Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, October 11th 2002 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.

Agenda

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.

DISC 3:15 Remarks by the Provost.

  • Provost Robert Shelton invites questions or comments.

DISC 3:25 Remarks by the Chair of the Faculty.

  • Professor Sue Estroff invites questions or comments.

INFO 3:45 Greetings: the Mayor of Chapel Hill.

  • The Hon. Kevin Foy.

DISC 4:00 2003 Commencement: Separate Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony.

  • Executive Associate Provost Bernadette Gray-Little.

INFO 4:10 Annual Report of the Committee on Instructional Personnel.

  • Executive Associate Provost Bernadette Gray-Little.

DISC 4:15 Annual Report of the Faculty Committee on Research.

  • Professor Vincas Steponaitis.

INFO 4:20 Annual Report of the Faculty Hearings Committee.

  • Professor Frayda Bluestein.

INFO 4:25 Annual Report of the Faculty Grievance Committee.

  • Professor Melody Harrison.

DISC 4:30 Open Discussion of Topics Raised by Faculty Members.

ACT 5:00 Adjourn.

 

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

KEY:
ACT = Action
DISC = Discussion
INFO = Information

Minutes

Attendance.

Present (49): Allison, Bachenheimer, Barbour, Bolen, Bouldin, Carter, Colindres, Cotton, Daye, D’Cruz, Elter, Foley, Fowler, George, Gerber, Gollop, Henry, Janda, Kessler, LeFebvre, Lohr, McGraw, Meece, Metzguer, Miller, Nonini, Orthner, Owen, Panter, Parikh, Pfaff, Reinert, Reisner, Rippe, Rowan, Salmon, Shea, J. Smith, W. Smith, Straughan, Strauss, Tauchen, Toews, Tulloch, Randermeer, Watson, Weiss, Willis, Yopp.

Excused absences (38): Adimora, Ammerman, Bane, Bowen, Cairns, Carelli, Chenault, Crawford-Brown, Elvers, Files, Fishell, Gilland, Granger, Holditch-Davis, Kagarise, Kjervik, Langbauer, Leigh, Malizia, McQueen, Meyer, Molina, Moran, Nelson, Nicholas, Pisano, Poole, Retsch-Bogart, Rock, Rong, Schauer, Sigurdsson, Sueta, Tresolini, Vick, Wallace, Williams, Wilson.

Unexcused absences (3): McQueen, Raasch, Sams.

Call to Order.

Prof. Joseph Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty, called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. He reported that Chancellor James Moeser would be delayed in arriving due to ceremonies at the School of Public Health and the School of Pharmacy. He called on Provost Robert Shelton for remarks.

Provost’s Remarks.

Budget.

Provost Shelton reported that after much consideration final budget letters have been sent to all deans and vice chancellors. Each received two letters: one distributing new funds, the other distributing permanent budget reductions. Carolina received new funds this year from two sources: enrollment change and campus-based tuition increases. Enrollment change funding was available only to units in Academic Affairs and totaled about $3.2 million. Of this sum $1.8 million is available for new faculty positions and $1.4 million for general instructional support. Campus-based tuition increases generated $6 million. Of this, $1.8 million was allocated for faculty salaries, $1.4 million for faculty positions, $400,000 for teaching assistant salaries, and $2.4 million for need-based student financial aid. Permanent budget cuts total just over $12 million. With the exception of the library (whose budget was not cut), each unit will have to absorb budget cuts of between 3% and 4%.

The provost cautioned that we have not seen the last of budget cuts for the current fiscal year. It is widely accepted that the General Assembly’s revenue estimates are inflated and that additional reductions in expenditures will be required in order to balance the State budget. He has urged the deans and vice chancellors to exercise caution and to expect mid-year reductions.

Academic Plan Task Force.

The Academic Plan Task Force has delivered a first draft of its report, running to about 25 pages. He thanked the task force for a job well done, especially Sr. Assoc. Dean Darryl Gless and Assoc. Provost Stephen Allred, who co-chaired the effort and accomplished the task of blending the contributions of seven subcommittees into one document. The subcommittees addressed the following themes: Academic Strengths, Intellectual Climate, Interdisciplinary Research and Education, Faculty Development, Engagement, International Affairs, and Diversity. He thought it noteworthy that these themes mirror priorities developed by the Intellectual Climate Task Force and in the Case Statement for the Carolina First Campaign. The provost said that much remains to be done. He will begin getting advice on the draft from the Faculty Council, the Dean’s Council, the Chancellor’s Cabinet, Student Government, and the Employee Forum.

