Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, November 9, 2018
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Kerr Building, Room 2001 (please note room change)
Overflow seating for guests will be available in 1001 Kerr
Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Live-stream link to view meeting: https://uncpharmacy.mediasite.mcnc.org/mcnc/Play/ffa4e160ccc94ad8b79c6d315af9774f1d

Agenda

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

  • Professor Leslie Parise

3:10 p.m. Chancellor’s remarks

  • Chancellor Carol Folt

3:35 p.m. General Education Curriculum Revision

4:20 p.m. Faculty Hearings Committee Annual Report (PDF)

4:30 p.m. Faculty Athletics Committee Report (PDF) 

  • Professor Daryhl Johnson, committee chair

4:35 p.m. Faculty Athletics Representative Report (PDF)

4:40 p.m. Educational Policy Committee proposal on CAPS and ARS syllabi statements (PDF)

4:50 p.m. Closed session: Special report of the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee

5:00 p.m. Adjournment

Video of Proceedings

Watch the full video (Streaming)

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on November 9, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. in Kerr Hall, Room 2001 at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

The following 50 members attended: J. Aikat, Anksorus, Ansong, Austin, Baumgartner, Boon, Burch, Calikoglu, Clement, Cox, Cuddeback, Dobelstein, Duqum, Entwisle, Fisher, Folt (Chancellor), Gentzsch, Gilland, Graham, Halladay, Halpern, Hessick, Hester, Hill, Ives, Kireev, Koonce, Krome-Lukens, Larson, Lee, A. Levine, McGrath, Moore, Parise (Chair of the Faculty), Perucci, Pukkila, Ramaswamy, Rudder, Song, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), Upshaw, Vaidyanathan, Walter, Wilhelmsen, Willett, J. Williams, M. Williams, Yaqub, Zomorodi and Zvara.

The following 28 members received excused absences: D. Aikat, Beltran, Berkowitz, Berman, Chambers, Clegg, Coble, Cope, Daughters, Estrada, Felix, Furry, Giovanello, Hannig, Joyner, Kris, Lithgow, Malloy, Mayer, Mayer-Davis, Platts-Mills, Rashid, Renner, Scarlett, Stenberg, Thorp, Thorpe and Watson.

The following 14 members were absent without excuse: Arnold, Bloom, Brewster, Byerley, Edwards, Fromke, Fry, Gilchrist, Hobbs, C. Levine, Lundberg, Muller, Tepper and Zamboni.

Others in attendance: Nabatoff (Undergraduate Observer) and Swain (Graduate Observer).

Chair of the Faculty remarks

Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise welcomed everyone to the second Faculty Council meeting of the semester. Due to campus closures because of Hurricane Florence, the September 14 Faculty Council was canceled, and some agenda items were delayed until today’s meeting, especially the General Education Curriculum revision.

Professor Parise acknowledged two recent high profile mass shootings and expressed condolences to the victims and their families. [On November 7, 2018, a gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, killing 12 people and injuring 21. On October 27, 2018, a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and injuring 7.]

In early September, the Board of Governors charged Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees with creating a plan for the disposition of the toppled Confederate statue known as Silent Sam. In turn, Chancellor Folt asked the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) to take an active role in gathering information from faculty. The FEC with support from the Office of Faculty Governance (OFG), hosted a series of brainstorming workshops to gather faculty input.  Professor Parise thanked the OFG staff members Helena Knego (University Program Specialist), Lisa-Jean Michienzi (Executive Assistant) and Kadejah Murray (University Program Associate) for their work in organizing the workshops. She also thanked Chancellor Folt for the opportunity to solicit faculty input and the faculty members who attended the workshops. Ms. Knego collated the workshop data into a report that was sent to the Chancellor’s Office and made available on the Faculty Governance website. Many faculty members expressed appreciation for the opportunity to contribute, others offered constructive criticism that the Office of Faculty Governance will take into consideration if such a process is used again in the future. The Employee Forum conducted their own process (an online survey) to gather feedback from staff. In addition, the Employee Forum has ratified their own Resolution 18-04 [PDF], in full support of Faculty Council Resolution 2018-5 [PDF], which was passed by the Council at the October 12, 2018 meeting. Professor Parise thanked Employee Forum Chair Shayna Hill and the Employee Forum members for their efforts.

