Troy State opens

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 17, 1999

new academic year

By MICHELLE J. WILSON

Staff Writer

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Published Aug. 17, 1999

The transition from the quarter to semester system is just one of the changes planned to make Troy State University stronger, according to Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor of the Troy State University System.

Hawkins addressed Troy State University’s faculty and staff at the school’s annual convocation. The event signals the start of the 1999-2000 academic year.

He also announced pay increases for faculty and staff. There will be an annual increase of $1,000 for each faculty member and a $750 annual increase for each professional staff member now earning less than $50,000. In addition, Hawkins announced a minimum salary of $30,000 for instructors at the main campus.

"This salary level will bring our instructors in line with the state average," he said.

Hourly, or classified employees, were also awarded raises.

"Our classified employees will receive the normal step raises in accordance with our classified system," he said.

These raises will cost the university about $900,000, he said.

Hawkins said he challenged faculty to do five things during this academic year. He told them to solve problems instead of creating them, be entrepreneurs and opportunity seekers, continue to care for the students, become technologically proficient and continue to strive for quality in all they do.

"Quality is the only thing that will sustain this university," he said. "Quality will be our cornerstone."

Hawkins also discussed the status of higher education in Alabama.

"I wish I could tell you the people of Alabama cherish their universities, but I can’t do that yet," he said. "During the period of 1994 to 1998, we were challenged by a governor and legislature that didn’t seem to value higher education.

"Alabama was the only state in the Southeast to decline in funding."

With a newly elected governor and legislature, Hawkins said he sees hope for state universities. He encouraged faculty and staff members to join the Higher Education Partnership.

Owen Elder, TSU provost, recognized more than 20 new faculty and staff members.

Anthony Adcock, chairman of the Faculty Advisory Council, joined Hawkins in recognizing four past chairman of the committee. Betty Chancellor, Robert Pullen, Jean Laliberté and Jane Hawk received TSU clocks.

Adcock said the council voted this summer to meet twice each semester. Previously, the body met once a quarter.

He also said, "This is the first day of the first semester at TSU, and we are all excited about the changes – changes in emphasis and quality we all want to produce. It is important we don’t forget the students."

The student’s spokeswoman Miki Sims also addressed the crowd. Sims is president of TSU’s Student Government Association.

"SGA is preparing for a very successful year to begin with this semester," Sims said. "We have many exciting plans and hope the faculty will join us in these activities."