March 21, 2000

UWA Faculty Senate


Date: March 21, 2000
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Presiding: Dr. R.T. Floyd
Secretary: Dr. Neil Snider

  1. Roll Call by Dr. R.T. Floyd
    Present: Dr. Neil Snider, Mrs. Nancy Kudlawiec, Dr. Gene May, Mrs. Tina Jones, Mr. Jim Shelton (for Mr. Bill Lenning), Mr. Jim Todd, Dr. Patricia DeMay, Mrs. Carole Smith, Mr. Charlie Cook, Dr. Kathleen Pittman, Dr. Rich Schellhammer, and Mrs. Donna Miller.
  2. Approval of February 15, 2000 minutes
    Mrs. Tina Jones moved that the minutes be approved. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Nancy Kudlawiec, and the motion passed.
  3. Old Business
  1. Faculty Web Pages
    Dr. Floyd announced that detailed letters of explanation regarding the status of faculty web accounts were sent out on 3/6/00. The letters were to three different groups of faculty members: 1) those faculty with current web pages through the Faculty Senate that are now placed in the "facstaff" web directory, 2) those faculty (with UNIV email accounts) without web pages that now have an account (and an incomplete template serving as a web page) in the "facstaff" web directory, and 3) those faculty without UNIV email accounts advising them how they can have a web page once they move to the UNIV email account. In serving as facstaff web account administrator, he stated that he was glad to assist as needed.
  2. Faculty Senate History Committee Progress Report
    No report.
  3. Faculty Development Technology Workshops
    Dr. Floyd reported that numerous workshops have been offered. The most popular ones were related to web page development. Generally, the workshops have been attended more by staff than faculty. He announced that Ms. Shannon White will provide a workshop on Searching the Internet Wed. 3/22/00, and Mr. Mike Pratt will provide a workshop on Using Outlook for Email and Related Tasks on Thur. 3/23/00. In addition, tentative plans are being made for an April workshop on using distance learning software to enhance traditional courses, and Dr. Floyd will probably present another workshop on Windows 95/98 File Management. Ms. Sharon Underwood will provide an Intermediate workshop on FrontPage 2000. Other workshops may be repeated depending upon feedback. Currently, he is looking at the summer schedule to determine the best possible times to involve the most faculty. Campus Pipeline workshops will also be offered this summer.
  4. Faculty Affairs Committee Report Dr. Janis Beaird was unable to attend, but provided the following update:
    1. Faculty Sick Leave Bank
      The committee has met several times to review the Alabama State Code which applies to public schools and communities colleges as well as the University of Tennessee plan. Recently the Committee has found that UAB has a very detailed plan for sick leave transfer. TSUD has a less detailed informal plan that allows voluntary sick leave transfer when needed and requested by an employee. ASU has a plan whereby each employee is asked to donate 8-hours of sick leave to a bank and then a committee decides to whom and when it should be awarded. The Committee has written no details yet of ASU's plan and they are currently considering a revision. There are many different ways to set this up ranging from very strict where only a specific amount of days may be donated to a specific employee to where anyone may donate to a bank for anyone to use when needed.
    2. Faculty Advising Assessment
      Dr. Floyd stated that the Committee has developed the attached advisor evaluation form and procedure for Senate review and action. There was concern expressed about faculty who advise students when the regular advisor is not available. It was also suggested that check boxes be substituted for circles. There were other concerns expressed, such as not having information for #4 and the problems created when students do not show up for appointments. Dr. Floyd asked the Committee to see if these suggestions could be incorporated into the form.
  5. Direct Deposit
    Dr. Floyd announced that direct deposit will begin June 1. He asked members to review the new policy regarding disbursement of payroll checks which is posted on the Faculty Senate Current Projects web page.
  6. Medical Savings/Dependent Care/Additional Medical Insurance Flexible Savings Plan
    1. Dr. Floyd reported that in preparation for addressing this with the Business Office he has been collecting data from the other 15 state higher education institutions relative to their contribution & the individual employees contribution for medical, dental, group life, disability, and AD& D insurance. This data handout will reveal that UWA employees are better covered in essentially all of these categories with less out-of-pocket expense that most if not all of the other institutions. He stated that he hopes to rearrange the data presentation and double-check its accuracy so that it is easier to comprehend at a glance. He will forward this information to the members when ready for dissemination.
