January 11, 2019
Meeting of the Faculty Council
Friday, January 11, 2019
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Genome Sciences Building, Auditorium G200
Watch a recording of the meeting here.
Please note: Due to technical difficulties, the audio is not available until the 00:09:03 minute mark on the recording.
3:00 p.m. Chair of the Faculty remarks
Professor Leslie Parise
3:10 p.m. Chancellor’s remarks
Chancellor Carol Folt
3:30 p.m. Provost’s remarks
Provost Robert Blouin
3:40 p.m. General Education Curriculum Revision Q & A
Professor Andrew Perrin, chair of the GEC Coordinating Committee
Master Planning Team: Jill Coleman, Gordon Merklein, Anna Wu and Evan Yassky
4:55 p.m. Committee Annual Reports (by title)
- Report of the Buildings & Grounds Committee [PDF] (David Owens, chair)
- Report of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee [PDF] (Joy Renner, chair)
- Report of the Faculty Assembly Delegation [PDF] (Megan Williams, chair)
5:00 p.m. Adjournment
Video of Proceedings
Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council
The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on January 11, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. in Genome Sciences Building, Room G200.
The following 63 members attended: J. Aikat, Ansong, Arnold, Baumgartner, Beltran, Berman, Bloom, Burch, Calikoglu, Chambers, Clement, Coble, Cope, Cuddeback, Daughters, Dobelstein, Edwards, Entwisle, Estrada, Fry, Furry, Gilland, Graham, Halladay, Halpern, Hannig, Hessick, Hester, Kireev, Koonce, Kris, Krome-Lukens, Larson, Lee, A. Levine, C. Levine, Lithgow, Malloy, Mayer, Mayer-Davis, McGrath, Moore, Muller, Parise (Chair of the Faculty), Perucci, Pukkila, Ramaswamy, Renner, Rudder, Song, Stenberg, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), Thorpe, Upshaw, Vaidyanathan, Walter, Watson, Wilhelmsen, Willett, J. Williams, M. Williams, Yaqub and Zomorodi.
The following 12 members received excused absences: D. Aikat, Berkowitz, Boon, Clegg, Felix, Fisher, Gentzsch, Giovanello, Ives, Scarlett, Tepper and Thorp.
The following 14 members were absent without excuse: Brewster, Byerley, Cox, Duqum, Fromke, Gilchrist, Hill, Hobbs, Joyner, Lundberg, Platts-Mills, Rashid, Zamboni and Zvara.
Others in attendance: Provost Blouin and Peter Andringa (Undergraduate Representative).
Call to Order
The Secretary of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 3:05pm
Chair of the Faculty remarks
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise welcomed everyone to the Faculty Council meeting and wished everyone a happy new year. The federal government shut down on December 22, 2018. In early January, the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) met with Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor for research, and Andy Johns, associate vice chancellor for research. They explained that the impact of the government shutdown on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus is not as bad as it could be. Most of the University’s research funding comes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) which is mostly unaffected by the shutdown. The National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have been affected by the government shut down. Some investigators on campus depend on funds from these sources. Vice Chancellor Magnuson and Associate Vice Chancellor Johns reported that the University will backstop the impacted labs.
Professor Parise said she hopes the New Year brings a new progressive chapter in the University’s history. The removal of Confederate statues across the South is history in the making. Professor Parise thanked students for promoting the message that the campus does not want the Confederate statue, known as Silent Sam, on campus. She also thanked Chancellor Folt for her support in moving the University forward. The governance structure over the University is complex, and it is important to remember that the NC General assembly has the ultimate legal power over the relocation of Silent Sam. They can change the law protecting monuments on state property. The goal of Resolution 2019-1, On Establishing the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue [PDF] is to set up a faculty committee to engage with the administration on the disposition of the statue. The Office of Faculty Governance is now accepting recommendations.
Provost Blouin said Chancellor Folt [who was unable to attend] wishes everyone a happy new year moving forward. Provost Blouin said the University is in good condition in regards to the federal government shutdown. As long as nothing drastic happens that would require a human to fix a problem within the flow of money from the Federal Government to UNC-Chapel Hi
ll, the University should be fine. A major area of concern is NIH funding. However, the University has solid federal funding approval through the end of the NIH fiscal year, which ends in September. If the shutdown continues through September, the University will have serious problems and a spend rate that will be difficult to backstop. Although most programs are not affected by the shutdown, there are a couple programs that are affected. Provost Blouin met with Vice Chancellor Magnuson and Associate Vice Chancellor John to discuss this issue. The University will backstop these programs. This was the administration’s attempt to preserve talent and ensure that employees and their families are not compromised in any way.
