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Meeting of the Faculty Council

Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns presiding

Friday, March 11, 2016
3:00 p.m.
Kerr Hall Room 2001 — this is the UPSTAIRS ROOM (Eshelman School of Pharmacy)  Map here

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Watch remotely at this link (participation link)


3:00 Opening Remarks

  • Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns

3:10 Annual Report: Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions

  • Prof. Abigail Panter, Chair
  • Mr. Steve Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions

3:30 Diversity Syllabus: “When the Rules are the Same but the Game Isn’t Fair”

4:00 Annual Report: Committee on Scholarships, Awards, and Student Aid

  • Prof. Don Hornstein (School of Law), Chair

4:30 Annual Report: Committee on the Status of Women

  • Prof. Margot Stein (School of Dentistry), Chair

4:35 Annual Reports Received by Title

4:40 Discussion and Q&A: Report of the Chancellor’s Working Group on Ethics and Integrity

5:00 Adjourn

Video of Proceedings

Watch the full video of proceedings here. 

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on March 11, 2016 at 3:02 p.m. in Kerr Hall, room 2001.

The following 55 members attended: Aikat, Ammerman, Babb, Baumgartner, Berman, Boettiger Cooney, Chavis, Cook, Day, Dobelstein, Ferrell, Filene, Fisher, Foster, Fry, Furry, Gilligan, Gucsavas-Calikoglu, Gulledge, Hall, Halladay, Hannig, Hill, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Kang, Koonce, Kris, Larson, Levine, Livingston, Loehr, McBride, Melehy, Metz, Mitran, Nelson, Osterweil, Palmer, Parise, Perelmuter, Persky, Pruvost, Pukkila, Ramaswamy, Savasta-Kennedy, Steponaitis, Sturm, Thompson, Thorpe, Upshaw, Wallace, Webster-Cyriaque and Willett.

The following 32 members received excused absences: Able, Beck, Beltran Lopez, Cairns, Cox, Cuddeback, Dean, Divaris, Dolan, Drake, Driscoll, Edwards, Folt, Gilchrist, Giovanello, Hobbs, Irons, Kim, Levine, Miller, Moreton, Neta, Platts-Mills, Polk, Rial, Salyer, Tepper, Thompson Dorsey, Viera, Welty, Williams and You.

The following 13 members received unexcused absences: Birckhead, Caren, Chapman, Cravey, Estigarribia, Gerhardt, Hart, Mauro, Moracco, Porto, Segars, Stavas and Weight.

Call to order 

Secretary of the Faculty Joseph Ferrell called the Faculty Council to order at 3:01 p.m. He noted the absence of the chancellor and provost, who were away at the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament, and the absence of Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns, who was away due to illness.

Annual report of the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions

Professor Abigail Panter (Psychology), senior associate dean for undergraduate education, presented the report of the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions. She provided an overview of the committee’s membership and meeting schedule. Professor Panter noted that there are three active subcommittees currently working. Those groups include the Committee on Disability, the Committee on Special Talent and the Task Force on Race-Neutral Alternatives.

Professor Panter recognized Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions. She explained that the Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions advises the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on issues related to applications processes and admissions standards. Over the past year, the committee has advised that office on admissions practices and special talent admissions procedures. The committee discussed Resolution 2015-3. On Admission Standards for Athletic Recruits and presented a recommendation to the Faculty Council not to adopt the resolution.  The resolution was defeated. Professor Panter also noted that the committee has been involved in discussions regarding the impact of Supreme Court case Fisher v. Texas on the use of race and ethnicity in undergraduate admissions. She noted that the committee’s written report includes a demographic overview of the incoming 2015 cohort, and that Carolina has received an increase in the number of applications for undergraduate admission to the University.

Professor Christopher Willet (Biology) asked why African-American applicants have a lower rate of acceptance than white or Asian applicants.

Mr. Farmer said that there are a number of factors that impact acceptance rates for African-American students. African-American students may move differently through the K-12 pipeline and may have fewer opportunities available to them. To gain admission to Carolina, students compete with others, and the admissions officers select the most competitive candidates according to admissions criteria. He said that first-generation college students as a group have lower admissions rates as well.

