FACULTY SENATE MEETING
March 24, 2009
Present: Chair Martin, Secretary Kellner; Chair Elect Overton, Provost Nielsen, Parliamentarian Corbin: Senators Akroyd, Ambaras, Anson, Auerbach, Bernhard, Carver, Daemon, Domingue, Edmisten, Fleisher, Franke, Genereux, Havner, Hemenway, Hergeth, Kiwanuka-Tondo, Kocurek, Kotek, Levy, Lindbo, Murty, Ristaino, Roberts, Ting, Tu, Williams
Excused: Fahmy, Headen, Scotford,
Absent: Senators Boone, Honeycutt, Lindsay, Muddiman, Poindexter, Poling
Visitors: Vicki Walton, Assistant Vice Provost; Carolyn Argentati, Associate Vice Provost & Department Head; Suzanne Weiner, Associate Vice Provost for Library Advancement; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; Terry Hill, Library Administration; Susan Nutter, Director of Libraries
1. Call to Order
Chair James D. Martin called the fourteenth meeting of the fifty-fifth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Martin welcomed Senators and guests.
Chair Martin encouraged the Senators to continue efforts to solicit nominations for the college-wide elections. In order to take advantage of the online voting system nominations must be submitted by May 31, 2009, which means you have to provide the names of the candidates. The elections will begin April 13th.
The ad hoc committee for reviewing the academic tenure and non-tenure policy is scheduled to meet on April 1 at 3:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Faculty Senate conference room.
Chair Martin called attention to the announcement that was sent out from Betsy Brown that pertains to the American Council on Education. ACE has a fellows program that is a leadership development program specifically looking for leadership in higher education. There is a meeting scheduled from 2-3 p.m. in 109 Page Hall on Tuesday, April 7 and Thursday April 9, 2009.
Update on the Executive Committee Meeting
Chair Martin reported that the committee discussed the policies coming from the graduate school and they deemed two of them ready for consideration by the full Senate. These have been reviewed by the Academic Policy Committee and have been sent via email. Those were the academic difficulty policy and English Proficiency Policy. If it turns out there needs to be significant discussions today we will table it for later discussion.
The third policy regarding the advanced Bachelor Masters Program raised some more discussions. One of the concerns in particular was the issue of expanding this policy to allow the creation of individualized accelerated Bachelor’s Master Program. Right now I think we have five of these programs on campus where departments or units or consortiums have developed these accelerated five-year Bachelor’s Master Programs.
The committee also discussed some issues of concern that were raised at the last meeting regarding the library in terms of services, budget issues, and some of the bigger IT versus “in-person” issues. We also presented a brief update from the employee demographics working group and we have been following this issue throughout the year to get a handle on how many employees there are where and in what activities. So far we have been provided the data on the tenure and tenure-track faculty – this is the hardest number you can get for year after year data. Those data show that while the tenure and tenure track faculty have stayed basically constant over the last decade and the number of tenured faculty has been on decline. So more of that information will be coming forth as we work on that.
Chair Martin stated that Provost Nielsen discussed the budget cut ideas in some more detail. If you recall we briefly mentioned that at the last meeting where he said the university is working on the strategic 2%, the 5% have been distributed across units and he provided updates on about six of those strategic areas. The challenge is to how and when best to communicate these strategic cut ideas to a larger audience. You don’t want to be too early and you don’t want to be too late in communicating those sensitive issues.
Chair Martin stated that he attended a meeting at Marc Hoit’s request and noted that Vice Chancellor Hoit has been very concerned about making sure faculty get involved as we develop a variety of programs and processes with respect to information technology, but particularly right now is the issue of archiving all email. This is mandated through the Governor’s office. Any email sent through the university system must be archived. We are allowed to use the email for personal use as long as it is within the appropriate guidelines. Once you have archived everything, there are privacy issues with respect to what he has done with that archive. There is a recommendation to potentially put together a private officer who would be the one to fill any request for emails pertaining to a particular topic. We need to make sure that there are protections, both for freedom of information and personnel issues. Both are important and as we go forward policies are going to need to be developed for that purpose. We need to stay on top of that from the faculty’s perspective.
