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Meeting of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

Friday, April 25, 2014
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Wilson Library

Chancellor Carol Folt and Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill presiding


3:00 Chancellor’s Remarks and Discussion Period

  • Chancellor Carol Folt

3:15 Provost’s Remarks and Discussion Period

3:30 Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks and Discussion Period

  • Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill

3:40 Faculty Elections Report

3:45 In Remembrance of Deceased Faculty

  • Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell

3:50 Standing Committee Annual Reports and Resolutions

4:40 Faculty Athletics Committee Update

4:50 Faculty Assembly Update

5:00 Adjourn

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened Friday, April 25, 2014, at 3:04 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at the Wilson Library.

The following 61 members attended: Able, Aikat, Anthony, Bachenheimer, Baumgartner, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Boettiger Cooney, Boulton, Boxill, Bulik, Bunch, Cavin, Chavis, Chenault, Chera, Cuddeback, Day, Dean, Divaris, Dolan, Ferrell, Fisher, Folt, Furry, Gilligan, Giovanello, Gucsacas-Calikoglu, Guthmiller, Hackman, Heitsch, Hirsch, Howes, Irons, Ives, Joyner, Kang, Larson, Lee, Mayer-Davis, McMillan, Melehy, Miller, Mitran, Mohanty, Moon, Moreton, Palmer, Parker, Persky, Pertsova, Rodgers, Segars, Stavas, Stenberg, Swogger, Tepper, Thompson, H. Watson, R. Watson, and Yaqub.

Members absent with excuse: Adams, Brown, Caren, Chambers, Champagne, Chapman, Cook, Copenhaver, Cox, Edwards, Engel, Fry, Gerhardt, Grabowski, Gulledge, Guskiewicz, Hill, Hobbs, Hodges, Houck, Hsu, Koomen, Kramer, Kurtz-Costes, Leonard, Liu, Lu, Miller, Parise, Paul, Pryal, Reiter, Rial, Spagnoli, Steponaitis, Swift-Scanlan, Viera, Wang, Waterhouse, and You.

Call to order

Prof. Jan Boxill, chair of the faculty, called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.

Chancellor’s remarks

Chancellor Carol Folt thanked Prof. Jan Boxill for her service to the faculty and acknowledged Prof. Boxill’s final Council meeting in her role as chair of the faculty. She briefly reflected on her experience meeting Prof. Boxill who educated her about faculty governance in great detail and gave her an understanding of how important faculty governance is to Carolina’s history. She said that Prof. Boxill has brought incredible breadth and perspective to the faculty chair position. The Faculty Council members rose in standing applause.

The chancellor thanked Prof. Bruce Cairns (Medicine) and Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology) for running for faculty chair. She also thanked those who participated in the elections as candidates for standing committees and the Faculty Council. She congratulated Prof. Cairns and said that she is looking forward to his leadership.

Chancellor Folt expressed gratitude to those who have served on the Faculty Council, Faculty Executive Committee, Athletics Committee, and Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. She said that she is looking forward to the next year and getting to know the faculty who were newly elected to those committees.

The chancellor reported that she has been visiting the legislature and she has been invited to the White House for the fourth time this year. She said that the Obama Administration is impressed that Carolina students graduate with half of the average national debt.

The chancellor mentioned that new guidelines are being issued next week for how universities are required to handle sexual assault and misconduct cases. She commented that UNC-Chapel Hill has played a large role in the national conversation about sexual assault on college campuses. She announced that Carolina will participate in a pilot program to provide sexual assault prevention and response services.

The chancellor and provost have also been focusing on athletics reforms. While the Wainstein group is investigating the past irregularities and why they happened, UNC Chapel Hill has been moving forward with reforms to be sure that irregularities cannot occur in the future.

The chancellor reflected on the conversations she has been involved in over the past year with the legislature, the Board of Governors, the Trustees and General Administration. She has observed a change over the course of the year in how often debates arise about what the role of a public university ought to be. She believes that the university serves the citizens of North Carolina and provides economic opportunities, but the university should be proactive in highlighting this service. She would like to encourage faculty to work in communities across the state.

