FACULTY SENATE MEETING
November 3, 2009
Present: Chair Overton, Past Chair Martin, Secretary Hergeth; Parliamentarian Weiner: Senators Akroyd, Anson, Argyropoulos, Auerbach, Bernhard, Carver, Croom, Edmisten, Franke, Genereux, Hatcher, Havner, Headen, Hemenway, Khater, Kidd, Kiwanuka-Tondo, Kocurek, Kotek, Levy, Paur, Roberts, Williams
Excused: Provost Arden; Senator Sawyers, Townsend
Absent: Senators Fahmy, Fleisher, Krim, Miller-Cochran, Murty, Poindexter, Poling, Akroyd, Poindexter, Poling
Guests: Jim Woodward, Chancellor; P. J. Teal; Secretary of the University; Marcia Gumpertz, Diversity & Inclusion; Marc Okner, Director Employee Relations; John Ambrose, Interim Dean, DUAP; Lee Fowler, Athletic Director; Lindsay Batchelor, Sustainability Office; Jeff Hightower, Facilities Operations; Betsy Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
1. Call To Order
Chair Overton called the fifth meeting of the 56th session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Overton reported that the Executive Committee members have reviewed seven regulations this semester and they will be posted to the website so the faculty can see the actions that have been taken.
Chair Overton reported that she has logged ten issues of concern so far and she plans to also post them on the web.
Chair Overton requested that the Faculty Senate committees give comments by the last meeting in the fall on how they have been spending their time this semester—not necessarily a formal report, but conversations on the kind of things that are keeping them busy.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 4 October 6, 2009
The minutes were approved as written.
4. Comments from Chancellor Woodward
Chancellor Woodward is approaching the end of his fifth month as Chancellor at this institution, and he feels that it has been a rewarding five months. “I think this is a marvelous institution and I have enjoyed working with this group. I’m pleased with the relationship that has developed. I expect to be here for the rest of the academic year and I do look forward to continuing to work with you.”
State Employees Combined Campaign
Chancellor Woodward reported that the State Employees Combined Campaign has ended, and NC State exceeded its goal. The percentage of participation went up this year.
Chancellor Woodward stated that when you have a successful campaign such as this at a financially difficult time, it is a good signal. This is one of the things that he plans to report to the Board of Trustees in a couple of weeks.
Chancellor Woodward reported that in the first quarter revenue was down a few percent, but the university is still in good shape because we planned for a 5% reversion this year. He stated that it will probably be February before we have a good projection of revenues for the remainder of the year.
The General Assembly included in the appropriation field last year a $200 or 8% increase, whichever is less, for 2010-2011. President Bowles has had discussions with the leadership of the House and Senate asking that the plan be relieved, that we can submit campus initiated tuition increases. He has also asked the campuses to propose what we would like to do. At this point, he is not certain that whatever the campuses propose will be approved by the Board of Governors or ultimately permitted by the General Assembly, but this is a movement in the right direction.
Chancellor Woodward has endorsed the following recommendation from the Tuition Review Committee and has forwarded it to the Board of Trustees:
$150 increase for undergraduate students
$200 increase for all other students
Chancellor Woodward explained that this is consistent with the informal instructions we were given by the President, that none of the instate tuition increases are more than $200, and the committee’s recommendation to him was $150 for in-state undergraduate students; $200 in-state graduate students; $200 all out-of-state students.
The judgment right now is that we have to be careful in pushing up our out-of-state tuition if we want to maintain the enrollment especially of graduate students. If the Board of Governors approves this, then 50% of the new funds will go for need-based financial aid.
Chancellor Woodward reported that the instructions received on what fees could be presented were as follows:
Total increase of fees is restricted to 6.5% not including debt service fees. However, because the renovation of the Talley Student Center would incur such large debt service fees, and because whatever we propose has to be approved by the President and the Board of Governors, we internally held the total fee to 6.5% including debt service fees. The net increase ends up being about $102, and the debt service fee for the Tally project will be the first in a series of increases, which will be $83 next fall on an annual basis, then it would jump to $185, $275, and a maximum of $290.
Chancellor Woodward asked why we would do something like a student center renovation that at this particular time. He stated that there is no best time to put fees of this type in place, but if we believe that the economy has bottomed out, and that we are starting on the upswing, this is probably the best time to put a graduated fee into place. So we probably have found the best time, rather than when the economy is going down.
The debate about why would we ask the students to build something like this, it is because for campuses like NC State there is no state money for student activities. Either you build it with student fees or you do not build it at all.
Chancellor Woodward stated that the Talley Student Center was built in 1972, and it should have been replaced/modified fifteen years ago. It is the worst student union building in the state. This project, if approved by everybody, will allow us to proceed with the design, so that it will probably get under construction early 2011 and completed in 2014. There has been opposition to the fee increase by certain student groups, and there will probably be some presence at the Board meeting when this is discussed. This is in concert with what we have been talking about in trying to push this project forward and it is in concert with what has been discussed with the Board of Trustees, the President, and the Board of Governors. “I am hopeful that the fees will be approved all the way up and we can proceed aggressively with redoing Talley and building a Student Union that will adequately support this campus in the years ahead.”
