Minutes of the General Faculty and the Faculty Council

September 12, 1997, 3:00 P.M.

Attendance

Present (60): L. Bailey, Bangdiwala, Barefoot, Bluestein, Bose, Brice, Bromberg, Clegg, Collins, Conover, Cordeiro-Stone, Covach, Cravey, Crimmins, J. Dalton, R. Dalton, Eckel, Estroff, Farel, Favorov, Fink, Fletcher, Fox, Gasaway, Gatzy, Haggis, Harrison, Hattem, Hodges, Holmgren, Hooper, Howard, Hyatt, Johnson, Lentz, Loda, Lubker, Margolis, Marshall, Matson, Mauriello, Melchert, Owen, Pagano, Panter, Pfaff, Pielak, Plante, Platin, Raper, Salgado, Schaller, Searles, Skelly, Stabler, Stidham, Tysinger, Vevea, Weiss, M. Williams.

Excused absences (20): B. Anderson, C. Anderson, Carl, Daye, Debreczeny, Foshee, Irene, Jackson, Lachiewicz, Lord, Maffly-Kipp, Mandel, L. McNeil, Mill, Passannante, Shea, Strauss, Tauchen, White, D. Williams.

Unexcused absences (6): Brink, Devellis, Graves, Moreau, Rabinowitz, Rosenman.

Chancellor’s Remarks and Responses to Questions

Hettleman Awards.

Chancellor Hooker announced the four winners of this year’s Hettleman Awards. They are Professors Albert Baldwin (Biology), Laurie Langbauer (English), Thomas Tweed (Religious Studies), and Keith Wailoo (Social Medicine).

Administrative appointments.

Chancellor Hooker began by reporting on recent administrative appointments. Jerome (Jerry) Lucido has been appointed Associate Vice Chancellor and Director, Undergraduate Admissions, effective October 15. He currently holds a similar position at the University of Arizona, Tucson. We are in the final phases of selecting a new dean for the Kenan-Flagler Business School. He hopes to be able to announce this appointment soon. The search for a vice chancellor for administration continues. The primary difficulty in filling this position is the maximum salary that has been established by General Administration.

Overhead receipts.

The chancellor said that he is greatly pleased with the outcome of the 1997 General Assembly as it affects the university. The most significant victory for us is the agreement to end the practice of retaining 10% of overhead receipts for general budget uses, effective for the 1997-98 fiscal year. The amount of money involved is about $5 million. He has made a commitment to the legislative leadership that the revenue gained from this source will be used for laboratory renovations.

Faculty salaries.

The faculty and staff salary increases awarded this year amount to an average of 4%, effective July 1. There are both positive and negative aspects of this outcome. The positive side is the increase could easily have been less. One chamber of the legislature had proposed only 3% and it was feared that the conference would compromise at 3.5%. There was also some concern that the effective date would be pushed back to January. The negative side is that we continue to fall behind in comparison with our peer institutions, especially at the full professor level. We are a little better off at the associate and assistant professor levels, but the gap is widening, not narrowing, because our faculty pay increases continue to be tied to increases granted to state employees generally. We need to uncouple the issues of faculty salaries and salary policy for governmental employees generally. This has already been done with respect to salaries for public school teachers. Attempting to get faculty pay increases considered independently will be one of the chancellor’s highest priorities in the 1998 budget process.

Intellectual Climate Task Force.

The chancellor next turned to the report of the Task Force on Intellectual Climate. “It has the potential,” he said, “to energize us for years to come. If we implement a significant number of the recommendations in their existing form or in some form revised as a result of community discussion, I think we could easily have the very best undergraduate liberal arts education in a research university in this country.” He declined to associate himself specifically with many of the recommendations “because I don’t want to preempt the discussion of the task force report [by the community generally] even though I think some of the recommendations are obvious and should be implemented.”

University Priorities and Budget Committee.

The chancellor reported that during the summer he appointed the University Priorities and Budget Committee on a pilot basis. The committee is charged to recommend overall institutional priorities and to evaluate and recommend funding for academic and administrative uses that will achieve the university’s vision to be the leader among public universities. He pointed out that he has repeatedly emphasized the need to spend more money on technology, and that it is not realistic to expect that adequate funding is going to be provided from outside sources. Instead, we will need to reallocate our own budgets to secure funding for technology needs. It is important to involve faculty in budget reallocation decisions because those decisions determine academic priorities. Creating a mechanism to involve faculty in this kind of decision-making would be very difficult in any university and it has not been easy here, but with the help of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council, he is pleased that a process has been established here and is now moving forward.

