FACULTY SENATE MEETING
March 12, 2013
Present: Chair Kellner, Chair Elect Zonderman, Secretary Sawyers: Senators Aday, Ade, Aspnes, Borden, Bourham, Daley, Devetsikiotis, Fleisher, Funkhoiuser, Jasper, Knopp, Knowles, Lubischer, Lucia, Lunardi, J. Moore, M. Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Penrose, Piedrafita, Rucker, Snyder, Spontak, Sztajn, Tyler, P. Williams
Excused: Provost Arden, Parliamentarian Weiner, Senators Argyropoulos, Bradley, Freeman, Hatcher, Holden, Morgado, L. Williams, M. Williams
Absent: Senator Fuentes
Guests: Willa Casstevens, Associate Professor, Social Work; Mike Mullen, Vice Chancellor, DASA; Marcia Gumpertz, OIED; Richard Bernhard, Professor Emeritus, Industrial & System Engineering
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the twelfth meeting of the 59th session to order at 3 p.m.
2. Remarks from the Chair
Chair Kellner reported that revival of the Salary Equity Study Committee is currently taking place. This process began with its first report in 2003 and continued every three years through 2009. The intent is to estimate the magnitude of systematic salary differences related to gender and other factors, but not with individual cases. In this regard the ultimate idea is to address inequities and hope that the Provost will find monies to address them as was done in 2001 to the tune of $700,000. The group has met twice and plans to continue to meet.
Chair Kellner announced that the IT Strategic Planning Process Steering Team will have two workshops later this month to develop a campus IT strategic plan. They are open to everyone to ensure broad base support for a new university wide IT strategic plan. The workshops are planned for Thursday, March 21, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Walnut Room of the Talley Student Center, and Wednesday, March 27, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the College of Textiles Convocation Center (Room 2309).
Chair Kellner announced that nominations for the Award for Excellence Award are open until March 15, 2013. Nominees can be anyone in the university who isn’t on the faculty. Nomination forms can be found on the Human Resources website.
Chair Elect Zonderman shared a packet of information that he received from Dr. Anthony Boccanfuso, Executive Director for the National Academies. The material will be housed in the Faculty Senate Office.
Chair Kellner announced that President Ross will give remarks at the General Faculty Meeting on April 2, which will be held at 3 p.m. at the Talley Student Center Walnut Room.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 11, February 19, 2013.
A motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.
4. Remarks on the “Brand Refresh”
Brad Bohlander, Associate Vice Chancellor, University Communications commented on NC State’s Internal Communications Agency and the “Brand Refresh” project.
The communications team leads in doing things like the brand refresh, core messaging, visual identity, logos and then really trying to support the campus community to be able to implement those tools effectively in college level work or whatever the case may be. He stated that they are about reinforcing the goals of the strategic plan.
Vice Chancellor Bohlander reported that they have four strategic directions this year, which include transforming our focus, getting focused on things that will actually move the university forward; transforming our organization; position ourselves to better support all the work done at the colleges and units; transforming the brand.
Bohlander stated that our goal is a central unit that will improve communications across campus working with all the communicators. It’s a lot about getting everyone to work together, share resources and be strategic. Given those four goals, the 125th anniversary was a great opportunity to lay the ground work for future communications at NC State.
Vice Chancellor Bohlander stated that they put a lot of frontloading work into this project, created the brand logos, word marks, tone and message elements, a system of how you place these things on your website if you are going to communicate. We came up with PowerPoint templates, letter head, web banners, photography, everything related around the 125th anniversary.
So why now? We want to build on the momentum that was created around the 125th anniversary both internally and externally. We have more excitement around NC State from alums. We have an amazing leader in Chancellor Woodson, having the sweet sixteen basketball doesn’t hurt either, so we have a lot of good momentum going.
A brand refresh will really solidify our direction and our focus as a campus.
What do we mean by branding? There are a lot of different definitions out there. A lot of folks think a logo or a tag line is an organization’s brand, but that is a reflection of the brand.
When we talk about branding we are really talking about an individual’s total experience, the perception of the organization, their experience of what the organization and their expectation of the organization. How do they feel on that gut level about NC State? That is what we are trying to define and influence through this process.The four main areas to build a strong brand are:
- They must be authentic
- They have to be attractive
- They must be distinctive. Higher education is not that unique, we have to find out what is unique about us in the market place.
