NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
GENERAL FACULTY MEETING
AUGUST 18, 1998
1. Welcome and Opening Remarks
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by George H. Wahl, Jr., Chair of the Faculty.
Chair Wahl welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chair Wahl recognized members of the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government, and the Board of Trustees with a round of applause.
2. Approval of Minutes, April 2, 1998, General Faculty Meeting
The minutes were approved without dissent
3. Introduction of Chancellor Fox
Chair Wahl introduced Chancellor Marye Anne Fox as the twelfth Chancellor of NC State University.
Chancellor Fox was received with a standing round of applause.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor "A Vision for the Future of NC State University"
" It is with sincere thanks, eager anticipation, and determined resolve that I stand before you as your new Chancellor. I am sincerely flattered to have been chosen as the person to assemble the team that will lead this great institution into the twenty-first century. I feel great empathy with the late Barbara Jordan, my friend and colleague from Texas, who in the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1976 noted that her presence there was "one additional piece of evidence that the American Dream need not forever be deferred." Being your Chancellor is a responsibility I take seriously, and I pledge wholeheartedly to invest my best effort in providing the leadership that will allow this institution not only to fulfill its potential, but also to be recognized for this achievement.
Any success in my own life derives from the opportunity made available to me through higher education. The most serious obligation I have embraced as your Chancellor is a determination to assure that NC State is a place where a new world of possibilities are opened for our students, as it was for me. My vision sees NC State University as a place where individuals are inspired, and their lives transformed by their education--a place where teaching and learning flourish. This vision is full accord with the best traditions and practical approaches of the land grant concept. Our university can sustain programs that value the individual, foster freedom and responsibility, encourage partnerships, anticipate issues in society and focus on their solution, integrate teaching with research and extension, and nurture discovery. As we do so, our graduates emerge armed with the scientific, technical, and communication skills that will position them as the next century's innovators and leaders. Teams of our graduates will leave this institution confident and enthusiastic, their lives having been enriched by the NC State experience, as they guide this state, and this nation, to an ever better quality of life.
That vision requires renewed dedication to achieving excellence, teamwork, and integrity in all of our undertakings. Key to any success is a focus on students: our students are the raison d'être for the rest of the university community. Last week, on my first working day as Chancellor, I asked the deans and vice chancellors to remind themselves of that reality each day. I proposed that each morning they ask themselves what they intended to do that day to improve the lives of students and to foster learning and, if the answer were at all ambiguous, to go back to bed and try again. I want to extend that same challenge to the faculty and staff as well.
Student learning is best accomplished through strong interactions among students and faculty, who in turn work in an environment facilitated by staff. We cannot overemphasize the importance of quality teaching and mentoring. Empowering our faculty to innovate and to contribute to key campus decisions is vitally important to the success of our mission. As Dwight Eisenhower so elegantly stated some forty years ago upon his induction as President of Columbia University, "the faculty are the university." My husband and I are pleased to join that faculty and we come fully committed to the academic values that a faculty appointment implies. I pledge my full support for the faculty as they direct the intellectual growth of the institution, and ask for their active participation in university governance.
At the same time, I acknowledge, and celebrate, the vital work done day in and day out by staff. Without them, an organization as complex as this university could not function. I recognize as a serious compact the importance of including staff concerns in strategic planning and providing staff with the full range of support necessary for them to do their jobs and to advance in their careers. I particularly honor the work done in the field in our extension staff: that group brings the best of our research to the people of North Carolina in so many admirable ways. They are particularly important in fulfilling the commitments to the people of this state that were made so long ago when, as a land grant institution we accepted the challenge of working to solve real problems. And that unique commitment to problem-solving is now a continuing hallmark of all of our academic and service programs.
Our challenge is to maintain NC State's unique niche by focusing on science, engineering, and technology, while incorporating superb complementary work in design, management, the humanities, and social sciences that focuses on the social implications of science and technology. It is quite apparent, for example, that ethics and public policy are as important in solving problems associated with waste management as are chemistry or civil engineering. We need to develop coordinated teams that bring these social insights toward the problem-solving endeavors that we undertake on such complex issues.
In May, I met with the deans and vice chancellors to consider choices among actions that might move us to the next level. Together, we identified three areas: 1) building our campus community; 2) promoting partnerships; and 3) adopting a business model that works. I want to share with you today some thoughts on each of these directions. I have generally chosen to describe targets and strategies rather than to mention specific programs that we will initiate to achieve these goals. But, I assure you that there will be a defined focus or program coordinated with each of these targets.
