Auburn University Senate Minutes
January 8, 2002
Broun Hall Auditorium
Absent:† W. Bergen, N. Godwin, R. Ripley, D. Pascoe, R. Jenkins, R. Broughton, J. Gluhman, S. Krishnamurti, R. Henderson, R. Kenworthy, S. Fuller.
Absent (substitute):† C. Hudson (M. Jensen), H. Guffey (M. ______), S. Knowlton (Robideaux),† D. White (L. Bell), J. LaPrade (S. Parmer), C. Hageman (H. Crawford), S. Bentley (G. Anderson).
The minutes for the last meeting were approved as posted on the web. They can be found at the Senate Home Page at www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/schedule.html November 13 2001.
It is my pleasure to welcome the Senate back from the holidays. I want to thank each and every member of this group for all you do to make a better Auburn University. I look forward to working with you in the months ahead as we strive to move this institution forward.
I have a number of matters I want to discuss. Before getting to them, I want to take just a few moments to acknowledge with great sadness and respect the untimely death of Sam Mockabee, Professor of Architecture. Sambo represented this University at its very best. His example is one to which we can all strive and he is indeed one of my personal heroes. Samís work brought together the three elements of the land-grant mission with a beauty and perfection that earned him and our University international recognition. At the Rural Studio, his students learned the craft of design, and at the same time their creative efforts directly served the people of West Alabama. When asked why he chose to involve himself in this fashion, his response was simple: ďitís the right thing to do.Ē Sam Mockabeeís example should serve as an inspiration to us all. My sincere respect and appreciation extend to his family as well as his colleagues over in Architecture.
My first update relates to the SACS lawsuit. We continue to await the judgeís decision regarding the issues that have been raised. I am hopeful that we will have that decision soon. Oral arguments were presented on that case November 19 and I honestly thought we would have resolution by now. The visiting team that has been appointed is scheduled to be here on campus at the end of the month. Hopefully, the courtís decision will be here prior to that point.
My next update relates to matters of diversity and inclusiveness. Iíve sent Professor Bradley a memo designating the Multicultural Diversity Commission as a standing committee. I believe that as a standing committee this body can do much to advance tolerance and diversity at Auburn University and I look forward to working with the Senate to help this committee get off to a good start.
In related matters, a great deal of work has been done in drafting a policy statement on diversity and tolerance, and I believe that topic is slated for discussion today. John Pritchett will be reporting to you on some initiatives he has been working on with individuals from Russell Corporation. I met with those individuals and was quite impressed by what they have to offer in working with us here at Auburn.
Before I leave that subject, let me extend an apology to some of those who took offense at some of the remarks I made in November. You will recall we had received hundreds of messages from across the country about events that had transpired, and I mentioned that only a few of those had come from the faculty. My intent was to express surprise that I had not heard from more members of the faculty. I did not intend to disparage or ignore the many very fine efforts the faculty has taken to advance the principles of tolerance. Nor did I ever intend to suggest that the faculty were not concerned or interested. As a result of all this, I have become much better educated, and I am grateful for that, so that now I am aware of the many efforts the faculty has undertaken. I applaud your efforts and apologize for any offense I may have unintentionally caused.
I would like to turn now to an issue that arose late last year about disruptive noise on campus. This was caused by loudspeakers in the football stadium that were being used to simulate the noises the football team would hear in Baton Rouge. By the way, those attempts to acclimate the football team were apparently unsuccessful. But Jim Bradley asked the administration to address the issue; the result is a policy drafted by a committee that John Pritchett put together. The committee members included faculty, administration, and representatives of Athletics. The committee felt the best course was to design a policy that would prevent occurrences of any kind that would disrupt classes or any other academic activities. While the statement of the policy is brief, I believe it will be effective:†
If in the conduct of any formal events sanctioned by the University, there is a potential for disruption of scheduled instructional or other activities, the responsible administrator of the area conducting the event must notify the Provost Office. The Provost in consultation with the President will assess the potential for disruption of scheduled instructional or other academic activities. Events deemed disruptive will not be permitted.
You will note that the President and the Provost conduct their review without additional input; the reason for that is the policy is set up for decisions to be made very quickly as needed. Any cases in which this policy is brought into play will be reported fully to the Senate leadership.
I would like to turn to budgetary matters now. Iím sure you are aware that the State legislature convened a special session in December and appears to have come up with a budget package that will be sufficient to preclude proration in the coming year. There is still some uncertainty about exactly what we can expect. What they came up with was over $160 million, even though some estimates of the amounts of what will actually be needed range up to as high as $200 million. Nevertheless, I am cautiously optimistic that our state funding will remain level during this year and am also hopeful and somewhat optimistic that the same thing will happen for the next fiscal year as well. Recall, this is an election year and the legislative session started today at 12; by April we will see whether our hopes for level funding are justified. If they are, that is, if proration does not occur in the projected fiscal year, then I do plan to present to the Trustees proposals for improvements in compensations for this year and for the coming year. One of the most pressing issues we continue to face is inadequate compensation, in particular for faculty; we simply must do everything we can to make sure our compensation is competitive.
Even though it is crucial that we achieve reasonably stable state funding for higher education, this by itself will not enable us to achieve and maintain the levels of quality we should be striving to attain. There are some additional initiatives that are underway that I would like to update you on. The first such initiative relates to state funding for two critical needs facing the University. Over the past few months, I have been conducting regional meetings of the Auburn Legislative Action Network (ALAN), which includes members of the legislature as well as politically active friends of the University. My objective in these meetings has been to mobilize political support to achieve $10 million for continual support of funding for Agriculture, particularly the Agricultural Experiment Station, and $20 million in one-time funding for the Center of Transportation Technology in the College of Engineering. The support for the Experiment Station is absolutely essential for the long-term financial stability of this very important sector of the University. The funding for the Center for Transportation Technology will serve as a state match for the $30 million in federal dollars weíve already achieved with the help of Senator Richard Shelby. With the facilities this funding will make possible, we expect to achieve a leadership role in the Transportation field. Our strength in this field will do much to help us attract federal research dollars and will recruit industry to the area. The resulting economic growth will benefit Auburn University, the Auburn-Opelika area, and the state.
Those of you who attended my State of the University address may recall my urging that economic growth should be a key objective of Auburn University and indeed all the research universities in the state. I will continue to press this theme; you should be aware that I will not be the only university president doing so. This past Friday I convened a meeting with the presidents of the six research universities on just that subject. Also included in that meeting was the new chancellor of the University of Alabama system, Malcolm Portera. At the meeting, there was clearly a great deal of interest in the case that can be made for enhanced state funding for Alabamaís research universities, because of the research-based contributions these institutions make to economic development in Alabama. I find it noteworthy that within weeks of assuming responsibility for the Alabama system, Chancellor Portera began advancing the same argument. I think this is an idea whose time has certainly arrived. Auburn needs to take the lead in advancing it. Furthermore, I believe this idea can play a central role in the University-wide review we are undertaking of Auburnís goals and funding needs and the framework set forth by the 21st century commission.
I am pleased to report that several subcommittees are up and running as a part of that planning process. This revisiting of our strategic objectives is essential because SACS demands it of the institutions it accredits. Also, our ability to mount an effective campaign in the future will depend on our careful review of our strategic goals.
We are currently assessing the feasibility of conducting such a campaign, and the search for a VP for Development is currently underway. It is my hope that by the end of the current semester we will have in place the components we need to initiate a successful fund-raising campaign.
In addition to all of these initiatives, I believe our alumni can be of great help to us as we plan to find the funding we need to advance the University. The Alumni Advisory Council will be meeting this Saturday from 11-2 over in Dixon Conference Center. I suspect that many of the Trustees will be in attendance and I encourage you to be present if at all possible. The topic of the meeting is the Universityís funding needs and how the Alumni Advisory Council can help support those needs and efforts.
All in all I am hopeful these initiatives will go a long way to putting us in control of our own financial destiny. That concludes my formal announcements. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Christa Slaton, Political Science:† First, I would like to thank you for your apology to the faculty for the misunderstanding of your comments. Secondly, I would like to ask you about the money spent on the SACS lawsuit and the rationale for it. One of the reasons for the lawsuit as explained to us was the concern that the University might lose accreditation because of SACS not following due process. There are several faculty including myself who donít believe that was ever a major problem at Auburn.† Being from Political Science, I am concerned because we have two programs in our department that are accredited and have to go through accreditation and site visits.† We have to pay an accreditation fee.† One program, Health Administration, has 100 majors, and the students get good jobs when they get out.† That program has been told that there are not funds to pay its accreditation fee of $1800 per year.† So I ask you to please share some of that money going to lawyers for the SACS lawsuit to help us save our programs.
