NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
GENERAL FACULTY MEETING
Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Erdahl Cloyd Theater (DH Hill Library)
3:30 P. M.
1. Welcome and Opening Remarks
The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by Professor Philip B. Carter, Chair of the Faculty .
"Welcome to the spring meeting of the General Faculty of North Carolina State University. The Chancellor will introduce members of her administration later. Let me acknowledge the members of the Faculty Senate present. These individuals are the elected representatives of the various constituencies of the faculty in the university’s ten colleges and other academic units; they contribute their time most generously on, not only the Senate, but many other committees at the university. We should all be grateful to them for their contributions.
I would like to also acknowledge the Holladay Award Recipients, since 1992 the highest recognition given by the Board of Trustees for exceptional career contributions by a faculty member. Their names are displayed on a plaque (now being updated) hanging in the Faculty Senate Chambers. I should draw your attention to the fact that nominations for the next class of Holladay awardees is being received by Professor Judy Peel in the Provost’s Office and I encourage all of you to give thought to worthy faculty who should be nominated.
Also present are members of the Council of University Professors. These individuals have distinguished themselves in their various academic fields and represent an especially treasured group of colleagues who act as university professors in more than name and contribute their collective wisdom as an advisory body to the Chancellor on matters of broad university concerns. In actual fact, the rest of us should also view ourselves as "University Professors" and demonstrate an involvement and concern for the university which transcends our individual departments and colleges. While it is understandable that young Assistant Professors must be preoccupied with their own career development and success, the rest of us must accept responsibility for addressing the issues which impact our institution. One way to do this is to stand for election to the Faculty Senate this spring and also to fill out the committee questionnaires from the Provost’s Office which you have recently received. These opportunities to select how you can best apply your talents to the university should not be overlooked. The Senate does its best to assign you to the committee of your preference.
Lastly, I wish to recognize the members of our ROTC units represented on campus. These men and women contribute in very important ways in providing our students with education and training for an honorable career in our Armed Forces which so well complements their other academic courses. In addition, the leadership skills which they instill are important not only as our graduates serve in their military careers but throughout life as they enter government, academia or industry. It is my hope that the new leadership program to be initiated under General Hugh Shelton will expand the delivery of these skills so that our entire student body can have access to such training. I hope the faculty will be as supportive as possible of this new program.
We at NC State are justifiably proud of our graduates who have distinguished themselves in their service to our country. General Shelton, who just retired as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the late General Max Thurman who coined the greatest recruiting slogan of our time "Be All You Can Be", and had the vision of nanotechnology for the soldier 25 years ago, LG Dan McNeill, Commanding Officer at Ft. Bragg, MG Bill Lee'20, Father of the Airborne, and others who are "Giving Back" to ROTC like Navy Captain Pat Casey ‘74, Professor of Naval Science at Notre Dame. But while we are in a position to brag about our Alumni, this may not be the case for long. These individuals are products of the days when men at the land grant colleges were enrolled in ROTC for their first two years. Today, if NC State is to maintain a presence in the leadership of our military, we must invest in this program, especially in its physical plant, addressing its classroom and other needs, to be attractive to talented young men and women. We owe it to our country to be aggressive in providing those students interested in a military career with the best facilities possible. Our military officers should be well-educated as well as well-trained and NC State can provide the best of both.
RECAP OF THE AUTUMN'
With regards to the weekly lunch that I announced, the attendance at that has been up and down. We have had it every week. We will have it tomorrow and I encourage all of you to participate as your time permits. However to encourage greater participation I will even not only supply the cookies and soft drinks, I will agree to fix parking tickets. I really would encourage you as your time permits, to join your faculty colleagues from all over campus in the Faculty Senate Chambers for lunch on Wednesdays.
RPT COMMITTEE - I would like to thank all those faculty who have served on the University RPT Committee for their hard work. The committee’s update on procedures was ratified two weeks ago by the Senate. While this gives a good basis for faculty development toward tenure and promotion, it is somewhat a work in progress which will be refined as the process matures.
KNIGHT COMMISSION - Professor Donn Ward and those who serve on the Athletics Committee should be complimented for their work on a draft proposal, soon to be finalized, on how our university can most productively respond to the challenges of the Knight Commission’s final report. Let me also take this opportunity to compliment our coaches and athletics administration for all they do and have done to contribute to a higher graduation rate for our student-athletes.
