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Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, December 3, 2021, 3:00–5:00 p.m.

This meeting will be streamed live at this link.


3:00 p.m.  Chair of the Faculty’s remarks
                      Professor Mimi Chapman (Social Work)

3:10 p.m.  Chancellor’s remarks
                      Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz

3:30 p.m.  Provost’s remarks
                      Provost Robert Blouin

3:45 p.m.  Spring semester update
                      Provost Blouin and Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Becci Menghini

4:00 p.m.  Effect of Board of Trustees delegation resolution on academic personnel
                      Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and EOC Becci Menghini

4:10 p.m.  University budget update
                     Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer Nathan Knuffman

4:30 p.m.  New emergency preparedness resources
                     Director Darrell Jeter and Emergency Management Coordinator Justin Miller,
                     Office of Emergency Management and Planning

4:40 p.m.  Ceremonial resolution [PDF]
                     Professor Barbara Entwisle (Sociology)

4:45 p.m.  Annual report of the Faculty Grievance Committee [PDF], submitted by title
                     Professor Beth Posner (Law), committee co-chair

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 December 3, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Other faculty and members of the public were able to observe the meeting on a livestream.

The following 80 Faculty Council members attended: J. Aikat, Alexander, Becker, Berkoff, 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), Haggis, Halpern, Hannig, Holland, Jeffay, Johnson, Krause, Larson, Lee, Lensing, Lithgow, Lopez, Ma, Mayer-Davis, McEntee, McNeilly, Mehrotra, Metcalfe, Meyer, Mohanty, Moon, Moore (Secretary of the Faculty), Moracco, Neal, Nichols, Olson, Penton, Pettifor, Plenge, Powell, Rahangdale, Renner, Roberts, Rose, Santos, Sathy, Scarlett, Scarry, Schlobohm, Smith, Thornburg, Thorp, Triumph, Upshaw, Vaidyanathan, Van Deinse, Vernon-Feagans, Vision, von Bernuth, Watson, Wiltshire, Womack, Worthen, Young and Zomorodi.

The following 4 members received excused absences: Anksorus, Menard, Santacroce and Williams.

The following 7 members were absent without excuse: D. Aikat, Brewster, Charles, Dewitya, Lain, Muller and Padilla.

Others in attendance: Blouin (Provost), Brandt (Graduate Observer), Phillips (Undergraduate Observer) and Swamy (Graduate and Professional Student Government President).

Call to Order

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

Chair of the Faculty’s remarks

Chair Chapman welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave her opening remarks [PDF].

Chancellor’s remarks

Chancellor Guskiewicz began by thanking infectious disease and public health experts for their assistance in planning the semester, and faculty, staff and students for adhering to the COVID-19 Community Standards. He expressed deep appreciation for Provost Bob Blouin and his efforts in COVID-19 planning over the past two years.

He announced that the Board of Trustees (BOT) moved to rename the Student Affairs Building and former Aycock Residence Hall. The Student Affairs Building, formerly known as the Carr Building, will carry the namesake of Henry Owl, the first American Indian student and person of color to attend UNC. Hortense McClinton, the first Black professor at UNC, will be honored with her name on the former Aycock Residence Hall.

His remarks focused on mental health, ongoing leadership searches and the budget.

Over 750 participants attended the Mental Health Summit on November 15. He thanked Professor Chapman and the members of the Faculty Council who gave presentations and moderated sessions. He acknowledged Professor Samantha Meltzer-Brody (Psychiatry) and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson for leading the event.

He reviewed some highlights from the summit. The Mental Health Taskforce created in 2018 will transition into a permanent committee and will convene in January. In February, UNC-CH will be designated a JED campus. The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for the nation’s teens and young adults, giving them skills and support to thrive. The administration designated April 14, the Thursday before Easter, as a wellness day. The Calendar Committee is reviewing the academic calendar for the next two years to determine where two or three wellness days can be included in each semester. The chancellor appreciates any feedback on the Mental Health Summit and on the academic calendar.

