UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA
April 21, 1999
1. and 2. Call to Order and of Roll.
The regular meeting of the Senate was called to order by Dr. Calvin Jones, Chair of the Faculty Senate, at 3:00 p.m. in Library 5. The Secretary called the roll:
Present: Ballard, Bracken, Brandon, Brown, Bowers, Camp, Cepeda, Chryslee, Cohen, Cox, Davidson-Shivers, DeWitt, Dilsaver, Evans, Frederick, Douglas Engebretson, Haywick, Hitt, Jones, Kayes, Kennett, Langan, LeDoux, McGinnis, McIntosh, Jean McIver, Miller, Moak, Morris, Murray, Nelson, Norman, Olson, Parker, Payne, Strange, Michael Spector, Sternberg, Stevens, Sweet, Sylvestre, Teplick, Tucker, Cindy Thurston, Trufant, Richard Vinson, Wesenberg
Absent (Excused): Broadus, Foster, Hamm, McAfee, Ryder, Tuck-Muller, Vetrosky, G. Wilson.
Absent: Allison, Arata, Benoit, Caldwell, Dorman, Douglass, Honkanen, Izenberg, Martin, Mulekar, Swint, C. Wilson, Van Haneghan, Weston.
3. Completion of Pending Business.
The Minutes of the Meeting of March 17, 1999 were approved.
4. Report from the Chair.
In his annual report, Dr. Jones stated that this had been a year of change, even of crisis. There was much work to be done, things to attend to, but the coming year should not be so full of crises or unexpected events. Highlights of the year, especially the areas where on-going faculty attention remains important, are:
Change in Presidency
Originally there were plans for a national search for a new President and a Chancellor. However, neither search took place and instead the Board of Trustees made several appointments at the upper administration level. Mr. Gordon Moulton was appointed as President and appointments for the positions of Vice President of Medical Affairs, Government Relations, Dean of Nursing, Public Relations and Library Director were also made. A search for the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs will begin in the fall and it is important that we stay involved with the search for this vital position. The Board of Trustees has subsequently approved both a Search Procedures Committee and a Long Range Planning Committee. It is important that faculty should be involved in these Committees, especially the Long Range Planning Committee since it is important that we should define who we are and what we want to be in the future, e.g., comparable to Troy State, or the University of Alabama at Birmingham , or something else.
The Senate Executive Committee requested a Forum and Mr. Moulton agreed to participate. There was a large turnout with questions from faculty and responses from Mr. Moulton. It is important that faculty show interest, get involved, raise questions, expect adequate answers, and see that policy and performance occur on the basis of those answers.
Relations with the Foundation have been of concern throughout the year, and the Senate will have to continue to work on this. There are signs that things are getting better, but we will have to stay on top of things and encourage further improvement. It is necessary for the Foundation and the Administration to work closely together in day to day matters such as scholarships, endowments, contributions, etc. and also Prime Health, since that area involves interrelationships with the University, its Hospitals, and Health Services Foundation. Calvin Jones and John Strange attended a Foundation meeting (invited), as did President Moulton and other administrators (uninvited) and at least a precedent was established of having both groups sit in the same room and talk to one another. Dr. Jones wrote to Dr. Whiddon summarizing the Senate’s views on communication and financial information.
Funds have been dedicated and planning is underway for the Library addition. Related to the library, but not addressed this year because of numerous other issues, is the matter of adequate funding for acquisitions, both for books and serials. Hopefully, the faculty will continue pressing this issue.
The Honors Program is expected to be in place by Fall 1999. This should be a very positive addition to the University and scholarship money from the Foundation will help to attract the best students.
The difficult issue of Faculty Workload was considered by the Senate this year. It was necessary to put a policy in the Handbook and hopefully Senate discussions helped insure that the wording was fair and flexible. The Senate will have to remain attentive to how policies play out in practice and that practices maintain the highest academic standards.
Some academic issues have come from outside, e.g., the ACHE Viability Standards, the State General Education Requirements, etc. Faculty need to ensure that discussions about programs are framed properly and that budget constraints do not become the cart that drags the horse and thus unnecessarily take a toll on the quality of the University’s academic offerings.
There was an 8% raise this year. The situation does not appear to be as favorable for the upcoming year even though a portion of the sought after fair-share funding has been included in a House bill. There have been substantial administrative salary increases this year. A Compensation Committee will be formed to consider equity issues for faculty and staff as well as administrators and it is important that the Senate remain attentive to these matters in what may be another difficult year.
