FACULTY SENATE MEETING
February 21, 2012
Present: Chair Kellner, Immediate Past Chair Overton, Secretary Sawyers; Provost Arden; Parliamentarian Weiner; Senators Argyropoulos, Aspnes, Borden, Bourham, Carver, Fuentes, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Hatcher, Holden, Hooper (Design Rep), Jasper, Kotek, Lubischer, Lunardi, Mitchell, Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Robinson, Rucker, Snyder, Sztajn, Tonelli, Tu, M. Williams, Zonderman
Excused: Senators Aspnes, Headen, L. Williams
Absent: Senators Campbell, Edmisten, Freeman, Khosla,
Visitors: Chancellor Woodson; P. J. Teal, Secretary of the University; Eileen Goldgeier, General Counsel; Karen Helm, University Planning and Analysis; Pat Spakes, University Planning and Analysis; Adam Hughes, Concerned Undergraduate; Emerson Barker, Student Government ProTempore; Joe Murray, Student Government; DL’yn Ford, News Services; Frank Brinkley, Lieutenant/NCSU Police Department; Betsy Brown, Provost’s Office; Richard Bernhard, Industrial & Systems Engineering; Helmut Hergeth, Textiles; Gary Moore, Ag and Extension Educ.
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the 11th meeting of the 58th session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.
2. Announcements and Remarks
Chair Kellner welcomed senators and guests.
Chair Kellner reminded Senators that nominations are due with brief statements by February 23.
Chair Kellner announced that the Board of Trustees met last week and there was one change in personnel. The Chair of the Board of Visitors, Jimmy Clark, has moved to the Board of Trustees to replace Gail Lanier.
The General Faculty meeting will occur on March 13. The two chair elect candidates will speak at that meeting and there will also be general discussion of the QEP.
Chair Kellner handed out a report that he received at the University Budget Advisory Meeting.
Chair Kellner reported that the name change for the Department of Physical Education is not a matter that the Senate needs to vote on, it is just a matter for discussion. He stated that the faculty of that department is in favor of the change and he hasn’t heard any objections or comments from any senators within the last two weeks, so he will let those know who are handling this issue that the Senate concurs with the name change.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 10, February 7, 2012
The motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Woodson reported on the faculty excellence process that recently concluded for this year. There were more than 70 proposals submitted for consideration. Provost Arden appointed a committee chaired by Duane Larick and Terri Lomax and over the holidays they reviewed all the proposals and 17 proposals were funded in 12 cluster areas http://provost.ncsu.edu/special-initiatives/chancellors-faculty-excellence/selected-clusters.php.
Chancellor Woodson stated that he read the summaries of all seventy proposals. It was inspirational to read them all but in addition to those funded there are a number that we need to continue to figure out ways to nurture and support because I think it will continue to bring a lot of exciting things to campus.
The next step: Search and hiring guidelines have been established and are visible and available on the Provost website. The guidelines will provide general directions to the search process which is a bit different than the disciplinary searches embedded singularly in departments.
Chancellor Woodson stated that they have worked hard over the last few months to think about how we can in a more visible and collective way recognize faculty excellence. This May 1 at 6:30 PM at the Park Alumni Center we will offer for the first time, a faculty excellence evening where all the university and state awards will be celebrated and it will provide a venue where those that we are celebrating can invite more people.
We will also honor at that event, the national awards for which we are often judged by organizations such as the AAU, members of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering, any such award that rise to that level of statue will also be included.
NC State will launch, beginning with Founders Day, our year long birthday party. The committee that has been planning this is co-chaired by Dan Solomon and Nevin Kessler. The theme is “Tradition and Transformation..” We hope that this celebration will be an inspirational kick start to our next capital campaign. The Deans and Executive Officers met this morning to start the planning process for our next campaign that will be launched in 2013, so this celebration will be a way to get ready for that.
Chancellor Woodson announced that there will be a university-wide event in addition to the Founders Day event. We have a university wide event for students, faculty, and staff on April 2 and we have launched a 125th video contest for students. It’s a process to submit a birthday message to the university. The deadline for that submission is March 15th. The prize will include a parking space on campus for a full year. Next is two fifty yard football tickets for the 2012 season and finally, a $500 Visa check card. Please continue to monitor the website. We are working on appropriate entertainment and it will be a great way for us to come together and celebrate.
