FACULTY SENATE MEETING
November 13, 2012
Present: Chair Kellner, Chair Elect Zonderman, Secretary Sawyers, Provost Arden: Senators Aday, Ade, Aspnes, Borden, Bourham, Daley, Devetsikiotis, Fuentes, Funkhouser, Holden, Knopp, Knowles, Lubischer, Lunardi, Moore, Penrose, Rucker, Snyder, Sztajn, Tyler, L. Williams, M. Williams, P. Williams
Excused: Parliamentarian Weiner, Senators Argyropoulos, Hatcher, Morgado, Piedrafita, M. Williams,
Absent: Bradley, Fleisher, Freeman, Jasper, Lucian, Nfah-Abbenyi, Spontak
Guests: Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty, UNC Chapel Hill; Carrie Leger, Director, Academic Support for Student Athletes; Sam Pardue, Faculty Athletics Rep; Marcia Gumpertz, Institutional Equity and Diversity; Ma Chunbo, Visiting Scholor, Education; Alex Yadon, Student Senate; Eileen Goldgeier, General Counsel; Betsy Brown, Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs; Richard Bernhard, Faculty, Industrial and System Engineering
1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the meeting to order at 3 p.m.
2. Announcments and Remarks
Chair Kellner welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Kellner commented on a resolution from Student Government calling for a Chancellor’s list to honor outstanding academic students. This matter has been sent to the Academic Policy Committee and at the next meeting we will discuss what the Senate thoughts are on this issue.
Chair Kellner stated that he attended a meeting regarding the State Health Plan reform situation. He was informed of a number of benefits that he wasn’t aware of and that are posted on their website.
There was also a meeting of the Feasibility Committee to study where we might stand regarding the financial campaign that is coming down the road. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. The fact is though, there will be such a campaign in the not so distant future.
Chair Kellner reported the Strategic Plan that the Board of Governors is currently working on is still a work in progress. He has requested that the two videos from their meetings be posted on the Faculty Senate website.
Chair Kellner reported that the Quality Enhancement Project meeting took place Monday morning in which the QEP Steering Committee and the four subcommittees met at the Alumni Center and discussed the status of their various work.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 5, October 30, 2012
The minutes were approved as submitted.
4. Remarks from Provost Arden
Provost Arden gave an update on the College of Sciences.
This Friday or early next week he will be sending out the latest update memo. Over the last several months the memos have covered the major decisions that are being made, meaning, what academic departments are involved and the personnel that are moving. Approximately 44 tenure-tenure track faculty and about 200 personnel in total will be moving. That includes tenure track faculty, non tenure track faculty, non faculty EPA and SPA, funded post docs and some funded graduate student positions.
Provost Arden stated that they have been working on the budgetary implications over the past weeks, which is tricky because there are so many bits and pieces. The bottom line of the memo that will be going out is that the major budgetary decisions in terms of the academic budget code have been made. He has taken those to the steering committee and from there they will go to the Chancellor. The colleges have had an opportunity to respond and there have been discussions with Dean Linton and Dean Solomon, so we are ready to move forward.
Provost Arden stated that they will be moving about 40% of the majors, so the students associated with those academic programs that are majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, about 40% of them will move. They are moving about 33% of the student credit hours currently provided by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, that is for majors and non-majors at all levels and will be moving less than that in terms of academic budget codes, about thirty percent, which is about $8.6 million that will move. A significant proportion of that is the academic budget code salaries that are under the people that are moving and some extra will have to move as well to make up that thirty percent. We are moving a lower proportion of the academic budget code than we are student credit hours to the new college.
Provost Arden stated that another decision that he made early on is that we would leave the agriculture budget codes (16031 and 16032) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and replace that with academic budget codes from the Provost reserve, which is an infusion of new resources from the university as a whole into the two colleges. That amounts to roughly $3.5 million plus benefits that would go to that portion of the salary for those individuals that are moving that are currently on agriculture budget codes. That will now be replaced with academic budget codes from the Provost Office that comes to about $4.5 million. What that means is that there will be a significant amount of agriculture budget codes that are freed up for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to implement for their strategic priorities within the college, but it also means the way we have designed it that the net dollars per credit hours in both colleges goes up slightly, so I think this is a worthy investment by the university. This is one of our highest priorities in the strategic plan and strategic realignment to develop a broad College of Sciences, which has the opportunity to capitalize on interactions between the biological and quantitative and physical sciences. I think we are well on track with deploying this July 1 of next year and it’s a high priority for strategic investment for the university.
