NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
Minutes of the Faculty Senate
November 21, 2006
Present: Chair Allen, Secretary Bruck, Chair-Elect Martin, Parliamentarian Corbin, Provost Nielsen; Senators Akroyd, Blair, Culbreth, Dawes, Evans, Fleisher, Genzer, Gustke, Hanley-Bowdoin, Heitmann, Khosla, Kinsella, Hudson, Jones, Muddiman, Moore, Murty, Overton, Ozturk, Raymond, Robarge, Schultheis, Scotford, Smith, Williams, Yencho
Excused: Senators Anson, Branoff, Lindbo, Shamey
Absent: Senators Banks-Lee, Fauntleroy, Kellner, Mulvey, Wessels
Visitors: Marcia Gumpertz, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Development; John Gilligan, Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies; Lauren Gregg, News Services; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Eva Johannes, Researcher, Plant Biology; Thomas Conway, Dean of Undergraduate Academic Programs; Matt Ronning, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration; Louis Martin-Vega, Dean of the College of Engineering
1. Call to Order and Announcements
Chair Nina Strömgren Allen called the seventh meeting of the fifty-third session to order and welcomed Senators and guests.
Chair Allen reminded the faculty of the Budget Forum scheduled for November 30, 2006 with Provost Nielsen and Vice Chancellor Charles Leffler.
The Executive Committee will meet with Jim Phillips, Chair of the UNC Board of Governors on November 28th.
2. Approval of the Minutes Meeting No. 6, November 7, 2006
The minutes were approved unanimously.
3. Provost Nielsen’s Remarks
The Faculty Survey
There was a 70% response rate on the Faculty Survey. The entire summary, question by question will be put on the website. University Planning and Anaylses is planning to do additional studies on the data within the next six months.
Provost Nielsen thanked the faculty for participating and noted that there would be more data coming.
Provost Nielsen reported that all of the slots in the childcare program have been taken.
Provost Nielsen requested that everyone pay more attention to securing the buildings on campus. He noted that an estimated $800,000 worth of equipment is stolen from labs and offices annually.
The university is moving forward to expand and institutionalize service learning. They are also moving forward with the creation of a center for excellence in service learning which will allow the expansion of NC States offerings to place it among the National Leaders. Provost Nielsen stated, “We are there in terms of our practice, but we also need to be there in terms of generating the best scholarships, the experiences around this that can be shared with others.”
President Bowles created a committee to review the appeal processes for faculty during a 603 or 604 proceeding. The committee is looking at how to make the procedure fairer to the participants involved. Provost Nielsen chairs the committee and Mary Beth Kurz is a member.
The committee includes members from various institutions.
National Association of State Universities & Land-Grant Colleges
NC State was well represented at the meeting of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. The biggest item that came out of the meeting overall was an enlarged emphasis on accountability.
The Spellings Commission Report on approved challenges in higher education in the United States came out in September and a good deal of it was accountability.
Provost Nielsen asked, “How are we demonstrating our value to the students and society? How can we account for the cost? What are the real cost?”
There is a thrust by a number of institutions to forestall any federal approaches to regulate what we have to report and how we have to report it.
Provost Nielsen announced that the Emerging Issues Forum would be February 1-2. The forum will focus on higher education and what it means to North Carolina and how we can use it to get our competitive edge in North Carolina.
Provost Nielsen stated that he encourages the faculty to attend the forum because he believes it is about our issues and our needs.
Can you comment on the accountability issue?
Provost Nielsen stated that he met with Anita Graham Brown, Director of the Emerging Issues Forum and he believes that the participants in the audience are going to be listening and watching as this forum on higher education is displayed; how much were the balances between concerns about accountability and the sort of administrative accountability and the balance between how much of it is about truly the issues in opportunities in higher education.
4. Remarks from Dr. Louis Martin-Vega, Dean of Engineering
Dean Martin-Vega stated that he had been Dean of Engineering at the University of South Florida for five years prior to coming to NC State. It was a wonderful experience but from the perspective of Engineering obviously the opportunity to lead what is certainly one of the premiere colleges of Engineering in the country and the world is something that was hard to turn down.
Dean Martin-Vega stated that this is a college of engineering that has more than 47,000 extremely, loyal alumni. What impresses him most is that individuals travel here from all over to come and spend time with the dean and department heads as well. The loyalty, allegiance, and the pride that people feel being graduates of this university is extremely strong and he thinks one of the things that comes out is that he has an obligation or responsibility for seeing what they can do to help promote and really put out a lot more in terms of the very wonderful things that are happening and he thinks the alumni are ready to come in and help.
