AU REPORT |
January 25, 1999
Editor: Roy Summerford. Contributing editors: Bob Lowry, Janet McCoy and David Granger. University Relations Executive Director: Pete Pepinsky. The AU Report is the faculty/staff newsletter of Auburn University and is published by the Office of University Relations at Auburn University. Direct correspondence to AU Report, 23 Samford Hall, Auburn University, Ala. 36849-5109. Telephone 334/844-9999.Electronic mail: email@example.com
Rows and stacks of construction materials are becoming the dominant scene on the northwest side of campus as work gets under way on the addition of hundreds of new parking spaces on the eastern part of Max Morris Drill Field. Although most roads in the area will remain open, Facilities Division officials say traffic will be diverted or slowed in some areas at times. Work has also started on renovation of Wilmore Labs, blocking some parking areas and rerouting of traffic in that area.
AU Board approves new plan for goals, priorities
The AU Board of Trustees on Jan. 22 authorized President William Muse to take steps to make the university more financially competitive with peer institutions in the Southeast.
The steps were outlined in recommendations from a commission created last year by the board to review the role of Auburn in the 21st century. The changes had been recommended by Muse and most were based on earlier recommendations by committees.
The board's approval enables university administrators from department heads to the president to begin using the plan's goals in budget development for the 1999-2000 fiscal year, which starts Oct.1.
The plan was assembled over the summer and fall of 1998 and drew heavily from the 21st Century Commission's recommendations of 1997.
Chief goals of the plan for the Auburn campus are:
* Raise faculty salaries to 100 percent of the Southern Regional Education Board averages for doctoral level universities by 2004 and raise employee groups to 100 percent of the average for their peer groups by the same time.
* Increase expenditures on deferred maintenance for facilities to an annual budgeted amount of $10 million by 2004.
* Increase departmental operating budgets by 3 percent per year during the five-year period.
* Set aside $1 million per year for the provost to supplement support for the core curriculum, instructional technology, library resources and enhancement of campus diversity.
* Designate seven academic areas as "peaks of excellence" to be eligible for enhancement funding. Those areas are fisheries and allied aquacultures, poultry science, biological sciences, detection and food safety, transportation, information technology and forestry and wildlife sciences.
* Select additional "peaks of excellence" each year as criteria, procedures
and funding availability permit.
Those goals would be met through a series of funding initiatives, including internal savings, administrative changes, reallocations, and annual tuition increases.
Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System are also covered.
The board added two conditions to the plan.
One stipulates that goals relating to salary increases can be achieved only if funding projected from program terminations and other reallocation efforts meets projections.
Muse noted that final consideration of the proposed termination or merger
of academic programs in nine areas would come after a university
committee makes its recommendations to the president on April 2.
However, he added, the deans of any of those programs identified to be spared would have to come up with alternate cuts to produce the same amount of savings for reallocation.
The other condition in the board's resolution would inversely link tuition increases to state allocations. Tuition increases would be 6 percent per year for the main campus from 1999-2004, with the amount of the increase reduced proportionate with state funding increases beyond 1 percent per year. A moderate or large increase in state funding would make a tuition increase unnecessary for that year under the plan approved by the board.
Board approval came after President Pro Tempore Jimmy Samford and State School Superintendent Ed Richardson urged action to permit its implementation. Richardson, an ex-officio member of the board, was co chair of the review commission, which made its recommendations in November. Samford, a member of that commission, noted that trustees not on the commission had asked for the extra time to consider the report.
Outsourcing bids on food services to be sought
Auburn officials will solicit proposals on outsourcing of cafeterias and food services on campus following a Jan. 22 decision by the AU Board of Trustees.
Executive Vice President Don Large noted that the university may examine the proposals from private contractors and decide to keep the existing self-administered program. But, he said, the dining industry has become so competitive and consumer tastes are changing so fast that the university has an obligation to investigate the possibility of outsourcing.
Large said campus food services have been well managed and operated, but continuing changes in the industry have prompted the administration to examine the university's needs from a long-term perspective. "It is the responsible thing to do to at least seek proposals," he said.
Any decision to outsource the food services would include continuation
within the state retirement system for a large number of employees who
are within two years of retirement. Under the proposal from
Administrative Services, others would be considered for transfer to other posts within the university if the university accepts a private vendor's offer.
AU to offer early retirement incentive to ACES employees
The AU Board of Trustees on Jan. 22 approved a request from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System to offer early retirement incentives to ACES employees who are members of the state's Employees Retirement System.
