Auburn University Senate Minutes
March 5, 2002
Broun Hall Auditorium
Absent: S. Taylor, R. Norton, N. Godwin, C. Hudson, H. Guffey, R. Ripley, D. Pascoe, K. Rabren, M. El-Halwagi, B. Bowman, D. Hendrix, S. Maaghsoodloo, J. Gluhman, V. O’Leary, A. Illies, R. Paxton, R. Kenworthy, S. Fuller, R. Britnell, D. Zhang, C. Skelton, J. DeRuiter, J. LaPrade, C. Hageman, C. Buchanan, T. McMurtrie.
Absent (substitute): D. Bransby (J. Odom), G. Mullen, S. Tuzun, C. Gross (Scotte Hodel after 4 p.m.), G. Weaver (J. Wittehind), P. Sullenger (T. Stralton), W. Williams (J. Fletcher), H. Cummings (C. Bourne).
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. The minutes for the previous meeting were approved as posted on the web. They may be found at www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/schedule.html February 12, 2002.
Dr. Bradley: I ask the Senate body to allow an agenda change under the action items. The Steering Committee Statement will go before the statement from the Multicultural Diversity Commission. Are there any objections?
No objections were made.
I would like to begin today by expressing my appreciation to Jim Bradley for the leadership he’s shown this Senate and the University over the past year. Jim goes out of office a week from today. Jim had a very difficult job; in my opinion, he has represented this Senate very well. The two of us have not always agreed on every aspect of the issues. In fact, we haven’t always agreed what the issues are. But Jim Bradley has given his best to the task that confronted him and I sincerely applaud him and his efforts on behalf of this University.
The economy and the outlook for the Education Trust Fund are not at all clear at this time. I have indicated to this group on previous occasions that the Legislature in special session did find some extra monies to address the budget shortfalls for the current fiscal year. However, as I noted at the time, those estimates were based on economic indicators prior to September 11. I don’t know why they chose to look at those particular economic indicators, but they did. Therefore, the dramatic declines in revenues that happened after September 11 were not considered by the legislature’s calculations considered in special session. However, the economy does appear to be showing signs of improving. We will continue to monitor the situation with every intention of addressing issues of salary, if at all possible. Our commitment to improving salaries in respect to regional averages remains a priority and toward that end I think it is reasonable to speculate that we will be recommending a tuition increase for the next fiscal year. Obviously, the exact amount of that will depend on how we do with respect to state funding.
At the February meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Board adopted Dr. Bill Weary’s report titled “Auburn University’s Agenda.” That report is essentially a road map for increasing Auburn’s institutional capacity and rebuilding what Dr. Weary calls “the Commons,” or those qualities that make this institution unique. The Board directed Mr. Samford and me to establish a committee and report back by June with recommendations on implementing the Weary report. The committee has been appointed. Its members are BOT members Jack Miller (chair) and Earlon McWhorter, faculty members Mary Boudreaux and Gene Clothiaux, Alumni Association member Don Logan, outgoing President of the SGA Brandon Riddick-Seals, Ellyn Hix of the A&P Council, Harold Cummings of the Staff Council, and we have asked John Heilman to serve as secretary. Also at the February meeting, the Board answered a question I had raised about how large an enrollment we should plan for Auburn University. In our planning activities, everything seems to get back to how big will the institution be because that will impact the cost of almost everything we do. Their answer was based in part on a report from Sasaki Associates who are doing an analysis of space requirements for the campus. The Board said that 25,000 is our target number for students on campus. In addition, the split between undergraduate and graduate students should be 80% undergraduate and 20% graduate, or 20,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduates. We are currently almost at that figure for undergraduates; our enrollment of undergraduates for last fall was 19,650. We still have a ways to go for graduate students; last fall we had 2,819 graduate students. Our total enrollment for last fall, if you recall, was about 22,500. The point of all this is that any growth in enrollment must be restricted to graduate students.
Also at the February Board meeting, the Board expressed an interest in increasing campus housing capabilities to the extent that we could accommodate 25% of the undergraduate population on campus. Data compiled by Student Affairs indicates very strongly that students who have had an on-campus experience have better retention and graduation records than those who have not. We may be moving towards a decision to require all freshmen to live on campus, although such a decision has not been made. I charged our Director of Auxiliary Enterprises, Mr. Rittenbaugh, to develop a construction and funding plan as well as a timetable that would provide housing for 25% of our student body.
