Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, December 9th, 2005 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 from the Chancellor.
  • Questions and Comments from the FacultyCouncil.
  • Comments from Provost Robert Shelton.
  • Comments from Professor Judith Wegner.

3:45 Resolution 2005-10 Proposing an Amendment to the Trustee Policies and Procedures Governing Academic Tenure.

4:00 Discussion of Diversity Issues at UNC Chapel Hill.

  • Click here to download a Powerpoint file about diversity.

4:40 Annual Report of the Status of Women Committee.

  • Professor Susan T. Lord, Chair.

4:50 Annual Report of the Faculty Executive Committee.

  • Professor Wegner.

5:00 Adjourn

Joseph S. Ferrell

Secretary of the Faculty

Minutes

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened at 3:00 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Library.

The following 48 members of the Council attended: Alperin, Ammerman, Bachenheimer, Barreau, Becker, Cairns, Clemens, Copenhaver, Couper, Degener, DeSaix, Dupuis, Eble, Gilligan, Givre, Granger, Gulledge, Heenan, Kamarei, Kramer, Lastra, Leonard, Marshall, Matson, Matthysse, McGrath, McIntosh, Mesibov, Muller, Peirce, Perrin, Peterson, Renner, Rustioni, Salmon, Smith, Sutherland, Sweeney, Tauchen, Templeton, Tobin, Trotman, Wallace, Weinberg, Wilson, Wissick, Wolford, Yankaskas. The following 36 members were granted excused absences: Anton, Arnold, Bennett, Blocher, Booth, Chapman, Conover, Dalton, de Silva, Ewend, Foley, Gasaway, Gerber, Holmgren, Howell, Huber, Jonas, Kagarise, Klebanow, MacLean, Martin, Miguel, Murphy, Murray, Papanikolas, Rock, Rogers, Sandelowski, Selassie, Simpson, Strom-Gottfried, Sulik, Taylor, Tiwana, Vick, Weil. The following four members were absent without excuse: Belger, Connolly, Keagy, Lin.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Chancellor James Moeser reported that he had recently discussed with the Faculty Executive Committee cross-cutting issues being taken up by the Engagement Task Force.

Questions and Comments from Council Members

Prof. Diane Leonard (Comparative Literature) said that it appears to her that graduate programs in languages and literatures are being eliminated in order to enhance undergraduate programs. She charged that this is being done without faculty input and with no open discussions; decisions are being made by soi disant advisory committees. Chancellor Moeser replied that Prof. Leonard’s premise that undergraduate education is displacing graduate programs is incorrect. He said that decisions to eliminate graduate programs in the College are properly made by the College, not by the chancellor or provost, and that he would never second-guess a decision by the College or one of the professional schools to eliminate a program.

Prof. Frank Dominguez (Romance Languages) asserted that any cut in a major graduate program should be done with the knowledge and support of the faculty concerned. He said that this had not been the case with the elimination of the Ph.D. program in Portuguese; rather, a task force was convened, a recommendation to eliminate the program was put forward, and the program was eliminated without even informing the faculty that this was under consideration.

Dean Bernadette Gray-Little (Arts & Sciences) said that the advisory committees mentioned in this discussion were ad hoc groups, not the Administrative Board of the College or the Dean’s Advisory Committee. She said that the issues involved in these decisions are complex and cannot be adequately addressed in the brief time available in the “Questions and Comments” portion of a Faculty Council meeting.

Prof. Ann Matthysse (Biology) questioned the wisdom of scheduling final exams on a Saturday. She also thought it not a good idea to begin final exams immediately after the last day of classes, and she objected to scheduling finals on a day when a football game is being held in Kenan Stadium because loudspeakers from the stadium are clearly audible in nearby classrooms. Provost Robert Shelton replied that the Calendar Committee struggles each year to fit the calendar around various dates. This always entails compromises, he said. He encouraged the faculty to study the calendar and give feedback to the Office of the Provost.

University Registrar Alice Poehls said that she would raise these issues with the Calendar Committee at its next meeting. Chancellor Moeser observed that he prefers having reading day at the beginning of the exam period, rather than in the middle, but that students like the current plan.

