December 7, 2018
Meeting of the Faculty Council and the General Faculty
Friday, December 7, 2018
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Kerr Hall, Room 1001
Eshelman School of Pharmacy
3:00 p.m. Chair of the Faculty welcome and remarks
Professor Leslie Parise
3:05 p.m. Presentation and discussion of UNC administration’s recommendation for disposition of the Confederate statue
Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Robert Blouin
- Recommendation for the Disposition and Preservation of the Confederate Monument (PDF)
- Report Appendices (PDF)
- Message from Chancellor Folt and Provost Blouin: Update on the Confederate Monument (HTML)
- August 2018 Charge from Board of Governors (PDF)
- May 2015 Resolutions from Board of Trustees (PDF)
- NC Statutes Chapter 100 of the Monuments, Memorials and Parks Law (PDF)
3:45 p.m. Introduction to parliamentary process (PDF)
Professor Vin Steponaitis, Secretary of the Faculty
4:15 p.m. Resolution 2018-10. On Implementing a Plan for the Disposition of the Confederate Statue. (PDF)
4:40 p.m. General Education Curriculum Revision discussion
Professor Andrew Perrin, chair of the GEC Coordinating Committee
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 December 7, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. in Kerr Hall, Room 1001 at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
The following 58 members attended: J. Aikat, Anksorus, Baumgartner, Berkowitz, Berman, Boon, Burch, Byerley, Calikoglu, Chambers, Clegg, Coble, Cope, Cox, Cuddeback, Daughters, Estrada, Folt (Chancellor), Fry, Furry, Gilland, Graham, Halladay, Halpern, Hannig, Hessick, Hester, Ives, Kireev, Kris, Krome-Lukens, Larson, Lee, A. Levine, Lithgow, Mayer-Davis, McGrath, Moore, Muller, Parise (Chair of the Faculty), Perucci, Pukkila, Ramaswamy, Renner, Rudder, Scarlett, Stenberg, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), Thorpe, Upshaw, Vaidyanathan, Walter, Watson, Wilhelmsen, Willett, J. Williams, Yaqub and Zomorodi
The following 17 members received excused absences: D. Aikat, Ansong, Austin, Bloom, Clement, Duqum, Edwards, Felix, Giovanello, Hill, Malloy, Mayer, Platts-Mills, Song, Tepper, Thorp and M. Williams.
The following 17 members were absent without excuse: Arnold, Beltran, Brewster, Dobelstein, Entwisle, Fisher, Fromke, Gentzsch, Gilchrist, Hobbs, Joyner, Koonce, C. Levine, Lundberg, Rashid, Zamboni and Zvara.
Others in attendance: Provost Blouin, Cravey (AAUP Observer), Nabatoff (Undergraduate Representative) and Swain (Graduate Representative).
Call to order
The Secretary of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.
Chair of Faculty remarks
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise welcomed everyone to the Faculty Council meeting. The Board of Governors (BOG) charged Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees (BOT) with creating a proposal for the disposition of the Confederate statue Silent Sam. On December 3, 2018, they presented their proposal during a meeting of the BOT. Chancellor Folt and the BOT recommended creating a University History and Education Center on campus. If the proposal is accepted, Silent Sam and other artifacts will be housed in this new center, located on the campus property known as Odum Village. The cost of the center is $5.3 million plus $800,000 in annual operating costs. Professor Parise emphasized that the proposal states the administration’s first preference is for Silent Sam to remain off campus. The administration is diligently working for the University’s best interest, but the decision is not entirely in their hands. Professor Parise said she appreciates the sincere and intense interest of faculty surrounding this issue, and she hopes everyone can operate in the best interests of the University.
Professor Parise gave an overview of today’s meeting agenda. Chancellor Folt and Provost Blouin will discuss the proposal. Trustee Chuck Duckett attended the meeting to answer any questions. There are two resolutions before Faculty Council and Professor Andy Perrin (Sociology) will give an update on the proposed General Education Curriculum.
