January 12, 1999
Senators present: Chair Wahl, Chair-Elect Corbin, Interim Provost Moreland, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Bernhard, Bottcher, Brown, Carter, De Buysscher, El-Masry, Fahmy, Fisher, FitzGerald, Funderlic, Gilbert, Grainger, Griffin, Kimler, Hooker, Jewell, Knowles, Lewis, Markham, Monahan, Nagel, Patty, Peel, Riddle, Robinson, Schwab, Serow, Suh, Wall, Werner, Wilkerson
Senators absent: Senators Hamouda, Siderelis, Willits
Excused: Secretary Daley
Visitors: Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor; Sharon Byrd, Chair, Staff Senate; Bill Padgett, Chair-Elect, Staff Senate; Seth Whitaker, President Pro Tempore, Student Senate; Andrew Payne, Vice President for Academic Policy, Student Government; Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; David Rainer, Director, Environmental Health and Safety Center; Frank Abrams, Senior Associate Provost; Debra Stewart, Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Graduate School; Clare Kristofco, Senior Assistant to the Chancellor
1. Call to Order
The eighth 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 Announcements
Chair Wahl welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Wahl announced the passing of Secretary Daley's mother. He invited Senators to sign a card to present to Secretary Daley upon his return.
Chair Wahl announced that the Executive Committee will meet on Thursday at 3:00; the Emerging Issues Forum dates have changed to March 30-31.
Chair Wahl announced that Chair-Elect Corbin will be the Representative from the Faculty Senate to the University Level Selection Committee for the Board of Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 7, December 1, 1998
The minutes were approved without dissent.
4. Remarks on Benefits
David Rainer, Chair of the University Group, Insurance and Benefits Committee reported that the Retirement sub-committee is currently working on a way to increase participation rates in the supplementary retirement programs. Less than 35% of the NC State employees participate in supplementary retirement programs. Of that approximately 50% are EPA employees and 50 % are SPA employees. He noted that those who participate in the State Retirement System and retire after thirty years of service will only receive approximately 54% of their final four years average compensation at retirement. He stated that if you are not participating in a supplementary program, you need to think about doing that. The committee requested Human Resources to have Fairs statewide and here on campus to discuss this issue. There will be a Benefits Fair in five different locations on campus. Also, they plan to visit the research locations. Nine vendors have been invited to provide information. The goal is to significantly increase the level of participation that we currently have.
The Retirement subcommittee is also evaluating the two long term care programs that are currently being offered by the State and the university. They offer nursing, physical therapy, other living assistance, hospice, etc. The issue is one of guaranteed care. If you sign up within the first thirty days of your employment with NC State, you and your family are guaranteed to be able to participate in the plan. The committee is currently evaluating how to maintain both plans and how to increase participation rates in those particular plans.
Mary Sanders of Purchasing is Chair of the Child Care Subcommittee. The Child Care Subcommittee has prepared a request for a proposal that is currently in review. The Group Insurance and Benefits Committee is trying to bring a child care provider to campus or to determine if it is feasible to bring a child care provider to campus. There is a meeting on January 15 to meet with proposed vendors and receive quotes by February 12. They anticipate having responses from various child care providers.
Dana Latch is Chair of the Health Subcommittee. The Health Subcommittee is working on various types of programs. Currently anyone who works thirty or more hours per week as an employee receives benefits. The committee is trying to determine if it is feasible to provide benefits to personnel who do not work a full complement of thirty hours. They are contacting various vendors and evaluating their proposals.
The Health Subcommittee is also evaluating new disability insurance plans. Currently there is a sixty-day waiting period before the long term disability plan kicks in. In addition there is a short term disability plan. The problem is that the contract expires in 1999. The plan is currently running a deficit, and it is anticipated that there will either be a huge increase in the cost of the plan or the vendor will pull out.
The Committee is also reviewing dental plans. The current NC Flex dental plan has a very small provider network which makes it difficult to get appointments. Human Resources feel that they will be able to either get a supplementary dental plan or bring a different dental care provider to campus.
The subcommitttee is also working on discount drug plans. Wal Mart offers a discount drug plan to employees. The problem is that it is not accessible to a fair amount of people. They are trying to bring Eckerd, K Mart, CVS, or other large supermarket chains such as Hannafords that have drug plans, into the fold, and this will remain an ongoing endeavor.
