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NOTE: Due to the weather and university closure, this meeting was postponed from January 22, 2016 until Friday, January 29, 3:00-5:00 pm (Kerr 2001).

Meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council

Chancellor Carol Folt and Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns presiding

Friday, January 29, 2016
3:00 p.m.
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)

Watch recording (video recording of proceedings)


3:00 Opening Remarks

  • Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns

3:10 Chancellor’s and Provost’s Remarks and Question Period

  • Chancellor Carol Folt
  • Provost Jim Dean

3:30  Diversity Syllabus: Interdependence-Wednesday

4:00  Annual Report, Committee on University Government, and First Reading on Proposed Amendments to the Faculty Code of University Government

  • Prof. Vin Steponaitis, Chair

4:15  Update: Ethics and Integrity Working Group

  • Prof. Julie Byerley, School of Medicine
  • Dean Terry Rhodes, College of Arts and Sciences

4:35  Committee Annual Reports By Title

4:45  CLOSED SESSION and Vote

4:55  Adjourn

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on January 29, 2015, at 3:04 p.m. in Kerr Hall, room 2001.

The following 59 members attended: Able, Aikat, Babb, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Boettiger Cooney, Cairns, Chapman, Chavis, Cuddeback, Day, Dean, Divaris, Dobelstein, Dolan, Edwards, Ferrell, Filene, Fisher, Folt, Furry, Gilchrist, Gilligan, Halladay, Hannig, Hart, Hill, Hobbs, Irons, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Kim, Kris, Larson, Levine, Livingston, Melehy, Metz, Moracco, Nelson, Neta, Parise, Perelmuter, Persky, Polk, Pruvost, Pukkila, Salyer, Steponaitis, Sturm, Tepper, Thompson, Upshaw, Wallace, Weight, Willett, Williams and Foster.

The following 40 members received excused absences: Ammerman, Baumgartner, Berman, Birckhead, Caren, Cook, Cox, Cravey, Drake, Driscoll, Estigarribia, Gerhardt, Giovanello, Gucsavas, Gulledge, Hall, Kang, Koonce, Levine, Loehr, Mauro, McBride, Miller, Mitran, Moreton, Osterweil, Palmer, Platts-Mills, Porto, Ramaswamy, Rial, Savasta-Kennedy, Segars, Stavas, Thompson Dorsey, Thorpe, Viera, Webster-Cyriaque, Welty and You.

Call to order

Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell called the Council to order at 3:04 p.m.

Chair of the Faculty remarks

Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns (Surgery) reflected on the past year and a half, noting that he is halfway through his term. He briefly spoke about the importance of faculty governance and mentioned that Professor Joseph Ferrell, secretary of the faculty, will be retiring in the summer. The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee has been working to find a successor. He noted that the Secretary of the Faculty position is responsible for shaping the Faculty Code of University Government, the document that outlines structure, authority and jurisdiction. He commended Professor Ferrell (Government) for his nearly twenty years of service as secretary, and the Faculty Council stood and applauded.

Professor Cairns said that he has been discussing system-wide issues with groups of faculty. He stressed the importance of working with the administration and Board of Trustees to work on issues and supporting shared governance.

In an upcoming bond referendum, North Carolina voters will have the opportunity to adopt the Connect UNC initiative. That bond, if passed, would result in a $68 million investment for a new medical education building. The referendum coincides with Spring Break. Professor Cairns told a story about a faculty member who visited a rural community in North Carolina and met a farmer wearing a Carolina baseball cap. The faculty member asked if the farmer or anyone in his family had attended Carolina. The farmer replied that he had no family ties to UNC-Chapel Hill, and the faculty member asked how he is connected to Carolina. The farmer pointed to his cap and said “this is my university and I own it.” Professor Cairns underscored the point that taxpayers perceive ownership of the university and elect our legislators.

Professor Cairns emphasized that everyone at Carolina must be able to voice their concerns. At a recent Board of Trustees meeting, he said that Chuck Duckett, secretary of the Board of Trustees, expressed concern that some students are being targeted unfairly by faculty, particularly student-athletes. Professor Cairns said that this issue is a part of a longer conversation on campus that relates to other issues. He noted that today Professor Sherick Hughes will talk about Interdependence Wednesday, a program that could potentially empower faculty and students to declare their support for each other’s academic pursuits.

