February 11, 2003
Present: Chair Carter, Chair-Elect Daley, Secretary Banks, Associate Vice Provost Peel, Parliamentarian Gilbert; Senators Allen, Ash, Atkin, Beasley, Bernhard, Fahmy, Garval, Griffin, Hammerberg, Havner, Headen, Hodge, Honeycutt, Istook, Jasper, Krotee, Lytle, Matthews, McRae, Misra, Peacock, Smoak, Stoddard, Sylla, Tetro, Tyler, Weiner
Excused: Senators Carter, Fikry, Sawyers
Absent: Senators Brothers, DeLuca, Hooper, Rice
Visitors: Clare Kristofco, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor; Benny Benton, Editor, Bulletin Online, News Services; Will Hooker, Professor of Horticulture
1. Call to Order
The eleventh 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 Carter.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Carter welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Carter announced that the Brown Bag Lunches are scheduled on Wednesdays at 12:15-1:30 as usual.
Senator Griffin announced that the College of Humanities & Social Sciences’ Interdisciplinary Task Force will have an open meeting on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 from 4- 6 p.m. in G109 Caldwell. This is an opportunity for anyone who is involved in Interdisciplinary items to present issues of concerns to the Task Force.
Chair-Elect Daley announced that the Provost Search Committee is continuing to meet. They are moving fast. Anyone who would like to submit a nomination should do so as soon as possible.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meetings No. 9 & 10; January 21, 2003/January 28, 2003
The minutes were approved as amended.
4. Remarks from Dr. Will Hooker, Professor of Horticulture
Dr. Will Hooker stated that the Sustainability Coordinator at UNC Chapel Hill sent him a link to the text of Ray Anderson’s most recent talk, on January 31, 2003. Anderson’s talk on education for a sustainable future, was given at the Third Annual Conference on Science Policy and the Environment.
Dr. Hooker stated, "This is the Faculty Senate and we are concerned with education. Here was a talk by a gentleman who is renowned across the world for his efforts who blasted the universities, and with good right. Basically what it has come down to is there is no longer a debate about whether there is an environmental crisis. That is not debatable. It is debatable about how we are going to handle it. We have polluted rivers and streams. Our fishery industry in this state is in terrible shape. Lakes are polluted. Other lakes are just dead because of acid rain. They are crystal clear, but they are dead.
Farm lands are being lost either through development or erosion. Atmospheric global warming is an issue. We have problems with the climates and we have species extinction beyond anything since the dinosaur, over sixty-five million years ago.
Anderson’s claim basically is that we are externalizing or modularizing nature and humans. We are taking them out of the formulas. What are we doing? How does this work? Where are these? We are saying that we have an unlimited supply of natural resources to do what we are doing. According to the way that we are living our cultural lives here in this country for instance, that it is infinite: It is not infinite: It is finite, and we are reaching the limits. Every single system on this globe is in decline and it is accelerating. It is a dangerous time. The question is, "What are we doing?" He is saying that we are teaching an old technology for the most part. A heat, beat, and treat technology as opposed to mimicking nature. He is concerned that many of our graduates are getting out without a clue that our health and wealth is tied to the health and wealth of nature. He said nature should be the model, the measure, and the mentor. Anderson is saying that the educational system is failing society and it is a total crime that we are doing this. What he is suggesting is to "green the campus," "green the supply chain," and then teach the new paradigm, which is, recycle waste-free. We should be eliminating the concept of waste. There is no such thing as waste in nature. That is a human word. We generate so much waste it is ridiculous. We should be working in harmony with nature. This is about changing how we operate in the university in a wholehearted way. We need a cultural shift. This is what we are trying to do.
The coalition (NCSSC) was formed last fall for two reasons. I have been talking with the new Sustainability Officer at NC State, the Dean of the College of Natural Resources, Larry Nielsen. He and the Vice Chancellor for Extension and Outreach, Steve Jones, are very committed to this. We are trying to be a voice advocating for sustainability. It is going to grow. There are nine committees. I am trying to figure out where we are relative to the recommendations by the 1999-2000 environmental sustainability task force. I am trying to take on the five major portions of that. Dean Nielsen went to the upper administration at the end of last year and put forward a proposal. I encourage you to review the attached links.
There is an ongoing contest in which $1000 will be awarded for good green ideas (faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduates). There is also a description of it. There is a web site where you can go and I encourage you very strongly to write for this and to get your students to write for it. There will be a symposium on March 27 sponsored by the Park Scholars in conjunction with the essay contest.