Professor Vin Steponaitis (Archaeology and Anthropology) thanked Mr. Steve Farmer for his work and commended him on a recent interview he gave with The New York Times.

Diversity Syllabus: “When the Rules are the Same but the Game Isn’t Fair”

Professor Rumay Alexander (Nursing), chair of the Community and Diversity Committee, introduced Professor Elizabeth Dickinson (Kenan-Flagler Business School) to facilitate a diversity-related activity designed to challenge faculty to think about how rules are created and how people are impacted by rules.

Professor Alexander noted that the rules are always acts of power that have the impact of sorting people into categories of privileged and non-privileged. She asked the Council to reflect on that idea as they listed to Professor Dickinson’s presentation.

Professor Dickinson asked the Council members to write down a professional wish, goal or desire. She told them to ball up the piece of paper and toss into the nearest garbage can from their seat to make their wish come true. As each person took a turn, Professor Dickinson added new rules to the game. At the end of the exercise, she asked the Council members to think about how it relates to the concept of “privilege.”

She asked the Council members to reflect on how they felt when they wrote down their wish, tried to toss the paper into the garbage can and after they threw the paper. Council members responded that they felt certain, confident, hopeful, near certain, not good, despair, hopeless and challenged depending on their position to the garbage basket.

Professor Dickinson explained that the exercise can be used as a metaphor for how social structures operate and impact individuals. She explained that privilege refers to individuals having “unearned advantages and disadvantages.” Rules interact with privilege when individuals who have certain types of identity-based privilege are included and others and excluded from knowledge, resources and opportunities.

Professor Dickinson asked the Council members to consider that their position in relation to the baskets might impact their awareness of whether or not the game was fair. People in the back of the room might protest, while people in the front may not think the game is fair.

Professor Dickinson noted that there are a common set of questions that people who have privilege ask when learning about privilege, diversity and inclusion. They want to know why talking about diversity makes them uncomfortable. Others who teach diversity-related courses become frustrated when they are accused of having a political agenda. Professor Dickson said that while some think their field or perspective is objective, everyone works from their own biases. Biases are challenged when a person is confronted with a perspective that is different from their own.

Professor Dickinson said that her students often ask her if the dominant group is to blame for inequality and unfairness. She tells them that it is not entirely the fault of the dominant group because individuals operate within social systems that are inherently unfair, but individuals do have personal responsibility. She asked the Council members to be mindful of their unearned advantages and disadvantages, to challenge written and unwritten rules, to recreate the game and to listen to members of less advantaged groups.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) said that once he had children he changed his mind about the way he viewed privilege and noticed that he wanted to give his children as many advantages as he can. He asked Professor Dickinson what she thought about that idea.

Professor Dickinson asked Professor Hannig to think about how providing advantages for our children using resources that may be derived from unearned privilege could impact others’ ability to give their children the same opportunities. She said that educating children about privilege is important for their own understanding.

Professor Jennifer-Webster Cyrique (Dentistry) asked if there are programs that educate people about privilege, and she asked if there are measurable outcomes.

Professor Dickinson replied that the Carolina Women’s Center addresses the issue of privilege in a number of trainings and many professors teach the concept of privilege in their individual classes.

Committee on Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid annual report

Professor Don Hornstein (Law), chair of the Committee on Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid, presented the committee’s annual report. Professor Hornstein announced that Shirley Ort, associate provost and director, is retiring from the Office of Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid.

Professor Hornstein explained that the committee advises the Office of Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid. He said that Carolina is the only public university left in the country that is both need-blind and meets all of its need-based aid commitment. When applicants’ materials are evaluated, their ability to pay is not taken into consideration during the admissions process.

Approximately 11,000 Carolina undergraduates qualify for financial aid. Fifty-seven percent of student aid goes to undergraduates. Forty-three percent of aided students are graduate and professional students. Twenty percent of students receive non-need-based financial aid, mostly merit scholarships. Four in 10 students receive need-based aid. Thirty-seven percent of undergraduate students do not receive any form of financial aid.

