Auburn University Senate Meeting
July 9, 2002
Members Absent: Steve Taylor, Ag Engineering; Richard Beil, Economics; Nelson Ford, Management; Randy Pipes, Counseling & Counseling Psychology; Mahmoud El-Halwagi; Chemical Engineering; Charles Gross, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Joseph Gluhman, Art; Sridhar Krishnamurti, Communication Disorders; Christa Slaton, Political Science; Tracey Oleinick, Theater; Chris Rodger, Discrete & Social Sociology; Eleanor Josephson, Anat. Phys. Pharmacology; Ralph Henderson, Veterinary Clinical Science; Richard Kenworthy, Architecture; Mike Solomon, Consumer Affairs; Charlotte Skelton, Nursing; Cpt. Chris Hageman, Air Force ROTC; Ltc. Carlton Buchanan, Army ROTC; Dan Bennett, Dean, College of Architecture; Heath Henderson, SGA President; Chad Harvey, GSO President; John Asmuth, Chair, A&P Assembly.
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by the chair, Dr. Barbara Struempler.
The minutes to the last University Senate meeting on June 11 are posted on the web. Are there any corrections to the minutes? Yes, Glen.
Glenn Howze: I may be wrong, I need to go back and check this. I think the minutes of May 29 are posted on the web. I would like the resolution itself to be included; it’s not included in the minutes.
Barbara Struempler: Glenn noted that the resolution for the Special Meeting on May 29 was not included in the minutes. The way Renée had listed that … and she … I’ll ask her to include it. She listed it as a separate line item on the web screen. But I will ask her to also imbed it in the document. That’s a good suggestion, thank you. That’s Glenn Howze for the record. For the June 11 minutes, if there are no corrections, they’ll stand as posted please.
The next order of business is Announcements from the President’s Office. President William Walker.
William Walker, President, Auburn University: I’d like to start this afternoon by noting that a great deal of effort has gone into the independent planning of Football Game Day here on campus this fall. I mentioned this at the last Senate meeting. Last year we experienced some very, very serious damage to the equipment and facilities and, frankly, some if resulted in some terrible unfortunate acts of vandalism. We therefore felt it was essential to protect not only our facilities but also the wellbeing of many of the tens of thousands of people who are on campus on Game Day to make some changes. Accordingly we have developed some plans for Game Day that will make on-campus parking more manageable, provide some alternate parking areas for our recreational vehicles, and also provide public restrooms so that many of our academic buildings can be completely locked. At their June meeting, the Board endorsed our plans in principle but emphasized that we need to continually fine-tune the plan and stated pretty emphatically that failure is simply not an option because they recognize that any long-time fans are going to resist changes in ??? of our Game Day activities. We received many expressions of concern that tailgating is going to be eliminated and that’s simply not the case. Many offices have worked to prepare a plan that will provide for safety on campus and allow the continuation of those Game Day traditions. I would like particularly to compliment our Facilities Division as well as the Department of Athletics and University Relations for just a tremendous effort that they’ve invested in this project; you will see some of the things on campus, I’m sure. The results of their work have just been — within the last few moments — posted on the University web site. I invite you to visit that web site and inform yourselves as to what changes are going to take place. I think you will see that we’ve done our best to minimize the inconvenience that comes with tightening security and safety measures. Again, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with those so that when statements of … misstatements of fact are made that we can at least either refute those or to refer people to that web site or to the Office of University Relations or the Department of Athletics.
I’d like now to take just a few moments to talk about two additional issues. The first of these is enrollment and the second has to do with faculty salaries. In terms of enrollment, I’d like to start by commenting on our current Summer enrollment and then follow that with some comments about the Fall enrollment. For better or for worse, we currently have a record high 10,557 students enrolled for this Summer semester. That’s good news in two ways. First of all, you may recall a couple of years ago that we commented that schools that changed from Quarters to Semester have usually experienced a sharp decline in Summer enrollments. Those decline being really inexplicable but just seems to be associated with the transition from Quarters to Semesters. In anticipation of that, we put into place a public relations program to encourage students and parents to think in terms of taking classes during the Summer. The theme of “Get Ahead and Stay Ahead” seems to work. One of the ways we got it to work is that we frankly set up some financial incentives for schools and colleges to encourage their students to sign up for Summer classes. Under this incentive program we’ve been returning to the schools and colleges a portion of the tuition that has been generated by Summer enrollment in the classes that teach. This summer, that amount that has been returned is $3.7 million. So that amount of money has been returned to the deans for their use. In view of the difficulties other institutions have had in maintaining summer enrollments when they’ve made the switch to Semester, I personally am very pleased with the success of this program. With respect to Fall enrollment, it appears that — depending again on your point of view — some good news and some bad news. We’re looking at around 3900 to 4000 freshmen. That’s significantly, as you are aware, more than the 3750 to 3800 which was what I had targeted with our folks in Student Affairs. In one sense, it’s good news. That is that students are applying in record numbers and record numbers of the students we admit are choosing to come to Auburn rather than going elsewhere. And this is happening at the same time that other colleges and universities in Alabama are losing enrollment. And also at the same time that we are increasing tuition by 12%. All this says is that there is obviously a down side to this large number of freshman. We are taking steps to manage the enrollment so that it does not unfairly burden either the faculty or the students. We’ll keep you posted on that progress. Specifically, I have asked Dr. Pritchett and Dr. Williams to take steps, whatever steps are necessary to handle the situation. Dr. Pritchett is working with appropriate deans to provide additional core curriculum sections as well as incentives to teach some extra courses. Also our Admissions Office is limiting the number of transfer students so that the total number of new students, including transfers as well as new freshman, will be within the target range that we had originally established. Obviously what we do not want are students who cannot get into classes or class sizes that are exceeding the limits that departments teaching them would aim for. We’re doing all that we can to ensure that those things simply do not happen.
Now to the issue of faculty salaries. As you will recall, those of you who were here four weeks ago, I told this body that I was inclined to support faculty raises based on 2% across-the-board and 3% merit. I think I said unless I hear convincing arguments to the contrary. After I spoke with you, more than 1 member of the Board of Trustees made is very clear to me that their support for the 12% tuition hike was made only with the understanding that faculty raises would be based on merit. I would add that the Senate leadership has been very clear that there are some very strong feelings within the Senate in support of across-the-board raises. After considerable thought and discussion with my staff, I concluded that we should not take any steps that would call into question that 12% tuition increase. Accordingly, I have directed Dr. Pritchett to work with the deans on the basis of the 5% merit raise to faculty. As a practical matter, it appears that really very few faculty are going to be affected by this change and that was also a factor in my thinking. As you may be aware, I expect to look for a similar tuition increase next year and I am hopeful that we will again will be able to come forward with salary increases even if we have to deal with proration which, frankly, I believe probably will take place next year. While I understand that there are some very strong feelings in support of across-the-board raises, I am also aware and you need to be aware that two members are also strongly in the opposite direction. I have been contacted by a number of faculty as well as by many if not most of the deans concerning the fact that raises should be restricted only to merit raises. I would also add that the recommendation to the Budget Advisory Committee was also for merit increases. Anyway, in balance I’ve decided to go with the all merit raise pool and I wanted to just take a few moments to share that with you.
