JANUARY 13, 2004
Present: Chair Daley, Secretary Weiner, Past Chair Carter, Parliamentarian Corbin, Provost Oblinger, Senators Allen, Atkin, Batra, Beasley, Bernhard, Bitting, Branson, Brothers, Brownie, Bruck, DeLuca, Fahmy, Fikry, Griffin, Hammerberg, Honeycutt, Jasper, Khosla, Krotee, Matthews, McRae, Middleton, Misra, Peacock, Smith, Stoddard, Tyler, Warren
Excused: Senators Estes, Headen, Kasal, Tetro
Absent: Hooper, Lucovsky, Rice
Visitors: Benny Benton, Bulletin Editor; John Gilligan, VC Research & Graduate Studies; Marye, Anne Fox, Chancellor; Clare Kristofco, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor; Tim Lucas, Director, News Services; Barbara Barrett, News & Observer; Charles Duncan, Technician; Donn Ward, Associate Head, Food Science; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Judy Peel, Associate Vice Provost; Matt Ronning, Associate Vie Chancellor; Lee Fowler, Athletic Director
1. Call to Order
Chair Dennis Daley called the ninth 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 the Emerging Issues for will be held February 9-10, at the Jane S. McKimmon Center.
Chair Daley announced that a call for nominations will be sent to the Bulletin for a new Chair-Elect of the Faculty. The Senate will choose two nominees to go before the Faculty at its February 24th meeting.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 8, December 2, 2003.
The minutes were approved unanimously.
4. Issues of Concern
Past Chair Carter stated that his concern is one that has been voiced before (April 19, 2002) when he presented the Chair’s report to the Board of Trustees. It was voiced again at the General Faculty Meeting (September 17, 2002). At that time, according to US News and World Report issue on America’s best colleges, NC State ranked 41st among public universities granting doctoral degrees. Over the Christmas holidays reading the online version of New York Times they mentioned there was an article on how Washington University in St Louis is now in the top ten of those rankings. The website was in fact the US News and World Report rankings of the 2003 rankings of national doctoral granting universities in the ACC schools. Tied for fifth with three other universities was Duke. Among the ACC schools in these rankings, only Florida State ranks below NC State. "I don’t know which way we are going on this but it led to a meeting of people who had been involved in the Watauga Seminar through the 1990’s and we felt perhaps that we should indeed come together as a faculty to discuss how we can improve ourselves at least from that standard. If there are inadequacies in these rankings then we should bring them forward to the publisher. If there are not inadequacies then I think we have some work to do. I’m pointing at each one of us as faculty members to try and come together and figure out what we should be doing. The proposal of folks who met for breakfast in late December was let’s reconvene a Watauga Seminar which has done, I think great services for the university through the 1990’s in their studied evaluations of specific topics and publications of reports presented to the Provost that are now all in line. What I would like to do today is ask those of you who have a similar inclination, to come together and discuss this matter to let me know so that we can have a meeting and plan on what might be done this semester as faculty members. The Watauga Seminar has always been an open meeting. That might not be the best way to approach it. It is an approach that I would recommend at this time and come with the evaluations, study the issues, present the report to the Provost as in the past."
Chair Daley stated that he thinks this is something a lot of people in the university are well aware of and are concerned about. Perhaps talking with them might help coordinate some of these activities.
Senator Brownie is concerned that the stated university policy on reappointment, promotion and tenure is not being adhered to in certain cases in his college.
Chair Daley assigned the issue to the Personnel Policy Committee.
5. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Fox extended her personal sympathy to Senator David Beasley for the loss of his mother over the holidays.
“This is the first meeting of the Senate in 2004. I believe it is appropriate to start the new year by reviewing last year’s challenges and achievements and to continue committing to build on those as we go on in the year ahead.
