Transcript Senate Meeting
February 12, 2013
Bill Sauser, chair: I’d like to welcome you to the February 12, 2013 meeting of the Auburn University Senate. I’m Bill Sauser, chair of the Senate. We do want to make certain we have a quorum here so we can take action, so if you are here press the on button and press A. [trouble with the batteries in the main clicker] While we are checking to see if there is any life in the battery I will tell you there is still some life in your Senate Chair. I feel very strange standing in front of this room without my glasses on because I’ve worn eyeglasses for at least 50 years, and as you know I had cataracts so I had them both removed in surgery over the past several weeks. It was successful so I am seeing much better but I am very near sighted and I cannot be corrected for vision for another couple of weeks until they heal so I go before my classroom just like this group and everybody looks fuzzy. I must have had a rough night last night. It’s good to see everybody.
While they work on the battery circumstance just a short review of the rules of the Senate; and that is senators and all substitutes for senators, please sign the roll, get your clicker so you can vote. Also, if you’d like to speak about an issue or ask a question, please go to the microphone located on either aisle, and (I will be able to see you if only blurrily) I’ll call on you, you state your name and indicate whether or not you’re a senator and if so, what unit you represent. The rules of the Senate do require that senators and substitute senators have the opportunity to speak first, then after all comments by Senators on any issue, our guests are welcome to speak when recognized. We have 88 members of the Senate so a quorum requires 44.
Are we ready yet? We are so if you would, press A if you are here and have the authority to vote. Okay, we do have a quorum we have 58 people here, that’s interesting because we do have a constitutional amendment on the agenda that requires 58 votes to pass, so don’t anybody leave. If you do we will have to postpone the vote. We have a quorum established and will proceed.
First item of business is to approve the minutes from January 15, 2013. You’ve had those minutes have been posted for you to examine. Unless I hear any comments I will consider those minutes approved. Are there any comments? If not, then those minutes are approved.
Next on the agenda are remarks from our president, Dr. Gogue.[4:24]
Dr. Gogue, president: Thank you , Bill. I’m delighted to be with you. I appreciate you being here today. Only 3 or 4 items I wanted to mention. Number one, for the first time in my 5 years at Auburn the Governor’s budget has actually had an increase in higher education. It’s about a 2% increase, so we are excited about that. It usually [hits?] the floor, so we may do a little bit better as we go through the process, but typically when they start at 2 you are going to do at least that well. So it’s the first time we’ve seen any bump in the last 4 or 5 years at Auburn.
Second thing I wanted to mention is two individuals were named as candidates for the trustee positions. [5:17] One is replacing Mr. Sam Ginn and that individual is Wayne Smith out of Nashville, that’s an at-large position. The second individual is from the Huntsville area that would be to replace Mr. John Blackwell, his name is Mike DeMaioribus, and engineer and very involved with the College of Engineering and advisory rolls in the past.
Third thing I wanted to mention to you is I guess about 2 weeks ago it was reported that 3 of our Colleges were ranked in the top ten, nationally, in terms of electronic distance delivery at the gradate level. College of Education was ranked number 2 in the nation. I think St John’s University was the only one ranked higher. This was based on US News and World Report study that dealt with quality and numbers of enrolled students. The Business school (College of Business) as I recall was 6 and the only other school in the southeast that was listed was the University of Florida. The College of Engineering was 6 in the country. the ones that beat us were USC, Penn State, Michigan, Perdue, and Columbia. So some people have been doing a lot of work in that area and if that’s an area that you are excited about and interested in I just wanted to say thank you for that.
Final thing that I wanted to mention is we had another student named for the Gates Cambridge Award and certainly would express our appreciation to all of the faculty that worked with that student. I’d be happy to respond to questions. Thank you.
Bill Sauser, chair: Also we have comments from Dr. Boosinger, the Provost.
Dr. Boosinger, Provost: Thank you I appreciate the opportunity to update you on a few things that are going on in the Provost’s Office.
One big project which I’ve mentioned before is the Strategic Planning Process. We appointed a steering committee last fall and they have laid the groundwork for a very inclusive process. We’re in the first phase now of the focus groups. So phase one of the focus groups has been within the state. Ten different meetings that include representation from alumni, the Extension Service, donors, legislators, a representative from the Senate Executive Committee. They’ve been very helpful going along to each of these meetings. We’ve successfully completed 7 sessions, we invited over 200 people to those 7 different sessions, we’ve had a wonderful response, not quite everybody attending but two-thirds of those we invited are going to those sessions.
