Summary of the December 12, 2006 Faculty Senate Meeting



Chair Report


Chair Joe March ( reported on the following items:


1)      Dr. Claire Peel has been appointed Interim Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs. A search will be conducted in the future to fill this position permanently.


2)      The senate has requested more representation on the Undergraduate Programs Council.


3)      The Academic Programs Council has recommended changes to the undergraduate admission requirements.


4)      Human Resource Management has implemented a new job applicant tracking and talent management system (BrassRing).


5)      The Provost has solicited advice from the Deans and the Senate Chair regarding possible changes in the way that scholarship money is distributed.



President Report


President Carol Garrison reported on the following items:

1)      Construction progress for the new academic building, women and infants center, and radiation oncology facility.


2)      Meeting last week with senior reporters and editorial staff from the Birmingham News to discuss the west side of campus.


3)      Recruitment progress for a Director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.


4)      Strategic planning for the School of Medicine.


5)      Report from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education that gives the state a failing grade for the affordability of its colleges and universities and the fact that tuition did not increase at UAB.



Curriculum and Research Committee Report


Chair Nasim Uddin ( reported that the committee has revised the guidelines for the UAB Faculty Development Grant Program to address multidisciplinary applications and presentation requirements. The committee has also identified best practices for documenting teaching effectiveness. Both of these items will be presented at future senate meetings. He also reported that the committee will be discussing the recommendations from the UAB representatives who attended the ACRL/ARL Institute on Scholarly Communication. He mentioned changes to the Undergraduate Programs Council including each school will now have three representatives and a new subcommittee on instructional environment and classroom renovation has been proposed.



Faculty Affairs Committee Report


Chair Mark Lockhart ( reported that the numeric summaries for the administrator surveys have not yet been released to faculty due to concerns from administrators related to the need to distribute the numeric summaries and the distribution method. A committee composed of representatives from the faculty senate, academic programs council, faculty development and affairs, and human resource management has been formed to further explore this issue. The committee met earlier this week to discuss what should be done with the numbers and how could the process be improved. At the meeting, a compromise was reached in which the senate will release the numeric summaries to faculty as promised for this cycle but will not distribute the information electronically. A possible distribution method is to make the information available through the libraries and/or the senate office and have faculty present their UAB ID to obtain a print copy of the report(s). The details are still being worked out by the committee, but it is anticipated that the numeric summaries will be made available to faculty before the January senate meeting.



Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee Report


Senate Chair-Elect Pat Greenup ( reported on subcommittee work related to family friendly policies, student intellectual property, and annual faculty evaluations. It is anticipated that the recommendations for revisions to the faculty handbook related to family friendly policies will be approved at the next FPPC meeting and be forwarded to the senate. She mentioned that it is important that faculty be able to rely on the handbook, that there be a uniform process, and that the handbook does not contradict university policy. (Academic unit handbooks may be more restrictive with the interpretation of policy, but there can be no contradictions.) She also mentioned that a copy of the online faculty handbook will be printed at the end of each calendar year by the Office of the Provost and submitted to the libraries for archival purposes and that a request has been submitted to the Office of Planning and Analysis for them to create a summary of the copyright policy to be included in student handbooks.



Finance Committee Report


Chair Michael Humber ( reported that the committee has finished comparing educational assistance for employees and their families at UAB to other institutions that are part of the Southern University Group (SUG). The committee recommended that no changes be made to the current educational assistance provided by UAB since it is comparable to other institutions.





University-wide Committee Reports


Senate Representative to the UAB Athletic Advisory Committee William Cockerham ( reported on the search for a new head football coach and encouraged faculty to support the basketball team by attending games.



Open Forum


Chair Joe March distributed note cards to the senators and asked them to identify the three most pressing issues for UAB. Senators then presented their issues and provided suggestions for how the senate could address them. Some of the issues mentioned were space allocation, campus security, funding, diversity, non-tenured faculty status, money to attract and retain graduate students, manpower and infrastructure to implement and evaluate the various initiatives, processing of grants and contracts on the west side of campus, learning the rules and regulations for getting things done at UAB, student preparedness, transparency in the administrator evaluation process, and salaries. Feedback and/or other issues may be submitted to Chair Joe March at





Ms. Valerie Gribben announced that the Barnes and Noble bookstores located at the Summit and Patton Creek have agreed to work with Healing Words by giving 10 to 20 percent of sales to the organization when shoppers request a voucher for the Healing Words Book Fair between now and December 18, 2006. Healing Words is a volunteer organization of UAB students that promotes the use of literature in the healing process of patients through reading aloud to them.


The next senate meeting is January 9, 2007 in the Hill University Center Great Hall, the next FSEC meeting is December 20, 2006, the next FSEC meeting with the President and Provost is January 2, 2007, and the next FPPC meeting is December 15, 2006.


Nominations for Senate Chair-Elect and Secretary are due on February 2, 2007 and nominations for Senators and FPPC Representatives are due on February 23, 2007.



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 January senate meeting.