In her capacity as Chair of the Faculty, Professor Parise represented UNC-Chapel Hill at a meeting of Senate and Faculty Chairs from universities around the country that was held at the University of Texas at Austin. Faculty chairs from the University of Texas System thought it would be informative for governance leaders to meet. The group discussed the idea of forming a national organization, because they share similar concerns regarding salary compression, fixed-term faculty issues and educational issues.

It has been announced that UNC System President Margaret Spellings will step down from her position as president on March 1, 2019. Professor Parise said President Spellings is a respected public figure and acknowledged her contributions to the UNC System. UNC Health Care CEO and Medical School Dean Bill Roper will serve as the Interim UNC System President. Professor Parise believes this transition will be good for the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and the UNC System.

Professor Parise encouraged faculty to nominate colleagues for the O. Max Gardner Awards. Nominations are due on November 30, 2018.

Chancellor’s remarks

The Chancellor’s Office sent a campus-wide email about the proposal for the disposition of the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam. Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees were granted an extension to put forward the proposal, which will be in the form of a recommendation to the Board of Governors. Chancellor Folt said that after they present to the Board of Governors they will know if any additional steps are needed. Board of Trustees members Chuck Duckett and Julia Grumbles, Provost Blouin and Chancellor Folt attended various listening sessions/workshops held by faculty, staff and students. Their role was not to influence comments; they attended to listen because they value the opinions of members of the university community. The email referenced above also includes links to the feedback collected by faculty, staff and students. The administration has received many emails, which must go through a rigorous process before being released as public records. Chancellor Folt said she is grateful that people put their time, effort and heart into their comments, she truly appreciates all the feedback. Chancellor Folt and the Board of Trustees will not talk about the proposal publicly until it has been shared with the Board of Governors. The plan is just the start of the process.

Chancellor Folt seconded Chair of the Faculty Leslie Parise’s comments about the respect she has for President Spellings. Chancellor Folt said President Spellings has been a wonderful partner and she has enjoyed working with her. Often times, transitions in leadership cause concern, but over the past few years President Spellings was able to bring together information and act on a number of important issues, particularly the UNC System Strategic Plan. The UNC-Chapel Hill Strategic Plan is in line with the UNC System Strategic Plan, which focuses on affordability, accessibility, increasing the number of college graduates in North Carolina and preparation for the workplace of the future. Chancellor Folt said Dean Roper is an outstanding choice for UNC System President as he has spent his life in service of the public good. Dean Roper and his team have been very involved in the University’s strategic framework and the movement of the entire academic medical center. Chancellor Folt said there is much work to do and we face a lot of hurdles, but everyone is working in the same direction.

Chancellor Folt said the University’s fundraising efforts have been extremely successful. The University has received gifts for the Global Program, the Carolina Covenant, middle-income students, the School of Media and Journalism and the School of Dentistry. These gifts are votes of confidence in the work of our faculty, staff and students. The University recently announced a $65 million partnership with Deerfield Management to create Pinnacle Hill, LLC., a company seeking to accelerate the discovery of new medicines. Research and development conducted at Pinnacle Hill will be supported by funding, drug development guidance, project management oversight and business strategy.

Professor Nancy Fisher (Medicine) asked if the gift from Deerfield Management will be administered through internal grants or if the money goes to the University to help facilitate access.

Chancellor Folt said the funding comes when the projects are selected by the advisory board and panel. Deerfield Management will visit schools and departments and explain how to participate in the process. Provost Blouin has more information on this process. He is not in attendance today, because he is welcoming his new granddaughter.

Chancellor Folt said the administration is still working on the budget. Salary increases are a major topic of concern as the administration develops documents that will be going before the NC Legislature in the long session.

Chancellor Folt attended the vigil hosted by the North Carolina Hillel to honor the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. Students felt welcomed and expressed their gratitude for all the support they received. Farris Barakat also attended the vigil. He is the brother of Deah Shaddy Barakat, who was killed by his neighbor on February 10, 2015. Deah’s wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were also killed in the same act of violence.