Addressing mental health is a campus-wide effort and Chancellor Guskiewicz is grateful for everyone engaging in this issue. Parents of students have been incredibly helpful and important in this process. In mid-October, a parent group gave out food, drinks and hugs to students in McCorkle Place.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said it is pertinent that he receives input from every constituency on campus when it comes to major decisions, such as the provost search. He has met with units that report to the Provost’s Office, the search committee members, deans, the BOT, Faculty Council, the Advisory Committee, the Employee Forum and the Student Advisory Committee to get their input on the search, which will be finalized next week.

The vice provost for enrollment search was completed on December 2; the top candidate will be offered the position next week. Several dean searches are currently underway for the schools of nursing, dentistry, journalism and media, public health, and the College of Arts and Sciences. The goal is to have these deans in place by August 2022.

The campus is ahead of schedule in balancing its budget thanks to the outstanding work of deans, department chairs and center directors across campus.

Professor Mark McNeilly (Business) asked if the social and mental health impact of wearing face masks on campus is being examined. It has been difficult for him to connect with students and for students to connect with each other because masks hide their faces.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said he is unaware of any research being conducted on that front; the public health experts on campus will have more information on this question.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked why the administration decided to cancel all previously approved international travel.

Provost Blouin explained that a System-wide international travel ban is in place with allowances for chancellors and provosts from each university to approve exceptions. The UNC-CH administration decided to cancel all previously approved international travel because of concerns about the unknowns associated with the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Countries are banning travel and the administration does not want faculty, staff or students to be stranded in their international destinations. In 2020, it took great effort to bring members of the campus community back to Chapel Hill after international airports shut down due to travel bans. The administration is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal guidelines on international travel. They are recalibrating their criteria for travel exceptions; it must be for an extraordinary circumstance. If it is impossible for someone to delay their travel, they can submit a request for an exception.

Professor Hannig said since all previously approved international travel was canceled, some people have spent money on travel that cannot be refunded.

Provost Blouin replied that international travel is a risk and anyone who travels has to sign a disclosure to acknowledge and accept those risks.

Professor Allison Schlobohm (Business) asked why the administration could not use the endowment to fund emergent needs such as the mental health crisis and supportive structures for underrepresented groups.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said the majority of the endowment is restricted. Unrestricted funds are often used for scholarships. The administration uses funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and some additional student security fees to support student needs. Recently, alumni and donors provided private funding for additional counselors and psychologists for Counseling and Psychological Services. It is not easy to take money from the endowment, but the administration is addressing these needs through other funding sources.

Provost Blouin said the endowment gifts are usually associated with a specific target, such as a research program or professorship, so there is not much flexibility in spending.

Professor Schlobohm asked if the interest accrued on the endowment is restricted.

Provost Blouin said in most cases the interest goes back to the principal for the original targeted area.

Professor Ronit Freeman (Applied Physical Sciences) said the pandemic has raised difficulties for the international community. There have been extreme delays in approvals of visas, green cards and work authorizations. Personnel, students and postdocs are unable to come to the United States because their embassies are closed. She asked if there is anything the administration can do to mitigate this issue.

Provost Blouin has spoken to Vice Provost for Global Affairs Barbara Stephenson about this issue. When an embassy closes, it is almost impossible for the necessary paperwork to be processed. There is very little the UNC-CH administration can do to mitigate this issue besides advocating through our own embassies. Their main goal is to ensure that when these embassies reopen, they are prepared to submit all necessary paperwork to advance to the next step.

Provost’s remarks

Provost Blouin said the plans for the spring semester are based on the great progress that has been made this fall. The University community’s adherence to community standards, coupled with the support of the Orange County community, has created a nice dynamic within our environment to promote safety on campus. In Orange County, 71% of the population is fully vaccinated and the positivity rate is under two percent. On campus, 95% of faculty and students are vaccinated and 90% of staff are vaccinated. We are fortunate to work in a place with a high level of sensitivity towards the health and wellbeing of the community. The administration is working with infectious disease experts to plan the spring semester, this plan will be announced shortly. The Omicron variant has raised many questions and University leadership will adjust the plan based upon the science that emerges over the next few weeks. Provost Blouin encouraged Faculty Council members to get their COVID-19 booster shots, if they are eligible, and their flu shots.

