FACULTY SENATE MEETING
August 24, 2010
Present: Chair Overton, Chair-elect Kellner, Secretary Hergeth, Provost Arden; Senators Argyropoulos, Aspnes, Auerbach, Bernhard, Bourham, Carver, Edmisten, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Hatcher, Havner, Headen, Khosla, Kidd, Kiwanuka- Tondo, Krim, Kotek, Levy, Miller-Cochran, Moore, Paur, Robinson, Rucker, Sawyers, Williams
Excused: Parliamentarian Weiner; Senators Poling, Tonelli, Washington
Absent: Croom, Townsend, Tu
Guests: Jeff Braden, Dean of Humanities and Social Science; Duane Larick, Dean, Graduate School; Marcia Gumpertz, Asst Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Diversity; Betsy Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Marc Okner, Director/SAAO; Marielle Pocan, Assistant to the Provost for Communication; Joel Trussell, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Ethan Harrelson, Student Senate
1. Call to Order
Chair Overton called the first meeting of the fifty seventh session to order at 3 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Overton welcomed Senators and Guests.
Chair Overton introduced the Executive Officers of the Faculty Senate.
The Academic Policy Committee will meet on alternate Tuesdays in 216 Scott Hall.
The Governance Committee will meet in Withers Hall at 3:30pm on alternate Tuesdays.
The Personnel Policy Committee will meet in the Senate Chambers at 3 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays.
The Resources and Environment Committee will either meet at Carmichael gymnasium or the Library; Senator Sawyers will confirm the location next week.
Chair Overton reported that some adjustments have been made to the liaisons assigned to the University Standing Committee because certain standing committees are very specific about the liaisons.
Chair Overton announced that Roby Sawyers has been appointed to serve on the University Budget Advisory Committee and Walter Robinson has been appointed to the Honorary Degrees Committee. Representatives are still needed to serve on the University Research Council, the Advisory Board of the Graduate School, and a number of members or needed to serve on the Watauga Medal Committee.
Chair Overton stated that based on issues that came to her attention she has invited the following speakers to the Faculty Senate meetings during the fall semester.
August 24, 2010
Dean Braden/Duane Larick
Terri Lomax/Debbie Yow
September 21, 2010
October 5, 2010
General Faculty Meeting
October 19, 2010
November 2, 2010
November 30, 2010
Chair Overton announced that the Provost Search Committee has continuously worked over the summer. They launched the semester with two listening sessions for the faculty—one was held last Wednesday and another will be held this Thursday, August 26, 1:00-2:45 PM in the Faculty Senate Chambers.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 14, April 20, 2010
A motion passed to approve the minutes.
4. Comments from Provost Arden
The Provost updated the Senate on the Strategic Planning process, the 2010/11 Budget, and the most recent university rankings.
Provost Arden handed out a schedule of the strategic planning process, an outline of the nine task forces that have been identified.
Provost Arden stated that Chancellor Woodson was keen that a precise strategic plan for the university should been identified.
Provost Arden is enthusiastic because he thinks the university needs a good plan at this time. He stated that if they develop a precise plan it would be a road map for how to move forward and hopefully it would move us significantly in the right direction.
The Chancellor has asked Provost Arden to lead the Strategic planning process and he has asked the Chair of the Faculty to be the co-chair. Provost Arden stated that it is important to him and the Chancellor that this be an inclusive process and not simply something developed in Holladay Hall and then dropped down on everyone.
Provost Arden stated that in June they formed a very small team, designed a process, and then formed a Steering Committee. A planning retreat was held for the University Council on July 23rd and this was an opportunity for the Council to come together and brain storm about the major topics that needed to be addressed. They sent out a survey ahead of time to look for common themes and employed an outside facilitator to come in and lead the Strategic Planning Retreat, which he thought was very productive.
Provost Arden stated that the Steering Committee has met twice since the retreat and has worked on the things that were elaborated at the retreat which is where the nine task forces came from. The task forces synthesized the major things that were enunciated during the retreat and the pre-retreat survey that the University Council had brought to our attention.
