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Meeting of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

Friday, April 24, 2015
3:00 p.m.
Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Wilson Library

Chancellor Carol Folt and Professor Bruce Cairns, Chair of the Faculty, presiding

Room diagram for seating

Twitter hashtag: #FacCouncil


3:00 Chancellor’s and Provost’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Jim Dean

3:20 Update on the Quality Enhancement Plan for the 2016 SACS Reaffirmation

Handout: QEP FAQs

PowerPoint for Council

  • Profs. Kevin Guskiewicz and Leslie Parise, Co-Chairs, QEP Steering Committee

3:35  Vote: Resolution 2015-9. On Endorsing a University Open Access Policy

  • Profs. Julie Kimbrough and Todd Vision, Co-Chairs, Open Access Task Force

3:40 Vote: Resolution 2015-10. On Amending the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance

  • Prof. Richard Myers (Chair, Committee on Student Conduct), Ms. Raquel Dominguez (Undergraduate Student Attorney General), and Ms. Ina Kosova (Undergraduate Student Attorney General)

3:45 Annual Report: Committee on Scholarships, Awards, and Student Aid

Letter of Transmittal

Staff-Directed Policy Questions Regarding Scholarships and Student Financial Aid, 2013-14

Ten-Year Comparison of Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards to All Students, 2003-04 to 2012-13

2013-14 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards Reports (Excel)

2013-14 Scholarship and Financial Aid Charts (Excel)

PowerPoint for Council

  • Prof. Don Hornstein, Chair

3:55 Annual Report: Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions

  • Prof. Abigail Panter, Chair

4:05 Annual Report: Educational Policy Committee

  • Prof. Jennifer Coble, Chair

4:15  Annual Report: Committee on the Status of Women

  • Prof. Jennifer Larson, Committee Member, for Prof. Margot Stein, Chair

4:20 Annual Report:  Fixed-Term Faculty Committee

Informational handout

Summary of 2014 Survey Findings

PowerPoint for Council

  • Prof. Nancy Fisher, Chair

4:40 Annual Report: Community and Diversity Committee (By Title)

  • Prof. Rumay Alexander, Chair

4:40 Chair of the Faculty Comments and Faculty Elections Results

  • Prof. Bruce Cairns

4:45 In Remembrance of Deceased Faculty

  • Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell

4:50 CLOSED SESSION:  Vote on Nominees for Honorary Degrees (2016) and Edward Kidder Graham Award (2015)

5:00 Adjourn

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

The Faculty Council and General Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on April 24, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at Wilson Library.

The following­­ 67 Council members attended:  Able, Aikat, Anthony, Baumgartner, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Boettiger, Brown, Bunch, Cairns, Caren, Chavis, Cuddeback, Dean, Divaris, Dobelstein, Dolan, Edwards, Ferrell, Filene, Fisher, Folt, Furry, Gilligan, Gucsavas-Calikoglu, Guskiewicz, Halladay, Hannig, Heitsch, Hirsch, Hobbs, Houck, Howes, Hsu, Irons, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Kang, Kim, Koonce, Kris, Kurtz-Costes, Larson, Leonard, Levine, Loehr, Melehy, Metz, Miller, Mitran, Mohanty, Moon, Moreton, Palmer, Parise, Persky, Pertsova, Porto, Pruvost, Rodgers, Salyer, Stenberg, Steponaitis, Sturm, Swift-Scanlan, Swogger, Tepper, Thompson, Walker, Wang, Watson, Webster-Cyriaque, Willet, Williams and Yaqub.

Members absent with excuse:  Berman, Birckhead, Chera, Cook, Cox, Day, Drake, Fry, Gerhardt, Giovanello, Gulledge, Hackman, Hobbs, Koomen, Mayer-Davis, McLaughlin, Moracco, Paul, Rial, Segars, Stavas, Viera, Waterhouse, Weight, Welty and You.

Members absent without excuse: Chapman, Cravey, Driscoll, McClanahan and Parker.

Call to order

Secretary of the Faculty called the Faculty Council and General Faculty meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.

