Faculty Council Minutes -- February 2015

Faculty Council

Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences

February 20, 2015

APC Rosen Center Conference Room


Call to Order – Dr. Bluhm called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM

Approval of Agenda – Agenda is approved as presented.

Approval of January 16, 2015 Faculty Council Meeting Minutes –Motion was made to approve the minutes as amended.    Motion was seconded and approved.


Administration Reports

Division of Agriculture - Associate Vice President – Research AAES, Dr. Clarence Watson

See Pages 1 -2 of reports attached.  In regards to the Federal budget – starting to work through the process for the FY 16 budget.  We’ll be going to Washington in two weeks to work for budget goals on behalf of the Land Grant system.  The President did release his budget proposal this last month and there were some substantial increases for USDA – both ARS and NIFA.  However, there were some caveats to that that the Land Grant system was not supportive of.  We did agree to the increase on some of the lines.  However the President did zero out a number of small academic programs.  As for the State budget – session is ongoing and will probably not have much information until revenue stabilization but with the proposed tax cuts, there is not a lot of additional revenue on the table.   We’re not expecting cuts in funding.  Several other states have had major cuts in their budgets, so a flat budget is not all bad.  We keep making the case for an increase in funding.  Department Head searches – BAEG – ongoing; screening has begun.  Only 1 – 2 viable candidates, so they may keep looking.  ENTO – this search is active; we have not had very many applicants at this point.

In regard to the grant writing workshop discussed at previous meetings, today is the deadline.  It will be held April 29th and 30th.  We should be able to include all applicants and have 1 – 2 spots available. 

Soil Test Lab in Marianna – expecting it to be complete this Spring.  Pauline Whittaker roof replacement is complete, along with site work to redirect water around the building foundation.  We are almost complete the with the design phase of the new Foundation Seed Plant at Stuttgart. Departmental budget hearings are now being scheduled.



Bumpers College – Dean and Associate Vice President for Agriculture, Dr. Mike Vayda

The AFLS basement project is underway and is about half-way through the construction phase.  I-beams are being installed this week and the project is on budget and on schedule.  This new area should be open no later than mid-July.  The project will include another auditorium with stadium seating, like Hembree, a classroom of 105, 2 – 40 seat classrooms, 2 – 32 seat classrooms, a 28 seat wet lab, conference room and office space.   Update on the budget - The University will be requesting a tuition increase and implementation of facility fee.  If the new facility fee is approved by the Board of Trustees, the AGRI and HESC building are at the top of the list.   Tuition increase would be used largely for faculty/staff increases.  Enrollment numbers to date are higher than the past two years.    Some additions to our Dean’s Office – Carrie Whitmer.  Vicky Watkins replaced Alice Griffin but the job has been restructured.  Some of the duties went to Jody Davis, and Vicky is working closely with Dr. Robertson for academic assessments.  Melody Kouchehbagh is coming into Development.  She will have a hybrid position of two former employees.  We currently have some tenure track searches in process.  There are 2 ANSC searches.   POSC has a current search.  CSES has been authorized for a search as has AEAB.  Food for Thought presentation on March 3rd.  Bumpers Distinguished Lecturer is on March 31st.  Honors & Awards is April 16th.  The formal dedication on May 1st for the Sanders Plaza/Hawkins Terrace.    Commencement is on May 9th.  With the upcoming retirement of Chancellor Gearhart, President Bobbitt is confident that with the UA’s track record, its financial situation and opportunities for the future, plus our success with the capital campaign, we will have good candidates for the position.  It is hoped that we can narrow down the candidates during summer and have interviews on campus in the Fall. 


Bumpers College – Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson – no report



International Programs Update – Director, Dr. Leslie Edgar


Global Food Opportunities Seminar in Hembree on February 26th at 12:30 pm.  The guest speaker is Dr. Fred Davies from Texas A & M.  Please send faculty and students to fill the seats.  The Dean has provided funding to bring speakers to your department to provide seminars.  We are in the process Northeast Agriculture University in Harbin and Northwest Ag University.  I have been working with the American Farm School in Greece – in need of a faculty liaison.  We have received 42 applications for Scholarships.  They are being reviewed and hope to offer by the first week of March.  We have over $25K to make awards this year, so the minimum award will be $1000.    Reminder – if a student is accepted through the electronic system, they will receive a payment agreement from the Study Abroad office.  If they sign it, they are committed to paying a $400 non-refundable deposit.  It is a legal, binding agreement.


