FACULTY SENATE MEETING
February 10, 2009
Present: Chair Martin, Secretary Kellner; Chair Elect Overton, Parliamentarian Corbin; Senators Akroyd, Ambaras, Auerbach, Bernhard, Boone, Daemon, Domingue, Edmisten, Fahmy, Fleisher, Franke, Genereux, Havner, Headen, Hergeth, Kiwanuka-Tondo, Kocurek, Levy, Lindsay, Murty, Ristaino, Roberts, Tu, Williams
Excused: Provost Nielsen; Senators Honeycutt, Scotford
Absent: Senators Hemenway, Kotek, Lindbo, Muddiman, Poindexter, Poling, Ting
Visitors: Betsy Brown, Office of the Provost; Thomas Schueter, Professor of Physics; Marcia Gumpertz, AVP Faculty and Staff Diversity; Bill Swallow, Professor Emeritus; Katie Perry, Senior Vice Provost; P. J. Teal, Secretary of the University; Tom Miller, Vice Provost, DELTA; Donn Ward, Head, Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences; Lucian Lucia, Associate Professor; Dimitris Argproposios, Professor; Lee Fowler, Athletic Director; Barbara Carroll, AVC Human Resources
1. Call to Order
Chair James D. Martin called the eleventh meeting of the fifty-fifth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
2. Welcome and Announcements
Chair Martin welcomed Senators and visitors.
Chair Martin announced that the second annual State of the University address would be March 10 at 11 a.m. in Stewart Theater.
The Spring General Faculty meeting will be March 23 at 3 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Talley Student Center.
Chair Martin gave a brief summary of the Executive Committee meeting last week.
There was significant discussion about the pay cut/furlough issue. [The committee] also discussed that we need to not only look at cuts when we are looking at the budget situation, but we also can look at some of the revenue side of things. Also one of the questions raised was that we keep coming back to some of this middle management ideas, how to get a better handle on that and how to address many of those issues. We also discussed the issue of the tuition by credit hour. We were going to, but did not get a chance to discuss a couple of policies on summer salaries, both in terms of payment for teaching summer school and any additional compensation that we need review. The Executive Committee is probably going to review these policies because they cross a variety of committees. We thought that it would be a good idea for the Executive Committee to review those first by way of efficiency.
Some of you may also remember that some time ago I noted that the academic tenure policy and the policy on non-tenure track faculty were being revised, in part due to revisions to the code that took place last year. Those are now ready for broader review. I discussed this briefly with Betsy Brown, partly because of the docket that the Personnel Policy Committee has at the moment and partly because things like academic tenure policy and the non-tenure track policy do transcend quite a number of different areas. I would like to assemble an ad hoc committee to review these two policies. There are aspects of these policies that are particularly related to code issues. Those I don’t think should be a big issue for the mechanical part of review, but there may be other issues that require some deeper level quality discussions, so if I don’t get volunteers for the ad hoc committees I will twist some arms via email, but I would like to get that kind of ad hoc committee formed by the end of this week and no later than by the beginning of next week so that we can review those policies.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 10, January 27, 2009
A motion passed to approve the minutes.
4. Remarks from Barbara Carroll, AVC for Human Resources
Associate Vice Chancellor, Barbara Carroll gave an overview on personnel issues relating to the budget.
The State of North Carolina gets its money from income tax (55%); sales tax (26%), Corporate tax (5%) so if people are out of jobs, the revenue is going to go down in the state, and there is a logical reason why the state budget is contracting.
Where does the State of North Carolina spend its money?
Public Education (K-12) – 37%
Community Colleges 4%
Health and Human Services
So Education in North Carolina accounts for about 61% of the state’s money. When the state’s money goes down, education in general is going to be impacted. Of course that trickles down through the UNC System and NC State.
The university gets almost half of its money from the state. Contracts and Grants (23%) create money but all the money that comes into contracts and grants get spent in contracts and grants. The money that comes into auxiliary gets spent either in auxiliaries, or if there is any revenue, it essentially gets sent to financial aid. These are the kinds of pools that we have to work with. Tuition is pressured to keep that constrained and state appropriations going down, so it’s not to hard to see why we are in the budget situation that we are in and how our money goes out. 62% is salaries and benefits and the remainder is items like supplies and materials. Services include telephone service, travel, etc., so the state’s money gets smaller, NC State’s money gets smaller and at some level you have to begin looking at how the dollars are going to impact the single biggest expenditure money in the university. [Salaries.]
