October 21, 1997
Senators present: Chair Wahl, Secretary Corbin, Past Chair Smith, Parliamentarian Link, Provost Stiles, Senators Bernhard, Bizios, Bottcher, Brown, Carter, De Buysscher, Fahmy, Griffin, Hamouda, Lilley, Magill, Monahan, Middleton, Murty, Nagel, Patty, Robinson, Serow, Siderelis, Strenkowski, Tetro, Wall, Wehner, Wessels
Senators absent: Senators Barr, Daley, Gilbert, Klenin, Rushing, Schwab, Suh
Visitors: Alexandria Morcecai, Staff Writer - News Services; David Raper, Professor, Soil Science; Bruce Mallette, Assistant Provost; Clare Kristofco, Assistant to the Chancellor; Frank Abrams, Senior Associate Provost; Lisa Cason., Staff Writer- Technician; Tom Stafford, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs; Debra Stewart, Dean, Graduate School; Robert Sowell, Associate Dean, Graduate School; Andrew Payne, Student Senate Academic Chair
1. Call to Order
The fifth meeting of the forty fourth session of the NC State Faculty Senate was called to order by Chair Wahl at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Aimee Smart President, Union Activity Board
Aimee Smart handed out information concerning the Union Activity Board, and Leadership Development Series. She stated that the Leadership Development Committee, which is part of the Union Activity Board sponsors the Leadership Development Series. It is a series of workshops to help students develop their personal leadership skills. Aimee would like to have a faculty representative to serve on the Board.
Chair Wahl asked for a volunteer to serve on the Union Activity Board as a faculty representative.
Announcements from Chair Wahl
The Executive Committee had a very friendly and informative meeting yesterday with Keith Harrod, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The Chancellor Search Committee will have their first meeting on October 29, 1997. Anyone with input should contact Chair Wahl so he can share it with other members of the committee.
Chair Wahl would like the Senators to review the Diversity Report. He stated that he has written to the Deans to ask them to involve the Senators from their School or College in any related Diversity event that they might be considering.
There is an opening on the University Diversity Steering Committee. Anyone interested in becoming a member should contact Chair Wahl.
Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology and Genetics, J. Lawrence Apple will be receiving the NCSU Library Faculty Award.
The annual Honors Convocation will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Stewart Theater. Chair Wahl urged the Senators to attend.
The General Faculty Meeting will be held on November 10, 1997 at 3:00 p.m. in the Erdahl Cloyd Theater.
Effective January 1, 1998, Dr. Doug Wellman from the College of Forest Resources will be Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.
Chair Wahl urged Senators who have not done so to schedule an appointment with Agriculture Communications to have pictures taken for the Faculty Senate Handbook.
Chair Wahl urged the Senators who are planning to contribute to the Combined Campaign to do so as soon as possible.
Chair Wahl announced that there is a major study in progress by the Commission on University Environmental Programs. He asked the Senate for ideas on determining the best way to package the environmental programs on campus.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 4, September 30, 1997
The minutes were approved as written.
4. Remarks from the Chancellor
Chancellor Monteith made two observations. 1) He stated that he plans to remain full time Chancellor until his successor arrives and, 2) he is committed for the remainder of this year to do things that will keep the University running effectively. He stated that his responsibility is to do those things that will help the next Chancellor be successful. In the planning of all the important issues on the campus that people are involved in, he would like to provide clear background information and alternatives where a new Chancellor can get up to speed as quickly as possible to play the leadership role. He stated that we should have all of our various committees and others who engage in the important work of the university very busy trying to continue doing the important work, not waiting until next year. It requires full engagement of the institution, trustees and the Chancellor to lay out over the longer period, what the University's interest in growth and enrollment is and how we are going to manage it to be responsible as a public institution, and to offer the highest quality academic experience we possibly can. He stated that his comments are trivial compared to the task before us. He does not know how the Senate would come down on the enrollment issue if it was debated. It is a very fundamental issue to everything else that happens. It is the resource driver for the operating budget but does not provide an infrastructure. It does not expand many laboratories and things that we have in which we do not get any significant equipment allowances with enrollment. Therefore, all of the enrollment is a laboratory-based discipline. He has asked the Vice Chancellor from Student Affairs to give him an analysis of implications of enrollment to the infrastructure that supports our students outside the classrooms. He stated that all of those are necessary for us to spend this year trying to develop perspective and to share them with the new Chancellor and other leaders on campus to be active as the agenda unfolds on the four or five that we are currently studying such as Centennial Campus, Diversity, Enrollment, etc.