    2. Dr. Floyd stated that he has received and reviewed copies of the flexible savings plans utilized by AU, AUM, TSU, TSUD, TSUM, UAB, UAH, UAT, UM, & USA. He has also spoken at length with Mr. Allan Chappelle of Chappelle Consulting Group/BenefitElect, who administers both Auburn University & Troy State University's plans as well as those of many other public institutions/agencies. To clarify, he stated that he was not referring to a cafeteria plan, but rather three different plans that all allow the employee to defer pre-tax income as they designate into one or more of the three plans. The 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. 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. The Medical Insurance Savings Plan allows contributions to an account that can be used to pay for additional medical insurance policies as well as the amount faculty currently have UWA deduct for family medical & dental. All of these plans allow the employee to reduce taxable income by the amount they elect to contribute to one or more of these plans and then get 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. The University benefits by paying less FICA. The individual employee forfeits any amounts not used in an annual period. 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 can be 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 employee per month (pre-tax deduction) regardless of whether one or all three plans are utilized. In some cases, the employer absorbs these administration expenses so as to increase the enrollment numbers, which will ultimately benefit the University. These contributions do not affect retirement benefits, but do have a minimal effect on Social Security.
    3. The next step is to schedule a meeting of the President's Council, Faculty & Staff Senate Presidents, and Mr. Chappelle. Then, provided approval, the plan goes to the Insurance Committee for consideration. At this point, BenefitElect would come to campus, explain the program to employees and initiate enrollment. The University has a rule that 20% of employees have to enroll in any new plan before the Business Office will establish a payroll deduction slot. Otherwise, nothing changes. If this is something we really want we must educate our fellow employees and encourage enrollment up to 20% (approximately 52 employees).
  7. Faculty Staff List Serve
    Dr. Floyd stated that Mr. Mike Pratt is working out the details to see if the process for subscribing and unsubscribing can be made easier. As soon as this is worked out faculty will be notified.
  8. University Scholars Committee Report
    Dr. Schellhammer presented the Committee’s report. (See Attachment). There was discussion regarding the criteria, particularly in relation to GPA. Dr. Floyd referred the document back to the Committee for further review.
  9. University Credit Union
    Dr. Floyd reported that Mr. Noland has obtained and provided a copy of the State of Alabama Policy Concerning Requirements for an Alabama State Credit Union Charter. He circulated the information to Senate members. Dr. Floyd also stated that Mr. Tommy Cobb, a UWA graduate with Tuscaloosa Federal Family Credit Union, has expressed a great deal of interest in assisting us with this initiative. He indicated the possibility of placing a computer terminal in an office on campus and having a representative here at a designated time once a week, depending upon participation. Dr. Floyd stated that we also need to inform and educate UWA personnel regarding our current credit union, First Educators 1-800-264-8031.
  10. e-Campus update
    Dr. Floyd gave the following update on e-Campus.
    1. e-Campus Task Force
      The ECTF met 3/9/00, organized into five subcommittees which have all subsequently met and returned their preliminary reports via their chair to ECTF Steering Committee which, in turn, met today at 1:00 p.m. The subcommittees and the issues they have been assigned to address are as follows. The student perspective committee will address email assignment & format, configuration of student's computers, orientation for services, how will we provide students help, training of students, determining minimal competency levels for students, etc. The faculty perspective committee will address minimal competencies needs for faculty, encouragement of next level of competency, validation of technology incorporation into freshmen courses, role of area technology specialist, etc. The hardware/software committee will address standardization, minimal faculty/staff computer standards, computer configuration & vendor recommendation, connectivity - wired & wireless, Office 2000, etc. The Publicity/Communications will ensure appropriate & timely information dissemination to faculty/staff, students, parents, general public, etc. The Student Information Systems Committee will address registration/preregistration, drop/add, checking/delivery of grades to & from the Registrar's Office, financial aid, payment of fees, fines, temporary/permanent rolls, policy development issues, vendor recommendation, etc.
      1. Faculty Perspective Committee
        This committee has established the minimal competencies and related checklist as well as the next level of competencies to be encouraged. The minimal competencies and checksheet are attached.
    2. e-Campus web page
