Transcript General Faculty Meeting
March 19, 2013
Bill Sauser, chair: I’m Bill Sauser, chair of the General Faculty and the Auburn University Senate. I’d like to call this meeting to order. This is the March 19, 2013 meeting of the General Faculty of Auburn University.
The first order on our agenda is to approve the minutes of the October 9, 2012 meeting. Those minutes have been posted on the Senate’s Web page, they’ve been available for you to review. Are there any corrections to the minutes that anyone would wish to bring to our attention. Hearing none then I rule that those minutes are approved. Okay, aren’t you glad that we didn’t have to read them all.
Our next order of business are remarks from the Office of the President and here to make those remarks is Dr. Gogue.
Dr. Gogue, president: Certainly great to be with you today, I appreciate all of you taking time to join us for the spring meeting of the General Faculty Meeting . We’ve had 5 years of the declining state appropriations and when you start those declines one of the things that we all worry about is where will it end? If you sort of knew where it was going to bottom out you’d feel a whole lot better, you can plan better and you can do things. The only good news that I can give you relative to the state appropriations is that the Governor’s budget when he submitted it in February was about a 2% increase, so maybe we’ve bottomed out. Don says, no we haven’t even bottomed out. I don’t want to hear it, we’re supposed to be positive, maybe we’re getting close.
I also wanted to thank you. We had a chance to go around and visit with about 65 academic departments, the Provost and I, I think we made it to all but one or two and we brought up 4 or 5 items and Bill asked me to at least mention them again. I said we already talked with everyone about them but I’m going to mention the 5 again or 4 real quickly.
Number one, one of the areas that we did not get done in the last 5 years that we know has to go forward has to do with graduation rate numbers. Of all the metrics that Auburn has that one metric probably creates us to be downgraded, if you will, more than any other thing in terms of academic rank of our institution. Our numbers have grown from about 61% graduation rate in 6 years to about 68%. Schools that we would measure against to be peers are in the upper 70s and mid 80s. So we probably have at least another 12–15 percentage points that we probably need to get to to be in the average area of where Auburn should be. What these groups do is they look at the quality of your student, they project what your graduation rate should be and if you don’t hit that number then you are downgraded greatly. So that’s where Auburn is. If we had a much lower quality student and we graduated them at that rate we’d get positive feedback, so that’s probably in terms of metrics one of the greatest concerns for the institution.
Two topics that are on most administrators minds, and I think in each unit with faculty we tried to say it’s probably not on your minds, but a lot of discussion going on nationally in higher education in two areas. One is in the e-learning area, the electronic delivery, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that we had three colleges, Engineering, Education, and Business that ranked in the top 10 in terms of quality and numbers of students engaged in electronic delivery at the masters level. We do very little at the undergraduate level as you know. So we are having discussions is it an appropriate mix, and it may well be for Auburn’s culture, but some discussions about the whole area of e-learning. It’s probably an area where some policy and some guidance needs to develop from the faculty. We’ve noticed that the University of Southern California has gotten very active in masters delivery of electronic degrees, if you will, they have about 5,500 students in their program. They are using it strongly as a revenue source, it’s about 114–115 million dollars a year in that particular one component, but they don’t do any electronic delivery at the undergraduate and they are using the resources from that cash portion of their operation to really fund their doctoral programs. So that’s out there and you get questions about it. Of course there’s (not sure what was said here) and you’ve all read about it and I won’t go over it [5:16] but certainly these massive electronic courses that people are putting on, you can take them for free but then the cost involved in registration of those. So that’s out in the marketplace.
The final one is the Gates Foundation has put a great deal of attention to how do we reduce the time the student is spending in college. This is generated by the debt numbers that you see, student debt, student loans that occur all the time, and their goal is to reduce the 4 year time in college to about 2.5 years through some games that they have developed through Carnegie Mellon that basically cover core curriculum type courses. So what is the philosophy? I mention those because as we are in this strategic planning process over the next few months those are some topics that I hope people will weigh in on and share thoughts on.
The final one relative to the strategic planning has to do with enrollment growth. Auburn gets close to 20,000 applications for our freshman spots, but we are not funded on a formula like most states. In most states when you have enrollment growth you get additional state appropriations, in Alabama you do not. Basically if Auburn decides to grow its enrollment we have to make a decision that we can educate the student on the tuition that they pay.
And the final one I’ll mention has to do with the international undergraduate. Auburn very traditional of all the schools I’ve worked with I’d have to say that we’re very much like my other institutions, we’ve got about 1,100 international students, all are nearly at the graduate level. I think we have 60 international undergraduate students. What we are seeing as a trend is a lot of schools, more than half their freshman class is international students. So you are seeing that at Michigan’s and the Perdue’s and the Ohio State’s and you are seeing it on the West Coast. So we throw that out to say what is the right mix for Auburn and should we pay more attention particularly to the international undergraduate.
