Minutes of the University Senate Meeting
3 April 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, Claire Crutchley, Betty Lou Whitford, Chuck Savrda, R. Lee Evans, Calvin Johnson, Ann-Katrin Gramberg, George Flowers, Timothy Boosinger, Bonnie MacEwan, Steven Clontz, Andrew Wohrley, Michael Baginski, Robert Cochran, Norbert Wilson, James Bannon, Sondra Parmer, Scott McElroy, Werner Bergen, Dean Schwartz, Gary Wagoner, Bob Locy, Sushil Adhikari, Steve Duke, Eduardus Duin, Prabhakar Clement, Robert Agne, Daniel Phillips, Wi-Suk Kwon, Michael Stern, James Witte, Thomas Baginski, James Goldstein, Xing Ping Hu, Harris Hollans, Rusty Wright, Adrienne Angelo, David King, Fenny Dane, Ellen Abell, Jerrod Windham, Jared Russell, Pambanisha King Whaley, Peter Stanwick, Herb Rotfeld, Tin-Yau Tam, Doug Rosener, Stuart Pope, Suresh Mathews, Vicky van Santen, Forrest Smith, Wesley Lindsey, Guy Rohrbaugh, Mike Bozack, Yasser Gowayed, Shelly McKee, Jill Meyer, Emily Myers, and Chase Bringardner.
Absent, sending a substitute: Joe Hanna (for Bill Hardgrave), Melanie Smith (for Owen Parrish), Rebekah Pindzola (for Laura Plexico), Sue Barry (for Jada Kohlmeier), Richard A. Hansen (for Brent Fox), Gerry Gryski (for Steven Brown), Daffny Pierce (for Joe Fetsch), Mary Gifford (for Scott Copeland) and Kytha Stofer (for Richard Fox).
Absent, no substitute: William Batchelor, Gregg Newschwander, Nakeisha Janigan, Seth Humphrey, Nedret Billor, Winfred Foster, Jocelyn Zanzot, Paul Swamidass, Mark (James) Taylor, Sanjeev Baskiyar, Larry Teeter, Ruth Crocker, Jerry Davis, Bart Prorok, John Freeze, Lewis Barker and Ralph Henderson
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 March 6, 2012 meeting 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. There are four new trustees that have been confirmed by the Alabama Senate and the five remaining open trustees positions will be discussed by the confirmation committee tomorrow morning. If the nominations pass in the committee they could go to the Senate as early as Thursday of this week. SACS requires a minimum of 5 trustees which Auburn meets with the actions of the last month.
2. ETF funding is up 4.4 percent and there has been no discussion of additional proration during the current year. The proposed settlement in the PACT prepaid college tuition program has been thrown out by the Supreme Court and State of Alabama. If the proposed settlement had gone through it would have cost Auburn University somewhere between 500 to 600 million dollars. He noted his hope for a more rational plan for Auburn as settlement discussions continue.
3. Provost search is underway and candidates will be brought to campus by the end of April. The Engineering Dean’s search has narrowed to two names -- one internal candidate and the other from the University of Florida. Both will be back on campus Wednesday and Thursday of this week and a decision will be made soon. Auburn just completed a national search for the Vice President for Development with Jane Parker having been selected. She has spent over 30 years at Emory and the last couple at Arizona State. She started work last week.
4. He mentioned he was briefed last week on Auburn’s SACS reaffirmation effort and all benchmarks, data points and timelines are on track.
5. Research Week had 1300 students sign up and it was his understanding that it went well. He stated his appreciation for the input and support from the faculty across campus in this effort.
At the close of Dr. Gogue’s remarks, he offered to respond to any questions that might be asked, but there were no questions asked.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, offered the following remarks:
1. Online voting for chair-elect and secretary-elect will open on April 5th at 8 a.m. and close on Monday April 9 at 5 p.m. One person is running for chair-elect, Larry Crowley, and two for secretary-elect, Judy Sheppard and Don Mulvaney. The election results will be announced next week during the University Faculty meeting.
2. The rules of the senate were repeated.
Dr. Presley moved to the action item on the agenda.
