AU REPORT |
Two reappointed to AU Board
AU prioritizes desktops for Y2K
Howze offers parting words to faculty
Heath looks to quieter year
Splashing into spring
Auburn student Natalie Sutyla went head first last week into a campus spring tradition -- the annual 'Jello Splash,' part of Splash into Spring week at AU. Sutyla, a sophomore industrial design major, is from Tolland, Conn.
Samford, Lowder reappointed to AU Board; Franklin nominated Two members of the AU Board of Trustees -- President Pro Tempore W.J. Samford Jr., and Robert Lowder -- have been reappointed by Gov. Don Siegelman and confirmed by the Alabama Senate.
Samford, an attorney from Opelika, and Lowder, a Montgomery banking executive, were confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, April 22 -- the same day they were nominated by the governor.
The Senate approved Lowder's reappointment 25-0-1 and voted 27-0-1 for Samford, who practices law and lobbies in Montgomery. Sen. Ted Little of Auburn, abstained from voting. Samford, at right, was reappointed for a full 12-year term, but Lowder's will be retroactive to 1995 and expire in 2007.
Siegelman also nominated Hoover businessman and former Auburn football star Byron Franklin to a third seat. Franklin's nomination may be taken up by the Senate Confirmations Committee as early as Tuesday, according to Sen. E.B. McClain, committee chairman.
Franklin, at left, would succeed Emory Cunningham of Birmingham, whose 12-year term expired in January. Samford's term also ended in January.
"Naturally it's an honor," Franklin said of his nomination. "I made the decision to go to Auburn University a long time ago. I'm just proud of the fact that I have the opportunity to be involved with the university in that capacity (as a trustee).
"I'm looking forward to the task at hand. I always keep in mind I want to represent my family in a positive way, and that goes along with Auburn University. I've been a part of the Auburn family since I played football there. It's part of who I am and what I am. I felt that way before this appointment."
Franklin, who is director of special marketing and public relations for
Buffalo Rock Co., in Birmingham, received his bachelor's degree from AU in
1991 in vocational and distributive education.
Prior to taking the position at Buffalo Rock in 1993, Franklin was assistant director of athletic development in Alumni, Development and University Relations at AU for two years. He is also part owner of an Auburn restaurant -- Buffalo Connection.
The Sheffield native lettered on the Auburn football team in 1977-80 as a wide receiver. He is seventh on the Tigers' all-time career yardage list with 1,573 yards and tied for career touchdown receptions with 15. Franklin also starred in track at Auburn, winning the 1980 Southeastern Conference championship in the triple jump. He went on to play football for the Buffalo Bills and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL.
Lowder's original 12-year term expired in January 1995, but he has remained on the board under an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that said trustees remain on the board until their successors are confirmed by the Senate. Former Gov. Fob James replaced Lowder, at right, and James Tatum of Huntsville -- whose term also ended in 1995 -- with Albert McDonald of Huntsville and Phil Richardson of Montgomery. But the Supreme Court ruling unseated McDonald and Richardson and reinstated Lowder and Tatum, who recently resigned from the board due to ill health.
Siegelman must still fill Tatum's seat and make a decision about the seats
held by John Denson of Opelika and Bessie Mae Holloway of Prichard,
whose terms also ended in January. Denson has said he has no desire to be
AU prioritizes desktop computers for fix of Y2K bug
AU has expanded its Year 2000 computer error prevention efforts into the desktop computer arena. The Division of University Computing organized a team of professional staff and students in March to inspect and correct desktop computers assigned to users of priority applications on campus.
First to receive attention are persons whose responsibilities involve the OASIS student information program, HRS personnel programs or FRS finance programs of the university. The approximately 2,000 machines used by these persons have been identified as "mission critical" and are first on the priority list.
University Computing specialists Miriam Brown Pepinsky and Christine Sheridan are leading a team of five student computer experts in the campaign against Y2K problems in the desktops, which use Windows operating systems. Y2K coordinators and network administrators in many units are also helping individuals within their units address the problem.
Concerns about Y2K problems have arisen worldwide because most computer operating systems, with the exception of Macintosh computers, were created to read only two digits for the year in their applications. Computer experts have warned that many computers could read the year 2000 as 1900, causing widespread crashes and confusion among institutions and individuals.
