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Meeting of the Faculty Council & General Faculty

Friday, September 19, 2014
3:00 p.m.
Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Wilson Library

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


3:00  Call to Order

  • Prof. Joe Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty

3:00  Opening Remarks

  • Prof. Bruce Cairns, Chair of the Faculty

3:05  Chancellor Carol Folt

  • Moment of Silence for Prof. Feng Liu
  • Presentation of the 2014 Thomas Jefferson Award to Prof. Joseph Templeton
    • Citation read by Prof. Marcey Waters
  • Presentation of the 2015 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty to:
    • Gina Chowa, Assistant Professor, Social Work
    • Mark Holmes, Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health
    • Cary Levine, Associate Professor, Art, College of Arts and Sciences
    • Garret Stuber, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry, School of Medicine
  • Chancellor’s Remarks and Question Period

3:40  Faculty Recruitment and Retention; Development of our Quality Enhancement Plan for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Re-Affirmation (Re-Accreditation) Process, 2016

4:10 Annual Reports

4:20 Debut: Faculty Handbook Online

  • Prof. Tim Ives, Chair, Faculty Welfare Committee

4:30 Adjourn


Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened September 19, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room at Wilson Library.

The following 73 Council members attended: Able, Aikat, Anthony, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Berman, Birckhead, Boettiger, Cairns, Caren, Chera, Cox, Cuddeback, Day, Divaris, Dobelstein, Dolan, Edwards, Ferrell, Filene, Chancellor Folt, Fry, Furry, Gerhardt, Giovanello, Guskiewicz, Hackman, Halladay, Hannig, Hirsch, Houck, Howes, Hsu, Irons, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Koonce, Kris, Kurtz-Costes, Larson, Leonard, Levine, Loehr, Mayer-Davis, McLaughlin, McMillan, Melehy, Miller, Mitran, Moon, Moracco, Moreton, Palmer, Paul, Persky, Pertsova, Pruvost, Pryal, Rodgers, Salyer, Stenberg, Swift-Scanlan, Swogger, Tepper, Thompson, Walker, Waterhouse, Watson, Webster-Cyriaque, Willett and You.
Members absent with excuse: Baumgartner, Brown, Bunch, Chavis, Cook, Dean, Drake, Fisher, Gilligan, Gucsavas, Heitsch, Hobbs, Kang, Kim, Koomen, Metz, Mohanty, Parise, Parker, Rial, Segars, Stavas, Steponaitis, Sturm, Viera, Wang, Weight, Williams and Yaqub.

Members absent without excuse: Boxill, Chapman, Hobbs and Welty.

Call to order

Professor Bruce Cairns, chair of the faculty, called the meeting to order at 3 p.m.

Chair of the Faculty remarks

Professor Bruce Cairns welcomed all members and guests to the first Faculty Council meeting of the 2014-15 academic year.

He briefly reflected on the current challenges facing higher education and the importance of shared governance. He reported that the record 55 percent voter turnout in the last faculty election speaks to the faculty’s desire to support shared governance during challenging times.

Professor Cairns outlined three goals for this year’s Faculty Council meetings: productivity, efficacy and efficiency. To realize these goals, the Office of Faculty Governance surveyed Council members and held a retreat in August to identify issues that are important for the Council and committees to address. Topics included enhancing communication across the campus and the UNC system, maintaining accessibility and affordability, improving faculty retention, and addressing issues related to diversity, gender equity and family support. He stressed the importance of “unburying the learning community,” a phrase coined by former Chair of the Faculty Sue Estroff.

Professor Cairns said a persistent goal of the Faculty Council meetings will be to ensure that faculty engage in open conversations with the administration, particularly with the chancellor and provost, about the most pressing issues affecting the University.

Professor Cairns led the faculty in an introductory exercise. He invited the members to stand and introduce themselves to the people around them and share an unknown fact about themselves. When the members finished, Professor Cairns welcomed Chancellor Folt.

Chancellor’s remarks

Chancellor Carol Folt welcomed the faculty to the first Council meeting of the year and briefly reflected on the year between her first Faculty Council meeting and this one. She said that over the past year she has gotten a better sense of the campus climate and the issues that Carolina faces. Heading into her second year, she expressed excitement about trying new ways to make the Council meetings more interactive.

The chancellor took a moment to recognize the accomplishments of deceased Professor Feng Liu (Pharmacy). The faculty rose and honored Professor Liu with a moment of silence.

