FACULTY SENATE MEETING
April 22, 2008
Present: Chair Martin, Secretary Kellner, Parliamentarian Corbin, Ambaras, Akroyd, Anson, Bernhard, Dawes, Domingue, Evans, Fauntleroy, Fleisher, Hanley-Bowdoin, Havner, Hergeth, Heitmann, Hudson, Levy, Lindbo, Moore, Murty, Overton, Poling, Raymond, Ristaino, Schweitzer, Scotford, Ting, Wessels, Williams
Excused: Past Chair Allen; Senator Lindsay
Absent: Senator Muddiman, Ozturk, Robarge, Shamey, Walker
Visitors: Jim Oblinger, Chancellor; PJ Teal, Secretary of the University; Tom Younce, NC State Police; Marcia Gumpertz, AVP, Faculty & Staff Diversity; Tom Roberts, Professor, Physical Education; Cynthia Hemenway, Professor, Molecular & Structur. Biochemistry; Yvette Griffin, Directory of University Benefits; Abdel Fahmy, Professor Emeritus; Cheryl Brown, ACE Fellow; Lee Fowler, Athletics Director; Donn Ward, Professor & Faculty Athletic Representative; Michael Escuti, Assitant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; John Franke, Professor of Mathematics
1. Call to Order
Chair James D. Martin called the sixteenth meeting of the fifty-fourth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Remarks
Chair Martin welcomed senators and guests.
Chair Martin congratulated Senator Margery Overton on being elected Chair Elect of the Faculty.
Chair Martin welcomed the new senators:
Tom Roberts-General Constituency
David Muddiman-PAMS returning
Chris Anson-CHASS returning
Michael Kocurek-Nat. Res.
K. L. Murty-ENG-returning
Chair Martin noted that the College of Textiles will need a run-off (Renzo Shamey or Richard Kotek) and the College of Education has not conducted their election.
The Executive Committee will meet on Thursday.
The NC State University and UNC-Chapel Hill Executive Committees will meet over dinner on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center.
Volunteers are needed to serve on the committee to select the book(s) for the campus summer reading.
Mediators are needed to serve the campus in dispute mediations. Those interested in serving will be professionally trained, and will help to serve the campus in dispute mediation. For more details contact Dick Bernhard.
The UNC Tomorrow faculty response is due to General Administration on May 1st. The Faculty Assembly passed a resolution asking that faculty take a look at the campus responses and provide a perspective. That information is to be turned in to the Faculty Assembly on May 31.
Chair Martin made a proposal that as soon as the report comes out in early May that there be two hearing sessions that will be open to the entire faculty.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 14 April 8, 2008
The motion passed to approve the minutes as corrected.
4. Remembrance of Professor Emeritus Fikry
Professor Emeritus Fahmy presented a memorial statement to honor the memory of Dr. Mamdouh “Jim” Fikry, who died of a rare, incurable disease CJD, earlier this month. Dr. Fikry was a Professor in the college of Engineering from 1980 until his retirement in December 2001. He served consecutive two-year terms on the Faculty Senate.
5. Remarks from Chancellor Oblinger
Chancellor Oblinger congratulated the newly elected senators.
Chancellor Oblinger commented briefly on campus safety and presented a DVD. He stated anyone and everyone could learn from the DVD because it deals with an active shooter.
If anyone would like to share the DVD with their department they can contact Tom Younce, Chief of Campus Police.
Comments from Chief Younce
Chief Younce commented that North Carolina is one of the few states in the country where all officers have been trained in responding to active shooters. There probably will not be an active shooter situation at NC State University where a swat team will come because it takes time for swat teams to put it together. Those responding will be university police, RPD, and maybe even Wake County Sheriff’s Department. Each of those groups have received the same training so when they are alive on the scene each person knows what the other is trained to do, which is one of the advantages to what has been done in North Carolina.
Chief Younce handed out a pamphlet that tracks what was presented in the DVD and it also gives an outline of the DVD.
Is there a plan to provide individual training on a large scale?
Younce responded that it would be best to provide training on a small scale. They have several programs lined up for the next two weeks.
