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Meeting of the General Faculty and the Faculty Council

January 15, 1999, 3:00 p.m.

Redbud Room, Friday Continuing Education Center

Chancellor Michael Hooker and Professor Richard N. Andrews will preside.


INFO DISC 3:00 Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

Chancellor Hooker invites questions and comments on any topic.

INFO 3:20 Welcome to the Friday Center Norman Loewenthal, Senior Associate Director, Friday Center

INFO 3:25 Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks Richard N. Andrews

INFO 3:40 Call for Nominations for the Spring Faculty Elections Joseph S. Ferrell

ACT 3:45 Proposed Amendments to the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance

  • Beverly Foster, Chair, Committee on Student Conduct

DISC 3:50 Development and Uses of the Horace Williams Tract Jonathan Howes, Office of Development, and James Ramsey, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration

INFO 4:10 COEUS Electronic Research Administration System Robert Lowman, Director of Research Services

INFO 4:25 Annual Report of the Advisory Committee Gilbert C. White, Chair

INFO 4:30 Annual Report of the Committee on the Status of Women Abigail Panter, Chair

ACT 4:40 Second Reading of Amendments to the Faculty Code of University Government

  • Res. 98-18. To Establish the University Committee on Copyright. Adopted on first reading 12/11/98.
  • Res. 98-19. To Establish the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee. Adopted on first reading 12/11/98.
  • Res. 98-20. Concerning Nominations, Elections, and Filling Vacancies. Adopted on first reading 12/11/98.
  • Res. 98-21. To Establish the Division of the School of Information and Library Science for Purposes of Faculty Council Elections. Adopted on first reading as amended 12/11/98.

ACT 4:45 Adjourn

INFO 4:45 Tour of the Friday Center


Joseph S. Ferrell

Secretary of the Faculty


ACT = Action

INFO = Information

DISC = Discussion



Present (61): Adler, Angel, Assani, Bender, Blackburn, Bluestein, Bowen, Clegg, Collins, Cordeiro-Stone, Covach, Cravey, Dalton, Daye, Devellis, Eckel, Elvers, Estroff, Favorov, Fishman, Fox, Gasaway, Grossberg, Holmgren, Hooper, Huang, Hyatt, Johnson, Kaufman, Kjervik, LeFebvre, Lentz, Levine, Lord, Lubker, Ludlow, Madison, Maffly-Kipp, Margolis, McKeown, Mill, Molina, Moreau, Nord, Owen, Pagano, Panter, Passannante, Plante, Raper, Rosenfeld, Schaller, Sekerak, Shea, Steponaitis, Straughan, Strauss, Tysinger, Vevea, Weiss, Werner.

Excused absences (18): Bandiwala, Black, Bolas, Carl, Debreczeny, Foshee, Graves, Harrison, Hattem, Jackson, Marshall, Newton, Pfaff, Platin, Postema, Raab-Traub, Thorp, White.

Unexcused absences (7): Graham, Haskill, Meehan-Black, Melchert, Taft, Wells, Williams.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Chancellor Hooker noted that today is the 203rd anniversary of the opening of the University on January 15, 1795. He then turned to the University’s prospects in the upcoming legislative session. The outlook is not promising. The General Assembly is facing a major revenue shortfall due to many factors. He does not think the possibility of a state lottery offers much hope in the near future. There is no assurance that the voters will approve a lottery if one is proposed, and even if it were approved, no money is likely to flow from that source in this fiscal year.

The chancellor praised Prof. James Peacock’s address at the December commencement ceremonies. Prof. Peacock called on the University to aspire to international prominence in the twenty-first century as it had aspired to regional prominence in the first half of this century and national prominence in the second half. He also complimented the work of Prof. Mark Taylor of Williams College, who is visiting here this year in the Department of Communication Studies.