ACES Executive Director Stephen Jones said 34 employees have indicated they would accept the offer, which is being developed to help offset a $1 million budget shortfall. Those eligible for the early buyout, similar to one for AU employees three years ago, were ACES employees before the system began bringing new employees under the same retirement plan as other AU employees in 1984.
Jones said the budget shortfall resulted from a higher than expected allocation from the Retirement Systems of Alabama to cover the employers' contribution for the 201 ACES specialists and county agents still under the ERS retirement plan.
The board approved the buyout with the stipulation that the university determine the cost of converting all remaining ACES employees on the ERS plan to the Teachers Retirement Plan that covers other ACES and AU employees.
In other action, the board approved increases in residence hall rates averaging 3.85 percent for the main campus, renaming of the Department of Electrical Engineering to Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the appointment of new Agriculture Dean Luther Waters to the additional post of director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.
The board also passed a resolution commending Women's Basketball Coach Joe Ciampi for recently achieving his 500th career win.
AU assists federal government with biological detection role
Auburn and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement under which AU will receive property at the now-closed Fort McClellan in Anniston.
The agreement, approved Jan. 22 by the AU Board of Trustees, establishes the Auburn Research Institute at Fort McClellan.
Auburn's involvement will include work by the Institute for Biological Detection Systems in support of the Justice Department's Center for Domestic Preparedness at Fort McClellan. IBDS, based in the AU College of Veterinary Medicine, has done extensive research in the areas of bomb sniffing dogs and artificial sensors. All work through the ARI will be self supporting using external funding and will focus on the areas of detection and protection technologies.
The focus of training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness is to help prepare local and state agencies to deal with chemical, biological or nuclear terrorist acts and to handle hazardous material spills.
The Justice Department established the center in June 1998 and later decided it needed a university presence at the site to assist in its work on counter-terrorism and domestic preparedness.
Through the work of Gov. Don Siegelman, Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions and Rep. Bob Riley, Auburn was selected as the lead university for the project.
Goals for the ARI include:
* Development of performance-based training standards;
* Development of performance-based equipment standards;
* Development of the performance test protocol for use in validation;
* To initiate research when there is a discrepancy between desired standards and existing training or technology.
As part of the agreement with the Justice Department, Auburn has obtained a long term agreement for space within the department's enclave at the former Army base. In addition, Auburn will acquire the veterinary facilities and three residential units at the base.
Fort McClellan was ordered closed by the federal government as part of a 1995 report by the U.S. Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
Manning Marable keynotes Black History Month at AU
An address by a nationally prominent authority in African-American studies, an appearance by filmmaker Spike Lee and the return of Auburn's first black student are among the events scheduled in AU's celebration of Black History Month in February.
Manning Marable, professor of history and founding director of Columbia University's Institute for Research in African-American Studies, is the keynote speaker for AU's main Black History month event.
Marable, who is an author and a regular participant in television panel discussions on the politics of race, will speak on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. in the ballroom of Foy Student Union.
Marable's address, which will be preceded by a performance by the AU Gospel Choir, is sponsored by AU's Office for Minority Advancement.
Marable is working on a political biography of Malcolm X and has for more than 20 years written a syndicated column called "Along the Color Line," published in 325 periodicals throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Caribbean and India. In addition, he has written more than 200 articles for academic journals, anthologies and other scholarly publications, founded an Africana and Hispanic Studies program at Colgate University and chaired the black studies department at Ohio State University.
"We hope that Dr. Marable will convey to everyone that our young people should grow up with an appreciation of their own possibilities through the knowledge of contributions African-Americans have made to society," said Daryl Hale, AU's assistant director for minority advancement.
Spike Lee will speak at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 in the Student Activities
Building. His appearance is sponsored by the University Program Council.
Widely known for motion pictures that examine prominent themes related to the life of blacks in contemporary America, Lee's works also include the HBO documentary "4 Little Girls," which centered on the bombing of Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in 1963. He has received Oscar nominations for best screenplay ("Do the Right Thing"), best director ("Malcolm X") and best documentary feature ("4 Little Girls").
Harold Franklin, AU's first black student, returns for a lecture on the desegregation of Auburn on Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. in the Special Collections section of Draughon Library.
Franklin was a 31-year-old insurance salesman and Air Force veteran in
1964, when he became the first African-American to enroll at Auburn.
A graduate of then-Alabama State College, Franklin enrolled at Auburn to pursue a master's degree in history. Franklin stayed at Auburn for one year, but did not earn his degree. He later earned a master's degree in 1976 in international studies from the University of Denver.
