OCTOBER 21, 2003
Present: Chair Daley, Secretary Weiner, Past Chair Carter, Parliamentarian Corbin, Provost Oblinger; Senators Allen, Atkin, Batra, Bernhard, Bitting, Brothers, Brownie, Bruck, DeLuca, Estes, Fahmy, Fikry, Griffin, Headen, Honeycutt, Jasper, Kasal, Khosla, Krotee, Matthews, McRae, Misra, Peacock, Smith, Stoddard, Tetro, Tyler, Warren
Excused: Senators Branson, Hammerberg, Lucovsky, Middleton, Rice
Absent: Beasley, Hooper
Visitors: Andy Willis, Assistant to the Chancellor for External Affairs; Jon Barnwell, Chair of the Staff Senate; Ben Austin, Photographer, Technician; Tyler Dukes, Reporter, Technician; Judy Peel Associate Vice Provost; Benny Benton, News Services
1. Call to Order
Chair Dennis Daley called the fifth meeting of the fiftieth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Daley welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Daley announced that if the main business is short during the November 4th Faculty Senate Meeting he plans to call upon Senators to give liaison reports from the committees on which they are serving.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 4, October 7, 2003
The minutes were approved as corrected.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor
Thank you for inviting me here today. Let me start by making you aware of the celebration of Teaching and Learning that took place today that was sponsored by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. It truly highlighted the importance of teaching as a core mission of the university. It celebrated a number of contributions made by many of our colleagues and was a wonderful event. I wanted to start by making you aware of that. There was an embrace at this meeting of the importance of teaching, about the importance and centrality of teaching as part of the evaluations for promotions and tenure. I wanted to commend to all of you the importance of that task as you prepare dossiers in your departments and your colleges for promotion and tenure. I also wanted to bring to your attention the fact that I chaired a National Academy of Science Panel last year on evaluating and improving undergraduate teaching. For those of you who would like to review documents of this sort there are a number of these available. This one has the advantage of being available to you on the Internet at NAP.edu.
I also wanted to bring to your attention an event that took place last Saturday. This was to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the enrollment of the first African-American graduate student at North Carolina State. That event took place very close to the celebration held at Chapel Hill celebrating its 100th anniversary of its first graduate student enrollment. While fifty years of a gap is a significant gap we know that we have been building on diversity and we are very pleased that Dr. Jose Picart is now with us. He has already had a campus dialog on race as part of his portfolio and he will be visiting faculty and administrative staff around the university to obtain ways in which this embrace of diversity, which is so important to our achievements on this campus, can be brought to a more prominent position. I hope you will welcome him and be candid and forthright in providing ways that we can improve the inclusiveness of our community and celebrate our diversity as well as our achievements.
The third point I want to address today is financial aid because financial aid has come to press and is an important criteria by which we consider how our students are provided access and inclusion in times when we need to be thinking about all possible revenue sources for operating this university. We are well aware of the deficiency between the goal that has been set for faculty and administrative salaries and for SPA salaries as well. That is, the official goal from the Office of the President is faculty salaries being the eightieth percentile, and this is true for administrative salaries and SPA salaries. On the SPA front there is not too much we can do except work with the Office of the President to look at the brackets that are established for particular SPA employees. We do have good news that State Agencies are looking at this career bracketing which would give more flexibility on assigning SPA salaries. They don’t generate any money but give us a little bit more freedom. So that of course is the same problem that so many of you have faced in looking at departmental budgets. The only option you have if we don’t raise money externally or collapse positions is to restrict operating funds ever further to address that opportunity. Particular groups of SPA employees as they become particularly vulnerable to market options elsewhere, I think are going to be identified by the state. The first one that has been looked at in that regard is our campus safety officers. We will be looking very carefully and working with the state in the next month or two to address a very high attrition that has been taking place as market forces attract these very highly skilled officers away from our campuses. All of that is to say that we have an increasing need for every possible revenue source. One of the revenue sources as you all know is tuition. The Board of Governors had their regular meeting two week ends ago in Boone in conjunction with the annual Board of Trustees retreat from all the institutions in the UNC system and at that point they encouraged us to think about what an appropriate tuition increase might be to address the deficiencies that we have in our operating budgets and in our salary structure. We know that as principle, that which we believe in, that which motivates our financial structure, we believe that every student who can benefit from an NC State education must have access to this university and that means a financial package which makes it possible for each student to attend.
