November 17, 1998
Senators present: Chair Wahl, Chair-Elect Corbin, Secretary Daley, Provost Stiles, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Bernhard, Bottcher, Brown, Carter, De Buysscher, El-Masry, Fisher, Funderlic, Gilbert, Griffin, Hamouda, Kimler, Hooker, Jewell, Knowles, Markham, Monahan, Nagel, Patty, Schwab, Serow, Siderelis, Suh
Senators absent: Senators Fahmy, FitzGerald, Lewis, Middleton, Ollis, Peel, Robinson, Wilkerson, Willits
Visitors: Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor; Clare Kristofco, Senior Assistant to the Chancellor; Robert Sowell, Associate Dean, Graduate School; Daniel Bunce, News Services; Andrew Payne, Vice President for Academic Policy, Student Government; Seth Whitaker, President Pro Tempore, Student Senate; S. Stephens, Reporter, Technician; Rebecca Leonard, Assistant Provost; Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; Sharon Byrd, Chair, Staff Senate
1. Call to Order
The sixth meeting of the forty fifth session of the NC State Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair George Wahl.
2. Welcome and Announcement
Chair Wahl welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Wahl announced that the Board of Trustees meeting will be held on Friday, 10:00 a.m. in the Alumni Conference Room; the Chancellor's Breakfast meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 1. Chair Wahl urged the Faculty to attend the Town Hall discussion for Racial Understanding with community leaders at the McKimmon Center on Friday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 5, November 3, 1998
The minutes of the fifth meeting of the forty fifth session were approved without dissent.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Fox reported that the "Back Home" visits have continued. They have been supplemented by visits to high schools which have the idea of increasing the rate at which high school students go to college as well as recruiting NC Sate students. At every stage this has been focused on building the representation of NC State. All of the visits have included an editorial visit to the local newspaper, an alumni event, and interactions with the business community.
Chancellor Fox reported that NC State is held in much higher regard outside of the university than many colleagues here perceive. It is pleasant to see this external support and she feels it has been a wonderful part of her initiation to North Carolina.
Graduate Student Tuition Remission
Chancellor Fox stated that the original disposition of funds throughout the UNC systems was to allocate funds for masters degree programs as well as doctoral programs. One of the State Senators in the General Assembly corresponded with President Broad stating that was not his interpretation. President Broad has initiated a hold on this program pending resolution of the interpretation. With respect to NC State that means the amount of money that will be available is at least as high as the original amount (which is $2.47 M). If, in fact, the view expressed in the State Senator's letter is held, there will be some additional monies available because there will be a focusing and a narrowing on doctoral programs. On the other hand, the political base which led to the adoption of that graduate tuition remission program was based on contributions and voting records from legislators around the state. There may be a political cost to pay, if, in fact, this was narrowed to only doctoral institutions. She clearly stated that the University of North Carolina system's position has always been supported by NC State and all of its officers and its administration. Chancellor Fox stated that any implication that we have been involved in changing the intent of that is incorrect.
Chancellor Fox reported that the University of North Carolina system has finished its tuition task force recommendations. It basically endorses the historical low tuition for in-state residents. It affirms the importance of having a firm financial base for the university which means that we will continue to have among the nation's lowest in-state tuition and among the nation's highest out-of-state tuition for undergraduates. This report as well endorses the participation of students in providing a fee structure and in granting any proposed changes.
Secretary Daley wanted to know if there are provisions to make sure the graduate students are not harmed by this.
Chancellor Fox responded that it is hoped that this will be resolved quickly. The person who corresponded with President Broad is in Australia for a week but will be returning on Saturday. We are hoping that by getting legislative relief and clarification this will be cleared before December 1. If so, the consequences for graduate students will be known.
Senator El-Masry wanted to know if this would affect the existing graduate students who are on the Master's degree program.
Chancellor Fox responded that if we are restrained from using tuition remission for Masters students, then that would be the case.
