Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

University of West Alabama Board to Consider Request for Change to Charter

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

University of West Alabama Board to Consider Request for Change to Charter

Article excerpt

LIVINGSTON -- The University of West Alabama Board of Trustees is set to consider a proposal to request a change to UWA's legal charter to give trustees more oversight on personnel decisions, a move advocates say will provide better checks and balances.

"I just think it is something we absolutely need to do; it just sticks out like a sore thumb," Trustee Alex Saad said.

The board is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Friday in the Bell Conference Center on the UWA campus. The ad hoc committee on Bylaws and Charter led by Saad approved a motion to prepare a draft of the proposed change on Thursday.

Trustee Randy Hillman made the motion, seconded by Trustee Hal Bloom, to have UWA attorney Mike Kendrick draft a resolution using the language in Troy University's charter as a template for the amendment of the UWA charter in the Code of Alabama. Kendrick was working Thursday to draft the proposed amendment for the full board's consideration Friday.

If approved by the board, the amendment must be passed by the Alabama Legislature, which will meet for the 2015 regular session in early March.

In the committee meeting Thursday, Saad, citing research prepared at his request by Kendrick, argued UWA was the only regional institution in the state where the authority for personnel decisions ultimately originated with the president rather than the board of trustees.

Hillman said he believed the board needed to remain focused on the direction of the campus at a global perspective, retaining final approval but leaving daily control to the president.

"What you are basically doing is allowing the president to do his thing and having it come to the full board for approval," Hillman said.

Currently, a 2006 amendment of the UWA charter authorizes the president to hire faculty and staff and set salaries. The committee wants to adopt language similar to the Troy charter that gives the board the authority to organize the university and the capability to delegate its authority over personnel to a committee or president.

Troy's charter gives its trustees the authority to delegate the power to appoint faculty, set salaries and compensation, hire and remove personnel, and establish personnel rules and policies. …

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