April 17, 2001
Present: Chair Corbin, Chair-Elect Carter, Secretary Brown; Senators Ash, Bottcher, Braunbeck, Cassidy, Elmaghraby, ElMasry, Grainger, Headen, Hooper, Hughes-Oliver, Kimler, Malinowski, McAllister, Misra, Robinson, Sawyers, Setzer, Suh, Toplikar, Tucker, Tyler, Vickery, Wilkerson
Absent: Interim Provost Moreland; Senators Brothers, Grimes, Havner, Levine, Marshall, Wilson
Excused: Parliamentarian Gilbert; Senators Banks, Funderlic, Hodge, Kirby, Lytle, Smoak
Visitors: Charlene Moore Hayes, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources; Daniel Bunce, Editor, Bulletin; Donn R. Ward, Faculty Athletic Representative; Lee Fowler, Athletic Director; Phil Moses, Director, Academic Program for Student Athletes; Ellis Cowling, Chair, University Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Committee(URPTC); Judy Peel, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development; Paul Williams, URPTC; Carol Schwab, URPTC; Jim Clark, URPTC; Thomas Conway, Associate Vice Provost, Undergraduate Affairs; NCSU Cheerleaders
1. Call to Order
The thirteenth meeting of the forty-seventh session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Frederick T. Corbin.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Corbin welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Corbin recognized the NC State Cheerleaders for winning the grand national championship in Orlando, Florida.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 12, April 3, 2001
The minutes were approved without dissent.
4. Remarks from Philip A. Moses, Director, Academic Program for Students Athletes
Mr. Moses handed out the Fall 2000 Scholar Athlete Poster and noted that NC State has some truly outstanding student athletes. He commented on the accomplishments for the fall semester. The academic support program for student athletes is currently a program that has ten full time employees, with approximately 80 to 90 tutors throughout the academic year. The unit reports to the Division of Undergraduate Affairs, yet it is funded by the Department of Athletics. It has been a very unique partnership that has worked very well.
Mr. Moses stated that the communication and feed-back that they receive from faculty gives them a good understanding of where the students stand. They are very appreciative of that. Their philosophy has been to be very intrusive with freshmen and student athletes who are just staying above the thresholds. To this point he believes that it is working very well.
Mr. Moses stated that he is very appreciative of the budget that Athletics has provided his department. The budget for this past year was $793,000. He views it as an investment insurance policy for the athletic scholarships that the students receive. He stated that their services are available to everyone who participates in athletics. The cheerleader squad is not recognized as a team within the ACC but services are available to them as with any other student athlete. He noted that they will continue to make that commitment to the cheerleaders. He believes it is the right thing to do.
Mr. Moses stated that each year their big bragging fact has been the three ACC post graduate scholarship winners. For the past five years it has been seventeen for seventeen. NC State University is the only school in the Atlantic Coast Conference that can say that right now and he does not see that dropping off. Mr. Moses said, "These people are awesome with their accomplishments and a true credit to their family, the university, and everyone involved. Our goal is to continue to move all of our student athletes that way."
Mr. Moses stated that for the past three years, they have had a scholar athlete banquet. They have had sponsorship for one year and are continuing to seek more sponsorship in the future. The top ten scholar athletes had to have been at the university for two full years and the top six have a 4.0 GPA. He noted that as they prepare information for the sports banquet, that there are approximately sixteen student athletes that carry cumulative GPAs above 4.0. He stated that there is a lot of work in progress and they plan to continue to utilize all the resources on campus to foster the positive relationships with the faculty.
Senator Tyler wanted to know why the faculty receive reviews at mid semester on some student athletes and not on others. She is concerned because she did not receive a review for one student who will fail the class which will cause him not to graduate. She wants to know if she needs to take a more proactive stance other than just talking to the student.
Moses responded that he welcomes a proactive stance and stated that he would like to have the information on the student.
Senator Braunbeck stated that the numbers are nice, but they do not give her a complete picture. She wanted to know how the GPAs of student athletes compare with the GPAs of the general student body.
