January 23, 2015
Meeting of the Faculty Council
Friday, January 23, 2015
Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Chancellor Carol Folt and Professor Bruce Cairns, Chair of the Faculty, presiding
Twitter hashtag: #FacCouncil
3:00 Chair of the Faculty’s Remarks and Discussion
- Prof. Bruce Cairns, Chair of the Faculty
3:10 Chancellor’s and Provost’s Remarks and Discussion
- Chancellor Carol Folt
- Provost Jim Dean
Background Reading: Carolina’s Response to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (Pay special attention to introduction and Integrity sections.)
4:00 I Have a Dream Project and Discussion
- Mr. Tafadzwa Matika, UNC Class of 2016
4:25 Faculty Assembly Delegation Annual Report and Discussion
- Mr. Bob Anthony, Chair of UNC-CH delegation
- Prof. Steve Leonard, Chair, UNC Faculty Assembly
4:55 Annual Reports by Title
- Faculty Executive Committee (Prof. Bruce Cairns, Chair)
- Buildings and Grounds Committee (Prof. David Owens, Chair)
Storify of Tweets and Media Coverage
For a sense of how the meeting unfolded live, please see our Storify of tweets and immediate media coverage of this meeting.
Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council
The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on January 23, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at Wilson Library.
The following 75 Council members attended: Able, Aikat, Anthony, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Berman, Brown, Bunch, Cairns, Chavis, Chera, Cox, Cuddeback, Day, Dean, Divaris, Dobelstein, Dolan, Drake, Ferrell, Filene, Fisher, Folt, Furry, Gerhardt, Gilligan, Giovanello, Gucsavas-Calikoglu, Gulledge, Guskiewicz, Hackman, Halladay, Hannig, Heitsch, Hirsch, Hobbs, Howes, Irons, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Koomen, Koonce, Larson, Levine, Loehr, Mayer-Davis, McClanahan, Melehy, Mohanty, Moracco, Moreton, Palmer, Parise, Parker, Paul, Persky, Pertsova, Pruvost, Rial, Rodgers, Salyer, Segars, Steponaitis, Sturm, Swift-Scanlan, Thompson, Wang, Watson, Webster-Cyriaque, Welty, Willett, Williams, Yaqub and You.
Members absent with excuse: Baumgartner, Birckhead, Boettiger, Caren, Chapman, Cook, Edwards, Fry, Hobbs, Houck, Hsu, Kang, Kim, Kris, Kurtz-Costes, Leonard, McLaughlin, Metz, Miller, Mitran, Moon, Porto, Pryal, Stavas, Stenberg, Swogger, Tepper, Viera, Waterhouse and Weight.
Members absent without excuse: Walker.
These are abbreviated meeting minutes. A full transcript is included in Appendix A.
Call to order
The Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell called the Faculty Council to order at 3:03 p.m.
Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns welcomed the faculty council members and introduced guest speaker Mr. Tafadzwa Matika, a junior student who has been working on minority male student recruitment and retention.
Professor Cairns said that the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) will provide updates in its annual report. The committee has spoken with Chancellor Folt and Chief Information Officer Chris Kielt about issues related to the PeopleSoft implementation. The chancellor is aware of the challenges with updating legacy systems, and Kielt’s team will update the FEC on their progress.
Chancellor’s remarks and question period
Chancellor Folt commented on the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day activities happening on campus. She attended a community dinner with faculty, staff and students. Professor Jim Johnson was the keynote speaker.
The chancellor said that is working on a framework for hosting cross-campus conversations about race, gender and justice. She has been working with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Winston Crisp to form a task force with student leaders to organize the discussions.
The chancellor reported that she and the administration worked on a response to a SACS letter that requested additional information about compliance with accreditation standards after the Wainstein report was released. She thanked Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Assessment Lynn Williford for her assistance in preparing the report.
Chancellor Folt attended a recent NCAA convention where the “Power 5” conferences voted for autonomy. This has the potential to impact student athlete-related policies. She praised the inclusion of student-athletes in NCAA governance and thanked Faculty Athletics Representative Lissa Broome and Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham for advocating for the inclusion of student voices. The chancellor reported that other issues were discussed, including whether universities should cover student-athletes’ full cost of attendance, whether scholarships should be based on continued athletic performance, and how concussions should be treated.
Mr. Bubba Cunningham explained that the changes are positive for larger universities that can now vote on legislation that impacts only their programs. He said an issue for Carolina is how to cover the full cost of attendance for student-athletes on scholarship. Next year, the NCAA will consider initial and continuing eligibility standards.
Chancellor Folt said that the increase in legal action and public records requests that the University has faced over the last few years has created a pressing need to consult with external counsel. She reported that the Board of Governors is supporting the launch of the Carolina Research Venture Fund to support Governor McCrory’s focus on translating research into economic growth. The University has created a Vice Chancellor of Commercialization and Economic Development position that is temporarily filled by Professor Judith Cone.
The chancellor expressed her concern over UNC-system President Thomas Ross’s departure. She said that it is important that the Carolina community articulate what we are looking for in the next leader.
Chancellor’s question period
The chancellor responded to questions from Professor Altha Cravey (Geography), Professor Jay Smith (History), Professor Andrew Perrin (Sociology), Professor Eric Muller (Law), Professor Harry Watson (History), Professor Joy Kasson (American Studies), and Professor Hodding Carter (Public Policy).
See the transcript in Appendix A for full comments.
I Have a Dream project discussion
Mr. Tafadzwa Matika, an undergraduate student, introduced himself and showed a brief video clip featuring the “I Have a Dream” campaign. He said that he got the idea for the campaign after serving on the students’ Chancellor’s Advisory Committee and reading an article on male minority student retention. He believes that if students share their experiences and talk openly about why they are college, they will be more engaged. He wanted students to reflect on their identity, community and dreams.
Faculty Assembly Delegation Annual Report and discussion
Mr. Robert Anthony, Faculty Assembly Delegation chair, and Professor Steve Leonard, Faculty Assembly chair, provided an update about the assembly’s activity. Mr. Anthony explained the structure of the Faculty Assembly and its membership. He said the function of the Faculty Assembly is to advise the President of the UNC system, rather than determine policy.
Professor Leonard said that the Faculty Assembly is working on receiving feedback from each of the schools in the system about President Ross’s successor. He said that Board of Governors will meet next week to discuss the selection process. Under the current selection process, faculty would have input on the Leadership Statement Committee. He is aware of concerns from faculty about the selection process.
Professor Leonard and Mr. Anthony responded to questions from Professor Vincas Steponaitis (Archaeology and Anthropology), Professor James Peacock (Anthropology), Professor Lloyd Kramer (History), Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research), and Professor Harry Watson (History).
See the transcript in Appendix A for full comments.
Having completed its business, the Faculty Council adjourned at 5:07 p.m.
Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty
Appendix A: Transcript[Prof. Joseph Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty, called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.]
FERRELL: Faculty Council is now in order. Mr. Chair.
CHAIR CAIRNS: Thank you very much, Professor Ferrell. Good afternoon everyone. I’m glad to see that the New Year has started off very well for all of you and we’re excited to have our first Faculty Council meeting of the 2015 calendar year and the fifth Faculty Council meeting of the 2014/15 academic year. I hope everybody has had a great break and is doing well. As you know it was a busy time over the break for the university in more ways than one and we’re going to have a lot to talk about today.
What I wanted to start with is to just go over the agenda briefly and then make a few additional comments and then in a few minutes, Chancellor Folt and Provost Dean are going to talk about a number of these issues including the institutional response to SACs as well as a number of other developments that are affecting the University and are ability to do our work and support our students. I would though like thank everyone who worked so hard on the SACs response over the break including the Chancellor and the Provost and their team and I’m sure she will talk more about that.
Also, it is my understanding that the Chancellor has to catch a flight and go do more good work for the University so she’ll have to leave early and so during the question and answer time will be the time to ask her questions that might be on your mind.
I’m really excited that after the Chancellor and the Provost are going to speak, we’re going to have a really exciting presentation from one of our outstanding undergraduate students and his team. Tafadzwa Matika is a junior from Zimbabwe and he’s one of our Robertson Scholars which is one of the University’s most prestigious scholarships that we share with Duke University. Tafadzwa is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a focus of nutrition and over the next few months, he’s going to be working on his senior thesis on the challenges of diabetes self-management in a low resource country like Zimbabwe but Taf is also very deeply concerned about issues related to undergraduate minority retention and he seeks to find ways to make UNC a more congenial and supportive place that is better equipped to engage and support males of color on campus but all students as well.
We know this is a really important issue and I just wanted to briefly mention quickly that we have a number of people on the campus who are working on it including Chris Faison. I think I saw Chris come in here. Chris is a Carolina grad who currently serves as UNC’s first coordinator minority male engagement and also Vice Chancellor Crisp but I don’t know if I’ve seen him here today but he’s the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and he’s just doing a fantastic job for the University and I have to tell you, he gave an incredible update to the Board of Trustees on Wednesday about all the issues that are affecting student success here and I think ultimately it would be great to have him come speak to the Faculty Council about that.