5. Strategic Planning Task Forces, 2010-11
Undergraduate Student Success
- Graduate Post Doctoral Program Development
- Faculty Excellence
- Research and Scholarship
- Comprehensiveness and Interdisciplinarity
- Global Engagement Competitiveness
- Partnerships, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
- Campus Culture and Community
- Resource Strategies
Provost Arden stated that this is an encompassing process and rather than just having a small Strategic Planning Committee to really do the nuts and bolts of the work there is a concept to develop four strategic areas and then form task forces around each of those areas. There are more than 300 nominations now to serve on those task forces. The Steering Committee will meet tomorrow to begin singling the task forces out.
Provost Arden stated that the good news is that he thinks that there will be very broad representation from the campus on those task forces. He hopes to have 12 to 15 people on the task forces, which would be a very broad representation of the campus.
The task forces will work widely through September, October, and November. One of the things the Chancellor wanted to do was to make a certain amount of progress on the Strategic Plan or at least have an idea what the task forces were and what major things are identified under each of the task forces by October’s Installation.
Provost Arden stated that the bullet points are not locked down items. They are items that the Strategic Planning Steering Committee force should probably address under each of these task forces. The task forces will have a lot of authority to change these themes.
Provost Arden stated that over the fall there will be various listening opportunities. He thinks it’s important that as we develop the Strategic Plan that this is not done even in the isolation of the task forces, that each of the task forces are charged with reaching out to the university community and taking input from the university community.
Provost Arden announced that there will be a mini retreat of the University Council in January. The Chancellor is going to have a forum on the Strategic Plan in January. There is going to be additional input from the campus on the Strategic Plan during January and February and we are going to move through with further review by the Chancellor taking it to the Board of Trustees and hopefully having it finalized somewhere around May or June 30th.
Provost Arden stated that we are striking for a balance between having an expeditious process, and also having an inclusive process. He is aware of the feeling that the opportunity for input here and the time for the task forces to work is pretty limited. We do not want this to be a process that takes three years because by that time we will need a new strategic plan, but on the other side I really want to emphasize that it is important to the Chancellor and me that this is an inclusive process, that this is a strategic plan that we as a university community develop together.
Provost Arden stated that he is really excited about this plan. Over the last year there have been many issues that had to address with the Provost Office where I would have loved to have a really clear road map for where we should be going, where we should be investing. In many cases that just has not been the case and that is not to be dismissive about our previous strategic plan, but I think there has been a little bit of a tendency for a) to be very administratively developed and b) for it to be very broad and encompassing. If the strategic plan is too broad and encompassing it is not focused enough to give you a real road map.
Provost Arden thinks a great strategic plan has to have two major elements. They have to be both inspirational and aspirational on one side, but it also has to be a road map, which guides our strategic investments. He stated that we are going to have limited resources, we need to know where to put those resources, where to reduce resources, so we are going to have to be very clear about what we are going to do and what we are not going to do. He hopes the university can develop a plan that will be a very clear road map over the next five years.
Where does Extension fit into the plan?
Provost Arden stated where he sees it mostly fitting in is under --Partnership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. We could have some of those comments that we really emphasize partnership as part of the review; partnerships as being inclusive of the effective elements of the university.
Can you speak more about external stakeholders?
Provost Arden stated that one of the things that is probably not possible to do is somehow have a sampling of all the external stake holders. We certainly want to have our Board of Trustees represented and we want to have alumni represented and there may be some key partners under Partnership, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship that want to be involved. I think we are going to have to be a little careful because it is a broad net and as soon as you try to have every internal and external element represented on every committee you are going to end up with very large committees and secondly you run the risk of having a document that makes everyone happy versus a document that clearly tells you what you should be doing; so this is going to be an important element of how we gather that input and it has not been fully defined. I am going to a large degree leave it up to the task force chairs to determine exactly how they want to engage with internal and external elements of the university with respect to their specific task force. I will say that this Strategic Plan will be a little more internally focused than some of the others in the past. I think both the Chancellor and I want this plan to be a little bit more focused on how we do our business and how we invest our resources.
