September 20, 2005
Present: Chair Allen, Past Chair Daley, Secretary Bruck, Provost Nielsen; Senators Baynes, Blair, Blank, Branoff, Brownie, Clark, Culbreth, Fahmy, Fikry, Gustke, Hanley-Bowdoin, Hudson, Kellner, Khosla, Kinsella, Krotee, Martin, Misra, Moore, Overton, Robarge, Scotford, R. Smith, Tetro, Williams, Wessels, Yencho
Excused: Senators Dawes, Hooper, Lindbo, Schultheis
Absent: Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Banks-Lee, B. Smith, Young
Visitors: Suzanne Weiner, Head of Collection Management, Library Administration; Thomas Conway, Dean, Undergraduate Academic Programs; Lee Fowler, Athletics Director; Kevin McNaughton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities
1. Call to Order
Chair Nina Stromgren Allen called the third meeting of the fifty-second session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Allen welcomed Senators and Guests.
Senator Clark announced that the Governance Committee would meet at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 21, 2005 in room 410 Poe Hall.
Chair Allen introduced Larry Gustke as the new senator from the College of Natural Resources.
3. Approval of the Minutes Meeting No. 2, September 6, 2005.
The motion passed unanimously to approve the minutes.
4. Remarks by Provost Nielsen
We dedicated the David Clark laboratories today, a fantastic building for the Zoology Program. There are eight new teaching laboratories, and twenty-five new research laboratories designed to keep us on the map and put us in bold letters on that map.
One thing that I am trying to do is to get to know a lot of faculty. I am having lunch in groups of three or four with all of our National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering Institute of Health fellows, which is really enlightening.
I received a report about our project that the College of Design is doing with the Lumbee Indians, helping to develop home designs for Lumbee Indians who have not yet homes and to make homes that are appropriate for the financial capacity and the lifestyle, family size, etc. for those folks. I think that is something really terrific.
You hear a lot about US News and World ratings of Universities and other ratings of universities and as you know we improved slightly but significantly initiative ratings. We went from thirty-ninth overall for public universities to thirty-fifth, which may not sound like a big change but as you get farther up into those ranks you are displacing people who are working just as hard as you in a variety of months so it does represent a significant move for us. I believe ratings follow a great university and that’s what we are, so our ratings continue to improve. In fact, if you dig down into those ratings a little and look at what the US News and World Report considers and how we have changed, it is really rather interesting.
There are three areas I specifically wanted to mention.
1) The Alumni Giving Rate: From last year until this year we moved from 23% of our alumni giving to the university to 32% which is a huge increase and that is before the announcement of our campaign actually starts this Friday.
2) The percent of entering freshmen that are at the top of their high school class has been increasing regularly and from last year to this year it increased from forty to forty-three percent. It is the kind of thing that does not take huge jumps but as we get increasingly higher quality of students applying we can do that but in that regard our acceptance rate fell from sixty-two to sixty-nine percent. We had the highest number of applications we have ever had last year, nearly fourteen thousand in total. We took a larger number in our freshmen class but still our selectivity is getting higher.
3) Our graduation rate increased from 63% in previous years analysis to 67% in this year’s analysis, which also is a large increase. If we would see another increase like that we would be over 70% next year because these graduation rate changes are built in and we can see what the five-year rate looks like. The five-year rate I think last year was 66% so we know we are going to make another advance forward. The down side of that however, is that a 67% graduation rate still leaves us fourteenth out of sixteenth of our peers. Our graduation rate is quite low in the large context. It is getting better but it is quite low and we continue to look into that to try and figure how to make it better. There is no single reason why the rate is low. There is just a whole range of things that relate to it so it is very tough to get it moving spectacularly but we are moving in the right direction.
Senator Martin: Has the part time versus full time been factored into that equal the same between us and our peer institutions?
Provost Nielsen: No we don’t have this clean definition between a part time student and a full time student that some places do. The thing that is most vexing is that 25% of those assessments are based on pure ratings of your quality and our peer rating has not changed perceptively for some time. Our rating is the lowest among our sixteen peers and it is mind boggling to me when I see on a daily basis the quality of the work that goes on here. The quality of the institution, the quality of student life, and the way our students feel about things here at that level is something that we need to work on. I just wanted to give you some of the details on that.
