1. Call to Order
Chair-elect James D. Martin called the fifth meeting of the fifty-third session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair-elect Martin welcomed Senators and guests.
Chair-elect Martin announced that on November 30 the second annual of the university budget meetings will be held at 3 p.m. in room 124 Dabney Hall.
Last week the Faculty Senate passed a resolution about the graduate student support plan. Chair Martin noted that Dean Lomax is beginning the process of creating the process to evaluate our graduate programs.
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate had a discussion on trying to make the General Faculty meeting a more useful meeting. They have decided and Provost Nielsen is going to be working with them on making the Spring Faculty meeting a little more useful by having a forum on graduate education.
Comments from Chair-elect Martin
A research university by its very definition is inefficient. Research can be very tiring and very frustrating but it is very rewarding. It can be rewarding with that discovery, and since that is what drives us we put up with these inconveniences because of that reward and that passion.
Participation in university governance requires that we bring practitioners from the laboratory, from the classroom and from the boardroom or the conference room together to bring out the best and most creative ideas to insure the best governance of the university, not the most efficient. Do we have better things to do with our time than be involved in faculty governance? Well sometimes the answer needs to be yes but sometimes I hope the answer is no and it obviously is for all of us because we decided to commit a portion of our time to faculty governance. It is important. It is worth our time. It allows us to do things that can’t otherwise be done, so I began this welcome for today’s session of the Senate by thanking each of you for your participation in this inefficient business of a research extensive university and the inefficient business of faculty governance. Thanks to all the Senators and thanks to all the administrators who also put up with the headaches to do something we can’t otherwise do.
3. Approval of the Minutes Meeting No. 4, October 10, 2006
The motion passed unanimously to approve the minutes.
4. Remarks by Chancellor Oblinger
Chancellor Oblinger reported that Provost Nielsen, Dwayne Larick from the Graduate School, and Bailian Li of International Progams are in China signing six memoranda of understanding that he believes will be a real asset to the university.
Board of Governors Meeting
The tuition policy has been approved and it gave the parameters that are outlined in the new tuition policy that governs the University of North Carolina System. There is a combined tuition and fee rate for resident undergraduates, nonresident undergraduates, and graduate students but the particular policy itself governs only a couple of parameters relative to undergraduate tuition.
The combined tuition and fee rates for resident undergraduates shall remain in the bottom quarter of our peer campus group. Combined rates for non-resident undergraduate students should remain below the top quarter in that same pool.
The maximum annual increase for campus initiated tuition and general fees (athletics, health services, student activities, education and technology) for undergraduate resident students would be capped at 6.5%, which is meant to be predictable over a period of four years. Fees are required for debt service like the retirement of debt bonds outside of that 6.5% maximum. Twenty five percent of the revenues from the tuition shall go to ranked faculty salaries, which is specified in the policy. Also specified is that at least 25% of the new tuition revenues shall be added to the campus pool for need based financial aid. Historically this university has put between 48 and 52% of campus initiated tuition increases into need based financial aid. The remaining revenues can go into academic excellence broadly defined as improved library services, counseling services, reduction in class size, increases in sections, enhancements of student services, things that this campus has historically done with that difference.
The tuition task force recommended that 54% of our campus initiated tuition increase would go into need based financial aid (undergraduate students; graduate student support plan; professional DVM Program), 25% would go into salaries for faculty and the remaining 21% would fall under the categories of academic excellence support.
The fees were 6.5% as well which would allow us to increase our fees across the spectrum of seven or eight categories by potentially $65.40 but the recommendations are for less than that and the debt service retirement fees are beyond the 6.5% cap.
President Bowles is asking the General Assembly for $44M to bring the entire ranked faculty across all of the campuses into the eightieth percentile range of salary as it relates to their peer group.
Tomorrow, Jim Zuiches, Vice Chancellor for Extension, Engagement and Economic Development will be making a presentation to the Coffman Foundation. The system has been invited to participate in a competition for some $10M in funding that would infuse the entrepreneurial spirit, the innovation spirit in both undergraduate and graduate education.