I want to mention several relatively new initiatives to you. You have probably seen in the newspaper a little bit about work that’s going on on campus relative to cyber security related activities. We often see the stories on cyber when there is somebody who has hacked in and gotten personal information. Btu we are told by defense and by intelligence sources that there is an awful lot going on out there that we don’t read or hear much about and I’d have to tell you that faculty across the campus have really put forth a lot of effort. I want to just mention a couple of them. We have faculty from Business, Engineering, COSAM, and Liberal Arts that are working in the cyber area, Drew Hamilton, Ralph Zee, Chris Roberts, Bob Norton, and General Ron Burgess. General Burgess joined Auburn December 1, he’s a lieutenant general, a 3 star general, he was the head of the Federal Intelligence Agency and very much involved with our activities in training out at the Auburn/Opelika Airport at the top floor of the terminal, there are training programs that are being run out there. [8:46]
Another thing, another year and half old initiative; we received a little extra support from the state on a cancer initiative. This is a multi-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary type program that involves a lot of people across campus. There are a couple of very promising areas that they are working in, one is David Reese over in Pharmacy is involved in trying to specifically target cancer cells where you don’t damage the tissue around it and having good success in that. And the other one that I mention is Kurt Burden of Veterinary Medicine in which he has developed a vaccine relative to breast cancer that’s been very promising in test animals. Of course the goal is to see if you can translate that into humans, so some good work going on in that area. Bruce Smith is the director of that program and has certainly given great vision and direction to those efforts. [9:44]
One of the areas that I probably receive more compliments on the university than any other area has to do with the response that the faculty made to the oil spill that occurred in 2010. It’s amazing to me the number of community leaders, particularly from the coastal areas, mayors, members of congress, that have come up and made it a point to thank Auburn for the faculty’s work in a host of areas. In economic areas, it was obviously in environmental areas, but it was also in psychological and business and a whole host of areas. So we continue to get very strong comments about the efforts by Auburn to help restore those communities in the coastal area.
I also want to mention the publication Auburn Speaks, an in house publication, peer reviewed that tells the stories of a lot of faculty involved in work. The first edition focused on the oil spill, the second edition will focus on water resources management. There are a couple of people that I do want to mention in that; Graham Lockaby from the School of Forestry was the first editor of it, and did a great job, Margaret Marshall and Jay Lamar spent hours doing the editing and work to make sure that publication was the quality that we’d be proud of and it has actually won several awards for its quality and recognition of the work.
I want to make sure all the faculty realize the number of our students that this past year have received prestigious graduate post fellowship type awards. It’s the largest number we’ve ever had, they’ve either won them or have been in the finalist on the Harry S. Truman Awards, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, President Clinton’s Hunger Leadership Award, the Gilliam Scholarship, we had two Rhodes finalists this year, the Bobby Bowden Award, and the Mitchell Scholarship. Each one of these students has had a mentor or more than one or they would not be where they are today. I just want to say thank you. At the same time I want to thank you for those that you encouraged, you worked with, you gave your time to that didn’t win any of these awards, and there’s a bunch of those. But I guarantee you your work changed their lives, so I would say thank you to them. We’ll have to follow those, 10 or 15 years from now they may be doing pretty well.
I see Drew here so I know if I don’t mention SACS he’ll fuss at me. SACS shows up in Mobile next Sunday night and will be with us. I think all of you know that they are here to see how well we comply with the standards that SACS has set. It’s a reaffirmation visit, we are obviously accredited so they look at us and they look at us relative to all those standards to try to make judgments on how well we are doing relative to standards of SACS.
I call your attention that they will be visiting with a lot of different people while they are here and even though I know the University Senate has spent time and discussed this and was involved in the process to select the project for the QEP, the Quality Enhancement Plan, remember it’s the e-portfolio project was the one that was selected. A plan has been developed and this will be their look at that plan to see that we have the resources, the capabilities, and if we are able to carry this out. So that’s an important part of the site visit.
In conclusion I just want to compliment the University Senate. I asked them to check there were 13 resolutions passed by the Senate in the last year since we last met in the spring and all 13 were approved either by the provost, the president, or by the Board of Trustees as appropriate. So all those were approved, each of the items. They spent a lot of time, effort, and work to thoughtfully bring forth resolutions that improve Auburn.
Final thing I’ll just say is I appreciate everything you do to try to make Auburn a better place. Thank you. [14:03]
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you very much Dr. Gogue. To make some remarks from the Office of the Provost, is our provost Dr. Tim Boosinger.
Tim Boosinger, provost: Thank you, Bill. I appreciate the opportunity to update you on 4 important activities that we are working on in the Office of the Provost.
The first is the Strategic Planning Process which I’ve mentioned to you before, and we are going to continue to talk about it until we have a final recommendation in front of the president in June, but just as a reminder in the fall we appointed a committee of 27 these were employees, students including undergraduates and graduate students and we began in earnest on this process. [14:53]
After the initial collection process of data the committee was divided into focus areas of student success, faculty success, research enhancement, business operations and revenue enhancement, and outreach and extension programs. So those sub-committees are serving as a framework in order to bring all these ideas together from all these focus groups. Since January we’ve been hosting listening sessions around the state and we completed those and when those were done we transitioned into the on-campus sessions. I’m pleased to tell you that we will have competed all of those sessions tomorrow. I think they have been very productive by all reports, of course I couldn’t sit in on all of them, but we had over 300 faculty participate in that process. So I would like to thank all of you that took time out of your busy schedules to participate in those discussions and contribute thoughts and ideas that will help us put together the best possible plan.
The sessions have focused on aspects of the university that members of the campus community think are important, both things that we should continue to do and things that we either need to change or make a higher priority in the future. So I think all of this will help us come up with the best possible recommendation for the president. Once we’ve completed this process, starting Friday the Steering Committee will meet on Friday and start to look at all of the input that we have gotten from all the focus groups. So the 10 regional ones around the state and all the ones on campus with over 300 faculty, will pull all of that together and our goal is to have a first draft in May. So there will be some time for reflection and review, discussions with the president and fulfill his charge of having a recommendation for him to discuss with the Board of Trustees in June.