There was a meeting with the department heads and all of them are looking for the things in their best interest. He stated that the conversation today as it has been for the last couple of months has not been around the department per se but around the interdisciplinary thrust areas that unite all of the departments, familiar issues such as the Triad, the biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology but also issues of energy and environmental systems and advanced materials and transportation logistics.
Dean Martin-Vega stated that a lot of their future is predicated on how they can come together to compete at the very highest levels nationally for large center kinds of activities where you need to have that critical mass. He noted that there has only been one engineering research center on this campus and that was the one that former dean Nino Masnari started about fifteen years ago.
Dean Martin-Vega stated that he printed out a list of the last fifty awards that NSF has made for group and center award activities and NC State doesn’t have a single proposal in those fifty where it was the lead institution. He feels that the university has more than enough capability. “Again I see part of my role hopefully to help bring some of that together and I was privileged to be at NSF for a number of years, which really provides a level of familiarity with that.”
Dean Martin-Vega attended a meeting on Centennial Campus with a group that is trying to look at how the university can gauge the value of developing aerospace related industries in the state of North Carolina. This is something that the Department of Congress in this state wants to pursue in terms of work force development. He feels that there is a leading role for the college and the university because we have outstanding programs in aerospace.
There were 1400 engineering students at the McKimmon Center today, which is the largest engineering first year class that NC State has ever had and one of the largest in the country doing what they call their first year engineering design projects and competition. “What we are going to try to do and what we do every day is to provide a vision for those students that come in the first year.”
NC State has one of the largest Colleges of Engineering in the world. It is very large at the undergraduate level and it needs to be larger at the graduate level.
Dean Martin-Vega stated that there is a real urgency associated with the things that they are trying to do. An innovation, economic impact and the welfare of this country and everything in this state really depend a lot on that.
“I am obviously delighted to be here. I am very proud to be the dean of this college and to be a part of this wonderful university. We are trying to provide these young individuals a vision, a vision where they can see themselves as leaders in the future. More than 50% of the CEO’s of major corporations in this country have undergraduate engineering degrees. A great deal of physicians and people in all areas have these backgrounds so it is a profession that really has a tremendous amount of breath in terms of the opportunities and I think it is something also that can really interact and should interact across campus in many different ways.”
Chair Elect Martin: Comment on visions outside of your engineering department.
Dean Martin-Vega responded that the only way that we as a university are going to compete at very high levels is to have things that are developed across colleges as well. Clearly to be able to be competitive in those environments you have to reach out and I think this goes in all directions and I think there is tremendous critical mass to do that.
We are not going to have an engineering research center here without interactions with other colleges and other universities.
5. President’s Advisory Committee on Efficiency & Effectiveness (PACE)
Charles Leffler, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business gave an overview of what is happening with PACE.
PACE was appointed by President Bowles to help demonstrate that the university system has its house in order. He appointed a statewide group of individuals with a variety of outside individuals. It basically has three parts; to look at General Administration and what could be done at the central office level, what needed to be looked at on the system level across all campuses, and then what each campus needed to be looking at.
At general administration he took an approach of a 10% budget target and he set up a team and a process to review what they were doing, which 10% of the UNC Central Office budget is $1.3M and they went through an evaluation of their operation and that resulted in several cost saving efforts including the reduction of 13 and they are pursuing the review of each of the associate entities like UNC Television as part of that review.
On the system review he asked the campuses to look at what they were doing from a core function basis and also then looking at what was then named the enabling functions, and there were twelve categories identified for that and a number of subheadings that totaled about 56 under these twelve in terms of how to look at how we spend our money on the campus. Each campus was asked to evaluate and take an estimating process of looking at this quantitative data of our budget for NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Pembroke State, and others. This was done in a methodology that was not based on the traditional accounting system. Business officers from across this campus at NC State looked at how they spent the money in their areas and tried to allocate it not based on the traditional accounting methodologies but into these enabling and core functioning activities, which resulted in a system expenditure profile and for the entire university system, forty nine percent of expenditures occur in the core function areas. NC State has 53% of its core function areas. The core function component across the system ranged widely from a low of 21% in core functions to a high of 56%, which was UNC Chapel Hill. NC State was the next highest allocation to core function.
VC Leffler stated that this is a little less than scientific data but it was intended to get a general idea of where we spend our money and he thinks it served that function reasonably well.
