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Faculty Senate Bylaws

ARTICLE I. SENATE OFFICERS

In all elections of Senate Officers – President, Vice President, and Secretary – elections will be by the vote of majority of the senators voting, in the regular March meeting, as long as a quorum of the Senate is present. The election of the Senate President will be completed before the election for Vice President, and the election of Vice President will be made before the election for the Office of Secretary. Any senator interested in serving in one or more of these offices may submit a written statement of intention, with any supporting argument, not to exceed one page in length, to the Co- chairs of the Faculty and Senate Governance Committee by February 10th of the year in which he or she hopes to commence office. The Secretary will distribute each such statement and supporting argument with the agenda for the February meeting of the Senate. Persons may also be nominated for these offices from the floor at the February meeting, where a motion to close nominations, or the equivalent, is out of order. Each candidate will have an opportunity to speak to the Senate about his or her candidacy at the March meeting, and the Senate will have an opportunity to ask questions of each candidate.

ARTICLE II. ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Senate Orientation

There will be an orientation session for all new Senators and Alternates on the first Tuesday in April that the University is in session. This will be an occasion for discussion of the history and the place of the Senate in the governance of the University, of the role and function of the Senate’s officers, of the charge and function of the Senate’s standing committees, and of other aspects of the Senate Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is authorized to make representations in its own name in regard to any matter within the scope of the Senate’s responsibilities and functions (as defined in Article II of the Constitution) when, in the Committee’s judgment, circumstances require action before it is possible to convene a meeting of the Senate. In such instances, the Committee will be guided by its best judgment regarding the intention of the Senate if such intention is known.

Section 3. Standing Committees

1. There shall be standing committees on:

  • Academic Affairs (18%)
  • Financial Affairs (9%)
  • Information Technology and Strategic Communications (9%)
  • Research and Service (18%)
  • Student Affairs (9%)
  • Faculty Life (9%)
  • Faculty and Senate Governance (9%)
  • Community and Legislative Affairs (9%)
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (9%)

2. Subject to reasonable exceptions to accommodate the needs of the Senate and the interests of Senators, each Senator ordinarily will have one Senate standing committee assignment. The number of members shall be approximately that indicated in parentheses for the respective committees.

3. After the orientation session described in Section 1, the Secretary will ask each Senator to list preferences for assignment to the Senate’s standing committees. After consultation with those who served as chairs of standing committees the previous year, the Secretary will assign Senators to their first preferences, if possible, and using second or third preferences where first preferences are unavailable. Senators who have indicated no preference by the second Tuesday in April shall be assigned to committees by the Secretary. All such assignments are subject to the approval of the Senate. The Secretary will distribute the tentative assignment of Senators to committees with the agenda for the regular April meeting. The first order of business for the regular April meeting will be to debate the assignments of Senators to committees, to reassign if necessary, and to confirm the final assignments by vote of the Senate. The President of the Senate will thereupon name conveners for each of the standing committees, and following the close of the regular April meeting each convener will hold a brief meeting of each standing committee for purposes of electing co-chairs from among its membership and establishing a place for meeting, if necessary, before the next scheduled meeting of the Senate steering committee. Each co-chair of a standing committee serves as a full member of the steering committee. Each standing committee will normally meet on the first Tuesday of each month from September through November and January through March, and at other times as desirable.

4. Standing committees will inform themselves, on their own initiative or pursuant to specific instructions from the Senate or Senate officers, concerning matters of current concern within their respective jurisdictions. Standing committees, directly, through their chairs, or through their representatives are expected to seek and maintain continual dialogues with the appropriate administrators and University committees. The committees shall make such reports and recommendations to the Senate as they deem appropriate or as the Senate requires.

5. Senators are expected to attend meetings of their standing committees. The absence of a Senator from a regularly scheduled committee meeting is equivalent to an absence from a meeting of the full Senate. Senators who regularly fail to attend committee meetings and do not provide a reasonable explanation may be replaced.

6. Academic Affairs Committee. The Academic Affairs Committee is responsible for considering issues that relate to instruction, curriculum, academic standards, academic freedom, collegiality, tenure and promotion, and other issues that directly affect the learning environment of the University and the quality of its intellectual life. Questions relating directly to research and service, or financial or student issues will, however, normally be referred to the appropriate committee of the Faculty Senate.

7. Financial Affairs Committee. The Financial Affairs Committee reviews financial issues that are pertinent to the University community. It studies the allocation of resources within the University and works to ensure communication between faculty and administration in relation to 3 resource policies and allocations. It advances proposals consistent with Faculty Senate initiatives and priorities, and makes recommendations to the Faculty Senate, and through the Senate to the Administration, regarding issues pertaining to resource policies and allocations.

8. Information Technology and Strategic Communications Committee. The Information Technology and Strategic Communications Committee examines and makes recommendations on matters related to the implementation of technology as it pertains to classrooms and research and on matters related to strategic communications by the University.

9. Research and Service Committee. The Research and Service Committee studies and makes recommendations on matters that affect the research and service component of faculty life.

10. Student Affairs Committee. The Student Affairs Committee advises the Faculty Senate on issues related to the academic and social development of students.

11. Faculty Life Committee. The Faculty Life Committee addresses issues relevant to the general welfare and quality of life of the Faculty. These issues fall outside the teaching, research, and services roles of the Faculty and outside the domain of the Financial Affairs Committee. Such issues include, but are not limited to, non-pecuniary faculty benefits, faculty rights, faculty diversity, and faculty relations with the surrounding community.

12. Faculty and Senate Governance Committee. The Faculty and Senate Governance Committee:

  • Is responsible for the continuous review of faculty participation in University governance, including university committee structure and Faculty Handbook compliance.
  • Is responsible for continuous review of the Senate’s organization and procedures and for recommending changes it deems desirable in either the Constitution or Bylaws.
  • Considers the reasonableness of all absences in excess of two by a Senator during the April through March term, in which a Senator is not represented by a duly elected alternate. In such cases the Committee will make a recommendation to the Senate on whether the position should be declared vacant. The Committee will also be responsible for determining if a Senate seat is vacant for reasons other than absence and will make appropriate recommendations to the Senate.
  • Interprets the Constitution and Bylaws and may receive requests for interpretation from the Senate or the Senate President, or may initiate action by itself. All such interpretations must be reported to the Senate and are subject to Senate concurrence.
  • Determines the constitutionality of any proposed changes in Senate Bylaws. Such determinations must be reported to the Senate and are subject to Senate concurrence.
  • Seeks nominations and conducts elections for Senate-appointed members of the Mediation Committee, Faculty Ombudsperson positions, Senate-appointed members of the Merger and Discontinuance of Academic Units Committee, and for Faculty Senate Officers.

