March 28, 2003
Meeting of the Faculty Council
Friday, March 28th, 2003 at 3:00 p.m.
The Pleasants Family Assembly Room in Wilson Library
Chancellor James Moeser and Professor Sue Estroff, Chair of the Faculty, will preside.
3:00 Call to Order. The Secretary of the Faculty.
DISC 3:00 Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Time.
- Chancellor James Moeser invites questions or comments.
INFO 3:15 Remarks by the Provost.
- Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert Shelton.
INFO 3:25 Remarks by the Chair of the Faculty.
- Professor Sue Estroff.
INFO 3:40 Report on the Five-Year Transportation Plan.
- Chief Derek Poarch.
ACT 3:45 Resolution 2003-7 Endorsing Certain Recommendations of the Task Force on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure.
- Professors Paul Farel and Barbara Harris, Co-chairs of the Task Force.
INFO 4:10 Annual Report of the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee.
- Professor Jim Noblitt, Chair.
INFO 4:15 Annual Report of the Educational Policy Committee.
- Professor George Houston, Chair.
INFO 4:30 Report on the Revision of the General Education Curriculum.
- Professor Laurie McNeil.
DISC 4:45 Open Discussion of Topics Raised by Faculty Members.
ACT 5:00 Adjourn.
Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty
ACT = Action
DISC = Discussion
INFO = Information
Present (55): Adimora, Allison, Ammerman, Bane, Bouldin, Cotton, Daye, Elter, Elvers, Fishell, Foley, Gollop, Henry, Kagarise, Kelley, Kjervik, Langbauer, Lohr, Malizia, McGraw, Metzguer, Miller, Molina, Morris-Natschke, Nonini, Orthner, Owen, Panter, Parikh, Pittman, Poole, Porto, Reinert, Reisner, Retsch-Bogart, Rippe, Rock, Xue, Rowan, Salmon, Schauer, Shea, Simpson, Smith, Straughan, Strauss, Sueta, Tauchen, Toews, Tresolini, Tulloch, Wallace, Weiss, Willis, Wilson.
Excused absences (27): Bachenheimer, Barbour, Bollen, Bowen, Cairns, Carelli, Chenault, Colindres, D’Cruz, Files, Fowler, Gerber, Gilland, Granger, Janda, Kessler, Leigh, Meece, Moran, Nelson, Pfaff, Pisano, Sigurdsson, Vandermeer, Vick, Watson, Yopp.
Unexcused absences (5): Carter, Crawford-Brown, McQueen, Nicholas, Sams.
Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Time
Chancellor Moeser reported that the Tar Heel Bus Tour will be held this year. It is being financed, as always, from private funds, not State appropriations.
The chancellor reported that six of our undergraduate students have won prestigious national scholarships this spring.
Chancellor Moeser concluded his remarks with congratulations to the University’s first 50-year employee, Mr. Hubbard of the Grounds Department.
Remarks by the Provost
Provost Robert Shelton reported that the Board of Trustees recently approved the appointment of Robert Blouin as ninth dean of the School of Pharmacy. Blouin is currently associate dean at the University of Kentucky’s College of Pharmacy.
The provost said that all of the deans are making progress in reviewing cases identified by the recent salary equity study. He said that Assoc. Provost Bernadette Gray-Little will be making a full report on this at the April Council meeting.
After yet more discouraging news about the State’s fiscal problems, Provost Shelton said he wanted to turn to some positive news. He said that in times of fiscal constraint, we can become more creating in developing partnerships with other institutions. He mentioned five examples:
- The new Institute for Advanced Materials, Nano-Science, and Technology—a joint program in materials science with NC State.
- The Robertson Scholars Program, now in its third year, a joint program with Duke that enrolls 15 students each year from each institution.
- The Library Consortium, an inter-library agreement among Duke, Carolina, N.C. State, and N.C. Central through which collections on each campus are available to students and faculty at all four institutions.
- Joint hiring efforts, especially in the area of spousal hires and retention.
- Collaboration between our University Center for International Studies and Duke’s Center for International Development.
Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks
Prof. Estroff spoke of her concern about the onset of the war with Iraq: “as we sit here in safety and in comfort, others a world away are enduring another night of explosions, fear and destruction. Toddlers like mine have to cope with the noise and fear and chaos, while mine, in comparison, have no worries at all. Young people the age of our students, both Iraqi and American, are now playing the ironic card of the harm in each other’s way. We may be lulled into feeling safe here in this room, but perhaps might analogize our steadily eroding grip on truly democratic government and authentically implemented basic rights to the steady occupation and loss of territory that Iraqis experience as we meet.” She invited the Council to take a few moments in silent reflection to recognize a tragic circumstance for us all.
Report on the Five-Year Transportation Plan
Chief Derek Poarch briefed the Council on plans being developed by the Advisory Committee on Transportation.
