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January 7, 2014

Present:  Chair Zonderman, Immediate Past Chair Kellner, Secretary Daley, Provost Arden; Parliamentarian Weiner; Senators   Aday, Aspnes, Baumer, Bernhard, Borden, Bourham, Bradley, Devetsikiotis, Edwards, Fleisher, Fuentes, Funkhouser, Heitmann, Holden, Knopp, Knowles, Krause, Laffitte, Lucia, J. Moore, M. Moore, Morgado, Rucker, Spontak, Sztajn, Tyler, Williams

Excused:  Senators Ade, Allaire, Bartlett, Lunardi, Penrose

Absent:   Senators, Bird, Marks, Nfah-Abbenyi

Guests:  Betsy Brown, Provost’s Office; Marcia Gumpertz, OIED; Louis Hunt, Vice Provost/University Registrar; Michelle Johnson, Senior Associate Registrar; Carolyn Dunn, 4-H Youth Development & Family and Consumer Sciences; Michael Schuman, 4-H Youth Development & Family and Consumer Sciences; Carrie Zelna, DASA

1. Call to Order
Chair Zonderman called the eighth meeting of the sixtieth session of the NC State Faculty Senate to order at 3 p.m.

2. Remarks and Announcements
Chair Zonderman mentioned that he began his term as chair with a theme called the engaged faculty and the engaged Faculty Senate and he would like to return to that theme as we begin the spring semester.  He commented on the following three ways that he would like the faculty to be engaged.

1) Governance—Chair Zonderman stated that the Senate will be in an election cycle this year where about half of the Senate will be elected and also the incoming Chair of the Faculty and he would like to have people running who are committed and care about this work.  People are also needed to serve on the grievance and hearings committees. 

2) Engagement with students—Chair Zonderman stated that today the Senate is going to be discussing some of the initiatives for student success.  We have to engage with those initiatives to make some “changes” in the way that we do business, particularly with undergraduates.

3) Public Engagement—Chair Zonderman stated that NC State is a land grant university and we as a university have a long history of knowing what a land grant university both does and can do for the citizens of the state.  He added that higher education including land grants are under a lot of public pressure and a lot of public prestige today, some of it healthy and a lot of it unhealthy, but it seems that we as faculty at a land grand university and all that we do to engage the public should also be advocating with the public as well. Whenever you are with the public it never hurts to remind people in as constructive manner as possible, what we do as faculty, what a land grant university does, and what they invest into this university is not money wasted, it is for the most part money exceedingly well spent.   

3.  Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 7, December 3, 2013
A motion passed to approve the minutes as submitted.

4. Remarks from Provost Arden
Provost Arden reported that a SAC reaffirmation visit is coming up this semester and it is going to be a lot of work for a lot of people.  They have already turned in a compliance report to SACS on the 92 compliance standards, which include about 3,000 supporting documents.  They have heard back from the offsite review team and are in compliance with all but eight or nine, which is typical.  The QEP has also been submitted and it is in good shape.     

Leadership Searches

Provost Arden updated the Faculty Senate on the Graduate Dean search. 

Provost Arden stated that finalists are being interviewed for the new Vice Chancellor for Advancement position. 

Provost Arden announced that Dean Godfrey from the College of Textiles will be retiring at the end of June; another Search Committee will be formed for his replacement.

The five-year comprehensive reviews for Dean Ira Weiss in the College of Management and Dean Jeff Braden in Humanities and Social Sciences will take place this spring. He encouraged the faculty to participate in those reviews.

Provost Arden reported that as of yesterday the office of University Planning and Analysis officially became the Office of Institutional Research and Planning and Mary Lelik is the new Senior Vice Provost for that office.  Lelik comes from the University of Illinois, Chicago where she was Director of Research and Planning. 

Provost Arden announced that the online preference survey for the university standing committees will be open from January 13-February 3, 2014, so anyone interested in serving on a committee will need to fill out the survey.

Provost Arden announced that general information sessions on the Reappointment Promotion and Tenure process will be in February, an exact date will be announced later.

5. Presentations

Fostering Student Success (Louis Hunt and Michelle Johnson)
Michelle Johnson, Senior Associate Registrar, reported that in the fall of 2013 NC State gathered a small working group to look at information coming out of UNC GA to determine if it is in compliance and if not what needs to be done.  She stated that they have identified what the university is not in compliance with and have started to walk regulations and provisions through the process on campus.  Of the six sections in Transmittal 83, NC State is in compliance with Sections 1, 4, 5 and 6.  Dean Mullen is leading the effort to make sure the university is in compliance with section three.

Johnson stated that a lot of it has to do with reporting and the baseline reports will be due in the fall of 2014.  The baseline reports will go out and then it is either on a two year or three year cycle depending on the item number in the memo.

Johnson stated that in order to bring NC State in compliance with Section 2 there are a handful of regulations that need revisions.  The regulations that they have proposed revisions to have already been to the Academic Policy subcommittee for review and there were no major concerns with the revisions that were proposed.  She added that one thing to keep in mind is that this came out because of discrepancies in the way member institutions of the UNC system are handling adds, drops, and withdrawals.  NC State for the most part is already in compliance and in the areas where it is not, the majority of students are already making adequate progress toward degree. 

Johnson stated that our students for the most part are making progress in doing what they need to do, so they don’t feel that this is going to have a huge impact at all on the students, their performance, or their behavior. 

