Draft Minutes of the October , 2007 University Senate Meeting
3:00 pm Broun Hall Auditorium
Present: Dave Cicci, Robert Locy, Ann Beth Presley, Richard Penaskovic, Sue Barry, Debbie Shaw, Royrickers Cook, Don Large, Dan Bennett, Overton Jenda, Stewart Schneller, Drew Clark, Bonnie MacEwan, Ethan Trevino, Wendy Pechman, Marie Folmar, John Hung, Gary Martin, Ronald Clark, Winfred Foster, Norbert Wilson, Sondra Parmer, Charles Mitchell, Keith Cummins, Barbara Kemppainen, Charlene LeBleu, Christopher McNulty, Anthony Moss, Paul Swamidas, Anoop Sattineni, Rik Blumenthal, Larry Crowley, Suhyun Suh, Carol Centrallo, John Saye, Dan Gropper, James Witte, Scott Hodel, James Goldstein, Claire Crutchley, Allen Davis, Michel Raby Larry Teeter, Jim Sanders, Mark Fischman, David Carter, Chris Arnold, Robert Bulfin, Andrew Wohrley, Casey Cegielski, Edith Davidson, Steve Stuckwisch, Bart Prorok, Constance Hendricks, Claire Zizza, Jim Wright, Daniel Parson, Salisa Westrick, Bernie Olin, James Shelley, and Don-Terry Veal Changhoon Jung, Peggy Shippen, Tom Williams, Scott Phillips, R. D. Montgomery.
Absent with Substitute: Fran Kochan, Brigitta Brunner (Debra Worthington), Laura Plexico (),Thomas Smith (Jamie Andersen), Francis Robicheaux (Joe Perez), Dan Svyantek, Carole Zugazaga (Kristirina Shuler),
Absent without Substitute: Johnny Green, John Heilman, Matt Jenkins, Robert Gross, Timothy McDonald, Ronald Neuman, Alevin Sek See Lim, Robin Huettel, Howard Goldstein, Robert Voitle, Randy Tillery, William Shaw. Howard Thomas
David Cicci (Chair): Call this meeting to order. I have heard the chimes so I guess we need to begin. One thing we inadvertently left off the agenda is the approval of the minutes from September 4th Senate meeting; those have been posted and sent out. Are there any additions or correction to those minutes? If not, all those in favor of approving those minutes say Aye…
David Cicci (Chair): opposed say Nay… Thank you the minutes are approved. At this time I could like to call Dr. Gogue for some comments from the president’s office.
Dr. Gogue (President): Thank you David, I wanted to mention 3 things to you today. Number one, state budget year closed out and we have finally have seen the numbers in terms of what last year did financially in the state of Alabama. I think if you go back 3 years ago the increase was about 9.5%, then 2 years ago 11.6%, and the current year the projection was 8.5% the budget came in at 6.5% increase over the previous year. That adds about 360-370 million dollars more into the educational trust fund; but in fairness it is less than what they had anticipated and so they built their budgets on a different model and so I share this with you only to say that in this session you’re going to hear an awful lot about whether or not funds in the rainy day account will be used or whether will use funds which are reserve funds in the trust fund account. If you add the rainy day account funds and the reserve account funds it is roughly 800 million dollars in that that is on the side that pertains to the higher ed. trust fund. So it is actually better news than we were led to believe going into the close out of the year. We were told to expect 5% and ended up with 6.5% so its mixed news, the long term projection is that both next year and the year after that will not be great years in the state of Alabama. The year after that may and they are basing their numbers on the Brach realignment that is going on both at Montgomery and at Huntsville and on the Brach realignment at Columbus Georgia area and the school over in the eastern part of the state, and also on the new steel operation down at the Mobile area. And so with those 3 elements, I think with 17,000 jobs as an example in the Huntsville area. Those changes bode well for the state about 24 months from now.
The second thing I wanted to mention to you is, there’s been a rather in-depth study of our security on campus, and I don’t think I have to tell you we have a very safe campus, but at the same time we want to make sure we improve where we can to give the perception and the reality of more safety on the campus. There will be some announcements in the next week or 10 days that pertain to changes we are going to make in relative to safety issues on the campus and so I would just share that with you. I think you will be very supportive. The faculty Senate on my very first meeting mentioned their concerns about safety on campus, some student groups have mentioned their concerns, deans groups have mentioned it, so it’s one of those areas I feel we need to address very quickly.
Third point that I want to share with you is, I’ve asked the provost to work out a procedure whereby we, internal to Auburn, will have what I call an ACE type fellow in which faculty members will actually have the opportunity if they so desire to come and spend a semester involved in the administration aspects of the university. So the provost will be engaged in that to see if there is interest in such a thing, and if there is we will find a way to support that particular initiative. Thank you. Be happy to respond to questions… Thank you.
David Cicci (Chair): We have a full agenda today, with several important issues, so my comments will be brief. We’re strategic-sorry-The strategic planning process is moving forward. As Dr. Gogue mentioned to you last month he is hoping to have a final draft of the strategic plan to the Board of Trustees by spring. That’s a very short time frame to produce such a comprehensive document. As a result the input gathering process is moving ahead rapidly. The current plan to obtain input has four key components: broad based input, internal constituent group meetings, integrated stake holder focus group meetings, and statewide constituent group meetings. The broad based input will be solicited online through a dedicated website during the period of October 17th through the 31st. Input will be open to all campus groups. All senators and selected faculty will be invited to attend internal constituent group meetings; and some additional faculty will be invited to attend integrated stakeholders focus group meetings. These group meetings will occur during November and early December; and the statewide constituent group meetings will be completed by early January. Even though this is an ambitious time frame, it is important that we all participate in this process and I urge you to do so. The results will guide the direction of the University in the years ahead.
First item of business today is approval of the Faculty Dismissal Policy. I’m sure you’re all aware of the recent history that brought us to this point. The policy before you today has evolved over the last six months and represents a significant amount of work and compromise by the executive committee and the administration. I don’t believe there are any perfect dismissal policies and this is certainly not one either. I do believe it is the best one we could bring to you today. However, this is not the executive committee’s policy nor is it the administration’s policy. It is your policy and I will rely on the wisdom and experience of this body to guide us through the final steps to obtain an acceptable document. When this process began in April, the Senate leadership made two commitments to the Board of Trustees. The first was that we would present an interim dismissal policy dealing with misconduct by June; which we did. And the second one was that we would present a complete dismissal policy dealing with both misconduct and performance by November. As a result it is imperative that this body approves a dismissal policy today. This discussion cannot be delayed or tabled until a future meeting. This is our last opportunity to provide input. If a policy is not approved today one will be sent to the Board of Trustees in November and it may not be the one that we find acceptable. We are in this position today because the previous administration did not understand, appreciate, or respect the concept of shared government. I don’t believe that is true under our new administration. Today the Senate has an opportunity to make a strong statement to the Board in support of shared governance. I very much look forward to that conclusion to this process. Thank you.
Okay the dismissal policy, which was sent to you and there are some at the back, is being presented by the Executive committee and the Steering committee both. As a motion, it does not need a second. I will open the floor for discussion of that policy. Please state your name and your unit and whether or not you’re a senator, please.
Scott Phillips (Theatre): I’m Scott Phillips. I’m from theatre and I am a senator. Some colleagues and I are concerned about the wording on page five, last paragraph extending onto page six; under the section talking about the President. If the President rejects the recommendations of the hearing panel regarding the sanctions or dismissal he or she will state such objections and the hearing panel shall reconsider the case. And then it says: ‘This reconsideration is not intended to conduct another full hearing of witnesses; only to consider the President’s objections and any new evidence which may have become available.’ There isn’t any provision there for the faculty member who is accused to be able to review the evidence and be able to respond prior to the reconsideration. I would like to offer an amendment to the wording there that would be inserted after the sentence that ends ‘any new evidence which may become available’ for it to in addition say ‘the faculty member shall be informed of any new evidence and be offered the opportunity to provide a response to it before the reconsideration takes place’. I do have some copies of that wording if you’d like me to hand them out for consideration.
David Cicci (Chair): Yes, and I’d like one as well.
Scott Phillips (Theatre): Okay, thank you.