Before today’s Faculty Council meeting, Professor Cairns met with faculty in the Sexuality Studies program who are concerned about maintaining present levels of funding and support for the Sexuality Studies curriculum. He noted that some faculty were disappointed the issue is not on today’s agenda. He promised that he will work with that group and address their concerns at the February Faculty Council meeting. He said that it is unacceptable for anyone at Carolina to feel vulnerable or ostracized.

Chancellor’s remarks and question period

Chancellor Carol Folt thanked Professor Cairns for his comments. She reported that she had a productive meeting with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) representatives before the Board of Trustees meeting. She met with a group of faculty and administrators across campus who are working on SACS responses. The SACS representative appeared to be impressed with the group’s work.

Chancellor Folt said that today she met with a student group about race and inclusion issues. Her administration is currently working on pulling together initiatives that are taking place on campus.

The chancellor met with former Governor James B. Hunt to talk about the possible impacts of the bond referendum. He invited Chancellor Folt to speak at the Hunt Institute, where he trains prominent politicians to recognize the value of public education. If Connect NC passes, Carolina would have the resources to train more doctors and increase number of physicians across North Carolina.

The chancellor said that she was invited to the White House to see Professor Joe DeSimone (Chemistry) receive the National Medal in Technology and Innovation, but the ceremony was cancelled due to snow.

The chancellor briefly discussed the University’s renewed commitment to sustainability. She noted that Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Enterprises Brad Ives is an expert in sustainable environmental practices. Carolina is trying to achieve three zeros in the areas of water, waste and energy neutrality. This initiative is expected to reduce overhead costs for the University.

She noted that the first wave of early admissions acceptance letters have just been mailed. Over 36,000 potential students applied for undergraduate admission, an increase of 12 percent over the past year.

The chancellor recently received a report with recommendations from the Ethics and Integrity Working Group. They recommended that an online portal be created to make campus-wide policies more visible. They also recommended established a new chief officer position to oversee policies. She and Provost Jim Dean agreed and are working to establish a new department on campus to oversee policies.

Professor Marcia Hobbs (Medicine) asked whether progress had been made in finding a new Vice Chancellor for Research in the Office of Sponsored Research.

Chancellor Folt responded that they are close to announcing new leadership, and that they have been working diligently to correct problems that came about with the implementation of PeopleSoft. The transition revealed that years of growth in research grants from $500 million to $1 billion required new procedures to be put in place. They hired a team of 15 people to correct back errors and improve reporting.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) said that the new Adverse Weather Policy doesn’t take into consideration icy conditions on sidewalks and roadways. He asked how the University determines when it is safe to return to campus.

Chancellor Folt replied that Carolina is subject to a new state policy that puts limitations on when we can shut down operations.

Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington explained that on January 1, 2016, a new policy for the UNC-system was developed by UNC General Administration based on the state’s policy. The major change in the policy is that there are specific conditions that must be met to go to condition 3. In Condition 2 when conditions are unsafe, non-mandatory employees are not required come to work but they must use personal leave if they don’t.

Chancellor Folt added that going to Condition 2 is especially hard on employees  who work for an hourly wage and can’t make up the time.

The provost yielded his time to the chancellor.

Diversity Syllabus: Interdependence-Wednesday

Professor Rumay Alexander, Chair, Community and Diversity Committee, introduced Professor Sherick Hughes (Education).

Professor Hughes said that he’s from a long lineage of Tar Heels. He said that his diversity work is informed by his mother’s experiences with discrimination and desegregation. He is the only one of seven siblings to have a Carolina degree.

Professor Hughes explained that I-We day is a program that encourages joint service projects between campus organizations. Organizational leaders and faculty mentors undergo training. Campus leaders sign a Declaration of Interdependence (DOI) and read it every year.

He noted that Harvard released a report last week showing that students’ experiences diversity on college campuses are token or brief and can be patronizing to recipients. He said to combat this, faculty must encourage students need to work in diverse groups inside and outside of the classroom.

Eighteen organizations piloted the I-We project, including The Muslim Student Association. That organization developed educational awareness campaigns about Islamophobia and promoted the idea that Muslim identity is intersectional and complex.

There were no questions for Professor Hughes.

Annual report: Committee on University Government

Professor Vin Steponaitis (Anthropology and Archaeology), chair of the Committee on University Government, asked if there were any questions about the committee’s annual report. There were no questions, and he introduced the first reading of three proposed amendments to the Faculty Code.