The chancellor concluded her comments with a story about a letter she received from a child who visited campus for an educational event. The child wrote to her saying how much he loves Carolina, and he promised to study hard so that one day he could be a Tar Heel. She said experiences like this demonstrate that Carolina is a place that represents hope for many.

Provost’s remarks

Provost Jim Dean said that he has been working on creating a framework for tracking academic progress. He introduced Executive Vice Provost Ron Strauss to talk about the framework.

Dr. Strauss explained that the goals of the metrics are to measure progress in four major areas: faculty quality and outcomes, campus environment, student quality and outcomes, and public benefit. The metrics would establish benchmarks and comparisons with peer institutions. Each area contains multiple measures that have been identified by various stakeholders. The students helped to develop the metrics for student quality and outcomes.

Dr. Strauss said that they are looking for clear, reliable measures that can be used to compare with data from peer institutions. He would like to see opportunities for action out of the metrics. He said the source for the data is the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE), rankings, publication and citation databases, surveys, and institutional data. As the provost and his staff move forward, they are gathering input from campus constituencies, narrowing down the metrics for each area, and working on a dashboard design to display the data. He encouraged faculty to write or call with input.

Prof. Abigail Panter (Psychology) asked if comparison with peer institutions is a consistently helpful way to measure progress or identify areas for improvement.

Dr. Strauss responded that the available data allows for comparisons with a range of university groupings in addition to peer institutions. He said the students were the most interested group in learning more about how UNC Chapel Hill compares with other institutions.

A member of the General Faculty asked how the metrics could explain the impact of budget cuts on quality and outcomes.

Dr. Strauss said that providing that context would be difficult with the available data, but we can measure affordability and report on the sources of university funding. The metrics will include alumni contributions and external grants that fund research programs. He said that part of the goal of the project is to make information available for faculty grant proposals.

Chancellor Folt added that Carolina Counts has data showing the funds that Carolina has been able to save through various efficiency programs.

Prof. Andrew Perrin recommended including a measure about student perceptions of the rigor with which instructors encourage good student behavior with regard to study habits.

Provost Dean agreed and said that the data would be used to identify areas where we need to improve. He used faculty, staff, and student diversity as an example. He said there are areas like affordability where we are doing well, but we could do better.

Chancellor Folt added that the metrics can help attract philanthropic contributions because donors want to see how their gifts translate into measurable progress.

Provost Dean said that he has contacted consultant groups to find out if other universities have similar metrics. He said that sometimes universities tend to report only the items in which they excel, rather than giving a fuller picture.

Chair of the Faculty’s remarks

Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill reflected on her time as Chair of the Faculty. She began her term on July 1, 2011. At the time, the university faced severe budget cuts and issues surrounding athletics, honor system, and the Academic Plan.

Prof. Boxill said that she is honored to have had the opportunity to serve the faculty and the University, and she thanked the Council for supporting her throughout her term. She said that it has been an incredible journey getting to know and work with so many brilliant, creative faculty, staff, administrators, and students who make this university the best place to be. Faculty governance plays a significant role in the university’s mission, and she hopes to leave the next chair a solid base.

Prof. Boxill emphasized the importance of building partnerships across the university in order to do our jobs well and share resources, especially during a time of declining state appropriations. She said that “the university is made up of interrelated and interdependent units, as well as individuals, who must work and pull together to fulfill the mission of the university of teaching, research and service, enhance our own goals, and enrich each other.”

Prof. Boxill described a four part model of ethical decision making that she used during her time as chair to find solutions to difficult issues. She gave an overview of her goals for the past three years that included creating a more engaging and dynamic environment in the Faculty Council meetings, implementing aspects of the Academic Plan, and engaging more faculty in addressing pressing issues on campus. She pointed to the institution of the campus-wide theme “Water in our World,” the reform of the Honor System, the creation of a task force to investigate an open-access policy, and the revival of several dormant faculty committees as her major accomplishments.