Presentation of the 2014 Thomas Jefferson Award

Professor Marcey Waters (Chemistry) read a citation in honor Professor Joseph Templeton (Chemistry), winner of the 2014 Thomas Jefferson Award. The faculty and guests rose and applauded.

Professor Templeton graciously accepted the award and walked out of the room. He returned disguised as Carnac the Magnificent wearing a robe and turban. Professor Cairns asked Carnac the answers to a series of four questions. Before Professor Cairns could ask each question, Carnac the Magnificent was able to divine their respective answers. The faculty and laughed and applauded the comedic routine.

Presentation of the 2015 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty

Chancellor Folt presented Hettleman prizes to four accomplished young professors: Gina Chowa (Social Work), Mark Holmes (Health Policy and Management), Cary Levine (Art) and Garret Stuber (Psychiatry). The faculty and guests stood in applause.

Chancellor’s question and answer period

Chancellor Folt thanked Professor Cairns for sharing ideas on how to make the Faculty Council more engaging. She recognized two new members of her administration, Vice Chancellor for Finance Matt Fajack and Chief of Staff Debbie Dibbert.

The chancellor presented some recent Carolina rankings and faculty highlights. She reported that U.S. News and World Report ranked Carolina number five on their list of top public universities, and the New York Times ranked UNC-Chapel Hill number three on their list of public universities graduating low-income students in high numbers. Chancellor Folt commended the Carolina Covenant and C-Step programs for attracting and retaining low-income students.

Chancellor Folt reported that the Carolina Population Center received a $180 million interdisciplinary grant for work on a USAID development project. The grant exemplifies the outcome of interdisciplinary research and partnerships. Chancellor Folt congratulated Professor Kelly Hogan (Biology); Professor Abigail Panter (Psychology), senior associate dean for undergraduate education; and Professor Valerie Ashby (Chemistry), who have been invited to a White House summit on the topic of improving graduation rates for underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

The chancellor highlighted Professor William Fischer’s work on combatting the Ebola outbreak in rural Guinea. She commented that there are faculty members across the university working to track cases and develop a vaccine. Another faculty member, Professor Stephen King (Journalism and Mass Communication), has developed a map to help the Liberian government track Ebola cases.

Chancellor Folt briefly discussed the new sexual misconduct policy. She thanked the 22-member task force that revised the policy and created a website with resources. Her office has been working with the Association of American Universities (AAU) on a campus climate survey. The University is completing training modules for faculty, staff and students. She acknowledged that some faculty and staff have concerns about their responsibilities regarding reporting. The Board of Trustees has been in budget discussions about Facilities and Administrative costs, funding for centers and institutes, and need-based aid. The chancellor expected the budget process to be finalized in the next few weeks.

The chancellor said that she has not been informed about the content of the forthcoming Wainstein Report. Communications and Public Affairs staff are preparing for an increase in public records requests and working to understand reforms that have already taken place. Their goal is to respond to the report’s findings as quickly as possible.

Professor Laura Loehr (Epidemiology) asked the chancellor how well the new sexual misconduct policy addresses alcohol abuse in the context of sexual violence.

Chancellor Folt replied that the University has been working with the Town of Chapel Hill to examine best practices, to develop bystander prevention programs and to curb binge drinking. She stressed the importance of partnering with off-campus entities to ensure student safety.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked for an update about the Sakai outage on the first day of classes and the road construction project on Colombia Street.

Chancellor Folt said that she was unsure of why Sakai went down, but will ask for an update from ITS. She added that the construction project was planned for the summer project but was not completed in expected time frame.

Professor Carl Stenberg (School of Government) asked how faculty can support the chancellor’s efforts to advocate for the university to the legislature and governor.

The chancellor replied that the Board of Trustees has made communication with the Board of Governors and the General Assembly one of its top priorities. The University is also planning to highlight its service to the state through a project called Carolina in Carolina that will launch soon.

Ms. Eliza Filene (Undergraduate representative) asked the chancellor for her thoughts on encouraging more communication between students, administrators and faculty.

Chancellor Folt said that she welcomes more communication between groups and added that faculty enjoy collaborating with students. She said that her student advisory group is an example.

Professor Elliot Moreton (Linguistics) said that budgetary issues have created problems with setting up interdisciplinary co-taught courses at the departmental level. He asked if the administration could help facilitate these courses.