(First Reading): Resolution 2016-1. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Provide for Vacancy Appointments for Faculty Officers

Professor Steponaitis explained that the Faculty Code of University Government only vaguely addresses interruptions in  service by the principal officers of the faculty (Chair of the Faculty, Secretary of the Faculty, Faculty Marshal, and Faculty Athletics Representative). Resolution 2016-1 proposes language that clarifies the procedures for filling temporary or permanent vacancies.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) asked why the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee would be responsible for recommending an interim chair of the faculty.

Professor Steponaitis replied that because that body is responsible for selecting the chairs of faculty to run for election, it seemed logical to propose that it would be responsible for filling interim vacancies.

The resolution passed the first reading and will be added to the February Faculty Council agenda for final consideration.

(First Reading): Resolution 2016-2. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Enlarge the Faculty Athletics Committee and to Clarify its Charge

Professor Steponaitis explained that the Faculty Athletics Committee has experienced a heavier workload over the past several years and the committee would like to enlarge its size. Resolution 2016-2 proposes to add three new elected members and to update  the charge of the committee so that it focuses on faculty oversight of varsity athletics.

The resolution passed the first reading and will be added to the February Faculty Council agenda for final consideration.

(First Reading): Resolution 2016-3. On Amending the Faculty Code of University Government to Enlarge the Faculty Grievance Committee

Professor Steponaitis explained that the co-chairs of the Faculty Grievance Committee have asked that the Code be amended to include more two additional fixed-term faculty. He noted that the committee has seen an increase in the volume of cases involving fixed-term faculty.

Professor Hassan Melehy (Romance Studies) asked whether Fixed-Term Faculty Commitee gave input.

Professor Steponaitis replied that  the University Government Committee did not consult with the Fixed-Term Faculty Committee, but  did consult the Faculty Grievance Committee.

Professor Nancy Fisher (Medicine), chair of the Fixed-Term Committee, said that she supports this resolution.

Professor Sherry Salyer (Exercise and Sports Science) said that she served on the Faculty Grievance Committee in the past and that committee forms subcommittees to hear specific cases. She said that increasing the number of fixed-term members would allow an equal distribution of rank on these  subcommittees.

Professor Ferrell added that over 20 years ago when the committee was formed, the composition was based on a Board of Governors policy that did not mention fixed-term faculty. Since then there has been a steep increase in the number of fixed-term faculty positions.

The resolution passed the first reading and will be added to the February Faculty Council agenda for final consideration.

Update: Ethics and Integrity Working Group

Professor Julie Byerley (Medicine) and Dean Terry Rhodes presented an update on the work of the Ethics and Integrity Working Group. They explained that the group is charged with ensuring “that we have created the optimal culture, principles and practices to reinforce ethical high-integrity behavior throughout the University” and promoting “both culture and practices, including specific policies and process that will enable clear, consolidated and confidential channels through which all members of our university community can speak up and share ethical concerns.”

The working group developed the following recommendations to the chancellor:

  • Reaffirm the University’s commitment by adopting a statement on ethics and integrity to serve as the University’s overarching declaration of ethical principles.
  • Embed the University’s commitment to ethics and integrity by addressing influences that shape the campus culture of ethical behavior.
  • Ensure that all members of the University are aware of the expectations and consequences associated with ethical behavior.
  • Expand opportunities for members of the University community to report concerns and potential violations.
  • Create the position of Chief Integrity and Policy Officer and establish an Office of Integrity and Policy (joint recommendation with Policy and Procedures Working Group).

Professor Cairns said that he expects to bring a draft resolution related to the working group’s proposed ethics statement to the Faculty Council in the future.

Committee annual reports

The annual reports of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee; Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure Committee; Buildings and Grounds Committee; and Faculty Assembly Delegation were received by title. There was no discussion.

Closed session: Consideration of Edward Kidder Graham Award nominee and Honorary Degree nominee

Professor Bruce Cairns made a motion to go into closed session to consider nominees for the Edward Kidder Graham Award and the Honorary Degree.

On behalf of the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards, Professor Joseph Ferrell nominated two people for the Edward Kidder Graham Award and one person for an Honorary Degree. Each nominee was approved.

The Council returned to open session.


Having completed its business, the Faculty Council adjourned at 4:45 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 January 29, 2016 Council meeting.  Check it out for a minute-by-minute overview of what transpired.

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