While the graduation rates of our student-athletes are improving, recent reports on the general student body indicate that we may be falling back from our high water mark of graduation rates in the late 90s. I am pleased that Professors Jim Clark and Ellis Cowling are reactivating the Watauga Seminar this spring, to be held in the Faculty Chambers, with the view of addressing graduation rates, recruiting and retention. As mentioned last night by a student in the open forum to discuss tuition rates, I share that student’s concern about the historically rich student applicants that we have gotten from rural North Carolina and the possibility that our increasingly demanding admission requirements might be selecting against students who do not have access to some of the advanced placement courses that students in the larger colleges of this state have had access to. I would hope that our admissions office which has done such a magnificent job in raising the quality of our student body over recent years is indicated not only by increasing average SAT scores but also increasing GPAs as well. We will be sure to address concerns of people who live in rural areas and might not have access to the same academic opportunities.
Working with relevant other university committees and the Provost new committee, I am hopeful that participants in the Watauga Seminar will be able to make a positive contribution to addressing the problems we face in this area of recruitment, retention and progress toward degree. I encourage all faculty to participate in this. I appreciate Chancellor Emeritus Monteith’s particularly willingness to do so.
The Chancellor requested a report on the environment which was seriously addressed by faculty and staff. The report was delivered and these recommendations are being addressed. However, we are not doing everything that we need to do especially in these days of tight budgeting, to be as conservative as possible with our resources. In fact, I am hoping that through our work with our Senate Committees we can encourage a rejuvenation of our willingness to go on a diet once again and conserve energy as well as make it as easy as possible for people who recycle. There are many very good points that were presented by Dean Tombaugh’s committee and I am very grateful for the fact that even now in his retirement Dean Emeritus Tombaugh has agreed to work with our Senate Committees on how we might best and most efficiently act upon those recommendations in that report."
2. Introduction of Guests
Chancellor Fox introduced the Executive Officers of the university.
3. Approval of the Minutes of the August 2, 2001 General Faculty Meeting
The minutes were approved without dissent.
4. Remarks from Chancellor Marye Anne Fox
A Year of Opportunity
AI would like to talk to you today about the status of North Carolina State University. I want to especially thank the Faculty Senate for inviting me here to speak with you.
Challenges have indeed presented themselves as we have continued to work hard at our teaching, research, and service. Last fall=s attack on our nation has made us all the more thankful for the great opportunity we have to teach the incredibly talented group of students that we have at NC State while we build the status and recognition appropriate to this great university. It is undoubtably true that every year is a challenge, but this year has been extraordinary. We can only pray that the events of this year, the national tragedy of the terrorist attacks in September and its consequent effects on an already weakened state and national economy are one time, non recurrent happenings and that full recovery will soon be forthcoming. In these difficult times we are fortunate to be at NC State University. We all know that North Carolina has long had a strong tradition as a national leader in supporting higher education. Indeed the spectacular growth of clusters of industries in several regions of the state including the Research Triangle has been strongly linked by economists to the quality of North Carolina=s universities and particularly to its research universities. Similarly our graduates have continued to assume leadership positions in traditional industries in North Carolina such as agricultural and manufacturing thus continuing to contribute to the high quality of life that our citizens enjoyed. Our research has also led to the creation of new industries and small businesses. This success too, can be directly attributed to the excellence of our research intensive universities. Indeed, North Carolina State University truly functions as a magnet for talent, especially for those with whom we collaborate. We provide new solutions to problems that face us and bring prosperity to all regions of North Carolina. It is the steady investment over the years in educational quality that is the reason for our inclusion among the list of the nation=s best universities and our focus on excellence in science, engineering and technology informed by the arts, humanities, and the social sciences expressed through the related professions that continue to distinguish our scholarship that is produced by our campus community. Even in this very difficult year we can stand proudly on our achievements and on our commitment to the transform of influence of education in the lives of our students. Time after time members of our faculty have been recognized by international and national professional groups for their outstanding work. I only regret that this forum does not permit enough time for me to list even the best of them. I alert you to the fact that we will have an opportunity to make such a list because in the next several months we will have to be specific about the achievements of our campus as we prepare for the university wide sacs accreditation in 2003. Instead of listing these achievements let me remind you about the goals that we have had as a group: Building a diverse campus community including both demographic and intellectual diversity; Embracing academic and business partnerships in a new and innovative way; Adopting an operational business