Dr. Gogue has mentioned SACS so I won’t say much more about that except that ask any of you that have interactions with our peer reviewers while they are here, if you are asked about the QEP, if asked if you are familiar with the QEP please answer yes. Don’t hesitate and have this blank look on your face because we have talked about it a lot. There is a lot of information available on the Web site. I think Drew would tell you in just a few minutes you can read the executive summary, it’s just 3 or 4 pages, and that is what a faculty member at Auburn should know about that (the QEP).
We continue to prepare for the second annual Research Week. [18:02] This is truly a work in process, it’s exciting to see how this program has grown and how it’s created an opportunity for students and faculty to profile their work, share thoughts and ideas, and do that as a community of scholars. Registration closes tomorrow. I thought you’d be interested to know we already have 650 participants registered and already have 300 commitments for presentations, evenly split between poster presentations and platform presentations. So I think it’s a great opportunity to bring our academic community to talk about research.
Just a couple of highlights, on April 1, Bennett Beardon, chair of the Alabama Water Agency’s working group will give a keynote address at AUM. I mention that first because I want you to realize that this program has now grown to the point where it’s at Auburn and it’s at AUM Research Week so there will be a lot of interaction. On April 2nd we’ll host the opening kick off on the Auburn campus starting at 11:00 a.m. in the auditorium at the AU Hotel and Conference Center. Keynote speakers will be David Harris, an Auburn alum and Cambridge Scholar, Peter Karevia, chief scientist for Nature Conservancy and a special presentation on publication and scholarship in the digital age by David Bolter of Georgia Tech University. So we look forward to those presentations I think that will be exciting.
I have probably not talked enough at previous presentations so I wanted to take this opportunity to comment on the importance of the Common Book, also referred to as Auburn Connects. There is a lot going on this week. This year’s book is the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. We will welcome Henrietta’s son, Sonny Lacks and his son, David Lacks, and also Dr. Ruth Fadden, the director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bio-ethics and they will be on campus on Thursday the 21st. I’d like to encourage all of you to attend the open session in the Foy Auditorium between 7 and 9 p.m. on Thursday evening, March 21.
Lastly I am pleased to announce that following a national search, Melissa Bowman, currently at Michigan State University will become an Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies and the Director of our Honors Program. Dr. Bowman will be on campus and begin work for Auburn University in June, I think June 1 is her first day of employment. She is currently a member of the department of chemical engineering and material science at Michigan State where she has established a strong program in bio-engineering. Her academic home at Auburn University will be in the department of Mechanical Engineering. So I will look for her to come to a future meeting of the University Senate and be introduced at that time.
Thank you very much, I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you very much Tim, It is now my pleasure to introduce to you a new employee at Auburn University, this is Judge Howard Bryan. Judge Bryan is joining us as our interim ombudsperson. I am very grateful to the search committee for doing such a fine job in bringing him here and wanted to come to the podium and say a few words to you, Judge Bryan.
Howard Bryan, interim ombudsperson: I really appreciate it, I will be brief, I would say I’d be short, but that’s obvious. First of all I want to thank president Gogue for giving me the opportunity to be your ombudsman, and I want to thank you for letting me be here today to introduce myself and let you put a face with a title.
I was elected District Judge of Chambers County in January of 1977 and served as District Judge of Chambers County until April of 1980 when I was appointed Circuit Judge by Governor Fob James. I served as Circuit Judge in the 5th Circuit, which is Chambers, Macon, Tallapoosa, and Randolph Counties for 27 years. I retired in 2007. Since I retired I have been doing enough civil and domestic mediation to support my golf habit. I am really glad to be here, I look forward to working with all of you. I expect that I will have a substantial amount of free time on my hands because I can’t imagine there being any disputes among faculty, staff, and administration. So just come on by and we’ll sit and drink coffee and we’ll talk about why the legislature of the state of Alabama should be in a secure mental facility, in perpetuity. (much laughter) Thank you for letting me be here. [24:13]
Bill Sauser, chair: How delightful and how wonderful to have you here on campus. We appreciate your doing this fine service for us.
Many of us remember fondly the late Dr. Glenn Howze. Glenn was a champion for academic freedom on this university and our local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) annually gives an Academic Freedom award in his honor. And we would like to call to the podium Dr. Herb Rotfeld to present the Glenn Howze Academic Freedom Award.
Herb Rotfeld, President of AAUP-Auburn University Chapter: Before presenting the Award itself I am going to take a minute to answer a question I got when I was talking to some new faculty on campus last fall and one person asked the question, “is there academic freedom at Auburn?” And the answer is, right now, yes we are doing pretty good. There have been some times of uncertainty, some times of difficulty. At this podium, April 13, 1999, Glenn Howze gave his farewell speech as senate chair. And I don’t remember it happening any time before, I know it hasn’t happened any time since, it ended with a standing ovation from all of those present. And when he passed on one person wrote that the roar of a mighty lion who selflessly defended academic freedom, diversity, and simple justice for all has been silenced. Also noteable is in January 2004, the State Senate in Alabama, our State Senate which we can talk about their problems, passed a resolution commending Glenn Howze for among other things, his leadership at Auburn. And when he left us a couple of years ago the AAUP membership and executive committee very quickly said yes, we will name the award for academic freedom after Glenn.
