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October 30, 2012

Present:  Chair Kellner, Chair Elect Zonderman, Parliamentarian Weiner, Provost Arden:  Senators Aday, Ade, Aspnes, Borden, Bourham, Bradley, Daley, Devetsikiotis, Fleisher, Freeeman, Funkhouser, Jasper, Knopp, Knowles, Lubischer, Lunardi, Moore, Morgado, Nfah-Abbenyi, Snyder, Spontak, Sztajn, L. Williams P. Williams

Excused:  Argypropoulos, Hatcher, Holden, Penrose, Piedrafita, Rucker, Secretary Sawyers, M. Williams,

Absent:  Tyler

Guests:  P. J. Teal, Secretary of the University; Betsy Brown, Mike Mullen, VC/Dean, Academic and Student Affairs; Duane Larick, Provost’s Office; Alex Yadon, Student Senate; Richard Bernhard, Professor Emeritus, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Nevin Kessler, VC, University Engagement

1.  Call to Order
Chair Kellner called the meeting to order at 3 p.m.

2.  Announcments and Remarks
Chair Kellner welcomed Senators and Guests.

Chair Kellner announced that two meetings are left in the fall semester. 

There will be two visitors at the next meeting, Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty at UNC Chapel Hill and Carrie Leger, Director, ASPSA/Associate Athletics Director for Academics. 

The final meeting will be devoted to Senate business, particularly reports from the committees and reports from liaisons to the University Standing Committees.

Chair Kellner announced  that he attended the Board of Visitors meeting and it was very impressive. He also attended the UNC System’s gathering of people and advisors for international programs. 

The Physical Master plan is beginning this year to revise the master plan.  The committee is  holding meetings around the campus trying to involve people in the project. 

The General Faculty meeting was successful.  There was considerable response to the child care talk.  The ombuds proposal was discussed and an existing fund to fund scholarships for the children of faculty and staff was also discussed.

The Budget Advisory Council met last week and a number of items were discussed.  In particular, a Budget Restructuring Committee was set up to handle the budget restructuring that extends from the academic program restructuring that went on last year.  This committee will contain one member of the Faculty Senate.  Other issues that came up of considerable interest were the financial implications of the creation of the College of Sciences and how budget matters will be handled given the large number of change in positions from Agriculture and Life Sciences to the College of Sciences. 

Faculty Assembly
President Ross greeted everyone and talked about the strategic planning process and the faculty advisory group that was set up in response to the resolution of the Faculty Assembly at the last meeting.  That group of people will consist of one person from each of twelve campuses and currently Trudy McKay from Genetics is our representative.  The strategic plan working group met yesterday. 

President Ross responded to the Assembly’s request that he reaffirm the commitment of the system to faculty governance.  He was firm in expressing his support for shared governance within the system.

Chair Kellner stated that during lunch the Chairs from around the system got together for a meeting.  People have a lot to say about what’s happening on their campuses and a lot of it has to do with shared governance and discontent from campus to campus.

Chair Kellner commended the Personnel Policy Committee for their work on the ombuds report.  He encouraged the senators to review the report and comment back to the committee.  There will be a resolution presented for a first reading at the next meeting.  

3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 4, September 18, 2012
A motion passed to approve the minutes as corrected.

4.  Remarks from Nevin Kessler, Vice Chancellor, University Advancement
Vice Chancellor Kessler responded to a set of questions he received from the Senate.  The focus of the questions were around three areas and they were planning for the campaign, how do we manage potential donors to the university, and responding to the recent scandal involving fundraising which has taken place at Chapel Hill and whether we have something in place to prevent that from repeating itself here.

Kessler stated that we have focused the 125th anniversary on preparing for the launch to the next campaign. We have tried to focus a theme that is organized around the strategic plan and then use the campaign to bring forth that strategic plan.

