June 20, 2000

UWA Faculty Senate Minutes

Date: June 20, 2000

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Presiding: Dr.  R.T. Floyd

Secretary: Dr. Neil Snider

  1. Roll Call
    Present: Dr. Neil Snider, Dr. Wenger (for Dr. Schellhammer) , Dr. May, Mr. Gremmels, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Taylor, Dr. Richardson (for Dr. Abrams), Dr. Floyd, Mr. Todd, Dr. DeMay, Dr. Collison (for Mr. Thurn), Ms. White, Dr. van der Jagt, Mr. Smith, Dr. Beaird, and Dr. Pittman.
  2. Approval of April 18, 2000 minutes
    Mr. Todd moved that the April 18, 2000, minutes be approved. The motion was seconded by Ms. Jones, and the Motion carried.
  3. Approval of May 29, 2000 minutes
    Ms. Jones moved the approval of the May 29, 2000, minutes. The motion was seconded by Dr. Collison and the motion passed.
  4. Old Business
    1. Faculty Development Technology Workshops
      Dr. Floyd announced that Ms. Sharon Underwood is providing a Basic FrontPage 2000 Workshop from 2:00-3:30 p.m. on Fri., June 23 in WH 219, and she will also provide an Intermediate FrontPage 2000 Workshop from 2:00-3:30 p.m. on Mon., June 26 in WH 219. He also announced that Mike Pratt will tentatively provide a Microsoft Outlook & e-mail Management Workshop during June27-30. Dr. Floyd further announced that he will provide a repeat of the fall semester workshop on File Management in Windows 95/98 in early July. Campus Pipeline workshops will be provided in July. The LRC Voyager System workshops will be provided on a departmental basis.
    2. Faculty Sick Leave Bank
      Dr. Floyd reported that the sick leave donation policy & form were revised to reflect the UWA name and sent to the Deans' Council & Mr. Noland. He stated that he will meet with the Deans' Council to receive their input & with Mr. Noland to finalize the details and begin implementation. He also stated that it may be that we will still need a faculty/staff committee to administer the program.
    3. Faculty Affairs Committee Report - Faculty Advising Assessment – After discussion of the proposed instrument, Mrs. Taylor moved that the proposed instrument with today's revison be sent to the Deans’ Council. The motion was seconded by Dr. Collison and the motion passed.
    4. Flexible Spending Plans (Medical Savings/Dependent Care Savings/Additional Insurance Premium Plans
      Dr. Floyd reported that Mr. Allan Chappelle met with the President's Council, Mr. Danny Buckalew & him on May 1 and presented information & a proposal from his company, BenefitElect. Dr. Floyd stated that the proposal was extremely well received and conservative estimates indicated a savings of approximately $20,000.00 per year for UWA. The next move is to forward this proposal to the Insurance Committee, convene the Committee, and, assuming acceptance, initiate the process with Mr. Chappelle so that all of the preparatory work can be done in order for the program to be fully implemented by January 1, 2001. Dr. Floyd explained that under the summary heading of Flexible Spending Plans, there are actually four individual components: Institution Sponsored Insurance, Dependent Care Savings, Un-reimbursed Medical Savings, and Outside Medical Insurance Savings.
      1. The Institution Sponsored Insurance Plan allows the employee to have the amount currently deducted from his/her payroll for individual & medical, dental, group life (up to $50,000.00), disability, and AD& D insurance premiums placed in the University Flexible Spending Plan account. This allows the employee to reduce his/her amount of taxable income by this amount, which in turn will reduce the employee's taxes. Additionally, this will reduce the University's tax expenditure. The University currently has approximately 140 employees that could take advantage of this particular component with no risk of income loss.
      2. The Dependent Care Savings Plan allows contributions to an account that can then be used to reimburse for all allowable expenses related to caring for dependents so that the employee may work. This includes day care, and home care for the whole day in which the provider only provides dependent care for part of the workday. Also included are expenses for dependent care that occurs after hours, if the care is provided so that the employee can fulfill work obligations after hours. The employee would project at the first of the enrollment year how much he/she anticipates spending in an enrollment year for dependent care and this amount would be deducted in equal installments from the employee's pay throughout the year. Employees would, in turn, receive reimbursement for these amounts when appropriate documentation is provided to BenefitElect throughout the year.
      3. The Un-reimbursed Medical Savings Plan allows contributions to an account that can then be used to reimburse for all allowable deductibles and other expenses not covered by medical insurance. This includes all co-pays, prescriptions not covered by insurance, eyeglasses, medical aids, etc. (covered items are included on a list). The employee would project at the first of the enrollment year how much he/she anticipates spending in an enrollment year for un-reimbursed medical expenses and this amount would be deducted in equal installments from the employee's pay throughout the year. Employees would, in turn, receive reimbursement for these amounts when appropriate documentation is provided to BenefitElect throughout the year.
      4. The Medical Insurance Savings Plan allows contributions to an account that can be used to pay for additional medical insurance policies. The University would decide which, if any, outside medical insurance plans would be allowed. Potentially, some outside medical insurance plans would not be allowed. The employee would project at the first of the enrollment year how much he/she anticipates spending in an enrollment year for outside medical insurance plans and this amount would be deducted in equal installments from the employee's pay throughout the year. Employees would, in turn, receive reimbursement for these amounts when appropriate documentation is provided to BenefitElect throughout the year.