Is there academic freedom at Auburn? Actually even our members don’t necessarily know who are the leaders of the organization and who’s around in different areas and if we are doing our job since we are not a union, we are just an advocacy group, you don’t hear about what we’re doing. We are successful, we are able to influence change for the betterment in defense of Auburn. You do not hear stories like you do at some other universities where a faculty member saying things that might offend the army corps of engineers even though his research is founded to be correct, accurate, and true, runs in the prom and gets fired. You don’t hear these sorts of things. We have an administration right now that is in support of academic freedom, and for things that pop up, the leadership of the association does a fairly good job of chasing after this. I would say the leadership meaning before me because I’ve not had anything that really comes forward as a big problem, but our recipient of the award this year, James Goldstein, is a person who’s been a major force–and he’s over there if you are looking around, I see heads craning–James Goldstein has been a major force on many factors personally meeting with the Provost’s Office or other people who are involved with particular issues and making sure that details of the Faculty Handbook come out stating things in terms of protecting faculty, academic freedom, and prerogatives in shared governance. Protecting various important factors for the faculty on this campus. We have academic freedom at Auburn. We are better off than a lot of other schools where my friends are at other campuses, other places, and we owe that to the people who do jobs like James Goldstein has said and accomplished for years in his quiet roll as a faculty leader.
It has been an honor to sit by him and deal with different details and listen to his concerns brought forward. He is an important part of why there is strong academic freedom present at Auburn today. He does not have the bombast of Glenn Howze, he does not get people angry, like some other past recipients of the award, he has success. And for this year, 2013, the Glenn Howze Academic Freedom Award goes to our distinguished colleague, James Goldstein. Sir. [29:40]
James Goldstein, AAUP Award recipient: Thank you Herb for that wonderful speech. I am totally blown away by that. I am very honored to be chosen to receive this award that was named after Glenn. To pick up on the shortness trope, I planned to say as a Medievalist, not everybody knows that this was actually a Medieval saying but I always have felt in my work for the AAUP like a dwarf standing on giant shoulders. Glenn, certainly was one of the many of the current and former colleagues that I have looked up to who are inspiring AAUP members and activists have been an inspiration to me. I am here to tell you that the AAUP does matter even if our numbers are not large we play an important roll and continue to play an important roll both nationally and locally on campus. I hope that will continue to work together to help insure academic freedom and the faculty’s roll in shared governance and academic freedom for all faculty at Auburn. Thank you very much. [31:21]
Bill Sauser, chair: James Goldstein is a great friend, a scholar, a wonderful conversationalist, and a true champion of academic freedom at Auburn University. James we are delighted that you have received this award from our chapter AAUP. Thank you Herb for presenting it.
Next item on our agenda is an information item that I think many of us have been waiting for, we’ve been talking for years about parking problems at Auburn University. Well, now we are seeking to do something about it and I really appreciate that. We are going to hear a report from Dan King about a comprehensive study that’s been made of parking issues in the core of campus and some recommendations that are coming forward. Dan let me call you forward to make that presentation and thank you for bringing it to us today.
Dan King, Asst. VP of Facilities: Well after the prior presentation that’s going to be a pretty tough act to follow. My presentation is going to be more pedestrian, no pun intended, than academic freedom, but it has to do with campus parking, a topic near and dear to many people here. This has really been done in the context of the master planning process for the university. We’ve been working on this for about a year now, the master planning process has a lot of different elements that we are trying to look at, a key one of course is parking because it’s a vital resource on campus that impacts quality of life for faculty and staff, makes the campus usable or less usable depending on the parking situation.
So we have looked at this, and this isn’t the first time we’ve plowed this ground, but I think this time for the master plan we were able to incorporate some elements that we haven’t before to better portray the situation that the campus is in. So we specifically focused on the core of campus and tried to take a look at dividing up the core in 3 major areas. The red line on the diagram there shows the core as we defined it. [34:20] College Avenue to the right hand side on the east, laser is not real powerful here, Magnolia to the North, South Donahue to the left and west, and West Samford to the south. So 3 different areas to analyze what is the parking situation and needs. It’s pretty easy to calculate how many parking spots there are, you can just go out and count them or go on a diagram of a campus map and count them.
So the first thing we did which did not anything new to the analysis, but we counted the number of spaces for faculty and staff parking in the different sectors of campus. You can see the north central core, mid central core of 400–500, about 1,000 in the south central core. The big yellow blocks are the parking structures, that’s the Library parking structure, that’s the stadium parking structure, and down toward the bottom the south Quad parking structure along Lem Morrison (Drive), that’s actually out of the core. So anyway a little over 2,000 spaces in the core of campus.
This represents the advancement of the analysis over where we understood the problem before. We tried to map in every building how many faculty and staff worked in those specific buildings during the course of the day based on office spaces and developed a density diagram, if you will, of personnel, faculty and staff, in 3 different sections of campus. So you can see in the north central core we have over 1,400 people, a little over 900 in the mid-central core, and 1,200 in the south central core with the bulk of those being along south college in Rouse, Funchess, and those kind of places. So overall 3,600 faculty and staff in the core of campus, we put those two together on the next slide and you get to show where the problem is. Anecdotally I think we all understood, at least the people in this room could anecdotally have told us that in the north east corner of campus, closest to Samford, that’s really where the biggest problem is. And this shows in a more quantitative fashion, we have 533 parking slots with 1,400 faculty and staff trying to park there in the north central core, so that’s really where our biggest parking shortfall is, It’s where the worst overall parking is on campus. The mid-central core is not tremendously better with a ration of 2 to 1, faculty and staff to parking spots, north central core was almost 3 to 1, and then in the south central core it’s almost pretty even. The numbers match up pretty well there. They may not be as convenient and the reason why it does pretty well is the stadium parking deck is here, but that is a long way in you work up in these areas along South College. Overall the numbers work a little bit better there. So 2,100 parking slots, 3,600 folks trying to occupy those spots everyday, and converting that into a ratio of how many spaces per full time equivalent do we have, and you can see .37, .49, .90, overall blended all together the core of campus is about .59. The national standard is about .7, so we are behind the national standard for about half of that in the north central core, 80% of that roughly in the mid-central core, and we actually exceed it in the south central. There may be some distance between the stadium parking deck and where the people are. To be at the 85 percentile we’d have to be at a ratio value of .92 and we are there at the south central core and we’re half of that in the mid central and a little bit more than a third in the north central core. So it tells us where the shortfall is in a more numerical fashion than we were able to do previously.