Provost’s Remarks

Provost Shelton asked that the faculty begin to think of nominees for the Nan Keohane Visiting Professorship for the fall semester, 2007. The 2005 recipient is Prof. Geoffrey Brennan (Philosophy) and the 2006 recipient will be Prof. Gerd Jürgen (Biology). The Keohane Professor receives a stipend of $50,000. The selection committee is made up of faculty from Carolina and Duke, and the choice is made by the two provosts.

The provost reported that he has been able to fund 20 competitive leave requests this year. Eleven were allocated to the College,
three to the School of Medicine, two to the School of Education, two to the School of Public Health, and one each to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Social Work. He also been able to make 39 junior faculty awards and to increase the stipend from $5,000 to $7,500. These awards go to assistant professors.

Prof. Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology) asked whether there are any plans to use some of the tuition increase funds to remedy salary compression. He said that previous studies indicate that there is a “loyalty penalty” of about $1,000 per year for remaining at Carolina. Provost Shelton reviewed the general policies for use of tuition increase funds but did not directly address Prof. Bachenheimer’s question. Chancellor Moeser added that he does not see tuition as the primary source of funding for faculty salaries; tuition funds must always be supplementary to state appropriations. He added that his highest priority is faculty salaries and he is glad to hear that incoming UNC President President Eskine Bowles shares that view. The chancellor said that the students are emphasizing two points: (1) be fair, and (2) be predictable.

Resolution of Appreciation for Tommy Griffin

Prof. Judith Wegner, Chair of the Faculty, read and moved adoption of Resolution 2005-11 On Appreciation for Tommy Griffin’s Service as Chair of the Employee Forum. See Appendix A.

Consideration of Resolution 2005-10

Prof. Wegner laid before the Council Resolution 2005-10 Proposing an Amendment to the Trustee Policies and Procedures Governing Academic Tenure. The resolution was submitted at the November 11, 2005, Faculty Council meeting as part of the annual report of the Advisory Committee and was explained at that time.

Prof. Wegner said that the Agenda Committee had advised that before the resolution was put to a vote, information be obtained on two points raised at the November meeting: (1) would adoption of the resolution require that tenure reviews begin earlier than at present, and (2) are the current tenure regulations in compliance with AAUP standards.

Executive Associate Provost Stephen Allred said that the Office of the Provost would require that all tenure reviews begin six months earlier than at present if the change in the tenure regulations being proposed is adopted by the Board of Trustees.

Prof. Wegner read from an email she had received from Prof. Janne Cannon, Chair of the Committee on Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure. Prof. Cannon said that the APT Committee sees two ways to implement the proposed change: (1) extend all appointments in which an appeal has been entered by six months to enable completion of the appeal process, or (2) begin all reviews approximately six months earlier than at present. She said that the APT Committee thinks it highly unlikely that the chancellor would agree to automatically extend the employment of all persons not being renewed, which would mean that implementation would require earlier review. Prof. Cannon said that it is the unanimous opinion of the APT Committee that beginning the review process earlier would be detrimental to the careers of young faculty members and that, for that reason, the APT Committee recommends rejection of the resolution as introduced.

Dean Gray-Little reported that she had discussed the proposed amendment with department chairs in the College. She said that the chairs concur with the concerns expressed by the APT Committee and that they unanimously oppose earlier review.

Prof. Ed Halloran (Nursing) reported that our current tenure regulations are not in conflict with AAUP standards; however, he said that AAUP officials strongly support conclusion of all appeals before the end of the term. He said that he personally favors adoption of the resolution.

Prof. Melissa Bullard (History) spoke in support of the resolution. She said that the underlying issue is who speaks for the University in a nonrenewal decision and when that decision is communicated and becomes effective. The tenure regulations require that notice of nonrenewal be communicated at least 12 months before the term expires, but at present there is ambiguity as to when effective notice is actually given. She described her understanding of the facts of a recent nonrenewal case involving extended reconsideration procedures (including an appeal to the Hearings Committee) in which the department chair changed his recommendation from negative to positive. The case then received a negative decision by the dean. The question in that case was who speaks for the University to give timely notice, i.e, whether the effective negative decision was made by the department chair in the first instance or by the dean in review of a reconsidered positive decision. Prof. Bullard said that in her opinion, the first definitive notice of nonrenewal came from the dean’s office. Since that decision was made less than 12 months before the expiration of the term, the faculty member did not receive timely notice, she said. Prof. Bullard also advanced the following arguments in favor of the proposal:

