Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, December 10th, 2004 at 3:00 p.m.

The Pleasants Family Assembly Room in Wilson Library

Chancellor James Moeser and Professor Judith Wegner, Chair of the Faculty, will preside.

Agenda

3:00 Faculty Council Convenes

  • Comments, Questions, Matters of Concern from Faculty Council Members

3:10 Chancellor’s Remarks

3:20 Preview of Agenda (Professor Wegner)

3:25 Old Business

  • Resolution 2004-9 on Faculty Retention and Related Salary Issues

3:30 Annual Report of the Faculty Athletics Committee (PDF)

  • Professor Lissa Broome, Chair of the Committee
  • Professor Jack Evans, Faculty Athletics Representative
  • Special Report

4:15 Annual Report of the Status of Women Committee

  • Professor Etta Pisano, Chair of the Committee

4:30 Discussion:  Academic Freedom and Intellectual Integrity (Professor Wegner)

5:00 Adjourn

 

Joseph S. Ferrell

Secretary of the Faculty

 

Council members are encouraged to attend the Winter Commencement Ceremonies, Sunday, December 19, at 2:00 p.m., in the Dean E. Smith Center. The Commencement Speaker is Professor George Lensing.

Minutes

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened at3:00 p.m.in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Library.

The following 55 members of the Council attended: Alperin, Ammerman, Bachenheimer, Blocher, Cairns, Cantwell, Chapman, Connolly, Dalton, Degener, Eble, Foley, Frampton, Gasaway, Gerber, Gitterman, Givre, Gollop, Heenan, Holmgren, Howell, Huber, Kramer, Lastra, Leigh, Leonard, MacLean, Mesibov, Morris-Natschke, Morton, Muller, Pardun, Porto, Renner, Rippe, Rock, Rustioni, Salmon, Sandelowski, Sawin, Schoultz, slavick, Smith, Strom-Gottfried, Sulik, Sutherland, Sweeney, Tauchen, Tiwana, Toews, Trotman, Vandermeer, Vick, Whitsel, and Wilson. The following 28 members were granted excused absences: Arnold, Bennett, Conover, de Silva, Granger, Gulledge, Jonas, Kagarise, Keagy, Klebanow, Lin, Martin, Matthysse, McIntosh, Miguel, Miller, Nicholas, Parikh, Perrin, Pittman, Reisner, Rogers, Simpson, Taylor, Tobin, Wallace, Weinberg, and Yankaskas. The following 2 members were absent without excuse: Anton and Matson.

Comments and Questions on Matters of Concern

Prof. Judith Wegner, Chair of the Faculty, opened the meeting by noting that there is confusion about optional long-term care insurance available to State employees. She introduced Ms. Victoria Bradley, Senior Director for Human Resources Programs. Ms. Bradley said that the State Health Plan has switched carriers for the optional long-term care insurance program from MidAmerica to Prudential. A notice had been sent via email several weeks ago, but the instructions were vague and it has been difficult for employees to obtain accurate and timely information about the revised program. She reported that the enrollment deadline for the Prudential plan has been extended to January 31 and that information on how to apply is being distributed.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Noting that the Annual Report of the Faculty Athletics Committee will be presented later in the meeting, Chancellor Moeser said he wanted to take this opportunity to express his confidence in the athletics program at Carolina and to compliment Athletics Director Richard Baddour on his outstanding service. The Chancellor said that most stories in the media about intercollegiate athletics programs are not complimentary, but he believes Carolina’s program is a national model. Our program is economically self-sufficient and supports 28 sports, only two of which are net revenue generators (football and men’s basketball). Chancellor Moeser said that he has been active in the “Group of Six,” a group of university presidents and chancellors who have been active in submitting recommendations for reform to the NCAA. In fact, most of the reforms that NCAA has instituted in recent years have stemmed from recommendations from either the Knight Commission or the Group of Six.

Chancellor Moeser announced the appointment of Prof. Laurie Mesibov (Government) and Mr. Wayne A. Blair as University Ombudspersons. Prof. Mesibov will serve half-time in this position while Mr. Blair will be full-time. Mr. Blair has held a similar position at Columbia University since 2002. The Ombuds Office will open in the spring and will be located at 134 E. Franklin St. The Chancellor noted that creation of the Ombuds Office implements one of the major recommendations of the Task Force on the Workplace. Others that have been implemented include a new Learning and Development Policy for staff, an undergraduate degree program for University employees, the Computer Loan Initiative, a revolving emergency loan program, and a scholarship program for children of University employees.

