March 7, 2000
Senators present: Chair Corbin, Secretary Carter, Provost Hall, Parliamentarian Link, Chair Emeritus Wahl; Senators Ash, Banks, Bottcher, Brownie, Elmaghraby, El-Masry, Fitzgerald, Funderlic, Gilbert, Grainger, Griffin, Havner, Hodge, Kelley, Kimler, Lytle, Malinowski, Misra, Peel, Robinson, Sawyers, Toplikar, Wilkerson, Wilson
Senators absent: Senators Fisher, Grimes, Hamouda, Lytle, Markham, Smoak, Suh, Willits
Excused: Senators Brown, Werner
Visitors: Nickayla Myers, Co-chair, Service Raleigh; Heather L. Bennett, Co-chair, Service Raleigh; John Borwick, Student Senate President Pro Tempore; Frank Abrams, Senior Vice Provost; Yvonne Coston, Office of the Chancellor/Provost; John Monahan, Former Senator; Robert Sowell, Graduate School
1. Call to Order
The twelfth meeting of the forty-sixth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Frederick Corbin.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Corbin welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Corbin reminded the faculty that Human Rights Week will be observed March 20-24.
The faculty stood to observe a moment of silence in memory of Ken Stuart Carroll, a senior in Biological Engineering who died in an apartment fire on March 2, 2000.
3. Service Raleigh
Nickayla Meyers, co-chair of Service Raleigh announced that Service Raleigh is a day of volunteering that is designed to help promote volunteers throughout the campus. She stated that they would like to have the faculty to endorse the program.
Nickayla stated that they have been recruiting businesses to fund the project, and noted that donations are tax deductible.
Heather Bennett, co-chair of Service Raleigh would like the faculty to be as involved as the students are. It is her hope that the program will provide the faculty with a close personal relationship with their students and will also provide the faculty with an opportunity to service the community in which they live.
Senator Bottcher made a motion that the Faculty Senate endorse Service Raleigh.
The motion was seconded and passed without dissent.
4. Remarks from the Provost
Provost Hall stated that he plans to send the faculty a proposed wording to be included into every syllabus in the university, with regard to reasonable accommodation under the Americans for Disabilities Act. The wording is very brief and direct. It states that:
"Students with disabilities are encouraged to schedule an appointment with (faculty member’s name) to discuss their accommodation needs."
Provost Hall said this is required under the ADA. NC State has three pending actions against this by students with regards to disabilities.
Provost Hall stated that they are also in the process of hiring an individual to lead the adaptive technology effort and work with Student Disability Services. Most of the complaints do not relate to room or building access but instead relate to the question of being able to use technology appropriately. It is his hope to be able to engage this issue with the distribution of the syllabi for the summer semester and to go forward from there.
Provost Hall plans to send the faculty a draft of a copyright ownership policy which he suspects will engage the colleagues at a level equal to that which surrounded the discussions involving tenure and promotion. This is the fourth draft of a policy. He noted that the policy drafts have been worked through with David Danehower and Ross Whitten who were chairs of the Task Force formed earlier, last year that dealt with copyright ownership. Provost Hall noted that the General Administration of the University of North Carolina has been working on its own piece of this particularly interesting puzzle and has now arrived at a draft outline as well as some administrative implementation models. He thinks this is a good time to move the issue. Provost Hall stated that a series of four public town hall meetings in various parts of the campus has been arranged over the next eight weeks to allow colleagues to come forward and address the issues that they see in these policies.
Provost Hall noted that on April 15, 2000 the administration will commence the process of doing upward evaluations of the Deans as well as those who toil in the office of the Provost. The Deans will be evaluated by their staff and Department Heads, and the Vice Provost by a collection of the Deans and other individuals including representatives from the Faculty Senate. He stated that the process will be completed by the beginning of May and then it will be decided what will be the annual process of review for all of the Administrators who report to the Office of the Provost.
Provost Hall noted that there is a committee of six individuals on campus today, tomorrow and Thursday who are examining the structure and practice of the undergraduate program at NC State. The crew has been asked to give some commentary on the status of the First Year College. He stated that there are accelerating applications of students who wish to enter NC State through the port hole of First Year College. He thinks it raises some interesting questions about what the First Year College is supposed to be doing and what it is doing. There are currently one hundred thirteen students with hours equivalent to juniors and seniors who are registered in the First Year College. He said that would suggest an expansive degree of involvement by the First Year College. Provost Hall stated that his comments are not directed at anyone who is working with the College because he feels they are doing a good job. However, it does go to some of the structural issues about the nature of the undergraduate program and how it should be addressed. Provost Hall stated that they have also asked the colleagues to assess where NC State is with regard to the issues of retention and graduation, and if it will continue to lag the peer institutions. Provost Hall said notably but not exclusively, it involves those students who come here from historically under represented groups.
