Minutes of the Auburn University Senate Meeting
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
238 Broun Hall
3:30 P.M.

A full transcript is available for this meeting.

Daniel Svyantek, Chair; Michael Baginski, Chair-Elect; Don Mulvaney, Secretary; Beverly Marshall, Secretary-Elect;  James Goldstein, Immediate-Past Chair


Royrickers Cook, VP  Outreach and Associate Provost; Don Large, Executive VP; Kelli Shomaker, VP, Business and Finance, and CFO; Taffye Clayton, VP & Assoc. Provost of Inclusion and Diversity; Bobby Woodard, VP for Student Affairs; Gretchen Van Valkenburg, VP, George Flowers, Dean of the Graduate School; Paul Patterson, College of Agriculture; June Henton, Dean, College of Human Sciences; Bobby Woodard, VP for Student Affairs


J. Emmett Winn, Associate Provost (substitute for Timothy Boosinger); Bonnie MacEwan, Dean of Libraries; Lawrence Hamberlin, A&P Assembly Chair; Lucretia Tripp, Steering Committee; Jared Russell, Steering Committee; Michael Tillson, Steering Committee

Absent, not sending substitute: 

Janaki Alavalapati, Dean, School of Forestry and Wildlife Science; Richard Hansen, Dean Harrison School of Pharmacy; Betty Lou Whitford, Dean College of Education, Lisa Kensler, Steering Committee; Jacqueline Keck SGA President; Tenchi Smith, GSC President; Charleen Thomas, Staff Council Chair

Senators, by Department
Lisa Miller, Accountancy; Paul Brown, ACES; Rebecca O'Neal-Dagg, Architecture; Stephen Nichols for Anwar Ahmed, Aerospace Engineering; Satyanarayana Pondugula for Chad Faradori, Anatomy Physiology and Pharmacology; Kathryn Floyd, Art; Cliff Defee, Aviation Management; Anthony Moss, Biological Sciences; Yi Yang, Biosystems Engineering; Mark Tatum, Building Science; Bryan Bechingham, Chemical Engineering; Doug Goodwin, Chemistry; Cliff Lange, Civil Engineering; John Carvallo for Ed Youngblood, Communication and Journalism; Allison Plumb, Communication Disorders; David Umphress, Computer Science and Software Engineering; Ann Beth Presley, Consumer & Design Sciences; Charles Chen, Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences; Melody Russell, Curriculum & Teaching; Michael Stern for Liliana Stern, Economics; Jung Won Hur, Educational Foundations, Leadership; Jitendra Tugnalt, Electrical & Computer Engineering; James E. Ryan, English; Lee Colquit, Finance; Ash Bullard, Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture; Zachary Zuwiyya, Foreign Lang & Literatures; Latif Kalin, Forestry & Wildlife Science; Ming-kuoo Lee, Geology & Geography; Kimberly Garza, Health Outcomes and Research Policy; Monique Laney, History; Daniel wells, Horticulture; Mark Schall, Industrial and Systems Engineering; Andreas Kavazis, Kinesiology; Greg Schmidt, Library; Alan Walker, Management; Dora Bock, Marketing; Dmitry Glotov, Mathematics and Statistics; Daniel Mackowski, Mechanical Engineering; Matthew Hoch, Music;; Michael Greene, Nutrition, Dietetics, & Hospitality Mgmt.; Chippewa Thomas, Outreach; Vicky van Santen, Pathobiology; Spencer Durham, Pharmacy Practice; Eric Marcus, Philosophy; Michael Fogle, Physics; Cathleen Erwin, Political Science; Tracy Witte, Psychology; Jeff Welborn, Lieutenant Colonel, ROTC Air Force; Roshun Steele, LTC., ROTC Army; Willie Billingslea, ROTC Navy; Arianne Gaetano, Socio/Anthro/Social Work; Robin Jaffe, Theatre; Annette Smith, Veterinary  Clinical Sciences.                                           

Absent, sending substitute

Carlton Ley Stephen Nichols for Anwar Ahmed (Aerospace Engineering); Kyel Kostelecty for Paul Brown (ACES); Satyanarayana Pondugula for Chad Faradori, Anatomy Physiology and Pharmacology; John Carvallo for Ed Youngblood, (Communication and Journalism);  Rob Agne for Ed Youngblood, (Communication and Journalism); Michael Stern for Liliana Stern (Economics);

Absent, not sending substitute

Werner Bergen, Animal Science; Doug Goodwin, Chemistry;  Ann Beth Presley, Consumer & Design Science;  Forest Smith, Drug Discovery and Development; David Held, Entomology & Plant Pathology; Carlton Ley, Industrial Design; David Crumbley, Nursing; Ken Macklin, Poultry Science; Marilyn Cornish, Special Ed. Rehabilitation Counseling/School Psych.


