FACULTY SENATE MEETING
March 19, 2013
Present: Chair Kellner, Chair Elect Zonderman, Secretary Sawyers Provost Arden: Senators Aday, Ade, Aspnes, Borden, Bradley, Daley, Fleisher, Funkhouser, Jasper, Knowles, Lubischer, M. Moore, Rucker, Snyder, Sztajn, Tyler, L. Williams, M. Williams, P. Williams
Excused: Parliamentarian Weiner, Senators Argyropoulos, Bourham, Devetsikiotis, Freeman, Hatcher, Holden, Knopp, Lucia, Lunardi, J. Moore, Morgado, Penrose, Spontak
Absent: Senator Fuentes, Naf-Abbenyi, Piedrafita
Guests: Pat Spakes, Asst. Director, University Planning and Analysis; Karen Helm, Director, University Planning and Analysis; Jack Colby, Assist Vice Chancellor, Facility Operations,; Tracy Dixon, Sustainability Office; P.J. Teal, Chancellor’s Office; Eileen Goldgeier, General Counsel; Richard Bernhard, Professor Emeritus, Industrial & Systems Engineering; William Winner, Professor, Environmental Science and Natural Resources
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the thirteenth meeting of the 59th session to order at 3 p.m.
2. Remarks from the Chair
Chair Kellner commented on the General Faculty meeting that will take place on April 2 in the Walnut Room of the Talley Student Center. He stated that it is expected to be a highly administrative session in that we will be hearing discussions about the Governor’s budget, the UNC Strategic Plan, and the system-wide implementation strategy that NC State is a part of. President Ross will attend at 4 p.m. to give remarks.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 12, March 19, 2013.
A motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.
4. Remarks from Provost Arden
Provost Arden reported on the Faculty Excellence Hiring Program and the budget.
Provost Arden stated that the Faculty Excellence Hiring Program is progressing well. We are attempting to hire 38 outstanding faculty members in twelve clusters across the university. This is one of two hiring mechanisms that is happening across the university. Approximately 30 faculty members will be hired through more traditional allocations.
Provost Arden stated that two faculty members have been hired so far through the Faculty Excellence Program and five have accepted offers and will be arriving this fall. There have been six faculty members who declined our offer and there are four more offers pending.
Provost Arden stated that the big issue is that these are not all inexpensive hires because some of these programs have fairly sizable startup commitments. Sometimes it requires moving more than just the individual, it also include spouses or other researchers that are associated with the program.
Provost Arden stated that the budget will be made public tomorrow. There will be across-the-board cuts, anywhere from 3-4% up to 5-6% and there will be a cut to the UNC system that will be relatively equal across the constituent institutions. There will also be a fairly significant rise in out-of-state tuition for both undergraduate and graduate students. We requested a fairly modest tuition increase from our campus-initiated increase. We are limited to 6.5% for in state undergraduates, but that is the only one for which we are limited. I’m hearing of a possible 10 or 12 percent increase for our out-of-state students and that may be a legislative increase instead of a campus-initiated increase, which means we don’t get the money, it goes back downtown, which is a cost to us to do that and the cost comes about through out of state graduate students. A significant proportion of our graduate students are on the graduate students’ support plan and in this state unlike some other states where the university has the ability to waive the out of state portion, we have to pay that portion of the tuition remission. When the differential between in state and out of state increases, the cost of us paying that tuition remission increases.
Chancellor Woodson and Kevin Howell have been working very hard behind the scenes with the legislators and others trying to head off some of the items that we have been hearing about such as the legislature taking back some of our F&A. We also heard that there may be an additional fee on top of the out of state tuition increase on international students. We will have a lot more information about this particularly after the Senate weighs in to this process, but, all indications are that it is going to be a tough budget for us.
Provost Arden stated that he has given a presentation to the Executive Officers and Deans and has given similar presentations to Department Heads and Vice Provosts on financing the strategic plan. The reality is that this is going to make it more difficult. We have got to look very carefully at where the resources are going to come from to implement our strategic plan. As far as I can tell, to fully implement the major initiative of the strategic plan over the seven years is going to cost about $100 million in recurring dollars to our budget, $200 million in cumulative one time allocations and $200 million in space if we were to build that as new space, not R&R. This is going to make it a little more difficult since we don’t know what the budget is going to be 2 to 4 years from now, but we will have to look at what happens over the coming weeks or months, and do a reassessment of how soon, for example, we can do the next round of faculty excellence hires. What I would love is once we get past about 20 or so acceptances out of the 38 in the current round that we begin the next round of hires along with another round of hires through traditional college allocations. I’m still very optimistic that we can implement the major initiatives of our strategic plan over the next couple of years, though we are going to have to think very carefully about additional resources coming to the university versus reallocation of resources and whether or not we are going to have to back up a little over the next couple of years.
Questions and Comments
From where do you see those reallocations coming?
Provost Arden stated that he thinks those discussions are going to have be done through the colleges by the deans, department heads and the faculty. There will be some high level data provided such as the Academic Program Effectiveness and Efficiency Report that looks at the productivity of individual programs. We are looking at a budget realignment task force. There are some major studies on the way to try and provide data to help us make those decisions.