I wanted to give you a couple of facts about our financial aid activities and how they are impacted by tuition increases and how those have taken place in the last several years. I want you to realize that since 1993, NC State has increased by ten times the amount of need based institutionally funded financial aid that we provide to students. That is, in 1993 we had less than $4M in need and merit based scholarships as grants. Now we have $13.38M. Part of that is from changes in programs. Part of it is from the success of the campaign for NC State students. If you will remember in that campaign the original goal was $40M. When I came to the campus in the fall of 1998 about $50M had been raised and when we closed that campaign a year and a half later we had raised $128M in endowment. Some of those gifts are deferred gifts and they are still coming in. They will provide a sound basis on which income from the endowment, as soon as the stock market recovers, will provide us additional funds to provide need based financial aid. Apart from grants of financial aid, which would be given to needy students, we have in the last year almost $100M in financial aid. Substantial amounts given as loans, as grant scholarships and as work-studies. Of that $99M approximately 70% of it was in fact, need-based aid to students. The average need-based package that was given to a student was about $9,600 compared to a total cost for tuition, room and board, and fees of $9623. So in other words the average package for both needy and less needy students who got some kind of need-based financial aid addressed almost dollar per dollar where our requirements were for the academically oriented parts of the cost of college. We recognize that this is not all that a student needs. You need to have transportation. You need to have books. You need to have living expenses in addition to that.
I want you to get a picture that the financial aid that was available last year at least addressed the tuition part adequately. Of the aid that I mentioned, 84% of that went to in-state students. That is despite the fact that we are very low for in-state students and very high in tuition for out-of-state students. The bulk of our resources were targeted at our in-state students. 873 million dollars was added to our pool to allocate need based financial aid as a function of the campus initiated tuition increases that we have had. It is almost nine million dollars. As we have increased tuition using the campus initiated tuition increases over which we have some managerial control, it has given us pool money and allowed us to allocate $9.0M toward need based financial aid. This is unlike the tuition increases that are imposed by the Legislature which go into the general budget and are returned partially but not completely through appropriation.
If you look at what the affect of the campaign has been for NC State students with respect to these numbers, the endowment has been tripled. With tripling there have been significant increases in both need based, merit scholarships, and grants because that endowment allows us to give these as grants rather than as loans. We have set, in addition to that goal, a goal of $150M to be raised for our comprehensive capital campaign. I can tell you that the schedule that we set for that seven-year program is already more than a year ahead of schedule during very tight times, so much so that last year our Advancement Division responsible for our capital campaign was acknowledged by CASE (Council for Advancement and Scholarship Endowment). This is a national organization that said our fund raising organization was the most improved in the United States. We are very proud of that and even more proud of the consequences of raising that money and how it deals with student financial aid.
In addition to those sources for financial aid, we started the North Carolina State Family Scholarships by using discretionary funds in the Chancellor’s office and encouraging faculty to participate in the State Employee’s Combined Campaign by which funds could be allocated to a pool which is used to fund those family members of our employees who demonstrate need according to the federal formula. It is particularly important that those who are in jobs in which the SPA salaries are very low have the same sort of opportunity. We have been able to provide one hundred and seventy thousand dollars based on those resources from discretionary funds in my office and the foresight that you have all exhibited in choosing to designate this as one of the beneficiaries in your State Employees Combined Campaign. You can see that our priority has been to make an NC State education affordable, not only for the very neediest of students but for all students who qualify for need based financial aid.
The College Foundation of North Carolina
Roughly three quarters of the price of a UNC education is not tuition or fees. It is the living costs that are associated with attending the university. So to a first approximation the thing that we can do as a faculty is to address how long it takes our students to get through here. We would be able to address essentially all of students’ need based financial aid if we could decrease our average time to degree to four years from the value that we have now. Our graduation rate after four years is something like 26% whereas after six years it is in the high 60’s. So if we can constrain the time required to get a degree, we can continue to have our students enrolled as full time students and we can significantly improve the utilization of our need based financial aid. It will get them out and on to their careers.