Members of the Y2K desktop team and network administrators are checking each of the mission-critical computers. DUC also provides diagnosis and repair instructions for computer users at the World Wide Web site listed below.
University Computing specialists noted that the university's Y2K fix on Windows machines is for 95, 98 and NT versions. The earlier versions such as Windows 3.1 and 3.11 cannot be made compliant, and the computing specialists encourage users of those versions to upgrade their systems as soon as possible. Those obsolete versions will no longer be supported by DUC.
By mid-April, the team had inspected nearly one-fourth of the machines
identified as mission critical and appears on track to complete testing
and correction of those machines by June 1, Pepinsky said.
Contact the Y2K desktop team by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 844-2000.
Muse says future remains bright for Auburn
AU President William Muse told the University Faculty on April 13 that his concerns about the university do not outweigh his optimism for Auburn's future.
Citing numerous accomplishments and hopeful signs for the university, Muse said those plusses far outweigh the negatives. "In many respects, the state of the university is good, and I am optimistic about the future," Muse said in his state of the university address. "In other respects, I have concerns that I think many of you share."
The concerns included resistance from some faculty to the university's recent designation of high-priority programs and the recent decision by the Board of Trustees to abolish the Ph.D. in economics. The program was one of seven terminated, but the other six were recommended by the president for termination, following a review by a faculty committee.
Muse said that while he disagreed with the board's decision, the board was
acting within its authority and would be unlikely to reverse its decision.
The university will implement the action and must move forward, he said.
"We will also continue to go forward with the review of academic programs that fall below the viability standards," Muse added, citing a mandate from state law. "All of the programs below the viability standards are candidates for termination."
At the other end of the priority spectrum are seven academic programs identified for extra funds to help them compete for national prominence. The programs, along with other program priorities approved in January by the Board of Trustees, will receive nearly 10 percent of new monies generated over the next five years. More than 90 percent of the new funds will go toward faculty and staff salary improvement, reduction of deferred maintenance, increasing academic budgets and related goals in the package approved by the board.
Muse encouraged faculty to put aside any resentments toward academic
units that will receive extra funding. "Just as a rising tide raises all
boats, a rising reputation of an institution helps all programs," he said.
The president said he is optimistic that Auburn's improving fortunes over
the next several years will provide opportunities to identify other
programs for extra funding to further improve their national standing.
The University Faculty and its representative body, the University Senate, saw a changing of the guard on April 13 with the installation of officers for 1999-2000 and the election of officers for 2000-2001. From left to right are Chair-Elect Bruce Gladden of Health and Human Performance, Secretary-Elect Mary Boudreaux of Pathobiology, Secretary Marcia Boosinger of the Library, Chair Jo Heath of Mathematics, Immediate Past Secretary Jean Weese of Nutrition and Food Science and Immediate Past Chair Glenn Howze.
Howze offers parting call for faculty vigilance
In parting words to the University Faculty on April 13, outgoing University Senate Chair Glenn Howze called upon the faculty to be vigilant in defense of academic programs and shared university governance.
"Be tireless in the defense of our academic programs," Howze said. "Be deliberate in your participation in shared university governance. Be vigilant in the protection of tenure and academic freedom. We must refuse to accept the micro-management of the Board of Trustees."
The agricultural economics professor said he put his goals for the University Senate on the backburner to give priority to representing the faculty during a year-long restructuring and priorities-reordering process initiated by the Board of Trustees in April 1998.
Presenting an overview of the process from the perspective of the faculty's chief elected representative, Howze said the results were unsatisfactory but were better than the prospects appeared at the beginning of the process. Howze credited other faculty leaders and President William Muse with persuading a board-created review providing a faculty role.
Howze, however, criticized board members for their role in the process and for other actions and statements during the year. He urged board members to rethink their role in university governance.
Howze also criticized some faculty -- members of the group "HARM" and anonymous writers of derogatory leaflets -- for attacks that he said were personal and not issue-based. "It is one thing to disagree with someone on issues," he said. "It is quite another to defame their character and ascribe all sorts of unethical and immoral behavior to them."
He urged those opponents to work within established mechanisms to air
their complaints and question administrative decisions when they feel the
decisions are unfair. "Faculty at Auburn have worked long and hard to
institute the model of shared governance on our campus. While the current
system is less than perfect, we ought to use it before we resort to
Heath hopes for return to delayed University Senate issues Mathematics Professor Jo Heath, the new chair of the University Senate, says she expects the senate to return to normal during her term as head of the faculty's representative body.
