April 19, 2005
Present: Chair Daley, Secretary Weiner, Chair-Elect Allen; Provost Nielsen, Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Batra, Baynes, Bernhard, Blair, Blank, Branson, Brownie, Bruck, Clark, Estes, Fahmy, Fauntleroy, Fikry, Kellner, Khosla, Krotee, Martin, Matthews, McRae, Miller, Moore, Robarge, B. Smith, R. Smith, Tetro, Warren, Wessels, Young
Excused: Senators Kasal
Absent: Senators Bitting, Hanley-Bowdoin, Hooper, Johnson, Middleton, Stein
Visitors: Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Thomas Conway, Vice Provost EMAS; Donn Ward, Faculty Athletics Representative
1. Call to Order
Chair Dennis Daley called the fifteenth 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 stated that since there are no objections to the new academic calendar, he would forward approval of the calendar from the Faculty Senate to the Senior Vice Provost.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 15, April 5, 2005
The motion passed unanimously to approve the minutes.
4. Remarks from Donn Ward, Faculty Athletics Representative
Donn Ward handed out a copy of the 2003-2004 APR (Academic Progress Rate) summary for the athletic program.
“Not too long ago the NCAA published the APR summaries for all athletic teams and summarized and averaged them for all institutions in the NCAA. At that point the newspapers, particularly the N&O had articles relative to the APR.
Of the eleven teams in the conference right now we are dead last with regard to APR. We have since recalculated the APR and have been able to determine that we have shortchanged ourselves a few points. The report that I handed out is the corrected version that has gone to the NCAA. Originally our institution’s average was 929, but irrespective of the additional points that we have been able to determine we will still be last in the conference.
Basically the APR is the centerpiece of recent NCAA academic reforms legislation passed by the NCAA’s Board of Directors that is comprised of sixteen institutional Chancellors or Presidents. The purpose of the APR is to serve as a real time marker of longer-term academic performance as measured either by the federal graduation rate or the NCAA’s graduation success rate. Simply stated, given no change in team behavior over a period of time the NCAA expects there to be a direct translation from an APR for a team or an institution and academic performance in the long run culminating in graduation. The APR is calculated on a semester-by-semester basis for each student athlete. Each student athlete can earn a maximum of two points in a given semester. They earn one point for being academically eligible by both the NCAA and institutional standards, and they earn another point by returning to school, i.e., not transferring or dropping out. They earn those two points for each semester so over a course of an academic year a student athlete could earn a maximum of four points. An APR is calculated both on a team and an institutional basis meaning that you sum all the points earned and divide that figure by all possible points that could have earned and then multiply that by one thousand. The NCAA Committee on Academic Progress recommended to the Board of Directors that a cut score of 925 be instituted. They arrived at this figure after analyzing data submitted by all NCAA institutions over a period of time. It turns out that the 925 correspond to a graduation rate of fifty percent. In theory, institutions that are in the 925 ranges are graduating 50% of their student athletes after six years. The whole goal of this academic reform is to increase the graduation rate of all student athletes across all teams.
1) What about NC State’s situation?
You can rest assured that the data we submitted is accurate. I want to say that when I have indicated to you that you can earn a maximum of two points per semester, on the surface that sounds like that should be a fundamentally easy thing to calculate but as it turns out in a university like NC State where we have more than 500 student athletes you would be surprised at the number of situations you run across that are not quite crystal clear. Particularly problematic for us are withdrawals. While I was not involved in the calculation of the APR, individuals from the Academic Support Program calculated the APR for Student Athletes, as well as folks from the compliance office of the Athletics Department and the University Planning and Analysis group. I assure you that our folks, particularly those coming out of compliance and academic support, have followed the development and evolution of APR over a period of time and they were very aware of what the NCAA’s goal was with respect to the APR and its desire to serve as a real time marker relative to the academic performance of a team and an institution and hence the conservative nature of our approach in dealing with that.
So, as previously mentioned, the biggest issue that we have at NC State is retention. This does not mean to say that we aren’t losing a few points here and there for those student athletes that are not doing well academically. We have two teams that lost more points to the academic issues than they did retention issues but by far the biggest issue for us is retention, which means we have a lot of student athletes who transfer elsewhere and are in good academic standing, but when they transfer we loose one of the two points they could have earned that semester and this has hurt us significantly. The Athletics Director, Provost, and the Chancellor acted in a very decisive manner when this data was published. The Athletics Director sent his coaches a very sternly worded letter to the effect that academics must come first and that the coaches must be engaged in the academic life of their student athletes and they must make sure that their student athletes are progressing in a timely manner. Interim Provost Nielsen sent a letter to the coaches basically indicating the same thing and that this particular situation with regard to our student athletes cannot stand. We have to make some changes and he expects the coaches to be very active in the process for making those changes and very active in recruiting student athletes who we believe have a reasonable likelihood of success here at NC State.