We have 4 more sessions to conduct, one tomorrow in Auburn, then another one in the Florence/Shoals area, and a third one in Huntsville, and the final one will be in Dothan. We hope to wrap all those up by the middle of March.
Within a week or so certainly by early March we hope to begin the on-campus focus groups. There will be 30 different focus groups talking about strategic priorities and ideas and thoughts about Auburn University’s future. Those thoughts and ideas will be integrated into the planning process and we hope to present the president with a recommendation in May or early June that he can present to the Board of Trustees. So, excited about that process, hope that those of you that are invited to these strategic discussion sessions will make every effort to attend. There will also be some open forums that anybody can come to and participate in and also a survey will go out. That’s probably going to be in late March where you can share your thoughts and ideas in writing. So looking forward to hearing from all of you on those.
I also wanted to update you on 4 searches. [9:37] The assistant Provost and Director of the Honors College search is in the final stages having discussions with a couple of finalists. Hope to be able to name a finalist and make an appointment in early March for that position.
The College of Veterinary Medicine Dean search is in the very final phases. We have a couple more things we have to take care of today and tomorrow and hope to make an announcement on AU Daily tomorrow afternoon.
College of Science and Math Dean search; the search committee has held 4 meetings they have 10 really outstanding finalists that they are looking at in the first round. Their tentative plan is to begin the interview process in March. I don’t know exactly when. Dr. Chris Roberts is chairing that search committee so he’s putting all that together and I’ll be able to update you at the March meeting as to where the COSAM Dean search process is.
We initiated the College of Liberal Arts Dean search this week following Dean Gramberg’s resignation as Dean after serving the College of Liberal Arts for 8 years. She will continue to serve while we conduct a National search. We are currently working with the college on the appointment of a search committee. As in our other Dean searches, like the ones I just mentioned, committee will consist of 10 members with representation from faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Dr. George Flowers will chair the search, Dr. Larry Crowley will represent the Senate. We’ve commissioned a search firm in the last couple of days. I hope to have the committee appointed and have the first meeting with the search committee on February 22.
So that’s where we are right now with those 4 searches. And like I said I will endeavor to update you at future meetings. Any questions, comments?
Rusty Wright, senator, fisheries: We just received a notification of a policy for tuition being included in research grants in the future and felt a little blindsided by that, kind of hit us yesterday. As a signatory to that note that came out, can you tell us why that wasn’t brought before the faculty before that went forward?
Dr. Boosinger, provost: Dr. Flowers and I talked about that pretty extensively with deans and associate deans for research. Did not realize that we didn’t reach out far enough to get input from everybody but the goal is to provide a mechanism for faculty who are in a position to put tuition on grants, to do so.
If you look carefully in the last paragraph it gives the deans considerable flexibility in how to handle that. But we didn’t have a process in place to make that work smoothly because there are funding agencies that offer that. It’s an option that you have so we didn’t want to leave that money on the table. That’s why, so if we need to revisit that or have Dr. Flowers come back and talk about that again at a future Senate meeting, we can do that in March if you want to do that and bring it back up. Thank you.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you very much Dr. Boosinger. Next we will move to the Senate Chair’s Report. Can you put that on the screen? I’m not sure if I can read it or not, it’s tough being nearsighted folks. [13:43]
I like to begin these reports by introducing your elected Senate officers because they do as much of the work in this process as I do. Your Immediate past chair, Ann Beth Presley is still on medical leave, we hope to hear good news from her soon. Dr. Crowley is our Chair-elect, Larry Crowley, Secretary is Robin Jaffe, Secretary–elect is Judy Sheppard. I have appointed as parliamentarian, Constance Hendricks, who is doing a wonderful job for us and also our administrative assistant, Laura Kloberg, who handles all of these interesting items of equipment. Thank you.
A couple of notes on the agenda, one is that we typically would be nominating new members for the Rules Committee today and electing them next month, but through a very fortunate circumstance we don’t have any openings on that particular committee so we don’t need to take that action. [15:04] I just wanted to let you know we did not forget about it, we just don’t need to take that action this year.