- They must be aspirational
Bohlander stated that the first and last points are key. There are no short cuts in this process. Part of the challenge in why we work through the 125th before launching a brand refresh is this has been tried a couple of times before at NC State and there was a bit of a bad taste in people’s mouths. I don’t want to be critical but everyone wants to jump to that third point of being creative and skipping the research and the strategy. The research and the analytics and the strategy pieces are really viable if we want to make this investment worth our time and come up with something that is going to last over the next decade or so. Those are the only two pieces that we are talking about when we are talking about a brand refresh at this stage. We are not even going to get to the creativeness until after that is complete.
Again, the phases are very heavy in research and that is why the brand refresh selection committee chose them and based on their track record, but surveys of faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, internal surveys, external surveys, doing a lot of on-campus group interviews, one on one interviews going into focus groups, they are really out there getting the perceptions and awareness from internal and external stakeholders about NC State.
The strategies and positioning is how we get into defining that brand platform, how we are going to take all of this research and put it into a platform that we can all use as a campus community to drive the university forward and achieve our goals.
Where are we so far? This really started in January. We did a massive data dump to EMG. We collected materials from all of the colleges and sent them to EMG and they have taken a hard look at all of our websites, just looking at who we have on communications and if it’s working. They’ve done individual interviews with all the lead communicators across campus and centrally. Hopefully all of you received an email about an internal awareness perception survey. It went to all faculty, students, staff, and alumni and we ended up getting approximately 6,000 completed response. Faculty accounted for 17.5% of that total and alumni were 44% of that total. We are just finishing up an external awareness perception survey, which is an in-state study asking some of the same questions segmented by age and geographic location. We also did a segment of business and opinion leaders. It is extremely valuable data to have and something we want to do every two to three years to see if we are actually moving the needle.
Bohlander stated that they have been meeting with a lot of groups. Next week they plan to do some focus groups with mixes of faculty, staff, alumni, students, and administrators on where we are going to take this research that we have gathered. The endpoint of this phase of research will be on April 30th and we will meet with all the campus leadership for a day and we don’t walk out of there until we have a basic agreement on a brand platform. It’s a long day, could be a heated day, but it’s a very important day in the process and then over the next twelve weeks we work with our consultants to find tune the traits. So as we move forward until we are through this, the transformation is going to continue to be our key messaging. This was more popular than we expected it to be and we couldn’t take it away now if we tried.
Questions and Comments
Senator Aspnes commented that this is all good but it would seem like the most effective advertising for branding is to turn out competent students to do the job that they are hired to do. Our product is people, and a good university is measured by the quality of the students coming in and also the training they receive. Somehow it would seem like that should be part of your message.
Bohlander stated that he thinks that absolutely will be a part of their message, academic excellence and job-ready graduates.
Senator Knopp asked who else other than the group on April 30th will see the research.
Bohlander stated that they hadn’t talked about that, but he doesn’t see why they couldn’t make the information more public. This is a significant investment that we had to save up for, no additional resources were given by the university, so I would love to share this if it’s going to benefit the institution. We will be doing reports and stories through the Bulletin and other means to keep everyone up on what’s going on.
Senator Borden commented that he and David met with a few other faculty and they were surprised to hear that the students that you would like to attract at NC State don’t like the word “transformation”. In fact, it’s a negative.
Bohlander stated that transformation was a great word for the theme of the 125th anniversary. It’s not distinctive enough to hold on to forever, but to teach people how to use a word, no matter what you do you can talk about your NC State story in transformation. It was a great educational word.
Senator Jasper—When you give your surveys nationally does NC State get the perception of being more like a commuter school or a permanent community?
Bohlander responded, we cannot afford to survey nationally, so we are having to be creative with some digital strategies, we are doing print advertisement and some follow-up surveys. What I have seen from some of that feedback is that it’s not known that we are one way or another, it’s just that we are not known. If you are a part of ACLU you know who NC State is and if you are not and you are not a basketball fan then we are not on the radar and that is a big part of what we want to fix.
