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April 3, 2012

Present: Chair Kellner, Immediate Past Chair Overton, Parliamentarian Weiner, Provost Arden; Senators Argyropoulos, Aspnes, Borden, Bourham, Campbell, Carver, Funkhouser, Hammerberg, Holden, Jasper, Khosla, Kotek, Lubischer, Lunardi, Mitchell, Moore, Nfah-Abbenyi, Robinson, Rucker, Snyder, Sztajn, Tonelli, L. Williams, M. Williams

Excused: Provost Arden, Secretary Sawyers:  Senators Auerbach, Fuentes, Rucker

Absent: Senators Edmisten, Freeman, Hatcher, Headen, Tu

Guests: Randy Woodson, Chancellor; P.J. Teal, Chancellor’s Office; Emerson Barker, Student Government; Adam Hughes, Concerned Undergraduate; Katarina Pantic, Communications; Betsy Brown, Office of the Provost, Carrie Zelna, Office of Assessment – DUAP; Sam Pardue, Faculty Athletics Rep; Dick Bernhard, Industrial and System Engineering

1. Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the 13th meeting of the 58th session to order at 3 p.m.

2. Remarks from the Chair
Chair Kellner remarked on the activities surrounding the 125th celebration.  He also commented on the new bells that were purchased for the bell tower.

Election Results
hair Kellner reported that the number of votes cast this year increased by a lot.  In terms of the new members that are returning after a period off the Senate, we have fifteen which seems like a large number which is good.  I’m particularly interested in the number of women senators, in that two years ago the Senate was made up of almost 15% women.  This year the Senate is almost 28% women and next year it will be 36% women. 

The Hearing and 604-607 grievance panel elections left some challenges in that there are a number of vacancies in the colleges.

Chair Kellner announced that the nominating process for the Executive Committee will take place at the next meeting, which will be the last meeting of this academic year. 

Chair Kellner explained that the Executive Committee is made up of the four co-chairs for the Senate standing committees and they act as the conduit between what comes to the Chair of the Faculty, the Faculty Senate as a whole and the appropriate committees.  He stated that numerous things are discussed and that it is a demanding job as well.

The Executive Committee meets the Thursday after the Senate meeting and the following Tuesday they chair their committee.

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 13, April 3, 2012
The minutes were approved as submitted. 

4. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Woodson stated that they were pleased with the turnout for the 125th birthday party for the university.  Almost 5,000 people were in attendance.   It was a great event with a lot of fun and it was a great way to celebrate the university.

Chancellor Woodson reported that this year NC State students received four Goldwater scholarships.  There are only 300 nationally and they are in STEM disciplines. The recipients all had chemistry  in their majors. We were one of only four universities nationally to receive   the full allotment of four. 

Chancellor Woodson announced that he has also learned that two of our students will receive Udall scholarships and that 20 of our students will receive NSF fellowships.  A great reflection on the quality of our students . 

Stephen Reynolds from Physics will receive the 2012 Award for Excellence in teaching.  That award will be recognized at the commencement exercise on May 12th.

Admissions                                                                                                                              Chancellor Woodson reported that NC State received a favorable editorial in the news paper last week on our enrollment management plan, which I think is a reflection on our efforts to try to be proactive in communicating with the paper openly and transparently. 

The admissions for next fall’s class have gone out and we had 20,489 applications for admissions, which is up about 4% over last year.  In total, the last six years we were up 48 percent, so there is a lot of interest in attending NC State.

The accepted freshmen applicants have an average SAT of 1247, which is up 35 points over the previous year.  They have a weighted GPA average of 4.37, with 55% in the top 10% of their class, up almost 10% over the previous year.  Ninety percent of the students admitted to NC State are in the top 25% of their graduating high school class.

Faculty Initiatives—A number of faculty initiatives that you know about are up and running.  The Chancellor’s innovation fund, last year we awarded four projects and they are currently under review.

The Faculty Excellence Program is up and running.  We have approved searches for 38 new hires across the university.  In fact, we have just hired the first faculty member in Statistics.

The Faculty University Scholars Program has been announced.  We will make the first 20 appointments next year and we will keep building that up until it is at a steady state of about 5% of the total tenured and tenure-track faculty.   

Academic Program Science Task Force Report – Three were a number of concerns expressed in the report related to the culture and resources at NC State.  There are three driving forces that this report identifies; 1) the need to develop more flexible responsive structures on campus for collaboration and innovation 2) the need to build core case abilities that serve multiple interests across campus 3) growth in the interest of biological sciences, not only within life sciences, agriculture and natural resources and engineering, but also at the interface of physical, chemical, and biological sciences.  There are a number of recommendations that I’m not going to go into, but there are three models that have been outlined in the report.  One model that they recommended would use structure locally to enhance biological sciences within the College of Ag and Life Sciences. Model 2 would use structure regionally to enhance the biological sciences.  Model 3 would use structure centrally to enhance the sciences at NCSU.  That has been sent out for comments and a few responses have been received.  Shortly, I’m anticipating a recommendation from the Provost, but I think it is safe to say that there are some critical things that the report chose not to change, and one is to keep strong colleges of Ag and Life Sciences and strong colleges of Natural Resources. Those two deanships are open and the searches have been launched.

