Meeting of the General Faculty and the Faculty Council

Friday, September 6th, 2002, 3:00 p.m.

(Please note that Orientation for New Members of the Faculty Council begins at 2:30.)

The Pleasants Family Assembly Room in Wilson Library

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

Agenda

2:30 Orientation for New Members of the Faculty Council.

  • Professor Joseph S. Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty.

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 on any topic.

INFO 3:15 Presentation of the 2002 Hettleman Awards.

  • Chancellor Moeser.

DISC 3:20 Remarks by the Provost.

  • Provost Robert Shelton.

DISC 3:30 Remarks by the Chair of the Faculty.

  • Professor Sue Estroff invites questions or comments on any topic.

INFO 3:45 Report on Interim Actions of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council.

  • Professor Ferrell.

DISC 3:50 Faculty Participation in Commencement Ceremonies and University Day.

  • Chancellor Moeser, Professor Ferrell, and Faculty Marshal Ronald W. Hyatt.

INFO 4:05 Greetings from the Student Body President.

  • Jennifer Daum.

INFO 4:15 Greetings from the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation.

  • Branson Page.

ACT 4:25 Resolution 2002-6 on Sustainability Measures at the University.

  • David Godschalk, Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

DISC 4:35 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 (67): Adimora, Allison, Ammerman, Bachenheimer, Bane, Bollen, Bouldin, Bowen, Cairns, Carelli, Chenault, Colindres, Crawford-Brown, Daye, D’Cruz, Elter, Elvers, Files, Fishell, Foley, Glenn, Gerber, Gallop, Henry, Janda, Kagarise, Kjervik, Langbauer, Leigh, Malizia, McGraw, Meyer, Miller, Molina, Nelson, Nicholas, Nonini, Orthner, Panter, Parikh, Pfaff, Pisano, Poole, Reinert, Reisner, Retsch-Bogart, Rippe, Rock, Rong, Rowan, Schauer, Shea, Sigurdsson, J. Smith, W. Smith, Straughan, Sueta, Toews, Tresolini, Vandermeer, Vick, Wallace, Watson, Weiss, Willis, Wilson, Yopp.
Excused absences (16): Barbour, Cotton, Fowler, Gilland, Granger, Holditch-Davis, Kessler, LeFebvre, Lohr, Meece, Metzguer, Moran, Owen, Strauss, Tauchen, Tulloch.
Unexcused absences (1): Sams.

Call to Order.

Prof. Joseph Ferrell, secretary of the faculty, called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. Prof. Ferrell reminded the faculty that the chancellor is the presiding officer of the General Faculty and of the Faculty Council. The chancellor presides at the beginning of each meeting. Following his opening remarks, the chancellor customarily calls upon the chair of the faculty to preside.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Chancellor Moeser said he is cautiously optimistic that the conference committee now working to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the State budget will resolve in our favor many of the issues that have been concerning the University. He mentioned several:

  • A House provision funding payroll at only 98%, which amounts to an additional cut of 2% on top of the 3% contained in the Senate budget;
  • A retirement incentive program that would potentially result in the loss of up to 340 positions because the position of a       person taking advantage of the incentive program would be eliminated when that person became fully retired; and
  • A proposal to eliminate the graduate student tuition remission program.

He was pleased to be able to say that we have had bipartisan support in these negotiations to a much greater extent than has been the case in past years. This is a good sign because it is important for the University to have friends on both sides of the aisle.

The chancellor asked for the faculty’s constructive advice on how best to frame a discussion about measurable qualities of excellence. He said this is not a matter of being able to boast of being “the best” or “number one,” but of moving the University forward to become better than we are now. In some cases we may not be as good as we think we are. We need to be honest and candid about where we really stand, and to be willing to measure ourselves so that we can better work toward continuous improvement in everything we do. In the current capital campaign, we are asking people to invest large sums of money in making Carolina better. They understandably ask whether that support is making a difference. Will Carolina be better ten years from now as a result of what we are planning to do with additional resources of such magnitude? This is a reasonable question that we, as stewards of this place, have a responsibility to answer, both to the taxpayers of North Carolina and to those from whom we ask for major gifts.

Chancellor Moeser turned to the matter of the University’s response to full implementation of the Student Exchange Visitor System, which will involve monitoring of international students by Federal mandate beginning in January. He said that the University will continue to cooperate fully with all law enforcement agencies in investigations or information-gathering processes involving international students. There will, however, be no racial or ethnic profiling and we will use care and caution in handling requests for personal information, such as access to personal e-mail. We intend to do our best to protect our students’ civil and privacy rights.