model that emphasizes efficiency and accountability. These are also the same criteria that were adopted and validated by the Commission on the Future of NC State. A blue ribbon panel of leaders from outside the university who looked critically at what we were trying to do and they asked us to focus on several things; Attaining national ranking among the nation=s best public universities, strengthening our faculty quality by seeking support for endowed positions, enhancing diversity among our faculty administration, staff, and students, increasing the number of collaborative partnerships with our peer universities and industries, improving technology transfer to North Carolina State partners through our inventions and technology transfer, and empowering a Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement. I know all of you realize that we have made great progress on many of these. There are indeed concrete indicators that point to progress in many of these goals. Probably the best measure of the continued success of our graduates is reflected in the rapidly improving statistics of our entering class or the improvement of the performance of our student athletes or in the successful completion in competition of our students for nationally competitive graduate fellowships. We also see our success in the leadership that our students display while they are enrolled here and when they move back into the community. There are other indiction as well such as the obvious continued success of many NC State affiliated businesses and collaborative partners on our Centennial Campus has nearly tripled in number over the last three years, even during a national economic slowdown. This exemplifies the high regard with which NC State is held by knowledgeable leaders in the private sector. We have also initiated planning for a capital campaign to aggressively address these needs by using private sector resources. We have hired a Vice Chancellor, Steve Jones to develop new engagement activities. In addition, there are many interdisciplinary programs that have been started including a new graduate program in genomic science and bioinformatics and several cross institutional programs. One of which we are very excited about, the biomedical engineering program currently being developed with UNC Chapel Hill. We have been pleased to collaborate as well with federally sponsored activities. For example, being one of the principles among four university partners in the NSF Science and Technology Center focused on environmental benign uses of carbon dioxide. This is with the University of Texas with Austin and UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina A&T as well. These innovative programs and others like them represent tremendous opportunities for extended support and thoughtful research and they illustrate the importance of cross institutional collaboration if we are to achieve the objectives that we set out to do as a university. Much remains to be done. We must be sure that the barriers toward rapid progress toward degrees for our students are brought down so that our four and six year graduation rates can be improved. We must pay attention to the diverse composition of our community. For example, although we have more African American students enrolled at NC State than two of North Carolina=s historically black colleges, and although we rank well above average among our designated peers in attracting and graduating minority students, we must be more aggressive in recruiting and supporting students from all under-represented groups. If we are to offer all of our students the benefits of a diverse community, we must actively recruit members of those groups and not only from the student ranks, but also from faculty and staff and into administrative leadership positions. The fact that the national pool of qualified applicants is small for these positions is really no excuse to past the opportunity to dig deeply in our recruitment effort to bring the very best to North Carolina State. I can assure you that Provost Cooper is actively engaging each of the deans and each college=s student coordinator to achieve this proactive personalized recruiting at every stage. I ask your own firm personal commitment to the goal of building this community by encouraging anyone who can benefit from an NC State experience to seek us out.
Given the challenges we face as a nation, this spring semester is an excellent time for us each to renew our own dedication to the ideas that we have embraced as a community. We must proudly and publicly affirm our academic values, including the freedom of inquiry, the freedom of speech, respect for our groups. We must recognize the tremendous opportunity afforded each of us in being empowered to work with our incredibly bright students in learning fundamental trues about nature and about their application as we address society=s needs. We must continue to emphasize scholarship, played out through team work and an unwavering commitment to high ethical standards as we conduct the work. In addition, I urge you to participate actively in compact planning as a solemn responsibility as a member of this campus community of scholars. Although it=s conclusions are reflected in the university budget, compact planning is not primarily a means to request additional resources. It is instead much more valuable as a means by which we can prioritize among the multiple exciting programs that we could undertake and by which we agree explicitly on the criteria against which we are willing to be evaluated. In that light we should also examine our own personal goals and our plans for professional development as we participate actively in conversations that are being undertaken in every unit across campus as we review progress toward the goals that are outlined in each of our own compact plans. As a group each unit needs to collectively reexamine the priorities and to critique its achievements. We need to seek to submit a revised outline next fall as the basis for progress and for negotiations as the next round of compact planning ensues.
