Faculty Senate

Approved Minutes

February 17, 1999


1. and 2. Call to Order and of Roll

The regular meeting was called to order by Calvin Jones, Chair, at 3:00 p.m. in Library 5. The Secretary called the roll:

Present: Arata, Ballard, Benoit, Broadus, Chryslee, Davidson-Shivers, DeWitt, Dilsaver, Engebretson, Evans, Foster, Frederick, Hamid, Hamm, Haywick, Hitt, Jones, Labbe, Langan, LeDoux, McAfee, McGinnis, Moak, Norman, Parker, Ryder, Strange, Sweet, Swint, Sylvestre, Teplick, Thurston, Tuck-Muller, Tucker, Van Haneghan, Vetrosky, Vinson, Williams, Wilson, G., Zhang,

Absent (Excused): Cepeda, Martin, Morris, Payne, Sternberg.

Absent: Allison, Brandon, Camp, Cox, Dorman, Douglass, Izenberg, Honkanen, McIntosh, McIver, Mulekar, Trufant, Weston, Wilson, C.


3. Completion of Pending Business

The Minutes of the Meeting of January 20, 1999 were approved.


4. Report from the Chair.

Calvin Jones reported the following:

Recommendations that (1) a Trustees’ Committee for the Search and Succession of the President of the University and (2) a Long-Range Planning Study would be presented to the Trustees at their March meeting.

The Senate Salaries and Fringe Benefits Committee discussed and recommended modifications to the committee structure suggested by President Moulton for a University Compensation Committee. Details of this recommendation will be presented after the Chair’s report.

Dr. Jones received a letter from Mr. Aubrey Green, President of the University Foundation, thanking the Executive Committee for meeting with the Foundation on January 13, 1999. Mr. Green agreed that this “meeting and free discourse were instructive and helpful to us all.” Mr. Green stated that two key issues, spending rate and allocation of funds, are being reviewed by a subcommittee of the Board. He further stressed that the Foundation wants to have regular open communications with the Faculty Senate. Jones stated that while we, as a Senate, certainly want and intend to keep regular open communications with the Foundation, we also feel that the Foundation and the University administration need to have open communications as well. The Senate hopes that the Foundation will act favorably on the other items that Mr. Green mentioned, as well as funding requests including amounts to cover the tuition shortfall and scholarships.

The Academic Affairs Policy Committee met on February 4, 1999 and approved the workload policy that had previously been approved by the Senate. Jones informed the AAPC that in passing the policy the Senate did so with the understanding that the change in ratings of the categories was not designed to diminish the importance of research and scholarship at this university and that the new policy does not indicate a change in current practice. Both these items had been mentioned in meetings of the Senate Executive Committee with Vice-President Covey and President Moulton, who concurred with these views. The members of the AAPC also agreed that this was the case. Implications regarding research depend on what individual faculty members are expected to do in actual practice resulting mainly from their discussions with their chairs, in the context of the expectations of the dean and vice-president. It is important that the Senate remains attentive to the manner in which this practice develops.

Mr. Moulton expressed concern that several faculty members have the impression that he is opposed to research and he specifically stated that this is not the case and that he has not done anything that would diminish the University’s support for research. He feels that teaching is extremely important and that mechanisms should be strengthened so that teaching is adequately rewarded. He believes that not every faculty member or even every department will contribute to the same extent in all areas. He feels that faculty need to account for time reassigned to research and scholarship. Mr. Moulton agreed with Dr. Jones comments that in comparing ourselves with other institutions, it is better for morale and the development of our capabilities to aim high rather than low, and since most of the recent hires are productive both in teaching and research, it is necessary to build on this strength. Mr. Moulton stated that we need to be realistic about our resources and our focus and Dr. Jones therefore feels that it is most important for the entire academic community to define exactly that focus.

