Skip to main content

Meeting of the Faculty Council and the General Faculty

Friday, April 12, 2019
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Genome Sciences Building, Auditorium G200

Basic Parliamentary Procedure [PDF]


3:00 p.m. Chair of the Faculty’s remarks and election results

       Professor Leslie Parise

  • Introduction to Chair of the Faculty-designate, Professor Lloyd Kramer
  • In Memoriam [PPT]

3:10 p.m. Chancellor’s and Provost’s remarks

       Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Robert Blouin

3:30 p.m. Faculty Code Amendments, second reading

       Professor Anne Klinefelter, chair of Committee on University Government

  • Resolution 2019-3. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Composition of the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty. [PDF]
  • Resolution 2019-4. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Composition and Charge of the Administrative Board of the Library. [PDF]
  • Resolution 2019-5. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Procedure for Passing Resolutions of the General Faculty. [PDF]

3:40 p.m. Annual report of the Educational Policy Committee [PDF]

       Professor Marsha Penner, committee chair

3:45 p.m. General Education Curriculum presentation [PPT]

       Professor Andrew Perrin, chair of the General Education Curriculum Coordinating Committee

  • IDEAS in Action Curriculum, version 5.0 [PDF]
  • Resolution 2019-7. On Adopting a New General Education Curriculum [PDF]
  • Article: What Should—And Can—the University Teach? [HTML] by Professor John McGowan
  • Article: How an Inclusive Teaching Approach Helped Us Build a More Inclusive Curriculum for Our University [HTML] by UNC Professors Kelly Hogan and Viji Sathy

4:10 p.m. Annual report of the Administrative Board of the Library [PDF]

       Professor Mark Crescenzi, committee chair

       Professor Elaine Westbrooks, Vice Provost of University Libraries and University Librarian

4:30 p.m. Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee Presentation [PPT]

       Professor Donald Hornstein, committee chair

  • Annual Report of the Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee [PDF]

4:40 p.m. Annual Committee Reports by Title

       Professor Leslie Parise, Chair of the Faculty

  • University Committee on Copyright  [PDF]; Anne Gilliland, committee chair
  • Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty [PDF]; Susan Irons, committee chair
  • Community and Diversity Committee  [PDF]; Rumay Alexander, committee chair
  • Faculty Welfare Committee [PDF]; Rhonda Gibson, committee chair

4:45 p.m. Ceremonial Resolution

       Professor Joseph Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus

4:50 p.m. Closed Session: Special Report from the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee

       Professor Ferrel Guillory, committee chair

  • Nominees for Honorary Degrees [PDF] (Faculty Council members only, Sakai login required)

5:00 p.m. Adjournment

Video of Proceedings

Watch the full video [Streaming]

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on April 12, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. in Genome Sciences Building, Room G200.

The following 47 members attended: J. Aikat, Andringa, Anksorus, Ansong, Arnold, Baumgartner, Beltran, Burch, Byerley, Calikoglu, Chambers, Clement, Coble, Cope, Cox, Cuddeback, Dobelstein, Fisher, Fry, Furry, Gentzsch, Gilland, Guskiewicz (Chancellor), Halladay, Halpern, Hessick, Ives, Krome-Lukens, Lee, A. Levine, C. Levine, Malloy, McGrath, Muller, Parise (Chair of the Faculty), Perucci, Ramaswamy, Rudder, Thorpe, Upshaw, Vaidyanathan, Walter, Watson, Willett, J. Williams. M. Williams and Zomorodi.

The following 27 members received excused absences: D. Aikat, Austin, Berkowitz, Berman, Boon, Clegg, Duqum, Entwisle, Estrada, Felix, Giovanello, Hannig, Hester, Joyner, Kireev, Kris, Larson, Lithgow, Mayer-Davis, Moore, Pukkila, Renner, Song, Stenberg, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), Thorp and Yaqub.

The following 19 members were absent without excuse: Bloom, Brewster, Daughters, Edwards, Fromke, Gilchrist, Graham, Hill, Hobbs, Koonce, Lundberg, Mayer, Platts-Mills, Rashid, Scarlett, Tepper, Wilhelmsen, Zamboni and Zvara.

Others in attendance: Provost Blouin, Peter Andringa (Undergraduate Representatives), Joseph Ferrell (Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus) and Lloyd Kramer (Chair of the Faculty-elect)

Call to Order

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell called the meeting to order at 3:01pm

Chair of the Faculty’s remarks

Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise welcomed everyone to the Faculty Council meeting. Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell served as parliamentarian in Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis’ absence.