Chair Martin stated, ideally, we need someone that is a little bit paranoid as a snoop, because he feels a person that is a little bit paranoid is going to look at policies and make sure that [the faculty’s interest] is covered.
Chair Martin stated that we also need someone that is a little bit paranoid for the freedom of information and he would like anyone who is interested in doing that to let him now. He stated that we do need to have a good liaison to that committee and Vice Chancellor Hoit is concerned about making sure that faculty are involved at all processes as this develops.
Senator Fleisher wanted to know if the archived email includes messages received from the outside.
Chair Martin stated that anything that goes through a NCSU server is part of the public record.
Provost Nielsen stated that if there is an information request, you find all the emails that relate to that requests and you and someone from the university will review them to make sure that there is not protected information on those emails.
Chair Martin stated that this is an ongoing process.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 13, March 24, 2009
A motion passed to approve the minutes.
4. Remarks from Provost Nielsen
Provost Nielsen didn’t have any remarks.
Senator Auerbach asked if Provost Nielsen knew anything more about President Bowles’s request for furlough permission from the Legislature. He worries that it will be crafted and detailed without faculty input.
Provost Nielsen responded that he doesn’t know anything more about that and part of the reason why he doesn’t have much to say is that since the last meeting the Governor’s budget has come out and there has been a lot of talk about it, but there isn’t anything recent to add.
Provost Nielsen stated that he doesn’t think furloughs are likely this year.
Secretary Kellner asked Provost Nielsen, how would you and the Chancellor feel if after the budget cuts have come out a dean were to go to the press and the Legislature and talk about all of the problems that might derive from your budget cuts.
Provost Nielsen stated that he would prefer that the Deans and Administrative Officers of the University would first discuss it with them and the Public Affairs Office.
Parliamentarian Corbin stated that it is written in the Trustee’s policy that the spokesperson for the university is the Chancellor.
Secretary Kellner stated that everyone has a boss and that is what we are talking about. Obviously I’m thinking that President Bowles is doing something very bold in going to the press, media, and to the legislature. I was wondering how his boss, who has been charged with the state budget, would feel about this and I hope he has discussed it at length with her before doing this.
Senator Williams stated that the Board of Governors eliminated seventy-seven programs system-wide. He asked, was that something that came independently from the Board or were those recommended program eliminations that came up through the separate colleges of these campuses? Where did that come from?
Provost Nielsen responded, the latter.
5. Libraries Update, Susan Nutter, Director of Libraries
Vice Provost Nutter stated that she was invited to speak to the National Humanity Center to talk with the fellows and it turned out that they wanted to talk about how to support humanities in digital age. It is very helpful to think about that and to also hear what they were considering and what problems they were facing. What was very interesting to me was they expressed their appreciation and also said that the majority of the material that they get come from this library, which may surprise you because that [humanities] is not an area of great strength when you compare us with Carolina and Duke. Although surprisingly, when we measure our collections against them we are very strong.
Vice Provost Nutter said what is particularly interesting is that they do not have any person-to-person interaction with librarians and basically they have great service in terms of delivery. I tried to get them to talk with me about the lack of face-to-face and whether they would want to have more face-to-face interaction. They also mentioned that the services there at the National Humanity Center are actually better there than at their home institutions, so what they really loved is having materials delivered directly to them.
Vice Provost Nutter stated that she would like to give us a sense of the number of subject specialists they have and where they have come from and where they currently are.
In 1992 we had 20, in 2001 we had 30, 2008 we had 32, so that is a 60% increase since 1991. This year with budget cuts planned, we are not cutting any subject specialist positions. Now there is some confusion over vacancies, [because] there is a hiring freeze, and we can’t always fill them or the fact that we have a system of contracts and we might have a case of a subsequent appointment, but as soon as we can fill positions, we will fill them. If things get much worse we will have to look carefully. What we are trying to do is to scale our work in such a way that we use technology to do a lot of the mundane work, so that by going more into an electronic mode we can then reduce those positions and increase others, because in the midst of all of this our staff size has decreased by 10 to 15%, so what I want to say unequivocally is that we have increased the number of subject specialists, while the size of our staff has decreased.
