AU Senate
May 16, 2023
Via Zoom


Meeting called to order at 3:30 pm.
All senators in attendance must participate in the canvas quorum poll (this is equivalent to the sign-in sheet during in-person meetings).

A quorum was established with 61 respondents voting.

Approval of minutes from April 18, 2023 minutes of the Senate meeting on April 18, 2023
Minutes approved with no corrections.

Information Items Senate Committee Report: Ad hoc Audit Committee for Post-tenure Review Presenter: Bart Prorok, Professor, Mechanical Engineering.
presentation (pdf)
Dr. Prorok gave a presentation on Post Tenure Review by giving the charge of reviewing the practice and progress of Auburn University’s Post Tenure Review (PTR) process. Dr. Prorok shared the mission statement. The PTR and Far process appears to be working. The committee made two suggestions.

  1. Implement a mentoring program to support faculty in improving their performance.
  2.  Have an Analysis/Validation – The chair provides an analysis to indicate whether a faculty member is preforming at an unsatisfactory level.

The Senate Chair asked for a motion to accept the committee report and send the report to Provost. The request to send the committee report to the Provost was motioned by Rich Sesek (Senator, Dept. Industrial and Systems Engineering) and seconded by Danilea Werner (Senator, Steering).
Provost Nathan asked a question for clarification. The clarification was that the report would be sent to the Provost for recommendations. In the future, if further action would be needed the recommendations would be on record.
Vote on Motion to approve Ad Hoc recommendations – 58 respondents Yes, 4 respondents No, 4 respondents abstained - 88 % voted in favor of the motion therefore the Motion carries.

Action Items
Vote on Senate Committee Rotations/Replacement Nominees
Presenter: Octavia Tripp, Senate Secretary and Rules Committee Chair
Senate Committees nominees for new rotations and replacement of vacancies (pdf)
The Rules Chair asked that Linda Gibson-Young give the report on Senate Committee Rotations/Replacement.
Gibson-Young proceeded with sharing the names of the nominees for Senate Committees and explain the process that Rules used in approving the nominees. She asked that the Senate vote on all names together. After the presentation of the nominees, the Chair prepared the vote.  The result of the vote – 60 respondents yes, and 3 abstained.  The Senate Committees nominees were accepted.
Gibson-Young made an announcement that there were a few committees that still needed being filled. She encouraged faculty to volunteer.

The Chair mentioned that in the previous monthly meeting six concerns were introduced for proposed changes to the handbook. He asked Mitchell Brown to reintroduce the concerns one by one.

Votes on changes to the Faculty Handbook (Proposed in April Senate Meeting). There are six substantive changes (presented during the April Senate Meeting) to be voted on during the May meeting (see link to proposed changes).

Presenter: Mitchell Brown, Chair, Senate Faculty Handbook Review Committee.
Mitchell Brown started with Concern 1. After the discussion the Senate will vote on Amendment related to the language about participation on P&T committees. The request was made that language would say that faculty members who serve on committees at the college or university level may attend, participate or vote at one level and shall fully recuse themselves at the other levels.
Questions were asked and discussions were made in reference to the amendment. After the discussion the Chair asked that the amendment be voted on and then can address the overall. For further review please see the recording May 16, 2023, time stamps 55:20 – 1:19:10 posted on the Senate website.
The amendment did not past –17 respondents yes, 40 respondents no, and 4 respondents abstain.
Due to much discussion, it was motioned by Jennifer Lockhart (Senator, dept. Philosophy) and seconded by Senator Hans Werner Van Wyk, dept. Mathematics and Statics) [found in Panopto recording 1:19:10–1:31:19] to send back the concern to the handbook committee for further discussion and revision. The result of the vote 46 respondents yes, 7 respondents no, and 2 abstain. The motion to send Concern 1 back to the Faculty Handbook Committee passes.

The next vote was made on Concern 2 – External Letters that come in after the department unit vote. The change that is being recommended is only letters that are received in time or departmental consideration shall be available. Made available up the line to the college and university committees.
Vote – 39 respondents yes, 13 respondents no, and 3 respondents abstain. Concern 2 passes.

The next vote made on Concern 3 – Holding people going up for promotion and tenure to standards that aren’t written in the departmental standards. Questions and discussion were made. The chair set up the vote for Concern 3 - The result of the vote was 40 respondents yes, 6 respondents no, and 7 respondents abstain, Concern 3 passes.

Concern 4 – Standard Biographical Data Sheets that are included in faculty dossiers. This concerns language about faculty who have taken extensions due to the pandemic.
Vote – 47 respondents yes, 3 respondents no and 1 respondent abstain. Concern 4 passes.

Concern 5 – P&T language impact on clock extensions.
Vote – 49 respondents yes, 2 respondent no, and 2 respondents abstain. Concern 5 passes.

Concern 6 – P&T language to Ensure Clear and Consistent Approaches across Departments for Evaluating Faculty Who Have Taken a Tenure Clock Extension: Outside Letter Request Language
Vote – 49-yes, 1-no, 6-abstain. Concern 6 passes.

For further clarification or understanding, please view the Panopto recording May 16, 2023, for the entire discussion of Handbook changes time stamps 55:20 – 1:50:27.

