Senate Minutes 2/03

University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Faculty Senate

Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting of 11 February 2003


355 Business-Engineering Complex


Officers: Dr. Tim Heaven (Chair), Dr. John A. Smith (Chair-Elect), Dr. Marcus Hickson III (Past Chair), Dr. Theodore Benditt (Secretary), Dr. Eli Capilouto (Provost)

Senators: Dr. Peter G. Anderson, Mr. Craig W. Beard, Dr. Edwin Brown, Dr. James Davidson, Dr. Susan L. Davies, Dr. Evangelos Eleftherious, Dr. Jeffrey A. Engler, Dr. Daniel a. Givan, Ms. Ellen M. Griffin, Dr. Jeanne S. Hutchison, Dr. Timothy W. Kraft, Dr. Jack E. Lemons, Dr. George O. Liber, Dr. Warren S. Martin, Dr. Jiri Mestecky, Dr. Stephen A. Moser, Dr. Beverly A. Mulvihill, Dr. William K. Ogard, Dr. Ken B. Waites, Dr. Bettye G. Wilson

Alternate Senators: Dr. Madelyn Coar, Dr. Charles N. Falany, Dr. David D. Ku, Dr. Debra E. Laken, Dr. Mark E. Lockhart, Dr. Jacqueline Moss, Dr. Pamela S. Murray, Dr. Jay A. Smith, Dr. Joseph Telfair, Dr. Penelope S. Wright

Guests: Ms. Reba Belcher, Mr. David Fine, Dr. Pat Greenup, Tennant McWilliams, Mr. Anthony Patterson, Dr. John M. Schnorrenberg, Dr. Rose Scripa, Terry Tatum


  1. Call to Order

    The chair called the meeting to order at 7:30 a.m.

  2. Recognition of Visitors

    Ms. Reba Belcher, Mr. David Fine

  3. Adoption of Minutes of January 14, 2003

    The minutes of the meeting of January 14, 2003 were approved as distributed.

  4. Strategic Plan Introduction.

    President Carol Garrison presented a draft of UAB's "Plan for the Future," the strategic plan that is being developed. President Garrison emphasized that the plan is a work in progress that has undergone several alterations as result of 48 interviews, nine focus groups, and 154 completed questionnaires. The process of developing the plan will continue with town hall meetings (scheduled for Feb. 11, 18, and 20) and meetings with members of the community and with business leaders.

    She said that the plan is available on UAB's website ( and that input is solicited.

    Dr. Garrison identified UAB's five goals (undergraduate education, graduate and professional education, research and scholarship, service to community and state, and community/financial support) and presented drafts of vision and mission statements. She then went through the objectives associated with each goal and the "scorecards," as so far developed, associated with the goals. The scorecards will be publicly available and will give yearly snapshots of our success in meeting goals and objectives. Dr. Garrison said also that UAB is developing a list of peer institutions with which it can regularly compare itself.

    Dr. Mark Hickson (A&H; Past-Chair) asked whether all units will be expected to show the same levels of improvement-that is, whether units that are already excelling in areas identified on the scorecards will be expected to produce the same percentage increases as units that have not excelled in the past. Dr. Garrison answered that past accomplishment will be taken into account in setting goals.

    Dr. Jay Smith (Business) asked whether resources will follow goals. Dr. Garrison said that they would, in two ways: First, some investments will precede the fulfillment of goals-for example, investment in technology needed to pursue UAB's goals. Second, rewards will follow the achievement of goals.

    Dr. Jack Lemons (Dentistry) said that there have been many planning processes in the past that have produced good ideas that were not acted on, and asked whether we can expect follow-through with regard to the plan that is adopted in this cycle. Dr. Garrison answered that the scorecard approach makes it clear what has been achieved and helps with implementation. A critical aspect of implementation, or follow-through, is making progress (or lack of it) visible.

    Dr. Beverly Mulvihill (Public Health) said that there is inadequate attention, in the draft plan, to ways in which UAB will help improve the State of Alabama. Dr. Garrison said that this is very important and that if it is not clear in the plan it must be made clear. She asked for input as to how we can measure the fulfillment of goals as they apply to the state, measures relating to economic impact or graduates working in critical areas.

    Dr. Madelyn Coar (Dentistry) asked whether the scorecards will be shared. Dr. Garrison said they will be on UAB's website so that anyone can check on our progress.

    Dr. Hickson noted that there is nothing in the plan having to do with UAB's relationship with the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. He noted that in the past UAB has been caught by surprise by a Board action affecting UAB and said that we must maintain a relationship that avoids such occurrences. Dr. Garrison said that she agrees about the importance of our relations with the Board.

    However, as far as the strategic plan is concerned, it is about measuring the university's outcomes, whereas the relationship with the Board is an enabling activity. She said that our relationship with the Board is excellent at present and that the Board is excited about what is happening at UAB.

  5. The Health System.

    Dr. David Fine, CEO of the UAB Health System, gave a presentation on the health system, including its history, structure, role, and finances. UABHS is a fifty-fifty, not-for-profit partnership of the University of Alabama System and Health Services Foundation, with each party maintaining ownership of its own assets. UAB's President now serves as Chair of the UAB Health System Board of Directors.

    In its scale of operations, at $1.7b in total assets and $40m in net income, UABHS ranks in the top 100 health systems in the U.S. Dr. Fine presented the FY2002 and projected FY 2003 budgets:

    FY 2002 FY 2003 (projected)
    Total assets $1.6B $1.7B
    Total income $1.2B $1.3B
    Net income $40.5m $57m
    Margin 3.5% 4.4%
    FTE employees 7,988 11,318

    The Health System gives considerable support to the university's academic programs, primarily in the School of Medicine. A considerable part of its resources, from income, philanthropy, and debt, is committed to the construction of the North Pavilion, which will add 887,000 square feet of space (the Health System, at approximately 3m heated and air conditioned square feet, now has one half of the space at UAB).

    Dr. Fine also reported on the number of enrolled lives in VIVA: There are at present 49,111 enrolled lives, of which 50.1% are at UAB, as follows: VIVA-UAB: 12,009; UAB Graduate School: 2,954; VIVA Health (UAB only): 8,207; VIVA Health (HSF): 1,424.

    Dr. Lemons asked whether competition from the digital hospital being built by HealthSouth will be competition for UAB's hospital. Dr. Fine said that by the time that hospital opens, many institutions in the Birmingham area will have achieved the same level of digital capability.

  6. Social and Behavioral Science Research.

    Dean Tennant McWilliams (History; S&BS) gave an overview of research in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He emphasized that the school has a substantial commitment to undergraduate teaching (40%-60% of faculty effort and a steadily increasing number of majors) and that its activities and accomplishments must be viewed in that light. Dr. McWilliams highlighted the publication of books and peer-reviewed articles in the school as well as the increasing amounts of extramural funding secured by faculty, particularly in the Department of Psychology.

  7. Curriculum and Research Committee Report.

    Owing to lack of time, this report is postponed until the next meeting.

  8. Sick Leave Policy.

    Owing to lack of time, this report is postponed until the next meeting.

  9. State Revenue Forecast.

    Owing to lack of time, this report is postponed until the next meeting.

  10. Open Forum

    No time remained for open forum.

  11. Adjournment

    The meeting was adjourned at 9:39 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.