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Faculty Governance News

vol. 4.3

October 8, 2009

From the UNC Office of Faculty Governance
200-204 Carr Building
UNC-CH Campus Box 9170
Contact:  Anne M. Whisnant (

Faculty Council to discuss grading policy on Friday, October 9

With Educational Policy Committee chair Prof. Andrew Perrin (Sociology) as facilitator, the Faculty Council will discuss grading policy issues at this Friday’s meeting, which will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room at the Stone Center.  The discussion will examine options for addressing problems of grade inflation, grade compression, and grade inequality uncovered by an extensive and detailed analysis of UNC grading trends written last spring by Prof. Donna Gilleskie (Economics), chair of the EPC’s subcommittee on grading.

Background materials to inform this conversation have been posted to the Faculty Council website with the complete agenda for Friday’s meeting.  A timeline detailing the history of consideration of grading issues at UNC, compiled by the Office of Faculty Governance, is included, which contains links to many previous studies of the issue and shows that the issue of grade inflation has concerned the UNC faculty since at least 1976.  Prof. Perrin has also provided a shortl list of possible ways that grading policy might be altered, should Faculty Council decide it wants to act.  If so directed by the Council, the Educational Policy Committee will develop a proposal for action to be presented to the Council in the spring.

Other matters set to come before the Council on Friday include new information security policies being developed by Information Technology Services and the annual reports of both the Faculty Athletics Committee and Faculty Athletics Representative Jack Evans.

All faculty members are invited to attend the meeting and participate in the discussion. 

Minutes from September’s meeting are now online as well.

Chair of the Faculty and Faculty Marshal invite faculty to participate in University Day processional, October 12

Chair of the Faculty McKay Coble and new Faculty Marshal Valerie Ashby cordially invite all faculty to participate in the faculty processional at the annual University Day celebration, which will take place Monday, October 12 at 11:00 a.m. in Memorial Hall.  University Day marks the anniversary of the founding of UNC-Chapel Hill. Full information about how to participate in the processional is available here.

FAQ of the Week: What and who is the Faculty Marshal?

The Faculty Marshal is one of the key “officers of the faculty” whose positions are established by Article 3 of the Faculty Code of University Government.  Upon appointment by the Chancellor, Chemistry professor Valerie Ashby became the new Faculty Marshal for a five year term beginning in the fall of 2009.  According to the Faculty Code, the Faculty Marshal assists the chancellor with planning for commencement, University Day, and other university-wide academic ceremonies.  But her most visible function is to lead the academic procession at all such ceremonies.  Look for Prof. Ashby at the front of the faculty processional at Monday’s University Day celebration!

October 14 is deadline for submitting nominations for 2010 Distinguished Alumna/us Awards 

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 UNC Distinguished Alumna/us Awards, which will be presented at the 2010 University Day ceremony. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, October 14, 2009, and anyone may submit a nomination. The Faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards selects winners.  Nomination letters should include appropriate biographical information and a statement in support of the nomination that shows the nominee’s contribution to humanity in any walk of life. Supporting letters often accompany nominations, but the content, not the number, of these letters is what counts.
Nomination letters can be sent to the Committee on Honorary Degrees and Special Awards, Campus Box 9170. Please read the complete criteria and instructions for making a nomination here.

Faculty Athletics Committee invites feedback

The elected Faculty Athletics Committee, chaired by Prof. Steve Reznick (Psychology), has established the e-mail address as a portal for any questions or suggestions regarding Carolina Athletics.  The Committee, whose annual report to Faculty Council will be presented this Friday (October 9), invites faculty inquiries and engagement in its work.

Association of Fixed Term Faculty holds organizational meeting

A newly formed campus organization to articulate the interests of fixed-term faculty on campus held its first meeting on October 1st at the Faculty Commons in the Campus Y.  The new organization, named the Association of Fixed Term Faculty, plans to resume work once carried out by the Lecturer’s Association, a group that lobbied for fixed-term faculty interests in the years before fixed-term faculty won the right to vote in university-wide faculty elections and earned voting membership on the Faculty Council in 1995.

The Association’s initial meeting was convened by three longtime fixed-term faculty advocates, all of whom hold the rank of Senior Lecturer:  Prof. Jan Boxill (Philosophy), Prof. Jean DeSaix (Biology), and Prof. Donna LeFebvre (Political Science)

Noting that several committees at various levels across the university are working on fixed-term faculty issues now, the Association’s organizers said the time is right for a new grass-roots organization to “to be active in encouraging and supporting a movement to enhance our positions, rights, and privileges . . .  and support those who may suffer because of budgetary realities.”  The organizers said they hoped the Association would become an “active and visible presence in our departments, schools, and across the university.”

A steering committee for the new association is now being formed.  For more information or to be added to the organization’s listserv, please contact Boxill, DeSaix, or LeFebvre directly.

Applications due October 21st for IAH Chapman Family Faculty Fellowships

The deadline to submit applications for the Institute for the Arts and Humanities’ 2010-2011 academic year Chapman Family Faculty Fellowships is October 21, 2009, at noon. Chapman Family Faculty Fellowships offer faculty with demonstrated excellence in teaching undergraduate students a semester-long, on-campus fellowship to work on projects for publication, exhibition, composition or performance. For information, visit

IAH accepting applications/nominations for Academic Leadership Program through November 1st

The Institute for the Arts and Humanities is now accepting applications and nominations for the 2010-2011 Academic Leadership Program. All applications, nominations and recommendations must be submitted by November 1, 2009. The ALP helps prepare and support current and emerging academic leaders through a series of activities to help them develop leadership skills, clarify their career commitments, build a leadership network within the campus and extend their contacts to other leaders beyond the university. Eight Fellows are selected annually from across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. For details, visit

Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program invites applicants; deadline is November 12

This program funds fellowships (3 to 12 months in length) to faculty members who propose to conduct research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies to improve their skill in languages and their knowledge of the culture of the people of these countries.  The campus deadline for applications is November 12.  For more information, please visit

Concerned about privacy on the Internet?

Learn about the issues surrounding the openness of the Internet and the need to balance concern for privacy and security when Anne Klinefelter, associate professor of law and director of the law library, explores Privacy, Confidentiality and Security on the Internet on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 12 p.m. in Toy Lounge, Dey Hall.  Sponsored by ITS Teaching and Learning and The Center for Faculty Excellence, the event is free but registration is required

From OASIS:  “Flu Proof Your Course”

Looking for ways to encourage students NOT to come to class and spread the flu?  Here are a some technology options for you to remotely share your class with your students, courtesy of the staff at the Office of Arts and Sciences Information Services:

Call for recent and upcoming faculty book titles

The Bull’s Head is once again compiling its list of recently released and upcoming UNC faculty works. If you’ve had a book that has recently been released for the first time or have a book that will be published soon, please email and the staff will gladly carry your book in the store and put it in the Fall Semester edition of their Faculty Titles newsletter. If your book is coming out after Jan. 1st it will be in the Spring Semester edition of the newsletter.

Faculty Governance Reading Room

Articles, books, or other resources of interest to faculty.  This week’s selections are a pair of articles considering roles, responsibilities, and challenges of faculty members and faculty-administrators:

  • Exactly What Is ‘Shared Governance’? (from Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/23/09).  Idaho State University provost Gary A. Olson explains that “faculty governance” is a delicate dance of communication, collaboration, accountability, mutual respect, and trust.
  • Reflections of a Failed Dean (from Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/7/09).  “M.K. Ellis,” a former dean and chief academic officer at a small college, reflects honestly on the sometimes mysterious difficulties he faced in transitioning from faculty member to administrator.

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 2009-10 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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