Is there a policy on handguns being carried by students and faculty, should there be a Virginia Tech style shooting?
Younce responded that it is against the law in the state of North Carolina.
Chancellor Oblinger stated that there is a nationwide campaign by a large group that professors get permission to carry a concealed weapon as a deterrent; that has been defeated in most states where legislation has come up. It has not been introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly.
What is your opinion about carrying firearms on campus if it was legal?
Younce stated that he thinks it is a bad idea.
We have a large number of people that are close together and what has been shown consistently across the country are those police officers in active shooting situations miss six out of ten times. He stated most of the programs that he has seen across the country in terms of carrying concealed weapons, some states don’t even ask for training, you pay your fee and you get a concealed weapon permit. Those are recognized in North Carolina.
Do you think it’s a good idea during class to lock the doors?
Younce stated that there are some pluses and minuses. The plus side is you have your door locked and the negative side is the shooting may take place in the hallway so it is really an issue that NC State is struggling with along with the colleges and universities across the country.
I wonder in the context of UNC Tomorrow and these discussions what we can do to contribute to the health of the state? Perhaps the Faculty Senate could discuss this and consider a resolution on gun violence and our mission as educators and members of the community to preventing gun violence by preventing the spread of weapon technology.
Chair Martin stated that those are all public policy and social policy issues, which we do need to be engaged with. This is a conversation that is never done. It is a conversation that needs to be ongoing.
6. Old Business
Task Force Report and Proposed Regulation Revision for Post Tenure Review
Chair Martin stated that the report was introduced at the last meeting and there were a couple of questions raised that the task force has tried to address.
There was confusion as to when was the frequency issue ‘more than’ and when was it ‘less than’ so in section 2.1 the suggestion was to simplify it to say that every tenured faculty member shall be reviewed through post tenure review every five years after having been tenured.
In some respects 2.3 could be seen as redundant but the first clause feels like protection to the faculty member and the second clause probably feels like (reading the policy from the administrative perspective) that if you have met expectation, the next post tenure review should not occur in fewer than five years. The other clause is just to remind people that post tenure review is not the same thing as any other review that goes on, based on the academic tenure policy.
In the departmental rule section there was a question about whether we should have some link to the statement of mutual expectation or not. Discussion on the task force moved away from trying to link them – “this is what the standard should be.” Statements of mutual expectation are things that are negotiated between the individual and the individual’s unit head supervisor. The standards are more departmental issues as opposed to individual issues, so the importance here is that departments need to put together rules that describe what the standards are going to be that the department chooses.
With respect to SMEs you will note in 5.4 the SME is not to be something completely separate from the process, but the SME does not in itself define the standards so the recommendation is we leave the wording as it was by the task force, but clearly departments need to come to terms with what those rules are going to be.
There was an issue raised in 6.4 which was if there were multiple consecutive years of post tenure review the concern raised was that it implied that previously the post tenure review committee would be the one to refer to disciplinary action. The post tenure review committee has nothing to do with disciplinary action so the suggested revised wording would be for those whose performance does not meet expectation multiple consecutive years, the post tenure review process may support an administrative decision to refer, etc.,etc. This is an attempt to clearly say that it is the administrator’s responsibility to make that referral but that doesn’t mean that multiple consecutive negative post tenure review cannot inform that decision.
How in line are we with the other fifteen units in the systems in terms of a policy? Where were we in the past and where are we trying to be?
Chair Martin stated that a report was published last year looking at post tenure review and NC State had the stiffest response. The outcomes were the stiffest and the policy varied all over the map.
Once we are at a stage where it is ready to go, I plan to provide this document to all of the other campuses because this is a topic of active conversations. Betsy Brown, Special Assistant to the Provost has done professional research on post tenure review and she is very pleased with this and also pleased with the process. We have all recommended sending this to other campuses and it will not be a surprise that many of them will take it up, so I think we are well on the way to being the leader in this.
We tried to make sure what we put together was consistent with AAUP guidelines on their recommendations for post tenure review, which came out a few years ago.
When you said that NC State was the strictest did you mean that we dismissed more tenure faculty than other universities?