Honors Program Update - Dr. Curt Rom - no report


University Faculty Senate – Dr. Don Edgar, Chair

There was discussion by Provost Gaber regarding criteria for P & T for split appointments.  Grade forgiveness will be coming up for discussion.  Academic Appeals form – the first paragraph will be deleted due to redundancy. 

Graduate Council – no report


Faculty Council Business – Dr. Burt Bluhm, Chair

Faculty Council will have an election for Chair Elect.  As for Faculty Senate, we will need to conduct one election.  Dr. Bluhm would like to appoint a Nominations Committee to secure nominees in order to hold elections this Spring.  There was discussion of a departmental rotation of Chair and Chair-elect to ensure everyone is participating.  This type change would require a rewriting of the bylaws.  It was suggested that the issue be taken back to the departments to get input/ideas and present the issues that have arisen.  College Personnel Document committee update – We have been charged to rewrite the CPD.  This was updated a couple of years ago but the University’s Legal Counsel had suggestions for changes in order to align the current draft better with the University’s document.  It was requested that a copy of the CPD with the handwritten notes from Legal Counsel be distributed to all Faculty Council representatives.  Regarding the handouts for the meetings, please bring your own copy for the other members. 


Standing Committee Reports:

Promotion & Tenure Committee – Dr. Bruce Dixon, Chair – no report


Awards Committee – Dr. Godwin-Charles Ogbeide, Chair

The Committee is still working on a way to streamline the awards process.  We had 5 PhD students, 5 Masters, 5 undergrads and 5 transfer students that were nominated.  We are still looking for a representative from PLPA. 


Scholarship Committee – Dr. Rick Rorie, Chair

Nothing new to report.  We are getting close to seeing applications but the rubric to be used to score the applicants has some bugs, according to Patti Sanders.


AFLS Curriculum Sub-committee –Dr. Mary Savin, Chair – no report

See new business.


HESC Curriculum Sub-committee –Dr. Kathy Smith, Chair - no report


Old Business

See Pages 3 - 4 of reports attached 3 year review policy and procedure.  It has gone back to the departments for input and Dr. Byre presented the newest version for review.  There was further discussion as to the meaning of “year” in regards to the review process.  It was suggested that it be presented for acceptance at the March meeting.  Motion to table until March. Motion seconded and approved.


New Business

See Page 5 of reports attachedAFLS course approvals to be considered.  The Dean’s Office recently discovered that even though a professor enters a course as not being eligible for pass/fail, the Registrar’s office was allowing on the back side.  There is a form that has to be signed by the students own college.  Motion from the AFLS Curriculum Committee to Faculty Council:  Bumpers College will not allow its students to take any course pass/fail for use toward their degree including elective hours.  Motion was seconded.  Motion carried. 

5 course changes.  AFLS XXX3 – will be 3993 – Professional Growth and Critical Career Skills.  It has been approved as a communication intensive class to help with preparing students’ professional and soft skills.  It will be taught by H.L. Goodwin.  HORT 4413 – Horticulture Physiology - was a 3000 class; it is changing to a 4000.  AGED 4153 – Survey of Leadership Theory in Agriculture and AGED 4163 – Leadership Analysis through Film.  These will both be part of the program changes and the Ag Leadership concentration minor.  AGED 3173/3173H – Research Method in Social Sciences – online summer class.  It will have an honors section.  Motion to approve en masse.  Motion passed.

Program changes.   AECT proposal for Ag leadership concentration and minor.  Motion to accept.  Seconded and approved.



Please remind Unit Heads that new cycle of P & T begins soon.

The next Faculty Council meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 20 @ 2:30 p.m.



Motion was made to adjourn.  Motion seconded and approved.  Meeting adjourned at 3:51 p.m.

Submitted by Carrie Whitmer