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Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, January 29, 2010
3:00 p.m.
Hitchcock Multipurpose Room
Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Chancellor Holden Thorp and
Professor McKay Coble, Chair of  the Faculty, presiding


3:00 Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Chancellor Holden Thorp

3:10 Provost’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Interim Provost Bruce Carney

3:20 Committee Reports

3:30    Demonstration: Faculty Research Database

  • Prof.  Ken Bollen, Director, H.W. Odum Institute for Research in Social Science; and H.R. Immerwahr Distinguished Professor of Sociology
  • Mr.  Andy Johns, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and the Director of the  Office of Research Information Systems
  • Mr. Johns’ PowerPoint presentation is here.

4:00    UNC Global: Minds on a Mission, A January  2010 Update

4:30    ConnectCarolina Update

4:45    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 64 members of the Council attended: Aaron, Anderson, Bagnell, Bechtel, Bickford, Binotti, Blackburn,  Blalock, Blocher, Bowdish, C. Brown, J. Brown, Carlson, Catellier, Coleman, DeSaix, Earp, Egan, Fuchs-Lokensgar, Gerhardt, Gilliland, Greene, Gulledge, Guskiewicz, Hartnett, Hayslett, Heenan, Hodges, Irons, Janken, Katznelson, Kelly, Lee, Lopez, Lothspeich, Maffly-Kipp, Marr, McMillan, Melamut, Mieczkowski, Morris-Natschke, Morse, New, Owen, Papanikolas, Paul, Persky,  Quinonez, Renner, Richardson, Rodgers, Sheldon, Shields, Stearns, Stotts, Sweeney, Sweet, Szypszak, Thorp, Thrailkill, Tisdale, Toews, Wallace, and Yankaskas.

The following 20 members were granted excused absences: Andrews, Ashby, Bloom, Brice, Cornell, Gerber, Halloran, Koomen, Koroluk, Mauro, Mumby, Paquette, Rhodes, Schoenfisch, Shea, Stein, Tobin,  Troster, Van Tilburg, and Williams.

The following 2 members were absent without excuse: Dilworth-Anderson and Verkerk.

Call to Order

Chair of the Faculty McKay Coble called the meeting to order promptly at 3:00 p.m.

Chancellor’s Remarks and Question  Period

Chancellor Holden Thorp commented on the search for a new executive vice chancellor and provost. He said he is pleased with the quality  of the three finalists who have visited the campus, and that he is aware that  many faculty members are disappointed at the lack of diversity among the finalists with respect to race, gender, and scholarly interests. The chancellor mentioned a number of strategies that had been employed in this search to address those concerns, which had troubled the search committee as well—a group  that is perhaps the most diverse he has seen. He said that the committee had  advertised widely, had consulted with the provosts and deans of arts and  sciences of peer institutions in an effort to identify persons who might be  asked to apply, and had made many personal telephone calls to colleagues. In addition, the committee was assisted by a professional search firm which was well aware of these concerns. Despite these efforts, he said, the committee was not successful in identifying women or persons of color who rose to the level of finalist.

Interim Provost Bruce Carney added that he had reported  recently to the Board of Trustees that at current growth rates, it will take eighty  years for the proportion of African-American faculty to equal the percentage of African-American students. Prof. Shelley Earp, co-chair of the search committee, emphasized that the committee was very sensitive to the issue under  discussion.

Chancellor Thorp said that a survey seeking faculty and staff  feedback on organizational effectiveness will soon be distributed as part of the CarolinaCounts Initiative. He urged the faculty to respond to the survey.

Chancellor Thorp announced his appointment of an Energy Task  Force charged with developing the most practical plan for reducing Carolina’s carbon foot print. This arises primarily out of concern for the use of coal as the principal fuel for the University’s co-generation plan on Cameron Avenue. The task force will be  chaired by Tim Toben, chair of the North Carolina Energy Policy Council.  Members include Trustee Alston Gardner; Prof. Royce Murray; David McNelis, director the Center for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economic Development; Jonathan Howes, special assistant to the chancellor; Molly  Diggins, state director of the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club; and undergraduate students Elinor Benami and Mary Cooper. The chancellor encouraged faculty members interested in economic and environmental issues related to  power generation to take an interest in the task force’s work.

The chancellor reported that Prof. Jack Evans has recently  stepped down as Faculty Athletic Representative after serving fifteen years in that capacity. He praised Prof. Evans’ service in this important post. He said that Prof. Lissa Broome has been appointed to the position as of July 1, 2010.