Although we all recognize that communication of detailed plans is difficult on this campus, being large and physically wide spread, these compact plans represent in my opinion a firm commitment to openness, transparency, and decision making. I believe they provide the best possible way for establishing common interest for letting the grass roots of this campus participate in decision making and for efficiently matching needs and resources. I am particularly gratified to see how important each unit=s compact plan was this year as we were forced to make final financial allocations under very adverse conditions. I trust that like the administrators who are here to serve you, the faculty will also remain fully committed to the accountability that inherent in the compact plans.
You know a hallmark of an NC State education is excellence in everything that we do. Indeed it is that unswerving commitment to outstanding performance that drives the high expectations that we place on our students. Top quality education is expensive and our ability to continue to offer this top quality education is now being threatened by our current state budget crisis. The success of North Carolina=s public university has long depended significantly on legislative support based on enrollment. That enrollment is significantly supplemented by revenues that are derived from tuition and fees which are maintained in accordance with the constitution of North Carolina as being as far as practicable free of expense. In our mission as a land grant institution, we pride ourselves on diversity and on accessibility and we want to attract all the possible talented students that we can. Our students have always been admitted on the basis of their intellectual potential without regard to their ability to pay for their education. As interest in attending NC State increases and the number of applications goes up, the number of matriculated students has exceeded even our expansive projections even though we have agreed to become increasingly selective in our admissions as we grow to 31,000 students. It is of great concern that recent statements from fiscal analyst in the governor=s office have indicated serious financial difficulties for our state enhancement for growth in the university funding. Of even greater concern is the supposition that the problems faced this year are likely to continue into the next year. Indeed the significant gap at the end of 2001 between state income and budgeted projections does not bold well for confidence reliance on how we have historically funded this university. Unfortunately, looking around and seeing other states in the same predicament really does not diminish the seriousness of the likely consequences that it will engender here.
We have made the case very clearly this year to the Legislative and executive branches of our state government that North Carolinians keenly appreciate the value of her public institutions. It is a view that is shared that we have a strong mandate in this university and in the community colleges as a function of the bond referendum of November 2000. In reality, however, funding of our public universities faces very strong competition with other compelling needs. Especially in addressing growing cost associated with health care and K-12 education. As a result, over the last decade state appropriations for NC State has fallen from approximately 50% of our budget to 43% in 2000. That precipitous change over a rather short period when added together with the pending budget shortfall this year suggest that the trend is likely to continue. That is, we are not likely to have a much larger percentage of our budget come from state resources.
As university educators we can respond in several possible ways to this anticipated restriction of state support as we continue to accept our mandate to grow. Our first option of course is that we can cut back on expenditures for faculty and staff. This would cause us to sacrifice education quality. We would hire fewer professors so that on the average our class size would grow. Fewer sections would be offered. Fewer research students would be supervised. Assigning fewer advisors to our students would cause us to make slower progress toward completion of their degrees and we would have lesser ability to make counter offers to the strongest of our faculty and administrators as they are lured away to competitive institutions.
The second option is that we could abandon our moral imperative to accessibility. We could allocate fewer resources to financial aid. We could begin to admit only those students whose families have the financial ability to cover higher cost from their own resources, a model that has been adopted by some private schools. This option would require that we back away from our commitment to build a diverse student body. It is equally problematic.
We can continue to aggressively seek additional revenue from other sources, including possible increases in tuition from sponsored programs and gifts, or it would be possible to escape the consequences of any two of these consequences that is diminishing quality, access or diminishing affordability while sacrificing the third. I know you will agree with me that the first two of those are betrayals of our values and are therefore impossible. So our only option really is to increase resources from other resources and not from the state.
For many years NC State=s faculty and staff have responded positively to the needs to secure more outside funding as additional sources for programmatic support are derived from the federal government and from the private sector. You have responded positively to the need to have this additional support and will be called upon again and again to continue to be even more aggressive in seeking that support. In sponsored research for example, because of your tireless work and dedication, the revenue that has been derived from research grants, gifts and contracts has more than doubled over the last decade. Federally sponsored research has been increased by more than 40% over the three fiscal years I have served as your Chancellor.