* Feb. 1: "Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs - The Truth," a seminar featuring Clifford Hataway. Foy 202, 4 p.m. Sponsored by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
* Feb. 6: Stillman College Concert Choir, Foy Ballroom, 6 p.m.
* Feb. 9: "Time Management," a seminar featuring Terry A. Byrd. Foy Union Room 213, 4 p.m. Sponsored by the AU College of Business.
* Feb. 9: Singled Out Auction, 7 p.m., Langdon Hall. Sponsored by the National Panhellenic Council.
* Feb. 10: Jazz and Poetry Night, 8 p.m., Pebble Hill. Sponsored by the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association.
* Feb. 10-11: "The Inferno of Dante," a lecture by Robert Pinsky, 4 p.m., AU Hotel and Conference Center Auditorium. An event in the Littleton-Franklin series of lectures in sciences and humanities.
* Feb. 10: "Tuskegee Airmen," a free film sponsored by UPC and the Office for Minority Advancement, 7 p.m., Langdon Hall.
* Feb. 10: Nigel Andrews and the Tuskegee University Concert Choir, 6 p.m., Foy Union Ballroom.
* Feb. 13: The Dmitri Paschal String Quartet, 6 p.m., Goodwin Recital Hall.
* Feb. 17: "He Got Game," a Spike Lee film, 7 p.m., Langdon Hall. Sponsored by UPC and Minority Advancement.
* Feb. 20: Bright Glory and Birmingham Youth Jazz Ensemble, 4 p.m., Goodwin Recital Hall.
* Feb. 20: Banquet and Jazz Night Out, 7 p.m., Foy Ballroom.
* Feb. 21: Fashion Show, 4 p.m., Foy Ballroom. Sponsored by the National Society of Black Engineers. Admission is $3 or $2 and a canned good.
* Feb. 24: Auburn Gospel Choir and Gospel Roots of American Folks II, 6:30 p.m., Foy Ballroom.
AU alumni hold key roles in new Alabama Legislature
Alabama's new Legislature has a distinct Auburn flavor.
House Speaker Seth Hammett of Andalusia and Senate President Pro Tem Lowell Barron of Fyffe are AU graduates. Two other Auburn graduates in top legislative posts are Sen. Tom Butler of Madison, who holds the new post of Senate majority leader, and Rep. Jack Venable of Tallassee, chair of the powerful Rules Committee in the House.
Besides being AU graduates, Barron and Venable are members of the AU Board of Trustees.
In addition, five other senators and 17 other representatives attended Auburn and five representatives attended Auburn University at Montgomery.
The numbers do not include a large number of legislators whose family members are Auburn graduates or who otherwise have strong Auburn connections, said Buddy Mitchell, AU's director of governmental affairs.
"Auburn has more of a presence in this Legislature than in the past one and possibly more than at any other time in our history," said Mitchell.
"We don't expect to get preferred treatment, but we do hope to get a fair hearing when issues are being discussed," he added.
"The members of this Legislature, especially its leaders, are familiar with the university and its needs and have shown that they are willing to listen," Mitchell said.
"Those points are important because it is not enough to just have graduates in leadership positions -- those individuals need to have a realistic picture of the university's needs and its role in the future of Alabama."
Mitchell said he would not expect legislators to choose between the interests of Auburn and those of their districts or the state. Such conflicts are much more rare than they seemed over the past four years as funds were diverted from higher education to finance K-12 improvements, he added.
AU's governmental affairs director said leaders of the current legislature have indicated they recognize common goals for the various parts of education. The new legislative leadership, like Gov. Don Siegelman, Alabama's new governor, have promised to be more attentive to the needs of education at all levels during the next four years, he said.
AU communication efforts win awards from professional group
A variety of communication and promotional activities at Auburn last year has resulted in six awards to Alumni, Development and University Relations units and staff by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, District III.
The awards from the regional professional association recognize exceptional communication and promotional efforts by all three units in support of the university.
CASE District III covers nine Southeastern states and comprises 522
member institutions and 5,184 individual members in the institutional
advancement fields of communication, alumni relations and philanthropy.
Awards in all three units
AU's prize-winning efforts for 1998 included a worldwide, alumni club meeting organized by Alumni Affairs; a multi-media promotional effort in University Relations recognizing the achievements of several outstanding faculty; promotional efforts on behalf of an exceptional 18-year-old graduate; and a broadcast story about a computer microchip to enhance food safety.
Other awards for exceptional quality also recognized Auburn Magazine and
the Development Office's publication of its annual report to donors.