The Board also expressed interest in Auburn becoming a pedestrian campus, based on recommendations made by the Sasaki group. You probably have heard about this before. This raises an unusually large number of questions, answers to which we just do not have at this time. Such issues are hours of operation, starting date, areas of impact on campus, what to do with delivery vehicles, and faculty parking. In an effort to answer some of these questions, I have directed Dr. Curtis to develop an experimental protocol and begin experimentation next fall if at all possible. You may see changes as we begin to carry out this study, but this study is simply to gather data on how we go about pedestrianizing this campus.
I do not have a lot to report on the litigation with SACS. I think most of you are aware that SACS requested permission to appeal the court’s decision; they were required to obtain permission because some of the issues were still before the court. I talked to one of the attorneys just a few minutes ago, and the judge has denied the request. Also, SACS has approached us about settling the issues, which is something I am very pleased about, and our attorneys are busy settling that. My hope is that these discussions will be productive and we can get on with SACS consideration of the germane issues.
Conner Bailey, Steering Committee: The task force established to implement or examine the Weary report has two faculty members on it. How were they chosen?
Dr. Walker: Mr. Samford and I chose them. Actually, Mr. Samford and I came up with a list of about four names and I started at the top and talked to the first two people, and they agreed to do it.
Dr. Bailey: In follow up, why was not the Rules Committee consulted?
Dr. Walker: I simply did not think about it. Jim sent me an email a little while ago about that, and I certainly do not have any objections to the Rules Committee submitting the name of a faculty member to be included as well.
Dr. Bailey: I would like to follow up and make an observation. I am troubled by your response that you did not think of it. When we talk about shared governance on this campus, the Senate leadership and the Rules Committee ought to be the first thing that comes to your mind.
Dr. Walker: Well, it ought to be, but I also have a very tight timetable to proceed on this issue, Conner. I apologize if I have offended your sensibilities, but again I invite the Rules Committee to give me a couple of names and I’ll be happy to pick one.
Renee Middleton, Secretary-Elect: I wanted to go back to an earlier issue with the October incident with the fraternities. A member of your cabinet informed us that the students involved in those activities were in the process of going through disciplinary process. I was hoping you could explain what that process is and where we are in that process. Why aren’t the students coming before the Student Disciplinary Committee? Isn’t that the appropriate committee to consider violations of the policy with respect to students?
Dr. Walker: First of all, I do not even know the names of the students involved, so I am relaying information that has been relayed to me by our attorneys. As I understand, our attorneys met with their attorneys and agreed upon disciplinary actions that would be taken, actions that were amenable to both groups. Those students are undergoing some guidance counseling and they will be involved in public service activities and meeting with a group from Southern Poverty Law Center. So, several steps have been laid out for each and every one of those students to follow.
Dr. Middleton: It concerns me because the Student Disciplinary Committee should have been the ones to deal with this. It should not have been negotiated with attorneys. We have a procedure in the University whereby those things should be negotiated; those things should have been negotiated by the Student Disciplinary Committee.
Dr. Walker: I appreciate the argument, but when you don’t have strong leg to stand on in a legal proceeding, you take what you get.
Dr. Middleton: To follow up, I chaired the Student Disciplinary Committee and served as a member for a few years. It didn’t matter if outside legal enforcement or even if police applied a disciplinary measure to students. We always held the belief that this University had responsibility. So regardless of what community service the students are doing as a result of external agencies, the University through the Student Disciplinary Committee also has a responsibility. So it seems to me that we have not applied the measure appropriately in terms of how we respond as a University.
Evelyn Crayton, Nutrition and Food Science (not a senator): Is the Student Disciplinary Committee handling this case?
Dr. Walker: No, I do not believe so. I do not believe it will go to the Committee. Let me make very clear here: we are in a legal proceeding in which we do not have a strong leg to stand on. So we have to take what concessions are offered.
Steve Knowlton, Physics: Will you elaborate on “having a strong leg to stand on?”
Dr. Walker: I really can’t. These attorneys tie my hands here. But use your imagination.
Dr. Middleton: I’m trying to use my imagination, but I don’t see how attorneys have a right to tell this University how its policies ought to function in terms of how we operate procedurally.
Dr. Walker: They don’t, but they do give advice. They say, “Bill, if you pursue this thing, you will lose in court.”
Dr. Middleton: Well, if they come before the Student Disciplinary Committee…
Dr. Walker: It will never get there.
Dr. Middleton: Why wouldn’t it?
Dr. Walker: Because the students will sue.
Dr. Middleton: We get sued all the time. We sued SACS.
Dr. Walker: That’s right. We won.
Dr. Middleton: We stand on principle, right?
Dr. Walker: No, we don’t. We try to be very circumspective about the legal cases we go forward with.
