University of South Alabama
January 19, 2005
University Library, Rm. 110
The meeting began at 3:03 p.m. with Chair Steve Morris presiding.
As a quorum was not yet present, approval was sought and granted to begin with a report on the USA Course Withdrawal Proposals. Senators and representatives from the university's task force on the withdrawal policy discussed the two proposals put forth (along with the variations on each). In a straw vote, senators favored the first proposal of moving the withdrawal date back to the 9th week of each semester. (The specific task force's proposals will be included in senate records.)
After thanking and excusing the task force's representatives, Steve declared a quorum present.
Present: Ames, Aronson, Beverly, Brick, Brown, Bru, Coleman, Dickens, Donovan, Dupree, Flynn Godfrey, Guion, Hain, Harrison, Haywick, Husain, Jefferson, King, Kovaleski, Lauderdale, McIntosh, Millner, Molokhia, Morris, Nowlin, Pardue, Perez Pineda, Peters, Pillen, Powell, Pruitt, Rattie, Robertson, Ryan, Sanders, Sauer, Spake, Swofford, Sylvester, Whitehurst, and Wooster.
Excused: Costello, Luterman, McCready, Moore, Sachs, Scammell, and Teplick.
Unexcused: Aldes, Burkhartt, Davis, Giles, Harris, Manci, Parker, and Rodning.
Guests: Amy (Mobile Register), Axelson, Stout, and Wold (all from withdrawal task force).
The Minutes of the November 17th meeting were approved with no revisions.
Steve's Chair report (included in senate records) reported on the Senate Executive Committee's December meeting with President Moulton. The Salaries and Fringe Benefits Committee will explore dental insurance given the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield relationship. Dr. David Nelson, Biology, and Dr. Joe Busta, Development, will be invited speakers for the February and March meetings, respectively.
Doug Haywick presented an informational report on the university's purchasing card process. His main points were: 1) while most restrictions on card usage make sense, some seem to be quite arbitrary and questions as to improving the system are being pursued, and 2) if anyone notices a problem (with the card system or anything else on campus), it is wise to make inquiries to help improvements.
Richmond Brown presented a draft resolution supporting the increase in stipends for Graduate Assistants and commending the USA Foundation and the USA administration for their parts in the increased funding. After a few editorial changes, the senate adopted the resolution (included at the end of the minutes).
Reports from standing committees
Academic Development & Mentoring: John Kovaleski reports he is surveying Deans and Department Chairs on their views and knowledge of the Faculty Mentoring Program. Also, a program evaluation is being designed to have the participants evaluate the program in April.
Academic Policy and Faculty Handbook: Marian Peters reports her committee has been greatly involved with the withdrawal policy discussion (presented earlier).
Environmental Quality: Vaughn Millner reports the committee is finalizing the draft of the recycling proposal that will be submitted to Dr. Judy Stout. Stephen Bru penned a column for The Vanguard. Also, Vaughn promoted the upcoming presentation on the Exxon Valdes oil spill (Laidlaw Auditorium, Monday, January 24th). Finally, Dr. David Nelson will speak to the senate in February (as reported in the Chair's Report).
Evaluation: Deborah Spake reports the survey on the possible university club was sent out (with a problem of its not being sent to about 20% of intended recipients). So far, there have been about 80 respondents.
Planning & Development: No report.
Salary & Fringe Benefits: No report beyond the dental plan examination to be started (reported in the Chair's Report).
Technology Utilization: Jan Sauer reports improved coordination working with university and faculty senate web page publication. Also, she reports wireless computing is a college-by-college process on campus such that continuity may prove difficult. The committee is still investigating the possibility of ordering textbooks online. Finally, Jan reports that no one seems to know exactly how the USA Foundation's annual $70,000 funding earmarked for Technology is being used.
Caucus Leaders reports
Allied Health: John Jefferson reports there is great uncertainty as to the location of the proposed new building for the college (and Nursing) on the main campus. (The first proposed site has multiple infrastructure difficulties.)
Arts & Sciences: Zohair Hussain was introduced as the newly elected senator from the college.
CIS: Harold Pardue reports the college has filled its instructor position.
Continuing Education: Elliot Lauderdale reports the hiring of a new faculty member.
Education: Irene McIntosh reports the faculty of the college continues working with its Dean on a faculty delegation model.
Engineering: No report.
Library: No report.
Medicine: No report.
MCOB: Jim Swofford reports caucus members communicated with the Dean regarding the withdrawal policy proposals. Ed Harrison was introduced as the newest member of the MCOB representation.
Nursing: No report.
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:02 pm.
Next meeting: Wednesday, February 16th. (Note: March's meeting will be the 23rd as the 16th is during Spring Break.)
Resolution Commending the USAF and USA Administration for Increasing Graduate Stipends
January 19, 2005
Whereas competitive graduate stipends are crucial to recruiting outstanding graduate students and giving them the wherewithal to devote themselves fully to their studies;
Whereas graduate stipends at the University of South Alabama (USA) fall well below regional and national averages;
Whereas graduate stipends at USA have not been increased in more than a decade;
Whereas The University of South Alabama Foundation (USAF) recently agreed to provide 90,000 dollars toward increasing graduate stipends;
Whereas the USA Administration agreed to match the USAF contribution and to provide an additional 54,000 dollars toward increasing graduate stipends, so that the 117 awards could be increased by an average of 2,000 dollars each;
Be it hereby resolved
The USA Faculty Senate commends the USAF and the USA administration for increasing their financial commitment to graduate study at USA;
And be it further resolved that the USA Faculty Senate encourages the USAF and the USA Administration to continue to increase graduate stipends regularly as funds become available.