Professor Andrew Perrin (Sociology) made a comparison between the vast sums of money the University receives and the sense that there are no resources for research support and teaching on the departmental level. Professor Perrin is interested in ways to the reconcile this discrepancy.

Chancellor Folt answered that usually fundraising does not bring in funds for salary or infrastructure. Most gifts are one to seven-year pledges and it takes time for the University to receive the money. Sometimes donors invest directly to sabbatical or leave time. These gifts help the University recruit and retain faculty. These gifts are different than salary increases, because funds for salary increases have to be in the budget indefinitely. Many of the gifts the University has received are for faculty and teaching.

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Kevin Guskiewicz said that two areas identified in the College of Arts and Sciences strategic plan as being in great need are graduate student support and study abroad. The College has raised funds well beyond what was projected. The University is ranked third amongst our public peers in terms of the number of undergraduates who study abroad. The College has raised a lot of money to help need-based study abroad. Dean Guskiewicz said there does seem to be a disconnect between gifts and departmental funding. Robert J. Parker Jr, senior associate dean for development, talked to senior leadership and they are focused on raising money for professorships.

Trustee Grumbles mentioned how on this past Friday, the Board of Trustees hosted some of the University’s largest donors. They spent the entire morning focused on faculty and the difference they are making around campus. The University’s most generous donors understand the importance of faculty and are contributing greatly to the capital campaign. Trustee Grumbles said we should expect to see large gifts focused on faculty in the near future.

General Education Curriculum update

Professor Andrew Perrin (Sociology) gave a presentation on the IDEAs in Action Curriculum, the proposed general education curriculum. His presentation focused on the following:

  • how we think about undergraduate curriculum at UNC-Chapel Hill;
  • combining a liberal arts foundation with the goals of general education;
  • capacities, which are ways of thinking and doing that can be used in multiple domains; and
  • research on student learning.

Professor Perrin gave an overview of the three-part proposed curriculum.

  • Part one focuses on the first year. First-year students will take four courses, which include: Ideas, Information and Inquiry; First-Year Seminar/First-Year Launch; Writing at the Research University; and College Thriving. First-year students will also take six general education, elective or major preparation courses.
  • Part two focuses on the eight learning capacities and
  • Part three focuses on integration, reflection and action.

Public meetings about the IDEAs in Action Curriculum will be held on

  • November 13th from 8:30-10:30 a.m., in Toy Lounge, Dey Hall and
  • November 29th from 2-4 p.m., in 105 Gardner Hall.

Electronic feedback can be submitted at http://ideasinaction.unc.edu.

Professor Nadia Yaqub (Asian Studies) asked about the research justifying the upper-level communication course. Professor Yaqub could not find this information in the research brief.

Professor Perrin said this research is included in the footnotes of the IDEAs in Action Curriculum draft that was released today. The footnotes include research from national studies and a study from UNC-Chapel Hill alumni and their employers which found that oral communication is one of the skills that students wished they had and felt least prepared for coming out of college. Furthermore, oral communication is a capacity that is beneficial to students across multiple domains. Learning to listen to others from different disciplines, learning to make a case orally to different audiences and understanding what kinds of arguments and evidence work best in a situation is a key capacity. Professor Perrin said this is an upper-level course because, at this point in their education, students will have the strong intellectual background to use this material for the oral communication course.

Professor Megan Williams (Nursing) said the School of Nursing is also undergoing a curriculum revision. She thanked Professor Perrin and the General Education Coordinating Committee for their commitment. Professor Williams said the effort Professor Perrin and the Committee have put into engaging faculty and students is impressive.

Professor Steponaitis thanked Professor Perrin for presenting before Faculty Council. He asked which parts of the curriculum are tried-and-true and which are innovations.

Professor Perrin answered that the oral communication course, the disciplinary distributions and the first-year seminar are researched practices. The biggest innovation is the Ideas, Information and Inquiry (or “Triple I”) course. It is exciting because faculty are being asked to do the interdisciplinary work they already do in their research, and transfer it to the classroom in a way that gets students excited early in their college careers. Another innovation is organizing the curriculum around capacities instead of disciplines. This is where educational research is going. It is cutting edge in the sense that most universities have not tried to organize their curriculum in this way.

