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Meeting of the Faculty Council and the General Faculty

Friday, February 16, 2007
3:00 p.m.
Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library

Chancellor James Moeser and Faculty Chair Joseph Templeton presiding


3:00 Welcome, Opening Remarks, and General Questions

  • Chancellor James Moeser

3:15 Graduate and Professional Student Federation

  • Lauren Anderson, President

3:20 University Ombuds Office

  • Laurie Mesibov and Wayne Blair

3:35 Administrative Board of the Library Committee Report

3:45 Educational Policy Committee Report (Prof. Beverly Foster, Chair)

  • Read the report here
  • Resolution 2007-3. Implementing Faculty Council Resolution 2006-2 to Revise the Standards for Continued Academic Eligibility for Undergraduate Enrollment. Presented by Prof. Bobbi Owen, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Arts and Sciences

4:10 Undergraduate Admissions Committee Report

4:25 University Government Committee (Prof. Michael Lienesch, Chair)

  • Resolution 2007-4. Amending The Faculty Code of University Government as it Relates to The Schools and Colleges; The General College; The College of Arts and Sciences; The Graduate School; The Summer School; Records, Registration, and Undergraduate Admissions; Administrative Board of Student Affairs; and Administrative Board of the Library.

4:35 Closed session: Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee Report

  • Prof. Joseph Ferrell

5:00 Adjourn


The General Faculty and 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 47 members of the Council attended: Alperin, Bachenheimer, Bagnell, Balthrop, Barreau, Belger, Blocher, Boukhelifa, Cairns, Chin, Collichio, Conway, Dalton, Degener, DeSaix, Dupuis, Eble, Gerber, Gilligan, Glazner, Halloran, Hendrick, Hobbs, Huber, Jonas, Kamarei, Kramer, Matthysse, McGrath, McIntosh, Moss, Murphy, Murray, Papanikolas, Pruvost, Rustioni, Salmon, Sandelowski, Saunders, Selassie, Silversmith, Sweeney, Threadgill, Tiwana, Trotman, Weinberg and Wilson.

The following 30 members were granted excused absences: Bennett, Booth, Campbell, Cantwell, Chapman, Connolly, Copenhaver, Couper, Gulledge, Hightow, Kirsch, Lastra, LeFebvre, Lesneski, Maffly-Kipp, Marshall, Matson, Oatley, Orth, Peirce, Peterson, Strom-Gottfried, Sulik, Wallace, Wasik, Wegner, Whisnant, Wilder, Wissick and Yankaskas.

The following 8 members were absent without excuse: Ammerman, Arnold, Ewend, Keagy, McCombs, Rosamond, Taylor and Temple.

Welcome, Opening Remarks, and General Questions

At the invitation of Prof. Joseph Templeton, Chair of the Faculty, Associate Provost Archie Ervin led the Faculty in congratulating Chancellor James Moeser, who was honored on February 13 with the American Council on Education’s Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award. This lifetime achievement award recognizes leaders who have made major contributions to the advancement of diversity in American higher education. Chancellor Moeser was cited for his leadership in launching the Carolina Covenant, and the University’s accomplishments in advancing diversity during his administration. Remarking that one is sometimes rewarded for the accomplishments of others, the Chancellor thanked Associate Provost Ervin, Associate Provost Shirley Ort, and Associate Dean Fred Clark for their work in advancing the causes for which he was honored.

Chancellor Moeser took note of a recent gift of $100 million to the Morehead Foundation from the Cain Foundation. This gift will allow a major expansion in the number of Morehead scholarships awarded each year. The Chancellor said he would like to see the Morehead program begin drawing students from around the world.

The Chancellor noted that Prof. Holden Thorp has been selected as the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, beginning July 1. He said that the pool of candidates had been outstanding. The Chancellor thanked the search committee, headed by Dean Linda Dykstra, for its work and praised Prof. Madeline Levine for her service as interim dean.