Dr. Walker: Is Dean Pindzola here? You will get your money. Let me hit on a subject that Dr. Large and I have been talking about. As of yesterday, the total salary budgeted for this University is $140 million. That is the unrestricted main campus. Almost $20 million is in open positions. That is money that can be spent for the sort of thing you are talking about. I donít know what is going on, but there should be no question about meeting accreditation expenses. I apologize that you are having to go through that.
Larry Gerber, History (non-senator):† I have a question about the SACS visit scheduled for the end of this month. Have you been told who will be on this visiting team?
Dr. Walker:† The original team that was set up had four people plus someone from SACS as the coordinator. I assume it would be the same size. Those people included the president of the University of Virginia, a couple of people from Florida, and an attorney from Louisiana. I would be happy to get you those names, but I am not sure if it is the same group.
Dr. Gerber:† Have you not yet scheduled meetings with people for the visit?
Dr. Walker: †Well, both SACS and us are waiting to hear what the judge is going to allow or not allow at this meeting. I thought he would write a decision before the end of the year. In fact, I called him today to see about that, but frankly, I do not know what language is proper to use when asking a U.S. District Judge to do what he is going to do. We will keep pushing the issue.
Gary Mullen, Entomology/Plant Pathology:† Along those lines, with respect to the judgeís decision, the judge was hoping the parties involved would settle so that he would not have to make a decision.† I trust there is no effort to bring about a resolution?
Dr. Walker: There was indeed. Our attorney spent an entire day with the SACS people telling the things we would be interested in. What SACS came back with was a very clear indication that they were not interested in pursuing that avenue. Frankly, I was astounded at that because the oral arguments did not go in their favor. It was pretty obvious even from a noviceís view that the judge was not satisfied with some of their procedures and policies. In fact, even through the course of the hearings they acknowledged some concessions. So I figured they would be more than willing to come to the table and talk, but they did not indicate such an interest.
Herb Rotfeld, Steering Committee: Would you expand or explain what your comments were that were edited out of a national radio program? A lot of the faculty discussions have been about the nature or reasons for expelling or removing students from campus who were involved in the fraternity events last Halloween, and news stories have painted it as a discussion of yet another speech code. When your comments were played back on NPR, all your comments were that it was a safety issue. If you elaborated, it was deleted from the interview.
Dr. Walker: I donít even remember that interview.
Dr. Rotfeld:† All I have heard is that the expulsions were to insure campus safety.
Dr. Walker: That was the reason for enacting that provision of the student code that was inactive because there had been some threats received. We felt the best thing to do was to get people away so things could cool off. In fact, thatís what happened. I donít know that I am answering your question, but there was indeed a safety issue that we felt very strongly about.
Conner Bailey, Steering Committee: In anticipation of level funding, it seems to me that I recall in the current yearís budget we had set aside six percent of reserve anticipating possible proration. It appears that we may not need that for proration. What plans have we to spend that small amount of money.
Dr. Walker:† Well, it is not a small amount of money; it is several millions of dollars. I intend to go back to the Board of Trustees with recommendations for salary enhancements for this year. Exactly when Iím not sure; Don is still working on it. I didnít realize until yesterday that it would be a major upheaval to adjust the salaries like that. Apparently the budgets have to be rewritten, reprogrammed, etc. Maybe what we will do is a one time until the end of the year and begin it next October as an increase. It seems to me that weíve gotten away from the priorities that were established a few years ago. We have to get them back, or else we will always find reasons to not raise salaries. You will always be able to find something to spend money on.
Don Large, VP of Finance:† We have a meeting scheduled for the Budget Advisory Committee in a couple of weeks. I will present all of the data at that time of the $6 million reserve in the budget this year. Between that $6 million of what we hope is continuing money and is not allocated, and about $7 million in a quasi account, we have opportunities, how much you want to pull the reserve down, how much do you want to commit on a continuing basis, or wait a few more months to see what happens to funding in the legislature. I will be presenting all that information to Dr. Walker and the Budget Advisory Committee for their input. For example, we will look at a 2% continuing increase or a one-time increase, or a dollar amount concept as was used in the past. Dr. Walker had asked first thing after the holidays to look at that issue. Whatever we do, hopefully we will be able to present something to the Board in February. Whatever you do, it will take a while to work it through the processes and actually get checks out. It is a process, but we are working on it.
Virginia OíLeary, Psychology:† I am curious about the personnel procedures for filling vacant positions in Athletics as opposed to the rest of the institution. We are all familiar with lag time with obtaining approval, etc. when filling positions, but as most of us read recently in the OA News, there was a very short span of time in the latest filling of a vacant football coach position.
Dr. Walker:† I wish I were a fount of knowledge on that subject.† I have asked that question since I was a faculty member. Athletics doesnít get any dispensation from the federal regulations. They still have to satisfy but I donít know how they do it. It is a good question, and I appreciate your reminding me of it. I will continue to look into it, and perhaps now I will get more answers than I have in the past. It happens all over the country, though, with justifying reasons. So, I will continue to look into it.
Glenn Howze, Ag. Economics:† Why is the Athletic Department not under Affirmative Action? I think there is a problem there.
Dr. Walker:† I believe they are. I donít mind if it takes only a few days to hire just as long as they follow procedures.† The question is why does it take so long for us and such short a time for them? They claim with the NCAA that there are publications that go out weekly publicizing what positions are open. I have asked Dr. Pritchett and Dr. Large to chart how long it takes us to hire people and to figure out how we can get those times cut shorter and set some goals of what is a reasonable time. I can remember as a dean it taking a couple of months to get the paperwork back. The process is controlling, not the result; I think it should be the opposite.
Dr. OíLeary: It is my understanding that all these Athletic positions have to be approved by the Provost.
Dr. Walker: No, that stops at the Athletic Director. If it was a head coach, it would come to me.
Conner Bailey, Steering Committee:† On a slightly different matter, in late December there were legal notices in the newspaper regarding the purchase of an airplane. The notice in the subsequent article that Jackie Kochak wrote in the OA News left a lot of questions. It is unclear to me, for example, whether that money was raised specifically for an airplane, or if it was extra. I know we had a discussion about the need for the airplane. How did this come about?
Dr. Large:† When I got back into town late Jan 1 and woke up to the morning paper on Jan. 2, there was a big headline that Auburn University had purchased an airplane. I read the article written by Jackie Kochak, who always does a good job with fair and balanced reporting, and wasnít really sure what it said because she went back and forth quite a bit. I emailed her and told her I was surprised with her article and gave her the facts. I asked her to share that with the public at her earliest convenience.
Hereís what happened. Recall in the last four months that we have been working publicly with the Trustees to secure a bond rating higher than in the past. We issued bonds for the University, for certain academic buildings and the Athletic Department whose revenue was pledged to those funds. It was spelled out very clearly what Athletics was borrowing for; part of that was for the purchase of an airplane. What that was for was the purchase of the existing airplane that weíve had for the past year, that the AU Foundation is holding title to and is financing for the AU Athletic Dept. They were charging 8.5% interest on that $6 million loan. At that time, that was a fair market rate to charge Athletics, and everything was fine with interest rates dropping over the year. We went to the bond market at a very good time, and Athletics could borrow that $6 million included in their $22 or $23 million when they issued bonds and pay five percent interest, instead of 8.5%. They chose to borrow money and will be paying back the Foundation.
What does that notice mean and why was it timed that way? The notice related to the last legislative session and legislation that allowed certain auxiliary entities of universities to purchase or enter into contracts where no appropriated dollars would be spent, but would be self-generated dollars, and not have to go through the request for bid or request for proposal process. That particularly relates to contracts like food services, multimedia rights for Athletics, airplane purchases, etc. You have to advertise in newspapers that this is happening.
The timing of it was only because we got the money in early December and Terry Windle, the CFO of Athletics, wanted to get the 5% interest going as quickly as possible. So we worked with the Foundation to make the transaction go through. Now the Athletic Department has taken that money and given it to the Foundation and own the plane and will be financing it over the years. The ad came from the money in the bond fund. I donít know why the OA News couldnít wait one more day so they could actually contact me before they printed a headline and did not bother to correct it for another week.
It is the same plane. It is in the Universityís inventory and Athletics is paying for it with the bond funds they borrowed at 5% interest. There is nothing sinister and nothing unusual except that we donít buy a plane everyday.