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks

Prof. Andrews said that we are on the brink of two major agenda-setting processes that will affect the University’s future: a development campaign slated to begin next year; and the 1999 General Assembly, which begins its biennial session this month. Last year the faculty worked hard to persuade the legislature to provide more support for our graduate students. The results of that effort have now been finalized and we have been allotted the full amount we hoped for. This is an excellent example of the extent to which the General Assembly is open to learning from the faculty what is important about a research university and what is needed to make it great. Now we have an opportunity to make the case for other needs. There are a number of areas in which we can excel if given adequate resources. Among these are environmental studies, the enriching and uplifting of K-12 education through Carolina Learn and other programs, genomic research, and materials science. At the same time we will be facing challenges such as enrollment growth, an upcoming wave of faculty retirements as those hired in the high-growth years of the 1960s reach retirement age, and increasingly inadequate physical facilities. It is apparent that we must persuade our legislators that in order for the University to be all that it can and should, it must have facilities adequate in both quantity and quality. The university must also provide adequate support for faculty members to do the combination of research and research-based teaching that is the essence of a major research university. This entails addressing startup costs associated with hiring a new faculty member such as space renovation and resources needed to compete for funding in an increasingly competitive environment. We have limited ability to meet some of these expenses from overhead receipts, and it is vitally important that we make the case to the General Assembly that state funding of some portion of these costs is essential. In response to a question from Prof. Janet Mason, Prof. Andrews said that one means of conveying information to the General Assembly is through the Legislative Liaison Group. This is an informal working group of faculty members who have expressed a willingness to pursue appropriate means of getting our message out to members of the legislature.

Faculty Elections

Prof. Joseph Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty, explained the procedures that are employed to generate nominees for election to the Faculty Council and the elective committees of the General Faculty. Nominees are chosen by the Nominating Committee which is composed of members retiring from the elective committees plus up to three members appointed by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council. In addition, anyone may be nominated by petition signed by ten members of the voting faculty.

Amendments to the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance

Prof. Robert Adler presented a proposal to amend Section II.D.1.a. of the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance on behalf of Prof. Beverly Taylor, chair of the Committee on Student Conduct, who was unable to attend. This section of the Instrument now provides that suspension is the normal sanction for an initial offense of academic cheating in the absence of “unusual” circumstances. Prof. Adler said that the Honor Court has found it difficult to interpret the word “unusual” since the reasons most often offered by students pleading for a lesser sanction are not really unusual but do tend to demonstrate mitigating circumstances. Having wrestled with the problem for over two years, the Committee on Student Conduct recommends that the Instrument be revised to provide that suspension is the normal sanction unless the court determines that “strongly mitigating circumstances justify a lesser sanction or strongly aggravating circumstances justify a more severe sanction.” The second amendment recommended by the committee adds a new sentence to make explicit an understanding that has been applied in practice for many years: that when a student is convicted of academic cheating a failing grade in the course will be imposed unless the court recommends otherwise and the instructor agrees. Prof. Charles Daye (Law School) pointed out that the draft amendment as presented spoke in terms of the letter grading system in use in the College of Arts and Sciences whereas the Law School, and perhaps other professional schools as well, uses a numerical grading system. He asked if the draft might be amended to take this into account. Prof. Adler agreed that simply deleting the phrase “to assign a grade other than ‘F'” would cure the problem. That amendment was approved, whereupon the Council approved revised Section II.D.1.a., as amended.

