March 8, 2019
Meeting of the Faculty Council and the General Faculty
Friday, March 8, 2019
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Genome Sciences Building, Auditorium G200
Watch a recording of the meeting here.
3:00 p.m. Chair of the Faculty’s remarks
Professor Leslie Parise
3:10 p.m. Chancellor’s remarks
Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz
3:30 p.m. Provost’s remarks
Provost Robert Blouin
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]
A vote will be taken on Professor Yaqub’s request this resolution be withdrawn.
Professor Andrew Perrin, committee chair and other committee members
4:45 p.m. Annual report and presentation from the Committee on the Status of Women
Professors Elizabeth Dickinson and Brent Wissick, committee co-chairs
- Committee on the Status of Women Annual Report [PDF]
- Report on Gender Pay Inequity at UNC Chapel Hill [PDF]
- 2016-17 Faculty Salary Equity Analysis (UNC-CH) [PDF]
- 2016-17 Faculty Salary Equity Report to Provost [PDF]
4:55 p.m. Annual report of the Faculty Executive Committee [PDF] (submitted by title)
Professor Leslie Parise, committee chair
5:00 p.m. Adjournment
Video of Proceedings
Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council
The Faculty Council and the General Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on March 8, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. in Genome Sciences Building, Room G200.
The following 42 Faculty Council members attended: J. Aikat, Arnold, Baumgartner, Berkowitz, Berman, Burch, Calikoglu, Coble, Cuddeback, Daughters, Dobelstein, Entwisle, Furry, Gilland, Graham, Guskiewicz (Interim Chancellor), Halpern, Hannig, Hessick, Hester, Ives, Kireev, Krome-Lukens, Larson, Lee, A. Levine, C. Levine, Lithgow, Mayer-Davis, McGrath, Moore, Parise (Chair of the Faculty), Renner, Rudder, Scarlett, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), Thorpe, Vaidyanathan, Watson, Willett, Zomorodi and Zvara.
The following 25 members received excused absences: D. Aikat, Anksorus, Austin, Bloom, Boon, Chambers, Clegg, Clement, Cox, Estrada, Felix, Fisher, Gentzsch, Giovanello, Halladay, Kris, Perucci, Pukkila, Stenberg, Thorp, Upshaw, Walter, J. Williams, Yaqub and Zamboni.
The following 25 members were absent without excuse: Ansong, Beltran, Brewster, Byerley, Cope, Duqum, Edwards, Fromke, Fry, Gilchrist, Hill, Hobbs, Joyner, Koonce, Lundberg, Malloy, Mayer, Muller, Platts-Mills, Ramaswamy, Rashid, Song, Tepper, Wilhelmsen and M. Williams.
Others in attendance: Provost Blouin and Peter Andringa (Undergraduate Representatives)
Call to order
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis called the Council to order at 3:01 p.m.
Chair of the Faculty’s remarks
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise welcomed everyone to the Faculty Council meeting and gave updates on faculty governance, and campus and UNC System initiatives. The Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue has met three times. Chancellor Guskiewicz attended the first meeting and UNC System President Bill Roper attended the second meeting. During the third meeting, the committee strategized about their meeting with the five-member subcommittee of the Board of Governors (BOG). The subcommittee was charged with creating a plan for the disposition of Silent Sam by March 15, but the full board extended the deadline. A meeting with the BOG subcommittee and the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue is being planned. The Faculty Assembly recently discussed voter identification (ID) laws and implications if they were passed in North Carolina. The Assembly also discussed whether student IDs can count as voter identification. Legal opinions differ on this topic; one being that Social Security numbers and other forms of identification have to be tied to student ID cards in order to be used as voter identification. Others have said that as student IDs stand, they are a sufficient form of voter identification. In states where there are no voter ID laws, students who attend college in those states can vote in the state’s election, as long as they do not vote in their home state’s election. There will be a discussion of the Ideas in Action General Education Curriculum later in the meeting. Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise wants to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate in the discussion.
Chancellor Guskiewicz welcomed everyone to the Faculty Council meeting. The first four weeks of his role as interim chancellor have gone well. He gave updates on campus events and initiatives, and some of the accomplishments of the University over the past few weeks.
Today is International Women’s Day, Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked all women faculty, staff and students on campus who play an integral role in ensuring UNC-Chapel Hill is the leading global research university we aspire to be. Everyone on campus works together to inspire the next group of women leaders. On February 20th, the University announced a $27.68 million gift for the UNC School of Dentistry, given by Dr. Claude A. Adams III. The school was renamed the UNC Claude A. Adams and Grace Phillips Adams School of Dentistry in honor of his parents. Chancellor Guskiewicz attended the event in which the school of was renamed. He also helped to launch the new academic support center in the Adams School of Dentistry. The University recently held A Constellation of Cosmos events at Carolina, which is series of events sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, Morehead Planetarium and Playmakers Repertory Company. The annual Frey Lecture is one of the events. Theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Kip Thorne is the 2019 Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professorship and he will gave the lecture, which is focused on black holes. He is one of the world’s leading theorists on the astrophysical implications of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and a consultant on the movie Interstellar. The Playmakers Repertory Theater is showing Life of Galileo as a part of the Constellation and Cosmos Events at Carolina.