President Bush=s budget which was released yesterday, clearly recognizes the importance of a strong federal investment in basic research as a vital component of the nation=s economic recovery. Now is the time to invest, not to pull away from investment. Our growth is one of the nation=s premiere research institutions will depend on our rigorous and successful pursuit of all of these roots. A current challenge makes this all the more imperative. This kind of growth would never have been possible were we unable to make long term commitments based on a continuing stream of funds for which the federal government calls facilities in administration. The investment of these funds called overhead by the North Carolina legislature has been leveraged many times. They bring vital support to North Carolina State by covering non instructional expense that the Legislature has been unable and unwilling to provide. An important source of our support for our graduate and undergraduate students as well as for the construction and operation of university research laboratories on the Centennial Campus will certainly be threatened by any call for reversion of these F&A funds from the dedicated purpose for which they were granted. Even without an expansive budget and certainly at 2:00 this afternoon that this year is not going to be an expansive budget. We have yet had another 1.3% cut on top of the cuts we have sustained already this year. It will be up to us to work with the Legislature to clarify to all North Carolinians the importance of external support including F & A as we continue seeking revenue for scholarships to support all UNC institutions.
Another potential revenue source is private philanthropy. We have relied historically at this institution on the state. As a result we have not built our endowment in the same way that many of our peer institutions have done. As a function of that we do not have discretionary income that would allow us to address some of these budget shortfalls in the same way that some of our peer institutions would be able to do. Our endowment of about $300M in fact is one of the lowest among our peer institutions as identified by the Board of Governors. Furthermore, the funds in that endowment are largely restricted to a single purpose. They have been established to set up a scholarship fund, or for salary supplements for a named professor so that there is very little flexibility on this campus for allocating annual revenue for other initiatives that have been assigned high priority by your campus leadership or your departmental units. In order to address this problem, we have initiated as all of you know a very detailed plan for a large and comprehensive capital campaign building on our success in 1999 in raising over $125M in our campaign for NC State=s students. Here, to, the Legislature can be of great assistance to us because if they were to make available matching funds for contributions from the private sector, we would be able to much more readily put together an endowment that would allow us the flexibility to get over these tough times. For this to be a measurable influence on our current budget problem would be very difficult. Success in such a campaign takes time and the funds are not now available. The most obvious remaining source of potential revenue is to increase tuition. A painful choice in that it begs an answer about what is as free as practical. This alternative should only be considered if accompanied by a solemn commitment to seek financial aid to allow continued broad access by our students who can benefit from an NC State education. A task force empowered by the Board of Governors last November recommended a system-wide inflation based tuition increase of 4.8% provided that those funds are collected and pooled for need based financial aid rather than for increased operational cost. That is good on the one hand because we will have financial resources to help our students. It is bad on the other in that this year=s depressed budget will be continued without any inflationary adjustment for operating cost.