On March 25, 2019, Professor Parise announced that she will be stepping down from her position as chair of the faculty. She said it has been a pleasure and privilege to serve as chair of the faculty and to interact with faculty across campus. She encouraged faculty to serve in this position if given the opportunity. Professor Parise served as chair of the faculty while simultaneously serving as chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and running a research lab. She is thankful that Professor Lloyd Kramer (History) has agreed to serve as interim chair of the faculty, his term will begin May 8, 2019. Professor Parise thanked Professor Kramer for accepting this position.

Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise thanked Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis for his support during her tenure as chair of the faculty. Professor Steponaitis ensures that faculty governance activities happen in a timely manner and he is an expert on Robert’s Rules of Order and The Faculty Code on University Government. Professor Parise thanked the Advisory Committee for their work in appointing an interim chair. She said Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis and the members of the Advisory Committee were gracious when she announced she was stepping down from her position. Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise also thanked the Office of Faculty Governance (OFG) staff: Helena Knego, Lisa Jean-Michienzi and Kadejah Murray. Professor Parise told Professor Kramer that the support of the OFG staff and Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis make the position of chair of the faculty much easier. Professor Parise thanked the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC). She said they are an intellectually engaging, thoughtful and outspoken group of people; she hopes Professor Kramer enjoys engaging with FEC as much as she has.

Chair of the Faculty Parise regrets stepping down while Chancellor Guskiewicz is serving as interim chancellor as they have served on a number of committees together and she has enjoyed the interaction. She knows the University is in great hands under the leadership of Chancellor Guskiewicz. Chair of the Faculty Parise said Provost Blouin is doing great work with his campus initiatives; The Operational Excellence Initiative is well underway. The goal of this initiative is to create a high-functioning administrative operation that supports the University’s key mission of teaching, learning and research, and that enables implementation of The Blueprint for Next, the University’s strategic framework. Faculty are anxiously waiting for these initiatives to be implemented across campus to make business processes more efficient. Chair of the Faculty Parise also enjoyed interacting with Carol Folt while she served as chancellor.

On March 31, the Unsung Founders Memorial and an outdoor exhibit near Hanes Art Center were vandalized with racist graffiti. Recently, anti-Semitic posters were found in Davis Library and other campus buildings. Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise is angered and disappointed by these actions. She encouraged faculty to work with Chancellor Guskiewicz to make the campus as welcoming, warm and safe as possible.

The Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue was created on December 8, 2018, when Faculty Council passed Resolution 2018-10. On Implementing a Plan for the Disposition of the Confederate Statue [PDF], which was submitted by Professor Ed Fisher (Public Health). This committee recently met with four members of the Board of Governors (BOG) subcommittee charged with creating a plan for the disposition of the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam. Chair of the Faculty Parise thought the faculty committee was well prepared and did an excellent job explaining why Silent Sam should remain off campus.

Chair of the Faculty Parise gave an update on the activities of the UNC Faculty Assembly, which met this morning. The Assembly is working on faculty salary increases and increasing digital learning across the UNC System. WUNC-TV reaches across the state of North Carolina, including education deserts, and, as such, is creating a digital learning station. The UNC Faculty Assembly has done an excellent job engaging with the Board of Governors and increasing the positive relationships between the two groups. Due to this relationship, the Faculty Assembly was able to dispel policies that were potentially coming down the pipeline—policies precipitated by incidents on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus. The BOG wanted to put policies in place with swift outcomes for faculty and graduate students who defaced monuments or who refused to turn in grades. The Faculty Assembly was able to convince the BOG that all campuses in the System have rules and procedures in place for such actions and new policies were not necessary. Interim UNC-System President Bill Roper spoke at the Faculty Assembly meeting; he is conducting a listening and learning tour across the state and will visit all 17 UNC-System institutions. An audience member asked President Roper his opinion on the value of historically minority serving institutions. President Roper said the decades of underinvesting and under-resourcing of historically minority serving institutions is an embarrassment, and he is committed to working on this issue.

Professor Kramer thanked Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise for the work she has done over the past two years. He lost the election when they ran against each other for chair of the faculty in 2017. Professor Kramer said his appointment as interim chair of the faculty shows that life is full of second chances. He is honored the Advisory Committee asked him to serve. Although he will be serving as an interim, Professor Kramer is fully committed to the role and being as engaged as possible. As leader of the faculty, he wants to affirm the core values and traditions that make UNC-Chapel Hill a great university and look for ways to build these traditions as we move forward. Professor Kramer looks forward to working with faculty, students and the administration in this capacity.

Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise asked for a moment of silence during the In Memoriam presentation, which honors UNC-Chapel Hill faculty who have passed away during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Chancellor’s and Provost’s remarks

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz thanked Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise for two years of outstanding leadership, and Professor Kramer for stepping in as interim chair of the faculty. He said Professor Kramer will do an amazing job and he is looking forward to working with him. Chancellor Guskiewicz also thanked Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell for attending the meeting in Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis’s absence.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said there is no place on this campus for anti-Semitism, racism, extremism or hate of any kind. He wants to work with faculty to ensure faculty, staff and student at this university feel welcomed and included. The campus conference titled “Conflict over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities” was held March 22-24, 2019. A video of the conference has circulated that showcases an artist performing a song with anti-Semitic lyrics and audio recordings of conference attendees making anti-Semitic comments. Chancellor Guskiewicz said he was disturbed by the video and the administration will do everything to ensure that such activities are not allowed on campus. On March 16, members of the Heirs to the Confederacy came to campus with weapons. The administration has hired an outside firm to investigate these events.

Chancellor Guskiewicz gave a number of updates. Police Chief Jeff McCracken is retiring on June 30; a search committee has been formed and they hope to have new police chief in place by July 1. The Campus Safety Commission is well underway and Chancellor Guskiewicz is excited about the progress that has been made. They have established the mission and invited members of the campus community to serve on the commission. Chancellor Guskiewicz will announce the membership of the commission on April 22. The commission will consist of 15-17 members—about half of the individuals invited have already accepted the membership invitation. A few members attended the Faculty Council meeting and Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked them for agreeing to serve. Chancellor Guskiewicz will provide an update on the progress of the Campus Safety Commission at the first Faculty Council meeting of the 2019-2020 academic year. In December 2018, Mr. Mark Merritt stepped down from his position as general counsel and vice chancellor. Martin Brinkley, dean of the UNC School of Law, is chairing the search committee charged with finding his replacement; they hope to have this position filled by August 1. Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked Terry Rhodes, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Christi Hurt, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs; and J. Michael Barker, interim chief information officer for accepting these new roles. Provost Blouin and Chancellor Guskiewicz are working on a plan to fill these positions over the next few months.

Chancellor Guskiewicz’s listening and learning tour is underway, and he has visited four professional schools so far. During the tour Chancellor Guskiewicz asks faculty members the following questions:

  • What should change at the University?
  • What should not change at the University?
  • What are they afraid that an interim chancellor will do?
  • What are they afraid that an interim chancellor will not do?

During his tour, Chancellor Guskiewicz is receiving constructive feedback and thoughts on these questions. He encouraged Faculty Council members and guests to give him feedback on these questions as well.

The chancellor continues to work with the North Carolina Legislature. The administration is making a great case for UNC-Chapel Hill, so the University can continue to be well-resourced and supported. On March 21 and March 22, Chancellor Guskiewicz attended the BOG meeting at Appalachian State University where he met with most of the board members. During the meeting, Chancellor Guskiewicz announced that he wanted to bring back the Tar Heel Bus Tour, where faculty tour the state and learn about its history and people, and visit Carolina research and service projects outside Chapel Hill. Chancellor Guskiewicz said the tour is garnering a lot of support and is expected to launch this fall. There was a meeting about the tour this week; recruiting will begin soon.

Chancellor Guskiewicz met with the Board of Visitors, and spoke about the unique culture of collaboration at the University. He asked attendees to continue to think about ways we can continue to work together on the issues facing the University. If we continue to work within the culture of collaboration, we can do great things moving forward. The Board of Visitors wants to partner with the University.

This week is Senior Week. Chancellor Guskiewicz encouraged faculty to spend time with graduating seniors. He had supper at Sutton’s Drug Store with a group of seniors on April 9 and he attended the Bell Tower climb on April 10. Chancellor Guskiewicz said it was special to hear about these students’ time at Carolina. Seniors had mixed emotions about leaving the University, but he assured them that the Carolina community will continue to be there for them and they will be great ambassadors for the University. Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked Faculty Council members for all they do for the University.

Provost Robert Blouin thanked Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise for her service and wished her the best on her return to chairing the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics full-time.

Provost Blouin participated in the Hillel presentation last night. There has been concern among the Jewish community surrounding the anti-Semitic remarks during the recent conference on Gaza as well as leaflets found at the library. Provost Blouin said we need to provide support in any way we can to reassure the community that Carolina is a great place, and these instances are an aberration. We need to be more diligent and attentive and do our best to identity who is responsible when these instances occur.

This week, Provost Blouin has spent time with the library team, including the Board of Visitors of the library program and the Administrative Board of the Library. Provost Blouin said it has been great to interact with these groups. They discussed Elsevier and the University of California (UC) System’s decision to discontinue their subscriptions to 2,500 Elsevier academic journals. Elsevier is one of several highly predatory publishing companies that exploit their market advantage at the expense of universities. The UC System made a big step in making dissociation from Elsevier possible for other university systems. Unfortunately, the UC System does not have a plan B. This is a major concern for our University, in the absence of a back-up plan, how can the University disassociate from predatory publishing companies and do no harm to faculty? Provost Blouin said this issue requires a thorough campus conversation on how to begin to address this issue and develop a plan. This plan will require collaboration between disciplines and our peer institutions. Provost Blouin said everyone agrees that the current pricing system is unsustainable, and we have to act.