Prof. Boxill said that she enjoyed serving on the Faculty Assembly delegation as chair of the faculty and announced that she will continue her service on the delegation as an elected member. As she leaves her post, she is confident that faculty governance will be in good hands with the newly elected chair and with the committees in place to attend to pressing issues.

Prof. Boxill thanked the members of the Faculty Executive Committee, the current and former provost, former Chancellor Holden Thorp, and Chancellor Folt for their support and guidance. She congratulated the incoming faculty chair, Prof. Bruce Cairns. She thanked the Office of Faculty Governance staff Joseph Ferrell, Anne Whisnant and Katie Turner for providing resources during her term and helping her transition to the chair role.

Faculty elections report

Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell presented the 2014 elections results. He announced that the School of Law had the highest voter turnout (76 percent), the Fine Arts Division had the second highest turnout (71 percent) and the Kenan Flagler Business School had the third highest turnout (70 percent).

Remembrance of deceased faculty

Prof. Ferrell read the names of faculty colleagues who have died in the past year. The Council stood in a moment of silent tribute.

Undergraduate Admissions Advisory Committee annual report

Dean Bobbi Owen, chair, and Mr. Steve Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions, presented the annual report for the Undergraduate Admissions Advisory Committee. Dean Owen explained the committee’s charge and said that there have been some important changes in the past year that have affected admissions processes. Litigation over admissions standards and the way that Advanced Placement (AP) credits and SAT scores factor into admissions decisions have changed the way that universities admit students. She said that the committee spent time considering legacy admissions and found that a family member’s previous admission to UNC Chapel Hill had little statistical impact on whether a candidate for admission would be accepted. There were no questions about the report.

Educational Policy Committee annual report and resolution

Prof. Theresa Raphael-Grimm, chair, presented the annual report for the Educational Policy Committee. She said the first issue the committee considered this year was the shortening of the add/drop period for students. The committee worked with the Registrar’s Office to put in place mechanisms to continue to allow students to try out challenging courses without being penalized for dropping the course after the two week add/drop period. Prof. Raphael-Grimm said that the committee has been concerned that the directive from General Administration to change the add/drop period represents encroachment into educational policymaking that could erode the power of the faculty to have control in the future.

The committee worked on the issue of reviewing transcript remarks. The committee is charged with reviewing and determining the merit of remarks that are entered on transcripts. The committee has experienced an increased volume of requests, and there were no established criteria for evaluating the remarks. A subcommittee created guidelines, which include limiting transcript remarks to campus-wide honors and not departmental awards.

Prof. Raphael-Grimm presented Resolution 2014-11 On Establishing Undergraduate Student Success Standards. She explained that the resolution proposed is a technical, not substantive, change to language in the Undergraduate Bulletin that pertains to academic eligibility standards.

There were no questions or debate. The resolution was adopted without dissent.

Fixed-Term Faculty Committee annual report

Prof. Adam Persky, chair of the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty, provided some context about the creation of the third tier for fixed-term faculty. He explained that the third tier is currently titled “Master Lecturer,” but that many fixed-term faculty were uncomfortable with the phrase “Master.” The committee surveyed the faculty about alternates but found that there was no consensus on what title should replace “Master Lecturer.” In evaluating other options, the committee considered three criteria. First, the title should reflect what faculty do, which in the College of Arts and Sciences is primarily teaching. Second, there should be a clear progression of ranks and consistency with peer titles. The current titles “Senior Lecturer” and “Master Lecturer” do not imply a difference in rank. Third, the title should be recognizable outside the university. Given those criteria, the committee recommends that “Teaching Professor” replace the “Master Lecturer” title.

Prof. Jan Boxill presented resolution 2014-10 On Authorizing the Title “Teaching Professor” for Fixed-Term Faculty in Substitution for the Title “Master Lecturer” on behalf of the Faculty Executive Committee.

Prof. Joseph Ferrell explained that the resolution, if passed, would be a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to amend the Trustee Policies and Procedures Governing Academic Tenure.

Prof. Eliot Moreton (Linguistics) asked if the committee gave consideration to whether the “Teaching Professor” title adequately reflects the contract obligations of fixed-term faculty to the University. He added that the title does not appear to distinguish between tenured and non-tenured faculty.