We took a look at all the potential parking structures that could be built, there is no particular new list we’ve know of these for a while. There is a list of them here and they are lettered as you go around with the number of spaces that you could potentially build there.
Doing some analysis of those parking spaces (to increase) the number of spaces, if you were to build a parking structure in place of surface parking the third column shows the net increase of spaces. We took a look at who the potential users would be, pedestrian access, the cost which is critical and one of the main drivers here, and some analysis of the cost per space and that’s related to the net number of parking spaces. The more you have to build and the more you loose from what was there before you get a lower net and causes the cost per space to go up, generally speaking the cost per space is the same but the net changes, and whether some demolition would be involved. So we did analysis and looked at all that. All of our master planning issues are eventually taken to the Executive Facilities Committee for approval and to make a recommendation to President Gogue and ultimately the Board of Trustees.
This slide shows what the recommendation covered last week and there’s really two recommendations, the first would be, in the master plan what would be the university’s recommendations be to improve faculty and staff parking? The second one in the next slide is what would the recommendation be of parking structures that would improve commuter and special event parking, those are two different requirements.
Go back to slide 10. The top 2 priorities, one is to build a parking structure at the north east quad, it’s where the engineering shops and L Building are currently. Those would have to be demolished, and we have to move some labs out of there, and build a parking structure there. So in this area of campus is the closest spot that we can really get to the north east core, from engineering to Biggin and Samford Hall to help out the north core. The second priority would be to replace the Library parking deck, to rebuild it bigger. This would help the northeast section of campus and the mid central core during the day time for faculty and staff. The library could handle a much bigger facility and would blend in pretty well and the real side benefit, which is significant at night, is that more of the students could park in the library structure at night and be closer and not have to hike somewhere farther so when they come out late it is safer.
So the top 2 priorities are the north east quadrant garage and an enlarged Library parking deck. In time if we ever replace and hopefully we will, Funchess and Upchurch on Ag Hill [44:10] which is “J” here, these are notational buildings to replace Funchess and Upchurch and built a new COSAM structure, parking may open up where Funchess was and you could build a pretty good parking garage there particularily if the buildings are relocated in the existing parking lots.
The last parking would be at the east village. Here is the Lowder Business Building. Under the assumption that hopefully someday in the not too distant future we tear down the food service warehouse on South Donahue corner of Magnolia, there is expansion capability for the business school if we needed it. Obviously this shows the parking lot that is currently at Lowder, you could green it up and make it nicer there, you could build a large parking garage where “D” is currently village parking and still have room for academic facilities along Magnolia just to the north of “D”. So that would be the forth priority for faculty and staff with the thought that D would help business school expansion or possibly Pharmacy or whatever else would have to happen kind of to the east side of South Donahue.
Then for the commuter and special event parking, at some point in the not too distant future, maybe 2–3 years from now, we will be able to tear the Coliseum down. The initial thought on that is we would put surface parking there. Not sure what will be used in the long run but in the near term build surface parking there because that could serve as parking for commuter students during the day and special events at night and weekends like basketball, baseball, football games.
Ultimately in the long run, if there was a big demand for that, this is “E” where the coliseum currently is, the surface parking would also serve greater parking and access to the new wellness center, which will be there. [47:10] Ultimately several or many years down the road you could replace that with a very large parking structure, 1,200 spaces or something like that, it could be pretty large. That would actually be the third priority, and the second this would actually be the CDV housing site, eventually build surface parking there. That may eventually be a master plan site for additional student housing if we would need ot house all freshman students on campus. So surface parking would kind of land bank that and if it was determined not to build student housing there and build it up in the village lot (you see the two buildings to the left of D there), that could also be a housing site. So you’ve got some flexibility on housing sites there and there could be surface parking or a parking structure.
So those would be the recommendations, just recommendations with not a strong commitment for funding at this point, that would have to be sorted out over more time, but those are the recommendations that we would go forward with in the master plan if approved by the president and then if approved by the Board of Trustees. [48:32] Any questions? I’d be happy to take any questions or comments that you’ve got. Thank you.
Bill Sauser, chair: Thank you very much Dan. I also encourage you to look at the backup documents that you will find with the agenda. A lot of good information there you can see some of the results of the excellent planning work that’s being done with respect to our campus.