In University Relations, a marketing package featuring seven Auburn faculty members, and news media initiatives to generate coverage of an 18-year-old earning three AU degrees simultaneously have received awards.
"Leading Authorities" received a Special Merit Award. "Leading Authorities" highlighted the accomplishments of Ron Barrett, James Barth of Finance, Byron Blagburn, Wayne Flynt, Peggy Hsieh, Samuel Mockbee and Holly Stadler. The multi-media project included print and broadcast news releases, a color brochure, football program stories, presentations on the video scoreboard display in Jordan-Hare Stadium and videos for alumni clubs and legislators. News Bureau, Multi-Media Services and Photographic Services staffers in University Relations contributed to the project.
The news effort for coverage of Bhuwan Singh's graduation received a Special Merit Award in its category. Associate News Editor David Granger led the project.
University Relations also received the CASE District III Grand Award for a broadcast news story by Jim Jackson and Mike Clardy on a microchip for food safety.
Alumni Affairs staff members Tracy Hall, Kay Chesnut and Jennifer Jordan won an Award of Excellence in the Alumni Relations Project category for organizing the "World's Largest Auburn Club Meeting," via satellite relay last August.
Also in Alumni Affairs, the staff of Auburn Magazine won a Special Merit
Award in its category for production of the quarterly alumni magazine.
The magazine is produced by Editor Mike Jernigan and staff members Mary Ellen Hendrix, Angie Lowry, Shannon Hankes and Mitch Parker.
The Development Office won an Award of Excellence for its annual report, "Charting the Course," an 88-page publication prepared by Dara Kloss, Catherine Reynolds, Al Eiland, Tomie DuGas and Julie Nolen.
Starbucks outlet coming to Terrell Dining Hall
AU has contracted with Starbucks Coffee Co., the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in North America, to bring a Starbucks outlet to Terrell Dining Hall.
"With Starbucks being one of the most popular brands in the whole country, we feel like this is a great opportunity," said Ed People, AU's director of business development for auxiliary services. "This store is just another part of what we're trying to do in the Hill Residence Area."
Auxiliary Services is leading the development of a shopping mall in the Hill Residence Area. Starbucks is the latest component in that development, which will also feature branches of AU Bookstore, Copy Cat and Tiger Brands gift shop, a convenience store operated by AU Dining Services plus a Clinique cosmetics outlet and a laundry featuring coin- and card-operated machines and drop-off service.
People says the mall is expected to open in April.
"All of the venues are set," he said. "The Facilities construction team is very near to finishing the initial construction phase and then all that needs to be done is the installation of the cabinetry and fixtures."
People, who estimated the cost of the renovations to the Hill area at $230,000, said installation of the fixtures is out for bid.
The AU Starbucks is not a franchise, but is being opened under a licensing agreement that will allow AU to use the name and sell the products, said People.
Nation's poet laureate to speak at Auburn U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky will speak at Auburn on Feb. 10, as part of the 1998-99 Franklin Lectures in the Science and Humanities.
Pinsky, a faculty member at Boston University, will speak on "The Inferno of Dante" at 4 p.m. at the AU Conference Center auditorium.
In addition, Pinsky will speak to classes in the Department of English as well as to a group with the AU Academy of Lifelong Learners, said Philip Shevlin, the W. Kelly Mosley Professor of Sciences and Humanities.
The appointment in 1997 of Pinsky as the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States was based on his widely praised poetry collections, most recently The Figured Wheel, published in 1996, which was awarded such major prizes as those from the Academy of American Poets and Poetry Society of America.
In 1994 his translation of Dante's The Inferno popularized his name as the book became a best-seller, and the range of his interests is suggested by such volumes as An Explanation of America and Poetry and the World.
Electronic data storage
Xerox consultants Randy Engel, standing, and Cary McGovern demonstrate an electronic document storage and management system in a test program with Contracts and Grants Administration at Auburn.
AU moves closer to 'paperless' offices with test of new system
Auburn's Contracts and Grants Administration office served as a pilot test unit in December for an electronic document storage and management system which if implemented, will make AU the first state institution in Alabama to adopt such a system.
"No other state institution has adopted a fully electronic document management system," said Syd Spain, administrative intern with the Office of the Provost and chair of the Electronic Documents Management Committee.
Electronic document management can eliminate the need for massive filing cabinets while providing an easily retrievable and safe method for storing both active and archival files on the university's existing Groupwise servers, Spain said.
"Documents to be scanned and stored would first undergo a Records Retention Review following the AU library archives division procedures," Spain added.
University Computing and Copy Cat would be involved in the scanning and storage process. The university's Copy Cat facility has offered to provide high-speed scanning using mobile scanners at the locations of the files.
