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Meeting of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

Friday, February 9, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
Kerr Hall, 1001 (Eshelman School of Pharmacy)


3:00 p.m. Chair of the Faculty remarks

3:10 p.m. Chancellor’s remarks

  • Chancellor Carol Folt

3:30 p.m. Provost’s remarks

  • Provost Bob Blouin

3:40 p.m. Resolution 2018-1. On University-Approved Absences (PDF)

4:10 p.m. University Government Committee annual report (PDF) and resolution

4:20 p.m. Policy management update

4:40 p.m. Reports accepted by title:

  • Research Committee annual report (PDF) (submitted by Professor Gary Cuddeback, chair of the Research Committee)
  • Faculty Grievance Committee annual report (PDF) (submitted by Professor Chris McLaughlin, chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee; Professor Ana Felix representing the committee)
  • Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee annual report (PDF) (submitted by Amanda Henley, chair of the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee)
  • Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions annual report (PDF) (submitted by Professor Abigail Panter, chair of the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions)

4:45 p.m. Open discussion

5:00 p.m. Adjournment

Informational items

Video of Proceedings

Watch the Full Video [Streaming]

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

The Faculty Council and General Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on February 9, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. in Kerr Hall, room 1001 at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

The following 58 members attended: Ammerman, Anksorus, Ansong, Arnold, Babb, Baumgartner, Berkowitz, Berman, Bloom, Brewster, Calikoglu, Chambers, Chapman, Coble, Cuddeback, Dobelstein, Duqum, Edwards, Estrada, Felix, Fisher, Fry, Gilland, Hannig, Hastings, Hill, Joyner, Khan, Kireev, Koonce, Kris, Larson, Lee, C. Levine, Lithgow, Malloy, Mayer, Mayer-Davis, Melehy, Mizzy, Moore, Muller, Parise (Chair of the Faculty), Perelmuter, Pukkila, Ramaswamy, Rashid, Renner, Sawyer, Scarlett, Song, Stearns, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), Thorpe, Upshaw, Wallace, Willett and Zvara.

The following 25 members received excused absences: Aikat, Austin, Beltran, Boettiger Cooney, Burch, Clement, Cox, Daughters, Chancellor Folt, Furry, Giovanello, Hessick, Kang, A. Levine, Mauro, McBride, Nelson, Neta, Platts-Mills, Savasta-Kennedy, Tepper, Thorp, Tuggle, Walter and Yaqub.

The following 10 members were absent without excuse: Coyne-Beasley, Elsherif, Estigarribia, Gilchrist, Graham, Hobbs, Ives, Lundberg, Osterweil and Zamboni.

Others in attendance: Provost Blouin, Andringa (Undergraduate Representative), Filene (Undergraduate Representative) and Rubin (Undergraduate Representative)

Call to order

The Secretary of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.

Chair of the Faculty remarks

Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise welcomed everyone to Faculty Council and thanked Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis for presiding in her absence. Chancellor Folt was feeling under the weather and could not attend the Council meeting. Last Friday Professor Parise attended the grand opening of the CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio located in the Carolina Square. She showed Faculty Council pictures from the event. Dr. Gerald Horne will present the African American History Month Lecture in honor of Dr. Colin Palmer, UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2018 African American History Month Special Honoree. Dr. Horne is an African American historian and the current John J. and Rebecca Moores Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. Dr. Palmer chaired the Curriculum in African and African American Studies from 1980-1988 and the History Department from 1986-1981, making him the first African American to become chair of a major department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Provost’s remarks

Provost Blouin updated Faculty Council members on recent University affairs. Chancellor Folt served as the guest speaker at the Martin Luther King Jr. community banquet. Provost Blouin encouraged Council members to visit the CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio. This space will be used for both entertainment and educational purposes. He believes it has the potential to serve as a bridge between the University and the community. The University had a record-breaking admissions process this year with 43,000 applicants, a six percent increase from last year. For the past 13 years, applications have increased. The University admitted 5,125 students; 2,700 were North Carolinians. Provost Blouin acknowledged Steve Farmer, vice-provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions, and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for their hard work.

Mr. Farmer said these decisions are not easy to make and a large portion of their work comes after the decision process. His staff counsel young people who were not admitted into the University.

Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis (Anthropology and Archaeology) asked if increases in the number applications have any implication for our future admission process.

Mr. Farmer said yes, applications have doubled in the last ten years, but the number of staff in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has not changed. The office has made adjustments that allow staff to spend an adequate amount of time on each candidate. The number of applications do not have an impact on the size of the class. The decisions are hard to make because there are more applications for the same number of spots, which leads to more rejections.

Provost Blouin said Chancellor Folt had a luncheon with Tar Heel Trailblazers Rochelle Small-Toney and Peter Henry. Rochelle Small-Toney is the first African-American women’s varsity basketball player at the University. She later became Savannah, Georgia’s first African-American and first female city manager. She holds this same position for Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Peter Henry was a Morehead-Cain Scholar and a walk-on football player during his time at UNC. He is the youngest Dean of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Provost Blouin recognized faculty members for their outstanding accomplishments. Twenty-one faculty members were named the most highly cited scientists in the United States. The United Health Foundation donated $1.6 million to the Carolina Health Informatics program.

Provost Blouin thanked faculty members who recently presented to the Board of Trustees (BOT) and subcommittees. Professor Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (Philosophy) and his students gave an overview of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics minor at the BOT meeting on February 1. Professor Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor for research, Professor Abigail Panter, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, and Ms. Christi Hurt, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, presented to the Strategic Framework Committee on January 18. Professor Magnuson gave an overview of the Creativity Hub Pilot Award, a collaborative faculty initiative that he organized. Professor Panter and Ms. Hurt presented information on the Harmonization of Modernizing Student Support and the New Learning Imperative, a new University educational initiative.

Professor Eric Muller (Law) asked Provost Blouin for an update on the consideration of a center modeled after the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, founded by Professor Robert George.

Provost Blouin said they are in the process of inquiry. Two groups visited the James Madison Program; another group will visit Arizona State University to see how a similar program operates at a public university. Provost Blouin asked the Faculty Executive Committee for suggestions on a Faculty Council member to represent the interests of the Council during this visit and to provide insight and recommendations on this concept. The Faculty Executive Committee recommended Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise. No decisions will be made until they receive more information on where this program fits within our current academic programming and its value to the University.

Professor Cary Levine (Art and Art History) said the faculty in his department are excited about Arts Everywhere, but their facilities are in disrepair, and they have lost faculty. He asked Provost Blouin for his thoughts on how costly public-facing University endeavors and the problems of the Art and Art History Department can be reconciled.

Provost Blouin said there are multiple sources of money directed at different University units and initiatives. The funding sources for initiatives like Arts Everywhere come from donors who have specific goals in mind. He understands that many schools and departments lack resources. It is challenging to find funding for certain needs.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked for an update on the new funding model.

Provost Blouin said they are making progress. The implementation of the Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budget model is delayed. Members of the leadership team have discussed the RCM budget model and identified problems. Provost Blouin has personal reservations about the budget model and wants to ensure the advantages, challenges and unintended consequences of the model are addressed. Provost Blouin asked Mr. Matthew Fajack, vice chancellor for finance and administration, to respond to the concerns of the University leadership team. Mr. Fajack gave a presentation to the Provost’s Cabinet and they developed a modified version of the original model. Provost Blouin will share the findings with Chancellor Folt and invite Mr. Jonathan Pruitt, the new vice chancellor of finance and operations, to present the new model to leadership from the College of Arts and Sciences and professional schools and get faculty feedback to further improve the budget model.

Kyra Rubin (Undergraduate Observer) said a group of black alumni is boycotting the Capital Campaign. She asked Provost Blouin to elaborate on the demands of the alumni.

Provost Blouin said the group’s main concern is that the University is not doing enough to recruit black faculty and students. The percentage of black faculty and students at the University does not match the percentage of black citizens in the state of North Carolina. African American and black-identified residents represent almost 24% of the North Carolina population, while only eight to ten percent of the UNC-Chapel Hill student population and five percent of the faculty population identify as black or African American. Only eight percent of Ph.D. students are black, which creates a limited pool. Compared to our peer institutions, we are ahead in recruiting black students and faculty, but the University still has work to do in recruiting. Chancellor Folt and Provost Blouin are trying to identify and recruit talent for various University programs.

