FACULTY SENATE MEETING
November 29, 2011
Present: Chair Kellner, Immediate Past Chair Overton, Secretary Sawyers; Parliamentarian Weiner; Senators Aspnes, Auerbach, Borden, Bourham, Campbell, Carver, Edmisten, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Headen, Jasper, Kotek, Lubischer, Lunardi, Mitchell, Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Robinson, Rucker, Snyder, Sztajn, Tonelli, Townsend, M. Williams, Zonderman
Excused: Provost Arden; Senators Argyropoulos, Hatcher, Holden
Absent: Senators Freeman, Fuentes, Khosla, Tu, L. Williams
Visitors: Chancellor Woodson; Barbara Mulkey, Chair of the Board of Trustees; P. J. Teal, Chancellor’s Office; Kevin Howell, External Affairs; Marc Hoit, Vice Chancellor, Information Technology; Betsy Brown, Provost Office; Eileen Goldgeier, Vice Chancellor and General Counsel; Richard Bernhard, Professor, Industrial Engineering; Emerson Barker, Student Government
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the 7th meeting of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.
2. Announcements and Remarks
Chair Kellner welcomed senators and guests and reviewed items that that had taken place in the Senate during the fall semester.
Chair Kellner stated that the meetings began with the ROTC presentation by Colonel Randy Wheeler at the first meeting. The next meeting dealt with athletics where we learned good things about ourselves. Later the Senate discussed strategic realignment which is a difficult process and we are not exactly sure where it’s going.
The Provost spoke about the ongoing status of the faculty and its lack of growth in the face of growing enrollment. General Counsel Goldgeier explained each of the 200 laws under which NC State functions and she also explained why so many things are the way that they are.
At the last meeting Vice Chancellor Kessler talked about the 125th celebration and Benny Suggs gave remarks on Alumni affairs.
Chair Kellner stated that the General Faculty meeting focused on the realignment and the implementation which was done with a lot of input from faculty and others. We heard in particular from the academic science task force and a review of academic programs which is also of great interest.
The Senate has passed three resolutions this semester. The first one having to do with vandalism, the second having to do with parental leave for graduate students and the third having to do with the do process with a Parliamentarian.
Issues of Concern
Chair Kellner reported that the first issue of concern had to do with the parental leave resolution which was brought to the Senate by Senator Fuentes and the Senators have passed a resolution to that effect.
One that is still in process has to do with the complications of filling out the TEARS document. The Resources and Environment Committee is still looking into that.
The third issue had to do with BORST - will things be better afterwards? Vice Chancellor Leffler and Don Patty, the Interim Head of Business Operations came to hear our concerns and to talk about what we hope will be an ongoing pattern of regular reviewing of this matter.
Finally the issue of what will become of the functions that were paid for by the premium distance education fees if all courses are financed at a level rate and there is no premium for distance education. Tom Miller has been invited to the Senate in January to discuss this issue.
Chair Kellner reported that there has been one official grievance this semester that resulted from an unsuccessful mediation.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 6, November 15, 2011
Secretary Sawyers asked for approval of the minutes. A motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.
4. Remarks by Chancellor Woodson
Chancellor Woodson shared information from the Board of Trustees in considering the recommendation of tuition and fees to the Board of Governors.
Chancellor Woodson reported that over the past five years NC State has experienced a $104 million reduction in the appropriated budget for students and academic affairs. We have three line items within the university and one is the predominant line item that is from faculty and staff in educational and research programs at the university. The other two line items are specific to agriculture, research and extension. The one that tends to drive the allocation of resources to colleges has experienced a reduction of $104 million over these five years. In addition, during this five year period we have lost another $93 million that was appropriated and then taken back. So collectively the budget that drives the recurring allocations of the colleges and runs the university effectively has gone down almost $200 million over five years, which has set the stage for why the other side of the revenue stream (tuition and fees) is getting so much attention.
