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February 23, 1999


Regular Meeting No. 11 of the 45th Session: Faculty Senate Chambers February 23, 1999

Senators present: Chair Wahl, Chair-Elect Corbin, Secretary Daley, Interim Provost Moreland, Parliamentarian Link, Senators Bernhard, Bottcher, DeBuysscher, Fahmy, FitzGerald, Funderlic, Gilbert, Grainger, Griffin, Kimler, Hooker, Lewis, Markham, Monahan, Patty, Peel, Riddle, Robinson, Schwab, Serow, Siderelis, Suh, Wilkerson

Senators absent: Senators El-Masry, Fisher, Hamouda, Knowles, Nagel, Wall, Werner, Willits

Senators excused: Senators Brown, Carter

Visitors: Rebecca Rufty, Acting Assistant Dean, Graduate School; Seth Whitaker, President Pro Tempore, Student Senate; Daniel Bunce, Assistant Editor, News Services; Rebecca Leonard, Assistant Provost; Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; Frank Abrams, Senior Associate Provost; Iyare Omoruyi, Student, Electrical Engineering; Teresa Moody, Student Senate; T. Greg Doucette, Student Senate; Kilara Little, Technician; Bill Padgett, Chair, Staff Senate

1. Call to Order
The eleventh meeting of the forty-fifth session of the NC State Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:10 p.m. by Chair George Wahl.

2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Wahl welcomed Senators and guests.

Chair Wahl announced that the Founders Day celebration will be held on Monday, March 8, 1999; the Emerging Issues Forum will be held on March 30-31, 1999.

Chair Wahl announced that there are 100 free tickets available for Faculty to attend the Emerging Issues Forum. Those faculty members who are planning to attend need to contact Vernice Stevenson at 515-2279 or via E-mail at

There will be a National Symposium on the "Future of Higher Education at Research Universities" Saturday, April 17, at 10 a.m. Following the symposium there will be a lunch in the Atrium for the faculty.

Chair Wahl announced that the installation of Chancellor Fox will be held on Saturday, April 17, at 2:00 p.m. in Reynolds Coliseum.

3.   Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 10, February 9, 1999
The minutes of the tenth meeting of the forty-fifth session of the NC State Faculty Senate were approved as corrected.

4. New Business
A.    Election Progress
Chair Wahl urged the Chairs of the election committees to have their ballots ready by Spring Break. He would like to have the elections completed by the time Chair-elect Corbin takes office.

5. Reports
A.    Academic Policy Committee
Attendance Policy Issues
Senator Griffin, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee, reported that the committee has discussed the attendance policy several times. It was also raised as an issue of concern. She stated that Philip Moses, Director of the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes, attended their meeting of February 2 to share his concerns about the current policy.

Senator Griffin stated, that according to Mr. Moses, the average overall absences for most sports are five days during that sport’s season (golf is an exception, maybe others). The university has no control over when games and events are scheduled as the conference determines the schedule. Some professors drop several grades (homework, quizzes) for all students and force athletes (and others) to use these drops for excused absences. Some professors have a fixed number of absences that they allow whether excused or unexcused.

Senator Griffin reported that the Academic Policy Committee concluded that the policy is vague and confusing as to whether absences should be excused by instructors. As a result, they have drafted some suggested revisions.

Senator Griffin raised an additional issue that has come up relating to grades for non-attendance. She stated that there are several discussions around campus where people are suggesting a grade other than F be given to students who cease participating in a course as opposed to those students that put forth effort and fail to meet certain grades and still do not pass the course.

Chair Wahl stated that people do look at failing grades in classes and reach conclusions from that. It might be more accurate, in fact, if people who are in a class who do not drop the class get a different grade than people who stay in the class and still do not pass. He thinks there is a need to decide what the appropriate grade is to give a student who signs up for class and never shows up. He feels a grade other than F would be much more descriptive.

Senator Riddle stated that he cannot accept that the university has no control over when games and events are scheduled because the conference determines the schedule. He stated that we (the faculty) are the conference. The university does have control. We send our representatives who determine the rules for the conference and we have a choice of being in a conference.

Senator Riddle agrees with Chair Wahl and would like to commend to the consideration of the Academic Policy Committee that there be a differentiation between those students who stop attending class and those who have attended and legitimately failed the course.

