Present: Abee, Aksel, Ashley, Bjork, Bradley, C. Brown, I.Brown, Bush, Byme, Carter, Cavanagh, Finley, Fisher, Fishman, Forbus, Gaubatz, Gartman, Goodman, Hamid, Hoff, Isphording, Kemp, Lane, Longenecker, Moore, Mulekar, Newman, Patten, Perez-Pineda, Ryder, Schehr, Shaw, Schneider, Strange, Tuck-Muller, Vinson, Wilson, Winkler, Zimmeman.
Excused: Agapos, Ayling, Blauer, Cole, deShazo, Hate, Hood, Jenkins, LeDuc, Lloyd.
Unexcused: Cross, Dempsey, Gremse, Luteman, Morisani, Sikes.
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Dr. Richard Vinson, Chair.
Dr. Vinson announced that the next Regular Meeting of the Faculty Senate will be held May 19, 1993, 3:00 p.m., University Library, Room 5. This meeting will include the election of officers for 1993-94. Drs. Abee, Hood and Isphording of the Nominating Committee would like senators to make nominations as soon as possible.
Ms. Bush reported on the elections for new senators to replace those whose three-year terms are about to expire. She asked senators who were present to indicate if they had not yet received ballots. All senators had received ballots. One senator announced that he had received two ballots. Ms. Bush explained that the mailing list allowed senators to receive ballots both through individual mail and batch mail sent to each Department. Ballots will be counted on Thursday, April 27, 1993. Ms. Bush indicated that there were no nominations for one voting unit. Faculty Senate election procedures will have to be modified in the future to take into account the event of insufficient nominations.
Dr. Vinson announced that he had sent letters to senators with poor attendance records asking them if they wish to resign from the Faculty Senate. Two senators chose to resign.
DISCUSSION ON USA FOUNDATION FUNDS
Dr. Lamb explained that no other hospital in Alabama has as many indigent patients as the University of South Alabama Medical Center. The costs of handling this disproportionate share of indigent patients are compensated by funds from Medicaid. The funds have been matched and transferred to the USA Foundation in order to build an endowment and create a secure financial base for the institution. Recent protests have been directed to this transfer of funds.
Ms. Roberts provided additional information. Medicaid recommended that hospitals should not incorporate disproportionate share funds into their operating budgets because these funds can be suspended by State Legislature at any time and do not represent a reliable long-term source of money. Monthly assignments of Medicaid funds have been received since 1989 and transferred to the USA Foundation since 1990. The Board of Trustees approved the transfers in order to protect the funds from appropriation by the State to meet budget deficits. The USA Foundation voluntarily allowed the Department of Examiners and Public Accounts to inspect USA Foundation financial records in December 1992 even though this is not legally required. The transfer of funds was not illegal but a protest has been made about a technicality in the procedure by which the transfer was authorized by the Board of Trustees. The transfer was authorized in a telephone conference call instead of a meeting with all trustees present in one room.
Considerable discussion followed. Dr. Gartman expressed concern that the controversy could tarnish the public's image of University of South Alabama. Many may believe that public funds are being diverted away from the University which is a State institution. Dr. Moore suggested that it was appropriate to secure funds which are liable to be raided by the Legislature.
Dr. Horton of the USA Foundation explained that the University's attempt to secure the disproportionate share funds stems from financial difficulties experienced in the past. At one time, it was almost necessary for the University to close down the USA Medical Center because of insufficient financial support. In addition, in 1983, Grant's Pass funds were appropriated by the State.
Drs. Fishman, Gartman and Schehr asked specific questions about procedures by which the Medicaid funds were matched and transferred to the USA Foundation. Ms. Roberts gave a general explanation and indicated that detailed information could be supplied on request. Dr. Schehr repeatedly asked how much money was transferred to Montgomery and was told that they did not have the figures. Dr. Gartman asked how the University of South Alabama could be certain that USA Foundation funds will be used to support University hospitals. The USA Foundation is autonomous, functions independently of the University and none of the members is a hospital administrator. Ms. Roberts indicated that the Board of Trustees has some influence in management of USA Foundation funds. In addition, if the funds were used inappropriately, the USA Foundation could be sued by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Strange asked if there had been consideration of including a faculty representative in the USA Foundation. Ms. Roberts replied that although it was technically possible, all spaces available were currently filled and there had been no discussion about changing that representation to include a faculty member.
Dr. Vinson invited senators to send him any additional relevant questions which they would like to be addressed in the next meeting of the Senate.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the March 3, 1993, meeting were approved with one correction in the
Announcements. Ms. Bush did not ask senators to bring nominations to the April 21 Senate
Meeting. She had indicated that ballots would be mailed before the April Meeting.
Faculty, Staff and Administration Evaluation Committee
Mrs. Kemp indicated that responses to the annual evaluation are being processed.