Building Our Campus Community
The quality of the college experience is a vital component of every American student's life, and a supportive work environment is a key feature in developing the careers of our best faculty and staff. NC State must be vigilant in providing an infrastructure that supports the aspirations of all members of the campus family. We must be nurturing and welcoming, doing all within our power to assure student success for all students judged worthy of admission. And we must provide a reward structure for faculty and staff who excel in helping us achieve our accepted goals. This means a full range of services: maintaining a beautiful, accessible, and safe campus; encouraging superb student and employee advising, mentoring, and training; providing adequate financial support for all needy students and appropriate compensation for all employees; recruiting and retaining faculty and staff who can best team to achieve our goals; and offering appropriately sized classes at well-equipped places and on a schedule that optimizes the chance of student success. We hope, in fact, to involve the talented students and faculty from our School of Design in developing plans for simultaneously achieving these objectives.
A top quality campus also provides an extracurricular life that fosters development of the whole person. Yes, it does mean a winning intercollegiate athletics program, but it also means access to the whole range of student services, including intramural sports, the arts, and stimulating intellectual pursuits complementary to class work.
The quality of campus life also demands stimulating peers, and our success across our entire range of pursuits depends directly on our ability to attract the very best available people: outstanding students and faculty, world class entrepreneurs and coaches, dedicated extension personnel and administrators. Our program of merit scholarships is, to my knowledge, unexcelled anywhere in the country, and the opportunities afforded our Park, Caldwell, and multidisciplinary scholars' programs, as well as others participating in our honors programs, can truly change our students' lives. A successful completion of the Campaign for NC State Students will permit us to extend these programs further. We also assign high priority to being able to offer a guarantee that the financial stress of attending college will not be an insuperable barrier to any qualified student. Our legislative efforts for assistance with graduate student tuition are equally important for the future of our research collaborations.
As a female chemist, I am a member of an under-represented group, and I am passionate about the need for our campus to be inclusive and welcoming to all. Providing access and opportunity to all qualified students who, irrespective of race, gender, religion, or geographic origin, can best take advantage of an institution's strengths is a hallmark of the nation's best colleges and universities. In the last three decades, we have made many advances in making higher education fully inclusive. The entire NC State campus community is enlivened by a rich mix of peoples. We must continue to assign high priority to enhancing access to all, both because of our institutional commitment to principled social justice and from a recognition of the positive influence of our nation's pluralism. Indeed, until we have a system that provides a truly even playing field for educational access to majority and minority groups, to urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods, and to students inside and outside of North Carolina, we have a moral obligation to provide access and services that will help all groups of students to succeed at the university level.
Industrial recruiters tell us that they select a small number of quality schools as recruiting targets, with diversity of the student body being one selection requirement. They also tell us that they seek graduates who can lead people of different backgrounds to common goals. So diligent efforts in improving access and opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff benefit the entire NC State family. But diversity means more than demographics. It also means promoting intellectual diversity across traditional academic boundaries on issues of global importance. It means that our students will have specific experience and skills in writing and speaking across the curriculum and will understand the ethical bounds of their chosen profession. Easily responding to emerging interdisciplinary opportunities that represent new intellectual thrusts is a distinguishing characteristic of a leading university like NC State. In some areas, cross-departmental and cross-college planning is essential. Some examples that require our strengths are: research at the interface of biology with other disciplines (as, for example, in genomic science); the conjunction of materials science and manufacturing; the burgeoning areas of communications / networking / information technology; and the modeling of complex systems (as, for example, in environmental science).
We must devise efficient means by which our degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels can reflect the breadth of the experience of our student participants. NC State has sometimes been criticized as being a collection of very loosely affiliated colleges. If we are to become a national leader in interdisciplinary studies we must accept that only by working together to build the university can we hope to be recognized as more than the sum of our collegiate parts.
Achieving our desired goals for an improved campus life is predicated on a flexibility and adaptability that exceeds that of our peer institutions. This, in turn, means that we must explore non-traditional alliances with business and industry, with state and national government, with governmental agencies and private foundations, with K-12 schools and community colleges, with peer research-intensive universities both in the Triangle and outside. This implies earned trust and a strong future orientation consistent with long-term commitments to the partnership.
High-tech industries realize how essential qualified people are to their continued success, and they frequently stand ready to work with us. It is the problem-solving skills of our students that make them so attractive. The alliances taking place today on the Centennial Campus are a national paradigm for economic development partnerships, where technology transfer and the growth of human resources flourish. The recent establishment of Centennial Venture Partners, a $10 M venture capital fund supported by NC State foundations and endowment, will ease the difficult transformation of basic research idea to marketable product. An important challenge is developing the information technology infrastructure that supports innovative on-and-off campus access while providing the professional certification and/or degree programs that our best partners so drastically want for their employees.