The chancellor said that the recent test of the emergency warning system had been successful. The sirens performed as designed, and text messages were sent to 40,000 registered persons. Delivery time for 91 percent of the messages was less than two minutes.

A member of the Council asked for consideration of nap time at local day care centers when future tests are scheduled. She said that this  test occurred at nap time and was frightening to the children who had no warning.

Provost’s Remarks and Question  Period

Interim Provost Bruce Carney reported that Mr. Winston Crisp  has been selected as the new vice chancellor for student affairs, effective May 15, 2010, and that Prof. Gary Marcionini has been appointed dean of the School of Information and Library Science  beginning April 1. He thanked Interim Dean Barbara Moran for her outstanding service during the interim.

Provost Carney reported that the position of Assistant  Provost and University Registrar has been filled, but since the necessary  paperwork has not been completed, he is not at liberty to name the individual at this time. He thanked Interim Registrar Roberta Kelly for a job well done. Provost Carney said that the Office of the Registrar has now completed converting all student records back to 1964 to digital format. This was a part of the ERP Initiative.

As for other current searches for senior administrative  positions, Provost Carney reported that the search for dean of the School of Dentistry is nearing its final stages, and the search for Senior Vice Provost for Finance will begin soon. Mr. David  Perry is serving as the interim in the latter position.

Provost Carney concluded by saying that a Daily Tar Heel reporter had asked him recently to name the most important issues before the Office of the Provost at the moment, and that he has replied (1) development of a new academic plan, and  (2) working on how best to handle global issues facing the campus. A committee co-chaired by Prof. Sue Estroff and Prof. Bill Andrews is now working on the academic plan.

Annual Reports of Standing Committees

Faculty Assembly Delegation. Chair of the Faculty McKay Coble, chair of the Faculty Assembly Delegation, reported briefly on the structure of  the Assembly and its work.

Faculty Research Committee View the Report here. Prof. Kenneth Bollen, chair of the Faculty Research Committee, said that the committee’s work has been focused on working with Associate Vice Chancellor Andy Johns who is developing a computer-based search engine that  functions as a “clearinghouse of information” with respect to faculty grant-funded research activities. As of the present time, the program does not include information about library-based research.

Prof. Bollen introduced Mr. Johns, who described the search engine with the assistance of a PowerPoint presentation, which can be viewed here.

UNC Global: Minds on a Mission, A January 2010  Update

Executive Associate Provost Ronald Strauss briefed the Council on Carolina’s plans to become a global university. His PowerPoint presentation may be found here.

ConnectCarolina Update

Ms. Jerri Bland, executive director for enterprise applications, and Mr. Chris Derickson, associate university registrar, briefed  the Council on the current status of ConnectCarolina, which is an integrated business solution that replaces the former Student Information System. Mr.  Derickson said that registration will begin under the new system in the 2010 Fall Semester, and that faculty will begin entering grades in the system in December, 2010.

Mr. Derickson presented an overview of the new method of entering grades with the assistance of a PowerPoint presentation, which may be viewed here.

Prof. Jean DeSaix asked whether the new system will permit uploading grades from and Excel spreadsheet. Mr. Derickson said that it would not. Prof. DeSaix asked how many grades could be entered on a single page. The answer was 50.

Prof. Suzanne Gulledge asked whether the system will interface with the course evaluation system. The answer was yes.

A Council member asked how grade changes will be handled. The answer was that this will continue to be a paper-based process in the short  term. Eventually, the Office of the Registrar hopes to find an electronic means.

A question was raised about FERPA training (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act). Senior Associate Dean Bobbi Owen said that the College is working on plans for going to individual departmental faculty meetings for mass training. She said that the College hopes to avoid having to keep track of faculty taking the required training individually.

Prof. Coble asked about workshops for familiarizing faculty  with the new system. Mr. Derickson said that the Office of the Registrar is now conducting workshops with departmental staff with a goal of training at least one person in each department. The hope is that this person will “spread the  word.”

A Council member asked when the faculty will begin to have access to the system. Mr. Derickson replied that access will begin when class  rosters have been generated.

In reply to a question, Mr. Derickson said that the system will be “real time;” there will be no time lag as data is recorded.

In reply to a question, Mr. Derickson said that undergraduate  admissions are now being handled online in the new system.


Its business having been completed, the Council adjourned at 4:47 p.m.

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

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