Senate Minutes 6/99

UAB Faculty Senate Meeting

June 18, 1999


Officers: Tom Jannett - Chair, Michael Wyss - Chair-Elect; Janet Bronstein - Past-Chair, John Scnhorrenberg - Secretary. Senators: Alexander, Brown, Capper, Elias, Fullard, Greenup, Gunther-Canada, Haeberle, Harris, Hutchison, Kawai, Knowles, Macaluso, Mikan, Paul, Pfeiffer, Rostand, Sapp, Snyder. Alternate Senators: Barnes (for Townes), Beard, Feldman (for Smith), Grigsby, Hogan, Jackson (for Ball), Lacefield (for Farmer), Norton, Pollard (for Eberhardt), Price, Reed, Richardson (for Burns), Van Matre.


The chair called the meeting to order at 1:08 P.M. in the Medical Alumni Building.


The chair asked whether there were corrections or additions to the minutes of the meeting of 14 April 1999. Hearing none, he declared the minutes approved as distributed.


The chair made his report to the senate. He described the functions of the senate and named goals for its work in the coming year. The senate exists to inform faculty and to create an environment which will promote teaching, learning, research, and service. It has an office in the Burleson Building and a staff assistant to support its work. Senators must develop a means of communicating with the faculty in the units they represent so that their colleagues know what the senate is doing and may express their views to it.

The senate expresses its views through motions made, debated, and adopted. The Executive Committee represents the senate between meetings.

The chair named as some goals for the work of this year:

The chair recognized Senator Mikan to give the report of the Committee on Elections. Senator Mikan reported that elections had been conducted from 13 to 19 May. Ballots were distributed to 1,732 faculty members and 667 were cast, a return of 36%. These totals include ballots cast in a special election in the School of Health Related Professions, necessary because of errors in the ballot originally printed. Those elected from that school are Cheryl Knowles as senator and James Hardin as alternate senator. The report of the Elections Committee is attached to the original of these minutes as Document I.


The chair recognized President Reynolds to speak on next year's budget.

The president asked that copies of the "Proposed Distribution of F[iscal] Y[ear] 1999/2000 State Appropriation" be distributed. A copy of this is attached to the original of these minutes as Document II.

The president said that senators and faculty officers worked hard on reaching legislators about the financial needs of the university. We really made a good lobbying effort, especially including our lobbyist Wayne Echols. But UAB and the University of South Alabama were shorted. The Council of College Presidents initially urged the funding of the increased cost of the state retirement fund and then awarding higher education dollars across-the-board. (Dr. Bronner had warned that contributions from institutions to the retirement fund would go up 2.38%). In addition, the council urged a return to the division of the state appropriations between K-12 and higher education of two-thirds for K-12 and one-third for higher education.

The new staff in the governor's office proposed an increase of 5.8% overall for all institutions, including UAB. We worked hard to change this and get full retirement costs for everyone at UAB in the state pension plan. We also reminded the legislature of the recommendation of the Council of Presidents. But the other presidents did not fully support us. Even when seeing legislators and committees, the other presidents said that no special help was needed for UAB.

There is a prevailing view that UAB is rich. We are asked to do more with inadequate resources as is South Alabama. The governor's budget proposal was augmented in the House of Representatives and this was approved in the Senate, to some extent, so that an increase right at 6% passed. This yielded the $11.7 million of new money. How we have decided to distribute this is shown on the "Preferred Distribution" sheet. The hospital state allocation gets 6% of this new money; the campus the rest. After meeting increased retirement costs both the campus and hospital had to meet mandated increases in fringe benefits (CFB) costs. A small amount of new money is allocated to university advancement to help with the big campaign for private funds to support UAB. We have already about $99 million committed to us for this purpose, and we now are planning a final goal of $200 to $225 million.

The market and minimum wage allocation from new money is to get some employees the UAB minimum rate of compensation.

The result of this distribution of new money is to leave $2.9 million for distribution on the campus side of the budget and a deficit of nearly $6 million for the hospital. The overall institutional deficit is $3.1 million. The hospital may be in a questionable lay-off situation right now.

We have recommended to the trustees an increase in tuition, which is close to 6%. We are not comfortable with this, but our proposed tuition will still be low for the South. The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa will recommend about 7% and Auburn about 7%.

With the new state funds and the proposed tuition increase, we believe we can have a 1.5 to 2% salary increase for people on the academic side of the university. Our good legislators, especially John Rogers, got a contingency appropriation of $3 million. We shall try to persuade the governor to grant this and would use it to give the hospital some relief from its deficit.

The hospital is scrambling for money to build its new surgical and emergency center. This must be done. The hospital also has to pay for un-reimbursed indigent costs of $70 million. There are now about 45 million uninsured working poor in the United States who seek medical care from institutions like ours. In searching for funds to meet their needs, the University of South Alabama has been our good ally. We tried to get some of the tobacco money for this. Some of this money will go to Medicaid and that will help a little, but the hospital also loses money on Medicaid patients.

We will continue to inform the Chair of the Faculty and the Executive Committee of the senate about our financial progress. "We need to rethink sticking with the Council of Presidents" in approaching the legislature. "It has not worked."

The president said she would be willing to answer questions.

