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Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, November 9, 2007
3:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Multipurpose Room
Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Chancellor James Moeser
Professor Joe Templeton, Chair of the Faculty


3:00 Welcome, Opening Remarks, and General Questions

  • Chancellor James Moeser
  • Provost Bernadette Gray-Little

3:25 Committee Reports

3:35 Introduction of Priority Registration Proposal

3:50 Explanation of Proposals from the Committee on Student Conduct

4:00 Panel Discussion on Future Directions in Research at Carolina

4:45 Vote on Committee on Student Conduct Proposals

  • Prof. Bob Adler, Chair, Committee on Student Conduct

4:55 Presentation of Nominees for 2008 Distinguished Alumnus/a Awards (closed session)

  • Faculty Council members click here to read nominee biographies (secure area, login with ONYEN and usual ONYEN password required)

5:00 p.m. Adjourn


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 51 members of the Council attended: Aaron, Andrews, Bagnell, Bangdiwala, Bareau, Bickford, Blocher, Bloom, Brice, Chin, Conway, Copenhaver, DeSaix, Earp, Gulledge, Halloran, Hendrick, Hightow, Hobbs, Hodges, Katznelson, Kelly, Kendall, LeFebvre, Leonard, Lesneski, Maffly-Kipp, McGrath, Meade, Melamut, Murray, Oatley, Papanikolas, Parsons, Pruvost, Renner, Rodgers, Saunders, Sheldon, Silversmith, Stein, Sweeney, Temple, Threadgill, Toews, Visser, Weinberg, Whisnant, Williams, Wilson and Yankaskas.

The following 32 members were granted excused absences: Ammerman, Bachenheimer, Balthrop, Binotti, Blackburn, Boukhelifa, Broome, Campbell, Coleman, Couper, Dupuis, Ernst, Ewend, Gerber, Gilligan, Heenan, Koroluk, Lauen, Mauro, McCombs, Moss, Orth, Paquette, Peirce, Perrin, Rhodes, Thorp, Votta, Wegner, Whisnant, Wilder, and Wissick.

The following 5 members were absent without excuse: Ashby, Kramer, Marshall, Rosamond, and Weil.


Chair of the Faculty Joe Templeton called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.

Committee Reports

Prof. Templeton commended to the Council the annual reports from the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, the Faculty Grievance Committee, the Faculty Hearings Committee, and the Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure Committee. Although a representative of each committee was present to answer questions, Faculty Council members asked none. Templeton thanked the committees for the important work they do.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Click here to listen to the audio of the chancellor’s remarks.

Tuition Advisory Task Force: Chancellor Moeser provided context for the work of the Tuition Advisory Task Force, which will present its recommendations in the coming week. He reminded the Council that faculty salaries and compensation have been the top priority for funds raised through both tuition increases and the Carolina First campaign. Since the fall of 2004, Carolina has received an additional $32.5 million from the state and another $17.5 million from campus-based tuition for faculty salaries. The chancellor noted that we are beginning to see results in our quest to raise average salaries of tenured and tenure track faculty to the 80 th percentile of our approved list of peer institutions. As of last spring, salaries overall exceeded the 50 th percentile, and in the College of Arts and Sciences, we have exceeded the benchmark for assistant and associate professors in the natural sciences and for assistant professors in the fine arts. But our peers are moving as well; salaries for faculty have been increasing everywhere. The chancellor said that each year, 35% of campus-based tuition underwrites need-based aid, helping to offset the effect of tuition increases on those receiving aid. Because of the state’s generosity this year, the chancellor is recommending no tuition increase for resident undergraduates for the coming year, although he will recommend increases for non-resident graduate and undergraduate students, whose education should not be subsidized by the state, and whose tuition increases will reflect the real cost of their education.

Water conservation: The chancellor observed that, as the largest consumer of water in the state, the UNC system needs to take conservation seriously. Water use has already been reduced 25% across the campus, at least party due to changes in equipment and technology. Starting tomorrow, UNC students will compete with students from NC State to see who can conserve the most water in residence halls between now and the UNC-NC State basketball game in Chapel Hill in February. The chancellor directed people to the university’s sustainability web site (, which contains more suggestions on water conservation.

