April 15, 2016
Meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council
Chancellor Carol Folt and Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns presiding
Friday, April 15, 2016
Kerr Hall Room 2001 — this is the UPSTAIRS ROOM (Eshelman School of Pharmacy) Map here
Twitter: Follow @UNCFacGov or use hashtag #FacCouncil
Watch remotely at this link (participation link)
3:00 Opening Remarks and Remembrance of Deceased Faculty
- Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns
3:10 Presentation of the 2016 Thomas Jefferson Award
- Chancellor Carol Folt
3:20 Chancellor’s and Provost’s Remarks and Question Period
- Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Jim Dean
3:40 Vote (General Faculty): Resolution 2016-8. On Affirming the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Current Non-Discrimination Policy and Calling for the Repeal of N.C. Sess. Laws 2016-3. (Revised version.)
- Resolution presented by Profs. Hassan Melehy and Paul Jones
3:45 Vote (General Faculty): Resolution 2016-9. On Rules of Procedure of the General Faculty and Faculty Council.
- Background document: Report on Resolution 2016-9
- Presented by the Committee on University Government (Secretary of the Faculty Joe Ferrell on behalf of Prof. Vin Steponaitis, Chair)
- Deputy University Librarian Carol Hunter, Chair
4:00 Vote (General Faculty): Resolution 2016-10. On Appreciation for UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Years of Service
- Submitted by Prof. (Emerita) Patricia Pukkila
4:05 Diversity Syllabus: Infusing Inclusion into Teaching and Research
- Moderator: Prof. Rumay Alexander, Chair, Community and Diversity Committee
- Professor Alexander’s PowerPoint presentation on “The Educational Benefits of Diversity”
- Panelists: Profs. Larry Chavis (Business), Leisha DeHart-Davis (Government), Rosa Perelmuter (Romance Studies), Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque (Dentistry)
- Vote (General Faculty): Resolution 2016-12. On Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity
- Background Reading: Creating Inclusive College Classrooms
4:35 Annual Report: Administrative Board of the Library
- Prof. Todd Vision, Chair
4:40 Committee Annual Reports Received by Title
- Community and Diversity Committee (Prof. Rumay Alexander, Chair)
- Educational Policy Committee (Prof. Jennifer Coble, Chair)
4:45 Vote (Faculty Council): 2016-2021 Secretary of the Faculty
- Advisory Committee Nomination Statement for Prof. Vin Steponaitis
- Prof. Peter Mucha, Chair, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee
4:50 CLOSED SESSION and Vote: 2017 Honorary Degree Nominees
- Faculty Council members click here to log in to Sakai to view the nominees’ information
- Prof. Steve Matson, Chair, Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards
Journal of proceedings of the Faculty Council and the General Faculty
The Faculty Council and General Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on April 15, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in Kerr 2001 at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
The following 59 members attended: Aikat, Ammerman, Babb, Baumgartner, Beck, Boettiger Cooney, Hart, Cairns, Caren, Chapman, Chavis, Cuddeback, Day, Dean, Divaris, Dobelstein, Drake, Estigarribia, Ferrell, Filene, Fisher, Folt, Furry, Gerhardt, Gilligan, Gucsavas-Calikoglu, Halladay, Hill, Hobbs, Irons, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Kim, Koonce, A. Levine, C. Levine, Livingston, McBride, Melehy, Miller, Moracco, Nelson, Osterweil, Palmer, Perelmuter, Persky, Platts-Mills, Polk, Pruvost, Segars, Steponaitis, Sturm, Tepper, Wallace, Webster-Cyriaque, Weight, Willett and Foster.
The following 28 members received excused absences: Able, Berman, Cook, Cox, Cravey, Dolan, Driscoll, Giovanello, Gulledge, Hannig, Kang, Kris, Larson, Mauro, Metz, Mitran, Moreton, Neta, Parise, Pukkila, Rial, Thompson Dorsey, Thorpe, Upshaw, Viera, Welty, Williams and You.
