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Meeting of the Faculty Council

Friday, October 4, 2013
3:00 p.m.
Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Wilson Library

Chancellor Carol Folt and Professor Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty, presiding


3:00 Presentation of the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Award to Professor Gene Nichol

3:10  Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Chancellor Carol Folt

3:20 Provost’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Provost Jim Dean

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

  • Professor Jan Boxill

3:40  Report from the Water Theme Steering Committee and Vote, Resolution 2013-16 On Extending the Water Theme

  • Prof. Jamie Bartram and Dean Terry Rhodes, Co-Chairs

​3:45  New Functionalities in Connect Carolina

  • Mr. Chris Derickson, University Registrar

3:50  Rawlings Report Discussion, Part II

Background reading:

Panel discussion:

  • Prof. Jan Boxill, Moderator
  • Panelists:
    • Prof. Lissa Broome, Faculty Athletics Representative
    • Dr. Michelle Brown, Director, Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes
    • Mr. Bubba Cunningham, Director of Athletics
    • Provost Jim Dean
    • Mr. Steve Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions
    • Prof. Joy Renner, Chair, Faculty Athletics Committee

4:45  Faculty Welfare Committee Update and State Health Plan Enrollment

  • Prof. Tim Ives, Chair, Faculty Welfare Committee
  • Ms. Ashley Nicklis, Sr. Director, Benefits Services, Work Life and HR Records, UNC Human Resources (available to respond to questions)

Background reading:

4:55  Closed Session:  2014 Honorary Degree Nominee

  • Prof. Joe Ferrell, for the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee

5:00  Adjourn

Meeting Minutes

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened Friday, October 4, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at the Wilson Library.

The following 71 members attended: Able, Adams, Aikat, Anthony, Bachenheimer, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Boettiger, Boulton, Boxill, Brown, Bulik, Bunch, Caren, Cavin, Chapman, Chenault, Collier, Cook, Copenhaver, Cox, Cuddeback, Dean, Divaris, Dolan, Edwards, Engel, Ferrell, Fisher, Folt, Fry, Furry, Gerhardt, Grabowski, Gucsacas-Calikoglu, Gulledge, Guthmiller, Hackman, Hobbs, Hodges, Hsu, Irons, Ives, Joyner, Kang, Koomen, Lee, Liu, McMillan, Melehy, Mohanty, Moon, Moreton, Palmer, Parker, Paul, Pertsova, Reiter, Rial, Rodgers, Shackelford, Stavas, Stenberg, Steponaitis, Swift-Scanlan, Tepper, Thompson, Wang, Waterhouse, H. Watson, and R. Watson.

Members absent with excuse: Alesii, Baumgartner, Chambers, Champagne, Chavis, Chera, Day, Gilligan, Giovanello, Heitsch, Hill, Hirsch, Houck, Howes, Kramer, Kurtz-Costes, Larson, Leonard, Lu, Mayer-Davis, T. Miller, V. Miller, Parise, Persky, Pryal, Spagnoli, Viera, Yaqub, and You.

Members absent without excuse: Guskiewicz and Mitran.

2013 Thomas Jefferson Award Presentation

Chancellor Carol Folt presented the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Award to Prof. Gene Nichol (Law). Prof. Patrick Conway (Economics) read excerpts from the citation. He said Prof. Nichol’s career demonstrates his commitment to the maxim “all men are created equal.” He said that while Prof. Nichol was the Dean of the School of Law in 2001, he created the UNC Center for Civil Rights and he reinvigorated the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.

Prof. Nichol thanked Prof. Conway, Chancellor Folt and the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee. He said that the Thomas Jefferson Award sets the highest standard. He said he came to Carolina believing it is the nation’s great public university that aspires to give people the greatest education possible regardless of their socio-economic background. He said that like Edward Kidder Graham, he believes that the boundaries of the University extend to the state’s borders and beyond. Bill Friday once explained to his students that a million people in North Carolina live in poverty, yet pay taxes to support education. Mr. Friday asked the students how they would repay them for their education. He said that there remains no higher calling than “University of the People.”