Prof. James Porto (Health Policy & Administration) commented on hazardous conditions in crossing streets in the vicinity of the School of Public Health. He urged that consideration be given to traffic bumps.
Resolution Endorsing Certain Recommendations of the Task Force on Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure
The Council returned to consideration of Resolution 2003-7. Prof. Joseph Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty, Presided.
Prof. Ferrell called for consideration of Sec. III.1. He explained that this section requests the Committee on University Government to prepare for discussion a Faculty Code amendment expressing the faculty’s “expectation” that all tenured faculty members in each department or school be consulted on appointments and promotions that confer permanent tenure, except initial appointment to the rank of professor for which consultation with the full professors alone would be sufficient. He said that the effect of such an amendment would be to encourage would be to include tenured associate professors in consultations on promotions from assistant professor to associate professor and initial appointments at the rank of associate professor with permanent tenure. He further explained that although the Code now requires only consultation with the full professors, many appointing units already include associate professors.
There being no discussion or debate, Sec. III.1 was adopted without dissent.
Prof. Ferrell called for consideration of Sec. III.2. He explained that this section calls for the Committee on University Government to prepare and present for consideration a Faculty Code amendment to establish a uniform, University-wide procedure for review of tenure-track faculty appointments and promotions. The procedure would culminate with the Committee on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure. There would be only one level of intermediate review above the department level, which would be carried out either by the assembled tenured faculty of the unit or by an elected committee chosen by the unit’s voting faculty. The existing Health Sciences Advisory Committee and the Subcommittee on Professional Schools of the Committee on Instructional Personnel (SCOPS) would no longer be involved in reviewing faculty personnel actions.
Prof. Diane Kjervik (Nursing) spoke against Sec. III.2. She said she had discussed the proposal with both the Promotion and Tenure Committee in the School of Nursing and the Health Sciences Advisory Committee (HSAC), of which she is a member. Both groups oppose eliminating HSAC which is composed not of deans but of faculty members who are selected by the deans in Health Affairs to represent their respective schools.
Prof. Kjervik moved to amend Sec. III.2 by striking out language that would eliminate HSAC review of faculty personnel decisions originating in the Division of Health Affairs.
Prof. Paul Farel, co-chair of the Task Force on Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure, said that the task force had spent more time discussing this provision than any of its other recommendations. The fundamental principle being advocated by the task force is that all reviews above the departmental level must be conducted by committees composed of elected members of the faculty, not administrators or faculty appointees. Neither SCOPS nor HSAC are elected bodies. A second principle articulated by the task force is that faculty personnel decisions rightly belong primarily at the level of appointing unit. With the elected APT Committee performing the overall quality-control function, there is no real need for an intermediate level of review if the decision has already been reviewed and approved either by the entire assembled faculty of the school (in the case of professional schools not organized into departments) or by an elected committee of the faculty (in the case of the College and schools organized into departments). Prof. Farel opposed the amendment.
Prof. Estroff remarked that another issue is lack of comparability of the tenure process across the institution. She favored Sec. III.2 as originally proposed.
Prof. Kjervik said that she had discussed the election issue with both the Promotion and Tenure Committee in the Nursing School and HSAC. Both groups were very open to being elected rather than appointed.
There being no further discussion of Prof. Kjervik’s amendment, Prof. Ferrell called for a vote. The amendment was defeated.
Prof. William Smith (Mathematics) said that he favors the concept of intermediate review between the departmental level and the APT Committee, and also the ideal of having a university-wide system of review. He would prefer to drop the explicit direction to eliminate SCOPS and HSAC in the process and substitute language that would allow development of a proposal to have the mid-level review committees elected. He said that the ultimate decision might be to eliminate the mid-level review, but he preferred to leave the Committee on University Government free to consider several alternatives.
Prof. Dulcie Straughn (Journalism & Mass Communication) said that there is concern within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication that elimination of SCOPS would effectively eliminate and entire level of tenure review for all professional schools, except Medicine and Public Health. She said this would make the tenure review process less rigorous. She moved to strike the entire sentence calling for elimination of SCOPS and HSAC in the review process.
Prof. Ronald Strauss (Dentistry) said that he thought it telling that opposition to the proposal to eliminate SCOPS and HSAC is coming from the smaller professional schools. He felt that the mid-level review now in place at least allows a presence from faculty members familiar with the characteristics of all of the schools. He said he favored the idea that these committees should be elected, but for the moment he felt that keeping the current system would be protective of some of the smaller professional schools.
Prof. Estroff said that some of the discussion appears to be based on the assumption that upper-level review is somehow disadvantaged if someone from the candidate’s own school or department is not involved. She disagreed with that assumption.
Discussion having concluded, Prof. Straughn’s amendment was put to a vote. The amendment was adopted by a divided vote.