Dean Guskiewicz said the Ideas, Information and Inquiry course brings together three faculty members to approach a problem from different perspectives noting that it could be risky in terms of the costs associated with the course. The College supports this innovation. Dean Guskiewicz went to Atlanta, Georgia last weekend to raise money for supporting innovative courses. Many students enter the University and do not declare their major until their second year. This course will introduce students to opportunities and majors they may have never considered. Dean Guskiewicz said his colleagues from across the country love this idea and are interested in the feedback. He thanked Professor Perrin for his hard work.

Professor Perrin said the General Education Coordinating Committee members are extremely dedicated and committed to their work. They were appointed for one-year terms, but they’ve stayed on the Committee for three years. About 220 faculty, staff and students have been involved in this process. Professor Perrin thanked them for their hard work.

Professor Jessica Boon (Religious Studies) was a part of a group tasked with accessing the Engagement with the Human Past capacity. The group did not understand how the transition from the current general education curriculum to the newly proposed curriculum will occur. Professor Boon asked what structures will be in place to determine whether a course fulfills a capacity.

Professor Perrin said the hope is that the capacities are detailed enough to give a committee the tools to determine whether a course succeeds in a certain capacity.

Professor Steponaitis said when the current general education curriculum was implemented, there were a lot of requirements, and students had trouble meeting them during their four years at the university. Professor Steponaitis asked how the General Education Coordinating Committee and Professor Perrin will ensure students will be able to meet the requirements of the proposed curriculum.

Professor Perrin said an analysis of how student experiences in different majors will change as a result of the proposed curriculum will be available on the website soon. Students find the current curriculum difficult and it is difficult for the Advising Office to help students through the curriculum. Students also feel that the curriculum is disconnected and lacks intellectual coherency. The student groups who have given feedback said the proposed curriculum is a substantially simpler process to manage. There is a course, the course has a capacity, the capacity explains why students are taking the course. The first-year focus gives students the foundational tools they need to make sense of the capacities. The integration and reflection experiences give students the tools to understand how courses fit with each other. Professor Perrin said they made the proposed curriculum more structured and integrated with fewer dimensions.

Faculty Hearings Committee update

Professor James Rives (Classics), chair of the Faculty Hearings Committee, presented the Annual Report of the Faculty Hearings Committee. The sole purpose of this committee is to hear appeals of decisions to suspend, demote or discharge a tenured faculty member or decisions not to reappoint a tenure-track faculty member. This work is strictly confidential and cannot be included in the annual report.

On behalf of the committee, Professor Rives introduced Resolution 2018-8. On Amending the Policies Governing Faculty Hearings [PDF]. Resolution 2018-8 asks the Board of Trustees to amend the sections of the Trustee Policies and Procedures Governing Academic Tenure in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that govern the committee’s procedures. The committee put forth this resolution to address two reoccurring concerns. The first being that faculty members may allege allegations of behaviors that are prohibited under the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. This policy requires that such allegations be investigated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC). The tenure policy antedates this policy and makes no reference to it. The committee proposes making changes to the tenure policy that would clarify the coordination of the Faculty Hearings Committee’s work and the work of EOC, such that the EOC will initially investigate these allegations, then provide a report to the Faculty Hearings Committee.

The second concern focuses on the timing of the hearing process. The Trustee Policy on tenure requires that a hearing take place within 14 calendar days of the receipt of the request. It takes the Faculty Hearings Committee two days to determine if there are sufficient grounds to grant an appeal. The Tenure Policy requires that the faculty member be given seven calendar days advanced notice of the hearing. This only leaves about four or five days in which the hearing can take place, which makes it difficult to schedule. The Faculty Hearings Committee is proposing that the timeframe be extended form 14 days to 28 days. This proposal does not make any substantive changes to the Tenure Policy but coordinates it with the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct and makes the procedures more workable in practice.

Fixed-term faculty fall under the purview of the Faculty Hearings Committee only when a fixed-term faculty member is dismissed, suspended or demoted during the period of their contract.

