FACULTY SENATE MEETING
March 20, 2012
Present: Chair Kellner, Immediate Past Chair Overton, Secretary Sawyers; Provost Arden; Senators Aspnes, Auerbach, Bourham, Campbell, Carver, Edmisten, Freeman, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Headen, Holden, Jasper, Hooper (Design Rep), Jasper, Kotek, Lubischer, Mitchell, Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Rucker, Tonelli, M. Williams, Zonderman
Excused: Senators Argyropoulos, Lunardi, L. Williams
Absent: Senators Borden, Fuentes, Hatcher, Khosla, Snyder, Sztajn, Tu
Visitors: Emerson Barker, Student Government ProTempore; Dolores Cisnevas, Journalism Student; Betsy Brown, Provost Office; Dick Bernhard, Industrial and System Engineer; Eileen Goldgeier, General Counsel; Frank Abrams, BAE/BME ARF-Retired
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the meeting to order at 3 p.m.
2. Announcements and Remarks
Chair Kellner stated that he attended a graduate student research symposium at the McKimmon Center where there were many amazing poster presentations. A few struck my attention—one was trimming down on consumption -- voluntary simplicity -- in the ‘great American Apparel diet’. One of the ones that I actually got into discussion with is sweet potato long term storage.”
Chair Kellner reported that since the last Faculty Senate Meeting he has attended a number of university committee meetings. He stated that the Alumni Distinguish Undergraduate Awards Committee gives you a lot of enormous PDFs that you are supposed to go through and rank. It’s a challenging task, but somehow it gets done. There is also the Honorary Degree Committee. Somehow they do get awarded and we have careful discussions about the appropriate criteria. This could be an interesting topic for Senate discussions some time in the future – namely, what a university honorary degree ought to be.
The Chancellor’s Liaison Committee is important because it brings the Chancellor and Student Government together. The most recent such meeting, chaired by Student Body President, Chandler Thompson, talked about the Talley renovation in much greater detail than we have heard and also textbook prices.
Chair Kellner reported that the new University Scholars Program will give $10,000 a year to relatively junior faculty. According to the Chancellor, the idea was born in a lunch with the Executive Committee of the senate when he was told by a Senator that at another university there are programs in place to forward faculty toward national awards and national academies. We haven’t done that much and the issue was taken and really brought to fruition by the Chancellor’s fund raising, raising an amount of money designated to that purpose. I think is a remarkable thing.
Chair Kellner reported that he heard about a number of things at the University Council, most interestingly, abut changes in the federal conflict of interest rules particularly from the NIH that are much more broad intrusive. I suspect we may be hearing more about some time soon.
Chair Kellner reported that at Academic Leadership Meeting, the talk was primarily about International Programs including Study Abroad. He learned that the university ranked about in the middle of peers in terms of percentage of students who take study abroad, but within the colleges there is a wide variety. The College of Design is in the lead because they have they have developed programs attached to their space in Prague.
Chair Kellner thanked those who attended the General Faculty meeting. And, with regards to the discussion on QEP he read the following from Karen Helm “Yes it was great. The plan to plan committee is being used to plan the kick off event and draft the charge to the Planning Committee. We are also making use of my notes from the February 21 Faculty Senate meeting.”
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 11, February 21, 2012
The minutes were approved as submitted.
4. Remarks from the Provost
Strategic Plan – Provost Arden reported that we are in the process of going back to the metrics that were identified and establishing a targeted time line for each of those metrics. Some time before the end of the week I would like to have a discussion about some of those targets and timelines. They need to clearly be aspirational, but be realistic as well. We want to bring that back for further discussion.
Provost Arden stated that with respect to the strategic plan we had a number of different items that I think we are already moving forward on aggressively. One was growing faculty excellence on campus. The cluster hiring program is well under way. Of the twelve different clusters I have approved search committees for five of those. There is every indication that we may have some of the faculty on campus this fall.
The Faculty Scholars Program is a program designed to recognize high achieving mid career faculty, faculty that are in their second term of appointment as an assistant professor, associate professors those in their first three years of full professor. The concept is that they would have to carry the designation of University faculty scholar for a five-year period plus a $10,000 pay raise. I think this like many other universities that have similar programs, is really an initiative to identify some of our very best faculty. I think this program will go a long way to recognizing and hopefully retaining some of those individuals.