There were three items referred to as core functions: instruction, research, and public service.
VC Leffler stated that there was also a qualitative component to look at those non quantitative things and we in fact here on this campus did a web based survey and got more than 450 responses of ideas about things that we considered to be efficient things that we thought were inefficient as well as just general opportunities. The committee looked at the quantitative data and the qualitative data and identified some focus areas that they wanted the system to look at and they created a system-wide set of working groups. The work groups were made up from representatives across the university system. NC State was the only campus that had a representative on every working group and in fact representatives of NC State chaired two of these working groups.
The areas that were focused on were the academic administrative support and Katie Perry served on that group, facilities management, information technology. The topics of some of these looked at were very wide ranging but some of them were also very narrow. Some of these we had to push.
They only had a month to do their work. They then came back with 56 white papers that were broken down into the categories that were needed in terms of actions.
At this point the PACE Committee has only identified the opportunities and have not executed on any of them. They broke them into medium to long-term categories. The short term items were mostly those that needed some legislative action to implement something that is fairly straight forward, a number of reporting requirements on the campus fell into that category, that we spend hundreds on items across this campus preparing certain reports that if we could do away with them those hours could be reallocated to something more valuable. One of the things that we had a lot of discussion about is that there is a lot of reallocation of effort that can take place by not having to do certain things on the administrative side because that frees up time that then can be provided to the core function side.
The third leg VC Leffler spoke about was the campus reviews, which are based on each campus’s efforts to identify what might be most advantageous. They created at the beginning of this process a campus advisory group. Twelve people across campus were asked to serve on this group and included in those were Senator Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, Matt Ronning from Research, Katie Perry from the Provost Office and a variety of others across the campus to make sure there were a number of perspectives. The group was very helpful on the approach used to retrieve data from the campus and how they used the web-based system to do that. They have reviewed all of the qualitative input that was received in the surveys and from that they are in the process of trying to distill down what might be the best opportunities to pursue on a campus level. Hopefully the list will be brought to a close at the next meeting and then it can be shared with the campus for its reaction.
VC Leffler stated that energy management is one that they continue to review to find ways to save money because we are still facing about a $3.0M deficit in our utilities budget. The whole IT review and the CIO review are part of that. They are reviewing classroom management, organizational structures, fund raising, and foundation administration. There are dozens of things that the group has been looking at in that regard.
Provost Nielsen commented that he thinks it is quite proper to recognize that Vice Chancellor Leffler has been one of the leading forces in shaping how this has developed.
Secretary Bruck asked, “Is there an expectation from General Administration that one of the major ways we are going to save dollars here is simply by reducing staff?”
Vice Chancellor Leffler responded, no.
Senator Robarge asked, “Will the monies go back to President Bowles or will there be an opportunity to allocate it within the institution?”
Vice Chancellor Leffler responded, “The latter. If we can free up any supporting or enabling function kind of dollars allowing there to be more resource to the core function that is a good thing. The President is going to be expecting reports out of the campuses over the course of the next year indicating things that have been done to put more resources toward core functions.
Was there any discussion of getting us out from under the North Carolina Division of Purchasing contracts?
Leffler stated that he doesn’t see us getting exempted from the state law, however he believes we can get delegation that is essentially the same thing but give us the flexibility that we need.
Provost Nielsen stated that the question of what the right level at which to apply any sort of expectation for reallocations is a very good one. One of the things that we put into the budget principles is that budget cuts should not be across the board. One point is through the compact planning process there is an expectation that we will all be identifying things that we are not going to do anymore and how we can shift from low priorities to high priorities within every unit. Secondly we need to be looking for these big ideas.
Provost Nielsen announced that the summer school and credit program office is going to be eliminated from the Provost’s Office. They are going to decentralize management of summer school to the colleges for the strategic ability of colleges and departments to decide what they need to do as part of summer school. The funds raised and spent by summer schools will be spent in the colleges. By eliminating that whole office he has an expectation of saving a half million dollars that would be available to do other things.
VC Leffler stated that speaking of compact planning, the advisory group has had some discussion about that with Karen Helm. The compact planning process is perhaps a vertical opportunity within the units to reallocate and the PACE process is more horizontal across all of these entities.
Chair Elect Martin asked, “Do we have any feedback as to how the legislature is responding to this?”