It is a tradition that the chair of the University Senate and the General Faculty makes a short presentation at the spring meeting. And so I will do that. I will provide a faculty chair’s report. There it is, that’s not all of it, but there it is. [49:29]
I do want to begin like I often do during the Senate meetings by acknowledging and recognizing the various elected officers who serve you very well. The immediate past chair is Ann Beth Presley and she’s right here; I am the chair; the chair-ellect is Larry Crowley; secretary is Robin Jaffe, there’s Robin; and next to him is our secretary-elect, Judy Sheppard. The parliamentarian is Constance Hendricks and our administrative assistant is Laura Kloberg. These 6 individuals work very hard on your behalf day after day and I always like to recognize them so that you might do so also when you see them and thank them individually.
I do have a word of welcome. I want to welcome Judge Bryan, who has already spoken to us. We like to have you here on campus and helping us out as our interim ombudsperson. I am also pleased to welcome Melissa Bowman, of course she’s not with us yet she will be joining us shortly, but she is going to be our Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Honors College. It was a delight to hear that announcement made, thank you so much Tim, we are so glad to have her on board. We are also very thankful to the two search committees that have worked hard to bring these individuals to campus. They have a lot of talent, they are going to do us a lot of good and we appreciate the hard work.
Also I see I have on my pin from last year, the 2012 Faculty/Staff Campaign pin. I want to ask you to participate again this year. We have the 2013 Faculty/Staff Campaign now underway. It began earlier this week and I’d like to invite you, please, to participate. Make a pledge or a donation to the foundation to support the university. Our ultimate goal is 100 percent participation. We haven’t reached it yet, we are going to reach it one of these days and wouldn’t it be nice if it were this year. I want to thank also the many people who volunteered to make this the most successful campaign ever, volunteers within every college, school, and unit.
Here’s what I want to ask you to do, give a dollar, or give $10, or give $100 or give $1,000. The key is percentage of participation. That’s the goal for this particular campaign, percentage of contribution. That’s even more important than the total dollars collected and let me tell you why. When our development officers go and they call on the big money people, the folks who make the big bucks who have the ability to support some of these large projects at Auburn University, when they call on them typically one of the first questions they ask; if your people at Auburn University think it’s so important, how many of the faculty and staff have given to the campaign? When they come back with an answer of 100 percent, boy the big bucks will sit up and take notice won’t they? And that’s the whole key, the more participation we have on campus from those of us who are not in that league, but are willing to give a dollar or ten or a hundred or a thousand; the more participation we show the better chances our development specialists are going to have when they go forward to ask for the ten million dollar gifts.
I want to talk about some priorities. At the beginning of the academic year the Senate Executive Committee got together and we established ten priorities for action this year. Ten things that we would like to see accomplished by the end of the academic year. [53:44] These are multi-year priorities, some of them so we want to make as much progress this year as we can, move into next year to accomplish some of them. None the less your faculty officers are committed to accomplishing all ten. So let’s see how we are doing.
Okay here’s the first priority we set. We wanted to maintain a productive working relationship with the administration and with the Board of Trustees. That’s the way it should be at a great university and that’s what we want at this university. Well I’ve been on the faculty here for parts of 5 decades. I came in the 1970s, I was here in the 1980s, the 1990s, the 00s and the 10s, so I’ve been here for about 5 decades and I would say that at this point in the history of Auburn University we have the best relationships we’ve ever enjoyed among the faculty, the Board of Trustees, and the Administration, I think the best we’ve ever had. I’d like to take responsibility for that and take the credit, but it’s not me folks, I know better, I want to give thanks to the people who really have earned it. First I want to thank the Board of Trustees for acting responsibly within a policy setting role. They’ve taken it upon themselves and they are policing themselves to see to it that they work in a policy setting role and they leave the day-to-day administration of the university in the able hands of our president and essential administrative team and the rest of us throughout the university. So the Board has acted quite responsibly over the past several years.
I want to thank Dr. Gogue. Dr. Gogue came to this university seeking to make some changes in our organizational culture, it’s been very evident the success that he’s had in creating an organizational culture that supports shared governance. And joining Dr. Gogue, Dr. Boosinger, Dr. Large, they have been wonderful to work with, all of our university officers. We are starting to see that culture evolve we are seeing it permeate throughout the university into the deans offices, departmental offices and I think we are starting to see the dawning of the kind of culture that we have all dreamed of. So thank you Dr. Gogue for setting that tone.
Third, let’s talk about the real champions. We just mentioned one, Glenn Howze. The champions who have really worked about this over the 5 decades that I’ve been here have been your elected faculty officers. Faculty officers, year after year after year, sometimes toiling under difficult circumstances, they are the real champions and they are the people I want to acknowledge and some of them are sitting here in this room today. I want to ask all of our former chairs and secretaries to please rise and be recognized. Come on Don’t be shy, there they are. We want to thank you for your hard work over the years are starting to pay off. What a dream come true, thank you.
Our second priority, to accomplish Auburn University SACS (commission on colleges) accreditation reaffirmation, well the year is not up yet and we are right on the cusp of success. Indeed the visitation team will be here next week, we are going to impress them, everyone knows what the QEP project is right? We have a great faculty here and we are going to impress this visiting team, I am certain.
I want to acknowledge the work that Dr. Drew Clark has done, is Drew still here or did he go back to work. Drew has provided a lot of leadership in terms of organizing all of this effort. Of course it’s not just Drew and his staff alone, faculty throughout the university have worked very hard on writing reports, gathering data, holding interviews, meeting with people and working toward this reaffirmation. It’s been a real team effort and I think we are going to see it pay off. I am very hopeful that at their next annual meeting we are going to hear that Auburn University’s accreditation has indeed been reaffirmed, and we will have met that priority.
