NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
GENERAL FACULTY MEETING
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Talley Student Center (Ball Room)
3:30 P. M.
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by Professor Philip B. Carter, Chair of the Faculty.
2. Welcome and Opening Remarks
Welcome to the spring meeting of the General Faculty of North Carolina State University. The Chancellor will introduce members of her administration shortly.
Let me acknowledge the members of the Faculty Senate present. These individuals are the elected representatives of the various constituencies of the faculty and EPA professionals in the university’s ten colleges and other academic units. They contribute their time most generously to the University and we should all be grateful to them for their contributions. I wish to especially acknowledge Ms. Vernice Stevenson, secretary to the Senate, who is entirely responsible for it operating so efficiently. I also wish to express my appreciation to Professor Alton Banks as he concludes his term as Secretary of the Faculty.
Also present are members of the Council of University Professors, individuals who have distinguished themselves in their various academic fields and represent an especially treasured group of colleagues who contribute their collective wisdom as an advisory body to the Chancellor and to me on matters of broad university importance.
At this point in our country’s history, I especially wish to recognize the members of our ROTC units represented on campus. I see Colonel Joe Fitzpatrick, Professor of Aerospace Studies and Major Cannon, representing Lieutenant Colonel Mike Wawrzyniak, Professor of Military Studies, and other members of the Army ROTC cadre, in the audience; Lieutenant Bill Coleman and Marine Captain Ed Sager and their colleagues are representing Captain Dennis Haines, Professor of Naval Science, who has responsibility for the units at all of the Triangle universities and has a scheduling conflict.
As I have said before, these men and women contribute in very important ways to providing our students with education, training, and leadership skills for an honorable career in our Armed Forces which so well complements their other academic courses at the University.
Yesterday, I was the luncheon guest of Major General David Mize, Commanding General of Camp Lejeune; the lunch had been scheduled in better times. I found the base festooned with yellow ribbons and flags flying at half-mast; the general spoke about his sad task of informing families of Camp Lejeune Marines of their recent deaths in Iraq.
Last weekend, I received an email from Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Cordelli, our immediate past Professor of Military Science who is now stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Bruce is a West Point graduate, whose brother, Pete, a classmate of our Board chair, Peaches Gunter Blank, played quarterback for the Wolfpack under Lou Holtz. Bruce asks that these sentiments be related to you:
"(My family and I) wanted to send a note to friends and loved ones as I prepare to deploy with my Battalion to the Central Command's Area of Responsibility. First of all please know that you are thought of fondly, as over the years you all have touched us in a positive way and our lives are richer because of you.
Know that my unit is trained and ready, and I have been blessed with
an outstanding Team. I am proud of the soldiers and leaders in my battalion as they continually rise to the challenge, and will do so as we deploy. I am confident in them and their ability no matter what mission we may be given.
I look forward to reconnecting with you all on redeployment. Until then May God Bless you and yours, and May God Bless America.
Regardless of your personal view on the war with Iraq, I encourage all of you to wear or display a yellow ribbon until our troops return safely home, remembering also the men and women serving with alumnus Lieutenant General Dan McNeill in Afghanistan and those serving in Korea, where the husband of one of my students has been deployed. Especially with so many reservists being activated, our troops are truly citizen soldiers and deserve our moral support through prayers, letters and email communications. So please take the time to drop a line to our students and coworkers who have been activated.
College of Design/School of Architecture and Faculty Recognitions
Recently, our community was informed that Professor Marvin Malecha, Dean of the College of Design and School of Architecture, was honored as the 2003 recipient of the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). The Topaz Medallion honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to architectural education for at least 10 years, whose teaching has influenced a broad range of students, and who has helped shape the minds of those who will shape our environment. Marvin was honored at the ACSA Annual Meeting in Louisville on March 15, and on May 8 at the 2003 AIA National Convention in San Diego. Marvin is only the second recipient of this honor from NC State, he is preceded by the 1948 founder of our College of Design, Henry Kamphoefner, who received this award in 1977.