Chancellor Monteith stated that his objective will be to use this year to set the stage for the person who will be the Chancellor next year and give them absolutely the best opportunity to be successful in achieving the next level for our institution.
Chair Wahl thanked Chancellor Monteith for his remarks.
5. Unfinished Business
A. COFOR Update
Senator Bizios reported that COFOR is charged with responding to the memorandum from the University Administration on Performance Review of Tenured Faculty. She stated that the committee defined faculty rights and responsibilities (statement attached). She would like the Senate to review the statement and send comments and questions to the Committee. The Committee is now in the process of outlining the second part of the charge. The strategy that they are using is similar to the strategy that the University uses with every other policy.
The minutes of the committee are available on the World Wide Web at: http://www2.ncsu.edu/ncsu/provost/info/governance/Ad_hoc/COFOR/
Chair Wahl thanked Senator Bizios for her update.
B. Hearings Panel Update: Personnel Policy Committee
Senator Magill reported that additions were made to the Faculty Hearings Procedures after Senator Gilbert raised the following points:
1) He wanted a definite statement as to the charge or purpose of the Hearings Panel.
Senator Magill stated that the committee proposed that the starred sentence on page four of the attached report be added to page one as indicated. This would enable the charge to be made clear from the start. The University General Counsel has been consulted and does not have a problem with the change. The Committee is asking that the change be made as a friendly amendment.
2) Guidelines on Legal Advice.
Senator Magill stated that the committee proposed to add an explicit statement that faculty being discharged have the right to an attorney. It is already mentioned in part 6 of Section 603, but the Committee feels that it needs to be reiterated concerning the section on legal advice. Once again the University General Counsel has been consulted.
Senator Magill stated that the Committee would like to have the sentences added as a friendly amendment and have the Hearings Procedures Guidelines passed.
The motion was made and seconded to accept the materials as distributed.
Past Chair Smith explained that the Hearings Procedures are used when the University Administration moves to dismiss a person with tenure. The person who is being dismissed before the end of his or her contract has the right to a Hearing, and in that Hearing, the University has to prove its case.
He stated that in the Grievance Procedure an employee brings charges against an Administrator if the Administrator has done something to harm his or her career for improper reasons. In that case, the faculty member has to prove the case against the Administrator.
Chair Wahl noted that Hearings and Grievances are processed through the Faculty Senate Office and are done as discretely as possible.
The motion to accept the friendly amendments to the Faculty Hearings Committee Selection Procedures passed without dissent.
C. Second Reading - Resolution on Board of Trustees' Review of Academic Misconduct Cases: (Attached) Governance Committee
Senator Monahan reported that a revised form of the resolution that was read in the last meeting is at everyone's place. There is an additional whereas and the other change is a change in the resolve. Senator Monahan moved that the resolution be adopted. Seconded by Senator Fahmy.
Senator Monahan read the resolve.
Discussion on the Resolution
Senator Middleton wanted to know what percentage of the faculty was polled to determine their sentiments regarding this issue.
Senator Monahan responded that this issue has been under discussion by the Governance Committee for several months and during that time the members of the committee had heard indirectly or directly from the Senators how the faculty felt about the issue. He stated that a formal survey was not conducted and noted that if he would summarize the comments, they would be much stronger than anything he has written in the resolution.
Senator Fahmy wanted to know if it was mentioned that the Board of Trustees exceeded the authority that the Board of Governors gave them.
Senator Monahan responded that his interpretation is that they are not supposed to re-evaluate the evidence. They are supposed to determine whether a reasonable person hearing that evidence could come to the same conclusions as the judicial body.