-- Claire Crutchley, member of steering committee and immediate past chair, brought forward a revised motion to amend language in the Faculty Handbook dealing with Department Heads and Chairs. During the last senate meeting an earlier version was sent back to committee for revision. The text of the resolution is as follows:
Motion to Amend Language in the Faculty Handbook
“Selection of Deans and Department Heads/Chairs”
Motion to amend language in the Faculty Handbook, Chapter 2, Part 5, Section B entitled “Selection of Deans and Department Heads/Chairs” that quotes, with omissions, from the “Joint Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities” adopted by the American Council on Education, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the American Association of University Professors by substituting language quoting the entire paragraph (underlining to indicate previously omitted portions to be inserted) to read as follows:
“The chair or head of a department, who serves as the chief representative of the department within an institution, should be selected by departmental election or by appointment following consultation with members of the department and of related departments; appointments should normally be in conformity with department members’ judgment. The chair or department head should not have tenure in office; tenure as a faculty member is a matter of separate right. The chair or head should serve for a stated term but without prejudice to reelection or to reappointment by procedures that involve appropriate faculty consultation. Board, administration, and faculty should all bear in mind that the department chair or head has a special obligation to build a department strong in scholarship and teaching capacity.”
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, stated the motion is coming from a committee and doesn’t need a second. She asked if there were questions or discussion on the motion.
Werner Bergen, Senator from Animal Science, asked why it is necessary since the dean can get rid of the department head at any time.
Bill Sauser, Chair-elect, stated that the proposed language is a statement of philosophy where departmental leadership will be on terms as specified by the department/college/school and not on continuing appointments. It would not apply to those currently holding positions.
David King, Senator from Geology and Geography, expressed concerns in the current faculty handbook language that states appointments “…should normally (emphasis added for clarity) be in conformity with department members’ judgment…” and he does not understand why this should allow the possibility that an appointment would be made that was not in conformity with members’ judgment. He believes the concern trying to be addressed is long-serving heads that need to be replaced and is not sure this language really fixes that issue.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, asked if there were additional comments or questions. Hearing none, she called for a vote. The motion passed with a vote of 45 yea and 14 nay. She called for the next item on the agenda which is an information item presented by Sue Barry on the revisions of Phase II of the Faculty Handbook and is pending action during the next senate meeting.
Information Item Pending Action
Sue Barry, Chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee, thanked those helping in this effort of developing a well-written, organized, accurate and accessible manual of academic policies and procedures. It is being accomplished in three phases over three years. Last year, the Phase I Faculty Handbook was stripped of all out-of-date and irrelevant material while retaining the policies that directly related to the faculty which is basically Chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 1 is University Vision and Mission and Chapter 2 is Faculty Participation in University Governance, which contained within this chapter the Constitutions of the University Senate and Faculty along with the listing of standing committees. This Phase I transitional document was completed in Spring 2011 and adopted by the senate.
The Phase II Faculty Handbook, which is the subject of today’s information, has no policy changes and basically adds to the handbook existing or previously changed policies not contained or reflected in the current handbook. The revised handbook will contain links to these policies within the appropriate chapters.
After the current phase, the Phase III Faculty Handbook will be an ongoing phase where the handbook is continually under review, eliminating inconsistent and conflicting language, and adding new and revised policies adopted by the Senate.
Encourage you and your faculty colleagues to review the posted Phase II Faculty Handbook and enter comments concerning particular sub-sections in the Google survey by April 14th so these can be compiled and appropriately incorporated into the revised Faculty Handbook for the anticipated motion to accept presented during the next senate meeting. Then the floor was opened for questions and comments.
Vicky van Santen, Senator from Pathobiology, asked for the correct link to the survey.
Sue Barry, Chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee, said Larry Crowley, Senate Secretary, will send it out in an email.
Guy Rohrbaugh, Senator from Philosophy, asked for a posting of the changes that have been made in the handbook to facilitate review.
Sue Barry replied that Larry Crowley will include this listing of changes in the email.