In a meeting that we had approximately ten days ago the Chancellor and the Interim Provost stood before the head coaches and reiterated the same thing.
I have to say that in my time at NC State, particularly my time being associated with the Athletics Council I have never seen messages that were so clearly delivered and I don’t think there could be any doubt that those people who are in positions of responsibility and authority both over the athletics program and the university as a whole expect changes to occur. The Chancellor made it very clear that he did not expect NC State to be at the bottom and he expects to see us closer to the top of the ladder in the not too distant future. I know that the Office of the Provost is working on a set of guidelines to try to help steer the athletics program and coaches in the right direction.
The individuals responsible for generating this data did a great job. Across the NCAA and across the ACC there were a number of people at universities involved in the development of this report for their schools that I do not think were as close to the process and the evolution of the APR over the past several years as those individuals we have here. Consequently I am very aware of some institutions that have made a number of mistakes in the calculation of their APR. Now when I say that I want to make it very clear that these were entirely mistakes and in my mind there has been no conscious effort to try to circumvent this process. There has been no effort to try to be devious about it but when someone in the Registrar’s Office, Athletics Office, or someone in the Office of University Planning and Analysis or their equivalent at some institution is handed a document from the NCAA and is asked to prepare a report based on the criteria here, I am quite aware that at a number of institutions the people involved did the best they could but interpreted things differently. I know this to be the case because recently at the ACC meeting the conference brought in a young lady from the NCAA who is responsible for the APR, generating the process, conducting some of the training and interpreting some of this data. During the question and answer session she affirmed the fact that there is a big need for training throughout the NCAA of those individuals at various institutions who are doing this report because numerous errors had been made. My concern is that with the NCAA knowing that there are errors, knowing that some folks counted people that they should not have, why did we go and report this first data? Well, I think the NCAA was bound and determined to meet a certain deadline they had so they let the chips fall where they may. Those people that I deal with here on campus who are in more direct contact with athletics and people who are dealing with generating APRs on a daily basis know of several situations in which the people doing the calculations weren’t clear on what they should be doing and made some errors in their calculations. Now, I am not offering that as an excuse. It is what it is and the data has been reported and we are at the bottom. When it all gets sorted out, I don’t know if we will still be at the bottom but right now we are for the ACC.
I do know that the ACC and the NCAA are going to be more aggressive about training. In fact there is even some consideration at the NCAA level to certify individuals on campus who will be generating this report, certify that they have been through the training and that they know how to deal with these unusual situations. Phil Moses told me on a couple of occasion, “When we dealt with it I knew I could go home and sleep at night, because whenever there was some question as to whether to count or not to count a point, we were conservative and chose to not count it.”
I mentioned to you that transfers were one of our biggest problems. Lee Fowler, Athletics Director has instituted a policy now that any student athlete wishing to transfer to another institution has to go through him first. This is new and in such NCAA sports as men’s and women’s basketball, football, and ice hockey, when a student athlete transfers to another institution they have to sit out a year of play with no exception. In all other sports a student athlete can play immediately if they transfer to another institution as long as they have a release from the institution from which they are coming. We are going to be a more aggressive about seeing why student athletes want to transfer and in some cases transfers have been denied. This does not mean that the student athlete can’t leave but they will have to sit out a year. It is unfortunate that this has to happen but when we are held to a standard such as the APR and evaluated against that standard and we know that we are having a problem with student athletes leaving for a variety of reasons, that may be one way to try to stem the tide.
2)What happens next?
Sometime in late August or early Septmeber we will be generating APRs for the 2004-2005 academic year. The report has to be submitted in the early part of next fall. The two years of data will be averaged and contemporaneous penalties will be applied to teams that are underperforming based on the two year APR average.. Teams below the 925 cut score and that have any student athlete on the team they call a 0 for two, they were not academically eligible and they did not return, will lose that scholarship or what ever piece of a scholarship that student got. Teams can lose a maximum of 10% of their scholarships.
Right now if wrestling had a student athlete who was in the 0 for two category they would not incur a penalty because currently the NCAA has built an 84% confidence interval around the team’s cut score. If theconfidence interval were such that the upper end was above 925 then a team would not incur a contemporaneous penalty. If the upper tail of the confidence interval were below a 925, then a team would incur a contemporaneous penalty. Ultimately this is all going to be tied into a graduation success rate score that the NCAA is evolving and it would mean in the long term that teams that are below whatever cut scores are established at that point and time would not be eligible to participate in post-season competition. This includes bowl games or NCAA tournaments and they could in fact, lose a portion of the revenue that is shared from the NCAA among other things.
