General Faculty Meeting Minutes

March 7, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
238 Broun Hall

A full transcript is available for this meeting.

Call to Order
Faculty Chair James Goldstein called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm.

The minutes for October 4, 2016 General Faculty Meeting were approved without modification.

Remarks and Announcements
Office of the President: Jay Gogue, President
Last year, AU had the strongest entering academic class; fund-raising has been going on strong as expected; during general election, AU created 2 new at-large positions on the Board of Trustees that was approved; all the resolutions voted by Senate were approved by BoT; The Education Trust Fund bill in the legislature is being developed and a large increase in funding is expected, information is posted on Budget Services site; groundbreaking of art museum improvements scheduled for summer 2017. President then talked briefly about the new federal travel ban; all Auburn international students are documented and will not be affected by the new Executive Order. He then ended his remarks by expressing his appreciation of working with all faculty at AU for the past 10 years.

Questions: None

University Senate: James Goldstein, Senate and Faculty Chair
Dr. Goldstein shared thoughts and observations about the current state of academic freedom and tenure in the light of some state legislatures filing bills to eliminate tenure, and to reiterate the faculty’s hope that the new president will support academic freedom and tenure at Auburn. His remarks are linked here.

Q: Michael L. Stern (Department of Economics):

A: The AU Chapter of the AAUP has not given this award for the past 2 years. Hopefully the Chapter will bring it back.
Q: Michael Stern: Free-speech is the given right by the 1st Amendment, not the tenure system. People are given the right to speak our mind on issues and concerns, regardless if they are tenured or not.

Information Items

1. Update on activities and initiatives in Administrative and Professional Assembly, presented by Timothy Jones, Chair of A&P Assembly

Tim presented updates regarding subcommittees, including the Professional Development – brown bag lunches (tuition benefits, insurance changes); Welfare Committee – Hardship Fund (employee funded); Nominations & Elections Committee, and Grievance Committee. He then talked about navigating FLSA changes – managing employee needs (e.g. college level advisors v. career counselor). The last information was about assessing the process for possibly combining A&P with Staff Council to create synergy.
Two open questions:
- Is there anything A&P can do to assist or align with goals and initiatives with Faculty Senate?
- We need to become more proactive in our approach to supporting faculty and students.  As a project manager for OIT, is there anything faculty wish to see from an IT perspective?

2. Update on student response to statement by administration on Executive Order, presented by Sarah Pitts, College of Liberal Arts

Sarah briefed on the background that motivated her letter regarding the Executive Order that has been posted on Senate website agenda for Feb. 14, 2017.

She updated faculty about her meetings with AU administrators and current understanding of the issue and concerns. She ended her presentation by reading a letter by another concerned student to Congressman Mike Rogers.

3. Announcement of results of 2017-18 Senate Officers election; presented by Dan Svyantek, Chair-Elect

The next Chair-elect will be Michael Baginski from Electrical & Computer Engr. and the next secretary-elect will be Beverly Marshall from Finance.

Unfinished Business: James Goldstein, Senate and Faculty Chair:

New Business and Announcements: James Goldstein, Senate and Faculty Chair:

Adjournment: James Goldstein, Senate and Faculty Chair, at 4:30 pm