13. Community and Legislative Affairs Committee. The Community Affairs Committee works with internal and external stakeholders of the University community, including legislators and other groups and organizations, to develop and maintain open communication channels for the purpose of exchanging information on matters of mutual interest.

14. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee. The Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee works with the V.P. for Diversity, Inclusion and Equity and other campus organizations to develop plans and initiatives for the recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive Faculty at The University of Alabama, to promote equity for all faculty, and to promote efforts to raise understanding of diversity, inclusion and equity issues among students through course offerings and other educational efforts.

Section 4. Special Committees

Special committees may be created by the Senate, or by its President, as needed. Unless the Senate directs otherwise, special committee members and chairpersons shall be designated by the same methods as for standing committees. Persons eligible to vote in Senate elections who are not members of the Senate may be appointed by special committees as their consultants. Upon appointment to a special committee, a non-Senator will be designated, by the committee, as either a voting or non-voting members.

Section 5. Subcommittees

Standing and special committees may establish such standing or special subcommittees as they deem useful. Persons eligible to vote in Senate elections who are not members of the Senate may be appointed by subcommittees as their consultants.

Section 6. Parliamentarian

The Senate President will nominate a parliamentarian, subject to Senate confirmation, to serve as recommended in the most recent revision of Robert’s Rules of Order except where these Rules are contravened by a rule adopted by the Senate. This person will be a member of the Faculty, as defined in the Constitution, who is not a senator; or a member of the retired faculty. It shall be the duty of the Parliamentarian to attend all meetings of the Senate and of the Steering Committee, including meetings with the Provost. The Parliamentarian shall have speaking privileges, but may not initiate motions or amendments, and may not vote. The Parliamentarian shall serve as an ex officio member of the Faculty and Senate Governance Committee of the Faculty Senate.

Section 7. Webmaster

The Senate President will nominate a webmaster, subject to Senate confirmation, to serve as the producer and coordinator of the Senate’s website. This person will be a member of the faculty, who may be but need not be a senator.

Section 8. Faculty Holding Regular Appointments

A faculty member holding a regular appointment is a tenured, tenure-earning probationary, or temporary faculty member at The University of Alabama engaged in teaching or research at least half of a normal load during the regular (academic) year, or a librarian having corresponding rank and professional engagement.

Section 9. Offices

The Senate shall maintain offices, in a room or rooms in the University assigned by the President of the University. The Senate offices shall be the location of the files of the Senate.

Section 10. Faculty Ombudspersons

1. Ombudspersons shall be elected by the faculty in conjunction with Faculty Senate elections every year.

2. There shall be three ombudspersons.

3. The term of office for an ombudsperson shall be three years.

4. Terms shall be staggered so that one new ombudsperson shall be elected every year.

5. Candidates shall be as representative of the entire faculty as possible; therefore one ombudsperson shall come from Arts and Sciences, one from Business or Engineering, and one from the other colleges and academic units. However, any faculty member shall be free to seek the advice and help of any ombudsperson, regardless of the academic unit of either their appointments, and may seek the help of more than one ombudsperson at any given time.

6. If willing candidates can be identified, the total of three ombudspersons shall always include at least one female and one male ombudsperson. Gender and ethnic diversity shall be a prime consideration in selecting candidates.

7. Candidates shall have the following qualifications:

  • tenure,
  • rank of associate or full professor, with at least seven years of service at The University of Alabama as full-time faculty members with teaching and research responsibilities.

8. Candidates shall not be:

  • current members of the Faculty Senate.
  • current members of the Mediation Committee, or
  • current administrators of The University of Alabama.

9. At least two months prior to the review of nominees by the faculty senate, an announcement shall be sent to the entire faculty requesting nominations for candidates for the position of Ombudsperson. This announcement shall be accompanied by a copy of the guidelines, a list of current Ombudspersons, their term limits, and the academic units they represent (A&S, Business and Engineering, All Other). Any member of the faculty may nominate a candidate by submitting the name, with the candidate’s approval, to the Faculty Senate. The names of all nominees shall be sent to the President of the Faculty Senate and to the Chairperson of the Faculty and Senate Governance Committee. These will be reviewed by the Faculty and Senate Governance Committee for candidates who meet criteria as itemized under items 5, 6, 7, and 8 in the guidelines. The slate of all qualified nominees will be distributed for election at the same time as Senate elections. Every effort shall be made to nominate multiple candidates and to rotate representation through the various departments and colleges over a period of time.

10. Ombudspersons shall not succeed themselves but may be nominated for another term after an interim period of three years or more.

11. The names of all ombudspersons shall be filed in the Office of Academic Affairs.

12. The names of all ombudspersons and their terms of office shall be posted prominently on the University website, and on the Faculty Senate website.

13. In the event that an ombudsperson is unable to fulfill his or her term of office, the existing ombudspersons shall name a successor from the same grouping of the no-longer-serving ombudsperson. The successor shall then stand for election for the remainder of the term, if any, at the next election.

14. The ombudspersons are expected to provide the following services: • Respect the confidentiality of all exchanges with faculty who seek their help; make themselves easily accessible; listen carefully to complaints and problems; help identify and evaluate options and strategies for solving problems; open channels of communication; help mediate resolutions to problems; identify, clarify, and help interpret University policies and procedures; refer faculty to appropriate campus resources.

15. When fulfilling the preceding primary roles reveals policies or procedures that seem unfair, outdated, or ineffective, recommend that the Faculty Senate, a University standing committee, or an appropriate administrator review or make changes in such policies or procedures.

16. Ombudspersons are not expected to provide the following services: • Legal advice or legal representation; intervention in a mediation or grievance; • (Of course, ombudspersons may participate in a mediation or grievance if properly invited. This statement is included to point out the fact that ombudspersons do not have the authority to intervene in an ongoing mediation or grievance procedure by their own volition.

• Address non-University related problems or complaints.

17. Ombudspersons may elect to provide the following additional assistance: • Advocate for a faculty member whose complaint, in their informed judgment, is meritorious and deserving of support. This advocacy may include assistance in forming oral or written arguments by the faculty member, or the provision of additional oral or signed written statements by the ombudsperson supporting a faculty member’s appeal for mediation or redress of a grievance.

18. While fulfilling their normal responsibilities to the fullest, ombudspersons may decline to advocate for a faculty member, but must never advocate against a faculty member. To do so, would compromise the confidentiality and trust essential to the effectiveness of such a relationship.

