Meeting of the Faculty Council and the General Faculty

Friday, September 10, 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

 Agenda

3:00 Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Chancellor Holden Thorp

3:15 Recognition of Hettleman Award Winners

  • Chancellor Holden Thorp

3:20 Resolution 2010-4. On Excused Absences for Religious Observances

3:30 Using “Appreciative Inquiry” to Consider the Role and Work of the Faculty Council

  • Chair of the Faculty McKay Coble
  • Dr. David Kiel, Leadership Coordinator, Center for Faculty Excellence

What is “Appreciative Inquiry”?

5:00    Adjourn

Minutes

The General Faculty and 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 68 members of the Council attended: Anderson, Bachenheimer, Bagnell, Balaban, Bechtel, Betts, Blalock, C. Brown, Carlson, Chapman, Chen, Coble, Copenhaver, Crowder, DeSaix, Eaker-Rich, Earp, Ferrell, Fuchs Lokensgar, Gallippi,  Gerber, Gerhardt, Greene, Hayslett, Heenan, Hess, Irons, Koomen, Kramer, Krome-Lukens, Lee, Linden, Maffly-Kipp, Mayer, McMillan, Mieczkowski, Milano, Miller, Milone, Moracco, Morris-Natschke, Morse, O’Shaughnessey, Palmer, Papanikolas, Paul, Persky, Renner, Richardson, Rodgers, Schoenfisch, Shanahan, Shea, Stearns, Steponaitis, Stewart, Stotts, Sunnaborg, Swogger, Szypszak, H. Thorp, Thrailkill, Tisdale, Tobin, Toews, Van Tilburg, Wallace, and Webster-Cyriaque.

The following 25 members were granted excused absences: Brice, J. Brown, Catellier, Cohen, Cornell, Dilworth-Anderson, Egan, Friga, Gehrig, Gilland, Gilliland, Gulledge, Guskiewicz, Leonard, Lopez, Lothspeich, Lund, New, O’Connell-Edwards, Powers, Schoenbach, Starkey, J. Thorp, Troster, and Yankaskas.

The following member was absent without excuse: 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 began by reporting that 2009-10 was another outstanding year for attracting research funding and private gifts. Research funding totaled $804 million, a 12.2 percent increase from the prior year. The College of Arts and Sciences experienced a 48 percent increase and the School of Medicine a 22 percent increase. Private fund-raising yielded $268 million, just 1 percent below 2008-09. That is a very good record given the current state of the economy, he said.

As for prospects for funding from the state budget, the chancellor said that he anticipates another year of uncertainty. This year, we absorbed a permanent reduction in state funding of 5 percent. State fiscal analysts expect a shortfall in the 2011-12 budget of between $2.5 billion and $3 billion. Governor Perdue has asked the University System to develop scenarios for absorbing either a 5 percent or a 10 percent reduction in funding in 2011-12. These scenarios do not take into account possible tuition increases, he said. Chancellor Thorp reassured the faculty that student financial aid and protecting the University’s academic mission will continue to be our top budget priorities. He pointed out that despite the decline in state support we experienced in 2009-10, we managed to hire 120 new faculty members and to keep enrollment figures steady at more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Chancellor Thorp reported that Dr. Heather Monroe-Blum, principal and vice chancellor of McGill University, will be the speaker at this year’s University Day convocation, the theme of which will be innovation and entrepreneurship. Dr. Monroe-Blum has been a leader in shaping innovation strategy for Canada, he said.

The chancellor reported that the final phase of the science complex will be dedicated on University Day. The new buildings will be named Venable Hall and Murray Hall. The former retains the historic name of the chemistry building and the latter is being named in honor of Royce Murray, Kenan Professor of Chemistry.