Does the increase in out of state tuition also apply to the College of Veterinary Students?
Provost Arden responded yes, it would apply to professional students also. He noted that Veterinary students are charged a different tuition than regular graduate students.
Are the rumors of a potential freeze accurate?
Provost Arden responded yes, we are expecting a memo from General Administration in the next day or so and Charlie Leffler and I will review the memo and try to get a memo out to the campus. Essentially when the governor talked about spending freezes on state funds for state agencies we were exempt from that as a mandate. The university system has decided to voluntarily comply. The principle issues are going to be travel, salary increases other than for promotions and assumption of significant responsibilities and purchases over $25,000. The reality is that they would like to shut down spending on state funds as much as possible.
Did UNC GA approve our new programs?
Provost Arden stated that they have approved the most recent ones. There were four which were NAL, Engineering, and Supply Chain Management, but that was at the last Board of Governors meeting. The doctoral program in Public History has been approved by the system level graduate dean and my understanding is that it will go forth to the full board meeting with approval from GA staff.
Senator Daley commented that tuition increases for out-of-state and international students negatively impact a lot of the research projects on the STEM side. Is there an attempt to mobilize the university professors and million dollar club so that they can actually tell the Legislature what that money and those students do for North Carolina?
Provost Arden stated that when there was an initial proposal to increase tuition for international students, some folks contacted the governor because they were very concerned. We have a high proportion of international graduate students who stay in North Carolina that make very significant contributions to private entities in the state, so that would be very concerning to us with respect to general graduate student tuition.
What are the residency requirements and how long do you have to stay in the state if you are a student?
Provost Arden stated that graduate residency requirements are different from undergraduates, they have different criteria. It is much more difficult for an undergraduate student to achieve residency than a graduate student. The determinations at the moment are done locally for applicants and otherwise. One of the things that GA is proposing is to have them done at GA for the whole system. Some programs are more lenient with respect to checking residency status. The numbers showed that in the last academic year across the system, approximately 1800 students, both undergraduate and graduate had changed to in state residency during their time here and of which NC State accounted for almost 800 (200 undergraduate and 600 graduates).
What percent of total faculty hires is made up of hires through the Chancellor’s Excellence Initiative?
Provost Arden stated that this year it will be, not including replacement a little more than one half. Remember that the strategic plan is to grow tenure-tenure track faculty numbers by as much as 350 by 2020 and so the strategic plan would call for an average of 50 additional hires per year plus retentions and replacements.
Would you think it appropriate to discuss the budget realignment support for the strategic plan when you make your comments at the General Faculty meeting?
Provost Arden responded yes, he would be happy to.
5. Sustainability Report
Professor William Winner reported on the rationale for the sustainability policy. He reviewed the consultation process, the process by which the policy will move through the university system and where there is an opportunity for input.
The rationale for the sustainability policy is that it provides a foundation for implementing and planning strategies that will advance sustainability and represents for our university an enduring commitment to the concepts of sustainability. The campus environmental sustainability team is responsible for generating this policy statement and have been generating a number of other documents along the way as a part of this university’s commitment to advancing sustainability, simply allowing the university to grow and to evolve while at the same time we use less in the way of energy and other resources. So, it is not an effort to define who we are or to define sustainability in any way, but the concept of advancing sustainability means improving the ability for the university to grow and develop while at the same time also improving the university to conserve resources and energy used.
The campus environmental sustainability team came to that idea about sustainability through discussions with faculty, staff and students. A part of what the CEST has done is create some documentation about who we are and how this university as a whole is coping with sustainability. I want to highlight a couple of them:
- There is a strategic plan for sustainability that was written and approved by the Board of Trustees.
- There is a climate action plan which is a document that explains how we can become climate neutral by 2050.
- There is a strategic plan for energy management that has come out of the facilities program that defines a series of steps that can be taken so that the campus can continue operating and growing while at the same time being more efficient and cost effective with energy and water use on our campus.
Dr. Winner stated that there has been a busy group here working on advancing sustainability across the institution. A new community of people thinking about this has formed.
The policy is different from the strategic plan. It represents an enduring commitment for the foreseeable future for what NC State is going to be doing with sustainability if a shared responsibility comes out in this policy, a shared responsibility for the faculty members, for those who are involved in the other missions of the university including research and outreach and engagement as well as the way we use energy on campus.
The draft of the policy went to a number of groups in order to assess whether the policy reflected their interest in thinking about what a sustainability policy might look like. A number of the groups including the Staff Senate, the Sustainability Commission within Student Government, the Graduate Student Association, and the Physical Environment Committee have reviewed a draft of this and the responses from all of them have been very supportive. In addition to those groups representing an informal review of the draft, so to, is the discussion that we are having, this is a part of what we think is an important step for bringing this policy forward across the campus. Once we have gone through this process, we have also gone through a process from General Counsel and we have taken ideas from them and other groups and bringing about a final draft that would go back to the Campus Environmental Sustainability Teams, and would go back to General Counsel for final review then the Deans Council and ultimately to the Board of Trustees.
