Minutes
January 16, 2001
 

University Faculty Senate Minutes

Wise Conference Room, Wallace Hall 213

Date: January 16, 2001

Time 3:30 p.m.

Presiding: Dr. R. T. Floyd

Secretary: Dr. Richard Schellhammer (for Dr. Neil Snider)

I.      Call to order by R.T. Floyd

The following members were present: Dr. Richard Schellhammer, Dr. Helen Moshkovich, Mr. James Todd, Dr. Richard Collison, Dr. Tom Gonzalez (for Micky Smith), Ms. Tina N. Jones, Mr. Donnie Cobb, Dr. Johan van der Jagt, Ms. Ann Ketcham, Dr. June Abrams, Dr. Betty Cowan, Dr. Nancy Kudlawiec, Ms. Shannon White, and Dr. Janis Beaird.

II.      Approval of November, 28 2000 minutes

The following correction was made: page 3, part “C” changed to: “13 students from different countries.”  James Todd moved that the corrected minutes be approved.  Tina Jones seconded the motion, and the motion passed.

III.     Old Business

A.    Flexible Spending Plans – BenefitElect
New hires, to take advantage of the pre-tax deductions possible under BenefitElect must do so prior to their first pay period.  Those not signed up for the plan can do so in December.

B.    Community Workshops
R.T. Floyd, John Crawford, Shannon White, and Sharon Underwood will meet on January 17 to discuss this topic.  They seek input from all interested parties.

C.    Academic Advising Spreadsheet Checklists
These checklists are available for the Division of Nursing and all Colleges except Natural Science and Mathematics via the UWA Forms, etc. download web page.  These forms will be revised as necessary and as experience dictates.

IV.      New Business

A.    Recruitment and Retention Task Force
This committee is scheduled to meet at 3:30 pm, Wednesday, February 17 in Brock “Y” Hall.  The meeting will focus on an activity-based retention program based on suggestions made by Dr. Steve Gamble, President of Southern Arkansas University and his assistant, Ms. Ronnie Birdsong.  R.T. Floyd noted that recruitment and retention was a campus-wide activity, thus the committee seeks input from everybody in the University.  He also noted that the committee would move quickly to address this issue

B.    President’s Report
1.
     President Roach noted that the University was “looking at things within our control” for recruitment and retention.  He further noted that the University must move quickly to implement ideas.  This will be a collegial effort, seeking input from everybody on campus.  President Roach then entertained questions and comments from the Senate on any issues they thought important:
2.       Donnie Cobb raised concerns that many students receiving financial aid reported that they could not receive their refund checks in a timely fashion.  President Roach noted that many times delays were caused by government bureaucracies beyond the control of the University, however, this was an important issue that needed to be investigated.
3.       President Roach reported that state revenues are tight this year, which may impact the University’s budget.  The press is reporting the possibility of proration.  President Roach assured the Senate that the faculty would be kept informed of any impacts on the University’s budget.
4.       President Roach also discussed his planned trip to Washington, DC to discuss the University’s technology initiative with state senators.  He also praised Senator Shelby for working to include the University of West Alabama and the surrounding counties in the Delta Regional Authority (http://www.nado.org/legaffair/delta.html#final), a new independent agency to promote the economic development of the 219-county, seven-state Mississippi River region in addition to a 16-county area of Alabama (which includes the counties in our immediate service area).
5.       Tom Gonzalez asked if the University would make a commitment to the school band.  President Roach said this would be discussed at the meeting on Recruitment and Retention on January 17.
6.       Janis Beaird inquired about the ability of the University to recruit students from Florida.  President Roach mentioned that doubling out-of-state tuition had hurt the University’s recruitment, but he hoped that this increase in out-of-state tuition might be rolled back.

C.    Deans’ Council Report
1.     University Daycare Feasibility Study

This is still in a very tentative phase.  R.T. Floyd asked concerned individuals to pass along ideas to him or the Deans’ Council.  Schellhammer suggested that a University-run daycare would be a significant help in student retention.

2.      Grade Change Clarification

We have a policy in the catalog that states if a student successfully completes a course in which he or she has earlier received a “D” or “F,” the original grade is dropped from calculation in the GPA.  This was interpreted to mean that, if a student repeated a grade of  “D” and earned an “F” the second time, the hours attempted for either one of these courses should not be deleted since the student did not “successfully” complete the course the second time.  The policy has been changed to read that the lower of the two grades will be deleted and the statement in the policy “successfully completes” has been deleted.

3.     Delta Regional Authority

Adopted as part of the FY 2001 Omnibus Appropriations package (PL 106-553).  Under the authorization legislation, the authority (see, President’s Report above) will focus on basic infrastructure and transportation improvements in the region’s most distressed areas as well as business development and job training.  The leadership of the Delta authority will include a federal co-chair - nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate – the region’s eight governors and an executive director.  While the agency is authorized at $30 million for each of the next two years, Congress only appropriated $20 million for FY 2001.   Since the program includes counties in our immediate service area, the University is exploring ways to obtain and best utilize this funding.

4.     Academic Advisor Evaluations
These forms seem to be very good; corrections to the forms should be minor.  In general, the results show that the advisors are doing a good job; the Deans’ Council is pleased with the results.  Copies of reports for the University as a whole and for each college were distributed to Senate members.