Chair Martin responded that NC State has dismissed more than all the other universities combined.
A motion was made and seconded to send the document forward for vetting through the university process.
The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution on Teaching Evaluations
Secretary Kellner read the resolution for a second reading.
Senator Levy read an abstract of some comments from his colleagues. He stated that the discussion was basically asking departments to set standards of reasonability. When we don’t know what that means we can have a class of ten and a 50% response rate of a class of ten is different from a 50% response rate of a class of one hundred. Basically the response was that we should not endorse this policy as is, that we should not even allow the departments at this point to use evaluations because the tool that they are using is flawed.
Senator Akroyd stated, he was involved with Ethan Schecter when he was here as University Planning and Analysis. Our department was part of the pilot study for the online teaching evaluations. I’m not sure if the current evaluation, how close that was to the one we ran our data on. I think we may need to check out a little further with the people in University Planning and Analysis before we assume that is the case.
Secretary Kellner stated that he was not dealing with anything that the Faculty Senate had the ability to mandate. Rather, dealing with what I know from my corner of the university, a corner that is assiduous in dealing with these procedures, I know how important they are particular for things like tenure cases for junior faculty. I was trying to deal with reality and I was working within the procedures, regulations and rules. So I would just say that this is more of a pragmatic document. It is not meant to mandate that anybody do anything, but rather that departments should be reminded of what they do and don’t have to do; at present they pretty much have a lot of discretion about how these things are used. This resolution reminds them that if they are leaving it up in the air, that they should set a minimum response rate in advance. I think it’s more in the spirit of your responses [to Levy], while dealing with what is written in the PRR.
Chair Martin suggested changing the word “department” in the second and third resolves to “departmental” voting faculty and the word “that” to “whether.”
Several friendly amendments were made to the resolution.
A motion was made and seconded to adopt the resolution. The motion passed with one opposition.
Resolution in support of Athletics Director Lee Fowler
Senator Williams read the resolution for a second reading.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the resolution. The motion passed unanimously.
Chair Martin thanked Lee Fowler for his regular attendance at Faculty Senate meetings, for his respect and value for the faculty, and for his continuing efforts to maintain a strong academic/athletics program.
It is not uncommon in Higher Education to view athletics as not really being of “significant academic character.” But I think there are alsotimes when the side of the house may have some things to learn from athletics. How many of our academic programs won a division championship or went to the sweet sixteen this year? Some times when advising students, I have to ask them if an attitude that is satisfied with a C would take any of our teams to a winning season. And, as faculty, is our “coaching” to the level we need for Division I academics?
Your athletic programs are under the spotlight every year, and you work hard to represent us well. The rest of us are not always under the same kind of spotlight, but on occasion maybe we need to take some inspiration from your teams to drop and do 20, take a few more laps, and think strategically to ensure we are effectively playing in NCAA Division I Academics.
I personally want to thank you for the example you can set and encourage all of us to think about learning something from the team. Sometimes we spend too much time going in the other direction.
7. News Business
EG 05.20.31: Tenure Clock
Chair Martin stated that the policy has been reviewed by the Personnel Policy Committee and it was worked on by a task force including faculty administrators. There was one change in section 3.3 where we were talking about the number of extensions that would be possible. The policy stated that a maximum of two automatic extensions would be granted. At this point in this policy you were referred to academic tenure policy. The point in academic tenure policy dealt with the situation if the person was appointed as an instructor prior to getting your academic tenure appointment, that is when there was this eighth year, you have to have the decision made before the eighth year of service. That was the intent of the committee from discussions with Marcia Gumpertz, that automatic extensions would be granted and that we just add the implied language rather than going back and trying to revise the academic tenure policy as well, it would now read “such that notification regarding conferral of tenure shall not be postponed beyond the eighth year of service following the start of the Assistant Professor’s first appointment."
Senator Overton stated, we have had this extension of the tenure clock policy in place. The change here is simply automatic extension and the reduction in paper work that is required to implement that, and by adding this language it does make it very clear that two extensions can be automatic. Additional extensions can occur. They would need to do additional paper work describing the case and, if it is deem to be justified by the department head on up the chain, then it could happen.
