The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) provides leadership for the Senate. The Senate Executive Committee is composed of:

  • Four officers (Chair, Chair-Elect, Past-Chair and Associate Chair)
  • Six Standing Committee Chairs (Curriculum, Research, Faculty Development, Finance, Governance & Operations, Policies & Procedures)
  • Two Senators-at-Large
  • Chair of the Undergraduate Committee (ex-officio)
  • Chair of the Graduate Curriculum Committee (ex-officio)
  • Senate Parliamentarian (ex-officio)
  • Faculty Ombudsperson (ex-officio)

The Senate Executive Committee can make representation in its own name about any matter within the scope of the senate’s responsibilities and functions when, in the committee’s judgment, circumstances require action before it is possible to convene a meeting of the senate.  In such instances, the committee will be guided by its best judgment regarding the intention of the senate.

The Senate Executive Committee serves in an advisory role to senate standing committees.  Senate standing committees should make reports to the Chair of the Senate at least five days prior to the next meeting of the Senate Executive Committee.

The FSEC also meets once a month with the UAB President and Provost to discuss the needs and responsibilities of the faculty and to provide advice to the President and Provost.

Chair of Faculty Senate
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mike WyssJ. Michael Wyss, PhD, is Professor Cell Biology, Medicine, Neurobiology and Psychology and Director, Center for Community Outreach Development (CORD). He received a Ph.D. in neurobiology from Washington University in St. Louis in 1976. During his postdoctoral studies at Washington University School of Medicine he applied cell biological methods to elucidate the role of the limbic cortex in behavior and autonomic control, and has continued to expand this research at Birmingham (1979-present). Other studies are testing the mechanisms by which a decrease in norepinephrine release in the anterior hypothalamic nucleus leads to of salt-sensitive hypertension.

As Director of CORD, he leads many of UAB's K-12 research and outreach programs to area K-12 students. He is Chair of the UAB Conflict of Interest Review Board. Dr. Wyss has served as Chair of the UAB Faculty Senate and has served on the FPPC since 2011.

Chair-Elect of Faculty Senate and Chair of Finance Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.

Jamey WorrellJames L “Jamey” Worrell, PhD, CPA, CISA, CIA is an Associate Professor of Accounting in the Collat School of Business. He holds a BS (Accounting), M.Acc. (Accounting Information Systems) and Ph.D. (Business Administration: Management Information Systems) from Florida State University and has been on faculty at UAB since 2008. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, focusing primarily on accounting information systems, internal auditing, information technology auditing, and information technology governance. His current research interests include ES/ERP post-implementation alignment, information technology governance, and the intersection of auditing and information systems. In the Collat School of Business, he has served as the Director of Undergraduate Accounting Program, Accounting AACSB Accreditation Coordinator and recently completed two terms as Chair of the CSOB Faculty Affairs Committee. In the professional community, he has served on the Board of the Birmingham Chapter of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) since 2009, and finished his second term as Chapter President in 2016. Prior to pursuing his doctorate, he worked as a Senior Auditor for the Florida Department of Transportation, IT Internal Audit Manager for a Fortune 1000 financial services firm and was a Senior Consultant for “Big 4” public accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Operational Systems Risk Management group. He was elected to the Faculty Senate in 2014 and served on a variety of university and Faculty Senate committees and task forces.

Past-Chair of Faculty Senate
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.

John MayerJohn C. Mayer, PhD, joined the mathematics faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984 and is currently professor and associate chair of mathematics. He is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College (BS-1967-ΦΒΚ) and the University of Florida (PhD-1982), and completed post-doctoral studies in topology at the University of Saskatchewan (1982-84). His research interests are in topology and discrete dynamical systems. His most cited research article is “A Topological Characterization of R-trees” but his favorite research article is “An explosion point for the set of endpoints of the Julia set of λ exp(z).” He is a winner of the George Polya Award (1989) of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) for an outstanding expository paper, the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (1997), and the MAA Southeastern Section Distinguished Service award (2014). He has six graduated PhD students in mathematics, and also works closely with members of the faculty of education at UAB. He is principal investigator (PI) of the Greater Birmingham Mathematics Partnership, which has received National Science Foundation funding, and in which UAB, Birmingham-Southern College, and nine school districts in the Birmingham area have been partners. He is currently Co-Director of UABTeach, a new program started in Fall 2014 for the education of future high school teachers of science, mathematics, and engineering.

Dr. Mayer was on the committee that drafted the current constitution of the UAB Faculty in 1994-95, and has served on the Faculty Senate from time to time, most recently as a CAS Senator, chair of the Curriculum Committee, and chair of the Academic Programs Review Committee, 2012-2014, as Chair-Elect and member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee in 2015-2016, and as Chair of the Faculty for 2016-2017.