Honor System Task Force.

The Honor System Task Force has completed its work. The report is posted on the Faculty Governance web site. The provost urged the faculty to read the report in preparation for discussion of its recommendations later this year.

Senior leadership recruitment.

Prof. Jack Richman has been approved by the Board of Governors for appointment as dean of the School of Social Work.

Three other searches for deans are in process at varying stages. The School of Pharmacy search is now inviting candidates to the campus for interviews. The School of Education search committee has organized and is gathering applications. The Kenan-Flagler Business School search is in the earliest stages during which the provost is meeting with the faculty and staff. Nominations for the search committee are being solicited.

Two vice chancellor positions are to be filled early in 2003. Two committees are examining the positions of Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Other studies.

The Tuition Advisory Task Force has met three times. Three more meetings are scheduled. The task force intends to complete its work by the end of this semester. The Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Task Force, co-chaired by Professors Paul Farel and Barbara Harris, has made its final report.

Prof. Donna LeFebvre (Political Science) asked about reports that the Board of Governors is going to forbid general salary increases this year, but will require that all available increases be based on “market or equity.” The provost replied that he had only recently seen the e-mail message that forms the basis of that report. In the letter he sent to the deans distributing funds from the campus-based tuition increase, he stated that the funds (which average about 1.2% of total salary funds) should not be handed out across-the-board but should be used “for the highest priority that you have.” He thought that instruction consistent with instructions being prepared by the Office of the President.

Prof. Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology) observed that the root question is whose values we should be serving. One can imagine that the market values the amount of indirect cost dollars a faculty member generates, or how many times they are asked to express an opinion. But shouldn’t we at least be aware of the possibility that what we consider meritorious might revolve completely around one’s work in the classroom? Are we not being led by the nose in a way by what some undefined group of people defines as “market value,” thereby leaving our values in the dust? The provost replied that we convinced the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors to support campus-based tuition increases by arguments based on the competitive market among our peer institutions. Decisions as to how funds are actually allocated among the faculty are made by deans and department chairs, not the provost.

Prof. Sue Estroff, Chair of the Faculty reminded the Council that each department is supposed to have an agreed-upon salary policy. This was mandated by the administration in response to a Council resolution several years ago.

Prof. Richard Pfaff (History) asked if it were not true that the effect of this policy is to create a small number of “haves” and a large number of “have nots.” The provost replied that the policy supports distributing salary increases on the basis of performance. He feels that will produce the right results over time. The problem at the moment is that available resources are so small.

Chancellor’s Remarks.

Carolina First Campaign.

Chancellor Moeser said that he has officially announced a goal of $1.8 billion for the Carolina First Campaign to be achieved by 2007. To date, donors have committed $866 million, or nearly 50% of the goal. This is remarkable considering the state of the economy. The chancellor reiterated his appreciation for the generous support that the University has historically received from State funding, but this has proved insufficient to provide the margin of excellence that Carolina has achieved and to which it aspires. Contributions to the campaign so far are sufficient to support 91 new endowed professorships (the goal is 200), 267 new undergraduate scholarships. (the goal is 1,000), and the new Institute for the Arts and Humanities building, Hyde Hall, which will be dedicated on University Day.

Academic freedom.

Chancellor Moeser delivered the following statement on academic freedom.

“As our nation’s leaders and citizens debate the latest developments in our foreign affairs, these global issues continue to hit home here in Chapel Hill and on college campuses nationwide. Campus faculty representatives of a national campaign have written me to advocate the divestment of any endowment funds from companies selling weapons to Israel or otherwise supporting the occupation of Palestine. Meanwhile, UNC is one of 21 universities listed on a controversial Web page called Campus Watch, created by a pro-Israel think tank. The page monitors and critiques Middle East studies activities on U.S. campuses. It also collects information about professors ‘who fan the flames of disinformation, incident and ignorance’ in denigration of U.S. interests. Elsewhere, in Europe Israeli scholars are being black-listed from some universities or scholarly societies, in what appears to be a rising tide of European anti-Semitism. President Lawrence Summers at Harvard has labeled the attacks on Israel as a new and more subtle wave of American anti-Semitism.