A real challenge is that we have many publics that we are trying to communicate to. There are students that we are trying to recruit, there are parents there are alumni who graduated from here so the national awareness message is a different one than we are going to send to in-state students that we are trying to recruit.
Senator Lunardi asked, “Are we going to lose the “Brick”?
Bohlander responded, no.
Senator Luncardi commented that she visits a number of places and never see a mention of NC State. When are you going to sell to other people?
Bohlander stated that the beauty of a decentralized place is when you get everyone working together . The challenge is getting a place where people will do that. We are not in a place where we can force people to do that right now.
5. Campaign Priorities Discussion
Dr. Mike Mullen commented that since he’s been in DASA one of the things that strikes him about his own unit is they don’t communicate. We have nothing that comes out of the central unit that we don’t consistently tell all of our students first. We have snippets in everything that goes out from our colleges, but we don’t have that centralized thing that really speaks to all the things that are going on. This has become a real issue this year. We are in the middle of doing strategic planning in a major way so one of my goals is to be able to have a presence that provides those kinds of stories that leak out to people particularly outside the campus and I think it’s important for us to do that, so that has been a little frustrating for me that there has never been an emphasis on telling our story, which brings me to the task force.
Dr. Mike Mullen, Chair of the Campaign Priorities Task force reported that the task force is a group of thirty five people that include Deans, Vice Chancellors, faculty, students, and staff. They have met twice trying to generate aspirational goals and big ideas for the campaign.
Dr. Mullen stated that they are looking at a campaign with a goal of $1.5 billion and University Advancement estimates that about 50% will be current operating money. We would like to generate at least $500 million in endowment. For a place this size with what we are trying to do, our current $600 million endowment is an issue for us. That leaves about $250 million that we would expect people to put into facilities.Last spring you had exercises in every college where you were asked to identify the things that you would like to see in the new capital campaign and you (faculty, administrators, staff, units) identified about $4.3 billion in things you would like to see happen and they are all worthy and needed, but there is not a lot that speaks to the university, so when we got to this point we started to talking about branding, moving forward and really making this place very attractive on a national basis and finding ways to attract big donors to put big bucks into this place. We realized that we needed some aspirational goals for the university. We all tend to view things within our own blinders and we pull back into things that we think are traditionally important and so we have been having to make ourselves think, what are those goals that address the entire university? What re the things we want people to know about us? What are the statements we can make where the donor will say, I have got to get money to NC State and what are the big ideas that go with those goals that we can attract money? When we think about aspirational examples, this is hard. Do we want to be a top ten innovation university? We have lots of themes. We have themes about hands-on education and education that’s reinforced by co-curricula and high impact educational practices and a variety of other kinds of things. I wrote a long aspirational goal as an example. From that we need some big ideas and this is where we struggle as well. Some potential big ideas are:
- Endowment of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program
- The Center for Transformational Education and Student Success
- Initiative on Environment and Sustainability
- Endowed Program in Critical and Creative Thinking (QEP)
Dr. Mullen asked the faculty to forward any thoughts on big ideas to the committee. Dr. Mullen stated that this is by necessity grounded into the strategic plan and it will be by necessity ultimately at the top level, because the goal of this group is to provide enough ideas for the Chancellor and Advancement.
Questions and Comments
Secretary Sawyers encouraged Chair Mullen to get the faculty involved in the campaign and not just this small group.
Senator Tyler stated that she would like to encourage the committee to think about instead of just creating another big something else that we potentially aspired to be one of the top ten universities known for innovation, that the first step be to do an audit of the innovation activities in all of the colleges and figure out how we can leverage what we have because too often we want to start something new when we already have them all.
Chair Elect Zonderman stated that he thinks one of the aspiration goals should be getting into the AAU by moving this university further and further toward a true comprehensive university, not like Duke or Chapel Hill, but one where we build on the strengths that we have in STEM and integrate STEM into all the other disciplines that are on this campus.
Senator Borden commented that a colleague suggested that we be known as one of the top universities addressing major societal needs, which allows us to focus ourselves on specific things as we see the need arising.
Senator Paul Williams commented that this institution was founded to elevate people. Not transform but to elevate people and a lot of conversation I’m hearing now is we want the best students.
Senator Aspnes commented that the flip side of getting money is spending it and if I’m going to write you a check for $1 million I want to make sure that you are investing it wisely and I’m not sure that NC State knows how to do that.