How do the Provost and Chancellor use stuff in the Strategic Plan?
Provost Arden responded that the whole process will be guided by UNC Tomorrow and the NC State response to UNC Tomorrow which was a very external ignited process the begin with, and so we are sort of using all of that in the background and building on that and are now saying, “What do we need to do and how do we need to direct our resources to enable us to meet those objectives?”
Chair Overton asked Provost Arden to talk about the communication plan—
The communications surrounding any major endeavor especially something as big as a university strategic plan has to be thoroughly thought through. It is really important that this is the university plan and not the campus plan or my plan or otherwise. We have had a couple of people help us think through these things. There are a number of ways such as Emails, memos, forums, listening sessions, etc., we want to have multiple ways of how we communicate and not just with the faculty, but staff and students as well. If you are not hearing what you need to be hearing about the strategic planning process, please let us know because it is really important that people feel included in this process.
Ethan Harrelson Student Senate—where do students fall in this process?
Provost Arden stated that Kelly Hooker is the Student Body President and she is a member of the Steering Committee. Kelly and the Student Senate have nominated individuals to serve on the task forces. We have been working with Kelly and the students to get information out, so the involvement of the students is really important.
To put together a workable plan I was wondering: are you all going to have an outside third party facilitator to help?
Provost Arden responded that they have discussed that, but it has not yet been decided.
In the previous plan did you determine what really worked and what did not?
Provost Arden stated that we probably did not have the appropriate bench marks embedded into that plan to enable us to say we were successful or not successful.
How do you envision the relationship to strategic planning and compact planning?
Provost Arden responded that the heart of the question is the fact that no strategic plan is going to achieve its goal unless it is linked in some way to resource allocation. That is the bottom line, except how we link that to resource allocation is yet to be determined.
Provost Arden gave a summary of the budget situation for the last eighteen months.
Provost Arden reported that when the budget came down this year it was better than we expected for a number of reasons
- We had a very positive enrollment increase. The enrollment increase was fully funded by the State of North Carolina. Additional funds came back into the university that we had not planned on.
The big thing that occurred was that the Legislature decided that on top of the campus initiated increase they would also give the system the authority to raise tuition $750 to offset the planned budget cut. Our share of that budget cut would have been about $23M but the $750.00 increase enabled us to generate not quite $20M so that there was only a $3.0M gap we had to close. The combination of those things means that we are going into the year in really good shape.
A letter was handed out from Provost Arden and Vice Chancellor Leffler that was distributed to the Vice Chancellors and Deans. They have asked all the units, the Vice Chancellors and the colleges to identify for academic units up to 9% of their base budget and for non academic units 6% of their base budget and that would be split one third recurring and two thirds non-recurring in terms of requests that they could submit.
Provost Arden stated, once again just like budget cuts there is no intention that allocations will be across the board, they will be prioritized among units and the allocations probably will not end up being half or needed level. The reason that we needed to have the request come in at a high level is because if you are working around a need that is somewhat lower than this we need some to be on the high side and some to be on the low side. The reason we are not putting these monies out permanently at this time is two fold:We have not done our strategic planning yet, so why would we go and put all of our resources out there not knowing what our strategic plan is going to be. We need to hold some back to be able to implement our strategic plan and release resources to the strategic plan.
- The biggest reason is because we do not know what the next budget is going to be like. We don’t know what the 2011/12 budget is going to be like and we are just starting to receive some input from GA and downtown as to what it might look like. There has been a lot of talk that next year’s budget could be the worse of all the budget years and it really has to do with the withdrawal of federal stimulus funds at a faster pace than the economy is recovering and therefore tax revenue has not been good revenue according to the state budget.