The announcement of Marvin’s recognition on the University’s home page led me to investigate its significance and, in doing so, I discovered that the February, 2003 national rankings have NC State #16 in architecture, and in the top 5 in industrial design and also in graphic design. Now, as a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine, I am awfully proud of our #5 national ranking but, considering that there are only 27 vet schools in the U.S., producing about ten times that number of veterinarians annually, and over 150 schools of architecture, graduating 10,000 students each year, I definitely have to tip my hat to the faculty in Design, who just last weekend celebrated their college’s 55th anniversary. Would Dean Malecha and all the faculty members in the College of Design present please stand to be recognized? These colleagues are in the top decile of their field nationally!
The theme for our next capital campaign is "Achieve!" and these faculty members are certainly doing that. There are faculty members in our other colleges whose achievements are being recognized regularly on the university website, such as Rich Felder’s recent lifetime achievement award in engineering education, and EPA professionals, such as Kay Yow being chosen North Carolina Person of the Year by the News & Observer ; I encourage all to monitor the "Achieve!" announcements and take pride in what we are as an institution.
What we are as an institution, what we have become as an institution, is based upon the hard work of those who have gone before us. The article in last Sunday’s Raleigh News & Observer mentioned how the academic achievements of our incoming students keeps getting better and better. It indicates how this university’s reputation is becoming appreciated to a greater extent across the country and how we are competing well for top students. It is a pleasure to recognize those who have gone before us and to express gratitude for their career contributions to NC State. The professors who are retiring this academic year will be recognized in the program of the May commencement but I would also like to recognize them now. I invite all retiring faculty and EPA professionals, as well as all members of the Lifelong Faculty present, to stand and be recognized.
Some of you may have recognized the music of Wagner being played before this meeting started, particularly preludes from his opera, Lohengrin, which I selected since this is indeed my "swan song". So before I sail away on a magical swan, or get booted out, I would like to address a few subjects that have been of particular interest during my two-year term as Chair of the Faculty. My remarks are not meant to be "Dr. Phil’s words of wisdom" but rather entreaties for serious faculty consideration.
Athletics and Academics
It is being increasingly recognized that sports, health and leadership are related. Last week, I read that 80% of women CEOs in America participated in intercollegiate athletics. I know from personal experience that athletic training fosters discipline, team-work, and goal-oriented structure in one’s life. Having been a high school track coach, I have developed a great respect for coaches and coaching and accept them as full members of this academic community. I support the expanded involvement of women in collegiate athletics and applaud Athletic Director Lee Fowler’s plan to improve facilities for women’s sports at NC State, following the spirit, as well as the letter of Title IX.
Just last December, the National Health Service of Great Britain announced that, in another ten years, there is expected to be a doubling in the number of British subjects needing kidney transplants. This increased demand is due to the anticipated rise in the number of people with late onset, or Type II, diabetes, an insidious disease associated with poor diet and lack of exercise. If Britain anticipates that kind of increase, can you imagine what we face here in the U.S.? We hear weekly about the extent of obesity in Americans. But people are responding; the health clubs in my part of Raleigh are packed every evening and the number of Gold’s Gyms and the like are popping up like mushrooms all over. This industry of athletics for the average person is creating a job demand for people who understand exercise physiology, anatomy, …and business management. NC State is in a position to address this demand. We should seriously consider establishing a rigorous academic program that combines fields of recreation, physical education and business management skills. I am pleased that Dean Brady and Dean Nielsen, and the faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences and Natural Resources, are engaged in discussions on this topic.
Athletics has a place at colleges and universities; our challenge is to maintain proper perspective. I am grateful to the Wolfpack Club, composed of alumni and friends of NC State intercollegiate athletics, for their generous proposal to construct additional student housing near campus. But, as athletics and academics should go hand-in-hand, I would prefer that our scholarship athletes be fully integrated as student-athletes with the student community and not live apart from them. In my remarks at the General Faculty meeting of autumn, 2001, I proposed that we use the then recently released Knight Commission Report as our guide. I commend Professor Donn Ward, whom we shall hear from shortly, Athletics Director Fowler, and all the members of the University Council on Athletics for their document responding to the challenges contained in the 2001 Knight Commission Report. But this should be viewed only as a beginning; we need to do more. We should actively interact with faculty members of universities in the Pac 10, the Big Ten, and other conferences that are engaged in putting "big time" college sports back in perspective. NC State and the ACC need to be one with them and provide appropriate leadership. I am pleased with the success of our football team this year, and their victory over Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl, and the success of Herb Sendek’s team in qualifying again for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I don’t wish to be mediocre in anything we do at NC State; we must strive to be best. But being the best doesn’t mean just winning games, it means graduating our student-athletes and being sure that they, and all of our students, get the education they need to be a success in life after they leave this place.
