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Meeting of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

Friday, March 28, 2014
:30 – 5:00 p.m. (Note earlier start time!)

Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Wilson Library

Chancellor Carol Folt and Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill presiding


2:30 Committee Reports Received by Title

Please read reports in advance; committee chairs will be available for questions.

2:40 Committee Reports with Discussion

These reports will include a short presentation from committee chairs.

3:00  Chancellor’s Remarks and Discussion Period

  • Chancellor Carol Folt

3:15  Provost’s Remarks and Discussion Period

  • Provost Jim Dean

3: 25 Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks and Discussion Period

  • Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill

3:35  Introduction of Chair of the Faculty Candidates

  • Prof. Bruce Cairns (Surgery)
  • Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology)

3:45  Report on Resolution 2014-7. On Amending The Instrument of Student Judicial Governance

The Faculty Executive Committee approved this resolution at its February 24 meeting on behalf of the Faculty Council.

4:00  Contextual Grading Demonstration

4:15  Introduction to the Community Garden

  • Prof. Alice Ammerman, Director, UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

4:30  Introduction of Mr. David Routh, Vice Chancellor for University Development

4:40  Update from the Faculty Athletics Committee

  • Prof. Joy Renner, Chair

4:45  Educational Policy Committee Resolutions

  • Prof. Theresa Raphael-Grimm, Chair

4:50  Resolution 2014-1. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Enlarge the Faculty Hearings Committee and to Clarify the Duties of Its Chair (Second Reading) and Resolution 2014-1 Amendment

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

4:50  2014 Edward Kidder Graham Award Nominee (Closed Session, link requires ONYEN login to Sakai)

4:55  2015 Honorary Degree Nominees (Closed Session; link requires ONYEN login to Sakai)

Meeting Minutes

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened Friday, March 28, 2014, at 2:35 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at the Wilson Library.

The following 69 members attended: Able, Bachenheimer, Baumgartner, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Boettiger Cooney, Boxill, Brown, Bunch, Caren, Cavin, Champagne, Chavis, Chenault, Chera, Cook, Copenhaver, Cuddeback, Dean, Divaris, Dolan, Edwards, Ferrell, Fisher, Folt, Furry, Gilligan, Giovanello, Gucsacas-Calikoglu, Guthmiller, Hackman, Heitsch, Hodges, Howes, Hsu, Irons, Ives, Joyner, Koomen, Kramer, Kurtz-Costes, Lee, Leonard, Liu, Lu, McMillan, Melehy, Mitran, Mohanty, Moon, Moreton, Palmer, Parise, Paul, Pertsova, Reiter, Rial, Rodgers, Segars, Stavas, Stenberg, Steponaitis, Swift-Scanlan, Swogger, Tepper, Thompson, Wang, Watson and Yaqub.

Members absent with excuse: Aikat, Anthony, Boulton, Bulik, Chambers, Chapman, Cox, Day, Engel, Fry, Gerhardt, Grabowski, Gulledge, Guskiewicz, Hill, Hirsch, Hobbs, Houck, Kang, Larson, Mayer-Davis, T. Miller, V. Miller, Persky, Pryal, Spagnoli, Viera, Waterhouse, Watson, and You.

Call to order

Prof. Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty, called the meeting to order at 2:35 p.m.

Committee reports

The following committee’s reports were accepted by title: Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, the Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure, the Buildings and Grounds Committee, and the University Committee on Copyright. There were no questions or comments for the committee chairs.

Prof. Tim Ives (Pharmacy) presented the Faculty Welfare Committee’s annual report. He explained that the committee was reappointed this year by Chair of the Faculty Jan Boxill. Many of the faculty welfare issues that the committee has discussed affect faculty system-wide. He has been in communication with Faculty Welfare Committee chairs across the system with a view toward speaking with one voice. He said there is an interest in the State Health Plan’s implementation of premium discounts and how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will affect adjunct faculty. The committee has spearheaded the revision of the Faculty Handbook. He invited faculty to provide input on what policies and information the handbook should contain. Gwen Burston from the Office of Academic Personnel and David Parker from University Counsel have provided advice to be sure contents are accurate. He especially thanked Deputy Secretary of the Faculty Anne Whisnant and Katie Turner for their help with the project.

Prof. Jim Porto (Public Health) presented the Faculty Information Technology Advisory Committee’s (FITAC) annual report. The committee has expressed concerns about how to represent the IT needs of the entire faculty. The committee is planning to establish a FITAC Panel of 40-50 faculty representing all facets of the faculty on IT issues. The committee is planning a visioning conference in the fall to gather input on IT needs over the next several decades. The committee is in the process of identifying faculty representatives from all of the schools. He said about one-half of schools are represented so far.