ARTICLE III. PROCEDURES

Section 1. Meeting (Senate and Steering Committee)

1. The Senate will meet the third Tuesday, August through November and January through April, and the second Tuesday of December, at 3:30 p.m. in locations to be determined by the Steering Committee. If the third Tuesday falls during a time when the University is not in session, the Senate will meeting on the second or fourth Tuesday, as the Steering Committee determines, and the meetings of Senate committees may have to be adjusted appropriately. The Senate may meet also on the fourth Tuesday, August through November and January through April, and the third Tuesday in December, in order to finish the business of the month, and Senators should keep this date free on their calendars. The Senate will also meet at other times, including the summer months, and at locations, as decided by the Senate or the Steering Committee. The regular meeting times and locations shall be decided for the upcoming year by the Steering Committee at its August meeting; Senators will be appropriately notified, and the information will be published in Dialog and/or other publications deemed useful.

2. Regular Senate meetings normally last until 5:00 and may last longer. Senators should clear their calendars until 5:15 on regular Senate meeting days upon such an expectation. Senators are expected to maintain their attendance until 5:00, or until the meeting is adjourned prior thereto.

3. The Steering Committee will hold a regular meeting one week before each regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate. Special meetings of the Steering Committee may be called by the President of the Senate, by the written request of three members of the Steering Committee or of five members of the Senate, by vote of the Steering Committee, or by vote of the Senate.

4. All resolutions and original motions to be presented to the Senate must be in writing and should be mailed by the Senate Secretary with the agenda for the meeting.

5. A majority of members shall constitute a quorum. A quorum must be present before any vote can be taken.

Section 2. Agenda

1. Except when the Steering Committee or the Senate orders otherwise, the customary order of business as described in Robert’s Rules of Order will be followed.

2. The agenda will be distributed electronically from the Senate President to members during the week in advance of the meetings by the Senate Secretary except when exigent circumstances make it necessary, in the judgment of the Steering Committee, to prepare or change an agenda so soon before the meeting that advance circulation is impractical.

3. The Steering Committee will employ whatever means are feasible and appropriate to give notice of pending agenda items to all members of the Senate.

4. The agenda will be placed on the Senate’s webpage and will contain sufficient information, both in summary or “bullet” form and in detail, so that the issues to be debated in the Senate are clear. Each person or committee that propounds a motion or submits a report to be included in or with the agenda is responsible for providing a succinct summary of the issue(s) involved.

The President’s Report, reports from the standing committees, and reports from Senators about the activity of the University committees should be included with the agenda if at all possible, so as to reduce the time used in Senate meetings for explanation and summary.

Section 3. Voting Procedures

1. Voting procedures are governed by the rules recommended in the most recent revision of Robert’s Rules of Order except where these Rules are contravened by a rule adopted by the Senate (Article II. Section 6.).

2. In all elections of Senate Officers – President, Vice President, and Secretary – elections will be by the vote of majority of the senators voting, in the regular March meeting, as long as a quorum of the Senate is present (Article I.).

3. The first order of business for the regular April meeting will be to debate the assignments of Senators to committees, to reassign if necessary, and to confirm the final assignments by vote of the Senate (Article II. Section 3. Subsection 3.).

4. The Parliamentarian may not vote (Article II. Section 6.).

5. Special meetings of the Steering Committee may be called by the President of the Senate, by the written request of three members of the Steering Committee or of five members of the Senate, by vote of the Steering Committee, or by vote of the Senate (Article III. Section 1. Subsection III.).

6. A majority of members shall constitute a quorum. A quorum must be present before any vote can be taken (Article III. Section I. Subsection 5.).

7. An executive session, from which all persons except senators are excluded, may be held by vote of the Senate. Motions to hold executive sessions will take precedence over other regular business (Article III. Section 4. Subsection 2.).

8. Anyone other than a senator may address the Senate only on invitation by vote of the Senate or on invitation by the President of the Senate after an opportunity for the Senate to object and, in case there is an objection, after approval of the invitation by the Senate (Article III. Section 4. Subsection 3.).

9. The official minutes of all open Senate meetings shall be available for inspection by all persons eligible to vote in the election of senators. Minutes of the Steering Committee may be made available outside The University of Alabama only by a majority vote of the Steering Committee that is asked for such material (Article III. Section 5. Subsection 2.).

10. The Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the members of the Senate at a meeting subsequent to the meeting at which the amendment was proposed. Amendments to proposed bylaw changes may be proposed from the floor, and voted on, at either of these two meetings (Article IV.).

Section 4. Access to Senate Meetings

1. Any person may attend Senate meetings, except during executive sessions for the purpose of observing its proceedings. A meeting becomes an executive session for the purpose of discussing the character of an individual.

2. An executive session, from which all persons except senators are excluded, may be held by vote of the Senate. Motions to hold executive sessions will take precedence over other regular business.

3. Anyone other than a senator may address the Senate only on invitation by vote of the Senate or on invitation by the President of the Senate after an opportunity for the Senate to object and, in case there is an objection, after approval of the invitation by the Senate.

4. The privilege of the floor, including the right to address the Senate on any pending question subject to applicable rules or parliamentary procedure are extended to one delegate representing the Retired Faculty Association of The University of Alabama, one delegate representing the Professional Staff Assembly, one delegate representing the Office/Clerical/Technical Staff Assembly, one delegate representing the Maintenance Personnel Committee, one delegate representing the Student Government Association, and one delegate representing the Office of Alumni Affairs.

Section 5. Minutes of Senate Meetings

1. Minutes of all Senate meetings shall be made available online on the Senate’s webpage as early as possible. Other documents of interest to faculty and/or pertinent to issues being debated in the Senate may also be placed on the Senate’s webpage.

2. Copies of minutes of open Senate meetings are to be freely available to anyone within or without The University of Alabama: first, within the University; second, outside the University on request and if available.

3. Divisional delegations are expected to adopt measures for effective and expeditious reporting of Senate actions to their constituencies.

4. The official minutes of all open Senate meetings shall be available for inspection by all persons eligible to vote in the election of senators. The official minutes of executive sessions of the Senate shall be made available for this purpose only to the extent as the Senate may approve.

5. Minutes of executive sessions of the Senate are confidential and are not to be released.

6. Minutes of the Steering Committee may be made available outside The University of Alabama only by a majority vote of the Steering Committee that is asked for such material.

7. Reports submitted to the Senate become part of the open-meeting minutes or executivesession minutes and are to be treated as those minutes.

Section 6. Committee Records

1. All Senate committees shall keep records of their meetings and proceedings, describing in summary form all noteworthy matters considered and noting all committee and actions.

Section 7. Additional Responsibilities of the Senate Secretary

1. The Secretary has responsibility for conducting all University-wide referenda regarding proposed amendments to the Constitution.

2. The Secretary is charged with keeping the official, up-to-date copies of the Constitution and Bylaws, and with assuring that a signed and dated notification of official approval by the Secretary is affixed to all copies of the Constitution and Bylaws.