Professor Muge Calikoglu (Medicine) said that in the School of Medicine, the best-practice recommendations are not universally applied and there have been several situations where fixed-term faculty contracts are terminated, or such faculty are being intimidated because of one-year contract lengths. Professor Calikoglu said this problem needs to be addressed.

Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis said the Faculty Hearings Committee and the Faculty Grievance Committee hear personnel matters. The Faculty Hearings Committee was originally created because the Board of Trustees policies require a committee to hear cases relating to tenure denial or dismissal; the committee’s charge is determined by the charter from the Board of Trustees. The Faculty Grievance Committee deals with matters that do not fall under the purview of the Faculty Hearings Committee.

Professor Rives told Professor Calikoglu to consult Professor Christopher McLaughlin (Government), co-chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee to see if this issue falls under the Faculty Grievance Committee’s purview.

Professor Steponaitis said the Faculty Hearings Committee and the Faculty Grievance Committee are two of the most important committees. The elected faculty members do extraordinary work and are owed a great debt of gratitude.

Professor Steponaitis said Resolution 2018-8 comes from the Faculty Hearings Committee and is asking the Board of Trustees (BOT) to amend the policy. The Hearings Committee has detailed how they would like the policy amended to make the hearings process run more smoothly. Since the University does not own this policy, the BOT must make these changes. Customarily, in situations such as this, Faculty Council passes a resolution, asking the Board of Trustees to change their policy. In the past, they have been helpful and responsive.

Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis stated the question, Resolution 2018-8 and opened the floor for discussion.

Resolution 2018-8 passed unanimously with no abstentions.

Faculty Athletics Committee report

Professor Daryhl Johnson (Medicine), chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee thanked Faculty Council for the opportunity to present the committee’s annual report. The Faculty Athletics Committee informs and represents the faculty, and advises the chancellor on any aspect of athletics, including, but not limited to, the academic and broader University experience for varsity student athletes and the general conduct and operation of the University’s athletic program. During the 2017-2018 academic year three new members joined the committee and one member was re-elected. Professor Daryhl Johnson served as chair and Professor Kim Strom-Gottfried (Social Work) served as vice chair. Following the closure of the University’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) case, the Faculty Athletics Committee spent the year interpreting the charges and their role in evaluating and monitoring the intersection between academics and athletics at the University. The committee also continued the momentum created by the Committee on Collegiate Sports, which was an ad hoc committee of the Faculty Athletics Committee charged by Faculty Council to launch a campus-wide discussion on the implication of the changes coming to college sport. This ad hoc committee focused on time-management, mental health and faculty engagement. On October 18, 2018, the Committee on Collegiate Sports hosted its final event, the Student-Athlete Mental Health and Well-Being Workshop, in conjunction with the Faculty Athletics Committee. The NCAA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline gave the keynote presentation.

Professor Johnson said one of the biggest struggles of the Faculty Athletics Committee is engaging and disseminating information to the faculty, and getting faculty members involved. The committee has been brainstorming innovative ways to engage; they are open to suggestions.

Faculty Athletics Representative report

Professor Lissa Broome (Law) gave a presentation [PDF] on her duties as the Faculty Athletics Representative. All NCAA schools have a Faculty Athletics Representative, whose role is defined by each conference and the university. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is UNC-Chapel Hill’s conference. Professor Broome was appointed by the chancellor and is subject to review every five years. One of her main duties is to serve as an advisor to the chancellor and the Athletics Director, and a liaison to the faculty. She is also an ex-officio voting member of the Faculty Athletics Committee. Her areas of focus include academic integrity and academic success of student-athletes, rules compliance, positive student-athlete experience and helping represent the University before the NCAA and the ACC.

Professor Broome attends meetings of the Process Review Group, formerly known as the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group. This group works closely with the Faculty Athletics Committee to document academic processes relating to student athletes and to discuss how these processes can be improved. The Academic Support Program for Student Athletes (ASPSA) offers resources for faculty who teach student athletes. Assistant Provost Michelle Brown serves as director of the ASPSA.

