March 22, 2005
Present: Chair Daley, Chair-Elect Allen; Provost Nielsen, Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Baynes, Bernhard, Blank, Branson, Bruck, Clark, Estes, Fahmy, Fauntleroy, Fikry, Kasal, Kellner, Krotee, Martin, Matthews, Miller, Moore, Robarge, B. Smith, R. Smith, Stein, Tetro, Warren, Wessels
Excused: Secretary Weiner; Senators Batra, Blair, Brownie, Hanley-Bowdoin, Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Clark, Fikry, Middleton, Robarge,
Absent: Senators Bitting, Hooper, Johnson, Khosla, Middleton, Moore, Young
Visitors: Katie Perry, Kyle, Architecture Student; Curtis Rank, Computer Science & Grad Student; Sarah Armstrong, Emily Watson; Lauren Joyner, Erin Gillespie, Architecture Students; Patrick Rand, Professor of Architecture; Thomas Barrie, Director of the School of Architecture; Wayne Place, Professor of Architecture; Charlotte Brian, Director, Gallery of Art & Design; Robert Burns, Professor of Architecture; Abie Harris, University Architect Emeritus; Carla Abramczyk, Director of Development; Jean Marie Livavdzr, Director of Professional Relations, College of Design; Benny Benton, Bulletin Editor, Paul Cousins,
1. Call to Order
Chair Dennis Daley called the thirteenth meeting of the fifty-first 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 Personnel Policy Committee has placed a hold on REG 05.20.1 regarding outside letters. They would like to review the regulation.
Since there were no objections to REG 0520.08, Chair Daley will inform the administration to proceed.
Since there were no objections to REG .022026 on self-assessment, Chair Daley will inform the administration to proceed.
The Personnel Policy Committee has placed a hold on REG 052027 and REG 052028 regarding statements of mutual expectations. They would like to review the regulation.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 12 February 22, 2005
The motion passed unanimously to adopt the minutes.
4. Remarks from Interim Provost Neilsen
“I just returned from delivering welcoming remarks on behalf of the Chancellor to the Textile Institute’s Annual World Conference at the Sheraton Imperial. I told them that this is a great university and I am very proud of us for a number of reasons.
I wanted to talk about four items that have been occupying my time a lot for the past month (decreasing order of importance and increasing order of interest) RPT, State Budget, Enrollment Planning, and Academic Performance of Athletes.
We have just completed our review of 140 reappointment promotion and tenure applications. This is my first time serving in this context and to be able to see the range of the university in terms of all of the things we do and all of the things that you do. If you had the chance to look through those as I have, you would be so proud of yourselves and your colleagues. Each dossier is a tremendous tribute to the teaching commitment that we have, the work that our faculty are doing through continuous education to learn better and improve their teaching and the learning capabilities of their students, to look at their creativity and innovations in our research programs and the commitment and effectiveness of our outreach is really wonderful. I can tell you that this part of the job has given me an even bigger smile about this institution, so thank you for that. Most of the 140 applications looked really good.
The State Budget
I don’t think I have anything to tell you that you don’t already know. The Governor’s budget has a 1% reduction for the university. He has full enrollment growth funding. We are very pleased that there is funding in there for the Friday Institute and the Biotechnology Teaching and Education Center Operations on a continuing basis, which we desperately needs. There is also a 2% salary increase in his budget. We had requested through the Office of the President a 7% increase yet he put in a 2%. The Legislature is working on filling a funding gap between what this budget and their interest provide and what the current funding formula provides and there is a pretty big gap there. They are looking for ways to do that so they have asked us to prepare some scenarios of what would happened if we took larger budget cuts and we are doing that right now.
You may know that the Board of Governors passed the campus initiated tuition increase last week, which is $300 for us, and $300 for three of our four categories of students. There is no campus tuition increase for undergraduate in-state students but there is a $300 increase for out of state students and for all graduate students. That will yield to the academic programs of the university approximately $1.9671M. As we are seeing that now, it will be divided into thirds -one third will go to providing needed financial aid for needy students so that they are held harmless by the tuition increase. The second third of that money will go to keep the graduate students’ support plan held harmless so that we can continue to fund that plan as it stands. The final third will be left for what we call academic excellency. All of this follows the principles that we have been using for the last two years. That third will be divided again, approximately one-third for faculty salaries and two thirds for quality enhancements related to providing more access. The Board of Governors also passed a fee package that the students have approved which is $2550 for a series of small increases and a series of fees and then there will be three other fees coming on line that don’t go through the Board of Governors like these others have because they are from self liquidating accounts. One of those is an $8 increase to pay for expanded bus transportation. The second is a $30 fee for Thompson Theater renovations and the second half of last year’s Carmichael Gym facility remodeled. Altogether that set of fees will be $71 added on to the current fees in place.