Professor Bruce Cairns (Medicine), former Chair of the Faculty, addressed the Faculty Council. He said the issue the University is facing today echoes the existential crisis the University faced 50 years ago when the General Assembly passed the Speaker Ban law, a law limiting freedom of speech at the University. Students vehemently, but legally protested this law and worked with faculty and the administration to successfully overturn it. In 2011, we celebrated this accomplishment by erecting the Speaker Ban Monument. Professor Cairns said during this time, there were no demands to remove Silent Sam or people calling University leaders weak or ineffective because their lack of response to its presence. No university leader ever attempted to address what the University should do with Silent Sam, until now, and this can be attributed to the work of students. Given the enormous restraints put on Chancellor Folt, Provost Blouin and the BOT, they have done everything they can to meet the demands of the community. They have asked that Silent Sam be removed from campus, without the authority to do so. They answered the BOG by recommending that Silent Sam be removed from main campus, where it can be contextualized with other artifacts. Chancellor Folt apologized for the University’s difficult history with slavery. Professor Cairns understands that for many these actions are not enough. During today’s discussion, he urged everyone to remember the focused, deliberative and collaborate process that overturned the Speaker Ban law more than 50 years ago.
Chancellor’s and Provost’s remarks
Chancellor Folt gave an overview of the Recommendation for the Disposition and Preservation of the Confederate Monument [PDF], the Report Appendices [PDF] and other supplemental materials associated with the recommendation. The recommendation consists of four parts. The first part focuses on the disposition and preservation of the statue known as Silent Sam. The administration’s preference is to relocate the statue to a secure off-campus location. Since they were charged to create a recommendation that fits within the current law, they recommended relocating Silent Sam to the history center the BOT and administrators have discussed creating. On May 28, 2015, the BOT passed two resolutions [PDF]. Resolution #1 focused on curating the UNC campus and teaching UNC’s history. The BOT charged Chancellor Folt and her administration with commissioning one or more task forces to study the feasibility of a public space to house a permanent collection of UNC’s history, present the findings and make specific recommendations including timeframe and tentative budget. Chancellor Folt said the University History and Education Center is not dedicated to the artifacts, it is meant to be a true learning and education center. The History Task Force has accumulated a lot of material for the center. The center would house thousands of artifacts related to UNC’s history, digital exhibits and traveling exhibits; it would be a place to truly teach the history. An example of this contextualization is found in Carolina Hall, formerly named Saunders Hall, where the History Task force created an exhibit detailing the history of the building and its former namesake. The administration will ask the NC Legislature to cover the cost of the University History and Education Center. If the Legislature does not fund the project, the money must come from private funds.
Provost Blouin said the administration considered many options, both on campus and off campus. The historical background of the University and safety considerations were two of the guiding factors in developing the recommendation. One option was returning Silent Sam to McCorkle Place or moving it to another central location on north campus. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Public Safety Panel Report [PDF] deemed McCorkle Place and Wilson Library as unsafe locations. The leadership team and the BOT felt other locations on north campus were not ideal for many reasons. The administration then considered potential locations on south campus; Odum Village was on the Master Plan as an undeveloped site. They viewed an offsite location as a safer, less expensive and available for quicker response. Provost Blouin said the administration was encouraged by the vast amount of input they received. There were 5,000 emails from across the state and Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, received 400 communications. The administration tried to consider all of the options brought forward by the campus community and constituents of North Carolina. Provost Blouin said the leadership team appreciates the support of the Faculty Executive Committee, the Employee Forum and student leaders.
Chancellor Folt spoke with representatives from the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh and learned that they cannot house Silent Sam, because it is against the law. The Museum would also need approval from the NC Historical Commission. It would cost $2 million for Silent Sam to be housed in the North Carolina Museum of History.
Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Mark Merritt said NC General Statute § 100-2.1 [PDF], states that the authority to relocate a monument like Silent Sam lies with the NC Historical Commission. Since Silent Sam is classified as an object of remembrance, the Historical Commission only has the authority to relocate this monument if it is necessary to preserve the monument or if it is a part of a construction or renovation project with respect to a building or open space of campus. The law states that an object of remembrance that is permanently relocated must be relocated to a site of similar prominence, honor, visibility, availability and access that are within the boundaries of the jurisdiction from which it was relocated. An object of remembrance cannot be relocated to a museum, cemetery, or mausoleum unless it was originally placed at such a location. The Historical Commission has to approve the relocation site; the administration has to convince the Historical Commission that Odum Village meets the relocation criteria. The law states that a political subdivision of the State can ask the NC Historical Commission to relocate a monument. In this case, the authority to go to the Historical Commission resides in the Board of Governors. Chancellor Folt and the BOT are recommenders to the BOG, and are asking them for the authority to present this recommendation to the Historical Commission.