Update on Hurricane Katrina
We have now enrolled about forty-two students that were displaced by Katrina and I believe that will be all that we will be enrolling. Faculty have been tremendous across the university in terms of taking the students in and taking them on in terms of providing them the tutoring that they needed to get up to speed in their classes.
We are also participating now in a Sloan Foundation initiative to offer a half semester that will be coming on distance education especially for management students. We have a lot of faculty and scientists here that have been displaced from other places. I know in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences we have a group of eight from USDA labs down in New Orleans that has moved up here in mast to continue their work. There are other things happening in various places. The students have raised well over $50,000 toward this relief effort so it has been terrific.
Senator Kellner: Since you are bringing up this discussion of external opinions of NC State and the ratings I would like to ask about a subject that was talked about a couple of years ago that I haven’t heard much about and this is the possibility of membership in the American Association of Universities (AAU). Does the subject ever come up in Holladay Hall and are there any thoughts about what the university would have to do to reach exalted spot?
Provost Nielsen: A few years ago there was a lot of talk about it and again, an analysis like the one I shared with you that shows what our peers are doing and where we were low and that talk has stopped largely. From my perspective we have replaced that rankings talk with talk about what we want to be as an institution and what we want to accomplish and again my feeling is if what we decided we want to be as an institution matches up with what AAU or someone else decides is a set of criteria they want to look at, that is good, but if it is not then I don’t care what people call us. I think the right thing to say is we have a lot to offer society, so let’s offer it in one form or another.
Senator Fikry: One rating that is usually not mentioned in the statistics that you give is a distance education rating. Could there be something you can look at to see the data?
Provost Nielsen: One of the things that irritates me about the Lombardo ratings and the AAU is that it looks at a certain segment of things that universities do and what they measure is what gets done sort of and I have actually talked on a couple of occasions with people. How do we create some ranking type measures for our contribution to economic development? How do we do it for our outreach-based programming? If you look at the Lombardo or AAU kind of things it doesn’t care at all about that but that is a huge part of ours. I agree with you. I think things that we are good at need to be recognized by people who don’t at this point.
Secretary Bruck: Following up on what Senator Kellner said, you mentioned that our peer institutions don’t seem to think highly of us. Is there any reason for that?
Provost Nielsen: These rankings are not our sixteen peers ranking us. I really think that the base level is that people tend to think of NC State as the college or the disciplinary specialty and not as the university as a whole. I think there are lots of opportunities for NC State as a university to do a lot more on behalf of all of us.
For those of you who heard me last week when I talked about developing a culture of “YES”, on the Provost’s webpage very soon there is going to be a circle in red referred to as the Provost’s “YES” button. YES stands for your efficiency/effectiveness/ suggestion and when you click on that button there will be an electronic opportunity for you to submit directly to my office your ideas for how we can make the NC State world a better place.
5. Remarks from Thomas Conway, Dean of Undergraduate Academic Programs
Currently Undergraduate Academic Programs consist of approximately ten programs that are services to students. If you look at the First Year College Transition Program, University Honors Programs, those are programs that bring in freshmen and to a significant extent are associated with recruiting and bring good students into the university. When you look at the Academic Support Program, student athletes, new student orientation, the Virtue Advising Center, and Undergraduate Tutorial Center, we are talking about service delivery directly to students and we have personnel with professionals who deliver those services.
Cooperative Education, Undergraduate Research Program and the Undergraduate Fellowship Advising Program are enhancement programs. We are looking at enhancing the undergraduate education program for all students at North Carolina State. One of the things that I have worked on over the last several years is an understanding that undergraduate academic programs are really not competitive with other colleges within the institution either for the students or in many instances research. What we are is another entry mode to the university. If you think about the university’s ten colleges and add to that the entry mode of undergraduate academic programs what you see is that all of those areas allow students to come into the university and those students will come in and interact and in some cases a student that enters through the College of Engineering come in and interact with the institutional processes and they may end up graduating with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences or some other college. All of our students that enter through us will end up being involved in the university processes and they will become students of other colleges and graduate from other colleges. We do not offer an undergraduate degree.
