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 two 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., Ph.D.


Jamey WorrellJames L “Jamey” Worrell, Ph.D., 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 university-wide task forces since 2014.


Chair-elect 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 a Masters of Philosophy degree from the 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.

Dr. Hearld started her Senate service in 2014. She served as a Senator on Faculty Affairs Committee and the Senate Liaison for the School of Health Professions. She also served as a Faculty Senate Representative on committees including the VP for Enrollment Management Search Committee, Title IX Policies & Resources Review Team, Executive Director Procurement Search Committee, and the Ombuds Search Committee. She served as an Associate Chair of the Faculty Senate from 2015 to 2018. Currently she serves as the Chair Elect of the Faculty Senate.


Past-Chair of Faculty Senate
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Ph.D.

Mike WyssJ. Michael Wyss, Ph.D., 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 in 2017-2018 and has served on the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee since 2011.


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

claudio busettiniClaudio Busettini, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Optometry. Dr. Busettini holds a Dr. in Engineering degree (electronic engineering), a Ph.D. degree (bioengineering) and a 2-year specialization in clinical engineering, all from the University of Trieste, Italy. His teaching at the professional and graduate levels and his research are focused on eye movements in humans and non-human primates. After 6 years in the laboratory of Dr. Fred Miles at the Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, he joined the School of Optometry at UAB in 1997 as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Lawrence Mays. He gradually moved through the ranks to the current position of tenured Associate Professor. His main research focus in monkeys is on how eye movements are programmed in complex 3-D environments and the mechanism that maintain binocular alignment, which failure causes strabismus. In humans, the use of eye movements as diagnostic tools for various neurological conditions, including a concussion and cerebral palsy.

Dr. Busettini served on the UAB Faculty Senate from 2002 to 2004 and then again from 2014. He has been a member of the Faculty Policies and Procedures since 2014, currently serve as vice-chair. He is also serving as Associate Chair of the Senate. As University-wide committees, Dr. Busettini focus is on safety and he is a member of the University Safety Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee and the Chemical Safety and Environmental Management Committee.


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

For biosketch, see "Past-Chair" section above.


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 an emphasis in occlusion, implantology, and digital dentistry. Dr. Givan received his dental degree from the University of Mississippi in 1992 and afterward 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 an emphasis on 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.

peter bellisPeter J. Bellis is a Professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences. He holds a BA from Amherst College, an MA from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MA and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. His teaching and research specialty is American literature. He has published books and articles on Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman, and Thoreau, and his current work focuses on literary representation and urban space.

From 1984 to 2007, he was a member of the Department of English at the University of Miami. Since 2016, he has served as a Faculty Senator from CAS and a member of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee and as the Faculty Senate representative on the Bookstore Committee. He currently serve as the Chair of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee.


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

Tapan MehtaDr. Mehta's faculty bio sketch can be viewed here. Dr. Mehta started his intermittent Senate service in 2015. He served as a Faculty Senate Representative on committees such as a IT Faculty Consulting Group with Dr. Curt Carver, IT Strategic Advisory Committee and Process Improvement Task Force, and Research Council University Wide committee. He is currently serve as a Chair of the Research Committee.






Chair of Finance Committee
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Ph.D.

a zajacAllan Zajac, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Microbiology. He completed his undergraduate studies in microbiology and virology at the University of Warwick, England (B.Sc with honors, 1991). In 1991, he moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he conducted doctoral studies on anti-viral cellular immunity. After completion of his graduate work in 1996, he continued to pursue his interest in viral immunology as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell postdoctoral fellow at Emory University. Allan joined the Department of Microbiology as an assistant professor in 1999. His current major research interests are defining how the immune response protects against pathogens and understanding why these responses fail to contain chronic infections. Allan was elected to the Faculty Senate in 2016 and currently serves as chair of the finance committee.


Chair of Faculty Development Committee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., JR., OD
felton perryI am an Alabama native and have lived in Birmingham almost my entire life. Educated in the Birmingham and Fairfield City Schools, I received my BA Degree in biology, from Birmingham Southern College. I was accepted into the 2nd Class of the newly formed UAB School of Optometry. Through undergraduate and graduate school, I worked as a surgical technician (“scrub nurse”) at Lloyd Noland Hospital. I received my Doctor of Optometry Degree in 1974 and opened my private practice solo in Forestdale, Alabama. Simultaneously, I was recruited to fill a part-time faculty position working with the Optometry school vision-screening program. The program grew to one which included adults, and which involved both screenings and examinations. Requests came from nursing homes, United Cerebral Palsy (now United Ability), and Black Belt communities in need of services. My involvement grew to fulltime along with the demand for services. I still have the opportunity to see my patients in the faculty practice, University Optometric Group.

I am very interested in evaluating and improving health care delivery in non-traditional environments, and in collaborative coordination of care. My experience with the PATH Clinic, a project of the School of Nursing, has shown me that working in close quarters with a team of providers is both economical and good for the patient. In addition, with life expectancy increasing, collaborative coordination of care becomes of greater importance. We want to ensure that the extra time we live is quality time.

Dr. Perry started his intermittent Senate service as Alternate Senator in 2016. He has served as a Faculty Senate Representative on the Benevolent Fund University –wide council. He currently serves as the Senate Liaison for the school of Optometry and as the Chair of the Faculty Development Committee.


