28, 2003

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 3:30 p.m.
Wise Conference Room - Wallace Hall 213

I.  Roll Call

Dr. Richard Schellhammer called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm.  Members present were Dr. Lesa Shaul, Dr. Thomas Gonzalez, Mr. Mark Brothers, Dr. Richard Collison, Dr. Barry Green-Burns, Dr. Mark Griffith, Ms. Patricia Taylor, Dr. Nancy Kudlawiec, Dr. R.T. Floyd, Dr. Thomas Ratkovich, Dr. Don Salter, Mr. Jim Shelton, Mr. James Todd, Dr. Bill Ward, and Dr. Lauren Wells.

II.  Approval of September 16, 2003 Minutes

Dr. Floyd noted two misspellings in the minutes of the September 16th meeting.  Dr. Griffith motioned that the minutes be approved as corrected.  Dr. Collison seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

III. Old Business

  1. Alabama Teachers’ Retirement System Visit

Dr. Schellhammer stated that all of the meeting times scheduled for the RSA representative’s visit to campus have been booked.  Interested persons can place their name on a waiting list by calling the RSA at 1-800-214-2158.  Using the automated system, press 3, press 7, which will allow callers to speak to a representative.  The representative will add your name to a waiting list and if enough people are added to the waiting list, RSA will schedule an additional visit to campus by a representative

  1. AAUP Chapter

Dr. Schellhammer said that a number of faculty were interested in starting an AAUP chapter and that he will form a list of interested people including those faculty members that are already members of AAUP.  Seven members are needed to form a chapter.

IV. New Business

  1. Provost’s Report

Dr. Schellhammer introduced Provost David Taylor.  Dr. Taylor began his report by speaking about the SACS special committee that visited campus from October 15th to October 17th.  He stated that the visit was the result of recommendations made in the original accreditation report concerning governance of the university.  Specifically, the original visiting committee was concerned that the board not be controlled by an individual or a minority of board members and that there be a clear distinction between the policy making actions of the board and the actions of administration.

Dr. Taylor stated that in response to the recommendations made by SACS, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution stating the actions of the board are made as a group and that no individual members would act on behalf of the board.  The board also passed a resolution regarding the board’s day-to-day involvement in the university, creating policies regarding communication between board members and university employees.  SACS responded by scheduling the visit of the special committee in October.

The committee consisted of three members, Dr. Fred Obear of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Dr. Blanch Premo Hopkins, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of South Carolina-Aiken, and Dr. William Staples, President, University of Houston-Clearlake.  Dr. Jack Allen of SACS also attended the meetings.  The committee arrived on October 15th and interviewed twenty people including President Holland, Mr. Mann Minus, Dr. Doris Oliveira, Mr. Thed Spree, Mr. Alex Saad, Dr. Tom Umphrey, the four vice-presidents, the president of the faculty senate, a former president of the staff senate, and a past president of the SGA.  The committee also met with three former UWA presidents, Dr. Asa Green, Dr. Don Hines, and Dr. Ed Roach.  Dr. David Bowen and a former provost, Dr. Pate, also met with the committee.  After the in-depth interviews, an exit interview was held on October 17th.  The exit interview was attended by the SACS committee members and the President’s Council.

Dr. Taylor continued by paraphrasing the statements of some of the members of SACS visiting team at the exit interview.  Dr. Taylor said that Dr. Obear felt that the committee received a remarkably consistent message that there have been governance problems at UWA and that the problems have not been addressed.  Dr. Obear felt that the situation had deteriorated since the time the original report and that the current situation is truly unhealthy for the administration and faculty of UWA.  While Dr. Obear felt that the educational mission of the university had not been compromised, he said that if the problems with governance continue, then the educational mission will likely be compromised.  Dr. Staples said that the current situation must remedied.

No new recommendations were made as a result of the visit of the special committee.  The university will receive a draft of the committee’s report in two to three weeks but will not be at liberty to distribute the report.  Once a final report is issued, the report can be distributed.  Notification of any sanctions to be made against the university by SACS will be given in December.