We need to get the attention of the coaches, who must become involve in the academic progress of student-athletes on their squads. Moreover, if necessary they must make changes in the type of student-athletes they recruit so that we are retaining our students and maintaining their academic eligibilty. “
Senator Kellner wanted to know the ratio of our transfers in to the transfers out and why is there no reward for getting transfers in and why was there such a rotten spring in 2004.
Ward stated that we do have a number of transfers in. “In order for a student athlete to enter the APR calculation they must receive financial aid; if s/he is not receiving any financial aid we don’t determine an APR for that individual. If they receive any level of financial aid whatsoever then they are entered into the calculation. We do have a number of transfers in and once they come in and are on financial aid we will start calculating an APR for them. We will also be able to enter them into the NCAA’s graduation success rate calculation unlike the federal calculation in which does not count transfers. By the same token anyone who transfers from this institution to another institution as long as they are in good academic standing when they leave here we can take that student athlete out of the denominator with the NCAA’s graduation success rate. Using the Federal standard, once the denominator is set there is no way to adjust it.”
Ward stated that he couldn’t say why we had such a rotten spring other than student athletes leaving and not coming back in the fall.
Senator Bruck stated that he doesn’t understand why we are being penalized because we aren’t graduating people that leave the university for extremely high paying positions and would like to know who came up with that.
Ward stated that as he understands that the NCAA’s argument, particularly the BOS’s, is that it is the business of institutions is to educate and graduate students.
Senator Bruck stated that the NCAA created this system in which unqualified academic kids come to universities to get into the pros. “They did it, not us.”
Ward stated, “ I sympathize with the coaches and realize what they are up against but at the same time I am embarrassed by where we are relative to the APR standard. We are competing on the same level as Carolina, Wake, Clemson and everyone else. Why we are at the bottom of the ladder and they are not, I don’t know.”
Senator Bruck wants to know how much of this is an academic problem.
Ward stated that if you look at the data with the exception of football and men’s swimming their hemorrhage was more on the side of losing academic points. All other teams for our institution, the greatest hemorrhage was on the side of retention points.
Senator Moore stated that it should not count against you when you transfer from another university. “Is there any discussion of this?”
Ward stated that he thinks there is going to be a lot of discussion now that this is reality. We have been talking about the APR and sort of this ephemeral sense for several years because it was something coming but was not here yet. Now it is here and folks can feel, see and hear it and know how it is going to impact them. I think we will see that there will be some manipulation of the system to give us some more options other than strictly a pass/fail. I would see that as a potential but whether that comes out at the end I don’t know.
Senator Warren wanted to know what schools are in the top three slots.
Ward responded Duke, Wake Forest, and Boston College. Our next closest competitor to us at the bottom is Virginia Tech, which is at a 959 or 952.
Interim Provost Nielsen stated that the concern is not with the person who leaves for pros. It is the concern for the ones that go back to South Miami and never succeed, that we are using up these people inappropriately. Sometimes coaches will recruit kids who are at the marginal skill level to play in the ACC then they lose interest in them because they are not quite good enough and then the kid says well I’m going to go some place else. If he or she goes some place else and gets a good education and graduates that is a success but if they don’t that is a failure. If we inappropriately recruited someone I think that is a failure too. There are some good things in here about encouraging us to be more careful about the recruit.
Senator Young wanted to know the relationship of the APR to the quality of education from a student athlete’s point of view.
Ward stated that if he compares looking at NC State and what he understands are some of the graduation thresholds and some of the course thresholds and credit hour thresholds at other institutions it takes significantly more effort in a lot of cases to get a degree from this institution than some of our peer institutions and hence you might expect it to be a bit more challenging for some of these student athletes as well as for just any students and the coaches are very quick to point that out to us. Coaches have said that we really don’t have majors that our student athletes are interested in here at NC State, which that argument has flown a few times. I don’t think that we as an institution really want to create majors for student athletes. We want to create majors for students because we perceive there to be a need and there are some majors at other institutions that may for what ever reason be significantly less challenging than we may find at this institution for example. We are playing in the game with what we have, and we have to make it work for us.
Senator McRae stated that there really is an issue here that is more than just being academically eligible and if you just take twelve hours per semester, you are still not going to be in any position to graduate, so the message that should go to the coaches is that these student athletes have to be given time enough to take sufficient courses to be on track for graduation and that is entirely different from being academically eligible.