The Board of Governors (BOG) rejected Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees plan for the disposition of Silent Sam and charged a task force with creating a new plan by March 15, 2019. Provost Blouin said the University’s role in this task force has not been identified and the administration does not know if the University will have any formal input. The administration is waiting for instruction for the BOG as to how the University can be helpful moving forward with this process.
Professor Harry Watson (History) asked if anyone has been appointed to the task force.
Provost Blouin said he does not know if anyone has been appointed, but the charge of the BOG details who will be appointed to the task force.
Provost Blouin said an off-campus group representing the Heirs to the Confederacy was scheduled to come to campus on January 13, 2019 from 9-12 a.m. Provost Blouin received verbal communication that this group will not be coming to campus.
Provost Blouin said UNC-Chapel Hill is a public space and people have the right to be on campus. Based on the First Amendment and North Carolina’s Free Speech Law, people have the right to speak and be heard. Some have questioned the wisdom of the University to give a permit for someone to come on campus who is outside the university community who might represent an interest that the campus community does not embrace. The University does not issue permits to come on campus because it is not required for people to have permits. People have the right to come on campus and behave in a manner that is consistent with the law.
Provost Blouin said there has been confusion surrounding the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Public Safety Panel’s recommendation to create a mobile police task force. It has been rumored that the University has been advocating for this. The Safety Panel report detailed a long list of recommendations to the UNC System, and one of the recommendations was to create a mobile police task force, which would be placed under the oversight of the UNC-System. All of the System schools would have access to the task force. This task force is not specifically for UNC-Chapel Hill.
Professor Frank Baumgartner (Political Science) asked about the likelihood that the mobile police task force will be created.
Provost Blouin said the BOG received the UNC-Chapel Hill Safety Panel recommendations, but there has been no action taken by the BOG as of yet.
On December 7, 2018, Provost Blouin, Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Mark Merritt, vice chancellor and general counsel, met with a group of graduate students. Provost Blouin said the students encouraged them to have a dialogue to address a wide range of issues that go beyond the Confederate statue discussions. Some of the issues include the need for more competitive stipends and graduate student fees and support. Provost Blouin encouraged Dean Guskiewicz to initiate conversations with graduate students. Some students were not particularly appreciative and thought there was a strategy to divide and conquer, because Provost Blouin and Dean Guskiewicz were encouraging smaller working groups. Before meeting with graduate students, Dean Guskiewicz met with department chairs, who recommended meeting in smaller groups to allow for open and transparent dialogue about how the administration can help. There were protests at these meetings, where graduate students protested Dean Guskiewicz’s desire to discuss issues outside of Silent Sam. Provost Blouin said we have to think about the future of the University, and that there are many issues that go beyond the Confederate statue, even though that particular issue is extremely important. Provost Blouin said Dean Guskiewicz has done an amazing job reaching out and listening to graduate students who have concerns outside of the Confederate statue discussion.
Provost Blouin, Rick Wernoski, executive vice dean and chief operating officer of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Susan Kellogg, consultant to the Provost, have visited schools and departments to talk about making this University a more effective operating environment. The initiative is called Operational Excellence with the goal being to increase the speed at which we perform our basic functions, in order to make faculty and staff jobs easier and position the University for the future. Over the next month Provost Blouin will continue to visit schools and departments to get feedback on how to build a world-class infrastructure to support the mission of the University.
Professor Megan Williams (Nursing) asked if there are meetings with graduate students outside the College of Arts and Sciences.
Provost Blouin said this was originally Dean Guskiewicz’s initiative, and all the meetings have been with graduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences. Provost Blouin said they will expand the scope of this initiative and he thanked Professor Williams for her suggestion.
Professor Edwin Fisher (Health Behavior) said he is disappointed that the BOG has not communicated with University administration about their plans regarding the Confederate statue. Professor Fisher said this seems like bad organizational management. He asked if there are ways that faculty and University administration can be more assertive in suggesting to the BOG the role they would like to have in their deliberations.