Provost Arden thanked everyone for the discussion on the quality enhancement plan at the General Faculty meeting last week. This is going to be very important to us, moving forward with a really great plan to include critical and creative thinking throughout the university and throughout the curriculum. I think that was a very good discussion, we will have the kickoff next month with some speakers. I thought that our strategic planning process was a very inclusive process that included faculty, staff, and students from across campus. I also want this quality enhancement plan to be a very inclusive process. I know that at the end of the day this is not going to be successful unless we have bigger faculty participation.
Provost Arden stated that he signed the Science Taskforce Report last week. Past Chair Margery Overton put in a huge amount of work along with that committee for the last eight or nine months. Please look at that task force report on the Provost’s website and send any comments. We will be taking comments until the end of the month. We try to act on these in a timely manner. I think it’s very negative for faculty to put huge amounts of work and energy into those taskforces for them to sit there and collect dust. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll accept every recommendation, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to have a recommendation. So, I think it is important to move forward on those recommendations so that you can expect something from me during the coming month or two on the academic science task force report.
Provost Arden stated that Charlie Leffler has reported that the Business Operations Realignment Steering Team (BORST) is making good progress and is about to roll something out shortly in terms of a recommendation to him and he would in turn make a recommendation to the Chancellor. So over the coming few weeks, look not only for a follow up on the academic science taskforce report, but also on the BORST report. Both of those are going to be very important and impact things of the university.
Provost Arden mentioned the Academic Program Efficiency and Effectiveness review. He stated that the committee is plowing along and the members have put in a lot of time. This is not a simple task and I understand that it is not a simple task. It is currently under review by the colleges and departments.
Questions and Comments
Chair Kellner - Since we are discussing the university values and ethics, could you say a word about the background
Provost Arden stated that Chandler Thompson and David Auerbach are going to be talking about the work and some drafts produced by the University Values and Ethics Advisory Committee. This is an important committee and much thanks to Chandler and David and others for working on this. This actually grew out of an incident where Chancellor Oblinger at the time formed a task force chaired by Tom Stafford and Hosea Picart to look into campus culture and the taskforce had several recommendations. One of those recommendations was to develop a university wide ethics advisory committee. That recommendation was put on the back burner for 12 or 18 months as we went through a change of Interim Chancellor and then Chancellor Woodson coming on board. When Chancellor Woodson came on board we brought it back to the front burner, formed that as a Provost Advisory Committee after Chandler favored several individuals with a strong background and interest in this to serve on that committee be charged with several things. One of the things it has been charged with is producing a campus statement. The original term of language that was used was a creed. After consultation with our legal council we wanted to avoid the term creed and going more in line with what most universities do, which is a campus community compact. It is a statement really based on our valued statement and that is at the front end of the strategic plan about who we are as a campus community and what we are and what we are not. So I’m very excited about this, I think it is very important. I think the student body is very excited about that, so I’m going to turn this over to Chandler and David for further discussion. That’s a brief history on how we got back to this point.
5. “University Values and Ethics” draft “Statement of Community Compact”
Senator Auerbach stated that they spent a fair amount of time on the document and modified it, and the only thing different from what the council is proposing and what’s on the sheet is that the fairness item was a last minute addition. We didn’t have time to think about it, so he asked that every place where the word fairness occurs to remove it.
Chandler Thompson, Student Body President read the draft document. The faculty commented and offered numerous suggestions.
Chair Kellner pointed out that last fall when the GLBT vandalism issue occurred the Senate, on the next day, knew exactly what to do. This was because we already believed these things that we now affirm that we believe in. The language may not be perfect, but my point is that pragmatically speaking, these are cases where we know what to do already because we are who we are, and, frankly, that was a very easy case to respond to. Hard cases are a whole different matter. Those would be cases where different listed values come in conflict with each other, and where different people see the hierarchy of values differently. I think its good to have these values all laid out so that different people can choose to cite different things in their discussions, but for the most part we know where we stand on general issues.
Chandler stated that there is a lot of universities that have either a Statement of Community Compact or what they refer to as “Creed” and our committee has those examples and we have been reviewing them on different ways we can use it at NC State. We are hoping to have it as a kind of student orientation this summer.
Provost Arden stated that he thinks there is value to codifying a statement that is read on a regular basis by incoming students, value in refreshing people’s memory and thought about who we are on a regular basis and not just waiting five or six or ten years.
6. Association of Retired Faculty
Frank Abrams stated that it is a pleasure to be a retired faculty member. People make jokes about serving on the Faculty Senate or serving in governance, but the Faculty Senate at the end of the day makes a big difference. I want to thank you for what you do and I hope you will continue to do it.