The chancellor reported that the University has established a goal of reducing our water consumption by 25% in response to the severe water shortage that the community is experiencing. The University, in combination with UNC Hospitals, is the largest water consumer served by OWASA.

Prof. Richard Pfaff (History) called attention to the matter of sorority rush. He pointed out that rush began this year two days before the first day of classes. He noted that the issue has been under discussion for years but nothing seems to be done. He asked whether the chancellor would put this on his “to-do list.” Chancellor Moeser replied “that issue is on the docket for consideration.”

Hettleman Awards

Chancellor Moeser presented the 2002 recipients of the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty. They are Asst. Prof. Richard Cheney (Cell & Molecular Physiology), Asst. Prof. Andrea Hussong (Psychology), Assoc. Prof. Ming Lin (Computer Science), and Assoc. Prof. Winston Patterson (Medicine).

Provost’s Remarks

Provost Robert Shelton briefed the Council on the current status of the work of a number of task forces whose work will have an impact on the academic life of the University.

The Academic Planning Task Force has been working in subcommittees, each addressing one of seven themes identified by the committee as central to the academic plan. The themes are academic strengths, intellectual climate, interdisciplinary research and education, faculty development, engagement, international affairs, and diversity. Reports from the subcommittees are anticipated within the next two or three weeks. A draft of the committee’s report and proposals will be submitted for review by a number of groups including the faculty, student leaders, the Dean’s Council, and the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

The provost reported on his response to Council Resolution 2001-7A On Information Technology, adopted December 7, 2001. Section 1 of the resolution called on the provost to develop a statement on teaching that promotes excellence and innovation including the use of information technology. That statement had been prepared. It will be posted on the provost’s website and publicized in other appropriate ways. Section 2 called for creation of an Information Technology Strategic Planning Council. This is still in the formative stage. It has been slowed by the recent departure of Vice Chancellor Marian Moore, who was taking the lead on it. Section 3 called for continuation of faculty summer workshops and grants to promote excellence in teaching and learning through innovative applications of information technology. The original program was funded by a grant of $250,000 from IBM that was part of the original CCI contract. That fund is now exhausted. The provost said that renewed funding is not available this year, but that he will try to identify funding in the future.

The Tuition Advisory Task Force held its first meeting last month and has scheduled five more meetings for this semester alone. The provost and the student body president are co-chairs. The task force membership has representation from faculty, students, and the Board of Trustees.

The Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Task Force, co-chaired by Prof. Barbara Harris and Prof. Paul Farel, is in the process of submitting its final report to the chancellor. Once their recommendations have been received, he plans to engage faculty leadership and the deans in discussions of what action should be taken.

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks

Prof. Estroff expressed her pleasure and gratitude for the formal and informal expressions of support for academic freedom received recently from colleagues at other institutions in response to the controversy over our summer reading assignment for entering freshmen and transfer students. She read one paragraph from a letter from President Nan Keohane of Duke University: “I want you to know that I admire the faculty at the University for taking this clear and unambiguous stand on this most simple value. In doing so, you speak for all of us for the basic principles that define our institutions.” Prof. Estroff also acknowledged the efforts of many members of the Council and other members of the faculty who wrote to newspapers, appeared in various media outlets, and otherwise stepped forward to explain and defend our principles and our actions.

Prof. Estroff commented briefly on a number of topics that will come before the Council this year.

Task Force on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure.

Prof. Estroff said she wants the Council to understand that we are not confined to changes in the tenure regulations that the task force recommends. The Council needs to act on those recommendations but is free to add others. This is the first thorough review of the tenure regulations in many years and we should take advantage of the opportunity.

Honor System Reform Task Force.

The honor system task force, chaired by Prof. Marilyn Yarborough (Law), has issued its report. Prof. Estroff is working actively with the Committee on Student Conduct, student government, and others to come to consensus on the task force’s recommendations. She hopes that this initiative will be completed by the end of this semester.

Gender equity salary study.

The Committee on the Status of Women has been working for some time on a major study of gender equity with respect to faculty salaries. Its report and recommendations should be ready for presentation to the Council later this fall.

Faculty Code revision.

Prof. Estroff said she has charged the Committee on University Government to review the Faculty Code. The committee has begun work on this project. She expects to receive its recommendations this year.

Arts & Sciences curriculum review.

We anticipate receiving the final report of the Curriculum Review Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences later this year. This will require Council review and action.

Academic plan and measures of excellence.

Both of these items, described earlier by the chancellor and the provost, will be discussed by the Council this year.

Five-year tuition plan.

The report of the committee that is developing the five-year tuition plan will be on our agenda when it is ready.