Questions and Comments
Are you moving more student hours than faculty to cover them?
Provost Arden responded no. He explained that the faculty that are moving are appropriate and proportional. However there is a caveat here. I think we are going to have to begin to think a little bit differently about some of our undergraduate programs just like we do our graduate programs. In other words, there will be faculty within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences that will still have instructional roles in academic programs housed predominantly in the College of Sciences and what we tried to do is devise this so that the principle driver of where faculty members ended up being located were the faculty members themselves. We took into account where they wanted to be and what they wanted to continue to do. Where I think this is really important in terms of where it turns out in the future, is that we are about to embark on a process of looking at a more interdisciplinary first year life science experience for students to come in, so rather than admitting students directly into biology, genetics or microbiology or whatever it happens to be, to admit students into first year life sciences almost undesignated, similar to engineering and then matriculate into a specific major after that. That is not something we will be able to do by Fall 2013, but I’m hoping that with the appropriate faculty input and work, that it would be something that we could have in place as early as Fall 2014.
With regard to scholarships, will the university be able to make up that difference for the students that are moving over?
Provost Arden responded, yes they are looking at that issue. He explained that there are a number of other issues that we are having to work through first but that it is on our radar. Those endowments that are paying those scholarships will stay in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. We are looking at identifying the resources that will pay those scholarships out, I would like those students to stay on those scholarships. The reality is those students are going to be in the same academic programs, it will just be housed in a different college, they shouldn’t be disadvantaged by losing a scholarship, so we will find ways to pay out those scholarships over the next several years and retain the endowments. No endowment money is moving out of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at this time.
Another issue that we are working through is some of the faculty that are moving are William Reynolds professors and so the question becomes, what happens there. My preference would be that they keep their title even if we have to find additional resources to pay the money. There are still a lot of issues that we have to nail down in the next two or three months.
Provost Arden announced that Friday at the Board of Trustees meeting the Chancellor will announce the University Faculty Scholars. Those individuals have been notified but a public announcement will not be made until after the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday. This is targeted at recognizing or awarding high achieving early to mid career faculty, so faculty in their second probationary period of Assistant Professor, all Associate Professors and full Professors in their first three years. What has really been extraordinary is the quality of nominations. There were forty nominations received from all over the campus, so we are preparing to make that announcement at the end of this week. It will be a $10,000 supplement for that person to either use as personal income or support of their program, that will continue for a five year period and they will carry the title of University Faculty Scholar. I think it’s something that we need to do both for this program and hopefully we will develop other programs to recognize high achieving faculty and can bond them to the university in this way.
Will you reflect on the Academic First Program that the Board of Governors passed in June?
Provost Arden stated that there was an academic first working group that produced a report in the last year. It was led by the Chair of the Faculty Assembly and they made a number of recommendations which GA has been working through. One of the first initiatives we decided to move through was a recommendation to harmonize add/drop periods for our students. Most of the campuses have very similar add/drop periods, Chapel Hill has an add/drop period of about eight weeks. There are a couple of things that unified Chapel Hill and us and this was one of those issues. My counterpart at Chapel Hill and I began working on this many weeks ago. My understanding is that the Board of Governors discussed it last week and they decided to put that back in the hands of the President/Chancellor and not make a decision to standardize add/drop dates across campuses.
Provost Arden stated that the concern that we were having massive numbers of students registering for additional courses and then picking and choosing and dropping them and that there was a lot of vacant seats wasn’t a valid concern. From my perspective this is an academic policy issue and this like many other issues need to be decided on individual campuses, so I am pleased that the Board of Governors wrote that up this way and decided to send it back to the individual campuses with some guidance about how to move forward on that.