We have approximately 8300 people that are not temporary and it is split 52% SPA/48% EPA. Then if you break it down even further, SPA is 52 % and on the EPA side it breaks down to about 19% tenured/tenure track faculty, 10% special faculty, and about 19% EPA non-faculty professionals. If you break it down a little further, the 19% of non-faculty professionals break [down] into the three major categories, which are EPA positions that qualify for EPA status under Board policy in support of instruction, but it doesn’t necessarily mean classroom instruction. They throw a lot of types of positions into that instructional bucket. There are basically things that aren’t SPA, because they don’t know what to do with them at the state level. So things like financial aid officers, academic advisors, coaches, anything that is sort of is unique to a university environment that they don’t get market data for OSP fall into that bucket.
If we are looking at [cutting] SPA positions, we refer to it as a reduction in force (RIF). For EPA positions we don’t talk about them in terms of RIF, we talk about them in terms of discontinuation.
We looked at how many RIF’s we had seen every year for the past ten years and out of 4,000 SPA positions we are generally eliminating fewer than ten every year. I think the institution does a lot to try to mitigate the impact of layoffs as much as possible.
Carroll referred to a period in which the university had an 8% budget cut in one year and an eleven percent budget cut the next.
Secretary Kellner asked does this mean over time a total of about 80 SPA positions were eliminated reducing the number of SPA's.
Carroll: Technically speaking, if you do a reduction in force the position is abolished.
Secretary Kellner: [Referring to Power Point slide] Fiscal year to date there has been no budget cut RIF’s.
Carroll responded that is correct, but it probably will not stay that way. Overall the institution has done a pretty good job.
Senator Headen: Would it be helpful for us to think of this period as being similar to the 2001-02 period?
Carroll said that is what we are beginning to get serious about considering. We are looking at multiple years of budget cuts and we are going to inevitably see spikes.
Senator Williams: In 1999-00 and 2000-2001 -- were those budget cuts? Were they revenue shortfalls or were they unanticipated expenditures or a little of both.
Carroll stated that she moved here in 2004 and all she knows is that they were big state budget cuts.
The message is the institution generally fights as hard as it can, not to RIF positions, but at some point we have to give and then there is activity.
Senator Kocurek stated that he was department head at the time and when they went through this there were exceptional [efforts] done at the university to try to protect the teaching and academic programs. We saw that data as to how the other areas -- business, finance, etc., all the other areas -- were cut significantly more in order to protect that philosophy back then.
Carroll stated some of that is reflected here because your SPA positions are disproportionately represented in non-academic units and the same budget principle applies now, so the academic core under the current budget principle takes less of a hit than the non-academic components of the budget.
Senator Ristaino stated, if the statistics are broken down by college she thinks there are more SPA’s in the College of Agriculture that are working on grants and research than there are in the other colleges, and what is happening now is that their funding source is drying up. She is going to be paying 50% of her SPA’s salary starting April 1; so basically instead of riffing these people, they are going to put them on grants. There is going to be several hundred people that are no longer hard money salaried people.
Carroll stated that those are never easy choices.
Secretary Kellner: When an SPA is riffed, what is the nature of the saving? When does it occur? How does sick leave, vacation, etc., tend to defer savings?
Carroll stated that RIF policies are dictated by the State of North Carolina. The UNC System does not dictate them. They are dictated by NC State. We follow the state rule -- period. One of the first rules is if there are temps, probationary employees, you have to let those people cut before Riffing permanently.
Who gets riffed? If you have to choose among things, you can consider business needs and the relative contributions in various positions including the skill sets and competencies of the individual. Length of service is an issue. It is a consideration but it’s not straight because business needs do play into those considerations. If a department has to consider riffing a position, they have to submit a proposal to HR. They have to submit a written proposal for HR’s review and endorsement. Human Resources look for compliance with the State Policy. They look for adverse impact on demographic diversity. They do severance calculations if there is a severance formula. Human Resources has to get approval from OSP and the Office of State Budget. They have to give employees at least a 30 days notice. There are some appeal rights and you can’t just RIF a person, you have to abolish the position.