Pending Items
Proposal to create NTTF Teaching Professorships.
Presenter: Ash Curtiss, NTTF Committee Chair and Senior Lecturer
Proposed NTTF Teaching Professor presentation (slides-pdf)
Proposal on Teaching Professorship (pdf)
Ash Curtis gave a detailed presentation on Teaching Professor Title Series. Curtis proposal states that series is designed to attract and retain professional teachers with demonstrated expertise in their fields who contribute to the university’s academic mission by providing high-quality instruction. He stated that The Teaching Professor Title Series will also demonstrate excellence in one other area of service, outreach, research or creative work. After the presentation, the floor was opened for questions. Faculty had some concerns but the Chair did remind that this is a proposal presented and it will be voted on in the June meeting.

Remarks and Announcements
University Senate Chair. Mark Carpenter

Provost: Vini Nathan stated that there were 14 searches during this academic year. There was a successful COSAM Dean search - Dr. Ed Thomas, College of Engineering – Dr. Mario Eden, College of Pharmacy – Dr. Leigh Ann Ross, and the College of Business was unsuccessful. There will be an internal search for Director of the Honors College.


New business
Mark Carpenter, Senate Chair


Adjournment @ 5:52 pm
Mark Carpenter, Senate Chair

Attendance Senate Mtg - May 16, 2023
Senate Officers
Mark Carpenter, Chair
Lisa Kensler, Chair-elect
Lucretia (Octavia) Tripp, Secretary
Linda Gibson-Young, Secretary-elect
Dan Svyantek, Immediate Past-Chair
Kelli Shomaker, VP for Bus & Fin & CFO
Paul Patterson Dean, College of Agriculture
George Flowers Dean, Graduate School
Bobby Woodard SVP for Student Affairs
Jeffrey Fairbrother Dean, College of Education
Todd Steury [tds0009] sub for Janaki Alavalapati Dean, College of Forestry, Wildlife, and the Environment
James Weyhenmeyer, VP Research
Greg Newschwander Dean, College of Nursing
Calvin Johnson Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine

Ex-Officio Members
Vini Nathan, Interim Provost
Shali Zhang, Dean of Libraries
John David Jones, SGA President
Danilea Werner, Steering Committee
Robert Cochran, Steering Committee
Absent without substitute:
Soolim Jeong, GSC President
Ashley Reid, Staff Council Chair
Clint Lovelace, A&P Assembly Chair
Evelyn Hunter, Steering Committee
Robert Norton, Steering Committee

Senators by Departments
Elizabeth (Lisa) Miller, Accountancy
Anwar Ahmed {ahmedam] sub for Roy Hartfield, Aerospace Engineering
Valentina Hartarska, Ag Economics & Rural Sociology
Vinicia Biancardi, Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology
Kevin Moore, Architecture
Lauren Woods, Art
James Birdsong, Aviation
Anthony Moss, Biological Sciences
David Blersch, Biosystems Engineering
Regina Gramling, Business Analytics and Information Systems
Bryan Beckingham, Chemical Engineering
Wei Zhan, Chemistry
J. Brian Anderson, Civil Engineering
Kevin Smith, Communication and Journalism
Peter Weber, Consumer & Design Sciences
David Han, Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences
Christine (Chris) Schnittka, Curriculum & Teaching
Liliana Stern, Economics
Andrew Pendola, Educational Foundations, Leadership & Technology
Michael Baginski, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Sunny Stalter-Pace, English
John Beckmann, Entomology & Plant Pathology
Damion McIntosh, Finance
Nathan Whelan, Fisheries & Allied Aquaculture
Zhaofei (Joseph) Fan, Forestry, Wildlife, and the Environment
Kimberly Garza, Health Outcomes Research and Policy
Zachary Schulz, History
Elina Coneva, Horticulture
Diana Samek, Human Development & Family Studies
Rich Sesek, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Christopher (Brooks) Mobley, Kinesiology
Kasia Leousis, Library
Liesl Wesson, Management and Entrepreneurship
Jeremy Wolter, Marketing
Hans Werner van Wyk, Mathematics and Statistics
Sabit Adanur, Mechanical Engineering
Lee Johnson, Music
Chris Martin, Nursing
Kevin Huggins, Nutritional Sciences
David Mixson, Outreach
Peter Christopherson, Pathobiology
Lena McDowell, Pharmacy Practice
Jennifer Lockhart, Philosophy
Luca Guazzotto, Physics
Peter White, Political Science
Amit Morey, Poultry Science
Alejandro A. Lazarte, Psychology
Laura Plexico, Speech Language and Hearing Sciences G. Spray
David Strickland, Supply Chain Management (new)
LTC, Michael Quinn, ROTC Air Force
LTC, Laura Fryar, ROTC Army
Janice Clifford, Socio/Anthro/Social Work
Adrienne Wilson, Theatre and Dance
Robert Cole, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Absent without substitute:
Mary (Molly) Gregg, ACES
Jacek Wower,Animal Sciences
Mark Tatum, Building Sciences
Sanjeev Baskiyar, Computer Science & Software Engineering
Murali Dhanasekaran, Drug Discovery and Development
David King, Geosciences
Clark Danderson, Hospitality Mgmt.
Ben Bush, Industrial Design
Rebecca Curtis, Special Ed. Rehab. Counseling/School Psych
Captain, Matthew, Roberts ROTC Naval
Zachary Zuwiyya, World Lang & Literatures