The College Foundation of North Carolina does a different calculation than does the federal regulation of need. Their calculation is really a very simple one. They say that the price of attendants is equal to tuition, fee, room and board, meals, books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses less an expected family contribution is equal to the financial need. As we think about financial, one question we might want to ask is, “What kind of financial contribution is expected from those who are the neediest?” For example, the first quintile of incomes in North Carolina, i.e., a family income of zero to approximately twenty four thousand dollars requires a family contribution of three hundred and twenty dollars. So we are talking about relatively small monies if we have a need based pool that can address these kinds of factors. We can also ask, “What kinds of monies are available for student aid ?” Making this calculation a difference of price of attendance less expected family contribution equals need. What sources are there to allow an individual student to address that need. The first answer is to look first to the federal government and to grants that are available through the pell program. Pell grants do not cover the entire cost of education to be sure but they have grown and one of our federal agendas is to continue to push up the Pell Grants so that a larger fraction of this need can be based on grants that don’t need to be paid back rather than on loans or other formulas. Federal Programs provide not only the Pell Grants but they also provide Stafford Loans which are subsidized federal loans in which the payment is delayed until graduation and then is typically paid off over a period of ten years. If a student incurs sixteen thousand dollars in debt which is average for our students who have need based financial aid that would require a monthly payment of approximately $150 after they have graduated. That is the kind of number that we are talking about as our students are graduating now.
Federal Aid Programs also provide work-study jobs and we make all those that are available from the federal government available to our students, and then we look to State Aid Programs. In the past North Carolina, because our tuition has been kept low, has been really out of the state aid business. They have been much less generous to our students than many other states. Because our tuition has been rising in the last several years, from either campus initiated tuition increases or legislatively mandated increases, the amount of need based grants has also been increased from $6.0M in 2000-2001 to this current year of $30M. So there is $30M in additional aid to address the needs incurred by students. These grants from the state government are intended to compliment federal aid and to provide not only additional loans, but also grants that do not have to be paid back. The State of North Carolina has need-based grants that take the same kind of attendance that I mentioned before, subtract the family contribution which is very small if you have a very needy student. If a family makes seventy-five thousand dollars the contribution is expected to be approximately fifteen thousand dollars. That is what is referred to as a student self help. That is signed a value of $4500. They expect students to help with the cost of their education either by working or by borrowing money and paying it back when they are later working. If you take that family contribution plus the student contribution from work or loan plus the federal Pell Grant plus federal tax credits that have come on line in the last five years, that equals what is available from this $30M. To the extent that the College Foundation of North Carolina provides this kind of aid you can see that even the neediest student who did not work but rather incurred subsidized loans would emerge with the number of years his or her education takes times forty-five hundred dollars. As I mentioned to you that has a consequence for the debt that they incur afterwards. It does provide a means by which, I think, we can be sure that with a modest life style and with the willingness to incur debt that is subsidized and deferred that the vast majority of our students have access to financial resources. We have pledged as an administration to set up in our Student Financial Aid Office a very active program to make sure that every student is aware of all these possibilities. As part of our legislative agenda we have pledged to take this $30M and increase it so that all the need is available in that way. I want you to be aware that we are working very hard to assure that the principle that I spoke about is being attained. Our goal is for every student to have access. That is no student shall be denied education in North Carolina due to lack of financial support. That does not mean that that student will not have loans. It does not mean that the student will not have a work-study requirement. It does not mean that they will get a complete ride as some of our merit-based scholarships have. It does mean that in general we will be able to work through our Financial Aid Office with every student who is admitted to be able to come up with an ability to work his or her financial application and to access North Carolina State University.
If the committee that Provost Oblinger is chairing about whether we should have a campus initiated tuition increase concludes that one is necessary, it will be necessary for us to work very hard with this College Foundation and with the State Legislature to be sure that the funding for this program at least accelerates as much as the additional financial requirement for our students. We can guarantee in the same way the principle that we have discussed, that is that student access in inclusion should not be financially based. I know that a lot of you are hearing questions about it. It is a very detailed calculation that goes on but I want you to understand what high value we put on the importance of financial aid providing access to our students.