Provost Blouin said the holidays have caused some delay in communication. He reached out to the BOG to see if there was anything he could do to support the process on behalf of the broad interest of the university and they said they will let him know. Provost Blouin said it is symbolic that the BOG owns this process. Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees gave the BOG all the information they gathered while creating the original plan. They have full knowledge and understanding of all the work that went into the plan.
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise said the Faculty Assembly is one of our advocates. The leaders of the Faculty Assembly work with the BOG and they also want faculty to be a part of the process.
Professor Fisher said the concept of ownership has many layers. The students and faculty own the University as much as the BOG. He said everyone needs to try and assert the broad ownership of the University. Failing to do so will put the University into a role of codependency in some cases. He encouraged everyone to raise consciousness of the stakes of various people within the University.
Provost Blouin said when he used to term ownership in his previous comments he was referring to the BOG’s ownership of the disposition process. The BOG has not detailed the University’s role in the planning process. Provost Blouin said he would interpret this as the BOG currently being unclear as to what the University’s role is in the process.
Professor Watson said it is obvious to everyone that we are not going to achieve any type of peace on this issue without some form of workable community consensus on what the outcome should be for the disposition of the Confederate statue. If a solution is imposed from outside the University, it is not likely to work. He anticipates that even if faculty, administrators and the BOG come together and find a solution they find satisfactory, it will be met with student protests, because they were not included in the planning. Professor Watson said there is a crisis of trust and it would be constructive for Faculty Council to reach out to the BOG and advocate that students, faculty and staff to be involved in the planning. Faculty, staff and students bring substantive wisdom to the issue and this would demonstrate the desire to proactively extend transparency to all the stakeholders. Professor Watson encouraged the administration to advocate for inclusion of faculty, staff and students in the planning process.
General Education Curriculum Revision
Professor Andrew Perrin (Sociology), chair of the General Education Curriculum (GEC) Coordinating Committee gave a brief update on the progress of the curriculum development process. The GEC Coordinating Committee has been working on this process for the past three years—since this spring of 2016. Professor Perrin said it has been an exciting and invigorating intellectual process to think through what general education curriculum means at UNC-Chapel Hill. He appreciates the hard work and dedication of the GEC Coordinating Committee as well as the more than 200 faculty, staff, students, administrators and members of the public who have been involved in the development process.
The goal of the GEC Coordinating Committee was to reimagine a general education curriculum that would serve the needs of students as citizens, scholars, leaders and professionals. They wanted to leverage the best qualities of UNC-Chapel Hill: the University’s liberal arts roots, interdisciplinary research, discovery, scholarship, creativity, its mission to remove the barriers to great education, to educate for democracy and to adapt to changing student and workforce needs. The committee wants students to be able to understand why they were taking each portion of the curriculum; to grasp the process; and to have the opportunities and resources to make connections between general education courses, their majors and high impact experiences outside the classroom. Most importantly, they want general education to instill in students the tendency and the ability to bring creativity and careful, reflective evidence-based inquiry to the problems and issues they face during and beyond college. This approach is called “ideas in action”; students will learn to identify, discover, evaluate and act through sophisticated study, and to use these capacities to approach problems and questions in many aspects of their life after graduation. These goals, along with research and meeting with campus groups, led to draft 4.2 of the General Education Curriculum.
There are three main pillars to curriculum. The first pillar is a structured first year to help students successfully navigate the transition into college, discovery intellectual directions they may not have considered and thrive by making the most of opportunities provided by studying at a world-class research university. The second pillar is a focused set of course requirements that are organized around the capacities that students develop through study; there are nine focus capacities. The third pillar is a set of requirements and tools for research, experiences, integration and reflection that serve to connect classroom studies with hands-on learning in order to reinforce understanding, application and connection across those experiences. The GEC Coordinating Committee met with multiple groups, and there has been enthusiasm for these ideas and the ambitions of this framework.
In December and January, the Coordinating Committee edited the proposal in order to make it comprehensive, ensuring that the focus capacities make sense internally and capture the intellectual seriousness that the committee is aiming for. In particular, they have been reconsidering the role of natural sciences and empirical investigation within the focus capacities. Many science department chairs and faculty members have raised questions about this. The committee is also looking at the role and importance of data science within the curriculum proposal. After today’s discussion and further campus discussions within the coming weeks, the committee hopes to have a full and formal new proposal to present to the administrative boards of the college, then the Educational Policy Committee and finally to Faculty Council at the February 8 meeting. Faculty Council will vote on the final draft at the March 8 meeting.