Associate Chair of Faculty Senate
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.

Ria HearldKristine Ria Hearld, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Health Services Administration. Her educational background includes Masters of Philosophy degree from University of Cambridge, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining UAB, Ria worked for Medical Advantage Group in East Lansing, Michigan, where she served as a consultant and manager for a 200-member independent physician association and a 140-member physician-hospital organization. Her primary research has focused on health care of vulnerable populations, global health, maternal and child health, health disparities, and mental health outcomes. Ria's research has benefited from sociological and economic perspectives gained through training in an interdisciplinary program, and from six years of experience working in the private sector as a consultant to physicians associated with hospital systems.

Parliamentarian of Faculty Senate
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., MLIS, AHIP

patricia bakerPat Higginbottom, MLIS, AHIP is an associate professor and serves as associate director for public services at the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences. She received her master’s degree in library and information sciences from the University of Alabama in 1993 and has been at LHL since then, serving in a variety of positions. She is a distinguished member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals and participated in the UAB BLAZE Leadership program in 2010/11.

Higginbottom served on the UAB Faculty Senate when it was initially formed in 1995, again from 2006 until 2008, and served as Secretary of the Senate from 2012-2014. She has served on all of the standing committees at one time or another and was chair of the Governance and Operations Committee from 2006 until 2008.

Chair of Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee (FPPC)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., DMD

Dan GivanDr. Daniel Givan is a Professor of Restorative Sciences at the University of Alabama School of Dentistry and serves as Associate Chair for the Department, Division Head of Prosthodontics, and as the Assistant Director of the Graduate Prosthodontics Residency. He is actively involved in clinical prosthodontics and has lectured nationally and internationally with emphasis in occlusion, implantology, and digital dentistry. Dr. Givan received his dental degree from the University of Mississippi in 1992 and afterwards completed a general practice residency and a specialty residency in Prosthodontics. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and has earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering with emphasis in dental materials. He is actively involved in both clinical research and applications of technology to dentistry. Dr. Givan maintains an active faculty practice limited to prosthodontics and is a member of numerous professional organizations including International Association for Dental Research, the American College of Prosthodontists, Academy of Osseointegration, and the American Dental Association.

Dr. Givan has served multiple terms on the Faculty Senate numerous time and has actively served on the FPPC since 2013.

Chair of Curriculum Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.

Lee MoradiLee Moradi, PhD, is a Professor in the School of Engineering (SoE), Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is also the Director of Engineering & Innovative Technology Development (EITD) at UAB SoE. He received a B.S., M.S., and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and has accumulated 40 years of experience in engineering design of complex structures and aerospace hardware. Through the EITD organization, Dr. Moradi manages multi-million dollar projects for NASA in support of their cold stowage requirements on the International Space Station. He is responsible for the administrative and technical management of a multi-discipline Division of 40 engineers and technicians. Dr. Moradi has extensive industry experience in the commercial, nuclear, DoD, and space industries.

Within academia, Dr. Moradi collaborates with various PI’s at UAB, nationally, and with NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). His collaborations extend to Southern Research (SR) and DoE with regards to the on real-time sensor development to detect toxic metals in discharge water from coal power plants, UAB Hospital and School of Medicine for development of novel medical devices, the UAB Lakeshore Foundation for development of rehabilitations devices, Aldridge Gardens for development of enhanced methods of food sources, and other UAB schools and departments for various device development. Dr. Moradi serves on the thesis and dissertation committees of several UAB students spanning across SoE Departments as well as other schools at UAB, i.e. School of Optometry.

In the area of Shared Governance and the UAB Core Values, Dr. Moradi currently serves as a Faculty Senator and the Liaison for SoE and serves as the Chair of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee. He also serves on the Culture of Safety Taskforce which is preparing a uniform policy across the UAB campus for laboratory safety requirements and reports directly to the VP of Research. Previously, Dr. Moradi has also served on the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee and the Career Ladder Committee . In these capacities, Dr. Moradi’s reach is campus wide and promotes UAB’s vision.

Chair of Research Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.

Tapan Mehta...

