MARCH 23, 2004
Present: Chair Daley, Secretary Weiner, Past Chair Carter, Provost Oblinger, Senators Allen, Atkin, Batra, Beasley, Bernhard, Branson, Bruck, DeLuca, Fikry, Honeycutt, Hooper, Jasper, Kasal, Khosla, Krotee, Matthews, McRae, Middleton, Smith, Stoddard, Tyler, Warren
Excused: Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Brothers, Brownie, Fahmy, Headen, Misra, Peacock, Tetro
Absent: Bitting, Estes, Griffin, Hammerberg, Rice
Visitors: Marye Anne Fox, Chancellor; Melin Onvural, Technician Photographer; Clare Kristofco, Executive Assistant to the Chancellor; Charles Duncan, Technician; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Ellis Cowling, Distinguish University Professor; Judy Peel Associate Vice Provost; Lee Fowler, Athletic Director; Benny Benton, Bulletin Editor
1. Call to Order
Chair Dennis Daley called the twelfth meeting of the fiftieth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:12 p.m.
Chair Daley announced that there would soon be a call for elections for the Faculty Senate.
Chair Daley noted that attendance is taken for each Senate meeting and that it is a requirement that Senators attend meetings. Those with a number of excused absences are notified. There is one senator, Dr. Gerald Lucovsky who has managed to not attend any of the meetings. Therefore, as Chair of the Faculty, Dr. Daley formerly dismissed him from the Senate. Chair Daley stated that this would allow the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences to elect a replacement in the cycle.
2. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 11, February 24, 2004
The minutes were approved unanimously.
3. Issues of Concern
Senator Bruck stated that he was questioned by a number of faculty members who are dealing with undergraduate education, which is what this issue of concern is about.
“I would like the Senate to invite the Director of Admissions to address this body on the procedures that are used in selecting undergraduate students at this university. The reason that prompted my colleagues and I to wonder about this is that over a period of about 48 hours I heard on the radio, an interview on the television, an interview in the print media in the N&O that quoted the typical average incoming NC State undergrad at a 4.1 grade point average and almost a 1200 on their SATs. I don’t question whether that is right or wrong. The concern that I have is, having been here for almost twenty-seven years, and having taught freshmen classes for the past fifteen years my colleagues and I have seen a dichotomy take place. We are dealing with some of the best and brightest students I have ever seen in my life. They can go to Harvard and get 4.0. On the other hand, I have students in a freshmen/sophomore class I am teaching right now who are functionally illiterate. They can neither read nor write. They cannot string five words together into a sentence. They cannot spell a single word correctly. If you ask them to orally tell you something, the answer there is negative as well. I am trying to be a responsible faculty member in educating my students. My personal belief is that I give up on no one. The question that I am trying to figure out is, is it the responsibility of an institution that claims a 4.1 GPA is the average of our students to be giving literally remedial education at dare I say the fifth grade level, sixth grade level? My point was if my kids brought home papers of that grade level with what I am seeing right now they would not see the light of day for a month. I do not believe in raising things like this and simply throwing them out. I have sought a number of answers. I sat on a number of graduate committees in Education. I have a lot of colleagues and friends over there and I have spoken to them about what is going on, for example in our high schools. It is frightening how students can come out with AP biology, chemistry and physics and not know how to define the word photosynthesis, not know how to do the most simple calculations, not know how to use a library to do a research paper. I am not saying this to create trouble. As I said, I have been harboring this belief for several years and when other colleagues of mine started making the same comments I begin to wonder what this system is about. An institution of this stature and we don’t require interviews from undergraduate students. We don’t require an essay to be written by incoming students. I have never heard of anything like that in my life. Also for a cure, you are going to say perhaps we need a much huge expanded admissions staff and we don’t have the money to do it. You can send me fifteen students a year. I don’t care if it is on Saturday, I am going to conduct an interview with and get my impression of their ability to be able to do college work by looking at their transcript and talking to them about their preparation. I will do that. Perhaps the university faculty itself needs to take a greater responsibility in helping to guide students. The bottom line is these things end up as tragedies. You wonder why we have the lowest graduation rate? I think this is perhaps one of the reasons, that we are accepting students into a rigorous institution who in my opinion, not a majority, but a significant enough minority have absolutely no preparation to be here and I think it ends up being very tragic. The only request that I am making is that I would like to have a report from the Director of Admissions about the procedures by which we accept undergraduate students.”
