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Meeting of the Faculty Council & General Faculty

Originally set for Friday, April 12, 2013

NEW LOCATION:  Nelson Mandela Auditorium, FedEx Global Education Center

Twitter hashtag:  #FacCouncil

Chancellor Holden Thorp and Professor Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty, presiding

Revised Agenda

3:00  Chancellor’s Remarks & Question Period

  • Chancellor Holden Thorp

3:10  Provost’s Remarks & Question Period

  • Provost Bruce Carney

3:30  Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks & Question Period

  • Prof. Jan Boxill

3:40 Resolutions of Gratitude to Chancellor & Provost

3:45 Faculty Athletics Committee Monthly Update

3:55 Standing Committee Annual Reports

4:25 Honor System Reforms

4:45 Resolution 2013-8.  On Weekday Football Games.

  • Presented by Prof. Wayne Lee, History Department, for the Athletics Reform Group

4:55 In Remembrance of Deceased Faculty

5:00 Adjourn

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened April 26, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium of the FedEx Global Education Center.

The following 48 Council members attended: Bachenheimer, Balaban, Baumgartner, Bhardwaj, Boxill, Bulik, Bunch, Cavin, Chenault, Collier, Copenhaver, Eaker-Rich, Engel, Friga, Gerhardt, Grabowski, Hackman, Heitsch, Hill, Hirsch, Howes, Ives, Joyner, Koomen, Kramer, Lee, Leonard, Linden, Mayer-Davis, McMillan, Moon, Moreton, O’Shaughnessey, Palmer, Parker, Persky, Pertsova, Reiter, Renner, Rodgers, Schoenbach, Shields, Stenberg, Swogger, Toews, H. Watson, R. Watson, and Webster-Cyriaque.

The following 45 members were granted excused absences: Boettiger Cooney, Boulton, Brice, Chambers, Champagne, Chapman, Chen, Chera, Cohen, DeSaix, Earp, Ferrell, Gallippi, Garbin, Gilland, Giovanello, Guskiewicz, Heenan, Hess, Hodges, Houck, Hsu, Jones, Kang, Kurtz-Costes, Lund, Maffly-Kipp, Mayer, Milano, T. Miller, V. Miller, Moracco, Nelson, Olcott, Parise, Parreiras, Patel, Paul, Spagnoli, Steponaitis, Stewart, Thorp, Wang, Waterhouse and You.

Call to order

Chancellor Holden Thorp called the Council to order at 3:00 p.m.

Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

Chancellor Holden Thorp thanked the faculty for attending the council meeting despite the rescheduled date. He said he thought Prof. Boxill made the right decision to postpone the meeting so the faculty could attend Chancellor-Elect Carol Folt’s welcome reception.

The chancellor reported that the panel led by Dr. Hunter Rawlings was well attended and offered the opportunity for a campus-wide dialog on athletics. He said that some of his comments have not been accurately contextualized in the media. He encouraged the faculty to watch the video of the panel online at

Chancellor Thorp congratulated Thad L. Beyle Distinguished Professor Kerry Bloom, who has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. The chancellor noted that he is the 36th UNC faculty member in the American Academy of Microbiology.

Chancellor Thorp said he is enthusiastic about Carol Folt becoming the next chancellor. He said that Folt has all the right experience and is well trained in responding to public commentary and controversy. He thanked everyone who served on the Chancellor’s Search Committee. He said the Provost’s Search Committee is also moving quickly, but other searches in communications and development will continue into the summer.

There were no questions for the chancellor.

Provost’s Remarks & Question Period

Provost Bruce Carney announced that he is planning to post an update on the academic plan on the Provost’s Office website. He briefly reported on the salary equity study. He explained that he met with the deans of each school and addressed salary inequities on a case by case basis. After asking the deans to explain the inequities, he said he was satisfied the information given and that the new provost will be able to monitor salary inequities routinely with a new database.

There were no questions for the provost.

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks & Question Period

Prof. Jan Boxill (Philosophy) thanked the faculty for adjusting their schedules to make the meeting.  She thanked Prof. Joe Ferrell, Dr. Anne Whisnant, Katie Turner and the Faculty Executive Committee for supporting her over the past two years, and she thanked the faculty council members for their support as well.

Prof. Boxill said that she is excited about Carol Folt’s arrival on July 1. She announced that the results of the faculty elections are publically available on the Faculty Governance website.  She thanked the faculty for breaking last year’s record voter turnout. The participation percentage this year was 43% of eligible faculty.