High school visits: The chancellor reported on his recent visits to Hillside High School in Durham, where he spoke about the Carolina Covenant, and to the South Bronx Preparatory School in New York (one of 14 charter schools established in that city by the College Board), where he spoke more generally about UNC, the importance of going to college, and the availability of financial assistance for those who work hard.

Question period:

Shielda Rodgers (Nursing) asked whether attention was being given to the salary structure for fixed-term faculty in hopes of raising them to the 80 th percentile as well. The chancellor replied that the 80 th percentile target has been for tenured and tenure-track faculty, but that the university realizes it must make competitive offers to fixed-term faculty, who also compete in national markets The university, he said, is not ignoring fixed-term faculty. The Provost added that the funding received thus far for faculty salary increases has been for salaries for all faculty, except for a 1% sum this year that was targeted for tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Richard Weinberg (Cell Biology) asked for clarification about whether the new campus smoking policy would prohibit smoking within 100 feet of “all outdoor areas” of the campus or within 100 feet “of any campus building,” which he had understood to be the previous recommendation. The chancellor replied that the law allows smoking to be prohibited within 100 ft of all university structures, but that if you draw circles around all structures according to this measurement, very few spaces remain where smoking would be allowed.

Provost’s Remarks

Click here to listen to the audio of the provost’s remarks.

Major searches underway: The provost updated the Council on major personnel changes and searches underway. Dan Reed (RENCI) has accepted an offer from Microsoft; the Associate Director of RENCI will serve as acting director until a search can be mounted. Dean Steve Jones of the Business School has decided not to seek reappointment upon completion of a five-year term. The committee searching for a new dean of the School of Education is interviewing candidates and will invite three or four to visit the campus in January. The search for a new Chief Information Officer may be complete in time to report to the Faculty Council in December. A search will begin soon for a new director of the Institute of African American Research, as Prof. Sandy Darity has moved to Duke after several years in a joint appointment. Another upcoming search will look for a leader for the new Center for Faculty Excellence, which will support faculty teaching, research, and leadership development. An insider will be sought for the position of half-time faculty director, while a larger search will be mounted for a full time executive director. Finally, the search for a new dean of the Graduate School is ongoing.

There were no questions for the provost.

Introduction of Priority Registration Proposal

Click here to listen to the audio of the priority registration proposal discussion.

Chair Templeton said that the proposal for a new priority registration system will be introduced today, with time available for informational or clarifying questions. A vote will be scheduled for the December meeting. If an additional discussion forum is needed between now and then, one may be set up.

Prof. Steve Reznick (Psychology), a member of the Faculty Athletics Committee who had chaired the Priority Registration Task Force, presented the proposal that the task force had developed.

Reznick stressed that the university presently has a priority registration system, made up of a complex web of traditions, precedents, and practices whose origins would be a challenge to reconstruct. Under the present system, registration is open to certain deans one week ahead of when it opens to the rest of campus. The deans can make early registration available to those with special needs. Reznick said that the proposal before the Council now seeks to replace this poorly understood system with a system that is transparent and has regular oversight. The proposal has been unanimously endorsed by the Athletics Committee, the registrar, and the Educational Policy Committee.

Reznick explained that the plan would allow certain, identified groups of students to register ahead of other students in their same class year. Seniors in these groups would register before other seniors, juniors before other juniors, but not before any seniors. Additionally, the task force recommends a cap (presently suggested to be 25%) on the number of seats in any course that would be in play during priority registration, but Reznick noted that current software makes this feature of the proposal difficult to implement. The new PeopleSoft system may help with this, although it will not change the fact that departments have ultimate control over this particular matter.

Reznick explained that the new system would be managed by the Priority Registration Advisory Committee (PRAC), a committee of faculty, students, and administrators appointed by the registrar to review all requests for priority registration. PRAC will only consider requests made on behalf of discrete groups of students, not individuals. The proposal identifies several sample groups that might be eligible, but does not make final determinations. Leaders of particular programs will nominate groups of students for priority registration. Based on a report that includes the rationale for priority and a total number of students included in a nominated group, the PRAC will decide which groups get priority. PRAC meetings will be public, deliberations will be recorded, and requests accepted or denied will be noted. Having a list of students included in all approved groups, the registrar will grant priority status. PRAC will monitor data and report annually to EPC about how the privilege is being used.