Fall Fest.

The chancellor expressed his delight at the success of Fall Fest. This event was planned as an alcohol-free way for students to begin the new academic year. It was held on South Road. Participation far exceeded our wildest hopes. One estimate of the crowd was 7,000. We will definitely continue this in the future and perhaps on other occasions as well. He expressed special thanks to Sue Kitchen (vice chancellor for student affairs), Shirley Hunter (director of orientation) and Don Luce (Carolina Union).

Hundred-county tour.

The chancellor plans to issue a formal report on his tour of the state’s 100 counties, but wanted to highlight a few impressions. He found it a life-changing experience. First, he was especially heartened by how much pride people with no direct association with the university have in this institution. Second, he was impressed with discovering how much we are doing for the state. Before each visit, Nancy Davis (director of community relations) and her staff prepared a briefing book summarizing university contacts with that specific area. This information is really inspiring. Third, perhaps his strongest impression is that there are two North Carolinas: the prosperous Golden Crescent that tracks the interstate highway system from Johnston County to Charlotte, and the rural east and west on either side of that. Rural North Carolina is not enjoying the economic prosperity of the Crescent. Furthermore, even within the prosperous Crescent there are many North Carolinians who fail to find good-paying jobs because they are not prepared with the skills needed. Too many of those jobs are going to in-migrants. It is the chancellor’s view that the only ultimate economic hope for the residents of North Carolina is high quality education from cradle to grave. The existing work force must be continually retrained. Those of us who are intimately involved in the education system, whether that be at the public school level or in higher education, have an awesome responsibility in this regard. He invited the faculty’s partnership as we embrace the challenge of discerning how the university can serve the state in moving more and more of our people into the prosperous segment of our economy.

Faculty benefits.

Professor Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology), chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, remarked that as bad as our competitive stance in faculty salaries is, the situation is probably worse when benefits are computed as part of total compensation. He asked what is being done to improve benefits. The chancellor agreed that our benefits package needs improvement but said that we do not yet have specific suggestions to take to the General Assembly.

Nike contract.

Professor Paul Farel (Physiology) asked the chancellor to comment on the morality of the university’s contract with Nike concerning athletic apparel. Chancellor Hooker began by saying “It is a very complicated situation [in which] there are no clear blacks and whites.” He has toured apparel factories in Malaysia and Thailand and has read reports of Andrew Young’s visit to the factories. It is his conjecture that, because of its exposure, the factories of Nike and its subcontractors are probably better in terms of working conditions than most apparel factories in those countries. He has also observed that there is a very great demand for jobs in those factories because wages there are significantly better than what can be obtained in other kinds of jobs. He has also toured maquiladoras in northern Mexico, has seen some of the villages in southern Mexico from which many of the workers have migrated, and has spent a fair amount of time studying the sociology of workers moving back and forth between work and home in those areas. From one point of view, the workers are blessed to have this outsourcing of jobs from what might otherwise have been apparel factories in North Carolina. The wages are so much better than anything else available. On the other hand, the working conditions are appalling to you and me. But relative to what else is available they would be considered good, and so workers are clamoring for the jobs. It would be sad indeed if the apparel manufacturers pulled out of those economies. This is part of the development cycle of economies that we saw in post-war Taiwan and Japan. Wage rates in those countries eventually went up. Now, in Taiwan, wage rates exceed those in the United States on the average. “That having been said,” he continued, “it bothers me that workers in those factories [experience] working conditions that are much worse than they would face in U.S. factories.”

It strikes him as odd, the chancellor said, that Nike has received so much attention when, because of its visibility, that company has better working conditions for its laborers than other apparel manufacturers. It also bothers him when people who express great concern about the Nike contract have closets full of clothes manufactured in southeast Asia under working conditions of which they have no idea. He has seen those conditions first hand and they are “pretty bad.” This is, however, a fact of the international economy and he has personally come to terms with the moral and ethical aspects of supporting factories in southeast Asia.

