Senate Minutes 1/01

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate
Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 12 January 2001



The UAB Faculty Senate met on 12 January 2001 in Great Hall Rooms C and D 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 (Past-Chair), Schnorrenberg (Secretary). Senators: Ball, Brown, Cheung, Eberhardt, Filler, Greenup, Heaven, Hutchison, Knowles, Mercado, Pfeiffer, Price, Reed, Rigney, Rostand, Sapp, Smith, Swanson, Telfair, Tyson, Ward. Alternates: Beard (for Harris), Cull, Givan, Greenwood (for Vincent), Hogan-Smith, Jackson, Laken, Lemons, Wilson. Ex-Officio: Reynolds (President), Augsburger (Interim Provost), Wittig (Parliamentarian).

The Chair called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m. He recognized guests present, Thomas Spencer of the Birmingham News and Terry Tatum of the Information Technology Office.

The Chair asked if there were corrections to the minutes of the meeting of the senate on 8 December (Document 2). Hearing none, he ordered them approved as distributed.

The Chair gave his report. He warned that proration this year is possible. There could be a one per cent shortfall or more in revenue needed to fund appropriations for education. What is even more important is what this means for the budget next year. We must urge the legislature to begin to examine the tax base. It is inadequate to meet the needs of the state, including education. The economy of Alabama is stagnant. Changes in the franchise tax improved revenue for the general fund but provided no increase in the education fund.

Faculty and staff who are members of UAB Viva and United Health are concerned about access to doctors at UAB. Viva has agreed to set up a website to receive and answer complaints about lack of access. The Senate will have copies of complaints and responses. Senator Reed has set up a subcommittee of the Finance Committee to examine health care expenses for employees. She and Janet Bronstein and others will do a survey.

The chair recognized the Interim Provost to give a report on the university budget and its distribution to the schools. Provost Augsburger distributed a chart of UAB's State Appropriation vs. Unfunded Regional Standard, 1989-2001 and a Summary of Operating Budgets for 2000-01, distributed by school (Document 3). The appropriation figures include state appropriation, tuition, fees, and indirect expenditure. The report does not show support services and other general things. The Provost pointed out that in the last few years the legislature had mandated that much of the state appropriation flow directly to provide salary increases. Thus new funds have gone where existing salaries are. However, the provost's office has looked at distribution in terms of weighted credit hours. It is important that we maintain credit hour production or even increase it as we convert to the semester system

Senator Greenup asked when the schedule of classes for the semester system will appear. The Provost answered that his office has been reviewing the schedule as a whole, particularly for overlaps of time. He has gone back tot he schools for advice about these overlaps.

Associate Provost Scripa said that changes to the semester class schedule would close on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The schedule will go to press a week later.

Senator Hickson asked about additional planned sections. Will there be additional funding for these? The Provost answered that there must be a better distribution of sections of classes so there would be five per cent more

Senator Jannett asked about the raise pool for faculty salaries. The Provost responded that during this year he will meet with each dean in budget hearings, pay visits to schools, and look at enrollment figures. He plans an annual summary of information about the distribution of funds.

Senator Jannett said that we need a summary of the raise pool for last year. President Reynolds responded that this information was given to members of the Senate Executive Committee. Senator Jannett said that yearly the senate has asked for a report summarizing the raise pool and its distribution. President Reynolds repeated that this information has been given to the executive committee.

Senator Jannett asked what were the rules for the distribution of new funds among the schools.

The Chair asked the Provost to distribute information to the senate about the distribution of funds to the schools for all purposes.

Senator Telfair asked about fluctuation in enrollment caused by retention and recruitment. How stable will our budget be?

Senator Hickson spoke of changes in allocation of resources among schools being based on a three-year record of weighted credit hours. How does this rolling average affect distribution of resources?

Senator Jackson asked what the bar graphs in the distributed document look like when compared to other state universities.

The Provost said that the Alabama research universities are worse off compared to other state universities.