"This may be the year when we can begin to actually recover from some turmoil," she said.
Heath, who has been a member of the Auburn faculty since 1969, said she cannot recall as tumultuous a year as the one which confronted her predecessor, Glenn Howze of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, over the past year. Howze assumed office as the university was beginning a year-long program review mandated by the Board of Trustees; Heath assumes office as Auburn concludes the process.
"I hope it is not as intense as last year," Heath said. "We have some projects that I would like to make priorities. Glenn was going to do so last year, but he had to give most of his attention to representing the faculty before the commission and the board. He did a great job of that and I learned a lot from him."
Those priorities include increases by the university in numbers of black students and faculty; greater equity in promotion and salary to remove gender, racial, age or other biases; extension of shared governance to the college and departmental levels; and attention to the problems of temporary faculty. Heath noted that Howze had mentioned the same issues in his farewell address to the University Faculty on April 13.
The new faculty leader said she would like to see the faculty assume a bigger role in addressing academic questions at all levels of the university. "The faculty are the experts in the academic environment," she said. "No one is more interested in having a first-rate education at Auburn than the faculty."
If the university can avoid a second consecutive year of disruptions, it can
make a lot of progress in the coming year, she said. "We could certainly
use a year to get caught up in addressing Auburn's problems."
Staff urged to apply for scholarships for their dependents
The deadline for application for Employee Dependent Children Scholarships is May 1, according to Susan Allen of the AU Scholarship Office.
Dependents of full-time employees who will have completed at least one year of service at AU prior to May 1 are eligible to apply for the $1,000 scholarships, provided the dependent is listed on the employee's federal tax return. Scholarships are open to students who are currently enrolled or who will be enrolled next academic year.
"We want to encourage all Auburn employees who have children who are or will be students here to apply for these scholarships," Allen said. "Last year, we were able to award scholarships to all of those who applied and still had money remaining."
Allen said applications are available at the Scholarship Office in 203 Mary Martin Hall. Applicants must also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form to determine the degree of financial need.
The one-year scholarships will be awarded with first priority given to
applicants with the most financial need and second priority based on the
employees' seniority at Auburn. Students who were awarded Employee
Dependent Children Scholarships last year must reapply, Allen said.
Tiger Day Picnic set for April 28 on Foy lawn
"The purpose of the event is to bring together Auburn's students, faculty, staff and the community from diverse backgrounds to share the Auburn experience and spirit," said Hale.
The picnic will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on the Foy Student Union lawn. In the event of rain, the picnic will move to Foy 246.
Green named interim provost for minority affairs during search
Johnny R. Green of Auburn University's Office of Minority Advancement and Student Services, has been named interim assistant provost for minority affairs at Auburn.
A search committee has been formed to fill the position permanently.
Green, who earned a doctorate from AU last year and will teach in the Department of Political Science this fall, has been recruiting minority students, mentoring current AU students and assisting with various minority programs.
Green's appointment was made by President William Muse following the resignation of James C. Brown, who was named chancellor at Southern University at Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
Provost William Walker named David Wilson, vice president for Outreach,
as chair of an 11-member committee to make recommendations for an
assistant provost for minority affairs. Other committee members are:
Debra Armstrong-Wright, Affirmative Action; Jim Golson, Enrollment
Management; Michael LaTour, Marketing; Nels Madsen, Mechanical Engineering; Renee Middleton, Education; Floyd Woods, Horticulture; Marie Wooten, Zoology-Wildlife Science; Anthony Smith, president of AU's Black Student Union; Anthony Salandy, president of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association at AU; and Green.
As a graduate student at Auburn, Green was an AU President's Graduate
Opportunity Program fellow from 1994-97. Green also has served as a
Renaissance Fellow in a national Housing and Urban Development program
in collaboration with Yale University. During the one-year fellowship in
1997, he worked for the Fulton County Housing Authorities in Atlanta.
In addition to his duties at the university, Green is pastor of the White Street Baptist Church in Auburn.