Chancellor Woodson explained page 2 of his handout which has the X axis as being state appropriations for students’ FTE and the Y axis for tuition and fees for students’ FTEs compared to all of our peers. Only Florida has a lower tuition than NC State, but very few states match our level of state appropriations, so the state is a bigger part of our budget than almost any of our peers. This data was derived from last year and doesn’t include the $67 million budget cut that NC State experienced. Most institutions are supported much more by tuition and fees than we are which creates a situation where we are very affordable. Because so much of our budget is driven by the state, we are extremely vulnerable to changes in state appropriations.
Tuition and Fees – 2011-2012
Chancellor Woodson reported that we are next to the bottom for tuition and fees for undergraduate in-state and we are at the bottom for tuition and fees for in-state graduate students. We are next to the bottom in out-of-state tuition and fees for undergraduates and we are next to the bottom in out-of-state graduate tuition so we are very affordable.
How do we go about the business of setting tuition each year? We have a process called campus initiated tuition increases (CITI). A committee composed of faculty, staff, administration, and students considers all increases. The co chair of the committee is Provost Arden and his co chair is Chandler Thompson, the Student Body President. They deliberate every year and they consider tuition increases in light of what happened within state appropriations in the previous year and managed by any cap put on us by the Board of Governors. Currently we have operated under the guidance of the Board of Governors saying that we can not increase tuition for undergraduate residence more than 6.5% and that is essentially what that committee recommended. In addition, after that committee had considered the campus initiated tuition increase and turned that recommendation into your Chancellor on October 9th the Board of Governors through General Administration came out with additional guidelines to the campuses on October 18th and said that each campus could consider, given the dramatic reductions from state appropriation, a one time catch up. The one time catch up being a market driven tuition in comparison to your Board of Governors approved peers, it was a one time approval but it would have to be implemented over multiple years. At the end of the day tuition and fees are determined by the Board of Governors and can be changed, modified, or completely reengineered by the Legislature, so it is all advisory until the Legislature says its okay.
Based on this one time catch up the Board of Governors only gave us the authority to consider an increase that would keep us in the lower quarter of our peers, but allow us to go to the top of the bottom quarter. If you follow that strict guideline, the top of the quarter would be $8,042.
Increases in campus initiated tuition and fees are capped at 6.5% and we were given a one time opportunity to catch up with our peers. However, the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors requires that in any increase in tuition on our campuses that at least 25% of it has to be designated for financial need. So if we increase tuition 300 dollars we are mandated to set aside 25% of the money generated to support financial aid to those students that qualify. The reality is that it takes close to 41% to meet the financial need of our students.
What we committed to should the plan be approved by the Board of Governors would be a reallocation of the sources to get back to the business of hiring faculty. In the last twelve years we have grown graduate programs at NC State 48 percent. We have grown undergraduate programs 30% and we have grown tenured and tenured track faculty 2% and we have lost most of that in past years. We have grown non tenure track faculty by a little less than 20%, most of which have been part time faculty. We would hope to get back to the business of investing these dollars - should this be approved - in new faculty hiring, in staff that can support student success primarily, advising and counseling which is sorely understaffed at this point, financial aid and raises for faculty and staff who have not had raises in almost four years.
Uses of Tuition
Chancellor Woodson stated that they articulated to the Board of Trustees, should the Board of Governors allow this to happen and should we not dramatically lose state appropriations, our commitment will be to reinvest this in a way that allows us to grow the faculty, tenured and tenured track faculty by 200 over the course of the next four years, result in dramatic reductions in class size and increases in number of sections. Obviously students are very concerned about this and they are equally concerned because of the way this came late from the Board of Governors to our institution for consideration, but in spite of that at the Board meeting they spoke very eloquently about the various issues of the university. I think overwhelmingly right now students recognize that they are struggling to get the classes they need. They are struggling because class sections are getting larger.
The Board of Trustees have approved a recommendation to the Board of Governors for the normal campus initiated tuition increase and in addition to that a one time catch up to move us to the top of the bottom quartile of our peers to allow us to get back to the business of investing in some of the key areas of the university that are critical to our students.
Aspnes--Remind us what the annual budget is? How much is designated to administrative cost and how much to education?