Chancellor’s and Provost’s remarks

Chancellor Carol Folt reflected on the previous year and expressed gratitude for how the campus community came together in the aftermath of several tragedies, including the murders of two Carolina students and a Carolina faculty member. She said that the Carolina Conversations initiative was created to encourage constructive dialog about race and inclusion.

The chancellor reported that she recently returned from an Association of American Universities (AAU) meeting. The meeting focused on reforming graduate education, addressing sexual assault on college campuses and transforming undergraduate teaching. The chancellor said that all of these issues are currently being addressed at Carolina.

Chancellor Folt noted that UNC Chapel Hill is one of the first universities to advocate for and adopt a campus climate survey to gather information about sexual harassment, discrimination, and assault. Thousands of students have responded to the survey, and the results will be used to produce a common data set. The chancellor emphasized that the university seeks to eliminate all cases of sexual assault and that “one assault is too many.”

Provost Jim Dean recognized the chancellor for her recent lecture on the topic of climate change. He reported that he appointed a task force recently to examine binge drinking and its impact on students’ experiences on campus. The task force has started assessing binge drinking at Carolina and studying national trends. The group is committed to examining the issue with an evidence-based public health approach. They are currently rewriting the campus alcohol policy to include expanded education and prevention efforts. The task force is considering strengthening oversight of recognized student organizations and offering education on alcohol consumption for parents. An alcohol education course that teaches coping, resilience and stress management strategies may be required for all students in the future. The provost said that he worries about the high-risk behaviors of some students.

Provost Dean reported that the Student-Athlete Academic Working Group has been meeting for 18 months, which is longer than he expected. The group considered changes to 21 different processes that impact the experiences of student-athletes, from recruiting through graduation. The group has decided to create a website with resources and policies rather than drafting a report.  The group is in the process of finalizing the website.

The provost also reported that a group of faculty and staff have been meeting to examine undergraduate assessment and learning methods. They are focusing on how students learn in specific majors and reviewing best practices on campus. They are identifying services that departments can offer to enhance learning.

Professor Hassan Melehy (Romance Studies) said that there has been a lot of discussion among faculty about Senate Bill 593 that would require faculty to teach eight courses per year. He said that the bill currently doesn’t appear to have a lot of support and is unlikely to pass. He asked the chancellor whether she believes will gain support.

Chancellor Folt said that she and other UNC system chancellors have been in conversations about the impacts of the bill. She said that she hopes the bill will not move forward, and that it hasn’t gotten support from the Board of Trustees or Board of Governors.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked if there is coordination between research universities like NC State, Carolina and Duke in the Triangle with regard to communications with the legislature. He also asked what the university is doing to increase its endowment.

Chancellor Folt said that this year has been the greatest year in philanthropy to date. The University has a new office for development. She said that the legislature is our greatest philanthropist because a large part of the University’s financial support comes from state funds. She has been working with legislators to invite them to campus to meet with faculty and has been involved with the Lincoln Project, which is an organization that advocates support for public research universities. Carolina will host the next meeting of the Lincoln Project and bring together faculty, government agencies and representatives, and local businesses.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) update

Professor Kevin Guskiewicz (Exercise and Sports Science) and Leslie Parise (Biochemistry and Biophysics), co-chairs of the QEP Steering Committee, reported on the status of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

Professor Parise explained that the QEP is a five-year plan that is designed to make a measurable improvement of student learning as a part of the 2016 SACS reaffirmation process. Carolina’s QEP focuses on improving education in the sciences and closing achievement gaps among transfer students, underrepresented minority students and first-generation college students.  Professor Parise said that since 2004, there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of declared science majors. She said that course redesigns are addressing achievement gaps, but transfer students face greater obstacles to completing a science major, and science students are the least likely to study abroad.

Professor Guskiewicz gave an overview of the goals of the QEP. He said that the plan encourages “transformative experiences” through high-structure active learning courses, research exposure opportunities, integrated first-year seminars, study abroad opportunities, and innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Resolution 2015-9. On Endorsing a University Open Access Policy

Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell presented Resolution 2015-9 On Endorsing a University Open Access Policy for a vote. There was no discussion or debate. The resolution was adopted without dissent.

