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September 27, 2011 

Senators Present:  Jeannette Moore, Co-chair; Roy Borden, Keith Edmisten, Montserrat Fuentes, Bruce Hammerberg, Al Headen, Scott Townsend, David Zonderman.

Unable to attend: Dimitris Argyropoulos, Co-chair

1. Approval of the minutes from  the September 13, 2011 meeting
Minutes were distributed to the committee electronically.  Minutes were approved as written and without dissent via email prior to the September 27th meeting.

2. Old Business

a.      Senator Montse Fuentes: Issue of Concern referred to the Academic Policy Committee from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee:  Lack of maternity/paternity policy for graduate and undergraduate students.

The APC has decided to concentrate on graduate students.  Research and discussions relative to undergraduates indicate we do not really have control over their financial aid, and they do not have a "clock" that limits the amount of time they have to complete the degree.

Senator Fuentes provided the committee with the information from UNC Chapel Hill's Graduate Student Parental Leave Policy (see Appendix A and Appendix B).  Senator Fuentes would like to see NCSU adopt the UNC policy.  Full-time graduate students who are on stipend earn six weeks of support from the Graduate School and Provost for parental leave; if both parents are graduate students, only one can take the leave.  Students who are not on stipend can take the leave, but do not get compensated.  However, they do get the extension of the clock (one semester), and they do get to keep their health insurance.  The latter two points would be a huge benefit for NCSU students because right now they can take leave, but are no longer eligible for health insurance that requires them to be full-time students; NCSU students also do not get an extension of the clock.

Senators have talked with other faculty and administrators; there seems to be agreement that such a policy is needed.  Departments at NCSU cannot offer support unless there is a university policy.

After  discussion, the APC voted unanimously to recommend that NCSU adopt UNC Chapel Hill's Graduate Student Parental Leave Policy to allow graduate students to have six weeks of leave, to extend the clock one semester, and to be able to remain on health insurance.  The details of funding would need to be worked out for graduate students who are on stipend.

This issue is being referred to the Faculty Senate Exec Committee for consideration of discussion by the full Faculty Senate.

b.      Senator Roy Borden: Proposed new Syllabus regulation

Several colleges provided feedback to the UCCC about the proposed changes.  After 15 or 20 minutes of discussion at UCCC, it was obvious that more discussion was needed.  A subcommittee was formed (and Roy is on it); this subcommittee will meet for the first time on Friday.

Things that are university-wide that are currently required on syllabi:

- Disability statement
- Academic integrity / code of student conduct
- Incomplete grades
- Any other implemented statements that are university-wide

This is an ongoing issue that will continue to be discussed

3. New Business

a.    Updates (if any) from APC members on University Committees

David Zonderman: CUE (Council on Undergraduate Education)

Study Abroad continues to be discussed at CUE, but the vote has been taken.

Jeannette Moore: EOT (Evaluation of Teaching) - no updates

Al Headen:  University Standing Committee on Commencement - no updates

Montse Fuentes: CIP (Committee International Programs) - no updates

Keith Edmisten: Admissions; Elected to the Council on Athletics

Football practice is now in the morning.  Athletes plan their schedules (fall/spring courses) according to their practice schedule.  Tutors are assigned; students don't choose their tutors.

Admissions:  Got rid of special readmissions so all students go through one committee (there were two committees).

Roy Borden: UCCC (University Courses and Curricula)

See above discussion about the syllabus regulation

4. Other Business (If any)

Roy had a discussion at lunch about General Studies.  The revision of First Year Course Repeat to be the Grade Exclusion regulation helps students who are trying to change majors because they don't have to re-take the course.

5. Adjourn 4:15 p.m.

Future APC Meetings (3:00 to 5:00 pm in 125 Polk Hall):

Oct 11, Oct 25, Nov 8, Nov 22, Dec 6, Jan 17, Jan 31, Feb 14, Feb 28, Mar 13, Mar 27, Apr 10, Apr 24.

Appendix A: Senator Fuentes' summary of the policy at UNC Chapel Hill

UNC Grad Student Parental Leave Policy (Summary)


Some numbers from UNC-CH

Ohio State Policy

Penn State Policy

Others with some paid accommodations:

Cornell, Michigan State, U Michigan, U Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, U Iowa, U Wisconsin-Madison

Appendix B:  The Policy from  http://gradschool.unc.edu/pdf/parental_leave.pdf

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduate Student Parental Leave Policy

Summary of Provisions
The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Student Parental Leave Policy is designed to assist a full-timegraduate student who is the primary child-care provider, immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. It is designed to make it possible to maintain the student's full-time, registered student status, and to facilitate return to full participation in class work and, where applicable, research and teaching in a seamless manner. Medical complications are not covered by this policy. Such situations are more appropriately covered with the University’s existing Medical Leave Policy.