The Faculty Council rose in standing applause.

Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

Chancellor Folt said that she has been thinking about what it means to step into her role at the University. She said her comments would be short since she will be addressing the faculty at University Day. She encouraged the faculty to attend the University Day festivities and faculty panels.

The chancellor said that she and Provost Dean have been visiting the many schools and departments around campus. They have been to ten so far. She said these visits have added to the excitement and humility she feels about taking on her new role.

The chancellor said that she has met with Sexual Assault Task Force, that she has been working on filling senior leadership positions. Mr. David Routh has been named the new Vice Chancellor for Development. After her installation, she will turn her attention to selecting the Vice Chancellor for Communications.

Chancellor Folt spoke briefly about the Thursday night football game and introduced Chief Jeff McCracken to update the faculty on the parking plan. Chief McCracken said that after hearing the faculty’s comments about parking at the last Faculty Council meeting, Public Safety will not tow any cars unless they are parked in a prohibited area immediately around the stadium. If they have to remove a car, they will attempt to contact the owner before towing. Chief McCracken said there would not be a charge to retrieve a car that has been towed.

In response to a question from Prof. Steve Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology), Chief McCracken said that there will be signage put in place indicating where the prohibited areas are.

Prof. Joe Templeton (Chemistry) thanked Chief McCracken for an excellent response to the faculty’s concerns.

Chancellor Folt invited questions.

Prof. Steve Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology) asked for the chancellor’s response to the Rawlings Report. Chancellor Folt said that she expects today’s panel on the Rawlings Report to be helpful for her to better understand the recommendations. She said the Rawlings Report was helpful because, unlike the earlier reports, it situates athletics in a broader conference and national context. She said that Carolina has already put some of the recommendations in place, but others must be addressed at the conference level. She said that she has met with the ACC Commissioner John Swofford to discuss how other recommendations can be implemented. She said that the upcoming AAU meeting will have a panel that will address the report.

Prof. Harry Watson (History) asked for comment on the recent indictment of a former tutor and the recent arrest of a prominent basketball player for driving without a license and marijuana possession. He pointed out that the player in question has been allowed to return to the basketball team, which he thought to be inappropriate.

Chancellor Folt said she is unsure that there is any link between the two incidents. She asked Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham to respond to the question about the basketball player.

Mr. Cunningham said that the charges against the student were dropped, leaving him with two speeding tickets. He said that further punishment would hold the student to a higher standard than the general student population. Mr. Cunningham said that the student is being required to take on additional responsibilities for the team and the university, but he is not at liberty to elaborate on what those responsibilities are.

Prof. Charlotte Boettiger (Psychology) pointed out that many faculty are working in areas that may be affected by the government shutdown. She said that state legislators need to know how departments are affected. She asked how the faculty could communicate that message.

Chancellor Folt said that the legislative affairs staff in her office would send out information about how departments are being affected.

Provost’s Remarks and Question Period

Provost Jim Dean said the effects of the government shutdown on our operations are not extensive. He said that NIH and Health and Human Services funded research will be able to continue, while NSF grant-funded research would not. He is concerned about stop work orders for some EPA staff. He said that ultimately only a handful of people have been affected. He said that if federal student aid is impacted the university would not be able to continue functioning.

The provost announced that the Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares fund drive started this week. He and Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Brenda Malone spoke to a group of 250 volunteers from across campus. He said that each year Chapel Hill leads among all the other system schools in the amount of money raised. He encouraged faculty to participate.

Prof. Steve Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology) asked if the university has a firm budget in place.

Provost Dean responded that final decisions regarding the budget were made and communicated to departments last month.

Prof. Bachenheimer replied that he has heard differently from other faculty and speculated that this might be a reflection of a feeling of uncertainty among faculty.

Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks and Question Period

Prof. Jan Boxill invited faculty to march in the University Day processional. She invited them to attend panel discussions about water, innovation, and the public research university.

Prof. Boxill thanked the faculty for responding to her call for volunteers to act as departmental liaisons to the Honor System and to sit on hearings panels.

Prof. Boxill mentioned that changes to the drop/add policy are still under consideration. She said that students are concerned about having a standardized policy across the 16 campuses, and that the imposition of educational policy without consultation by faculty committees is problematic for faculty governance.

Prof. Boxill announced that the Faculty Welfare Committee has been reconstituted. Prof. Tim Ives (Pharmacy), Chair, will briefly address state health plan changes and faculty retention and that the committee will be working on those issues in the future.

Prof. Boxill briefly mentioned the results of a survey that Dean Karen Gil and Dr. Lynn Williford presented to the Board of Trustees. She said they surveyed alumni who graduated 5 years and 10 years ago. The survey shows that at the 10 year mark, over 90% of graduates were employed or continuing their education, and that 97% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their education at Carolina.

Prof. Boxill thanked Chief McCracken for following up on parking concerns and adjusting the parking plan.

Water Theme Steering Committee Report and Resolution 2013-16 On Extending the Water Theme

Prof. Jamie Bartram (Public Health) and Sr. Associate Dean Terry Rhodes , Co-Chairs of the Water Theme Steering Committee, gave a presentation outlining the first two years of the Water Theme. They explained that the water theme was created by a Faculty Council resolution in 2011 and was officially launched in August 2012. Over 60 events and activities were held during the 2012-13 academic year related to theme.

Prof. Bartram explained that Resolution 2013-16 would extend the Water Theme for an additional year. He said that by extending the theme, the campus would have more time to plan for the next theme and schedule events in advance. He said that planning new, interdisciplinary academic courses around the campus theme requires extra time.

Prof. Boxill presented the Resolution 2013-16 to extend the water theme for another year. The resolution passed without dissent.

Rawlings Report Panel Discussion

Prof. Jan Boxill asked members of the panel to introduce themselves and describe their roles in relation to athletics.

Provost Jim Dean said his role is ensuring a quality academic experience for student athletes at Carolina. He said he works with deans and department chairs on academic issues facing all students and he has recently appointed a task force to study the student-athlete experience on campus.

Prof. Joy Renner (Allied Health), Chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee, said that her committee members have gained an in-depth understanding of the issues they are discussing. Each committee member has an assigned topical area and team that they research.

Dr. Michelle Brown, Director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes, said that she is responsible for overseeing the Academic Support Program in the Loudermilk Center. She works with an advisory committee composed of faculty and staff who review the program’s policies.

Mr. Steve Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions, oversees the undergraduate admissions process. He works closely with the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and the Subcommittee on Special Talent.

Mr. Bubba Cunningham, Director of Athletics, explained that he is accountable to the NCAA, the ACC, the Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, and the Chancellor. He works closely with the Faculty Athletics Committee and the Faculty Athletics Representative. He is responsible for supervising coaches.

Prof. Lissa Broome (Law), Faculty Athletics Representative, said she is an appointee of the chancellor. She serves as an ex officio member of the Faculty Athletics Committee. She advises the chancellor and the athletic director on intercollegiate athletics.

Prof. Boxill said that in the past, the admissions process for student-athletes has been a topic of concern. She said four recommendations in the Rawlings Report center on admission. She asked Steve Farmer to talk about those recommendations and what procedures are currently in place.

Mr. Farmer invited the faculty to contact him with their questions about admissions. He explained that recommendation #8 of the Rawlings Report proposes that the university ensure that the admissions process is the same for student-athletes as it is for other applicants with special talents. He said that there is no difference in process for special talent admissions for athletes, musicians, or dramatic arts students (the three categories now in use). The Subcommittee on Special Talent relies on faculty and staff to determine which students are evaluated through the special talents process.

