Senate Meeting: October 18, 2022
A Panopto recording for this meeting is available.
Please refer to recording for details not included in the minutes.
Presentations are available from the agenda for the meeting.
Attendance Record at the end of the minutes.
A quorum was established, with 56 Senators. 56 Senators responded to the quorum poll.
The Chair called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm. The Chair gave attendees an overview of the basic procedures for the Zoom meeting format and then began the meeting. First, he introduced the members of the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate Steering Committee.
Corrections were noted from Dean Jeffery Fairbrother about the Senate transcript. Approval of the minutes from September 20, 2022, with
No other objections or corrections were raised, and the minutes were approved.
The Chair invited the AU Administrators to make remarks.
Chris Roberts, Auburn University President Remarks:
President Roberts welcomed everyone and mentioned that he has been enjoying visiting the academic departments from which he is benefiting and learning from each visit. He commented that during this enrollment season, AU received more than 17,000 applications, which is higher than last year. Dr. Roberts noted two faculty members would be added to the Enrollment Management Council. This committee serves Dr. Damon and advises the President's office about admissions.
Dr. Roberts discussed the endowment of over $1,000,000,000 at this time. He continued by saying that revenues would be used to include professorships, scholarships, and academic programs.
President Roberts discussed the Office of Advancement, which houses the Development, Alumni Affairs, and Communications; there is an ongoing effort to build Auburn University Advancement model by searching for a new chief of communications officer. He stated that a professional firm would be used to help with the search.
Dr. Roberts shared information about the new Cummins Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama. This facility will support Auburn and the community in the area as a great resource. Finally, Dr. Roberts concluded his remarks.
The Chair thanked Dr. Roberts and asked Interim Provost Nathan to share her comments.
Vini Nathan, Auburn University Interim Provost Remarks:
Provost Nathan made two announcements; the announcement from AU News spoke of an internal search for an Assistant Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, and the second, the Commencement speaker for December 9, 2022, will be Dr. Simona Black, who is a graduate of AU College of Nursing. December 10, 2022, will have individual colleges' graduation ceremonies. This concluded remarks for Dr. Nathan.
The Chair then asked if there were questions and recognized Diana Samek.
Diana Samek asked a question about the search for a permanent Provost and whether Interim Provost Vini Nathan can apply for Provost.
President Roberts commented that there is no search for Provost as several searches are in the process now.
The Chair recognized a question from Hans Werner Van Wyk; What are Auburn's efforts to continue to attract international graduate students, international post-doctoral students, and visiting scholars?
Dr. Nathan responded by saying that in terms of faculty hiring and post-doctoral students, the University is beginning to look at bringing people from all over the world and that Andy Gillespie is assisting the units in the University with this issue.
Report on New Senate Officer Nomination Committee (NSON)
Presenter: Don Mulvaney, Chair of NSON and a Past Chair of AU Senate.
Don Mulvaney spoke to the nominating committee being formed, which complies with the handbook's guidelines and bylaws. A notice had been sent out, as articulated in the attached letter, Letter (pdf), identifying the committee and pertinent information about the election of officers and the nominating processes.
NSON Committee members:
Don Mulvaney (Chair)
Dean Schwartz, College of Vet Med
Cheryl Seals, College of Engineering
David Martin, College of Human Sciences
Michael Baginski, College of Engineering
Elizabeth Davis-Sramek, College of Business
Auburn University Annual Budget (Fiscal Year Ending September 20, 2023)
Presenter: Kelli Shomaker, Senator from VP Business & Finance/CFO.
Kelli Shomaker gave a synopsis of the September 30, 2023, fiscal year budget. The Board of Trustees (BOT) approved this budget at the September meeting. The Fiscal 23 budget is an overall Auburn University budget of 1.6 billion, which includes all four divisions of the University. The main campus budget of 1,3 million is 84.7%, Auburn University Montgomery, is 6.9% or 110.5 million, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service is 7.4 million, and the Agriculture Experiment Station is 63.2 million. Therefore, the fiscal year 23 budget of 1.593 billion is 64.2 million larger than our fiscal year 22 budget or a 4.2% increase. After presenting a breakdown of all revenues, Shomaker concluded her presentation.
The Chair entertained questions. Duha Tore Altinday asked a question related to the budget. How much of the 1.6 billion budget is allocated to athletics in general?
Kelly shared that you can find all of the details of the Auburn University budget on the Auburn University Budget Office web page. To answer the question of how much of the budget is allocated to athletics - $119 million.
The Chair asked if there were other questions. No other questions, then the Chair moved to the action item: a vote on a motion made by Senators Hartfield and Stern on a new background check policy.
Vote on Motion made by Senators Hartfield and Stern on New Background Check Policy
Presenter: Mark Carpenter, Chair
The Chair asked Senator Hartfield to introduce the Motion and begin the debate. Senator Hartfield noted that the Motion asked the administration to engage in shared governance on policies that affect faculty in profound ways. Hartfield asked that the administration officials look at the policy and find appropriate ways to develop a better policy on the policy that would have the backing of the Senate. Information on the policy can be found on the link and pdf below.