Moses responded that there are approximately 500 student athletes–approximately 200 for the scholar athletes, and usually 90 to 100 for the deans list. The last time that the GPAs were generated, they were .002 from the student body’s GPA.
Secretary Brown wanted to know if anything else is needed in the way of resources to make their jobs easier.
Moses stated that a lot of people think that Athletics has everything. If you ask the coaches, none of them would be happy with what they have. "With our academic support facilities we feel that we are also lacking at this point. I believe that we are moving ahead with the plans that are in place right now, starting with the moving of the football staff from the current Weisiger-Brown building to the stadium frees up a tremendous amount of space. Mr. Fowler is going to take his administration and the majority of the coaches up to Weisiger-Brown, which will free up the top two floors in the Case Athletic Center which will then house the academic support facilities. Facilities is a problem. I am very appreciative of Mr. Fowler’s support in trying to make something happen. Currently we are spread out in three different buildings and we have study halls at night all over campus. I feel fortunate that Mr. Fowler is going to move ahead and bring everyone into one facility."
Senator Kimler wanted to know if computer and Internet access have been improved for the department.
Moses responded that they are now wired with fiber optic lines in the Stroud Center. They have fourteen computers there and are on line. The Weisiger Brown Building is now on line with fifteen computers there.
Senator Vickery wanted to know if the Academic Program for Student Athletes gives specific instructions to tutors in terms of what kind of help is appropriate for out of class preparation of papers. He finds a disturbing trend in his classes (student athletes and non-athletes) across the board, where a substantial number of students seem to no longer take notes in classes. He has noticed it particularly among student athletes.
Moses stated that they are working with the writing center to train their tutors. They have had a professor come over from the English Department to spend time with tutors who were involved with the English Compositions classes.
Chair-Elect Carter wanted to know what the university’s safety measures are for cheerleaders.
Director Fowler responded that NC State follows all of the guidelines set by the Cheerleader National Association. The cheerleaders practice on the gymnastics floor which is a floor that gives. "We do follow the guidelines and we are also lucky to have the type floor which is less injury prone."
5. Update on Child Care Program
Charlene Moore Hayes, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, stated that when she came to work at NC State a year ago one of the high priority items on her list to address was child care. The Group Insurance and Benefits Committee reviewed the issue and did a request for proposals looking for a company that would build a center and manage it if the university made a commitment to give the land. That is where the issue stood when she came to work here. There had been one response to the request for proposals. A company out of Florida responded to the request. She reviewed the file and made a commitment to hire a Director of Benefits. Evette McMillan is the new Director of Benefits. She arrived in November. The commitment that Associate Vice Chancellor Hayes has made to the Chancellor is that by June 2002 they will have a recommendation for the university in terms of the route it should take.
Associate Vice Chancellor Hayes stated that she was concerned that alternatives had not been investigated. The assumption was made that a child care center needed to be build. Her concern is that the capacity will be limited. There will be very few people who could take advantage of the center. She noted that the child care center on Avent Ferry Road is operating with a wait list.
The other concern that she has is affordability. There are a number of people who will need child care and will not be able to afford it. They are looking at alternatives with the goal of identifying a multidimensional approach to the issue of child care in order to provide a solution for the largest percentage of the campus population. They are doing some bench marking. They have a survey that they are doing in conjunction with UNC Chapel Hill. The focus of that survey is actually on staff compensation. As a piece of that they are looking at total compensation to find out what local employers in the community and our peer institutions are providing in terms of subsidy to child care. Hayes stated that definitely by June 2002 they will have proposed a solution for the NC State community. From this point forward they are researching the issues, looking at possibilities, and would welcome any suggestions.
Senator Hughes-Oliver wanted to know what avenues are available for faculty input.
Associate Vice Chancellor Hayes stated that there is a committee through the Group Insurance and Benefits Committee who is working on ways to get that input. There was a survey several years ago; the committee will be updating that to get input from faculty and staff, and holding forums to see if there are those who have an interest in working on the issue with the committee.