At this point Dr. Taylor called for questions.  Dr. Bill Ward asked what kind of response, based on current information, will UWA get from the governor.  Dr. Taylor responded by saying that both the governor and his staff understand the situation at UWA and that based on prior experience with the governors involvement, the governor will make a difference.  Dr. Griffith asked which members of the Board of Trustees have terms that are ending this December.  Dr. Taylor answered that the terms of Mr. Nat Watkins, Mr. Paul Hamrick, Mr. Bobby Keahey, Mr. Dwight Duke, and Mr. Terry Bunn expire this December.  Dr.  Gonzalez asked when would new appointees actually be able to serve.  Dr. Griffith answered that traditionally people who are currently serving on the board stay until the new appointees are approved by the legislature, which could take until March of next year. Dr. Schellhammer asked if the faction of the board headed by Mr. Minus have paid their legal fees in the case.  Dr. Taylor stated that at the last meeting of the Minus board, the first item on the agenda was a resolution that all legal fees be paid by the university.  The resolution passed but the legal fees have not been paid yet.

The next item in Dr. Taylor’s report concerned programs that are currently being offered by UWA in conjunction with Columbia Southern University (CSU).  Currently two degree programs and one add-on certification program are offered.  CSU provides technical support for these programs.  Dr. Taylor stated that enrollments in the on-line portion of these programs have increased markedly and that the course evaluations for on-line classes have been good.  CSU provides technical support as well as marketing for the on-line courses.  A meeting will be held with CSU representatives, where discussion will take place regarding the possible addition of more on-line degree programs.

Next, Dr. Taylor stated that there is a possibility that the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) would engage in a second round of a program viability study.  UWA currently has 29 programs, only one of which is technically “not viable.”  While the possibility exists that a second round of the program viability study may be initiated, Dr. Taylor stated that both the date at which such a study might begin as well as the number of previous years over which graduation data would be collected is unknown at this time.  Dr. Taylor recommended that programs be monitored for any downward trends.

Dr. Taylor talked about efforts underway to recruit and develop programs for international students.  Dr. Taylor reported that Mr. James Mock of the new community Center for Regional and Economic Development is working on many fronts.  UWA is currently partnering with Shelton State Community College and McElroy Trucking in truck driving school.  Dr. Taylor mentioned the Sasakawa Fellowships Program at San Diego State University in June and encouraged faculty to be involved with this program.  Dr. Taylor ended his report by mentioning the policy on sabbaticals and encouraged faculty to take advantage of the opportunity that UWA’s sabbatical policy provides.

  1. Faculty/Staff-Student Dating Policy

Dr. Schellhammer presented the Faculty/Staff-Student Dating Policy.  Dr. Griffith made a motion that the policy be approved as presented and the motion was seconded by Dr. Shaul.  The motion was approved unanimously.

  1. Faculty Senate Committee Assignments

Dr. Schellhammer stated that assignments to the various Faculty Senate committees have been sent via e-mail and that he will be in touch with these committees, also by e-mail.

  1. University Day Care Report

Ms. Edison reported that there are currently eleven students enrolled in the Child Development Center (CDC) and that she anticipates that more children will sign up, with the possibility that there will be seven or eight full day enrollees by next week.  Ms. Edison reported on the progress made in improving the CDC facility.  UWA and the CDC are working to help provide state mandated training for child care providers, training which the state no longer provides due to budget cuts.  Ms. Edison noted that if a UWA student receives financial aid and also needs child care, then child care fees at the CDC can be paid out of financial aid.

Dr. Shaul has studied the child care centers available at other universities around the state.  Dr. Shaul said that the CDC at UWA compares favorably to other programs in the state and that UWA has an excellent program.  Dr. Shaul encouraged faculty to speak with their students regarding the CDC.

  1. Other

Dr. Schellhammer mentioned that the Dean’s Council has decided to include a statement regarding copyrights to the model syllabus so instructors may wish to add the copyright notice to their own syllabi.

Dr. Schellhammer encouraged faculty to nominate any outstanding UWA students for USA Today’s 2004 All-USA College Academic Team.  Forms are available at http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2003-07-29-2004-college-allstars_x.htm

Dr. Floyd invited anybody who may be interested to attend the ACUPF meeting in Florence, Alabama on November 14 and November 15.

V. Adjournment

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Dr. Griffith and seconded by Dr. Beaird.  The meeting was adjourned at 4:29 pm.

The University of West Alabama

Faculty Senate






















The University of West Alabama


Last revision:
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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