“I want to stake out our own position on this. We vigorously defended academic freedom when members of this faculty held controversial teach-ins critical of American foreign policy last year. We defended the choice of Approaching the Qur’án: The Early Revelations as a text chosen for the Summer Reading Program. We led this campus through a careful and judicious consideration last year of the proposed establishment of a branch of the Kenan-Flagler Business School in Qatar. I have joined other presidents and chancellors in signing a statement condemning the terroristic attack on Hebrew University, and I signed a similar statement pledging an intimidation-free campus circulated by those denouncing anti-Semitic acts published this week as a full-page ad in The New York Times. However, I later amended the latter statement with my signature to say that UNC-Chapel Hill would be intimidation-free for all — Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, non-believers — and I would add for any other group that might be harassed or intimidated as a result of their sexual orientation.

“We are prepared to defend academic freedom whenever it is attacked — from the right or from the left — and to maintain the essential objectivity and neutrality of the University itself in national and international partisan affairs. I object in the strongest terms to the attempts of Campus Watch to identify people on our campuses who teach and write about the Middle East and critique their work and statements for evidence of bias or errors. At the same time, I shall not recommend that the University divest from companies that do business with Israel. The issues of human rights in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are far too complex for a simplistic, bumper-sticker solution. While I find the occupation of the Palestinian lands reprehensible, so do I find the suicide bombings of innocent civilians abhorrent.

“Let us commit ourselves to be a campus where discussion and disagreement about important issues of the day can take place in an atmosphere of civility and respect.

“As our nation appears to be on the brink of initiating a pre-emptive and possibly unilateral military strike, I anticipate that voices will be raised in strong opposition as well as support of that action. This will be a time that will test us as perhaps no other since the Vietnam Conflict, which some of us in this room saw tear American campuses apart 30 years ago. Already on many campuses across our nation we are seeing groups militating against one another, reminding us that history is cyclical. Let us resolve to deal with these issues in a distinctly different way—respecting those with whom we disagree, including their right to speak and be heard, and encouraging honest questioning and inquiry. I call on everyone at Carolina to protect a culture of robust but respectful discussion of advocacy and dissent.”

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks.

Professor Estroff recognized Prof. Michael Luger, who is preparing a crucial report on the impact of Carolina on the region’s and the state’s economy for the Carolina Office of Economic Development. He asks for the faculty’s cooperation in responding to future e-mail inquiries about how our work might be included in this report.

Prof. Estroff said that Jennifer Orr, chair of the Student Textbook Committee, asks that the faculty make every effort to get textbook orders to Student Stores by the deadline. Late submissions increase costs for students dramatically.

Academic freedom.

Prof. Estroff delivered the following statement on academic freedom.

“We learned recently that our campus is targeted and under surveillance by a group that calls itself Campus Watch. The group purports to be concerned about intellectual balance in Mideast studies. In reality, Campus Watch has called on students and colleagues to contribute to so-called dossiers on faculty who teach Islamic studies, Mideast area courses, and courses related to Islam, the Arab world, and other topics they deem of interest. We are on the list because we had the audacity to ask our incoming students to learn about Islam via the Qur’án. I urge that we repudiate in the strongest possible terms this kind of surveillance and threat to intellectual freedom. I call on our students to reject the invitation to inform on the faculty — students are encouraged to send in syllabi, notes, memos, and statements made in class — in any way. Needless to say, I expect that our community of scholars will find this prospect equally loathsome.

“The same group has described our campus as anti-Semitic, again based on our assigned summer reading. As a Jew, I find this accusation far off the mark. I grew up in a small town in the South, and I know what anti-Semitism is. Of course there are some anti-Semitic currents on the campus — as there are in most places. But this campus has come a long, long way in my two decades here. We now openly mark major religious holidays for all well-represented practices on our University calendar out of respect for the different traditions on campus. We were all moved by Rabbi Sharon Mars on September 11. She spoke to and for all of us, as have many clergy of other faiths before her. If any student or faculty member or staff member feels any discomfort or unwelcome because of their religious beliefs, then all of us are implicated and each of us has an obligation to repair, restore, and maintain respect and acceptance. The chancellor has become a signatory to a strong statement condemning acts of hatred and intolerance on campus. Some university leaders have found the statement ‘unbalanced’ in its explicit referral to anti-Semitism. The statement does not exclude other forms of intolerance and violence, but it is explicit in naming acts of hatred and violence toward Jews. I applaud the chancellor’s move, and understand it to be part of his consistent and ardent stance toward tolerance, respect, and dignity for all members of the community.”

Board of Trustees.