Senator Robinson wanted to know why it is going to take fourteen months to make a recommendation.
Hayes responded that staff resources are limited. She noted that it may be done prior to June 2002, but her commitment to the Chancellor is that it will be done by then.
Senator Robinson wanted to know why the capacity would be limited in a child care center and why there would be an affordability problem for lower paid staff as well as lower paid faculty.
Hayes stated that there is no way a facility can be build that will accommodate all of the needs of faculty and staff. She noted that child care is expensive and that the university’s resources are limited. They will have to look at whether the university will be in a position to subsidize. Without that subsidy the cost can be prohibitive.
Senator Bottcher asked if there is a need for a change in policy at NC State regarding child care.
Hayes stated that there are a number of issues surrounding child care. The first approach was to assume that the only problem was a facility. Her point is that the problem is larger than just a facility. She noted that if the money is available they can build a facility, but two years later you are right back in the same situation because there are only a limited amount of children the facility will house. She stated that there are a number of issues there and not just a building.
Senator Robinson stated that it is her understanding that the clock is only for one year in terms of stopping the tenure clock. There are some people who need more than a year. If they are already in a powerless position in terms of being non tenured, negotiations are difficult, especially if the issue is related to child care. "It is important for those of us who feel perhaps less vulnerable to talk about the issue and try to open up access to people who are not in a position to lobby on their own." Senator Robinson offered her assistance in working on this issue.
Senator Sawyers commented that it is not just a child care issue. Stopping the clock can be an issue that affects any untenured person with personal health problems, with elder care problems, and other kinds of issues.
Academic Policy Committee
Senator Kimler reported that the committee will have a report at the next meeting. He noted that they are in the middle of a number of issues that are expected to continue over the next year. A number of them concern academic operations. There have been a number of issues raised by concerned faculty about the length of drop/add periods. They will soon be talking to the Academic Operations Council and to the registrars office about something that might be done in changing that.
There is an ongoing issue of concern from a faculty member who was recorded by a student in his office during a conference and the recording was later used in some complaints about the professor. Senator Kimler stated that the committee plans to report back to the Senate on that issue.
Resources and Environment Committee
Secretary Brown reported that the Provost Nomination Committee has been moving very aggressively. Candidates will be appearing on campus shortly and there will be general announcements made. There will be two-day interview sessions when the candidates are brought to campus. There will be open forums each day where faculty will have an opportunity to meet with the candidates to hear what they have to say.
Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Bottcher reported that the committee will provide a detailed report at the next meeting of the Personnel Policy Committee’s activities for this semester. He presented a draft report prepared by the Academic Policy and Personnel Policy Committees. The committees are recommending, based on a lot of input, that a campus-wide discussion of the functions of departmental leadership occur in the fall, so that by February 1, 2002, faculty senators from each college can bring to the Personnel Policy and Academic Policy committees a summary of discussions in their colleges. If this recommendation is accepted and then forwarded, the colleges would be asked to initiate these discussions on the desirable features of departmental leaders.
7. University Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee
Dr. Ellis Cowling, Chair of the University Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee, introduced the committee. He read the following recommendation from the committee that relates to time clocks. "The committee recommends that NC State University develop a system for identifying and planning for special circumstances of family life and personal health in the lives of the individual faculty members. More flexible time clocks than the traditional ones for reappointment, promotion, and tenure decisions are in the mutual interest of both the university and some of these particular faculty persons." He stated that this is an illustration that the committee have been thinking clearly about the question of reappointment, promotion, and tenure.
Dr. Cowling reported that the committee has had two opportunities to look at the process. The first was when Chair Corbin and Provost Hall appointed the Faculty Select Committee on Reappointment Promotion and Tenure. He noted that the committee is an extraordinarily able group of people who know how to think and reason together very effectively. In essence, one of the proposals was that there should be a University Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Committee. It was recommended that the committee be formed, which resulted in their reappointment. They were given the job of trying to facilitate the further maturation of the faculty and administration as they worked together to help NC State become a better university. The committee was much challenged during that time with three features of their assignment:
They had to understand what it meant to be an excellent university.