Updates to the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance 

Professor Richard Myers (Law), chair of the Committee on Student Conduct, presented Resolution 2015-10 On Amending the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance. He summarized the six major proposal contained in the resolution:

  1. Proposal 1 removes language from the Instrument that was previously suspended due to First Amendment concerns and potential violations of students’ freedom of speech and expression.
  2. Proposal 2 clarifies that the principles in Appendix A are aspirational in nature, and failure to comply with those principles does not constitute a chargeable offense.
  3. Proposal 3 adopts language regarding hate crimes to comply with Board of Governors policy elaborated in UNC Policy Manual 700.4.2, Sec.1.
  4. Proposal 4 combines the responsibilities of the undergraduate and graduate outreach coordinators and creates a singular Outreach Coordinator position
  5. Proposal 5 adds an explicit charge for illegal possession of controlled substances with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, with the option of more severe penalties compared with simple possession charges.
  6. Proposal 6 extends the Chancellor’s authority to extend relief under certain circumstances.

Professor Neal Caren (Sociology) said that he is concerned that the wording in proposal three may have the effect of limiting students’ right to protest.

Professor Myers said that the language is required by the Board of Governors in the UNC Policy Manual. He explained that there are provisions in other sections of the Instrument that protect students’ right to protest.

Professor Ferrell (Government) explained that when the faculty delegated the regulation of student conduct to student government, the faculty reserved the right to approve or deny changes to the Instrument. The custom has been to conduct an up or down vote on changes to the Instrument rather than attempting to amend language that has already been approved by student government.

The resolution was unanimously adopted.

Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee annual report

Professor Donald Hornstein (Law) presented the annual report for the Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid Committee. He reported that the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid provides two-thirds of Carolina students with personal financial plans and awards  approximately $425 million per year in aid. The financial aid dollars awarded to students comes from state funds, institutional funds and federal aid. Need-based aid has been awarded to over 8,000 students.

Professor Hornstein explained that while students’ demonstrated need has leveled off since the recession, there are signs that the economic recovery is not reaching the middle class. More students are turning to loans. He said that over 70 percent of financial aid that is given is in scholarships and grants, rather than loans.

The Office of Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid recently reported to US News and World Report that students’ average federal debt at graduation in 2013-14 was $17,113 for four years of attendance. Taking into account inflation, students who graduate now have same debt as students from 10 years ago in constant dollars.

Professor Hornstein recognized Shirley Ort, associate provost and director of the Office of Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid, for her work establishing the Carolina Covenant. He pointed out that UNC Chapel Hill remains the only public university that is both need-blind and meets 100 percent of financial need. As a result of need-based aid, the student body is more diverse and qualified for entry to the university. Twenty percent of students admitted are first-generation college students, and 20 percent are from underrepresented minority groups.

While Professor Hornstein said that Carolina is doing well with managing student loan debt and keeping college affordable, he stressed that it will be difficult to sustain this model in the future. The economic recovery has been slow for the middle class and earnings have remained stagnant. He said that the Board of Governors instituted a cap and freeze that will prevent tuition revenue from been allocated for need-based aid.

The faculty applauded Professor Hornstein’s presentation.

Chancellor Folt said that she has presented this data to the Board of Governors and that increasing funds for need-based aid is one of her top priorities for the upcoming capital campaign.

Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions annual report

Professor Abigail Panter (Psychology), chair of the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions, submitted the committee’s annual report. There were no questions.

Chancellor Folt said that the admissions office had a record number of applications this year. She would like to expand staff in the office in the future in order to handle the increasing volume of applications.

Educational Policy Committee annual report

Professor Jennifer Coble (Biology) presented the annual report for the Educational Policy Committee. She said the committee focused on student success and retention and contextual grading. They met with staff from academic advising and retention officers to identify policies that might be presenting obstacles for graduation. The committee has identified a number of policies and procedures that they would like to monitor in the coming years, including the two-week add/drop period, the eight semester graduation rule as it applies to transfer students, limits to credit hours that can be completed through online courses and the experiential education requirement. In addition, the committee is considering designing a course that would teach students how to navigate a research university.