The following 13 members received unexcused absences: Beltran Lopez, Birckhead, Edwards, Fry, Gilchrist, Hall, Loehr, Porto, Ramaswamy, Salyer, Savasta-Kennedy, Stavas and Thompson.
Call to order
Secretary of the Faculty Joe Ferrell called the General Faculty and Faculty Council to order at 3:00 p.m.
Chair of the Faculty remarks
Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns (Surgery) welcomed the faculty to the last Council meeting of the 2016 academic year. He noted that the chancellor was running a few minutes late, and she would join the meeting soon.
Professor Cairns announced that the 2016 faculty elections will take place from April 18-25, 2016. He encouraged the faculty to vote and remind their colleagues to vote. Professor Cairns reminded the faculty to attend Commencement Weekend events on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8. He thanked the chancellor, Executive Vice Provost Ron Strauss and the Commencement Committee for organizing the ceremony and recruiting Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter to speak.
Professor Cairns said that the University recently submitted its first monitoring report to SACS, and they sent a delegation to campus this week. The SACS delegation met with administrators, staff and faculty to review the monitoring report and to gather information to present to their governing board. He said that regardless of the decision of the governing board, the University will continue to fulfill its academic obligations. He thanked Dr. Lynn Williford, assistant provost for institutional research and assessment; Professor Lissa Broome (Law), faculty athletics representative; Mr. Bubba Cunningham, athletics director; and Professor Joy Renner (Allied Health), Faculty Athletics Committee chair, for their work on the SACS response. He asked them to convey his gratitude to the student-athletes for their academic and athletic achievements.
Professor Cairns thanked Provost Jim Dean for honoring Carolina’s long tradition of shared governance, and he thanked Professor Joe Ferrell, secretary of the faculty, for his many decades of service to faculty governance. Professor Cairns noted that Professor Ferrell is retiring and that this meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council will be his last. The faculty rose in applause to express their appreciation of Professor Ferrell’s service.
Professor Cairns recognized Ms. Eliza Filene, undergraduate representative to the Faculty Council. Ms. Filene informed the faculty that she has been reappointed to her position as undergraduate representative for the coming year. She thanked the faculty for their support of shared governance and student events over the past year.
In remembrance of deceased faculty
Professor Ferrell read the names of faculty who have died in the past year. The faculty rose for a moment of silence.
Presentation of the Thomas Jefferson Award
Chancellor Folt presented the 2016 Thomas Jefferson Award to Professor S. Elizabeth Gibson (Law). See Appendix A for the award citation and Appendix B for Professor Gibson’s remarks.
Provost Jim Dean thanked the faculty for their input through faculty governance channels on a number of issues relating to faculty wellbeing over the past year. He said one of the issues he was able to act on this year is encouraging deans and department chairs to extend contract lengths beyond one year for continuing fixed-term faculty. He explained that during the economic recession, former Provost Bruce Carney had advised deans and department chairs to limit fixed-term contracts to one year when possible. Provost Dean said that restriction has been lifted by his office. He has advised the Dean’s Council that the policy is no longer enforced.
The provost reflected on several events he attended over the past few days that reminded him of the value of being part of an intellectual community. He attended the annual Hunt Lecture, organized by Professor Andrew Perrin (Sociology). The invited guest, Harvard Professor Danielle Allen, is a political theorist who spoke about how to balance freedom of speech and inquiry with the need for safe spaces on college campuses. He said that he enjoyed her talk because she drew on a great intellectual tradition of ancient Greek philosophy, sociology, and political science to try to address a practical question.
The provost also attended the awards ceremony for graduate and professional students that was held by the Graduate School. He thanked Professor Steve Matson (Biology) for organizing the event. He noted his admiration for the accomplishments of our graduate students, and he said that the University would be impoverished without the work of our graduate and professional students. He encouraged the faculty to acknowledge and thank their graduate student assistants and advisees for their contributions.
