October 1, 2002
Present: Chair-Elect Daley, Secretary Banks, Provost Cooper, Parliamentarian Gilbert; Senators Allen, Ash, Atkin, Beasley, Bernhard, Fahmy, Fikry, Garval, Griffin, Hammerberg, Headen, Hodge, Honeycutt, Istook, Jasper, Krotee, Lytle, Matthews, McRae, Misra, Peacock, Rice, Smoak, Stoddard, Tyler, Weiner
Absent: Senators Brothers, Sawyers
Excused: Chair Carter, Senator Havner
Visitors: Frank Abrams, Sr. Vice Provost, Academic Affairs; William Kimler, Co-Chair, Accreditation Compliance Certification; Erich Fabricius, President ProTemp, Student Senate; Karen Helm, Director, University Planning and Analysis; Hugh Devine, Co-Chair, LITRE; Chad Butterworth, Student
1. Call to Order
The third meeting of the forty-ninth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:00 p.m. by Chair-Elect Dennis Daley.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair-Elect Daley welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair-Elect Daley announced that the State Combined Campaign will include scholarships this year and noted that they are still $16,000 short of being endowed.
Chair-Elect Daley announced that the Division of Finance and Business Technology Exposition will be held at the McKimmon Center on Monday, October 14, 2002 from 10a.m.-3 p.m.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 2, September 3, 2002
The minutes were approved without dissent.
4. Remarks from the Provost
Provost Cooper apologized for having to leave the last meeting so abruptly during his remarks.
"What I tried to say at the last meeting revolves around some of the themes that I intend to work on next academic year. They involve issues of the library; retention where we have a task force working on the student side; infrastructure which needs considerable attention with operational funding being part of that equation. Diversity is ever present with us as a goal. We want to continue to make progress in that area. Finally, most of us are heavily involved in compact planning, making sure that a) we have a healthy and effective cycle this time, and b) that we try to preserve some resources going forward so that we can implement some of the ideas of the compact planning. We are going to try to stretch the enrollment funding to go over a two-year period, which means that we are going to put a lot of one time funding in the field so that we can convert that to permanent funding for the compacts for the 2003 cycle.
Every so often the Executive Officers, in separate meetings, go off to the Office of the President to meet with counterparts from across the system. There is a Chief Academic Officer’s meeting approximately three times a semester. The last meeting was held on September 24-25. The kind of topics covered include federal relations. Bob Sandlers, who is a system’s lobbyist in Washington, brought us up to date on some of the initiatives for the system. Topics are very generic like getting more money from NSF, NIH, DOD, and the Department of Agriculture, supporting the GAANN initiative, supporting the Pell grants for the students. There is also the fact that Congress has a higher education Reauthorization Act to pass and we need to get our input into that.
J. D. Milliken gave a budget update which was very similar to what you would read in the newspaper. The university has come out pretty favorably compared to the earliest concerns about the budget. They are not taking overhead. They are not funding us at 98% of our position base. We will get full enrollment funding. There is only one uncertainty which is an efficiency reduction of $25M in the Legislature. The system figures its component is approximately $5.0M, and North Carolina State’s part will be about $1.0M plus or minus that may be a further cut on top of the 2.88%. There is a hold on acting on a budget until October 11, 2002. We will have a fast turnaround as we implement the resource distribution around the campus, not only for the academic units but also for budget and finance units, etc. All of this has to be spent this fiscal year and we are almost three months into the fiscal year.
We have the highest number of uniform personnel of any state in the union. They have educational needs. A lot of which are being met now by private sector providers, such as the University of Phoenix. They are less expensive than working with the system and when they do work with the system they will work with many of the schools themselves. We do very little along those lines and we will see if distance education is a mechanism to help with that.
We have several programs in math that are marginal enrollments at the Masters level and there was some discussion about consortia that exist around the system. For example there is one discussion on German as a language. So we need to determine if we can team up with other schools and form consortia to provide enough enrollment overall to justify some of these Masters Programs that we have on the books.
