Thursday, October 21, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 43

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About the Cougar

Vacant UH position divided, Smith says

Search continues for Todd's replacements

By Jim Parsons
Daily Cougar Staff 

UH President Arthur K. Smith told the Faculty Senate on Wednesday that the vacant vice chancellor and vice president for Institutional Advancement position has been divided into two separate positions.

The position has been vacant since Sybil Todd left UH to take a job in student affairs at the University of Alabama in late summer 1998. Her duties have been covered by Spencer Yantis and Wendy Adair, the associate vice chancellors and associate vice presidents for development and University Relations, respectively.

Richard Russell, chairman of the Students' Association Cougar Creed Select Committee, requested input from faculty members at Wednesday's meeting of the Faculty Senate.

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The search for a candidate to fill Todd's position produced an unusual situation, Smith said. "What we discovered was that we were getting candidates who were very strong in development or very strong in institutional advancement," he said.

Therefore, Smith said, the position will be split into a vice chancellor and vice president for development and a vice chancellor and vice president for University Relations. Both will be filled by national searches.

"It's very important that we have strong leadership in both areas," Smith said of the divided position.

In other business, senators questioned Faculty Senate President William Fitzgibbon about why updates are not given to the full Senate regarding the goings-on in the Senate Executive Committee's meetings with UH administrators.

Pharmacy Sen. Carlos Pedemonte requested a regular report, saying a lack of information makes it appear that the Executive Committee is doing nothing.

Library Sen. Judy Myers said that view was valid. "Not by design, it happens that ... people don't know what the Executive Committee is doing because there is no report," she said.

Humanities, Fine Arts and Communication Sen. David Judkins, a first-year member of the Executive Committee, agreed.

"I have been struck by the wide variation between the agenda the Executive Committee has, the agenda the Executive Committee has when meeting with the president and the agenda for the Faculty Senate," Judkins said, explaining that he thought a committee report would help "give an overall picture" of Senate activities.

Myers cautioned that some of the material discussed in the meetings is confidential. Records of the meetings have always been closed.

Fitzgibbon said the Executive Committee would consider making reports, and in the meantime, he encouraged senators to contact members of the committee themselves if they had questions.

"You have e-mail; you have telephones -- these people can be contacted," Fitzgibbon said.

Provost Edward P. Sheridan addressed the Senate regarding faculty hiring, which he said Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Elaine Charlson has been working to streamline.

"We are trying to move along to make the process ... as smooth as possible," Sheridan said.

He also urged faculty members in colleges where dean searches are under way to be active in suggesting potential dean candidates -- even people from other schools and people faculty may not personally know, but whose work they admire.

In addition, Richard Russell, chairman of the Students' Association Cougar Creed Select Committee, asked the Senate for input in developing a UH creed that will represent "what the (University's) ideals are and what it means to be a Cougar."

Russell distributed creed questionnaires to senators and said he welcomes all faculty input and questions, either through the forms or via e-mail at

The Faculty Senate will next meet at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the Farish Hall Kiva.

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