Professor Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies) said before Faculty Council votes it would be helpful to have a list of classes that already meet focus capacities and recurring capacities to get a sense of what is already in place. Professor Yaqub asked which portions of the curriculum are bold and new for a university of this size. She is particularly worried about the e-portfolio and if this has been done at an institution of this size. She said it would be helpful to know which sections of the curriculum we are pioneering and which sections are following a path laid by others.
Professor Perrin thanked Professor Yaqub for her long running interest in this process. The Office of Undergraduate Research is working to decipher which courses meet the focus and recurring capacities. As a matter of implementation, the Coordinating Committee knows which existing courses currently meet the criteria, which courses can be changed a little and what needs to be developed. Much of this work has already happened and the office is working methodically through each department and division’s curriculum. As soon as the GEC Coordinating Committee gets this information they will make it available. Professor Perrin said a large portion of existing courses in the current General Education Curriculum meet a substantial portion of the focus and recurring capacities. The question is how much more has to be done to meet the intellectual ambitions for the courses. Professor Perrin said the Ideas, Information and Inquiry course (“Triple-I course”) is the most innovative piece of the proposed curriculum, because it combines innovative work that has been done at other institutions into one course. In particular, the committee followed the Innovation courses at the University of Maryland, the Designing your Life courses at Stanford University and work done at University of Virginia. The committee designed the Triple-I course to express what is exciting about UNC-Chapel Hill. There are large institutions that have used e-portfolios, some of which have been successful and some markedly unsuccessful. The goal is to make e-portfolios available as a tool for building connections between student’s intellectual experiences, but not include barriers that have made e-portfolios unsuccessful at other institutions.
Professor Adrienne Erickcek (Physics and Astronomy) said she is representing the 31 faculty members in her department who sent a letter to the GEC Coordinating Committee. This curriculum is pioneering in that it would make UNC-Chapel Hill the only institution among its peers that does not require students to take a single course in natural sciences—a pioneering that doesn’t seem desirable. The Coordinating Committee has been reviewing the science requirement over the past few months. Professor Erickcek asked Professor Perrin what modifications the committee has in mind.
Professor Perrin said this concern is being taken seriously by the committee. The modifications the committee has discussed have not be added to the proposal. It is important that all Carolina students get a serious experience with the natural sciences. One of the biggest principles is the organization of the curriculum around capacities students gain as opposed to the topics that faculty teach. The committee is attempting to organize the curriculum in such a way that students are not put through a collection of topics, but instead a coherent set of capacities. They are working to develop capacities within the natural sciences that focus on what students gain from taking natural sciences courses, in particular what students gain when they take courses outside their majors. The committee is developing changes to the focus capacities that would take the natural sciences and data sciences more seriously. The scientific investigation capacity is likely to become narrowly focused, particularly on the capacities for natural scientific investigation. They will be working with the modes of seeing and knowing capacity and the research and discovery experience to make sure they are opportunities for hands on ascertainment of the natural world.
Professor Joy Renner (Allied Health) asked what progress the committee has made towards making the curriculum requirements attainable for transfer students who come in as juniors and miss out on the first- and second-year experiences.
Professor Perrin said they have developed modes of implementation that do make the curriculum realistic for transfer students. Professor Perrin said the bigger intellectual question is if there is any way the committee can make the early years of student experiences unique to Carolina and not disadvantage students who enter the university in their second year. He said he doesn’t see a way to fully accomplish both of these goals. The problem of how best to support transfer students is a problem of balancing a set of competing priorities within the curriculum. The committee is trying to provide the tools within the curriculum to make it flexible enough for transfer students to complete their studies and to balance the curriculum so that transfer students are not subjected to as many requirements but still have the tools and opportunities to build some of the same study skills and habits.
Professor Renner asked if two different sets of requirements for first-year students and transfer students who are earning the same degree will affect the University’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ accreditation.
Professor Perrin said he is not sure.
Professor Jennifer Arnold (Psychology and Neuroscience) said the curriculum revision process is exciting, and she enjoys hearing all the goals the committee is trying to accomplish. She does not know how the requirements of the current curriculum compare to the proposed curriculum requirements, but she has become increasingly aware of the dangers of student’s attempting to learn too much information at once. Many students do not know what they are doing when they arrive at the University and end up taking classes randomly without knowing why and sometimes they end up majoring in the subject area. Professor Arnold said giving students too many choices can be counterproductive. She asked how the proposed curriculum is going to interface with the other requirements and if it will place more burden on students. She also asked about hidden loads, like the e-portfolio. It is framed as opportunity, but it will be something that students feel they are required to do.
