Meeting of the Faculty Council

March 23rd, 2001 at 3:00 p.m.

The Pleasants Family Assembly Room in Wilson

Chancellor James Moeser and Professor Sue Estroff, Chair of the Faculty, will preside.

Agenda

3:00 Call to Order by the Chancellor.

DISC 3:00 Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Time.

  • Chancellor James Moeser invites questions or comments on any topic.

DISC 3:20 Remarks by the Chair of the Faculty. Professor Sue Estroff.

INFO 3:35 Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council.

INFO 3:50 Annual Report of the Administrative Board of the Library.

INFO 4:00 Annual Report of the Educational Policy Committee.

ACT 4:15 Resolution 2001-2 Calling for Funding of the

  • New Survey for the Student Evaluation of Teaching.

INFO 4:20 Remarks by GPSF President-Elect Mikisha Brown.

DISC 4:30 Discussion of Unionization, Living Wage & Other Graduate Student Issues.

DISC 4:45 Topics Raised by Council Members.

ACT 5:00 Adjourn.

 

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

 

KEY:
ACT = Action
DISC = Discussion
INFO = Information

Minutes

Attendance

Present (55): Allison, Ammerman, Angel, Bender, Bollen, Bowen, Boxill, Bromberg, Carelli, Chenault, Clegg, Cordeiro-Stone, Cotton, Crawford-Brown, Daye, D’Cruz, Drake, Elvers, Fishman, Gilland, Glazner, Granger, Grossberg, Henry, Janda, Kagarise, Kaufman, Kjervik, Kopp, Levine, Lubker, Ludlow, Madison, McCormick, McKeown, Metzguer, Meyer, A. Molina, Moran, Nord, Panter, Pfaff, Raasch, Reinert, Slatt, Steponaitis, Stewart, Strauss, Sueta, Taft, Tauchen, Vaughn, Walsh, Weiss, White.

Excused absences (27): Adler, Bell, Blackburn, Bolas, Bynum, De La Cadena, Files, Fowler, George, Huang, Kessler, Ketch, Kupper, LeFebvre, Meece, Meehan-Black, P. Molina, Nelson, Otey, Raab-Traub, Rao, Rosenfeld, Savitz, Sekerak, Straughan, Werner, Williams.

Unexcused absences (3): Assani, Graham, McQueen.

Chancellor Moeser called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Chancellor Moeser announced that fiscal 2000-01 funding at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for contracts and grants awarded for research, teaching, and public service topped the $375 million mark, a 9% increase over fiscal 1999-2000. Critical for this achievement was a surge in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We rank 13th in the top 20 institutions nationally in NIH funding, which increased by more than 20% — from $171.3 million in 1999-2000 to $207 million this year. All of the health affairs schools are in the top 25 in the NIH funding and the College of Arts and Sciences also received a significant amount from this source. The chancellor said these research dollars were coming at a time when there was much competition for NIH funds, and the need is critical. The $245 million committed to genome sciences will make the University a leader in this field, and will leverage increasingly larger amounts of federal support. He commended the success of the faculty in attracting research dollars, and what is being done with the funding to improve the human condition in North Carolina and beyond. He thanked the faculty and commended the leadership of Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Graduate School Linda Dykstra.

Chancellor Moeser continued his remarks and reported:

  • He recently visited Monterey Technical University in Monterey, Mexico with several of the academic deans. He said there are tremendous potentials for collaboration. The School of Public Health and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication have programs already underway. The chancellor said he gave an address that was seen in fifteen sites in Mexico, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Chapel Hill. Monterey Tech is among the most advanced technological institutes in the western hemisphere. He thanked Dean Sullivan for making this trip possible.
  • At a Board of Trustees meeting yesterday, the Master Plan for UNC-CH was unanimously approved. He said this plan was a 50-year vision for the future of the Chapel Hill campus. The first phase of the Science Complex was approved as was, the development of the Arts Corridor, and the Ram’s Head Parking Deck. The latter project will have green space on the top.
  • He noted that March is Women’s History Month and two programs are planned, recognizing the importance of women on this campus.

Professor Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology) asked how the chancellor saw the interaction of the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and Orange County to the expansion plans of the University. He said the expansion would clearly impact the surrounding towns.

Chancellor Moeser said the University was in conversation with the towns, especially the Town of Chapel Hill, and said the Board of Trustees feels that the renovations and construction will not only benefit the University, but the surrounding towns as well, especially the Arts Corridor. Consultant Adam Gross had remarked that in all his experiences with universities, he had never seen such interaction between a university and its neighbors and local government in addressing their concerns as he had seen in Chapel Hill. The Plan has been adjusted several times to address these concerns. The chancellor said there were no plans to expand anywhere beyond the existing campus, with the exception of seven properties on the southern perimeter. He said it was in the interest of the University to see the surrounding neighborhoods preserved and kept beautiful.

