UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA
9 December, 1998
1. and 2. Call to Order and of Roll
A special meeting of the Senate was called to order by Calvin Jones, Chair, at 3:00 p.m. in
Library 5. The Secretary called the roll:
Present: Allison, Arata, Ballard, Benoit, Broadus, Brandon, Cox, Cepeda, Chryslee, DeWitt, Dilsaver, Dorman, Douglass, Engebretson, Evans, Foster, Frederick, Hamid, Hamm, Haywick, Hitt, Jones, Labbe, Langan, McGinnis, McIntosh, Martin, Morris, Norman, Payne, Ryder, Teplick, Thurston, Trufant, Vinson, Strange, Swint, Sylvestre, Tucker, Vaneghan, Williams, G. Wilson.
Absent (Excused): LeDoux, McAfee, Moak, Sterrnberg, Sweet, Tuck-Muller,
Absent: Caldwell, Camp, Davidson-Shivers, Honkanen, Izenberg, McIver, Mulekar, Parker, Sternberg, Weston, C. Wilson, Zhang.
3. Report from the Chair
Dr. Jones opened the discussion by itemizing chronologically the letters, calls and resolution sent to the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee since July, stating that all communications had been initiated by faculty. He stated that rumors and a call from a Press Register reporter regarding the abandonment of a search prompted a special meeting of the Executive Committee. At this meeting the general opinion was that no one would want to take the position of President if it were to be offered in this way and that Mr. Moulton could take the opportunity to resolve the problem by agreeing to serve for a short term with a search at the end. A meeting was then scheduled with Mr. Moulton immediately prior to the Board of Trustees’ meeting. Jones again stressed to Moulton the many reasons for a search, emphasizing the credibility it gives to the one selected. The Committee felt that even if the Senate were to do nothing at all, there would remain the extremely serious repercussions of a demoralized faculty made cynical by their exclusion from the process and who would be less willing to pitch in in times of adversity. Again, Moulton was urged to accept the position for a short time only, with a search that was delayed but not cancelled. Moulton agreed in principle to putting a time limit on the job, but preferred not to make a specific statement himself and said that he hoped the job he would do would not be evaluated on the basis of how he came to be in office. The results of this meeting were inconclusive and various members of the Committee left the building. Moulton then discussed our concerns with Trustees Mitchell, Brunson, Striplin and Kvalheim, who asked to meet with the Committee. Jones and John Strange, who were still in the building, met with the Trustees. Jones stressed the importance of a search and the reasons for it. Once again, the results were inconclusive because no specific plan was offered . Jones and Strange also discussed the necessity to evaluate the institution and agree on goals. The Trustees seemed to indicate that they would be responsive to this idea.
At the Trustee’s meeting immediately following, the resolution appointing Moulton as permanent president was presented. Jones noted that the Trustees had made a concession by inserting that the issue would be revisited in another 5 years, although there was no explicit commitment to a search at that time, even though that was the purpose of our meeting. After the Trustees’ meeting Jones gave a statement to the Press thanking the Trustees for meeting with faculty representatives but also insisting on the importance of a search and stating our understanding that it would be carried out in 5 years. The Senate officers felt that it was unfortunate that they were forced into operating on this last-minute time frame. Jones then opened the meeting for discussion among the members of the Senate.
At the conclusion of the comprehensive general discussion in which numerous senators and other faculty participated, it was evident that the Senators were in favor of passing a resolution. In order to determine the type of resolution that should be passed, several suggestions for items to be included in the resolution were listed. Straw votes were taken to see what sentiment existed for particular items. A motion was made a seconded to suspend the rules so that a new item could be voted on at this meeting.
A draft of a resolution was proposed for adoption. The wording of this resolution was discussed extensively and was changed and modified on the basis of several friendly amendments. A motion was made and seconded to vote by secret ballot on the final edition of the resolution. Ballots were then distributed, all members voted, and the count was 32 to 8 in favor of the resolution. A copy of the resolution is attached.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.