  • The change does not require or imply that all tenure review begin earlier; instead, it makes provision for rare and exceptional cases that drag out for legitimate reasons;
  • Allowing extra time to a faculty member who is not renewed after review procedures that take more than 12 months to complete is consistent with the humanitarian intent of the AAUP guidelines to provide an employment cushion for junior faculty;
  • The amendment creates a win-win situation in which the faculty member is protected by a cushion of employment while university administrators are freed from an overly rigid process and schedule of review;
  • It is good public relations for faculty who have been denied tenure to depart the University feeling they have been treated fairly;
  • Unless the issue of when effective notice of nonrenewal is rendered and by whom is clarified, it is bound to resurface each time a candidate for tenure is turned down in the first instance by the APT Committee with less than a full 12 months remaining in the candidate’s term.

Prof. Bullard moved to amend the resolution by replacing the language to be inserted with “Any decision to dismiss that has not been communicated by the university at least 12 months before the expiration of the term shall be deemed not to have been timely made and communicated.”

Dean Gray-Little said that Prof. Bullard’s amendment does not address the problem that she just described.

Prof. Arne Kalleberg (Sociology), Chair of the Advisory Committee, said that Prof. Bullard’s amendment begs the question.

Prof. Wegner called for a vote on the amendment. The amendment was rejected.

Prof. Wegner called for a vote on the original resolution. The resolution was rejected.

Discussion of Diversity Issues at UNC-Chapel Hill

The Council resumed its discussion of the report of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Diversity that had begun at the October 14, 2005, meeting.

Prof. Frank Wilson (Orthopaedics) observed that he remembers a time when the University’s over-arching emphasis was on unity. Now it seems, he said, that the trust is in the opposite direction. We focus on differences—diversity—rather than similarities. He said that the faculty in the Medical School had recently had long discussions on cultural competency. He thought that the outcome was that everyone agreed that they should be better doctors. He asked whether the real question under discussion by the Council is
not how to be better citizens. We can always benefit from consciousness-heightening experiences, he said, but there is a danger that this can become all-absorbing and can detract from our basic mission.

Prof. Jay Smith (History) said that the term “diversity” means so many things to so many people that it has become almost meaningless unless it is fleshed out with qualifiers. He asked which diversity issues mean the most to us; which ones should we be pursuing? He said that his concern comes from recent experience in preparing for implementation of the new undergraduate curriculum. He has been working on the diversity component and what it encompasses. There are two ways of seeing diversity, he said, and they are in conflict. The curriculum review steering committee understood diversity as meaning variety, that is, students should be required to sample a broad range of disciplines. This view offends people who understand diversity in the context of the civil rights movement. To them, the diversity requirement means that we should be taking very seriously our duty to address specific inequities that are historically rooted in US history and that have given whites and males advantages over the African-American community, women, and gays and lesbians. Disagreement, conflict, confusion, and misunderstandings will inevitably follow if we are not clear what we mean by diversity, he said. Prof. Smith said he had learned this the hard way in trying to flesh out the diversity requirement in the curriculum.

Prof. Mary Anne Salmon (Social Work) said that arguments and conflicts will necessarily arise because this is a difficult topic to address. She said that there are wide differences between what historically disadvantaged groups and privileged groups think about a wide range of issues. We are often told by the majority group that “diversity” means only that we need to be polite and understanding of others. This is inadequate, she said. She hoped that we do not hid behind the vagueness of “diversity” to avoid coming to grips with hugely challenging, emotionally-charged issues.

Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology) said that a person is “diverse” only in the sense that any given number is random; context is everything.

Prof. Gregory Copenhaver (Biology) said that the most poignant things disclosed by the studies undertaken by the task force is the huge gap in perception from minority and majority respondents. Until the majority agrees that there is a problem, the problems perceived by the majority will not be solved, he said. He thought that at some point, we need to make the Alcoholics Anonymous statement: “Hi, I’m UNC and I have a diversity problem.”