David Cicci (Chair): Just to repeat the suggested amendment is on the last paragraph on page five ‘and any new evidence which may have become available’; the recommended amendment will add the sentence ‘the faculty member shall be informed of any new evidence and be offered the opportunity to provide a response to it before the reconsideration takes place’. Any discussion about that proposed amendment? To consider that amendment, we need both a motion and a second from the floor. Okay, do we have a second? Second, okay, I open the floor for discussion. Any discussion about that proposed amendment? Okay, the stakes majority vote to pass. Yes? If there’s no discussion, let’s vote on the motion that’s on the floor; which is the amendment motion right now. All those in favor of this motion respond by saying Aye…
David Cicci (Chair): Opposed nay…Okay, the motion passes. That amendment is included as stated. That brings us back to the original motion of the business of policy. Further discussion? Keith?
Keith Cummins (Animal Sciences): David, I would also like to offer- Keith Cummins; I’m with Science and am a senator. I would also like to offer a possible amendment to the motion to adopt a dismissal policy. I find the just cause resulting from misconduct and the just cause on page two resulting from performance to be inexact, incomplete, and virtually indefensible. It already states, in the first couple, in the first paragraph, just cause for dismissal of the tenured appointment shall be related directly and substantially to the fitness of the faculty member to continue in a professional capacity to be teachers, researchers, or outreach specialists. I believe that’s probably all we need. It’s virtually impossible, given the variance of human behavior, to come up with a complete list of all the possible reasons why somebody may be brought up for possible dismissal. I find particularly, words like incompetence, excuse me ‘demonstrating incompetence in teaching, research, and outreach’ to be very hard to define. I notice also, as a humorous aside, that the administration is not listed there. It’s probably just as well, or every department head would be defending themselves all the time. Nonetheless, I would offer the amendment, given the contentious nature of faculty. Anyway, I would offer the amendment that we delete the section on page one ‘just cause resulting from misconduct and just cause resulting from performance’ and that those be deleted from the policy. This then would force, I know you’re going to start some discussion before I sit down, this would force anybody who brings forward dismissal action to basically have their ducks in a row. To have good, logical, defensible actions rather than a partial and inexact list with words like ‘incompetent’ which would be almost impossible to prove one way or the other. So that was my motion, that we delete the sections listed just cause and we simply go with the statement that is just cause, as I understand it here, related directly and substantially to the fitness of the faculty member to continue in a professional capacity and that then each case on its own be proven one way or another. So my motion is to delete the just cause for misdemeanor or professional-
David Cicci (Chair): So just cause resulting from misconduct and from performance, you want to eliminate those two paragraphs. Okay, motion is to delete those specific listing of offenses for which dismissal proceedings could be brought forth. Second? Open the floor for discussion of that recommended amendment.
Richard Penaskovic (Immediate Past Chair): Yeah, okay, I’m sorry. I think one of the problems with the previous policy is that nothing was defined very clearly. And I would see this draft, it flushes out more what just cause for misconduct and performance involves. So I think it’s really needed, and I think it’s critical to this document. Under the specific point mentioned here, on page two, just cause resulting from performance, demonstrated incompetence in teaching, researching, and outreach activities. What if somebody at the end of the year for their review with the chair said; “I didn’t do any research this year. I didn’t do any outreach.” And his teaching was, you know, he didn’t show up for a lot of his classes, etc. I think that would be, you know, some sort of incompetence. So, I think that it would be a huge mistake to accept this particular amendment. And I don’t see it really as a friendly amendment but I think it goes at the very heart of this particular amendment.
David Cicci (Chair): I will say in an evolution of this document, the previous document was very problematic in definition of causes for dismissal. That was one of the motives for creating this document. I would like to ask Lee Armstrong to respond though. Lee, would you?
Lee Armstrong (General Counsel): Thank you, Lee Armstrong, General Council. Rich is exactly on point as is David. The current document general language was argued to me on occasion that it didn’t even include the concept of misconduct. That someone could engage in regular policy violations, or violations of the law and it didn’t reach that because it didn’t even speak, it doesn’t use the word misconduct. So one of the central points of this exercise was to try to clarify that. Now, I disagree with that interpretation, but if it’s ambiguous or there’s a question about it and we’re trying to clean up the document this is the time to do it. Now, we can all debate about which specific provisions should be included, but I would wholeheartedly endorse that there be some additional clarity added to the old document and I think that the language that we’ve drafted and the Senate leadership has drafted…
And if you’ll give me just an additional second to speak a little more broadly than that; the Senate leadership has acted very responsibly here in a bad situation in terms of timing. They worked very hard to come up with a document that IS a compromise document. If you look at our current document, it is essentially the AUP document. And the AUP document may be the gold standard, I’m not here to debate the gold standard, but you have to put what the gold standard is into context. And the context is ‘What works at Auburn University?’ We’ve had experience with that document, and that document had some problems. So, we’re trying to improve on it. And we haven’t adopted everything that the AUP said, but on the other hand, there are some provisions in the AUP document that I haven’t heard anybody articulate, and I don’t think anybody would, that should be included; for example; that all these matters ought to regularly go to the Board of Trustees. Well, that’s also a provision of a gold standard AUP document, isn’t it? I haven’t heard anybody argue that they want these matters to end up before the Board of Trustees. So, it is a compromise document. It isn’t a perfect document, but it is a significant improvement over what we’ve got now.
David Cicci (Chair): I will add another comment from the Chair that, in the process of working on this document, we got a pretty clear indication from the Board of Trustees that they wanted to see specific offenses spelled out; which is what we tried to do in both the interim document and this document. It is my opinion that if these are removed, we may have a difficult time justifying it to the Board having whatever we send forward approved by the Board. That’s my opinion. Next comment, please?
Norbert Wilson (Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology): I actually will propose a friendly amendment to the sections that are being discussed, depending on what happens in the discussions on this particular adjustment. And I think why it’s important to have this discussion is to say ‘How open is this statement about misconduct?’ Because as you read, for just cause it says ‘dismissal of faculty member for just cause involving misconduct includes but is not limited to…’ And that particular phrase ‘but is not limited to’ does leave it rather open. But then it does innumerate a series of issues that a person could be in trouble. So, I think there is some reason to keep a just cause statement in there; but I think there needs to be some further discussion on how that just cause is defined. Like I said, depending on what happens with this current motion, I’ll come back with an adjustment to that. Thank you.
David Cicci (Chair): We’re already addressing the motion that is on the floor now. Any other comments on this motion?
Cliff Perry(Political Science, non-Senator): I agree with the prior speaker about ‘not limited to’. It strikes me that you could probably move Andromeda through there and we could end up with the deplorable, egregious, must I go on, document that we had over a year ago. I also think it’s odd that you would say ‘serious or substantial’. You know, I guess, one would think that if you’re going to use that as a disjunction one would make a distinction that would make a difference. What is the difference between serious or substantial violation? The incompetence in research- Does the research mean that I had to have been published? In which case it was incompetent where many people criticized me because in philosophy I think that’s actually a panegyric; you’re being applauded when that happens. In many places, to be chastised in professional journals as being an idiot is something you can put on your vita and actually get promoted. I’m also troubled by the immediate Past-Chair of the University faculty. Who is that?
David Cicci (Chair): Currently?
Cliff Perry (Political Science, non-Senator): I understand the immediate Past-Chair of the University Senate, but I have trouble with the University faculty. Who might that be?
David Cicci (Chair): It’s the same person. It’s a joint position.
Cliff Perry (Political Science, non-Senator): I take it also that the serious or substantial neglect of professional or academic responsibility is a distinction that also marks a difference for us? Since we’re not doing this for administrators … How am I neglectful professionally, but perhaps not academically? I know I’m just perhaps slow-witted, but I got awfully confused by that.
David Cicci (Chair): Whatever is listed as a potential offense, please keep in mind that there are going to be two faculty committees that look at whatever charges come forward. Your colleagues will determine if they are justified or not. I take some comfort in that. We have to allow for their good judgment to not put forth unreasonable situations for dismissal. Any other comments on this call for questions? The motion is to eliminate the sections entitled ‘Just Cause Resulting From Misconduct’ and ‘Just Cause Resulting From Performance’. Motion’s been seconded, yes. All those in favor of the amendment to remove those sections respond by replying Aye…Opposed Nay…
David Cicci (Chair): The motion is defeated. That amendment will not be included. That takes us back to the original document for discussion.
