ACUFP Meeting March 13-14, 2003

The University of Alabama Systems Office

Montgomery, AL

Minutes

            The Alabama Council of University Faculty Presidents (ACUFP) met on March 13, 2003, from 1:00 to 5:00 and March 14, 2003, from 8:00 to 12:00 in the University of Alabama System suite in the Alabama Center for Commerce in Montgomery.  President R. T. Floyd presided with John A. Smith, UAB; Tim Heaven, UAB; Linda Louise Cain, JSU; Lloyd W. Hillman, UAH; John O. Mason, UA; George Makowski, UNA; J. Douglas Barrett, UNA; J. Drew Harrington, TSUM; Jeanette Jones, AAMU; and Sandra Powell, AAMU in attendance on Thursday, March 13th.  On Friday, March 14th, Richard Schellhammer, UWA and Janis Beaird, UWA joined Hillman, Makowski, Harrington, Jones, and Powell.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

            The group began to assemble at 1:00, and at 1:30 Dr. Robert Potts, Chair of the Council of Presidents, made a presentation on the work and vision of the COP.

            The meeting was called to order at 2:30 with the introductions of the attendees.  Eight of the state universities were represented.

            The agenda was approved. Makowski moved to accept and Jones seconded.

            After some corrections the minutes of the November 15-16, 2002, meeting was approved. Harrington moved to accept and Cain seconded.

            Kelly Gregg submitted the treasurers report.  The following questions were discussed:

      Have all universities paid? No.

      What are the plans for the money?  It is used to defray the cost of the meetings and on political activities involving higher education.

      Can we fund a delegate to next Wednesdays meeting of ACHE?  After some discussion the motion was approved to use funds, not to exceed $300, to support George Makowski as our delegate to ACHE on March 19, 2003.  Jones moved to accept and Mason seconded. 

      Can you access information pertaining to Tax Form 990?  John Smith announced that information pertaining to Tax Form 990, public information, may be accessed through the web site GuideStar (Google).  This is a national database for nonprofit organizations, and you must give the name of the foundation.

Other discussion included the following:

      What is our mission? (Smith)

We have a constitution that directs ACUFP.  We primarily work to communicate and to address issues of the faculties of the institutions across the state. (Floyd)

      We share issues from other universities and get ideas.  It was unique to hear from Dr. Potts today. (Makowski)

      We are the first group to review the draft of the State Plan for Alabama Higher Education 2003-2008. (Floyd)

      We need to invite Senators from sister institutions to join our meetings and include the small schools.  The HBCUs need to be at the table in order to unite the information loop. (Smith)

      We need to use this operation to do that.  This is the first time since 1999 that all 3 of the University of Alabama schools have been represented. (Floyd)

 

Higher Education Partnership 

Gordon Stone, Higher Education Partnership, addressed the group at 3:30.  He thanked ACUFP for its participation in the Higher Education Day Rally held on the steps of the Alabama State House earlier in the day.  It was a significant day for higher education.  He discussed the following:

      Increased appreciation by the legislature

      Record numbers came

      We have opportunities in a future of struggles

      Must proceed in efforts to gain new money

      We must live up to the commitment to get voters to understand the whole picture

      Endorsed by the governor

      ACHE Partnership: Membership critical; encourage colleagues to put in $1 a month to build a voice for higher education

      9 TV stations and all newspapers covered rally

      Partnership is behind the scenes

      Good relationship with K-12; K-12 has plan ready for court; and Partnership will put a similar structure together

      Must get tax reform through the legislature; then the work begins

      6-8 weeks away from bill going to the legislature

      New era: Governor says show me you are good stewards, and I will do all I can to get your money

      Financial aid down in Alabama by 19%; up at the SREB level

      Foundations put in place by the legislature for K-12 based on equity law suit; money has gone into foundations instead of financial aid

      Input is important; will come speak to Faculty Senates

 

State Plan for Alabama Higher Education 2003-2008

The State Plan for Alabama Higher Education 2003-2008 was presented to the group.  The draft was presented to the Council of Presidents on March 12, 2003, and Makowski and Floyd attended that meeting.  Floyd requested that we look at it carefully and take it back to our Faculty Senates for input by March 31, 2003, as the COPs deadline for overall comments and changes is April 1, 2003.  This is the first time to have this opportunity, and he promised that we would not cut it up.  The document will then go to the legislature.  Smith stated that the document was too long and needs fewer bullet points.  Harrington commented that we need to read the document and be prepared to quiz Kitty Collier tomorrow, as she will meet with us at 9:00 to go over the plan.  Makowski pointed out that we cut a deal to get the document; therefore, we must give her feedback tomorrow in order to improve the plan.  They are behind in adopting it, and it is a 5-year plan.  Floyd requested that we take the document and digest it tonight.  Heaven asked about the purpose of ACHE.  Floyd replied that ACHE was formed by the legislature, and it must approve every program and police the viability of each program.