Chancellor Woodson stated that when we look at the administrative cost of the university, a lot of it is in support of the faculty generated through grants and contracts, so when you look at growth and administration on our campus it aligns pretty closely with the growth in sponsored research and the personnel associated with that. If you look at what we did last year with the $67 million reduction, we cut the administrative side of the aisle more than 15% and the academic side of the aisle 7%, so we did everything we could to protect the academic core, so we have disproportionately reduced administrative positions. We reduced two Vice Chancellor positions, so we can always look for more but the way I view it is we can’t cut ourselves to excellence when our faculty salaries are the second lowest in our peer group, when our staff salaries are low relative to our peers, when almost every administrative officer that reports to me makes less than their counterpart at UNC Chapel Hill, we can’t cut ourselves to Heaven but we can do more. BORST is not around to try to cut the university. BORST is a process that will hopefully allow us to serve your needs. We have already cut, our goal is to try to figure out how can we function in a way with fewer staff. We are living within the budget that we have been allocated. There is another university that if they don’t receive a tuition increase they can’t continue to function the way they are and that is not true for us. So $687 million dollars is our recurring budget; $426 million of that comes from the state of North Carolina and the remainder comes from tuition and indirect costs and grants. Our challenge is that we are one of the few left with such a large proportion of our budget coming from the state.
Robinson—What are the risks on the political side? How are you managing that risk?
Chancellor Woodson stated that we have tried to do everything we can to advocate for the need for the resources. I think it’s safe to say that the current legislature is supportive of the idea that education is a shared responsibility and not just a public responsibility and that doesn’t mean that they won’t continue to cut us. The budget is the reality and the reality is the state of North Carolina’s budget is down $4 billion relative to where it was three years ago, and revenue forecast right now doesn’t suggest that it is coming back, so I don’t see us being able to get resources back from the state. Obviously there is a risk of the state saying if you can make this up another way we’ll just cut you more. The reality is we are trying to compete.
Snyder—Has someone addressed the constitutionality of raising tuition?
Chancellor Woodson stated that the constitution says that higher education in the state of North Carolina would be as free as practicable to the citizens of North Carolina. Clearly six thousand dollars is not free, so our first class came to NC State in 1887 and paid $130 per year, so clearly from the beginning of the institution this has never been free and so the lawyers that interpret the constitution view this with a lot of flexibility. A lot of people would suggest that a tuition and fee charged to students that is in the bottom quartile of some of the most affordable universities in the country would be pretty close to meeting that constitutional mandate. Tuition has never been free at NC State, but it has always been lower than our peers.
Zonderman—Do you think there is any progress with the legislature freeing us from state personnel rules?
Chancellor Woodson responded that if there is anything that we are universally advocating for to the legislature this year would be freedom from personnel rules, freedom of restriction on salary increases, and to the extent possible freedom of some of the state policies with regard to construction for example, that heeded our ability to move forward in some cases. I believe our current Legislature is more in tune with some of those kinds of things. Not trying to be political but if you just think philosophically about the Republican Party versus the Democratic Party, the Republicans tend to favor less government oversight and more freedom to work within a market. I can guarantee you that if we had the flexibility to increase faculty and staff salaries, even in light of this budget after three years of this and given the pressure that some of your junior colleagues are experiencing, we would deal with this, and so if we had that freedom we would make adjustments to the way we allocate resources.
Sawyers—Follow-up to Walter’s questions—I can see the legislature as a whole saying “Why doesn’t NC State become more like a Georgia Tech or Wisconsin where the appropriation for student FTE is $11,000 ? Have you thought about whether or not you would be happy with that result?
The state of North Carolina has benefitted tremendously by having low cost tuition and high appropriation by keeping the talent. We lead the country in the percentage of our high school graduates who stay in North Carolina to go to college. I think there is a benefit to living up to the constitution, but at the same time we also have to tell the state when we are losing the ability to compete and we are losing the ability to compete with the changes that have occurred in the last five years.
Why is Penn State not included in the data on tuition and state appropriations?
