Senate Minutes 4/00

University of Alabama at Birmingham
Faculty Senate
Minutes of the Meeting of 14 April 2000



The UAB Faculty Senate met on 14 April 2000 in 107 Ryals Building. The agenda adopted by the Executive Committee for the meeting was distributed (Document 1).

Those present were: Officers: Jannett (Chair), Bronstein (Past Chair), Schnorrenberg (Secretary). Senators: Alexander, Burns, Farmer, Filler, Greenup, Gunther-Canada, Eberhardt, Haeberle, Harris, Hutchison, Kawai, Knowles, Paul, Rigney, Sapp, Smith, Snyder, Vincent. Ex-Officio: O'Neil, Wittig. Alternates: Barnes (for Townes), Beard, Brown (for Richardson), Hogan-Smith (for Pfeiffer), Jackson (for Ball), Kirkpatrick (for Rostand), Lemons, Lacefield, Norton (for Fullard), Peel, Price, Wheatley.

The chair called the meeting to order at 8:13 a.m. He asked if visitors were present. Mr. Thomas Spencer of The Birmingham News and Mr. Richard Harrison of Sterne Library introduced themselves.

The chair asked whether there were corrections to the minutes of the meeting on 10 March. The secretary announced that a new version of the minutes with some corrections was available among the material distributed at the current meeting. Hearing no corrections to the minutes in the version of 13 April, the chair ordered these approved (Document 2).

The chair reported that the senate would have seven resolutions to consider at this meeting. The texts of all were available among the material distributed at the meeting. Two of these resolutions were the two proposed amendments to the bylaws of the senate. These could now be debated and voted on. Two other resolutions were proposed as senate responses to the reports that the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees might take action to facilitate addition of the name of Paul Bryant, Jr., to the list of nominations submitted by the board to fill open seats. Governor Siegelman was urging the addition of Mr. Bryant's name to the original trustee list. However, this would diminish the chances of an early nomination of an alumnus with an undergraduate degree from UAB.

The chair recognized Senator Bronstein to give the report of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee (Document 3). Senator Bronstein moved that

The UAB Faculty Senate approves the Health Care Policy for International Students and Scholars in the draft of 23 February 2000 reviewed and approved by the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee.

Senator Bronstein pointed out that this was the final review by the senate and that no amendments to the policy could now be offered.

After brief discussion, the chair put the question and the motion carried.

The chair recognized Senator Greenup to give the report of the Faculty Affairs Committee. Senator Greenup said that the Scantron forms for the administrative evaluations should be received by the middle of the next week and that the forms and explanatory material should be distributed to faculty by 28 April. The forms must be returned by 12 May. Instructions to schools will differ because not all schools will evaluate all administrators. Forms will be arranged in each distributed packet so that the form for evaluating the department chair will be on top and the forms for evaluating the provost and president will be last in the group. The committee hopes that reducing the number of persons to be evaluated and placing chair evaluation first will increase the number of faculty responding. She urged senators to respond and to encourage their faculty colleagues to do so.

Statements about their goals as administrators had been received from the Vice President for Student Affairs and from all deans except the Dean of Dentistry and the Interim Dean of Arts and Humanities. These statements will be in the packets mailed to those evaluating these administrators.

The committee is considering the description of its work and responsibilities, which is in the senate bylaws, and may make recommendations to the Committee on Governance and Operations about possible changes.

The next meeting of the committee will be on 28 April at 10:30 in the senate offices.

The chair recognized Senator Burns to give the report of the Finance Committee (Document 4). Senator Burns commented briefly on the text of his distributed report. Senator Barnes asked whether a proposed faculty club might be operated by students in hotel administration were such a program to be created. Senator Wheatley urged that the administration be asked whether a property or space for faculty club use had been identified.

The chair asked about the committee's lack of response to the resolution of the senate about faculty salaries. The chair said they should pursue this, modifying our resolution, if necessary. He inquired whether the senate was willing to participate in the process. Senator Burns stressed that the committee would continue to study possible means of resolving faculty salary deficiencies, but that a plan must be devised in cooperation with the administration.

The chair announced the Curriculum and Research Committee had no report. He said that he hoped that there would soon be a report from the Retention Task Force.