Anyway, getting back to Tafadzwa, during his time here, he’s been involved in a number of organizations on campus including the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor (which is how I met him) student government and the MLK Celebration Committee. He’s worked on a number of initiatives with Duke including the Religion and Science Symposium and this past fall as it relates to our meeting today, he founded the I Have a Dream photo campaign that seeks to showcase the rich and diverse dreams that UNC undergraduates have for the future. This campaign has already engaged several hundred students and spurred a deeper sense of community at UNC while challenging students to think about developing a sense of identity. Then after Taf talks about this, he’s going to have the Faculty Council engage in a little exercise. I’ll just let you know that this has received a lot of attention. In fact, the Board of Trustees this week went and reviewed the gallery so I think you’ll find this really exciting.
I think this is important to remind you all that this part of the UNC MLK 2015 schedule of events and celebrations. I went to another one last night, the MLK Unity Dinner that was hosted by the new Zeta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, advocates for the Carolina and the UNC LGTBQ Center. I was invited to that by Logan Gin who is one of our students and the President of the Advocates of Carolina. He’s a good friend and he will talk to us someday about disability issues here for the students and the rest of the community.
Carolina began its celebrations of Dr. King’s life and legacy in 1983 long before there was a federal holiday and you may not know that UNC is the only university awarded the Making of the King Holiday Award by the former MLK Federal Holiday Commission so these issues that were addressed by Dr. King many decades ago are still quite relevant to us today so I think it’s going to be important to hear from Tafadzwa and his colleagues.
At the end of the meeting, we’re going to hear from our Faculty Assembly Delegation led by its Chair, Bob Anthony, as well as the current Chair of the Faculty Assembly, Steve Leonard. We all know that there are a number of issues that affect the UNC system right now and I suspect that many of you may have seen the statement that was posted on the UNC Faculty Government website about the removal of Tom Ross but there are more issues that we need to talk about and Bob and Steve are going to lead that discussion and that’s why we’re going to spend thirty minutes on it.
Before I turn this over to the Chancellor and the Provost, just a couple of other items. The FEC has been meeting. We have a number of things to provide updates and all of the various twenty-seven committees are doing a lot of good work. There’s just a couple of things I wanted to mention.
In 2013, the Committee on Student Conduct, the Faculty Council and the Student Congress adopted a series of procedural forums to enhance the handling of alleged academic misconduct and importantly for us, increase faculty participation in the process. The Chancellor approved these changes in 2014 and this week we had a reception that was sponsored by Judith Wagner who is the Chair of the Faculty Honor System Advisory Committee and Richard Myers who is the Chair of the Committee on Student Conduct where a number of you all talked about being on these panel and what are the issues involved in doing this. I think this is very important because we can either participate in this process to reiterate our commitment to academic integrity and that we are maximally supporting the mission of our students.
Finally, the last issue is that we have talked with Chancellor Folt, many of us in the faculty and the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Chris Kielt, about the issues related to implementation of PeopleSoft. Chris’ team – some of you are familiar with that. Well Chris’ team is really well – he and I had a long conversation about this a couple of days ago and the Chancellor, we’ve talked with her about this as well. They’re very well aware of the issues associated with upgrading our legacy information systems that have been in place for decades and this is always a challenge when trying to change these systems. He has sent us some updates on the transition and we’ll get that out to you electronically because I think it’s important for you to see that and he’s going to be meeting with the Faculty Executive Committee. He’s going to have his team come and meet with the Faculty Executive Committee to update us on the progress and then bring this back to the Faculty Council because we know this affects how we get our work done.
Again like I said, these are just a couple of the issues that we’re addressing. You all are doing amazing work. You’re working very hard. We have a number of other issues that we’re going to update you on in the future but for right now, I’d like to turn the floor over to Chancellor Folt and Provost Dean.
CHANCELLOR FOLT: [Provost James Dean] is here and what we’re going to try to do is I’m going to try to touch a little bit on a number of subjects and then we’d really like to open the floor and get conversations, have people ask questions because as you can imagine, there are many things that are of interest to the faculty right now and so rather than spend too much talking about them, we want to talk with you about them. I’m going to try to go through this fairly quickly and then open it up to the floor.
I do want to also start off though like Bruce did talking about the fact that we are remembering Dr. Martin Luther King with events on and off campus. I think this is a really important time in every university and it is important I think for our students and our staff and our community to see that we actually do come and we do participate in these events. My first event is on Sunday night when I went to the community dinner and what’s so inspiring about that is it is a room – what is it, close to three hundred people. It includes students. Some of our students performed. They’re there. They help organize it. It includes a number of faculty, a number of staff and it has a great number of people in the community, some of whom have been working on issues that are important to Martin Luther King week for decades and so sitting in that room, you can’t help but be really inspired by the perseverance of people that take on tough issues but also the aspirations and it was really wonderful. This week Jim Johnson, our own professor, was the keynote speaker and he did, as you would expect, an incredibly wonderful job and so that was a great start.
We started the Board of Trustees’ meeting by having the Board going over and talking with the students that created the I Have a Dream exhibit. I see Taf there. It was really another great opportunity and if you haven’t been there, I really do think people should go there. It’s a wonderful set of pictures but I think you’re just going to be so taken when you read the dreams and they’re everything from pretty darn funny and maybe an eighteen year old, in the moment dreams but real–all the way to the biggest, most aspirational dreams that you can imagine. That was fantastic. I told them earlier that when I was there and all of a sudden when everybody started – they said to me “well what’s your dream?” I actually felt I can’t necessarily say what my dream is right now and yet the students have this resolution about the focus of their dream and that was really inspiring and it made me go back and start thinking I’ve got lots of them but how do they really fit in that fight for the future so really, really wonderful. You’ll see it in a while.
As I talked in the last faculty meeting about the email that I sent out to the community talking about bringing people together for community dinners and/or community conversation, in the time since the break, I got lots of response. People called me. I talked to people on the street. Some people wrote me emails. There’s a lot of interest again from people on our campus all the way out to the community to participate in conversations that talk about race or justice or equality and the way you build a community that actually meets our aspirations and so I’ve started to work with people, in particular, Winston Crisp and I have been working with the Student Advisory Group to set up a think tank group that would talk about how we could structure these conversations. On Tuesday, I think I’m having sixty students or so that have been invited to come to my house together with a number of faculty and staff to start saying how could we actually structure a conversation that could be intimate and meaningful and really start our way towards a different sense of the way we talk about these issues. We’ll be reporting back. This group doesn’t have to be the only group that’s involved but we were trying to get student leaders from all different parts of the campus that could help us think this through but we will certainly be coming back with the council. Bruce will be at that and others to have that be a part of our conversation because I’d love this to be a big part of what we do in the spring.
It was a pretty busy holiday break. Of course we were working on the SACS report and I appreciate your thanks. I want to especially say thank you to Dr. Lynn Williford who really did do an incredible job helping bring together all the parts and all the different pieces that would go into this report. It’s more than two hundred pages long and it has thousands of pages of relevant documents. Jim and I are working on it, a lot of deans, associate deans, virtually every vice chancellor and the reason I tell you that is I want you to know that we took this extremely seriously. It is true that the University put in another very serious set of responses to much the same events that we’re addressing now although we know more about them and how long they went but they haven’t happened since the same time we’ve been through this before but what we did not decide to do was just take all those old reports, put a paperclip on them and put them back in because not only would that I think be disrespectful to the whole purpose of SACS but we wanted to learn from it and I wanted every single person in a leadership position relative to it to have their hands on it so that they could – all of us are kind of new on this so we wanted to understand these seventy reforms. We wanted to see what the data told us about how effective they were. We were testing our own ability to think were there new things that we would like to do and so that was really the goal of that report and I’m actually quite proud of it and I’m proud of it in this respect – because it gave me a much stronger sense of what the faculty and the staff have been doing since this first began to be revealed and in the time that it has unfolded in a very public way.
This University was not sitting here saying we can’t do anything until we know everything. They were working hard on it and that doesn’t mean that everything they knew the first day is exactly as we know it now but I do believe all the steps that have been taken are absolutely relevant to what we know now and I think there’s also a series of things that have been added in there that are even better. They’re more opportunities for us to really use this as a learning part of our community. I was very pleased in presenting this to the Board of Trustees and I did a lot of conversation with people in the media following it. One of my very favorite questions I got was it was about how did we think it went, what did we learn from it but one of the reporters said to me “well, what were you most proud of in that report” and I think that’s really important because this report also documents more changes to the way we think about advising our students than I believe anybody has put in place in recent years and some of them have so much to do with the success rates we’re seeing not only in student athletes but in our Carolina First and our first generation students. It has so much to do with what we’re trying to do as an administration which is break down silos, be more unified in the things we do, hear more voices. It shows what the Faculty Athletics Committee has been looking at and reviewing and these are all very important to the answers that we’re giving to SACS.
Now I also fully expect that they’ll have more questions. That is the way this works. We do our best shot at answering them fully and then we are completely open to any more questions that they have and we continue on that process. That’s where we are with the SACS report and I think it’s really important that people feel that they can read it. Now I’m also not going to spend a great deal of time trying to talk about every line in the SACS report. It really is a report respectfully submitted to the accrediting agency. The next opportunity is for them to come back to me and ask questions and that’s what we’ll be doing so you have all that information but we’re going to work with them as they ask us questions on clarification or if there are other things that they want. We’ll come back. We can answer more questions but that I think is really important. I never read anybody else’s response to their accrediting agency before we started getting this done. I’d been involved in writing reports to accrediting agencies but I think we really did try in this one to make it readable. Again, it’s hard to say because you are constrained to answer the questions they ask you. There’s a lot of things we could have said that were never asked to us. It has that kind of format.
