NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
GENERAL FACULTY MEETING
November 1, 1999
"Timeless Values for Continuum and Change in the Development of NC State"
1. Welcome and Opening Remarks
The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Frederick T. Corbin, Chair of the Faculty.
Chair Corbin welcomed everyone to the meeting and recognized members of last year’s and this year’s Faculty Senate.
2. Approval of the Minutes, of the May 4, 1999 General Faculty Meeting
Secretary Carter moved approval of the minutes.
The motion was seconded and passed without dissent to approve the minutes of the May 4, 1999 General Faculty Meeting.
3. Remarks from the Chancellor "Timeless Values for the Future of NC State"
Since last fall when I first spoke to a meeting of the Faculty of NC State University, some new faces have appeared and many things have changed on campus. But at the same time our core values persist, as is implicit in the title of this talk, which was suggested to me by your chair, Professor Fred Corbin. As has been true from its earliest days, the NC State campus community strongly values individuals who can anticipate and respond to the emerging needs of our society, who are competent, capable, innovative, and socially responsible. We are a group who collectively embrace diversity, strive continually for excellence, value cooperation and teamwork, and seek to live our lives as active learners. We seek to attain here an environment that allows all students to flourish and to develop into leaders for our rapidly changing society, as we contribute to the shared pool of basic knowledge that connects us with university faculty around the world and with the public we serve.
There is much evidence that the last academic year has brought significant progress. Through broad campus discussions, we have adopted three University-wide goals:
1) promoting demographic and intellectual diversity;
2) fostering partnerships with federal, state, and local government, with
the local schools, and with the private sector; and
3) building an efficient business model for the University.
Toward the first goal, a University-wide task force on diversity has been established. It focuses on campus climate, curricula that promote diversity, student success, and cultural awareness/acceptance. We have undertaken a reorganization of University support for diversity, centralizing responsibilities for equal employment opportunity, gender equity, and minority access and success within one administrative arm. We have developed a new scholarship program (Chancellor's Leadership Awards) which values diversity and enhances our efforts to reach under- represented groups without race-based set-asides, and have called upon the African American Community Advisory Council to continue their active engagement in University issues. Our student body includes more than 10% minority groups, a number we seek to increase by aggressive recruiting for prospective students who can benefit from our special brand of college education. We will also emphasize steps taken toward improving student success and satisfaction. For example, a series of small group freshman seminars have been initiated in Fall 1999 and special learning-centered study skills sections are being offered for new students through several colleges, most prominently through the First Year College.
Our efforts in recruiting the best graduate and undergraduate students have been greatly aided by the success of our Campaign for NC State Students and the Graduate Support Plan and by our signature merit scholarships, namely, the Park and Caldwell Scholars Programs. We have now completed the recruiting and admission of our fourth class of Park Scholars and will begin graduating these talented students this spring. At steady state, we expect to support about 240 students as Park Scholars and 80 students as Caldwell Scholars.
Our graduates continue to be highly recruited, in many cases to positions where starting salaries exceed those paid to their NC State professors. In addition, one of our students last year was selected to a nationally competitive graduate fellowship, and for the third consecutive year, NC
State had 3 student-athletes named as Atlantic Coast Conference Postgraduate Scholarship Winners. NC State is the only ACC school to have the maximum number of winners for all three years. Over 200 student-athletes earned a 3.0 or better in the Fall 1998 semester and 190 earned a 3.0 or better in the Spring 1999 semester. Six student-athletes were named Academic All-Americans, and in the latest NCAA graduation rates report, the rate for student-athletes who exhausted their eligibility was 82%.
The professional achievements of our faculty are astonishing in their breadth and in the level of international recognition they have brought to the University. For example, Jay Baliga from Electrical and Computer Engineering, was honored recently for his 100th patent. Now he has 102.
And, Jim Riviere from the Anatomy, Physiological Sciences, and Radiology department in the College of Veterinary Medicine, won the O. Max Gardner Award, the most prestigious faculty award bestowed by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.
I particularly want to acknowledge the notable contributions of NC State Extension and Outreach faculty and staff, and the faculty and staff of the College of Veterinary Medicine for their tireless efforts to assist the victims of Hurricane Floyd. Students, too, initiated numerous activities across campus to aid our neighbors "down East."
This forum does not permit me to continue to list all of the honors today, but this impressive list will be included in the Chancellor's report to be published at year's end.
Our second University-wide initiative focused on the development of our Centennial Campus and in identification of four interdisciplinary thrusts for the University:
1) genomic science, including bioinformatics;
2) informational technology and networking;
3) environmental sustainability; and
4) materials science.
These areas, together with K-12 education and global competitiveness, constitute the thematic neighborhoods on the Centennial Campus. Growth on the Centennial Campus over the last year has provided a fertile source for cooperative sponsored research, as the number of companies located on the campus, and the number of high-tech employees associated with these companies, has more than doubled within the last year. Our venture capital fund has stimulated several new startup companies, several of which are located in our new small business incubator. One of the NC State faculty-initiated companies is Biolex, begun by College of Forest Resources faculty member Anne-Marie Stomp. Now, more than fifty corporate partners are located on the Centennial Campus, occupying more than a million square feet of space where collaborative research is conducted. As from the beginning, these partners can locate here only if they establish a strong University connection.
Our partnerships have also stimulated enhanced research activity among our core programs. The 1998-99 National Science Foundation survey of total research expenditures ranks NC State as 30th among all US universities, which puts NC State 1st among University of North Carolina universities and places us in the top 5 among all universities in the U.S. without a medical school. This same report shows NC State to be in the top 10 of all U.S. universities in industrial research expenditures for the past eight years. Data submitted by NC State for the 1998-99 report will show an increase of 11% in total expenditures, with an increase of 15 % in industrial research expenditures and an increase in federal research expenditures of $10 million.