The second item on the agenda of the AAPC on February 4 was a discussion of the part-time employment policy. Vice-President Covey explained the potential legal difficulties that could arise from employing part-time instructors for more than two courses, and the Chairs of the College of Arts and Sciences who were present outlined the problems for instructional programs caused by the difficulty in finding a sufficient number of qualified people in the community to teach classes. Several people suggested the possibility of creating different types of adjunct positions which would be in between the part-time positions that we currently have and full-time instructorships and which might also be provided with benefits. The discussion provided a wide-ranging consideration of the issues involved, which might later be developed as policy by an appropriate body.

The Budget Council met on February 8 and 12 to make decisions on matters to present to the Trustees for their meeting on March 4. The University has been carrying over $3 million annually in budget reductions. In addition, the tuition shortfall and rent shortfall at Spring Hill Avenue have added another $2.2 million to the deficit. Through additional budget cuts and administrative restructuring that amount has been reduced for this year, but these stringent measures are having devastating effects on operational and instructional budgets. Next year Operations and Management will have to pay an additional $1.3 million to State retirement (+$4.25 million total University) in addition to other obligations and expenditures. Lapsed salaries, which are traditionally used to address the deficit, will not provide as great an offset because of the filling of positions. The State’s university presidents met last week and are appealing to the legislature to pay for the retirement increase in addition to granting an increase to overall operating budgets. Although the former could occur, the overall outlook is not optimistic at this time.

In the competition for students, both Auburn and Alabama are increasing the number of awards granted to qualified incoming freshmen and thus luring additional students that might otherwise come to this University. Scholarship aid will need to be increased in order to compete with other universities.

The Budget Council agreed to recommend an increase in tuition. The Council also agreed to reaffirm a $5 parking increase for students and faculty and staff that had been previously approved. The amounts generated will be used to pay the salaries of the bicycle patrol, and amount currently covered by a federal incentive grant.

Spring Enrollment Statistics show that the total headcount for Spring 1999 is 5.13% lower than in Winter 1998; the graduate headcount is 3.97% lower. Credit hour enrollment is down 8.75% with the graduate credit hour enrollment down 8.91%.

Jones informed the Senate that he has written letters to the legislators, the governor and the Lt. Governor congratulating them on their elections.


5. Reports from Standing Committees

Faculty Staff and Evaluation Committee - Richard Hitt, Chair, announced that they are continuing work on the annual survey document and plan to submit this to the faculty shortly.

Salaries and Fringe Benefits Committee - Skip Foster presented and discussed various statistical charts containing information and comparisons regarding the Average Salaries of Instructional Faculty.

Policy and Faculty Handbook Committee - Richard Vinson stated that there was nothing to report at this time.

Planning and Development Committee - Doug Haywick had nothing to report at this time.


6. Reports of Caucus Leaders

There were no reports from Caucus Leaders


7. Old Business

There was no old business


8. New Business

Compensation Committee - Calvin Jones discussed the formation of a new Committee that Mr. Moulton intended to create whose purpose would be to recommend policy to the Administration regarding compensation for faculty and staff. Jones presented and discussed a Resolution recommending the composition of the Committee. There was a friendly amendment to the Resolution, which will be voted on at the next meeting.

Foundation - Jones discussed the possibility of a Faculty Resolution emphasizing the importance of communication between the Foundation and the University administration. The attached Resolution was moved and seconded. At this time, the Senate directed Jones to write a letter to the Foundation expressing our concerns regarding this lack of communication.

Salary and Benefits Committee Projects

Dental Plan - Skip Foster presented the following example of the type of dental coverage that would be available: Single coverage would be approximately $11/month, paid entirely by the employee, with benefits up to $1,000 per year. Faculty and staff participation in the program would be voluntary.

Faculty Salaries - Foster suggested that there would be no adjustments to part-time salaries since the administration considers that part-time faculty are competitively paid within the State.

TIAA - Foster reported that the University of Alabama, UAB and UAH match up to 5% of salaries. USA matches 3% up to a maximum of $80,000, with no matching above that amount.


9. Communication from the President

There were no communications from the President other than those conveyed in the Chair’s report.


10. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Jeanne Sylvestre, Secretary