Minutes of the University Senate Meeting
6 March 2012
Broun Hall Auditorium
Larry Crowley, Secretary
A complete transcription of the meeting is available.
Present: Ann Beth Presley, Bill Sauser, Larry Crowley, Robin Jaffe, Bill Hardgrave, Gregg Newschwander, Betty Lou Whitford, Chuck Savrda, Timothy Boosinger, Owen Parrish, Steven Clontz, Andrew Wohrley, Michael Baginski, Robert Cochran, Winfred Foster, Norbert Wilson, James Bannon, Sondra Parmer, Scott McElroy, Werner Bergen, Dean Schwartz, Jocelyn Zanzot, Gary Wagoner, Paul Swamidass, Sushil Adhikari, Steve Duke, Eduardus Duin, Prabhakar Clement, Robert Agne, Daniel Phillips, Sanjeev Baskiyar, Wi-Suk Kwon, Jada Kohlmeier, Michael Stern, James Witte, James Goldstein, Xing Ping Hu, Harris Hollans, Rusty Wright, Adrienne Angelo, Larry Teeter, David King, Ruth Crocker, Fenny Dane, Ellen Abell, Jerrod Windham, Jared Russell, Pambanisha King Whaley, Herb Rotfeld, Tin-Yau Tam, Doug Rosener, Stuart Pope, Suresh Mathews, Vicky van Santen, Forrest Smith, Brent Fox, Wesley Lindsey, Guy Rohrbaugh, Mike Bozack, Steven Brown, Yasser Gowayed, Jill Meyer, Emily Myers, Chase Bringardner, and Ralph Henderson
Absent, sending a substitute: Joseph Molnar (for William Batchelor), Paul W. Jungnickel (R. Lee Evans), Gerry Gryski (for Ann-Katrin Gramberg), Rebekah Pindzola (for Laura Plexico), J. Emmett Winn (for Nedret Billor), S. Wentworth (for Thomas Baginski), S. Stanwick (for Peter Stanwick), Dong Joo Kim (for Bart Prorok), Daffny Pierce (for Joe Fetsch), and Kat Stofer (for Richard Fox).
Absent, no substitute: Claire Crutchley, Calvin Johnson, George Flowers, Bonnie MacEwan, Nakeisha Janigan, Seth Humphrey, Bob Locy, Mark (James) Taylor, Jerry Davis, John Freeze, Shelly McKee, Lewis Baker, and Scott Copeland.
Call to Order:
-- Ann Beth Presley called the meeting to order, confirmed a quorum was present, and reviewed the rules of the senate.
-- Minutes from the February 14, 2011 meeting http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/minutes/2011_2012/min_02_14_12.html were accepted as posted without change.
-- Dr. Presley invited Dr. Gogue to provide his remarks.
Remarks and Announcements:
Dr. Gogue (Office of the President) shared the following:
1. Recognized the new head of Auburn’s Student Government Association, Owen Parrish.
2. Names of the nine nominees for Auburn’s Board of Trustees have gone to the Senate confirmation committee to begin holding its hearings.
3. Thanked those involved in the SACS reaffirmation effort.
4. Provost search committee has reformed and expects candidates to be on campus in the later part of April.
At the close of Dr. Gogue’s remarks, he offered to respond to any questions that might be asked.
Mike Stern, Senator from Economics, thanked Dr. Gogue for responding to his questions on salary last senate meeting. He then provided statistics, based on his evaluation, of the top three salary increases for the Auburn system since last October. The top increase was for a continuing associate dean in College of Business and asked what justified that salary increase.
Dr. Gogue asked the Dean of Business to address that question.
Bill Hardgrave, Dean of the College of Business and a Senator, answered the question by offering there was a change in scope of responsibility and if you consider the total salary package there is an increase of a few thousand dollars, not a change of the magnitude expressed here.
Mike Stern followed with the source of information used in his evaluation.
After some back-and-forth discussion between these senators, Dr. Gogue requested the parties meet with the provost to discuss further. He offered to respond to other questions and there were none.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, offered the following remarks:
1. The Spring General Faculty Meeting is to take place on April 10th instead of March 20th. During that meeting Dr. Gogue will give the State of the University address and senate officer election results from online voting will be announced. Online voting for senate officers will open at 8 am on April 5th and close at 5 pm on April 9th.
2. This semester we are implementing the new administrator evaluation process approved by the senate. In the coming weeks, email invitations to two anonymous online surveys will be sent out. One survey seeks input for department heads/chairs, deans and associate/assistant deans. The other seeks input for upper administrators. The surveys are administered by office of institutional research and assessment in administrative support of the chair of the senate administrator evaluation committee.