Professor Nancy Fisher (Microbiology and Immunology) thanked the Provost for lifting the policy limiting fixed-term faculty contracts to one year.
Chancellor’s remarks and question period
Chancellor Carol Folt thanked a number of people for their service this year on faculty governance bodies. She thanked Professor Ferrell for his service over the past 20 years and said that one of her favorite times of the year is hearing him read the honorary degree citations at commencement. She added that his “voice is the voice of UNC-Chapel Hill.”
The chancellor thanked Professor Cairns for persevering in his role as Chair of the Faculty despite health challenges over the past year. She expressed gratitude that he is well and was able to resume his duties. She thanked the Council members for their service, and Dr. Anne Whisnant (History) for fulfilling her administrative duties as deputy secretary of the faculty and her instructional duties in the history department.
Chancellor Folt thanked Provost Dean for his commitment to the students, faculty and staff, in addition to his work organizing the SACS committee. She thanked Assistant Provost Lynn Williford for organizing the research and documentation for SACS.
The chancellor noted that Carolina is unique in its commitment to service. She said that members of the Carolina community have devoted nearly 1.7 million hours of service in the state. At the University, she noted that she has called on hundreds of faculty to serve on committees and working groups, and the faculty are always willing to participate. This month, the University is celebrating the accomplishments of staff who have reached milestones of state service.
Chancellor Folt said she is proud of the students for their participation in town hall meetings and their willingness to speak out about issues they are passionate about. She has met with both elected and non-elected student leaders after the town hall meetings, and she has been impressed by how the students have supported each other.
The chancellor noted that the University owes a debt of gratitude to the people of North Carolina for approving a $2 billion bond referendum. She said that the Eshelman School of Pharmacy was named the number one pharmacy school in the country. She reminded the faculty to attend commencement and ended her comments by quoting Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, this year’s commencement speaker: “Only when women wield power in significant numbers will we create a society that generally works for all women that will be a society that works for everyone.”
Ms. Taylor Livingston (Graduate Representative) said the chancellor and provost mentioned the role of graduate students and their importance to the University, but that graduate assistantship pay does not adequately reflect their contributions. She asked that the chancellor and provost consider paying graduate assistants a living wage.
Resolution 2016-8. On Affirming the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Current Non-Discrimination Policy and Calling for the Repeal of N.C. Sess. Laws 2016-3.
Professor Hassan Melehy (Romance Studies) and Professor Paul Jones (Media and Journalism) brought forward a resolution calling on the General Assembly to repeal House Bill 2, which was signed into law as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.
There was no discussion or debate. The resolution was adopted unanimously. The faculty applauded.
Resolution 2016-9. On Rules of Procedure of the General Faculty and Faculty Council
Professor Ferrell presented a resolution to amend the rules of procedure of the General Faculty and Faculty Council on behalf of the Committee on University Government. He explained that there are currently two sets of rules: one for the General Faculty and one for the Faculty Council. The effect has been confusion over how faculty can get a resolution before the Faculty Council and General Faculty for consideration.
The proposed rules of procedure would require a member of the General Faculty to submit their resolution in advance of the meeting when they wish to have their resolution considered to the Agenda Committee. If the resolution is not ready in time for the Agenda Committee to consider, it may be submitted to the secretary of the faculty within 72 hours before the meeting. In rare cases, if the resolution is urgent and the matter must be addressed, the resolution can be introduced at the meeting by suspending the rules with a 2/3rds vote.
Professor Cairns thanked Professor Ferrell and added that the Committee on University Government has decided to propose these changes to the rules of procedure to make certain that faculty governance procedures are clear and transparent.
There was no discussion or debate. The resolution was adopted unanimously.
Annual Report of the Committee on Copyright
Deputy University Librarian Carol Hunter, chair of the Committee on Copyright, presented the annual report of the committee. She gave an overview of the membership and charge of the committee. The committee is appointed by the chancellor and has 14 members, including faculty representatives, librarians, a graduate student representative, a representative from the Office of Technology Development and ex officio members from the Office of the University Counsel and the North Carolina Press.
