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Meeting of the Senate of the Faculty,

April 11, 1997

Chair, Faye Gilbert, called the Faculty Senate to order at 2:05 p.m., April 11, in Conner 223.


Kim Beason, Billy Barrios, Anne Bomba, Don Cheek, Sumali Conlon, Robert Cook, H.C. Cunningham, Bob Dorsey, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Faye Gilbert, Glenn Hopkins, Jay K. Johnson, John Johnson, Edward Komara, Phil Malone, Tom Marshall, Marilyn Mendolia, Dave Nichols, Harry Owens, Ted Ownby, T.J. Ray, Bill Rayburn, Stacy Rodgers, Daniel Schlenk, Sharon Schreiber, Ed Sisson, Warren Steel, Kirk Wakefield, Julie Walton, Mark Wilder, Clint Williford, John Winkle, Christy Wyandt


Ben Banahan, Jean Cheek, Felice Coles, Carol Dale, Maurice Eftink, David Graves, Sophia Gray, Tim Hall, Robert Haws, Stacy Holmes, Fred Laurenzo, Fannye Love, James Payne, Shyam Prasad, Jim Reidy, Natalie Schroeder, William Scott, Paula Temple, Bryn Vaaler, Robert Westmoreland

Prior Notification of Absence Given:

R. McLaughlin, JoAnn Stefani, Peter Sukanek

PRESENTATION BY MR. REX DELOACH, (Appointed) ACTING INTERIM VICE CHANCELLOR OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION: Mr. De Loach briefly described his background, how he became Acting Interim VC for Finance and Administration. He is originally from Carroll County, served in the Navy, and attended Memphis State. He has been with the Arthur Anderson firm for over twenty years and, since 1993, has been a Senior Partner, retiring June 30 of this year. He and his wife built a home here and have been traveling here since 1989, in anticipation of retirement. He came to know Chancellor Khayat and liked his objectives emphasizing academics and building a great public university. In late 1995 he agreed to review the University's financial statement and cash flows. In late Spring of 1996, the Chancellor asked him to perform a consulting job to find ways to build income from nonacademic assets to support a 3-4% raise for faculty and staff. He reviewed plans involving four sources: (1) the bookstore, which was losing $200,000 per year. Through a new contract, a target of $500,000 profit has been set; (2) university forest lands, which are estimated at $30-35 million in value have been bringing in only about $300,000 per year. An effort was made to solicit bids for management of this land. This was dropped. Now the plan is to either manage the property ourselves or to make it a part of Desoto National Forest, thereby raising a $30+ million endowment, which should grow to $350 million over 50 years; (3) a project involving the post office was dropped due to incompatible architectural plans; (4) selling surplus lands, which may involve about 440 acres south of Highway 6 and 200 acres around the golf course. There are some access problems that must be resolved. They are speaking with some upscale developers, but there is no progress to report on at this time. In addition, he reported that plans for taking over the Crosby Arboretum have been dropped, because of some control issues. There are pursuing a grant through the Don Reynold's Foundation. Some ATM's are being relocated. He is working the budget process and hopes to have a new Director on board for July 1st . The business plan for the Physical plant is well along.

In the future, he will be accepting the position of Acting Interim Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration. His objectives are to maintain the integrity (of finance operations), improve cash flow returns to the academic side of the university, and improve use of the money that comes in as well as financial understanding. He offered to review his progress with the Faculty Senate in the Fall. This concluded his prepared remarks, and he answered questions.

Regarding a question about the $217,000 addition funding for supercomputer utilities, he responded that utilities costs are growing faster than square footage. Within the Physical Plant's business plan, they are going to look at utilities. Over the past five years, heated and cooled square footage has grown at an annual rate of 3%, while utilities usage has grown at a rate of 6%. After discussions with the Chancellor and the Legislature, the addition funds were provided. Regarding a long term financial plan for the University, he responded that a plan was in the thinking phase and will come to pass. He feels this is important because, we cannot continue with unbalanced budgets as we did in 1997. Also, we have purchased a lot of expensive machinery that will be obsolete in three to five years, and there will be nothing to replace it with. Regarding auxiliary income and the measurement of performance for organizations on campus, he referred to a request for a large grant to benefit the Library and Accountancy, and conduct some re-engineering. He foresees using technology to bring down some costs. Performance measures drawn from experience at other schools may be used. Asked about the University's contingency fund, he said that it was at $5 million and served as a shock absorber for cash flow deficits. He feels this amount is better than most, but not where we need to be. He was asked about the possible sale of some land in Arkansas and responded that there was only a small amount. He also added details about the need and potential plans to improve access through highway construction to allow development of the land south of Highway 6. Regarding long term budgets, he said they were looking internally. The auxiliaries are improving performance, but not enough (to meet al budget needs). We must re-engineer to squeeze costs through improved productivity. We might free $3 million dollars and get forest lands money ($1.5 million). A concern was expressed that the University has a capacity to soak up money, and that a review of administrative versus department budgets would be preferred. Mr. De Loach answered that they are reviewing administrative budgets. He said that one thing soaking up money is scholarships. If estimates are right, we can count on $800,000 in new tuition money, but $1.6 million will go for scholarships and entitlements programs. To affect the 1999 budget, we have to have a new program in place by May 31.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: the minutes for February and March were approved.

MOTION: PILOT TEST FOR THE UNIVERSITY JUDICIAL COUNCIL - a motion was presented to pilot test a new standing committee, the "University Judicial Council." Concerns were raised about the committee handling matters related to interpretation of the M-Book and particularly Academic Discipline rulings on cheating. A concern was raised that the new committee would usurp this power. An amendment was offered to exclude academic discipline (dishonesty) from the pilot test. It was suggested that the Chair of the Senate and the Executive Committee should work with the pilot test and bring back (suggestions) for changes in a report next year. Another question was raised regarding the size of the new committee, whether there are bylaws, how absences would be handled, and how conflicts of interest would be resolved. The question was raised about whether the ASB wanted faculty oversight. Some student feedback has indicated, yes. The motion was passed as amended.

MOTION ON CONSULTING POLICY: Some comments were made that other business should not be included under the consulting policy. Questions were raised about the adequacy of the forms, and how to handle (contingency) plans, and consulting for a firm that provides support to the University. The motion was approved.

MOTION: IMAGE ASSESSMENT APPROVAL - the motion was approved unanimously.

MOTION: TENURE AND PROMOTION TIMETABLES - two motions were presented, one on tenure and the other on promotions timetables. Questions were raised about the adequacy of time and whether the deadline needs to be November 1 to have the dossier complete. It was noted that the responsibility is put on the Department Head to get materials together. Motion 1 and 2 were passed on voice vote.

MOTION: SAVINGS ACCOUNT OPTION RESPONSE (12 Month Pay For 9 Month Faculty) - the motion was unanimously voted down.

MOTION: STANDING COMMITTEE REVISIONS - there were two motions on revisions. The first passed on voice vote. Some Senators then left, and the quorum was lost. The second motion was not acted on.

After a voice vote giving approval, Chair Faye Gilbert adjourned the meeting at approximately 3:30 p.m.