November 28, 2000

University Faculty Senate Minutes

Wise Conference Room, Wallace Hall 213

Date: November 28, 2000

Time 3:30 p.m.

Presiding: Dr. R. T. Floyd

Secretary: Mrs. Patricia Taylor (for Dr. Neil Snider)

I.     Call to order by Dr. Floyd

Present: Dr. R.T. Floyd, Mrs. Patricia Taylor, Dr. Gene May, Dr. June Abrams, Dr. Lee Day, Mr. Luther Gremmels, Mr. Jim Shelton (for Mr. Donnie Cobb), Dr. Tom Gonzalez (for Mr. Micky Smith), Dr. Manley Blackwell, Ms. Shannon White, Mrs. Donna Miller, Mrs. Tina Jones, Dr. Richard Collier, Dr. Helen Moshkovich, Dr. Alex Mechitov, and Dr. Richard Schellhammer.

II.      Approval of October 17, 2000 minutes

Mrs. Tina Jones moved and Dr. Richard Schellhammer seconded the motion that the minutes of October 17, 2000 be approved.  The motion passed.

III.      Old Business

A.    VALIC Feedback
We now have enrolled well over the required number for us to initiate a payroll deduction slot for VALIC.  Some employees have opted to begin participation in November or December in order to take advantage of the tax benefit this tax year.  Others have opted to begin payroll deduction in January.

B.     e-Campus update

1.     Wireless access is available in the following buildings: Spieth, Selden, Hoover, Reed, Sub (near the computer lab), Stickney, Sisk, Bibb Graves (selected classrooms), Webb Hall (selected office areas), LRC (partial coverage).

2.     We now have a proxy server in place.  This allows us to let Faculty, Staff and students use our LRC databases, even if they are not on the campus network (this is a great benefit for graduate students that do not come to campus much).

3.     The COE has some online streaming media presentations that they are going to use in their classes, although this has not been implemented.

C.    Flexible Spending Plans - BenefitElect
Mr. Allan Chappelle of BenefitElect provided information via 3 campus-wide meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 15 in Wallace Hall Auditorium.  Attendance was lower than expected.  It is vital that ALL UWA employees understand the availability of this employee benefit and act in a timely manner if they desire to participate.  Enrollment Forms are due to Jessie Egbert by the Dec. 7, 2000 deadline.  This program is only offered once a year and the deadline is set to allow the company and our Business Office enough time to process the forms for beginning payroll deduction in January.  Employees who do not take advantage of this program at this time can not enroll until next December (for the 2002 year).  Depending upon each employee's individual situation, an increase in spendable income through tax savings can range from approximately $290.00 to $2,500.00.  About the only ones who can not benefit to some extent from this program are employees with no family medical/dental coverage, no dependents, and no medical expenses.
Employees may contact BenefitElect directly at 1-800-257-0986 or review this information at http://www.uwa.edu/facsenate/flex.htm.  This link is also accessible from the Faculty Senate web page.  The Flexible Benefits Plan Enrollment Form, Medical Reimbursement Account Worksheet, and all other related forms are available for download from this web page as well as the UWA Forms, etc. web page.

D.     Faculty Senate History Committee - Report Dr. Richard Schellhammer
The committee in is progress to provide a written history of the Faculty Senate.

E.     Faculty/Staff Sick Leave Donation Policy
The Faculty/Staff Sick Leave Donation program originated by this body is now in effect.  Detailed information regarding the policy and related forms are available at http://www.uwa.edu/facsenate/SickLvDonProg.htm.  A link to this information is also found on the newly published Faculty & Staff benefits web page at http://www.uwa.edu/facsenate/fsbenfit.htm.

F.    Academic Advising Spreadsheet Checklists - feedback
The Academic Advising Spreadsheet Checklists in Excel, with the exception of Natural Science & Mathematics were placed on the web (UWA Forms, etc. http://www.uwa.edu/forms) prior to pre-registration.  The format of the ones for the College of Business (and those for NSM) is substantially different from the other two colleges.  All features from the ones presented to the Senate were preserved with the addition of drop-down selection boxes where options are available, everything is available on a single page instead of two and the prerequisites are included throughout.  Dr. Floyd would greatly appreciate any and all feedback so that these may be further refined and improved.  Dr. Holland & Dr. Buckner are still reviewing the ones for NSM and hopefully these will be posted in the near future.

G.    Faculty Senate Campus Directory
Dr. Floyd has finished updating the Campus Directory.  As of today, this is the most correct and up to date directory when compared to the Information Systems UWA Campus Directory and the recent published Campus Directory.  Report to Dr.Floyd as other changes take place so that he may make the necessary corrections in the directory.