The committee is responsible for monitoring trends in areas such as institutional copyright policies, changes in copyright ownership and guidelines for fair use. Over the last six months, the committee has reviewed how the university’s copyright policy addresses ownership of software, particularly software created by its faculty. Under the current policy, the ownership and licensing of software as a specific category of intellectual property is not explicitly addressed. A review of our peer institutions’ policies shows that while some institutions are also silent on the application of copyright policies to software, a significant proportion of such policies do address this issue. Some of those policies merely acknowledge that software may be subject to copyright policies and identify which university offices can provide more guidance, but others are more direct and create special rules about who owns and may license software created at the university.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, faculty-created software raises special challenges under the current copyright policy. First, there are questions about how software should be classified for the purposes of determining ownership; and second, there is some uncertainty about which of the University’s copyright and patent policies applies with respect to works of software to whom copyright and patent rights are allocated. Faculty-created software increasingly presents challenges for the Office of Technology Development about how to balance commercialization goals with the benefits of open source software licenses.
Ms. Hunter said that there is a need for greater clarity about when open source licenses may be applied and who may apply them. After reviewing the challenges and ways in which peer institutions have addressed these challenges, the Committee on Copyright recommends that the current UNC-Chapel Hill copyright policy be amended to address the open-source licensing of software to which both the patent and copyright policies apply.
There was no discussion or debate. The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2016-10. On Appreciation for UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Years of Service
Professor emerita Patricia Pukkila (Biology) submitted a resolution that would require deans and department chairs to formally acknowledge faculty for their years of service. Professor Pukkila was not in attendance.
Professor Rosa Perelmuter (Romance Studies) made a motion to refer the resolution to the Faculty Welfare Committee to further clarify the details of how it might be implemented. She said she appreciates the substance of the resolution, but feels that the details need to be refined, and the Faculty Welfare Committee could report their findings at the September meeting after studying the impact of the resolution.
Professor Nancy Fisher (Microbiology and Immunology) said that she has been in contact with Professor Pukkila, and she has expressed a desire to work with the Faculty Welfare Committee on fine-tuning the resolution.
Professor Timothy Ives (Pharmacy), chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, said that the committee plans to meet at the end of April, and they could take up the resolution then and report to the Faculty Council and General Faculty in September 2016.
The motion to refer was seconded, and the resolution will go to the Faculty Welfare Committee for discussion.
Diversity syllabus: Infusing inclusion in research, teaching and service
Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing), chair of the Community and Diversity Committee, explained that the diversity panel is a culmination of a year’s worth of work and is intended to bring together the issues that were included in the syllabus and trainings. She said that while some might feel that the topics didn’t connect, each plays a role in bringing awareness and attention to experiences that happen on an everyday basis that make Carolina a great for some and a not so great place for others.
Professor Alexander said that examining each of the topics we’ve covered allows us to continue the tradition of making everyone feel welcomed and included. She said that before the panelists share their experiences, she wanted to remind the faculty of the educational benefits that diversity brings to the University. She listed the topics the Faculty Council has discussed over the year: inclusive excellence, challenges that minority faculty and postdocs of color face, challenges fixed-term faculty face with valuation and inclusion, obstacles for faculty and students with family care concerns, student service projects that have a lasting impact on students’ perceptions of inclusion and diversity, the impact of affordability on diversity in the student body, the power of both written and unwritten rules and privilege for how power is realized and exercised in academic settings, male minority student retention and mentoring, and the impact of microagressions on how students of color experience our campus.
Professor Alexander said that as the faculty prepares students for leadership positions in the state and the world, she wanted them to think about the benefits that come from having a diverse body of faculty, staff and students. She noted that diversity has positive impacts on preparing students for the future that are not always visible. Researchers have found that the research and innovation are enhanced when groups are diverse. There are enhanced learning outcomes for all students, along with increased cross-cultural understanding and empathy. Diverse learning environments also promote preparation for employment in the global economy and increased political engagement and participation. She noted that in the absence of diversity, isolation, subordination and negative stereotyping are more frequent.