Chancellor Moeser asked whether the discussion and the vote on Prof. Straughn’s amendment indicates a consensus that there should be a mid-level review by an elected faculty committee? If so, he thought the record should so indicate.
Prof. Ferrell replied that the normal practice is that the proposal as adopted would go to the Committee on University Government without instruction on points not specifically addressed.
Prof. Estroff asked whether someone shouldn’t propose an amendment called for an elected mid-level review committee.
After several extemporaneous attempts to devise an appropriate amendment, Prof. Ferrell proposed that a full transcript of the discussion by prepared and transmitted to the Committee on University Government.
Discussion having concluded, Sec. III.2, as amended, was adopted.
Prof. Ferrell called for discussion of Sec. III.3. There being none, Sec. III.3 was adopted as presented.
Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee.
Prof. James Noblitt, chair of the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee, summarized the committee’s annual report.
Educational Policy Committee.
Prof. George Houston, chair of the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), commented on portions of the committee’s annual report. He said that the committee had carefully followed the development of the proposed revision of the general education curriculum and had opened a dialogue with Prof. Laurie McNeil, chair of the task force, and Assoc. Dean Tom Tweed. Prof. Houston said that the task force has revised its proposals in response to concerns and suggestions from both EPC and the Administrative Board of the College of Arts and Sciences. EPC received the latest revision just this week and will now begin to discuss it.
Referring to the proposal to change the grading system for graduate courses (HPLF) to correspond to the letter grade system used for undergraduate courses, Prof. Frank Wilson (Orthopaedics) asked what weight had been given to student preferences. He thought perhaps student opinion and faculty opinion might be at odds here. He said he had been involved in many discussions over the years as to how to report grades and had generally found that students do not favor making the system more specific. He pointed out that any four-point system is not only less discriminating than a five-point system, it also cannot be used to generate an average grade. He acknowledged that the Medical School uses a three-point system (HPF) which is even less discriminating, but at least it can produce an average grade. He wondered whether the message might be that any odd-numbered system is preferable to an even-numbered system. He hoped that EPC would look favorably on the proposal to move to a five-point system for graduate courses.
Prof. Houston replied that the Graduate School had only asked EPC for preliminary comments. The committee took many things into consideration in its discussions but in the end was unable to reach consensus. The outcome was to communicate the committee’s thoughts and concerns to the Graduate School and to invite another specific proposal in the future.
Prof. James Porto (Health Policy & Administration) pointed out that any system of discrete grades builds in large ranges of difference. He asked whether any thought had been given to a continuous grading scale from 0 to 4.
Prof. Houston said that the short answer was no. Some faculty have concerns about assigning grade point averages to graduate students. EPC is not sure that we should focus closely on graduate grades. Some member thought doing so would encourage grade inflation. Others thought a graduate GPA might be used inappropriately by those outside the academy.
There ensued a lively but inconclusive discussion of grading practices in graduate courses.
Report on the Revision of the General Education Curriculum
Prof. Laurie McNeil, chair of the Task Force on Revision of the General Education Curriculum, briefed the Council on the process that had been employed to generate the task force’s proposals. She then demonstrated a web site developed by a talented team of students enrolled in Computer Science 145, taught by Prof. Kye Hedlund. The site allows students to navigate easily the complex requirements of the curriculum. Prof. McNeil urged Council members to familiarize themselves with the task force’s proposals, using materials that had been distributed and by visiting the task force web site. She said that the proposal would be placed before the Council for a formal vote at the April meeting.
The business of the day having been concluded, the Council adjourned at 5:00 pm.
Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty
Resolution Adopted March 28, 2003
Resolution 2003-7. Responding to the Recommendations of the Task Force on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure.
The Faculty Council resolves:
I. Flexibility in the Process of Promotion and Tenure.
I.1. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill should seek appropriate funding to support a system of paid parental leave for full-time faculty holding tenure-track appointments who bear primary responsibility for the care of a newborn or newly-adopted child. [Amended2/7/03. Adopted as amended2/7/03.]
I.2. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that deans and department chairs assume responsibility for explaining to new faculty appointed to probationary-term positions the provisions of the tenure regulations concerning special provisions for extending the maximum probationary period. [Adopted2/7/03]
I.3. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that deans and department chairs take steps to ensure that faculty members who take advantage of special provisions for extending the maximum probationary period are not subjected to stricter requirements for reappointment and promotion than those expected of colleagues who do not choose to take advantage of those provisions. [Adopted2/7/03]
I.4. The Faculty Council requests the Committee on University Government to prepare for consideration by the Council a proposed amendment to Section 2.c.(6)(iii) of the tenure regulations to increase from one year to two years the maximum extension of the probationary period that may be granted. [Adopted2/7/03]
I.5. [Concerning mutual agreement between chairs and probationary-term faculty to delaying tenure decision until the final year of appointment. Defeated2/7/03.]