Rik Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): I have a couple of minor things; I noticed that in number one, Just Cause, since the last time we did the interim policy, the laundry list has gotten much longer, I understand, of what the possible offences are. I do not remember seeing ‘malicious destruction of property’. This is one that actually concerns me. I use these darn white boards, and those pens, they go bad all the time. And, should I stomp a pen to death, for having left me in front of the classroom unable to teach; I would hate for that to be called malicious destruction of property and be a justification for dismissal. So, out of self-defense, personally, and I thought the Senate should discuss this, at some point this list of what were the crimes that would be considered moral turpitude has grown, I could be mistaken, but I think it’s grown since the interim policy. It seems a little long now.
David Cicci (Chair): It really has not changed at all since the interim policy. It’s identical.
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): I missed it then, in the interim policy. So, I just wanted to bring it up for a fact that other people might want to discuss, is that list too long? We want to have relevant things on there, but some of them in there are questionable.
The second thing I thought I just wanted to raise for people to discuss is I did think it was possible that in just cause resulting from performance, number two, demonstrated incompetence in teaching, researching, and outreach activities have some sort of caveat that those be as reasonably assigned within the traditions, or the normal assignments of the department. If you were to assign me large versions of outreach activities, of which I’ve done none and my department does almost none, I would be incompetent at them. And would that be reasons to dismiss me? Because I could not do outreach activities; it was not something I was hired to do, nor something I have been asked to do in the first fifteen years of my career. And suddenly I would be asked to do them and not be competent at them. I just feel like some wording should be included in there, that those be within the context of the appointment of the individual or historical appointment of the individual. A point for discussion not specifically a motion…
And finally I was wondering, and I thought it could probably get Lee Armstrong jumping out of his chair when he saw this wording, but this review and this is in the paragraph after initiation of dismissal proceedings, the paragraph that starts on that page, and goes to the next. I don’t have page numbers on mine, starts on the bottom paragraph on 2 and goes to 3, the last sentence there: ‘This review shall not involve legal council on either side, other than providing of legal advice to the faculty member outside of the review process.’ Does that mean that the University has committed to providing us with legal counsel when we are charged? Because that’s how I read that, and I figured Lee probably did not mean to write that. But I am reading it that way.
David Cicci (Chair): Comment not audible.
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): Maybe that wording needs to be looked at then. Because the way it reads right now, it says that the providing of legal advice to the faculty member, and I don’t know who would be doing that other than his own personal hired lawyer. Unless some other commitment was made, it seems like this document says that will be done. That’s all I have.
Norbert Wilson (Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology): . I would like to make a friendly amendment, and Mr. Chair, I’ve given you a copy of the amendment as suggested. Basically the change that I am suggesting, and this is something that is coming from my department, is that we exclude or cut out the lines, in the just cause resulting from misconduct, and also in the just cause resulting from performance, on page one and two, removing the phrase ‘but is not limited to’. So, what the new section would read ‘Dismissal of a faculty member for just cause resulting from misconduct shall bear a significant relationship to fitness to continue to serve as a faculty member such as…’ and then it would innumerate what those are. And the idea is to close the open hole that is there. It seems that anything could therefore result in a call for dismissal. So the proposal, as I’m suggesting, is to remove ‘but is not limited to’ from both in the just cause for misconduct and from performance. If you’d like, you can also share this, I’ve given you a copy. So basically, we would remove that little bit of phrase from the first page and the second page.
David Cicci (Chair: I’d like to handle that as just a regular amendment to keep me on track here. Is there a second to the amendment to eliminate the wording ‘but is not limited to’ under both those sections? These are the replacement statements. What those effectively do, is eliminates the phrase ‘but is not limited to’ in both of those sections. That’s all the wording does. So the amendment is to cross out the wording ‘but is not limited to’ under both of those paragraphs. Is there a second? Any further discussion?
Tom Williams (Naval ROTC): Eliminating that phrase doesn’t really accomplish anything when it still ends in ‘such as’. When it ends with ‘such as’ it indicates that it’s not an exhausted list, it’s just a list of examples. And therefore, it really doesn’t have the desired effect, unless you want to remove ‘such as’ as well, and I don’t recommend removing either one.
David Cicci (Chair): Good point. Any other discussion?
Barney Olin (Pharmacy Practice): Not being any kind of legal expert, but it seems to me, that if we remove that statement, it kind of obligates us to try to complete the list. I think that would be a laborious task.
Cliff Perry (Political Science, non-Senator): It strikes me that the limiting phrase there is ‘substantial relationship to.’ And such as are merely examples or illustrations of the limiting phrase ‘significant relationship to fitness’ So ‘such as’ does not do what the Naval ROTC officer said it does.
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): I would agree with what Dr. Perry said, which is as I read this is that the ‘but not limited to’ means not limited to actions that bear a significant relationship to fitness to continue to serve as a faculty member. Which means that criteria are not limited to ones that bear a relationship with fitness should also be allowed to be considered. So, I think it would be a good idea to get rid of that because it’s a loophole. It says basically any reason, not just one that bears a significant relationship to fitness to continue is a possibility with that language in there. Thank you.
Tom Sanders (Library, non-Senator): It seems to me, that if you strike that phrase, then you might as well strike sections one, two, and three as well. Because you would have to prove that if a person had not admitted to the fact that he had committed murder 20 years before and that is your moral turpitude that may not be affecting their ability to be a faculty member. A lot of things under conviction or admission of guilt are not things, which are necessarily, or could not be argued to be relevant to your ability to serve as faculty. Therefore, if you’re going to have a moral turpitude clause, it has to be as it’s written. I don’t think that you can say if you have done some of these things, you know if you have committed acts of violence, does that prevent you from being a productive faculty member? Well, it may or may not depending on the situation.
David Cicci (Chair): Is there anymore discussion on this motion? Okay the motion is to eliminate the phrase ‘but is not limited to’ in both the sections ‘just cause resulting from misconduct and from performance’. All those in favor, respond by saying Aye. Oppose Nay. I think the Nays have it. Yeah, the motion fails. Brings us back to the original second of the dismissal policy. Any more discussion?
John Bolton (substitute, English): I’d also like to offer an amendment. Can I bring it down so you can put it up, David?
David Cicci (Chair): Sure.
John Bolton (substitute, English): This is a minor amendment to page three, the final paragraph above the Hearing Panel subheading. I’d like to add the clause ‘either assigning the case to the hearing panel, or dismissing the case’. And this is to bring that statement into harmony with another statement made on page four, second paragraph. ‘If the faculty member waves the right to be heard or otherwise fails to respond, the hearing panel shall proceed to evaluate all evidence in the record and submit its recommendations to the President.’ So this is to ensure that if the faculty member does not respond to the charges, it will go to the hearing panel rather than directly to the President.
David Cicci (Chair): John, can you state again exactly what you want to do to page three?
John Bolton (substitute, English): Page three I would add the clause ‘either assigning the case to the hearing panel, or dismissing the case.’ This is after the, I would add a comma after ‘disposition of the case’ in that last paragraph above hearing panel.
David Cicci (Chair): Disposition of the case comma?
John Bolton (substitute, English): ‘Either assigning the case to the hearing panel, or dismissing the case.’
David Cicci: The recommended amendment is for the last paragraph on page three above Hearing Panel, paragraph where the last sentence, add comma, ‘either assigning the case to the hearing panel, or dismissing the case.’ Is there a second on that amendment? Okay, discussion.
Lee Armstrong (General Counsel): Let me just offer a little clarification. I don’t think those provisions are really inconsistent. On the one instance, the faculty member says ‘I want a hearing’ but when the hearing is convened he or she refuses to testify and that’s their right. That’s different from ‘I don’t want a hearing at all’. And so I don’t think those two provisions are inconsistent. I would take the position that if a faculty member does not want a hearing that I don’t see what purpose it serves to then go through the motions, if in fact you’re going to require that if a faculty member wants to resign. He’s charged, she’s charged, and they want to resign. Does that mean there still has to be a hearing? If the faculty member himself or herself has made the decision that they don’t want to go through the process, then I don’t see what purpose having the hearing would serve.
