USA FACULTY SENATE
October 20, 2004
The only major substantive issue discussed in recent meetings with the Administration is the Withdrawal Policy. As we discussed last month, the Withdrawal policy was changed unilaterally and erroneously to the last day of class. Dr. Covey acknowledges the mistake and accepts that this is an area that concerns the Faculty and that we should be involved in setting the policy. I expressed the Senate’s consensus: that the WD date should be earlier in the semester and that we would like a policy of WF. Dr. Covey has suggested that we put together a task force to look into this.
I met with SGA President Joey Robinson to get the students’ view on things and to let them know where we stand. He interprets the move to the last day of class as a compromise over grade forgiveness (which Covey sees as a dead issue).
Also, I have done preliminary work to look at the policy in other institutions and none allow withdrawals up to the last day of class and many have graded withdrawals.
More on this as it develops.
Other items discussed in these meetings include the Faculty Club which is on the agenda today.
The Administration raised two items. First, a study is being done to determine the feasibility of creating a Pharmacology Program. This would be a six-year doctoral program. Second, as a preface to this week’s Salary and Fringe Benefits, Wayne Davis reported on Health Care expenses. Though the most recent premium adjustments produced a small surplus, Blue Cross/BS predicts shortfalls in the near future. Davis says we can wait, but should probably respond now. It appears that he will ask the committee to consider one or more alternatives like creating a Rx deductible, raising premiums, and/or increasing co-pays. The president and David seem to want to do something to contain utilization.
Looking at upcoming meetings, Dr. Galbraith, the new VP for Research, will attend our November meeting primarily to address questions regarding the Research Park. I have asked him to submit a written report beforehand and to keep his presentation brief.
I asked Joe Busta, VP for Development, to submit a written report to the Senate and these are available today. The report reviews progress of the University Development and Alumni Relations Program. It came with a nice booklet and brochure that you can look at if you like. Tentatively, we plan on inviting Busta to attend our January meeting for a brief presentation and to answer questions.
The Executive Committee will meet with the Director of the USA Foundation on the 28th. Our position is unchanged: that decisions on how to use non-earmarked funds should be made by the University, not the Foundation, and that we channel our input through the University, not the Foundation. They will want to have lunch with us, and Moulton even tried to give us talking points: funds for Graduate Assistants and the Library.
I will be attending the meeting of the Alabama Council of University Faculty Presidents in Huntsville in November. I will let you know what I learn.
The FS Newsletter will be completed probably Friday and I will affix the labels and get those out. More specific reports will be presented by Committee Chairs.
Finally, I will be going out of the country during our November meeting. I will forward a report, but Doug Haywick, Vice Chair/Chair Elect, will preside.
University of South Alabama - Faculty Senate - Mobile, AL 36688-0002
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