Date: Thursday, 4 Nov 1999

To: All USA Faculty
From: Elise Labbé
Chair of Faculty Senate

We are in the process of updating the Faculty Senate Web Page. Sally Murray, biomedical librarian, has volunteered to be our webmaster. Thank You, Sally!! The evaluation committee is looking into way that we can have web based voting so that we can poll faculty faster and in a more comprehensive manner. In order to make this work, faculty have to periodically check the website and make sure we have your current e-mail address. Please be patient as we work out the bugs in the next month or so. 

The Faculty Senate has taken a proactive stance with football at USA. I appointed an ad hoc committee that researched the background and provided data on the effects of football on university communities. I would like to thank Richmond Brown & colleagues for a well written report. If you haven't received a copy via e-mail you can check it out at USA web, under history/adhoc.html. After reading the report you will probably concur that starting football at USA could be an expensive mistake. On Tuesday, Nov. 4,the Athletic Task Force Committee decided to follow up with a more comprehensive, feasibility study. The committee responded favorably to the Senate's report regarding football. I think the feasibility study is a positive thing and voted in favor of it. We will continue to voice our views to the USA Trustees and try to play a positive role in determining whether football should be established at USA.

The search procedures for president& long range university planning committees of the Board of Trustees has been named and scheduled. The Search Procedures committee meet today, chaired by Mr. Langham. The committee agreed to compile information regarding the type of president USA would want to search for as well as the procedures that the Board of Trustees would use in the process. If you have any input regarding any of these issues please call or e-mail me. The Long range planning committee will meet next week. Gail Chryslee will represent the faculty on that committee.

Searches are in progress for VP for academic affairs, A& S Dean and an Executive Development Officer. Dr. Ed Harrison, chair of the search committee for the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, reported at the General Faculty meeting, that 23 applications for the VPAA position had been received, along with 7 nominations. Two of the nominees had subsequently applied, making a current total of 25 applicants. He expects a list of those to be asked for on-campus interviews to be ready by Dec. 15, with the visits to occur early next year.Dr. Ed Harrison will attend the November Faculty Senate meeting to update the faculty senate on the VP search and to answer questions. Finally, we are taking a hard look at how faculty can contribute to the mission and goals of USA through faculty governance. We have started a dialogue with President Moulton and Dr. Covey regarding ways that faculty can have more input at all levels of University functioning, particularly when it involves academic policies and procedures and academic freedom. We have been pleased with Mr. Moulton's response to the faculty senate and hope that we can continue to develop strategies to improve this situation, particularly within colleges. We've begun to research other universities to determine if there are models or information that can help us. Some suggestions for solutions include faculty representation on college committees and/or academic affairs committees, and educating administrators and community about a "day in the life" of a faculty member. Senate members are urged to speak with their constituents and gather problems, experiences, and solutions they might have in regards to faculty governance. Dr. Michael McGinnis  College of Business caucus leader, gave a report to the faculty senate at the October meeting, regarding MCOB concerns over faculty participation in the development of policies and procedures, particularly ones relating to academic freedom. A copy of his report is attached to the Faculty Senate minutes that you will receive.

At the fall general faculty meeting, President Moulton announced that a new building for the University library is set for bidding in the early part of the spring 2000 semester. USA Online has begun in earnest and the Honors Program has successfully commenced. An accelerated program for high school students began. The President's Table in the Student Center cafeteria was augmented to improve communication with students. Service personnel (e.g., bursar's office, registrar, etc.) have been asked to pay close attention to the quality of service they are giving studentsA recruitment and retention committee has been formed. Scholarships have been awarded, but more could have been awarded if the USA Foundation had given more than 2-1/2% of its net worth to the University. New intramural fields will be constructed to replace those being lost with the widening of Old Shell Road. Hillsdale is being renovated.The Mitchell Center is ready as a venue for sports and other activities important to the students.

Mr. Moulton noted that a bad job of promoting the benefits of USA to the Mobile community had been done in the past and he wants to improve this. Deans have been advised to look for ways to publicize the contributions of the University to the community. Paid public advertising will begin soon. Public Relations Director Keith Ayers has produced a new video for promoting the University. President Moulton reported that efforts will continue to achieve equitable state funding for USA in comparison to that provided to other doctoral universities in the state Gov. Siegelman released an additional $1.5 million to USA on Sep.30, but it was being announced for the first time at the Fall General faculty meeting. Mr. Moulton asked the faculty to write and thank the governor, and to request his help again for next year.$10 million had been given to USA by individuals in the past year, with the bulk coming from the Mitchell family, designated for the Mitchell College of Business. There has been an 8% increase in extramural funding, with a 43% increase in Arts & Sciences. The federal budget is likely to contain $9 million in funding for USA.

I encourage faculty to e-mail their senators, Executive Committee members and myself.



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