While we are talking about that, I also said in my email to Jackie, be aware that in March there is a likelihood that Athletics will lease or buy another plane. That is the point when we can sell the King Air that is 25 years old that needs to be replaced; my advice to Athletics, who strongly believe they need access to two planes, they may consider leasing it and not buying it. So while the OA News was totally inaccurate, we still do have to deal with the problem of using the old plane. I wouldnít be surprised if you do read in March that they have leased, hopefully, not purchased, another aircraft. We had three aircraft; that will move it down to two; they would be newer models, probably jets.
[Unidentified Speaker]: †Who is ďthey?Ē Can they make the decision about purchasing?
Dr. Large: I will advise them on leasing. They can choose to purchase it. They are paying for it. I just hate to tie the Athletics Department to two purchases of assets over an extended period of time. Planes are very marketable, however, and you can usually sell them for more than you paid for them.
Judy Sheppard, Steering Committee:† For both of you, have the salaries of the new coaches been released?
Dr. Large: †I read about them in the paper this morning.
Ms. Sheppard: What about the salaries of the coaches that got fired?† Are they going to continue to get paid?
Dr. Large:† I do not know.
Dr. Walker: Make that a tentative no. Until I have had a specific conversation about it, I am reluctant to say no. That subject could have been broached, I am almost certain.
b. Announcements from the Senate Chair Ė Dr. Jim Bradley
Dr. Walker, I would like to thank you for the policy on noise control, one small but significant step to nurturing an environment conducive to academics.
First, the Rules Committee did submit three nominees for each faculty non-voting position on each of these four committees, and Dr. Walker selected one. The Board accepted his recommendation. The Budget Committee representative is from AUM; this campus had nothing to do with the appointment. The appointments are:
Budget Committee: Claire Crutchley, Finance
Agriculture Committee: Ken Tilt, Horticulture
Investment Committee: Marlin Jensen, Finance
Property & Facilities Committee: Steve Williams, Building Science
Another committee has been established, the Senate Nominating Committee. This committee is will nominate candidates for Senate officers for 2003-2004. The senate executive committee selected these committee members by the date specified by the Handbook. This committee will meet soon to discuss nominees. If you have nominees, please call and let these people know:
Bruce Gladden, Chair
Wayne Brewer, Entomology
Yvonne Kozlowski, Library
Ed Morrison, Anatomy
Greg Pettit, Human Development & Family Studies
Isabelle Thompson, English
The handout at the back of the room is almost the same as the one you received in November. Since the feedback I received then was so positive, I attempted to make this one more accurate. This is really a revision rather than an update. This revised sheet shows the total known expenses for the fiscal year of 2001-2002 for lawyers and consultants.
Expenses for two consulting groups were omitted from the November 2001, listing of University expenses for consultants and legal counsel:
IDEA (Hugh Darley, for "branding" and campus design)* $350.580.00
TOTAL known expenses for FY 01/02 then become $1,949,850. An itemization of these follows these announcements. This does not include any expenses associated with appeal of the Open Meetings verdict or the SACS lawsuit. An estimate or hourly rate for Attorney Peter Degnan who is handling the latter is still unknown.
REVISED JANUARY, 2002)
UNIVERSITY EXPENSES FOR CONSULTANTS AND LEGAL COUNSEL
(Ind. Cost Recovery Overhead study).............. $220.078.00
Arthur-Anderson (Alumni & Development study)... 310,697.00
Direct Communications (Heartsill et al.)
Office VP Research (FY >99->01)......................161,448.88
Athletics (FY >99->01).........................................259,493.68
Trustees (FY >00->01 for Newsletter and other publications,
speeches, and other work)..........112,394.52
Rick Heartsill $200/hr
Kim Cochran $125/hr
Publication of Trustee's Auburn Update (3 editions)............ 25,242.00
Bill Weary to date (11/01) (@ $250.00/hr)..................... 24,069.00
Contract for advice and recommendations regarding the search for a new president.
Jerry F. Smith (Athletic Dept. feasibility study)..........163,779.87
Phillip Adams, Attorney, Opelika
David Boyd, Attorney, Montgomery
Defense of Board members named in
Stanley Drake, Consultant
(1 yr. contract ended Oct. 1, 2001)...... 17,000.00
Sasaki (campus, building planning through 11/01)*.193,809.00
IDEA (Hugh Darley;
"Branding" and campus design)*****...350,580.00
TOTAL KNOWN EXPENSES: $1,949,850
TOTAL KNOWN EXPENSES: $1,949,850
ADDITIONAL UNKNOWN EXPENSES:
Appeal of Open Meetings
Peter Degnan - Response to SACS complaint.....................???
-Dr. Walker=s lawsuit against SACS.........................???
nobody at AU knows his hourly rate;
nobody at AU has requested an estimate for his work.
As I have been doing for a couple of months, I have a report on some interactions with BOT members since our last senate meeting:
November 15: Lunch with Paul Spina. Originally that lunch was scheduled with Lowell Baron but he called to reschedule.
November 30: Lunch with Golda McDaniel. Rather than report on the content of the discussions of those lunches, please talk to me and I will tell you my version privately. You also may contact Herb.
December 18: E-mail from Jack Miller apologizing for delay in responding to my earlier e-mails stating readiness to meet with him to discuss the charge of the Academic Affairs and Priorities and Planning Committee. He said "the practice of law has been unusually demanding for the past few months. I hope we can visit sometime soon."
As many of you know, Stella Bentley, the Dean of Libraries, will be leaving Auburn soon as she has taken a job somewhere else. A search committee for an Interim Dean of Libraries is being established and the Rules Committee is submitting names to Dr. Pritchett.
The next item is very interesting to me and should be of interest to you. A December 14, 2001, meeting was held in the Alabama State House in Montgomery. Four faculty members attended that meeting. Last summer, Senator Little and other senators wrote a bill that established the Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education Governance. The charge of the committee is to study all facets of improving the governance of higher education in the state and report its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Legislature not later than the 15th legislative day of the 2002 Regular Session.
Four faculty members attended this meeting as observers at the invitation
of Senator Little: Judy Sheppard, Barb Struempler, Malcolm Crocker, Jim
There were two guest speakers for the meeting. Dr. Thomas Meredith, former
Chancellor of the U. of Ala. system and new President of the U. of GA Board of
Regents spoke about the advantages of a Central Governing Board. These included increased institutional autonomy, decreased micro-management by local governing boards, and increased opportunity for university presidents to develop the university. He said that special attention should be given to who gets on a Central Governing Boardóthat such boards need good, big people. He clarified "big" by specifying visionary, not wealthy.
Dr. Ed Jenkins, former President of the Board of Regents in GA and U.S.
Congressman, spoke about the regent selection process in GA and the responsibility of the Board for allocating state monies to the member universities.
While we were there, we presented Mr. Landegger with a letter from the four of us, plus Distinguished University Professors Wayne Flynt and Richard Jaeger. In this letter we spoke of AU's trust problem and expressed hope that the Committee's recommendations will help us in this area. This letter will be posted on the Senate's web page later this week.
The third meeting of this Committee is being held in Montgomery at 1:00 p. m. tomorrow. I and a few other faculty members plan to attend. The guest tomorrow is Jim Williams, Executive Director of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, speaking on per capita income and the tax system in Alabama.
Committee members are:
Mr. George Landegger, Chair
Mr. Elmer Harris, Vice Chair
Rep. Yvonne Kennedy
Rep. Richard Lindsey
Dr. Ed Richardson
Sen. Ted Little
Mr. V. Gordon Moulton, President, U.S.A.
Dr. William Walker, Interim President, AU
SACS and Related Issues
SACS Investigation: January 28-31.
State of Lawsuit Against SACS: The judge in the case has not made a ruling. The word is that he had intended to make a ruling before the holidays. At stake here is whether SACS will be severely restricted by the requests made by Dr. Walker (through Peter Degnan) regarding those items in the original complaint that Dr. Walker thinks should not be investigated.
No response has yet been received by the senate leadership from Dr. Walker following October's vote by the University Faculty calling upon him to withdraw his lawsuit against SACS.
On November 29 the Senate Executive Committee and JAC presented a letter to Dr. Walker requesting authorization for the JAC to hire an independent counsel to obtain professional advice about how it should proceed on behalf of the best interests of the University.
Dr. Walker's denial of this request came shortly before the holidays. In his letter Dr. Walker wrote that he would welcome a proposal from the Senate for funds to hire a consultant from the Association of Governing Boards, like Dr. Weary, to advise us in issues involving university governance.