Professor Alexander said that in light of the educational benefits of diversity, the role of the University is to try to foster the best conditions for all to flourish. In that spirit, she invited some of the panelists to share their experiences with incorporating some of the concepts into their teaching and research.
Professor Leisha DeHart-Davis (Government) described strategies that she uses in the classroom to combat implicit bias. She tries to call on quiet students to offer an opportunity for their voices to be heard in class. She also uses blind grading so that she doesn’t inadvertently advantage or disadvantage particular students. She asked her colleagues to also pay attention to gender differences in the classroom, particularly how students might interact with female faculty differently than male faculty. She noted that women are often challenged in the classroom more frequently, and they more frequently receive lower teaching evaluations. Recognizing this bias when faculty serve on tenure and promotion committees is imperative for ensuring that women faculty are evaluated fairly.
Professor Larry Chavis (Business) discussed the value of community service for creating experiences that expose students to diverse populations. He said that he was inspired by the death of Deah Barakat, particularly, Mr. Barakat’s commitment to service. After Mr. Barakat was killed, he told his students that in lieu of a final paper, they could undertake a service project. His students organized a number of projects, one of which raised $3,000 to fight child hunger in North Carolina. The project has become an annual event. He invited Mr. Barakat’s family members to meet with his students, and they spoke about how Mr. Barakat was inspired by his Muslim faith to do service for others. Professor Chavis said that his students experienced a transformative moment that resulted in cultural understanding. Now when he assigns team projects, Professor Chavis intentionally assigns people from different backgrounds to work together.
Professor Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque (Dentistry), said that she volunteers at a dental clinic where she treats medically compromised patients from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. She works closely with residents and students to embrace the diversity and the humanity of the clientele at the clinic. She discusses the challenges that low-income patients face and ways to help improve their overall quality of life. She teaches students to think about the care they provide from the patient’s perspective. She gave an example of a patient who appeared healthy, but had lesions in his mouth. She recommended he go to the doctor and get tested, and he discovered he was HIV positive. She uses his case as an example of combating bias among healthcare providers. Because the patient was not in an at-risk category, it would have been easy to assume the lesions weren’t symptomatic of HIV.
Professor Cyriaque said that she works to recruit undergraduate students of color and other students who are interested in working with diverse populations. She invites students who haven’t had exposure to science before to join service projects and mentors them.
Professor Rosa Perelmuter (Romance Studies) said that in her department faculty are aware that diversity is inherent in their coursework, and for many, in their lives. Over the past 38 years, she has purposefully incorporated readings that explore the construction of new identities and nationalities. As a Jewish Cuban-American woman living in the United States since 1961, she has connected students with their own diverse backgrounds. She asks students to relate situations and characters in the texts to their own experiences.
Professor Perelmuter said that as a Cuban refugee in the early 1960s, she experienced many instances of discrimination in Miami and then Boston. When she moved out of her apartment in Chapel Hill to move into a house in 1981, she removed the name tag from her front door to find that someone had scribbled on the reverse side a racial epithet. She was an assistant professor at the University, and had thought she belonged. She made it her goal to teach her students why diversity is good. Later, she started a program that paves the way for underrepresented students to become academics and serve as role models.
Professor Rumay Alexander told a story about how implicit bias has impacted her career. When she was born, her mother wanted to name her Renay, but the vital statistics office misread the physician’s handwriting and printed Rumay on her birth certificate. Her mother decided to keep the name. Twenty years later, Professor Alexander went to a job interview and immediately the interviewers appeared surprised. She realized that they were expecting someone French or male. They had a lively interview. The point of her story was to illustrate how names can conjure stereotypes and expectations about people’s abilities.
Professor Alexander said that she hoped the presentations throughout the year have helped faculty gain some ideas for how they can incorporate strategies to encourage diversity and inclusiveness in their research, teaching and service. She said that the goal of diversity is the holistic preparation of individuals for leadership in the world.