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

phillip musaDr. Musa has served in the faculty senate in one capacity or other in most of his years at UAB since coming to UAB in 2000. Currently he serves as Chair, Senate Governance, and Operations; Member, Faculty Senate Executive Committee; Senator, Collat School of Business (2017-Present); Faculty Senate Liaison to Collat School of Business (2016-present); A Faculty Senate Representative on the UAB Athletics Advisory Committee; A Faculty Senate Representative on the, Advisory Council to Center for Teaching and Learning; A Faculty Senate Representative on the, Maximization of Utilization of Space Team (MUST).

Dr. Musa is an Associate Professor of Management and Information Systems and Director of Management Programs in the Collat School of Business. His educational and research backgrounds include Information Systems, Operations Management, Epidemiology, and Electrical Engineering. He has published dozens of research papers in academic journals and conference proceedings that span Information Systems, Public Health, Operations Management, and Engineering.

Dr. Musa serves on several Editorial boards. A licensed professional engineer, his industry experience is in integrated circuit chips/semiconductor processing and testing. His teaching experiences cut across Business, Healthcare, and Electrical Engineering. He has served on Ph.D. dissertation committees for several candidates. He has also served as Doctoral Dissertation defense Opponent and External Examiner to other universities around the world. He is on the Fulbright Specialist roster and serves on the university Fulbright scholar committee.

Dr. Musa is a member of several professional organizations including the Association for Information Systems, American Public Health Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (as a senior member), Delta Omega (Public Health Honor Society), the Project Management Institute, and a board member of the UAB National Alumni Society.

Dr. Musa started his intermittent Senate service in 2007. He served on Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee. He is serving as a Faculty Senate Representative on the Advisory Council to the Center for Teaching and Learning, on the Maximization and Utilization of Space Team, and on the Athletics Advisory Committee. He is also currently serving as the Senate Liaison to the school of Business and as Chair of 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. She serves as the Associate Chair of the Department of Biology. 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. She had served as 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 the 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 February 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, Ph.D., 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 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 Global 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 has conducted professional development workshops for over 4,000 educators in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi as well as Nicaragua, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Dr. Spezzini started her Senate service in 2011. She continues to serve on the Curriculum Committee and the Academic Program Review/Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. She has previously served on the search committees for the VP Equity & Diversity, the Honors College Dean, and the Graduate School Dean. She is currently serving as a Senate representative on the Academic Council of the International Student Success and on the Retention and Graduation Committee. She is currently serving as the Liaison for the School of Education, and as the Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.


Senator-at-Large
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., PhD

laura forbesDr. Forbes earned her doctorate in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior with an emphasis on alcohol prevention in higher education, at the University of South Carolina’s School of Public Health in 2005. Her dissertation was on the prevalence of drinking during the first semester of college and the role of peer influences. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida in Health Services Administration (2000). She earned two undergraduate degrees from Ball State University, one in Health Science and the other in Exercise Science and Wellness (1999), and was a four-year member of the Division I women’s basketball team.

Prior to accepting a faculty position at UAB, she served as the Director of Alcohol and Drug Programs at the University of South Carolina. She was in charge of planning substance-free events for the university community, coordinating alcohol and drug presentations for the nationally recognized program for first-year students (U101), training alcohol and drug peer educators, and managing over 300K in the state, local, or federal monies. She has also worked as a Senior Health Educator addressing college student substance use issues and sexuality concerns at the University of Central Florida.

During her time at UAB, she has taught undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level courses in health education/promotion. She has received state, regional and federal funding for my research projects and has published in a variety of medical, health, and education-related journals. She has supervised doctoral dissertations, graduate student assistants, and health education interns. While serving as a researcher, author, and mentor, she served the health education profession and was part of the prestigious team to authors that drafted the very first Master Certified Health Education Specialist Examination. She has served her specialty of college health by completing four years as the Chair of the American College Health Association's Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition. She has completed the certification leading to my designation as a Human Services Board Certified Practitioner (HS-BCP). In 2014, she received one of the highest university honors as selected by my peers: The President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She currently holds several secondary appointments and intends to build collaborative relationships across campus.

Dr. Forbes is currently a member of the UAB Faculty Senate representing the School of Education (2018-2020). She was elected to serve as Senator at Large (2018-2019) and will serve on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Dr. Forbes has previously served as a School of Education Alternate-Senator. She also serves on the Faculty Senate Finance Committee and serves on the Associate/Assistant Dean’s Committee as a Senate Representative.


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


karen cropseyDr. Cropsey is a clinical psychologist and the Conatser Turner Endowed Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at UAB. She completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Wisconsin in Psychology. She completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Indiana State University. She completed two fellowships in Addiction and Forensics and is a certified forensic evaluator. Her research interests include developing treatment interventions for patients with substance use disorders, with a particular focus on smoking cessation and opioid treatment interventions. She has been continuously funded by the NIH for the past 15 years and is the Principal Investigator on three NIH-funded grants. She has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and she is an Associate Editor for Drug and Alcohol Dependence. She regularly serves as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Cropsey started her Faculty Senate service in 2016. She has served as Chair of the Faculty Development Grant Program Committee since Fall 2017. She is also currently serving as Senator-at-Large on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.