Hartfield/Stern Motion (pdf)
Background Check pdf link
The Chair asked if anyone had a question from the administration and if anyone wanted to speak on the pros and cons of the Motion.
The Chair recognized Counsel Jamie Hammer. Counsel Hammer shared some observations about the resolution. Counsel Hammer is concerned about the underpinnings of the resolution itself. She thought there were misstatements or misleading statements in the whereas clauses for the resolution. Jammie Hammer shared a significant discussion as it was outlined in the handbook and wanted to state that the adoption of policy on the policy followed the appropriate university process.
Dr. Roberts commented he is interested in having a policy that keeps the community safe. Discussions have been made earlier about how the discussion on the language should move forward.
Much discussion was made about when the policy was received, and Jammie Hammer made the final comment that facts and timelines about the policy shared were inaccurate.
Without more debate on the Motion, the Chair asked if everyone was ready for the question and can we proceed to the vote.
The Chair opened the vote. The results were 58 responses, with 22 yes, 29 no, and seven abstaining. Therefore the Motion was not carried.
President Roberts ask to make comments. Dr. Roberts shared that regardless of the outcome of this vote, it was our full intention to continue our dialog. President Roberts wants to make sure that there are policies that serve all.
The Chair asked if there was any new business.
Senate Chair adjourned the meeting at 5:07 pm
Senate Meeting Participants - October 18, 2022
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
Arthur Appel, sub for
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 sub for
Janaki Alavalapati Dean, College of Forestry, Wildlife, and the Environment
Calvin Johnson Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine
Absent without substitute:
James Weyhenmeyer VP Research
Greg Newschwander Dean, College of Nursing
Vini Nathan Interim Provost
Shali Zhang Dean of Libraries
Coleman Turnipseed sub for
Jake Haston SGA President
Makeda Nurradin GSC President
Evelyn Hunter Steering Committee
Arianne Gaetano sub for
Danilea Werner Steering Committee
Robert Norton Steering Committee
Absent without substitute: Highlight in BLUE
Ashley Reid Staff Council Chair
Clint Lovelace A&P Assembly Chair
Robert Cochran Steering Committee
Senators by Departments
Andy McLelland sub for
Elizabeth (Lisa) Miller Accountancy
Roy Hartfield Aerospace Engineering
Mary (Molly) Gregg ACES
Jacek Wower Animal Sciences
Vinicia Biancardi Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology
Kevin Moore Architecture
Katherine Arpen, sub for
Lauren Woods Art
James Birdsong Aviation
Anthony Moss Biological Sciences
Regina Gramling Business Analytics and Information Systems
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
Murali Dhanasekaran Drug Discovery and Development
Liliana Stern Economics
Sunny Stalter-Pace English
John Beckmann Entomology & Plant Pathology
Damion McIntosh Finance
Zhaofei (Joseph) Fan Forestry, Wildlife, and the Environment
David King Geology & Geography
Kimberly Garza Health Outcomes Research and Policy
Zachary Schulz History
Diana Samek Human Development & Family Studies
Christopher (Brooks) Mobley Kinesiology
Kasia Leousis Library
Liesl Wesson Management and Entrepreneurship
Jeremy Wolter Marketing
Hans Werner van Wyk Mathematics and Statistics
Lee Johnson Music
Kevin Huggins Nutritional Sciences
David Mixson Outreach
Peter Christopherson Pathobiology
Lena McDowell Pharmacy Practice
Jennifer Lockhart Philosophy
Luca Guazzotto Physics
Peter White Political Science
Samuel Rochell sub for
Amit Morey Poultry Science
Alejandro A. Lazarte Psychology
Rebecca Curtis Special Ed. Rehab. Counseling/School Psych
Gregory Spray sub for
Laura Plexico Speech Language and Hearing Sciences
David Strickland Supply Chain Management (new)
LTC, Laura Fryar ROTC Army
Captain, Matthew Roberts ROTC Naval
Janice Clifford Socio/Anthro/Social Work
Adrienne Wilson Theatre
Robert Cole Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Zachary Zuwiyya World Lang & Literatures
Absent without substitute:
Valentina Hartarska Agricultural Economics & Rural Sociology
David Blersch Biosystems Engineering
Mark Tatum Building Sciences
Bryan Beckingham Chemical Engineering
Shehenaz Shaik Computer Science & Software Engineering
Andrew Pendola Educational Foundations, Leadership & Technology
Michael Baginski Electrical & Computer Engineering
Nathan Whelan Fisheries & Allied Aquaculture
Elina Coneva Horticulture
Clark Danderson Hospitality Mgmt.
Ben Bush Industrial Design
Rich Sesek Industrial and Systems Engineering
Sabit Adanur Mechanical Engineering
Chris Martin Nursing
LTC, Michael Quinn ROTC Air Force