UH survey discloses faculty concerns

About 53 percent of the current faculty approved of the UH president in December while 21 percent disapproved, according to a survey presented at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting.

At the time of the survey, Jay Gogue was still UH system chancellor and president.

"Faculty self-evaluation indicated that more than 70 percent of respondents made these judgments on an informed basis," according to the report.

The survey, which was first conducted in 2002, was the second in a continued series to evaluate whether full-time faculty were content with their working conditions, Joseph Eichberg, chairman of the 2007 Faculty Climate Survey Report, said. The survey is expected to be a "continuing series intended to periodically monitor faculty opinion concerning the climate on campus."

The survey was an attempt to receive feedback from full-time UH faculty so Faculty Senate could take the suggestions and implement possible changes.

Only 560 out of 1227 faculty members responded to the online, six-question survey.

The survey also asked whether faculty were happy with Provost Donald Foss’ performance. The results were lower than Gogue’s approval rate-34 percent approval and 36 percent disapproval.

Reasons why the percentages did not add up to 100 percent were not available at press time.

The three lowest-rated areas in the survey were allocating resources to colleges, obtaining private support and development and obtaining financial support from the state legislature.

The highest-rated areas were fostering diversity in the University, developing appropriate intercollegiate athletic programs and execution of administrator’s position with honesty and integrity.

Eichberg asked for comments and encouraged the senate to provide feedback through him or the Faculty Senate Web site at

The Budget and Facilities Committee report was also presented to the Faculty Senate and called for a salary increase. The request asked for a raise that would be implemented once associate professors were promoted to full-time professors.

According to the report written by Richard Willson, budget and facilities committee chair, "increased length of time at UH does not reliably correlate with increased salary; in many cases, the correlation is an inverse one."

A specific raise amount was not requested, but the senate and administration would decide whether it would be a dollar amount or percentage. A timeline has not been set on when these decisions will be made.

"The report tunnels toward the next step; it addresses inequities," Joseph Kotarba, president of the Faculty Senate, said. "And the report shows what we can do to bring salaries up."

Interim President John Rudley was not able to attend the meeting, but Provost Donald Foss spoke on his behalf.

Foss thanked the 20-member search committee and praised Renu Khator, sole finalist to be UH System chancellor and UH president.

Kotarba said he had received a call from Khator on Wednesday morning because she wanted to introduce herself.

"I’m excited about her joining UH," Kotarba said.

Khator is expected to visit the University on Nov. 5 or Nov. 6 and meet with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee -which includes 11 people, consisting of all the senate chairpersons and its president.

Foss also addressed enrollment and said he would like to increase the number of graduate students and improve student retention.

At this point, Foss called on the assistance of the senate to see what could be done to help student retention.

Foss said the University would like to recruit more graduate students, but did not describe any specific strategies.

Kotarba also announced the first stages of planning for the fall 2007 Faculty Senate retreat.

The retreat, which is only open to the senate, will be between Faculty Senators and state legislators who have UH on their priority list.

"My idea has been we need to start talking to them now when they have time to talk to us," Kotarba said. "We also have time to generate some strategies for how we can help the administration when they go to Austin and petition the legislators for the University."

A time and place for the retreat has not been set.

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