Enrollment has been an interesting phenomenon this year. We met our enrollment targets for the incoming classes and transfer students but our total enrollment turns out to be 700 less than we were anticipating and a major part of that is the increase in the graduation rate. They have been going a little faster than they had been before. We had the bucket balanced pretty much with the input and the outflow so that the level was remaining at a steady state. Well, we have increased the outflow and so the levels dropped. We have had to go back through the estimates for how many students we would let in as freshmen and as transfer students this fall and make some adjustments upward. We are going through that process right now, negotiating with the deans about how much more money they need in order to do that. We will be trying to take a few more students than we had before. Total enrollment will not increase, it will be on target but it will be more students at the lower end. That has implication of course because freshmen don’t take the same courses as seniors and so I think all of the departments might have to look a little bit at shifting some resources. There are all sorts of interesting ramifications when the flow in and out of the bucket changes a little. For example, dining hall issues and housing issues because people coming in use more of those resources than people at the other end.
Academic Performance Rate of Scholarship Supported Student Athletes (APR)
You know our athletic situation is really pretty good right now. It is amazing how a couple of wins, a couple of good wins on the basketball court for at least one team changes the entire climate so everyone is now proud of the Wolf Pack. Everyone has been telling me that they saw Sharon and me on the TV high-fiving each other during the game.
We are all proud of our athletic performance right now and what we want to be able to be is equally proud of our academic performance by our student athletes. Everyone wants that. Our athletic staff wants it, our administration wants it, you want it, our students, our coaches, and our athletes. We are not where we need to be right now. The APR data showed that. I won’t spend time telling you how to calculate this but fundamentally each scholarship student each semester can earn two points, one point for remaining eligible and the second point for staying in school. You add all those up and divide it by the number that you could have earned if everyone earn those two points and that calculates percentage then you multiply it by a thousand to make it sound like a box score. The number that they have set, 925 is a number that the NCAA believes over time equates to a 50% graduation rate of student athletes in six years. We got the numbers from the university and we are at about 929 so the programs overall is above this cut-off limit but we have also looked at it for individual sports and in individual sports we have some that are below the 925. Football and men’s basketball are below. Those are the two that are attracting a lot of attention. Mixed rifle is below and we have to fix that mixed rifle team. The mixed rifle team actually showed something about the situation. There is, as many of you know, an issue with small numbers and that is if you have four people on the team, which is eight points you can have so each point that you lose is a 12.5% lost. If one person misses one point with eight people on the team that means you are at 87.5 and you fail. That is a little bit of the issue with men’s basketball as well because there are thirteen scholarships that are allowed so the entering class at any time for thirteen is typically about four students. So if you have two or one that goes away you have a problem.
We turned out to have the lowest score among the ACC schools, which is a very big disappointment to us. We don’t expect to be in the bottom half of the ACC on anything and certainly not on academics. However the ACC is one of the best conferences in the United States relative to this so we are at the bottom of a very good field but we want to be in the upper half of a very good field.