Senator Honeycutt commented that he read an article this week that ranked the US sixteenth in terms of eighth grade science and math. This eighth grade break in terms of science and math is killing this country and that is part of the problem.
Senator Bruck stated that he thinks there are many problems out there with the public education system, which frankly we are not in control of here. “My only point is I could not get into this institution and I know what my education level was at the time that I entered college so there is a disconnect between numbers that we are seeing and my observation of what really amounts to the complete lack of skill and preparation. These kids are not stupid. They are as smart as you and I. Are they prepared to deal with college level work without having a calculus professor have to flunk three quarters of the students in his class? There is something wrong when that happens.”
Chair Daley stated that Dr. Thomas Conway will attend the last meeting and he also plans to get Tommy Griffin as well for more general questions.
Senator Middleton is concerned about the maneuvering of students on campus who are physically challenged. He wants to know has there been an assessment of facilities for disabled people. Is it true that there is only one rest room in Harrelson Hall that is assessable to the physically challenged people? Are the parking spaces near the library adequate?
Chair Daley stated that his understanding is that the university is legally compliant, which is not necessarily the same as having adequacy.
Chair Daley assigned the issue of concern to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Senator Atkin suggested that the committee also look at signage while addressing this concern.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor
The SACS visit is taking place through Thursday. They have been working for many months with our team who has been extraordinary in terms of putting together all the data that is necessary to establish compliance with the regulations necessary for accreditation. Karen Helm and her team have been phenomenal in making these contributions. Of course we have as well a very strong LITRE team in that our re-accreditation requires what is called the Quality Enhancement Plan. The advice that we have had from their group is that this should focus on learning in a technology rich environment. Lavon Page has agreed to lead that effort with Hugh Devine and Sharon Pitt who have been very helpful to him in putting this project together. That project as we speak is being reviewed downstairs. It is a major investment in technology but not for technology for the sake of technology. It is for technology to enhance our students’ learning outcome and it will involve both infrastructure investments and it will involve faculty seed grants to do projects that test the means by which technology can be best used to enhance the quality of educational experience that each one of our undergraduate and graduate students experience. That is a very important part of the university’s agenda and we will have more to discuss with you as soon as we get the report, which is Thursday.
I wanted to report to you about the Board of Governors meeting, which, was held last Friday. The Board of Governors had two issues that were of great importance to North Carolina State. The first is tuition rates. In their wisdom they saw fit to reduce the in-state tuition from the recommended $300 per year that emerged from our Board of Trustees consideration to $250. Our out-of-state rate at $300 was accepted. In comparison Chapel Hill’s in-state rate was reduced to $250 as well. Our tuition rate for in-state graduate and undergraduate students was changed by the same amount. Their out-of-state rate was $1500 compared to our $300. Of course we have discussed the problems that would be induced if we had an out-of-state rate of that magnitude especially for those disciplines in which students are paid and supported not by an external company but by research grants or on their own dime. Chapel Hill is going to have a differential tuition for the first time. While they have made no commitment they will say privately that they think they are going to have that kind of incremental tuition over the next several years. If that request is granted by both the Board of Governors and by the Legislature over the next few years it would significantly differentiate our tuition for out-of-state students and theirs. It is something to which I think we have to pay a lot of attention.
The other thing that was different than the recommendation for tuition increases made by our Board of Trustees was that the Master of Accounting Program ( MAC) and the MBA were presented initially to our Board of Trustees with justification and that the Board of Governors two years ago did not make a commitment for last year. These were tuition requests that were initiated by the students and there were strong letters of endorsements both two years ago and this year to the tuition increase because those students could perceive the quality of their education and particular placement and services to students were being significantly impaired by budget cuts that had affected us all. The College of Management asked for a $4,000 increase for the MAC Program as well as for the MBA. At the Board of Trustees level the MAC Program was slowed down so instead of having a $4,000 increase in the first year we will have a $2,000 increase in 2004-05 and another $2,000 increase in 2005-06. They recommended that the MBA have the full increase in 2004-05. The Board of Governors however, felt that was inappropriate and is going to phase in the $2,000 increase for both the MAC and MBA programs over two years. The students who wanted the tuition increase and therefore the improved services will have to cut back their expectations a little but nonetheless the tuition activity was undertaken. This of course is still not final in that the tuition recommended by the Board of Governors is considered by the Legislature. They also declined to impose any across the board additional increase beyond the campus initiated tuition increase and these monies will be retained on the campus. It will be available for allocation for academic programs and for need based financial aid through the Provost’s office. That is where we are on tuition.