The Chancellor said that funding for salary increases is the University’s first budget priority for the upcoming session of the General Assembly. He said that he has “measured optimism” that the legislature will respond favorably to the University’s needs.

The Chancellor introduced Mr. Emil J. Kang, newly appointed Executive Director of the Arts.

Speaking to the subject of academic freedom, Chancellor Moeser noted that he has fervently defended academic freedom in many venues and on many different occasions. He said that academic freedom is central to the life of the University and that it is as important today as it was in the past. Vigilance is always in order, however. The challenge today is how to sustain an atmosphere for engaging in dialogue in disagreement when the nation has become so polarized over political, theological, social, and economic points of view. It is essential for the University to maintain that atmosphere, he said, because if we cannot engage in civil discourse on topics of disagreement within the University community, great trouble lies ahead for the larger society.

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks

Prof. Wegner acknowledged Prof. Laura Gasaway, Chair of the Planning Committee for the upcoming Convocation on Scholarly Communication (Jan. 27-28, 2005), and thanked her for her work in preparing for this important event. The keynote speaker will by Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, an effort jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE.

Resolution on Faculty Retention and Related Salary Issues

Prof. Wegner, on behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, moved adoption of Resolution 2004-9 On Faculty Retention and Related Salary Issues. The resolution, as moved, incorporates several changes made as the result of the discussion at theNovember 12, 2004, meeting of the Council.

Resolution 2004-9 was adopted. See Appendix A.

Annual Report of the Faculty Athletics Committee

Prof. Lissa Broome, Chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee, presented the committee’s Annual Report and commented generally on its contents.

Prof. John Evans, Faculty Athletics Representative, presented his Annual Report to the Council, noting that this is the first such annual report. He said that much of the on-campus work of the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) is to prepare materials for discussion by the Faculty Athletics Committee and to respond to requests for information from the committee. At the conference level, the FAR works through the committee structure of the Atlantic Coast Conference and is normally Carolina’s voting delegate in ACC meetings. Prof. Evans reviewed his work at the national level as a participant in key committees of the NCAA. He assured the Council that the FAR has full access to information from the Department of Athletics and from the chancellor.

Director of Athletics Richard Baddour commented on the pending decision as to whether to begin to sell advertising space (“signage”) in Kenan Stadium, the Dean Smith Center, and perhaps other athletics venues. He said that he and the Chancellor are trying to find a proper balance between the current culture of this campus and the clear need to generate more operating funds for the Department of Athletics without calling on general University resources.

Annual Report of the Status of Women Committee

Prof. Etta Pisano, Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, presented the committee’s annual report. Prof. Ed Halloran (Nursing) asked for comment on data generated by the AAUP that indicates no progress in closing the salary gap between men and women faculty. Prof. Pisano said she was not familiar with the data cited by Prof. Halloran but that she would look into the matter.

Discussion on Academic Freedom and Intellectual Integrity

Prof. Wegner reviewed a proposed resolution developed by the Faculty Executive Committee which calls for creation of a Council Committee on Academic Freedom and Intellectual Integrity. See Appendix B. She invited members of the Council to discuss the proposal and other issues of academic freedom and intellectual integrity that have been raised by recent events.

Prof. Karen Booth (Women’s Studies) noted that both North Carolina State University and the Faculty Assembly have adopted resolutions opposing the Academic Bill of Rights being championed by David Horowitz. She asked why the Council’s leadership is hesitating to do the same. Speaking to the proposed resolution, she opposed creating a committee, as this action could actually marginalize the issue rather than confront it directly. She noted a recent newspaper column condemning the University faculty for even discussing these issues, and asked he would plan to respond to such attacks.

Prof. Wegner said that the Agenda Committee has discussed the advisability of preparing a resolution for consideration by the Council that would oppose legislation implementing the so-called Academic Bill of Rights but felt that the timing is not right. Such a resolution would have little effect when the General Assembly is not in session. Prof. Wegner also reported that she has been in conversation with members of the N.C. State Faculty Senate on this matter.

Prof. Diane Leonard (Comparative Literature) said that she has found the post-tenure review process to raise serious questions of academic freedom in that it can deter faculty members from doing the kind of research they choose.

Prof. John Sweeney (Journalism & Mass Communication) doubted that the kind of well-reasoned resolution that the Council is likely to adopt would achieve much notice in the media. He said that the media likes to cover heat, rage, and emotion.

Prof. Evelyne Huber (Political Science) commented that many of the people who are most affected by recent negative comments in the press on their work appear not to be interested in the formation of a new committee. She asked if this is not an appropriate response, what is an effective alternative course of action?