Chancellor Guskiewicz recently travelled to Los Angeles, where he attended several development meetings to tell the great stories of the Carolina community. He also gave a lecture on his concussion research. This week the chancellor visited Palm Beach, Florida where he attended a campaign event with 140 passionate Carolina alums. At that event, Professor Lisa Cary (Oncology) told an inspiring story about the impact of her cancer research; Barbara Hyde, a campaign chair, spoke about her background in development and her work at Carolina; and UNC System President Emeritus Erskine Bowles spoke about his passion for Carolina and raising money for middle-income students, so they can graduate debt free. Finally, Mack Brown, UNC head football coach, ended the evening with an inspiring talk about his vision for the football program over the next year.
Next week, Chancellor Guskiewicz will be in Charlotte for several campaign events and he is attending his first Atlantic Coast Conference Presidents meeting. With many UNC alums in the Charlotte area this is a perfect opportunity to showcase the inspiring work of faculty, staff and students at UNC-Chapel Hill. During the Syracuse v. UNC football game, the 24 faculty recipients of the 2019 University Teaching Awards were honored. Chancellor Guskiewicz acknowledged Professor Viji Sathy (Psychology and Neuroscience), co-chair of the University Committee on Teaching Awards. He also acknowledged recipients of the 2019 University Teaching Awards who were in attendance.
The Morehead Cain Scholarship Banquet was held March 3, 2019, in Wilson Library. Rachel Mazyck Pfeifer, executive director for college and career readiness for Baltimore City Public Schools, was the keynote speaker for the event. She was a recipient of the Morehead Cain Scholarship who graduated from the University in 2002. Chancellor Guskiewicz talked to the 140 Morehead Cain finalists about the University’s world-class faculty and the difference they make in the lives of students in the classroom and through experiential education. He also talked about the proposed Ideas in Action General Education Curriculum, particularly the new courses that the University is piloting, including the ideas, information and inquiry course, which bring faculty from different disciplines together to talk about the ways in which they solve the world’s grand challenges from their unique perspectives. Executive Director Rachel Pfeifer talked about her experience at UNC-Chapel Hill; she wishes she had the opportunity to experience the proposed curriculum. A student asked her about the importance of diversity on campus. What she remembers and loves the most about Carolina is the importance of its diverse community. She spoke about the way the University brings together diverse faculty and students to discuss topics from various viewpoints.
Chancellor Guskiewicz is starting his listening and learning tour on March 26. He will have two- to three-hour meetings at each professional school to learn the thoughts and concerns of leadership, faculty and staff. Chancellor Guskiewicz said he will continue to engage the Board of Governors. The full board recently voted to extend the March 15 deadline of the subcommittee charged with creating a plan for the disposition of Silent Sam until mid to late May. Chancellor Guskiewicz believes the BOG is working to find the right solution. The BOG subcommittee will meet with both the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Confederate Statue and the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor shortly after spring break.
Over the past few weeks Chancellor Guskiewicz attended several events showcasing the great work of faculty, students and staff. The Eve Carson Memorial Lecture was held on February 28, the lecture was given by world-famous author John Grisham. The 32nd Annual Carolina Indian Circle Powwow was held on March 2 at Fetzer Gym. Chancellor Guskiewicz met UNC-Chapel Hill’s newly elected Student Body President Ashton Martin and they discussed collaborative initiatives between the Chancellor’s Office and Student Government. The Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor reviewed the curriculum proposal and shared their thoughts with members of the General Education Curriculum (GEC) Coordinating Committee; the students are excited about the curriculum. Chancellor Guskiewicz taught an entrepreneurship class with Professor Bernard Bell (Entrepreneurship) and an exercise and sport science graduate seminar. This morning, the chancellor gave a lecture at the fifth biannual Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Neurotrauma Symposium being held March 8-9. Dale Earnhardt Jr., an American professional stock car racing driver and Dr. Micky Collins, one of the country’s leading concussion experts gave a keynote address titled “Racing to the Finish.” Professor Malinda Maynor Lowery (History) moderated the session.
Chancellor Guskiewicz said it is a privilege to lead this great university and that he is energized by the opportunity. He emphasized that he wants to hear input from faculty. He underscored his commitment to being strategic, bold and student-focused.
Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked about an initiative Carol Folt started as chancellor that focused on online courses and increasing the online presence of the University. Professor Hannig learned there is a moratorium on working with third-party Online Program Management (OPM) vendors, which makes it impossible to launch certain programs. When students search for programs, they visit the sites of third-party vendors. If the University is not working with these vendors, students will not know the University’s programs exist. Professor Hannig said his department cannot post the program they developed to the sites that students would visit.