Johnson stated that NC State has some Regulations on the books that are huge.  Progress toward  degree is confusing and this gives them an opportunity to shorten or combine some regulations.  There are a handful of regulations that need to be updated.  The one that you are going to hear the most about from students is changes to the add/drop and changes to withdrawal.  The big points there are that undergraduate students’ course drops after census dates must now be considered as course withdrawals, so as a course withdrawal after census dates means that it results as a “W” on a student’s transcript.  She stated that they have looked at drop behavior and students that are making progress toward degree and graduating in four years and six years aren’t really dropping more than four courses after census date, so again the students who are making progress and doing what they need to be doing will not be impacted. 

Johnson pointed out that undergraduates will be limited to a maximum of 16 hours dropped after census date for non-extenuating circumstances, which means that there is no limit to students who need to drop after census date for medical, psychological or hardships, because none of those drops count against the 16 hour maximum, so it is only the drops after census dates for which the student does not have some extenuating circumstance that would lead to that withdrawal on the transcript.

Melissa Johnson stated that in all likelihood a student who withdraws for the entire term has some type of extenuating circumstance, so they are defining a term withdrawal as due to extenuating circumstances, which means that if a student drops sixteen hours in a term, none of that counts against that sixteen hour maximum because it has been defined as a term withdrawal as it must be due to extenuating circumstances.

Questions and Comments

Will the drop date still be the same?

Johnson responded that the last day to drop will still be eight weeks, but if a student self-drops from the census date to that eight week drop, that is going to count toward the sixteen hour maximum and it will show up as a “W” on the transcript.

Will the “W” grade just represent a “W” grade and not a designation such as a P or F to determine whether or not the student is passing or failing the course?

Vice Provost Hunt stated that they can do that, but he feels it would be a challenge.  There is a question as to whether they should differentiate between “W” as a discretionary drop and “W” as a late drop.  They have discussed the WP and the WF and determined that the easiest thing would be to just go with the “W.”

Who will make the decision on what extenuating circumstances are?

Johnson stated that they are working with the Academic Associate Deans in the colleges to make sure they have a process that works for everyone and isn’t over burdensome to the student or to the colleges that might have to make this decision.

In section 3 we are supposed to be reporting on how the various internal GPA transfer requirements are impinging or not impinging on the student’s transfers anywhere.  Where is that going?  We are now in a situation where there are students carrying a 2.0 GPA and are eligible to graduate, but can’t find a department to transfer into.  Are we ever going to deal with that?  

Vice Provost Hunt responded yes, that the issue is brought up when they are meeting with the deans on enrollment issues.  Other schools have dealt with it.  He stated that they have to be careful because there are certain programs that have capacity issues.  We know that there are legitimate criteria that need to be met before a student should be admissible to a program.  You need students who are interested in your disciplines.  We have looked at the data and we have tried to prove that there is a friction that delays time to degree and we have been able to demonstrate that. Now we have built a coded system and it’s just a matter of keeping moving in this direction.  We have done a lot but there is still a big step to be taken and we are heading toward it but haven’t identified that step yet. 

Chair Zonderman added that he really thinks this has to be a university wide discussion; it can’t be done just individually or in the college.

Hunt stated that one thing that works in their favor at solving this issue is they have alleviated some of the continuing expansion of the undergraduate programs.  We have fewer undergraduates than we did last year and the year before, so we have actually created some capacity that hadn’t been there before and that is valuable.  Also, the coded system has a lot of flexibility built into it and it will take a while for departments to become comfortable with it and colleges to figure out how to use it, so hopefully we will start moving from this arbitrary metric of total GPA to something that is meaningful and predictable of success.

Senator Williams stated that the  Athletics Council made a proposal a couple of years ago about a “get out of jail free card” to deal with this problem, that every student at NC State has one chip they can cash in to get out of where they are into whatever major they want to get into. Because it is so difficult to navigate from one place to another because of GPA requirements, you will never get out, so are there any further discussions about something as simple as that?

Hunt stated that it is not that simple, that most kids on this campus are doing exactly what they want them to do.  They are being highly successful and graduating in a timely manner.  He noted that it would work, except that there are capacity issues. 

6. Old/New Business

Resolution on Transfer of Tuition Waivers for Dependents of Faculty and Staff - First Reading
The resolution was presented for a first reading and was discussed. 

The resolution will be presented in the next meeting for a second reading and a vote.

Recommended addition to Article I Section 6 of the Faculty Senate Bylaws: “Consistent with the General Faculty Bylaws, faculty with at least a three-quarter time assignment at the departmental level may serve in the Senate. Emeritus faculty and faculty in the Phased Retirement Program may also serve.”

Senator Aday proposed an amendment to change the FTE from three-quarter time to one halftime to serve in the Senate.  The motion was seconded and the amendment was discussed.

The motion failed:  3 for, 16 against, 4 abstentions

A motion was made and seconded to refer the issue back to the Governance Committee.

The motion passed with unanimous consent.

Discussion of Department Name Change: Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences changes to Department of Youth, Family and Community Sciences

The Faculty Senate discussed the proposed name change of the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Science to Department of Youth, Family, and Community Sciences.

7. Issues of Concern
Past Chair Kellner presented an issue of concern regarding the Academic Calendar – Maymester and early start and short spring semester. 

8. Adjourn
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 4:41 p.m.

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