I use the College of Veterinary Medicine as an out take on this because all of the students at the university will end up flowing out to the College of Veterinary Medicine but the College of Veterinary Medicine does not have input into the undergraduate population.
The University Honors Program serves students from all colleges. They come in and are involved in a specialized program that is designed for the very best prepared students that we bring into the university. We have redesigned that Undergraduate Honors Program so that there is a focus on research interest and we are looking for students around the country that have expressed an interest in undergraduate research at entry which is one of the changes that we have made. We are finding that there are some students out there very much interested in that unique aspect of our program. We look at academic support for student athletes. We have a group of students that comes into the university who can be students of any of the colleges but that program serves them. Access to that program is available to students from all colleges. As a unit we are a service unit. The focus of undergraduate programs is to serve your students. We are an entry point for some students but we have as a goal to transfer those students to your colleges so they are indeed your students at entry also.
Undergraduate academic program review is an area that the division of academic programs is responsible for. We are going through some transition in that area. The responsibility for the monitoring and coordinating of that program had been rested with the Committee on Undergraduate Program Review (CUPR) as a result of an assessment task force that did its work last spring and the acceptance of their recommendation by the Provost. The responsibility for the ongoing assessment of undergraduate academic programs is now being transferred to the academic associate deans in the colleges and we will be responsible for making a smooth transition into that process. One thing that we want to make sure people understand is that we are not backing off of the commitment. We don’t have the option of not assessing our undergraduate programs. In order to continue as a SACS accredited institution we have to show that we know that all of our programs are at a quality that we believe and can convince others, and given by a great institution like we say that we are and to the degree that we prove that. When we talk about the program review and assessment process I’m going to focus on that as an opportunity to prove and improve. We are talking about the opportunity to prove that we have the quality programs that we say we do.
Assessment of general education is another area that we have responsibility for. We are working with the committees that will have that as there core responsibility. Those committees will include the University Courses and Curriculum Committee, Undergraduate Academic Operations Council, and Council on Undergraduate Education.
Initiatives that we are responsible for; First Year Inquiry Program focuses on the question as the focus of instruction, teaching and learning relationship that the student share in that regard. This effort has been ongoing for five or six years and it is time for this institution to take a look at what can benefit from that. We are looking at linking that with the undergraduate research effort that we are responsible for and talking about how the first year inquiry feeds into the undergraduate research effort that we must grow on this campus.
Teaching and Learning Technology Roundtable is another initiative that we are responsible for helping to facilitate on this campus. Sarah Stein leads that effort. We support that effort with a bit of resources and all the moral support that we can give Sarah.
The Provost Roundtable is another initiative that is focused on the issues associated with athletics and student athletes at our institution. It is the opportunity for the Provost to hear first hand about what is going on relative to the developments surrounding student athletes and athletics on our campus.
We try to support faculty development initiatives as resources allow.
When people think of the Division of Academic Programs as an effective point of advocacy for undergraduate education at North Carolina State University, we want people to think of undergraduate academic programs as actively engaged and enhancing the involvement of faculty in the development of undergraduate students.
I have been accused of spending my first twenty-five years here at the university advocating for students and the last five years advocating for faculty and behind that is an understanding that I have come to and that is that there really are two very important aspects of the university. When you are talking about teaching and learning you are referring to students and you are talking about faculty. I have challenged my colleagues to find a successful intervention that has changed its graduation rates or any of the kinds of variables that we talk about in terms of the institutional image that has not successfully engaged to the faculty in that process. One of the things that we will be talking to you about is this process of advocacy for your involvement in looking at the students we teach, their welfare, and the enhancement of their education. We want to be a model program of excellence and analysis driven decisions. We want to say that we are going to look at all of the programs inside the division of academic programs. They all have to have assessment plans. They all have to be working actively on those assessment plans. They all have to be showing that there is input to the important variables that increase student success or their service to students as part of their evaluation process. One of the things that we want to do is to develop models that we hope the rest of the institution can emulate in that regard. We also want to be a mode for institutional partnerships. We don’t think we can do any of this by ourselves. All of the programs that are part of undergraduate academic programs are dependent upon the participation of the total institution. It simply does not work for academic programs to stand as a stand alone within the context of the institution.