Helping the Humane Society
Veterinary student Donna Jo Painter and Gary Beard, assistant dean of the AU College of Veterinary Medicine, display 1,000 pounds of dog food donated to the Lee County Humane Society during a recent food drive. Painter is president of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association which coordinated the effort at the College of Veterinary Medicine. In total, the chapter collected almost 2,000 pounds that helped the Humane Society reach its county-wide goal of 3,000 pounds. Companies such as Waltham, IAMS, Hill's Pet Nutrition and Auburn Veterinary Educational Supply Service donated through their student representatives.
Summer program set for 10- to 14-year-olds
Need supervised activities for your 10- to 14-year-old children while you are working this summer? The Employers' Child Care Alliance, of which AU is a member, will provide a special child care program for employees' children in that age group.
The ECCA's "Bridges" program provides supervised activities for children too old for traditional child care and too young to be left on their own while the parents work, says Lynn Hammond, AU's ECCA representative.
The summer program will be at the former Auburn Junior High School,
recently renamed Samford Middle School, in the two-story building facing
Dumas Street. The program opens June 1 and will continue until city
schools begin classes in August. Tentative hours are from 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Staff/student ratios have been set by ECCA at a maximum of 1:12, and the program will follow a curriculum designed for the age group.
The weekly fee will be $70 per participant or $130 for two children from the same family. A registration fee of $70 must accompany the application, but the fee can be applied to any week during the summer if a week's vacation is requested at the time of enrollment.
Acceptance in the program is based on space availability, completion of all application materials and payment of the registration fee. Parents employed by alliance members have priority in placements of their children. For registration or additional information, call the ECCA at 749 8400 or apply at the ECCA office at the Child Care Resource Center at Midway Plaza.
Outreach unit wins award for display
Auburn's Office of Distance Learning and OutreachTechnology recently won an award for a display on "Cruising Into the Millennium" at the Alabama Food Service and Nutrition Exposition in Mobile.
Ernestine Morris-Stinson, manager of student services, and JoAnn Qualls,
student services specialist, attended the exposition sponsored by the
Alabama Dietetic Association, the Alabama Food Service Association and the Alabama Dietary Manager's Association.
The DLOT display was chosen the best general products booth. The display,
showing different vehicles for delivering distance education, was chosen
from about 40 exhibitors.
Library offers new services to patrons
University Libraries has added three new services: UnCover, self-renewal of resources and InfoQuest.
The UnCover Service is available to faculty, staff and enrolled graduate students, said Linda Thornton, chair of the Access Services Department in Draughon Library. UnCover is a general database of more than 8 million articles in many fields. Article coverage of more the 18,000 journals began with the fall 1988 issues, Thornton said.
The second service is self-renewal of most library materials. The new service allows faculty, staff and students to renew items over the Internet. A maximum of three renewals is permitted. To use the service, access AUBIECAT, then click the button labeled "Patron Information" and enter your AU barcode number. "If you have forgotten or never knew your barcode number, instructions are provided as to how to compose it," said Harmon Straiton, assistant dean for Information Services at the library. If you need more detailed instructions, contact the Circulation/Reserve unit on the first floor of Draughon Library at 844-1701.
The third new service -- InfoQuest -- is designed for alumni and non
Auburn affiliated clientele whose information needs may not be covered
by regular library services. InfoQuest is a document delivery and
customized research service that provides rapid and easy access to
information contained in AU's Libraries more than 2.4 million volumes,
said Cindy Mitchell, manager and information specialist.
Poetry reading marathon set for May 6
The AU English Club will sponsor the reading marathon, "Favorite Poems," on Thursday, May 6, to raise money and focus attention on literature. The readings will be at the JAVA.COM Cafe and Bookstore in downtown Auburn from 5 p.m. until midnight.
The club will be signing up people until Friday, April 30, to read their poem and explain why they like it, said Tim Dykstal, associate professor of English and faculty advisor to the English Club. "We have about 50 10 minute slots to assign," said Dykstal.
He said students, faculty, staff, administrators and area residents are invited to read their favorite poem and explain why they like it. Those interested can contact Dykstal at 844-9092 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: a copy or author and title of your favorite poem; a paragraph or shorter explanation of why the poem is your favorite; and your time preference for reading your poem. People will be contacted confirming the time they are to read, he added.
This is the fourth year of the program designed to spread literacy and promote the reading of literature around campus, he said.