Professor Hornstein noted that the Office of Scholarships, Awards and Student Aid disburses over $400 million per year in financial aid. The state contributes $18 million per year. $200 million is federal, $220 million is institutional aid derived from tuition revenue and funds from Carolina’s endowment. Undergraduates receive most of their financial aid in the form of grants rather than loans. For graduate students, most aid is in the form of loans. At other universities, most of the financial aid is given in the form of loans. Carolina ranks high for affordability because of its ability to provide grants to undergraduate students.

One of the ways that Carolina keeps tuition affordable for low-income students is through Pell Grants. Twenty-four percent of students receive Pell Grants. Other sources of aid include outside scholarships, athletic scholarships and merit aid. Professor Hornstein noted that private donations will grow in importance over the next few years as Carolina struggles to meet the full need of its students.

Professor Hornstein said that UNC Development Office has been aggressively fundraising to raise the University’s endowment for scholarships. He said that the Capital Campaign will need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the Carolina Covenant afloat.

The Carolina Covenant was launched in 2004. Carolina became the first university in the country to commit to meeting the full financial need of students who come from families that have incomes within 200 percent of the poverty line. Students who qualify receive grants and work-study aid. In 2006, transfer students became eligible for the Carolina Covenant. In 2008, an uptick in the number of eligible families due to the economic recession put a strain on the program. The poverty rate is still growing and more students are qualifying for the Covenant. North Carolina ranks 13th in the country for high levels of poverty. Over the past ten years, the number of students qualifying for financial aid (not including the Covenant) has grown by 10 percent due to the state’s economic situation and wage stagnation.

Professor Hornstein said that four-year graduation rates for Covenant scholars have markedly improved because of professional development opportunities, mentoring and support provided to Covenant scholars through the Office of Scholarships, Awards and Financial Aid.

Professor Hornstein noted that two of our undergraduates have received Gates Cambridge Scholarships. One of the students is a Morehead-Cain Scholar, and the other is a Covenant Scholar.

The faculty rose in applause in appreciation of Associate Provost Shirley Ort’s work with the Carolina Covenant.

Annual report of the Committee on the Status of Women

Professor Margot Stein (Dentistry), chair of the Committee on the Status of Women, presented the committee’s annual report. She explained that the charge of the committee is to address the ongoing concerns of the women faculty members. The committee began its work in 1973.

Over the past year, the committee has worked closely with other committees that have similar charges such as the Faculty Welfare Committee and the Community and Diversity Committee. She said that the committee has been involved in collaborating with Dr. Clare Counihan from the Carolina Women’s Center on getting support for constructing additional lactation rooms on campus.

Professor Stein said that the committee has requested data on women faculty from the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, but they have faced challenges in obtaining data. The committee recommends hiring a graduate research assistant to research policies at peer institutions regarding a part-time tenure-track option.

The committee has focused their discussions on increasing accountability and transparency across units and departments. They are interested in creating diversity metrics that unit would be held accountable for meeting.

There was no further discussion.

Reports received by title

The Faculty Executive Committee report, filed by Professor Bruce Cairns (Surgery), the Fixed-Term Faculty Report, filed by Professor Nancy Fisher (Medicine) and the Faculty Welfare Committee report, filed by Professor Tim Ives (Pharmacy) were received by title. There were no questions for the committees’ chairs.

Discussion of the report from the Chancellor’s Working Group on Ethics and Integrity

Professor Ferrell invited members of the working group to the front of the room. Professor Jennifer Conrad (Kenan-Flagler Business School), Professor Eric Everett (Dentistry), Professor Terry Rhodes (Music) and Professor Joy Renner (Allied Health) took questions from the Council members.

Professor Jan Hannig (Statistics and Operations Research) said that he is concerned that the Faculty Council voted not to endorse the report at the previous meeting, but the Faculty Executive Committee voted the next day to endorse it. He said that he is not convinced that the University needs a Chief Integrity Officer. He asked why it made sense to have one person in charge of many different kinds of ethics compliance.