Professor Perrin said one of the goals of the GEC Coordinating Committee is to make the proposed curriculum simpler and smaller than the current curriculum. They have been somewhat successful in doing so. The number of credit hours needed to fulfill the proposed curriculum requirements is less than the current curriculum, but the current curriculum provides students with many opportunities to take fewer courses, by taking courses that fulfill multiple requirements. The minimum number of courses needed to fulfill the current curriculum is slightly lower than the minimum number of courses needed to fulfill proposed curriculum. On the other hand, the maximum number of courses is much smaller in the proposed curriculum, the committee has narrowed the range. They think this is a fairer approach and is more effective for students to work more carefully at a smaller number of courses. As it currently stands, we count on students randomly finding themselves in class, in hopes they will be sparked and excited about taking future classes in a subject. This opportunity is preserved in the proposed curriculum. This happens more for students who are better prepared for college. Providing transitional courses like the Triple-I course, the First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch, and the College Thriving course gives students intellectual tools they can build upon in other classes. Part of the GEC Coordinating Committee’s goal is to better serve students who are less prepared for college, so they can have the same opportunity to make the most of their experience. The e-portfolio is a resource that will be used in the Triple-I courses, English 105 and potentially the Junior and Senior Communications course. The e-portfolio is included in the course work, so it is not a separate requirement.
Professor Cary Levine (Art and Art History) commented on how his department has been shrinking in size over the past decade, and they already have trouble fielding enough classes for their majors. This new curriculum is going to require an increase in first-year seminars and the Ideas, Information and Inquiry course is going to incentivize faculty to participate. This will inevitably put more strain on departments and make it even more difficult to offer the necessary classes for their majors. Professor Levine asked Professor Perrin to comment on implementation and how departments with a small number of faculty will be able to participate in the proposed curriculum, while serving the needs of their departments.
Professor Perrin said departments will need to think strategically and consider the best ways to participate in the general education curriculum, whether that is providing first-year seminars, Triple-I courses or focus capacity courses. Faculty and departments will have to decide how to best interface with the new set of requirements. Departments are already teaching course work that is a part of the current general education curriculum. Professor Perrin said in terms of implementation most of the work will involve shifting efforts instead of creating new efforts. Also, Professor Perrin has talked to the administration in the College of Arts and Sciences about developing a metric to measure how much of departmental efforts are focused on general education. The metric will be used to determine which departments need additional support and resources.
Professor Levine said the first-year seminars and the Triple-I courses do not fill any major requirements. Faculty will be pulled out of classrooms that are for upper-level students and majors in order to serve the general education requirements.
Professor Stefan Jeglinski (Physics and Astronomy) is one of the 31 members from the Department of Physics and Astronomy who sent a letter to the GEC Coordinating Committee. He said they appreciate the efforts the Coordinating Committee has made to address some of their concerns about the lack of natural sciences requirements and they are looking forward to the next version. Professor Jeglinski and his colleagues want to emphasize the potential for alarm at a reduction in the exposure to natural sciences that could occur in the implementation of this curriculum. Along the lines of trying to prevent students from gaming the system, they would like to continue advocating a serious consideration of ensuring the natural sciences component is not weakened. They don’t want to have the perception arise that the commitment to natural sciences is being weakened at the University.
Professor Hilary Lithgow (English and Comparative Literature) asked for clarification on the “Engagement with the Human Past” focus capacity. She asked how this focus capacity is being defined and if there are restraints as to what counts as the past.
Professor Perrin said a group of historical scholars vetted the capacity said they didn’t think a particular date was an appropriate approach. There has been some additional interest in defining the capacity conceptually, where the capacity could be defined by a substantive difference as opposed to a time difference. At this point, the committee is discussing this capacity and accepting feedback.
Resolution 2019-1. On Establishing the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis introduced Resolution 2019-1, On Establishing the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue [PDF]. This resolution was discussed and approved by the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) earlier this week. The FEC submitted this resolution for approval by Faculty Council. It is the implementing legislation for establishing the committee that was created when Faculty Council passed Resolution 2018-10, On Implementing a Plan for the Disposition of the Confederate Statue [PDF], which was submitted by Professor Edwin Fisher (Health Behavior). Most of the language in Resolution 2019-1 comes directly from Resolution 2018-10. FEC filled out the details, which include the committee’s charge, the number of members, who the members will be, the appointing officer and a timeline of when the committee will complete its work.