Prof. Laurie Langbauer (English and Comparative Literature) presented the Administrative Board of the Library’s annual report. She announced that last week the Library celebrated the 7 millionth volume. This was a gift of the Hanes Family, which has donated each of the milestone million-volume acquisitions. She also called the Council’s attention to the recent rankings of research libraries and noted that the University Libraries have fallen out of the top ranks to 22nd. She believes the lower ranking is most likely due to cut backs in funding. The current funding structure of the libraries does not account for inflation. She said that the library receives only two-thirds of its annual funding on a regular basis; the remaining one-third is allocated in a lump sum toward the end of the fiscal year. This arrangement makes long-range planning very difficult.

Chancellor’s remarks

Chancellor Folt said she recently attended the dedication of Marsico Hall, a building that was financed almost entirely with state funds in difficult financial times. The audience included local and state representatives who had advocated for the funding. The building is a cutting-edge model of shared, flexible work space. The chancellor was excited about the presentation of 7 millionth volume to the libraries. She also mentioned the recent Board of Trustees meeting. She said the administration has been working to improve external relations and have been featuring the accomplishments of faculty and students at meetings. She and the provost are still visiting the professional schools to learn about their operations and structure. The School of Pharmacy is the next and last stop on their tour.

The chancellor said that the Title IX Task Force is in the process of preparing their report on improving the way the university responds to sexual misconduct. She thanked the task force for taking their time to work toward a consensus on how to better handle cases in the future.

The chancellor introduced Joel Curran, vice chancellor for communications and public affairs, to give a short presentation on the subject of public records and how they are requested. He gave an overview of statistics on the volume of public records requests, demonstrating that the requests have quadrupled in volume in the past four years to over 40,000 pages of documents in the current year. He described the university’s process for responding to public records requests. There are nine full-time personnel handling public records requests at a cost of $600,000 per year.

Chancellor Folt asked whether the requester has to provide a reason he/she is requesting records. Vice Chancellor Curran said the requester does not have to justify their request.

Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology) asked if personal emails sent on UNC devices were subject to records requests.

Vice Chancellor Curran said that the employee is asked to identify emails that respond to the request and that person is allowed to remove unrelated, personal emails.

Prof. Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology) asked if research drafts and data are protected from public records requests.

Prof. Hodding Carter (Public Policy) added that at the federal level public records laws have been exploited by business interests.

Chancellor Folt said that public records laws were not originally created with universities in mind and that the laws should be revised to account for these issues.

Prof. Ferrell asked if requests are prioritized or handled in the order in which they are received.

Vice Chancellor Curran said that they are generally handled in the order they are received unless there are unusual circumstances.

Prof. Hassan Melehey (Romance Languages and Literature) referenced a study at the University of Maryland which found that UNC-Chapel Hill is slow to respond to public records requests.

Vice Chancellor Curran said that he recalls the study and the request was sent from a student at the University of Maryland. He said that in this case requests from North Carolina requestors were given priority over this out of state request.

Chancellor Folt replied that the university complies the North Carolina records laws and that the laws from state to state differ for how requests are handled, which complicates the findings of the University of Maryland study.

Provost’s remarks

The provost said that UNC Chapel Hill’s recent ranking in U.S. News and World Report is impressive. He reported that Executive Vice Provost Ron Strauss and Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Assessment Lynn Williford have been heading “The Carolina Metrics Project.” The project uses four categories of indicators—faculty quality and outcomes, campus environment, student quality and outcomes, and public benefits—to measure academic performance. He has presented an outline of the project to the Board of Trustees and the University Affairs Committee.

Provost Dean said that over the next year the Provost’s Office will focus on creating a procedure for a more routine review of centers and institutes.

He announced that he has received three reports from independent experts who have examined the data set provided by Learning Specialist Mary Willingham on student-athletes’ reading scores. He expects to have the report finished on their findings in the next week.

Prof. Steve Bachenheimer asked if the provost received any information pertaining to the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year and how it might impact the university.

Chancellor Folt replied that they don’t have any new information about the budget but expect to find out more soon.

