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Meeting of the Faculty Council & the General Faculty

Friday, March 18, 2011
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

3:15 Provost’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Provost Bruce Carney

3:30 University Career Services: An Overview and Discussion with Faculty Council Members

  • Mr. Ray Angle, Director, University Career Services

4:00-4:50 Annual Reports

4:50 Faculty Code Amendments (Vote)

    • Prof. Vin Steponaitis, Chair, Committee on University Government

5:00 Adjourn


The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened March 18, at 3:00 p.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

The following 58 members attended: Anderson, Bachenheimer, Balaban, Brice, Carlson, Chapman, Chen, Coble, Cohen, Copenhaver, Crowder, DeSaix, Eaker-Rich, Egan, Ferrell, Friga, Fuchs-Lokensgar, Gehrig, Gerber, Greene, Gulledge, Hayslett, Hess, Irons, Janken, Koomen, Kramer, Lee, Leonard, Linden, Lopez, Lothspeich, Lund, Mayer, McMillan, Milano, Miller, Morris-Natschke, Morse, Palmer, Papanikolas, Persky, Renner, Richardson, Rodgers, Schoenbach, Starkey, Steponaitis, Stewart, Stotts, Szypszak, Thorp, Thrailkill, Tisdale, Tobin, Toews, Van Tilburg, and Wallace. The following 26 members were granted excused absences: Bagnell, Bechtel, C. Brown, J. Brown, Cornell, Earp, Gerhardt, Gilland, Gilliland, Guskiewicz, Heenan, Krome-Lukens, Maffly-Kipp, Milone, Moracco, New, O’Shaughnessey, Paul, Powers, Schoenfisch, Shanahan, Shea, Stearns, J. Thorp, Troster, and Yankaskas. The following 6 members were absent without excuse: Blalock, Dilworth-Anderson, Mieczkowski, Sunnarborg, Verkerk, and Webster-Cyriaque.

Call to Order

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

Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

Chancellor Holden Thorp expressed solidarity with the people of Japan as they face the consequences of a disastrous earthquake and tsunami resulting in severe damage to a nuclear power plant. He summarized efforts on this campus relevant to the situation:

  • The Carolina Center for Public Service has launched a disaster relief website;
  • Prof. David Richardson (Epidemiology) studies the long-term health risks for nuclear power plant employees and serves on a White House Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health.
  • Prof. Jonathan Lees (Geological Sciences), a seismologist, works extensively around the Pacific Rim and is knowledgeable about aftershocks and how the Earth’s axis shifts during an earthquake.

The chancellor reported that Carolina has the privilege this week of hosting the first public forum of the President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, of which he is a member along with University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. The council is advising the president on how to find better ways to spin the bright ideas that emerge on campuses like ours into practical initiatives that create jobs and expand the economy.

Chancellor Thorp said that earlier this year, the General Assembly asked General Administration to suggest ways to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency across the University system. One of the proposals is to consolidate all University system employees under the authority of the Board of Governors. Currently, SPA employees are under the authority of the State Personnel Act as overseen by the State Personnel Commission and Office of State Personnel, while EPA employees (both faculty and non-faculty) are under Board of Governors authority.  The intent of this proposal is to simplify personnel administration for all of the UNC campuses by providing consolidated authority for personnel matters under a single body, and to allow the university system to tailor its personnel programs in a way that better responds to the unique needs of higher education. The chancellor emphasized that nothing in the proposal will impair job security rights. He added that he thinks this is an extremely positive step both for the University system and for our employees.

Prof. Vin Steponaitis (Anthropology) asked for comment on whether the General Assembly is likely to siphon off Facilities and Administration Funds (F&A) that accompany federal grants. The chancellor replied that discussion continues in legislative committees on this issue. He said he think we can establish a definite cause and effect relationship between the decision several years back to allow the University to retain all of this revenue and an upward spike in our research funding. F&A revenue enables start-up funding for new researchers and other  infrastructure that enables our faculty to attract research funding from outside sources.

