Planning and Development Committee Year End Report
(D. Haywick, Chair)
The Planning and Development Committee passed one resolution this year (way back in July 1998), requesting that the University appoint a Government Relations person to replace Happy Fulford. The position was soon filled by Happy Fulford who decided that Mobile was in fact greener pastures after all. We did not submit any additional resolutions, but then again, we didn't really have to. Most of our work this year involved planning for the future and this was done primarily through committee work. I believe that we made inroads in a number of important areas. The following items are presently being investigated by members of the Planning and Development Committee:
1) University Safety
This was a critical area of concern for the Committee this year (and last year too). In order to facilitate more effective communication between the Senate and the University in this area, we requested that 3 members of the P&D Committee be appointed to the University Safety Committee. Dr. Jo Coggin (Chair of the committee) agreed and we had a very productive meeting in the fall at which time we conveyed our concerns about traffic, poor lighting, personal safety on campus etc. I am very happy to report that our ideas have been passed on to the University and at least some of them will be considered in future developments on this campus. For example, bicycle paths and/or sidewalks will be installed along Old Shell Road when it is widened. We have also requested proper crosswalks across Old Shell Road/University Blvd. This proposal will be sent to the city planners. I hope that P&D Committee members will be continually appointed (perhaps in a rotational basis) to Dr. Coggin's committee. It will really speed up communications between the Senate and the University regarding safety issues.
We can't really take credit for this issue, but we have supported it. EcoClub, a student organization, circulated a petition last year seeking signatures in favor of campus-wide paper recycling. The University listened and is now in the early stages of implementing paper recycling in all areas on all campuses. The P&D Committee will have representation on the Recycling Committee and will make sure that everything moves along as promised.
3) Faculty Club
We are presently investigating the possibility of establishing a Faculty Club on this campus. All "Great" Universities and most "Very Good" Universities have a meeting place on campus for faculty, staff and administrators, and we should too. The only questions are: where would it be, when would it operate, what would it offer, and how much will it cost us? Clearly there are more questions than answers at this point and to alleviate some of these uncertainties, we have asked that a series of questions be added to the 1999 faculty survey. The questions will basically gauge Faculty support for a club on campus. Stay tuned; this is one of those issues that will doubtless be pursued by next years P&D Committee (hopefully with positive results).
4) Retired Faculty Facilities
Lack of space for retired faculty (those who wish to continue their research at USA) was a concern of the Senior Faculty Caucus and they were largely responsible for coming up with a satisfactory solution to this problem (especially Bryce Evans, Bill Vitulli and T.G. Jackson). The P&D Committee lent support to them during a meeting with USA Administrators.
This issue has been floating around for years and I admit to not devoting as much time to it as I should have. We have gone as far as seeking out interested parties to sit in on an ad hoc Daycare advisory committee and ask that a series of questions concerning this issue be added to this years Faculty survey. Early next year, we should hold a University-wide forum to establish what services are required etc.
This year has seen a lot of major changes for the University of South Alabama, not the least of which has been a change in administration. So far there has been excellent communication between the Senate Executive Committee and Mr. Moulton and I see no reason why this should decrease in the future. We need to take advantage of this opportunity as it will give us (the P&D Committee as well as faculty as a whole) an excellent opportunity to share our ideas and exchange information with Administration in a regular and (mostly) friendly way. We need to play a pro-active role in planning the future of this institution rather than just dealing with the crises as they occur. Decisions have got to be made about infrastructure on this campus and space demands. There are some buildings (e.g., Life Sciences) where faculty have no office or research space and their activities are literally being moved into hallways (or outside or in my case to my garage at home). We speak of continued growth, but there has got to be planning for where that growth is going to be housed. The P&D Committee must participate in this planning activity. I thank all of my Committee members for a job well done this year. It was a pleasure doing business with you.
Submitted on behalf of the Faculty Senate Planning and Development Committee.
Dr. Doug Haywick