Senator Wehner stated that he informally polled some of the faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and thinks the intent is to have the appeals process stopped at the Chancellor's level. He would like to know if the resolved could be more of a direct statement rather than asking the Board of Trustees to do something.
Senator Monahan stated that the Board of Trustees is investigating whether they can ask the Board of Governors to relieve them of the review responsibility. He stated that according to the UNC Code it is specifically delegated to the Board of Trustees and they cannot delegate it to anyone else.
Senator Monahan stated that his view of the situation and the view that has been adopted by the Committee is that if the Board of Trustees sticks to what they are supposed to be doing, there would be no cause for concern.
Senator Nagel wanted to know what authority is delegated to the Board of Trustees by the Board of Governors.
Senator Monahan responded that the Board of Trustees has the authority and responsibility to review cases on academic misconduct and other cases which include grades, admissions and similar matters.
Senator Nagel stated that he does not see how they have exceeded that authority.
Senator Monahan stated that instead of adhering to the guidelines of insufficiency of evidence, they retried the case on its merit and they are not supposed to do that.
Vice Chancellor Stafford wanted to know on what basis did Senator Monahan make the above statement.
Senator Monahan responded that he can only interpret from what he has heard from various sources. It seems to him that the motivation for their actions were something as straight forward as a procedural flaw for misapplication policy and that individuals on the Board would have been more receptive to stating those as the reason. The fact that no justification for their action was given is the lack of action which has caused the greatest anguish among the faculty.
Vice Chancellor Stafford stated that the reason that the action was taken by the Board of Trustees in closed section is that it involved a student judicial case. He stated that much of what occurred cannot be discussed in public. He stated that he was there and feels that the Board of Trustees did not exceed their authority. It is clearly delegated to them to take the action that they took. They took the action because they came to a different conclusion about the finding in this case based on the information that they were provided.
Senator Wehner stated that the faculty that he has talked to would like the resolution to read that the Chancellor is the last appeal as opposed to asking the Board of Trustees to limit their own authority.
Senator Carter stated that his proposal is to ask the committee and his fellow Senators to consider strengthening the resolution to recommend that the procedure be changed because, although the Board of Trustees did what was asked of them, the procedure that they used for this case and for the students generally is different from the way they address cases involving faculty which is for the whole Board to consider and not just three members.
Senator Wehner suggested that the resolve read that the Faculty call on the Board of Governors to limit the authority of the Board of Trustees to review appeals.
Provost Stiles stated that the authority lies with the Board of Governors. They have delegated it to the Board of Trustees. If they limit that, they are taking it back on themselves. Provost Stiles stated that the resolve needs to call on the Board of Trustees to delegate the authority to the Chancellor.
Senator Tetro does not think the students' rights should be limited. She feels that the students need to have the same rights as an EPA employee or faculty member.
Senator Patty feels that the Board of Trustees need to be called upon to review their process and should be asked to modify their procedures to include the full Board voting and consider the delegation of the authority to the Chancellor.
Provost Stiles stated that there are two issues and the resolve has not spoken to either one of the issues. It seems to him that if, in fact, the Board did act within their authority, they may have been able to communicate that to the faculty so that the faculty would be less upset. He stated that if you are going to have a single resolve it should be to make sure your procedures are in order to serve the University and that you develop communication procedures so that the disenchantment of the faculty does not occur.
Vice Chancellor Stafford stated that he would like the Senate to be aware that the Trustees who were involved in this case made it very clear that they were willing to meet and discuss with members of the administration, faculty and students, who were on the judicial board, their reasons for the actions they took. He stated that the sense of the Trustees is different from what he thinks it has been projected in many places. Furthermore, all the people who were involved in the case were fully informed about what happened.
Senator Carter suggested removing the second whereas in the resolution or making it accurate. He stated that he thinks the Trustees have the best interest of the university at heart. He does not think the adjective haughty is appropriate in this case and asked that it be removed.
Senator Serow stated that he would like to endorse Senator Carter's last statement in light of the story he read in this morning's News & Observer.
Andrew Payne, Chair of the Student Senate Academic Committee stated that they have a similar resolution. It was tabled at their meeting last night until they are able to get more information. He stated that they do not know all the facts and would rather not proceed with it until they have found out all the facts.