Ward stated that our student athletes, not only at this institution, but all NCAA institutions with the new academic perform have to take and pass 20% of their graduation requirement each academic year. If they have not completed 40% of their degree by the time they get to their third year, they are ineligible. That is a far greater threshold than our normal matriculating student would have at this institution. There are a number of things in place that is making it very challenging for student athletes to stay competitively academically eligible. I am optimistic that they will do that. Do I think that they are going to be much different than this year? I sort of doubt that, it could be that we might not be at the bottom. What I am concerned about and I think where the Chancellor and Provost are going is it takes a while and we have to start turning the wheels now so that two or three years down the line we are where the Chancellor wants us and that is closer to the top as opposed to the bottom. The coaches must understand that it is not just athletic potential that they need to recruit but also academic potential. I see that happening on a small scale, but I believe that it is going to happen throughout our athletic program due to guidelines being established in the Provost’s office.
5. Remarks from Interim Provost Nielsen
Provost Nielsen stated that the Chancellor’s Installation will take place tomorrow and it is a grand day in the life of the university.
“I hope you will all be present. I know you will want to hear what Chancellor Oblinger has to say.
The search for the Provost is proceeding on schedule. I know little of the details except that the interviews are being scheduled for the week of May 2. I think by the end of the week we will have the announcement of the candidates. The committee anticipates four candidates with four public interviews. I do know that they are looking at scheduling them one right after another.
The General Assembly’s Senate and House got the Committees on Appropriation together and created an approach to the education budget that was published in today’s paper. This is a working idea that is now being considered by the Senate Committee on Education as their draft budget. We are going to take a budget cut of some sort. The published proposal in the newspaper cuts 4% of vacant positions. It cuts 3% of filled positions and 4% of other budget category operations and such. There are other reductions build in here. The reduction for NC State is a little more than $16M. It is a huge cut that affects us in many ways.
There are some expansions. The proposal fully funds enrollment growth. It covers most of the declines in federal Pell Grant aid so that will be covered. It puts more money in for need-based scholarships at the state level. It funds the Biotechnology Training and Education Training Center initiative for $2M and the Friday Institute at $1.0M.
We all remain hopeful that the General Assembly will see a way to raise more money and distribute the cuts so that education as you know it is the greatest economic development program in the history of human kind. It is worldwide and it is in this state so I hope they will redistribute the cuts so that education can continue to perform as we have come to expect. North Carolina has had an enlightened view in this regard and I think it will continue to do that. We will be talking to Senate leaders about our needs and about the need to raise revenue.
The 1970 Nobel Peace Prize winner is here. Last night he presented a public lecture to more than 400 of us sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Natural Resources. He gave an inspiring speech about the possibilities for making the world a better place just as his green revolution has done. One thing he stressed was the absolute importance of education as the corner stone for bringing population stability, nutritional self-sufficiency in an overall improved quality of life to all the people of the world. It is the same education that underlies our future in North Carolina. We all know this and I am confident that if we work at it our public officials will rise to the needs that we have.
Last week I attended the Scholar Athlete Banquet where more than 300 other athletes were honored. In the running for the top ten scholars of athletes there was a nine-way tie for first place.
Yesterday we presented the Board of Governors Teaching Award to eight outstanding faculty and advanced Dr. Paul Tesar as our university level recipient of the Board of Governors Award of Teaching Excellence. Prior to that I attended the annual advising awards program where the Barbara Solomon Award was presented to your own Mary Alice Tetro.
Each of us share the pride of being a part of this great university whether you have received an award or was at a banquet or not I thank you for making it that way.
Based on your interest and advice, Tom Stafford and I have formed a task force on academic ethics to be chaired by Paul Cousin. The task force will develop strategies for improving the ethics of our students as an element of their academic development. I am enthused about this approach because it becomes a part of students learning the ethical basis for how to act when they get out into the world rather than going at this as a way to catch and punish students who are engaged in cheating. I think we will see some ideas that will be very good for us in a positive way.
The process of citing the proposed campus pavilion continues to attract a lot of attention and in response to some swirling emails let me report what I know about this situation. The Board of Trustees will receive a report on the status of the planning for the pavilion on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday there will be a report to the Buildings and Properties Committee but there are no decisions that are planned for this time. As you know Charlie Leffler had contracted with an outside firm to look at possible locations on the campus. He has received a report from the consultants about those possible cites and that information will be shared with the Board of Trustees and will also be shared probably with the university community in the coming weeks. There is a public forum scheduled to talk about this and I think it is April 26 at 11 a.m. in the Walnut Room of the Talley Student Center.