Just before the meeting, Bill offered a recommendation that I stay on another year in this position. I told him I didn’t believe I would do that, but thanks for the thought.
First, I have the update of the list of legal expenses through March 2002. I would like to emphasize that this list does not imply that I or anybody else thinks that any one of these is not justifiable. This is an attempt to have as complete a list as possible and give it to you for you to decide whether you think this is money well spent. It is up a little from last month.
The total now stands at just over $2.59 million with the extension of Stanley Drake's consulting contract and continued payments to Rick Heartsill. Still unknown are the costs for appealing the Open Meetings verdict and for defending against the fraternity students' lawsuit. The difference between February and March is due to the highlighted items, Mr. Heartsill and the Trustee’s publication of the Auburn Update.
Still unknown are the expenses at the bottom of the sheet.
By memo, Dr. Christine Curtis has informed me that football-related expenses for 2001 totaled $367, 203.87. The expenses included clean-up, landscape and building repair, security, and modular restrooms. Three units incurred the expenses as follows:
Facilities (Division I funds): $311,922.60
Athletic Department: $53,281.27
Dr. Curtis is chairing an ad hoc committee to examine football related expenses and make recommendations about who should pay what. I assume that we will have a report from her committee some time before August.
As you may have read, The Auburn Plainsman was named the best all-around collegiate newspaper by the Southeast Journalism Conference recently. Its editor, Napo Monasterio, and several associate editors received individual first-place awards. Certainly The Plainsman deserves high marks for consistently bringing issues in need of debate before the Auburn University community.
Information from the Non-Tenure Track Instructors Committee: As you may recall, providing our part-time instructors with health insurance has been a Senate priority since it was proposed several years ago. Jo Heath informs me that we now have a good estimate of its cost, and she will report on the details of this at our April meeting.
As you may have read in the news, the Joint Interim Committee on Higher
Education Governance had to frantically put together a report last week due to an unexpected denial of its request for an extension of its deadline. The report recommends establishment of a Board of Regents for 4-year institutions of higher education in the state. I am told that the committee votes on this recommendation are 4 YES, 2 NO, and 2 ABSTAIN. Action on these recommendations must await a Constitutional Convention or a motion to amend the State Constitution.
Next Wednesday, March 13, at 10:00 am there will be an important hearing for the House Rules Committee at the State House in Montgomery. Testimony will be taken on whether the Committee should submit to the House a bill calling for a referendum on whether Alabama should convene a Constitutional Convention. Jack Venable is chair of this committee, and if you wish to speak to the committee, you can ask him to be put on the agenda. Several faculty members are planning to attend this hearing. For more information please contact me, Barb Struempler, or Wayne Flynt.
I have learned that the Task Force to study how best to implement Dr. Weary's recommendations has been established. Members include Jack Miller, Chair, Earlon McWhorter, John Heilman, Don Logan, Mary Boudreaux, Gene Clothiaux, a Staff representative, and a representative from the Administrative & Professional Assembly. The two faculty members on the Task Force were appointed by Dr. Walker and Jimmy Samford. The Senate Rules Committee was not involved in the selection process. I encourage any of you who have read that report or who plan to read it to offer your comments to Isabelle Thompson or to me. We would be glad to get as much faculty input as we possibly can.
There will be a University Faculty meeting and election of new officers next Tuesday, March 12, at 3:00 pm.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology: This update on the list of expenses associated with consulting and law firms is provocative, but I have trouble putting it into perspective. Do we have any data as to what things have cost us in the past years? I know intuitively it feels like a lot more activity in those areas, but do we really know that?
Dr. Bradley: I don’t have any data on past years’ legal expenses.
Don Large, VP of Finance: That is not a one-year summary; that is a three-year summary. In perspective of the budget, it would compare with about $1.5 billion in three years’ budgets. Do what you want with that perspective.
Dr. Bradley: I believe what I have on this sheet is the last fiscal year and this fiscal year up to today.
Dr. Large: I think some of the Athletics costs are crossing over into three.
Dr. Bradley: Good question. Certainly there are some qualitative differences in expenditures in the past three years, but I am not sure of the amounts.
David Wilson, VP for Outreach: Could you explain to me the process by which an item makes its way to the Senate agenda?
Dr. Bradley: The Steering Committee, composed of seven or eight people, meets two weeks before each Senate meeting and decides on the agenda. Items to be considered for the agenda, from my experience, have come through the Senate Secretary, who brings those items to the meeting. We talk about them, and I don’t recall a time when the Secretary has brought an item to the meeting that we haven’t kept on the agenda. Other routes are committee reports.