Reznick concluded his “bicycle tour” of priority registration by saying that additional documents relating to the proposal will be posted on the Faculty Governance website soon. He stated that no other university appears to have a system as formal as the one we are considering.

Question period:

Bernadette Gray-Little (Psychology/Provost) asked why the proposal’s eligibility requirements privileged those taking courses for licensure over those who need courses simply to fulfill their majors. Reznick responded that in the School of Education, the time from entering the program leading to certification in one’s junior year to the end is very short, giving students only three semesters to complete their courses for certification. This short time frame does not apply to completing a major.

Gray-Little asked if priority would be extended for all courses, or just certain courses. Reznick responded that the system would simply assign a certain time to register but would not identify which courses could be registered for during that time. Gray-Little observed that licensure requirements did not seem to differ markedly from other requirements students need to meet.

Patrick Conway (Economics) asked if a group such as those going on a junior year abroad would be considered a “group” under this system. Reznick said they could be, if the advisor of their program made a recommendation for them. Reznick reiterated that the new policy would make the process transparent and said that it will be up to the PRAC to decide how to allocate priority registration.

Conway commented that he disliked the fact that individuals would not be able to apply and asked what accommodations could be made for students working more than 20 hours a week to pay for college. Reznick responded that considering individual applications would be impossible without more staff.

Susan Bickford (Political Science) observed that she expected the inclusion of student athletes among priority registrants will be controversial among faculty who might not object to priority registration for those with academic (e.g. licensure) constraints. She wondered why certain extracurricular activities are being advantaged over others. Reznick responded that student athletes formally represent the university and are required to attend practices and other events during class time. Bickford suggested that coaches could be asked not to hold events or practices during class hours.

Pete Andrews (Public Policy) asked about the relationship between the authority of the PRAC and the power of individual departments to admit students, especially their own majors, to classes. Reznick said the task force had hoped to address this problem by limiting the number of seats in play and by monitoring the workings of the process. He did note that this is not designed to allow numerous student athletes to get into easy courses; it is designed to allow students to design the most efficient schedules possible.

Chair Templeton observed that the conversation seemed to be migrating from clarification to discussion and offered to arrange an additional meeting in December to facilitate greater debate. No one, however, favored an additional meeting. Templeton promised to make priority registration the centerpiece of the December Council meeting in order to permit adequate time for debate before the vote.

Mike Radionchenko (Undergraduate member of EPC, liaison to Faculty Council) asked for data on the number of students having trouble filling their requirements because of registration problems. Reznick stated that much of the information about this has been gained through exit interviews with student athletes. He offered to gather additional information before the December meeting on anything the Council wanted to know.

Beverly Foster (Nursing) suggested that it might be helpful to know how many students receive priority registration now and who they are.

Greg Copenhaver (Biology) requested that a discussion board be established on the Faculty Council website. This idea was well received.

Thomas Oatley (Political Science) asked for more information about impact on departments’ ability to manage enrollments.

Robin Visser (Asian Studies) asked if the software allows courses to be tagged as electives or requirements. Registrar Alice Poehls said it does not.

Explanation of Proposals from the Committee on Student Conduct

Click here to listen to the audio of the explanation of these proposals.

Visit the Agenda page for links to all the proposals.

Jonathan Sauls, Assistant Dean of Students, presented a series of proposals, all but one of which (the final proposal) have been unanimously approved by the Committee on Student Conduct. He explained that the first two proposals change the procedures of the appellate process. As currently worded, the rules request a student to file an appeal within five business days, but this rule overlooks the fact that the finding from the court may not have been received. The proposed change allows the five days to start once the student receives the court’s findings. This may cut down on appeals.

Greg Copenhaver (Biology) asked how the office knows when the finding has been received. Sauls reported that he usually hands this information to the student directly, in a face-to-face meeting.