3. The Secretary will call the roll of senators at each meeting of the Senate. Any absences in excess of two by a senator will be reported by the Secretary to the Faculty and Senate Governance Committee. The Secretary shall also record the attendance, by name, of each visitor having floor privileges pursuant to Article III. Section 3, paragraph 4, of every attending member of the press, and of other special visitors to the Senate.

4. It shall be a duty of the Senate Secretary to notify the deans of the divisions of the University of the need for regular and special elections of senators. In so doing, the Secretary will note the name of the Senator who previously held the position or of the need to elect additional senators.

5. It shall be the duty of the Senate Secretary to publish a calendar of Senate meetings for the academic year at the beginning of each fall semester. It shall contain the times and locations of Senate meetings and the listing of the dates upon which the Senate must take actions such as the naming of members of official bodies of the University or the appointment of committees to nominate award recipients.

6. It shall be the duty of the Senate Secretary to gather and deposit the official records of the Senate with the University Archives at the conclusion of the Senate term.

Section 8. Senate Appointments to University Committees

The following procedures apply to the appointments made under authority given to the Faculty Senate by the University’s Faculty Handbook, or by the President of the University, or by other University authority:

1. Senators shall be asked in the spring by the Secretary for their preferences of service on University standing committees. The President, assisted by the Vice President and the Secretary, shall tentatively assign Senators to University standing committees, giving as much weight as possible to the preferences they have communicated. Such tentative assignments shall be discussed, and modified if necessary, by the Steering Committee, and shall be submitted to the whole Senate for discussion, modification if necessary, and approval, before the list is timely transmitted to the President of the University.

2. All other University committee or task force appointments in the gift of the Faculty Senate, including appointments to search committees or review committees, shall be made by the President of the Senate in consultation, if possible, with the Steering Committee, and shall be communicated to the Senate at its next meeting. If time does not allow for such consultation at a regular meeting of the Steering Committee, the President may call a meeting of that Committee or, in an emergency, poll the Committee by telephone, by e-mail, in person, or in other available ways; at least two-thirds of the Committee must be polled. In the latter instance, the whole Steering Committee may, at its next meeting, refuse to confirm the appointee, in which situation another appointment must be made, subject to consultation with the Steering Committee.

ARTICLE IV. AMENDMENTS OF BYLAWS

The Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the members of the Senate at a meeting subsequent to the meeting at which the amendment was proposed. Amendments to proposed bylaw changes may be proposed from the floor, and voted on, at either of these two meetings.

As revised October 17, 2017 by vote of the Faculty Senate of The University of Alabama.

Approved:

Chapman Greer, Secretary, Faculty Senate

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Contact: Sarah Miesse, semiesse@culverhouse.ua.edu

Faculty Senate Constitution

ARTICLE I. PURPOSE

The purpose of the Faculty Senate is to aid The University of Alabama in making judgments on questions of policy, development, and operations and thereby to assist the University in its continuing quest for excellence. It seeks to accomplish this goal by:

  1. Facilitating and encouraging meaningful input on matters of general faculty concern.
  2. Providing a readily accessible channel of communication through which continual dialogue and exchange of information and ideas may be carried on between the Faculty and University Officials.

ARTICLE II. RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUNCTIONS

The responsibilities of the faculty rest with the faculty as a whole, but faculty opinion will normally be articulated through a Faculty Senate as herein constituted.

The Faculty Senate has the responsibility and authority to deliberate issues of general faculty concern and to communicate the results of these deliberations and its recommendations to the President of the University.

The Senate receives information from the administrative officers of the University regarding pending policy decisions, or it determines through independent study that certain policy decisions appear to be appropriate; in either instance its function is to aid in the formulation or re-formulation of University policy.

The function may be served in some instances by discussion in which Senate members contribute their advice for consideration by those who are responsible for formulation and implementation of policy regarding the matter in question. In particular instances, on the other hand, the Senate may choose to make formal statements by majority vote.

The Faculty Senate is entitled to be advised of the disposition of any recommendations it makes.

Some general matters appropriate for faculty deliberation include:

  1. General policies for admission of students to the University and the establishment of academic standards and requirements for graduation.
  2. Establishment of the terms and conditions of faculty service and wellbeing.
  3. Selection of a University President or Vice-President. The views of the Faculty Senate should be solicited and considered before an appointment is made. In the case of selection of a divisional Dean only the faculty of that particular division should be consulted.
  4. Budgetary Matters: Reviewing past and current allocations; Faculty Senate will designate one of its members to be available to the President to serve on all groups which make budgetary decisions on a campus-wide basis. Such groups include those concerned with establishing need, establishing priorities for allocations, and deciding on allocations.
  5. Establishment of the University calendar.
  6. Major changes in academic or research programs which are of an interdivisional nature or which have significant interdivisional impact.

Repudiation by a majority vote of the faculties of 2/3 of the divisions voids an action of the Faculty Senate.

ARTICLE III. APPORTIONMENT OF SENATE REPRESENTATION

Each division of the University, including colleges, schools, and the University Libraries, is represented in the Faculty Senate by one senator for each twenty persons, or fraction thereof, serving on the date of the election under a regular appointment as an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor engaged in teaching or research at least half of a normal load during the regular year, or a librarian having corresponding rank and professional engagement.

Each division of the University shall elect alternate senators in a number equal to the number of its senators. Such alternate senators can substitute for any senator within the alternate’s division of the University on request of the Senator. When serving for a senator, an alternate may perform any of the functions of a senator with the full power of the senator. No senator may be represented by other than a duly elected alternate from the same division of the University.

A person holding a joint appointment involving more than one division must choose the division through which to participate in senate representation.

The dean or corresponding administrative officer of each division will be responsible for certifying the number of persons who qualify under this section to be counted in determining the number of senators for the division.

ARTICLE IV. ELECTIONS

The divisions of the University will hold elections for Senators and alternates by secret ballot during the last two weeks of February or the first two weeks of March, for a term of two years commencing April 1. In the divisional elections nominations may be made anonymously or from the floor. Only regular faculty members as defined in Article III are eligible for election to the Senate. However, the faculty of each division may determine who is eligible to vote in its particular election and in making this determination is not governed by the factors of eligibility to be counted for apportionment purposes under Article III.

The faculty of a division either may elect its senators at large or assign them for election by any arrangement of faculty subgroups as determined by faculty vote.

The dean or corresponding administrative officer of each division will conduct the election. Except for Special elections, election as a senator is for a two-year term of office and to replace those senators whose terms are expiring. The Senate Secretary will notify the deans of the divisions by February 14 of the number of Senate vacancies which will occur that year in each division.

The term of office for a senator elected in a Special election is for the remaining portion of the term of the senator being replaced.