I also want to thank you for inviting an Executive Officer, Andy Willis. Like the other Executive Officers who will be invited in sequence so long as Chair Daley continues to let us do this, he will talk to you about what his goals and priorities are.
Finally I want to bring to your attention something that I think is a wonderful opportunity and attribute to all of you and that is that the Alumni Association approached us and said that they really would like to have a picnic open to the entire faculty to express their appreciation for all that you do with respect to scholarship as a public trust and with respect to teaching that changes the lives of our students and service that builds North Carolina. They are having that picnic tomorrow from 11:30 1:30 p.m. behind the Talley Student Center. If it rains tomorrow it will be in the Talley Student Center Ballroom. I would encourage you to attend if possible as well as your colleagues.
Senator Bruck stated that this university is generous when it comes to merit scholarships and partial scholarships to our better students. He has been told that Southerners do not want loans. “I have been told that no less than a dozen times and I have lost at least five students from my program who have dropped out for no other reason than they did not have the money and they are working at Food Lion forty hours a week and taking three credits to try and get through. What I am questioning here is that it is great that all of this opportunity is there, but do we need an education program to convince our kids that they need to do this.”
Chancellor Fox stated that it is very important that we all talk about this. “I remember as a student feeling the same way, that I did not want to get into debt. I have been advocating at the federal level that there are certain professions where the possibility for payback is low on the short term. I have argued that programs that require a long time for training in areas of n national need, that they too should have assistance. For the majority of our students, the hypothetical case that you have just outlined, we really do need to tell them that paying $150 a month after they have graduated in four years is a far better result than dropping out of school for a year or spending so much time with a job that they are unsuccessful on.”
Senator Bruck suggested that a packet be put together that would show that indeed a college education is worth it and that indeed you are going to be able under normal situations to pay back these loans.
Chair Daley wanted to know if Senator Bruck’s Department has a web page of their graduates and starting salaries.
Senator Bruck responded yes, they use that to attract people.
Chancellor Fox stated that she spoke with the Textiles Foundation last week. They had a 100% placement in Textile Engineering before graduation last year for an average starting salary of 53K, yet they told her that they have students who are afraid to incur debt. “We need to get the message out. It is almost the American way to incur debt.”
Past-Chair Carter suggested that the best way to get the message out is to do it during orientation when the parents are there with the students. He does not think tuition money should be taken from tuition paying students at a state university to pay for other students who are needy and want to come here.
Chancellor Fox stated that it may be that as Provost Oblinger continues with his Task Force he will endorse and try to support very rigorously the amounts of money that comes from the College Foundation and to try to have any campus initiated tuition increase address the very valid points that we all know about happening on this campus. There is not a day that goes by in which we don’t hear of yet another job offer for one of our faculty or increasingly for our administrative staff as well. We all have a challenge and we need to be thinking about every possible revenue source and using it to the best of our ability. Thank you.
5. Remarks from Andy Willis, Assistant to the Chancellor for External Affairs
Andy Willis has been on campus approximately nine months. Prior to coming here he was the Chief Fiscal Council to the North Carolina Senate in the Fiscal Research Division on the budget. He held that position for approximately 7 years.
Willis stated that they work hand in hand with the Board of Governors and the Office of the President in caring for the overall university legislative agenda. Most of the other fifteen campuses of the university system rely heavily on NC State to help carry their message forth as well since they do not have a presence in the capital city. They help us and we help them.
“I serve directly under the Chancellor and I am the university’s primary liaison with the General Assembly as well as State Government Agencies and the local governments of North Carolina, primarily with the City of Raleigh and Wake County. We are trying to do some good bridge building with Raleigh and Wake County that we have not done in the past. If any of you have heard any of our local government officials speak over the past year every time they talk, I think it is partly because of your efforts and the administration’s efforts as well as the Board of Trustees, they are really promoting NC State. I hear it at the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce meetings. They use NC State to sell the City of Raleigh and Wake County. I think that this is a good thing. Mayor Meeker has spoken with the Chancellor and I think his number one priority is Hillsborough Street. He has been very honest and forthright and has come to the Chancellor and said, “I need your help with this.