Low-cost implementation, plus the ability to improve the efficiency of document filing and storage, are two of the primary attractions of electronic document storage and management, said Spain.
Library gets rare collection of Capote works
Some one-of-a-kind works by author Truman Capote have been acquired by AU Libraries.
The Special Collections Department in Draughon Library has received a collection of Capote materials from the library of the late S. Carter Burden, an avid collector of 20th century authors.
The collection includes 81 books -- 31 of which are first editions -- some rare Capote-authored sheet music, five uncorrected publisher's proofs and two limited editions.
"This acquisition provides students and scholars at Auburn with one of the premier research collections on this accomplished but often controversial writer," said Dale Foster, head of the Special Collections Department. "It also expands our collection of Alabama literature to one of the premiere in the country."
The Capote Collection has been cataloged and is searchable on AU Libraries online catalog, AubieCat, and the collection can be viewed during normal access hours for collections housed in the Treasure Room of the Libraries Special Collections Department.
'Do Something' project seeks to aid West Alabama
An Auburn "Do Something" grant of $25,000 has been awarded to create the
"West Alabama Entrepreneurship and Leadership Program."
Political Science faculty members Keenan Grenell and Caleb Clark submitted the winning proposal.
The grant will be used to build an entrepreneurial approach to economic development in West Alabama through partnerships with public and private organizations. The proposal has two objectives -- to establish an Academy of Entrepreneurship to involve youth with entrepreneurial activities and to establish a chamber of commerce to promote economic development and business enhancement.
The academy will establish a training program in entrepreneurship and leadership for high school students, which combines academic sessions with student micro businesses. In addition, the students participated in the Youth Empowerment Day of the African-American Entrepreneurship Summit, and a select few will be sent to the Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium in Philadelphia this spring. In creating a chamber of commerce, focused leadership in economic and community development will enhance and support emerging and existing businesses.
"The real thrust of the grant will see county residents becoming more
empowered and self sufficient," said Grenell. "This project can be a
catalyst toward real development and sustainability for Hale County.
Small wins along the way can have spillover effects to other West Alabama counties."
Clark agrees that the program can be a "catalyst for profound and positive change in West Alabama.
"I think that University faculty possess many kinds of expertise that could be used to help alleviate the rural poverty conditions in West Alabama," said Clark. "The key is bringing interested parties together."
Other AU Sponsors are Robert Bernstein, chair of the Department of Political Science; John Heilman, dean of Liberal Arts; Robert Drakeford, 4 H Youth, Alabama Cooperative Extension System; Wayne Alderman, dean of the College of Business; William Sauser, associate dean of Business Outreach, College of Business; Robert Montjoy, director of the Economic Development Institute; and Devron Beasley, director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
West Alabama Collaborators are Richard Rhone and Eva Bryant, Hale County FRC/HERO Program; Teresa Costanzo, director, Hale County DHR; Paavo Hanninen, director of the University of Alabama SBDC; Mary Jolley, retired professor and Hale County activist; Katanga Mants, Hale County Cooperative Extension 4-H Coordinator; and Bob Wilson, Akron Youth Group.
Final quarter before semester switch to be shorter than others
Summer 2000, the final term before Auburn University changes from a quarter to a semester system, will be a scheduling challenge, says Christine Curtis, coordinator of AU's semester transition program.
"The challenge is to create a Summer 2000 program that meets the academic standards requirements," she said. "The schedule developed, meets academic standards and also enables the effective start of semester terms the following fall."
Auburn will institute the semester system in Fall 2000. Semester terms
will each run 15 weeks during fall and spring and contain 75 class days.
Summer term under the semester system will consist of 50 class days spread over a 10-week span.
The normal summer quarter contains 47 class days, but with classes starting earlier in fall 2000 -- on Aug. 21 -- the final summer quarter will be about 10 days shorter.
Summer 2000 classes will run 60 minutes each with 10 minutes between sessions, Curtis says. The class day will start at 7 a.m. and end at 10 p.m. Labs will be scheduled as they are under a normal quarter, and there will be some special Saturday lab sessions during the term to enable students to meet course requirements.
Saturday labs are planned for June 24; July 8, 15, 22 and 29; and possibly on Aug. 5. Times for Saturday labs are between 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 1 - 4 p.m.
"With classes ending in Summer 2000 on Aug. 8, graduation Aug. 14 and the semester Fall 2000 term starting Aug. 22, there is little room to incorporate everything during that last term under the quarter system that a viable summer term must have," Curtis added. "Solving the dilemma required some very creative planning and scheduling among the various colleges and schools."
