FACULTY SENATE MEETING
September 10, 2013
Present: Chair Zonderman, Immediate Past Chair Kellner, Secretary Daley, Provost Arden, Parliamentarian Weiner; Senators Aspnes, Bernhard, Bourham, Devetsikiotis, Edwards, Fleisher, Funkhouser, Heitmann, Holden, Knopp, Knowles, Krause, Laffitte, Lunardi, J. Moore, M. Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Penrose, Spontak, Sztajn, Tyler, Williams
Excused: Senators Ade, Aday, Allaire, Bartlett, Bird, Borden, Bradley, Marks, Morgado, Rucker
Absent: Senators Edwards. Fuentes, Lucia,
Guests: P.J. Teal, Chancellor’s Office; Marcia Gumpertz, OIED; Ian Kendrick, University Police; Betsy Brown, Provost Office; Meredith Davis, COD: Pat Spakes, University Planning and Analysis; Carrie Zelna, Office of Assessment; Jacob Majikes, Graduate Student/MSE; David Rainer, Environmental Health and Public Safety; David Hunt, Editor/News Services
1. Call to Order
Chair Zonderman called the second meeting of the sixtieth session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.
2. Introductory Remarks
Chair Zonderman continued his marks from the last session on the theme of engaged faculty and engaged Faculty Senate by thanking the senators for participating in the Faculty Senate meeting and for their work in committees.
Chair Zonderman stated that there are various committees around the university that require a Faculty Senate representative. Some are University Standing Committees and some are other committees. He has contacted each senator in the last month asking them to take on one of these liaison representative functions and he also urged them as the Faculty Senate rep on these committees to bring back to the Senate or committee any important issues that are discussed.
Chair Zonderman announced that the university is in the process of soliciting nominations for honorary degrees and the nominees do not have to be affiliated with the university.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 1, August 27, 2013
The minutes were approved as submitted.
4. Provost Remarks
Provost Arden reported that the US News and World Report came out today and it showed that NC State’s ranking has gone from 106 to 101 among all universities, public and private, which is good. The university is tied at 101 with eight other schools. Among publics NC State has gone from 52 to 49, which puts it back in the top fifty.
Provost Arden announced that NC State is also for the first time in its history rated in the top 10 up and coming universities.
Provost Arden stated that they have been putting a lot of effort into student success and noted that it is the number one goal on the strategic plan. He reported that our first and second year retention have hovered around 90 percent and two years ago when the strategic plan was released it was 89 percent. Last year the retention rate was 91% and this year we will be close to 93 percent, which is excellent movement over just two years.
Six-year Graduation Rate
Provost Arden reported that the six-year graduation rate tends to be a little bit of an industry standard. This looks at only first year, full time freshmen. Today it looks like we are going to come close to hitting 75 percent six year graduation rate. He stated that some of the things that we have done with enrollment and some of the things that faculty have done throughout the years are really starting to have a dramatic effect. The administration had set a 2020 goal of 80% six-year graduation rate, but if it continues at this rate that goal might be reached sooner.
Provost Arden reported that the details of budget cuts are due this Friday from all department heads and deans and noted that we are implementing a $23 million cut to try to get ahead of the second year of the biennium, so the average cuts to academic budgets will be about 3.25% and the non-academic will be 4.8 percent. The information is due in to Business and Finance by the end of the week and will be reviewed by GA at the beginning of October and by State Government by the beginning of November.
Provost Arden stated that going forward is a critical part of the discussion. The likelihood is that we are going to have at best, neutral budgets. If not, some further losses in state appropriations over the coming years and so to be able to account for that and to make sure that we are allocating our resources appropriately to our high strategic priorities such as student success, supporting our faculty, enhancing interdisciplinarity, we are going to have to think of some different ways of budgeting.
