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Meeting of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

Chancellor Carol Folt and Chancellor’s Advisory Committee Chair Peter Mucha presiding

Friday, September 25, 2015
3:00 p.m.
New Location! Kerr Hall Room 1001 (Eshelman School of Pharmacy)  Map here

Twitter:  Follow @UNCFacGov or use hashtag #FacCouncil

Watch remotely at this link


3:00 Call to Order, Introduction to Features of Room and Introductory Remarks

  • Prof. Joseph Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty
  • Dr. Anne Whisnant, Deputy Secretary of the Faculty
  • Prof. Michael Gerhardt, Vice Chair, Faculty Executive Committee

3:05 Presentation of the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award to Prof. William Andrews

  • Prof. Beverly Taylor reads the citation

3:15 Chancellor Folt presents 2015 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty to:

  • Gabriel S. Dichter, Associate Professor of Psychiatry
  • Wizdom Powell, Associate Professor of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • David A. Nicewicz, Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Jason D. Surratt, Assocate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health

3:20 Chancellor and Provost: Remarks and Question Period

  • Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Jim Dean

3:40 “Diversity Syllabus” Conversation

  • Prof. Rumay Alexander, Chair, Community and Diversity Committee
  • Presentation:  Update on Provost’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity (PowerPoint)
    • Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer

4:10 Committee Response and Vote: Resolution 2015-5. On Composition of the Faculty Athletics Committee (Resolution initially introduced at February 2015 Faculty Council meeting by the Athletics Reform Group; referred to the Committee on University Government

  • Prof. Vin Steponaitis, Chair, Committee on University Government
  • Charts (PowerPoint, also in Response)

4:20 Committee Response and Vote: Resolution 2015-6. On a Task Force to Examine the Implications of Impending Changes in College Sports (Resolution initially introduced at February 2015 Faculty Council meeting by the Athletics Reform Group; referred to the Faculty Executive Committee)

  • Prof. Vin Steponaitis, Member, Faculty Executive Committee

4:35 Annual Reports

  • Faculty Athletics Committee
    • Prof. Joy Renner, Chair

4:50 Other Business:  Vote: Resolution 2015-11. On Support for Academic Freedom and the “Literature of 9/11” Course (Proposed by Prof. Hassan Melehy)

 5:00 Adjourn

Video recording

Journal of proceedings of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

The Faculty Council of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on September 25, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. in Kerr Hall, room 1001.

The following 65 Council members attended: Aikat, Ammerman, Babb, Baumgartner, Beck, Berman, Boettiger Cooney, Caren, Chavis, Day, Provost Dean, Divaris, Dobelstein (Retired Faculty representative), Dolan, Drake, Edwards, Ferrell, Filene (Undergraduate representative), Chancellor Folt, Fry, Furry, Gerhardt, Gilchrist, Gilligan, Giovanello, Gucsavas-Calikoglu, Hall, Halladay, Hannig, Hill, Irons, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Koonce, A. Levine, C. Levine, Livingston (Graduate representative), Loehr, Melehy, Metz, Miller, Moracco, Moreton, Nelson, Palmer, Parise, Persky, Platts-Mills, Polk, Pruvost, Pukkila, Ramaswamy, Rial, Savasta-Kennedy, Segars, Steponaitis, Sturm, Thompson, Thompson Dorsey, Upshaw, Wallace, Webster-Cyriaque, Weight and Welty.

The following four members participated via teleconference: Cook, Larson, Porto and Willett.

Members absent with excuse: Able, Anthony, Beltran Lopez, Birckhead, Cairns, Chapman, Cox, Cravey (AAUP representative), Cuddeback, Estigarribia, Fisher, Gulledge, Hart, Hobbs, Kang, Kim, Kris, Mauro, McBride, Neta, Osterweil, Perelmuter, Salyer, Stavas, Tepper, Thorpe, Viera, Williams and You.

Members absent without excuse: Driscoll (AAUP representative) and Mitran.