Prof. Ferrell replied that the title change does not affect employment status in any way.

Prof. Persky said that the modifier adjective “Teaching” denotes that the position is non-tenure track. He explained that, university-wide, fixed-term faculty outside of the College use modifiers like “clinical” and “research” before “professor” to signal fixed-term status.

A member of the General Faculty asked if a mail-in ballot could be sent to the General Faculty for voting on the resolution.

Prof. Shielda Rodgers (Nursing) said that the resolution should be voted on using the same procedure as other resolutions that come before Faculty Council.

Prof. Ferrell said that neither the Faculty Code nor the By-Laws of the Faculty Council provide a procedure for a general mail ballot and that such a vote is unpredecedented here..

Prof. Paul Friga (Kenan Flagler Business School) asked if the resolution language is grammatically correct.

Prof. Ferrell replied that it is.

A member of the General Faculty from the School of Public Health pointed out that the School of Medicine no longer uses the prefix qualifiers “clinical” or “research” because they are thought to have the effect of “creating a society of classes.”

Executive Vice Provost Ron Strauss said that the Provost’s Office allows individual schools some latitude in the way that they use the modifiers. The School of Medicine dropped the modifier for fixed-term faculty to help improve grant applications.

Prof. Bruce Cairns (Medicine) said that while he has not been involved in the process of coming up with the new title, he strongly supports the measure and thinks it is the first step to standardizing titles across schools.

The resolution was adopted with one person dissenting.

Committee on the Status of Women annual report

Prof. Nancy DeMore (Surgery), chair, presented the annual report for the Committee on the Status of Women. She presented data on women in leadership positions across the campus that was contained in the 2012-13 Committee on the Status of Women annual report. Prof. DeMore explained that the committee had planned to work on implementing the provisions set forth in Resolution 2013-9 On Monitoring the Status of Women in Leadership Positions, but recent Supreme Court litigation limiting consideration of race and gender in university admissions procedures may prevent departments from being able to form action plans to address inequities.

Prof. Deborah Stroman (Exercise and Sport Science) suggested that the committee use the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs as a resource for revising their plan.

Chancellor Folt said that she has discussed the resolution and its recommendations with Prof. Bruce Cairns, and he would like to work on the implementation when he assumes the chair of the faculty position.

Community and Diversity Committee annual report

Prof. Rumay Alexander (Nursing), chair, presented the annual report for the Community and Diversity Committee. She explained that Prof. Jan Boxill recently reconvened the committee, and since then the committee has discussed its role and membership. The committee wants to bring people from different areas of the university together to ensure that the university is properly organized to carry out diversity work. She said that units and departments across campus vary in their approaches to diversity work and creating an inclusive climate. In order for the committee to carry out its work, they will need disaggregated data. Prof. Alexander concluded her presentation with a quotation from Frederick Buechner, who said, “If you touch a spider’s web anywhere, you set the whole thing trembling. As we move through and around this world, and as we act with kindness, or indifference, or even hostility toward the people we meet, we too, are setting the great spider web a-tremble. The life I touch will touch another life, and that, in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. You can’t find a better way to quantify or qualify someone’s legacy. Just think of the web you have set a-tremble.”

There were no questions for Prof. Alexander.

Faculty Athletics Committee update

Prof. Joy Renner (Allied Health), chair, presented the regular update of the Faculty Athletics Committee. She gave an overview of the committee’s actions over the past year, including a revised communications strategy and listening sessions that will be held across campus regularly to get faculty input. Prof. Renner listed ten ways that the university has positioned itself to be a leader in athletics reform. She said that reforms that have been put in place will allow Carolina to create coalitions with other universities and become a strong voice in the ACC and NCAA for changes in their policies and athletics programs.

Prof. Steve Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology) said that the Carolina Commitment website hosts a number of past reports and recommendations. He said the site could be a potential platform to demonstrate to the public that the faculty have not been passive when it comes to athletics issues.

Prof. Renner agreed and added that the timing is right for the faculty to call attention to their work on the issue.