Chancellor Moeser said the University would play a responsible role for the growth, especially in issues affecting the public schools. He mentioned the possibility that certain University-owned property on Franklin Street might be sold and returned to the private sector, thereby enhancing the local tax base. That property could be placed in commercial use or perhaps in affordable housing which will also be addressed in the development of the Horace Williams property. The chancellor said that in return, the University is requesting relief from the excessive regulations that the Town imposes on the campus. Under the present regulations the University will be unable to undertake the renovations and new construction funded by the recent bond issue. He pointed out that although the capital improvements plan calls for doubling floor space, the faculty and staff will not be doubling; many of the projects simply enable units to carry out existing programs in adequate quarters. He is asking the Town for changes that will eliminate the need for lengthy, extensive, and costly reviews of every single project. He is also seeking an amendment to the special use permit that allowed construction of the Smith Center to enable relocation of married student housing to a site not currently approved for that kind of development. The chancellor said that he and Mayor Rosemary Waldorf have a very cordial relationship, as do Town Manager Cal Horton and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield, all of whom meet on a regular basis. The Town/Gown Committee meets on a regular basis and all the meetings are open. The chancellor said he was optimistic that the complicated and complex issues could be resolved to the satisfaction of both the Town and the University.

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks

Chair Sue Estroff said the University is experiencing growing pains and pleasures. The University has outgrown its buildings and transportation and parking system, and is faced with new designs for the future. She feels that there is a subtle and gentle discomfort, which will last for some time, but which is ameliorated by the promise of long-term progress. She congratulated the faculty on their internal funds of moral and intellectual spirit, and the response to requests for help during the difficult times. She thanked the chancellor for arranging for her to speak to the Board of Trustees on behalf of the faculty. She reported that she had raised with the Board of Trustees at its March meeting the problems of parking, health insurance, and the University calendar:

On other matters, Professor Estroff

  • Thanked the staff in Human Resources for their participation in the Health Insurance survey. The raw data is being evaluated and will be discussed at a later time.
  • Proposed to the Board of Trustees that the University be self-insuring for employee health insurance, and work with other organizations to form a Preferred Provider Organization
  • Reported on the recommendations of the Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee for (1) increased remote-site parking, (2) increased shuttle service to the remote-site parking, (3) increases in various sources of revenues to help fund campus improvements, (4) transit to park and ride lots until 8:00 p.m., and (5) fare-free transit

In response to Professor Estroff’s request for reactions to the TPAC recommendations, Professor Timothy McKeown (Political Science) said he would prefer a higher level of service with low fares, rather than a lower level of service and no fares.

Annual Report of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council

Professor Bachenheimer asked for comment on whether the two committees, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, functioned independently with the chancellor, or if they overlapped. Professor Estroff agreed that there has been overlap and some ambiguity with respect to the roles of the two committees, but the Advisory Committee’s principal work continues to be advice with respect to faculty personnel decisions.

Annual Report of the Administrative Board of the Library

Professor John Hammond (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), Chair, presented the report:

  • Ranking: Last year’s rankings from the Association of Research Libraries showed a decline from 17th to 18th place among the 111 member libraries. (1998/99 data) This drop on the index could be problematic if it continues. Reductions in the materials budget would have a negative impact on UNC-CH’s standings and on the Library’s ability to support students, scholars, and researchers who rely on its historically strong collections.
  • Materials Budget: Over the past five years, the Library has been able to acquire between 63,000-73,000 volumes. The State continues its appropriations with an increase of 5.6% for this year based on tuition growth. This is a permanent increase. The Library is relying on one-time funding of $718,217 from a variety of sources in order to maintain the accession rate of volumes, allowing the Library to acquire serials and monographs to meet the highest priority teaching and research needs. The Library needs a reliable source of money in which inflation is taken into consideration.
  • The Library is undergoing a significant amount of change because of the Higher Education Bond Referendum, which is allowing resumption of the House Undergraduate Library renovation. The Davis Library has taken on the House      Library’s normal 24-hour operating schedule for the duration of the renovation period.
  • Development: The Library received more than $3.3 million in gifts this year, the second-highest year ever. Planning is in place for a $35 million goal in the upcoming capital campaign. The Friends of the Library, with 2,000 members, remains an active and high-valued resource.
  • Improvement in the campus network continues with the rewiring of a number of the buildings.
  • The Library and the Library Administrative Board, along with many others, continue to monitor campus planning proposals with great interest. During the year, it was decided that plans for the renovation of the Health Sciences Library, included in the bond package, would go forward as planned.
  • The budget for special acquisitions is severely limited. This year the Library was able to fund only 10% of the requested acquisitions.
  • Salaries for libraries continue to lag behind peer institutions. Our median salary in 1999/00 placed us 85th in the nation. Increased salary funding in 2000-01 brought us up to 74th.