Prof. Estroff expressed regret that the Board of Trustees did not act favorably on the faculty’s request that the Board provide a seat and voice (but not a vote) to the chair of the faculty. She said that the request was not about power. “It is about enlightened, shared governance and about the quality and quantity of information available to the board.” She is encouraged that the board indicated that they will seek to improve communication with the faculty in other ways. She is looking forward to hearing their affirmative proposals and plans in this regard.

Enrollment increases.

Prof. Estroff said that, as a member of the Enrollment Policy Advisory Committee, she has had the opportunity to review and reflect on what is occurring in enrollment growth. It is not good. Class sizes are growing, the number of students who cannot register for classes they want is increasing, and the faculty/student ratio is moving in the wrong direction. This is “quality creep.” We are creeping by increments toward a quantum diminution in the quality of education on this campus. We lack a feasible, rational financing policy for a university of the size we are becoming. In her view, the Board of Governors and the General Assembly have failed to comprehend the effects of enrollment increases without commensurate increases in financial support. Of course we want to do our part in responding to the increased demand for higher education, but we cannot continue to absorb the perverse combination of increases in students and decreases in resources.

Faculty assistance to low-income staff.

Prof. Estroff noted the efforts of the faculty at UNC-Greensboro to raise funds among the faculty for a one-time bonus of staff employees who, for the second year running, have received little or no increase in salary. She asked for discussion as to whether such an effort should be mounted here. She reported that the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication have already begun to raise money for this purpose to be distributed among staff employees assigned to that school, and that the School of Public Health is planning to do so as well. Prof. Estroff pointed out that many low-wage employees are not assigned to a particular unit, and that many would be left out if several units initiate independent campaigns.

Prof. Jan Yopp (Journalism and Mass Communication) reported that the Journalism faculty had voted unanimously last Friday to go ahead with their effort. She said that a University-wide campaign should not be deterred by Journalism’s efforts. Both should go forward, but staff employees benefiting from Journalism’s campaign should not “double-dip.”

Ridley Kessler (Academic Affairs Libraries) said he did not favor separate campaigns. They promote factionalism. We should have one unified campaign.

Prof. Thomas Shea (Medicine) thought that such an effort would, in effect, let the legislature off the hook.

Prof. Ferrell wondered what effect a campaign would have on the State Employees Combined Campaign, a concern also shared by Chancellor Moeser.

Prof. Mary Salmon (Social Work) thought that something should be done.

Prof. Donald Nonini (Anthropology) favored a one-year only campaign.

Prof. Howard Reisner (Pathology & Laboratory Medicine) was skeptical.

The discussion did not disclose a strong consensus either for or against the idea. Prof. Estroff said she would continue to gather information and would ask the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council to discuss the idea.

Remarks by the Mayor of Chapel Hill.

Prof. Estroff welcomed the Hon. Kevin Foy, Mayor of Chapel Hill, and invited him to address the Council.

Mayor Foy said he would address the matter of Town-Gown relations in general terms.

The Town and the University are both experiencing growth. Even though we are tied together, we are growing apart. The University is a national institution and the hospitals serves people throughout North Carolina and beyond. This means that the University is not, and cannot be, solely focused on Chapel Hill. Although at one time, most of the residents of the Town were focused on the University, this is no longer true. Many of our citizens are not connected at all with the University but many of them were attracted to Chapel Hill in part because of the University’s presence. Thus, both the Town and the University must understand and respect that we are in many ways growing apart. We need to manage this change in ways that will alleviate the tensions that will inevitable arise. Each has an obligation to understand the other’s pressures and aspirations. The Town understands that the University wants to be the best in the nation. The University should understand that the Town wants to be a place with a very high quality of life.

The University faculty has a distinct interest in these matters. The faculty is uniquely situated to bring a critical eye and critical voice to town-gown matters. Many faculty members are also Chapel Hill residents, but even those who are not spend much of their time here. Town issues are also of interest to many faculty because of their particular disciplines.

While we expect that many of the Town’s interests and the University’s interest will converge as Carolina North is developed, we also anticipate that the Town may have some interests that will diverge from the University’s interests. For that reason, the Town is creating its own Horace Williams Citizens Committee. This committee has been charged with developing a set of principles, including community interest and goals and objectives, to guide the Council’s deliberations with the University regarding development of Carolina North. Among the topics to be considered are water/sewer, storm water, transportation, housing, schools, natural area protection, hazardous waste, fiscal implications, and neighborhood interface.

