UWA FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 3:30 p.m.
Wise Conference Room - Wallace Hall 213
Dr. Richard Schellhammer called the meeting to order
at 3:32 pm. Members present were Dr. Lesa Shaul, Dr. Tom Gonzalez, Dr. Janis
Beaird, Mr. Mark Brothers, Dr. Richard Collison, Dr. R.T. Floyd, Dr. Barry
Green-Burns, Dr. Mark Griffith, Dr. Stephen Slimp for Dr. Tina Jones, Dr. Nancy
Kudlawiec, Dr. Thomas Ratkovich, Dr. Richard Buckner for Dr. Don Salter, Mr. Jim
Shelton, Ms. Ann Ketchum, and Dr. Lauren Wells.
II. Approval of February 17th Minutes
Dr. Mark Griffith moved that the minutes be approved
as presented. Dr. Beaird seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.
III. Old Business
Alabama Teachersí Retirement System Visit
Dr. Schellhammer reported that a representative
from RSA made a visit to campus. All available appointments with the
representative were taken.
Dr. Schellhammer reported that administrative and
faculty salary figures are available in the library but there are no names
listed along with the salaries. Dr. Gonzalez stated that at one point in time
names were listed along with the salaries. Dr. Griffith questioned why some
administrators were given raises while some were not.
IV. New Business
Dr. Wells distributed information regarding the
dismissals of two professors at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr.
Wells stated that the issues that the local AAUP chapter is concerned with are
faculty salaries, administrative raises, and intellectual property rights. The
next AAUP meeting is the fourth Tuesday in April.
Online Course Documentation
Dr. Wilkins distributed several documents including
adjunct faculty contracts, and UWA/CSU policies and procedures. Dr. Slimp began
the discussion by expressing his opinions about online teaching. Dr. Slimp
stated that he felt that while online courses present a wonderful opportunity
for non-traditional students and students with geographic concerns, it also
should be recognized that the experience of taking a class online is
significantly different from taking it a class in person. That being the case,
it seems that it might be worthwhile to consider that a distinction be made on
transcripts between online and on-campus.
In response, Dr. Wilkins stated that UWA already has
online master programs, on-line comprehensive exams. In addition, no other
university marks online courses on transcripts and UWA would be the first
institution to do so. Differences between instructors, tenured, nontenured,
adjunct, full time are not made on transcripts. UWA accepts online courses as
Dr. Griffith made a motion that all online courses
be marked and recognized as such on the transcripts. Dr. Buckner felt that such
a mark would imply that the quality of the online courses is inferior and that
for graduate students the distinction between the two types of classes are
irrelevant. Discussion turned to the mechanism by which online courses are
noted within the current administrative system. Online courses have different
section numbers than on-campus courses, but these section numbers are not
displayed on transcripts. Dr. Griffith withdrew his motion because section
numbers are not listed on the transcripts. Dr. Wilkins noted that policies
regarding online courses were vetted through two meetings and every dean and
chair. Most of these have been discussed in graduate and distance learning
committees. Dr. Wilkins informed the members that 98% of online students are
public school teachers and are meeting all the criteria for teaching in their
state. Dr. Schellhammer asked if online courses as such would have an adverse
effect on enrollment. Dr. Wilkins expressed that he felt it would.
Discussion turned to the pay scale for online
teaching. Dr. Wilkins talked about some of the developments that led to the
current pay scale. At first, online adjuncts were treated the same as on-campus
adjuncts. This arrangement did not work because there were only a few students
in each class and those classes could not be cancelled if the program was to
grow. The new idea was to pay $300 a student up to a certain level. After
this, the program grew by leaps and bounds. The sudden growth tripled the
paperwork for the administrative offices involved. To adjust for this growth,
the current scale was put into place. Justifying the salary cap on 10 or more
students, Dr. Wilkins said that there would not be many universities who offered
adjuncts the possibility of $36,000 for teaching four courses. During the
meetings regarding the online BBA program, the pay scale was brought up and
everybody at that meeting agreed the pay scale was fair to faculty. Dr. Wilkins
argued that this is an opportunity for our underpaid faculty to have a chance to
earn some money and doesnít see how the online courses will be able to operate
if some economy of scale is not maintained.
Dr. Schellhammer asked Dr. Wilkins to report on the
money collected from online courses. Dr. Schellhammer asked where does the
money from the online courses go? Dr. Wilkins stated that he did not know. Dr.
Schellhammer asked what is the university doing with the money they get from
this program? Provost Taylor has commented to the Deanís Council that a large
part of the money was going to the advertising campaign.
Dr. Wilkins stated that UWA faculty are not forced
to teach online as they are at some other universities. Dr. Griffith said that
part of the problem is that some of the issues involved with online courses have
been discussed with faculty and some have not. Dr. Wilkins stated that while
faculty might not have been involved, all chairs were.
Discussion turned to intellectual property rights.
Dr. Griffith made a motion to request that a change be made to the third item on
the online adjunct contract so that the modified contract will protect faculty
interests. The motion was seconded by Dr. Green-Burns. The motion passed
Discussion turned to enrollment caps on online
courses. The memorandum of agreement for the College of Education was
distributed. Dr. Wilkins reminded everyone that the College of Education is
under strict guidelines from its specialized accrediting agency, NCATE. For
this reason, the enrollment for online sections are capped at 20. It was asked
if there were any policies in place that will maintain a reasonable enrollment
for online course sections. Dr. Wilkins stated that online course sections will
be capped at 30.
Senate Presidentís Report
This item was postponed until the next meeting.
No other business was discussed.
Dr. Collison motioned that the meeting be
adjourned. The meeting was adjourned at 5:06 p.m.