It’s by request to one of the Senate officers. From there it goes to the Steering Committee and on to the agenda.
Dr. Wilson: So any faculty member in this University can bring forward an item to be put on the agenda to be acted on.
Dr. Bradley: I don’t know that it can come from any faculty member; I should think it must come from a Senator, but I’m not sure. It should say in the Handbook.
A. Election of Rules Committee Members
Because Jacob Dane (Agronomy and Soils) is not a Senator, he cannot be considered. We have a ballot prepared without Jacob Dane on it.
Richard Beil, Economics
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology
Judy Sheppard, Journalism and Communication
Christa Slaton, Political Science
Ken Tilt, Horticulture
In the past three years, nominations have been solicited from the floor on the day of the election. I will do that now; there is a place on the ballot for you to write in a name. If you have a candidate you would like to nominate (with his/her permission), you may do that now.
The following Senator was nominated:
Bob Locy, Biological Sciences
B. Steering Committee Statement Condemning Racist Actions – Dr. Conner Bailey
Barb Struempler was previously scheduled to present this statement, but she lost her voice and was unable to talk.
The Steering Committee members are as follows (overhead):
John Pritchett, Interim Provost
Jim Bradley, Senate Chair
Barbara Struempler, Chair-Elect
Isabelle Thompson, Secretary
Renee Middleton, Secretary-Elect
Bruce Gladden, Immediate Past-Chair
Marsha Boosinger, Library
Conner Bailey, Ag Econ & Rural Sociology
Herb Rotfeld, Marketing
Judy Sheppard, Journalism
Conner Bailey, Steering Committee: At the January 8 Senate Meeting, there was much discussion of diversity, issues of inclusion and tolerance at Auburn University. During our discussion it was recommended that the University Senate develop a statement condemning racist actions. Although regrettably late, the Steering Committee has a statement about racism that we would like to bring forward at this time.
Statement Condemning Racist Actions
The University Senate deplores the behavior of the fraternity members whose racist actions last October harmed the entire University community. It calls upon the central administration to work with others in the University community to develop and adopt policies and procedures that embrace, nurture, and protect diversity in the educational and work environment at Auburn University.
Dr. Bailey: I would like Jim Bradley to ask that this resolution be adopted.
Dr. Bradley: Because this resolution comes from a committee, it does not need a second. The floor is open for discussion.
Renee Middleton, Secretary-Elect: I was not at the last meeting that was referenced, but I did read the minutes, and I have to say that as a faculty member I was encouraged that the Senate would debate these kinds of issues. The problem I have with the statement we have before us is that I thought we were going to come forward with a meaningful policy statement. It seems to me that four months later this statement of us deploring the behavior can placate us from coming forward with something more meaningful. There was a lot of discussion on what was put forward earlier. I think there were a lot of good comments and there were a lot of people with legitimate concerns. What I would like to see is for us to have a meaningful policy statement put forward that represents the concerns that were expressed by faculty. My concern is that this statement did not reach the floor to be considered by the Senate today. I shared with you in private that I think we are blocking the faculty from having meaningful discussions and voting on a policy. For us to be just now deploring the events is unfortunate. What is this going to do for us? I guess that is the big question. I thought a policy statement would move us forward, and I don’t see how this is moving us forward.
Dr. Bailey: I think my sentiments are those of the Steering Committee: I agree with Renee that this statement does not move us forward. However, there is a committee with a committee report that was not available in time for us to take action at this Senate meeting. Some of us on the Steering Committee felt that we needed a statement that we would speak to; this is simply a sentiment that we “deplored the racist behavior” of a small number of students and that we encourage tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. I hope that we will move forward quickly with the report that I believe the committee established by Dr. Walker will make. I haven’t had the chance to read the report myself. In the meantime, we have this.
David Wilson, VP for Outreach: I think what Renee is also saying is that there was a more extensive statement of policy. Is Auburn University prepared to debate and discuss those policies that in my judgment would be an excellent step? It certainly would give the statement more credibility and a little more teeth.
Dr. Bradley: I think the way to find out whether the Senate would like to debate something is simply to ask it. We have an opportunity under “New Business” at each meeting to offer new motions on a subject when discussion is ongoing. I have no objections to that; I like debate.
Michael Watkins, Philosophy: I agree with Renee that if this is the last word on this statement, it is a sham. I also see nothing in this that I could possibly disagree with. I agree with my colleague that this should not deal with just one instance of racism, but with all racism on campus. But as far as this statement is concerned, I can’t find a reason not to endorse it, unless one disagrees with it.