The Parental Leave Policy has three components and applies to all full-time, matriculated graduate students anticipating a birth or adoption as described below:


The Parental Leave Policy applies to matriculated, full-time graduate students anticipating the birth or adoption of a child. Eligible graduate students are those with a current full-time appointment who have been full-time graduate students for at least one academic year (two academic semesters) at the time parental leave is taken.

Planning and Approval

The student should initiate discussions with his/her advisor(s) and departmental or school administrators at least eight weeks prior to the anticipated birth or adoption. This notice will provide the lead time necessary to rearrange teaching duties for those students supported by teaching assistantships (TAs), or to adjust laboratory or other research schedules. This planning period should also be used to reach agreement on a timeline for academic issues (e.g., Ph.D. qualifying examinations and other academic milestones, field work, time-sensitive research reports on sponsored projects) that will be affected by the birth or adoption of a child and by the one semester extension of academic requirements. It is essential that the student consult with their research advisor well in advance of the birth or adoption if the nature of his/her funding or the research grant conditions require that specific tasks be completed by specified dates, or if the Principal Investigator (PI) will need to hire additional help to meet those conditions during a period of reduced activity by the graduate student. It is the student's responsibility to make arrangements with faculty and with departmental administrators for course completion and for continuation of teaching and research activities before and following the leave period

Students who will be temporarily leaving TA assignments should notify the appropriate department chair as soon as practicable, but no later than eight weeks prior to the anticipated start date of the leave to allow sufficient time to find an appropriate replacement. It is the department’s responsibility to arrange for a substitute TA for the period of the leave. The student on parental leave will be expected to return to his/her teaching assignment at the conclusion of the leave, barring unforeseen circumstances. If the student is not able to return, he/she must pursue a Leave of Absence or Medical Leave.  For an international student, this policy is intended to allow him/her to maintain full-time student status and not otherwise affect his/her current visa status. However, an international student should discuss the intended leave period with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at the beginning of the planning period in order to identify and address proactively any individual or unique visa issues and/or to consider the latest applicable regulations

The Dean of the Graduate School grants approval of parental leave after appropriate consultation with the student’s department. The leave will be granted to eligible graduate students who have submitted a written request and appropriate documentation of anticipated childbirth or adoption. This process must include written certification from a health care provider and written permission by the graduate student stating that an official of the University may contact the certifying health care provider, if needed. In the case of adoption, the request for leave must be accompanied by certification of child adoption, as well as written permission by the graduate student stating that an official of the University may contact the certifying individual, if needed. The student’s request for leave under this policy must be submitted no later than eight weeks prior to the anticipated beginning of parental leave.


Upon approval of Parental Leave, the Graduate School will notify the relevant department and central administrative offices that a Parental Leave has been approved and the dates for which the leave has been granted. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the department while on leave and to work with the faculty and the department administrators towards arrangements for course completion and for continuation of research and teaching activities before and following the period of the leave as indicated above.


In addition to being eligible for academic accommodation, those graduate students supported by fellowships, TAs, and/or research assistantships (RAs) will be excused from their regular TA or RA duties for a period of six weeks during which they will continue to receive financial support. Most graduate students who receive a Teaching Assistantship as part of the support package should be able to arrange the timing of teaching assignments to accommodate childbirth or adoption. During the six-week leave period, students supported by teaching assistantships may choose to continue in some limited capacity (e.g., grading, preparing course materials, or other non-intensive duties), but cannot be required to do so. Under most circumstances, a combination of sources (e.g., the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School) will provide the necessary funding for the leave. With advance planning, most graduate students who receive a Research Assistantship as part of the support package can similarly adjust research activities to accommodate childbirth or adoption.

Most granting agencies provide for a short period of reduced activity due to health or personal issues.


The Parental Leave Policy establishes minimum standards for accommodation for a leave associated with childbirth or adoption. Advisors and departmental or school administrators are encouraged to work with sensitivity to provide more than this minimum (as feasible), according to the particular circumstances of the student. Accommodations are expected to be made for example where toxic chemicals or extensive travel to remote archives or field areas may be involved. New mothers and fathers, for their part, need to keep the lines of communication with their departments open, and demonstrate to their advisors that they are academically engaged and making progress on coursework and research, even if it is at a somewhat slower pace than prior to the birth or adoption. In other words, the Parental Leave Policy is intended to support - not replace - the open communication and good will that should characterize the relationship between student and advisors and administrators at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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