Chair of Faculty Development Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.
Senator, CAS (2015-present)
Faculty Senate Liaison for College of Arts and Sciences (2015-present)
Chair, Faculty Development Committee (2015-present)
Member, Faculty Senate Executive Committee (2015-present)
Liaison, Committee on Academic Advising (2015-present)

Mike SloaneMike Sloane is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology (CAS) and since 2004 has served as Director of the University Honors Program, UAB’s flagship honors program founded in 1983. Born and raised in Ireland, he received a BA and MA in Psychology from University College Dublin; a Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom from the Goethe Institut (Ireland) and Ludwig- Maximillians Universitat in Munich, Germany; and a Diploma in Statistics from Trinity College Dublin. Mike completed his doctoral work at the Cresap Neuroscience Laboratory of Northwestern University, where he played club rugby in the Big Ten conference. He joined the UAB Dept. of Psychology as an Assistant Professor in September 1982 at the ripe age of 25. He directed the departmental Honors Program for over 12 years, served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, and was the first Vice Chair of the department. In the mid 1980s he launched the Psychology Club, facilitated the development of UAB's chapter of Psi Chi, and organized the annual Southeastern Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference, which ran for 21 years. He was also instrumental in instigating and funding the department's annual John W.P. Ost Undergraduate Research Competition, now in its 30th year. Mike directed the cognitive science minor and the doctoral program in cognitive science. He was awarded ‘Outstanding Teacher in the UAB Honors Program’ in 2000 and was awarded the President’s Teaching Award in 2007 as well as being UAB’s nominee for the ‘Professor of the Year’ to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

A leader in honors education at the nation al level, Mike has served as President of the Southern Regional Honors Council, hosted an SRHC annual conference here in Birmingham in 2008, and was twice elected to the Board of Directors of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the professional organization for all honors programs and colleges with over 900 member institutions. Mike has served on the NCHC’s Conference Planning Committee for many years and has chaired the student posters competition since 2011. The NCHC established the Sloane Prize in Undergraduate Research (S.P.U.R.) given to student winners in each of ten categories. Mike has co-chaired the NCHC’s Research Committee with Dr. Marca Wolfensberger (University of Utrecht) and is active in NCHC’s Beginning in Honors training institutes for new honors directors and deans.

Mike was elected as CAS senator in 2015 and re-elected in 2017 and has served as the CAS Liaison throughout this tenure. He was instrumental in launching the CAS Faculty Senate Caucus and served as its chair in the first year of its existence. He was the inaugural Chair of the newly-formed Faculty Development Committee and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2015. He has served as a liaison for the Committee on Academic Advising since 2015. In 2016, Mike received the “Outstanding New Faculty Senate Member.”

Chair of Governance and Operations Committee 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.

Yabing ChenYabing Chen, PhD is Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pathology as well as Principal Investigator at the Birmingham VA Medical Research Division.  Since joined the faculty of Department of Pathology at UAB in June 2004, Dr. Chen's research focusing on molecular mechanism of pathogenesis of cardiovascular and cancer has been continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Veteran's Affair Research Department.  She serves as an editorial board member for two top cardiovascular journals, Circulation Research, and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, as well as the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Dr. Chen is a Fellow of the American Heart AHA and vice-chair of the ATVB Committee on Scientific Sessions Program of the AHA. Dr. Chen has served on several review panels for the NIH and AHA as an Ad Hoc reviewer in the past few years, and she is currently a regular member of the NIH Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology study section. Dr. Chen was elected as a faculty senator for the JHS in 2014,  she is currently the chair of the Governance and Operations Committee.

Chair of the Graduate Curriculum Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., PhD

Karolina Mukhtar. Dr. Karolina Mukhtar is a broadly trained molecular plant biologist with over fifteen years of experience studying various aspects of plant-microbe interactions using genetic and biochemical approaches. After obtaining her Biology degree she worked as a teaching assistant for Cell Biology and then became an IMPRS doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute. Her dissertation described the quantitative basis of plant resistance to two deadly phytopathogens. She graduated summa cum laude and was nominated for the Otto Hahn Medal, the highest academic honor for young scientists awarded by the Max-Planck Society.

Subsequently Karolina conducted post-doc research in the laboratory of Dr. Xinnian Dong (a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator) at Duke University, where she studied the molecular basis of plant immunity to a bacterial phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Her work was focused on transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of plant immunity as well as pathogen-triggered manipulation of plant hormone signaling. This work uncovered the existence of a previously unknown transcriptional growth-to-defense molecular switch in plants; the research resulted in a number of publications in high impact journals including Science, Current Biology, the EMBO Journal, and Genes and Development.

Karolina joined UAB in 2010 as Assistant Professor, and was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. Research in Karolina’s lab at UAB focuses on the interface between the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and several of its most devastating pathogens, including fungi and bacteria. At the center of her research program is the Unfolded Protein Response. Karolina is also highly committed to teaching at K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Since 2017, she is the Associate Director of Biology Graduate Program. In 2013, she was named one of the 11 inaugural UAB Faculty Fellows in Service Learning. In addition, she pursues a very active educational outreach program directed to K-12 teachers and students funded through her NSF-CAREER award and in the framework of the UAB-CORD and ASIM/AMSTI programs. Karolina is also implementing sustainability in her classroom curricula through her participation in the UAB Red Mountain Project.