Resolution 2016-12. On Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Professor Alexander presented a resolution that demonstrates the faculty’s belief in the value of diversity and inclusion for the University.
A faculty member (unidentified) thanked Professor Alexander for organizing the diversity presentations at Faculty Council. She noted that the resolution does not include language that demonstrates the faculty’s commitment to students with different physical and cognitive abilities.
Professor Alexander replied that the resolution intentionally does not list specific groups so that it could be as encompassing as possible.
Professor Bruno Estagarribia (Romance Studies) suggested amending the resolution to include “cognitive, physical and cultural” diversity.
Professor Michal Osterweil (Global Studies) thanked Professor Alexander, and said that she thought a recommendation for training or other action items should be included in the resolution.
Professor Alexander said that she is aware that more work needs to be done on training. The resolution under consideration is only meant to be an expression of the faculty’s commitment to diversity.
The resolution was adopted unanimously.
Administrative Board of the Library annual report
Professor Todd Vision (Biology), chair of the Administrative Board of the Library, presented their annual report. He said that the charge of the Administrative Board of the Library is to advise the University Libraries on formulating policies governing the acquisition, access and use of collections and to review the annual budget.
He reported that the University Libraries is in the third year of a five-year strategic plan. The committee is pleased with the progress being made on the goals of the plan and is impressed by the multitude of ways that the library supports research and teaching for a wide variety of disciplines.
Professor Vision highlighted two issues in the report: stagnant funding for the libraries that has created funding gap for library acquisitions and the need to address differed maintenance for facilities, particularly Wilson Library. Professor Vision said that the provost is aware of the problems with funding, and he is taking steps to figure out a more sustainable funding option.
Nomination of Professor Vincas Steponaitis for Secretary of the Faculty
Professor Peter Mucha (Mathematics), chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, presented Professor Vincas Steponaitis (Archaeology and Anthropology) as the committee’s nominee for a five-year term as Secretary of the Faculty.
There were no additional nominations from the floor. Professor Steponaitis was confirmed for the position of Secretary of the Faculty for a five-year term ending in June 2021.
Resolution 2016-13. On Appreciation for the Service of Joseph S. Ferrell as Secretary of the Faculty
Professor Michael Gerhardt (Law) moved to suspend the rules in order to present a resolution in appreciation of Professor Joseph Ferrell’s service as Secretary of the Faculty for the past two decades. (See Appendix C.)
The motion was seconded and adopted. The rules were suspended, and Professor Gerhardt read the resolution aloud. The resolution was adopted unanimously and the faculty rose and applauded Professor Ferrell.
Committee annual reports received by title
The Faculty Council and General Faculty accepted the Educational Policy Committee’s annual report, submitted by Professor Jennifer Coble (Biology), and the Community and Diversity Committee’s annual report, submitted by Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing), by title.
Closed session: Special report of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards
Professor Joseph Ferrell moved that the Council go into closed session to discuss nominees for honorary degrees to be awarded at Commencement 2017. The motion was adopted.
Professor Steve Matson (Biology), chair of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards, presented five nominees to be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval for honorary degrees. Each nominee was approved.
Professor Ferrell moved that the Council return to open session. The motion was adopted.
Its business having concluded, the meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council adjourned at 4:50 p.m.
