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Thursday, January 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 82

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Fitzgibbon passes Senate gavel to Wheeler

Faculty Senate hears from new leader, honors George Magner

By Sylvia A. Rocha
Daily Cougar Staff

Faculty Senate President William Fitzgibbon addressed the first Senate meeting of the 21st century Wednesday -- and his last as Senate president.

Fitzgibbon passed the gavel to mechanical engineering professor Lewis Wheeler, who gave the outgoing president a book of proverbs and quoted one specifically: "No good deed goes unpunished."


Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar


Mechanical engineering professor Lewis Wheeler is passed the gavel at his first Faculty Senate meeting as President. One of Wheeler's goals will be to attract more graduate students to the University.

Wheeler said one of his goals will be to attract more graduate students to the University to help reverse the declining graduate numbers of the past decade.

Provost Edward P. Sheridan announced to the Senate that the University will be kicking off a new "image campaign" Tuesday, preceded by a campus preview of the campaign Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the University Center's World Affairs Lounge.

The radio, television and print campaign "is an attempt to tell the UH story of the stellar faculty and the stellar programs we have," Sheridan said. It will focus on individual faculty members to inform the public of the University's programs and accomplishments.

George Magner

The Senate also honored George W. Magner, who has been with UH for more than 22 years, with a glass plaque printed with an appreciative Faculty Senate resolution.

Magner has served in a number of different roles at UH, including provost and interim president. He retired last December, but is still working part-time on projects at UH.

UH President Arthur K. Smith also addressed the faculty regarding allegations that his administration obstructed justice and dismissed UH Police Chief George Hess when he informed the Harris County district attorney's office of a forgery incident involving former football player Michael DeRouselle.

Administrators have been accused of attempting to cover up the incident, in which DeRouselle forged an Athletics Department document to purchase $700 worth of textbooks. In accordance with a new University policy, Hess was not informed of the incident.

"Our policy is to protect the University assets," Smith said. "It is not intended to ensure that every individual is prosecuted for every violation, no matter how small or large."

Smith reiterated statements in a memorandum he released Monday in response to the allegations. The memo called Hess' claims the comments of a disgruntled employee and referred to what Smith called a "fictitious web of conspiracy" concocted by the local media.

Smith specifically discussed a Sunday Houston Chronicle editorial that suggested DeRouselle's crime was not reported to the DA because he was a football player.

Smith said he would meet with the Chronicle's Editorial Board on Feb. 23.
 

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