In two town meetings last night and this morning, I have shared a thorough analysis of our campus=s specific financial needs. That is posted on the web at www.ncsu.edu/tuition. That analysis has led me to recommend a campus initiated tuition increase of $400 for all students for the 20002-2003 academic year. If this recommendation is approved by the Board of Trustees, in two weeks it will be passed along to the Board of Governors for their consideration at their March meeting and we will then have these funds pledged to address the problems that we face, such as deficiencies in compensation in our faculty and staff, and the need for more need based financial aid. We need to insure that student access is not diminished when tuition is increased. We have a record of being able to do exactly that. There is every indication that the unmet financial need for our students after the last two years of campus initiated tuition increase has actually decreased rather than increased. Thus we will pledge to hold harmless with respect to unmet financial need those students who will be most affected by this increase. Depending on the level of financial aid that is available through the system, that commitment will likely require between 30 and 40% of the additional collected funds from a tuition increase. The remainder will be allocated entirely to improving the quality of instruction, research, and outreach getting class sizes down, providing more advisors, hiring an appropriate number of faculty and compensating those that we can control through our EPA system appropriately. This proposed tuition increase would follow campus initiated increases off $300 for each of the last two years. Roughly one third of these have been allocated to financial aid and to the graduate student support plan. This has resulted in a dramatic degree in the number of students with unmet financial need and without any significant increase, an average student debt at graduation. An additional one third has been allocated in the past two years on improving student services such as hiring additional counselors, expanding our honors program, enhancing diversity and leadership training on campus, improving our arts program, and many others. Our students tell us that those investments have had a major positive influence on the quality of their experiences here. It was only the last one third of each of those tuition increases which we have been able to allocate to faculty increases enabling us to deal with the conclusions of the independent salary equity study, to provide funds for faculty who are eligible for promotion increases, to address salary inversion and compression and to provide a living wage for many of our off tenured track faculty as we establish as well a pool to deal with offers from competitors. These allocations were completely aligned with the needs identified when we requested that increase. All of the funds we collected were retained at North Carolina State. They were not pooled and spread around the system. They were used to address our most serious educational challenges. In this way we exercise complete fidelity to what we told the students we would be doing and I believe we have earned the trust of our community. We pledged that we would be guided by these same principals if this additional campus initiated tuition increase is approved and to the extent that takes place we will be able to have greater financial aid for our students while providing support for our faculty. Hereto the Legislature can be a really great assistance.
Even in these uncertain times I know it is with great pride that you count yourselves as members of the faculty of North Carolina State. Without your commitment to our students and their individual achievements, without your commitment to quality teaching to integrative research, to active engagement with a community, NC State would indeed be a lifeless shell. With the Executive Officers and Deans, I urge your continued active participation in aligning your own professional advancement with the university=s strategic plans. I ask that you become knowledgeable about university wide priorities and processes, that you continue to help us tell the NC State story and of course that we work together to build this wonderful campus community of scholars. Thank you for your continued dedication. We need to work together to build a new generation of educational leaders to improve this university so that it is indeed recognized as being one of the nation=s best.@
5. Research Universities: The Key to North Carolina’s Future
Chancellor James Moeser
"We are part of a well constructed university system with two great flagship universities which complement each other, and fourteen other campuses that have very clear missions quite distinct and apart from ours. Both UNC Chapel Hill and NC State as research flagships are part of this system. If you consider our strengths, you have incredible strengths in engineering, technology and agriculture, none of which we do at Chapel Hill. We have great strengths in health affairs, the hard sciences and the liberal arts as well as an array of professional schools which are truly complementary. In fact, if you took one of these institutions out, the other one would be sorely lacking resources. We really need each other. Chapel Hill needs NC State to be strong, and I hope this converse is equally true. At both places we have a very strong commitment to public service; to provide the citizens of North Carolina excellent resources aimed at helping to improve just about every aspect of their daily lives: farming, manufacturing, high technology, local government, education, health care, etc. One other aspect of the joint resources that our two campuses could bring to bear on issues is our proximity to one another. That, of course, was a major reason for the success of the Research Triangle Park. We, along with Duke, served as the anchors for this concept. Together these three research institutions are arguably the most powerful engine of intellectual capital anywhere in this country. Our proximity has helped us all become better universities, especially when you consider the role of private industry in the RTP, which really is the fourth partner in this whole enterprise. Imagine what the economy of North Carolina would be right now in the midst of a major national recession with this state having been hit terribly hard with the loss of manufacturing jobs in textiles and furniture. If there was no RTP, imagine for a moment North Carolina. You would have a very different vision of what might be today. Other states are indeed paying close attention to what has been accomplished in the Triangle and in the state. Some of their recent actions speak directly to North Carolina’s need to pay careful attention to our future ability to remain competitive, not only as research universities, but among the states. I believe that in many ways we are coasting in this state on the vision and leadership of leaders fifty years ago, people who had the vision of harnessing the power of three separate research universities and bringing private industry in as a partner. The interesting thing is that in Texas, Governor Rick Perry has just created a blue ribbon commission to chart the future of the biotechnology industry. One focus of this effort is taking scientific breakthroughs and moving them from labs to commercial market place. The universities and private sector are heavily involved. In Ohio, a past leader in technology investment, state officials have been discussing a plan to regain Ohio’s standing and they cite North Carolina and Texas as their targets along with Georgia. They are determining how best to support university research and technology development. In Florida, Governor Bush has outlined a new $100M university based initiative focused on nanotechnology and biotechnology. Michigan is sinking millions of dollars into a biotechnology corridor. Other states are paying close attention to university research and economic impact. North Carolina’s economic future even in this difficult budget period depends on our vigilance in doing the same. In fact, Chancellor Fox made the point. The time to invest is in the down cycle of the economy. I think our job now is to make the case for this state to reinvest as we begin to come back. If we fail to do that, we will miss the next generation of economic development in this country. The Twenty-First Century economy is a knowledge-based economy. Jobs will come. Jobs will be created based on basic research that is taken to applied research and into technology transfer. The state and our universities can continue to strengthen the engine that helps produce this new knowledge. It is incumbent on all of us within the university system to work more closely together to accomplish these goals. Certainly I have been impressed with just how many programs we already have.