In closing, I will note that this past year has not been without significant challenges. While these challenges are not unique to Auburn and certainly have not been easy, I believe, however, that we are making progress and we will continue to do so. But a key ingredient, a fundamental ingredient to this progress has been the dedicated hard work of our faculty and of this body. And I want to acknowledge that hard work and I want to thank all of you for having done a truly outstanding job for this university with the young people who have chosen to make this their college home. I’ll be happy now to answer questions you might have.
Jim Bradley, Immediate Past Chair, University Senate: Dr. Walker, this question has to do with the title change, the removal of “Interim.” The question is why when you were approached for this proposed action did you not insist on at least an internal search for President?
William Walker: Why did I not insist on an in-house search? Jim this issue came up the first time a year ago last October. And I discouraged its consideration. In the interim, this body requested … and that was because I think and you’ll have to help me here with the history of this, I believe that the Senate had not yet requested that the Board delay the search. But the Senate finally did request that the Board delay a search. And it was very clear that from comments that were made in the Senate and the other areas that no matter what the Board did, it was going to be taken to task. And so it seemed to me that indeed other steps were possible here. I could have refused to take the position, I could have retired. I chose not to. Why I didn’t hold out for an internal search, if we had had an internal search and had I been selected, then the accusation would have been that it was something that was predetermined. I don’t know. I don’t have a satisfactory answer for you but I guess that’s it. Herb.
Herb Rotfeld, Steering Committee: You mentioned Game Day plans but what has not been mentioned either by you or anyone else is two simple basic things: (a) how are you going to enforce these various rules, and (b) who is going to pay for it, either from the Athletic Association funds or the general University funds?
William Walker: The … who is going to enforce it, we are going to have additional police officers that are being retained. We are also … we’re going to have additional police officers who have been retained. And the number of those, I heard but I don’t recall what it is. Who is paying for it? The University is paying for it. We’re … in making the central part of the campus free of those large RVs, we’re doing some paving. We’re going to be charging admission to those. And that admission will help offset some of the expenses.
Herb Rotfeld: Is it coming from the general University funds or from the Athletic Association funds?
William Walker: Well, right now they are coming from the Facilities Division, from the general University fund. How that ultimately will be distributed has yet to be determined.
Conner Bailey, Steering Committee: Dr. Walker, you said more than one Board member approached you with regard to the decision for the salary increases to be based on merit alone. One of the justifications for your taking on the title of “President” and having “Interim” removed was so that you could provide strong leadership. This is what we heard from the Board and if I understand, is your opinion as well. Then you told us at the last meeting that unless you heard convincing reasons why … otherwise, you were going to proceed to follow what the Senate had suggested. Now, what I’m wondering is this, are these phone calls, these communications and how they took place, to you, some further evidence of micro-management by the Board? My understanding at the Board meeting Budget Committee that there was left somewhat ambiguous what they were actually approving at the time that they approved the budget guidelines that were introduced.
William Walker: I would argue that it was not ambiguous and in fact that some members of the Board felt that they had been a little bit misled because what the Board book said was 5% merit because when that Board book went in I had not received word from Dr. Struempler that in fact the Senate had some significant … that the Senate had some concern the other way. It had been my intention at the Budget Committee of the Board to revisit that issue and say, look, there is strong feeling in the Senate that this should be 2 and 3, 2% across-the-board and 3% merit; but the meeting was late and I simply didn’t get back to it and Dr. Large was … we were all so focused on that tuition increase. So really, any lack of mismanagement, it was my lack of managing that budget meeting. It was certainly not an example of micro-management any more than the Senate giving me their feelings about the fact that it should be 2% across-the-board and 3% merit is micro-managing.
Glenn Howze, representing Jim Bannon: I have a follow-up question to the comment that Connor gave. I attended the Board meeting of the Budget Committee and I listened very carefully to the Vice President Large and he presented both the recommendation of the Salary Committee and of the Budget Committee. As far as I know, and I listened very carefully, he did not indicate the administration’s preference to either one. What I took it to mean was an either/or situation. It may well be that some Board member did indeed call you and tell you that but I find it very strange they would approve 2% across-the-board for every other category of employee at Auburn University other than the main campus faculty. They approved it for the Montgomery faculty, they approved it for the staff, they approved it for the Administrative and Professional workers, but not the faculty. If I were paranoid or something, I would say that the Board wanted to punish some faculty. But, once again, at the meeting I listened very closely and what was presented was and either/or situation. Mr. Large can talk to that.
Don Large, Associate Provost and Vice President for Finance: I think your recollection is pretty accurate. What was presented in the Board book was required 10 days in advance was the recommendation of the Budget Advisory Committee and by way of process, the President recommending that as the Budget guidelines for their consideration. It documented the process that we went through for several months, a cross-section of 19 members, six faculty members, and so on. And here are the conclusions reached and here are the guidelines by which you can consider. That’s the only way we’ve done it and that’s the way we did it this time. In the budget guidelines discussion, before we got to the tuition discussion, we went through that. And I also indicated when we got down to the discussion or the recognition of the recommendation of the 5% merit approved for faculty that for their information the Senate had recommended something different from either 2 or 3. And nothing was said beyond that. And further discussion ensued. And then I had asked them before you approve these budget guidelines or at least allow us to go forward with the budget based on these guidelines, I want you to look at the tuition recommendation so you know how it fits into the budget guidelines. So we moved on to the tuition discussion. The intent was to come back to the budget guidelines for a final discussion and the either/or approach. But it never happened. And so it was left in a little bit of limbo. They had written documents that said one thing, then they had my comments that said, “oh, but you should know that the Senate is suggesting a different approach.” So, that’s where it broke down. I probably should have done a better job of getting them back to the … let’s go back now to the budget guidelines, but the other side and we thought, we’ve gotten the tuition increase and the budget guidelines have basically been approved or at least not disapproved, and we will go forward and build the budget. I felt like the other issues would get resolved subsequent to that time. I think that was the intent. But the President thought that I would move in a different direction and I think he heard that … at least he began to think that we don’t want to do anything to put this budget at risk and I’m going to be at the August 9 meeting and all of a sudden the budget process fall apart because a good chance of a pretty good budget. So, we’ve gone in a different direction. That’s the process and your recollection is pretty accurate if not totally accurate.
Bill Gale: Dr. Walker, this relates to your comment about salaries. With various colleges, merit increases are typically related to (inaudible). What kind of oversight does the administration have over merit award, and how much control and feedback (inaudible) …
William Walker: First of all, the … so far as limiting the magnitude of raises, any raises that exceeds 10% or greater requires my approval. Any merit increase over 10% requires my approval. By the way, I’ll ask Dr. Pritchett for a few comments concerning the equity fund. The oversight is with the Deans and the Provost and certainly faculty members can choose to avail themselves of the appeals process. In fact, when I was doing faculty evaluations, routinely we were questioning the raises that they had recommended. So far as a formal procedure of that, aside from appealing through a dean and then the Provost, I know of none but I certainly am not opposed to having such a structure. That’s … if we could that we could operate. I haven’t spoken to John about that.
