Senate Minutes 11/98

UAB Faculty Senate Meeting

November 13, 1998


Officers: Janet Bronstein - Chair, Tom Jannett - Chair-Elect, Fred Trawick - Past-Chair, Elaine Whitaker - Secretary. Senators: Alexander, Baker, Burns, Corliss, Davis, Dempsey, Elias, Fleming, Greenup, Haeberle, Harrison, Kawai, Macaluso, Mikan, Paul, Prince, Rigney, Roseman, Smith, Snyder, Van Matre. Alternate Senators: Cook, Heaven, Hogan, Peel, Richardson, Wheatley.

Faculty Chair Janet Bronstein called the meeting to order at 8:07 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Hill University Center. The minutes of October 9, 1998, stood as corrected.


Dr. Bronstein expressed appreciation to President Reynolds and Provost O'Neil for their reception at the Woodward House. Dr. Bronstein called attention to two issues: the process of creating a long-term plan for tracking faculty salary information (including salary compression) and the planning for a system-wide strategic plan (including joint and shared programs).

David Corliss thoroughly described the faculty, space, and programs of the School of Optometry.


Arts and Sciences Council by Ed Cook was deferred to New Business.

Faculty Affairs by Colin Davis: Dr. Davis expressed appreciation for the Senate's joint committee work on semester conversion and highlighted the construction of sample calendars by Woody Richardson, who received applause. School response to the Senate proposal was reported as favorable. The following resolution was moved by the joint committee:

Resolution 98.11.1

Whereas the Semester Conversion Steering Committee has requested comments on the proposal of the Calendar Committee and has solicited alternative calendar proposals;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate recommends that:

  1. Classes meet Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday for 75 minutes each with 15 minutes between classes, for a total of nine class periods per day.
  2. Semesters be 15 weeks in length, more or less, with 30 class meetings per class per term, excluding the final exam period.
  3. Classes meet for a minimum of 40 contact hours per 3 semester hour credits, including the final exam period.
  4. A miniterm, if any, be scheduled in May rather than January.

Discussion centered on the rationale for locating a miniterm in May rather than January. Resolution 98.11.1 passed by unanimous voice vote. The resolution will be sent to the Semester Conversion Steering Committee, scheduled to meet on December 1.

Dr. Davis next reported the conclusions of the Faculty Affairs Committee regarding administrative evaluations. These were as follows:

  1. That the evaluations should be made public on the UAB Web Page and in the UAB Reporter, but without identifying administrators by name.
  2. The "overall evaluation rate" and the "response or participation rate" by faculty would be reported.
  3. This would be done by means of "histograms" enabling comparison among administrators. These results would supplement the information that is presently made available to faculty within Schools.
  4. An award might be given for highest response rates within schools.
  5. The administration would hopefully play a greater role in encouraging faculty to participate in these evaluations.

Senators suggested various problems with the committee's report, and Dr. Bronstein invited further comments to the committee via the Senate listserv.

Finance by Stuart Capper: They are working on identifying points in the university budget process when faculty input would be helpful and creating a process for furnishing this input.

FPPC by Fred Trawick: The Faculty Handbook is in its final stages of revision and should come to the Senate's Faculty Affairs Committee in December or January.

Governance and Operations by Kathleen Mikan: This committee is investigating Senate archives procedures, monitoring the Senate budget, and enhancing the Senate Web page.

Richard Harrison commended the committee for putting Senate resolutions on the Web.


On behalf of the Arts and Sciences Council, Ed Cook moved the following resolution:

Resolution 98.11.2

Whereas the Arts and Sciences Council is currently constituted as a committee of the UAB Faculty Senate;

And whereas the Provost has urged that the Council continue, however constituted, to promote and to coordinate joint activities and interests of the Schools of Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Sciences;

And whereas the Provost intends to appoint a faculty member to the position of Associate Provost for Arts and Sciences;

Therefore, be it resolved by the Faculty Senate that:

  1. The Arts and Sciences Council continue as a Senate committee charged to promote and to coordinate joint activities and interests in the arts and sciences at UAB.
  2. The membership of the Council include the Senators and Alternate Senators from the Schools of Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Deans of those three schools, and the Associate Provost for Arts and Sciences.
  3. The Chair of the Faculty and the Provost be ex officio members of the Council.
  4. The Council be chaired by the Associate Provost for Arts and Sciences (but with the current chair to continue as chair of the Council until such Associate Provost be appointed).
  5. The Chair of the Faculty retain the prerogative to appoint additional members to the Council.

Since the Council is a special committee of the Senate, the resolution required a second. Amy Elias seconded. Questions were raised concerning the nature of the new position of Associate Provost for Arts and Sciences. This is likely to rotate among schools on a two to three year cycle. The person would be advisory to the Provost and, according to Provost O'Neil, would be "someone whose primary responsibility is to think full time on this."

Kathy Mikan moved to add the word "special" for clarification before "Senate committee"; Richard Harrison seconded. [The regular Senate meeting time having expired, Mikan moved a fifteen-minute extension, seconded by Wheatley and passed 15-3.] The amendment to add "special" passed by unanimous voice vote.

Maurizio Macaluso moved that "chair" be changed to "member" in item 4. and item 5. of the resolution be struck. Penelope Paul seconded the motion. Dr. Mikan raised a point of order, to which Cook ruled that the proposed change to item 4. made item 5. superfluous. The amendment that would have made the new Associate Provost a member rather than the chair of the committee was defeated 5-15.

Tom Jannett moved to defer the resolution to committee. Jannett wished to see a description of the new position and to ensure that the position would rotate among the three arts and sciences schools. The motion to defer to the Arts and Sciences Council passed 14-8.

Dr. Bronstein adjourned the meeting at 10:15 a.m.