Prof. Boxill reminded the faculty to attend commencement events on Saturday, May 11th at 10 a.m. in the Smith Center. The keynote Speaker is Prof. Dan Ariely of Duke University, who received his master’s and doctorate in cognitive psychology from UNC. He is the author of Predictably Irrational: Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions, as well as others works. Commencement will take place on May 12th at Kenan Stadium. The graduation Speaker is Steve Case, co-founder of America Online, chair of the Case Foundation and chairman and CEO of Revolution.  She asked to have at least one representative from each department and unit.

Prof. Boxill thanked Chancellor Thorp and Provost Carney for their support and for teaching her about the inner workings of the University. She thanked them for embracing her leadership and philosophy of inclusivity and interdependence, recognizing that through shared governance students, staff, faculty and administrators are all partners.

Resolutions of Gratitude to Chancellor & Provost

Prof. Boxill presented Resolution 2013-10. On Appreciation for the Service of Bruce Carney. The resolution was adopted without dissent. Prof. Boxill presented Provost Carney a gift of history books from the faculty in appreciation of his service.

Prof. Boxill presented Resolution 2013-11. On Appreciation for the Service of Holden Thorp. The resolution was adopted without dissent. She presented Chancellor Thorp a gift of compact disks from the faculty in appreciation of his service. She also asked that the faculty donate to Habitat for Humanity to honor the work that the Thorps have done with the organization.

Faculty Athletics Committee Monthly Update

Prof. Joy Renner (Allied Health), Faculty Athletics Committee chair, presented the regular monthly update for the committee. She reported that since the March meeting of the Faculty Council, the members have met with the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.  Members of the council reported that overall Carolina is a good place for student-athletes. They made specific recommendations for improvement in the areas of academics, advising and communication.

In April, the committee continued their review of academics. They examined the structure of the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes and reviewed the job descriptions for staff in the program. Prof. Renner reported that they also sorted through data (from fall 2010 to spring 2013) of student-athletes’ majors and found that there has been no significant clustering of student-athletes in specific majors that is a cause for concern. The committee found that 47% of student athletes are in the same three majors: Exercise and Sports Science, Business Administration, and Communications Studies. The remaining 53% have chosen over 50 different majors.

Prof. Renner said that the committee reviewed team competition schedules and compiled data regarding classes missed. They performed further analysis of academic trends and spoke to Martina Ballen, Senior Associate Athletic Director in the Business Office, regarding budget challenges and future goals. Prof. Renner said that she would like the committee to get ahead on data collection by meeting over the summer to compile a list of data that should be collected and to establish a timeline for its collection.

Prof. Steve Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology) said the data broken down by team was unclear.

Prof. Joy Renner explained that the numbers represent juniors and seniors. She elaborated that the concentration of student-athletes in Exercise and Sports Science did not represent a concern about clustering because student-athletes would reasonably be interested in exercise and sports science as a field of study. She said that the committee is aware of high numbers of student-athletes in that major, but there have not been issues of concern in those departments and they will continue to monitor those courses.

Prof. Jay Smith (History) asked Prof. Renner to define what she means by a “clustering issue.”

Prof. Renner and Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology) responded that the committee looked at the proportion of athletes in every course section and then evaluated whether the course section looked suspicious (i.e., whether the course was an independent study). None of the courses with a high percentage of student-athletes were independent studies and none could not  be located.

Chancellor Thorp added that every class with a percentage of 20% or higher student-athlete enrollment is reviewed by the Provost’s Office.

Prof. Silvia Tomaskova (Women’s and Gender Studies) asked if the 20% threshold is going forward or if that is currently being monitored by the Provost’s Office.

Prof. Renner said we will now be looking at clustering of courses every semester going forward. She explained that courses would only trigger suspicion if they are an independent study or did not have a reliable syllabus and the department chair was unaware of how the course was being taught.

Prof. Baumgartner (Political Science) commented that he is surprised that we do not have an understanding of how the athletic department fits with the mission of the university.

Prof. Renner said that the relationship is clear to some people, but the committee is interested in finding out if there is a disconnect between the goals, mission and values of athletics and the rest of the university.

Prof. Sarah Shields (History) asked if department chairs should be consulted about courses that seem suspicious, especially after Prof. Julius Nyang’oro (African and Afro-American Studies) allowed student-athletes to take no-show courses while he was department chair.

Chancellor Thorp said that if the faculty would like more interviewing and scrutinizing to be done, it is possible, but the administration is trying to balance the freedom of faculty to teach in their preferred format with the need for accountability.

Prof. Copenhaver (Biology) said that under this new system of monitoring courses, the department chairs are more accountable.

Prof. Shielda Rodgers (Nursing) said that student-athletes tend to take courses together for a number of reasons, sometimes because of their practice schedules.