2003 provided us with a unique yet difficult opportunity to relearn a lesson of significant importance. Each day as Chancellor, I resolve to move this university forward toward our mutually agreed upon goals. I have learned however that I must balance this determination with a willingness to stop and listen so I can hear the views and needs of everyone in the NC State Community. You, as Faculty Senate have been very instrumental in helping us do this. I very much appreciate the role you have played in enhancing communication particularly between the faculty and my administration this year. At no time during my service as Chancellor for these five and a half years have the quantity and quality of communication been any better and I attribute that to the leadership and the faculty who represent us all on the Faculty Senate. I am tremendously grateful for what you have done over the last year and the role the Faculty Senate has played. You have provided great support for our new Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jim Oblinger. Early in 2003 the Deans and Department Heads and the Faculty Senate suggested a series of actions that could be undertaken to strengthen the Office of the Provost. Those changes resulted in an Academic Affairs portfolio that made the position at NC State a very attractive one. You then assisted me in selecting who I think is one of the very best Provosts in the country, Jim Oblinger. I am very grateful for the encouragement and the cooperation that all of you have shown in working with Jim and bringing his vision and his desires for this university toward reality. We have made tremendous strides over the six months since he has assumed that leadership position. I am also grateful for your active participation in the listening sessions that we have had on campus to bring forward to the administration issues that were of significant importance to all of us across disciplines and across colleges. I really welcome the opportunity to openly discuss with you and then resolve some of these issues as they come forward. The faculty, led by the Faculty Senate and by the Executive Committee has discussed issues that lie the heart of the university. These issues came to us in many ways, but one of the most appealing and direct ways where that has taken place has been through the sixteen breakfast meetings that Provost Oblinger and I have had over the last year. These were with the faculty and we have had really open candid discussions about things that we could do to improve the university, ways that investments could be made. In addition, the Executive Committee has met with the Provost and me on three occasions where we shared a meal and where we shared our views about what could be done as we move the university forward and what obstacles might be countered along that path. I look forward to continuing that effort in next week’s conversation.
I have also appreciated your council and guidance relating to some pressing issues that affect faculty. I will now touch on four of them.
You told us last fall that safety was a very important concern on campus and that we needed to pay much closer attention to the entire environment and how it affected safety. You played a very important role at putting together the task force on campus safety and in providing the views to that task force so that we could make the interventions that would be necessary to improve the quality of life on campus. The Executive Officers are going to take the preliminary draft report of that task force under consideration soon and will be bringing that task force report back to you with some recommendations for your reactions and thoughts.
You assisted the administration with a number of policies and procedures. Included among those were admissions policies, grievance procedures, the infrastructure for mediation to avoid grievances and to solve things by other routes, and a document on special faculty rankings. You advised me as I considered the very difficult issue of whether to recommend to the Board of Trustees a campus initiated tuition increase. That was a very hard decision because we know about the importance of affordability and access for all of our students. I believe it was one that was absolutely necessary and will continue to converse with you as that recommendation moves to the Board of Governors and then to the Legislature next summer.
You told the Provost and me that we need to better understand the many assessment efforts that are under way and how to best accomplish quality assessment while at the same protecting and honoring faculty time and other obligations. With the recommendation of Provost Oblinger, I will be appointing an Assessment Council to ensure that our assessment activities are coordinated and make the very best use of everyone’s time.
I want to thank you too for your advice as I wrestled with a number of complex decisions this year. I was particularly grateful that during the ACC expansion discussions, twice I asked the Executive Committee on really very short notice to come together and to think deeply about the proposal, about some ideas that were not completely fleshed out and to react to them so that I could provide guidance about your views to the ACC Presidents. You were very gracious in giving me your time and your advice in that matter.
I also appreciate your individual comments that were shared in a dozen or so faculty walk-ins that were scheduled during the year. These one-on-one meetings were very important as a way of letting individual faculty members tell the administration what is important to them. I encourage you to tell those whom you represent that is a very valuable way to bring issues to the attention of the administration. Of course, I could not schedule every individual faculty member for a visit apart from that, but I have these times set aside on a regular schedule so that even without any reason you can just come in and have a cup of coffee if you want. I am very grateful that a number of you have chosen to do so. These opportunities for conversation have really helped me a great deal because they have shaped the discussions that we have had with the executive officers and we have been able to bring the day-to-day concerns of the faculty to them in a way that they can be translated into policy.