      Dr. Floyd stated that the home page for the e-Campus initiative & the Task Force is http://www.uwa.edu/ecampus. Questions & answers related to all aspects of the e-Campus initiative will be posted as they occur. Information for the general public will be located here along with links to http://infonet.uwa.edu/ecampus where more sensitive information such as committee minutes, etc. will be located. To reach the Infonet site, you must be connected via the UWA network or UWA dial up.
    3. www.uwa.edu
      Dr. Floyd stated that when developing web pages it is important to use the new web site URL, www.uwa.edu. The old URLs www.westal.edu & www2.westal.edu still work but all web pages are gradually being changed. He also stated that the University needs to publicize www.uwa.edu in our correspondence, stationary, business cards and gradually eliminate the use of the old URLs.
    4. Email addresses
      Dr. Floyd stated that Faculty/staff email addresses will be changed from userid@univ.westal.edu to userid@uwa.edu. The current userid@univ.westal.edu will still function for an extended period of time into the future until everyone eventually is moved to the userid@uwa.edu. During the conversion period email addressed to userid@univ.westal.edu can be automatically routed to the userid@uwa.edu address. The old userid@uwamail.edu will be eliminated at some point during the current year. It is estimated that this process to establish the new userid@uwa.edu may take about a month. As a result faculty & staff desiring new business cards, stationary, etc. may want to delay new orders until they receive their new email address. It was also decided that faculty and staff would continue with their current format of userid (which is mixed primarily between just initials & first initial followed by last name) and that new faculty/staff would be encouraged to use the first initial followed by last name format. It was also decided that the least desirable format for distinguishing between similar names was the addition of numbers (01, 02) after the userid. This method will not be used for new faculty & staff.
  11. Campus Clocks
    Dr. Floyd stated that Mr. Holycross relayed that a master clock and individual clocks have just been placed on bid and upon purchase they will be gradually installed throughout campus during the spring and summer.
  1. New Business
  1. ACUFP Meeting
    Dr. Floyd reported that at the Feb. 25-26 meeting at TSUM, the group heard from Dr. Roger Ritvo, representing the Chief Academic Officers in regards to formulating some type of response to ACHE on the Faculty Database. ACUFP developed a tentative response which can be found on the ACUFP web page at http://www.uwa.edu/acufp.
  2. Dean's Council report
    1. Summer Session Advising
      Dean Underwood & Ms. Mary Pagliero are continuing to work on the specific details regarding orientation advisement sessions.
    2. Inclement weather policy
      This is still being finalized but will consist of one specific telephone number and a web page that University personnel and the general public may contact to check our closing status in the event of inclement weather.
    3. Varsity Athletics Course Credit
      UWA’s policy regarding the acceptance of academic credit for varsity has changed slightly. The University will now accept transfer credit for varsity athletic courses for up to a grand total of 4 semester hours. UWA’s grade will continue to be on a pass/fail basis but the University will accept the actual grade awarded for transfer credit. In no case can a student athlete get combined credit for more than a grand total of 4 semester hours.
    4. Grants Contract
      The University has contracted with a grants organization which will guarantee grant funding to at least recoup their fee. Grant opportunities involving multi-industry projects, agriculture and others are being reviewed.
    5. SACS
      The calendar has been established for the upcoming SACS review and campus wide appointments for the eight (8) committees of the highly participatory process will soon be made.
    6. Electronic employment applications
      The Deans' Council has appointed a committee to review and establish a process by which the University will accept employment applications and related materials via electronic means. The Committee has submitted its report for the Council to review at the April 4th meeting. As part of this process, the committee has placed the UWA Faculty and Staff Benefits Brochure on the Internet at http://www.uwa.edu/facsenate/FSBenfit.htm.
    7. Bell Conference Center
      The Deans' Council again voted unanimously in support of the University moving forward with plans to build the Bell Conference Center.
    8. Course Evaluation Schedule
      The Council decided to try for one year and then re-evaluate the previously reported schedule of having a 5-day period of course evaluation beginning immediately following Assessment Day. This is primarily due to the earlier need for the data collected in the fall semester.
    9. Faculty Achievement Form & Process
      The Deans Council approved a form for standard submission of data regarding the achievements of the faculty. This form and an example of how data should be reported will soon be posted on the University web page for downloadable forms.
  3. University Club events