We also have an NCSU Library Fellows Program where in order to attract the best and brightest to our library staff. When we don’t have beginning positions, when a lot of people are afraid to come here because this is a science and engineering focused institution, we wanted to find a way to attract them. It has been spectacularly successful, but we have put 45% of those fellows, over time, in the research and information services, so that shows you our commitment -- the rest of them are spread across the library. The largest location has been the research and information services.
We have 32,000 students and there are 2500 faculty and researchers and we are looking at how to serve in a very personal way, 35,000 people. We have a subject specialist for every 1100 persons. That is tough. That means we have to be very smart and constantly chipping away at the low-level work and getting that done, so that we can have more meaningful interaction with all of you and really support our faculty and our students. This has always been our goal in libraries. I think some libraries get confused and lose sight of it and aim for this kind of perfection where every detail is handled exactly in the way that it has always been handled. We cannot afford to do that. We have got to find a way. My goal is [that, because] 99% of transactions don’t require that kind of interaction, we can have really meaningful, really helpful, interactions with our faculty and our students.
One of the things that we do every year is that we have orientation for new faculty members and we do it both semesters. We sit down with them and talk about what they want in a library and what they value. We do it with representative groups of students and we do it with pre students and we try to find middle school students, so that we know what the faculty of the future is really going to be looking for, because it very important that we keep thinking in that way. Now at the same time that we talked about this personal touch I want to show you what has happened with reference transactions and these would be the transactions that take place at the various reference desks. It is down 76% since 1993-94.
Government documents have changed dramatically over the last twenty years and we are seeing the government give away or sell government documents, so that there is no longer government documents that we get free. The average number of circulations per day of government documents in our print collection is only 1 (for an annual total of 369 in 2007/08), and if you look at it compared to the circulations of the print collection in general and the borrowing of materials from other places you can see that it is declining.
Government documents have changed so dramatically and are primarily in electronic form and the way in which we support them has changed dramatically because what we are seeing is that we need to be able to work with faculty and students in terms of analyzing the data, and a particular area of growth and development has been the GIS facial area and applying that particularly to humanities. Humanities research is a very growing area and so we have as many other documents as we ever had, but they have different centralizations. It is much more important now that [librarians] have both library degrees and advanced degrees in the GIS areas. In fact, a lot of our folks are teaching in those programs and we are seeing that the rest of the country has been following our read in this. We now have the international expert in this area who has worked for the Library of Congress in developing the work they are doing and trying to develop work around the world.
Carolyn Argentati, Associate Vice Provost & Deputy Director of Libraries leads the effort both here and across the country in terms of understanding what we needed to be doing with this kind of government information.
Comments from Carolyn Argentati
Since the early 1990’s faculty and students have been coming into the library for information, not only for print sources, various books and journals, but also in the form of data that is used to advance analysis, mapping, and various applications. The US Government started distributing US Census data on CD ROMs in the early 1990’s and it then became a requirement for librarians to be able to help users extract substance to that data and start to put it to use. About eleven years ago we were able to attract the geography and GIS subjects specialist who became an international expert in this area and today our special and numeric data website is a significant resource for researchers in all disciplines. It is an example of how we integrate library links into the mainstream of the internet, where they can be found most easily, so it’s placing it out there where someone doesn’t have to know that within the NC library catalog there is this rich data collection built from data from all levels of government -- not only federal, but state, county, city, and local.
In 2008-2009 there were more than 2.2M hits to this set of WebPages that we now maintain with both published and unpublished government information, so that is kind of the direction that it is going. The feedback that we get for these services is that they are very valuable and are considered successful.
Vice Provost Nutter stated that if we begin to look at what is happening with our digital collections and our full text it is pretty clear that people like having this access to databases, journal articles, and conference proceedings. We are averaging 6000 downloads per day and that doesn’t include the folks who might be using a different IP address.