Chancellor Woodson stated that Penn State does not share well. Penn state has rules that allow it to hide more data. We do not get good data out of Penn State. I think most of you know that Penn State’s tuition is the highest among our peers. Some of you may know if you are an undergraduate student in engineering at the University of Illinois you are paying an additional $5,000 that is not a part of this figure.
Hans—There is a big gap in the total cost per students between the colleges—what accounts for that?
Chancellor Woodson’s response was endowment. Texas A&M has an endowment of about 6 billion dollars. When I first came here as Chancellor I told you that increasing the endowment was going to have to be one of our highest priorities and it still does and we have to focus a lot of attention on growing scholarship support because we know what is going to happen to tuition. Whether we get this one time catch up or not we know that given the reductions in state funding it is going to cost students more to be here. We are going to have to provide more scholarship support. When I came here our endowment was 400 plus million dollars but we did end the year with six hundred and eleven million, so we are going in the right direction. Most of our peers that are spending less per student from the state and from tuition have dramatically larger endowments.
5. Remarks from Barbara Mulkey, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Chair Mulkey updated the Senate on what the Board of Trustees has been doing.
We have been very busy. All of you have been involved in the Strategic Plan and last April the Board approved that plan. It has been interesting to look at the progress of this. I’m seeing great implementation of this strategy.
The Board sees that the plan is translating its goals and strategies into tangible action and that it has been a campus wide effort. I truly believe that this strategic planning will be critical to the university going forward and it is interesting to me that it was going in conjunction with our concerns about our funding situation. You have heard the Chancellor talk about tuition challenges and some of the difficult decisions that we are having to make along with the other budget cuts, but I think it was very timely that this strategic plan was being put into place and I think it put us in a much better situation under the circumstances than any of our fellow universities in the system. It’s never easy to talk about tuition increases and I say that as a parent who had a child that graduated from NC State and also watching that child deal with the challenges of larger classes and fewer sections, yet I have to tell you that I take my hat off to you. You have done an incredible job with less and I am awed by what you have been able to do and I just want to thank you.
I do feel very strongly that first and foremost we have got to remember quality for this university. If we are not talking about excellence I don’t know how to be a part of it. Yes we are talking about affordability but we are talking about first of all excellence and once we decide what we have to do to be excellent, then we will figure out how we are going to pay for that. Yes it is going to involve tuition increases, but also, I am seeing great efforts in this university to try to increase our endowments and our scholarships and have other resources to fund excellence.
There are some other things that the Board has been doing. We recently went to a very interesting joint public forum that was hosted by our Board and the UNC Board and it was called “A Way Forward: Building a Globally Competitive South.” It was held at SAS and it brought together leaders from higher education, government and industry to address issues related to the globalization of the American South and how we will remain competitive. I’m very proud to say that I thought NC State looked really good in that. We first saw the Chancellor make some great statements on stage and then we had Jim Owens who is a member of our Board of Trustees who was sort of the keynote conversationalist, who was incredible. He is the retired CEO of Caterpillar and John Sall who is one of the cofounders at SAS and is also on our Board of Trustees talked about the importance of research in our economy.
Another fun thing was the opening of the Pointe which is the new Chancellor’s residence. Many of the people who made this possible are past and present Board members who care very much for NC State. There is a very real reason for having something like the new Chancellor’s residence. As an engineer I’m a very practical person and I see the practical side of how that residence can be used. There is a lot of thought that has gone into that residence and I can see great conversation, large and small going on in that residence so I think it’s going to really serve us well.
Looking ahead, we are excited as a Board about the 125th anniversary that begins in March. I think it is going to be a great opportunity for NC State to shine their light, not just to State but to the country and the world. I consider it a great honor to serve you. Your board members really do care and are willing to work. They are always ready when they are called on to do anything and I’m very proud to lead those types of people.
I wish you a wonderful conclusion of the semester and a wonderful holiday break.
Chair Kellner —The Board of Trustees is an advisory group that reports to the Chancellor, but also to the Board of Governors. What is the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors?
Chair Mullkey—We interact with them. According to policy there are certain things that we have to recommend to the Board of Governors for approval and certain policies that we are allowed to make. We do interact but we don’t have any formal meetings with them to my knowledge.