The chair recognized Senator Hutchison to give the report of the Governance and Operations Committee. Senator Hutchison said that the committee had recently met to sit as the Committee on Elections and that Senator Schnorrenberg would report as the chair of that committee.

Senator Schnorrenberg reported that 24 persons from five schools and the library in the former academic affairs division of the university had been nominated as chair elect. Two of these had accepted nomination. They were Prof. Jerry Aldridge of the School of Education and Professor Mark Hickson of the School of Arts and Humanities. Five persons had been nominated as Secretary of the Faculty. Two of these had accepted, Professor Sondra Pfeiffer of Lister Hill Library and Professor John Schnorrenberg of the School of Arts and Humanities. The only schools which had not yet submitted nominations of persons to serve as senators and alternate senators for the terms beginning 1 June were Education, Health-Related Professions, Optometry, and Public Health. These schools were almost certainly progressing toward submitting names. It would still be possible to make nominations for chair elect or secretary, but the nominee must have agreed to serve.

The chair announced that the amendments to the bylaws of the senate, notice of which had been given at the last meeting, were to be considered (Document 5). The motion under consideration was

To amend the Bylaws of the Senate to strike from I.6.a the words "or one of its committees."

After a discussion in which several senators spoke, the chair put the question to a standing vote. There were nine ayes and 18 noes. The amendment failed.

The chair announced that the next motion under consideration was

To amend the Bylaws of the Senate to add a Section 1.6.c as follows: "The senate may hold executive sessions from which all persons except senators, senator ex-officio, alternate senators, and any such other persons as the senate shall admit are excluded. A motion to go into executive session shall have the parliamentary precedence of a question of privilege, is debatable, may be amended, and requires a majority vote for its adoption."

A discussion followed in which several senators spoke. Senator Alexander moved to amend the motion by inserting the words "or one of its committees" following the word "senate" in each of its appearances in the first sentence of the motion. Debate on this amendment was terminated by the adoption of the previous question and the amendment carried on a standing vote, ayes 23, noes 3. There was further discussion. Senator Kawai moved to amend the motion by inserting the words "two-thirds" before the word "majority" and the words "of those present" following the word "vote". After further discussion, the chair put the question upon the amendment and it carried on a standing vote, ayes 19, noes 9.

The chair asked the secretary to read the amendment as amended. The secretary read that the motion was

BE IT RESOLVED by the UAB Faculty Senate that the bylaws of the senate shall be amended as follows:

Add a Section I.6.c as follows: "The senate or one of its committees, may hold executive sessions from which all persons except senators, senators ex-officio, alternate senators, and any such other persons as the senate, or one of its committees, shall admit are excluded. A motion to go into executive session shall have the parliamentary precedence of a question of privilege, is debatable, may be amended, and requires a two-thirds majority vote of those present for its adoption."

The chair put this motion to a standing vote and it carried, ayes 27, noes 2.

The chair recognized the arrival of a cameraman and reporter from Fox6 television station to film the proceedings.

The chair recognized Senator Kay Hogan Smith. Senator Hogan Smith moved

WHEREAS, the University of Alabama at Birmingham seeks to improve its recruitment and retention of quality faculty, staff, and students; and

WHEREAS, a significant number of those faculty, staff, and students are parents of small children; and

WHEREAS, the current childcare arrangements sponsored by UAB are too small, too expensive, and wholly inadequate for the needs of UAB;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham should establish an ad hoc committee to investigate options for expanding the current childcare facility offered on campus and report back to the senate and university administration by January 2001.

The chair recognized Senator Harris. Senator Harris moved the text of a resolution urging the Alabama Commission for Higher Education to approve creation of the African American Studies major at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, attached to the original of these minutes as Document 6. The chair asked the provost to comment on the resolution, and the provost observed that the university did expect to present the major to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education again at its meeting on 28 April, but it would not present it unless it could be reasonably sure that the members of the commission known to favor approval would be present at the meeting.

