Senate Minutes 12/00

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate
Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 8 December 2000



The UAB Faculty Senate met on 8 December 2000 in Rooms 410 and 411 of the Hill University Center. The agenda adopted by the Executive Committee was distributed (Document 1).

Those present were: Officers: Wyss (Chair), Hickson (Chair-Elect), Jannett (Pat-Chair), Schnoorenberg (Secretary). Senators: Ball, Cheung, Eberhardt, Filler, Greenup, Gunther-Canada, Haris, Heaven, Knowles, Mercado, Pfeiffer, Price, Rigney, Rostand, Sapp, Smith, Tyson, and Vincent. Alternates: Cull (for Reed), Laken, Lemons, Norton (for Fullard), and Wilson. Ex-Officio: Wittig (Parliamentarian).

The Chair called the meeting to order at 8:06 a.m. He asked if there were guests and none introduced themselves.

The Chair asked if there were corrections to the minutes of the senate meeting on 10 November. The Secretary said that the report of the finance Committee made by Senator Reed had been omitted as had the attached document with the text of the report. This omission will be corrected. The chair asked that senators let the secretary know if there are other corrections. Haring no other corrections, the chair ordered the minutes approved as circulated but with corrections (Document 2).

The Chair made his report. There is no further resolution of health care costs for faculty and staff. The president has not yet appointed the proposed new Fringe Benefits Committee. The chair said that President Reynolds had written Henry Mabry, Director of Finance for the State of Alabama, requesting an increase in its operating budget for fiscal 2001-02 (Document 3). The chair said that much less money than this letter asks for will be available. He showed a chart showing projected income for the Special Education Trust Fund. A copy of this will be made available on the Senate web page. Estimated new dollars in the Fund will be only 172 million, an increase of 4.2% An additional 9 million dollars will be available because of a decrease in funds set aside for the State Retirement System/ Requests for K-12 salary increase will require 120 million dollars and other K-12 emergency funding needs will require 85 million dollars. In answer to a question from Senator Rostand, the chair said that other needs than those of K-12 will probably be met by the traditional distribution of funds, one third to higher education and two thirds to K through 12. This would provide 6o million in new dollars for higher education. The chair said that the Chancellor of the University of Alabama System had proposed increases of 33 million for UAB, 4 million for University Hospital, 6 million for UAH, and 18 million for UAT. The Council of Presidents has proposed that new higher education dollars be divided in half between the current formula for funding and funding based on the ACHE guidelines. The chair said that faculty will be asked to lobby their legislators and the governor. Twenty trustees from various college and university boards in Alabama are now lobbying to raise faculty salaries. The lobbying effort will seek to present and make :The case for investing in Alabama Higher Education," as shown to the senate and distributed at the meeting (Document 4). The opening statements in that document are that in 1989 Alabama universities received state funding at 92% of the reional standard, but in 2000 Alabama universities received state funding at 60% of the regional standard. The chair said that state funding would increasingly be performance based. The university must argue convincingly that investing in it will make Alabama move forward. The chair said that new funding would help salaries, but it will take long time to raise salaries to approach national standards.

Senator Rostand asked what performance based standards are. The chair replied that for K-12 testing measures progress and performance. For universities credit hour production will be one standard, but the universities must press for commitment to the ACHE formula which favors research-based universities. The chair observed that the new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee for Education, succeeding Howard Hawk, wiil more interested in what is achieved for K-12.

Senator Jannett asked whether the 19 million dollars proposed for salary improvements could be broken down. New salary money does not always give more help to those worst off, as generally in academic affairs schools. UAB has not remedied seriously low salaries. The chair responded that the Compensation Committee appointed by the Senate is looking at this situation and asked that Senator Smith express Senator Jannett's concerns to that committee. The chair also pointed out that there are health affairs schools which have seriously inadequate salaries, Dentistry, for example.

Senators Rostand and Jannett asked additional questions.

The chair recognized Senator Gunther-Canada to give the report of the Arts and Sciences Council. She said that a subcommittee of the Council met on 16 November to discuss the proposed Arts and Sciences Lecture for next fall. The Council will meet in January to choose the lecturer.