Recommendation #8 also proposes that the office responsible for admitting other undergraduates with special talents has final decision making authority over student-athlete admissions. Mr. Farmer said that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has final authority for all admissions, including special talent admissions, which means that he is responsible for the admission of student-athletes. The third part of the recommendation states that “all communications regarding prospective student/athletes between the athletics department staff and the admissions office are routed through the athletics director or his/her designee(s).”

Mr. Farmer said that the coaches can call him or the deputy director of admissions to ask about candidates. He said that either way is reasonable. He said that the advantage of a coach calling him directly to ask about a prospective student is that he can advise coaches early about the prospects that a particular recruit might be able to earn admission. He said he wouldn’t mind changing the way they do this currently.

Prof. Steve Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology) asked if the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is still in the process of developing predictors for academic success for special admits.

Mr. Farmer said the indicators are a method of trying to address who will be academically successful. He said that students with similar credentials may not achieve at the same level. He said that last February, his office moved toward a framework for determining relative risk. They used data from 900 student records to try to predict first year GPA. He said that the goal is to draw down the number of students who perform poorly in their first year.

Prof. Jay Smith (History) asked if Mr. Farmer could elaborate on how he advises coaches when it seems unlikely that a recruit will be admitted.

Mr. Farmer said he examines the whole of a student’s situation, not one particular area. He said that he believes risk is a spectrum. He said that his office meets with athletes who are at risk.

Prof. Greg Copenhaver (Biology) asked how many of the special admit cases are student-athletes.

Mr. Farmer explained that about 160 special talent admits are student-athletes. Those admits are selected from a pool of about 400-450 prospects. Many student-athletes are turned away after a preliminary evaluation. He said that music and drama special admits are usually selected from a pool of 40 or 45. In 2012, about 32 of those prospects were enrolled.

Prof. Boxill asked Mr. Farmer to talk about recommendation #23, which states that “Qualitative assessments of ‘at-risk’ prospective athletes should be conducted by admissions officials during the recruitment process.”

Mr. Farmer said that the recommendation is a good one and that his office tries to use qualitative assessments whenever possible.

Prof. Boxill asked Provost Dean and Dr. Brown to address recommendation #6, which states that the university should “insure that the unit that provides academic support services for student/athletes operates without any undue influence by athletics officials and staff, including coaching staff.”

Dr. Brown explained that on May 6, 2013, the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes began reporting to the Provost.

Provost Dean added that the change was wise. He said the decision was made before he became provost.

Dr. Brown said that the move makes sense since the ASPSA is an academic unit.

Prof. Renner said that her committee has been learning more about how to encourage student success with the new lines of communication.

Prof. Boxill asked what the panel members thought about instituting a year of readiness to help special admits prepare for campus life.

Dr. Brown said that the year of readiness would require a national discussion and that the number of hours student-athletes devote to their sport and traveling takes time away from academics. She said they currently take the approach that every student has different goals, strengths, and needs to be successful. She said that the academic support that student-athletes receive is designed for each of them according to their needs.

Prof. Suzanne Gulledge (Education) asked how the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services is involved in the special admissions process.

Mr. Farmer said that his office is prohibited from asking students about learning disabilities. He said when a student discloses the information, they consult experts, but the student must choose to reveal his or her disability without prompting from the Admissions Office. He said students who are already diagnosed with a learning disability tend to have access to professionals who can help them.

Dr. Brown said that once a student arrives, her office finds out if they need special accommodations. She said they work closely with the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services. She said that some students come to the university with undiagnosed learning disabilities.

Prof. Boxill asked whether faculty communicate with the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes when they are concerned that a student has a learning disability.

Dr. Brown says that occasionally faculty will reach out if they are concerned about a student’s performance.

Prof. Vin Steponaitis (Anthropology and Archaeology) said that faculty worry that the system in place admits students who can’t do the work. He asked what the consequences would be if the university decided to stop admitting students with special talents.