Karolina puts a special emphasis on development and implementation of instructional strategies for teaching students with various learning disabilities. In Spring 2015, Karolina was named the Outstanding Faculty Mentor by the Office of Disability Support Services.

Karolina was elected to UAB Senate in 2015 and re-elected in 2017. She has also been serving as CAS Caucus Chair since 2016. She joined the Faculty Senate Executive Committee in 2018.

Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., PhD

Susan SpezziniSusan Spezzini, PhD, is Associate Professor of English Learner Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, School of Education.

Dr. Spezzini is Program Director of Secondary Education and K-12 Single Subject teaching fields and also Principal Investigator for professional development grants from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). She holds an undergraduate degree in Linguistics from the University of California in San Diego, a master's degree in teaching German from the University of California Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (English as a Second Language) from the University of Alabama.

In her research agenda, she examines the preparation of educators for effectively serving English learners and has coupled this with her career interest in issues related to English learner pronunciation. In a recent study, Dr. Spezzini and her colleagues examined the impact of the ESL program’s National Professional Development grants. In another study, they are examining the oral English proficiency of non-native English speakers pursuing graduate degrees in education and factors related to their identity and perceptions of self-efficacy as teachers. In earlier studies, they examined how mainstream teachers learn to implement ESL Best Practices and how they help their colleagues through collaborative mentoring.

Dr. Spezzini teaches EESL 625 "Phonology for Second Language Teachers" in the master's degree program for teaching ESL and world languages, EDC 732 "Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Instruction" for the EdS in ESL and secondary education, and EDC 760 "Engaging Glocal Communities" in the Educational Studies in Diverse Populations PhD program. She has given presentations at over 80 conferences (in 20 states and 5 countries) and have conducted professional development workshops for over 4,000 educators in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi as well as Nicaragua, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., MLIS

Jill DeaverJill Deaver is an Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian for UAB Libraries, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences. She holds Bachelor’s (2003) and Master’s (2008) degrees in English and Writing from the University of Montevallo, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences (2013) from the University of Alabama. Jill joined UAB in 2013 and has served as library liaison to the UAB School of Nursing (2013-2016) and the UAB School of Medicine (2016-present). Her library lectures focus on evidence-based practice and research methodology, critical appraisal, citation management, and information dissemination. Jill has held an adjunct appointment with UAB’s School of Nursing, co-teaching NUR 701: Writing for Publication (May 2015-August 2017). Prior to UAB, she was Coordinator of Interlibrary Loan Services for the University of Montevallo’s Carmichael Library (2011-2013), and taught Freshman English Composition at Jefferson State Community College (Fall 2009) and the University of Montevallo (2009-2011). She is a member of the Medical Library Association (MLA), including MLA’s Southern Chapter, and the Alabama Health Libraries Association (ALHeLA). Jill has served two terms on the UAB Faculty Senate from 2014-2018. She has served on the Curriculum Committee, Governance and Operations Committees, Library Advisory Committee, and the Graduate Curriculum Committee.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ph.D.

helZdenek Hel is a tenured Associate Professor at the Department of Pathology and Department of Microbiology at UAB and a senior researcher at the Center for AIDS Research, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and several other research centers. His research interests include HIV-1 immunology, transmission, pathogenesis, vaccine design, cancer immunology, and immune therapy. Immunology is his passion, with a deep interest and current work regarding the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection and mechanisms of HIV-1 transmission. Dr. Hel obtained a M.Sc. degree (honors) at Charles University, Prague, a Ph.D. degree in experimental medicine (honors) at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. He joined the UAB faculty in 2003 to take advantage of the UAB Center for AIDS Research and to develop relationships with scientists who were interested in developing translational research. Dr. Hel has a long-standing interest in understanding the pathogenic and immunological mechanisms of HIV-1 infection and in the search for strategies that may help treat or prevent HIV-1/AIDS. Nationally, he serves as ad hoc member on multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Sections and on the Research Evaluation and Decision Panel of the AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR). Internationally, Dr. Hel serves on the Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research Committee of the International AIDS Society, as an evaluator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Scholarship, as a consultant for World Health Organization (WHO), USAID, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as an ad hoc member of grant evaluation committees of the Ministry of Education of Czech Republic, Czech Science Foundation, and South African Medical Research Council. Dr. Hel has participated in the organization of multiple clinical trials.

Dr. Hel has served on the Faculty Senate as an Alternate-Senator in the 2010-2012 term, as a Senator in the 2012-2014 term, and is currently serving as an Alternate-Senator in the 2016-2018 term. Dr. Hel is serving as a Senator-at-Large on the Faculty Senate Executive committee for 2016-2017.