The Removal of Bottlenecks that Prohibit Student Success
· Work with the Existing task force to complete the GER
· Facilitate the review and update of academic regulations and administrative procedures
· Updating and completing the implementation of Progress Towards Degree—The progress toward degree process will change some but it is not going away. It is one of the things I think is important to what we have been seeing in terms of our increased graduation rates.
· Identify and celebrate areas of excellence in supporting student success—I have worked with the access group and have had people come to me to talk about proposing new programs. Until we understand what we are doing and until we have some sense of how what we are doing is playing into the situation that we have the implementation of new programs will only continue to muddy the water. We are not declaring a moratorium on new programs but I am pushing very hard from the members of the access group. I’m asking them to identify those efforts around the university and catalog those efforts that deliberately in some way have input into the student retention effort on this campus. One of the things that we are overcoming here is the notion that what I do really does not make a difference and some people have been presently surprise as they develop the willingness to come forward and say that this is what we are doing. They are finding that these programs have a lot more input and a lot more impact than they anticipated.
· Enhance and expand the undergraduate research efforts—I think this is one of the things that an institution like North Carolina State is going to find a very important and a critical factor. We are a research institution. The connection between our excellent graduate education and our graduate research programs and undergraduate education must be made explicit. One of the things that I have been talking about with faculty as I have had the opportunity over the course of the last several weeks is again, find an institution that is ranked very highly in terms of their regard by their peers and in terms of their regard for their graduate program that does not have a quality undergraduate education program. We cannot withdraw the support or we cannot redirect support for the quality graduate programs that we have but at the same time we cannot sell out our investments to undergraduate programs. We have to find ways to develop those and make explicit their connection to our graduate programs and the quality of those programs. We are looking to facilitate continuously improvement of courses and curricula process. We are constantly looking at ways of moving that process forward for making that process more user-friendly. We are going to be looking at a lot of different models, both that are available in the systems that we have available and that might be available as we move into the new student administration system that is going to be coming on line in a couple of years.
· Complete university-wide Evaluation of Instruction—The UEI project is alive. We need to move forward with that. It is one of the tools that the institution needs in order to be able to say that as an institution we are looking at this process. We will continue to debate the elements of it as we move forward but we need to move forward with the implementation of it so that there is a debate to be had.
· Work with academic associate deans on transition of the undergraduate program review responsibilities.
· Assessment of General Education –is something that we are responsible for and we are going to be moving forward with those committees that are working with that.
Sam Averitt, Sarah Stein, and I have been having conversations. We have looked at what is happening around the university, with the discussions with TLTR, the discussions about information technology, the discussions in general and the tone of those discussions around campus and we have decided that one of the things that might be helpful is to pull together a campus dialog. We want to pull together a conversation that is focused on the question, “What form of communication systems, philosophy and strategy is needed at the leading twenty-first century university?” As we say that we are going to be that kind of university, what are the systems that need to be in place from the communications side. We have some stories to tell that as we have been doing case studies about some of the communication roadblocks we run into around campus that I think the university community can benefit from. I want to invite you now as you hear about that plan to come and participate in that conversation. I think we need to bring to the center of the conversation a review of the BOYER Report and the charges that were put forth in that report in terms of what a leading research institution should be about. As we look for measures of what our successes are, I think if we look at the ten items outlined in the BOYER Report and if we were honest in measuring ourselves against those we would probably say very clearly that since this report has been issued we have made significant progress in improving the way we do work around most of these. These variables I am going to argue lead us to the kind of criteria that we need to establish as our bench marks for evaluating ourselves in our future efforts.
I am staking the remainder of my career at NC State that if I can engage this faculty around the issues that are important relative to undergraduate education that we can make the kind of contributions to the development of that world class great institution and we will change the way not only our peers see us but the way we see ourselves.
