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Meeting of the Faculty Council

Chancellor Carol Folt and Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns presiding

Friday, December 11, 2015
3:00 p.m.
Kerr Hall Room 1001 — this is the DOWNSTAIRS ROOM (Eshelman School of Pharmacy)  Map here

Twitter:  Follow @UNCFacGov or use hashtag #FacCouncil

Watch remotely at this link


3:00 Opening Remarks

  • Prof. Bruce Cairns, Chair of the Faculty

3:10 Chancellor’s and Provost’s Remarks

  • Chancellor Carol Folt
  • Provost Jim Dean

3:30 Thrive@Carolina

3:50 Diversity Syllabus: Caregiving, Gender and Professional Flourishing

4:20 Campus History Task Force Update

4:40 Adjourn — Happy Holidays!

Video Recording

Click here to view the meeting recording.

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on December 11, 2015, at 3:01 p.m. in Kerr Hall, room 1001.

The following 62 members attended: Able, Aikat, Babb, Baumgartner, Beltran Lopez, Boettiger Cooney, Cairns (Chair of the Faculty), Caren, Chavis, Cox, Cuddeback, Day, Provost Dean, Drake, Edwards, Estigarribia, Ferrell (Secretary of the Faculty), Filene (Undergraduate Representative), Fisher, Chancellor Folt, Foster, Fry, Gilligan, Gucsavas-Calikoglu, Halladay, Hannig, Hart, Hobbs, Irons, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Kang, Kris, Larson, A. Levine, C. Levine, Livingston (Graduate Representative), Loehr, McBride, Melehy, Miller, Mitran, Moracco, Moreton, Nelson, Osterweil, Palmer, Perelmuter, Platts-Mills, Pruvost, Ramaswamy, Salyer, Stavas, Sturm, Tepper, Thompson, Thompson Dorsey, Thorpe, Webster-Cyriaque, Weight and Willett.

The following 37 members received excused absences: Ammerman, Beck, Berman, Birckhead, Chapman, Cook, Cravey (AAUP Representative), Divaris, Dobelstein (Retired Faculty Representative), Dolan, Driscoll (AAUP Representative), Furry, Gerhardt, Gilchrist, Giovanello, Gulledge, Hall, Hill, Kim, Koonce, Mauro, Metz, Neta, Parise, Persky, Polk (Undergraduate Representative), Pukkila (Retired Faculty Representative), Rial, Savasta-Kennedy, Segars, Steponaitis, Upshaw, Viera, Wallace, Welty, Williams and You.

The following members participated via teleconference: Divaris and Pukkila

Members absent without excuse: Porto.

Call to order

Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell called the Council to order at 3:01 p.m.

Chair’s remarks and question period

Professor Bruce Cairns (Surgery) announced that he has resumed his duties as Chair of the Faculty. He thanked Professors Peter Mucha (Mathematics) and Michael Gerhardt (Law) for filling in for him while he was recovering from sudden cardiac arrest. He gave a special recognition to all of his doctors and nurses at UNC Healthcare, and to Drs. Paula Miller (Cardiology) and Xuming Dai (Cardiology) for saving his life. He invited both of them to stand, and the faculty applauded.

Professor Cairns thanked Dr. Ron Strauss, Provost Jim Dean and Chancellor Carol Folt for supporting him during his recovery.

Professor Cairns showed a brief video clip of outgoing UNC-system President Thomas Ross’ final comments to the Board of Governors. In the clip, President Ross said that he intends to support President-elect Margaret Spellings to ensure her success in the new position. Professor Cairns said that President Ross’s statement is a reminder that the faculty should discuss and debate issues, but they must work together with the administration to solve problems.

Chancellor’s remarks and question period

Chancellor Folt said that she is grateful that Professor Cairns has resumed his duties as the Chair of the Faculty. She thanked those who assisted Professor Cairns during his recovery and the Office of Faculty Governance staff, the Faculty Executive Committee, Professor Michael Gerhardt (Law), the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee and other groups that have advised her over the past two and a half years.