At 3:30 PM, Chair Dan Svyantek called the meeting to order and reminded the members of the senate or substitute for a senator to sign in in the back of the room and get a clicker; and substitutes to sign in by printing his/her name on the 2nd column by the senator. He also reminded the Senator rules about speaking at Senate meetings. A quorum requiring 44 senators was established with 50 senators present.

The minutes of the June 13, 2017 Senate meeting were approved without modifications.

Remarks and Announcements
Office of the President, Dr. Steven Leath, President
President Leath expressed his appreciation to Senate for the invitation and the importance of shared governance.  He shared some of his experiences since arriving on campus and conveyed that his long term vision for campus will emerge early in 2018.  He shared that he was hired to grow the research and scholarship efforts across campus and to improve our national and international reputation and to raise money.   He reflected on the positives about AU’s undergraduate retention rates and that he felt many things were unbroken which will make his job an easier transition. 
He shared some perspectives on his organizational management style which call for a few administrative alignments including a decision making efforts to create a Chief of Staff (COS) model and that Brian Keeter is serving as interim COS until a search for a permanent officer is found.

Mike Stern, substitute senator challenged the view that nothing was broken as evidenced by low faculty attendance at general faculty meetings and challenges in getting faculty involved in serving in the shared governance committees and offices. President Leath acknowledged the need and opportunity to improve.

Tony Moss, senator, expressed an experience that limited an ability to capitalize on a funding opportunity resulting from a lack of available seed funds.  President Leath acknowledged an interest in being partners with deans to advance faculty driven initiatives.

Mark Schall, senator, expressed a concern stemming from the bureaucratic challenges in getting similar contracts through the various approval processes. President Leath affirmed that this is an area he wants to look into to make more streamlined and efficient.

University Senate Chair, Daniel Svyantek
Chair Svyantek introduced the Senate officers, administrative assistant Laura Kloberg and Jim Witte as parliamentarian.  He invited Past-Chair Goldstein to comment on the passing of a former chair Dennis Rygiel.provided a summary reflection on the mutually respectful shared governance of this administration and faculty during the last decade, the unique role of faculty in that joint endeavor, and the importance of academic freedom.  He then called upon Diane Boyd, Director of the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, to report on the Mell Central Classroom.

Information Item
Dr. Boyd provided an update on the active learning initiatives enabled by the EASL classrooms in the Mell Classroom

Chairman Svyantek provided an overview of the role of the senate and an example of shared governance at work with the roll back of the policy on fixed price residual funds.  He commented on the list of issues and goals for coming year:

Mike Stern, substitute senator, inquired about the status of the Faculty Athletics Representative position (FAR).

President Leath responded to the question indicating a process is underway which was affirmed by Chairman Svyantek. Additional question allowed the chair to delineate between chair of the Intercollegiate Athletic Committee and the FAR.

Action Item

Information Item
Taffye Clayton, VP and Assoc. Provost for Inclusion and Diversity addressed the assembly about a process which has lead up to the establishment of a university wide speaker series that focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion science related to higher education. Planners combined the thematic elements of each of these 3 areas; diversity and inclusion science, intellectual viewpoint diversity, and free speech to create the “Critical Conversations” speaker series. The speaker series will launch on September 1 at 4 p.m. in the Student Ballroom in the Student Center. The launch will also be live streamed. The kickoff will feature professors Robert George and Cornel West, ideological different individuals.

The fall slate will also feature thought leader and author, Howard Ross of Cook Ross; Professor Derald Wing Sure of Columbia University; The New York Times columnist, column of “Closed Minds on Campus,” Frank Bruni; and media duo, former White House correspondent, Ann Compton alongside Donna Brazile, political commentator.

The spring 2018 speaker slate will be announced in October.
Questions: None

Unfinished Business:
Dan Svyantek, Senate Chair

New Business

Dan Svyantek, Senate Chair 

Dan Svyantek, chair-elect, announced adjournment of the meeting at 4:20 pm.