They had to seek clearly where they were in the evolution of the institution in terms of its own aspiration and to the transition from the twentieth to the twenty-first century.
They had to assist in the further refinement of the processes by which every department and college on this campus can do a more effective job of selecting the people that will make this the university of world class.
The principle objectives of the reforms in the RPT processes are to insure the basic fairness of the system and to encourage reasonable uniformity. There must be processes and procedures that are reasonably uniform. Dr. Cowling stated that they were not as reasonably uniform as they needed to be if we are going to expect the best of our faculty to make progress in improving themselves so that NC State will get to be a better institution, and to enhance roles played by faculty in every step of the process. Kermit Hall suggested that there should be a college RPT Committee. There were several deans who were not sure that this was going to be a good idea. The three deans who were most doubtful are convinced that this has worked well.
The most significant contribution of FSRPT was to define the values that they treasure as an institution. It is their notion that things that are truly valued by this institution should be the foundation upon which the faculty will be reappointed, promoted or tenured. The values emphasized, were excellence and distinction in creative scholarship that facilitate the increase and diffusion of knowledge, wisdom, and dimensions of intelligence. Those are what the committee proposed and hope will be the aspirations of every faculty member who is reappointed, promoted or tenured at North Carolina State University. It is the committee’s hope that the faculty will choose two or more of the following realms in which they will make their mark:
teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students
discovery of knowledge through discipline, guided inquiry
creative artistry and literature
technological and managerial innovation
extension and engagement with constituencies outside this institution
service in professional societies and within the university itself
The committee believes that every faculty member with their department head should have an understanding of which among these six realms should be emphasized. The committee have come to recognize that they should have a flexible conception of what the aspirations and expectations of the individual faculty member are in a given department.
Dr. Cowling stated that the University Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Committee, was charged with five functions:
To provide oversight of the processes. They did not vote on a single candidate. They looked at the processes that were used in the dossiers, evaluations, etc., and reviewed all of the dossiers.
They will further advise the Provost and the Faculty Senate.
They expect to comment in a written report so that a new memorandum can go to the deans in a more timely fashion than in September.
They have also looked at all the communications this year that occurred between all the evaluators and the candidates. One of the things that has been i instituted is the opportunity for the candidate to comment about the evaluations.
The Provost also asked the committee to look at some cases where there were some disagreements. This is an option that is available within the domain of the university committee.
Dr. Cowling stated that there should be one place that is readily undatable where all the current information relating to reappointment, promotion, and tenure process is accessible to everyone in the departmental offices. The committee have started the process of writing what they would suggest that the Provost have on his web page about all stages of the process, all the guidance that goes with the PA2 form, etc. That would be undatable by Vice Provost Abrams’ office. That way everyone would know how it works. All of the criteria within the department are now available on the web. The committee thinks that this is likely to make the process a lot more transparent, and it will contribute to the reasonable uniformity of process in all departments and will increase the quality in the performance of the institution, because all of them will have the same understanding of what is expected in reappointment, promotion, and tenure.
Dr. Cowling stated that when the committee wrote their report they immediately found that the School of Education and certain people in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences were not happy with the committee’s emphasis on quantitative methods.
Following are recommendations for the Provost’s web page regarding statements of mutual expectations:
It should describe the aspirations of the faculty person, and the department, and the expectation about how it is going to work out with their particular appointment.
There should be a mutually agreed upon statement of aspirations and expectations for the faculty members’ contribution within the department.
There also should be the necessary items to work with and a description of financial and space resources, equipment, clerical assistance, etc.
Dr. Cowling stated, "If the university is not going to provide you with anything they should say so. To whatever extent that is true, it should be in the statement of mutual expectation. The committee is trying to refine the process and is getting better at this."