This year the Emerging Issues Forum is going to focus on higher education. Much of this program will deal with the commission report on the Commission on the Future of Higher Education AKA the Spellings Report. Dr. Mary Schweitzer has been awarded a five-year, $625,000 fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. She was one of twenty researchers, which is a true accomplishment for her and very good for the university.
Four new deans have been hired and they have hit the ground running, which is going to be very good for us and for the university.
There will be a yearlong celebration of events to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of having African-American students on campus.
Senator Richard Burr will present a Silver Congressional Award to Steven MacEachern, a senior in Business Management for a variety of leadership roles he has played since he was in high school and have continued here. The presentation will take place Friday on this campus.
The groundbreaking for the new mathematics and statistics building took place on Friday, October 13, 2006 in a parking lot known as Riddick Stadium.
Chancellor Oblinger had previously reported about the Africana Studies Major in Humanities and Social Sciences as they seek to broaden that portfolio in their overall contribution to the excellence of NC State. They will celebrate that major tonight by listening to a lecture by Dr. James Stewart, Vice Provost for Education Equity and Director of the Black Studies Program at Penn State University.
Chancellor Oblinger urged everyone to vote on November 7.
5. Web Design
Debbie Griffith, Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs remarked on the rebuild of the NC State website.
The Web Advisory Committee is composed of approximately thirty faculty, staff, students, administrators and alumni who are all coming together to help rebuild the site.
A university wide committee has been appointed by the Chancellor to oversee the core website. That project will include rebuilding the homepage as well as the creation of new content level pages.
The time line they are on is beta site testing in the spring and then a public launch some time in the spring if everything goes well.
6. Peer Institution Benefits Study
Barbara Carroll, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources shared a survey that was conducted by UNC General Administration to collect information about benefits offered by the institutions of the university compared to their peers.
The survey on benefits covered some major benefits medical insurance, briefly dental and vision. It looked at two types of retirement programs, the defined contribution plans, which are the ORP as well as the defined benefit plan, which are the TSERS pension type plan. It also looked at tuition benefits that are provided by universities.
Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Paul Williams, Chair of the Resources and Environment reported that the committee met with David Rainer, Tom Younce, and Eddie Farmer in September to discuss the issues that were raised by Senator Robarge concerning burglaries that occurred in Gardner Hall. The committee learned that this campus by comparison to a city this size is a remarkably safe place. Most of the crimes committed on campus are larceny and in most cases are simply opportunities.
The committee discussed the number of private security personnel on campus. Chief Younce told them that Public Safety has a contract for private security people whose only responsibility is to check for locked doors but Public Safety has no control over the hiring of security people by other units on campus. The committee thinks it would be a good idea for anyone choosing to employ private security personnel to communicate with Public Safety so they would know that these people are on campus.
The committee was also concerned about the keying issue. The perception that Public Safety seems to have is that it is the key problem and that problem is going to have to be dealt with by the individual units.
Academic Policy Committee
Senator Neal Blair, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee reported that the committee addressed a request from a senator about where the university stood on online course evaluation.
The Academic Policy Committee met with Karen Helm, Director of University Planning and Analysis to get some perspectives on things.
Karen noted that the university seeks the use of these evaluations largely at the faculty level and the greatest concern is in dealing with promotion, tenure, salary, and raises. Karen also looks at these for campus wide planning and she is concerned with the present paper system because she feels that it is not uncommon not to get responses for whole courses or to get responses for course numbers that don’t exist because the faculty members decided to change one and not tell anyone.
The task force is concerned about the response rates. The taskforce seems to be very divided on the strength, the type of incentive to use. Some people would like to have a very hard incentive that would more or less coerce the students.
Another issue that has come up is data security. How would this be dealt with? Karen is very insistent that there would be firewall and there should be adequate regulations in place so that this data can’t be misused.
Karen is also looking for a volunteer from the Faculty Senate to serve on the task force.
Secretary Bruck volunteered to serve on the task force.
Comments from Parliamentarian Corbin
Parliamentarian Corbin thanked everyone for serving in faculty governance.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed unanimously to adjourn the meeting at 5:10 p.m.