University of Alabama at Birmingham

Faculty Senate Meeting

December 13, 2005

Location: Penthouse CR1

7:30 – 9:30 a.m.


Officers Present: Dr. Peter Anderson (Chair), Dr. Joe March (Chair-Elect), Dr. Theodore Benditt (Past Chair), Dr. Pat Greenup (Secretary)


Ex-Officio Senators: President Carol Garrison, Provost Eli Capilouto


Senators Present:  Dr. Pamela Autry, Dr. Shannon Bailey, Dr. Heng Ban, Dr. Theodore Bos, Dr. Louis Bridges, Dr. Joe Burrage, Dr. John Classe, Dr. Madelyn Coar, Dr. William Cockerham, Dr. Karen Dahle, Dr. Gary Cheng, Dr. Jeffrey Engler, Dr. Joseph Fleming, Mr. Jonathan Harwell, Dr. Yung Tsung Hsu, Dr. Bob Kesterson, Dr. Sue Kim, Dr. Mark Lockhart, Dr. Tondra Loder, Dr. Marisa Marques, Dr. Stephen Mennemeyer, Dr. Holly Richter,


Alternates Present:  Dr. John Baddley, Dr. Jennifer Braswell, Ms. Jennifer Long, Dr. Sonya Mitchell, Dr. William Ogard, Ms. Sondra Pfeiffer, Dr. Lucas Pozzo Miller, Dr. Erica Pryor, Dr. Rex Wright


Guests:  Mr. Terry Tatum, Dr. Karen Shader, Dr. Rose Scripa, Mr. Gary Mans


Parliamentarian: Dr. Telfair absent with notification


Agenda Items:


  1. Call to Order


Chair Peter Anderson called the meeting to order at 7:35 a.m. A quorum was present.


  1. Recognition of visitors-guests:


There were no press members attending the meeting. All visitors were form the UAB University community.


  1. Adoption of Minutes of November 8, 2005 Faculty Senate Meeting


The distributed minutes were approved with corrections to attendees’ names.





  1. Chair Report


            Chair Peter Anderson updated Senators: (1) faculty development opportunities

            supported by Provost Eli Capilouto’s office appreciated by faculty and encourage

            faculty to participate in future offerings; the Teaching Portfolio mentoring

            workshop completed December 9 and the Master Teacher Workshop is schedule

            for December 15-16; (2) Provost Capilouto is appointing a committee to continue   

            the study of library space and planning; (3) the Chancellor approved Section 2.0,

            Appendices A, B and C and the new section 7.5.1 are now posted for the online

            handbook at these links: http://main.uab.edu/show.asp?durki=29493 and

            http://www.uab.edu/fsenate/home.html at the Faculty Resources icon; (4) the

            IDEA Department Chair evaluations have been distributed to chairs and the dean

            and full time regular faculty for the respective chair; (5) Higher Education Day is

            March 2, 2006 and faculty are encouraged to participate; (6) planning is ongoing

            for the new math lab facility as a component of the QEP implementation.


      5.  President Report: President Carol Garrison encouraged faculty participation with

           the Higher Education Day events, announced that UAB has received official

           SACS approval and that UAB has been invited to present the QEP at a summer

           institute; expressed appreciation to group that prepared the Ford Foundation Grant

           and the receipt of a $100,000 grant to support QEP implementation; encouraged

           faculty to participate in the December 17, 2005 graduation events to support

           graduating students and thanked the faculty for a successful fall semester.


     6. Presentation: Dr. Karen Shader, Director of Instructional Technology presented

   “Instructional Technology and Blended Learning at UAB” describing the current

    and projected services associated with the implementation of the Vista WebCT and

    the timeline for introduction of training and services for faculty, staff and students.

    This presentation can be accessed from the Senate page and pull down

    presentations link at http://uab.edu/fsenate/home.html and additional information

    for Instructional Technology is available at http://www.uab.edu/itit ; faculty are

    encouraged to submit questions and suggestions as to instructional technology

    related services to Dr. Shader at 975-6552 or kkshader@uab.edu


7.      Standing Committee Reports:


A.     Curriculum & Research Committee Senator and Chair Jeff Engler updated Senate on student ratings methods with the IDEA pilot study that has been completed and the IDEA results will be reviewed in faculty focus groups in January and the ongoing review of student rating current practices in the academic units; the committee is continuing the review process and will be developing recommendations in the spring term.


