November 27, 2001
Present: Chair Carter, Secretary Banks, Chair Emeritus Corbin, Provost Cooper, Parliamentarian Gilbert; Senators Ash, Bernhard, Blanchard, Braunbeck, Brothers, Cassidy, Daley, Elmaghraby, Funderlic, Havner, Headen, Hodge, Istook, Kimler, Kirby, Levine, Marshall, Misra, Rolle, Sawyers, Tyler, Weiner, Wilkerson
Absent: Senators El-Masry, Garval, Grainger, Grimes, Lytle, Smoak, Tucker, Vickery
Excused: Senators Allen, Hooper, Hughes-Oliver
Visitors: Benny Benton, Assistant Editor, Bulletin; Robert Sowell, Dean, Graduate School; Natalie Duggin, Student Senate; Rosalind Thomas, Chair, Staff Senate; Frank Abrams, Senior Vice Provost
1. Call to Order
The sixth meeting of the forty-eighth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair Philip B. Carter.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Carter welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Carter stated that he was quoted in the newspaper as saying that the faculty was not going to volunteer to give their $625 raises back to the state. He noted that he had not really consulted with the faculty, but was pleased to hear the Chancellor say last week that, when the letter suggesting that came across her desk, she decided that she was not going to pursue it with the faculty. Dr. Paul Williams, who was in attendance from the College of Management, made the point that it could be quite a bit more than $625 that is being donated. Even though it is a small raise, that amount goes into your base pay. Chair Carter said the position that he and the Chancellor have taken is that if people want to donate money, they should do so and deduct it from their income taxes.
Chair Carter announced that a finalist has been selected for the position of Director of Transportation for the university. Interviews are open to participants from the Senate, and will be held December 4, 6, and 7 in the Primrose Conference Room..
Chair Carter announced that Professors Wahl and Wellman will attend the Brown Bag Lunch tomorrow to discuss some ideas about Service Learning. Former Chancellor Larry Monteith will be attending to share his thirty years of experience and concern over graduation rates.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 5, November 13, 2001
The minutes were approved as amended.
4. Remarks from Chancellor Fox
Chancellor Fox stated that she had just attended an Administrative Council meeting and the topic was tuition.
"No one believes that prognosis for the state recovering very rapidly or more rapidly than the nation is very good. There is a task force at work looking at potential tuition increases for inflation adjustment. They use three inflaters: consumer price index, higher education price index (HEPI) for North Carolina, and a national HEPI. The task force has yet to make a recommendation, but it is likely there will be an across the board inflation adjustment at all campuses for tuition. The question is, what to do in addition to that, if as what we have seen in the past, the state has been unwilling or unable to address the full cost of education. In that case we had a long debate about the constitutional provision for keeping tuition as low as possible and therefore, making education accessible while at the same time, being able to run the institution, to attract and keep good faculty, to make sure that our faculty/student ratio is at an appropriate level consistent with quality education, to make sure that adjunct faculty are at a proper ratio to full time faculty, and to make sure that adjunct faculty are paid a living wage. All of those items are on the table as we think about a budget that will look do-able as we go forward. The original schedule for making decisions about tuition was that we would go to the Board of Governors in January. The Board of Governors have not given us any advice about campus based tuition increase, and therefore the schedule has been pushed back. It probably will not be until March before we know more. The advantage of that timetable is that we will have a little more time to see about the economic recovery of the nation by then. The disadvantage is that we will not be able to plan as effectively as we would like for the next academic year. I would hope that by March the Legislature will be finished. I did want to let you know where we are on tuition and why we have not come forward with something that you have been reading about in the newspaper i.e., that Chapel Hill is doing a study on tuition. I think that it is not necessary for us to start quite this early especially if we are going to get advice from the Board of Governors in January about whether they are even going to allow us to think about campus based tuition increases. The best of all possible worlds would be for the state economy to recover significantly or legislators to renew their traditional commitment to the quality of higher education so that our tuition can be kept as low as possible. That would be a desirable outcome so that we would not have to ask for a tuition increase. If that does not transpire, then we will have a very serious debate, I think, about the merits, the principles that are of course balancing the quality of education with access and affordability. We want to assure that every student who is qualified to take advantage of the education that we can offer is able to do so, but at the same time we want to make sure that the funds that are invested provide a quality product.
