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Meeting of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

Friday, April 8, 2022, 3:00–5:00 p.m.

Members of the voting faculty may attend on Zoom by registering online by 12 p.m. on Friday, 4/8. Please click here to register.

The meeting will be streamed live at this link.


3:00 p.m.   Remembrance of faculty colleagues [PDF]

3:10 p.m.   Chair of the Faculty’s remarks
                    Chair of the Faculty Mimi Chapman (Social Work)

3:15 p.m.   Chancellor’s remarks
                     Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz

3:25 p.m.   Provost’s remarks
                     Provost Christopher Clemens

3:35 p.m.   Privacy expectations of faculty regarding email and other documents
                    Chair of the Faculty Mimi Chapman and Prof. Mary-Rose Papandrea (Law)

3:55 p.m.   All funds budget update [PDF]
                    Vice Chancellor Nathan Knuffman (Finance and Operations)

4:15 p.m.   Joint resolution on salary equity [PDF]
                     Submitted by Status of Women, Faculty Welfare and Fixed-Term Faculty Committees

4:30 p.m.   Resolution regarding emeritus status for retired faculty [PDF]
                     Submitted by the UNC Retired Faculty Association
                    (To supersede Resolution 2004-3. On the Use of Courtesy Titles by Retired Members of the Faculty [PDF])

4:45 p.m.   Annual committee reports by title

  • Administrative Board of the Library [PDF]; Prof. Kurt Gilliland (Medicine), committee chair
  • Community and Diversity Committee [PDF]; Prof. Rumay Alexander (Nursing), committee chair
  • Educational Policy Committee [PDF]; Prof. Rachel Penton (Psychology and Neuroscience), committee chair
  • Faculty Executive Committee [PDF]; Prof. Mimi Chapman (Social Work), committee chair
  • Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee [PDF]; Prof. Donald Hornstein (Law), committee chair

4:50 p.m.  Ceremonial resolutions

5:00 p.m.  Adjournment

Video of Proceedings

Watch the full video [Streaming]

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council and General Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on April 8, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Members of the public were able to observe the meeting on a livestream.

The following 70 Faculty Council members attended: D. Aikat, J. Aikat, Alexander, Becker, Berkowitz, Binz, Boyd, Brownley, Burch, Burke, Chapman (Chair of the Faculty), Clement, DeHart-Davis, Divaris, Donahue, Entwisle, Estroff, Floyd-Wilson, Frederick, Freeman, Gates-Foster, Gilland, Gold, Goralski Guskiewicz (Chancellor), Halpern, Hannig, Holland, Johnson, Krause, Lain, Larson, Lee, Lensing, Lithgow, McNeilly, Mehrotra, Metcalfe, Meyer, Mohanty, Moon, Moore (Secretary of the Faculty), Moracco, Muller, Neal, Nichols, Olson, Penton, Pettifor, Plenge, Rahangdale, Renner, Roberts, Santacroce, Scarlett, Scarry, Schlobohm, Smith, Thornburg, Thorp, Triumph, Upshaw, Van Deinse, Vernon-Feagans, von Bernuth, Williams, Wiltshire, Womack, Worthen and Young.

The following 9 members received excused absences: Anksorus, Berkoff, Lopez, Mayer-Davis, McEntee, Menard, Vaidyanathan, Watson and Zomorodi.

The following 12 members were absent without excuse: Brewster, Charles, Dewitya, Haggis, Jeffay, Ma, Padilla, Powell, Rose, Santos, Sathy, Vision.

Call to order

Chair of the Faculty Mimi Chapman called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

Remembrance of Faculty Colleagues

Chair Chapman welcomed everyone to the last Faculty Council meeting of the academic year and asked for a moment of silence after the In Memoriam presentation [PDF], which honors UNC-Chapel Hill faculty who have passed away during the past year.

Chair of the Faculty remarks

Chair Chapman gave brief introductory remarks [PDF].