Two things about these APR points: You get points for eligibility and you get points for staying in school. We look at where we have lost things through time. We have lost a disproportionate amount of points by students leaving school even when they are eligible. We have lost about one-third of our points from eligibility issues and about two-thirds of our points from leaving school issues. We have been working to think about what we need to do relative to a strategic approach to improving our performance. There is a group called the Athletic Roundtable that I chair which include the Athletic Director, the head of the Athletic Academic Support Program, the faculty NCAA rep, and the head of the Faculty Athletic Committee, and we have expanded that now and have asked Chair Daley to sit with us. We had a meeting just after this came out and sat for a couple of hours thinking about what we need to do in order to get there and it begun to develop strategy, which has six elements in it that we will be implementing as it gets formed. Let me just mention the strategies: 1) to build academic success into the athletics and the administrative culture of the institution so that it is very clear that academic success is an expectation of the coaches as well as athletic success is and to build some incentives for that and to continue the new much more intensive academic goal oversight of this progress by the Provost and the Chancellor. For example, on April 12 I am meeting with all the coaches to have a heart to heart talk about what has been going on and what our expectations are. A couple of weeks ago I sent a letter to all the coaches saying our expectations are that our athletics success should be matched by our academic success and that we expect that the same creativity, energy, intensity, and inspiration that the coaches give to the athletes for their athletics we expect that to be done by their coaches relative to their academics. 2) To focus the student athletes more on their academic success, which includes a series of things that we might do to try to make real time penalties for things that they are doing that we don’t want them to do relative to their academics, requiring a certain kind of scheduling so that they are making progress effectively when they can. The Athletic Director started meeting with every scholarship athlete that indicates that he wants to transfer, to talk to them about the reasons for transfer and that has already change the behavior. 3) To recruit student athletes more appropriately. When a lot of students are transferring that probably indicates that the ones that we are bringing in at the front end maybe do not match us up as well as they should. We are talking about creating some junior college transfer issues. It has to do with who we take from junior colleges and a much more careful attention to what kind of students are going to get the playing time and not just fill our scholarship pool up just to fill a scholarship pool. I think this new process is making the coaches realize a little bit that keeping extra players on the bench is not necessarily in their best interest. 4) To manage the end of eligibility academic performance better. A lot of these problems that we are seeing are coming right at the end of eligibility and we need to think about how we can manage this so that we can keep better control over the student athlete toward the end to make as much control as we can so that they are paying attention at the end of their careers. 5) To provide some better academic options for student athletes, things that they want to study. 6) To continue to study the status and the progress of our academic success so that we know what is going on.
This is a first draft after our first meeting. We meet again tomorrow and we will be talking about this some more. I thank you for your attention and please be aware that we are committed over at Holladay Hall and that they are committed in the Athletic Program to make us a lot better at this. “
Senator Kellner wanted to know what proportion of the three groups of the four comprises.
Provost Nielsen stated that 8% of the undergraduate students are out of state and for the graduate student body it is all the graduate students.
Senator Kellner stated that the notion that three of the four categories have been increased really comes down to about 20% of the students will see an increase in tuition, is that approximately? “The second question has to do with the division of the usages of the money, one-third for need students, and one-third for graduate support, and one-third for excellence. It seems that two-thirds of the money, in effect is being given back to the students who are alleging in the broadest sense the groups that are coming, so it is just a kind of rearrangement, a redistribution of money rather than any growth of money for the university. Is that also the case? “
Provost Nielsen stated that we have always had a principle to hold needy students “harmless”. There is a lot of detail in that that gets mixed up. For example, one of the interesting things that happened with this rearrangement taking on 92% of the undergraduate students is that with $300 from everybody we are going to generate $7.3M in tuition increases. It dropped from $7.3M to $1.9671M. Now the amount of money that we are going to generate from undergraduate students dropped from about $5.4M to 487,000. The amount that we are going to generate from undergraduate students dropped by 92%. The amount that we are going to earn from graduate students stayed just where it was in our initial plan, so in fact, what I did was go back and recalculate the distribution by dividing it up into an undergraduate pool and a graduate pool and then recombining it because that seemed to be the fair way to do it.
Senator Bruck stated that there was a rumor a couple of weeks ago about the federal budget gutting the MacIntyre and Hatch funds. Is there any truth to that because that will affect the Land Grant University in a major way?
Provost Nielsen stated that President Bush’s budget called for MacIntyre and Hatch Funds that are formula funds that support agricultural and natural research primarily and we use their formulas at the university to 1) pay partial salaries of faculty members and/or graduate students and operating budgets and everything else and the Feds have been very interested in going to more and more competitive grant money and the thought has been to move these formula funds to competitive grant funds so President Bush’s budget calls for reducing Hatch and Macintyre by 50% this year and then eliminating them next year. At the same time it increases competitive research grants in these areas within the USDA budget by a little bit more than these cuts would be over the two years to basically replace the formula money with competitive money. Now there are severe problems with that relative to how we use it and its distribution. There are important things being done in agriculture and natural resources that are not necessarily the most attractive things for competitive funding. Every possible lobbying group that is associated with these fields is very heavily fighting this and I’m confident that it will be defeated. However, I think this is another warning shot across the bow and there have been some before and this is a big one that I think we need to pay attention to and I think as an institution and as the set of institutions across the country we need to figure out how to wean ourselves from these funds especially in terms of the hard money from salaries that are on us.
