Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, October 13, 2006
3:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Multipurpose Room
Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Chancellor James Moeser and Professor Bill Balthrop presiding.

Agenda

3:00 Welcome, Opening Remarks, and General Questions

  • Chancellor James Moeser
  • Provost Bernadette Gray-Little

3:30 PACE Initiative (President’s Advisory Committee on Efficiency and Effectiveness) Report and Discussion

  • David Perry, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
  • Dwayne Pinkney, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
  • John P. Evans, Professor of Operations, Technology and Innovation Management, Kenan-Flagler Business School

4:00 Faculty Assembly Delegation report

4:10 Faculty Athletics Committee and Faculty Athletics Representative annual reports and discussion

5:00 Adjourn

Minutes

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened at 3:00 p.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

The following 49 members of the Council attended: Alperin, Bachenheimer, Bagnell, Balthrop, Barreau, Belger, Boukhelifa, Cairns, Cantwell, Chapman, Chin, Copenhaver, Couper, Dalton, Degener, Dupuis, Eble, Gerber, Gilligan, Gulledge, Hobbs, Kamarei, LeFebvre, Lesneski, Maffly-Kipp, Matthysse, McIntosh, Moss, Oatley, Parsons, Peterson, Pruvost, Salmon, Saunders, Selassie, Silversmith, Sulik, Sweeney, Todd, Temple, Threadgill, Tiwana, Votta, Wallace, Wasik, Whisnant, Wilder, Wilson, and Wissick.

The following 36 members were granted excused absences: Ammerman, Arnold, Bangdiwala, Bennett. Blocher, Booth, Campbell, Collichio, Connolly, Conway, DeSaix, Ewend, Fisher, Glazner, Hendrick, Hightow, Huber, Kirsch, Kramer, Lastra, MacLean, Marshall, Matson, McGrath, Murphy, Murray, Orth, Rock, Rustioni, Sandelowski, Strom-Gottfried, Trotman, Wegner, Weinberg, Weir, and Yankaskas.

The following 5 members were absent without excuse: Jonas, Keagy, McCombs, Peirce, and Rosamond.

Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

Chancellor James Moeser called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. He reported that Prof. Joe Templeton, Chair of the Faculty, was presenting a lecture at Indiana University and would not be presiding at today’s meeting. He said that Prof. Templeton had asked Prof. Bill Balthrop, a member of the Faculty Executive Committee, to preside over the business session in his place.

The Chancellor noted that Council member Jean DeSaix, Senior Lecturer in Biology, is the winner of the 2006 National Association of Biology Teachers’ Four-Year College Biology Teaching Award.

Chancellor Moeser thanked those who had attended the University Day Convocation. He said that faculty participation was the best he had seen during his tenure. The Chancellor commented favorably on UNC President Erskine Bowles’ address, noting especially his mention of graduate education, the liberal arts, and the University’s research mission.

The Chancellor said that he welcomes the work of the recently established President’s Advisory Committee on Efficiency and Effectiveness (PACE). This initiative comes at an important time in the life of this campus, he said, and is closely linked with the enterprise resource planning process that Carolina has recently begun. He said that, contrary to rumor, Carolina has not been assigned any specific target for cost reductions, either in terms of absolute numbers or percentages, but that there is an expectation that we will give serious consideration to moving funds from administration to the core missions of research and teaching. The Chancellor noted that in comparison to other campuses of the UNC System, UNC-Chapel Hill has by far the largest percentage of its budget allocated to teaching and research as opposed to administration.

There were no questions or comments directed to the Chancellor.

Provost’s Remarks

Provost Bernadette Gray-Little said that she would address two main topics: the work of the tuition task force, and enterprise resource planning.

Tuition Task Force. Provost Gray-Little said that for the past several years a task force has been assembled to develop recommendations for changes in tuition and the uses to which tuition receipts are put. This year, the task force worked in the context of a Board of Governors’ policy that puts a 6.5% cap on annual increases in undergraduate in-state tuition and fees. A 6.5% increase for 2007-08 would be approximately $250. In that setting, the major issue addressed by the task force becomes what to recommend for non-resident undergraduate tuition and graduate tuition. She said that the task force would hold its final meeting during the week of October 16. She thought it likely that the group would recommend three or four alternative plans. The final decision will be made by the Board of Trustees.