Recruitment, Retention, Progress toward Degree, Graduation Rates
It is often said that the smart athlete chooses his/her sport. It was certainly true in my case. I, like all high school boys growing up in Illinois, wanted to be a star basketball player but my hand-eye coordination was not exceptional and I was a disappointed young man; it wasn’t until I was invited to go running with some of the football players that I discovered the sport in which I had natural talent. The same can be said about academics. Most college students do not know where their intellectual talents and interests lay until they are exposed to courses in those fields. Nationally, easily 50% of college freshmen change their major, or intended major, after their first year in college. Not everyone has the interest or talent to be an engineer, historian, architect, or accountant. Recognizing that we all are happier doing something we are good at, this university needs to more seriously consider how we can best expose our incoming students to the broad academic strengths of NC State and give them a basis for choosing a major that matches their ability and interest. The First Year College was a good step in this direction but we now need to consider the next step and I ask all faculty members to be a part of the discourse we need to have on the subject of first year studies. We need to consider new approaches in addressing the pernicious problem of poor retention, low graduation rates, and slow progress toward degree. Interim Vice Provost Thomas Conway will shortly discuss with us, in a Faculty Senate meeting, initiatives in this area. He and others in college and university administration need input, involvement, and support from the faculty if we wish to achieve the national recognition we believe we deserve as a national university. Further, I encourage all to respond to the needs of our colleagues preparing documents for our upcoming SACS re-accreditation; the SACS visit will provide us with a critical evaluation of what we need to do to advance this institution.
Wednesday Lunches, etc.
In 2001, a weekly "brown bag" lunch in the Senate Chambers was instituted to foster collegiality among faculty from all of our colleges and facilitate communication with your elected faculty representatives and with me as Chair. I hope this can be continued next academic year. I encourage all of you to participate as your time permits and especially on April 23, when Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue, a legislator with an earned doctorate, will join us.
I want to encourage all to support the annual Women’s Conference on April 9. The Council on the Status of Women at NC State has worked hard to create a conference that will have meaning for all faculty and staff women and also sessions to which men are most welcome. I would especially like to invite male faculty and staff to actively participate in the session on women in leadership.
A swan song is a good time to reflect on what has not been accomplished. I am disappointed that I was not able to move on a university-wide lyceum in an effort to find ways of enhancing this community of scholars in becoming even more of a university rather than a collection of colleges. Nonetheless, I am pleased that the College of Humanities and Social Sciences has contributed toward this objective by becoming so aggressive at advertising and inviting broad university participation in their special events and seminars on timely topics. We are justifiably proud of our talent in the sciences and fields of engineering but we are a university, not an institute of technology, and we all need to support the growth and development of the arts and humanities at this institution and participate in their events.
Lastly, I want to encourage the faculty to become actively involved at their department and college level in proposing worthy individuals for honorary degrees. The Board of Trustees sincerely seeks and expects thoughtful faculty input and faculty should view this as an important responsibility.
3. Introduction of Guests
Chancellor Fox acknowledged the presence of the armed forces and the Executive Officers of the university.
4. Approval of the Minutes of the September 17, 2002 General Faculty Meeting
The minutes were approved without dissent.
5. Remarks from the Chancellor
It is always a privilege to be invited to share my thoughts about our University’s progress and the anticipated opportunities and challenges we will encounter in the months ahead. I am grateful, indeed, to serve as your Chancellor and I thank you sincerely for giving me the chance today to communicate directly with you.