The investigation of the Athletic Department which started under the Whiddon administration was brought to a close.
The Board of Trustees has established an Intercollegiate Athletics Task Force with four subcommittees. Dr. Jones is a member of the Steering Committee and several senators and other colleagues have been appointed to the subcommittees. This is another important area and it is crucial that we gather valid information and make sure that any decisions are in the best interests of the University and its future direction. We need a sound athletics program that makes a positive contribution to the University but one that does not jeopardize the central academic mission, either financially or in any other way. All faculty are asked to ensure that pertinent information is brought to the attention of the Senate or the various committees.
Members of the Senate have written to members of the legislature and talked to politicians in Montgomery. We have also attended ACCUFP meetings and the comparative perspective offered by colleagues at sister institutions has been enlightening.
The following resolutions have been passed by the Senate this year:
Recommending that promotion increments should be the greater of 10% of base salary or $4,000 for promotion to associate, and $6,000 for promotion to full professor.
Recommending an 8 ˝% pay raise.
Approving the new Senate calendar.
Recommending that the Government Relations position be filled - withdrawn in September since the position had been filled
Call for a timetable for the Presidential Search
Recommending a Sick Leave Policy
Recommending a Vacation Policy
Vote of No Confidence in the Board of Trustees
Call for a Compensation Committee
Revision of Sick Leave Policy
Dr. Jones concluded his report by stating that although it had been a most difficult year, he is pleased to have been able to serve the Faculty during this time. He suggested that the caucuses should meet briefly at the end of this meeting to elect representatives and that the old and newly elected executive committees should meet to arrange a transition meeting and also a meeting with Mr. Moulton.
5. Reports from Standing Committees
Dr. Richard Hitt, Chair of the Evaluation Committee, reported that information compiled last year through the Faculty Survey is now on the web site. The new survey for the current year will be going out to faculty on May 10, 1999. In future, all information will be accumulated on the Internet.
Dr. Richard Vinson, Chair of the Policy and Handbook Committee, reported that the one major undertaking of this committee this year was the revision and adoption of a “Faculty Workload policy”. There have been requests from some Departments to review the Policy again to determine whether or not all Colleges and Departments are treated fairly under this policy. This should be examined by the new Senate. There are no other pending matters before the committee.
Dr. Douglas Haywick, Chair of the Planning and Development Committee reported that the Committee passed a resolution in July, requesting that the University appoint a Government Relations person to replace Happy Fulford. Other areas investigated were:
University Safety - Concerns were expressed and recommendations were made to the University Safety Committee regarding traffic problems, poor lighting, personal safety on campus, the need for bicycle paths and/or sidewalks, and proper crosswalks across Old Shell Road/University Blvd.
Recycling - The Committee supported the student organization’s efforts to implement paper recycling in all areas on all campuses.
Faculty Club - Questions will be added to the annual Faculty Survey in order to obtain information helpful in pursuing this issue.
Retired Faculty Facilities - The Senior Faculty Caucus and this Committee met with the Administration regarding lack of space for retired faculty. The Administration has reserved two places in the Library for retired faculty who wish to continue their research at the University.
Daycare - Questions will be added to the annual Faculty Survey concerning this issue and the Committee recommends that a university-wide forum should be held to establish those services that may be required.
Dr. Haywick commented on the excellent communication between the Senate Executive Committee and Mr. Moulton, which provided the opportunity to share our ideas and exchange information with the Administration on a regular basis. It is important that the faculty should play a pro-active role in planning the future of this institution rather than just dealing with crises as they occur.
Dr. John Foster, Chair of the Salary and Fringe Benefits Committee, was presenting a paper in Scotland, and so Dr. Jones reported in his stead that this Committee had been very active during the year and had presented resolutions pertaining to Vacation Policies, Sick Leave Policies and also Salary Equity Issues.
6. Reports from Caucus Leaders.
There were no reports from Caucus Leaders at this time.
7. Old Business.
There was no old business.
8. New Business.
The elections of new officers was carried out and the following Senate members were elected to fill these positions:
Chair - Dr. Elise Labbe
Vice Chair - Dr. Bryce Evans
Secretary - Dr. Dan Vetrovsky
Planning & Development - Dr. Gail Chryslee
Policy & Handbook - Dr. Stephen Morris
Salary & Benefits - Dr. Susan LeDoux
Evaluations - Dr. Calvin Jones
8. Communications from the President
There were no communications from the President other than those conveyed in the Chair’s report.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.
Jeanne Sylvestre, Secretary.