Second, in that time since we did that, we also went to what I think was a historic NCAA convention which was the first the meeting of the so-called Power Five Conferences to vote on autonomy and to pass legislation that they think could truly change the way we really are meeting our student athletes’ needs and regulating ourselves as members of those conferences. I attended the conference with [Director of Athletics] Bubba Cunningham and I went with [Faculty Athletic Representative] Lissa Broome. We also went with two other members from the University. Very interesting that way that works. It went through months of different conferences offering forward proposals and then the conferences all had to vote on the proposals so there were eighty people who were making the vote – one member of each of the sixty-five schools in those conferences and fifteen students.
The most interesting part of the conference–and I’m speaking to faculty so you won’t be surprised–were the students. They were incredible and they come three from each of the conferences. They had lots to say about these things. This is the first time students have started to be included in their future and the way we think about it with the regulations from the NCAA. It was a very important move. It’s an advance that Lissa and Bubba had been very active in trying to get on the agenda and I think we’ll learn a lot. The initial regulations that were voted in mostly have to do with things like getting students full cost of attendance. A very strong one that says students couldn’t lose their scholarships based on their athletic performance. That’s a very big commitment. We were already very close to that in our own way of dealing with things but this makes this true across the conferences. It had to do with health and safety. The Concussion Legislation, for example, was a big controversial issue. We already have our doctors not reporting to the athletics staff. They have the full say over concussions. A lot of the things that the conferences are adopting, we may already have adopted but it was a good conversation.
They also set up – next year is a lot of conversation already about things like how many hours student athletes can be actually held to be doing athletic work. Now that’s what our FAC is already deeply involved in so I would say–and Lissa you could probably tell me if you agree–but we were very much already doing the things that these conferences are going to take on but it’s a great opportunity if we adopt them all together because I think it has a much more far reaching impact. I don’t know. Lissa or Bubba, would either of you like to add something because it was pretty important.
BROOME: I have nothing to add.
FOLT: Bubba do you want to? I think there’s one thing I thought you might be able to comment on. This is just the sort of one school, one vote, just the way the governance of the NCAA is affected by this Power Five because I think this is something you may want to ask more questions about.
CUNNINGHAM: For many, many years, it was one school, one vote and we got away from that to a representative governance structure about fifteen years ago and the schools in the BCS Conferences, the sixty-five kind of biggest schools in the country now have the right to vote about legislation that would affect them only and so this was the first vote in twenty years that an individual school got to cast so I do think the cost of attendance which in our case is a very big thing. We have eight hundred student athletes. There are about three hundred scholarships that we spread over the eight hundred students and the in-state tuition difference is about four thousand dollars and the out-of-state is about six thousand so it is a lot of money but it is all about financial aid for those students that participate in sports. It was a very good dialogue and I think that there’s a better sense of trying to create the right balance of inter-collegiate athletics in a Division 1 research university in today’s environment. It could be rocky nationally for the next couple of years but I think the conversations are good about what is good for the student, what is a good experience for them and how do we manage the time commitments academically and athletically and I think next year another big discussion will be admission standards, initial eligibility standards and continuing eligibility standards. In the next twelve months, there’ll be a lot of discussion with the sixty-five schools and present proposals relative to those two topics.
FOLT: And the ACC, I was actually quite proud, had almost every single one of the presidents and chancellors there. I went up there with [NC State Chancellor] Randy [Woodson] and that’s because that conference really decided that they wanted to have a lot of input from its senior leadership. That has been, I think, really important and it was true in that meeting that not all of the schools were represented by their presidents and chancellors but it was a pretty high level so that idea that there still is leadership up to the top of your academic leadership underlying the running of the NCAA was still a strong part of the principle because there’s always been debate on that too.
Now I know that you’ve all probably noticed that we have another lawsuit that came out yesterday and you probably also have seen that we have retained Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a very well-renowned law firm to represent us and they’re going to be acting to really help us integrate what is clearly a very complex legal strategy or legal responses. I want to say two things about this. The first is that the University here is under extraordinary pressure legally. It is true that every university has a constant flow of legal actions that is happening but we are, yes, we are at a new level, at another level, an unusual level. Maybe the greatest level. We’re number one here. Leadership! No, I don’t know that for sure but what’s really important and I think you all realize that when you have so many going, first of all, you need to be able to have a good way to integrate those because ours are so closely related. So many of the things that we’re facing relate in different ways. They aren’t all about athletics. They aren’t all about academics. Some of them are about the composition of our student body but in every one of these cases, many parts are the same and our interest in progressing to be a great university is really at the heart of every one of them.
You also know that our legal counsel [Leslie Strohm] is no longer here. We’re going to need to redo that legal counsel but in addition to all that, we have a fairly small legal counsel staff. I think we have eleven lawyers. Am I right? It’s about that many in our legal counsel. With just the last couple of years, an increase in public records requests and I think we’ve talked about that. We could be doing more than a million pages in legal records requests. Those get processed a lot through your legal team so I actually need to figure out how to build a legal team that meets the resting state for our University at the moment that we are at a very elevated state. We need external help to help us do that well and we don’t want to buy a fifty person legal team because I hope we don’t need that for the rest of our time here so you need those experts. They’re wonderful individuals. They are also doing as we always do, working with North Carolina firms when we need them, bringing in additional expertise but it is costly.
It is extraordinary times and I believe and I have the support from the Board that this is something that our University needs to do. It is also an extremely important thing for me as a leader here. I need to have my attention focused not just on each legal issue. We need to be focusing on our future. We have so many other things to do. This has really been very helpful to us and I actually say I’m very grateful to both the Governor and to the Attorney General who approved this and we will continue in many of these cases to work very closely with the Attorney General’s office. Much of what happens in new legal cases is discovery. It’s many, many hours of materials that you’re preparing and so they can help us on that too. I’m happy to answer more questions but I thought I ought to just tell you straight out why we’re there and how we see it and I think it’s going to be very helpful to us.
On the pivoting forward where we’re also going, I want to make a couple of quick comments and then we’ll go to questions. The Board of Governors’ meeting this week actually was begun by a presentation by the Governor on commercialization and innovation. He had put together a very strong working group and our representation was very strong. Judith Cone had been there at different times, also Barbara Entwisle, numbers of faculty have participated because this is a very, big, strong front for the Governor. He talks about the country being divided into a research triangle with Palo Alto, the BosWash Corridor and the Research Triangle being the places where you can imagine this is an important part of that growth. Big for our state. He talks about and talked about the importance of the universities at the center of that, that the intellectual property but also just the energy and vitality of the region that comes when you have great universities being the muscle of what’s going to drive the strength of the economy here but also the strength of this as a state where people want to live and want to come and see the state as it grows.
It was a very interesting conversation and I think we’re going to continue to work on that of course and it was the backdrop for the work that we have been doing. Recently the Board of Governors had approved my creation of a new vice chancellor level position in the area of commercialization and economic development. I was able to prevail to have Judith Cone step in to be the interim vice chancellor. Actually this was first suggested by a faculty committee that developed the whole innovation roadmap. Then there had been a Board of Trustees committee that has been working for the last year on this. This too was their idea that we needed someone who woke up every single day helping to unify our efforts across campus, helping us really promote what we’re doing and really see this come to fruition. I think it’s very exciting but it was particularly nice because we announced it at the same time that we announced the creation of the Carolina Research Venture Fund with an initial outlay of five million dollars. That is absolutely designed to take great ideas from people on this campus and help them go to the next stage and there is a lot of work behind that one showing where the real missing pieces are in the Triangle for our faculty and our staff and our students that are excited about building companies so announcing these two together is really wonderful and we’ve had a lot of great publicity on that so it’s nice to see that.
We also realize–and Steve Farmer could always talk more about that– but we have our tenth year of growth, highest ever in applications and they’re strong applications so we can continue to attract great students. You all had seen the number one in the Kiplinger ranking. I think that was particularly important because we have put such effort in trying to maintain the affordability and accessibility and we all know that that means that we’re not asking for money in order to keep costs low but it’s such a part of who we are and how we’re viewed nationally that I think it’s important that people remember that and we’re really participating in a lot of conversations with a lot of other states and large universities about how is it that Carolina is keeping its costs low. Well in addition to keeping them low and having bigger subsidies from the state, we’re doing a lot of things here that might make that successful. We’ll be talking about that all spring especially because we’re going into the long session in the General Assembly and this is the biggest session to talk about education because it’s going to set policy really for the next two years. At this moment, our voice needs to be very strong. This is when you really want to be part of the conversation going forward.
