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Meeting of the General Faculty and Faculty Council

Chancellor Carol Folt and Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns presiding

Friday, April 21, 2017
3:00 p.m. in Kerr Hall Room 2001 (Eshelman School of Pharmacy)

Link to livestream:


3:00 p.m.  Chair of the Faculty remarks

3:10 p.m. Chancellor’s and Provost’s remarks

  • Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Jim Dean

3:30 p.m. Faculty elections report and faculty remembrances

3:40 p.m. Educational Policy Committee annual report and resolutions

4:00 p.m. Diversity Syllabus: Strategic Update

  • Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington

4:25 p.m. Center for Faculty Excellence update

  • Professor Erin Malloy and June Merlino, leadership and faculty development coordinator

4:40 p.m. Committee reports accepted by title:

4:45 p.m. Ceremonial resolutions

4:50 p.m. CLOSED SESSION: Special report from the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee

  • Approval of 2018 Honorary Degree nominees (ONYEN login required)
    • Professor Vin Steponaitis, secretary of the faculty, on behalf of the Honorary Degrees and Special Awards Committee

5:00 p.m. Adjourn

Journal of Proceedings of the Faculty Council and General Faculty

The Faculty Council and General Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill convened on April 21, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. in Kerr Hall, room 2001 at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

The following 52 members attended: Ammerman, Anksorus, Arnold, Babb, Baumgartner, Berkowitz, Brewster, Cuddeback, Daughters, Dobelstein, Duqum, Estrada, Filene, Chancellor Folt, Fry, Furry, Gilland, Hastings, Hobbs, Ives, Jones, Joyner, Khan, Kim, Kireev, Koonce, Larson, Levine, Levine, Lithgow, Malloy, Mayer-Davis, McBride, Melehy, Nelson, Parise, Pruvost, Pukkila, Renner, Salyer, Scarlett, Song, Steponaitis (Secretary of the Faculty), Sturm, Tepper, Thompson Dorsey, Tuggle, Upshaw, Wallace, Weight, Willet, and Williams

The following 24 members received excused absences: Ansong, Berman, Boettiger Cooney, Cairns (Chair of the Faculty), Felix, Fisher, Giovanello, Halladay, Hannig, Hill, Hunter, Kang, Kris, Lee, Lundberg, Mauro, Moracco, Neta, Perelmuter, Persky, Platts-Mills, Thorpe, Yaqub, and You

The following 28 members were absent without excuse: Aikat, Chapman, Cox, Coyne-Beasley, Drake, Edwards, Estigarribia, Gilchrist, Hall, Jonathan, Hornstein, Hunter, Kris, Mayer, Metz, Meyer, Mizzy, Oehler, Osterweil, Ramaswamy, Savasta-Kennedy, Welty, and Zvara

Others in attendance: Provost Dean, Filene (Undergraduate Representative), Jaramillo (Graduate Representative), and Rubin (Undergraduate Representative)

Call to order

Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis called the meeting to order.

Chair of Faculty remarks

Chair of the Faculty Bruce Cairns has been fighting a respiratory infection all week. Secretary of the Faculty Vin Steponaitis filled in for him during this meeting. Professor Cairns asked Professor Steponaitis to read a few remarks on his behalf. He apologized for his inability to attend the meeting and thanked Professor Steponaitis for reading his remarks to the Council. He said it has been his honor to serve as Chair of the Faculty, the last three years have been one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding times to serve on the Faculty Council. Faculty Council has addressed many issues over the past three years, not just the 70 reforms we put in place, but our role as leaders at the University. He asked the Council to look at the things Faculty Governance has accomplished over the past three years.

Professor Cairns said that we have faced our challenges head on and in the face of criticism. We are living up to our commitment to the people represented in our state motto “Esse Quam Videri,” to be rather than to seem. The University motto is “Lux et Libertas.” Professor Cairns said that UNC must be the institution that provides light and liberty for all. It is only with this commitment to service that we truly fulfill our obligation to the University.

Professor Cairns thanked the faculty for their service. He also thanked Chancellor Folt and Provost Dean for their leadership and the Board of Trustees for their service and support. Professor Cairns thanked Joe Ferrell, Vin Steponaitis, Katie Turner, and the Office of Faculty Governance for their support. He thanked his wife Ellen, the rest of his family, Professor Ron Strauss, Professor Eunice Sahle, and Chancellor Carol Folt for their support in his greatest time of need. Since he could not be present to thank everyone in person, he asked everyone to thank the people around them for their service. Professor Steponaitis said that he has worked closely with Professor Cairns over the past three years. He said there was not a week that went by in which Bruce’s leadership, skill, and love for the University did not shine through.

