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Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, February 14, 2020, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Kerr Hall, Room 2001
Eshelman School of Pharmacy


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

3:10 p.m.     Presentation of Thomas Jefferson Award
                           Presented by Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz

Introduction by Professor Jane Thrailkill, English and Comparative Literature
Recipient remarks by Professor John McGowan, English and Comparative Literature

3:20 p.m.     Chancellor’s remarks

                           Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz

3:40 p.m.     Provost’s remarks
                           Provost Robert Blouin

3:50 p.m.     Report on the Survey on Free Expression and Constructive Dialogue 
                           Professors Jennifer Larson, Mark McNeilly and Tim Ryan

Presentation [PDF]
Report [PDF]


4:25 p.m.     Report of the Fixed-Term Faculty Committee 
                           Professor Nancy Fisher, committee chair

Presentation [PDF]
Report [PDF]


4:50 p.m.     Annual Committee Reports (submitted by title)

Report of the Faculty Grievance Committee [PDF], Committee Co-Chairs Chris McLaughlin (Government) and Erika Ripley (Libraries)
Report of the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee [PDF], Committee Chair Daniel Anderson (English and Comparative Literature)
Report of the Faculty Research Committee [PDF], Committee Chair Gary Cuddeback (Social Work)
  Report of the Undergraduate Admissions Committee [PDF], Committee Chair Abigail Panter (Psychology and Neuroscience)

4:55 p.m.     Open Discussion

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 February 14, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. in Kerr Hall, Room 2001 at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

The following 54 members attended: J. Aikat, Berkowitz, Bloom, Boon, Brewster, Byerley, Calikoglu, Chambers, Chavis, Coble, Cox, Divaris, Dobelstein, Donahue, Falvo, Fisher, Floyd-Wilson, Fry, Gates-Foster, Gentzsch, Graham, Guskiewicz (Chancellor) Halpern, Hannig, Ives, Jeffay, Kramer (Chair of the Faculty), Kris, Krome-Lukens, Larson, A. Levine, Lithgow, Mayer, Meyer, Moon, Moore, Olson, Padilla, Powell, Rahangdale, Renner, Roberts, Santos, Scarry, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), B. Thorp, Thorpe, VanDeinse, Vision, von Bernuth, Watson, Willett, Worthen and Young.

The following 16 members received excused absences: Anksorus, Austin, Burke, Clement, Entwisle, Halladay, Joyner, Lee, Mayer-Davis, McGrath, Mock, Rudder, J. Thorp, Vaidyanathan, Walter and Zomorodi.

The following 23 members were absent without excuse: Beltran, Burch, Clegg, Dewitya, Fromke, Garner, Gilchrist, Gilland, Hessick, Hobbs, Holland, Koonce, C. Levine, Muller, Nelson, Platts-Mills, Ramaswamy, Scarlett, Upshaw, J. Williams, M. Williams and Zamboni.

Others in attendance: Peter Andringa (Undergraduate Observer), Provost Bob Blouin and Nisarg Shah (Undergraduate Observer).

Call to Order

The Chair of the Faculty called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.

Chair of the Faculty remarks

Chair of the Faculty Lloyd Kramer welcomed everyone to the February Faculty Council meeting and gave remarks [PDF].

Presentation of Thomas Jefferson Award

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced the winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award, Professor John McGowan (English and Comparative Literature), and gave remarks about his work at the University.

Professor Megan Matchinske (English and Comparative Literature), one of Professor McGowan’s nominators, provided an Award Citation [PDF], but was unable to attend today’s meeting due to illness. Professor Mary Floyd-Wilson (English and Comparative Literature) gave remarks on her behalf.

Professor McGowan accepted his award and gave remarks.

Chancellors remarks

Chancellor Guskiewicz wished everyone a happy Valentine’s Day and provided updates on the Silent Sam settlement and on various campus initiatives. On February 12, Judge Allen Baddour, who approved the Silent Sam agreement in November, reversed his decision after finding that the N.C Sons of Confederate Veterans had no legal standing to claim the Silent Sam monument. This ruling left questions about the disposition of the monument. He will do everything possible to ensure the monument doesn’t return to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and will continue to work with the Board of Trustees (BOT), the Board of Governors (BOG) and the UNC-System Office. Litigation is still in process, so he was limited in the information he could provide.