There were five recommendations made by that 1999-2000 task force report. I think that task force did a great job. The five deal with, (1) energy management ( there is going to be a report on this by the Task Force a week from today in this room at 11:30), (2) the recycling and waste reduction; we have two people in that position now that are fairly energetic and upbeat. (3) Campus restoration is going forward and now there is a grant to upgrade how North Creek is running. (4) The sustainability recognition; and (5) The green purchasing; the task force dealing with that will report in April. The waste management task group is trying to ensure that NC University follows the state mandate that all paper purchases must have a recycle content. What do we need? Here is where the Faculty Senate can help. Right now we need to hire a full time Sustainability Coordinator. UNC Chapel Hill is blowing us out of the water with their Program. In 1998, Governor Hunt charged then Chancellor Larry Monteith. He said NC State has the technology. It has the understanding. It has the science. You need to lead this state. We are not leading the state. UNC Chapel Hill is attempting to lead this state. It is time we got on board now. Larry Nielsen is pumped up and ready to go, Steve Jones is pumped up and ready to go. We need the faculty support. We need the full time Sustainability Coordinator now to take on essentially the task that this coalition is doing. Dean Nielsen has what he wants and the coalition is basically structured to help him accomplish his vision. Somehow we need to arrange it so that graduates getting out of this university at least have a modicum in environmental literacy.
The Faculty Senate could offer a resolution to bring a sustainability coordinator on board, to continue to support and advocate for an annual report card, and a commitment to continue the sustainability reports.
Senator McRae wanted to know if steps have been taken to get the sustainability item on the compact plan.
Dr. Hooker responded no. He stated that his understanding is that the Chancellor is very committed to this. This was one of her initial agenda items when she became Chancellor. She has directed her upper administration to take this on.
Senator Sylla stated that she is concerned about recycling computers. The History Department seems to generate used computers at a great rate. There does not seem to be any staff that will pick them up on a timely basis.
Dr. Hooker remarked on an analogous effort. "It is like the interfaith flooring system. They do not sell new carpet, they rent the service so that when your carpet is worn out they take it back and after the third recycle then they have really done it. As another example, in most countries in Europe, when you buy a computer, the company that made it still has responsibilities for dealing with it. So when you are done they have to take it back and reuse or recycle the components. So they are figuring out ways to make it so that they can reconstruct and reuse. Only in the United States do we build a car that does not reconstruct quickly and easily."
Senator Tetro wanted to know where in the scheme of things does the University Food Service fits. There is apparently little recycling available for dining services.
Dr. Hooker stated that the main cafeteria off Dan Allen Drive does recycle their waste. They put it in with campus.
Chair Carter stated that he will send a letter to the Chancellor. It is clear that the Vice Chancellor who is responsible is George Worsley. "It is nice to have Steve Jones’ support but I think we need to figure out what can be done vis a vis George Worsley’s office."
Clare Kristofco, Assistant to the Chancellor stated that there is overwhelming support from the Senior Administration for what Dean Nielsen is trying to do.
Chair Carter stated that these recommendations are consistent with the existing task force. He cannot see having another task force.
Dr. Hooker stated that Dean Nielsen is trying to structure a committee that will have responsibility for overseeing these topics so that the committee brings more attention to the topic on a regular basis.
5. Report from the Council on Athletics
Senator Suzanne Weiner, a member of the Council on Athletics, reported that an admitted exception is a student with an academic index of less than 1.8. The issue that recruiters have is that when they are recruiting athletes they do not know what students they can target. The Athletics Department went to the Admissions Office asking for help in getting more of a set range or some target so that recruiters will know, when they are going out visiting.
Senator Weiner stated that she sent Donn Ward a copy of the table that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Dr. Thomas Conway discussed the work that they are doing in the Admissions Office.
Thomas Conway will be attending the Executive Committee meeting on March 3.
Chair Carter stated that Lee Fowler did come in early fall. "I don’t think we appreciated exactly what he was saying. I don’t know if it was clear to us and I really don’t think we knew what questions to ask."
Senator Krotee stated that even after Thomas Conway came and talked very briefly, it didn’t really pinpoint a lot of questions which have come up since then.
Senator Honeycutt stated there must have been a time when someone raised the issue of an AI adjustment. "Where was the decision made and by whom?"
Chair Carter stated that his understanding is that something was decided in July. The committees were not meeting at that time.
Senator Headen stated that it would be useful to know what the components of the AI are and the weights associated with each component.
Chair Carter stated that this is broader than athletics.
Senator Headen stated, "If the AI is an index that predicts likelihood of getting a degree, then that is something that we should be concerned about. If it is not, then that becomes a more flexible, complicated sort of question."
Chair Carter stated that he does not think it is that. He thinks it is a way to reduce these numbers into a single number for purposes of drawing.