The faculty committee will have 15 members. The BOG subcommittee has a March 15, 2019 deadline to submit a plan for the disposition of the Silent Sam statue. The faculty committee cannot be too large, because it has to meet quickly. The Faculty Executive Committee wanted this committee to be large enough to include a diverse range of perspectives, but not so large that it becomes unwieldy in mobilizing. When Faculty Council sets up a task force or ad hoc committee, one thing to be considered is which existing standing committees of the faculty should be structurally represented on the committee. The chairs of several committees should serve ex officio, such as Professor Rumay Alexander, chair of the Committee on Community and Diversity; Professor David Owens, chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee; and Professor Rhonda Gibson, chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee. If they are unable to serve they will appoint a designee from their respective committees to serve for them. The appointing officer of this committee is Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise; she is responsible for appointing the committee’s chair.
The second section of Resolution 2019-1 describes the work of the committee. The third section defines a timeline. If this resolution is passed, then the committee will come into existence right away. Section 3 of the resolution also includes a sunset provision, which states that the committee shall complete its work by June 30, 2019, unless the charter is extended by the Chair of the Faculty. If the Chair of the Faculty feels there is more work to be done, the committee can continue working. The sunset provision allows the committee to be disbanded without action from Faculty Council. The provision does not limit the work of the committee but allows the committee to stop its work when the appropriate time comes. This committee will report to the Faculty Executive Committee during their regularly scheduled meetings. FEC is a subcommittee of Faculty Council that meets more frequently throughout the calendar year. The committee will report to FEC, and in turn, FEC will report to Faculty Council and act on the behalf of Faculty Council if the need arises.
Professor Jacqueline Halladay (Family Medicine) asked if all the references to the Confederate statue in the resolution are referring to Silent Sam. She wondered if the language of the resolution was specific enough, since there are Confederate statues on other campuses in the System. She asked this question on behalf of another faculty member.
Professor Steponaitis said Silent Sam, including the pedestal, is the Confederate statue that this resolution refers to. Section 2 of the resolution states the committee will be involved in all planning for the disposition of the statue and related actions and developments. Silent Sam and the pedestal are the main focus of the committee, but the work of the committee could evolve if new developments arise.
Professor Vaughn Upshaw (Public Health Leadership Program) asked if the resolution should state whether this committee is an ad hoc committee. Since there may be other issues relating to Confederate statues, Professor Upshaw asked if Faculty Council should expect that the committee will be involved in helping to resolve issues that go beyond Silent Sam.
Professor Steponaitis said this committee is not a standing committee of the faculty so by definition it will be an ad hoc committee. There is going to be a lot of flexibility because no one knows exactly how this issue will evolve. He told Professor Upshaw that he would not worry too much about those details.
Professor Andy Hessick (Law) said he wants to ensure the committee is used in the way the resolution intends. He refers to section 2 of the resolution which states, “the committee shall be included by University administration.” He asked if Faculty Council has the power to direct the University administration to include a committee created by Faculty Council in their planning for the disposition of the Confederate statue. Professor Hessick said there is a possibility that the BOG will create a subcommittee to deal with the disposition of the Confederate statue that will include University administrators, who will be operating as agents of the BOG. He wondered how Faculty Council will interact with University administrators if they are on the subcommittee of the BOG.
Professor Steponaitis said FEC spent a great deal of time on this issue. Resolution 2018-10 stated the charge of the committee in the passive voice. FEC debated how to put the resolution in the active voice and which verbs to use. In the end, FEC decided to keep the exact language from Resolution 2018-10. No one knows how the interaction between University administration and BOG will play out. Resolution 2019-1 is the Faculty Council stating that faculty want to be included in the planning. The ad hoc committee and everyone involved in planning for the disposition of the statue will have to negotiate the committee’s role in the process. Faculty Council passed Resolution 2018-10 before the Board of Governors charged the subcommittee with creating a disposition plan by March 15th.
Professor Kirk Wilhelmsen (Genetics) asked if there will be another committee focused on the names of campus buildings.