Prof. Harry Watson (History) said that the recent Athletics Department Strategic Plan lists among its goals to be ranked in the top 10 nationally and top three in the conference. He said in order to achieve that goal the university would have to invest a huge amount of resources. He asked why the university doesn’t strive for every department to rank in the top ten academically.

Prof. Renner responded that the Department of Athletics wants to inspire students to excel in both athletics and academics, but recognizes there must be a partnership between the two.

Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham added that the department listed that as an ambition in their plan but do not know for sure whether the goal will be met. He said that the department’s aspiration is to help students excel in their sport and do well academically.

Faculty Assembly update

Prof. Steve Leonard (Political Science), chair-elect of the UNC Faculty Assembly, discussed the role of UNC Chapel Hill in system-level governance. His full comments are included in Appendix A.


Having completed its business, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathryn M. Turner
Executive Assistant

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

Appendix A: Prof. Stephen Leonard’s comments on the work of the Faculty Assembly

I want to thank the Chapel Hill Faculty Assembly Delegation for allowing me the use of their annual report time to talk to you about the work of the UNC Faculty Assembly.

Let me frame these comments by noting that I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that UNC is still a world-class university system that is the envy of nearly every state in the union.

The bad news is that public higher education in North Carolina has taken a severe beating, and while we have been working very hard to mitigate the damage, preserving the legacy our predecessors left us will require a lot more work.

And that work will be a real test of faculty participation in shared governance.

Many of the issues we are facing are directly relevant to the fundamental concerns of curricular control and peer review processes in faculty hiring, tenure, and promotion, that are at the heart of faculty governance.

Others that we need to address have less direct implications.

I’m not telling you anything new by noting that budget cuts have sharpened anxieties about funding in a whole variety of ways, but I think the most critical issues are actually those having to do with perceptions about faculty and their contributions to higher education.

Over the past year we have been trying to stem the disenfranchisement of faculty by securing extensive and ongoing faculty participation in a number of policy initiatives. Some of the more significant of these initiatives include:

  • the comprehensive articulation agreement with the North Carolina community colleges
  • 5year plan Strategic Directions initiatives on system wide student learning assessments, online instructional readiness, and course and section sizing.
  • the development of Campus security policies
  • revisions to the post-tenure review policy
  • military students policies
  • and others

Some of the emerging and ongoing concerns we are going to have to address include:

  • tuition transparency reporting
  • faculty workload assessment
  • student financial aid
  • and academic program prioritization

It is also likely that we may be faced with new policy initiatives on:

  • a common curriculum
  • fixed term faculty status
  • health care and retirement benefits
  • and the effects on instructional budgets of expenditures on administrative and support services

We will have the occasion to discuss all of these on our campuses, so I won’t expand on them right now.

Instead, I would like to put them in the context of some broader changes in the system that make these issues all the more complicated and pressing.

So here is what’s happening:

In the past year we have new or retiring Chancellors at 7 of our 17 campuses. Asheville, Appalachian State, Elizabeth City State, North Carolina Central, Chapel Hill, the School of the Arts, and Winston-Salem State have or will soon have new Chief Executive Officers.

Among Chief Academic Officers – or Provosts – new or retiring appointments include Ashville, East Carolina, Elizabeth City State, North Carolina Central, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and Western Carolina. That’s a turn-over in Provosts at 7 of 17 campuses.

And in 4 of these instances — including Chapel Hill — institutions are being led by pairings of new executive and academic officers.

Then there is the turnover at General Administration.

The Board of Governors insisted on the creation of a new position of Vice President for Technology Enhanced Learning and Innovation (the “VPTLI”). So President Ross – and the system – now has a new person in a new high-level administrative position that focuses exclusively on the use of instructional technology. And everybody is trying to figure out what, exactly, that means.

In addition, the Chief Academic Officer for the system, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Suzanne Ortega, who is arguably the second most important administrator after President Ross, abruptly resigned to take a job elsewhere. That means that within a few weeks there will be an announcement about an interim appointment in this critically important position.