There was a brief discussion about the resolution. The mover accepted a suggested addition to the language of the first whereas. The chair then put the question upon the motion as follows:

WHEREAS, a proposed bachelor's degree program in African American Studies at The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been unanimously endorsed in the past eighteen months by the University's Undergraduate Programs Council and the Faculty Senate, and has been approved and strongly supported by the university administration and approved by The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees; and

WHEREAS, in February the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) voted 5-4 in favor of creating the state's first African American Studies major at The University of Alabama at Birmingham; but

WHEREAS, the February vote by the commission in favor of the African American Studies major did not receive seven votes needed for approving creation of the major; and

WHEREAS, the administration of The University of Alabama at Birmingham will resubmit the proposed major in African American Studies to the April 28 meeting of the commission for its approval; therefore, it is

RESOLVED, that the Faculty Senate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham strongly urges the Alabama Commission on Higher Education to approve creation of the African American Studies degree program at UAB.

The motion carried.

The chair announced that the next order of business would be two motions about the process of nominations to the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. These motions had been prepared by the Executive Committee. The chair recognized Senator Schnorrenberg. Senator Schnorrenberg moved the text of a resolution regarding Board of Trustees 2000 nominations for the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees appointments, attached to the original of these minutes as Document 7. Several senators wished to avoid naming any person in the resolution while preserving the objection to any alteration of the constitutionally mandated process. Amendments were proposed and withdrawn. Ultimately, Senator Smith moved that

In the third whereas clause in the resolution the words between the word "insisted" and the words "be appointed" be stricken and the words "that a person other than board nominees" be inserted in place of the words stricken.

This amendment carried.

Senators Richardson and Wittig urged the the words "constitutionally mandated" replace the word "excellent" in clause 3 of the resolution and, the mover having no objection, the chair ordered this.

The chair then put the question upon the resolution as amended and modified, thus:

WHEREAS, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees serves to promote the interests of the University of Alabama System as a whole; and

WHEREAS, said Board of Trustees, being self-perpetuating, has submitted seven names for confirmation by the state senate; and

WHEREAS, the governor and some senators have insisted that a person other than the board nominees be appointed to the Board of Trustees; and

WHEREAS, no University of Alabama at Birmingham baccalaureate alumnus has ever served on the Board of Trustees;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED on this fourteenth day of April 2000 that the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham urges that:

  1. The Board of Trustees remain committed to the nominees that it originally submitted for confirmation by the Alabama Senate.

  2. At the earliest opportunity, the Board of Trustees nominate a baccalaureate alumnus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a position on the Board of Trustees, so that the concerns of The University of Alabama at Birmingham are more fully represented on the board.

  3. The Board of Trustees reaffirm its commitment to the excellent polity of a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System.

The resolution carried.

Senator Schnorrenberg moved the text of a resolution regarding actions by the Governor and Senate of Alabama on proposed University of Alabama System Board of Trustees appointments, attached as Document 8 to the original of these minutes. A series of suggestions were made, chiefly by Senator Norton, to conform this resolution to the one just adopted. The mover accepted these, and the chair ordered them. The chair then put the question upon the resolution as modified, thus:

WHEREAS, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees serves to promote the interests of the University of Alabama System as a whole; and

WHEREAS, said Board of Trustees, being self-perpetuating, has submitted seven names for confirmation by the state senate; and

WHEREAS, the governor and some senators have insisted that a person other than the board nominees be appointed to the Board of Trustees;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED on this fourteenth day of April 2000 that the Faculty Senate of The University of Alabama at Birmingham:

  1. Urges the Governor of the State of Alabama and the Senate of Alabama to support the constitutionally mandated, self-perpetuating process by which members of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees are nominated and confirmed by the Alabama Senate.

  2. Strongly opposes recent attempts by the governor to arrange for an individual to be nominated to the Board of Trustees. Such a nomination would both subvert the constitutionally mandated process of self-perpetuation of the board and place on the Board of Trustees an individual who appears less than fully supportive of the University of Alabama System as a whole.

The resolution carried.

The chair had twice asked for an extension of the time of automatic adjournment without objection and had ordered the extensions, the first of twenty minutes, the second of four. The chair adjourned the senate at 10:18 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

John M. Schnorrenberg
Secretary of the Faculty



NOTE: Persons who wish to have a copy of an attached document referred to in the minutes should e-mail a request to Stephanie Belcher. Please name the document you desire. Attached documents exist only as hard copy. They will be sent by campus mail.