Faculty propose revisions to bylaws during meeting

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences faculty discussed changing promotion and tenure bylaws to increase scholarly productivity of teachers. The topic was discussed in the faculty meeting Friday that was held in Agnes Arnold Auditorium 2.

“We really want to help, in particular, associate professors who are trying to get a project done in order to quality for promotion,” said CLASS Dean John Roberts. “We have a lot of tenure associate professors. In terms of morale, reputation and aspirations we need to move the needle on that situation.”

CLASS Faculty and Governance Committee Chair Karen Stokes presented other proposed bylaw revisions that will be voted on by the faculty members until April 25.

“There’s been housekeeping done on the bylaws,” Stokes said. “The bylaws in this college have not gone through revision through a number of years. This year we underwent making the revisions with the suggestions the dean made.”

The bylaw changes suggested by Roberts propose creating a research and scholarship committee and terms of tenure and promotion in the college.

“It’s a committee that is actually not that uncommon in other universities that serve in an advocacy position for the faculty of that college in terms of mentoring junior faculty and serving as a liaison between the departments and dean in terms of research and scholarship,” Stokes said.

Amendments will be adopted if a two-thirds vote is reached by voting faculty members.

Core curriculum changes

Texas is putting in a new core curriculum in 2014 for all higher education institutions. Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies David Phillips introduced the core curriculum changes at the meeting to the faculty members.

“There are changes to the kinds of requirements the core curriculum courses have to satisfy. The current 1999 core curriculum involves these exemplary educational objectives, of which there were 37,” Phillips said. “The new one has just six core objectives, so a smaller number, and there are different categories.”

Phillips watched a web seminar that discussed the Texas core curriculum changes to the current policies.

“The way they made it sound, it’s about rethinking what the most important goals of a university education are, and the way they presented them, these key core objectives, would be ones that would be agreed on by faculty members and by employers who are looking to hire students with a certain set of skills,” Phillips said.

“It’s not just UH — it’s UT, A&M, Texas State; all the state universities across Texas are having to do this.”

The changes came after the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee suggested that the core curriculum be reassessed in its January 2009 report, “Designing Texas Undergraduate Education in the 21st Century,” to the commissioner and coordinating board staff. The UEAC developed recommendations for a revised core curriculum after a comprehensive review of requirements at more than 100 public and private universities nationwide.

“They are updating this (core curriculum) in a number of ways,” Phillips said.

“What they have in mind is they are simplifying it and they are tying the core curriculum to assessment as well. Assessment needs to be done for accrediting agencies and various purposes.”

The current core curriculum policies and procedures will remain in effect until Fall 2014.

For more information about the core curriculum changes, go to

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