ARTICLE V. ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURES

At its last regular meeting in March, the first order of business for the Senate shall be to elect a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary of the Senate for the ensuing year, from those Senators recently re-elected to the Senate or whose Senatorial term does not expire the ensuing April 1. No person elected to the Senate for the first time shall be eligible for such offices. The new officers shall take office on April 1.

The presiding officer of the Faculty Senate will call a meeting of the faculty of the University when so requested by a petition from one-fifth of the members of the faculty as determined by the total number of persons certified by the administrative officers of the divisions of the University at the time of the last General Senate election, by a vote of the majority of the Senators present at a meeting of the Senate, or by the President of the University.

The elected officers, the immediate past President of the Faculty Senate, and chairpersons of standing committees will constitute a steering committee. If the immediate past President of the Faculty Senate is no longer a senator, ex officio status in the steering committee will be automatic. The immediate past President who is no longer a senator will be privileged to attend all open and executive sessions of the Senate with right of debate but without vote. The steering committee will determine the agenda of all Senate meetings. Anyone may propose agenda topics for Senate meetings. A topic must be put on the agenda if as many as five senators, twenty faculty members, or the President of the University request it.

The Senate will meet each month during August through April, according to a schedule. The steering committee may call special meetings at any time while the University is in session during the regular academic year or a summer term (not including the interim term), and must do so when as many as ten senators, forty faculty members, or the President of the University request it.

A senator’s absence from three meetings during a term of office without being represented by a duly elected alternate may vacate the office. The Senate shall be the judge of the reasonableness of the senator’s absence without representation. Upon notification by the Senate, the dean of a division in which a senator’s office is vacated shall hold an immediate Special election for a replacement.

The dean of a division also will hold Special elections to senate seats when these seats are vacant because of death of the senator, resignation of the senator from the Senate, resignation of the senator from the faculty of the University, or for vacancies caused by a change in the status of a senator of such nature that the senator no longer is eligible to hold the office under provisions of 4 this constitution. Such Special elections will be held following notification by the Senate of a vacancy and as promptly as feasible after this notification.

Action to recall a Senate member from a division or faculty subgroup may be initiated by petition of not less than one-third of the voting members from that division or subgroup. Upon receiving this petition, the dean of the division shall notify the Senate member promptly and convene a special meeting of the voting members of the division to consider the petition. After opportunity for discussion of the substance of the petition, a secret vote shall be taken. If two-thirds of the voting members present vote to support the petition to recall the Senate member, the seat shall be declared vacant. The dean shall hold a Special election promptly to select a replacement and will notify the Senate President of the action. In such a meeting for recall and in all General and Special elections, a vote will be taken only after it is determined that a quorum is present as defined by the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order will govern the proceedings of the Senate except when they contravene a rule adopted by the Senate.

ARTICLE VI. ADOPTION

Approval of this Constitution by a simple majority vote of the eligible faculty and by the President of the University will have the effect of establishing a University of Alabama Faculty Senate as herein defined.

ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENT

Amendments to this Constitution will originate in the Senate. An amendment will be proposed and debated at a meeting of the Senate, and following further debate will be voted on at the next subsequent meeting of the Senate. If the amendment receives a majority vote of the Senate, it will be presented to the faculty of the University for its action in a University-wide referendum. There will be a 30-day period between the announcement of the referendum and the date of the ballot. Amendments which receive a favorable vote of the majority of the faculty voting in the referendum will be presented to the President of the University for approval.

Approved:

Rona J. Donahoe, Secretary, Faculty Senate

Date: October 7, 2013

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Contact: Sarah Miesse, semiesse@culverhouse.ua.edu

Research and Service (R&S) Committee Year End Summary 2017‐18

Committee members: Ajay Agrawal; Silas Blackstock; Cory Callahan; Andrew Dewar; Peter Jensen; Sushma Kotru; Michael Kreger; Shuhui Li; Tom Lopez; John McDonald; Michael Parrott; Edward Sazonov; Kelly Shannon

Co‐chairs: Ajay Agrawal, and Michael Kreger

R&S Committee focused on the following tasks during the year:

  1. Data on faculty hires
  2. Search for VP for R&ED
  3. Research survey questionnaire
  4. Meetings/Discussions with Office of Research Administration (ORA) and Graduate Dean 5. Meetings/Discussions with Provost and acting VP for R&ED

1. Data on Faculty hires

The committee prepared a memo sent to the provost in November 2017 requesting that the administration develop a matrix with quantitative and qualitative criteria to assess the progress made in faculty hiring, update the matrix on a regular basis (say each semester), and, in the spirit of transparency, make it available to the university faculty and/or community.

The committee identified a list of items to include in this matrix to help the UA community understand the impact of the recent research initiatives and, thus, become an effective partner as the University seeks to achieve the primary goals of the Strategic Plan.

In meetings, the provost mentioned that the Board of Trustees has also asked for similar data, and indicated that his office will coordinate with the R&S committee to make the information available while serving both faculty and Board of Trustees’ needs.

2. Search for VP for R&ED

R&S Committee member Si Blackstock was selected to serve on the search committee as faculty senate representative. The committee was asked to provide the 2‐3 most important skillsets, attributes, or types of experience that UA’s next VPR needs to have in order to be successful in this role. The committee provided the following input:

(a) Teaching, research, and administrative experience at a Tier I research university.

(b) Broad understanding of research beyond a disciplinary boundary and appreciation of the dual education‐research mission in PhD programs across a wide range of disciplines.

(c) Demonstrated skills to acquire and manage significant research funding (government, private, or a combination) including assignment as a research program monitor.

Si Blackstock provided periodic updates to the committee and faculty senate about the hiring process.

Candidates have been identified for on‐campus interviews in April 2018. The R&S committee is scheduled to meet with candidates during interviews.

3. Research Survey Questionnaire

R&S sought to seek faculty input to support the University’s research strategy, and thus, the task of developing a survey was undertaken throughout the year. The committee reviewed the Faculty Life Survey conducted in 2014, and initially sought to repeat it in 2017 working in conjunction with the Faculty Life Committee. However, the University is partnering with ModernThink to survey faculty and staff regarding their workplace experience and thus, to provide opportunities and resources that facilitate work‐life balance and enhance the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty and staff.

This survey does not focus on research.

The R&S committee developed a survey to collect faculty/staff input regarding research to support the research strategy announced by President Bell to “Increase the University’s productivity and innovation in research, scholarship and creative activities that impact economic and societal development.” The survey contains 24 questions divided into six categories. Multiple options are provided for each question. Response to questions can be to (1) either rank the answers in the order of importance, or (2) assign weight to each answer so the total adds up to 100. In addition, comments and ideas not covered by the possible responses provided can be entered in a free‐response space provided for each question.

