Regan Snow, Campus Reporter

While students debated skipping class after Hurricane Irma left campus foggy and chilly, faculty members poured into Volker Hall for a meeting, coffee in hand, to hear news about campus. They discussed ways to improve and elaborate on what is in the works for the campus.

The Chair's Report was led by Jon Mayer, Ph.D., which included congratulating him on a successful year as Chair. He taught mathematics for 34 years and created the school's UAB Teach program. Then, he gave the position over to the new Chair, Mike Wyss, Ph.D.

"We invite students to come to our meetings." Wyss said "I think they will hear some things they would not have heard otherwise. If students have a certain concern to bring to our attention they should get in touch with Aileen Mcelwain, because we have tight seating. You are welcome to speak as long as you are called on by the Chair."

Many things were brought to the attention of the Faculty Senate, including the Sick Leave Bank which has 8320 hours. The Sick Leave Bank is for faculty members who do not have sick leave but need it.

They also introduced new members to the Senate such as Pam Benoit as the Provost, Patricia Baker as Parliamentarian and Ria Hearld as associate chair.

UAB President Ray Watts, Ph.D., also made an appearance to give a report and answer questions. He gave the numbers of full time freshman, 84.9 percent. 

Allan Zajac, Ph.D., professor in the department of microbiology, brought up President Donald Trump’s DACA decisions.

“We support all students and want them to finish their education," Watts said in response. "We will not become law breakers but we will try to help them.”

While the athletics department has an exciting year, Frank Messina, PhD., faculty athletics representative, was pleased to show the numbers for the sports teams. 

“We have 4 women's teams in the top 10 in academics: cross-country, volleyball, tennis and basketball," Messina said.

He talked about how there were only two teams with a total GPA below 3.0. Those teams were men’s basketball and football. As well as high GPAs, Messina told the Senate that last year student athletes did over 400 hours of community service.

Faculty Senate Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month in Volker Hall to bring awareness to the issues and new plans for campus.

Regan Snow can be reached at

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