NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
GENERAL FACULTY MEETING
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
3:00 P M
1. Call to Order
Chair Dennis M. Daley called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.
2. Introduction of Guests
Chair Daley acknowledged the presence of the Executive Officers of the university.
3. Approval of the Minutes for the April 13, 2004 General Faculty Meeting
Suzanne Weiner, Secretary of the Faculty asked for approval of the minutes.
A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes. The minutes were approved unanimously.
4. Remarks By Robert Barnhardt, Interim Chancellor
“It is an honor and a privilege for me to be the Interim Chancellor. I came to NC State University in 1987 and since that time I have been delighted with the progress that I have seen from 1987 until today. At that time I think many described the university as a collection of independent and sometimes, autonomous colleges and schools. Fortunately today we have an outstanding university and highly successful colleges and schools support it, which is a very important difference. That transition was absolutely essential for us to get to the point where we are today. We are in another transition right now that started on July 13, which was Marye Anne Fox’s last day at the university and that transition will continue until the new Chancellor is chosen. Hopefully that transition has been felt less and has been going along relatively easy because of the talents and leadership shown by the faculty and administrators on campus. As faculty we have put in place the proper academic programs, the proper research and outreach programs, and all of these have their own momentum and our collective response therefore is to maintain that momentum.
Certainly one of my first goals as Interim Chancellor was that we not lose the momentum that we have and also that we should actually build upon the relationships that we have both on campus and off campus. There are a number of things that the Chancellor is asked to do and a number of groups that the Chancellor serves on, not because of the person but because of the position they occupy. So as a result I spend a great deal of time off campus meeting with organizations like the Centennial Authority, which has responsibility for the RBC Center, and that is probably going to be relatively interesting because of the National Hockey League lockout. As an aside, the most interesting thing to me is if I believe what is written in the paper, the owner of the Hurricanes says that when he plays hockey he loses approximately $9.5M per year and when he does not play he loses $3.0M per year, so rather than this being a problem I think that we should not have played hockey for the last three or four years. We would be in much better financial shape than we are right now. The Chancellor also serves on the Board of MCNC and the new biotech operations that we have. We have met with the Coalition Development Council in Raleigh and with the Chamber of Commerce. The value of meeting with people in the Chamber of Commerce is because it is one place where a whole lot of organizations that are important to Raleigh and Wake County come together for breakfast meetings. This gives you the opportunity to sit and talk with people like Bill McNeil, the Superintendent of Wake County Public Schools and Steven Smith who is the new President of Wake Tech. We also had the opportunity to meet with Mayor Meeker of Raleigh along with some of his staff members to hear what they would like to do with the university. What I was pleased with is it seems that all of a sudden the university is seen as a real asset by our local government. In fact, one of the things they were happy about was the location downtown, a little off shoot from the College of Design and their little facility that they will have there, but it is an indication of the university moving into the town. They also liked the idea of having our golf course. They saw the golf course particularly as they build the new Convention Center downtown along with the hotels as being able to put packages together for tourists coming in, and all of a sudden we are a partner with them rather than a non-partner or a threat to them in some ways.
I also had the opportunity to attend a number of faculty functions. I have tried to accept as many invitations as possible such as the new NSF Grant from the Department of Statistics called “Vigor”. The good thing there is not only the program was renewed, which was great for an NSF contractor, but also because David Price attended that meeting which gave me an opportunity to spend time with Congressman Price at a luncheon where you can sit and talk about a lot of things rather privately. We also attended a similar operation in the College of Textiles where Roger Barker was celebrating some of the Homeland Security things. Bob Etheridge was also at that meeting.
The election of Dr. Cary Smith to the National Academy of Science and Engineering was a great event. This type of award really reflects very well on the faculty and makes me very proud to have the opportunity to be there and to say a few words.
I have met with the Staff and Student Senates and believe I am scheduled to meet with the Faculty Senate next week. We continue to interact with various groups of the university, friends, alumni, corporations, business leaders, and foundations. This is very important because you know that we are in the middle of a significant campaign for contributions and we want to make sure that we don’t lose momentum during this period. In fact, we are ahead of our projected areas. We continue to be ahead of the projected areas, which is a good sign to the university. There is that much confidence in the leadership that we go forward and continue to reach the goal and probably set a new goal that is even higher than we had expected.
We are also fortunate to have a highly dedicated group of Vice Chancellors and Deans and other administrators as well. I felt that this was absolutely the case when I accepted the assignment but this was tested, unfortunately with the tailgating incident. We demonstrated how quickly we could come together as a team and suggested solutions. We looked at what the problems were. We looked at possible solutions and implemented decisions. I keep reading about this statement, “It’s lonely at the top”, but it isn’t lonely at the top if you have good people working for you because I never felt that way at all.
