THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
March 6, 1997
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present: Ralph Anderson,Tatiana Bilgildeyeva, Martha Butterfield, Prakash Damshala, Robert Duffy, Joe Dumas, Fritz Efaw, Gene Ezell, Marvin Ernst, Leroy Fanning, Jim Hiestand, Bruce Hutchinson, Tom Kozubowski, Craig Laing, Renee Lorraine, Deborah McAllister, Bob Marlowe, Gail Meyer, Judy Miler, Greg O'Dea, John Phillips, Laurie Prather, Bill Prince, Barbara Ray, Mike Russell, Joyce Smith, Jim Stroud, Kristin Switala, Margaret Trimpey, Shela Van Ness
Elected Members Absent: Verbie Prevost, Farhad Raiszadeh, David Shepherd, Larry Tillman, John Trimpey, Bruce Wallace
Ex-Officio Members Present: Sheila Delacroix, Jane Harbaugh, Fred Obear, Charles Renneisen, George Ross, Tim Summerlin
Among the Guests Present: Deborah Arfken, Tom Bibler, Richard Brown, Herb Burhenn, Pedro Campa, Terry Carney, Neal Coulter, Bill Gurley, Vince Pellegrino, Mary Tanner
Important Actions and Announcements
*Council approved a curriculum package from the Graduate Committee.
*President Joe Johnson has stated that the current budget reductions should probably be looked on as permanent, and not as temporary setbacks that will soon be corrected
*Committee chairs should submit a final, written committee report to the Executive Committee by April 1. Major action items should be presented at the April 3 meeting, and submitted to the Executive Committee by March 27.
Processional violin music was performed by music major Melissa Rader.
Call to Order
President Gene Ezell called the meeting to order at 3:17 p. m.
Approval of Minutes
Professors Leroy Fanning and Shela Van Ness moved and seconded approval of the minutes. Professor Gail Meyer stated that under "Smoking Policy" (p. 5), it is not Holt but Grote that has no smoking lounge. She also brought her expertise in chemistry to bear by lightly pointing out that library materials are not highly flammable but highly combustible. If Lupton were to catch fire, she explained, its entire contents could go "boom." (Clearly this is highly sensitive information, and should be prioritized immediately.) The minutes were approved as amended.
Graduate Committee: Professor Bill Gurley
Professor Bill Gurley moved approval of the curriculum package from the Graduate Committee (see previous agenda). The motion passed 21-0-0.
Concerns About Athletics
President Ezell asked Chancellor Fred Obear to comment on two anonymous memoranda concerning athletics and the Chancellor's response to these memoranda. (All three documents are on "reserve" at the Lupton Library reference desk). The Chancellor addressed himself specifically to each point in the memorandum addressed to President Ezell. 1. Two units had a deficit last year--Academic Affairs and Athletics--and both are expected to erase this deficit over a 24 month period. They are not expected to erase half the deficit in one year. 2. The Chancellor knows of no deal that Vice Chancellor Ross has made excusing Athletics from budget cuts. (Vice Chancellor Ross was also unaware of such a deal). A little over 2% of the budget, or around $750,000, has been impounded for the remainder of this fiscal year. The impending impoundments will be dealt with partially by self-imposed reductions, such as expenditures planned last fall that have been canceled (for example, the purchase of the Ortwein property on McCallie Avenue). The Centers of Excellence will be cut around $17,000. 3. Athletics is not behind but ahead in meeting its revenue budget; it is anticipated that the gift amount expected for this year will be exceeded. Should there be a shortfall, it would have to be erased by Athletics. 4. The payment on the $2.2 million commitment to the Stadium will not commence until after July 1; the 30-year note involved will require payments of around $180,000 a year. Those funds will come from anticipated increased ticket sales in conjunction with the new Stadium. The Stadium Authority has ruled that anyone who seeks preferred seat licenses for the Stadium must buy UTC football tickets. 5. There were some vans that were mischarged, and these mistakes have been corrected. The Chancellor indicated his belief that the original memoranda came not from faculty but from two disgruntled staff members. He expects he has not heard the last from them.
Professor Mike Russell stated that although he did not write the anonymous memos, he did have several questions about them. He reported that a memo in his possession from Vice Chancellor Ross (dated December 20) indicated that both Academic Affairs and Athletics had been expected to erase half of their deficit from last year in a 12-month period. The Chancellor answered that they had not. Professor Russell then asked if Athletics is being held responsible for its $202,000 deficit from last year and for $83,000 it was allocated from unfunded campus projects, and the Chancellor answered that it is. Professor Russell asked how we will be able to pay off our note on the Stadium if ticket sales are not as high as anticipated. Chancellor Obear responded that next year we will need to sell around 6000 tickets per game (as opposed to the 2000 averaged this year); however, around 3,500 tickets have already been sold. Professor Russell is concerned that if ticket sales should not be sufficient, funds might be taken from the general operating budget to pay for the shortfall. Chancellor Obear responded that Athletics would be responsible for its own shortfalls; there are various revenue sources within athletics such as gifts, concession sales, etc., that could be drawn on if ticket sales do not reach anticipated levels. Professor Russell then moved to the crux of the issue, asking if there will be cuts in Athletics next year. Vice Chancellor Ross responded that the campus budget report should be completed within two weeks, and will be shared with the Council in April. Professor Russell expressed his hope that there would be no dramatic budget increases in Athletics when the academic units will be suffering decreases. Chancellor Obear assured Professor Russell that this would not ensue. He added that when he arrived at UTC there was considerable concern about UTC's role in paying off the Arena; this turned out to be a manageable problem. Professor Ralph Anderson asked if UTC would recover profits from non-UTC Stadium events, and the answer was no. Professor Pedro Campa then addressed the Council, and asked to be quoted verbatim. While Professor Russell's questions had been pointed, Professor Campa's comments were potentially combustible. "We might see these anonymous comments by 'disgruntled employees'," Professor Campa began, "as symptomatic of dissatisfaction with the administration. In light of the present situation (no salary increases, low morale) the Chancellor may look forward to more of this type of comments. We as faculty should be looking at venues, other than administrative, to satisfy our needs. More to the point we should be looking at collective bargaining." Chancellor Obear indicated that he hoped to raise the comfort level by pointing out that we can count on faculty representation on Athletics Boards. He also suggested that it would be wise to consult these boards or the BESC before making unfounded allegations about budgetary matters. Professor Russell reiterated his strong hope that as many funds as possible would be funneled into academics.