      Dr. Floyd noted that all of these plans allow the employee to reduce taxable income by the amount he/she elects to contribute to one or more of these plans and then obtain reimbursement for the expenses when documentation is presented. As long as the employee does not overestimate his/her annual expenses, it can be a real financial benefit to both the employee and the University. These contributions do not affect the employee's retirement benefits, but do have a minimal effect on Social Security. The individual employee forfeits any amounts not used in an annual period. The University benefits by paying less FICA. The collective UWA balance at the end of the annual period can be used to assist in funding the program for the next year. If this is done, the balance is spread evenly among all enrolled participants to reduce their needed contributions for the next period. The plan administrator does all the paper work, except deducting from the payroll check and collecting enrollment forms, which will be done by Business Office. The usual expense is approximately $4.00 per enrolled employee per month (pre-tax deduction) regardless of whether one or all four plans are utilized. The University will absorb these administration expenses so as to increase the enrollment numbers, which will ultimately benefit the University. BenefitElect will prepare all forms, brochures, etc. and provide employee seminars to increase understanding and acceptance. These seminars and related brochure distribution will be initiated in the fall semester. Dr. Floyd also noted that for UWA employees to be able to participate, the University must have a minimum of 20% of its employees initially enroll. This is necessary to have a payroll deduction. Dr. Floyd further noted that a link to the IRS information on this and related issues is on the Current Projects Link at the lower right column of the Faculty Senate home page.