The Chancellor noted that the residence hall formerly known as Hinton James North has been re-named for George Moses Horton, a slave and poet from Chatham County who made a name for himself writing romantic poetry for Carolina students beginning in the early 19th century. In 1829, Horton became the first black person to publish a book in the South when a Raleigh publishing company released a volume of his poetry titled “The Hope of Liberty.” He saw two more collections of his poetry into print before he was liberated in 1865.

Resolution on Bonfires Celebrating Basketball Victories

Prof. Bruce Cairns, Director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, introduced and spoke to a resolution entitled “Regarding Unsupervised Bonfires on Franklin Street Following Men’s Basketball Victories,” which had been circulated to members of the Council prior to the meeting. Prof. Cairns said that the purpose of the resolution is to encourage students to celebrate major basketball victories in ways that do not carry such a high risk of serious personal injury as building bonfires in the street and jumping over them. He said that over the past several years the Burn Center has admitted more than 30 students with burn injuries sustained in Franklin Street celebrations. After the 2005 NCAA championship victory, two students were admitted to the hospital and incurred medical bills ranging from $3,000 to $19,000.

Chancellor Moeser said that he receives Prof. Cairns’ resolution as friendly and will look proactively for a positive alternative. He said that the problem is not one that will be easily addressed, but that is not an excuse for not attempting to do so.

The resolution was adopted without dissent and is enrolled as Resolution 2007-5.

Graduate and Professional Student Federation

Prof. Templeton recognized Lauren Anderson, President of the Graduate and Professional Students Federation, for remarks. Ms. Anderson called attention to University Research Day, scheduled for March 6 at the Carolina Union. This event is a campus-wide showcase of graduate student research. Ms. Anderson asked that members of the faculty encourage their graduate students to submit abstracts. She said that awards will be presented for the best presentations, and she asked for faculty volunteers to serve as judges.

University Ombuds Office

Prof. Laurie Mesibov and Mr. Wayne Blair described the work of the University Ombuds Office. Blair said that the Office operates under four cardinal principles: confidentiality, neutrality, informality, and independence. All interactions with the Office are kept in strict confidence. No written records are kept, and having a conversation with Mesibov or Blair does not put the University on any kind of formal notice from a legal standpoint. The only exception to the confidentiality principle is information that indicates a risk of harm to self or others, or information related to abuse of children, the elderly, or the disabled. He said that the expenses of the Ombuds Office are paid by the University and he and Mesibov report directly to the Chancellor. The do not, however, discuss specifics with the Chancellor—only problematic trends and patterns are brought to decision-makers who have authority to address them. The ombuds do not disclose how the information was obtained and make only suggestions as to what action might be taken. The Ombuds Office is located in the building on Porthole Alley near the Hanes Art Center.

Annual Report of the Administrative Board of the Library

Prof. Sarah Michalak, University Librarian, presented the Annual Report of the Administrative Board of the Library in the absence of Prof. Robert Peet, Chair of the Board. She emphasized the on-going problem of the escalating price of serials acquisitions, which she characterized as “our single worst problem.” In 2005-06, the cost of serials increased by $1 million, up 11% in just one year. The growing availability of E-publications has not helped as they are in high demand and often cost as much or more than print-based journals. For example, Up to Date, a medical online journal, that cost $85,000 in 2005 will cost $241,000 in 2007. The Health Sciences Library has been forced to give up off-campus use of that resource in order to continue its subscription.

Prof. Richard Weinberg (Cell Biology & Anatomy) asked how resources are allocated to various branches of the library. Prof. Michalak replied that bibliographers in the various subject areas get a dollar allotment based largely on tradition.

Prof. Frances Collichio (Medicine) said that it is important to retain Up to Date.

Prof. Lloyd Kramer (History) said that he has been told that UNC System President Erskine Bowles’ PACE initiative does not consider the library as a “core” activity and that because of this the library may have to reduce its expenditures by up to $1 million. He asked how the library plans to respond. Prof. Michalak said that acquisitions will not be affected. Instead, the library will seek to reduce other expenses. She mentioned a joint storage facility with Duke University as an example.