The Feasibility Study that is being conducted has two components.  We have hired a firm to make sure that we are doing this right because we want to be very effective in our campaign. They are now in the process of delivering us a final report that looks at what our potential donors think about our readiness.

Kessler stated that they have formed a campaign feasibility task force to make sure that all the various voices across the university were heard.  The Chair of the Faculty serves on that task force, as well as Dean Malecha, Design, Dean Martin Vega, Provost Arden,  and Vice Chancellor Lomax. 

The internal study involved consultants coming to campus to meet with key senior leadership folk as well as surveying all the Advancement personnel.  They have taken the data from our Advancement system and performed some analysis and from that they came up with a series of recommendations of what they thought this university needs to do to be ready for the next campaign.  Some items they recommended were:

Increased productivity of existing fundraisers

They were pleased with our internal readiness to go with the campaign and turned their attention to the question of, what do your alumni think about your readiness?  So, we hired the firm to interview 50 of our wealthiest potential benefactors for the campaign.  We took another 200 of our potential donors and assigned them to individual fundraisers.  We trained them to go out and do these interviews, interviewing people from their own colleges where they are employed so that we could get as much of an objective view as possible, and then we surveyed electronically another 500 potential donors and they took this data and analyzed it and they came back with  comments about what they thought is our readiness to engage in this campaign.

The final report will be given to the campaign task force on Friday and it will be presented formally to the Board of Trustees Advancement Committee in mid November. I can share with you some generalizations they made about what our folks feel about our readiness.

Kessler stated that there is an enormous amount of enthusiasm for Chancellor Woodson’s leadership of the university.  He is perceived as someone who has raised the expectations of our alumni and people feel confident about his ability to lead the fundraising effort.  We got the sense that our alumni are very excited about the momentum they receive here at the university. They like what they see in our fundraising, having some growth in our fundraising in the last few years, they like that trend and they like the investments the university has made in fund raising. 

The things that they want us to work on to prepare for the campaign are the level of productivity of our existing fundraisers.  They know that there are a significant number of wealthy alumni and friends of the university who have never been seen. We did very well in the last campaign but we did not engage the next generation of donors that we would want to do in this campaign. 

Alumni are looking for some big ideas in terms of funding priorities, so we will need to make sure that we prepare those, and although we had a lot of people who were willing to volunteer to help we didn’t have a lot of people step forward to lead.

Prospect Management Issues
Vice Chancellor Kessler stated, at the end of the day donors control whether they make a gift or not to this university and that is why most fundraisers talk about donor-centric funding, that it has to start with the donor and that the donor is interested in giving.  At the university we have the opportunity and relationship with the donor to educate them about the priorities of the institution and it is that overlap between the priority of the institution and wishes of the donor that we strive for every time we are out there fundraising. Our goal is to always maximize the size of the donor’s gift to the university’s fundraising priority. 

Kessler said there isn’t a lot of steering going on to convince someone to donate somewhere other than where they want to,  because that could result in a smaller donation.  We don’t steer donors away. 

There is a process where university prospects are assigned to a client manager.  The client manager is a professional fundraiser.  Most of our prospects have client managers that are in colleges because most of the fundraisers at universities are in colleges.

Vice Chancellor Kessler stated that how the situation occurred at Chapel Hill has a lot to do with the fact that the Vice Chancellor approved his own travel, my travel is approved by the Chancellor. Most of the time when I’m traveling for fundraising I’m travelling with the Chancellor, so we have not identified any issues or problems in fundraising. 

Kessler stated that one of the biggest scandals across the country involves “creativity” in reporting of gifts.  He noted that there is a standard in how the university is to record gifts. 

Questions and Comments
How do the Deans view you, do they view you as competition and how do you manage that?

Kessler responded that at the end of the day, they don’t care where the money goes as long as we are maximizing the resources of the donor for university priorities. I don’t feel like I’m in any way competing.  I think that most Deans would see what we are trying to do centrally is helpful to them.