The steering committee of the faculty senate has endorsed the survey. Input has also been sought from the University’s Research Advisory Committee. Plans are underway to work out the logistics and implementation of the survey in coordination with the administration.

4. Meetings/Discussions with Office of Research Administration (ORA) and Graduate Dean

The R&S Committee met with Cindy Hope, Director of ORA, and discussed several ideas to enhance the services. Through the course of the meeting, Ms. Hope informed R&S committee members that a proposal development team is being formed to assist faculty in preparation of proposals of any dollar amount. A technical editor has already been hired and is available to provide editing services. The committee also met with Graduate Dean, Dr. Susan Carvalho, and discussed several ideas to increase graduate enrollment.

5. Meetings/Discussions with Provost and acting VP for R&ED

The R&S Committee co‐chairs Ajay Agrawal and Mike Kreger had multiple meetings with the provost and VP for R&ED, and were asked to identify high‐priority items concerning research at the University. A white paper was developed to make the case for research infrastructure needs and priorities for the Capital Campaign.

To view the content above as a pdf, click here.

Contact: Sarah Miesse, semiesse@culverhouse.ua.edu

Faculty Life Committee Year-End Summary 2017-2018:

Committee members: James Gilbreath, Julia Cartwright, Andrea Glenn, Kelley Schoger, Daiquiri Steele, Adam Knowlden, Michelle Hale.

James Gilbreath & Bill Martin were co-chairs from April 2017 – August 2017.

Julia Cartwright took over from Bill in September 2017.

Overall, there have been ~7 policies that we have focused on as a committee from September.

  1. Daycare opportunities & policies regarding inclement weather.
  2. Temporary Housing.
  3. Gym membership.
  4. Maternity/paternity leave.
  5. Development of a website for new faculty.
  6. Hayes’ Charge of UA/UAH/UAB
  7. Faculty surveys.

1) Daycare

There is a significant need for daycare on campus. There are long waitlists to get into certain daycares around Tuscaloosa.

The committee did some data gathering to determine how extensive the problem is.

  • It’s a massive problem. E.g. Some daycares have long lists and limited places & have some slightly unconventional methods for requiring parents to sign up.

Faculty and Staff Benefits committee are also working on this. They are putting forward a charge for a separate daycare facility on campus. We are composing a resolution in support of this proposal. This needs to be done. With increasing hires = more potential for daycare issues. This is not going to go away.

Other concerns include inclement weather – we are working to try to implement some support on campus in instances when local schools close, but the university does not.

2) Temporary Housing

The university has very limited accommodation available for incoming faculty. A few colleges have access to some property for temporary living, at the discretion of the dean. These limited accommodations are heavily oversubscribed – there is clearly a market to expand this.

Many other universities have support for new faculty, including temporary housing.

We are drafting a proposal to suggest that the university invests in some accommodation for incoming new faculty and staff, especially those from further afield, who would greatly benefit from having a temporary residence in order to establish an identity (SSN) and bank account etc.

3) Gym membership

The university are very proud of their sporting heritage and have multiple facilities across campus. Many other universities offer free membership to their faculty and staff.

James and I met with the director of the Rec Center to negotiate allowing free access to faculty and staff. As they are a separate franchise, total free membership is apparently out of the question. We countered that offering free access to facilities for a couple of days a week would be beneficial to the faculty and staff bodies as a whole, especially in the interests of supporting the 4th pillar of the UA system – to promote a healthy work:life balance.

We have drafted a proposal to suggest a pilot study over the summer in which the Rec Center would allow free access to faculty and staff during time periods that are typically low frequency.

We are in the process of finishing this.

The idea is that it would provide both the senate and the rec center with valuable data with which to determine the cost/benefit ratio for the proposal.

An additional consideration is that a program such as Wellbama may be able to incorporate a similar benefit through participation in a program.

4) Maternity/Paternity Leave

This is also a subject that has been worked on by the Faculty and Staff benefits committee – they drafted a proposal to suggest maternity leave for staff.

We support this motion, and hope that it will be expanded on in the future.

We also propose that language in the handbook be gender-neutral to highlight equality within the family unit.

5) Development of a website for new faculty/current faculty

We have been working on an idea to implement a new website with which to provide information for incoming and current faculty about the Tuscaloosa area in general. This website would provide a useful tool for staff and faculty to learn information ranging from where the post offices are, to how to open a bank account, as well as providing an example of overall budgets based on living expenses. Many universities have similar tools that are invaluable for those that are not local to the area, and this information is not currently available in a single place for UA staff and faculty.

James, Julia and Barb Dalhbach (Strategic Communications) met with Monica Watts (Ass. VP for Communications) and Andy Rainey (Director of Web communications) to discuss the idea of this website. The conclusion of the meeting that they are very supportive of this action and would be happy to build the website. However, the question of where it should be hosted came up. HR seems like an obvious platform, and we are hoping to meet with the HR director to discuss this soon.

Additionally, the concept of how to acquire all of this data and who would maintain it is a significant issue. While some minor data mining could be done by the committee, it was judged that this would need to be undertaken by an individual over a period of time.

Barb and James (both in libraries) mentioned that there is an internship opportunity within libraries for data conservation and curation. Maybe a student intern could spend a summer gathering this information, and later interns could work to update the material?

Julia, James and Barb met with Sybil Bullock – who is the internship coordinator in the College of Communications and Information Sciences – to discuss the possibility of having a summer internship project for a student. She was in support of this idea and was going to take it further within her college. One question of advising came up – and there was the question of whether this could be overseen by someone in HR, with some updates provided to the Faculty Life committee. We are still following this up.

6) Chancellor Hayes’ Charge

We discussed the charge from Chancellor Hayes at length during multiple committee meetings, and highlighted that the charge could be something that affects multiple committees. Both encouraging research, and promoting some work/life balance.

Overall, there was concern that a bus tour would require significant planning, and some faculty and staff may not be that interested in visiting other places.

Some departments already have collaborative conference between the three UA campuses.

This topic was raised at the BOT meeting, and with little interest from UAB (lots from UAH!), the conclusion was that it may be a good idea to have common issues highlighted in some sort of online platform – which may also provide a basis with which to encourage collaboration.

7) Faculty Surveys

The committee went through the Climate Survey data and highlighted various areas where problems may have arisen. Additional James and Julia met with the Title 9 lawyers to ensure that there were no responsibilities as required reporters.

We discussed the idea of sending out another survey to the faculty, but decided against that at this point, as multiple surveys have been launched recently, including the Mindat survey.

As a final point, I would like to urge that the members of the senate please update their faculties about issues that the senate are raising. On more than a number of occasions, I have been contacted by people (and friends) suggesting that the university open a daycare or that free gym membership be offered. This highlights that some of the hardwork that these committees are doing is not being passed on to our colleagues. We want the senate to be shown to be a driver of change in the university, and without the senate members passing on this information, our colleagues are non-the-wiser regarding ideas and policies.

