ACUFP Meeting March 13-14, 2003
The University of Alabama Systems Office
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.
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 treasurer’s report. The following questions were discussed:
Ø Have all universities paid? No.
Ø What are the plans for the money? It is used to defray the cost of the meetings and on political activities involving higher education.
Ø Can we fund a delegate to next Wednesday’s 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.
Ø 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:
Ø 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)
Ø We share issues from other universities and get ideas. It was unique to hear from Dr. Potts today. (Makowski)
Ø We are the first group to review the draft of the State Plan for Alabama Higher Education 2003-2008. (Floyd)
Ø 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)
Ø 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)
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:
Ø Increased appreciation by the legislature
Ø Record numbers came
Ø We have opportunities in a future of struggles
Ø Must proceed in efforts to gain new money
Ø We must live up to the commitment to get voters to understand the whole picture
Ø Endorsed by the governor
Ø ACHE Partnership: Membership critical; encourage colleagues to put in $1 a month to build a voice for higher education
Ø 9 TV stations and all newspapers covered rally
Ø Partnership is behind the scenes
Ø Good relationship with K-12; K-12 has plan ready for court; and Partnership will put a similar structure together
Ø Must get tax reform through the legislature; then the work begins
Ø 6-8 weeks away from bill going to the legislature
Ø New era: Governor says show me you are good stewards, and I will do all I can to get your money
Ø Financial aid down in Alabama by 19%; up at the SREB level
Ø Foundations put in place by the legislature for K-12 based on equity law suit; money has gone into foundations instead of financial aid
Ø Input is important; will come speak to Faculty Senates
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 COP’s 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.
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 member’s 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.
Floyd requested copies of faculty salary schedule from the universities. He asked how many have a schedule. The responses included:
Ø UAB: Rachel Report; some sources in the medical field come from private sources; 10% of medical money comes from the state
Ø UA: We do not have a salary scale per se
Ø UAH: Includes school and rank
Ø AAMU: Present scale is not implemented; Faculty Senate has a proposal for a new scale ready to present
Ø 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.
President R. T. Floyd called the meeting to order at 8:15.
ACUFP’s 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:
Ø UAH: Scholarships, dormitories, etc.; no pay roll
Ø 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
Ø 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:
Ø UAH: No; have research sources
Ø UNA: Unheard of; money is coming in; no support for faculty members to complete degrees
Ø UWA: Yes; the foundation supports grants written by the faculty
The group went on to discuss sabbatical leave. Beaird described UWA’s 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 ¾ 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 ACHE’s 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:
· Required by law
· Right thing to do-advocacy, accountability, action
· Continue study
· Components: Vision, Purpose, Description, Planning, Goals & Objectives (goals & objectives will vary as each university is different)
· All public higher education; 2-year and 4-year schools
· 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
· 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 group’s 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.
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 of Alabama in Huntsville
Hillman reported that the Faculty Senate was:
Ø Pushing tax reform
Ø Working on course repeat policy
Alabama A & M University
Jones reported that the Faculty Senate had accomplished:
Ø Monthly meetings with AAMU’s President
Ø Improvement in problems of receiving correct salary payments on time
Ø Dropping of moratorium on tenure and promotions
Ø Resolution to restructure academic programs
Ø 3% pay increase across the board for faculty and staff in 2002
Ø Offset of increase in health insurance premiums by the university
Ø Development of an Intellectual Properties Policy
Ø Reinstatement of summer compensation salary
She also reported that AAMU’s Faculty Senate was working on the following
Ø Parking and driving rage on campus
Ø Faculty salary schedule
Ø Faculty loads for contact and lab hours
Ø Evaluations for staff, faculty, and administration
Ø Definitions for supplemental, overload, and professional incentive pay
Ø Development of a junior faculty mentoring program
Ø Shared governance
Ø Faculty handbook
Ø Adequate space and facilities for academic programs
Ø 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:
Ø Tenure and promotion
Ø Emeritus ranking
Ø Promotion of librarians
Ø Consolidation of all TSU campuses
Ø Drafting of a common handbook
Ø 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
Ø Adjunct teaching; 80% of the courses taught by adjuncts; reduction in quality
Ø 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:
Ø The court case
Ø Consolidation of all TSU campuses
Ø TSUM’s ceasing to be independent
Ø Reduction in representation and dues to ACUFP
Ø Hiring of 95-100 adjuncts for 8-week terms to teach at TSUM; quality questionable; programs suffer
Ø Loosing vice presidents and deans
Ø Development of common courses and faculty handbook
Ø Resolution opposing 2 commencements
Ø Tenure and promotion process in timely manner
University of North Alabama
Makowski reported that the Faculty Senate was working toward:
Ø Shared governance as it is connected with the Faculty Senate
Ø 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
Ø Development of deadlines for efficient committee work
Ø Diversity hiring
Ø Degree completion and rehiring of retired faculty
Ø Faculty attitude survey
Ø Workshops addressing student recruitment and retention
Ø Working with UNA’s President so that the Faculty Senate will be heard
University of West Alabama
Beaird reported that the Faculty Senate had:
Ø Proposed paid maternity leave
Ø Concerns about identity thief; use of social security numbers
Ø Concerns about 2 SACS recommendations (team will return in the fall for follow up):
The meeting was adjourned at 12:00.
Minutes recorded by Sandra Powell
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