There has also been considerable turnover on the Board of Governors: every two years half of the membership rolls over, and this was a rollover year. Moreover, the chair of the current board, Peter Hans — a Chapel Hill grad and a former student of mine — will soon be replaced by a new chair. Currently the only candidate is John Fennebresque.

The point is that all of this will require building new relationships, and that will not be easy. More importantly, it goes without saying that the experience and expertise of faculty in matters of institutional governance are critical at this juncture, both because of the nature of the issues that we are facing, and because we are working with a lot of people who are going to be feeling their way through new jobs, each with its own distinctive challenges.

This brings me, then, to what this means for Chapel Hill – or better, how Chapel Hill plays a critical role in determining what all of this might mean.

Those of us at Chapel Hill need to understand the unique role that the flagships play in the system. Two issues are especially important.

The first is that policies coming out of the Spangler Building that prove to be inconveniences for us here in Chapel Hill, or over at NC state, almost always have significant negative repercussions at our other sister campuses.

A good example of this are the recently enacted Student Success Policies. Here at Chapel Hill we opposed them because they ran afoul of how we defined ourselves and our mission. But at many of our sister institutions, those same policies – combined with tighter restrictions on student loans — have had a devastating impact on enrollments.

Many of our sister institutions – and this includes all of the Historical Minority institutions – have been struggling with this challenge. Some have done a remarkable job of making the best of a bad situation, but it has been a bad situation.

I think it goes without saying that here at Chapel Hill we ought to be concerned with access to public higher education in North Carolina, particularly for talented students who are coming from less fortunate and less privileged circumstances.

In short, Instead of asking “how does this affect Chapel Hill” we need to be asking how system-wide policies may have an impact on, say, Elizabeth City State, or Pembroke, or Fayetteville State, and we need to act on the basis of the most critical concerns – not just those that are inconvenient for Chapel Hill.

A second point we need to bear in mind is that when Chapel Hill (or NC State) stumbles, many of our sister institutions pay a very high price. Legislative and governing bodies, seeking to scrutinize or micromanage affairs on this campus, make demands and enact policy that bleed enormous amounts of resources from our sister campuses, where state appropriations, and the costs of compliance, are significantly more critical than they are for us in Chapel Hill, where we aren’t yet faced with irreversible damage to our core mission.

I would cite the example of how our athletics issues have shaped demands the Board of Governors have made on the resources of General Administration and many of our sister campuses, but I think we are all sensitive enough about this that I don’t need to elaborate on the complaints of our colleagues elsewhere that problems at Chapel Hill have made their lives even more difficult and miserable.

Other examples of devastating policies, and the system-wide effects of Chapel Hill missteps, could be given, but I think this is enough to make the point.

And here is as good a way of putting it as any: Chapel Hill does not have 29,000 students, it has 220,000 students, and our colleagues do not number 2900, they number 15,000.

We need to think in the broadest possible terms about our governance work, about the usefulness of our expertise, and about the potential effects of the research we do here at Chapel Hill.

A good example of this has been the work of Chapel Hill’s Faculty Welfare Committee, where Tim Ives and his colleagues have taken the initiative to coordinate and enrich the work of faculty welfare committees across a number of our sister campuses.

And the Chapel Hill faculty representatives on the UNC Strategic Directions General Education Council, the E-Learning Workgroup, and the Academic Efficiencies Workgroup have made significant contributions to the work of those committees.

Most of all, however, we need to lead by example. Our colleagues look to us for an example of how faculty participation in shared governance ought to work. They know that if Chapel Hill can do it for our 220,000 students and 15,000 colleagues, every campus can do it for their 220,000 students and 15,000 colleagues, too.

So when you think about the University of the People, remember that it includes 220,000 students and 15,000 faculty on 17 distinctive and unique campuses, and that what we do here resounds – for good or for ill — for every one of our students, every one of our colleagues, and every one of our campuses.


Storify of Tweets from the April 25, 2014 Meeting

We’ve created a “Storify” record of the live-tweets from the April 25, 2014 Faculty Council/General Faculty meeting. This collection includes all tweets carrying the #FacCouncil hashtag and is a good way to get an as-it-happened snapshot of the meeting.

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