Senator Robarge stated that he is still caught with being a researcher with the impression that the way the money is being allocated it certainly strikes one that someone is funding graduate students from grants that are basically subsidizing the undergraduate teaching program.
Provost Nielsen stated that he was afraid that it would be if we didn’t recalculate it based on this flow. When you distribute the revenue between undergrads and grads it turns out that the number is about 1.4871. We divide financial aid, graduate student support plan and academic excellence. We could determine for an undergraduate increase in tuition $300 per person how much money we were going to get here and how much financial aid that would require to keep that segment harmless and then the graduate student support plan.
Senator Martin wanted to know if the Provost has talked with the other ACC teams because two of the six items that was mentioned, he remembers hearing when he was at the University of Maryland twelve years ago.
Provost Nielsen responded, that he has not yet, but thinks it is a very good idea.
5. Academic Integrity
Paul Cousins, Director of the Office of Student Conduct stated that there have been some concerns about the academic integrity of our students and whether we are doing enough to educate them in that arena. “There are things that we can do to be more proactive and preventative to save time and anguish. It seems timely to come and talk with you very briefly and acknowledge that we continue to struggle with this every year and that we have good people out in the class rooms doing good work yet despite that, our numbers remain relatively constant in terms of the report of academic misconduct in our community which I believe is generally underreported. My time here is very timely today as we approach finals. The pressure increases. We have students who struggled to complete an entire semester worth of work perhaps in the last two or three weeks. We have students who are very poor students in terms of academic preparation and performance that are struggling really to pass some courses. At the other end of the scale we have very bright and very talented students who are struggling to have that grade point average by another tenth or two hundredth because they recognize that IBM will come in shortly and interview only those students with a 3.5 or above or they are in competition for a graduate position that will require a 3.8 or they want to go to law school, or vet school or any of those programs that take only the very elite, the best and the brightest students that we can produce. There are a lot of different types of motivation out there for adopting the short cuts that we could classify as academic misconduct. There is no lack of business in the Office of Student Conduct. It is never too late to take the opportunity to remind students of our collective expectations about integrity and I stress collective expectations. In a community of scholars when a faculty member talks about integrity in the class there are only two things that are happening; 1) that person is taking personal responsibility saying that this is my expectation of you because in my field this is how we conduct our affairs. This is what it means to be an Electrical Engineer, this is what it means to be a Chemical Engineer, this is what it means to be an English major, and this is what integrity is defined as in this field. 2) That faculty member, that graduate student, that TA who makes that statement is protecting all of us by saying as a member of this community of scholars I am telling you straight up what the expectations are and it doesn’t just apply here in my laboratory or at the recitation session or this seminar, it applies across the board. It is never to late to talk about those things and of course our last best opportunity is the anticipation of final exams. So even if that has not been a topic of discussion in the course of this semester the first and best preventive strategy that I could bring to you today would be to talk at great lengths about your expectations, talk about the importance of people making good choices and not acting impulsively, not taking short cuts, the value of doing the right thing for the right reason. I am old enough to have lived through both terms of Reaganomics to remember clearly the me generation concepts as most of us can and there is a sizable pocket of our students who still interact with the world in that way. They are very much product driven and they find very little value in the process and that is very discouraging for me in Student Affairs and I know it is discouraging for you because we are all about some process here, the process of learning to learn. It might be in a computer programming course, it might be in a sociology class, it might be history but part of the skill says that we are hoping that students develop the ability to learn in that context whatever that context is and we have students who don’t value process who are more focused on products. It dramatically increases the risk that those students are going to take short cuts and there is no time that has more pressure when students feel more pressure or assume more pressure than when we approach final exams.
