UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA
28 November 2001
1.Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 3:15 p.m. There was not a quorum until 3:30. (Before a quorum was reached, the senate discussed health care and insurance.)
Present: Bailey, Boggs, Bowers, Bracken, Broughton, M. Cohen, Dagenais, Ellis, Gifford, Gray, Guest, Hanks, Hermanson, Hsu, Longenecker, Matheson, Mozur, Murray, Olsen, Rogers, Rowe, Slagle, Spector, Swofford, Temple, Townsley, Vest, Weitzel, Wheeler
Absent (Excused): Broome, Brown, Foster, Hill, Kayes, Kimball, Kwiatkowski, Miller, Painter, Perkins, Shardo, Sylvester, Willis
Absent (Unexcused): S. Cohen, El-Saba, Figarola, Garmon, Hamm, McNair, Pettyjohn, Wesenberg, Wilson
3.Approval of Minutes:
The minutes from the October meeting were approved.
4.Report from the Chair:
Until a quorum was reached, the senate informally discussed insurance and health care concerns. The Chair reported the high rise in cost to the University of the health care plan and that the prescription tier plan that we are moving to is not unusual for other places at this time. Some faculty complained about the fact they had chosen physicians who were on the Prime Health approved list of physicians and that now they would cost more than the ones that were strictly USA. People expressed concerns about the $750 copay for non-USA hospital visits. If they have children outside of the USA area or conditions that are better treated elsewhere, it is too expensive. Faculty asked if non-USA physicians might be able to be grandfathered in but were told that President Moulton had said that Blue Cross Blue Shield wouldn’t do that. Blue Cross has many different contracts with providers and to keep our costs down, ours included only USA physicians. Some asked if the University might change the contract and raise premiums. Faculty living in Baldwin county are concerned about costs, for both physicians and hospitals. These thoughts were going to be forwarded to Jane Boggs committee for consideration.
Chairman Rogers told the Senate that there was a small budget originally for photocopy and sending minutes to faculty. The history department has paid for many photocopies in the past two years without being paid back and he asked the senators for $300 to go to the history department to offset some photocopy expenses. This was voted on and approved unanymously.
Chairman Rogers also told the Senate that we may be hearing more about the grievance procedures soon. The Planning and Development Committee is working with Administration to clarify procedures and looking into an ombudsperson. Deadlines need to be clearer and general procedures need to be clarified. It may need to be looked at line by line.
5.Reports from Standing Committees:
Policy and Handbook – Senator Ellis reported. The committee is frustrated working on the workload policy. Discussions on credit vs. contact vs. work hours make it difficult to know what faculty actually want. It is difficult to make one policy fair and agreeable to all of the different colleges and disciplines. Online classes make it more difficult with the even larger number of hours necessary to create and develop a course. It was suggested that data be collected from different colleges in the University and compare it to other universities. It was suggested we ask Al Yeager for information on consortia. One comment was that our teaching load was too high for a research institution.
Evaluation, Salaries and Benefits, and Planning and Development had no reports.
6.Reports from Caucus Leaders:
Allied Health, Arts and Sciences, Continuing Education and Special Programs, Engineering, Medicine – no reports
Computer and Information Sciences – Their faculty had discussed insurance.
Education – Their faculty had discussed insurance. They also discussed the possibility that the faculty senate might be better comprised of departmental representatives, not ‘at large’ representatives as is done now.
Library – The Library Caucus leader, Senator Wheeler, requested that the Senate approve some changes to the Faculty Handbook regarding the libraries. The library faculty voted unanymously to update certain areas for clarity and accuracy. The changes were handed out to the Senators and they were unanymously approved.
Mitchell College of Business – Senator Swofford reported on the evaluation of department chairs in MCOB. The MCOB Faculty Senate Caucus sent Dean Carl C. Moore a memo stating:
‘Some members of the MCOB faculty have approached us concerning annual evaluations of department chairs. They have pointed out to us that the University of South Alabama Faculty Handbook states in section 184.108.40.206:
“Each chair is evaluated annually by the college dean with formal input from departmental faculty.”
These faculty members and the Caucus wonder in what form and manner you have been acquiring and using “formal input from departmental faculty” in your annual evaluation of MCOB chairs…’
The response to the memo was that the ‘practice of the University has been to conduct evaluations of department chairs on a periodic basis. An evaluation of all chairs in the college will be conducted during Spring Semester 2002. Forms will be distributed to faculty in April.’
Nursing – Met with their dean and discussed possibility of evaluations being online. Generally they do not want the evaluations posted online. (There is a University committee researching this and currently doing a literature review on faculty evaluations being online to see what is being done elsewhere.)
There was no old business.
Nicole Baute visited the Senate and reported on a University Copyright Policy. A committee has put together a proposed policy after researching other policies from AAUP and other universities. This policy would apply to all copyright and patent work and apply to faculty, staff, and students. This is a comprehensive policy that addresses the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 as well as other laws.
The policy preserves academic protection. The policy would make it clear which rights belong to the individuals and which belong to the University. There are two major types of works – regular academic work created without using a large amount of University resources which would be owned by the creator and institutional works that the University owns and the creator would have some particular rights. It is crucial that a written agreement be signed before doing the work so that all details are understood.
The Senate has asked Nicole to return in January.
A discussion of Sick Leave donations was extended to January.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:30.
Respectfully submitted by:
S. Murray, Secretary