As we try to understand how other institutions see us part of that is in how we see ourselves. If you walk the campus of the other research extensive university what you will hear in the conversation and what you will see in the faces is that the faculty at that institution know that they are smart. They also know that their students are smart. So the faculty believes they are smart and because they believe their students are smart their students believe they are smart and their students then proceed to try to act that way. We recruit from the same pool that they do and we are as likely to get those students as they are among the very best students that they get. When you walk across this campus one of the things that you will pick up on is our faculty. You know that you are smart within your disciplines. There needs to be more communication across the university in terms of the appreciation of the caliber of faculty across disciplines, that is one of the charges I make. The other is to understand and appreciate the caliber of students we bring into this university and in knowing how bright we are and knowing the kind of students that are attracted to study under us I think once we accept our own intellect and appreciate our student’s intellect I think you will see a change in the tone of kids.
Senator Fikry: Why are you tying the undergraduate programs with the graduate programs?
Dean Conway: I believe that model where it can be seen that one might hamper the development of the other is a model that we have operated on for a very long time. I think that if you examine the reality of a knowledge based society we are talking a world wide knowledge based culture what you are going to find is that at the end of the day the employable student coming out of American universities is going to be a student that understands how to identify problems and track down solutions to those problems and therefore is a student that understands how to do research within their discipline. I think the model that says we are only preparing students for the work force gets blended into the notion now that the viable work force that we are preparing students for is going to be that work force that understands how to do research.
Chair Allen: I have had a lot of undergraduates in my laboratory but I could not have done as effective of a job with undergraduates if I had not had my graduate students. Graduate students have to learn how to teach and the best way to learn how to train graduate students is as a graduate student to be training the undergraduates. You have to remember that there is this link between all of this.
Secretary Bruck: I look at NC State and I see something that seems to be very common within the state of North Carolina as a culture. We have the high school of science mathematics and there it is sitting on this pillow and if you are fortunate as a young tenth grader to get into this school you are going to end up with this dynamic blend of education research experience seminar opportunity working with real scientists. Then you have the other 798 high schools in North Carolina that I’m not even going to comment about. It seems to me we have the icons at NC State, i.e., Park Scholars Program, Honors Programs, etc., and I participate heavily in those and WOW! These great students that are given these great opportunities including money and travel opportunities and indeed they come out as our leaders. Then there is the other 98% coming back to your observation of two other campuses that are twenty-five miles away that seem to have this air of intellectual accomplishment that surrounds the entire university. How do we foster the same kind of thing here rather than saying, there are the parkies and then there is everyone else? Am I wrong about that, because that is the impression that I often get. The same metaphor that I am using about science and math and 798 other schools almost seems to be a culture rather than trying to foster an intellectual development in capacity for all of our students regardless of their discipline and major.
Dean Conway: I would like to answer that a couple of ways. One is in part the answer is the one the Provost gave in terms of how we define who we are and what is excellence for us. I don’t suggest that we ought to define that kind of academic excellence and that intellectual excellence in the same way as those other institutions because I think what we have is different from them. It is a connection to communities that goes to service in a very different way. I think our challenge is to come up with a new definition of what that means, that academic excellence with service as an outcome.
In talking about these programs that we have, whether it’s the Honor’s Program, whether it’s the students that participate in the existing undergraduate research efforts, there is an important reason for supporting those programs and expanding those programs to the degree that we can and I would argue that the importance might be a little different than what others might think. Most would argue that they attract good students, they bring the best and brightest students to our campus. I would argue that they excite the fact and to that extent what they are is laboratory opportunities. Faculty that participate in teaching Honors courses and seminars get excited about the way they teach, the method they are able to use and the interaction with students in those Honors courses and then they translate that into the other courses. So this is an example of where continuous investment in those kinds of programs of excellence really does raise all the ships. We need to make sure that the technology transfers and that we support it and faculty who decide that this is part of their memorandums of understanding and operations that decide that is what they want to do. They need to be afforded the opportunity to do that.
Senator Fahmy: I just want to give a report on the undergraduates in my department, material science and engineering. We have been fortunate in having a large graduate program and a fairly small undergraduate program. This gave the opportunity to each and every one of the undergraduate students to graduate after actually doing research work, that is while joining research projects that is already going on during the summer and sometimes during the semester, and each one of them had research experience by the time they graduated.