D.    Information Systems Report – Paul Stewart and Mike Pratt
1.     Wireless Access

Every dorm (except Patterson Apts.), SUB, Library (limited), and Colleges of Education and Natural Sciences and Mathematics (limited) have wireless access.  The next wave after more Technology 2000 funds become available will include Patterson and other areas based on a priority list from the Deans’ Council.
James Todd inquired about wireless usage.  Paul Stewart said there were about 60 users, but he expected this number to grow.  Mr. Todd asked if price of equipment or knowledge of the service was the biggest detriment to users.  Mr. Stewart said he believed it was a lack of knowledge.
2.     Campus Pipeline
Paul Stewart reported the Campus Pipeline system was fully functional with students and faculty using it.
Mr. Stewart reported that students must now check their financial aid via Campus Pipeline first, before they check with the financial aid office.  This aids students in checking their financial aid status in a more timely fashion.  Students are notified of their awards by e-mail.
Stewart also reported that the process of sending grades via Campus Pipeline had been a success.  Only 150 students took the option of receiving their grades via mail.  Richard Schellhammer raised concerns that allowing students to receive grades via Campus Pipeline might violate the Buckley Amendment on student privacy.  Stewart replied that since Campus Pipeline accounts are password protected and, thus, secure, this fit under the Buckley Amendment.

3.       Campus File Server

Mike Pratt discussed the benefits of faculty using the campus file server.  This server backs up files and saves them from crashing, etc.  The server is kept in the Information Services office.  The server appears as another drive on a user’s computer and can be accessed like any other drive.  A wide variety of files can be stored including private files, shared files (department, college or other group).
Training is planned for faculty interested in using this service.  Information Services plans to install this on campus computers over the next few weeks.  At the same time, Information Services will install any upgrades users want.
The campus file server would also be available from home.  Mr. Pratt assured the Senate that the file server and all information on it is secure.

4.       Faculty Staff Training
Charlie Cook is now providing routine periodic training on various programs and aspects of the e-campus.  Mr. Stewart asks all faculty to send in any requests for training to Information Services.
5.       e-Mail Standardization

Information Services will move all faculty to MS Outlook for accessing their e-mail.  This will allow faculty to access their e-mail from home and their office in the same manner.  This will also allow the creation of a global address book for the University so users can just type in another UWA user’s name and Outlook would automatically supply the e-mail address.  This global address book would be updated by Information Services.  In addition, groups (committees, departments, clubs, etc.) would be created more easily.  Documents, training, and set-up will be provided to interested parties by Information Services.

6.       One Card System

A one-card system (providing a student ID, meal ticket, printing services, and access to security doors, for example) has been too expensive in the past.  Shannon White and Mike Pratt are looking at University of North Alabama system as a possible model.

7.       e-Campus Initiative

R.T. Floyd reported that he, Paul Stewart, and Mike Pratt would be attending a conference in Florida on Feb. 1-2.
The e-Campus Task Force will meet to establish priorities.
Mr. Stewart reported that he will assign somebody from his office to train faculty and answer their questions about Blackboard.

E.     Legislative Relations
Since Clemit Spruiell has to be in Montgomery from Tuesday to Thursday, it is difficult to arrange meetings with the Senate.  However, he is planning to attend the February meeting.

F.     Constitution
R.T. Floyd asked for volunteers to create a committee to check for any possible changes to the Senate constitution.  He suggested that it would be preferred for any changes to be voted on before graduation.

G.    Retirement System of Alabama – Presentation and Counseling Session
An RSA counselor will be on campus in the near future to discuss retirement planning.  The counselor will be available for one-to-one sessions for individuals approaching retirement.  Watch e-mail for updates.

H.    Higher Education Rally
The Higher Education Day Rally will again be held in conjunction with the Business Council of Alabama Job Fair (http://www.bcatoday.org/).  The date is Tuesday, March 6 on the Front Steps of the Alabama Statehouse.  Lunch will be provided following the rally.  The Job Fair 2001 will be at the Montgomery Civic Center following lunch.  Given the tight funds for education this year, a good turnout is essential for the success of the University.

I.      Faculty Senate Campus Directory
Our Campus Directory on the web has recently been updated with links to directory assistance via the web (http://www.555-1212.com, http://www.anywho.com, http://www.whitepages.com, and http://yellowpages.com.  Using these instead of dialing information will help reduce the University’s overall phone bill.  Also added to our Directory was the information regarding Telecommunications & Mail Policies, Residence Hall numbers, Greek & Student organization numbers found in the front of the paper Campus Directory and the other General Information numbers found in the back.

J.     Other
1.       Student Satisfaction Survey

2.       Advisor access to courses during registration

The issue was raised that it would be helpful for advisors to have access to course sizes during registration, enabling them to determine if classes for full or still open.

3.       Online registration

Online registration has been delayed because of the cost of the system.

4.       “Tagging” students

Problems with registering students who have been tagged were discussed.  It was generally agreed that those who were tagged for academic reasons should be given more consideration than those tagged for financial reasons.

V.      Adjournment
          The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm.

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