Diversity Issues at the University
The senate leadership has been working closely with Dr. Pritchett during the past two months to help plan the process whereby the University will address diversity issues at all levels of the University. You will hear details about our progress in this area during the discussion which follows these announcements. This is all in early discussion stages. What we have today is some very brief presentations by three or four people. I would like to introduce them to you and then describe a way we can enter into discussion.
Dr. Pritchett has been put in charge of orchestrating groups of people to discuss what we need to do at Auburn. He can tell you what has been going on in his office and introduce you to a couple of people from Russell Corporation.
Separately and independently from that, David Wilson and Renee Middleton have developed a statement that was sent to you over the web page. It is given to you for reactions and comments. Some of the people involved in writing that are here, Evelyn Crayton, Holly Stadler, and David Wilson. They would be happy to entertain any questions from you.
Finally, Nancy McDaniel and Dr. Green have some members from the Multicultural Commission, soon to become a committee, who have developed a short statement. Nancy will present that to you.
So, our plan is to hear from those people so we have all of the information, then open the meeting for discussion. First, are there any questions on my announcements?
Judy Sheppard, Steering Committee: I would like to address my question to Dr. Walker. I have only been to one meeting of the Legislative committee, Apparently you were unable to attend that one. Could you tell us what you see as the goals of this committee?
Dr. Walker: That was the second meeting of that group. The first had been held a few weeks prior to that. Senator Little convened the first meeting, which consisted of deciding who would chair the committee, etc. What he explained at the outset and the reason he introduced the resolution that set this thing up was to hopefully have constitutional revision. That is going to be under the best of situations a donnybrook, all of the factions getting in there. Senator Little thinks we need to have an idea of how we want higher education managed and administered from the policy point of view; therefore, we need to have had this discussion prior to when they are trying to figure out what these constitutional reforms should be. I think it is a great idea and I support what they are doing. The only problem is that it has to be done by the 15th day of the legislative session; I donít think Ted remembered that this is an election year and the legislative session started today instead of starting later. Ted needs to go back to his colleagues and get an extension.
Dr. Sheppard: Are you interest in a Board of Regents?
Dr. Walker: It is rather hard to extract one band-aid that is going to help this situation. If we are going to have two-year colleges, regional four-year, and research universities, I would lean toward a board for research universities and another board for the others. Frankly, there are occasions when our interests are not the same. That makes sense to me, and I would be interested in hearing what the people on that commission would have to say about that.
Conner Bailey, Steering Committee: Jim, it seems that I remember the Senate voting recently to request that the lawsuit against SACS be withdrawn by the central administration. Have you had any response to that request?
Dr. Bradley: That was a resolution passed by the Senate in October. No, I have not received a formal response from Dr. Walker. We did send him a formal letter informing him of the resolution and vote. We met the day after that meeting and I believe Dr. Walker said at that meeting he had not heard one good reason to draw the lawsuit. We have not received a formal response from him.
Larry Gerber, History (non-senator):† A comment in response to your reading Dr. Walkerís response to the executive committeeís request for funding of a consultant. Dr. Walker seemed to say that we had funding for a Senate Joint Assessment Committee consultant. I am hoping that the Senate leadership would not think it is appropriate to have the source of that consultant determined by the Presidentís Office.† I would hope that the Senate officers would look into other possibilities for identifying a consultant.
Dr. Bradley: Thank you for your comment.
Diversity and Tolerance at Auburn Ė Drs. John Pritchett, Jim Bradley, and Nancy McDaniel
Dr. Pritchett:† Before I get into this issue, I would like to address the processes and mechanisms for searching for faculty members. I acknowledge that during the time I was in a department head it was a headache for me. I am happy to report that this past May we started an initiative to completely revamp and reengineer this process. Part of that reengineering has to do with the fact that the Affirmative Action Office will no longer deal with every individual department; they will deal with the colleges and schools as point of contact. We have reengineered all of the forms and processes and set a 48-hour turnaround as far as the Affirmative Action Office is concerned. We have clearly defined what is the responsibility of the college and school as well as the Affirmative Action Office. We also talked about advertising in professional journals, etc.; there is a trend now for web-based advertising where things are posted and can be accessed immediately. Many of our disciplines are doing that now, and I think that will increase our processing speed. The final meeting of that group is tomorrow; Lee Armstrong, Don Large, myself, Janet Saunders, and the committee will be there.
On the diversity and tolerance issue, I think it is fair to say that over the years we have made progress, but we also have a ways to go. I sincerely hope that we can take the recent events and use them as a catalyst to move Auburn University ahead and establish Auburn University as a leader as far as tolerance and diversity are concerned. My friends from the Russell Corporation agree that this is a golden opportunity to do that.
We have been initiating activities on many different levels. The first level involves our students and we are looking at several options. The first has to do with curriculum options; one of the first suggestions was to have a single course taken by all students. However, Steve McFarland did a national survey on this approach and found that very few institutions take this approach. In fact, one prominent institution said that such courses are unwanted and unneeded. The fact is that you do more for tolerance and diversity when you work with small group interactions. Nonetheless, as far as curricular activities are concerned, based on the SACS study, we are currently reexamining and assessing all our core curriculum courses. Linda Glaze is in charge of that effort. As we move ahead with our assessment, it may be appropriate to incorporate in those classes material that deals with tolerance and diversity.
Immediately prior to Christmas, I pulled together a small committee to work with me on this issue. As a result, we have sent out a request to all departments on campus to identify all courses that deal with diversity and tolerance. This does not just refer to race; it refers to age, gender, lifestyle, etc. We hope to develop from this a course inventory of courses that have elements that address diversity across this campus.
Outside of the curricular realm we are dealing with co-curricular and extracurricular activities. We have taken two steps. First, I have asked Wes Williams to get with his people and start pulling together programs that address all student organizations on campus. What can we do with these organizations to develop diversity and tolerance on campus?† The other thing is that I have asked Dr. McDaniel to examine the programs at Camp War Eagle that deal with the Universityís stance on diversity and tolerance.
Of course, what Iíve mentioned deals with only students. If we are going to move forward, we must address faculty, staff, students, everybody.
In the aftermath of these recent events, Jack Ward, CEO of Russell Corporation contacted my office and Dr. Walkerís office to say that Russell Corporation would be glad to offer any assistance we need. They are a global corporation and have a very keen social conscience. To follow up his invitation, I contacted his office; they sent us some help, in the form of two individuals here with us today, Julius Pryor and Kevin Clayton.
I have been to several meetings with these individuals and can assure you that they are an absolute delight to work with. Julius is the Director of Diversity for the global Russell Corporation. He has been involved in implementing diversity programs within the entire corporation. Russell is a corporation and we are an educational institution, but we are both organizations. We are talking about institutionalizing the concepts of tolerance and diversity. Kevin and Julius are going to help us get started. They are not going to install a Russell model at Auburn University.
In order to help us get started, they will conduct a planning workshop for the entire Auburn University leadership on the afternoon of February 19. All of the administrative leadership of the University will be expected to attend. It starts with the Presidentís Office and includes faculty leadership, A and P, and Staff leadership. It is my understanding that the deans and vice presidents better have a good idea of what to tell you if they plan to not be there. What Julius and Kevin will do at that meeting is get us all on the same page; then we will have an initial planning session, which will set up our next step. Then Julius and Kevin will be available as facilitators as needed in subsequent steps.
There has been a lot of talk of pay for consultants; Russell is providing this for Auburn University at no charge. Russell is a socially conscious leader in industry in this state and has been a long-time partner with Auburn University. I want to personally thank Jack Ward for offering the services of these guys.
Julius Pryor is an Alabama native, a graduate of Morehouse University and Biological Sciences major. In addition to being Director of Diversity for Russell, he is also a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Mike Reinke, Pharmacy:† In the arenas you mentioned, you did not mention religious beliefs.
Dr. Pritchett: Yes, that is part of it.
Julius Pryor, Russell Corporation: I want to talk to you a little about how we got involved, then I will introduce Kevin. We have a number of employee networks at Russell Corp; our headquarters is in Atlanta now, but there are some historical linkages between Russell and Auburn University. I am very familiar with Auburn, having grown up in Montgomery.†
When the pictures hit the Internet concerning the incidents that occurred during the fraternity Halloween parties, I received a number of emails. A number of people at Russell Corporation were very upset that this had occurred at Auburn. The Russell ďRĒ is on the Auburn uniforms and we have many signs all over the University. Alex City is very close to Auburn, so we have strong linkages. Many people felt that this reflected on Russell Corp as well as Auburn. Immediately, during our one of our employee network meetings someone said I needed to go get Jack Ward to do something about this. Jack was not in; he was coming back from Honduras. So, I got our president, chief legal officer, and chief operating officer of the company to address the group. When Jack finally got back that afternoon, we also spoke to him; he said that the President of the University was taking action, and we think that action was good. But since we have a world-class diversity initiative in place, why donít we offer our assistance and be a role model.