Senator Williams: Is there a grace period for when that position could be reinstated or is the position gone forever?
Carroll responded that HR pays attention for at least one year.
Senator Williams asked does the person in that previously held the position have priority in getting that position back?
Carroll responded, for one year they have priority.
The RIF calculation is based on a formula—years of state service, plus if they are over age 39 they get an age factor on top of service, plus they are paid for any accrued leave, i.e., up to six weeks of annual leave, up to five weeks of bonus leave, and any unused comp time they have on the book. That money comes out of the same budget that the position comes out of.
If the employee has worked the past twenty-four months with the state they get priority for any state job. HR works with them closely for those positions and has been pretty successful in helping people find their next job, over the past ten years.
With EPA there are two different kinds of components, individuals that have at will appointments and there are individuals with contractual appointments. If they are at will their continuation or discontinuation is at the discretion of the Chancellor.
EPA‘s with at will appointments receive 30 days notice or severance in their first year and sixty days notice or severance in their second or third year and four years or more they get ninety days notice or severance. We work with departments before they communicate with individuals to make sure they are giving the correct communication.
There are some EPA non-faculty that are also on contingent contracts. EPA non-faculty are on fixed term contracts. Basically you can’t end those relationships before the end of the contract period, except in the case of financial exigency.
SPA and EPA get paid out their leave up to the maximum. Sick leave is not paid out but if they return to a state position within five years their sick leave is reinstated.
Health insurance is continued and is paid by the university for the first year if they were enrolled in the health plan. They can also elect Cobra for extended benefits.
People that are separated due to discontinuation or a RIF are eligible to receive unemployment insurance. NC State gets billed directly for unemployment insurance.
Senator Levy: If an employee has worked eight years in one unit and takes a job with another unit for six months, who pays the cost of the RIF.
Carroll stated that the departments would share the cost.
Senator Headen: How would a furlough work across the different groups you’ve talked about. You have nine-month employees, tenured, etc., how will it work?
Carroll stated that because we don’t have one I don’t know how it would work. No furlough program has been designed.
Secretary Kellner stated that getting rid of people can be expensive and that the savings are minimized so that it is not as effective as it seems on paper. There are a number of deans, department heads, etc., who are identifying people across the board whose positions might be eliminated, but when that happens they, on their budgets, take off so much but the cost goes some place else.
Carroll stated that the cost stays with them.
Secretary Kellner asked do they have the formulas regarding how much can be saved by eliminating person A, B, or C?
Carroll stated that every time a department contemplates a RIF they have to come to HR and they do the calculation.
Carroll stated that there is a lot of “don’t wait too late but don’t do anything too soon” and she thinks everyone wants to not do stuff that they don’t need to do.
5. Tuition by the Credit Hour
Chair Martin stated that the Faculty Assembly brought the issue of tuition by credit hour to their attention. The issue was raised by Judith Wehner, Chair of the Faculty Assembly for their consideration. Tom Miller served on a committee that looked at and talked about this and he provided additional information and he will give a few comments from his perspective on that. There are a variety of opinions on this like there are many issues. At the Faculty Assembly level, the chair is suggesting that campuses look at this very significantly and she would like to encourage the campuses to take the lead that Chapel Hill did to pass a resolution saying that we don’t favor this.
Chair Martin thinks it’s important to discuss the matter before passing a resolution. He stated that the real question to ask is if we don’t have a lot of confidence but we are playing around with something like tuition dollars, is now a wise time to go into new directions.
Comments from Tom Miller, Vice Provost for Distance Education
Tom Miller, Vice Provost for Distance Education, provided some background information of how this came about. He explained that he wrote a white paper in January 2004 out of concern that there were two models for charging tuition on our campus -- one being for on campus, which was a quarter FTE stair step, and the other being a per credit hour model that is charged for distance education. That dates back to 1998 when the whole model from which the university system is funded for instruction changed fundamentally. That fundamental change actually grew the system from an FTE based model for funding instruction on the campuses to a credit hour based model. That credit hour based model applies to on-campus as well as distance education.