Chancellor Woodward stated that the goal was to get a house redesigned and get it under contract while he’s here. When he got here there was a design for a Chancellor’s House by committee, which was a 13,000 square foot house that probably exceeded five million dollars in construction, a house that was too big and could not be justified.
Chancellor Woodward explained that in Charlotte he had the experience of moving into a new house, and building a new house on campus before he retired. These houses are extraordinary resources for the university to make friends, generate support for the campus and so forth. Therefore one of his goals at UNC-Charlotte was to build a new chancellor’s house on campus, taking the experience of using that first house, modifying and then building a house. That was done and the Charlotte House is about 8,000 square feet. What we did here at NC State was to take the plans for the Charlotte House, redesign them for this campus, and the house here can be built in the neighborhood of 3 million dollars. It will be located on Centennial Campus right around the lake from where the Alumni Center is now. The Dean of Design has been an extraordinary partner in redoing the house, and it is critical to bring in a house that we can afford and can be used to serve the campus. But it’s also important that we build a house that the College of Design can be proud of: It will have a modern presence to the house, but he thinks one that will fit into the setting of Centennial Campus. Chancellor Woodward noted that the house will not be like the Park Center, but he thinks it will be a marvelous design both from a functional standpoint and from a presentation standpoint as people come up to the house.
Status of Chancellor’s House
The plan is to finalize the interior design in a meeting tomorrow. Ann Goodnight has been a key financial supporter of this new house, and she has sort of chaired the External Steering Committee. She plans to visit the Charlotte House on Friday. The Exterior Steering Committee will get together within the next two or three weeks.
Chancellor Woodward stated that he plans to get this house under contract, and he expects we will start to see work on the house in February at the latest. The downstairs area is designed to accommodate events that will fit the university. The second floor is the living quarters, but the downstairs is for entertainment. The chancellor encouraged the faculty to keep up with this project.
What are the plans for the old residence?
Response: You would normally give a house like that to a unit on campus that has limited interactions with the community since it would not accommodate large numbers. The house will remain a part of NC State and the use of the house will be decided.
Are the plans for the house going to be posted on the web?
Response: Yes, the architecture has got to achieve an institutional purpose.
We shouldn’t build a house that the Design College cannot feel good about. The architect who has been identified does modern work but it is not extreme—it will be a look that will fit into the site and will present the university as well.
Senator Kiwanuka-Tondo asked a question about the environment as you come into the house.
Chancellor Woodward responded that the first design was a non-functional house from a user stand point—it had four floors including a sports bar in the basement, but the mistakes made with the design of the house was that practically all of the molding was custom made, doors custom made, and one simply cannot spend $6M to build a Chancellor’s house. You can design a beautiful house that our College of Design can be proud of. You can take off the shelf molding and build up profiles that look marbled, and those are some of the restrictions that will be given to the architect.
Chancellor Woodward stated that it is critical that as you walk into a Chancellor’s house as a visitor you should walk into a place that feels like a home, not a meeting hall or a conference center. So, the size of the entrance halls, the way in which you flow in and out of the adjacent rooms, the whole appearance of the house must present it as a home that you have been invited into. We have to hold down the cost, and you do that by saying we are not going to have custom built windows, so that is the kind of constraints that we are putting into the house.
Martin—Tuition and Fee Issue
I’m very glad to see that we are pushing upon the idea of the CITI, but what concerns me is, do we have any kind of eventuality planning if it does go through, particularly for the faculty promotional raises? I would like to see it moved to have a fixed budget line to take care of that, but given we are at the period of whether we will get the CITI or not, I think that is something that this body should be very concerned about to make sure we have promotional raises covered no matter what.
Chancellor Woodward agreed and stated that part of the argument that the President made was that we would increase the need based financial aid to 50%, and we will not earmark anything for salary increases, which I think long term is terrible. However, this year it is part of the deal that let us keep the campus initiated tuition increases. It was the judgment on part of the President to see how much he had to give in order to get at least tentatively some agreement to do that, but the bottom line is that we must have salary increases when we promote and tenure faculty members, and that is recognized by the Provost as well. How we budget that is not yet clear, but the Chancellor certainly thinks it is important for this body to express its views on how important this is for a campus even at a time budgets might be stable or decreasing. You still have to reward promotion and the achievement of tenure.
What is it about this year that differs from the climate in the way it has been in the past? (Genereux)
Response: If you go back twelve years, there was no campus initiated increase, and then Chapel Hill took the lead and this campus joined them, and then UNC Charlotte did. So with initiating campus based tuition increase is where we got to keep the money. In passing the budget last year 2009-10 and 2010-11, that bill specifically said the tuition increase for next year for each campus would be $200 or 8% whichever is less, and there would be no campus initiated increases. So that is what is on the table right now and what President Bowles was arguing for to come off the table: not letting us submit a campus tuition increase. Assuming the Board of Governors approves and returns the authority of campus initiated increases, this is what he would give in return. The GA has never projected what the tuition increase is going to be in the second year of the biennium, and on State campuses you cannot propose anything else, so he was simply trying to get them to come off that unique act.