Our third initiative, developing an efficient and effective business model, has led to "Compact Planning," in which each academic and service unit on campus has been asked to identify specific actions to be taken locally in addressing the University-wide goals, in accommodating enrollment planning, and in responding to discipline- or area-specific opportunities. Upon approval after iterative review, these plans will serve as a clear commitment to build the institution over both short- and long-range time frames and as a basis for University planning and budgeting. The process was designed to include all interested faculty and staff. We are grateful to so many of you for the thoughtful investment of your time and its implicit vote of confidence in the future of the institution. We plan to seek external review of these plans by hosting a blue-ribbon panel charged with being a "Commission on the Future of NC State University," with a planning session this month to be followed by an open session in the spring of 2000. They will also be the basis for strategic planning to be reviewed by our Board of Trustees next spring.
As a result of these serious efforts, we have improved the perceived public persona of NC State as a highly respected, good citizen within North Carolina, and as one of the strongest research universities in the nation. Representing you, I gave in the last academic year almost 50 major presentations on the potential of this institution at significant events both inside and outside North Carolina. We have enhanced our support for teaching and learning, especially through the use of emerging technologies, have increased our emphasis on the undergraduate experience, and our ability to provide our students the help they need to succeed. We've developed several new graduate degree programs and formed several new interdisciplinary centers. Two of the centers deserving special mention are the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes, and the recently announced agreement with seven other Universities to jointly provide intellectual leadership for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. We have become known as a national model for effective technology transfer and commercialization. We've improved service delivery to students through several new facilities, including our new Student Health Services building, and have cooperated with our community neighbors, for example in hosting the Special Olympics World Games, and in building a superb new multipurpose Entertainment and Sports Arena. We've improved academic and administrative computing and have started the transition to a web-based environment based on PeopleSoft tools, an array for data warehousing that I am assured will eventually be a great investment. And we continue to work with the state to seek new flexibility in managing staff employment and professional development.
And so we stand in the penultimate month of the last year of this century looking forward enthusiastically to a bright future for NC State. In such an environment it is exciting to imagine the future, as many of those who came before us did at special moments in history. At the end of World War II, for example, President Roosevelt said, "New frontiers of the mind are before us. If they are pioneered with the same vision, boldness, and drive with which we have waged the war, we can create a fuller and more fruitful employment, and a fuller and fruitful life." It is easy to imagine how the power of higher education can be brought to the service of a crucial range of human concerns, how our scholarship and research can address many simple and powerful human needs, how a new openness to interdisciplinarity can provide a fresh organization of knowledge and can transform the lives of the North Carolinians whom we serve.
But even in the face of such success we face several serious issues. If we are to become and remain one of the world's great universities, we must offer our employees a world-class environment in which to conduct their work. That is, we must offer competitive market-driven salaries and well-equipped space in which to conduct their teaching and scholarly work and from which our outreach activities can take place readily. Our experience in the last year makes it quite clear that it is increasingly difficult to recruit and retain our best and most productive faculty in the face of tempting offers at peer institutions that offer better facilities and compensation. Although it is nearly never productive to complain, it is well to remember Ralph Waldo Emerson's advice. He once said: "The office of the scholar is to cheer, to raise, and to guide men by showing them facts amidst appearances."
In that spirit, we recognize that unfortunately the method used by North Carolina for the last several decades for providing facilities, a pay-as-you-go method for defining capital needs, has proven to be inadequate. This fall NC State enrolled over 26,000 students in offices, classrooms, and laboratories which, according to national space standards for peer research institutions, should accommodate no more than 24,000 students without loss in quality. We have been able to serve this larger student body only because of extraordinarily efficient space utilization and management. In addition, our campus boasts a set of buildings of which 58% are older than 25 years and have never been remodeled, certainly an array incapable of providing state-of-the-art technology in those fields that represent our special strengths and emerging opportunities. And if that were not enough, demographic studies warn us that demand for admission to NC State will increase, by conservative estimate, by at least 25% over the next decade. Already we have become so selective that for this year's entering class we processed almost 14,000 applications for 3,500 freshman slots, with our entering freshman class showing a 3.85 high school GPA and an average SAT score of nearly 1200. To make it substantially more difficult to be admitted to NC State seems to many to be incompatible with the accepted mission of a top-quality public institution in serving its people.
These capital needs were to have been addressed by a bond package proposed last year by the University of North Carolina System. If funded, that program would have invested nearly $450 million in NC State, largely for renovation and repair and enrollment capacity. But this number, as part of a $7 billion package needed to address all UNC system needs, overwhelmed our legislative representatives, some of whom argued that such an important issue should be brought to a public referendum so that the citizens of the state could participate in the decision-making. That view reminds me of a statement made last spring by President Clinton as he was presenting the National Medals of Science and Technology. He described what he called one of Clinton's Law of Politics: "Whenever someone looks you in the eye and says, ‘this is not a money problem,' they are almost certainly talking about someone else's problem." Because the UNC bond package failed to pass during the last session, we are going to be actively asking your help in explaining to our citizens how vital this investment is for the future of our state and for the health of this great university.
Our second challenge is also budgetary, namely, addressing many increasing campus expenses including recruiting, financial aid, building diversity, investing in the next-generation opportunities, setting up laboratories for new faculty, but particularly providing competitive faculty and staff salaries. Because SPA salaries are, by definition, controlled by the state, our approach to improving staff salaries must first focus on obtaining local flexibility for managing and rewarding our staff. This is an objective that will require focused attention for some time. But we can and must address EPA salaries.