The question, as Jim raised it, is do we mess around with the way that we charge tuition? In fact, when I was put on the committee that Jim referred to, which was the E Learning Policy Committee and Tuition Fee Subcommittee, I learned that apparently the move to a credit hour based tuition model was expected by the Legislature back in 1998 when they changed the way the university system was funded. That is why distance education was mandated at that point to be charged on a credit hour basis as opposed to an FTE basis. The problem that led me into this was that we noticed that around the 2003-2004 time period that our on-campus students had discovered opportunities through distance education. A lot of those students were taking courses both on campus and by distance education. I started looking at the data and in fact, what was really happening is we had a lot of full time students -- for undergraduates, defined as twelve credit hours -- they are paying full on-campus tuition. A lot of students would take twelve hours on campus and would do three hours by taking a course by distance education, so they are taking about the average number of credit hours, 15 credit hours which is about the average for campus, but they were paying full tuition and fees on campus plus the equivalent for three credit hours prorated for that distance education course. When I started looking at that a lot more, I started looking for numbers and different scenarios and I found that in addition to the tuition penalty for full time students taking some combination of on campus and distance education courses, they were paying more than full time tuition, and part time students on the other hand that took some combination of distance education and online courses were typically paying less than the full tuition. I had proposed a solution that was not the solution that came out of the E Learning Policy Committee. The solution that I would propose would say the student is registered on campus and getting a degree on campus, let’s calculate their tuition based on the FTE on campus regardless of how many on campus courses they are taking and how many distance courses they are taking and that way the inequities go away. This was in 2004 and I presented this to then Provost Oblinger and George Worsley looked at the numbers and said this is a problem we need to solve, so they sent it to GA where there was a task force formed called the E Learning Policy Committee. There were quite a few subcommittees of that, but the two that were really substantial were the Tuition and Fees Subcommittee and the Inter-Institutional Subcommittee and in the end it was the need to come up with an equitable model for inter-institutional programs that led to the ultimate decision by the entire E Learning Policy Committee that we needed to move to a per credit hour base tuition and fee model.
If we have students enrolled at NC State, no matter what tuition they are actually paying, we are obligated [...], because the money that comes to us from the state is calculated on what tuition should be collected, based on our tuition formula. That is subtracted from the actual appropriation. So whereas we get state funding and tuition and fees, there is a total requirement calculated, then they calculate what we should be collecting in tuition and fees based on our tuition formula and then subtract it from total appropriation. There was never any good resolution for this and it comes down to the only thing that is equitable and works in an inter-institution program is to consider that courses taken by a student in such a program -- the course is the atomic level. So you either take the course at NC State or you take the course at Greensboro. The courses at NC State should be charged NC State tuition and the courses at Greensboro charged Greensboro tuition.
The tuition models that we have for on-campus tuition are non-linear. They go up by quarter FTE stair steps; they are not atomic, based on courses. Then they are capped at twelve hours undergraduate and nine hours graduate and so with a full time students, we get into the same issue. If a full time student at NC State takes a course at Greensboro, they pay additional tuition at Greensboro. So it’s all of these considerations that really led to the conclusion that the only ultimately equitable model for tuition and fees in a world of E Learning and inter-institutional programs was the per credit hour tuition and fee model.
Senator Fleisher asked couldn’t we have something where regardless of what you take -- whether distance education, regular courses or a combination of both -- that you pay the same amount up to twelve credits, and then at twelve credits you have to cap regardless of what kind of courses you are taking. In the College of Veterinary Medicine there are students taking twenty credits.