This is a particularly important time in our Nation’s history as we face war and severe economic challenges, realities that make the contributions of public higher education all the more important for our state and nation. Many of our alumni and several members of our campus community have been called to military service, and I know each of you joins me in offering thanks for their personal sacrifice and a prayer for their swift and safe return.
When I first came to Raleigh as your Chancellor, it was my firm conviction that true greatness was within our grasp. In these intervening five years, my belief in that conviction has not wavered and has, in fact, been strengthened. I am delighted that so many of our faculty have joined with the administration to embrace a University vision: to build a demographically and intellectually diverse campus community, to foster partnerships internally and externally, and to adopt a business model for university operations that was efficient and accountable to the people of North Carolina.
We have had much success, yet we continue to face many challenges. It is important to remember, especially when the state budget is tight, how strongly North Carolinians appreciate NC State’s contributions to the quality of their lives. This semester, in cooperation with our deans and executive officers, we began an on-going, state-wide tour, called "NC State Listens," to understand the concerns and support felt in small and large NC communities for NC State. These visits have convinced us that outside support for NC State is real, enthusiastic, and substantial. These friendships reflect an honored tradition in which this university is widely recognized as serving as a key economic driver for the state and region and as an entity uniquely willing and able to solve local problems. They will serve us well in clearly telling the NC State story.
I believe that there is indeed much reason to justify this optimism. The New NC State has become, in fact, a national model for scholarly cooperation, as seen in the excellent record of our graduates as innovative leaders in their chosen professions and in the flourishing partnerships with business and industry so evident on the Centennial Campus. This reputation is echoed in quieter ways when we attend senior sendoffs throughout North Carolina, when we welcome new private and governmental partners to our campus, when we walk the halls of the North Carolina legislature or the US Congress, or when we approach private donors.
But we have more work to do in order to move this institution to the next level. To do so, we must listen to each other, must prioritize university investments through the Compact Planning process to build the best possible programs, and must work energetically to implement our considered decisions.
I have enjoyed the opportunity over these many weeks to hear the suggestions and concerns directly from faculty through a series of breakfasts convened by Bob Barnhardt, our interim provost. The exchanges have been candid and useful, and I would like to use my remaining time to summarize some of these expressed ideas with you.
A common theme of these breakfast meetings was an evident desire for more frequent and substantive communication between the faculty and administration, a feeling shared by both groups. I am pleased indeed to learn of the faculty’s interest in innovative ways to share university governance and leadership, and I give my enthusiastic support to a major effort to explore these topics with our new Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. I also pledge to work with you to clarify University budget constraints and controls and the way in which budget decisions are reached. In addition, I fully endorse the faculty recommendation for the need for a campus- wide "paperwork reduction act".
Let me illustrate some of the other suggestions brought up in these meetings. You can easily see that we discussed an incredible range of topics, all worthy of further consideration. Because of time constraints, I can mention only a sampling of these today:
Faculty issues, such as:
Defining the faculty role in achieving the university vision;
Refining methods for evaluating, recognizing, and rewarding quality teaching;
Establishing a policy for relief for assistant professors as they begin their independent research; or
Dealing with grade inflation.
Budget issues, such as:
Enhanced funding for the graduate student support plan;
Dealing with ever-shrinking operating funds; or
Improving total compensation for faculty and staff.
Institutional issues, such as:
Understanding assessment as a key component of SACS re-accreditation;
Improving national rankings / reputation; or
Improving retention and graduation rate.
Infrastructural issues, such as:
Enhancing campus safety;
Equipping and supporting classrooms; or
Improving infrastructure for grant administration and technology transfer.
Procedural issues, such as:
Implementing the progress toward degree regulations;
Better defining the role of the University Committee in RPT oversight; or
Eliminating double scheduling of distance education rooms.
Communication issues, such as:
Clarifying and accelerating decisions about the adverse weather policy;
Featuring one Executive Officer at each Faculty Senate meeting; or
Opening a dialog among faculty groups, such as Senate committees, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, the Research Operations Council, and the Extension Operations Council.
And this is just a sample of the incredibly rich discussions we have initiated!
