University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Faculty Senate Meeting

Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting

December 9, 2003

7:30 – 9:30 A. M.

Location: HUC Meeting Rooms A&B



Present: Dr. Theodore Benditt (Chair-Elect), Dr. Tim Heaven (Past-Chair), Dr. Pat Greenup (Secretary), Dr. John Wittig (Parliamentarian), and Dr. Carol Garrison (President)


Senators: Dr. Peter Anderson, Dr. James Broome, Dr. Alison Chapman, Dr. Susan Davies, Dr. Alan Eberhardt, Ms. Sara Grostick, Dr. Lynn Kirkland, Ms. Jennifer Long, Dr. Warren Martin, Dr. Jacqueline Moss, Dr. Beverly Mulvihill, Dr. William Ogard, Dr. Linda Reed, Dr. Gary Sapp, Dr. Donald Urban, Ms. Martha Verchot, Dr. Adam Gordon, Dr. Louis Justament, Dr. Tim Kraft


Alternate Senators: Dr. Madelyn Coar, Dr. Zoe Dwyer, Mr. E. Jay Harris, Ms. Heather Martin, and Dr. Pam Murray, Dr. Gale Temple, Dr. Brad Newcomer, Dr. Mark Lockhart


Guests: Mr. James Lowery, Dr. Rose Scripa, and Dr. Mike Wyss



Agenda Items


  1. Call to Order


Chair-elect Ted Benditt called the meeting to order at 7:35 A. M. A quorum was present.


  1. Recognition of Guests


The guests in attendance were from the University community.


  1. Adoption of Minutes of November 11, 2003 Meeting.


The minutes of the November 11, 2003 meeting were approved as distributed.






  4.  Chair of the Faculty Report – Chair-Elect Ted Benditt presented the report

       prepared in part by Chair Smith. The following items were presented: (1)

       FY2003-2004 Compensation Policy distributed on December 3, 2003 to Deans

       and Vice-Presidents for forwarding to faculty and staff; all senators were

       encouraged to share this information to faculty and staff who had not yet received

       the President’s letter; (2) Provost Capilouto is forming an Economic Rules

       Committee to develop rules for distributing revenues and to assign costs to

       administrative units; meetings will be held in January and February; faculty

       representatives will be Chair Smith, Mike Wyss and Dr. Henry Panion; (3) IDEA

       survey of Deans and Library Directors has completed the data collection phase

       and the data analyses are expected by the end of December; after reviews by the

       Faculty Senate officers, Deans and the Provost to assure faculty confidentiality,

       the results will be distributed to faculty in the appropriate units in January; (4)

       Phase I issues reported by the academic units have now been forwarded to the

       standing committees of the Senate for further deliberation and possible

       recommendations to the Senate; (5) Faculty representation to University-wide

       committees review is in progress; (6) Election process and responsibilities of the

       Senators-at-large who serve on the Senate executive committee is under review

       by the Executive committee and senators are requested to submit their

       suggestions to the Chair; (7) Faculty Senate has a new look for the website,

       please review and submit suggestions; (8) the Senate office now has a more

       formal administrative document tracking process implemented; (9) Senate use of

       Blazer ID faculty listings will be limited to faculty issues and will be used in a

       manner to protect faculty rights and confidentiality; (10) Recreation fees

       structure has been reviewed with President Garrison and the Senate will be

       apprised of future deliberations by administration in setting the fees for faculty

       and staff use of the recreation facilities on campus.


             Chair-Elect Benditt announced that the minutes of the Executive Committee and

             the Executive Committee meetings with President Garrison are posted on the

             Senate web page and that the Planning Meeting Books created by each academic

             Units are available in each Dean’s office for faculty review.


  1. President Carol Garrison – Update and Questions


      President Garrison thanked the Faculty Senate for the productive meetings held

      monthly, the faculty, staff and students for semester successes and praised UAB

      for being the source of the Alabama Teacher, the Alabama Professor and the

      Alabama Principal of the Year. Additional comments addressed these topics: (1)

      federal funding for biodefense and clinical research; (2) importance of UAB to the

      Birmingham community; (3) while the UAB campaign is winding down, fund

      raising campaigns will continue with a focus on alumni chapters and links with

      athletic events; (4) the UAB alma mater and the plans to integrate this music and

      words into more UAB events and encourage faculty to learn the words; (5) new

     buildings on campus and expected completion dates; (6) enrollment management

     plans for 2004 and beyond; (7) the search for the Vice-President of Medicine is

     moving forward and letters will be forwarded to academic units shortly; (8)

     concerning recreation facility fees the need to not create perceptions of misuse of

     state funds and unfair competition for local sports related businesses. During the

     questions period, President Garrison responded to these questions: (1) what is the

     status of the plans for a new Social and Behavioral Sciences building; response –

     this topic is under review and a timeline will be determined in the near future; (2)

     with the current salary freeze how can the merit review process best minimize

     threats by faculty to leave as a negotiation tool and how to standardize the merit

     review process; response – raises must be linked to merit review process and there

     is a need for a comprehensive salary plan; (3) are there other types of reward

     mechanisms available to faculty such as in-house seed grants; response -the status

     of previously available faculty opportunities need to be reviewed, revived and/or

     advertised to the faculty, and these activities should be competitive and require a

     tangible product.