Miller stated that he looked at the actual distribution for 2003-2004 for undergraduate programs and calculated what this would be and the assumption is that if per credit hour tuition and fees were implemented it would be done in a neutral way, so a student taking an average full time load would be paying the same as they are paying now for that average full time load. Some students are taking more and some are taking less and the real issue is where we have a cap. Right now there is a cap with 12 hours undergraduate and 9 hours graduate. When I looked at my own calculation of where the break point would be for undergraduate students, it was between 19 and 20 credit hours. It’s those who are taking 21 hours or more where we look at the 3 credit hour course grade point that it would really be with higher tuition, and that was a concern. It was a concern for two reasons. 1) Do we really want to make students who are very bright and capable enough to take 21 or more credit hours to pay more tuition? Is that going to discourage them from advancing through the system quickly? We talked about that a lot and one of the things that we considered, in fact, if you look at a full time student, tuition and fees are a relatively small part of the cost of being in school and so really it is not to any student’s financial advantage if they are at that level of taking courses to slow down because there is an extra course that they pay extra tuition for. The other big issue was discouraging exploration. If you are taking a full time load and you are a bright student and you are capable of taking 15, 18, or 21 hours, it probably will be the case that if you pay extra tuition for those courses above whatever your average is that it is going to discourage exploration.
Miller stated that the current funding formula does favor NC State.
Senator Williams thinks maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. He stated that it favors us only if they have the right calculation on what it actually cost us to educate an engineering student.
Senator Headen wants to know if it is equitable to the students or equitable to the institution or everyone.
Miller stated, prior to the current funding model a student was a student, and after the funding model changed it was weighted by undergraduate, masters, doctoral level and also by discipline, Engineering and Textiles and Ag.
Senator Headen said you take exactly the same material and it depends on the mechanics of paperwork, regardless of how much you pay for it because you get the same products.
Senator Ambaras stated that there are those who might think, if you want to get an engineering degree, why do you need all of these general education courses, and if you move to a per credit tuition model, I can imagine that there is going to be a lot of pressure from various quarters to say, okay, cut the requirements for general education even further, so that people who come in here wanting to do a business degree or engineering degree can get out MORE quickly. That is the value-for-the-dollar education that NC State promises and the administration, concerned very much with time-to-graduation rates, might be very open to that kind of approach.
Senator Ambaras stated that while Vice Provost Miller pointed to Chapel Hill and Asheville as the liberal arts campuses concerned about these possible changes, it is important to recall that while we are a land grant university we have a very strong liberal arts component. We have a significant general education program and I think that we really have to remember that when we think about who our students are and what we are trying to do and that any factoring in of tuition consideration or tuition models has to also factor in what kind of education we think is appropriate when students come here.
Senator Kocurek stated that Florida did this, they converted to a per credit hour system back in the eighties. Have we looked at what their experience was? What was the impact of that?
Miller stated after this E Learning recommendation, I got out of the whole thing. There was some subsequent efforts to look at that and from what I could gather, where they could gather data on the change to a credit hour, they did see a [drop] for a year or two during the change and then they leveled back out. I know that the budget office is concerned that it will impact course-taking patterns, that if we are not careful it would be revenue negative not revenue neutral and so I know that there is some desire among the financial people that when this change does occur [it should] coincide with a bump in tuition to offset the kind of ripple that may occur.
Chair Martin: You said earlier that you needed 19 or 20 hours to be revenue neutral and then you said later that the average that we take here is 15 hours, so that would seem like by definition that would be revenue non neutral.
Miller stated that it is non-neutral because of the non-linear [aspect of the formula]; if you look at the stair step model and then the cap, then it’s non-linear.
Senator Levy stated that he would like to argue against going back to a more technical education. Students change their minds half way through the curriculum and when they finish the curriculum, career changes occur two or three times in a person’s life span and the broader education they get at this point, I think, prepares better citizens. To basically say we are going to take an engineering students and say that we are only going to do the engineering things they need to do to become an engineer and they have to function in the world and then find out that they are having problems and three years down the road they don’t like that any more, that they don’t know what they want to do because they haven’t had the exposure and they haven’t had the course work.
Senator Havner stated that this is an unnecessary discussion with regard to engineering. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology has all kinds of requirements in regards to humanities and science writings. The university requirements are not significantly different from that. Nothing is going to be changed in engineering if we want our graduates to be competitive, so that is a non-issue.
Chair Martin stated that any program that has accreditation doesn’t have that issue and any program that doesn’t have accreditation has that issue.
Senator Edmisten stated that he doesn’t understand why paying based on credit hour would have an impact on the Colleges of Engineering and Ag and Life Sciences, requiring fewer humanities. Faculty in our department wouldn’t and it would violate the university standards for the number of hours they would have to take and I think these are totally disconnected.