Judy Sheppard, Steering Committee: Dr. Walker, I am concerned with … you said in your comments that you were required to change your recommendation about that, the salary increases. But what I heard you say was that the Board just said “no.” What were the reasons they gave for not approving it, that you restrict the faculty at Auburn University, just that group, from participating with the entire situation? And I think you can see why a lot of people are skeptical about the Board’s assurances that there would be no retaliation for speaking with SACS.
William Walker: Well the raise recommendations have already been made, SACS not withstanding. I mean, they are in the Provost’s Office, aren’t they? So that … seems to me not to be a part of it but certainly … keep in mind that this Board, on past occasions, on more than one occasion when the Budget Advisory Committee has gone forward with a recommendation across-the-board raises has rejected that and said it should all be merit. The Board is not being inconsistent. And what happened, and this was back when I was a Dean, recommendations of the Budget Advisory Committee came forward and the Board said what would the Deans think. I think it was at the time another Dean stood up and said “I think it ought to all be merit.” And they changed the recommendation the Budget Advisory Committee there, thinking that the faculty are the professional body on this campus and that they ought to be judged based upon their meritorious performance.
Judy Sheppard, Journalism: But not here at Auburn.
William Walker: Well, they view these institutions differently. This is not a regional institution. Larry.
Larry Gerber, Non-Senator: My recollection is that, in the last decade, the Board did on one occasion modify the recommendation from the Budget Advisory Committee with regard to the balance between merit and equity. I don’t think there’s ever been a time of merit only. I’d like for you to make a comment on the process by which the Board’s input had an effect on your decision. It’s not even so much of the question that Connor raised about micro-management. It’s the process by which Board views are registered. Did you say that you spoke to a couple or several Board members? I assume that you did not speak individually to a majority of the Board. That is troubling to me that some Board members can express a point of view which then we may correctly assume represent the opinion of the Board, but we have no way of knowing what the entire Board thinks about the matter because no one asked them.
William Walker: The three members of the Board with whom I spoke were all on the Budget Committee and remember the vote of the Budget Committee; there were already two people in opposition to the tuition increase. So, the proposed three who said essentially, “Did you purposely misrepresent this to us? Did you tell us one thing and expect something different?” And in fact, that’s the way it looked, that we had purposely misled them. And I in fact did not do that but I could certainly understand their point of view, that that’s the way it looked. So that vote … if in fact those three people changed their votes, the votes did not carry. Combining that with the two people who voted against the tuition increase.
Jim Bradley: I have a second question. Judy brought up the SACS issues. We had some discussion early about confidentiality. That people would not … Peter Degnan prefers there be a public forum, while SACS prefers confidentiality. … At the end of that discussion, at the April meeting, Renée Middleton suggested a compromise. She suggested that the information given during testimony be provided, but that the source of that information be confidential. In answer to that you replied quote “I have no problem with that.” So, my question is have you since then talked to Peter Degnan and asked him to modify the request of SACS so we can get this behind us?
William Walker: The request was rejected summarily. And in fact, subsequent contact with them has indicated that they are not interested in the kind of resolution that we were talking about, and this is my interpretation, they do not feel at all comfortable with the Judge’s decision; they feel they can’t live with that. And therefore, the idea of a visit by a non-typical review committee is now moot. The SACS reaffirmation will be here, will take place next spring. Anybody … the same rules as before apply; anybody who wants to talk to them can talk to them.
Jim Bradley: My question was did you talk to Peter Degnan about Renée Middleton’s idea?
William Walker: Well, I mentioned that to Peter but the fact that the issue is now moot is … it didn’t proceed anywhere.
Jim Bradley: What did he say about the idea?
William Walker: I don’t remember. Something to the effect that it makes no difference, there’s not going to be any visit for that. Because they have rejected our approach.
Mike Reinke, Clinical Psychology: (unable to understand clearly) … I understand from personnel there is a 2% across-the-board increase for staff.
William Walker: The staff and A&P are those that would receive the 2%. None of the administrative …
Mike Reinke: Is that limited to staff, or would that include personnel such as department chairs, deans, etc?
William Walker: Would they get 2%? No. Not automatically, no. There will be no across-the-board for them either.
Don Large: (unable to clearly understand statement) Those in the HR system that have grade levels would be eligible for 2%.
William Walker: There are … The … Those in the HR system that have grade levels.
Richard Penaskovic, substituting for Michael Watkins, Philosophy: It is my understanding, President Walker, that we pay Rick Hartsell $150 per hour for public relations work for the university. I’m wondering if this is a wise use of our resources when the staff of University Relations can do essentially the same work?
William Walker: Is that a question?
Richard Penaskovic: Yes sir.
William Walker: Yes, I think that’s a wise investment for those who are spending the money.
Richard Penaskovic: Are you saying University Relations is not doing their job?
William Walker: University Relations is extremely short handed.
Richard Penaskovic: (unable to hear or understand)
William Walker: Any other questions? Comments? John.
John Pritchett: Thank you, Bill. There was one comment that was made a little bit earlier about department head evaluations and linkage of that to raises. I’m going to say some comments in just a few minutes about the faculty evaluations of administrators. In my review of these evaluations it became apparent to me that we may have a department head or two that although they are having the annual evaluations, they are not documenting that. I had called that to the attention of the appropriate dean and I hope that issue is taken care of. Ideally, the way the system should work on this campus is sometime during the spring, a department head should have a performance appraisal session with the faculty member; that should be documented back to the faculty member in writing and then as we approach the budget process, the department head, through some orderly process, should develop a merit rating for that faculty member that is not based strictly on the immediate prior year, but also some sort of profile going back a few years. Bill, I think the College of Business does that and I think the College of Business does a very good job of it. So, Barb, I say that as a prelude simply to indicate that, at least it and some of the deans are very interested in examining the output that we had from the recently conducted administrative evaluations. Now with that said, where we stand in the budget process at this point in time, we are using three phases to allocate to the faculty salary adjustments. The first phase was the merit phase and that phase was completed about a week and a half ago. Basically what we asked is for each dean to submit to the Provost’s Office the merit recommendations for each and every faculty member. And of course those were generated within the departments. It is the expectation of the Provost’s Office that each dean will carefully review those recommendations before they come forward. And then what we in turn do within the Provost’s Office is go through each and every recommendations also. And as Dr. Walker indicated, anything over 10% there has got to be a approved by the President’s Office. And Bill, there will be some coming down to your office which exceed 10% merit. And I should also say that the range of salary adjustments that we have reviewed thus far goes from 0 to well in excess of 10%. So there is a range.