Provost Hall reported that he had asked the committee to try to give some sense about whether the refrain of explaining ourselves as a science technology engineering university is an altogether adequate explanation, given what we are doing with our general education curriculum and the way we are trying to present ourselves to the rest of the world. When the committee report is available, he will be happy to share it with the Senate.
Provost Hall reported that there is an Honors Program in place and noted that two hundred and fifty students have been identified for the program. They will shortly be issued invitations to join. This is out of the class that will be coming in the fall. He thinks John Wall and his colleagues have done a great job in organizing a set of honors offerings as well as an administrative structure. Provost Hall believes the Honors Program is critical to the future of the university. He noted that two hundred fifty is not the number that they intended to be the maximum in the programs. They anticipate having seven hundred fifty to eight hundred students in the program in three years.
Provost Hall stated that the compact planning process is near completion. They have been through three rounds with the Deans. The process has been one to ask the colleges to concentrate especially on the three years that are ahead, recognizing that they are likely to be budgetarily (in the year ahead) lean, and that in terms of space, we are going to find ourselves with a continuing problem of trying to accommodate research as well as the learning agenda that we have. He thinks this is a reasonable way to temper some of the more ambitious planning efforts that some of the colleagues have put forward. The compact planning process, however, will have a fourth round in which the Provost and Deans will agree on the initiatives and then on the priority of funding to support those particular initiatives. He stressed to the faculty that the failure to be included into the Provost’s compact plan does not mean that any particular initiative has now been washed out to sea for three years. It rather is the case that the Deans have the opportunity to reallocate the resources they have to meet particular initiatives that may not appear in the agreements that we will strike. He noted that on June 11-12, 2000, the commission on the future of N C State will be here for the purpose of reviewing the outcome of this planning process. The group will be presented something like an academic plan for the university, but there will be other key components to that visitation as well which will include issues relating to engagement and extension.
Provost Hall stated that the Dean search in Textiles has been completed. He plans to share the outcome with the colleagues shortly. The reviews of the Deans in CHASS and Forest Resources have also been completed. The outcome of those two processes will be announced on Friday.
Provost Hall reported that from his perspective, the tenure and promotion process is rolling along. They had their first university level meeting on Monday. Another meeting is scheduled on Wednesday. Provost Hall commended Vice Provost Abrams for skillfully and thoughtfully organizing the process.
Provost Hall met with a committee last week that deals with university wide evaluation of instruction. They presented him with a report at the beginning of the year. He subsequently met with them and is very enthusiastic about what they have done. He indicated to them that this is a critical initiative, especially with regard to being able to capture the high road of accountability with regard to instruction and learning. He said the administration is going to do everything they can to run a successful pilot in the fall and then institutionalize this process in the spring semester. Some of the colleagues registered concern about resources and how much funding it would take to do this. He stated that we need to do everything possible to get behind this process to link it to tenure and promotion, salary adjustment issues, and most importantly to explain that we do extraordinarily well in teaching our students. We should in fact, put it out in front of those constituencies which call us to accountability.
Chair Emeritus Wahl wanted to know the status of the Center for Honors and Scholars.
Provost Hall responded that the Honors Program has issued a proposal to the Space Planning Committee and the item is on the agenda for this week’s meeting.
Secretary Carter wants to know how Provost Hall plans to address the issue of students still being in the First Year College with hours equivalent to juniors/seniors.
Provost Hall responded that they do not have a course of action for this, but they do have a process of trying to get it resolved.
Senator Kimler wanted to know if the two hundred and fifty students that have been identified for the Honors Programs are incoming freshmen.
Provost Hall responded "yes" and said there will be an opportunity in the second semester for students to join. He stated that they feel that they are better off with the cohort that comes in. Some of what they are trying to do is to give this group some identity and learn from it in the first year.
A. Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Bottcher, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee handed out an issue statement and gave an update on an item of consideration by the Personnel Policy Committee.
Senator Bottcher reported that the committee was asked to consider changing the language in the review guidelines regarding department heads providing written summaries of reviews of faculty. The committee has been considering this issue for a few weeks and has been interested in engaging the Faculty Senate for consideration to get more faculty feed back. Karin Wolfe, Director of the Office of Academic Personnel Services, conducted an email poll of department heads on this issue and received numerous, varied responses. She has prepared a summary of department heads’ responses and shared them with the Provost and the committee.