Chancellor Guskiewicz said Provost Blouin has been working hard on this topic. The Department of Statistics and Operations Research received funds from the University to create an online program. Chancellor Guskiewicz said the administration ensures that the program will continue to move forward.
Chancellor Guskiewicz congratulated Terry Rhodes, former senior associate dean for Fine Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, on her new position as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The audience applauded.
Provost Blouin congratulated Dean Terry Rhodes on her new position. He met with all the chairs of the College of Arts and Sciences to gather their thoughts and ideas regarding the interim dean position. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Dean Rhodes and he knows she will be a great ambassador and advocate for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Provost Blouin announced that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the top producer of Fulbright Scholars. This is an acknowledgment of the faculty who have enabled this success to occur at the University. This achievement has a great national and global impact.
The provost placed a moratorium on third-party OPMs because he felt the University needed to define a campus philosophy and strategy towards digital residential and non-residential education. He no longer uses the term online education, because he feels it no longer describes what the University is trying to do by utilizing digital formats to deliver education optimally. Provost Blouin wants to take a fresh look at all aspects of digital learning from degree granting opportunities and certificate programs to bundling educational tools for students. The University was a great destination for OPMs in the past, particularly 2U and Noodle. There were a number of OPMs attempting to meet with deans and program directors saying they needed to establish a relationship, which eventually led to a license. Licensing contracts are a huge commitment for programs because they can last up to ten years. Provost Blouin feels that if the University is going to share its brand and partner with a third-party vendor, we have to ensure that they represent the brand well and the University also benefits from the partnership. Many deans had been meeting with OPM CEOs, and Provost Blouin decided to meet with them as well. His main question was whether or not the OPMs would take care of all the needs of the University. Many OPMs were interested in partnering with academic programs that had the probability of a high profit margin but would not take the academic programs with low profit margins or no positive financial gain. Provost Blouin asked the OPM CEOs why he should allow them to take the high-profit-margin programs and leave the low-profit-margin programs. The University is sending out a request for proposals (RFP) to acquire a partnership with an OPM that will meet the needs of all the University’s academic programs across many learning platforms and educational offerings, which he believes is a more robust and sensible approach. Provost Blouin said we are not far from this goal; in a few months we will be able to get all academic programs on a solid and sustainable pathway with the appropriate OPM partner.
Professor Hannig said one OPM for the entire University might work overall, but there could be situations where a program is trying to address the needs of a particular industry, which might not fit with the overall OPM of the University.
Provost Blouin said he would like to discuss this further with Professor Hannig and anyone else who has a particular concern about a single OPM pursuit. The OPM would have to address the institution’s collective needs; hence, any information and feedback would be helpful in choosing the right OPM. Many professional schools are developing unfavorable licensing agreements with OPMs, which will cost each school and the University many resources.
Chris Clemens, senior associate dean for Natural Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, asked if the OPM is going to include degrees and certificate programs.
Provost Blouin answered that the administration is looking for an OPM partner that can handle both degree and certificate programs, and has experience in both marketplaces.
Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise asked about ownership and preservation of content.
Provost Blouin said the OPMs the University has the most experience with are 2U and Noodle. He has had conversations with the CEOs of both companies, as well as others. The University is looking for a comprehensive partner.
Provost Blouin said the Carolina Excellence initiative is making great progress. He is surprised by the level of excitement and enthusiasm from staff particularly in accelerating the hiring process and optimizing the purchasing power through procurement. The average hiring timeline has gone from 110 days to 45 days. This is a continuous quality improvement strategy and feedback is welcomed. Provost Blouin has met with nine of the professional schools to provide a summary of the operational plan, the progress of the plan and the priorities moving forward to the faculty and leadership. Provost Blouin and the leadership team are creating a translator in order to translate the priorities from the Blueprint for Next into a working blueprint that will connect back to each individual school.
Provost Blouin said there have been many conversations about data science and data analytics. Data analytics is centered on ensuring we have the infrastructure to support strategic decision making at the University. Provost Blouin said he would like to get the answer to most questions with regards to statistical analysis and data trends at the University, with two or three clicks of his computer mouse. Provost Blouin and the leadership team are working with Lynn Williford (assistant provost for Institutional Research and Assessment), ITS and others to re-engineer the data warehouse. The current data warehouse was built to support PeopleSoft. Capturing data from it is not an easy or intuitive process.
There will be a campus-wide discussion on data science. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has made a $1 billion commitment to the area of data science. The University of California at Berkeley and the University of Virginia are also focusing on data science. The goal is to build educational programs and engage in high-end research. MIT is putting effort into machine learning and artificial intelligence. Provost Blouin said we must decide how to capitalize on the amazing talent our University has in data science. Many academic units at Carolina have made great strides in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This work is embedded in schools and departments, so it is not visible to the wider university community. Provost Blouin said we must answer the question of how to bring this work to the forefront, while addressing the needs of the people of North Carolina as we think about attracting world class companies to Research Triangle Park. These companies have asked UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and Duke University about talent and graduate students in the field of data science. There are many areas of talent that the University can invest in, but the state is counting on the University to do more in the area of data science.