Prof. Bruce Cairns (Surgery) said he was not much concerned about trying to define diversity. He said that he knows there is a problem when he interacts with students and under-represented groups. We have a serious problem of failure to address fundamental ways in which the majority interacts with minorities.

Ms. Christie Degener (Health Sciences Library) observed that the demographic factors of the three groups surveyed by the task force (faculty, staff, and students) don’t match up, which makes it difficult to compare attitudes. For example, staff but not faculty were asked to list number of years of service. She thought that people may initially have a positive attitude on a given topic which degrades over time.

Prof. Frank Dominguez (Romance Languages), noting that the faculty survey indicates that 20% of Hispanic faculty have negative views on diversity, asked if the task force members have any thoughts about why this is the case. Dr. Cookie Newsom, Director of Diversity Education and Research, replied that more work needs to be done on this. The survey results do not really support any conclusion as to why many members of the Hispanic or African-American respondents report dissatisfaction. In response to a question as to whether the task force intends to undertake any qualitative research in the future, Assoc. Provost Archie Ervin said that the sub-group that designed the faculty survey chose not to venture into qualitative responses; the sub-groups that designed the student and staff surveys did solicit qualitative responses.

Prof. Charles Daye (Law) acknowledged that the issues under discussion are very complex. He said that the task force understood that the University is in the education business and that we need to overcome historical discrimination. The task force was asked to put together a pan-University plan; it simply was not possible to fill in all of the details. He said that he does believe that when people understand dimensions of diversity in their own context, they are able to work on it at their level and overall progress is the
result. Prof. Daye said that he was been on the Carolina faculty since 1972 and is now confident for the first time that we are on the road to great strides forward. He agreed with those who have observed that the concept of diversity is meaningless with a context.

Annual Report of the Committee on the Status of Women

Prof. Susan Lord (Pathology), Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, commented briefly on the committee’s annual report. She said that this year the group hopes to address a problem that they are calling “women in the sciences.” Prof. Laurie McNeill (Physics & Astronomy) is developing a proposal for funding by the National Sciences Foundation that will bring women to the campus to identify obstacles to attracting women to the sciences and to address them effectively.

Adjournment

Its business having concluded, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Joseph S. Ferrell

Secretary of the Faculty

Appendix A

Resolution 2005-10

On Appreciation for Tommy Griffin’s Service as Chair of the Employee Forum

WHEREAS Tommy Griffin has served for four years with distinction as Chair of the Employee Forum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and

WHEREAS during this period he has consistently represented all those who work at the university with great energy, skill, and devotion; and

WHEREAS he has sought to work closely with faculty members and students in advancing the common good of all; and

WHEREAS he has effectively furthered employee involvement in shared governance both on the campus level and within the University System; and

WHEREAS he has encouraged and participated in collaborative problem-solving in diverse settings ranging from parking to construction to town-gown relations; and

WHEREAS he provided important leadership with Chancellor James Moeser in connection with the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace, leading to important improvements such as the establishment of the campus Ombuds office and the part-time degree program for staff; and

WHEREAS he has consistently been a voice of conscience on behalf of the greater good and the educational excellence; and

WHEREAS he has worked effectively with other staff, faculty, and administrators to bring critical issues relating to salaries, health
benefits, and educational needs to the attention of members of the state legislature; and

WHEREAS he has advocated to the Board of Trustees and others about the key issues facing all those employed at the university and has provided a compelling human face in discussing issues of equity in these and other circles; and

WHEREAS he provided important informal counsel to many administrators, faculty and student leaders on numerous occasions; and

WHEREAS he has been a role model who has embodied the university’s high ideals of public service and commitment to excellence; and

WHEREAS the Faculty Council, on behalf of all faculty members of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wish to recognize these and other significant accomplishments; now therefore

THE FACULTY COUNCIL RESOLVES:

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill extends to Tommy Griffin its thanks and congratulations for his excellent service as chair of the Employee Forum for the years 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 and his continuing contributions as a university leader in the highest traditions of this institution.

 

Pdf of meeting materials

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