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Meeting of the Faculty of the Senate, September 13, 1996

Chair Faye Gilbert called the Senate to order at 2:05 p.m. in Conner Hall, Room 123.


Kim Beason, Anne Bomba, Don Cheek, Jean Cheek, Felice Coles, Sumali Conlon, Robert Cook, H.C. Cunningham, Carol Dale, Bob Dorsey, Maurice Eftink, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Faye Gilbert, David Graves, Sophia Gray, Robert Haws, Glenn Hopkins, John Johnson, Fred Laurenzo, Phil Malone, Tom Marshall, R. McLaughlin, Marilyn Mendolia, Harry Owens, James Payne, Shyam Prasad, T.J. Ray, Bill Rayburn, Jim Reidy, Stacy Rodgers, Sharon Schreiber, William Scott, Warren Steel, JoAnn Stefani, Peter Sukanek, Paula Temple, Bryn Vaaler, R.Westmoreland, Mark Wilder, Clint Williford, John Winkle, Christy Wyandt


Dave Nichols, Stacy Holmes, Tim Hall, Ted Ownby, Edward Komara, Daniel Schlenk, Ed Sisson, Natalie Schroeder, Billy Barrios, Jay K.Johnson

Prior Notification of Absence Given:

Kirk Wakefield, Fannye Love, Ben Banahan

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIR: Senator Gilbert referred to ongoing meetings of the Senate Executive Committee with the Chancellor. Senator Gilbert then introduced the Executive Committee and indicated that the Chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, Kim Beason would be reporting. Senator Gilbert then welcomed the Chancellor and Provost.


Chancellor Khayat opened his remarks referring to the memorial service for Dean Westerfield. He encouraged faculty members to attend, if they could. He then thanked the Senate for its support and encouragement shown to him and Dr. Walton. He discussed the relationship of the Chancellor's Office and the Faculty Senate. He believes that input from the faculty is critical to the well-being of the University. "I will do everything I can do to assure the lines of communication are open.... We will have regular meetings (with the Executive Committee)... and at other times as well." He described the role of the Faculty Senate as an advisory one. He stressed his role as having to make decisions. He hoped that 100 percent of the time that decision would be the wishes of this group, "but regardless, ultimately, I have to make the decisions as Chancellor of the University." He said he feels that he reports to the faculty and other groups of the university community, but emphasized his employment by and reporting to the Board of Trustees.

He explained that his reason for putting in place the new model for administrative structure is to assure "that the decisions-making process is driven by the academic mission of the student... My personal goal for this University is...attaining the level of excellence to which we all aspire."

He referred to several items he wanted to touch on. He committed himself to a strong (standing) committee system. He referred to the review of the standing committees and said he would be supportive of what comes forward from that process. He said that we have a system in place involving the Chair of the Faculty Senate to review the need for ad hoc committees. He discussed the recently created ad hoc committee on "Traffic and Parking." He said that it would not be an easy challenge regarding changes in traffic and parking. "I suspect that the inner campus is going to be closed to traffic and parking. We are going to become a satellite parking campus with shuttle services..." Referring to recommendations suggesting high-rise parking garages, he gave an estimate of $7000 per space and pointed out security and decal pricing issues.

He wants to stay focused on the Phi Beta Kappa (chapter effort). "The key ingredients are the library, faculty salaries, enhancing the attraction of this school to quality students, strengthening our honor programs, and increasing the academic enrichment endowment." He expressed his excitement over the Honor's College and expected that it wold be up and running by January 1997.