Prof. Renner added that some courses might be required for their majors.

Prof. Bruce Cairns (Surgery) thanked Prof. Renner for her hard work and thanked the committee for being an excellent example of shared governance. He noted the committee has worked hard collecting data. He encouraged the rest of the faculty to continuing having open discussions.

Prof. Renner said she is hoping that next year the committee will have more structure.

Educational Policy Committee Annual Report and Resolution

Prof. Andrea Biddle (Public Health) presented the annual report of the Educational Policy Committee.  She highlighted some updates to the annual report, including recent committee discussions about blogging as a form of pedagogy and protections for students who participate in blogging for courses.  She said that the committee will be flagging courses with more than 20% student-athletes enrolled as an additional precaution.

Prof. Biddle presented Resolution 2013-13. On Creating the XF Grade.  She explained that the XF grade would go on the transcript of a student who has been found guilty of an Honor Code violation with respect to that course until the student completes an academic integrity seminar. The seminar will need to be taken within a particular time period. The resolution calls for the XF grade option to be implemented beginning in December, 2014. Students would be informed during summer orientation of the change.

Prof. Jeff Spinner-Halev (Political Science) added that the XF grade is only one sanction that is a part of a broader spectrum of sanctions depending on the severity of the case.

Wilson Parker (Undergraduate Representative) said he saw a previous version of the resolution that said that the XF grade remains on a transcript for a year after graduation and then becomes permanent. He asked if that provision had been dropped from this proposal.

Prof. Biddle said that the committee did not vote on and approve that version of the resolution, which is why the version being presented does not include that language. She added that if a student receives an XF grade in their last semester, they would have only a year to take the seminar to get the X removed from their transcript.

Prof. Copenhaver (Biology) asked what happens when the student does not complete the course.

Prof. Biddle said that if the student fails to complete the course, the XF becomes a permanent grade.

Prof. Kristen Reiter (Public Health) asked if there was any problem with graduating seniors returning to take the course.

Prof. Biddle said that student would still have to enroll in the seminar to have it removed. She explained that the Educational Policy Committee cannot determine whether there will be a cost for the student to take the course. The intent of making the course a non-credit course is to offer it without cost to the student.

Prof. Copenhaver asked if the seminar should be created before the resolution is voted on.

Prof. Biddle said that there will be a means for students to remediate the XF in place along with the XF grade implementation.

Prof. Perrin explained that the suite of honor system reforms will contain the other moving parts and recommendations for implementation. He said that an XF grade could not be assigned without a mechanism for removing the X.

Wilson Parker (Undergraduate Representative) asked if a student has to be in residence to get the X removed.

Prof. Biddle said that if someone graduates in May their transcript is open for a year.

Prof. Bobbi Owen (Dramatic Arts) added that grade protests can stay open until the last day of the next semester. The transcript is not sealed for a year.

The faculty council voted on Resolution 2013-13 and it was adopted without dissent.

Committee on the Status of Women

Prof. Nancy DeMore (Surgery), chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, presented the annual report. She said that the committee has been working on gathering data on women and leadership positions in nine selected departments and schools. The committee focused primarily on tenure status and academic rank to define “leadership” because of the limitations on the availability of reliable data to which the committee had access. The data includes faculty in the School of Medicine (Clinical and Basic Science), the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Divisions of Fine Arts and Humanities, the School of Law, the School of Public Health, University Libraries and the School of Information and Library Science.

The committee found major discrepancies in the School of Medicine (Clinical) with the number of women who hold distinguished professorships, tenured professorships and chairs. There were similar, but less dramatic differences across the other schools and departments that the committee examined. Prof. DeMore said the committee does not want the university to do another study. She presented Resolution 2013-9. On Monitoring the Status of Women in Leadership Positions, and explained that the resolution asks the deans, department chairs and provost to create a reporting process in which the department chairs collect information about women in leadership positions to identify discrepancies. She said the resolution recommends the creation of an action plan where there are discrepancies that would be monitored by the deans and reported to the Provost’s Office.

Prof. Steve Bachenheimer (Microbiology & Immunology) asked if anything has changed over time and if the committee has access to data from five or ten years ago to compare.

Prof. DeMore responded that the committee does not have data from that time, but that in 2003 the faculty passed a resolution to try to address the lack of women leaders at UNC. She said that action indicates that the problem existed ten years ago and it continues to be a concern. The committee wants the faculty to start now to help promote equity and to move forward with an action step, rather than look backward.

Prof. Greg Copenhaver (Biology) expressed concern about the word “equivalent” in the second line. He suggested using the word “proportional.”