Professor Dan Anderson (English and Comparative Literature) said that in terms of the data science conversation, he wants to ensure that the University is not exacerbating disparities among disciplines. It is important to include data literacy, data ethics and other dynamics associated with data science.
Provost Blouin replied that the committee working on this issue has been very sensitive to the points made by Professor Anderson. They have discussed the importance of the fine arts and humanities in the era of big data.
Annual Report of the Committee on University Government
Professor Anne Klinefelter (Law), chair of the Committee on University Government, presented the committee’s annual report [PDF], which introduces three changes to the code for the faculty to consider.
Professor Klinefelter introduced Resolution 2019-3, On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Composition of the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty [PDF], which expands the number of fixed-term faculty serving on the committee. This proposal was brought forth by the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty and it reflects the growth of fixed-term faculty at the University.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2019-3, and opened the floor for discussion. Any member of the General Faculty can vote on this resolution because it is a resolution of the General Faculty.
Resolution 2019-3 passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Secretary of the Faculty said this is the first reading of the resolution. According to the Faculty Code on University Government any amendment to the Code must pass two separate readings. The second reading will occur during the April 12 Faculty Council meeting.
Professor Klinefelter introduced 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]. The charge and composition of this committee has not changed, despite contextual changes in the way the University is organized and the way in which the libraries operate. This proposal came from the Administrative Board of the Library and Vice Provost of University Libraries and University Librarian Elaine Westbrooks. Over the past few years, the University has experienced a merger between Health Affairs and Academic Affairs, in terms of administration. The libraries have undergone this same merger. This proposal includes an additional faculty member representing the Division of Health Affairs. The charge has been changed to update the advice that is given to the university librarian to cover the library collections, administration and the budget. This proposal also adds an advocacy role to the charge, which describes the way the Administrative Board of the Library has functioned for many years.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2019-4, and opened the floor for discussion.
Professor Joe Bob Hester (Media and Journalism) said section b of Resolution 2019-4 references the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He asked for the language to be changed to the School of Media and Journalism.
Professor Klinefelter said the Committee on University Government will make the change.
Secretary of the Faculty said the last Code amendment passed by Faculty Council, Resolution 2018-2 [PDF] allows the Committee on University Government to make technical changes to The Faculty Code on University Government, without consulting the General Faculty.
Resolution 2019-4 passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Professor Klinefelter introduced Resolution 2019-5, On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Change the Procedure for Passing Resolutions of the General Faculty [PDF]. The Committee on University Government conducted research on universities with faculty governance structures similar to UNC-Chapel Hill’s in order to gain knowledge on how to manage votes, activities and advice of the General Faculty. Most universities only have a faculty council (or senate), so the information available was limited. The University has a large general faculty and most faculty members cannot attend meetings of the General Faculty. Resolutions of the General Faculty require two separate readings. Resolution 2019-5 includes a change to the Code that would allow the second reading to be passed by an electronic ballot sent to all voting faculty by email. The first reading will continue to take place in a meeting of either the Faculty Council or the General Faculty. This resolution does not include information on the timing of the email. If a resolution author specifies that an email ballot for a second reading needs to be sent quickly, they can include this language in the resolution. If a date is not specified by the resolution author, the second reading can be included in the annual Faculty Elections ballot. The notion of the first section of the resolution is to broaden and update the way in which the General Faculty vote.
The Faculty Code on University Government states that if the Committee on University Government has not reviewed a Code amendment resolution before the first reading, the committee must review the amendment before the second reading. The second section of Resolution 2019-5 includes a change to the Code that requires the Committee on University Government review Code amendments before the initial vote.
Professor Jill Moore (Government) asked if the Committee on University Government had conversations about which types of resolutions would require a first and second vote, besides amendments to the Code.
Professor Klinefelter said the first reading of a General Faculty resolution can be passed in a meeting of the Faculty Council or the General Faculty. The second reading would be passed by an electronic ballot sent to all voting faculty. This allows timely issues to move forward, while including the voice of the General Faculty in the second vote.
Professor Moore asked if each type of resolution would require a first and second reading.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said most of the business of the faculty is transacted through votes of the Faculty Council. General Faculty votes are historically very rare. Only Code amendments must be voted on by the General Faculty. He expects, based on past practice, that most resolutions that come before Faculty Council will be Faculty Council resolutions, which do not require two readings.
Professor Moore asked if there are guidelines to distinguish which issues go before the General Faculty versus Faculty Council.
Professor Klinefelter said the only issue required to go before the General Faculty are Code amendments, but other issues can be considered by the General Faculty.
Professor Moore asked if General Faculty votes have quorum requirements.
Professor Klinefelter said the Committee on University Government did not amend the quorum requirement language in the Code. During meetings of Faculty Council and the General Faculty, there is a presumptive quorum if there is a ten-day notice or there are 125 members of the faculty is present, which includes members of Faculty Council.
Professor Moore said she believes it would be useful to differentiate between resolutions of the General Faculty and resolutions of Faculty Council moving forward.
Secretary of the Faculty said the Code requires one of meeting of the General Faculty each semester and Code amendments require a meeting of the General Faculty. When there is a meeting of Faculty Council and the General Faculty, two bodies are meeting concurrently. The resolution author decides whether the resolution will go to Faculty Council or the General Faculty. Historically, most resolutions go before Faculty Council because it is the elected representative body of the faculty. Secretary of the Faculty Emeritus Joseph Ferrell remembers a time when a significant portion of the General Faculty could attend meetings of the General Faculty. The notion of a General Faculty meeting that is embodied in the Code is not feasible because there are more than 4,000 members of the General Faculty. When a vote of the General Faculty is required the electronic ballot ensures that everyone on the General Faculty will have a chance to vote before the decision is made.
Professor Jennifer Arnold (Psychology and Neuroscience) said it is important for Faculty Council to keep in mind that faculty time is a resource that the University depends on. The job of faculty members is growing exponentially each year. Faculty have to manage time and budgets, write grants, conduct research, run labs and answer emails. Professor Arnold is concerned that committees may overuse electronic ballots.
Professor Klinefelter said the purpose of the electronic ballot is to make it easier for faculty to vote. During the 1950s until the 1970s there was an option for a referendum to go before the full faculty, but it was never used. Professor Klinefelter said she does not know how much the electronic ballot will be utilized and if it will be an annoyance. Faculty only have to engage if they choose to.
Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said the staff in the Office of Faculty Governance (OFG) are mindful of this issue. The Office of Faculty Governance limits the communications sent to the faculty. When people ask OFG to send informational items over email, it is included in the monthly newsletter. The same principle will apply to resolutions. The vast majority of resolutions are Faculty Council resolutions, so they won’t require a vote of the General Faculty. Code amendments are required to go before the General Faculty, but most are not time sensitive and can be included in the annual Faculty Elections ballot. Secretary of the Faculty said he does not believe electronic ballots will increase the amount of email faculty receive. Based on past practice, instances where someone would want a resolution to go to the General Faculty and be sent immediately will be rare.
Professor Hannig said the reason to use electronic ballots is that meetings of the General Faculty are not feasible. He asked if the Committee on University Government considered cancelling meetings of the General Faculty and solely have meetings of the Faculty Council. Everything related to the General Faculty can be done over email ballot.
Professor Klinefelter said the goal of the Committee on University Government is to balance speed and email access with the need for deliberative conversation surrounding resolutions. Meetings of the Faculty Council and the General Faculty give faculty the opportunity for deliberative exchange in order to unpack different viewpoints, followed by broader conversation through email.
Professor Hannig asked why the meetings are titled meetings of the Faculty Council and General Faculty if the General Faculty do not attend.
Secretary of the Faculty said that most of the business conducted at such meetings pertains to Faculty Council. The business of the General Faculty is included along with the Faculty Council agenda when it is required in the Code. Most faculty business is carried out by Faculty Council.
Professor Cal Lee (Information and Library Science) clarified that faculty would not actually vote through email, they would receive an electronic ballot through email.
Secretary of Faculty Steponaitis said the same methods used for Faculty Elections would be used to vote on resolutions of the General Faculty. The electronic ballot would be administered through Qualtrics.
Resolution 2019-5 passed unanimously with no abstentions.
Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked Professor Klinefelter for her work in faculty governance and congratulated her for receiving the Fulbright Scholar Award.
Resolution 2019-6. On Delaying a Vote on the Ideas in Action Curriculum
During the February Faculty Council meeting a resolution [PDF] was introduced from the floor. According to the Rules of Procedure, a resolution that is introduced at a Faculty Council meeting will be voted on at the following Faculty Council meeting unless the rules are suspended. The motion to suspend the rules at the February Council meeting failed. Once a resolution is introduced it belongs to the body, not the person who introduced the resolution. Professor Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies) introduced Resolution 2019-6, which proposed that the IDEAS in Action Curriculum not be voted on at the March Faculty Council meeting. There will be no vote on the General Education Curriculum at this meeting, so the resolution is essentially moot. On behalf of Professor Yaqub [who was not able to attend this meeting], Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis put forth a motion to withdraw Resolution 2019-6 from the agenda by unanimous consent. The motion was withdrawn with no objections.