Larry Gerber (AAUP): I think there actually is a purpose, because if the faculty member that is accused is willing to then be dismissed and leave, you’ve had plenty of instances when people have resigned when they were being brought up, that option is still open and no hearing would be required. If the faculty member does not wish to resign, the proceeding should still involve a full peer review. And so that’s the principle that there is something in between the two cases in your statement, Lee. Resignation is always a possibility. If the person doesn’t want to resign, then I think there should be a peer review system. It certainly could be quite expedited if the person doesn’t actually want to have testimony and present witnesses so there’s no reason this can’t take place in a short period of time. But it does ensure that there will be a faculty review process before a final decision is made by the President. I would think that the President would actually be appreciative to have a faculty recommendation in such course.
David Cicci (Chair): Any further discussion on the proposed amendment? Okay, this motion is, again, in the last sentence before the Hearing Panel paragraph on page three add comma, ‘either assigning the case to the hearing panel, or dismissing the case.’ All those in favor of that motion, respond by saying ‘aye’. Negative Nay. Motion passes. That takes us back to the original dismissal policy. Discussion?
David Carter (History): In an earlier incarnation of this policy, there was an AUP suggested language about terminal salary. As I understand it, the decision about whether to accord terminal salary or to grant it will be made by the President and the Provost and I understand that that may be a moot discussion. But I would strongly recommend that we restore to the current iteration of the policy some specifics about how that terminal salary is to be paid if in fact it is determined by the President and the Provost that it should be awarded. So the amendment that I have is simply to restore language there three criteria depending on length of service at the institution. I know that’s fine print and the folks in the front row, we ran out of copies of the amendment, but this is simply to roll this language back to where I understood it was and where I understood the administration at one point at least hadn’t raised any concerns about the specific language. I can read those if you like, but I’m not sure that’s necessary in the interest of time.
David Cicci (Chair): Would anybody like to hear the whole amendment? Okay it’s not necessary. Do I have a second for this amendment? Any discussion? Lee would you like to comment? The change was initiated to add more flexibility for the President. I understand there may be objections to that. Any discussion? If not, call for question. All those in favor of reverting back to the salary schedule for terminal salary respond by saying Aye. Oppose Nay. How about we do a show of hands? I could not tell. All those in favor raise your hands. Okay, opposed, raise your hands please. 25-13, motions passes. That amendment passes. The original motion of the policy in itself. Any further discussion? Okay we have a motion and a second of the policy as amended, all those in favor, respond by saying Aye. Opposed Nay. Passed unanimously. Any abstentions? No abstentions. Thank you very much.
Next item Bob Locy will present the resolution on administrative hiring.
Robert Locy (Chair-Elect): This resolution was before you last month in the Senate meeting. There are a few changes to this resolution based on the input we got from the Senate meeting last month as well as discussion we had in Steering bringing this motion forward. The most notable thing to note probably is that we changed our recommendation in the whereas statement to refer to this as guidelines rather than to refer to this as policy. Since if it really was policy, it ought to be an amendment to the faculty handbook. And we sort of feel as though what we’re talking about here is setting some guidelines to give our new president some advice on what we believe is important in hiring administrators. Given that maybe in the past some of our procedures have not what they should have been. The other major sustentative change then, was to accommodate a series of concerns that ‘what about this’ and ‘what about that’ in specific instances. Like for example, ‘should chairs of departments be exempted from this policy?’ It seems like there’s an instance where, in some colleges chairs are defined one way and probably be a part of such a policy and perhaps other colleges or in certain departments policies already exist for hiring of the chair that would maybe not be in very close agreement with what is proposed here. So the idea was that we put the last clause which was a clause that sort of gave an opportunity for there to be an exception and put the onus on exceptions to the general guidelines we are trying to have here as falling within the purview of the appointing administrator for a position and the search committee for that position. There are a few other little word-smithing changes and other minor things but those are the substantive changes that we’re bringing forward in response to the comments that you folks brought to us at the last Senate meeting. So, I think David, with that floor to open for discussion.
David Cicci (CHAIR): Okay the motion comes from the Steering committee. It does not need a second. Discussion?
Scott Phillips (Theatre): The policy is addressing a very clear need; and I think that what we’re looking at here is we need to have due diligence, something needs to get done. It needs to be something where there are exceptions. I’ve talked a little bit with Larry Gerber about that after the meeting last time. As we’ve got it set up in there, there’s one item I’d like to see tightened up somewhat is to ensure that when these exceptions are made, the appropriate groups are at least informed and involved in a discussion of some form or another. So if I may, I’d like to propose an amendment. I’ve got the, unfortunately I’ve spent too much time reading theses so I think I’ve made some word-smithing changes on items 1-4, but the key thing is the last item, number 6, the main change I’d like to propose is saying that ‘Deviation from the above guidelines by the appropriate authority will be made with the notification of and input from the effected faculty and or search committee.’ There’s a few other details that are in there. I’ve got all the modifications I’ve made I’ve got marked off. One of the few things that Microsoft does that I like, is tracking changes. I’d like to submit that as an amendment.
David Cicci (Chair): Okay, the amendment that Scott introduced makes the changes as shown on the screen with the underlined verbiage. Can everyone read that, or do you have copies, or would you like me to read it? Read it? Okay the changes come on the itemized listing.
David Cicci: Any further discussion?
Gary Martin (Steering Committee): A lot of this is word-smithing, but this is almost a rewriting of a number of the provisions, so I would suggest that each number be considered separately otherwise it’s just going to be like looking at a totally new document.
David Cicci (Chair): Well taken. Other discussion?
Joe Perez (Physics): I’m here for Francis Robicheaux our regular senator. Physicists are considered weird; I’d like to confirm that impression and make sure we’re comfortable with that. In many of the Physics departments that I’m aware of, in particular the better ones, chairs are elected amongst the faculty. There’s no search committee. That’s not the process, and that’s not the way it’s done. I wanted to object to the original provision; it seems that number six takes care of my original objection, so I support this amendment.
Ron Montgomery (Clinical Sciences): In our previous discussion, we mentioned grandfathering in people that are currently seeking positions and I don’t see any provision here for that.
Robert Locy (Chair-Elect): I think it was the feeling of Steering, when we discussed it, that under item six, that could be accommodated as an exception to the rule by simply grandfathering in anyone in that position. We could also state that this doesn’t go into effect until the resolution passes, if you’d prefer language like that David.
Dan Gropper (Economics): I’m kind of going back to the point of all these changes here. Some of these are not just minor word-smithing. For example, on number four, changing ‘it is preferable that no individual serve’ to ‘no person shall serve’ is not just word-smithing. I mean, almost anybody who’s ever served in an interim would say it was preferable not to serve more than a year, but that’s rather different than saying ‘no individual shall serve.’ So, I guess I’d like the ‘it is preferable to’ rather than this other, but I guess I’m ahead of myself. Are we debating the adoption of these things altogether, or each individually?
David Cicci (Chair): Let’s do them one at a time. Scott, is that alright with you?
Scott Phillips (Theatre): Just very briefly, I would actually say that the proposed language for item number four ‘no individual shall’ I think that’s strong language and then if there were exceptions to that, then those might be governed by the amended language for item six. So, I’m in favor of all of these six items as amended and think that that sixth item does give us, or give those in positions of authority, some greater flexibility. I’d like to speak for 12 seconds to the grandfathering issue, again I would see exceptions on that bases as falling under item six. And I don’t know that I’m anxious to send a strong signal that sort of is an Ex-Post-Facto endorsement of some of the types of decisions that have been made. That’s not singling out any particular administrator individually, but I think the language of grandfathering and perhaps even the language of adding a date on which this policy takes effect, in some ways undercuts what I think we’re attempting to do with this resolution. So I would recommend keeping things as is. As is, following the adoption of these six amendments.
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): When I read number 4, I agree with Dan’s position that this is tightened up language. I actually like the tightened up language and support that. Am I incorrect in recalling, Bob, that the original language said that interim people could not be candidates, and that has been changed to now say that they may be candidates, but asking that they step down. Which is then that they resign prior to seeking the position.