5. Remarks from Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty, UNC Chapel Hill
Chair Boxill stated that we live in challenging times right now, but challenging not just for our state and our university, but all universities. We need to be prepared to meet them and be proactive instead of reactive. Decisions are being made that affect us all. You brought up the drop/add policy and that is something that certainly affects NC State and Chapel Hill more so than any of the others. One of the other aspects for both of our universities is that a “W” on a transcript for your students who are going to graduate school and professional school is a major issue. There are other proposals that do affect us such as critical thinking, but I do think we are up to the task and it’s going to take all of our efforts and of course at UNC there are a few other things that are in progress. We have the Chancellor Search, a Provost Search and a search for our Chief Fundraiser going on now.
Chair Boxill stated that she took over last summer in the midst of all of the uproar with athletics. It has not been easy but I think it is important for our campuses to come together on getting needs and goals set and also to know how to impact decisions.
Chair Boxill noted that NC State and UNC Chapel Hill’s faculty governance systems are quite different. We have a 75 person Faculty Council. We meet once per month and the first and last meetings of each academic year are full faculty meetings. All of our meetings are open to the public, we regularly have the media present. We can call special meetings and this rarely happens, but I called a meeting when Chancellor Thorp resigned. I called the meeting on Monday night at midnight and Tuesday afternoon at 4 I had more than 300 faculty at the meeting, so this gave me hope because we really did want the Chancellor to reconsider.
Boxill stated that they have sixteen standing committees and receive reports throughout the year. The Faculty Chair is elected for a three-year term. We have a fourteen member elected Executive Committee, which is my advisory committee and the committee that works over the summer to address any kind of policies that need to be done. That committee regularly meets every two weeks and the Provost attends every other meeting. We have a Chancellor’s advisory committee that meets once a month. We have a very active shared governance within the faculty and the administration and I meet with the Chancellor almost weekly.
The Chancellor, myself, Chair of the Employee Forum, and the Student Body President meet once per month to discuss issues that affect all of us. The other thing that I instituted just because of the strategic initiative and other issues is having Faculty Chair office hours and the Chancellor is going to do that with me next term, but I still have some trouble motivating some faculty.
Boxill stated that a couple of challenges that she is having now include the athletic-academic balance and the honor court system, which she has been working on for more than a year and for which there is a lot of enthusiasm from both faculty and students.
Again I think faculty become engaged when it affects them negatively. I think the honor court system is a big thing at our place right now and I suspect somewhat similar here.
So this is how we operate at Chapel Hill, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in your meeting and look forward to interacting with you.
Thank you for inviting me.
Questions and Comments
Will you comment on ways to develop a stronger network between the two Faculty Senates
Boxill stated that as we all know, campuses are very different. The demographics are very different. The other thing that is very different is traditionally college students have been 18 to 21 years old, but now the average age of students across these 17 campuses is about 26 or 27 years old, so we have a totally different group of people that we operate with as well. The other area that might have some standardization is the military. Many of the students might not know what the present GI bill is, but I went to school on a GI bill many years ago and we got academic credit for the things that we did back then in the military, so that is something, I think should be unified. I think we do have to recognize that we are very different.
What do you think of the changes that have been proposed at Chapel Hill in light of the athletic scandals?
Boxill stated that they have done a lot. We have a new Athletic Director, who has some different views. We should have a very active athletics committee, but this year the chair has done a lot of different things. The elected faculty now have responsibility to work with an athletics team, so everyone on the faculty athletics committee has at least one team that they are responsible for to sort of look into the policy. The other thing is that the academic support has always been under Arts and Sciences.
This past summer I appointed a subcommittee of the Faculty Executive Committee to look into the issues of the African American studies report as well as the report on athletics, to look to see if the reports have gone far enough especially in the advising area. I think a lot of damage has been done to people who are in the academic support system and I think our academic support system was very good. Are there some issues that need to be corrected, yes, but everyone was hired under the Arts and Sciences rubric and I worked in the academic support staff for a few years so I know how they operate and I know what they do. Some of my colleagues would say that I’m just trying to keep them eligible. Well we want to ensure that all 848 student athletes make satisfactorily progress, it’s not just keeping them eligible. Our biggest thing is educating both administrative and faculty and that’s difficult, so we have to come to common ground. My personal feelings is that I think we can have a balance. We have to be transparent and then we have to move forward and I think we can.