UNC-CH has been one of the most aggressive universities within the System and amongst peers in terms of supporting international travel throughout this pandemic. The administration does not want to create obstacles to international travel, but we are living in a period of unknowns. Until there is more information available on the Omicron variant, they need to pause new requests for international travel and reassess their current commitments to support international travel over the next three to four weeks. If someone has an extraordinary need to travel, they can submit a request for an exception.

Effect of Board of Trustees delegation resolution on academic personnel

Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Becci Menghini gave a presentation [PDF] on delegated authority on personnel matters that included information on the definition of delegated authority, how the most recent delegated authority decisions impact faculty personnel, the future of work at Carolina and the annual raise process.

The administration is working to get all University employees vaccinated in accordance with President Biden’s Executive Order 14042, which requires “covered employees of federal contractors” to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine. Around 90% of employees have been vaccinated. Employers are required to provide religious and medical exemptions; the administration has received several medical exemption requests and around 370 religious exemptions requests. Employees who file religious exemptions must make sufficient arguments on how their strongly held religious belief intersects with their belief they should not be vaccinated. They are also in the process of reviewing the COVID-19 vaccination forms employees have submitted and contacting people if there are questions about their cards.

Professor Hannig said that during the Faculty Assembly meeting, UNC System President Peter Hans announced that salary bands were being instituted across the entire system. He asked how this would affect UNC-CH and if the salary bands would be shared before they are instituted.

Vice Chancellor Menghini said the SHRA employee base is scheduled to move to the State career banding systems in 18 to 24 months. UNC-CH is one of the few campuses that has delegated authority for EHRA non-faculty salary ranges. The administration hires an external firm that helps identify market ranges. These ranges must be approved by the BOT and the System Office.

The State budget included a one-time bonus for all permanent employees of $1,000 plus an additional $500 for those making less than $75,000 on June 30, 2021. Professor Jennifer Larson (English and Comparative Literature) asked if the bonus was based on base salary or base salary plus supplements.

Vice Chancellor Menghini said the bonus is based on the base salary.

In the chat, Professor Misha Becker (Linguistics) asked where the information on what is needed for a medical exemption is found and where this information should be submitted.

Vice Chancellor Menghini replied that a link to the medical and religious exemption form is available in the COVID-19 Vaccine Certification portal [link]. For medical exemptions, additional forms need to be completed by one’s physician. These forms are given to Environment, Health and Safety and they will never be shared with your supervisor.

Professor Vaughn Upshaw (Public Health Leadership Program) asked if employees are required to upload an updated COVID-19 vaccination card once they receive the booster shot.

Vice Chancellor Menghini said employees do not have to upload an updated COVID-19 vaccination card at this point.

Professor Hannig asked if the University’s ability to set the salary band would change in the future.

Vice Chancellor Menghini said there is some discussion surrounding the System Office setting salary ranges for EHRA non-faculty positions. There is recognition that research campuses have a very different market base than some of the other campuses. The administration has some local authority for faculty salary ranges that go through a more robust approval process. They have no authority to set ranges for SHRA employees.

Professor C. Margaret Scarry (Anthropology) asked for clarification on raises for EHRA non-faculty.

Vice Chancellor Menghini said EHRA faculty and non-faculty employees and SHRA employees would receive the 2.5% raise in January and the bonus in December. The administration is still awaiting guidance for performance-based raises.

Professor Beth Moracco (Health Behavior) asked if raises for grant-funded staff are provided by the grant or State funds.

Vice Chancellor Menghini said the raises for grant-funded staff are expected to come from the primary source of the salary.

Professor Upshaw asked if teaching assistants and graduate research assistants are included in the annual raise.

Vice Chancellor Menghini said since they are not permanent employees who are earning benefits they will not be included in the annual raise process.

University budget update

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations and Chief Financial Officer Nathan Knuffman gave an update on the budget. The presentation [PDF] included information on System funding in the State budget, UNC-CH funding in the State budget, the University budget timeline and key considerations for the fiscal year 2023.