Five-year transportation and parking plan.

Prof. Estroff said she is a member of the new Advisory Committee on Transportation. The committee is developing a five-year plan for presentation to the trustees.

Contingency tenure-track appointments.

Many faculty members in the School of Medicine and School of Public Health hold tenure-track appointments that are explicitly conditioned on continued availability of funds. Only one other institution in the UNC System has such appointments (N.C. State) and they are discontinuing the practice. The continued viability of the practice on this campus needs to be reviewed.

Town-gown relations.

Prof. Estroff said she has invited Mayor Kevin Foy to address the October Council meeting, at his request. He plans to discuss town-gown issues, especially safety.

Prof. Adaora Adimora (Medicine) remarked that she is glad to hear that there is to be a five-year plan for parking, but she is more concerned about next week. She hopes that there can be a more immediate solution, especially for faculty who need convenient access to the hospital. Prof. Estroff replied that she did not see anyone in the room who could answer the question, but she would pass it on. Provost Shelton added that he didn’t think there are any short-term solutions. The issue of reserving spaces on South Campus is currently under discussion. Certainly the hospital’s round-the-clock needs must be addressed.

Interim Actions of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council

Prof. Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty, reminded the Council that the Faculty Code empowers the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council to take action on behalf of the Council when prompt action is required and it is impractical to convene the Council in time. The Code requires that any such action be reported to the council at its next meeting. He reported that ECFC took two such actions over the summer.

Resolution on Academic Freedom. On August 12, 2002, ECFC adopted the following resolution:

A RESOLUTION REAFFIRMING THE COMMITMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL TO ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND THE FAIR EXCHANGE OF IDEAS

Resolved: The Executive Committee of the Faculty Council reaffirms the commitment of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to academic freedom and the fair exchange of ideas, as well as our commitment to examining the understanding of different cultures and conflicting values of all lands, with the confidence that thoughtful study and intellectual inquiry are fundamental to this University and the goals of the faculty.

Copies of the resolution were sent to UNC System President Molly Broad, Chancellor Moeser, the chairs of the faculty of all constituent institutions of the UNC System, and to the press. Prof. Estroff invited all faculty senates in the UNC System to join with Carolina in affirming our commitment to academic freedom.

Prof. Ferrell said that, without objection, he proposed to assign the number 2002-7 to the resolution and to enroll it among the permanent records of the Council. There was no objection.

[Resolution 2002-7 responded to a controversy that erupted in the summer of 2002 over the assignment of Approaching the Qur’án: The Early Revelations, by Michael Sells, as this year’s selection for the Carolina Summer Reading Program. A television commentator from the Fox News Network attacked the selection. The attack was reported widely by other national media. Shortly thereafter, the Family Policy Network, an organization based in Forest, Virginia that describes itself as “a non-profit organization informing churches and families throughout North America on the moral issues of the day,” filed suit in federal court against the University on behalf of three anonymous entering students. The suit sought an injunction against the University forbidding the assignment. The federal courts dismissed the suit and the discussion seminars proceeded on schedule without incident. In the several weeks that passed between the original Fox News Network attack and the eventual dismissal of the suit, editorial comment appeared in virtually every major newspaper in the nation. With one exception (The Wall Street Journal), comment was favorable to the University’s position. At the height of the controversy, a member of the Board of Governors introduced a resolution endorsing academic freedom at the Board’s regular August meeting. Because the Education Committee of the Board had failed to take a formal vote on the resolution before presenting it to the full Board, the Board’s parliamentarian ruled that adoption of the resolution required a two-thirds vote. The motion to adopt the resolution fell short of the required two-thirds majority by one vote. Shortly afterward, ECFC adopted the resolution quoted above. With only minor changes in wording, it is the same resolution that the Board of Governors failed to pass earlier. Later, at its September meeting, the Board of Governors unanimously reaffirmed its unqualified support for academic freedom.]

Honorary degree. Prof. Ferrell said that the ECFC had received a recommendation from the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards for the award of an honorary degree to an individual recommended by the Commencement Speaker Advisory Committee as speaker at the 2003 Commencement. ECFC approved the recommendation and forwarded it to the Board of Trustees. He said he would report more fully on this action in closed session as the last item on today’s agenda.

Faculty Participation in Commencement and University Day

Prof. Estroff called on Prof. Ron Hyatt, Faculty Marshal, Chancellor Moeser, and Prof. Ferrell to initiate a discussion of increased faculty participation in academic processions on University Day and Commencement.

