Senate Steering Meeting
October 11, 2022, 3:32 p.m.
Via Zoom

Present: Mark Carpenter (Chair), Daniel Svyantek (Immediate Past Chair), L. Octavia Tripp (Secretary), Lisa Kensler (Chair-Elect), Linda Gibson-Young (Secretary – Elect), Vini Nathan 
(Interim Provost), Evelyn Hunter, Robert Norton, Arianne Gaetano (substituting for Danilea Werner), Robert Cochran.

Senate Chair, Mark Carpenter called the meeting to order at 3:32 pm

Approval of Steering Minutes from September 13, 2022:
The minutes were approved with the following correction, Arianne Gaetano (substituting for Danilea Werner) present instead of Danilea Werner.

Mark Carpenter (chair) welcomed everyone and introduced that there would be several speakers for todays meeting. Those speakers would be Karen Battye, Kelli Shomaker, Jada Kohlmeier, and Melody Russell.

1st speaker – Karen Battye
Calendar Changes, In the past the fall term always starts on August 15. Fall term 2023 will start on August 21. Karen presented the current academic calendar which shows the Fall term in 2023 starting on August 21, 2023. Due to holidays Karen mentioned that the grades would be late in December. With that said, the academic grades may be late getting out and this would cause a problem for the office of financial aid and scholarship. This would cause a problem for students. Karen presented several options to be considered for the issue. She offered the best option for the term to start on August 14, 2023, which is prior to the 15th of August.

Much discussion was made concerning faculty not starting their contracts until the 15th of August. Karla McCormick was then asked to comment on the problem of faculty contracts that would arise based on starting on the 14th of August. The discussion surrounds the faculty who teach summer session and those who are Nine-month employees.
Mark asked Karen to give the backup plan if the calendar started on the 16th of August. Karen discussed that if it started on the 16th, one day from Fall break would have to be dropped from two days to one day. Mark (chair) thanked Karen for making the case and it was noted that there would be more discussion.

2nd speaker – Kelli Shomaker
University Budget Update to be given in the upcoming Senate Meeting– Kelli presented the budget presentation that she gave to the Board of Trustees (BOT). This presentation outlined the budget for fiscal year 2023 for the BOT to approve. The slides show the total amount of the university budget including all four divisions of the university (Main Auburn University Campus, Auburn University Montgomery - AUM, Alabama Agriculture Extension System -  AAES and  Alabama Cooperative Extension System - ACES.

3rd speaker – Jada Kohlmeier Professor Rank Above Full Professor
Jada mentioned that Todd Steury introduced the idea of rank above full professor. Research was done that showed what other institutions in terms of whether they have a rank above Full Professor. She discussed rewarding an exceptional professor who has accomplish something exceptionally unusual in their field. She presented the handbook language for Assistant, Associate and Professor. Currently, this is a proposal that one can think about. Jada added that this rank would be called Auburn Professor and she gave some ideas for choosing the Auburn Professor rank.
Dr. Nathan said that the President would like to have a further study and discussion done on this topic.
Mark (Chair) stated that more details are needed to move this forward. This will not be presented to the Senate yet.

4th speaker – Melody Russell – Senate Departmental DEI Award
Melody discussed questions concerning the DEI Award. The DEI Award would acknowledge and recognize relative to someone’s work and collaboration to DEI efforts. The committee looked at criteria that would make individuals eligible for the award. Melody mentioned the possibility of a review committee, not a nomination committee, along with including some type of monetary award. 
Mark (Chair) stated the Senate Executive Committee would be discussing the award with the Provost and President.

Information Item
Lisa Kensler – Guidelines for making Promotion/Tenure decision when MLA, Paid Parental Leave, and COVID 19 extensions are involved.
Lisa started with discussion of guidelines for Promotion/Tenure during COVID 19. She explained and provided detail information that was discussed by several members of steering.
Dr. Nathan shared information with the Deans about this guideline. Dr. Nathan mention that the guidelines have a lot more work needed, due to the complexity of this topic. Dr. Nathan mentioned that Deans have just started discussing the guidelines. Evelyn Hunter further discussed about ways of better framing how productivity should happen based in context that departments should treat COVID procedures as a pause when work happened during this break.

Therefore, this item of discussion should not go before the senate until the Deans have discussed the guidelines in more detailed.

Pending Action Item: 
Update on motion made by Dr. Hartfield - policy on policy.
Further discussion was continued about the motion made by Senator Hartfield related to Policy on Policy. The major discussion involved language being changed within the policy. The major question that came out of the discussion was, what would happen if Senate passes the motion.  
Mark (Chair) made note that he would talk again with Jamie Hammer. Otherwise, we will see what happens with the motion in the senate.

Announcements: None

Unfinished or New Business

Adjournment – Chair Mark Carpenter adjourned the meeting at 5:57 pm.