Mr. Richard Harrison asked whether or not members of the Board of Trustees were actually supporting UAB's effort for increased appropriations with the Governor. The president said that it was hard to answer this. The governorship has changed parties. One or two trustees have connections to Governor Siegelman and are trying to help.

Senator Bronstein asked how the new money would be adequate to fund even a 1.5% salary increase. The president answered that we shall eat into the tuition increase to get the 1.5%.

Senator Schnorrenberg asked how much revenue the tuition increase would yield. The provost answered for the president that a full-time student would pay $184 more. Senator Schnorrenberg asked what the total increase would yield. The president responded that the increase was estimated to yield $2.8 million.

Senator Rostand asked about the negative impact of this budget on the hospital. The president answered that there would be tighter staffing control. We shall look to control staffing internally. We are really motivated to try to secure the additional $3 million state appropriation.

Senate Elias asked what the effect of the proposed state lottery might be. The president answered that all admissions requirements except a diploma or GED have now been removed for students to get a scholarship to go to a community college. This will eat up lottery money. She feels that setting a higher standard would motivate high school students to work harder. Only for admission to four-year colleges will there still be the requirement of a B average. The governor has also said that lottery money could be used for part-time students.

The president made concluding remarks. UAB has had increases in legislative appropriations for the last two years. The governor recognizes that he got elected because of a favorable vote in urban areas like Birmingham. In a real sense, UAB and the University of South Alabama did not get treated well and something needs to be done. Mr. Echols, Mr. Margison, and the president met this morning on strategy. We plan to stress that UAB is an economic powerhouse in this region. We more than equal Mercedes or Honda in this respect. We must deliver this kind of message.


The chair asked senators and alternate senators to rise and to introduce themselves. All did so. The chair announced his appointments to chair committees of the senate. These are: Curriculum and Research, Scott Snyder; Faculty Affairs, Pat Greenup; Finance, Richard Burns; Governance and Operations, Jeanne Hutchison. The chair announced that Dr. Fred Olive is serving as Chair of the Committee on Policies and Procedures and introduced Dr. Olive. The chair announced that the members of the Arts and Sciences Council, who include the senators, alternate senators, and deans from the Schools of Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Sciences, would meet at the call of Prof. Edwin Cook for the purpose of electing their chair.


The chair asked the senate to elect two senators as members at large of the executive committee. He described the duties of the committee and said that it had been customary to elect a senator from each of the two sides of the campus. The senators serving last year were Senators Alexander and Dimick.

The chair asked for nominations. Those nominated were:

There being no further nominations, the chair asked for election by written ballot. Ballots were distributed, the names of the nominees read, and the ballots collected by the secretary and parliamentarian who served as tellers.


Special Committees

The chair asked the provost to report on the progress of committees searching for appointees for administrative offices. The provost said that Claire Goldsmith has been appointed as Chief of Information Technology. A candidate for Chief Development Officer is being interviewed now. The search committee for a dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics has recommended three finalists. One withdrew, but two remain under consideration. The search committee for a dean for the School of Arts and Humanities recommended two finalists, but one withdrew and so the search is being continued. A search firm has been employed to recruit additional candidates.

Standing Committees

Executive Committee: The chair recognized Senator Bronstein to present a motion on behalf of the Executive Committee. Senator Bronstein moved:


The actions of the 1999 Alabama Legislature provide an approximate 6% increase in the state appropriation to higher education institutions, but do not provide funds specifically to cover the retirement system obligations for UAB, thus once again leaving UAB with proportionately less discretionary state funds than other institutions; and


Due to many years of limited funds available for academic salaries, there are meritorious faculty with long term tenure at UAB who have lower salaries than comparable faculty who have been hired more recently;

Therefore be it resolved that the UAB Faculty Senate supports President Reynolds' decision to distribute the increase in the state appropriation proportionately to UAB Hospital and to the remainder of the UAB campus, based on the current share of the state appropriation that these two entities receive; and

Would support the designation of the additional funds available for faculty salaries for use in salary equity adjustments and promotion related salary increases for meritorious faculty.

Following discussion, the chair put the question and called for a vote by show of hands. Seventeen senators voted in the affirmative and one in the negative, and the motion carried.


The chair announced the open forum.

Alternate Senator Richardson asked whether the semester calendar had been formalized. The provost answered yes and said that he is now asking departments and schools to provide draft model schedules. The length of summer term would remain about as now.

Senator Alexander said that he had served in this and the previous senate for eight of his twenty years at UAB and that faculty salaries were bad once and still are. How can we correct this badness? Senator Bronstein responded that we are concerned with all parts of campus and that the badness of salaries seems to be a school by school issue. Something must happen at the school level to improve things. The chair observed that if there is no equity pool, it is hard to achieve this.

Senator Elias said that a chair had spoken to the newspaper about the proposed semester calendar. She understood that this chair was told he should not talk to the news media about issues under discussion within the university. A discussion followed in which Senators Rostand, Bronstein, Knowles, the provost, and the parliamentarian spoke.

The chair announced that Senators Haeberle and Rostand had been elected to the executive committee.


There being no further business, the senate adjourned at 3:15 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

John Scnhorrenberg
Secretary of the Faculty