USA FACULTY SENATE
June 16, 2004
[Presented by Doug Haywick, Chair-Elect]
Before the close of the academic year, the new executive committee participated in three meetings. First, along with the old executive committee, we had lunch with Maxey Roberts and Asa Green, the director and executive director of the USA Foundation, at their beautiful office downtown. Allen Tucker, the faculty representative on the Foundation, was also present. Nothing substantive emerged from the meeting, though it was nice to put faces to names and talk directly with these important players. The Foundation clearly wants to improve its image and legitimacy, particularly among the faculty. Despite the encounter, our two-pronged approach toward the Foundation remains unchanged. First, we wish to remain neutral in the so-called division between the Foundation and the Administration, recognizing that there is only one side to take: the wellbeing of the institution. Second, we contend that the University with faculty input should make decisions regarding the use of any non-dedicated funds coming from the Foundation. The faculty should not channel its ideas or requests directly to the Foundation, nor should the Foundation make the decisions on how best to use the funds. Allen Tucker fully understands and articulates our position. Even so, we do hope that the current easing of tensions between the Foundation and the Administration will continue.
Subsequently, the Executive Committee met to discuss a wide range of issues many of which will appear on the agenda for this year’s Senate. I reiterated my goals of increasing the Senate’s visibility, inclusiveness and relevance. Most importantly, the Committee chairs began the process of identifying priorities and initiatives for their particular committees, which they will probably be reporting on during this meeting. The issues range from the Faculty Club and technology equalization to a complete overhaul of the Senate evaluation process. Committees are central to the functioning of the Senate and everyone should try to channel their input to the committee chairs.
Finally, the Executive Committee met with President Moulton, Vice President Pat Covey, Wayne Davis and others. With no working agenda, discussion centered immediately on the University’s fiscal situation and the potential for faculty raises. Moulton once again laid out the option of either a one-time salary bonus of around 5% or a permanent increase of around 3%. While most of us indicated a preference for a permanent increase, Moulton stated that he would do everything possible to make permanent even the one-time bonus. Either way, he seemed fully committed to a salary increase this coming year. In this context, however, Moulton also raised the issue of the use of part-time faculty and instructors. Since our institution depends very little on graduate assistants to teach introductory classes, we have few options other that the use of part-time faculty and instructors. This issue probably needs to be addressed more directly this year. The President also discussed the issue of the Faculty Club and the potential conversion of the Terrace.
Two other items in brief.
1. The Senate has acquired office space. We are located in the Library Room 313. We have a computer and some filing cabinets and are in the process of bringing boxes of documents from Rich Brown and Vicki Tate’s offices. Dr. Covey has promised to provide a work-study student beginning in the fall who will help classify the information and make it accessible. This will give us a physical presence (and help our visibility) and make our yearly transitions more manageable.
2. Drawing on Senate funds, Publications bound our Presidential Report. Ross and I distributed copies of the report to all academic departments along with a cover letter from the former and current chairs. The idea, of course, is to enhance the visibility of the Senate and demonstrate to faculty the nature of our work. I look forward to working with publications again in August to put together an attractive Senate Newsletter.
Doug, Ross or other members of the Executive Committee are welcome to add or elaborate further on these items.
I wish I were there with you – no I don’t – but I miss you all.
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
University of South Alabama - Faculty Senate - Mobile, AL 36688-0002
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