Also there is an item on the agenda that we will be calling for a vote for in just a few minutes. It’s the change in membership of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee. That’s a minor detail but it does require a constitutional amendment, which must be passed by two-thirds of all of the elected senators, whether they are here or not. So we are going to hold that vote closely since I do believe we have two-thirds in the room.
The Faculty Handbook Review Committee is on the agenda today. As all of you are aware we have a multi-year effort underway to revise and modernize the Auburn University Faculty Handbook. We’ve already adopted a Phase One, and a Phase Two. The final Phase, Phase Three is being brought to you today as information, it’s already been posted along with this agenda. We are grateful to the committee for a lot of work. There has been a lot of work put into this particular revision. We want to make sure that everyone has an ample opportunity to read it if you wish. Think about it, send suggestions and we are not going to call for a vote at our next meeting which is just in a couple of weeks, instead we are not going to vote on this until April 2. That way everybody will have the opportunity to look at it, comment on it and so forth, but we are bringing it forward as information today.
You’ve already heard some of the fine comments from Dr. Gogue and Dr. Boosinger. We have an important presentation that we are going to have today from Dean Bonnie MacEwan, I can see you Bonnie, which is great. Dean MacEwan on behalf of an Ad Hoc Committee that the president appointed to give him some important advice, we’ll be hearing from her on the overview of policy recommendations about minors on campus. We’re not talking about academic minors, we’re talking about children on campus. We want to be certain that all children that come onto this campus are properly supervised and properly treated and also that all faculty and staff who are working with children are properly protected. So we’ll be hearing those recommendations. Robin Jaffe has already agreed to serve on an implementation committee, a small committee to see that these policy recommendations are implemented over time.
You know that our excellent ombudsperson, Dr. Jim Wohl, is resigning and he’s moving to a position at another university. He served us well and we appreciate his good work. We are in the process of selecting a replacement. At our request, Dr. Emmett Winn is going to chair a national search for a new ombudsperson. The search committee has been appointed and is in place and already at work. The position announcement was reviewed by the president earlier, yesterday morning, and is now ready to be presented and distributed. We’re also going to likely appoint an interim ombudsperson. We have plans for doing that and the search committee will also be charged with selecting that interim to serve between the time Dr. Wohl departs and our new continuing ombudsperson is appointed.
You just heard that after years of dedicated service to this university, Dr. Gramberg has resigned her position as Dean of Liberal Arts, but has agreed graciously to serve in that position until her replacement is selected. Thus we are not going to need to appoint an interim dean and go through that difficult process. Dean Flowers is going to chair the search committee, Dr. Larry Crowley is going to represent the University Senate on that committee and plans are underway for a number of Liberal Arts faculty [19:27]
The Senate nominating committee, that’s probably one of the hardest working committees on this campus. Dr. Alice Buchanan has been chairing that committee. I want to thank her publicly, and the other members of this committee have done a good job. They’ve identified several fine candidates who are willing to serve as secretary-elect, but we haven’t identified anybody who wants to serve as chair-elect. I don’t know why that could be, but let me ask if you are at all interested, if you thought about being interested, let Dr. Buchanan know that or any member of the executive committee. We do need to announce our nominees very quickly so that we can proceed with the electronic election in March. So we will announce all of the candidates as soon as we have them. And I thank the 3 individuals who have stepped forward and said they are interested in serving as secretary-elect. [20:26]
The SACS commission on colleges focused report, that is our response to the off-site review committee. The focused report and the QEP, Quality Enhancement Project description are being sent to the onsite review committee this week so they will have time to look at that and prepare that. Dr. Drew Clark has done a lot of work on that, I wrote a couple of portions of it, many of us in this room have worked hard on these documents and they are going off. The next step is for the onsite review committee to actually come. Dr. David Hagar is chairing that committee. He had a productive visit to our campus in late January, Dr. Crowley and I both met with him and we look forward to the coming visit. We hope that we will be successfully be reaccredited.
Representatives of the Senate, as you just heard, have been attending all of these off-campus strategic planning sessions. I went to the session in Mobile last week. Even though I couldn’t see I can report back to you that it was an outstanding meeting. There were a lot of alumni, local elected officials, interested people there, it was very well facilitated and I was excited about the passion that was displayed by the people who were there. They had some good ideas and I think lots more good ideas are going to come from this faculty. You’ve already heard that we are going to be having on-campus sessions as well and all of us will have opportunities to participate in this process. [22:13] I can tell you that I know our ideas are going to help shape the strategic plan as they have with the operation that’s in place right now.