II. Policies and Procedures for Appointment and Promotion of Fixed-Term Faculty.
II.1. The Faculty Council requests the Committee on University Government to prepare for consideration by the General Faculty an amendment to the Faculty Code of University Government establishing an elected standing committee on Non-Tenure Track Faculty. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.2. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that each academic unit develop a plan that defines the respective roles and contributions of tenure-track and fixed-term faculty appointments in that unit. [Amended2/28/03. Adopted as amended2/28/03.]
II.3. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that all appointments to fixed-term faculty positions, whether full-time or part-time, contain provisions relevant to the possibility that funding to cover the full duration of the contract may not be available due to funding rescissions. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.4. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that, to the maximum feasible extent, no person should be appointed to more than three consecutive one-year terms in a fixed-term rank before appointment to a longer term is made available. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.5. The Faculty Council urges the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to rescind the administrative rule now in effect that links the term of fixed-term faculty appointments to the term of appointment of the department chair. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.6. The Faculty Council requests the Committee on University Government to prepare for consideration by the General Faculty an amendment to the Faculty Code stating the expectation that all appointments and reappointments to fixed-term faculty positions, whether full-time or part-time, will be made with the same consultations within the appointing unit as is the case for appointments to tenure-track positions. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.7. The Faculty Council requests the Committee on University Government to prepare for consideration by the Council a proposed amendment to the tenure regulations creating the rank of senior lecturer. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.8. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that each appointing unit that makes appointments to graduated ranks using the prefix qualifiers “research,” “clinical,” or “adjunct” develop descriptions of the criteria for initial appointment to and progression through those ranks.” [Amended and Adopted as amended2/28/03.]
II.9. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that promotions within fixed-term ranks that differentiate appointment by ranks analogous to those employed in tenure-track appointments follow the same time line for review as is prescribed for tenure-track appointments. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.10. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that each academic unit include fixed-term faculty in appropriate school and departmental decision-making and advisory venues, except those relating to evaluation and promotion of tenure-track faculty. [Amended2/28/03. Adopted as amended2/28/03.]
II.11. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that deans and department heads make every effort to include fixed-term faculty in professional development activities. [Adopted2/28/03.]
II.12. The Faculty Council requests the Provost to examine the criteria for awards, particularly those related to service, to ensure that fixed-term faculty are eligible for consideration unless disqualified by the terms establishing the award. [Adopted2/28/03.]
III. Review of Tenure-Track Appointments and Promotions
III.1. The Faculty Council requests the Committee on University Government to prepare for consideration by the General Faculty an amendment to the Faculty Code expressing the expectation that deans and department chairs will consult all tenured faculty in the appointing unit in appointments and promotions that have the effect of conferring permanent tenure, except initial appointment at the rank of professor for which consultation with the professors alone is sufficient. [Adopted3/28/03.]
III.2. The Faculty Council requests the Committee on University Government to prepare for consideration by the General Faculty an amendment to the Faculty Code establishing a University-wide system for review of all appointments and promotions that have the effect of conferring permanent tenure and all promotions to a higher rank of persons holding permanent tenure at the rank of associate professor or assistant professor . The system should culminate with the Committee on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure. For the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health, and any other professional school that may hereafter be organized in departments that initiate faculty appointments and promotions, the dean should seek the advice of an elected committee of the College or School faculty before acting on a department chair’s recommendation. For professional schools that are not organized in departments, the dean should seek the advice of the entire assembled faculty who are qualified to consult on the action in question or an elected committee of the unit’s faculty, as may be appropriate to the size and complexity of the school. [Amended3/28/03; Adopted as amended3/28/03.]
III.3. The Faculty Council endorses the recommendation that a decision not to reappoint a probationary-term faculty member should be forwarded by the dean or department chair to his or her immediate administrative superior for review as to the adequacy, consistency, and coherence of the evidence supporting the decision not to reappoint. In conducting that review, the reviewing officer will seek the advice of the faculty advisory committee that would have reviewed the decision had it been positive. [Adopted3/28/03.]
 For reasons of health, requirements of childbirth or child care, or similar compelling circumstances, a faculty member holding a probationary term of appointment at the rank of assistant professor or associate professor may request that the maximum probationary period be extended for a period not to exceed 12 months (including any extension that may have been granted under subsection (ii) above) [pertaining to less than full-time employment for up to 12 months for similar reasons], with no resulting change in normal employment obligations, in order to provide the faculty member additional time to demonstrate fully his or her professional qualifications for reappointment or permanent tenure.
 This resolve does not recommend changing the current provisions of the Tenure Regulations that require all faculty appointment, promotions, and tenure decision to originate at the departmental level. Hence, the review recommended by the resolve would be advisory only to the dean or department chair who made the original decision.