Chancellor Thorp addressed the ongoing investigation of the football program being conducted by the NCAA and alleged academic misconduct by several football players that is being investigated by the Office of Student Affairs and officers of the student judicial system. He said that the administration is working as hard as possible to get through the situation, both in terms of resolving immediate concerns and instituting any changes found to be needed in the long term. He summarized the circumstances leading to the NCAA investigation, which revolve around improper contacts between players and agents seeking to represent them in future negotiations with NFL teams. In the course of that investigation, information came to light indicating that there may have been instances of ongoing academic misconduct involving a number of players and  an individual who had at one time been employed as a tutor in the academic support center. The former tutor is no longer employed by the University, but she continued to have interactions with a number of members of the football team despite explicit instructions routinely communicated to all parties that such contacts are improper. Chancellor Thorp said that he has assembled a team that is assessing the situation and making recommendations. Members are Chancellor Thorp; Prof. Lissa Broome, faculty athletics representative; Prof. Jack Evans, former faculty athletics representative; Mr. John Blanchard, senior associate athletic director for student-athlete services; Ms. Amy Herman, assistant athletic director for compliance; Mr. Lance Markos, assistant athletic director for compliance; Vice Chancellor Winston Crisp; General Counsel Leslie Strohm; Mr. Dick Baddour, athletic director; and Mr. Larry Gallo, senior associate director of athletics.

Chancellor Thorp said that a difficult decision had been made to sideline 15 football players for the September 3 opening game pending resolution of questions that could affect their eligibility to compete in intercollegiate athletics under NCAA regulations. On the issue of potential academic misconduct, he emphasized that “our academic integrity is more important than winning any football game, but we need to remember that students, coaches, and others involved in athletic programs are also part of our family.”

The chancellor reported that Athletics Director Baddour had recently accepted the resignation of assistant football coach John Blake, who had been found to have questionable relationships with an outside agent.

Chancellor Thorp concluded by saying that he has met with the Faculty Athletics Committee and has asked the committee to work with him on issues related to academic support, both short-term and long-term. He concluded by saying that he is “very proud of the people and decisions we have made thus far.”

Prof. Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology & Immunology) said that he appreciated the chancellor’s remarks, but he felt that there is still a danger of the tail wagging the dog. The decision to hire Coach Butch Davis signaled a move to “big-time” football, he said. He thought that there is a connection between aspiring to be one of the top ten football programs in the country and the problems we have been confronting in the past few weeks. The chancellor said that these concerns are part of his thinking as well, but the welfare of individuals caught up in the situation is our chief concern at the moment. Larger issues will be addressed later.

Prof. Thomas Linden (Journalism & Mass Communication) referred to press reports that Coach Blake had received $70,000 in severance pay and asked why that was considered appropriate, given the fact that the resignation appears not to have been entirely voluntary. Chancellor Thorp replied that standard practice is to award three months of severance pay to EPA non-faculty personnel who are separated from the University. Prof. Linden replied that to some, awarding severance pay to an employee who resigns under duress in inappropriate. He added that he hopes that the chancellor’s emphasis on academic integrity continues to be our policy.

Hettleman Awards

Chancellor Thorp presented the 2010 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty to James Bear, associate professor of cell and developmental biology; Yufeng Liu, associate professor of statistics and operations research; Garyk Papoian, associate professor of chemistry; and Krista Perreira, associate professor of public policy.

Resolution 2010-4. On Excused Absences for Religious Observances

Prof. Joseph Ferrell, secretary of the faculty, acting on behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee, presented and moved adoption of Resolution 2010-4 amending the undergraduate academic regulations on class attendance and final examinations. He explained that in the closing days of the 2010 session, the General Assembly enacted an amendment to G.S. 116-11(3a) to require each constituent institution of The University of North Carolina “to adopt a policy of two excused absences each academic year for religious observances required by the faith of a student,” beginning with the 2010-11 academic year. Because of the late date, there was no time for the Faculty Council to enact the necessary changes in the academic policies as published in the Undergraduate Bulletin. In such a case, the Faculty Code enables the Faculty Executive Committee to exercise the Council’s legislative powers, subject to later confirmation by the Council. Prof. Ferrell said that in the course of preparing the necessary legislation for Council action, Prof. Steven Reznik had pointed out the need to amend the final examination policy to exempt first year seminars from the requirement of having a final examination, as long as the minimum number of contact hours was observed. That change has also been incorporated in the proposed resolution.

Resolution 2010-4 was adopted without dissent. See the adopted resolution below.

Using “Appreciative Inquiry” to Consider the Role and Work of the Faculty Council

Dr. David Kiel, Leadership Coordinator for the Center for Faculty Excellence, led the Council in small group discussions of the role and work of the Council.

Adjournment

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

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

 

Pdf of meeting materials

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