The only other thing that I think might be of interest to this group is when we talked about research. The Vice President leading that discussion is Russ Lea who used to work for Charles Moreland. He made an interesting compilation. Every year the Chronicle publishes an almanac. To draw attention to something that I think most of us know is happening is to take the top fifteen states, in terms of population, and look at a total research support that is in there. At the federal level, we are seventh in the nation, at the state level we were third in the nation, in industry support we were second in the nation. We have a lot of very interesting parameters when you consider research in the academic enterprise. What was interesting is when he started to view the way we carry out our research, particularly the number of graduate students that we have in this state and the number of graduate students with a million dollars of research. There he said we were something like 47 or 48. Research funding in the past ten years in the state has gone up and graduate enrollment has gone up much slower. The question that he asked is, "Where did the money to support the research enterprise go? Who is doing it?" Of course the answer is, we hire a lot of Extension Agents, Research Professionals, a lot of post docs but not that many graduate students. I think it is something that we could address as a campus and think about how we carry our research. What has driven us to behave the way that we have and how much of this holds true?"
Senator McRae stated that one thing that has changed recently has been tuition remission.
Provost Cooper stated that step changes in those kinds of issues are very costly. "We do not have the luxury of a lot of dollars to spend on the problem but I think it would be good for us to understand why we are where we are and what we can hope for in the future."
5. Remarks from Tom Kendig, Director of Transportation
Tom Kendig handed out information on parking policies and procedures, and the Wolfline. He gave a Powerpoint presentation to give everyone a better understanding of the responsibilities of the Department of Transportation.
Senator Griffin stated that he sees a number of accidents waiting to happen at the corner of Hillsborough and intersection of Founders and Lampe Drives. He wants to know who has the right away at that intersection.
Kendig stated that one thing they have done about that location is they have asked the buses to stay back so that they are not blocking the intersection. He said that has been a concern for a while. They have tried to get the bus drivers to stop back on Founders Drive so that they are not blocking traffic coming in and out. He plans to emphasize that to them again.
Senator Honeycutt wanted to know the status of the masterplan on leaving the campus and emergency vehicles getting to North Campus. He stated that there does not seem to be any information about what will happen if a tragedy occurs on north campus.
Kendig responded that is something that they can take a look at in this transportation masterplan. He thinks there are a lot of things that are unaddressed by the overall university masterplan.
Senator Atkin wanted to know who to contact about unsafe driving on Cates Avenue.
Kendig stated that the campus police should be patrolling that area. That is one of the things that Transportation does not do. Their enforcement officers are only authorized to write tickets for illegal parking.
Senator Fikry wanted to know if the vendors pay fees to use the vendor spaces.
Kendig responded yes that the vendors do pay a fee.
Senator Fikry wanted to know if fees are charged for bicycle parking.
Kendig responded no. They are supposed to register with the Department of Transportation in case the bikes are stolen.
Senator Matthews asked Kendig to explain the rationale for changing the vendor spaces from five o’clock to midnight.
Kendig responded that some of the vendor permits are also issued to some university employees as well.
Senator Lytle wanted to know if permits are sold for motorcycles.
Kendig responded that they do sell permits for motorcycles. "If you have a vehicle permit, a permit for your second vehicle is only $5.00. If you buy a motorcycle permit exclusively it is $50 per year. Motorcycles are supposed to park in the motorcycle spaces that are distributed around campus."
Senator Fahmy wanted to know if a car is removed from under your name if it has been sold to someone else. He was told that one could not remove a car that he/she no longer owns.
Kendig responded that they got involved in a new computer system in January. It does allow them to add a lot of things but they have not figured out how to delete.
Senator Stoddard wanted Kendig’s view of how the roundabout is working out. He asked, "What is your view about how Faucette Drive works out as a one-way street? What is the biggest traffic issue on campus right now, and is there anything that can be done about it?"
Kendig stated that he is thankful that they got all the construction equipment out of the Pullen Drive roundabout. It was a City of Raleigh project that they participated in but had no control over. It was due to be done before school started in August. He thinks now that it is completed it is working pretty well.