Senator Fahmy commented that in some large classes the only way to know that a student did not attend the class is if there was a quiz or exam.

Chair Wahl feels that attendance is secondary. He thinks it is important for students to do something to earn a grade. If there is evidence that the students have done less than the scheduled work, he does not feel that the students are doing their best. If they are not doing their best, he does not think a faculty member should be penalized in terms of statistics that suggest that he or she is incapable of getting the student up to a proper level of understanding.

Senator Griffin pointed out that in the current policy teachers in 100- and 200-level courses must keep a record of attendance throughout the semester, and they may use reasonable academic penalties commensurate with the importance of the work missed due to absences from scheduled courses without excuses.

Senior Associate Provost Abrams stated that the change in Academic Policy that the Faculty Senate approved five years ago called for every student to have a plan of study and for students and their advisors to maintain them. There was no system set up to collect those in any central way. He noted that the People Soft Student Services division will have a tool available that will assist that.

Senior Associate Provost Abrams commented that another element of some of the discussions on the grade other than F has been a consideration of what the relationship to getting such a grade would be to the students’ access to a course repeat without penalty. The suggestion has been made that if such a grade was instituted that students who get such a grade would not have the availability of a course repeat without penalty.

Senator Riddle wanted to know if the department head is the decision making level of appealing of grades and is that really the intention.

Senator Griffin responded that she does not think the intent has anything to do with the awarding of grades but whether a faculty member will work with a student who is in an unusual circumstance. She does not see the attendance policy as being related directly to grades.

B.    Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Serow, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee, reported that an issue of concern came before the Senate several months ago pertaining to the role of research faculty members in promotion and tenure deliberations of regular tenured track faculty. There was a particular concern about there being a potential conflict of interest on the part of research faculty members. The committee feels that this is not an issue that the Faculty Senate can address. He stated that if the faculty were to recommend that research faculty not participate in promotion and tenure decisions simply because they are research faculty, they would be recommending that faculty members be stripped of the very important part of their role at this university. He stated that it may be that there are particulars to this case which need to be resolved. The committee recommends that this concern be directed to the departments or other elements of the university administrative hierarchy rather than to the Faculty Senate.

Assistant Provost Mallette stated that, historically, NC State has given out the prefix of research on assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Usually those titles signify that the position and any tenure received from that position are contingent on the availability of funds. He noted that in this institution there are only six or seven tenured positions with research as a prefix. There are only sixteen or seventeen people on this campus with research in their title who are on tenure track. No new contracts include this issue. He agrees with Senator Serow’s recommendation.

C.    Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Bernhard reported that Tom Miller from Engineering will be attending their next meeting to discuss the real crisis in maintenance of the computer facilities.

D.    Mediation Training
Chair Wahl announced that funds have been provided to send several persons to mediation training for one week. Once the training is complete, the persons will have to commit to doing this on campus for two or three years. Interested persons should contact him by the end of the week.

The training will take place the last week of July.

E.    General Faculty Meeting
Chair Wahl reported that great progress has been made toward the General Faculty Meeting. He stated that they are still trying to think of an end of semester meeting focusing on new thrust of the university and how faculty have succeeded in them and how to get thrust areas in the university.

F.    Faculty Assembly
Chair-Elect Corbin expressed gratitude to the Senators who have served on the Faculty Assembly. He reported that one item focused on was the calendar. The student government group presented a resolution at the Faculty Assembly pertaining to this issue. The resolves read as follows:

Be it resolved, that the University of North Carolina Association of Student Government encourage President Broad and the Board of Governors to reduce the number of class days to 72 per semester, and be it further

Resolved, that the University Student Association encourage President Molly Broad and the Board of Governors to allow reading days to count as class days.

Chair-Elect Corbin stated that the Faculty Assembly passed a resolution in support of the students.

Chair-Elect Corbin reported that President Broad took the issue of graduate education to the Legislature and was able to receive some funding for graduate education at NC State.