Like virtually every aspect of the university we have a pretty comprehensive webpage that will give you very concrete and detailed tips and advice on how to work with students, how to approach conversation if you believe that student has engaged in academic misconduct, how to use the paperwork that you download from the website to report that and centralize that in our office to help make a strong statement to that student and help protect the integrity of the enterprise that we are all engaged in here. All of those are mechanical issues. Anyone can do that. That is not the challenge for us. The challenge for us is doing and saying the right thing. Leading by example, leading by conversation, leading by talking about our expectations and if I had a magic wand that would be the area that I would change. Every class is so busy and the work is so compelling and overwhelming for all the faculty and students that many things get lost in the shuffle and unfortunately we sometimes make an assumption that students come to us a little more developed, a little bit more mature than they really do. Part of our responsibility is clearly to correct that misassumption and to give them some guidance as they move on into their academic adulthood and to educate them about what it means to be a member of a community of scholars. All the mechanical stuff is there. I think the big challenge for us is to talk about the philosophical approach, the importance of doing something as opposed to doing nothing. We see between 150 and 200 students a year for academic misconduct. National literature indicates that we probably should see close to ten times that many so it is relatively underreported. Some students are very talented, very savvy in their methodology. Some times the classes are just so large that it becomes so overwhelming to do a Google search on every single paper that a student hands in or to run a query or run a check so there are a lot of mechanical hurdles to our ability to try to ensure integrity in the class room and that is why I say the best exercise would be to get some partners on establishing some baseline expectations for integrity. I think that reduces our reliance on TA’s, it reduces our reliance on Google searches, it reduces our reliance on having to have other colleagues back us up by getting into a conversation and saying “well gee I think you engaged in misconduct here” needing a witness for that kind of a thing. So let’s do something. Now is the best time of the year to have that conversation, to make that reference, to lead by example and to make a personal statement about that. The numbers this year are no greater, no less than they ever are and we don’t have a crisis in the community. Although academic integrity has warranted a great deal of press in the past year I would say some very significant and notable cases. With these role models in our community it really is no surprise that we struggle with young people who are struggling to make good decisions. Whether it is part of our job description or not it is left up to us to step up and really present the contrast to Enron, Tyco, Disney, and to Martha Stewart. “
Senator Bruck stated, when you came to the Executive Committee you pointed out something I thought was very interesting. “ The culture today as you just pointed out seems to be such an overwhelming factor that I still have not got a grip on and it is called computers and the fact that you cannot write the most brilliant thesis three hours before it is due by simply pulling something off the Internet, putting your name on it and changing a few words. It almost seems that somewhere in the freshmen experience we are doing a poor job of drawing a line in the sand. Very specifically defining what the computer is there for. It really seems that the world has changed in such a significant way that unless we make it very clear what research is to do for a paper, what integrity is and how to cite certain things that a lot of these kids coming through the high school experience where they were able to get away with this kind of a thing come in kind of ignorant. It is almost not their fault.”
Cousins stated that the only parts that they are ignorant on are our expectations. They are not ignorant of the ability to do those things out of manipulation today. You raised two issues and one is the society at large which of course is just a horrible template for young people to use to gauge how they might construct their interactions with the world these days and we here are constantly doing battle with that every day. The second issue, the advent of computers is even worse than you think and in fact, the first year students are probably the most dangerous members of the community because they come from an environment that is entirely structure free. Each one of these students in large part would sit in their rooms evenings with the DSL connection and access the entire world. There is no parent for all intense purposes and there is no structure. They are surfing, they are researching and engaging in areas of interest or hobbies of their own and they come here and they live in the residence halls and perhaps have a RESNET connection or they have a unity account and we have no firewall and don’t sensor that kind of stuff for very specific educational reasons. We have chosen not to do that and yet they don’t have the discipline to interact responsibly in that environment. This is another example of how our technology has outstripped our ethical foundations and our society struggles with that stuff all the time. We are going to continue to battle that so your notion that we need in our survey courses is an element that I talk about when I go to those courses. I don’t talk to all of those courses that are out there so perhaps that is a topic that this body might want to make some suggestions on.
Senator Blank stated, “When a situation comes up where a student has in fact violated academic integrity expectations, where do we stand with regard to sharing that information with our colleagues if that student is a major in our department? We had a situation several years ago where a student violated academic integrity expectations in another class and I became aware of it. I was just casually without names remarking this to one of my colleagues and he asked who was this because the same situation had happened with him a year before and he had had a conversation, gave the guy some leniency, let him work off the penalty and it was obvious the student had been taught a lesson, turned around and did the same thing again and the only way anyone knew that it was the same person was this off hand conversation. I’m confused because I get calls from people asking for recommendations of advisees of mine. In a situation like this what should we share with our colleagues?”