Dr. Presley moved to the action items of the agenda.
-- Larry Crowley, Secretary, came forward and presented a slate of three candidates for three open positions on the Rules Committee: Steve Duke, from chemical engineering; Forrest Smith, from pharmacy; and Robert (Bob) Cochran, from accounting.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, presided over the elections for rules committee. Steve Duke was elected to the rules committee with a vote of 60 yeas and 2 nays; Forrest Smith was elected with a vote of 58 yeas and 2 nays; and Robert Cochran was elected with a vote of 60 yeas and 5 nays.
-- Bill Sauser, Chair-Elect, brought forward a resolution adopting AAUP governance language defining the positions of heads and chairs. The text of the resolution is available at the following http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2011-2012/Mar12/resolution_in%20words.html
Dr. Sauser then asked if there are any questions concerning the resolution.
Steve Brown, Senator from Political Science, asked if the resolution language “serve for a stated term, but without prejudice to reelection” would negate individual departmental bylaws relative to term limits.
Bill Sauser answered this resolution is not intended to override any departmental policy on term limits. The language states if someone was eligible to serve a second term there would be no prejudice.
Wesley Lindsey, Senator from Pharmacy Practice, stated there appears to be two major administrative structures of rotating chair and continuous appointment heads at Auburn. He asked if under the considered resolution there would be one departmental level administrative structure with rotating or reelected chairs and would this be term-limited.
Bill Sauser answered the resolution as written does not do away with the two titles, head or chair, but only the continuing appointment without a limit.
Wesley Lindsey followed with asking the rationale for doing away with the two structures.
Bill Sauser answered it is not a choice to do away with one, but to see to it the university is in compliance with AAUP policy there not be a continuing appointment of any departmental leader, rather there should be a set limit or term for the appointment.
Wesley Lindsey followed with what would be done for those hired under a continuous appointment department head agreement. Under this policy would their positions be changed to termed appointment?
Bill Sauser replied the intent is a policy moving forward and there would be some grandfathering decisions made by the Provost and Dean.
David King, Senator from Geology and Geography, suggested the policy language should be developed for what it should say, not simply adopting the AAUP statement on government. For example it doesn’t speak to the issue of interims appointments.
Bill Sauser replied the AAUP language is already in the Faculty Handbook, but parts are omitted, and the resolution would serve to bring the entire statement into the handbook. The interim appointments will be addressed in another resolution on behalf of the steering committee which will follow once this action is dealt with here.
Bill Sauser then moved on behalf of the executive committee the motion and read it. The text is linked above.
Ann Beth Presley, chair, stated the motion is coming from a committee and doesn’t need a second. She asked if there is any further discussion on the motion.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect, as maker of the motion stated the purpose is to use the existing AAUP policy statement in its entirety without current omissions; making it clear there is no continuing or unlimited term for departmental leaders; leaving it to department, school and college policy to determine terms. A following proposed hiring resolution will describe the difference between chair and head and are not seeking to address every issue in this resolution.
Proposed Amendment to Main Motion
James Goldstein, Senator from English, generally supports the main motion but moves a motion to amend it after the statement of AAUP principles to add the following:
“Regardless of the term of office, a department head or chair will not serve more than a maximum of ten years in the position.”
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, asked if there is a second, which was provided, then called for any discussion on the proposed amendment.
Wesley Lindsey, Senator from Pharmacy Practice, asked for the rationale for a ten-year maximum term.
James Goldstein, Senator from English, stated current bylaws vary in stipulated term length, some have 5-year terms and this limit would allow one renewal. Many who support the limit offered in the amendment felt that at a certain point you lose touch with your faculty and forget what it’s like to be a regular faculty member. Ten years reflects a good balanced reasonable number.
Mike Stern, Senator from Economics, proposed a revision to the motion to include the modifier “continuous” prior to years to stipulate a limit of “10 continuous years”
Rusty Wright, Senator from Fisheries, asked for clarification on the language concerning 10 years maximum. Is that maximum 10-years per term or in total?
James Goldstein replied his proposed amendment is for 10 years maximum in total and should stand as is originally moved.
Wi-Suk Kwon, Senator from Consumer Affairs, speaking to the amendment said several of his departmental faculty would disagree with the 10-year limit if the department head/chair was doing a good job.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, called for a vote on the amendment which was defeated by a vote of 14 in support of the amendment and 52 against it.
Returning to Main Motion
Wesley Lindsey, Senator from Pharmacy Practice, expressed concerns from the School of Pharmacy and potentially other professional programs where the administrative structure is entirely continuous heads which would then be required to move to term limits with the passage of this policy. He also expressed concerns from smaller departments about qualifications to serve as chair. Does one need be fully promoted?