Professor Steponaitis said he does know the answer to that question. Faculty Council passed Resolution 2018-10 in December and the resolution before Faculty Council today is a quick attempt to put it into practice.
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise pointed out the existence of a Campus History Task force and that another ad hoc committee could be created in the future to address issues such as building names.
Professor Eric Muller (Law) said there is still a thirteen-year moratorium on renaming campus buildings.
Professor Edwin Fisher (Health Behavior), who submitted Resolution 2018-10, noted that he put University leadership in lower case, to be interpreted broadly to include the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors. It is the purview of the faculty to assert their role, while recognizing that others may oppose this.
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise said a statement released by Chancellor Folt announced that the chancellor will work with the committee in some capacity.
Professor Emeritus Steve Leonard (Political Science) said the BOG subcommittee is likely to create policies that affect all the institutions in the UNC System, not just UNC-Chapel Hill. Anything they decide regarding the disposition of Silent Sam will apply to artifacts on different campuses in the UNC System. Professor Emeritus Leonard counsels against UNC-Chapel Hill faculty being overly self-important. He is sure there will be faculty representation on the BOG subcommittee, but it may not be faculty chosen by this campus. Members of the Faculty Assembly, who represent all campuses in the System, could be chosen to serve on the subcommittee. Professor Emeritus Leonard said UNC-Chapel Hill faculty are not the only faculty who can speak to issue surrounding Confederate artifacts, because most of the faculty in the UNC system are not at this University.
Professor Edwin Fisher said it seems diversity of the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue trumps efficiency. He recommended an amendment to Resolution 2019-1 to adding wording that would allow the Chair of the Faculty to expand the committee beyond 15 members if it is necessary to achieve sufficient diversity. Professor Fisher asked the Secretary of the Faculty to elaborate on the timeline of this committee. He encouraged Professor Parise to have appropriate, measured, polite and assertive communication with the BOG to inform them about the establishment of this committee and that faculty look forward to working with them through this committee.
Professor Parise said the Office of Faculty Governance will work quickly to get the committee up and running.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said Faculty Council has the ability to increase the size of this committee. He recommends having a cap on the size of the committee so that the committee size does not become open ended. Since this committee is a public body, the meetings are open to the public. People outside the committee can attend and participate so there will be input from many directions.
Professor Edwin Fisher asked if the Faculty Executive Committee can give Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise permission to add a 16th member to the committee if the need arises.
Secretary of the Faculty said the wording of the resolution allows for flexibility in size of the committee. Currently the committee will have no fewer than seven and no more than fifteen members. The size limit of this committee can be expanded. Secretary of the Faculty recommends having a concrete size limit.
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise said Faculty Council can vote to increase the size limit of the committee.
Professor Edwin Fisher said the spirit of his point is that until there is a list of names and organizations that will be represented on the committee the size limit of the committee will be unknown.
Professor Steponaitis said he understands Professor Fisher’s comment, but given how quickly this committee has to mobilize and given that the meetings are open to the public, he does not feel that the size limit on the committee will be a problem. The Faculty Executive Committee or Faculty Council can act to increase the size of the committee if the need arises.
Professor Meg Zomorodi (Nursing) noted that if the committee is too large it will not be able to move forward in an efficient way.
Professor Shielda Rogers (Nursing) said if the committee does not have a diverse perspective it will be problematic and there will be complaints from faculty members who have been affected by issues related to Silent Sam. She encouraged Professors Parise and Steponaitis to ensure that everyone’s perspective is represented on the committee, even if the committee’s size is not increased.
Professor Parise said diversity is one of her top priorities in appointing members to this committee.
Resolution 2019-1. On Establishing the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Draft Campus Master Plan presentation
Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Design Evan Yassky gave a presentation on the current draft of the Master Campus Plan. He gave an overview of the timeline, the underlining themes of the master plan, which are called big ideas, campus systems, opportunities for change, the master plan draft and feedback on the master plan. The full presentation [PDF] can be found on the Office of Faculty Governance website.
Professor Tony Perucci (Communication) asked how Swain Hall is listed as a building with some of the worst conditions on campus, but it is not involved in the Campus Master Plan. He also noted that Bingham Hall is on the programmatic change list and asked Mr. Yassky what this meant. Professor Perucci said it is hard to hear about the upgrades in visitor and green spaces on campus when so many faculty members are working in unsafe conditions.
Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 4:58 p.m.
University Program Associate
Secretary of the Faculty