Annual Report of the Educational Policy Committee

Prof. Beverly Foster, Chair of the Educational Policy Committee, presented the committee’s annual report. She said that the committee’s major activities in the past year were developing a proposal for instituting an Achievement Index—a topic that will be discussed thoroughly in the Council later this year—and consideration of “grade forgiveness,” a proposal put forward by the student body.

Sr. Assoc. Dean Bobbi Owen presented and explained a resolution entitled “Implementing Faculty Council Resolution 2006-2 to Revise the Standards for Continuing Academic Eligibility for Undergraduate Enrollment.” She said that the resolution makes detailed changes in the academic regulations as published in the Undergraduate Bulletin needed to implement Resolution 2006-2, adopted at the March 24, 2006, meeting of the Faculty Council. Two minor editorial corrections were made. The resolution was adopted without dissent and is enrolled as Resolution 2007-3.

Annual Report of the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions

Stephen Farmer, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, presented the Annual Report of the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions.

Prof. Peter Gilligan (Microbiology & Immunology) asked what effects, if any, recent tuition increases are having on applications and admissions. Farmer replied that tuition increases at Carolina are modest compared with those of institutions with which we compete. He said that he sees no evidence that tuition increases have hurt us either in terms of diversity or other measures of the composition of the entering class. Carolina’s increases for out-of-state students have actually been lower than at our peer institutions.

Prof. Lloyd Kramer (History) asked for comment on admissions of transfer students from the community college system. Farmer replied that Carolina is cooperating with Durham Tech, Wake Tech, and Alamance Community College in a three-year pilot program to increase transfer enrollments from those institutions. Dean Owen said that we have enrolled seven transfer students for those institutions to date and are reporting to the colleges about those students’ success here to help them better understand what is involved in the transition. She said that we anticipate 35 more transfer students from those institutions next year. She said that the goal is to identify students who chose a community college because of lower cost, but who show promise of being able to succeed at Carolina. Farmer added that we are trying to change the conversation with the community college system from one of “access” to “success.”

Prof. John Papanikolas (Chemistry), noting that grade inflation is a problem in high schools as well as universities, asked to what extent high school transcripts figure into admissions decisions. Farmer replied that the Admissions Office has enough experience with North Carolina high schools to be able to interpret fairly well what grades from particular schools actually mean.

Prof. Andrew Chin (Law) pointed out that the annual report shows that admissions yields for Hispanic applicants have gone up, but not so for Asian applicants. He asked for comment. Farmer said that the format of the report is not helpful on this point because it collapses in-state and out-of-state students into a single category. He said the yield of in-state applicants who are admitted is nearly 70%, as contrasted to a 34% yield for out-of-state admitted applicants. He pointed that that Carolina does not have a special program in place to recruit Asian-American students. Most of our recruitment efforts focus on all students, not those of a specific ethnicity.

Faculty Code Revision

Prof. Michael Lienesch (Political Science), Chair of the Committee on University Government, presented and moved adoption of a resolution entitled “Amending the Faculty Code of University Government as it Relates to the Schools and Colleges; the General College; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Graduate School; the Summer School; Records, Registration, and Undergraduate Admissions; Administrative Board of Student Affairs; and Administrative Board of the Library.” He pointed out that the resolution had been explained and discussed at the Jan. 19, 2007, meeting of the General Faculty. In response to that discussion, the Committee on University Government proposes a slight revision to Section 6-4 to remove the implication that minutes of departmental faculty meetings have to be kept by a secretary who is a member of the faculty. Instead, the revision simply makes it a duty of the department chair to see that accurate minutes are kept. He said that the entire package of revision has been widely circulated to deans and department chairs and that all comments received in response have been evaluated by the Committee.

The resolution was approved without dissent on first reading, is tentatively enrolled as Resolution 2007-4, and remains on the calendar for consideration on second and final reading at a subsequent meeting of the General Faculty.

Honorary Degrees to be Awarded at Commencement 2008

On motion of Prof. Joseph Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty, the Faculty went into closed session to consider a report from the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards with respect to nominations for honorary degrees to be presented at Commencement 2008.

Prof. Ferrell presented five nominees. Each was approved.


Its business having been completed, the General Faculty and Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty


Pdf of meeting materials

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