Prof. Hyatt began by urging the faculty to come to University Day ceremonies on Oct. 12. He said that rites and rituals, if taken for granted, have a way of getting away from us. He hoped that would not happen to our University Day and Commencement ceremonies. By performing the traditional rites and rituals of the academy, we pay homage to ourselves, to our alumni, and to our students.

Chancellor Moeser added that University Day is really the faculty’s day. Most universities have lost such wonderful 19th century traditions; they have just melted away. He thought we could well lose University Day through a couple of years of non-participation, or that it could become only an empty shell. Even though University Day this years falls on a football Saturday, he urged the faculty to “do your responsible part and be present for the gala march and keep University Day alive.” He noted that this year’s speaker is Prof. William Ferris, formerly director of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and that following the ceremony we will be dedicating the Institute for the Arts and Humanities’ new building.

Prof. Hyatt said that efforts are being made to make faculty participation in Commencement a more rewarding and comfortable experience.

Prof. Estroff called for discussion of why faculty members do not go to Commencement in larger numbers.

Prof. Ferrell said that he urged that this item be on the agenda. Attendance and participation in the faculty procession at Commencement is a tangible way of honoring our seniors and their families. It should be a welcome obligation, especially for faculty members who are involved in undergraduate instruction. There are about 1,000 members of our faculty in the College and professional schools with undergraduate programs. We should be able to count on at least 200 faculty in the processional. He said he did not expect faculty in professional schools with their own hooding ceremonies to attend two events on the same day, but he thought it possible and reasonable to ask that one in five faculty members who teach in undergraduate programs participate in the main ceremony in Kenan Stadium. He said that he was appealing to the faculty’s sense of history, our sense of pride in the institution, and our pride in our graduates. He noted that the commencement ceremony may be the only time that many family members of our graduates come to this campus. It is touching to see grandmothers and grandfathers in wheelchairs and to scan the many thousands of proud parents and family members who fill the stands. He said told of a West Virginia family that several years ago chartered a bus to bring a large extended family to share and celebrate the achievement of a graduating senior who was the first member of that family to graduate from college. He said “you need to see scenes like that, and they need to see you.” He urged Council members to discuss Commencement participation in departmental faculty meetings. He hoped to see at least 200 smiling faces in the faculty procession in Kenan this May.

Prof. Rachel Willis (American Studies) thought non-participation was often an economic issue. She was fortunate to have been given regalia by a retired faculty member and has participated since then. But in talking to young faculty members with young families, she had the impression that spending up to $500 for regalia is not a priority. Prof. Laura Janda (Slavic Languages) agreed.

Prof. Richard Pfaff (History) pointed out that Commencement has improved vastly over the past two or three years. It is now pleasant and dignified and worth going to.

Prof. Diane Kjervik (Nursing) said she has heard faculty members say they don’t go unless their dissertation or thesis advisee is graduating.

Prof. Jan Yopp (Journalism & Mass Communication) asked about the contractual aspect. Is there an expectation that Commencement is part of one’s academic duty?

Prof. Ferrell noted that the academic term does not end on the last day of exams; it ends on Commencement Day.

Prof. Estroff said that while the cost of regalia is a hesitant cost for some colleagues, it should be taken seriously. She has heard faculty remark that the choice of speakers has an effect on attendance. She is also aware that the possibility of a separate hooding ceremony for doctoral candidates is under discussion.

Prof. Hyatt thanked Prof. Bill Smith (Mathematics) for substituting as faculty marshal last year.

Greetings from the Student Body President

Prof. Estroff introduced Jennifer Daum, President of the Student Body, and invited her to address the Council.

Ms. Daum said that she saw three major areas in which faculty and students will be interacting this year: judicial reform, tuition, and curriculum review. The changes in the student judicial system are important and will affect the system for years to come. She challenged the faculty to become actively involved in the process. “The system doesn’t work unless you support it,” she said.

Tuition is at the forefront of student’s minds and checkbooks, Ms. Daum said. The debate should not be allowed to pit faculty and students against each other. Students understand that education costs money, and that must be taken into account because we want to retain our best faculty. Tuition dollars cannot create excellence, however; they can only enhance. We will need to communicate with each other as to what is reasonable to expect students to pay in tuition, and how to keep the University accessible to all who wish to attend.

Students have been actively engaged in the curriculum review process from the beginning. We’re thrilled with some of the changes being proposed, she said, such as more opportunities for international studies and a greater emphasis on service learning.

Greetings from the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation

Prof. Estroff introduced Branson Page, President of the GPSF, and invited him to address the Council.