Recently the UNC System called on us to define our peer institutions by using such factors as similar programmatic mission, similar educational portfolios, similarly sized endowments, etc. Among our peer institutions thus defined, our average faculty compensation ranks us 14th of 17. Our undergraduate tuition and fees also rank 15th of 17, at about 10% of our most expensive private peer institution (Duke University) and at about 37% of our most expensive public peer institution (Penn State University). A similar situation at Chapel Hill has motivated its Board of Trustees to call for a tuition increase of $300 for each of the next five years, producing roughly a doubling of tuition over that period. The administration and trustees have pledged that a significant fraction of the tuition increase would be returned to needy students through financial aid.
One of our most firmly held values is to provide access, equity, and opportunity for our diverse student body. Despite the extraordinary success of our Campaign for NC State Students, which has raised an endowment of $110 million for merit-based scholarships, we still have large numbers of students (almost 40% of our student body) with unmet financial need. Our situation is thus even more dire than that at Chapel Hill. In next spring's legislative short session, the University of North Carolina system will propose a tuition plan that would address financial aid system-wide, and we will enthusiastically endorse and actively support this effort. Unfortunately, the timing of this plan is such that we must make a decision about whether or not to recommend a tuition increase for next year at our next Trustees meeting on November 19, without knowing the fate of the proposed tuition plan. We would greatly value your insight and advice on whether or not to pursue increased tuition as a strategy for addressing financial shortfall on the campus.
North Carolina has long been known throughout the U.S. as a state which has always stepped forward in recognizing the wisdom of investing in higher education. Our fellow citizens continue to value the positive influence that North Carolina universities exert on the quality of their lives.
They especially appreciate the special contributions of her research-intensive universities in developing new technologies that have fueled economic growth and assisted so well in the transition to a new economy. The devastating flood in eastern North Carolina has seriously impacted many North Carolinians and flood relief and recovery will pose a formidable challenge to our legislators who must decide how best to allocate available state revenues. As a University, we must stand together with our legislators in addressing those immediate needs, but it is our obligation as state leaders to refrain from neglecting the long-term investments that are absolutely required if these same citizens are to have a realistic hope of full participation in the emerging knowledge economy.
Better than any other institution in the country, I believe, NC State University has shown itself to be collaborative and open to partnerships. In that spirit, we are in the process of constructing a network of influential supporters and alumni who can help tell NC State's story, both to those who provide leadership in our elected bodies and to those citizens who may participate in the proposed referendum. We will call this grass-roots effort ConnectNet. This effort will be managed through Government Relations in the Chancellor's Office. ConnectNet is to be a broad educational effort, not a lobbying group or political action committee, but its success in spreading the word about the importance of higher education will be vital to the future of this institution. We ask your continuing support, guidance, and participation as we continue to argue for the level of support for higher education that this state needs if our people are to continue to prosper.
4. Faculty Communications and Information Technology
Chair Emeritus of the Faculty George Wahl reported that with the assistance of Carl Malstrom and the Computing Center an email list of the voting faculty was created to be used sparingly to send informative mail to the faculty. It is presently being upgraded to take advantage of the latest additions and subtractions from the list. Chair Emeritus Wahl would like to be contacted by anyone who would like to send a message of particular interest to the voting faculty, or if there are members of the voting faculty receiving messages that they’d rather not receive.
One thing that he feels will improve communication is the six members from the Faculty Senate that graduated from a mediation program. He thinks that will improve communications one on one whereas previously the only recourse might have been a grievance or worse. Now there will be this colleague mediation available.
Chair Emeritus Wahl stated that in terms of Information Technology, he is looking forward to others on this program to provide more information.
5. Recent Faculty Success Stories
Ruth L. Green updated the faculty on the Hewlett Initiative activities.
Ms. Green recognized and thanked the steering committee of the Hewlett Initiative.
In July the committee submitted the final grant report to the Hewlett Initiative. The report is available on the web at (). They are planning to submit a continuation grant in January, 2000.
Ms. Green reported that the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning is in the process of identifying a new group of fellows. Forty two fellows have been identified to date. She noted that there is room for fifty plus. Anyone interested in becoming a fellow should contact Doug Wellman, Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
Ms. Green stated that an important part of the initiative is deciding how to continue to improve student learning. The committee is furthering their outfits in that direction next semester by convening a faculty research team which will be chaired by Sarah Ash. A major recommendation that grew out of the Hewlett Initiative was that they needed to provide their first year students with a strong introduction to the university and to provide an academic experience that help students understand why they are here and to make an in depth commitment and help them to understand the potential that if they fully invested in their education, what they might get out of it. To that end, this semester the Initiative have had eight pilot courses. In the spring they will have another eight pilot courses that will focus on diversity.
Comments from Bob Pond, First Year Inquiry Course Instructor
Dr. Bob Pond provided information about the MDS 295C course called Controversial Issues In Psychology. He shared his observations on how he thinks things are going both for the students and for him. He stated his support for the effort.
Dr. Pond feels that his students have a better understanding of the difference between working to make a measure of judgement as opposed to stating opinion. They are learning that they have a responsibility to think through their positions, the responsibility to express their opinions clearly and their positions clearly, and the responsibility to listen and appreciate opposing positions.
Dr. Pond feels that he is having the chance to practice what most professional educators have been professing for a while now. He believes that he is teaching in such a way that there is likely to be more of a lasting impact relative to the different things they discuss in Psychology. He also believes that he is teaching the subject of Psychology in a way that gets the information out to the students so that they are better able to see its connection with other things that they are doing in the university.
Dr. Pond stated that he has gotten a better opportunity to get to know and appreciate entering freshmen. He feels that he will be teaching now with a different kind of awareness of his student audience. Dr. Pond feels that he is having a chance to make a difference in the education of his students.