Professor Schlobohm asked about the specific dollar amount available for discretionary spending.

Vice Chancellor Knuffman said, preliminarily, $20-30 million is available in recurring discretionary funding.

Professor Betsy Olson (Geography) asked how support for the new undergraduate curriculum features into the budget.

Vice Chancellor Knuffman said a major part of the budget process is considering the University’s top priorities and investing in them, which includes the curriculum and existing initiatives.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said the administration pushed back the launch of the new curriculum to fall 2023 because of the pandemic and to ensure sufficient financial resources for it. They are committed to working closely with the units that will be delivering the new curriculum.

Professor Hannig asked if there is a plan to update the budget model that would reward initiative and performance.

Chancellor Guskiewicz said a few years ago, the administration considered implementing a Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budgeting model. Vice Chancellor Knuffman and his team are now working on a hybrid version of the RCM model. First, they have to balance the budget to be better informed on how to put the model in place. The model will reward units that have higher enrollment and performance. They are also considering a 12-cell matrix for tuition and appropriation allocations.

Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing) asked if the way centers are funded would change.

Vice Chancellor Knuffman said the administration is in the process of collecting budget requests for campus units. This is an opportunity to consider what resources are available and whether they are allowing centers and units to meet their mission.

Professor Mayer-Davis asked for more information on the hybrid RCM model considering the change in Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A) distribution to units on campus.

Vice Chancellor Knuffman said the goal of the F&A model was to better align the allocation of the resources to where the resources were generated. This plan is being phased in over three years; we are currently in year two. Tuition and appropriation allocations will follow a similar path, but the administration is not as far along in developing that model.

New emergency preparedness resources

Director Darrell Jeter and Emergency Management Coordinator Justin Miller of the Office of Emergency Management and Planning gave a presentation on the emergency preparedness resources at Carolina. The presentation [PDF] included information on their office’s mission, Carolina Ready, the emergency action plan, training, safety guides and the safety application.

Professor Upshaw asked about practice drills and training.

Director Jeter said his office would work directly with any department or unit on training and exercises unique to their space. They have to conduct specialized exercises with units that have a defined responsibility in the campus emergency operations plan.

Ceremonial Resolution

Secretary of the Faculty Jill Moore requested a motion to suspend the rules of procedure to allow the Faculty Council to consider a ceremonial resolution. Professor Meg Zomorodi so moved. The motion to suspend the rules was passed by unanimous consent.

Professor Barbara Entwisle (Sociology) presented Resolution 2021-10. On Appreciation for the Service of Robert A. Blouin, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill [PDF].

Resolution 2021-10 was put before the Council and passed by unanimous consent.

Provost Blouin thanked Professor Entwisle, Chair of the Faculty Mimi Chapman, Secretary of the Faculty Jill Moore and the faculty. He said it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as provost. The campus community has encountered many challenges that we had to face together. Faculty do their best to create an environment where everyone has a chance to reach their full potential as faculty members at UNC-CH. It has been a pleasure for him to work with such an incredibly gifted group of people.

Annual Report of the Faculty Grievance Committee

Professor Beth Posner (Law), the committee co-chair, submitted the annual report of the Faculty Grievance Committee [PDF] by title.

Professor Schlobohm asked if there is a concentrated effort to solicit grievances from the faculty.

Professor Posner replied that the committee does not do outreach. The faculty generally know they can come to the committee to discuss and file a grievance. Some faculty prefer to use other grievance processes. The committee counsels faculty on how to deal with internal grievances.

Professor Chapman said the Faculty Code of University Government details specific grievances that the committee can consider. Multiple outlets exist on campus where faculty can be heard.

Professor Schlobohm said since there are multiple outlets it is hard for some faculty to know where to go with particular issues.

Professor Posner said the Faculty Grievance Committee hears any matter that is related to the faculty member’s employment, except for tenure and termination of employment. They also hear appeals of Equal Opportunity and Compliance decisions. The committee directs faculty to the best outlet for their grievance.

The annual report was accepted by title.


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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