Faculty Programs Specialist
Appendix A: 2016 Thomas Jefferson Award citation: S. Elizabeth Gibson
Each year the faculty presents the Thomas Jefferson Award to that one of our number who thorough personal influence and performance of duty in teaching, scholarship, and service to the academic community best exemplifies the ideals we all strive to achieve. This year, we accord that high honor to Elizabeth Gibson, Burton Craige Professor of Law. Professor Gibson has been a star from the beginning. She grew up in Raleigh and was valedictorian of her class at Broughton High School. She then earned her undergraduate degree cum laude from Duke and her law degree with high honors from Carolina. In the world of legal scholarship, the best and brightest begin as law clerks to federal judges. Professor Gibson landed two of the highest prizes: clerkships to Judge J. Braxton Craven of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Byron R. White of the United States Supreme Court. After five years of private practice, she joined Carolina’s Law Faculty in 1983. It took her only ten short years to become a chaired professor. Professor Gibson’s scholarship focuses on the federal bankruptcy courts. As reporter for the Bankruptcy Rules Committee and participation in the educational programs of the Federal Judicial Center and the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges she is nationally recognized as an eminent authority in her field. Her reputation as an outstanding scholar and her judicial temperament led President Clinton to nominate her for appointment as a judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2000. Unfortunately, the United States Senate failed to act on the nomination for the same reasons now being given for its refusal to act on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. As a teacher, Professor Gibson has few equals. Her law faculty colleagues have honored her with the Robert G. Byrd Award for Excellence and Creativity in Teaching (2012) and students of the third-year class have twice honored her with the McCall Award for Teaching Excellence (1991, 1988). The University honored her with the Mentor Award for Lifetime Teaching Beyond the Classroom (2010). Professor Gibson’s record of service to the academic community is possibly without parallel in modern times. She has served on search committees for Dean of the Law School on four occasions; on search committees for Chancellor twice; she has served on the Committee on University Government continuously since 1997 and chaired the committee for three years while overseeing a comprehensive revision of the Faculty Code; she has chaired the Faculty Hearings Committee, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, and the Educational Policy Committee; and she served two terms on the Faculty Council. I have mentioned only a few. The full list covers two pages of her curriculum vitae.
For her personal influence and exemplary performance of duty in teaching, scholarship and service, the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is pleased to confer on Elizabeth Gibson the 2016 Thomas Jefferson Award.
Appendix B: S. Elizabeth Gibson’s remarks on receipt of 2016 Thomas Jefferson Award
Thank you Chancellor Folt, Professor Ferrell, and members of the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee. I am truly touched and deeply honored to receive this award. Indeed, I was shocked when Joe informed me that I had been selected to receive it. I was shocked because the prior recipients of the award are my University heroes. Some people have a bucket list of things they want to do before they die. I have a list of people I want to be when I grow up, and many of them are on the list of Thomas Jefferson Award winners.
Although I could mention many, both from the Law School and from other parts of the University, I’d like to mention two of those award recipients in particular: Bill Aycock and Dickson Phillips. Chancellor Aycock received the award in 1967, and Dean, and later Judge, Phillips in 1977. Both of them inspired me and—in ways they didn’t know—helped me achieve many of the things I’ve done in my career.
Bill Aycock returned to the Law School faculty in 1964 after serving as chancellor, and there he was a multi-year award-winning professor. I had the good fortune to be a student in his Federal Jurisdiction class during my last year of law school, and he showed me what it meant to be an excellent professor. He treated students with respect and affection, and with his knowledge and good humor, he made the course interesting, challenging, and understandable. Indeed, it was my favorite class in law school. When I became a law professor, Bill Aycock served as my role model, and I ended up teaching Federal Jurisdiction for almost 30 years.
Dickson Phillips was my dean in law school. He encouraged me to apply for a federal judicial clerkship following graduation, and he supported my application for a Supreme Court clerkship. Those experiences shaped my life and my career in ways I couldn’t have imagined, including introducing me to the man who has been my husband for almost 39 years and is now the J. Dickson Phillips, Jr. Professor of Law. The first judge I clerked for—Braxton Craven—died at the end of my clerkship year, and Dickson Phillips replaced him on the Fourth Circuit. He served on that court with great distinction and was a role model for what a wise, caring, principled judge should be. (Unfortunately, I never got to put those lessons to use as a judge, but through his work here, he also taught me what it means to be a good citizen of the University.)