Call to order

Professor Joseph Ferrell, secretary of the faculty, called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. He invited Dr. Anne Whisnant, deputy secretary of the faculty, to provide an overview of the technical features of the new meeting location. Professor Peter Mucha (Mathematics), chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, presided over the meeting in Professor Bruce Cairns’ absence.


Professor Michael Gerhardt (School of Law) gave an update on Professor Bruce Cairns’ health. He reported plans for a joint meeting with the Faculty Executive Committee and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee to determine how to move forward in Professor Cairns’ temporary absence while he recovers from a heart attack.

Presentation of the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award

Chancellor Carol Folt recognized Professor Beverly Taylor (English and Comparative Literature) and invited her to read a citation in honor of Professor Bill Andrews (English and Comparative Literature), the 2015 winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award. (See the award citation in Appendix A.)

Professor Andrews thanked the faculty for honoring him with the Thomas Jefferson Award. He said that his work aims to amplify the voices and narratives of African Americans, and he was grateful for the recognition.

Presentation of the 2015 Hettleman Prizes

Chancellor Carol Folt presented the 2015 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty to David A. Nicewicz (Chemistry), Wizdom Powell (School of Public Health), Gabriel S. Dichter (Psychiatry) and Jason D. Surratt (School of Public Health). Professor Dichter and Professor Surratt joined Chancellor Folt at the front of the room and graciously accepted their awards.

Chancellor’s and Provost’s remarks and question period

The chancellor updated the faculty on a number of initiatives across campus including UNC Core, a program to assist veterans and military service members; Core at UNC, a new space for arts and sciences; and a recent $20 million Coastal Resilience grant. She reminded the faculty that Carolina set a historical record for annual fundraising in the past year.

Chancellor Folt reported that she traveled over the summer and spoke about college accessibility and affordability at the National Press Club. She attended a conference in Stockholm, Sweden where she met renowned physicist Steven Hawking. She noted that Professor Hawking wore a Carolina scarf to meet with the king of Sweden.

The chancellor reported that 45 percent of this year’s cohort of Carolina students currently receives need-based aid, while 6 percent receive merit-based aid. Chancellor Folt stressed the importance of affordability and need-based aid for making UNC-Chapel Hill attainable for most of our students. Fourteen percent of need-based aid this year has been distributed to Carolina Covenant scholars. The University admitted 1,800 new graduate students this year.

Chancellor Folt gave a brief update on the outcome of this year’s legislative session. She reported that Berryhill Hall will receive funding for expansion and renovations, and the medical scholars program will receive several million dollars to assist with healthcare services in rural areas. She reported that the legislature has granted a carryforward allowance of five percent from last fiscal year’s budget to this year’s.

The chancellor said that she expects budget cuts again around  $4 to $7 million this year and possibly $10-$15 million next year. Despite having the flexibility to give salary increases, there are no additional funds available for that purpose. The chancellor said that salary increases would have to come from budget reallocations. In addition to budget challenges, the chancellor raised the possibility of a $5-$6 million reduction in federal aid disbursements due to cuts to Perkins loans. While philanthropy has increased, she noted that there are looming challenges to affordability.

Chancellor Folt said that the administration is preparing a Request for Proposals (RFP) from outside entities to take over Student Stores operations. She emphasized that no decision about privatization had been made yet. She said that Follett had sent an unsolicited proposal promising $4 million per year in revenue that could be used for student scholarships.

The chancellor mentioned that several other activities are underway that are led by various groups that are analyzing data from a recent survey on campus sexual assault, formulating recommendations on ethics and integrity, and conducting an audit of existing policies and procedures.

The chancellor briefly noted that a 9/11 exhibit traveling across the country recently stopped in Chapel Hill. The exhibit was unrelated to recent controversies over Professor Neel Ahuja’s course that explores literature written about the tragedies that occurred on September 11, 2001. Provost Jim Dean added that other universities are currently facing increased scrutiny from the media about course content.

Professor Deborah Stroman (School of Business) asked the chancellor to comment on leadership changes in the College and professional schools.

Chancellor Folt said that universities have always been places of continuous change. She said that they are looking for visionary and consensus-building leadership. She wants those leaders to have mentoring opportunities and time to adjust in their roles.