Counsel Merritt said another frequently asked question with respect to the law is if the administration is required to put the monument back up within 90 days of its removal. Counsel Merritt said the law does not contemplate our current situation, where the pedestal is still in place and the top is removed. He does not believe this deadline applies to our situation.
Professor Jessica Boon (Religious Studies) asked Chancellor Folt to define the way the administration is using the term “safety.”
Chancellor Folt said the law itself guided the administration’s definition of safety. The law is focused solely on preserving the monument. The administration is also concerned about the safety of the public, in addition to preserving the monument. The UNC-Chapel Hill Public Safety Panel discussed how to restore a campus to its primary mission and also its physical and mental wellbeing. The Panel said Silent Sam could not be protected in an outdoor location, but it could be protected inside a building. The Public Safety Panel discussed public safety and protecting the monument, but there is no specific definition of safety.
Counsel Merritt said the administration wants to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of members of the University community. In its original location, in the middle of McCorkle Place, Silent Sam is unavoidable. People feel that they are exposed to the statue involuntarily; an indoor location would mediate this concern. Counsel Merritt said the location of a monument engenders safety. Security consultants are not worried about faculty, staff and students exposing others to harm. They are worried about outside extremist groups who would turn the University into a battleground, because it is a great backdrop to get media attention. Putting a contextualized artifact in a building where people are not forced to see it mitigates some of the potential for harm. Additionally, an inside location makes it difficult for outsiders to instigate trouble. Counsel Merritt said the best measure to promote safety and security is to remove Silent Sam from campus.
At this point, student protestors entered the room and read aloud from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1993 Letter from Birmingham Jail [webpage].
Professor Eric Muller (Law) expressed his concern about the intended proximity of the University History and Education Center to the Kehillah Synagogue, the only Jewish synagogue in Chapel Hill. If the center becomes a target of Neo-Confederates or Neo-Nazis, it could create a difficult, possibly dangerous, situation for the Chapel Hill Kehillah.
Counsel Merritt said any location on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus represents risks, whic is why the administration prefers that Silent Sam remain off campus. Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees answered a very specific charge given by the Board of Governors. This recommendation has not ruled out the University’s ability to explore other options. The administration is aware of many of the issues people have with the recommendation. Counsel Merritt said the administration wants the ability to be present information and influence decisions. If we do not have a seat at the table, we are at risk of our views being totally marginalized and not considered at all.
Professor Sue Estroff (Medicine) said that she is Jewish and understands the wounds and the passion of people whose ancestors faced genocide and torture. Relocating Silent Sam to a location near the Kehillah Synagogue is no better than its original location in McCorkle Place. Professor Estroff respectfully suggested that Silent Sam be relocated to the UNC System Office.
Professor Hồng-Ân Trương (Art and Art History) is concerned about the security changes recommended by the UNC-Chapel Hill Public Safety Panel, one concern is the law enforcement upgrade, which would involve a 40-person “mobile force” that would cost about $2 million a year. Professor Trương said police do not create safety on campus, in fact they have instigated violence. The Public Safety Panel report labeled students as instigators. This does not reflect an understanding of the role of protest in civil society, the role of civil disobedience in civil society to create change or an understanding of police violence as part of the problem on this campus and in this nation. The recommendation submitted by Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees, has gone against Faculty Council Resolution 2018-7, which requests the permanent removal of the statue and its base from the UNC campus. Professor Trương said it is overdue time for the BOT and Chancellor Folt to take a moral stance because faculty, staff and students are emotionally and physically exhausted; they want the issue put to rest so everyone can move on.
Professor Ed Fisher (Public Health) encouraged the Chancellor and administration in general to recognize the sea change and respond to it.
Professor Rohit Ramaswamy (Public Health) said he was bothered that this issue was being framed as a public safety issue. The recommendation does not recognize that Silent Sam is a symbol of oppression regardless of its location on campus. Professor Ramaswamy felt that framing this issue as a matter of public safety promoted the thought that the administration could hide the monument and people would forget about it.