General Education Curriculum Revision Panel Discussion with GEC Coordinating Committee
Professor Andy Perrin (Sociology), chair of the General Education Curriculum (GEC) Coordinating Committee, said the committee is happy to come before before Faculty Council. Professor Perrin emphasized that the Coordinating Committee has heard and listened to the concerns raised during the February Council meeting, and that the Committee will not request a Council vote today. They do hope to move forward as soon as Faculty Council is comfortable. The Committee wants to provide an update on the progress, explain more about process and ensure time for discussion
The members of the GEC Coordinating Committee include: Dean of the School of Education Fouad Abd-el-Khalick, Professor Daniel Anderson (English and Comparative Literature), Professor Jaye Cable, (Marine Sciences), Professor Claude Clegg (African, African American and Diaspora Studies and History), Director of Undergraduate Laboratories Duane Deardorff (Physics and Astronomy), Professor Kelly Hogan (Biology), Professor Christian Lundberg (Communication), Professor Viji Sathy (Psychology and Neuroscience) and Professor Adam Versenyi (Dramatic Art). Professor Abigail Panter (Psychology and Neuroscience), senior associate dean for Undergraduate Education, serves as an ex officio member. All Committee members were present and introduced themselves.
Professor Perrin gave a presentation [PDF] on the IDEAS in Action Curriculum that included an explanation on what a curriculum should do, the work of the GEC Coordinating Committee, both student and faculty feedback on the pilot Ideas, Information and Inquiry (or “Triple I”) and College Thriving courses and next steps. The committee plans have an updated curriculum proposal available shortly after Spring Break.
After Professor Perrin’s presentation, he invited conversation from the audience; Chair of the Faculty Parise encouraged as many people as possible to speak up.
During the January Faculty Council meeting Professor Joy Renner (Radiologic Science) had 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 (SACS). Professor Perrin said the UNC-CH’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has been in contact with SACS and learned that the transfer protocol can be implemented in a way that satisfies SACS requirements.
Professor Renner asked about the interface between the Education Policy Committee (EPC) and the General Education Curriculum Oversight Committee.
Professor Perrin said the GEC Oversight Committee includes the chair of the EPC or the chair’s designee. The Oversight Committee’s job is to examine data from assessment processes and identify opportunities for pilots and innovative practices that faculty may wish to try. If the Oversight Committee wants to make an amendment to the curriculum they are to bring it to the EPC as an amendment suggestion.
Professor Arnold had a question about economic issues. The proposed curriculum has a requirement for supplemental education, where students have to take up a minor or take a set of classes outside their major. The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience manages several minors that students have a hard time finishing because they cannot get into the courses. Professor Arnold said the first-year seminars, the Triple I courses, and supplemental education requirements have economic implications. She asked if the GEC Coordinating Committee has figured out the economic implications.
Professor Perrin said the Coordinating Committee has worked out the economic implications in detail. The supplemental education requirement is an existing requirement in the current curriculum that has not changed. Non-Bachelor of Science students are already subject to these requirements.
Senior Associate Dean Panter said the Coordinating Committee is meeting with each academic department to review the entire profile of undergraduate courses that a department offers, which includes general education, electives, majors and minors. These meetings allow the Coordinating Committee to understand issues that are happening in departments and they also allow departments to examine their offerings and ensure that courses are offered at the correct time during the undergraduate career. This process has been successful in helping understand the University’s overall course offerings. Many departments are considering the use of Triple I courses to attract incoming students; many are finding it a useful way to introduce students to their area.
Provost Blouin thanked the Coordinating Committee for their intense work—particularly since the last Council meeting—and the phenomenal job they have done since the beginning of this process. He wished there were more people in attendance to hear the comments of the Committee in order to alleviate some of the worry surrounding the proposed curriculum. Concerning economics, Provost Blouin said a thorough analysis of the cost implications will be done. He acknowledged faculty concerns about the ability of the University to properly resource the proposed curriculum in order to have its maximum beneficial effect to the students, without it being overly burdensome to individual faculty or their departments. He looks forward to representing the Provost’s Office in working through some of the economic implications of the new curriculum.
Professor Adam Versenyi (Dramatic Art) added that, even though the curriculum implementation has moved to 2021, the Committee is continuing a series of pilot courses and different activities that will give a great deal of information about the costs and how they are going to be addressed.
Professor Adrienne Erickcek (Physics and Astronomy) said there is a lot she is happy to see in the updated proposal, the addition of natural science to the focus capacity and the lab requirement. Professor Erickcek went on to point out that the previous version of curriculum proposal did not have a natural science requirement. If that version of the proposal passed, UNC-Chapel Hill would have been the only University amongst its peers without a natural science requirement. Even though the current proposal now includes a natural science requirement, if this version passes, the University will be ranked last amongst its peers in terms of natural science requirements. Professor Erickcek asked why the Coordinating Committee is comfortable with the statement that UNC-Chapel Hill will require fewer STEM credits than all peer institutions except one.