Taylor honored by national organization
AU College of Education faculty member Janet Taylor recently received one of the highest awards in her field from the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.
Taylor, at right, a professor of curriculum and teaching, was co-winner of the national organization's Allyn & Bacon Early Childhood Teacher Educator Award. She shared the award with Sarah Lundsteen of the University of North Texas at Dallas. Allyn & Bacon Publishers sponsors the annual award.
The award, which was presented at the association's 1998 conference in Toronto, recognized Taylor for a career record of professionalism, mentoring of other educators and demonstrated commitment to the profession and personal professional development.
The 20-year AU faculty member is a former president of the association and was instrumental in setting up the organization's foundation to provide scholarships to education students nationally.
Professionally, Taylor is a nationally recognized authority in constructivist teaching methods, which stress shared learning and actively involve children in their learning activities. The methods are used in many schools whose students consistently achieve high achievement scores.
Honorary bestows rare award on Kraska Marie Kraska, an associate professor of vocational and adult education at AU, has received a laureate citation of Epsilon Pi Tau, the international honorary for professions in technology.
The award is the honorary's highest honor and was bestowed for only the third time in the 70-year history of the organization, which has members in 49 countries and 111 chapters in the U.S. Kraska, at left, received the award in December at the annual meeting of the American Vocational Association in New Orleans.
The citation cites Kraska, an AU College of Education faculty member since 1988, for her record of scholarship, teaching, international consulting and leadership in education.
Kraska, who teaches trade and industrial education courses at Auburn, was cited for contributing to advancement of education in technology through more than 47 publications, including primary or co-authorship of five books in the field.
She was also lauded for her work with the World Bank's National Education Development Project in Turkey, where she assisted in development and implementation of national standards for the education of teachers of trade and industrial education.
Raptor Center shows increase in birds treated
Auburn's Southeastern Raptor Rehabilitation Center, the Southeast's only raptor rehabilitation center, saw a 45 percent increase in the number of birds treated in 1998, compared to the previous year.
The raptor rehabilitation center at the College of Veterinary Medicine cared for 410 birds of prey, marking another record-breaking year for the 26-year-old center. In 1997, 264 birds were seen, while 133 were treated in 1996 -- both record caseloads at the time.
(Editor's Note: Campus Views is a standing feature of the AU Report in
which individual faculty
and staff members present their personal opinions on topics of interest
to the campus community.)
Blame the process, not people for problems
Blame the process, not people for problems
In April 1991, an ad hoc Committee on University Governance was formed by the Rules Committee of the University Senate.
This committee, chaired by Joe Renden, was asked to review and evaluate the process and structure of university governance and to make recommendations to the full Senate for consideration and action. I was chair of the Senate during the time that these reports were produced and had the privilege of accepting some of this work in the name of the faculty.
My belief was, and still is, that the reports of this committee constitute the most incisive and cogent analysis ever produced, by any group at Auburn, about the issues of university governance. However, the recommendations of this committee, though accepted fully by the university community, were ignored by those with the power to effect the changes called for in these documents.
Witnessing at close hand the events of the past few months at Auburn and having the perspective earned from 25 years of witnessing painfully similar events at Auburn, I am more convinced than ever that the recommendations of this committee deserve a fate far better than has been accorded them to this point. Moreover, if Auburn is to reach her full potential the changes in the governance identified in this report must be implemented.
Many of the recommendations from Dr. Renden's work had to do with internal relations between faculty and administration and, in fact, many of these have been implemented during the tenure of Dr. Muse. As a consequence of these changes Auburn was removed from AAUP censure. Moreover, those of us who have been at Auburn for what only seems like an eternity know that the faculty and administration now can scrap about many issues, but usually we work collaboratively and, often as not, are able to reach respectful accommodations, witness the recent functioning of the task force which I chaired and the save the arboretum movement.
Be assured that in years past such was not the case. However, the changes which are at the heart of our problems are not within the province of the President or the faculty to correct. What then is the center of our difficulties? To answer this question, let me review some of Auburn's dark history. As I do this, I believe that it will be very clear what is the core problem which condemns Auburn to a cycle of mistakes and missed opportunities. This history is drawn from the Governance Committee's report and my own involvement in several of the events to be recounted.