Dr. Cowling stated that the committee is volunteering to be a special assistant to Vice Provost Abrams in suggesting wording that they think might be appropriate, so that every one has the same understanding of what it is they are trying to do in this university.
Senator Setzer wanted to know if there is any way that the people who are coming up for promotion and tenure can be assured that the rules will not change at the last minute.
Dr. Cowling responded that he does not think there will be sudden changes.
Senator Hooper feels that changes that are made in the expectations under the Provost’s web page should be established in the spring rather than in the fall, so that the faculty will have several months to consider them.
Dr. Cowlings said that is why they have been trying to get their suggestions made so that Vice Provost Abrams will succeed in getting his draft of the memo in Interim Provost Moreland’s hand, so it can be issued in April.
Senator Kimler wanted to know the committee’s response to restate very firmly the assessment of what is knowledge and what is the quality of adding knowledge.
Dr. Cowling stated that the basis of that kind of discussion is within the department. The place for that kind of discussion is in the external letter.
Senator Hughes-Oliver commented that in the move toward reasonable uniformity, disciplinary restrictions should be kept in mind. On the subject of exemplary dossiers, exemplary for one field may be completely different for another field. That could be rather tricky to put in place. She would encourage that not be used too heavily in determining performance appraisals. She stated that one of the advantages of academic positions is that you have great flexibility.
Dr. Cowling stated that it is very important that reasonable flexibility be available so that a faculty member can seize an opportunity; there must be opportunities for regular and spontaneous communication.
Senator Vickery stated that once flexibility is built in the process, and once those things are recognized, his fear is that this might become another burden on the faculty member and the faculty head.
Dr. Cowling stated that they have thought about that a lot. "It does not matter what you say on paper. It is how you do your teaching job. It is performance that count, and process should be used only to the extent that it is useful in encouraging performance."
Senator Bottcher wanted to know if there is a need for improvement in departmental criteria.
Dr. Cowling responded that some of them are fine because they have been carefully done. Others are not up to standard.
Senator Bottcher wanted to know if there is a need to increase faculty members’ understanding of their power to invoke academic freedom proactively in setting directions of research, extension, and teaching programs to insure scholarship, or might there be a need to enhance university commitment to protect the faculty member’s use of that kind of freedom.
Dr. Cowling stated that in preparing and using these documents the committee emphasizes the need for adequate flexibility and intellectual freedom for the faulty member to pursue promising leads and special opportunities in all their realms of responsibility, despite whatever political pressures.
Senator Suh wanted to know what elements in the program aim to improve academic excellence.
Dr. Cowling stated that this is a question of departmental and college leadership. He thinks that a distinguished institution will have unique people in its department.
Senator Grainger (URPTC) commented that they are trying to regularize more than uniformalize. "To regularize what it is that we are doing such that the faculty person will be very clear and understand clearly what it is that is expected. The processes are intended to be guidelines. There needs to be improvement in the stated product criteria. Also there needs to be improvement in the application of the university and the college criteria within specific departments. The statement of mutual expectations and the professional plan is taking the criteria and making them more particular to the individual faculty person. It is an outcome of gross understanding that all faculty are different. Therefore, the context for an individual faculty’s contribution and activities has to be accommodated."
Senator Suh stated that his point is not just with the individuals within the department, but different departments within the college. He said, "Perhaps we should set the minimum standard as a university where our goal should be and then leave it to the individual departments to go beyond that."
Dr. Cowling stated that the last word about how to improve the RPT processes of this university will never be written. They will be developing processes that are encouraging of excellence and are fair to the individual.
Dr. Paul Williams (URPTC) stated that they are trying to develop a process that is uniform across all the departments and to have a situation where senior faculty, department heads, and deans take responsibilities the moment a person is hired to enable that person to become as good as they can become.
Chair Corbin thanked Dr. Cowling and the Committee for their report.
Chair Corbin adjourned the meeting at 5:10 p.m.