When I first met Governor McCrory, I think I met him the second day I was the Chancellor here and I think my first conversation, I said “my dream is that every time you need a good story, you call me up and I tell you another great, important thing happening at Carolina that is important for the state because we’ve got so much that we’re doing that is important” and I believe that right now as we go into the long session. I want to talk about all things that we’re doing, the progress we’re making, the economies that we’ve also put in place. This is important and so we’re going to be active there. I’m sure a lot of you will be asked at different times to be active but this does become a very important part. This is important in North Carolina in the coming weeks and months.
Of course at the Board of Governors, we also had the announcement that Tom Ross was going to be stepping down in January 2016 and I know that that is deeply concerning to everybody. Tom has been a great mentor for me to learn the system and I believe that Tom loves this University. I know he does. I think we all really feel that and I think he’s really put his efforts right now into making a great transition but I want to talk to you about why I think transitions are so important. It’s that this is a moment when we can do all sorts of things as a university but it’s also as I said, it’s the long session. You’re all submitting grants. You’re teaching students. We have many things to do right now and our ability to help shape a positive future continues to be that we work with the President and we also be part of the solution for the next president and I believe that I want the next president that comes here to be coming here because the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is such a great university that they want to be a part of a system that we belong to and I think that’s really going to be important that we find productive outlets for our excitement and our enthusiasm but where we have concerns, people have many opportunities for voicing those but as a university, I think we also have an opportunity to really talk about what it is that we think is important in a president of a system and how we can work well within that system to help our University and all the universities thrive.
I talked to Tom just yesterday and he said that’s his belief too. He would love to see each one of his universities in that system putting forward the case for why we should be supported so strongly as we move forward into the long session with the universities so I think that’s important but I’m also very happy to talk to people about thoughts.
We didn’t have much time to rest but we have a lot of time ahead to get a lot of work done on all these fronts so what I’m going to do is just open it up for questions and there are pieces of this that I work on more than Jim and other ones that Jim is really taking the lead and in particular, Jim is already working with every one of you on the recruitment of new faculty in the coming year and getting those startup packages right and keeping these salaries at the right level. That’s all part of our work. We’re happy to talk about that too. I think we have a bit of time.
CHAIR CAIRNS: We have about twenty minutes and so I’m not quite sure how many people – I see a hand raised and so we’ll definitely go to that. I see another hand over there, Professor Smith. I have two and I will try to help coordinate for the Chancellor and the Provost.
CRAVEY: Hi. I’m Altha Cravey in the Geography Department. I’ve been here twenty years and it seems to me the increasing amount of money that we’re paying for legal defense, some of that could be avoided if we were just more forthcoming with information and I’m thinking in particular of the names of the people who are going to be disciplined after the Wainstein Report. Why was that withheld? That’s something faculty should know about and should be involved with and in fact, while I’ve got the microphone on, I’ll also note that we’re going to have an AAUP meeting – everyone is welcome, next Thursday. I’ve got information – 5 pm, Donovan Lounge, Greenville Hall. I’m happy to send information to your departments.
FOLT: Thank you for asking that question. The reason they were withheld is because I was following the law and I’m going to say that again. I was following the law. That was even decided as we went through the mediation. What they asked me if I would do is to use my discretion to reveal records that were not required to be revealed and then if I would do that, under what circumstances would I do it. That’s where we are. I will continue to say I’m not going to argue it with you right now on the floor.
CRAVEY: I will just say that faculty has a right to be involved in that….
FOLT: There is and I think that you would probably find that there’s a lot of diversity in opinion because many of the people whose names I did not reveal may be found to have done absolutely nothing and that was, as I fold the faculty before, my principle was that we let this process work out and then we will reveal as we’ve said. That’s where we are at the same place I was when I said it at the last meeting.
CRAVEY: Too many lawyers.
FOLT: Well I think that was actually pretty helpful. You do need lawyers especially if you need one to help you understand what is actually legal but it’s complicated.
CHAIR CAIRNS: Can I take a stab at that as well?
CHAIR CAIRNS: I think that that’s a very important question and what we’re trying to do in faculty governance, I mean we had fifty-five percent of the faculty participate in the election is we would love for you because I do think that there’s a wide range of opinions on very emotional issues which a lot of these are is to bring it to our Faculty Executive Committee. We’ve done that before with other issues and that may not be satisfactory but that’s why we have a representative process and if that doesn’t work, then we have other groups that have established themselves independent. Then they can work as well. We don’t want people to feel like something hasn’t been expressed and there’s no mechanism for it so that we can try to get things going. Professor Smith was next. We’re here to serve.[Prof. Jay Smith (History) is recognized.]
SMITH: Chancellor and Provost, I appreciate the many hours that went into the preparation of the SACS report. I once worked on a SACS report back in 2005. I know how much labor it involves so I appreciate the work you put into it and I accept that it was a good faith effort but I just want to remind you that SACS came back to us last fall because they detected in the Wainstein report evidence that we had been less than fully forthcoming and fully honest and fully forthright in the March 2013 report that we submitted to them the first time around and you evidently decided to approach that problem by sidestepping it, essentially, and claiming that the University has always been fully honest with SACS in its dealing with them, has always been fully forthcoming, et cetera. It’s just that when Debbie Crowder and Julius Nyang’oro started talking we suddenly had access to all sorts of information we’d never had before and that’s why the tenor of the Wainstein report and its level of detail is different and it creates the appearance that we’ve been withholding information beforehand but it’s only an appearance. It’s just that Debbie and Julius started speaking and it just bothers me a great deal that in your response to SACS in a document that after all is supposed to help restore our reputation for integrity, in our response to SACS, our response to SACS is essentially predicated on I don’t want to say a falsehood but a deliberate misdirection because it is not true. It is simply not true that you needed Julius and Debbie to start talking before you found out about the scope of that fraud and its duration, how long it lasted, how many people were affected. It is simply not true that you needed them.
Proof positive of this and I apologize for being self-referential here, I’m a little embarrassed by this but proof positive of it is in the book that I co-wrote with Mary Willingham which will be rolling off the presses in a few weeks. You get the [substance of the] Wainstein report and a whole lot more in that book and we never talked to Julius and we never talked to Debbie. We assessed the evidence that was staring at us in the face. We assessed it honestly and accurately I believe and, of course, the other key difference is that I listened to Mary Willingham and the institution wouldn’t. Instead you spent your time denouncing her, dismissing her, demonizing her and making her statistical assertions the core of her whistleblower testimony which unfolded over four and a half years. That was wrong.
The simple fact is the institution was dishonest of its handling of the scandal in 2010 through 2013. The initial SACS report reflects that and you sidestepped it here by asserting that everything that was new that was revealed in the Wainstein report was thanks to Julius and Debbie. It’s not true.
FOLT: Well I’m not exactly sure I can answer all of those things nor will, you know, probably I won’t answer them to your satisfaction but I will say that I did every single thing I could in writing that SACS report to talk about what I knew and could find out. I also did my very best together with everybody here to talk about the pieces that are in place that are what we are doing going forward. In talking to the people at SACS, they have questions about meetings that we talked about how those agendas were set, talked to everybody that was in those agendas. Those are all part of that assertion. I think that’s what we were asked to do in that SACS report and I do think there’s a very big difference in what was revealed in Wainstein than the way you cast it and I think it even is true in the way that we put it in the report.
We did talk about the fact that for the first time we were able to talk to Debbie Crowder and if you read the report, you will realize that it was only when Debbie sat down with every single roster and looked for a dot next to every single name that anyone had any idea which of those students were actually being handled through the paper classes because she marked down each paper that she collected. That wasn’t known. They hadn’t been able to talk to Julius but I think what was really different from Wainstein and maybe that just wasn’t very clear and that might help is that not only did they have that, they had access to almost 1.5 million emails, maybe eight million emails when you follow the threads and they did that emails which I had authorized them to do. They could use the emails together with the testimony and then they could go back and ask questions framed around evidence that had not been used in previous investigations. That did open up a lot more information with a lot more depth and breadth. It’s very possible that that didn’t come out to you but that’s what we were talking about.
In addition, through their criminal investigation and the power of the subpoena and other things, they had a lot of other documents that had not been available so it was really my intent in talking about the future or talking about what was revealed when the past reports were written, was to make clear the great volume of information that was available in the Wainstein report that had not been used by the previous reports. I think that’s extremely important and I think that did alter the interviews. It altered the way of the interviews. It altered the people that were interviewed and, of course, those were things that we weren’t conducting because we really felt it was important to get an independent person in here so that you wouldn’t think that the University was choosing who not to speak with. That’s really, I think, really important but thank you.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology) is recognized.]
PERRIN: Thank you, Chancellor. I am worried and I suspect some others in the room are as well relevant to the forced resignation of President Ross not so much because of him in particular but because several of the recent actions by the Board of Governors seem to really challenge I think what we value in the University. That is the absolute best across every element of intellectual endeavor and that’s what we seek to do here and my concern really is that this is the latest in a number of actions by the Board that seem not to respect that core value that’s been true for over two centuries of Carolina’s development and so I’m less interested in asking about the specifics around President Ross’ firing or forced resignation than I am about what faith do you have about our ability to have input into who the next President will be and in particular about defending those core values of the University system and their importance to the state? That strikes me as far more important than the person in the office.