We see what’s happening with our technology transactions. The demand here is growing astronomically and I think what is encouraging is seeing how students are using technology in published information that is within our collections and the extent with which they are using the library. About two and a half years ago we probably averaged about 5000 people a day in the library and this year we are looking at about 12,000 people.
Question [Senator Kellner]: How do you define a technology transaction?
Argentati responded, in the learning commons we lend a variety of IT related tools, ranging from laptops to GPS receivers, digital cameras, and camcorders, E-books which can be loaned to the user’s selection of titles in our collection, so [it is] a combination of borrowing those devices and also getting help in how to use them to manipulate or access information in whatever way the user wants to. It is a technology enhanced reference transaction.
Vice Provost Nutter stated that the students want digital [media] and we have 350,000 electronic books so we can indeed provide that. They want us to help them develop a website so they can have conversations. They want to have book clubs and to my mind these are very exciting developments and things that we really want to support.
We have been very impressed with the seriousness of our students and particularly if you watch them working. They are using the white boards to teach each other. A lot of that comes from the fact that they can stay there for hours. They can go and get something to eat or drink or play a game in between to take a break. Having the hours and the ability to go from one space to another space really matters to them. I am very encouraged with our students.
I think what is happening is that the skill set, the education, the training for librarians, changed dramatically and every year we are asking more and more for people to be able to do this. There is a good side to that and there is a tough part of it. It is very tough right now when everyone is frozen and we can’t provide people the kind of training, but anyone who wants to train in new areas has that opportunity. We spend a lot of resources so that people can retool themselves so that they can keep up. The profession has really changed. The quality of the work has changed and the opportunity to work directly with faculty and students is actually great in a more meaningful way and we see other parts of the university very interested in our role.
The IT people for example, see our work as very different and they would like to do it, but our work is different. We are not IT people, we are librarians, and we just view the technology as a way of facilitating our work.
A particular interest right now is looking at where we need to go in providing support to faculty in their research in a much more significant way. There have been five major studies done across the country about the kind of support faculty sees they need now that they don’t have and will need even more in the future. We want to be at the front of that. We are also very concerned about the fact that we don’t see as many faculty in the library. That is not a bad thing, but we miss you some time. In the Hunt Library we are planning to have a faculty commons [and] we are going to get input from the faculty on how they would like that to be established. We are proposing that it be combined with the Center for Advanced Inquiries, which is the opportunity for faculty who are on sabbatical staying in the Raleigh area to have an office. We would like to put that, rather than as a separate entity outside the library, we would like to put that in the library so that faculty have the opportunity to be in the library and then we would create the same kind of space in DH Hill.
Paul Williams: In your opinion, do you think the time has come for us to think about requiring all freshmen to have laptops? Do you think it has now reached the point to where that cost is worth it in terms of both in the classroom and interacting with the library.
Vice Chancellor Nutter responded no, the time has past for that. All of the studies that have been done show that students are very worried about theft of their materials and we don’t have space for them to have lockers to store them in.
The other thing is, now you can read books on your cell phone and students are doing that. It looks as though smaller devices are going to be the way to go and they are going to differ by discipline.
We have a fairly large collection of audio books and some problems with them are for example, Apple won’t allow you to download them to a MP3 player. We have more than one million and one problem that we are having is that it is very hard to get information out to people about what we have. That is a very popular service and we loan MP3 players.
Senator Ambaras: A few years ago there was a home “my library” initiative where you were able to set up announcements being sent to you by recent acquisitions in call number series, is that still active?
Argentati stated that it is called “my alerts” now and is located on the main home page.
Senator Ambaras asked if it is still working.
Argentati stated that she would have to check and noted that what they have found is the adoption of “my library” was very low despite our marketing effort because it required the user to take the time to actually develop and maintain a profile and as the web became more dynamic and more sophisticated you can just go in anytime and do a just in time search for the same kind of content that you were spending all this time to get the profile sent to you, so it was an early thing in the internet toward personalization and customization, but then as all the tools evolved so quickly on demand it got eclipsed by that.