The document begins with the idea that the Sustainability Policy will represent an enduring commitment from the university and to advance sustainability and that what we are doing is perfectly consistent and accelerates the implementation of facets of the university strategic plan. The policy statement also reflects the idea that sustainability and advancing sustainability is a core value for our university. We are going to see this policy play out in a number of important ways ultimately with the way the campus operates. There are issues here for not only the academic, research, and outreach mission of the university, but the idea that we have to rethink in some respects and commit to changing the way we purchase on campus, changing the way we transport ourselves to and from work and around campus. The closure of the Dan Allen Drive is an example of advancing sustainability with a little bit of a twist on transportation. There are statements in the policy about not only the way we purchase and the way we do transportation, but waste reduction and recycling. There is a commitment to accelerate the development of recycling technologies and capabilities and reducing the amount of waste that is produced on our campus and that this policy should be reviewed every five years. So think about a sustainability policy that encourages us to bring an advanced view of sustainability to the missions of the university and to the way we operate.
Questions and Committees
Chair Kelllner commented that of the two campuses, he would guess that this is the campus where there are fewer high-quality sustainable facilities (compared to Centennial Campus). We have a problem here on main campus with regards to the upkeep and the refitting of buildings. How does the sustainability policy work toward raising funds to bring the buildings on the campus up to a higher level than they are now?
Dr. Winner stated that it is not necessarily the case that newer buildings are state-of-the-art, in fact we have relatively few buildings on campus that are certified. That is a new step for us, but what we are doing is pursuing with great rate and enthusiasm so called Energy Service Contracts. What they amount to is a contractor will come in and improve the energy efficiency for a building with the cost financed by a bank and the bank gets paid back by the cost savings that result from retrofitting of the building. There have over twenty buildings that have been retrofitted in that way. The university is moving as quickly as possible to bring buildings that are out of date into compliance.
Jack Colby stated that we have greater latitude today than we did several years ago in terms of how we accomplish these. Under budget flexibility any dollars that we save in energy costs can be re-deployed into other facilities work. In our long term approach we are looking at life cycle costing and we are looking at any measures that we can deplore that will reduce the long term burden of the institution for operating cost.
Dr. Winner added that we need to do everything possible to reduce waste and energy and to move toward increasing efficiency of energy and resources on our campus. There is no question that we have lots of progress to make there, but I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that another commitment must be in educating students to move forward into a new world. We need to focus on creating students who can play the leadership role in careers in the way they live to contribute to rebuilding of an economy that is more sustainable than the one we have.
He stated that the sustainability policy is a good vehicle for us to get behind and to help everyone discuss, think, and bring to their program ideas for advancing sustainability.
This document is going to be followed by a standard operations procedure guideline, so it’s not going to be a part of the policy statement, but there are some standard operating procedures that are warming up that get to a lot of the issues that you have been talking about. At a higher level is that UNC GA is getting serious about sustainability. Jack, Tracy, and I are working with UNC GA and similar people on all the campuses in the system on what we think and how sustainability plays a role in the university system as a whole. As you have a chance to read the policy please send any questions to me, Jack, or Tracy and we will do whatever we can to get them answered for you.
6. QEP Presentation
Chair Elect Zonderman reported that next year NC State will go through the accreditation reaffirmation process, and one key component is a quality enhancement plan. That is something that we as a campus pledged to do to try to improve student learning. We (the campus) chose the theme “Critical and Creative Thinking”. The larger vision is a ten-year goal where we as a campus will focus on improving the critical and creative thinking of our undergraduates starting even before they enter on the campus. For the purpose of this QEP we are focusing on first year students because we have to start there and it is something that we can measure—what critical and creative thinking skills they have going in.
Chair Elect Zonderman stated that they see the QEP as the beginning building block of this vision, it is focused on the first year. Today we are asking for feedback on where the QEP stands now. The strategies are focused mainly on teaching and helping to train and develop various cohorts of people who do a lot of first year teaching.
Questions and Comments:
Senator Borden commented that the students don’t read, so he thinks the process should include reading and writing.
Senator Paul Williams agrees that reading should be included.
Senator Lubischer commented that she thinks the QEP is not going to be as directive as how you go about getting to the outcomes you want to receive. So I don’t know if it’s going to be as directive as you have to do this much reading because you don’t want to be that directive, and having that much reading in class doesn’t get to where you want. You want tools to figure out how to convince the students, to force the students, and somehow persuade the students.
Chair Hans Kellner was elected to serve a two-year term (2013-2015) on the Faculty Assembly.
Council on Athletics
Karen Bullock, Associate Professor, Social Work and Senator Paul Williams, Professor, Accounting were elected to serve on the Council on Athletics.
Secretary of the Faculty
Senator Dennis Daley was elected to serve a two-year term (2013-2015) as Secretary of the Faculty.
8. Issues of Concern
Senator Aspnes presented an issue of concern about summer salary.
Chair Kellner assigned the issue to the Personnel Policy Committee.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 5 p.m.