To view the content above as a pdf, click here.

Contact: Sarah Miesse, semiesse@culverhouse.ua.edu

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee Annual Report 2017-2018

2017-2018

University of Alabama

Faculty Senate

Mirit Byal-Cohen & Osiris Molina, Subcommittee Co-Chairs

Kelly Guyotte, Sheila Black, Ignacio Rodeno, Melvin Lewis, Anne Levy

The 2017-2018 incarnation of this committee was inaugurated by the Faculty Senate in October 2018 in response to the hiring of Dr. Christine Taylor, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The committee began to meet monthly with Dr. Taylor to create a dialogue between her office and the faculty and to establish new and improved methods of bringing together the many disparate activities on campus that are designed to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Important to that mission is creating a stronger bond with the Crossroads Center and its director, Lane McClelland. Lane’s efforts to bolster diversity at UA have been significant, and the committee will make every effort to support her efforts.

One of the principal issues that our committee will address in the next academic year includes the possibility of adapting or adding a diversity component to the university core curriculum. How and where this component is implemented will be a point of discussion.

Establishing caucus groups among the faculty to create greater awareness and connectivity is another proposal before the committee for the next academic year. A brief incarnation of this occurred a few years ago in the College of Arts and Sciences bringing together Hispanic faculty, and more can be done in this regard.

Our committee can and will serve as a sounding board for Dr. Taylor’s office in all manner of activity, from addressing student behavior issues to faculty recommendations for addressing diversity and equity issues in and out of the classroom.

This committee is highly energetic and committed to make a difference for all university constituents. We look forward to continued success in 2017-2018.

To view the content above as a pdf, click here.

Contact: Sarah Miesse, semiesse@culverhouse.ua.edu

Research and Service (R&S) Committee Year End Summary 2017‐18

Committee members: Ajay Agrawal; Silas Blackstock; Cory Callahan; Andrew Dewar; Peter Jensen; Sushma Kotru; Michael Kreger; Shuhui Li; Tom Lopez; John McDonald; Michael Parrott; Edward Sazonov; Kelly Shannon

Co‐chairs: Ajay Agrawal, and Michael Kreger

R&S Committee focused on the following tasks during the year:

  1. Data on faculty hires
  2. Search for VP for R&ED
  3. Research survey questionnaire
  4. Meetings/Discussions with Office of Research Administration (ORA) and Graduate Dean 5. Meetings/Discussions with Provost and acting VP for R&ED

1) Data on Faculty hires

The committee prepared a memo sent to the provost in November 2017 requesting that the administration develop a matrix with quantitative and qualitative criteria to assess the progress made in faculty hiring, update the matrix on a regular basis (say each semester), and, in the spirit of transparency, make it available to the university faculty and/or community.

The committee identified a list of items to include in this matrix to help the UA community understand the impact of the recent research initiatives and, thus, become an effective partner as the University seeks to achieve the primary goals of the Strategic Plan.

In meetings, the provost mentioned that the Board of Trustees has also asked for similar data, and indicated that his office will coordinate with the R&S committee to make the information available while serving both faculty and Board of Trustees’ needs.

2) Search for VP for R&ED

R&S Committee member Si Blackstock was selected to serve on the search committee as faculty senate representative. The committee was asked to provide the 2‐3 most important skillsets, attributes, or types of experience that UA’s next VPR needs to have in order to be successful in this role. The committee provided the following input:

(a) Teaching, research, and administrative experience at a Tier I research university.

(b) Broad understanding of research beyond a disciplinary boundary and appreciation of the dual education‐research mission in PhD programs across a wide range of disciplines.

(c) Demonstrated skills to acquire and manage significant research funding (government, private, or a combination) including assignment as a research program monitor.

Si Blackstock provided periodic updates to the committee and faculty senate about the hiring process.

Candidates have been identified for on‐campus interviews in April 2018. The R&S committee is scheduled to meet with candidates during interviews.

3) Research Survey Questionnaire

R&S sought to seek faculty input to support the University’s research strategy, and thus, the task of developing a survey was undertaken throughout the year. The committee reviewed the Faculty Life Survey conducted in 2014, and initially sought to repeat it in 2017 working in conjunction with the Faculty Life Committee. However, the University is partnering with ModernThink to survey faculty and staff regarding their workplace experience and thus, to provide opportunities and resources that facilitate work‐life balance and enhance the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty and staff.

This survey does not focus on research.

The R&S committee developed a survey to collect faculty/staff input regarding research to support the research strategy announced by President Bell to “Increase the University’s productivity and innovation in research, scholarship and creative activities that impact economic and societal development.” The survey contains 24 questions divided into six categories. Multiple options are provided for each question. Response to questions can be to (1) either rank the answers in the order of importance, or (2) assign weight to each answer so the total adds up to 100. In addition, comments and ideas not covered by the possible responses provided can be entered in a free‐response space provided for each question.

The steering committee of the faculty senate has endorsed the survey. Input has also been sought from the University’s Research Advisory Committee. Plans are underway to work out the logistics and implementation of the survey in coordination with the administration.

4) Meetings/Discussions with Office of Research Administration (ORA) and Graduate Dean

The R&S Committee met with Cindy Hope, Director of ORA, and discussed several ideas to enhance the services. Through the course of the meeting, Ms. Hope informed R&S committee members that a proposal development team is being formed to assist faculty in preparation of proposals of any dollar amount. A technical editor has already been hired and is available to provide editing services. The committee also met with Graduate Dean, Dr. Susan Carvalho, and discussed several ideas to increase graduate enrollment.

5) Meetings/Discussions with Provost and acting VP for R&ED

The R&S Committee co‐chairs Ajay Agrawal and Mike Kreger had multiple meetings with the provost and VP for R&ED, and were asked to identify high‐priority items concerning research at the University. A white paper was developed to make the case for research infrastructure needs and priorities for the Capital Campaign.

To view the content above as a pdf, click here.

