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November 1, 2011

Present:  Chair Kellner, Immediate Past Chair Overton, Secretary Sawyers; Senators Argyropoulos, Aspnes, Auerbach, Borden, Bourham, Campbell, Edmisten, Freeman, Fuentes, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Headen, Holden,  Jasper, Khosla, Kotek, Lubischer, Lunardi, Mitchell, Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Robinson, Snyder, Sztajn, Tonelli, Townsend, L. Williams, M. Williams, Zonderman

Excused:  Provost Arden, Parliamentarian Weiner; Senators Carver, Hatcher, Rucker

Absent:  Senator  Lubischer, Tu

Guests:  Don Patty, BORST; Mary Wyer, Psychology; Marcia Gumpertz, AVP; Emerson Barker, Student Government; Betsy Brown, Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs; Richard Bernhard, Professor Emeritus, Engineering; Wendy Scott, NCSU Libraries

1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the 5th meeting of the 58th session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.

 2.  Remarks from the Chair
Chair Kellner shared information from the report he submitted to the Board of Trustees.  He noted that the report has to be written and submitted about five weeks prior to the meeting, which means that by the time you present the report two more meetings have already taken place.   Chair Kellner shared the following remarks from the report. 

The September 20th FS meeting featured two principle presentations.  Provost Arden at the request of the Chair presented a detailed analysis of the university faculty that he had previously delivered to the administrative leadership meeting.  The Power point makes clear the large growth of the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, during a period when the tenure track faculty numbers remained almost unchanged.  

A second notable aspect of this presentation was the clear aging of the NC State faculty, the need for expanded  hiring of new tenure track faculty was clear.  At the same meeting the VC for Finance and Business Charles Leffler and Don Patty presented the developing plans of the Business Operations Realignment Team.  The goal of this process is to streamline and focus business processes expertise across the campus.  In clusters that are removed from the departmental level, will it achieve, offer more effective service and increase professional satisfaction to the staff. The Senate was reassured by Leffler and Patty that this major change will be carefully monitored and that customer satisfaction is a serious concern.

The General Faculty Meeting is the largest faculty based event that the Faculty Senate coordinates each semester.  The theme of this fall’s meeting was “Change.”  The proceedings and documentation of the Change Committees that have been operating on campus for the past year and a half were posted on the Faculty Senate Website providing a large amount of information for interested members of the campus community.  Most of the work of these committees is finished and at the state of implementation.  The completed work was commented on in the remarks of the Chancellor.  Both the Chancellor and Provost described the Chancellor’s $5 million fund for targeting and hiring tenure track faculty.  There was considerable discussion about how this process would work.

The second half of the General Faculty Meeting focused on two groups—The Academic Science Program Task Force and the review of Academic Programs Committee.   A faculty member from each group reported on the work in progress of that group, its goal and direction.  The presentations were informative and considerable discussions pursued.

A word to be added about the UNC Faculty Assembly which met on September 16th in the Spangler Center in Chapel  Hill.  As the largest university in the system the NC State delegation to the assembly is five.  President Ross who had hosted a reception for assembly members the evening before, spoke about the challenges of higher education followed by Lyons Gray who described the legislative landscape.  A report on the “Academic First” plan laid out by the Board of Governors followed ; this document generally calls for increased system-wide coordination, where appropriate.  Later the Assembly heard about James Woodward’s remarks to the Board of Governors on unnecessary course duplication in the UNC system:    a) campus procedures for examining courses are working well, b) cross-system cooperation and program consortia need to be made easier, and c) system procedures for approving new programs should be streamlined.

In addition to its own standing committees and each of the university standing committees, the Faculty Senate is represented in many major forums, usually by the Chair—University Council, Honorary Degrees, Watauga and Holladay selection, Campus Safety, Student-Chancellor Liaison, Tuition Task Force, among others. 

There have been no new grievance files.

Chair Kellner stated that the Board of Trustees have had the report  for three weeks, so when he presents it to the committee next week it will be a different document.

Chair Kellner reported that the Budget Advisory Committee met last week.  The major item has to do with the university’s  request up to the Board of Governors to allow tuition and fees to move from near the bottom of the list to the top of the bottom quartile.

The Advisory Committee on the SACS Accreditation is continuing and its discussions of the quality enhancement plan which is part of SACS.  We are still looking for a topic to which the Provost can put considerable resources and it is thought that this topic will probably be strategic plan related.  The general areas where they are thinking about this large university quality enhancement project would be global aspect or in some kind of service area. 

Chair Kellner asked the Senators to prepare meeting topics for the Spring semester.  Anyone with ideas should contact him or a member of the Executive Committee.

