By Wesley Walter
The April 8 Faculty Senate meeting saw senate members discuss and vote on changes to the student code of conduct, academic dishonesty policy and faculty salaries.
UM Title IX Coordinator Tony Miller spoke at the meeting, explaining the updates and their purpose as well as allowing senate members to clear up any concerns about the updates.
The changes, according to Miller, were made to simplify the code, remove redundancies and add more specific regulations in areas where they were needed.
Miller spoke on the changes saying, “The purpose of changing the code is to really simplify the language and take out some of the legalistic and redundant language because it’s student-facing, and we want them to understand it as well as the council members.”
Senators expressed concerns that there would be confusion from students about the lack of information on the academic conduct violation process within the Code of Conduct.
Senate members voted unanimously to approve the changes to the code of conduct. This decision was made with the provision that the Board of Trustees amends the code to say all academic misconduct issues will be handled by the Provost’s Office and add information about the Academic Honor Council set to be established by the proposed changes to UM’s Academic Dishonesty Policy.
Senate members also discussed and voted changes to faculty salaries.
One of the most notable changes being made the fact that UM will now strive to provide all faculty with a minimum salary of 95% of the most recent College and University Professional Association averages of similar peer institutions. Faculty members will also receive an extra 1% per year at their current rank.
With salaries being directly tied to the most recently published CUPA data as opposed to individual studies of the salaries of university faculty, policy over the salaries of faculty will have to be updated less often.
Senate members voted to approve the changes to faculty salaries.
Senate members also discussed proposed changes to UM’s academic dishonesty policy.
Changes include the addition of an online system for reporting instances of academic dishonesty, lengthening the window in which faculty must report academic dishonesty to 21 days, the creation of an Academic Honor Council that will hear cases of academic dishonesty and faculty no longer being required to meet with the students they charge with academic dishonesty. Faculty do, however, still have to notify the students they are charging.
Academic Policies Committee Chair Dr. Andrea Eckelman expressed her hopes that the system will be able to stop more instances of academic dishonesty. Eckelman emphasized the importance of faculty cooperation in enforcing the policy, saying, “This revised system is very very dependent on buy-in from all faculty and from everyone reporting all of your instances.”
Senate members voted unanimously to approve the proposed changes to the academic dishonesty policy with the suggestion of increasing Academic Honor Council membership and the changing of the policy’s name to the Academic Integrity Policy.
The senate briefly discussed the possibility of writing a recommendation for the Board of Trustees vacancy to be filled by a woman of color. The senate also briefly discussed the Faculty Service Awards set to be given next year on Founder’s Day. Eckelman proposed the late Dr. Jermaine Mitchell be considered for a posthumous service award or a similar award in his honor.
Wesley Walter is managing editor for The Alabamian. He is a junior English major and mass communications minor. Wesley boasts a 750 credit score, boyish good looks and soulful eyes that contain a deep indescribable sadness. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, visiting gas stations and thinking about getting into surfing.