We are particularly proud of the recent partnering agreement with the Wake County public schools to establish on the Centennial Campus a research-focused, model middle school, superbly designed to accommodate state-of-the-art hands-on learning in science and mathematics. Social science research tells us that the decision to pursue a technical degree is made by American children between the ages 12 and 14. Since this is the target age of the enrolled students, this facility will not only improve our state's scientific literacy but will also give us ultimately an expanded applicant pool from which we can recruit a diverse array of talented students.
I also want to work in partnering more effectively with our alumni, who can assist us in recruiting, mentoring, placing our students in internships and coops, and supporting worthy programs. Alumni are probably our best ambassadors in telling the NC State story. Because partnerships go two ways, we should also include alumni prominently in our planning for distance-delivered lifetime learning programs. The construction of a new on-campus Alumni Center would be a great first step toward welcoming these members of our campus family back home.
Partnering is not limited to academic pursuits. We are determined that the partnering arrangements we have entered with the Centennial Authority for the construction of a superb arena for intercollegiate basketball and for commencement exercises will succeed. In many ways, that partnership provides the same kind of leverage and the same enhancement of student life as do our other partnering arrangements. We are also confident that the new arena will aid in recruiting top athletes to our programs and will reflect our Wolf Pack pride.
Such a broad array of partnering arrangements also amplifies our educational goal. They support knowledge-based economic and community development, foster life-long learning, provide experience with inter-sector cooperation and teamwork, and graphically illustrate the importance of global job skills.
Adopting a Business Model That Works
Our experience in partnering with the private sector convinces us that our services must be delivered "better, faster, and cheaper." In order to embrace continual improvement as a management principle, we will need to benchmark our procedures against best practices among our peer institutions and learn to set quantifiable goals to measure our progress. We will accept enthusiastically the concept of performance-based decision making and will forge compacts with the various academic units that relate performance goals to budgetary decisions. These compacts will allow us, for the first time, to relate budget decisions to successful strategic planning.
Our adoption of People Soft as a unifying data handling system provides one example of improved service delivery. We anticipate that this software will allow for enhanced information transfer inside and outside the university, and will facilitate specific needs like on-line admissions and business communication.
Among the additional targets for this improved business model are: strategies for enrollment management, quality of teaching and mentoring by tenured and tenure-track faculty, professional growth through post-tenure review, productivity and innovation in research, allocation of space, reliable and equitable support for graduate students, shorter response time in business service delivery, increased graduation rates, and reduction in time-to-degree. To be sure that we are making progress, we must set goals and hold ourselves accountable. How best to accomplish these assessments, and to integrate the results into our planning activities, will be a focus of this year's discussions. We will also focus on a means for arriving at the best mix of on-and-off campus education delivered through electronic and personal interactions, an approach likely to require significant investment both in information technology hardware and in support personnel.
It is estimated that population growth in North Carolina will likely require her system of higher education to accommodate more than a 20% increase in the number of students seeking post-secondary education within ten years. Our aspirations to national stature in our areas of expertise will put even further pressure on total enrollment. Today's university leaders must step out of current paradigms and innovate if we are to convince our patrons in the state legislature and in the private sector that we are delivering value to justify the support they give us. Not only must we actually deliver top-quality services efficiently, but we must make it clear to our constituent groups that we are doing so.
Telling the NC State Story
Last Saturday the father of one of our new freshmen told me that he thought NC State was one of higher education's best kept secrets. But it's no longer appropriate to keep that secret. How can we best tell NC State's story? Must we remind the entire state that this great institution is not (and probably never was) what some disparagingly call a "cow college?" How can we best remove the bushel basket from our candle and let it shine? Are we fooling ourselves in thinking that our recognition as one of the nation's finest science, engineering, and technology institutions is within reach?
America faces a new deficit, one that only institutions like NC State can address. The US Department of Commerce estimates that over a million new technically trained workers are needed before 2005. In addition, over the same period, the nation needs about two million additional teachers, with the greatest deficiency being among those qualified in science and mathematics. There are those in other professions who may call our students, those who graduate with a sophisticated technical education and scientific expertise, "geeks." But if the statistics hold out, these same people will soon be calling them "boss." Just ask any number of NC State graduates, like Jim Goodnight or Wendell Murphy. In fact, science, engineering, and technology, broadly conceived to include management and its social implications, are the future of this nation.
