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Faculty Governance News

vol. 3.10

January 28, 2009

From the UNC Office of Faculty Governance
200-204 Carr Building
UNC-CH Campus
Contact:  Anne M. Whisnant (

Educational Policy Committee presents draft grading analysis at January 16 Faculty Council meeting

The Educational Policy Committee, a standing committee of the faculty established by the Faculty Code, presented its annual report at the January 16 Faculty Council meeting.  Included was a brief discussion of a new analysis of trends in grading at Carolina done by a subcommittee of the EPC headed by Prof. Donna Gilleskie of the economics department.  The analysis was done in compliance with the EPC’s annual charge to report to the Faculty Council about grading practices at the university.  Gilleskie’s committee offered the following summary of its findings (p9):

In summary, grades assigned in classes at UNC-CH have continued to rise over time. The rate of increase has eased in the past couple of years, but this is probably due at least in part to compression, since it is impossible to issue a grade higher than A. This pattern points to three related, but distinct, issues:

1.    Grade inflation: to the extent that similar quality work tends to be awarded higher grades in later years, UNC is experiencing grade inflation.

2.    Grade compression: to the extent that continuously improving student performance cannot receive grades higher than A due to the nature of the grading scale, UNC is experiencing grade compression.

3.    Grade inequality: to the extent that different departments and/or instructors assign different grades for similar performance, UNC is experiencing systematic grading inequality.

The complete draft report can be read by clicking the appropriate link under “Past Reports” on the EPC’s page on the Faculty Governance website.  The committee will present its final report at the April Faculty Council meeting.

Additionally, data on grading at the university may be found at the Registrar’s website, here:

Faculty elections season begins soon; new Faculty Chair to be chosen

The annual elections for the faculty’s leadership will take place in April.  In addition to choosing members for the Faculty Council and faculty committees, members of the Voting Faculty will also select a new Chair of the Faculty this year.  Candidates for Chair will be announced soon.  Meanwhile, Voting Faculty members will receive a survey by email in early February in which they can indicate an interest in serving on one of the eleven elected or thirteen appointed standing faculty committees.  The faculty Nominating Committee will select a slate of candidates for all offices in late February.

If you have questions about the faculty elections process, please contact either Secretary of the Faculty Joe Ferrell ( or Anne Whisnant ( in the Faculty Governance office or call 962-1671.

In 2008, 800 of 3294 eligible voting faculty members cast ballots, for a turnout rate of 24%.  This level of participation represented an upswing from previous years, and we hope to encourage even greater participation this year!

Priority Registration Advisory Committee (PRAC) begins work for Fall 2009

The Priority Registration Advisory Committee (PRAC) was formed by the Faculty Council in 2007.  The process and timeline for submitting requests to PRAC for priority registration on behalf of student groups for Fall 2009 early registration is now underway.  A timeline and complete instructions are available on the Registrar’s website:  Please note the new, improved instructions for submitting applications, which are due no later than Monday, February 9, 2009. 

“Black Women in the Academy: Strategies for Survival, Success, and Transformation” symposium set for January 30-31, 2009

“Black Women in the Academy:  Strategies for Survival, Success, and Transformation” is the topic of a two-day symposium scheduled for January 30-31 in the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

Plenary speakers will include:

  • Dr. Beverly Guy, Sheftal, Spelman College;
  • Dr. Yolanda Moses, University of California at Riverside;
  • Dr. Rhonda Sharpe, University of Vermont; and
  • Dr. Monica Corbitt Rivers, Winston Salem State University.

Undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and administrators are invited to attend.  For more information, write to or visit

Inaugural meeting of LMS User Group rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 3

The inaugural meeting of the Learning Management System (LMS) User Group, which was canceled earlier this month due to adverse weather, will now take place from 3 – 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 3 in room 205 of the R. B. House Undergraduate Library.  Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and CIO Larry Conrad will kick off the first meeting.  The group was formed to provide a forum for sharing LMS innovations, resources and best practices.  A learning management system (LMS) is software, such as Blackboard or Sakai, that manages and delivers instructional content as well as tracks learner activities and progress. To review the meeting agenda, please visit .

Call for Nominations: 2009 University Awards for the Advancement of Women (deadline February 23)

On behalf of the Offices of the Chancellor and the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, the Carolina Women’s Center is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2009 University Awards for the Advancement of Women.  This award recognizes contributions to the advancement of women at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Each year, three individuals—one faculty member, one staff member, and one undergraduate/graduate student/postdoctoral scholar—may be selected to receive the award. The faculty and staff recipients each receive $5000 and the undergraduate/graduate student/ postdoctoral scholar recipient receives $2500. Awardees are honored in a ceremony during the Carolina Women’s Center’s annual Women’s Week Celebration.  The 2009 ceremony will be held on Monday, March 23, 2009, at 3:30 p.m.  Location TBA.

Please submit nominations for women and men who have contributed in one or more of the following ways:

  • Elevated the status of women on campus in sustainable ways;
  •  Helped to improve campus policies affecting women;
  • Promoted and advanced the recruitment, retention, and upward mobility of women;
  • Participated in and assisted in the establishment of professional development opportunities for women; and/or
  • Participated in and assisted in the establishment of academic mentoring for women.

**To submit a nomination, please use the online form at:

All faculty and staff nominees must be permanent employees.   No self-nominations will be accepted.  Carolina Women’s Center administrators and staff are not eligible for nomination.  The deadline for nominations is Monday, February 23, 2009, at 5:00 p.m.

Please contact Dr. Donna M. Bickford, Director of the Carolina Women’s Center at or (919) 843-5620 if you have questions about the awards or nomination process.

Public Service Awards nomination period now open — deadlines February 6th

The Carolina Center for Public Service honors individual students, faculty, staff and university units and organizations for extraordinary and exemplary public service through annual Public Service Awards. The awards include the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award, the Ned Brooks Award for Public Service, and the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award. A description of each and a link to more information and nomination forms may be found online at:  The 2009 nomination cycle is now open, with most awards carrying a February 6th deadline for nominations.

Faculty Governance Reading Room

Articles, books, or other resources of interest to faculty.  This week’s selection:

  • Rejecting the Academic Fast Track” (From Inside HigherEd, January 15)
    Doctoral students increasingly want “family friendly” campuses, wary of research universities.

About Faculty Governance News

The Faculty Governance News is published every two weeks throughout the academic year by the Office of Faculty Governance.  Archived issues and the publication schedule for 2008-09 are available online here.  Information to be considered for inclusion should be sent to Anne Whisnant ( by Monday before an issue is scheduled to appear.

For more information on any of these items, please contact Anne Whisnant in the Office of Faculty Governance.

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