Robert Locy (Chair-Elect): As best I recall the original language, it said something more or less similar to what we have here. I think what we did was we added the phrase to encourage internal candidates to apply for the position so as not to create the impression that we were discouraging internal candidates. I don’t think that’s not what we really ever intended to do. We simply wanted them to compete on the basis of a job interview and a search with any external candidates that we had. We wish not to have them have an unfair advantage to the position or to be discouraging external candidates. I don’t think to be discouraging in anyway is the possibility. But at least minimize if we could the degree of influence that an internal candidate would have on getting good external candidates to apply. That was certainly what our intent was, whether we got the language right or not the first time, or even the second time. As David said with the Dismissal policy, it’s probably impossible to write the perfect policy and this surely isn’t one. Did that address what you were asking?
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): Yes. I just want to say that I support the proposed change language. I do like the stronger language, but I do think the grandfathering in can fall under number 6. And I would support grandfathering in, in many cases. But I would hate to see us soften the language because we want to grandfather in now, but we don’t want to put specific language in. We ought to go with the language we think would be appropriate five years from now, and if we need specific language on grandfathering in then we should do that, or let it fall under number 6, which I think it would.
Richard Penaskovic (Immediate Past Chair): I support the amendment and I offer two brief points. One, I have served on about a dozen search committees; I chaired about eight of them. Folks, it’s very time consuming…you have to advertise. You have to go through channels. It’s a pain in the butt, to be quite honest. Secondly, I think one main problem with the present system, concerns the fact that administrators, even on a departmental level, do not do a good job. What I think we need is some sort of orientation program for new department heads and chairs. All of a sudden, you’re department head, you don’t know where to begin, and you have no orientation. That’s desperately needed at this university, I feel. You know, I was chair-elect to the Senate for a year before I stepped into the job as chair. That year was very helpful to me to learn the ropes, so to speak, and I think we need some sort of system to orient new department heads and chairs.
Mark Fishman (Kinesiology): I think the new wording really takes these things and turns them from guidelines to policies. And I’m okay with policies, but I really think that’s what we’ve got now, is policy. So I would recommend changing every instance of ‘guideline’ to ‘policy’.
David Cicci (Chair): That would be something that would have to be handled after we address this motion. Larry.
Larry Gerber (AAUP): I’d like to point out that in number 6, the new wording, in some ways is stronger than the old wording, but in one respect it’s not. It says ‘Deviation from the above guidelines by the appropriate authority’. The previous statement said that the decision should be made by the search committee in consultation with the appropriate administrative representative. So this seems to be actually possibly weaker if the appropriate authority is simply the administrator who then is basically just has to consult and seek the input from faculty and then can just basically make the decision apparently unilaterally, if I’m reading this correctly.
David Cicci (Chair): Any other discussion on the motion on the floor? If not, we’ll go through one and six and take six votes and then come back and make any additional amendments that you all may want to add. Okay, question floor. Amendment one, all those in favor, say Aye. Opposed, Nay. Amendment one passes. Amendment two, all those in favor of that amended language respond by saying Aye. Opposed, Nay. Number two passes. Item number three, all those in favor, respond by saying Aye. Opposed Nay. Aye’s have it. Number four, all those in favor respond by saying Aye. Opposed, Nay. Number four passes. Number five, all those in favor respond by saying Aye. There’s no change, is there? Well we still need to approve it I suppose. We’ll come back and approve the entire policy, that one with that. Number six, all those in favor, respond by saying Aye. Opposed Nay. Okay the new wording on all five of those changes has passed. That brings us back to the amended resolution. Any further discussion on the resolution as amended.
Drew Clark (Director of Institutional Research and Assessment): It’s really a point of clarification, the word ‘administrators’ is used throughout the document and it can apply to several sorts of individuals; those that hold faculty appointment of one kind or another and those that hold A&P appointments of one kind or another. Now, is it the intent of the friends of this guideline to cover A&P appointments?
Robert Locy (Chair Elect): I think the answer would be that our intention was that this would cover all administrative appointments above the level of chair. So if there are A&P employees that would rise to hold positions above the level of department chair, then I guess it would cover those.
Drew Clark (Director of Institutional Research and Assessment): Can you help me a little bit with what the word above means in that sentence?
Robert Locy (Chair Elect): Who’s appointing when. Does that seem like a reasonable thing, because I’m not sure.
Cliff Perry (Political Science, non-Senator): In number three, the candidate search shall be completed within 12 months of its initiation. But I don’t believe that anywhere in here is any time limit when you start to initiate the search. Would you like a timely initiation of the search?
Richard Penaskovic (Immediate Past Chair): I think we already voted on that; I don’t think we can go back to it-the comment that Cliff Perry just made. In regard to Drew Clark’s comment, I think Don Large would be an example of a vice president that was a member of A&P.
David Cicci (Chair): Any other discussion? Okay the motion is to approve the administrator hiring resolution as amended. All those in favor of approving the amended resolution, respond by saying Aye. Opposed, Nay. Resolution passes. Thank you. Last action item will be very quick, hopefully. Ann Beth Presley is out of town and we have some nominations to Senate committees that need to be approved. This was posted. We’re still looking for a few individuals in a certain committees. This comes from the Steering Committee, does not need a second. Any discussion on the appointments? All those in favor of approving the appointments, respond by saying Aye. Opposed Nay. Motion passes. Thank you. Now onto the information items. We are pleased to have John Mouton with us today to clear us up on traffic and parking.
David Cicci (Chair): Okay, while we’re waiting, let’s talk a little bit about the next information item: the faculty merit raise resolution. We’re trying a little different process with this, by default actually, with this resolution. This was generated in the Executive committee, came through the Steering Committee, but it never went to the Salaries Committee. We did not mean to bypass the Salaries Committee. What we plan to do is present this as an information item; all the comments that will be received during this discussion will go to the Salaries committee with the resolution for study. They will bring it back in November as an action item so that we can move forward in that process. It’s slightly different, through my fault, it’s the one we’re going to go through for this particular resolution. I’ll just speak a little more about it. This resolution was intended to give some guidelines for the awarding of merit raises. One would think that merit raises are awarded on the basis of your percentage of assignments and in many cases that’s true. In some units across campus that is not true. And this is a resolution to help ensure fairness in that regard. And I think we can bring John back up and get to discussion on that resolution after he is through.
Powerpoint Presentation can be found here
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): All the representatives this year are from engineering. I wanted to show you real quick, I’m going to go through about a dozen slides here, but I think they’re relevant to the discussion. This is kind of our street layout overlaid on one of our master plan slides. Prior to 1900, all of the buildings were up at the intersection of College and Magnolia; Samford Hall, etc. And as we started between 1900 and 1909, there was almost no expansion. You can see here Comer Hall was built between 1900 and 1910 as was Cater. Go ahead. And then as we get to the 20’s it begins to expand, we get to see that Ag Hill is growing here as is the Engineering complex. And then we began to see some growth, this was actually the vet school that was being developed out here. Go ahead. I’m quite sure the stadium wasn’t this size in the 30’s or maybe it was. But you can see that the campus is beginning to expand south and to the west. Go ahead. Okay, so this is the 40’s. These were the war years. You can see the Quad buildings were built during that time. There was not a lot of construction during the war, but after the war, we got the typical development of married student housing. The vets coming back from WWII. We got more expansion to the south and again more expansion to the west. Go ahead. The 60’s was the boom that everyone saw all across the country. In colleges we tended to build less expensive buildings during that period of time, so now we have a lot of 40 year old buildings that are not necessarily up to their mission. And again, expansion to the south and to the west. And then in the 70’s, this is when the poultry research farm was built. I failed to mention this but the start of the vet school where it is was actually in the 60’s and you can see that expansion to the west and beginning to come south even more towards this area. Go ahead. 80’s we began to get more of a density on campus here. We built some more housing and some more construction out on the west end, this is the facilities division. 1990-99 was another significant building boom, but one of the things you can see is that we’re getting urban sprawl. And one of the great things about being a land-grant institution that there should be land. Continuing to see some sprawl. This is 2000-2005, the last growth that we’ve done. And people are most familiar with what we’ve done in the last 5 years and maybe the last 15 years. Next slide please.