The last estimate received was that they are predicting a hole in the base budget of somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5 billion dollars on a 19 billion dollars budget. So, once again we are back in the zone of having to potentially plan for more budget cuts. The situation we are in is very favorable compared to most universities and certainly compared with most agencies in the state, meaning that we have been very proactive in terms of planning the reductions that we have so far. We have been very conservative when making additional allocations and so we are going into this in pretty good shape considering there may be a very significant reduction again. What we would hope is that any reduction that would come through the system into the university in the 2011-12 budget would be offset by:The monies that are in reserve that we are allocating from non-recurring this year would be available as recurring to offset part of the budget reduction
- Further tuition increases
- There may be a need to go back to the units and identify additional cuts
The reality here is if we look at the options, the options would be to sit on this money right now and not begin to seek reinvestment and just say well we are going to sit on it and see what the budget looks like and if we have to we are going to put it toward a budget cut the following year. I don’t think that is the wisest strategy because we know we have immediate needs right now. There are critical things that we need to start investing in and not be so afraid of what the budget cut is going to be down the line, that we don’t start some of that reinvestment. On the other side I think it would be extraordinarily unwise to reinvest all of what we have in reserve now on a recurring basis. So the balance that we came up with was that we need to invest about one third of what we have in reserve on a recurring basis, invest the remaining dollars nonrecurring to hold some of it back to offset a future budget cut. So that is the process that we are going through now. Interestingly, the way that our system works is that so many of our budget discussions including our tuition discussion are almost included in a void. We don’t know what the budget cuts are going to be next year. We don’t know what we will have to tackle to offset that budget cut. What the need for going back on tuition are going to be, so we have to do a lot of background work before you have a really clear view of what the budget is going to be, so that process is starting right now. It starts almost a year ahead of time so that we can check the status of the coming year. The net resort of all of this is we have been through some pretty tough times in the last eighteen months. I think we are going into this year in better shape than we expected to be with some reserves that we can use to offset future budget cuts. It is really all going to depend on how the state budget comes down at the end of this fiscal year.
How does overhead fit into this?
Provost Arden stated that overhead is a process not included in the numbers he just provided. These numbers refer to the state appropriation or state allocation and to tuition and fees. Overhead is completely separate from those.
Chair Overton stated that since the Faculty Senate does not have a Budget Committee she has asked the Resources and Environment Committee to address any budget issues.
Have you asked that the deans communicate down to department heads and faculty?
Provost Arden stated once again when we are talking about budget cuts or budget allocations, there are tremendous differences between the way different colleges handle it and we try to ask the deans to involve department heads and the faculty as much as they can. Discussion is occurring at the level of the department head and the faculty in many colleges and in other colleges less so.
When we looked at our needs and desires the most important stuff was recurring stuff. It strikes me that you gave numbers that were bigger than what might go out, you also have a chance down the road to change that distribution given facts that come in.
Provost Arden stated that he agrees, that when you put out requests for either identifying budget cuts over resource allocation you have to put out some big smart number, so 9% is not particularly mentioned, but I had to come up with a number that is reasonably way operate for what we would allocate, split between 3% recurring 6% non recurring. When the requests come in we do have the ability and the flexibility to give some colleges more and some college less. The reality is when you are going through budget years, and not only is the budget of the state doing this but the last minutes maneuver of the legislators are exactly like that, so working your way through it and determining how much to allocate when, becomes really important. The reality is that for many of those recurring requests the single most important thing we can invest in as a university is faculty position, post docs, particularly tenure track faculty.
Is there any increase for equipment in the budget for the next year?
Provost Arden responded that there is a line in the current budget for some equipment, but some of these non recurring requests that I have put out to come likely from enrollment money is absolutely needed for equipment and in fact, what I would like to see is that if there is a request for recurring funds for a faculty position that there be a continual request for nonrecurring funds put aside for that position. One thing we really suffer from as a university is not identifying adequate startup funds for our new faculty in some colleges.
Provost Arden stated in the last few months and the last one was last week we have had a couple of rankings, one that was last week with US News and World Report, the best colleges in 2011 and the one that was a few months before is The Center for measuring university performance out of Arizona State. One is a very public and world recognized ranking which is of doctoral institutes that is mainly geared towards undergraduates saying what great universities you should go to as undergraduates whereas the Center Rankings are really more designed for our peers and academia across the country as to how well we are doing as a major research university.