So I have some connection with prior recipients of this award. But when I learned that I was to receive it, I was totally perplexed about what Thomas Jefferson and I might have in common. The cat kinda got out of the bag at the Law School about this award, and a colleague sent me a list of Thomas Jefferson’s top 10 achievements and contributions. “Let me read that,” I thought, “and maybe I’ll see a connection.” Here’s the list:
- Wrote The Declaration of Independence (1776)
- Wrote The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1777)
- Advocated for free public education (1779)
- Served as the first U.S. Secretary of State (1790–1793)
- Made the Louisiana Purchase (1803)
- Launched the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804)
- Participated in the founding of the Library of Congress (1815)
- Founded the University of Virginia (1819)
- Revolutionized gardening and advanced sustainable agriculture
- Popularized macaroni and cheese in the United States
“Aha,” I first thought, “that last entry might be it. I eat macaroni and cheese and like it.” But the truth is that I have done little to popularize it, since my mac and cheese isn’t especially good.
But then it took only a few moments of reflection to realize that the common bond between Thomas Jefferson and me—and indeed all of us—is the belief in and support of public education, including public higher education. Jefferson believed that education of the public was necessary for good government and the preservation of freedom and happiness. He wrote: “Laws will be wisely formed, and honestly administered, in proportion as those who form and administer them are wise and honest; [thus] it becomes expedient for promoting the public happiness that those persons, whom nature has endowed with genius and virtue should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens; and that they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth, or other accidental condition or circumstance.”
Whether through education in the law or sciences or liberal arts, Jefferson believed that “the diffusion of light and education [was] the resource most to be relied on for ameliorating the condition, promoting the virtue and advancing the happiness of [humankind].”
I’m grateful that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill remains committed to the mission of educating students without regard to wealth, birth, or other accidental condition or circumstance, and that it truly is a public university. Indeed, I think that it does a better job of that today than Mr. Jefferson’s own university. And today I’m especially grateful that I’ve been selected to join the list of University citizens who have been dedicated to that mission over the last 75 years or more.
Finally, I’d like to thank my Law School colleagues, some of whom are here today, for the support, encouragement, friendship, and simple kindnesses they provide to me on a daily basis. And most especially, I’d like to thank my husband, Professor Robert Mosteller, who joined our faculty seven years ago after serving with distinction on the Duke Law School faculty for 25 years. Not only was his hiring of great gift to the Law School and University, but he has been invaluable to me in assisting me in so many ways and allowing me to continue teaching longer than I probably otherwise would have been able. Thank you.
Appendix C: Resolution 2016-13. On Appreciation for Joseph S. Ferrell’s Service as Secretary of the Faculty, 1996-2016
We the Faculty Council approve the following resolution in honor of Joseph S. Ferrell on the occasion of his retirement as Secretary of the Faculty,
Whereas this is one of the rare resolutions not drafted by Joe Ferrell in his two decades of service to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Secretary to the Faculty,
Whereas he has been a faithful servant and embodied the spirit and values of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since he arrived on campus in 1956,
Whereas he has brought great credit to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which he received his BA in 1960, to the UNC School of Law, from which he earned his law degree in 1963, and to the Yale Law School, from which he earned his Master in Law,
Whereas he served with distinction for many years as a professor in the UNC School of Government, most recently as the Research Professor of Public Law and Albert Coates Professor of Public Law Emeritus,
Whereas he has served with distinction as Secretary of the Faculty since 1996, the longest serving secretary of the faculty in the history of this University,
Whereas he has been a proud and deserving member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Order of the Coif, and the Order of the Golden Fleece, and an equally proud and deserving recipient of the C. Knox Massey Award, the Thomas Jefferson Award, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ Distinguished Service Award, and the General Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award,
Whereas he has been a trusted advisor and mentor to faculty, students, and leaders on this campus for more than 50 years,
Whereas no single sentence can adequately capture or summarize the countless committees on which he has served as an invaluable member,
Whereas he will always be welcome on this campus,
We the Faculty hereby resolve always to honor his inestimable service and always to ensure that the doors of our great University will be open to him and that, for Joe Ferrell, the lights of Carolina will always remain on.