Secretary Kellner stated that [what is at issue] is the extra course beyond the requirement for students with impacted majors. They are why we focus on engineering because the wiggle room is so small in it. My question is where will this decision [on tuition] be made? This is a system decision, right? What do we have to do with all this any way? What do the constituent campuses have to do with making these decisions?
Miller stated that the change, with the expectation from the legislature that we will change, happened more than ten years ago. The process of institutions agreeing or disagreeing [resulted in] nothing happening, so it may very well be that we have many more years before anything does happen. I honestly think that Erskine Bowles wants this to come to a resolution and he really is taking a system view -- an efficiency view -- and I know that he believes strongly in online learning. I know he believes strongly in inter-institutional programs. I really don’t think we will see any pressure to reduce the general education requirement, reduce the number of humanities beyond the major of the students. What I do see however is that we will probably see more pressure to have our students have options. For example, a student that lives in Greensboro may take a course during the summer at Greensboro that counts for NC State, which we can do now; and [at system] they are looking to streamline that whole process.
Secretary Kellner stated that you have spoken about the tuition penalty for DE, but what many of us are seeing is a new kind of penalty that would come from the proposed change. Shall we say it would be an “exploration penalty” for the undergraduate? I, as a parent, would want a situation in which the student could have as much leeway as possible. She could take that extra course somewhere beyond the simple requirements, just to find out what’s there. That would be penalized here and I think that is the real issue for many of us.
Chair Martin stated that he would open up a MOODLE discussion and request people to get on and make some comments. Let’s think about this issue a little more.
Senator Havner wants to know if the students who take the graduate course that is also online have to pay a distance education fee or is that included in their regular enrollment?
Miller responded that it is included in their regular enrollment.
6. Budget Issues
Chair Martin handed out a set of spreadsheets that came to the University Budget Advisory Committee. He explained that a lot of the information came because of questions that the Senate asked.
The spreadsheet combines all of the various budget cuts into one number, so this year there was the PACE reduction that came early on. There was the flexibility that was recurring; again, both were reductions that took place at the very beginning of the budget year. We first got the 4% reversion and then we got the 2% reversion, we figured the 3% reversion fully expecting that there is going to be that one additional percent. Most of that one percent that has not yet gone out to the units is actually in the university reserves, which you can see has taken a 100% cut, so if we have to take that additional 1% bringing us up to a total 7% cut, it’s currently anticipated that that will come out of those reserves. Currently, what has gone out to the units is based on 6% and then 7% reduction.
As you look at this you will also see what look’s like the Vice Chancellor /Provost Office is taking a whopping 23.7% cut. That isn’t an artificially inflated number. All money basically comes into the Provost’s budget and he then farms it out to the colleges and units, but if there is money not to farm out, it just stayed there and was taken as a cut, so that is why that number looks artificially large.
The majority of the budgets in all units are going to salaries. There is one noted exception that we noticed at the University Budget Advisory Committee and that is the graduate school. It looks like they have $2M as extra budget, but Duane Larick reminded us that about $2M goes toward the graduate student support plan health insurance, so that $2M is paying for graduate students’ health insurance.
This is helpful for information sake.
Senator Auerbach wants to know the terminology of continuing based budget versus total recurring budget.
Chair Martin stated as far as he knows it’s the same definition. The numbers are going to vary depending on allocations that get made or not made.
The continuing budget coming to the university is a fairly constant number, but farmed out to the units is not a constant number.
Chair Martin stated that a petition is going around regarding personnel issues. Also in our discussions in the Executive Committee and the University Budget Advisory Committee, there is this continuing question about [growth of] the middle management issue. I did some comparison on the 2007 and 2008 salary data. What we have in the spreadsheet is job title, rank, department, college, etc., so I sorted based on job titles primarily and looked at ranks.
Chair Martin stated that he thought the directors and coordinators for the most part were faculty, but a lion’s share of them has no faculty rank.
Chair Martin stated that this is particularly helpful [information] as we think of issues like furlough because one of the questions needs to be, where is the actual money? Most of the tenure and tenure track faculty are below $100,000. This is broken down into all of those same kinds of categories and as you see our non-tenure track faculty are very highly paid. These are not twelve-month conversions, just raw numbers.