Ms. Rubin asked Provost Blouin about potential next steps that have come from meeting with the alumni group.

Provost Blouin said he was not present for their last meeting and most of the information he receives is from news outlets. After meeting, some members of the group said they were satisfied with the University’s efforts.

Professor Elizabeth Mayer-Davis (Nutrition) asked Provost Blouin how they are handling unintended consequences of the budget model.

Provost Blouin said his concern is about the collaborative culture of the University. He does not want the new budget model to create disincentives for faculty collaboration. He said one solution is to create a priori agreements between collaborating units. Another solution is to fund targets of opportunity in a multidisciplinary fashion, like Vice Chancellor Terry Magnuson created with the Creativity Hub Pilot Award with faculty collaboration. The University has been proactive in helping to engineer opportunities for collaboration.

Professor Hannig asked when the new budget model will go into effect and will it be discussed in a setting like Faculty Council.

Provost Blouin said once the model is more developed he is open to having more discussions. He took an iterative approach to the new model by asking members of the University community about their satisfaction with the current model. When most people said they were dissatisfied with the current model, they researched different models including the zero-based modeling (current model), the historical-incremental based model and the RCM model. The idea behind the RCM model is to incentivize growth and encourage campus units to take measured risks. The RCM model is the most widely implemented across higher education. The problem is that there are many different versions of the RCM model. Provost Blouin hopes to adopt an RCM-like model that is welcomed by the campus community. By the end of the fiscal year, he hopes there is a clear vision of what we want to pursue.

Professor Jennifer Larson (English and Comparative Literature) was asked by colleagues in her department to enquire about the capital campaign’s particular emphasis on the sciences. The campaign does not emphasize the humanities and arts as one of the key components of an excellent liberal arts education. She asked if there is anything we can do to further promote the humanities as a part of the campaign.

Provost Blouin said fundraising is a team effort and some areas of the University have more natural appeal to donors than others. This capital campaign is more targeted toward non-science domains than past campaigns, even though science will always be a major part of a capital campaign. Arts Everywhere is an example of a non-science-oriented fundraiser. Provost Blouin said they welcome help in first identifying an area that has merit and identifying a group that could be the possible target.

Resolution 2018-1. On University-Approved Absences

Professor David Garcia (Music), chair of the Educational Policy Committee, thanked Professor Joy Renner (Medicine) and Ms. Debbi Clarke, consultant to the Provost, for creating the proposed Class Attendance and University-Approved Absence policy. The Educational Policy Committee approved the proposed policy and recommend it be submitted to Faculty Council for a vote.

Professor Renner gave a presentation that including background information on the current policy, the policy revision process, changes to the policy and sections of the policy that remained constant. Changes to the policy include: a clear delineation of University-Approved Absences (UAA) vs. Excused Absence; a central office for handling UAA; clear references, resources, and policies for legal and protected rights in one place; and a clear process for how a UAA is approved and communicated.

Mr. Peter Andringa (undergraduate representative) thanked Professor Renner and Ms. Clarke for including students in the policy revision process and drafting multiple version of the policy that included suggestions from consultants. Mr. Andringa said the policy revision does a great job clarifying the UAA process for students, especially students who have medical emergencies.

Professor Colin Wallace (Physics and Astronomy) asked if faculty will receive a notification if the proposed UAA policy goes into effect.

Professor Renner said they have a communication plan to relay this information to the faculty. The University-Approved Absence (UAA) Office will send an email to faculty with information on the structure and content of UAA. This email will include the absence, a link to the UAA policy and a link to resources that will help faculty make the accommodation for the student.

Professor Jennifer Arnold (Psychology and Neuroscience) said she was not aware of the current absence policy. She is interested in how the culture around UAA will change with the new policy. For example, a faculty member has multiple students requesting absences on the day of an exam, due to death in the family. The faculty approves their absences to be fair to all students, even if some of them are not telling the truth. Professor Arnold asked if the UAA office will deal with these types of absences to make it easier for faculty to point to the policy when students approach them about these type of absences.

Professor Renner said absences related to the death of a relative fall under category three of the UAA policy. The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for handling these absences. Adding a link to this policy in the syllabus will save faculty and students time.

