Faculty Senate
Approved Minutes
15 November, 2000


1. Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 3:05 p.m.


2. Roll Call and Agenda Approval:

Present: Hill, Spector, R. Brown, Cohen, Comstock, Hitt, Matheson, Morris, Payne, Rogers, Shardo, Vest, Rowe, McIntosh, Strange, Olsen, Parker, Sylvester, Norman, Wheeler, Boggs, Cepeda, Kayes, Tuck-Muller, Bracken, Hsu, Swofford, DeWitt, Weitzel

Absent (Excused): Dagenais, Bowers, I. Brown, Miller, Mozur, White, Ryder, Bailey, Broughton, Murray, Teplick, Townsley, Wesenberg, Wilson, Beatty, Broome, Temple

Absent (Unexcused): Gifford, Blackwell, Kimbell, Kwiatkowski, Garmon, Ellis, Baker, Benoit, Cox, Derbin, Perkins, Sternberg, Stevens, Stubbs

The agenda was approved.


3. Approval of Minutes:

The minutes from the October 18, 2000 Faculty Senate meeting were presented and approved with minor corrections.


4. Report from the Chair and Communication from the President:

Chairman Rogers reported on the recent meeting of the Council of University Faculty Presidents. He also stated that during the Executive Committee’s most recent meeting with President Moulton the new vacation policy, resolutions to be considered and voted upon by the Senate, and some of the results of the most recent faculty senate survey were discussed.


5. Reports from Standing Committees:

Evaluation Committee:

No report

Planning Committee:

Senator Gahan Bailey has been appointed to the University Transportation Committee which is chaired by Dean Adams. The University recently received a $2.5 million grant to study and address campus traffic problems and solutions. A tram-like system is one possibility.

Senator Dagenais has spoken to Al Yeager about signage around University Commons. Mr. Yeager said he will relay concerns and recommendations to the University Space and Facilities Committee.

Policy and Handbook Committee:

No report

Salary and Fringe Benefits Committee:

Senator Townsley was unable to attend. Chairman Rogers reported on the following items:

Minor modifications of the vacation policy are being worked on. The committee will investigate the possibility of obtaining increases in TIAA matching funds.


6. Reports From Caucus Leaders:

Allied Health: The caucus leader reported that a faculty member had expressed concern that a student caught cheating was permitted by an administrator to drop the course. The effect of this was that the student was not penalized for cheating. The caucus leader wondered whether the Senate might want to do something about this type of situation. Additional comments were made concerning funds related to indirect costs of research projects being returned to researchers/departments.

A & S: The caucus met with their Dean briefly and discussed search committees and processes.

Education: No meeting with the Dean. An inquiry was made concerning what, if anything, the Senate is doing concerning online courses.

Engineering: Senator Parker stated some concerns about consulting issues and other matters. Senator Parker’s comments are included in Attachment 1.

Other Colleges: No reports


7. Old Business:

A resolution concerning graduate student stipends was presented and discussed.

Resolution: WHEREAS the University of South Alabama has not increased the amount of Graduate Student Stipends in over ten years;

WHEREAS the current University graduate stipend is $4,000 per year and is clearly insufficient to attract quality graduate students;

WHEREAS the recruitment and retention of talented, capable Graduate Students is often dependent upon the University’s ability to provide stipends;

WHEREAS the University’s ability to compete with other institutions for quality students is dependent upon the amount of stipends;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the University of South Alabama Faculty Senate requests that the stipend amounts allotted for Graduate Students be increased such that academically strong, competent and viable Graduate Students can be recruited and retained by the institution. Furthermore, the amount of stipends should be reviewed on an annual basis so that the University remains competitive in attracting quality students.

Resolution passed. (Unanimously)

A resolution concerning ombudsmen was presented and discussed. (Attachment 2)

After discussion, this issue was referred to the Policy and Handbook Committee by a 13 to 9 vote.

A resolution concerning intellectual property rights for on-line course development was also presented and discussed.

Resolution: WHEREAS the rapid growth in distance learning has created several new issues arising from this unique method of delivering the curriculum, and

WHEREAS the University of South Alabama (USA) current Policy on Intellectual Property for On-line Development posted on the Faculty Senate webpage is actually an agreement requiring mandatory signature by faculty prior to teaching an on-line course and includes forfeiture of faculty rights, and

WHEREAS the current distance learning agreement between faculty and administration was written without appropriate Faculty Senate review, and

WHEREAS a letter from the chair of the Senate Policy and Faculty Handbook Committee written in April 2000 to the chair of the Distance Learning Committee raising several issues remains unanswered, and

WHEREAS issues of workload, intellectual property rights, academic freedom, legal liability, and the rights of non-tenured faculty related to distance learning have not been properly addressed by the Faculty Senate,

BE IT RESOLVED that a university committee be formed to address these issues to develop a fair and equitable policy to be presented to the Faculty Senate.

Resolution passed. (Unanimously)

A resolution concerning endorsement of a Mobile Register editorial was then introduced and discussed.

Resolution: Be it resolved that the Senate endorse the Mobile Register’s editorial requesting that the Attorney General of the State of Alabama initiate actions to assure that the USA Foundation immediately submit to a full audit by the State of Alabama and that a full disclosure of the results of said audit be disclosed to the citizens of the state as rapidly as possible.

Be it further resolved that the Chair of the USA Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the Attorney General of the State of Alabama forthwith.

Resolution passed. (Unanimously)

9. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by:

R. Bracken, Secretary


Attachment 1

College of Engineering Caucus Report

Dr. M R Parker gave a report on a meeting between the College of Engineering Senate Caucus and Dean Hayhurst. Various topics were discussed ranging from student dissatisfaction with facilities and resources in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) to concern by faculty regarding salary compression at the associate professor level. Dr. Parker indicated that he had informed Dean Hayhurst about concerns of ECE faculty regarding the current search for a Chair of that department. The main topic of discussion, however, had focused on concern by ECE faculty over a recent meeting between Dean Hayhurst and the ECE faculty during which time Dr. Hayhurst had, reportedly, made mention of a 40 hour week and had, among other things, required faculty to fill out a travel request form for absences from campus of one half day or more. Dr. Hayhurst indicated that his remarks on both of these issues had been misunderstood. Dr. Hayhurst had also clarified remarks made at that meeting regarding the resolve of the Institution to deal with dismissal for good cause.


Attachment 2

Faculty Senate Resolution on Creation of Ombudsmen to Assist With the Faculty Grievance Process

WHEREAS the initiation of a Faculty grievance may be intimidating for Faculty members

WHEREAS there may be alternative routes for faculty to pursue when considering initiating a Faculty grievance

WHEREAS Faculty members, especially newer members, may find it difficult to follow the appropriate procedures involved in the Grievance process

WHEREAS Faculty members may gain moral support by having a senior faculty member mentor them through the Grievance process

BE IT RESOLVED that the University of South Alabama Faculty Senate requests creation of a number of Ombudsmen positions for the purpose of assisting Faculty through the Faculty Grievance Process. Further, that the Faculty members selected for the roles of Ombudsman be selected by Faculty recommendation to the Faculty Senate who will determine, by vote, those to be recommended to the University for appointment. The term of the ombudsman should be three years minimally.

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