By Wesley Walter
During their September meeting, the Faculty Senate discussed their plan regarding the housing development proposed to be built directly north of Ebenezer Swamp.
Senators were given copies of letters drafted by Dr. Susan Caplow regarding the senate’s position on the development. This included letters directed towards both Alabaster and Montevallo city officials regarding the senate’s concerns over the development’s environmental impact.
These statements outline the potentially damaging effects the development would have on the local ecosystem, flooding and traffic in the Alabaster area, UM’s environmental program and environmental tourism. Senators are expected to share this letter with their constituents for comments. The senate plans to vote on endorsing the letters during their next meeting.
Caplow asked for feedback on the draft saying, “We wanted to be able to have something to send to state our perspective, but I very much would like to hear if people have things that you think are missing from this.”
During liaison reports Dr. Andrea Eckelman expressed the Academic Policies Committee’s desire to develop an official policy for maternity and paternity leave.
The university currently has no official policy for maternity and paternity leave meaning faculty are expected to take sick days for their needed time off.
Faculty Senate President Dr. Claire Edwards expressed disappointment over the lack of official policy saying, “I was surprised to find that there really wasn’t much of an option except for taking your sick leave.”
The Senate agreed to discuss the issue further during its October meeting.
Dr. Stephanie Dean reported that the Technology Advisory Council is expected to continue operations during the 2022-23 school year, and was appointed as the Faculty Senate Liaison
Edwards later reported on behalf of the Graduate Council that Graduate Studies has a new office in Ramsay Hall. UM’s graduate programs previously did not have a central office.
Edwards spoke on the positive impact she hopes the office will have saying, “It’s more of a centralized office it’s bringing us back to a cohesive unit and it’s going to end up being a good thing.”
Dr. Shawn Mitchell discussed his desire to have a representative for adjunct professors on the Faculty Senate. Mitchell expressed support for Professor Ed Langham being the official representative for adjunct faculty, saying, “He does a really great job, and he would be a good representative of our adjuncts.”
The senate agreed discuss this possibility further during their next meeting.