Senate Minutes 10/01

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate
Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 9 October 2001



The UAB Faculty Senate met on 9 October 2001 in Rooms A and B of the Great hall of the Hill university Center. The agenda adopted by the Executive Committee was distributed (Document 1).

Those present were: Officers: Hickson (Chair), Heaven (Chair Elect), Wyss, (Past Chair), Schnorrenberg (Secretary). Senators: Anderson, Basilico, Beard, Brown, Cheung, Givan, Greenup, Liber, Mercado, Mulvihill, Pfeiffer, Reed, Rigney, Swanson, Telfair, Waites, Weaver, Wilson. Alternates: Keitt (for Zahariadis), Laken, Martin, K. Sloan (for Hutchison), Than (for DeCarlo), J. Sloan. Ex officio: Augsburger (Provost), Reynolds (President), Wittig (Parliamentarian). Guests: Rosalia Scripa, Terry Tatum.

The Chair Elect of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 7:36 a.m. He announced that he was presiding in the absence of the Chair of the Faculty who had been delayed in coming. The Chair Elect asked if there were corrections to the minutes of the meeting of 11 September as these had been distributed (Document 2). Hearing none, he ordered the minutes approved as distributed.

The Chair Elect recognized the Provost to make a report on the Economic Rules Report submitted by the Economic Rules Committee to the President. The Provost summarized the reasons for seeking to have such a report made and the principal recommendations made in the report. He delivered a list of the membership of the committee and a copy of the report to the Secretary with a request that these be distributed to all senators and alternate senators and also be published on the Senate web page (Documents 3 and 4). The Provost agreed to answer questions.

Senator Telfair asked if the Provost were in a position to talk about what changes might happen as a result of the report. The Provost answered that the report is a recommendation. It has not been implemented. We are pushing to look at possible changes for the upcoming year, not the current one. It would be easier to make changes when the three streams or revenue described in the report are all growing. We will try not to make precipitous shifts. However, there should be some relation between tuition and fees earned by a unit and dollars allocated to that unit. Indirect expense revenue should go back to the unit which bore those costs.

Senator J. Sloan asked whether the Provost was saying that the indirect cost category was now returned to the unit generating those costs. The Provost replied that this did not now happen on west campus.

A senator asked about the relation of this report to the earlier pressure toward responsibility-centered management. Was there to be an effort to rationally allocate funds? The Provost replied that the responsibility centered management words were not used. But allocation does need to be considered, and common costs need to be covered.

Senator Greenup pointed out that this report does not deal with teaching load nor directly affect faculty salaries. The Provost responded that a particular school may choose to increase teaching loads because it primarily undergraduate.

The Chair Elect directed that the Secretary distribute the report to all senators and alternate senators.

The Chair of the Faculty took the chair. He made his report. He said that the Finance Committee would shortly be making its report. It had talked about reinstating an active Fringe Benefits Committee. The Chair and Senator Bodon had met with the Provost to discuss the grievance process. The only exclusions from the grievance process which the Faculty Handbook provides for seem to be dismissal for financial exigency and for cause. There are perhaps other issues, which might be excluded because they seem trivial to those not affected. One recommendation we are discussing is that there be a committee to recommend to the Provost what constitutes a grievance.

The Chair reported that we know nothing from the trustees about the search for a new president.

The Chair said that President Reynolds had told the Executive Committee that there were about 70 faculty and staff members who were eligible to be called to active military duty. Some have been called.

Senator Telfair asked what had happened to the recommendation made by the Faculty Affairs Committee about the grievance process. Senator Greenup asked if she might answer this question. She said that the Faculty Affairs Committee had sent its recommendations to the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee . The Faculty Polices and Procedures Committee was trying to develop a monitoring process for grievances. The committee was now starting to review the Faculty Handbook during the next year and will again look at the grievance process as part of this review.

Senator Telfair asked, if this was to be the procedure, what about input to produce change in the process now. The Chair of the Faculty replied that monitoring of grievances in process has improved. The Provost has reported on these to the Chair. A second issue is timeliness for action. Sometimes action comes only after the issue is moot. We talked about the Executive Committee of Faculty Senate acting as a review committee, or perhaps the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee could do this. A third possibility would be to have some members of the Grievance Committee to act as gatekeepers and recommend to the Provost whether the whole formal process should be pursued.

The Chair said that he could ask the Faculty Affairs Committee to make a Recommendation to the Senate by the December meeting. Senator Telfair said that would help. The Chair said that delay happens from both sides in the grievance process, but that it is also sometimes very hard to get together a grievance committee from the grievance panel.