    Dr. Floyd announced that the University Club will host a deck party at Tartt Field on April 15. Contact Miles Hester for details or to join.
  4. Tax Deferred Compensation Plans
    Dr. Floyd reported that the University is exploring the possibility of adding other tax deferred compensation plans with greater investment flexibility as an option for employees who would like to defer some income in this manner. Pebsco, which has the State contract, has been bought out by Nationwide. The Pebsco is in the process of possibly creating a new company and expects to gain the state contract in June. Dr. Floyd asked the Senate to continue to review these and other similar programs as well as discuss their advantages and disadvantages with faculty. To create a new payroll slot the University will have to have at least 20% of our 262 employees to enroll.
  5. Help Line Feedback
    Dr. Floyd stated that Paul Stewart has requested feedback regarding the Help Line during this past pre-registration period.
  6. Distance Learning/Education Software
    Dr. Floyd reported that the University will have distance learning software vendors to make faculty presentations. Dr. Floyd encouraged members to try out the free components provided by eCollege, Blackboard, WebCT, and Jones Knowledge. These free programs are significantly powerful in the ways they may enhance courses taught by traditional methods. Further information may be found on the Class Technology Links web page accessible via the Faculty Senate home page.
  7. Board of Trustees Report
    Dr. Floyd gave the following report:
    The UWA Board of Trustees met on March 6.
    1. Bell Conference Center
      The Board is in the process of gathering more information on the Bell Conference Center for further discussion at the next Board meeting.
    2. Athletics
      A brief report was provided on Athletics, particularly focusing on the new press box-grand stand at Tartt Field.
    3. Academic Affairs
      Dr. Taylor provided a summary report on Program Viability, Developmental Programs, and the e-Campus. The Program Viability & Developmental Programs report was essentially the same report provided to us in our 2/15/00 meeting.
    4. President's Report
      Dr. Roach, Mr. Clemit Spuiell, and Mr. John Crawford provided an update on the Technology 2000 Capital Campaign.
    5. Board appointments
      There are currently six positions on the UWA Board of Trustees up for appointment.
  8. Financial Affairs Committee
    Dr. Floyd issued the following charge to this Senate committee:
    Review and report to the Faculty Senate the current process for budgeting financial resources as they relate to the University academic programs. If, in your review, you determine as a committee that any revisions or improvements in the process may be indicated, please provide a detailed explanation and rationale for each. Also, please provide an update on the status of the budget for the current academic year. Please provide a preliminary report at the 6/20/00 meeting with a final report due at the 7/18/00 Faculty Senate Meeting.
  9. Faculty/Staff Liaison Committee
    Dr. Floyd issued the following charge to this Senate committee:
    Review matters which concern the faculty and staff, particularly flexible savings plans, tax deferred compensation plans, sick leave banks, and the possible establishment of a credit union. We should also take this opportunity to address any other issues which may be of interest to the faculty & staff. Depending upon when we meet in April, I would like to be able to report our progress back to the Faculty Senate at either our 4/18/00 or 6/20/00 meeting.
  10. Faculty Information Committee
    Dr. Floyd stated that this committee was scheduled for a preliminary report today, but the members have not had an opportunity to meet yet. Hopefully, the preliminary report will be in April with a final report in June. Dr. Schellhammer stated that his Department asked him to request that the Committee find out the duration of step-raises from other universities in the state.
  11. Legislative Updates
    Dr. Floyd reported that the President's Council, Danny Buckalew & he now receive a regular Legislative Update via email from Vice-President Clemit Spruiell which includes his interpretation of action in the Legislature that may potentially affect the University and our personnel. When appropriate, he will forward this to Senate members or to the faculty as a whole. Faculty should feel free to contact him at anytime for this information. However, Dr. Floyd stated that he does not anticipate providing the information on a regular basis in mass e-mail because of the sensitivity of some of the information.
  12. Spring Pre-registration for summer & fall
    Dr. Floyd presented the information below regarding pre-registration for summer and fall.



SUMMER, 2000

SUMMER, 1999













FALL, 2000

FALL, 1999










  1. Adjournment
    Mr. Todd moved that the meeting adjourn. Dr. DeMay seconded the motion and the motion passed. The meeting adjourned at 5:00.
The University of West Alabama

Faculty Senate






















The University of West Alabama


For Faculty Senate information contact: rtf@uwa.edu
Last updated: Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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