Senator Sztatjin inquired about a model where  a large number of people (who can’t afford to give large donations) would give small donations.

Kessler stated that he is focusing on the campaign because when you look at $1.5 billion, there is about 10% of our donors who will give about 90% of that money, but in parallel we are running an annual giving program and the amount of money that we are raising through that has doubled in the last five years.  Let’s say five years ago we raised about $950,000 in those smaller gifts and this year we will raise $2 million.  We are not excluding those by any sense of imagination, in fact, we are very excited.  We just populated our undergraduate alumni distribution list for this year and last year it was 12.1% and this year it’s 13.5 percent.  This will put us in the top quartile of our peer institutions.

Can you comment on donations given by the students’ parents?

Kessler stated that approximately $125,000 a year is donated in small gifts.  We don’t screen the parent data.  Some parents will make a major gift before their child graduates.   

Do only students make those phone calls to alumni?

Kessler respond yes, only students are  trained to make those calls.

What is the theme of this campaign?

Kessler responded that the theme is what needs to be put together now.  We have tested a few themes around the strategic plan and they resonated with folks except that when we put out the prospectus we didn’t name one college or name one department and so when they didn’t see their college and department they didn’t know what to make of it, so when we put the communication plan together in the final stage we will look at creating that more traditional menu. 

What about colleges raising money and how much are you  thinking about getting faculty involved in this campaign?

Kessler stated that the process works best if we can develop some priorities that are university wide under which Deans and their faculty can find funding priorities that support their strategic initiatives.  In addition I think that Deans should be able to raise money and colleges should be able to raise money for things that they think are important. So, you could have some things on a menu that would clearly link to our strategic plan and then you might have a few other things that are more college specific.

Kessler stated that faculty has an enormous role to play in pledging gifts.  I think it depends on what the person is interested in as to whether or not the faculty member can play a really helpful role. The faculty members all have personal relationships with individuals and some of them have access to wealth and some of them have a passion for NC State. I would love to be introduced to those people.  We use alumni in that way all the time.

You said that you had people willing to help but not lead, will you define your term?

I think the way alumni call themselves helping at this point is they like the transaction, say set up a luncheon for the Chancellor and you, you being my wealthy neighbor and that’s a transactional kind of thing versus a yes I will agree to co-chair the next campaign.

What do you have to say about faculty giving to the university?  What’s the percentage and how can we do it?

We as a university do not invite the faculty to give on an annual basis.  The university does not have a faculty and staff giving program, thus we have the Wolfpack Gives Back and the State Employees Combined Campaign and as you know that money goes to the non profit organization.   We will implement a faculty staff campaign effort during this campaign.

5. Remarks from Provost Arden
Provost Arden stated that he wanted to open his remarks up for questions to allow the senators to direct a dialog. 

Senator Ade commented on the importance of the Faculty Excellence program for the university and noted that he does research and research is dependent on graduate students, so he inquired about the exclusive focus on faculty excellence.

Provost Arden stated that he thinks we have a very good strategic plan that folks contributed to comprehensively.  It’s clear that you can pick out any one element of that plan and talk about the progress you are making on any one element but it really is more of a puzzle than a series of linear pathways and with so much of the plan there are many pieces we had to put together.  When we talk about growing the excellence of an institution yes we are talking about faculty excellence, but we are also at the same time talking about space.  We are talking about infrastructure.  We are talking about recurring resources.  We are talking about the quality of the graduate students that we have on campus and when you get into talking about the quality of the graduate students, we are talking about the graduate students’ support plan as well as many elements. One of the reasons that we focus on the faculty excellence program is that when we realize one of the places that we are lagging significantly, is in the number of tenure/tenure-track faculty and unless we make a focused effort here over the next few years to move that forward, we aren’t going to be able to grow the graduate program. 