Chancellor Folt announced that several members of the faculty traveled to witness Professor Aziz Sancar receive the Nobel Prize in chemistry. She said that although she was unable to attend, she has previously visited the site where Professor Sancar gave his acceptance speech, and she looks forward to hearing more from him about his experience.

The chancellor invited the faculty to attend winter commencement. Professor Kelly Hogan (Biology) is the designated speaker. This semester 2,113 students will receive degrees at commencement. Of that number, 974 are undergraduates, 802 are master’s degree recipients, 286 are doctoral recipients, 18 are graduates from professional schools, and 33 are certificate recipients.

Chancellor Folt announced that Dr. William Alexander Darity, Sr., the first African American to graduate from Carolina with a Ph.D. in 1964, passed away recently. Dr. Darity founded a school of public health at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The chancellor noted that UNC-Chapel Hill ranks in the top ten for research expenditures for the second year in a row, with $990 million in research and development funding. UNC-Chapel Hill launched UNC Core, a pathway for active duty military to complete a certificate for their first two years of general education.

Chancellor Folt said that her administration is making efforts to bring together different initiatives on campus related to diversity and inclusion and to identify gaps where additional action is necessary. She thanked the faculty who attended the recent town hall meeting on diversity. Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing), special assistant to the chancellor for race relations, will work with vice chancellors and deans, to identify effective initiatives and opportunities for additional programs. A group has convened to develop more diversity training opportunities. The chancellor said she is committed to finding space on campus for the Black Student Movement. She wants all students to know that they can thrive at Carolina.

Provost’s remarks and question period

Provost Jim Dean announced that a number of leadership transitions are underway. Professor Kevin Guskiewicz (Exercise and Sports Science) has been appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, replacing outgoing Dean Karen Gil. Professor Bill McDiarmid (Education) has announced he’s stepping down from the School of Education deanship. Professor Deb Eaker-Rich has been appointed interim dean until a permanent dean is selected.

The School of Social Work is also looking for a permanent dean. Dean Jack Richman has announced that he is stepping down. A search committee has met several times and is working with a search firm.

A hiring committee is in the process of selecting a search firm for the School of Nursing dean search. Professor Donna Havens has been occupying the interim dean position.

The provost said that the posting for the Vice Chancellor for Research vacancy role is advertised for internal candidates. He said that knowledge of research at Carolina is critical to being successful in the position. He invited interested faculty to apply.

Professor Hassan Melehy (Romance Studies) asked the provost to comment on a letter to the Faculty Council that was distributed electronically in connection with the Faculty Council meeting.

Professor Cairns summarized the letter. He explained that Professor Richard Cante (Communications), director of the program in sexuality studies, and faculty affiliated with the sexuality studies program wrote a letter expressing concerns about comments that incoming UNC-system president Margaret Spellings has made regarding the LGBTQ community. In addition, the letter expresses concern about Spellings’ decision to withdraw public funds from television programming that featured a same-sex couple. The faculty expressed fears that Spellings’ views about LGBTQ people may impact the curriculum that faculty are allowed to teach.

Professor Cairns explained that the Faculty Executive Committee met with a group of concerned faculty and Professor Cante (via Skype) to discuss a possible Faculty Council resolution on the matter. Professor Steve Leonard (Political Science), chair of the Faculty Assembly, attended the meeting to discuss the role of faculty governance with regard to advising the system president.

Professor Cairns said the Faculty Executive Committee will discuss the letter again in January.

Professor Leonard (Political Science) said that he is meeting with President-elect Spellings in a few days and will speak to her about LGBTQ concerns and other issues. He hopes that she will respond to the faculty’s concerns.

Chancellor Folt said that she also plans to discuss LGBTQ issues with President-elect Spellings.

Professor Marìa DeGuzmàn (English and Comparative Literature) asked the chancellor to comment on why UNC Student Stores is being considered for outsourcing.