Senator Ash commented that she talked with Thomas Conway last week and there isn’t any official change yet. The issue does involve more than just athletics. It involves other potential students coming to campus. He is looking into it and it is an ongoing process at this point.
Senator Istook commented that using grade point averages and SAT scores as evaluator indices for scholarships and other things, places anyone from a rural area that does not have access to those courses at a disadvantage. "That is how we evaluate their work for scholarships among other things. It seems that we need to come up with a better way of doing it."
Senator Fahmy wanted to know if the colleges are involved in making the decisions on admissions or are they bypassed completely.
Chair Carter stated that he would think that the faculty committee would have to approve that.
Senator Tetro noted that she is a member of the Orientation Committee. She stated that the average GPA of the group of freshmen that has already been admitted is 3.75.
Senator Lytle stated that high school GPAs are manipulated in various ways. All honors courses are given extra credit, all advanced placement courses are given extra credit. Fortunately some of the transcripts give you the unadulterated version.
Senator Tetro stated that the Admissions Office lists both the weighted and the unweighted averages.
6. Committee Reports
Senator Nina Allen, Chair of the Governance Committee reported that she received an email message from Jevonda Greer in which she asked that the Governance Committee consider revising the General Faculty Bylaws. "I have handed out to you a first and second page and Article II is what we are concerned with. The voting lists are compiled in the personnel system using PeopleSoft. It is done by query through Human Resources. The Human Resources people extract the voter roster. Jevonda reviews/revises this list and forwards it to Vernice every semester. This roster is used for voting. In reading our lists, Jevonda realized that "demonstrators and laboratory supervisors" have not been on the voting list but we list them as voters. She suggested that we might want to remove those ranks, so I have taken those people out. Jevonda says that the voting list does include clinical extension and research faculty. Business practices to include those and these groups on the roster since they have academic rank but none of these groups are specifically listed in the bylaws. In the C part of Article II, I have added that these include field faculty and clinical extension and research faculty. The field faculty business practice is to include those in this group on the roster since they have rank but they are not listed in the bylaws. It is simply a matter of striking out two and adding these other four categories as I have done on this copy. The change is really a matter of accuracy."
The Governance Committee made a motion to send the issue to the Government Committee.
After a lengthy discussion on the issue Senator Allen moved to table the motion.
Senator Sarah Ash, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee reported that she will be attending the Associate Deans Committee meeting and will be able to report back on the eligibility to continue policy. The other issue that the Academic Policy Committee is going to work on involves working with the Associate Deans who are interested in trying to standardize late drop and withdrawal procedures across the university.
Senator Scott McRae, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee gave a brief report on what the committee did last semester and presented a document that was presented to them by the Lifelong Faculty Committee.
"A great deal of the activities in the committee last semester involved going over the recommendations from the University Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Committee for changes to the regulations we passed last year. We were reviewing the implementation of the new regulations which are now, for the most part, on the Provost Web site with the idea of comparing those to the recommendations of the university committee. Our goal was to make sure that the policy was implemented carefully and correctly and to try also to bring more order to the process. There is a great deal of variability that we plan on between colleges, departments, etc., with the way that the regulations are actually implemented. We were undertaking this task with the able assistance and aid of Frank Abrams. The committee had to restart that exercise to a certain extent. Judy Peel has been asked to participate in that review. We will continue it, and in the near future we will have some recommendation for the Provost which will also be presented to the Senate."
Senator McRae stated that, "At the beginning of last semester we had a conversation, at Kerry Havner’s request, concerning the Emeritus Faculty Policy for the university. There had been at least one draft presented which was not adopted. At the first of last semester we were asked to comment. Havner said that the Lifelong Faculty Committee that he chairs was going to review the policy again to try to come up with a revision. That has taken place."
The faculty took a moment to read the policy.
Senator McRae stated that he thinks the committee did a good job of drafting a policy which clarifies the status of emeritus faculty and sets forth the privileges that the faculty would like to have upon retirement.
Senator Bernhard stated that there is a very cheap price for parking for retired faculty if they do not park here i.e, if you live in another state and visit a couple times per year. "I myself was considering retiring and then I would have a cheap parking space. I learned that is not the case. Transportation is self financing. There are quite a few people who retire and still come to campus regularly. They do have to pay like others because the whole process is self financing."
Senator McRae stated that the attempt was to set forth a policy where retired faculty could buy a sticker at reduced price.
Senator Havner stated that the paragraph regarding parking is an almost verbatim statement that comes from the Benefits Office. This is a standard statement that is being put into brochures that they are preparing as a guide for all retiring faculty and staff.