Professor Mucha asked the presenters to be mindful of time constraints. He introduced Professor Rumay Alexander (School of Nursing), chair of the Community and Diversity Committee, to provide an overview of the committee’s upcoming activities for Faculty Council.

Community and Diversity Committee update on diversity syllabus

Professor Rumay Alexander (School of Nursing), chair of the Community and Diversity Committee, led the Faculty Council in a discussion about inclusion and diversity. She asked the Faculty Council members to remember a time when they felt different from others and how that made them feel, and she asked them to keep that feeling in mind during upcoming discussions about diversity and inclusion.

Professor Alexander explained that the Community and Diversity Committee met over the summer to continue their work and to plan discussions at the monthly Faculty Council meetings. The committee discussed how diverse the University is and how much diversity is desired. She quoted the liberal philosopher John Rawls who famously said that a just society would be one in which people would feel comfortable entering it in a random place.

She noted that Dan Ariely’s research found that most people do not want to live in a totally egalitarian society. He identified a knowledge gap, a desirability gap and an action gap that prevents people from making social change. The work of the Community and Diversity Committee this year will focus on filing the knowledge gap surrounding issues of diversity and inclusion at monthly Faculty Council meetings.

Professor Alexander explained that the committee’s long-term goals are to create a more diverse and inclusive mix of students, faculty and staff. She described the concept of “inclusive excellence” as a process in which diversity, equity and inclusion is integrated into leadership practices, daily operations, strategic planning, decision-making, resource allocation and priorities. She introduced Dr. Taffye Benson Clayton, associate vice chancellor for diversity and multicultural affairs and chief diversity officer, to provide an update on the Provost’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity.

Update on Provost’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity 

Dr. Clayton presented an overview of the definitions of inclusive excellence and diversity at Carolina. She noted that the definition of diversity is broad, encompassing, visible and invisible. Inclusion requires intentional efforts to promote diversity to realize educational benefits across all segments of campus. Dr. Clayton explained that she often refers to “inclusive and differential” strategies, which describe efforts to hone in on particular demographic segments of the campus population and provide services specific to the needs of those populations.

Dr. Clayton described the concept of “inclusive excellence” as an approach that interweaves diversity throughout all institutional practices as a part of achieving excellence and success.

The Provost’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Diversity (PCIED) has about 35 members appointed by leaders across the campus. They are charged with reviewing the campus landscape and recommending practices to enhance diversity. The PCIED has used inclusive excellence model to identify five big ideas with regard to diversity: communications, leadership, strategy, education and dialogue. Dr. Clayton said that the work of the committee is available at

The PCIED is working on drafting a number of white papers on the “big ideas” topics along with recommendations to send to the chancellor and provost. Dr. Clayton invited the faculty to visit to learn more about the work of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. She announced that Carolina had recently been awarded the 2015 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from Insight into Diversity Magazine.

Resolution 2015-5. On composition of the Faculty Athletics Committee

Professor Vin Steponaitis (Archaeology and Anthropology), chair of the University Government Committee, explained that the Athletics Reform Group and Professor Harry Watson (History) had proposed a resolution last year that would change the composition of the Faculty Athletics Committee to guarantee that a certain number of seats were reserved for faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. The resolution was referred to his committee for further discussion.

Professor Steponaitis recommended that the General Faculty vote against the original resolution. He reported that the University Government Committee studied past committee compositions and looked at the members’ departments’ undergraduate teaching and advising records. They found that over the last 20 years, roughly half of the members have come from the College and a quarter of the members have come from other schools and departments that teach undergraduates.

Professor Steponaitis said that there are three reasons the committee decided to recommend that the General Faculty not adopt the resolution. First, he said that requiring a certain number of seats to be reserved for College faculty would require voting in slates, which would cause College faculty to run against each other and may have the unintended consequence of limiting the number of College faculty who could achieve election. Second, he said that the committee has traditionally had a large number of College faculty so the University Government Committee did not see a problem with lack of representation from the College. Finally, he said that the Faculty Athletics Committee opposes adoption of the resolution because non-College members bring important expertise and experience related to athletics that enhances their knowledge and understanding of athletics issues.