Perhaps we need to convince ourselves first. NC State is North Carolina's leader in science, engineering, and technology. I repeat: NC State is North Carolina's leader in science, engineering, and technology. Many in our community fail to step back and realize how strong we are. Because NC State's expertise is in precisely the areas that represent the most exciting opportunities for the next century, NC State students already work at the absolute forefront in providing a workforce capable of assuming this leadership. We already produce graduates ready to take discoveries in science and engineering from the basic research lab through commercial application. Our students already understand the social consequences of their work, and their highly successful careers of our graduate speak volumes about the quality of our programs. But NC State must be recognized nationally as the lead institution in the state that can bring its unique strengths to the workforce needs of the next century, and we must do a better job in convincing our students of the need to affirm their excellence.
Many people are pleasantly surprised, maybe even shocked, to learn how strong NC State is already. The student/faculty ratio here is two-thirds what it is at the University of California at Davis. That means that, on average, our faculty, spend a lot more time with each student. We have more members of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences on our faculty than does the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Total sponsored R&D funding expended by NC State faculty is 20% higher than the University of Florida, including expenditures for their medical school. The amount of research support per faculty member is higher here than my former home institution, the University of Texas at Austin, and income from technology transfer licensing fees at NC State in FY 96 was more than twice that at UT-Austin, an institution that is twice as big.
There are more engineering graduate students here than at the University of Minnesota. Our incoming freshman class has a 60-point higher average SAT score than does Purdue. The fraction of our incoming students who rank in the top 10 percent of their class is 43% higher than at Michigan State. The library here has a third more volumes than does Georgia Tech. per student, the expenditures for the library are twice what Texas A&M invests. The number of African American undergraduate students here, by percentage, is three times higher than the University of California at Davis.
NC State's in-state tuition is more than 20 percent lower than at the University of Texas at Austin, which is rated every year as one of the nation's best values. The giving rate of our alumni, reflecting their satisfaction with their academic experience, is almost 50 percent higher than at the University of California at Berkeley.
James B. Conant, science advisor to Presidents and a former president of Harvard, once said that the mark of an educated person is the ability to "cope with books yet to be written and with science yet to discovered." That seems to me an apt description of an NC State graduate. If I did not wholeheartedly believe the NC State story, and if I were not so strongly committed to telling it, I would not be standing before you as your Chancellor.
Please join with me in spreading the word. The message is really quite simple. Science, engineering, and technology are the future. NC State is North Carolina's leader in science, engineering, and technology. If we build a strong campus community, embrace new concepts of partnering, and convince our supporters that our services are delivered efficiently and with a focus on performance, we will move to the next level beyond excellence. Indeed, greatness is within our grasp."
Questions and Answers
Dr.Gehringer from Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science stated that the greatest growth in their engineering off-campus graduate programs have come from out of state students. Yet, the recent budget passed by the Legislature requires a 72 to 106% tuition increase against those students. Do we need to work against this? Do we need to overcome this? Do we need to be competitive in the race for out of state students in Engineering just as we do for in state students?
Chancellor Fox responded yes to each of his questions. She stated that the bills pending in the Legislature for tuition remission has a very good chance of succeeding in this legislative session and if not, they will be very high priority not only for our institution, but for the whole UNC General Assembly.
Tim from the Technician wanted to know Chancellor Foxs view on privatization.
Chancellor Fox stated that her view on privatization is that it should be undertaken whenever cost can be delivered at significantly lower cost without affecting the mission of the university. She noted that both factors would have to be successfully adopted. She said if it can be done less expensively in such a way that we preserve the quality of our campus life and maintain service delivery, then I am all for privatization. When those conditions are not met, we should deliver services as we can through more traditional means.
The question was asked if salary raises for faculty would be used to support the arena.
Chancellor Fox responded that the Centennial Arena is one means by which we can partner. The financing for the arena is completely separate from academic funding sources. It was entirely from private donations and from the Wolf Pack Pride campaign that the original monies were brought to the floor. The cost overrun that we face now has to be considered in context. The Centennial Authority is a governmental body constructed for providing efficient management service of this facility. We believe that in partnering with the Carolina Hurricanes, we can come up with a better business model for using that facility. You can count the number of mens basketball games, the number of commencement events one has and you will find that the number is a lot less than 365. What that means is that if we can find a partner who uses the remainder of the time and can talk about proportional support for the arena, we achieve the best of the partnering. Chancellor Fox thinks the Centennial Arena that is being built is a great facility. She feels it will improve the quality of life, not only for our students, but for the area as well. It is a wonderful example of a partnership when we have a management structure in place that takes advantage of that partnership. It will be a terrific facility and we believe that the revenue structure will allow us to use the revenue flow from that structure with no additional cost from academic programs to make sure that facility is built.