    5. Tax Deferred Compensation Plans & Financial Planning Presentations (See Attachment)
      Dr. Floyd stated that he has talked with Ms. Colleen Baird of Valic, and he has tentatively scheduled her to present several financial planning seminars, approximately 1 hour in length, throughout the day on Wednesday, July 19. Part of each presentation will include information on the Valic tax deferred compensation plans. He encouraged everyone to attend. Following these presentations, UWA employees may elect to participate in the Valic programs if the University has a minimum of 20% of its employees enroll initially.
    6. e-Campus update
      Dr. Floyd reported on the e-Campus initiative. He noted that much progress has been made. Campus Pipeline will be live on July 1. All students will have an email address on Campus Pipeline in the fall. Student addresses will be last namefirstinitial@uwa.edu. During freshman orientation there would be a 1-hour session to introduce the e Campus concept and Campus Pipeline. Students will be assigned an e-mail address at that time. Grades & notice of tags will be emailed to students this fall. He noted that minimal faculty competency percentages by academic unit on April 26, 2000 are shown on the attached document. He also noted that all full-time faculty, most part-time, and some adjunct faculty now have individual web pages with at least basic information. Faculty members may add links to their classes, etc. at their discretion. The web page for the Dell computer configurations (personal purchases) is located at www.Dell.com/premier. The username is "West Alabama" and the password is "dell", no "" marks. The phone number will be 888-987-3355 to communicate to students to call. Interested parties should inform the sales reps they are calling for the University of West Alabama Computing Initiative. The IBM configurations will be the 1161260 1200i model for the laptop & the 628873u model for the desk top and will hopefully be posted soon. Wireless technology will be in all traditional dorms by fall as well as the LRC & SUB. Some classrooms in Bibb Graves & Wallace Hall will also be equipped with wireless technology. The Student Information Systems Committee is making significant progress in gathering data regarding the potential mainframe update and related software/hardware purchases versus purchasing the SCT Banner integrated network system. The EPOS software representative (for web registration) will be presenting on at 10:00 a.m. Wed., 6/21/00 in the SUB Conference Room.
    7. Tagged students/Advising & Pre-registration
      Dr. Floyd reported that the process for students to be tagged by Student Success Center has been modified to address the concern the Senate expressed. Now all terminals on campus that can register students will have the capacity to override the tags, with the exception of the Registrar. This means that a student with a tag can be pre-registered and actually have the classes saved in the computer and told by their advisor that they should see either their SSC or the Counseling Center prior to the completion in the Registrar’s office. If they do this, the tags will be removed before they get to the Registrar. If they do not, they will be told to seek counseling from one of these areas before they can actually complete the process. This should alleviate any concerns of individual advisors and still accomplish the intent of the tag system.
    8. Reserve times/dates for faculty meetings, etc.
      We mentioned this concept in our April meeting and now desire feedback from each department. We can forward our recommendation to the Deans' Council for further action if indicated. The feeling from the Deans' Council May meeting is that such a schedule would increase the chance for conflicting meetings. The Senate agreed not to pursue the idea any further.
    9. Distance Learning/Education Software
      Dr. Floyd reported that the University has had Jones Knowledge, Blackboard, & E-College on campus for presentations. It appears that we are not going to be able to arrange a campus demonstration of WebCT & Prometheus, but these have been publicized on campus. Most of these vendors offer some degree of functional distance education on a free or trial basis. There are many similarities and some differences, particularly in cost. It appears that Blackboard has the most options that the University can use at no cost for an unlimited time. This is the route that most of Blackboard's customers take. After using the free version for some period of time, many universities add more options at varying costs. The Distance Learning Committee will soon meet to discuss the next course of action on this matter.
    10. Technology 2000 Fund Raising Campaign
      Dr. Floyd reported that the Faculty/Staff Drive for the Technology 2000 Campaign was a success. Faculty and staff commitments total $43,015. The average commitment was $426. A letter will be sent from Campaign Chair Hal Bloom to all faculty and staff updating them on the progress of the campaign. Dr. Floyd stated that donations are still being accepted. To date the campaign has received commitments of $378,805 which represents 19% of our $2m goal. It should be pointed out that we have raised 19% of our goal in only 14% of the three-year campaign time. We have three more solicitation visits scheduled during the month of June which total $155,000. We also received 200 Pentium desktop computers, 50 Pentium laptops, 275 monitors, several printers, and all the related power cords, keyboards, mice, etc. These were donated by HealthSouth and processed through a professional redemption company, RedemTech.
