Summary of Senate Meeting, November 12, 2002

Issues relating to planning. Dr. Eli Capilouto (Acting Provost) discussed a strategic planning process that is designed to guide UAB’s internal reallocation of resources and to prepare for re-accreditation by SACS. President Garrison and the Acting Provost have begun meeting with deans of the schools and 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. With regard to re-accreditation, 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 highlighting feedback loops to enhance achievement of goals, especially student learning.

Dr. Capilouto said that a firm (Vantage Associates) has been contracted to serve as outside facilitator and that the process of conducting confidential interviews in many constituencies has begun. The timetable is [Stephanie is getting this for me] In response to a question noting that many plans in the past have been difficult to implement, Dr. Capilouto said that it is 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.

Capital Campaign. Vice President Shirley Kahn reports that the $332m raised so far by the capital campaign is ahead of schedule toward its goal of $350m. $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 half of one percent of contributions is unrestricted. UAB’s campaign is extremely efficient, generating $16.66 for every dollar spent. In response to a question Dr. Kahn indicated that the university is trying to identify finds to improve buildings on the west end of campus; Ullman Building was mentioned specifically).

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.

Childcare Facility. Ellen Griffin (Lister Hill Library) presented the final report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Childcare Facilities. The report concludes that the center is operating at capacity and needs to be upgraded and expanded.

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.

Re-employment of UAB Retirees. The Senate recommended to President Garrison the revised policy on re-employment of retirees.

For a more complete report see the Senate website: www.uab.edu/fsenate/home.html