What we are doing at Russell has begun to get a lot of national recognition. I recently spoke at a National Diversity Conference in Chicago and when I started the presentation I put on some nice music, similar to Mardi Gras celebration. I asked if anyone there had ever experienced a Mardi Gras celebration. A lot of people said yes. Mardi Gras feels pretty good, but there are usually three things that happen after Mardi Gras: you have a hangover, there is trash everywhere, and it stinks. A lot of organizations take that kind of approach to diversity. Someone comes in and does a training session and thatís it; nothing is in place that is strategic or systemic. At Russell Corporation, we have put in a strategic process driven from the top of the organization and clearly linked to long-term goals and objectives of the organization. It addresses race and gender issues, but it also addresses a lot of other things that have to do with how an organization reaches its long-term goals and objectives. Those kinds of systemic changes are what is most important.
When people ask me what I do at Russell, I say my title is Director of Diversity. Those kinds of jobs didnít even exist a few years ago. My real role in the organization is to act as a catalyst and a change agent and to encourage people to have a dialogue around things they donít normally have an easy time talking about. Whenever you talk about race, gender and other diversity issues, you will have things people feel awkward talking about. If you are going to get reasonable people together to talk about this in a logical way that makes sense for the organization, you are able to reach consensus and move the process down the line in a way that makes sense for the organization.
Kevin will talk about some processes and some of the education involved so you can decide whether this makes sense for what you want to do at Auburn. Before I get to him, I would like to say one other thing. We have talked to a number of people on campus and at the Athletic Department. Hal Baird, the Assistant Athletic Director, asked ďwhatís in it for you?Ē I immediately responded that I donít know if weíre interested in doing anything with you; it depends on whether you think this makes sense for Auburn. Ultimately what you are trying to do is not necessarily recruit additional people of color or change the way the faculty looks in terms of representation, but ultimately what you are trying to do is realize the Universityís mission. If you read your mission statement, there are things in it about how you are trying to train and develop people within this state to compete within a global environment. Your graduates canít do that if they are not able to handle issues of diversity.
We will answer some questions later. Kevin worked for a number of years as an executive with Proctor and Gamble. He is the lead in his own consulting firm, P.O. Clayton and Consultants, and he is my lead consultant at Russell. To give you a little insight into how he has become such an invaluable resource at Russell, we were at a meeting a few months ago with CEO Jack Ward and our senior staff and were talking about what a rough economic environment it was for the apparel industry right now and how we really needed to watch spending over 2002. One of the things Jack said while Kevin was in the room was that we need to be very careful with how we utilize consultants and pay them. Then he looked over at Kevin and said, ďKevin, youíre the kind of person we want. We really consider you to be almost an employee here because of what you are bringing. You are really delivering results as a opposed to a lot of other people who call themselves consultants and come in and do training programs and donít really deliver results and are unable to tailor anything to meet the organizationís needs.Ē Kevin has worked with some of the top people in this field; in fact, Dr. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., the person who coined the term ďManaging Diversity,Ē is someone whom Kevin has worked very closely with and was in his organization for a number of years before he went out on his own.
Kevin Clayton, Russell Corporation:† As we did with the Russell Corporation, when consultants come in, either they produce or they donít. The good news for you is that Russell is investing upfront in my helping with your organization.
I did spend a decade with Proctor and Gamble and got involved in this kind of work because I saw how you bring people who have different backgrounds together to yield a much better result.†† Year after year with my organization as I saw it work, I became fascinated with the dynamics of human differences and similarities and how you bring them together for the good of the organization. In 1991, I opened my own firm and havenít looked back since then.
Since I came to campus, there are three things people have asked me about. People ask me about my background and tell me that this is a college campus, not corporate America.† They are right. MTV networks, the city of Orlando, and SunTrust Banks are some of my clients. Alexander City, for those of you who are familiar with the general surroundings, is one of our clients. Many different industries and walks of life, but the principles of managing and leveraging diversity are the same. I have worked with Michigan State University, Dennison University, Florida A&M University. What you will find is that they are all the same.
The second question is what is the connection between Russell and Auburn. Russell was founded in Alexander City, AL. They are celebrating their hundredth year in business this year. It was predominantly a white organization from a race standpoint for a number of years. They have gone through a complete cultural change in the last three years, until now Juliusí phone rings off the hook for him to speak at national conferences about the changes theyíve made. So, there are direct ties from one of your neighbors next door who has gone through the changes you are going through. There have been a number of incidents similar to the ones youíve been through here at Auburn. The difference is Russell didnít get the national publicity that you did.
The other question is where do we start. The first place you start is education. I didnít say training; I said education. Education is the conceptual clarity of thought. As many people as are in this room, I bet if I asked every person in this room what diversity was, I would get as many different definitions. When we talk about conceptual clarity, we are talking about what it is. What is going on and what is the situation? What are we trying to accomplish and what strategic choices are we going to make to get us from point A to point B. When we talk about training, we talk about new skills. When we train someone, we give them skills to function differently than previously. The event in February is an educational session to provide you with the grounding for how you move forward.
My phone rings for two reasons: people are in pain or there is a visionary at the top of the organization who says he has a plan for what he wants to do to manage diversity. 95% of the calls are from people who are hurting, and it has been going on for so long that there is now a fire in their house. The process we will embark on talks about taking a look at the Auburn house and there is a fire in the second floor bedroom. It needs to be handled. It needs to be put out, but we need to find the causes as well. We fix the problem, and work on the systemic change so that two years from now we are not having the same discussion. The workshop we will embark on has five objectives:
What separates the Russell Corporation from those organizations that fill out a form in Fortune magazine and they get graded as being the best organization at managing diversity is that we started with a strategic plan. We spent two years working with Russell before we trained anybody. We laid the foundation to built the house. Your house will look totally different from theirs when it is done, but there will still be some level of concrete foundation that the house stands on.
Dr. Bradley:† What I suggest is that we hear from Nancy McDaniel and what she has prepared before we open up for questions.
Nancy McDaniel:† Kevin and I are both from Cleveland, Ohio, so we know that we are in this together. The Multicultural Commission has been working diligently over the last year and a half to assess the climate here at Auburn. Johnny Green, our co-chair, is here today. Following some of the activities of the Fall, we developed a policy statement on diversity. We knew that we wanted to focus with a single statement that emphasized our commitment. That may be starting with the roof of the house, and not the foundation, as Iíve just heard. It has taken on a number of different iterations as late as yesterday from a email from another commission member. It is brief and to the point; it simply is based on the foundation that we respect individuals across all ages, ethnicities, lifestyles, religions, etc. We are going to be working with our consultants and Dr. Pritchett and the University community to bring that into an operational statement. One that can complement some of the work that is being done, sustain an effort over time, and will enable us to point to the policy statement, procedures, activities, and the outcome of this global type of commitment we are making. We look forward to working with the Senate, A&P, the Staff Council, the Black Caucus, and the SGA. As we put this together, our committee is very diverse. We are excited about this committee becoming a standing committee with a way to communicate on a regular basis to the Senate about our efforts.
Evelyn Crayton, President, Black Caucus:† The events of October 25 and 27 put us back into the forefront as an organization. The Black Caucus had dealt with similar events in 1987; however, these events of 2001 were so significant that we had pictures this time. We didnít have to just go to the administration and say that our students were concerned. So, what we did as a result of October 25 and 27 was to ask two of our members, Drs. David Wilson and Renee Middleton to develop a Zero-Tolerance Policy. They worked tirelessly on the policy; we sent them out to the Auburn AAUP, members of the Womenís Caucus, the Gay-Lesbian Alliance, and members of other groups and received feedback to revise the policy. We have been through at least six revisions. What you have before you today is the proposed policy on valuing diversity in the educational and work environment. It is a result of input from faculty throughout this University and we thank them for their input. We appreciate your input, negative and positive. What you have is the policy the Black Caucus has proposed and we are asking the Senate if you would take a bold step and vote something; you may vote on all or part of this proposed policy. If you like what you see, vote positively; if you donít like what you see, please refer those issues to the commission that has been established by the Rules Committee.
Begin policy here. . . .