The other area of interest to North Carolina State was the status of Engineering. As you know for many years we have had a two plus two program between NC State and Asheville focusing on one discipline which is mechatronics, a combination of mechanical engineering and electronic engineering and that has now been approved as a formal degree, so that students who enroll in Asheville can stay in Asheville for the second part of their two plus two and get a degree which is jointly UNC Asheville and NC State. This is something that the College of Engineering has been very enthusiastic about for a very long time.
You will also recall that the Legislature did a study about whether there was a need for other Engineering Programs in the state. Their conclusion was that there was not with a possible exception of computer engineering. Nonetheless, in their wisdom the Board of Governors has approved a general program for Engineering at Eastern Carolina University on the grounds that this would not be competitive with our own Engineering Programs because it would be a more technology focused program that would lack the specialization of the finest engineering programs in the nation. They will not have electrical engineering or chemical or mechanical or aerospace. They will have only a general program. The projection is that they will have no more than one hundred students entering in a year and their argument was that this program requires no resources. While the Provost and I both raised questions about whether any kind of program can be started without resources it was approved; therefore ECU will have a bachelor’s degree that offers a general engineering option. We intend to look at this very carefully and to continue to press the case that the studies that were initially suggested to us recommended. The Legislature certainly pointed out no need for such program and we cannot argue that this is redundant because our programs are quite good and this will be a general program. However, I think we can make the argument that there is a real necessity to look very closely at the resources that will be allocated and we certainly intend to do that.
Comments from Provost Oblinger
Provost Oblinger commented that they did object to the request to have a biomedical track and an engineering management track. “ We were successful in literally the eleventh hour to get their Interim Chancellor at that time to withdraw. You know that we have a joint program accredited in biomedical with another institution. We did not think that the state needed to make that kind of an investment or commitment to that kind of investment. The Chancellor portrayed that very diplomatically. It means a small victory, but we do need to be very concerned about what that means to the resources in the system. “
Chancellor Fox stated, “Two other things that you should be aware of that were untaken at the Board of Governors meeting is that the Office of the President is thinking of instituting a program which would be called UNCDC which would allow students to pay tuition at their home campus and be located in Washington DC serving internships in a variety of agencies on the hill and so forth in several of the groups. The program may become a reality within the next year.
The other thing that the Office of the President has done is to initiate a task force that would look at cooperation with community colleges. I think a major target of this cooperation is the need for additional teachers and nurses in the state and this task force will focus on such issues but will also think about articulation agreements and means by which transfer students in various disciplines can be assisted. I would be most appreciative if any of you are interested in that and if you can give any feedback about concerns or opportunities that would evolve with respect to community colleges.
I have worked very hard with the Provost over the last several months thinking about the suggestion you gave to us to establish a budget committee. We have accepted that recommendation and the Provost has agreed to chair that group. He is working with Chair Daley to formalize the participation. The Provost will provide great leadership and there will be strong representation from the executive officers. I thank you for your assistance in putting that together and we look forward to going forward very effectively and quickly in addressing the complexities.
The Provost has already been instructed to look at budget cuts for 1,2, and 3 percent over next year and we are at a stage where there is nothing left to cut. I believe that the budget committee will be very important; not only in communicating how these budget decisions are reached but also in helping us make the optimal investments under very difficult circumstances.
Senator Beasley stated that as a member of the engineering accreditation commission he is very concerned that our Board of Governors would agree to put on the ground general engineering programs and indicate that it requires no resources to start and then also talk to the fact that it would be technologically based. “Is this going to be a technology program or is it going to be an engineering program?”
Chancellor Fox stated that it is going to be a general engineering program and we do not have the details of what that means.
Senator Beasley wanted to know if it was sold on the basis of trying to accredit it.
Chancellor Fox stated that her understanding is that there is a general accreditation from ABET, which does not allow the same accreditation for some disciplines.
Senator Honeycutt stated that he remembers reading the proposal last year that mentioned specifically software engineering and the job market in the future of at least 10,000 new jobs in this area. He thinks that should be looked into because he believes that the job market right now is a depressed job market for software-oriented people. The people downtown need to be very careful with this because it can give a very bad signal. Senator Honeycutt thinks that the senators from engineering should work with the Provost to have something to say through the Senate.