Vice Provost Nutter stated that they should be able to do it because she thinks it’s a very valuable tool.
Senator Ambaras stated that as technology transactions are going up, what are the trends in terms of students going into the stacks and actually getting books to do research?
Vice Provost Nutter stated that they are still happening, although circulation has gone down somewhat. We are still buying at the same rate and unless we were to see a dramatic change, I think it is important that particularly for the narrative [areas], but there is an experience that cannot be lost. It is a way of learning and thinking and that is not something that we are giving up. A real benefit of the electronics is for those things that you need immediately, getting it to the desktop. The book is not going away. I think it’s an important experience.
Our special collections are really important to expose our students to and we are trying to figure out more and more how to do that. Director of a National Humanities Center was saying that he believes from his experience that you really can’t do research if you don’t have that experience of working with primary materials. There is something different that happens when you see a digitized page and we have got to make sure that people have these experiences.
Senator Anson stated that Kim Duckett showed him some video models and they were stunning. He recommends that everyone looks at those as an example of a way of providing students with information briefly and in easy to digest form. Are you planning to do more of those?
Vice Provost Nutter responded yes, that this is an area where we would see a growth -- particularly the peer review one. If we can’t get that through to students, the danger of all of this open access is great. We are going out to teach them in the First Year College. We go out to classes and we work with graduate students and we teach an honors course.
Senator Carver stated that every semester she has her students come to the library for a workshop with Kim Duckett and she would hate to see that offering go away because of a lack of personnel. It is important for her students to see a real librarian talk about these services and walk them through it in the library rather than in her classroom.
Vice Provost Nutter stated that she couldn’t agree more. This is where we see the growth and this is why if we can reduce a lot of the processing, a lot of that work, this is what librarians should be doing.
Vice Provost Nutter added that they are going to have, in the Hunt Library, 67 collaborative study rooms that can be booked, but then we are going to use space to provide the same thing here, so we would love to see the tutoring programs, to make these available to you.
Chair Martin thanked Vice Provost Nutter for her presentation.
Secretary of the Faculty
Chair Martin announced that Senator Helmut Hergeth was nominated to serve as Secretary for the next two years.
A motion was made and seconded to close the nomination.
The motion passed unanimously to elect Senator Hergeth by acclamation.
Senator Richard Bernhard and Senator Paul Williams were elected to serve two-year terms on the Faculty Assembly.
Secretary Hans Kellner and Dr. Alton Banks were elected to serve as alternates.
Council on Athletics
Senator Keith Edmisten and Terry Hill, Assistant to the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries were elected to serve three-year terms on the Council on Athletics.
7. Policies to Consider
REG 02.45.1 Academic Difficulty
Senator Hemenway, Co Chair of the Academic Policy Committee reported that some of the language is being changed in terms of what would trigger an academic warning and what the consequences are of an academic warning.
Senator Levy suggested that it be made clear in the policy that graduate students from the College of Veterinary Medicine be exempt from the policy and deferred to the policy at the Vet School.
Chair Martin stated that Dr. Larick, Dean of the Graduate School is going to incorporate that revision into the policy.
Chair Martin wanted to know if there are other professional programs that would fall under this same kind of purview so that language-wise we shouldn’t make it specific to Vet students but should make it specific to professional programs.
Provost Nielsen stated that the DVM is the only officially designated professional degree that we have here.
There was some discussion on the policy and since there were still questions about the wording Chair Martin suggested that the policy not be voted on today, and he asked that ideas be sent him or the Chair of the Committee.
REG 02.15.2 English Proficiency Requirements for International Applicants
Senator Hemenway reported that the changes to this policy are based on a lot of research of peer institutions and also looking at the scores of students that are taking the TOEFL and being admitted here.
A motion passed unanimously to endorse the policy.
Chair Martin thanked Senior Vice Provost Katie Perry for her services to the university and the Senate gave her a round of applause.
The meeting adjourned at 5 p.m.