Chair Martin noted that with the automatic it is worthwhile to note that for the most part the automatic has to do with the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act). The easiest automatic is of course the birth of a child or adoption. Otherwise, there is a process to get approval for family medical leave.
Assistant Vice Provost Gumpertz stated that the way it currently works is that if you want an exception you apply to your department head and then the department head to the dean and the dean to the Provost and that route is also still available in the proposed revision.
The proposed revision offers two additional routes for applying for tenure clock extension. If you have a new child in the family, you submit a notification of a new child in the family to the department head and it is submitted to the Provost and that is automatically granted.
The second route in this proposal is if you take family medical leave of two months or more that that will automatically trigger this extension and the third route is the current method of applying and going through the department head to the dean and then to the Provost.
Assistant Vice Provost Gumpertz pointed out that in the first two cases where it is an automatic approval you have the option of being considered for tenure either in an extended year or the original scheduled. There is a timeline of when you need to notify as to which year you actually want your tenure consideration to be made.
Secretary Kellner wanted to know, if the normal year for tenure consideration is the sixth year, with one extension, it becomes the seventh year and this places a limit. He noted that after two extensions one comes up in the eighth year. but if you come up for tenure and are notified in the eighth year, then you have a ninth year and you are gone or tenured.
Senator Overton responded yes, that the eighth year would be the year of your review and if you were turned down then you would still have that one year.
Senator Anson wants to know if there is a consistent start of the departmental process at NC State.
Chair Martin stated that it would seem to him that the policy, because it allows for discussion through the normal process. If in doubt, have conversation with department head, dean, etc.
A motion was made and seconded to support the policy. The motion passed unanimously.
The motion passed to approve the minutes.
Senator Overton reported one item the Personnel Policy Committee took on was a discussion of how to move from NC State’s current status of having a hearings guideline on the web to a hearings policy and it has been work in progress all year and it is not complete.
Chair Martin stated that it is an issue of concern that will be addressed next year.
Senator Moore reported that the Governance Committee started work on the policies manual. He handed out a one-page document of what they hope next year’s Governance Committee will accomplish.
9. Nomination for 2008-2009 Executive Committee
Chair Martin handed out the list of senators eligible to serve on next year’s Executive Committee. The six senators with the highest number of votes will be selected.
10. Closing Remarks by Chair Martin
First of all I would like to thank each of the Senators for your contribution to Faculty Governance this year. It is the ideas, and the creativity of people that provide the success to faculty governance.
Not to single any one out in particular, but I would like to particularly recognize and thank Janet Hudson, Gary Moore, Margery Overton and Paul Williams for chairing our standing committees, and the other members of the Executive committee, Amassa Fauntleroy, Martha Scotford, Mehmet Ozturk, Linda Hanley-Bowdoin and Secretary Hans Kellner for all their hard work and candid opinions.
I would like to also recognize and thank all the Senators whose term has expired, and who will not be joining us next year.
Completing a second term of service:
Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, Gary Moore, Wayne Robarge, Walter Wessels, and Amassa Fauntleroy.
Resigning after 1.5 terms: Greg Dawes
Leaving the Senate after one term:
Dana Raymond, Duane Akroyd, Jan Genzer, Mehmet Ozturk, John Heitmann, Thomas Evans
Thank you to each of you.
We have had quite a year. We have accomplishments to celebrate, as well as issues that are unresolved and challenges ahead of us. We have effectively shown that working together with all vested parties at the table, we can achieve the best interests of the University. We have looked at ourselves and tried to refine our own structure and organization. We have and will continue to look at the University, seeking to help it to become all that it can be. We will celebrate its strength, critique its weakness, and work to help it grow and mature.
I think we can all take pride in leaving faculty governance stronger at the end of the year than where we started in the beginning of the year.
Now it is time for a well-deserved and productive break. Throughout the summer as you reflect on the year don’t hesitate to be in touch with me about ideas for next year. I look forward to picking up new challenges in the fall.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.
The motion passed unanimously to adjourn the fifty-fourth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate.