Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, November 12th, 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.

3:15 Chancellor’s Remarks.

3:25 Preview of Agenda (Professor Wegner).

3:30 Resolution on Faculty Retention: Policy Issues (Professor Wegner).

  • Click to download latest version of report on faculty retention issues (Word document).

4:00 Discussion of Health Benefits Issues.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest.

University System General Counsel Leslie Winner.

Click to download presentation on health benefits issues (Powerpoint).

4:45 Annual Report of the Faculty Grievance Committee.

4:50 Closed Session: Distinguished Alumnus and Alumna Awards for 2005.

5:00 Adjourn.

 

Joseph S. Ferrell

Secretary of the Faculty

Minutes

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened a t3:00 p.m.in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Library.

The following 53 members of the Council attended: Alperin, Ammerman, Bachenheimer, Bennett, Blocher, Cantwell, Connolly, Conover, de Silva, Degener, Frampton, Gerber, Granger, Gulledge, Heenan, Howell, Huber, Jonas, Kagarise, Klebanow, Kramer, Lastra, Leigh, Leonard, Mesibov, Miguel, Miller, Morris-Natschke, Morton, Parikh, Porto, Reisner, Renner, Rock, Rustioni, Salmon, Sawin, Schoultz, Simpson, slavick, Smith, Sutherland, Sweeney, Tauchen, Taylor, Tiwana, Tobin, Toews, Trotman, Wallace, Weinberg, Wilson, and Yankaskas. The following 26 members were granted excused absences: Arnold,Cairns, Chapman,Dalton, Eble, Goley, Gasaway, Gitterman, Givre, Gollop, Holmgren, Keagy, MacLean, Martin, Matson, Matthysse, McIntosh, Nicholas, Pardun, Perrin, Pittman, Rippe, Strom-Gottfried, Vandermeer, Vick, and Whitsel. The following 5 members were absent without excuse: Anton, Lin, Muller, Sandelowski, and Sulik.

Comments and Questions on Matters of Concern

Family leave policy.

Prof. Judith Wegner, Chair of the Faculty, said that questions had been raised about implementation of the new family leave policy in the Medical School, where faculty salaries are largely dependent on grant funds and clinical receipts. She asked Exec. Assoc. Provost Stephen Allred to comment. Mr. Allred said that a committee composed of Vice Dean Robert Golden, Exec. Assoc. Dean Gene Orringer, and General Counsel Leslie Strohm is working on providing supplemental information for Medical School faculty that addresses issues arising from source of salary funds. Prof. Peter Rock (Anesthesiology) asked if there are plans to “carve out” any of the Medical School departments from the overall policy. Mr. Allred said that there are no such plans at the moment. He noted, however, that the Office of the President’s policy requires campuses to provide only 60 days of paid family leave. The Provost decided to extend this to allow a full semester for 9-month faculty or 15 weeks for 12-month faculty. The Provost recognizes that this does create some new demands on the financial resources of the Medical School. We will be monitoring how implementation goes this year to assist in determining whether adjustments need to be made, he said.

Western Civilization curriculum proposal.

Prof. elin slavick (Art) asked for more information about the pending proposal to develop an undergraduate minor in Western Civilization to be funded by a five-year grant from John Pope and Art Pope with the possibility of a gift of permanent endowment for the program following a review at the end of the fourth year. She said that the Graduate and Professional Student Federation has adopted a resolution opposing the acceptance of funds from these donors. She said that, while she would not oppose financial support from the Popes for scholarships or permanent endowments, she does oppose funding from them for a program that would require their approval after such a review. Prof. slavick asked (1) where does the administration stand on this issue, and (2) what is the timetable for making a decision about it?

Chancellor James Moeser said that the idea of a Western Civilization curriculum originated with the faculty four or five years ago. It was not specifically developed at the request of the Popes, as some have charged; instead, when the Popes expressed interest in making a major gift to the Carolina First Campaign, this was suggested to them as a program in which they might have an interest. The Chancellor said that he has discussed the proposal with both the Faculty Executive Committee and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, and that the College faculty will discuss it at a special meeting on Monday, November 15. The Chancellor assured the Council that this is a bona fide proposal that originated with the faculty. “A core principle of this University is that the faculty own the curriculum,” he said. Chancellor Moeser said he wants the College faculty to consider the proposal on its merits. “It is our responsibility,” he said, “to be vigilant that the curriculum is never subject to control of the donor.” In such a case, he felt that the source of funds is irrelevant as long as the money is not “tainted” by having been obtained through unlawful or unethical means—and there is no question of that in the case at hand.

Dean Bernadette Gray-Little said it is her understanding that in early 2004, before she became dean, the Popes approached the University expressing their desire to make a major gift and requested proposals. Interim Dean Richard Soloway proposed the possibility of funding a new program on Western cultures. The Popes expressed interest in the program and asked that it be developed more fully. A faculty committee was then appointed by Dean Soloway. The committee worked over the summer and developed the proposal that will be presented to the College faculty on Monday. The current proposal is in generalized form. Many details remain to be worked out. While some of the courses it contemplates are already in place, others would have to be developed. Dean Gray-Little said that she envisions the proposal going to the Administrative Board of the College sometime in the Spring semester.

Prof. slavick asked whether the Dean’s remarks mean that the University intends to go ahead with the proposal despite the objections that have been raised. Dean Gray-Little replied that the Popes have not yet accepted the proposal, and she has not had the benefit of the upcoming College faculty discussion.

Prof. Sherryl Kleinman (Sociology) pointed out that the proposed curriculum would be reviewed after four years and a decision made at that time as to whether the Popes wished to continue their support. She thought this gave the donors undue influence over a curricular decision and asked whether there are precedents. The Chancellor replied that the Kaufmann Foundation grant is a recent example of funds accepted under similar circumstances; that there are many other examples of accepting expendable gifts with hopes of permanent funding in the future; and that this strategy often helps donors agree to contribute permanent funding.

Dean Gray-Little said that there are no plans at this time to create new permanent faculty positions for the proposed curriculum, and that the College would include plans to “ramp down” the program in the event that permanent funding was not obtained in order to avoid negative consequences for students enrolled in the curriculum if other funding were not forthcoming.

Prof. Lloyd Kramer (History) said he had been a member of the committee that developed the proposal. The committee was very concerned that the University retain control of the curriculum, he said. The proposal is to develop an undergraduate minor in the study of Western cultures. The curriculum would begin with a two-semester “gateway” course followed by a cluster of three courses. Several alternative clusters would be offered. If the proposal is ultimately approved, he said, it should not be dependent on the will of a single donor. If the Popes decide not to support the proposal, it is his hope that the College would seek other donors for it.

Prof. Pamela Conover (Political Science) had questions about the genesis of the proposal. She said that the Chancellor’s description of events leading up to the proposal implies that the idea originated with the faculty, while Dean Gray-Little’s remarks implied that it was developed in response to overtures from the Popes. Prof. Kramer replied that Interim Dean Soloway had called together a group of faculty and asked them to work on the proposal over the summer. The committee understood that the potential donors were two members of the Pope family. He assured the Council that the committee was not influenced for or against the proposal by the identity of the potential donors. Chancellor Moeser said that the source of information for his remarks was Prof. Peter Coclanis (History), who told the Advisory Committee that the germ of the idea is four or five years old and that it had been suggested earlier to a different donor who ultimately turned it down.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Chancellor Moeser thanked the faculty for the large turnout for this year’s University Day ceremony.

Commencement ceremonies.

The Chancellor reported that plans have been made to shorten the length of the May and December Commencement ceremonies by reducing the number of persons asked to “bring greetings.” He hopes that the May ceremony can be completed within 60 minutes, not including the time needed for the student and faculty processions. He especially urged more faculty presence at the December ceremony. Last year, the group was so small (about 20) that instead of recognizing “the faculty” he recognized “representatives of the faculty.”

Tuition Task Force.

Chancellor Moeser reported that the Tuition Task Force has developed a set of recommendations that will be presented to the Board of Trustees. Recommendations call for an increase in undergraduate tuition of $350 for residents and $850 for non-residents. Tuition for graduate students will be addressed separately. The Board of Governors considered but declined to adopt a resolution discouraging campus-based tuition increases, but any proposals that come forward can expect rigorous review by the Board.

Carolina Covenant.

Chancellor Moeser emphasized that The Carolina Covenant is more than a financial aid program. One of its important components is a pledge to help students succeed at Carolina. Many of the students being aided by the Carolina Covenant come from low-income families. They all meet our high admission standards, but some will face social adjustments as well as economic challenges. Thanks to private funds that have become available, the University is inviting faculty members to become mentors to Carolina Covenant scholars. Funds will be made available to faculty mentors to take a student to lunch, or a concert, or the provide them with amenities that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Faculty members who are interested in becoming mentors should contact Ms. Shirley Ort, Director of Student Aid.

Executive Director for the Arts.

Chancellor Moeser announced that Emil J. Kang, former president and executive director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, has been tapped to become Carolina’s first executive director for the arts. His appointment begins Jan. 1, 2005.

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks

Professor Judith Wegner, Chair of the Faculty, said that she and the Agenda Committee are planning to focus the remaining Council meetings this year around specific topics. The two principal topics for this meeting are (1) a discussion of policy issues arising from the Faculty Retention Study, and (2) a discussion of health benefits issues. Next month, Vice Chancellor Tony Waldrop will lead a discussion on research. In the Spring we will be talking about professional advancement and leadership. We will also be talking about approaches to faculty mentoring. Prof. Wegner reported that she had recently met with the Steering Committee for the Carolina First Campaign, and that they were very interested in trying to identify targeted and most strategic ways that the campaign could be helpful.

Proposed Resolution on Faculty Retention Issues

Prof. Wegner invited discussion of a proposed resolution on faculty retention issues that had been circulated to the Council by e-mail earlier this month. She distributed a revised version of the resolution incorporating editorial and clarifying changes that she had made in response to comments she had received.