The third one that we have, we heard a little bit about this one as well. We wanted to see that faculty participated actively, had the opportunity and took the opportunity to participate actively in the strategic planning and priorities that we have underway at the university. [58:54] The president established a very ambitious set of strategic goals for his first 5 years and by golly we hit 80% of them or more, and those that aren’t finished yet well they are still on the list, they’ve got to get done. We’re now in the process of preparing the university to thrive in the future, so we are putting together a plan for 2013–18. It’s been a great process. Dr. Gogue has been very welcoming of faculty input and all of us have had the opportunity to make input.
I want to thank Tim Boosinger and I want to thank Julie Huff, Julie’s not here right now she’s out organizing yet another planning session for today. She has worked very hard on this effort. We’ve had 10 planning sessions that have been conducted throughout the state. There have been Auburn University Faculty leaders at every one of them. I went to the one in Mobile, they are dynamite, they are really good we have elected leaders, we have alumni, we have friends of Auburn, we have some people who have not previously been affiliated with Auburn and they have been wowed by what we are doing. We are making friends and gathering good information. Ten sessions throughout the state and now on campus, 25 sessions to which faculty, and students, and administrative staff have been invited. We’ve had great participation. I have facilitate 4 of those and have one more to do tomorrow. Wonderful ideas, just terrific ideas that are bubbling up and I think we are going to have an exciting and challenging strategic plan to put forward to guide us over the next 5 years. And Dr. Gogue, I warned the group this morning, no matter how challenging it is, once it gets out of his hands it’s going to be a little more challenging because he’s not going to let us get by with anything other than the best. I want to thank all of you for participating there are still plenty more opportunities, we have forums coming up other opportunities for you to participate. Please get involved this has been a real star of our work as a faculty this year.
The forth priority, help shape the updating of the Auburn University campus master plan. You’ve seen just a little bit of that work presented to you today. We’ve had other presentations on the floor of the Senate earlier this year. A lot of work has been done here as faculty. Faculty members are being asked to and are stepping up to the plate and providing good ideas into this master planning process, every phase of the process we’ve been involved. Provost forums, presentations to the faculty, a master plan update committee on which several faculty members are serving, an executive facilities committee. This is the committee that makes final recommendations to the president, who then takes tem to the Board. I’m serving as your representative on that committee, it’s been a very hard working exciting committee to be part of and there is a commitment that your elected faculty chair will be a member of that committee ongoing. So there’s been a lot of good work. Take a look at those supporting documents because hidden toward the back you’ll see a little glimpse of the master plan, what this campus might look like 10–20 years down the road. And folks it’s going to be a great place to work. I want to thank Dan King and I want to thank Tom Tillman who have been providing a lot of good leadership to this process and seeing to it that faculty help shape the campus of the future.
Our fifth priority was to foster student success and retention. We heard about the difficulties that we’ve had and how it’s hurting our reputation. We have very good students here and they are getting stronger and stronger in terms of academic preparation. What we need to do is help them succeed and graduate, graduate on time. [1:03:14] We’ve got a lot of work to do here, let’s be frank about it. We’re just starting into that process. There’s a lot of work to do, but some of the things that have occurred already, some additional advisors have been hired to work in departments, colleges, and schools. That’s a big step forward, seeing to it that our students have quality advisement.
We also as a body have passed the early alert grade process for core courses and I think that’s going to help to give our students a little warning as to how they are doing so they can start working getting counseling, getting help with staying on course.
I want to thank Tim Boosinger for providing leadership in this area, Constance Rehlihan who has just been a champion here and doing some great work. And Herb Rotfeld I want to thank Herb and the entire Retention Committee, I’ve read the reports and I know there’s some really good ideas coming. I’ve heard about them, I’m not going to preview them right now but there’s some great ideas coming down the pike. You will be hearing about them early next academic year if not over the summer we are going to have some exciting ideas to help fostering student success and retention.
The sixth priority was to complete the revision of the Auburn University Faculty Handbook, my goodness, when did we start that, it’s been at least 5 years. I remember because I was on the committee at the time. We’re almost there. We’ve been working now for 5 years. Phase I revision was put into effect, Phase II revision of the Handbook is now in effect, and Phase III of the Handbook is up for a vote in two weeks. You’ve all had an opportunity to see the proposed Phase III Handbook, invite you to come back in a couple of weeks to the Senate meeting or to send your Senate Representatives because we are going to vote on adopting it. There may be some amendments, there may be some corrections, there may be some new ideas brought forward but I’m feeling pretty confident, we’re going to complete the revision of the AU Faculty Handbook this year.
So more thanks are due, I want to thank Emmett Winn. Emmett you’ve put a lot of work into this and it shows and I want to thank Sue Barry, she is probably reading through it one more time as we speak, but Sue Barry and the entire Faculty Handbook Review Committee they have just done a dynamite job. They worked very hard at this, it’s a small committee. And think about if you read through the whole thing like I have, my goodness, it takes a long time. They’ve been doing a great job to meet that priority.