Chancellor’s remarks
Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz updated the Faculty Council on campus events and initiatives. Today, the campus celebrated Arts Everywhere Day, an annual campus-wide celebration of the arts.

He commended the UNC-CH men’s and women’s basketball teams on their successes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournaments. The men’s team advanced to the national championship and the women’s team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Under the leadership of Head Coaches Hubert Davis and Courtney Banghart, student-athletes showed dedication and selfless teamwork.

During their April 6 meeting, the Board of Governors (BOG) approved the University’s lease for the Innovation Hub at 137 East Franklin Street. They also approved the Carolina Community Academy, a laboratory school created through a partnership between UNC-CH and Person County Schools. A laboratory school is a school backed by a university that trains teachers. The academy will launch in August 2022 and will serve 120 students in kindergarten to second grade; students will then transition to Northside Elementary School for the third grade. A campus coalition will support the academy. Searches for the principal, teachers and other specialists are underway. He thanked UNC School of Education Dean Fouad Abd-El-Khalick for leading this effort.

UNC-Chapel Hill graduate programs were ranked among the best in the nation. The U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 “Best Graduate Schools” list names 19 Carolina graduate degree programs in the national top 10. For the fifth consecutive year, Gillings School of Global Public Health was ranked second out of 195 schools and programs of public health in the United States. The School of Law ranked eighth out of public law schools and has jumped 22 spots since 2019 to land in the top 25 law schools for the second year in a row. Altogether, 30 programs increased their rankings, including programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the schools of business, education, law, and nursing. It is Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week. Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked the graduate and professional students for their dedication and acknowledged the important role they play at the University.

The great resignation—an unprecedented mass exit from the workforce—was discussed at the April 6 BOG meeting. It is affecting every campus in the UNC System and campuses across the country. The administration is rethinking its approach to retaining talent on campus. Chancellor Guskiewicz thanked staff for their tireless work to maintain campus functions.

“Concur” is the University’s new software program for pre-travel approval, travel booking, and travel and business expense reimbursements. Faculty have raised concerns that the new system is creating inefficiencies and limitations in travel. This issue will be addressed later in the agenda.

Provost’s remarks

Provost Christopher Clemens’ remarks focused on campus events, the work of his transition team, campus searches and the University’s policy on the privacy of electronic information.

The Faculty Service Awards Ceremony was held today. Distinguished Professor of Law Lissa Broome and Vice Provost and Director of Academic and Community Engagement Joseph Jordan received awards for their service to the University.

The provost’s transition team continues to work on a plan for supporting faculty advancement, success and leadership. This week, representatives from the School of Medicine’s Faculty Affairs and Leadership Development Program, the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities gave presentations to the team. This meeting highlighted programs on campus that support faculty and revealed areas where more work has to be done. Some of this work involves connecting, elevating and expanding the reach of the existing programs. The team is working to ensure multiple contact points between the campus and the Provost’s Office. In support of these efforts, they are requesting the creation of a new position titled Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Success. This position will offer a chance to expand the representation of Health Affairs in the Provost’s Office, develop and manage a leadership training program for faculty, and develop and oversee the expansion and elevation of programs for faculty success and leadership. Once the position is established, there will be an internal call for nominees. Provost Clemens hopes to have a new vice provost in place before Executive Vice Provost Ron Strauss departs the office at the end of June.

Interviews for the directors of the American Indian Center and the Carolina Women’s Center were completed this week. Interviews for the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the dean of the Gilling’s School of Global Public Health and the academic lead of the new School of Data Science and Society are being conducted. A search for the director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History is underway; a call for nominations and applications was sent out on March 25. Chancellor Guskiewicz will charge the search committees for the dean of the School of Government and the vice provost for University Libraries by the end of April. The administration is in the final stages of negotiations for the deans of the Adams School of Dentistry and the School of Nursing. They hope to announce these dean selections very soon. Provost Clemens thanked the faculty, staff and students who serve on search committees, and the Human Resources staff who ensure these searches run smoothly.

