UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA FACULTY SENATE
October 16, 1991
Present: Agapos, Ayling, Bastian, Bhatnager, Bradley, Brown, Bunnell, Bush, Daigle, deShazo, Downey, Evans, Fisher, Fishman, Forbus, Gartman, Gaubatz, Goodman, Holmes, Hood, Husain, Jenkins, Kovaleski, Lloyd, Longnecker, Mankad, Moore, Newman, Patten, Raburn, Sakornbut, Schehr, Shearer, Sikes, Silver, Springston, Strange, Vinson, Glenn Wilson, Winkler, Wright, Zimmerman
Excused: Abee, Aldes, Isphording, Luterman, VanDevender, Vinocur, Wall, Wilhite, Gerald Wilson
Unexcused: Bass, Dempsey, Hamid, Kulkarni, Morisani
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Larry Holmes.
ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT WHIDDON
A motion was made by Larry Schehr to suspend the order of business. The motion was seconded and passed.
Dr. Holmes introduced Dr. Whiddon.
President Whiddon stated a commitment to the free exchange of ideas and a willingness to have participation of the faculty in discussions of the University. He referred to the Administration's past willingness to carry out resolutions of the Senate.
Dr. Whiddon urged participation in the SACS study by asking the faculty to respond to surveys that are being mailed out now in order to collect data for the self-study. Proration is causing painful problems. Dr. Whiddon thanked Drs. Holmes and Jones for their help in adopting a University budget. Salaries will not be affected by proration. The 3% merit increase will begin March 1, 1992. President Whiddon reaffirmed his commitment to the parity salary program. It will continue even if at a lower percent this year than planned.
There is an extra $300,000 in the budget for the University Library. It will be divided as follows: $110,000 to cover deficits, $70,000 for operations, and $120,000 to purchase items listed in Books for College Libraries. Ten thousand square feet of storage space has been designated for the Library in the Springhill complex. An addition to the present Library building is being planned. Funds have been approved for travel to examine libraries with recent additions. Dr. Whiddon stated a commitment to building the addition.
President Whiddon announced the appointment of an Environmental Advisory Board and he agreed to Senate representation on the Athletic Council.
Dr. Whiddon affirmed his commitment to improving communications with the Senate by asking the Chair to come and talk with the Administration.
Dr. Whiddon turned to the University's history. On November 14, 1963, the first day he was on the job, the University opened in rented space on St. Francis Street. It was a bonafide "storefront" University. He confirmed that the University has always recruited without regard to race, creed, or color. The University was threatened then (the 60's) and in the 70's. We have suffered a great deal for our position, but have stayed the course. We should publicize our position as one committed to improving race relations in the future. Such a policy makes common sense; it is necessary to the survival of this country. Everyone must be treated right. A notice regarding the University's position throughout its history should be put in the Bulletin.
The floor was opened for questions.
Blaine Moore asked about the new University Planning Committee. Dr. Whiddon answered that the committee will not have the final say on issues, but will be advisory. The University is constantly seeking new dollars to go with what we already have. The President feels that the alumni must be involved for the University to grow.
Caryl Lloyd stated that she has been impressed with the serious discussion regarding the question of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She asked for confirmation that the Administration is open to any and all suggestions. Dr. Whiddon confirmed that the Administration has not decided what should be done. He stated that the number of attendance days is fixed and cannot be changed, but he is willing to work within that limit.
COMPLETION OF PENDING BUSINESS
The uncorrected minutes of the July 17, 1991, meeting were approved as distributed.
Dr. Holmes' report was attached to the agenda. It contained information on communications with the University Traffic and Parking Committee, Senate membership and caucus leadership, implementation of the recommendations of the Faculty Senate and Enarson Report, and salary increases.
Communications with the Parking Committee were about: 1) the process by which the parking fees were raised, 2) alternatives to the hanging decal for faculty members with a type of vehicle that can not be locked to prevent theft of the decal, and 3) concern that there are insufficient space designated for faculty vehicles in the ILB parking lot.
Dr. Holmes announced the resignations of two senators (Bill Stevens and Michael Babcock) and the election of Philip Forbus as caucus leader for the College of Business.
The Office of Enrollment Services has been reassigned to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The $120,000 in the Library budget for the purchase of materials is the first of five such annual allotments for an overall total of $600,000.
On September 5 the Board of Trustees approved the 3% merit increment effective in March and half amount originally planned for the parity program.
The last of the Chair's report is a list of memoranda available to Senators in Dr. Holmes' office.