Money raised during the event supports area charities and helps the
English Club promote literature, Dykstal said. Portions of the proceeds in
past years have gone to benefit the Lee County Literacy Coalition, Lee
County AIDS Outreach and the building fund for AU's Jule Collins Smith
Museum of Fine Arts.
Academic Freedom Award
Lee Davidson, 1998-99 editor of The Auburn Plainsman, on April 13 became the first student to win the Academic Freedom Award, which is presented annually by the AU chapter of the American Association of University Professors. Davidson, right, a senior in journalism, was cited for her resistance to external pressures over editorial control of the student newspaper. She is shown receiving the award from campus AAUP President Yvonne Kozlowski.
Plainsman editor becomes first student
to win AAUP award
The editor of the AU student newspaper has become the first student to win the Auburn Chapter of the American Association of University Professors' academic freedom award. Lee Davidson, an AU senior journalism student from Memphis and editor of The Auburn Plainsman, was chosen for the award for "dedication to first amendment rights and to freedom of the press and refusal to back down when she was censured and attacked for her editorial comments," said Yvonne Kozlowski, AU's head librarian and the chair of the AAUP's awards committee.
Davidson was censured by the AU communications board earlier this year for a series of controversial stories and editorials the student newspaper ran following the resignation of former AU head football coach Terry Bowden. The censure brought national media attention to The Plainsman and to Davidson, who refused any limits on her first amendment rights.
"I was hugely honored on behalf of the entire staff of The Plainsman to receive this award," said Davidson. "I think it's a direct reflection on the bravery of the faculty to serve as sources for this newspaper and it shows their support for the free exchange of ideas for which The Plainsman serves as a medium.
"This award doesn't belong to a single person. It belongs to the entire Plainsman staff and to the Auburn faculty, administration and staff who support what we stand for."
Ed Williams, associate professor of journalism and faculty advisor to The Plainsman, cited Davidson for having "a puritan's ethic and a matador's nerve."
"Lee has shown leadership and courage this year," Williams said. "She and her staff atThe Plainsman have done what every newspaper ought to do -- investigate every corner ofuniversity life, and fairly and accurately report on it."
Davidson was the seventh person to be honored with the academic freedom award. Past winners --
all of whom were faculty or administrators -- include AU President William Muse, who won the
first award, and Dr. Wayne Flynt, AU's Distinguished University Professor of history.
Video on water quality issues wins Telly Award
A video featuring Alabama Water Watch, an Auburn University-based program promoting water quality monitoring by citizen volunteers, was recently selected as a winner in the 1999 Telly Awards.
The video, "Living Downstream," was produced by Ensemble Productions and directed and edited by Barry McConatha, owner of the production company and a research associate with the AU School of Pharmacy's pharmacy care systems department. The video was scripted by Bill Deutsch, AWW's program manager and a research fellow in AU's department of Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture, and narrated by AWW staff and the volunteer monitors.
"We were excited to learn that the video won this award because it really captures the down home feel of Alabama Water Watch," said Deutsch. "Barry did a wonderful job highlighting the great work that the citizen volunteers do."
The video is "an overview of everything that the program office of Water
Watch does," McConatha said. "We did interviews with the volunteers,
Alabama Department of Environmental Management personnel and shot at
sites all across central Alabama -- from Clanton to Montgomery to the
Semester transition guides going to faculty through campus mail
The semester transition Faculty Guide -- information to help steer faculty and advisors through the next seven quarters until Auburn University changes to a semester system in Fall 2000 -- may be distributed as early as this week.
The Faculty Guide is being distributed by campus mail, and a web version also is available at the site listed below.
The semester transition Faculty Guide provides up-to-date information about the semester transition process. An eight-page, newsletter-style publication, the Faculty Guide is being distributed to AU faculty, deans, department heads, advisors and others.
The guide includes the semester class schedule; structure of the final
summer under the quarter system; core courses and requirements; student
advising and degree audit procedures; quarter to semester credit hour
conversion; the student appeals process; AU, AUM commonalities and
differences regarding the semester transition; comparison of the quarter
and semester academic calendars; and the university calendar for summer
Library speaker to discuss Harlem Renaissance artist
Lucy Ann Hurston, the niece of celebrated Harlem Renaissance artist and scholar Zora Neale Hurston, will present a public lecture in Draughon Library on Friday, April 30, on her late aunt's life.