Provost Arden stated that the seventy-three proposals that were submitted for the Faculty Excellence Hiring Program were amazing and there is a tremendous depth of interdisciplinary activity that is happening on campus. We have to figure out over and above the 39 positions that we are going to bring to campus and we need to figure out how to support and enable a lot of those activities that are out there, so as we move forward on the Strategic Planning process and as you engage in the department and college level I think we all have to be involved in that discussion. It was a great experience and I hope we can deliver to everyone on the hiring process and bring some extraordinary individuals to campus.
5. Discussion-Faculty Role in the QEP “Critical & Creative Thinking”
Chair Kellner stated that critical and creative thinking will be what we make it. If we don’t it will be what it is made and given to us. Today I would like to begin a discussion of possibilities for implanting such a plan and we will have one of the open discussion forums. The task is that we are at a very preliminary stage of thinking of ways to do critical and creative thinking plans and quality enhancement plans for the campus. What do we do? How is this going to impact each department and each college and where do we start? Obviously this is something that the faculty will be at the heart of and we need to think about, so let’s just brain storm.
Senator Zonderman stated that he has been asked by Karen Helm and Provost Arden to be a member of the planning to plan program. If this is going to be a substantive plan, we want to think about asking questions about curriculum, asking questions about both the way we teach and the way we think about scholarship.
Chair Kellner stated that we should think of things that are really big and expensive. We won’t get them but it will give models to something that we could do within a reasonable budget.
Senator Snyder commented that in engineering they think about design and noted that design is put in all of the curricula in engineering.
Percy Hooper from the College of Design stated that creativity is part of their business—they would benefit by being able to partner with different colleges.
Senator Lubischer stated that the relationships are there. We need to do a better job of making things explicit to students. My question to the QEP is: What sought of mechanism will be in place.
Secretary Sawyers stated that he thinks the faculty would want to take two approaches, both a top down and a bottom up and at the same time think about what we could do as a university that might go further in reaching all of our students.
Chair Kellner asked, what would a top down approach look like?
Secretary Sawyers responded that thinking of things globally that we can do that would impact every student in the university and at the same time thinking locally.
Chair Kellner asked the Engineers, what you are describing on critical thinking and the outcome, could you say that this is simply the way of turning a person into an engineer?
A response was that it is expected that this is the way to prepare an engineer to go out and perform.
Senator Sztajn stated that from the students’ perspective we want to help them see the commonality. She doesn’t think students realize that we are all talking about similar things.
Senator Jasper urged people to look at the grand challenges. He stated that it might be a good way to structure big scale problems.
Senator Tonelli stated that we need an introductory class early on that gives an overview of what it means to think critically and creatively. He wonders how many programs have that.
Senator Holden encouraged the faculty to think outside the box—teach a class where students can really be challenged.
Senator Hatcher commented that it is more about the way he teaches, that they approach people from a very different place based on prior knowledge.
Senator Robinson mentioned two sources of labor—one is the students themselves and the other source of labor is our graduate students.
Senator Lubischer suggested that you could do small group work if you have additional facilitators in larger sections. The assumption is that they are supposed to be doing the work, that it’s not something that has to be done only in small classes.
Senator Carver stated that it’s going to be important to do this. Her suggestion is to remind the students early on that what you are teaching them is going to help them solve problems and that it will be critical when they get out in the world.
Senator Moore commented that working with freshmen is a great way to go about it. However, if we are going to do something university-wide we need to consider transfer students as well.
Senator Tonelli suggested having a common reading book for all incoming freshmen including transfers.
6. Election Speeches
Dr. Hergeth stated that he values learning, i.e, learning as a teacher as well as learning by conducting research. Believe it or not I enjoy serving on committees and I definitely enjoy serving on the Faculty Senate because that is how I learn about the university as a whole, the wide range of topics, and the wide range of constituents that we have, which is very important to me. I believe that learning to research and learning to teach is the essence of the university and that is why the faculty is the core of the university. I feel strongly about the need for faculty to be well represented in all the decisions made in reference to academics or the decisions that are related to the direction of the university. This is relevant not only at the university level but at the college and departmental level and this is relevant and of course require that faculty participate in university governance, and to have faculty participate in university governance needs to be recognized and awarded somehow.