He explained that although both rankings were released in 2010, the US News and World Report rankings are called the best colleges for 2011 report and that it is targeted toward students who would be entering in fall 2011 whereas the Center rankings is referred to as the 2009 report and that is because it is based on 2008-2009 academic year data. The reality is that they both were released in 2010 and they are both based on 2008-2009 data.
US News and World Report – Provost Arden stated that the Administration is real concerned about the rankings. He thinks there are some reflections of budgetary impact over several years. The variables that make up the rankings are given a significant weight in this ranking. This is a concern to us, but it is something that we have to be conscious of and think about, think about how we are going to impact. We do need to be cognitive of when we make those allocations, exactly what impact we expect it to have.
Provost Arden stated that the Chancellor is not happy that we have dropped out of the top 100 universities and the top 50 public universities, and we should not be happy about it either. One thing I’m a little more concerned about is how we do as a major research university. We don’t see a one year drop we see a trend and that is what concerns me. Overall rankings among all institutions have gone from 56 to 66 over the last six years and overall rankings among public institutions have gone from 24 to 34 over the last six years. I think it is fair to say that we have not necessarily been making the investments that we need to be making as a major research university and that is why the discussion that I just had with you about strategic planning and resource allocation is so important and I can’t really say exactly what happened. The reality is that our peer universities have been going ahead farther and so whether you are talking about any variable. Over the last ten years we have gone up about between somewhere between 80 and 90 percent in NIA funding. Over that same period of time total NIA funding available to the country as a whole has gone up 145% and so most major universities our peers have grown their NIA funding somewhere around 140 or 150% to be on top, and so if we have grown about 88% we have actually gone backwards in funding as a variable. It is not that we have not been going ahead, but we haven’t necessarily been making the investment as a university for it to be moving forward at the rate that you or I would like it to be moving forward.
I think we just need to put it on the table for what it is and say that there is evidence of whether you are looking at us as a major research university or a public land grant university there is evidence that we are not going completely in the right direction and we really need to close this on developing a clear and bold strategic plan and allocating and reallocating our resources appropriately.
Why are the trends for the SATs going down?
Provost Arden responded that he does not know why they are going down.
Is there an explanation for the dramatic drop in the number of doctorates granted between 2007 and 2008?
Provost Arden stated that he is not sure that the numbers were recorded and reported accurately. Unfortunately when we looked at four different places where the doctoral graduates were reported, there were four different numbers. We have to give a lot more attention to making sure that the numbers we record are reproducible and consistent.
6. Comments by Jeff Braden
Deans Braden and Larick have been asked to co-chair the Chancellor’s Installation on October 26th. Dean Braden stated that had it been up to the Chancellor he would have foregone the installation all together, but it was made clear to him that this was an expectation to him that all the UNC campuses have a way of honoring history of both what has gone on before and to begin anew with the Chancellor. Essentially there are a number of events that will occur around the installation.
Monday, October 25, 2010 – Symposium featuring one of our Alumni
Following the symposium there will be a Guest only reception at the Chancellor’s Residence. Tuesday, October 26, 2010 – 10:30am – Main Event
There will be a town hall meeting in Stewart Theater Tuesday afternoon, devoted to eliciting feedback on the Strategic Planning process. The Chancellor will make as part of him remarks at the Installation Ceremony comments about where he sees the process going and where he sees this university going. The afternoon session will be an opportunity for the campus to voice their opinions and allow the Chancellor to listen to a wide range of the university.
On Wednesday, we will link together with Susan Nutter and the Friends of the Library when we will honor individuals who made this university a great place to be. There will be brief event at the football game on Thursday.
The Tuesday morning event is primarily ceremonial. There will be formalities and there will be a procession. The event should last about an hour.
7. Issues of Concern
A faculty member presented an issue of concern on the process/procedure used for handling graduate student grievances.
The meeting adjourned at 4:55 pm.