Chancellor Fox commented that the students have endorsed an increased fee for Health Services, and a continuing fee for Student Affairs. They did not endorse an increase in the information technology fee. She stated that the administration has allowed that lack of endorsement to go forward without protest. She said the absence of an increase for information technology is going to constrain the ability to respond quickly to updates that are necessary for information technology. Instead of, for example, turning over computers every three to four years, it will probably be every four to five years, or it will not be possible to extend computer lab hours beyond what we have. In fact, it may put financial constraints on so that the number of hours in which computer facilities are available would have to be cut back. It means that the training and service provision that would have been possible will not be possible. Despite those constraints (they are substantial financial constraints) they have decided not to oppose the students, but to allow their recommendation to go forward.
Chair Wahl wanted to know about progress on the Benefits Study.
Chancellor Fox stated that General Administration recognizes that benefits packages are a fraction of the compensation for our faculty and staff which make us less competitive; i.e. it is recognized now that faculty salaries alone underestimate the real competitive pressures which hiring faculty causes us to face. She credited the Deans and Karen Helm for providing data to allow NC State to make a persuasive argument with President Broad. She said basically what we showed was that if you look at total compensation, particularly if you compare the specific colleges where we have our strengths, then our salary construction and particularly our total compensation is lagging. She feels that will be a major issue for the next legislative session.
5. Unfinished Business
A. Representation for EPA Professionals
John Monahan, Chair of the Governance Committee, reported that there is a large number of unrepresented people ranging from those who very much appear to be faculty to people who appear to be staff. In discussions with the Staff Senate, whose current bylaws limit them to representing subject to personnel act (SPA) employees, they are willing to amend the bylaws to include EPA professionals. Senator Monahan stated that the task for the committee was to examine whether to change the current eligibility rules and re-examine what they are doing. The Governance committee recommends:
1) that the Faculty Senate appoint a committee to judge eligibility in the general faculty (currently being done by the Government Committee);
2) that the current eligibility rules not be changed.
Senator Monahan moved adoption of the report. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
B. Valedictorian Issue
Harriette Griffin, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee, explained a packet of information that she sent out on this issue. The packet includes a copy of a memo from Provost Stiles to Chair Wahl declining to implement her committee's recommendation on valedictorians that the Senate narrowly passed last Spring. The Academic Policy committee recommended that valedictorians be awarded to those who only earn As and A+s and in the absence of those, students with the highest GPA would be a designated valedictorian. Also, the student with the highest uncapped GPA would be awarded a medal. She stated that the reason Provost Stiles declined to implement it was that the concept of an uncapped GPA is meaningless. The second copy is a memo from Provost Stiles to Alexis Mei, Student Senate President, which is followed by a resolution passed by the Student Senate this semester. Senator Griffin said apparently the students feel strongly that they want the honor of valedictorian. They have requested that the faculty and administration implement criteria for selecting valedictorians that would bestow to any student receiving no grade less than an A- and that achieving a GPA of 4.0 the prestigious honor of valedictorian. The last copy is a report prepared by a subcommittee of the UAOC on the same issue. They had a different recommendation and, in fact, mentioned that perhaps the university may want to consider eliminating the valedictorian altogether. Senator Griffin stated that her committee has discussed this several times this semester and intends to make a motion at the next Faculty Senate Meeting recommending an endorsement of the students' resolution. She would like everyone to review the documents carefully and come prepared to vote on that motion at the next meeting.
5. Issues of Concern
Senator Carter reported that the Resources and Environment committee has had several issues brought to its attention this year. He updated the faculty on where they stand.
On the issue raised concerning night parking: there is a proposal on the table to use the AV parking places for general parking after five o'clock.
On the issue raised on the university not pursuing the environmental audit: Senator Hooker will present a proposal later in the meeting adressing this.
On the issue raised about air conditioning in buildings surrounding the brickyard, Senator Carter reported that a study has been done and rather than just do a band aid procedure, the building and ground's department will be moving on this in a more extensive manner and will hopefully address the issue to everyone's satisfaction.
(I5) On the issue raised on skateboarding: The Chair of the Faculty is currently handling this issue. Chair Wahl stated that Jeff Mann and Ralph Harper would like to attend the next meeting of the Resources and Environment Committee to work on a resolution concerning this issue.