The budget cuts that we have seen and that we are going to probably see for a while mean tighter belts and in our case it always means an increase in the hidden work load, and traditionally faculty dedicate some time to developing new ideas, new directions of research, new directions of expertise, serving the university. That is thinking time that we need, interactive time among different disciplines. This important time that we could dedicate to that is probably the activity that most easily is lost to the extra hidden work load and I think we need to keep an eye on that, as we need to keep an eye on trends regarding enrollment, faculty load and hiring on the balance of research, teaching, and revenue generation and revenue distribution.
I know there are a lot of things that I don’t know with respect to university governance. I’m eager to learn and I’m not afraid to ask for help support, and input, so when I ask for your support and vote today, it will be the first of a long series of requests. Thank you
What would you like to see the role of the Faculty Senate be over the next decade?
The role I think is an advisory role to the administration and I would like to see that role be closer and closer, much at the university level. I don’t know how many colleges have college senates, but I would like for us to have more of those. I know that we had a college senate in Textiles when I first came and at some point it disappeared. I don’t know how many colleges still have the college senates, but it would be a very important thing to reinforce that role that we have here at the university at the college level as well, so that they are localized. I think that we as a Senate can play a role in that respect and it will also help us get more candidates.
How can we entice more faculty to participate in the Senate and why don’t they participate?
I think it has to do with the reward system. University governance doesn’t get rewarded. We need to reward them by allowing for time, making it meaningful with our promotion and tenure packages, our annual reviews so that it becomes a meaningful asset. I hear a lot of faculty members saying they are not going to do certain things because it’s going to hinder me. As long as we consider faculty governance kind of an obstacle, no one will participate.
I’m a Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the Department of Ag and Extension Education and this is my 37th year in the Academy. I lived in Texas, taught high school agriculture for a while, and then did my graduate work at Ohio State. After I finished Ohio State I married a lady who also had a doctorate and was a university Professor and we started out at Alabama A&M University which is a historically black university. That was a great experience, however Purdue University recruited us away and I loved Purdue. LSU recruited us from Purdue, so we went to LSU for a number of years where she was a department head and I was a faculty member. So when we came to North Carolina State we found it just right. I came here in 1989. I served on the Faculty Senate from 2004 to 2008. I served on the Executive Committee twice, I was the Vice Chair of the Academic Policy Committee and then I was Chair of the Governance Committee. During my year as Chair of the Governance Committee we rewrote the Faculty bylaws and the Senate bylaws which was quite an undertaking. I served on the Administrative Board of the Graduate School. For the last three years I have been involved with the Association for Career and Technical Education. That is a national society. We have 26,000 members, a paid staff of 26 and I have an office in Alexandria, Virginia.
I have had a great life other than losing my wife to breast cancer and its all because of my involvement in higher education, so I want to repay the academy. I do have some ideas for the Senate.
The first thing I would like to see the Senate become is a little more proactive. Perhaps things have changed since my days in the Senate, but there were times in the past when it seemed to me the Faculty Senate was primarily reactive. There is nothing wrong with that. We are to provide feedback and advice to the administration when requested. However, I would like to see the Faculty Senate become more proactive.
I would propose the Senate develop a vision statement (no longer than 2 pages) that identifies 4-5 major goals or objectives for the Senate along with strategies for accomplishing them. The various Senate Committees would be involved in developing this vision statement and each committee would provide leadership for one or more goals. There should be coordination and cooperation among the committees. One goal I would like to advocate is that of securing reduced tuition for faculty members’ families to attend NCSU. There should be some way we can figure out how to do that.
When I was at LSU we developed the George Award. The award was given to faculty who’d go beyond the call of duty. They would do things beyond their job description. I would like to see the Faculty Senate give out the George Award to faculty who volunteer to be on the Senate, who do things for the university above and beyond the call of duty.
I would love to change how we have our processional at graduation. The Faculty Senate person leads it, but I would like to see a faculty member lead it who did something great. I have some other ideas about what we should be doing.
My leadership style is the C’s.Commitment: I’m committed to higher education
Compassion : You work with people, so you have to care for people
Comprehension: You study the facts, the issues, you do your homework and you don’t shoot from the hip.