The first year class has an average ACT of 22.87. The overall enrollment on the Oxford campus is up about 2%. He stressed the importance of retention. About 29% of the first year class, last year, left after one year. "We want our students to come here and have opportunities of college and be successful." The financial loss associated with this enrollment decline is $3.2 million. He feels that retention is everyone's business. He strongly believes that the number one area of retention is the quality of teaching and research. He invited the Senate to be concerned and involved with retention efforts. Regarding budgets, he anticipates a 1-3% increase in the salary budget. A request is being made to cover the cost of "built-ins" such as minimum wage increases and new buildings. "They (the administration) have been told that the salary increases will be tied to productivity, which has not been defined yet." They have been suggesting items that might be included in assessing productivity such as faculty research dollars and acceptance of students into professions. Regarding research, he said that the University is working to expand involvement with the private sector. He recounted contacts with Peavy Electronics in Meridian and a possible meeting involving the Mississippi Manufacturer's Association. Rex DeLoach, a former managing partner with Arthur Anderson, will be working as a consultant in finance administration. He will focus on the auxiliaries and their potential for raising revenues that can be built into the base budget for the University. We have a capital campaign underway, that will be announced on November 6, 1998. The focus will be on the academic needs of the University. Private support increased from $17 to $25 million this year. The endowment increased to $136 million. Dr. Walton announced that the Associates Grants will be increased from $250,000 in 1996, to $260,000 in 1997, and to $275,000 in 1998.

Addressing athletics, the Chancellor expressed his desire that "you all have a confident level with the balance that I try to strike with regard to athletics.... I am trying to be sure that athletics is an independent, self-supporting, successful, honorably operated institution." Referring to efforts by Pete Boone (Athletic Director) and Tommy Tuberville (Head Football Coach) to expand the stadium, he said he has an understanding with them that the funds will come from private sources. Furthermore, if the expansion goes through, the $400,000 currently funded by the University for women's athletics will be covered by the Athletics Department budget, beginning in 1999.

The Chancellor then answered questions. Regarding reasons for first year students leaving, Dr. Walton responded that 6 percent were academically dismissed. Regarding increases in faculty size, the Chancellor said the main concerns are core areas in Liberal Arts, where many classes are taught by graduate students. They are talking to the Legislative Budget Office about support for full-time people in the classroom, particularly in Math, Modern Languages, and Theater Arts. He referred to student population, saying they think we can accommodate 12,000 students with some additional classroom space we hope to have over the next three years.

Chair Gilbert asked about groups studying consulting and overhead. They are seeking information from other institutions concerning their support of the individual departments and programs. They are also dealing with issues regarding conflict of interest and who should be covered in their report, for example "who are "real nine-month" faculty?" Chair Gilbert also asked the Chancellor about his thoughts on expanding the classroom improvement effort. He answered that some people thought it was very nice (classroom improvement). He went on to refer to timber sales that have been used for renovation projects. He briefly described the University's timber holdings and how there are managed. He said that funds from timber sales have been earmarked for improving academic facilities.

The Chancellor asked about a chronic concern over limited funding for the library (particularly regarding periodicals). Dr. Walton answered saying they are going to keep asking for more money. "It is going to be very important that we get donors." He referred to the Chancellor talking to people about giving a million dollars to Library. The Chancellor reported that his proposals had been well received, and he was optimistic. When asked if the anticipated 1-3 percent salary increase would meet the needs for he Phi Beta Kappa goal, the Chancellor agreed it would not. He said that the Phi Beta Kappa Concept had been mentioned to the Foundation Board which accepted the challenge of helping us raise the funds. He said he saw private support enhancing salaries, referring to a million dollar contribution that led to two teaching positions.

REPORT FROM THE CHAIR: Chair Gilbert reviewed the planned procedure for distributing a summary of the minutes twice a semester and making the full text available on the web page. This received general approval.

OLD BUSINESS: the minutes for March and April were approved and the notes for June submitted for review based on the summaries attached with the September agenda. The Chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, Kim Beason, reported that there had been discussions of a 39 day consulting period. It was felt that defining the allowable days as policy would provide a "safe harbor" for this time.

NEW BUSINESS: Chair Gilbert indicated that the Liberal Arts Senators needed to caucus after the meeting to fill a vacancy on the Elections Committee. The Committee on Committees and the Elections Committees needed to meet to select their chairs.

Chair Gilbert adjourned the meeting at approximately 3:00 p.m.