Dean Conway: I project that two things are going to happen. I think every undergraduate that graduates from one of our programs ought to understand the tools of research within their discipline. I think that could be done through the curriculum. The kinds of cutting edge opportunities that we are talking about, we are going to have to develop the capacity for offering them to more and more students. I am going to project that indeed if we take this challenge seriously we start down the road of developing a representation as an institution with the goal of giving each of its graduates some kind of significant research opportunity that you are going to find that industry is going to be very much interested in supporting us in that context.
Senator Blank: This question of the institutional culture that is different at three institutions here in the triangle, I think there are some important characteristics that we have to recognize. If you look at the average income of the family of students at least at one of those institutions there is a big gap between our average family income and theirs. There is a relation between the values of education in those families as a relationship for the kind of background that those students come out of. There is an assumption about what kinds of careers those people will have and there is an assumption about where in the social structure those people are going to fit. You look at where Duke recruits, the kinds of families Duke students come from. I have been in the alumni and parent gatherings in both of those institutions. The fact is they rub shoulders in different bars than most of our students’ parents did. We can’t ignore that there is a social/culture difference. I hardly agree with Thomas and Larry that we have to identify who we are, what we do, what we are going to do well and there are some things we just aren’t going to change in the short term. I’m not denigrating our students. I have had some of the best and brightest people I have ever encountered in my classes, but I have also had quite a few people that have scraped to get here, scraped through here and gone out and continued to scrape. The fact is every university I have been associated with has had people like that. You can get the best education in the world here and you can get the worse education in the world at Duke. It is all a matter of who you are, whom you encounter, which of the faculty is taking you under their wing, which of the faculty has challenged you. It is a very personal thing and we cannot change that. We have to acknowledge who we are.
Dean Conway: One of the things that I think we do have, as a difference is what you just talked about. The kind of student that we have always brought to North Carolina is the kind of student that we have always regarded as our mission to serve. I think we are at a peculiar point and time where the needs of the world, economist are really starting to match up with who we are versus who some of the other institutions are and how they operate.
6. Issues of Concern
Senator Brownie would like to know the protocol for evaluating all administrators. He would also like to know why faculty are not involved in the evaluations.
Senator Brownie asked for clarification on how an associate dean or assistant dean becomes a full professor.
Senator Baynes would like to know the protocol for being granted the title of Senior Lecturer.
The issue was assigned to the Personnel Policy Committee.
Senator Baynes would like to know if the Personnel Policy Committee is still working on the sexual harassment issue from last year.
Senator Robarge, Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee stated that Rhonda Sutton from OEO sent him a revision of the policy that grew out of their meeting from last year and has asked for input from the committee. She is scheduled to attend the Committee’s meeting on October 11 when they will be addressing the issue.
7. Old Business
Secretary Bruck: Just to update everyone, last year we passed a resolution in this body and in the Staff Senate that was requesting that there be some form of tuition remission for faculty and staff at NC State University. The Faculty Assembly of UNC quickly picked that up and they passed the identical resolution. Two bills were submitted this year to the House and Senate, Senate Bill 1123/House Bill 1008, and those bills were referred to the Education Committee, which in both House and Senate it was passed unanimously to give a 25% tuition remission for any faculty and staff, for their family and spouse at any of the UNC institutions. The bill then went to the full committee and passed unanimously. They went to appropriation like thousands of other bills and was never brought up and died. Andy Willis, our lobbyist is aware of this and worked on this. He said that the same bills could be resurrected in the coming short session. Again, how does one affect the Appropriations Committee to do it?
Forget about the General Assembly and the UNC System, can NC State University internally do ourselves enact some sort of tuition remission for faculty and or staff. I have discussed that with Chancellor Oblinger. It is problematic, however it is not off the table and I would refer that to whatever committee is interested in bringing that up again as an issue that we would like to see dealt with. I have received numerous phone calls from people saying this is important to them.
Senator Khosla would like to know why the issue is problematic.
Secretary Bruck: Again, we are a state institution and you are a state employee. If it is interpreted as some sort of a fringe benefit or perk it is very problematic in terms of how that is treated. There has been discussion about it being treated perhaps as a scholarship and it was left there and I haven’t pursued it any further with the Chancellor.