The chancellor then turned to the suggestion that the university should not be selling its good name. He has trouble understanding that objection to the Nike contract. We control any use that Nike makes of our name. What Nike is doing, fundamentally, is paying us for wearing its apparel. To those who object that we are turning our players into human billboards, he would say that the Nike “swoosh” would be on the uniforms whether we were paying for them or were being paid to wear them. The size and number of logos (one per item) is determined by NCAA regulations. Universities that have to buy their own uniforms are displaying the same logo. “So we’re not in that sense turning our players into human billboards.” The chancellor concluded by saying that although he has trouble understanding the argument, “because so many people react emotionally to it I’m convinced that there’s something there that I don’t understand that needs to be addressed.”

University ties to corporate sponsors.

Professor Leon Fink (History) asked the chancellor to comment on the procedures by which the university agrees to ties with corporate products. He mentioned as an example a news article about the dedication of the new McColl Building (Kenan-Flagler Business School) that referred to students working on launching a new product for Johnson & Johnson. Chancellor Hooker distinguished the business school arrangement to which Prof. Fink referred from the Nike contract. Any arrangement like the Nike contract must be approved by the board of trustees. The Johnson & Johnson tie-in, on the other hand, is part of the training of business school students and is done with other companies as well. There is no endorsement of the products involved. Another example is conducting drug tests in our hospital, for which we are paid. The drug company and its informational brochures will identify the test site, but that is not an implied endorsement of the drug by the university. The chancellor said that he does not think it is improper, per se, for a nonprofit organization to endorse a commercial product and to be paid for that endorsement if the organization truly believes the product to be superior. It would be improper to do that for pay if there was reason to think the product was inferior; that would signal a lack of institutional integrity.

The chancellor observed that the broad issue of commercial endorsements is a complex one on which he invites the faculty’s advice. As an example, he asked whether it would be proper for the university to permit passive advertising on our Internet sites by a company such as McGraw Hill. Would we put the McGraw Hill logo on the site and invite users to click on it to obtain the company’s list of books in print? Similarly, is there anything wrong with including advertisements for local restaurants in a Playmakers playbill? No one is disturbed by the latter practice because it is of long standing and is part of the culture. He concluded by observing “these are not easy issues to tease out the moral implications of and certainly not easy issues to make decisions regarding.” He invited advice.

The Ram Road.

Professor Lewis Margolis (Maternal & Child Health) asked “how the building of the Ram Road advances the mission of the university.” The chancellor responded that he does not really understand how the Ram Road came about. When it went through the board of trustees, no one focused closely on it because it seemed unlikely that it would be accomplished quickly, if at all. It was initially presented to him as a project to pave a gravel road that connects the back of the Ram parking lot to Manning Drive. It seemed innocuous at the time and he did not really focus on it. But when it left the board of trustees and went to the state Department of Transportation “it somehow grew much larger.” At that point it became a DOT project and we lost control of it.

Remarks by Chair of the Board of Trustees

Professor Andrews introduced Mr. Richard Y. Stevens, newly elected chair of the board of trustees.

Mr. Stevens began by expressing his view that the board of trustees needs to gain a wider and more balanced knowledge of the university than has sometimes been the case. He hopes to change that and will begin by focusing each board meeting on a distinct aspect of the university and holding the meeting at a site symbolic of that focus. The October board meeting will be held in the Student Union and will focus on student issues. The November meeting will concentrate on faculty issues and will take place in the Wilson Library Assembly Room. He has asked Prof. Andrews to help plan the agenda for that meeting. A subsequent meeting will focus on the university staff and another on alumni. He expressed the hope that the town or county government would ask the board to meet at the courthouse or town hall to talk about town/gown issues.

Mr. Stevens mentioned eight major areas in which he hopes the board will focus its efforts in 1997-98. The are listed without implying any order of priority.

Physical Plant.

Mr. Stevens hopes that the board will work to improve planning for the long-range physical development of the campus, including parking and transit.

Advocacy.

The board should work to improve representation of the university’s interests to the General Assembly and the Board of Governors. Our alumni no longer dominate either the legislature or the Board of Governors. In particular, the board of trustees has a duty to make sure that the Board of Governors understands that working for the long-range benefit of the flagship campus is in the best interests of the entire system.

Tuition.

The General Assembly has mandated a comprehensive study of graduate and professional school tuition

Technology.