This is being talked about a lot in the NCAA and there is a scholarly colloquium which is part of the NCAA convention which has discussed those and the idea about student’s rights, so these are things that are going to be ongoing conversations and that is what I think we will do.
6. Remarks from Carrie Leger, Director of Academic Support Program for Student Athletes
Carrie Leger commented on the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes and shared some processes that are in place to support our efforts to do things in the right way.
The Academic Support Program for Student Athletes reports to the Division of Academics and Student Affairs and the program is funded exclusively from the Athletics Department.
Leger stated that the Academic Support Program has thirteen full time staff members and supports all 560 student athletes that are a part of our 23 teams.
Advising – For student athletes that enter the university in the First Year College, our academic coordinators serve as the primary academic adviser for them and once they matriculate into their designated degree program, they have a primary adviser within their academic home and we support in a supplementary way the advising relationship, because not only do the students have to follow all the NC State rules and regulations, but there are also NCAA rules and that is where we work with the student advisors of the student athletes to make sure that our students understand all of the rules.
Dr. Pardue chairs the Faculty Athletic Council and Roby Sawyers chairs the Faculty Academic Committee of that council. They are the group that review the transcripts at least three times a year, so they look at every transcript and every degree audit of every student athlete. So, for a student athlete to remain eligible they must make progress toward degree and then they must meet certain benchmarks toward their degree program. At the end of their second year they must have successfully completed 40% toward their designated degree, so we have two issues. What is their designated degree? If they came in through the First Year College, they must matriculate prior to their fifth semester. That is something we educate our students on to make sure they know what the rules are. There are also GPA requirements, which are very similar to NC State’s continuing eligibility requirements. For a student athlete, NC State policy requires that once you have attempted 60 credit hours then a student must have a 2.0 GPA. The NCAA says after your second year, you need a 1.9 GPA, but almost all of our student athletes have attempted 60 credits hours going into their third year, so it’s a good thing if they hit the 2.0 GPA threshold a little early, which encourages them to be at or above the 2.0 GPA. Our students do have priority registration. They must meet with their adviser before they can register for classes. There are no exceptions to that and the course registration advising does happen with the appropriate adviser on campus. Our coaches do a reasonably good job making sure that their departure times are as late as possible and that their return times are as early as possible so our students don’t miss much class but some of the scheduling is completely outside of our control as the Atlantic Coast Conference determines who we play, what time we play, and when we play, so if there is a Thursday night game for example, students are going to miss classes so we try to minimize that as much as possible.
Support Component - The support component is the other big piece of what ASPSA does. We work to identify the risk factors that our student athletes are facing. As we know there are academic and non academic factors that impact a student’s path to graduation, so we do an analysis of what those factors are and then develop a support plan that we believe will help them be successful. That could mean meeting regularly with their academic coordinator. It would likely include structured academic time in the Case Academic Center where they have a set amount of time that they must complete each week. If they don’t that information is shared with the coaching staff. It also includes tutoring support. Our tutoring program is nationally certified by the College, Reading, and Learning Association, so our certification mirrors that of the University Tutorial Center on campus. Our tutors are recruited in the same way, hired in the same way, they have to meet the same standards and we spend a lot of time monitoring those tutor’s training, educating to help make sure that they are providing the support services in the right way for our student athletes.
We have 560 student athletes on campus. Many of them are among the best and brightest on our campus. Last spring, we had 381 scholar athletes who were recognized as having a 3.0 GPA or higher in the previous two terms with many valedictorians or top ten lists. So, there are many student athletes doing the right thing. But there is that group of student athletes that need a significant amount of academic support.
We worked last spring to put together a document, almost an executive summary of the processes that we have in place to serve as checks and balances. A few examples that I will share with you are:
Enrollment- Since 2001, we have been monitoring the percentage of athletes in every section of every class, and we have established an class roll limit of twenty five percent student athletes, so once registration, advising and monthly enrollment periods begin we get a daily report from registration and records that tells us what percentage of athletes is in every section and every class. If we identify classes where there are more than 25% student athletes, then we work with the student’s campus advisor to find an alternative. If we find a situation where we have a student athletes with more than 25% that are in a class with more than 25% student athletes and dropping that student would impact his or her path to graduation then we communicate with the department. We have been monitoring enrollment for a long time. In addition to the percentage of student athletes, we also look at the personalities and groupings of student athletes and there are times when we make adjustments based on those factors as well.
