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Meeting of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

Friday, December 6, 2019, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Kerr Hall, Room 2001
Eshelman School of Pharmacy

This meeting was streamed live; the recording is available here.

Agenda

3:00 p.m.     Chair of the Faculty’s remarks [PDF]
                            Professor Lloyd Kramer

3:10 p.m.     Chancellor’s and Provost’s remarks
                           Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Robert Blouin
                                   • Discussion of BOG agreement on Confederate monument
                                   • New strategic plan for UNC-Chapel Hill

3:55 p.m.     Update on campus safety [PPT]
                           Mr. David Perry, Assistant Vice Chancellor for UNC Public Safety and Chief of Police

4:10 p.m.     Update on state budget deliberations
                           Mr. Clayton Somers, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Secretary of the University

4:25 p.m.     Update on campus budget process [PPT]
                           Mr. Jonathan Pruitt, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations
                           Mr. Nathan Knuffman, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations

4:50 p.m.     Report of the Faculty Hearings Committee [PDF] (submitted by title)
                          Professor Carissa Hessick (Law), committee chair

4:55 p.m.     Open discussion

5:00 p.m.     Adjournment

Handout on Basic Parliamentary Procedure

Video of Proceedings

Watch the full video [Streaming]

Journal of Proceedings

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on December 6, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. in 2001 Kerr Hall in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

The following 53 Faculty Council members were in attendance: J. Aikat, Anksorus, Boon, Brewster, Burch, Byerley, Calikoglu, Chavis, Clement, Coble, Dobelstein, Donahue, Falvo, Floyd-Wilson, Gates-Foster, Graham, Guskiewicz (Interim Chancellor), Halladay, Halpern, Hannig, Hessick, Holland, Ives, Kramer (Chair of the Faculty), Krome-Lukens, Larson, Lee, A. Levine, C. Levine, Lithgow, Mayer-Davis, Meyer, Mock, Moon, Moore, Muller, Olson, Powell, Renner, Rudder, Scarlett, Scarry, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), B. Thorp, Upshaw, Vaidyanathan, Vision, Walter, Watson, Willett, Worthen, Young and Zomorodi.

The following 22 members received excused absences: Austin, Berkowitz, Bloom, Burke, Chambers, Cox, Divaris, Entwisle, Fisher, Gentzsch, Gilland, Kris, Mayer, McGrath, Rahangdale, Roberts, Santos, J. Thorp, Thorpe, Van Deinse, von Bernuth and J. Williams

The following 16 members were absent without excuse: D. Aikat, Beltran, Clegg, Dewitya, Fromke, Fry, Gilchrist, Hobbs, Jeffay, Joyner, Koonce, Padilla, Platts-Mills, Ramaswamy, M. Williams and Zamboni.

Others in attendance: Peter Andringa (Undergraduate Observer)

Call to Order

Chair of the Faculty Lloyd Kramer called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m.

Chair of the Faculty’s remarks

Chair of the Faculty Lloyd Kramer began the meeting by acknowledging the controversial settlement on the Confederate statue made by the Board of Governors that is on the forefront of many peoples’ minds. First, he acknowledged the important work that faculty engage in all the time. Even though it may feel that the University is frequently experiencing conflict and controversy, a lot of important work is being conducted continuously. Prof. Kramer’s full remarks are available in this document[PDF].

He highlighted three main topics:

  • The symposium on the collective memories of 1619 that was held last month honestly confronted the history of slavery and racism in this country.
  • The Clery Review, conducted 2009-16, criticized UNC of under-reporting crimes. New Campus Police Chief Perry is at the meeting to provide updates and the University’s plans to address these issues and to make improvements.
  • In a new agreement with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in response to the spring 2019 conference on “Conflict Over Gaza,” UNC has agreed to give particular attention to intolerance with particular attention paid to the dangers of anti-Semitism. No wrong-doing at the conference has been stated, but some faculty have concerns about academic freedom in light of this situation. The chancellor may want to give more details about the agreement and how academic freedom will be protected.

Professor Kramer then fully addressed the biggest new issue of the past few weeks, which was the Board of Governors’ $2.5 million settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) that accompanied the transfer of the Silent Sam statue to the SCV. Speaking as chair of the faculty, he summarized why faculty are angry about the funding aspect of this settlement. Although faculty overwhelmingly agree that the statue should not be returned to campus, they are angry that millions of dollars are being given to an organization that spreads and reinforces lies about history. Our University is committed to truth and knowledge, and giving money to the SCV goes against our core values. This settlement contradicts the faculty’s strong rejection of racism and white supremacist rhetoric. Our challenge as a university is to consider how we now go forward, how we honor and support and promote the work of those challenging racist legacies. Most would agree it will require bold actions.

At 3:12 p.m. a group of approximately 16 student protestors entered the room to voice their opposition to the statue settlement. A student read a statement condemning the settlement and the senior administrations’ apparent acceptance of it, and demanding compensation for Black students and faculty. Several minutes later, they marched out of the room on their own accord chanting: “Reparations, retract or resign.”