Senator Anson stated that in the Admin II category there is a significant number of tenure track people who hold administrative appointments, but are also tenured faculty who are teaching, so they had 50% appointment and administration. Maybe there is no difference in the money and it is only based on courses, so how do you handle those?
Chair Martin stated that the only reason that becomes a problem is [if] somehow we assume that one category is evil and one category is good. I totally expected that a lot of the ones that I considered Admin II would be faculty. In fact, a lot of the argument that I hear across campus is, we need to have more balance in some of these coordinators, directors who actually are involved in teaching some classes, so I’m not sure we need to make that separation. You would normally make that separation if we were going to say somehow that admin is evil and teaching is good. I don’t think we want to go there, in fact, some of these are necessary functions and so even for those who think we have had a glut of administration, we don’t want to say that we shouldn’t have it.
Carroll stated that the JPED Project is a UNC system wide project for all sixteen constituents that actually deconstructs all of this and aligns it based on the actual work that is being performed and we find that things like project coordinator or project manager are things that are pretty meaningless because you might be a nanotechnology, research project manager, or you might be an alumni affairs manager and those are not in the same bucket at all, so there has been a year long project that actually deconstructs this in a way that you would probably find useful.
Chair Martin stated that would be a very helpful addition but again whether you are a director or coordinator for a nanotechnology center or undergraduate program, we are dealing with some of the same administrator core function.
The average salary for each of those groups you have because this was asked of me by multiple people broken out by category. We have a lot of these Admin II, Directors, and Coordinators and again whether that is for a center or something else, this is the major number of total number people that were added between last year and this year.
The change is something to think about if one thinks about furloughs. The percent change is also something to think about. Last year we were supposed to get a 3% average raise. Those are some data that come off of the salary surveys that everyone has access to.
Carroll stated that she wouldn’t put too much energy around these numbers right now. For instance if you have assistant directors in Admin II a lot of those would include financial aid people -- they are the ones that are doing the financial aid analysis. If you put too much weight on title, you end up grouping positions in ways that may carry risk that you don’t intend. I think there is a way to look at this according to IPED federal definitions that this doesn’t do but that the JPED does that would be very helpful.
Senator Ristaino stated that the data show a lot of very striking trends. You have this huge increase in the number of Admin II people that have been hired in the last year. You have this very large salary increase when tenure track faculty move into administration, which is pretty clear.
Chair Martin stated that he looks forward to reviewing this. The common theme coming back is that you can’t trust those numbers. So fine, let’s keep working to get numbers that we can trust.
Chair Martin stated that the major pluses that he has heard about furloughs have come only from those with the titles of department heads and above, and they are saying that furloughs buy us time.
The second set of pros that has been communicated to him are from those faculty who have a technician or is liable to lose a technician, and who have a belief that their furloughing a unit will now allow the technician to stay.
The third argument I have heard in favor of the furlough is the political aspect of showing immediate faculty help, bearing the burden of everybody else.
I have heard multiple negatives, which include the nine-month/twelve-month issue. In some respects the nine-month is already furloughed three months. The equity issue, where [should you] call the cut-off when you look at where the numbers are, who are paid what, and health insurance, if you have dependents and not a spouse. Our health insurance premiums went up six hundred dollars last year, which is 1% of a $60,000 salary. If you have other dependents it goes up even more. There is the issue of where are we adding, are we going to furlough to just perpetuate the status quo or are we going to make the hard decisions that we need to make. If a company furloughs, the company usually shuts down operation, so if we furlough are we going to be willing to shut down operations, send the students home for a week or are we going to furlough [while continuing operations, so], it is not a furlough but a reduction in pay. These are the kinds of things that I hear from sides. I hear much more positive comments from the administrative side and much more negative comments from faculty side. I would like to now hear any additions that you would like to add.
Senator Auerbach stated that as a whole [furloughs offer] a method to spread the pain around and keep the pain away from the people who can least afford the pain. If they are fired, they fall off the earth. If everyone takes a one, two, or three percent cut, then no one falls off the earth.
He stated that if it’s faculty we are talking about, we simply have to stop calling it a furlough, it’s a “temporary pay cut” because no one is going to work less.