The chair recognized Senator Greenup to give the report of the faculty Affairs Committee. She said that a report had been distributed (Document 5). She added that the committee continues to review and correct the erroneous reports on administrative evaluations and will mail corrected evaluations after the first of the year. The committee will also review the whole process of evaluation and how it is done. The committee regrets the errors that were made. We have learned from them and believe we can do a better job in 2002.

Senator Smith thanked the committee for their hard work. The distress expressed about the mistakes shows that people are in fact reading the evaluations.

The chair recognized Senator Schnorrenberg to give the report of the Governance and Operations Committee for Senator Hutchison. The report was distributed at the meeting (Document 6). Senator Schnorrenberg moved that the Bylaws of the Faculty and Faculty Senate be amended as follows:

II.d. Strike "University Executive Committee" and replace with "President's Council."

II.2.b.Strike "Each constituent unit must elect two nominees from its members. The Executive Committee will select one of those elected from each unit to serve on the committee." Strike the word "one." following the words "selected by the President, and" and replace with the word "two." Add, following the words "the Provost" the words "If, in the opinion of the Executive Committee, there is significant under-representation of a constituency, or a discernible lack of significant needed expertise, then the Chair of the Faculty may appoint up to two individuals to meet those needs." Strike the words "Appointments are for a term of" and insert the words "Elected terms are." Insert the word "elected" following the words "one third of the." Following the words "replaced each year." Insert the words "Appointed terms are one year." Following the words "vacancy before the expiration of a term" strike the words "the term shall be completed by the second nominee for the school." Replace that text with the words "the Executive Committee shall appoint the person who received the next highest number of votes in the election for the position. If there is no such person, the Elections Committee shall solicit nominations from the school whose representative is no longer serving and shall conduct an election to fill the vacancy for the balance of the term." At the end of this sub sub section add the words "The chair of the committee shall be. ex officio, a member of the senate during his or her term in office."

II.3.b. In the second sentence strike the word "register" and replace it with the word "rank."

II.4. In the first sentence strike the words "members of the senate" and replace these with the words "senators and alternate senators. In the second sentence strike the words "twice as many" and replace these with the words "fifty per cent more" and add in the same sentence, following the word "senator," the words "and alternate senator." In the last sentence of the subsection strike the words "at least six seeks prior to June 1" and replace with the words "by the date set by the Elections Committee."

III.5. In the second sentence strike the words "at least four weeks prior to June 1" and replace them by the words "by the date set by the elections Committee. In the fourth sentence strike the words "at least two weeks prior to June 1" and replace them with the words "by the date set by the Elections Committee."

Senator Schnorrenberg pointed out that the changes in the way of choosing the members of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee would permit direct election of its member by each constituent unit and still keep a mechanism for providing balance on the committee.

The chair ruled that no vote could be taken because this reading provides the required notice of amendment. The matter will be before the senate at the January meeting.

The chair ruled that no vote could be taken because this reading provides the required notice of amendment. The matter will be before the senate at the January meeting.

The first of these was the "Policy Concerning the Use of UAB Resources by External Entities" (Document 7).

Senator Rostand said that he was a member of the Conflict of Interest Board and that this policy would be helpful. However he pointed out in relation to lines 42 ff. that sometimes arrangements are made with the departmental chair, rather than with Grants and Contracts. The policy should receive comment from the IRB and the Conflict of Interest Review Board should see this draft so it could make suggestions. The chair asked Senator Jannett to arrange for this.

Senator Smith asked whether this policy covered external activities. Was it primarily aimed at university based consulting? Senator Jannett said that the policy does not deal with consulting.

Senator Smith asked whether UAB is doing an adequate job with overseeing faculty consulting. He suspected a major problem across the board. Senator Rostand observed that CRIB was trying to deal with this.

The chair observed that Policy 7 in the Faculty handbook deals with conflicts of commitment.

Senator Jannett moved that the "Policy Concerning Use of UAB Resources by External Entities" be referred to the Committee on Faculty Policies and Procedures with a report on comments made about it. The chair put the question and the motion carried.