 

Tax Reform Resolution

            The UAH Faculty Senate set the precedent with its Alabama Tax Reform Resolution.  Hillman reported that 1500 signatures were collected and requested that the 2 sisters institutions follow suit.  Floyd reported that the UWA Faculty Senate also developed a resolution, and a copy was put in each faculty members box.  He asked if this body wanted to develop its own resolution.  The response was yes, and he volunteered to compose a document tonight in order for the group to edit it tomorrow.

 

Faculty Salary Schedules

            Floyd requested copies of faculty salary schedule from the universities.  He asked how many have a schedule.  The responses included:

      UAB: Rachel Report; some sources in the medical field come from private sources; 10% of medical money comes from the state

      UA: We do not have a salary scale per se

      UAH: Includes school and rank

      AAMU: Present scale is not implemented; Faculty Senate has a proposal for a new scale ready to present

      UNA: Have grid but there is the tendency to grandfather in at the SREB level; have handbook but do not have contracts

Other discussion included the reporting of earnings from consultation and the intellectual properties policies of some universities.

            The meeting was adjourned and would resume at 8:00 in the morning.

 

Friday, March 14, 2003

            President R. T. Floyd called the meeting to order at 8:15.

ACUFPs Tax Reform Resolution 

            Floyd presented the document, and it was approved.  Hillman moved to accept and Makowski seconded.  Floyd will make copies and distribute to the legislature.  He requested that each Faculty Senate develop its own resolution by April 10, 2003.  He commended UAH for its work.  The UAH Faculty Senate had its resolution and a petition (on its web site) with 1500 signatures ready for Higher Education Day, and copies were sent to the other 2 UA schools.  Hillman suggested wording each resolution as UAH had done to include faculty, staff, and friends of UAH.

University Foundation Expenditures 

            Makowski asked how other universities handle foundation issues and how foundation money is spent at other institutions.  Hillman reminded the group that the web site accessing Form 990 would help to gain information.  The following answers and issues were discussed:

      UAH: Scholarships, dormitories, etc.; no pay roll

      UWA: Donations must go through the foundation for tax deduction; may specify where money goes; foundation has by-laws; no conflict; good feeling toward foundation

      UNA: Conflict when donations are given through the foundation; 10% comes off the top to run the foundation; handicaps direct work with the community

Makowski asked if others could apply to the foundation for help in doing research.  The answers included and initiated the following discussion points:

      UAH: No; have research sources

      UNA: Unheard of; money is coming in; no support for faculty members to complete degrees

      UWA: Yes; the foundation supports grants written by the faculty

The group went on to discuss sabbatical leave.  Beaird described UWAs sabbatical leave for faculty members to finish degrees.  A committee looks at the needs of each department and makes decisions based on the need in order to keep quality faculty members at UWA.  During sabbatical leave the faculty member gets of his/her salary, and 25% goes to pay for covering his/her classes.  This came out of SACS, which recommends 50/50.  They hope to develop a post-tenure policy for incentive after acquiring the rank of full professor. 

JSU funds the full sabbatical leave. Makowski stated that release time at UNA is rare, and it is for 1 unpaid year minus 1 year of retirement; therefore, it is a disincentive to do scholarship.

 

Presentation on ACHEs State Plan for Alabama Higher Education 2003-2008 

Kitty Collier joined the group at 9:00 and gave a power point presentation on the unfinished document and asked for input from the group. Her focus included:

Why?

        Required by law

        Right thing to do-advocacy, accountability, action

What?

        Continue study

        Analysis

        Evaluate

        Components: Vision, Purpose, Description, Planning, Goals & Objectives (goals & objectives will vary as each university is different)

Who?

        All public higher education; 2-year and 4-year schools

How?

        Liaison group (PLG)

        Presentations from 13 individuals

        Conducted environmental scan

        Developed draft

        Share draft/revise

        Market as a 5-year commitment of needed resources for higher education

Next?

        Share with stakeholders; each campus has a representative

        COP recommended adding a goal on facilities

        Timeline: Adopt May 2003 (may be ambitious)

Kitty Collier (retiring May 1, 2003) answered the following questions:

How is viability determined?

            Administration often uses viability to make decisions; administration makes viable decisions before it ever gets to ACHE, and ACHE gets the blame.  The words cost and quality are not in the statue.  ACHE did not want to put the standards in the law, but many of the 12 board members who are political appointments do not have academic backgrounds.

How can a program be justifiably viable (7.2 majors) when it looses students to the professional schools? For example, chemistry majors leave to go to the medical schools.

            You must justify and do a good job in giving information to the commission to waiver requests.  There is a viability person on each campus, and comments must be shared with the commission.  Remember you do not have to have a program in order to teach classes.  Psychology is highly viable; however, with a BS in psychology a graduate cannot get a job; therefore, be proactive and show how to strengthen a questionable program.  During the 1980s, they asked for quality, utility, and efficiency, but since the passage of the Accountability Bill in 1996, a program is reviewed and eliminated if it did not make the numbers.

Do you take into consideration the uniqueness of each school?

            Yes, and we monitor the program that did not meet viability standards for 3 years before making a decision.

How does the commission view new programs?