Senator Gilbert wanted to know if there is a term life insurance plan for retirees.
Mr. Rainer did not know but plans to get a response to that question.
5. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Fox shared comments on the presentation made to the Advisory Budget Commission on the occasion of their visit to the David Clark Laboratories. She stated that the David Clark Laboratories were chosen because they are uninhabitable. This space was first vacated when the College of Textiles moved to Centennial Campus in 1991. It cannot be currently used because of the building code and safety issues. She stated that in 1997 they were thinking about funding for the Nelson Hall Renovations, Toxicology, Center for Marine Sciences and Technology and the Research and Teaching Feed Mill. All of these were funded in the last Legislative session. We received partial funding for Phase I of our Undergraduate Science Teaching Labs which is a necessity in terms of safety and throughput for enrollment on the campus, advanced planning money for the movement of the College of Engineering to the Centennial Campus, and the Veterinary Medicine School addition. We know that this is all consistent with our vision for NCSU to be the premier Science, Technology and Engineering University consistent with a land grant tradition. In doing so, we have identified a number of priorities which will be important for that vision to be achieved; namely, an emphasis on Genomic Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Information Technology, and Materials Sciences.
Chancellor Fox stated that we are a high tech campus that brings new technology both to traditional industry and to new ones as they are evolving, and we believe that we can make a case very effectively, that we are the producers of knowledge workers for the next century. It is therefore critical that we have facilities that allow those students to develop technology as part of their education. The reason for that is that North Carolina State continues to be an economic engine for the State of North Carolina. Part of the reason for that is that from our location in Raleigh, the center of the state, we have connections through the rest of the state. Not only do we have Raleigh, but extension agents are present in all of the counties of the state. We are the largest university with 28,000 students. We are slated to grow to 31,000 which is a compromise between where we are and where the system would like us to be. As such, we will teach one- fifth of the students in the UNC system. Because we are serving state-wide, that means that resources are distributed, and because they are distributed that means diluted. We have a particular difficulty as the only Research I, Science, Technology and Engineering campus. NC State has a demand for increased enrollment because of the evolution of these high-tech fields which are themselves very costly and they are constantly evolving as the frontiers of knowledge increase. There was a very rapid growth in student population that took place in the seventies and eighties which has not been matched by a parallel expansion of classroom or laboratory space, and the research programs have grown very rapidly.
Focusing on classrooms and teaching labs, Chancellor Fox referred to a slide showing the existing capability in terms of facilities for classrooms and teaching labs. She stated that this is the reason we are making our case for the importance of our undergraduate teaching labs as our current goal for the next capital investment. We recognize at the same time that we look at this that all teaching takes place in traditional lecture classrooms. A great deal of it involves a state of the art instrumentation and interactions with industries. She stated that even when there is sufficient space in quantity, some of it is reconfigured poorly and is not sufficient in quality. Since we are talking about leading edge research we need to have leading edge class rooms for teaching and research.
Chancellor Fox stated that we also recognize that we have a campus in which 58% of our buildings are unrenovated and are older than 25 years. We have a number of buildings that are younger than 25 years and another 10% that have been renovated, but this points out the magnitude of the difficulties that we face with respect to renovation and repair. One example of that is air conditioning that is interior air quality. Complicating this as well is the need to develop information technology infrastructure. We have 16,500 outlets now and expect to have 18,800 outlets by September 1999. Part of the problem associated with that is that the number is too low. At the same time since we were a leader a decade ago in introducing information technology, many of these need to be replaced as technology evolves. That becomes particularly important as we develop off campus facilities state-wide.
Our continuing repair and renovation bill is estimated by facilities division assessment programs as being $174M. On the unlikely event that nothing decayed over the period in which we were paying for this kind of renovation, it would require seventeen years to clear this backlog and we would estimate something well over 20 years even if a major investment were made at the current time.
As we go forward into the next biennium, with respect to information technology, we are going to be requesting about $2.5M and we are going to be focusing on increasing capacity consistent with our enrollment plan. If you look at the projection for the biennium in terms of facility projects, and if we look at future capacity, (this is the second year of the biennium) you will see a Withers Hall renovation, Undergraduate Science Teaching Phase II, and Jordan Hall Addition. The Withers Hall renovation is related to renovation of the space for undergraduate chemistry laboratories which will eventually move to the undergraduate science labs constructed during Phase I. The Jordan addition is to fulfill the original vision for that facility which was enunciated in 1989.