Provost’s Remarks

Provost Jim Dean thanked the Faculty Council for their service. He said he and the chancellor are thankful for the talent and dedication of the faculty. The University awarded 25 faculty members with teaching awards. Over 500 faculty members were nominated. The University awarded various students, faculty, and staff with diversity awards for their work in adding to and enhancing the mission of diversity. They also recently conferred awards for engaged scholarship, teaching, and service.

Provost Dean said the number of people willing to run for office in the annual faculty elections speaks to the willingness of faculty to contribute to the broader enterprise. Each month he receives a report from the Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure Committee. He said the caliber of people coming into the University and those who are promoted display the high standards of the University and the diligent work of the people making these decisions. The caliber of service displayed during the annual graduate student awards ceremony reflects on the faculty who support and mentor students. Provost Dean quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech: “even though we face the difficulties of today, and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” He said we not only have a dream, but we are living that dream–the dream of the great global public university. Provost Dean said he is privileged to be a part of the University.

Chancellor’s Remarks

Chancellor Folt said Professor Cairns’ and Provost Dean’s comments were wonderful. She thanked Professor Steponaitis and the Office of Faculty Governance for doing a fantastic job. Chancellor Folt thanked Professor Cairns for his sense of humor, grace, and service to others. Being a doctor and healer, he brought that sense of caring to Faculty Council. Chancellor Folt said that Professor Cairns is special to all of us.

Chancellor Folt thanked Professor Leslie Parise (Biochemistry and Biophysics) and Professor Lloyd Kramer (History) for running for Chair of the Faculty. She looks forward to working with Professor Parise.

Chancellor Folt said over the past four years, Carolina has gone through many difficult situations. She saw coalitions of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members working together. The University hosted National Science Foundation’s “NSF Day.” Senator Richard Burr fought for this event to be hosted at the University. People from NSF talked to the junior faculty about how to develop research proposals. Senator Burr attended this event and talked about the importance of basic research. He has been one of our champions. Senator Burr and Senator Thom Tillis were two of the strongest supporters for the $2 billion dollar increase to NIH. Chancellor Folt said we have a delegation that will help us explain the importance of funding for research and student aid.

UNC Horizons recently opened a new facility that houses women recovering from various substance abuse disorders. This facility utilizes a new way of treatment that includes both the mother and the children. This initiative represents the coming together of the University, the Town of Chapel Hill, and the State, which provided the funding for the facility.

Chancellor Folt said there is uncertainty about next year’s budget. She said they would be reaching out to the Faculty Council as they try to pair individual schools, departments, and faculty with local regions in the State to help our legislators understand the impact of the budget.

She thanked everyone who worked on the 10-year reaffirmation process. The products of that process including the Quality Enhancement Program are tremendous. She said these products are helpful as we talk about strategic planning and fundraising. They help people understand why we are trying to invest in certain parts of the University. Chancellor Folt echoed Provost Dean and Professor Cairns by emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion. Professor Cairns and Professor Rumay Alexander had the idea of including a diversity session during the Faculty Council meetings over the past two years. She is proud of the work that has been done, and she looks forward to seeing the Faculty Council in the fall.

Professor Amy Levine (Medicine) said that last year the faculty did not know the Faculty Council meeting dates were until mid-June. She wanted to know if the dates for the Faculty Council meetings could be released earlier. Professor Steponaitis said the dates for next year’s Faculty Council meetings are already set, and the dates will be broadcasted before the end of the year. Each meeting will be held on a consistent basis, the same Friday of each month.

Chancellor Folt said it was fun winning a national championship. She was thrilled that when asked what mattered most to them, Kennedy Meeks and Justin Jackson talked about how important their education at Carolina is to them.

Faculty elections report and faculty remembrances

Professor Steponaitis thanked the Office of Faculty Governance staff — Katie Turner, Shari Neal, and Kadejah Murray — for the work they did to make the elections possible. They only encountered a few minor problems. Professor Steponaitis said that over 50 percent of eligible faculty voted. This is the second highest voter turnout in recent history. He said this is a testament to the strength of faculty governance on campus and the hard work of the staff in organization and publicity. There were two divisions with over 70 percent voter turnout, the Division of Fine Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Government. Professor Leslie Parise (Biochemistry and Biophysics) will serve as Chair of the Faculty. Professor Steponaitis said he was grateful to everyone who agreed to run. He congratulated Professor Parise and thanked Professor Kramer.

Professor Parise said she is humbled and honored that she was elected as Chair of the Faculty. She thanked everyone for their support going forward. She said that Professor Cairns would leave big shoes to fill. She thanked Lloyd Kramer and said she has great admiration for him and hopes she can call on him for advice. She thanked Katie Turner and Professor Steponaitis for the work they did behind the scenes. She also thanked everyone who voted, regardless of who they voted for. She said she could not wait to work with the Faculty Council. She also looks forward to working with campus leaders. She said that it takes hard work and strategic planning to keep UNC a great place, and she will do her best.