(I1) Senator Carter stated that on Tuesday, Steve Keto will be giving a presentation to the Resources and Environment Committee on budget matters. This comes in response to a request to the committee about fee and tuition increases. Some members of the committee discussed various ways of doing this to avoid what he calls the bait and switch way of doing business in higher education in this country; i.e., to get the students to enroll at one price and then without guaranteeing them any ceiling on cost, keep raising it and say if you do not like it you can transfer to another school. He finds that unfair. Senator Carter stated that chief operating officers of campuses within the system are studying a way of indexing tuition and fee increases. This way, at least, there is some solid measure by which tuition and fee increases could be assessed instead of the way it is done now.
6. New Business
A. First Reading: Resolution on Environmental Sustainability
Senator Hooker introduced the resolution for its first reading.
Senator Hooker included a copy of NC State's "Commitment Paper" which he said calls for the consideration of environmental literacy as a requirement for graduation. It calls for us to review all of our similar documents to see how they impact environmental sustainability. It calls for an ecological audit (previously discussed by Senator Carter), and it calls for us to come up with a set of guiding principles that the University will abide by.
The resolution will be debated and voted on at the next meeting.
B. Representation Issues
Senator Monahan stated that approximately two years ago, the Governance Committee re-examined the formula by which the number of representatives to the Faculty Senate were computed. It was concluded that they have a workable compromise that in some ways balances sheer number of faculty and its influence on the university. Since then the committee has had several requests to re-examine what it is doing. Two specific issues are:
1) Revisiting the General Constituency. He stated that the General Constituency by rule is limited to two senators and there is a question whether we should apply the formula that governs all the colleges. One of the problems is that the numbers in General Constituency are growing. They may grow further because of the change with respect to EPA Professionals. They grew recently because of Physical Education being moved from CHASS to General Constituency.
2) There is an issue about whether to include the First Year College students in the number of students as part of that formula. He added that when the formula was originated more than forty years ago, the students in what was then called the General College were not included in the formula of the number of students.
Another proposal was to have a representative for emeritus faculty. Senator Monahan stated that it has its on list of issues of whether emeritus faculty's interest would be represented best by their own representative or through their college constituencies as is currently the case. He said having a special seat for emeritus faculty would probably require several rules to make sure the people do not have a right to vote in two constituencies at one time. There is also a question of whether the system is broken and really needs fixing.
Senator Monahan stated that the committee will have a report prepared for the next meeting.
Anyone having comments on these issues should address them to Senator Monahan or a member of his committee.
A. Personnel Policy Committee Report
Senator Serow reported that the Committee dealt with an issue of concern raised in May 1996 that consisted of two parts. First, was a perception on the part of the person who submitted the issue of concern that the language on the application for graduate faculty status was sexist. The second issue was whether there needed to be full and associate statuses for membership in the graduate faculty.
On the first point the committee concluded that information about sex and ethnicity is not directly relevant to an individual's professional qualifications and, if needed for other purposes, can be obtained from other existing sources. The committee recommends that the information requested on the applications for graduate faculty status pertaining to ethnic and gender identity be deleted.
The second recommendation concerning full and associate category of graduate faculty status is that given the diversity of faculty roles and responsibilities at this institution adequate justification exists for continued existence of those categories.
Dr. Sowell, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, stated that when he was a member of the Administrative Board of the Graduate School he chaired a committee that addressed the issue of graduate faculty status. Three questions addressed were:
1) Should there be a graduate faculty separately identified as graduate faculty?
2) Should there be the two levels of memberships that we have had for a number of years?
3) Should there be a systematic procedure for removing faculty?
The committee did a survey of peer institutions and an on-campus survey of all the graduate programs on campus. The recommendation made by that committee was that we maintain a separate graduate faculty, and to continue to have two levels of membership on the graduate faculty. The on-campus survey in both cases agreed with the recommendation.
Dr. Sowell stated that the department has the major say in whether or not a person is appointed to full or associate members. Some departments in responding to a survey felt very strongly that they would like to maintain the two tier status (full and associate). He mentioned that a recommendation that was adopted was that full membership on the faculty be restricted to tenured and tenure track faculty. He said the real differences in term of responsibility is that the full member of the graduate faculty can chair a doctoral committee where an associate cannot.
Senator Gilbert stated that from his experience, the incoming faculty automatically should have full graduate status. If we are going to keep maintaining a Research I status, this is the type of faculty that we should continue to hire. There is no need for the associate status. You should not rely on an outdated survey of the faculty; he thinks it behooves the committee to carry out another survey.