Kendig stated that he thinks Faucette Drive is working out. He believes that intersection is functioning better because they have taken half the conflicts out. One can only go one way through there now.
Senator McRae stated that one thing the roundabouts do not take care of is pedestrians. "If you have done much driving in England, they still have stop lights for pedestrians. If they proceed with putting roundabouts on Hillsborough Street, I think we are going to have a disaster."
Kendig stated that the way they are supposed to work is the pedestrian is supposed to be behind the first car. "I think it is an educational thing that we will have to do. I think that once they get used to those areas that are designated for pedestrians it should work. Pedestrians can cross about halfway. They have the island there for them to wait on."
Kendig noted that for the Hillsborough example, part of what they are trying to accomplish still remains to be seen. They are going to narrow that down to two lanes and then have the roundabout. Hopefully that will be better for all types of pedestrians to navigate.
6. Preparing for Accreditation
Karen Helm, Director of University Planning and Analysis, stated that the university has started preparing for reaffirmation of its institutional accreditation in 2004. "We are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Since the last time that we were accredited in 1994, SACS has completely overhauled their entire process. The new process is less prescriptive than the old one. That gives us a lot more flexibility in how we choose to demonstrate compliance with the standards of SACS. They have also given a lot more emphasis to quality by simplifying the process that we use to demonstrate compliance. There were approximately four hundred and sixty criteria in the old process and now there are seventy six. They tend to be stated more generally, therefore there is a lot more flexibility in the kind of evidence that we present to demonstrate compliance. The fewer criteria also makes it easier to report our compliance. The new part of the reaffirmation effort is that we must develop a plan to enhance the quality of student learning and the learning environment at NC State. This is SACS’s effort to give us the opportunity to use the amount of energy that we have used on accreditation in the past and develop a plan in an area that we think will improve the quality of student learning on our own campus. Last time we had eight or nine large committees operating in order to prepare for reaffirmation. This time we have just a couple of committees. We were allowed to pick the topic that we wanted to focus on. After considering about five or six different topics while consulting with the Deans and Vice Chancellors and the University Council, the Executive Officers chose Learning in a Technology Rich Environment as the topic for our quality enhancement plan. Hugh Devine and Sharon Pitt are Co-Chairs of the Committee on the quality enhancement plan.
The way we are organized for reaffirmation of accreditation as required by SACS is the entire effort is led by a leadership team. This is really a steering group. Provost Cooper chairs it, Chancellor Fox serves as ex officio, Karen Helm serves on the leadership team because she is the accreditation liaison to SACS. Susan Nutter is also a leader of the leadership team. Their job is to coordinate the entire effort. The job of developing the compliance certification falls to the Compliance Team, which is Co-chaired by William Kimler and Karen Helm. They have a subcommittee that is focusing primarily on planning an assessment that continues to be a very important topic for SACS.
Senator Fikry wants to know how the distance education courses interact with accreditation.
Helm stated that the distance education courses and programs are held to the same criteria and standards as on campus. They are not treated any differently. "We are obliged to provide adequate administrative support, student support, and library support for those as well as on campus."
Senator Fikry stated that he knows this was the case in the past. He wants to know if it will continue.
Helm responded yes.
William Kimler, Professor of History, stated that the Compliance Team is assigned to conduct an overview of the entire campus. They will be taking data from every unit on campus about student support, library resources, faculty qualification, etc. All of the academic programs will basically come under that. Distance Education will be part of that just as advanced placement credit or programs in the majors and the minor programs. "The thing that is nice about the new accreditation process is that it does not have us basically reapply in some way to some standard. We are suppose to demonstrate that we achieved the standard that we set out for. A lot of these requirements are about having proper procedures in place that show that we analyze and make judgements about our programs, and the ways we do that. It is not like the old accreditation where you have to jump through a hoop to get a program approved. Now it is assumed that we have programs in place and what we do is show how we manage them and how we know that they reach our standards.