Provost Blouin met with Chancellor Guskiewicz, Dean Rhodes and senior associate deans from the College of Arts and Sciences to review the financial modeling of the IDEAs in Action General Education Curriculum. Provost Blouin believes the curriculum is executable from a financial standpoint. Provost Blouin encouraged Faculty Council members to focus on the merits of the curriculum changes during their discussion and not to let financial ramifications be the forefront of the conversation.

Professor Jennifer Arnold (Psychology and Neuroscience) thanked Provost Blouin for the update on Elsevier. She said this issue is related to the broader issue of open-access publishing. Professor Arnold used to work as a publisher for an Elsevier journal; she noted the huge movement toward open-access publishing. She fears this issue will come back to hurt faculty. In order to be published in open-access journals, faculty have to pay, and Professor Arnold is concerned about where the funds will come from. The UC System provides a minimal stipend to faculty for publishing. If the University pulls away from Elsevier in order to save money, this money will have to be rerouted towards publishing in other journals.

Provost Blouin said this issue has many layers of complexity. He recently met with the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure, and there are ramifications with open-access publishing as well. The University needs to be thorough in its analysis of the intended and unintended consequences. Open-access publishing is a reasonable alternative model, but it has been untested in this space. It would require a huge change in the way the University approaches publishing. Under the current practice, faculty use resources to pursue a piece of scholarship, submit articles to a journal and pay page costs. The article is peer reviewed at no cost to the publisher, then a fee is required in order to access the journal. Publishing is linked to impact factors and value in terms of the promotion process. Provost Blouin said this is an extremely controlled business model.

Professor Eric Muller (Law) asked Chancellor Guskiewicz if the anti-Semitic flyers found in buildings across campus were the same flyers found in Davis Library and how many buildings the flyers were found in. Professor Muller took a moment to register the grave sense of distress that Jewish people on this campus are feeling. He defended the conference to a number of people in the Jewish community who were upset with what they viewed as a lack of balance in presenters. Professor Muller told them that it wasn’t the panel that he would have created, but this is how academic freedom works; we wouldn’t want to live in a world in which there was an arbiter of balance, judging who is allowed to speak. Professor Muller said the recorded audio comments about Jewish control of finances and politics made by conference attendees are reprehensible, but it is not fair to hold the University responsible for these comments. The song that was performed during the conference, was not improvised, it was a part of the artist’s repertoire. Professor Muller said the moment that chilled him was when the performance turned into a call and response with the audience about being in love with a Jew. The attendees seemed uncomfortable when they were first asked to repeat the lyric “I’m in love with a Jew,” but this discomfort was overcome, and the attendees joined in to sing the song. This happened after the singer introduced the song, arguably satirically, as his anti-Semitic song. He then told the audience that he was not looking for Beyoncé or Rihanna level anti-Semitism, but Mel Gibson level anti-Semitism. Professor Muller understands there are arguments one can make about artistic license, satire and irony. He wonders what would have happened if there was a conference on racism against African Americans, where an entertainer requested George Wallace level anti-black racism or a conference on sexuality, where an entertainer requested Pat Robinson level homophobia. In those instances, the event would have stopped immediately, but during the Conflict over Gaza Conference, the voices just got louder. Professor Muller appreciates the strong statements made by Chancellor Guskiewicz and Provost Blouin at the beginning of the meeting, but he hopes it was a preview of what is to come, in terms of wrestling with these problems.

Chancellor Guskiewicz agrees with Professor Muller’s comments and he was deeply disturbed by the performance as well. That performance is not what Carolina is about and the administration will do everything possible to ensure it never happens again. Chancellor Guskiewicz said this incident is being investigated by an outside firm and the administration will provide information as it becomes available. Derek Kemp, associate vice chancellor for Campus Safety and Risk Management confirmed that anti-Semitic flyers were found in buildings across campus.

Faculty Code Amendments, second reading

Professor Anne Klinefelter (Law), chair of the Faculty Committee on University Government, introduced three resolutions at the March 8 Faculty Council meeting: 1) Resolution 2019-3, On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Composition of the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty [PDF], brought forth by the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty; 2) Resolution 2019-4, On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Composition and Charge of the Administrative Board of the Library [PDF], brought forth by the Administrative Board of the Library and the University Librarian; and 3) Resolution 2019-5, On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Procedure for Passing Resolutions of the General Faculty [PDF], developed through Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis’s insights and endorsed by the Faculty Executive Committee.