Facilities Division, ah, check this carefully folks. The Facilities Division has just recently completed a detailed study of parking issues. Parking issues in the core of campus, they have results, recommendations for action, and they are going to be shared with us by Dan King at the General Faculty meeting on March 19. In the business sense that’s what’s know as a teaser. March 19, coming here, that’s the day of the General Faculty meeting.
Also, the calendar is kind of interesting this year in that commencement is the very first weekend in May, May 4 and 5. So our May 7 and June 4 meetings of the University Senate will actually be held when many faculty will be off campus perusing their summer activities. We’re aware of that. We, the Steering Committee, do not plan to bring controversial issues to be voted on during those two meetings, because we want to be sure everybody is here and well informed about what’s going on. We will be hearing reports and so forth, housekeeping type issues may come before us, but we are going to try to hold those over, anything necessary for meetings when everybody is back.
I do want to tell those of you, anyone not in the room including certainly our committee chairs, if you have business that needs to be voted on by the Senate, get it to me immediately, because we need to have it come before the Steering Committee, it needs to come before this body as pending action, so that we can vote on it in April. So it’s time now to bring forward anything that committees have as potentially controversial and certainly passionate business. [24:26]
That concludes my report. Thank you. If there are any questions or comments I will be glad to entertain them. Hearing none, let’s proceed on our agenda to an action item. This is the promised action item on the change in the Teaching Effectiveness Committee. I’m going to call on Don Mulvaney who is chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee to present this action.
Don Mulvaney, chair of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee: Thank you Bill. I think this had a previous reading, it comes out of the committee. Basically it’s to address opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of our committee by including a member of the instructional technology council. That group, IT, does a lot of activities that are related to teaching that IMG for example does not do, they are involved in technology issues as well. So with discussion and approval by the committee we have suggested a resolution that we expand the committee by one additional member to include a member representing that body of the instructional technology council. It also clarifies just a little bit more of the provost member that has been an ex-officio member from the IMG group. This tightens up our membership definition, so mister chairman I put this before you as a motion.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you and that motion comes to us from a University Senate Committee, it needs no second, but the floor is open for discussion if anyone wishes to comment on the motion which is before you on the screen. Are there any comments? If not I presume we are ready to vote.
If you are in favor of this constitutional amendment press A, if you are opposed, press B. [26:33] A=58, B=5. A two-thirds majority is 58 so the amendment passes thank you.
Now we’ll move to a pending action item and that is the Faculty Handbook Revisions. Here to present that as information is Sue Barry, who it the hard working chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee, Dr. Barry.
Sue Barry, chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee: First I would like to thank our committee, which consisted of; Sabit Adanur, Barbara Bishop, JJ Dong, Charles Eick, Dawn Boothe, and our ever-present Emmett Winn. They worked very consistently, people always arrived at meetings on time and they put in a great deal of effort in order to get our Phase Three document ready for you today.
Because many of you are probably new this year, this has been going on, this is a 3 year process, I am going to briefly review the first couple of phases. I do quote Bill Sauser from when he was committee chair as to our original goal. We had a 3 year goal and our challenge was to “Transform the Faculty Handbook into a clearly written, organized, accurate, comprehensive and easily accessible academic policies and procedures manual that would be useful for both faculty and administrators.”
Phase One, and I was on the committee for Phase One, but in this Phase One process what we actually did–our charge was– and what we actually did was to eliminate all out-of-date and irrelevant material. Then we retained only policies related directly to the faculty, which the Senate did approve in the spring of 2011.
Phase Two of the process was completed last spring (2012) with a number of new people on the committee who had to all be updated on what was going on, but they did a great job and we presented it to the Senate in the spring of 2012. This document contained complete versions of all existing policies and it contained links to policies found out on other Web sites not controlled by the Senate that we located in whatever proper chapter they belonged.
We are now in Phase Three of the process and have again reviewed the entire Faculty Handbook with an eye to eliminating inconsistencies and conflicting language as well as to improve order, formatting of information to make it more easily accessible and understandable.
So in order to do that we went through the entire document. In our next slide we have some examples so that you can see the things that you might find have been revised in the new document. Most of these examples are from chapters 2, 3, and 4, which I think you will find the most interesting of the chapters in the document and perhaps most pertinent to what you do.