We will be maintaining a web site that will keep up with the schedule that has been made available to self study from the last accreditation. We will be putting up draft reports as we go along. We will be putting up some of the drafts and particular faculty might be interested in some of the questions that come up about resources, faculty qualifications, and successful educational programs.
The members of the Compliance Team membership are Sam Averitt, Information Technology; David Broom, Legal Affairs; Kathy Brown, Library Administration; Thomas Conway, Undergraduate Affairs; Mike Davis, Extension; George Dixon, Enrollment; Phyllis Hunt, Registration and Records; Julie Mallette, Financial Aid; Ernest Murphrey, Finance and Business; Judy Peel, Academic Affairs; Ida Smoak, Faculty Senate Representative; Robert Sowell, Graduate School; and Lisa Zapata, Student Affairs. As you can see from that list of names, it is a who’s who of who is good on this campus. It is an extraordinary list because we have the leaders of these units. They will be doing most of the work on this accreditation. For faculty the main business is going through Judy Peel’s office. She has the longest list of things that have to be shown that NC State does for us to get certification. You may be hearing about some of these in your department or in your unit. The biggest task of this whole process is gathering information. We are hoping that the shortest task is writing the report and demonstrating the quality. We do not anticipate a lot of problems on this campus. We anticipate that there will be one or two where we will have to make some justification. The way the report for compliance works is that we make a relatively minimum narrative report. It will be on the web so that you will be able to review it. There is a short paragraph on each of these units where we give a narrative of how we are in compliance with the standards. The one area where faculty may be concerned is there is a laundry list of publication requirements for faculty. The biggest one is we have faculty who teach students and they do not have a degree in the field. The biggest problem right now is making sure we have all that data. You may be hearing requests for information about faculty vita, who is responsible for a program, and who is responsible for the graduate programs.
We are going to take the data from these units and review them. We will be starting to draft these narrative reports in November or December and writing an integrated report on the whole issue of our compliance by the spring.
Karen called me the conscience of the committee for making sure that we have two faculty without portfolio. Neither Ida or I are gathering information or writing these reports. Our jobs are to read them and be honest. This process calls for integrity and reporting trustworthiness as a peer reviewed process. This is a university voluntary organization. We are not mandated to be in it. We chose to be in it. It is treated like peer review. We are talking to our peers and we are talking to people from other universities who are teams.
Senator Jasper stated that some courses have prerequisites. He wants to know if the team looks at how those prerequisites are being enforced and how the mechanism for them should be enforced. His understanding is that students can pretty much sign up for any course that they want whether they have the prerequisites or not. He said then it is up to the faculty to find out if students passes appropriate prerequisites.
Kimler stated that such a decision would be in the area of academic programs in which Thomas Conway will be looking at. "Most of the compliance needs there are to show that we have a process that is supposed to do things. If there are areas where we think we are particularly bad at it, actually this is the team that needs to know. The compliance itself will not be asking to provide data that all prerequisites are met. It will first ask if you have a procedure that is supposed to guarantee that prerequisites, programs or standard numbers of hours are met. We are mostly going to be using top level data for that. This is a good process for us to try to identify some of our problem areas because we also then identify how we are going to fix that. It is not an issue with compliance to have a problem area. It is an issue to ignore it."
Senator Beasley stated that in 2004 the Engineering Programs on campus will also be going through accreditation. That is approximately one fifth of the programs undergraduate-wise on campus. The EC2000 is a much more heavy duty accreditation criteria than SACS is as far as what you have to show as outcomes, objectives, and procedures. "I do not know if in your discussions you are including some of the quality improvement requirements that we have as far as Engineering. I can tell you the question that was just asked about prerequisites is going to get Engineering in trouble."
Helm stated that generally speaking what Engineering will present to show SACS is the same thing that it is going to present ABET. Typically program accreditation has much more specific standards than SACS does. We have been working with Engineering to make sure that what Engineering is developing to demonstrate compliance with assessment for ABET is going to work for SACS.