The second phase of the salary adjustment process is underway as we speak. This is distribution of the market equity money. Available in this year’s budget is approximately $3.8 million and this is above the 5% for merit. The $3.8 was for market equity adjustments for staff, for A&P, and for faculty. What we did on the first round of the faculty is went ahead called for input on staff and A&P. We have received that input. It appears at this point in time that there will be somewhere between $3.3 and $3.4 million to allocate to faculty alone for market increases. What we did is based on economic research services predicted salary values that they delivered to us in early June. I shared those also with the faculty leadership. We have distributed $3.3 million to all the colleges and schools and we have asked the deans and department heads to allocate those dollars to individuals identified who are below their predicted salaries. Those funds will be distributed only if those individuals are meritorious. If an individual is paid at 65% of the predicted value because that individual is not performing, then there should be no market equity dollars allocated to that individual. And we have essentially used a sliding scale. By sundown tomorrow, the first round of this equity adjustment will come back and obviously all of the $3.3 million will not be utilized. What we will then do is initiate the process a second time where any residual dollars are again sent out and we will look at those faculty members not addressed in the first round. And hopefully by sundown on Friday, this process will be complete and Don will be ready to put the budget together. Now, I will say one thing. The reason we are separating the merit phase from market phase this year is that it came to my attention that a few years ago, the time we did this, we had at least one rather enterprising dean who recommended very high market increases for individuals who were not necessarily very meritorious. And the motivating factor was to increase the overall base of the college so on the next go round, the increase in base would be greater. I was saddened that certain administrators would do that to help their college. I think we’ve got to keep this on an even keel. And that’s why this year we separated all consideration of merit and market. All merit determinations are complete and have no bearing other than … I should put it the other way; market has no bearing on merit. So basically, that’s the process that we have at this point in time. It’s been a very tedious process, but I think the individual deans and department heads have done a good job and I think there are going to be some significant salary improvements for a number of our faculty and we are going to move significantly toward our regional averages this year. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
Richard Penaskovic: The College of Liberal Arts is funded at something like 81% of the regional average. Would it help if … will any corrections be made (inaudible)
John Pritchett: Rich, the way that worked, and this was at the recommendation of the Faculty Salaries Committee and also working with Senate leadership, these adjustments are applied to individuals by rank, by discipline. They are not necessarily organized by school or college. It stands to reason that if the College of Liberal Arts is at 81%, then they have a larger number of individuals who are at the lower levels and who will be addressed as compared to say some other college who is at 95%. Okay. Barb.
Barbara Struempler: I have a couple of announcements to make and I’ll try to be very quick. The Senate leadership team has been supporting many faculty issues this last month. We’re trying instead of looking back to go forward and be a little proactive in our thinking. I’ll share with you some of the issues that we have been dealing with this past month. One of them deals with the faculty representation on the Board of Trustees. For at least a decade, the University Senate has urged the Board to support its request for a non-voting ex-officio faculty member at the Board table. And we believe that finally a window of opportunity exists for this faculty representation on the Board. At the Board meeting on June 3, a Committee was established and it’s chaired by Earlon McWhorter. Their charge is to look at the faculty representation on the Board. And the Executive Committee felt very strongly that we needed to make a proactive assessment of some of the reasons why a faculty member should be seated on that Board and the advantages to the University and also to the Board. So, the University Faculty Executive Committee wrote a letter to Trustee McWhorter, and it will be an attachment to my announcements which usually go out the latter part of the week. But, essentially, there were four reasons why we feel that a faculty member would benefit the University and the Board. One of them obviously is that it is just a natural extension to the committees that are already in place. We have faculty representation on the committees and by seating a faculty member on the Board, that would more or less complete the circle. A faculty member would probably provide a unique perspective of academic concerns of the institution — that’s the voice that’s not there on the Board. I do feel very strongly that faculty are the long-term pulse of the University. Education is our bread and butter; it’s our business, it’s our passion, it’s our love. I feel that we need to have a voice in the direction where we’re going. I hope to feel that the long … in addition to the Executive Committee, if there was a faculty representative on the Board, they could help answer some questions that President Walker is currently asking. He’s asking where we’re going, how much will it cost, how will we pay for it? And as we as faculty are asked, every single year, to support more of our teaching, research and educational activities, our outreach activities, and to secure more and more outside funding, it would be nice for faculty to have an input — a say — to where some of the direction is going. I think by being on the Board, we could provide some of that input. And, lastly, and probably one of the main reasons — it’s an obvious reason — is that a faculty member could provide a unique synergism to the groups that are already there. They have obviously Trustees, and administration, as well as students. So again, that would complete the representation.
In our letter to Trustee McWhorter, we strongly recommended that the person selected be the chair of the University Faculty which is also the chair of the University Senate. And I’m probably the one that feels most strongly that that is the person that it needs to be, and I’ll just briefly say that as Chair of the Senate, you commit more time than any other faculty member to University issues and you get a very broad understanding of the University. And I think to seat someone else other than the Chair of the University Faculty would almost be a disservice to faculty themselves. The knowledge base just simply isn’t there. So that was … that’s one issue that we’re working on. I have a meeting set up with Mr. McWhorter on Friday, so we’ll continue to work in this issue. But, for the first time, at least they’re addressing it.
Another issue that we’re trying to look at and do something a little bit more proactive on concerns the JAC — the Joint Assessment Committee. Obviously, for fifteen months, our complaint process has really been unresolved and we’re kind of at a standstill as we’ve just heard. And I’ve asked Jim Bradley, who is the Immediate Past Chair of the Senate and also who was chair of the JAC, to reconvene the original members of that Committee. Obviously it’s to our benefit to get some resolution on some of those concerns. The Senate has resolutions that are tied to those complaints and in order to move us along, we need to move that issue, we need to find some solution to it. So, Jim, thank you for taking it on again and we look to you and the other Committee members to, hopefully, find some type of solution and make a report at a future Senate meeting. Thank you.
One of the other positive issues that we’ve talked with President Walker about has been the Search for the Provost. And obviously there is no individual role that’s more significant to the Academy or to the faculty than the search for the Provost position. We’ve discussed this — the Senate leadership — with President Walker, with the Rules Committee. I think everyone, more or less, is singing some of the same songs. We have some of the verses kind of right. But, I been assured that whatever kind of Committee that is formed, and I think that there will be very fair faculty representation on the Committee, that it would be an honor to serve on that Committee. Everyone is looking for top scholars to sit on that committee so keep your eyes and ears tuned for more information on that.
The last report deals with the administration evaluation that Dr. Pritchett talked about just briefly. Bruce Gladden was the one who chaired the Faculty Evaluation Committee for the deans and the department heads. He did it as a favor to everyone. He did an outstanding job and it’s been a long process. So we owe Bruce Gladden; he’s done an outstanding job. Bruce is teaching at this time and he sent me a couple of announcements which I will make very briefly. In May, a couple a months ago, he mailed 1,099 — shall we round it up and say 1,100 — evaluation forms. They were mailed to tenure-track faculty, clinical and research-track faculty. And he received about 400 back. So that was return rate of about 36%. He then supplied me with the response rates for the colleges; again, these will be included with the announcements that I send out. But you see the lowest response rate was for Engineering at 27% and the highest was 63% for Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. He also sent me the response rate for departments, and this is hard to read, but for departments the response rate was an all-time low for Communications Disorders at 0% and an all-time high at 100% for Aviation Management here at the top. And then you’ll find your list down here. But, again, you will receive this in my notes. What Bruce also did is he gave every administrator who was evaluated — he gave the administrator and also the supervisor — a diskette that contained written copies of all the input from the faculty. It also contained a microscopic cell file which summarized all of the questions. So Bruce did a very thorough job in the summaries. He also supplied histograms that compared an evaluation to the high and the low. So, it was very, very nice process. The evaluation process cost about $2,000; half of it was paid from the Provost’s Office and the other half from the University Senate budget — that also comes from the Provost’s Office. We’ve had some very good feedback about the evaluation process. I would like to ask Dr. Pritchett to come up and give you some words on what he’s asking the deans and department heads … how to use this information.