I also served as the primary liaison and primary staff to the thirty-one member Board of Visitors. We have added a new staff person in our office that reports directly to John Gilligan and who has probably had more interaction with faculty than I have to date. His name is Matt Peterson. Matt is our new Director of Federal Affairs. I go downtown to Raleigh to try to limit the cuts to NC State. Matt goes to Washington to try to bring the money back to NC State. I think Matt would tell you that NC State is probably not getting its fair share in Washington, which is true. If you look at our population, we are about the tenth or eleventh most popular state in the country and compared to our other universities around the country we are ranked twenty-eighth in the amount of federal dollars that we are bringing in. That says something about our political leadership in Washington. Matt was with the University of California system and handled their research portfolio for about seven years. He was one of the seven liaisons with NASA in Washington to the Congress. We are very fortunate to have him. He has been working with a lot of the faculty. I think Matt’s goal is to get the faculty in front of Congressional Committees to testify on research projects that they are accomplishing."
The Legislative Body
As all of you know, North Carolina is now a two-party state. That was not the case twenty years ago. Twenty years ago in the North Carolina House of Representatives there were twenty republicans and one hundred democrats. Now it is sixty-one to fifty-nine. In the Senate twenty years ago there were forty-five democrats and five republicans, now it is twenty-eight to twenty two. You can see the trend lines. I think the entire southeast has mostly two party states. That is important for us to know when we go down to educate folks. I think there have been a number of folks that have been in the lobbying core for a long time in downtown Raleigh and had such strong democratic tides that they have had trouble adjusting to work with the new party in North Carolina, the republicans.
Co-speakership in the House has happened for the first time in North Carolina. They proved everyone wrong because no one thought it would work. Both Speaker Morgan and Speaker Black pulled together and the North Carolina Senate has been the champion of the university system. We have seen a presence from the House now that they want to kind of take that lead especially with Speaker Morgan who is a republican which none of us would have thought a year ago that would have been the case. The committee structure works very well and they have a super majority. They have eight votes on any issue they need. Last year when it was only Speaker Black, if you will remember the session went into October-November. He had sixty-two votes and he could not keep all his votes. I believe in the next election if the republicans or the democrats take it by seven or eight votes I think you will still see a co-speakership in the House between those two men because they know what they can get done with that degree of cooperation.
How we (NC State and the University System) approached the Legislature this past year.
We targeted our messages. We have fifty-two new freshmen in the House and Senate. That is the largest freshmen class since the reconstruction era. We have had to really concentrate on these individuals. Surprisingly not many of them are that familiar with North Carolina State University. We have a couple of new freshmen that graduated from NC State but not that many. We have tried to bring them on campus to let them see what is going on with Centennial Campus and tried to tell them a little bit about our three fold mission of teaching, research, extension and engagement. I think that has been successful. Everyone has been very active in trying to get to know these folks. I think we have physically been involved with forty-five to fifty-two members, having them here on campus. The Chancellor has had two or three freshmen members who have called and asked to meet with her, wanting to talk with her concerning the budget and her concerns. You never hear of a legislator doing that. So this class is very invigorated and they were responsible for this speakership. They are the ones that felt empowered to some degree. They are very sharp and I think it is a breath of fresh air. The older established leadership has had to start paying attention to them. That has not been the case in the past.
The next tier that we work with very closely is NC State’s people. We have eleven members in the General Assembly that have had relationships with us. Included in that eleven is a former adjunct faculty member, Representative Rick Glacier, who did some teaching in the Political Science Department. We really rely heavily on those folks to carry our message. It is very easy to go downtown or for the Chancellor to pick up the phone and call on these individuals. They always come forward and say yes and we try to help them as much as we can. Most of our state legislators are older and were here in the early to mid sixties. We have tried to get them involved a little bit and educate them. I encourage you to get these folks here anytime your department has an event so they can learn more about what we are doing here.
Chapel Hill has forty-five graduates in the State Legislature out of one hundred and seventy. We were always second. However, if you combine East Carolina, Appalachian State, and UNC-Charlotte, they have thirty-seven graduates in the State Legislature. That tells a little bit about how the other universities are impacting state policies and I think it is a benefit because we all try to speak with a uniform message.