Professor Broome gave an overview of the 2018 UNC-Chapel Hill Student-Athlete Academic Scorecard, which was created to provide an annual summary of the academic progress of UNC student-athletes. She thanked Assistant Provost Michelle Brown, Associate Athletic Director Robbi Evans and Senior Assistant to the Chancellor Anna Rose Medley for their assistance in creating the 2018 Academic Scorecard. The ASPSA tracks the Academic Progress Rate (APR), the Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) and the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for student athletes and Assistant Provost Michelle Brown reports this information to the Faculty Athletics Committee; definitions for these terms can be found on page 5 of the Academic Scorecard. The multi-year APR, GSR and FGR rates are four-year rolling averages of the single-year APR, GSR and FGR.

Professor Broome discussed the table titled “APR/GSR/FGR for Student-Athletes by Sport” on page 1 of the 2018 Academic Scorecard. She also discussed the graph titled “Top 10% NCAA Pubic Recognition for APR” on page 2.

Assistant Provost Michelle Brown explained the difference between the Federal Graduation Rate and the Graduation Success Rate. The Federal Graduation Rate for student athletes, shown on page 2 of the Academic Scorecard, is lower than the Federal Graduation Rate for the student body. Professor Broome said they are working every day to ensure that student athletes are successful in the classroom and are able to graduate within six years. The University has a very successful Athletics’ Program and many student athletes go on to professional careers and leave the University before graduation. The Athletics Program funds the Complete Carolina Program, a degree completion program that helps student-athletes return to Chapel Hill to complete their degrees. Former student-athletes who have participated in this program do not appear in the metrics if they have been away from the University for more than six years before they obtain a degree.

Professor Broome discussed the differences in the popularity of the majors among the student body and student athletes depicted in the chart titled “Top 5 Majors among Enrolled Undergraduate Student: Who have Achieved at least Junior Status,” on page 2 of the Academic Scorecard. She also discussed projections and trends in the multi-year Graduation Success Rate, Federal Graduation Rate and Academic Progress Rate charts located on page 3 of the 2018 Academic. Lastly, Professor Broome recognized the 391 student athletes who appeared on the 2017-2018 ACC Academic Honor Roll list.

On April 25, 2018, the Independent Commission on College Basketball, chaired by Dr. Condoleezza Rice, released its recommendations to address the issues facing men’s collegiate basketball. Professor Steponaitis asked how these recommendations will affect the UNC-Chapel Hill campus when they are implemented. The complete document is located on the NCAA website [PDF].

Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said the Commission recommended eliminating the one-and-done rule, which would allow 18-year-olds to be eligible for the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft so that high school players who are drafted may proceed directly to the draft. This is an agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). Mr. Cunningham said the elimination of this rule does not seem likely. The NBA created the Professional Path Program, which offers $125,000 to top high school prospects to play in the Developmental League, also known as the G League.

The Commission is trying to understand the relationship between high school students and agents and how they work with colleges and universities. The Commission believes student athletes should have the information they require to make an informed decision about taking the collegiate or the professional path. They recommend that the NCAA develop standards for certifying agents and allow only NCAA-certified agents to engage with student athletes. The Commission also made recommendations about the NCAA enforcement operating procedures, which provide guidance about how the enforcement staff conducts investigations and processes alleged rule violations. Mr. Cunningham believes these recommendations will improve basketball, improve the decision-making process for students and reduce the number of infractions.

Professor Broome said the Commission also recommended adding at least five independent members who are not associated with a member institution to the NCAA’s Board of Governors.

CAPS and ARS Syllabi Statements Proposal

Professor Marsha Penner (Psychology and Neuroscience), chair of the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), introduced undergraduate students Ms. Emma Caponigro (Health Policy and Management) and Ms. Raleigh Cury (Political Science and Public Policy), co-directors of the Undergraduate Mental Health Task Force. They approached the EPC with a proposal to include Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Accessibility Resources and Services (ARS) statements on class syllabi, and the Committee fully supports the proposal. Ms. Caponigro and Ms. Cury came to the Faculty Council to present the proposal [PDF], which originated in the Student Safety and Wellness Project. Including CAPS and ARS information in syllabi will promote awareness of these resources, help eliminate stigma surrounding mental health and disabilities, and prompt faculty to talk about these resources when they go through their syllabi on the first day of classes. The Undergraduate Mental Health Task Force have received support and feedback from CAPS, ARS, Academic Advising, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Undergraduate Curricula, staff, faculty, undergraduate students and graduate students.