Prof. William Race (Classics) asked whether attacks on University faculty by the website maintained by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy qualify as “civil discourse.” If not, he asked why the College should be seriously considering a curriculum proposal supported by members of the Pope family.

Prof. Carl Ernst (Religious Studies) said he found concrete suggestions in all of the proposals for action that have been circulated.

Prof. Carol Pardun (Journalism & Mass Communication) urged that the faculty be sensitive in discussing controversial topics, especially with undergraduates.

Adjournment

Having completed action on its Agenda, the Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

 

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty 

Appendix A

Resolution 2004-9. Faculty Retention and Related Salary Issues

2nd Edition 12/04/04. Changes from 1st edition are underlined.

Whereas, faculty at Carolina play a crucial role in assuring the University’s continuing excellence through their instruction of generations of students, advancement of the frontiers of knowledge through research and dissemination of new knowledge, and service to the state, nation, and the world; and

Whereas, Carolina faculty play a critical role in stewardship of University resources and shaping of policies through shared governance; and

Whereas, Carolina faculty members wish to recruit, support, and retain the best possible faculty colleagues in order to advance the institution’s current and future excellence, and

Whereas, Carolina faculty members have long cherished collegial values and a commitment to principles of merit and fairness in allocating salary resources; and

Whereas periods of limited resources, including recent times of economic stress facing the state and its people, have necessitated difficult short-term policy choices and resulted in stressors that might undercut these values and principles if continued in the long-term; and

Whereas, the Faculty Council has in the past addressed such difficulties by adopting statements of policy designed to communicate its views of good practices in addressing such recurring challenges; and

Whereas, failure to attend to these concerns may undercut morale and discourage talented faculty members from making long-term commitments of their energy and talent to the betterment of Carolina; and

Whereas, the Faculty Council has received the benefit of colleagues’ views through a recently-completed survey expressing the sentiments of half of the University’s 3000 faculty members and wishes to give voice to those views in a constructive way that addresses perceived problems; now therefore

The Faculty Council resolves:

  1. Salary Policies.
  2. The Faculty Council reaffirms its long-standing view that every unit employing faculty should develop and periodically review, with faculty consultation, a clearly stated and openly discussed statement of policy, including criteria and procedures for determining salaries. Such policies should address both long- and short-term indicators of merit, multiple criteria of merit (e.g. teaching, research and service), and actual dollar salary levels, not only percentage amounts of increases.
  3. b.    The Faculty Council further urges deans and chairs to recognize wide-spread faculty sentiment that policies and practices that require faculty members to secure written external offers as a prerequisite to receiving substantial raises are often counterproductive, may result in skewed or tardy responses to legitimate faculty concerns, and often create inequity and morale problems. Instead, the Council urges decision makers to address critical issues in a preemptive fashion to the extent possible.
  4. Transparency in Salary Setting.
    1. The Faculty Council reaffirms its longstanding view that principles of merit should guide salary determinations, and that fair and transparent processes for determining salaries are likewise of great importance to assure all faculty that merit judgments are made in a fair and considered fashion, particularly during times in which salary increases are not widely available.
    2. The Faculty Council requests the Provost to remind deans and department chairs on a yearly basis of long-standing policy that requests that all salary decisions be taken in accord with open, publicly stated criteria, developed with faculty consultation, and implemented with faculty input, and that all faculty members be advised of related policies and practices.
    3. The Faculty Council also requests the Provost to collect and maintain current information on the policies adopted by academic units through a central website available to all interested faculty and that this information be updated on a yearly basis.
    4. Salary Compression. The Faculty Council requests the Provost, working with the Office of Institutional Research and the Executive Committee of Faculty Council, and the Faculty Welfare Committeeto
      1. develop and implement a comprehensive University-wide system that will track faculty salaries longitudinally on a yearly basis,
      2. provide related information to deans and department chairs prior to yearly salary determinations, in order to assist them in addressing both short- and long-term merit, including instances in which salary inversion, salary compression, or other forms of inequity may have arisen due to stagnancy in state salary dollars, limited access to alternative funding sources, or anomalous salary patterns springing from differences in market salaries at the time of appointment, promotion, or competitive recruitment; and
      3. report periodically to Faculty Council on resulting patterns of potential salary inequities and how they are being addressed.

