The meeting was called to order at 2:06.
Members Present: Meyer, Hardig, Truss, Cost, B. Jones, Simone, H. Hamilton, Puleo, Walsh, Parker, Powers and Bagga.
The minutes from the 2/14/03 meetings were read and approved.
In the course of discussing the minutes the subject of prayer at university functions was raised. The legal status of having a prayer at a state supported university was brought up. It was noted that courts have ruled institutions of higher education are distinct from K-12 public schools. It was recognized that this is an extremely volatile issue and that care needed to be taken however it was to be handled. It was decided that we should gather information as to the policies and practices of other state universities in Alabama.
President Meyer opened his report with reflection upon the trustee reception. It was a positive experience for all concerned parties. There was good attendance and there is every reason to believe we can make this type of reception an annual event. More generally, the reception was viewed as a building block in the ongoing effort to forge ties between the faculty senate and the board of trustees. Trustees expressed particular interest in senate efforts to establish a faculty lounge and a “Wall of Scholars” honoring recipients of the University Scholar award. Trustees also requested that they receive the minutes of senate meetings.
Meyer then mentioned items covered in the board of trustees meeting and a meeting of the University Foundation. Nationwide, fund-raising efforts on the part of universities are experiencing difficulties. In that context, the efforts at the University of Montevallo are going well. The “Buy a Brick” and “Give us a Minute” campaigns were specifically mentioned. The latest estimate on the construction costs of the new convocation/student activities building is $8.9 million. This is a “brick and mortar” estimate. It does not include any type of furnishings and/or equipment.
President Meyer reported that the committee working on the sick-day bank had met with VP Jarrett. The inherent nature of faculty work and the diversity of treatment of “sick days” across campus are obstacles that must be addressed. There seems to be a window of 100 days for which there presently exists no coverage. The committee is increasingly focusing on this window.
Lastly, President Meyer reported that President McChesney had met with U.S. Senator Shelby and was extremely optimistic regarding funding related to the University of Montevallo’s status as a historic women’s college.
Case Professor nominations were presented and reviewed. Senators asked for the official criteria by which Case Professor’s are to be chosen. President Meyer stated that he would furnish such information to interested senators as well as vitae and portfolios of the candidates.
The Committee on Student Grievances offered a report on their work this year. The report included 3 findings and 3 recommendations. (see attached). The report was accepted by the senate.
The Faculty Salary Administration committee reported that feedback from faculty members continues. It was noted that individuals were having difficulty locating the University Salary Committee reports. A search of the Carmichael library resulted in finding reports for years previous to the last 2 or 3 but nothing more recent.
The Faculty Morale/Retention committee gave an update on the faculty satisfaction survey. The survey is complete and Senator Walsh is working on making it available via Email and a web link.
The Technology committee reported that the ITC has been charged with submitting a strategic plan by the end of the semester. Professor Horner is actively soliciting input from academic units. Senators were encouraged to use a survey constructed by Senator Walsh for the COE and act as informal conduits as a part of this process.
The Academic Policies committee distributed information they had gathered regarding drop dates at various state universities. Our policies seemed very much in line with the established norm.
The Finals Week committee reported that they were working on a proposed schedule for finals that would attempt to draw upon the day and time schedule of classes and address the issue of night classes.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:12.