Senator Monahan stated that he thinks it is appropriate for the Board of Trustees to be a review authority over these matters. He said we are blessed with a responsive Administration but that may not be the case years from now and he would want the Board of Trustees to be there as a safeguard. He stated that some people think the word "haughty" might be a bit inflammatory. In searching for wording to be proper for this resolution, he finds himself constantly trying to find less inflammatory words than were communicated to him by other faculty. He stated that he would appreciate the Senator's comments on the type of language that should be used. He thinks it is important for it to be firm and clear but properly reflected. He feels one of the purposes of the resolution is to communicate to the Board of Trustees how the faculty feel about the action that they took. He stated that choosing words that are too bland will not communicate that accurately.
Senator Griffin suggested adding, apparent, and leaving haughty in the whereas.
Secretary Corbin thanked Chair Wahl for taking time to open dialog with the Trustees and for giving the Trustees the chance to reach out to the Faculty.
Senator Nagel noted that the Trustees chose to communicate to the community through an article in the News & Observer that proclaimed their indignation toward any lack of academic integrity. They gave their resolution and did not offer anything that came to the faculty as a letter or any other way. He thinks that is an apparent sign of disrespect.
Senator Serow wanted to know what basis, other than hearsay does the Senate have for voting on the resolution. He wonders if there is something that can be done to improve the communication process generally.
Past Chair Smith thinks that it would be wiser to state in the fourth whereas of the resolution that many members of the faculty regard the unwillingness, rather than "the faculty", because that tends to speak for everyone, whereas there might be some who do not feel that way.
Senator Bizios suggested that the committee consult with the University Counsel's office for proper wording of the second whereas and resolve in the resolution.
Senator Monahan responded that he has communicated with the University Counsel's office on the wording and it has been confirmed.
Senator Patty wanted to know if the committee would consider wording to the effect that the Trustee's actions were taken as a sign of lack of confidence in the Faculty, judicial system, etc.
Chair Wahl asked Senator Monahan to take the resolution back to the Governance Committee for clarification and to bring it back to the next meeting for a third reading.
6. New Business
A. Resolution on Welcoming Visiting Faculty to NC State University: Academic Policy Committee
Senator Griffin report that the resolution is the result of an issue of concern raised by Senator Rushing.
Senator Griffin introduced the resolution for its first reading.
The resolution will be debated at the next meeting.
B. Graduate School Representation on Ph.D. Oral Exams: Governance Committee
Senator Monahan reported that an issue of concern was raised about a proposed change in policy regarding Graduate School representation on Ph.D. Oral Exams. The Administrative Board of the Graduate School has approved the change and policy for a trial period of two years making it somewhat optional, allowing for cases where there would not be a Graduate School Representative and as an opportunity to gain information about the procedure and its value to the faculty, students and graduate education at the university.
Senator Monahan stated that after reviewing the procedures of the trial policy, the Governance Committee feels that the policy has all the important safeguards that they would want to have and they will endorse its adoption for a trial period of two years. In the meantime, they feel that there is a lot of hearsay about faculty's attitudes on willingness to serve on these committees. The value that is perceived by the faculty members, graduate administrators and the value to the various disciplines that is met and whether it is worth the effort best measured by the managers of the university. The Governance Committee feels that a very good way to get important facts straight about faculty attitudes and whether administration and management in this University feel that it is a good use of time, is for the Graduate School to conduct a number of surveys to gather that information. The committee recommended that the Senate approve the two recommendations. Seconded.
The motion passed without dissent.
7. Issues of Concern
Senator Lilley stated that a colleague is concerned with the comprehensive articulation agreement with North Carolina Community College System and the University of North Carolina System.
Chair Wahl assigned the issue of concern to the Academic Policy Committee to investigate and report back to the Senate.
Chair Wahl is concerned with communication. He would like the Senators to tell him where and how it can be fixed. He stated that it would really be neat to get a response when one of the committee chairs circulate something for comments.
Chair Wahl urged the Senators to make an appointment to have their pictures taken for the Faculty Senate Handbook.
The meeting adjourned at 4:58 p.m.