Budget Report: Vice Chancellor George Ross
Vice Chancellor Ross reported that seven members of the UTC Budget Committee had attended meetings with President Joe Johnson and his staff. Unfortunately, President Johnson expressed his belief that the current budget reductions should probably be looked on as permanent, and not as temporary setbacks that will soon be corrected. It will thus be necessary to revise the way we do business on campus in general. Professor John Phillips asked on what President Johnson's belief was based, and Vice Chancellor Ross answered that the warnings were based on the President's 36 years of dealing with governors and state budgets. Professor Russell was concerned that the 5% that Heads had been instructed to cut from their academic units could not be effected without reducing salaries. Provost Summerlin responded that at this point in time, departments had simply been asked to identify the 5% of their expenditures that they considered to be of lowest priority. Heads should then consider where monies could be found or reallocated should this low-priority 5% be in jeopardy at some future date. Lowest priority items may still be important, of course, and it should not be automatically assumed that all of a given department's bottom 5% will vanish completely. Department Heads have in their possession a one-page memo which should clarify the distinction between "cuts" and "low priorities" at this point in time. Professor Russell said he had heard that only around 50 cents of each dollar spent at UTC go to academics. Vice Chancellor Ross indicated that it was more like 75 cents (including the Library, academic support, etc.), and could dig up this data if needed. Professor Ralph Anderson asked how the findings of the UTC Enrollment Management Committee would be figuring into the budget equation. Provost Summerlin responded that low enrollment in UTC degree programs will need to be examined quite carefully during the coming period of austerity. THEC considers "low enrollment" to be less than 10 graduates per annum for an undergraduate program or less than 5 for a graduate program. The UTC Enrollment Management Committee will report sometime in April. Professor Russell asked if UT officials are providing strong resistance to the Governor's educational funding decisions, and the Provost responded that they most definitely are. Professor Prakash Damshala asked if neighboring states were having similar problems in educational funding. Chancellor Obear replied that we wouldn't want to be located in Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia, or Louisiana, among others. Georgia, however, isn't doing badly at all. [There is a window of opportunity opened in the previous sentence.]
Old and New Business
There was no Old Business. Under New Business, Professor Bruce Hutchinson recommended that the Faculty Council, and not the administration, should be determining which faculty members sit on search committees for administrative vacancies. President Ezell indicated that the Executive Committee would consider this recommendation at its next meeting. Professor John Phillips wondered, in light of budget cuts, if the issue of tenure is being discussed by the Board of Trustees. Chancellor Obear answered that the national discussion concerning pros and cons of the tenure system is not likely to be lost on our Board. Provost Summerlin indicated that while President Johnson is strongly pro-tenure, a couple of members of the Board of Trustees have been quite vocal about the issue of tenure. (Presumably these individuals would not be classified as strongly pro-tenure). As a result, President Johnson has appointed a Board subcommittee to consider the issue. Professor Russell indicated that he had no problem with the idea of reviewing tenured faculty. Professor Martha Butterfield suggested that we start thinking very strategically about how we can make budgetary reductions that will not jeopardize jobs or academics. Perhaps some faculty members could work during the summer and one regular semester, taking the other semester off. And while the xeroxing budget is not a great expenditure, using e-mail more often could reduce the often overwhelming amount of paper we receive in our mailboxes.
Announcements and Adjournment
President Ezell reminded committee chairs that a final, written committee report is due to the Council and should be received by the Executive Committee by April 1. (Major action items should be presented at the April 3 meeting, and submitted to the Executive Committee by March 27.) Professor Tom Bibler remarked that this had been an exceedingly gloomy meeting. He tried to cheer the Council up by inviting them to a special St. Patrick's Day dinner at the Faculty Club on March 13, with happy hour at 6:00 and dinner at 7:00 PM. (Yea, let us eat, drink, and be merry; for parts of the campus are highly combustible, and tomorrow we may die.) The dinner is $18 plus gratuity, and reservations can be made through Professor Bibler or Jim Avery. Green beer will be served to help drown budgetary sorrows. Professor Greg O'Dea announced that Charles Anderson, author of Prescribing the Life of the Mind, would give a lecture entitled "How Dare You Teach Me How to Think?. . . " on March 10 from 2:30-4:30 in Grote 129. Professor Leroy Fanning moved adjournment, and President Ezell adjourned the meeting at 4:10 PM. Thus spoke President Ezell, and the Council left its cave, glowing and strong as a morning sun that comes out of dark mountains.
Renee Cox Lorraine
First cartoon dedicated to Women's History Month--with hopes for the future. Other cartoons dedicated to Department of Philosophy and Religion