April 23, 2008

Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting - April 23, 2008

Founder’s Room, Lovett Hall


I. Announcements

II. Policy Protocol on Access to Faculty Electronic Data

III. Elections of Speaker and Deputy Speaker for 2008-09

IV. Dean Review Policy

V. Proposed undergraduate major in Sport Management

VI. Proposed Ph.D. program in Art History

VII. Institutional Repository and Open-Access Policy

Senators present: John Casbarian, Ed Cox, Steven Cox, Michael Deem, Rebekah Drezek, Deborah Harter (Speaker), John Hempel, Matthias Henze, Ben Kamins, Tom Killian, Philip Kortum, President David Leebron (ex-officio), Peter Mieszkowski, Robert Raphael, Dale Sawyer, Evan Siemann, Meredith Skura, Michael Stern (Deputy Speaker), James Weston, Duane Windsor, Jim Young.

Senators absent: Randy Batsell, Christian Emden, Michael Emerson, Brian Huberman, Provost Gene Levy (ex-officio), Nancy Niedzielski, Matteo Pasquali, Gautami Shah, Randy Stevenson.

Total attendance: Approximately 40

I. Announcements (Deborah Harter, Speaker)

  • Reports in upcoming years on faculty salaries and salary equity should be sent to the Faculty Senate as well as to the Rice University administration
  • Changes to the current sabbatical policy will be considered in the Fall
  • Harter welcomed new Senator Sarah Ellenzweig, thanked departing Senators Nancy Niedzielski and Rebekah Drezek, and thanked those Senators who will be serving again next year
  • Harter appointed two Senators to one-year terms: Randy Stevenson and Michael Emerson (2008-09)
  • Harter thanked departing Deputy Speaker Mike Stern and gave him a gift (a petrified, ancient shell)

II. Policy Protocol on Access to Faculty Electronic Data (David Leebron, President)

David Leebron presented the finalized Rice University policy regarding access to faculty electronic data. Harter said this policy was developed in response to concerns presented by faculty. Joe Warren, Chair of the Faculty Senate’s Email Privacy Committee, stated that there was previously no privacy policy at Rice regarding electronic data. Leebron complimented Harter and Stern on their work to get this policy passed. He stated it was a highly collaborative production. To view the Policy, please use this link: Policy Protocol on Access of Faculty Electronic Data.

III. Elections (Mike Stern, Deputy Speaker)

Mike Stern announced a proposed change in the Faculty Senate Bylaws regarding the timing of elections for Speaker and Deputy Speaker. He proposed that the elections be held at the last meeting of the academic year instead of at the first meeting of the following year in order for the Senate leadership to continue during the summer. The proposed wording written by Randy Stevenson is shown below:

5.3 Election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker shall be elected by majority vote of the Senators present at the last meeting of the academic year for service in the year following. Nominations for both Speaker and Deputy Speaker will be taken during that meeting and all Senators eligible to vote who are present may vote in these elections. Only those Senators who have served already for one full year and who will be a Senator in the year in which they will serve may be put forth as nominees.

****There was a motion to approve this change to the Bylaws, and Jim Young seconded the motion. The resulting vote by show of hands was unanimously in favor of the change.

Stern then asked for nominations for Speaker for the 2008-09 year. Matthias Henze nominated Deborah Harter for re-election. He stated that in addition to Harter’s excellent qualities as Speaker, he felt it was not in the Faculty Senate’s best interest to have a new Speaker each year; continuity is needed. There were no other persons nominated. Deborah Harter was thus elected as Speaker for 2008-09.

For Deputy Speaker, Stern nominated Duane Windsor. John Casbarian nominated Randy Stevenson, and a vote was held. However, with 20 voting Senators present, the vote ended in a 10-10 tie. The Senate asked the Nominations and Elections Committee to review the Constitution and Bylaws and resolve this tie vote for Deputy Speaker.

The tentative Executive Committee slate for 2008-09 was then presented. The election of the Executive Committee will not be held until the first meeting of the Fall 2008 semester, and Harter indicated that one more person will be added to the following slate:

Executive Committee Slate for 2008-2009


Deputy Speaker

Ben Kamins

Robert Raphael
Dale Sawyer

Gautami Shah

Meredith Skura

Randy Stevenson

Duane Windsor

Jim Young

IV. Dean Review Policy (Gene Levy, Provost)

The finalized Dean Review Policy, initiated by the Rice Chapter of the Association of American University Professors (AAUP) in August 2007, prepared by Provost Gene Levy, and which had undergone revision according to feedback from the Senate, was presented by President Leebron since Levy was absent. Deborah Harter and Mike Stern distributed copies to the Senators and others in attendance. Leebron briefly recapped the policy and answered questions. One question was in regard to the title of the new policy since the Senate had originally asked that all upper academic administrations be subject to a periodic review, not just deans. Leebron replied that deans have specific terms of service and thus come up for review towards the end of these terms. He stated that his appointment as president, as well as the provost’s appointment and the appointments of a few others, are at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees; they do not have specific terms. Leebron stated, however, that senior administrators ought to have serious, regular reviews. He suggested this issue be addressed next year in a formal discussion. To view the Dean Review policy, please use this link: Dean Review Policy.