Chancellor Folt replied that the decision to outsource has not been made. There is a request for proposals (RFP) in process that contains employment protections. There are areas of the stores that don’t generate a profit. The way people buy books has changed. The chancellor said that she recognizes and feels passionately about protecting the staff who work at Student Stores, but she must also find $10 to $11 million per year to meet full need-based aid. She said that it’s important to examine all of the options for generating additional aid revenue.

Professor DeGuzmàn asked who makes the final decision.

Chancellor Folt said that vice chancellor for finance and administration makes the final decision and that she will support whatever decision is made.

Professor Rosa Perelmuter (Romance Studies) asked the chancellor to comment on the protesters who attended the Board of Governor’s meeting and earlier that day.

Professor Cairns replied that he showed the clip from President Thomas Ross earlier in the meeting because he thinks that the ways in which the faculty articulate their concerns is critical. He thanked Professor Melehy for discussing the letter from the faculty in the sexuality studies program. He said that the Faculty Assembly is working hard to make the faculty and President-elect Spellings are able to engage in productive conversations.


Mr. Steve Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions, presented information about the Thrive@Carolina program. He said that in its first year, the program opened four student success positions, expanded transition courses for new students, awarded grants for active-learning classes, launched student success tools, and convened a student retention working group. He asked the Faculty Council to support the Thrive@Carolina program by passing Resolution 2015-15, a statement endorsing it.

Dr. Bettina Shufford, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, said the goal of the program is to encourage student success based on a number of factors that include, but are not limited to GPA, retention and graduation. Thrive@Carolina views student success in a holistic way. Dr. Cynthia Demetriou, director for retention in the Office of Undergraduate Education, led the effort to define student success for the program.

Professor Kelly Hogan (Biology) explained that the program seeks to train faculty and staff to identify and reach out to students who can benefit from being referred to student success services on campus.

Professor Brian Hogan (Chemistry), faculty director for the Carolina Covenant, invited the faculty to apply for student success grants. He said that many students lead invisible lives that impact performance in the classroom. He has met students who are homeless, food insecure, and who have lost loved ones.

Professor Beth Moracco (Public Health) asked if this initiative is only for undergraduate students. She said that graduate student face many of the same issues.

Mr. Farmer said that others have suggested that graduate student have a need for a similar program. He would like to open the program to graduate students in the future.

Professor Cary Levine (Art) asked if there are resources that are already available other than grants that faculty can seek out.

Professor Kelly Hogan (Biology) said that there are classroom trainings under development.

Professor Brian Hogan (Chemistry) said that upon completion of the training program, faculty may receive a sign for their office door indicating that they have finished the training to signal to students that they are knowledgeable about student resources.

Professor Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque (School of Dentistry) asked if the group had looked into practices at peer institutions.

Dr. Cynthia Demetriou replied that they had looked at other institutions, but their main goal is to develop a campus ethos that is not just about surviving college, but thriving in college.

Provost Dean said that he and the chancellor supports this effort. He thanked the presenters and noted that 80 percent of students at Carolina graduate in four years. Despite the high graduation rate overall, some groups of students are graduating at lower rates.

Resolution 2015-15. Statement on Thrive@Carolina was adopted unanimously.

Diversity Syllabus: Caregiving, Gender and Professional Flourishing

Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing) introduced Dr. Clare Counihan, faculty and staff program coordinator in the Carolina Women’s Center.

Dr. Counihan asked the Faculty Council to consider caregiving as a gendered activity primarily impacting women socially and professionally. She said that although caregiving is a gendered activity, a caregiver’s experience varies according to a host of intersectional identities, including gender, race, class, ability, age, health and sexual orientation. She asked the faculty to consider these differences when discussing gender issues.

Dr. Counihan explained that she derived the information in her presentation from a 2014 Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF) parenting survey, conversations with faculty and staff governance groups and focus groups.