President Reynolds said that even though UAB got increased funds because of one third of new funding being distributed according to the ACHE formula we still lost ground in the region because of low funding compared to doctoral granting institutions. The flagship universities in the state need to have special money.

The President observed that Mr. Mabry had asked for information on our health care expenditures. PEEHIP costs have soared.

The Chair observed that only the University of South Alabama has a worse level on the funding chart than UAB does.

The Chair announced that new deans had been appointed for the School of Education and the School of Health Related Professions and a new chair appointed for Microbiology.

The Chair announced that there would be no report from the Committee on Curriculum and Research.

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

The Chair recognized Senator Reed to give the report of the Finance Committee (Document 5). Senator Reed pointed out that if present trends continue the cost for Blue Cross Blue Shield will have increased 100% by 2002 from its 1999 base.

Senators Knowles, Wyss, Rostand, Jannett, President Reynolds, Senators Reed, Telfair and Smith all took part in a discussion of the report.

The Chair recognized Senator Rostand, who moved

Whereas, UAB alumna Jacquelyn Shaia (undergraduate Political Science and English, 1982) was elected by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System at its November 17, 2000 meeting to fill the open 4th Congressional District position on the Board; and

Whereas, when confirmed by the Alabama Senate, Ms. Shaia will become the first UAB undergraduate alumna to serve on the Board of Trustees; and

Whereas, UAB's research, health care, service and educational activities currently account for nearly 75% of the total University of Alabama System's annual budget; and System's annual budget; and

Whereas, Ms. Shaia's memberships on the Boards of Trustees of the UAB Research Foundation and the Alys Stephens Center and her position as President and CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama have provided her with a clear vision for the requisites required for the expansion of the Alabama economy and its businesses; and

Whereas, Ms. Shaia has actively participated in many charitable and community organizations that have given her a broad vision of the social and educational needs of the citizens of Alabama; and

Whereas, Ms. Shaia is strongly committed to assuring the University of Alabama campuses aggressively work to increase the competitive work force and economy of the State of Alabama;

Now therefore, be it resolved by the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham that it urges the Alabama Senate to quickly confirm the nomination of Ms. Jaquelyn Shaia to the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System, so that she can begin to actively participate in the Board's efforts to insure that the University of Alabama System and its constituent entities continue their progress toward international prominence in their manifold missions and that they continue to advance the educational and economic development of the State of Alabama.

The motion was seconded and carried.

The Chair recognized Senator Hutchison to give the report of the Committee on Governance and Operations (Document 5). She moved the adoption of the changes proposed and as previously moved at the meeting of the Senate on 8 December.

The question was put and the motion carried.

The Chair recognized Senator Hutchison to give the report on the Academic Advisors Executive Committee. She said that frequent meetings have discussed semester conversion and that an advisor training program is being developed.

The Chair asked Senator Jannett if there were a report from the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. Senator Jannett said that the committee had not met but that he had provided it with comments on the proposals considered at the last senate meeting.

The Chair recognized Senator Hogan Smith to give the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Child Care. (Document 6). The report was discussed generally and at length. President Reynolds pointed out that UAB provides a subsidy of $3,000 per child per year for the children in the UAB Child Care Center. Senator Knowles said that the need for childcare was real especially for less well paid staff. A number of persons asked what provision there was for nighttime childcare for students or staff.

The Chair said that the Ad Hoc Committee on parking has finished its work and so there would be no further report.

Senator Ward inquired how students would be able to finish college in eight semesters when the minimum degree requirement is 126 hours. Senator Schnorrenberg observed that more than 120 hours are required for a number of degrees and that students often take more than 15 hours a semester. President Reynolds said that hour requirements for some degrees seem high to her and this is being reviewed,

Senator Jannett said that the Finance Committee should ask what is the base plan UAB should fund for health insurance. Are there other institutions that restrict employees to one provider? None were found in our earlier survey. Since 55% of employees do not choose Viva, why is it now the base plan? What is the actual cost of Viva?

There being no further business, the chair adjourned the senate at 9:59 a. m.


Respectfully submitted,

John M. Schnorrenberg
Secretary of the Faculty



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