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The message below was sent to the General Faculty listserv, 11/10/2012:

To the General Faculty:

We are forwarding the email below (and the attached documents) at the request of Prof. Rachel Willis (American Studies), one of your UNC-Chapel Hill colleagues serving on the Faculty Advisory Council to the UNC system strategic planning process.  Prof. Willis spoke at yesterday’s Faculty Council meeting about the urgent need for faculty input, NOW, into the strategic planning process.  She describes below ways for you to help and asks for your assistance before this Tuesday, November 13th. Please read carefully and take time to contribute to this effort.

Best regards,

Anne Mitchell Whisnant, Ph.D.
Deputy Secretary of the Faculty
Office of Faculty Governance
UNC-Chapel Hill


Dear Colleagues:

UNC is currently engaged in a very fast 5-year planning process that will directly impact each campus in the system in terms of goals, resources, and measures of accountability.  More detailed info, updated reports, and live streaming of the meetings on the Strategic Directions Initiative (SDI) can be found at

I have attached three very concise and critical one-page summaries of (1) the planning process, (2) the five core goals of this particular review, and (3) a summary of the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC).



Two critical sentences are worth repeating here:

These core goals are pivotal in setting current and future priorities, resource planning and allocation, program planning, review and refinement of academic missions, and strategic planning by UNC constituent institutions and affiliated entities. 

They must also reflect the University’s deep commitment to help North Carolina respond to changing state needs and economic challenges.

  • To fulfill this task, two committees have been appointed: an Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions, consisting of business, education, and government leaders from across the state, as well as selected Board members, UNC Chancellors, and faculty leadership; and a Strategic Directions Committee, chaired by Board of Governors member Fred Eshelman and selected General Administration staff and UNC Chancellors.
  • Only one faculty member is part of this Advisory Committee, Prof. Catherine Rigsby of East Carolina University.   She was able to create a 12-person statewide Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) to listen to faculty and respond as quickly as possible to the working drafts.
  • Shared governance means meaningful engagement now and into the future.   This means actively participating in the setting of goals and taking responsibility for meeting the goals and communicating it to the various stakeholders.   We need your input!
  • Please read – understand – and contribute to the SDI and FAC and the processes that are being developed to chronicle and assess our contributions to the state of NC.

We sincerely need your thoughtful, articulate, informed, and constructive advice ASAP! Here’s how to contribute:

  • FACULTY FORUM: MONDAY NOV. 12 from 3-5 PM Anne Queen Faculty Commons @CAMPUS Y, UNC-CH
  • Meet or email  with your input. We especially need suggestions on articulating our complex mission, output, successes in serving our students, the state, and beyond through our teaching, research, and public service across diverse disciplines, centers, institutes, and collaborations.
  • Our first response is due next week, so responses by TUES.  NOV. 13 are especially valuable.

THIS IS THE PLAN THAT WILL GOVERN OUR FUTURE AS A CAMPUS, AS A STATE-WIDE INSTITUTION, AND THE REAL FUTURE OF NORTH CAROLINA THROUGH THE EDUCATION OF ITS PEOPLE.    If we believe in shared governance, meaningful engagement with the development and implement of the plan is part of our job as faculty members.

Thank your in advance for your involvement in this critical process,

Rachel Willis


Rachel A. Willis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of American Studies
414 Greenlaw Hall, CB #3520
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(919) 962-0277

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