Senior Associate Dean Clemens began by saying that the GEC Coordinating Committee considered not accepting Advanced Placement (AP) credits so students take their science and math courses at the University, because they believe higher education is about a set of capacities that go beyond the basic questions of what science and its claim to knowledge. The same principle applies to the number of science requirements in the proposed curriculum. Natural science is special, in that scholars make certain claims about knowledge. In a natural sciences class, faculty use a discipline to teach what those claims are, how data become knowledge and what this knowledge says about the universe. The question is, why is going through this process with a second scientific disciple better than considering the epistemological questions of what is the domain of science, how it compares to other ways of knowing and why its claim to truth are different than other disciplines. The Coordinating Committee believes considering the epistemological questions is more important than taking multiple classes in natural science. In a way, the Coordinating Committee is disagreeing with peer institutions, who believe teaching more science facts in a different discipline as a reiteration of science is the most important thing. The proposed curriculum is broad and has many aspects. The committee is asking the faculty to enjoy the nonprescriptive character of the curriculum and view it as an opportunity to take scientific disciplines and expose students to them in different ways. The proposed curriculum is expanding the opportunity for students to engage with natural sciences in first-year seminars, the Triple I courses and elsewhere.
The department chairs in the Division of Natural Sciences sent a letter to the GEC Coordinating Committee that included a proposal to include a data-science focus capacity in the proposed curriculum. Professor Erickcek asked the Coordinating Committee their thoughts on the data-science capacity and why it was not included in the curriculum proposal.
Professor Perrin said the Coordinating Committee’s view is that “data literacy” is better taught through content, not as a separate question. Data literacy is included in the requirements of the Ideas, Information and Inquiry courses. Students will learn content they are excited about and learn data literacy through the content they are using. The Ways of Knowing Focus Capacity is about intellectual humility, more specifically discerning when we might be wrong. Data is a great way to understand how wrong we are about different subjects. While deliberating the role of data literacy in the proposed curriculum, the Coordinating Committee raised three questions: is the topic important, is it more important than anything else a student might learn and are there ways that students can develop the intellectual styles of thought through other approaches. This is an opportunity for faculty to be flexible and create courses that fit in this arena.
Professor Sheila Kannappan (Physics and Astronomy) said from her understanding an AP test score of 3 would be enough to satisfy the single capacity requirement in either natural science or math or history. She questioned if this should be allowed in the proposed curriculum.
Associate Dean Clemens replied that the AP rule comes from the UNC System Office. The Coordinating Committee would prefer that AP credits not be used to satisfy requirements and they will limit this as much as possible. If AP credits can be used to satisfy requirements, the challenge to the faculty is even greater. Faculty have to make courses so compelling that students flock to them despite having AP credits. This mostly applies to students who are non-science majors. Seven years ago, 37% of the students were science majors, this number has increased to 53%. Science majors are meeting their general education science requirements through their major curriculum. Faculty have to create a compelling suite of courses that students are advised to take even if they have AP credit.
Professor Christian Lundberg (Communication) said the stakes are high because the Coordinating Committee is aiming to create a curriculum that positions UNC-Chapel Hill as an innovator in public education by thinking about the way in which the components of the curriculum relate to and multiply each other, not as a series of discrete components. The question of what counts as knowledge, what are the meaningful methodologies for engaging knowledge, how knowledge can be applied to specific instances, how to communicate about knowledge so that it creates meaningful social change and how to collect that data is the coherent understanding of the curriculum. If the curriculum is viewed as a whole and the individual elements are seen as multiplying each other, then Professor Lundberg is confident that a student who goes through the proposed curriculum and completes the natural science requirement will be able to then translate this information into meaningful social change. He added that data science is a perfect example of a topic that needs to be an important element of the curriculum; the question is which focus capacity it should be included in. If the goal of the capacity is to make it so everyday citizens have a stronger ability to analyze what counts as good and bad data, Professor Lundberg thinks the curriculum is ahead in this capacity, but only if it is understood in terms of its systemic goal and not measured by requirements.
Senior Associate Dean Panter said the Coordinating Committee had to operate under the premise that any AP credit can be used for general education. The maximum number of AP credits that can be used to satisfy requirements is five.
Professor Hannig feels there is a difference between data literacy and data science, which consists of certain quantitative skills. There are less quantitative requirements in the proposed curriculum than in the current curriculum.
Professor Perrin said all requirements have been reduced in the proposed curriculum. One of the key focuses was to reduce the large size of the current general education requirements. The University has a large general education curriculum compared to its peer institutions. The new approach to quantitative reasoning is focused on the applied use of data, similar to the approach Stanford University uses. The data literacy in the Triple I and the Modes of Seeing and Knowing Focus Capacity are important places where students are exposed to data analysis.
Professor Lundberg said at each point in the curriculum process someone has made complaints about something being left out the curriculum. The complaints are legitimate concerns about what the shape of the focus capacitates should be. Thinking more about how data science fits in as a component of data literacy is an important conversation that needs to be continued. The Coordinating Committee welcomes feedback and real conversation on this issue.