John Heilman, Executive Assistant to the President (not a Senator): I offer a simple change in wording: “The University Senate deplores racism and intolerance in any form.” Leave the rest of the sentence and the rest of the statement as it is.
John Heilman’s recommendation was made as an amendment and seconded by members of the Senate.
The change in wording to the motion was adopted. Discussion of amended resolution continues.
Dr. Middleton: For clarification, can you help me understand how this is different from the Birmingham Pledge, which we took as a faculty earlier?
Dr. Heilman: My thoughts on a possible answer to Renee’s questions: The Birmingham Pledge, which I have signed, speaks to actions by individuals. What this does is call upon the institutional structure of the University administration to work with members of the community to develop a series of policies. I see those things as consistent, but with what we are looking at here there are different levels of actions involved.
The amended statement was adopted by a unanimous voice vote.
C. Statement from the Multicultural Diversity Commission – Dr. Johnny Green and Dr. Bruce Gladden
Dr. Gladden: I am going to give a little background on the Commission before Johnny presents the statement. I believe there has been a lot of confusion about the Multicultural Diversity Commission and who is on it.
Overhead (Short history)
Before Dr. Bello-ogunu arrived on campus in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, there were two committees. One was the Race and Diversity Committee, which was an ad hoc committee of the Senate. The other was the Cultural Diversity Committee, which was apparently established by Dr. Muse. After Dr. Bello-ogunu arrived, he recommended that those two committees be joined. With the agreement of the Senate leadership at that time and Dr. Muse’s agreement, the Multicultural Diversity Commission was formed. Within the past few weeks, Interim President Walker has established the Multicultural Diversity Commission as a standing University commission.
There have been questions as to who is on this commission. Here you can see the co-chairs are myself and Johnny Green. (overhead – members)
One of the things that will probably happen is when the commission gets a chance to catch its breath, there may be a suggested change in membership so that we can try to decide exactly who should be represented, whether there are enough individuals, or whether there are other constituencies that should be represented. For the moment, it was brought intact from its advisory role in the Office of Multicultural Affairs to a standing committee.
One of the things the Commission has done recently is that the President’s Office has committed some one-time funding to the establishing of a center. The Commission thought that was a good idea and has suggested a name of “Center for Diversity and Race Relations.” This report has been delivered to Dr. Pritchett. We hope there will be space in Foy Union for this center, and we hope there will be a coordinator to implement programs, a faculty member to be in residence (someone to rotate on a one- to two-semester basis). I have sent out a note to the Commission and we extend that offer to the entire Senate and University community to get nominations for persons who would be good candidates for faculty-in-residence in the Center. We hope to have a list of individuals to consider and an office soon.
The Center should be a place for educational, scholarly, and cultural activities for the entire campus. Accordingly, programming should be provocative, inviting, creative, and designed for the development of critical thinking, cultural understanding, and cultural appreciation. Dr. Green will talk about the “aspirational” statement.
Dr. Green: The Commission met in December and after trying to determine the best place to begin, we came up with a general statement realizing that this statement is just a statement. The part I like about this statement, which is the part that talks about next steps, is the part that defines policies and practices, an idea that there will be some kind of officially prescribed plan of action. That is something the Commission has said it would like to continue doing after there is an assessment as to where Auburn is in terms of its own policies. The Commission also voted to glean from the existing policies to establish a base for our next steps, in order to develop some kind of workable and enforcible policies that can become a part of our institutional culture and practices. Looking at that statement, it is sort of broad and there are no teeth. However, I think that is due to the plan of the Commission.
Auburn University as an institution of higher learning holds that every person has worth as an individual and is entitled to dignity and respect, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ability/disability, age, or sexual preference. Through education and community building, Auburn University, as a whole, will promote tolerance and understanding supported by clearly defined policies and practices.
Dr. Bradley: This is a University Committee, so the motion does not need a second to be considered. So this statement is open for discussion.
Mike Reinke, Pharmacy: I have one minor problem with the wording. Not everyone has a religion.
Dr. Green: Actually, one of the members of our Commission does not claim a religion, so we stand corrected.
Dr. Bradley: Is there an amendment being offered?
Dr. Reinke: I would feel comfortable leaving that up to the committee.
Dr. Heilman: One slight change that could be offered as an amendment: change “religion” to “religious preference,” one of the options of which could be “none.”
Since Dr. Heilman is not a senator, he cannot make an amendment; however, amendment was made by a Dr. Reinke and seconded.
Randy Pipes, Counseling and Counseling Psychology: I would like to suggest that the term “sexual preference” be changed to “sexual orientation.”
