Senate Minutes 12/01

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate
Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 11 December 2001

The UAB Faculty Senate met on 11 December 2001 in 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: Beard, Cheung, Eleftherious, Greenup, Hutchison, Keltner, Liber, Mercado, Mulvihill, Pfeiffer, Rigney, Telfair, Than, Weaver, Wilson. Alternates: Johnson (for Reed), Laken, Martin, Meythaler (for Anderson), Pezzementi (for Lemons) Sloan (for Ward). Ex officio: Wittig, Parliamentarian. Provost: Augsburger. Guests: Rosalia Scripa, Theodore Benditt.

The Chair of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 7:37 a.m.

The chair asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of the meeting of November 13, as distributed (Document 2). Hearing none, he ordered the minutes approved as distributed.

The chair made his report. He said that he had met with the Chancellor elect of the University two weeks ago. The chancellor's almost exclusive concern was with the presidential search for UAB. The process is to begin soon. The first meeting of the committee will be in early January. The chancellor hopes to have names to submit to the trustees by mid April, and he hopes that the new president will be able to take office by 1 July. There will be headhunters to advise the search committee.

Senator Telfair observed that the process seemed to be accelerated. Is this schedule adequate time for a good search?

The chair said that he understood that the headhunters were already beginning the work of identifying possible candidates. The chair will let the senate know who the members of the search committee are as soon as the chair knows them.

The chair said that the Executive Committee of the Senate had met with President Reynolds last Thursday. The president indicated that the Fringe Benefits Committee is being reconstituted and will begin its work in January.

The chair said that he and Senator Wyss had served on the Faculty Awards Committee. This committee has made its recommendations to the provost and the president. The committee was primarily concerned with the Ingalls and President's Excellence in Teaching awards. We urged that there be more standardization across schools for the excellence in teaching awards. The proposal is that the Ingalls awards will come primarily from those who have previously received excellence in teaching awards. Awards will be for regular full time faculty only.

Senator Wyss said that the Ingalls Award should become a lifetime career teaching award.

Senator Liber asked whether there were any plans to have awards for teachers who were not regular faculty or were teaching part time.

The chair said that the committee recommended that.

Senator Wilson inquired about whether the medical school had its own awards.

Senator Wyss said that the Medical Center has a faculty award for teaching. The Medical School distinguished lecturer award is probably different from this.

The chair said that there was a discussion of grievance procedures at the meeting of the Executive Committee with the president. The committee will report on the progress in developing these procedures

The chair reported that enrollment for spring semester is up in terms of new admissions and acceptances of admissions.

Senator Hutchison was recognized to give the report of the Committee on Governance and Operations. She yielded the floor to Senator Schnorrenberg who gave a report for the Committee on Elections (which is the same committee, but with a different chair). This report was distributed to the senate (Document 3). A new elections calendar has been set up and a new system of school elections committees is in place. Every senator and alternate senator serves on the committee in his or her school.

The chair expressed the hope that the dates for elections could be moved even earlier than had been proposed.

Senator Wyss was recognized to give the report on the Faculty Policies and Procedure Committee. He said that the committee continues to work on the Faculty handbook. Subcommittees will shortly be reporting on the sections they are revising. Should policies be removed from the handbook and simply distributed on the web? The real faculty handbook is just the first 40 or 50 pages of what is a much larger publication. Do we need new faculty rank names? In some schools 40 or 50 per cent of the teaching is done by persons who hold no regular faculty rank. Should a wider range of appropriate titles be found for these persons? The committee continues to study the grievance policy. It is also looking at the termination for cause policy. It is examining how these policies are being used. The grievance policy has become very like the termination for cause policy. Is this wise? Can the forms of the grievance policy become more realistic?

Senator Meythaler asked a question about legal counsel.

There being no further business, the Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:07 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.