We had a Board of Trustees meeting the week before last. Let me remind you about the importance of Honorary Degrees as an important function of this university. It is a wonderful way to bring very distinguished people onto the campus. For example, we have started, in the last year, the tradition of having symposiums or lectures in conjunction with an honorary degree which I think has enriched the academic programs of several departments. We have a full slate of honorary degree recipients for December. We have a nearly full slate for May, but now is the time to have nominations for next December and May of 2003. We welcome nominations. Of course the university covers the expenses in getting such a person here. It means that we can get very distinguished people who often will forego major lecture fees in order to come and accept an honorary degree because it is such a high honor. I would encourage you to think very seriously about that.
I wanted to mention to you, with thanks to the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, the fact that we held a breakfast and talked about the issues that you have undertaken. I wanted to offer words of encouragement and support as you undertake a number of important administrative decisions. The issue about Chairs versus Heads, I think, is very important. The issue about compact planning and how one goes forward with initiatives under conditions of financial strain, I think, is a very important issue and there were several others as well. We are looking forward to seeing your recommendations on these matters and would like to work with you to make sure that transpires as much as possible.
One of the things that has been extremely helpful this year is a very useful interaction with students about their concerns. Provost Cooper has agreed to remind faculty at the beginning of each term about which religious holidays are coming up so that, to the extent possible, you can make arrangements to adjust schedules to accommodate holidays, and to remind the faculty about what the students call dead week. It is not really a dead week. It is a time when you are not supposed to have test, papers, or projects due. Faculty could adhere to the procedure and just have them due a week earlier.
Since so many of our personal records are related to our social security numbers, that to the extent possible, the faculty should use student identifications if you are going to post grades rather than social security numbers. These student identifications are available through the registrar."
Senator Sawyers stated that a concern was brought to his attention about whether or not the faculty will see pay raises in this Friday’s paychecks. The issue being not whether that is going to happen, but the fact that faculty may learn about the raises when they open their paychecks rather than through a Department Head or Dean who apparently does not have authority yet to tell faculty what their raises might be.
Chancellor Fox said, "we still do not have definitive guidance on this 4% decision from the governor. That is, the governor, as you know, publicly announced that every state agency would have a 4% recision and then waffled about whether the university was a state agency. We got mixed guidance as well from the Office of the President, who has asked us to take a 2.7% recision from our budget but to be prepared for a 4% recision. I think I am on firm ground in saying that you will receive the $625 additional pay in this month’s check and that, if you were one of the people who was going to be compensated differently, you would already know that. The number of reasons for differential compensation is really very small namely as a result of promotion, or as a result of the issues addressed in the equity study: salary inversion, or compression."
Provost Cooper stated that there was a requirement for the campus to submit a BD119 form to the Office of the President with all the new salaries. He stated that they received notice today that they could go forward with the formal announcements. Informally they told department heads that, given certain circumstances, they could release information on a one-on-one basis. He believes everything is going to be in the November paychecks.
Senator Kimler stated that it was quite alarming to read in the newspaper about the gender equity study because the numbers seem so high for campus, especially since for the last several years lots of units on campus have been attempting to address this problem. "After all the reviews about individual records and productivity, what kind of numbers are we looking at for where there actually was an equity problem?"
Chancellor Fox responded, "The study was confined to faculty which is a continuing problem, because we have EPA professionals who could be differentially rewarded. An even larger problem, as I have stated many times, is that we do not have flexibility to specifically reward very productive SPA staff. Even with the large number of issues that we have been able to address, we have not addressed the entire problem. We have only looked at faculty. Basically, the amount of money that we identified as part of the campus initiated tuition increase the last time (for faculty salary) was directed toward addressing that problem."