Prof. Lloyd Kramer (History) asked again, as he had in January, about in-state residency for graduate students. He said that Prof. Evelyne Huber, chair of Political Science, had told him that all nine graduate students in her department who had applied had been rejected. Chancellor Thorp replied that Dean Steve Matson is working with a committee studying guidelines and process. He added that the current political environment may make it difficult to confront this issue directly, but he will see what can be done. Provost Carney added that part of the problem appears to be differing opinions as to how to interpret the law on the subject. He said that a succession of individuals have handled residency determinations over the past several years and that he, the university registrar, and the dean of the Graduate School have been meeting to ensure clarify and uniformity of interpretation.

Provost’s Remarks and Question Period

Provost Carney said that he had hoped to be able to present to the Council at this meeting a proposed amendment to the Trustee Policies and Regulations Governing Academic Tenure that would implement the proposal to add Master Lecturer to the list of permissible fixed-term titles, thus enabling a three-tier career progression from lecturer, to senior lecturer, to master lecturer. He hopes to have the resolution ready for action at the next Council meeting.

The provost reported that the search for vice chancellor for research is in its last stages; an offer is pending. A search firm has been retained to assist in the search for vice chancellor for business and finance. The search for dean of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication has yielded 24 applicants.

University Career Services

Mr. Ray Angle, Director of University Career Services, spoke to the Council of the mission and work of his agency.

Annual Reports of Standing Committees

Administrative Board of the Library. Prof. Cheryl Mason Bolick, chair of the Administrative Board of the Library presented the board’s annual report. She said that the 2010 restructuring of the board has improved its functionality. Members are more engaged and are better able to work together with a smaller number of people. Prof. Bolick said that this year four themes emerged: collection development; budget issues; convergence of the University Library and the Health Sciences Library; and the role of the library as a catalyst for digital scholarship.

Prof. Lloyd Kramer (History) said that a number of graduate students have asked why they are required to make their dissertation available in digital format. He said this makes it more difficult for them to turn the dissertation into a book and thereby impedes progress toward tenure. Prof. Bolick replied that the board had not addressed that issue. Dr. Carol Tobin, Head of David Library Reference, said this is a requirement by the Graduate School, not the University Library. A member of the Council reported that students are allowed to embargo digital publication of their dissertations for a period of one year.

Buildings and Grounds. Prof. David Owens, chair of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds, presented the committee’s annual report. He said that when the economy was more robust, the committee had more to do. This year was relatively quiet and addressed mainly remodeling projects.

Faculty Assembly Delegation. Prof. Steven Bachenheimer, Head of the Faculty Assembly Delegation, reported on the origin and work of the Faculty Assembly. He said that its primary benefit is to produce a forum for faculty on campuses in the University System that do not have a strong tradition of shared governance.

Committee on the Status of Women. Prof. Patrick Curran (Psychology), chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, presented the committee’s annual report. He summarized a number of key issues that were identified at the town-meetings sponsored by the committee. He said that the committee’s report this year should be thought of as preliminary data-gathering. The committee anticipates more systematic and rigorous study during the coming year. Prof. Curran said that the preliminary results suggest many positive aspects of work at Carolina for our women faculty and staff, but there are a number of small irritants that need to be addressed.

Prof. Diane Leonard (English & Comparative Literature) expressed dismay at the report which she said focuses almost solely on issues related to children and child-rearing. There are academic issues that the report ignores, she said. As a result, the report reinforces stereotypes of women. Prof. Curran replied that the report concerns on issues that were identified by faculty colleagues at the committee-sponsored “town meetings.” He assured Prof. Leonard that her concerns would be considered by the committee.

Prof. Kay Lund (Cell & Molecular Physiology) said that in bad economic times women are particularly vulnerable. She hoped there will be an opportunity for both women and men to focus on solutions as well as problems.

Faculty Code Amendments

The Secretary of the Faculty laid before the Council Resolution 2011-1 which was approved on first reading at the February meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council. Prof. Vin Steponaitis, chair of the Committee on University Government, gave a brief explanation of both Resolution 2011-1 and Resolution 2011-2 for the benefit of members who were not in attendance in February.

Prof. Ferrell called for discussion or debate. There was none. Resolution 2011-1 was adopted on second reading and ordered enrolled.

The Secretary of the Faculty laid before the General Faculty Resolution 2011-2 which was approved on first reading at the February meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council. There was no discussion or debate. Resolution 2011-2 was adopted on second reading and ordered enrolled.


Its business having been completed, the Council adjourned.

Respectfully submitted
Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty


Pdf of meeting materials

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