Dr. Pond is in favor of the first year inquiry course and have appreciated the efforts of the Hewlett Initiative that has helped bring this into being. He believes that it has been good for the entering students and has helped him to develop as a teacher.
Comments from Sarah Ash, First Year Inquiry Course Instructor
Dr. Ash’s experience as a Hewlett Fellow led her to the opportunity to teach one of the FYI courses (MDS 295C) entitled Eating Through American History. This course has allowed her to explore an area that she has always had an interest in. It has made her a better nutritionist and teacher. She thinks the course is well suited to giving students an introduction to the university because it shows the connection between and among a wide variety of different disciplines that they are likely to be exposed to.
Dr. Ash feels that teaching this course has been a wonderful experience for a variety of reasons. Until this fall, the two courses that she has been responsible for have been a large introductory nutrition course where she teaches approximately 350 to 400 students per semester, and an upper level course where she teaches approximately 35 to 45 students per semester. She has tried to improve those courses with her Hewlett experiences. She stated that she started to realize how much more she could do with those courses if she could also change the students who were coming into those classes.
Dr. Ash said she has a class of twenty students which has given her the opportunity to do a lot more within class discussions than she has been able to do. She feels that with twenty students (freshmen) it is a very safe environment for them, they have very quickly become very comfortable in that class and have been more willing to participate than in a lot of other situations. It has also given her the opportunity to get to know them better which allows her to draw them out more. Having a small class also gives her the opportunity to engage them in a lot of writing activities. She feels that twenty students are a lot more manageable with respect to grading as opposed to 350 to 400 students.
Dr. Ash has discovered that in addition to having the students to do one minute papers and weekly essays, they also have three fairly extensive writing projects that involve her review, peer review, and extensive rewrites. She feels that is where the teacher as well as the students really come to become better thinkers. It gives her an opportunity to evaluate their thinking. Dr. Ash stated that she can model critical thinking for the class as a whole, but the students really need the opportunity to practice. A small class with lots of opportunities for students to write and rewrite, and think and rethink will improve them as students as they go forward in this university. She encouraged the faculty with teaching appointments to consider teaching a course. She has found it to be a very energizing experience. It has given her a new appreciation for what it is like to be a freshmen. It has given her the opportunity to see inside their minds more and to be more appreciative of them as individuals.
6. Cecil F. Brownie, Chair, O. Max Gardner Award Committee
Dr. Cecil Brownie presented Dr. Jim Riviere as the 1999 recipient of the O. Max Gardner Award. This award carries great distinction because it is presented each year to a single (at times two) faculty member selected from the sixteen universities in the North Carolina University System. The recipient is selected by a UNC Board of Governors committee, and is awarded to a faculty member who in the committee's opinion "HAS MADE THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE WELFARE OF THE HUMAN RACE". This year's winner is North Carolina State’s Professor, Dr. Jim Riviere. Dr. Riviere is a professor in the Anatomy, Physiological Sciences and Radiology Department in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He received this award in recognition of his pioneering distinguished research in the fields of cutaneous toxicology (UNC-Chartered Center for Cutaneous Toxicology and Residue Pharmacology), and food safety (Food Animal Residue Avoidance Data bank).
Comments from Jim Riviere, Recipient, 1999 O. Max Gardner Award
Dr. Brownie, Chairman Corbin, Chancellor Fox, Provost Hall, and fellow faculty;
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address you this afternoon. I promise that my comments will be brief First I would like to personally thank Professor Brownie for originally starting the process that resulted in me being awarded the Gardner Award this Spring. I value his friendship and am grateful for his support.
Receiving the 0. Max Gardner Award was a humbling experience that has afforded me the opportunity to reflect upon why my career followed this path at NCSU. What was the environment that allowed our group to develop parallel programs in basic research and extension which ultimately resulted in a single coherent focus? I can assure you that it was never planned this way!
The two attributes that NC State provided to support this growth were traditions of service embodied in the Cooperative Extension Service and a focus to become a world class research university. On the surface, these activities would seem to thrive only in conflicting university cultures and require different investments to prosper. However, this conflict only occurs if existing divergent programs are artificially forced into becoming single programs. In contrast, what occurred with my program was a gradual blurring of research and extension activities since the "real-world" problems which Extension addressed required applications of techniques which were being developed in the research laboratory. To be successful, one often had to disguise this linkage for as we all know, research and extension are programmatically viewed as two distinct activities, especially at the federal funding level.
Let me give you some specific details. I am a pharmacokineticist who is a person that applies mathematical models to predict the behavior of drugs and chemicals in animals and man. My research is focused on developing mathematical models that describe the concentration-time profile of chemicals in the body as a function of physiology and disease. Not the kind of person you would expect to see participating in an extension program! The Extension program which ultimately required this research expertise was created in response to the presence of chemical and drug contaminants in milk and meat. The US Department of Agriculture's response to this problem was to create an educational initiative targeted to veterinarians and producers to "train" them how to avoid residues from being present in the animals they slaughtered. When I first became involved in this program some 18 years ago, I immediately realized that Extension would not fund research and traditional research funding agencies such as NIH would not fund extension training and demonstration projects. Yet I was convinced that the problem was basically one of pharmacokinetics, since residues were occurring because animals were being slaughtered before sufficient time had elapsed for them to completely eliminate the drugs which had been given them.
The problem became one of continuing education, not only to the veterinarians and producers involved in animal production, but also to the federal regulatory agencies since they had to be convinced that the solution to the problem was actually rooted in a knowledge of drug and chemical phannacokinetics. Being based in a respected land-grant university environment such as NC State greatly facilitated this task.