Cousins stated that there should be a time when a student is confronted and then a sidebar arrangement is created with that person and that is the perfect reason because many times what we find is students are using this for whatever it is that motivates them. “They are using that strategy oftentimes in a number of different arenas so when the faculty says to a student, “I feel very badly for you and I understand the problem, and I want to help”, that doesn’t do anything to protect your colleagues. It doesn’t do anything to protect the faculty. You are putting all your eggs in one basket. You are assuming that the interaction is going to be enough to turn the tide for that student and change whatever it is that has compelled them to take that shortcut. You might get that and you might not. Students are fairly effective and if I am a student I am going to have a fifteen minute conversation with you and can be pretty persuasive.
The first response I would make is the error in that process was your colleague who had the initial conversation, who cut the student some slack. It is erroneous to assume that because a student is reported for academic misconduct that therefore the world has ended, their career has ended, their opportunities have ended. That is not the case. Academic integrity probation is not reported on a transcript, a student will always have a second opportunity. The second offense means that they are going to have to go home because the student did not learn the lesson. So in this situation the student obviously should be taking a break because they abused the system twice except it was not reported and perhaps neither were reported so there is a real chance that other colleagues are also struggling with that student. “
Senator Rex Smith wanted to know if there are any early interventions.
Cousins stated that he has spoken at some local high schools and have made some offers to go out and do that but have not had a great deal of interest. “I know there are some values that exists but I am not aware of anything that has a national reputation that I think would be a good solution. The truth is, no matter what is happening out there the students that we are getting here are highly motivated. They have set standards. They want to make their parents proud. Whatever it is, they begin to act out. This is a big place and people feel anonymous and sometimes they use that to their advantage.”
Provost Nielsen stated that after being introduced to this topic in the Executive Committee they held a meeting with Paul to discuss the issue. They got to the point where they thought they needed a task force to look into this question because it deserves attention and the attention should be part of the education to learn to live and to work with integrity because that is going to advance your capability when you get in the work force. He thinks it would be a great topic for the fall.
Senator Tetro stated that she has a blue book from Chapel Hill and on the front cover is the Honor Pledge in a bold place where the students can see it when they open the book.
Cousins stated that the pledge that we have is the same. His experience is that most often that it is on the actual test that the faculty members are distributing and not on the blue book so it is not centralized in that same way.
Senator Brent Smith stated that it is not a student problem it is a faculty problem. The problem is that most plagiarism goes unreported. Everyone knows it, the faculty knows it and the student knows that the faculty knows it. Many students will cheat no matter what. There are a huge number that can go either way and what has happened here is because of many things in the past. Faculty do not report cheating anymore and until that changes nothing will get any better.
Cousins stated that we have a lot of great resources and “I think the Provost’s notion of gathering resources together and maybe coming out with some suggestions is a very good one. I am hopeful that we can take a more proactive approach.”
6. Elections for Secretary of the Faculty
Senators Linda Hanley-Bowdoin and Robert Bruck were nominated to serve as Secretary of the Faculty.
Senator Bruck was elected to serve as Secretary of the Faculty for the next two years (2004-2006).
Senator Kellner reported that the Search Committee for the Undergraduate Deanship is under way. They are working very quickly and will be putting out a call for applications. This position was formerly the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs and it has been in an Interim situation for a considerable length of time. “I have three general comments about the search; 1) It is a closed search for those in the North Carolina System or with significant experience at North Carolina State University. This is not something that the committee decided; this is the way the position was presented. 2) We are not accepting nominations so if you have individuals in mind tell them to apply. 3) The qualifications among many sorts of relevant indications are people who have had administrative experience at the level of dean, associate dean or department head or chair. That pretty much sums it up.
Academic Policy Committee
Senator Bruck reported that the committee has had a number of meetings. He appeared before the Administrative Board of the Graduate School several weeks ago. The way TOEFL was worded is that literally unless you were part of the round of the British Empire you were not exempt from TOEFL examinations. Twenty-eight countries are now going to be exempt from the TOEFL. They go from the Caribbean to Asia to South America to Africa. Basically the TOEFL examination will be removed from being in the total area of the Graduate School and the department head and an advisor will be given the options of interviewing said students. The bottom line is he thinks those regulations are successfully being written up by the Graduate School. Due to them being regulations they will go through the Senate and the Provost Office again next year.