Provost Arden stated that he and Vice Chancellor Leffler are discussing how they can look at the next five years. This is a discussion that we all have to have about how we can take the resources that we have in a very rapidly changing resource environment and continue to make sure that our highest priorities are still taken care of; how to look after our students, how do we make sure that we can retain and recruit key faculty, how do we enhance our research infrastructure, these will be key issues that we need to face. We need to start thinking about this on a multi-year basis across units. Provost Arden stated that he will be having this discussion with the faculty multiple times over the coming months to get their input.
Provost Arden stated that the bright spot is when you look at the strategic initiatives that we have taken on and implemented in the last two years. What everyone has achieved on student success in the last few years has been during some of the toughest budget times in our history, so if you make the right moves and prioritize your resources and stay tightly focused on what it is you need to do, it is likely that we will continue to move NC State forward pretty quickly even during some tough budget times, but it will take everyone coming together and doing some critical thinking about how we are going to do business differently.
Questions and Discussion
Does the 3% cut for the upcoming five years mean there will be five more years with no raises?
Provost Arden stated that the 3 percent for five years is not locked down. That is one strategy that we may have to employ. If we get together and come up with alternative ways to arrange our resource priorities, that would lessen the need for doing that in any given year and if the state doesn’t hand us a budget cut, that would lessen the need for doing that in any given year. So the 3 percent for five years is not locked down and we probably would not do it for the agricultural budget because there is no point in centralizing those.
Provost Arden stated that he thinks we are going to end up with a blend of ways that we can rearrange our resource priorities and do some ongoing cutting.
Secondly, it is not linked at all to salary increases, it is a legislative decision with
- We are given the authority to give salary increases
- If we are given authority, which source of funds we are able to use
- Whether are not they fund them
Provost Arden stated that at the moment they have not funded us for salary increases, but we do have the legislative authority to do retentions and we have the authority to use multiple fund sources including state funds for doing that.
Provost Arden stated that he and Chancellor Woodson feel that this is one of the highest priorities to the university. We talk about recruiting and retaining faculty. We talk about faculty excellence, having a situation where we have had fairly minimum pay raises one year in five years is really tough.
Since our economics depend on the number of students that we admit, the assumption is that we are going to continue admitting the number of students that we are admitting now rather than cutting them back.
Provost Arden stated that we are continually evaluating and reevaluating our enrollment plan. He thinks the decision that was made a couple of years ago to scale back on our new freshmen enrollment was the right decision. It right sized the university and it also meant that there were more available resources for student FTE’s, particularly in the first couple of years, it took pressure off a lot of the programs particularly in CHASS, CALS, PAMS and we are starting to see the results of that. So it’s not just admitting a smaller, more competitive class, that is one factor, but the factor that you have almost 1100 less students in first and second year trying to get the classes that they need in the sequence that they need in overcrowded classes has a huge impact. We have to be careful not to undershoot our targets to the point where that becomes negative.
Provost Arden stated that we can withstand not growing new enrollment resources significantly, but he doesn’t want to be in a position where we are losing money from not meeting our targets.
Provost Arden added that the undergraduate enrollment is very easy to contract. We shot for 4200 new freshmen and he thinks we hit 4170 and made the difference up from new transfers. He stated that there are years that we come within a few students from our target and we feel very confident in setting targets for undergraduates and also that our targets are appropriate.
Provost Arden stated that the graduate side is tougher, because we can set overall university and college goals, but the availability of graduate student support plans, availability of TA ships, RA ships availability of federal funding all have an impact. There is an area that he is concerned about in our enrollment plan, it is not the plan, and it is our ability to meet our enrollment targets, particularly the doctoral side. The way the funding formula works is that we get funded roughly seven times the amount for a doctoral student in Engineering as we do for an undergraduate student in humanities.
5. QEP Update
Dr. Meredith Davis reported that the research that was done leading into the QEP shows that NC State students arrive feeling confident about their critical and creative thinking skills and they credit the university for improving those across the four years of the undergraduate program, but alumni (2.5 to 5 years out) are not so confident, so there is a reality check when they hit the work world.