The Undergraduate Senate passed a resolution calling for the removal of the tents on campus. After graduation, groundskeepers will remove the tents and restore the green spaces.

Provost Clemens spent this past week reviewing the University’s policy on the privacy of electronic information, which allows access to email and other electronically stored records under limited circumstances and via specific procedures. The authority for granting this access is delegated to the provost and the General Counsel. Emails and other electronic records stored on University servers are generally accessible through public records requests. This is a legal requirement and an important mechanism for transparency in our state. University emails are not surveilled, a policy is required to limit and regulate access to those records by University officials to maintain a degree of privacy. Provost Clemens will carefully listen to the discussion on privacy expectations of faculty regarding email and other documents to make faculty-centered decisions in the future. He plans to work with the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee to understand the best application of the policy.

Privacy expectations of faculty regarding email and other documents

Professor Mary-Rose Papandrea (Law) gave an overview of the legal landscape affecting the privacy of faculty emails by answering a series of questions provided by Chair Chapman. She has not spoken with the Office of University Counsel concerning these issues; therefore, her analysis is based on public information on University policies.

Are donor agreements private or matters of public record?

Public information access is regulated by each state’s freedom of information laws. States define what constitutes a public body, public records and public meetings. In North Carolina, the public records laws do apply to every state and local government agency unless there is an exception. UNC-CH is a State entity.

Donations are typically made through a foundation and since foundations are generally structured as private corporations and not government agencies, there can be questions about whether donor agreements are a matter of public record. In deciding whether these agreements are private or public, a court would have to determine whether the foundation showed that UNC-CH, for example, exercised such substantial control over the operations of the foundation as to render it a government agency or subdivision. A records request was made for the Hussman Family Foundation donor agreement and the Office of Public Records shared a copy. This does not mean that the University concedes that the agreement is a public record, but the matter is moot because the donor agreement was turned over.

Is it possible for a University to punish a faculty member for revealing a donor agreement?

The first step is to determine whether the donor agreement is a matter of public record. The Hussman gift agreement does state that the University will keep it confidential, but that statement alone would not be determinative. It would likely be unlawful to punish a faculty member for sharing the contents of a donor agreement if it is a matter of public record, even if the University had hoped to keep the agreement confidential.

There is no explicit policy at UNC-CH that prohibits faculty members from revealing the contents of a confidential donor agreement. There is a University policy that governs the suspension, demotion or discharge of faculty members, this policy is very limited and does not appear to cover this situation. If there was a policy that did cover this situation it would arguably be unconstitutional, unless the professors had access to the agreement as part of their job responsibilities. Courts would likely recognize the rights of professors to criticize the terms of the Hussman gift.

The University’s policy on the privacy of electronic information [LINK] states wherever possible, in a public setting, an individual’s privacy should be preserved. However, there is no guarantee of privacy or confidentiality for data stored or messages sent on University-owned equipment. There are a several delineated instances where University officials are permitted to read electronic emails including investigating reports of violation of University policy or local, state, or federal law and investigating reports of employee misconduct. Emails are also subject to public record requests.

Does the authority for searching emails depend on whether an institution is private or public?

Most institutions and employers retain the right to access emails and documents stored on their systems and devices regardless of whether the institution is public or private.

Does an institution have to notify an employee in advance about searching their email?

The University’s policy does not appear to require advance notice. Legal holds notify employees not to destroy emails or documents relating to certain topics and pending litigation. Investigations into wrongdoing by employees generally do not require advance notice because it could lead to the destruction of documents.

The main concern about the email searches of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media faculty is that the search and questioning were done in apparent retaliation for expressing public concerns about the handling of the Nikole Hannah-Jones hire. Email searches, even if permitted under the electronic privacy policy, can have a substantial chilling effect on the freedom of speech.