John Pritchett: Thanks very much, Barb. I’ll just add a few things to this. I would echo what Barb said as far as kudos to Bruce Gladden. This has been almost of a labor of love for him and the Provost’s Office has been very supportive of him in this effort. I want to say that it was back in the April timeframe when Bruce generally indicated that he was going to approach this process. What I did was invited Bruce to a Provost Council meeting. I wanted the deans to give him some input on the process. It was made very clear at that point in time to the deans that I personally expected the results of this to be used in the annual evaluation process of department head and I promised the deans that I would use this information also in the annual evaluations for deans. I believe all the data was collected by the end of classes. The one glitch that occurred this year, though, and we’ve got to work to make sure that this doesn’t occur next year, is that the information that was submitted for processing stay … it was not in the proper format. Steve had to jump in and help out on this, but we were not able to get the information on the administrative evaluations to the deans and department heads until June 25; which of course, we were well into the budgeting process. So what I did, was first of all indicated to the deans that they must review their information before making recommendations on the department heads and I in turn have reviewed all information on the deans before making recommendations on them. It is a very important process and something that we are going to use as a component of administrative evaluations in the future. Barb, the one recommendation that I would make at this point in time is that the faculty committee in charge of this, this coming fall — and I mean early in the fall — needs to get together with both myself, and also perhaps a group made up of deans and department heads, to work out a process so that we can expedite this whole thing next year and make it a more orderly portion of the overall evaluation and budgeting process. May I make that recommendation now?
Barbara Struempler: Yes. Are there any questions?
Werner Bergen, Animal & Dairy Sciences: Yes. How will the information be shared with the deans and department heads?
John Pritchett: What I asked the deans specifically … Oh, let me say one other thing too. John Mouton came to a Provost Council meeting, and I think he heard those expectations expressed there again to the deans. We do not ask that this be the total evaluation of either the department heads or the deans because there are many different components to what a dean or department head does. But we’ve asked that this be one of the components that are reviewed before merit recommendations are made for that individual. Ginny.
Virginia O’Leary, Psychology: I’m just curious about your position as Provost on the amount of variance that you would anticipate seeing among the chairs in a particular college? In other words, did you find it acceptable if all chairs in any particular college received the same percentage merit increase?
John Pritchett: Well I have done my initial pass and I can assure you that there is a range as far as department heads or chairs. Don’t hold me to that for all colleges, but I am saying in general, department heads across the University … I’d be happy to go back and check that after we get through here. I’ve busted a few people especially. Anything else?
Barbara Struempler: Let’s move on and just some Senate housekeeping items on protocol on Senate debate. The Senate is designed to be a place where faculty can openly debate regarding issues that affect the direction of our University. Unanimous consent among faculty is rare. But we operate on a long-standing principle, a democratic principle, and that is majority rules. During the past few months, our Senate has had some tough issues to deal with. I believe that the discussions have been fair, open, and honest with an opportunity for all voices to be heard. People have the right to disagree and state their opinions. That is not an indication that faculty are divided. Rather it is an indication that the Academy is alive and well. Differences in thoughts and ideas should not be translated as division. Although Renée Middleton isn’t here — she’s the Secretary of the Senate — she would be the first to remind us about a perfect example of the democratic process. It was when, several months ago, when the Tolerance Policy was up for vote, and the faculty and the majority voted it down while faculty who came from underrepresented groups supported it. That was democracy at work. And Renée would be the first to tell you that that is the process we must live and work with.
A couple of rules on when we enter the debate. I’d like you to stand, state your name and your affiliation; if you are a substitute, who your are substituting for; if you are not a Senate … a non-member of the Senate, say “I’m not a member of the University Senate.” I will ask for the members of the Senate to have the first privilege to speak. When most of them have had time, we will go back around to the non-members of the Senate and friends of the Senate. Please address the chair; we have a microphone for those that need help projecting. Try to limit your comments to about three (3) minutes. No one may speak a second time on an issue until everyone has had an opportunity to speak once. And you may not speak more than twice on any one particular issues. Members need to refer to others by saying the previous speaker rather than who it was. I, as the presiding officer, will try to make sure that all sides are heard fully in debate, and if I want to enter into the debate, I have to give up this position and my chair — and relinquish it. So, I probably will not enter into too many debates.
So, let us begin with our business at hand. During the last Senate meeting there was a resolution to censure the Board, the Auburn University Board of Trustees. There was a motion; there was a second, there was some discussion. It was introduced by Glenn Howze and I would like to have Glenn Howze come down again, if he would and just bring us up to date. Does anyone need an extra copy? Can you find … okay. Glenn.
Glenn Howze: First of all, I have a question for the chair and that is, I have reviewed the resolution and would like to strike one word in the resolution; do I need to have someone do that from the floor or can I just have is struck.
Barbara Struemple: Before? Yes.
Glenn Howze: The word I’d like to strike is the word “nationally.” If I remember correctly, this motion was made — I made the motion — and it was seconded when the measure was before the floor. And for your information, chair, I would like to make a brief statement.
Barbara Struempler: Sure. Please.
Glenn Howze: Okay. By the way, I have copies of this statement for anyone who would like to have it.
Colleagues, I urge you to support the resolution to censure the Board of Trustees for violating the accepted standards of shared university governance and our university’s own Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy by removing the status of “Interim” from the President’s title. As you know, this Senate, by a vote of 40–21, approved a resolution strongly opposing the removal of the Interim title. In spite of our plea, the Board removed the title at its meeting on June 3. I think it is important for this body to censure the Board of Trustees for their action. I was present at the Board meeting and I can report to you that the Board never gave any consideration to our resolution, to our arguments against the removal of the Interim title.
I would l like to remind you that two Board members, Trustee John C. H. Miller, Jr. and Trustee Earlon McWhorter, approached our Senate leadership and asked the faculty to consider supporting this action. And the faculty gave much consideration to the matter. I would like to remind you that the University Senate spent most of its meeting on May 21 and all of its meeting on May 29 considering this request. In addition, other faculty groups met to discuss the request. In the end, the University Senate chose to oppose the removal of the “Interim” title and in resolution form spelled out our reasoning. The Board did not even show us the courtesy of considering our resolution. The Board never considered our arguments.
Our arguments were not frivolous. They had substance. Our faculty, like faculties at other major comprehensive research universities, has a long history of supporting shared university governance. Read our Handbook. Faculty participation in governance matters related to the academic programs of the university is central. The 1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities formulated by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) speaks directly to the importance of shared governance in the process of selecting a President.
Joint effort of a most critical kind must be taken when an institution chooses a new president. The selection of a chief administrative officer should follow upon a cooperative search by the governing board and the faculty, taking into consideration the opinions of others who are appropriately interested. The president should be equally qualified to serve both as the executive officer of the governing board and as the chief academic officer of the institution and the faculty. The president’s dual role requires an ability to interpret to board and faculty the educational views and concepts of institutional government of the other. The president should have the confidence of the board and the faculty.