Policy on Valuing Diversity in the Educational and Work Environment
On October 25 and 27, 2001, two White fraternities posted and sold racially offensive photos placed on a Web site administered by Village Photographers of Auburn. Pictures from the October costume parties were made public on the Internet. The images of White fraternity members dressed up as Ku Klux Klansmen staging a mock lynching of someone in blackface and pointing a shotgun at the head of someone in blackface were among the many disturbing photos seen. If we do not act today, tomorrow may bring an attack on someone because of her or his religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or some other difference.
The faculty of Auburn University is urgently calling upon the administration to strengthen the security, safety, and well-being of the faculty, staff, and all other employees and the students. Therefore, with this concern, we are charging the Auburn administration and the Alabama State college community at large to adopt a ďPolicy on Valuing Diversity in the Educational and Work Environment.Ē†
Indifference to diversity subtly erodes a universityís health, well-being, and academic standing. Rather than to educate or heal, rather than to offer enlightenment and freedom, and rather than to allow for equal access and opportunities, historical and current practices have often restricted, stereotyped, damaged, and oppressed the cultural variations in our college communities. Indifference and intolerance left unchecked nurtures seeds of hate. The actions referenced above, of the fraternities and their individual members, while seen as shocking and insensitive, are rarely isolated. These behaviors are often symptoms of tension and indifference in the community. In the face of intolerance and oppression, silence is deadly. Apathy will be interpreted as acceptanceóby those who are intolerant, the public, and, worse, the victim. Indifference and discrimination can be conquered only by university activists willing to promote tolerance. Tolerance is a personal decision that comes from a belief that every person should be treated respectfully.
What Constitutes Hate and Oppressive Acts?
Race and religion inspire most hate and oppressive activities and crimes. When an act or behavior dehumanizes, intimidates, or threatens an individual, it is considered a hate act. Hate activities and their symbols are not ďmischiefĒ. A burning cross evokes for African Americans the terrifying specter of lynching. A scrawled swastika is an epithet from the Holocaust that says Jews are not wanted. Calling someone a derogatory name related to his or her group membership is an act of hate. Such name calling is not protected under free speech because it is not simply expressing an opinion; it is intimidation or harassment, which is illegal. Individuals willing to act out these hate activities or crimes may target only one individual. However, an attack on the individual is meant as an attack on all members of that individualís group, and the terror is felt by others in the group. Oppression of any individual or group is unjust and undermines and obstructs the personís mind and spirit. Oppression is any excessive or corrupt exercise of power levied against another human being so as to harm that individualís rights, person, or property. Oppressors may act under the cover of a university or other state-sponsored authority. Oppression may be overt or covert and may be intentional or unintentional. At least four types of hate/oppressive acts are categorized as follows:
Overt intentional: Openly espousing a doctrine of hate and inferiority about a group because of the group members race, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, religion, gender, or other differences. For example, leaders of a secular campus organization having a prayer on the agenda or as a regular start for meetings; perpetuating images such that all European Americans are seen as hard-working and trustworthy while other ethnic groups are categorized as lazy, undependable, deceitful.
Overt unintentional: Lack of sensitivity and/or mindfulness of behaviors that are not readily recognized, that are directed toward a culturally diverse individual or group. For example, counseling persons with a disability toward lower socio-economic status jobs/careers; an administrator asking a person to say grace before a campus party or meal assuming everyone is a Christian; expecting students who represent ethnic diversity to respond in classroom discussions for the entire group to which they belong.
Covert intentional: Expecting culturally diverse individuals to hold the same values and beliefs or communicate nonverbally exactly as members of the dominant culture do. For example, the systematic exclusion of some group or group members from activities at which networking occurs with other administrators; women may not be invited to participate in certain activities, or may feel uncomfortable participating, and then are blamed for their own lack of advancement in the institution.
Covert unintentional: Explicitly identifying members of specific groups and/or particular cultures when certain behaviors are described or assuming all members of a particular group share certain stereotypical characteristics. For example, using a young black man to play the part of a burglar in a home security advertisement; mocking† gay men by using stereotypical limp-wristed mannerisms.
Auburn University affirms its commitment to the creation of an educational environment and climate where diversity is valued and individuals are treated fairly, justly, and with respect, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.† Racist and discriminatory behaviors are in conflict with Auburn Universityís educational mission to serve the people of Alabama, the nation, and the world.† Consequently, Auburn University seeks to maintain and foster an intellectual, social, and work environment free of hate, intolerance, and discrimination.
The University commits itself to an on-going educational program to enlighten, expose, and educate the entire University community about the value of diversity, which includes, but is not limited to, incorporating perspectives of those who vary in race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, sexual orientation, and religion into the educational curriculum and programs.† At Auburn University, we are committed to preparing students to understand, live among, appreciate, and work in an inherently diverse country and world made up of people with disabilities and people with different sexual orientation, ethnic background, and cultural traditions.
Auburn University strongly encourages individuals who are victims of hate and oppressive acts or crimes to report them to the appropriate University authorities and/or law enforcement agencies.† Such acts will be investigated by the Tolerance Committee, which shall be established by Auburn University immediately. Auburn University will seek to ensure that each allegation of discrimination, hate and/or oppressive act of intolerance is expediently investigated, with due regard to the fairness and the rights of both the complainant and alleged offender. All proceedings shall be conducted in the most confidential manner possible. The responsibilities of the Tolerance Committee are to:
∑ Receive and investigate all allegations of discrimination, hate, and/or oppressive acts based on race, ethnicity religion, disability, sexual orientation or other differences.
∑ Notify the alleged offender(s) of such allegations and provide an opportunity for such offender(s) to respond to the allegation(s).
∑ Present findings, facts, and any recommended interventions and sanctions to the Provost, ADA Compliance Officer, the Affirmative Action EEO Office, Student Discipline Committee, Faculty Grievance Committee, or other appropriate authorities internal and/or external to the university.
∑ If the alleged offender(s) is unknown or anonymous, the Committee should† recommend that the University contact the appropriate authorities to promptly investigate the alleged act.
Auburn University will not tolerate retaliatory acts on the part of its students, faculty, and staff toward an individual(s) who report alleged acts of discrimination, hate, and/or oppression.† AU values the diversity of its student body, faculty, and staff and will not tolerate discriminatory or retaliatory acts, such as verbal and physical attacks, written or oral threats or slurs (including slurs or threats sent through e-mail) or intimidating behaviors that threaten the safety and well-being of our community. The University believes that diversity among its many members strengthens the institution, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of new ideas, and enriches campus life
Disciplinary sanctions for violations of this policy, which may range from informal reprimand to dismissal from Auburn University, will be imposed in accordance with applicable University policies and/or state-federal laws.
Formulation of Tolerance Committee
Members on the Committee shall be appointed by the University Senate Rules Committee. It is recommended that one member from each of the academic schools or colleges, one member from the library, one member from the non-tenure track faculty members in academic departments, one member from the non-tenure track faculty in University Extension/Outreach, undergraduate and graduate student representation, and administrative professional and staff representation be included in the make-up of the Tolerance Committee. No member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. The Committee should include in ex-officio capacity the following: ADA Compliance Officer and AA/EEO Officer, Assistant Provost for Office of Multicultural Affairs, Chair of the Student Discipline Committee, Director of Facilities Division, and Chair of Faculty Grievance Committee. The Chair of the committee shall be elected by the committee and shall serve one year as chair-elect before assuming duties of the chair.
End of policy . . . .
Dr. Bradley: I would like to open the meeting for discussion, comments, and questions. Please direct your questions to anyone that has spoken.
Jim Brannon, Agriculture Substation:† To whom will the workshop be open?
Dr. Pritchett:† The limitations for the meeting are 35 people.† We started at the top with President and Vice President, then moved down to the deans and had to cut it off when we got to 35.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology: This question is for Mr. Pryor and Mr. Clayton. We have been given a proposed policy and have been asked to vote on it. I am wondering what you think about voting to approve to postpone consideration of this policy until we can attend the workshop and work from the ground up in this process.
Mr. Pryor:† I took a look at the statement, and again the questions that Kevin and I asked that you think about are what is the purpose of this, who is the intended audience, and what does it intend to do? When you put statements on the wall, people who read or donít read the statements quickly see whether they are meaningful are not. Donít you already have an Auburn University creed? Does everyone obey that? There is already a statement on the wall. If everybody obeyed the creed, would the events that occurred in October still have occurred. At some point, you have to go beyond the statement to take action, and put something in place that is systemic that changes or alters the culture to the degree that it needs to be altered so it can realize the Universityís mission. The statements in this are not bad, but you have to think about what the purpose is and how they will be looked at by the larger University family.
