Senate Minutes 8/00

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate
Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 11 August 2000

The UAB Faculty Senate met on 11 August 2000 in Rooms 410 - 411 of the Hill University Center. The agenda adopted by the Executive Committee for this meeting was distributed (Document 1).

Those present were: Officers: Wyss (Chair), Hickson (Chair-Elect), Jannett (Past-Chair), Schnorrenberg (Secretary). Senators: Ball, Brown, Capper, Cheung, Filler, Fullard, Greenup, Gunther-Canada, Heaven, Hutchison, Price, Reed, Rigney, Swanson, Telfair, Tyson, Vincent, Ward. Alternates: Beard (for Harris), Feldman (for Rostand), Jackson (for Morrow), Givan, Hogan-Smith (for Pfeiffer), Laken (for Knowles). Ex-Officio: O'Neil, Reynolds; Wittig.

The chair called the meeting to order at 8:08 a.m.

The chair asked if there were corrections to the minutes of the senate meeting of 14 July as distributed (Document 2). Hearing none, he ordered them approved as distributed.

The chair said that he would divide his report into two parts: general announcements and a report on health care benefits. He announced that Howard Hawk, Chair of the Alabama House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee for Education would speak to the Senate in September. The senate will also hear at the October meeting from the UAB Alumni Association about the organization and work of its new Political Action Committee, and Provost O'Neil will discuss the proposed university budget for 2001-02. The chair asked senators to complete and return the University Events Form distributed at this meeting (Document 3). The chair urged senators and alternate senators who have not yet asked for a committee assignment to do so. He announced the election of Dr. Thomas Norton as a member of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee from the School of Optometry.

The chair asked if there was a report from the Curriculum and Research Committee. There was none.

The chair recognized Senator Greenup to give the report of the Faculty Affairs Committee (Document 4).

The chair recognized Senator Jannett to report from the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. He announced that the 2000 UAB Faculty Handbook and Policies had been published and distributed. The committee now solicited suggestions for the next revision.

The chair recognized Senator Hutchison to give the report of the Governance and Operations Committee. She said that the committee had met twice and had scheduled its next meeting. It has revised the schedule for elections and is in the process of a full review of the Constitution and Bylaws to propose changes, which seem necessary.

The chair announced that the Finance Committee had no report and that the Ad Hoc Committee on Parking will report at the September meeting.

The chair recognized Senator Hogan-Smith to report for the Ad Hoc Committee on Childcare. She said that the committee had reviewed a ten-year-old survey of students about their childcare needs. It thinks a new survey is needed. A mail survey would cost $1,000 in postage. The cheaper alternative would be a selective survey in classes. It may be possible to survey freshmen at orientation, and a survey of faculty and staff needs is planned. The committee has scheduled further meetings.

The chair recognized Senator Schnorrenberg who moved the following resolution on behalf of a special committee of Senator Wittig and himself, appointed by the chair:

Whereas, the Mayor and City Council of Birmingham have final authority to authorize the closing of city streets, and

Whereas, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is continuing to develop on-campus student housing near Fifteenth Street South and Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, and

Whereas, UAB has submitted a proposal to close Fifteenth Street South between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in order to begin the development of the street as a pedestrian mall at the heart of its campus to connect student housing with the Hill University Center, the Mervyn Sterne Library, and classroom buildings, and

Whereas, such a connection will increase pedestrian safety in moving about campus, and

Whereas, the UAB proposal has been approved by the Glen Iris and Five Points Neighborhood Associations, and

Whereas, the Birmingham Planning Commission has rejected UAB's proposal to close Fifteenth Street South,

Now therefore, be it resolved by the UAB Faculty Senate:

  1. The UAB Faculty Senate supports the proposal by UAB to close Fifteenth Street South between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues South in order to provide safe and convenient movement of on-campus residential students from their residences to the University Center on University Boulevard at Fifteenth Street and classrooms and the Mervyn Sterne Library on or near Fifteenth Street.

  2. The UAB Faculty Senate urges the Mayor and City Council of Birmingham to approve the closing of Fifteenth Street South as requested by UAB.

In the discussion which followed, the chair used illustrations of the UAB master plan to demonstrate the purpose of the street closing. Among other speakers were President Reynolds and Senator Tyson.

The chair put the question on the resolution and the resolution carried.

The chair recognized Provost O'Neil to report on the four searches for deans. The provost said that the committee for the search in education, chaired by Professor Eason, had conducted a national search and recommended three candidates. The provost and the president had decided not to make an appointment of one of these. The provost had now met with the chairs of the departments in the school. He said that the president and he wanted someone as dean who can make a real impact in public education. The search for a new dean will continue.

The provost said that the search in the School of Engineering will be difficult because it will not be possible to make a further new substantial investment in the school as had been done in the previous search. Also, leaders in engineering have a choice between academic and non-academic positions. The provost has met with the chairs in the school. The interim dean will be Professor Linda Lucas.

The provost said that six candidates are being invited to campus for interviews in the search for the Dean of the School of Health-Related Professions. The chair of the search committee is Professor William Bailey. The committee hopes to submit names of nominees by October.

The provost said that he had met with the Executive Council of the School of Public Health. Professor Robert Holmes will chair the search committee, whose membership is in the process of being developed. Dean Capilouto is willing to continue as dean for a reasonable period.

The chair recognized Ms. Jill Gemmill to report to the senate on internet virus protection. Ms. Gemmill pointed out that anti-virus protection is available on the internet at:

A printed copy of her PowerPoint report is attached to the minutes as Document 5.

The chair gave the second part of his report. This was on health care fringe benefits. He stressed that the senate Finance Committee and the university Fringe Benefits Committee need to be more proactive on the matter of the cost to the university and to individuals and the coverage provided by the VIVA, United Health Care and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. VIVA UAB will increase students/sabbatical benefits from the present $500 to $1000 per member. VIVA will also work toward increasing its outside network of providers in major college towns. VIVA will agree to the establishment of a Major Medical Care Appeals Committee above VIVA committees. It will have faculty and staff membership as well as representatives of the Health Services Foundation and VIVA on this committee.

A copy of the chair's presentation will be posted on the Senate Web Page.

The chair urged that the university Fringe Benefits Committee meet at least three times a year to consider proposed changes in fringe benefits and their costs.

There were questions and comments on the report of the chair from Senators Jannett, Tyson, Reed, Schnorrenberg, and Ward.

The chair announced the open forum. Senator Greenup asked what is the status of the recruitment and retention report. The provost reported that part of the problem is how to pay for the changes proposed. We are looking for full implementation in 2001-02. Mandatory transfer student orientation will begin with winter term of 2001. We are looking at advising increases to do degree audits for all entering students. The original cost estimate of $190,000 has been reduced to $80 - 90,000.

Senator Greenup asked what is the status of a single faculty e-mail distribution list for the whole campus. No answer was available.

Senator Tyson asked what is the status of the faculty club, what is the status of a search for an athletic director, and what is happening about a football stadium. The provost responded that there will shortly be a new athletic director. There has been faculty input in this matter. Where football can be played is an issue needing discussion. A new athletic director should be involved in this discussion.

The chair of the senate observed that there might be an on-campus location for a faculty club in the proposed enlargement of University Center. Senator Schnorrenberg asked how many senators would support a faculty club with dues of about $300 a year. A number of hands were raised. Senator Telfair was not sure such a club should be a high priority.

There being no further discussion or business, the chair adjourned the meeting at 9:49 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.