UWA FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 3:30 p.m.
Wise Conference Room - Wallace Hall 213
Dr. Richard Schellhammer called the meeting to order
at 3:30 p.m. Dr. Schellhammer, vice-president assumed the duties of Dr. Janis
Beaird, president, since she was absent due to illness. Members present were
Dr. Tina Jones, Dr. R.T. Floyd, Dr. Richard Collison, Mr. Mark Brothers, Dr.
Mark Griffith, Dr. Tom Gonzalez, Ms. Ann Ketcham, Dr. Betty Cowan, Dr. Dwayne
Massey, Mr. Jim Shelton, and Mr. Jim Todd.
II. Approval of January 21, 2003 Minutes
A motion was made to approve the January 21, 2003,
minutes by Dr. Mark Griffith to approve the minutes and seconded by Dr. Betty
Cowan. The minutes passed unanimously.
III. Old Business
Dr. Schellhammer asked if there was any other old
business. With no business, attention was moved to new business.
IV. New Business
State of the University – Dr. Richard Holland
Dr. Holland announced that the Board of Trustees
will meet on March 4, 2003. He distributed a draft of the newsletter to be
given to the Board to the Senate members. Dr. Holland directed the Senate’s
attention to the Academic Affairs section of the newsletter. He stated that
SACS accreditation has been reaffirmed. He noted that a follow-up report must
be completed by September. There are several items in this report that deal
with the Board specifically. Next, Dr. Holland mentioned the online graduate
programs. He noted that as of now there are 49 students enrolled in the
program. Enrollment is open through March. The continuing education program
has also been reinstituted and is being directed under the School of Graduate
Studies. Dr. Holland said that plans to expand program are being made. UWA
has been funded for the second year in the National Youth Sports Program.
This is a $50,000 grant. Last year, this program served 140 students. The
Fast-Track Employee Training Program is underway. This program is geared to
training secondary level industry employees. These are 10-week programs of
400 hours. Dr. Holland noted that Division of Nursing has had its
accreditation reaffirmed for the next eight years. Also 100% of the nursing
student who took the last NCLEX passed.
Dr. Holland then turned the Senate’s attention to
the Teacher Preparation Report Card. He acknowledged the bad press that UWA
received when 3 out 300 of our graduates for past three years did not score at
least an 18 on the PEPE evaluation. Dr. Holland said that all three of these
individuals were ineligible for the PEPE evaluation. Dr. Holland also said that
a meeting between UWA officials and Dr. Ed Richardson, Alabama’s State Board of
Education Superintendent, was held last week. In the near future, the Council
of Presidents and the Council of Chief Academic Officers will meet with
Richardson to discuss ways that colleges and university may be more involved in
this evaluation process.
Dr. Holland announced that our Fulbright-Scholar in
Residence Program has been recommended for funding. UWA is now waiting for
further notification from Fulbright officials. UWA has also received a grant
for the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts.
The University has recently completed a marketing
study. Basically the goal was to determine the image of the University. The
plan being considered is more direct marketing to promote the University’s
image. Dr. Holland said that the people who know us gave us an 89% approval
rating, but the problem is that many people do not know who we are.
The Bell Conference Center will be dedicated on June
8. This summer we have two conferences scheduled at the center with
participants staying at Hoover apartments.
The renovation of the McConnell House is almost
complete. The guest rooms from Webb Hall are to be moved to this three-bedroom
house with room for a caretaker’s apartment. Financial Affairs will be moved to
the Webb Hall guest room suites. The Registrar’s office will also be
reconfigured for better traffic flow. He noted that there is a need to remove
the institutional feel of that floor. Plans have been made to repave the Loop
road and a new parking facility for the Softball Complex. He noted that it has
been 20 years since the Loop has been paved. A sidewalk is also being
constructed in front of the SUB. There are also sidewalks being added to
Wallace, Selden, and Spieth Halls. This represents some of the beginning stages
of the Greenways Project.
Student Affairs has held eight counselor workshops
to help schools with their scholarship questions. Patsy Reedy, Director of
Financial Aid, has attended these workshops to help with the completion of
financial aid forms. An enrollment report was also distributed to the Senate.
Spring 2003 enrollment is currently at 1878. Dr. Holland said that one of his
concerns is that the undergraduate numbers are down, despite the overall numbers
increase. He stated that he hopes that the efforts by Student Affairs and all
areas of the University will help address this concern.
The campus is also showing an increasing commitment
to outreach activities. He reminded everyone that Congressman Davis now has an
office on our campus. He noted that Congressman Davis’ assistant, Kay Presley,
has been in this Congressional District for 16 years. She knows who to contact
for grants. On March 1, UWA will announce the establishment of the West Alabama
Regional Community and Economic Development Center on our campus.