The younger Hurston will discuss her forthcoming book, Traces of Zora: Shared Family Memories of Zora Neale Hurston, which provides family insight into Zora Hurston's legend. The program will be in the Special Collections Department at 2:30 p.m.
Novelist, folklorist, playwright and journalist, Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga in 1891, the daughter of a school teacher and a Baptist preacher. The family later moved to Eatonville, Fla.
Zora Hurston spent much of her life seeking a literary form that could
blend her experience in the rural South, her anthropological studies at
Barnard College and the artistic revolt of the Harlem Renaissance.
Hurston's adventurous spirit led her to Haiti to study hoodoo, to Honduras
to seek a lost civilization and from Florida to New York on a 1,500-mile
houseboat voyage. It made her a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
Lucy Ann Hurston actively promotes and educates others on her aunt's contributions to African-American literature and culture and has produced and hosted two documentaries.
Astronomer to discuss changing perspectives of universe
Wendy Freedman, an astronomer at the Carnegie Observatory whose worked is tied closely to the Hubble Space Telescope, will speak at Auburn University on Monday, May 3.
Freedman will speak as part of the Littleton-Franklin Lectures in the Sciences and Humanities at 4 p.m. in the Conference Center auditorium. Her subject will be: "Measuring the Size and Age of the Universe Using the Hubble Space Telescope."
An astronomer at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution in Pasadena, Calif., Freedman has been one of the major contributors in helping answer one of life's most intriguing questions -- the age of the universe. It has been only since the development of the Hubble Telescope that researchers have been able to begin answering the question.
DNA expert to present Kosolopoff Lecture
Jacqueline K. Barton, a nationally prominent researcher on the DNA building blocks of life, will present the Kosolapoff Award Lecture at Auburn University on Monday, May 10.
Barton, a California Institute of Technology professor, will speak on "Damage and Repair of Double Helical DNA: Chemistry at a Distance" at 8 p.m. in AU's Chemistry Building auditorium. Besides presenting the public lecture, Barton will receive the G.M. Kosolapoff Award from the AU Department of Chemistry. The award is sponsored by the John and Mary Franklin Foundation of Atlanta.
AU joins program promoting health-conscious decision-making
Auburn is among six schools nationally chosen to participate in a program designed to promote healthy sexual decision-making among college students.
David Hodge of AU's Student Counseling Services says social norming theory implies that people would rather be "normal" than "healthy" and, for many, ideas of normal sexual behavior are based on what they perceive their peers as doing.
Research shows, however, that most students' perceptions of such things as the rates of sexual activity and condom use are inconsistent with reality -- a problem that compounds bad decision making.
The program intends to use health-promotion tools such as posters, advertisements and other mediums to promote healthy decisions and behaviors regarding sexual responsibility and communicate to students the true sexual "norms" on campus.
Other schools participating in the program are Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.; Augsburg College in Minneapolis; Ohio State University; Northwestern University; and the University of Hawaii.
The Denver-based BACCHUS and
GAMMA Peer Education Network is a
national nonprofit health organization committed to promoting initiatives
related to sexual health and tobacco issues. The program is also being
sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. For more
information on the program or the AU chapter of BACCHUS-GAMMA, call
Hodge at 844-5123.
Speaker to discuss changes in national youth culture
Dee Dee Gordon, creator of a national trend-forecasting publication, will
deliver the 13th annual Grisham-Trentham Lecture on Wednesday, May 5.
Gordon, who developed the L Report as a way to track youth culture and predict movement of the masses, will speak at 11 a.m., at the AU Conference Center auditorium.
The lecture series in the School of Human Sciences is sponsored by AU's
Department of Consumer Affairs, and is coordinated by Michael Solomon,
Human Sciences professor of consumer behavior.
Nist to discuss children's stories
Southern history and folklore in children's literature will be explored during a program that will be offered at Auburn on Tuesday, May 4. Joan Nist, professor emerita of the College of Education and a member of the Alabama Humanities Foundation Speakers Bureau, will discuss "Contemporary Stories for Children -- Southern Style" at 4 p.m. in the Special Collections Department of Draughon Library.
Using works by Alabama natives Charles Ghigna, Kathryn Tucker Windham, Dennis Covington and Han Nolan, Nist will examine how the elements of history and folklore in these works make them historically and socially relevant.