James Goldstein, Senator from English, asked that if the Phase II changes only incorporate existing policies then what is there to comment on in our review.
Sue Barry replied some of the language may have changed to reflect what was passed in the Senate and the format now incorporates links. Asked if Bill Sauser (immediate past Chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee and now Senate Chair-Elect) wanted to comment further on this issue?
Bill Sauser, Senate Chair-Elect, stated there was not an expectation of many comments and the primary purpose of the survey is to provide an opportunity to comment on the handbook during review so as to facilitate Phase III revisions to the language, if any.
Wesley Wright, Senator from Fisheries, asked if there were policies on the Provost’s Web site that have now been incorporated into the handbook.
Sue Barry replied that this was correct.
Wesley Wright, Senator from Fisheries, followed with the question of whether or not this would also be passed by the Board of Trustees because of language in Chapter 3.
Sue Barry referred this question to Emmett Winn.
Emmett Winn, Associate Provost and member of the Faculty Handbook Committee, answered it is his understanding the Trustees are primarily interested in Chapter 3 because it contains faculty policies related to personnel and procedures. He stated General Counsel for the University is closely involved on these matters. Phase II faculty handbook provisions of Chapter 3 currently exist and have been through the proper approval process already. His feeling is that it probably won’t need to go because of that fact.
Mike Stern, Senator from Economics, asked if Phase I only changed Chapters 1 and 2?
Sue Barry answered by saying that was the charge of the committee.
Mike Stern followed with his statement that Chapter 3, particularly on the Tenure and Promotion, located on the Provost Office Website is different than the prior one in the faculty handbook.
Sue Barry responded that there are new policies in Chapter 3 for the Phase II handbook because these have been passed by the senate recently such as the Teaching Evaluation policy.
Mike Stern stated he remembers changes in Promotion and Tenure that were included in the Phase I handbook and doesn’t remember voting on them.
Sue Barry asked Bill Sauser to address this since he was Chair of the committee last year.
Bill Sauser, Chair-Elect, stated that not only were Chapters 1 and 2 looked at but the entire handbook was looked at during Phase I. This handbook also includes changes to Promotion and Tenure policies that were passed last year in the Senate.
Mike Stern said he didn’t remember seeing the final sentence about collegiality in Promotion and Tenure policy now contained in Chapter 3 of the Faculty Handbook as a member of the senate and is unfamiliar as to how that made it into the handbook.
Sue Barry responded that you have the opportunity to put that in your comments when you do the survey.
Mike Stern asked if the vote next month will be on the entire handbook to which Sue Barry responded yes and then Mike Stern followed with whether or not we took an aggregate vote last time for the Phase I handbook or full document.
Ann Beth Presley, Chair, responded that it was a full vote, then closed discussion on this issue and moved to the next agenda item which is an information item by Mike Kensler, director of the Office of Sustainability.
-- Mike Kensler, Director of the Office of Sustainability, presented information on what the Office of Sustainability is doing and how it is going to impact the university. The presentation is linked to the agenda. which is available at the following:
Following the presentation a discussion took place.
Dan Phillips, Senator from Communication Disorders, noticed the monitors at the arena are always on and seems a waste of electricity.
Mike Kensler answered by saying that he doesn’t want the office to be the sustainability police, but instead to take a systematic approach to sustainability issues. He wants to implement policy not by telling but by leading through inquiry and asking what could be done, such as with the monitors and whether or not they need to be on 24 hours or could they be put on timers.
Rusty Wright, Senator from Fisheries, noted the value of a website that had all our energy use by building and it was broken down per square foot so that we could see how we are doing ourselves.
Mike Kensler responded by saying that they are working closely with Facilities to develop a dashboard system to track energy use in real time, track it over time, and compare use to other buildings. He noted the contribution and leadership of Dan King on these issues and recognized that change takes time.
The chair called for any new business.
Bill Sauser, Chair-Elect, made an announcement encouraging everyone to consider participating in the Faculty/Staff Campaign which is now underway and noted it is not how much money you give but in how many participated.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:14 pm.