Finally, in the strategic realignment process, one of the aspects was to streamline and review policies, rules, and regulations.  The Executive Committee thinks that the Faculty Senate is a good place to identify things that  they  don’t understand or would like to see clarified.  Anyone interested in doing that should send the information to David Aspnes, cochair of the Personnel Policy Committee.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 4, October 18, 2011  
A motion passed to approve the minutes.

4. Resolution for the Provision of Parental Leave for Graduate Students
Senator Moore stated that the Academic Policy Committee has been discussing parental leave for graduate students and throughout the discussions it became apparent that it is important for NC State to have some sort of parental leave policy for graduate students.  Currently when graduate students take a leave of absence,  they lose their full time student status and in doing so they lose their health insurance and they are also at risk of losing their visa.

Senator Moore stated that there is also a clock for graduate students, a time line for when they complete their degrees, so if they have parental leave that is not recognized by some sort of parental leave policy, their clock does not get extended, which puts a burden on those students when they are completing their degrees.  The Committee is suggesting that NC State adopt a parental leave policy for graduate students very similar to the one at UNC Chapel Hill.  They feel that it is important that the graduate student get a six week leave of absence to be with the child, either the mother or the father if both are graduate students and that the student also get an extension of the clock so that the time limit in which they graduate would be extended by one semester. 

Senator Moore stated that the Student Senate has had their first reading of a resolution that is very similar to what is being suggested in this resolution.


Senator Khosla – Will both the  parents be eligible for leave if one is a student at NC State and the other is a student at UNC Chapel Hill?

Senator Moore responded yes, because they are two different universities.

Vice Provost Brown commented that there is no system-wide policy of this type.

Senator Snyder- What happens if the couple has a child and take leave and it’s too late for the student to take courses?

Senator Moore responded that they would get an extension of one semester on their clock with the understanding that they are not taking any classes that semester.  They would still be recognized with full time status.

Senator Bourham-- Will the leave be granted only once?

Senator Moore responded that she has not seen a stipulation in the Chapel Hill Policy about not repeating it.

Chair Kellner —Is this somehow analogous to stopping the tenure clock for Assistant Professors? The response was yes.

Senator Tonelli -  Is there any thought on a couple being able to split the leave where each  parent would take 3 weeks?

Senator Moore responded that this is something that would need to be worked out while the policy is being written.  The committee has not discussed it.

Secretary Sawyers suggested reviewing the NC State policy for faculty and staff and the UNC policy to see if they require the couple to be married. 

Senator Edmisten stated that the policy did not indicate that the couple had to be married.

Chair Kellner read the resolution for the first reading.

Past Chair Overton  - Where are we for post docs with respect to parental leave?

Vice Provost Brown stated that they are considered in a different category.

Assistant Vice Provost Gumpertz stated that she believes they are given sick time like any other employees. 

Senator Robinson stated that he thinks the resolution should include a statement of general guiding principles and that this is a teachable moment for a faculty to say yes you can go on and become a scholar and still meet your family obligation. 

Senator Zonderman argued to keep the present language.  He thinks the resolution is a nice middle ground  for some very specific reasons for why we should have this policy.    

Senator Robinson made a motion to amend the resolution. The motion was seconded by Senator Auerbach.   

Senator Tonelli commented that it might be worthwhile to consider what we hope the resolution does.

Senator Funkhouser stated that he worries about the vagueness of the term “family obligations”.

The motion to accept the amendment  failed with a vote of 14-13.

The motion to accept the resolution as originally drafted passed unanimously. 

The resolution will be presented at the next meeting for a second reading.

5. Library Committee
Dr. Richard Bernhard, Chair of the Library Committee  reported that the collections budget has been drastically reduced for the coming year to pay for the move to the Hunt Library on Centennial Campus.  He stated that there is a Blue Ribbon panel meeting to deal with how we are going to do all of this without additional funding for staffing.   

Dr. Bernhard stated that the highlight of the Hunt Library facility is the bookBot automated book delivery system.  The bookBot holds nine times the books as traditional shelving and there are fifteen of these facilities in operation at other institutions that are apparently working extremely well.  This facility will be used at the Hunt Library for print materials before 2005. 

Dr. Bernhard encouraged the faculty to review the Hunt Library website.  He stated that the plan is not to gut the DH Hill Library and that a lot of the storage materials are going to be moved to the Hunt Library freeing up room in DH Hill.  The plan is that this library (DH Hill) is also going to be first rate with space for more study rooms. 