Senator Beasley stated that he thinks that would be appropriate. He has led teams to schools that have general engineering programs and they sell them on the basis of we are going to develop engineering for a little niche market that we have right around here and we will not be messing with any of the big boys. The reality of it is that those programs many times are simply not very good programs and if they sell it as being a no cost program, there is no way to do that.
Chancellor Fox stated that they did not claim that there would be no new resources ever. They just claimed that the enrollment would be enough to fund any requirements. They did not speak about anything except faculty resources though, and they apparently think that equipment is not necessary.
Past Chair Carter wanted to know if this action by the Board of Governors has to be approved by the Legislature. “What we are seeing here is that this is the thin edge of the wedge in terms of getting financial assistance for their program.”
Chancellor Fox stated that her understanding is that approval of programs is vested with the Office of the President so they could take that action to overturn that decision but it would not be routinely presented to them for their approval.
Provost Oblinger stated that it was a review team of three deans of engineering who were brought to the state by the Office of the President and indicated that we did not need another school or college of engineering in the state of North Carolina, that in fact, the production of engineers exceeded the current job vacancy rate and they provided documentation for that. This was one of three studies that were funded by the Legislature. A feasibility study and in this particular case a feasibility study resulted in their request for a degree and that is what the Board of Governors voted on last Friday. This is a systems engineering general engineering degree. It cannot be accredited until they have graduated their first class. They do have several more faculty than you might realize who have engineering credentials and if you followed what led up to a couple of people stepping down at ECU within the last six months you would be able to track how they hired several engineers in the last year or two.
5. Old Business
Recommendation on Voting Faculty Involved in Special Faculty Hiring
Senator Scott McRae, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee stated that a proposal has been made by his committee to change the voting requirements on special faculty ranks containing the word “professor”. The change is being recommended in response to some concerns and problems that they understood were taking place in the way that special faculty are hired, and the reasons that they are hired. There were some questions of cronyism, etc. The committee examined the issue and recommend that all special faculty ranks be voted on by the full voting faculty in the department just as tenured track faculty reappointment promotion and tenure are voted on. However they received a question as to the fact that department heads having to hire special faculty at the last minute to teach sections. They settled on this recommendation so that this provision would only apply to special faculty ranks containing the word “professor”. He thinks it will go a long ways toward answering the questions that they have received about the current process. Currently the only requirement for a special faculty to be appointed is that three members of the department must agree with the department head.
The Personnel Policy Committee recommends this as a change to the academic tenure policy and would like the Senate to endorse the change.
The recommendation was voted on and passed unanimously.
6. New Business
Resolution of Commendation for George Worsley
Chair Daley presented the resolution for its first reading.
A friendly amendment was made to the resolution.
A motion was made to adopt the resolution. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Resolution on the State Health Plan
Senator McRae stated that this resolution is in response to an issue of concern about the enrollment categories that are available to employees through the State Health Plan do not include the category of employee/spouse. The categories that are currently available are employee, employee/family, and employee/child/children. When you look at the cost that is associated with the various enrollments in the State Health Plan the price that is being paid for employee/child/children is less than one half of the price that is paid for employee/family. The problem is that employee/spouse with no eligible children now has to sign up for the employee/family plan and pay the full family rate. He noted that the question will ultimately have to be passed to the University Benefits Committee but the Personnel Policy Committee felt that they should pass the question to the committee with the full weight of the Senate behind it.
Senator McRae presented the resolution for its first reading.
Senator Jasper stated that when he first came here he asked about the cost and he was told that it was not really the premium for the people that are in this room that was the issue but rather it is the retirees. The spouse for the retirees is really what consumes most of the expenses in this system. It turns out that the children are not what is driving the health cost and when you look at it for people who are employed and working, it actually makes a lot of sense. But when you count the retirees for the State system if they worked it out the cost would not be that different and that is why the family and the spouse only from an insurance point of view expenses are about the same.
Senator McRae stated that life insurance premiums change with age. He sees no reason why if that does indeed turn out to be the case from an actuarial standpoint that there could be a two-tier system i.e., prior to age 65 and after age sixty-five.