Professor Steponaitis thanked all the candidates who ran for office.

Faculty remembrances

Professor Steponaitis presented a slide show made by Professor Cary Levine (Art History) in remembrance of faculty members who have passed away. The faculty observed a moment of silence.

Educational Policy Committee annual report

Professor Kristin Reiter (Public Health), chair of the Educational Policy Committee, said she will be passing off the role of committee chair to Professor Gershun Avilez (English and Comparative Literature) and Professor David Garcia (Music). She thanked her colleagues from the committee. She also thanked a few of the consultants that attended the meetings: Professor Abigail Panter, senior associate dean for undergraduate education; Christy Samford, senior associate registrar; Allison Legge, interim registrar; Chris Derickson, former university registrar; Nick Siedentop, curriculum director for undergraduate curricula; and others in academic advising. She presented two resolutions on behalf of the committee.

Resolution 2017-5. On Final Examinations

Professor Reiter explained that the Office of Undergraduate Curricula came to the Educational Policy Committee with some proposed revisions to the final exam policy as a result of questions that have been raised by the faculty. A subcommittee studied the policy and made some substantive changes. They clarified that the policy applies to all undergraduate courses. They defined what the policy meant by “traditional examination.” The policy previously defined “traditional examination” as a written assessment, but due to technological innovation and changes in teaching policies, it is now defined as an assessment that occurs during the final exam period. The last change clarifies that instructors must allocate three hours for the final exam. Professor Reiter said they tried to allow as much faculty discretion as possible around the form, content, and function of the exam.

Professor Christopher Willet (Biology) said he heard from a number of faculty members in the biology department that were concerned that a three hour exam is longer than what is necessary to assess students on the content of the course. The faculty were concerned that teaching assistants and professors would be wasting time.

Professor Reiter said they have not specified that the final exam must take three hours. The three hours allocated for the exam are a part of the University’s academic calendar and the required instructional time under the federal definition of a credit hour. The three hours have to be used for either instructional time or the final exam.

Professor Heidi Anksorus (Pharmacy) said another thing to consider with the three-hour exam period is accommodations for students who get time and a half and double time. The policy could have the effect of requiring a potential six-hour time block.

Professor Reiter said they did consider that, but the committee could not find a way to get around the requirement. She said the committee did not want to infringe on the faculty freedom to design their exams in the way they feel most appropriate for the course, but to specify the requirement that the three hours of instructional time be kept in the semester.

Professor Jennifer Arnold (Psychology and Neuroscience) asked if the policy applies to first-year seminars.

Professor Reiter said the policy applies to all undergraduate courses, except first-year seminars and English 105. She asked Professor Abigail Panter if they need to revise the policy because she is not sure if that is clear in the policy.

Professor Megan Williams (Pharmacy) said that the policy states the exam must take place in a designated place in Chapel Hill. She asked if students have to be in Chapel Hill for online classes.

Professor Reiter said that online courses are exempt.

Professor Frank Baumgartner (Political Science) asked Professor Reiter to clarify how the long the final assessment must be.

Professor Reiter said that faculty have to use the three hours as instructional time, which can include a final exam that takes three hours or just three hours of instructional time. Certain courses do not give traditional final exams when student teaching is a requirement. The policy specifies that those courses must use the three-hour final exam period for instructional time.

Resolution 2017-5 passed unanimously.

Resolution 2017-6. On Reporting Course Enrollments.

Professor Reiter said the Registrar’s Office was concerned that the Undergraduate Catalog said students must seek permission to enroll in a course that they have already attempted, but the policy is not enforced. Students are only allowed to retake a course if there are specific circumstances. Students who need a minimum required grade to move forward in a major or need the course as a prerequisite for another course may retake a course. The committee tried to align this policy with practice. A student can only receive credit toward graduation for a course once, regardless of the number of times they attempt the course. The credit is earned for the attempt with the highest passing grade. The grade received from each attempt of the course will count towards the student’s grade point average. The committee simplified the policy to reflect the information the students need to know.

Resolution 2017-6 passed unanimously.

Professor Reiter thanked Katie Turner for assisting the Educational Policy Committee throughout the year.

Professor Steponaitis said faculty often ask him what the Faculty Council does. He went over this year’s record and the Faculty Council passed resolutions on educational policy, which is one of the key functions of the Council; amended the Instrument of Student Judicial Governance; changed the titles for fixed-term faculty; and weighed in on the issue of guns on campus. The work of the Educational Policy Committee, other committees, and Faculty Council has led to many material improvements that help us move forward.