Senator Bottcher stated that the committee is a bit more interested in consideration of this issue in regards to annual reviews than comprehensive periodic reviews of tenured faculty. The committee has mixed feelings regarding providing review summaries to untenured faculty. However, they are unsure if the additional work providing summaries to tenured faculty will be as beneficial as would be for junior faculty. They would like consideration of this aspect. Legal aspects must also be considered, and the Personnel Policy committee will meet with Eileen Goldgeiger from the office of legal affairs next week. He stated that one concern is whether or not legal and other considerations will lead to the development of relatively brief, innocuous written summaries as opposed to more useful ones.
Chair Corbin invited the faculty to bring their concerns to the discussion of the Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Committee.
B. Governance Committee
Senator Elmaghraby introduced the revised Grievance Procedure for Faculty and EPA Professional Employees, and Mediation Policy and Procedure for their first readings.
Senator Elmaghraby stated that the Grievance Procedure is a legacy from last year’s Governance Committee. He invited Dr. John Monahan, chair of last year’s Governance Committee to explain the origin for the revisions. He also invited the University General Counsel, Mary Beth Kurz who was unable to attend because of a previous engagement.
Senator Elmaghraby thanked Mary Beth Kurz for the assistance she gave the Governance Committee in this process. He noted that without her help they could not have revised the procedures.
Dr. Monahan, Past Chair of the Governance Committee, said the origin of the problem as his committee saw it were several problems that came up with grievance issues that were published in the News and Observer and caused a lot of grief across campus. After having discussions with the University Counsel and those who had served on grievance panels and those who had chaired grievance panels, they found that in a lot of ways that it just was not working as intended. He feels that it is important for the faculty and university that this system works because it is the main grievance procedure on campus where peers can look at an issue and make a recommendation about an administrative decision. He stated that there were a couple of glaring problems that they noticed.
Dr. Monahan stated that one problem that his committee encountered was that mediation was needed. They found that many issues should have been handled as a mediation rather than a grievance.
Dr. Monahan stated that once it gets to grievance procedures, they are long and drawn out and they are not working.
Dr. Monahan stated that for the faculty serving on these panels, it was a hit or miss proposition. One could serve several years on the grievance panel and never get called. The committee realized that the problem was that most people are not trained in any of these procedures including the role of chair, the role of convening the procedure, and acting as juror. Therefore, the main recommendation that the committee made last year was to separate the two roles to have a set of jurors who have some training in convening these procedures to act as chair and then allow the faculty to sit as the jury of peers on the substantive issue. The committee made a number of recommendations. These were the basis on which the University Counsel drafted a change in the procedure.
Senator Sawyers wanted to know what the recommendations were concerning the hearing procedure.
Senator Elmaghraby stated that the committee has not been charged by the Chair of the Faculty to discuss the hearing panel. However, if the Chair charges the committee to do so they will.
Senator Gilbert stated that he detects some dichotomy between sections 4.2 and 6.1 of the grievance procedures. It seems to him that a lawyer is being involved on the part of the administration immediately.
Senator Elmaghraby stated that according to the faculty handbook, the statement in 4.2 is required. It is required that the Chair of the Faculty notifies the Provost, and the Office of Legal Affairs, of the grievance.
Provost Hall noted that the Legal Counsel of the university has the university’s legal interest to attend to. The Legal Counsel is not there to represent any grievant one way or the other. The office of the University Counsel is there to represent the university’s interest.
Senator Gilbert stated that based on his experience on a hearing panel, he thinks all active participation by Legal Counsel should be strictly prohibited.
Senator Elmaghraby stated that their intention was that if the grievant opted to have a legal counsel present then the university is going to have a legal counsel present also, but neither counsels can actually participate in the proceedings but should be able to advise.
Senator Elmaghraby stated that there are no existing mediation procedures from the faculty. The committee would like faculty, and EPA Professionals who would like to initiate a mediation process to appeal to the Chair of the Faculty instead of Human Resources.
The documents will be considered at the next meeting.
C. Resources and Environment Committee
The Resources and Environment Committee met with Sam Averitt, Vice Provost for Information Technology, for a follow-up session on February 23, 2000. The committee will be formulating a resolution related to faculty involvement in making decisions related to information technology. Senator Brown, Chair of the Committee would like to have any thoughts on this subject sent to members of the committee.
Secretary Carter adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.