Chair’s Report

March 23, 2005


With nothing major to report this month, my report provides updates on recent and on-going matters and a brief year-end summary.

Dental Policy. Research by Matt Ames and me showed that most institutions in the state and region offer some form of voluntary, employee-funded dental coverage to faculty. With that in mind, I asked Wayne Davis during our recent meeting to begin looking into a dental plan. He agreed to do so. He also indicated that the high threshold of participation needed to adopt a plan that existed five years ago when we voted down a Mutual of Omaha plan may no longer apply. I am sure that he will report to Doug once he has the details of a proposed plan. Perhaps this time we can get some dental coverage though it will be completely employee-funded.

University/Faculty Club. Also during our recent meeting with the President, we formally accepted the offer of using the Career Services building as a University/Faculty club once it is vacated. John Sachs has done a superb job in spearheading this endeavor and will continue to do so even though he is rotating off the Senate. I am sure his report will offer a few more details.

Withdrawal Policy. The ad-hoc committee on withdrawal policy has not met recently. As you know, the committee arrived at a stalemate with the Senate approving a 9 week withdrawal date that was subsequently rejected by the students and members of the committee itself. Since the date for catalog changes has passed, the policy will revert to the original 12 week withdrawal date for the 2005-2006 academic year. Dr. Covey has indicated that we will institute the change to a 9 or 10 week date to take effect the following year.

Retention Issue. As you know, student retention and student success have shot onto the University’s agenda. In a recent meeting, Dr. Covey stressed the seriousness with which the administration wants to examine the issue and design an integrated program to improve student success and retention. I assured her that that faculty, through its Senate, wants to play an active role in this effort. Discussion to date centers on improving orientation programs, development of study skills, enhanced advising, etc. Rick Axelson has developed and will soon be administering a faculty survey to gain our input and perspective. Finally, in early May, the administration will host a retreat to focus on the issue. The executive committee of the Senate has been invited. I am certain that this issue will dominate the administration’s attention next year.

Patent and Invention Policy. The Academic Affairs Policy Committee (AAPC) will meet Monday to consider the new Patent and Invention Policy. This policy has been approved by the Council of Deans. Once approved by the AAPC, it will then come before the Senate for discussion and consideration, so more on this initiative later.


Alabama Council of University Faculty Presidents. Earlier this month, I attended the spring meeting  of the Alabama Council of University Faculty Presidents held in conjunction with Higher Education Day. In a very informative series of meetings, we met with Bill Meehan, president of Jacksonville State, state representative Richard Lindsey, Brenda Carter of ACHE, University of Alabama system lobbyist Bill Jones and Gordon Stone of HEP. The major item discussed was state funding of higher education though we also touched on various issues at the federal level and ACHE’s policies of program viability and their moratorium on new programs. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these meeting was to hear how other faculty senates are involved in decision-making on their campuses. Some, for example, play a more formal role vis-à-vis the Board of Trustees. I encourage future senate chairs to continue to participate in this organization.

Higher Education Partnership. As indicated last month, the Senate is pursuing an organizational affiliation with the Higher Education Partnership. There remains some confusion as to the fees that are involved, but Gordon Stone has agreed to send me the information. Through institutional affiliation, members of the faculty Senate will receive newsletters by email. Hopefully, faculty will consider regular membership once they leave the Senate.

Year in Review. This year’s Senate has really not confronted any major issues: no football, no presidential searches, no votes of confidence. I set out three broad goals at the beginning of the year: to enhance the institution’s visibility, inclusiveness, and relevance. To that end, the Senate published its first newsletter and will publish a spring newsletter next month; we established and organized an office that makes it easier to find information on the University and past senate business; we strengthened communication between university committees and the Senate; we continued to develop the faculty mentoring program and started the process of establishing a faculty club; we sponsored the first Senate night at a USA basketball game; and we have continued to strengthen our relationship with the administration and even the USA Foundation. We have not passed many resolutions, but we are consulted by the administration and actively involved in the deliberations over policy. I continue to believe in the three broad goals and hope to continue to work with Doug and the new executive committee in their pursuit.

A special thanks to all the Senators whose term expires in the conclusion of this meeting: Len Aldes (COM), Nick Aronson (COM), Richmond Brown (A&S), Ross Dickens (MCOB), Frank Donovan (Eng), Becky Giles (EDU), Ed Harrison (MCOB), John Jefferson (AHP), Elliot Lauderdale (CESP), Marian Peters (Nurs.), Cornelius Pillen (A&S), Justin Robertson (Lib.), Charles Rodning (COM), John Sachs (Educ.), Justin Sanders (A&S), Jonathan Scammell (COM), and Steve Teplick (COM).


Stephen Morris
Chair, Faculty Senate



Division of Development and Alumni Relations
University-wide Development Summary






Total Number of Gifts








Alumni Association




COM Alumni Association




Athletic Department












Medical Affairs




University Development













Total Gift Dollars and New Pledges




(Includes Matching Where Appropriate)








Alumni Association

$       36,303

$        112,126


COM Alumni Association

$       10,000

$        25,000

$      102,000

Athletic Department

$     382,908

$     356, 910

$      461,812


$     113,870

$      149,280

$        12,788


$     432,054

$      667,912

$      752,673

Medical Affairs



$   4,584,556

University Development

$     812,419

$   4,219,669

$   5,636,742






$  1,787,554

$   5,530,897

$ 11,550,571


New Documented Estate Gifts

$             -0-

$   2,300,000

$   2,000,000

(Includes Matching Where Appropriate)





Prior Year Estate Payments

$      650,000

$      429,770



Prior Year Pledge Payments

$   242,500

$   1,687,834

$     444,221

*Corrected to include Athletic Development, COM Alumni Association, and Starnes Estate Gift First Payment


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