We will continue then with the next slide, which we thought you might be interested in which were the sources that lead to this year’s work. So this time we reviewed the entire Faculty Handbook, the document that you passed last year, and we got the information from all of these particular sources that I have listed here. [31:23]
We used comments from individual senators, from faculty members, anyone who wanted to send us comments we had a period of time last year when they could do that. We also sent after we received those, we sent the document we had to Dr. Rickert, who was our outside consultant. He reviewed the entire document, sent it back to us with extensive comments where he thought maybe we needed some clarifications that he didn’t quite understand or maybe he found inconsistencies in the document. Then it came back first to the Senate Leadership and the Senate Leadership looked over the document, they looked over his remarks and added their remarks. And this all happened before it came back to us this year.
Finally, the Faculty Handbook Review Committee worked on this all fall to bring it back to you and the document that we are presenting today is the end product of this particular process.
You might want to know how we handled the feedback and we did it in one of two ways. All that information that we received that I just mentioned to you was in one way or another is going to be reflected. What you see first here is that we did make some changes in the Faculty Handbook as you’ll see in the document. Those kinds of changes were purely more like editing changes as you saw or revisions for clarification. However there were some things that we didn’t think we could actually clarify well enough at that point. So what we decided to do with that was to send it on. The Steering Committee suggested that we send it on to the appropriate Senate Committee and they would be able then to make recommendations that could come back to you in the Senate.
So this is our anticipated motion: To accept the revised document (Auburn University Faculty Handbook, dated February 12, 2013) as the official Handbook of the Auburn Faculty, replacing the May 1, 2012 Handbook now in effect.
Now we are going to give you a little waiting time here so we can get comments from everyone, so we are not going to bring it back to the Senate for a vote until April 2. What we want you to do in the meantime is to encourage your colleagues and your Department to go to this link
where the entire document is located and to review the document and then to send any comments that they may have to me at this e-mail address <firstname.lastname@example.org> and we are giving you until midnight March 5, 2013, to get those suggestions and comments to us. That concludes my report on this action pending item. [35:07]
Bill Sauser, chair: Do we have any questions? Yes, sir, you are recognized.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: I was looking over this review of the 3 Phases of the Handbook and I didn’t see all the changes to the P&T policies that occurred over this time period listed so I was wondering which Phase those occurred in or if they are now occurring in Phase 3?
Bill Sauser, chair: Would anyone like to address that?
Sue Barry, chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee: Those were done as a separate process, that will be coming later.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Okay, so we haven’t
Bill Sauser, chair: Those were handled independently by the Senate and are included in the current document, is that correct? They are policy. So they are included in the current draft.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: They weren’t part of the 3 Phases of the Handbook?
Bill Sauser, chair: That is correct. That was a parallel process.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: I’ll find the date of that independent process when I go back in the Senate minutes then?
Bill Sauser, chair: Right, thank you. [36:13]
Mike Stern, senator, economics: I had another question about it. There are some policy changes in this Phase and a few of them are highlighted that you thought we would be interested in, but it didn’t include the one that I find particularly interesting, and I wondered if it was alright to ask about this at this time or if we should do it later? I’m not sure when you want to do the revisions.
Bill Sauser, chair: You may ask now and of course we can discuss it when it comes up for a vote, but certainly ask your question.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Maybe it’s a simple matter, but it’s something I’ve run into before so I was wondering why it was being changed in section 3.7 of the performance evaluations. We are going to do these every year in fact we are getting ready to do them now. One thing we did in Phase 2 was add an old policy that every year in tenured faculty we would address their advancement toward tenure in these documents. In fact we would every year now bring in the tenured faculty, in Phase 2 there was this old recommended policy that was one of the things that got incorporated into the Handbook that used to be separate somewhere on the Provost’s Web site or something, basically not just involving the regular faculty in the third year review but involving them every year so that comments on the annual evaluation regarding tenure progress could be made.