Development and Uses of the Horace Williams Tract

Prof. Jonathan Howes, speaking as co-chair of a Planning Advisory Committee appointed by the chancellor, introduced a discussion of the potential uses of the undeveloped portions of the Horace Williams Tract. He placed the matter in the context of a number of planning efforts now underway in the University and the larger community. The University is now planning for a significant enrollment increase, we are developing a new campus master plan, we are in the initial stages of planning for a billion-dollar capital campaign, and we are at work on planning a new science complex. At the same time, the Town of Chapel Hill is revising its own comprehensive plan, Orange County is working on a visioning process for the county, the Orange Water and Sewer Authority is doing a strategic plan for water and waste water resources, and the Triangle Transit Authority is planning for a rail system for the region. We have a generalized land use plan for developing the Horace Williams Tract that was prepared by a faculty advisory committee with assistance from Johnson Johnson & Roy, planning consultants, several years ago. Prof. Tom Clegg headed that committee. We are now moving into the implementation phase where we take this generalized plan and convert it into a program for activity. It is at this critical phase that the Planning Advisory Committee is seeking input from the faculty and other members of the University community. The committee has visited the Centennial Campus at North Carolina State University and is beginning to look at other research parks and related ventures that are being undertaken around the country. Prof. Howes said that the memorandum prepared by Prof. Andrews is a good starting point for discussion. The memorandum raised three questions: (1) what university functions might usefully be located on the Horace Williams Tract, (2) what non-university functions might be located there, and (3) what additional considerations should weigh strongly in decisions about the use of this land.

Prof. Tom Clegg (Physics & Astronomy) spoke of the work of the committee that prepared plans for the Mason Farm Tract and the Horace Williams Tract in 1994-95. That committee came to the firm conclusion that the central campus should be preserved for the core missions of undergraduate and graduate instruction. The committee looked closely at the experience of Duke and N.C. State with widely separated campuses. Colleagues on those campuses cautioned us not to create a transportation problem for faculty and students. Distance creates inefficiencies that are very difficult to overcome. Prof. Rachel Willis (American Studies) stressed the importance of developing rail transit to and from the tract. The committee also heard strong representations from the University community about how important proximity of physical location is to the interdisciplinary interactions we are trying to foster. Bearing in mind that both the Mason Farm and Horace Williams tracts are much closer to the I-40 corridor than central campus, these considerations suggest that both tracts offer opportunities for extended university outreach both to the local community and the state at large.

Prof. John Covach (Music) did not favor locating academic units away from central campus. He spent eight years at the University of Michigan School of Music which is located on a satellite campus. He regretted the isolation from the mainstream of university life. He finds the compactness of the Carolina campus to be one of its most desirable features.

In response to a question about the feasibility of using the property for student or faculty housing, Prof. Clegg pointed out that the portion of the tract closest to Carrboro west of the Bolin Creek greenway was identified in the 1994-95 plan as appropriate for that use.

Speaking to the possibility of developing the property as a research park in cooperation with private industry, Prof. Adler cautioned that universities are not very good at picking winners and losers in the business world of the future. He thought that the property should be put to uses that bolster the university’s academic mission.

Prof. Ronald Strauss (Dental Ecology) expressed misgivings about the concept of developing the property in ways that are not directly related to the university’s educational mission. He said that the fact that the property is currently largely undeveloped is not a good reason for seek ways to develop it. He thought we should be asking how this property could best be used to move the university towards its principal goals.

Prof. Barry Lentz (Biochemistry) thought that “thinking and teaching” should remain on the main campus while “sleeping and recreation” might be more appropriate for outlying tracts. Barbara Tysinger (Health Sciences Library) disagreed. She said that the university experience is much more enriching if all aspects of one’s life are intermingled.

Annual Reports of Standing Committees

The annual reports of the Advisory Committee and the Committee on the Status of Women were received without comment.

COEUS Electronic Research Administration System

Prof. Robert Lowman, Director of Research Services, briefed the Council on a new automated system now being implemented that will revolutionize the way faculty write grant proposals, submit those proposals, and administer awards when they are received. The system, named COEUS, was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We have purchased it from MIT and are modifying it for use at Carolina. The system will be implemented on a pilot basis in one or more departments in the summer of 1999.

Amendments to the Faculty Code of University Government

Prof. Andrews moved approval on second reading of Resolution 98-18 concerning establishment of the Copyright Committee, Resolution 98-19 concerning establishment of the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee, Resolution 98-20 concerning nominations, elections and filling vacancies, and Resolution 98-21 establishing a separate voting division for the School of Information and Library Science. Each resolution was separately adopted on second and final reading.


There being no further business, the Council adjourned.

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty


Pdf of meeting materials

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