Our first Extension project was to create a centralized database of the information needed to address this problem, that is to create a database which had the pharmacokinetic data in the same place as the regulatory and field data which traditionally was associated with solutions to these problems. This became the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank or FARAD. From a research perspective, FARAD helped to identify how pharmacokinetics could be applied to predicting tissue drug residues and allowed research to be conducted in methods of interspecies extrapolations. We developed novel mathematical models to deal with this difficult problem. In fact, this year we were allowed a US Patent on a novel approach to simulate drug disposition in animals, a method developed using the FARAD pharmacokinetic database. Without FARAD, we would have had to conduct new animal studies under the auspices of a traditional research grant since this existing data would never have been available in one place and in the proper format. Use of this historical data was also a plus from the animal welfare perspective, since it significantly reduced and even eliminated the need to use animals for proof of concept.
From an Extension perspective, we were now in contact with field veterinarians and producers and began to reduce residue levels in meat and milk by applying these newly developed models to field situations. FARAD became a national clearinghouse where veterinarians, producers and regulators called to seek advice as to the best approach to reduce residues while protecting animal health. However in the process of requesting advice, we in turn obtained unique data describing the problem which could not have been obtained from any existing source. We established a national toll-free hotline to field questions, and as computer technology advanced, we moved this information onto the World Wide Web. Our continuing education presentations provided the opportunity to teach relevant pharmacokinetic principles, however we never termed them as such, but instead coined phrases less threatening to practitioners and producers. As time progressed, these concepts even penetrated federal regulations allowing FARAD-recommended actions to become accepted approaches to food safety programs. Last year, a national Research Council study endorsed the validity of these approaches. Last year we expanded this program globally with the collaboration of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, since the scientific approaches developed are independent of any artificial political divisions.
I could continue with numerous examples of how research and extension blended to became a single program to the extent that today, we have no idea of where one starts and the other ends. In fact the program has generated a wealth of teaching material for our professional and graduate courses and has provided the thesis problems for a number of graduate students. One has to have flexibility to develop such programs, especially in the exceedingly complex and even chaotic environment that constitutes modem academia. This takes effort to continually adapt to evolving science and the changing demands expected from the stakeholders of academia.
In conclusion, what has the FARAD program taught me and how can it be a useful model for any faculty? Success in a university environment such as NC State is tremendously facilitated when ones research, service and teaching goals mesh into a single continuum that is consistent with the mission of the university. It allows one to have the flexibility to maintain funding and relevance in an ever changing and challenging funding environment. It saves energy worrying how to convince an administrator that one's program is relevant to the mission of NC State, since in reality, it is consistent with multiple goals. It allows one to break out of the confining and even stifling artificial barriers that define modem academic specializations and explore new problems and meet new people that could benefit from one's academic strengths. What you are defined as is completely dependent upon the perspective of the individual making the assessment.
FARAD has thus been defined both as a research program when publications or patents are examined, and as an extension program when its hotline, website and service efforts are evaluated.
Creating a program such as FARAD also leaves one little time to become obsessed with the inevitable bureaucratic and technological hang-ups that come with the territory. This energy can instead be focused on doing science, solving practical problems, and interacting with great students. I have learned that one should never plan too far ahead for you never know where you are going, but keep moving forward and don't spend time worrying about semantics or where your work will ultimately take you. These distractions only divert you from making progress.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share these thoughts with you.
7. Kermit L. Hall, Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs - Our Academic Core
Chancellor Fox, Chair Corbin, fellow Vice Chancellors, Deans, colleagues in the faculty, students, guests, and -- innocent bystanders.
I am grateful for the opportunity to address our academic future. I do so with humility, since as a newcomer I am reminded of Mark Twain’s sly remark about learning.
"It is what you learn after you know it all that counts," Twain once observed.
But I intend to push ahead nonetheless, doing so with the conscious knowledge that Mark Yudoff’s description of himself during the Inauguration of Chancellor Fox probably fits me as well. Yudoff noted that his wife had observed that "he was often wrong, but never in doubt."
In that vein, you may recall the story about the provost that became ship wrecked with his faculty and deans on a remote island and were then captured by a group of cannibals. The cannibals set up various pots to boil them: assistant professors were $1, associate professors were $2, full professors were $3, endowed chairs were $4, and deans $2.50.
But the sign on the provost’s pot read only .14 cents
The provost objected because he was better paid than all of the others. To which the chief cannibal replied: "Have you ever tried to clean a provost?"
The provost, of course, has others problems.
The job of the chancellor is to speak well.
The job of the dean is to think well.
But the job of the provost is to keep the chancellor from thinking and the dean from speaking.
Serving in this role also has its political dimension. And as the former Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo once observed, "You campaign in poetry; you govern in prose."
My first few months here remind me of the truth of Cuomo’s insight, and you are likely to discover that my words today are a little poetry, perhaps, but mostly a lot of prose.
In that regard, I am put in mind of President Woodrow Wilson when he asked Congress to declare war on Germany. "I am seeking only to face realities," Wilson explained, "and to face them without soft concealments."
In that spirit, then, let me turn to our academic realities, first in a larger context and then within our university.
The Rise of the Knowledge Factory
Universities are among the world’s most durable institutions. They have existed since the 11th century and one of the reasons they have persisted is their ability to adapt and change. Until well into the last century, universities were dedicated to cultivation of the intellect, a credo made famous by Cardinal John Henry Newman at the Catholic University of Dublin.
Today’s reality, however, is radically different. Not just in this country, but around the world universities celebrate themselves and justify their claims on the public purse as disseminators of useful knowledge, generators of economic development, and transformers of research into application.
The reasons for these changes are twofold, one intellectual and the other political.
Intellectually, the natural sciences have triumphed. They have been a light that has burned with uncommon intensity in the 20th century and they will continue to do so in the millennium on whose threshold we now sit. This intellectual triumph has been so great that it has essentially dethroned the paradigm of liberal education in the arts and humanities which dominated Newman’s university.