The following written report was submitted by Chair Engler.




Curriculum and Research Committee                                                     December 1, 2005

UAB Faculty Senate

Minutes for meeting


Present:  Roger Gilchrist, Kathleen Martin, Jonathan Harwell, Lucas Pozzo-Miller, Shannon Bailey, Chris Coffey, Tondra Loder, Jeff Engler (chair)


The meeting was convened at 9 am.


The committee reviewed the interim results of the pilot study using the IDEA Center’s long form student ratings of faculty instruction.  65 faculty volunteers representing 72 course sections participated in the pilot study.  Types of courses included in the pilot were both graduate and undergraduate, as well as large and small lecture courses.  Three of the members of the committee (Gilchrist, Martin, Coffey) participated in the pilot study.  They reported that the time required to complete the long forms varied from 20 to 30 minutes and there was anecdotal evidence that some students may not have answered all the questions thoughtfully, due to the length of the form (2 pages, 57 questions). 


During the discussion, several points/questions were raised about the survey instrument:

1.   Is it possible to omit questions not related to the course goals outlined by the faculty member?

2.   On-line evaluations were thought to be more desirable, but it was not clear how to assure a high response rate or to assure a statistically valid sample (as opposed to a small self-selected sample).  Suggestions included delaying publication of final grades or delaying the ability to take the final exam until the survey is completed.  What level of participation is statistically desirable?  The IDEA Center indicated that on-line surveys had a lower response rate than paper-based evaluations in class.

3.   Some upper division courses also include beginning masters or doctoral students.  Is it possible to separate the evaluations of undergraduate from graduate students in the same section?

4.   Could students receive training in how to do evaluations? 

5.   To what extent are comparisons of ratings from other universities useful?  How would we identify “peer” courses to which to compare?

6.   Does whether the course is required or elective reflect in the student evaluation?  The IDEA Center indicated that they can correct for the differences in ratings for required and elective courses.


In the coming weeks, the committee will focus on the following questions:

1.   What forms do different schools currently use for obtaining student ratings of faculty teaching?

2.   What criteria does each school use in evaluating faculty teaching beyond student ratings? 

3.   Over what time frame (how many years?) should student evaluations be used as part of a broad analysis of faculty teaching?

4.   How does the grade earned in the class influence the evaluation?

5.   Once the results of the pilot study have been returned from the IDEA Center, we will hold at least one focus group with faculty who participated, to get their feedback and ideas about the usefulness of the data they received. 


The meeting adjourned at 9:50 am.


B.     Faculty Affairs Committee Senator and Chair Mark Lockhart reported that the development of a proposal for periodic career review for all faculty members is ongoing and that the administrator evaluation process for the next three years is being completed.

C.     Governance & Operations Committee Senator and Chair Jennifer Long

                      Requested feedback from Senators as to the email distribution process

                      within departments and academic units; this information is needed to

                      implement the Senate liaison communication network.

D.    Finance Committee – Senator Ted Bos reported that the subcommittee on

      faculty salary and SUG averages is continuing preparation of information

      for the Senate; Senator Steve Mennemeyer reported that the committee is

      continuing review of the Viva ratings and methods for determination of

      customer satisfaction; a survey of the faculty related to health benefits is

      being prepared for distribution in spring term.


      Written report submitted by Chair Warren Martin:


Campus Planning Committee:  Meeting cancelled due to lack of need.  Alison Chapman (our other Campus Planning Committee member) feels the next meeting in December should be of more interest.


Finance Committee: The subcommittee dealing with Faculty Salary and SUG average met and discussed ways to share such information with the faculty.  Files of the data have been received and will be reviewed and posted on the Senate Web site in the future.   Chris Kung, Ted Bos, Bill Ogard and Ban Heng have all contributed to this effort.


Fringe Benefit Committee:  No meeting.  A substantial question was raised by Stephen Mennemeyer of the ratings of Viva found in US World & News report.  Specifically Viva was not included in all of the categories for ratings since they did not wish to share all of their information.  Furthermore, their Medicare Managed Care rating of 111 out of 131 with four stars in Access to Care and Overall Member Satisfaction and one star in Prevention and Treatment.  More information was sought from Viva and some information was provided by Brad Rollow –the President of Viva- about the ratings in the Faculty Senate Executive Committee meeting with President Garrison and Provost Capilouto.  Brad expressed his desire to serve the UAB community and to continue to strive to do a great job.  Part of low rating was due to a lack of desire to pay for accreditation (with accreditation Viva would have moved to 63).  However, part of the rating was due to the scores on various outside measures that Viva was actively addressing. 