Mr. Clayton:† If I can go back to the analogy of the house: there is a room that is on fire. You need to make a statement of some sort to deal with that. Many of the perspectives you have today will change as you go through the session. However, you need to take some sort of action to make some sort of statement before too much time goes on. This is my recommendation because you have two different types of work: intervention and systemic change.
Mr. Pryor:† One other thing Iíll say is that the mistake a lot of other organizations is that they make a statement and that is all. There is nothing the statement is attached to, nothing systemic. You are embarking on a process if you want to change things about the culture here. There are a lot of good things here, but adjustments need to be made, so you make them. You have to maintain what is good about Auburn University and make adjustments where they are needed.
Dr. Pritchett:† I had asked Nancy to go ahead and move forward with this, but after talking with Julius and Kevin, it became apparent that this has to be something that rises up out of the community. I intentionally asked Nancy not to bring forward what was developed by the Multicultural Commission because that needs to be part of the entire process and a product of faculty, A and P, and staff. All of the members of our University community need to be involved. Both of these statements in front of us have tremendous pieces to them; there are three or four sentences in what Evelyn brought forward that exactly mirror what Nancy has been saying.
Dr. Bradley: I want to comment on Cindyís question. The Steering Committee discussed whether these should be action items or not. We decided to not put things up for a vote today, but there is nothing that prevents a vote on this subject. It is up to the group.
Tom Sanders, Library: This came out so late to us. I know the rest of you had been thinking about it for a while, but we havenít had time to think about it. What is permitted under the current policy that is forbidden by this policy? I know that we do have policies, but I havenít had a chance to review the old ones and compare the new and the old.
Dr. Crayton:† Over the years, the Auburn Black Caucus has dealt with some of the same issues that were seen on the website. There is nothing in terms of University policy that would prevent students from doing that. It has happened year after year; each year the students donít know where to go when these things happen. We asked Dr. Muse in 1998 to make a public policy that Auburn University would not tolerate these kinds of acts. No statement was made. In 2001 we were dealing with the same kinds of things. Now, we are asking the Senate to do something bold in sending a statement from Auburn University that we want an environment where human beings are valued. We are not interested in having students come to this University, do these types things, and think they are accepted. The students only did those things because they felt comfortable doing them. The free speech issue keeps coming up. I donít think we would be defending free speech had those students dressed up as the Taliban or Osama Bin Laden because we feel those were terrorist acts against our country. Well, we African-Americans are just as fearful of the Ku Klux Klan and a noose and guns as any one of us would be against the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden if they showed up here today.
Janet Saunders, Affirmative Action Officer:† Someone mentioned process earlier. This is a process. Auburn University already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, disability, national origin, and everything except sexual orientation. The new policy really doesnít do anything more than the old one. The problem, in my opinion, is communication. We have had new policies in that past, but no one knows it. We need to improve the process of communicating our current policies so we can enforce them much more aggressively and do a better job of not just talking about but living diversity.
Dr. Bradley:† The scheduling of the next Senate meeting is February 12, before the workshop. My year began with a special meeting, and we can do that again if you would like.
Paula Sullenger, Library: The students who were involved in this incident have filed a lawsuit against the University. Is the lawsuit about due process or is it about them being expelled from the University?
Dr. Walker:† Iíve not even seen the lawsuit, so this is just my understanding: it has to do with due process and freedom of speech.
Ms. Sullenger:† My concern is if we are currently under some sort of policy, why are we discussing another policy at this point?
Dr. Walker: I canít answer to that. It seems to me that what we are faced with ultimately is to try to legislate and forever fight this out because we will be accused of infringing on constitutional rights, or to take the approach that we are educators and involved in a community with a philosophy that states it is intolerant of these kinds of biases. My personal preference is the latter. Besides that, is that the reason we want people behaving the way they should because they are afraid of being punished? Or do we want people behaving the way they should because thatís the way they should be comporting themselves?
Christa Slaton, Political Science:† I would like to thank you for coming. I would also like to applaud the Black Caucus initiative for what they have done. I think there needs to be a vote, and I think there is some powerful symbolism there. It is true that it needs to be systemic.
I make a motion that the Senate acknowledge the work that has gone from the Black Caucus in reaching out to all sorts of groups and assign this to a committee that will develop a formal proposal to be voted on at the next meeting.
Dr. Bradley: So your motion is to give the document prepared by the Black Caucus to the newly formed Multicultural Diversity Committee.
Dr. Slaton:† The only reason I say that I would not vote today is because some people have not had a chance to read it. The motion is to give it to the Multicultural and Diversity Committee to form into a formal proposal to be considered at the next Senate meeting so they can revise it if they want to.
Dr. Bradley: Here is the motion as I understand it: To give the document from the Black Caucus to the newly formed Multicultural Diversity Committee to use in developing a formal proposal to consider at the next Senate meeting. It has been seconded. So, we are open now for discussion.
Marcia Boosinger, Steering Committee: †Is the Multicultural Diversity Committee free not to bring it forward? In other words, are we directing them to do this?
Dr. Bradley: That is a good question.
[Unidentified Speaker]: What if we made a friendly amendment that this doesnít have to come back to the Senate by the next meeting?
Dr. Bradley: This changes the original motion substantively, so we can consider it but we would need to vote on it first. We have an amendment that has been offered to not restrict the timeframe, is there a second?
The amendment was seconded.
Now we are going to discuss the amendment to the motion, which is not to restrict the timeframe in which this returns to the Senate.
Virginia OíLeary, Psychology:† I am going to shift a little what I was going to propose. Under the circumstances, I want to speak against this amendment, but I want to tell you why.† I feel a real urgency to take action today, not necessarily to vote on the policy but perhaps merely an action to improve the spirit of the contents of this policy. I would like to see us consider this entire policy issue with all of the interested constituents, especially those of the Senate, because I feel itís that important. I understand that some of the response in terms of trying to tie down the date has been to move this process along so that we can put that on the record. I think we might be able to accomplish that were we to vote today to approve the spirit of the policy and to provide for a special meeting of the Senate to occur at a time
Dr. Bradley: We need to get back to the amendment. Virginia has spoken against the amendment.
Isabelle Thompson, Senate Secretary:† I would like to point out that we are losing our quorum, so if we need to vote on anything, we probably need to go ahead and do it.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology:† I came to this meeting having had about 30 hours to process this proposal. I was able to contact faculty and get feedback from 6-8 of them. The comments went from serious concerns about the hostility of the proposal to support of it. I want to urge my colleagues to go back and spend more time with their department listening to their concerns. This is not a trivial thing we are undertaking here. I think we need to take a little more time. I would suggest postponing consideration of the proposal itself until we have time enough to get feedback.
Dr. Bradley: Here is our situation: we are losing people. We have an amendment we need to consider before we can go back to the original motion. What if someone were to make a motion to postpone, could you do that before considering the original amendment?†
Is there further discussion on the amendment?
John Heilman (non-senator):† It seems to me that it would be pretty straight forward to back a motion which would be a good one and not get into all the issues on this specific proposal. Iím thinking of a proposal in which the Senate expresses its appreciation to Russell Corporation for all it is doing, to John Pritchett for his efforts, and affirms its commitment to work closely with the administration to form policies appropriate to this issue.
Dr. Bradley:† So, now you have heard a potential motion that could be considered after we have dealt with the existing motion after the amendment if there are enough people.
The amendment is to remove the time restrictions in which the committee would bring the proposal back to the Senate for approval.
There was no quorum, so the amendment could not be passed. Only 41 people were present.
We cannot vote on anything else, but you may ask these distinguished people questions if you would like.
Michael Watkins, Philosophy:† I have just a general comment. I think Iím in favor of the whole proposal. However, it ignores the Universityís role in developing diversity. As a student and faculty member at other college campuses, Iíd like to point out that this is the least ďcollege likeĒ university campus that Iíve been on. Part of the reason for that is because the kids see each other in class, and then they are separate. There is so little university life on this campus. Using the illustration that Julius used, the way that the university can play that role is through education, not training. Education, by its nature, is intellectually confrontational. On this campus we have worried too much about training and not enough about education. We have worried too much about upsetting students and parents. One thing Iíd like us to think about is that it is not just tolerance issues on campus, but the role this University should play as a university is with each citizen.
Dr. Crayton:† If you look at paragraph 2, line 3, it speaks to the Alabama State College Community. We are hoping that Auburn University could be a model for other institutions in the state.