The last group that we really focus on is our thirteen-member Wake County delegation. Two years ago the Wake County delegation as far as a county was the worst in the state. You had delegation members, whether they were republican versus democrat or democrat versus democrat that would not even speak to each other on a daily basis. It had been that way for the past fifteen or twenty years in Wake County. They have wised up because they were looking at folks from Charlotte and from Guilford County and others where the body spoke with one voice and frankly Wake County was loosing everything. They finally decided to stand as a unified voice. They lost Dorothea Dix but there were some concessions made where they will be benefiting in other areas. Eric Reeves is the Senator who is a democrat and David Minor is the Representative who is a republican. They are both in leadership positions and work very well together. After the session started the Chancellor hosted a reception for them just to have weekly meetings. We didn’t even present an agenda to the delegation. We just wanted them on campus and we hosted them. This is the first time the delegation has ever had all thirteen members present and that is consistent every week. They speak in a unified voice for NC State. Anytime we need something from downtown they are who we go to. They are doing a fantastic job. Eric Reeves’ quote is, “You take NC State out of the middle of Wake County, we are no longer a tier one county in North Carolina.” They attribute the economy of Wake County directly to NC State.
It is always difficult when you have a diverse body as we do, composed of the students, faculty, administration, Board of Trustees, and alumni, to speak with a unified voice when you go downtown. That has been a challenge because everyone’s needs are so vastly different. The Chancellor has recognized this challenge and has charged the thirty-one member Board of Visitors to develop a strategy for a grass roots network that will encompass the entire state. Most universities of this size have something like this. These grass roots folk are the ones that do the work in the advocacy for us. NC State has not been very successful in that and I think the Board of Visitors has really taken this challenge. They are meeting next week. Dr. Daley will be there to represent the faculty and we have student and staff representatives. In order to develop a strategy in this network it is critical to have all the players on board. This process is just starting and it is something that you just don’t do over night. We are going to work closely with the Alumni Association to establish who these folks are that we want to target. In some instances we are going to need your help, especially when it comes to research. The hot topic downtown is economic development. I think NC State has done a better job than most of our sister institutions of telling how we have impacted the economy of North Carolina. I think we can do an even better job. We have worked with the Staff Senate. We are very interested and concerned about staff salaries as well as faculty salaries. The problem is preaching it downtown and how to do that effectively. Jon Barnwell, Chair of the Staff Senate has been good to work with on that in trying to get all the Staff Senates across the UNC System invigorated. Working with the students has been somewhat challenging. I have met with them on two occasions primarily to explain the budget process. We are working with the students to try to educate them on the budget process. Students always think they are unfairly attacked when the tuition increases come up and in some instances, they are. This past year tuition was increased twenty five million dollars (5%) because the state was facing a two billion dollar problem. Twenty five million of that is not targeted toward one specific group. They were trying to fill the hole. I think issues that we have coming up which we need assistance on and need your assistance on with our networking strategy is the continuing budget reductions. Facility and administrative cost always come up. I think this university and the faculty at this university were very successful this year linking overhead receipts or indirect cost to economic development and industry. Last year the overhead receipts debate of taking seventy five million from facility administrative cost was a nine-hour debate on the floor of the House. We prevailed in keeping those cuts from happening by a vote margin of six individuals. This year it was a ten-minute debate in committee and it was five to one in favor of leaving facility administrative cost alone. NC State gets a far lesser share of these funds than the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill does and I think we are the ones that sold the Legislature. They saw what we are doing with them. They see how we are reinvesting in faculty and in teaching and in research and they understood. We have to deliver that same message this coming year. I encourage your help on that.“
Senator Honeycutt stated that there was an article in the New & Observer where a Senator is quoted as saying, “If they don’t mine their P’s and Q’s we will take that overhead money back.” Senator Honeycutt wanted to know if that will always be a threat.
Willis stated that he thinks that it is going to be a threat but that particular representative has never supported the university anyway. There will always be threats. “The benefit that NC State has is that we have field faculty in all one hundred counties. We have Legislators on campus a lot. The Chancellor and I like to know when they are on campus primarily because a lot of times we cannot attend the meeting and then when we see them we would like to know what they were here for. We had someone from CALS to testify before the Agriculture Committee last week. I could not be there but he sent me a copy of his presentation. “
Chancellor Fox stated that anyone who would like to bring someone on campus, her office would be happy to make the arrangements. If anyone gets invited downtown for some reason her office would like to know. She noted that the coordination is important because the more informed we all are, the more we move forward as a unified group.
