Date: September 20, 1999
To: All USA Faculty
From: Elise Labbé
Chair of Faculty Senate
Welcome to a new year! One of the senate's major goals this year is to increase communication and networking between senators and the faculty. We hope to do this by having a webmaster that can update information and post new information as needed. The Faculty Senate Executive Committee is composed of the Faculty Senate Chair (Elise Labbé), Vice Chair (Dan Rogers), Secretary (Dan Vetrosky) and Chairs of the four subcommittees, Handbook (Steve Morris), Evaluation (Calvin Jones), Salary & Fringe Benefits (Susan LeDoux) and Planning & Development (Gail Chryslee). I've recommended that each subcommittee submit summaries of their activities before each senate meeting and we hope to have these summaries on the Web page as well. The committees may also send their summaries out to faculty via e-mail
What I plan to do is e-mail my summary of the Faculty Senate Meetings as well as any other information that I think faculty should be aware of as we go through the year. You will continue to receive the Faculty Senate minutes and I encourage you to read them.
As you all should know by now the Faculty Senate unanimously passed a resolution asking Dr. Whiddon to resign as managing director of the Foundation unless he was willing to respond to a variety of requests. We also had a compromise resolution that would call for a working relationship between the Foundation and the Board of Trustees. However, this resolution was not supported by the faculty senate. Some of the USA faculty did not approve of the resolution that was passed. Some faculty felt is was not fair to Dr. Whiddon and that is discredited all that he had done for USA. Also some faculty felt that the resolution madeit appear that faculty sided with the Board of Trustees and/or the administration. Some faculty believed that Dr. Strange "pushed" the resolution through. The truth is that the Faculty Executive Committee spent many hours talking with Dr. Whiddon and was frustrated with the lack of truth and real response from the Foundation. Many senators voted for the resolution with heavy hearts but knew that we were representing our colleagues who, in the majority, wanted this resolution passed. I do appreciate that there are faculty who are willing to express their beliefs and thoughts about these issues. I think faculty like Drs. Tom Brennan and Larry Holmes challenge us to see all sides, to be open minded and to appreciate the freedom of speech. I think that in the future, if we can have better avenues for assessing and communicating our concerns and opinions, that maybe all faculty can believe that their senators represented them well.
Since the July Faculty Senate meeting the Faculty Executive Committee has meet with Mr. Moulton twice to discuss a variety of issues. We have attended the USA Board of Trustees August meeting and Drs. LeDoux and Evans were able to attend the USA Foundation Board meeting in Montgomery. This meeting came as a surprise and many of us were not in town that week. This is an example of the short notice that is given when a Foundation meeting is scheduled.
The Faculty Senate has not received a response from Dr. Whiddon or the Foundation Board regarding the July Resolution asking Dr. Whiddon to step down. Apparently the resolution was discussed at the meeting but no action was taken. Dr. Evans reported that Dr.Whiddon made a motion to add a faculty member to the Foundation Board. Drs. LeDoux & Evans objected to this motion unless the President was also added. The motion was then tabled. Essentially none of our requests have been honored
According to Mr Moulton, to date $4,345,660 has been received from the USA foundation , 1million of that was a loan to USA Health Services Foundation. This amounts to about 1.59% of Foundation net assets.
Mr. Moulton also reported that the Federal judge ruled that the suit between Board of Trustees members Mr. Brunson & Langham against that Foundation was to be moved back to Mobile. He also expressed concern regarding the condition of Prime Health but that USA faculty should not be worried about their health coverage.If you do run into problems with Prime Health you should contact the personnel office and let them know so that they can help work it out.
The Faculty senate has been concerned with the status of the Athletic Task Force that the Board of Trustees formed last year. Three committees have concluded but the 4th one, that has to do with programs, including football, has not concluded. We have asked for reports of these committees but have not received them. Mr. Gottfried addressed the Faculty Senate on his vision of Football at USA at the September senate meeting. Mr. Gottfried's presentation was appreciated and he responded to senators' questions. A Faculty Senate survey to Senators was sent out the week before classes started. In general the Senators reported that they were not in favor of football if it in anyway drew monetary resources from the University Operating Funds. Senators were basically neutral if a football program could be funded, including the women's teams that would have to be supported, with outside sources. The Evaluation Subcommittee will be sending a survey to all faculty. Please respond when you receive it.
The Faculty Senate has also been
concerned with the issues relating to the library. Mr.
Moulton reported to the Faculty Senate Executive committee that the best
approach may be to build a new library. As
it would be less expensive to build a new one than to renovate and add
on. Mr. Moulton was meeting with
architects to review proposals. The old library would be used for archives
A variety of other issues have been pursued, some are as follows:
1. The faculty sick leave policy was approved on August 26th, by the Board of Trustees - No back credit for retirement will be given. However faculty can use past sick leave credit for current sick leave
2.Compensation -baseline data on salary for internal as well as external use will be gathered. Faculty are still concerned with the issue of salary compression and we continue to push for changes in this area.
3. Search procedures for president& long range university planning committees of the Board of Trustees has been named and announced. No meetings have been scheduled.
4.Searches are in progress for VP for academic affairs, A& S Dean and an Executive Development Officer.
5. Campus enhancement is under way. If you have any problems call maintenance. The administration is trying to set up a system for faculty and staff to request work orders.
6. Student enrollment is down by 2%,
credit hours are down by 3%.
I encourage faculty to e-mail their
senators, Executive Committee members
WE WANT TO KNOW AND HEAR YOUR CONCERNS !
Have a Fruitful Semester!