Employee recognition program set for May 6
The AU employee recognition program for 1999 will be from 2-4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6, at the Conference Center. AU employees will receive recognition and service awards for five, 10, 20, 25 and 30 years of service and for employees who have retired since last year's program. In addition, awards will be presented to four employees who will be recognized as employee of the year in each of four categories: secretarial/clerical; administrative/professional; service/maintenance; and technical. All university employees are invited, and a reception will take place following the presentations.
Graduate students' research forum set for May 12
The Graduate Student Council will hold its annual research forum on Wednesday, May 12, from noon-6 p.m. at the AU Conference Center. Graduate students will present public discussions of their research projects. Call 844-5111 for details.
BC/BS representative visits scheduled
AU's Blue Cross/Blue Shield representative will be on campus the second Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m.-noon in the Payroll and Benefits Office at Ingram 212 to answer questions from AU faculty and staff about health insurance coverage and other Blue Cross/Blue Shield benefits. No appointment is necessary.
Ruth Crocker, associate professor in the department of History, was awarded the Patricia Ann Burrus Spaulding Award of the Presbyterian Historical Society for the best published article in women's history in 1998. Her essay dealing with the philanthropy of New York multimillionaire Margaret Olivia Sage (1828-1918), founder of the Russell Sage Foundation, is part of her biography of Sage to be published by Indiana University Press.
Prithvi Kandhal, associate director of AU's National Center for Asphalt Technology and a member of the graduate faculty of Civil Engineering, was recently elected president of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists. Kandhal is also chair of the American Society of Testing and Materials Committee on Road and Paving Materials, which is responsible for more than 200 standards worldwide.
Workload policy in not warranted or needed
By David T. King, Jr., Professor, Geology
Second of two parts
In May 1996, Gov. Fob James signed into law an Act of the Legislature (Number 96-771) which says in effect that faculty workloads at institutions of higher education in Alabama should be tracked. This law requires the Alabama Commission on Higher Education to design and implement a college and university information system "to include an electronic faculty unit record system, in order to provide comprehensive, meaningful, and timely information pertinent to the formulation of decisions and recommendations by (ACHE) and the Legislature."
The law says further: "In order to promote accountability, (ACHE) shall establish a uniform electronic faculty unit record system for the purpose of obtaining information on faculty workloads at two-year and four-year public institutions of higher education in the state."
If the matter was deemed important enough to warrant passage of a state law, one might wonder why such an "electronic faculty unit record system" has not been established by ACHE already. In early 1998 and again last January, I spoke with two ACHE officials about his matter and discovered the following:
In 1997, ACHE contracted with a Huntsville company called TASC, Inc., to develop a workload tracking document to be used uniformly in all two- and four-year institutions of higher education in Alabama. One can see from TASC's form that ACHE's intentions about faculty record keeping are significantly different from those evident in both the 1997 and currently proposed Faculty Workload Policy at Auburn University. From this significant difference, I conclude that the proposed "Faculty Workload Assignment" form will not be useful in providing ACHE with required "faculty unit record system" data that they might need now or in the future. Thus, if and when ACHE fully implements the Legislature's legal mandate (and assuming that we have adopted the proposed workload reporting system at Auburn), we will have to either: 1) change our reporting policy and reporting form or 2) add another level of reporting (i.e., state level) concerning faculty workload.
Contacts at ACHE have told me that the Legislature has given ACHE no
extra funds for implementation, and thus the matter is on hold until such
time as adequate funds are made available. Further, they told me that
ACHE is in no hurry to implement faculty-workload tracking and no new
workload tracking forms have been developed since the 1997 TASC form.
My ACHE contacts said that reporting of faculty workload would likely be more simplified than in the early draft of the TASC form when finally implemented, probably being reduced to "credit hours or sections taught." (This kind of data, as poor a measure of workload as it is, could be provided by Auburn University from its own mainframe computer.)
Faculty and administrative time and university monies would be better
spent on our other important activities at Auburn rather than in
developing and implementing an apparently unnecessary faculty workload
reporting system. We should defer on this matter until the day when the
Legislature and ACHE decide on what sort of statewide reporting is
required, if that day ever comes. When and if asked to do so, we should
develop a document in coordination with ACHE in order to help satisfy
ACHE's needs and avoid unnecessary duplication of reporting effort.