Conner Bailey, Steering Committee:† I wanted to ask either of our two visitors from Russell Corporation, what is the appropriate role of sanctions? It is all very well that we went through the Civil Rights Era; we know to do the right thing now. There is a legal stick there, however. With your Russell customers, is it only a matter of education, or what is the appropriate role of sanctions in this shifting in the way that people behave or believe?
Julius Pryor, Russell Corporation:† Could you clarify what you mean by sanctions?
Dr. Bailey:† I might mean an expulsion from school or something like that?
Mr. Pryor: The goals and objectives of Russell Corporation are going to be different from those of Auburn University. We have workforce goals, workplace goals, marketplace goals, and community goals related to our diversity initiative. This year we are actually rolling out a diversity scorecard that will be used for people to speak to the fire. Our senior managementís bonuses and performance evaluations will be tied to this scorecard. In a corporate organization, what is measured is what gets done. This is the difference between what we are doing at Russell. Before you start talking about sanctions, though, you have to understand what your goals and objectives are and that they have clarity. I think you are trying to speak to the Universityís mission. All of that feeds back into the strategic processes and planning you will put in place. The first step is this workshop we will do for the senior staff here at Auburn University. After that, hopefully a number of things will come out of that process and you will look at what kind of processes you need to put in place and the things you need to do to reach that goal. There is a role for the faculty, student body, the senior staff, and theTrustees. All of these constituents will feed into that process and everybody will take ownership for it. You canít move forward until everyone in the organization sees what is in it for them. I really didnít answer your question, but there are going to be ways that you can measure results and ways that you get things accomplished: either pain or pleasure. That is the approach you will hopefully put in place. The people who are good at managing diversity will be rewarded and the others will not be.
Barbara Struempler, Chair-elect:† Julius, Iím sorry something could not get passed today. Iím hopeful that after the February 19 meeting, your committee, Nancy, will be able to get something drafted and perhaps present it at the March meeting. Do you think that is possible?
Kevin Clayton, Russell Corporation:† The answer to that is yes, and actually, between now and then, Iím not sure how your protocols work with communication, but you need to be working on communicating so that when that time comes, you are not talking about what you should do at that particular time. There will be a lot of conversation around the meeting the top 35 will have to begin with. There needs to be something prepared that tells what we met on and what the next steps of the University are.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology:† Jim, canít you just take an administrative move and tell the Multicultural Diversity Committee to do that? You donít need us to tell you to do that, do you?
Dr. Bradley:† Yes, I can do that.
Dr. McDaniel: Actually you can tell us to do it, but we are going to do it anyway.
Dr. Walker:† I would like to ask our guests a question. Youíve already observed that Russell is a corporation and this is a university. Maybe youíve already made a mistake in saying we will have a meeting with the top 35 of the University. It is the faculty that control this University and what it is about. Would it be better to have that 35 composed by faculty first, then follow it up with managers and supervisors?
Mr. Clayton:† You are the leadership of the faculty. What would the faculty think if you all didnít go through with this? The leadership drives it. The faculty might look at you and say, why should we go through this?
Dr. Walker:† Iím thinking of timing: who should go first?
Dr. Bradley: This brings up a question I had. Would it be possible to have two meetings, if 35 is the top?
Mr. Clayton:† In the timeframe you are talking about, you could have two.
Dr. Bradley: Someone made the comment that within those 35 there would not be a very diverse group. What if we could do 70 over two workshops over February?
Bob Locy, Biological Sciences:† As one of the people at that luncheon meeting with Trustees in which the issue of diversity became quite contentious, there clearly was an indication that the Trustees need to be involved in this process. I would like to point out that Russell Corporation is offering consultants† for diversity, when the Board of Trustees hires consultants for everything under the sun. Why shouldnít the Board of Trustees do something about the diversity issue? Please understand I in no way mean that to mitigate your involvement. It seems to be that our diversity problems start with those kinds of things.
Mr. Pryor:† As you begin a process, you have to start someplace. As Kevin and I have said, we have been on campus in the past few weeks trying to meet with a number of constituencies. At some point, the Trustees need to be exposed to what the University as a whole is being exposed to. You have to begin some place. I know that John Pritchett was ready to set out with something, but that will not be where it ends, at least I hope not. From the perspective we have of corporate organizations weíve worked with, if you tell everybody else what they need to be exposed to and then the leadership thinks they donít need to be, it is really facetious. So, really you need to expose everybody as applicable to this as soon as you can. I still think you set some groundwork and get ready to go, but if we can do some other groups, weíd be glad to do it.
John Pritchett, Provost:† Let me add one thing. This first session will be a planning session to tell us where to go from that. After that, we plan to have meetings to involve everybody. But we have to start somewhere.
Curtis Jolly, Ag Economics:† We have heard about making diversity systemic and we talk about making it part of the structure. But we havenít talked about the process. I would like to ask Dr. Walker how it will be part of the SACS process so that the University will be responsible for meeting a certain goal.
Dr. Walker: I canít answer that. My hope is that part of the planning process we go through would be addressing that issue. What we donít want to do is spend a lot of time on something and have it stop right there. We have to make sure that whatever we do gets transmitted into action.
Dr. Pritchett: I am right with you on that.
Mike Reinke, Pharmacy:† I feel a sense of urgency similar to that expressed by Virginia and Cynthia on formalizing a proposal by the Black Caucus. It has been my experience that faculty are much more likely to respond to something when it comes from a Senator as opposed to coming from the Auburn University. Where can I find the most current version of the Black Caucus proposal?
Dr. Thompson: The most recent is on the Senate website now.
Dr. Bradley: Herb, a procedural question. Since we lost a quorum today, do we pick up in February where we left off or does it all start over?
Virginia OíLeary, Psychology:† I would ask that the Senate leadership consider calling a special meeting to discuss diversity initiatives broadly defined. It seems to me that the spirit of the discussion in the last 20 minutes has been quite in line with one of our illustrious members of the BOT who suggested to my colleague that if he didnít like the diversity situation at Auburn University he had several options, one of which was to change it. I think that is what we are attempting to do. I would like to see the Board invited to that special meeting.
John Heilman, Presidentís Office: As one member of the University community, I would like to say thank you for being here.
Holly Stadler, Counseling and Counseling Psychology:† I would like to say that I think it is very heartening that at this stage of our development that there are so many people and groups on campus that want to say something on this issue. That is heartening, especially to me.
Mr. Clayton:† I wanted to make one observation. Remember I said if I went through and asked for definitions of diversity, I would get many different answers. I have observed exactly that from the comments made. Iíve heard people talk about diversity from a numbers standpoint. I heard one comment that if you look around the room we donít have diversity. I heard a comment that if you look at the top 35, there is no diversity. This is a teachable moment. As those comments are being made, it basically discounts individuals. Every member of this community brings something to the table that is similar and different. Diversity is not race or gender. Ogden, Utah (rural Utah) is one of my clients. When you think about where that is, you would probably say that is not diverse. I was in a room with 12 white males talking about how to leverage diversity within their company. 90% of their company was Mormons. Did they have diversity? Yes they did. To assume that every male is the same is a flaw. That is to assume that every female is the same, every African-American is the same. It is a misunderstanding of what diversity is about.
†We are going to talk about inclusion and about what every person brings to this University, not just as a group. There is a difference between representation and diversity. To the extent that you need more representation of one group or another based on their dimension of diversity, thatís where you get into these things all of you are having a discussion about. That is a simple way to show how we in this room donít really understand that word diversity and we need some basic foundational understanding about what it is.
Dr. Pryor:† There is a discussion I had with John recently as we were talking about our backgrounds as I was mentioning my biology background. Biological systems have a lot to do with diversity; they seek homeostasis. The University is seeking homeostasis. There is some chaos now, but you are seeking balance. We will get there. The discussion you are having is actually very good. Some organizations when they run into discussions about this, and I even heard some comments at Russell that these boys didnít mean anything by it, but the fact that you are here discussing this is actually very good. This is termed diversity tension, and it is not unusual. You donít make progress until people are able to talk about these things. There is a process involved and a strategy we will be very happy to assist the university in developing; that strategic process will be very important in helping you all develop a long-range process that becomes systemic and changes procedures and processes. Again, I want to remind you that there is a lot of very good stuff about Auburn and Russell that you shouldnít discount. The University wouldnít still be here doing the job itís doing if there werenít some fundamental things in place to keep the University running.† All systems have to make adjustments if they want to survive, and there are certain ones you have to make if you want to get where you are going and realize the Universityís mission. We are here to help and we appreciate the fact that you listened to what we have to say today.
Dr. Bradley: Thank you both so much for being here.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.