Summary of the November 14, 2006 Faculty Senate Meeting



Chair Report


Chair Joe March ( reported on the following items:


1)      Faculty input related to classroom enhancements and remodeling was requested by Dr. Philip Way, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs, and Dr. Terry Tatum, Assistant Vice President for Information Technology.  Feedback may be submitted to Chair Joe March at


2)      Dr. Christine Curcio and Dr. Stephen Mennemeyer have volunteered to serve on the Human Subjects Advisory Committee for the UAB IRB accreditation process as representatives from the faculty senate.


3)      Request for the administration to better articulate the relationship between the scorecard goals and the various undergraduate initiatives.


4)      IDEA survey results have been received and will be distributed to administrators (complete report) and faculty (numeric summaries) within the next month.


5)      Guidelines for the UAB Faculty Development Grant Program are being reviewed for possible revisions and the call for proposals will go out in April 2007.


6)      Provost Eli Capilouto distributed a memorandum to the deans in support of using the IDEA survey for student evaluations of faculty teaching.  There was some discussion regarding the phrase “numeric student rating data should constitute no more than 30% of teaching effectiveness.”  The Provost recommended dropping the percentage and letting each unit decide how to distribute the metrics for teaching effectiveness.


7)      Suits for Success clothing drive sponsored by the UAB Commission on the Status of Women was held in early November and was very successful.


Chair March presented a draft resolution honoring the accomplishments and service of Dr. Rosalia “Rose” Scripa.  The resolution was approved by the senate.



President Report


President Carol Garrison announced the following items:


1)      Recent elections and possible impact on higher education.


2)      Ongoing efforts related to campus safety.


3)      Recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students and the role of faculty in the process.


4)      Success of mock trial team, soccer teams, and women’s cross country team.


5)      Highlights from the Board of Trustees meeting included new engineering programs, bond issue for higher education, and system collaboration.





Graduate School Initiatives Related to Faculty


Dr. Bryan Noe, Dean of the Graduate School, provided an overview of graduate school initiatives related to faculty including reactivation of the Graduate Council Advisory Committee, transition to an online system for applications and admissions, development of an online orientation for new students, revision of dissertation formatting requirements and electronic submission, expansion of English as a second language and responsible conduct of research education, standardization of student funding practices, development of best practices for graduate programs, and supplementary funding for graduate programs.


Best Practices for Faculty Annual Evaluations


Ms. Cheryl Locke, Chief Human Resources Officer, summarized the final report of the Faculty Evaluation Assessment Committee including the formation and charge of the committee, the timeline for the project, the process used to review faculty annual evaluations, and the observations and recommendations of the committee.


The presentation materials are available on the senate page under presentations at 



Curriculum and Research Committee Report


Chair Nasim Uddin ( reported that the committee is reviewing the guidelines for the faculty development grant program.  Recommendations made included provision to support seed money for multidisciplinary proposals and bringing accountability into the process by requiring investigators to do a presentation.  The committee is discussing metrics for teaching effectiveness in response to a concern raised by the Provost regarding the use of the phrase “numeric student rating data should constitute no more than 30% of teaching effectiveness.”  It was mentioned that the 30% was suggested by the IDEA representative during the pilot survey presentation.  Recommendations for the other 70% included teacher portfolios, external peer review of course materials, and internal peer review of teaching.  Feedback related to these items may be submitted to Chair Nasim Uddin.



Faculty Affairs Committee Report


Chair Mark Lockhart ( reported that the results from the IDEA administrator surveys have been received.  The complete reports will be distributed to the administrators with two weeks for review and then the numeric summaries will be distributed to the faculty.


Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee Report


Senate Chair-Elect Pat Greenup ( reported on items from the last meeting.  The revisions to the annual evaluations section of the faculty handbook were discussed and tabled until after the best practices presentation by Cheryl Locke at the November senate meeting.  The development of the guiding principles with input from faculty and the content for inclusion in the handbook will be discussed at future meetings.  The faculty handbook is being reviewed and items discussed included the definition of immediate family and the updating and tracking process and how faculty are made aware of changes.  The current handbook is online at  The recommendations for the family friendly policies will be presented and discussed at the next FPPC meeting.



University-wide Committee Reports


Senate Representative to the UAB Athletic Advisory Committee William Cockerham ( reported on items from the last meeting including academic advising for athletes, proposed upgrades to the athletic facilities, and several new coaching hires.


Senate Representative to the UAB Campus Planning Committee Jonathan Harwell ( reported on his informational meeting with Ms. Sheila Chaffin, Executive Director for Campus Planning and Facilities Programming.  The campus master plan was presented and a new plan will not be developed for the next five year cycle since no major changes are anticipated.  He mentioned that the faculty senate can have two representatives in addition to the senate chair as specified in the operating rules of the committee and that there does not appear to be a mechanism in place for faculty input related to campus planning. 





Suggestions for presentations at future senate meetings may be submitted to Chair Joe March at





UAB Faculty Senate –



Secretary Jennifer Long submits this draft summary of the minutes and a more complete record will appear on the senate page after approval at the December senate meeting.