The Association of Retired Faculty is referred to as ARF. From the very beginning, in 1982, the Professor/Head of Philosophy and Religion, Howard Miller was one of several leaders and the first President of this Association. He passed away a few weeks ago. There was and still is a firm view that the purpose of our organization is to provide service to retirees, the university, and to the community. ARF has remained independent of the university and that was done for very important reasons. The founders felt that ARF should be in a position to speak out on things in support of the university in areas where it might not be appropriate or even illegal for an organization of the university to do so.
We do have an official liaison between the organization and the university and that has been very helpful. The very first liaison was Professor Becky Leonard, who is retired now. We are very appreciative of Betsy Brown’s guidance and her support of the organization.
Abrams stated that he is here today to give an overview about some of the activities of ARF. If you would like to join the membership dues is $15 and you don’t have to be retired to join. We have a mailing list of about 900 members. If you ever come to an ARF meeting and if you ever experience email with anybody in the ARF Executive Committee, somehow your email address gets on our emailing list. We use the email list where we can and for those who don’t care to use email we use the US mail to promote our news letters, our luncheon program, and to keep our members who are spread all over the country informed and in contact with what those of us who are here are trying to do. I would urge you to visit the ARF website and use it as an opportunity to both give us help on how to communicate better that way as well as to learn about some of the things we do.
The newsletter is published on our website and is announced on the listserv. We are still mailing to everyone who wishes to have it mailed to them. We are grateful for the support from the Office of the Provost in the fall and the office of Alumni Affairs in the spring for underwriting the cost of US mailing of our newsletter.
Every month of the academic year we have a luncheon at the university club. We have speakers at the luncheons and we have had some very interesting speakers.
Abram stated that in 2010 in response to continuing concerns mentioned about how well retired faculty are recognized the Board of the Association with the endorsement of the association created the William C. Friday Award for continued service in retirement, not to give awards to each other, but to recognize accomplishments that people make after they retire, contributions that they make to their former employees or to other elements of society. We were able to get President Friday, being the humble person that he is to let us name an award after him. We presented the award to President Friday on May 19th. We gave the award the following year to Ms. Helen Little, an 82 year old lady who ran the night shift at the computer center. She has helped to build buildings and provide education for the people in Haiti. She founded a home for children there.
Abram stated that they have maintained a close relationship with the library. We take our linkage to university committees very seriously. We take advocacy for issues that affect retired faculty and faculty very seriously. We are working with our sister associations at Carolina and Central to host the tenth anniversary of the Association of Higher Education National Conference on October 21st.
Thank you for your attention and I hope that you will consider joining ARF. We want to work with the Faculty Senate in any way that we can.
Questions and Comments
Senator Aspnes – Can you give us some examples of the service projects that you do
We have for the last several years been involved with encouraging departments to update departmental history. We are now beginning a project to establish a process of doing oral histories when faculty retire. Those are two things outside of the ARF organization, but related to the university.
Chair Kellner - You mentioned a number of political laws -- in general what are your goals for the future that the Senate might be interested in.
We haven’t had a strategic planning process and if I go back to the Board and suggest one that will be the easiest way to get out of my second year serving on the Board. We do have some incentive goals and those are to continue to foster an opportunity for exhibiting colleageality of how the department runs and getting together enjoying who we are and being an observer of the university and helper when we can. We are very dedicated to our service to the library. ARF have accumulated a $90,000 endowment to the library. That endowment was started a few years after ARF was founded.
Abrams stated that on the comment about legal issues, the one that I alluded to has to do with what was presented to the lifelong faculty involvement committee as a recent interpretation of the public law that prohibits TSERS retirees from being rehired part time for six months after the date of retirement. While we don’t know all the details, it does not appear to be written into law, it appears to be an interpretation and we are looking for things that we can do to address that.
7. Governance Committee Report on Faculty Governance
Senator Bourham stated that a report came to the Governance Committee two years ago on recommendations regarding selection processes for heads and chairs. The Governance committee reviewed and discussed the report and came up with a recommendation that the Faculty Affairs Committee be referred to as the Faculty and Staff Advisory Committee.
Senator Bourham present the first reading of a resolution from the Governance Committee.
After much discussion on the resolution, Chair Kellner stated that he doesn’t think the resolution is ready for further discussion. He thinks the document should be withdrawn and it will be discussed in the Executive Committee meeting. If this is to be a resolution it would have to be a much more broad and flexible kind of resolution, one that calls for departments to do some soul searching about the best way for them to govern themselves and to point out if it’s the best we can do to departments that don’t have these things.
Senator Bourham agreed and the resolution was withdrawn.
The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.