committee Chairs:

    • Rudy Guerra, Admissions
    • Leo Costello, Athletics
    • Patricia Reiff, EX&S
    • Paula Sanders, Faculty & Staff Benefits
    • Matthew Baring, Fellowships & Awards
    • April DeConick, Graduate Council
    • Duane Windsor, Graduate Honor Council
    • Fred Oswald, Library
    • Marcia O’Malley, Marshals
    • Kathleen Matthews, Faculty Advisory Committee to the Office of Faculty Development
    • Will Cannady, Parking and Transportation
    • Carl Caldwell, Faculty Advisory Board for the Program in Writing and Communication
    • James McNew, Research
    • Frank Geurts, Teaching
    • Jeffrey Fleisher, Undergraduate Curriculum

    Johns-Krull said a lot of what the Faculty Senate does is related to the University Committees and he thanked the chairs for their work.

  5. Remarks from President Leebron

    President Leebron thanked the Senate and the Senate leadership. He said the university is unique in a broad way but also in the way the administration has been able to work with the Senate over the years. He said the boldness and carefulness of the Faculty Senate is critical and that what strikes him every year is that when you look at the list of senators and chairs, it is all people he already knows for their other contributions to the university. He said next year there will continue to be conversations across a range of issues at the university and that it is important to continue to reinforce the things that are successful about the university and ask the hard questions as well.

    Leebron said he had the sad responsibility of announcing the names of faculty who had passed away in the last year. The names and years of service are listed below.

    • Baruch Brody, Philosophy, 42 years of service
    • Tristam Engelhardt, Philosophy, 35 years of service
    • Sandra Bishnoi, Rice 360 Institute for Global Health, 6 years of service
    • Barbara Clark, Shepherd School of Music, 5 years of service

    President Leebron then called the names of faculty members who were retiring, listed below.

    • William Cannady, 55 years of service
    • Martin Wiener, 52 years of service
    • Wesley Morris, 51 years of service
    • Bart Sinclair, 41 years of service
    • Meredith Skura, 41 years of service
    • Walter Bailey, 37 years of service
    • Lars Lerup, 26 years of service
    • Andrew Barron, 24 years of service
    • Stephan Motowidlo, 14 years of service
    • Steve Murdock, 12 years of service
    • David Tobin, 12 years of service


  6. Announcements

    Johns-Krull reminded those present that the calculations for Latin honors are confidential until Saturday morning’s commencement. Commencement marshal Marcia O’Malley said the university would conduct five ceremonies over the next two days. She reviewed the rain plans for the ceremonies and said announcements regarding plans would be posted on the commencement website. President Leebron thanked O’Malley for her work as marshal. Johns-Krull adjourned the meeting at 2:25.