The Personnel Policy Committee recommends that the request for information pertaining to gender and ethnic identification be deleted from the graduate faculty application and that adequate justification exist for continued existence of full and associate categories.
Assistant Provost Mallette stated that the rules that you can recommend on are established by the graduate school.
Assistant Provost Leonard stated that it would be a recommendation from the graduate school to remove information pertaining to gender and ethnic identification from the application. She believes that putting gender or ethnicity on the application is meaningless because it has nothing to do with ones competence to be on the graduate faculty.
Provost Stiles stated that he thinks it is totally inappropriate to have information on an application which is not required to make a decision. We should get into the habit of only having in front of us the criteria that is important to make the decision.
Chair Wahl recommended that Senator Serow have the motions at the next meeting to be voted on. He also encouraged him to have outside dialog with the graduate school.
8. Report of Senate Liaison Reports to University Committees
Senator Carter reported that the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee in response to new rules and regulations is updating the form that is required of faculty who wish to use animals in teaching and research. The committee is working hard to not ask for any more information than is required.
Senator Kimler is working on a Task Force charged by Chancellor Fox for examining Summer Sessions for potential enrollment increases there. They are currently in the data gathering stage. Senator Kimler would like any comments on concerns about faculty's roles in Summer Session emailed to him.
Senator Schwab reported from the Outreach and Extension Committee. At their last meeting the main topic of discussion was the Academy of Outstanding Extension Professionals. A University Council has recommended two changes to the bylaws that the Faculty Senate approved last spring. The first change recommended is that the number of inductees be reduced from fifteen to seven each year. The second change recommended is that each college get two nominations. Those recommendations were approved by the committee and will be brought to the Faculty Senate for approval.
Senator Fisher reported that the O. Max Garner Award Committee is in the process of receiving applications.
Senator Monahan reported that the University Registration, Records and Calendar Committee will be constructing the calendar for the next three years. He would like any comments referred to him because they will be debating it in January.
Senator El-Masry reported that the Scholarship and Student Aid Committee is looking into how to have one or two standard application forms for scholarships.
Senator DeBuysscher reported that the Institutional History and Commemoration Committee is working on naming the new Agriculture Communications and Service Center.
Senator Bernhard reported from the University Library Committee. He stated that the DH Hill Library has been wired for plug and play capability. John Snyder and Carolyn Beebe demonstrated a new technology for the web that will be available to everyone called "My Library at NC State". It is a customized web page that allows an individual to create a personal home page with direct links to self-selected resources such as subjects, specific data bases , and electronic journals as well as the library specialist. This is accessible from anywhere.
Senator Hooker reported on the Physical Environment Committee. He reported on the approval of the academic and practice facility adjacent to Reynolds Coliseum. The NC State Department of Transportation came up with a proposal for a "bus station"after a year and a half of rejecting proposals or having proposals rejected by the Committee. They brought it before the transportation subcommittee and the campus planning and design subcommittee and they gave them the go ahead to go to the next step. It will be in front of Scott and Kilgore Halls. He stated that the Campus Design subcommittee which he chairs has looked at the undergraduate science teaching building.
Chair-Elect Corbin reported that the Radiation Protection Committee is working on rewriting the safety manual.
Chair Wahl reported that the Provost Search Committee is in the early stages of final applications. Some time in late January or early February the committee hopes to have finalists here for people to interact with and comment on.
Chair Wahl reported that President Broad has now widened her concern for faculty. At the beginning of the Fall semester she was concerned about getting the salaries up where they should be. Through the work on the Assembly she is establishing a blue ribbon task force of the sixteen campuses. Each chancellor has been asked to nominate one person with the idea that the committee will be about six or seven people. The chancellor has agreed to our nominee. We are going to have a good representation on there. It will be the Chair of our Group Insurance and Benefits committee. There will be faculty input from the start.
9. Issues of Concern
Senator Carter stated that a constituent is concerned regarding voting rights of faculty with Visiting/Research appointments.
Chair Wahl referred the issue of concern to the Personnel Policy committee.
Senator Suh stated an issue of concern on Research Contracts and Accounting.
Chair Wahl referred the issue of concern to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Chair Wahl adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.