Senator Bruck stated that every college/department seems to have a different way of conducting final PhD exams. Virtually there are some departments that barely announce them. They meet for an hour in a closed room with the committee, it is over and it is done. “I suggested which they adopted at this particular meeting was from the two colleges I am in it seems that there were always a three step process. The first step was a public and open Seminar. The second is the actual examination, which will now be open to the entire university community, faculty, and students. There was an amendment that someone tried to put on saying that if you were not on the committee you had to have forty-eight hours written notice in order to attend the exam. I will tell you that was promptly defeated. Finally, as should be, the deliberations at the end are closed and are at the purview only of the committee and of course only committee members on the PhD vote. This seems to be the way to go and will be recommended to this body and others as being the official way that we deal university-wide with doctoral examinations.”
Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Bernhard, Chair of the Resources and Environment Committee reported that the committee met last week to review what is happening on some respective issues specifically the Catalano matter, which was referred to them as an issue of concern in November. “I was advised by the Chair to let the University Committee that is charged with this issue review it and then react to what they have to say about it. At that time I was told that the Trustees had asked Dean Malecha to have a more open discussion with a larger group of people to discuss this matter and that never materialized until the students had a meeting. The majority of the people on campus still don’t know that this is an issue or what the issue is. The Physical Environment Committee met on March 3 and was well attended by articulate caring people with about every possible point of view that there can be on this matter. We were able to hear very compelling presentations about how nice the Pavilion is and how unobtrusive it would be. None of this has ever been an issue. The opponents, people from the English Department, Horticulture and others spoke very eloquently about why it should not be on the Court of North Carolina. It was a good meeting in the sense that we heard each other out and I pushed the idea that the Physical Environment Committee is charged with making a recommendation on the matter and rather than just keep defraying we need to act.”
A resolution was passed unanimously.
The Physical Environment Committee recognizes that the Catalano Pavilion is a gift that we would like to see located on the NC STATE campus. However, the Court of North Carolina is a special, unique open space that has been preserved by our predecessors and should continue to be preserved as natural open space. Therefore, the PEC is opposed to the Court of North Carolina as the location for the Catalano Pavilion. We encourage the University to continue their search for an alternate location for the Catalano Pavilion that would be appropriate to both Catalano and the University.
Senator Bernhard stated that he has learned since then that the university has hired an architect to consider alternative sites including two on the Court of North Carolina, a space outside the library, the Mary Anne Fox Building, and one site on the Centennial Campus but not excluding any other possibility.
Carla Abramczyk noted that there has been more than two years of discussions on this matter and they have cleared multiple university committees and have followed every single rule of having something built on this campus. She wants everyone to appreciate the fact that this donor has been in this process for a longer time. “The longer we drag our feet the more difficult this is so let ‘s not try to drag out too long in the interest of everyone involved I think.”
Senator Bernhard stated that the matter of the Raleigh Woods has been referred to him. The students are quite active in promoting resolutions about what kind of committees there should be and what we should protect against. The resolution was presented at the Physical Environment meeting and he was advised by Kevin McNaughton and Mike Harwood to go slow on this. The proposed resolution has a lot of mistakes in it and meanwhile Provost Nielsen is leading a committee that is looking into this and they have a so-called business plan to make it nice. “The issue that I raise with Larry and others is what if anything should the Senate be doing about this and the advice that I have gotten is, let’s see what they are going to do and then we will probably endorse it.”
Senator Bernhard asked Provost Nielsen, “What should the Senate be doing on this?”
Provost Nielsen stated that as part of the Campus Environmental Sustainability Team they put together a subgroup that has been working on how to develop a business model for using that land as an outdoor laboratory ecological preserved low impact recreation area. Right now the master plan calls for a building on there and there is a process you go through to change that and he has been directing the students and others through that process and thinks it is working well. “Passing a resolution would be fine but I would suggest passing a resolution that says we should follow the established procedures and work openly to develop this plan that could be considered. Some of the students are getting impatient with the process but I think there is almost universal opinion that the value of that property is greatest the way it is now and it would really be a win for the institution to preserve it in some way.”
Senator Bernhard reported that at the most recent meeting of the Physical Environment Committee they agreed on exactly what the Provost stated, that the committee is evolving. There is still a little controversy on the committee with regards to how big this should be. “I don’t think we really need to do anything right at the moment.”
Chair Daley adjourned the meeting at 4:55 p.m.