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Faculty Governance News

vol. 4.2

September 23, 2009

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

Faculty Secretary Joe Ferrell surveys the history and structure of faculty governance at UNC

 Secretary of the Faculty Joe Ferrell delivered his annual not-to-be missed overview of the history and structure of faculty governance at UNC to new members of the Faculty Council on September 4th.  Although it cannot match hearing the presentation in person, you can read Ferrell’s PowerPoint here and begin to acquaint yourself with how our faculty governance system is structured and how it came to be.

Ferrell, who has served as the Secretary since 1996, has been a member of the UNC faculty for more than four decades and is a walking repository of university history who can almost always provide historical information and context for issues facing the faculty

As Secretary, he is responsible the operations of the Office of Faculty Governance, and shoulders a number of duties elaborated within the Faculty Code including:  keeping minutes and tracking the proceedings and actions of all meetings of the General Faculty and of the Faculty Council, conducting the annual faculty elections process, maintaining files of all nominations and citations for honorary degrees and special awards, and monitoring the work of University-wide committees that contain faculty representation, whether or not those committees are specified under the Faculty Code.

FAQ of the Week: Are the standing committees of the faculty subcommittees of the Faculty Council?

One of the most unusual and sometimes confusing aspects of UNC’s faculty governance structure is the fact that the standing committees of the faculty (which are established in Article 4 of the Faculty Code) are not subcommittees of the Faculty Council.  Instead, the committees — with the exception of the Faculty Council Committee on Fixed-Term Faculty (whose members are chosen from among those elected to the Council) — are free-standing, independent committees either elected directly by the Voting Faculty or appointed by the Chair of the Faculty or the Chancellor.  The committees do report annually to the Faculty Council and sometimes propose resolutions for Faculty Council action, and members of the Faculty Executive Committee serve as ex officio members of the Council, but otherwise the committees operate alongside the Council and largely independent of it.  A list of all of the standing committees, with links to more information about each of them, may be found here.

University encourages the use of gender-inclusive language

A new policy statement posted on the Provost’s Office website encourages everyone in the university community to become conscious of employing gender inclusive terms (chair; first year student; upper-level student, etc.) on University documents, websites and policies.  Consistent with the university’s general nondiscrimination policy, the new statement provides a link to materials developed by the UNC Writing Center that provides strategies for employing gender-sensitive language.

2010 Distinguished Alumna/us Award nominees sought; Deadline for nominations is October 14

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 coffee hour(s) at the Faculty Commons at the Campus Y:  9:00-11:00 a.m. daily!

The Office of Faculty Governance is pleased to announce the return of free coffee for faculty and their guests at the Anne Queen Faculty Commons at the Campus Y.  Due to budget-related belt tightening, the coffee hours will now be from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. each weekday.  The Faculty Commons is a beautifully renovated space where faculty and their guests can gather for impromptu get-togethers or conversations.  The room is kept unscheduled each day until 1:30 p.m., but faculty groups can reserve the room for faculty-oriented programs in the afternoons.  Please contact David Thompson in the Office of Faculty Governance (962-2147) for more details or check out the room regulations, calendar, and reservation form online.

“Keeping Your Reputation in the Internet Age:” School of Public Health faculty member Jim Porto offers workshop on professional reputation management

Books and articles you’ve written, presentations you’ve made, your participation in meetings: these are some of the things professional reputations have been built around in the past. How has the Internet changed your ability to know your own professional reputation and what can you do to identify and manage the information about you that might be harming your reputation? Are there ways you can use positive aspects of the Internet to strengthen your reputation? How can you mitigate negative references to you?  How do you find references to yourself to even start the process? How can you help your students start monitoring their own reputations early in their careers?

Jim Porto is director of the Executive Master’s Program and executive director of the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management Program in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.  This workshop will be held on Friday, November 6, 2009 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in Toy Lounge in Dey Hall.  For more information, please visit:

Finding Funding for Teaching and Learning Projects

Want to use technology in innovative ways for teaching and learning but feel stymied by a lack of funding? Join Elizabeth Allen from the GrantSource Library for a workshop on how to search for and identify funding sources that support the use of technology in teaching and learning.  Finding Funding for Teaching and Learning Projects will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. in the Davis Library Computer Lab.  The event is sponsored by ITS Teaching and Learning, the Center for Faculty Excellence and the GrantSource Library.  The event is free but registration is required.  To register, please refer to:

Games4Learning explores authentic learning in virtual worlds

Learn how virtual worlds can be used to immerse students in real-world scenarios when the Games4Learning initiative explores Authentic Learning in Virtual Worlds on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 3:30 p.m. in Toy Lounge, Dey Hall.  Marilyn Lombardi, PhD, director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) Center at Duke University, will describe how learning scientists are currently using virtual world technologies to design and deploy a curriculum based on authentic learning principles.  Sponsored by ITS Teaching and Learning and The Center for Faculty Excellence, the event is free but registration at is required.

Faculty Governance Reading Room

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

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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