April 16, 2003

Humanities Bldg., Rm 150

3:00 p.m.





1.  Call to order—3:03 p.m.



2.  Roll Call


Present:  Aldes, Aronson, R. Brown, Cohen, Coleman, Dickens, Dupree, Figarola, Gamble, Godfrey, Gray, Icenogle, Kovaleski, Longenecker, Manci, Millner, Moreau-Johnson, Morris, Nowlin, Olsen, Pardue, Parker, Payne, Perez Pineda, Peters, Pillen, Pruitt, Ryan, Sachs, Sanders, Sauer, Smith, Spake, Tate, and Temple


Absent (Excused):  Barik, Donovan, Giles, Haywick, Jefferson, Powell, and Scott


Absent (Unexcused):  Davis, Foster, Hanks, Harris, Luterman, Quinn, Robertson, Rodning, Teplick.


Guest:  I. Brown, A. Perkins.



3.  Joe Busta, Vice-President for Development and Alumni Affairs, outlined where we are in the University’s master plan, including the prospective of fund raising in higher education.  A 2001 national survey on funding raising showed that the majority of money that universities received came from individuals (75.8%), whereas Foundations’ donations came in 3rd with 12.2%.  For USA’s master plan, it will start with basic programs, such as annual giving, major gifts, planned giving (bequests), and memorial/honor/matching gifts.  It will also focus on major gifts ($10,000 & up).  Currently, the University is identifying what our priorities are for donations.  The USA Board of Trustees’ Endowment and Investment Committee has taken on this focus.  Busta does not believe there is a conflict with the new emphasis from this committee and the current USA Foundation.  According to Dr. Busta, a properly-focused Foundation uses fund raising to raise endowment funds.  But the USA Foundation is currently focused on maintaining the assets it received from the University rather than investigating potential funds from new donors.  So there is no conflict between university fund-raising and the USA Foundation.


4.  Chair I. Brown welcomed the new members to the faculty senate.


5.  Minutes for the March meeting were adopted by voice vote after minor changes.


6.  Detective Sargent Dave Sumner, USA Campus Police, and Officer Chris Helton, the Department’s liason, talked to the Senate about threat assessment with in the university classroom.  Anything out of the ordinary that shows a potential problem should be reported to the campus police.  This can be done anonymously, or on the web.  Also the campus police have a new program for domestic crime.  Another problem the campus is having is with identity theft.


7.  Chair’s Report  

     In the Executive Council’s meeting with Pres. Moulton, it was reported that the possibility of salary raises next fiscal year are unlikely because of the expected budget deficit.  There is a potential for approximately 8% tuition increase.  The status of the state budget for the next fiscal year is still unclear.  There have been polls indicating a general lack of support in Alabama for tax reform.

     With the new PAWS program, there is some concern that student privacy will be compromised.  The University Administration reassured the Executive Committee that only those people with proper authority, such as advisors, will have access to student information.

     In view of the tight budget, there has been a question of unfilled positions.  Currently faculty hiring has not been frozen, though staff hiring has been.  This past year, 31 positions have been filled.

     The proposed constitutional amendments to the Faculty Senate Constitution passed.  The vote for the amendments was:  for part I, 385 voted yes, while 11 voted no; for part II, the vote was 376 yes with 20 no votes.


8.  Reports from the Standing Committees


Evaluation—Committee Chair Longenecker reported that the focus has been on two major projects: the new web-base survey, which should be ready in a couple of weeks, and getting the vote for the changes in the constitution.  The web survey this year will be paired with a phone poll survey.  There is still some concern about confidentiality when voting via web, even though, based on the way the data are stored, there is no way the votes or comments can be traced back to an individual.


Policy and Handbook—Committee Chair Hanks reported on the various activities of the committee for the past year.  Some of the issues included the process for non-tenure track faculty to achieve promotions; grievance process for faculty denied tenure; office hours, teaching load and compensation for on-line courses and summer instruction.


Planning and Development—There were a few projects in the works this past year.  The tram car/bus service should be getting underway this fall.   But the University Long-Range Planning Committee is gearing up, so there is the potential of more projects in the future.


Salary and Fringe Benefits—Committee Chair Aldes outlined a set of issues, most of which revolved around the new health care program, mainly on the increase cost of program with no improvement on service.  Some of the issues the committee tackled included:  having a say on which drugs are included, holding off any cost increase in premiums until there are more mature statistics, and including a long-term care insurance premium as part of the package.  An additional benefit that was pursued was the sick-leave policy for newly-hired faculty.


9.  Caucus Leader’s Reports


Allied Health—Dean search is over.  There should be an announcement soon.


Engineering—The College is in the process of interviewing candidates that were determined by the search firm.


Medicine—Still trying to fill all slots for senators.


Education—Still looking for a Dean.


Library—There was a request of the faculty to take the library survey on the web.  Also, the library was able to get an advertised non-tenure position changed back to tenure-track.


Nursing—Enrollment at the school is growing.


10.  Old Business


The “Resolution on Alabama Tax Reform” passed unanimously after minor changes.


11.  New Business


The election of officers for the Executive Committee:  After no nominations from the floor, the slate of officers was elected unanimously.  The new officers of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee are:


Chair:  Richmond Brown

Vice-Chair:  Steve Morris

Secretary:  Vicki Tate

Chair, Handbook and Policy:  Roma Hanks

Chair, Planning & Development:  Doug Haywick

Chair, Evaluations:  Bart Longenecker

Chair, Salary & Fringe Benefits:  Leonard Aldes



12.  New Chair of Faculty Senate Richmond Brown outlined the issues for the coming year.



13.  Adjournment


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