Senate Minutes 4/02

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate
Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 9 April 2002

The UAB Faculty Senate met on 9 April 2002 in Great Hall A and B, 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, Beard, Brown, Eleftherious, Givan, Greenuo, Hutchison, Justement, Liber, Mercado, Mulvihill, Pfeiffer, Reed, Rigney, Swanson, Telfair, Than, Waites, Weaver, Wilson. Alternates: Bodon (for Basilico), Dahle (for Sapp), Griffin, Laken, Meythaler (for Feldman). Ex officio: Augsburger (Provost); Wittig (Parliamentarian). Guests: Theodore M. Benditt, Rose Scripa, John A. Smith.

The Chair of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 7:43 a.m.

The Chair asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of the meeting of 12 March 2002, as distributed (Document 2). Hearing none, he ordered the minutes approved as distributed.

The Chair gave his report. He reminded the Senate of the reception for senators being given by the President at Woodward House at 5:30 this evening. He also reminded senators of the State of the University address to be given by the President on April 12 at 3:30 p.m. He reported on the status of the presidential search, saying there was no new news. Senator Heaven asked how many candidates were being brought to campus for a preliminary interview. The Chair replied that four had come and a fifth would come tomorrow.

The Chair recognized Senator Schnorrenberg to give the report of the Elections Committee, as distributed to the Senate (Document 3).

The Chair recognized Senator Schnorenberg to give a special report on the Senate budget, as distributed to the Senate (Document 4). The Chair observed that the budget was reduced $5,000 from the amount of last year. This had been the money available to purchase released time or provide research support for the Chair of the Faculty.

The Chair recognized Senator Reed to give the report of the Finance Committee, as distributed to the Senate (Document 5). Senator Reed stressed that three per cent of the 10,409 health insurance members at UAB had enrolled in the newly available VIVA Health plan this year. The excess of costs over income had declined for the two plans having an excess. This should mean smaller premium increases next year.

The Chair recognized Senator Rigney to give the report of the Committee on Curriculum and Research. He said that the committee is continuing to develop and work on the survey of the semester conversion process.

A senator asked for an explanation of differences between academic regulations as published in the student handbook and the catalogue. Dr. Scripa said that she would check into possible discrepancies.

The Chair recognized Senator Wyss to report on progress on the Faculty Handbook. He said that Section 2 of the Handbook was not ready for Senate consideration because the committee had been slowed by the difference in designations for librarians at Sterne and at Lister Hill.

The Chair announced the Open Forum

Senator Schnorrenberg urged that the faculty take responsibility for reviewing programs and initiating proposals for change. Senators should seek to develop policy proposals and not simply react to proposals they received.

Senator Meythaler objected that the names of all those being considered for the presidency of the university had not been announced.

Dr. John Smith asked if the Chair could give some sense of how the selection process for finding a new president was working.

The Chair said that the presidential search was the most open search he had ever been a part of. It started with a gathering and discussion of 70 names. It had now come down to fewer than 20. There is no done deal. No candidate has been presented to the board.

Senator Rigney confirmed that no candidate had been presented to the committee as a special favorite.

In response to a question the Chair said that men, women, and minorities were all represented in the group of twenty still under consideration. Both sexes were in the group of five brought to campus for interviews.

Dr. Smith said that he commended the committee on their preservation of confidentiality for the candidates.

Senator Rigney said that the names of finalists would be announced.

The Chair said that he had asked the Faculty Affairs Committee to look into the issue of summer salaries. There is need for greater uniformity among schools.

Senator Dahle said that her students had complained that summer term is scheduled to start while they are still teaching.

Senator Schnorrenberg said that the faculty needed to discuss the schedule, status and purpose of summer school and its relation to the regular semesters.

Senator Wilson wanted to know why registration for fall semester was happening now. Dr. Scripa answered that this is the arrangement at most institutions. Students not attending summer school are now able to register for fall term in the spring.

Senator Telfair said that the semester system is an advantage. Our school has no summer break. A confirmed fall schedule is needed. There are too many cancellations and changes in fall term.

Dr. Scripa said that we are trying to get to the point where we put out fall and summer schedules together. The schedule for fall should not change once it has been announced.

Senator Telfair said that the deadline for submitting courses for the fall schedule was too early.

The Chair said that it is often unknown what money is available at the time that the proposed schedule must be submitted.

Senator Wittig said that he was concerned about students now used to the semester system who will be taking courses in the shorter and more intense summer term. There will be culture shock.

There being no further business the Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:28 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.