Senator Bruck stated that he thinks this is another issue and also these are considered to be mutual insurance policies. There are those who pay a family premium for thirty-five years of a career and never collect ten cents from it because they never meet their deductible and then the children are gone and you have yourself and your spouse. Is it not commensurate that you are receiving some benefits for paying premiums for thirty-five years?
Senator Beasley stated that they are talking about a fairness issue here. There is simply not a category for people who don’t have children and there should be.
Senator Bernhard stated that one thing that they used to do on the Senate is to cite the past resolutions and this particular one not only gives you a feel of déjà vu, it gives you a feeling of déjà vu all over again. We have repeatedly discussed this and that it is appropriate to cite such things.
Chair Daley stated that we are a cash cow for the State Health Plan. We represent a small portion of all the employees covered and tend to be among the more healthy users of these.
Senator Warren stated that the State Health Plan is the State Health Plan for all state employees, and we may want to send them a resolution but this would only be effective if the entire State Health Plan changes. It is either all or nothing.
Chair Daley stated that we have for many years been pushing to have a state university health plan separate from the State Health Plan which would give us a lot more flexibility to do things. Whenever there is any benefit, it is considered statewide and of course it is a “Cadillac health plan” if you are elsewhere in the state. If you are trying to hire people from other research universities we do not show up as well.
Senator Tyler stated that she is all for a resolution but there is no sense in sending one that cannot accomplish anything. Her concern is the wording “premium commensurate”.
Senator McRae stated that this issue would have to be dealt with by the University Benefits Committee.
Senator Tyler stated that she is suggesting a change in the wording to say that there be a category of employee and spouse added to the State Health Plan is appropriate.
Senator Middleton stated that if we are adopting this resolution just because it is a nice thing to do, it strikes him as being close to just a waste of time. If we have identified an agent who is responsible for initiating the change and if they will take the position today and plan to follow it through to its end then it might be worthwhile.
Chair Daley stated that the part of the hope here is to voice our concerns and to hope that they hear it and do something about it.
Senator Batra stated that if the Senate passes this resolution it also strengthens the state employees because they can use this as an endorsement.
Senior Vice Provost Perry stated that she would just caution us to be careful what you ask for because as she recalls it was the exact point that the older spouses were costly so there was a blending for the family premium so they actually got the benefit of the employee and children. You could end up with a category here but a higher premium. I would encourage you to go and get Human Resources to give you the background first.
Chair Daley stated that the committee would look into it and ask Human Resources for a ballpark figure on cost.
Past Chair Carter stated that as the Chair to the University’s delegation to the Faculty Assembly perhaps that is the group to whom we might address this. The resolution could be that we call on the Faculty Assembly of the University of North Carolina.
Recommendation on Reappointment Promotion and Tenure Revisions
Senator McRae stated that in the year 2000 the University Select Committee on Reappointment Promotion and Tenure examined many issues concerning reappointment, promotion and tenure on campus. They did an excellent job considering all the things that we could do with this process that would make NC State a much stronger university and our faculty a much stronger faculty. One of the primary areas of change that this committee recommended to both the Faculty Senate and the Provost’s Office was something called the six realms of faculty responsibility. These appear first in draft and final reports by the University RPT Select Committee. The final draft for that year was July 31, 2000 and it was reported to the Senate in a PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Ellis Cowling on May 2, 2000. There were additional recommendations made the following year and they also contained the six realms of faculty responsibility as a replacement and as an expanded idea for what faculty should be responsible for doing during their service to NC State. The Senate endorsed the 2001 report dated 14 June to then Provost Moreland and I read from that endorsement.
I am pleased to report that the Faculty Senate Executives have given unanimous endorsement to the document entitled Recommendations to Interim Provost Charles Moreland and the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate. It goes on to speak about Ellis Cowling’s presentation to the Senate. I want to read briefly the remarks that appear in the Faculty Senate Minutes from Ellis Cowling’s 2001 presentation. He is speaking about the work that the committee did in examining the assignment that they received concerning RPT.
he committee was much challenged during that time with three features of their assignment:
1. They had to understand what it meant to be an excellent university.
2. They had to seek clearly where they were in the evolution of the institution in terms of its own aspiration and to the transition from the twentieth to the twenty-first century.
3. They had to assist in the further refinement of the processes by which every department and college on this campus can do a more effective job of selecting the people that will make this the university of world class.