Mayor Foy concluded by urging members of the faculty to participate in community discussions.

2003 Commencement: Separate Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony.

Executive Associate Provost Bernadette Gray-Little initiated discussion of a proposal to begin holding a ceremony for hooding Ph.D. candidates separately from the main Commencement ceremony in Kenan Stadium. She began by summarizing the history of degree-granting ceremonies, which appear to have begun in 1160 at the University of Bologna. Over the past two years, we have been making a concerned effort to enhance the dignity of our own Commencement. This proposal is part of that effort. She reported that there have been consultations with department chairs, deans, students, and staff who are in charge of logistics. Responses have been favorable.

It is proposed that beginning in 2003 there be a hooding ceremony on Saturday before the main ceremony Ph.D. candidates only. Ph.D. candidates would be welcome to participate in the main ceremony but would no longer be recognized by name as they walk across the stage. Each candidate’s dissertation advisor would have a role in the special ceremony. All persons receiving Ph.D. degrees during the previous 12 months would be eligible to participate. There would be a speaker whose topic would be in a more scholarly or serious vein than is the custom for undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

Prof. Gray-Little said that the principal objections to the proposal are (1) it would compete with the main ceremony on Sunday for faculty attendance, most likely at the expense of attendance on Sunday; (2) it would compete with separate ceremonies now held by the various professional schools; and (3) it could be seen as demoting the significance of the Ph.D. degree. The principal argument in favor of the proposal is that it would enhance the dignity of the ceremony and would in fact emphasize the significance of the Ph.D. degree.

Prof. Vincas Steponaitis (Anthropology) wondered about the impact on faculty attendance at the main ceremony. Chancellor Moeser said that he has previously been at three institutions which have a separate ceremony: the University of South Carolina, the University of Kansas, and the University of Nebraska. There has never been great faculty participation in the main ceremony at those institutions, but attendance at the Ph.D. hooding ceremony has been good. He strongly favors the proposal and does not think that worry about a deleterious effect on faculty participation in the main ceremony is sufficient reason to oppose it.

Prof. Gray-Little said that Northwestern University has had good experience with such a ceremony.

Prof. Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology) thought that there should be an incentive for faculty to attend commencement ceremonies. He suggested a program for subsidizing rental or purchase of academic costume.

Prof. Ferrell asked whether the faculty who now regularly attend the main ceremony would go to both. The consensus seemed to be that they would not.

The discussion appeared to support the conclusion that most of those present either favor the proposal or do not have strong feelings about it.

Annual Report of the Committee on Instructional Personnel.

Executive Assoc. Provost Bernadette Gray-Little presented the report by title. There were no questions or discussion.

Annual Report of the Faculty Committee on Research.

Prof. Steponaitis, chair of the Faculty Committee on Research, presented the report by title and remarked briefly on its work in the past year.

Prof. Bachenheimer observed that there are never enough animal research facilities. He wondered whether the committee has addressed that problem. Prof. Steponaitis said this has not come up except in the context of allegations of mistreatment by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). He will bring the concern to the committee. Prof. Bachenheimer also asked about bridge funding (i.e., University funding for researchers for periods between grants). He wondered if an endowment for this purpose could be built up from some source. Provost Shelton said he would be pleased to discuss such a proposal. He has created such a fund at another institution, but it requires retaining more central control over overhead receipts than has been customary here.

Annual Report of the Faculty Hearings Committee.

Prof. Frayda Bluestein (School of Government), chair of the Faculty Hearings Committee, presented the annual report by title. There were no questions or comment.

Annual Report of the Faculty Grievance Committee.

Prof. Melody Harrison (Allied Health Sciences), chair of the Faculty Grievance Committee, presented the annual report by title. She commented on experience with Resolution 99-8, which encouraged the Grievance Committee to offer professional mediation services as an alternative to formal involvement with the committee. She said that experience has shown that by the time the parties to a dispute have decided to contact the Faculty Grievance Committee, there is little or no interest in mediation. Matters have typically gone too far. She said that the committee is recommending that the University take steps to make professional mediation available at the very first stages of disagreements.

Discussion of Issues of Concern.

Prof. Pfaff said it has been reported that last weekend Florida State University cancelled all classes on both Thursday and Friday as the result of a scheduled Thursday football game. He trusted that would not happen here. Chancellor Moeser responded that Carolina has been firm in its opposition to Thursday games.

Adjournment.

Its business having been completed, the Council adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

 

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

 

Pdf of meeting materials

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