Contact: Sarah Miesse, semiesse@culverhouse.ua.edu

2018-19 Meetings & Minutes

17 April 2018, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1010 North Lawn Hall
Guest Speaker:
Mr. Bill Poole, State Representative, House District 63
Approved Minutes

21 August 2018, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1010 North Lawn Hall
Guest Speakers:
Benefits Office PresentationDavid Bertanzetti, Jay Haley, Erika Shumate, Hiron Stiell
Approved Minutes

18 September 2018, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1013 South Engineering Research Center
Guest Speaker: 
Transportation Services PresentationChris D’Esposito, Director
Approved Minutes

16 October 2018, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1013 South Engineering Research Center
Guest Speaker:
Capstone Center for Student Success – Adam Sterritt, Assistant VP; Student Life 
Approved Minutes

13 November 2018, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1013 South Engineering Research Center
Guest Speakers:
University Premier Awards – Amber Capell, Director of External Engagement, Student Life
Alabama Transportation Institute – Dr. Shashi Nambisan, Director
Approved Minutes

11 December 2018, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1013 South Engineering Research Center
Guest Speakers:
UA Life Research Institute – Dr. John Lochmann, Interim Director
UA Water Institute – Dr. Patricia Sobecky, Director
Approved Minutes
Speaker Presentation: UA Life Research Institute

15 January 2019, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1010 North Lawn Hall
Guest Speakers:
Collaborative Arts Research Initiative– Rebecca Salzer, Interim Director
Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and The EDGE– Dr. Theresa Welbourne, Executive Director
Approved Minutes
Speaker Presentation: Collaborative Arts Research Initiative (CARI)
Speaker Presentation: Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute and The EDGE

19 February 2019, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1010 North Lawn Hall
Guest Speakers:
Safe Zone– Lizzie Emerson Smith, Graduate Assistant
Capstone Alliance– Dr. Kevin Kocot, President
Approved Minutes

19 March 2019, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 1010 North Lawn Hall
Guest Speaker:
Negotiating Large Publisher Contracts– Dr. Don Gilstrap, Dean, University Libraries
AGENDA
Speaker Presentation: Negotiating Large Publisher Contracts

Scheduled meetings of the Steering Committee:
10 April 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

8 May 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

5 June 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

10 July 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

7 August 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

11 September 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

9 October 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

6 November 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

4 December 2018, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

8 January 2019, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

12 February 2019, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

5 March 2019, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building
Approved Minutes

9 April 2019, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., 213 AIME Building

12 Month Faculty Parental Leave Policy Proposal

March 21, 2019

The University of Alabama Faculty Senate

PROPOSED RESOLUTION FOR A PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY FOR 12-MONTH FULL-TIME FACULTY MEMBERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

Whereas, the fourth pillar of The University of Alabama’s strategic plan is to provide opportunities and resources that promote work-life balance and enhance the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty and staff; and

Whereas, a policy that requires that 12-month faculty use sick and/or annual leave for prenatal care and post-natal recovery and bonding time penalizes faculty members who choose to become parents, compared to those who do not become parents, by removing their leave benefits: faculty who choose to become parents are still susceptible to illness and are still deserving of vacation time; and Whereas, parental leave policies have been found to improve morale, productivity, recruitment and retention rates1; and

Whereas, a policy that requires that 12-month faculty use sick and/or annual leave for prenatal care and post-natal recovery and bonding time provides an inadequate amount of parental leave for faculty members who are relatively new hires, which may hinder the university’s ability to recruit outstanding candidates, and also unintentionally incentivizes faculty members to delay starting families, which, coupled with the known reduction of fertility with age, would reduce the fertility window and/or increase the likelihood of high-risk pregnancies associated with older age; and

Whereas, (1) adequate prenatal care is associated with lower risk of prematurity, stillbirth, early and late neonatal death, and infant death2, and (2) the recommended number of prenatal visits for an uncomplicated pregnancy is about 153, a policy that requires that 12-month faculty use sick and/or annual leave for prenatal care discourages faculty members from attending prenatal visits because doing so takes away from their remaining post-natal recovery and bonding time; and Whereas, a 2019 study found that nearly half of females in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the US leave full-time science after having their first child;4 and

Whereas, the millennial generation is expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025 and a recent study found that parental leave was among millennials’ top concerns;5 and

Whereas, a policy that is not limited by gender or sexual orientation is in line with The University of Alabama’s mission to create an accepting and inclusive work environment; and

Whereas, a number of comparable public universities have adopted paid parental leave policies for faculty who accrue sick and annual leave without requiring them to use their accrued leave, including Florida State University (6 months),6 Indiana University (6 weeks),7 University of North Carolina (1 semester),8 University of Colorado (6 weeks),9 University of Arizona (6 weeks),10 University of Central Florida (19.5 weeks),11 and Virginia Tech (8 weeks);12

Therefore, be it resolved by the Faculty Senate of The University of Alabama that the University is encouraged to adopt the following policies regarding parental leave for 12month full-time faculty members:

Policy for Parental Leave for 12-month Full-time Faculty Members

This policy applies to 12-month full time faculty who have given or are going to give birth to a child/children, or become a parent of a newly born or adopted/fostered child/children, or who are recovering from miscarriage, abortion, or any pregnancy or childbirth related health outcomes. Faculty members who accrue sick and annual leave will receive 8 weeks of paid leave (40 days) to cover the time necessary for the medical recovery period as defined by the individual’s health provider and/or to provide time for initial bonding with the child. Faculty members will not be required to use sick and/or annual leave, but may use it to extend their leave time beyond 8 weeks. Paid leave will be provided regardless of the amount of time the faculty member has been employed by the University. In addition, 48 hours of paid leave will be provided for any pregnancy-, foster-, or adoption-related doctor’s appointments or meetings prior to the arrival/placement/adoption of the child.

1 The National Bureau of Economic Research https://www.nber.org/papers/w23069

2 Partridge, S. Balayla, J. Holcroft, C.A., Abenhaim, H.A. (2012) Inadequate prenatal care utilization and risks of infant mortality and poor birth outcome: A retrospective analysis of 28,729,765 U.S. deliveries over 8 years. American Journal of Perinatology, 29(10), 787-794.

3 American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2017). Guidelines for Perinatal Care.

4 Cech, E. A. & Blair-Loy, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1810862116 (2019).

5 https://www.ey.com/us/en/about-us/our-people-and-culture/ey-study-highlights-people-want-flexibility

6 https://fda.fsu.edu/faculty-employment/faculty-leave/parental-leave-FAQ

7 https://policies.iu.edu/policies/hr-05-65-paid-parental-leave/index.html

8 https://academicpersonnel.unc.edu/faculty-policies-procedures-guidelines/leave/faculty-serious-illnessmajordisability-and-parental-leave-policy/#P46_5639

9 https://www.colorado.edu/hr/policies-guidance/paid-parental-leave-guidance

https://www.colorado.edu/today/2018/06/26/cu-boulder-enhances-parental-leave-policy-offering-6-weekspay

10 https://hr.arizona.edu/employees-affiliates/leaves/paid-parental-leave

11 https://facultyexcellence.ucf.edu/paid-parental-leave/

12 https://www.hr.vt.edu/benefits/leave.html

Click here to view the content above as a pdf.

Contact: Sarah Miesse, semiesse@culverhouse.ua.edu