A second important point made in our resolution of May 29 was that the removal of the word “Interim” from the title would be in violation of our own Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Policy. The Auburn University policy requires the:
Recruiting, hiring, training, retaining, and promoting individuals, in all job classifications, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or disabled veteran/Vietnam era veteran status, except where sex, age, national origin, or disability are bona fide occupational qualifications.
This policy was reaffirmed in a letter from Interim President William F. Walker dated August 15, 2001 and which specifically states that the policy applies to “all job classifications.” It is my understanding that our AA/EEO office was not even contacted about the matter. As most of us know from experience, our policy requires us to demonstrate that we have conducted a fair and open search for all positions. While exceptions are made, they require a process to obtain an exemption. The Board did not comply with a stated policy of our University. What sort of signal does it send when the Board blatantly ignores this policy to fill the highest position at our university?
I would like to mention several statements made by Trustees at the June 3 Board meeting, statements related to the removal of the “Interim” title and faculty support or lack of support for the action. First of all, President Pro Tempore W. James Samford, Jr., while noting that some sort of resolution opposing the change had been passed, then characterized the faculty opinion and the faculty leadership opinion as being mixed. The vote was 40–21 with eleven voting administrators. At no time did Trustee Samford report that the University Senate strongly opposed the removal of the “Interim” title. At no time did anyone indicate to the Board that the University Senate strongly opposed the action.
Trustee John C. H. Miller, Jr. made a speech in which he described what he characterized as consultation with the faculty and other constituent groups. There was no consultation, only information. Faculty leaders were told that the faculty was not being asked for approval but rather for understanding. Essentially, we were told that this was going to happen. Like it or lump it. That is not consultation. Faculty were not involved in the decision. Trustee Miller finished his statement on the matter by saying that “anyone who disagrees with this action is being intellectually dishonest.” I’ve spent some time trying to divine what he meant by that statement. I certainly do not believe that the University Senate was being intellectually dishonest when it passed its resolution of May 29.
After brief and very polite statements by Trustee Charles G. Glover questioning the action of removing the “Interim” title, and by SGA President Heath Henderson saying that he hopes this would never happen again, Trustee James W. Rane made a very impassioned declaration highly critical of them. He noted that this action was necessary because Auburn University faced a crisis. What he did not say was that the crisis, if it did exist, was created by Board action. It seems to me a silly argument to say that they had to hire a president without a search because of a crisis that they had created.
I urge you to vote for this resolution. The faculty has the responsibility to protect the academic integrity of Auburn University. The Board’s action threatens our academic integrity. The Board needs to be censured for its action.
Finally, I would like to urge administrators and non-faculty members of the Senate to support the resolution. Most of you administrators are faculty members with faculty rank. I ask that you take seriously your responsibility to protect the academic integrity of our University. For non-faculty members, I ask that you understand the importance of shared university governance and our AA/EEO policy and vote for the resolution
Barbara Struempler: Is there any other discussion?
Richard Penaskovic: I have two points to make.
Barbara Struempler: Can everyone hear him?
Richard Penaskovic: I can talk louder. You would think that the Board would be sensitive to the concerns of the faculty about shared governance because of the SACS lawsuit. No. Folks, I submit the Board doesn’t give a hoot about what faculty think. We spent two hours on May 29 debating the issue and they didn’t even consider our arguments. Second note. A Senator at the May 29 meeting asked what good would it do to censure the Board? I believe strongly in what I call “symbolic action.” A symbol would be something that stands for, in place of something else. By censuring the Board, this is our only way of registering our distrust in them. So that’s why I feel very strongly that we take symbolic action. Thank you.
Cindy Brunner, Pathobiology: Barb, I want you to address the issues that was raised by Professor Howze. He pointed out that at the meeting of the Board, he doesn’t recall having heard discussion of the faculty’s concerns about the removal of “Interim.” He also said that or claimed that the Board was unaware of the position of the Senate. I’d like you to comment on that because I was assuming that you communicated, at least with Mr. McWhorter, the views of the Senate and the information that was gathered in your discussions as far as the Senate meeting?
Barbara Struempler: If you will remember, I was approached by Jack Miller and I communicated first and foremost with Jack Miller. So Jack knew very well what was going on. So did Trustee McWhorter. They knew the faculty concerns. What I told you I presented to them. We had a “yes” group, a “no” group, and a “yes, if” group. You have the same information that I gave them. I printed it in announcements and they have copies of it and you have copies of it. But they well know. Yes.
Glenn Howze: First of all, I didn’t say that they were unaware of it. However, the way it seemed to me, I think it was a true statement that our resolution … we talked to two Board members. I think there are 12 or 14 … 14 Board members. As far as I know, there was no discussion among the Board. There was no discussion of this faculty … of the University Senate’s resolution at a Board meeting in public. There may have been some behind the scenes discussion, I guess those are legal, but there was nothing at the Board meeting.
John Mouton, Chair-Elect: I want to start by saying that I concur with the statements that have been made; I take no objections to them. I think that the statement that was made about it being symbolic is actually written in the paper. There’s another statement that’s written in the paper that said in fact, that it would have no real consequence, this censure. And I think from a pragmatic standpoint there may be a consequence of the censure. We have the opportunity now to, I think you reported that in 10 years, the Board is considering now a faculty seat on the Board. And so, anyway, while they have that under consideration, I’m not sure of any relationship; I haven’t had any discussion with anyone. But I do think two things are worth bring to light. First of all, we did pass a resolution before the Board meeting. Essentially this censure resolution is based on the same issue. There is not a substantial difference other than one was before the action and one was after. The other thing is I do think that there is some potential link between passing the censure resolution and an opportunity to get a faculty member on the Board.
Barbara Struempler: Anyone else before Richard? How about non-members of the Senate? Yes, Bill.
William Sauser, Non-Member of Senate: I understand and respect the position of the maker and the supporters of the resolution. I understand what it’s all about and respect that point of view. But I have a different point of view and I think it’s closer to John Mouton’s. I think that it’s been over a year now since the Senate and the Trustees seemed to draw some lines in the sand and we spend most of our time digging those lines deeper and deeper; they’re trenches. And we’ve been firing at one another across the trenches. And what I’ve seen is escalating conflict as we shoot at one another, and I don’t think that’s in the best long-term interest of the University. I’d like to see the conflict end. I would really like to see the faculty be the group that says, “Hey, we’re going to rise above this conflict and we’re going to put an end to it through a unilateral cease fire” and see what happens. I urge the Senate to vote against the resolution.
Candace Bourne, Chair, Staff Advisory Council: The Staff has varying thoughts on the proposed issues. We actually, at our last Staff Council meeting on June 25 passed a resolution for forward movement. In that resolution, we addressed the fact that we did not necessarily agree with how some things were done but we have voiced the opinion that we want to go forward in a positive manner. I think most staff think … that is the way they feel. And that resolution passed. I personally could not vote for this, to censure the Board of Trustees, because I talk like the decision they made and what they did was what was best for Auburn University. I don’t agree with the Board on all things, but what they do is for me and for many staff employees. We feel like it’s time to move on. This resolution to censure would be quite counterproductive.