Chair of the faculty remarks

Prof. Jan Boxill, chair of the faculty, abbreviated her comments in the interest of time. She announced the creation of the 22-member Open Access Task Force charged with investigating how a university-wide open access policy would affect different disciplines at Carolina. The committee will make a recommendation on an institutional policy to the new faculty chair, who will then ask the Faculty Executive Committee to draft appropriate legislation for adoption by the Faculty Council. The task force will hold an expert forum on April 22nd, to learn about the rights-retention policies that have been adopted by faculty at several peer institutions in recent years. Prof. Boxill also reminded the faculty to submit nominations for the Thomas Jefferson Award and to participate in voting in the upcoming faculty elections.

Introduction of chair of the faculty candidates

Prof. Bruce Cairns said that he is honored to stand for election for the chair of the faculty. He thanked Prof. Boxill for her service and remarked that she has served over the past three years with “grace and honor at a great personal sacrifice.” Prof. Cairns explained that he is familiar with issues at the university and has spent 40 years living in Chapel Hill. His father was a faculty member at the university. Prof. Cairns said that in his role as director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center he has worked with diverse populations across the state, elected representatives and faculty across different departments. He has served on Faculty Council, the Committee on University Government, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee. Prof. Cairns said that he believes the goal of the chair of the faculty is to “create a supportive environment for the faculty and use the faculty governance structure” to respond to problems and get information out quickly. He encouraged council members to vote in the elections.

Prof. Andrew Perrin introduced himself and spoke briefly about his research. He talked about the importance of Carolina’s mission to support first-generation college students and the role of faculty in making a difference in students’ lives. Prof. Perrin explained that he first joined Faculty Council to help make Carolina a better place. Since that time he has worked primarily on reforming the Honor System and developing the contextual grading policy and guiding its implementation. He stressed the importance of ethnic and gender diversity on campus and recounted his experience working on the Faculty Athletics Committee and the Student-Athlete Initiative Working Group. He said his leadership style is best expressed as “thoughtful listening, practical reform and moral courage.” He encouraged the council members to vote in the upcoming election and to support him for the chair of the faculty position.

Report on changes to the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance

Prof. Richard Myers, Chair of the Committee on Student Conduct and Prof. Andrew Perrin presented changes to the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance to implement reforms to the Honor System. They summarized six major changes: the burden of proof will be “clear and convincing,” instructors will be allowed to serve on hearings panels, an XF grade will be created for failure of a class due to an Honor Code violation, hearings panels will be able to determine the appropriate sanctions for academic misconduct based on the facts of each case, a student-instructor resolution process will be available outside of a formal hearing, and the resubmission of one’s own work will be considered plagiarism unless explicitly allowed by the instructor of the course.

Prof. Greg Copenhaver (Biology) asked how the changes will affect graduate students.

Prof. Myers replied that the language does not differentiate between graduates and undergraduates. The Committee on Student Conduct is considering how to apply the changes to graduate students.

Demonstration of the Contextual Grading System

Prof. Andrew Perrin and University Registrar Christopher Derickson provided some context for the development of the Contextual Grading System. Prof. Perrin explained the addition of several elements to students’ transcripts: the median grade in the course section, the percentile range in the course section, the course section size, the number of grades above, at or below the median for the term and cumulative, and the schedule point average (SPA) for the term and cumulative. The SPA is calculated by taking the mean of the median grades.

Provost Dean commented that it looks like the percentile ranges are backwards (i.e. 0% is top of the class, not bottom) and asked Prof. Perrin to explain the reasoning.

Prof. Perrin said that student government representatives requested the change.

Prof. Peter Gilligan (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine) commented that the changes are very useful for School of Medicine admissions, but as someone who reviews nearly 600 applications every year, he thought expressing the percentiles will make it difficult to compare data with other institutions.

Prof. Perrin said that he hopes UNC Chapel Hill will create the model for contextual grading and said that more universities may follow suit and make their transcripts comparable.

Ms. Shelby Dawkins-Law, Graduate and Professional Student Federation president-elect, asked how the changes will be implemented on graduate student transcripts.

Prof. Perrin said graduate transcripts will not be affected.

Prof. Lloyd Kramer (History) asked how undergraduate students have responded.

Prof. Perrin said they consulted student government while developing the system, and they are in support of the change.

Chancellor Folt asked if other universities have contextual grading implemented in the same format.

Prof. Perrin said that other universities have median grades reported but the SPA was created by UNC-Chapel Hill.

Prof. Larry Chavis (School of Business) asked if sample size will disadvantage students in smaller classes.

Prof. Perrin said that averaging across sections and semesters coupled with caveat language about relying on only the SPA and GPA figures to measure achievement will help create a better understanding of academic performance.

Mr. Chris Lambden, student body president, said that students are in favor of contextual grading. He asked if the changes will be retroactive.