****There were a few comments, then Harter asked the Senate if it wished to give its affirmation to this policy. (Strictly speaking, she explained, approval from the Senate was unnecessary for such a document, as it is under the purview of the President’s Office.) The Senators did indeed affirm the new Dean Review Policy, effective May 1, 2008. Leebron said he would present this policy to the Board of Trustees, and he said he was glad to have Senate affirmation.

V. Proposed Undergraduate Sport Management Major

Susan McIntosh, Chair of the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC), and John Hutchinson, Chair of the CUC Subcommittee on Sport Management, presented their committee’s combined findings on the proposed undergraduate Sport Management major. Professor Nick Iammarino, Dr. Clark Haptonstall, and Dr. Jimmy Disch were also on hand to answer questions. McIntosh explained that there are three tracks within the Kinesiology major: Sports Medicine, Sports Management, and Health Science, but currently, the diplomas for students graduating in any of these tracks simply show Kinesiology. This proposal would make Sport Management its own major: Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management. McIntosh explained the steps used to evaluate the proposal, distributed a timeline of these steps, and said that after careful review, the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum recommended that the Faculty Senate approve the proposal for an undergraduate degree in Sport Management.

Hutchinson further explained that there were two major issues the subcommittee had considered: first, the Sport Management track already exists within Kinesiology, and although this proposed major is coming from within a department, he stated it is of sufficient quality to proceed as a major. Second, the administrative structure of the program was examined since Sport Management is mainly taught by non-tenure track faculty. Hutchinson stated the quality of instruction was not in question, but the sustainability of the program was not firm, especially since there may be some changes coming in the Kinesiology Department. Hutchinson stated that the goal of the proposal is to label this major correctly and help assure its future.

Several Senators had questions concerning the timing of the proposal, the complexity of the issue, and the faculty who teach Sport Management. Many felt they needed more time to study the proposal. The deadline for announcing a new major in the General Announcements was asked, and David Tenney (Registrar) replied that it is mid-May.

After more discussion, it was suggested that a special meeting should be called before the mid-May General Announcements deadline to decide this issue. Jim Young pointed out that the CUC has thoroughly investigated the Sport Management issue and suggested that any questions be brought forth before the next meeting.

Carol Quillen raised a question about the process used between the Senate and the committees to which it delegates the work—isn’t there an obligation to accept their recommendations? Harter explained that although the Senate supports its committees, any new major is a decision that belongs to the faculty. This task force of approximately 10 individuals has brought their recommendation to the Faculty Senate whose 30 elected

individuals must vote with final authority, she said.

Moshe Vardi suggested that the CUC and its subcommittee submit to the Senate all of the questions that were raised during the review process, as well as the answers to these questions, which have resulted in their recommendation to approve the Sport Management proposal. There was a motion from James Weston to table any further discussion until another meeting could be held, and Harter seconded it. The resulting vote was in favor of an additional meeting. Harter encouraged those in attendance to come to the special meeting on the proposed Sport Management major which will be held before graduation.

VI. Proposed Ph.D. in Art History (Moshe Vardi, Chair of the Graduate Council)

Moshe Vardi, Chair of the Graduate Council, discussed the documents he had sent to the Faculty Senate regarding a new Ph.D. in Art History. He briefly recapped the timeline of events, and he stated there were no major issues: the rationale, focus, and structure for a new Ph.D. in Art History were all valid. He stated the Council’s one question was about the funding for this new program, and after a discussion with Kathy Collins of the Budget Office, that question has been answered; the program is well-funded. He said the Graduate Council then voted unanimously for approval of the Art History Ph.D. There was a motion for the Faculty Senate to vote on this issue, and a second. The resulting vote was unanimous to approve a Ph.D. program in Art History. To view the approved proposal, please use this link: Proposed Ph.D. in Art History.

VII. Institutional Repository and Open-Access Policy (Moshe Vardi, Director of the Kennedy Institute for Information Technology)

Moshe Vardi, Director of the Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, stated that a few years ago, a copyright policy was written at Rice for work authored at Rice. Vardi said that at many universities faculty simply sign away the copyrights to their work, however, at Rice, there is a mutual desire between faculty and administration to retain the rights to this work. Vardi also informed the Senate that the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) public access policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research. Harvard University has recently established a repository where all works must be deposited, and it is available to the public, although faculty can opt-out of this procedure, said Vardi. If such a repository were established at Rice, a record would then exist of what has been created. Vardi suggested a task force be formed to look into this issue to determine how to proceed. Harter agreed, as did the majority of those present; the task force will be formed in Fall 2008.

The meeting was concluded at 2:00 p.m.