Approved Minutes

Oct. 16, 2002

Humanities Bldg., Rm. 160

3:00 p.m.





1.       Call to Order—3:05 pm

       Quorum was not met at this time.


2.       Roll Call


Present:  Aldes, Bailey, Barik, Broughton, Brown, I., Dagenais, Dovovan, Ellis, Figarola, Gamble, Gifford, Godfrey, Gray, Hanks, Haywick, Kwiatkowski, Morris, Mozur, Peters, Pillen, Quinn, Rodning, Rowe, Sanders, Slagle, Sylvester, Tate, Teplick, Wheeler, Wilson.


Absent (Excused):  Aronson, Cohen, Dickens, Kimball.


Absent (Unexcused):  Bowers, Brown, R., El-Saba, Foster, Garmon, Hill, Jefferson, Longenecker, McNair, Moreau-Johnson, Perkins, Pettyjohn, Robertson, Temple.



3.       Dr. Robert Kreisberg, Vice-President for Medical Affairs:

       The first guest speaker to address the Faculty Senate was Dr. Kreisberg, who addressed the situation at the College of Medicine.  He passed out a 3-page handout concerning “Teaching, Research, Clinical Care” at the College of Medicine.  USA’s medical school is one of the smallest in the country, with a student cap at 64.  There are currently 180 faculty members, with the split at  approximately 2/3 in clinical and 1/3 in basic medical sciences.  This is compared to UAB, whose Dept of Medicine alone has 300 faculty members.  Considering this, Dr. Kreisberg believes the school is doing well with the resources at their disposal.  As for attrition, the school lost 10% of their staff during 2001, compared to the national average of 8.5%.  In the last year, recruitment has increased, with several noted physicians joining the staff. 



At this point quorum was achieved, and the agenda was adopted by voice vote.



4.       Happy Fulford, Executive Director Governmental Relations:

       The second guest speaker was Mr. Fulford, who discussed the current status of USA’s relationship with the Alabama state government.  USA continues to be the lowest funded university with doctoral programs in the state, based on per student rate.  While in the last few years most universities are at level enrollment, USA has increased its enrollment, which means level-funding has to be stretched farther.  Biggest problem is there isn’t any additional funding.  This is compounded with the apathy of the public, which does not see the need for higher education, and certain special interest groups, that have a great deal of power in the state.  Mr. Fulford’s office is trying to enhance USA’s standing by raising our profile around the state with the current publicity campaign.

       Sen. Sylvester requested the statistics for  the number of students in K-12 vs. higher education, and the number of employees in K-12 vs. higher education.  Fulford indicated he would provide this information to the Senate.



5.       Approval of Minutes of the September 18, 2002 meeting:


Approval, with minor corrections, was carried by voice vote.



6.       Chair's Report:

       Faculty Chair Brown reported that endowments given to the University outside of the USA Foundation are being overseen by the USA Board of Trustees.  All of this money is restricted. 

       President Moulton is committed to looking into salary parity to regional levels.  Currently, USA’s salaries, with the exception of entry-level salaries, fall behind those of comparable institutions.  In order to retain exceptional faculty members, the goal should be to have salaries that are better than average.

       There was some discussion about the effect of student/teacher ration on “excellence in teaching”.  A 2-page handout with bar graphs and tables for “Full-Time Equivalents Student/faculty Ratios” was distributed.  There was a question from the floor regarding the definition of “full-time equivalent enrollment” and is it different than class size?  It was also asked whether it was possible to get medium class size for both undergraduate and graduate levels.  Faculty Chair Brown said she would look into it.



7.       Reports from Standing Committees:


Evaluation—No report.


Policy and Handbook—The most recent meeting had been cancelled, so there was no report.


Planning & Development—There was a meeting scheduled for next week.


Salary & Fringe Benefits—Nov. 1st is open enrollment.  The University Salary & Fringe Benefits committee has met, and believes the present health plan has a good start, though they are looking at improving it.  President Moulton is looking at the possibility of raising employee contribution to the USA Health Plan.  If there is an increase in employee contribution, it is possible it would be 2-tier for those making over a specific amount.  But the current health plan has not been in place long enough to generate adequate numbers to base the raise on.

Other possible changes in the plan include:  2-month co-pay for a 3-month supply of prescriptions; adding more drugs to maintenance drug list; adding the option to participate in long-term health care insurance program; and a one-per-year eye exam from optometrist groups outside the university.



8.       Reports from Caucus Leaders:

Engineering—Senator Sylvester reported that their Dean search is progressing well.  There was a question about the workload policy, since there is some disagreement that 12 hours is a 60% workload.  Faculty Chair Brown said that the study is dead.  It was decided that the issue of workload should be worked out within a department.


Education—Senator Broughton reported that their Dean search is also going well.


Nursing—Senator Peters reported that they have not met with the Dean, who is out of country.  The Nursing program in Baldwin County is underway.



9.       Old Business:


The resolution supporting Allan Tucker's plans regarding the USA Foundation was postponed, due to the lack of quorum.



10.   New Business:


No new business was discussed.



11.   Adjournment:


The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 pm.