Willis stated that the Board of Governors has put a restraint on his position that only allows him to spend 25% of his time in the Legislative building. They are working with-in those constraints but he thinks getting out there and talking to them has been a great benefit to the Chancellor and Provost.
Senator Bitting stated that universities have a tradition of building a wall around themselves. There are those who remember State College in a different way. “I hear voices of different generations who speak of State College as being a somewhat uninviting place for them. To what extent are efforts being made to alter that image in Southeast Raleigh. For many the image of State College being that uninviting place continues to exist.”
Willis stated that they are making efforts in Southeast Raleigh through the City Council and the County Commissions. “This is a big issue and we need to be a player in Southeast Raleigh. We need to be a player in the downtown redevelopment of Raleigh. I think NC State has taken a backseat to that in a number of instances. I met with the head of the Non-Profit Institute and I think it is one of her goals to work strictly on Southeast Raleigh, how we can get service learning as a part of it, get our students in that community and make it more successful for the citizens there. I think the university system as a whole has a perception problem downtown that we are arrogant. When we walk in some of them look at us as arrogant individuals. The ones that we have problems with are the ones that do not have a university in their district. One thing the Chancellor has been successful at and we are doing this year at State with the new Biotechnology Education Center is we are partnering with the Community Colleges. Community Colleges are loved downtown because every one of them has one in their district. I think they have a stronger foothold than we do. We have to overcome that.”
Chancellor Fox stated that she thinks NC State is the best in the UNC system. Some of the arrogance that Andy is talking about is not NC State arrogance. It is that we are grouped together with some of the other schools and their arrogance is reflected onto us. She went onto say, “The other point I would like to make is that we have two other formal organizations that are addressing the interaction of Southeast Raleigh. One is a campus advisory committee in which Southeast Raleigh has a representative, as well as all the neighborhoods, that meets frequently and has very candid discussions about all sorts of activities. Second, is the Chancellor’s African-American Committee, which meets frequently under the leadership of the Provost and with Dr. Picart to address ways in which we can be much more inclusive in terms of unity.”
Provost Oblinger added that these organizations are made up of a variety of individuals such as one of the governor’s aids, an NC State graduate, and a Vice President for Progress Energy who chairs the group and is very influential in the community. The committee has been invigorated in the last year and they want to help in a lot of different ways. We have involved some of our student body, particularly Tony Caravano, Study Body President, in interacting with them and they want to help us in recruiting. They want to help us get the message out specifically speaking to some of their experiences over time. I think it is working better than it ever has.
Senator McRae commented that it was very easy to get into NC State for people who went through this university during his generation, but difficult to stay here. That perception may be remembered by many who either started out at NC State and who dropped out, etc.
Willis stated that the pressure they get is enrollment for people wanting to get their constituents at NC State. It is not as easy to get in as it use to be and they see that.
Provost Oblinger stated that he would like to go back to a point that Andy made in response to a question about what can you as faculty do to assist the institution relative to liaison or relationships to the General Assembly in particular, or to our Washington delegation. “As the bond build out continues, the Chancellor and I have talked about this as we are very proud of what the citizens voted for and we want some of the Legislators who were part of that bond process to see the impact that it is having. We don’t want to take pictures a mile and a half downtown. We want to bring them out here and show them real faculty, real students, new buildings, renovated buildings and how important and how reinvigorating that has been. Do not be surprised if you are asked by Andy, Chancellor Fox, or myself to interact with a group of Legislators. We hope that you will be willing to do that. Be prepared for one short question that they might ask you. When they ask you what you are doing and what is your area of work or research. Don’t be surprised if they say, “so what? “ Be prepared to respond on the impact of your work. They are going to expect Chancellor Fox to say that this person is the greatest thing. I would do the same thing. Like our students are in many respects our best recruiters, our faculty can, in certain situations, be extraordinarily powerful in the message that is sent about what this university brings to the North Carolina.”
Chair Daley adjourned the meeting at 4:10 p.m.