Professor Ryan Thornburg (Journalism and Media) asked which Hussman School faculty accounts and computer files the Office of University Council accessed and for the justification for this investigation. He also asked if the policy on the privacy of electronic information specifies when the University should notify employees about when their accounts are being accessed.

Provost Clemens said when University Counsel accessed the accounts of Hussman School faculty, it was not to investigate faculty or staff misconduct, but an inquiry on record security. Gift agreements and donor information are stored in a system called Davie. Most of this information is private to protect donor confidentiality. When data from the system is shared, it raises questions about a possible breach. The investigation was to establish a strategy to enhance the security of the Davie system.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said this was not an investigation but an inquiry that was conducted to determine how the release of a donor agreement occurred. It was limited to the access, possession and disclosure of the agreement, not employee free speech. University emails are not surveilled.

Chair Chapman said faculty may feel they are under investigation, even though there is a distinction between an inquiry and an investigation.

Professor Eric Muller (Law) said these inquiries have a chilling effect on speech and depressing effect on faculty morale and the sense that faculty are secure in their place of employment.

Provost Clemens understands how relationships end through missteps that break trust. Parameters are used when searching through faculty emails.

Chancellor Guskiewicz asked Provost Clemens and the Office of University Counsel to examine the University’s policy on the privacy of electronic information and engage Faculty Council and other Faculty Governance committees on this issue. Adjustments to the policy may need to be made.

Professor Allison Schlobohm (Business) asked if the justifications for these actions are public and transparent. She also asked what it means to have designated authority in this situation.

Provost Clemens said the system administrator must have approval from the provost and the vice chancellor of general counsel to access specific email and data. He considers himself the gatekeeper of faculty rights, and he is happy to receive input on this policy.

Professor Thornburg requested more information on the rationale for the inquiry into the emails of the Hussman School faculty. He also asked why there was a reasonable belief that Hussman School faculty and staff would have access to the Davie system.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said that his understanding is that the inquiry began with individuals in the Hussman School who had access to the Davie system.

Provost Clemens said at least one designee in every school or department has access to the Davie system to access gift agreements. This designee is typically not a faculty member.

All funds budget update

Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations Nathan Knuffman gave an update on the All Funds budget model. The presentation [PDF] included information on the Fiscal Year 2023 budget development schedule, the 2022-2023 All-Funds budget, revenues by fund type, expenses, budget themes and the budget timeline.

Vice Chancellor Knuffman acknowledged concerns about the new travel program. The Concur software was implemented when very few members of the campus community were traveling. Since travel has increased, problems with the system are surfacing. The Travel and Expense team is collecting feedback, and they are committed to improving the software. The decision to use Concur was based on compliance with state and federal travel policies. The software also provides important visibility to the University on the location of Carolina employees should an emergency occur. The software was meant to modernize the University’s travel system; most Ivy League schools use Concur.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) expressed concern over the policy that requires Provost Clemens to approve international travel. Many other universities have dropped this requirement. He has also experienced problems with the Concur software.

Professor Chapman said School of Medicine faculty wrote a letter expressing concerns about Concur.

Vice Chancellor Knuffman said it is important to understand the degree of flexibility allowed around the University’s current travel policy. The UNC System travel policy may differ from the policy of other systems.

Joint resolution on salary equity

Professor Misha Becker (Linguistics), chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, introduced Resolution 2022-1 [PDF], On Salary Equity for Faculty Members of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Three faculty committees—Status of Women, Faculty Welfare and Fixed-Term Faculty— collaborated on this resolution to outline necessary steps to reach gender and racial salary equity on campus. The first section of the resolution requests an annual report to Faculty Council summarizing the findings of the annual salary equity report and an annual report every two years summarizing the trends observed in the findings of the annual salary equity report. The second section of the resolution details the implementation of a 20-year salary equity initiative.