Professor Ferrell asked for discussion or debate on the original resolution.

Professor Harry Watson (History) said that when the Athletics Reform Group proposed the resolution they were concerned that the committee was making decisions with outcomes that primarily impact instruction in the College. He said academically-troubled athletes are concentrated in academic departments in the College and faculty should have a greater voice in decision-making.

Professor Hassan Melehy (Romance Studies) said that the Committee on Special Talent is appointed with apportioned representation. He asked what the difference is in electing a committee in slates and appointing a committee in slates.

Professor Steponaitis explained that when elected committees have apportioned seats, the Nominating Committee has to run twice the number of faculty for for each seat to be filled by election. He added that the Committee on Special Talent is not a standing committee of the faculty; instead, it is an appointed subcommittee of the Undergraduate Admissions Advisory Committee.

Professor Andrew Perrin (Sociology) asked the faculty to vote against the proposed resolution on the grounds that issues related to underperforming student-athletes represent a small portion of the Athletics’ Committees’ agenda. He believes that the best faculty for the job should be elected rather than faculty from specific units.

The resolution was defeated.

Resolution 2015-6. On a task force to examine the implications of impending changes in college sports 

Professor Vin Steponaitis presented a substitute resolution for Resolution 2015-6 that was originally introduced by Professor Jay Smith (History) on behalf of the Athletics Reform Group. He explained that the substitute resolution retains some elements of the original resolution. It proposes a campus-wide conversation on the academic implications of the impending changes to college sport. The Faculty Athletics Committee, chair of the faculty and president of the student body will appoint members to the new committee charged with organizing the conversations.

Professor Ferrell explained that if the faculty adopt the substitute resolution, then the original resolution will be disposed of. If the faculty reject the substitute resolution, the question will then be the adoption of the original resolution.

Professor Jay Smith (History) said that he thought it was odd to comprise a committee to organize conversations but not allow it to make recommendations.

Professor Ferrell responded that the language in the resolution does not prohibit the new committee from making recommendations.

Professor Harry Watson (History) explained that the original resolution came from the SACS letter that noted a failure of faculty governance with regard to athletics. The original resolution requested a new body to take a look at athletics issues on campus. He asked the faculty to vote for the original resolution.

Professor Joy Renner (Allied Health Sciences), chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee, said that the Faculty Athletics Committee wants to ensure that the conversation continues about changes in college sports into the future. She said that the athletics committee wanted to host campus-wide conversations and bring in new voices, and the substitute resolution allows for inclusive discussion. In addition, she added that the Faculty Athletics Committee has asked the Committee on University Government to expand the number of members  of the committee to 12 (there are now nine).

Professor Melehy asked what the term lengths are for the members of the proposed committee.

Professor Steponaitis responded that the work of the committee would be completed by the end of June 2017.

Professor Renner clarified her earlier comments and said that the Faculty Athletics Committee would like the committee to be renewed every year, but that this iteration of the committee would get the conversations started.

Professor Andrew Dobelstein (Retired Faculty) said that the retired faculty felt hurt by the findings in the Wainstein Report because of the “slack in the system.” He said that the Faculty Athletics Committee seemed to ignore the cheating. He said that bringing new perspectives to the table is a good idea, and he opposes the substitute resolution.

Professor Erianne Weight (Exercise and Sport Science) said that the substitute resolution asks for discussion and healing. She said that the composition of the new committee would allow the conversation to be inclusive and helpful for faculty governance.

The substitute resolution was adopted 51-8.

Faculty Athletics Committee and Faculty Athletics Representative annual reports

Professor Joy Renner, chair of the Faculty Athletics Committee, yielded her time to Professor Lissa Broome (Law). She will present the Faculty Athletics Committee report at another Faculty Council meeting.

