Minutes of the Senate Meeting
April 4, 2006
Submitted by Kathryn Flynn
Present: Rich Penaskovic, David Cicci, Kathryn Flynn, Ann Beth Presley, Conner Bailey, Debbie Shaw, Dan Bennett, John Heilman, Bonnie MacEwan, Drew Burgering, Roger Garrison, Robert Locy, Ronald Clark, Diane Hite, Mario Lightfoote, Charles Mitchell, Barbara Kemppainen, Charlene Lebleu, Rik Blumenthal, Debra Worthington, Alvin Sek See Lim, Suhyun Suh, Gary Martin, Jon Bolton, Sadik Tuzun, Claire Crutchley, Allen Davis, Michel Raby, Larry Teeter, Jim Saunders, Thomas A. Smith, Chris Arnold, Saeed Maghsoodloo, Roger Wolters, Hugh Guffey, Darrel Hankerson, Daniel Mackowski, John Rowe, Robin Fellers, Joe Sumners, Cindy Brunner, Forrest Smith, Salisa Westrick, Bernie Olin, James Shelley, Francis Robicheaux, Anthony Gadzey, Robert Norton, Vivian Larkin, Scott Phillips, Saralyn Smith-Carr
Absent, sending a substitute: Judith Lechner (Sara Wolf), Charles Gross (Scotte Hodel), Ken Tilt (Raymond Kessler), Andrew Wohrley (Jim Gravois), Carole Zugazaga (Mark Konty)
Absent, no substitute: Don Large, David Wilson, June Henton, Paul Bobrowski, Stewart Schneller, Dick Brinker, Michael Moriarty, George Stegall, Zachary Bryant, Maurita Walker, Jack DeRuiter, Garnetta Lovett, Werner Bergen, Barry Fleming, Raymond Hamilton, Anthony Moss, Timothy McDonald, Anoop Sattineni, Robert Chambers, Larry Crowley, Sridhar Krishnamurti, Pam Ulrich, Randy Beard, Alice Buchanan, Ruth Crocker, Richard Good, Virginia O’Leary, Randy Tillery, William Shaw, Tom Williams, Howard Thomas
Richard Penaskovic called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m.
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the March 7 Senate meeting were approved by voice vote without opposition.
The order of items on the agenda was changed because both Joe Molnar and Art Chappelka had classes scheduled for the afternoon and needed to make their presentations so that they could make it to class.
Administrator Evaluation Committee Report (Joe Molnar)
Joe Molnar used a power point presentation to deliver aggregate data on the review of administrators conducted via a web-based survey in March. He began by recognizing the committee members: Brenda Allen, Judy Shepard, Charlie Mitchell, Herb Rotfeld, Steve Murray and Jenny Swaim. He described the survey instrument and provided information about the overall response rate (33.5%) and by academic unit. He stressed that the data presented was an aggregate and that every effort had been made to ensure that information about individual administrators would not be identifiable. He identified the administrators evaluated during this process as deans, associate deans, department heads/chairs and ACES administration. He then provided the ranking of each of these administrative categories and listed some of the written comments, positive and negative, provided about administrators.
After Joe Molnar completed his presentation he answered several questions:
He closed by thanking the committee members for all of the work they did. He also recognized Ephan Ghoo, the graduate assistant supported by the Provost office, who went beyond the call to get nearly everyone easy access to the survey. He also thanked Drew Clark and Robert Gottesman. A final comment from the audience stated that the alternate year approach was a good one.
Academic Program Review Committee report and resolution recommending adoption (Art Chappelka)
Art Chappelka, Chair of the Academic Program Review Committee, reviewed the timeline followed by the committee in the development of a procedure for academic program review. He introduced a resolution stating that the Senate approved the report of the Academic Program Review Committee outlining the committee’s recommended procedure. The floor was opened for discussion. The following questions were asked of Art Chappelka:
Rich Penaskovic stated that this document will provide a blue print for the review process, recommend a procedure for testing the process and then the committee will come back and revise and improve the process as needed. He stated that he is comfortable with this approach.
A comment was made that supporting this report would send a positive message to the Board but noted that the Fisher Report says that all new programs should be left to the new President. Conner Bailey stated that the Fisher Report recommended that we move forward with academic program review. Further, the report presented for approval today was developed by a faculty committee and involved a process that embraces the concept of shared governance. The committee worked diligently to develop this document that will be advisory to the administration and noted that it has been reviewed by the Provost. He further stated that it will be a living document and the committee will continue to work to improve the process. He emphasized that we need a faculty-driven, campus-based process.
It was noted that newer faculty members might not see the
issue of academic program review as contentious and that faculty who have been
A call for a vote was made. The resolution passed with one voice in opposition. Art Chappelka concluded by thanking the members of the Academic Program Review Committee.