Chancellor Woodson stated that if you think about a university like NC State that is built on outstanding traditions of the applied sciences like agriculture, engineering, textiles,  my view is you can’t have a strong agriculture program, you can’t have a strong engineering program, you can’t have strong textiles if you don’t have the underpinning of outstanding basic chemistry, biology, mathematics, statistics, geological sciences, the things that historically make up the central components of basic science, and that is why it has taken us a while for the institution to evolve through this. I think this is just a continued conversation about what this institution can become and that is the best strategy to get there. 

Chancellor Woodson stated that the committee has done a great job of understanding our culture and understanding the impediments here.  They also did a great job of looking at our peers and looking at the organizational norm of those institutions with which we compared ourselves to, so this is something that we are going to discuss over the next month.

Chair Kellner – In regards to the Dean searches, will the candidates come to campus before the faculty disperses?

Chancellor Woodson stated that he doesn’t know where they are but he can’t imagine a scenario where faculty are not engaged in those processes.

Senator Aspnes—Chancellor Woodson, you had mentioned that 90% of our students are in the top 25% of their classes and 55% in the top 10%. What fraction of the top 10% of the students who apply do we enroll?

Chancellor Woodson stated that the better students want to be at a school that is more selective, and so our yield of the best student is increasing because we have the best students at NC State and so that is one of the reasons last year where we tried to have a class of 4400 but ended up with just under 4600, because our historic model that would estimate our yield underestimated our yield.  Right now we are getting more to say yes than our model historically would suggest.

Senator Lubischer from Ag and Life Sciences commented that students are admitted so late for transfer.  In terms of student success it is really a bad model -- it would help to have a conversation about setting a deadline for those students.

Chancellor Woodson stated that he didn’t know that transfer students were being admitted so late, but it is going to be a growing part of our portfolio, particularly for colleges.  Here is what I would encourage as you and your colleagues think about this, is that there are some great models out there.  A place like UC Berkley and the University of Florida where the freshmen class is half the size of the junior class.  There are many public universities that have a long history of having a very selective freshmen class because of the space and they provide access by having robust transfer programs with community colleges and junior colleges in Florida and they have done this for years and it is a great thing for the space.  

Senator Campbell commented that transfer admissions are rolling admissions, so if they miss the deadline, they can still be admitted.  

5. Reports from Senate Committees
Academic Policy
Senator Argyropoulos reported that the committee worked with seven big issues during the year—one was global knowledge.  The committee decided that no action was needed, that the issue had already been dealt with appropriately.

Reading Days- Senator Argyropoulos stated that reading days were instituted at the request of the students and the APC discussed this issue and agreed that the process to create those reading days were appropriate.  

Grade exclusion policy—there was a concern about the timing because students that had applied for graduation could not invoke it.  The changes that resulted in the grade exclusion regulation was discussed at link in the Associate Deans Council last year.  The APC also discussed it and decided that no further actions were necessary.

Graduate student parental leave- The committee recommended adopting a policy that would allow graduate students to have six weeks of leave and to extend the clock by one semester and to be able to allow those students to remain on health insurance.   The funding is still being worked out.

There was a resolution that was passed in the Senate where the policy was implemented for graduate students.

Senator Snyder - What is the status of implementation?

Vice Provost Brown stated that the graduate school is working on implementation.  It is expected to be effective in the fall.

Issue of concern on students changing to “Pass/Fail. The committee examined the data and found that a very small percent of students made the change to credit only and in some cases it can mean the difference between a student being able to keep or to lose health insurance. Financial Aid requires students to make up credit hours if they do not pass a course, which includes earning a "U" for "unsatisfactory" in the pass/fail system. It was also noted that professors can refuse to allow students to change to pass/fail by submitting a Minor Action Form for the course to disallow the change to "credit only" for the class. After considerable discussion, the APC voted to recommend that the current policy not be changed.

The GEP competencies were discussed at the last meeting— Carrie Zelna met with the APC and was very receptive to input on the long list of draft competencies. She also met with the Associate Deans and with the Council on Undergraduate Education. After incorporating suggestions from the APC and others, there are five competencies remaining. They are: written communication, oral communication, creative thinking, critical thinking, and quantitative literacy. Carrie Zelna indicated that the next step is to determine the definitions for each competency, and she indicated she is looking for faculty to provide input.   The APC supports this list of competencies.  Carrie Zelna commented that they are very interested in receiving feedback.  

Chair Kellner - What is the relationship of the competencies to SACS?  What are you going to do with the competencies once you have them?

Zelna stated that SACS requires that they identify competencies to the General Education Program. 

Zelna stated that they will define them, go out and try to measure them.  I envision an approach where we will look at this early, based on if there are courses that are appropriate.  We will be looking for particular places looking for product, but also looking at senior level courses as well.  We will probably be engaging in some testing, but the first priority would be to look at students’ work and then to have faculty help us to identify what the criteria should look like and what the product should be telling us about, what students know and are able to do that is  associated with these particular competencies.   