What is the hostility toward using the tuition increase for this purpose? Genereux
Woodward—there is no hostility. It is a matter of if you are trying to argue them off of a decision they have already made. What do you have to put on the table in order to get control over it again and it is his judgment as to what gave him the strongest argument.
We have been asked to give a report on all salary increases from July 1 to September 1. The president is very much aware why we need to increase salaries for promotion and tenure, and increase salaries in general. It is not hostility on his part; it is a judgment call about how he can win that negotiation.
5. Climate Impact Presentation
Jeff Hightower, Director of Utilities Infrastructure Planning and Development stated that he and Lindsay Batchelor, Program Coordinator from the Sustainability Office, have been working on a project to help the NC State campus and to try to provide some view of the future with the campus.
Hightower stated that the US Government and the UN explain sustainability as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. When we look at sustainability we look at three things: economy, environment, and society to try to find a balance between the three and to try to make sure that not one area is impacted more than another.
Lindsay Batchelor stated that their next plan of action is to complete the climate action plan, essentially a plan stating all of their strategies for how the campus might reach climate neutrality.
The climate action plan is a comprehensive plan that includes a target date as well as interim milestones for how NC State will reach climate neutrality. The plan includes introduction, campus emissions, mitigation strategies, education, research and community outreach efforts, financing, and tracking progress.
Batchelor stated that it is important to have faculty, staff, and student input on the process. Anyone who wants to get involved can join a CEST working group, submit a project idea or suggestion, join their listserv or join their facebook group. The websites for the Office of Sustainability are www.ncsu.edu/sustainability and www.ncsu.edu/climate_impact.php.
What are the pros and cons of solar energy panels?
Response: Looking at solar hot water, there are a lot of tax incentive to do those things. You have to join up with a third party that can use those tax credits or it is not cost effective.
What percentage is used on campus, and can we sell some of the produced energy back to the net?
Response: There are many regulations that make this difficult for a public institution without tax incentives, so that we are currently focusing on the base load of energy consumption on campus.
Are we looking at purchasing and encouraging purchasing (e.g., food services) to use local producers?
Response: The group has not yet looked at purchasing, but it considering that down the line.
Are these machines capable of changing the mode (heat vs. energy)?
Are there internal consultants that we can hire and use for the same price?
Response: Definitely—we have been trying to learn from other campuses. There are some consultants out there that have helped their campus through the process. We have decided that the point that we want and need to involve faculty and researchers is at the point when we are implementing the strategies.
Are our faculty involved in the planning process? Response: Yes and no. Yes there are some faculty that are involved. Enough, no. In terms of being able to utilize all expertise that we have on campus in terms of our researcher and being able to make it happen here, that is my ultimate dream, but yet we have expertise here on campus to solve all of these sustainability problems, but it’s easier said than done in terms of being able to make the connection and get that information sent back to the right place so that the right decisions are made and then those operations take effect.
Is Geothermal power not a possibility for our campus?
Response: The payback in our geographic area is very low, especially without being able to use tax incentives.
What has been done in terms of reducing water usage on campus?
Response: There have been a number of issues—shower heads, faucets, toilets that have been replaced. There are rainwater collection sites on campus as well. We have had water competitions with Chapel Hill which was successful; things like that to get people engaged.
What about buildings like Harrelson Hall? What about recovering gray water?
We are following LEEDS standards for Harrelson Hall as well as the new Hunt Library, including water preservation. However, financially energy provides better and faster payback.
Senator Akroyd commented that he thinks when you look at purchasing, who you buy things from, says a lot about what you buy. If we make ourselves greener that is great, he hopes that is something we look at.
Are there plans to look at bicycle paths and lanes, more pedestrian friendly areas?
Response: Yes, quite a large piece in a number of ways. There is a CEST working group designated specifically for transportation.
Is it part of the plan that every new building get LEEDS certified?
Response: Yes, all new buildings and major renovations will be.
Have you seen any viable analysis of the impact of these fluorescent lights?
Response: They are considered financially and environmentally advantageous.
6. Issues of Concern
Senator Headen expressed concern that guidance had not been given by the Chancellor and Provost to the colleges and other units on appropriate use and limitations of new race and ethnicity data collected by the university from incoming students. Specifically, due to survey question and design changes the new numbers cannot be compared with results from previous years to accurately infer change in the racial and ethnical composition of the student body. Chancellor Woodward and Provost Arden will follow-up on this issue.
Senator Levy requested an update on the status of the PE and Health GEP requirement.
Chair Overton reported that the issue has not formally been sent to a committee, that there was discussion in the Executive Committee and she has looked at the numbers that came back from the faculty survey. Those indicated that after looking at the report a lot of faculty was not inclined to go with that plan, she feels that it may need to be addressed more formally.
Chancellor Woodward stated that there has been no proposal on that, and that it rightly generated concern on campus. It was only an issue among many that had been collected, and there are no plans in pursuing this.
Senator Auerbach commented that CUE already voted to leave the PE requirements as they are.7. Adjournment
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting 4:45 p.m.