Senator Jannett presented a second draft policy, "Policy Concerning Consensual Romantic Relationships" (Document 8). He said that there had been a positive discussion of this document in the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee.

Senator Knowles said that she agreed with the spirit of the policy. She asked what does the policy make a romantic relationship? Senator Schnorrenberg suggested that this needs to be said. Senetor Rostand said that a definition could be misapplied. Senator Wittig observed that the administration wanted a polcy to preserve appropriate professional relationships. Senator Ball said that the nepostism policy provides for waivers, but this draft policy appears not to do so. Is this right? A senator observed that emotion cannot be reined. Professor Scripa said that perhaps exceptions to this policy could be arranged. Senator Tyson said that the maximum penalty for violation of the policy seemed excessive. Senator Knowles said that if we all as we should there would be no problem. Of course, someone could abuse the policy.

Senator Knowles moved that the "Policy Concerning Consensual Romantic Relationships be referred to the Committee on Faculty Policies and Procedures for review in the light of these comments.

Senator Hickson asked how many policies have a similar penalty statement. The chair observed that the remedy for violation seems excessive. Senator Rostand said that the first stage of remedy should be appropriate counseling.

The chair put the question and the motion carried.

Senator Jannett reported on a memorandum to the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee from John Lyons (Document 9). This is not a policy to be reviewed by the senate. The consensus of the committee was that no change in sabbatical policy is needed. Senator Jannett moved:

It is the sense of the senate that the current Faculty Handbook 2000 policy 7.4.1 should not be changed.

The question was put and the motion carried.

The chair asked Senator Smith to give an informal interim report on the work of the Compensation Committee. Senator Smith said that the committee has met once and will meet again next week. We are in general agreement about approach. We need to do the right thing.

Senator Schnorrenberg moved:

The term of the Compensation Committee shall be extended through May 2001.

The chair put the question and the motion was carried.

Senator Hickson said that the committee should make sure that it is using nine months salries as the statistical base for information about academic affairs schools. Senator Smith said the committee would give an interim report in January. Senator Jannet urged that the committee examine the amount of funds in the "promotion pool." Senator Hickson stressed that years in rank had an effect on salary which should not be overlooked.

The chair announced the open forum

Senator Greenup asked the status of the UAB PAC. Would payroll deduction be possible How could you arrange this. The chair asked the secretary to arrange for deduction forms to be available in the senate office.

Senator Tyson asked what would be done about the faculty subsidy of student parking. Were senate resolutions about this forwarded to appropriate officials. The secretary said that he would find out and report.

The chair reminded the faculty that individuals may lobby the legislature via e mail, but letters and telephone calls should be paid for privately. Letters should not use university stationery.

Senator Greenup asked whether it would be of benefit to pass a resolution to press for the early appointment of fringe benefits committee. It was observed that such a resolution had been sent.

Senator Sapp spoke about the dean search in the School of Education. The former dean was replaced about two years ago by an interim dean. A search committee was appointed. It recommended several candidates to the president. All of these were rejectd by the president. There was a subsequent request for faculty input to suggest new candidates with national reputations. Some faculty made suggestions. All faculty have now received a letter saying that the interim dean has been appointed as dean. Our faculty are distressed by this process of appointment.

Senator Tyson observed that the provost had said to the senate that he and the president were looking for candidates for the deanship of the School of Education.

Senator Schnorrenberg inquired whether the new dean was to hold a faculty appointment. If so, had the appropriate faculty committee in the school been asked for its advice prior to the making of the appointment.

The chair referred the matter of the process of appointment of the Dean of the School of Education to the Committee on Faculty Affairs.

The chair reminded the senate that he needed nominations for membership in the Conflict of Interest Review Board. Two persons are needed and should come from the west side of campus. The work of the committee takes about ten hours a month.

The chair closed the forum and the senate adjourned at 9:58 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 specify the date of the Senate and the number of the document you desire. Attached documents exist only as hard copy. They will be sent by campus mail.