Prompted by Professor Hammond’s remark that funding for special acquisitions came from overhead funds, Professor Philip Bromberg (Medicine) asked if the NIH overhead rate was renegotiated periodically every few years. Provost Robert Shelton said libraries typically account for from 1% to 2.5% of the rate. Federal agencies are under instructions to drive a hard bargain in negotiating changes. As a result, there is a compromise between the government agency rate and what the faculty feels is necessary to remain competitive.

Professor Hammond remarked that what has been built into the overhead rate for library services is not necessary what is actually made available to the Library System. He asked the Provost if the Library could expect to receive the full amount of funding that it generates from this source. The Provost replied that the amount made available to the Library would approximate but not necessarily equal the amount generated.

Professor Bachenheimer said that some states take a large percent of the overhead money back because they argue that the state is already covering some of the expenses for which reimbursement is being received. He felt it would not be in the interest of the University to argue over percentages. He said there are new requests for journals, and the faculty needs to request that the library system supports its academic work.

Professor Bromberg agreed that it is important to have online access to journals published electronically.

Professor Joe Hewitt (Academic Affairs Library) said the Academic Affairs Library has a fixed annual allocation of about $300,000 to meet the continuing obligations for serials and journals. The variable allocations from overhead did not help as much. He said that the journal Nature was being boycotted by many institutions because of its outrageous cost.

Professor Hammond said if research enterprises increases, the dollars of funding do not increase to support the requirements of these research enterprises.

Professor Richard Pfaff (History) pointed out that it is often essential to the scholarly career of young faculty members that the Library have resources to acquire materials, such as foreign-language newspapers or special collections, needed in particularly scholarly fields. He urged that increased funding for special acquisitions be given high priority.

Annual Report of the Educational Policy Committee

Professor Douglas Crawford-Brown (Environmental Sciences and Engineering), Chair, reviewed the report and highlighted a number of points:

  • Grading Policies: The Task Force on Grading Standards, created in response to EPC’s 2000 special report, is due to be presented to the Faculty Council in April.
  • Length of the Academic Year: The Committee recommended last year that the academic year be shortened. This recommendation was sent to the Chancellor’s Office and the General Administration (GA), which responded that the University had not made a compelling argument just for the UNC-CH campus. The Committee requested that the Faculty Council take the issue up with the Faculty Assembly and get some sense of the buy-in from all the      campuses.
  • Double Minors: A request for double minors was referred to the Administrative Board of the College, which did not approve such a change. The EPC did not find any compelling reason to disagree with the Administrative Board.
  • Student Stipends and Wages: A request for review of stipends for teaching assistants was referred to the provost. The EPC will continue to monitor this issue.
  • Decision Processes on Campus: In the coming year the EPC intends to continue its review of how the University’s educational policy decisions are being made.
  • Curricular Revisions: The EPC will review the recommendations of the Curriculum Committee. A member of the EPC, Bobbi Owen, is serving as liaison from the EPC to the Curriculum Committee. Recommendations will be issued jointly by the Committees.
  • The final page of the Report provides a tabular summary of instructional days from 1968 through 2003.

Professor Vincas Steponaitis (Anthropology) asked about the large decrease in the number of instructional days between the years 1968-69 and 1969-70. Professor Douglas Elvers (Business) said that this was due to discontinuation of Saturday classes in 1969-70. Mr. David Lanier, University Registrar, confirmed that statement. He pointed out that the number of holidays in the Fall semester was greatly reduced by moving the end of the semester to a date prior to the Christmas recess in 1971-72 and also noted that the number of instructional hours actually increased after Saturday classes were discontinued even thoughthe number of instructional days decreased.

Professor Estroff asked if the recommendation #2 under “Length of the Academic Year” was an action item. Professor Ferrell suggested that the Agenda Committee be asked to prepare a Resolution regarding this issue for the next Faculty Council Meeting. A motion was made by Professor Steponaitis, that the Agenda Committee prepare a resolution. The motion was seconded by Professor Bobbie Lubker (Education). The motion carried, with two opposed.

Resolution 2001-2 Calling for Funding of the New Survey for the Student Evaluation of Teaching.

This Resolution was withdrawn, and will be presented at the next Faculty Council Meeting.

Remarks by GPSF President-Elect Mikisha Brown.