Professor Jennifer Conrad (Business) said that after the group inventoried all the available ethics training modules, they came to the conclusion that someone needed to coordinate training across campus and identify gaps in training. The group recommended having not only a Chief Integrity Officer, but Ethics Partners in each department that could act as subject matter experts on ethics resources, training and compliance.

Professor Joy Renner (Allied Health) added that a number of universities around the country had starting creating these positions to help coordinate federal compliance efforts. She said that those institutions found it valuable to have a single place where they could go to find resources.

Professor Eric Everrett (Dentistry) said that both the Ethics and Integrity Working Group and the Policies and Procedures Working Group came to the conclusion that a Chief Integrity Officer would provide a valuable service and resource to faculty.

Professor Ferrell noted that the Faculty Executive Committee acted on its own behalf, not on behalf of the Faculty Council, when it endorsed the report of the Ethics and Integrity Working Group.

Professor Vaughn Upshaw (Government) asked Professor Ferrell to clarify the action that the Faculty Council is being asked to take on the report.

Professor Ferrell said that there is no action under consideration. The Faculty Council is continuing the earlier discussion about the content of the report.

Professor Christopher Willett (Biology) questioned the wording of the suggested ethics statement in the working group’s report. He said that much of the meaning behind the language in the statement is subjective.

Professor Terry Rhodes (Music) said that her understanding is that the ethics statement is a working draft and that more work will be done on fine-tuning the language.

Professor Ferrell noted that the statement has not yet been officially adopted.

Professor Andy Dobelstein (Retired Faculty) said that he is still not clear on where accountability rests for ethics violations.

Professor Conrad said that responsibility for compliance and action rests with individuals. The working group observed the need for more and better quality training of large groups of people. The CIO will help coordinate training. The creation of the CIO position does not absolve individual faculty from responsibility for training and compliance.

Professor Dobelstein asked if training will be centralized or remain diffuse.

Professor Conrad said that training should be at the departmental level and coordinated through ethics partners and liaisons.

Professor Rhodes added that the group believes the CIO can help with consistency in training throughout units.

Professor Renner noted that ethics partners will help educate their colleagues about policies at the unit level.

Professor Ferrell said that the University is a highly decentralized institution that has grown over the years. As a result, Carolina struggles with the balance between creating overarching policies and unit autonomy.

Professor Hannig asked how many of the recommendations in the group’s report came from an outside consultant and how much did the consultant group charge the University.

Professor Renner said that the consultants who assisted the Policies and Procedures Working Group were used to provide benchmarking data to the Ethics and Integrity Working Group. She did not know how much the University paid the consulting group.

Dr. Clare Counihan, faculty programs coordinator in the Carolina Women’s Center, asked what kind of institutional authority the CIO will be given to implement policies.

Professor Rhodes said the group was not clear on that point yet.

Professor Ferrell said that the report and its recommendations are in the chancellor’s hands; she will decide how to implement recommendations of both working groups.

Professor Renner added that the group thought the CIO would oversee an office that could lead independent inquiries when needed and would be positioned to observe trends across units.

Professor Frank Baumgartner (Political Science) asked if the group thinks the University has a problem with ethics and integrity and if the recommendations in the report are the best way to solve those problems.

Professor Everett said that the group found some inconsistent policies in various units. The report is an initial phase of gathering information and looking for ways to increase training and resources.

Professor Eileen Parsons (Education) asked if there are efforts being made to discover the extent of the problem or efforts to generate indicators of ethics violations.

Professor Conrad said that one of the issues was finding that many people across campus were unaware of reporting mechanisms for ethics breaches. Increasing training at the department level would help with reporting violating.

Professor Hannig asked whether the group thought that the academic scandal would have been prevented if we had implemented the group’s recommendations then.

Professor Renner noted that this is one of many efforts that, if enacted earlier, would have alerted the University earlier to improprieties.


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 March 11, 2016 Council meeting.  Check it out for a minute-by-minute overview of what transpired.

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