Chancellor Folt said the intent of the University History and Education Center is to tell the truth about the University’s history for 225 years, whether the artifact is present or not.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said that the goal of this meeting is to have faculty debate and vote on issues. One tradition of Faculty Council is civility; people need to be able to speak uninterrupted. Professor Steponaitis asked everyone to be respectful of other people in the room, regardless of how they feel about the issue.
Chancellor Folt said they were charged to provide a plan for a lawful and lasting path that protects public safety. The administration tried to meet the charge and create a solution that would be justifiable and explicable with public safety in this context. The idea is to make the full and complete history surrounding the Confederate statue to be available for everyone to learn.
A protester asked Chancellor Folt what Silent Sam means to her.
Chancellor Folt replied how Silent Sam was built in the Jim Crow era to extend white supremacy. She wants this history taught in a center for education and learning.
Professor Eileen Parsons (Education) said she is a black faculty member and former UNC student who has devoted an enormous amount of time working towards UNC-Chapel Hill’s mission. Silent Sam’s re-erection inflicts greater physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual pain. Professor Parsons said the fact that leaders are not humane enough to understand this in the decision-making process is incomprehensible to her.
Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked for more information on the mobile police task force that the UNC-Chapel Hill Public Safety Panel recommended. He was worried when he read the description, because it made him remember growing up in a Communist country with mobile police task forces.
Provost Blouin said the mobile police task force was a recommendation of the safety task force, not something that the UNCCH administration placed in the proposal. The thought was that the mobile police task force would be a UNC System initiative that all System schools could utilize, and various police representation would come from all the universities. This recommendation was based on the assessment and experience of the Public Safety Panel and the current national climate. The Public Safety Panel also had strong suggestions in terms of training. Most university police forces are not particularly well prepared in de-escalating situations. UNC-Chapel Hill police force could benefit from additional preparation and training.
Professor Lee Berkowitz (Medicine) asked if there is any way that Silent Sam not be considered an object of remembrance. He posited whether it could be renamed and removed from the law.
Counsel Merritt said the law was intended for this type of situation. Everyone who has analyzed the law has concluded that Silent Sam falls under the definition of an object of remembrance. This statute was created by the General Assembly in 2015.
Introduction to the parliamentary process
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis gave a brief overview of the parliamentary process [PDF] to help set the stage for the upcoming discussion of the resolutions. Each Faculty Council member received a one-page document detailing basic parliamentary procedure.
Two resolutions concerning the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam have been put before the Council. Each submitter introduced their resolutions, then Faculty Council discussed each individually.
Resolution 2018-9. On Faculty Opposition to the Recommendation to House a Confederate Monument on Campus
Professor Frank Baumgartner (Political Science) introduced Resolution 2018-9, On Faculty Opposition to the Recommendation to House a Confederate Monument on Campus [PDF]. He also reminded members of Resolution 2018-7 [PDF]. On Supporting a Statement from UNC Black Faculty on Silent Sam, which was passed unanimously by Faculty Council at the October 12th Faculty Council meeting. Professor Baumgartner said the University is in a clash of cultures, and it is the most extreme he has seen at any university where he has taught in over 35 years. One of the main clashes has to do with the substance of the matter, whether Silent Sam is a symbol of hatred and oppression or not. Professor Baumgartner said Silent Sam is a symbol of white supremacy and it is fine for people to disagree, but he would like the leaders of the University to share his perspective and the perspective of most students. Professor Baumgartner said there is also a difference in position. Counsel Merritt said if we do not have a seat at the table, we are at risk of our views being totally marginalized and not considered at all. Faculty have made their views known and they were ignored. Professor Baumgartner said it is unacceptable to have Silent Sam back on campus and Resolution 2018-7 expressed this view. Professor Baumgartner said anyone on the faculty can submit a resolution and he is disappointed that no one else came forth with a resolution and that he is the one who had to do so again.
Professor Altha Cravey (Geography), AAUP representative, made a motion to amend the language of Resolution 2018-9 and request that administration withdraw their recommendation for the disposition and preservation of the Confederate monument and let the Board of Governors make the decision. Faculty administrators should insist that they stand with the faculty and withdraw this recommendation.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said under Robert’s Rules of Order, since this is a Faculty Council resolution, only members of the Council can vote on the resolution and put forth motions to amend. The motion put forth by Professor Cravey is out of order.