Dr. Bradley: I would accept that as a friendly amendment, not changing the statement substantially. In fact, if I could backtrack, I consider the first recommendation as a friendly amendment as well. I would change it without voting on it, if the two of you agree.
Evelyn Crayton, Nutrition and Food Science: While I don’t have a problem with what’s written, because what is written doesn’t really say a lot, I am having a problem with the last statement that “Auburn University, a whole, will promote tolerance and understanding supported by clearly defined policies and practices.” I have a problem with that because we haven’t come up with any policies and practices. I’d like to see the policies and procedures.
Dr. Bradley: This is considered an aspirational statement for what Auburn University aspires to do in all of the policies and procedures that follow it. This is simply what we aspire to do.
David Wilson,VP for Outreach: I have two questions. [inaudible]
Dr. Bradley: At the beginning you asked a question as to how this would be disseminated. Bruce, would you like to answer this question?
Dr. Gladden: We were hoping this would be an equivalent to the Auburn Creed. We would like to see it have that kind of weight.
Dr. Wilson: In the unlikely event that we have a reoccurrence of the Halloween events tomorrow, how would the University deal with those incidents without having some clearly defined process? It might be beneficial to wait until the policies and procedures are developed.
Dr. Green: I would hope that in the next two or three weeks we will have some policies and procedures. With that said, we have some policies in place through EOC and Affirmative Action. A number of people have made comments about this statement lacking “teeth.” Again, we hope this statement lays ground for next steps. As far as the Commission is concerned, all we can do is do the homework, the research, and bring forward something in two or three weeks. We felt that is was important to get this out there to get people thinking. We may not have all the details worked out, but the Commission is trying to. Keep in mind the Commission is made of individuals with different ideas of how this should be worked out. This is a collaborative effort. I realize this statement has no teeth, but that is where we are at the moment.
Dr. Pritchett: For a little background, back at the December Board meeting, one of the Board members brought up the idea that in the wake of these events, it would be good for the University to have a core value statement. Dr. Walker picked up on that, we discussed it, and he asked me to charge this Commission with developing this statement. The original hope was for this statement to be ready for consideration at the January 8 Senate meeting. That process was moving forward while a separate group was working on a policy statement at the same time. All of that was funneled into the Steering Committee and that is how we came to have this core value statement at this point in time. We are working diligently not only with the individuals at Russell Corporation but also with other individuals to shift the culture on this campus. This coming Monday Dr. Walker and I are meeting with the individuals from Russell one more time on the idea of establishing a leadership council, which would be broadly inclusive of this entire University, to develop a strategic plan for inclusion and tolerance at this University. It seems to me that procedural elements and policies should be part of that broad-based strategic plan that is developed by that very inclusive group. That is where I see this going. A core value statement is a good guide at this point in time.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology: I don’t see anything about this statement that precludes the University or any individual from developing a policy. I am assuming that the Commission is not going on sabbatical once this statement is adopted. I guess I am confused and I don’t know why we would not approve this statement.
John Bello-ogunu, Office of Multicultural Affairs: Dr. Muse asked me to develop a statement. I did so. Dr. Muse promised it would be sent forward.
Holly Stadler, Counseling and Counseling Psychology: I was here in January with a group that had worked quite diligently on a statement and policies and procedures. I have heard people ask questions about the policies and practices part of this statement, so I am wondering what happened to the document that was introduced at that time. I thought I would be seeing something that involved that statement today.
Dr. Bradley: That document you are referring to was sent to the Commission, and Bruce will continue with his report once we vote on this statement. He will report what has been done with that document up until now.
Dr. Pritchett: I want to respond to John Bello-ogunu on his policy. I forwarded that to the Multicultural Diversity Commission and they took that into account in drafting this. They received it.
The question was called.
The statement was adopted by a unanimous voice vote.
a. Report from Multicultural Diversity Committee – Dr. Bruce Gladden
First of all, I have certainly seen a lot of email that I was copied on, and I think there has been a lot of misunderstanding unintentionally. My understanding is that the Multicultural Diversity Commission was given the Proposed Policy on Valuing Diversity in the Educational and Work Environment to decide whether we should adopt it, recommend it, revise it, review it, and decide whether we should bring it to the Senate. The Commission has decided not to recommend adoption of this policy. My perception was that out of all our members there was no support for this policy as proposed. We were not asked whether this would be a way to get debate on the Senate floor and we were not asked whether this would be a way to open doors. We were asked to evaluate this policy. At least, that was my understanding. I think that is the understanding of the Commission. Instead of recommending that policy, we as a Commission are gathering all the policies in place at Auburn so we can see what they are to find out what we have so we can decide whether we need to add other regulations, whether they all need to be gathered in one place. In my opinion, we have been working with two demands: do it yesterday and how can you make anything meaningful and worthwhile if you do it like that? So, we are trying to take a stepwise approach and look at this. I think we are all on the side with the same goals, although we may not agree on how to get there. With regard to the sentiments of the document, we agree that we need to have policy and we are going to review those policies. We are going to decide what course of action to take. We are trying to do that in a timely manner, but do not think we can do this immediately. With that, I will try to answer questions.