I know you’ll agree that this is quite an agenda. But it is important for you to know that I am listening to the issues important to our campus community, and value your suggestions as we work to develop solutions to the dilemmas we face. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to visit by appointment or during one of the scheduled faculty walk-in hours. I will value your insight and wisdom in dealing with these and other issues, large and small.
Together we can – and will – achieve greatness. Thank you.
6. Provost Search
Professor Dennis Daley, Co-chair of the Provost Nominating Committee, reported that the committee has been meeting weekly since January. They have invited three nominees to come to campus: Dr. Richard Edwards, Chapel Hill; Dr. James Oblinger, NCSU; Dr. Joan Stewart, University of South Carolina. These individuals have met the criteria of having knowledge of the North Carolina State University system. They will be on campus for one and one half days of very intense meetings with various constituents of the university which will include the faculty. Special sections to meet with the faculty will be announced on the homepage. Most of these sessions will be scheduled within the 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. time slots. Locations will vary. It is hoped that everyone will be able to attend the meetings and make comments regarding the candidates.
Professor Donn Ward, Faculty Athletics Representative stated that he was asked to speak about some of the changes that have occurred relative to NCAA academic reforms.
The Executive Committee of the Division One schools in the NCAA, which is comprised of 18 Chief Executive Officers of those institutions, have indicated their desire to improve the graduation rates of student athletes within the NCAA. As a consequence they have pushed through a variety of academic reform legislation that will significantly enhance the opportunity for student athletes to graduate on a timely basis. I would like to enlighten you about some of these changes and how they might impact our student athletes.
To actually become eligible to get into a NCAA Division One institution and to participate in those sports, the first change is to increase the core courses from thirteen to fourteen. I suspect within the next two years it will go to sixteen core course requirements. It also establishes a sliding scale that maintains a 2.0 high school core GPA but eliminates the cut score for SAT and ACT tests. The ACC institutions were not supportive of the elimination of the cut score. Those students who would have a score below 820 for the SAT really do not reflect the students that we typically are going to get at our institutions irrespective of what their high school GPA might be. For a variety of reasons the Executive Committee thought that the pool this would actually affect would be small and they would reflect more opportunities for some of the minority students who sometimes do not do as well on some of these standardized tests. They felt that it would be an advantageous thing to do, and that is in fact what has happened. Under the old system if you had a 2.0 GPA, you had to have at least a 1010 on the SAT or an 86 on the ACT. If you had a 2.5 GPA or greater, you could go down as low as 820 on the SAT or 68 on the ACT. Under the new rules with the fourteen core courses you still have to obtain a 2.0 on the high school core. If you had that you had to have a 1010 SAT. On the other end of that spectrum you would have a 3.55 high school core GPA and you could obtain a score of 400 on the SAT. Again, I suspect that the pool that this actually impacts is reasonably small. The reasons that the ACC did not support this are 1) we are concerned about grade inflation in high schools and 2) it is easier to manipulate in some instances high school grades whereas the one constant was the ACT or the SAT test. For a variety of good reasons the Executive Board opted to go another direction.
Eligibility To Compete
Once an individual student athlete gets into an institution, one could argue that, in fact, that relaxes the rules to some extent. When one gets to an institution, I think that the bar has been raised considerably in order to stay eligible to compete.