For some time we have had a mutual commitment to collaboration in fisheries and coastal studies. NC State will occupy two laboratories in our new fisheries research building at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City. We, on the other hand, will use your Internet connectivity for our communications. More important than this sharing of infrastructure is the exchange of information between scientists that are co-located in a single facility. The new UNC Chapel Hill/ NC State Center for gastrointestinal biology and disease supports multidisciplinary digestive disease research. The partners are NC State’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Carolina’s School of Medicine. The center, funded by the NIH, provides core laboratories, start-up funds, and professional development for junior investigators and scientific enrichment programs that improve the intellectual climate for gastrointestinal biological research. Joe DeSimone, William R. Kenan Jr., Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at both UNC and NC State, is a leader in the green chemistry effort to create safer methods for cleaning and manufacturing a variety of products. UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, and North Carolina A&T are among the partners in this project. Centennial Campus has provided the incubator space which we need to get hangers, cleaners, and other pursuits now started. The great beneficiaries of this particular project are not in the Research Triangle. They are in Bladen County where Dupont is making nearly a $50M investment in a new facility to manufacture Teflon. The important thing that we need to tell the people of this state is that this is one hundred new jobs that previously did not exist in Bladen County as a direct result of this facility.
The North Carolina Center for nanoscale materials, funded by the US Office of the Naval Research is a joint effort of UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, and Duke. Research in the center aims to understand the fundamental science of nanoscale materials in developing their use in commercial products. Potential applications range from high tech batteries to high resolution computer screens.
The Triangle University’s Nuclear Laboratory is a Department of Energy funded laboratory with research faculty from Duke, NC State, and UNC Chapel Hill.
The Triangle Institute for Security Studies includes faculty from NC State, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke. This program was funded by the Ford Foundation and has existed since 1997. The goal is to bring together people with an interest in international security topics. What more timely topic could we have in the post 9/11 environment than this center which is already in place and which is studying these issues.
The Consortium for South Asian and Islamic Studies:
This national undergraduate resource center is funded by the US Department of Education and university grants that involve faculty from NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke and NC Central. Among other things the program sponsors monthly colloquies, a concert series, a film series, workshops and library resources.
If you combine the libraries at UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, and Duke, we are the second largest academic library in this country, second only to Harvard University. We are larger than the libraries at the University of Texas at Austin or Stanford. This is a major intellectual resource. The other good news is that the acquisition programs at these libraries are interfaced so that the collection development at Duke complements the collection development at Carolina. We are working together, and it is a tremendous and powerful intellectual resource.
I join Chancellor Fox in saying that I would like to see our two campuses, along with Duke, work even more closely together in the future in key areas of research. Especially those that will help North Carolina hold on to or improve its competitiveness. There are so many multidisciplinary areas in which both our campuses come to the table with significant strengths. Our major investments on all three campuses in genomics should make us a national center for genomics and bioinformatics. Besides looking for such collaborations, another part of our focus is to more aggressively encourage technology transfer activities.