Chair Allen assigned the issue to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Tuition Remission Matching Policy
Chair Allen: This is a policy that has been done informally in Engineering and in PAMS where you pay out of your grant funds 25% of the tuition for your students and that is not too onerous if they are in state, but if they are international it is quite a lump sum. The concern was that the faculty was not properly consulted about this and faculty is quite concerned because they are the ones who have to raise the grant funds for this.
This has worked in PAMS and Engineering but if you look at some of the other colleges. If you are not in Engineering many of your students are PhD students so it is a long-term commitment and in our field post docs are readily available and you can buy a post doc for about the same that it would cost you once we start adding in tuition. If you were a wise runner of a lab you would opt to hire a post doc rather than a graduate student because it would be about the same cost, which means we are not building the graduate program, which is a concern to the university in my opinion.
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin: I think the issues are faculty input into the policy. The policy is still a recommendation. There seems to be a fair amount of support among the graduate school and administration. My understanding is faculty, have not been part of the task force to develop this policy. There was a fair amount of confusion about what the actual recommendations were until the graduate students came to the URC last week. There needs to be faculty input into the recommendations before they are finalized.
The other concern that has been raised is whether or not this proposes cause and effect of the tuition remission policy in two colleges. Can you demonstrate that that is responsible for growth in the graduate programs in those colleges? I think that there really isn’t any data directly linked. I think it is a convenient link to support an agenda rather than real hard data and, again it becomes an issue discipline. The consequences are going to be the exact opposite of the intent. It is not going to grow the graduate programs because it is going to have a very negative impact on international recruiting of graduate students.
The third issue that was raised at the URC of major concern is the balance between the academic and research here because you are proposing to take research dollars and put them into the use of academic cost. We have already paid the in state tuition for everyone we support off of a grant and now they are proposing that we pay 25% of the out of state tuition so its another transfer to research grants now of academic cost. I think it has become a real concern of what the balance is here because they say they need to do this to prove that we are investing in graduate education but the kinds of things they are talking about here, we are already paying stipends, we are already paying health insurance, we are already paying the in state tuition and in many cases we are already paying the fee for all of these students. For some reason that kind of money is not used as demonstration of investment of non-state dollars. At this point I would like to see some real analysis of the impact of this on graduate education and research in this university and some involvement of the faculty in formulating the policy.
Past Chair Daley: If this money is being taken out of your grant to cover students, isn’t that going to affect what you actually deliver in terms of research and how competitive you are going to be in getting the grant?
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin: It varies from institution to institution. There are institutions that do charge grants and there are other institutions that don’t charge grants. I do agree though that if you do have to divert money into things like this that money is going to disappear, it’s going to be used toward the research endeavors and so I think it would help the competitiveness.
Senator Moore: I don’t know if any of you are directors of graduate programs, but at our meeting this August this was announced to us as a done deal.
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin: I asked Dean Sowell that last week and was told that it is a recommendation. I also asked him if it was going to be grandfathered in and my understanding was that was not the intent, but again that decision has not formally been made. I think if the faculty doesn’t do something it will be a done deal.
Senator Robarge: The second paragraph states “In the event that an in-state student is appointed, the PI or project manager has the option to re-budget.” Has that been approved by contracts and grants?
Senator Hanley Bowdoin: That was pointed out to them as well, and again there was no discussion. I think a lot of the details were not considered.
Chair Allen assigned the issue to the Resources and Environment Committee.
Provost Nielsen: My understanding was that the intention was that this had been told to the colleges. As you go about thinking about this recognize that this is an attempt to develop more dollars to be available for the graduate student program. It is fundamentally a way to grow the graduate student support program by putting some cost on to grants that can pay it. The other option is that the amount of money in the graduate student support plan is limited and when it runs out, then the next graduate student you want to take you are going to have to pay 100% of the out of state tuition on that student and not twenty five or zero percent because there is no more money to throw at this situation. The motivation is to increase the amount of money available to support the graduate student program.