One example of how female-identified mothers face barriers to academic work is a lack of lactation spaces and resources. The chancellor and provost have dedicated funds to add lactation spaces across the University. Some areas of campus are still underserved. Dr. Counihan asked the faculty for some examples of times when they felt as if certain spaces on campus weren’t built for them or that they encountered obstacles as a result of gender stereotyping.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) said that he grew up in Czechoslovakia, where men were discouraged from taking care of children. Another faculty member said that when she was in medical school, she walked up to the surgery table and was ignored by her professor.

Dr. Counihan noted that there are many examples of black women and Asian American women being ignored in classrooms. Students make assumptions about female professors’ intelligence and abilities without evidence. Research has found that men who share parenting responsibilities are sometimes punished professionally. In other instances, LGBTQ people may face assumptions about their disinterest in having families, or they may be asked inappropriate and invasive questions about their family lives.

Dr. Counihan said that the number of women in fixed-term faculty positions stems primarily from the idea that nontenure track positions are more compatible with raising families. Women at Carolina outnumber men in fixed-term positions, but still lag behind at other ranks, especially in full professorships.

Dr. Counihan said that department culture, defined as the “intangible and unwritten rules” of how an organization operates, can create different experiences for faculty in different departments. Individuals can make a difference in changing the culture, but she said that department chairs have a responsibility to set the appropriate tone and enforce policies in equitable ways. She asked the faculty to imagine how an opt-out parental-leave policy would change departmental cultures. Finally, she asked the Faculty Council member to think about how they can challenge their own implicit biases.

Campus History Task Force update and discussion

Professor Jim Leloudis (History) gave an overview of the timeline and the Campus History Task Force’s charge. He said that the task force has been asked to take up a number of projects, including overseeing the design of a new plaque for Carolina Hall; recommending curatorial exhibits for McCorkle Place and Carolina Hall; completing an audit of buildings, monuments and landscapes; and performing a feasibility study for a future UNC history museum.

He said that the task force is in the process of putting together working groups to assist in further these developing plans and concepts. Carolina Hall will have an exhibit inside the building that will focus on three different time periods: “Reconstruction, remembrance, and renaming.”

Professor Leloudis said that the task force has discussed ways to use McCorkle Place as an educational space. Some ideas include planting medallions in the walkways that can be scanned with a smart phone so the user can read or hear more information about the site. The task force has discussed creating a smartphone app, commissioning new memorial art, and installing temporary art.

Professor Jennifer Webster-Cyriaque (School of Dentistry) asked if the information provided about campus history will be set in the context of Southern history and other events occurring in the South around the same period.

Professor Leloudis responded that the installations and exhibits would be contextualized.

Professor Michal Osterweil (Global Studies) asked who the other members of the task force are.

Professor Leloudis said that one of the goals of the task force is to bring together a diverse group of people. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Winston Crisp and Dr. Amy Locklear Hertel, director of the American Indian Center, are co-chairing the task force. They plan to convene advisory groups that include students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Professor Cairns said that exploring campus history raises some challenging issues. He asked what strategies the task force and Professor Leloudis plans to use to handle conflicts.

Professor Leloudis said that he and task force want to include people across campus and the community from all perspectives in the planning process.

Ms. Eliza Filene (Undergraduate Representative) said that she would like for students to have the opportunity to participate in the exhibit and create temporary art installations.

Professor Leloudis suggested that she contact him to discuss opportunities for collaboration. He said that even at the early stages, he has seen some unique and creative proposals for temporary art exhibits.

Ms. Charity Watkins, a graduate student representative on the Community and Diversity Committee, asked Professor Leloudis if the Carolina Hall exhibit will mention the 16-year moratorium on building name changes that the Board of Trustees voted to put in place earlier in the year.

Professor Leloudis said that he believes that information is essential to include. He hopes that people will read the information and draw their own interpretations.


Having completed its business, the Faculty Council adjourned at 4:57 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathryn Turner
Faculty Programs Specialist

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

Storify Summary of Tweets Covering Council Meeting

We’ve published a “Storify” summary of the (mostly) live-tweets covering the December 11, 2015 Council meeting.  Check it out for a minute-by-minute overview of what transpired.

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