A student athlete at NC State always has an extra burden in terms of progress toward degree. The GPA requirements in order to stay eligible to compete were considerably higher than what our traditional students had to maintain. Of course the non-athlete student was not maintaining it to compete, they were just maintaining it to stay in the school. I am pleased to report that our school in some extent is coming in line with the NCAA criteria. Our student athletes are not going to be treated much differently than our normal non athlete student. First of all student, athletes are going to need 24 semester hours every year. Of those 24 hours, they have to obtain 18 in the fall and spring semester leaving only 6 that they can use for summer school. Those rules are not any different than what we have had in the past. The difference is that they have to do that every semester. There is no such thing as averaging any more. Every year a student athlete has to have at least twenty-four hours progress toward their degree. The other significant difference is that they have to earn at least six hours per term in the regular academic terms in order to stay eligible. This could impact someone on a swimming or diving team or basketball teams. They start the fall eligible, but if they do not pass six hours in the fall they cannot compete in the second half of the season in the spring. In the past if you were eligible in the fall, irrespective of what you did in the fall you could stay eligible for the entire year. Under the new rules that is not possible. Perhaps one of the more rigorous things that have come out of this is the change in progress toward degree. The Executive Committee has built this whole academic reform around graduating student athletes in five years. Every year that a student athlete matriculates at an institution NCAA wants that student athlete to look like they are on target to graduate. In order to determine their progress, we ask, "What does a student who is going to graduate look like at the end of year 2, 3, 4, and 5?" So at the start of their third year a student athlete will have to have 40% progress toward degree. That is considerably different than the old rules which required only 25%. Then they have to go up in subsequent 20% increments every year. If you do not have that progress toward degree you are not eligible to compete. There is a significant change and one of the reasons it is so significant for us is that most of our curricula in this institution have anywhere from 124 to 132 hours to graduate whereas some of our sister institutions might have 100 to 102 hours to graduate. In order for progress toward degree, our students have to take proportionally more courses in order to meet that metric (40, 60, and 80%).
The other thing that is significantly different is that at the start of their second year, a student athlete has to have a grade point average of 1.8. Here at NC State our traditional students have had to have 1.5 in order to stay in school. Under the old NCAA rules a student did not have to have a 1.8 until the beginning of their junior year. Now we are saying at the beginning of their sophomore year they have to have a 1.8 GPA. By the beginning of year three they have to have 95% of the GPA met which is 1.9 and a 2.0 by year four.
The other thing that is not currently required but I suspect will be required within two years is that the Executive Board has asked that the GPA be checked at the end of each term.
Another significant change has to do with developmental courses. Some institutions claim they do not have them. Consequently, anything that the student athlete takes is going to count. We do have courses in our institution which, for a variety of reasons, do not count toward a degree. Under the old rules a student athlete could take up to twelve semester hours that did not count toward a degree. The new rules state that the student athletes are only going to be able to take six hours of developmental work. In reality our students would have to avoid such courses if they are going to make progress toward degree. They cannot have a lot of hours under their belt that will not count toward degree.
Finally, this legislation I just spoke of has passed. I would like to mention briefly the next phase of this. This legislation is being proposed. It is not yet rules but is moving in that direction. The Board is telling the schools that we want to make sure that your institutions, athletic programs, and your teams are making progress. Consequently we feel it necessary to build in certain incentives for schools to make progress and to assess certain penalties if there is no progress. The NCAA views certain abilities as assets: for post season play, access to a full array of athletic scholarships, allowances for a certain number of coaches and other recruiting advantages that they currently have and certainly last but not least to participation in the NCAA revenues. They are developing a metric called an annual academic progress rate (AARP). This will be based on eligibility, retention and graduation, and will be weighted to reflect the values of Division One membership. It will be a contemporaneous measure of how student athletes, how the team, and how the whole athletic program is doing based on retention of student athletes and their eligibility and ultimately graduation. There will be some historical perspective on the schools normal student body graduation rate their traditional historical graduation rates for student athletes. The directors are going to set a minimum. Schools will have to achieve this in order to participate in this full array of what is considered assets. As I understand it, over time this metric will change, because they want to raise graduation rates. Over time the directors will slowly raise the bar so that schools will have to push in order to achieve and improve their overall graduation success.
I am proud of being associated with the athletics program that we have here at NC State. I think we have some wonderful leadership. We have some wonderful head coaches. More importantly, the Chancellor is exercising institutional control and that is what all of this is about, that someone at the institution has to be held accountable. I think the level of control that we have here from the Chancellor’s Office on down is superb. Thank you.
8. Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Reaffirmation Process
Professor Robert Barnhardt, Interim Provost and Chair of SACS Leadership Committee, stated that he has been in higher education for 43 years and every ten years you are supposed to have a SACS review and this is the sixth review that he has done.
It is a privilege to serve in this role at this particular time. I think the university will benefit greatly from having ten-year reviews of all of its academic programs and looking at everything that is going on in one collective across-the-board program. We are scheduled for a visit in the year 2004, and even though all of us have been through this many times it will really be a new experience for us. The system is entirely different this year than it has been in the past years. We are fortunate that Karen Helm is leading us through this because I do not know anyone who has better credentials than Karen does, and I know she is called upon frequently to help out other institutions.