6.  Derrick Green –President, UAB Student Government Association


     Mr. Green presented a summary of student views generated by student surveys and

     a report previously presented to the Academic Programs Council. Topics presented

     include: academic concerns related to class scheduling and availability of required

     courses that do not have conflicting times, need for professors with teaching and

     communication skills, need for extended library and computer lab hours especially

     during final weeks of terms; transportation on campus; safety and security for

     students; housing classification areas and food services; safety of facilities; and 

     campus appearance; increased use of BlazerID for student use.


  1. Senate Standing Committee Report


a. Governance and Operations Committee


                 Senator and Chair Beverly Mulvihill reviewed the elections process memo

                 distributed and emphasized the due dates for submission of nominations; the

                 Nomination Acceptance Form will be sent to all senators as email attachment

                 To move the process to electronic submission of nominees. The committee’s

                 work with review of the Senate Constitution and Bylaws is in progress and a

                 report to the Senate is planned for February.


            b. Finance Committee


                Senator and Chair Linda Reed reviewed a written report outlining issues related

                to the UAB Fringe Benefits Committee. These topics are Caremark issues,

                flexible spending account changes and terminology in the current UAB Sick

                Leave Policy. The Finance committee is planning a survey of the faculty to

                prepare for Fringe Benefits committee discussions. A recommendation was

                presented that would ask the Benefits office to reopen the enrollment period for

                 current members with flexible spending accounts to address additional items

                 that may be covered based on new laws allow purchasing of certain over the

                 counter items. The current practice for use of the flexible spending cards needs

                 to be reviewed when low dollar amounts remain on the card. The sick leave

                 policy concerns will be presented to the Faculty Senate Executive committee

                 for a revisit to the concerns of faculty about terminology and definitions. A

                 related topic of impact of illness on tenure and stop out time was introduced

                 and it was suggested that the FPPC review this issue as it relates to current

                 faculty policies.


  1. Academic Unit Reports


      Senators for these academic units Health Related Professions, Lister Hill Library,

      School of Medicine, Mervyn Sterne Library and Joint Health Sciences submitted

      reports concerning current practices related to periodic review of tenured faculty

      over and above the merit review process and the interest of faculty to be involved

      in Faculty Senate conducted evaluations of identified academic administrators.

      When all of the academic units have completed these Phase II reports, the reports

      will be summarized and posted on the Senate web site and presented to the Senate

      for future discussions and actions. Chair-Elect Benditt reviewed the purpose of

      the Phase II questions and how the Senate will proceed with the information

      generated by the academic units.


  1. Open Forum


No new items were presented for discussion.


  1. Announcements


a. The next Senate meeting is January 13, 2004.

b. The academic units scheduled to report on Phase II questions are Natural Science and Math, Nursing, Optometry, Public Health, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

c. Higher Education Day is February 26, 2004 in Montgomery.

d. Dr. Sadis Matalon will speak to the Senate at the January meeting.

e. Mr. David Fine and Dean Will Deal will speak to the Senate at the February Senate meeting.

f. Provost Capilouto is scheduled to discuss budget topics at the March Senate meeting.


  1. Review of Action Items from December 9, 2003 Meeting


a.       The Executive Committee will review the Phase II reports when all academic units have been presented to the Senate at the January meeting.

    1. The FSEC will identify the Phase I report concerns that are being addressed by Standing Committees of the Senate.
    2. The FSEC should consider inviting the Director of Enrollment Management to share information with the Senate.
    3. The FSEC will follow up on the availability of “in-house seed grants” and determine the status and/or need to revive and advertise information to the faculty.
    4. The FSEC will follow up on the request that HRM – Benefits reopen the enrollment period for the flexible spending accounts.
    5. The FSEC will follow up on the Sick Leave Policy language and determine the next appropriate review action needed.
    6. The FSEC will follow up on the scheduling of the Fringe Benefits Committee meetings during early 2004 for negotiation discussion on health benefits options.
    7. The FSEC will follow up on the question about “tenure time out” for faculty with extraordinary circumstances.


  1. Review of Action Items from November 11, 2003 Meeting


    1. All of the actions items listed in the minutes of the November 11, 2003 meeting were completed.
    2. The Chair of the Faculty received a letter from Dr. Garrison appointing Ms. Debra Laken to the Faculty Athletic Committee and the FAC Academic Standards Subcommittee. Ms. Laken will serve as the Senate representative to the FAC.


  1. Written Materials Distributed to Senators


    1. Agenda – December 9, 2003 meeting
    2. Minutes – November 11, 2003 meeting
    3. UAB Employee Compensation Policy – from President Garrison
    4. Report from Finance Committee Chair – Fringe Benefits Update
    5. Elections Process for Spring 2004


  1. Adjournment



The meeting was adjourned at 9:24 A. M.




Minutes prepared by Pat Greenup, the Secretary of the Faculty.