The board is delighted at the initiatives Chancellor Hooker has taken in this regard and has asked for progress reports at each board meeting. Mr. Stevens endorsed Provost Richardson’s remark that although attention to technology is critically important for the future, the product that goes into it is more important. It is essential that the university’s academic excellence be maintained and improvement of faculty salaries and benefits is a part of that task.

Advising.

The board is aware of the study of academic advising now going on and endorses that effort.

Substance Abuse.

The board will continue to monitor implementation of recommendations of the Substance Abuse Task Force.

Budget.

Mr. Stevens suggested that the board of trustees needs to be more actively involved in the development and administration of the university’s budget but in a strictly advisory role. It is not the board’s intent to interfere in the chancellor’s administration of the university.

Endowment Funds.

Mr. Stevens hopes to improve administration of the university’s endowment funds.

Remarks by the President of the Student Body

Professor Andrews introduced Mr. Mohan (Mo) Nathan, President of the Study Body.

Mr. Nathan said that he had gone to the dedication of the McColl Building and, although it is an amazing building, buildings are not what make the university run. Our most critical resources are people. We are a community of learners. He hopes to foster a cooperative partnership between students and faculty. As examples, he mentioned the weekly meetings that he has with Prof. Andrews and a recent joint meeting of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council and the Executive Branch of Student Government to discuss the report of the Task Force on Intellectual Climate. He said that students are committed to seeing that the report’s recommendations are implemented and he hopes the faculty will do so as well.

Mr. Nathan then spoke of student needs. “First,” he said, “we need you. Faculty members are very, very important to our experience here. Faculty are our experience in many ways. We are here to learn from you and from your example.” In talks with Katherine Kraft, president of the Graduate and Professional Students Association, he has learned that graduate students need the support of the faculty. “They need to be made to feel that they are an integral part of what goes on here, because they really are.” Undergraduate students need more direction. “We’re confused, quite frankly” by the bewildering pace of change in the economy, technology, and the array of opportunities that students face today. As the university becomes more technically advanced, larger, and more specialized, the importance of faculty-student interaction will become greater. Many students have chosen different paths in life because of the influence of a faculty member and, ultimately, that’s part of the university’s job. Distance learning is important, but we would be losing something in that. The key kernel is that personal interaction that can really change student’s lives.

Remarks of the Chair of the Faculty

Professor Richard N. Andrews addressed the faculty on the occasion of his first meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council as chair of the faculty. He expressed his resolve to attempt to continue the high standards of service set by his predecessors and urged members of the faculty to contact him about issues or opportunities that should be addressed by the faculty.

Prof. Andrews thanked Chancellor Hooker for his intensive efforts on behalf of the faculty over the past two years. He mentioned in particular significant increases in support from the General Assembly, the chancellor’s visits to all 100 North Carolina counties, the recruitment of a series of exceptionally talented deans and other senior administrators, and the chancellor’s strong commitment to the role of the faculty in guiding the university’s priorities as evidenced by creation of the University Priorities and Budget Committee, his regular consultations with the Faculty Council and its Executive Committee, and his creation and active support of the Task Force on Intellectual Climate. He asked that the faculty join with him in thanking the chancellor. The assembly did so with a hearty round of applause.

Prof. Andrews said that his agenda as chair of the faculty is “first and foremost to maintain the highest values of this faculty, which have made this university the special place it is: our commitments to excellence in teaching and research, to diversity in our faculty and student body, to public service, and to integrity and community in our relationships with one another.” He then identified a number of important issues and opportunities to come before the faculty in this academic year:

  • Discussion and implementation of the report of the Task Force on Intellectual Climate, which will be the principal agenda item for the October Faculty Council meeting;
  • Broad discussion of the role of the faculty in shaping the university’s directions and priorities;
  • Consideration of our role as a statewide university;
  • Instructional technology;
  • Post-tenure review;
  • How to increase the diversity of the faculty and student body in a time of challenge to affirmative action programs; and
  • How to welcome new faculty members more actively into the university community.

At the suggestion of Prof. Andrews, it was agreed that each member of the Faculty Council will arrange to have lunch, on a “dutch treat” basis, with two new members of the faculty and one other colleague. This idea is the result of conversations he had with new faculty members on the recent bus tour. It was suggested to him that there are too few opportunities for new faculty members to become acquainted with colleagues outside their own departments.