But there has been a second important force, the democratization of politics and with it the massification of higher education. Indeed, mass higher education has been one of the most important corollaries of the rise of democratic governance. We can see this trend, for example, in the rapid growth in demand for higher education in the former Soviet bloc countries and in South Africa. The same is true here at home. Today, there are about 4,000 accredited American colleges and universities.
Democratization has promoted an enormous free market in higher education. Throughout the world a college degree has become an indispensable ticket to the good life, turning the university into a kind of sorting machine for employers, one attuned increasingly to rankings of reputation and perceived quality, such as U.S. News & World Report’s annually tolls.
Accompanying this change, moreover, have been cries that massification has been fatal to quality, that more will mean worse.
In the last third of a century, however, another set of ideas has begun to alter the debate over higher education’s purposes. Writers such as Daniel Bell and Peter Drucker have commented extensively on the "knowledge society" and the "knowledge economy." The university has emerged as a "knowledge factory" – the center of and a major agent in developing a nation’s "human capital" along with its R&D laboratories to compete successfully in the rapidly globalizing economy. The university has become a useful knowledge asset that makes the Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle possible.
The challenge, however, is how we can be off this new knowledge-based mass society without being so absorbed into it that we lose our scholarly independence. That question and issues related to it frame our own immediate academic realities.
Hard and Soft Realities
The massification of higher education will continue, and it will certainly do so with exceptional force in this public, land-grant university, with its mission of providing access and service to the citizens of North Carolina, especially but not exclusively in science, technology, engineering, and agricultural.
That is the hard reality of our situation; that is who we are.
The implications of our position, however, are at once daunting and exciting. It is within our grasp to assume a national academic leadership role in the emerging research-intensive university of the next century.
One area of enormous yet untapped potential is how we can respond to the growing diversity of the mass population that now seeks our services, into which our students must enter, and that our business partners expect us to assist them in reaching.
We are all familiar with the statistics that point to a future in which the current white majority will become in many places the minority.
There are, as well, a few among us today who are lineal descendants of slaves; there are many among us who lived through the pain of racial segregation. And we work in a university whose first senior female administrator was appointed in 1988.
Henry Ford may have been right: history just might be bunk. But neither he during the Great Depression nor us in our own time can escape altogether our cultural and institutional inheritances.
Whatever the outcome of the legal controversy over affirmative action, we are all destined to live and work in a world marked by difference not sameness. And that means that we have to find ways to adjust our core academic expectations to take account of that reality.
Much work is ahead.
If we were today a member of the 60-plus Association of American Universities and we added to that list the approximately fifteen institutions that have a meaningful claim to future membership – and that includes North Carolina State – then we would discover that we rank about in the middle in terms of academic quality but in the bottom quartile in terms of the numbers of women and persons of color who are faculty members.
Some, of course, would suggest that we are in good company, given the presence of the Cal Tech, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Iowa State, and MIT in the same bottom quartile. Like other top science and engineering institutions in America, we have comparatively few faculty from historically under represented groups.
Yet it is the primacy of these disciplines in the new knowledge economy and their intellectual leadership in the century ahead that gives us a special responsibility and a special opportunity to chart a new course.
How do we do so?
We are doing some things right. We recognize that we have an input problem -- to obtain a more diverse faculty we have mounted outreach programs to historically undeserved populations through Science House in PAMS and similar efforts in Engineering and CALS. We also have adopted the Chancellor’s Leadership Awards to attract a diverse student population.
These efforts are commendable; they must continue; and they are not enough.
Last year we did not hire a single African American faculty member to a tenure-track position in this university. Even given issues of supply, I simply refuse to believe that we cannot do better.
To that end, I will shortly announce, after appropriate discussions are completed, a Faculty Hiring Assistance Program designed to ensure that we will be as competitive as possible in recruiting new colleagues from historically under represented groups. I have also asked the new Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity, Equity, and Diversity, Joanne Woodard, to ensure that every faculty search aggressively follows affirmative action guidelines.
While on campus recently, Julian Bond wryly observed that those of us concerned about our social security should keep the following in mind. There are today five people to pay for every one person on social security. By the year 2030 there will be only three working people to pay for our social security and they will be named Tawana, Jose, and Park. We have, he suggested, a vested interest in making sure that they do well in the economy of the future.
An important part of our academic future also includes diversifying our curriculum. I look particularly to the Faculty Senate, our curriculum committees, and the deans to provide leadership in responding to the recent task force report on this important matter. What we profess to value on our stationary, we should also be prepared to reflect in our classrooms.
2nd. The issue of diversity, of course, is often posed against matters of quality. In North Carolina, the era of massified education has raised the question of whether more does mean worse.
I think the answer is no, in large measure because we are at the apex of a remarkably diverse range of higher education institutions and an educational mission that demands exceptionally qualified students to begin with.
Of the 50 or so great research universities in this country, and I include us in that number, all of them are better today than they were 50 years ago, just when the boom in student enrollment started. In fact this university, as is true with its peers, has managed to pluck increasingly better students from an ever-deepening pool of applicants. We are, we should remember, overwhelmingly the first choice of most of the students that enroll.
The Chancellor likes to tell alumni groups about our student profile and then asks them if they could met the standards of today, in which about 40% of our students have a better than 4.0 high school grade point average and SAT scores that average almost 1200. Many of our alums sheepishly answer no.
That reality is not going to change anytime soon. The demographic surge is too great; the demands of science and engineering education too strong. So, we should accept that we are going to have to deal with an increasingly able study body and the accompanying demands on our time, energy, and resources that will follow.