Jim Bradley: I would like to speak strongly in favor of this resolution. Both on principle and from a pragmatic point of view. On principle that Professor Howze has very thoroughly explained what the principles are that are at stake: the principles of share governance, the principles of equal opportunity, employment opportunity, Affirmative Action. If a University can’t stand on principle, they are about to be hurt; you can’t just stand on principle. From a practical point of view, there will be outcomes for this action, I believe, if the Senate doesn’t take a strong stand and point out that their principles have been violated. For one thing, it is a terribly dangerous precedent to set, appointing a President with no search, not even an in-house search. I’m confident that there are at least three or four people within the Auburn community that would have put their hats into the ring had there been a level playing field for this position. Not even an in-house search. We need to speak on this; it’s a terrible precedent to set. In response to a speaker a couple of speakers ago who mentioned the issue of the Board seat and the possible link in the minds of some Board members between this censure resolution, if it passes, and their decision on whether to put a faculty member on the Board, well there’s some bad news because we deserve to have a seat on the Board because it’s the right thing for us to have. The Board needs to get us a seat on the Board because it’s the right thing to do. The Board does not need to give us a seat on the Board because we kept our mouths shut, because it’s giving up principle. I, too, along with Dr. Sauser and many others are really tired of this strain, battles, whatever you want to call them; it’s been two years for me and I’m really sick of it. I’m ready to move forward and above it. But I urge nobody to move up away from the foray by leaving their principles down somewhere else. If they’re going to move anywhere, move with your principles; don’t leave them behind.
Barbara Struempler: Other comments? Richard.
Richard Penaskovic: If the Board is really serious about having faculty representation on the Board, with a snap of their fingers they could just bring it about. The don’t need to have a Committee, which to me, a Committee is just a delaying tactic. The Committee can never meet, it could take years before the Committee makes a decision. So I probably think that should be a reasonable … and not because of this particular resolution to censure. Thank you.
Barbara Struempler: Other comments?
Connor Bailey, Steering Committee: I’m very much in support of this resolution. I don’t really have anything new to add to what the previous speakers said about principle. I think this is a matter of principle. I think our voice needs to be clear and loud and I hope the Board will deliver and work with us in the future so that we can rise above this continuing battle. But it’s not going to happen by unilateral action.
Kem Krueger, Pharmacy Care Systems: I move that we close discussion and call for a vote.
Barbara Struempler: That will need a second. All those in favor say “aye.” Opposed, “no.” Yes. One minute; we’re there. That may have been out of order, but that’s okay. Is there anyone else that would like input, discussion, comments? Yes.
Ruth Crocker, History: I polled the members of my department on this resolution ahead of this meeting and I received more replies. I received (inaudible) … encouraging us to vote for it … I also agree that we must stand on principle and I’m going to vote for it.
Larry Gerber, Non-Senator: Although I’m not eligible to vote on this, I would like to address this issue that people can disagree. I do urge support for it. Having been a former chair myself (inaudible) …
Barbara Struempler: Other comments?
Cindy Brunner: I wasn’t going to speak to the resolution because, in fact, I was going to vote to abstain. The reason for my abstention is I polled my faculty and they voted 2 to 1 against this resolution. That is quite literally two to one. I had one person supporting it, I had two people opposing and everybody else through up their hands and said “now what?” What this is telling me is they don’t see any additional contribution of this resolution to the resolution that was passed by the Senate in May strongly opposing removal for the very same reasons. They don’t see this resolution as contributing anything except more fuel to the cold war that’s going to be raged with the Board of Trustees. So I’m in a sort of a muddle wash. I have to decide whether to abstain or vote “No” on the recommendation of two of my colleagues.
Virginia O’Leary, Psychology: It has just occurred to me but there is a pragmatic issue here that has not been addressed. It has to do with our position basically with the external environment. And I think that from a pragmatic perspective, it would be embarrassing at best were we to vote this resolution down having voted the previous one up by 2 to 1.
Barbara Struempler: Okay. Are we ready to call the question?
John Mouton: Yes.
Barbara Struempler: John. Okay. Let’s see. You need a ballot vote. You’re voting on the resolution to censure the Auburn University Board of Trustees as the resolution stands on the screen. A “yes” vote would be to accept it, a “no” vote would be to reject it. You need to, as they pass out the ballots, please indicate if you are a voting member by raising you hand so they can pass down the appropriate number.
We’ll continue on with our next item of business with Dr. David Wilson talking about Intelligence Property in Distance Learning. Dr. Wilson. I have asked Dr. Wilson, this is a draft and it will affect Chapter 7, Section 5 of the Handbook. So, I’ve asked him to give us an overview of this policy and the changes he’s proposing and perhaps we can put it forth for a vote in the September meeting based on comments that are received today. What is your pleasure.
David Wilson, Associate Provost & Vice President, Outreach: Given the lateness of the hour, I certainly will try to present this with a high degree of rapidity About three to four months ago, in consultation with the University Senate, I empanelled a committee at the institution to look at intellectual property as it affected distance education. As that committee looked at this charge, it occurred to the committee that it could not look at distance education without looking at copyright. So the committee commenced its assignment by taking a look at the University’s copyright policy and basically put forth a recommendation that would deal with distance learning under that particular policy. My charge to the committee was fairly simple: I had looked across the country at a number of universities that had policies in this area and those policies were replete with legalese that was very, very difficult for faculty and administrators to understand and to implement it seems. And so my charge was to come forth with a policy for Auburn University that was simple yet comprehensive and one that was without a plethora of this sort of legalese. That particular committee was led by my Assistant Vice President for Outreach Dr. Robert Montjoy; and Rick Alekna, Director of Distance Learning here at the University; Terry Byrd, Professor of Management in the College of Business; Shari Downer, Interim Dean of University Libraries; Linda Glaze, Assistant Provost and Associate Professor of Foreign Languages; James Thornton, Director of OTT; and Ralph Zee, Associate Dean of Engineering and Alumni Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Very briefly, let me just walk you through the proposed information. The first question really is, why do we need a revised policy? Well, there are about three reasons why the University now is in a position where we need to look at the issue of intellectual property as it affects distance learning. The first is simply the proliferation of distance education online degree programs nationally and at Auburn University. In 1995, I think we were hard pressed to look across the United States and come up with 10 national universities that legitimate online or distance education programs. That is not the case today. We are hard pressed to find any major institution in the United States that does not have long distance programs. So, in a span of about eight years online and distance education in the United States has basically taken center stage in higher education. That has also been the case here at Auburn University. In 1995, we were basically offering five degree options via distance learning. Today we are offering more than 20 degrees at the institution that you can gain via online or distance education. So, we certainly have moved a long way in eight years here at the institution and as we look at the next three to five years, we have a proposal coming forward where we want to even increase those offerings, particularly at the undergraduate level. Another reason why we need a revised policy in this area of course because of the emergence of what I call the “entrepreneur” faculty. Because all across the United States we’re seeing a proliferation of online and distance education programs, what this has meant is that faculty members by and large have more opportunities to teach in online programs away from their home campus. As a result of that, many institutions have found it necessary to develop conflict of interest policies and policies that basically address how faculty members can teach in an online program if at all. The third reason, I think, for the University to develop a policy here is simply that the one that we have is inadequate. We revised that policy in 1984; that has been 18 years ago, and it really is just not one that is appropriate for where the University currently is and where we would like to go.