So in the master planning process what we’ve done is we’ve established some growth boundaries on campus and this is down to the south and this is Lem Morrison drive, this is the forestry building, we’ve got some potential growth here around wire road and around this perimeter. So we’ve established this as a growth boundary of campus and what we’re trying to do is contain and stop the sprawl of our campus and continue to preserve the land function of our campus. Everybody’s talking about sustainability these ages and there’s a lot of folks that are trying to maintain our plant and tree preserves of the university. The other thing this corresponds to, for many years we dug up our roads every summer and put in hot water and chilled water pipes. This is our utility loop also. We can continue to build on the campus with very little expansion to our utility loop. So the point that I want to make in this as we continue to grow and our campus grows, we’re going to try to contain our growth within this growth boundary. Go ahead. This is a project that a lot of people have heard about but may not be familiar with. This is South Donahue. This is Wire road. This is Roosevelt and up here this would be Magnolia. This is the new housing complex. There’s 1700 beds for students in this complex. This is a new basketball arena; we’re building a new dining facility to service the housing primarily, all the students. And then there’s going to be a plaza developed in here, trying to give some central of Urban focus to our campus in this area. Go ahead.
This is another thing that a lot of people aren’t familiar with. I think most of us remember we used to have the A and B lots south of Haley center. Now we’re building a student center. This is an older representation, but the key thing I want to show is there’s going to be a large campus green built here. People talk about the ‘Grove’ at Ole Miss and the Drill field at Virginia Tech and such things. And Auburn doesn’t really have that right now. So we’re trying to build a central green area, as we build the student center, this will be the primary hub for the transit system. We’ve got another hub at the end of Mell street that will connect to the Roosevelt concourse ultimately as we continue to redevelop the Quad we will open up with this all the way up to Peak theater and the amphitheater and create a significant green area in this campus. So one of the things that I want to be clear about is as we’re building and taking care of parking, we’re also very much paying attention to the green areas of our campus and taking care of them. If you look at the traffic flow on our campus, and this is pretty consistent for students and for employees, about 33 percent come from the east, 25 percent from the north, about 9 percent from the west which is actually going to be increasing now because there’s a lot of development going on out on 14 and a lot of people are finding that a convenient way in, and about 33 percent from the south. SO as we look at loading in, we understand where people are coming from and then we’re trying to handle the traffic on campus.
We’ve got some congestion that we’re well aware of. One of the key ones is the intersection of Donahue and Magnolia. We do not own that intersection. That intersection belongs to the city of Auburn and we have been working with them for, I guess a year and a half on this stint, and before that to improve that intersection. They have put in a pedestrian walkway on the west side of Donahue drive, north of magnolia. When we started working on this, there wasn’t even a place for our students to walk safely. There was not a crosswalk in the intersection because there was no sidewalk for them to go to. We’ve made some of those corrections. I’ve been in correspondence this week with the public safety director about actually trying to get some physical presence and some people out there to help guide our students and the cars during rush hour. We have a real interference with kids just crossing the road against the light, and we’re trying to deal with some of that. The intersection we’re going to widen and improve. That’s in the planning process. We’ve had some interim solutions proposed to the city and I think the key thing is we can only move them so fast because it is their money and their road.
The other thing that we’re looking at right now and actually there’s a lot happening with this, dormitory drive has become the only inlet on that end of campus that actually became a pedestrian way and we have the bus outlets on it. One of the key issues is the pedestrian traffic and the students walking through there. There’s a bunch of restraints what we can do, but we’re looking at solutions. The other thing is that it’s a principle area of student drop off traffic control. All the students in here cover your ears. We have regulations against students driving in the middle of campus. However it’s very difficult to enforce because we’re not really in the business of enforcing moving violations. We’re in the business of enforcing static violations. We’re going to do an intense campaign on dormitory drive to try and stop this and slow it down. However, our fear is that it’s just going to move other places. We’re going to continue to battle it. Those of you who see it, report it to us, wherever you see it. We’re going to try to deal with it. Unfortunately, it’s just a very resource-intensive operation. However, I don’t think it’s prudent to take out this regulation and just let the students drive anywhere that they want. That would only increase it. Go ahead.
This is the new intersection. This is the Lowder Building. What you see in each direction is a left hand turn, a thru lane, and a right hand turn. We’re widening the street. We’re actually putting in some right away in to get this done. There’ll be crosswalks in every direction matching in our sidewalks. And once we get this intersection done, we’ll have free flow. The problem with the intersection right now is a shortage of queue space that people that are wanting to turn or go straight, everybody ends up in one line together. The students are crossing the street and we’re having trouble with this intersection. But I want you to know that we’re working diligently to improve it. And this is the ultimate solution and it’s going to be designed after the Airport road, I guess. Go ahead. The other planned projects that we have, obviously we have that one, I’m going to talk in a minute about the development of a loop road as we close off traffic in the middle of campus, we’ve got to have a way around it. I’m going to talk much about it.
We’re looking at improvements to Magnolia. Our students are crossing the roads helter-skelter. Most of you have driven down Samford since we did the traffic calming on it put the elevated platforms. What you probably can’t see is that on each side of the road, we shaped the walkways with landscaping, etc., that the students have to go to the cross walk. It was interesting, we got two sets of complaints. A set of complaints from the drivers saying the students were just crossing anywhere, and a set of complaints from the students that they were about to get run over by the drivers. We need to do something like that on the other end, on the side of Magnolia. And we probably have as many or more students living across Magnolia as we have across Samford. And again, it’s the city’s street and we’re working with them on it. We’re doing with a committee a review of service and state vehicles and trying to figure out how to permit them and where they park and where they don’t park. We’ve got to provide access and then different strategies for employees. I’m going to touch on that in just a minute. Go ahead.
This is the loop road that we’re looking at. Most of you are probably aware that we’ve connected from Lem Morrison and Wire road we’ve connected to the West Samford. The next leg of that is going to go to Magnolia. The city is actually talking about taking it onto 14 and onto, what’s the name of that street?, on Bird street. On the other end, the city wants to do some intersection improvements at Woodfield and the museum. We’re looking to tie a bike path in here as well as a bike path along the road. A real growth that we’re going to put in is we’re going to tie from the intersection at Donahue and Woodfield around about where the bridge is on Lem Morrison now and through. And what the idea is, is to try to give people a way to negotiate the campus without coming into the middle of campus. I’m talking about this 33% of people coming from the south, or the people coming from the west. What we would like to do is load the campus parking from the loop road as opposed to people coming in from Samford and Donahue. We’re going to the state, the city’s coming with us, Representative Hubbard is going with us, to apply for state funds to build the roads. Auburn owns all its own roads. We own our stop lights, we own our stop signs and we’re trying to get the state to give us an appropriation to build the road and we would still maintain it.
When we look at campus parking from a planning standpoint, there’s really a couple different categories. One of them is University parking. A key one is handicap. And we get calls from people and hear about it. We move handicap parking around campus as we need to. Kelly Hanes is the major proponent. She’ll tell us where parking is needed. What we’re trying to do is keep a relatively stable number of parking places but move them around as they’re needed. We have the state vehicles. We have loading and unloading permitting. And then we have some special parking for electric vehicles, etc. We’ve got visitor and event parking. We have people who come to campus to spend time on campus. And then we have delivery and contractor parking. And of course one of things that’s happening to us is as we build more is we have more of this issue to deal with. And one thing I will say, at least, is the contractor that’s doing the engineering building is being real good about handing peak time deliveries, etc. They’re not rolling in here in the morning when we are, etc. Then we’ve got employee parking, all of whom are commuters. We’ve got the faculty, A&B, and the staff; as well as graduate assistants. Some graduate assistants get employee parking. Then we have the students, which are really two categories. We have the commuter students and the resident students. They also, the resident students, have short term loading and unloading permits. My reason for touching on this is that all of these needs are competing essentially for the same spaces that we have.