  5. New Business
    1. President's Report (Dr. Ed Roach)
      Dr. Roach reported on the Capital Campaign Drive. He thanked the faculty for supporting the initiative, and he stated that he will be visiting several potential donors in the weeks ahead. He also gave a positive report on the legislative session and noted that all new money will go to faculty/staff compensation. He stated that it is the University’s goal to adopt the 90/12 concept University-wide. He also stated that enrollment for 2000-2001 looks good. In closing, he discussed the importance of the University moving ahead with the Bell Conference Center.
    2. Board of Trustees Meeting Report
      Dr. Floyd stated that Mr. Glen Bridges was honored with a resolution for his long years of service. Coaches Janet Montgomery and Rick Reedy were recognized for milestones of 300 & 200 wins, respectively. Dr. Roach provided a state of the University address which featured the progress during his tenure. Mr. J.G. Brazil, Alabama Power, presented the first of three checks for a $100,000 total gift to the Technology 2000 Campaign. Several speakers including Mr. Joel Hillhouse, UWA Foundation Board Chair, Dr. Bob Clardy, UWA Alumni Association President, Mr. Hal Bloom, Technology 2000 Campaign Chair, Ms. Erin Eckert, UWA SGA President, Mr. Archie Hooper, former SGA President, Dr. Richard Holland and others addressed the Board to report on the progress made and positive direction of the University under the direction of Dr. Ed Roach and the current administration. Dr. Floyd noted that Mr. Danny Buckalew reported from the Staff Senate and the report Dr. Floyd made to the Board is attached to today's expanded agenda. Dr. David Taylor reported on the progress of UWA, including accrediting agency visits, status of campus network connectivity, academic unit reports, and program viability. Chairman Terry Bunn tentatively set June 26-27 for the Board retreat. A lengthy executive session was held just before adjournment.
    3. Dean's Council Report
      Dr. Floyd gave the following report regarding the Deans’ Council report:
      1. Weekly Calendar/News/Inclement Weather Closing Status Line Beginning next week a new extension will be available from the main telephone dial-in menu to provide a calendar of news & information (updated weekly) and to inform our public and students of our closing status in the event of inclement weather.
      2. University Information Items Shelly Findley reported that the UWA Information Office is in the process of re-activating the Speakers Bureau and that an on-line form will be available for faculty/staff to provide their individual information as a well as a request form for groups desiring a speaker to use. She is developing a Media Sourcebook targeting television, newspaper, and radio personnel which will identify UWA personnel who will be available as resources for background material. Also in draft form is a Meeting the Media brochure to be distributed to all faculty & staff, which will cover do's & don'ts when speaking to the media. A News Page is being developed for the web that will include ten to twelve stories on a rotating basis. I have asked Shelly to present this information after it is all finalized at our July Faculty Senate meeting.
      3. Information Systems The Deans' Council voted to accept the Microsoft Campus Agreement which provides extensive software and upgrades for Windows, Office 2000 Professional. This option provides a wider range of software including FrontPage and is charged annually. We will be able to purchase one of each of the Dell computers at cost to be used as demonstration computers during orientation & during the first week of the fall semester. These computers may be purchased by departments at cost as long as Information Systems can use it during the demonstration period.
      4. Student Affairs Grades will no longer be tagged as part of the process for collecting parking tickets, library fines, etc. Instead students will be able to obtain their grades via Campus Pipeline. Academic records (transcripts, diplomas, etc.) will continue to be held as part of the tagging process which will prevent further registration or transfer of records until the reason for hold is cleared. The Registrars' Office is now collecting application fees, transcript fees, and housing deposits by credit cards.
    4. Financial Affairs Committee Preliminary Report - Mr. Jim Todd
      Mr. Todd reported that the Committee had recently met with Mr. Noland, and the members of the Committee were quite impressed with the report he gave. According to Mr. Noland, the planning and budgeting process is working well, with each area of the University submitting detailed budget requests based on departmental/area goals and objectives. Mr. Todd stated that the committee feels good about the planning and budgeting process at UWA and how it is being implemented. A final report of the committee will be presented at the July meeting of the Faculty Senate.
    5. Other
      There was no further business.
  6. Adjournment
    Dr. Richardson moved that the meeting adjourn. Dr. Collison seconded the motion, and the meeting adjourned at 5:10.
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