Senate Minutes 11/02

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate

Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 12 November 2002


Ireland Room, Lister Hill Library


Officers: Dr. Tim Heaven (Chair), Dr. John A. Smith (Chair-Elect), Dr. Marcus Hickson (Past-Chair), Dr. Theodore Benditt (Secretary), Dr. John W. Wittig (Parliamentarian)

Senators: Dr. Peter G. Anderson, Dr. Edwin W. Cook, Dr. Susan L. Davies, Dr. Evangelos Eleftherious, Dr. Daniel A. Givan, Ms. Ellen M. Griffin, Dr. Lynn D. Kirkland, Dr. Timothy W. Kraft, Dr. Jack E. Lemons, Dr. James C. Martin, Dr. Warren S. Martin, Dr. Jiri Mestecky, Dr. Stephen A. Moser, Dr. William K. Ogard, Dr. Linda F. Reed, Dr. Tammy P. Than, Dr. Betty G. Wilson

Alternate Senators: Dr. Madelyn Coar, Dr. Allan C. Dobbins, Dr. Charles N. Falany, Dr. David D. Ku, Dr. Debra E. Laken, Dr. Mark E. Lockhart, Ms. Heather Martin, Dr. Pamela S. Murray, Dr. Penelope S. Wright

Guests: Kenneth Burke, Dr. Eli Capilouto, Dr. Pat Greenup, Steven Jones, Shirley Kahn, Dr. James Lowery, Sandy Morrell


  1. Call to Order

    The chair called the meeting to order at 7:37 a.m.

  2. Recognition of Visitors

    Kenneth Burke, Dr. Eli Capilouto, Stephen Jones, Shirley Kahn, Sandy Morrell

  3. Adoption of Minutes of October 8, 2002

    The minutes of the meeting of October 8, 2002 were approved as distributed.

  4. UAB's Upcoming Planning Process

    Acting Provost Eli Capilouto outlined the university-wide planning process that is beginning, the impetus for which is threefold. First, UAB needs a process to guide reallocation decisions. President Garrison and the Dr. Capilouto have already begun meetings with the deans of the schools. They have found that some schools have ambitious strategic plans, though it is not clear whether all of them mesh with larger university goals. Drs. Garrison and Capilouto want to develop a clear process for coordinated planning and decision-making.

    Second, the chancellor and system office favor planning and outcome measurement, including metrics and scorecards to assess performance. Finally, there is a need to prepare for re-accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Traditionally, SACS has focused on structure and process measures-its so-called "must"-statements. More recently, however, the number of these has been reduced in favor of Quality Enhancement Plans (QEPs) that emphasize an ongoing, institution-wide planning process that highlights feedback loops to enhance achievement of goals, especially student learning. QEPs are due by January, 2005, with the site visit thereafter.

    The planning process is beginning immediately. Dr. Capilouto has received several recommendations regarding the process: that it be comprehensive, include various constituencies, be completed in a timely fashion, recognize UAB's entrepreneurial culture, recognize the role and importance of outside supporters and constituents, use a strong outside facilitator, post some early wins, make a commitment to implement and execute the plan, and link the plan to comprehensive resource allocation.

    An outside facilitator (Vantage Associates) has been identified. There will be a series of confidential interviews with a wide variety of constituencies, which will be completed by the middle of December. President Tim Heaven was asked to supply 50 names for interviews. Information from the interviews will be available to all. A draft plan will be prepared by the end of January to show to the Senate and other groups. A timetable for further planning activities is being prepared.

    Dr. Lemons (Dentistry), noting that many plans in the past have been difficult to implement, asked what steps will be taken to assure implementation. Dr. Capilouto responded that it will be important to devise a plan that is within our capabilities, and also to include in the process a great many people who are committed to the changes involved.

  5. Capital Campaign

    Vice President Shirley Kahn reports that the $332m raised so far by the capital campaign is ahead of schedule toward a goal of $350m (the initial goal was $250m, which has been revised upward). $26.1m has been raised for endowed scholarships and fellowships, $43m for 52 new endowed chairs and professorships (bringing the total to 108), $34.3m for facilities, and $228.6m for program enhancement. One half of the gifts come from outside the Birmingham area, including a large portion from outside Alabama. Faculty and staff have contributed $9.8m and alumni $16m. Only one fifth of one percent of contributions (approximately $700,000) is unrestricted. UAB's campaign is extremely efficient, generating $16.66 for every dollar spent.