FOLT: Well I think what you’re saying is really important and I think it’s not just me. We have yet to work with the Board on how they’re going to set up that search process. In all my conversations so far, it looks very likely that there is going to be very strong representation of chancellors, of members of the Board of Trustees. That there is going to be a broad, national search. Again, I’m not speaking for the Board of Governors so please realize that I don’t have inside knowledge on this yet. They have to develop their own process but that’s the kinds of conversations that we’ve been having.
I think also the Faculty Assembly has an opportunity in a different way to start pooling faculty from across the universities and saying what are the key issues that they look for because when you’re going through a leadership transition, what you really do hope is that you’re able to reaffirm what it is that you’re looking for. We’re in a new time than when they hired President Ross. It’s a new world. What are the most critical issues? What kind of spokesperson do you want for that system and in fact, what does a president best do when they’re in a system that has such a diversity of universities with so many different missions and so many different financial models? All of that is where I think we can have a big input and a little bit, another side to that Andy because I think it’s such a good question is when that board in recent years has been taking on issues like looking at entrepreneurship or recently looking at the way we look at our student services and most recently about the way we look at sexual assault, they’ve been coming to Carolina and asking our opinion and when they talk about research, the things that are viewed to be our special purview and the same for State and the same for other institutions that have particular pieces in their background or mission that are really relevant, they are involving us deeply in that. That is absolutely my main goal is to be a part of that conversation and to bring forward not just me but experts to help inform. I think that’s what we have to continue to do and we’re always going to want to do it more because we have such a great faculty with so much background but that’s where we need to put our information and we’ve done other things that have been helpful.
When the School of Public Health, Global Public Health, last year invited all the legislators to that school and they made all their presentations, it was enormously beneficial. When the School of Government just two weeks ago had the sessions that they give for all new members of the legislature and they come to the School of Government here and they get great, great education on what you do when you sit as a member of the legislature and for the first time, I was invited by the Dean to come speak and address the legislature and they asked really good questions about our financial model. I got asked a fantastic question which was why do you want to have great research? What value is that bringing to this state? No, I take that – that is a totally legitimate question. That is absolutely legitimate but what is wonderful about it is they wanted to know the language so that they too could answer the question. It’s so when they go out to their own constituents, they say this is why you have it and this is why you have a diversity of research fields. I think that we need to be active and trying and getting our words out there and working with that and I think there’s a lot of signs where we’re really valued there too.
PERRIN: Just to quickly follow up, do you have faith that this Board of Governors shares those values of being a world class university system for the public of North Carolina?
FOLT: I do and I’ll tell you why I say that. I believe when I listen to the Board of Governors especially as they’ve been talking, I came in just a year – I’m just getting to know people and a lot of them are brand new on the Board. As they’ve been talking about what their big issues are going forward, the main thing I hear and realize, a Board of Governors is not all the same. There are many different voices. They don’t necessarily all have the same perspective but the overwhelming perspective I am hearing right now is that they want to be speaking to the legislature about this being a time to invest in your universities. That our great universities are the reason that this state has thrived and that it needs its great universities to thrive. We all probably have – for every person here, there are ten different reasons for why we think that’s important and they may not know all of our reasons but we’re shared in that idea and I think looking for common ground you’ll find a lot of it and that’s where I’ve been trying to find is that common ground and then we can use that to also talk about areas where we might not agree.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. Eric Muller (Law) is recognized.]
MULLER: This is a version I think of Andy Perrin’s question but it’s a little bit different and it has to do with President Ross. I expect and hope and trust that the faculty and staff and students not just of this University but of all of the universities in the system will engage in the absolute best of faith in a conversation about the value of the university system and all of its units and about what the quality should be in a new president and I plan to participate in that in good faith but I have to say it’s challenging to do that. It’s challenging to talk about the process by which a new leader will be selected and the values that that new leader should represent when the prior leader has been in effect dragged offstage moments before without an explanation and so my question really is isn’t it appropriate that our conversation while not focusing on sort of HR level details about President Ross that in order for us as faculty and staff and students to be able to engage in the kind of constructive conversation that we all want to participate in that we have some acknowledgement of the inappropriateness of the way in which this conversation has been launched and some articulation of concern which in my view from reading the papers and reading statements including from this body has thus far been absent?[Applause]
FOLT: I have to tell you, I’m not sure what you’re asking me to do. It was a great statement. I understand that but I’m not sure that that is actually – that I know specifically what you’re asking me to do. I think we all went through this process very recently. I think that my role will continue to be to do everything I can to advance this University and I’m going to work within that system. I’m going to keep a positive attitude going forward and I’m going to work through that and I think that’s really important. I don’t think that I have a particular role to speak on behalf of every single person here at this moment except to find our common ground about how we’re going to go forward. I wasn’t here when other presidential transitions took place at the system level. I think that we’re in this one and I’ve talked a lot to President Ross too. I have a pretty strong feeling of what I think he would like to see happen himself which is that we continue in a very positive way to advocate for the strength of this great University. While I really appreciate the different feelings that everyone has here, I also do have a pretty strong sense of where I can personally be most effective and I think that’s partially what each person has to decide is where can you be most effective. I don’t know. Jim, would you like to comment on that? He’s a big part of all this too. He knows Tom well.
DEAN: Well I do think that the focus on the future is an important one. I do think that we have an opportunity to help shape the search and I think we very much – I don’t know exactly what the rules will be about the Search Committee but I think we have a reasonable expectation that this University is represented on the Search Committee and I think that’s an important one. Not getting into the content of the decision at all or speculating on the motives for the decision, it’s very clear that the Board does have the right to make a decision about the future. Whatever you think about the content of the decision is within their purview and other boards differently composed in the past have indeed made similar decisions about looking for a new person. We just have to sort of keep that in mind that it’s not as if they’ve gone outside their purview and done something that’s against the rules or immoral or something like that. We may or may not like the decision but it’s certainly their right to make it and what we can do at this point I think is to try and help get to the next stage and be seen as contributing to the future and the future of the relationship there.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. Richard Andrews (Public Policy) is recognized.]
ANDREWS: Certainly it is the Board does have the right to make these decisions and to exercise oversight over the campuses of the system. One of the things that I would hope and this goes beyond the question of Tom Ross but one of the things I would deeply hope as we think towards both the next President and toward the role of the Board of Governors in relations to the universities, the campuses as we go forward, one direction could be a much more aggressive micromanagement approach in setting more rigid kinds of requirements. There are a number of settings in which they have intruded on campus level decision making recently on other issues. I would hope that we would and certainly I would anticipate that the Chancellor would defend our position on that but that all the campuses would be left free and encouraged to do the things they do best in the ways that they do best to make academic judgments and related kinds of campus level decisions in the fullest way with the accountability that if the Board of Governors doesn’t like the results, they have the right to change chancellors if they wish but that they not move into a new era of imposing a whole different vision of the universities at a detailed level which would undercut the value of the campuses. This system is not a degree granting institution. It is simply an oversight umbrella mechanism created for particular reasons.
FOLT: I think you’re raising one of the most important issues that faces us in the system and I think it’s something that we’ve been talking about. Jim and I talk about it quite a bit because this University system is one of the most diverse. You look at the University of California. You’ve got Berkeley, UCLA. They’re pretty similar in a lot of ways. Our system is quite broad and so as a result, what we always are trying to find is what is the way we can have the autonomy where we need it to be strategic and be successful and what are the things that when going together we can actually help promote and advance the system. It’s my hope that every time you have a transition, what you want to do is refine things, learn from things and say are there ways we can do it going forward that would be more effective and I actually think that’s where we can get immense input from faculty. We can look at models. How do systems work?
If you follow systems across the country right now, a lot of them have gone through changes – Virginia, Florida, Texas, California but not just in the leadership. They’re all trying to figure out how do you take a diverse assemblage of universities with different missions, different wealth and make them be effective so that you’re not making it be regression to the average but you’re allowing them to excel. That’s absolutely what I think I need to focus a lot on and we do see that as being a question that people are asking and I think it has a chance to be a very positive set of discussions for us and it’s important. The next President is going to be tasked with that.
DEAN: One thing maybe I’ll add on that is while the transition in President appropriately is getting a huge amount of attention, at the same time there’s a number of other transitions and one that’s actually pretty important for us is the transition in the Vice President for Academic Affairs, effectively the provost kind of job for the system. Suzanne Ortega was in that role for a number of years. She’s left to take on another role and there’s a new person coming into that role within a couple of weeks, Dr. Junius Gonzales who is from the medical field and I think that that is sort of my key person who I work with in that and those are the kinds of conversations – the kinds of conversations you suggested are the ones that I have all the time about who gets to make what decisions and there’s sort of a legal side of it and then there’s more of an informal side of it but that’s a boundary that we try to manage as well as we can and I think that we’ve actually made some progress there.
FOLT: The new HR Director was actually Carolina’s – Matt Brody, another move into a big position and here’s another example of one really positive way I see that happening. When we got our own Vice Chancellor for Commercialization and Economic Development, there could have been a lot of conversation that you don’t do that in individual universities. You put that all in a central place. We were able to talk very carefully and so I worked with Chancellor Woodson on that. That is something that has to meet the flavor of the disciplines at your own University. It needs to be something that we do and if you’re going to spur that, you need to be building in flexibility and speed and not bureaucracy and slowness and we got that. That was really a big part of what we were able to advance and so again, piece by piece I think that was a really good example of what I hope can be an effective partnership in different parts of the mission as well.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. Harry Watson (History) is recognized.]