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell said this meeting is a joint meeting of two separate bodies, the General Faculty, which consists of all members of the voting faculty, and the Faculty Council, which consists of 90 elected and ex-officio members. The resolutions above are resolutions of the General Faculty and any member of the voting faculty is allowed to vote.

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell stated the question, Resolution 2019-3, and opened the floor for discussion.

Resolution 2019-3 passed unanimously with no abstentions on the second reading.

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell stated the question, Resolution 2019-4, and opened the floor for discussion.

Resolution 2019-4 passed unanimously with no abstentions on the second reading.

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell stated the question, Resolution 2019-5, and opened the floor for discussion.

Resolution 2019-5 passed unanimously with no abstentions on the second reading.

Annual report of the Educational Policy Committee

Professor Marsha Penner (Psychology and Neuroscience), chair of the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), presented the committee’s annual report [PDF].The committee focused on special grade assignments, transcript remarks, University approved absences and the IDEAS in Action General Education Curriculum. The EPC received monthly updates from the General Education Curriculum (GEC) Coordinating Committee and considered feedback from faculty and students. The committee voted to endorse the IDEAS in Action General Education Curriculum proposal.

Pending resolution on policing issues

Professor Jay Smith (History) said news outlets have recently reported on the relationship between UNC Police and the campus community, particularly student protestors. Professor Smith believes this relationship has reached crisis mode, requiring emergency action. Serious allegations have been brought against campus police involving filing false police reports, withholding evidence from the District Attorney’s Office and pursuing a student protestor with a vendetta. The situation is troubling and graduate students are feeling under siege, unsafe and betrayed by the University. Professor Smith is submitting a resolution to the Faculty Executive Committee for consideration. The resolution calls for an open and transparent investigation of police behavior in these events and if UNC police force members have any connections with white supremacist groups. The resolution also calls for the dismissal of officers who were involved in unethical and possibly illegal activities. Professor Smith is willing to share the resolution with anyone interested.

General Education Curriculum

Professor Andy Perrin (Sociology), chair of the GEC Coordinating Committee, gave a presentation [PPT] on the IDEAs in Action General Education Curriculum proposal, which included an update on the Coordinating Committee’s work since March 8, an outline of the philosophy and structure of the proposed curriculum and next steps. Professor Perrin thanked the GEC Coordinating Committee for three years of broad and serious engagement. He also thanked Chancellor Guskiewicz, Faculty Council, the Faculty Executive Committee, the Educational Policy Committee, Administrative Boards, Directors of Undergraduate Studies, students, staff, community members and faculty. Professor Perrin believes the proposed curriculum is a great opportunity to put the ideals of access, excellence and public service into practice. Professor Perrin also introduced Resolution 2019-7, On Adopting a New General Education Curriculum [PDF] that calls for approval of the IDEAs in Action Curriculum (version 5.0) as the new general education curriculum for undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell stated the question, Resolution 2019-7, and opened the floor for discussion. Since this is a Faculty Council resolution, members of the General Faculty have the right to engage in debate, but the vote will be conducted among members of the Faculty Council.

Mr. Peter Andringa (Undergraduate Representative) thanked Professor Perrin and the GEC Coordinating Committee for the amount of feedback they sought from students and across the University. This process has been underway since Mr. Andringa came to Carolina in 2016. Ashton Martin, student body president for the 2019-2020 academic year, will be the fourth president to engage with this process. The curriculum revision process has been controversial, but Mr. Andringa believes the proposal has gotten to a good place. The Student Government Association has faith that the faculty will guide this proposal through the implementation process and adjust as necessary moving forward. They support the curriculum proposal and hope Faculty Council supports it as well.

Professor Richard McLaughlin (Mathematics) has watched the curriculum evolve over the years. In the beginning, he had concerns about how quantitative disciplines were being eroded. He is comfortable with the current curriculum proposal. The GEC Coordinating Committee has been responsive to the need for data science and natural sciences requirements within the curriculum. As chair of the Department of Mathematics, Professor McLaughlin feels comfortable moving forward with the curriculum saying that it is a good opportunity for the University to support something that is forward looking.

Professor Nina Furry (Romance Studies) thanked Professor Perrin and the Coordinating Committee for their work on the curriculum revision process. The majority of faculty in the Department of Romance Studies are not supportive of the proposed curriculum at this stage. Despite a lot of support for the first-year initiatives, there is concern about the level of flexibility of the curriculum. Professor Furry said the curriculum still seems to be in the abstract form and faculty members are having difficulties relating to details that are not specified in the curriculum.