This is the current parking map. Students are still out to the west and actually even further west of here. Help me out, the green lots are? B lots. And the yellow lots are A lots. I might mention something right now. We’ve had discussions with a number of people. The parking deck is under-utilized. There’s about two floors of it that are being used by employees. Top floor is students that park in the quad. We hear people talk about congestion and getting across campus, or whatever. If you are having trouble, and are willing to walk a little bit, or actually there’s a shuttle or a van that runs through there, then you know, it’s easy to get to. It’s in the middle of, or relatively to the middle of campus. It’s actually not on campus. As we’ve looked at it, it’s pretty much on the edge of campus. But anyway, just as a point of reference, there’s some space there. Okay, as we start talking about trying to plan for parking, which is what our role is. There’s other folks that have parking enforcement and transit and the rest of that. The next thing we look at is the total number of parking spaces available. And that’s a key metric, to see how many places we have. As important, or some people think more important, is the ratio of permits to spaces. How many permits are we issuing for each space, and are those ratios within perimeters. Very candidly right now on the student side, we’re shifting some and making what was resident parking, commuter parking, ‘cause our ratios didn’t come out where they needed to be. And so, anyway, and then the other thing is where is the location of spaces; the convenience and the distance. And this tends to be what the primary issue is on our campus. I go back to, we build within growth boundaries. If you’re going to build on campus, this is another rule of planning. We have three places we can put a building. You can tear down a building, to put a building up. You can put a building in a green space. Or you can put a building within a parking lot. And our parking lots tend to be the places where the buildings end up because those first two alternatives aren’t really viable. And so as we’re increasing the density in our campus, what we’re doing is we’re pushing the parking further out. We do occupancy studies, and we’re looking at how parking is being utilized. That’s how we worked out the student exchange. And that’s how we know, that in the parking deck, there’s about 100 spaces available.
So looking at employee parking, this slide is a combination of A&B spaces. It goes back to the fall of ’03. The spring of ’05 and the spring of ’06, the spring of ’07, and then this fall we have just run it again. These are the number of spaces. The number of spaces is declining on campus. When people print that in the paper, that’s absolutely correct. So is the number of permits being sold. We think people are taking more alternative forms of transportation. People are riding bikes; they’re riding motorcycles. Maybe they’re walking. But we’re seeing a decrease in the number of permits. Therefore our ratios, when you look at employees, ratios typically are 1.25 to 1.3. Not everybody comes to work every day. Some people travel and go other places. So you’re looking for a ratio of about 1.3. In all of 2003, we were beyond that. And we got it back down, but we went back up. In the last two years, we’ve gotten the ratio where it needs to be. This is not stating that the parking places are where people would desire to have them. This quadroon of campus, the northeast quadroon of campus, is the area the shortest of parking on campus. We leased spaces down on White street; we just leased spaces down on Gay street where the Hardees’s used to be. We tried to buy the Commons last year, I think it changed names ‘cause it sold. What we really wanted was the parking. We were going to put the students someplace else, and try to provide some parking there. It was worth more to a commercial venture than it was to us. We negotiated downtown with a development when the condo market was hot, to get 250 parking places in a development there; that development folded. What my point is, I had a guy in my office twice in the last two weeks, looking at putting some parking adjacent to campus. Those people way overpaid for that land. You can’t put parking on it, it doesn’t make any sense. But we will continue to try to do that. Go ahead.
In the traffic and parking committee, we brought in Carl Walker and we had five open forums: Faculty, staff, A&P, students. We did an occupancy study in the fall of 2006. We had volunteers, faculty, staff and students. We held a bunch of meetings during the year to review the reports. The traffic and parking committee met with Carl Walker at least a couple of times. The members voted and approved the proximity parking plan for the residential students for the President’s approval. That committee is advisory to the President. We now have parking nearby the housing as well as remote parking. It used to be that the students that didn’t park near the residence halls, parked in C zone and we’ve moved them. The bus card system for ticket management has been more effective with the students ‘cause as soon as they put it into the handheld computer they can tell if the student’s car needs to be towed, or if they’re over the limit, etc. And then the employee lot on Gay Street; this parking lot holds what, 100 cars? So we know to segregate student and employee parking. Walker’s recommendations, what it really dealt with, was rather than having this broad zone parking where we have people in A&B; is actually develop some assigned parking. That would be lower parking ratios in assigned lots throughout campus. And then use a priority system for employee parking assignment. The traffic and parking committee recommended that we do a more detailed proposal. We did a schematic proposal on it last year to look at what would be the effect. Here’s kind of the bottom line of it, really. Okay, the bottom line is that you can leave for lunch. The ratios in that lot keep spaces open so that people can come back and forth and leave. The disadvantage is that you can’t move around campus because you’d be assigned to one zone. And that’s the two primary differences that are in it. We have not brought it to the Senate yet, because it hasn’t made it out of the traffic and parking committee yet. They’re asking us to look at it again next year. Only employees requesting permits would be in the pool; years of continuous employment would be a factor. Then the proximity, employee grade and faculty rank could be a factor in proximity. They’ve taken that out of the football tickets and that seems to be the prevalent way in which it’s doing so that’s probably questioned. And there could be some cost differential in regard to where you park. There tends to be that at other Universities. So we’re looking at following that.
We do have no cost parking on campus for students and employees; it’s serviced by the transit. There’s some out by CDV Village, some at the end of Merrill fields, and some at the Jules Collins Smith Museum. Tiger transit ridership is way up, probably in no small part due to fuel costs. The challenge to find a parking- 83,169, that’s annual? Daily? Not 83,000? Oh, okay, both ways. So you see what’s happened. We’ve increased the number of routes to some degree and we’ve increased the number of buses. But the student parkers are decreasing on campus. And this is just, we’ve built a new lot for parkers; when we build the new housing we’ll build a new lot. This is out in the old CDV. So any questions? Comments?
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): Well, I think what happens, my sense is we’ll probably stick to what we have. We were asked to look at an alternate form, and we’re looking at the alternate form that exists. I think the highest probability is our faculty and staff is used to having broad zone parking. You know, they complained that if you get here late or at the wrong time that you can’t find a parking place.
Unknown Speaker: I complain a lot, and I’m on the traffic and parking committee so I hear a lot of complaints. If I don’t park in the library deck, I park as close as I can. But on the other hand for instance if I need to go to (inaudible) library, I need to be able to park. I can’t walk that far.
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): I’m not going to disagree with you. All I’m saying is people come to us and tell us a problem with the current system is that if they leave, they can’t park. We know how to fix that, okay. But to fix that, has a price on the other side. That’s why that’s the only alternative; is broad zone or assigned lots.
Tony Moss (Biological Sciences): John, regarding those areas of the campus and nearby, let’s say for instance, over by Mama Goldberg’s; there where the traffic is extremely intense, and you have the students running across the streets, is there a chance that there could be either tunnels or elevated pedestrian walkways, aka bridges?
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): Yes, there is. And I’ll answer both as to why we’re pursuing other alternatives. Tunnels are dark, they’re expensive and they’re dark. And there’s a safety issue in regard to people being in the tunnel. They’re also a safety issue if you have a lot of rain. It can be hard to manage. The elevated walkways: you can do an elevated walkway if you’ve got elevated ground on either side of the intersection. Students will not go up the steps, cross the street, and walk down. We’ve talked to several people at other universities that have done that.
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): John, I was just wondering, I was looking over the routes of the Tiger Transit with my daughter, who’s a student here now, and are you matching those, I’m just asking, are you doing studies with the students and polling them and finding out what the students on campus about where they would like the tiger transit to go? It seems to do a pretty good job of commuting them to campus, a lot of routes take students from dense housing areas; but, for instance, getting to a grocery store can be a problem on tiger transit, and students do like to eat. It’s one of those things they indulge themselves in. And so, that’s just a topic that comes up. So I’m just wondering how much you’re doing that. It seems like you’re doing a reasonable job.
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): You know there’s continuous monitoring of it and of course there’s more requests than we can fill. One of the things that we are going to do with the new housing and dining is we’re going to build convenience stores in conjunction with the dining hall so that people can shop on campus. We probably won’t be competitive with Wal-Mart, from a price standpoint, but we’ll build one in the new housing; and then we’ll build one out on the hill to try and make the students that live on campus be able to have access to that without driving. We actually have transits, I don’t think we have a stop at like Kroger, but we have transits that go out to the airport…
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemsitry): You get about a block from Kroger, but it’s hard to actually discern that from the maps. But we figured that out and it worked out okay.
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): Well maybe we need to improve the maps.