Another example of one of our processes that we have had in place for years is monitoring any grade changes that impact a student athlete’s transcript. If, for example, a student had an incomplete grade that posted during the term and it rendered them ineligible we would need to change their certification immediately and take them off the field of competition. If that student were to compete, we would have an NCAA violation and we don’t want that to happen.
The last thing I will highlight is our continuing eligibility review process. I have not found another school in the country that does the certification process in the same way that we do with the amount of faculty involvement. Dr. Art Cooper assisted in changing the way the eligibility process happened and shifted those responsibilities to the faculty academic committee members. The Provost leads the Provost Roundtable which is a monthly discussion that includes representatives from the Athletics Department including the Athletic Director, Faculty Athletic Representative, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, Dean of DASA and we talk very openly and candidly about what the issues are impacting our student athletes and troubleshoot.
Question and Comments
Do we monitor transfer credits from other schools?
Leger responded yes. She stated that the way that process works is there are initial eligibility, continuing eligibility, and transfer eligibility, so for any incoming prospective transfer student we ask our coaches to submit copies of whatever transcripts they have. We then work with the Office of Admissions and the student’s department to determine what classes are transferable and what courses will count toward degree. The Office of Admissions handles the determination of whether a course is transferable. We are also looking at the rigor of the student’s path to graduation, so the transfer rules are increasing in a very meaningful way. They have increased the transfer GPA from a 2.0 to a 2.5 and more significantly the NCAA allows only two PE credits to be included in that GPA calculation.
Do you also look for math and science courses as well?
Leger responded yes, two English transfer courses, a math, and entering this fall a science as well.
Is there a limit to the number of hours that the students can spend on athletics?
Leger responded yes, the NCAA says that our students can participate in no more than 20 hours on the field, in meetings, with a coach, so they are limited to that amount of time a week.
Does that include travel?
It does not include travel, but there are certain restrictions and they do have significant travel and our compliance office monitors that to make sure we are following all of those rules.
Are there frequently classes where there are more than 25% athletes?
Leger stated that it does happen, so one of the other things we look at carefully is the distribution of student athletes’ majors. It doesn’t come as a surprise that we have the highest percentage in Park Recreation and Tourism Management, given our student athletes interest and passion in those areas. We don’t see it often but we do see it on occasion.
Is there a correlation between the number of student athletes and the average grade in a course?
We have looked at that data over the years. Louis Hunt runs grade reports for courses with the highest percent of athletes, looking at GPA comparisons of the student athletes to the nonstudent athletes and the only course that was significantly higher was the CHEM 102 Lab. We do look at that on a regular basis to see if there is anything that stands out in a significant way.
How do you monitor students on a regular basis?
One of the ways that we try to monitor is we interact with our weakest students daily. We are constantly gathering feedback on how they are performing in their classes. We have a great working relationship with the Office of Student Conduct as well.
What is the definition of a student athlete?
We have 23 varsity sports and if they are on a roster (squad list) then they are considered a student athlete. I will also add the Board of Governors reporting requirements and we have done this for years that we are required to continue support to those students from our office even when they are injured, if they have an injury that ends their athletics career or if they are a former student athlete. In the 560 number that I referenced there are about 200 students who receive no athletic aid dollars, so they are what we refer to as walk-ons.
If you could change one thing with regards to the system here what would it be?
Leger responded that a challenge for student athletes would be the ability to transfer between majors. It is part of the reality that some of our student athletes are going to work incredibly hard and they are not going to achieve above a 3.0 or 2.75. We have right now a few student athletes who are above 2.0 or meeting and exceeding progress toward degree and they can’t find a major so that is challenging.
7. New Business
Resolution on Ombud
Senator Aspnes presented the resolution for first reading and noted that it is a work in progress.
A motion passed to accept the first reading of the resolution.
A motion passed to adjourn the meet at 4:35 p.m.