Chancellor’s Remarks

Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz began by acknowledging how conflicted he feels about the statue settlement, as well as acknowledging that many faculty are upset and angry about it. In short, he doesn’t like the settlement, but is glad that the statue is not being returned to campus. He knows from months of listening that campus constituents have consistently said that they also don’t want it returned to campus. Since being appointed interim chancellor, his goal has been to ensure that the statue is not returned to anywhere on campus. He relayed this sentiment to the five-member Board of Governors committee that was charged with studying the disposition issue, which was taken over by the BOG once they rejected the plan put forth by the Board of Trustees and senior administrators in December 2018. Due to that rejection, the ultimate disposition of the monument rested with the BOG. The chancellor was not involved with negotiations or the process of the settlement. He once again emphasized that he is grateful the statue is not to be returned to campus, that being his main priority on this issue.

At this point, we need to discuss how to move forward (per the memo emailed to campus today). He addressed the use of the word “resolve” from his campus message about the monument’s disposition, underscoring that it only refers to the legal aspect of the issue. A lot of work needs to be done. The chancellor has charged a new history reckoning task force, called The Task Force on History, Race and a Way Forward that will be co-chaired by Professors Patricia Parker (Communication) and James Leloudis (History). The task force will begin meeting in January and work to help further the campus on other issues that arose due to the statue having been on campus, and removed. He also touched on the College’s reckoning curriculum for this year as well as the work of the Campus Safety Task Force.

The chancellor announced that he is starting a fund to support allof the work around history, race and reckoning on campus, including all three initiative mentioned above. Carolina will be a leader in this area and the Chancellor Guskiewicz is committed to it.

Discussion of Board of Governors agreement on the Confederate statue

The Faculty Executive Committee collected a list of eight questions and concerns about the agreement that Professor Kramer shared at the meeting reading each question aloud and asking the Chancellor and Provost to respond, which they did, point by point.

  1. Was campus leadership involved with the settlement?

The senior administration was not consulted or asked to approve the BOG settlement. The BOG took control of this process when they rejected the plan from last December. UNC-CH is not a party to the settlement.

Chair Kramer asked if there is any way to change this agreement.
University Counsel Charles Marshall replied that it appears to be locked in.

  1. Who will appoint the trustee(s) of the settlement fund and will the University have any control over the disbursement?

A single trustee will be appointed by the BOG and System Office. This campus will have no say in who is appointed as trustee.

  1. From where will the money for the trust fund come?

Funds will come from interest earnings on the unrestricted endowment, which is the way most legal expenses are paid/settled at the University.

  1. How is the use of the trust fund money restricted? Specifically, could money from the trust be used to build a new headquarters for the SCV?

The trustee will make the decisions. Funds are specific to maintenance purposes.

  1. Has the NC Attorney General signed off on the settlement?

The proposal went through UNC System office and the NC Attorney General approved for them to enter into the settlement agreement.

  1. Is the letter leaked by the SCV leader an accurate representation of the process that led to the lawsuit and simultaneous settlement with the BOG, and which members of the BOG or other UNC officials participated in these negotiations?

Neither the Chancellor, Provost nor University Counsel hasany idea as none of them were part of the process.

  1. Why was the SCV chosen over the United Daughters of the Confederacy as group that could claim ownership? Were other transfers of the statue considered?

Campus leaders don’t know why the SCV was chosen. Concerning other transfer considerations, Provost Blouin said the original campus proposal to the BOG [December 2018] had two main options: one was to move the statue to the NC History Museum (considered unlawful by the BOG) and the other was to house the statue in a new history center to be built on this campus. In all, 14 proposals were part of a plan to stay in compliance with State law. All of the options had a steep price tag.

A discussion then ensued that was pointed and sometimes emotional in which faculty expressed their dismay and condemnation of the settlement. Faculty implored University Counsel to analyze and report on all of the legal options (e.g., determine whether it was a coercive lawsuit) and then report back to the faculty. Faculty questioned issues of campus safety and the blackmail involved with the SCV (a group not known for adherence to historical fact or tolerance) being granted this funding, and by extension being granted legitimization. Faculty also asked the chancellor to state his condemnation for it. The Chancellor emphasized that he will continue to listen to people and gather as much information as he can. Chair Kramer summed up by saying that this conversation will continue.

Resolution

Chair Kramer announced that a resolution had been submitted from floor by Professor Jennifer Larson (English and Comparative Literature).

Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis called on Professor Larson to read her resolution, which she did.

Secretary Steponaitis then explained the parliamentary process for considering a motion from the floor. A provision in the Rules of Procedureallows the Faculty Council to suspend the rules, which will allow its membership to vote on the resolution today. Secretary Steponaitis then invited a motion to suspend the rules, which was made and seconded, then adopted by unanimous consent. The floor was opened for discussion of the main motion.