Professor Arnold said absences related to death in the family come without warning, and there is no way to plan. The absence usually occurs during the exam or after the student has missed the exam. Professor Arnold asked if the UAA notification would include information on how to make up exams/assignments in these cases.

Professor Renner said students are not able to give their two-week notice for category three absences. Once a faculty member receives the UAA notification, they must contact the student and send a preliminary alternative plan within three business days. The student must respond within two business days and discuss the details of the plan with the instructor. This policy is not intended to disrupt communication and collaboration between students and faculty. The intent of the policy is to provide structure and reduce the ambiguity surround UAA.

Professor Hilary Lithgow (English and Comparative Literature) asked how this policy deals with student athletes who have to attend physical therapy and weight lifting.

Professor Renner said current travel letters sent to faculty display all the times that student athletes will be away from the University. They hope to revise the structure of the travel letter to only display when the student will miss that faculty member’s class. Professor Renner said she met with head coaches about this policy change. Faculty make accommodations when a student athlete travels and the Department of Athletics makes accommodations to help students make up classwork. University-approved absences do not apply to absences related to physical therapy and weight lifting. These absences have to be vetted to see if they are considered excused or unexcused.

Professor Hannig asked about the cost of creating the University-Approved Absence Office and how many people will be hired to staff it.

Professor Renner said they plan to collaborate with the Office of the Dean of Students, which has a wonderful communication plan. They are asking for one new position. This staff member will not be a decision maker; they will be in charge of implementing the policy. Their job will be to receive the absence information and send it to faculty. The UAA Office will not be a physical office; it will be a central clearinghouse where there will be shared responsibilities and resources in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Professor Hannig referenced the UAA policy, which states there is an appeal process that the UAA Office handles. Professor Hannig said this seems like it will require more than one new position.

Professor Renner said that under the central clearinghouse structure the person in the new position would not make decisions about appeals. That power will lie with faculty and departments. Appeals will go to the department chair’s designee.

Professor Emerita Patricia Pukkila asked if students participating in campus intellectual events, like conferences and symposia, would be considered under this policy.

Professor Renner said this information will be available as they make clear delineations of UAA.

Professor Wendell Gilland (Business) asked if faculty are expected to send a preliminary alternative plan to a student every time they receive an UAA notification or if there is a default expectation in certain situations. For example, watching a video of a class session.

Professor Renner said they want faculty to maintain as much control over their classrooms as possible. The faculty member can include the mechanisms for making up missed materials in their syllabus. This policy is more critical when students have missed an assessment, which may require more communication. Professor Renner said the policy includes timelines because the semester moves quickly and students are in four other courses and they have to plan to make up missed assignments.

Professor Christopher Willet (Biology) said some courses have assessments every class and students can miss a certain number without penalty. Professor Willet asked if this was allowed under the UAA policy.

Professor Renner said they will have some best practices around the type of class structure. Many professors allow students to drop a number of assessments if they are absent. This is not as problematic when the assessments are frequent and they count as a low percentage of the final grade. The problem lies when a student’s grade is based on two or three exams and they have a UAA during exam and the professor says that the other exams will count for a higher percentage of the final grade. The key is for students to obtain the appropriate knowledge and information, even if a student does not receive a grade, they want students to have the opportunity to take the exam and get feedback.

Professor Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2018-1 and opened the floor for discussion.

Resolution 2018-1 passed unanimously with no abstentions.

University Government Committee annual report and resolution

Professor Connie Eble, chair of the Committee on University Government, presented the committee’s annual report and Resolution 2018-2. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Allow for Technical Corrections. The Code states that General Faculty must vote on any amendment to the Code twice. This resolution will allow the Committee on University Government to correct the language of the Code to update the names of units and the titles of officers without having to bring forth a resolution to the General Faculty. The committee will report these corrections to the Secretary of the Faculty who will report to the General Faculty.

Professor Hannig asked if there is a way to object to an amendment that the committee makes.

Professor Eble said the Committee on University Government had a lengthy conversation on what people consider a trivial change. This is why the resolution only applies to name and title changes.

Professor Steponaitis said when the Secretary of the Faculty reports a technical change; the General Faculty can reject the change because they control the Code.

Professor Lithgow said she is confused by the last sentence of the resolution. She asked if the Secretary of the Faculty would report technical corrections to the General Faculty.