The seventh one, now this is an ongoing one, this is going to take a while to accomplish our ultimate dream, but the seventh priority is to strengthen the roll of the Senate and University Committees in the governance processes of this university, our ultimate goal. This is what Larry and I and your other elected officers have talked about. Our ultimate goal is that every proposed policy or every proposed action on this campus that affect academic issues and or faculty welfare, that those policies be vetted by one or more appropriate committees, one of these standing committees that we have on board, that it be vetted, reviewed very carefully and brought forward to the Senate for our review and discussion, such that we can truly be advisory to the president on all of these policies. The president has the authority to adopt the policy or to send it back for more work or to reject it. None-the-less we want to provide very good solid advise. Committee members and committee chairs are the key to this success. If we’re going to be successful in this effort it’s going to take strong committee members and chairs. Everybody who worked on a university or senate committee or served as chair of one, stand up for me for a second so that I can see you; there are a few, we have some here. Folks, here’s the grass roots, I want to thank each and every one of you. This is the grassroots of faculty governance. If we are going to maintain our academic freedom and have strong faculty governance here it’s because of you.
Here’s what I want you to do. To make this work we’ve got to have strong faculty participation. What I want you to do is to get out there and rattle their cages and get your colleagues to participate. When we send out that call for committees, we want to be overwhelmed with faculty members raring to participate. And when you get that call from Larry, like some of you got from me this year, someone asking you “would you please serve as chair of one of these university or Senate committees?”, when you get that call, say “yes. I’ll step up, and I too will be a champion for shared governance at Auburn University.”
In addition to the faculty of course, it takes two thanks again to Dr. Gogue, Dr. Boosinger, Dr. Large, and our other administrative leaders they’ve been very receptive it is a change of culture, there are a shakes and knocks and jerks and that’s okay. What’s really meaningful to me is that we are seeing the process begin to work and I’m excited about that. [1:09:03]
The eighth priority, improve the total compensation package for Auburn University employees. We don’t care much about that one so we can skip it can’t we? (said jokingly) Yes this is a high priority. I want to publically thank the Board of Trustees, as we have in the past I want to thank the Board for approving merit increases that went in effect in October and also the one-time adjustment that was distributed in December, it helps. They were aware, we were aware that it is just a little bit and it was offset by some actions taken by the legislature, we know that. So maybe we are not a whole lot better off, but we are better off than we would have been had they not taken that action. So we do want to thank the Board of Trustees and we’re all aware that this remains a high priority. I aware of that, it’s a high priority in next year’s budget and as that budget is being assembled, Don and his people the budget advisory group, we’re going to work very hard to maintain that particular priority.
The ninth priority was to provide guidance in producing the Central Classroom Facility. Wow, did that work. This really happened, we had multiple Provost Forums, many of you attended those Forums, a strong university advisory committee was put together to prepare the program for the building, we had lots of opportunities for input and we took that input, didn’t we? We are going to have an outstanding Central Classroom Facility, if not two of them. What I’m getting at of course is that the program has been adopted, sites have been determined and in fact we are looking at Classroom Facility 1 and perhaps even Classroom Facility 2 to share in the programming that’s been put together. People have worked really hard on this, Emmett Winn, Emmett thank you; Robin Jaffe, boy Robin you’ve been a hero on this representing you, he is your representative on the committee, there’s also been lots of other faculty members involved and I really want to thank them.
Finally let’s move to the tenth of the ten priorities. Establish a Performing Arts Center as an Auburn University priority. Another success, folks, another success, we’ve been talking about this for years. Now this is a dream for many of us and we know everyone in this room would like to see a beautiful Performing Arts Center located here on our campus. I am delighted to tell you that in this Campus Master Plan, if you take a peek at those materials that Dan sneaked in the back you will see that there is now space reserved on this campus for a Performing Arts Center. It’s wonderful space right across from the Jule Collins Smith Art Museum. What a nice gateway to this campus it’s going to be, with a beautiful museum on one side and a Performing Arts Center on the other and a welcome center right there as well. That’s going to be a wonderful gateway.
We have the Performing Arts Center now established as a priority item in the university’s fund raising campaign, folks, we’re going to have to make that happen. You understand that the university’s budget is tight, but we’re going to make that happen, it’s going to happen. So let’s all roll up our sleeves be prepared for a great coming year. Larry Crowley’s going to replace me at the end of this academic year, it’s July 1 and it’s coming soon Larry. I can guarantee you that you will be in really good hands with Larry and Judy’s leadership as well. Thank you everybody for listening to my commentary.
I do want to ask if there is any unfinished business? Seeing none is there any new business? Ah, we have some unfinished business.
Larry Crowley, chair-elect: He was going to close out pretty quick wasn’t he? He was heading home, reminds me of growing up in Texas, once you turn the horses head toward the barn the ride’s about over with, and I understand that. I won’t take long.
I want to let you know a little bit about the process we went into in determining the new leadership. There was a nominating committee appointed independent of any established committee that we have in the Senate. They went out looking for potential candidates and they got two, Patricia Duffy volunteered to run for Senate Chair as well as Michael Baginski. Then for Secretary we had Gislea Buschle-Diller and Margaret Flores. Then you voted. We opened the vote prior to spring break, closed it yesterday at 5:00 p.m. Robin was so anxious to move on that he called me just prior to it and said, “my job is almost done,” I told him to wait until after 5, and he called me back from Sears. But I did want to announce the results. Patricia Duffy has been elected the incoming Senate chair-elect and Gisela Buschle-Diller has been elected the incoming secretary-elect. Let’s give everybody a big applause.
With that I will turn it back over to the chair because I think he is halfway done with his closing remarks.
Bill Sauser, chair: My goodness I was, Patricia and Gisela, congratulations to you both and thank you for your willingness to serve. We are going to be in great hands for the future, I can tell.
Okay, is there any new business? Hearing none, is there any other material to come before this body today? No. We are adjourned. [1:15:44]