Professor Jay Smith (History) pointed out that the resolution as currently worded does not point to the epic failure of governance, as this settlement was conducted in secret. Another faculty member agreed, but pointed out that it would be a separate resolution. Professor Harry Watson (History) asked if the language could be strengthened and suggested language saying that we “condemn” the settlement, which supports white supremacist activity and therefore violates the university’s mission. The amended language was approved.

Resolution 2019-11. On the Board of Governors’ Settlement Concerning the Confederate Monument [PDF]

The Faculty Council resolves:

While we continue to support the permanent removal of the confederate monument known as Silent Sam from campus, we condemn the settlement that gives the statue and $2.5 million to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Such a settlement supports white supremacist activity and therefore violates the university’s mission as well as its obligations to the state.

The resolution was passed by the Faculty Council.

[The next agenda item, “New strategic plan for UNC-Chapel Hill,” was not discussed due to time constraints.]

Update on campus safety

Chief David Perry, the new Assistant Vice Chancellor for UNC Public Safety and Chief of Police was invited to introduce himself to the Faculty Council and to address campus safety. He began by stating that he has an open door policy—faculty should feel free to be in touch with him. He then covered several issues and shared some slides [PPT]. Main points include:

  • Chief Perry has updated the Campus Public Safety Department’s mission statement to underscore professionalism, integrity and outstanding customer service.
  • The UNC police department has the highest level of accreditation that can be achieved, which is a point of pride.
  • The University is currently under scrutiny with the Clery Act. Chief Perry is taking steps to ensure that we are in and maintain compliance.
  • The UNC police department works proactively and in concert with the Town of Chapel Hill police department.
  • Active shooter response training classes are available for students and employees; faculty can contact him.

Update on state budget deliberations and the campus budget process

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Jonathan Pruitt gave a quick update regarding the state budget update. He said to expect the General Assembly to return to the budget discussions in January after the filing deadline for the primary has passed. A major item for UNC-CH is pay increases for faculty and staff, and repair and renovation funding (especially to upgrade classroom spaces).

Mr.Pruitt showed slides about the budget process [PPT].

Over the last 18 months, Mr. Pruitt and Senior Associate Vice Chair for Finance and Operations Nathan Knuffman have been working with the Provost to build a previously non-existent UNC budget. Creating a formal budget will involve a multi-year process. The adopted state budget is also a continuing budget.

The University has a triple-A rating from all three credit rating agencies, but not from a financial standpoint. Academic prowess is what keeps UNC-CH at the triple-A level. Mr. Pruitt and his team are working to get campus financials to the same high levels as campus academics.

They are also working to resolve long-term structural instability. He again underscored the campus’ $850 million in deferred maintenance, which is a priority to address.

He gave a brief report on UNC-CH faculty salaries compared to peer institutions, showing that they tend to fall below our peers. Often, the longer a faculty member is here, the greater the discrepancy with peer salaries at the same rank.

Faculty had some questions.

Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked if a new formula on how money is allocated to units will be created. His department has grown significantly, but its allocation has not increased. They could teach three times as many students, but wouldn’t receive more money for it, so there is little incentive.

Mr. Pruitt answered that his team is working to identify resources to address both growth in departments and growth in the University in general through the budgeting process. That discussion also needs to take place at the System level because our enrollment funding is driven by a formula funded by the System, BOG and General Assembly. The formula is in transition. Historically it was funded with enrollments for this year based on projections for the next year. The System Office and BOG changed the approach to base it on actual enrollments.

Mary Floyd-Wilson (English and Comparative Literature) asked about graduate student support saying that UNC tends to offer about half the support that our peers offer, particularly in the humanities, social sciences and fine arts–units with little grant money.

Mr. Pruitt acknowledged that graduate student funding is a priority.

Meghan Walter (Education) asked if the Chancellor can address how he’s lobbying for salary increases.

The Chancellor answered that Mr. Pruitt’s salary comparison slides have been shared with members of the General Assembly. They have been making this case in partnership with NCSU. He also added that School of Medicine salaries are not included in the graphs that Mr. Pruitt shared.

Muge Calikoglu (Medicine) asked how the gender gap in faculty salaries is being addressed

Chancellor Guskiewicz acknowledged its importance and said that each school is looking in it.

Provost Blouin added that gender and racial equity in pay have been given high priority. The administration has begun to analyze the costs on a school-by-school basis, so they can use this information to help make decisions. He acknowledged that gender equity has been a long-standing issue at UNC.

Annual Report of the Faculty Hearings Committee

The report [PDF] was submitted by title. Committee Chair Carissa Hessick (Law) noted that the work of the committee is confidential, so the report is not able to include any specific information. There were no questions from the faculty.

Adjournment

At the end of the meeting, Chancellor Guskiewicz reminded the faculty that Winter Commencement takes place at 2:00 p.m. next Sunday (12/15), and will feature Grammy Award winning UNC Professor Bill Ferris. The Chancellor would love to see lots of faculty in attendance.

Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 4:47 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:

Helena Knego
University Program Specialist

Vin Steponaitis
Secretary of the Faculty

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