The most significant contribution of FSRPT was to define the values that they treasure as an institution. It is their notion that things that are truly valued by this institution should be the foundation upon which the faculty will be reappointed, promoted or tenured. The values emphasized, were excellence and distinction in creative scholarship that facilitate the increase and diffusion of knowledge, wisdom, and dimensions of intelligence. Those are what the committee proposed and hope will be the aspirations of every faculty member who is reappointed, promoted or tenured at North Carolina State University. It is the committee’s hope that the faculty will choose two or more of the following realms in which they will make their mark:
Teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students
Discovery of knowledge through discipline, guided inquiry
Creative artistry and literature
Technological and managerial innovation
Extension and engagement with constituencies outside this institution
Service in professional societies and within the university itself
The six realms now are a standalone regulation linked from the Provost’s RPT website. The committee believes that these realms will not be fully integrated into the RPT procedures until they are made the basic criteria for RPT. In order to do this we are recommending that the present criteria in the NCSU academic tenure policy be replaced with a statement of the six realms as our primary criteria for reappointment promotion and tenure. In order to implement that in collaboration with Ellis Cowling and Jim Clark we would like to present to you as a recommendation to the Provost Office for your endorsement the replacement for section 6.1 criteria in the current academic tenured policy.
Senator Krotee stated that earlier in the year at one of their lead systems Ellis Cowling presented this information and the majority of the department heads were not really involved with the formation of these. He thinks only one or two of the people that were there were actually involved in this. The department heads seem to feel that they were the ones that had to enact this.
Ellis Cowling stated that the six realms came from interviews that they were directed by then Chair Fred Corbin to hold. “We listened to what various faculty members had to say about what they thought were encouraging of their most creative input as faculty. That is particularly where the idea of creative artistry and literature came from and the managerial and technological innovation. We had several faculty requests. We had one department head on our committee at that time. That was not a broad representation at that time. When the Faculty Select Committee was appointed by Fred Corbin it was deliberately chosen to have it populated by faculty and one of the recommendations was the notion that faculty should advise administrators at all levels. The memo that started all this was the famous September 7 memo from Kermit Hall to the deans of all the colleges where he directed that faculty committees should be established in every college as was not the case in seven of the ten colleges on our campus at that time. There were three colleges that had faculty advisory committees that advised the dean about the promotion and tenure decisions. Then Kermit Hall raised questions about the desirability of having a University level committee so the objective of the six realms was to respect and try to set on a par, six areas of responsibility that faculty often pursued. Some of these are not often pursued. For example, creative artistry and literature is not a common aspiration of people say in the Math department. Our thought was, and Jim Goodnight is a splendid example of why we added creative managerial and technological innovation. Jim Goodnight was driven from the Statistics Department in PAMS by the faculty in PAMS and he is now the most wealthy person in North Carolina. We were not perhaps so well prepared as we are today to deal with the question of technological innovation. We also wanted to make a clear distinction that was sought after by many of our extension faculty to understand more clearly what they are expected to do and to distinguish between services from a professional versus an editor of a journal. We distinguish then between services to constituencies outside the institution and then we identified service and that is where the six realms came from. Faculty wanted an opportunity to be recognized and that is where this statement about the values hold dear.”
Senator McRae stated that one of the most important aspects to this change that we are recommending is that it allows us to award many contributions that faculty are making today that are currently not considered to be a contribution from the very narrow definitions of scholarship research and outreach that exist in the policy currently. “Let me emphasize again that these six realms already exist on the Provost’s RPT website. What we are recommending is that the recognition that these are the goals and what the university expects of its faculty as the basic policy in our academic tenured policy.”
Senator Allen wanted to know, if she was an Assistant Professor and read this and believed it and yet her department had other ideas, how would you reconcile those two.
Senator McRae stated that this is both a recommendation in the beginning of a process. These six realms have been endorsed by the Senate and have been in front of the Senate and Provost Office for four years now. The only place that they have routinely appeared is on the one regulation that is on the Provost’s website. If you look at the departmental guidelines and the college guidelines these six realms do not routinely appear yet in those guidelines. Many are of the opinion that we start by putting them in the basic policy and we use that as a beginning to go ahead and start the process of getting the departmental and college categories in mind.