WATSON: Thank you very, very much. I’m as worried about the Board of Governors’ situation as anybody and I really appreciate the time and the thought that has gone into everybody’s questions and in your responses but I think it’s unfortunate that that meteor hit us at the same time that the SACS report came out because I think there are issues that Jay Smith brought up in connection with SACS that still need some airing and the question – my take on the situation is that SACS in its first question charged us with not being completely honest in April of 2013 and we’ve come back to say oh no, we were fully diligent. We were completely honest. We told you everything we knew at that time but if you go back to that time, there was an enormous amount of evidence in the public sphere and I know you weren’t here yet, Chancellor but there was an enormous amount of evidence out in the open that what Carolina would say. Carolina at that time would say we don’t have an athletic problem here.
We have an academic problem but there’s a huge amount of evidence available that what we call the academic problem was thoroughly entwined with athletics and the University was, as far as I can tell, is still trying very hard to deflect attention away from the athletic program and to deny that we had an athletic problem at Carolina. That I assume is what SACS meant when they said we weren’t being completely honest and I think the record supports SACS on that. My question is why should we go back and try to defend and insist that we were doing everything when there was a huge amount of information that we were ignoring?
FOLT: Again, I can’t recreate and SACS needs to be explicit if there are particular things they’d like to know and you don’t guess what they want. You try to answer it the best you can. Let me try a different take on this because you say that Carolina at that time was not talking at all about athletics but I had seventy reforms, most of which dealt with the athletics program that were all being presented to SACS in its last report so that’s a very clear and obvious case where the University was actually addressing it as a very strong intertwined relationship between athletics and academics because virtually every reform not only down to the ones that had to do with following the deans, doing oversight to the faculty but there were new ones put in for how we’re going to measure clustering in classes. I mean a lot of it was very explicitly drawing that relationship where appropriate between athletics and academics but also saying it has procedures that have to be dealt with in the way we also manage our faculty and their oversight. I think it’s in that sense we were looking to see if there was new material that came out in that report that there were not procedures that had been put in place that would absolutely stop what had happened before from happening again and it’s in that context that I think people were very honestly and directly dealing with that step by step. That’s why when Jim and I started the very first two weeks, I think Jim came and said “we need to look at this and we need to get in place this process that’s going to go step by step, metric by metric” and we weren’t coming up with anyone saying don’t do that. Everyone in this whole campus was telling us do that. I have that lens and I see the actions were so strongly backing up the idea that we were taking it extremely seriously. I hope that – I think that’s really important.
DEAN: I just want to follow up a little bit. You can never completely know what people are saying when they’re being sort of elliptical in their comments but we’ve been to SACS to talk to them. I’ve had phone conversations with them, multiple phone conversations. We’ve had Skype calls with them and I really don’t think that’s what they were worried about to be really honest with you. Their concern is really not about athletics. That’s not what really their whole thing spins on. They’re really concerned about the integrity of the academic processes and I have no reason to mislead you on this. That’s just not what they were thinking about. They were thinking that we didn’t tell them everything. That some people didn’t tell them everything that they knew but that’s really not the thing that it turns on from every conversation we’ve had with them. I can really appreciate why you’d say that. I understand why you’d say it but I really don’t think that’s it.
FOLT: And we flew down there and met with them. Jim has talked with them a number. . .
DEAN: We worked really hard to understand what they want because the stakes are obviously incredibly high and we’ve not had any indication along those lines.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. Joy Kasson (American Studies) is recognized.]
KASSON: When I look at the range of things we’ve talked about today, we have talked about some things that are absolutely crucial to our future and I feel the forty-four years that I’ve been here at UNC, this is a very crucial moment and how we go forward is going to be very important. I’m a historian too but I’m not as interested in going over and over again some material that’s been well aired and maybe we’ll never all agree on it but I just want to say that the conversation that we’ve had about the problems of the future and how we’re going to get through this really crucial moment in the history really of the University, that’s what really attracts my attention. I just wanted to make that comment.[Applause]
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. Hodding Carter (Public Policy) is recognized.]
CARTER: Following Joy [Kasson] is impossible of course because in the first place, all forms of history she knows better than anybody in this room certainly with the University and history itself. One part of history she does know quite well as well – well you’re not that old Joy but at any rate, is the only times that I know of in the twentieth century in which those who are rolled over decided to wait to deal with it was to pretend that something good was going to come of it was when Kerensky tried to deal with the Bolsheviks and then when Chamberlain tried to deal with the Nazis. If you give up the territory, they will take more.
D.G. Martin had a really very good column which was a very calm column. It was a column that says we have gone through these things before. It drove me to the place you go when you don’t know anything which is to learn everything where it goes and Google and Google and Google and there have been about fifty firings of college presidents, chancellors or what have you over the last fifteen years, very famous ones, some not so famous. There was only one thing that they all shared. You knew why they were fired. It wasn’t self-evident, declared or happily applauded by those who did it. Not one. You know why? They were willing to be out there and gut wrenching candid on both sides. It does us no good to pretend that the causes for his firing are not relevant to the future and if you think they aren’t, I pity the future.[Applause] [Mr. Tafadzwa Matika, an undergraduate Junior majoring in Public Health (Nutrition) spoke to the Council about the I Have a Dream Campaign.] [The Council stood in recess for 5 minutes.]
CHAIR CAIRNS: Thank you all very much. We are going to reconvene and I think continue this conversation. We have both Bob Anthony and Steve Leonard who are going to talk about this….
CHAIR CAIRNS: I’m not sure but I want you to know that Judith Wegner came up to me and she wants to know are we going to continue this conversation and she gave me a little grief which is not the first time that she’s given me grief and all of you should know feel free to give me grief at any time but many of you don’t actually need permission and I understand. Judith, would you like to say anything about how to help us begin our discussion for the last half hour of our Council meeting?[Prof. Judith Wegner (Law) is recognized.]
WEGNER: Thank you. I think we should hear from our Faculty Assembly delegates and when appropriate, I have my opinion. I think I agree more with Eric Muller and with Hodding Carter than with others and I was fairly disappointed that there wasn’t more candor and that what I said is it’s too bad to have what I think is the most important agenda item at the end with half an hour only when I thought this was going to be a full discussion but maybe these guys can talk fast.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Robert Anthony (University Libraries) , Chair of the Faculty Assembly Delegation is recognized.]
ANTHONY: I’m Bob Anthony with the University libraries and I am the Chair of the Faculty Assembly delegation from this campus this year. Just to review briefly what the Faculty Assembly is, it’s a body of elected delegates from the seventeen constituent institutions of the University system. That’s the fifteen universities, the School of the Arts and the School of Science and Mathematics. It meets six times a year, three times each semester and is dedicated to upholding and exercising the principles of academic freedom, shared governance, tenure and the faculty’s primary responsibility for the University’s curriculum.
Now the charter of the Assembly–the Assembly was started in 1972 under the leadership of then President Bill Friday but the objectives are to gather and exchange information on behalf of the faculties of the constituent institutions and through appropriate channels advise the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina, the General Assembly and other governmental agencies and officers all matters of University wide importance and it shall advise and communicate with the President of the University with regard to the interest of the faculty and other matters of University wide importance. Historically the role of the Assembly has been advisory rather than policy making.
The delegates this year and we’ll just review them briefly are Suzanne Gulledge of Education, Bruce Cairns is Chair of the Faculty and is ex-officio, Beth Kurtz-Costes of Psychology and Jim Porto of Health Policy and Christian Lundberg is the alternate this year. We meet, as I say, once a month at the Spangler Building of the General Administration building. President Ross has greeted and given an opening statement and comments on policy and thoughts and matters he’s dealing with and answers questions from the delegates. Then other members of the General Administration, such as Suzanne Ortega referred to earlier by Provost Dean, make comments and share thoughts and observations and discussions of policies and initiatives that their particular responsibilities are taking them. We’ve also heard from the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer on financial matters, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Learning Strategies, people like Matthew Rascoff who is a fairly recently appointed Vice President for Technology Based Learning and Innovation. In our April meeting, Peter Han, Chair of the Board of Governors, addressed the Faculty Assembly and he and President Ross engaged in a question and answer session with us.
We then go into usually workshops and discussions in the morning sessions on matters that are of importance to the University administration that the Chair of the Faculty Assembly and others have put on the agenda. These have included topics such as articulation policies, international programs, and performance funding models, measuring academic quality, campus security and common general education competencies. Post tenure review is something that has been discussed. Panel discussions are often led by Faculty Assembly delegates and then invited special guests are often members of the administration or people from the various campuses with special expertise.
Topics of discussion in the spring 2014 were effective faculty communication, understanding student success and the University experience under Chairman Steve Leonard who is the Chair of the Assembly this year. He is with the Department of Political Science here at Chapel Hill. Our theme discussions have been faculty and shared governance, choosing institutional leaders and the curriculum and student success.