Professor Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2018-9, and reopened the floor for discussion.
Professor Toni Perucci (Communications) made a motion to amend the language of Resolution 2018-9 by adding “and recommend its retraction,” to the end of the resolution. The motion was seconded.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said the motion to amend is the motion on the floor and Faculty Council will discuss and vote on the motion to amend. If the motion to amend passes, it becomes the main motion. If the motion to amend fails, the original motion remains the main motion.
A Faculty Council member made a motion to call the previous question, which was Professor Perucci’s amendment.
Professor Steponaitis said calling the question requires a two-thirds vote. If the motion to call the question passes, debate ends and Faculty Council votes on the amendment. If the motion to call the question fails, the amendment is still on the floor and Faculty Council can debate the amendment.
The motion to call the question passed unanimously.
The motion to amend the language of Resolution 2018-9 by adding “and recommend its retraction,” to the end of the resolution, passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Professor Steponaitis stated the question, as amended and opened the floor to discuss the new main motion.
Professor Joy Renner (Medicine) asked if Faculty Council passes the resolution, whether it means that the administration will not send their recommendation to the Board of Governors.
Professor Steponaitis said the Board of Trustees have already sent the recommendation to the Board of Governors. The faculty does not decide if the recommendation is sent to the Board of Governors. Resolution 2018-9 expresses the feelings and the opinions of faculty members.
Professor Harry Watson (History) said there are legal problems with every course of action the University could take regarding Silent Sam; therefore, it seems that we have to choose from alternative illegal actions. He said there is no tolerable legal course for the University to take. He believes that we have to take the legal action that is more important than all other duties, which is to sustain an inclusive and supportive educational environment for students. Professor Watson said the community is in desperate need of moral leadership from top administrators who will have the courage to break an unjust law and say why, and take the risks that this involves.
Professor Hannig said that while he supports the resolution, he feels that it will make faculty feel better to vote for it, but will not achieve anything.
Professor Boon made a motion to amend the resolution to include the sentence “We also ask that no sanctions be pursued against any member of the faculty, staff or student body who expresses opposition to the BOT proposal through collective action or civil disobedience.” The motion was seconded.
Professor Muller expressed concern about the proposed language. He would have no concern about language that expressed appreciation for those who expressed their opposition. He is concerned about language that calls for a prospective blanket immunity for all conduct that might occur. Professor Muller said he does not imagine that any disobedient conduct would be violent, but he cannot predict the future. Framing Resolution 2018-9 as a categorical request that protects people from sanctions puts Faculty Council in a tenuous position.
Professor Elizabeth Mayer-Davis (Public Health) said she was inclined to Resolution 2018-9 in the earlier stages when it stopped by stating Faculty Council’s opposition to the recommendation. The earlier version of the resolution expresses the opinion of the faculty, which is all faculty can technically do in this situation. Going beyond recommending retraction could make this resolution weaker. Professor Mayer-Davis’s preference is for the resolution to state clearly and strongly that Faculty Council opposes the recommendation and does not want Silent Sam on campus. She believes Faculty Council needs to stay away from the process.
Professor Dmitri Kireev (Pharmacy) asked what course of action will take place if Resolution 2018-9 is passed.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said whenever Faculty Council passes a resolution that affects the actions of another body, he formally transmits the resolution to them.
Professor Kireev asked what the Board of Trustees will do with the resolution.
Professor Steponaitis said the Board of Trustees would make the final decision on what actions to take surrounding the resolution.
Professor Hannig recommended that the amendment to include the sentence “We also ask that no sanctions be pursued against any member of the faculty, staff or student body who expresses opposition to the BOT proposal through collective action or civil disobedience,” be added to Resolution 2018-10 instead of Resolution 2018-9.
Professor Emeritus Steve Leonard (Political Science) said he urges caution with this amendment because the language would also protect white supremacists from any prosecution or sanction as a result of their opposition to this particular action.
Professor Tim Ives (Pharmacy), who serves as vice chair of the Faculty Assembly, said the Faculty Assembly has had extensive conversations about the free speech policy. The language of the resolution does protect everyone, and the Free-Speech Policy could be used against the University as an unintended consequence.