Our budget is not exactly what we had hoped it would be but it certainly is better than it has been in the past few years. I particularly like the comment that Chair Daley made at the Board of Trustees meeting about the budget. He said there were some good things and some bad things. He said the good thing is that we have improved and we have actually gotten increased funds, which have given us a higher profile, so that was good. He said the bad news is that at the higher profile we are still underpaid which leaves us open for others to come in and rob us of our faculty. He also said another good thing is that we are in better shape than many of our competitors and therefore we can go out and raid some other universities as well. I counted that as a two to one margin and that’s just slightly better than it should be so we have to get that margin up to a much higher number. Hopefully from a budget prospective we should not have too many problems unless we get increased cost because of the hurricanes and bad weather that we have been having throughout the country.
You may have noticed recently in the News and Observer about us getting our proper share of their attention from rankings. I would like to point out two recent ones that you may not be familiar with. On September 6, US News and World Report made a report on the fifty universities that they say are great schools with great prices. They looked at the value and the quality of the school and they looked at the cost of attending these schools and they ranked fifty schools. We are included in that number. The unfortunate thing is that forty-one of these schools are private universities and only nine of these are public universities. We compared ourselves to the nine and they had three basic criteria that they published. One was the percent of students who received need grants and of those nine we are ranked fourth. The second one was the average cost of coming to the university after receiving these need grants. We ranked third in that group of nine universities. The third was the average discount of cost to the students and we ranked third in that group as well. I like those numbers but the unfortunate thing is the public universities are mainly in the bottom section of all of those universities. We have a lot to do and in fact, we should be at the top in many of those but unfortunately we are not.
The second thing came in yesterday and it is part of a Princeton review that started a year or so ago. Patty Clayton submitted this document sometime last year. It was about service learning at North Carolina State University and part of that was all of the service activities that we have going on. She wrote a very comprehensive report and received news yesterday that we have been designated as a campus with a conscious. We don’t know what that means yet but certainly it cannot mean bad things no matter how you look at it. The Princeton review took Patty’s ten pages or so and condensed them into a two-page summary and it is an outstanding document. I look forward to being able to share this with everyone once we know exactly how Princeton is going to react to this.
Finally, when I met with the Student Senate to discuss the tailgating incident we talked about the need to change the culture of the university, particularly relative to the use of alcohol. It is not a problem that is unique to this campus. It is a problem that I see throughout all of higher education. I would like to suggest that we as a university could also benefit from a change in our culture and I would like to end by just throwing this out for you to consider privately. I think we are all aware of the value of self-esteem, that when individuals have self-esteem and they have been encouraged to do better, that this is work and individual. I believe that there is a value in building self-esteem for the university as well. I get tired of hearing about how we are positioned for or we are in a position for something that is about to become. I don’t believe either one of those. We have been saying for too many years that we are positioned for and that we are about to become and I would like to believe and hope that you would agree with me that we have become and that it is time to celebrate who we are. I don’t make any apologies for NC State at all. I believe that as a university we have arrived and that we have got to start talking about the positive things that are going on. We can’t overlook the fact that we have got to do much better and we can do much better than we currently are, but if we are always positioned to become or always about to become then I don’t know when we are going to finally say we are here. Let’s celebrate and let’s move on to better things. I hope that we could think about this and perhaps use that as a discussion point throughout the year. How do we know when we have arrived? I thank you for the opportunity to be here today and thank you for all the support that you have given me during the past few weeks. “
5. Remarks from Charles Leffler, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business
“In my twenty years of experience here at NC State while I think in many cases it has prepared me to do this job, every day I find out of course what I don’t know and so this first few weeks has been a lot of making sure that I try to understand in knowing the things that I don’t know so that I can learn about them, both within the Finance and Business Organization and also the university. While I know many of you setting here today, I also don’t know many of you and my job is to learn as much about NC State as I can on every front.
The Finance and Business Organization is going to probably change some over the course of the next year or two. My moving from Facilities into this position is just one step in that process. Dave Rainer is acting on an Interim basis in facilities and is doing a wonderful job. We are recruiting now for that position and that is a position of interest to the campus. We already have sixty candidates for my old position and that number continues to grow. We have just hired a new Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Barbara Carroll. Many of you have met Barbara already and she is getting out and trying to meet with the deans and units on the campus and will continue to do so and I think you are going to find Barbara to be a tremendous addition to the NC State family in terms of looking at the issues that are important to us from a Human Resource standpoint.
I have been asked on several occasions, “What is my vision for finance and business?” I am really at this point still shaping that vision. I do believe that Finance and Business have to be engaged with the campus. We have to work with you as a partner and we want you to see us as a partner in finance and business in things that you are doing programmatically. We want to do that in every aspect of the teaching, research and extension of this campus because that is what the campus is all about. We are here to support players and that is our role in finance and business. I want to work toward transparency in what we do so that the reasons that we do it will appear obvious to everyone. If they are not obvious then we ought to be questioned on those reasons and those motives and I really want to work toward that issue. I have made a commitment that we are going to be very close in our working relationship with the Provost because I think that the academic and business decisions of the institution cannot be made alone so we really have committed to doing that and I am already enjoying the partnership that has developed between the Provost and I. There are a lot of things that is going to be happening over the next couple of years that come out of finance and business that affects the entire campus. The Bond Program is just one example of that and is now reaching its midway point and making a big difference on the campus already in terms of teaching spaces and research spaces. We have a long way to go with that program. We have another three and a half years of disruption on the campus even though we will be beginning to hit the decline of that in about another year but it is going to still be a major disruption and an enormous amount of campus wide cooperation to make that happen but it leaves us to think about what becomes beyond Bond I as we have called it. We begin to think about Bond II and how we begin to deal with those parts that are not a part of the current program. We have already developed that potential list of projects and will continue to refine that but we have almost a billion and a half dollars worth of needs out there that we have identified in one category or another. Now that is not going to get funded tomorrow so we are going to have to continue to lay the groundwork for that and push on those projects that are our highest priority.