Professor Hannig said some transfer students attend community college then enroll in the University. He asked if the curriculum would take account of this, similarly to there being a limit on the number of AP credits a student can transfer.
Professor Perrin said there is a transfer process built into the curriculum and the Coordinating Committee has been working with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment to ensure that it fits the SACS requirements.
Professor Muge Calikoglu (Pediatrics) asked if civic requirements will be included in the proposed curriculum.
Professor Perrin said one of the goals of the curriculum is to help students become great citizens. There are many points where students encounter elements of good citizenship. There is a focus capacity on ethical and civic decision-making, which is about making and justifying public decisions. Professor Perrin is working with the Carolina Center for Public Service to develop a democracy track.
Professor Frank Baumgartner (Political Science) thanked the GEC Coordinating Committee for their work and reinforced the comments made by Professor Lundberg about the whole of the curriculum. He acknowledged that the proposed curriculum is scary for faculty who are concerned about their enrollments and, for example, whether a course they teach is no longer required. He suggested that faculty need to take a step back from this way of thinking. Faculty must understand that they need a curriculum that makes sense for students. This cannot be done by putting number requirements on subject areas. The Coordinating Committee and others have worked hard to figure out what would be intellectually defensible and really exciting. If the curriculum is approved, it will be up to faculty to design interesting courses, which will determine how well the students perform.
Annual report and presentation from the Committee on the Status of Women
Professor Elizabeth Dickinson (Business) and Professor Brent Wissick (Music) serve as co-chairs of the Committee on the Status of Women (COSOW). Professor Dickinson began by thanking several people for their contributions to the committee’s efforts: Gloria Thomas (director, Carolina Women’s Center), Clare Counihan (program coordinator, Carolina Women’s Center), Ron Strauss (executive vice provost), Lynn Williford (assistant provost, Institutional Research and Assessment), Anne Lemmon (assistant provost, Human Resources), and Professor Noah Eisenkraft (Business). Professor Dickinson presented the Committee on the Status of Women annual report [PDF]. The committee met with Provost Blouin several times over the year and reported on their activities over the academic year. The parental leave and tenure extension opt-out policies have been resolved. The revision to the process makes it easier for faculty to access the forms and minimizes the need for faculty to justify taking parental leave. The Carolina Women’s Center, Human Resources and Facilities Services are working together to collect data on the lactation rooms, in order to provide Provost Blouin with recommendations for funding.
Professor Noah Eisenkraft (Business) helped the Committee on the Status of Women conduct a study on gender equity and salaries at UNC-Chapel Hill. Previous UNC salary equity studies were done in 2002, 2012 and 2017. The committee was interested in how their research could add to the conversation of gender equity and salary. The study sought to answer the following questions: are there gender-based pay inequities at UNC-CH and what information can we gather and analyze to shed light on previous studies. In short, COSOW submitted a public records request and received data on the base salary, age, school, department and position of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty from 2014-2017. The University cannot release gender or race information because they are protected statuses. They estimated the gender of 99.6% of faculty using gender-name databases and faculty websites.
Professor Eisenkraft presented the results of the study. His research found that men on the UNC faculty earn 28% more than women without including covariates. The gender pay gap varies across campus. The highest gender pay gap is found in the School of Medicine, where men earn 39% more than women. In the School of Nursing there is no gender pay gap and women make eight percent more than men. Professor Eisenkraft said the data used in this study was the same data used in the 2017 study. The COSOW study is different in the way the covariates were conceptualized. The 2017 study controlled for covariates, such as age, department and position, because they are related to salary. The covariates that are related to salary will only change the estimates if they are also related to gender. Professor Eisenkraft said the covariates (gender, department and position) are the mechanisms that explain gender pay inequity. The mechanisms that support the salary inequity trend are historical bias, older faculty are paid more, and they are less likely to be women; occupational bias, faculty in departments with more men are paid more; and selection-promotion bias, male faculty are more likely to be selected or promoted into higher paying roles. The full study can be found in the report [PDF].
Executive Vice Provost Strauss said this is a complex issue, worthy of much conversation and he is glad the Committee on the Status of Women and Professor Eisenkraft conducted this study. He noted the complexity of faculty salaries in the School of Medicine and the Adams School of Dentistry. Both schools have compensation plans, which means that compensation rises and falls, and it is difficult to capture the actual compensation of faculty. The other problem is the mixing of faculty. There are faculty in the School of Medicine and the Adams School of Dentistry who have doctoral training and faculty who have bachelor’s and master’s training. Executive Vice Provost Strauss said these faculty are grouped together, and it would be interesting to see an analysis that extracted the non-doctorally trained and non-clinician faculty in the schools of medicine and dentistry, because they end up looking like outliers.
Professor Parise encouraged everyone to read the report and come back next month with their questions.
Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
University Program Associate
Secretary of the Faculty