Communication: I would send out a monthly news letter to report what I have done and what the issues are.
Consensus: I would use consensus to make decisions—
Command: If decisions have to be made, I can make them.
My motto would be to be assertive without being abrasive.
Questions and Comments
With your other responsibilities when would you have time to serve as Chair?
Moore responded that after July 1 he will no have any national responsibilities.
As we become more global are we enhancing or are we taking away from our land grant mission and what role do we play in the Faculty Senate?
That is a fantastic question. A concern is that we are in that mission and we don’t want to lose sight of that fact. Land grants were established to help the common man and sometimes I’m not sure if we are doing that. If you don’t know the reason we were established 125 years ago is because the University of North Carolina was the land grant college in this state and they messed up and it got revoked from them and we don’t want to mess up, so we have a mission to our state, but I think our mission goes more global than that. We have a mission to help the world. Today our society is global so we have to have a bigger view on this campus.
I have been teaching now for about 25 years, since 1993 here at NC State and I also believe very passionately in the fundamental principles of both academic freedom and faculty governance. I also believe that when you say that you have got to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. I have always since the day I arrived here spent a lot of time in service to my department, college, and now here at the university level and the other two points that I’m going to make come out of that. We on the Senate get that. We understand that we also have to not only talk the talk but walk the walk, but how do we get more colleagues to do that as well.
The first thing that I want to discuss is that I want to make this Senate itself as effective as possible. One thing I want this Senate to do is really sort of push to the maximum its role in the university decision making body. I think we do best when we have a focused discussion on a major issue facing this campus. The key is also in the follow-up, so I want this Senate to devote every meeting to one or two major issues and then to use both our committee structures and other mechanism throughout the university to follow through so that the faculty voice is continually heard.
The final point is that I also think that we on the Senate should do a better job of being advocates. We ought to advocate for the role of faculty at this institution. We also ought to particularly advocate for the role of higher education in our society. I am personally concerned that we are not only facing short term budget challenges, I think there are a lot of long term challenges facing the academy and I’m very worried that the public and many political figures are really questioning the very value of the academy of universities in this nation and I think that is really tragic, because many of us know that our colleagues come from all over the world to study at NC State and to become faculty here. We are generally regarded as still having one of the finest university systems in the nation and in the world so we have to be very strong advocates. We need to do that on the Senate and we also have to get our colleagues throughout the university talking about what is a faculty, what do we do, what is the importance of what we do and also the university as a whole and where we can serve the state and the nation and the world.
Questions and Comments
In your opinion, is the conflict between the faculty and administration a healthy thing? Should we ignore it or should we encourage it?
I don’t think that conflict per se is healthy. I think that any bureaucratic structure, where you are going to have different layers of authority and decision making and power and there is differentiations and there is potentially tension or conflict, but I think our role is where we can develop as many mechanisms of dialog and engagement and shared decision making wherever possible. The governance structure of this university seems to be more top-down. The role of the faculty has certain restrictions. Some are actually better than law. I would see one of my roles as really taking a careful look at that and if the rule says that, then the rule says that and either we change the rule of the university, but if the rule says you can go up to that then I think we as a faculty ought to be doing that and I think many of us don’t do that. We need to break that cycle. We need to show people that the mechanism will produce results then more people will join the conversation.
Do you have specific items to make that happen?
Obviously certain projects take longer than others, but I will mention two mechanisms that I think we can do. I think we are going to develop a more explicit transparent process by which either issues of concern or other issues that come to the Senate as quickly as possible go to a committee, set a target date so it will come back to the Senate and we can show results.
The other thing I’d like us to do is to get more involved in the process of reviewing major policies and rules. Some of the PRR’s I don’t think we need to spend a lot of time with them but some of them have a huge impact on what we do as researchers, teachers, and other things. It seems to me that we ought to develop a better more open process.
7. Issues of Concern
Secretary Sawyers stated that he is concerned about the bookstore not providing books in a timely manner.
8. Discussion and Vote (Closed Session)
The Senate went into closed session to discuss the candidates and vote.
The Senate elected Helmet Hergeth and David Zonderman as candidates for Chair-Elect of the Faculty. The two candidates will speak at the March 13 General Faculty meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 4:45 p.m.