Kimler stated that part of their narrative might be for some of the questions and some of the units to demonstrate that they need a higher national standard.
Senator Headen stated that there are two things: 1) what we do to get accreditation that is reaffirmed by SACS, and 2) is there something currently being done for the university to collect this information and use it in its own internal planning process.
Kimler stated that part of that narrative is what they are really doing now. That is demonstrating first that they keep track of themselves, using that to identify problems and fixes and then also telling that story, which means this process encourages you to find and improve. Accreditation in this new process means that universities followup on all the areas to explore during accreditation.
Senator Atkin said she assumes that there is some qualifications for non tenure track faculty.
Kimler responded that the qualifications are generally about numbers of hours of graduate courses in the field, terminal degrees, or equivalent work experience. There are lots of ways to demonstrate.
Learning In a Technology Rich Environment
Hugh Devine, Professor of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, stated, "We have an outstanding opportunity here at NC State as we go through the accreditation, to be in the inaugural class of institutions that are going to use this quality education plan as part of our accreditation effort. What that really translates to is an opportunity to define an area of advantage that we choose among our many advantages here and use that as a focal point for establishing leadership credentials and enhancing student learning that takes place at our university. Among the list of things that were submitted, the one that landed on top was the idea of learning in a technology rich environment. We are a science institution so we are now called LITER.
The issues that we have to face is that anything that we are going to do in this plan has to be driven by student learning. So the enrichment of the student experience is what has to be the center point of this effort. Technology leadership is certainly a piece that NC State has embraced throughout its history and one that will be again the sort of mechanism by which this enhancement takes place, at least the focal point that we are going to address as a group. It is to span all of our scholarship activities not only to the delivery of quality teaching and learning experiences, but also a measurement of that. In a sense the whole idea is to build a strategic position and a view and perhaps an implementation plan for delivery. This high quality education experience and then the SACS piece will essentially just come out of that. The moving thing is to write the plan for our own institution. That will by definition be part of the SACS. Then SACS will come back and evaluate us on how well we did on that implementation of that plan. It has to be a community effort. We are already on the way. We have a representative group of members from the colleges in place along with some staff. Our goal is to make this a community involved effort. All meetings, we hope, will be widely publicized, open and well attended by our whole community. We will be focusing very hard on the community effort part of this. The groups that are already working on this are the Faculty Teaching & Learning Roundtable that Sarah Stein has been operating for the last several years, a large group of engaged faculty in this same topic area that had been pursuing this on a voluntary basis. Also we have representatives from The Council on Undergraduate Education. We do have of course a Faculty Senate representative. We will have a Staff Senate representative and again the whole idea is to be inclusive.
We had our first meeting a week ago and have made a first stab at chapters that might appear in this document. They are listed in a fixed set with ranges from student fluency to infrastructure in terms of the topics that need to be addressed. It will be sort of a strategic effort with some sort of implementation. We are an enthusiastic group and enjoying this process. We will be meeting throughout this semester primarily just getting ourselves organized to the extent that we can. Then we will began to identify issues and potential action items that will hopefully be a working document through the spring semester. The plan is that a formal document will be drafted in the summer and then that draft will be delivered relatively early in the fall. Again, the communication piece is vital to each step in this process. Hopefully the Faculty Senate Representative will be keeping you apprised. You will be seeing notices via the normal communication channels of the university as to when these various issues are being addressed and hopefully through web presence to review any documents that emanate from that.
Parliamentarian Gilbert noted that he is on the Admissions Committee and the last count that he is aware of is that there are 4000 suspended students. He wants to know how they are going to talk about enhanced student learning with this massive number of students suspended.
Devine did not have an answer to that.
Senator Ash stated that she is curious about the degree to which there is a financial commitment associated with this. In this age of limited resources she wants to know where the money is going to come from.
Devine stated that resources have been committed to help put the plan together. Their assumption is that if they come up with a workable target that it will in fact, be funded.