In May 1957, Bud Hutchinson, assistant professor of Economics, was fired
from Auburn University. This termination was ordered by the Board which
had made this decision in an executive (e.g. secret) meeting. In an
interview with an AAUP investigator, then AU President Draughon stated
"that the board's decision was based solely on Professor Hutchinson's
action in writing a letter to the editor of The Plainsman... this letter
which criticized a student editorial (attacking) school integration in New
York City had been published in the Feb. 20, 1957, issue of The Plainsman."
Not surprisingly, this led to the censure of Auburn by the AAUP, a censure which remained in effect from 1958 to 1964.
In 1980, following a "national" search conducted by a search committee composed only of board members, Hanly Funderburk, an Auburn alumnus and chancellor of AUM was selected as president of Auburn. Within months, Funderburk proved himself unable to deal with the complexities of managing Auburn and succeeded only in alienating every constituency of the university.
An overwhelming vote of no-confidence followed a University Senate evaluation of his administration and, in 1983, after a painful internal struggle, Funderburk resigned. However, because Auburn broke an agreement with AAUP about de facto tenure while Funderburk was president, in 1983 Auburn once again found itself on AAUP censure from which Auburn was not released until 1993. This censure was the result of board indifference to the AAUP standards and the resultant administrative neglect of faculty rights.
In 1990, this pattern was repeated with the dismissal of the Rev. Charles Curran from his position as Goodwin-Philpott Eminent Scholar in Religion. Professor Curran had been recruited for what had been represented to him as a permanent tenured position as an Eminent Scholar. After the offer was given, President Martin rescinded the offer.
The University Senate, in an all too familiar and painful process, censured the president for his role in this travesty. The Senate committee which investigated this affair concluded, though this was denied at the time by the board, that the president had been coerced to renege on the original offer to the Rev. Curran by board pressure. Recently, in a newspaper interview, a current member of the board who was on the board then, admitted that he and several other Board members brought about Auburn's broken agreement. At the time these board members denied involvement with Curran's firing.
More recently, we have had the imbroglio between the governor and board spill over into the appointing of new board members who were not confirmed because of political pressure applied by board members whose terms had expired. This was followed by a new low of board micromanagement in the recent commission to review the role and scope of the university.
I will not even try to trace the history of Auburn's mismanagement of athletics except to note that Auburn is one of the most penalized universities in the country. Moreover, it is clear that most of these difficulties have been the result of Board interference in the management of Auburn athletics.
There are more examples but my point should be obvious, there is core problem in the management of Auburn University and that problem is the Board of Trustees. However, the problem is not the people on the board, many of whom sacrifice time and effort to make the board work. I believe a focus on an ad hominem analysis misses the larger point.
The core problem for Auburn is the antiquated and unjust political process by which the members for the Board of Trustees are selected. We cannot fix the board by having new players as long as the game by which these players are picked is rigged and my assertion is that the game is inextricably rigged as long as the game is a purely political game.
In the next few months, six new board members will be appointed, including two board members who have been serving since their terms expired in 1995, but who defied the governor's attempt to replace them by exerting political influence in the state senate.
These six new members and the new governor will have a majority in the newly constituted board and, thus, will be in a position to determine whether Auburn will lead this state into the 21st century or whether Auburn will be a provincial and ineffectual institution. Unless we have board members selected because they can serve as guardians of the more noble destiny, the former outcome is, by historical precedent, the more likely outcome.
What can be done about this problem? My belief is that many of the difficulties which can be traced to the board could be attenuated or eliminated if Alabama followed the lead of progressive states and universities and revised how board members are nominated, selected, and appointed.
In part II of this essay, drawing again upon the work of the governance
committee, I will outline the essential reforms which must be
implemented if Auburn is to achieve its destiny as one of the great
universities of the 21st century.
(Barry Burkhart is a former chair of the University Senate and recently chaired a university task force on reorganization.)
Charlotte Barnes, Animal & Dairy Sciences
This week's Unsung Hero is Charlotte Barnes, office supervisor in the
Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences in the College of Agriculture.
She has 19 years of service to the university. She was asked:
I get the greatest satisfaction in my job when... "I can complete tasks efficiently and effectively in order to assist my department head, faculty, staff and students."
In my job area, quality is measured by... "knowledge of university's financial policies and procedures and the ability to utilize my skills pertaining to my job."
If I could change one thing about Auburn (or my job), it would be... "that all people are treated equally whether they are faculty, staff or service personnel."
I've always wondered why... "Auburn University is so popular in sports but salaries are not competitive with other universities."
When people come to this campus, I want them to... "feel a warm welcome and also see the beautiful upkeep of the campus done by Facilities Division."
In my spare time, I like to... "read, travel and spend quality time with my family."