VICE CHAIR'S REPORT
Dr. Sakornbut reported on the September 20, 1991, meeting of the University Fringe Benefits Committee concerning the University Health Plan. Ten months of data seems to indicate that the Plan is financially stable. There has not been a large number of catastrophic claims. Utilization of the employee managed option has remained at about 5% of total claims. Despite expanded transplant coverage the committee has recommended no change in premiums for this year. The Health Plan is due for renegotiation next year.
REPORTS FROM SENATE COMMITTEES
SALARY AND FRINGE BENEFITS COMMITTEE
Larry Schehr reported that his committee met on October 9, 1991, and discussed: The salary parity plan for faculty and staff, the application of the merit system in the colleges, the question of faculty at or near retirement, the status of the health plan, and finally, matters of tuition waivers and other kindred benefits.
Regarding the salary parity plan the following motion was offered and passed with no one opposed and no abstentions:
Be it resolved that Dr. Whiddon convey to the Board of Trustees the Senate's request that the spirit and the letter of the commitment be honored, and specifically, that there be the active and timely gathering, deliberation, and reporting of information relative to the faculty and staff parity program and that furthermore, appropriate statistics be used in calculations and planning. (SR91-1)
Current data should be gathered on our peer institutions each year and the formula applied to this new data, so that in 1994 we will have salaries comparable to those of our peer institutions.
Regarding merit raises the following resolution was offered and passed with three opposed and one abstention:
Be it resolved that Dr. Whiddon recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs that the merit pool in which any given faculty member participates be the total merit pool of the college or division as a whole. (SR91-2)
Most colleges at the University apply the merit pay system on a college-wide and not a departmental basis; this is not the case in Arts and Sciences. The advantage of a college-wide merit system is to enlarge the pool and to minimize the extent to which relatively more productive departments are penalized.
UNIVERSITY POLICY AND HANDBOOK COMMITTEE
David Gartman reported that his committee will be working on three things this year: a standard procedure for the election of senators, a statement on academic freedom and artistic expression, and the question of a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observance. Caucus leaders should discuss this last issue within their departments before an upcoming Senate meeting at which we will be asked to give a recommendation to an Ad Hoc committee established up by President Whiddon.
UNIVERSITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Blaine Moore announced that enrollment for the Fall Quarter is 12,158 and that progress is being made on the following building projects: Student Recreation Center, Visual Arts, and Biomedical Library. There was some discussion on how the increased enrollment is affecting the University. Consensus is that the Drop/Add process and retention rate need to be examined.
FACULTY, STAFF, AND ADMINISTRATION EVALUATION COMMITTEE
Dorothy Newman reported for Evelyn VanDevender. This committee will continue compilation of the last evaluation survey and will administer the next one in the Spring. It will also work on evaluation standards for faculty promotion and tenure.
REPORTS FORM CAUCUS LEADERS
ARTS AND SCIENCES
Caryl Lloyd asked the Senate to support the College of Arts and Sciences Caucus' reaffirming the criteria for selection of the next Dean of Arts and Sciences. There is concern that one or more of the candidates for the position may not meet the stated criteria. Additional information is appended to the minutes.
The following motion was presented from the Executive Committee by Dr. Holmes:
Resolved, that the Senate encourages the State Legislature to support tax reform in the State of Alabama in order to fund properly education. (SR91-3)
It passed by consent.
A resolution thanking President Whiddon for addressing the Senate was also adopted by consent (SR91-4).
The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
Geneva L. Bush, Secretary
Attachment regarding the selection of the next Dean of Arts and Sciences.
Relevant excerpt from Senate Resolution SR90-7:
Searches at the Dean's level and above should seek external and internal candidates with the strongest academic backgrounds. Dean's search committees should in most circumstances be chaired by a senior professor from the college concerned, and members of search committees should contain faculty from a variety of disciplines within respective areas who have strong academic backgrounds and who are respected by their peers. The University's commitment to academics and position with regard to growth in various areas should be made clear to those offered positions.
The academic criteria advertised in 1990 for the position of Dean of Arts and Sciences should remain the same for the current search.
Relevant excerpt from Dr. Whiddon's response to SR90-7:
2. I have long held the position that we seek and employ the strongest academic administrators possible. Furthermore, I would endorse any improvements in the search process that would further insure our employment of the strongest possible candidates. I believe the current committees understand this charge. However, if it would be helpful, I would be happy to reiterate my position in the interest of insuring that future searches are conducted consistently within our general framework of a quest for excellence and quality. I will ask Dr. Connell to examine the general search policy relative to committee composition, general charge, and guidelines. Given the pressure of time, I will ask that Dr. Connell begin these efforts concurrent with his full-time employment and that he report back to me in a reasonable period of time.