Dr. Bernhard stated that the Friends of the Library is currently trying to raise $10 million.  There are naming opportunities with the new library and one of the possibilities is to give $2 million for the auditorium.  He noted that there aren’t million dollar donors lining up, but there are a lot of working class people who care about this and could really be helpful (in raising the needed money). 

Dr. Bernhard also noted that there are tours of the facility being arranged on Friday afternoons if the Faculty Senate is interested.

Chair Kellner expressed  a concern with the way the Hunt and Hill Libraries will further separate the two campuses.

Dr. Bernhard stated that he is Cochair of the Parking and Transportation Committee and there is a plan to extend a road across Western Blvd by the year 2030.

Senator Lunardi --What is the percentage of the students at Centennial compared to main campus?

Bernhard responded that it is changing very rapidly as new facilities are being built over there.

Senator Zonderman stated that he is concerned about moving into the library with no budget.  He thinks it’s a disaster and worries that everything will go to the Hunt Library and the main campus will go lacking..

Chair Kellner —Can we get clarification on which books will live where?

Wendy Scott stated that her understanding is that engineering collections, contents of the textiles library, print journals for which we already have online access to will be going to the Hunt Library.  

6.  Faculty Senate Discussions

Senator Jasper restated the issue of concern he presented at the last meeting from the College of Textiles perspective on the BORST Initiative.  The faculty and administrative units in his college are either unaware of the reorganization of the Business Units and their affect on the Academic Colleges, or they are unanimously opposed to moving the Research Component of the Business units offsite.

Don Patty stated that this is a huge change in the way we are looking at doing business.  On the dialog issue we are actually getting ready to launch a series of town hall meetings.  We haven’t made any decisions and we haven’t made any recommendations .  We are getting ready to kick off the work activity inventory next week.  It will be a huge effort to try to capture what people do on campus as it relates to Human Resources, finance, budgeting and accounting and contracts and grants, and that is going to tell us how much people are touching those processes and how much time is spent doing those processes, which is critical.   Approximately 2000 people on campus will be invited to participate in that survey.   

Chair Kellner commented that the BORST website talks about moving things away from the departmental level, not from the college level.

Patty stated that the BORST committee is looking at a number of transactional processes regardless of where they are being performed.

Senator Auerbach stated that he is surprised to see that NC State is in the middle of hiring an Executive Director and the short list is two people who have no academic background whatsoever.  One of those people made it clear that they thought of faculty the way they thought of corporate employees. 

Patty stated that they received 116 applications and 26 met minimum criteria.  They bought five in for interviews and have invited three back.   It was really my hope that we would find someone from a university who had been in an academic environment.  I think that Mr. Leffler has a tough decision to make.  Are of those candidates the right candidate to lead us forward or certainly an option is that we start over and reopen the search.

Senator Snyder commented that the original concern was that there was too much administrative overhead.

Patty stated that there is an administrative overhead review committee that is looking at anything that has to do with bureaucracy.    

Senator Sztajn’s asked about the implementation or BORST and how much has already been decided.

Patty stated that the charge to the Steering Team calls for a two-stage implementation.  The first stage would be   July 1, 2012, but we don’t know yet what that implementation necessarily will be.  We will start small and then perhaps have a second stage, but rest assured there will not be a massive roll out of business operation centers on July 1, 2012. 

Senator Zonderman commented that CHASS is concerned with merging with other colleges with the small budget that they have—He stated that they are the little guys in terms of research and grant money and he is concerned that their needs will be ignored.

Patty stated that he has been here 27 years and we have got to preserve the coordination of this institution. 

Secretary Sawyers stated that as a member of the committee he appreciates the comments and questions he is hearing.  He encouraged people to attend the town hall meetings in the future.  If you have concerns and questions you need to go and be heard. 

Chair Kellner stated that members of the Executive Committee noticed that there is no mention in the bylaws of the office of Parliamentarian, although the Senate has had a Parliamentarian for many years.  He proposed  adding the following statement to the bylaw as an amendment.  It would be added as Article VI, Section 7 (new)

“There shall be a Parliamentarian, selected by the Chair from the General Faculty with the approval of the Executive Committee.”

After a brief discussion  Chair Kellner withdrew the proposal until the next meeting.

7. Issues of Concern
Senator Campbell stated an issue of concern about ending the premium paid by students for distant education courses. 

Chair Kellner asked if it is the sense of the Faculty Senate that ending the distance education premium paid by undergraduates is going to weaken the situation for a large number of faculty unless other sources of revenue can be found to replace the lost revenue.   The response was yes.

Chair Kellner stated that he would invite Dr. Tom Miller to a future meeting to address questions about this issue.

8.  Adjournment
Motion passed to adjourn at 4:47 PM

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