University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Faculty Senate

Minutes of Faculty Senate Meeting, April 8, 2003


LOCATION:  University Center Great Hall


PRESENT: Officers:  Dr. Tim Heaven (Chair), Dr. John Smith (Chair-Elect),

Dr. Marcus Hickson III (Past-Chair), Dr. John Wittig (Parliamentarian), Dr. Eli Capilouto (Provost)

                     Senators: Dr. Peter G. Anderson, Mr. Craig Beard, Dr. Edwin W. Cook, 

Dr. Evangelos Eleftherious, Dr. Jeffrey A. Engler, Dr. Daniel Givan, Ms. Ellen M. Griffin,

Dr. Jeanne S. Hutchison, Dr. Lynn D. Kirkland, Dr. Timothy W. Kraft, Dr. George O. Liber,

Dr. James C. Martin, Dr. Bruce T. McComiskey, Dr. Jiri Mestecky, Dr. Stephen A. Moser,

Dr. Beverly A. Mulvihill, Dr. William K. Ogard, Dr. Linda F. Reed, Dr. Gary Sapp,

Dr. Tammy P. Than, Dr. Bettye G. Wilson

                  Alternate Senators:  Dr. Allan C. Dobbins, Dr. Vicki Y. Johnson, Dr. David D. Ku,

Dr. Debra E. Laken, Dr. Mark E. Lockhart, Ms. Heather Martin, Dr. Pamela S. Murray,

Dr. Maureen Pezzementi, Dr. Joseph Telfair

                  Guests:  Dr. Patricia Greenup, Mr. James Grimes, Mr. James Lowery, Ms. Karen Placke, Ms. Roberta Shapiro, Mr. Thomas Spencer


Agenda Items


1.                  Call to Order


Chair Tim Heaven called the meeting to order at 7:37 A.M.


2.                  Recognition of Visitors


Mr. Tom Spencer, Dr. Jamie Grimes, Ms. Karen Placke


3.                  Adoption of Minutes of March 11, 2003 meeting


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


4.                  Campaign for Alabama:


Managing Director William O’Connor outlined the goals of the business leaders group. These goals include support for change agent activities that will lead to addressing the financial challenges for Alabama, support for making definitive decisions for investing in the future employees for Alabama (K – doctoral) and to create real change for a better day in Alabama. Senators were encouraged to support tax reform and encourage legislators to support education and revenue decision-making based on common sense and business sense. Higher education will need to assist these changes by minimizing duplication of programs and addressing appropriate levels of instruction at community colleges and at higher education institutions.




5.      Ronald McDonald House


 Executive Director Roberta Shapiro outlined the RMHC services for clients and the contributions to UAB and the Birmingham community. The RMHC is now a part of the UAB Benevolent Fund and is currently applying to be included in United Way. Benefits to UAB include public relations, sources of revenue and teaching activities. The RMHC is determining the feasibility for a new building located closer to the north side of the UAB campus to have the RMHC clients closer to the medical facility services that are needed by patients. Senators were encouraged to support the RMHC and to encourage other faculty to support the RMHC.


6.  Nondiscrimination Resolution – Senator Ed Cook


Senator Ed Cook (SBS) presented a resolution supporting the addition of sexual orientation to UAB's Equal Opportunity Policy.  This resolution was developed by an ad hoc task force originally appointed in 1999 by Dr. Susan McWilliams.  He presented several reasons why he thought that the Faculty Senate should support this policy change:  First, it sends the right message to students, colleagues, and staff, that discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation is not acceptable. Second, discrimination and harassment are experienced by gays and lesbians at UAB; even though such incidents are not being well publicized.  Third, experiencing or witnessing discrimination and harassment leads to fear of being "outed" that distracts and detracts from academic progress and job performance.  This fear is abetted, he suggested, by news of hate crimes against gays and lesbians nearby and across the country.  This climate of fear constitutes a serious burden on the university, because over the years, thousands of UAB faculty, staff and employees are adversely affected.  Fourth, policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation are already in place at many other institutions of higher education with which UAB competes, including approximately 80% of approximately 450 colleges and universities surveyed nationally, 66% of schools in the Southern Universities Group, 90% of the top 30 universities in terms of NIH funding, and all but one of the 16 universities identified as our peers for benchmark-setting purposes by President Garrison.  Fifth, addition of sexual orientation to the Equal Opportunity Policy has already been endorsed by the major professional, graduate and undergraduate student government associations at both ends of the campus.  Sixth, nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and training in dealing with diverse groups of people, including gays and lesbians, is increasingly important for accreditation of major academic programs at UAB.  Finally, he noted that senate endorsement of the resolution would show faculty support for President Garrison and Dr. Susan McWilliams, as they pursued modification to the Equal Opportunity Policy with other members of the UAB administration.