Davis stated that they have consulted with a lot of groups. They have done one on one presentations in departments, met with leadership teams to try to get as much input as possible and they currently have a website up that is devoted to the QEP (qep.ncsu.edu) where you can go and get questions answered about the general plan.
Davis stated that a consultant came in from SACS to make sure they were articulating things in ways that matched the SACS expectations of the document that will be submitted in December. They have fashioned a focused statement and a series of six learning outcomes that addressed the interest in critical and creative thinking and have also looked at taxonomies that show the relationship between these two things, you can be critical without being creative but it’s very difficult to be creative without being critical. She said part of their task is to figure out how these get operationalized in a study and in the work of a classroom. They are especially interested in how students are reflecting on their own learning across time, so how do they see themselves as learners.
Davis stated that in Phase I, which is the first two years of the plan, they are going to intervene in three types of first year courses which are six sections of ENG 101, which has the highest percentage of first year students among all courses in the university, six sections of first year inquiry courses that are inquiry guided in their pedagogy, and then large lecture courses and since the first two deal with the Humanities, they tried to choose large lecture courses in the STEM discipline to get a good feel for how things might play out under those domains. This comes to just short of 800 students in the first year. That number is expected to double in the second year, so that the total population being served is near 2400 students in two years.
Davis stated that they will be doing pre and post assessment in the class compared to a 2013 baseline that has already started. We are using the critical thinking assessment task, which is a scenario based task so as not to have this kind of yes or no answering. We have a scenario played out and students think their way through critical thinking activities within that scenario.
Davis stated that the project is NSF funded and it is facilitated by Tennessee Tech for whom this is a research project, so they are also collecting data and will help us with any additional questions we want to ask of that data.
Davis stated that they are going to develop a common activity that is customized to the course, but have a common rubric for scoring and we are using Metacognitive Awareness Inventory and Epistemological Belief Survey that will assess how students are thinking about their thinking, and those are paired in the administration with the CAT test for about one hour of testing.
The faculty will do some self-assessment on how they feel about participating in this.
Davis stated that after two years they will have a Phase II series of questions to see what happens in those courses and why does it happen in terms of the pedagogy and the curriculum. We want to know if there are differences in student learning between small and large sections of classes. We are interested in how well the strategies that faculty use serve the various disciplines. We want to know student learning and its relationship to major versus general education courses, one versus multiple exposures to this kind of pedagogy, and the difference between one and two credit courses versus three credit courses. What changes do faculty members report as changing in their teaching? At that point we will decide how to proceed for the remaining three years.
This is a faculty driven exercise and the faculty participating will receive a $2500 stipend. It will be led by a QEP Director who is selected from the faculty, and five faculty fellows who will design the faculty development experience and those individuals will receive a one course release each semester along with a $5,000 stipend. We see the faculty development as involving self-directed activities during the spring semester perceiving their engagement on issues of critical and creative thinking and particularly teaching those to first year students who have a slightly different challenge presented than the students who are at the upper level. Then there will be an intensive workshop between the end of the semester and the start of the summer session so that it doesn’t influence faculty’s ability to teach summer courses. They will continue to work on reframing their pedagogy over the summer, meet at the end of the summer before the fall semester begins and then move into the fall semester. Currently it is a fall only project.
Davis stated that the full document is online and they are asking for comments by October 15th. They are working toward a December submission and welcome any comments that the faculty might have.
Questions and Discussion
Who will be teaching the Phase I classes?
Davis stated that the classes will be taught by faculty. The English 101 classes will be largely taught by non tenure-track faculty, but they are looking for experienced faculty in those cases. They have consulted with deans to see who might be appropriate for teaching the large lecture classes.
Will students be limited to just one of the intervention courses, because you could have someone in the College of Sciences intro and in English 101?
Davis stated that they are hoping for that, because it would enable them to track these students in terms of the outcomes on the assessments that are being used and they will be able see if a student who has been in multiple courses performs differently than a student who has been in only one course.