    Dr. Pamela Murray (History) asked whether there are plans for improving buildings on the west end of campus. Dr. Kahn responded that the university has been looking into the renovation of Ullman Building. The last estimate for renovations was $11m. Federal funds have been thought about as well as private funds.

    Dr. Steve Moser (Medicine) asked whether success in fundraising negatively affects legislative subsidies. Dr. Kahn responded that the university works on explaining to the legislature that most of the contributions to UAB are restricted and can't be used for normal operations.

    Dr. Alan Dobbins (Optometry) said, with respect to the success in getting funds from the Keck Foundation, which gives most of its money within California, that the key to getting money is convincing them that we are developing cutting-edge equipment. Dr. Kahn observed that another aspect of the success is developing personal relationships with administrators at the foundation.

    Dr. David Ku (Joint Health Sciences) asked who manages the money that come into the university as contributions. Dr. Kahn said that endowment money goes into the University of Alabama System pooled endowment. Dr. John Smith asked who manages the accounts and what the return on the endowments is. Mr. W. Sanders Murell (Assoc. VP, Alumni and Development) said that there are professional fund managers who are overseen by an investment committee of the UA Board of Trustees, and that the return on investment has averaged 10.5% over the last ten years (it had been higher but dropped over the past two years owing to the economic downturn). He also pointed out that there are restrictions on how state funds can be invested, as compared with private funds.

  6. Child Care Facility

    Senator Ellen Griffin (Lister Hill Library) presented the final report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Childcare Facilities. The report concludes that "While the UAB Child Care Center was certainly a step in the right direction at its inception six years ago, it is apparent that the facility is in need of upgrading and expansion in order to become even marginally adequate to meet the demand for quality affordable childcare among the University faculty, staff and student parents."

    Dr. Murray asked whether information on childcare is routinely given to students. Senator Griffin said that it is not given in a systematic way. Dr. Capilouto asked whether a site had been identified where a second center might be located. Senator Griffin said that there is no plan as yet.

  7. Yearly Evaluations

    Dr. John Smith (Joint Health Sciences; Senate President-Elect) reported on the procedures used in faculty evaluations in his department. The essential elements of the procedure are a focus on the letter of appointment, adherence to a fifteen-point teaching summary, face-to-face meetings with faculty, the setting of three to five specific goals for a faculty member to achieve, and tying increases to these factors. Both junior and senior faculty are evaluated annually.

  8. Bus Survey

    Dr. Steven Jones (Civil and Environmental Engineering) reported on a study of the feasibility of a bus system for the campus, carried out for the university as a senior design project. As part of the study a web survey was conducted, to which 850 out of 1,600 responded. Most respondents indicated that they would use a bus system if it existed.

  9. Re-Employment of UAB Retirees Policy - Second Consideration

    The Senate unanimously recommended to President Garrison the revised Policy Concerning the Re-employment of UAB Retirees (attached). The most significant revision is the requirement that "departments wishing to employ a UAB retiree must obtain prior written approval from the appropriate vice president, the Provost, or the CEO of the UAB Health System."

  10. Open Forum

    Dr. John Smith reported on the action of the UA Board of Trustees at Friday's Board meeting, at which UAB's President was appointed Chair of the Health System Board and the Dean of Medicine appointed Vice Chair. As a result, in reporting to the Chair of the Health System Board, the CEO of the UAB Health System will be reporting to UAB's President. Dr. David Ku asked whether this decision is final; Dr. Smith said that it is.

    Senator Susan Davies (Public Health) asked about the possibility, in the future, of coordinating UAB's spring break with AEA week. Dr. Heaven said that AEA week is not always in the middle of our term and that some think it's better to have the break in the middle of the term, and also that, since UAB plans its calendar before the public schools plan theirs, we are unable to determine whether they coincide. Dr. Capilouto said an additional difficulty is that the schools do not have a common calendar.

  11. Adjournment

    The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 a.m.


Theodore M. Benditt, Secretary of the Faculty

NOTE: Documents referred to in the text of the minutes 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.