Zonderman—Do you detect any greater skepticism in your relationship with the BOG?
Chair Mulkey - I really have not and I guess at this point I choose to see it as a little bit of change like the legislature , you can see that and that can turn out to be good or bad, but what I’m hoping is that we are going to see people making an effort to practice good business practices and I’m seeing that. Of course I have seen that in this university which is why I have such confidence in our leadership. I would like to think that as a body that we would see them just trying to make those tough business decisions. I think time is going to tell to some extent.
What is your relationship to the Board of Visitors?
Chair Mulkey stated that the Board of Visitors are sort of an advisory group but I think of them almost like the private sector in a way to the university. You really want your Board of Visitors to know as much as they can about the university and then you want them to go out and make those things known. I think that is something that all the universities have been a little too modest about and we are trying to get better at getting the word out about just who we are.
Secretary Sawyers—What have you and the Board heard from students and parents with respect to concerns about the tuition increases?
Chair Mulkey said she has been surprised that we haven’t heard more as a Board. Some of our members from the rural areas have heard more comments from families. We had about ten students to show up at the last meeting and they basically said that they realized that as much as they don’t want to have to pay the additional tuition, that they are starting to feel the impact of it and they are willing as long as they can see the positive impact from it, but I don’t think it needs to be an either/or and I think that’s what we are trying to help these students to see. I have really been surprised that I haven’t heard more.
6. Old Business
Second Reading: Resolution to Insert the Office of Parliamentarian in the FS Bylaws
Chair Kellner read the resolution for the second reading.
Motion passed to approve the resolution with one abstention.
7. Committee Reports and Discussions
Senator Moore reported that the committee spent time on the parental leave policy. Other items discussed were getting rid of reading days. Items still active include proposed changes to syllabus requirements. Two other items that are going to be referred to them are the evaluation of teaching and a proposal to have assessment of general education coming to the committee. She also noted minutes from the committee meetings are available on the Faculty Senate website at:
Senator Auerbach reported that the committee addressed the issue of the selection process for heads and chairs of departments. They recommend that the Senate reconsider last year’s report of the Governance Committee. The committee was charged with looking into the delegation to the Faculty Assembly. There was a discussion about Parliamentarian which was resolved with the resolution that was passed.
Senator Aspnes reported that they passed the code of student conduct. There are four documents dealing with promotion and tenure and post-tenure review that are available on the website. He encouraged everyone to read the documents on the web and forward comments to him. They are available on the Faculty Senate website at:
Resources and Environment
Senator Robinson reported that the TEARS report is on their to-do list. They hope to make some progress over the break.
Academic Science Committee
Past Chair Overton gave an update on the committee and Strategic Planning. On the implementation plan, the process moved from the committee that was formed this summer and is now posted on the website. They have made progress on the metrics to be used to gauge their progress as they go forward.
Science committee –Since the General Faculty meeting, they have invited people to talk with them about various things, have held three campus forums and have had very vocal and interested people to turn out.
As a follow up to Aaron Clark’s presentation at the General Faculty meeting, they are trying to identify structures that would work on this campus.
Task Force on Review of Academic Programs
Senator Zonderman reported that the task force has been meeting regularly this fall. They have developed a series of metrics for measuring basic information on enrollment, admissions programs, etc. They have sent the information out to faculty and have received some feedback.
They have piloted four departments using various measurements.
A list of data can be found on their website (http://www.provost.ncsu.edu/governance/task-forces/academic-program-review/2011/index.php)
8. Issues of Concern
Secretary Sawyers gave an update on BORST
Secretary Sawyers reported that Vice Chancellor Leffler has hired a new Executive Director.
BORST has received 90% participation on the work activity that staff was asked to complete for them to review what individuals do and how much time they spend on various activities. He announced that BORST continues to have town hall meetings every Thursday afternoon.
Senator Campbell reminded the faculty that the Dean of CALS has resigned and that the six senators from CALS will meet to submit nominations to the Provost of faculty to serve on the Search committee.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:40 p.m.