Professor Perrin said he can speak to the flexibility of the curriculum, but he cannot speak to the particular details on which faculty aren’t clear. The Coordinating Committee has work to respond to all comments about the details of the curriculum, but this does not mean there are not more comments to be considered. The General Education Oversight Committee is a representative faculty body made up of members of the voting faculty. This committee will be tasked with accessing the curriculum during and after implementation. The implementation of the curriculum has been postponed until fall 2021 to ensure the process is done carefully and correctly to avoid harming departments who need additional help in matching the ambitions of the focus capacities and to give the Oversight Committee a chance to report to the Educational Policy Committee and Faculty Council about details of the curriculum that might be problematic. The current proposal is more detailed than prior curricula have been at this stage, because the Coordinating Committee wanted to understand how implementation can work best. Professor Perrin said members of the GEC Coordinating Committee would be delighted to talk to faculty in the Romance Studies department and help with some of those details.

Professor Harry Watson (History) asked for clarification about a provision that stated data science would be an integral part of the ideas, information, and inquiry courses. A previous version of the curriculum proposal stated that professors from three different disciplines would teach a course with the purpose of testing interesting hypotheses.

Professor Perrin said he does not recall language about hypothesis testing in the Ideas, Information, and Inquiry section.

Professor Watson asked if the inclusion of data sciences in ideas, information, and inquiry courses are designed to orient students around quantitative hypothesis testing.

Professor Perrin answered no.

Professor Watson was concerned that if this section were to be organized around quantitative hypothesis testing, then it would not be discipline agnostic.

Professor Perrin said quantitative hypothesis testing is not a part of the Ideas, Information, and Inquiry section. The GEC Coordinating tried to distill the sense of exploration, interdisciplinary education and basic foundations of key skills into a course that would be both exciting for faculty to teach and generative for students to take. There is no expectation that courses be focused around a particular epistemological or disciplinary approach. The courses do not have to be taught by three faculty from different disciples, but from three faculty with different approaches. The GEC Coordinating Committee is focused on the substantive academic work faculty will be doing in the courses.

Professor Jennifer Coble (Biology) said she trains science teachers and a great portion of her work revolves around helping them understand the new National Science Curriculum, which is aligned with what is being proposed in the IDEAs in Actions curriculum. One way she helps science teachers think about the National Science curriculum is to explain that we are moving away from learning about topics and focusing on how we can figure out phenomena. This shift can be seen in many different types of curricula and is aligned with the understanding of how quickly technology and access to information are changing. It is a significant shift, and sometimes teachers perceive it as a loss, because certain content is no longer being emphasized. After teachers experience the curriculum and see how students are asking questions, analyzing data and communicating information, they see what is being gained. Professor Coble said the statement “it is not what you know, it is what you can do with what you know,” is outdated because it is more so what you can do with the immense amount of information we have access to. The proposed curriculum is action based, with capacities that will help Carolina students with evaluating and communicating information.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Terry Rhodes is a professor in the Department of Music. She previously served as both department chair and senior associate dean for Fine Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is excited about the curriculum and thinks it will be wonderful for students. In her capacity as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, she is committed to ensuring that departments and students are being followed closely as the curriculum is implemented, and departments understand how they can work with the curriculum and leverage it to make sure their students are being served properly. Dean Rhodes said she gets the sense that the University is ready for the implementation stage based on conversations she has had with faculty and chairs. They will be working to ensure that implementation is done correctly. She thanked Provost Blouin for his commitment to help resource the curriculum. She believes we can implement the curriculum in a way in which faculty and students will be well served.

Resolution 2019-7 passed with no abstentions

Annual report of the Administrative Board of the Library

Professor Mark Crescenzi, chair of the Administration Board of the Library (ABL), presented the Board’s annual report [PDF]. At the beginning of the year, the ABL sent a letter to the administration concerning the relocation of the Confederate statue, known as Silent Sam. He thanked the administration for their support.

The anti-Semitic flyers were found in Davis Library and in Hamilton Hall, on the third, fourth and fifth floors, including the History and Political Science departments. As chair of the ABL and chair of the Department of Political Science, Professor Crescenzi condemns and is opposed to anti-Semitism and all forms of hate speech. He is working with UNC security to improve the safety of everyone in the campus community. The Department of Political Science co-sponsored the Conflict over Gaza Conference, and he is grappling with some of the same emotions as Professor Muller. The department will revisit their co-sponsorship policy as a result of the events that occurred at the conference.