Senator Bernhard stated that it is wrong.
Senator Havner stated that all one has to do upon retirement is to get the department head to sign a form stating that you are retired and you are not going to be paid by the university. "That is all that is required. Year after year the parking permit is sent to you in the mail at a reduced rate. Currently the cost is fifteen dollars."
Senator Fahmy stated that he and his wife are retired and they regularly get the reduced parking stickers.
Senator McRae moved that the Faculty Senate endorse the policy and recommended that it be adopted.
Senator Weiner wanted to know who the policy goes to once it has been adopted.
Senator Havner stated that the policy will be sent forward to the Provost as a recommendation from the committee. "We seek the support of the Senate and discussed this with Senator McRae at the beginning of the year when we knew that we were going to have to work on the document that had been submitted the year before. We worked on that and the final version was submitted here. I will be sending that forward from my committee but would like to say that the amended document was brought to the Senate and received the endorsement of the Faculty Senate."
Senator Bernhard stated that the part of the document that concerns parking is really inconsistent with what is currently approved by the trustees. "Furthermore, if it really becomes true, we are all living longer and if there is a large number of people parking on campus at a reduced rate, those who are younger who park on campus are going to be paying a higher rate."
The motion was voted on and passed unanimously.
7. Issues of Concern
Senator Tetro is concerned about the lack of use by faculty of the progress reports. She noted that only 4% of the entire teaching faculty is consistently using the reports.
Senator Griffin wanted enlightenment on the faculty’s responsibility when they receive these reports.
Senator Tetro stated that her concern is that the students are not getting the reports to alert them of their status in the class. The 4% of faculty that are using the progress reports are out of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and some foreign languages. She thinks that faculty have a responsibility to get students who are first semester freshmen in a 100 and 200 level course accustomed to the system that they have just walked into. For the most part faculty are not using this system that is available to them.
Senator Istook stated that the faculty needs reminding as well. She feels that would make the difference for her.
Senator Tyler stated that sometimes faculty contact students personally. If her students are not doing well or do not show up for a test she emails them. She thinks there is communication with the students but not through the system.
Senator Tetro noted that they have a statement that says all faculty teaching 100 and 200 level courses are required to take attendance. The 3800 freshmen who came to campus last fall have never been in a classroom where someone is not doing a small amount of monitoring. Now they understand that the monitoring is not going to their home but is coming directly to them. It is first a wake up call and then it is a connection, because it also says that the faculty cares.
Senator Jasper stated that the progress reports work well for him because they form a good paper trail.
Senator Kailash, stated that under the old system, we submitted difficulty reports just once each semester, and now we can submit those reports on multiple occasions. "You certainly want to tell students when they are in trouble, but given all the demands upon faculty time, it is difficult to remember to send those without a formal reminder like those we previously received."
Senator Fahmy stated that when the students take test, he gets the ones that have the lowest grades to come to his office to pick the graded exam up from him personally. He explains to them what they are supposed to do and tries to guide them in the way that they should improve. He feels that personal communication is better than paper or the computer.
Senator Ash stated that when it was a paper copy her recollection is that it was usually tied to the last day to drop. "You needed to get these forms in so that you would have it in writing that the students have been told where they stand on the course. She does it once per semester; right after the first test, just before the drop date so that the students know where they stand in the course. She feels that a solution would be to send an announcement out around this time of semester.
Senator Tetro stated that she will pursue this issue with Louis Hunt to talk to them about increasing the text box where you can write the notes and also to send out a reminder. It would be nice to give the test two days or a week before the last day to drop so the student has enough time to have a conversation with someone. There are still many departments who do not get an exam until eight weeks into the semester, when the students have no feedback whatsoever. If you are a first semester freshmen or a first semester transfer student and this is the first time you have been on campus and have not had an opportunity to drop anything, that is news to them.
Senator Griffin stated that he received an email yesterday about a student athlete from his academic advisor about performance. He wants to know how much information is allowed to be sent by email.
Senator Ash stated that the students sign a waiver giving the academic advisor a right to ask for that information.
Chair-Elect Daley stated that most students being asked about their academic progress have signed the waiver. He talks to the students and if they want him to tell the academic support people that he is one of those faculty who does not do this, they tell him that. He does not think any of the athletes can refuse to sign that waiver.
Senator Tetro stated that when she emails a student, she never includes anything in the message about their academic standing.
Chair Carter requested that Senator Tetro work with Senator Ash, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee, on this issue.
Senator Peacock stated that the faculty in Williams Hall is concerned about the lack of input in how the bond money is being spent on their building.
Chair Carter adjourned the meeting at 4:55 p.m.