Ten years ago, the reaffirmation process had 400 questions that had to be answered and documented as far as our undergraduate program review is concerned. Today it is down to 75 questions, but those 75 core questions are slightly different.
We are one of the first institutions to implement the new process and that allows us to reshape the process in a manner that is of value to us. On the other hand it does not give us anything to compare ourselves to. We said there are 75 questions and those core questions are called requirements or comprehensive standards. The compliance team for this section of the SACS Report is co-chaired by Dr. Will Kimler in History and Karen Helms in University Planning and Analysis.
The second component of this study is entitled "Institutional Effectiveness Compliance". This team is Co-Chaired by Dr. Jeff Scroggs of Mathematics and Dr. Schechter of University Planning and Analysis. Again, what you notice is that in every case there is a co-chair. One from the faculty and one from University Planning and Analysis because you have to have a team together in order to draw all of the data that are necessary to make these decisions and recommendations and also to have the faculty input on the proper interpretation of all of these.
The new procedure is that each institution defines and justifies its definition relative to the mission of the university, relative to the accepted best practices of the academy in general and also relative to the benchmarks of our peer institutions. This accounts for approximately 50% of the entire process. The second half of the process is related to our quality enhancement plan or QEP. This too, is a new component and presents possibilities. The QEP is a broad based approach trying to assess through learning and achievement. Our QEP Learning in a technology rich environment(LITRE) forms the basis for this data collection and analysis. This section is co-chaired by Dr. Hugh Devine in Natural Resources and Sharon Pitt of the Learning Technology Services.
The QEP Goal
Professor Alton Banks member of the SACS Leadership Committee, stated that the reaffirmation process has two components, the compliance portion and the quality enhancement plan. Our quality enhancement plan is called Learning In a Technology Rich Environment and goes by the acronym LITRE. It is the vision of our LITRE Team to conduct our quality enhancement plan as a research project. After all, one of NC State’s strongest points are research endeavors. So we are casting our efforts in that area within the confines of a research plan. I would like to read you a brief excerpt of the draft of the vision statement of our quality enhancement plan.
In the twenty first century North Carolina State University will use its historic strength in technology to pursue its stated mission to create an innovative learning environment that stresses mastery of fundamentals, intellectual discipline, creativity, problem solving and responsibility. This plan has been formed by five work groups. They operate under the names of student information fluency, faculty engagement, learning resources and educational technology applications, distance education and distributed learning environments and of institutional systems and facilities or educational infrastructure.
The LITRE team is formulating a plan that proposes campus priorities for investment and technologies over the next few years that should enhance student learning. Some of the projects will require new funding while others will use existing funds to accomplish these with greater efficiency. We spend more than $30M annually on teaching and learning technology. Our budget situation and good fiscal practice dictate that we use these funds carefully and strategically. So while several dozen faculty and staff have been working over the past six months to craft this vision for the quality enhancement plan, it is true that they cannot implement the plan without broader input and commitment. More importantly, the quality enhancement plan is viewed by the LITRE group as more than just a requirement for SACS or reaffirmation, but viewed as a bold approach to teaching and learning in the twenty-first century.
Professor Barnhardt stated that it is interesting that the accreditation team will be here exactly one year from today, on March 23-25, 2004. Yet, the first compliance report is due in mid August of 2003 and the quality enhancement plan is due January 2004. Our work is cut out for us very quickly. We cannot sit back and say that is a whole year away. To that end, the SACS team is sponsoring a forum that will be held on April 22nd between 12:30 and 4:45 p.m. in the Witherspoon Student Center. The idea of that is to get as much input as we can from the faculty, particularly about the quality enhancement plan. All of this preliminary information is on the SACS accreditation web site and more will be added daily so that as many faculty and staff will come and discuss with the SACS accreditation team their input to the quality enhancement plan and how to make this LITRE work very effectively.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m. to a reception to honor those who have served in the Faculty Senate and Chair Carter, for his service as Chair of the Faculty.