Mr. Page noted that graduate and professional students comprise 36% of the student body. He pointed out that graduate students are one degree away from being professionals in the community, on the cusp of taking their research out into the world, and a breath away from being the next generation of faculty to fill the halls of higher education. The year 2003 marks the centennial of the Graduate School here at Carolina. There is no better time to refocus our energies to refine and enhance the climate of graduate and professional education. Mr. Page said that he and Ms. Daum approached the provost and the Center for Teaching and Learning late last year to propose the development of an interdisciplinary teaching program for teaching fellows. The program was established over the summer and is appropriately titled the Future Faculty Program. Initial evaluation and feedback have been extremely positive.

Mr. Page cited with approval a new task force chaired by Associate Provost Steve Allred that has been formed to examine the stipend for teaching assistants. The minimum stipend is now $5,000 per semester for teaching one course. This is unacceptably low, he said.

Mr. Page turned to the subject to the climate of graduate education at Carolina. He said that he had completed his undergraduate education here and looked forwarded to continuing his Carolina experience as a graduate student. He learned, however, that the graduate student body is not a cohesive group that regularly interacts with each other. Rather, it is rare for graduate students to spend significant amounts of time with other graduate students outside their own departments. To counteract that, Mr. Page said that he is proposing the development of a graduate student center similar to the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence. Interdisciplinary communication and interaction should not begin when one becomes a member of the Faculty Council. It should begin now with sharing of ideas among colleagues.

Agenda Committee

Prof. Estroff explained the role of the Faculty Council Agenda Committee and asked for volunteers. The Faculty Code calls for the committee to have five members, each from a different voting division. The committee is appointed by the chair of the faculty for a one-year term. The following persons expressed an interest in serving: Prof. Barbara Foley (Nursing), Prof. Bill Smith (Mathematics); Prof. Peter Rock (Anesthesiology); Prof. Douglas Crawford-Brown (Environmental Sciences & Engineering); and Mr. Philip Vandermeer (Academic Affairs Library).

Resolution 2000-6 On Sustainability Measures

Prof. David Godschalk, chair of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds, presented Resolution 2000-6 on behalf of the committee. He said that the University is in the process of submitting to the Environmental Protection Agency an application for the national award for smart growth achievement on this campus. We think we are a national model for smart growth. The resolution endorses principles that underlie that.

Prof. Etta Pisano (Medicine) moved to amend the fifth recital to add reference to “local governments”. The amendment was adopted unanimously.

Prof. Godschalk remarked that Cindy Pollock Shea, who is chair of the Sustainability Coalition, is heading up a very active sustainability effort.

Prof. Crawford-Brown commented on the parking issue in this connection. He said that his students did a study last year that looked at three universities around the world: Carolina, Salzburg, and Cambridge. The study found that Carolina’s faculty members on average are five times more likely to drive automobiles to campus for the same distance that they live from public transit. At some time, sustainability will have major implications for parking.

Prof. Godschalk agreed. He said that sustainability implies behavior change, and that the Council should bear in mind that voting for the resolution is a commitment to consider change in one’s future.

The resolution was adopted unanimously by voice vote.

Discussion of Issues of Concern

Council action items. Prof. Bill Smith (Mathematics) said that Council agenda items that require action should be placed earlier on the agenda.

Plagiarism. Prof. Yopp raised the matter of plagiarism, which she senses to be a growing concern on campus. She found through an informal poll of her students, most of whom are juniors, that at least half had never had a discussion of plagiarism in any course they have had at Carolina. “It is hard for us to hold our students accountable for something we not teaching them,” she said. Provost Shelton said that he agreed completely. He reported two items in process. First, we are in the process of circulating a proposal for uniform forms of citation for Internet sources. Second, we are working to implement required teaching assistant training in the Honor Code. He urged the faculty to discuss the Honor Code in their classes and in departmental faculty meetings.

Enrollment policy. Prof. Anthony Molina (Dentistry) noted that increased student enrollment in some of the professional schools has a definite impact on faculty, yet he does not see funding for new faculty positions. Provost Shelton responded that the University has established an Enrollment Management Group that is working on issues that arise from enrollment increases. He pointed out that the interrelationship between budget cuts and enrollment increase funding is very complex. Chancellor Moeser added that his position is that enrollment growth should become part of the continuation budget. Prof. Kjervik commented that enrollment planning should take into consideration public demand for more nurses. There might be other fields that need expansion as well, but this is the one with which she is familiar.

Closed Session

The Council went into closed session to hear Prof. Ferrell’s report of action by the ECFC recommending an individual for an honorary degree.

Adjournment

Its business having been completed, the Council adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

 

Pdf of meeting materials

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