Bill Sauser, chair: That’s my understanding also.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: But then in a Phase 3 revision we have here which is section 3.7 page 102, the sentence that used to read “significant achievements or deficiencies which might enhance or impede the candidate’s progress toward higher academic rank or tenure shall be noted.” Now the word shall is crossed out and it was replaced with the word should. So the mandate that we inform candidates of their deficiencies in this annual process, the expanded annual process that we will now bring everyone in is no longer in fact mandatory but merely suggested. The reason I wonder about this is because quite frequently the complaint that I hear when people are surprised that they are denied tenure is because they were never informed that they had any significant deficiencies until the moment that they apply for tenure and there is a profound lack of a paper trail related to it. So I’m kind of wondering why we’re, what the rationale for weakening that language is.
Bill Sauser, chair: I think that’s a very good comment and none of us want to see faculty members surprised by any tenure vote, so that’s the kind of thing that the committee may want to look at as to shoulds, shalls, etc. that’s a very good comment. Thank you.
Yes, mam, you are recognized.
Vicky Van Santen, senator, pathobiology: I just want a clarification for what to tell my faculty. From your presentation it seemed like there’s no policy changes in these changes, it’s just clarification.
Sue Bary, chair FHR: (did not speak into microphone) [39:45]
Vicky Van Santen, senator, pathobiology: There’s no policy changes…
Bill Sauser, chair: We do though want everyone to look carefully because some of the policies there’s been some rewording, there’s been reformulation; if it strikes you as an inappropriate change we want that notification. So please do look at it carefully, there’s been no effort to sneak in new policies, but on the other hand if there is any language that bothers you that’s what we want to hear about. The Faculty Handbook Review Committee wants to hear from you. So what comes before us for a vote has been perfected in that manner. Are there other comments or questions? If not then, thank you Dr. Barry, that was very helpful, thank you.
We may an item of new business that’s coming before us so please don’t everybody run out of the room at the end of the information item. But we do have a very important information item. Our presenter is Bonnie MacEwan who is the dean of the Auburn University Libraries and chaired this Ad Hoc Advisory Committee. [41:06]
Bonnie MacEwan, dean of the Auburn University Libraries and chair of the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today. I spent a good part of this year working with a wonderful group of people on a committee that came to be called the Ad Hoc Committee to review and establish university policies regarding minors on campus. We started out as the children under 12 committee and our role developed as we learned. Our committee charge as you can see was to clarify the requirements placed on administrators, faculty, on all of us at Auburn who are working with children and to make sure that Auburn and all of us are fulfilling our obligations under Alabama State Law. And most important, I think, to provide the safest possible environment for children when they are on our campus.
So nearly 30 of us met, actually it was a bit more than 30 of us, but 30 of us officially from I would dare guess most of the areas in the university who have programs with minors. We began meeting soon after Dr. Boosinger charged us early in April and we were told that our job was to submit a report no later than October 31, and we were able to do that. [42:37]
I just want to give a quick overview. We focused our work on unenrolled minors, so children on campus who are not enrolled in classes. One of the things we found out early in our work is Alabama’s age of majority is 19 and anybody below that age is considered a minor. It broadened us considerably beyond our original mistaken notion we were dealing with people under 12. I think the most important thing I have to say to you today is we did not uncover any serious problems at Auburn. I think that’s a really important point to keep in mind.
We did find areas where Auburn could bring some of its programs into best practice, and we found some programs on campus that had ways of operating that we thought would be useful to other groups. As you can imagine we decided pretty quickly with such a large group that we needed to divide into subcommittees. So we had 4 sub committees that operated simultaneously. We had a benchmarking group, survey group, policy drafting group, and a group working on children in the workplace.
The benchmarking group contacted 57 peer institutions and not surprisingly discovered the majority of them were exactly where we were in probably the most common response to our request for information, is please let us know what you find out. But we did hear from 20 institutions and we got some really good information from them. We also arranged to watch a webinar that was offered nationally by a number of attorneys and I found myself over the course of the summer reading articles and journals with titles like University Risk Management and Insurance Association Journal. They are filled with good information for us.
The survey subcommittee received 214 responses. The responses came from across Auburn campus and the Auburn Montgomery campus and it reflected that we had a wide variety of programs at our university and our programs are very decentralized. Most of our benchmarking indicated that having such a decentralized and varied program is a risk to a university, it’s a risk the committee wholeheartedly feels is well worth taking. [45:29]
And then the Policy Draft Committee did its work and made some recommendations. (Now I feel a bit like Bill because the writing on my copy is so small I might have to look at the screen.) So we’re recommending that university implement a registration system for all programs, that the university implement what is called the rule of three for most situations outside of the classroom situation that would mean that there are two Auburn cleared and trained people present any time minors are present. That all Auburn employees and volunteers who have contact with minors undergo a training program that will be developed and that every unit on campus develop desk polices tell people what to do if abuse is reported and that those policies emphasize that the first thing that should be done is that the employee that gets the report should call 911.