Perhaps a similar workload reporting policy and reporting form could be developed for our administrators at that time as well.
Auburn's currently proposed workload policy and reporting system appear to be designed more for internal comparison between and among units on campus, as others have suggested, rather than with satisfying external demands for workload data which may or may not be urgent.
If any individual faculty member carefully examines the proposed workload-reporting form, he will likely discover line items or some weighting or effort factors that do not seem to apply to him, do not apply appropriately, or seem quite arbitrary or wrong. That is because the form is designed to cover all faculty, a goal that cannot be achieved fully without slighting some faculty at the expense of others.
It is not possible to design an entirely fair reporting document that covers
a faculty so diverse as we have here at Auburn, even though the form's
developers have probably struggled with this for some time. Successfully
and fairly putting all faculty on the same level is never going to be
entirely possible. No university-wide scheme can be fair to all faculty and
account for all our different job assignments and explicit and implicit
duties. Thus, to impose such a reporting scheme is not a wise choice.
Further, possibly using data collected by this flawed scheme while making decisions about implementation of future internal changes at Auburn is an even worse prospect, but one that is entirely feasible once uniform workload data are collected.
I urge the Faculty Senate to revisit this matter and substantially reject
this effort to implement any new uniform workload policy and reporting
scheme such as those currently being proposed.
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Editor's Note: Campus Views columns are made available for the expression of views by AU faculty and staff. Views expressed in each Campus Views column are those of the writer and are independent of official university policy.
Marjorie Gentry of School of Forestry
This week's Unsung Hero is Marjorie Gentry, manager of Forestry Financial Services in the School of Forestry. She has been at Auburn for 21 years and in her current position for nearly 15 years. She was asked:
What do you do in your current position? "I provide assistance to
the Dean and Associate Dean for fiscal matters and advise faculty, staff,
and graduate students on financial and contracts and grants policies and
procedures. I am responsible for: preparation and management of our
annual budget; certification and submission of federal reports for
McIntire-Stennis federal funding; reviewing grant proposals;
managing awarded contracts & grants; and reviewing all financial documents submitted to accounts payable, purchasing, budget control, payroll, bursar's office, etc. I also supervise two office administrators."
What is the most rewarding part of your job? "Receiving positive feedback and/or compliments from other offices, individuals or peers for work performed throughout the School of Forestry. It takes a lot of people doing the right things to build a reputation as 'a first class, quality unit'."
What is the most challenging part of you job? "Getting all the paperwork processed. I have an 'open door' policy, so if a faculty or staff member, or a graduate student needs to see me, I stop what I am doing to meet with them. Detailed paperwork usually gets done during the lunch hour or prior to 7:45 a.m. and after 4:45 p.m."
If you were not doing this job, what would you most like to do?
"This question has come up a lot in my lifetime, I recently told my mother 'I don't know what I want to be when I grow up, so I guess it is a good thing I have a job I really enjoy. Some people never find that.' I don't know of another job I'd like to have or do, I have moved past 'another job,' my next step is 'Retirement!'."
What makes Auburn special? "I'm a native Auburnite so Auburn is my home. My father retired from Auburn University, my brother works in Research Operations, and my sister previously worked in Contracts & Grants Administration. Therefore I feel like Auburn is a part of my family. Families are special."
What was your first impression of Auburn University? "I can't really remember a first impression of Auburn University since I was born here, a long, long time ago, but as a child it seemed like a place for adults only."
How has that impression changed? "My impression of Auburn University now is 'a place for all generations'."
What words best describe Auburn as a work environment, learning environment or just a place to be? "Friendly and supportive."
What do you like to do when not at work? "My daughter is a senior at Auburn High and plays softball and golf, therefore I spend a lot of time at softball games and golf matches. I really enjoy interacting with the teenagers and their parents, I also like to work in the yard, cook, and travel, that is, when I have a little extra time."
What person or persons do you most admire and why? "I have the greatest respect and admiration for my parents. My father passed away a few years ago; however, he and my mother were always (and she still is) very supportive and they provided a home of love and mutual respect for each other."
What is your favorite line from the Auburn Creed and why? "My favorite line is 'I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I
cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow man' because it phrases my sentiments exactly."
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