Provost Cooper stated that interestingly the newspaper article that came out was pretty accurate. "Basically we put enough money in to neutralize any gender equity situations for women faculty and for minority male faculty. All of the process took place at the department level and every situation was accompanied by a rationalization by the department. The percentages were not scandalous but they were there. We are also pledging, as part of our regular operations, to continue with the same methodology to do the study next year to see if anything creeps in. I would expect to come up with a number like 30 or 40 dollars differential if that much. I think North Carolina State had a measurable difference. In the past we had a process of alerting people to the differential and expecting something to go on at the college and departmental levels. This year we mandated that money would be available and that there would be decisions made and resources available to solve the problem."
Senator Daley stated, "You are concerned about the social security numbers being used for the students. What about for the faculty?"
Chancellor Fox stated that they are in the process of changing the software to allow faculty to have alternate identification numbers if they wish. She noted that there was a burglary in which someone came in through the ceiling to evade lots of protection. Security has been beefed up, and it is her hope that they can prevent loss of social security numbers. There was also advice offered to the faculty to call a number that was posted on the web to make sure that their social security numbers have not been misused. Chancellor Fox recommended that everyone should do that now and then again in six months.
Chair Carter stated that he was told by Provost Cooper that a change in the level of authority approved by the Board of Governors might be on the news by January 8.
Chancellor Fox stated that there was legislative action to give managerial flexibility, by which some of the decisions which are now made by the Board of Governors, to the Board of Trustees of institutions who demonstrate the capability to do so. Among those decisions were Senior Academic and Administrative salaries, i.e. Vice Chancellors, Deans, and Directors of very large units. Tenure would be approved not at the Board of Governors level but at the Board of Trustees level. In fact, the suggestion is that some of that authority may be delegated from the Board of Trustees to the Chancellor. It would not change the procedures that would be used for tenure review, which she thinks have been formalized a great deal. There are also accounting measures and some audit functions that previously reported to the Board of Governors which would go to the Board of Trustees. Chancellor Fox stated that there are a number of things that has to be done administratively to qualify for that additional flexibility and NCSU is in the process of doing that. "We anticipate finishing those tasks by February or March. There was also additional management flexibility on information technology. This is trying to protect our ability to make decisions about information technology in the way that we have now rather than going through a centralized state agency office. Using a centralized state agency office would be disastrous if we were forced to do that, because not only would you have to convince someone who is not involved in education that we have different needs than a state agency (e.g. the Department of Transportation) and also a different IT cost per participant, i.e. students, faculty, and staff here. The ratio of computers to people on our campus is really quite different than many of those agencies. This is almost a defensive rather than an offensive achievement of managerial flexibility, whereas the other one about tenure and salary ranges is something which will give us additional managerial flexibility."
Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Gail Wilkerson, Chair of the Resources and Environment Committee, presented a draft resolution on copyright regulations for its first reading, and a handout on the proposed changes in wording in the new NC State Administrative Regulation for Copyright Implementation. The new policy was adopted at the beginning of the semester. It is now in place and a committee has been appointed to oversee questions concerning the policy. The Resources and Environment Committee and a number of faculty have felt very strongly that the policy implementation at NC State needed some rewording and some reworking. They proposed a resolution on copyright regulations. Senator Wilkerson read the resolution for its first reading and stated that the committee has been working with Harry Nicholos of the Staff Senate, who plans to submit a similar resolution to the Staff Senate.
Senator Blanchard wanted to know who made the modifications that are shown in the revisions.
Senator Wilkerson stated that the Resources and Environment Committee, lead by Will Kimler, is proposing those changes to the regulations. The regulations are now available on the web.
Site for the general UNC system copyright policy:
Site containing the UNC-Chapel Hill implementation of the general UNC policy:
Site for the NCSU implementation of the general UNC policy (what we propose to change):
Senator Kimler added that a number of faculty have expressed concerns on this policy, and noted that the committee has addressed the primary issues.
Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Patricia Marshall, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee, reported that the committee is currently providing input to Vice Provost Mallette on the draft document for the proposed changes in special faculty appointments and ranks. In conjunction with their review of this draft, the committee is attempting to identify more precise prefixes and rankings that could be included in the taxonomy of special faculty ranks. A particularly perplexing issue was in generating tiered prefixes within the academic ranks of lecturers. In CHASS there is a number of faculty who hold this rank. Some have been in this rank for an extended period of time. The prefixes/rankings that the committee ended up with were: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and Master Lecturer.
The committee also recommended that the term "visiting" be used exclusively to designate persons with an appointment of three years or fewer, and who have a permanent or primary position outside of NC State.
Senator Sean Cassidy reported from the Honors Council. He reported that, beginning next year, students will have to choose whether to participate in the Honors Program or the University Scholars Program. Students who are being invited to join both programs are receiving a letter from the Chancellor letting them know that they will need to choose one or the other. The rationale behind changing it (so that students cannot participate in both) is to allow the Programs to serve more students. He noted that there are approximately 550 students participating in the Honors Program and the Scholars Program this year. Most of the students who are participating in the Honors Program are also participating in the Scholars Program. In making this change, if the Honors Program has 250 students next year and the Scholars Program has 500 students, the programs will be serving 750 students with an academic enrichment program instead of 550.
The Honors Council has also found that students want to participate in both programs but the Council feels that it can be a little overwhelming on students’ schedules because of the required courses that are associated with each program.
Senator Sawyers reported that the Commencement Committee met and chose an outstanding student from the Department of Accounting to speak at the fall commencement.
Senator Misra reported from the Financial Aid Committee, that financial aid reports to students have not been previously coordinated, and as a result, students frequently were getting multiple scholarship aid offers at varying times. The Chancellor charged the Financial Aid(FA) committee with assembling a process by which all aid would be reported to the FA office--resulting in ONE letter to all students. Colleges will have a deadline (currently thought to be February 15) to report possible assistance to the FA office.
Senator Blanchard reported that the Registration Records and Calendar Committee is looking at different ways to modify the academic calendar. One concern is that in the fall semester, classes that only meet on Monday night only have fourteen weeks instead of fifteen. Another concern is that the spring semester "goes on forever." The committee is trying to figure out a way to continue to have a spring break, limit the spring semester somewhat, and still meet the mandated seventy-five days of classroom instruction in each semester. The committee has also received some interesting emails concerning the elimination of the Good Friday holiday.
Senator Daley reported that the University Research Committee is very active. They are currently in the process of beginning to look at academic integrity guidelines for misconduct. He noted that that issue should be coming to the Senate in the spring.
6. Issues of Concern
Senator Funderlic voiced concern over the use of the university-wide evaluation of instruction (UEI) instrument.
Senator Funderlic stated that some items that the Academic Policy Committee is looking into is the requirement that, when the UEI is used, either the Faculty Senate or the faculty who are involved are told that this has been done and for what purpose.
Another item that the Academic Policy Committee reviewed is that there are one or two questions that seem to be used universally as a summary evaluation. The committee thinks that the information that is required could be obtained from the other questions.
Chair Carter stated that his personal desire is to bring the issue as expeditiously as possible to the Senate. He knows that there are some serious concerns, and feels that they may be shared by the broader body.
Senior Vice Provost Abrams commented that the UEI questions are something that would normally be reviewed from time to time. The questions that are there now are the result of approximately three years of debate, discussion, and testing that involves the students and the Evaluation of Teaching Committee.
Senator Sawyers is concerned about the length of "dead week" during a five-week summer session.
Vice Provost Abram stated that dead week is a week in which faculty is not expected to assign a major test. It is not a week in which you cannot do anything. He noted that he is not defending dead week but is trying to clarify what it really is.
Chair Carter adjourned the meeting at 4:30 p.m.