Campus Roundup Textile dye exhibit returns
A panel exhibit on colors in textiles will be on display in the foyer of the Textile Engineering Building on Feb. 1-12. The traveling exhibit from the dye manufacturing company Dystar L.P. examines the history, technology and variety of fabric color development.
Study seeks parents, infants
Parents and their infants are being sought for a study of the infant behaviors parents interpret as meaningful. If (a) your baby is between three- and six-months old, (b) both parents live together with the baby, and (c) both parents are willing to participate, call Jo Ellyn Peterson at 821-2490 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Participation in the study requires a visit to your home (approximately one hour long) to be scheduled at your convenience.
Project Uplift seeks volunteers
Project Uplift is seeking volunteers to be Big Brothers and Sisters for Lee County children. Call 844-4430 for details.
Directories available at Foy
Campus telephone directories were distributed during fall quarter. Any individual who did not receive a directory may obtain one at the Foy Union desk.
Achievements Sonny Dragoin, Auburn's golf coach for 25 years, will be inducted into the NCAA Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame at its annual convention in Orlando, Fla., on Friday. Dragoin took over the Auburn golf program in 1959, winning SEC championships in 1976 and 1981. He taught in the College of Education for 38 years before retiring as golf coach and professor emeritus.
Daniel Butler, chair of the Department of Marketing and Transportation and vice president of the Society for Marketing Advances, an international marketing society, was recently presented an outstanding research paper award at the annual conference in New Orleans. The paper, "Required and Elective Marketing Courses: How Far Have We Come in Twenty Years?"
Doug Hankes, staff psychologist in Student Counseling Services, presented papers this fall at the annual meetings of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology and the Southeastern Conference of Counseling Center Personnel. He was also recently named to the executive committee of the American Psychological Association's Division 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology).
Beverly Marshall, assistant professor in the Department of Finance, was selected for the Outstanding Paper at the recent Academy of Financial Services Annual Meeting in Chicago. The paper dealt with issues related to initial public offerings by corporations. Marshall, who joined the AU faculty last fall, is a CPA who previously worked in corporate finance for Vulcan Materials.
James Barth, the Lowder Eminent Scholar in Finance, has been elected to a three year term as a member of the Board of Governors of The National Economists Club. The NEC is based in Washington, D.C.
Technology Updates from University Computing
Faculty post fall final grades online
Using the OASIS Web resource, AU professors began posting final gradeselectronically for the first time at the conclusion of fall quarter. Registrar John Fletcher estimated that 20 percent of the faculty took advantage of this new feature, which enables students to access their grades from anywhere as soon the instructor posts them. In some cases, grades were posted within hours of the exam. The OASIS Web grade posting feature is available from the last class day of each term until the day after graduation. Web resources for faculty and staff are on the Web at http://aos.auburn.edu.
Limit the size of your e-mail messages
Auburn's mail server will not send e-mail messages that are largerthan three megabytes. Graphical attachments are often very large and may exceed the limit, and if they are executable (such as animated cartoons), they may carry computer viruses. How much is three megs? Enough to use three diskettes, or more than a thousand pages of straight text.
Chat & Forum: Electronic Classroom Resources
Two new Web resources to facilitate electronic communication among
class members are now available for instructors on AU Study: Forum (bulletin board) and Chat (real time discussion). Explore AU Study on the Web at http://austudy or read more about it at www.auburn.edu/client/austudy/help.html. For assistance, contact IMG (the Instructional Media Group) at 844-9370 or email@example.com.
Upcoming Events Wednesday, January 27
* Teleconference: "Racial Legacies & Learning: How to Talk About Race," noon-2 p.m. Conference Center.
* AU Staff Council, 3 p.m., Pharmacy 101A. Guest speaker: Darwin Liverance, assistant vice president for human resources.
Wednesday, February 3
* Free speech and hearing screening, AU Speech and Hearing Clinic, 1:30-4 p.m., Haley 1199. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Monday, February 8
* Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Manning Marable, Columbia University, 6 p.m., Foy Student Union, Ballroom.
Wednesday, February 10
* Littleton-Franklin Lecture, U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, 4 p.m., AU Hotel and Conference Center auditorium.
* Chamber Music Society Concert: Lark Quartet, selections from Haydn, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, 8 p.m., Goodwin Recital Hall. Free for students; others $15; tickets at the door.
Monday, February 15
* Michael Doyle, director of Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement, Regents Professor of Food Microbiology and head of Department of Food Science and Technolgy at University of Georgia, speaks as part of York Distinguished Lecturer Series, 7:30 p.m., Conference Center, Auditorium.