We are desperately short of incubator space at Chapel Hill. We do not yet have a Centennial Campus, but we have a vision and a thousand undeveloped acres in the middle of Chapel Hill which will become a mixed use facility in which we will co-locate, with the private sector, research facilities incubator space. Thanks to the bond issue we are, just as you, involved in massive construction. One such project is a $250M science complex to be constructed in five phases, partly funded from bonds, partly funded from private support and partly funded from additional bonds which we will issue, backed by our own overhead receipts. Likewise on the medical campus in Chapel Hill, there is an enormous amount of research ongoing. The major limiting factor for us right now is space. As we begin to break out of the bonds of these special limitations, I believe that we have an enormous future ahead of us. We can do great things I believe through the enhanced collaborations especially in the two public universities and our private partner of Duke and our corporate partners throughout the Triangle. I believe that the future has enormous potential for us. The greatest challenge for us is to take this story to the people of this state. We have an enormous job to do, in my view, to convince the policy makers that this is really the key to North Carolina’s economic future, that the future of the state really hangs in the balance. With a willingness of the state to reinvest, to leverage state funds to create more federal and private corporate investments to move us forward, the other states are getting this message. We are profiting and living off of the vision of fifty years ago. Now is the moment. In the near term, in the next two years, we have to reach the business leadership of North Carolina, to take the story to the political leadership, to convince the people that the time for reinvestment is now, because we hold the key to the future. The case for us to make is the case for the second generation of major investment in North Carolina so that we will be the kind of national and international power in the Twenty-First Century that we have been in the Twentieth Century.
I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today, to appear with Chancellor Fox, and for us to demonstrate to you the fact that we do in fact work together leading these two universities to help lead the state of North Carolina into the future. Thank you very much."
6. Presentation on Facilitating Institutional Collaboration
Professor Ruben Carbonell from the Kenan Institute discussed his personal experiences with running a multi-institutional program. He pointed out that there are huge opportunities for more of these programs now coming from the federal agencies. UNC and NC State have been extreme supporters of these kinds of programs.
This Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents deals with the use of C02 to replace organic solvents and water in a large variety of chemical processes. Right now it is a five university operation with thirty- two faculty, thirty-two graduate students, and twelve post docs. One of the distinguishing features of the center is that it has mostly chemists and chemical engineers. It also has social scientists. There are opportunities here not just for the folks that are in the hard science or engineering. This program actually began seven years ago with an industrial consortium that now has seventeen companies. Professor Carbonell believes that these activities can provide outstanding educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. In addition to doing enhanced research by getting better experimental resources and doing more work due to the funding, it also gets people involved in finding out more about technology commercialization aspects. These centers usually have a big public part, the outreach component. Students from all areas get involved in seeing some of that. They get involved in learning for example, by communication technology.
Industrial contacts are very important in student training, because the students have to report or present their work more often than normal. Therefore, it is a great way of teaching specifically graduate students and post docs. When working on these centers one is able to work on a much larger scale. The real difficult problems have to be attacked from all different directions. This is an ideal way of doing technology transfer and enhancing the rate of commercialization.
These kinds of centers have a life when they are done properly. Professor Carbonell stated that as new people are brought in and all technologies go by the wayside, it is something that he thinks can have an impact in departments and colleges across the universities.
Professor Carbonell stated that there are huge numbers of opportunities out there. These opportunities are not just for the hard scientists and engineers. A lot of these issues, and in particular terrorism, involve ethics, social science, and biotechnology. He sees a role for humanists and social scientists to get involved.
Professor Carbonell stated, "We feel that there is a lot to be done in many areas, in terms of proposal generation and bringing together all these various pieces that need to be put together for large grants of this type. We are able to provide support in facilitating workshops to discuss opportunities with granting agencies. For example, bringing together partners for the government or industry and granting agencies to specifically talk about opportunities. We have been able to fund the cost-sharing for proposals from start-up grants. We are getting preliminary data before going into a proposal mode. In the past we have helped support grant writers. We are willing to talk about release time for faculty that will be spending a significant amount of time on a proposal. Because of the experience that we have had with these multidisciplinary activities, I have been advising people that are involved in this process of what works and what does not work for us in our center. One of the things in which I might have been able to help out is that we have a new partnership with the research conferences who hold joint programs and were able to help initiate new conferences. Some of these sometimes can actually help in funding opportunities. We also have a lot of help already within the area and the administration.
Two weeks ago Duke, NC State and UNC Chapel Hill received an NSF grant. It is an $11M grant over five years. We hope that we can do many more of those. Thank you very much."
Chair Carter adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.