Finally let me thank your willingness to set aside your free time to join us for some campus wide activities. I am thinking in particular of the leadership that Dennis Daley brought to the Faculty Senate in working with the Alumni Association and with Provost Oblinger and me to resume what had been a tradition, a Faculty Senate picnic. Apparently that had been stopped several years before I arrived. It was a nice event early in the fall, a time for us to come together without an agenda to relax and enjoy each other as people. Dennis, I want to thank you for your help in doing that. Dennis has been a wonderful leader for the Faculty Senate. He brought that leadership even to the bowl game this year and he represents the Faculty Senate with very positive results.
I recognize that we face many challenges as we go forward, but I am really optimistic about the progress that we have made, about the communication channels that have been open and about your willingness to work with us so that we are all moving together in the same direction. I think that if we do work together the recognition that follows from being a great university will soon follow. Thank you for letting me speak with you today.”
6. Remarks By John Gilligan, Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies
“This is an opportunity to briefly discuss a few of the things that are relevant to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. It has changed a little since I was last here. I want to make sure that you understand the kind of broad range of issues that I get into and to also let you know about some of the initiatives for the future and how well we are doing.
We are doing very well when it comes to increasing our funding for research programs on campus, increasing graduate student recruitment, etc. The kinds of responsibilities that I have are for getting proposals out the door even though each individual college and department has their own people. Overall, I am responsible for getting proposals out the door that are correct. Also when the money starts coming in we have responsibilities for compliance issues related to human subjects, animal care, also research and misconduct. All of those issues come up from time to time. We have a staff of twelve people working in those areas.
A large part of my responsibility involves technology transfer, which is really intellectual property and commercialization of what you do. We had something in this area occur just the other day. Ken Adler in the College of Veterinary Medicine had a new drug that can reduce the amount of mucus produced and this has direct applicability to the treatment of asthma. Before that was reported in Nature it had to be protected as a patent and he did that several years ago. It has been spun out as a company already and it is located on Centennial Campus. Bio-markets had approximately six million dollars worth of funding and it is going very well and we anticipate that there are going to be products out of that discovery very shortly.
The kind of revenue that we get from intellectual property commercialization is on the order of three to four million dollars per year. A large amount of that is invested back into the university in various forms. Donna Cookmeyer is the head of this area. Dr. Cookmeyer came to us from the Department of Research Offices and was previously at Duke and has joined us in the past year.
My responsibility also gets into proposal development of new ideas and making sure we have the right kind of support behind all the matching requirements that you have. All new faculty who require matching start-up packages are funded out of my office. I work directly with your deans and department heads in making sure that we have the right foot out the door in order to be successful.
We have a group that we are growing out of CALS that helps write proposals. We have had a huge increase in demand for writing large proposals. For instance, right now we are preparing two large proposals for Homeland Security support that would be on the order of three to five million dollars per year. We also have proposals to the National Science Foundation for an S&T Center and a large proposal for NSF coming out of the College of Educations support of learning of science. We have a huge diversity of projects that we are going after. The proposal support group is there to aid the individual PI’s who need a lot of help in putting these large complex proposals together.
In the Graduate School where I have joint responsibility with the Provost, I really want to make sure that the students have all the support that they need, that interdisciplinary programs are taken care of, that they are well fed, cared for, and that the faculty play nice with each other across college and departmental lines, something that needs constant attention. Also, we want to make sure that international students are treated fairly and have all the advantages that they need in order to succeed and deal with their visa issues.
In general I am delighted with the kind of people that I run into and meet on an every day basis. I am very impressed with the high quality work that comes out of NC State University from all colleges. I am working on the following four items as part of my compact plan with the Chancellor and Provost.
1) To increase access to resources for faculty in whatever form that is necessary. We are going to be aggressive in going after state funding, federal funding, making sure that we have enough support for tuition, enhancing federal relations in the earmarking process.