Enterprise Resource Planning. The Provost said that the enterprise resource planning initiative is addressing the systems of software used to conduct the major business processes of the University as well as the student information system. The initiative will be a multi-year, extensive, and expensive process. We are now at the point of developing an RFP (request for proposals) for the student information system. This entails describing in detail everything this software needs to address. Once this information has been compiled, we will submit the RFP to vendors who will demonstrate their wares on campus next fall. The Provost said she expects three major vendors to respond. After the contract is awarded, implementation will begin.

Prof. Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology & Immunology) pointed out the consequence of increasing tuition for graduate students whose stipends are paid from research grants. Raising tuition cuts into grant funds needed to carry out the research for which the grant was awarded. He urged that the tuition task force take this into account in considering any increase in graduate student tuition. He said that while it may be possible to seek an increase in future grants to offset tuition increases, that cannot be done quickly.

The Provost said that the task force is mindful of the fact that many graduate students have their tuition paid from resources other than their own, and that the group is struggling to find a way to avoid undue difficulty for graduate students; however, the task force is very reluctant to freeze graduate tuition while increasing undergraduate tuition because that will eventually lead to undergraduate tuition being higher than graduate tuition. She said that such an outcome is undesirable.

Prof. Bachenheimer asked the Provost to comment on what she foresees as the five- to 10-year payoff of the PACE initiative. Should we anticipate increased capacity or a reduction in the number of SPA positions, he asked. The Provost replied that she does not foresee a reduction-in-force of SPA positions. The PACE initiative is not primarily intended as a cost-cutting measure, she said. Rather, it is focused on directing more resources toward the core missions of teaching and research by increasing the quality and effectiveness of administrative processes.

Prof. Suzanne Gulledge (Education) asked whether the new student information system will generate projections of how many students are in the pipeline for particular courses. The Provost replied that these projections can now be made by hand calculations, and that it is hoped that the new software will automate that process.

Prof. Connie Eble (English) asked whether the tuition task force is discussing how often tuition increases might occur. Students are asking for predictability, she said. The Provost replied that the task force shares that concern. She noted that the new policy initiated by the Board of Governors provides that if state funding for salaries in any given year exceeds 6%, the cap on tuition increases will diminish correspondingly. She added that the greatest area of concern in this regard is non-resident tuition because the 6.5% cap on tuition increases applies only to in-state students.

PACE Initiative

Dwane Pinkney, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, briefed the Council on the work of the President’s Advisory Commission on Efficiency and Effectiveness (PACE). The Commission was appointed by President Bowles and is charged to examine administrative operations and expenditures of each of the 16 campuses with a view toward identifying opportunities for reallocating expenses from administrative and overhead costs to the core functions of teaching and research. Pinkney said that the Commission’s membership is drawn primarily from the corporate world. Among the few exceptions to that rule are Carolina’s Prof. Jack Evans (Business) and the Chancellor of Appalachian State University. The first task assigned to the Commission was to gather data about campus operations and costs, and to allocate that information to two core functions (teaching and research) and 12 “enabling” functions. This data has been synthesized, analyzed, and reported back to the campuses with a number of metrics. Work groups have been formed around the metrics and enabling functions such as facilities management, information technology, auxiliary enterprises, academic administration and support, and human resources. The working groups have prepared a number of “white papers” and on the basis of these reports the Commission has identified items it would like to explore further. Pinkney said that for the UNC System as a whole, core functions account for 49% of all expenditures. The corresponding number for Carolina is 69%.

Prof. Evans said that the Commission will be identifying two types of opportunities: (1) changes in existing processes to make them more efficient and effective, and (2) changes in legislation and government regulations that would reduce the cost of doing business. He said that the Commission has identified about $173 million in potential savings, or an average of $30 million per campus. Prof. Evans said that one of the positive outcomes of the Commission’s work is that it has produced a degree of communication among the 16 campuses that has been hitherto unknown. As for legislative and regulatory relief, Prof. Evans said that some of the cost savings would occur at the System level. A major question in that regard is who would benefit from those savings—the System or the campuses. Prof. Evans also observed that the Commission’s work has focused almost exclusively on cost. There has been little attention paid to whether levels of service could be increased as a result of cost savings. He thought that it will be important to keep up a focus on opportunities that will take more than short-term efforts to realize, such as legislative and regulatory relief.