The search for the Dean of Undergraduate Programs is also in full forward. The committee has its stated date for beginning deliberations on possible candidates. The committee met early this afternoon and I am anticipating that we will have recommendations for interviewees and the interview schedule probably beginning late next week. Thank you for your attention.”
Chair Elect Allen wanted to know if Provost Nielsen has given more thought to an ombudsman.
Provost Nielsen stated that they have talked about creating an ombudsman office and have had conversations with Human Resources and OEO concerning this but have lost track of this in the last couple of weeks.
Senior Vice Provost Perry stated that they are going to visit the ombudsman at UNC to see how they make it work.
Provost Nielsen stated that there is a proposal coming from OEO to talk about recreating an EAP program and that we might be able to move forward on both of these items together.
Senator McRae stated that he thinks the ombudsman office should be independent of all of the offices mentioned.
Provost Nielsen stated that it would be. We are asking their advice about what it is in order to figure out how we can do it here.
Senator Young wants to know how our anticipated budget cuts compare to sister institutions.
Provost Nielsen stated that he couldn’t say what is going on in other places. “I think the real dynamic on retention is a hidden one. All of us are successfully rating each other and know what the “stars” are worth so if we want to go and get someone we get some money together and go and get that person. If someone is coming after one of our folks we will make a counter offer and try to keep that person but I think the problem is much more subtle. The problem comes about with the more standard salaries we have in general or poor benefits package and a variety of other things that may keep us in the large measure from continually raising the general quality of the faculty as we go along. We have made ten counter offers since I have been in the Office of the Provost and three of them recently were not successful. We matched the salary but I think people just decided that they would rather be somewhere else, people that we wanted to keep.”
Chair Elect Allen stated that she has received several emails concerning the SPA technicians particularly in CALS and how badly their salaries are and how hard it is to keep competent people.
Provost Nielsen stated that there is a lot of talk now that there are issues with SPA employees and the poor pay and conditions and such. “There is a lot of talk about how we can differentiate ourselves and Chapel Hill from the sixteen. A little bit of dawn relative to that horizon but the talk about us separating in general is not very actionable.”
Senator Miller wanted to know what would be the role of the Budget Advisory Committee in taking the budget cuts that we take.
Provost Nielsen stated that they have a meeting scheduled next Thursday so that they can talk with the committee about their thoughts, how we should go about the process of taking cuts. “I think it would be very useful and central in an advisory way as we think about this. Although we are getting these reports I want you to know that there has been no decisions made about how any dollars would be taken from any of us at this point.”
6. Issues of Concern
Senator Warren stated that she is “a little bit irked about the pavilion which, at the meeting before last we had an entire group from the College of Design here to talk about their feelings about that Pavilion and it was our understanding that nothing was going to happen very quickly on that and so the issue was sort of set aside about whether the Faculty Senate should even look at this issue. It feels at this point as though since a report is now going to the Board of Trustees that any ability for the Faculty Senate at this point to express an opinion is now a bit out of our hands.”
Provost Nielsen stated that he did not think it was going to be before the Board of Trustees.
Chair Daley stated that it is listed as one of twenty items on progress reports and nothing is scheduled for an official vote.
Senator Tetro stated that the Orientation Office informed her that we are bringing in close to 6,000 new students including undergraduates and transfers.
Provost Nielsen wanted to know how many.
Senator Tetro responded, 5500.
Provost Nielsen stated that we are short bodies on campus because the flow through is going faster so we increase the intake a little bit.
Vice Provost Conway stated that the number was already in terms of freshmen right at four thousand, with a couple of hundred additions it went up to approximately 4200 freshmen. “We are looking at increasing more significantly transfer students, which went from an expectation of five or six hundred to almost one thousand. Again there is going to be some variation in the yield rates, which is a known unknown situation. We are better off exceeding our enrollment than coming up short again this year. There has been specific dollars directed from the Provost’s Office to impact colleges and majors to try to accommodate these students.”
Senator Tetro stated that her biggest concern is where are we going to find the seats that are either already squirreled away for the freshmen who are not here yet and it bothers her on the other because the current enrolled students who have paid tuition are not getting the seats so she is hoping that the Interim Provost is finding enough money to find those seats to accommodate.
Interim Provost Nielsen stated, “We have several hundred thousand dollars we know we need for more seats and sections that will be distributed, as the pressure points become known.”
7. New Business
Resolution on Lake Raleighwoods
Senator Blank presented the resolution for its first reading.
The motion passed unanimously to wave the rules to debate the resolution.
The motion passed unanimously to adopt the resolution.
Senator Bruck reported that the report on Admission Requirements for International Scholars would go back to the committee.
Chair Daley adjourned the meeting at 4:30 p.m.