Dr. Patten distributed the following documents to senators present at the meeting:
(1) "Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" (issued in 1966 by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges),
(2) "Faculty Participation in the Selection, Evaluation and Retention of Administrators" (American Association of University Professors, 1981),
(3) "The Role of the Faculty in Budgetary and Salary Matters" (American Association of University Professors, 1990),
(4) "The Role of Faculty in the Governance of College Athletics" (American Association of University Professors, 1989).
Dr. Patten indicated that he has communicated with representatives of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and they have indicated that the 1966 "Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" continues to be appropriate today. Dr. Patten indicated that the faculty of the University of South Alabama must be more actively involved in running the institution. The 1966 AAUP document can be of assistance in establishing responsibility. Indeed, the University Policy and Handbook Committee met on March 31, 1993, at a scheduled meeting and by a vote of 5 in favor, 0 opposed, and 1 abstaining, agreed to recommend to the Senate the following resolution:
Be it resolved that the Faculty Senate recommends the adoption in principle of the "Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" as developed jointly by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and by their councils on October 12, 1966, October 29, 1966, and November 18, 1966 respectively, and which was commended to their respective membership,
Be it resolved further that the Faculty Senate "recognizes the statement as a significant step forward in the clarification of the respective roles of governing boards, faculties, and administrations," and further, that the Statement be included as an addendum to the Faculty Handbook,
Faculty Salaries and Benefits Committee
Dr. Strange indicated that the University Fringe Benefits Committee had voted to undertake a complete study of all possible options relating to fringe benefits. He further reported that the Senate Fringe Benefits Committee had unanimously endorsed this undertaking and that the Senate Committee had already begun collecting data.
Dr. Strange also presented the following resolution concerning the establishment of a Memorial Fund:
Be it resolved by the Faculty Senate of the University of South Alabama:
That the Faculty Senate establish a Memorial Fund to receive contributions to the University of South Alabama for the planting of trees and/or the purchase of benches or other appropriate facilities in memory or in honor of faculty, staff, students and friends of the University;
That the trees, benches or other facilities so purchased be identified in an appropriate manner;
That the trees be located in a lane, a grove, or in other appropriate places on the campus of the University of South Alabama;
That a committee, consisting of three current members of the Faculty Senate appointed annually by the Chair of the Senate; one member of the faculty previously a member of the Senate appointed annually by the Chair of the Senate; the Director of Development or his or her designee; the President of the Student Government Association; the Director of Grounds or his or her designee, be established to administer the activities of the Fund, including the solicitation of funds, the designation of appropriate trees, the establishment of a permanent marker, the establishment of appropriate administrative procedures for receipt and disbursement of funds in accordance with the policies of the University of South Alabama, the solicitation of matching grants from the USA Foundation or other appropriate sources where possible, and any conduct of such other activities as may be necessary for the appropriate conduct of the Fund.
A motion was made, seconded and unanimously passed to suspend the rules to allow the consideration of the above motion.
Dr. Strange indicated that several trees already have been planted on campus to honor people associated with the University. Dr. Schehr asked if the resolution encompassed all parts of University of South Alabama such as Brookley. Dr. Strange replied that it did. Dr. Moore asked if the Memorial Fund could be used to construct buildings. Dr. Strange replied that the purpose of the resolution was not to solicit funds for buildings. There might be consideration of kiosks but not buildings.
Following the discussion, the resolution was seconded and unanimously passed.
University Planning and Development Committee
Dr. Moore indicated that the Planning and Development Committee is concerned that appointments of full-time faculty are not keeping pace with increasing enrollment. During the last 5 years, University of South Alabama student enrollment has increased steadily to a current total of 12,311 with a negligible growth in permanent full-time faculty. The number of part-time faculty has increased sharply in recent years, particularly in 100 and 200 level courses, probably to meet the demand produced by the greater number of students.
Part-time faculty are paid frugally, have no fringe benefits. are often not available to students for consultations or tutoring, and are not involved in departmental administrative affairs. This environment does not lend itself to commitment and enthusiasm on the part of the instructor and may impact on the quality of education presented and their incentive to remain with the University. The inevitable increased turnover of part-time faculty will result in a lack of continuity of class instruction from year to year.
Despite our efforts to increase the number of faculty to teach 100 and 200 level courses, students still find it very difficult to register in these classes. The great demand for these courses impact students in the following ways:
(1) students take courses in which they have no interest in order to retain full-time student status,
(2)students take courses at other colleges and universities to make up classes in which they are unable to register at University of South Alabama,
(3) students are sometimes unable to register full time or take courses at other institutions and consequently take longer than the expected 4 1/2 years to graduate.
The Planning and Development Committee believes that these factors do not produce "...an environment of intellectual excitement and an educational climate that will stimulate both faculty and students" (cited from the University of South Alabama Bulletin, Goals and Purposes, Pg. 7.) Also, it is clearly stated that new programs will be instituted only after necessary facilities, library resources, and faculty are acquired.
The Planning and Development Committee intends to study these conditions further so that recommendations can be made to the University Planning Committee and the Executive Planning Council.
Roy Ryder, Secretary