A motion was made and seconded to support the QEP plan. The motion passed with unanimous consent.
6. Concealed Carry Law
Captain Ian Kendrick from University Police Department stated that they tried to make the Legislature aware of the concerns from the university campuses about fire arms being allowed on campus. We presented what we had as a unified group from the General Administration’s perspective and unfortunately it did not go the way we wanted it to go. Now we are left with the changes as it pertains to the law governing concealed carry in North Carolina. The law relates to those with concealed carry permits and those people who have gone through some state training force to carry a concealed firearm, which only applies to handguns.
Captain Kendrick stated that as it pertains to this university and other public universities across the state a concealed carry permit holder will now be able to bring their hand gun onto state owned university campuses (parking lots and parking decks) and leave it in their locked vehicle inside of a closed container. What is a closed container? In discussions with the DA in Wake County, a closed container they are reading as your glove compartment or under your center arm rest. It does not mean stuffed under your seat or somewhere else that is not secure.
Some questions have come up with students as to, do I have to come on the campus with it already in my closed container or can I come onto campus with it on my hip concealed, I park in a parking lot, and get out, do I put it in my trunk, my arm rest or my glove compartment? Kendrick stated that the DA’s office is somewhat at a loss because this is going to be completely untested until a situation arises where it actually puts the law to a test.
The DA’s guidance thus far for Wake County is this: They are reading it as it already has to be in a closed container when it enters onto university property, so it has to already be in a secure location. It cannot be on your hip. Realistically we are going to encounter something like that scenario here at this university, because we do have students, faculty, and staff members who do have concealed permits. We are here to educate people as much as possible about this law when it takes effect, and answer any questions. This law does not take effect until October 1st of this year, so any fire arms on campus whether in a closed vehicle or not is a violation of the law and will be dealt with accordingly.
Kendrick stated that some other changes that may apply to us down the road particularly as it pertains to Centennial Campus and any development that they have planned there, is this also allows concealed carry holders to enter into establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed, but to the credit of our concealed carrier permit holders, they are very responsible on the with regards to their rights to carry firearms and they do so responsibly. We want to make our legislature aware that we understand their rights, but at a university setting and in settings where alcohol is sold and consumed, the potential for disaster exists. So, that is yet to be determined on this university and how it’s going to apply with future development here. This is a work in progress.
Kendrick stated that another issue that may apply to us is that concealed permit holders can now carry their concealed handguns at parades and other gatherings. Any violation received and the university’s Police Department is going to be investigated as a potential crime and if it turns out not to be, then everyone can go on about their business.
There are some other provisions, one of which takes away the authority of local governments to restrict permit holders from carrying their handguns on greenways and parks. The university does have green ways that run through campus, but since we are not a local government entity, that exemption doesn’t apply to us so as soon as they leave the City of Raleigh’s property on green way and transition onto university property, they are now considered in violation of law, because they have now just brought a firearm onto campus.
Questions and Discussion
Does Pullen Road constitute university property?
Kendrick stated from our perspective as long as they are not stopping, getting out or conducting any business or anything and they are just passing through we don’t have a problem with that because we know that they are not here to cause any harm. They are just trying to get from point A to point B. The problem that we run into is where people have gone into parking decks and have gone and conducted business at the university or on Hillsborough Street and they brought their firearm in the car and have left it parked, so from our perspective that would be a violation of the current law as it stands.
When the law takes effect, how will it work on Centennial Campus where you have Lake Raleigh and a greenway?
Kendrick stated that the university has done a pretty good job of identifying itself. A person has to know where they can go when they have a firearm. Concealed carry permit holders do have some responsibility to know exactly where they are going with their firearm and where they can and cannot have it.
Will you clarify what you said about places where alcohol is consumed? When these places are built will people be allowed to bring concealed weapons into these places?