Sauls explained the second proposed change, an alteration that would permit, but no longer require, Appellate Review Board review of all appeals denied by Sauls or his fellow deans. This change is expected to save time. The third proposal removes the requirement that charge decisions be sent via certified mail, which is often returned undelivered. This proposal eliminates mandatory certified mail in favor of email or other methods that will insure that the student has timely notice. This is likely to save considerable money.

Sauls noted that the fourth proposal clarifies wording in several sections, while the final three proposals deal with the DWI cases that have become a significant part of the conduct caseload in the undergraduate honor system. The proposals separate the offenses of DWI and reckless driving and create a drug and alcohol “suspension” sanction to supplement the current probation sanction.

Sauls stated that the final proposal, to create a usual sanction for DWI cases, passed the COSC by a split vote. Supporters felt the proposal codifies existing practice and ensures equity, while opponents feared that the implementation of a “usual” sanction would impair the committee’s flexibility. Sauls noted that “usual” does not mean “mandatory,” but that it is the sanction imposed when there is no mitigating information.

Joy Renner (Allied Health Sciences) asked how the Dean of Students office is informed that a student has incurred a DWI. Sauls said the office gets a daily police report and determines whether the university has jurisdiction by considering whether the infraction affected the university in some way, especially if it occurred near campus.

Susan Bickford (Political Science) asked how the office confirms that students have received emails. Sauls said these emails usually are sent after students are told to expect them. The emails often require action by the student, and if the student does not respond, the office follows up in other ways.

Chair Templeton said that COSC chair Professor Bob Adler will arrive later in the meeting to call for a vote on these proposals.

Panel Discussion on Future Directions in Research at Carolina

Click here to listen to the audio of this panel discussion.

Chair Templeton introduced the panel discussion on research at Carolina, which builds upon the Faculty Committee on Research’s spring 2007 annual report. That report had proposed some strategies by which the university might meet the chancellor’s stated goal of raising the amount of outside funded research at UNC to $1 billion by 2016.

Panelists were: Prof. Peggy Bentley ( School of Public Health); Prof. Jacquelyn Hall (History Department); Prof. Harvey Seim (Marine Sciences, and Chair, Faculty Research Committee); and Tony Waldrop (Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development).

Templeton posed a series of questions to the panelists.

Templeton Question #1: What are the advantages and disadvantages of setting an audacious dollar goal for research at Carolina?

Waldrop noted that he and the chancellor had discussed the prospect that naming a dollar figure might indicate too great an emphasis on money. But they had decided that a figure was a helpful way to express a concrete goal.

Templeton Question #2: How important is outside funding in your discipline?

Hall observed that outside funding is increasingly important for the arts and humanities, but that it plays a different role than it does in the sciences and Health Affairs schools. She expressed concern that a campaign like this may disadvantage the arts and humanities.

Bentley noted that as a medical anthropologist, she has in previous jobs needed to generate 80-100% of her salary, and that even here there is pressure to generate considerable support. She emphasized the need for finding ways to foster interdisciplinary research by inducing donors to provide incentives for scholars in different fields to work together.

Seim noted that outside funding is essential in marine sciences, but that the level of pressure has changed as it has become more difficult to get NSF funding. Interdisciplinary research, while appealing, entails complicated negotiations about how departments will share money, work together, or use resources at other campuses. If we are serious about growing the interdisciplinary research enterprise, we need resources.

Waldrop observed that funding agencies are more and more interested in interdisciplinary projects. To encourage interdisciplinary projects, we need to look at how we reward team scholarship work in our promotion and tenure process.

Greg Copenhaver (Biology) commented that from his experience on government review panels, interdisciplinarity is expected now, not novel. The fundamentals of research remain important, and we need to focus on finding ways to let researcher know of grant opportunities that are relevant to them.

Waldrop reminded everyone of the existence of the GrantSource library to help faculty search for funding, but said we do not presently have resources to contact faculty about every relevant grant.

Referring to a one-page handout provided today that summarized the April 2007 Research Committee report (available on the Faculty Governance website) Diane Leonard (English and Comparative Literature Lit/AAUP liaison) asked what the research committee meant by its admonition that the university “enhance faculty incentives to succeed” and address compensation issues.

Seim explained that the report sought to encourage development of a strategic plan to reach the $1 billion goal.