Professor Becker moved to adopt the resolution. Professor D. Aikat seconded the motion. Secretary Moore stated that the matter was properly before the Council and called for further discussion or questions.

Professor Hannig commented that the resolution does not include a comparison to peer institutions on salary and racial equity, and asked whether it should be part of (b), (c), or (d) of the resolution.

Professor Becker said the Committee on the Status of Women conducted an ad hoc comparison across multiple institutions. Section 2b of the resolution calls for an annual salary equity report of faculty compensation that disaggregates and compares salaries by gender, race, ethnicity, rank, years at UNC-CH and track.

Professor Mark McNeilly (Business) asked why disciplines or departments are not included in the salary comparison. He thinks you need to account for all of the variables.

Professor Becker said faculty school was a control variable in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment salary equity studies. Departments within schools were a control variable in the OIRA study. The annual salary equity report of faculty compensation would apply the same type of analyses previously conducted, but within schools, which is vital to understand how faculty compare with their peers. Too much information is aggregated, and this resolution proposes to disaggregate this information.

Professor Hannig moved to amend part (2)(b) of the resolution by adding that appropriate comparisons to peer institutions should be made. Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing) seconded. Secretary Moore called for discussion of the proposed amendment. The ensuing discussion touched on matters including the practical usefulness of such comparisons, the difficulty of obtaining comparative data from other institutions, and other matters that this work could expand to in the future. Professor Muller called the question on the motion to amend. The calling of the question was sustained by a 50-4 vote. Secretary Moore then called for a vote on whether to approve the amendment. The amendment failed, with 13 voting in favor and 40 voting against.

Secretary Moore stated that the issue before the Council was whether to approve the resolution as originally written and asked whether there was further discussion. Professor Estroff called the question. The calling of the question was sustained by a 54-0 vote.

Secretary Moore stated that the question before the body was whether to approve Resolution 2022-1 and opened the vote. The resolution was adopted by a 52-0 vote.

Resolution regarding emeritus status for retired faculty

Professor George Lensing (English and Comparative Literature) and Professor Lynne Vernon-Feagans (Education), members of the UNC Retired Faculty Association, introduced Resolution 2022-2 [PDF], On Emeritus Status for Retired Faculty Members. Some retired faculty were denied the title of emeritus with no explanation and no opportunity to appeal. The title of emeritus is a presumed right for the overwhelming majority of retiring faculty and is conferred without difficulty. This resolution grants retired faculty a path to appeal to the provost if they are denied emeritus status.

Professor Lensing moved to adopt the resolution. Professor Alexander seconded the motion. Secretary Moore stated that the matter was properly before the Council and called for further discussion or questions.

Secretary Moore stated that the question before the body was whether to approve Resolution 2022-2 and opened the vote. The resolution was adopted by a 47-0 vote with one abstention.

Annual committee reports by title

The annual reports of the Administrative Board of the Library [PDF], the Community and Diversity Committee [PDF], the Educational Policy Committee [PDF], the Faculty Executive Committee [PDF] and the Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee [PDF] were accepted by title.

Ceremonial resolutions

Secretary Moore asked for consideration of two ceremonial resolutions that were not previously presented to the Council. The consideration of a resolution not previously presented requires suspension of the rules of procedure. Secretary Moore proposed that the rules be suspended by unanimous consent. There being no objection, the rules were suspended by unanimous consent and the resolutions were presented.

Professor Kurt Gilliland (Cell Biology and Physiology) presented Resolution 2022-3 [PDF], On Appreciation for Elaine L. Westbrooks as University Librarian and Vice Provost for University Libraries.

Resolution 2022-3 passed by unanimous consent.

Chair Chapman presented Resolution 2022-4 [PDF], On Appreciation for the Service of Ronald P. Strauss as Executive Vice Provost of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Resolution 2022-4 passed by unanimous consent.


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

Respectfully submitted,

Kadejah Murray
University Program Associate

Jill Moore
Secretary of the Faculty

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