Vice Provost of University Libraries and University Librarian Elaine Westbrooks said the University finds itself in an academic publishing ecosystem that is no longer affordable, sustainable, transparent or equitable. We are approaching the tipping point, where the scholarship this University produces is no longer accessible to the bulk of people in this country and the world. Resolution 2019-8, On Constraining Costs of Published Research [PDF], amplifies the University’s values of affordability, equity, access and transparency. When universities obtain access to journals, they are expected to sign non-disclosure agreements, making them unable to share the details of licensing agreements with the University community. University Librarian Westbrooks would like to move away from this practice, which will require the support of faculty. The University’s contract with Elsevier ends this year and negotiations will begin soon. As scholars and researchers, faculty can publish wherever they choose. The issue is not publishing, but the ability to access and read the articles that are published, and the ability of the University to afford this access. There are many complicated issues surrounding price gouging; the cost of journals has risen at three to four times the inflation rate. Publishing companies have 35% profit margins on content faculty are generating and peer reviewing, largely for free. This is not a library problem, but a higher-education problem and the ABL believes it is time to take a stand and say this practice is not sustainable and that it is a major challenge to lock knowledge behind paywalls.

Professor Crescenzi said they are paying a lot of attention to how these changes will affect the business model of academia and how to ensure we don’t make changes that will harm graduate students who are trying to get jobs, faculty who are trying to get tenure and tenured faculty who are trying to maintain their advanced research careers. Any solution that doesn’t address these collective problems is inappropriate for Faculty Council to endorse. The faculty and students on the ABL have been attentive to this set of issues, while still attending to the financial crisis that is coming from a broken market model.

Professor Perrin said in the move toward different models, one option is paying to publish as opposed to paying to read. Professor Perrin asked how this might work at Carolina.

University Librarian Westbrooks said there are many models being created. The decisions University Libraries make are going to be based on the feedback they receive from faculty, gathered through townhall meetings in the upcoming academic year. The model depends on the discipline. The University of California System did a model with Cambridge University Press; other universities are creating models as well, and they are all different. The input of faculty is critical, these decisions cannot be made in a vacuum.

Professor Julie Byerley (Medicine) said the resources accessed from University Libraries are not just utilized to advance knowledge and faculty careers. Faculty in the School of Medicine and other clinicians access these resources to make bedside decisions about the care of patients, in some cases there is a sense of urgency associated with these decisions. Many Elsevier journals are important in the clinical care of patients and clinical faculty need to have access to this content in some way.

University Librarian Westbrooks said as we think about new models, we have to consider delivering access in different ways. For example, when a clinician needs content, University Libraries can find expedited ways to deliver the content instead of purchasing the content just in case it is needed. This process is included in some of new models. She believes University Libraries can invest in this delivery, if they cannot afford the content.

Professor Crescenzi said there is representation from Health Affairs on the Administrative Board of the Library and Professor Byerley’s concerns are being addressed.

Professor Muge Calikoglu (Medicine) asked if it is possible for the UNC Healthcare System to contribute funds to for these resources since some faculty in the School of Medicine are using University Libraries resources in immediate patient care. Clinicians receive these resources instantaneously, within three to five minutes of requesting access.

University Librarian Westbrooks said she supports this idea. The inflation rate increases every year. University Libraries are trying to identify permanent resources with steady increasing, but this is extremely challenging

Professor Rohit Ramaswamy (Public Health) raised points of consideration concerning moving from the pay-to-read model to the pay-to-publish model. He is in a department that has many teaching faculty; publishing in open-access journals is a challenge for them because they do not have research grants to afford the price of publishing. Many teaching faculty members prefer to publish in journals that are behind a firewall because they do not have to pay. There are also thousands of predatory open-access journals as well. It is important to continue to maintain the quality of journals in which faculty publish.

University Librarian Westbrooks said the escalation of predatory journals is a problem. The bulk of open-access journals are peer-reviewed and high quality. In the social sciences and other areas, faculty are not likely to have the resources to pay a $2000 article publication charge. There are a variety of models to consider that can bring value and do not harm faculty and students. For example, resources can be stored in a repository that faculty and students can access and there could be an embargo.

Professor Crescenzi said they are not limiting where faculty can publish, the issue is having access to the content that has been published. One of the issues we face is figuring out how to manage low-cost, open-access, transparent options that do not currently exist.

Professor Frank Baumgartner (Political Science) thanked University Librarian Westbrooks, Professor Crescenzi and the Administrative Board of the Library for taking this issue seriously. Predatory publishing companies have been operating within this business model for a long time, he is glad to see that it is reaching a breaking point. There is a need for collective action from all the major universities. The publishing industry has an oligarchical nature, but there is a divided and open market amongst universities. Professors, researchers and reviewers could go on strike and shut down the publishing industry with collective action. The American Association of Universities and other big organizations can act as a single voice. Professor Baumgartner encouraged his colleagues to think big.

Professor Amy Levine (Medicine) said, as an emergency room doctor, having to go through a request process in order to get resources is not going to work at 2 a.m. She needs fast access to the resources at all hours. She just left a shift where she needed to know, within five minutes, whether medicine a patient received would cause a reaction. They were able to get the data quickly and it affected the care given to the patient. Professor Levine said she does not have time to go through a request process for information because she doesn’t work hours that are amenable for this process. Such a model makes her anxious.