VC Leffler responded that it is just getting on their radar screen. The report was released about ten days ago by the committee and shared with the Board of Governors at their meeting. It is the President’s intent to take some interim information from the campuses on what we are doing and to be ready when the legislature convenes in late January to start discussing it with them.
6. Old Business
Senator Williams reported that the Resources and Environment Committee thinks that before the Senate considers the document on Centers and Institute as a group they would like to meet with Matt Ronning to discuss certain issues that have been raised by many. He is still receiving feedback from committee members concerning the document and will report back to the Senate at a later date.
Provost Nielsen stated that one of the reasons the guide is outside of the regulation is to allow the regulation to come into effect so we can move some centers and institutes forward. Please keep in mind as you review this process that the Chancellor has said that he will not approve any centers and institutes until a regulation is in place.
Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Robarge reported that the information on diversity training will be presented at another meeting.
Senator Robarge reported that Vice Provost Joanne Woodard sent a representative, Beverly Jones to address the Personnel Policy Committee regarding several Programs that OEO has in existence and primarily to ask if there were some ideas the committee could put forward to have more faculty involvement. He reminded the Senators of a report from minority students at the close of last academic year and stated that to some degree these programs might be an answer to that report.
Three Programs were brought to the committee’s attention:
- The Equal Opportunity Institute, which is a yearlong program that addresses equal opportunity issues and it, is also a training program.
- The National Coalition Building Institute, which is a much shorter time frame.
- The study circles on race and race relations.
All of these have continuing education associated with them and requirements to earn those credits.
Senator Robarge stated that he had a very frank discussion with Ms Williams about time demands on faculty time and that it wasn’t a question of non interest but a question of this falling along the category of everything else that is sitting on their desk for priority issues.
Senator Robarge suggested that Ms. Williams address the Senate during the spring semester.
The committee also looked at beginning to think of these excellent training opportunities as capstone courses in some of our undergraduate programs rather than having undergraduates take these programs separately.
Regulation 01.25.01 – Centers and Institutes
Senator Robarge reported that the Personnel Policy Committee read the regulation and have suggested minor edits to Matt Ronning.
Senator Robarge moved that the Faculty Senate approve Regulation 01.25.01 with modifications that have been suggested to Matt Ronning.
The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
Academic Policy Committee
Senator Neal Blair, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee stated that at the beginning of the semester there was concern about a faculty member using myspace.com to serve as the central host for a course. There was some discussion and the faculty member was convinced that it might not be the best host to use. The Provost issued a request that all NC State courses be hosted on the NCSU.edu domain. The Academic Policy Committee met with Senior Vice Provost Katie Perry and Tom Miller and Donna Petherbridge from DELTA to discuss the issue.
Senator Blair stated that legal issues are involved and the biggest issue is that of the student’s privacy or right to privacy. The student has a right to privacy on almost anything including whether anyone knows what courses they are enrolled in so one has to be very circumspect and this has to be dealt with as a university. “We as a university have to deal with how we might address that and at the same time maintain some flexibility with experimentation with new technologies. Anyone with concerns or ideas can send them to the committee for it to discuss further and then report back to the Senate.
Provost Nielsen stated that he thinks the proper way to develop our thinking would be to have a few resource people coordinated by Senior Vice Provost Perry to work with the committee as the source of this policy document.
Tom Miller and Donna Petherbridge have volunteered to come to the Faculty Senate meeting to discuss this issue.
Dean Conway stated that the separation and the tools that were being talked about had to do with those tools that allow students to be brought into connection with people that might be part of a large group that had nothing to do with the class, which was the fundamental issue that started the conversation. There is the issue of having the university invest in tools and wanting those tools to be the best tools possible. He suggested that the time should be spent using those tools versus those tools that faculty have experience with that do much of the same thing. “We are talking about that third kind of issue, that other order issue where students might be exposed to elements that have nothing to do with the course itself, and that really is an issue that has to be addressed.”
Senior Vice Provost Perry stated that the myspace issue was not that you sent them out to use a tool, the entire course was hosted there and the way myspace was set up, there were privacy issues and there were some advertising issues.
Senator Blair and Senator Hudson are organizing a faculty forum to discuss what was going to be version two of the new GER recommendations. It is still very much a work in progress. The tentative plan is to have a campus-wide forum on January 17 from 3-5 at Stewart Theater. John Ambrose and the task force would be there to present their thinking about the next version of their recommendations and then there would be an update, and a question and answer comment period.
Please send any comments to Neal Blair.
Chair Allen adjourned the meeting at 5 p.m.