Mr. Farmer said that he hopes to make the process more transparent. He said that his office has been trying to raise the bar for admissions. He said the challenge is that many at-risk special admits make it to their second year. He estimates that at least 75% who make it to their second year will graduate. He said by raising admissions standards, those students wouldn’t have the opportunity to attend and graduate.

Prof. Wayne Lee (History) said that Mr. Farmer’s comments present a strong argument for a year of readiness requirement. He asked why the university won’t implement the policy on its own.

Mr. Cunningham said that our athletic teams would be at a competitive disadvantage if we instituted the policy unilaterally. He said that the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance establishes academic requirements. He noted that Prof. Jack Evans (Business) served as a consultant to that committee. He said the NCAA once had a year of readiness requirement, but it was rescinded.

Mr. Farmer said that one alternative is to look at the curriculum offered to all students and offer courses to help students who are underprepared. He said that such offerings could also help transfer students.

Prof. Wayne Lee (History) said that the competitive disadvantage would be in men’s football and basketball, although there are 28 sports that attract special admits. He asked if hesitancy about raising admissions standards for special admits and instituting a period of readiness was motivated by revenue considerations rather than concerns about student success.

Mr. Cunningham said that he believes changing the policy unilaterally would hamper the recruiting process. He said that the change should be done nationally.

Chancellor Folt said that there is data that suggests some students excel in their academic work when they are able to participate in their sport; the structure and routine helps some students. She said that a blanket policy prohibiting first-year students from competing may not be in the best interests of some students.

Dr. Brown said that the ASPSA can develop programs to help students make the transition from high school to college.

Prof. Boxill reiterated that raising admissions standards across the board would affect non-student athletes as well.

Prof. Bachenheimer said that having structure can be a predictor for better success in the classroom, but less practice time might also help.

Prof. Renner said that the Faculty Athletics Committee has started looking at practice hours and class attendance. She said the group wants to compare the time that other students spend on external commitments with the time that student-athletes commit to their sport. She said when she began service on the Faculty Athletics Committee, she was not sure if the University could be both competitive in Division 1 and a top research university. She said she still hasn’t found the answer to that question.

Prof. Boxill asked the panel how student-athletes are integrated into existing disciplinary policies.

Prof. Broome responded that if a student-athlete violates the Honor Code, the athletics department is notified.

Mr. Cunningham said that student-athletes are subject to the same rules as non-athletes. He said that teams have additional requirements as well. He said that the hours student devote to their sport are tough. For example, he said that the football team left for an away game at 4:00 pm today and will return at 8:00 pm tomorrow. He said that according to the NCAA, the players would have devoted 3 countable hours to their sport, although we would count the time as 28 hours.

Faculty Welfare Committee Update and State Health Plan Enrollment

Prof. Tim Ives (Pharmacy), Chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, explained that the committee met last week for the first time in 6 or 7 years. The committee plans to take up issues like faculty retention and salary equity. He said that the committee discussed the 2013 State Health Plan annual enrollment for 2014 coverage. He said there are some minor differences in the plan this year, but the committee spent considerable time discussing the health assessment questionnaire. He said that faculty are concerned about where their health information is being stored.

Prof. Kristen Reiter (Public Health) said that since there are only 30 days left to enroll, she doubts there will be changes made to the health assessment prior to this annual enrollment.

Ms. Ashley Nicklis, Senior Director of Benefits, said the company that is collecting and storing the health assessment data is Active Health, Inc. She said the company has been under contract with State Health Plan for several years. She said that State Health Plan only receives health assessment data in aggregate form. She said that there is federal legislation in place governing how the information can be gathered and released.

2014 Honorary Degree Nominee

The Faculty Council went into closed session to consider the award of an honorary degree. On behalf of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards, Prof. Ferrell presented a recommendation for the award of an honorary degree to the 2014 Commencement speaker. The honorary degree was approved.


The Council returned to open session. Having completed its business, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathryn Turner

Executive Assistant

Joseph S. Ferrell

Secretary of the Faculty


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