Senator Batra stated that he thinks some of these concerns are taken care of by the added piece that was part of the RPT committee’s report which was that the PA2 form also has a section called statement of mutual expectation and the statement of mutual expectation if it is mutual between the head of the department and the individual is viewed every year and it evolves and evolution takes care of the appropriate mix depending upon the individual’s career. “ I think a lot of that can be taken care of in the statement of mutual expectation. In almost every department no matter whether we have a label that we are a single discipline we find that we are really multidisciplinary and the multidisciplinarity is very difficult to take care of unless you provide some work like this where the mix of disciplines is shifted out. As long as you are doing this on a yearly basis as an update I think you can take care of a lot of these things.”
Senior Vice Provost Perry stated that the statement of mutual expectation is the core of the whole process in the dossier and we are just now collecting revised and reformatted departmental rules in which we ask them to define the criteria for each of the steps within a career as well as the expectations or the currency of that discipline and if there are multiple disciplines then in a department they need to cover all of them. “Whether they are in a regulation outside the actual tenure policy or within it I am not sure it would change anything as far as how they should or can be used. I believe at least a part of the department head’s concerns really is what I have now started to understand is an embedded issue here. What is the definition of scholarly activity? Again going back to the departmental rules and a statement of mutual expectation, that needs to be defined and one example I would give is, I have a lot of experience from my faculty days in extension and I know there was always a little bit of concern there because some extension folks just like to go out and give their workshops. They like to do their presentations and they get a lot of feedback from that and they enjoy it but they are not producing full attendance or writing things or doing the scholarly product making. I think there is a whole other level of this that we don’t want to touch on today but I think if the definitions are clear in the department rules, they should be clear in some ones statement of mutual expectation. Then that should be covered if the realms are there and stated as they are now. Again, I am not sure what would be accomplished by moving them into the criteria. “
Senator McRae responded that the problem right now with the academic tenure policy as it is currently written is that the criteria for promotion are very narrow. Until you change that then you will always have the problem of people not going beyond that policy in their consideration. If a faculty member wants to see what they need to do, what criteria will be used to obtain tenure and they go to that policy then they will not come away with the ideas that many things can be rewarded under the six realms.
Senator Warren stated that she is a huge fan of the six realms and thinks that it is in combination with the statement of mutual expectations that this will work.
Provost Oblinger commented that he thinks we have both a process and awareness challenge here. “ I can assure you that right now the university reappointment tenure and promotion committee is wrestling with the variation from college to college and unit to unit within colleges about how clear is the general RPT process at this point. In some locations it is not all that clearly stated. I would like to think that we could wrestle with this prudently and bring some additional rhyme and reason to the process we already have in place. We are in the final throws of this round of RPT and I think we have made real progress in terms of the way the overall process has worked this year with deans being involved with an opportunity to talk about what is important in their areas of responsibility. I think the majority if not all of the adjudications or decisions made will reflect that kind of input and understanding and I can go back to as was mentioned at the outset, the first meeting that I had with the department heads after I became Provost. There were lots of questions about the six realms because we were just beginning the cycle and there was significant concern expressed that they had not been part of the process because they often are the ones that formulate that strategy as it moves forward. There is significant confusion so I would both urge and ask that before we talk about implementing these six realms that we have a better understanding of how the process fits together or is intended to fit together. “
Vice Provost Judy Peel commented that last spring she reviewed all of the departmental RPT documents and at that time there were only four of the sixty-six departments that used the terminology realms related to the six realms. It was clear to her at that point that very few of them had an understanding or awareness that there were these six realms. At the same time there were a significant number of calls about people being confused about what was on the website versus what they have to submit in their dossier. There was a lot of confusion on campus so there is a need for increased communication with campus, increased involvement and in clarification to campus because there is a misalignment with what is in some of the regulations and what is required in the RPT dossier. “My hope is that through further discussion we could align the regulations with the dossier requirements."
Senator McRae stated that the committee would like to see that there be a consistency between the fundamental document on academic tenure and the other regulations and policies that are applicable and getting back to the comments that there is a lot of confusion about what the requirements are, and that this will persist until we have the basic policy state what we would like to see as criteria for reappointment promotion and tenure. That is why the committee is recommending that these six realms be made a part of the fundamental academic tenure policy.
Representation on the Budget Advisory Committee
Chair Daley stated that an election will be held at the next meeting to elect two faculty members to serve on the Budget Advisory Committee.
Chair Daley moved that the Senate adjourn into an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
The motion to move into a closed session would be to consider the qualifications, confidence, performance, and condition of appointment of a public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee according to our general statue, section 143-31811(a) (6).
The regular session of the Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:50 p.m.