Chair Kellner - How would faculty respond to these competencies? 

Zelna responded that faculty would respond via email.

Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Aspnes reviewed the list of policies and regulations and actions that were taken by the committee this academic year. The entire report is available at: http://ncsu.edu/faculty_senate/faculty-senate-committees/faculty-senate-committeespersonnel-policy.php

(1)  Policy POL.05.20.01,  Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, and Permanent Tenure:

Issue:  simplification

 (2a) POL 05.30.01  Medical and Parental Leave for 9-Month Faculty: 

(2b) REG 05.20.31 Tenure Clock:

Issue:  status of domestic partners regarding tenure-clock regulations and extension of family leave

REG 05.20.31:  The PPC reviewed modifications that clarified extensions of the tenure clock.  Domestic partners are now allowed.  The distinction between the tenure clock and sick leave is that the tenure clock is an academic benefit and hence not subject to State law.

(3) REG 05.20.34  (and REG 05.20.20) NTT Ranks and Appointments:

Issue:  one-size-fits-all regulations for promotion and tenure, especially regarding NTT faculty

 (4) REG 05.20.20 Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Dossier Format requirements

Issue:  uniformity across the University for dossiers

 (5) Draft:  Appointment/Subsequent Appointment/Promotion/Post-Tenure Review/Faculty Review Issues for the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA), Departments of Health and Exercise Studies, Music, and First Year College

Issue:  appointment/promotion/review actions in departments that are not organized as typical Academic structures

 (6) Discussed and approved appointments to the 14 vacancies on the 6 University-level committees for which the PPC is responsible.

Senator Nfah-Abbenyi – How will the amendment to item 2a affect this? 

Vice Provost Betsy Brown responded that they are not sure what all the impact will be.  She stated that this means if you spend time caring for a partner or spouse and it affects your appointment then the tenure clock can be extended. 

Chair Kellner – On item number 4 what is the argument against uniformity?

Brown stated that they are now asking all the colleges to enter the dossiers into an electronic system.  Otherwise there is no change in how we look at the candidate at all.

Resources and Environment Committee
Senator Robinson reported that the committee addressed three issues that they were assigned this year. The first was an issue of concern about aged faculty and staff having access to the recreational facilities on campus.  The committee met with the appropriate individuals and feels that this should be an ongoing concern.  The committee also questioned whether $20 a month membership was an obstacle. They concluded that it should not be an issue.

Senator Robinson stated that the committee also addressed the issue of the employee activity system (TEARS).  This is the effort reporting system for activities supported by external grants.  A faculty member raised an issue of concern about these reports regarding the difficulty in certifying whether the reports are correct. 

 The committee met with the Julie Brasfield, Director of the Office of Contracts and Grants and  Danny Humphrey, the Assistant Director of Systems and Compliance and three things emerged from that meeting.  Basically what we have here is a failure to communicate.  Contracts and grants use elements of activity reporting completely differently than most faculty members with grants. In particular, it comes down to the issue of cost sharing, which is no longer used in most NSF grants, so typically faculty don’t do that any more. 

Senator Robinson stated that we need better communication.  I don’t have a solution for this problem. Julie and Danny think it would be helpful to have a turbo tax like interview system where you would get plain English questions that you would put in answers to and then it would render the necessary report that would go off to the federal government.  They also said that there was no possibility of having anything like the resources and IT development.  So, what should be possible is a separate worksheet that would instruct the faculty member and give guidance step by step, because that is currently lacking.

Senator Snyder stated that he did some research on the location and number of defibrillators outside and within the university.   He is concerned that outside of the university they are found everywhere, yet there are some here on campus but he would like to see one in every building.

Snyder explained that if you have cardiac arrest this is a life saving device.  The amazing thing is they don’t require training.  The defibrillator will not shock a healthy rhythm, because the first thing the machine does is an EKG and it analyzes the rhythm. 

The battery in the unit has to be replaced every four years and the cost per unit is $1500 to $2000 per unit for large quantities.  The more expensive ones come with rechargeable batteries. 

The committee presented a proposed “Resolution on the Placement of Automatic External Defibrillators.” 

Chair Kellner presented the resolution for its first reading.

6. Elections
Faculty Assembly
Senators Dimitris Argyropoulos, David Aspnes, and Helmut Hergeth were elected to serve two-year terms on the Faculty Assembly.  Incoming Senators Dennis Daley and Paul Williams were elected to two-year terms as alternates.

Council on Athletics
Jason Bocarro, Associate Professor, Parks Recreation and Tourism and John Griggs, Coordinator of Classroom Instruction, Mathematics were elected to serve on the Council on Athletics.

7. Resolution of Commendation
Chair Kellner presented a “Resolution of Commendation to Dr. Tom Stafford” for the first reading. 

Chair Kellner asked for a motion to pass the resolution after the first reading (motion seconded and passed).   The Senate voted unanimously to pass the resolution.

8. Adjournment
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:50 p.m.

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