Professor Eble said the Secretary of the Faculty would report to the General Faculty. The last sentence of the resolution includes language from another section of the Code.

Secretary of the Faculty said that because any change to the Faculty Code of University Government still has to follow the current process in the Code, there are two things to keep in mind. If the resolution passes on the first reading, there will be a second reading the meeting, because the resolution has to pass twice. Secondly, an amendment to the Code is an action that requires a vote of the General Faculty.

Professor Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2018-2, and opened the floor for further discussion.

Resolution 2018-2 passed unanimously with no abstentions on the first reading. The resolution will have a final reading at the March Faculty Council meeting.

Policy management update

Ms. Tinu Diver, associate director for ethics education and policy management, gave an update on policy management that included background information on the Office of Ethics Education and Policy Management, challenges, the policy ecosystem principles, the University policy life cycle and the purpose of policy management.

Professor Muge Calikoglu (Pediatrics) asked if the Office of Ethics Education and Policy Management would mediate a situation in which a departmental policy is in conflict with a University policy.

Ms. Diver said this conflict has occurred a few times since she started in her position. Her office is happy to gather information and then figure out how to address the situation in a collaborative and constructive way.

Professor Nancy Fisher (Microbiology and Immunology) asked how they are managing the transition of policies from departmental websites to the Policy Management System, updating policies and possible redundancies.

Ms. Diver said the Policy Management System has an automated workflow on the back end of the website, in which campus units can review their policies. As they move policies into the new system, the policy liaisons will reach out to policy owners about the new location of policies. Policy owners can still include a link to the policy on their websites.

Professor Hannig asked if a policy has to be included in the central repository to be considered a valid policy.

Ms. Diver said yes, the publication requirement of the University Policy on Policies stipulates that University policies must reside in the University’s repository.

Professor Emeritus Andy Dobelstein asked if all the policies in the central repository become University policies.

Ms. Diver said that under the prior system there were administrative policies and departmental policies. Policies are now categorized as University policies or unit policies under the University Policy on Policies. There are policies that fit into the unit category that are now considered University policy under the new structure.

Professor Emeritus Dobelstein asked about the process for reconciling potential discrepancies in the development of policies.

Ms. Diver said her team has reviewed and categorized policies to which they have access. Once policies are in the Policy Management System, they will be categorized as unit or University policies.

Professor Emeritus Dobelstein asked who signs off on policies and decides whether they are University or unit policies.

Ms. Diver said that under the new structure there is an issuing officer and responsible owner. The policy owner would sign off on the specific policy.

Reports accepted by title

The Research Committee annual report was accepted by title.

Professor Fisher asked Professor Gary Cuddeback (Social Work), chair of the Research Committee, if the committee discussed the FAFSA report on research resources.

Professor Cuddeback said the Research Committee serves as the advisory committee to the Vice Chancellor for Research. This committee addresses issues that the vice chancellor brings forth and the FAFSA report was not one of the issues. During the transition between Professor Barbara Entwisle (Sociology) and Professor Terry Magnuson (Genetics) as the Vice Chancellor for Research, the committee met sparingly. Professor Cuddeback said the committee would be happy to discuss the issue in the future.

Professor Cuddeback announced that a web-based survey would be sent to faculty to explore the impact of federal requirements on the time faculty have available to do their research. This survey was conducted in 2005 and 2012. The results were used to communicate the administrative burden of conducting research to federal funding agencies. Results showed that faculty use 42 percent of protected research time on administrative tasks rather than research.

The Faculty Grievance Committee annual report was accepted by title. There were no questions for Professor Ana Felix (General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology), who was representing the committee.

The Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee annual report was accepted by title. There were no questions for Ms. Amanda Henley, chair of the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions annual report was accepted by title. There were no questions for Professor Abigail Panter (Psychology and Neuroscience), chair of the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions.

Open discussion

Professor Cary Levine (Art and Art History) announced that on February 15, 2018, the Department of Art and Art History is hosting their annual art auction to raise money for the department.

Professor Rohit Ramaswamy (Public Health) asked if it is possible to bid in the auction electronically.

Professor Levine said you have to be present to bid at this year’s auction. They are working on having online bidding in future auctions.


Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 4:53 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kadejah Murray
University Program Associate

Vin Steponaitis
Secretary of the Faculty



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