University Librarian Westbrooks said the models being investigated are unmediated and some of them are faster than our current models, due to the needs of clinicians.

Professor Arnold agrees that the system is broken and is glad University Libraries and the ABL are taking on this issue. She wants to ensure the impact of scholars is not forgotten in this issue. Reviewers can boycott journals, but it isn’t effective if the same people are publishing in the journals, which sometimes happens. Faculty are trying to publish in Elsevier journals, despite predatory practices. Professor Arnold said the entire system has to change. This issue has to go up the chain of command, because money will have to be allocated to graduate students who want to publish; if not, then the system will continue to be broken.

Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise noted that the country of Norway and major universities in Sweden and Germany have refused to partner with Elsevier.

Professor Crescenzi said it is important not to have knee-jerk reactions that do harm to the needs of the University community. Some of the needs include providing rapid access to resources for emergency room physicians, and remaining ethically consistent in reviewing and publishing and protecting the competitiveness of practitioners, researchers and scholars.

University Librarian Westbrooks said the actions of the UC System do not necessarily disrupt the system. Multiple layers need to be addressed that are involved in the assessment process, including publishing and the promotion process. Another layer is how the monopoly was formed and how the University can take back control. Five companies control academic publishing, which is a major problem: Taylor & Frances owns social-science journals, Elsevier and Springer own STEM journals and Wiley owns engineering journals. The system was not designed for private and public companies to make billions of dollars. Learned societies were created to disseminate and create new knowledge, and now this has become completely warped. Addressing this issue is going to take many years and the University community will have to be very thoughtful.

Professor Cal Lee (Information and Library Science) said Resolution 2019-8 is primarily aspirational, but it has a substantive statement about the non-disclosure agreement, in which negotiations between the University and publishing companies are hidden from the campus community and other universities. Professor Lee asked for more information about the role non-disclosure agreements play in this discussion and if other universities who partner with Elsevier have refused to sign non-disclosure agreements.

University Librarian Westbrooks works with Duke University and North Carolina State University, neither of which are allowed to disclose information about their contracts to one other. This has been a standard practice for a while. The UC System abandoned non-disclosure agreements for some publishing companies, but not all of them. Non-disclosure agreements hide the market, and this puts universities at a disadvantage, because the prices are unknown. If the price universities are paying cannot be disclosed, it makes coalition building very difficult.

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell stated the question, Resolution 2019-8.

Resolution 2019-8 passed, with no abstentions.

Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee

Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise congratulated Professor Don Hornstein (Law) on receiving the Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award.

Professor Hornstein, chair of the Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee, presented the committee’s annual report [PDF]. The presentation [PPT] included the University’s ranking on the 2019 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking, which listed UNC-Chapel Hill as number 37 overall and the number two best-value school. The annual report also contained data on the importance of financial aid in recruiting the strongest students, how financial aid defines the University’s public character and the improvement in the graduation rate among aided students. The “cap and freeze” on the University’s tuition revenue has caused aid funding to decrease and has put pressure on the budget. Costs have outpaced financial aid funding and undergraduate debt is rising to meet these costs. Professor Hornstein discussed strategic approaches to the funding challenge; if the University cannot secure resources, then there will be restrictions on Carolina Covenant eligibility and loans for needy out-of-state students will increase. The Carolina Edge Initiative is a part of The Campaign for Carolina, the goal is to raise $1 billion for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. The Carolina Edge Initiative shows less success in reaching the $1 billion goal than all of the other targets at this point in the Campaign. If the “cap and freeze” continues and the Carolina Covenant is restricted, then the University’s commitment to students and national reputation will be gone.

Annual Committee Reports by Title

The following committees submitted their annual reports by title: University Committee on Copyright [PDF], the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty [PDF], the Committee on Community and Diversity [PDF] and the Committee on Faculty Welfare [PDF]. There were no questions for the committee chairs.

Ceremonial Resolution

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell made a motion to suspend the rules of procedure to allow Faculty Council to consider a ceremonial resolution. The motion to suspend the rules passed unanimously.

Professor Julie Byerley presented Resolution 2019-9, On Appreciation for the Service of Leslie Parise, Chair of the Faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [PDF].

Resolution 2019-9 passed unanimously.

Closed Session: Special Report from the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell entertained a motion to move into closed session to prevent the premature disclosure of honorary degree information. The motion was seconded and approved by Faculty Council. Council approved five nominees for honorary degrees to be presented at 2020 Commencement.

Open Session

Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell entertained a motion to move into open session. The motion was seconded and approved by Faculty Council. Council returned to open session.



Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 4:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kadejah Murray
University Program Associate

Vin Steponaitis
Secretary of the Faculty

Print Friendly, PDF & Email