Professor Calikoglu asked if information on CAPS and ARS is presented during first-year orientation.

Ms. Caponigro said there is a 30-minute segment on health and wellness during first-year orientation, but this segment does not cover health and wellness resources in detail. Also, during orientation incoming first-year students are overwhelmed by the amount of information they are receiving, so they might not retain information on these resources.

Professor David Zvara (Medicine) asked if the proposal is being presented as a resolution

Professor Steponaitis said at the moment the proposal is informational and there is no resolution before Faculty Council at this time. In the past, Faculty Council has voted on recommendations for syllabi. If a resolution were to come before Council, it would come from the Educational Policy Committee.

Professor Zvara said this is information that all students should have access to, and stigma surrounding mental health should be eliminated. However, he has concerns worries about these types of requests, because other programs could then petition to be included on course syllabi, which could make a course syllabus a very lengthy document.

Ms. Cury said other informational items are included on all syllabi, like the Honor Code and anti-discrimination policies. They believe this proposal is necessary because students have expressed need for access to mental health services. The Undergraduate Mental Health Task Force was created because of the campus climate surrounding mental health. Talking about mental health is the most effective way to eliminate stigma, and stigma is the main reason students do not seek help. Most professors review their syllabus on the first day of classes. This proposal can serve as a segue to initiatives that will better address issues around mental health.

Professor Zvara replied that he is not negating the importance of mental health services. He is merely concerned about other groups coming before Faculty Council with the similar proposals to be included in course syllabi, with syllabi potentially becoming 30-page documents.

Mr. Chastan Swain (Law), graduate observer, said as a student he applauds the research of the Undergraduate Mental Health Task Force and commends Ms. Caponigro and Ms. Cury for presenting this information to Faculty Council. As a past member of the Educational Policy Committee, he urged members to bring this issue to Faculty Council. He believes mental health resources are pertinent to syllabi because many mental health issues that students face stem from the classroom environment. Additionally, there were two mass shootings in the past week, which were undoubtedly associated with mental health. Mr. Swain said mental health is one of the most critical issues that needs to be addressed on campus, one that is closely associated with the amount of pressure and anxiety felt by students.

Professor Yaqub said anecdotally, in her classes, she has found that the number of students in need of mental health resources has increased. It is good to have these resources included in syllabi. Additionally, there are a relatively limited number of offices that students visit to seek help. Professor Yaqub said she does not feel that we are opening a floodgate by including these resources on course syllabi.

Professor Christina Burch (Biology) thanked Ms. Caponigro and Ms. Cury for presenting this information to Faculty Council. She already includes information on mental health resources in her syllabus, because someone provided her with the language. This information will only be included in syllabi if it is provided to faculty. Faculty do not have time to research and write this information themselves.

Professor Abigail Panter (Psychology and Neuroscience), senior associate dean for Undergraduate Education, said the Office of Undergraduate Curricula’s website provides blurbs for student resources on their website that faculty can include in their syllabi.

Professor Heidi Anksorus (Pharmacy) applauded Ms. Caponigro and Ms. Cury for presenting this information to Faculty Council. She is a mental health first aid trainer and all students in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy are required to complete this training in their third year. Professor Anksorus asked if the Office of Accessibility and Service has the appropriate resources to determine the cases that would qualify for accommodation.

Ms. Caponigro said ARS requires an extensive amount of paperwork to document a student’s qualifications for accommodation.

Approval of the 2019 Edward Kidder Graham Award and Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Award nominees

Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis entertained a motion to go into closed session to prevent the premature disclosure of award nominees. The motion was seconded and approved by the body. Faculty Council went into closed session and approved the nominee for the Edward Kidder Graham Award and nominees for Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards. The awards will be presented at the 2019 University Day ceremony.

Open session

Professor Steponaitis entertained a motion to return to open session. The motion was seconded and approved by Faculty Council. The Council returned to open session.

 

Adjournment

Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:06 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kadejah Murray
University Program Associate

Vin Steponaitis
Secretary of the Faculty

 

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