Faculty Senate
Unapproved Minutes
8 July, 1998

  1. and 2.  Call to Order and of Roll

The regular meeting was called to order by Calvin Jones, Chair, at 3:00 p.m. in Library 5.  The Secretary called the roll:

            Present:            Arata, Allison, Ballard, Benoit, Broadus, Caldwell, Cepeda, Davidson-Shivers, DeWitt, Dorman, Engebretson, Evans, Foster, Hamid, Hamm, Haywick, Honkanen, Jones, Labbe, LeDoux, Martin, McIntosh, Moak, Mulekar, Norman, Payne, Strange,  Sternberg, Sylvestre, Swint, Teplick, Tuck-Muller, Thurston, Tucker, Van Haneghan, Vetrosky, Vinson, Williams, C. Wilson.
Absent (excused):  Ashley, Brandon, Camp, Dilsaver, Douglass, Chryslee,  Frederick, Hitt, Izenberg, Langan, McAfee, McIver, Morris, Parker, Ryder, Sweet, Trufant, Weston, G. Wilson, Zhang.

  1. Completion of Pending Business.

            Minutes of the regular meeting of 13 May, 1998 were approved.

  1. Report from the Chair.

            Meetings with the President.  Calvin Jones reported that the Executive Committee met with President Whiddon on May 27, 1998 and informed him of the two resolutions that were passed at the last Senate meeting regarding promotion increments and the library addition.  The Committee also expressed their view that the University should award the full 8 ½% raise as mandated.  This led to a general discussion of budgets although it appeared that nothing definite had been determined regarding the calculation of the raise at that point.  Jones also stated that the Committee felt that it was important that the University fill the Government Relations position as soon as possible.  The President responded that, even though the position was vacant, the University was well covered in that area.

            Before leaving town for three weeks Jones once again visited the President and pressed for the full 8 ½ raise.

            Meeting with the Interim Academic Vice President.  Dr. Jones discussed with Vice President Covey various matters that are being planned and dealt with in Academic Affairs, including the USA Scholars Program; The Undergraduate Research Committee; searches, including the Vice President for Medical Affairs, Dean of Nursing, and Director of the Library; the infrastructure to support teaching; the Academic Computing Committee and the Technology Fund; and, finally, frozen positions.

Jones has also met with Dean Allen, Arts and Sciences, and hopes to have similar meetings with the other deans in the fall.

            Budget Council.  The Budget Council met on May 27 and discussed individual funding matters not covered in the current budget and operating expenses for the new University Center.  Discussion of the University Center operating expenses continued at the next Budget Council meeting on June 3.  The amount for these operating expenses is projected to be approximately $570,000, but this could be cut in half through the savings in rent for the Civic Center and increases in student athletic fees.  The overall budget for FY 98-99 was discussed and information was provided on budget adjustments and projected deficits, tuition revenue forecasts, part-time instructional budget projections, and items related to a salary increases. Jones offered to try to answer any questions about the budget, although no budget has been proposed for the upcoming year and he did not think that a decision had been made regarding the question of raises.

            Athletic Investigation.  President Whiddon asked Jones to read the Kind and Spalding report on their findings regarding the Athletic Department.  Although there were more details than revealed in the media, there seemed to be nothing new of substance to report.  Jones agreed that the University has the obligation to see that the letter and the spirit of the NCAA regulations are followed and that we have  an obligation to report any violations, although he questioned whether the method and expense of this investigation represented the most sensible course.

            Searches.  It appears that the search for the Vice President of Academic Affairs is essentially dead.  The search for the Vice President of Medical Affairs is at a crucial stage.

            ACHE.  Many of the current issues affecting the university and the faculty are stat-wide in nature and involve both the legislature and the Alabama Commission on higher Education.  Dr. Vicky Rivizzigno, a past chair of the Faculty Senate and president of ACCUFP, provided the Senate with a report of the various positions taken by ACHE.  A copy of the report is attached.  Rivizzigno stresses two issues:  performance-based funding and faculty workloads, which are defined here in terms of teaching only.  Jones requested that the policy handbook committee consider drafting a resolution on the work load issue.

            Trustees Meetings.  Members of the Executive Committee attended the meetings on June 1 and July 2, at which time the issue regarding the position of chancellor arose.  Suzanne McGill, past president of the Senate, requested that faculty input should be considered in making this decision and, consequently, both McGill and Jones were placed as non-voting members of the committee.  Other non-voting members were Patsy Covey and Gordon Moulton from the Administration, and the presidents of the SGA and the Alumni Association.  The committee met on July 6 and voted unanimously to recommend the establishment of such a position and will submit a final report to the Trustees on July 17.  Jones expressed his concern at the meeting that such a position should not be made permanent, thereby creating an additional and expensive bureaucratic layer.  He also expressed concern that it is imperative that a definite term limit be imposed at the outset on any interim presidency, should one occur, and that a proper and well-conceived search for a permanent president be carried out with input from the faculty, so that we could attract the best possible candidate with the proper academic credentials.

