Faculty Senate
Approved Minutes
17 October 2001

1. Call to Order:

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

 2. Roll Call: 

Present:  Bailey, Barik, Boggs, Bowers, Bracken, Broome, Broughton, Brown, Dagenais, Ellis, Figarola, Gifford, Gray, Guest, Hanks, Hermanson, Hill, Hsu, Kayes, Kimball, Kwiatkowski, Longenecker, Mozur, Murray, Olsen, Perkins, Rogers, Rowe, Slagle, Spector, Swofford, Temple, Vest, Weitzel, Wesenberg, Wheeler, Willis

Absent (Excused):  Blackwell, M. Cohen, Garmon, Matheson, Miller, Painter, Sylvester,  Townsley

Absent (Unexcused): Benoit, S. Cohen,  Comstock, El-Saba, Foster, McNair, Pettyjohn, Shardo, Wilson

 3. Approval of Minutes:

The minutes from the  September 19, 2001 Faculty Senate meeting were presented and approved with a minor correction. 

4.  Report from the Chair:

Faculty Senate Chair Rogers made a statement  that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee did not meet with President Moulton this month because there were no pressing items. 

The Foundation Board met and Senator Murray tried to attend but the meeting was closed to the public.  Newspaper accounts sound as though the relationship between the University and the Foundation are frosty.  Faculty Senate Chair Rogers reported that the settlement fees were paid by the University out of reserve funds so that no direct impact on the budget should be felt by departments. 

The first sounds of proration for next year are being heard.  The University has already prebudgeted proration into next year’s budget.  They hope that it will be minimal as it is an election year but are planning for the possibility of budget cuts. 

Chairman Rogers suggested changing the next Faculty Senate meeting date as it falls on a date when the University closes early for Thanksgiving.  A vote was held and the next meeting will be on November 28th.

Chairman Rogers told the Senate that President Moulton had discussed the new student information system with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee before the September meeting but had asked us to keep it quiet until he had had a chance to discuss it with the committees involved.  President Moulton informed us at that time that he had decided against the system the committee recommended (Peoplesoft) because the price was too high and had decided to go with CST.  CST is cheaper and used by most of the schools in Alabama.  Peoplesoft would cost $9 million over 5 years while CST would cost $1 million over 2-3 years.  One senator expressed the need to keep abreast of this situation and that the Senate needs to continue to be aware of what decisions are being made.  He said that the current system cannot preregister or do summer orientation and that we want a new system to help with these factors.

5.  Special Report from Mike Thomason: 

Chairman Rogers asked the Senate to approve a departure from the agenda to let Dr. Thomason speak to Faculty Senators about the Foundation.  Dr. Thomason is currently serving on the Foundation Board as the University Faculty Representative.  The Senate approved of the change.

Dr. Thomason handed out copies of the settlement to the Senators present.  He said that he had been asked to serve on the Foundation Board and had agreed.  He discussed his point of view from attending the meetings so far and expressed that it was important that the lines of communication stay as open as possible between the University and the Foundation.  He said the Foundation web site is one good way of communicating with the Foundation and staying up on their views.  He said that there will be a vote early next year for a faculty representative for the Foundation Board.  The faculty member must be tenured, have been with the University 10 years or more, and be a current faculty member.  Dr. Thomason then answered questions from senators. 

One Senator asked if the faculty representative might be an administrator as well as non-administrative faculty member.  Dr. Thomason said that was possible if they won a popular vote of full time faculty.

Another Senator asked about Prime Health.  Dr. Thomason said the Foundation is very aware of Prime Health and that they have improved dramatically in the past 18 months.  He said nobody is happy with the conflict between the University, Prime Health and the Foundation.

Lastly a Senator commented that this was the first time he had heard information about the Foundation from someone other than the newspapers or University administration firsthand.  This person expressed an interest in the Foundation Board faculty representative continuing to speak to University faculty.  Dr. Thomason said he thought this was a good idea and he would certainly be glad to help keep the lines of communication open.

6. Reports from Standing Committees:

Policy and Handbook Committee:  Senator Ellis reported that the committee was working on the workload policy.  He met with Dr. Covey and discussed some concerns.  They discussed that many changes occurred as a result of proration.  Senator Ellis said the standard workload is 4/4 and they would like it to be 3/3.  He said Dr. Covey said that it was 3/3 with people feeling entitled to research time and that now it was that 4/4 was normal unless they justified their need for research time.  Senator Ellis said his committee was concerned with online prep time.  Is the time to prepare for an online course equivalent to the time for a traditional course?  They also expressed concern about copyright. Basically it boiled down to the fact that many more faculty would have to be hired to allow for 3/3 workload.

Clinical faculty expressed their concern that this doesn’t work well for them. Clinical faculty work many more contact hours for their courses and want this reflected in the 60/30/10 type split.  The possibility of increasing the weight for contact hours was brought up.  Another Senator brought up his opinion that there needs to be equity, not a workload policy.  He said each college is very different and it needs to be more equitable.  We need resource re-allocation between different colleges and departments.  Some departments need more faculty and some don’t.  The workload policy may be used to help not overwork the faculty if it is done correctly.  It is a way of defining how not to abuse faculty so they can meet their criteria for evaluation. 

One Senator commented that we might begin with a 40 hour week as a minimum and rough out ‘hours per week’ for fairness – so many hours for teaching/research/service. 

Another suggested that contact hours would be more fair for their college and that we might come up with different numbers for each college depending upon what they did.  One response to this was that each department within each college might well be different.   

Evaluation Committee: Senator Wesenberg reported they were working on the evaluation.

Salary and Fringe Benefits Committee: Senator Boggs said the committee was working on a sick leave donation policy. 

Planning Committee: No report.

7. Reports from Caucus Leaders:

Most caucus leaders had no reports. 

Senator Brown said Senator Comstock has resigned from the Senate and Arts and Sciences will need to find a replacement.

On behalf of the College of Education, Senator Broughton reported that they had a good meeting with full attendance with their dean.  They discussed workload and the learning resource center.

Senator Kayes reported that the College of Medicine held a meeting and elected a new Senator to replace Dr. Benoit.  Dr. Hamm will be the new Senator for College of Medicine.

The Nursing caucus leader, Senator Weitzel, reported that the Dean of the College of Nursing has been very publicly supportive of the faculty.

8. Old Business:

There was no pending business.

9. New Business:

There was no new business.

10. Adjournment:

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:30 p.m.

     Respectfully submitted by:

     S. Murray, Secretary