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin: I think that as proposed the outcome is not I think in certain disciplines you will have the exact opposite outcome as intended. I think we all agree that we need to think about this and come up with a solution. If the faculty had an opportunity to be involved in this process there may be some other way at getting at this that might be more effective and might in the long run have less dyer consequences at least in some disciplines. Maybe the solution isn’t something we are all going to be happy with every aspect of, but it is much easier to be part of the solution if you have had an opportunity to try to weigh in on it and contribute to it rather than just being told that this is the way it is going to be.
Senator Martin: We are talking about really a zero sum in shifting money from one pot to another and that is where I think faculty would like to hear administrators at least admitting that. This is not new money. New money comes from a new grant, the General Assembly, etc., but this is not new money. This is taking existing money and reapportioning it so that the graduate school can use it.
Provost Nielsen: This comparison between a graduate student and a post doc is a problem and there is something going on somewhere about raising post doc’s salaries to a standard level so that they are living wages for these folks. You are going to see a major change in what it costs you to fund the postdoctoral appointments as well as the graduate students.
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin: We have two competing interests here. One is to continue the outside research fund and be successful in competing for that money and that is in large part dependent upon your productivity versus training graduate students and training undergraduate students and we all would like to invest a lot more time and money into that but when we do that the productivity goes down so we are kind of caught between two very conflicting areas here and that’s what the problem becomes. Anything we can do to make it affordable to have graduate students in our lab so that we can justify that and still get the work done, I think we would all be very much in favor of that.
Regulation on Post Tenure Review
Senator Robarge postponed the report on post tenure review until the next meeting.
Comments from Senator Robarge
Question: Can the proposed regulations be circulated?
Yes - PROVIDED it is made clear that this is a DRAFT document and that we are seeking input from across the various faculty cultures that exist within the departments at this university.
Question: Why is the Faculty Senate doing this?
The regulations for Post Tenure Review are currently under university review.
Part of the review process involves Faculty Senate input and a vote on the proposed regulations. The DRAFT is an attempt by the Personnel Policy Committee to correct what it felt were deficiencies in the proposed regulations submitted to the Faculty Senate for review. All faculty senators were sent copies of those proposed regulations supplied by Katie Perry.
This is one of the only opportunities to have faculty input into the development of regulations. It is one of the responsibilities of the faculty senate.
Question: Why have PTR? - This is the end of tenure!
PTR seems to strike an emotional cord in everyone. It is required by UNC system rules so there is no point arguing whether it should exist or not with regards to the draft regulations.
PTR is NOT the end of tenure. The following is from the university lawyer and her interpretation of regulation on academic tenure:
"... Faculty who have been granted tenure have an indefinite appointment that may be terminated at any time for stated cause as specified in the Academic Tenure policy. ....
No individual with a contract or who has been granted tenure by the university has a guarantee of permanent employment forever because the tenure policy states they may be discharged for cause...."
My interpretation of the PTR regulations therefore is merely defining how faculty are evaluated to determine possible failure in their obligations as defined in their statements of mutual expectations. The key is "for cause" and how a determination of "for cause" is arrived at.
There is too much micro-management in the proposed regulations!
We on the Personnel Policy Committee would respectfully disagree. The proposed regulations clearly refer to department rules that need to be formulated regarding different aspects of carrying out PTR. We do however, feel some uniformity in the overall process is required across departments and certainly within departments. Departments have flexibility in selection of the PTRC and also the length and contents of documents to be prepared for a review. Departments must have their rules in writing and approved by the entire DVF and their respective deans.
The Personnel Policy Committee is striving for checks and balances in the PTR process such that on the one hand it is not simply a meaningless exercise, while on the other hand it cannot be wielded in a selective and possibly malicious fashion (by dept. heads or faculty).
Lastly, the Personnel Policy Committee knows the draft we have produced to date is not complete.
We welcome suggestions of how to streamline the process. We seek input from the entire faculty senate, which will need to eventually vote on proposed regulations for PTR. We also seek ways to make PTR a more positive process, not only now but in the future since the Personnel Policy Committee feels PTR itself should not be an end all but really a part of a larger process that better rewards and encourages tenured faculty throughout their entire career at NCSU.
A motion was made and seconded to extend the meeting by five minutes.
The motion passed to extend the meeting.
Chair Allen adjourned the meeting at 5:05 p.m.