Our current situation mixes good and bad news. On average nationally, about 27% of all freshmen fail to return to college for their second year. The numbers at North Carolina State are much better -- 12%. Ironically, however, we lose a disproportionately larger number of students after the second year, a development that contributes to an unacceptable six-year graduation rate of 66%. This second disappointing number reminds us that while we benefit from strong demand, our ability to respond successfully, is hardly guaranteed.
To address this matter, we must do some of the simple things even better than we presently do. This means, for example, placing even greater emphasis on student aid, especially need-based aid, on better advising and mentoring, and allocating funds to rapidly growing programs, such as computer science and networking in Engineering. We do ourselves no favor when we leave areas of appropriately high demand to languish with insufficient resources.
We also need to recognize that the current model of delivering learning through classrooms, lecture halls, and teacher-student relationships is going to continue for as long as anyone of us will be alive. We cannot let infatuation with technologically mediated learning divert us from producing an even richer classroom experience for our students, one component of which, of course, will surely involve technology.
Much work toward enhancing the undergraduate experience has already been accomplished through the initiatives of the faculty senate, former administrators, and individual faculty. We are going, however, to give special emphasis to:
an enhanced honors program in the first two years,
to living-learning experiences,
to service learning,
to study abroad, where we lag almost every other school in the ACC and every school in the Big Ten,
to a first year small seminar experience, a development pioneered through the Hewlett Initiative that we have continued to fund and that is now being pursued in the College of Humanities and Social Science,
and to making certain that the First Year College provides undecided students an intellectual anchor to grasp while they set their academic compasses;
These efforts must be complemented by a broad strategy of rewarding and recognizing even more fully excellence in teaching as part of the portfolio of success considered for promotion, tenure, and salary advancement. I hope that with the Faculty Senate we can engage this issue and in the Spring Semester offer to the University community a model process, one that will not only take even fuller account of teaching but that will be sufficiently flexible to capture the diverse roles that our faculty colleagues play in the area of extension, that will vest procedural oversight at the College and University level more fully in the the faculty and one that will permit closer scrutiny of cases where there is deep division of opinion, that will be characterized by rigor and fairness,
that will develop genuine university and college criteria informed by the departments below,
and that will bring coherence to the variety of criteria now used in the departments.
And when it comes to teaching we need to move in two other ways.
First, while it has become fashionable in the massified university to think of students as consumers, which they surely are, they are also still students -- persons with a responsibility to learn. Student evaluations of learning and teaching are important, but equally good evaluators of the scholarship of teaching are other faculty members. One of the important roles for our new Center for Teaching and Learning is to improve peer evaluation of teaching.
But, second, teaching is not altogether an individual activity, it is also a cumulative team sport. Majors are delivered through the efforts of a number of departmental colleagues; the core curriculum depends upon scores of departments contributing their knowledge.
We have, therefore, instituted a program to recognize outstanding departmental teaching. Each year two awards will be available, the granting of which will depend on the recommendation of a faculty and student committee. These awards will carry a $20,000 stipend, $15,000 of which will be a permanent addition to the budgets of the two successful departments. College deans are encouraged to seize this opportunity to identify funds to reinforce this university commitment to collective excellence in teaching.
These recognitions are among the best ways that we can communicate what we owe to our students. But we also owe them something more. We have the duty to challenge them to do more than they believe they can and to remind them that the life of the mind depends on discipline as well as intelligence.
To fulfill this obligation, we need to ask ourselves how well we are doing the basics. The massification of the university has brought with it new pressures to attend class less, assign higher grades, and to cloud what, given the new technology, is appropriate ethical student behavior. I have asked our new Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, James Anderson, to work with the deans and faculty and student leadership to address these matters and report back to the University community.
3rd. Having suggested that professors, classrooms, and labs will persist, there is also no doubt that technology will reshape our teaching and learning futures. That technology can help us in two ways.
First, it promotes for students an individualized, self-paced learning environment. Our students, moreover, are in about the same position as we are: they are stretched for time, and technology can enhance their use of it.
Second technology can bring to the learning experience a rich new array of visual and audio materials. For example, Students in my course next semester on the history of the Supreme Court will have an unprecedented opportunity, thanks to the Web, to listen to and reflect on the oral arguments made before the justices over the past forty years.
For all of the hoopla over technology as a cost saving devise, the results are mixed. The initial investment is great, not just in the equipment and software start-up costs, but in faculty development. A decade and many faculty workshops were required, for example, to move the overhead projector from the bowling alley into the classroom.
We have attempted to address this reality by reorganizing and better staffing the Learning Technology Services.
The task ahead is not just to offer single courses, but to offer entire degree and certificate programs and to make it possible for a faculty member who devises a technologically mediate course to be able to pass it to another colleague.
Time-enhanced learning presents special challenges. While we are the leaders in delivering such learning in the state, we are far behind the major national players -- Florida, Penn State, and others.
The reasons are clear:
We are under financed to meet the demand that we already have,
We have not asked ourselves the appropriate strategic questions of where to invest the limited dollars that we do have, and we have not addressed fully the question of what we can reasonably do inside the institution with our own resources and what services we might appropriately secure from outside the university.
To that end, over the next several weeks visitors from four companies will make public presentations. You are all invited.
Whatever decisions we take in this area, the current structure that buries time-enhanced learning in the bowels of Continuing Studies will likely change. The faculty are too distant from those who fund and organize the offerings, who provide the technological support, and who administer the variety of programs associated with so-called distance education. And the current arrangement ignores the continuum along which we deliver technologically mediated learning, from on campus to off campus. Moreover, we must, if we are to engage time-enhanced learning as a major initiative, address issues of faculty workload, assessment, and professional development.
I am grateful that Tom Miller, from the College of Engineering has agreed to chair the newly created Time-Enhanced Learning Advisory Committee and that Sam Averitt, the new Vice Provost for Information Technology, will chair a similar advisory committee for Information Technology. In these areas, Tom, Sam, and the faculty will have an important role in shaping our strategic technological future.