The children in the workplace subcommittee made a number of recommendations and I have several slides here that you can read through. In the interest of time I’m going to just emphasize that the committee recommended that children not be allowed in high-risk areas. That parents who do bring their children to campus do that and cooperation with their supervisor or the department head and that the parents insure their students safety and that HR will have final say over these policies and procedures regarding employees with their children on campus.
In addition the committee has recommended that a small implementation committee be put in place to implement these policies and procedures and that group is in the process of being named. Chris O’Gwynn is going to chair the group and he’s here with us today. We note that in our benchmarking what we found is the communication of these policies and procedures is probably the most critical part of the process. We really struggled over just one sentence in this entire report. And that sentence has to do with a provision that allows enrolled students to host prospective students in a one-on-one situation. We feel that we wanted to recommend that that continue it’s an important part of the recruitment at Auburn, but it’s something that Enrollment Management and Risk Management may want to keep an eye on. [48:32]
I want to make a few observations, they’re Bonnie observations, they are not committee observations. I want to share with you that I didn’t know much about our programs for children at Auburn and I cannot tell you how impressed I was to learn of the variety of programs and to work with the many people who are very dedicated to providing outstanding programs for children who visit our campus, truly a wonderful experience to learn more about this. The members of the committee learned from each other throughout the process and I want to encourage somebody, probably not the Dean of your Library, but somebody should bring these people together periodically to exchange ideas because a lot happened during the informal periods as we got to know each other and ideas were shared. I think there’s some real opportunities for these people to learn from each other.
And then I want to note that it was a real struggle for the committee to reconcile the policies and procedures that we wanted to recommend with the realities of Auburn’s 4H Program. I think the implementation committee is going to have to probably recommend some exceptions. I see a member of my committee smiling at me as I say that.
The full report is available online form the Provost’s site and I’d be glad to check my copy out of the Library if you would be interested. That concludes my report and will be glad to stand for questions. [50:12]
Rusty Wright, senator, fisheries: I am also an Extension Specialist so I am going to be very curious about how you work that balance with 4H, I do some interaction with 4H, but also a lot of programs that are not formally 4H programs but are still Extension programs with youth. Youth education is a big part of what we do. Often they have their own supervisors that come with them. So let’s say I do a fishing program at our Station and the kids come, they are from another organization and they have their own supervisors with them. I’m there helping, providing the program, how do we deal with those issues in that situation, I guess is my question? I often pull in my students and others to help just rangle the kids, bait hooks, what have you, but in that case the real supervisor, I view the supervisor as being their person.
Bonnie MacEwan: I think that what will probably happen is if you felt like that is what you wanted to do, you would need to ask for a policy exception and there may be opportunities in the registration system to request those policy exceptions. I am speculating on what the implementation team will put in place, but as we talked about the registration system we talked about a way for a program to request an exception.
Rusty Wright, senator, fisheries: I would think that certainly the amount of time I have contact with youth I don’t Have any problems with going through the training issues myself, but for example if I’m having a student that’s just there baiting a few hooks under the supervision of the people I wonder to what degree would we have everybody be trained. That’s the kind of thing that I think we need to strike a good balance there.
Bonnie MacEwan: That’s the kind of question that I am actually thrilled that somebody from Risk Management is chairing the implementation team.
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: Perhaps I didn’t have an opportunity to see this all correctly and I missed this. I understood the environments we’re interested in enrolling minors in, laboratories was one of them and if I understood it correctly you were saying we shouldn’t have any minors in laboratories under any circumstances. I’m really confused by why we would make that recommendation since places like the National Science Foundation sponsor programs for high school students to come work in people’s laboratories.
Bonnie MacEwan: I think I was speaking too quickly, Bob, I’m sorry. That was the part that had to do with parents supervising their children. When you bring your child to campus, to set a child underneath (beside) a microscope you need to be sure that you can supervise your child. That would be something for you to work out with your department head and HR. But it doesn’t have to do with programs for minors on campus. You can have a program for minors on campus in a laboratory, the question is can a staff member or a faculty member who is conducting their own research adequately supervise their own child in a laboratory like that. That’s just something you have to work out with your department head. Does that make any sense, you look confused.