Prof. Gregory Copenhaver (Biology) said that he was glad to hear Prof. Evans speak of the need to balance cost savings against maintaining quality of service. He said that is no point in “saving ourselves into mediocrity.”

Prof. Bruce Cairns (Medicine) asked whether Carolina would be “given credit” for spending a large portion of our money on the core missions, and wondered why administrative costs on other campuses appear to require a much larger percentage of the total. Prof. Evans said that in a large institution, fixed-cost activity can be spread over a much larger base. Provost Gray-Little said that Carolina would be “given credit” in that we will be allowed latitude in deciding what use to make of the cost savings we are able to identify. She expects that we will re-invest the savings in activities that support core missions.

Faculty Assembly Delegation Annual Report

Prof. Bachenheimer presented the annual report of the Faculty Assembly Delegation. He briefly reviewed the history of the Faculty Assembly and its structure. The Assembly was formed in 1972 as part of the restructuring of The University of North Carolina. Each of the 16 campuses sends from two to five delegates depending on faculty strength. Carolina is apportioned five delegates. The current chair of the Assembly is Prof. Brenda Killingsworth of East Carolina University. Two of our delegates are officers this year: Prof. Bonnie Yankaskas (Radiology) is Vice Chair, and Prof. Judith Wegner (Law) is Parliamentarian. They serve on the Assembly’s Executive Committee, which meets monthly with President Bowles. Prof. Bachenheimer said that President Bowles is interested in revitalizing the Assembly, and that he would like for it to be able to respond rapidly to his calls for input into important issues of concern to faculty. With that in mind, the Assembly has set up a task force chaired by Prof. Yankaskas to make recommendations for restructuring the Assembly. Prof. Bachenheimer said that President Bowles has indicated considerable interest in distance learning. Different campuses see distance learning very differently, he said, and it is time to have a serious discussion about distance learning on this campus. Finally, Prof. Bachenheimer said a task force has been set up to provide a workshop on faculty governance for members of the Board of Governors.

Faculty Athletics Committee Faculty Athletics Representative Annual Reports

Prof. Lissa Broome (Law), chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee, highlighted important points in the committee’s written report. On the matter of the large recent increases in the student athletics fee, she pointed out that two years ago the Department of Athletics ceded all of its share of logo licensing revenue to be used for merit-based scholarships. Student fees have in fact increased, but there was something of a trade-off here. Prof. Broome said that much of the revenue generated by the fee increase went to improve salaries of coaches in the Olympic sports. This year, revenue from this source was used to improve Hooker Field 1 and Hooker Field 2. Next year, some of this money will go to renovate Carmichael Auditorium.

Prof. Evans, also the Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR), said that much of the FAR’s work is closely related to service as an ex officio member of the Faculty Athletics Committee. He referred to a portion of his annual report listing the on-going assignments of the FAR.

Prof. Frank Wilson (Orthopaedics) congratulated Prof. Broome and Prof. Evans on their clear and concise reports. He asked about how Carolina student athletes compare to their counterparts in other Atlantic Coast Conference schools, and whether it would be possible to have qualitative data on student-athletes’ academic performance. Prof. Evans replied that in terms of graduation rates, Carolina ranks about fourth in the ACC; Duke, Wake Forest, and perhaps Boston College have better rates. As for Prof. Wilson’s question about academic rigor, Prof. Evans said that the committee has gathered data about academic majors of student athletes in comparison with the student body at large. Nothing of statistical significance emerged, he said. Prof. Evans said he does not favor NCAA involvement in assessing the academic rigor of its member institutions; that is a matter for the faculties of those institutions. As for Carolina, Prof. Evans said he does not believe there are any majors here where a low-performing student athlete can hide.

Prof. Mary Anne Salmon (Social Work) pointed to the graduation data for women’s basketball and found it disturbing. In general, women perform academically better than men, she said; the data here indicate that women are performing below the national average and worse than the men’s team. Prof. Evans replied that the data represent a very small cohort of only three students per year. This leads to wide variations in graduation rates from year to year.

Prof. David Gerber (Surgery) asked whether exit interviews are held with transfer students as well as graduating seniors. Prof. Evans replied that including transfer students has been discussed, but that we typically do not learn about a transfer until it has already occurred.

Adjournment

Its business having been completed, the Council adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

 

Pdf of meeting materials

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