The Campus Safety Commission hosted the Summit on Safety and Belonging on January 28. He thanked the co-chairs Frank Baumgartner (Political Science) and DeVetta Holman (Student Wellness) for their leadership. The moderator of the summit was Deena Hayes-Greene, co-founder and managing director of the Racial Equity Institute LLC. Yesterday, the chancellor’s leadership team responded to a series of recommendations that came out of the summit. Some of the recommendations focused on implementing a more pro-active shooter training for faculty, lighting walks around campus, enhancing diversity training for police officers and the leadership team.  The Office of Student Affairs has committed $2 million over the next five years to fund resources and personnel to help staff the Office for Sexual Violence Prevention. The leader of this office will work closely with Jonathan Sauls, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, and Becci Menghini, vice chancellor for human resources and equal opportunity and compliance, for implementing many of the recommendations that came out of the 2017 report from the Violence Prevention Task Force. He recently met with the coalition of students, faculty and staff tasked to examine the recommendations of the Safety Commission and the 2019 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct.

Last Friday, Chancellor Guskiewicz charged the Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward to explore, engage and teach the University’s history around race. He thanked the co-chairs Professor Patricia Parker (Communication) and Professor Jim Leloudis (History) for their willingness to lead this effort. The commission’s work is focused on three central pillars (1) research and curation (2) curriculum and teaching (3) engagement with underrepresented communities in North Carolina. This work will build on the work of the History Task Force from 2015 to 2017. The task force worked on the curation of McCorkle Place, with a focus on the Unsung Founders Memorial. Concern has been raised over the memorial because it has been sinking over the past several years. Facilities will work to raise the memorial. The commission may make recommendations on the curation of McCorkle Place in the future.

Chancellor Guskiewicz and Provost Blouin have listened to faculty, staff and students about the need to place diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront of the University’s work, and they are committed to this task. The hiring process for the special advisor to the chancellor and provost on diversity and inclusion is coming to an end. This individual will serve as the interim chief diversity officer and vice provost for equity and inclusion until the position is filled. The University is partnering with the search firm, Russell Reynolds Associates, to fill this position. The search committee is being chaired by Suzanne Barber, dean of the Graduate School, their goal is to have this position filled by the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year.

He thanked everyone who provided input on the strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good. On January 13, the strategic plan was endorsed unanimously by the BOT. There are eight strategic initiatives, each strategic initiative contains three strategic objectives, and each strategic objective has several strategic opportunities. There are captains for each of the strategic initiatives and team leads for each of the strategic objectives.

Chancellor Guskiewicz highlighted University news and events. Kenan-Flagler Business School was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal for its new STEM concentration in Business Analytics and Management Science. The Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture and Awards Ceremony will be held January 22, at 7 p.m., at Memorial Hall. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, author, radio host and Georgetown University sociology professor, will deliver the keynote. The second year in a row, the University has received more that 44,000 applicants for the incoming class of 2024. The spring 2020 commencement will be held May 10, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni will be the commencement speaker.

Provost’s remarks

Provost Blouin presented Ron Strauss, executive vice provost, with a certificate recognizing his 45 years of service to the state of North Carolina.

The steering committee for the Data Science Initiative is making great progress on the feasibility plan for data science. The committee is wrapping up their work and will send a final draft proposal to members of the leadership team and chairs of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Professional Schools to receive feedback. They will also present the proposal to the Faculty Executive Committee and share it with the campus community before presenting it to the BOT. He hopes the BOT will endorse the proposal at their March meeting, then the committee will more forward with implementation and execution of the plan.

Many faculty members will be invited to participate in implementation and execution of the strategic plan over the years. The plan has a three-year rolling horizon and every year they will be reevaluating the initiatives, objectives and opportunities embedded in the plan.

He thanked Professor Joseph Jordan (African, African American and Diaspora Studies), director of the Stone Center, for agreeing to serve as interim vice provost for Academic and Community Engagement. This position was previously held by Carol Tresolini, who recently retired. Professor Sherry Salyer (Exercise and Sport Science) has agreed to serve as the interim dean of the Summer School. This position was previously held by Professor Jan Yopp (Journalism and Media), who recently retired.

Report on the Survey on Free Expression and Constructive Dialogue

In the Spring of 2019, Professors Jennifer Larson (English and Comparative Literature), Mark McNeilly (Business) and Tim Ryan (Political Science) conducted a study to better understand student’s experiences with free speech and constructive dialogue at UNC-CH. The investigation had two components: 1) a survey that all UNC undergraduates were invited to complete and 2) in-depth focus group interviews with members of three politically active student organizations. They gave a presentation on the report [PDF] and the findings of study [PDF].

Professor Muge Calikoglu (Pediatrics) asked if the study asked students how they define the term conservative and if asked students were actively engaged in political activity.

Professor Ryan said the study did not ask about political activities beyond campus, due to the limited space in the survey instrument. They study did not ask students how they define the term conservative. They used a standard measure of ideological self-identification from the American National Election Study. This survey does not have a measure of the policy opinions of individuals.