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: I’ve asked my question. Apparently I don’t understand the circumstance so until I read more I’ll let it go at that, I was just letting you know I didn’t understand or perhaps a need for clarificatin.
Bonnie MacEwan: Maybe Chris can make a note that we need to make that clearer.
Wes Lindsey, senator, Pharmacy Practice: I realize that maybe, I haven’t read the full report and maybe there are a couple of details I am missing, but I’m not quite sure how far this reaches. Does is really just apply to people with programs that deal with children or is it any child on campus? So for instance, my wife comes by with me 5 year old son, is this going to be some policy that applies to her and my son as well? I curious what the reach of this is, I didn’t quite catch that.
Bonnie MacEwan: I think if your wife brings your 5 year old on campus, you and your wife are responsible for his safety. If you enroll your 5 year old in a program then Auburn becomes more involved.
Wes Lindsey, senator, Pharmacy Practice: Thank you.
Emily Meyers, senator, sociology/anthropology/social work: We do an extensive amount of off campus programming with children and adults and my question is does this policy affect those programs as well? And if so, how does it affect them and what kind of clearance do we have to get to be able to have programs off campus?
Bonnie MacEwan: I would refer this to the implementation committee but I think you are going to need to register those programs and you are going to need to have Auburn’s staff involved who are trained and have a background clearance.
Gwyneth Thomas, senator, Polymer/Fiber Engineering: For several years we have had Civil Air Patrol camps that have come through engineering, particularly through our department and a lot of times those students, who are high school age, are left under the control of Civil Air Patrol employees and leaders, not of our faculty and staff. Are we going to be in violation?
Bonnie MacEwan: I think you are going to have to ask that question through the system and figure that out. Every program, I have to tell you, every program on this campus is unique and so you are probably going to end up asking a lot of questions and that’s why we recommended an implementation team.
Bill Sauser, chair: I want to thank all the members of this committee and also all those who are volunteering to be on the implementation team. It’s a very serious issue. All university campuses are examining their policies and making certain that no minor children are endangered when visiting on campus or being involved with campus programs, and we very much appreciate this work.
I would like to ask if there is any unfinished business? Hearing none, I’d like to ask if there is any new business? Yes sir, you are recognized.
Rusty Wright, senator, fisheries: As I mentioned in my question to the Provost earlier, we felt a little blindsided by policy that came out that suggested that policy was put in place that tuition would be included in all future grants and contracts. For many of us this would be a significant hardship and could be detrimental to our research program. a lot of our grants simply do not have the option of asking for tuition to be included, or if it was it’s a fixed pie, which means if you take it out of that there is less money for our research program. So I would like to propose a moratorium through this resolution on that until the faculty has had an adequate chance to weigh in on that policy. So this is my proposed resolution for that moratorium basically.
Resolution concerning a moratorium on the “Policy for Inclusion of Tuition
in Externally Funded Contracts and Grants”
Whereas: Many faculty members feel that the recently established policy to require graduate student tuition be included in the budgets of all new proposed research budgets would damage the research enterprise and impedes Auburn University’s ability to increase graduate student enrollment (Goal 21 of the Strategic Plan), And
Whereas: Without regard for Auburn University’s efforts to promote shared governance, this policy was implemented without sufficient input from appropriate faculty bodies including the Research Committee and University Senate.
Therefore be it resolved: that a moratorium be placed on the policy (the “Policy for Inclusion of Tuition in Externally Funded Contracts and Grants”) until such time that appropriate faculty bodies be consulted for their input, the likely impact of such a policy (both positive and negative) on Auburn University’s missions of research and graduate education be determined, and a report of these deliberations be provided to the University Senate.
Bill Sauser, chair: thank you. This is a resolution that’s being brought by and individual senator, if it receives a second it will then go onto the agenda for our next month’s meeting as an item for action. So we would be voting on it at our next meeting. Is there a second to this motion? A second has been heard so we will put it on the agenda for discussion at our next meeting. We may entertain discussion now and we may also entertain discussion at the future meeting, but we’ll not vote until next month so everyone can have a chance to study this. Is there any discussion at this point? Hearing none, is there any other new business? If not then I rule that we are adjourned. Thank you very much. [1:01:11]