The Proposed Policy
In a nutshell, what we are proposing is that ownership of copyrights shall reside with the author. That’s not any different than the policies that we currently have in this area except for the following:
(1) works produced with use of what we call “significant university resources” in which case ownership shall be shared between the University and the author.
(2) Works for hire in which case ownership shall reside with the University,
(3) Sponsored works, in which case ownership shall be determined in the sponsorship agreement. In the event there is no agreement, ownership shall reside with the University.
Now of course, how does this differ from the existing policy? As I indicated earlier, there are no substantive changes in ownership of what’s resulted from individual efforts. So that particular aspect of our policy has moved forward. The proposed policy, however, provides for joint ownership of works developed using what we call once again, “significant university resources” based on an agreement to be negotiated between the faculty member and the university before a significant resources are provided. The existing policy assigns ownership of intellectual property to the author if the university’s contribution is less than 50% and to the university if the university’s contribution is greater than 50%. Also, our existing policy does not, in any way, address issues of use and revision of distance education or online instruction theories. Let me give you an example. Let’s say we have a faculty member here at the institution who has videotaped a lecture and is offering that particular lecture in one of our graduate programs online in distance education. And that faculty member leaves the institution. At issue is whether Auburn University can offer that particular videotaped course if the faculty member is not at Auburn but perhaps is at the University of X. So this policy that we have now does not address that issue. Also, in determination of the 5th percent threshold is very difficult, we think, given the effect of this policy. The current policy as well does not have a section on definitions. In the proposed policy that is before you, we have attempted to define these terms, so we have defined what we mean by ‘author’, what we mean by ‘courseware’, what we mean by ‘independent academic efforts’, ‘significant university resources’, ‘sponsored work’, ‘works of authorship’ — that basically comes forward from the existing policy — and ‘works for hire.’
Let’s talk a little bit about remuneration for royalties. Our current policy says that remuneration for royalties is negotiated between the faculty member and the Vice President for Research — this is in the area of copyrights, not in the area of patents. At the time of copyright application, there are no benchmarks provided in that policy. The proposed policy provides a benchmark for the distribution of royalties in negotiated agreements. And this is taken from the University’s patent policies, so it would bring this once we get under the copyright policy. And basically what we say under the copyright policy as it affects distance education is that the faculty member or staff or whomever who is involved in a royalty situation will receive 50% of the first $100,000 of net royalties, 40% of the second $100,000 in net royalties, and 30% of all net royalties over $200,000. This policy is not new to the institution. As I said, these come in existence from the patent side of the University policy, but we want to bring it over to the copyright in distance education side as well.
Revision Rights and Responsibilities for Courseware
We are basically saying under the policy before you that faculty members have the right to update the courseware, update their course, schedules, or otherwise devise the courseware that is jointly owned by the University. The obligations for the revision and revocations for use beyond a certain date should be agreed to in writing in advance of the creation of the courseware. In the absence of such an agreement, the faculty member shall have the right and responsibility to revise the work on an annual basis.
The policy that we are putting forth as well has a section on student works. Our current policy does not. The proposed policy states very clearly that “unless provided otherwise by written agreement or as provided below” —in the policy in front of you — “students will own copyright in their independent works and in works prepared to satisfy degree requirements.” Student employees will follow the same rules as other employees regarding works produced with “significant university resources” or as “works for hire” or as “sponsored works.” We think this particularly policy is actually a very significant one for Auburn University and we certainly encourage you to go back to your departments and discuss the entire document with the faculty, but particularly this policy because this is not going to be not held on the books in universities across the country in keeping abreast of what the situation is right now with books at about 12 universities across the country in terms of the policies that they have. This one is in line with what we see at those universities.
This is the policy regarding participation in non-Auburn distance education. As I said, our current policy does not address this issue at all. What we are proposing is that any full-time employee of Auburn University who proposed to develop or teach in a non-Auburn distance education course or degree program shall be bound by the University’s policies on consulting, conflict of interest, and conflict of commitment. In addition, the employee shall disclose the proposed agreement in advance to his or her dean, director or department head to determine whether a conflict of interest for a commitment exists. It goes further to define what we think a conflict of interest or a conflict of commitment is. A conflict of interest and commitment shall be presumed to arise if the course or degree program is substantially equivalent to an Auburn course or degree program or is likely to be directly competitive with an Auburn course or degree program, whether the Auburn course is taught on campus or via distance education. In case of disagreement over whether conflict of interest or commitment existing, the issue may be appealed to the University Copyright Committee. What we are basically saying here is that if we have a Professor of History on the campus and that Professor of History is reputed to be one of the best professors in the nation. That individual may very well be contacted by another university or asked to teach a history course at that institution. This policy would say that if that particular course or program is likely to be competitive with the one that we are offering here at the institution, there is a conflict of commitment and therefore the University would not approve that faculty member teaching that course at another institution when that course is offered at Auburn University.
In a nutshell, that disclosed the policies that you have in front of you. I do want you to take it back to your departments and discuss this ad nauseum because as faculty members, we have to bring this forth perhaps for some kind of action in the early part of the year, I’m sorry, by the fall of this year. It is extremely important that we have this policy on the books especially by our upcoming SACS visit in the Spring of the year. But also in light of another initiative that we hope to bring forward in the next couple of months. The initiative simply will be Auburn University online. We have devoted a lot of attention to developing an online presence of the institution and before we actually launch that, we need in place this kind of policy. And so, Barbara, with that said, I thank you.
Barbara Struempler: Are there any quick comments or questions for Dr. Wilson? Yes.
Jo Heath, Non-Senator: Dr. Wilson, we heard about the student copyright, the confidentiality policy for graduate students on their dissertation? When you said student work, were you talking about dissertation work?
David Wilson: It’s a matter of fact we addressed that here in terms of what we mean. I think that’s listed on page 5. For example, a graduate teaching assistant conducting an independent class would own his or her lecture notes, but the filming of the class by a student hired for that purpose would be within the scope of his or her employment. Faculty may not use student-owned works without permission and are acknowledgement as appropriate. Students duly enrolled in a course would take class notes for personal use but may not take or disseminate such notes for commercial purposes. So this really is not governing the dissertation as such. Any additional questions or comments? We would hope to have this on the agenda perhaps at the September meeting.
Barbara Struempler: Please send any comments and questions to Dr. Wilson directly. Will that work. Okay. We will, hopefully, get it on the agenda in September. Thank you.
[VOTES ON RESOLUTION REPORTED]
Well, are you ready? It was 35 in favor of the resolution, 26 not in favor, and 2 abstained. So the motion, the resolution carries. It passes. Is there any new business? Yes, Jim.
Jim Bradley: This isn’t new business, it is a question. How will the Board of Trustees hear about the outcome of the vote?
Barbara Struempler: I have a meeting tomorrow with Jimmy Samford at 2:00 p.m. and I’ll take it to him. Does anyone want to go along with me? It’s not a secret meeting. Yes.
Glenn Howze: (unable to hear clearly)
Barbara Struempler: After every meeting I take whatever is passed to Jimmy Samford. He’s the Pro Tempore, so I’ll see if he can fax it back to the others. So, there’s no new business I guess. We’re adjourned. Thank you.