Evelyn Crayton, Nutrition and Food Science: Help me to understand. You were asked whether or not to bring this to the Senate?
Dr. Gladden: We were asked whether or not we would recommend adoption of this policy by the Senate.
Dr. Crayton: Who asked you to do that?
Dr. Gladden: The Senate leadership.
Dr. Crayton: The Senate leadership asked you to decide whether or not that policy should come before the Senate.
Dr. Gladden: That was the starting point. As Jim said earlier, there are probably other ways it could be brought forward. From the Commission’s standpoint, we do not recommend it.
Dr. Crayton: It was already before the Senate, so you are saying it will not be considered any further.
Dr. Gladden: We do not have the authority to do that. We only have the authority to speak for our committee. We are just saying that we have not adopted it and we do not recommend it to the Senate. The Senate can do whatever after that. It’s up to the Senate leadership.
Dr. Bradley: At the end of our January meeting when we lost our quorum, there was a recommendation that this policy be sent to the Commission, but that motion never got to be voted on. However, the Steering Committee did send it anyway.
Dr. Crayton: I want to make sure I understand correctly, not one person on that Commission wanted this document to be adopted. Not one person?
Dr. Gladden: I would say that’s accurate. After the meeting, we sent out a summary of the minutes and said it was the decision by the Commission not recommend it. We asked all of the members to consider that again and let us know if that was their sentiments and we did not receive any statements to the contrary.
Mike Reinke, Pharmacy: I would appreciate your reasons why the Commission decided not to bring it before the Senate.
Dr. Gladden: Some of the statements were about the form of the policy—that it contained specific incidents that wouldn’t be included in a policy. Some people said the idea of a policy was good, but that this was just as vague as anything we have right now. Others felt that they couldn’t accept some of the definitions of behavior, or that it brought up issues of freedom of speech. In a nutshell, we decided that we wanted to look at all the regulations currently in place and go from there. We weren’t asked to block anything, just to make recommendations.
Dr. Reinke: While there was not one single Commission member who favored the original policy, might sections of it be used in develop the overall policy
Dr. Gladden: There certainly may be parts of the policy that end up in a policy and that is where we are going. That is our first step.
[unidentified speaker]: Why did we not come back to vote on the policy?
Dr. Bradley: The motion that was on the floor at the time we adjourned was to take this document and give it to the Commission for their consideration. Although we never voted on it, that’s what the Steering Committee decided to do.
[unidentified speaker]: If you don’t have a quorum, you are not obligated to bring the motion up at the next Senate meeting?
Dr. Bradley: I don’t think the Steering Committee is obligated to do that.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology: We had a motion on the floor. Is it possible for the advocates of this policy statement to offer a motion as to what they want done with this?
Dr. Bradley: Certainly. We are still involved in a committee report right now, but if someone wants to offer a motion, that’s fine.
Christa Slaton, Political Science: I have a recommendation for the Multicultural Diversity Commission. It seems to me that the Commission is working on a parallel track with those who developed the policy document put before the Senate earlier. I would like to see those who wrote the policy statement work with the Multicultural Diversity Commission. See if you can’t come up with a policy statement asap.
Dr. Gladden: I think that is fine with us. It could start with us finding out who wrote this. We don’t know who wrote it.
Renee Middleton, Secretary-Elect: It causes me concern when you would say you don’t know who wrote it and you are chairing the committee. If there were specific concerns the committee had that they wanted to discuss I would have thought you would have made an effort to talk with the individuals and we could have addressed any of the questions the Commission had and we could have moved forward.
Dr. Gladden: I think we would have done that had we had any support for this document.
[unidentified speaker]: I move that the Multicultural Diversity Commission be completely dissolved and this document be brought back to the Senate for consideration.