Professor Boon asked if it was possible to reword the amendment in a way that would avoid the conflicts surrounding free speech and the protection of white supremacists.
Professor Perucci said that Professor Boon could withdraw the amendment, rephrase it and make a motion to include the language in Resolution 2018-10.
The motion to amend Resolution 2018-9 to include the sentence “We also ask that no sanctions be pursued against any member of the faculty, staff or student body who expresses opposition to the BOT proposal through collective action or civil disobedience,” did not pass.
A vote was then held for Resolution 2018-9, On Faculty Opposition to the Recommendation to House a Confederate Monument on Campus [PDF], as amended, passed unanimously with two abstentions.
Resolution 2018-10. On Implementing a Plan for the Disposition of the Confederate Statue
Professor Edwin Fisher (Public Health) introduced Resolution 2018-10, On Implementing a Plan for the Disposition of the Confederate Statue [PDF]. Professor Fisher said he believes in the sincerity of everyone in the room. The resolution requests that any plan for the disposition of the Confederate statue should include the input of a Faculty Council established committee, and an equal allocation of funds for student assistance, staff pay increases, and university organizations focused on inclusion. Professor Fisher said the efforts to gather opinions across campus over the past several months was impressive but he feels there has been insufficient engagement of the campus in the actual decision making. The spirit of this resolution is to engage faculty from across campus in the planning stages.
Professor Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2018-10, and opened the floor for discussion.
Professor Renner said there is no discussion about changing NC General Statute § 100-2.1. Other schools in the UNC System will also face similar issues concerning objects protected under this law. Professor Renner said we need to stand together for everyone in North Carolina who wants each institution to be able to protect and represent its people based on locale. The University should be allowed to make the decisions about the disposition of Silent Sam rather than it being made at the state level or by law.
Professor Ramaswamy asked for more detail on how the actions of the proposed faculty committee would be different from the work that faculty have already done on this issue.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said there is no committee specifically charged with contributing to the decision-making process of creating a proposal for the disposition of the statue and related actions. Silent Sam was toppled on August 20, 2018. On August 28, 2018, the Board of Governors charged Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees to create a plan for the disposition of the statue. The deadline was November 15, 2018. Faculty, staff and students then mobilized to collect input to send to administration. The Board of Governors granted Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees an extension and the plan was due on December 3, 2018. This happened so quickly that no committee was specifically charged. Faculty Council will work out the details of the committee at a future meeting.
Professor Ives said the other campuses in the UNC System have Confederate statues and buildings, and they are watching our situation intently. Professor Ives said it is important to let the Board of Governors and General Assembly know that this law needs to be changed. Otherwise resolutions will have very little impact.
Professor Muller said for 16 months we have been working under a law that is vague, confusingly drafted and worded, and confusingly applied. There is a mechanism under law for trying to clarify confusing laws called a declaratory judgment action. Rather than attempting to get the legislative process to overhaul itself, a judiciary can interpret and discern the meaning of a statute when there is a live controversy.
Professor Carl Stenberg (Government) asked if Faculty Council is asking the administration for the authority to establish a committee to be included in planning for the disposition of the statue through Resolution 2018-10.
Professor Steponaitis said Faculty Council has the authority to charge a faculty committee to take an active role in this issue. The second item of the resolution that calls for an equal allocation of funds for student assistance, staff pay increases and University organizations focused on inclusion is a recommendation because Faculty Council does not have authority over the budget.
Professor Edwin Fisher said the intent of the wording is to impose an obligation on the administration to include faculty in planning for the disposition of the statue.
Professor Berkowitz said he supports the first item of Resolution 2018-10 and he understands the intent of the second item of the resolution, but it seems very gratuitous and reads as if money is going to cover the waterfront of needs at the University. Professor Berkowitz asked Professor Fisher for clarification and if there is a way to make the second item more specific.
Professor Fisher said he takes friendly exception to the word “waterfront.” The items in the second part of the resolution were suggested by faculty as pertinent to the issues that surround the installation of the statue, its history and its effects. Any funds used to support the continuation of the statue would be matched by funds used to support the causes listed in the resolution. The intent of the resolution is not to define a waterfront, but to define individuals and organizations whose activities are pertinent to the statue.