Remarks and Announcements:
John Heilman reported that he had been out of town last week
and had not spoken to Dr. Richardson since before spring break. He thanked both Joe Molnar and Art Chappelka
for their work. He mentioned that he did
not attend the Board Committee meeting on the Fisher Report held in
There were no questions for Dr. Heilman.
Rich Penaskovic commented on professional improvement leave
about which there is a policy in the Faculty Handbook. He stated that he had been in discussion with
the Provost, Don Large and others about the need for a program funded from the
Provost’s office. He wants the
university to invest $250,000 into the Professional Improvement Leave
Program. He noted that the university is
receiving a record budget from the state next year. He mentioned that some would say we already
have a program but noted that is is funded through individual schools and
colleges. Rich Penaskovic noted that
inequities existed in this approach because larger units may have an advantage
over smaller units. He also stated that
we needed to investigate professional improvement leave being taken by faculty
Rich Penaskovic then commented on post tenure review. He stated that the Executive Committee has been in contact with Dr. Richardson and Dr. Heilman about post tenure review. He said the Executive Committee does not see the need for a special called meeting to discuss post tenure review at this time. He said that Dr. Richardson will likely present criteria to be used for such a review at the June Board of Trustees meeting. Dr. Richardson has told the Executive Committee that his comments would be designed to reflect the fact that both post tenure review and academic program review are internal matters that are being presented to the Board as information items only. Rich Penaskovic also stated that in early May the Steering Committee would provide a report to Dr. Heilman outlining recommendations concerning post tenure review. He noted that this report would be an edited version of the three reports already posted on the Senate webpage. Rich Penaskovic said that the Steering Committee will share this report with the Senate and, if desired, this topic can be on the agenda of the May Senate meeting that will occur before the report is sent to Dr. Heilman. He said that Dr. Heilman will develop his own recommendations for Dr. Richardson and that Dr. Heilman will be invited to bring these to the Senate during the fall semester. Rich Penaskovic said that this would provide an opportunity for broad input. He also mentioned that Dr. Richardson wants to build into the process a mechanism for rewarding outstanding faculty in a monetary way.
Rich Penaskovic then mentioned that the Senate has discussed the possibility of conducting a survey of the faculty to determine how the Senate is viewed. The Senate leadership, with input from the Rules Committee, has asked the Center for Government Studies to conduct a short survey on this question. The Office of the Provost has committed to pay the $3,000 it will cost to conduct the survey. Rich Penaskovic asked that all senators encourage their faculty to participate and expressed gratitude to John Heilman for providing the funding.
Rich Penaskovic then executed his executive privilege and
invited Conner Bailey to come forward and recap the Board meeting on the Fisher
Report held in
Conner Bailey started by saying that he had shared notes from the meeting and that Senators should have received a copy of these notes. He said that Senators should feel free to share the notes with their constituents. Conner Bailey stated that, despite the newspaper accounts, the meeting was productive and positive. He stated that Dr. Richardson made some important points related to topics in the Fisher Report. He said that these topics included the relationship between AU and AUM and the Agriculture Initiative. Conner Bailey reported that Dr. Richardson said that he plans to recommend to the Board that a new Agriculture Institute be created, consisting of the College of Agriculture, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and the Alabama Agriculture Experiment Station. Conner Bailey reported that Dr. Richardson said that there would be a “leader” for the Institute but had provided no additional details. He also reported that Dr. Richardson told the Committee that someone had been identified to conduct a strategic planning process and that the work would begin in the near future.
Rich Penaskovic stated that he had two brief points to make. First he asked that we all give to the University’s Capital Campaign. He said that the amount we give is less important than that we give. High participation by the faculty will be a positive that may stimulate people outside the University to participate. Second, he congratulated the Men’s and Women’s swim teams. He mentioned the celebration that would be hosted by the University at Toomer’s Corner at 6:00 pm.
Rich Penaskovic asked if anyone had any questions for the chair. Rich was told that his efforts to obtain funding for sabbaticals was supported by faculty and that having this type of leave would help with new hires.
NCAA Certification of Auburn University Athletic Programs (Gary Waters)
Gary Waters came forward to report on the NCAA recertification process currently underway. He provided a short hand-out. He said that the process started last October and will run through early May with the purpose of identifying areas of strength and areas needing improvement. Gary Waters said the reports offer the faculty an opportunity to learn more about all facets of athletics and that the committee consists of three subcommittees:
Gary Waters stated that a draft report will be posted on-line in mid-April and instructions for accessing this draft report will be provided in the AU Daily. He asks that faculty review and provide input on the report during the roughly two weeks during which such feedback is solicited. He said that there will also be public forums in late April designed to obtain additional input.
Rich Penaskovic thanked Gary Waters for his report and asked if there was any old business. There was none, but a Senator came forward to say that he had found the AU swimmers to be very impressive academically. It was suggested that the Senate draft a letter to the Coach complimenting him and the team. Rich Penaskovic stated that he would have the Executive Committee draft such a letter.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:18 pm.