2) To be a better communicator with faculty and department heads and have stronger interactions with all organizations within research and graduate studies. There are a number of committees that we have that facilitate this: University Research Committee, Research Operations Council, Research Services Council and also Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG), which was a group formed of faculty from among many colleges to advise me about funded research problems and things that they were not quite sure about or things were not working out correctly. They try to find issues that are slowing them down. One thing that we did in the past few months was to raise the limit of email attachment for all faculty and students on campus. Previously it was 5 megabytes. We increased it to 15 megabytes once we realized we could not send Power Point presentations to each other relating to proposal development.
3) The third leg of our compact plan is working on improving communications and services, which obviously affect all the things that we do.
4) Finally, raising the national profile of NC State research and the scholarly work of our faculty is the fourth important item that we are working on in our compact plan.
Senator Honeycutt wanted to know if NC State is still in the top ten in terms of industry funding.
Gilligan replied yes, we are number seven.
Senator McRae wanted to know the philosophy that is used when trading off allocating resources to new projects versus standard projects with long-term support to the faculty etc. Is there a committee or other generating body that helps in this regard?
Gilligan stated that the state does not provide resources for matching funds or investment in infrastructure. “We are totally dependent upon what we generate ourselves. Fortunately that has been increasing over the years through our F & A allocations that have been generated by our faculty. It is a struggle every year to convince the State Legislature that we should keep those funds in order to help to reinvest in our programs. Much of that is distributed to the colleges. Some of it I keep in my office to invest in seed funding for new faculty. The other goes toward matching, toward start-up packages when a dean or department head comes to me asking for investment in something they see as important, and which is also listed in their compact plan. I have to work with Provost Oblinger directly to make sure that we are getting the same story from the deans on one side as well as the researcher on the other side and to make sure that we are investing where the whole college or department needs to go. I don’t know of any that I have turned down and I don’t know of any that we have lost because we did not have sufficient matching in the proposal. We have got to be competitive with the idea and the organization first and have the capability. That counts for 90% of it. Don’t be fooled by the fact that some schools will put in a huge amount of money to buy their way into a program. That does not work. It certainly does not work in the long term. I think we have tried to balance our investment in new faculty seed funding. I doubled the amount of funding that has gone into seed funding when I first came into the office and it has been showing success because we are hiring new faculty at a steady rate and that is important. I wish we had an additional source that we could go to from the state to get additional money for large investments that would be on the order of three to five million dollars.”
Senator Allen wants to know why have the funds for the competitive program for graduate students been deleted.
Gilligan stated that he does not know but will look into it. With the state budget cuts there had to be some cut backs and that is probably one of those things that was affected.
Gilligan stated that one thing they had to invest in heavily this year is high performance computing, with the state cuts for MCNC. Again that was a situation where coming in the door they had to do something right away so he had to invest funds in that area. He stated that he plans to keep this going for approximately two or three years, and in that time we are going to have to figure out something that is more long term.
7. Memorial Statement in Honor of Dr. Eloise Cofer
Dr. Donn Ward, Associate Department Head of Food Science read a memorial statement to honor Dr. Eloise Cofer.
8. Old Business
Second Reading: Resolution on the State Budget
Senator Nina Allen, Chair of the Governance Committee read the resolution for its second reading and moved that the resolution be adopted.
The motion was voted on and passed unanimously.
9. New Business
Report on Issues of Concern
Suzanne Weiner, Secretary of the Faculty reported that seven issues of concern were brought before the Senate. Three have been resolved, three are still in committee, one came back to the Senate and after discussion it was sent back to the committee and is still in discussion.
Report on Retention Task Force
Senator Honeycutt reviewed the Executive Summary of the Task Force Report on Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates at NC State and moved that the Senate endorse the report.
After some discussion the motion was voted on and passed unanimously.
Emeritus Faculty Status and Involvement
Senator McRae reported that the Senate endorsed an earlier version of the Emeritus Faculty Status and Involvement Policy. Unfortunately there were many changes made after the Senate endorsed it. Since that time it has been presented to many of the executive bodies on campus. The current version is much more acceptable than the previous version and it still covers what the Faculty and the Faculty Senate would like to have done in recognition of retiring faculty. The committee recommended that the Senate endorse the policy for adoption by the administration.
The policy was voted on and passed unanimously.
Chair Daley adjourned the meeting at 4:20 p.m.