            In response to these concerns, Mayer Mitchell, member of the Board of Trustees, assured the committee that he felt qualified to speak for Jack Brunson, Chair of the Board of Trustees, in saying that any such search would be carefully planned and based on models for searches at other institutions.  He also stressed that any search would have the full input of the faculty, students, and alumni He further agreed with McGill’s suggestion that a consultant experienced in presidential searches should be employed as part of the process.  Later on in the discussion he indicated his awareness that no president could be successful who did not have the full support of the faculty from the outset.  Mayor Nix, Chair of the Committee, was quoted in the paper as making similar comments.  Once of the other committee members indicated that the intention of the Trustees to include broad input from the faculty and others should be publicized so as to head off rumors that have begun to circulate.  Jones said that he appreciated the Trustees’ recognition that faculty input is crucial in such matters and looks forward to having the Senate work with the Trustees to assure that we can provide effective input.  Jones believes that it is important for the faculty to articulate a positive view of the University’s future and, should it come to a search, to express our thoughts on the constitution of a search process and the criteria that candidates should possess.  Mayer Mitchell and Judge Herman Thomas will develop a description of the responsibilities of the chancellor and requested that McGill, Covey, Moulton and Jones send their suggestions to him.

            Jones stated that this was a difficult and crucial time for the University.  Some of the faculty, different players with different interests, may have different opinions conceding the precise manner in which we should proceed, but he was sure we were in agreement on many things.  The entire Senate would most certainly give President Whiddon a standing ovation for his incredible accomplishments over the years.  We have all benefited from his creation, as has the community as a whole.  We know that he still has a great deal to give to the University, and want him to be able to do so in a position of dignity that makes genuine use of his talents.  What is important is that the University go forward and live up to its potential.

At the conclusion of Jones’ report, Dr. Richard Vinson moved, and the Senate unanimously voted, to authorize its Chair, Calvin Jones, to respond as he feels appropriate to any requests for input from the Senate concerning the possibility of the creation of a Chancellorship.  Also, that he be authorized to speak on behalf of the Senate when requested by the Administration, Trustees, or other responsible body.  This authorization is to be effective July 9, 1998 until September 16, 1998.

            5.  Reports of Senate Standing Committees

Evaluation.  No Report.
Planning/Development.  At the request of the Executive Committee, Doug Haywick, Chair, submitted a resolution regarding the University’s Government Relations position to be voted upon at the next meeting of the Senate.  See Resolution under New Business.
Policy/Handbook.  At the request of the Executive Committee, Richard Vinson, Chair, submitted a resolution, which was unanimously approved, changing the dates of Senate Committee Meetings for the upcoming year only.  See Resolution Number 2 under Old Business.
Salaries/Benefits.  At its May 13, 1998 meeting the Senate requested this Committee to offer a Resolution regarding Pay Raises.  This resolution was submitted and unanimously approved.  See Resolution Number 1 under Old Business.

            6.  Reports of Caucus Leaders


            7.  Old Business

The following resolutions were voted upon and unanimously approved:

Resolution No. 1 – Pay Raises

WHEREAS, The University of South Alabama has received an increase in State appropriations for Fiscal year 1999 in the amount of $3,331,221 and

The University of South Alabama will save approximately $4,397,000 (other than Hospitals) in reduced RSA contributions, and

The Legislature of the State of Alabama has enacted a statute indicating “it is the intent of the Legislature that colleges and universities (including the University of South Alabama) shall utilize (1) the saving realized from the reduction in the Teachers’ Retirement System employer rate; and, (2) the respective increases in the state appropriations, for cost-of-living increases/pay increases for their personnel, and

The President of the University of South Alabama and the Vice President for Financial Affairs of the University of South Alabama have indicated to the senate Executive Committee that approximately $885,542 (other than Hospital employees) is necessary for each 1% of salary increases for all personnel of the University of South Alabama excluding hospital personnel, and

The total of new appropriations of RSA savings is $7,728,221, and

The total cost of an 8 ½% increase in salaries for all academic personnel of the University of South Alabama, including the employees of the hospital, is approximately $7,527,107, and

            It is obvious that the University of South Alabama is able to implement the full 8 ½% raise,

            THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that:

            The Senate of the University of South Alabama recommend that the cost-of-living pay raise intended by the legislature be allocated as follows:

4% Across the Board Raises
4% Merit
½% Adjustment Funds, and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that:

            The Senate of the University of South Alabama express its appreciation to the State Legislature for granting increased appropriations and RSA savings.


Resolution Number 2 – Senate Calendar Schedule

            WHEREAS, The University of South Alabama is changing from the quarter calendar to the semester calendar effective Fall 1998, and

            WHEREAS, the Senate Calendar should be changed accordingly, therefore,

            BE IT RESOLVED that Senate adopt the following calendar for regularly scheduled meetings for the year 1998 – 1999, and all other previously scheduled meetings be cancelled:

September 16              
October 21                 
November 18              
January 20                   
February 17
March 1
April 21 (Election of Officers 1999-2000)
June 16
July 21

8.  New Business

Resolution regarding Government Relations Position

            WHEREAS the University of South Alabama is the third largest four year State University that is dependent in part upon funding from the State of Alabama, and

            WHEREAS the University of South Alabama is Geographically removed from   the State Capitol where funding decisions are made, and

            WHEREAS State Legislators are not always adequately informed about the importance of Higher Education to the State, or of the needs of the University of  South Alabama students, faculty and staff in fulfilling the University’s teaching, research and community service Mission, and

            WHEREAS the University of South is but one of several institutions of Higher Education in the State competing for funding from the State of Alabama,

            BE IT RESOLVED that the University of South Alabama appoint a Government Relations Officer to serve as a liaison and where necessary, a lobbyist to act on behalf of the University in dealings with the State of Alabama.

  1. Communications from the President

No communications were reported. 

  1. Adjournment

Jones adjourned the meeting at 4:10 P.M.  The next meeting is on September 16, 1998. 

Respectfully submitted,
Jeanne Sylvestre, Secretary


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