Fortunately, UWA has money in this year’s budget that can only be used for
economic and workforce development. Alabama Power, York and Livingston have
also pledge funds to help run the center. We already have the Small Business
Development Center but this deals with a different audience and focuses
primarily on one-to-one activities. The new Center will work closely with the
West Alabama Regional Alliance and the Commission on the Future of East
Mississippi and West Alabama. A director for the Center is currently been
Dr. Holland reported on the Alabama Public Education
Unified Coalition (Education family). This Coalition consists of K-12,
community colleges, regional universities, and the research universities. In
addition, Paul Hubbert and ACHE and Gordon Stone from the Higher Education
Partnership are also working with this coalition. This group is looking to the
2003-04 education budget which is projected to have a deficit of ca. $300
Dr. Holland noted that the University presidents
have met twice with Governor Riley. In these discussions, the Governor has made
several distinct points. Riley is willing to support more money for education
if we have programs that are currently at the “best” in areas and have more
programs that address the service needs in each area of the State. The Governor
feels that the universities must provide more service and that more efforts need
to be placed on economic development. The Governor does not want to hear that
we simply offer degrees. For UWA, we are going to have to document what we are
doing to help make the Blackbelt a better place for the people who live here.
As soon as his schedule will permit, the Governor wants to come to campus and to
learn about UWA and our programs. He has never been to UWA.
Budget hearings were held with the Legislature last
week. A three-to-four percent increase was proposed for higher education. The
Legislature is very concerned about funding PEEHIP. In order to fund this, a
$130 million new dollars must come off the top of Trust Fund. This has to be
addressed first. It was asked why universities are not part of PEEHIP and what
it would cost. UWA is the only institution in which the employees pay nothing
for health insurance.
The issue of remedial education was also raised.
Several recommendations have been made that remedial education be moved to the
community college system. This is being supported by the community colleges,
University of Alabama, and Auburn University. This semester if this was in
effect 340 of our students would have to go a community college. Chancellor
Johnson of the community college system has said he could do a much better job
with this than regional institutions.
Another issue raised by the Legislature is that all
types of education must have more interaction and serve one another. In
addition, the question of diversity was raised. This is not a problem in our
student body, but we are lacking in diversity in our faculty and administrative
staff. Dr. Holland noted that we have had a minority fellowship program since
1986. We have developed 5 Ph.D’s from this program. These students have come
back to the institution and taught and then been hired away. A new committee
composed of nine blacks and three whites from the community has been organized
to consider the problem, because in many ways the problems are more with the
community than the institution. Dr. Holland noted that UWA is not the only
institution having this problem. Dr. Holland said if we can’t find minority
faculty members, we should bring minority professionals to campus to interact
with students. $15,000 of the Knight funds were initially set aside for this
Next year, a report card for colleges will be
released. Dr. Holland noted that it is important that institutions not be
compared in the same manner. The Legislature also wants to know when colleges
would be ready for a Board of Regents. The last item raised by the Legislature
is what percent of our budget comes from the state. Currently, 58% of our
budget comes from the state. Other institutions which show smaller levels of
state funding receive much of their revenues from grants, contracts, and
foundations. We desperately need a grants writing to assist faculty and staff
in pursuing more of these extramural funds.
Dr. Holland turned his attention to the Coalition’s
report. He directed the Senate’s attention to page 6 of the report which shows
that with minimal tax increases that would generate at least a billion dollars
for education without placing a burden on taxpayers. The report also outlines
the problem of funding in Higher Education. Alabama spends less than any of its
neighbors in higher education funding. Page 11 of the report outlines the value
of a college degree. The report also outlines the requests for Higher Education
in 2003-04. Higher Education is asking for a one billion dollar capital bond.
At UWA, we have $18 million of deferred maintenance on this campus. North
Caroline two months ago passed a three billion dollar bond issue for higher
education. In addition to the bond monies, an increase of $350,000,000 is being
requested. An outline of how these funds are to be spent also appears in the
report. This also brings up the issues of accountability and productivity. Dr.
Holland noted the ways in which UWA is already held accountable. Unfortunately,
the handling of funds by some of the K-12 systems has thrown all of education in
a bad light to the public and the legislature.
The last of the report summarizes the needs of
higher education. We need operating funds and capital funds. Since 1986, UWA
has received on average $214, 016 of capital funds per year. For 2002-03, the
ACHE formula should have provided $17, 491,600. We are only receiving only 54%
of this. From 1995-2000, the state of Alabama has lost $906 per full-time
student in funding. The report closes by outlining the economic impact of
4-year public institutions.
Following Dr. Holland’s comments, Dr. Mark Griffith
asked if UWA is looking at a tuition increase for 2003-04. Dr. Holland said
unfortunately he sees no way around this. But there is no way of knowing at
this time how much this would be. He added that other institutions have also
announced tuition increases. Dr. Griffith said that the business community
feels that they are in a low-tax state, but the general public feels it is in a
high tax state. Dr. Griffith said if the tax is moved from sales tax to ad
valorum tax we will go from a hidden tax to a visible tax. Dr. Holland said our
job is to convince citizens that we can help the lives of generations to come.
The universities are going to have to sell what we do to the public.
Higher Education Day/ACUFP Meeting – Dr. R.T. Floyd
Dr. Floyd distributed information about the Upcoming
Higher Education Day on March 13. He noted that the ACUFP meeting will also
meet on that day. There will be a bus for students to take students to Higher
Education Day. Dr. Floyd emphasized the importance of attending this event.
Tax Reform Resolution – Dr. R.T. Floyd
Dr. Floyd distributed a resolution passed by the
faculty senate at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Dr. Mark Griffith
made a motion that the Senate pass a similar resolution drafted by Floyd. Dr.
Collison seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Dr. Griffith
moved that the word unanimously be added to the document and Dr. Collison
seconded it. The motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting was
adjourned at 4:55 p.m.