Senator Auerbach stated that a response to one of the negatives mentioned is that it had better be only a small percentage of the total cuts. There is no reason why faculty should bear the brunt and if we are going to do it, we need some give back. I think the give back has to do with time, so I think what has to happen is tenure clocks has to be stopped. Other demands on faculty need to be [put in] moratorium. Everyone is going to have their own version of what stops faculty time. Mine is this new GEP -- if we abort that, then I get hours of my life back.
Senator Kocurek stated that when he first heard the word furlough used by President Bowles, he said this is familiar. He stated that in the early 1980’s we did something like this and the overall memory is it was an effective way for working as a community to try to lessen the impact on people. What we really felt was “This is unfortunate, we need you, we can’t afford you.” Then, combined with that, the memory in the early 70’s when the University of Wisconsin did go to fiscal emergency. We have been told that we are going to avoid that, and I hope so because it created such bitterness [in the] faculty. It took years to recover from that bitterness. It’s something that I hope we never have to go through here because of what it does between faculty. I think there is a genuine level of fear, particularly among our SPA colleagues. Something like this [furlough, etc.] could help mitigate that. I think it is politically difficult. It would be extremely hard for this body to come out and support a furlough. I think faculty might look at this and say, are they crazy, but [at least] they would get involved in Senate activity. I think legislatively it is a challenge as well, but I think the current budget reduction planning should continue. It should be in lieu of that. We have and need to look at where there are legitimate issues that need to be addressed. This doesn’t substitute for it. Recognize that some areas have already been cut to the bone. I think some of the giveback needs to be built into this. If we did this as an entire university and looked at the 3% level which is about five to six days spread over a year, so people could plan for it, that generates on paper twelve to 14 million dollars. I would set aside some to provide a safety net; I would provide some to others to look at where areas have been cut to the bone and try to return some of that; but I do believe that we ought to evaluate the impact and feasibility of this. We don’t really know until we see the numbers how this would help and how could we benefit and hold that line for a year.
Senator Ristaino stated that in CALS the SPA’s are already being moved off their money onto soft money so the furloughs may be too late because the positions are already gone. How is it going to help these positions?
Senator Headen stated one of the things that needs to be asked in the calculation is how much money will we get out of it because it is an equity argument -- across the board at the bottom doesn’t really buy you a lot if you are taking that same number off the top, and some times when you do that you really don’t get as much money as you think you would.
Associate Vice Chancellor Carroll said one thing that her counterparts in Human Resources talked about is trying to align temporary problems with temporary solutions and permanent problems with permanent solutions. Clearly furlough, which is a temporary solution, is not going to be a good solution if we have a permanent budget [cut]. So if some of it is really knowing is this a one-year problem -- if so, that is one set of considerations and if it’s the next ten years, then that isn’t going to be the way to solve this problem.
Carroll stated that HR is getting calls asking if they can take a small cut to save the support person. We are talking with units about the pros and cons of doing that. I think the concept of furlough is a tool that provides a temporary solution to a temporary problem. I think we are far from knowing how long term a problem we have. My personal sense is that this economy is not going to recover in a year, and so if that is kind of what we are looking at then I think the real question is -- are we facing permanent budget cuts? -- And if we are facing permanent budget cuts I’m not sure how much energy we want to spend on furloughs.
Senator Fahmy – if you have a furlough of like one week a year does that mean you are cutting down the cost by that amount?
Chair Martin stated that it’s not truly a furlough, it’s a pay cut and everyone needs to recognize that is what it is.
Senator Anson stated that the idea of reducing one’s energy [expended] doesn’t make sense long term, so we need to think about ways through attrition and non-rehiring, of actually working harder for the same amount of money.
Chair Martin plans to open up a MOODLE discussion option for people to add feedback and comments.
Senator Ambaras added that the Senate in Washington has passed their version of the stimulus. The House has a different version and one of the issues between the two versions is forty billion dollars for the state fiscal stabilization. I’m wondering if it would be appropriate for the Senate to weigh in on this, in terms of a letter to Senators from North Carolina or representatives from North Carolina.
Chair Martin volunteered to work with Senator Ambaras on drafting a letter from the Senate.
The meeting adjourned at 5:10 a.m.