Faculty Council Procedures and Expectations

Professor Joseph S. Ferrell, secretary of the faculty, briefed Council members on a few points of procedure and expectation:

  • Members are asked to check in upon arrival, to wear name tags, to identify themselves when speaking, and to request an excused absence when unable to attend.
  • There are separate rules of procedure for the General Faculty and the Faculty Council; they are printed at the end of the Faculty Code.
  • A quorum of the General Faculty is defined as 125 members, but a quorum is presumed unless someone enters a quorum call.
  • “Due notice” is required for any matter that requires a vote of the Council. This means that the matter must be identified on the agenda and the resolution or other document on which the vote is taken must be distributed in advance.
  • The Council operates in three modes: information, discussion, and action. Rules of procedure are important in the action mode, less so in the other modes.
  • The Office of Faculty Governance is setting up email list serves for the Council and all faculty committees. The Office plans to move rapidly toward distributing information to the Council and General Faculty via the Faculty Governance web page.

Professor Andrews introduced the staff of the Office of Faculty Governance, Rosemary Munsat and David Thompson.

Phased Retirement Policy

Professor William Smith, special assistant to the provost, led a discussion of the draft policy on phased retirement. Professor Smith made the following points about the draft:

  • The draft document responds to Administrative Memorandum #370 from General Administration. This directive requires each campus to develop a phased retirement policy that conforms to specified guidelines. It is expected that this campus’ policy will be in place no later than February 1998.
  • The policy can in no way compel any member of the faculty to retire. Although the policy speaks of “phased retirement,” it is perhaps more properly a post-retirement employment opportunity. It gives to each faculty member who takes full retirement the right to continue employment on a half-time basis for as long as three years.
  • The new policy will in no way curtail or interfere with existing arrangements whereby faculty members retire and negotiate re-employment under conditions mutually agreeable to the faculty member and the department. For example, it would still be possible for a faculty member to retire and contract for continued employment for up to five years. A contract term of longer than three years, however, would be a matter for negotiation; the retired faculty member would not have a right to a longer term.
  • The policy will apply only to faculty members having permanent tenure and will apply only with respect to one’s faculty appointment. A faculty member holding a full-time administrative appointment must resign from the administrative appointment in order to enter the phased retirement program.
  • The portions of the policy that limit the number of faculty members who may participate in the program at any given time are there to protect the institution from adverse consequences should unusually large numbers of faculty wish to participate in the early years of the program.

Professor Smith summarized some data that forecast the possible impact of the phased retirement program on the university’s academic program. About 600 tenured faculty are now eligible out of a total of 1,700. Although the phased retirement plan will not be an attractive option for most of them, the large number of those eligible is a cause for some concern. The pool of those eligible will also grow for the next several years. In 1980 6.2% of the tenured faculty were over the age of 60. Today, 11.8% are in that category. This is the result of two factors: there is no longer a mandatory retirement age, and the size of the faculty grew rapidly between 1965 and 1975. For the next several years, about 40 faculty members will become eligible to retire annually; that number will grow to about 60 per year by 2010. Although it is difficult to predict how many faculty will want to participate in the phased retirement program, Professor Smith’s best estimate at this time is that somewhere between 150 and 180 faculty will be in the program in any given year. An analysis of salary funds freed up due to retirement indicates that only about 80% of the total number of positions vacated by retirement could be filled with new hires if the retirees chose to participate in the phased retirement program. Thus, one effect of the program could be a net loss of at least 40 tenure-track full-time faculty members. It is also important to note that the faculty are not evenly distributed by age across all appointing units. Some units could be hit hard by a large number of faculty entering the phased retirement program in the initial years.

Interim Reports

Professor Elizabeth Gibson reported on behalf of the Committee on University Government about the committee’s progress in working on Resolution 97-13 which was referred to the committee in April. The resolution would petition the board of trustees to amend the tenure regulations with respect to the procedure to be followed when the chancellor declines to accept the recommendations of the Hearings Committee in a discharge proceeding. Professor Gibson said that the Committee on University Government is making good progress in this matter and expects to be able to report to the Council as early as October if desired, but certainly by November.

There was no report from the Educational Policy Committee as indicated on the agenda. Professor Passannante, chair of the committee, had expected to attend but was unavoidably detained.

New Business

There was no new business. Whereupon, the agenda having been completed, the General Faculty and Faculty Council adjourned.

 

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

 

Pdf of meeting materials

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