In summary, with respect to what we need on this campus to meet our enrollment strategies, we are high tech, high payoff, we need to have space that is adequate in both quantity and quantities which means an investment in renovation repair, and a partnership with the legislative branch of the government will be essential if we want to achieve that.
Senator Monahan wanted to know how politically difficult it is to raze a building and rebuild it.
Chancellor Fox responded that the projected budget to address all the facility modernization and additional capacity for the system far exceeds the entire state budget. Therefore, it seems unlikely that all of this is going to be funded. If we do not get private sector money at least to match state monies, it is going to be very difficult for this kind of activity to go forward.
Senator Monahan wanted to know if it is possible to demolish a building and rebuild it instead of renovating it.
Chancellor Fox stated that it is possible depending on which money. Repairs and renovation money comes from a different fund than expansion for enrollment. It will be particularly difficult given this scenario to destroy any space given the expected enrollment pressures for the entire system.
Senator Gilbert wanted to know why Chancellor Fox made the decision to stay at an enrollment of 31,000.
Chancellor Fox responded that it was not politically viable to say no to an enrollment increase, and 35,000 seemed beyond our capacity.
Chancellor Fox encouraged the faculty to submit nominations for honorary degrees. She thinks it is important as we build our external relations to have very high quality candidates. It would be desirable for them to have a connection with NC State. She mentioned that the Graduate School has been named the recipient of a major grant on research ethics by the National Science Foundation. They are hoping to build around that program a much larger effort in collaboration with a number of units which are under consideration.
Chancellor Fox observed that the last six months have been the best six-month period for fund raising that the university has ever had. Research funding is coming in at a rate that is 22% higher than it has been before. She noted that we are at records in terms of intellectual achievements, fund raising and research support.
6. Remarks from Interim Provost Moreland
Dr. Moreland stated that he has been working with Chancellor Fox since she has been here, and feels that it is a wonderful experience being associated with her. It was necessary for someone to accept the interim position who has been working with her and has been here for a period of time, and also knows the administration and has interacted with the administration, faculty and students, and he feels that he has this experience after being on campus for thirty five years.
He stated that the Provost's office has the people to provide the continuity needed while waiting on the new Provost. The selection committee will be making a report very soon on the finalists to be interviewed in the next few weeks. He plans to attend the Faculty Senate meetings on a regular basis and will be working with Chancellor Fox to make sure they have a reasonable continuity here.
Dr. Moreland is working with the Deans and Vice Chancellors to make sure the new Provost is well prepared to enter the job and have the information necessary.
7. Remarks from Sharon Byrd, Chair, Staff Senate
Sharon Byrd announced that she will be resigning from the university on Friday, January 15, 1999. She has accepted a position at Duke University. She introduced Bill Padgett as her successor.
8. New Business
A. Faculty Senate Agenda for Spring, 1999
Chair Wahl reported that the Executive Committee met Tuesday, January 5 to determine what they will be doing to move the agenda forward for the Senate meetings. Chair Wahl pointed out that even though every Senator does not talk at every Senate meeting, every Senator has as much to say as any other Senator in determining what the agenda is going to be and he hopes they will avail themselves with that opportunity. He encouraged the committees to do even more toward getting issues settled in the best way possible.
John Monahan, Chair of the Governance Committee stated that the General Faculty Bylaws prescribe how to compute the number of Senators from each college. In a few colleges, the number of faculty has risen due to the redefinition of full time faculty to those with an FTE of at least 0.75, to match the definition of full time for NC benefits regulations. However, the number of Senators from each college remained the same as last year. The committee will vote to approve the report at its next meeting.
A. Personnel Policy
Senator Serow reported that his committee has been working closely with the Benefits Office on some suggestions that have come up in response to several issues of concerns. They plan to give a report to the Senate soon.
10. Reports of Senate Liaisons to University Committee
Senator Monahan reported that the University Registration, Records and Calendar Committee discussed the next three-year calendar at their last meeting. He has received feedback on suggestions about how to change the calendar. The committee is reviewing what they currently have.
Chair Wahl read Chancellor Fox's letter (attached) of response to the Faculty Senate's Resolution on Environmental Sustainability.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:30 p.m.