It seems important from the Faculty perspective to continue to determine the faculty feelings about the process.  As a result, we are considering using some of the same questions in our faculty survey that the outside agencies use to evaluate Viva quality.  We need to spend more time studying the issues and being careful to consider the position of Viva.  Brad Rollow is willing to talk to the Faculty Senate. 


In our conversations Brad mentioned one significant variable—the use of a standard co-pay for emergence room visits. The cost of an ER visit is much higher than a office visit especially at a Level 1 Trauma Center like UAB.  With many people going directly to the emergence room rather than having a primary physician our overall costs are much higher.  With the pressures on health care expenses, this issue needs more consideration.


E.     Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee- Past Chair Ted Benditt

      presented an overview of the minutes of the October 14 and November 18

      meetings of the FPPC; the topics before this committee include: (1) family

      friendly policies; (2) student ownership of intellectual property and distance

      learning rules; (3) faculty handbook review cycle in the future for the online

     document; and the revision of the Operating Rules for the committee. The

     FPPC minutes are posted on the Senate web page.


   8. University-wide committee reports: No reports presented.


   9. New Business/Open Forum:  No new items were presented.


10. Announcements:


  1. The January Senate meeting is January 10, 2006 in the Great Hall AB;
  2.  Next FPPC meeting is January 20, 2006 in the Penthouse;
  3. Senate elections nominations for Chair-elect and Secretary are due February 3, 2006;
  4. Nominees for senators and FPPC representatives from Business, Dentistry, Education, Health Related Professions and Public Health are due February 24, 2006;
  5. The election process will be conducted electronically in March 2006. Job descriptions are posted on Senate web page.


11. Review of Action Items from December 13, 2005 Senate Meeting


A.     Senators with requests for software to be integrated into the Vista implementations should contact Terry Tatum.

B.     Provost Capilouto encouraged participants of the Master Teacher Workshop and the Teaching Portfolio workshop to share information with colleagues and to support future development of professional learning community with focus on faculty development.

C.     Participants of the IDEA pilot study for student ratings will be invited to focus groups discussions by the Curriculum & Research Committee starting in January to follow up with the findings of the pilot survey. Participants are encouraged to share feedback with the committee as a resource for future recommendations development by the Senate.

D.     The Faculty Affairs Committee will submit a report to the Executive Committee describing the plan for IDEA administrator evaluation process for 2006. A proposal for periodic career review is being prepared for presentation to the Executive Committee and the Senate.

E.      Senators were requested to review the Senate Liaison data for email distribution information within academic units and report to Jennifer Long as to the accuracy of the information.

F.      The Finance Committee will be conducting two surveys during spring term.


12. Review of Actions from November 8, 2005 Senate Meeting


A.     Standing Committee reports will be presented at the December meeting.



B.     University-wide committee reports will be presented at the December meeting.



C.     Chair Anderson will follow up on nominations from Senate for the Master Teacher workshop in December.



D.     Chair Anderson will follow up on nominations for Senate representation on the Oracle Users Group.



E.      Secretary Greenup will request that the HEP web link be added to the Faculty & Staff Resources link on the Senate page.



F.      Chair Anderson will communicate with Sheila Sanders to obtain the names of academic unit representatives to the Oracle Users Group and distribute to Senate Liaisons.



G.     Chair Anderson and the Executive Committee will follow up on the next steps and further development of the library review and planning process.



H.     Office Associate Stephanie Belcher will obtain the two presentations for posting on the Senate page under Presentation pull down.



13. Materials distributed electronically prior to meeting


  1. Agenda – December meeting
  2. Draft Expanded Minutes – November 8, 2005 Senate meeting
  3. Senate elections letter, nomination acceptance form, terms of office and eligibility and the academic units that require FPPC elections in 2006
  4. IDEA response rate by department title within academic units
  5. Senate liaison information – email distribution process accuracy



14. Materials distributed at the meeting


  1. Agenda
  2. Senate elections information – same as distributed electronically
  3. Senate liaison – email distribution information in units



15. Adjournment


      The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 a.m.



Secretary Pat Greenup prepared this expanded DRAFT of the minutes on December 17, 2005. After approval at the January Senate meeting these minutes will appear on the Senate page. http://www.uab.edu/fsenate/home.html