The Chair recognized Senator Reed to give the report of the Finance Committee. Senator Reed spoke of the need to reinstate the Fringe Benefits Committee. Senator Reed moved the following resolution:

Whereas, Section 4 of the 2000 Faculty Handbook and Policies and Section 11.6.C. of the Bylaws of the Faculty and Faculty Senate recognize the existence of a Fringe Benefits Committee,

Therefore be it resolved by the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham:

  1. The UAB Faculty Senate urges President Reynolds to reinstate the Fringe Benefits Committee with substantial representation from UAB faculty and staff.
  2. The reinstated Fringe Benefits Committee will provide recommendations and advice about all fringe benefit issues or decisions affecting faculty and staff.
  3. This Fringe Benefits Committee will meet on such a regular basis as to allow for timely advice and recommendations about policy matters and budgetary processes of the university.

There being no discussion, the Chair put the question and the motion carried.

The chair Recognized Senator Greenup to give the report of the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. Senator Greenup said that the committee is reviewing the Faculty Handbook and that this review includes a review of the Grievance Policy. A subcommittee has begun a review of policy issues related to on-line courses and distance education. Questions of ownership of courses and related issues include contracting off campus or with companies.

Senator Telfair asked what mechanism the committee was going to use to get information from schools about their manuals and rules. The Faculty Handbook does not always answer questions that are related to some school policies. Senator Greenup said that the question had described issues which are now before the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. Schools have problems updating their policies. Sometimes the Handbook is not altogether clear. A senator said that all schools should be made to submit their policies for review. Senator Schnorrenberg observed that the senate had once tried to secure the school policies of all schools and several would not cooperate.

The Chair called for new business.

Senator Schnorrenberg moved the following resolution:

Whereas, John N. Whitaker, M.D. came to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1985 to serve as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine, and

Whereas, John N. Whitaker also served as President of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, and

Whereas, John N. Whitaker led an active research program investigating such demyelinating diseases as multiple sclerosis, and

Whereas, John N. Whitaker served as chair of the Medical Advisory Board and member of the Board of Directors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and

Whereas, John N. Whitaker served as President of the American Neurological Association from 1995 to 1997, and

Whereas, John N. Whitaker served on the editorial boards of Annals of Neurology, Journal of Immunology, Muscle and Nerve, Journal of Neuroimmunology, Journal of Neurological Sciences Multiple Sclerosis, and Archives of Neurology and was himself the author of more than 200 papers, and

Whereas, John N. Whitaker died on August 29, 2001,

Therefore be it resolved by the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham:

  1. The Senate gives thanks for the life of John N. Whitaker and the work he did as a teacher, a scholar, and a physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  2. The Senate mourns the death of John N. Whitaker and expresses its sympathy to his widow, Elaine Whitaker and their children.

The Chair put the question and the motion carried.

Senator Wyss moved the following resolution:

Whereas, the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham are deeply concerned that the university have a strong and effective president, and

Whereas, the faculty have had representation on the search committees for previous presidents of UAB, and

Whereas, the faculty as teachers and scholars have special awareness of qualities and abilities needed by the President of UAB,

Therefore be it resolved by the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham

The Senate asks the Chancellor of The University of Alabama to continue the past practice of appointing UAB faculty representatives to the committee seeking and reviewing candidates for the presidency of UAB.

There being no discussion, the Chair put the question and the motion carried.

Senator Wyss moved the following resolution:

Whereas, W. Ann Reynolds has served with distinction as the President of the University of Alabama t Birmingham since September 1997, and

Whereas, President Reynolds has, as she begins her last year in office, transformed the campus and the communities of UAB to make this university a better place. and

Whereas, President Reynolds has been a most strong advocate for adequate funding for public higher education in Alabama, and

Whereas, President Reynolds has led an immensely successful capital funds campaign for UAB, and

Whereas, President Reynolds has served with distinction as an administrative leader for higher education in the United States,

Therefore be it resolved by the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham:

The Senate recommends that the trustees of The University of Alabama award an appropriate honorary degree to W. Ann Reynolds, President of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in recognition of her distinguished service as President and to higher education in the United States in general.

A discussion followed at the end of which the Chair put the question and the motion carried.

The Chair announced the open forum. Senator J. Sloan said that he was pleased that the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee was looking at the grievance procedures. The Chair said that the committee was also looking at the status of part time faculty.

Senator Schnorrenberg reminded senators that planning for elections would soon begin. Senators should seek to identify candidates in their schools. They should also seek candidates for Chair Elect and for Secretary. The nominating committee for each school would be the senators and alternate senators from that school.

A senator asked if 7:30 Tuesday morning was the best time for the senate meeting. Should it be changed? The Secretary asked how many of those present were dissatisfied with the time. No one expressed dissatisfaction.

There being no further business, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:44 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

John M. Schnorrenberg
Secretary of the Faculty



NOTE: Documents referred to in the text are attached to the original of these minutes. If you wish to have a copy of an attached document, e-mail your request to Stephanie Belcher. Please specify the date of the Senate meeting and the number of the document you desire. They will be sent by campus mail.