Mr. Derickson said that the additional elements on the transcripts will appear with courses held in the fall semester and onward. The changes will not apply to courses taken before that time.

Carolina Campus Community Garden update

Prof. Alice Ammerman (Nutrition), director of UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, showed a brief video about the community garden and how to get involved. She explained that the garden brings together faculty, staff, students, and community members. The garden was created as a result of a 2009 Employee Forum meeting in which members expressed concern about food security for UNC workers at the bottom of the pay scale. The community garden was created as a partnership between the Employee Forum, the NC Botanical Garden, and the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Prof. Ammerman reported that more than 100 UNC housekeepers have received over 14,000 lbs. of produce at an estimated value of $71,000.

Charles Streeter, Employee Forum chair, said that the Employee Forum would like to help expand the garden. He said that the Campus Community Garden Committee supports the work of the garden and the Employee Forum recently gave $1,000 to the garden to help with new projects. He thanked Chancellor Folt for approving the funds. Mr. Streeter also said that staff members can take paid time off to work in the garden as a part of their community service hours.

Hope Ledbetter, an undergraduate student, spoke to her experience working in the garden and applying concepts she learned in the classroom to hands-on experience. Jessica Martell, a graduate student teaching assistant, talked about her experiences teaching about the food system and how the garden has inspired students to use their knowledge to create social change.

Claire Lorch, education coordinator at the Carolina Campus Community Garden gave an overview of the food distribution and cooking demonstrations.

Greetings from David Routh

Vice Chancellor for University Development David Routh introduced himself and recounted his experiences as a student at Carolina. He said that his wife and children are Carolina graduates and they hold degrees in a diverse range of majors. Mr. Routh said that his education at Carolina in the Department of Religion and Communications Studies helped him learn to think critically and communicate to audiences.

Mr. Routh reported that his first activity in his role in the Office of University Development was to survey all of the people doing development and fundraising. He found a deep commitment to Carolina’s mission and values. He is in the process of participating in the planning of the next big development campaign.

Update from Faculty Athletics Committee

Prof. Joy Renner (Allied Health) presented a brief update on the Faculty Athletics Committee’s work. She said there is a wide breadth of perspectives on collegiate sports and that it will take the committee some time to identify areas for change. She said the committee plans to work within the institution to create change and then advocate for change at the conference level. Eventually the committee would like to work within the national environment. She reported that the committee is now meeting twice a month.

Prof. Renner said that committee is planning to open forums in the next few weeks to solicit input for work planning and provide information. A FAQs webpage is under development and will be added to the Office of Faculty Governance website. The committee is also working to develop departmental networks, educational materials for instructors, and a communications strategy.

Educational Policy Committee resolutions

Prof. Theresa Raphael-Grimm (Nursing), chair of the Educational Policy Committee, presented Resolution 2014-8 On Requests to Change the Date of a Final Examination. She explained that the resolution calls for instructors to request in writing to their department chairs a change in the final exam schedule by the last day of registration.

There were no questions or debate. The resolution passed without dissent.

Prof. Raphael-Grimm presented Resolution 2014-9 On Increasing the Maximum Credit Hours in a Semester from 20 to 21. She explained that the change is to allow graduating seniors enrolled in their final semester to take 21 credit hours with approval of their dean.

There were no questions or debate. The resolution passed without dissent.

Committee on University Government resolution

Prof. Vincas Steponaitis, chair of the Committee on University Government, presented a second reading of Resolution 2014-1 On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Enlarge the Faculty Hearings Committee and to Clarify the Duties of Its Chair with an amendment to allow the staggering of terms for new members of the Faculty Hearings Committee.

There were no questions or debate of the amendment. The amendment was approved.

There were no questions or debate of the resolution as amended on its second reading. The resolution passed without dissent.

Closed session: special report of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards

Prof. Joseph Ferrell moved that the Council go into closed session to discuss nominees for honorary degrees to be awarded at Commencement 2015 and the nominee for the Edward Kidder Graham Award. The motion was adopted.

Prof. Ferrell, on behalf of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards, presented six nominees to be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval for honorary degrees. Each nominee was approved. He presented one nominee for the Edward Kidder Graham Award. The nominee was approved.

Prof. Ferrell moved that the Council return to open session. The motion was adopted.


Having completed its business, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:02 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathryn M. Turner
Executive Assistant

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

Storify Archive of #FacCouncil Tweets

For quick access to a real-time archive of today’s meeting, check out our “Storify” collection of live tweets carrying the hashtag #FacCouncil.  We’ve posted that here.


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