Chair Kellner stated that his concern is a one-campus movement, because we have three campuses right now.
Senator Ade stated that when he thinks of this process of what is a reasonable aspirational goal and that means that I need to understand where I am, I don’t think we collectively understand where we are.
Chair Kellner stated that he EMG and the Brand Refresh people gave a very interesting presentation and a lot of the surveying that they are doing is exactly what Brad alluded to. They are asking people what you think of NC State. Talking to people who have nothing to do with the university, who aren’t from Wake County, who are around the state and around the country talking to all kinds of different groups and they will find out where we stand and it’s not where we think we stand. It’s going to be real.
6. Remarks on Suicide Prevention
Dr. Willa Casstevens, Associate Professor of Social Work commented on the NC State Suicide Prevention Program.
Dr. Casstevens stated that they started the program one year ago with Sea Grant Funding. The reason they wrote the grant is in 2010 we lost four students on campus to suicide. The larger rationale is that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people 15-24 years old. Suicide is also the leading cause of death among American college students in 4 year institutions. Among young adults, ages 15-24 years old, there are approximately 100-200 attempts for every completed suicide. We are working with the Counseling Center and the GLBT Center and with Health Promotion on campus. We have partnered with more than 20 campuses and off campus entities because this is important for our students’ wellbeing.
- We want a university culture and climate that encourage outreach and help-seeking rather than penalizing.
- We don’t want to kick students out because they’ve come to us for help. We want to be able to walk them over to the counseling center, connect them with somebody who can give them the support that they need to continue their education.
- We have workshops and training available across campus for students, faculty and staff.
- We also have multiculturalism, diversity, and suicide prevention training.
- For the students we have an online avatar based program: At Risk for University & College Students
Dr. Casstevens noted that if there is a crisis at hand you will need to make a more direct approach with the counseling center so that they will know to expect the student and they will know that there is a crisis.
The most recent data of the American College Health Survey was just released and about seven percent of our undergrads in the US consider suicide, so this is not a trivial problem.
There are different ways of collaborating with the program. There are several different hot lines that students can call and there are chat lines that they can use. The web site that has these resources concerning suicide prevention is go.ncsu.edu/suicide prevention.
7. Old Business
Senator Funkhouser, Co-chair of the Resources and Environment Committee reported that a representative from the College of Natural Resources brought up the sale of Hoffman Forest at the last meeting. The Natural Resources Foundation has found about 20 buyers according to the News and Observer.
The committee met last Tuesday and one of the three items discussed was the sale of Hoffman Forest. They believe that the College of Natural Resources College Foundation should communicate effectively with college and staff on matters of mutual concern. We also said that there was a larger issue here that could be stated in the form of a question and the question would be: What happens when foundations like this which are external to the university and therefore can act in a confidential way, make decisions not agreed to by meaningful and portions of the faculty whom the foundation was established to support? How do we resolve these kinds of disagreements?
8. Senate Discussion
Chair Kellner asked the senators to proposed questions that the faculty would like to know about sustainability issues on campus.
- Set an example by recycling cans and bottles.
- Transportation asking about commuting habits
- Slight increase in parking fees next year
- Commuting across campus
9. Issues of Concern
Senator Lubischer stated that they scheduled a service learning course this summer where there will be an in-class conference which is a trip to Latin America. They were told by the Study Abroad Office that they cannot have a credit bearing course that has an international component without going through their office. The policy is currently being written up, so the concern is can you be held to a policy that doesn’t currently exist.
Chair Kellner assigned the issue of concern to the Academic Policy Committee.
Chair Kellner stated that a colleague has a concern with the McKinsey Report. President Ross has said that this report was not really used as foreground material by the Board of Govenors when they were working on the strategic plan and it did not find its way all that visibly into the UNC Strategic Plan but it was there and they had access to it. It’s difficult to know where this document came from, what its status is and what it has been used for.
The faculty member would like for GA to halt all use of the report and access to the report until every campus has a chance to review its data for accuracy, require the authors to run their analysis based on the corrected data and finally open the revised and corrected report to open discussion and debate by the faculty.
Chair Kellner assigned the issue of concern to the Governance Committee.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 5 p.m.