Campus safety is something that we are going to continue to pay a lot of attention to in finance and business. We have a major system upgrade coming, both in the financial system in terms of moving ahead to web based technologies and the HR system to try to make the data more usable to everyone on the campus.
We have a new opportunity with the Faculty Advisory Budget Committee that has been established as a way of engaging the faculty more on those kinds of discussions. The Provost chairs the committee and I think that is going to be an opportunity for the future.
We have the Centennial Campus continuing to move along on its development. There are a lot of projects underway there, two of which will be occupied within the next sixty days with the College of Engineering going into their first building and the Partners III Building with Research Programs. There is a host of things over there and if you don’t get to Centennial Campus on a monthly basis you are going to miss some of the things that are happening so I encourage everyone to go over there if you just drive through. Also important in that category is updating the Physical Master Plan instead of making sure of what we have on our master plan for the development of the campus and how we plug in the future Bond II Program is the way we want it to be and that is a lot of discussion I think the campus will have next year as we do this five-year update to that particular activity. Those are just a few of the things that are going to be coming out of the chute and a lot of things for us in finance and business to make sure that we are engaging with the campus and doing it in a way that is going to be the most beneficial. There is a lot on our plate. I am really looking forward to it. I think we have an enormous set of people in finance and business to help execute that and I really appreciate all of the support that I have gotten in this transition from many of you out there and across the campus.”
6. Remarks from David Rainer, Associate VC Environmental Health & Public Safety
“I think those of you who are in the audience today are probably aware that in the fall semester of 2003 Chancellor Fox convened a safety task force to look into measures that would enhance the security of the NC State University campus. I have served on several task forces since I have been here in the last twelve years and I can tell you that this really was a very good interactive group. We had a cross-the-board representation. We had the Chair of the Faculty Senate, the Student Body President, Director of the Women Center and Gender Affairs, individuals from the library, McKimmon Center, and individuals from Centennial Campus. We had an individual who represented the Hillsborough Street corridor since we know that Hillsborough Street is an area of concern to a lot of people across campus.
The report that we issued was an extremely comprehensive report. We didn’t hold any punches back. We made recommendations to improve safety on campus that really covered almost every entity and every individual. Our report is available on line. If you go to the campus police site and pull up the campus security task force report you will find the whole report in its entirety.
The task force had the opportunity to talk with the Executive Officers and each officer was tasked to look at the recommendations that impacted their respective organizations and I am glad to report that we received feedback from all of the Executive Officers, therefore everyone has participated in the recommendation that was made. I can’t think of any recommendation that was made that we are not currently acting on or that we have not already implemented.
If you look at the University Master Plan it talks about the fact that we are a community of paths and neighborhoods and we are trying to make the campus more user friendly and allow people to walk across the campus and to be a successful campus. One of the recommendations we made was to enhance the Allcampus pass system. We have put together a subcommittee in Facilities that include Facilities; University Housing, and Campus Police, and we have specific recommendations that relate to improving the all campus pass system. We are going to look at lighting, blue light phones, and how we designate the paths on maps. We want people to know what the designated paths are and encourage people in fact, to use those paths. We have implemented bike patrol in Campus Police. As we encourage people to use some of our off campus paths we have been making them very proactive and improving their visibility and the visibility of the security on those paths.
There has been a lot of discussion about how we can improve the feel of DH Hill Library. As a result of the recommendations of the task force we engaged a dialog with Susan Nutter and her staff and I think we have come up with really good ideas, in fact recommendations that are better than what was made by the Task Force. We are involving the Library staff in the campus library security effort. It turns out that there are a lot of regular employees who are in the library stacks. We are going to use those employees as our eyes and ears. Those employees are going to be trained by Campus Police within the next two weeks. Campus Police have given radios to Library Staff so there is two-way communication contact among staff in the library. I am also going to make the library staff very visible. They are all going to wear the same kind of shirts and they will all have an ID card so that if people have problems or concerns in the library they will be able to go to a library staff member and that staff member in turn will be able to communicate with campus police or someone else on the library staff. Those are just two brief examples of some of the things that we are doing. There are a lot more things going on in the library, a lot more things going on as it relates to campus pass, and a lot more things going on as it relates to building security. If you have specific questions please feel free to call me. I can tell you what specific projects are and the timeline for completion.
Chancellor Fox asked that this task force stay together and I think this is also something that is going to help us make sure that the recommendations are implemented. The Security Task Force was a good group. We are each following up with our own respective colleges and departments and recommendations and we do want to make sure that the recommendations that were made are implemented.”
Chair Daley adjourned the meeting at 4 p.m.