Steve Martin from Business Management stated that the American Chemical Society this year reported salaries for a Ph.D. in Chemistry as $56, 700, government $72,800 and industry $80,000. He wanted to know how we are going to compete with them.
Chancellor Foxs responded that we are going to come up with an argument that convinces our General Assembly that we are using the resources that we are given wisely. We are going to make an argument about being creative in terms of using support structure, information technology, delivery services in conjunction with the hiring of our faculty to move forward. Salaries are the key means by which a reward structure is implemented and it is important not only for faculty, but also important for staff and, in terms of student financial aid. We have to examine the support base for the entire university to address these questions.
Andrea Atkin wanted to know what Chancellor Fox plans to do about affirmative action.
Chancellor Fox noted that she was an Executive Officer at the University of Texas which was one of the institutions that was targeted particularly for its affirmative action program. The lessons that she learned at Texas was that focusing entirely on admissions and financial aid is a completely insufficient means of controlling and developing growth in diversity and characteristics of ones student population. If you focus only on admissions and financial aid without worrying about preparation success and aggressive recruiting, then the resources that are necessary in order to move students along are huge. She stated that what we have found is that in addition to focusing on admissions and financial aid we have to couple that with aggressive recruiting, and strong interaction with the public school so that there is a pool from which we can aggressively recruit and the interactions with the school, in fact, have to start all the way back to about the sixth grade. Simultaneously once we admit students, we have to do everything to assure students success so that when a student is admitted, there is every indication that the student should be able to succeed in our programs. With an investment in retention, tutoring services, financial aid that allows that student to concentrate on his or her program, it is possible that the student is going to be converted to an alumni. The alumni will go back into the community, come over to work with the quality of public schools and the whole cycle will be completed. She stated that affirmative action has been misconstrued. It is a word which is interpreted in many different ways, by many people.
Chancellor Fox stated that she prefers to talk about access and opportunity. She stated that she is sure the access and opportunity to our unique and very strong programs is available to all and that means in terms they are ready to succeed.
Brenda Allen from Textiles wanted to know what Chancellor Foxs vision and strategies are for improving race relations on campus.
Chancellor Fox responded that the principle means that she has found successful in improving race relationships on campus is for all students to have the ability and the conviction that they can succeed. It means to have a sufficiently broad distribution of people so that mixing can occur without conflict. She noted that America is a place where there are racial problems and to deny that is turning ones back on reality. As long as we provide an environment on campus and promulgate policies that are supportive of positive interaction between the races, sexes, origins, etc. then of course the mix enlivens all of us. She stated that all she can do is pledge that it will be a high priority and that our judiciary system will work with us when violations occur and that they are handled as expeditiously as possible.
A faculty member from Textiles Engineering wanted to know Chancellor Foxs views on the faculty and how that relates to student success.
Chancellor Fox responded that the same criteria with the exception of Admissions and Financial Aid pertain to students as well. She said also have an obligation in terms of our graduate student body to make sure that we are inclusive because only if we have as part of a national structure of producing under represented groups and appropriate numbers, we will have a pool from which our faculty can be recruited. It is extremely important that the same advantages that I mentioned with respect to students be recognized for both faculty and staff as well.
Jim Martin, a faculty member from the department of chemistry asked if we can see beyond the short sighted quarterly model to make sure we keep the basic science, learning, and scholarship as front and centered in spite of the business model.
Chancellor Fox stated that she referred several times in her remarks that the importance of basic science is the foundation for every thing that we do. The business model that she is referring to is not going to be something that is imposed. It will be something in which the faculty establish goals, benchmark themselves against those goals where the selection of which activities you wish to undertake are made with respect to the directions that a particular department or college wants to grow. In fact, it may be an interdisciplinary goal to involve faculty across disciplines and develop a revenue stream either within the university or outside to make that possible. She stated that she is talking about allowing budgetary decisions to be correlated with performance and encouraging the faculty to participate in that goal setting so that there is clarity and that we can efficiently go forward toward whatever goals they believe are important. She noted that she would be very disappointed if they did not include a very strong emphasis on basic research.
Chancellor Fox was asked by a student what steps or programs she feels need to be implemented where students, faculty, and staff will feel safe on campus.
Chancellor Fox responded that she is very satisfied that we have an aggressive recruiting and training program for our on campus officers. She believes that NC State has a wonderful high quality staff in its safety operation. We will continue to expand those resources. We have started a much stronger interaction with community groups, particularly with Public Safety and both with the city and Wake County and to the extent that that develops and that agreements for collaboration for safety in areas on and off campus, she thinks that will enhance our on campus safety activities.
Chancellor Fox thanked everyone for attending. She received a standing round of applause.
The meeting adjourned.