Professor Carolyn Halpern (Public Health) asked whether passing Resolution 2018-10, would mean that we expect that the statue will not be removed and there will be some other type of plan for disposition.
Professor Fisher shared the concerns of Professor Halpern. He had asked Professor Baumgartner for his opinion in advance, because he did not want Resolution 2018-10 to impair the effectiveness of Resolution 2018-9, which calls for the permanent removal of Silent Sam. Professor Baumgartner said the wording “any plan for the disposition” is quite broad. The intent of the wording “any plan for the disposition” is a plan that is not on campus.
Professor Perucci asked Professor Fisher his opinion on changing the language of the second item of the resolution to “any allocation of funds for buildings, building maintenance” to “if against the recommendation of the Faculty Council, any allocation of funds for buildings, building maintenance”
Professor Fisher said this language explicitly anticipates that administration will ignore the Faculty Council resolution and he would rather not anticipate that.
Professor Perucci made a motion to amend the language of the resolution by adding a third item, which states “We discourage and oppose any retaliatory actions the University or UNC System Office make take against faculty or graduate student teaching assistants who choose not to grade final exams or assignments for the fall 2018 semester to protest the BOT’s plan.” The motion was seconded.
Professor Renner said she is concerned that Faculty Council is making a decision about grades that will affect people who are not present to express their opinions. Some students will not receive financial aid or have the ability to participate in University activities without final grades. She urged Council members to consider who will be affected.
Counsel Merritt said as University Counsel he would be remiss to say taking any action that will harm students is appropriate. Refusing to submit final grades will put student loans, jobs, graduation and visa status at risk. It would expose faculty and graduate student teaching assistants to individual liability just as it will expose the University to serious legal liability under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 of the First Amendment for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Counsel Merritt said he does not think the State Defensive Employees Act would protect employees.
The motion to amend Resolution 2018-10 by adding the language “We discourage and oppose any retaliatory actions of the University against faculty of graduate student teaching assistants who choose not to grade final exams or assignments in fall 2018 in protest of the BOT’s plan,” failed.
Professor Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2018-10, as amended and opened the floor for discussion.
Professor Emerita Pat Pukkila (Biology) asked why faculty weren’t included in item two of the resolution. There is a long history of faculty not being supported at this University and this would be an ideal time to include them along with staff and students.
Professor Fisher said the language about housekeeping and service staff came from colleagues, but he interprets it as referring to those who are traditionally less well-reimbursed than faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill with all the political and socioeconomic issues that surround this topic. The spirit of the second component of Resolution 2018-10 is to address the people, causes and organizations that have suffered from traditions the monument perpetuated.
Professor Pukkila added that both faculty of color and white faculty members have suffered from traditions the monument perpetuated.
Professor Jan Chambers (Dramatic Art) made a motion to amend the language of the resolution from “any allocation of funds for buildings, building maintenance” to “any allocation of funds for litigation, buildings, building maintenance” The motion was seconded.
Professor Amy Levine (Medicine) said we are assuming that the statue will be placed on campus and therefore we need the second item of the resolution. Professor Levine asked if it is decided that the statue should be placed off campus, do we still need the second item of the resolution?
Professor Steponaitis said the second item of the resolution could be acted on in January, in the sense that presumes a certain set of actions by the Board of Governors. A member of Faculty Council could move to postpone the main motion to January.
Professor Cal Lee (Information and Library Science) made a suggestion to remove the second item of Resolution 2018-10 and consider it at a later meeting, so Faculty Council can have a voice on the first item.
In the interest of ensuring faculty involvement in all further discussions, Professor Edwin Fisher made a recommendation to withdraw the second item of the resolution, so Faculty Council could pass the first item.
Professor Chambers made a motion to withdraw her amendment to change the language of the resolution from “any allocation of funds for buildings, building maintenance” to “any allocation of funds for litigation, buildings, building maintenance.” The motion was seconded. The motion passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Professor Lee made a motion to amend the language of the resolution by removing the second item for possible future consideration. The motion was seconded.
The motion passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Professor Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2018-10, as amended and opened the floor for discussion.
Resolution 2018-10, On Implementing a Plan for the Disposition of the Confederate Statue [PDF], as amended, passed unanimously with one abstention.
Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 4:58 p.m.
University Program Associate
Secretary of the Faculty