H.    UWA Faculty & Staff Benefits Page
This page was recently published to the web and consists of the material from the printed brochure of the same name.  Also located here are links to some additional information on benefits added/improved since the brochure was printed.  These benefit links include the UWA Flexible Benefits Plan, Direct Deposit, First Educators Credit Union, Retirement Services of Alabama, UWA Approved Tax Deferred Compensation Plans providers (VALIC, RSA-1, Jefferson Pilot, Conseco Variable), and the Faculty/Staff Sick Leave Donation Program.  There is a link to this page from the Faculty Senate web page.

I.     University Credit Union
Last year there was some Faculty Senate interest in pursuing the establishment of an on-campus credit union for our employees.  We did some checking and found that this may be difficult to do given our low numbers.
We then, via the Senate, attempted to publicize the availability of our current credit union which is with First Educators in Birmingham.  They may be reached at 1-800-264-8031.  They also now have a web page at http://www.memberemporium.com/fecu .  Dr. Floyd has added a link to their page from the UWA Faculty & Staff Benefit Page http://www.uwa.edu/facsenate/fsbenfit.htm.

IV.       New Business

A.    Faculty Development Technology Workshops
Dr. Floyd offered to teach a Blackboard workshop for next week.  This would give faculty an opportunity to become more knowledgeable as they prepare for the Spring semester.  The Senate members reported that some faculty are using Blackboard and could teach any other interested people.  It was agreed that a workshop is not needed at this time.

B.    Admissions Report
The Faculty Senate, in its September meeting, requested a report from the Admissions Office regarding plans and efforts to address the recent decline in enrollment.  Due to the Dec. 31, 2000 retirement of Dr. Ervin Wood, Mr. Richard Hester provided this report and addressed our questions and concerns:

¨    The Admissions staff numbers have not changed during the past year even though we have experienced changes in our division.  We were not able to call on Danny Buckalew to assist us in working with the Clarke Co. area this fall due to his new responsibilities.  However, our need for assistance was offset by the travel we discontinued in Florida and the assistance we received from our student assistant Erin Eckert and Stephanie Hyche from the University's Upward Bound Program.

¨    In regards to where we travel to represent UWA, we cover the state of Alabama, the coastal area, Jackson area and eight county service area in Mississippi, the panhandle of Florida (Pensacola to Tallahassee), and two programs in Louisiana (New Orleans and Baton Rouge).

¨    We will be hosting a Spring Preview Day in April (date not yet set).  Our plan is to give the day more of an academic feel by involving the four colleges and the Division of Nursing.  Tentative plans are to hold the event at the Union Bldg. and have tables set-up for the departments to distribute info and answer questions.  After our academic session we will sponsor a cookout and then invite the students to a UWA baseball and/or softball game.

¨    For the future we are excited about some of the changes going on in our area and feel that we will have a fresh start on recruitment this next year.  Recently two consultants from Southern Arkansas were on campus and shared some of their information concerning recruitment that has been successful for them.  Along with constructive criticism for some of our publications they also discussed their focus on an activity driven recruitment program.  There will be more meetings concerning their recommendations.

C.    President's Report - Dr. Ed Roach
Dr. Roach talked to the Senate about recruitment at our university.  He is interested in activity oriented recruiting ideas.  He will form a task force to work on initiating activities that would appeal to potential college students.  The three priority issues at this time are improvement of the cafeteria service, forming a viable band program and planning programs that would encourage international students (such as a soccer team) to come to our university.  A discussion about these issues followed Dr. Roach’s statements.  Dr. Roach informed us that Dr. Debbie Davis is the international student advisor and working with thirteen students from different countries at this time.

D.    ACUFP Report
Dr. Janis Beaird & Dr. R.T. Floyd attended the Alabama Council of University Faculty President's Meeting in Troy on Nov. 10-11.  They heard from Dr. Jack Hawkins, Troy State Chancellor, who spoke on new approaches to soliciting support for Higher Education in Montgomery, and in particular the Governor's Office.  Dr. Hawkins presented the attached Case for Investing in Alabama Higher Education and briefed them on the planned meeting with the Governor as reported in the attached Birmingham News article.  On a different matter, there was some talk of the ACUFP planning an approach to address the selection process, conflict of interest issue, and term of appointments for trustees appointed to most of the university boards.  They also heard reports from each campus represented.  Dr. Floyd reports that overall, we as a faculty have a great deal to be thankful for as compared to the faculty at many other state universities.

E.    Community Workshops feedback
Not much has been done on these plans yet.  Dr. Floyd welcomes feedback on this issue.

F.     Other
Dr. Gene May reported that the NCATE accreditation visit results were positive.

V.      Adjournment

Mrs. Shannon White moved and Dr. Gene May seconded that the Senate adjourn.  The motion passes and the meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.  We will meet again on the third Tuesday of January.

The University of West Alabama

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