David King, Senator from Geology and Geography, stated a weakness of the resolution is just copying language from the AAUP. A concern is with wording such as “normally in conformity with department members judgment” and it is with the abnormal instances of appointment that need to be worried about. He mentioned proposed term limits is a reflection of department heads/chairs that have served too long without a good way to remove them from leadership.
Refer Main Motion back to Committee
Ruth Crocker, Senator from History, considers the language in the resolution as too vague and should be sent back to committee to improve on the AAUP statement.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, asked if there is a second, which was provided, then called for a vote which was sustained with a vote of 44 yeas and 17 nays. The main motion is referred back to committee.
The next item on the agenda is an information item pending action on a proposed resolution for Administrator Hiring Procedures. Bill Sauser, Chair-Elect, will present.
Information Item Pending Action
Bill Sauser, Chair-Elect, presented a proposed resolution from the steering committee intending to move for action during the next meeting. Suggestions may be sent to Dr. Claire Crutchley. It has been posted to the Senate Web page for your review. (It is available at the following link: http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2011-2012/Mar12/AdminHiringResolution_discussion.html )
Dr. Sauser then offered to answer any questions.
Steve Brown, Senator from Political Science, asked several questions concerning the proposed resolution. First, what is the rationale for this administrative hiring provision and for its uniformity? Second, is the provision in number 5 for hiring department chairs/heads with either an internal or external search similar to the previous motion, particularly what distinguishes an internal search? Third, who forms the search committees?
Bill Sauser responded that the rationale for the provision is to reintroduce a policy addressing interim hires that was passed several years ago by the senate but never adopted by the university president who was in office at the time. Dr. Gogue has operated in good faith under the old policy which was never actually adopted and the steering committee believes a policy is needed. Dr. Sauser asked for a reminder of the second question.
Steve Brown reiterated the second question was for clarification of internal vs. external search.
Bill Sauser rephrased the question as to whether or not the policy applies going forward and he stated that it did. In addressing the third question of who forms the search committee, he answered it would be the appointing officer, the individual to whom the position reports. The proposed resolution does have statements concerning the composition of the search committee. Dr. Sauser then asked for the fourth question.
Steve Brown asked if any changeover of chairs will require a search committee that the dean would appoint.
Bill Sauser stated the intent of the proposed resolution is to require search committees for interim and continuing administrative appointments. The proposal would require external searches for department heads, while department chairs might be sought by either an external, if funding for a new position is available, or internal search. The intent is to provide guidance as to what searches must be held and the length of time under which an interim may serve before he or she must resign to be considered. If an interim has served in the position for more than 12 months prior to a search beginning the individual must resign prior to seeking the permanent position.
Dr. Sauser continued by restating that suggestions should be sent to Dr. Claire Crutchley.
Rusty Wright, Senator from Fisheries, stated there is no language about how internal candidates might be treated in a national search.
David King, Senator from Geology and Geography, suggested the language be sharpened to cut down on the number of exceptions that might be allowed in order to set firm guidelines.
Guy Rohrbaugh, Senator from Philosophy, suggested that mandating a national search for any associate dean positions, as the language now requires, might be reconsidered so that it would be more in line with likely practice.
Mike Stern, Senator from Economics, expressed concern with the idea that deviations could be undertaken from the guidelines with the only stipulation being that notice be provided to impacted faculty, search committee and senate leadership.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect, answered that this notice provision is not an open invitation to violate policies or procedures but rather a recognition that sometimes it would be necessary and that the interested parties would be notified in those cases.
Mike Stern, Senator from Economics, followed with the question of whether or not departmental faculty could elect someone to serve as chair and then inform the dean of who was elected under this policy.
Bill Sauser responded that the dean may charge the committee in any way the dean wishes.
Mike Stern offered that this would not constitute a search committee.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, closed discussion on this issue and moved to the next agenda item which is an information item by Bliss Bailey, director of OIT, on e-textbooks and digital courses.
-- Bliss Bailey, Director of OIT, presented information on the use of electronic materials – textbooks, course packs, interactive packages and our learning management system. The Prezi presentation is available using the following address pasted into a web browser:
-- Mary Boudreaux, Chair of Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (CIA), presented an update on Intercollegiate Athletics at Auburn. A copy of the presentation is available at the following http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2011-2012/Mar12/Senate2012_IA.pptx
The chair called for any new business.
Wesley Lindsey, Senator from Pharmacy Practice, asked that the survey of library-related issues that was emailed to you a couple of weeks ago on behalf of the Senate Library Committee be completed and for you to encourage others in your department to complete it as well.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:46 pm.