            Program duplication is arbitrary; however, the commission takes a very narrow view of duplications.  A moratorium is established on programs. The lay board does not understand distance learning.  With financial aid being so low in the state, it cost students more to have distance learning offered.  We are just now getting a number of Hispanic students in school, and language programs are a problem.  We are sharing programs and combining many language programs.  This is a real challenge.

How can John Smith from UAB communicate suggestions pertaining to the 2003-2008 plan?

            He may do so by making his comments to the UAB representative to the commission.

 

ACUFP Web Page

            This is linked to all universities.  Suggestions were made to add a link to Guide Star, to all Faculty Senate web pages, and to Faculty Handbooks.

 

ACUFP Yahoo Groups 

            Floyd suggested that everyone join the Yahoo Groups, as this would be useful.  Not everyone has joined at this time.  He sends messages to the groups email addresses.

 

Fall 2003 Meeting

            UNA will host the Fall Meeting on November 14-15, 2003, from 12:00 on Friday to 12:00 on Saturday.  The group approved this after Harrington moved to accept and Beaird seconded. 

 

Spring 2004 Meeting

            Floyd stated that matching up the Spring Meeting with Higher Education Day in Montgomery was good.  As a result we heard directly from Potts, Stone, and Collier.  He asked if the group wanted to continue that.  Harrington stated that TSUM would like to host in the spring if possible; he will check, as the status of TSUM is uncertain at this time.  Jones suggested that we invite the legislators to our meeting.  Floyd stated that we need the Faculty Senate from each university to be represented.  Jones echoed that we need commitment from each to have strength and suggested that each Faculty Senate President contact someone who was not here today and encourage him/her to attend in the spring.  Floyd said he would do some telephoning along with sending email messages.  Matching the Spring Meeting with Higher Education Day in Montgomery was approved by the group after Floyd moved to accept and Beaird seconded.

 

Other

            Scott Meyer from UM requested by email ways that other universities handle the practice of offering invocations at convocations that make reference to one specific religion (usually Christian).  Answers were rotate ministers, do invocation in general way, and conduct by university chaplain.

 

University Reports

University of Alabama in Huntsville

            Hillman reported that the Faculty Senate was:

      Pushing tax reform

      Working on course repeat policy

 

Alabama A & M University

            Jones reported that the Faculty Senate had accomplished:

      Monthly meetings with AAMUs President

      Improvement in problems of receiving correct salary payments on time

      Dropping of moratorium on tenure and promotions

      Resolution to restructure academic programs

      3% pay increase across the board for faculty and staff in 2002

      Offset of increase in health insurance premiums by the university

      Development of an Intellectual Properties Policy

      Reinstatement of summer compensation salary

She also reported that AAMUs Faculty Senate was working on the following

concerns:

      Parking and driving rage on campus

      Faculty salary schedule

      Faculty loads for contact and lab hours

      Evaluations for staff, faculty, and administration

      Definitions for supplemental, overload, and professional incentive pay

      Development of a junior faculty mentoring program

      Shared governance

      Faculty handbook

      Adequate space and facilities for academic programs

      Reinstatement of budgeting and planning process

 

Troy State University in Dothan

            Robert Saunders send a written report stating that the TSUD Faculty Council has addressed the following issues:

      Tenure and promotion

      Emeritus ranking

      Promotion of librarians

      Consolidation of all TSU campuses

      Drafting of a common handbook

      Representation on ACUFP; uncertain as the System Faculty Assembly consists of 5 campuses (Dothan, Montgomery, Troy, Phenix City, and University College); no main campus; mixed reception from faculties

      Adjunct teaching; 80% of the courses taught by adjuncts; reduction in quality

      Ensure that retiring faculty will be replaced by full-time faculty

 

Troy State University in Montgomery

            Harrington reported that the TSUM Faculty Council was concerned about the following:

      The court case

      Consolidation of all TSU campuses

      TSUMs ceasing to be independent

      Reduction in representation and dues to ACUFP

      Hiring of 95-100 adjuncts for 8-week terms to teach at TSUM; quality questionable; programs suffer

      Loosing vice presidents and deans

      Development of common courses and faculty handbook

      Resolution opposing 2 commencements

      Tenure and promotion process in timely manner

 

University of North Alabama

            Makowski reported that the Faculty Senate was working toward:

      Shared governance as it is connected with the Faculty Senate

      Challenge of Faculty Senate carving out a new identity as a vehicle where faculty concerns are aired and as a balancing act between the 7 upper level committees with administration, faculty, staff, and students

      Development of deadlines for efficient committee work

      Diversity hiring

      Degree completion and rehiring of retired faculty

      Faculty attitude survey

      Workshops addressing student recruitment and retention

      Working with UNAs President so that the Faculty Senate will be heard

 

University of West Alabama

            Beaird reported that the Faculty Senate had:

      Proposed paid maternity leave

      Concerns about identity thief; use of social security numbers

      Concerns about 2 SACS recommendations (team will return in the fall for follow up):

  1. involvement of Board of Trustees in the everyday working of the university
  2. role of the administration in carrying out policy

 

Adjournment

            The meeting was adjourned at 12:00.

Minutes recorded by Sandra Powell

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