Prof. DeMore said she agrees with changing the word “equivalent” to “proportional.”

Prof. Jeffrey Hirsch (Law) expressed concern about the data’s accuracy. He noted the high number of women in junior ranks could be an indication of women moving into higher level positions.

Prof. DeMore responded that the resolution recommends monitoring and implementing action plans to fix problems where they are needed. She added that with the increasing number of women graduating from medical schools over the past few decades, we should be seeing more parity than what the data shows.

Prof. Cynthia Bulick (Psychiatry) said she is concerned about the implementation and enforcement of the provisions in the resolution. She asked if the language is strong enough.

Prof. DeMore said that the language is hard to work with because the resolution has to apply across the university.  She hopes the resolution will encourage the Provost’s Office to follow-up with deans and department chairs.

Prof. Deborah Stroman (Exercise & Sports Science) asked if there would be a timeframe for the implementation of the action plans, along with the timeline for reporting.

Prof. DeMore said that a timeframe for implementation could be incorporated at the request of the faculty.

Prof. Silvia Tomaskova (Women’s and Gender Studies) said that five years is a long period of time between reporting.

Prof. Copenhaver (Biology) said that we should allow enough time for deans and department chairs to make improvements.

Prof. Boxill commented that the resolution is calling for the beginning of a process. The details can be worked out later.

Prof. Baumgartner (Political Science) said that faculty should be outraged if the resolution is treated as nonbinding. He suggested also starting a conversation about the large number of female faculty who are concentrated in the non-tenure track.

Prof. Paul Friga (Business) said that this could open up an opportunity for UNC-Chapel Hill to lead efforts nationally to improve women’s representation in leadership positions. He asked if the committee has looked into whether there are other national studies or comparable studies in other institutions that have been done. He suggested leveraging Women’s and Gender Studies groups on campus to also work on the project.

The general faculty voted on Resolution 2013-9 and it was adopted without dissent.

Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty

Prof. Margaret O’Shaughnessey (English and Comparative Literature), chair, presented the annual report for the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty. She reported that a promotional track has been put in place for fixed-term faculty, but many people are not satisfied with the third-tier “Master Lecturer” title. The committee surveyed the general faculty to get a sense of whether there was a preferred alternative to “Master Lecturer.” More than half the faculty answered the survey. She said that the title with the most positive response was “Senior Lecturer with Distinction,” but the faculty suggested other options in their comments. Due to the overwhelming faculty response and the need to continue to sort through the data, the committee did not prepare a resolution for consideration.

Honor System Reforms

Prof. Richard Myers (Law) and Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology) presented Resolution 2013-12. On Reforming the Honor System on behalf of the Committee on Student Conduct. Prof Myers said that in spring, 2010, the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) and the Committee on Student Conduct (COSC) jointly surveyed faculty about their attitudes toward the present Honor System. The findings led them to create a joint EPC/COSC commission composed of faculty and staff to restudy the Honor System. In 2011, the Chancellor requested that a task force be created and he asked Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill to appoint the members. The “Boxill Commission,” comprised of faculty, staff, and students, met frequently to discuss possible reforms. In fall 2012, a COSC “subcommittee” made up of faculty, staff and students met to consider the suggested reforms. In spring 2013, COSC members began drafting the final suite of reforms.

Prof. Myers said that the resolution would reduce burden of proof from “beyond a reasonable doubt” to “clear and convincing evidence,” reduce the first-offense usual sanction to F in the class and academic probation, implement an instructor-student resolution process, and include faculty on honor panels for academic cases with “not-guilty” pleas.

Prof. Perrin said the reforms are interconnected and have already been passed by Student Congress. He acknowledged that students have made significant concessions in agreeing to the proposed changes.

Nathan Tilley, chair of the Undergraduate Honor Court, and Anna Sturkey, Undergraduate Student Attorney General, said that the students have recognized the importance of faculty and students coming together to maintain the integrity of the university.

Prof. Trevor Hackman (School of Medicine) asked if under the current system students are supposed to monitor each other and hold each other accountable.

Prof. Myers responded he is unaware of prosecutions of people who knew of violation and failed to report it, but there is language in the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance that states students have shared responsibility for reporting violations.

Prof. Bachenheimer (Microbiology & Immunology) asked if COSC agrees with the way students are selected to serve on the honor court. He suggested that the students who serve may not be representative of all students.

Prof. Perrin said there has been work done on expanding diverse representation in the honor system.

Prof. Bachenheimer asked if there is a mechanism in place to monitor how that is being done.

Prof. Myer responded that COSC will be in charge of the composition of the honor system panels.