Professor Broome, faculty athletics representative, said that in the past year she worked on the NCAA notice of allegations and prepared for the upcoming SACS visit. She shared information that showed a decrease in the number of students who have been admitted through the Committee on Special Talents over the past 14 years. The decrease is the result of new criteria for admission based on predicted academic success.

Professor Broome highlighted some changes to the structure of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes (ASPSA). She noted that student-athletes are now advised in the Academic Advising Program (AAP) instead of ASPSA. There is a working group on academic processes as they impact the experiences of student-athletes. That group is launching their findings via a website. There has been review of enrollment and grade patterns of student-athletes each semester.

Student-athletes have been incorporated into working groups and the Faculty Athletics Committee. Student-athletes will participate in ACC committee and NCAA Board of Directors, council and committees. The Faculty Athletics Committee has been holding open athletics forums for faculty.

The FAR is selected by the chancellor to represent Carolina before the ACC and NCAA, as well as to advise the chancellor and athletics director on ACC and NCAA legislation. She works closely with the Faculty Athletics Committee as an ex officio member. Professor Broome presented some data regarding NCAA academic performance metrics.

Resolution 2015-11. On support for academic freedom and the “Literature of 9/11” course 

Professor Hassan Melehy (Romance Studies) presented a resolution endorsing the academic integrity of Professor Neel Ahuja’s literature course and reaffirming the faculty’s commitment to academic freedom.

There was no discussion or debate. The resolution was adopted unanimously.


Having completed its business, the General Faculty and Faculty Council adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathryn Turner
Faculty Programs Specialist

Joseph S. Ferrell
Secretary of the Faculty

Appendix A: 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award Citation: William L. Andrews

William L. Andrews, the E. Maynard Adams Professor of English & Comparative Literature, nobly incarnates the values represented by the Thomas Jefferson Award.  In 1996 returning as a distinguished professor to the department where he had earned his PhD, he intended to devote himself to his scholarship after directing the Humanities Center at the University of Kansas.  Always a remarkably productive scholar, he has nevertheless repeatedly subordinated his own work to leadership roles on our campus.  He chaired the Department of English for four years, then served as Senior Associate Dean for the Fine Arts and Humanities for seven.  In 2009-11 he co-chaired the massive endeavor to develop and write UNC’s five-year academic plan.

It would be difficult to overstate the magnitude of his investment in the University and all its citizens—staff, students, and faculty—as a Senior Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, most especially during the worst of the budget crisis erupting seven years ago.  Not merely keeping the ship afloat, he raised funds for new initiatives, including large interdisciplinary grants from the Mellon Foundation that have supported graduate fellowships, faculty research, and visionary collaborative opportunities such as the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program (MEMS) and the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative.

Andrews’s abundant, seminal scholarship in African American literature and culture deserves special recognition.  He entered the developing field early, when it took notable courage and commitment to the field’s importance for a white scholar to establish himself as an undisputed leader.  He focused attention on slave narratives when few understood the cultural and literary importance of this unrecognized body of work.  His archival research made an invaluable trove of previously unavailable slave narratives accessible to the world through UNC’s Documenting the American South web archive.  A recent national conference of the premier interdisciplinary organization for 19th-century American studies devoted a panel to the slave narrative in order to honor Bill Andrews’s groundbreaking scholarship.  With his customary modesty, he deflected the praise of six distinguished panelists who credited his work for making their own possible.  Dismissing his many academic accolades, Bill described the one tribute he treasures as a testament that his work matters.  A member of a small Southern church, a woman who owned the only computer in a congregation of about 100, thanked Bill Andrews for making available to her and the 25 children in the congregation a rich segment of their history.

His reach beyond academia, the role of his work in restoring a heritage of triumphs and meaning to a race too often reminded of bitter defeat and marginalization, reveal that Bill Andrews has extended the vision of Jeffersonian democracy to include people whom Jefferson himself was unable to include fully in the grace of America.

Bravo, Bill Andrews, inspirational leader and scholar!

Storify Summary of Tweets Covering Council Meeting

We’ve published a “Storify” summary of the (mostly) live-tweets covering the September 25, 2015 Council meeting.  Check it out for a minute-by-minute overview of what transpired.


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