Kendrick stated that he doesn’t know how that is going to play out because he doesn’t think the plans for Centennial Campus have been completely finalized. He stated that it definitely haven’t gone into construction. At least one ideation of the plans for Centennial is to have some retail space, restaurants, etc. When the Legislature passed these revisions they didn’t necessarily take into the account that as the universities grow and expand and have these public private partnerships that it may end up bringing in private partners who set up shop and if one of their businesses is a restaurant that serves alcohol, how do we need to address it, so it’s a work in progress where we need to work with our Legislature and our District Attorney to figure out what is the best way to educate and inform people about what they can and can’t do.
Kendrick stated that this is one of those things where the court is ultimately going to have to weigh in on, because there is going to be a court case in North Carolina soon after this takes effect that is going to challenge one or more portions of the law. This is going to be one of those issues that will baffle people for a while and there will almost certainly be some significant case law that comes out of incidents after this takes effect.
Can a concealed carrier carry a weapon in their trunk while they are on campus?
Kendrick responded no, concealed carry permits only apply to handguns and handguns are designed as weapons that can only be fired with the hand. Any other type of gun would be a violation as having a fire arm on campus. This law is only for concealed carry permits.
How do I go about getting a permit?
Kendrick stated that to get a permit you have to actually take a concealed carry class which is at minimum an eight hour class. Most of the ones they teach are at least sixteen hours. Background checks are also a part of the application process.
7. Issues for 2013-2014 Faculty Senate
Results of the Survey of Faculty Senators
Chair Zonderman reported that the results of the survey were very obvious. There were four issues that rose to the top, which were budget cuts and strategic plans, distance education, enrollment planning and student academic success.
- Budget cuts may be the topic for the fall general faculty meeting since this is an issue that most of our colleagues are concern about.
- Distance Education has been one that we have discussed as a possible topic for a General Faculty meeting. A number of senators have stated that they would like for this to be a topic at one of our General Faculty meetings to have a campus wide discussion of where we go in the future of distance education.
- Duane Larick will be attending the next Faculty Senate meeting where he will talk about enrollment planning.
- Student Academic Success: Provost Arden referenced that Mike Mullen has talked a lot about this topic and he will likely be presenting to the Senate later in the semester. In fact, he has some ideas of early intervention for students, particularly first and second year students that may be in academic trouble and how to link that between faculty in the classroom and student advisers.
All four of the issues will be pursued this year in Senate meetings or in committee.
8. Old/New Business
Live Streaming of Faculty Senate Meetings
There was a discussion on the proposal to live stream faculty senate meetings that included a variety of opinions. Provost Arden suggested that it may be worthwhile to think about installing a camera system in the new Senate Chambers that is being built in the Student Center.
Next Faculty Senate Meeting
Enrollment Planning – Duane Larick, Senior Vice Provost
The senators posed the following questions and concerns for Duane Larick to address at the next meeting.
1) Four-year versus transfer students and how we are going to ease the transition of our transfer students to make sure they are successful.
2) How do you improve the success of prerequisite intensive majors like Engineering and Physical Sciences if students are coming in without the correct level of courses?
3) How are we going to balance the year to year variation around the plan?
4) With regard to transfer students, how do you make sure that they have sufficient quality education, so that we know that they will be successful?
5) How are we going to grow PhD enrollment if the system is set up to encourage the faculty to hire post docs instead?
6) How does this planning affect international students (both undergraduate and graduate) in general?
7) How do the first two years of the new enrollment management plan focus on underrepresented students?
8) What is the broad strategy for increasing these PhD numbers?
9) There is concern about the increase in enrollment and how it relates to the faculty that is supposed to be teaching these students, because if you don’t have the faculty it doesn’t matter if you have a lot of students.
10) Federal funding for graduate education gets harder and harder, so how do we address those issues in the growing graduate enrollment?
SCOTUS “Fisher” Decision, Eileen
1) Will we become less diverse as we become more selective and attract more highly qualified students?
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:35 p.m.