Prof. Elliot Moreton (Linguistics) asked about the last phrase in Section 1D that reads “In some cases, it is appropriate for the Honor Council to consider other factors that would render a sanction unduly punitive, including but not limited to extraordinary personal circumstances of the student; the educational goals of the University; and University interests in a student’s participation in the campus community.” He asked if the last consideration is one that has been or could be applied to student-athletes to lessen sanctions against them if they are found guilty of an honor violation.

Prof. Myer responded that the phrase is part of a larger discussion about penalties and sanctions based on the individual student.  He said it is not designed to take athletics into consideration, but rather students who might be representing the university in scholarly activities.

Wilson Parker (Undergraduate Representative) said the changes are great and helpful additions. In the instance of applying the XF grade sanction, he asked if the Honor Court or the faculty member would be responsible for assigning the XF.

Prof. Boxill responded that the Honor Court assigns the X and the faculty member assigns the F.

Wilson Parker asked about an instance of plagiarism when a citation is missing or something is incorrectly cited versus a situation when a student knowingly submits someone else’s work.

Prof. Myer said that the sanction would depend on the motivation of the student. Some students inadvertently plagiarize by not properly citing another author’s work and some students intentionally plagiarize. The Honor Court understands there is a difference in severity in those cases.

Wilson Parker asked if there is concern about a student carrying the X notation on their transcript for many years after graduation.

Prof. Myer responded that the X notation would be appropriate to the situation.

Wilson Parker asked if there are enough faculty who are willing to participate in Honor Court hearings to fill the demand.

Nathan Tilley noted that the hearings are usually two to three hours, with most cases that result in not guilty verdicts lasting four to six hours. He said faculty and students work well together on panels. Students feel like faculty respect their opinions and vice versa. He agreed that the University Hearings Boards has a hard time recruiting faculty members.

Prof. Boxill added that it will take some time to make faculty aware of the opportunity to serve, but it is worse to exclude faculty altogether from the process.

The general faculty voted on Resolution 2013-12 and it was adopted without dissent.

Resolution 2013-8.  On Weekday Football Games

Prof. Wayne Lee (History) presented Resolution 2013-8 on behalf of the Athletics Reform Group. He emphasized that the resolution is a first step toward making changes to athletics on campus. He acknowledged that some have criticized the resolution for being too narrow in scope and others have criticized it for being too extreme. He explained that the resolution requests that the chancellor and athletic director work to avoid scheduling home or away football games on days when there is regular instruction.

Prof. Tom Linden (Journalism & Mass Communication) moved to amend the resolution to include basketball games after 8pm on days when the proceeding day is a day of instruction.

Prof. Lee asked Prof. Linden to clarify if he wants the amendment to apply only during regular season or to tournaments as well. He suggested that the faculty consider this proposal as a separate resolution later on.

Prof. Linden withdrew the amendment, but said he hopes that the faculty will consider the idea in the future.

Prof. Copenhaver (Microbiology & Immunology) asked if the Athletics Department or the faculty have the ability to decide on away-game scheduling.

Prof. Lee responded that the faculty does not have that power, but the faculty can go on record with the position that they oppose weeknight games. He said that Carolina may have contracts that require weeknight games.

Prof. Friga (Business) asked what evidence Prof. Lee has to suggest that away games are detrimental to student performance.

Prof. Lee said that based on his teaching experience, if students miss class their academic performance suffers. He said that the probability of football players missing class is greater than any other sport.

Prof. Friga said that there are assumptions and statements made in the resolution that do not represent the opinion of the majority of faculty.

Prof. Lee said that the comment section is not part of the resolution.

Prof. Buck Goldstein (Economics) said he is concerned we are making assertions in the comments section that we cannot support. He suggested that the comments be removed because the faculty does not have data that supports the notion that travel impairs performance.

Prof. Lee said the argument can be reframed to show that students do not gain in any way from weekday travel.

Prof. Goldstein said that football players are not the only the student-athletes who travel during the week.

Prof. Lee restated his position that the resolution only takes into account football players and not student-athletes participating on other teams.

Prof. Friga said that there are many benefits that weeknight games present for students, like community-building and recruitment.

Prof. Bachenheimer moved to call the question to end discussion and vote on the resolution. The motion was seconded. The faculty council and general faculty unanimously voted to end discussion and vote on the resolution.

Prof. Boxill reminded the faculty that they are voting on the resolution before them, not the comment section.

The general faculty voted on Resolution 2013-8. On Weekday Football Games and it was defeated by a vote of 30-26.

In the interest of time, Prof. Boxill did not read the memorials for deceased faculty.


Its business having concluded, the Council adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

Kathryn Turner
Executive Assistant


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