I think we want to get into a longer discussion with Steve leading that so I’m going to abbreviate my remarks here but there is a longer report that is available on the website on the Faculty Governance website and if you’re interested in more of what the Faculty Assembly has been doing, I’d encourage you to go to that. You can also look at the reports from the past years of the Faculty Assembly.
After those morning sessions, we do break into committees. This past semester we have had committees on academic curriculum, student success, institutional resources, faculty welfare and shared governance. Those committees meet in the early afternoon and then we rejoin in a plenary session and have reports from the committees on particular thoughts that the committees have developed as we share information from our different perspectives representing the seventeen different campuses.
Again, I would encourage you to go to the website and look at the report. The Assembly I think is a very important way for the various campuses to share their concerns, their issues with their special perspectives. It’s also a time where we hear of the different missions of the various campuses and understand that we’re not all the same but as the Chancellor said, we’re all going in the same direction but we’re taking slightly different approaches and some of our campuses are really struggling. We think we have challenges here but some of the campuses are really struggling out there.
Steve, I’m going to turn it over to the Chair of the Faculty Assembly and let you talk and then I’m going to sit up here. . .
LEONARD: I’d rather have you stay up there and do. . .
ANTHONY: Well I’d rather hear your comments.[Prof. Stephen Leonard (Political Science), Chair of the UNC Faculty Assembly, is recognized.]
LEONARD: Well my Executive Committee told me that when you do this visit like every other visit I do to campuses to talk to campus Faculty Senates or here at Chapel Hill the Faculty Council, they told me to stay on script for the presentation that I was actually supposed to do back in December. I was scheduled to do this and I have my script here for a completely different set of circumstances I think than the ones we’re going to probably be talking about.
I do have to say that one thing that I don’t know is I don’t know what faculty around the system are going to do about the kinds of questions that you have that you share with them here. We can talk a little bit about that process and we can talk a little bit about the Faculty Assembly’s role in all this but I think the bottom line is that it’s too early right now to know what folks are doing so we’ll I think again come back to that issue as we proceed.
I appreciated the fact that Carol gave the Faculty Assembly a job when she was talking earlier. She said that she hoped that the Faculty Assembly would help the University, would help the system gather feedback from faculty across the various campuses. I’m pleased to say that in fact that kind of arrangement is already in place according to the Board of Governor’s Code for the University. The Leadership Statement Committee–there are a number, there are four committees for the presidential search. This may change by the way. There’s a meeting on Tuesday morning of the, I believe it’s the Board of Governors’ Governance Committee and they’ll be talking about the presidential search process. The media should have a press release about that from General Administration. That will be down at SAS Institute so we may know more on Tuesday about what the Board is thinking about with respect to the presidential search but I can tell you that right now in the code of those four committees, there’s a Nominating Committee, a Leadership Statement Committee, a Screening Committee and a Search Committee. Three of those four committees are comprised entirely of Board of Governors’ members and those are the Nominating Committee, the Screening Committee and the Search Committee.
Faculty have representation on the Leadership Statement Committee so when Chancellor Folt earlier said that she hoped the Faculty Assembly would help gather feedback from faculty around the system, we do have those arrangements in place. The Leadership Statement Committee is comprised of four Chancellors, three faculty members. We have three faculty members. One is the Chair of the Faculty Assembly and then we have two others who are nominated from a list of six submitted to the Board or to I believe it’s the Nominating Committee, submitted to the Nominating Committee of the Board by the Faculty Assembly. If you are interested in participating in this leadership statement process and that’s assuming that this process remains intact if its necessity is required later on, if you’re interested in being on the committee, you should be sure to let me or perhaps whoever my successor is know that they’re interested when we get to that point and I’m sure it’s going to come at some point. The question perhaps is exactly when.
There’s also the student member of the Board of Governors who is the President of the North Carolina Association of Student Governments, eight additional persons who include representatives of the Institutional Boards of Trustees, Institutional Alumni Associations so there may be some representation possibilities there, Institutional Alumni Associations and other citizens particularly interested in the University. That’s the language from the code and then four members or members emeriti who are currently serving on the Board of Governors. Now it does say that one of the fundamental principles here is that the committee’s membership is supposed to reflect the constituencies of the entire sixteen campuses – that should be seventeen campuses, the seventeen campus system of the University.
I think that some of you may have – I heard questions earlier. I came in a little late. I heard questions earlier of concern about the selection process so at least you know now what the policy is as it currently stands and again the Board of Governance Committee is meeting on Tuesday morning at 9 o’clock down at SAS and they’ll probably be trying to puzzle through the process.
Like I said, I was supposed to stick to my script and do a little recruiting for the Faculty Assembly not only in terms of perhaps potential membership but even more importantly, in terms of a well-grounded understanding of what the Assembly’s work is and what it is supposed to do but I think that I can probably cover all of those points in the process of answering questions or addressing concerns that you have. Do you want me to call on people?
CHAIR CAIRNS: I’d be happy to help moderate. It’s up to you but I would like for you to address Professor Wegner’s question as to why we are discussing this at the last half an hour and who made that decision in the agenda.
LEONARD: Well I asked if we could in fact cover it now. I think it’s an important issue.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. Vincas Steponaitis (Anthropology & Archaeology) is recognized.]
STEPONAITIS: This is Vincas Steponaitis from Archeology and Anthropology. I think like a lot of other faculty, I was really troubled by what happened earlier this week in part I think my own feeling is I felt that we had a great leader for the University system so I was sad to see him go and again the way it all transpired made me worried about just the process and essentially what I worry about is that there’s a kind of dissonance or a disconnect between the kind of priorities that faculty have and maybe the priorities that the Board of Governors have. I fully believe that they have the best interests of the University at heart but I guess I wonder if each of us are in our own kind of bubble as it were and the question I have is, is there any way that we as faculty can engage more with the Board of Governors in a more direct way? I mean if there’s a kind of a difference in vision, sometimes that might have to do with just the fact that the Board of Governors may not talk so much to faculty and vice-versa. Is there some way to come at it from that direction? Do you have any suggestions other than the official structure than you described?
LEONARD: That’s right. So, the Assembly itself engages with the Board of Governors on a regular basis but it is in an advisory function serving the President of the University so Faculty Assembly members get sent to provide faculty support for the Board of Governors’ visits to campuses. Faculty Assembly members sit not ex officio but as faculty support on two committees of the Board of Governors, the Personnel Tenure Committee and the Educational Policy and Planning Committee. We have members who sit regularly on general administration position searches. The Board occasionally will ask members of the Faculty Assembly to address or discuss issues about which they may need more information or a little bit more background or they may need to have a better understanding of how faculty might respond to or think about various kinds of issues. Most of that contact through the Assembly is informal rather than formal.
The Board of Governors’ meetings are all open to the public. Now, of course, when you go to those meetings, you have to be like the people here who are not part of the Faculty Council, you have to sit quietly and you can’t ask any questions but you can at least see what’s going on and certainly the Board of Governors is happy to listen to the concerns of citizens across the state about various sorts of issues that they’re covering. The point is that – I guess the point I’m driving at here is that the Assembly has a very particular kind of role and that role doesn’t preclude faculty doing all of the other things that would be I think both appropriate and that they would think useful in order to contact members of the Board and perhaps members of the General Assembly too but our role is kind of peculiar and it is to provide the President with insights and advice and recommendations and suggestions about how faculty are understanding and thinking about issues that are facing the University. I mean that’s the gist of the charter.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Prof. James Peacock (Anthropology) is recognized.]
PEACOCK: Thank you very much for all you do and for. . .
LEONARD: Oh, this week has been really fun.
PEACOCK: . . .and for joining us and explaining and to follow up on Vin Steponaitis’ question, as you and Bob Anthony have explained the Faculty Assembly, those procedures have been carried on for many years but under times of relative stability.
PEACOCK: This is, I think Vin used the word peculiar or an unusual and unprecedented circumstance. Therefore, the question is, and I don’t just ask you, Steve, but all of us, what special steps might we take in order to more fully engage with the Board of Governors?
LEONARD: I would not presume to advise you on that. I wouldn’t presume to advise you on that because I’m here as the Chair of the Faculty Assembly and I can tell you what the job of the Assembly is and how it has acted historically, how it came into being, what its mission is supposed to be but I wouldn’t presume to advise you about the. . .
PEACOCK: Let me reframe the question.
PEACOCK: It’s not you advising us but all of us seeking an answer to that question.
LEONARD: Right. Well I mean you have venues for doing that and this is one of them and I’m sure that the Faculty Assembly delegates when they meet next will be addressing these questions as well but beyond that, I mean I can’t really tell you. I don’t know. Again, I wouldn’t presume to advise you about how to act on these kinds of matters.
CHAIR CAIRNS: So if you don’t mind, Steve, there were a lot of questions before you came and we spent a great deal of time on this and I suspect we may want to spend some more and I don’t know if we’re talking about unprecedented times. We have ten minutes left. How many people want to stay – I know there are childcare issues and things, how many people would like to stay past five o’clock to continue this conversation? Raise your hand.
LEONARD: I’m happy to stay and talk.