6.    Report of Senate Liaisons to University Committees
Senator Griffin reported that at the last meeting of the Council on the Status of Women, Mary Saunders ,who chaired the Child Care Committee, informed the Council that they are in the process of accepting proposals from vendors for a possible day care center that will be located on Centennial Campus. The deadline for the proposals is March 5, and as soon as they are received, they will become public information.

Senator Gilbert reported from the Administrative Board of the Graduate School. He stated that anyone wanting permission to plan a graduate program should get documentation to the Graduate Board in early April.

Senator Wilkerson reported that the University Housing Committee has been discussing the possibility of building an amphitheater on campus.

Senator Serow reported that the University Bookstore Committee currently have to replace the entire operating software system. He stated that they are constrained to an enormous degree by state law regarding the operation of businesses on a state facility.

Senator Kimler reported that the Chancellor’s Task Force is considering using summer session for the increased enrollment when NC State takes on the 4,000 additional students. Their report should be to the Chancellor as an interim proposal on March 15. They have received tremendous response on this issue.

Senator Schwab reported that the Outreach and Extension Committee met last week and the main topic of discussion was the academy of outstanding extension faculty and professionals.

Senator Hooker reported on the Physical Environment Committee. He stated that the transportation subcommittee made minor refinements to the regulations and major refinements to parking zoning. They passed the recycling resolution in the campus planning and design subcommittee. They passed (with changes) the site approval for the new Centennial Conference Center. They reviewed the Alumni Conference Center that is going to be next to it, and they approved the siting of the North Shore Apartments for Lake Raleigh.

At the suggestion of a student, the committee has worked on a resolution that would limit recreational skateboarding to no closer than fifty feet to any class room or office building. That resolution was tabled. Last week, Senator Hooker and Jeff Mann attended the Student Senate meeting and heard their views on recreational skateboarding. Tonight they will be meeting with the skateboarding group and at the next physical environment committee meeting they will be reconsidering their resolution. He stated that, basically, if there is recreational skateboarding within fifty feet of a building , there would be a fifty dollar fine. Recreational skateboarding beyond that distance and all commuting skateboarding will be okay.

Senator Gilbert stated that he is concerned that the Department of Transportation is going to eliminate "B" stickers for anyone outside of North Campus. He feels it is unfair to the faculty in the Textiles Operation or in Centennial Campus and the Veterinary School because after all, the main library is here on campus. He feels they should have easy access to it.

Senator Hooker stated that the problem is that we have more and more faculty wanting to drive here with less and less space. In fact, the trustees have approved the elimination or the reduction (with a comparable service option) of parking inside North Campus. The way it is stated now and the way they are going to go forward is that no "B" stickers will be taken away from faculty that currently have them. However, new faculty coming in will not be able to get a sticker that allows them to be part of either the Vet School, etc., and to park on North Campus. They are going to gradually eliminate that existing option by attrition. Eventually there will be no parking within the campus, but they will have to accommodate that with appropriate transportation service.

Senator Hooker reported that, relative to parking, the fines have been realigned for parking violations after checking a number of the sister institutions. NC State has the lowest fines around.

Senator Funderlic wanted to know how the cost of parking at NC State compares with the other campuses.

Senator Hooker stated that it is not fair to compare them with the other fifteen campuses because some of them are very rural and have lots of land. The best comparison is UNC Chapel Hill.

Senator Patty reported that the Honors Council is preparing a proposal for the appointment of an interim director. This will be taken to the Administrative Council along with a study on the need for honor’s courses for various colleges. A presentation suggesting how they might proceed to get these courses in place will also be made.

Senator De Buysscher reported that the Institutional History and Commemoration Committee worked on the naming of the Agriculture Communications Building and the recommendation was accepted by the Chancellor.

Senator Bernhard reported from the University Library Committee. He stated that in early January the committee approved a change in fees for copying (which goes into effect March 1). The library has a number of problems which Susan Nutter will articulate when she comes before the Senate. There are a lot of basic problems with the computer system that Tom Miller will be discussing at the Resources and Environment Committee meeting next week.

Senator Bernhard stated that the Library Committee is planning to discuss "state of the art" improvements in technology and research in particular fields at the next meeting.

7.    Issues of Concern
Senator Gilbert is concerned that the announcements of PhD examinations are no longer being printed in the Bulletin.

8.    Adjournment
The meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

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