The text of the proposed resolution under discussion was as follows:

Resolution 2004-9 (revised 11/10 version):  On Faculty Retention and Related Salary Issues

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 3,000 faculty members and wishes to give voice to those views in a constructive way that addresses perceived problems,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

  1. Salary Policies.
    1. 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 salary levels, not only percentage amounts of increases.
    2. 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 in order to receive substantial raises are often counterproductive (by creating incentives for talented faculty members to leave or waste their own and others’ time exploring alternative employment options), may result in skewed or tardy responses to legitimate faculty concerns, and often create inequity and morale problems (by creating expectations that scarce resources will be based on current mobility rather than merit of all faculty members).
  2. 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 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.
  3. Salary Compression.  The Faculty Council requests the Provost, working with the Office of Institutional Research and the Executive Committee of Faculty Council, to
    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.

Prof. Diane Leonard (Comparative Literature) congratulated those who had prepared the resolution. She had two points to make. She noted that that the first draft of the resolution had contained a definition of “salary compression,” but the current draft does not. She asked for clarification. Prof. Wegner replied that after consulting Dr. Lynn Williford, Director of Institutional Research, she had concluded that there were serious difficulties with trying to define the term statistically. Rather, she concluded the better approach is to produce an array of data that could be used in different contexts. Prof. Leonard’s second point was that the report does not address the special problems faced by small appointing units. She said that she was unaware of any statement of policy whereby the dean of Arts and Sciences goes about allocating salary increase funds among the departments. If funds are allocated roughly in proportion to faculty lines in each department, large departments, some with over 50 faculty members, will have more flexibility in allocating salary increase funds than units, such as Comparative Literature, with only three faculty. She urged that the College set aside a pool of funds from which small units could draw.

At Prof. Wegner’s invitation, Exec. Assoc. Provost Steven Allred briefly outlined the budget process through which the Office of the Provost allocates salary funds to the deans. He said that the most effective way for a unit to receive additional funding from the Provost is to demonstrate that its faculty members are being paid significantly less than their colleagues in peer institutions.

Prof. Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology & Immunology), reminded the Council that the Faculty Welfare Committee had been quite active in addressing salary compression in the past. He thought that the first sentence of Section 3 should be amended to insert “the Faculty Welfare Committee” after “Office of Institutional Research.” Prof. Wegner agreed that this change would improve the resolution.

Prof. slavick said that she agreed with the sentiment in Section 1(b) that faculty members should not be required to secure written external offers in order to receive substantial pay increases, but she thought that perhaps the wording of this paragraph goes too far in implying that the Council is discouraging counter offers. Prof. Wegner said that was not the intent and that she would work on rewording the paragraph to avoid that implication.

Discussion of Health Benefits Issues

Prof. Wegner introduced Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest and University System General Counsel Leslie Winner to introduce discussion of health benefits for University faculty and staff. Prof. Wegner said she had suggested that the panelists address three questions: (1) assuming that there are no additional dollars available, and hard choices have to be made between competing aspects of the health plan, what options are available, assuming the University stays in the State Health Plan; (2) what steps might be taken to increase cost-efficiency in the plan, and (3) if the legislative authorizes a pilot plan for the University System, what might that plan look like?

Ms. Charest reminded the Council of the work her department had done last year comparingCarolina’s benefits with those of peer institutions in the Southeast. We came out dead last, she said, in the choices available, the cost of coverage for dependents, and out-of-pocket costs to employees. A recently survey by Hewitt Associates confirms those findings.

Ms. Winner said that the State Health Plan is the most serious personnel issue across the entire University System. The cost of dependent coverage has doubled over the past four years. Many of our lowest-paid employees can no longer afford to cover their dependents. In fact, we are covering only about one-half of the number of dependents would expect to find in an organization the size of the System.

Ms. Winner said that it does not seem to be politically feasible for the University System to be allowed to withdraw from the State Health Plan. Instead, the System is seeking permission to try a pilot program within the Plan. Most of the features of the Plan that are unsatisfactory for the System are also problems for other State employees as well. The System is hoping that if some of the innovations that are under consideration prove to be effective, they can be adopted by the Plan for all State employees. A System Task Force is at work on this proposal with the goal of having it ready for presentation to the Board of Governors in January, 2005, so that it can be considered by the 2005 General Assembly. She said that members of the Board of Governors have been supportive of the idea and she expects it to gain Board approval.

Prof. Wegner attempted to draw out Council members on several proposals that have been floated, but the response seemed inconclusive.

Annual Report of the Faculty Grievance Committee

The Annual Report of the Faculty Grievance Committee was received without question or comment.

Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards

As permitted by the North Carolina Open Meetings Law, the Council went into closed session to consider nominations for Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards to be presented at University Day 2005.

Prof. Linda Dykstra, Chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards, presented five nominees put forward by the Committee. Each was approved. A brief biographical sketch of each nominee is appended to these Minutes but will be withheld from public inspection until an official announcement of the awards has been made.

Adjournment

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

Joseph S. Ferrell Secretary of the Faculty

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