CHAIR CAIRNS: Raise your hand. I don’t see – well I’m not see a huge raising of hands. I see a little bit. You can hang around. We have ten minutes and so what that means to me is and we’ll get to Professor Kramer here in a second, is that obviously this conversation needs to continue and there’s a lot of opinion about this and we will continue to have those discussions as I think that will happen at the Faculty Assembly. I have a question for you and I’m not trying to preempt you there, sir. The question that’s somewhat being asked is what do you think UNC Chapel Hill’s faculty, how they should respond at this moment and then if you wouldn’t mind after that, then we will go directly to Professor Kramer and then we’ll see what time it is.
LEONARD: Actually it’s a good question and it does provide me with an ample way to segue back to the beginning of the discussion that I would have given if in fact we weren’t derailed by recent events. When I was elected Chair of the Faculty Assembly, I had to serve a year as the Chair Elect and the members of the Executive Committee are usually given the assignment of trying to get folks on the different campuses informed about the work that needs to be done on the Assembly and also to try to start the education process of how people ought to think about their roles on the Assembly and so my assignment when I was the Chair Elect was to get Chapel Hill on board. I spent a year talking to a lot of people trying to explain what exactly being part of the Assembly entailed and in fact, I usually do when I go to various campuses, I usually do a little sort of presentation about the campuses you may know nothing about so I brought my Viking helmet today for Elizabeth City State University and I was going to talk to you a little bit about some of the great things that are happening at Elizabeth City State University so that you might get a better sense of the importance of what I simply call thinking big – thinking big about our identities as faculty and in a sense, owning the system rather than thinking only in terms of our specific campus concerns and interests.
Now all that said, the trope that I’ve been using here at Chapel Hill and I used it I think last spring when I had to give a short, a very short presentation. I think I had about ten minutes scheduled and I ended up with about three and at the time what I said was if this is the University of the people, we need to understand what its real boundaries are. Its real boundaries are ten million constituents, two hundred and twenty thousand students and sixteen thousand colleagues. Now the reason I emphasize that or that I use this to try to get people to think big about the system is because we’re the flagship and so there are lots of different ways of thinking about what a flagship does.
One way of thinking about what a flagship does is in terms of a particular kind of institution that’s dedicated specifically to the advancement of knowledge and teaching through high quality research. If you think about though what it means to be a flagship in a fleet as opposed to an autonomous ship, I think you get a very different understanding of what the responsibilities are and what the obligations are of faculty at an institution like this. This flagship in the fleet notion is one that I’ve been pushing here on campus for the better part of a year and a half now and I think folks on the Assembly delegation appreciate this. I think they understand now the important role that Chapel Hill plays in the system.
One important role that Chapel Hill plays in the system is to help our sister campuses, our sister institutions prosper as best they can and in this particular instance or in this particular case with the issues that have been raised about President Ross’ situation, one way to think about this is what we can do or what you can do actually – wait a minute, let me put my Viking helmet back on – what you can do here at Chapel Hill in order to provide our sister campuses, in order to provide them the opportunity to find their voice, find their means of expression before we suck all the oxygen out of the room with quick motions or quick reactions to what’s going on down the street at the Spangler Building. I guess I would just urge folks at Chapel Hill to just take it slow for a little bit and think carefully about what the options and the opportunities here may be and what sorts of choices they might be able to facilitate.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Professor Lloyd Kramer (History) is recognized.]
KRAMER: I want to build on the flagship metaphor and also follow up on Jim and Vin because also I recently stepped down as a member of this delegation and I would like to propose that I’m struck by the disconnect between the focus on process on the one hand and what I feel is a kind of anger or undirected sense of crisis on the other. Maybe it’s a directed sense of crisis. I am not a member of this delegation but I think that the flagship actually does have a role in giving a voice that others can support because we have more stability and security and I remember when a year or two ago, a couple of years ago, the Board of Governors came forward with their long-term strategic plan and they basically ignored issues having to do with the humanities, the liberal arts, certain kinds of research in non-scientific fields and the Faculty Assembly passed resolutions affirming in the strongest possible terms the importance of research and many fields and the value of the liberal arts and the humanities and other things.
I would like to propose that the leadership of Chapel Hill should come forward with a proposal to the Faculty Assembly that there be a resolution requesting the Board of Governors to explain why President Ross has been fired. Why can’t that be done? That is a resolution that does not deny their power but it clearly states the concerns of the faculty of this University. Secondly, that the Faculty Assembly delegation put forward a specific resolution enumerating the values, the academic values, the research values of the University that we would expect any future Presidential Search Committee would prioritize. In other words, we don’t have to wait endlessly for process. We have to affirm our own concerns, our own priorities and our own vision for the University and that’s what the flagship should do.[Applause]
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Robert Anthony is asked to respond.]
ANTHONY: I want one minute of that to respond to Lloyd. Lloyd, we miss you on the delegation. I was going to say that if people wanted to send me an email with points they would like made, my email address is Robert_Anthony@unc.edu. I would like to take those to the next delegation meeting which is the day before the next Faculty Assembly meeting and go prepared with thoughts from this body and the faculty at this institution that we can share with the delegates from the other institutions. I think we do have a lot of very articulate people. We do have stronger faculty governance here than a lot of the other institutions.
Now I’m going to follow up on what I understand from what you said Steve that there is a meeting next week of the Board of Governors to review the presidential search policies.
I think we need to watch that. At the last meeting, the January meeting, I was on the Faculty Governance Committee and there is a chancellor search at another institution – I’m not going to call the name of it – where they thought they had a certain number of finalists and suddenly there are like five or six additional finalists who are not coming from the academy who are suddenly in that search. The Chair of that faculty was quite upset about that so I think it’s important to watch what goes on when the Board of Governors begins the process to search for the next President.
LEONARD: Lloyd, we encourage faculty on the campuses to bring forward concerns. We regularly consider those sorts of concerns. Back in September, we passed two resolutions that were actually generated from this campus by work with Tim Ives and Charles Streeter who is the Chair of the Employee Forum here at Chapel Hill. I’m sorry if I misunderstood. I was not by any means suggesting that folks at Chapel Hill sit on their hands. What I was suggesting was that perhaps what we should be thinking about here at Chapel Hill is being very forward looking or very forward thinking in terms of the kinds of things that we could do that would actually help our sister campuses around the system, again, find their voice and articulate their concerns and a resolution coming from this campus to be considered by the Assembly I think would be a good one.
CHAIR CAIRNS: [Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics & Operations Research) is recognized.]
HANNIG: I have just a quick question to all of us which is somebody proposed a resolution for the UNC System Faculty Assembly. Is there anything that precludes us from passing a similar resolution asking the same question? Is there somebody who is going to make a motion like that?
CHAIR CAIRNS: We can’t do that procedurally, Professor. Would Prof. Ferrell please explain how resolutions work?
FERRELL: Our rules of order provide that there must be due notice of any resolution of considerable length or importance. You can always make a motion to suspend the rules but I think the rule is well thought out and I personally would not like to see it suspended but you do have that privilege to make that motion.
CHAIR CAIRNS: Professor Watson is recognized.
WATSON: I’ll be brief too. I appreciate all the constitutional concerns but this afternoon just before this meeting, I got this copy of a letter from [Professor Leonard] in my email that says “last night I was told the faculty should now assume that public higher education in the State of North Carolina is under full assault and that the legacy of magnanimity that informed the actions of the Board of Governors for the better part of a half century has ended.” I assume we all got that and it ends up by saying that “the removal of Thomas Ross represents a clear and unequivocal expression of intent of the part of the UNC Board of Governors to place other considerations above the good of the University.” Well I didn’t hear any of that in your conversation and so I wonder if you could please tell us a little bit more of what that’s all about and why you think that and what exactly we’re up against?
CHAIR CAIRNS: Before Professor Leonard answers the question, I would just like to suggest that I will give you two minutes to try to tackle that and then we will be adjourned officially. This is the last two minutes but this is not the end of the conversation and anyone who wishes to stay and approach any of us and continue to have this conversation, you’ve expressed a willingness to stay so however. Two minutes.
LEONARD: Well the way in which I usually respond to something like this is that I have conversations with my spouse and with my children and with my friends and with my colleagues and I don’t comment on those in public. The conversations that I have with my colleagues on the Faculty Assembly are entirely intended to offer an exchange of ideas and counsel about the way we ought to think about perhaps moving forward. Any counsel I would offer my colleagues would be something that they would have to consider at great length before they would take any action on.
As I said before, I was sent here by the Faculty Assembly to provide our colleagues at Chapel Hill with some background on the Assembly and one of the things they told me to do was to stay focused on the script selling the work of the Assembly. I think that in this particular instance with respect to President Ross’ situation, I’ve got colleagues who think quite differently than me and it would be inappropriate I think for me to presume to speak any more than to speak for you, it would be inappropriate for me to I think to presume to speak for the Faculty Assembly. That was again, conversation. . .
WATSON: What does it mean?
LEONARD: What it means is that that’s my analysis of what this situation entails but it carries no more weight than yours does.
CHAIR CAIRNS: Professor Ferrell?
FERRELL: We’re not trying to cut the meeting off but the reality is the Wilson Library closes at five o’clock and in order for us to continue here, somebody is going to have to work overtime to keep the building open and they don’t like to do that.
CHAIR CAIRNS: Thank you all. We are adjourned. Great meeting. We will continue the conversations.
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