Mikisha Brown, graduate student in the School of Public Health, said that she was interested in being the president of the Graduate Professional Student Federation (GPSF) because she felt it was important for graduate students to have a vehicle for adjusting to graduate life on the campus. She wants to work with students, faculty, and administrators, and feels that she has the leadership qualities, gained through experiences in her undergraduate years. She feels she has the skills for dealing with transition and diversity. She said she would be working on the development of GPSF as an organization and its functions. Ms. Brown said she planned a one-day retreat at the beginning of the semester to discuss issues based on the needs of graduate students. She feels that bringing about change need not be a conflict. She stressed the importance of planning programs and activities to help foster the intellectual, cultural, and social activities for the graduate students.

Discussion of Unionization, Living Wage & Other Graduate Student Issues

Professor Lawrence Grossberg (Communication Studies) was Moderator for the discussion. He said that the graduate students are very important to the faculty in terms of teaching and research, and the faculty recognizes that the University should be attentive to the needs of its graduate students. There has been a move across the nation to address these needs. On this campus, some of our graduate students have organized and sought formal affiliation with the labor union that represents the housekeepers, among others.

Representatives of the Graduate Students Union, Brian Thomas (Philosophy) and Jon Lepofsky (Geography), addressed the Faculty Council. Mr. Thomas said the organization had been formed in February 2001. Some of the issues being addressed are: health care for families; better health care options, including medical and dental; and tuition remission. Mr. Lepofsky said the graduate students are attempting to define themselves as being graduate employees. They are asking for implementation of a living wage for all graduate students, in order to remain competitive with other universities. The graduate students wish to see a grievance procedure established in order for the graduate students to function as employees, and for the union to play a role in increasing the diversity of the University.

Professor Ferrell said he believes that the graduate teaching students have access to the Faculty Grievance Committee for grievances that relate to academic freedom and arise out of teaching duties.

Graduate students in the Department of English, Andrew Leiter and Michael Everton, discussed the Report on the Need for a Livable Wage for Teaching Fellows in the Department of English. Mr. Leiter said they were encouraged by discussions on the issues of pay raises.

Professor Timothy Taft (Orthopaedics) asked how the graduate students see these issues applying to those students receiving degrees other than a Ph.D., who are not compensated by the University. Mr. Leiter said they were considering only the teaching fellows in the English Department. Professor Taft said he feels that student employees were different than full-time University employees, and were still students. Professor Hammond suggested that they would be comparable to residents in the Medical School. Professor Crawford-Brown said that medical students did not teach. Professor Taft said some of the medical students did teach, but were not compensated. Mr. Everton said the graduate students consider themselves as students, but they do spend a great deal of time in teaching 37% of the undergraduates. They are trying to seek a livable wage for the hours spent teaching. Mr. Thomas said that teaching undergraduates was the core of the graduate student’s being at the University.

Professor Vincent Kopp (Anesthesiology) asked if this was not part of the skills training process and were they not supervised in the process of their teaching courses. Mr. Leiter said they were highly trained in teaching before they taught courses. This is part of the graduate students’ training, but they are asking for a living wage so they would not have to get a second job.

Professor Linda Dykstra (Psychology), Dean of the Graduate School, said that while she is supportive of the graduate students efforts, there would be certain consequences to classifying teaching assistants as employees and not students. For example, students are not subject to social security taxes, are not required to make contributions to retirement plans, and are allowed to defer principal and interest payments on loans. These benefits would be lost if status changed to that of employees.

Professor Crawford-Brown asked about the shifting relationship that would occur by moving to employee status as opposed to student status. Students benefit form a protective environment. Mr. Lepofsky said that although he wants to remain a student, he feels that he is already being treated as an employee in research centers. Professor Crawford-Brown said that is an important issue and the faculty needs to look at whether they are putting graduate students into the position of serving only as employees. Mr. Thomas responded that this makes students better teachers.

Professor Estroff asked how the two groups interrelated—the English Department graduate students and the GPSF. Mr. Leiter said each department sent their union representatives as liaison, but there was no formal tie. Ms. Brown said that is an issue she would be working on—to get representatives from the various departments to attend the meetings of the GPSF.

Professor Madeline Levine (Slavic Languages) asked if there is a difference in the teaching remuneration in the departments. Mr. Thomas said the English Department graduate students had not taken into consideration the other departments, but they were talking about a base line of $6,000 per semester. Professor Crawford-Brown said there had been rulings at some private universities allowing the graduate students to take on the identity of employees and to unionize. He hopes that will not be the Carolina way, but there should be a way to work through the complexities of the treatment of graduate students as students as well as employees.

Honorary Degrees

On motion of Professor Ferrell, the Council went into closed session to consider an additional person for the award of honorary degree. Professor Ferrell reported that the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council, acting on behalf of the Council, had recently approved a fifth honorary degree for this year’s Commencement.

Adjournment

The business of the day having concluded, the Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

 

Pdf of meeting materials

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