Professor Joy Renner (Medicine) said that Resolution 2017-6 is a critical policy that needs to be included in transfer student information. She has many advisees who attended Universities that had policies, which allowed students to retake a course, and the lowest grade would be dropped. They are surprised when they get to UNC and find out that all grades stay on the transcript. This is important information to include in transfer orientation.

Diversity Syllabus: Strategic Update

Felicia Washington, vice chancellor of workforce strategy, equity, and engagement, said Professor Rumay Alexander, Vice Chancellor Winston Crisp, and she have been working hard on a new diversity and inclusion framework. Last fall, Chancellor Folt asked them whether the University was appropriately structured so everyone in the community can feel a sense of belonging while they are at UNC.

Vice Chancellor Washington said Chancellor Folt’s questions came after student rallies in the community, town hall meetings hosted by the University, and discussions surrounding the need for more development and education centered on teaching across difference following House Bill 2. Staff said they wanted more development around how they can keep professionalism in the work place, while at the same time having the right to express their ideas. They found that there was no single office on campus that was structured to meet those requests. They were charged with learning the work and resources of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA), building on the strengths of DMA, considering other programs centered on diversity, and creating a comprehensive diversity and inclusion infrastructure.

Kathy Bryant, senior director of HR communications and talent development, demonstrated the new University Office of Diversity and Inclusion website. This website was developed based on feedback from diversity liaisons, DMA staff, and student groups. She walked everyone through the “Access & Success,” “Education & Development,” “Programs & Awards,” and “Research & Resource” sections of the website.

Professor Steponaitis asked Vice Chancellor Washington to talk about the division of labor between the central diversity office and the other units in the diversity space.

Vice Chancellor Washington said they have not added more people into the office structure. A staff member will work on faculty and staff engagement. There will also be a point of contact for students. There will be more synergy, rather than having various units putting on similar programs. Since units will be working with the Chief Diversity Officer, they will have an opportunity to discuss events and programs happening each month. She said things would get done more effectively and efficiently, with fewer resources.

Center for Faculty Excellence update                                

Professor Erin Malloy, director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, said she is excited to be able to talk to the Faculty Council. There were over 200 attendees at the annual Faculty Showcase on Teaching. During this showcase, they laid some groundwork for integrating coursework and cross-disciplinary work together in teaching and learning. There was also a speed learning session where people from different departments got to know each other and think through different ideas. The Center for Faculty Excellence offers initiatives for teaching and learning, and research development. Professor Malloy said there are a number of new grants, and she congratulated the recipients of the large course redesign grants. The Center is dedicated to mentoring and faculty development. One of the projects they are currently working on is an annual review toolkit.

June Merlino, leadership and faculty development coordinator, said that she will facilitate a short exercise to engage the Faculty Council in how the Center for Faculty Excellence does leadership development. Leadership is not about a position; it is a process and an action. All interactions are about relationships. June Merlino passed out a worksheet that asked each Faculty Council member how they define leadership skills, in the areas of teaching, learning, leading research teams, and service.

The faculty listed the following qualities faculty need to lead in the classroom: confidence in their message, the capacity to connect with students, recognizing different learning styles, being entertaining, making sure your ego is in check, having a sense of humor, finding a balance between teaching and letting students find information by themselves, the ability to detect verbal and nonverbal cues, having a passion and curiosity for the topic, being open to disagreement, and having honest dialogue.

The faculty listed the following qualities faculty need to lead research teams: listening and patience, motivating people towards independence and expression of their own talents, and listening before acting.

The faculty listed the following qualities faculty need for professional and leadership skills for service: valuing others and following through on what you agree to do.

June Merlino said her vision is to be known as an innovator within leadership development and to demystify what leadership is about. She believes it’s about people intensive interaction skills. The Center for Faculty Excellence created a framework for faculty leadership and development that focuses on faculty self-awareness, cultivation of relationships, and faculty in higher education.

Committee reports by title

The Community and Diversity Committee annual report, University Committee on Copyright annual report, Fixed-Term Faculty Committee annual report, Administrative Board of the Library annual report, and retired faculty representative report were accepted by title.

Ceremonial resolutions

The General Faculty suspended the rules with a two-thirds vote to introduce two ceremonial resolutions.

The first was Resolution 2017-7, In Appreciation of Charles Streeter’s Service as Chair of the Employee Forum. Professor Steponaitis read the resolution aloud. The resolution passed unanimously, followed by a round of applause.

Professor Benny Joyner (Medicine) said he considers Bruce Cairns a wonder mentor, teacher, and now colleague and friend. He presented the Resolution 2017-8, On Appreciation for Bruce A. Cairns’ Service as Chair of the Faculty, 2014-17. The resolution passed unanimously, followed by a round of applause.


Its business having been completed, the Council adjourned at 5:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kadejah Murray
Student Assistant

Vincas P. Steponaitis
Secretary of the Faculty



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