 

Appendix B

Proposed Resolution

Establishing the Council Committee on Academic Freedom and Intellectual Integrity

 

The Faculty Council resolves:

 

Section 1. Pursuant to Section 2-8(b)(1) of the Faculty Code of University Government, the Council Committee on Academic Freedom and Intellectual Integrity is created. The Committee has ten members, appointed by the Chair of the Faculty from among sitting members of the Faculty Council at the September meeting of the Council each year. The Chair of the Faculty designates the chair of the committee. Members are eligible for reappointment. The Chair of the Faculty and the Secretary of the Faculty are members ex officio. The Committee may invite non-voting participation in its deliberations by the General Counsel, the Associate Vice Chancellor for University Relations, the Ombudsperson, and the Provost or his or her designee.

 

Sec. 2. On its own motion or upon request of the Council, the Faculty Executive Committee, or the Advisory Committee, the Committee considers and reports to the Council with respect to matters, internal or external, affecting the academic freedom and intellectual integrity of the University community. It is especially vigilant to maintain and defend the prerogatives of the faculty (1) to establish, revise, and oversee the curriculum, (2) to exercise effective control over the classroom environment, (3) to evaluate the credentials and achievements of persons recommended for appointment to the faculty or promotion in rank, and (4) to design and execute research agendas.

 

Sec. 3. The Committee reports to the Council as appropriate to its agenda, but not less frequently than once in each semester.

 

Sec. 4. This resolution is effective upon adoption. Notwithstanding Section 1, members may be appointed at any time for the 2004-05 academic year. Unless renewed, this resolution expires upon the adjournment of the April 2005, meeting of the Faculty Council.

 

Comment:

 

  1. Basic principles of academic freedom and intellectual integrity are embodied in many University policies and reiterated from time to time by Faculty Council. Last year, the Council adopted Resolution 2004-6, which reiterated the importance of intellectual integrity and freedom; recognized the distinction between open discussion and personal attacks in and outside the classroom; reaffirmed the Council’s support for the ongoing policy and practice that political affiliation and position are irrelevant to, and not considered in, the processes of hiring, tenure, promotion, or teaching; urged continuing dialogue on varied issues while supporting the use of established channels to address behavior that falls outside the bounds of reasonable and appropriate discourse; and called upon the University administration and all others to protect the integrity of the classroom and the University as a space in which safe and respectful difference and dialogue guided by civility and openness for all can continue to thrive.
  2. The Council also addresses concerns regarding academic freedom and intellectual integrity in other ways, often through the work of its committees. For example, the research committee assisted the Vice Chancellor for Research last year in developing a policy on classified research, the Administrative Board of the Library worked to address the implications of the Patriot Act, and the Executive Committee urged the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected class under the tenure regulations and worked with the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars to co-sponsored workshops on controversy in the classroom. Other committees in academic units oversee the intellectual integrity of the curriculum, the academic appointment process, and varied research programs.
  3. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and other universities around the country have in recent years experienced controversies implicating intellectual integrity and academic freedom, arising in varied contexts such as summer reading programs, speakers and conferences, classroom incidents, research ventures, and other actions involving individuals and groups both on and off campus. This situation is unlikely to change, given the current political and social climate.
  4. The Executive Committee has begun a systematic canvass of the ways in which various learned societies, the Association of American University Professors, and faculty senates at other esteemed universities have been addressing these trends. For example, faculty senates at the University of California, the University of Minnesota, and Columbia University have reviewed, affirmed, and updated their policies and strategies for supporting intellectual integrity, and have reiterated the importance of academic freedom and associated responsibilities of faculty and students. The ECFC has also had preliminary discussions with the Executive Committee of the Faculty at NCSU and members of the Faculty Assembly delegation have begun discussions with colleagues across the University system.
  5. The ECFC and colleagues on Faculty Council also wish to acknowledge and respond to recent statements by colleagues at Carolina and elsewhere who have voiced concern, anger, and sorrow regarding personalized attacks that may tend to chill the free expression of ideas and thereby undermine the highest traditions of critical thinking and civil discourse essential to sound teaching and scholarship.
  6. The ECFC, with further comment from the Agenda Committee, therefore proposes to establish within the Faculty Council itself, a committee on academic freedom and integrity as outlined in the resolution text. The committee is established initially to function for a trial period with frequent reports to the Council, in the interest of devoting focused attention to related matters, offering advice to colleagues and campus leaders, and considering whether additional steps are needed to address faculty concerns or enhance the long-treasured tradition of robust intellectual interchange in teaching and scholarship that is so essential in the pursuit of truth.
  7. The ECFC suggests that the proposed resolution be presented for initial discussion at the December 10 Faculty Council meeting, but that no action be taken until the January meeting to provide ample opportunity for suggestions raised during the first reading might be considered and addressed in revising the resolution’s text as needed.
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