Provost Arden stated that the pieces have to go together, but trust me we don’t ever discuss losing faculty without discussing the graduate student program, the graduate student support program, space needs, research infrastructure needs, which all have to be coordinated into the issue.  I would say keep this issue on the front burner because it is incredibly important.  He noted that when we talk about student success we have a tendency to talk about undergraduate student success. 

Provost Arden stated that he doesn’t think you are going to be able to attract the quality of graduate students if you don’t have the depth and breath of tenure track faculty that we should have as an institution and if you don’t have financial support programs in place for graduate students.

Provost Arden stated that the reality is we are going to have to make some hard decisions about our plans.  Overall our graduate student support plan is not where it needs to be to attract the very best graduate students into this institution.  We are not as competitive as some of our major peer institutions. If we are going to attract the very best graduate students at this institution we need a more robust plan and more importantly, we need better stipends for our graduate students across campus and then we are going to have to ask ourselves some hard questions.  Do we spend a significant portion of our graduate student support plan on master students?  There are a lot of doctoral institutions that don’t support master students.  Those are tough decisions that we are going to have to make as we go forward.  

How about the endowment and this new campaign?  The highest priority of Deans on this campus was graduate funding and graduate fellowships.

Provost Arden stated that it has been part of the academic program prioritization process.  Both GA and NC State have developed news ways to prioritize which new academic programs we’d propose and as part of that we have to look critically at the existing programs and look at what programs we could house together under an umbrella, there are several benefits to that and there are what some people perceive as some downsides.  One of the benefits is that a sub-discipline under an approved program doesn’t have to go all the way up to the Board of Governors to be approved.  There are certain efficiencies from putting programs together and developing overarching programs.  On the flip side there are those that would argue that if you lose the disciplinary identity of your program too much, that could weaken the program from a national perspective.  There are a lot of considerations here and that is something that is very much on the table. 

Will you outline the plan for graduate student excellence?

Provost Arden stated that it is clear that we want to be able to recruit competitively some of the very best graduate students and I think we are at a disadvantage because of our low stipends and graduate student support plan at the moment.

VP Larick stated that to bring the top 5% we have to have the faculty in the program—this initiative has to be there and the outstanding faculty member has to have the resources to support that student, so it starts with faculty and programs.

Provost Arden stated that this goes back to faculty excellence, for you to have a world class program that is going to attract the top graduate students, they have to believe that they are coming to work with the top people in the world.

There are many in North Carolina including our legislators who still look at us predominantly in terms of our role as an undergraduate institution.   The Chancellor is putting a huge amount of effort into speaking with folks all across the state and really framing the conversation about what value a top research-extensive doctoral institution brings to the state of North Carolina.  The Chancellor is leading that effort on really changing the way people think about NC State, that people think more about us as a research doctoral institution and what impact this will have on the state as a whole. 

6. Senate Discussion on Athletics and Academics

Questions to Carrie Leger

1) Share data about academic and athletics to dispel some of the myths we have about student athletes.

Senator Moore suggested that  minutes of the Academic Policy Committee be made available to everyone since Carrie discussed all of this during the meeting. 

2)   Is the objective of her coming to make sure NC State doesn’t make the same mistake that UNC did?

 3)  Can we have Carrie Doyle here to explain the upcoming changes in NCAA regulations?

Questions to Jan Boxill about the Faculty Council at Chapel Hill and their involvement in the past year in the issues of faculty governance.

1)  Are there ways we can develop more cooperative governance?

2)  Are they talking at all about the transfer articulation agreement?

3)  Describe their operating procedure and how does it differ from ours?

4)  Can she comment on the ombuds position at Chapel Hill.

7. Issues of Concern
What are the next steps to the Faculty well–being initiative? 

Chair Kellner stated that how those items get articulated into what the Senate does is an issue.

They could be taken as issues of concern and go straight to the Personnel Policy Committee  and then they would work their way toward a resolution, some kind of negotiation with the various parts of the university who are interested. 

8.  Adjournment
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:45 p.m.

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