Professor Kramer asked if they feel they have an accurate count of the number of conservative and liberal students on campus.

Professor Ryan said of their sample 23% are conservative, 60% are liberal and 17% are moderate.

Professor Jessica Boon commented that the research shows there is a perception from both conservatives and liberals that conservative speakers are not well represented on campus. The report recommends the creation of central office to organize events with speakers representing views from across ideological spectrum with an eye toward slating events with speakers from under-represented groups. She asked if they have data on whether about 20% of invited speakers are conservative, because this view may be a perception and not reality.

Professor Larson said this information is hard to know because speakers are brought in by various organizations and there isn’t an accurate way to track this information. They recommended the office to meet the perceived need of more conservative speakers and to collect data that would inform them if this is an actual need or a perception.

Professor Larry Chavis (Business) said another study could find that African American students feel the same way conservative students feel and he would argue that there are better institutional reasons that African American students feel unsafe, unheard and unrepresented. Faculty want the classroom to be a safe space for everyone, but he is weary of defining it completely in terms of liberal versus conservative.

Professor Larson said their study does not mean to imply that there is only one story; there are many stories that need to be understood. This research will lead to more research.

Professor Ryan said there is no contest between different types of diversity, this research has an ethos of radical inclusion.

Professor McNeilly said they want all students to feel included. Political ideology is only one axis. Page 27 of the report has a breakdown by gender and race.

Professor Todd Vision (Biology) asked if there is a way to distinguish between appropriate self-censorship and self-censorship out of fear.

Professor Ryan said this is a limitation of their report and they have received criticism about this piece of the study. They do not know the type of views people are self-censoring and they need to address this in the future.

Professor McNeilly said they received anecdotal feedback from students. One law student was reluctant to share a conservative idea that was constitutionally relevant in class because she did not want to be identified as a conservative.

Professor Calikoglu asked if the survey results would be the same if the survey starting with a position statement, for example “UNC supports free expression.”

Professor Ryan said this study is designed to be neutral in the way they created the survey and how they recruited participants.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked what the non-response rate was.

Professor Ryan said there was a 26% response rate among students who received a $10 cash incentive. There was 3% response rate among students who did not receive a cash incentive. The split sample results can be found in the appendix of the report.

Professor Mimi Chapman (Social Work) said on a university campus we should want to invite speakers who have the most depth of knowledge in a particular area, instead of speakers who are categorized as liberal and conservative.

Professor McNeilly said they want to bring in speakers with evidence-based research. There are good ideas across the political spectrum.

Professor Larson said they want to bring in evidence-based speakers and a diverse set of ideologies.

Page 12 of the slide presentation includes data on how often students hear disrespectful, inappropriate, or offensive comments about 12 groups. Conservative students in the sample expressed that they hear more negative comments about political conservatives, whites and men respectively. Professor Floyd-Wilson said the larger power structure, outside the campus, that allows people to speak freely is mostly conservative, male and white. Certain people may feel they are being criticized, because the people who were silenced for centuries finally have the power to speak out. There is an imbalance because society is changing, which can produce a feeling of backlash.

Professor Ryan said this observation needs to be explored. Liberal students in the sample indicated that they hear more negative comments about conservatives than any other group.

Report of the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty

Professor Nancy Fisher (Microbiology and Immunology), co-chair of the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty presented the committee’s annual report [PDF] and the results of the 2019 fixed-term faculty survey [PDF]. The purpose of this survey was to identify the most critical issues for fixed-term faculty members and to use the feedback to develop effective ways that the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty can advocate for fixed-term faculty.

Professor Hilary Lithgow (English and Comparative Literature) made a recommendation about the phrasing of the question on satisfaction. She suggested a two-part question 1) how satisfied are fixed-term faculty with their current position relative to fixed-term faculty at other universities 2) how satisfied are they with the amount of work they do relative to the compensation they receive. She also commented that many fixed-term faculty members win teaching awards, and it would be nice to highlight this successful teaching across the University.

Professor Fisher said the committee is working to figure out ways to convince to N.C. Legislature to increase fixed-term faculty salaries. They need to find ways to relay the hard work and achievements of fixed-term faculty.

Professor Calikoglu asked if there are racial and gender differences in one-year contracts.

Professor Fisher said they haven’t analyzed these data yet. They do know that women are more represented in fixed-term faculty than men.

Annual Committee Reports (submitted by title)

The Faculty Grievance Committee [PDF], the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee [PDF], the Faculty Research Committee [PDF], and the Undergraduate Admissions Committee [PDF] annual reports were accepted by title. There were no questions for the chairs.


Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kadejah Murray
University Program Associate

Vin Steponaitis
Secretary of the Faculty




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