The following resolution was presented as a motion:


Resolution on Adding Sexual Orientation to UAB's Equal Opportunity Policy

WHEREAS, the Faculty Senate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham represents the interests of a diverse group of faculty functioning within a diverse university community; and,

WHEREAS, the University of Alabama at Birmingham affirms in its Mission Statement" an unyielding belief in the virtue of diversity as well as the fair and equitable treatment of students, faculty, and staff and those we serve"; and includes among its Guiding Principles/Core Values encouragement and promotion of "diversity of thought, ideas, and people as a vehicle for strengthening society"; and,

WHEREAS, the University's commitment to diversity reflects its recognition of the importance of an inclusive and welcoming environment in attracting, retaining, and supporting high quality faculty, staff, and students; and,

WHEREAS, diversity of ideas can be expressed in classrooms, research, and administrative and support programs of the University only if all members of the university community feel protected in expressing their views; and,

WHEREAS, exposure to and education regarding diversity of individuals and ideas are important components of professional education in medicine, psychology, social work, business, and other fields; and,

WHEREAS, acts of discrimination and harassment against individuals, based upon their sexual orientation, have been reported at this University; and,

WHEREAS, a clear and unambiguous policy prohibiting such discrimination and harassment is necessary so that all members of the university community will understand the protections afforded this University; and,

WHEREAS, resolutions endorsing such a policy have been adopted by UAB's Undergraduate Student Government Association, Graduate Student Association, and student government associations in Nursing, Health Related Professions, Public Health, and the School of Medicine;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham encourages President Garrison and the UAB administration to work toward inclusion of sexual orientation in the University's Equal Opportunity Policy, and to take other steps as warranted toward ensuring compliance with this amended policy.

The resolution was discussed and approved by the Senate. The resolution will be posted on the Senate web page at

6.      Discussion of FPPC Proposed Changes to the Faculty Handbook, Section 2.0 and Appendix Sections A, B and C – Past Chair Mark Hickson and the Senate Representative to the FPPC.


Past Chair Hickson lead discussion of the summary statements for the proposed final version of the Section 2.0 of the Faculty Handbook.

Senator Kraft inquired about the definition of part-time faculty for a faculty member who has a special type of grant funding and % of effort time related to the addition of a statement to Section 2.0 that part-time faculty cannot hold tenure status in Alabama System institutions. The definition of a full time faculty appointment is not directly linked to a percent of effort designation for a faculty member and would not affect tenure status.

Senator Kraft asked the question are national search procedures required for clinical faculty who will have non-tenured faculty positions. The definition of a national search as to which publications will be used for advertising will be determined by each academic unit as to the sources used for a national search; however, all academic units must follow Provost procedures and expectations of quality for the initial appointments of faculty including the search process. Short-term non-tenure earning appointments to a temporary faculty status do not require a nationally advertised search. Clinical faculty appointments must be evaluated as to the need for a national search based on the position description and type of non-tenure earning appointment.


Senator Kraft inquired about the summary statement for Section – addition that “all initial appointments below Associate Professor shall be without tenure”

Yes, these two sentences are new and recommended for addition [All appointments below the rank of Associate Professor shall be without tenure. Initial appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or above may be offered with or without tenure.]


The discussion was discontinued due to time approaching 9:30 A.M. and many senators had left the meeting.


All faculty and senators were encouraged to review all of the proposed revisions and a chronology outlining the review process during 2000 to 2003 to generate the proposed revisions for Section 2.0 and Appendix A, B, and C.  The current versions being discussed by the Senate were initially sent to the Senate in July 2002, reviewed by the Faculty Affairs Committee with input from senators and Faculty Affairs Committees in the schools and libraries. The Senate requested the FPPC to address questions, concerns and recommendations for specific sections of the versions sent to the Senate in July 2002. The FPPC response to the Senate request is posted on the senate web page

Open the link entitled – Response to Faculty Senate – 4-2-03.

Faculty are encouraged to send questions, comments and concerns to Mark Hickson ( or Pat Greenup – FPPC Chair ( prior to the May 13, 2003 Senate meeting. Discussion of the proposed revisions for Section 2.0 and Appendix A, B and C will continue at the May 13 Senate meeting.

8. Open Forum

1.      Senator Engler inquired about the status of the strategic planning process. Chair Heaven indicated that President Garrison had given the Executive Committee an update on April 1, 2003 [the planning process is still developing the final version of the plan and the implementation dates have not yet been identified.]

2.      Senator Kraft inquired if faculty would have input into the creation of the metrics that will be developed for the scorecards at the school and UAB level. Chair Heaven indicated that the Deans had been asked to develop metrics at the academic unit level and solicit input from faculty. It is expected that faculty will have the opportunity to review and make recommendations about any proposed metrics.

3.      Senator Murray inquired about the status of response by President Garrison or Provost Capiluto to questions and comments that had been submitted related to the draft strategic plan. Acting Secretary Pat Greenup indicated that President Garrison had reported on April 1, 2003 that she and Provost Capiluto were reading all of the comments and that the draft is a living document and not yet finalized. If questions about the draft plan exist all faculty members were encouraged to communicate with President Garrison and request a response to their specific concern.


9. Adjournment


       The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 A.M.


PREPARED BY:  Pat Greenup, PhD, Acting for Secretary Ted Benditt


Materials distributed:

1.                  June 2003 – December 2004 Faculty Senate Meeting Locations/Time

2.                  Summary of Major Revisions to Section 2.0 and Appendix A, B and C.

3.                  Summary of school or library policies required by the UAB Faculty Handbook and Policies.

4.   Resolution on Adding Sexual Orientation to UAB’s Equal Opportunity Policy