Templeton Question #3: What would be some advantages/drawbacks to allowing centers and institutes to hire faculty?

Bentley asked if this question implied hiring of tenure-track faculty (Templeton confirmed that it did). She asserted that hiring faculty without a departmental home is not a good idea because it changes a center’s core mission of fostering collaboration across different units.

Hall agreed, but wondered about whether the centers might hire non tenure-track faculty, professors of the practice, or researchers.

Seim noted that the Research Committee had focused on how the university can respond quickly to opportunities, thinking that centers and institutes might be able to hire more quickly than departments.

Waldrop observed that the more germane question may be about who initiates and leads the search. While centers and institutes might take the lead in hiring faculty that focus on their priorities and areas, such hires could still have a regular departmental home. Hall endorsed this idea.

Bentley noted that the School of Public Health has four areas of emphasis (health disparities, obesity, global heath, water), and that having these areas of focus helps guide hiring across departmental lines.

Steve Reznick (Psychology) asked whether a junior faculty member who came up for promotion having a few grants and publications and a long list of grants applied for but not won would achieve tenure.

Waldrop noted that impact is more important than quantity. Gray-Little added that departments that require sponsored research have been struggling with this in recent years, as there are a number of very good faculty members who have not received much funding. Seim said that the tenure process would need to recognize and reward people who seek funding beyond NIH and NSF, because the only way to increase funding is to approach new sources.

Hall observed that in the humanities, getting grants is less relevant than publishing to achieving tenure, but she emphasized the role grants play in providing the time that faculty need to do their research and writing.

Diane Leonard (English and Comparative Literature/AAUP liaison) asked about the levels of internal research support the university has in place, especially for areas that don’t attract much outside funding. She noted that research and study leaves sometimes seem to be used for recruitments rather than for existing faculty.

Bentley reported that Public Health does not offer sabbaticals; faculty have to buy out their time. But she and Waldrop agreed that time is a critical factor in faculty ability to attract grants.

Greg Copenhaver (Biology) observed that as federal dollars are decreasing, reductions in funding available for graduate students and postdocs is also declining.

Laurie Maffly-Kipp (Religious Studies) asked if there had been any attention to how to educate faculty to be entrepreneurs in seeking funding, especially in connecting with publics or donors who need particular research done. Do current university policies or programs encourage or discourage this?

Pete Andrews (Public Policy) emphasized the need for more funding for the University Research Council, which compares but poorly with Wisconsin’s internal faculty research support program. Faculty involved in the early stages of the Carolina First campaign had named this a top priority, but the idea never quite took root. Might there be a chance to make raising some funds for enhanced internal research support a focus for the campaign’s final push? Waldrop agreed that the URC funding was shockingly small, although he has increased it during his tenure here.

Mick Murray (Pharmacy) asked how the plans and discussions about research relate to the UNC Tomorrow initiative and possibilities for community engagement. Waldrop responded that we already had an Engagement Task Force and a Vice Chancellor for Engagement (Mike Smith) in place before the UNC Tomorrow initiative began.

Vote on Committee on Student Conduct Proposals

Prof. Bob Adler, Chair, Committee on Student Conduct, arrived to call for the vote on the committee’s proposals. He moved that the first four proposals (the minor procedural changes) be approved as a bundle. Kant Bangdiwala (Biostatistics) seconded the motion. There was no discussion. The motion carried.

Adler moved adoption of the fifth, sixth, and seventh proposals, and Doug Kelly (Statistics) seconded the motion. There was no discussion. The motion carried.

Adler thanked the Council and noted that the proposals still have to go student government and Chancellor Moeser for approval.

Presentation of Nominees for 2008 Distinguished Alumnus/a Awards (closed session)

The Faculty Council went into closed session.

On behalf of Secretary Joseph Ferrell (who missed the meeting due to illness) and the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards, Chair Templeton presented five nominees for Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards to be presented on University Day 2008, and one nominee for an Honorary Degree to be presented at Commencement 2008. Each nominee was approved.


Its business having been completed, the Council adjourned at 4:59 p.m.

Anne Mitchell Whisnant
Acting Secretary


Pdf of meeting materials

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