Rick Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): One comment, and I’m sure this is something you have absolutely no control of, but I like the idea of putting convenience stores on campus but the trend here on campus has been to write off external contractors and have them run the place. And the external contractors have been more motivated by serving their own profit margin than they are of serving the students. So I’d like to make a suggestion, I don’t know what you can do about it, probably nothing, that when you consider that when you bring the idea in, you keep mentioning that those contractors, the contract for the leasing of that convenience store has to require that they operate at certain times and be open to the students. Because just because business is low for them at 9 at night does not mean that might not be the only time a student who actually works after class can actually go get some food. So, one of the consequences has to be, in writing the contract, that it consider that the student needs are open late, and operating to the benefit of what we think the student needs need to be rather than just what will reap the biggest profit for the guy who rented it.
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): Thank you, and our food service contract has all those clauses in it, trying to solve those things. Anybody else? Bob?
Robert Locy (Chair Elect): John, I was pleased to see you had Graduate Students up there listed as an important group of people we need to serve parking needs of. But I have to say that if the graduate students from our department were standing here, they would wish to have you brought the message that we’re not serving those needs very well. And this is really important to some of us because, for example, I lost a graduate student that I was trying to recruit to come to Auburn University, which might have been the best graduate student that ever applied to my program this past fall, because when he visited campus he had all kinds of parking difficulties and then discussed this with some of the students in our department only to find out that these kinds of difficulties only get worse after you commit to be one of our graduate students. So, I’d like to urge you to do something to help us with our graduate programs by making graduate students, sort of, legitimate employees of the University with respect to parking privileges.
John Mouton (Senior Advisor to the President): Bob, what I will tell you is that’s an issue…We deal with graduate student parking with Deans. We’re trying to manage it and who we look to is the deans, to help do the assignments and whatever. So, the only thing I can say to that is that the deans are the people that we interface with and we can’t deal with every department that there is, so it’s up to the deans to deal with their own internal issues on that.
Robin Fellers (Nutrition and Food Science): I would like to make one comment, because I would feel like I would not be representing my department if I did not make this comment. I work in the Nutrition and Food Sciences department and we were recently relocated in the last two years to the Poultry Science building, but yet at the same time most of our teaching responsibilities still occur in Spidle Hall. So on a daily basis, our faculty members most of time do not elect to take the tiger transit because they’ve had troubles with it being reliable in the past and at the same time, we still have to get ourselves in between those two locations on a daily basis, sometimes when it’s one hundred degrees out and also when we’re having to lug projects, text books, whatnot across campus. And yet, you know, I feel like we have been neglected in trying to deal with this problem because, again, it takes more than an hour for some of us to do this on a daily basis. I know we may be a special case, but again, I’d like to bring it to your attention that we have this need but it does not seem to be addressed.
David Cicci (Chair): Thank you John. If you’re interested in attending the lecture, feel free to leave at any time. If you do leave, and want to make comments regarding the faculty merit raise resolution, you can email to me or Claire Crutchley in the salaries committee. Those of you who remain, we will open the floor for discussion regarding the faculty merit raise resolution. As I said, that resolution, it was posted, and I believe it was sent to you, was written in an effort to be fair to everyone across campus. As is currently the policy, annual performance reviews, tenure reviews, promotion reviews, and now post-tenure review reviews, will be based on your percentage of assignment. There is no requirement or guideline for merit raises to be based upon your percentage assignment the same way. This resolution was intended to try to be fair to everybody in units where that is not done currently. And as an information item I’d just like to open the floor for comments. We will take comments, send them to the salaries committee. In November, there will be an action item on this resolution in a modified form perhaps, depending on your comments. And that’s how we will proceed.
Allen Davis (Fisheries): I’m not clear on what this is because it goes out as an amendment to the faculty handbook, but where in the faculty handbook are raises addressed?
David Cicci (Chair): They aren’t.
Allen Davis (Fisheries): So this is to address the issue of raises. And there are, you have identified, a specific raise type. And there are numerous types of raises or considerations for raises. I’m sure the accounting people could give you some good terminology. But you know, just coming to mind, you have a merit raise. You have a raise based on legislation saying we need a 3% cost of living raise. You have a raise because somebody is leaving, and the department chooses to give that person a raise as opposed to letting them leave. You have raises that are gone towards, say, you’re hiring a faculty and that faculty is within the salary range because he’s an outstanding faculty, so essentially you give him a raise based on that. So there’s a whole array of types of raises so if you’re trying to address raises, per se, this is really not adequate. So I don’t understand why we’re addressing one thing that is not in the faculty handbook, and we’re only addressing a small area of that raise. So my comment is that this would really need to expand if you’re trying to address this.
David Cicci (Chair): Well this was intended only for merit raises on a yearly basis that are budgeted. But that’s a good point, we can expand it however.
Allen Davis (Fisheries): Right, but raises are not addressed in the faculty handbook currently. So how do you address raises as a very specific issue, when it’s not even in there to begin with.
David Cicci (Chair): We can add it to the faculty handbook.
Allen Davis (Fisheries): The suggestion is there’s a whole array of raises. You’ve chosen very narrow albeit maybe needs to be addressed.
David Cicci (Chair): Thank you, and Claire please write that down. Rich.
Richard Penaskovic (Immediate Past Chair): I don’t think this is narrow at all but it seems that our performance or our annual reviews are done on the basis of research, teaching, and outreach. And I think that’s what this particular policy addresses. Because it doesn’t seem fair to say that ‘Rich you’re not going get a merit raise because your outreach is insufficient” when I don’t have that as one of my assigned percentages. And I think that this is the problem.
David Cicci (Chair): What would be the word-smithing that covers that, whatever, we can come up with in wording to cover just your assigned duties. You’re not going to be based on outreach if you’re not assigned outreach. This was specifically designed for in some units, regardless what your assignment is, raises are based on one particular function, for example, research or a subset metric of research dollars. That sort of thing. And that’s being done across campus, and that is what this is intended to address.
Richard Penaskovic (Immediate Past Chair): I knew a dean in the past, who’s no longer here, that when it comes to raises, it’s his chance to get at people he doesn’t care for too much. I think this resolution would go against that.
David Cicci (Chair): Rick.
Rich Blumenthal (Chemistry and Biochemistry): In principle, I like this proposal but I think you’ve sputtered around the major issue. Like in number two: “Merit raises for each faculty member shall be based on faculty member’s percentage of assigned duties in the instruction, research, and outreach programs and or administration of service in support of these programs.” I mean, what you really want to do is follow all of that up with “And no formula for the awarding of merit raises should create a situation where one is not eligible for as large a raise as another faculty member is eligible based on percent assignment.” Something along those lines, where you just make it very very clear that however this formula is going to be done and these are going to be done every faculty member should be eligible for the same size raise as every other faculty member. I’m not saying that every faculty member is going to get the same size raise, but we should be eligible. And as you’re saying, I mean, the problem that you’re citing is that somebody’s giving raises all in the research and all the merit raise money is in research and there’s no merit raise money for teaching, but somebody’s assignment is all teaching. That would be violating this principle. I think, just the basic principle needs to be in there very directly that all faculty members should be eligible for the same level of merit raise under any formula used to determine that.
David Cicci (Chair): That’s a good point. This past year, the average raise was 5%. And you’re right; every faculty member should be eligible for a 5% raise based upon the performance of their assigned duties. And that’s what we’re trying to get at.
Ron Montgomery (Clinical Sciences): I like the general premise of this, but it’s based on a little bit of a fallacy. There is disconnect between your percentage of assignment, which all this is based on, and what really happens. If a faculty member retires or leaves or a couple of them and you pick up their courses and a research opportunity comes along and you start doing more research that year. Your crystal ball wasn’t working in May, you didn’t know this was coming along. That happens all the time. And it addresses not only merit raises but post tenure review and all the other things that you listed. The fallacy here and this may be the place to begin addressing that problem is documentation of your change in assignment.
David Cicci (Chair): We do have to do a better job in assignments, change of assignments and yearly evaluations. That’s very true. Any other comments? If you have anymore, between now and the next senate meeting, please send them to me or Claire and the salaries committee will be working on revision. And we’ll bring that forward for an action item in November. Is there any unfinished business? Seeing none, is there any new business? Seeing none, are there any objections to adjournment. We are adjourned. Thank you.