Senate Minutes 2/99

UAB Faculty Senate Meeting

February 10, 1999


Officers: Janet Bronstein - Chair, Tom Jannett - Chair-Elect, Fred Trawick - Past-Chair, Elaine Whitaker - Secretary. Senators: Alexander, Baker, Ball, Corliss, Davis, Dempsey, Elias, Fleming, Greenup, Haeberle, Harrison, Macaluso, Mayer, Mikan, Paul, Pfeifer, Prince, Rigney, Roseman, Smith, Snyder, Van Matre. Alternate Senators: Barnes, Cook, Kirkpatrick (for Dimick), Lacefield (for Farmer), McCarl, Peel, Richardson (for Burns), Wheatley.


Chair of the Faculty Janet Bronstein called the meeting to order at 8:08 in the Hill University Center Great Hall.


Senator Mayer moved to add to the minutes the sentence "This motion passed." In order to keep the record in good order. The minutes stood approved as corrected.


The Chair's report covered four items: (1) the Governmental Affairs Group and the coming legislative session, (2) the state of the semester conversion process, (3) the content of the salary data request submitted to the President, and (4) the availability of the schedule for the Board of Trustees meeting 16-17 February. Senator Roseman requested information about the likelihood of proration. Bronstein provided context for Roseman's request and called on the Provost, who affirmed that "nothing was being said about" proration.


Standing Committees

Bronstein introduced the Executive Committee's resolution [99.2.1] recommending revisions in Handbook, 2.7, 2.7.3, and Appendix C. The revised text is appended to these minutes. Friendly amendments from the floor were accepted from Mayer, deleting "School of library" in a header, and from Senator Barnes, pointing out an instance on page 87 where "program change" should be removed. The question was called and the resolution passed by unanimous voice vote.

Senator Davis distributed and read a resolution [99.2.2] moved by the Faculty Affairs Committee. He accepted friendly amendments from Senators Elias, Mikan, and Fleming, so that the resolution read as follows:

Whereas currently there is no formal campus-wide reporting of summaries of administrators' evaluations, and

Whereas faculty participation rates in the review of administrators have been low in some schools, and

Whereas there is no current mechanism to facilitate campus-wide comparisons among the administration scores,

Be it resoled that, in addition t the current reporting mechanisms, a summary review be compiled biannually in which:

  1. Administration scores above the level of Chair be reported;
  2. Deans not be identified by name nor School'
  3. Faculty participation rates of each School and the University be reported.

Senator Mayer moved to add "4. Results of a summary review be reported to the faculty." Senator Mikan seconded.

In discussion, Senator Wheatley called for deans to make available to faculty evaluating them statements of their year's accomplishments. Questions were raised concerning the history and purposes of these evaluations and whether they were private or public documents. A distinction was made between access to information and its distribution. The question was called and the motion as emended passed 19 to 7.

Finance Committee: Senator Capper reported ongoing dialog between the Finance Committee and the administration. He called attention to a proposal to replace administrative systems on campus and recommended that Vice President Margison be invited to brief the Senate on this proposal.

Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee: Past Chair Trawick reported that the FPPC had not met but would do so on 17 February.

Curriculum and Research Committee: Senator Mayer moved the following resolution [99.2.3] on behalf of the Curriculum and Research Committee: "Resolved: The UAB Faculty Senate approves the policy recommendations (attached) of the Undergraduate Programs Council as transmitted to the Curriculum and Research Committee by the Provost on January 19, 1999." Senator Mikan asked when these would become effective if approved; Associate Provost Mike Nielson said they would become effective in Fall 1999 with the publication of the next catalog. The question was called and passed with a unanimous voice vote.

Governance and Operations Committee: Senator Mikan reported that the Governance and Operations Committee had implemented a timetable for Senate elections and that letters had been sent to the Schools and to individual faculty members inviting nominations. She encouraged nominations for the offices of Chair Elect, a three year commitment, and Secretary, a one year commitment with possible re-election for a maximum of three years. March 30 is the deadline for nominations, and the Chair Elect should come from the health-related Schools.


Arts and Sciences Committee: Senator Cook reported that the Arts and Sciences Council had considered the capital campaign proposal called "Education for the Next Century." He also noted that, due to insufficient applications, the position of assistant provost for arts and sciences will not be filled at this time.

Concerning other searches, Trawick reported that no offer had been made yet for the vice president of development, though one might come early next week. Bronstein reported that two candidates ofr chief information officer had been placed on a short list.


Senator McCarl submitted from the floor a motion [99.2.4] concerning VIVA. Senator VanMatre seconded McCarl's motion. Trawick's move to table failed. McCarl then accepted friendly amendments from Senate members Roseman, Ball, Wittig, Barnes, Mayer, and Kirkpatrick, so that the McCarl resolution then read as follows:

Whereas, the employees of the University of Alabama at Birmingham have been assessed their share of the cost of medical insurance coverage based on the cost of the least expensive plan (VIVA—according to the UAB Administration).

Whereas, the real costs of VIVA (including the UAB investment) are considerably higher than the rates charged to VIVA subscribers.

Whereas, investigation by the UAB Senate Finance Committee has revealed these discrepancies and brought them to the attention of the UAB Faculty Senate and the Faculty Senate has brought them to the attention of the UAB President.

Be it resolved that the UAB Faculty Senate requests that the UAB Administration re-evaluate the real costs of VIVA and make this information the basis of future allocations of costs of medical insurance coverage for UAB employees.

The question was called, and 99.2.4 passed by unanimous voice vote.

Chair Elect called on the Senate to pursue Wheatley's request for annual reports from deans to the faculty who evaluate them. Bronstein referred this matter to the Faculty Affairs Committee.


The meeting was adjourned at 10 AM.