Professor Coble said that the committee discussed the delay of contextual transcripts that were to begin in December 2014. Christopher Derickson, university registrar, requested a year-long testing period. During this time students would have access to the contextual grade reports, but they wouldn’t be the students’ official transcripts. Students are still concerned about how the schedule point average (SPA) is calculated since it is calculated using all students’ grades. Students are concerned about the impact of late grade changes on the SPA. The committee plans to look into the issue further to come up with a solution to address the students’ concerns.

Committee on the Status of Women annual report

Professor Jennifer Larson (English and Comparative Literature), a member of the Committee on the Status of Women, presented the committee’s annual report. She said that the committee has been researching the possibility of adding part-time tenure track positions for added job flexibility. The committee is also interested in continuing earlier work on women in leadership positions. Professor Larson said that Provost Dean will meet with the committee in May to discuss monitoring the number of women in leadership positions across the university. The committee is also in the process of developing lactation resource toolkits for nursing faculty and staff.

Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty annual report

Professor Nancy Fisher (Microbiology and Immunology) presented the annual report on behalf of the Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty. She reported that 44 percent of full-time faculty are fixed-term, and there are more non-tenure track faculty who are classified as adjuncts. She said that the committee may look at issues surrounding adjuncts in coming years, but there is still work to be done on issues facing fixed-term faculty.

Professor Fisher said that the committee would like the university to adopt the consistent use of titles for fixed-term faculty in rank progression. Rather than the current promotional path for lecturers, she said that the committee is in favor of changing the lecturer and senior lecturer titles to assistant teaching professor and associate teaching professor, respectively.

In 2014, the committee surveyed fixed-term faculty to determine their level of job satisfaction and to create a list of best practices. The survey had a 55 percent response rate. The survey found that most fixed-term faculty were unaware of the recent title change from “Master Lecturer” to “Teaching Professor.” The committee has created fixed-term faculty resource webpages on the Office of Faculty Governance website. The survey also found that 63 percent of fixed-term faculty who responded were satisfied or very satisfied with their work at Carolina. Among those fixed-term faculty members who have been at the university for five years or longer on one year contracts, respondents reported being concerned about salary equity, job security, and valuation and inclusion in departmental affairs and decision-making. She reported that 51 percent of fixed-term faculty have one year contracts or less.

Using responses from the survey and research from peer institutions, the committee drafted recommendations for contract lengths based on years of service. The committee drafted and published a set of best practices to promote inclusion, mentoring, development opportunities and better working conditions. Professor Fisher said that the number of fixed-term faculty is rising at the university and nationally. She said that Carolina could be a leader in establishing high standards for the treatment of fixed-term faculty. The committee plans to hold listening sessions across campus next year.

Community and Diversity Committee annual report 

Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing) submitted the Community and Diversity Committee’s report by title.

Professor Shielda Rodgers (Nursing) said that she is concerned about the lack of time on the agenda provided for the committee, especially since the campus had a number of issues related to diversity in recent years.

Professor Cairns said that he has talked with the Community and Diversity Committee, and plan of  to have time set aside for the committee to report at the first meeting of the fall.

Professor Alexander said that by the fall the committee should have the university’s first Faculty Diversity Plan. She plans to present it to the Faculty Council and Wayne Blair from the Ombuds Office will join her to present information about trends related to cases among faculty that he has observed.

Chair of the Faculty Comments 

Professor Cairns thanked Professor Rodgers and apologized for the full agenda. He thanked Professor Alexander and the committee for their work. He briefly commented on the outcome of the faculty elections and reported that this year was the second highest voter turnout.

In remembrance of deceased faculty

Professor Ferrell read the names of faculty who have died in the past year. The faculty rose for a moment of silence.

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 2016 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 five 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.


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

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

Kathryn Turner
Executive Assistant

Storify Summary of Tweets Covering Council Meeting

We’ve published a “Storify” summary of the (mostly) live-tweets covering the April 24, 2015 Council meeting here.  Check it out for a minute-by-minute overview of what transpired.


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