5th Coming to terms with technology, the knowledge society, and the university as its engine will shape our academic futures in another way – the issue of copyright ownership. We will have in the months ahead an important discussion to conclude about this matter when state funds have been invested significantly. We are in the debt of David Danhauer and Ross Whetten who chaired the Task Force formed last year to study this issue. A standing committee of the Faculty Senate has given its strong endorsement to the report.
Copyright ownership is also now a matter under intense discussions in the UNC General Administration. And in the case of GA we need to remember the old admonition given at police roll call to "do it to them before they do it to you."
6th. The copyright issue reminds us of how important it is to invest in the people that make higher education work – the faculty. Part of this challenge is to recruit, promote, and retain the very best, and that means competitive start-up packages, competitive salaries, competitive space, competitive benefits, and competitive counteroffers.
Investing in people has another dimension. The massification of the university has meant that we have resorted increasingly to the use of part time instructors.
The problem is especially acute in the College of the Humanities and Social Sciences. There the Compact Planning Process has revealed that 65% of all student credit hours – I repeat 65% -- are delivered by non-tenure track faculty. Most of these colleagues, moreover, are not teaching assistants, since there are few doctoral programs from which to draw such students, but instead they are true part timers. A SACS visiting team critically noted this condition several years ago.
An almost similar problem exists in the College of Management, and it is seeking accreditation this year.
In both colleges we must put more tenure-track faculty in the classroom. Moreover, we are paying our current part timers such low wages that they are abandoning us for better paying part time positions elsewhere in the Triangle.
Investing in people also means, in the case of CHASS, devising ways to help keep the faculty there in a strong intellectual and professional position. We need, for example, to continue to move aggressively with graduate education initiatives at the masters level in the rapidly developing Department of Communication.
The future of most of our humanities and social science disciplines is not in new doctoral programs. We have other needs that are more pressing and we have limits imposed by the state of North Carolina on how we can align our academic priorities. We would, of course, look askance if Chapel Hill or East Carolina proposed to offer comprehensive programs in engineering; just as they would look askance if we decided to enter the field of elementary education or doctoral level training in History, English, or Philosophy.
Still, as part of the Compact Planning Process, we might wisely ask ourselves whether we want a College of Humanities and Social Sciences that does not enlist all of the disciplines with it is identified and in which doctoral degrees are currently granted on this campus.
7th We also have unfinished academic work in another important area – the environment. Given our extraordinary assets in Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, in Forest Resources, in Engineering, and in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we should have both a better developed curriculum for undergraduate study and a more forceful and coordinated research presence. We do not need another task force and another report. Now is the time to move from reflection to action. To that end, I have asked the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, Charles Moreland, to jointly form a working group to devise a plan of action for teaching and learning about the environment.
8th. Our academic realities, of course, are shaped by financial and physical exigencies. We have too few dollars, far too few discretionary dollars, too little space, and far too little good space.
We do an often amazing job with what we do have. There is, in fact, a high level of academic entrepreneurship, whether it is Jim Clark and his various histories of the state of North Carolina and the million dollars that they have produced; or Rueben Carbonell and Joe DeSimone’s application of super critical CO2 to the every day task of cleaning cloths; or the efforts of colleagues in CALS to develop efficient techniques for aqua culture.
The dearth of funds and space places an even greater burden on us to fashion clear principles and priorities about how to divide our money pie and space. To that end, we have worked with the deans to devise budget principles that provide a stable base of state funds to the colleges while according a stream of central funds to foster selective investments in programs – old and new -- on a competitive basis. And we should expect the same high level of transperancy, competition, and data driven decision-making in the allocation of both space and new enrollment growth dollars.
If we can be entrepreneurial in seeking dollars outside the institution, then surely we can be entrepreneurial in allocating funds and space within it.
In all of that we do, of course, we need to remember to count what we value instead of valuing what we can count.
9th. Finally, in organizing to meet our academic future in the massified university, there are few iron rules, but there is at least one important guideline: the larger and more diverse the organization, the more decentralized must be its decision-making. The objective has to be constant: faster, better-informed results.
The corollary of this proposition is that those to whom authority is decentralized have to be held accountable, prospectively through the Compact Planning Process and retrospectively through a regular, formal, and open evaluation processes.
(I would note, parenthetically, that each deans owes his or her heads an annual written evaluation and each head owes to their respective faculty members exactly the same thing.)
The Compact Planning Process is designed to identify key initiatives, to focus the use of resources, and to encourage partnerships between and among colleges, not just between the central administration and a particular college.
In the case of the deans, we have put in place a process of upward anonymous evaluation of them annually by their heads and staffs and of the Provost by the deans and his staff. We are also engaged in searching reviews of deans every four years in which the entire faculty and our important external constituencies are invited to participate.
Evaluations predicated on agreed-to measures of performance are one of the best ways to respond to public demands that we be more accountable. Doing so will have the added benefit of helping us to explain ourselves to one another more fully, a development essential to explaining ourselves to the larger knowledge economy of which we have become such an engine.
I conclude by observing that as persons charged with keeping, expanding, and explaining the storehouse of human knowledge, we are as a university in a remarkably strong position to emerge as one of the leaders of the academy in the new knowledge society and one of the key partners in the new knowledge economy.
Doing so is not a given, however, and that is why I have shared with you some of my thoughts about the hard realities and soft concealments that will shape our academic future. As I indicated at the outset, I am reminded that, like Mark Twain, we will discover over the next few years that it is indeed what you learn after you know it all that counts.
Chair Corbin invited everyone to attend a reception to honor Dr. Kermit L. Hall, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.