Chancellor Folt said that interdisciplinary models are generally more expensive than traditional courses.

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Karen Gil said that there are grants available to help offset the costs associated with interdisciplinary courses. The chancellor added that it is important to find a way to fund interdisciplinary courses.

Faculty retention and recruitment, 2013-14

Professor Ron Strauss, executive associate provost and chief international officer, gave an overview of faculty retention and recruitment figures for 2013-14 and introduced the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that will be part of the upcoming SACS reaccreditation.

Professor Strauss’s data pertains to tenured or tenure-track faculty who receive external offers. He tracks the percentage of faculty who receive a counteroffer, the percentage of those faculty who take the counteroffer and the number of faculty UNC-Chapel Hill recruits from other universities. Retention figures for fixed-term faculty were not included in the presentation.

Over the past year, 64 percent of faculty who received a counteroffer stayed at UNC-Chapel Hill. That figure has gone up from previous years. In 2013-14, 20 faculty members left the university. Eight faculty were given counteroffers, but left the university anyway. Out of 56 faculty who received external offers this year, 44 received counteroffers and 79 percent of them accepted the counteroffer.

In summary, Professor Strauss said he is satisfied that external offers have gone down over the past few years and that the retention success rate has gone up.

Professor Jacquie Halladay (Family Medicine) asked Professor Strauss if he has been able to obtain comparable data from other universities.

Professor Strauss said that getting comparative data is difficult because many universities that recruit faculty from UNC-Chapel Hill are not public universities and have different reporting requirements.

Professor Eileen Parsons (Education) asked if Professor Strauss had parsed the data by gender and race.

Professor Strauss said that he has not because he is worried that the numbers would get small enough for individual faculty to be identified.

Professor Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque (Dentistry) asked if there is any soft data on faculty who receive external offers but do not pursue them.

Professor Strauss said that it is difficult to track preliminary offers because deans may intervene with a preemptive offer.

Quality Enhancement Plan

Professor Strauss explained that the Quality Enhancement Plan is one of the many components of reaffirmation. The plan presents an opportunity to improve on the curricula in a selected area over a five-year period.

The topic of improving science education came out of a number of recent trends, including an increase in interest and enrollment among students in STEM fields, national conversations about engaging underrepresented minorities and first-generation students and alumni surveys that identified a desire to improve quantitative skills. Professor Strauss listed a number of campus constituents who were consulted on the selection of the topic.

The QEP steering committee was constituted with representatives from across campus in a diversity of disciplines. The projects that may arise from the initiative include expanding course redesigns for gateway STEM courses, equipping science and math help centers, increasing low income and first-generation student success, building written and oral communications skills into STEM curricula, improving transfer student success, increasing study abroad opportunities, and organizing post-baccalaureate program to encourage entry into STEM-related professional fields. Professor Strauss explained that the initiative will include the arts.

Professor Strauss reviewed the timeline for the project. The provost is expected to charge the QEP Steering Committee in the next week. Project initiatives will begin in January 2015, and the next report to the Faculty Council should occur in April 2015.

Professor Diane Leonard (English and Comparative Literature) expressed concern about the exclusion of humanities and arts.

Professor Strauss responded that representatives from the arts and humanities will be on the steering committee to propose ideas for how those disciplines will be incorporated.

Professor Cairns added that the arts and humanities are the foundation of Carolina and that those fields will benefit from working with the STEM fields to make the initiative work.

Professor Leonard commented that there are a lot of science administrators on the steering committee, but few from the arts and humanities.

Professor Strauss said that he will discuss the issue with the steering committee.

Chancellor Folt said that this is only one initiative and there are many upcoming initiatives in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Faculty Athletics Representative annual report

Professor Lissa Broome (Law), presented the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) annual report. She said that the Carolina athletics department has been monitoring the status of litigation regarding unionization and anti-trust cases involving scholarships for student-athletes and the marketing of collegiate merchandise.

Professor Broome reported that 347 student-athletes made the ACC honor roll, a new record and an increase from the year before. She explained that in order to make the honor roll, varsity-level student-athletes must earn a 3.0 GPA or above. In the prior academic year, six teams occupied the top 10 percent of the Academic Performance Rate (APR). Women’s fencing and golf have been in the top 10 percent every year since the metric was reported.

The Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) is 72 percent for student-athletes compared to 88 percent for the student body in 2012-13. Professor Broome said that the 16 percentage points represents a gap that other universities have experienced and that the athletics department is monitoring. The Graduate Success Rate (GSR) is a NCAA metric that takes out transfer students. There is no student body GSR for comparison.

The Academic Progress Rate (APR) is a real-time measure. The top rate is 1000. Men’s basketball and football are lower than the athletics department would like, and there are ongoing efforts to retain students on those teams. Professor Broome said that she expects the APR to improve for men’s basketball, but that football may take longer to improve. The NCAA is expected to announce 2013-14 GSRs this fall.

Professor Broome said that there are several opportunities for the coming year. The Wainstein investigation should be released, and a NCAA investigation is expected to conclude. She said these investigations present an opportunity to acknowledge mistakes that have been made and to continue to improve the student-athlete experience. She told a story that illustrated the possibility of collaboration between athletics and academic departments to accommodate students’ needs and encourage student-athletes to accept challenging academic programs of study.

Faculty Athletics Committee annual report

Professor Joy Renner (Allied Health), chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee, presented the committee’s annual report. She reported that over the past year, the committee has focused on how to create a just culture at UNC. The University has implemented a number of reforms to that end. The reforms are listed on the Carolina Commitment website.

Professor Renner explained the charge of the committee and its role as an advisory group. She said that the committee’s authority comes from its position as an elected body that monitors issues that are important to the faculty. The committee provides faculty input where it is needed.

Over the past year, the committee heard the perspectives of students, faculty, staff and athletics personnel. They held a focus group with Student Athlete Advisory Council and added a student representative, Benton Moss, as a consultant to the Faculty Athletics Committee. The committee held two open forums to hear from faculty and staff last spring. There are two more listening sessions scheduled for this fall.

The committee participated in a retreat to further clarify the roles of its members and find ways to make the workload manageable. Each month, the committee will identify data that needs to be gathered. The members will discuss a review topic and moving forward topic. The review topic pertains to an area that that the committee has previously discussed. Moving forward topics encompass recommendations for future action or monitoring.

One of the moving forward issues is improving faculty and student-athlete communication. Professor Renner said there have been rare instances of student-athletes being impacted by how faculty feel about college athletics. Students must also learn how to have conversations with faculty and be a responsible student in class. Student-athletes should honor their responsibilities to make up class time and understand time commitments. The committee will examine student-athletes’ time commitment to their sport and their integration into campus-wide leadership roles. Student Government has been working to increase leadership opportunities.

Professor Hassan Melehy (Romance Languages and Literature) said that he gets the impression that faculty don’t know much about the athletics reforms that have been put in place. He suggested that the committee members reach out to departments.

Professor Renner said that the committee members will act as school and department liaisons in the coming year. The committee is also working with the Office of Faculty Governance staff to find ways to get faculty feedback.

Professor Melehy encouraged other faculty to communicate with the department liaison and suggested that Faculty Council members communicate the reforms to their colleagues.

Professor Joseph Ferrell, secretary of the faculty, pointed out that the committee faces challenges with continuity because of members’ term limits. He said the turnover in membership makes it difficult to set in motion a long-term plan. He asked how Professor Renner’s initiatives will carry on after she leaves the committee.

Professor Renner said that restructuring the committee and orienting new members will help with continuity.

Faculty Handbook demonstration

Professor Tim Ives, chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, gave a brief overview of the newly revised online Faculty Handbook. He explained that the handbook covers topics such as the history and mission of the University, policies and procedures relating to tenure and promotion, leave policies, and resources for instruction, research and service. He thanked Katie Turner, Dr. Anne Whisnant, Shelby Dawkins-Law, Martin Caver and the 2013-14 Faculty Welfare Committee for their work on the handbook. He encouraged the faculty to review the handbook and submit their feedback.

Chair of the Faculty announcements

Professor Cairns requested that the faculty attend University Day. He thanked graduate students Katie Walker and Shelby Dawkins-Law for collaborating on the Stigma Free Carolina Initiative, a project to increase awareness about mental illness. He said that he has met with Charles Streeter, chair of the Employee Forum, and with the Retired Faculty Association. He acknowledged the passing of Professor Darryl Gless, Professor Colin Thomas and Professor Fred Clark.


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

Respectfully submitted,

Kathryn Turner
Executive Assistant

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

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