Dr. Green: I hear people saying that we should be dissolved or disbanded. In this case, we were charged to review this policy. The assumption here is that the input of the people who reviewed this document is not valued. They gave their input and voted the way they felt, so that’s all I’m saying. Can you disband the Commission? I don’t think so. So what kind of question is that? I have been at Auburn University for 24 years and AU needs to move forward. As a student undergraduate football player when there were only about 300 African-Americans on this campus, don’t tell me where this University needs to go. I know where it needs to go. I want to be a part of that. I don’t want to get lost in the process. I agree with Christa that we should build on what we have. I was thinking when Conner’s statement was up there why we didn’t meet together to talk about it. The Commission was asked to consider this as something that needed to go before the Senate, and they voted no. Again, they are individuals.
Dr. Middleton: Let me make something clear. The Commission was asked to review, revise, and adopt. You were asked to revise this into something you could adopt and the Commission did nothing.
Dr. Gladden: We decided to start over.
Dr. Pritchett: I would like to make one point clear. When it became apparent that two statements were coming up, I requested Nancy McDaniel to invite the authors of the longer statement to meet with the Multicultural Diversity Commission, and those invitations were extended.
Dr. Green: We met.
Dr. Middleton: I think you have things out of sequence, because the Steering Committee decided we would operate on two difference tracks to come up with two different products. There was not a need to come together. At that point, there was no invitation coming forward, and if the Commission had questions they should have asked.
Dr. Pritchett: What I’m saying is that prior to that, back in December when it became apparent that two things were developing, the recommendation we made was for the two groups to sit down and see if that was necessary. The Steering Committee met after that.
B. Report on Election Results
New Rules Committee members:
Dr. Bradley: You will note that one of those members is also a candidate for a Senate office. If she were to be elected, she would automatically be on the Rules Committee, at which time we would have another election to select another Rules Committee member.
Dr. Pritchett: Bruce had mentioned earlier that the Commission had recommended a Center for Race and Relations. Last Friday we toured a space in Foy Union and have identified a space in Foy Union for the Office. I have asked Dr. Curtis to set this as a top priority with Facilities Division. Dr. Walker has identified this as a University priority. We have identified funding for the renovations and will hopefully move forward with those in the next couple of weeks. We have identified funding for a part-time faculty resident.
Evelyn Crayton, Nutrition and Food Science: Thank you so much, Dr. Pritchett, for your efforts. I am past president of the Auburn Black Caucus and I would like for the record to show that the Auburn Black Caucus was not approached to be a part of this effort in any way. We have not had any kind of conversation with administration or the Commission, even though we recognize that the administration has the authority to do whatever they please. The Commission has ignored the efforts of the Auburn Black Caucus to bring the Auburn University community together regarding race relations. And now we understand that a Center has been established and a director named, whom we understand is Dr. Green, for the first and possibly second year. The Auburn Black Caucus has not been involved in any way in any of these proceedings to bring unity to Auburn University.
Renee Middleton, Secretary-Elect: I would like to make a motion that the proposal that David Wilson and I worked on behalf of constituents and faculty at Auburn University be discussed and brought to a vote up or down.
Dr. Bradley: You want this motion for this meeting.
Dr. Middleton: I want it for the next meeting.
Dr. Bradley: The motion is for the document as distributed today be discussed and voted on at the next Senate meeting.
The motion was seconded.
Mike Reinke, Pharmacy: I would simply like to ask that this statement be made available electronically.
Dr. Bradley: If this motion passes, it will be available electronically.
Randy Pipes, Counseling and Counseling Psychology: What does voting “yes” on this motion mean? What would happen if the policy were accepted by the Senate?
Dr. Bradley: So, if that document were to be adopted by the Senate in April, it would be given to Dr. Walker with recommendation to be adopted as policy.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology: Essentially, what we are being asked to do is act on policy that has already been considered and rejected by the Multicultural Diversity Commission.
Paul Schmidt, Mathematics: I seconded Renee’s motion and let me explain why. I am sensing a lot of frustration among members of the Senate at the decision of the Multicultural Diversity Commission not to bring this before the Senate. It may well be that the Senate as a whole, with the chance to discuss this, may decide to adopt it. We could have the discussion with this motion.
Mike Reinke, Pharmacy: I intend to vote in favor of the motion. I also want to emphasize that I believe in the highest integrity of the members of the Multicultural Diversity Commission. I think this is something that should be considered by the entire Senate. I also join with Christa in asking these two groups to work together. We are setting a bad precedent, if we can’t agree about diversity and tolerance.
Dr. Green: I hope this comes before the Senate for discussion.
There was no quorum, even though the motion was voted as 18 YES, 14 NO, and 8 ABSTAINING.
Dr. Bradley: I only have a week left in this position, but I will recommend that the Steering Committee put this item on the agenda for the next meeting, honoring the majority of the people who were here,
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.