Helm stated, "We should not submit the plan for learning in a technology rich environment to SACS unless we have commitments to go along with it, because SACS will come back to make sure that we are implementing it. My own view is that we could not implement a plan on this topic without expenditures or a plan on any topic without expenditures. I believe that there are a lot of expenditures going on in the university now connected to learning and developing a technology rich environment. One of our challenges must be to coordinate those expenditures, and that is why we need a strategic plan. We really need a strategic plan in our university to define where we are headed so that we can leverage the resources that we do have and that we are now spending most effectively toward our goals."
Provost Cooper commented, "Yes I think we want to put some resources into this high priority area. How we do that is through compact planning. We have already gone through some cycles where there are things that we look for in what colleges or departments are going forward with respect to their compact plans. I think what we will do with this startup year is to try to improve the ways we think about how we set our priorities. The sensitivity is that learning in a technology rich environment is something that you can turn into new resources in a way that has a high priority perhaps over other things. For example, it is what we have done. We are always asking that question with respect to diversity as one of the goals of the university in compact planning. One of the things that I or the Chancellor can ask is, "What is your plan, and What are the resources on that topic?" I think that the quality enhancement plan, Learning In a Technology Rich Environment will have somewhat of that character that we would be looking for as we assess what will be on the list."
Helm stated, "We spend thousands of dollars every year on improving classrooms. Can this plan inform how those dollars are invested? We spend a number of dollars developing our distance education capacity, but we do not have a strategic plan that really focuses on student learning to direct those resources and to coordinate the use of those resources or to leverage them. I think even if there were not another cent to be added we can still benefit from this."
Senator Fikry stated that he thinks any future plan must consider the fact that there are more and more students taking courses via the internet. Even SACS itself has to be changed to be modernized. The goals around universities are not there anymore. There are probably more students outside the universities than inside. Any plan must realize that the future is electronic.
Helm stated, "That is precisely why this topic was identified as a critical strategic issue that this university needs to address if we are going to be a great university in the future. Technology is going to inform what we do, where we do it, and how we do it. We need to discuss that and develop a vision for that."
Senator Allen wants to know how they are defining technology.
Devine responded that electronics is driving that definition.
7. Committee Reports
Senator Sarah Ash, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee reported, that one of the activities from last year was to review the eligibility to continue policy (report attached). Last year the committee reviewed the eligibility to continue policy and decided to recommend a two step process where students would be able to remain eligible to continue with a GPA of 1.7 until 59 hours at which point that they would have to have a 2.0 at 60 hours and above. That was brought to the Associate Deans and they felt as though that was still too lenient. They lobbied for a straight 2.0 across the board regardless of the number of hours completed. The committee decided to come up with a compromise of 1.8. The committee felt strongly that students in their first year attending the university needed the opportunity to get on track. The committee has decided to recommend a two-step process for students to remain in good standing with 1.8 GPA up until 59 hours at which point they would have to have 2.0 for 60 hours and above. The committee would like to send this forward through the appropriate channels.
Senator Beasley wants to know how one can go from 1.8 GPA to 2.0 GPA in a three hour time slot. He feels that there is no way to raise your grade point average two tenths of a point in three hours.
Senator Ash stated that she thinks that is what progress toward the degree is trying to accomplish. One of the goals is to try to bring the students and their advisors closer together for better communication.
Senator Beasley commented that there are a significant number of programs on this campus that one cannot get into with a 2.0 GPA, and telling a student that he or she is in good standing is not necessarily good.
Senator Richard Bernhard, Chair of the Resources and Environment Committee reported that the committee meets alternate weeks from the Faculty Senate Meeting. At their next meeting on October 8 Samuel Averitt, Vice Provost for Information Technology will attend for a discussion of faculty computing. Two weeks following, Mike Harwood, University Architect will attend their meeting to discuss the University Masterplan.
8. Issues of Concern
Senator Fikry stated that he has a problem with distance education students and programs. He feels that the students and faculty are treated differently from one college/department to the other.
Chair-Elect Daley referred the issue to the Academic Policy Committee.
Chair-Elect Daley adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.